CSotD: Getting It Straight

I’m starting by disagreeing with Paul Berge, but I’ll soften it by linking to his essay on this cartoon where he discusses the sexist comments that have drawn the most attention, while also delving into Harrison Butker’s homophobia and transphobia as well as his defense of antiSemitism.

My problem is that his objections repeat a basic misunderstanding: Butker and Benedictine College are not simply “conservative Roman Catholics” but verge on heresy.

To be Roman Catholic requires accepting the authority of the Pope, and, while I don’t know precisely what Butker thinks or what Benedictine specifically teaches on that topic, the movement of which they are a part is openly opposed to accepting Papal positions.

This makes them at least small-P protestants, if not large-H heretics. That distinction casts an important light on Butker’s speech: He was invited to speak there because he shares the religious and social views of the group.

He was, therefore, speaking to a graduating class that had been steeped for four years in precisely the sorts of beliefs he expressed. If they were still there, they shouldn’t have been either surprised or offended.

In today’s Baby Blues (AMS), Wanda is being so sarcastic that even little Hammie can pick up on it, and she caused me to cast my mind back 50 years to a time when some students at St. Mary’s College, the sister school of then all-male Notre Dame, quoted a professor as saying that a college degree wouldn’t teach you how to change diapers but would give you something to think about while you changed diapers.

Even half a century ago, I knew women at St. Mary’s who bailed out after a year or two.

I doubt there were many women in Benedictine’s Class of 2024 who weren’t in line with Butker’s thoughts.

I know, too, that there are plenty of people aligned with the woman in Michael Ramirez (Creators)’s commentary and who do not expect husbands to agree with or perhaps even listen to their wives’ political opinions, though I suspect that they aren’t the demographic normally seen at coffeehouses, which at least around here tend towards the liberal and co-equal.

David Ostow gets it right, that, in that kind of marriage, the dog and the wife are the two who are considered co-equal, and if husband and wife ever divorce, he’ll want custody of the dog in order to keep someone around who obeys him without question.

Besides, the dog probably doesn’t object to be put in that crate while her owner is at work.

Left to run around on her own, she’d just cause trouble.

Juxtaposition of the Day

Patrick Chappatte

Gary Varvel

The advantage the Allies had at Nuremburg and in Japan was that they had complete control of the defendants as they judged what constituted war crimes.

Chappatte notes the futility of attempting to enforce the International Criminal Court’s findings on a well-armed, recalcitrant government, while Varvel takes the prevailing rightwing position that the United Nations generally is a laughable, impotent organization.

They approach the matter from radically different positions, but come to the same conclusion, which is that the ICC’s indictments mean very little on a practical level.

Granted, the UN could be more impactful if the Western Powers that established it were more firm in standing behind it, but that’s a conversation hard to pursue in the midst of a crisis.

Then again, if the crisis ends, it’s like the fellow who can’t patch his roof during a rainstorm but doesn’t need to when the sun is shining.

At the moment, Kevin Kallaugher points out, neither Israel nor Hamas is open to the conversation. They aren’t seeking peace but, rather, victory, apparently at any cost.

Meanwhile, Matt Davies points out, students who would like to see an equitable settlement don’t seem able to put their opinions, much less an actual plan, into a format that resonates with anyone out in the real world.

It may be youthful naivete, it may be ignorance of the pragmatic facts involved, but, whatever the reason, the fellow is right: It seems like a self-contradictory mishmash of good intentions rather than a coherent political position.

David Horsey brings me back to the Troubles in Ulster in the 70s and 80s, when Catholics rallied around “our lads” not because Irish unification was a top-of-mind goal and certainly not because they supported violence but because it was “our lads” who were being carted off to prison with no charges and no trials, British armored cars were in their streets and corrupt, violent police were used as allies by Britain.

I suspect that sort of feeling is strong in Gaza, and stronger still because of the massive bombings, deaths and starvation being faced by the citizenry, and that many there see Hamas militants as “our lads” even though they don’t agree with their politics or their tactics.

What brought peace in the Six Counties was a sustained effort by church groups, both Catholic and Protestant, and a growing revulsion on both sides that culminated in a unified opposition by normal civilians to both sides’ violence.

I wish I could believe this were possible in Gaza, because I suspect it’s the only thing that could bring peace.

But, for all the loud noises of militant groups in Northern Ireland, and despite discrimination in employment and housing, the bulk of people had lived together peacefully for decades before the Troubles.

Israel and Palestine can’t make that claim.

This isn’t helping

It takes effort to put together good arguments for and against the candidates in our upcoming elections, even when opinion-makers strive to reflect the facts as they express their opinions.

Michael Ramirez (Creators) surely knows that there was a strong bipartisan border deal hammered out and that it was defeated not on its merits but because Donald Trump wanted the political crisis kept alive.

Claiming that Biden does not want a solution goes far beyond fair commentary.

Meanwhile, based on her previous positions, it seems Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) has stumbled onto the truth: Indeed, the economy is in good shape, but — in defiance of the facts — a drumbeat of defeatism and inaccurate charges is driving down Biden’s approval ratings.

I’ll wait to see what she says next before declaring a turnaround.

Meanwhile, hey, wotthehell.

4 thoughts on “CSotD: Getting It Straight

  1. My parents, God bless ’em, fought a lot about nothing, really. It was weariness more than anything that caused the bickering (my Dad thought The Bickersons were hilarious), but two things were constant till they each wound up in the nursing home at separate times: my mom held the purse strings, made all the decisions of any note and was the one who decided who they’d both vote for. It wasn’t so much that he didn’t have the ability (he was an accountant!) or the political opinions, but it was easier for him to let her make those decisions than have to defend whatever he would do wrong. Most of all, they agreed that it made no sense for them to vote on opposite sides of any issue or for any candidate because they would cancel each other out. Why we would now think that the Thomases and Alitos would do things any different from my parents just because they’re on the opposite end of the political spectrum is sheer idiocy. Unless a wife or husband is completely politically neutered, these couples are in full accordance politically because they’re still married–unlike, say the Conways or other “mixed” marriages–which always turn out horribly. So yes, it matters what politics are publicly espoused by spouses of Supreme Court justices because they reflect the agreement they came to when they took their vows and are simply saying what their justice spouse cannot because of that archaic oath they took to reject politics in their decisions.

    By the way, I used to admire Ramirez as a cartoonist, but if that pink Grinch is supposed to be Biden, he needs to consider some remedial art courses.

  2. Butker was very much speaking to his audience, which is why he was met with cheers and not pitchforks.
    That doesn’t make anything he said defensible, though.

    The right’s approach to the UN is so baffling to me, they simultaneously portray it as both impotent and some sort of would-be fascist One World organization.
    Check out “Left Behind” sometime, it’s a hoot.

    1. No, his comments were disavowed by the nuns who started the college. They no longer run it and have no more to say about what happens there than you or I do. It has been taken over by a rightwing group of heretics aka “conservative” Catholics who invited him because they knew how he felt and welcomed his views.

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