2011-03-29

We are not Taliban Catholics...

John Allen,

We are not Taliban Catholics. Your comments and defense of your use of the term should be examined. Stop embracing the noxious mentality of the National Catholic Reporter, and do something constructive with your writing ability.

Jimmy Akin writes:

...

Allen then recounts how he was politely taken to task by a member of the audience he was addressing and offers two defenses of his use of the term "Taliban Catholicism."

First, he says that he uses the terms "Catholic Lite" and "Taliban Catholicism" not to describe specific people but states of mind. Second, he says that he doesn't use them to refer to the left or right portions of the theological/political/whatever spectrum and that both exist on both sides of the spectrum.

These are pretty weak excuses to my mind.

Unless one has the linguistic bullheadedness of Humpty Dumpty, it should be recognized that words do not just have stipulative definitions where you get to use them the way you want to, with no thought to the real-world consequences.

...

But there’s an even more fundamental problem.

There is just no parity whatsoever between Weigel's term "Catholic Lite" (incorporating a reference to low-calorie food products) and Allen's own "Taliban Catholicism" (incorporating a reference to murderous thugs with whom we are at war).

It is as if Allen had used the phrase "Al-Qa'eda Catholicism" or "Nazi Catholicism."

Now matter how many Humpty Dumpty games you play with these terms, they are just going to generate more heat than light.

Allen is smart enough to know that.

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