I grew up appallingly Catholic. This kind of sucked, in a lot of ways. But it did provide me with Valuable Insight into the workings of Appalling Catholics....
Oh hello, J. D. Flynn.
Shusaku Endo’s Silence has haunted me for years. The novel is the story of Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit sent to pagan Japan. Rodrigues is a tireless missionary, but the Japanese seem impervious to Christianity, and he makes little headway. Eventually Rodrigues is betrayed, and imprisoned — like all Japanese Christians, he is forced to choose between apostasy and death.
But Rodrigues doesn’t fear death. His torturers must resort to something more perverse. While he sits helpless in prison, Rodrigues listens to Christians being tortured. They suffer because he does not trample the face of Christ.
Rodrigues is haunted by the cries of suffering. The Christians occupy his dreams. When he is placed before the face of Christ, nailed crudely to a wooden board, he chooses the immediate over the abstract. He cannot imagine any Christian choice but to the end the suffering of others. In resignation, and exhaustion, and deep sorrow, Rodrigues tramples the fumie.
I'll piss on the fumie....
I'm sure this is a swell book.
But what J. D. Flynn is fucking talking about is gay marriage in the United States. What, does he get a stiffie thinking ninjas will beat the shit out of him for ending DOMA?
Of course, it was a mistake. [N. b.: The Jesuit in the book doing the wrong torture thing] The abstract and intangible gives meaning to the immediate. Christians know that a martyr’s death means more than an empty life. Christians know that chaos reigns, and with it more suffering, without the ordering effect of truth. Rodrigues made a mistake, but one I’ve always feared I might also make.
This is awesomely stupid, for the specific reason that nobody is going to torture J. D. Flynn.
(NB: You are a goddamn moral moron if you fantasize constantly about the moral choices you'd make in your Fantasy Prison.)
Clearly: J. D. Flynn will not be tortured unless he pays an expensive sex worker to torture him.
Except prose. Prose will be tortured:
I don’t know whether Joseph Bottum believes that a falsehood such as same-sex marriage can advance truth, or charity, or goodness. I doubt it. His mind is too sharp for that, and too well formed. I do know that most Americans would agree with him — that same-sex marriage is here to stay. And that while we still argue, other battles — most particularly the irreducible moral battle over abortion — rage on.
Joseph Bottum knows that without a foundation of truth, laws against abortion are a faint hope. He knows that we order our common life to natural law in order to protect the unborn, and the disabled, and the elderly. That same-sex marriage will lead only to greater injustice. But haunted by the cries of suffering, Joseph Bottum trampled the fumie.
Let’s pray that not everyone does.
It's that last paragraph that pisses me off.
See, here, the only moral question that matters is to do with the anguish of the one man faced with the one choice.
Like... the one woman with her one body does not count. The gay couple gets no say-so. The poor bastard with the terminal tumor....
Rodrigues made a free choice, as I understand the scenario....
I make the free choice to think you're an absolute tit if you yell at someone who believes that gay marriage is no big deal "WELL WHAT ABOUT THAT JESUIT THE JAPS KILLED HUH!!!!!!"
You know, fuck Joseph Bottum. Fuck J. D. Flynn. Fuck "Catholic moral reasoning," which is, apparently, even more childish than you'd darkly imagined.