Those Traditional Latin Mass people are sooooooo rigid and crazy, amirite? But those who say such things are not into name-calling or anything. They’re non-rigid people who are totally sane and are like 1000 times better Catholics than those cramming themselves into Latin Masses filled with young families.
Oregon Muse wrote an interesting piece at Ace of Spades. It’s worth checking out.
“I often complain about such-and-such being something “out of the progressive playbook”, as if there is a text called “The Progressive Playbook” floating around. I really should start collecting these instances and then perhaps one day I will publish a compendium of every progressive tactic, every misdirection, every false equivalence, every circular argument, every strawman, every causal fallacy, every special pleading, every argumentum ad hitlerum, and I could probably fill an additional volume on their incessant motte-and-baileying.
Yes, perhaps one day I will write such a compendium.
But today is not that day.
No, today I am going to complain about yet another low and dishonest progressive tactic, one that is probably the most low and dishonest:
From this tweet commenting on some older Catholic bishops (and the pope!) looking with disapproval on the surprising preference of many young Catholics for the TLM (traditional Latin Mass), and a couple of screen shots were attached:
Also, this one:
Where to begin? First, the smug, arrogant attitude of condescension that drips from both these quotes is absolutely infuriating. If someone said that to me in real life, I’d have to resist a strong temptation to bop him on the beak. Because the shorter version of each of these is “anyone who disagrees with me has psychological problems”, i.e. is insane.
The main problem here is that this tactic skips a step. That is, nothing in either statement proves that the young people who prefer the Latin Mass are, in fact, in error. They just assume the error and then explain why the error exists.
This goes back to the postmodern style (which derives from Marx) of ‘deconstruction’ which deals with counter-arguments by claiming some other reason for them. In Marx’s case, it’s because of “class interests” and in modern times, this has been expanded to include race, gender, and sexual orientation.
But C.S. Lewis caught on to this dodge as early as the 1940s. In his book, God in the Dock and Other Essays, there is an unfinished essay titled ‘Bulverism’ or, the Foundation Of 20th Century Thought where he lays it all out. Lewis lived his life in academia, so he saw the first sprouting of postmodernism/deconstructionism first hand, although I don’t think he knew it by those names. ‘Bulver’ was the name of a fictitious character he whimsically invented to account for the origin of this ‘debunking’ (his phrase) style of argument. I think Lewis’ analysis is prophetic:
I find the fruits of his discovery almost everywhere. Thus I see my religion dismissed on the grounds that ‘the comfortable parson had every reason for assuring the nineteenth century worker that poverty would be rewarded in another world’. Well, no doubt he had. On the assumption that Christianity is an error, I can see early enough that some people would still have a motive for inculcating it. I see it so easily that I can, of course, play the game the other way round, by saying that ‘the modern man has every reason for trying to convince himself that there are no eternal sanctions behind the morality he is rejecting’. For Bulverism is a truly democratic game in the sense that all can play it all day long, and that it gives no unfair privilege to the small and offensive minority who reason.
Once can see the advantage of adopting such an approach: arrogantly dismissing as irrational those who don’t share your views relieves you of both the responsibility of having to actually engage with them, and the burden of having to think through your own. It’s such a lazy and dishonest rhetorical tactic. Ultimately, you’re wrapping yourself up in an impermeable bubble that no reason or logic can ever penetrate.
In addition, I thought the “true love is not rigid” line to be especially smelly. Apparently, accusing young people of being mentally ill because they prefer a different form of the Mass is not the least bit rigid. Every bit of shade the post-modernist throws at traditional thinking can be thrown right back at them. And they have to do a lot of convoluted special pleading to avoid stepping on the flaming bag of dog poo they’ve placed on their own porch.
In my opinion, if I was a Catholic prelate, a shepherd of the flock, I think I’d want to know why many of the younger generation Catholics are attracted to the old Latin Mass. To not seriously engage this question, to immediately dismiss a sizeable portion of the flock as silly or demented, seems, I dunno, kind of rigid to me.
And the task of collecting and classifying the taxonomy of progressive arguments may be made much easier by the fact that most of it boils down to name-calling.”
Me again: Could it be that it’s because those people are not actually interested in growing the faith or even shepherding the flock. They are interested in something else entirely. But what? Power? Greed? Reshaping the Church into part of some leftist utopian vision?
Yes, yes, and YES!!!!
Catholics have been instructed to “meet people where they are.” They seem to think that for everyone except Latin mass-goers. Those people must be shamed, ridiculed, and hectored. This discordancy should tell you that there is something they’re not telling you.
Why are they unwilling to meet TLMers where they are? Why are they instantly assumed to be awful or deranged?
They don’t want to meet Latin mass-goers where they are because they don’t want to meet there? They’ll go to prisons, brothels, and the Democrat National convention to meet people where they are but not the Latin Mass.
I believe that says more about them then the other way around.