I am feeling rather less embarrassed about this rudderless blog now that I have read a few Patheos articles. Apparently there are writers on Patheos using the site simply as a public diary, as I discovered when one of them weighed in on the Steubenville scandal and I clicked around to see what else she had to say. Whereas I ponder anew the prudence of making intimate thoughts so public, I now feel a little better about have a blog with no clear theme. "Seraphic Singles" had a clear theme. Financial Investment for Early Retirement blogs have a clear theme. How to Learn Polish blogs have a clear theme.
Themed blogs take a lot of time and energy, though. One thing about being a full-time journalist is that I no longer have time to blog. Major questions of the day also absorb time I could be spending on housework, Polish, and German. Also, I've been sick off-and-on since Boxing Day.
That said, I managed to keep all the plates spinning until the Franciscan U. Blasphemy Scandal, which has obsessed me ever since it broke. It reminds me so much of the Mohammad Cartoon Crisis, except that nothing has been set on fire and no-one has been killed. Also, it is confined to a sliver of the world: those who think Franciscan University of Steubenville is important.
FUS is clearly important to Church Militant media, and Church Militant is clearly important to FUS. If FUS didn't know the media habits of its base last Wednesday, it sure knows them now. I think the most poignant part of the scandal was a potty-mouthed FUS graduate writing that her (hated) father had wanted her to grow up to be Christine Niles. The poor girl, whose struggles are on Patheos for all to read, then encouraged the venerable Niles, probably the most famous woman in American Catholic broadcasting, to become like her.
Sad, really. And I really, really, do not think that students should be forced to read Rabelais as part of a Roman Catholic Great Books program. One of the things I learned from reading and thinking about the Mohammad Cartoon Crisis is that the ability to take blasphemy in one's stride is not cool or sophisticated, it's cowardly and lazy. And one of the things that I have learned from being edited by American Catholic publishers is that American Catholics really dislike profanity.
This hatred of profanity is something American Catholic converts and foreign Catholics have got to understand about American Catholics if they want to assume any kind of leadership in American Catholic circles. It is also useful to know that American Catholics will not tolerate in Catholics many things they tolerate in non-Catholics.
Anyway, I am hoping today to pull my brain away from the grip of the Franciscan U. Blasphemy Scandal. If you read the comments box for the original LifeSiteNews story, you can read my advanced thoughts on the topic. I hope they are real contributions to understanding the issues involved. And I hope I have not erred by giving the professor every benefit of the doubt. If there are influential adults at Franciscan University trying to subvert, rather than develop, Catholic virtue in highly impressionable teenagers--by, for example, telling them that interest in erotica is a mark of sophistication and a necessary part of a truly Catholic enjoyment of life--then that needs to be dealt with.