Thursday, August 26, 2010

Endorsement Department

Christianity is under assault from Randroids, so Richard M. Reinsch responds to Jason Steorts:
No discussion of the theological-political project is complete without the Spanish Inquisition, I suppose. Yes, the Catholic Church erred in getting involved in state judicial proceedings whereby dissidents to the regime were marked for punishment and some for execution. However, as the late Fr. Richard Neuhaus noted, “Over the three centuries of its full operation fewer people were killed than were killed on a slow afternoon at Auschwitz or in the Gulag Archipelago, not to mention the millions starved or slaughtered by the Great Helmsman in China.”
Kevin D. Williamson jumps into the fray:
“Not as bad as Auschwitz, the Gulag, or Mao” is not something I much want to see engraved in granite over the church doors. It certainly is not Neuhaus at his most persuasive. If the choice is between Ayn Rand and “Not as Bad as Auschwitz,” then the saints haven’t a chance and we might as well all pack it up and just go have ourselves an Objectivist garden party or something.
Must I cheer for the Randroids? Can they mention assfucking?

10 comments:

Smut Clyde said...

getting involved in state judicial proceedings whereby dissidents to the regime were marked for punishment and some for execution.

So the Inquisition was a central-government initiative and the only fault of the church was its failure to keep itself uninvolved. Nothing tendentious about that!

Substance McGravitas said...

Christians all over the world know that there is one way to redemption: OOPS.

J— said...

Dissidents to what regime? The Inquisition in Spain was founded to deal with heresy. Over time it expanded its jurisdiction into areas that were not strictly or formally heretical—blasphemy and positions on certain sex acts, for example—but this expansion always meant pushing in on other courts, civil and ecclesiastical, which pushed back.

I do like the "No discussion …is complete without the Spanish Inquisition" line. I'll have to remember to use it in the future.

Smut Clyde said...

I hope that J-- isn't impugning Reinsch's honesty, or accusing him of trying to smuggle in his most contentious offense against history by using weasel words that make it look less like an outright assertion.

J— said...

I just think he has no idea what he's talking about, no idea how Church and state in pre-19th-century Spain were organized and operated.

I looked over his earlier response to Steorts. He reminds me of Dostoevsky pushing a tighter embrace of faith as a way to save society from scary new ideas. Which amuses me, because Steorts in his Rand essay says her fiction reminds him of Dostoevsky and his wooden characters spouting ideas. It's Dostoevskys (-skies?) all the way down, baby.

fish said...

nobody expects the Spanish Inquision.

tigris said...

If the choice is between Ayn Rand and “Not as Bad as Auschwitz,”

Guess what? It isn't. YOU'RE WELCOME.

Also, the only reason Randians have never had an Inquisition is they've never had any power. They've certainly got the requisite concern for ideological purity.

Substance McGravitas said...

Also, the only reason Randians have never had an Inquisition is they've never had any power.

Rand had 'em all the time, she was just smart enough not to kill any of the victims.

Brando said...

Auto-de-fe? What's an auto-de-fe?
It's what you oughtn't to do but you do anyway.

xenides said...

nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

Torguemada: Good afternoon, I have an appointment to see the doctor.