July 15, 2008

Answering Blasphemy

Thanks to Tom Piatak for his coverage of the tenured wanker P.Z. Myers, and to Scott Richert for his thoughtful, theological response. My own reaction is to recall the existence of Swiss shooting clubs, which are nowadays still bulwarks of freedom-loving Swiss patriotism. Marksmanship is still, thank God, the most popular sport in that blessed country. Here’s a fun fact: In the Catholic cantons, many of those clubs are still associated with parishes. They arose during the Counter-Reformation, to protect the Eucharist from profanation—for instance, from attacks by Calvinists during Corpus Christi processions. I’m glad we and the Calvinists are no longer shooting at each other. There are much worthier targets out there…

On a more practical note, here’s a comeback I’ve found useful when someone blasphemes the Holy Name of Jesus—for instance, the appallingly common “Jesus f——-g Christ”

I nod in agreement, and chime in: “Anne f———g Frank!”

That usually brings the conversation at the office water cooler to a halt, after which I explain: “Oh you’re right. I guess it is rude to make fun of people who are murdered for their religion. I apologize.”

No disrespect meant to Miss Frank, of course—but she is rightly an icon of innocent suffering, filling a cultural niche which for some of us is inhabited by another of Abraham’s children….

Now you know why I pretty much work from home.

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