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On Catholic Boys, Kavanaugh, and Belief


#1

On Catholic Boys, Kavanaugh, and Belief

Bill C. Davis

Having been one, and having been exposed to Catholic 17 year old young men in Our Lady of Lourdes high school, Dr. Ford’s account sounds accurate. As a writer, I was preternaturally inclined toward observing. Also, having been raised with two dynamic sisters I found myself, even then, horrified at the way 17 year old Catholic young men, who were given religious instruction every day, would talk about “girls.”


#2

The Catholic church is the very last place on Earth to go looking for moral guidance. Quite the opposite.


#3

If the “hand of God” is to be deployed, what about HIS “thingy”? Send Kavanaugh to detention, not SCOTUS. I relish the fact that he was probably smirking about all of the “boys-will-be-boys” things he got away with–because that is the mark of a boy. A man would not smirk, but have long ago mended his ways and developed humility. Did Baby Brett learn nothing about repentance from his faith? Let’s not forget his “what happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep” quote. Only serious men and women belong in the judiciary. Saints? Of course not. Grownups? Absolutely. The same applies for the legislature and the executive branches.


#4

Pope Francis, esteemed for all his attempted reforming of the church, made a shining worldly appeal just yesterday to all fellow Catholics to remember the Jewish victims of the Nazi slaughter house; but
he hadn’t a Christian word chastising the Jewish ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, amounting to genocide in Gaza, or their slaughter of innocents since their murderous occupation in 1948.
Catholic “training and scruples” keeping with what’s bright in the world’s eyes, but that leaves out a self-sacrificing love of others, “as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph.4.21), keeps us all in darkness.


#5

" only serious men and women belong in our judiciary…and legislative and executive branches " . Like the bigoted clowns we now have are going to be gone with the wind? Their sound and fury will someday signify nothing but hot air?
You’re talking about in the future, right? Possibly in 2150 or so, then?
Hell will freeze over and The Ice Capades will be holding events there before the fascists relent, I’m afraid.
Don’t be fooled by the power of understanding and forgiveness, these suckers are not worth saving. 52% of white women are surely going to reproduce another batch of these bastards. It’s their god’s will, or something just as prejudiced.
The only hope for America is to outvote them and outgrow them. Just guessin’.


#6

The “Madonna/whore” myth is deeply embedded into the culture of U.S. Catholicism. Thanks to Bill Davis for describing it in some of its particulars. It posits that girls and women are either chaste (and even virginal) mothers/mother figures or “sluts.”

This truly sick bifurcation of what it means to be girls/women (and other genders) by U.S. boys and men is by no means restricted to U.S. Catholicism. It is common in almost every religion and most other institutions, which is why as many as 20-25% of U.S. women are raped (often by those they know) and many more sexually and physically abused.

Clearly our media and social institutions reinforce and even create mysoginy and the rape culture. To change that we must bring revolutionary change to the media and nearly all social institutions. To do that, we have to fight against capitalism as best we can and bring it down.

Without a nonviolent revolution against the neoliberal capitalist political economy, there will be no significant change in any area of human life, other than it will get worse for the many.


#7

And how do we tell they’ve grown up? They acknowledge having been neglectful or even abusive when they were immature. They do not make “what happens at … Prep” comments in professional settings. They do not disparage those who have had to deal with their immature exploits. In this particular case, they tell the FBI, in their pre-hearing background checks, that they did some bad things then. And having reached this high level of consideration, they would withdraw from nomination and maybe resign from the federal bench. He might have a good new career working with the Vatican or its accused priests.

@TomJohnson1, I’ve given you the like, but you’ve painted with too broad a brush on “almost every religion.” A number of mainline Protestant denomination and branches of other faiths have been hard at work for decades now to undo the madonna/whore binary, and they deserve credit for that work.


#8

Good article Bill. What you say certainly jibes with my experience and observations, over many years.


#9

Well, there were/are Catholics and Catholic organizations like the Berrigans, Sr. Helen Prejean, Fr. Roy Bourgeois and close the SOA, Dorothy Day and the anarcho-socialist Catholic Worker Movement, Pax Christi, Ploughshares peace actions, the martyred Archishop Romero, and the Liberation Theology movement - which informs much of what Pope Francis has written and spoken.

I see nothing equivalent to any of these among the Protestant Christians, save for maybe the Quakers and the Bruderhof Mennonites.


#10

Did you bother to google “Pope Francis Palestine” before you wrote your comment? Pope Francis has had plenty to say in defense of the Palestinians.

Please clear your cache and cookies before doing your search or Google will tend to direct you to bias-confirming sources.


#11

I hope that Mr. Davis understands that all this kind of stuff goes on in equal amounts in Protestant prep. schools, and of course public schools, too.


#12

Hey I said “belong” while vetting no existing members. My comment was in the abstract sense.


#13

Yes, I always was amazed at how these remarkable people were able to draw on the Catholc tradition.


#14

By honestly and openly vetting them, which unfortunately is difficult when partisan whims dominate jurisprudence. Washington warned against political parties in his farewell address foreseeing some of the poppycock (to use a word of his day) in the center of power, ironically now named after him.


#15

The Khoir Boy Kavanaugh’s wings are not real. They’re as religiously phony as his phony piety and phony testimony before the Senate.
There he is for all to see; here lies Kavanaugh’s soul, as he lies and lies and lies… is no future abstraction but is possibly a messy distraction. And it is certainly a major subtraction from the SCOTUS of Douglas, Marshall and Ginsburg.


#16

My experience attending Catholic High and Grade schools was nothing like this gentleman’s. That is not to say teenage boys, myself included, didn’t talk about girls and sex. There is always a blowhard bragging about imagined triumphs.


#17

I was raised in a conservative hard-core Irish Catholic family, and I never head of this Madonna/Whore myth.

But something that might make a difference in Catholic boy’s behavior back in the 1960s-70s might be the heavily-indoctrinated non-Mediterranean Catholic (Irish, Polish, German) belief that masturbating was the most grievous, Class I Mortal Sin that one could commit. My sex education from my Irish-Catholic father mostly consisted of his railing on the evils of masturbation - it was equated, for some unexplained reason, with the only slightly more terrible, horrific, burn-in-hell-for-all eternity sin of homosexuality (youthful circle-jerks perhaps?) In contrast, “Premarital sex” with a woman was of secondary grievousness. So perhaps, if there is a propensity for catholic boys to commit sexual abuse, it is because they take those prohibitions of masturbation to heart, and seek sexual release solely with a woman’s vagina - consensual but often not.


#18

Yeah. Even yet some Catholic cleric not so long ago declared masturbation to be, “An abomination.”
Well, a few facts about this are worth noting: Ninety-three percent of men in a study admitted to being regular masturbaters and seventy-five percent of women. Are they all among the damned? Sperm cells remain alive in the male body for only three days after they are produced and are eliminated one way or another; might as well be with a bit of a pleasant and harmless solo flourish, would anyone agree? And in cloning, skin cells are used instead of sperm, imagine that! Finally, if we are gospel Christians, Jesus Himself mentions nothing about masturbation so it must not be important; so it is left up to us as individuals, apparently.


#19

If the gospels are any guidance to ones beliefs, (especially Mark or Mattiew) Jesus said very little about any personal conduct by oneself - the main exception being the sin of getting rich, with only rare exceptions (the camel passing through needle eye). The only account of Jesus getting violent was over this issue.

It was all about our conduct toward others. The Sermon on the Mount says it all.

Much later, socialist Eugene Debs independently evoked the Sermon on the Mount in his famous sentencing statement to the Judge at his trial for sedition in Cleveland in 1919.


#20

I detest the Catholic Church for its teachings:

What is wrong with inciting intense dislike of a religion if the activities or teachings of that religion are so outrageous, irrational or abusive of human rights that they deserve to be intensely disliked? – Rowan Atkinson

Totally agree with Atkinson! “…a Neapolitan peasant, having learned from his parish priest that animals are not ‘moral persons,’ can go home after Mass and with a clear conscience give his donkey a thorough taste of the switch.” – from “Men, Beasts, and Gods - A History of Cruelty and Kindness to Animals” by Gerald Carson

According to Catholic Church teaching, nonhuman beings (animals) have the moral equivalent of “things”— I was raised Catholic, but exited the Church because its offensive, disturbing and disgusting teachings opposed my values, even as a child being indoctrinated by priests, nuns, and The Tablet (official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens).

EVEN SCIENCE NOW PROVES BEYOND A DOUBT THAT ANIMALS ARE NO MERE “OBJECTS;” but this Cartesian fable is what most humans still believe, probably because it is comfortable and convenient to do so. After all, if we acknowledged the rights of animals, we would also have to face our cruelty, our exploitation and our rapaciousness. We would have to face the fact that we are all collectively guilty of genocide against our fellow species. This is perhaps a reason why our religions are so against allocating animals their rights – because our misdeeds can never find justification and our view of ourselves as beautiful, benevolent and compassionate beings “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:26) would be exploded for the lie that it is. Hitler too, attempted to justify his extermination of the Jewish people by claiming that they are “not human”, therefore objects, and so it is lawful to destroy them. (Contrary to popular belief, Hitler was not an atheist, but a Roman Catholic Christian.) At any rate, one could say that Humility (defined earlier as “seeing ourselves as we are”) is officially refuted by the Church in favour of the sins of Pride and Vanity!