A reader, Matthew Butler, sent me this e-mail today:
Obviously I’ve read the news (over the top) about the actions of Fr. Newman
in Greenville, what appears to be NOT over the top is the type of echo
chamber that St. Mary’s is. This is Fr. Longnecker’s, the pastoral associate
(and a married priest!), response to the election. I know we’re supposed to
‘speak truth to power’ and sometimes that involves harsh words, but really?Just wanted to get your opinion on the matter.
Here’s the reply I sent:
St. Mary’s is
a very conservative parish. I’ve been to Mass there. I know we’re not supposed
to make judgments about people based on outward appearances, but I have to admit
that that was the most WASPish, Republican-looking, country-club congregation I
ever remember seeing in a Catholic church. It gave me a sense of dislocation.
Not that any of that should matter.As for Fr.
Longnecker (sounds like a guy you’d want to have a beer with, just going by the
name)… in his position, as a person who admittedly doesn’t think much about
politics, I could see having his attitude.I like Obama.
But to like anybody, there’s always something you have to overlook. With Obama,
the biggest thing I have to overlook is his position on abortion (plus the
mental gymnastics he goes through to justify his position constitutionally). If
I did the opposite, if I looked at Obama primarily through his position on
abortion, I would be horrified by him. And being horrified, I could see myself
using some pretty strong language to describe him (although I’d probably be more
likely to invoke Henry II than Herod). Obama does have a cold-blooded view of
the issue that is disturbing, considered in a vacuum.Obviously,
Fr. Longnecker’s view of Obama is untempered by any consideration of him beyond
Ironically, that exchange occurred while I was working on my Sunday column, which is all about POSITIVE thoughts I’m having about the president-elect…