Someone else has noticed this increasingly popular liberal trick: their reliance upon rhetorical sleight of hand.
The message, apparently: beware of those bullying bloggers, but don’t be overly concerned about homosexual activists, cross-dressing “sisters,” and pro-gay parishes that ignore and/or mock Church teaching while supporting “gay pride” parades filled with nudity and depravity. Forget the bullies, where are the teachers and schoolyard monitors?
Yes, there have been some strong, even harsh, comments written about Archbishop Niederauer by Catholic pundits and bloggers. Yet the majority of the comments appear to have been written by folks who are distressed that mockery of the Eucharist and the Mass has not only taken place but seems to be downplayed by those whose primary focus should be to defend the Blessed Sacrament from any such mockery and protect the faithful from scandal, especially in the midst of the Liturgy.
Rather than being outraged at middle class families gaming a system designed to help the needy, for example, they call Mark Steyn and Michelle Malkin bullies and “meanies” for pointing out said gaming. Steyn and Malkin are “picking on innocent children”, but who pushed those children into the public eye in the first place? Ooops, never mind.
Misdirected outrage is more than just a transparently desperate debating tactic. It’s the natural outcome of the twisted, upside down philosophy that underpins so much progressive thought, the brainless contrarianism based solely on sentimentality, junk science, and romantic fictions:
– underdogs, rebels and criminals are heroes unless proven otherwise, and usually not even then;
– question all authority first, and (maybe) ask questions later;
– fight a non-existent “Establishment”, blithely unaware (or pretending to be) that the real Establishment is you;
– being more upset over alleged “hypocrisy” than about the sin itself. Take Larry Craig. To a liberal, Larry Craig’s votes against gay “marriage” are the crux of his crime. That he was apparently soliciting anonymous sex in a public place that’s easily accessible by innocent children matters not a whit. Bill Clinton was persecuted by a “right wing conspiracy” for “getting a blow job in the White House” — and for the bigger “sin”, in liberal eyes, of “getting caught.” That he lied under oath, violated a workplace sexual harrassment law that he himself had supported, committed adultery with an impressionable young woman in “the people’s House”… who cares, you uptight prudes! What are you, frigid or something?!
In other words, progressive ideas and arguments can be relatively easy to puncture, if you employ reverse engineering to uncover their built-in weaknesses.
The secrets to table magic or carny games are available for free in any library or on the internet, yet most people are happy to be fooled by simple card tricks. Allowing themselves to be deceived is so much easier, not to mention entertaining, than learning the truth.
And the “party pooper” who reveals the secrets of the con man or the magician is rarely greeted with gratitude or enthusiasm.
Nevertheless, we can puncture the most facile liberal foolishness fairly easily, if we consistently question their misdirected outrage. Ask them why they’ve chosen one target rather than another. What are they trying to hide beneath all their faux-outrage?
What’s in the other hand?