"Godwin's Law" for Sex Scandal Revisited
(Hat tip: Thanks, Victor!)
Last week, I wrote about a version of "Godwin's Law" that could apply to the Church's sex abuse scandal. Rich Leonardi of Ten Reasons linked to my post, but beyond that, it didn't receive much attention in St. Blog's - not that I really expected it to.
Now, a week later, the following item appears in John McCaslin's "Inside the Beltway" column in Thursday's edition of The Washington Times:
A Catholic priest who regularly prays outside an abortion clinic wrote of his positions in a newspaper column, to which two letter-writers responded.They dismissed the church's teaching against abortion on the grounds of the recent sex scandals -- in which church officials covered up accusations of sexual abuse, mostly by homosexual priests against teenage boys.First, the National Catholic Register. And now, The Washington Times. I'm liable to get a big head if all the media attention continues. Sarah won't be able to live with me.
Catholic blogger Jay Anderson reacted by proposing a Catholic equivalent to the Internet rule known as Godwin's Law "for invocations of 'the Scandal' as a rhetorical device."
"It would go something like this: 'As a debate involving the Catholic Church (either a discussion about the Church specifically, or a discussion in which the Church is taking a position) grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning the sex scandal approaches one.'
"And then there's its corollary: 'Once such reference to the Scandal is made, whoever mentioned the Scandal has automatically "lost" whatever debate was in progress,' " writes Mr. Anderson, a former mayor of Columbia, Va.
"Perhaps the Scandal is still too recent," he concludes. "But surely, at some point in time, such ad hominem argumentation against the Church and its teachings needs to be consigned to similar status as inappropriate Nazi comparisons."
Thanks to Rich Leonardi, Dale Price, Amy Welborn, Dom Bettinelli, Julie D., Publius, Leticia, KaleJ, and The Curt Jester for their links.
UPDATE # 2 (2 April)
Dave Hartline also covered the Washington Times mention yesterday at Catholic Report. Thanks, Dave!
UPDATE # 3 (4 April)
Mark Shea has given the story new life by covering it at his blog. Thanks, Mark!