Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mea Culpa

A music artist makes a questionable choice (the latest in a long line of unfortunate choices), and rather than get offended, you try to write about it in a humorous fashion that makes light of the fact that the Catholic Church is once again the target of someone's misguided efforts to sell a product.

It's all in fun, right?

And then you read what you've written reprinted in a major newspaper and you're suddenly horrified that you could have said such unkind things about another human being. A woman for whom you should be praying, instead has ridicule and name-calling heaped upon her.

I am ashamed. And I'm thinking that an appropriate penance is for me to give this thing up, at least for a while.

Miss Spears, I apologize for the unkind things I wrote about you.

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At 11/06/2007 1:28 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

I thought Matthew Lickona had the best take: "Hey, Brit. It's Madonna calling from 1989: she wants her schtick back."

At 11/06/2007 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suggest giving it up permanently. You are just duplicating others' efforts, and making a mess of it in the process. Try to burn up some of that excess testosterone by doing something else -- e.g., manual labor for your parish.

At 11/06/2007 1:55 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

Telling someone to quit his blog because it's bad is dubious under the best of circumstances. Doing it behind the veil of anonymity is contemptible cowardice. Doing both when the guy is attempting a mea-culpa is vile crap.

(Sorry, Jay ... it had to be said.)

At 11/06/2007 2:08 PM, Anonymous Donald R. McClarey said...

Spears is a big girl and ostensibly an adult. She engages in mockery of the Catholic faith in order to restart her stalled career. I think your comments were quite understated under the circumstances. When people engage in bad conduct in public they need to be called on it, and I'm glad you did.

As for brave anonymous, your comments have as much validity as you have courage.

At 11/06/2007 3:19 PM, Blogger Thos said...

Please don't stop blogging on this account. Appropriate pennace might rather be to consider, in all your future writing, that what you say could be picked up by the Washington Times. But to let this be a gag could be construed as a defeat...

Peace in Christ,

At 11/06/2007 3:25 PM, Blogger Dale Price said...

If your conscience is telling you to take a break, then you should. But be careful not to let it lapse into an undue scrupulosity.

I applaud your ability to make this kind of public apology--it's not easy.

At 11/06/2007 3:28 PM, Blogger Dale Price said...

And let me add my "amen" to Victor's post.

Anonymous sniping at a man acknowledging fault is garbage.

At 11/06/2007 5:03 PM, Blogger Rick Lugari said...

This is a tough one, Jay. I think it wise to test our commentary by determining if it would be something we would say to the person directly or at least presume the person would read it. I'm suspecting that in your mind this one didn't pass the test. Oh well. You not only apologized but you're genuinely contrite (as evidenced by this post). Lesson learned, move along, and pay no mind to folks like "anonymous".

Another thing, not that from a Christian perspective it makes things right, but Spears is a public figure, and of the variety that feeds of publicity - good or bad. We've all heard the expression "bad publicity is better than no publicity" which, sadly, is a prevalent philosophy. One would be a fool to not consider that folks like Madonna and Britney are well aware of what they are doing and desirous of this very sort of thing.

At 11/06/2007 5:51 PM, Blogger Rich said...

Jay, you have given an apology. You regret the post. Put it behind and use the experience to improve the blog.

ps: "I think it wise to test our commentary by determining if it would be something we would say to the person directly or at least presume the person would read it." is very much on the money. Thanks Rick.

At 11/06/2007 9:54 PM, Blogger Brian said...


I came to a similar realization that I was too caustic when read some of the comments on my weblog against my postings! Boom, the mirror is right there for me to look at.

But your comments are no less different from our Lord condemning the fig tree.

I understand very much how you must feel, especially after your comment was published in the Washington Times online, but you have a good sense that does not need to be put away in a shoe box. Surely do penance, but come back renewed in the Holy Spirit.

You stumbled, now get up; the race is not over by a long shot.

One Oar in the Water

At 11/06/2007 10:48 PM, Anonymous FYI said...

Oops, With Apologies to Britney

At 11/06/2007 11:24 PM, Anonymous BillyHW said...

I liked your original post better.

It's okay to have a personality.

At 11/07/2007 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I said (but everyone conveniently ignored, in their mindless obsession against anonymous posters) ... "You are just duplicating others' efforts." There are TONS of Catholic blogs out there, and most of them (like this one) just duplicate the efforts of others. It's all a massive waste of time, for the bloggers and their readers -- which pleases satan greatly. He wants people to be wasting 1, 2, 3, or more hours a day on reading/posting -- instead of going to Mass and/or adoration, spending time with family, studying Bible and Catechism, evangelizing door-to-door, watching EWTN, performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and taking part in other good enterprises.

Decent Catholics are now wasting massive amounts of time in going to multiple blogs in which they read the same stories (or comments about the same stories) over and over again. The purpose of my previous post was partly to give fraternal correction to the blogger but MORE to point out that this blog does not plug a hole. There was no gap that needed to be filled by this blogger. I believe that lots of bloggers are on an ego trip, WRONGLY thinking that they are needed by society and that they have something significant to say that no one else is saying.

At 11/07/2007 9:51 AM, Blogger Dale Price said...


Christian fraternal correction isn't done from behind a ski mask.

And how do you know Jay isn't praying, going to Mass, engaged in eucharistic adoration, etc.?

Your anonymous scold behavior fills no needs. It's a dime a dozen.

Examine your own conscience.

At 11/07/2007 11:42 AM, Blogger Histor the Wise said...

Concerning the "...mindless obsession against anonymous posters..."

Beg pardon, but most of the commenters here are bloggers. We know from experience that anonymous comments, when they are malicious, are always more malicious than signed comments. We've drawn the conclusion that anonymous attackers are saying things that they're unwilling to acknowledge as their own.

As for your rash attack on blogging, just remember that blogging is a form of conversation. Not every word in a conversation will be a brilliant epigram or piercing insight - but conversation is worthwhile anyway.

Conversation, when properly done, entertains, strengthens or creates friendships, and transmits truth. And, if I'm not mistaken, Satan is against all those things.

True, there are more important things than blogging in life. But blogging is a good way to spend spare time, and everyone has spare time.


At 11/07/2007 11:49 AM, Blogger Rich said...

Anonymous, thank you for the instruction. I note that this is the second comment that you have posted. Peace.

At 11/07/2007 3:48 PM, Blogger Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

i shouldn't worry if i was you!

At 11/07/2007 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, anonymous!

Don't you have an axe to grind somewhere?

BTW, how does it feel to be dissed, anonymously?

At 11/08/2007 8:53 AM, Blogger Shaun said...

Your willingness to apologize gives me hope for this whole blogging enterprise. I cannot believe the things I read in the name of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church on many Catholic blogs, under the cover of "humor," "straight-talk," or "correction."

I wish more Catholic bloggers (and commenters) would take a pause to consider whether what they are doing is really pleasing to God.

At 11/08/2007 12:57 PM, Anonymous AnotherAnonymous said...

I'm with you Shaun. I shake my head in sadness re: the things that some bloggers write in the name of promoting/protecting the church. That being said, I admire this blogger's willingness to admit his wrong-doing and apologize.

At 11/08/2007 7:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get stuck in Baptist guilt! Go to Confession, receive Holy Absolution, and get back to blogging!
From your Lutheran Pastor/Author Friend, Rev. Robert C. Baker

At 11/09/2007 12:53 PM, Blogger RobK said...

Listen to those on here whom you know and trust.

I echo Dale and Jackie.

Personally, I hope that you keep blogging. I know I would miss it if you stopped. I value your insight on a variety of topics and the style you use. I think we need more strong Catholic men standing up to be counted, not less.

At 11/09/2007 4:16 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...


It's all a massive waste of time, for the bloggers and their readers -- which pleases satan greatly. He wants people to be wasting 1, 2, 3, or more hours a day on reading/posting -- instead of going to Mass and/or adoration, spending time with family, studying Bible and Catechism, evangelizing door-to-door, watching EWTN, performing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and taking part in other good enterprises.

Why are you reading and commenting here, instead of doing all those things?

Don't be silenced, Jay. Your voice is worth hearing, your words are worth considering. No one else says what you say.

At 11/09/2007 5:15 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

At 11/09/2007 9:08 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Please don't go! I rely on you for uplifting Catholic commentary and the occasional legal/political topics that really come in handy at my liberal law school!

At 11/10/2007 7:20 AM, Blogger Zach Brissett said...

Jay, buddy, I keep re-reading your original post in hopes that I'll discover what it is that has you so ashamed of yourself . . . can't find it.

Britney is not fat. She is a skank. She's mocking the Holy Catholic Church. She's derivative in doing so. She could stand to go to confession. Um, these all seem like well-known facts. It's not at all unkind to point them out here or in a national newspaper.

We need more of your keen ability to call a spade by its name--not less. Many of the great saints produced very stinging social commentary--ever read St. Francis de Sales "Catholic Controversy"? He rips into those whom he sees attacking Christ's Church.

Of course, you should be praying for those whom you call out, but their welfare is not your only concern. Your commentary goes a long way toward defending the Church and identifying threats against it. In my eyes, that's one of your blog's most important functions--and one at which you excel.

Now, if there's one post that I think you should have apologized for, it was . . . well, I won't go there! :)

God Bless you, Jay. And cheer the heck up!

At 11/12/2007 1:51 PM, Blogger PB said...

I've got two points to make:

1. Jay, you've always said that once it stops being an enjoyable activity, you're done. If that's the case and it's not fun anymore, best of luck to you.

2. I don't see how this was so scandalous? Just as many have said, you called her out on something she was deliberately doing. Don't feel bad about it.
However, well done having the guts to get out there and apologize for something you regret doing.

At 11/16/2007 1:22 PM, Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

My goodness! Looks like you touched a nerve in Satan when you spoke up against the Catholic Church being trashed. I wouldn't let it get to you that Satan struck back. The best thing he does is makes you run away! So if you give up the blogging you'll let Satan add another point to his chart.

Right now I'm getting flogged like a donkey on at least two blogs - all because I stand up against the sexual objectification of women on my blog. Satan does not like it when we stand up to his evil nonsense.

Don't let Satan win! Keep fighting the good fight. GOD BLESS!

At 11/16/2007 1:25 PM, Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

Oh - I forgot to add:


From your friendly neighborhood Satan Hater, Michelle Therese


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