Adios Amanda: Why Brian O'Dwyer is Angry (and me too)
by jptrenn, Sun Feb 18, 2007 at 04:37:26 PM EST
Scott Shields recently asked you readers of MyDD as to why Brian O'Dwyer is angry re the recent Amanda Marcotte/Edwards blogging fiasco. I googled "Amanda Marcotte", saw the post, read it and decided to join MyDD. So hi everybody.
I'll be upfront. I'm not a liberal or a progressive. I'm a moderate. I'm not a Democrat. I'm an independent. I'm also a Catholic. Just like Brian O'Dwyer, who, also like me, is of Irish descent.
I believe that a woman has a right to an abortion, although I'm not much for partial birth abortion. I was once fuzzy on gay marriage, but when it came down to it...I proudly voted against the proposed state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage here in Virginia. Unfortunately it passed. I also was horrified by the pedophelia scandals. And they had nothing to do with homosexuality or liberal bishops as people like Rick Santorum would tell you. Oh, and I think Bill Donohue is a pompous bigoted blowhard. You see, I'm able to disagree with the faith that I was raised. OK?
Now, as to why the Brian O'Dwyers (and guys like me) were angry (read: offended) by Amanda Marcotte blog postings.
Because she blatantly attacked sacred teachings of the Catholic Church that have nothing to do with the American political scene in 2007.
Because she equated the Holy Spirit (a sacred teaching to Catholics) to a human penis whe she wrote:
Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?
Because she derided the Catholic faith as being "an ancient mythology" when she wrote:
A: You'd have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.
There were other quotes. I'm sure if you're reading this, you've read them. I'll spare you from reading them again.
Now I can't speak for all Catholics, but I'm sure I can speak for a lot of them by saying that the things that Amanda wrote are deeply offensive. And that it is obvious that they were written with, at the very least, full knowledge that they would be offensive. They were INTENDED to be insulting. Yes, that's for sure.
But you see, for many of us that are Catholic (and this could probably go for any religion), you're brought up with certain cultural values...values that transcent religions. One of them is often a deep concern for the poor, the disadvanteged. That isn't necessarily a Catholic value, or a Christian value, or a religious value for that matter. One could easily be an atheist and have a tremendous concern for the poor. But from my own experience, much of my own values have sprouted of from Catholic values...watching my own parents involved in charities, starting clothing drives on my own. And as far as John Edwards, one of the reasons I've always admired him is his "Two Americas" theme. That's not necessarily a winning approach in today's often self-oriented world. But John Edwards nevertheless has the guts to talk about it. Sort of like Bobby Kennedy, a good Irish Catholic like me. And Brian O'Dwyer. So while I have my own disagreements with my religion on a variety of issues that we now face here in 2007, I'm still a Catholic and don't like seeing my religion so callously derided.
Now I don't see this as a matter of free speech. Amanda is free to right what she wants, say what she wants, blog what she wants. For that matter, so is Bill Donohue.
In pointing this out, it may help all to realize that there are a relatively large amount of Catholics in the good ol' U.S. of A. - about 70,000,000 - and are not only a reltively large percentage of Americans - about 25%, but they are often looked upon as being swing voters in swing states. States like Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Iowa. All purple and in the hearts and minds of MyDDers, hopefully going blue in 2008.
But back to the point at hand. Amanda Marcotte was hired in a COMMUNICATIONS CAPACITY for the Edwards campaign. She attacked and ridiculed sacred teachings of the Catholic church in a strident manner - teachings that have nothing to do with the Church's positon on political issues that effect our political scene here in 2007. I don't know why so many on the liberal (supposedly open-minded and tolerant left) can't see that. That while Amanda had every right in the world to write them, they are kinda insulting and likel politically untenable in this time of close elections.
So, to Scott Shields, the bottom line as to why Brian O'Dwyer was angry (as I was and many Catholics would be), has nothing to do with the Clintons. It's because we don't like seeing our religion viciously trashed.