31 August 2010


Somewhat related to my previous post...

An artist's depiction of the sanctuary at Cofton Park for the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman. (H/T Damian Thompson)

Oh my goodness. This is just terrible. It's right out of Logan's Run.

Sanctuary... You better run runner.


30 August 2010


Left to Right: Msgr. Ronald Knox (1888-1957), Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973).

Therefore: Knox lived 69 years / Belloc lived 83 years / Waugh lived 63 years / Tolkien lived 81 years

ALECPS = (69 + 83 + 63 + 81) / 4 = 74.0 years, where ALECPS is the Average Life Expectancy of Catholic Pipe Smokers.

All were Englishmen (however, Belloc was a naturalized British citizen). This function also assumes a representative population size (i.e. N = 4).

According to the Office of National Statistics in the United Kingdom, the Average Life Expectancy of a Male Born in England between the years 2006-2008 (ALEMBE) is 77.7 years. LINK

Let: DLE = ALEMBE - ALECPS, where DLE is the Differential Life Expectancy.

Thus: DLE = 77.7 - 74.0 = 3.7 years.

It can therefore be stated within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that, on average, English male Catholic pipe smokers live approximately 4 years less than the current national average lifespan. Not too bad. However, there is a wild card that might decrease the average value of ALECPS...


Let's hope that Pope Benedict's visit to the United Kingdom next month, for the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman (19 September 2010 / LINK), will start to stem the tide.

Our Lady of Walsingham: keep and protect the English people.


28 August 2010


Hi y'all. I'm Cletus - former hed of security at eeee-dubya-tee-enn. Thatz rite, I yousd to wurk 4 Mother Angelica. I luv Mother, sheez a wunderful nun. So kind to me and the missus. Butt why I'm nowz "former" hed of security... well, that matter iz still the courts... he he he.

Don't chyoo laff at me now, Cathlik peoplez. I know you're thinkn my name's funny. Golly, my Pappy named me after Pope Anacletus, a saint don't ya know. He was voted in to hed Our Blessed Lord's Church probablee round 76 aay-dee. And don't chya know that my name means "one who has been called". Well, least that's what it sayz in Billy Bob's Cathlik Ensyklopeedia.

So there... and the other day this teee-aych-too guy called me to fill in fur him whilst heez workin on wun of his articlez for this here blaug... Uh? What the heyl is blaug? Iz that sum kinda New York Citee thang? Personally - and don't tell nobody, but I think heez a turd. Nuntheless, Our Blessed Lord sayz that we must be chairitable and paichent with our naybers. So considern that - and factor'n in my southern hospitalitee, I shall oblige. And hav yoo seen that Mr. Scampers? Fuuuneeee... That guy iz a barrel of laffs.

Anyhoo, last night me and Lamar are cow tipping, ya know... and that got me thinkn. "What in tarnation shall I rite about?", I axed myself whilst ruminatin under the starry celestial dome. German philosophee, I pondurd. Immanuel Kant, purhaps... and what wuz that guy talkn bout anyhow? Shucks, I'm not that much inta book learnin n stuff, but I did reed hiz Criteek of Pur Reezon and, let me tell ya... I was afterward fumin and freeked-out like a racoon trapped in a corner by a troop of prancin littergical dancers. After reeding that book I was so angry that I wanted to go bak in time and whoop his precusoring Nazi ass.

But I don't wanna talk bout him no mor. Neether do I wanna rite anymor. This iz borin. So here iz some pixchurs that you may be intrested in:

This iz my faverit monster truck.

This iz my faverit tee-shirt.

This iz not my faverit cuzin, Purnell. Heez a libral Cathlik.

Time to go now. Gotta go hunt'n for sum bunnee rabbitz with my handee pop gun that you seez me holdn in the pixchur. I better get me one of those critters else the missus will be on my case.

God bless, y'all.


25 August 2010


What man does is the externalization of what he is.

- Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Preface to Religion

Still working on that post mentioned in my fake Twitter feed... So in the meantime find below ten bullets on some current delusions and perversions concomitant with the decline of civilization:
  • VP Joe Biden on the economy: "No doubt we're moving in the right direction". (Aug 25/10) LINK
  • NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Ground Zero Mosque: "It is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our city even closer together". (Aug. 3/10) LINK
  • Bishop Armando X. Ochoa (El Paso, TX) on homosexuality and abortion: "As Church we want to journey with everyone as they search for meaning in their lives". (Aug. 22/10) LINK
  • Hugh Hefner on himself: "I consider myself - on a serious note - a very moral man". (2008 Time magazine video interview) LINK
  • Barack Obama on the definition of sin: "Being out of alignment with my values." (Nov. 11/08) LINK
  • Kim Kardashian on life: "I think I found my biggest fan! Kisses! RT @BurnhamBBzLuuvs @kimkardashian you are mentally retarded. just do us a favor and kill urself." (Aug. 25/10) 4,564,903 followers on Twitter as of 11:39 pm EDT on August 25, 2010 (increasing rapidly by the minute). LINK
  • Isaac Larian (CEO of MGA Entertainment) on the success of sexualizing children: "We are proud to be celebrating 10 years of success with Bratz, our #1 girls' lifestyle brand. We will continue the celebration with a mix of new products not only in this milestone year, but well into the next decade and beyond." (August 2010) LINK
  • British Government on Titles: "Head of Behaviour Change, Ministry of Transport, Bicycle Division." (Aug. 24/10) LINK
  • Michael Dowd (United Church of Christ evangelist) on God: "When I say 'God', I'm not talking about something or someone that can be believed in or not believed in. I'm talking about the Ultimate Wholeness of Reality, seen and unseen - the whole shebang - which is infinitely more than anything we can know, think, or imagine." (Aug. 10/10) LINK
  • General Secretary Kim Jong Il (North Korea) on chicken farms: "Thanks to unprecedented great innovations and great leap forward taking place in the country at present the long-cherished ideal is becoming a reality." (as reported, Aug. 24/10). LINK
ANALYSIS: "It is the characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of people are unconscious of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives. Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because it involves too much self-accusation and principally because they have no standards outside themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice how shall men know it is violated?"

- Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Communism and the Conscience of the West


16 August 2010


Satan does not haunt us with his ugliness. He does not smell of brimstone but of cologne, a charming figure who would later tempt Jesus in the wilderness with excruciating courtesy, one gentleman meeting another. We find him in the most polite places for the same reason. He is a neatly manicured mal vivant offering choice fare in exquisite taste to those who will have them... consistently smiling, polite, gallant, mannered and sincere.

- Fr. George Rutler, The Impatience of Job

In a post last month I criticized an article in the Catholic Register covering the appointment of Sr. Simone Roach to the Order of Canada. That article, written by Michael Swan, failed to mention that Canada's most famous abortionist, Henry Morgentaler, was also recently appointed and that, in protest and by adhering to principle, some Catholics thereafter returned the award. It is a significant controversy that should have been factored in the article, once again evidencing skewed reporting at this reportedly Catholic periodical.

Well, now the editorial board have come out in defence of Sr. Roach, who is accepting the appointment, in a piece issued on August 11. So get out your handkerchiefs out, get ready to cry a river, and let the appeal to emotionalism begin...
[TH2 analysis in bolded square brackets]
Honour Sr. Roach

The Church has received little good news of late so we should take a moment to celebrate last month’s announcement that Sr. Simone Roach has been named to the Order of Canada. [The "little good news of late" phrase is a hollow justification for the whitewash that follows. The Church has been receiving bad news for quite some time. Remember: this editorial is a reaction and never would have been issued had Catholics not spoken out.]

Admittedly, this editorial is a few weeks late and might not have come at all but for some second guessing being directed towards Sr. Roach. ["Second guessing"? Who second guessed? Nobody did. Arguments were straightforwardly put forward stating that a Catholic nun should reject such an appointment]. There is a school of thought that holds that Sr. Roach - and, for that matter, all Catholics - should refuse the Order of Canada because two years ago it was given to abortionist Henry Morgentaler. Not to diminish the shame of that decision, but it seems unfair to tar Sr. Roach with Morgentaler’s brush.[Tarring a person has nothing to do with the situation. Neither is criticism issued to diminish the accomplishments of Sr. Roach. These are extraneous to the situation. Rather, the matter directly relates to principle: Should a Catholic (let alone a nun) accept an award from a body (with an implicit moral relativism) that also sees no problem with offering the same prize to a man responsible for countless murders of children in the womb?]

No doubt, bestowing the Order of Canada on someone convicted of performing illegal abortions was shameful then and remains a blight on Canada’s highest honour now.[Do ya think? I would use the word abomination rather than "shameful".] Largely because of Morgentaler, Canada currently has no abortion laws and our abortion rates are among the highest in the Western world.[Which betrays the editors at CR to be even more untrustworthy and apathetic for "honouring" Sr. Roach's decision.] Honouring him [i.e. Moloch] was a travesty but should Sr. Roach have to pay for it? [Diversion. "Paying for it" has nothing to do with this issue. It is adherence to principle. It is not a recompense. It is not quid pro quo.]

The retired chair of nursing at St. Francis Xavier University has been named to the Order for a lifetime of achievement in nursing, particularly her role in creating Canada’s first code of ethics for nurses. [A wonderful achievement. God bless her. But this, again, is a diversion on the part of the CR editorial staff. They don't want readers to face the cold, harsh reality of the controversy.]

But academic accomplishments are hardly a full measure of her contribution. She practices her profession and lives her life by the belief that, in her words, caring is the human mode of being. “I care not because I am a nurse, but because I am a human being,” she says. [Children in the womb are human beings too. This is not a priority of a Catholic nurse who works for health/life?]

Caring for each other is the essence of our humanity. As incarnate Christ embraced the sick, the lame, the blind and the poor, that example of compassionate humanity has guided Sr. Roach. It should be an example to us all. [Notice: a sentimentalistic humanism is injected into the arena. Yes, Christ "embraced the sick, the lame, the blind and the poor", i.e. those who are vulnerable. Are not children in the womb vulnerable as well? Again, see how the CR editors are diverting by appealing to emotions with that "social justice" twist.]

The Church needs to be present in the world and actively contributing to the common good. [The Church can do this without grovelling before, and befriending, the spirit of the world. It always has and always will.] Now more than ever, the world needs to see that there are thousands of priests and religious leading selfless lives of faith and charity to bring benefit to others. These heroic men and women are the true face of the Church. [Would Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a heroic model of a holy, selfless nun, accept this appointment?] When Sr. Roach receives her Order of Canada she will, in some sense, be standing for them all. [No she will not. In "some sense"? What sense would that be? Why cannot the editors at CR be more specific?]

Would she make a stronger statement by not being there? [Yes, she would.] At least eight previous Order of Canada recipients listened to their conscience and returned their medals.[So does this mean that Sr. Roach is not listening to her conscience? See the illogic.] For them, that decision was proper. [Notice: "for them", as if the principle is a function of the self, of what one thinks or feels, which is another incarnation of Kantianism, not at all rooted in the Catholic metaphysic.] But that does not mean a sincere examination of conscience by someone else must yield the same conclusion. [Ah, yes, the moral autonomy of the self. Do I hear the "Dictatorship of Relativism"? HHB16 was right on the money.]

Sr. Roach has obviously decided to accept her Order of Canada. [With the encouragement of the Catholic Register, the evidence shows.] We must assume the decision was not taken lightly. She has a lifetime of professional achievement and faithful service to prove her worthiness. Some people may disagree with her choice but as Christians we should respect it. [Do not condescend us by telling what and what not to "respect". "We know better than you", the CR staff effectively says.]
...and so another whitewashing job by the Catholic Register is completed.

What is interesting is that the editorial has a photograph of Sr. Roach whereof she appears forlorn, somewhat sad, as if we are to feel pity for her. Is not the appointment supposed to be a happy occasion? Since the photo credit is Mr. Swan's (the writer of the first article in July), one wonders if this embedded image is stage play, so as to make the reader feel sorry for her and thus justify her decision. Nonetheless, Sr. Roach, like so many female religious of her generation - habitless and focussed on the horizontal, the hollow humanistic - has succumbed to one of Satan's desert temptations. A Bride of Christ, once directed to the vertical in the distant past, now desires the honour of the world over and above the infinite honour and immeasurable love offered by her Holy Spouse. That the editorial staff at the Catholic Register facilitates this tragedy, this effective honouring of Moloch, once again demonstrates the subtle, slow-motion apostasy therein.


13 August 2010


- At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, do you think, is greater in the kingdom of heaven?
- Matthew 18:1

I like streetfights. Lots of fun; in an ideational way, that is. Nothing like those upper cuts, right hooks and broadsides that go into the forging of character and demonstration of truth. Not for everybody, that is true; but they do form a part of the history of the Church. They do. Really. Just read about some of the saints: "Like dogs they returned to their vomit", Athanasius wrote in reference to bishops Ursacius and Valens and their political machinations.[1] Quite vicious phraseology, many would contend. Now if the great saint were alive today and operating his own blog I would venture to say that, firstly, it would be named something like "Arian Abominations" or "Arian Vulgarians" or "Against the Arian Heretics and their Asinine Idiocies" (Athanasius was "perhaps, somewhat too unsparing in debate"[2]); and, secondly, that not a few orthodox Catholic readers of it would castigate him being as "uncharitable", "mean", "hateful", "not Christ-like" and so forth (judging by the various comments I have read in response to, let us just say, those more "intense" postings in the Catholic blogosphere). As Peter Hitchens (brother of atheist Christopher) said in a recent interview (H/T Lola): "If you don't like arguments and intellectual combat then don't join."[3] And this will inevitably involve severe language: "You brood of vipers",[4] said the Lord of History.

Thus we come to the subject of this analysis: Polemical streetfights.

Fair warning.

But I run too far ahead of myself. Some background and context first before we get to the guts.

On July 26 the canon lawyer Edward Peters, at his blog In the Light of the Law, issued a post defending his personal friend, Janet Smith, against the criticisms of Steve Kellmeyer (The Fifth Column, Notes on the Culture Wars). In one of his forum posts, Kellmeyer argued that Smith, a defender of Christopher's West interpretation of the "Theology of the Body",[5] was unqualified to teach at a Catholic seminary (Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit, MI). As some of you may know, Kellmeyer is a polemicist who goes for the jugular and is a harsh, vehement critic of West. Peters used his expertise to disqualify Kellmeyer's argumentation, additionally writing that: "by personally attacking Janet Smith, Skellmeyer has done a disservice not only to Smith, obviously, but also to the other critics of Christopher West".

Now I am not going to address this matter from a canonical perspective as I am totally unqualified and thus out of my league. Moreover, Peters was recently appointed as Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura (news I was glad to hear), so he is now untouchable anyway. One thing is puzzling, however: Skellmeyer's post was originally issued on April 16, 2009, well over a year ago, and I wonder why Peters' post came out only just two weeks ago or so. Maybe something else is happening below the surface? But that's just pure speculation, as yours truly is just a cold blooded Canuck viewing things from afar. [CORRECTION: the post was made July 25/10, I was looking at the join date] Yet what makes this whole affair even more engaging is that, during the recent Theology of the Body Conference, Smith sent out a "tweet" stating that "The 1st thing we need to know is God is chasing us down like a lover. Every lover is a pathological stalker. God is a stalker".[6] One need not be a canon lawyer to understand that this declaration is just downright wrong, let alone disturbing.

For the record, I find the whole Christopher West TOB industry analogous to that past schoolgirl obsession with the Bay City Rollers. So far as I am concerned, West advocates a bizarre form of Manicheanism. But that's just my opinion stated bluntly. I'm allowed to do that... right? Or was that an "uncharitable" remark? Ooops, TH2 is jumping the gun. Anyhow, it was welcoming to read the corrective measures applied to West by Alice von Hildebrand (in an essay last month), and to hear about Dawn Eden's recently completed thesis.[7]

Okay. Now to the guts...

Once upon a time there were two Catholic polemicists. Archenemies to one another they were and the blogosphere was their battleground. One of them, the abovementioned Steve Kellmeyer, and the other, Mark Shea. In the particularity that is the orthodox Catholic blogosphere, Kellmeyer is the so-called "uncharitable", "vicious" underdog, whereas Shea is the darling megastar adored by many (more or less). Now I have been watching these two guys for some time from the sidelines and, whenever they have gone at it in the com boxes, I'll make a batch of popcorn, crank up By-Tor and the Snow Dog, and observe the engagement. Needless to say, the day after Peters did his post on Kellmeyer, Shea wrote a post entitled Steve Kellmeyer Just Keeps on Keeping On:
The Judge of all Mortal Flesh [i.e. Kellmeyer] decides to hold forth on some more cherished enemies, because he knows a thing or one about canon law and feels himself called by Self Most High to (yet again) attack and wantonly destroy somebody's reputation. Unfortunately, Ed Peters, an actual canon lawyer who knows what he's talking about, neatly, cleanly, and without fanfare, hands him his head.
The label for this post was "JERKS". You know, I now have this picture in my head of Shea (after reading Peters' post on Kellmeyer) performing cartwheels across the room whilst laughing in unmitigated joy: "He he he he he... I win. You like me. You really, really like me!" Accordingly, we have Princess No. 1.

Shea's glee was similarly echoed by Patrick Madrid. Two days after Peters' criticism Madrid typed a post with this title: Don't you ever feel like telling someone to shut up and sit down? After summarizing the situation and ascribing Kellmeyer's approach as "acrimonious", Madrid still "wish[ed] him all success". Conciliatory? Sure - and Cornelius Jansen is now a candidate for sainthood. Madrid here rings disingenuous because, firstly, Peters never told Kellmeyer to "shut up" (although Madrid said Peters "basically" did, "a much needed service", a linguistic escape hatch), secondly, using the phrase "shut up" is exactly the type of language to which Kellmeyer accused (i.e. hypocritical) and, thirdly, a large photo of Mr. Spock choking Dr. McCoy plasters the page. Shea's response was expected, Madrid's came out of left field, at least from my seat here in the bleachers. Accordingly, for the purpose of this analysis, I reluctantly designate the latter as Princess No. 2.

"But TH2, you verbose buffoon, at the outset you stated that severe language forms a part of polemical streetfighting. So shut up ya jerk".

Yes I did, and things are dished out roughly in these here parts as well (I certainly have no problem with "jerk" and "shut up" used in argumentation). I'll admit to being a jerk, but will not shut up because misdirection was not intended. The point being made here is that Princess No. 1 and Princess No. 2, both of whom comprise that (you know) clique of lay apologists doing the book/lecture/newspaper circuit, can ascribe someone as a "jerk" or tell them to "shut up", but - "charity" being their supposed norm - are not called out on being "uncharitable" or "acrimonious" themselves when employing such phraseology. Therefore, they are automatically excused from doing the very same thing they condemn and get off scot free. Why is that? Hmmm... I wonder. Why is it that Princess No. 1 and Princess No. 2 can get all hissy and pissy whereas others must remain happy and clappy, otherwise be damned with that dreaded word "uncharitable" (we'll return to Kellmeyer in a moment). At first glance, when Innocent Smith is pointing his gun down at you, he appears the villain. In the final analysis after the court proceedings, however, it is revealed that all his drollery was misinterpreted. He meant well. He is innocent. He is acquitted. Therefore all his hijinks are excused. It turns out that everyone else was wrong. They were jerks and should have just shut up in the first place.

So remember Catholic peoples: happy clappy.

Meanwhile back at the ranch there is Steve Kellmeyer (don't know the man from Adam). Yes, yes he is a fierce polemicist. No question about it. You don't want to meet this guy in some back alley and argue over how much Duns Scotus influenced Heidegger. Don't like the "tone"? So what? There is a righteous venom is his discourse that, not only do I find exhilarating to read, but is much needed in the blogosphere where too many Catholics are so afraid of being "uncharitable" (I'm starting to hate that now abused and frequently misapplied word). Regardless of this, his orthodoxy is unquestionable, he is like a one-man army of knowledge, and I have always found him to be right on the money in his variegated commentaries (by the way, Kellmeyer, if you are reading this, don't let it get to your head, ya punk). The evidence shows that an attempt is now being made to marginalize him, casting him as Public Enemy No. 1 in this pathetic melodrama. The emotional responses of his opponents to his harsh critiques overshadow the facts he presents. The public stature of a Shea or a Madrid (even with their merits, and I'm not condemning them absolutely) does not in the least mitigate these facts.

Basically, this post boils down to not so much a defence of Kellmeyer but as a warning. Cardinal Newman portentously spoke these words to a group of seminarians: "Dear Brothers, you are entering a world such as Christians have not known before." In the 21st century we have reached that horizon delineated by Newman and, unless you have been ignoring the headlines, paganistic nihilism is now near to total eclipse in modern society. The consummation of anti-Catholicism is not a pretty thing. Yes, the Holy Church is comprised of many personality types and uses various modes and methods to encounter the "spirit of the world". But if an effort is made to nullify that sector of persons who speak in a so-called "uncharitable" manner against the enemies of the Church, within and without, then an important organ is lost. For some reason unknown to me there has always been that group of Catholics appalled by, say, the "brutal polemics"[8] of Belloc. Why is that? Well, I'd rather have a Belloc or a St. Athanasius in the battlefield rather than some uptight princess, so easily slighted, void of the skin thick enough to take it like a man.


1. Quoted in H. Rahner, Church and State in Early Christianity (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992), pp. 52-53. Originally published in 1961. Athanasius was making reference to 2 Peter 2:22 / Proverbs 26:11.

2. C. Clifford, "St. Athanasius", The Catholic Encyclopedia (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907), vol. 2. LINK

3. "An Interview with Peter Hitchens" / www.zonedervan.com

4. Matthew 3:7.

5. E.g. J.E. Smith, "Christopher West’s Work is 'Completely Sound,' says Dr. Janet Smith", Catholic Exchange, May 28, 2009. LINK Subnote that Mark Shea is the Senior Content Editor at this site.

6. As reported by Dawn Eden here at her blog The Dawn Patrol. Ms. Eden also records other bizarro "tweets" disseminated at the conference. For example, a Fr. Brian J. Bransfield wrote: "I am the best thing that ever happened to me". Later it was claimed his statement was taken out of context.

See A. von Hildebrand, "Dietrich von Hildebrand, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Enthusiast: Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex", Catholic News Agency, July 2010. LINK J.H. Westen, "Christopher West and Company vs. 'Custody of the Eyes': Thesis argues West’s story of two bishops is misleading", LifeSite News, July 27, 2010. LINK Dawn Eden, author of The Thrill of the Chaste, is making her thesis available at the the CNA website. LINK Incidentally, Kellmeyer is mentioned in the acknowledgements.

8. J. Oliver, "Christopher Dawson: An Appreciation", In: C. Dawson, The Gods of Revolution (New York: Minerva Press, 1975), p. xiv. Cf. also J. Hitchcock, "Apologists - With Angst and Without", Crisis, March 1996, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 34-38.


04 August 2010



When: Tuesday May 1, 2007.

Location: The Union League Club, 38 East 37th Street, New York City, NY, USA.

Event: An Evening With Christopher Hitchens, featuring a discussion between Christopher Hitchens (Trotskyite atheist intellectual) and Peter Collier (Director of Publications for the Freedom Center).

Topic: God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Hitchens on book tour).

Discussion Moderator: David Horowitz (Founder, Freedom Center / Editor, Front Page Magazine).

Special Post-Game Event: Exposition of an Existential Tailspin, featuring...

------------Fr. George "Don't Even Try" Rutler-------------------------Christopher "Booze & Cigarettes" Hitchens



HITCHENS: What if I say, "Everyone in the country knows that female genital mutilation is a horror show? And it should rightly be a federal crime. But male genital mutilation is a filthy Jewish practice. Doesn't sound good, does it, to say that? You know how sensitive we can be. But what else?" And that happens to be my view. And I am damned if I'll become an American in order to be told I can’t express it. Okay?

COLLIER: It is true, of course, that genitally mutilated males have a six times lower frequency of getting AIDS in Africa, for instance, right?

HITCHENS: Well, there would be less AIDS if the Islamic and Catholic authorities didn't say that AIDS may be bad but condoms are worse, which is the religious preachment. And by the way – I suppose we may as well get this out of the way – the jolly old foreskin.

COLLIER: The foreskin?

HITCHENS: The foreskin itself...

COLLIER: Oh, let’s get right to it. Okay.

HITCHENS: When in doubt – as they always say – when in doubt, talk dick. The foreskin can be loosened. The foreskin can be loosened, and even slightly snipped – in order, for cleaning purposes. But it doesn't have to be violently torn and excised, in the Maimonides recommendation, which is, by the way – when Maimonides mandates it, he says, not to prevent you from getting a filthy disease; it's so that you will feel the least sexual pleasure that's consistent with making another Jew, through a hole in the sheet. Okay?


FR. RUTLER: I have met saints. You cannot explain the existence of saints without God. I was nine years chaplain with Mother Teresa [inaudible]. You have called her a whore, a demagogue. She's in heaven that you don't believe in, but she's praying for you. If you do not believe in heaven, that's why you drink.

HITCHENS: Excuse me?

FR. RUTLER: That's why you drink. God has offered us happiness, all of us. And you will either die a Catholic or a madman, and I'll tell you the difference. And secondly, I'm an officer with this club. And this conversation has been beneath the dignity of this club.


HITCHENS: Well, it is now.

HOROWITZ: Okay. I...

HITCHENS: It is now.

FR. RUTLER: And I'd just say that...

HITCHENS: Fine host you turned out to be.

FR. RUTLER: ...this club, we've had very open discussion. But we've never heard such vulgarity and bigotry.

HITCHENS: Till now.

FR. RUTLER: And I am, I don't want to see this in this club again. And I think I represent the officers of this noble...

HOROWITZ: All right...

HITCHENS: Your claim to know what a [saint] is or what heaven is... is as absurd as your [inaudible] arrogance, your unkindness and your lack of hospitality.

HOROWITZ: See? Everybody...

HITCHENS: You should be ashamed.

FR. RUTLER: [inaudible]

HITCHENS: And you are supposed to represent a church of charity and kindness?

HOROWITZ: I said this evening was going to be interesting and unpredictable.

HITCHENS: Especially... [inaudible].

HOROWITZ: And anyway, thank you all for coming. And to all a good night.


The chronicler of the abovementioned, Richard Lawrence Poe, received a private communication from a witness on what transpired after the event:
At the end of the event as he staggered, sweating and red faced, out of the room, he [Hitchens] advanced on Father Rutler in a threatening and physical manner, screaming that this beloved pastor and brilliant scholar whom he had never met was "a child molester and a lazy layabout who never did a day’s work in his life". His behavior was so frightening that a bodyguard put himself between Hitchens and Father Rutler to protect him. Several of the event organizers then escorted Hitchens to the men's room and when he emerged he continued his psychotic rant, repeating the same calumnious and baseless screed as before. It was then that Father Rutler, in the most charitable manner, told Hitchens [for the second time] that he will "either die a madman or a Roman Catholic"... Unless he faces his alcoholism soon, I am betting on the "madman" ending for him.
BACK TO THE FUTURE / NOW. Why the recall? The always intrepid Damian Thompson at The Daily Telegraph just received a sneak peek of a piece by Hitchens, soon to be issued in Vanity Fair. The latter has recently been diagnosed with metastatic oesophageal cancer. In this article, Hitchens reportedly writes:
Will I really not live long enough … to read – if not indeed write – the obituaries of elderly criminals like Henry Kissinger and Joseph Ratzinger?
Rutler was right on the money. Hitchens has gone mad.

Rutler rules.

My guesstimate is that, if Hitchens does see the light (helped by the prayers likely now being said for him), it will a deathbed conversion right at those very last seconds whilst he is about to slip away to meet the Lord of History.

Prayers for Hitchens.


1. Rutler v. Hitchens was first reported by R.E. Poe, "Hitchens Unhinged", Taki's Magazine, October 8, 2007. LINK

2. Hitchens afterwards wrote a rather warped recollection of his encounter with Fr. Rutler: "May 1, New York City: An evening at the Union League Club, sponsored by the conservative David Horowitz. A full house of upscale right-wingers who at least agree with me on the single issue of fighting Islamic jihadism. A generally receptive and friendly audience as I am interviewed by the publisher Peter Collier. He's just closed the meeting when a man in a clerical collar puts up his hand. In a magnanimous mood, I say, Fair enough - let's extend the event for a man of the cloth. This turns out to be Father George Rutler of the Church of Our Saviour, who announces that he's on the committee of the club and will make sure that I am never invited there again. There's some shock at this inhospitable attitude, but I think: Gosh. Holy Mother Church used to threaten people with eternal damnation. Now it's exclusion from the Union League Club. What a comedown. In a brisk exchange near the elevator, the good father assures me that I shall die a Catholic. Why do people think this is such a good point?" See C. Hitchens, "God Bless Me, It's a Best-Seller!", Vanity Fair, September 2007. LINK

3. D. Thompson, "Christopher Hitchens: I'm sorry that I probably won't live to see the death of 'elderly criminal' Benedict XVI", The Daily Telegraph, August 4, 2010. LINK

4. On Hitchen's cancer diagnosis see: "Christopher Hitchens diagnosed with cancer, cuts short his book tour", The Washington Post, June 30, 2010. LINK

5. See also an interesting article by A. Rose, "Hitch Lives", The Catholic Thing, July 30, 2010. LINK

6. Be sure to regularly check out Fr. Rutler's Pastors Corner (his parish is Church of Our Savior, New York) and his monthly articles reissued at Catholicity. LINK


01 August 2010


All out of boredom, gentlemen... all out of boredom.

- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes From Underground

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