Conservative Con: Wall St. Journal Runs Op-Ed Which Promotes Belief In The Supernatural

by Eric Jaffa for Move Left Peggy Noonan has a long rightwing history. She was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan. The Wall St. Journal now gives her

by Eric Jaffa for Move Left
Peggy Noonan has a long rightwing history. She was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan.

The Wall St. Journal now gives her a free hand to write whatever bunk she wants in a regular column on their opinion pages ("Why they ran: The new pope speaks to the inner adult in all of us," April 21, 2005):

We are living in a time of supernatural occurrences. The old pope gives us his suffering as a parting gift, says his final goodbye on Easter Sunday; dies on the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy, the day that marks the messages received by the Polish nun, now a saint, who had written that a spark out of Poland would light the world and lead the way to the coming of Christ. The mourning period for the old pope ends on the day that celebrates St. Stanislas, hero of Poland, whose name John Paul had thought about taking when he became pope.
...It is an age of miracles and wonders, of sightings of Mary and warnings, of prophecy, graces and gifts.

None of this supernatural garbage belongs on the pages of a mainstream newspaper.

It wasn't a miracle that the Pope John Paul II died on the day of "the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy."

There are only 365 days in a year. Many of those days have religious or historical significance.

If John Paul II died on Christmas or Easter or the day before or the day after either of those holidays, one could make an equally thin claim that it represents a miracle.

Pope John Paul II was an important man.

That doesn't mean that editors of mainstream newspapers should give free rein to people like Peggy Noonan to make supernatural claims.

Peggy Noonan has a long rightwing history. She was a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan.

The Wall St. Journal now gives her a free hand to write whatever bunk she wants in a regular column on their opinion pages ("Why they ran: The new pope speaks to the inner adult in all of us," April 21, 2005):

We are living in a time of supernatural occurrences. The old pope gives us his suffering as a parting gift, says his final goodbye on Easter Sunday; dies on the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy, the day that marks the messages received by the Polish nun, now a saint, who had written that a spark out of Poland would light the world and lead the way to the coming of Christ. The mourning period for the old pope ends on the day that celebrates St. Stanislas, hero of Poland, whose name John Paul had thought about taking when he became pope.
...It is an age of miracles and wonders, of sightings of Mary and warnings, of prophecy, graces and gifts.

↓ Story continues below ↓

None of this supernatural garbage belongs on the pages of a mainstream newspaper.

It wasn't a miracle that the Pope John Paul II died on the day of "the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy."

There are only 365 days in a year. Many of those days have religious or historical significance.

If John Paul II died on Christmas or Easter or the day before or the day after either of those holidays, one could make an equally thin claim that it represents a miracle.

Pope John Paul II was an important man.

That doesn't mean that editors of mainstream newspapers should give free rein to people like Peggy Noonan to make supernatural claims.As far as "sightings of Mary" go:
Peggy Noonan apparently believes 'sightings of Mary" are a miracle, but editors should require proof of what goes into their newspapers. Even editors of opinion pages.

The editors have a responsibility to keep out of their newspapers supernatural explanations of natural phenomena.

The natural explanation is that the timing of anyone's death can have significance added to it by mourners, and sighting Mary may be a dream, not a miracle.

The essay gets worse, as Peggy Noonan proceeds.

Conservative Con

After expressing religious beliefs I assume are sincere, Peggy Noonan proceeds to try to con her readers about opponents of the new pope:

The choosing of Benedict XVI, a man who is serious, deep and brave, is a gift. He has many enemies. They imagine themselves courageous and oppressed. What they are is agitated, aggressive, and well-connected.
They want to make sure his papacy begins with a battle. They want to make sure no one gets a chance to love him. Which is too bad because even his foes admit he is thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest.

I've read and listened to a lot of critics of Pope Benedict XVI over the past week.

None of those critics described him as "thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest."

What critics is she talking about?

There are people I admire whom I would consider "thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest."

But I wouldn't claim that un-named critics of those people agree with me.

It's a con to cite praise from un-named critics.

Suppose for a second that Peggy Noonan saw a man on tv say, "I'm a critic of Pope Benedict XVI, but even I think he's thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest.."

As far as "sightings of Mary" go:

Peggy Noonan apparently believes 'sightings of Mary" are a miracle, but editors should require proof of what goes into their newspapers. Even editors of opinion pages.

The editors have a responsibility to keep out of their newspapers supernatural explanations of natural phenomena.

The natural explanation is that the timing of anyone's death can have significance added to it by mourners, and sighting Mary may be a dream, not a miracle.

The essay gets worse, as Peggy Noonan proceeds.

Conservative Con

After expressing religious beliefs I assume are sincere, Peggy Noonan proceeds to try to con her readers about opponents of the new pope:

The choosing of Benedict XVI, a man who is serious, deep and brave, is a gift. He has many enemies. They imagine themselves courageous and oppressed. What they are is agitated, aggressive, and well-connected.
They want to make sure his papacy begins with a battle. They want to make sure no one gets a chance to love him. Which is too bad because even his foes admit he is thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest.

I've read and listened to a lot of critics of Pope Benedict XVI over the past week.

None of those critics described him as "thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest."

What critics is she talking about?

There are people I admire whom I would consider "thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest."

But I wouldn't claim that un-named critics of those people agree with me.

It's a con to cite praise from un-named critics.

Suppose for a second that Peggy Noonan saw a man on tv say, "I'm a critic of Pope Benedict XVI, but even I think he's thoughtful, eager for dialogue, sensitive, honest.."Even then, it would be a con to act as if that person spoke for all of the new pope's critics, and to use his statement without giving his name.
Also, Peggy Noonan claims critics of Benedict XVI are "well-connected."

However, his supporters are a lot better connected, or he wouldn't be pope right now.  continue reading "Conservative Con"

 

See the Elephant. See the Elephant Ruin the Election for Tony Blair.    What Do I Know?

Well, finally. The war in Iraq has become an issue. I reported earlier than no one, not the candidates, the press, nor the average bloke on the street, was talking about the two-tonne elephant in the room: the Iraq war.

But things seem to have taken a turn this weekend. After taking criticism for not speaking up about the war, LibDem leader Charles Kennedy gave a press conference this morning, joined by potential cabinet ministers Menzies Campbell and Baroness Shirley Williams. The focus was entirely on the war. (He's explained their deliberate "damned if you do" strategy was to initially focus on the economy, taxes, pensions, and other pocketbook issues, to avoid being labeled a one-issue party.) In his statement, he questioned whether or not Tony Blair can be trusted, implying the future could hold similar situations (Iran) where a Prime Minister will be forced to choose between George Bush's scheme for world domination and the British people's natural reluctance to build another empire. (Okay, that's not exactly what he said; he was much more circumspect than my fingers are when I type.)

Even then, it would be a con to act as if that person spoke for all of the new pope's critics, and to use his statement without giving his name.

Also, Peggy Noonan claims critics of Benedict XVI are "well-connected."

However, his supporters are a lot better connected, or he wouldn't be pope right now. continue reading "Conservative Con"

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