October 25, 2002

Katie Knows Best
I just did what I never do - I watched Katie Couric - and during a 5 minute profile of the sniper she did not once mention his conversion to Islam. She did say he changed his name. She emphasized his military background, spoke to fellow soldiers, etc...We *got* that he was comfortable with guns. We did not *get* the why he did it, which ultimately is the only thing of interest.

I assume this is because she, and her co-horts at NBC/Pravda, fear reprisals against innocent Muslims in this country. But this sort of paternalism is ultimately harmful. Most obviously, it is not part of her job.

Paternalism is, however, part of the Church's job. She is our parent, our mother. And she was accused, in the 50s and before, of paternalism. Now since I wasn't alive pre-Vatican II, I have no idea if what I am about to say is completely true. It is what I've heard. Second-hand. So correct me if I'm wrong. But what I've heard is that the Church, paternalistically, told the faithful just to read the Baltimore Catechism and accept the answers unquestioningly. My understanding is that there were not bible study classes; which is understandable given that scripture in the wrong hands is dangerous (i.e. it fractured the Church). Not to mention that form criticism and historical criticism has weakened many a faith (my mother's among them - she said her faith was much stronger in the 50s..especially before she decided the infancy narratives were 'made up'). So...is it better to be dumb with a strong faith or smart, in the ways of biblical criticism, and have a weak faith? I leave it to another mother, Mater Ecclesia.

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