A Quick Thought
The JCecil/Elena embroglio would seem to be a sort of a text book case on how it's not good for those with opposite viewpoints to tangle. My working theory is that people are influenced not by their opposites but by those who are just a tad to the right or left of themselves, or a tad more religious or less religious. Degrees, by degrees we are bid. I recall the blogger at Sancta Sanctis saying that Andrew Greeley, of all people, softened the ground of her eventual conversion.
I recall, in hindsight with some hilarity, offering a Marian piece Greeley had written to a staunch Calvinist friend of my wife's. This friend of hers thought that the Roman church was the Whore of Babylon and that the world would end (backed up with a complex and intricate study of the Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel) on December 31st, 2002. What was funny was that I had, in complete innocence, thought that Greeley's piece would "speak to her". Instead it only reinforced her anti-Catholicism. I heard back from my wife that there was a lot of "ahh ha'ing!". I presume she probably kept it as exhibit A of the bankruptedness of Roman church.
But what is unintentionally funny is that she, armed with her meticulous thirty pages pointing to the day of the end of the Last Age, and me, armed with my Greeley defense of Marian piety, thought we would influence each other. Perhaps we did, by making each the more extreme.