Ooooooh, a must read! Damon Linker deftly smashes "journalistic" stupidity in his piece:
Rolling Stone's ignorant statements and Linker's responses begin:
1. "Against the absurd, impossibly baroque backdrop of the Vatican...Francis' election represents...'a scandal of normality.'"
Cardinals in red robes and silly hats, acres of marble, secretive conclaves capped by smoke signals — to non-Catholics there are many features of Catholicism that can seem odd, strange, out of touch with modern life, etc. But here's the thing: This could be said about almost any foreign institution or set of practices. And yet, journalists normally wouldn't freely denigrate a foreign institution or set of practices by calling them "absurd." Catholicism apparently belongs in a different category.
2. "After the disastrous papacy of Benedict, a staunch traditionalist who looked like he should be wearing a striped shirt with knife-fingered gloves and menacing teenagers in their nightmares..."
Let's pass over the fact that, strictly speaking, Pope Benedict XVI wasn't a Catholic "traditionalist," which has a specific meaning in the church, but rather a consistent and tireless defender of (a conservative interpretation of) Vatican II. Instead, let's ponder the spectacle of a journalist likening a head of state and the spiritual leader of about 1 billion people to Freddy Krueger. Not because he made a habit of terrorizing teenagers, mind you. But because of what he "looked like."
3. "By devoting much of his first major written teaching to a scathing critique of unchecked free-market capitalism, the pope revealed his own obsessions [as opposed to Benedict's] to be more in line with the boss' son."
So Francis is more Christ-like than the man who wrote a three-volume book about the life and teachings of Jesus? Maybe. But what this statement really reveals is a surprising degree of ignorance of the history of papal pronouncements about economics. Which brings us to…
Want the next six? Read the whole worthy piece, here.