you will still be misunderstood.
Not withstanding my comments in the previous blog, here is an example of a perfectly moderate, sane and clear argument and what the media made of it. The scene is Italy once more, the source is John L. Allen, and the speaker this time is Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, President of the Italian Bishops Conference:
When the correct, self-transcendent conception of the human person is lost, there are no longer any criteria for distinguishing good and evil. When the dominant criterion is public opinion, or democratic majorities – which can become anti-democratic and violent – then it becomes very difficult to say ‘no.’ Why say no to various forms of legally protected co-habitation, thereby creating alternative figures to the family? Why say no to incest, like in England where a brother and sister have children, live together and love one another? Why say no to the party of pedophiles in Holland, if we’re talking about two free people who come together? It’s important to remember these aberrations against common sense, which are already present in embryonic form. Today we’re scandalized, but if ethical criteria regarding human nature fall away, criteria which are given in nature and not created by culture, it’s difficult to say ‘no.’ If the highest criterion of good and evil is individual freedom, in the sense of self-determination, of free choice, then one, two, or more people can do what they like, because an objective criterion on the moral level no longer exists – a criterion which regards the human being not in terms of freedom of choice, but as a given of nature.
As Allen reports it, the Italian media reduced this reasoned argument to:
Bagnasco compares civil unions to incest and pedophilia.
“As a result”, says Allen, “Bagnasco was assigned a personal security detail, and precautionary measures were taken by police at the cathedral in Genoa.” AND he received a death threat in the mail in the form of a bullet wrapped in a picture of the archbishop with a swastika cut into it.
Nice. Ah well. I guess this is an instance of what Archbishop Chaput meant when he quoted Georges Bernanos as saying:
When trouble is looking for you, it’s primarily a question of facing it, since it would be still more dangerous to turn your back on it. In that case, prudence is only the alibi of the cowardly.