Blanchard: Badger Catholic’s Valentine kindness adulterated by Podger’s response

Shaun Blanchard ( is currently seeking his PhD in Theology at Marquette University.
In responding to Michael Podger’s “Badger Catholic campaign reinforces gender stereotypes,” one feels a bit like Hercules before the Augean Stables. No matter how big your shovel is, there is just so much horseshit. Where does one begin? Perhaps I have already started off on the wrong foot by mentioning Hercules — which Michael could deftly cast as a sexist, heteronormative, Eurocentric, patriarchal, violent reference (did I miss anything, Michael?). Throughout his nauseatingly puerile rant, he employed a confusing type of satirical mudslinging that made it difficult for me to follow what exactly he was “thanking” Badger Catholic for and why. I must say, however, that despite the near impenetrability of his reasoning, I admire Michael’s unparalleled ability to peer into the hearts, minds and intentions of an organization he is not a member of and to name and denounce with frightening clarity the hideous, repressive fascism of Badger Catholic. Who knew UW-Madison (full of educated people?!) could harbor so many little Eichmanns!

I will say a brief word concerning Michael’s theological claims about Catholicism, and then move on to issues that concern the entire UW-Madison community, irrespective of religion. Michael’s rhetoric is reminiscent less of an informed liberal Catholic and more of a priggish neo-atheist (Hitchens, Dawkins) who is not even cursorily acquainted with the faith he denounces. The notably progressive former Archbishop of Chicago, Joseph Bernardin, famously applied the phrase “seamless garment of life” to the Catholic Church’s holistic concern for the human person — their physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual health. These issues cannot and must not be separated. Does Mother Theresa love the poor or does she hold to the Catholic view of sex? To Michael, she cannot do both. Can Pope Francis genuinely love and welcome all while denouncing uncommitted sex, fornication and divorce? Is his love of the poor, the homeless and the immigrant compromised by his views on sexuality? No fair, thinking person could say yes. Even the Huffington Post does not deny this. Speaking of that illustrious periodical, Michael’s knowledge of Catholicism strikes me as on the level of the angry 16-year-old who learns his Catholicism through Jezebel, Buzzfeed and HuffPost, and then loudly denounces the straw man he has built to other drones on a Reddit feed. His reading of Pope Francis’ theology typifies this ignorance — why would Pope Francis tell his followers to never talk about sex and continue doing so himself (Francis rightly said not to be obsessed with it, not to be silent)? Is he senile? Michael’s position is not a historically informed or intellectually serious position and should be dismissed.
continue at The Badger Herald

Read the whole article, a must read, and then go back and read where he is studying for his PhD in Theology.  Impressive!  Utterly destroys Podger.  Seriously, you MUST read his closing!  I have a new favorite saint quote.


1 comment:

  1. Blanchard's a bit too willing to "affirm" error.

    Everyone has a home in the Catholic Church, as a member or a valued dialogue partner — and you yourself are proof that not all Catholics uphold the Church’s sexual teaching. That’s okay.

    That's not "okay". It should read You have free will to reject it.

    valued dialogue partner?
    Taking off from his closing line, he's already gotten sullied by Marquette.

    I would also have expected a doctoral candidate to point out to the de jure Catholic Podger that "Valentine's Day" was originally "St. Valentine's Day" until our culture so completely eroticized the celebration that it could no longer maintain the association with sanctity.


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