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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Christopher West, Heretic or Hero? (Grab Your Stone!)

In the aftermath of Christopher West's appearance on Nightline, there has been a bit of discussion in the blogosphere about the authenticity of West's presentation of the Theology of The Body on Nightline and (more critically) of West's interpretation of the TOB generally. 

For example, Maggie Gallagher, champion of traditional marriage, had this to say:
You can only remake Catholicism so far. There are only seven deadly sins; lust is one of them, and it's not because it's so wrong to yearn for love, union, and intimacy.
This in response to the CW quote, "I love Hugh Hefner!"

There has been other criticisms focused on this comment that accuse West of scandal. 

Honestly, this level of criticism is surprising. As Christian's we are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. There is nothing in West's highly edited comments (they recorded 8 hours and pulled out only a couple of minutes) that is inconsistent with this. West is not saying that what Hefner did was good, or that what he does is good, he is saying that he loves him and understands the motive out of which he acts. West certainly isn't advocating pornography.  

On the hero issue, what West is doing is very wise. 

He is positioning the TOB as COMPLETING the sexual revolution, not tring to be a COUNTER-REVOLUTION that is AGAINST this massive cultural upending (that no educated person could possibly criticize!). 

West is being very careful in handling the snake that is the pornofied media to use its poison to make the anti-toxin.  

The world thinks that the Church is an enemy of human freedom, especially when taking that freedom to be sexual.  West is looking to draw in those people who also think Hefner is their hero and use playboy as a bridge to having a serious look at John Paul II's TOB. 

But putting the critcisms of the Nightline feature aside, recognizing the nature of the media beast, what are some of the criticisms of West's presentation of the TOB, and what are some of the criticisms of the TOB itself vis-a-vis the Tradition?

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