Skip to comments.Larry Doyle’s “Jesus-Eating Cult” (Larry in conversation with Catholic Exchange)
Posted on 03/03/2012 2:46:05 PM PST by NYer
The reaction of Catholic leaders to Larry Doyle’s satiric piece at HuffPo this week, “The Jesus-Eating Cult of Rick Santorum,” has been exactly the wrong reaction. We have taken offense, demanded apologies of Arianna Huffington, and asked that we please not be exposed through satire to the virulently-anti Catholic opinions of the Church’s opponents. Doyle’s piece, like the shows for which he has written, “Beavis and Butthead,” and “The Simpsons,” was crude. There’s no doubt about that.
He led off
“It’s time to take a good hard look at Rick Santorum’s faith.
“Many of you will be shocked to learn what our possible future president believes, who he answers to, the bloody jihads his so-called church has carried on for centuries, and its current role as the tactical arm of the North American Man-Boy Love Association.”
So, the Crusades are chalked up as “bloody jihads” and the current hierarchy as promoters of pedophilia.
He goes on to say
“Unlike Christians, Santorum and his fellow Roman Catholics participate in a barbaric ritual dating back two millennia, a “mass” in which a black-robed cleric casts a spell over some bread and wine, transfiguring it into the actual living flesh and blood of their Christ. Followers then line up to eat the Jesus meat and drink his holy blood in a cannibalistic reverie not often seen outside Cinemax.”
Larry Doyle is a bright guy, and part of the satire here alludes to historical slurs against Roman Catholicism (and in fact, all Christians, when all Christians belonged to one Church prior to the schism with Orthodoxy.) The magical spell of common parlance, “hocus pocus,” derives from the words of consecration in the Latin Mass, “hoc est enim corpus”–this is my very body. During the age of persecution under the ancient Romans, Christians were accused of being “cannibals” for believing they were partaking of the real body and blood of their Lord in the Eucharist. Larry Doyle, an Irish Catholic by heritage and a former altar boy, knows where he comes from and therefore how to strike at the heart of the tradition. His piece puts a new spin on accusations that have been around since the time of Nero.
Should we be shocked and appalled by this? Hardly, it only means that today’s Catholics are getting back to being authentic Christians in an increasingly pagan society. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad,” says the Lord (Matt 5:11-12a). Jesus does not say, Kindly ask them to mind their manners and treat the faith as too precious for open discussion.
In a subsequent posting Doyle mocked the pro forma apology being required of him, and frankly, I don’t blame him. He said what he said because he hates Catholicism for standing in the way of a secular agenda. I’d much rather have frank and honest hatred exposed for what is it than Orwellian expressions of “respect” for religion that are really just a smoke screen for the tyrannical imposition of secular values.
When we ask for apologies from such people, we are asking that faith enjoy a privileged status where it’s largely treated as out-of-bounds for frank criticism, and therefore, in fact, irrelevant to public issues.
If we want to reintroduce the Christian vocabulary into the conversation, then we are going to have to let criticisms, even vicious attacks, flow freely. Do I really need to point out that Doyle’s commentary–and anything else like it–does more to expose the vile nature of anti-Catholic prejudice and its prevalence in our society than anything Bill Donohue and The Catholic League could possible do? (For the record, I admire Donohue and The Catholic League’s work tremendously.)
It’s time to grow up and mix it up, rhetorically. The best satire–much better than Doyle’s, in fact–has always come out of Christianity, because satire as a form depends on a consistent moral viewpoint. See Jonathan Swift and the wonderful work in the last decades of the twentieth century of Walker Percy. The first a devout Anglican priest and the latter a devout Catholic.
Larry, you are wrong, and if you’d like to talk about it, we’re ready. That’s all that needs saying. Put away the calls for apologies and group pressure tactics in favor of censorship. As Catholics we are here, we are relevant, and we are totally unafraid of debate or satire.
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I wanted to make the whole Catholic Exchange community aware that Larry Doyle, who wrote the infamous satire, "Jesus-Eating Cult" at HuffPo, has entered into conversation with us.
Here's how it happened. Friday, I thought a few things needed saying in response to Doyle and his Catholic critics. So I wrote an article, "Larry Doyle's 'Jesus-Eating Cult,'" both in protest to Doyle's satire and also the attempt by Catholiic leaders to stop such anti-Catholic critiques through pressure tactics. As the article argues, if we are going to have the conversation we need in the public square about faith and public policy, we must be ready to respond to such attacks with reasoned argument--and humor of our own. We should never try to shut down the conversation. When we pressure people to stop talking, no matter how offensive their comments may be, we make ourselves irrelevant. You can read the article here.
Late Friday afternoon, I was checking out comments when I found that Larry Doyle had responded personally to my article. He began, "Since yours is the only reasoned critique I've read from so-called Christians..."
With that the conversation was off and running.
I want to invite the community to join this important conversation as Catholic Exchange participates in a new way in the national dialogue.
Keep a couple of things in mind. One of my friends wrote to me: "I know not Larry Doyle, but I do know that what you have done is discover a wounded calf and alerted the rest of the ranch hands that there would be veal for dinner. I hope I'm wrong."
We don't want to prove Larry's anti-Catholiic point by flaying him alive with our comments. If he is a "wounded calf"--and who isn't a wounded person in some respect--let's reach out to him in chariity. If Larry didn't want to have some other response from the Catholic community besides the heap of abuse he's received, why would he be entering into the discussion at Catholic Exchange? This is a moment of evangelization, which always means talking with people who DON'T accept our faith. Perhaps even the HuffPo world will take note.
God bless, Harold
Funny guy. /not
The pomp and circumstance and the worship of non-deities, tons of them, is what I dislike about the Catholic Church.
EVERY Christian ate the body and drank the blood of Jesus, as Jesus commanded us to do. One can read John to see what happens if we DON'T.
Too bad some Protestants don't know where their faith came from, both A.D. and B.C. Even our dating of TIME is based on Jesus.
Needs your thoughts, perspective and comments.
From Luther's Small Catechism:
VI. The Sacrament of the Altar
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.
What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.
Where is this written?
The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write thus:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.
After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Take, drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.
What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.
How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?
It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.
I’m a so—called, “recovering Methodist”, but a proud member of “we are all catholics now” to fight these never-ending slurs on Him.
Might just be me, but I have to say — it’s a very odd way to ‘want a conversation and ask for engagement’ to slander and mock your opponent, then be surprised when you get vitriolic responses, then act the victim by finally finding ‘one person’ who is Chrsitian enough to, what?, not be offended.
I think the guy’s a jerk. There are many other ways to engage in dialog with an opponent, but mocking and slander are not among them.
The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord?  For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread.
For more scripture on the Eucharist, I suggest you check out Salza’s website on the subject: