Skip to comments.Those elusive Devout Catholics™ are back
Posted on 03/08/2014 7:10:57 AM PST by markomalley
We have another Devout Catholic sighting!
That legendary creature, best known to reporters in mainstream media, is rarely spotted in real life, but they seem to show up in the news all the time. (See the attached photo.)
One appeared in a Los Angeles Times article about a campaign to loosen up laws in Oregon against same-sex marriage. This was a small herd in Portland that wanted to sport big white buttons for marriage equality while attending Ash Wednesday.
Brave move or childish stunt? That would be a subjective call. Almost as subjective as, say, this Times article.
More on that later. Right now, here are a couple of offending paragraphs the first two in the story, in fact:
When Jackie Yerby and a small band of devout Catholics go to the cathedral for Mass this Ash Wednesday, they will be sending an unmistakable message. Pinned to their lapels will be big white buttons that proclaim, Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality.
The newly formed group wants to show that just because were Catholic doesnt mean we dont support same-sex marriage, said Yerby, who served on the board of Catholic Charities of Portland for six years. We support same-sex marriage because we are Catholic.
Its a decidedly quirky species. For one, it always seems to differ with the leaders of the pack. Their own shepherd Archbishop Andrew K. Sample of Portland, has urged his folks to prevent changing state law to allow gay marriage. Devout Catholics may not be more Catholic than the pope, but more Catholic than an archbishop aint bad.
The new Devout Catholics are rare even in Portland. Yerbys organization first met last month and has a mere few dozen members, according to the Los Angeles Times article. Significantly, those relevant facts are buried in the 26th paragraph of the 34-paragraph story after the reporter has gotten max mileage from their devout disagreement with Sample.
Longtime readers of tmatt, of course, know that he and GetReligion specialize in Devout Catholic spotting. Five years ago, he asked why a couple of odd characters a horoscope columnist and a voodoo high priest have gotten the label.
When Archbishop Donald Wuerl was made a cardinal, tmatt saw the label appended onto loud-mouthed TV commentator Chris Matthews. And late last year, tmatt observed that some media are using practicing Catholic in ways just as loose and fuzzy.
Therefore, tmatt fumes:
Of all the labels used by journalists to describe believers from apostate to zealot surely devout has become one of the most meaningless. While this is true in a variety of world religions, for some reason things get especially interesting when devout appears in front of Catholic.
The bottom line: Whats the difference between a practicing Catholic and a devout Catholic? Do journalists simply know one when they see one?
For myself, I think reporters use Devout Catholic in two ways: (1) Doing more Catholic things than I do; (2) Claiming to be good Catholics while breaking with the Church over major doctrines.
The species arose early, perhaps in 1999. Thats when director Kevin Smith turned out the movie Dogma, which at times seemed to be a catalog of ways to offend Catholics. Many news stories on the film blithely proclaimed him a Devout Catholic except for the Baltimore Sun, which went one better (or worse) and called him a devout blasphemer. That story even bore a groveling subhead: Kevin Smiths new film makes fun of the church, but the issue of his faith was never in question.
Nor does the Los Angeles Times article out of Oregon ask a lot of penetrating questions. Much of it, in fact, amounts to classic card stacking. One instance is quoting an LGBT historian that there have been an estimated 35 ballot measures, local or statewide, that have attempted to circumscribe the rights of gays and lesbians. Note how it assumes the existence of such rights, despite the absence of laws that establish them.
Yes, the story dutifully quotes an Oregon group thats trying to get a personal-freedom law like the one just vetoed in Arizona. But it also quotes the LGBT historian, a group called Oregonians for Marriage Equality, and another called Oregon United for Marriage. This is not exactly a model of balanced reporting.
The piece ends with a sympathetic look at a lone campaigner for same-sex marriage:
One recent, chilly afternoon, Lakia Davis tramped along tree-lined avenues near Reed College, knocking on doors and explaining the rapidly shifting landscape. Wrapped tightly in a scarf and wool coat, the 27-year-old outlined the ballot measures, the court cases, the optimism, the peril:
Do you know anything about whats been going on in the past couple of weeks?
If youve heard about Arizona, our opposition is looking to replicate that.
Were hoping you would be able to contribute.
How about a matching sympathetic passage about a Devout Catholic who happens to agree with the Catholic stance? Nope, not here. Or in many other mainstream media.
That would be an even rarer sighting.
Those weren’t ashes on Pelosi’s head. Somebody squirted Holy water on her.
If you would like more information about Oregon, please FReepmail me. I lost my Oregon list when my computer crashed recently.
Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality.
Finding a Catholic in Oregon is looking for Bigfoot.
Least churched state in the Union. You are correct.
However, my parish just built a brand new church with increased capacity.....so go figure.
Lots of trifecta Catholics out there. They come for ashes, Christmas and Easter masses, otherwise they don’t come.
I think she was in a paintball tournament...
You think she’d still be standing if someone really used holy water?
maybe she built up a tolerance to Holy Water.
I keep picturing something like the scene out of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the guy drank out of the wrong chalice would be more like it.
No, these people support same sex marriage, because they don't believe in what the Church truly teaches, even though they like the trappings of being Catholic. The Church teaches that man and woman were made by God for each other, to bring new life into the world. Marriage is the covenant between one man, one woman and their God, to bind them together, and to raise children created from their love for each other.
Same sex 'marriage' is a creation of human beings who are selfish, and only want what THEY want, not what God wants for them. And it is supported by people like the Catholics mentioned in the story, who have a distorted notion of 'fairness'. This is NOT something that is part of the Catholic faith, no matter how much these people WANT it to be.
Agreed. Their statement made no sense.
We support same-sex marriage because we are Catholic.
That’s as oxymoronic as saying “We eat pork because we are Muslim.”
The fused pair “devout Catholic” is much older in journalism than 1999. I remember it ‘way back in the sixties, and I think it’s much older than that. In the beginning, it meant “Catholic who is in a fight with a priest or bishop.” Now it means “minion of Satan.”