Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Grossly Irresponsible

This post was going to be a love letter to Paul Ryan.  Now, it's going to be a strongly worded rebuke to fellow Catholics who can't seem to do even a wee bit of research.

We'll address serious, but (in my considered opinion) faulty critiques of Ryan qua Catholic later.  (Mark Shea, Mark Shea ...)  This is about a completely irresponsible critique (if I may even use so elevated a word in this context) of the congressman.  Not surprisingly, the critique is in the form of a meme that is making the rounds on Facebook.  It looks like this:

So I read it, and a little voice in my head said, "Really?  I thought I saw a video ... just a few months ago ... where Dolan said something nice about Ryan.  Hm ..."

So I googled a phrase from the letter.  I found the full letter here.

Oh yes.  Oh dear.  It seems that Dolan didn't write that letter.  Oh, and ... the letter wasn't sent to Ryan.  You can follow the link to check it out, or do your own Google search; but in case you're too lazy (or too fond of this blog) to click away, I'll just tell you.

*spoiler alert*

The letter was sent to two congressmen on the U.S. House of Representatives' Agriculture Committee: Chairman Frank D. Lucas and Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson.  It was signed by the Most Reverend Stephen E. Blaire, Bishop of Stockton, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Now I know Dolan runs the USCCB.  And I don't know how much he has to do with letters like this, that come from committee heads.  I also know that Ryan is for a lot of budget cuts that the USCCB as a whole doesn't like; I don't know the details, but Ryan may well have been in favor of cutting SNAP.  And Dolan may not have liked that.

But ...

... regardless of these putations ...

... it remains a fact that that Ryan v. Dolan image, as it stands, is, mon freres, very, very inaccurate.  Not to put to fine a point on it, that image is a lie.  And if you reposted it without even bothering to do a Google search that would have taken five grumbling, grubbing, danged and doggoned minutes, you, mon frere, are grossly irresponsible.

Ryan is far from being a perfect candidate for VP (and even if one likes the congressman, it's still debatable whether it's worth swallowing the Romneybus for the Sake of Ryan).  I'll discuss some of the imperfections that I see in Ryan in later posts.  No doubt you'll have your own criticisms of him as well.  But in the meantime, let me beg you, let me implore you, let me DEMAND and INSIST that you, as a responsible adult and a voting U.S. citizen ...


especially on facebook

That is all.

P.S.  I could not, alas, find the video clip I remember seeing, where Dolan mentioned Ryan.  It was part of a much larger interview with the Cardinal, and may not exist on its own.  But some background about the relationship between the Cardinal and the Congressman, please see this article.

P.P.S. [aka, update]  Sure, I'm mad.  That's why this post is tagged "IAIA."

P.P.P.S. Full letter from Dolan to Ryan here.  Note the names of the addressee and signatory.


  1. What?? A picture with a quote on it is incorrect? On Sacred Facebook? Heresy!

    1. I know, I know ... It's just that I expect my "friends" to be better than this!

  2. I rise on a point of information: does "IAIA" initialize some phrase, or is it to be read phonetically?


    Oh, do not get me started on f.b. wordphoto propaganda; you'd make me think I chose the wrong field of study altogether!

    1. "Intense Anger and/or Irritation Alert." But of course, part of the reason I picked that phrase was for the acronym ...

      Oh yes. I could do a thesis on FB memes too ... and as an English major, it might just be accepted!

  3. The trouble with Facebook is that you never know if the attributions are accurate.
    --Julius Caesar

    Aside from that, Ryan is AMAZING and I am happy. Catholics who trouble are probably kooky, philosophically irresponsible Ron Paul supporters.

    1. The trouble with Mr. Mason, is that he's too darn clever.
      --G.K. Chesterton

      You guessed it.