Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What bothers me about Michael Voris and the Vortex

I don’t like the term Cafeteria Catholic anymore than he likes the term Taliban Catholic, but that’s what we’ve become: name callers. A group of Catholics dividing ourselves over what I still don’t understand.

But I like to think of myself somewhere in the middle. On some issues I agree with Mr. Voris despite the fact that he discusses sex-related issues ad nausium. Other things he’s gone too far. I would say it's conservative thinking but honestly I don't know what to call his political views.

For example, he’s talked about setting up a state system with a “benevolent dictator” as the head. Several things. John Paul II and the Magisterium have said that the Church endorses democracy. Secondly, the thing that comes to mind when he says “benevolent dictator” are two people. Both came to power to restore the culture of their birth. They entered the political scene at a time of great power. The first ensured the rights of Christians despite the church’s apprehension and desire for autonomy. Then came the boycotts and finally the Jewish laws which restricted Jews. Then came the restrictions to Christians and their ability to speak out against Socialism. Who am I talking about? Hitler and Nazism. The second rose to power to restore an equal economic balance. His intention was to ensure all the citizens of his country would be able to eat and sleep in descent conditions. He called himself a Revolutionary and became friends with Communist Russia who parked missiles aimed at one of it’s enemies, the United States. He also basically rid the Church and it’s power in his country. Who am I talking about? Fidel Castro of Cuba.

My point is that these two men had good intentions, but when they came to power they discarded Our Mother, Our Church. And then instead of being benevolent, they began to commit atrocities or make threats. Is this what Michael Voris wants? Without a government of checks and balances, the person given absolute power can become corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The next example has been Mr. Voris’s latest poke at the United States Council of Bishops. He’s gotten upset that they’ve suggested people change light bulbs and give up using plastic bags for Lent. As he puts it, it’s not what Lent is about. People give up chocolate for Lent, but is that what Lent is about? I suppose people giving up selfishness or indulgence is not what Lent is about. I suppose stewardship is also not a Catholic thing. Although Mr. Voris mentions in his Youtube comments that he brings his bags to the store, he says it’s about Lent.

I disagree. Lent is about getting close to God and in that vain, finding ways to improve ourselves. Stewardship is something God entrusted to us. I think it’s quite fitting that the USSCB makes it a suggestion and probably a better one than giving up chocolate because it has more thought to it. Although I understand giving up chocolate could be done for stewardship reasons as well like promoting the welfare of those who harvest chocolate and preventing the destruction of nature.

But since we’re on the topic of name calling, can we talk about Voris placing people in a boxes? He mentions in his piece that people who find stewardship and social justice their charism also use condoms , etc. In other words, because I use a canvas bag and put my child in cloth diapers to follows God’s mandate I’m somehow less of a faithful Catholic. What? Um….maybe some people are, but not all of us. And I find it gravely insulting that Mr. Voris insinuates because I care about people and the planet that I’m somehow an uninformed or worse ill-practicing Catholic.

Sorry, Mr. Voris. I think categorizing people and making assumptions about them is just as bad as calling them a Taliban Catholic. It makes me think of Colored Waiting Rooms, Colored bathrooms, and Colored Water Fountains. Catholics don’t come one size fits all and shouldn’t be forced to sit in the back pew simply because we don’t fit into a nice pretty box that you would assume we are in. Or worse seem to think that most Catholics should fit into a certain type of box. So I’ll happily check “other” on my form because there is no such thing as a good steward or humanitarian equals unfaithful Catholic. I would appreciate that in future Vortex episodes that you give more people the benefit of doubt unless you know for sure that we’re not faithful Catholics.


  1. I haven't actually watched him and you just made me glad I haven't lol.

  2. I don't like him. He's not a very good commentator. He gets way too passionate and over-zealous. That being said, I do steal some of his ideas for prose and shape them into something that sounds less in your face. Or at least I think it's less offensive. I try to shy away from name calling and generalizations. And mostly stick to stuff in the context of how it makes me feel. Voris doesn't do that. But he's a journalist.

  3. ..I just can't handle all the graphics he uses ;)

    and congrats on the new baby

    Christ is risen!


I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!