Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chauvinism Knows No Borders

A "conservative Christian Nationalist" killed upwards of 90 people in Norway yesterday. As I wrote earlier today, "prayer couldn't hurt." This post is one of three:
Now, my take on what it's like to live in a world where most folks aren't just like me. That's the way I like it, by the way.

Seriously: a world full of Norwegian-Irish Minnesotans? That'd be - monotonous.

Unpleasant Realities, and Assumptions

The world is full of unpleasant realities. It's also nowhere near as simple as some folks seem to imagine. Take 'Islam and the West,' for example.

"The Islamic world" covers a swath of territory from the Mediterranean to the Pacific: and includes Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. We're not looking at a monolithic, uniform, block of people here. Not even close.

"The West" isn't all that uniform, either: although we may seem that way to someone in, say, Saudi Arabia - or some philosophy departments. I'll get back to unsubtle contrasts of belief in "the West" later.

Chauvinism, "extreme and unreasoning partisanship on behalf of any group to which one belongs," isn't limited to men (as in "male chauvinist pig"), Americans, college professors, WASPs, Catholics, or any other large group. Not in my experience.

I've discussed wackadoo chauvinism in another blog.1

Hating People: Not an Option

I think chauvinism is a bad idea. Particularly since often "the partisanship includes malice and hatred towards rival groups." (Wikipedia)

Since I'm a practicing Catholic, hating people isn't an option. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1033, 1765, 1866, 2262) (December 9, 2010) Maybe you've known a Catholic who hated someone: I'm not surprised. The 1,000,000,000 or so Catholics alive today aren't all like Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Some of us are jerks.

Those Nasty People Who Aren't Us?

And maybe you've heard that the Catholic Church hates women, or homosexuals, or the Masses. I'm not surprised. It's not true: but folks have been known to believe some very odd things.

Like the idea that using a euphemism will make folks feel good about some group. Which I discussed yesterday, in another blog:

The West, Christians, and Assumptions

The distinctly Norwegian suspect - and his right-wing views - were being discussed yesterday. Today, it turns out that he has right-wing views and expressed them on "Christian fundamentalist" websites.

"Christian" can mean quite a few things. (July 19, 2011) Here's one view of what 'those Christians' are like:

(Reuters photo, via, used w/o permission)

Some of America's better-educated folks think that 'those Christians' need to be ridiculed. Perhaps in hopes that everybody will stop believing in superstitious nonsense.

Here's how a Minnesota professor defended reason against superstition and ignorance:

(from PZ Myers, Pharyngula (July 24, 2008), used w/o permission)

Like I said before, "If Catholics are superstitious, how come we're not allowed to be superstitious?" (August 18, 2010). And that's another topic, almost.

Next: "The Threat of People Who Aren't Just Like Us."

Related posts:
In the news:

1 My take on wackadoo chauvinism from all over:


Brigid said...

There are two posts. Which one? "That post is mostly about love, faith, and neighbors."

Missing an end quote, or maybe that apostrophe wasn't supposed to be there: "Take 'Islam and the West, for example."

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...


I think I fixed that. Those. Thanks!

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.