Sunday, April 22, 2007

Obligatory Earth Day Post

Who made this? Guess who... (Wikipedia.)
Who made this? Guess who... (Wikipedia.)

Kathy Shaidle is an occasional columnist for the Toronto Star and the Catholic Register, and the author of books on the Faith, including A Catholic Alphabet and A Seeker's Dozen: The 12 Steps for Everyone Else. Her weblog, Relapsed Catholic, was in operation before there was such a thing as the "blogosphere," never mind "the Catholic blogosphere." It was the very first weblog discovered by yours truly in early 2002. She had already been at it for a couple of years by then.

Most of the audience for Catholic blogs -- to say nothing of the Catholic press -- runs like a flock of lemmings over a cliff, toward the same very short list of those entering the fray at a later time (and you know who you are, dah-lings!). Shaidle stands out as the true grande dame of Catholic blogging, especially among the other heirs apparent, if for no other reason, than for committing the ultimate high crime of having something original to say. (By original, I don't just mean clever or witty; I mean staying on her own bandwagon and not jumping on everybody else's.)

Unfortunately for her (and anyone interested in an original thought now and then), playing Thoreau comes at a cost. This past week, she breaks the bad news of having to resign as a regular columnist for the excruciatingly-middle-of-the-road weekly periodical Our Sunday Visitor, who wanted a nice, safe, huggy-bear approach for Catholics and the celebration of Earth Day.

Shaidle had other plans. Those plans became a deal-breaker, and the result was published in full this past week, in the one place where no one could object:

Did your children celebrate Lenin's birthday in school last week?

Don't answer "no" right away.

The first Earth Day "teach-in" was celebrated on April 22, 1970, to protest the Vietnam War, pollution, and littering -- and to commemorate what would have been the 100th birthday of one of history's most notorious villains...

Oh yeah, I can see how quoting two distinguished Cardinals, never mind the Catechism of the Catholic Church, would really create mayhem among the faithful. And while I don't necessarily agree with Ms Shaidle that "recycling is BS," it is worth pointing out that the gluttony for consumption in the "First World" is hardly a sign of virtue.

But hey, maybe that's just me.

1 comment:

Catholic Mom said...

I've subscribed to OSV for years, but have noticed that the content has become a bit soft in the last year or two. I was really irritated when they recently ran an article praising a lay woman who acted as pastor of a parish and showed a picture of her prancing about in an alb blessing things with an aspergillum. They definitely have taken a more middle of the road approach. Was there a recent change in their editorial staff?