Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Trad Plea Post Continued...

The conversation in the comment box and in a couple of facebook discussions I've been in, have been really interesting for me to watch unfold, and I'm so grateful that all the comments have been charitable and have contributed to my understanding of what's going on surrounding the use of the term "Rad Trad."

Like many of my commenters I've always taken "Rad Trad" to be a derogatory term for someone who prefers the EF and has more traditional tastes in other areas of their life as well.

Some of you have explained that the term is actually used only in reference to sedevacantists or those who reject the authority of the second Vatican Council.

Therein I think lies a huge problem with the discussion.  We aren't all using the same terms here.  Bloggers may very well be using the term "Rad Trad" to mean someone who rejects the authority of the Pope and the council, but since the term isn't out there in some dictionary clearly defined their readers may not know exactly what their definition is.

Which, in my opinion, is another point in favor of just not calling each other names... although I understand that that idea will be completely ignored because when we're right and someone else is wrong name calling is just oh so much fun, even if it does nothing to add to the discussion (and I'll be the first to admit that I'm certain I've done it in the past when I'm on a tirade... and will likely, unfortunately do it again in the future, despite my best intentions...).

The other point that comes up, and which I touched on briefly in the last post for the sake of brevity, is whether "Traditionalists" are obligated to speak out every single time some unhinged person who has an affinity for the Latin Mass (see me trying not to use name calling?  I wrote "crack pot" and deleted it) says something offensive.

Some say yes.

Here's my take on it.  I have a limited amount of blogging time each day.  Let's say it's an hour.  I try not to rant all the time, because it's exhausting, and probably not exactly healthy, or that fun to read. I see two stories.  One is about some crazy guy in some corner of the world who denied that the holocaust happened.  The other is about some crazy guy in my state who killed hundreds of babies.

I pause.  Which should I write about with the finite time I have set before me?  Then I start reasoning away at this problem:

Everybody knows the first person is crazy.  The holocaust happened.  The vast majority of society knows that it happened.  Who doesn't?  Are we talking about .1% of the population here, who holds this historically inaccurate view?  Yes, it's wrong to say that it didn't happen.  Very, very wrong.  But will my writing about it change either the minds of the sliver of the population who completely rejects history to believe this totally baseless claim?  Absolutely not.

I then turn my mind towards the other story... abortion.  I make my choice, based on the fact that about half the people in our country think that it's okay to kill a baby in his mother's womb.  For a moment the handbag of the woman who seems uncomfortable every time I arrive at dance class with Sadie flashes through my mind and I see the words "I Heart Planned Parenthood" and have the sickening realization that there are people who "Heart" abortion enough to have it emblazoned on a bag... and they're a much more significant number in the population.

So at the end of the day, with my finite writing time, I would choose to write about the second story.  And that was my issue with the article that said as a "Traditionalist" you're obligated to tell the whole world that you vehemently disagree, every single time you see this particular evil rear it's ugly head.  If you want to write about a subject that's great...  But telling Traditionalists everywhere that they're obligated to do the same seems to me to be taking it a bit far... and frankly, I don't like giving that random holocaust denier a platform on my blog, where many people never would have heard the particular brand of crazy he's sending out into the world.

If that special sort of falsehood rears it's ugly head in my vicinity you can bet I'll be speaking out against it.  But am I going to track it down to the far corners of the earth and have it translated so that I can respond, when I've never actually met anyone in my entire life who believes it?

I guess that's my explanation for why I don't write about every single evil that I come across, even when it most definitely is evil... time is finite.  Blogging time is especially so.  I'm pretty sure my husband would tell you I've already crossed over in the blogging time line this fine morning.  And so I weigh the damage that those evils are doing in this immediate moment, and pick and choose what I write about.  Hopefully that doesn't make people think I'm complicit in some sort of "Traditionalist" club where we all have to correct each other all the time, even if we've never met and believe entirely different things... but in some eyes, I'm sure it will.


  1. I think all of this craziness happened because this isn't just any crazy guy who denies the Holocaust; it's an advisor or source or something for Rorate Caeli, which is a very popular and influencial blog.


  2. Hey Cam, awesome post.

    Could you fix/clarify this part though? I think the formatting got messed up.

    For a moment the handbag of the woman who seems uncomfortable every time I arrive at dance class with Sadie flashes through my mind and I see the words "I <3 a="" abortion="" and="" bag.="" bag="" emblazoned="" enough="" feel="" her="" in="" it="" lump="" my="" nbsp="" of="" on="" p="" parenthood="" people="" planned="" put="" same="" sickening="" side="" stomach="" that="" the="" to="">


  3. I'm not sure I'd even heard of it until this month, which may be part of why I'm not understanding the scope. I do hope (and maybe this is naive of me) that the author of Rorate Caeli didn't realize their "sources" credentials. I know I've quoted quite a few people over the years, and have never run a background check on anybody... I at least hope I'm not held responsible for everything that everyone that I've ever quoted has ever said and ever goes on to say, as if, by quoting them I am somehow in agreement with their lives work and opinions...

  4. Just fixed the formatting. That is weird! It looked even more weird when I brought the post up to edit with all sorts of "blog something failed" notes. It should be better now!

  5. We live in an electronic age, and the internet has become part of the news media. Unfortunately, the internet (and even more unfortunately the print media) often prints as news what are opinions, or uninformed, biased news. If no one responds to this "news" many will accept it as true. (I like the Geico commercial where the woman says that they can't put it on the internet if it weren't true --- she read that on the internet). Especially in this time of New Evangelization we are called to witness to our faith, and that means in visible actions, as our pope is doing, and if necessary in words --- especially to counteract error.

    It is oh so easy to say that it doesn't impact me, or "I can't convert everyone." But we do, as Catholics and as humans, have a freedom (and with it a responsibility) to be who we were created to be, and that includes loving ALL our fellow men, even those in error, and lovingly correcting their errors of understanding.

    You need not feel guilty, Cam, for being who you were created to be.

  6. Who is Rorate Caeli?


  7. While I haven't read the original antisemitic post, I suspect it must be too widespread to ignore or Holy Souls Hermitage blog would not have 2 posts/week against it of late.
    I agree it isn't your personal obligation to refute the idea in your blog. Only if someone else brought it up to you, would you be obligated to refute it.
    I guess I don't fit the definitions people have been giving you of traditional but leaving out dresses, veils and EF Mass, I think we are very like minded. I love the rosary, feel the most important thing I teach my kids is their faith, completely center my life on my parish, and wish people took their faith more seriously and learned more about it. I wish Catholics would not be so suspicious of each other, and I am as guilty of not approaching someone different for fear of judgement as anyone. Our Church has been under such Satanic attack and division is one of the weapons.

  8. I think the real issue is that there is a real tendency for people to pigeonhole others and put them in certain categories where they then assume that everyone who fits into that category is like that. People do it all the time.

    All homeschooolers do x
    All big families are like the Duggars.
    etc, etc.

    So, it is really unfortunate that just because 1 member of a certain groups says something or does something that everyone assumes that every member feels the same way. So, in some sense I do feel it is important for at least some members to speak up and say "no, we don't believe that"...especially when the "something" that person said is wrong.

    For example, if someone bombs an abortion clinic or shoots an abortion doctor is very important for highly public pro-lifer organizations to speak up and say "no, we don't support that, we don't support violence"

    That doesn't mean that every single pro-life person or blogger out there has an obligation to blog about it. But, I do think the "big" ones do..the ones that reach a large audience.

    So, I think it really just depends on how "big" of a blogger you are. And, since you've blogged about it now, you've clearly already set everyone straight that you (along with most other traditionaists) are not a Holocaust denier.

  9. Cam, I'm writing quickly from my phone so excuse me for not touching more thoroughly on your points.... But I wondered what you thought about Michael Voris having E. Michael Jones on his ' show'. Jones is a well known Jew detractor. Many Catholic bloggers, even fans of Voris' found it inexcusable. You see, what I'm seeing is that this problem keeps getting minimized. It's not only about holocaust denial or belittling, it goes much deeper than that and it is not only a Rorate Caeli problem. Seeing as how internet is how many people come to Traditionalism in the first place I think yes, Catholic bloggers and writers should be saying something, especially those who identify with or others would see as traditionalists. Am I saying that you need to apologize every time someone that happens to be a traditionalist says something idiotic? Of course not. But that's not at all what was proposed by Simcha in her article, which is what started this whole thing. I keep hearing people like Simcha say, " this is a problem. I've experienced it/seen it/ heard it. I'm hurt by it. It's hurting the reputation of the Traditionalists and the Catholic Church." I think in charity it needs to be heard and addressed. Hope to come back later with a better response from the computer! God bless.

  10. Hi Shannon,

    I don't know who E. Michael Jones is, and I hadn't heard about him being on the show, but if that's what he's known for than I would definitely agree that it's a poor decision.

    It really wasn't her post that I really had a problem with (at least not enough to write a post). It was the treatment of people in the conversation on facebook (mostly by another blogger, who was aggressive, rude and totally out of line). That's what inspired this post.

  11. I think the Pope himself reads your blog!
    Just today he talked of those who would want to "go back" as fools.

  12. I don't think of myself as a Traditionalist just because I don't attend the EF. It just isn't regularly nearby or convenient and we have an OF that is usually nicely respectable and reverent. So, for the most part, I don't think of it as "my fight" if you will.

    There is a family who has been friends of ours for decades but they've gone more radical over the years. In addition to antisemitism, they will not consume a host consecrated at an OF Mass and their son was recently married by an SSPX priest at a historic house because they claimed they had no church near them they could use (there are plenty of RCCes in our area, just not SSPX ones). After the election of Pope Francis, I was saddened to see such a split among those who do consider themselves traditionalists. Most of the ones I know personally, were quite happy over the election of Francis and are faithful to the Magisterium. But, as we saw last month, there are quite a few others who can be quite ugly and divisive. Considering the great confusion among people in general about who and what a traditionalist is (as you yourself misunderstood with regards to traditionalist vs. radical traditionalist) I can understand the importance of trying to draw distinctions and trying to help people understand that most traditionalists do not ascribe to the things many radical ones do. For me personally, it doesn't make much difference since I don't think of myself one and I am aware of the variance of those who do consider themselves traditionalists.

    That said, yeah, I don't have time to call out every nut I come across… I do what I can and let others do the rest.

  13. I don't recall anyone saying you had to write a rebuttal blog post to every single anti-Semitic Rad Trad out there, so I don't know why you think that.

    But if you come across RTs with anti-Semitic attitudes on blogs you're reading, during FB discussions, etc., a quick correction or gentle chastisement would be a welcome thing. It'd be a shocker to their own little bubble to realize there are faithful, EF-loving Catholics who don't hate Jews.

  14. I guess it was where she said, if you're a blogger you need to write a blog post or have it posted somewhere on your blog.

    I agree and absolutely would respond if I heard someone say it or saw it on facebook or on a post.

    So far I've only heard people talking about other people using sources that have said it... there's not even an actual post to rebut. I'm absolutely sure it's out there. I'm less sure it's as widespread as some would have us believe among people who prefer the TLM, after traveling the country, attending Mass and never actually running into it anywhere. I would be surprised if anyone lived in a bubble and didn't know that it's frowned upon by pretty much everyone else.

    But yes, it was there... the post did say that if you're blogger who's a traditionalist you need to write about this. Heck, I think I would have been less bothered if it said, everyone needs to write about this... I am so tired of the divisiveness when it comes to which Mass people attend.

    I guess I'm just really exhausted by reading my favorite bloggers who do seem to paint Traditionalists with a broad brush, making fun of us pretty regularly... that's probably the post I should have written...

  15. I love the beauty of traditionalism but I don't want it every day, or even every Sunday. I'm glad it's there, but I don't want it to come back in full force. Except the lace head coverings. Bring back the lace to the OF. It's so much prettier, among other things.

    I like being able to understand the words in my language, and unfortunately I have been turned off by the rhetoric of many who are traditional whose comments I have read on blogs such as WDTPRS.

    There are some who come off sounding as if the traditional form is so much more holy, that those who do not participate in it, or want to, are thereby less catholic or christian. Even Fr. Z has saddened me at some points.

    The 'new' music is also condemned, and the old touted as so much better. I like the 'new' music and it saddens me to hear it denigrated. I no longer read the comments at WDTPRS or comment there because of this. I still read his blog because he gives out useful information, but I don't link to it.

    I had to live with this type traditionalism in my formerly protestant circles, and I don't want anymore of it. I'd rather hang out with some tattooed tightly dressed lady who is humble than spend another minute with the people I did growing up. From just working with myself I know it's easier to change clothes than to change my heart.

    I think for a regular, run of the mill convert (such as myself) or catholic, running into so-called traditionalists who are truly seeking holiness can be invigorating and help us to follow closer to Christ if that is the spirit in which they write.

    However, running into some of the radical traditionalists, or even traditionalists who are very arrogant in their behavior and attitudes (I do not include dress etc. in this context, although it can be a part, given what I was around in my childhood) can be a scary, unnerving experience for those who don't understand where they are coming from. It can be a cause of scandal. We still have scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees in our day.

    Maybe the people who do paint traditionalists with a broad brush have had their feelings hurt, and are expressing it in an unhealthy way. I call it unhealthy because it simply causes more pain.


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