A word of anonymous advice?

Following the publication of my most recent letter to the editor of the The Age, I returned home from holidays to find a letter waiting in my mail box. It was a page out of the MCV News (a local GLBT magazine) entitled “Stop this Papal Bull”.

On the top was written:

A word of accurate advice for you, David, in reference to your Age letter 29/12 ~ Sincerly with peace, Concered for your naivety

Two responses:

1) I am always ready to enter a dialogue with anyone who wishes to either enlighten me or challenge the accuracy of my views, but that is awfully difficult with anonymous letters.

2) The article (if you care to follow the link given above) is hardly an “accurate” portrayal of Benedict XVI or the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Consider this closing paragraph:

Does the Pope care? Apparently not. He puts church dogma, wealth and power before scientific understanding and the values of love and compassion. With Popes like him, no wonder so many people are becoming atheists.

This accords with what I said in a combox to a blog entry below:

These folks actually are convinced they are working in for the virtues of kindness and decency etc. [What they find hard to believe is that] we are too. Perhaps the starting point is to show that we really wish to achieve the same objective: ie. happiness and well being for all human beings, and proceed from there.

Although it is hard when you cannot continue the conversation because your interlocutor left no forwarding address…

Update: John Heard’s opinion piece in The Australian.

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0 Responses to A word of anonymous advice?

  1. matthias says:

    I am torn between wondering if this is a subtle form of intimidation or a very pedantic person,perhaps the latter.
    However it shows how the mainstream media will cause mischief in order to sell papers.
    Ah yes,in the middle ages the form of torture was The RAck,now we have The Press

  2. Schütz says:

    What puzzles me is that the hand written comment on the top of the page actually seems very kindly meant, as if the writer (and I think, judging from the handwriting, that the writer was a woman rather than a man) thought I was truly ignorant of the Holy Father’s “real nature”. I wish she would have left a return address, because we may have gotten somewhere in our dialogue.

  3. Past Elder says:

    Great Zeus Cloudgathere, these guys can’t even come up with decent sarcasm.

    “Betty” has nothing to do with “Benedict”. Betty is one of many nicknames derivative of Elizabeth, from the Hebrew meaning Oath of God, or as God says when speaking in his preferred vernacular, Spanish, Isabel.

    “Benedict” is an entirely different name, meaning “well spoken” in Latin — and, in a magnificently coarse pun by Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick, a longtime bachelor finally married, figure it out for yourself, hint, bene is the part meaning good.

    The papal bull thing is so old, which does not make it bad, but as it was never good, it is a very old bad. Bull comes from bulla, the cord used to seal a document to guarantee its authenticity, sort of a low tech anti hacking device — nothing whatever to do with the bull as a short form of what comes out of bulls, or for that matter popes too indeed, but not this one in this case.

  4. Louise says:

    I’m pretty disturbed that your letter to the ed resulted in you receiving mail from a reader of the newspaper.

    I realise that it would be all too easy to track you down (how many D Schutzes are there?), but still. The Letters to Ed dept, should only post people’s names, but not suburbs for what I hope are tolerably obvious reasons.

    With Popes like him, no wonder so many people are becoming atheists.

    Are they?

    If you’re GLB or T etc and don’t like the Church’s teaching, then your “atheism” isn’t exactly going to be intellectual or disinterested now is it?

  5. Louise says:

    Obviously, she doesn’t want dialogue, David, so it seems likely she’s just a bigot. Not much you can do about that.

  6. Louise says:

    Hey, David, if you ever get another bigot mailing you at home, you can use that great line from Star Wars (Phantom Menace):

    “Now there are two of them! This is getting out of hand!”

  7. Son of Trypho says:

    Tatchell should know better than to indulge in this sort of nonsense.

    I give the man credit where it is due – he has been standing up for human rights (not just GLTB) for ages but then he goes and (regularly) dissapoints with this sort of thing.

    As to the fact that someone identified you that should be of concern and not just for the immediate safety issue – it could be quite unpleasant if your residence or place of work got picketed by protestors or someone decided to slap-suit you for some aggrievement.

  8. Schütz says:

    Should I write another LTTE to inform them about this problem? Advice please.

  9. Louise says:

    Write to the paper and mark it as private? Or is there a general part of the paper for complaints? I don’t know that I’d write a letter for publication, as it might encourage trouble-makers.

    Do write, though, I’d be very concerned if it were me.

  10. matthias says:

    Schutz I agree with Louise that it might help to write to the paper but not get your comments published as it would only encourage this person to write again. I once wrote to THE AGE about 20 years ago complaining about the rascist comments of a so called Christian group ,and the person who had made the initial comments sent me a copy of another letter he had sent to THE AGE in rebuttal to my letter. Like you i have a easily found surname by suburb. But it is a bit unnerving.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Schutz: why not just a post a position on the issue here? For us all to read and benefit from when people try and tell us:

    1. the church is homophobic

    2. the church and Catholic faith hate gays

    3. it’s all about power and wealth.


  12. Schütz says:

    Good suggestion. I will get to this when time permits.

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