Friday, December 23, 2005

The Catholic New World Weighs in On the Wrong Side

Leave it to Tom Sheridan, the stylishly liberal ex-Sun Times deputy editorial page editor who now runs the Chicago Catholic New World, the official publication for the archdiocese of Chicago. Sheridan, a deacon, who never really recovered from the days when to be for social justice was to be ultra-trendy, can be counted on to low-ball the pro-life mission of the church in favor of pushing the more fashionable lefty causes. How unlike Cardinal Francis George who has nobly stood up for the total teachings of the Church without p.r. cosmetics. Anyhow, just when traditionalists were making some progress in overcoming the orgy of materialism and getting the stores to recognize Christmas rather than some winter solstice, you can count that good old Sheridan will come riding to the rescue with a typically vague front page column that requires a metaphysician to analyze—but which, predictably, comes out on the side of the secularists.

Sheridan starts out with a typical straw-man argument: “Memo to people worried about the banishment of Christmas.” We’re not worried about the banishment of Christmas, my dear Tom, just the mauling of it for commercial purposes by advertisers who refuse to recognize its spiritual significance: and it’s not an oversight but purposeful. Sheridan: “Well, guess what? They were wrong. Christmas will happen, just you wait.” Then, “but here’s my point: If you need a store clerk wishing you Merry Christmas to remind you of the birth of Christ, then you have a bigger problem that just finding the right gift to put under the tree for Uncle Joe.” Explaining it to Sheridan might take longer than he deserves but here’s one try. Tom, we don’t need store clerks wishing us Merry Christmas to remind us of that fact, and it’s rather duplicitous of you to spin the argument that way. We just feel it’s not too much to ask the folks who benefit hugely from commercial sales revolving around a spiritual event to take cognizance of the spiritual event. By the way, your boss, Cardinal George gets the point very well in a column adjoining yours. I’d reprint some of it but since you edit it you’re very familiar with it and very familiar with the argument about the necessity to fight secularism: so come off it, don’t be cutesy with us and don’t try to snow the troops with fake erudition.


  1. Considering how almost everything about the way we celebrate Christmas has its roots in paganism or other religions, it's a big disingenuous to talk about it as a "spiritual event". It's not a matter of faith. There's nothing in the Bible about celebrating Christ's birth and nor does the celebration show up in any of our creeds. When we defend Christmas, I'm not sure what we're defending, but we're certainly not defending either Christ or Christianity.

  2. Than watching a snowball smack a deserving target. Nice one, Tom.

  3. Richard M. Hanisits, M.Ed.December 31, 2005 at 5:20 PM

    I have not renewed my subscription to the New World because it doesn't give enough spiritual meat on which to grow spiritually stronger. I gave up LETTERS because my letters were wittled down to almost nothing. I will vote for Oberweise. And I am wondering if Keyes is coming back to Illinois. I certainly am getting enough appeals from him for funds.