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April 20, 2005

Sullivan: And I'll Keep Leaving the Church Until Someone Notices

Utron searches for the quote that the good Professor Bainbridge couldn't find.

As a Sullyologist, I know all about the lack of a search function on Andrew Sullivan's site, and how frustrating it is to look for an egregious post you remember but cannot find except through the brute-force method of scanning through Sullivan's histrionic burblings.

You know that $100,000 that suckers gave him every year for the last several years? (Some of those chumps are now here; you probably feel filled with heart-ache, as you should.) Well, not a fat lot of that went into his much-heralded website improvements, unless you count being able to toggle from gray to lavender and back again some sort of technological breakthrough.

Anyway.

Sullivan's in high dudgeon now about the Church divorcing itself from him due to the election of this gob-smackingly vile man Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI.

But, as ever, Sullivan tends to rewrite the past as necessary to cast himself as the focus of drama in every major story that plays out in the media. He pretended to be an anguished Bush-supporter, "debating" whether or not to continue that support, months after he'd announced he could not support Bush in The Advocate.

And similarly now he plays the juicy role of the wounded-but-faithful Catholic, horrified at what his church has become.

Except, it seems, he pretty much renounced Catholicism a year and a half ago:

Since the summer, I haven't written about this much, because it felt increasingly inappropriate to bring such deeply private issues into the public arena. But like many others, this past year has been a watershed for me. The combination of the cover-up of sexual abuse and the extremity of the language used against gay people by the Vatican has made it impossible for me to go back inside a church. I do believe that something is rotten in the heart of the hierarchy, that it is bound up in sexual panic and a conflicted homosexual subculture that is a deep part of the Catholic Church. Until that is dealt with, until a new dynamic of hope and honesty replaces denial and authoritarianism, I cannot go on. Am I still a Catholic? I don't think I can call myself such publicly any more. Privately, I think I always will be in some place in my heart. But I cannot enable the vicious cycle of failure and scapegoating that now animates what amounts to the leadership.

Emphasis added, to help guide you through Sullivan's rather eye-glazing prose.

Compare with his recent noises about leaving the Church:

Thanks for your emails both sympathizing and telling me to leave the Church entirely. But I am still in shock. This was not an act of continuity. There is simply no other figure more extreme than the new Pope on the issues that divide the Church. No one.

Obviously, I've got no problems with apostacy. Sullivan can criticize the church to his heart-ache's content. And he can leave the church any time he likes.

But what is this crap about no longer considering himself a Catholic in 2003, and now praising JPII in order to denigrate The Madman Ratzinger? How can he threaten to walk out a Church he renounced a year and a half ago?

To be fair, I really don't think Sullivan is trying to be dishonest, as I suggested above. That was a bit of, ahem, Sullivanesque hyperbole.

It's not that he's dishonest, per se. It's that he's so mercurial and inconsistent that there is no definable "truth" to him. At least not a truth that persists from one outburst to the next.

This is the problem with his wildly bipolar style of "analysis" -- he loves someone one day and denounces him as the devil the next, with very little explanation as to how his thoughts could have changed so radically over the course of months.

Although, of course, the one time he did attempt to explain how his feelings were "evolving" --actually, they'd already evolved-- the backing-and-filling necessary to show "consistency" on the Bush v. Kerry question was, to use some choice Sullyisms, "sickening" in its calculation and "nauseating" in its transparency.

I just don't see how people can continue to read this guy, to depend on him for thoughtful and sober analysis, when his "Who's Hot/Who's Not" rankings change so dramatically week by week.

Okay, I've spilled enough pixels on this nitwit. Seriously, I'm not writing the words "Andrew" or "Sullivan" or "Andy" or "Sully" or any permutation thereof for at least a week.

Unless he writes something so gob-smackingly vile that I feel physically sickened, of course.

Catch-22 Says It Best: This is from memory, so pardon me if make some sort of appallingly horrifying error.

Let us say, charitably, that Sullivan is a rather passionate fellow. Catch-22 had something like this to say about another passionate fellow:

Clevinger was passionate about justice. He was passionate about many subjects. He was crazy.

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posted by Ace at 01:47 AM

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