Wednesday, July 6, 2011


SMACKDOWN: v. 1) to destroy an opponent or opponents by any means, ie: fists, legs, teeth, toilet bowl, ring that shoots fire, etc. 2) to intimidate weaker persons by exhibiting very traditional male aggression, ie: talking tough, hitting with fists, headbutting, strutting around with no shirt in tightpants and eye-makeup.
 Recently, a very popular priest who was known nationally for years as laying the smackdown on liberals, gays, heretics, feminists, fornicators, liars, lazy priests, corpulent rich people, abortionists, pedophiles, and any other perceived abomination against the TRUE ORTHODOX FAITH was found to be...well...some or most of the above.

I hate that anyone gets their laundry aired out in the public sphere. Even if they ask for it, I hate it. I hated when a recent Twitter scandal brought down publicly a government official and I hate it now for this priest.

I also hate with almost the same intensity the abuse of power that can be at play with leaders. This abuse, in my opinion, doesn't generate just from the person but by tapping into the zetigeist of a particular audience. It can be so strong that if you share in the profession of such a person and are not saying or doing what they are doing, then maybe you're "weak" or...gasp..."unorthodox". If you do say or do something that is in line with the charismatic "leaders" agenda then you may be "coming around" or  you are "laying the smackdown". And yes, this is usually from the more ULTRA-conservative or neoconservative voices.*

I've been either a "liberal" (I saved the emails and letters to remind myself) or I've been a "real priest" (haven't saved many of those). Not too thrilled with either description. And, a quick review of what is required of a priest, neither "deconstructing the church for a new era" nor "hating people who are different" is in my job description. Wow, taking a month vacation is though..huh, that's kinda cool.

As a point of interest, before Cardinal Josef Ratzinger became Pope, he had a fan club on the internet. This was the official slogan:
 And since he's become the Holy Father, the smackdown-dealing-papal-rottweiler has been marketed differently:
As said upon his election, the Papal Rottweiler is now the German Shepherd. light of all this, here's a very good piece by Fr. Longnecker (who sometimes unfairly gets the SMACKDOWN title) that speaks to the situation. The comments in his combox after illustrate my point.

*I hold that there is no such thing as a Catholic who is not "conservative". We all have a tradition so that means we are conservative to some degree. It's those who want to hold on to everything and let nothing go that I call ULTRAcons or neocons. I can develop this further but that's for another day.