SEPTEMBER 6, 2019
Everyone I don’t like is an anti-Semite: and other lessons from the Catholic Left
Many months ago, I criticized certain lefty Catholic ladies for their ongoingattacks on faithful Catholic institutions like Franciscan University of Steubenville and Christendom College. In more recent days, I criticized a former rock historian who has been transmogrified into a Grand Inquisitor of faithful Catholics.
The almost uniform response from these quarters is that I am an anti-Semite.
One of those chaps said I was “dog-whistling” to other anti-Semites. The fellow actually wrote that I was “spending inordinate amounts of time dwelling on the Jewishness of such women… and their imagined ties to Sinister Jewish Jew of Jewishness, George Soros.” First of all, does it strike you as odd that a person would actually write such a phrase as “Jewish Jew of Jewishness” for any reason? Stranger still is the fact that I have never once mentioned the “Jewishness” of such women, for the simple fact that I never knew of their “Jewishness” until they later started calling me an anti-Semite. My (quite measured) criticism of these women was directed at their actions as Catholic writers and nothing more.
In short, I’ve been called an anti-Semite because I criticized these lady-bloggers when, really, I should have known full well that their great-great-grandpappies may have worn a kippah. The charge of anti-Semitism is kind of a blanket counter-attack—or, more accurately, an invisibility cloak à la Harry Potter. These ladies are automatically exempt from all scrutiny and critique because somewhere in their past, near or far, someonebelonged to the Jewish faith.
To be utterly clear, my criticism of these lady-bloggers is based on their actions as Catholics and has nothing to do with the Jewish faith of their ancestors. To repeat, I had no idea any of these ladies were of Jewish descent. What’s more, I don’t do “dog whistles.” As anyone even remotely familiar with my work figures out pretty quickly, I’m direct. I don’t pussyfoot around.
In my expert opinion, these lady-bloggers suffer from a condition I call “political Tourette’s.”
Now, Tourette’s syndrome is a condition of the nervous system that causes a person to unwillingly and uncontrollably make certain sounds or shout certain words—often cusses or vulgarities. Tourette’s isn’t a funny condition. It’s a heartbreaking trial for the afflicted and those who love them.
Political Tourette’s, on the other hand, affects the political and religious Left, who find themselves losing political or ecclesiological arguments. Their response is to shout out certain vile epithets: racist, homophobe, anti-Semite, xenophobe, white supremacist, white nationalist, and so on ad nauseum. We shouldn’t sympathize with those afflicted with this particular condition. Political Tourette’s is a choice. More precisely, it’s a weapon—one that they use to distract from their total lack of substantial arguments.
Political Tourette’s is very much in the air these days. Last week, an unhinged columnist at the Amazon Post charged J.D. Vance with being a white nationalist because he said that “our people” are not having enough babies. This brain-dead hack was certain “our people” referred to whites, when it’s clear from the speech he was referring to Americans. What’s more, J.D. is married to a woman with brown skin, with whom he has a mixed-race child.
Those with Political Tourette’s, however, are a pretty savvy lot. They argue that slavers had an impulsive drive to couple with female slaves. So, it would follow that J.D. marrying an Indian woman doesn’t absolve him of his white supremacy. More than likely, it confirms him in it. Thomas Jefferson, call your office.
One of the other great rhetorical jujitsu flips I have seen lately is when they say, “the only people who object to being called racist are racist.” Do you see how brilliant that is? If you marry someone with brown skin, this proves you are a racist. If you complain about the charge, this further proves the charge. As my Mom says, “You can’t win for losing.”
Political Tourette’s is easy and it’s lazy. It absolves you from having to make real arguments. And that’s the thing. These lady-bloggers don’t really believe what they say. They don’t honestly think I hate Jews. It’s just a club they use to beat their critics—i.e., me. Their charge is also profoundly and knowingly dishonest, a bold-faced slander.
Finally, I love my Jewish brothers and sisters. I’ve known and been close to observant Jews from grade school through college and well into my professional life. In the current day, I am proud to stand with Jewish friends like the intellectual David Goldman and political entrepreneur Yoram Hazony.
However, as I said to a roomful of Muslim diplomats several years ago, and say now to all those of the Jewish faith, God wants all men to become Catholic. And I believe when they—as observant Jews—wake up in Heaven, they will happily find they are members of the Church Triumphant.
Lastly, as the lady-bloggers like to say, anti-Semitism is real. I covered violence against Jews in Europe for Breitbart. In many sophisticated European capitals, Jews may not wear kippahs in public for fear of deadly violence. On the streets of New York, Jews are routinely hassled and even beaten; anti-Semitic thugs regularly vandalize Jewish houses of worship.
Yes, anti-Semitism is real. But it doesn’t include lady-bloggers having their feelings hurt over justified criticism. They cheapen what is a real—and growing—problem.
Unlike the actual disease, Political Tourette’s is a choice. Those who practice it are foolish, and it’s time for them to stop.
[Photo credit: Getty Images News]
By Austin Ruse
Austin Ruse is a Crisis contributing editor and president of the Center for Family & Human Rights (C-FAM). He is the author of Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data, published by Regnery; and Little Suffering Souls: Children Whose Short Lives Point Us to Christ, published by Tan Books. The views expressed here are solely his own.