Friday, May 09, 2008

About "Devout"

One of the other tired and inane MSM memes is to insert the qualifier "devout" before the adjective "Catholic." It's generally a setup, like using scare quotes. Proof? Ever see the word used as a qualifier of "Methodist"? "Baptist"? "Jehovah's Witness"?

Mark Shea:

Is everybody (or at least every Catholic) devout? It would appear so, judging from MSM and blogosphere usage of the term. So, for instance, it turns out Michael Moore is a "devout Catholic" despite the fact that he holds some rather important aspects of the Church's teaching in contempt and tells absurd lies in order to score political points.

..."Yes, Jenna Jameson's work in XXX films is controversial, but she is a devout Catholic." Message: Only a Pharisee could express skepticism about the term "devout" here or state the fact that Jesus never said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin some more!"

Similarly, if you are a politician whose devotion to the sacrament of abortion is so extreme that you cannot even muster the gumption to oppose sticking scissors in a newborn's brain, all you need do is have yourself photographed
wearing ashes and follow it up with stern blaring about the Primacy of Conscience. Say something like, "My oath privately between me and God was defined in the Catholic church by Pius XXIII and Pope Paul VI in the Vatican II." That way, you can equate doing whatever the hell you like with fidelity to the Tradition! You're devout!

But I can't help having the sensation that this is not what's happening with the word "devout." It's not a word so much used by Catholics as about them. [True.] Indeed, the paradox of the word is that those who use it to describe themselves are almost invariably either rotters, former Catholics, or both. There's something strange about a person who announces "I am devout!" just as there is something either creepy or laughable about a person who announces (in a serious, not flippant manner) "I am humble!" Really devout people are too busy living life to go around reminding everybody they are "devout."

It is helpful to remember the etymology: "Devout" is from Latin "devotus," ="to vow."

Avowed Catholics do not ever, ever, shilly-shally on abortion, nor ESCR, nor gay "marriage."

Keep it in mind...

1 comment:

John Foust said...

No, Dad, "devout" gets used with the Catholics, "avowed" was used with "homosexual".