Monday, August 13, 2007

Let's Analyze the Texts!

Chironomo does a very nice job of shredding Fr. R. ("Roc" to his pals) O'Connor's "argumentation" in a recent edition of the NAPM/NAPalM mag-a-rag.

O'Connor first obfuscates, then creates straw-men and red herrings.

Then, of course, he comes to the wrong conclusion, defending the indefensible.

The tactic being taken by Fr. O’Connor is more than slightly transparent but much less than even slightly effective. First, group the clearly horizontal lyrics in with other non-horizontal lyrics in first person, and reclassify them all as self-referential. Then create an argument comparing all of these self-referential lyrics to liturgical texts in the first person, and claim that if first person liturgical texts are acceptable, then all first-person song lyrics must also be acceptable, including those that are also specifically horizontal.

In the old days, Jesuitical arguments were worth some time and analysis; they were decent arguments. Things have changed; it takes about 5 minutes to realize O'Connor's error and demonstrate how utterly devoid of substance his thesis really is.

...few would claim to have any problem with many of the hymns cited in the article as being “self-referential”: We gather Together, Ubi Caritas, The Magnificat, I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say, Lift High The Cross… the list goes on. These are among the hymns that he groups into the “Self-referential” category. Also placed in this category though, are the actual few texts deserving of being criticized as horizontal: Gather Us In, Here We Are, Anthem and Sing A New Church.

Lotsa good stuff at the link.

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