It just gets better

January 30, 2013 § 49 Comments

Red Cardigan’s intransigence on the Kathleen Quinlan case, explained in her own words:

But then again, I also see Catholic schools these days as hoity-toity pricy private school options to help predominantly white Catholics escape the dysfunction of the local public schools, so perhaps that’s one reason why I snort a bit at the “morality clause” thing. My 9th grade Catholic “health” teacher taught us how to use contraception, made fun of the Church’s teaching against it, mocked the “rhythm method” (she’d never heard of NFP), and told us if we had a problem with what she was saying, we could take it up with our religion teacher; she was teaching “health.” The bishop was too busy laying down on railroad tracks to protest nuclear weapons to care, and our religion teacher was a former flower-child nun who believed an inner child (a little blond girl, IIRC) lived inside of her and that she was also psychic, so she didn’t much care about our grasp of Catholic moral teaching. I have heard NOTHING in the ensuing decades which tells me anything much has changed; in fact, a teacher I know was fired from her job at the Catholic school for the “mortal sin” of teaching children in her biology class that life begins at conception and that abortion is murder.

I could go into my own experiences – then and now –  and how they differ from hers, etc.  But why bother.

I guess that whole Golden Rule thing doesn’t apply to how people who work in and depend upon Catholic education are treated.

§ 49 Responses to It just gets better

  • Scott W. says:

    So that’s what this is all about. Apparently a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill does disprove the existence of real money.

  • Svar says:

    I like how she has to make the point about race. As if middle-class whites are to blame for not wanting to deal with the “dysfunction”(this is the non-racist white person’s way of saying “blacks”) in public schools. I don’t blame them if they don’t want to deal with the dysfunction that still clamors for 40 acres and a mule.

    Oops, I guess that makes me a raaaaycis in her eyes.

  • Svar says:

    “So that’s what this is all about. Apparently a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill does disprove the existence of real money.”

    Ahaha! Indeed. Perhaps Catholic schools are trying to get back into shape? Trying to get rid of the whorish, contraception pushing teacher-harlots and the boy-preying Lavender Mafia?

    One can only hope.

  • Mike T says:

    After a comment like this, I say we take bets on how long before she abandons her pro-life position since on everything else she appears to be a died-in-the-wool feminist.

  • Svar says:

    I don’t get her sneering attitude. Sure, some of the commenters were over the top but Zippy’s behavior was always courteous.

    But Mike T. I saw that comment and it did make me wonder…

  • Zippy says:

    Mike:
    That comment is something else. Generally speaking the man should be fired; but if he is providing for a woman it is best to let him keep his job.

    She’s definitely – and cluelessly – bigoted against men. Mercy for me but not for thee.

    On the other hand I think you may underestimate the extent to which, as Mark Shea puts it, being anti-abortion takes away the sins of the world.

  • Vanessa says:

    Christo-feminism strikes again.

    For the record, both of my pregnancies were horrendous and I consider that completely irrelevant. If she has a difficult pregnancy, she is welcome to go to her local hospital or crisis pregnancy center for health care. It’s not as if this woman is going to starve to death on the street. Good grief.

  • freddy says:

    This is, I believe, Zippy’s tenth post reacting to Erin Manning, as opposed to her three.
    Zippy, I think this qualifies you for “Official Internet Stalker” status. 🙂

  • James Kabala says:

    “Generally speaking the man should be fired; but if he is providing for a woman it is best to let him keep his job.”

    That isn’t what she said; her emphasis seems to be on not firing PREGNANT women and those with dependent infant children. She says she wouldn’t have a strong objection if a non-pregnant Quinlan had been fired for fornicating.

  • Zippy says:

    I stand corrected, James.

  • Zippy says:

    freddy:
    The subject has been a fount of ideas, broken up into individual posts that I can link to rather than rewriting the same things over and over in comboxes in future discussions. My main motivation for blogging has always been laziness.

  • Svar says:

    So…… Did anyone figure out what exactly Zippy did wrong? Did anyone find out the reason for the mass hysteria of Red Cardigan and her commenters and the nasty attitude that they all had? All I saw was Zippy putting out ideas and the Cardigan folks making insults and whining.

    Things like this make it hard for a man to not be a chauvinist.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    What I did wrong was defend the decision of the school in upholding its standards, refusing to concede that what they did was Positively UnChristian and Mean and Makes Catholics Look Bad, which was Not Very Nice of me.

  • Dalrock says:

    That isn’t what she said; her emphasis seems to be on not firing PREGNANT women and those with dependent infant children. She says she wouldn’t have a strong objection if a non-pregnant Quinlan had been fired for fornicating.

    I know the parallel isn’t perfect here, but I keep thinking of the joke about the Menendez brothers pleading for mercy on account of them being orphans.

    One of the many problems fornication causes is fatherless children. This is a plague on our society, with over 40% of all children born in the US now born out of wedlock and the number grows every year. The teacher in question did her part to add to that sum the very first semester she started teaching. She even expected to go back teaching first graders as an unwed mother once she gave birth. Now she has set out to punish the RCC for enforcing the morals clause she signed, to make sure such a clause can’t be enforced in the future. For all of this, she is seen as a victim amid astonishing claims that she must somehow be repentant. I can only imagine how someone who wanted to tear apart the social fabric would act.

    As I pointed out in a previous comment, I have great sympathy for the incredibly difficult situation she is in. But she shows no concern for the RCC, the children she wants to be a role model to, or to their parents who are paying hard earned money to help their children grow up in a more moral environment. If we only care about mothers, then what about all of the mothers who married first and then sacrificed so their children could go to Catholic school? Are their hopes and dreams for their own children not important? What about the young girls who risk ending up in the same awful situation if the RCC isn’t permitted to restrict their role models to those who are actually role models?

  • disputations says:

    “Oops, I guess that makes me a raaaaycis in her eyes.”

    Given that your comment is objectively racist, it just might.

  • Zippy says:

    Erin’s race-baiting taunt was objectively racist too. It’s just that it was objectively racist in a politically correct way, not a politically incorrect way.

    Svar, being a teenager, provides an example of how young people are responding to all the race baiting by adults like Erin.

    And that will be the end of that tangent.

  • Svar says:

    Zippy, thank you for defending me against the Worst Accusation Ever. All I did was tell the truth but that is enough to make you a pariah. It’s not like I was lying about the situation on the ground.

    But in all seriousness, this is what I saw: I saw that you were polite and that Erin and her commenters were being hysterical and accusing you of being “uncivil” and “sneering”(projection much?). They came in and called you a jerk, mean, a sick, sick man, a chauvinist, and attacked your Christian faith. You on the otherhand, calmly stuck to your ideas and did not make any personal attacks.

    Do they really expect to be taken seriously by any right-thinking man? Should we really take these women seriously? Should anyone?

  • Vanessa says:

    One of the many problems fornication causes is fatherless children. This is a plague on our society

    Not just ours. It’s become a pandemic, so much so that the Pope dedicated his last general audience to the topic.

    Pope Says Biblical View of God Can Help Fatherhood Crisis

  • Zippy says:

    We’ve come full circle: fatherhood was once used as a way of revealing what God is like to men. Now that we’ve all but destroyed fatherhood in society at large, the only way for many to learn what fatherhood is, is from God’s revelation of Himself.

  • Mike T says:


    She says she wouldn’t have a strong objection if a non-pregnant Quinlan had been fired for fornicating.

    Interestingly, she said she would have far less of a problem for firing Quinlan for walking out of her boyfriend’s house at night than for firing her while pregnant which is actual objective proof of fornication. Apparently, leaving it’s ok to fire a woman over purely circumstantial evidence of fornication but it is not ok to fire her when the evidence is plain and obvious.

  • Tom K. says:

    Zippy:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude on the Two Minute Hate against Erin. Carry on.

  • Zippy says:

    No problem, Tom. Have a nice day.

  • Scott W. says:

    Apparently, leaving it’s ok to fire a woman over purely circumstantial evidence of fornication but it is not ok to fire her when the evidence is plain and obvious.

    Yes. We are right back where we started multiple entries and hundreds of comments ago: destroying standards in the war to destroy double-standards.

  • Svar says:

    They’re trying really hard to make things stick, huh? I don’t hate Erin nor do I even thing that she’s a bad woman. I just think that her behavior was in error.

    I wonder how much longer these pathetic little stragglers like Tom will stick around to try to make their accusations stick.

    Make an argument. Pointless attacks don’t make you look good nor do they get you anywhere.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:

    Tom is someone whose views I hold in deep and abiding respect, not a random straggler. However – and even though Erin raised the issue with her race-baiting – I do not intend to let this turn into a racial discussion. I’m not prepared (literally not prepared) to do justice to such a discussion. So I ignored your response to Erin’s comment and hoped it would go away. Now I’m insisting that it go away.

  • Mike T says:

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude on the Two Minute Hate against Erin. Carry on.

    [Redacted]

    [I appreciate the defense, guys. I do. But I’m a big boy, and you needn’t get into a flame war on my behalf. — Z]

  • Mike T says:

    Tom is someone whose views I hold in deep and abiding respect, not a random straggler.

    Curious since unless he was being sarcastic, one might detect some real sympathy for Erin’s arguments and conducts in how he presented himself here.

  • Zippy says:

    Mike:
    If I were incapable of disagreeing with people whose views I generally respect, I wouldn’t be able to generally respect anyone’s views.

  • Peter Blood says:

    So I ignored your response to Erin’s comment and hoped it would go away. Now I’m insisting that it go away.

    You’re the one who brought in her comment. Did you expect us all to do a ritual self-flagellation?

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:
    You’re the one who brought in her comment.

    A perfectly fair point. But I scarcely registered the race-baiting before Svar pointed it out. What I noted was blistering contempt for Catholic schools and complete indifference to the incredible challenges facing schools which (quite unlike the ones of her personal experience) are attempting to provide an orthodox formation for children.

  • Svar says:

    Zippy, I meant the accusation that we’re committing a two-minute hate against Erin. That was unfounded and I saw more vitriol coming from Erin and her supporters than I did from anyone here.

    What raised my ire is that Erin was implying that the Catholic school really doesn’t care about morality, it’s just a place where middle-class whites and other middle-class races just go to avoid dysfunctional black behavior. What got to me was the implication that this is wrong: that these people MUST be around blacks and deal with the pathological behaviors and like you noted, the general contempt for Catholic schools. As if these kid’s parents don’t have the right to teach their kids in an institution that holds to moral standards.

  • Zippy says:

    Svar:
    Zippy, I meant the accusation that we’re committing a two-minute hate against Erin.

    I’m sure that’s Tom’s honest impression. Just like my honest impression is that I attempted to have an adult conversation with Erin — an attempt which was explicitly declined. In the end though the evolution of the discussion is orthogonal to the subject matter.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Any ideas what she says of homeschoolers?

  • Zippy says:

    Peter Blood:
    Any ideas what she says of homeschoolers?

    She homeschools her own children.

  • Peter Blood says:

    Very interesting. I won’t say any more, but if you are up to a post on why people privateschool or homeschool, I’d jump in headlong.

  • James Kabala says:

    By the way, my correction was more than nitpickiness – I think the underlying cause of the dispute here is that Mrs. Manning seems to consider pregnancy a state worthy of respect, even reverence, regardless of how the situation came about. (Contrary to a drive-by slander in another thread, her strong views against abortion are clearly the reason that she feels this way.) Mr. Zippy and others disagree.

  • Mike T says:

    Well, considering the rest of her comments it’s not so clear what her motivations actually are.

  • Zippy says:

    James:
    I think the underlying cause of the dispute here is that Mrs. Manning seems to consider pregnancy a state worthy of respect, even reverence, regardless of how the situation came about.

    That can’t be the underlying cause of the dispute though, because I believe it too. I think pregnant women qua pregnant women should be treated differently in many ways simply as such, from the simple fact of being with child. I don’t think that pregnancy reduces a woman to an object rather than a moral agent though.

    It seems actually to be the case that she considers employment to be a sacred state, at least when that employment redounds to the benefit of some – any – pregnant woman, irrespective of that woman’s behavior.

    Her expressed reasons are a bit of a bedspread though. Smooth out one wrinkle and others pop up elsewhere.

    I agree with you that she is probably at least in part motivated by her strong views against abortion, and that the idea that she is vulnerable to some imminent flip-flop on abortion is ludicrous.

  • Dalrock says:

    @Zippy
    Her expressed reasons are a bit of a bedspread though. Smooth out one wrinkle and others pop up elsewhere.

    This is what happens when you are trying to argue logically with a feeling. To your credit you have continually reframed back to a logical discussion, which is maddening to her because she knows she is right even though she can’t find a logical argument to prove it.

  • Ybm says:

    That Erin, so dripping with snark and sarcasm, this is why I barely ever try to argue with women on the Internet anymore. It’s positively nauseating and the only reason they do it is because they can get away with being a snarky sarcastic plug on the Internet.

  • Svar says:

    YBM, I just don’t get it. Zippy was polite and courteous and every response by Erin was sneering and snarky. I just don’t understand why she’d act this way.

    Women like her and her readers should realize that this is why men are chauvinistic. She’s better off in the kitchen doing what a woman does and letting the men make the decisions because she doesn’t know how to behave like a good girl.

  • Zippy says:

    My own experience is that I’ve argued with plenty of reasonable women and plenty of unreasonable men. (Where “reasonable” is defined as “agrees with me”, hah!).

    When dealing with particular individuals as opposed to aggregates it is important not to turn our stereotypes up too loud.

  • Zippy says:

    Note: I removed a gratuitous trade of insults between two commenters. We are likely reaching diminishing returns here, but comments remain open for now.

  • Svar says:

    “My own experience is that I’ve argued with plenty of reasonable women and plenty of unreasonable men.”

    Same here.

    The deal with stereotypes is that it’s difficult when the individual in question matches the negative stereotypes of his group. I had a run in with a rude, attitude laden black nurse and that’s part of my anger towards people crying “racism”. And then of course, there is the run in you just had with the emotional and irrational woman. It seems that stereotypes are true and exceptions don’t make the rules.

  • Ybm says:

    Oh zippy, I only specifically invoked one gender because that’s the current convo, men have their own problems (condescention and straw man arguments being the biggest one).

  • miliukov says:

    ah well, looks like you nuked my comment. nice touch

    [I put your gratuitous insult and two responses to it into moderation. Say something substantive and it won’t be censored. — Z]

  • Svar says:

    If “you’re a jerk” is the best argument you can come up with, you’ve already lost.

  • Tony says:

    I can’t respond to Erin’s last post because she shut off comments. One of the problems she is having is that she’s conflating sin with scandal. These are two different things. An example of sin without scandal is Erin’s “contracepting married couple” example. An example of scandal without sin is a pair of engaged virgins living openly together as brother and sister in separate bedrooms until they get married.

    One gets you purgatory time at best, and hell at worst, the other gets you fired from your job as a Catholic teacher.

    I’d like to give Erin another scenario: My 15 year old daughter comes home pregnant, and when I ask her what happened (like I don’t know) she says: “Do you remember Miss Jones who I had in first grade at Holy Spirit of Vatican II elementary school? It was so cool when she was pregnant, through the year, and she even brought the baby in a few times after. I thought it was so cool, I wanted one of my own!”

  • Zippy says:

    Tony:
    I’ve seen no evidence that any of the school’s critics take the issue of scandal seriously.

    Some critics of the school putatively addressed the scandal issue by suggesting that Miss Quinlan should have been given a different job for the duration of her pregnancy (as Miss Quinlan herself had apparently also suggested). In addition to the problem that she then has to hide her child to avoid scandal once she returns, this also glosses over the fact that this costs more money and staff time. She was hired to do job X, not job Y.

    Re-allocating the budget to give her job Y (so now the school has to pay two salaries instead of one) might well be a good and charitable thing to do, but it should be evaluated against all of the other good and charitable things the diocese and school can do. I’ve sat on parish finance committee before, and finding money to pay for the make-work job or to extend insurance or whatever will definitely involve taking money away from something else. Like as not that “something else” will be the tuition breaks given to poorer students: as one of the most “optional” budget items that was often the first thing to go when other necessities reared their heads.

    Nobody among the school’s persistent critics[*] has been anything but contemptuous of the financial concern or the scandal concern. We’ve just been treated to a litany of “mercy mercy mercy” — where the word “mercy” in the litany doesn’t actually mean mercy.

    As an aside, it is pretty ironic for Erin to sum this hubbub up as me pursuing her as a heretic, when the whole discussion arose from her very public condemnation of school and diocesan officials as acting merciless and un-Christian. That’s pretty much been par for the course for her whole approach to discussing this with me, under the “I’m not actually calling you names Zippy, I’m just trying to understand how you aren’t a merciless pseudo-Catholic chauvinist, so lets have an adult discussion where I make things up and attribute them to you and talk about why I really strongly suspect and can’t see any other possibility than that you are a merciless pseudo-Catholic chauvinist” dispensation.

    It doesn’t bother me personally that she’s gone off the rails and into the weeds after starting her heretic-hunt. But I won’t have a discussion on those terms.

    [*] I exempt people who made passing comments without really thinking about the situation or doing due diligence.

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