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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Lie Back and Think of Christopher

Have you ever had an extended conversation with a pathological liar?
If you haven't, it's an amazing experience, one that I highly recommend.

If you ask such a person which door they used to enter the room, they'll deliberately tell you the wrong one, sometimes even if they know you saw them as they entered. The yarns they spin are amazing, remarkable, breath-taking!

They were persecuted by trolls, bag ladies prophesied to them, they dreamt of 9/11 and warned their brother/sister/cousin/friend/baker not to go to the Towers/Pentagon/Pennsylvania field on that fateful day!

Oh, if only someone had listened!

And speaking of Pennsylvania disasters and pathological liars, we come to Chris West's TOB Institute.

As many people know, Chris had an absolutely disastrous interview with ABC that was ultimately all Bush's ABC's fault, for George Bush the nefarious nabobs of negativism, those ABC news reporters, misquoted him, took him out of context, made him look like a fool with their faulty commentary.

Oh, if only someone would listen!

Hey, Chris, fear not!
I'll listen!

As many of you may remember, ABC avers West compared Hugh Hefner favorably to Pope John Paul II, called the Song of Songs the "centerfold of the Bible" and generally made a jackass of himself.

Now, I recently went looking for some commentary on West's use of the word "centerfold" in that same ABC News video.

Fortunately, I was able to find Chris' own commentary on his use of the word "centerfold" to describe the Song of Songs.

Click on the image below and you'll see a screen capture of the Web page in which the TOB Institute valiantly explains why Chris described the Song of Songs as a "centerfold in the Bible."

I have even cleverly highlighted it with red near the bottom so that you could pick it out (click the image for a bigger version).
Heck, here's the link to it if you want to see it yourself!

Wait a minute!
What was that?
Someone doth protest!

I have again cleverly highlighted the protestations, so that you can easily pick it out (click the image for a bigger version):

Why that scurrilous Dawn Eden scurrilously alleges that West used the word "centerfold" in reference to Scripture when West himself DENIES ever having done such a thing!

As you can see from the commentary on the Headline Bistro article, we have WITNESSES!

First, we have Melanie Harmon (what a melodious, harmonious last name - certainly that couldn't be a pseudonym!) insisting that she heard West deny using the word with his own lips! And Tim Howard valiantly corroborates her account!

Melanie Harmon
West never called the Song of Songs the "centerfold". That was ABC's spin. I heard West explain that he said to the reporter that someone in one of his audiences used the phrase. The reporter then applied it West. Dawn, you're regularly sinning against the 8th Commandment by spreading half-truths against West and I'm calling you to repent of the sin of detraction.

Tim Howard
West never said "centerfold". The ABC host stated that word. The phrase "centerfold" was said TO WEST (not by West) at a conference. The fact that Dawn is repeating something that is not true is problematic.
"...Where there are two or three witnesses!"

It was George Bush's ABC's fault!

How DARE Dawn Eden offend Christian charity by spreading these damnable, I say, DAMNABLE lies!

After all, if you go to the TOB Institute site, you'll see:

.... you'll see that the site has been well-scrubbed bears no evidence to contradict these witnesses.

And the TOB Institute website no longer bears mention of what the original 2009 TOB Institute Facebook comment stridently asserts.

Indeed, you have to go here to see the original Facebook post, which apparently hasn't been purged yet.

Incidentally, there are tons of computer articles on how hard it is to delete anything permanently in Facebook. That particular program stores all kinds of things in all kinds of nooks and crannies. Perhaps the TOB Institute should do a little more work on their in-house procedures?

Or perhaps they should use Bon Ami?
According to The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, it works on almost everything but bloodstains on an organ keyboard. I'd say it was worth at least a try in this situation.

Now, nasty dividers of the Church, people bent on a politics of personal destruction for their own miserly gain, that is to say, nasty, mean, sin-laden creeps (like me - I wish I could repent! sob! sniffle!) might ask annoying questions like:

  • Why does Google cache show the TOB Institute defending Chris West's use of a word Chris West himself now says he never used?
  • Why does the current TOB Institute page not match the TOB Facebook page or the Google Cache of that Facebook page?
  • When did the current TOB Institute page get scrubbed (hint - it wasn't very long ago. Miss Harmon, call your office!)?
  • Why does Chris West now deny doing something that his own Institute clearly (used to) show he did do?
  • Why does the TOB Institute seem to have a history of re-writing history?
  • When people say Chris West is open to critics and makes changes in accordance with valid critiques, why can we never find evidence of it?
Perhaps it's because the critics are all still alive, remember what was said, and can compare it to what Chris is saying now.

Remember, Chris doesn't change his teachings.
He only changes history.

So, when someone charges Chris West with mis-representing Catholic Faith for his own mercenary purposes, West supporters follow the advice given to English brides as they were prepared for marital life:
"You won't like the activities of the bedchamber, but you have a duty to family and country West and the Institute. Just lie back and think of England Chris!"


Matheus F. Ticiani said...

And this Melanie Harmon chick/dude/pseudonym/whatever either has a memory problem or didn't listen to the Catholic Answers Live show that West did as part of his damage control strategy about the issue.

I've listend to it only when it came out, but if I remember correctly, West did try to explain away the use of the word by arguing that he inadvertently reproduced (?!) the expression said to him by an audience member, but he didn't deny having said it at that time.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Why Mattheus, you mercenary, money-grubbing little self-promoter, who obviously points out such things only to get people to buy your TOB book!

And don't start with me about how you don't even HAVE a TOB book.

The point is, you are dividing, rending, nay TEARING, the Body of Christ by casting ridiculous facts such as these into the face of the kindly, gentle soul of the good Mr. Christopher West.

You should be ashamed!

I just thought I should jump in early, because I'm a cutting-edge commentator, and Pat Madrid phoned to say he was too busy, so could I take over the necessary commentary instead.

Because of my long friendship with Pat, Ed (Peters), and Janet (Smith), I couldn't very well turn them down.

It really just comes down to a single question: Who are you going to believe?
Or your lyin' eyes?

I hope you understand.

Mamie Farish said...

Steve, it is mind-blogging that people who should know better are supporting this stuff promulgated by West. Why isn't there any accountability here? I could barely listen to this stuff.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, where there's money, there's no accountability.

For instance, consider the example Matheus very rightly brings forward - Catholic Answers.

CA allowed themselves to be used as a forum through which West could give himself absolution for the ABC interview. The vaunted apologists there gave him a free pass, as did pretty much all Catholic radio and TV.

Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Rhoades have explicitly supported West despite his manifold problems.

As with Maciel (West is not a pedophile, but he is a money magnet), as long as he brings in money, most people are willing to turn a blind eye to his problems.

Matheus F. Ticiani said...

Yeah Steve, but to CA's credit, unlike West's toadies who come here on blitz in their Messerschmitts with no arguments, they at least grilled him about the "centerfold" issue - which was the main issue criticized by CA's director of apologetics Jimmy Akin on his personal blog - so one can't say they are not consistent (and nobody from CA seems to have attacked you, at least publicly).

Also, when I looked for the show to which I linked above on their archive's list of all appearances by West, I couldn't help noticing that he used to do a show with them once a year or so, and never did another since that one, almost a year after. My guess is that we won't hear from him there anymore.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Yes, good points on all counts, Matheus. Catholic Answers has its own TOB perspective in its young couple (whose name escapes me at the moment), but those two are much more solidly formed than West ever was and make fewer egregious errors.

CA has very rarely made theological mistakes - none that I'm aware of. You could very easily argue that they gave him a last charity interview and then washed their hands of him.

So, I shouldn't be so hard on them.

Larry said...

Is this statement about Song of Solomon being the most written about book of the Bible by saints and mystics true? I've read some of the saints and mystics, and while a few like St. John of the Cross write about it, I can't recall even a large number of saints that have done so. It's only a little over four pages in Douay Reims, and while it's a beautiful elegaic poem and certainly has merit with regards to spousal relationships, I don't think it's the centerfold, er, centerpiece of Christian theology that West is making it out to be.

A skeptic could claim he's over-emphasizing Song of Solomon because it is the book of the Bible most conducive to supporting his view of sexualized Christianity.

But then, I'd be a money grubbing jackal just pumping to non-existend TOB book, and someone who obviously has a grave sickness when it comes to Christopher West.

Annie Anomous said...

Forgive me for lacking the same intellectual discernment that you seem to have but could you please clarify your assertion? Are you saying that West has said he never used the word Centerfold? Is this your contention? I am not sure what you are upset about. Obviously the two interviewed persons trying to defend West by saying "he never said that" are in error but why does that make Mr. West a lier?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Wow - gotta love the anonymous Westians.

Now they've started throwing each other under the bus... :)

Annie Anomous said...

Answer please? If to throw under bus means hold accountable for their actions then heck ya...and I would back over them.

As for Westian, not your version of Westian that is for sure.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, Annie, as Westians like to say, were you THERE WITH THEM when they heard West say it?

If you weren't, then you really shouldn't talk, should you?

"Throwing under the bus" means disregarding their testimony without any good reason, apart from your inordinate desire to protect Chris West.

Kevin said...

"Is this statement about Song of Solomon being the most written about book of the Bible by saints and mystics true?"

Not really.

First, we gotta ask "who does West classify as mystics." The book of the Bible commented on most by EVERYONE I would argue is the Psalms. They are the root of Christian worship. every liturgical commentary treats them in-depth. The mystics, patristics, and every other istic has all written lengthy treatises on them. Since they were so pervasive in the early Christian worship, this isn't surprising.

Like so many other statements, West simply offers this without any evidence whatsoever.

And Steve, while at times I think you overdo it, I'll admit, I lol'ed at this post. HARD. :)