16 June 2009

Keep it Catholic, Catholics

Keep it Catholic, Catholics: A Response to Michael Sean Winters' Attack on Frances Kissling in America

I debated in Catholic high school and Jesuit college. We practiced by taking positions other than our own so we would understand the ins and outs of our opponents’ ways of thinking. We were taught that gratuitous slams at the other side were never acceptable, and that they certainly were no substitute for reasoned arguments. We were coached to avoid ad hominem (in those days we did not imagine ad feminam) arguments at all costs since they insulted our worthy opponents and made clear that we were out of ideas to bolster our own positions. In the rough and tumble of real world debates, it is training that has stood me in good stead.

Imagine my surprise to read on the Jesuit magazine America’s blog a recent post by Michael Sean Winters in which he violated all the rules. His attack on Frances Kissling and her recent article in Salon began with a gratuitous slam.

(Read the rest of the article by Mary E. Hunt posted on Religion Dispatches.)

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