Friday, February 06, 2004

Further Reflections and a Clarification:

(Viz. the Joint Statements of Rerum Novarum and SecretAgentMan's Dossier)

During the past couple of weeks, We at the Dossier in conjunction with Rerum Novarum had occasion to comment jointly on the lamentable acrimony which had sprung up between two of our favorite Christian commentators on the Internet. We also made a short clarifying blog some days later, imploring our friends not to take the original commentary as a casus belli. We sincerely believe, and continue to believe, the truth of what we pointed out in the original commentary (a/k/a "Appeal to the Warring Houses of Montague and Capulet") and in the fairness and aptness of what we wrote in it.

However, on reflection one point should be made that has not, as yet, been made. We spent a good deal of time writing about why we believe the Capulet and Montague cannot get along with one another. We spent little, if any, time explaining our broader perspective that their lapses are -- while having unique aspects in their specific case -- still examples of failings which commonly plague men involved in passionate discourse. Not to put too fine a point on it, their faults have not caused them to do anything which has no examples of their own in our experiences.

Each of us has encountered individuals with whom, for some reason which seems inexplicable to us, civil discourse is extremely difficult if not impossible, even though our interlocutors seemed to get along fine with virtually everyone we and they know. This is not the time or place to expound on those affairs; having already judged our two friends, it is not meet that we should be the first to issue a judgment on ourselves. Others, if there is need, should be respectfully permitted the first opportunity to examine our misdeeds, just as we have taken on ourselves first opportunity to examine the misdeeds of our two friends.

It is enough that we say clearly that we do not believe our friends are guilty in areas where we ourselves are blameless, and note that our original commentary drew upon our experiences as well as on more abstract sources. We note this publicly in the event that there was any confusion on this matter to thereby dissipate it henceforth in perpetuity.

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