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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Regarding the "older brother" argument.

John Allen spends some time here examining the so-called "older brother" reaction to the Pope's barbs.

Well, the thing is, the analogy doesn't fit, at least not as far as the father's reaction is chronicled in the parable:

And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’

The thing is, the cumulative effect of the Pope's words on the so-called "older brothers" is not "Son, all I have is yours--celebrate with me over the return of your brother!"

Instead, it comes across as "Well, pal, the thing is, I don't even like you. Do you want to know why? Tough--I'm going to tell you anyway. I have the list right here. Number 1..."

So, yeah, if all analogies limp, this one is a double amputee.

1 comment:

  1. I did think Allen did in part address some of your objections.

    First, he acknowledged that the "older brother" in this case does have a legitimate gripe: "I wish he'd stop taking potshots at us."

    And then that Pope Francis hasn't had the "Son, all I have is yours moment: "At some stage, Pope Francis may need to have such a moment with his own older sons (and daughters)."