After the lengthy train-wreck of an article on same-sex marriage by the one-time chief Editor of First Things, Joseph Bottum (see here), a torrent of tickled delight and withering criticism has followed. Here’s an even-handed response by Phil Lawler that’s worth a read:
Although my few personal dealings with Joseph Bottum have been friendly enough, I cannot say that I really know the man. So I will not join those who have questioned his motives for writing “The Things We Share: A Catholic’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage, which appeared this past weekend in Commonweal magazine. I do not claim to know why Bottum—the former editor of First Things, a longtime ally of people on the front lines in the battle to defend marriage—wrote this astonishing essay. But I do know how the publication of thatCommonweal piece will change his life, in ways that he could and should have expected.
Jody Bottum is now one of the most talked-about figures on the American intellectual scene. The internet is buzzing with responses to his essay. The New York Times has announced, with ill-concealed delight, “A Conservative Catholic Now Backs Same-Sex Marriage”. He is in demand for interviews. Sales of his most recent book have increased; prospects for the next one are soaring. Whatever else one might say about it, the Commonweal piece was anundoubted commercial success.
Yes, Bottum is taking his lumps from old conservative friends who feel that he has betrayed them—not only by deserting the cause, but also by spicing up his long essay with a few unflattering anecdotes about his former allies. An anonymous National Review contributor has penned a form letter for conservatives abandoning unpopular positions; I have no doubt that Bottum was the target of the satire. READ MORE…