I think National Review's trying a rethink:
"Meant to be together forever" -- sounds like a Bieber joint, yes? This Jesus cover boy, Christopher West, goes in for the usual Anti Sex League ordnance -- he counsels "infinite bliss" over rim jobs, and asks leading questions like "can’t we see that such a notion of choice is actually the negation of freedom?" But he has a softer, daisy-strewing side, too, and rhapsodizes that "art is the language of the heart." Kathryn J. Lopez asks him if there's any art around now that he likes; he replies,
I’m not an art critic. I can only speak to what moves me personally. And I’d have to say that today, in the specific sense of right now, I am stunned by the artistry expressed in the movie adaptation of the musical Les Misérables. I saw it three times in its first week of release. Treat yourself and go see this movie.Roger Scruton he ain't. Instead of having to beg change all the time ("National Review is not a non-profit — we are just not profitable"), NR should just convert to a pictoral format a la Tiger Beat.
UPDATE. Commenter Montag2 directs us to this intriguing 2009 item at the Catholic News Agency: "Christopher West’s ideas on sexuality ignore ‘tremendous dangers,’ Alice von Hildebrand says." Excerpt:
The news segment showed [West] calling for Catholics to complete “what the sexual revolution began.” He also described “very profound” historical connections between Hugh Hefner and Pope John Paul II.
West spoke to CNA on Friday, claiming the report somewhat sensationalized his views. He also denied several characterizations conveyed by the news story, explaining that he believed Hefner to be right in rejecting “the disease of Puritanism” but radically wrong in beginning the “pornographic revolution.”
He had told ABC that Hefner had a "yearning," an "ache" and a "longing" for love, union and intimacy.Well, clearly Hef's a fan of marriage. I expect after this scare West went and sinned no more, or he'd never have gotten close to K-Lo's inbox. True, he's responsible for provocative titles like The Love That Satisfies, but the Theology of the Body Institute West serves as a "research fellow" seems to have no hot tubs or encounter rooms. Still, his theology stirs some controversy -- for example, there was
the argument between Dr. Scott Hahn and Christopher West on the set of “Franciscan University Presents” which turned Dr. Hahn into a “closet critic” of West and his theology after West disagreed with Hahn when Hahn said the proper response if he was to see his colleague's naked wife's would be to turn his eyes away.His colleague's naked wife's what, I'd like to know. Maybe it was something innocent, like a tax-exempt contribution.
UPDATE 2. Oh wait, they explain further down:
... [Dr. Scott Hahn] told West that if he were to see a friend’s wife [the friend being fellow panellist Dr. Regis Martin] naked, it would be his responsibility to look away. West responded, ‘No, it would be to not lust.’ [Hahn] and West took turns repeating themselves until the moderator called for a break in the program.You gotta admit, it beats This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Also from that same report: "James J. Simons, who by his own admission listened to West over 100 times... argued that it is right to baptize people naked in front of an entire church so everyone can see them and it is right for women to read in church topless." Next time a conservative starts going off about wacky liberal arts courses, I'll bring this up.
UPDATE 3. "And, as if on cue," comments Alexander von Humbug, "Sullivan quotes West approvingly." Looks like there's a big PR push for West among the sort of people who would like him, and I wonder why, as they could disseminate the book as effectively by just handing out copies at David Brooks' parties. It's not like normal people will ever give a shit.