I wrote some pretty funny stuff for the first half of my career, and I’m not going to say I was inaccurate in all my judgments. But I was thoughtlessly cruel...
Over the years, I’ve heard from people I hurt with my words... and I’ve regretted what I wrote. Again, it’s not necessarily that I made an incorrect judgment in assessing a politician, a movie, etc., but that I did so inhumanely. I find now that the kind of criticism that I used to admire now strikes me as having the overriding quality of malice.
To speak in Dantean terms, if I am granted to pass to Paradise through Purgatory, my misuse of the gift of language and writing will be the thing about me that most merits the purifying fire.Snif. Seems like only yesterday -- in fact, it was yesterday. Here's Dreher today:
Ariel Castro & Other Cretins Who Deserved It
...There are lots of people I feel sorry for in this world. These are four I cannot pity. There is some atavistic part of me that doesn’t object to the rough justice they have received, though in Castro’s case, it is truly regrettable that he did not repent and die a natural death. My pity in that case is a function of my religious belief. I said a prayer for mercy on his soul, but my heart wasn’t really in it, I’m afraid.So, I guess what Dreher really meant was, he was going to continue to be "thoughtlessly cruel" -- he's just going to stop trying to be funny about it.
It's an interesting type of Christianity: One that allows contempt for one's fellow men as long as it's solemn. Pleasure (except for the sneaky pleasure of moral superiority) is the thing that makes it wrong.
That's okay. Dreher was never made to write satire; he was born to be its subject.