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By Timothy J. Gordon
Church Militant recently published Milo Yiannopoulos' America magazine interview, which gave rise to some confusion and even a bit of backlash. Such backlash was evident in plenary amount in the comments box. From my view, Church Militant's position on controversial speakers doesn't seem that complicated: A speaker of the truth is always worth listening to and a sign of contradiction always worth heeding. Here follows a few of the more compelling reasons in favor of — for the serious-minded Catholic, anyway — listening to Milo's rhetoric and logic:
1. Milo is a homosexual, not a homosexualist. The latter scandalizes the faithful, the former does not necessarily. More specifically, he is a homosexual who combats homosexualism. And homosexualism is arguably the greatest scandal within the clergy. His is a voice out there clearly articulating Church teaching.
Prayers that Milo, like us all, can overcome his public and private sin. But even if he cannot, precisely zero same-sex-attracted Catholics have ever decided to act on their inclinations based on what Milo — unlike many bishops and local homilists — writes or says about homosexuality and the Church's moral theology. He accepts and promulgates the Church's teaching, which many bishops resent.
2. "Feminism is cancer." Milo's most shocking point for the 2017 Catholic — almost no one else makes it — is that "feminism is cancer," and that it has no place within Christendom. Only a rare bird makes this brave call. As such, his value to the Church is sky high. As I've written before, Christian feminism is a circular square as much as Christian homosexualism is.
Feminism is, arguably, to the laity what homosexualism is to the clergy; feminism rots the laity from within just as homosexualism rots the clergy from within. Milo is one of the few minds in popular Catholicism smart and brave enough to challenge it (as per homosexualism).
3. In other words, his shocker content is almost all good, even if his shocker language is almost all gratuitous. He possesses a serious enough mind to be worthy of the Catholic intellectual's time, even if his popular parlance squints at sounding like a smart guy writing for TMZ. He should consider abandoning the more graphic language, but even if he doesn't, we're Catholics not Puritans, and intellectual merit is the first and only sine qua non for our thinkers.
4. Milo knows enough to pray on his knees. Milo teaches often that "the Catholic Church is right about everything." He fluently quotes Evelyn Waugh, Flannery O'Connor, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, Pope Benedict XVI, St. Augustine and St. Thomas. Contrary to popular opinion, an inaugural "pull" from famous thinkers sounds drastically different from a veteran one, and the America interview convinced me that Milo is used to reading, thinking and reasoning about his faith.
In other words, he knows more than most diocesan homilists, insofar as he seems to understand that the best time in Mass (besides the Consecration) is that golden silence when the tambourine man in sandals puts away his banjo and lets out a prayerful nothing.
The only good reason to shut down a speaker of the truth is scandal — the tricking of the sensus fidelium into error. Milo Yiannopoulous does not upset the truth, even if he offends the sensibilities. If you object to his words — his true ones — ask yourself what teaching is violated by the reproduction of his words. There is no answer that condemns those who do so.