Charlotte, you may like the Commonweal crowd, even while you were criticizing their pages. For that matter, I like them; the editor, Paul Baumann, in particular, has always seemed a great guy to go get a drink with.
But you need to remember that they hate youand me and everybody associated with First Things. This weekend I read a posting on the Commonweal blog by J. Peter Nixon, replying to you, and I thought it very interesting. Oh, a little side-swipey about First Things, but your post was a little side-swipey about Commonweal, so why not? And Nixon's point about the old Catholics' deep enculturation seemed very much worth writing about.
But this morning, when I started to do that, I took a look at the posts here and here, and my skin began to crawl. It's on the Commonweal website that you will find, for instance, a charming reference to George Weigel as "Field Marshall Weigel." The Nazi theme is picked up by the poster who quotes approvingly a website that claims we "would warm the heart of Goebbels."
Meanwhile, the purpose of the First Things crowd is "to disrupt and divide mainstream Protestant churches." You, Charlotte, are equated with "favorite bible verses of Anne Coulter." And, of course, "Michael Novak would have been a different person if Hans Küng accepted him at Tubingen or at least one university would have accepted him for a doctorate." Here's what Commonweal magazine thinks of us: "Who appointed First Things the guardian of orthodoxy? I wouldn't want to see Commonweal start responding to Allen, et. al., as though it had something to prove to these people. We don't need their stinking inquisition."
I had always thought of Paul Baumann and Peter and Margaret Steinfels, and others associated with Commonweal, as friends and co-religionists with whom I have productive intellectual and political disagreements. And now I know that they think of meand you, all of usas Nazis and enemies and undereducated fools. It's a sadness.