One of the honors of my life is that I'm godmother to Lydia Ruth, one of a pair of (now 2-year-old) twin daughters of my friend Ben Foster/Weasel, founder and frontman for the punk band Screeching Weasel.
I met Ben through my brother Joe, founder and frontman of The Queers, and though I've never pretended to be part of the punk scene, my hat has always been off to the grit, hard work, and--so sue me--genius of both bands. One of the most touching things I've ever heard, in fact, is the respect with which Ben and Joe talk about each other when neither is within earshot, especially as these are guys with nary a sentimental bone in their bodies.
Anyway, Ben and his wife are both Catholic converts and last year, at SXSW, a very unfortunate incident occurred wherein (short version) a female "fan" jumped onstage while Screeching Weasel was playing, words were exchanged, and Ben hit her.
An uproar ensued; Ben, properly remorseful, publicly apologized; and in this Weasel Radio podcast, at 18:45 he goes into a truly great riff about the reaction of the punk world vs. the reaction of his Catholic friends in the aftermath. Not to polarize, obviously, but I, too, have noticed that the anti-religion-on-the-grounds-that-religion-is-rigid brigade can sometimes be fanatically rigid, closed-minded, and psychologically violent themselves.
As Ben says, the Catholic paradigm is basically that of the prodigal son who trails home after squandering his inheritance in the mire, is deeply grateful to have been invited back to the table, and realizes I'm pretty much a buffoon, trying to make my way just like everyone else...
Here's the link if you want to listen on mynorthwest.com.
If you only tune in to the clip in question (again, starting at 18:45), don't miss Screeching Weasel's "Science of Myth" directly following!
More audio at MyNorthwest.com
Heck, I might just start a podcast myself!