Mark Shea says that Bottum is God's good servant, but the king's first
Matthew J. Franck at First Things speaks of exhaustion (and not just from reading that long-winded piece of calculated moral buffoonery)
Rod Dreher calls Bottum's flip-flop shocking
Pat Archbold calls Bottum a "Fool and Tool"
Deacon Kandra gives us "just the facts" as is his style, along with an excerpt from Bottum's NYT interview which is helpful for those of us who don't want to read the whole sickening thing.
I was going to write a lengthy post myself detailing exactly what's long with Bottum's thinking here, but it's probably not even necessary at this point. Instead, let me give you the same brief list (slightly edited) of 12 points that I shared with a friend right after I read the Bottum piece:
What Joseph Bottum is saying, in a nutshell:
1. My gay friends are nice to me. Except about that "Catholic" part. Then they don't like me anymore.
2. Maggie Gallagher yelled at me one time. I'm still miffed about that.
3. We've already lost the culture on sex.
4. Gay marriage will make gay people monogamous. (Really, he says he thinks so.)
5. Civil marriage because of divorce isn't real marriage anyway.
6. The children? Eh, they'll be fine, even when we pretend right along with their two moms that they have two moms.
7. The late Chuck Colson refused to take my awesome advice about the Manhattan Declaration.
8. Catholics might get persecuted if we fight gay marriage. We can't have that.
9. Did I mention all the prominent gay people I know?
10. Thomas Aquinas would agree with me. Take my word for it.
11. The Church looks too mean when she opposes gay marriage.
12. Richard Rich is my hero! (Okay, so he didn't actually say that, but it's pretty well implied.)
That's really all that is going on, in that long-winded essay of his, except for a 13th point, which is that it's somehow un-American for Catholics to oppose an evil redefining of marriage that will further erode the natural family, put Christians and other believers under the unrelenting attacks of a growing secularist tyranny that is lurching toward dictatorship, and hurt our gay brothers and sisters by selling them the lie that they just can't be complete human beings unless everybody uncritically praises and celebrates their sex lives--because none of that is important compared to our opportunities to engage in preemptive wars and so on.
The Bottum line, ultimately, is that we should just ignore all of that because blah blah blah elite cocktail parties are fun, and so are endless neocon wars to spread the fertilizer of democracy, so let's agree to shut up about evil when it impedes the cocktail party/war consensus. The real bottom line for Catholics, though, is that hoary old chestnut: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
UPDATE: I have to add this link to Rod Dreher's continued analysis of the Bottum essay, where Rod calls Bottum's thinking "alchemy." Which is a nice way of saying that Bottum is mainly guilty of magical thinking masquerading as serious thought--and which I completely agree with.