Dear Mr. Long,
I’m sure you’ll agree that words mean things; that words have conventional definitions as described in dictionaries; that when words are used, individually, in phases or sentences, the conventional definitions indicate intention and opinion.
If you agree, then let’s take a look at a few of the words and phrases you used.
1. Why, Mr. Long, did you imply in the title of your opinion piece that Catholics “smell like horse manure”? (As written: ) Words have meanings. The use of “…Only Bad Smell from the Riding Club Was Horse Manure…” in the title unquestionably indicates you believe Catholics are equivalent to equine excrement.
2. And what of “silver tongue”? According to Wikipedia, “Silver tongue is an expression used to describe a person who is able to clearly and effectively express themselves, or who has a clever way with words. The connotation associated with accusing a person of having a "silver tongue" is, in itself, ambiguous. While at once it is admission of sophistication, it is in some cases an accusation of deceptiveness. Regardless of the connotation, the expression denotes a definite ability to effectively convince with rhetoric.” (Emphasis mine.)
3. What of your use of the term “sophistry”? According to Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary, the term means, “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation”. So it was your intention to label Fr. Frank, in particular, and, Catholics in general, as “…subtly deceptive…”? (Emphasis mine.)
I am Catholic, Mr. Long. If it is as you publicly state you believe, that Catholics and the Church “smell like horse manure”, then I am ever so proud and grateful to wear what you attribute to be the “cologne of my faith”.
And, Oh! Mr. Long…I trust you will agree that it is horse manure, the very substance you call a “bad smell” and to which you connect Catholics and Catholicism, that enriches soil and grows the most abundant and beautiful of gardens.
In Christ, I Bid You Peace, Mr. Long.
Cyndie Ulrich, Parishioner
Blessed Teresa Catholic Church