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Returning to Reality

And Jesus answering said unto them,
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
and to God the things that are God’s.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost . . .

On February 28, as Pope Benedict XVI was leaving office, the magician Penn Jillette was interviewed on CNN by Piers Morgan, a nominal Catholic.  Morgan, a critic of Benedict, thought he would have a sympathetic ear in Jillette, an outspoken atheist, but the interview quickly took an amusing turn as Jillette began lecturing Morgan on the teachings of the Catholic Church, which Jillette got (mostly) right.  Morgan pushed back, but in the process only revealed his own ignorance of why the Church teaches what She teaches.  Jillette made short work of him, as would anyone even modestly versed in Catholic theology.

Catholic commentators, especially those who are politically conservative and thus despised Piers Morgan for other reasons, enjoyed a bit of Schadenfreude at Morgan’s expense.  One obvious lesson—which many of the commentators drew—is that Catholics of Morgan’s generation (he is 48) were poorly catechized.  If an atheist can beat a reasonably intelligent Catholic not just in technique but in the substance of a debate over...

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