80     Chapter 6    
      The project of New Class Catholicism, the establishment of a
'modern' 'critical distance' from Catholicism, a "belief system" that
fully modern people think is completely unwarranted in the first place,
can have no scientific or intellectual content, and thus can never be
successful, by its own standards. What is the proper 'critical distance'
from the belief that the moon is made out of green cheese? Since the
moon is not made out of green cheese, the only proper 'critical
distance' from this belief is an infinite distance.
      Thus the cries for "academic freedom" within the New Class
Catholic academy are incongruous. They are, solely, cries for a 'critical
distance' from Catholicism, which everyone truly modern thinks is
provably unreal, ridiculous, and potentially dangerous in the first
place. What would the "academic freedom" to make a "serious" inquiry
into the moon being made out of green cheese look like? It wouldn't
look like anything at all. No serious modern person would pay anyone
even a nickel to "inquire" about something so obviously stupid. The
prospect of scores of 'academic' departments all over the country,
employing hundreds of "professors" earnestly editing journals, writing
books, and teaching classes devoted to such idiocy, would be beyond
      If there were large numbers of primitive people who believed that
the moon was made out of green cheese, there would be every modern
intellectual and scientific warrant to study them and their beliefs,
employing "anthropology, sociology, psychology," or any other
science, to do so. However, while there is every intellectual or
scientific warrant for modern academic departments to study the
phenomenon of Green-Cheese-icism, in which large numbers of people
believe something completely ridiculous and absurdly anti-scientific,
there will never be any modern intellectual or scientific warrant for the
existence of an 'academic' department of Green-Cheese-ology. This is
a crucial distinction, and, when it is made, all Departments of New
Class Catholic Theology or of Religious Education become
intellectually and scientifically untenable at a single stroke.
      As mentioned, not only Catholics who see no reason to apologize
for the faith of their grandmothers, but also fully 'modern' secular
people, understand the project of New Class Catholicism to be
inherently ridiculous, to be "why bother?" Catholicism. There is no
'critical distance,' and the project of finding one will never be
successful -- not because Oppressive Church Authorities Will Not
Permit It, but because the project itself is just monumentally silly,
hopelessly incoherent even by its own standards:

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