Reading  through some articles I had bookmarked to peruse when I had more time, I came across a piece by Mark Shea called Pseudoknowledge and the Recent Anti-Benedict Hysteria.  Besides bringing up some great points about the misinformation going around, he has a great section about “pseudoknowledge.”

Here’s a bit:

Some years back, a friend of mine was leaving evening prayer at our local Dominican parish when he found himself confronted by an angry lady scowling at the Dominicans in their habits.  My friend happens to be a history prof at the University of Washington.  The lady started muttering at him about the monstrous crimes of the Dominicans and how everybody (including my friend) was a blind sheep because they knew nothing about the medieval Church and the crimes it has committed.  (Surely, if any subject is taboo in our culture, it is discussion of the sins, both real and imagined, of the Catholic Church).  My friend asked, “What crimes do you mean?”  She replied, “Why don’t you ask your Dominican friends about the 46 million people they killed in the Inquisition in the 14th century?”

My friend had nothing to say in reply to this.  The woman took that as confirmation of her crushing rhetorical blow.  My friend was thinking, “That was roughly the entire population of Europe at the time.  The Dominicans slaughtered all of Europe and then killed themselves?”

Read the rest here.

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