Dear Mr. John Kass,
This morning, while at church, with my husband and children, good Christians, all, I received a text from a fellow writer:
No, I replied, since, as a good Christian, I was at church with my husband and children (I was, however, reading a text during the sermon so…you be the judge…) and hadn’t had a chance to read the newspaper so dutifully delivered to my doorstep earlier that morning.
How noble of you, Mr. Kass, to hover with the common writers, to lower yourself from your lofty Towers of Tribune perch. How indignant you were! How annoying it must have been for you, oh, bearer of the great Tribune writing torch, to even read a blog (the lowliest kind of writing, the lowliest kind of writer…akin to, in many circles, a leper…wait…is that politically incorrect? Never mind. I’ll Google it.).
You say, in your column (for which you get paid, yes, and receive benefits, I suppose), that,
One blog at ChicagoNow, part of the Tribune media group, purported in a fake news story to have interviewed the Roman Catholic Pope Francis. At this newspaper, we’re not allowed to make up fake interviews with popes. But some blogs must operate under different rules. Accoring to that blog, “Pope Francis” defended Kuma’s. He said he might like his Ghost burger sent to Rome.
"Perhaps…if this Kuma considers lowering the price so that families with kids – good, breeding families with 8-10 kids – can eat there. You know, like McDonald’s,” the fake pope said.
That’s how some refer to women with children. They’re not mothers, they’re breeders, you know, like sows producing livestock. Is that part of Chicago’s values too?
My heavens, Mr. Kass, sows and livestock? I, myself, am a breeder. And damn proud of it.
Have you heard of satire, Mr. Kass? I mean, really have you?
I remember, a few years back, my now-retired minister (you’ve probably heard of him, Mr. Kass, because he was the spiritual leader of the Christian church where I’m a Christian…he’s right up there with Martin E. Marty…yes, Mr. Kass, even lowly bloggers are allowed to name-drop spiritual scholars' names), focused on how Christians should have a sense of humor about their faith while, at the same time, not allowing themselves – when threatened -- to turn the other cheek. He related a story about being in the car with his wife, also a Christian, when someone cut him off and, in the full grip of road rage, started yelling at him.
He, instead of doing what might be expected of a good Christian, checked with his Christian wife who gave him the thumb’s up, and responded in a measured, sensible way.
So, Mr. Kass, I commend you for defending Christianity and pointing out how a burger has offended you. We need more strong, if not dour, Christians like you.
So here's where I defend myself.
Thank you for pointing out, Mr. Kass, that "at this newspaper, we’re not allowed to make up fake interviews with popes. But some blogs must operate under different rules.”
I am guessing, Mr. Kass, that you have not read my non-satirical blogs (I can see you shivering at the prospect of even typing the URL…but I bet you could do it if you closed your eyes and took a deep breath). In fact, I often read other papers (yes…I know…shocker!) and reference them in my blog (and, again, Mr. Kass, I realize that this isn’t real writing, it’s not writing by people who are paid by an institution or people who have Ivy League degrees).
Let me define this new-fangled thing we call ‘a blog,’ Mr. Kass.
blog: a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc., on a regular basis.
I have to question your motives, Mr. Kass. Do you own Kuma’s Corner stock? Because you, as you accuse this blogger of doing, are only bringing more attention to Kuma’s Corner (on the corner of Belmont & N. Francisco Avenue) by focusing your Sunday column on Kuma’s Corner (did I mention it’s on the corner of Belmont & Francisco Avanues?). You must know, Mr. Kass, that you are giving them an amazing amount of free press.
I’m not Roman Catholic, but I am a Christian, and I was offended. And sickened. And angry because the predictable happened. Kuma’s got the public buzz. And half-wits couldn’t wait to mock Christians who were offended.
Half-wit, now, you say? This is where I stop thanking you, Mr. Kass. And, yes, while it’s true that my parents are first cousins, and my grandparents were siblings, I don’t find it very Christian-like to call someone a half-wit. Even I, with all of my inbreeding (there’s that horrible, horrible word, again!) find being called a ‘half-wit’ downright hurtful.
You want to know what I find offensive and sickening? Malala Yousafzai being shot because she was brave enough to speak her mind. The Westgate Mall massacre in Kenya. Attacks on Christians who supported Morsi’s ouster. There are many things I find offensive and sickening.
A Kuma’s Corner burger isn’t one of them.
If you were really concerned with not offending people, Mr. Kass, you wouldn’t have written this:
Say, a Muhammad burger, of pork belly and fried pigs’ ears. Or a King David burger, of ground pork loin, bacon, cheese and a mandatory milk shake. Or a Buddha carpaccio plate with raw egg, or a secular Obama burger that costs only $17 trillion.
And, for the record, you stole that idea from my blog post.
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