Dean, a friend and reader of this blog and a friend of Christopher West, makes some insightful comments regarding West’s appearance on ABC last week:
I can tell you that the ABC piece was unfair but not exactly a distortion. Chris very much likes to say things that are shocking or provocative (e.g., linking our late Holy Father and Hugh Hefner) in order to get your attention, and then follow that up with an explanation that is much less inflammatory (and very solid, more on that below). I’m not competent to say whether or not this is effective as a pedagogical strategy, but I can tell you that it doesn’t do him any favors in contexts like this. When people are exposed to some of his “quotable quotes” without having access to all the surrounding explanation and nuance of the full presentation, they have a tendency to react very negatively, and it’s not unreasonable for them to do so. So yes, ABC chopped and cut to make it into “good TV”, but given the way he likes to express himself this was (to some extent) a nice fastball over the middle of the plate for them.
Having said that, if you take the time to get the full presentation (whether at a talk or in one of his books) there’s no question but that he knows what he’s talking about, he is very much in line with JPII’s thinking, and that his intentions are absolutely of the best.
Read all of his comments here.