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FIVE

           My initial concerns regarding the qualities of Trent Horn’s Why We’re Catholic turn out to be incorrect; the book is worse than I feared. “Oh my goodness!” I exclaim after Jean reads two chapters aloud, “Could this be any more sleight-of-handy and biased? Such great detail when he’s arguing against others and such glossing over when his stand is weak. I feel like the goal is just to win a debate rather than reveal truth. How… Twenty-first Century American! When was this book published?”

“Hang on,” Jean replies, sipping some water and checking the inside cover, “two-thousand-seventeen.”

“Wow. Just wow. Did you catch his B.C., A.D. dating?” I ask, adding, “How un P.C.! Part and parcel with the presentation though. Forget that less than a fourth of the world thinks Anno Domini is a correct catchphrase or believe Christ walked among us two eons back. Nothing like diversity and this is nothing like it. How you doing with it?”

“The message or the media? This reading aloud thing is hard on my throat. It’s definitely biased -Duh!- and glosses over things. What’s the term for when people fish for facts to support a belief they already hold? Confirmation bias?”

“Yeah, I don’t think that’s the phrase we’re looking for but I’d say that’s exactly what this is, a great big self-confirming soft look at things that support and a take out the microscope and find a flaw in the argument of anything in opposition to Padre Pope’s One True Church. Scary. Data mining? And it’s medium, by the way. Media is plural.”

“You sure?”

“Positive. Junior English.”

“But Horn’s not data mining. That’s a good thing; when somebody takes big data and uses it to come to hitherto unknown conclusions.”

“Did you just say, ‘hitherto?’” I ask. “I’m going to have to pull over and have my way with you if you keep talking like that.”

“Well then I’d better stop, no car nookie for me. You’ll have to wait.”

“That’s the second time you’ve told me that today. And who said anything about a car? Whatever happened to our old friend alfresco?”

“Al is no longer available, especially on the side of one of the busiest interstate highways in the US. Keep it in your pants, Sundance. Ready for more?”

“I haven’t gotten any yet! Yeah, yeah. Read on, McDuff and don’t spare the horseshit.”

“Chapter three, ‘Why We Believe In A Creator,’” Jean intones.