Joseph Bottum, editor of First Things, rightfully takes issue with some statements that appeared in the comments boxes of our threads on Charlotte Allen's critique of Commonweal. After quoting some of the more outlandish comments--left by readers of the blog, not by its contributors--Bottum writes:
Heres what Commonweal magazine thinks of us: Who appointed First Things the guardian of orthodoxy? I wouldnt want to see Commonwealstart responding to Allen, et. al., as though it had something to proveto these people. We dont need their stinking inquisition.
I had always thought of Paul Baumann and Peter and Margaret Steinfels, and others associated with Commonweal,as friends and co-religionists with whom I have productive intellectualand political disagreements. And now I know that they think of meandyou, all of usas Nazis and enemies and undereducated fools. Its asadness.
I want to be clear: what Bottum quotes wasn't written by a Commonweal editor or contributor to the blog, but was posted as an independent response to the blog. I can assure him that neither I nor my colleagues agree with such calumny.