Peter Leithart recently set the cat among the pigeons by claiming here and here that Protestants can’t write. He did this as a Protestant, writing, so we really should be dubious from the outset. Among the scholarly responses to this flight of learned fancy, I commend to you Derek Rishmawy and Steven Wedgeworth.
But I am a simple man, and wanted to offer my own observations on the subject. Here are the seven real reasons Protestants can’t write. Not surprisingly, if you use your imagination, the kind some Protestants do have, you can see the hand of a papal cabal behind most if not all of them.
1. We abandoned the use of McGuffey Readers in the elementary grades, and it has been nothing but downhill ever since then.
2. Most Protestants have their kids in the government schools, which does to writing ability what the DMV does to the speedy processing of a new driver’s license.
3. We Protestants honor the legacy and heritage of John Knox. Consistent Protestants are in heart and spirit, if not in DNA, true Scotsmen. This makes them particularly susceptible to becoming subjects of the “no true Scotsman” fallacy.
4. James Joyce was raised in a Catholic culture, and a lot of us have never really gotten over that.
5. In the twentieth century, there was a rule change in the hyper-shadowy Vatican-controlled writers’ guild — not many people know this — which required all writers aspiring to the realm of the great to be hard drunkards and serial adulterers. This was seen as a calculated and preemptive move against a rising tide of pious Protestants writers.
6. All our future talented writers, thousands of them, were lured with false promises into writing screenplays instead.
7. The Intoleristas of the web, who all know who they are, use every opportunity to call upon The Gospel Coalition (not to mention everybody else) to cease dealing with me. This has had a chilling effect on Wordsmithy sales, which in turn has had a pronounced and decidedly negative effect on the ability of Protestants to write.
This, out of all the reasons listed here, has to be considered to be the most disheartening.