Friday, September 25, 2015

Forster Batterham - Saint Maker

Like most Argentinians, the Pope sounds like a special needs child when he attempts to speak English and, Trumps admonitions aside, he should probably deliver his sermons in Spanish. That way Marco Rubio and Luis Gutierrez (and 4 of my children all fluent in español) would be able to understand him, but most Americans would not. Yesterday he mumbled praise for Abe Lincoln, MLK and uber-Catholic Dorothy Day, but said not a word about the woman's saint maker, Forster Batterham a committed man of the left who's pig headed ideological stubbornness pushed Dorothy into the arms of Jesus Christ (or someone slightly resembling him) and the rest is herstory, as they say.

A happy couple
Forster who? [no Wikipedia entry] Forster Batterham was Dorothy Day's TRUE LOVE and like so many women, especially boho artist types, she found herself socializing with Greenwich Village continental loving socialists and, unfortunately for her, fell in love with one. Part of the tale is told by Robert Ellsberg in a touching article chronicling Dorothy's letters to Forster in the late 1920's and early '30's titled Dorothy in Love. It's heartbreaking reading the words of a 28 year old woman who spent her college and young adult years fucking commies realize that all she really wants in life is for her man to love her, love their child and accept Catholicism. Forster, being a man of the Left, wasn't going to have any of that and after a few years of her pleading, a couple months of separation, more pleading Dorothy finally threw the obstinate, self-centered, radical-athiest man out of her beachside cottage. But she didn't stop writing, and pleading, and begging, and threatening, and cajoling, and worshiping Forster Batterham, but he held fast and shut her out. One can only assume that the situation was dire for Forster - he had hooked up with a free-loving bohemian beauty with every expectation that there would be no strings attached and just passionate love making followed by quite walks on the Staten Island Beaches. Not a year into it the woman was knocked up and demanding a commitment - to hell with the Marxist playbook, she wanted a family and she wanted him to be down for that struggle. There's no easy way for a man to get out of that bind - you can always say, "I don't believe in marriage" or "starting a family with you would violate every tenant I hold dear" but everybody (you, her and everybody else) knows it's bullshit. Forster just didn't want to be yoked to the crazy bitch and he walked away. So Dorothy settled for "wimpy Jesus" as the fall back guy and gave her heart (what was left of the charred and scared thumper) to him and his church. For this she's considered a Saint (almost) and is lauded by the Pope in The Peoples House, but it was Forster Batterham who deserves recognition.


Roseanne T. Sullivan said...

Your smug ridicule puts you in a bad light.

Finding out what complete love was like with Forster opened Dorothy Day's heart and mind to God. She was so full of happiness and gratitude she started to pray. Having her daughter with Forster healed her pain from an earlier abortion, and from her fear that she would never have another child. She had the abortion to try to keep another cad, Lionel Moise, who also didn't want to limit his freedom by getting married. Unlike Forster, he never loved her. Moise left her bleeding and waiting for him to pick her up outside the abortionist's flat. She got an infection and was overcome with depression and tried to commit suicide twice afterwards.

Love with Battersham did lead her to Catholicism. She wanted their baby baptized to give her the gift of faith and rules of life to protect her from the crass exploitation she had experienced in the secular world where people had rejected Christian marriage and responsibility. Day then embraced the faith herself, torn because would no longer be able to live in sin with Batterham. Even though she was in agony to have to give him up, she finally had to break off with him when he refused to marry.

Women were used sexually and expected to act as wives but with no strings attached. The sexual revolution had many casualties like Dorothy Day.

MrWhiteChocolateChasT said...

I don't claim that Dorothy didn't love Forster - she did. I claim that Forster didn't love Dorothy, or at least he didn't love her enough to accept her change of mind (and I suppose change of heart) once she got knocked up. Moise was a typical cad "man of the left" and I'm sure he did lasting psychological damage to Dorothy Day. It's a sad story with a slightly happy ending in that she found Christ, but a sort of wimpy version of Jesus that I don't promote or support - still, I suppose a wimpy Jesus is probably better than no Jesus at all. Thanks for your comment and taking the time to read the blog - I appreciate your comment and I learned something from it.

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