In yet another post at Fr Z's about the ongoing fracas regarding the honoring of a certain well-known and very pro-abortion public official by a very well-known and yeah-we-might-use-the-word-"Catholic"-but-we-don't-let-it-affect-our-LIVES-or-anything place of higher learning, he makes an off-hand snark about what he calls "The Struggle."
I detect a whiff of the universal excuse I call "the struggle". If you "struggle" with something, you are to be exonerated of any guilt for doing something wrong.
He's right, it is an excellent weasel word.
And is often used when the speaker or writer doesn't want you to think for a moment that he is blaming the person about whom he is writing or speaking.
As long as you don't throw a self-congratulatory party lauding yourself for committing some heinous act, or taking some reprehensible position, you can be said to have "struggled" with the action or position.
The guy who went out for a pack of smokes ten years ago and never saw his wife and kids again?
Struggled with commitment issues.
Realized you couldn't get your party's nomination for dog catcher without championing the "rights of oppressed women" to privately murder the unborn unwanted?
Struggled with the abortion issue.
Wanted to go to war even though your advisers weren't able to come up with any hard evidence for the rationale you wanted to give those whose children were expected to go die in it?
Surely a struggle.
An athlete took banned performance-enhancing substances?
Well, there was that struggle with pressure to be good.
I think nowadays the most common sparring partner in a "struggle" is "demons."
Which is kinda funny, since so many people don't believe in the devil.
Of course, they are usually inner demons (those would be the kind who scratch messages on your skin in unknown ancient languages from the inside? yeah, I seen that movie....)
Me, I struggle with sloth, snarkiness and that last piece of cheesecake.
What's that you asked?
Well, no, I don't win, or anything.
But I get points for struggling, right?