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  • Writer's pictureJ. Basil Dannebohm

Have no fear: Calm minds and sound doctrine will always prevail



I recently saw an image of a well-known man who is in the ‘business’ of being Catholic. The image, which was posted by the individual himself, included a quote of his own words beside an image of him kneeling and praying the rosary at some sort of protest event against the Roman pontiff.


John-Henry Westen

Saddened, I couldn’t help but shake my head at the post and the pathetic lows that such men have sunk in their quest for admiration: quoting oneself alongside a photo of oneself praying (and turns out, this wasn’t his first such post — he does it often). I think Jesus had something to say about such men. Yet, they seem to have become quite commonplace in several religious movements.


A wise man once told me, "The good does not make noise and the noise does not make good."


Those words were really thought provoking and certainly changed the way I observe current events and the noisemakers. Since then, I haven't watched the videos or read the articles being pumped ad nauseam out by garage studio theologians. As a result, I don't find my head spinning as much and my soul is a lot more at peace. I'm not naive to what's going on in the world. Rather, I am just a bit more discerning of who I listen to and how I process current events.


Peter Kwasniewski

Far too many garage studio theologians salivate at the very notion of becoming the next "big name" on the shock jock Christian speakers' circuit, which is nothing more than a group of gypsies: the same speakers who go from town to town pontificating the same message and peddling their latest propaganda trinkets. In the end their messages share one thing in common: all words of hype and fear with no proposition of any tangible action. Hardly evangelization.


These "influencers" have a few other things in common: many are Roman Catholic converts, the majority are male, and they're almost exclusively overly effeminate. Some of them overcompensate their alleged "recovery" by launching military-esque 'clubs' like a "Grace Force." A few place an absurd emphasis on “the theology of fitness,” suggesting that God prefers (as if they know) men to have overly muscular physiques (justify that one to Aquinas or Chesterton). Others by relentlessly referencing the need for "fatherhood" and "masculinity" to "scare demons away." All of them look for any occasion for a public protest in the form of a march or prayer rally -- which inevitably include a chance for them to step up to a microphone and offer some sort of fear inciting speech. Psychology: 101 has a lot to say about such men and their inner demons, explaining perfectly why they long for attention by means of stirring conflict and fear. They're drama queens, quite literally.


Because God won't be mocked, one by one they're gradually being exposed as self-righteous frauds who maintain a "do as I say, not as I do" modus operandi. Whether or not their delusional devotees choose to believe the facts is another matter entirely. Like most narcissists, the influencers prey on weak and vulnerable audiences. For example, a fringe religious group that perceives itself as being persecuted by some sort of authority figure. Because the influencers' followers are brainwashed by fear, they fully expect the influencer to be "persecuted" by some sort of "nefarious authority" or "sinister media."


Suffice to say, I’m not caught up in the cult of personality that surrounds ‘men with microphones’ and ‘celebrity’ clergy. Rather, I am of the opinion that our minds -- and certainly our souls don't need the latest social media sensation to help us navigate our way through life. Contrary to what narcissistic fear mongers would have us believe, the reality is that nearly every challenge and crisis we face today has been faced by many of the saints in their lifetimes. In the words of such saints, we find wisdom and guidance that has stood the test of time and proven worthy of our trust.


Have no fear. Calm minds and sound doctrine will always prevail. Avoid people who act like a victim in a problem of their own creation. Pray, read the writings of the saints, have hope, and don't listen to the drama queens.



 

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