Charlie's Blog: June 2016


Make America Great Again

We need a great president.

At the outset, I want to say that I don't think Donald Trump will be a great president. I'm not even sure that he will even be president. But he is right about one thing. This country needs a great president. Hillary Clinton is definitely not that president. That leaves Trump. It is now my task to convince you to vote for this man.

Think back over the last disastrous eight years of Barack Obama as president. Now, do you want four more years of this? Do you want more Obamacare? Do you want more of this recession that Obama economists deny is a recession? Do you believe you are better off now than you were eight years ago? If you answered yes to these questions, you simply vote for Hillary Clinton. There is no way that woman is going to make things better after Obama. On the basis of Obama alone, you should not vote for Hillary Clinton and vote for Donald Trump instead.

Now, this first argument is based purely on the disaster of Obama. When you look at Hillary Clinton, this is a woman who is more crooked than Richard Nixon could ever imagine much less be. The FBI is in near revolt because they know the Obama administration is going to let her skate on felonious acts that should put her in prison for the rest of her life. Instead, she may actually become the first president of the United States to be elected under the shadow of a federal indictment. It would not be a surprise to me at all if Barack Obama's last official act in office was to issue her a presidential pardon. As for the Clinton Foundation, there is ample evidence to suggest that it is nothing more than a slush fund for the Clinton's soliciting and accepting donations from foreigners in exchange for political favors. The woman is slimy as they come.

Clinton's policies are also going to be disastrous. I expect her to balloon the federal deficit even further and advance the pro-choice and pro-gay agenda at every level. If Obama merely took his foot off the brake of these social issues, Hillary Clinton is certain to step on the gas. You can also count on Hillary to make the Supreme Court a permanent left wing tyranny for the foreseeable future with her appointments. As for reining in banksters, it is hard to believe she will do anything about Wall Street corruption when those slimeballs have been paying her millions in speaking fees and campaign donations. All the things Bernie Sanders said about her corruption are true. She is bought and paid for by the fat cats on Wall Street. The one guy they don't want to see in the White House is Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton wants your vote, but if she can't get it, she will be glad to settle for you opting to not vote or to vote for some third party candidate no one ever heard about with no chance of winning. As such, Clinton will take any vote except a vote for Donald Trump. If you vote for anyone other than Donald Trump, you are voting for Hillary Clinton. If you doubt this, imagine the smile you will put on her face when you tell her you will be voting for Gary Johnson in November.

The only reason you should vote for Hillary Clinton directly or by default is that you believe that Trump would be worse than Clinton. I don't see how any sane person could believe that Trump would be worse than that woman. Granted, Trump has made life rough for Establishment Republicans, but they deserve it. Those guys haven't cared one bit about conservatives or the working class people of this country. Those in the Establishment want Hillary, so they can continue to ignore those people. That is sad.

What will Trump do for America? Can he really make America great again? I doubt it. What I know is that he is not likely to make it worse like Hillary Clinton will do. He will most likely appoint pro-life candidates to the Supreme Court. And he will have to appoint Republicans to his cabinet and seek their advice on matters. As crazy as Trump may seem, he has enough sense to surround himself with good people and the stones to fire those who do a bad job. He is also someone willing to make compromises which means compromising with a Republican controlled Congress.

I can understand why many Republicans are not enthusiastic about Trump. You don't have to love the guy or even like him. You just have to vote for him because he is way better than the alternative. Neither Romney nor McCain were good candidates, but you have to admit that things would be a lot better in this country had they won instead of Obama.

There is one thing I can say about Donald Trump. The man loves this country. He also loves the common people while he has no love for the elites that have put this country in the toilet. People in America are tired of feeling like they are working hard so that others can reap the benefits while they are left with nothing. This love for America and for Americans is what puts Trump in the same spirit as Ronald Reagan. Reagan restored pride to this country after many years of humiliation. Perhaps Trump can do the same.

In the end, why should you vote for Donald Trump? You should vote for Trump for the same reason that I am voting for Trump. I honestly believe that the country will be better because he is in the White House. I don't know if we can call it "greatness," but it will certainly be a move back from the disaster that has been Obama. With Hillary Clinton, it will be an extension of this disastrous eight years or even worse. This may be a lukewarm endorsement, but if you wish America was great again, that is reason enough to vote for Donald Trump. He may or may not deliver, but you can say that you tried. But if you let Hillary slide in uncontested, do the rest of us a favor and don't complain about what you get. And you will get it good and hard for at least four years.


A Response to "Reflections on Pride"

Pope Francis is fond of using the word “accompaniment.” People in the church are more and more being encouraged to accompany you. So have hope in your church. 

At the outset, I have to say that the Society of Jesus is no longer the same one founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. I cannot repeat the dreadful things I have heard about the order because they are too scandalous. What I can say is that parents should never allow their children to be around a Jesuit priest. They should also refuse to send their children to Jesuit schools and universities. I also feel for those good Jesuits who serve our Lord faithfully as Jesuits but who may be tarred with this brush. Please pray for your order.

I will begin with this tweet from Father James Martin:
Now, Father Martin loves Pope Francis. They are both Jesuits. But in his glee to praise his pontiff, he has confessed more than he realizes. Basically, he has called Pope Francis out for being a closet heretic needing discipline, censure, and silence. Father Martin recognizes what so many others deliberately refuse to see or acknowledge. He does the faithful a favor though it was not his intention.

The Church's teaching on homosexuality is clear. Here is the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the matter:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. 
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are clear. Homosexual acts are sinful. They cannot be excused, tolerated, or supported. But they can be forgiven. And those with same sex attraction are called to live in chastity.

Do Jesuits like Pope Francis and Father Martin support homosexual license? The answer is obvious--not yet. But we will get there perhaps in the next decade. This is clearly the hope of Father Martin who never explicitly comes out in support of the wrong until the wrong has been declared right. This is that "Jesuitical" thing they have going on over in the SJ. They affirm church teaching while working to change what can't be changed. Here is the definition of Jesuitical from
1. of or relating to Jesuits or Jesuitism.
2. (often lowercase) practicing casuistry or equivocation; using subtle or oversubtle reasoning; crafty; sly; intriguing.
Now, imagine I were to use Jesuitical methods here. Imagine a religious order that has a majority of its members that were homosexual and practicing that lifestyle in an open way. Imagine an order that goes off to conferences that are merely covers for meeting with gay lovers and engaging in sodomy and orgies. Let that image sink in to your mind. Then, see this order covertly working to undermine the Church's teaching on sodomy to make it more "inclusive" and using words like "accompaniment" to smooth over the harsh truth that gay sex is sinful. But, hey, we're just imagining here. Right?

We can go on and imagine that the members of this order use their various teaching posts and positions in various universities and high schools to push this subtle agenda along with things like religious indifferentism, Marxism disguised as "social justice," and the undermining of national sovereignty under the guise of "climate justice." Saul Alinsky would find much to like in this religious order.

We will leave all of this at the level of imagination for the time being as we dig into Father Martin's latest piece for America entitled "Reflections on Pride." It is basically a Jesuitical pat on the back and an encouragement for active homosexuals that they are winning. Hang in there, homosexuals. We are winning in our battle to bring down the Magisterium. Let's begin with the first paragraph;
This weekend in New York City the LGBT community celebrates “Pride Weekend.” In the wake of the Orlando massacres, this event takes on great significance. Now, not every LGBT person will march in a parade this weekend or this month. Some people prefer to stand on the sidewalks and cheer. Some don’t much like parades at all. Sadly, some still have a hard time accepting who they are, and also struggle with their relationships with God.
 Let me decode this one for you, Gentle Reader. Basically, Father Martin is giving a shout out to active homosexuals who would like to be more open about their sinful lifestyles but can't because they are CATHOLIC. Let's go to the second paragraph:
So I’d like to offer some reflections for LGBT Catholics, and for LGBT youth in particular, who may be struggling with their relationships with God and with the church.
You thought I was kidding with that first decoding, but you can see it clearly in the second paragraph. He makes it clear that he is addressing those LGBT Catholics. And his "reflections" are merely encouragements to these people living in mortal sin that the Church will soon descend to the level of their sin and remain there. Here is the third paragraph:
First of all, remember that you were created by God. Psalm 139 says about God, “For it was you who formed my inward parts. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.”
This is where Father Martin tells us all about the doctrine of the imago Dei. I concur with Father Martin. We are all made in God's image. All human beings possess an inherent dignity, and the way you treat your fellow men and women is the same as how you treat our Lord. We will be held to account for our words and actions to these people. Unfortunately, a Jesuit likes to twist the imago Dei to deny sin. He does this in the fourth paragraph:
Have you ever thought of it that way? God knit you together in the womb. God made you the way you are, and gave you to the world. You are God’s gift to the world. You are, as the psalmist says, “wonderfully made.”
Basically, Father Martin is telling gay people that God made them gay. If God made you this way, how can it be wrong? Besides, everybody's a sinner. Father Martin makes this point in the fifth paragraph:
Second, for those who feel excluded from the church, remember that you have as much place in the church as the pope does, or your local bishop does—or I do. How do I know this? Because you were baptized. With the sacrament of baptism, you were welcomed into the church. At First Communion, you were welcomed around the table of the Lord, and at Confirmation you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.
This is where I agree with Father Martin. The sacraments do make you a part of Christ's body. You can be forgiven. But that's the problem. To be forgiven, you have to be penitent. You have to admit that you are a sinner. If you can't admit that homosexual acts are sinful, then you are not allowed at the table. But Father Martin addresses that objection in the sixth paragraph:
Of course it doesn’t stop there. You need God’s grace, you need to confess your sins and you need to be open to continuing conversion. But so does everyone else. So you’re just as much a part of the church as anybody.
Father Martin doesn't say anything heterodox here, but his subtle message over these two paragraphs are clear. Those priests, prelates, and popes who are orthodox can't tell you to leave. And they are sinners, too. This is where Father Martin is wrong. They can tell you to leave. It's called excommunication, discipline, and the rest. Father Martin knows this as evidenced by his tweet above. But the tell-tell is the term "continuing conversion." Now, I know this as sanctification as we grow to become more holy. For Father Martin, you need to be "open" to continuing conversion. What's the difference? It is St. Augustine's prayer to "make me chaste but not yet." It is a subtle distinction sort of like being open to paying rent to the landlord. For the landlord, what matters is getting his check. He doesn't care about your "openness" on the matter. Good intentions are just the paving stones for the road to Hell.

Father Martin continues with the seventh paragraph:
Third, listen to what Pope Francis says in his apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia," "The Joy of Love." “We would like before all else to reaffirm that every person, regardless of sexual orientation, ought to be respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, while ‘every sign of unjust discrimination’ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression and violence.”
This is Father Martin catching the pass from his Jesuit buddy in the Petrine office. Now, I abhor violence done to homosexuals such as when ISIS tosses a few off of a building or one of their nutjobs shoots up a gay nightclub in Orlando. But should a Christian baker be fined six figures for refusing to bake these people a wedding cake? Should a New Yorker be fined a similar amount for the misuse of gender specific pronouns? I would be interested in some clarification on these issues. For some reason, I don't think I am going to get clarity from these vague Jesuits. On to the eighth paragraph:
You may feel that the church hasn’t always welcomed you but things are changing. Pope Francis is fond of using the word “accompaniment.” People in the church are more and more being encouraged to accompany you. So have hope in your church.
This is Father Martin's money shot here. This is that vague "accompaniment" we heard about during that dreadful Synod on the Family. What does this accompaniment mean? Let me bring some clarity to this vagueness. Basically, accompaniment means when a priest or prelate overlooks your sin and lets you take sacraments while being in an objective state of mortal sin in defiance of our Lord and the teachings of the Magisterium. It's like being a lawbreaker but knowing the judge will ignore the written law and let you skate. The reason this is tossed out there is to acknowledge that the Church's teachings can't change, but you can count on the corruption of clerics. On to the ninth paragraph:
Fourth, try to find a parish where you feel welcomed. I know that can be hard. Many big cities have parishes that welcome LGBT Catholics, but not all of them. In that case, try your best to find a parish where you can worship in peace with your brothers and sisters. Sometimes Sunday Masses run by campus chaplaincies at local Catholic colleges or universities may feel more welcoming.  Everyone should feel welcome in church, including you.
Father Martin is talking about those heretical parishes that host gay masses. The New York Archdiocese is full of this garbage with many gay priests living in open sin. Notice that Father Martin says "big cities." This means you need to stay in the closet if you find yourself in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Father Martin points to the split in the Church between those who are faithful and those who are heterodox in their beliefs. Once the Church changes to their mindset, then it can be unchanging. This is evil worming its way diabolically into every bit of the Church using subtlety and craftiness and "accompaniment." Father Martin continues in the tenth paragraph:
Fifth, remember that Jesus loves you. Often LGBT people feel on the margins in the church. But in the Gospels, we see how Jesus consistently goes out to people on the margins, welcoming them into the community. Jesus always sought out those people who felt excluded and made them feel included.
Father Martin has to sandwich his heterodoxy between two slices of orthodoxy, so this slice of bread is the truth that Jesus loves sinners and forgives them. Yet, He somehow loves the sin of sodomy despite what His church teaches. This is the kind of garbage you will find in those heretical Protestant churches like the Episcopal Church. The love of Jesus is "inclusive" and "accompanies" and all the rest.

I have no use for such a touchy feely Messiah. This is because such a Messiah is unreal. Beware those who sell you a sugarcoated Christ. Jesus loves you, but He still condemns those who do not love Him to eternal damnation. Our love for Him should also be accompanied by the fear of offending Him. Yet, Father Martin continues and ends with the distortion:
So get to know Jesus—by reading the Gospels, spending time with him in prayer, encountering him in the Eucharist and finding him in your brothers and sisters. Jesus understands you. He gets you. So get to know him.
Overall, have pride in who you are: a beloved creation of God, a member of the church, and a brother and sister to Jesus, who loves you more than you can know.
Folks, the Jesus you encounter in the Gospels is not an LGBT agenda supporter. The gospel of Father Martin is that homosexual acts are not sins, and Jesus forgives you anyway. Father Martin is free to correct me on the matter at anytime by simply stating in plain language that homosexual acts are objectively disordered and sinful. For some reason, I don't think I will ever get that correction. What I will probably get will be a lot of warnings about homophobia and all the rest couched with a vague threat about making life difficult for me in the Church. Here is my response to Father Martin and to the Society of Jesus:
But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil. 
Christians should speak plainly and without being vague or deceitful. This means that Jesuits should stop being Jesuitical. That is one of the things I like about Martin Luther. He was not given to vagueness or abstraction in his thoughts or speech.


A Response to PZ Myers

. . .I’m still unconvinced by these conversion stories. I guess in order to get a believable answer we’re going to have to strap a few of them to a gurney and wheel in the lasers and giant arcing electricity machines.

Recently, famed atheist PZ Myers posted on his Pharyngula blog a post entitled Why are atheist conversion stories by Christians so damned unconvincing?. I come across many atheist articles on Twitter, and I let them go. But this one was particularly interesting because PZ asked this question, "So I’m still left with the mystery of why — why do people convert to Catholicism?" That question intrigued me because I used to be an atheist, and I am now a Catholic. Should I answer the question? Here is my answer.

People convert to Catholicism for a variety of reasons. Some people convert to appease a spouse or relatives. Others convert to spit in the eyes of those relatives. Beyond those two reasons, I cannot think of any other illegitimate reasons to convert to Catholicism except that you were put up to it by the Freemasons to infiltrate the Church and destroy it from within. Such conversions are lacking in sincerity.

I am a sincere convert because I converted after becoming convinced that the Roman Catholic Church possessed the truth of God's love for me. This is the part where PZ turns apoplectic. He can't believe that anyone could buy into such nonsense, so he offers some psychobabble explanation for the real reason people like me convert:
I have my suspicions, but these true believers will never confess to them, and most likely are even unaware of their motivations. I think a clue is in Price’s comment above: the credibility of the “imposing wealth, power, tradition, even architecture, of the social-ecclesiastical world”. Catholicism in particular is very good at bombing you with the immense weight of its traditions. It’s a kind of tribalism where you choose your tribe not because of a careful assessment of its positions, but because it looks the most powerful.
I think if PZ visited my parish he would have to eat these words. My parish is a century old, and it looks every bit of those hundred years. The roof leaks. The bell barely works. Yet, it is on the historic register because it is old. I have been to many newer parishes that look like they were built yesterday and look nothing like the cathedrals you see in Europe. I have seen churches that make me proud to be Catholic, and I have seen others that could only be improved with a wrecking ball. We can move on to many of the battles and controversies over power and tradition. And I must mention that sex abuse scandal that taints us with the prominent signs posted on the bulletin boards for how to report sex abuse.

PZ presents conversion to Catholicism as a fetish of sorts for the smells and bells of the Catholic Church. This argument may have held some weight in 1950, but it is not so great in the "Spirit of Vatican II" era that has stripped the Church of much of its dignity, beauty, holiness, and truth. This argument amounts to liking Chinese food because you love the look of the plates and have a thing for chopsticks. Then, you see the person eating the food with a plastic fork from a styrofoam container.

I think aesthetics matter, but they are not the reason for my conversion to Catholicism. I suspect this argument may explain why some Westerners convert to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. Such religions seem exotic and new to those raised in dull Protestant churches. But I belong to a religion of mighty cathedrals and plastic rosary beads. When you see a guy take communion in cargo shorts and flip flops then dips out before the end of Mass, the romance of it is pretty much killed.

So, if I did not convert for the sake of my wife or because I dig incense and stained glass windows, why did I convert? PZ answers his own question about the need to strap people like me to a gurney and wheel in the lasers and giant arcing electricity machines. This is PZ trying to be humorous except he forgets that with Catholicism instruments of torture were actually used on those who believe in Christ. Torture and execution have a way of separating the sincere wheat from the insincere chaff. 

They sawed St. Simon the Zealot's body in two starting from the crotch and working their way down. That is a heavy price to pray for being a zealot for Christ, but no one reported him recanting his faith. This is just one of thousands of excruciating deaths people have offered up for their Lord. You may say these are all myths and legends, but the recent murders of Christians by ISIS should help us to dismiss such nonsense.

I don't know if this answer is believable enough for PZ Myers. What I do know is that I doubt that PZ would willingly choose to suffer in the same way for his atheism as these Christians do for their faith. You don't get any prizes for dying for atheism. You just get dead.

Suffering and dying for Christ doesn't prove that Jesus lived, died, and rose from the dead. But it does dismiss the foolish notion that these people are insincere. The fact is that such tragic suffering seems to fuel conversion and make people want to become Christians and Catholics. Why? Why would anyone want to sign up for any of this if they didn't believe it was true?

I believe that Jesus Christ was truly God and truly man. I believe He died in atonement for my sins, and He rose again from the dead never to die again. He ascended into Heaven, and He will come again to judge the living and the dead. And He founded the Roman Catholic Church to let the world know these things and to bring everyone who believes in Him into the loving embrace of communion with Him. I believe that God loves me very much, and I choose to love Him back. And this is why I am Catholic. If none of this turns out to be true, then all my life and sacrifice has been in vain, and I am a fool. But as someone who was an atheist, I can tell you that I was an atheist because I didn't want to hate God but preferred to believe He just wasn't there. You can't hate what doesn't exist. Yet, God revealed to me in His way that He was still there, and He corrected my misunderstanding about suffering in the world. God exists, and He is good. And He loved us so much that He was willing to suffer and die for us. And there are people who love Him so much that they are willing to suffer and die for Him.

Suffering proves sincerity. It removes doubt concerning intentions. The cross of Christ is foolishness for people like PZ Myers. I know because it was foolishness for an atheist like me. People may die for their country or for their families or for an abstract principle like freedom. But to die for the human race? Is the human race even worth dying for? Would PZ be willing to die for a humanity that cursed him and spit on him? Yet, Jesus died for all the atheists who curse Him and spit on Him even now.

So, why does an atheist like me become a Catholic? Why did I change my mind about Jesus Christ? What great scientific fact or philosophical argument moved me to faith? None of those arguments swayed me. I was converted out of love. My wife loved me before I even knew her. She prayed for me to the Blessed Mother who prayed for me to her Beloved Son. And, in His love for me, He reached out to me after all the years I had spit on Him and cursed Him. He let me know that He still loved me, and He always would. And I chose to love Him back.


The Biggest Mouth

We're more popular than Jesus now.

When John Lennon uttered those controversial words, he unleashed a firestorm upon himself and the Beatles. There was a lot of negative reaction, yet the Beatles survived and even thrived in the aftermath of the controversy. Some would argue that the controversy helped propel them to a new level of popularity. There is one thing we can say. Saying it got them lots of free press and fans along the way.

Someone once said, "There is no such thing as bad publicity." The meaning of it was simple. It is better to be hated than ignored. Of course, it would be better to be loved, but you can't count on love. You have to do things to inspire people and make them feel better about themselves or the world. This is a difficult thing. It is hit or miss with mostly miss. But you can always make someone mad.

We live in a world awash in information and media and short attention spans. That is a lot of noise to cut through to reach an audience with a message. The easiest way to be heard above this noise is to be the loudest person in the room. Basically, it helps to have the biggest mouth. But that mouth must also say something to be noticed, and the best way is to be controversial. Controversy provokes anger, and this anger is met with more anger which stokes more controversy. This is not sharing information. This is battle.

The internet breeds a new creature, and this creature has a very large mouth. In various avenues of discussion and evangelization for ideas, we have angry bloggers and vloggers who present messages in the shrillest way possible. Every other word is an F-bomb. Anyone who disagrees is excoriated mercilessly. And the provocateur is paid back in increased readership and viewership as people tune in to witness the ensuing drama. It could be politics, religion, or even veganism. These apostles of anger use the same methods. This begs a question. Is this wise?

I used to be one of those provocateurs for atheism and libertarianism, so I know the drill. I am skilled at playing that game. Now, I am a Catholic and a conservative, and I can't use the tools from that toolbox anymore. It amounts to fornicating for chastity. The method undermines the message. In my case, the message is one of repentance, kindness, civility, decorum, and devotion to Jesus Christ. Now, I continue to make controversial statements, but this is not a deliberate thing. I am controversial now because the things I believe in are not politically correct. But I don't aim to be a jerk.

I write this as I watch a prominent vegan vlogger run to the endgame of this provocateur strategy. First, he merely defended himself from haters. Then, he unleashed hate on those who disagreed with him. Then, he stirred up hate when the original haters tired of his game and let him be. Then, he called for someone to be physically attacked and some teenagers to commit suicide. Then, he turned on his friends. He is now in a Fukushima level meltdown of epic proportions. I don't know where he goes from here except oblivion or jail.

Now, folks, this guy's self destruction is over food. FOOD. Who knew what you put in your mouth could be such a big deal? Somewhere, there are bigger bananas to pop in the Vitamix. If you're going to go to the mattresses, make sure it is something that really matters.

The genesis of all this anger and evil is simple desperation. This desperation becomes most acute when your livelihood is dependent upon views on YouTube. The real fear of the provocateur is that he will go back to being a nobody. He will be forgotten and ignored perhaps to turn up again in some bad reality TV show. The problem with the angry strategy is that it turns provocateurs into trainwrecks. It takes a toll on their lives and their souls.

I tuned out this particular vegan vlogger a long time ago because I noticed that he had very little to say about veganism. Instead, he talked about everything else such as his scantily clad girlfriend to his vasectomy to his aversion to ever becoming a parent and his stint in prison. He inspired a youthful imitator who can't seem to utter a word without it being sandwiched between two F-bombs. Both of them tired me out, so I tuned them out.

As much fun as it is to pick the speck from their eyes, I must work on the log in my own eye. I have eschewed the anger strategy as a blogger, but the impulse to hit back remains with me. It plagues me most acutely on Twitter when I leave comments on other tweets. But I also have that same impulse in the real world. I know two guys who are extremely chill in their response to mean remarks and deliberate provocation. I know because I used to be the one provoking them. Now, I envy them and pray to be like them. Those guys show me that it can be done.

It is harder to take the high road of gentleness, and the results are not immediate. But that high road will take you to a better destination. The low road is quick and easy, but it leads to oblivion in this life and Hell in the next. The biggest mouth comes attached to the largest ego. It is the deadly sin of pride. We must eschew pride and learn to be ignored.

I have been in the school of humility on this for some time. Once upon a time, I knew I could get some blog traffic by picking a fight with a particular group of people. I don't do this now. I try to write thoughtful posts, and I leave out the names if I can like I have done in this piece. My target is not the people but the ideas and the messages. We need to learn to speak the truth but without malice. We also need to learn to endure wrongs patiently. And it helps to just close our mouths sometimes and let the silence speak for us instead.