Gold [public domain / Pixabay]
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I know; the title sounds silly, doesn’t it, like I’m maybe pulling your leg? But actually it is a direct allusion to a saying of Jesus, from the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew 5:11-12 (RSV) “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
I’m rejoicing and am as glad as can be today (applying Jesus’ words), since I have been the recipient of an avalanche of calumny from a radical Catholic reactionary [see my definition of that], as a result of my recent post, Pensées on Radical Catholic Reactionaries. This is what I hear, just about weekly. And it’s been that way for almost 19 years now, since I have had a website and have shared and defended the Catholic faith. It doesn’t bother me, personally. It’s a sort of running joke. But on a slow day, on this New Year’s Eve, with nothing in particular to write about, I thought I would share with you the sort of thing that we apologists regularly hear, and how extremely absurd it is.
As I noted even in my Discussion Policy posted at the top, almost always these sorts of ultra-irrational attacks come from three groups of people: 1) anti-Catholic Protestants or Orthodox, 2) radical Catholic reactionaries, 3) the hostile sort of atheist (or, anti-theist). And so it has been here at Patheos since I arrived in August. If anyone is interested, I have responded to several of the silly and groundless charges on my Facebook page (providing hard facts that the critiques entirely lack).
I’m not interested in sympathy, pity, compassion, any of that (in putting this up). I don’t need it. This stuff doesn’t bother me in the slightest, in terms of harming me or hurting me. It goes with the territory. It’s a weekly occurrence. It does extremely bother me, however, that self-proclaimed Catholics can write such bald-faced lies about other Catholics. That saddens and disturbs me to no end (whether I happen to be the recipient, or anyone else is falsely accused). Therefore, I ask for your prayers for this man. Please keep him in your prayers! He is obviously suffering and hurting a great deal. This level of hysterical hostility doesn’t come from nowhere.
So, without further ado, here is what has been said about me by one man, in the last two days (praise God for the multitudinous blessings!):
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self-appointed lay “apologist”
It seems Patheos picks up all of these sorts.
[He] claims to be an “apologist,”
He is typical of this neo-catholicism that is as destructive to the faith as modernism and the heresies that stem from it.
How generous it is of Armstrong to let me and others worship according to our fathers. How kind of this hypocritical neo-cath and his ilk to show such tolerance.
. . . rage of name-calling of Catholics who hold fast to the tradition of the Church.
He is pathetic dot coms latest poster-boy for neo-catholicism.
. . . his blog whose posts display a pseudo-intellectualism.
You say that Father John Hardon, “loved your work?” Well, if he were alive today, I doubt very much he would “love” your name-calling and online abuse of your fellow Catholics. It is time you stopped riding on his words that nobody can verify how they came about. You shame his memory.
[Fr. Hardon wrote the Foreword of my first book, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism (the Foreword can be read at the book link). I have the letter, signed by him. That was more than adequate proof for Sophia Institute Press, my publisher.]
You are quite petulant and puerile to say the least and I know of one person who has suffered from your writing by following your pathetic example.
Ask yourself if your name-calling is something that is from the Holy Spirit?
Nota Bene: every click you give Armstrong, Shea and others on pathetic.com puts money in their pockets. If you go to his blog, it links directly to pathetic.com as does his FB, It is a racket, don’t feed them.
It’s a textbook study of ad hominem and an utter lack of rational, civil commenting. If someone acts like this towards anyone on this web page, it’ll be their last time here.