Utters Ecstatic, Fawning Praise of My Work . . .
Radical Catholic Reactionary Steve Skojec of One Vader Five infamy, decided to grant me the rare blessing of a “reactionary audience” today, with some actual interaction. This was such a sublime honor that I am compelled to document it here.
Combox commenter “salesgirl” put up a meme at One Vader Five (5-2-16). It stated: “There are no liberal Catholics and no conservative Catholics. There are Catholics and there are heretics.” She then commented: “I’m sure the creator [of] this meme would be banned on Dave [Armstrong] & Scott [Eric Alt]’s blogs/Patheos”.
I promptly put up the meme on my Facebook page, with the accompanying comment, “Yes, they would, if they acted like trolling idiots and violated my rules. But I put up the meme, didn’t I? It could use a bit more subtlety, but it expresses essentially a true statement.” I then linked my Facebook post back to the original 1 Vader 5 post, and wrote, “Fooled you!”
Skojec then started responding. His words will be in blue:
The irony here is that I can’t click through to your link, Dave. Because Ban-Happy blowhardism reigns.
This is what I wrote (alongside my posting of the meme), so you won’t miss anything: [cited the above]
You violated my rules [posted at the top of my site], and so were banned, but lots of others ain’t banned. You’ll survive the crushing blow, I’m sure.
I know the feeling well. I can’t post at all at [very prominent reactionary site] The Remnant, even underneath a (non-substantive / mocking) hit piece they write against me.
Oh…you don’t like non-substantive hit pieces? That’s interesting.
No, I don’t, if they consist of silly videos of “Super Dave” and ridiculous insinuations that no one reads my writing at all (despite my having twenty published books, etc.: four of them bestsellers in the field). I’m quite unimpressed by that sort of bilge.
You do much the same with [fellow Patheos apologist] Scott Eric Alt: all insults and no substance.
Scott Eric Alt wrote, by the way, on my Facebook page:
I haven’t banned anyone on my blog yet. Now, my comments are moderated, that’s true–some of them I haven’t posted (a very small handful). But Skojec hasn’t even attempted to comment there. I’d certainly approve his comments — if they weren’t same rapid gunfire of ad hominem he’s accustomed to on Twitter.”
So you’re welcome over there, if you can manage to drum up some actual substance. I don’t think his patience is infinite, just as mine isn’t, either.
That’s because Alt has no substance. He makes the most vacuous and contrived arguments possible. He doesn’t even show 5th grade level reading comprehension when he analyzes texts while showing off his pseudo-erudition via superfluous verbosity. He’s clearly much more in love with the sound of his own voice than the truth.
You’re a bit different. I’d characterize you as an arrogant bloviator with a penchant for TL;DR [“too long; didn’t read”] diatribes and a need to ban people over the littlest slights, only to keep kicking their carcass when they’re gone, which isn’t very sportsmanslike.
I do believe, though, that you’ve helped people over the years. I have friends who benefited from you before [and] during their conversions before they realized what a self-parody you have become. They find it sad that you’re so far from who they thought you were. So I’ll give you credit for leading people to the faith, at least once upon a time. I also tend to offer additional consideration to the fact that spending too long in combox wars is likely to lead anyone to be a bit off-kilter.
But at the present moment, you’re doing more harm than good with your name-calling and your absurd denials of the truth in front of your face, and that’s why you’re just not taken seriously by many people now. Trying to debate with you about anything is an exercise in futility – not because of your skill as a rhetorician, but because you simply are unable to conceive of any scenario where you aren’t the triumphalistic victor. [Really? That’s news to me]Patheos Catholic was bad enough under Scalia, but with Rosman and Rocha (or whoever is riding the revolving door through the top position at the current moment) it’s just a joke. You and Alt are like a couple of kids throwing a tantrum to get noticed, but you just don’t deserve the attention. If you’d chuck the confirmation bias and actually address the problems Catholics are facing, that could change. Until then, no dice.
We’re trying to do work here that matters, and we don’t have time for playground fights. I have no interest in wasting my time in either of your comment boxes going around in circles when I have actual content to produce. [Funny then, that he did exactly that in my comments here before I banned him; now he says, in revisionist fashion — after the fact — that he has no time for it. Readers can readily see above, why he was banned]
Thank you for the most illuminating comment.
The work of my apologetics / evangelism apostolate (now 25 years and running: the last 14 1/2 full-time) speaks for itself. But for those who need “proof” of its fruitfulness, they may see in unsolicited communications the many hundreds of conversions and returns to the Church or a more vibrant faith that have occurred by God’s grace, partially because of my writing. Even Skojec, in the midst of his nuclear blast, couldn’t completely deny the obvious, and so he conceded, “I do believe, though, that you’ve helped people over the years. I have friends who benefited from you before [and] during their conversions . . . So I’ll give you credit for leading people to the faith, at least once upon a time.”
Newsflash to alt-Pope Steve: it’s still happening; it never ceased being the case. In fact, as I was writing this, I received another unsolicited remark in a completely different context (a linked post about increased priestly vocations), from Maggie Peterson, on Facebook: “Love the Catholic Church with all my heart and Mr Armstrong has a great part in that through his books.” I get letters like the following all the time (they can be read at the link above):
Count my husband and me among the converts helped and convinced by your books [formerly Baptist]. Oh and our four children — count them. Our whole household converted.
Carol Wiggins Malone, Facebook, 12-3-15
Nothing has changed at all: except for Steve and his ilk becoming reactionary fundamentalists. So they falsely think I have changed, because they operate from the perspective of their own pharisaical / legalistic / naysaying heads and souls and hearts. These people that he references, who used to like my work and now do not (and I believe that Steve himself was a Facebook friend at one time), nevertheless cannot deny that I helped them into the Church. They can only deny that I helped them in their “second reactionary [pseudo- / illegitimate] conversion” (as I have recently posted about).
The fact that my work keeps having an effect, and (above all) that I continue to rebuke reactionary garbage, which is leading many souls astray, is (rest assured) what is so threatening to Steve. So he feels compelled to lie about myself and my work, in order to try to minimize its impact. Many have tried to do that through the years (reactionaries, anti-Catholic Protestants, and the angry type of atheists alike).
I could fill up a long book with the innumerable variety of insults sent my way over the years. It would look as big as the New York City phone book. All have failed. I’m not here for the money (ha!), nor to win a popularity contest. I’m here to help win souls and to proclaim and defend the fullness of the Christian faith, to be found in the Catholic Church. So flail and defecate away, all ye slanderers, insulters, and liars. No skin off my back.
“You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16; RSV)
Meta Description: Interaction with reactionary Catholic Steve Skojec, who runs the One Vader Five site (it specializes in savaging Pope Francis, the Novus Ordo, etc.)
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