Hey hello everyone! It’s Mary Pezzulo, the Marchioness of Manners, here to tell you how you can bring many souls into the Catholic Faith by being horrible to them on the internet. Yes, the harvest is ready and the laborers are few, but fortunately, you have social media. Social media is a fabulous way to evangelize the multitudes for the glory of Jesus Christ, by being really really annoying. And the best part is, there are just four easy steps to become an apologist!
Step 1: Get a social media profile.
Don’t use your real name. Put the word “apologist” somewhere in the name or the handle. Some Latin is also good, as is a nod to the Virgin Mary. You have to remind people every five minutes how much you love the Virgin Mary or else you might get called misogynistic. Next, you want a profile pic which is not your actual face. Instead, you want an AI-generated image of a crusader, or a piece of sacred art such as the Divine Mercy image, or maybe some vaguely pornographic-looking anime. Throw in either a Vatican flag or a three-bar cross emoji. Once your social media page is all set up, pepper it with the most saccharine religious prayer photos, a couple of quirky memes, a Babylon Bee article or two, and endorsements of the Hapsburgs and Ron DeSantis. Great, now you’re all set!
Step 2: Find people who are minding their own business and tell them they are going to hell.
Don’t just say “you’re going to hell,” though; you have to say it with style. There are three main styles of Catholic apologist on social media: the Unnecessarily Terse, the Unnecessarily Verbose, and the Copy-and-Paste. You’ll need to work with these styles for awhile to see which works for you. I’ll describe the basic gist:
–The Unnecessarily Terse Catholic Social Media Apologist is a man of few words. Sometimes he doesn’t post words at all, just ominous memes such as an AI-generated image of a Crusader chopping somebody’s head off. But when he speaks, the Unnecessarily Terse is a master of minimalism. His favorite word is “lol” as in “You’re going to hell lol” or “Lol you’re not even Catholic.” In addition to a lack of words, the Unnecessarily Terse must avoid punctuation whenever possible. Keep them guessing. Make them think you might be a bot. When your adversary makes a point you can’t refute, just post the word “Lol” or “lol yikes” and get out of there. You’ve done your work for the glory of Jesus and you haven’t even broken a sweat.
–The Unnecessarily Verbose Catholic Social Media Apologist is the opposite of the Unnecessarily Terse. When you are Unnecessarily Verbose, words are your friend and minimalism is the devil. Never, ever use a nice short clear word when a strange and clumsy multisyllabic behemoth will do. Throw in a word that’s technically wrong but seems so very cromulent every so often. Be certain that your writing style is nothing at all like your speaking style. Make them wonder how you type so fast with both pinkies curled. If you’re a man, pretend to be G. K. Chesterton. If you’re a woman, be as cutesy wootsy as you possibly can. Mention extremely obscure private revelations. Swoon over Rosaries and chaplets. Make them think you’ve read Thomas Aquinas at least once. Jesus loves a preening ninny.
–The Copy-and-Paste Apologist is the easiest but also the most frustrating. Refuse to engage your victim in a battle of wits, and instead substitute somebody else’s wits. Don’t tell them they’re going to hell in your own words, copy and paste a Bible verse about hell. Copy and paste long passages from the Catechism in a multi-tweet subthread that breaks off in weird places. Screenshot even longer passages in uncomfortably small print and post them as if that proves anything. Post links to Catholic apologetics puff pieces that don’t exactly make your point but sort of do. Once in awhile, just respond with an irritating GIF. You will bring them to their knees even quicker than the Unnecessarily Terse and the Unnecessarily Verbose. That’s where they belong, after all: on their knees, repenting.
Now that you’ve picked your preferred style, we can move onto Step Three: pick a gimmick.
Every social media apologist has an exasperating gimmick that keeps people engaging with you just to see what you’ll come up with next. There are as many gimmicks as there are apologists and all of them help spread the good news of Jesus Christ. You might choose being hysterically superstitious about demonic possession and ghostly haunting. You might be someone who deliberately follows around traumatized survivors of spiritual abuse and asks seemingly innocent devil’s advocate questions until they have a flashback. If your preferred style is Copy and Paste, you can copy and paste a lot of Latin. You might use the phrase “gender ideology” every five minutes like a foghorn in conversations that are about something else. Maybe you want to be as annoying as you possibly can to provoke the enemy into cussing and then report their posts for verbal abuse. Or, my personal favorite, you can to drive people to drink by misusing clever-sounding terms like “ad hominem argument.” There’s no such thing as a bad gimmick, as long as it’s pesky.
So, you’ve got your social media page. you know your apologetics style, and you’ve got a gimmick. You’re commenting on people’s threads telling them they’re going to hell. You’ve ruined their day. You’ve triggered their religious trauma. You’re really serving Jesus to the best of your ability. There’s just one more step.
All you need now is Step Four: use the word “dogma” a whole lot, and never ever even ONCE use it correctly.
Say “everyone knows that the sayings of the saints are dogma,” or “It has always been dogma that Martin Luther is in hell” or “dogmas such as the Collected Writings of Saint Louis DeMontfort.” Repeat the word “dogma” until your opponent throws their phone into a toilet. It’s tons of fun.
And now you’re all set! You’re on your way to a successful and lucrative career in the fast-paced field of internet apologetics! You’ll probably get invited on Bishop Barron’s podcast! Jesus is going to be so proud of you!
Or maybe he isn’t.
Maybe, just maybe, Christianity isn’t a contest you can win by being obnoxious.
But what do I know? I have it on good authority that I’m going to hell.
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy.
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