Through the Looking Glass

Through the Looking Glass January 14, 2019


Family portrait done by my dear friend, the talented artist Jules, as a gift for us when we hosted Thanksgiving two years ago. Check out more of Jules’s stuff on Instagram!


My mom and I were just discussing the bizarre crises of identity this whole Church Militant shit show has stirred up within us.


The thing you need to understand is, I was raised by a man who worshiped Michael Voris and CM. My father praised my writing even as he constantly tore me down. He tried to turn me into the disfigured, judgmental, hate-flinging kind of woman that Christine Niles is. As someone said recently, one of the most destructive forces in the world is a woman who hasn’t dealt with her own trauma.


I went to Franciscan hoping to “convert the world for the Sacred Heart.” Unfortunately, the Catholicism I was raised with would have made me turn hearts even farther from that love and mercy. I was firmly set on a path to destroy, a path of judgment and hate for myself and others.


Well. I have done the trauma work. I spent nearly two years in intense trauma therapy for the PTSD that my father’s abuse caused. I still have flare ups. I had a bad one just a few weeks ago on Christmas Eve. But I am stronger now. I have powerful support systems and I’m still learning good coping mechanisms.


And because I met brilliant, amazing, irreverent, pious, inspired, and most of all loving people (almost all of whom I met at Franciscan University or because of it) I now like myself. That’s new. And different.


I asked my mom this morning if the article I wrote yesterday triggered her. My deepest fear remains becoming a mirror of my father, a person who writes and “evangelizes” only to tear down and destroy.


She told me,

You ask if what YOU wrote triggered any Brian crap from our past ……. To repeat myself, not what you wrote, but the WHOLE Church Militant THING attacking Lewis makes me remember how Brian followed Michael Vorus as some kind of modern day prophet…..CM calling people to Repent and Believe!
I feel like we are truly living in a twilight zone TV episode. Think about it. We have WEIRDLY lived in 2 opposing Roman Catholic worlds in less than 5 years. This shift from black and white-trad-conservative on one hand to the more loving, free, Suzanne Lewis approach to Catholicism on the other hand. My head is spinning from this drama, my cold, our quickly changing reality.


I told her that I get it. It really is so weird. But I have so much more peace and joy now, and that’s how I know this new world of ours is good.


I used to live in such fear and misery and hatred, always judging others. Now I pity them, as I used to be them.


It is just so weird. Brian tried his best to raise me to be one of them. It is bizarre, because despite his best efforts, we’ve stepped through the Looking Glass and found wonder, joy, friendship, and curiosity on the other side.


So. Here’s cheers to that. And gratitude to those who helped us (y’all know who you are). Because of you, we’ve found the magic and strength to step through the glass from black and white judgment and condemnation into a gorgeous world of color and mystery on the other side.

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  • Ame

    We are all needlessly flinging mud at each other rather than remembering each other’s humanity. Everyone has their story and personal tragedies and trails that led to their current point of growth or lack thereof. I am sorry that you have suffered harassment and slander and wish I could make it stop. Anyone who does that to you needs a hard lesson in humility to stir them into repentance and apology, or if not, meet legitimate justice to correct the consequences of their actions. We need to stop confusing vigilantism for moral righteousness.

    That being said, I personally know Christine Niles and outside of the Church Militant mess, she is a woman that I would entrust my children to if something should happen to me, meaning that she is already a loving and intelligent parent. I take offense of anyone calling her vile or hateful. She is a woman deeply concerned about the state of the Church, but I am afraid that in her zeal, she has become blinded by Michael Voris’s version of “journalism.”

    While willing to report what no one else wishes to investigate and being tougher on bishops than any other Catholic news organization, it greatly disappoints me that the organisation chooses to ignore reporting ethics, quotes people out of context, and follows the trend of mixing opinion with facts. These errors lead to sins of libel, slander, calumny, etc. All in the name of defending Church and truth. It disheartens me that his reporters fail to recognize those errors. But how much can I blame, them? Could it be that Voris recruits people who have no professional journalistic background? Could be that they justify themselves by pointing how mainstream media has been doing this ever increasingly (people appreciate the “Wag the Dog” movie and Trump crying “fake news” because of these errors that mainstream media refuses to take seriously or admit)? Look at the blogosphere: Anyone can write anything and have an audience that will believe, regardless if that person has a journalism degree or is an amatuer with a charismatic knack for writing. There is little peer or self correction happening as news breaks out. People wail about perceived injustices over scanty reporting of facts, only to have fact checking prove we had the story wrong from the beginning, but still no follow up to admit one’s opinion was in the wrong. If readers get upset over click bait titles that do not accurately summarize the actual topic being written, so many bloggers throw up their hands and say “hey, the blog editor chief is responsible for the title, I do not get to choose it.” And don’t get me started on how comment sections just make person turn into a monster. This is the digital era of yellow journalism and we’re all (even me) feeding into it rather than reforming it. We’re all hero and victim to mob.

  • Cbalducc

    Most American Catholics have never heard of Church Militant and the people involved with it. Is this Franciscan U controversy evidence they are not just a noisy fringe but a group with real clout? Who is backing them?

  • Katie Cunningham

    I believe Ms. Kopp is in the position where to honor the 4th commandment, as you see it, in regards to her father, would necessitate her breaking not only the 4th comandment in regards to her mother and breaking 8th.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Katie C:

    Absolutely not! Father and mother are untied in this matter. There is no requirement to disparage the good name of a person in public i serviced to the truth.. Indeed we are prohibited from publicly telling the truth about a person’s alleged faults unless motivated by necessity. The daughter in question is simply virtue signaling, feeling sorry for herself in a very public manner and attempting to destroy her family by attacking her dead father.

    A truly evil young women.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Mary Marshall

    Dr. Brian Kopp is still alive and shamefully his daughter did not correct this erroneous assumption. Virtue signaling run totally rampant and off the rails.
    Prayers for God to help this fractured situation.