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.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Kopp:

    I realize that it is now quite fashionable to attack your father in public and blame all your unhappiness on him. All the cool kids do it. But apparently the man is dead. Would it not be better to spend your time praying for the repose of his immortal soul rather than trashing his memory? After all he was your father.

    Kindly reflect.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • AveMaria17

    Brian Kopp, the podiatrist, whom I read for years on That Brian passed away? I recall he had heart trouble. My condolences. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

  • Scott Galletto

    16] For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek. [17] For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith. [18] For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice: [19] Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them. [20] For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.

    [21] Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. [22] For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. [23] And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. [24] Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. [25] Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

  • Maggie

    “Wonder, joy, and curiosity” while denigrating your father and his “Brian crap” along with “Church Militant shit”…and name calling Christine Niles….golly, does not sound very joyful or loving to me but rather another person who emerged from FUS rather twisted. Something is terribly wrong at FUS these days.

  • the rein man

    If violating the 4th commandment by publicly trashing your (presumably dead) father is an example of the “peace and joy” that you have found, then the new “approach to Catholicism” that you and your friends at Franciscan have found has left you abandoned.

  • I live in a third world, where priests disobey the Bishop to hold LGBT marches and for a decade I didn’t feel safe talking about heterosexual marriage or parenthood at Church.

    Then we got a priest who was slavishly obedient but didn’t explain why, took the mass attendance down to 25% of what it was formerly, alienated the school parents and the baby boomers, and disappeared on sabbatical one day and never returned.

    Then we got our current priest- who isn’t afraid to talk about sin, isn’t afraid to mention abortion, isn’t afraid to proclaim heterosexual monogamous marriage without divorce as best for children- and suddenly I can’t keep Oregon Knights of Columbus Baptismal Pin presents for mothers in stock because they only give me 10 a year and we have 2-3 baptisms a month. Orthodoxy is cool!

    But when you are too extreme, it is all too easy to look at the middle of the road and say “there’s the other side that I hate” without being able to see the cars for the traffic.

  • 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?

  • Like the other two fringe Catholic groups, they’re very much a roaring mouse.

  • Cbalducc

    There’s only two? What are they?

  • Sexual liberals and fiscal liberals, in the United States snyway

  • Richard W Comerford

    Ms. Kp[[
    Re: Witches

    I hope this is not true. But apparently there is an article which claims that you identify as some sort of witch. (See… as do, Dr. Lewis and his wifewho are also public supporters of what appears to be a witch group.

    Are the claims made in the above cited article are true?

    I pray that they are not true.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Dave G.

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

    I wonder how many who jumped on the Covington students are coming to that same conclusion.

  • Timothy J. Williams

    No, this person is just a sad individual. There is something very right at Franciscan… the overwhelming majority of faculty and students trying to live the Gospel with charity and joy, despite our very human faults.