Why Are Some Catholics “Militarizing” their Faith?

Why Are Some Catholics “Militarizing” their Faith? December 31, 2018

Okay, dear readers, it’s time we had a talk about cultural appropriation. No, I’m not talking about what you think I am; I’m talking about Catholic men who get all excited about comparing spiritual warfare to actual warfare, who militarize their own faith. Yes, I’m aware that the Church already has a fair bit of militarism about it, with the whole battle between heaven and hell, Saint Michael, and so on.

I’m not talking about that; I’m talking about the ones for whom the phrase “church militant” actually just means “militant.” The ones who are obsessed with the trappings of war, the medieval Catholic Church, and overweening masculinity. Why do these men – and I say men because it’s rare to find women peddling this schtick – feel the need to militarize the trappings of their spirituality?

The Gear

First off, let’s start with the gear. Honestly, what kicked this post off was the discovery of the “Gun Metal Patriot Combat Rosary” being sold online by one of the many purveyors of religious stuff. This one’s a doozy, folks. Made by a Father Richard Heilman of Wisconsin, this rosary has been designed to – and this is an actual quote – “use the most powerful of sacrementals by adding the Benedict Medal and Pardon Crucifix, which makes it a powerful spiritual assault weapon against evil forces.”

What makes it a “patriot” rosary? It’s got a little medallion of the U.S. on it in order to “Make America Holy Again.” Oh, and it comes in a “cool Spiritual Ammo Tin.”




There’s a lot to unpack here.

First off, I doubt that God cares too much about nation states. There’s a shocking lack of nice things said about them in the gospel. Second, the idea that one’s prayers are somehow more efficacious if said while holding different kinds of medals really makes one wonder how some of the great saints of the Catholic Church managed to actually gain their sainthood without such marvelous devices. And if a platoon of demons is somehow put off by the gear of their target, then I don’t think they’re very effective demons.

These are the people who took the whole Ephesians 6 bit about the armor of God literally (incidentally, Ephesians 6:5 is where Paul tells slaves to be obedient to their earthly master; sure, he tells masters to be nice too, but one gets the feeling that was broadly interpreted).

Never mind that for actual combat this piece of metal is worse than useless, since the metallic jingling completely blows all noise discipline. If you actually want to be tactical, use a wooden rosary or one of those free plastic ones that the chaplain always hands out. I’m pretty sure your prayers will shoot just as straight. If Jesus cares more about the make of your rosary than the intentions behind it, then you might not have the right Jesus.

Also, we in the military already have a combat rosary. Two, actually. The one are the hands that God gave you that you always have on you. The other is the set of ranger beads you have to count your paces. If you can’t manage a good couple decades between those two while trying to stay awake on a ruck march at night, well then I don’t know what to do with you.

As an entertaining aside, Father Heilman has established the “U.S. Grace Force,” the newest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces; with responsibility for warfare in the spiritual realms. That’s all from his website; I wrote that with a straight face, can you believe it? Seems like he’s pushing for his own combatant command over there in Wisconsin.

Militarized Lingo

The other weird schtick is the adoption of military terminology. As we saw above “assault” and “combat” are some favorite terms. There’s no lack of “badass” videos about putting on the armor of God on YouTube. Then there’s this Father John Zuhlsdorf (who warns a “feminized Church is a weak institution. It puts soft devotions ahead of the Cross”), who wrote a rosary-based running cadence. No, not a useful one, for when you’re actually running and need something rhythmic and repetitive such as the rosary to modulate your breathing; no, a motivational rosary cadence. Here it is, in all its…well, have a read.

And that’s just a snippet. It goes on for some time.

For some reason, all these dudes love the Marine Corps, too. You rarely find militant Catholics using Air Force or Navy speak. It’s a weird blend of machismo and misplaced anxiety about their role in the world.

The Reason

So what is it about these men – many of them priests – who have such an obsession with the military? Or rather, with aspects of the military but not the military itself? Because one thinks they could have just joined; where they would have found that the military is more rules and paperwork than chest-thumping, as the rest of us found. Incidentally, the same goes for the Catholic Church.

No, they like the militant overtones, the trappings of war without the fear of imminent and horrific violence. It makes them feel empowered by the perceived virtue of their cause.

It’s nothing new. Militarization occurs everywhere in society. Even within the military you get people who buy all the latest gear and gadgets in order to look “tacticool.” Are they efficient and effective? Not usually. These geardos obsess over the accouterments of war, not the function of it. Much like those who espouse a militancy in their fervor for their religion.

There’s a darker reason behind the “church militancy,” and it comes in the form of the “otherism” that turning religion into spiritual warfare brings with it. It allows the one side to paint themselves as standing in the absolute right; God is on their side (Lord, where haven’t You heard that before?); the Lord goes before them, so who can stand against them?

There’s an old military adage that the enemy has a say about when a conflict ends. So too, God has a say on which side He joins on. And I rather think He does not take delight in the wholesale slaughter of His daughters and sons. Nor the glorification of it in His name.

Real Heroes

But if you are actually someone who finds that military analogies work for you, our own U.S. military history has two incredible role models for you.

Father Vincent Capodanno (Lieutenant, U.S. Navy) ministered to men of the 5th Marines in Vietnam in 1967 during a fierce fight near Dong Son. He repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to give aid – both medical and spiritual – to wounded Marines. In this effort, he was twice wounded but refused treatment. Spotting a corpsman who had fallen outside the perimeter, attempting to treat two wounded Marines, he ran to the young men. As he provided aid to the corpsman, shielding him with his own body, Father Capodanno was cut down by machine gun fire.

The former Maryknoll missionary to China was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1969.

Father Emil Kapaun celebrates Mass using the hood of his jeep as an altar, as his assistant, Patrick J. Schuler, kneels in prayer in Korea on Oct. 7, 1950, less than a month before Kapaun was taken prisoner. Kapaun died in a prisoner of war camp on May 23, 1951, his body wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. (Photo by U.S. Army Col. Raymond A. Skeehan) (Photo Credit: Col. Raymond A. Sheehan)

Father Emil Kapaun (Captain, U.S. Army) was serving with 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment during the Korean War when his element was overrun by Chinese soldiers and had to retreat. Kapaun, who had been helping move the wounded to the casualty collection point, volunteered to stay with the wounded and now found an injured Chinese officer and negotiated for the safe surrender of the U.S. troops. He also placed himself between one Chinese soldier and one Sergeant First Class Herbert Miller, preventing the enemy soldier from executing the sergeant.

In captivity, Kapaun helped the soldiers resist the emotional manipulation of their Chinese captors, kept them active with small acts of disobedience of defiance, worked to keep a coherent command structure in place (destroying this was one of the ways that the Chinese could break prisoners), mediated disputes, and generally kept up morale. He gave away his own food to fellow prisoners as well.

Father Kapaun developed a blood clot in one of his legs, along with a myriad of other illnesses, and weakened quickly in early 1951. He was removed by the prison guards and left alone to die of malnutrition and pneumonia, which he did on May 23, 1951. He was placed in a mass grave.

On April 11, 2013, President Obama upgraded his Distinguished Service Cross to the Medal of Honor.

Both men are also on the list for possible canonization. One thing is very clear about both of them. Both were humble servant leaders. Both lived the gospel of Christ, and died living it: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

There were no chest-thumping speeches; no cool gear made them invulnerable in battle. They simply lived the Gospel, and when necessary, used words, as Saint Francis of Assisi said.

Let’s have more of that, and less “patriot combat rosaries.”

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About the Author: Angry Staff Officer is an Army engineer officer who is adrift in a sea of doctrine and staff operations and uses writing as a means to retain his sanity. He writes at The Angry Staff Officer. He also collaborates on a podcast with Adin Dobkin entitled War Stories, which examines key moments in the history of warfare. 

Cover image: “Urban targets” by Gianni Dominici

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  • The answer to your bewilderment is Our Lady of Victory and the Battle of Lepanto!

  • LdeNoble

    I’m not military but it seems offensive that a company is claiming their own branch of the US military for their own purposes. I found the website rather strange and noticed a bunch of registered trademarks which as a lawyer seemed highly unlikely to me. A quick check at the USPTO website proved the trademarks were not registered at all. What kind of Catholic company does that? However, I do think that if Catholic men think of their rosary as their “gear” that might get more men praying the rosary which is a good thing. My favorite rosary is actually a knotted paracord rosary which is pretty simple but I like it as it is nice and quiet.

  • Richard B

    Thank you, Angry Staff Officer. I like holy bric-a-brac, but I know for sure that not one of these “get yours while they last” trinkets will ever secure a place in heaven for me.

  • Why do men like me want to militarize our faith? Because men like you refused to, and ended up supporting sexual abuse in the priesthood. If you do not have the guts to implement the Book of Gomorrah, stand out of the way while we purge the priesthood of Fornicators and Sodomites.

  • steve daily

    Thank you…

    We’ve been soft wary too long and I want my faith to be challenged and take a stand against all the evil in the world. If this is seen as a militarist action then so be it…

    I don’t think we were promised all rainbiws and unicorns as many wish the Church to be. Stand up and fight the evil in the world and purge the evil within.

  • RS

    Although unfamiliar with them, I tend toward tolerance of the catholic swag/kitsch metaphorical militarization practicioners you described. Not sure what or whom they are “othering” but to view yourself as engaged in a spiritual warfare, of sorts, could be helpful. In my own case, the battles are fought almost exclusively against my own worst instincts. The technical tools of the military trade are not useful but a burst of Hail Marys can hold the perimeter. Also, the Ft Benning advice “first don’t panic, then think about it and do something” is applicable.

    I really valued your recognition of the selfless priests that served military units. I was as an infantry officer for a few years with stints as a platoon leader & company CO in VN. Priests would helicopter in, set up makeshift altars and say Mass with little regard for the “heat” of the situation and a whole lot of non-catholics showed up. I hesitate to generalize but I did not see a protestant chaplin take similar risks. Their ministry was practiced behind the bunker line – so to speak. They did Red Cross stuff & held post op memorial get togethers. I was not really catholic at that point but I felt pride in their care for us and never forgot their example.

  • I think the finest tactical rosaries would likely be the knotted twine rosaries provided (fee, no less!) by Rosary Army. Check them out, they could use your help: https://rosaryarmy.newevangelizers.com/

  • John Beasley

    “I doubt that God cares too much about nation states.”

    Sounds like someone missed most of the Old Testament and a significant part of Catholic history from Constantine to Joan of Arc.

  • Aileen O

    “Females don’t peddle that shtick?” Where do you think they got the idea to militarize? Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Akita, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe … you’re a history buff, check out the history of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her subsequent images at Lepanto/naval battle, or pick up a Mark Twain’s book St. Joan of d’Arc …

  • “WITH THE ATHEISTS IN THE FOXHOLES” complete with military stencil font (see top of page). Pot, meet Kettle.

  • Also, because our faith is constantly under attack.

  • Sally Wilkins

    As the mother of one Catholic Marine and mother-in-law of another, thank you for this insightful piece. We are at war, yes. But what we need is not more strutting and swaggering. These priests have forgotten both the Jesus who said “remain in Me,” and His Beatitudes, in which He instructed meekness, humility, peace-making and to expect and indeed rejoice in persecution.

  • Semper Incipit

    Except that angry staff officer is in the military and not a civilian attempting to copyou the lamest aspects of military culture to sell rosaries.

    As a Catholic, Fr. Heilman is just embarrassing. As a soldier myself, he went full hooah. Never go full hooah. The only people this stuff appeals to are slick sleeves with too much to prove or civilians who have some excuse for not tying on a pair of big kid pants and signing their own enlistment papers, but still have the need of emasculated men to feel macho.

  • Semper Incipit

    Bad answer. Our Lady didn’t say we needed to grab the worst bits of mI litany culture to make insecure men feel better.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    Padre Pio. Carbolic Acid.

  • Nevertheless, he’s doing exactly that which he criticizes.

    PS. Can you certify that NO military were involved in the promotion of those rosaries?

  • Semper Incipit

    Fr. Heilman certainly has never served. Plus, ASO is a military member talking about military stuff with all his military expertise gained from being in the military. He does not sell stuff to geardos looking to stroke their egos.

  • Semper Incipit

    It would only work if ASO was also graying, out of shape civilian hocking expensive chockies on insecure men and using the lame bits of military culture to do so.

  • Keith Englund

    Padre Pio called his rosary his weapon. Take up your issues with militarizing sacramentals with the him. Also, these rosaries do not break. I was so sick of rosaries breaking and happy that I finally found these combat rosaries. I have had mine for years and carry it daily.

  • 1. There is no book of Gomorrah in scripture. There is a 1051 book called just that, and addresses what you’re talking about. But it is not scripture, nor carries the weight of scripture.

    2. Sodom’s sin was attempted rape, the lack of care towards the most vulnerable among them, and inhospitatilty.

    3. Your assertion that the lack of “militarization” in the faith led to the sex abuse scandal is really stretching. What led to the scandal was people in positions of power burying crimes instead of addressing them, and attempting to buy, guilt trip or frighten victims into silence.

    4. Removing priests guilty of sexual sin is a commendable goal, but what needs to go is the “good ol’boys” club and burying crimes to protect images, instead of protecting victims.

  • 1. that is indeed the book I am talking about. Dogma is nice, but doctrine and discipline are necessary to enforce dogma.
    2. Yep. Just like the sexual revolution today. There is a reason why the life expectancy of the average porn star is less than seven years.
    3. If we were true Christian Soldiers like our ancestors were in the 1050s, then the laity, or at least the real men among them, would have already been implementing the Book of Gomorrah. It’s hard to bury the crime when instead of reporting it to the Bishop, a crowd of angry fathers drags the priest out of the rectory, shaves his head, whips him, then hands him over to secular authorities (which is what ended up happening in Italy in the 1060s).
    4. That “good ol’ boys” club you refer to is the circle of abusers that McCarrick and those who recruited him, have been planting in the priesthood for about 80 years now. And it is the LACK of militancy in the laity, the lack of being good Christian Soldiers, that allowed it to thrive.

    Those that ignore history, are bound to repeat it. Those who KNOW history, are doomed to watch idiots repeat it.

  • Gee, you really like insulting people, don’t you? I’ll feed this post back to you when you are gray and out-of-shape someday, fake marine/soldier.

  • Douglas Beaumont

    St. Francis never said that, but a good admonition to not be fake.

  • PaulB

    It seems to me that there are two distinctly different things being discussed here, and presenting it as one subject does a disservice to both.

    It’s not reasonable to me to treat marketing and those marketed to as one bloc, as they are not. OK, the marketing of a tacticool rosary is… yeah, about as tacticool as bump stocks… and the argument for them is about the same too. “Because I want to, that’s why.” Which is actually a pretty damn good argument.

    I don’t think that the author is doing a positive service at all by goofing on those who feel that their faith is under threat. OK, the guy’s the real deal, one of the tens of millions of Americans who have been in the military, and he’s more than earned the right to goof on people who LARP on being tacticool and also of being critical of a product that I’m sure many of us also find tacky. However, in trying to turn the idea of spiritual warfare into a dick-measuring contest, what exactly is he saying? That it’s uncool to choose a rosary not approved by SF? That people with bad taste should not buy what they want with their own money? Well, excuse the F out of me. I was under the impression that any rosary is a good rosary in a pinch, and while I might spend the same amount of money on a decent bottle of sipping whisky rather than that ugly-ass thing, I would NEVER discourage someone from choosing to buy a rosary, however tacky, instead.
    I will tell you that if people feel their faith is under threat, what they really, really don’t need is some d-bag FROM THEIR OWN SIDE being a dick to them.

  • Milo C

    Wow, that Rosary is a perversion. Really, placing the US at the center of it just screams of nationalism and worship of country.

    That aside, I very much agree with the article writer. Although Jesus in the Bible is written a bit as a schizophrenic, everyone would be better off favoring the “turn the other cheek” approach rather than imaging themselves dolled up in glowing armor and acting as god’s own sword of righteous justice. That is the power fantasy, isn’t it? These guys pray for war so they can have the excuse they need to gleefully murder the ‘ungodly’. The same ones support “retaking the holy land” as if land is important.

    Also, if you’re into authoritarianism and want to quickly dismiss or approve of messages based on where they come from, I’m a former Catholic and veteran.

  • Semper Incipit

    I’ll at least have DD214 and partial VA disability, which is more than what Fr. Heilman or Fr. Z can boast, neither of them ever serving a day in their lives. ASO is spot on here. The guys who go full hooah in the Army are the geardos and other cripplingly insecure people who feel that kit and trappings make them awesome.

    That is not what the military is about. Running cadences outside training battalions are everyone’s least favorite music.

  • Semper Incipit

    There is a difference though. St. Pio’s writings are pretty allegorical. Fr. Heilman specifically uses jargon that is beyond simply talking about spiritual combat. The joke about setting up a combatant command in WI was hilarious.

    Padre Pio didn’t talk about praying the rosary as a blitzkrieg or called groups praying it “special operations.” The whole point of Spec Ops is using unconventional warfare. Getting your pals together to pray the rosary is…super conventional. Unconventional warfare would be like training dissatisfied demons to overthrow Lucifer and install a puppet regime in Hell that is friendly with God. Don’t get me started on his unironic and positive use of the word “joint.”

    if you are going to appropriate our culture and use it in such a way that is just cringe worthy, we have the license to make fun of it. Especially since I am a Catholic and have several of the plastic rosaries the chappies hand out and used the digits on my fingers to pray when I didn’t have those. Using jargon you don’t understand to market your product is hardly laudable. If you make durable rosaries, fine. That’s cool. If you make rosaries with the marketing gimmick that they are “assault” rosaries, be prepared for service members to look down on the practicality of actually carrying that thing into battle.

  • Semper Incipit

    1. St. Peter Damien’s thoughts on Scripture are not de facto not doctrine any more St. John Chrysostom’s views on women are.

    2. Not only is that untrue, it makes no sense.

    3. You mean the time when clergy were actively living with mistresses (or male lovers tbh) or when kings would try and appoint their own bishops to advance their political aims?

    4. Lol.

  • 1. Correct, but just as correct, the public-penance followed by lifetime-of-supervised-hard-work fits our time quite nicely. It addresses the complaints of the MeToo movement without resorting to the society last line of defense, the Death Penalty, which is what such crimes truly deserve.
    2. The modern sexual revolution, above all else, has the quality of ” the lack of care towards the most vulnerable among them”. A good case in point is porn stars- celebrated for their sexual freedom, but who in reality are living extremely unhealthy lives that result in early death. It’s often said that a consistent ethic of life is from conception until natural death, but the deaths of homosexuals are largely NOT natural, but rather a function of their lifestyle. The same is true across the spectrum; only the monogamous heterosexual family is hygenic enough to prevent this.
    3. In the 1060s, a group of Italian Laity, unsatisfied with the progress of the inquisition in cleansing the ranks of sodomites and fornicators, took matters into their own hands. Several priests disappeared due to the crimes the priests had committed. Likewise today, if we were real men doing the job God created men to do, we would be dragging these Bishops out of their cathedrals and turning them over to police. Likely not whole. Yes, this originally happened during the time “when clergy were actively living with mistresses (or male lovers tbh) or when kings would try and appoint their own bishops to advance their political aims”, and in fact, happened because of that.

    We who know history, are doomed to watch it all happen again, for all this has happened before, and all this will happen again, whenever the laity lack the militancy to stop it.

  • Richard A

    Sodom’s sin was sodomy. That’s how “sodomy” got its name. Quit this modernist re-interpretation crap that attempts to sugar-coat a detestable (in God’s eyes, as it should be in yours) crime.

  • Ezekiel 16:49-50 New International Version (NIV)
    49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.


    But if you want to go to the actual scripture of the event, it’s fairly clear that the mob intended rape upon Lot’s guests, and Lot, obeying the sacred laws of hospitality, even offered his own daughters in place rather than let guests under his roof come to harm.

  • Richard A

    Not very comfortable with allegory, are we? Jude 7: “…just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

  • It is not a “bad answer” it is the reason many of the “militant” use the rosaries talked about in the article. Apparently you aren’t familiar with it. They themselves site Our Lady of Victory and the Battle of Lepanto.

  • Semper Incipit

    Ah yes, because John of Austria was simply a puppet in which the Virginia possessed to win the battle? No. Mary isn’t some mystical battle goddess. That’s not how prayer works.

    The first issue with this cultural appropriation is that is misunderstands military culture and centuries of it at that. The Angry Staff Officer does a good job at pointing this out.

    The second is that spiritual warfare is just that: spiritual. It’s also personal but mystically communal. We combat the forces of darkness against ourselves, but are unified in that struggle with the whole Church. The heterodoxy of Heilman et alia is that somehow God will perform magic tricks because a bunch of people got together with special swag.

    And that’s the third thing: prayer. Prayer is conversation with God with goal of theosis. It is not the magic incantations to affect the result desired. God is supernatural, not magic. He doesn’t answer petitions outside of his will and plan. So God really could deign for the US to become an evil totalitarian dictatorship for his purposes. What Heilman et alia seem to never consider is whether the calamities they seek to do battle against may be there for his ultimate glory.

    Which brings me back to Lepanto. Our Lady didn’t fight that battle. John of Austria did. Our Lady may have interceded for the graces to have the wisdom and courage to win, but God does not intervene like that. That’s how Zeus works, not God. We credit the victory to our Lady not because she is some sort of Boudica but because “Non nobis Domine sed Nomine tua da gloriam.”

  • Semper Incipit

    Precisely. That was my whole point. Way to ignore it. I suggest you go back and reread it.

    In summary though, Fr. Heilman’s militarization of prayer ignores not only the nature of the rosary, but prayer itself, turning it into a nationalistic exercise rather than a spiritual one. Whereas John of Austria prayed and accepted the will of God, Fr. Heilman appears to believe that if he sells enough “combat rosaries” with special doodads on them to enough people who will then partake in his overly nationalistic month long meditations, then they can “take back America” or something.

    The rosary is a meditation on the life of Christ. Its efficacy against evil is secondary to it primary, meditative purpose.

  • Semper Incipit

    Our Lady of Fatima….warned about WWI and told people how to avoid it.

    Our Lady of Akita…does not have universal approbation.

    Our Lady of Guadalupe….healed the racial tensions between the natives of Mesoamerica and the Spanish.

  • Semper Incipit

    1. Whether it fits our time or not is irrelevant when what was whether it was doctrine. It is not.

    2. The “modern” sexual revolution was nothing except removing the veneer on the preexisting culture of immorality and made it more socially acceptable for both sexes to be immoral rather than just one. The Victorians literally created prostitution because they didn’t think male philandering was a big deal. Moreover, there is no accurate data proving that porn stars have a poor life expectancy.

    3. Right, so a strictly local event occurred once in the Church and you are golden aging it? Also, give a citation.

  • The Book of Gomorrah is not only doctrine, it was accepted Cannon Law for 600 years.

  • Aileen O

    I’m currently law enforcement and deployed with combined joint SF with disability. I see no issue with Fr. Heilman rallying up spiritual prayer warriors to pray for our culture of death. I think we need to ask ourselves ‘what am I doing to help bring people to the faith?’ rather than judge a shepherd who’s doing much to counter the sins attacking us. If even a seed of doubt is planted and we can water that seed with prayers, I applaud Fr. Heilman in his efforts to follow God’s will. Why dont we try joining prayer warriors at planned parenthood clinics or where other atrocities are being committed and help our priests take back whatever gains the enemy has done.

  • Ceci Pipe

    Richard A

    Given that greed and callousness are savaged throughout the NT, and through quite a bit of the OT (even with the slavery and condoned rape), I’d wager you’ve a vested interest in anything concerning greed being allegorical and anything moralistic which you don’t do to be considered literal.

    Which is fine, a lot of people do that. Most ostensible Christians, in fact. Doesn’t make you right though.

  • Richard A

    Really? Wouldn’t that be like me wagering you’ve a vested interested anything concerning greed being literal and anything moralistic being allegorical? Which is fine, a lot of people do that. Many ostensible Christians, in fact. Doesn’t make you right though.

    But, since we’re both devout and knowledgeable Catholics who don’t know each other, why don’t we avoid rash judgment about each other’s motivations?

  • fractal


    Militarized men rape in war; it is traditional, not an aberration.
    It is one of those “spoils” that are vaguely referred to…
    To pretend they don’t is goofy.

    This coarsening of masculinity is a big step backwards spiritually, and is a stance taken up by those who see the world thru a dualistic lens of good/evil black/white male/female power/submit etc…

    I can only IMAGINE how you would “purge” any and everything, if given a chance.
    Shades of Handmaid’s Tale.

  • fractal

    Isn’t it interesting that the cities are referred to with the feminine pronouns!

    If one looks just a bit under the surface, it is clear that the Abrahamic tribes systematically attacked and sought to annihilate any other tribe that gave women respect and power.

    Let’s get real.
    The Abrahamic Triad is blatantly misogynistic and patriarchal.
    Heck, why didn’t Lot offer HIMSELF to the mob, instead of his daughters?

    We all know why…

  • The author is really over thinking this. The answer is simply that these men all have, or believe they have, very small penises.

    And the easiest, quickest way to get them to sit down and stfu is to publicly call them out as having small penises.

    Watch how fast they disappear.

  • Semper Incipit

    I’ve never heard of Cannon Law. Is that ecclesial law via artillery?

    Please don’t be this ignorant. Even Pope St. Leo IX thought the book went to extremes in several places, notably the one regarding the punishment of clerics. Damien protested but it is hard to argue with the Pope and fellow saint.

  • Semper Incipit

    So why are ships, the sea, the earth, and a bunch of other things have feminine pronouns?

    Rome was Roma and you would be a pretty terrible Roman if you knocked the capital city. Does this mean the Romans were blatantly misogynistic and patriarchal? Nah, it was just super common–and IS super common–to refer to cities with feminine endings rather than masculine ones. Jerusalem, Israel, and a bunch of other cities that have God’s favor also have feminine endings.

    Like seriously, this “cities are feminine” thing spans cultures, times, and is one of the remarkable consistencies in human languages. And somehow it is institutional sexism?

  • Semper Incipit

    Unnatural lust…like desiring to have sex with angels? If having sex with animals is bad and having sex with men is bad, how much greater order of magnitude is trying to have sex with angels?

  • Semper Incipit

    So you were a POG who deployed with SF units? As a fellow POG with similar assignments, I find this argument inadequate.

    Funny that the Scripture is not something Fr. Heilman adequately discusses. ASO brings it up here but I think it goes deeper. St. Paul in Ephesians is not talking about going down to the spiritual supply sergeant to requisition fancy kit. He uses the warfare analogies AS ANALOGIES. This is significant for two reasons:

    1. Warfare in St. Paul’s time was, despite unit tactics, immensely personal in a way that our modern minds can’t really fathom it. Therefore, St. Paul is not giving some bullet points from recruiting; he is teaching collectively the individual members of his flock how to resist evil.

    2. The bits of armor Paul mentioned are all things that a. are decidedly not physical and b. things that come from God. Relying on “combat rosaries” and the “United States Grace Force” to somehow save America–not humanity by the way, just America because…reasons?–is entirely contrary to Paul’s whole message. Being “warriors” to Paul means resisting evil and submitting to God.

    This is why Fr. Hielman is problematic for theological reasons and not just for appropriation of the lamest TRADOC rhetoric he could find. That latter is enough of a sin lol, but the actual sin is totes worse.

    His blog reads such that Marian promises are used as almost mythical prophesies revealing equally mythical weapons to destroy their enemies i.e. anyone who is not Republican. I mean seriously. What was the business of giving rosaries to Trump? He is a Presbyterian, his wife is at worst a heretic and at best a Catholic in an adulterous union considering she has never had her marriage blessed in the Church to anyone’s knowledge.

  • And that is why it fell to the laity, in the end, to implement its punishments. Yes, I am typing on an onscreen keyboard.

    The punishments are not as abusive as sodomy itself, and in fact, are far more mericful than what Christ suggested- death by drowning

  • Semper Incipit

    “And that is why it fell to the laity” So you are advocating extrajudicial punishments to enforce standards the duly appointed–and later canonized–lawgiver i.e. the Pope? Cool.

    Considering the fact that torture and other such medieval punishments are thoroughly forbidden in civilized societies outside Saudi Arabia, I doubt you could argue your vigilante justice being kosher in a court of law.

  • Your “civilized society” is the problem. By allowing abuse instead of punishing it, you just encourage more abuse.

  • Semper Incipit

    So….you like Saudi Arabia?

  • I like Christendom, and given recent revelations about what people do when given freedom and liberty, I consider the Treaty of Westphalia to have been an extreme error.

  • Space Doubt

    “3. Your assertion that the lack of “militarization” in the faith led to the sex abuse scandal is really stretching. What led to the scandal was people in positions of power burying crimes instead of addressing them, and attempting to buy, guilt trip or frighten victims into silence.”

    Precisely. When people loudly deny that and stick their heads in the sand, and instead use the scandal as an excuse for a witch hunt against homosexuals, and anything that people who keep propping up this idol of “masculinity” deem to be “feminine” or “feminized,” only serves to spread confusion, division, hatred and disobedience, much to the devil’s great satisfaction.

  • Space Doubt

    I don’t think the hyper-masculine ideas you’re promoting resembles anything approaching ancient Christendom, Ted. And these macho American vigilante fantasies you’re going on about thoroughly undermine everything the Church has ever taught about the social order. The Church has always condemned that kind of atrocious, sinful mob violence.

  • Actually Americanism is one of the things that I’m against. Clearly the enlightenment was just compounding the error of Westphalia.

    Show me where in the teaching of the “social order” we should ignore victims of sexual abuse, the way you want to. Show me where in your precious social order a cardinal is allowed to rape seminarians.

    Because that is what your lack of morality and masculinity has wrought: An utterly immoral system that allows the strong to abuse the weak.

    Stop the rape, then we can talk about avoiding vigilante violence. If it wasn’t for the clerical abuse, there’d be no need for the vigilante violence.

  • You are aware of where Fr. Heilman got his design, right?

    My great grandfather, long before Fr. Heilman was born, carried a durable rosary of exactly this design into battle in France in WW I. It was issued to him by the US Army. And while Fr. Heilman’s “combat prayer book” has obviously been updated, it contains the all of the prayers in English that Fr. Joesph Wolfe prayed on the battlefield in Latin.

  • Semper Incipit

    So…Catholic Saudi Arabia? Good note.

  • I guess it would be to you, which makes me wonder if you are a Cardinal raping seminarians.

  • Semper Incipit

    I am aware that he believes his design is from some “military issue” rosary. Here is why that is a load of huey.

    1. The US Army has NEVER issued religious items. Not even Bibles. Those are provided by the ABS and other charitable associations. It MIGHT have been given out by the KofC or maybe foreign militaries with less separation of Church and State.

    2. Metals such as steel or “gun metal” as Fr, Heilman calls it, were a resource that the US government were actively trying to convince the populace to use less of so that it could be made into war material. When it comes down to making bullet casings and rosaries, the Army is picking bullet casings every time.

    3. On the examples given and the ones I have found, there is nothing to suggest that it was issued by the Army and Army supply records do not record it as an issued item. If this was government issue, it would have some stamp stating the fact. If you can provide evidence of one as well as a record for it being issued by the Army, you might help your case. As such, you have nothing but an unverifiable anecdote about your great grandfather having one. News flash: you aren’t the only one who had family in WW1.

    4. Fr. Hielman does not state his sources either meaning he probably saw the numerous ads on eBay and thought they were legit.

    I’d like to see a copy of the hand receipt for the rosary. Considering it was Army issue, all the people selling them are therefore selling government property.

  • Semper Incipit

    That…is a massive logical leap. Simply because I oppose torturing people in the name of Jesus as God intended does not mean that I am therefore a cleric rapist. That does not make sense. Like at all. Par for the course though for you.

  • KGTN

    I think there is much left to be said. The combat rosaries and militaristic language is a manifestation of something deeper happening. I’m Catholic and was recently added to a Catholic discussion board on social media. The group’s moderator is white, middle class and conservative. The board was originally meant to share news about clergy sexual abuse, but it quickly derailed into a group of angry Catholic men complaining about gays, the political left, immigration, etc. There was definitely militaristic language used. I’m a parishioner of a Catholic church where the majority of parishioners are African american. I can’t imagine any of the black men at my church talking this way. And, of course, almost none of the Hispanic or female Catholics I’ve met would speak this way either.

    Thankfully, the military aesthetic isn’t dangerous. Many men like collecting military-themed items for various reasons. Even the language of “spiritual warfare” isn’t in itself dangerous. It gives one a sense of purpose battling temptation.

    The real militarism is dangerous. I see it as wrapped up in nationalism, which of course is not unique to white american Catholic men. We’ve seen growing popularity of nationalism in Europe, for example. Fortunately, even though certain individual Catholics may be swayed by nationalism, our church officially teaches hate, unjust war, execution and other types of violence are against the Gospels.

  • I got mine passed down from my Grandfather. Your atheist “Separation of Church and State” did not become popular until the Vietnam War. You are nothing more than another left wing softy who thinks that LGBT sexual abuse is progress.

  • But that isn’t what you are opposing torturing people for.

    You are *specifically* opposing corporal punishment for sexual abuse.

  • Also: 1. Not sure if you’d consider the Chaplaincy the federal government or not, it came through them.
    2. The original isn’t gun metal, it’s stainless steel.
    3. Once again, Chaplaincy, not the Army.
    4. Fr. Hielman’s version is clearly different, with different religious medals and you’re right, no US Stamp (never noticed before it’s hidden on the cross of my grandfather’s, a much simpler cross too).

  • Semper Incipit

    “Your atheist “Separation of Church and State” did not become popular until the Vietnam War.”

    My atheist? What? No I am relating historical fact. The fact you cannot seem to form arguments without also forming straw-man is immensely hilarious. You know what was super popular back then? Distrust of Catholics and general distrust thereof. Can you name another instance in US history where the government provided the armed services with religious items?

    Again, show the hand receipt proving he got it from the Army as an issued item. If so, give it back to the government because that is stolen US property.

  • Semper Incipit

    I am opposed to torture in all cases. You know, because that is what the Church teaches.

  • Semper Incipit

    1. What chaplaincy? Do you mean the then Apostolic Vicarate of the United States Armed Forces or the US Chaplain’s Corps. The latter is a part of the Army while the latter is a canonical structure erected by the Pope that operates outside the legal jurisdiction of the US Government but coordinates the supply of Catholic chaplains. MAYBE they made them, but then that wouldn’t be “Army Issued.” It would be, as I said, an outside organization providing a service pro bono.

    2. You mean like the stuff they made bullet casings out of and were actively trying to conserve in all cases possible? Sure.

    3. What is this mystical chaplaincy? And if it wasn’t the Army then it was not Army issue.

    4. There are THOUSANDS of variations because there was a particular style of rosary–the “pull chain rosary”–and they have a number of different materials, crucifixes, and medals that just screams: not standard issue. The thing about issued items is that they are all the same. This means the so called “combat rosaries” were likely a durable rosary that were popular among soldiers for being durable and then took them to war with them.

  • fractal


    If this was simply about grammar tradition, your ilk wouldn’t go all hysterical everytime I refer to Goddess.
    Tell me, does your God have a peenie?
    Since God isn’t a ship or city, is there any REAL reason we cannot refer to Her in the Feminine?

    Tradition changes, and so does language.
    Language reflects the culture.
    Constantly referring to Goddess in the Masculine, and throwing a hissy-fit when the Feminine is used, is a clear sign of sexism.
    Heck, one of your ilk even told me that GOD WANTED to be referred to ONLY in the Masculine, because “that is how it is done in the bible”.

    As if the Goddess, who created the galaxies, the molecules, song, and life itself—could give a rat’s arse which pronoun I use…
    That sort of pettiness belongs to misogynists who are hell-bent on keeping women subjugated.
    The first step, of course, is to put masculinity on a higher ground and closer to God the Guy, so that women cannot relate to Her in the same intimate way.

  • fractal

    No it isn’t.

    I was raised fundy Catholic, and had all the indoctrination of Catholic School system.
    Victimhood was taught as a matter of course!
    I never found a tenth of the hostility toward Catholicism in the larger culture, that Catholics tried to sell me was there.
    But let me tell you:
    NO ONE likes to be told that someone else is “GOD’S CHOSEN PEOPLE, CHURCH etc…
    And that is what both the Jewish and Catholic traditions have done—presented themselves publicly as spiritually superior to others.

    Of course that is going to get a backlash!!!

    And let’s face it—the Church has such a ghastly record on covering up sexual assault (we haven’t even really HEARD from the women who were abused yet…) that it deserves every condemning sentence flung its way.

    Even in the early Sixties, when I was in elementary school, the parishioners knew that the place for your “sensitive” (gay) sons was in seminary. And they also knew about the sexual abuse—heck, I remember my very Catholic mother making a remark to a friend about how her Mon-senior would not “tolerate that kind of nonsense—he got rid of those priests right quick!”
    Which of course meant sending a sexual abuser to another parish to abuse some more—not that my mother really cared about any other Catholic community…

    And of course, my brother, being an altar boy, said that all the boys knew which priests to avoid being alone with…
    Frankly, an institution that is so hierarchical that it REFUSES to protect its children from sexual abuse, for thousands of years, doesn’t deserve to exist.
    As an Ex-Catholic, I hope the Roman Catholic Church bites the dust.
    Its structure is toxic, as is its belief in its own moral superiority.

    Good riddance.

  • fractal

    Too BUTCH for me.

  • fractal

    What if the angel wants to make love to you?
    What if God wants to make love to you?
    Does that seem horrific?
    Seems lovely to me…

    In fact, the whole Sufi tradition regards God more as a lover, rather than a critical parent.
    They have the most popular religious poetry in the world!
    And regard Krishna, the Divine Lover of the Yogic tradition.

    I think it is terribly sad that one would cast stones at a higher being who bestows grace and joy upon the WHOLE PERSON.

  • If men are pushing forward the faith using military metaphors there is nothing wrong with that as many are used in the bible. The point is to attract men back to faith and action.

  • percy82

    The Apostle Paul used military imagery in Ephesians 6 (put on the full armor of God). I guess he had masculinity issues.

  • Semper Incipit

    “In fact, the whole Sufi tradition regards God more as a lover, rather than a critical parent.” So does the Catholic Church. Not only is God described as one in the major prophets, but St. Paul goes to great lengths to say that the Church is the bride of Christ and that our relation to him is not the parental one you describe.

    I am unsure what point you are trying to make.

  • Semper Incipit

    Goddess? Ilk? What are you talking about? Why should I care what some random dude on the internet says? Seriously.

    God has no corporeal form so no, he has no penis. The main reason we don’ call God a she is because God doesn’t. The “gender” of God is moot since his gender isn’t making a physiological point but a relational one. God is a “he” to us because his relation to man is that of a “he.”

    I feel like you are arguing with someone else, saw my comment, and decided to have that argument with me regardless of what I said.

  • Semper Incipit

    Hardly. Paul’s references to military matters are in the realm of personal spiritual development, not using novenas as incantations to support the Regime. You put on the armor of God by accepting Faith, Truth, the Gospel, Righteousness. These are things that come from God to aid in our submission to his will, not make us expert demon slayers.

    Seriously, Fr. Hielman is less confraternity of the cord and more a Buffy the Rosary Wielding Demon Slayer.

  • Inquirer

    “I’m not military but it seems offensive…”
    Way to offended for other people…

  • LdeNoble

    Rosaries can be dangerous weapons, apparently. ://youtu.be/6kuG8zEaWTk

  • I guess you had a much crappier childhood than I had. Oh well (rolling eyes).

  • fractal

    You are saying God has no body, but is neverless a HE-MAN?

    What is hilarious is how you pretzel yourself trying to justify the horror you feel at the mere thought of Goddess in the Feminine!

    Now, how do you know that God’s relationship to man is “THAT OF A ‘HE”?
    How in the world would you know about anyone’s relationship to God, except your own?
    If someone told you that their relationship to the Goddess was in the feminine, would you call them a liar?

    I think this is all propagandized gobblygook you are spewing, because conservative men are TERRIFIED of women owning power.
    Can’t tell a woman to submit, if she can think of Goddess in her own image.

  • fractal

    First of all, I am not talking about “God the Lover” in the abstract.
    I am talking about God moving thru your nervous system and filling you with a love that is all-encompassing and quite physical, in addition to spiritual.
    A mystical experience.

    Now, I was raised Fundy Catholic, and with the exception of the nuns, I NEVER heard that our relationship with God was supposed to be anything but Parental/Child in nature.
    Since ‘THE CHURCH’ is an organization, not a human, it doesn’t really matter what silly thing Paul the Peevish had to say about it.

    The point I am trying to make is that mystics from every religious tradition speak of wildly passionate relationships with the Beloved, in which God is your Lover in the most intensely personal ways possible.






    Poetry of Kabir

    St Teresa of Avila knew all about it.
    Too bad the CHURCH had to suppress most of what she wrote.

  • fractal

    Or, perhaps “religion” is shaped by the attitudes of those who practice it.

  • fractal

    Which clinic doctor do you plan to assassinate next, dearie?

    Militaristic thought and speech leads to militaristic action.
    Be careful, one tends to become what one hates.
    I don’t think “turn the other cheek” was simply meant as a practical guide to safety; Jesus would not approve of this very BUTCH perversion of the Sacred.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • fractal

    Big Fat Dodge.

  • fractal

    Big Fat Dodge.

  • Sophotroph

    I wasn’t aware that the Vietnam War was fought in 1776.

    Separation of church and state was pretty popular with the founding fathers, who made it the law of the land.

  • WWI, not Vietnam. People my father’s age fought in Vietnam. People my Grandfather’s age fought in WWII and Korea. This rosary originally was from Great Grandfather Pearson, who fought in France in WWI.

    People my age fought in the Gulf War I, and several people my age have served as officers and specialists in what I call WWIII, the war on terror, that has been going on since 2001.

  • Semper Incipit

    “Can’t tell a woman to submit, if she can think of Goddess in her own image.” Except the Ancient pagan cultures did that quite well. Despite having figures like Artimis and Athena, how many Greek martial heroines are there that are shown in a positive light. One, maybe. Heck, the Theogony’s myths about the creation of woman show a culture that showed women as the reason for all mankind’s strife because they are wiley and a trap from the gods to punish mankind.

    In contrast, Eve is taken from Adam’s rib, denoting that they were equals. The inequality between man and woman comes through sin, not explicit design from the gods. Even in the similar epics out of Mesopotamia that introduce Lilith do so to make women into evil monsters and in Lilith’s case literally.

    Since you don’t seem to be arguing from a point of strength, it would be unsportsman like to best you in a battle of religious anthropology when you are evidently so poorly equipped. Extol your “goddess.” I don’t really care. If it is under the influence of your goddess that you routinely demean people who might have a contrary opinion and have expressed no ill will toward you, one can wonder how much love said goddess has imparted to you. But then perhaps it is a different kind of love, one where love is self-assured snobbery.

  • And that’s why the founding fathers started the Chaplaincy corps, and why every Congress has had a chaplain, right?

    Face it, your “Freedom From Religion” version of separation of Church and State is a modern invention and was in fact specifically *denied* by Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist congregation.

  • No. I make judgments based on experience, as you purport to do. My experience has been the polar opposite of yours. Just sayin’.

  • Michaelus

    “They simply lived the Gospel, and when necessary, used words, as Saint Francis of Assisi said” He never said this. He used lots of words and proclaimed the Gospel all the time.

    Can someone direct me to a parish that has a problem with excess fervor, too many men showing up for rosary and LOTH, no women stuck taking their kids to mass alone, high local wages because so many young mothers do not need to work but can stay home with their small children etc. etc. ? These “militant” characteristics do not seem to be problems in my area……

  • fractal

    You didn’t address the comment at all.
    Is that really the best you can do?

  • fractal

    Run away scared from PRONOUNS!!!

  • Not dodging anything. Your comment is based entirely on your own personal experience. Therefore I can’t address it, other than to say that the parents in your Catholic community apparently were a lot more tolerant of evil in their midst than those in mine were. Sounds like you have serious mommy issues, too, BTW.

  • fractal


    Virtually all the victims of Catholic sexual abuse say that the parishioners knew it was a “thing”.
    Just like they all knew to shuffle the gay boys into the seminary; think about it.
    If your son is gay, how will he go to heaven, unless he becomes celibate and dedicates his life to Jesus?
    It is a system devised SPECIFICALLY to deal with the problem!
    And then Catholics pretend to wonder how the priesthood became a cesspool of toxic sexual activity, when it was the only appropriate place for gay men to go—-after all, in Catholicism, there are only two vocations; family life or placement in the Church.

    Now, combine that fact with the social hierarchy in Catholicism, whereby priests are practically deified on the parish level, have lots of privacy, and a very comfortable living arrangement, complete with housekeeping, medical insurance, a bunch of ritualistic costumes, and the blessing of Jesus as his Holy Representative.
    That is a lot of doggie treats offered that the Nuns sure don’t get!

    You end up with a abuser-soup whose stench wafting out to abusers, gay and straight!
    What a perfect hiding place, complete with available victims and VERY UNDERSTANDING AND FORGIVING superiors.
    Heck, why not be a priest, when the victims are offered up as an appetizer?

    Even in my parish, where all the secrets were whispered and alluded to with “code words”, the parishioners would deny, deny, deny when asked to discuss the problem out loud.
    This pattern has been clearly shown to exist in every part of America, because Catholics would rather sacrifice their women and children, than utter a bad word about THE HOLY CHURCH–THE BRIDE OF CHRIST.

    But of course, YOUR PARISH is totally different…
    You are just one of the ostriches that let this happen, thru willful ignorance and denial.

    I suggest you watch the BEST PICTURE movie SPOTLIGHT, and get a clue.

  • Neko

    Still coo-coo after all these years.

  • Worse, actually, because now we have absolute definite proof that sexual revolutionaries have attacked the faith and in many diocese, the gates of hell have indeed prevailed to the point that the faith hasn’t survived.

    Anybody who is pro-promiscuity and anti-celibacy, whether in word or action, cannot be trusted not to abuse people.

  • Neko

    You’re living in a fantasy world, Theo. Also, I see like many right-wing Catholics you’ve abandoned the democratic project for brute authoritarianism. So to hell with you.

    On the other hand, I urge you to get help.

  • Semper Incipit


  • Semper Incipit

    The shear amount of male insecurity in that video just made me throw up a little.

  • Mr. James Parson

    So if something is in the Bible there is nothing with using it?

    Are there any exceptions?

  • Neko

    Hope this guy loses the fight.

  • So because you grew up in a parish/diocese full of weak adults, then I must have also? That’s some terribly idiotic reasoning on your part.

  • fractal

    I give you a summary of institutionalized dysfunction, and you totally ignore it.
    This dynamic has been repeated world-wide within the Catholic Church.
    It is not about “weak adults”.
    Look at the sociological design of the organization, and where the authority lies.
    It’s pretty basic social psychology—nothing fancy.

    You never went to college, did ya…

  • I didn’t ignore anything. I fully acknowledged that you had a shitty childhood, as Catholic childhoods go. I and every other Catholic that I know experienced the polar opposite, all the way through elementary, high school, college, and grad school.

  • fractal

    And yet,

    You stick your head in the sand and play ostrich.
    Calling my “childhood shitty”, is just a passive-aggressive way of calling me “DAMAGED”—a ploy that many men use to denature accusations of abuse.

    Why don’t you just say THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WAS SHITTY?
    Why don’t you Deal with the problem, instead of playing “blame the victim”?
    Heck, you are so cowed by your religion, that you can’t even utter any words against them.

    Now THAT is brainwashing.
    You know the best defense against institutionalized propaganda?
    A liberal arts education.
    Something you are obviously missing.

  • Damaged? More like FUBAR.

  • Yeah, I’d be so much better off with a liberal arts education instead of my STEM degree.

  • Actually, we did have abusive priests in our diocese, and we jailed them. Which is one of the reasons I love my Church so much. I’ll leave you to stew in your bitterness, now.

  • fractal

    I am sure you make LOTS OF MONEY.
    But listen to yourself.
    You have lost your moral compass.
    Was it worth it?

    Supporting the abuser, whether it is an individual or an institution, is a slap in the face to victims.
    Clearly, the Catholic Church has had a LONG STANDING policy of protecting abusers, while brushing off, vilifying and ignoring their victims.

    Do you disagree?

  • fractal

    Not bitter at all, sugar.
    Methinks thou art PROJECTING.

  • B.E. Miller

    Wish I could say I was surprised. I’ve been seeing this in criticisms of QF/CP/ Evangelical Christianity for some years now. When was “Created to Need a Help Meet” written? Because it has this sort of talk, about how the husband is like a military commander, with the wife as 2iC, raising up soldiers for the Lord.

    Edited to add; my checking through the critiques did not pull up this reference. Dagnabbit. I know that I’ve read it either via “No Longer Quivering”, or “Love, Joy, Feminism” or “Kids and Cows.” Just wish I could remember which one. I’ve tried googling it, but didn’t pull up links.

    Second edit; I found it! It was Libby Anne’s review of “Created to Be His Help Meet”, where Mikey’s wife Debi says it.

    Where Debi equates a woman always obeying her husband in everything to a soldier who must always blindly obey his commanding officer in everything.

    Also, some links via LJF, a series of guest posts by Athela, a foster parent who reviewed CtNaHP. These all have ‘military imagery’, where Mikey Pearl tries to allude to being a Real True Christian(tm) as being some sort of soldier for God.




    Evangelical Christian blog saying that Christians are ‘soldiers in Christ’s Army”.


    And another


    So I’m not surprised it’s leaking into Catholicism too now.

    Another point, I get worried about talk like this coming from Christianity. It’s like we’re supposed to be gearing up for some sort of Crusade of taking over for Christ. I worry that the next wave of fundamentalist terrorism will come from such. It’s one thing when religious fundamentalists are across an ocean, but it’s scarier when they’re in your own backyard.

  • B.E. Miller

    Debi Pearl in her book “Created to Be His Help Meet” says that the creation story clearly says that ONLY men were created in the image of God, not women.

    And I’ve found she’s not the only one who thinks like that….

  • Semper Incipit

    That is literally against the literal words of God from the Word of God in the Word of God.

    Also. who cares what the Baptists say?

  • Aileen O

    Discussion on the history of the rosary as a spiritual weapon https://youtu.be/65lqTItHzms

  • Christine Spangler

    this article was dramatically critical and uninteresting with not much more than emotionalism to steer its content. A fluff piece at best that criticizes prayer? Ridiculous. Dig a little deeper next time it’s your turn to write an article. Do we not have enough negativity without bashing someone for trying to sell the Holy Rosary with What is a very powerful metal like Saint Benedict? Next time you want to write an article I would say pray rosary first

  • Ancalagon

    Calling enlistment “big kid pants” is about as full hooah as it gets dude. Stop embarrassing the Army please.

  • Semper Incipit

    I take you a) commissioned through ROTC or b) have not served a day in your life.

  • Ancalagon

    The cringey machismo is exactly what the OP was mocking, same with your comments. And here you are with your dick out like some dumbass private on leave out of Basic.

    But go on, keep telling strangers on the internet how nice the big boy pants fit and what the real Army’s like, Hooah!

  • Semper Incipit

    You don’t seem to have gotten the point either of my comment or the above article. Or follow ASO either.

  • Ancalagon

    No, I got the point just fine. Your spouting off about the military is just as embarrassing as anything the OP criticized, it’s just guys who haven’t served don’t feel comfortable calling out vets/servicemen on their BS even if they do recognize it for what it is.

    There’s a lot to investigate in the interaction of religion, masculinity, and the military, but unfortunately ASO took the low road and resorted to “lol so fake.” Somebody who has served should understand the importance of iconography, mythology, and symbolism in the formation of male/group identity, but the blog post evinces none of that but just a snarky, cynical approach to the subject. No doubt ASO feels secure in his “big kid pants” because of his service, even if he wouldn’t admit it, but there’s a good chance he’s just another useless cuck, because he hasn’t demonstrated any understanding of masculinity even as he mocks another’s blundering approach.

  • Semper Incipit

    It is evident you don’t.

    “… it’s just guys who haven’t served don’t feel comfortable calling out vets/servicemen on their BS even if they do recognize it for what it is.”

    Which tells me you are not a vet or servicemember and therefore don’t get the lingo I was dropping or the self-aware irony. Heilman is over the age of enlistment. Also, the reference to “big kid pants” is a common phrase in the military to refer to people who talk big but crack under real stress. War is, after all, hell and the point of the phrase is actually not about how great the military is but how freaking serious it is. We exist to kill people, from the infantryman to the supply clerk. Each and every one of us has to reconcile with the fact that one day we may have to put a bullet in another human being. So yes, put on your big boy pants and get serious about things rather than wrapping yourself in this fantasy of military culture and life.

    Case in point: running cadences. I do not know anyone outside of a training battalion that either knows one or performs one. The reality of military life isn’t company runs. It is PT formation at 530 which actually means PT formation is at 515 because you don’t want to be the guy late to formation making everyone stand out in the cold. Because it is cold EVERYWHERE at 530. The joes pining for running cadences are typically the ones who haven’t woken up to the stark realities of military life. It isn’t summer camp. It isn’t the boy scouts. It isn’t an office job. It is an organization with the express vision and purpose to kill things better than anyone else and if you haven’t considered the ramifications of that, you do not belong. When you put on your big boy pants, you are shedding the rosy idea of the military as some glorious, manly club of buff dudes with guns. You accept the reality that you are charged with the task of killing other people. It is not glamorous. It is not a masculinity club. We frankly do not have the time to coddle the egos of males who want to feel manly for signing up or worse, not signing up but pretending they are more badass than SF without having gone through the Q Course.

    “Somebody who has served should understand the importance of iconography, mythology, and symbolism in the formation of male/group identity, but the blog post evinces none of that but just a snarky, cynical approach to the subject.”

    We do. ASO certainly does and you would know that if you bothered to read his other work. But the point he made here is that this macho man idea of the military a) is not reality and b) is actually bad for the business of killing people. We don’t need manly men doing manly things. We need professionals who can accomplish a given task and take appropriate action in the absence of orders.

    “he’s just another useless cuck” Lol, this is hilarious.

    “because he hasn’t demonstrated any understanding of masculinity even as he mocks another’s blundering approach.” Please enlighten us, O great keyboard warrior, what true masculinity is.

  • Ancalagon

    Been there done that have the T-shirt.

    Thanks for your description of The Real Army though. The fact that you are constantly trying to say how not-Macho the Army is makes me think you simply lack the awareness of male social dynamics, which is surprising for somebody in the military, but maybe shouldn’t be so surprising.

  • Semper Incipit

    Male social dynamics? What kind of mumbo jumbo is that?

  • Ancalagon

    The way men behave and interact in male social hierarchies.

    Also, your Army lingo “big kid pants” was exactly what I said it was; macho shaming non-service, which is typical of guys fresh out of Basic Training and exactly the kind of attitude the OP criticized. When your squad leader uses the same kind of language, he’s trying to illicit a machismo response to improve the soldier’s performance. Machismo permeates the military and military culture, and male group identity in a broad way; Heilman’s rosaries etc. are only the cringier aspect of a much wider reality which I think ASO failed to address.

  • Semper Incipit

    “The way men behave and interact in male social hierarchies.”

    I just threw up a little. What? I think you are missing the vital other half of the population.

    “Also, your Army lingo “big kid pants” was exactly what I said it was; macho shaming non-service, which is typical of guys fresh out of Basic Training and exactly the kind of attitude the OP criticized.” No, it is not “macho shaming,” it is little boy fantasy shaming. Its not tough guys with guns doing tough guy stuff.

    “When your squad leader uses the same kind of language, he’s trying to illicit a machismo response to improve the soldier’s performance.” We don’t have squads in a headquarters unit. My supervisor wouldn’t misspell elicit. We have this thing called professionalism. Its the reason I put on my big boy pants, act like an adult, and refrain from knuckle dragging my way through military service. Your macho men get cut. Why? Because they are immature and unprofessional, across the board. It is prejudice to good order and discipline when you have guys having pissing contests while your under indirect fire.

    And this macho man ideals of military service are shockingly recent. Our forefathers during the Revolution attempted to make their soldiers gentlemen. Courteous conduct and sound discipline were praised above the macho man. Why? Because going into battle requires control and discipline. Whether it is standing in a line to be shot at or executing complex maneuvers, the military has prized discipline over strength every time.

  • Semper Incipit

    But then what do I know? As evidence by the display name being that of the greatest dragon Morgoth ever bred and a profile picture of Vegeta, I am clearly debating with a superior intellect with massive amounts of maturity.

  • Ancalagon

    “I just threw up a little. What? I think you are missing the vital other half of the population.”

    Does it make sense to talk about women in male social hierarchies? No, it doesn’t, unless the conversation is about male/female sexual dynamics. The vital other half of the population is irrelevant to this conversation.

    “We don’t have squads in a headquarters unit. My supervisor wouldn’t misspell elicit. We have this thing called professionalism. ”

    Ok things are starting to make sense now.

    “It is prejudice to good order and discipline when you have guys having pissing contests while your under indirect fire.”

    I hope your supervisor wouldn’t misspell you’re.

    “And this macho man ideals of military service are shockingly recent. Our forefathers during the Revolution attempted to make their soldiers gentlemen. Courteous conduct and sound discipline ”

    I think it was up until the early 20th century that the leading cause of death among military officers was duels, so the whole ideal gentleman thing must have had significant overlap with machismo. I’ve heard of taking things to the woodline, but pistols at dawn sounds way more badass.

  • Nathan Aldana

    if they feel their own faith is under threat, then that says more about their own insecurities than anything, especially in a country where its a valid political smear tactic to attack people for not being christian enough

  • RosaryVictory

    The devil cannot withstand the rosary.

  • PaulB

    Brother, if you don’t think that the practice of Christianity is under attack in the US, you’re not paying attention.
    Now bake my cake and let the senile Indian liar drum in your face.

  • Jon Kauffman

    Thank-you for the excellent post. I am a member of the “Salvation Army” and a pacifist. The Salvation Army uses a type of Military organisation. I see the Salvation Army as fighting to bring salvation to the poor and addicted and helping the homeless and the hungry. I did consider joining the Catholic church but when listening to the Catholic station I hear so many who seem to glorify violence in the military. I see nothing in the teaching of Jesus that would allow us as followers of Jesus to use such violence. I have heard Father Richard Heilman speaking on the radio, he was one of those who convinced me that I should not join the Catholic Church. Reference to spiritual warfare are good, but I felt Father Heilman was pointing toward physical violence. I wrote a blog post called St. Augustine’s mistake about this subject. https://nonviolentchristians.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/st-augustines-mistake/

  • Jon Kauffman

    Things changed with the teaching of Jesus. I am working on a blog post to address violence in the Old Testament and God’s instructions to Joshua to kill their enemies. Without St. Augustine, St Ambrose, Martin Luther the church would not have participated in so much violence. I wrote a blog post, St. Augustine’s Mistake, https://nonviolentchristians.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/st-augustines-mistake/

  • Marie-José Renaud

    OK, I’m biting. What DO people do when given freedom and liberty?

  • Abuse of the weak, and genocide of the unwanted (by whatever means you want to divide humanity- right now in Oregon it’s on color of skin, doctor’s or secular caregiver’s opinion of the value of your life, and whether you’ve been born yet or not.)

  • Marie-José Renaud

    I was raised Catholic too, though in a different way. Yet, here too, people knew. Of course they knew; you got to see the grooming. And sometimes, they’d complain, and sometimes, the priest was removed. No on knew, or cared, where he was sent. As long as it wasn’t in their backyard.

  • Marie-José Renaud

    Wow! What a bunch of weird Americans. It’s typical of many people in your country.

  • fractal

    The movie “JESUS CAMP” did show the advanced militarization of children as young as elementary school, complete with combat fatigues.
    It is an eye-opener and well worth watching.

  • fractal

    Poor widdle xtian…

    Can’t lord over the rest of us with your bizarre “Beliefs” and holy book.
    Tell us more about how victimized you are, what the big meanie secular society is doing to poison your pot.

    This should be good…

  • fractal


    Are you seriously going to start with that
    OOGA BOOGA!!!!!
    ITS THE DEVIL!!!!!
    routine on this comment board?

    Heaven and Hell are in your mind.
    The “devil” is parts of yourself you project outward, so that you can pretend they are not a part of you.

  • RosaryVictory

    The Rosary really bugs you bub.

  • fractal

    When I was young, had my own.
    I think that CAPS trigger you!

  • Ame

    Weird? Perhaps not as much as the Canadian delicacy of dipping french fries into mayonnaise. Cheers.

  • Tara Ratatoskr

    I’m not from the USA but have lurked on a few boards where a strong black american nationalism is brewing. It’s very concerning as they have a very dehumanizing attitude and use of language towards whites. They don’t even consider white americans as human; citing neanderthal DNA in Europeans and their diaspora. Nationalism isn’t just a “white” thing but is a growing resentment and push-back of globalist agenda. The more our cultures and ethnicities mix, the more human migration there is; the more people will cling to their own in-group preferences. It is understandable when identities are being erased. Mere discussion of the issues is deemed “racist” if it is by white peoples and so the resentment grows. It is censorship and forced mixing of cultures that is worrying. It can lead to violence and it will be so if unelected government bodies like the UN and EU keep forcing it. For survival, people will defend their own.

  • Tara Ratatoskr

    I thought it was the Dutch who used mayo? I’m Canadian and we use ketchup or gravy, just as the good Lord commanded.

  • John Norris

    I have to wonder what is more important to Heilman,saing the rosary or selling one for $29.99?

  • Darrell Winsor

    iustitia elevat gentem miseros facit populos peccatum

  • Kevin Morgan

    That would be an ecumenical matter.

  • Kevin Morgan

    I agree it’s disgusting on so many levels.