SNARKINESS AND “QUEER AS FOLK” CATHOLICISM

Queer as Folk (season 1)
Queer as Folk (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This post is written with a degree of frustration, and perhaps you will never see it.  If you do, it will mean I have come very close to a tough but needed decision about the future of this blog. If not, I will keep a copy of it on file “just in case” the day comes when I do indeed make that assessment.

So what does this have to do with the title?  Absolutely nothing whatsoever. However I have noticed that the posts where I mention anything to do with human sexuality are the ones which bring the “hits” and/or even national publicity.  Since I am not overly snarky, which is the other approach that is in vogue these days, I only have theology on my side and, very honestly, that does not attract a huge readership, although arguably it certainly should. But we live in the age of sound bites, and studying the Faith in-depth takes time and effort.  Blogs may or may not be the main or best place for that, but rather instead the local parish/congregation or a good, solid Bible study group as well as personal study, whether as a single person or family.  And that is as it ought to be.

In just over 7 months I have had over 26,000 “hits” along with 117 nations who have at least checked out the “lay of the land” here, and I currently have 530+ followers. I have also posted over 180 times.  Those are at least respectable numbers, and I suppose I should be hugely grateful—especially considering that my last blog had exactly 4 followers in as many years and that I was one of them, so in reality I am extremely humbled and thankful for each and every person who has stopped by even one time.  But I am also troubled. I wonder out loud if I honestly have a real gift to offer here, other than my titillating past sins or present struggles, to contribute to the overall well-being of the body of Christ? I hope I do but I question it more and more of late.

Rosary and scapular - rosary beads and Scapula...
Rosary and scapular – rosary beads and Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. March 2009 photo by John Stephen Dwyer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was, for example, going to start a Rosary meditation series at one point a few months back, and as far as I can recall there was not even one response from anyone to suggest I should go ahead with it.  I posted awhile back on a current issue facing the Church and one former follower wrote to specifically tell me that my words “carried very little weight” on Church matters. Thanks. FYI I was not attempting to play the theologian in any case. I am however a lifelong student of Theology and have been for many years, but the one does not equate the other and I would be the first to surrender that point.

Another follower contacted me and chided my willingness to defend Jefferson Bethke, with whom I have had some personal contact, because in that person’s mind Bethke was directly aiming at the Catholic Church in his viral video on “religion and Jesus” and apparently I should have aimed back and fired hard as so many others had already done. After several contacts with Bethke, in addition to reading his blog, I am firmly convinced that was never once the intent of the 22-year-old young man who obviously loves the same Jesus I do.  I stand with my support of him. And if I lose followers in doing so then so be it.

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...
Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was also told, in a different situation, while commenting on another very successful Catholic blogger’s page who is in the process of compiling stories about “young guns” in the Church, that he was “thankful for those of us who had gone before to pave the way” for him and his more youthful group who apparently were or are getting ready to take charge after we the old fogies die the hell out.  I have never been quite sure if that remark was an honest appreciativeness of my words to him or rather a not-so-subtle way of saying “look old man your time has come and gone, so please step (or roll over) out of the way and let the new guard through.We can take it from here.”  Ironically I returned to the Church and was confirmed exactly 2 years before this person.  So I was not exactly that far behind him (or ahead of him, depending on how you view it).  I felt though, at least to him,  that I was on the “passed away” list of Hebrews 11 old-timers who had “gone on” as the great cloud of witnesses.

Then again maybe I am exactly that. It is somewhat ironic that a Church who had almost no room for younger Catholics to explore and grow in the Faith when I was coming up in the 1970s now seems to emphasize that demographic to the detriment of those of us over 50. And it very candidly angers me  at times that my words or comments, other than the occasional juicy tidbits about my LGBT active years, are largely ignored and/or dismissed by a newer and more vital generation who frankly, at least seemingly, could care less about my views on the “important stuff.”

So here is the deal, gents and ladies—I do not wish to be known as the “old guard” nor to win some type of Father Harvey (founder of Courage) SSA “look-alike” contest.  I am very attentive to the teaching of the Church and make every attempt to follow it in all areas.  I am certainly not correct all of the time but I am well-studied and have a deep and abiding respect for both my Catholic and non-Catholic friends and family members. Even so then there is always room, or should be, for honest disagreement in areas that have not been firmly settled by the Magisterium (and I do not mean the new “Magisterium of Nuns” as the great Father Z fondly calls them).  I would say, if self-assessing, that I may not be a heavy-weight but at least a middle one on most issues of current interest and discussion. The question in the blogosphere is this—is “middle” worth reading?  Maybe, maybe not. I do not know the answer to that one. You, the reader, need to tell me, even if I do not like the answer.

Blogging is hugely fun for me, and writing is a skill I have been trying to develop in my “near-dead latter years” (slight snarkiness there) due to great prodding in recent decades to do so from many and varied sources. Ironically most of those who initially encouraged me now largely pass over my body of work of late, as I have more of a traditional and conservative view on many issues than they do, or at least than I did then during said encouragement.

And then again I have others who think I am too liberal or falsely “progressive” (I hate that term by the way) because I am not on the constant prowl or attack mode against my Protestant Christian brothers and sisters, many of whom I happen to think have much to teach us as Catholics in point of fact—and  that we need to frankly listen to them with less defensiveness and more charity. At least that is what I believe.

So I am depending on you here. If I hear from a goodly number of you, honestly suggesting that I continue this blog I will most likely do so. I have a particular figure in mind but I will not say what it is, at least for now. I wish not to influence the results of this informal “poll.”

But if the response is small—I will at least pray, and ask you to do so with me (if you have actually even read this far), about whether this is the best use of an “ancient old man’s” time when youth, snarkism and snappish posts, and the never-ending but ever-popular LGBT rights issues are all but obsessions with the Catholic and otherwise Christian blogging world currently. I do not wish to wait until I have only 4 followers once again before I accept the hint from God that it is time to move on and go play shuffleboard or something. Or to buy a cane.  Wait I own 3 already. All decorative so far. Just clarifying.

English: Walking stick made with bamboo cane
English: Walking stick made with bamboo cane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks for everything.  And I mean that to supporters and critics alike. I just need to discern. I started late in the blogging world, and there are at present literally dozens of absolutely wonderful great-quality Catholic voices out there. Many of them cover every topic I do, including “queer Catholic” issues—(I use that term a bit with a hint of sarcasm to be sure, as I have made it very clear numerous times that I do not care for it in the least), and some blogs, such as “Bad Catholic” just as a start, are written by people who have extremely bright futures within the circles of Catholicism and the writing world in general. I cannot begin to compete with any of these nor would I try. I just need to know if I offer anything whatsoever that they do not. So please help me out with your frank feedback.   God bless, and I will be listing some delicious alternatives in case I decide to move on.  Thanks all.

 AS ALWAYS, the list of related articles do not necessarily reflect my own views or those of the Church–they are listed as good starting points for discussion and dialogue only.

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36 thoughts on “SNARKINESS AND “QUEER AS FOLK” CATHOLICISM

  1. Good post. It struck a note with me; it’s hard to write about what really matters when the world is always looking for something “juicy.” On the other hand, I’ve found for myself, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of cliche topics – eg “constant prowl and attack mode against Protestants” which you mentioned. I tried writing a blog about Catholicism and my journey to becoming Catholic, but found that it very quickly degenerated into a very polarized “always-on-the-attack-and-defense” fight with my non- (anti-)Catholic friends. I grew to hate the blog just as quickly and dropped it. It had become a regurgitation of cliche “Catholic vs. Protestant” and conversion story topics.

    Of course, your blog has a much richer variety of posts and topics. But I can see that frustration that when you write a rosary meditation series or theology, no one is really interested. Things like that tend to break down the polarized fighting that gets us so excited, like conservative vs. progressive, etc. Basically, they make us focus on God instead of our own personal battles that we take so seriously. (Our own personal battles can be important, but they’re not everything, as we often like to think they are.)

    In the end, though, I have to admit that I’m guilty as charged in this case; the first thing I do when I open a blog is look for the juice. I almost always skip well-written posts about good (orthodox) spiritual reflection and jump for something that’s charged in one of theses high-profile battles. Very bad habit. I’m going to work on changing my blog reading habits.

    My vote: keep writing your blog about what you find important – even if it’s not the juicy stuff people read the most.

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    1. Jacob welcome to the blog and thank you for sharing that, it is very much appreciated! And I agree, it is tempting to look to the numbers and such and then they begin to control what a person shares. For awhile I was getting many hits from certain sources and found myself writing to please them. Not what a blog should be for.

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    2. By the way, I’m still on the “younger” side of things – a tendency towards the traditional and conservative – but I’ve learned a lot from older people, and I’m 100% sure I’m still going to learn more, even when they’re on the “other side of the debate.” I find it ironic that some young people with traditional tendencies have forgotten one of the most traditional ideas out there; “respect your elders.” The voice of the young is important, but in our youth we often think we’re invincible; “I would never do that …” “the last generation was so silly…” “We’re going clean up the mess the made” etc. The experience of those who have gone on in life a little further often remind us (among many other important things) that life brings many surprises – and as much as we think we can learn from the “mistakes of the past” we usually ready for our own big surprises, and usually don’t do much (if any) better. One of the biggest surprises in my life can when I realized that I had had a great source for good parenting right at my fingertips all along – my own parents. “Despite” all their imperfect and flawed parenting, so full of mistakes that I would “never repeat” (as I saw it then) they actually offered sound and wise advice. Who would’ve imagined?

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  2. Liz

    So, as I used to run a very snarky blog, I have the voice of experience… don’t let the young folks bother you. The 20-somethings don’t know as much as they think they know, in particular how to behave in a diplomatic manner. New wine may get you just as drunk, but the old wine is more fun to drink and is better for your health.

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  3. I stumbled across this because I am a huge fan of queer as folk and I have a google alert set up for any content related to it. You’re probably gonna get a lot of us appear.

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    1. catholicboyrichard

      Good and you are welcome to be here anytime! God bless. (PS–even though the post was a bit misleading, I am a fan of QAF myself!).

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      1. And i’m glad! You should check out my website, I collect props and memorabilia from the show 🙂 and the cast are wonderful human beings – they did a covention this year in cologne. 🙂

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      2. catholicboyrichard

        Really??? I met 3 of them here in Minnesota one time…I liked the British one the best though. It was truly the ground-breaker.

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    2. catholicboyrichard

      Good and you are welcome to be here anytime! God bless. (PS–even though the post was a bit misleading, I am a fan of QAF myself!). I do not always agree with the premises on the show. I think they glorify LGBT life in ways that are not always accurate. Then again other times they are PAINFULLY accurate. In any case it was a well-acted and well intentioned show. You cannot ask for more than that these days.

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      1. The British version was fantastic – makes me proud to be from the UK. The US version is my favourite though, purely for the cast members. Listening to them speak was very inspiring for me. I must go now, but I will pop back and visit and read some more of your posts 🙂 much love thrown your way xxx

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  4. Pingback: SNARKINESS AND “QUEER AS FOLK” CATHOLICISM – Blog « Feeds « Theology of Ministry

  5. Keep writing! God gave you the talent and the capability to blog. I think that He wants you to reach out to other people from far away places with your stories of Faith and Love to our King.

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  6. Doubledad

    Richard,
    Don’t lose faith or steam. They may come for the human sexuality topics but will eventually stay to explore the fullness of your perspective. I for one am hugely buoyed by the fact of your existence. Having recently lost my spouse to same sex attraction, I was finding it very hard to find people that fall in that category that have a profound orthodox faith. I value your perspective on every aspect of the faith, not just the parts that intersect your sexuality.

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  7. catholicboyrichard

    I will respond more later–but this is just to say that I appreciate each of your comments thus far and they are helpful in the discernment process here. And more than that, I appreciate the heart and soul of each person who took time to write. It is huge to me.

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  8. lamehousewife

    I appreciate you, dear brother. I have felt the same way a few times…about whether or not I should keep blogging. I don’t get a lot of chances to read as much as I would like, but I am interested in your Rosary series. I am guessing you feel a lot like me as far as being taught the Catechism, but this is one thing I have learned. It is a FREAKIN’ MIRACLE that Jesus found me! So many of my cohorts are still wandering, not knowing what they’ve left, because of the terribly neglectful education that we received. I give thanks for you catholicboyrichard. You are proof to me that the Holy Spirit’s fire is spreading and has no bounds as to who He is calling home.
    One thing you might consider is making this sort of a mission task, not so much to write posts, but to outreach to those who might just need a kind word to get through the day.
    God bless!

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    1. GOOD WORDS and good thoughts…and believe me I have left a fair amount of people puzzled. As far as I know, none of my family and few of my previous friends follow this blog. If so they are all the strong silent types. But they never, ever say a word about it. Even when my testimony was published nationally, and when I was on the Catholic Channel (via Gus Lloyd)–nothing. Except one sister. Does it hurt? Yes at times. But Jesus got that same treatment. They saw Him, the Messiah, as the “little boy, carpenter’s son.” Why should I, who is far less than He, expect better treatment? I get it. I just don’t like it. But you are right. Drew Mariani, brilliant national radio host on RELEVANT RADIO, has a brother in law who is athiest. I have a one relative who told me that my views on abortion were “immoral.” And another who unfriended me on FB because she didn’t want “all that controversy.” And she is a devout Catholic! So life can be strange, and we can feel very alone at times. But even in the Garden, Jesus prayed alone while his top 3 zoned out on Him. I should understand that life is simply like that. Your words are true.

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  9. Richard – I definitely think you should continue to blog and blog about the things you have been blogging about. I love your candor and honesty – you are an excellent writer and always full of charity and kindness. You are an important voice and have certainly been noticed in the online Catholic world. Don’t be discouraged by a few critics or those who tell you you don’t speak for them. I think your witness is more important than ever – and age makes no difference whatsoever. Your experience, the ins and outs of your journey, are important for people to understand in their own experiences.

    God bless you and I hope you keep blogging, because you are a good writer and have important things to say. If you decide to stop blogging however, I hope you’d leave up what you have written – for posterity, as it were.

    Don’t be discouraged.

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    1. Terry you of all people know I have had my struggles, even since my return to the Church. I have always been a person who “lives life out loud” and sometimes it has gotten me into trouble. Then again sometimes it has allowed me to interact with wonderful brothers or sisters in Christ, brothers such as you, for one example, and we have all been able to learn together. And that is good. If I ever do leave, I promise to let you copy (for your own use only that is) any of my posts. But I think I will be around. And since we are both in MN we should do coffee sometime. Deal?

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  10. Maithe

    Oh wow, I am the first to respond.

    Let me give you just some thoughts… Do with it what you want… 🙂

    Well, first. I was a bit dissapointed to read about the possiblity of the ending of your blog. I’ll be honest, the not too many times (but you can probably check that in your stats 🙂 ) I have visited your blog, it was mostly because I was interested in your view on and experience with homosexuality as a Catholic. You can very well make clear what the deal is. I have even recommended it to a friend who is struggeling with these issues at the moment.

    I always thought you are a great testimony on this matter. I think I think we need that. I don’t know other blogs like this anyway. I personally think you are a great witness, perhaps that is something to take into account. But I can also understand you don’t want te blog only about that.

    But as I just revisited your “Why This Blog???”-page and skimmed it (sorry). I see your goal is not just being a witness of a being a Catholic homophil with a gay past. It is much more than that.

    Now, then I think you should just think about what YOU want. Or better, wat GOD wants. Actually, I don’t think you should ask the mass about a personal decision like this. What if most people say “no” and you still want to keep writing? Do you want give up something you like to do? Unless, you only want to blog when (a certain amount of) people read it. Although I agree that it is less fun, when you have not many/none visitors.

    I say it like this, because I am in this position. I have a blog, but hardly any visitors. 😛 I was thinking about it the other day, but I think I still want to continue, because I like writing. I am not ready to completely stop blogging anyway. I stubbornly go on, haha.

    Oh, my post is getting long. Well, I hope this helps a little. I apreciate your blog. I will also try and read posts on the other topics ;). Although I think I already have …

    Good luck and wisdom with your decision.
    You’ll be in my prayers.

    kind regards from the Netherlands

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    1. I know, I know…it isn’t about the numbers. That is ego talking. And yes I certainly have one. But if I change direction a bit it is mainly because I cannot, for my own sanity, keep being ONLY identified as the “SSA Catholic Christian.” The very reason for using that term is to separate my identity from the LGBT world and not let it define me. But it defines me just as much if that is all people wish to read about when they look me up.

      So it is about balance. I think i need to blog about other things without neglecting or shying away from SSA issues either. And let the chips fall as they may. I am glad you are checking out my other posts too. And thank you for your good words. SO much. God bless!

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  11. Lidia

    I think that the web is saturated with Catholic blogs. And that’s a good thing. But the thing that makes your blog unique is that you are a celibate same sex attracted Catholic, who truly follows the magesterium. People come here primarily because of that. I have a ist of about 20 blogs in my favorites that I scroll through every couple of days. If you choose to write on the rosary, or theology etc… it may or may not catch my attention, depending on what the subjects of the other blogs are that day. I can tell you that on any given day there is only one other Catholic blogger who may be writing about homosexual issues from experience. I personally, NEED to read these kind of entries because it’s a place I can go and refresh my spirit in the fight to defend the Church’s teachings, specifically on homosexual issues.

    I am exactly your age, a ’74 graduate. This is a hard time of our lives because we certainly don’t feel old, Even though I was cradle, I didn’t become an obedient Catholic until I was 40. So, I feeel like I’m just getting started in my spiritual life. Don’t let those whippersnapper 20 & 30’s bloggers intimidate you and make you feel like you are not ‘young” enough to matter. Put your tough skin on and remind yourself that God is in control of your blog. So what if it comes down to only 4 fatiful followers? Do you have any way of knowing what impact you will have made on those 4, and in turn, those 4 on their little world…and so on?

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    1. Okay, okay, I get it. I just hate wearing tough skin–especially at our ages it can be a bit leathery hehe. But I agree. Someone, somewhere, prayed with Billy Graham to accept Christ. Then he went on to reach millions. Our Holy Father Pope Benedict was raised as a devout Catholic, but did his parents expect him to become Pope? Not on your life. Blessed JP 2 was orphaned by the time he was in seminary, and served as a Bishop under a Communist nation. He then went on to not only become Pope but to literally destroy the foundations of that very Communism, and at great risk to himself. And on it goes. Maybe someone will read my words 10 or 20 years after I kick from this crazy world–and maybe by then people will be able to say “homosexual” without cringing. And maybe that person will become the saint I hope to be one day. You are right. Thanks for saying your good words, even with the slight (ever so slight) kick in the pants. God bless.

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  12. I read as often as I can! If this is a means for you to vent and share your thoughts (a kind of therapy, which is why many of my friends blog, not to see how many people actually read their blogs…it’s kind of an on line diary…instead of writing in a paper book, they type…if people happen along, great, if not, they have gotten their thoughts “out there’ and feel better).

    What keeps me from posting too often on peoples blogs, is I put my 2 cents in and don’t really have the energy or time to keep defending my position…so I don’t say anything unless I am willing to “put in the time”….if that makes sense.

    I also spent 35 years of my single life (from age 15 to 40) vehemently defending the Faith from the “Magesterium of nuns”, very poor religious ed instructors and directors, bad priests (preaching openly against the Magesterium among other topics….I guess I am, burned out (although not from praying for the conversion of these folks) and am happy to see re-verts and converts taking over the reins. Now I am married with a child..I home school, do the bookkeeping for out business, manage 2 rental properties, and now 2 households..I am busier in a much different (and rewarding!) way. I do love reading your blogs when I have a chance…I spend more time on FB, because the info/posting are much shorter and quick reads…

    Pray about this (like I know you have been!) even if you reach ONE person in whom you can plant that mustard seed…that is all the Lord asks of us…to keep trying to convert souls 🙂

    God Bless you AND your gift of writing!

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    1. Of all people, you have nothing whatsoever to apologize about–if you do not answer me here, you at least “like” many of the things I post or answer me over on my FB page (which, incidentally, any reading this are more than welcome to come on over and join there too!). Cathy I am blessed to have you in my life. Very blessed. Know that.

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  13. Hi Richard.
    Keep writing about what you care about whether you have 4 or 40,000 followers. Do remember that after Jesus gave his Bread of Life discourse that his group shrank to nearly 12. Also some of the greatest works of literature that have endured through the ages were often initially dismissed or ignored by critics or the public (Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables comes to mind).
    If you remember that I have a blog you also would remember that I only have posted one time in the last four months. There are lots of factors that go into writing or wanting to write. It is summer now so I have been more interested in being outside (hence my trip to the Grand Canyon). So, my posts have been of a more visual nature. Also, I used to write a lot of things during my college years and I kind of got to a point where I just felt that I needed to work on doing more listening as I have been told by some friends that I am poor at this.
    I have been recently reading the small, but profound book titled “The Imitation of Christ”. There is a strong theme of humility in that book and I might encourage you to pick it up if you haven’t in awhile. Really, the book has a stress on sending the message that we in life are called to not seek out any more than what our Blessed Lord Jesus experienced. And he experienced rejection, betrayal, dismissal, etc. and we still listen to him today because he responded to all that like no other human being on this earth in such a consistent manner. (this is not even bringing up that he was God in the flesh).
    So, I agree with you desire to evaluate things but I might put a little twist on the reflection in saying that evaluate why you are choosing to write what you are writing now and ask yourself if you would be writing those things whether or not you have one follower or a million. This is a profound test of character! I commend you to it!

    By the way, I’m happy to talk more with you about anything and everything when you would like. Just drop me a line!

    Michael

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  14. Laura S.

    You have a permanent spot on my google reader! While I’m a younger whippersnapper and a fan of BadCatholic, too… I would be presumptuous to think that my elders have nothing to teach to me. I’ve begun to cringe anytime a catholic blogger mentions the “biological solution” that will supposedly weed out the “spirit of Vatican II” from the Church… it’s so callous, cruel and utterly lacking in charity! I initially drifted a bit in that direction when I had renewed my interest in my faith after college, but it’s thanks to the middle voices (like yours, Frank Weathers, John Allen, etc) that keep me balanced out. Unfortunately, the GLBT stuff will probably always draw more hits since it is such a hot-button topic these days… especially here in MN! I’m really dreading the next few pre-election months and all the vitriol and political/twitter/facebook bloodbaths that will likely result. Thank you for your voice and witness… whatever the topic 🙂

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    1. I surely hear you about the politics…and no I am not into waiting for the old guard to die out so we can “really” have Vatican II. Hell I am part of the old guard!!! I do wish to say that I do not exactly see myself as a middle voice though. I lean very much to the traditional (not the asinine) but am probably to the right of many or most modern Catholics in reality. HOWEVER having said that, I think we can do so without negating or judging the Faith of others. Some of those “flaming liberals” have much to teach us too. God bless and thanks for your words.

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  15. Hi Richard,

    I’ve been running my blog for about 4 months now. It hasn’t gotten nearly as many hits, or followers, as yours, but I’ve definitely noticed the same trend as you. If I write about human sexuality, the hits soar. If I write about something controversial, the hits jump up a notch. I find it rather exhausting, actually, to have to write about those things that are trendy instead of those things which I think are important. Sometimes, I feel like an actor who does an action movie to gather a following and then does the artsy movie that he really wants to do, hoping that his fans will follow him. That approach hasn’t worked much for me. Once I stop writing about sexuality, the hits plummet and continue to decrease until I write about sexuality again.

    On the other hand, there have been a few people who have written to me to tell me that they’ve found my blog helpful. Now, when I say few, I mean few. But to me, the fact that this has happened at all makes all the difference. I was able to bolster somebody’s faith. I was able to help somebody. When I first started the blog I thought to myself, “Is this really worth it? I am not as eloquent as C.S. Lewis, nor am I as witty as G.K. Chesterton, nor am I as educated as Peter Kreeft. What am I doing here?” Then I thought of all the books that I had read, and I remembered how thankful that I was for having had the opportunity to read them. In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis readily admitted that he was offering “nothing new”. He said that he was writing his book because, well, sometimes when you’re in math class and you have a question, the teacher doesn’t understand what you don’t understand. However, sometimes there is that fellow student of yours who can explain what is going on because he’s learning it himself. That’s C.S. Lewis. In a book about prayer, Peter Kreeft said that even if his book only helps one person attain salvation, then it will have been worth the effort to write and publish it. I guess what I am trying to say is, if you manage to help anyone with your presence on the internet, then everything you’ve done is worth it. I think we Catholics need to be as present as possible to those looking for answers to their questions. Blogging is one way to do that.

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    1. Well Matt for what it is worth I for one am glad our paths have crossed! Your words mean a lot to me, and we must use the gifts we have. I have to remind myself sometimes that I even have any. But then maybe that is just an excuse, like the one who buried his one talent–he felt he had nothing to give, so he gave nothing at all. I must guard against that selfish side of me. You and I have something to offer, brother and friend. Thanks for your good words.

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  16. Kim Nelson

    Richard, you own this. This is YOURS. All yours. You can do what YOU want with it. But one of the things that you wrote I think says it all: “Blogging is hugely fun for me, and writing is a skill I have been trying to develop…” So why would you want to stop doing something hugely fun for you? And it’s good for you, too (like Wheaties or Cheerios or a vitamin). It’s a great way to express yourself, what you believe, what you’re feeling. People may or may not respond and that’s okay.

    And Richard, old is a state of mind: “near-dead latter years” — Goodness, I hope we’re no where “near dead”!!! And, btw, I love your snarkiness.

    Express yourself in whatever manner makes you happy. You have a gift for writing. Enjoy it.

    Hugs my friend.
    Kim

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    1. Kim I should have been bold enough to ask you out in 8th grade…maybe I would have never been “gay” lol. You always make me feel better. You have such a gift for caring and are one of the truest examples of Christianity I know. I love you as a friend and sister in Christ. Thanks for your good words. And just for you I will put away the canes, at least for now hehe.

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  17. David

    Richard:
    Don’t quit. The world would be less if you stopped blogging. Blogging is something you enjoy doing and it sounds like you have a loyal following of readers (I am one of them). Your life story is the reason I started reading your blog. I am Catholic (a convert) and I have a trans child. Hearing your perspective on issues has helped me on my faith journey and I have share some of your posts with my somewhat non-practicing (adult) child. Your blog is unique because you are a unique creation of our loving God.

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    1. David–first of all I commend you in keeping the lines of communication open with your transgender child. Not all parents or family members do so. I think it is difficult to do so with an LGBT child in general, but probably nothing more difficult than those caught in that particular corner of the homosexual world. They often are not accepted among either group, whether those who are oppposite-sex attracted and those who identify as gay. And it is a lonely path.

      Keep that contact going. I would also personally invite he or she to communicate with me anytime if they wish to do so. I absolutely promise I will never preach at them. But I would be happy to be a friend. God bless. And for you alone I will stay around. You and your precious child. Peace to you.

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  18. Dear Richard,
    I vote for yes, Sir! Keep blogging, please. I look forward to every post you put up here. I always enjoy the content and I’m ALWAYS impressed with the amount of time you put into each session. I think that if you enjoy writing what you’re writing, then you should keep writing it, because it brings you joy and allows you to tap into the gift that God gave you and allows the Holy Spirit to work through you.

    I also think you should keep writing, specifically to FIGHT the urge to care who responds in a complementary manner (or who responds at all). You are a loving man and you long to express that love through your blog, so, just express it, regardless of who reads it. Someone just posted one of those cheesy, inspirational quotes on their facebook page and I loved it; it was a quote from Mother Teresa that said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, starting with the person nearest you.” You, Sir, put amazing stuff into this blog, and it doesn’t matter who the crap reads it; at least you’re putting it out there. (And I grow every time I visit your blog)

    I’m newer to the blogosphere than you are, and have never had more than 19 people look at what I’ve written, but I know that it felt great to get each post out of my racing head onto “paper”. I ALSO know that YOU are always one of the few that reads my blog and am encouraged by that. I’d never want to discount your presence on my blog simply because my stats didn’t peak 5 that day. Just you being there is awesome.

    PLUS, to appease the desire for big stats, I always tell myself that maybe I’m like a modern, non-schooled, internet Kierkegaard. He was essentially forgotten and unrecognized in his life; he didn’t gain popularity years and years and years after he died, when some dude in the St. Olaf library in Minnesota found a copy of one of his works and went crazy about it.

    Okay, so, long response. Sorry. I vote for continued blogging, regardless of comments, syndication, accolades, or even arguments. You’re good at it, and all good things come down from the Father of lights. 🙂

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