Mandeville, LA – The refrain is familiar and predictable whenever the topic of morality comes up on-air. “I am a moral person but I don’t believe in religion or God.” Which is then usually followed by “I rely on you for the Constitution not this morality crap you try shoving down our throats these days. I have now stopped listening until you are moved to the Catholic channel or fired completely.” While I am thankful people wish to inform me of their listening choices and that I was blessed to count them in my number until “morality” came up, it cannot be left to readers and listeners to witness anything short of an increase in this “proselytizing.”
From Tom J.
Mike: I have enjoyed your show for a couple of years now. Your knowledge of history and the Constitution has been enlightening. Here come the big ” But” .
While I respect you passion about you religion, it has gotten overwhelming for me. I am not a Christian but am a very moral and ethical person. Your proselytizing has forced me to stop listening. Just an FYI. Thought you might like the feed back.
RESPONSE: Mike Church Show Fan Page
Sent by Mike Church
Oct 27th, 8:27am
Dear Tom, thanks for your thoughts and candor. I cannot stop “proselytizing” on these matters anymore than I can lie and distort the Constitution. The idea that a form of government exists without a superior authority is a-historical. 50 years of broadcasters not “proselytizing” has created the current civilizational crisis in morality. 53 million babies don’t just die, they are killed and the killing is justified by those who won’t “proselytize”. 40% of all children aren’t just born out of wedlock, their parents justify their choices precisely BECAUSE most have never been “proselytized”.
I wish you well in your listening choices.
Pax Domini Christi
This is not only a conviction of mine, that I “proselytize” to those who will hear me, I view it as a duty, that if not performed would place me in a state of Mortal Sin for having borne false witness and not loving my neighbor. Pope JP II pointed out that use of the term “proselytizing” is meant to cast the act of active conversion seeking as some sort of grave offense committed against other men (the opinion directed at me above).
Nowadays the call to conversion which missionaries address to non- Christians is put into question or passed over in silence. It is seen as an act of “proselytizing”; it is claimed that it is enough to help people to become more human or more faithful to their own religion, that it is enough to build communities capable of working for justice, freedom, peace and solidarity. What is overlooked is that every person has the right to hear the “Good News” of the God who reveals and gives himself in Christ, so that each one can live out in its fullness his or her proper calling. This lofty reality is expressed in the words of Jesus to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God,” and in the unconscious but ardent desire of the woman: “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst” (Jn 4:10, 15).
But dealing with the question of morality and the fashionable belief that it can be practiced by a secular authority from purely secular origins is preposterous. Pope Pius X recognized the secular practice of morality but made crystal clear its origins.
It is worthy of note how a layman, an excellent writer and at the same time a profound and conscientious thinker, has been able to understand well and express exactly this fundamental Catholic doctrine: The Church does not say that morality belongs purely, in the sense of exclusively, to her; but that it belongs wholly to her. She has never maintained that outside her fold and apart from her teaching, man cannot arrive at any moral truth; she has on the contrary more than once condemned this opinion because it has appeared under more forms than one. She does however say, has said, and will ever say, that because of her institution by Jesus Christ, because of the Holy Ghost sent her in His name by the Father, she alone possesses what she has had immediately from God and can never lose, the whole of moral truth, omnem veritatem, in which all individual moral truths are included, as well those which man may learn by the help of reason, as those which form part of revelation or which may be deduced from it.
During this day’s broadcast I raised the topic of the crumbling institution of marriage and the family that those marriages are meant to create. Specifically I wondered, “…gentlemen, where are the fathers?” We have a staggering 40% out of wedlock birthrate, meaning an unimaginable number of children will grow up in single parent homes, with low income mothers, stressed and stretched to their limits and unable to provide the care, moral guidance, discipline it takes TWO PARENTS in ideal circumstances to provide. Pope Paul VI, predicted this very outcome with the rise of the birth control pill and laid out each Christian gentleman’s duty.
“It has always been the duty of Christian married partners but today it is the greatest part of their apostolate to manifest and prove by their own way of life the indissolubility and sacredness of the marriage bond, strenuously to affirm the right and duty of parents and guardians to educate children in a Christian manner, and to defend the dignity and lawful autonomy of the family.”
In our journey of finding the beauty in this miserable life which flows from but one source, that eternal fountain of Love kept flowing by Our Lord, we will begin to see the beauty of our family and friends and therein lies an opportunity and a challenge. The opportunity is to seek their conversion to the True Faith specifically because we DID see the beauty therein and wish to save it from being damned and made hideous. The danger is that we will instead become more like the friend for the sake of a false sense of love and admiration of the corporeal kind, the “fakes sense of brotherly love” described by atheist Alan Bloom in “Closing of the American Mind”. Our concern for the rotting souls of our brothers and sisters like Tom must take precedence over the former. Brother André Marie presented a lecture on this topic and asked us to recall that before his conversion, St Augustine was as Bloom describes.
Succumbing to peer pressure, the young Augustine, with some other neighborhood rascals, stole pears from a neighbor’s farm only for the perverse pleasure of the theft. St. Augustine’s notes that the fruit “was not particularly tempting either to look at or to taste… . Our only pleasure in doing it was that it was forbidden… Now — as I think back on the state of my mind then — I am altogether certain that I would not have done it alone. [Note this: It was friendship, false friendship, that led him to do it.] Perhaps then what I really loved was the companionship of those with whom I did it…. O friendship unfriendly, un-analysable attraction for the mind, greediness to do damage for the mere sport and jest of it… Someone cries, ‘Come on, let’s do it’ — and we would be ashamed to be ashamed.’ ”
So then, fair listener and reader, please know that the on-air discussions upon morality are not made and argued by me for the sake of proving myself correct regardless of the Truth, there is a Christ-ordered motive, as Augustine put it. “The Master’s [Christ’s] command that we love our enemies…. to win them to the Kingdom of God, and we should hate those among our kindred, who stand in the way of the Kingdom of God.” Then, St Augustine, drops the hammer of the heretics (actually reserved to BVM but appropriate here) on those who cynically believe that my only motivation can be monetary or Fame related.
“….not knowing Moses’ opinion, but loving their own, not because it is truth, but because it is theirs. Otherwise they would equally love another true opinion, as I love what they say, when they say true: not because it is theirs, but because it is true; and on that very ground not theirs because it is true. But if they therefore love it, because it is true, then is it both theirs, and mine; as being in common to all lovers of truth.” – St Augustine
I can think of nothing more painful than knowing I did not exhaust every effort to bring about the Conversion of all souls I am blessed to come in contact with, if we all, brothers and sisters in Christ, begin to think this way, we can bring the Church back into the public discourse she has been so brutally removed from.
1. Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 1992
2. Pope Pius X, Divini Illius Magistri, 1929 via A. Manzoni, “Osservazioni sulla Morale Cattolica, c. III.”
3. Friends Forever: St. Augustine, Friendship, and Catholic Evangelism Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M., 2006
4. St Augustine, “Retractions” ch 18
5. St Augustine, “Confessions” Book XII, ch 25