By Charlie Johnston
I know people are waiting anxiously for my “Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You” column. I’ve nearly got it finished, but I reckon I will wait until tomorrow evening to put it up. First it is long and second, people got excited enough when I touched obliquely on the subject a few days ago that I figure I will be hopping the day after it is up – and I really would like a quiet Sunday tomorrow. If all goes well, we will be taping the video of some honor choir members singing the song of deliverance that you have been waiting so patiently for – and it will be up sometime next week.
I want you to know several things I have been contemplating – in part, that you might now that while we talk of dire potentialities, even likelihoods, I go on planning things as usual. Of course, longtime readers here know that if I was told the exact hour things were going to crash, I would go about the business I had planned without any changes unless specifically directed otherwise – figuring that wherever I was to be at the moment was where God wanted me to be. And I would not worry about why, knowing that He would reveal it in His own good time. What I most want is that all of you would be as docile.
I want to, beginning in the summer, to start taking a week to a week and a half each month and visit various cities both to encourage and share practical counsel with groups of people, have dinner with friends, visit local churches and maybe tour things like Christian facilities, offer support to small local Christian businesses. Any public gathering will always be free and there will be NO passing of a basket – and while I would have prayer cards to give out, there would be no table of items for sale. But I have lived poverty for several years now and it would have to be financed someway. There would be travel expenses and I would need a cheap hotel – something like Super 8 or a clean independent with wifi. I do very well in public, but I need solitude regularly…I get very crabby and I have a hard time thinking clearly if I can’t retreat and be alone for a time every day (you can check with my old candidates – they will tell you it is true…and that a crabby Charlie really isn’t a fun Charlie). I figure if I spent the better part of two days in each area, having a sponsor in each who would contribute $300 would cover transportation, food and hotel and allow everything to be freely given to all who would want to come. It would be large enough to cover expenses but small enough that it would not effect my simple way in these times.
To that end, to help create a real network, I am going to invite people who are willing to host a get-together without me first to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want some of you to be able to get together and meet each other. The initial meeting would have to be held in some sort of facility OUTSIDE anyone’s home. A church hall, a VFW hall, whatever. But the initial set-up would have to be somewhere other than anyone’s home. There are some crackpots who target this site. You don’t see them and you shouldn’t. It is not just a function of the site…any reasonably sized public entity attracts its share of crackpots. I dealt with them in media and a lot in politics…and one of the key things is to protect people from crackpots. Most are not dangerous…a very few are. I will not have any of you used as a canary in the crackpot coal mine. Once you have met and know some people, you can easily set up meeting at homes with people you already know and trust – but any public call cannot be in a home.
We will have both stickers and buttons in a few weeks. They will be available through the Full of Grace Supply House…and I will have them to give away whenever I am on the road. I am heading out to the cabin again in a week and a half, going to do the final draft of the prayer meeting booklet and, hopefully, the beginning of a summary of the key themes at this website. I mentioned that there may be some significant changes coming to the website, but there is a lot to work out on that. For now, my sister has taken on a role of comments editor – and just in time. I have over a thousand emails to deal with. Most have to wait about two weeks, but I am keeping it at least to a dull roar.
My posts right now are largely geared as to how to man your post well. I work to hearten and encourage all of us, but especially the good clerics that face a great challenge. I want those who stand from the start to know that many faithful Christians have their backs and are following their lead – and defending them against secular attacks. I want those who panic at the first sight of battle to know that all is not lost, that they will have an opportunity to steady themselves and hopefully become new St. Pauls and St. Peters. But I want those who publicly betray the faith or attack the faithful to know they will be held to account – in this world and the next.
I have an opening piece on that that should go up midweek. But for now, we have yet another heroic Bishop who is not giving in to the secular tide, but standing heroically for the faith and the faithful. He is Bishop Richard Lennon of Cleveland, who has issued standards for teachers of Catholic High Schools, including publicly supporting Catholic teaching. There is a marvelous article on it in Lifesite News. I am going to add a permanent link to Lifesite. Though I sometimes think it lets its ideological bent color its straight reporting, it is covering these types of stories with a depth and vigor you can find nowhere else.
Meantime, if you can, take the time to send a note or make a call to the Bishop thanking him for his fidelity to the faith, the contact info is:
Bishop Richard Lennon, Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, 1404 E. 9th St., Cleveland, Ohio 44114