Sound and Fury – Signifying Much


By Charlie Johnston

I have been wrestling with a nagging virus most of this week. Sorry, but you are going to get recaps of old pieces for the most part until next week. I am going to try to just completely rest and rid myself of this bug. But I also need to do some serious contemplation. The riots in Chicago last Friday to stop the Trump Rally were more serious than anyone yet realizes, I think. It is a harbinger of a vast ratcheting up of violent public confrontation.

Just after the mild economic meltdown in 2008 I was talking with a friend of mine who is a public official. I told him this had the potential for unleashing deep, long-term danger in our already fractured culture. Ever since the 60’s the progressive left has played a dark shell game with our democratic sensibilities. On matters of public policy, if they win a referendum, they say the matter is settled. If they lose, they seek out a corrupt judicial oligarch to overrule the judgment of the electorate. Failing that, they exercise the violent veto of riot. They usually get at least part of their way.

I told my friend, though, that these coercive gains are won at the sufferance of the great majority, who would rather avoid a fight if they can. What, I asked, happens when the rioters are met with a larger mob than themselves, filled with generations of resentment at this bullying?

An iron law of both economics and human behavior is this: what you reward you get more of and what you punish you get less of. For generations now, we have been rewarding the progressive left for riotous coercion.

Regular readers here know I am not at all a fan of Donald Trump. Yet when I hear the media and commentators state that he has created a climate of violence at his events, I chuckle with grim amusement at the irony. Trump has fantasized about hitting back at those who disrupt his events, but those fantasies are almost entirely defensive. The man who is our sitting president has openly urged his supporters to aggressively confrontational tactics. He has told his people to  “get in our enemies face,” that when opponents show up with a knife, his people should respond with a gun, and repeatedly exhorted his troops to “punish our enemies.” When Mr. Obama speaks of his “enemies” he is not speaking of Iran or China, but of Republicans, Christians, and anyone else who disagrees with any particular of his agenda. He has weaponized the bureaucracy to use its power to punish those with political views he does not share. He has encouraged rioters who have mobilized against local police – regardless of the veracity of their claims – acts which have led to the assassination of police officers around the country. That is what fomenting a climate of violence looks like, not fantasizing about giving the rioters back a little of their own.

The progressive left has long sought to impose its will on everyone by any means necessary. That is why you see bakers, florists, owners of banquet halls and county clerks jailed, fined and bankrupted if they persist in living their Christian sensibilities. It is why military and public officials who dare to publicly proclaim Christ have been being purged and fired. Almost everyone other than the progressive left just wants to be left alone – to live and let live. They do not seek to impose their will on anyone, just to be left alone. They are routinely called bigots, racists and troglodytes for their quiet tolerance. They are lectured by people whose faces are contorted with rage about charity and love. They are hectored about tolerance by people who scream for the head of any public figure who dares to say he thinks the traditional definition of marriage is the right definition.

The progressive left has gotten away with its bullying because we have preferred peace and quiet to a fight over various discrete issues. We have enabled them by rewarding the violent veto of riot with success.

I was not surprised when the media tried to blame the left’s hissy fit in Chicago on Trump. I was absolutely horrified when Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio joined the media in laying the blame for the organized riotous behavior of the progressive left on…Donald Trump. When the supposed voices of reason, Cruz and Rubio, join in enabling the riotous coercion of left-wing thugs in hopes of transient political advantage, the republic is already lost. It caused me to have great sympathy for Trump supporters. For all his bluff and bluster, he is not surrendering to the forces that have routinely screamed that anyone conservative or Christian is a racist, terrorist hater. I have long suspected that the reason God allows this bizarre election season is to publicly demonstrate that there is NO one currently in political life equal to the particular challenges our long disorder has finally brought to a head. Now I am certain of it. There is NO political solution to this spiritual, cultural crisis.

We have reached a critical point. The great mass of people are waking up to the reality that there is no particular issue that, if appeased, will satisfy the progressive left. The progressive left will make war rather than respect the rights, liberty or freedom of conscience of any who don’t march in lockstep with them. After decades of trying valiantly to be left alone, everyone else is figuring out that they must either forfeit their liberty or resist. Even now, many are sadly resolving that they will have war rather than forfeit their faith and their freedom. After decades of being rewarded for exercising the violent veto of riot, the progressives are now rewarded even by the supposed guardians on the right. So we will have more such displays – just at the time the great mass are deciding they will have no more. Thus so the conflict rises and grows malignant.

The devil’s ways are many and subtle. It is not the sin of others we have most to fear, but the hidden sin and vanity in ourselves. I am contemplating how to prepare you for the challenges of the extensive and growing civil strife that are now at our doorstep. It is one of the reasons why I have put such emphasis on public Eucharistic and Marian Processions this year. Before we can do any good, we must put on the armor of Christ. To that end, I hope you will take a look at this, one of the finest documents ever written in the English language – and the perfect direction for Christian preparation for persecution and strife. It is the late Rev. Martin Luther King’s letter from the Birmingham Jail. The only English exhortation I rank as highly is Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.


milwaukee procession.png

Milwaukee Eucharistic Procession after Men of Christ Conference

This is going to seem a quiet weekend. Two Saturdays ago, I walked in the Public Eucharistic Procession around Planned Parenthood in Denver with almost 2,000 of the faithful. . Last Saturday, I was one of the pole-bearers of the canopy over the Eucharistic Monstrance in the Public Eucharistic Procession following the close of the Men of Christ Conference in Milwaukee. There were over 3,000 people there. This Saturday, I am going to stay at home and prepare for Holy Week.


About charliej373

Charlie Johnston is a former newspaper editor, radio talk show host and political consultant. From Feb. 11, 2011 to Aug. 21, 2012, he walked 3,200 miles across the country, sleeping in the woods, meeting people and praying as he went. He has received prophetic visitation all his life, which he has vetted through a trio of priests over the last 20 years, and now speaks publicly about on this site. Yet he emphasizes that we find God most surely through the ordinary, doing the little things we should with faith and fidelity. Hence the name, The Next Right Step. The visitations inform his work, but are not the focus of it. He lives in the Archdiocese of Denver in the United States.
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520 Responses to Sound and Fury – Signifying Much

  1. Eileen Libbey says:

    Dear Janet333, I know that you mean well, but I think that Mr. Johnston is able to speak for himself. As far as Garabandal, and Conchita, the visionary, she does talk about a possible punishment, that might take place after the miracle. Who’s to say that this is not the “Three days of darkness?” And Mother Mary says that we can lessen or even avert the punishment, by our prayers, and by our saying of the rosary. And as far as whether Padre Pio received a message from God, concerning the “Three days of darkness,” he did. And this message was sent to the Vatican. I have been reading the saints/stigmatists messages about the “Three days of darkness,” but did not have such a complete list of them, so I am appreciative of this. God is the infallible one, and His Holy Spirit, and I will follow His leading in all of this. Prophets, and men are fallible. God bless you, Janet. – Eileen


    • charliej373 says:

      Eileen, this is largely why I recommend people read a few articles and comments to familiarize themselves with the tone and standards here.

      You responded to Janet’s gentle comment to you with condescension…”I know you mean well…” I know you do not know that Janet is an accomplished Catholic writer in England. You probably don’t know that many of the commenters here are Priests, theologians and eschatologists of national and international repute…and a few Bishops traveling incognito. The Bishop who goes by the screen name of Yong Duk is a regular here. Beyond that, we have doctors, lawyers, economists and financiers – among others – who are genuine experts in their field.

      We discuss serious things and sometimes vigorously disagree, but back up our comments in such things with actual evidence and verifiable citations, not just assertions. I don’t know whether Padre Pio wrote about the “three days of darkness” or not, but Janet provided a citation from contemporaries who says he did not – and it is easily verifiable. You merely asserted that he did and sent a letter to the Vatican, with no verifiable link or citation. That is not how we get productive dialogue here.

      Meanwhile, while noting rightly that prophets and men are fallible, you treat those private revelations that you concur with as God’s infallible word and that you have unerring discernment, so that your comments are not mere claims, but God’s word. Given the serious authorities who frequent this website, though you may be right on a matter, you have to back it up with evidence rather than just your sense of the matter if you are going to insist it must be true.

      This site is not for everyone. I would be glad to see you hang around, but you must treat other commenters with the respect you would like to be treated with; you must offer evidence and citations for your arguments rather than mere assertions; and you must have the humility to make the case for the interpretations you find congenial and take responsibility for your arguments rather than just intimating that God gives you infallible guidance.

      We argue here, we laugh, we pray for each other – and we try to discern truth and God’s intention while building each other up. But everyone who stays here fundamentally abides by the fundamental principles I noted in the last paragraph.

      Liked by 8 people

    • janet333 says:

      Hi Eileen,

      I would have liked to believe that Padre Pio did speak of this event, but according to many sources he did not. Among them I found the following credible sites….

      If you have proof that Padre Pio did speak about the three days of darkness I would be very interested in hearing about it.🙂

      “Conchita, the visionary, she does talk about a possible punishment, that might take place after the miracle. Who’s to say that this is not the “Three days of darkness?””

      Yes that is true Eileen… it could possibly be…but according to her she wasn’t told about any 3 days of darkness, just a chastisement. Obviously genuine seers have to be cautious here in case it turns out to be false and somehow it gets linked to them. This would put their own mission in a bad light.

      God Bless You.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Eileen Libbey says:

    By what you say to me here, you appear to have great pride, and are lacking in humility and love.You do not know how God sees me, or my worth or value. The Lord loves me, and He values me. He values my questions, thoughts, and concerns, and sees me as His beloved daughter. I may not be a great prophet, or theologian, but God lives in my heart, and leads my life. I long to do His will, and to follow Him. It is as simple as that. Praise be to God! God bless you. – Eileen


  3. janet333 says:

    “The Lord loves me, and He values me. ”

    He really does Eileen. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Robert Cunningham says:

    I’ve been working a lot and it is has been hard to keep up with all of the posts, so a few thoughts . . .

    Anne – You wrote of Charlie, “He strikes me as a real cream puff probably in some areas but the point of his writing is to build us up”. I was laughing out loud about the cream puff part. I suspect he laughed when he read it too. He is about as much of a cream puff as Jeremiah the prophet but that is funny and I needed a good laugh. Balderdash! Codswallop! It made me think of Monty Python – “I’ve had worse!”

    Janet – as always, your words were kind to Eileen. Your response was measured and well thought out. We all need encouragement. I liked it.

    Eileen – I hope you stick around. You have obviously read a great deal and love God. Please pray for me.

    This Lent was very difficult for me. I felt like my family was attacked on every level. Late one night during Holy Week my wife and I were commenting on how the whole week felt like a spiritual attack. As we were talking we heard a loud crash in the kitchen. It was frightening. I jumped out of bed, went to the kitchen, turned on the light and found that a wooden image of the Last Supper had fallen to the floor and broken completely in half. That had been in my family for almost 50 years and never fallen before. So, I got the holy water and blessed the whole house.

    My daughter came home for spring break and left to go back to college Easter Sunday morning. The rest of the family agreed to go to the Life Teen Easter Mass in the afternoon so we could say goodbye to my oldest daughter. We all got ready and drove to the Church only to find the parking lot empty. A large sign (that I seemed to have missed) read “No Life Teen Mass on Easter Sunday”. For a moment, I imaged my head turning into a donkey like Elmer Fudd when Bugs Bunny makes a fool out of him. As we drove back home, knowing that was the last Mass of the day in our area, I thanked the Lord for even testing me in that pride. I have learned to let go of pride in many areas but I realized that I took great pride in the fact that I never miss Sunday Mass – period. I’m not saying that it is ok to miss Sunday Mass but I was even being prideful of that.

    I guess the moral is that the evil one will try to knock you off course using any means possible. That can be through fear, or pride or anything else. It is best to say, have mercy on me Lord a sinner. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.


    Liked by 9 people

    • charliej373 says:

      Ah, your wisdom grows, Robert. I once was baffled when I went to Mass and everyone was leaving instead of going in. Finally I realized that like an idiot I had completely missed that it was the weekend when we turned the clock ahead. I went in shamefacedly to my Priest. He laughed at me – and absolved me – and told me to pay attention.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Beckita says:

      So great, Robert… so humble… thank you. Praying for you and your family.

      Liked by 2 people

    • janet333 says:

      “I guess the moral is that the evil one will try to knock you off course using any means possible. That can be through fear, or pride or anything else. It is best to say, have mercy on me Lord a sinner. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.”

      Thank you Robert..wise words.. and ones I need to remember always.🙂

      Liked by 5 people

    • Anne Archer says:

      I bet with little children and animals he is a cream puff.

      Liked by 4 people

  5. KimS1111 says:

    I think the problem is that people come here wanting to know the day, Date and time of “The Storm” and when they are met with, just take one day at a time, do your best to do what is pleasing to God. ..they get mad because they didn’t get the answer THEY wanted.
    Ellen says she is going to follow Jesus and Mary….but just who brought her to this site, lol ? Reminds me of the a saying…bite off your nose in spite of your face.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. narnialion says:

    I couldn’t reply to how you pack your eggs and bananas, because all the reply buttons were gone, but I have to say I haven’t stopped laughing even way down here, even after the grocery store party was over and the grocery store was closed. We have chickens, so I pick up the eggsin the coop in an old hat and wash them off and give one each to our dogs. and save the rest for poached eggs. The bananas I have to buy. The best way to cook bananas is in a cast iron skillet with butter (slice them in half first) til they brown, then flip them over. great with cream on top. My Alabama Mother;s recipe. Mmmm mmmmmmmm. ;-}

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Eileen Libbey says:

    Dear Janet 333, I will try once more to communicate, that my communication on March 29-th was not meant for you, but was meant for Charlie. Somehow, the communications got out of sequence, or you responded before I could respond to Charlie. I did not want you to think that that message was for, you, and for you to be hurt. As far as, Charlie, I will pray for you, and thank you Mr. Cunningham, for your message, and I will keep you in my prayers. – Eileen


  8. YongDuk says:

    HA! on the “MP, a couple things…”

    I went from platypus white to grasshopper green or is that Doug?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Carmel says:

      I’ve never seen a white platypus🙃


    • Sorry, YD. I just thought it might lighten your day. Heck, folks are going to start thinking I’m irreverent, which I’m not. That was just a kung fu squirrel (no one in particular).

      Lest JLB keeps searching Amazon for this book, I just wanted to set the record straight that it’s only available in my imagination……. well, there and this one other place:

      (Sorry. Beckita kept egging me on. I better lay low for a while now.)

      BTW – I enjoyed the parable.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Snowy Owl says:

        MP, how long does it take you to create these priceless little pictures? I just love them!

        Liked by 3 people

        • Snowy, I’ve been ‘participating’ in a web conference in one of the industries I serve. They have been spending a great deal of time discussing future trends. Let’s see… yesterday my mind was wandering for a while about a trail I wanted to explore this weekend. After that, I imagined what would happen if Charlie suddenly joined the conference. At some point I turned off my web cam to jump on another computer (and to roll my eyes at the future trends roundtable) because my mind was drifting to little things… but really big things that I really care about. I haven’t had a ton to contribute to the dialog so far, but they’re definitely familiar with –– maybe puzzled by –– my new catch phrase: take the next right step.

          Hm. Probably about 30 minutes for each squirrel picture. I’m sure they think that I’m just taking copious notes, even now while I’m intently typing away.

          Lord, please rescue us all from this madness.


          Liked by 5 people

          • Snowy Owl says:

            Haha! MP that is sooo funny. I love that you told them about TNRS, it’s a catchy phrase even if they don’t truly understand it yet! Maybe when trouble comes to them the Lord will remind them of this!
            And I just can’t believe the pictures only take 30 minutes, wow!! I just love them🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          • Doug says:

            After the storm, you will be making squirrel pictures full time for Mt. Meeker.

            Liked by 2 people

      • janet333 says:

        I like it Michael Patrick.🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      • Doug says:

        MP, this is great! There will be refreshments for Charlie’s talks in the North East now!

        Yup. The bible has lots of good farm stories. My neighbor likes them too. My neighbor up the street has a pair-a-bulls and they make great steaks.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Beckita says:

        I love this so much, MP! SO blessed joy-filled, not the least irreverent at all. Thanks for taking the time to bring us happiness and laughter with images as well as words. Uh, a couple of things… IMHO, there needs to be a rascal kind of guy standing by the sign, peddling the goods and that guy is YOU! But that’s just a couple of things. What you’ve done is perfect! God bless your creative self, your family and all here!

        Liked by 5 people

      • Mick says:

        You need to go into business, MP. Seriously. I would buy several copies of whatever book of illustrations/pictures that you were to publish. I would give them to all of my friends here in Michigan, and we would laugh ourselves silly over them… all the time.🙂

        Liked by 5 people

      • Linda says:

        Michael Patrick I keep wanting to share cute little pics of squirrels but can’t figure out how to on my android phone or iMac.. Is there an easy peasy way???🐧

        Liked by 3 people

  9. janet333 says:

    Ha ha Excellent! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Robert Cunningham says:

    On a flight now from Denver back to Dallas. I stopped by Mt Meeker on the way to the airport this morning. The weather in Loveland was ok but the higher I got going up Hwy 34 towards Estes Park it began to snow. By the time that I got to Mt Meeker is was a blanket of white with little visibility. I stayed and offered a few prayers for all here and my family and headed down the mountain hoping to make it to the airport in one piece. It was worth the challenging drive.

    By the way, the small chapel at the base of the mountain has been closed for some time but they were just finishing getting it ready to open again and were bringing in pews. I’m not sure why God chose that mountain but it is peaceful.

    In IC XC


    Liked by 9 people

  11. audiemarie2014 says:

    I don’t know where this reply will end up, but it has to do with squirrels. I have a confession. When you all first started talking about squirrels, I was a little perplexed. I mean, hey, we’re in a boatload of serious stuff happening now and the posts are about squirrels? Well, I just kinda ignored it and a little miracle happened! Just when I needed a little encouragement for whatever reason, a squirrel would pop up. They’d be either real or cartoons, and they’d always make me think of you all here and I’d loosen up, breathe, and smile. Well, I think the most interesting squirrel “attack” came when I let my husband choose a movie for us to see in a theatre for his birthday. Ugh, it was awful, depressing, with violence and darkness (he didn’t like it either). But! All of a sudden, a character is telling a story about a squirrel!! I opened my eyes and let out a gasp! It was like a little rescue in that dark theatre. It wasn’t a good story, but it got me thinking about you all and how God must enjoy these squirrels too. I have more experiences with squirrels now than ever! And, I really do love the little furry critters. 🙂

    Liked by 9 people

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