Matthew James Christoff: Hello, my name is Matthew James Christoff. Welcome to the New Emangelization Project. The New Emangelization project is a call to confront the Catholic man crisis and respond with new ardor, expressions and methods to draw men to our Lord Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.
If we wish to have a New Evangelization, there must be a New Emangelization creating generations of Catholic men who are absolutely on fire for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today I’m speaking with Michael Voris. Michael Voris is the founder and president of St. Michael’s Media and the senior executive producer of Church Militant TV. These two enterprises have been established to address the serious erosion in the Catholic faith over the last 50 years.
Michael’s background has prepared him well for this mission. He’s an Emmy award winning broadcast journalist. He has deep experience in broadcast production and marketing. He holds a degree in Sacred Theology and also holds a degree in journalism from Notre Dame.
Michael travels extensively and speaks all over the world, offering a passionate defense of the Catholic faith and about how we might bring the Catholic truth to the world.
You can find more information about Michael, his many resources, and frankly, how to invite Michael to speak to your men’s group by going to Church Militant TV.
Hello, Michael Voris.
Michael Voris: Hello, Matthew. How are you? [laughs] It’s always awful hearing those introductions, you’re like, want to crawl under the table. [laughs]
Matthew: I like to say anytime somebody introduces me ‑‑ and my introduction is not nearly as impressive as yours ‑‑ but it couldn’t be better if my mom had written it.
Matthew: Michael, I have had a chance to hear you speak several times. I want to start by saying if there are men out there listening to this and are interested in lighting a bonfire of men’s evangelization, I can think of no better way to do it than to, perhaps, bring you in and fire them up.
Michael: [laughs] Yeah, well, I’ll either fire them up or have fireballs thrown at me. [laughs]
Matthew: If you’re going to speak the truth, you’re going to have people throwing punches.
Michael: That’s all right. It’s part of the process, right?
Matthew: Yeah, it is. I’d like to start with the big picture of men’s evangelization. I know you feel strongly, and perhaps some of the stuff I’ve sent you from the website, you’ve noticed we have a pretty serious problem in the Catholic Church with Catholic men. How would you characterize the state of men’s evangelization, men’s faith, in the Church today?
Michael: I think it’s probably a low point or a near low point for the history of the Church. Let’s go to the…Not that anybody can be compared to the example of the Perfect Man our Lord, but certainly as Apostles. I think the Apostles are probably in their manhood are very good role models for us to look at.
People oftentimes will say if you say, “That’s not what Jesus would say.” “Well, He was God, and I’m not Jesus,” but you are a man, a simple man just like we all are, and so were the Apostles. When you think about how they understood their own manhood, their own masculinity, and how they lived it out for the Gospel, for our Lord, and then compare that to most Catholic men today. The comparison is beyond laughable. It becomes depressing. These men went out and were martyred. The very notion of self‑sacrifice for the sake of the community is just absent. It’s just absent, men’s thinking in the Church today. In the culture in general, but we’re speaking here specifically of the Church.
Catholic’s don’t get to say, “Oh, well this is how it is.” That’s how it is in the culture, too. We’re not on an equal par with the culture. An eighth grader flunking arithmetic in school doesn’t get to say, “Hey. Well, the first grader flunked it, too.” The Church is in the lead in the culture. Always has been. That’s what it was instituted for to be the salvation of souls fighting against this sort of orthopraxy of the world.
We don’t get to compare ourselves to the world, and that’s not a fair comparison. It’s not apples to apples. We are supposed to be out in front. It isn’t acceptable for Catholic men to point to men in the culture and say, “Oh, well that’s how they are, and that’s how we are.” Either we’re the leaders or we’re not. So don’t claim in one hand you’re the leader, and on the other hand give up your leadership.
Matthew: I think a lot of men, to your point, and Catholic men, they’re quite willing to go along, and they actually use the bad culture as a crutch. I like to think what St. Paul wouldn’t have given for what we have today, to go out and do the battle.
Our culture is sick. There’s no doubt about that. That Roman culture in the first several centuries was absolutely in a death spiral, not unlike what I think we’re seeing maybe in our own culture.
Michael: Yes, it’s the same thing that Pope Benedict said. I think what Christmas or Advent of 2011, what are we now? ’13. It was ’12. I think it was third Sunday of Advent in 2011, when he said, “Not unlike during the Roman Empire, the sun was setting on an entire civilization.”
It took probably a couple of hundred, 300 years for it to play itself out in Rome. Not today, with the vast communications and technology. The rate of deceleration is much faster today. You think of even just one little…I was talking with a friend the other night about some of the controversies of the things that are painted the controversy that’s surrounding Pope Francis.
You think to yourself, as an example of how fast things spread, and the 24‑hour news cycles, heck, it’s more like the 24‑second news cycle now. He happens to say one thing.
How many Popes in history have sat around the dining room table with their friends, or other cardinals, and shot the breeze and happened to say something at the table. It ended at the table. Now, he happens to say something and because of the vast access to the technology, it’s all over the world in 14 seconds.
Matthew: That’s got a good side and a bad side. Certainly those that want to warp any message and go half an inch deep. I heard a famous radio commentator talking about the Pope being an anti‑capitalist, which is absurd. He’s not a Marxist either.
You can go that half inch deep. The other side of this is something really interesting. I have two sons and then two son‑in‑laws. They’re talking to me about the way the young people are talking about this Pope, it’s because of technology.
What you’ve done so brilliantly, I think, is to realize this power of technology. Your message is getting out all over the place when we think about men’s evangelization. I would say that some of us look to you as the model in a lot of ways.
Michael: Well, that’s very kind. Look to others, if they like the technology. We’ve got a model that works, but beyond that, I mean that’s very kind of you. I appreciate the sentiment very much, but this is just…my spiritual director said to me, and he’s spot on, he said, “Michael, what you say, or rather how you say what you say, is exactly how our grandfathers used to talk.”
The culture has become emasculated and feminized so that men today, the thought that their grandfathers would talk like I do, you do, and other people. It is a just total enigma to them. They can’t even imagine it.
Perfect example, my grandfather, my mother’s father, my mother’s family is Irish. They got off the boat in 1934 from Ireland. They immigrated to England. My grandfather, who is no fan of the English because he’d been beaten as a child by the Black and Tans, and all of that history, steps off the boat and goes into the British Immigration Offices.
The guard sitting there and the Immigration officer said, “State your name and your nationality.” Well, it was the ferry from Ireland. Everybody knew that. My grandfather, God bless him, says, “My name is Thomas Lydon. I’m a Roman Catholic.”
And said it with that edge. Don’t mess with me. You’re messing with me. Stop messing with me. I have my young family here. My wife and my two young daughters. What are you doing?
That’s how men talk. That’s how we talk. We’re not allowed to talk like that today because you might hurt somebody’s feelings.
Matthew: Speaking of hurting someone’s feelings. I don’t know if you’ve saw this thing in the last few days but it’s a study about men’s intonations and how they talk. They are picking up increasingly feminine characteristics, including the raising of their voices at the end of sentences, which are more questions as opposed to statements.
Michael: When you say that Matthew, do you mean the way I’m talking to you right now? I’m always saying something funny and weird. So at the end of the sentence, I’m uptalking.
Matthew: That’s exactly it.
Michael: Yeah, you hear that a lot, particularly with guys under 30.
Matthew: You do. One of the things I’ll refer to is your excellent talk on Catholicism and masculinity, which, of course, people can people can get at Church Militant TV. You do a very powerful, and I think table‑setting discussion about the nature of masculinity.
I know we don’t have much time, but could you just hit the high points? I think that is a starting point, I think, for men as they start to think about building a men’s evangelization movement.
Michael: I think a good way to view this is, we should always take our model as much as we can with anything from the Holy Trinity. The internal life of the Holy Trinity is the model for everything for us. It’s the model for how we should communicate with each other.
It’s the model of love. It’s everything. When we look at, what does the Holy Trinity define as masculinity? When the Second Person who, prior to the Incarnation, had no gender, had no sex, was pure spirit, when the Second Person incarnates, he takes on the flesh of a male. Not just man as in human beings, obviously, but He takes on the flesh of a male and therefore brings into His divinity masculinity and demonstrates that masculinity in a most perfect way. What is the most perfect demonstration of it?
At the end of the day, it’s the Crucifixion and the death and his Passion in death and the Crucifixion. That becomes what God says masculinity is all about. Is everybody called to be physically nailed to a cross? No, that’s not the point.
You are called, we are called, as men to pour out our every last measure for the sake of the community. Who is the community? There are various communities in various men’s lives. It could be your wife, or if you’re a younger guy, your immediate family, mom and dad and brothers and sisters.
It really depends on where you are in your life. It is always centered around that model of, what did our blessed Lord do? He took on the flesh of a male and the personality of masculinity, incorporated it into the Divine to show us this is what you do.
For many reasons, but on this level we’re discussing right now, as a demonstration of, this is what it is to be a man. We are all called to be sons of God, males and females. God has no daughters, not in the way we think of this. There are no daughters here.
We are individually each called to be self‑sacrificing, as models of the masculinity demonstrated to us by the Holy Trinity. When we do this collectively, we are the Church, the bride of Christ. Each one of us, male and female, have these complementary aspects to us.
We live in either our masculinity if we are male or femininity if we are a woman, but they are complementary because they are both related to the Divine, to the Holy Trinity. It’s interesting that even the idea, if you go through western literature, for example, or the great themes of dramas and plays with regard to the masculine, what do you see?
You see usually a young man learning to become a man, a young male learning to become a man. How does he learn that? He usually winds up shedding blood. He sacrifices at some laborious, horrible trial he has to go through. We see this in everything.
We see this in Homer in the Odyssey. Race forward to the 20th century. We see it in Hemmingway, even the Old Man and the Sea. All of literature is populated with this theme, because we all know, at least on a subconscious level, that this is what’s involved in becoming a man.
Today, that model of it, which really dates back to antiquity and even so far as up to yours and my fathers’ generation, to be a man meant to sacrifice. It meant to suck it up and shut up and bear what you needed to for the sake of the other. That doesn’t exist today.
Matthew: It doesn’t, and it just struck me. You talk about this idea of masculinity and femininity. You start with union with the feminine, with your mother. Women don’t have to find their identity because they have the same and they take on the same identity of their mother.
Men, as you talk in your talk, have to be separated and go out and then ultimately come back after this trial or finding themselves to be protector. It really just struck me as we were talking. I was thinking about my childhood. I’m second generation on both sides.
We had a construction business in the family when I was a kid, and when I was 16, my dad took me out and dropped me off in Sioux City, Iowa on my own, living on my own, working on a construction gang. End of the day, I go, “Where are we staying tonight?” He goes, [laughs] “I don’t know where you’re staying, but I’m heading back to Des Moines.” I’m like, “Thanks a lot.”
I don’t think I quite understood it, but he was basically doing this rite of passage in a way. Leon Podles, I know you’re aware of him in a Church Impotent, he talks about that extensively. I’ve just had a conversation with Jeff Cavins who thinks that is absolutely critical to regaining our idea of evangelization is that mentorship and that going out and that rites of passage.
We’re living in a Church where that doesn’t exist, and by and large…
Michael: I was the Confirmation sponsor for the son of one of the ladies who works here who’s been with us forever. As a matter of fact, he does the Pope’s Show now on Church Militant. Wonderful kid, Joseph Gallagher. I was at his Confirmation.
I haven’t sat in a Confirmation because I didn’t really have the reason to be for a number of years. I was just struck on the part of the boys, the other 14‑year‑old boys there. I was just struck on the total indifference. Didn’t care what was going on. Half of them are sitting there on their phones texting. One of them is sitting there playing games on whatever his handheld device was.
I just thought to myself, these kids aren’t prepared for anything. This is just something that mom and dad said dress up and they’ve got to go and that’s it. Everything the Church does, everything the way the Church presents something in its authentic presentation, is done for a reason.
I think part of the thing about becoming a man versus remaining a boy, even if you’re 50, [laughs] is that you begin to realize that the patterns of life don’t emanate from me and are projected onto the universe, [laughs] it’s the other way around. The universe operates a certain way and to the degree that I’m able to define those patterns of authenticity and truth in the universe and plug into them. They should become me.
I need the transformation here based on the way the universe is and by the universe I mean the God ordained. I don’t mean just Mother Nature stuff. This is how it is. This is how it is and it’s very disturbing when you see 20‑, 30‑, 40‑year‑old men who are really 13 in the head, in their emotions, and their psyches. It’s like, “Wow, are you telling me you’re a father?” [laughs] “You’re a husband? You’re there to protect the community? You’ve gone through no rite of passage. You don’t even understand that you should. If someone said that to you, nobody’s told you, maybe.”
Men are inherently selfish. You know that. I know that. Every man knows that. We are inherently self‑centered. Women are in a different way but men can just sit there and zone in on that video game or whatever it is. That’s it. That’s how we are.
Something needs to pull us out of that and drag us into the light and say, “Grow up. Stop being so bloody self‑centered and understand that you were created to leave the comfort of that couch, [laughs] and that house, and go out there, become a man, and come back now, and to protect that house.” Two different things.
Most men, I’m afraid, today and particularly in the Catholic world, because again we’re held to a higher standard, I think most men today in the Catholic world, don’t have the slightest clue about that kind of dynamic of masculinity. They don’t get it.
Matthew: There’s lots of ways to think about how you create that experience or how you wake men up. Part of it is just a crisis. When you live that way, long enough, sooner or later, a crisis comes and wakes you up.
The hope is that we can grab men when they have that problem but also to start to think about what to do about it. Let’s just step back. Why do men matter in the Church? What does it matter? Obviously, we need vocations. What’s the argument for really trying to light men on fire?
Michael: Well, I think in the absence of men, women step into the role of being men. They do. We see this all the time with single moms, for example. That’s just one example.
If men are not doing the leading, if men are not even doing their job, whatever their job is, women will step in and do it. You’ve left men on the sidelines and you’ve burdened women with now having to be two different things. One of which they’re not really equipped to be.
I’m not equipped to be a woman and most women I know are not equipped to be men. You leave women in the position of doing two jobs where they’re really only at best, capable of doing one and a half. That’s saying a lot. Hats off to all the single mothers who have to endure that.
You’ve twisted the role of the feminine. You’ve abandoned the role of the masculine. Certainly in family situations, who suffers? The children.
You’re preparing the next generation to see that this is what femininity is, which is you do everything. Here’s what’s masculinity is, you become nothing but a selfish lout, who sits around and expects all.
When men are not being men, they’re not exercising their true masculinity, which is doing things for the good of the other and protecting. That’s not going on, men revert to the dark side of masculinity.
Femininity has a dark side, as well, but we’re talking about masculine here. You either excel in the dark side or you excel on the bright side. The dark side of men, of masculinity, is to become abusive, overbearing, violent.
All of those things we see demonstrated so well today. Concerts and music videos. It’s about appealing to all of those lower base passions in the absence of the intellect and the noble. It becomes a very ugly world, very fast, when men are not living out their true masculinity.
Now, that doesn’t mean that the ugliness necessarily has to demonstrate itself in physical violence and setting things on fire and shooting and killing people. It certainly happens that way but another way that is perhaps more subtle but probably more dangerous and destructive, is that when a man abandons his masculinity and reverts to his dark side, so he gets wrapped up in Internet pornography. Anything like that. What happens is that it is the family that suffers. It is the family that suffers. Ultimately, the man dies and has to give an account of this and none of us want to be standing in that situation.
You’ve haven’t transmitted the good. It’s never neutral. You’ve transmitted the bad to the next generation. I think we see that. I think we see the effects today.
Open up a newspaper. Go on the front page of any news website and what do you see? Ultimately behind that, is the turning off or the downplaying of the masculine. That’s the cause of all of this. It starts with the man, like it started with Adam.
Matthew: The idea of…There are two ways that men turn. One is to violence. You can see that often in inner city gangs and our prison population. That’s one thing. The other is omission or this abandonment. That is just as violent.
Michael: Sure, it is.
Matthew: Men think are comforted are saying, “I’m not really hurting anybody.” Well, you absolutely are, when you abandon the family, when you abandon the Church. I don’t think any of us can take rest that we’re doing enough. Certainly many of us need to do a heck of a lot more. What do you think the barriers are to men’s evangelization? What’s stopping it?
Michael: I think the biggest thing is, well now, there is no leadership for this very reason. I think men’s evangelization. I didn’t know you could share a sore throat over Skype.
Matthew: Mine’s been going on for a month. I don’t know what the heck the problem is?
Michael: This is contagious. I have to figure out how we did this.
I think there is no leadership in the male leaders of the Church. You shouldn’t say none. There’s a moment here and there kind of thing but I think you have to go back to the bishops. The bishops are leaders. This is the way our Lord established the Church. It’s a hierarchal Church. You and I are laymen. We can say things and produce radio programs and Internet and this and that.
At the end of the day, we’re just here pointing to hey, here are the Catholic troops of this or that, or whatever it is we’re talking about. At the end of the day, that’s all it is. It’s laymen pointing things out. We don’t have the ability or the authority and good. It’s not the authority of ours to exercise. We haven’t been given it. To stand up and say, “Here’s what’s wrong. We need to fix this.”
We don’t see any of this today, in the Church. Rare example here and there. Bishop Paprocki, Springfield, Illinois, a couple of weeks ago, in response to the whole same sex marriage union, whatever it was called, deal in Illinois. God bless him. Good for him. Archbishop Cordileone out in San Francisco and his efforts at the Prop Eight thing a few years ago. The Supreme Court finally overturned.
Again, these are spot examples here and there. For the most part, the leadership of the Church, and not just in the US but around the entire western world and to some degree even the developing countries, it’s not there. It’s not there.
Those men are weak men. This whole week in the Vortex episodes we produce. As a matter of fact, I just finished writing tomorrow’s when you called in to do the interview here, has constantly hammered on this for the entire week that you cannot have men who are weak men. You cannot have males who are weak men, weak in their psyches, weak in their emotions, weak in their personalities, be leaders and have effective leaders.
You think about people like Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Now there’s a man. You go back and you look at the Coctors of the Church or the Father’s of the Church. I mean you read these writings. We need that today.
There’s a reason leaders are called leaders and followers are called followers. When the followers are saying, “Leaders you need to become leaders,” something’s wrong.
I think the question of how do you get to men or why do men need to be gotten to and how do you do it and what are the barriers to it, to becoming solid Catholics, I think it starts with the problem is that the very men who are supposed to be doing this, aren’t doing it. [laughs]
Matthew: That’s the whole point of the New Evangelization Project, is to say, “Look, we’ve got a problem and the things that we’re doing are not working.” There’s been 11 million men leave the faith in the last 20‑something years. The men that are left, by and large, are lukewarm. I’ve done a lot of research on this.
It’s interesting about this side point. If you try to find statistics on the state of Catholic men in the Catholic Church, and you look to traditional Catholic sources, you don’t find any. You don’t find people that are really focused on what’s the nature of men’s spirituality. The statistics of what you find. I’ve actually had to dig into the Gallup research polls over time, dig in and get the break outs. The numbers are astounding. They’re heartbreaking.
20 years ago, something like 40 percent of 18 to 29 year olds, were absolutely certain that they would never leave the Church. That meant that 60 percent were going to leave.
Today, the number is only 18 percent would never leave the Church. This is a direct function of the lack of the fathers passing on the faith.
Michael: You also have to ask when they’re saying that they’re not going to leave the Church, what is their understanding of the Church? What’s being held up to them? What’s being held up to them is really a highly supercharged feminine model of the faith.
Young boys, young men, teenagers, high school, sit in Church with their families or whatever. Probably dragged there. They don’t want to be there. What do they see? They see a plethora of altar girls. They see lecturers who are mostly who are women. They see an army of so‑ called Eucharistic ministers, misnamed. The vast majority, if not all of them, are women.
If it weren’t for the priest, any young man, just what is the typical young man’s Catholic experience, it’s Mass on Sunday, that’s it, for the most of them. What does he see? He’s sees nothing but an army of women. That’s doesn’t connect with the psyche of a young man. It’s not going to connect.
Call it whatever you want to call it, prejudice, bigoted, whatever it is, it’s a condition of us that men do not want to identify with something that is identified with its feminine. They just don’t want to do it.
Matthew: Right, especially at that age.
Michael: Particularly at that age. You get older and you’re able to laugh those kinds of things off and realize there are differences and you can appreciate the differences and pound the table about the differences you don’t like, but you roll with it and you understand that’s how it is.
No, not young men. It’s anecdotal and I don’t think anybody’s ever kept any records on it because I don’t think there would be a great desire to find out what the results would be.
You will hear time and time and time again when you talk to priests that if they used to have mostly altar boys, very quickly once altar girls get introduced, the guys take off and they don’t come back. It becomes altar girls.
Matthew: I’ve heard that story over and over again from priests, priests that have maintained altar boys, by the way.
Michael: Another thing that’s interesting as you look at this, this is true across the culture, culture in general, and it’s also certainly true in other religions, non‑Catholic Christian denominations, that religion and the practice of religion and spirituality is seen as a feminine thing.
Men don’t do this. They don’t go to Mass. There’s a reason that “Saturday Night Live” came up with Church lady.
Matthew: That was a wimpy man.
Michael: Yes, exactly [laughs] Dana Carvey. It’s the model. Somewhere there has to be this ball rolling that changes course. It’s like you’ve kicked a ball down the hallway and that ball needs to turn and reverse or stop and start coming back the other way. Religion is seen as feminine. The practice of religion is seen as feminine, so it is awful.
Matthew: This is unique to our culture. This is not that religion isn’t masculine. You look at the Catholic Church over the centuries, it’s absolutely masculine in a lot of ways, and it speaks to the male heart.
Michael: We’ve got swords all over the place here at St. Michael’s Media and ChurchMilitant.tv. They’re all in my room, and it is so funny to watch a…we have lots of families that come by or young men that come by. It is so funny to watch almost every single one of them.
They will make for those swords like nobody’s business. I’ve got one. I’m looking at one on the other side of my computer here. It’s the one we used during the One True Faith episodes. It’s a big 20‑pound Gladius. This thing would knock you out if someone hit you with it. I’ve got this one up on my wall right here. I don’t know if you can see it.
Matthew: I can.
Michael: That’s a Crusader sword, and I have three or four of them here in my office. Some of the other guys have ones on their desks or their walls around here. You bring in any guy, and it’s noteworthy, particularly young guys, young boys who come in with their parents.
They’ll look around and they’re bored and they see books and all this. Boy, they see that sword and it’s like, bam. Their eyes light up and they go to it. There’s something in our natures, our masculine natures, about the chivalrous, the pick up the weapon. It’s just who we are to fight, and we don’t fight anymore.
Matthew: We need to create that. We need to help people understand the nature of the crisis and we need a wakeup call. I know we’re running short on time here. Can you maybe just step back? If you were going to say what are the five principles that we should build into this New Emangelization, what are they?
You mentioned one about certainly the idea of encouraging our priests to lead, because men will follow priests. A lot of priests don’t understand that, but when Father calls and says, “I need you to do this,” most men are going to respond.
If that’s one principle, what are some of the other ones that you would see? I know you go all over the world and you see men’s groups and you talk to them. What are the principles? What are the things that, for somebody starting out, they should say, “I’ve got to do these things”?
Michael: Men excel at making other men, men. You get together and there’s that bonding thing that happens, and you can see the psychology of the masculine just below the surface there. I think that’s extremely important, to develop a kernel of men.
It doesn’t really matter how big the group is. It just needs to be where everybody’s on the same page. This isn’t the time for emoting. As you know, the Argument of the Month Club there in Minneapolis, what a fantastic organization that is.
Matthew: You had a pretty big draw in October. There was like 600 men there.
Talk about a sword.
Michael: Because they wanted to see two guys duke it out. That’s why they were there. Not just that, but you couldn’t talk about that event without that aspect to it.
I absolutely think there is a camaraderie that needs to be built, and that camaraderie has to be expressed in honesty and directness. Those are parts of masculinity ‑‑speaking plainly and clearly. The first concern of men is not ‑‑ I don’t want to hurt your feelings ‑‑ is, let’s arrive at the Truth. That’s flip‑flopped when you compare it to the feminine.
The feminine will go out of its way, sometimes, sadly, at the sacrifice of the truth, at least at a given moment, to preserve the unity and people’s feelings don’t get hurt and all of that.
Men can’t be that. When men follow that course, that course already has people on it. It’s women. It’s the feminine, and they do an excellent job at it, and there are many times guys need to be reeled back in.
Unfortunately today there are many more times that men need to be pushed [laughs] and say, “You need to go out there and defend your family. You need to get out there and defend the Truth.” Men need to be in a group, in a setting where they help each other become better men by their directness, their frankness, their honesty, their understanding that they are the defenders of the Truth and that the Truth must out and it must be first.
In order to know what the Truth is and arrive at the Truth, another thing I would say is, men need to become lovers of knowledge. The Holy Spirit says in Sacred Scriptures to us, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”
We’re not crusaders in the sense of historical crusaders that we were back in the day, in the 12th, 13th, 14th centuries. We’re not involved in that kind of Crusade, although maybe we will be in a short time. [laughs]
Matthew: I think it’s a matter of time.
Michael: It seems like it. We always need to be sacrificing. What are the circumstances that we find ourselves in today as men? What is the sacrifice? There’s always a sacrifice. Until we die, there’s a sacrifice, so what’s the sacrifice required of us today? Today the sacrifice is knowledge.
We don’t know the faith. Men and women, but we’re talking about men, men don’t know the faith, so men have to lead by example, get together in these groups, find out what the truth of the matter is, find out why the truth of the matter is, incorporate that knowledge into their minds, and with the masculine nature, evolve it into a goal of love.
With this, you defend your family. You encounter, for example, your teenage children and you have a discussion with them. “So, Little Ryan, freshman in high school, what do other boys say about gays? I hear all this stuff all the time about bullying in school. Do you ever talk about that with any of your friends?” Bring these things out, but you have to be armed with knowledge.
Men don’t deal with emotions the way women deal with them. That’s what we are constantly being told to do. I think you’re fantastic, Matthew. I do not want to sit and hold your hand. [laughs] I will say, “I would give up an hour or something, sit here and do a radio interview with you. I’ll help send you some resources. I’ll do all those kinds of things, but I don’t really sit…” If you’re obviously upset because of some tragedy that’s befallen you, that’s a different story.
I’m not going to emote with you the way that women emote with each other. That’s not to say the way women emote with each other is bad. The way women emote with women is proper to women.
Matthew: One of the things embedded in what you’ve just said, I know you said it specifically, but I just want to reiterate it, this idea of separate kinds of men’s evangelization efforts or catechesis. Men and women, when they’re in the same room together, men are not going to respond the same way as they would when women aren’t there.
Michael: No, they will not. Women generally, every single study…this has nothing to do with being bigoted or masochistic or whatever any of that stuff…misogynistic, rather.
Men and women are different. We are simply different. We communicate differently. We emote differently. We express our emotions differently. We think differently, all of these things. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s the source of not only aggravation sometimes, but it’s also the source of great humor and funnies.
How many times do you see these things as the source of great humor and laughter? It’s just funny. B}But we have to understand that that’s where we begin. Women are more communicative than men are. They just are. I think I’ve seen umpteen studies on, in the given course of a day, women will say 10,000 words and guys will say 6.
Michael: It’s just the way we communicate, and if women are in a room, they’re going to want to talk. They’ll talk and they’ll talk over each other. They’ll talk and they’ll talk you. They’ll cut you off, because that’s how they communicate. Guys are less so.
Guys need to be able to sit and talk about these things, not solely always by themselves, but that has to be a component of it. It has to be a component, because in that setting, the alpha male will rise to the surface like they would not in a mixed or co‑ed setting. It’s not going to happen. Won’t happen.
Matthew: The other thing is you’ve got to have those men rise up so that other men can see how to do it. It’s sad, though. To me, you’re just thinking some pretty simple things. One, a priest. Do you have a men’s evangelization effort? What is the nature of it? How many things are on the calendar that are focused on men, be it catechetical.
We have a thing called CatholicManNight here where we’re drawing thousands of men into Eucharistic adoration. People said you couldn’t do it. People said men aren’t going to show up. Well, they are, and it’s pretty simple. It’s focused on Jesus Christ. It’s men‑specific, and it takes a few priests that are willing to say “We’re going to do something about this.” I don’t think it’s that complicated, frankly.
Michael: No, I agree with you. I don’t think it is, either. If you can just get to a working knowledge of some of the Truths of the faith, when Truth is expressed in intellectual terms, it excites men. That’s why our entire history of 2000 years is men, founding religious orders.
It captivates them. It becomes the motivation for them. They throw everything else of the world aside because they have found that which they love, which they were made for. What did St. Augustine say? “Oh, beauty ever ancient…” It rang with him. He got it, and when you get it, that’s it.
There is no turning back. I don’t think it’s that far away. I think most men are 90 percent of the way there, but that 90 percent is the plateau. The last 10 percent is this tall mountain, and they’re stuck at the base of the mountain. They just need the shove, the encouragement, the whole bit.
As a wrapping up thought, I’d say, Matthew, what did Pontius Pilate say when he came out before the masses there with Jesus? He turned and pointed at Him and he said, “Behold the Man.” That’s it.
For the purposes of this conversation, let’s put a little different emphasis on a different syllable and say, “Behold ‑‑ the ‑‑ Man.” There it is. Behold the man. What did he do? That’s what we do.
Matthew: At the core of the whole thing is that men don’t know Jesus. They don’t know Him. They know Him conceptually. They know Him abstract. They see Him as a woman with a beard. I think Jesus is fascinating because we need to have that model, this model of perfection. Men are hungry for it. I know they are, and when you introduce them…
Michael: What a great guy. How many men have not wanted to, at least psychologically, follow an example of…for example, when Jesus confronts the Pharisees, the Scribes and the Pharisees. How many men haven’t wanted to have a knock‑down, drag‑out, punched some of these two‑faced other guys in the face and just send them sprawling?
St. Nicholas did that to Arius. Wound up spending the night in jail, [laughs] because Arius was the heretic. How many men haven’t wanted to do that spontaneously? Jesus, he didn’t go punch them out, but hHe comes up and they’re like, “We’re the sons of Abraham.”
Jesus is like, “Don’t be ridiculous. Your father is the Devil because you do his will!”, and then he blasts them and shreds them up because he had truth on his side. He was Truth, obviously, but he’s speaking out of Truth. He’s speaking out of passion and love for all the integrity.
How many men haven’t wanted to do that? We don’t, because you can’t hurt people’s feelings and that wouldn’t be right to say that. You sink lower into that emasculated, feminized masculinity, and you never emerge from it.
You do sit out and mow the lawn on Saturday and come back in and get the remote and sit in front of the TV and click away, all the while burning inside to want to die for something, but you don’t know how.
Matthew: At the core of it, the message of Jesus Christ is eternal, and if we can just get that out there to men in a way that makes sense to them, playing up…not playing up so much as explaining the authentic Jesus Christ. I hate that word, by the way. It makes me feel noodly when I say it.
Michael: I’ve got some tissues here for you, Matthew.
Matthew: Thank you so much, Michael Voris. Today I’ve been speaking with Michael. He’s the founder and president of St. Michael’s Media and senior executive producer of Church Militant TV, a premium membership that every single manly man, or any man who calls himself a man should certainly sign up for.
It’s easy to do and you can find out more about Michael, his many resources, and in particular, I would encourage everyone to consider inviting Michael to come to speak to their group. He will help light them on fire.
My name is Matthew James Christoff, and you can learn more about the New Emangelization Project at NewEmangelization.com.