#103: An Interview About Everything—Eric Metaxas (free version)

#103: An Interview About Everything—Eric Metaxas (free version)

 

Eric Metaxas fires on a lot of creative pistons. He writes like a dream, has a knack for distilling a thousand historical facts and personal details both in his fine books (see below) and on his popular nationally syndicated radio show The Eric Metaxas Show, and also has a rapier-like wit. He also spoke with amiable confidence about his now famous biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at the National Prayer Breakfast a few steps away from President Obama. A strange but impressive mashup if there ever was one.

I hate him.

Okay, back to my show notes. I had interviewed Eric a few years back about his book Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness, and remembered vividly his considerable raconteur skills.

Then he caught my attention again with an embarrassingly glowing tweet about my Really Controversial Interview with Milo Yiannopoulos the other week. That was it. With a weakness for public praise by intelligent people, I had to hear more. Within hours, the interview you are about to enjoy was set.

We talked about the way his new book Donald Drains the Swamp fuses adult non-fiction with children’s fiction, and about the knack with which both Mr. Trump and Mr. Yiannopoulos force onlookers to drop their masks—fast.

Pound for pound, I’d say this is the most eclectic of the 103 episodes of The Patrick Coffin Show so far. Per my other Really Controversial Interview with Jordan Peterson, I went Full Metal Catholic and asked the Greek Orthodox cum Evangelical Christian Eric to finish the sentence, “I’m not Catholic, because…”

Let me guess. Hopefully, this good humored exchange of ideas about cultural restoration won’t be tagged as Controversial. But you know how people are these days.

Enjoy and share!

 

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In this episode you will learn:

  • Why non-Catholics and Catholics have much more in common than in division and why we must be willing to link arms for common cause—without watering down our respective differences
  • How to live a robust, and apology-free Christian faith in a very secular context
  • The top Hollywood scribe we discover during the interview as being a mutual friend
  • Why “underground Christian” is an oxymoron
  • How to use humor as a way to soften your audience and make them more receptive to your message
  • The difference between true and false ecumenism

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

What does this maxim of Peter Kreeft mean to you: “Feuding brothers reconcile when a maniac is at the door.”

 

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#102: Is Satan Smoking In Church? Philip Lawler (free version)

#102: Is Satan Smoking In Church? Philip Lawler (free version)

 

This is Phil’s second appearance on the show, after talking about his book Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis is Misleading His Flock. This time, the veteran journalist doubles down and broads his analysis to include the widespread corruption and complicity of the bishops with a brand new book, The Smoke of Satan: How Corrupt and Cowardly Bishops Betrayed Christ, His Church, and the Faithful . . . and What Can Be Done About It. A daring book (the publisher explains that they didn’t particularly want to publish it) and badly needed. Heavy sigh.

As ever, it’s the uncomfortable truths that need to be told.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why the badly damaged brand and reputation of the Catholic Church is at stake and why books like this continue to be written today
  • Why it’s not a sin to charitably but directly call out bad leadership in the Church
  • How the bishops seem, in so many cases, not to have learned the lessons of the 2002 scandal that broke in Boston
  • The role played by gross misinterpretations of the Second Vatican Council led to the current crisis
  • Why concern for the Church’s reputation can never outdo concern for victims of priest predators
  • The facts as to why the issue we’re dealing with is not “pedophile priests” but homosexual predator priests

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

What is the best way to remains faithfully Catholic in the midst of failed leadership?

 

 

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Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

            

 

 

 

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Why am I interviewing Milo Yiannopoulos?

Yiannopoulos may never be your cuppa. I get it. I’m not his PR rep and he doesn’t need my defense anyway. But there is much more to the story.

 

The correct answer comes down to, “because I feel like it.” But given the off-the-chart angry reaction in some corners of the Catholic-o-sphere to the announcement that I’d secured an interview on The Patrick Coffin Show with polemicist and provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, that answer is worth exploring (though not defending) further.

In all my years hosting Catholic Answers Live, and as a speaker communicating the truths of the Catholic Church, I’ve had my share of ticked off (or otherwise disappointed, disillusioned, or dismayed) listeners. But I have never encountered quite this level of animus, chiefly from Catholics. Mercifully few in number, they compensate in intensity.

Predictably, the stalwarts of the Catholic left were agog that someone—anyone—would give a platform to such a rah-rah supporter of the orange-headed monster who has the gall to still be the President of the United States. From the trad side, the outrage focused on things like why an unrepentant sodomite should get anything but sanction. Why bring on a queer who now wants to moralize about the sexual abuse crisis? (Milo has a new book critical of Pope Francis and the gaying of the Vatican.)

One kind soul accused me of wanting to be a Catholic Maury Povich (which is nutty, since I’m a Morten Downey, Jr. guy); another regretted that he ever supported me financially (I looked in vain for proof that he had); still another was mortified that the same guy who hosted Catholic Answers Live would “give a platform to an extremist.”

In case you’ve been in hibernation with no internet access for the last few years, Milo Yiannopoulos is a British-born, Openly Gay[tm], traditional-minded Catholic conservative bomb-thrower (rhetorically speaking, that is—you watch, someone will claim this as an endorsement of terrorist tactics!). The reclusive Milo, once known as the world’s biggest internet troll, staged a college lecture tour under the tender moniker, “The Dangerous Faggot Tour,” and rose to fame/infamy through his knack for inducing his uber-liberal enemies to torch cars and smash windows in token of their lack of amusement. Now matter how crazy it got, Milo himself seemed impervious to being mau-maued.

Then came the fall: a long one from a high place, at least by internet celebrity standards.

Last year, two separate podcast interviews (from 2015 and 2016) surfaced in which Milo said some deeply problematic things about his own sexual abuse by a priest at 14. He had already been banned by Twitter (space forbids giving the full context), and, within days, he was quit-fired from Breitbart, shunned by Simon & Schuster (his then-publisher), and sacked from his CPAC speaking slot.

Virtually overnight, provocateur became pariah.

To set one aspect of the record straight, despite wild-eyed claims on social media, the man never endorsed pedophilia. Not once. I take offense at the accusation that I would share my mike with anyone who did. He did cop to some very icky behaviors that are, as he admitted, commonplace in homosexual subculture, but pedophilia is not one of them. I realize that this doesn’t mean he should get a cookie or a medal, but words have meanings.

As a journalist who is also a mediocre Catholic (I laud the medicine that I don’t take regularly enough), my duty is to engage influencers and to discover the points of commonality, and disagreement. If my standard for guest selection is that I have to agree 100% with his or her whole corpus of writing and speaking, I wouldn’t even qualify since I disagree with much of my own behavior and past beliefs.

This ossified Us vs. Them mentality characterizes public discourse today. Within the Church, orthodox conservative wing is the picture of disunity. If the other guy isn’t sufficiently True Blue Actually and Fully Devoutly Seriously Catholic, they’re struck from the approved list. The liberal left don’t do this. They fight like they’re at war. Conservative Catholics, by and large (there are rule-proving exceptions) fight like they’re at a wine tasting reception, sniffing at the heretics over there by the brie and crackers.

Back to my “grifter,” “faux Catholic,” “alt-right white supremacist,” “Nazi,” “racist,” “pedophilia cheerleader “ guest (these are adjectives used as evidence that I shouldn’t go through with the interview). Is Milo vulgar? Check. Does he say and do puerile things to provoke and to annoy? Roger that. Is he proud to have “married” his black boyfriend in Hawaii, while claiming adherence to all the teachings of Catholicism? Looks that way. Is he a walking contradiction? Solid copy that.

And yet.

Milo Yiannopoulos also has a track record of putting himself in highly uncomfortable, not to mention dangerous, situations to get his point across. In a world ruled by mobs and group-think, most pundits run at the first sign of serious opposition and boycott, Milo punches back twice as hard. I mean this as an encouragement: what would happen to seminary enrollment if a bishop adopted his contra mundum fighting spirit?

As an explainer and defender of Catholicism, especially its hard sayings, Milo seamlessly weaves together Aquinas, the Catechism, the Bible, Chesterton, and a wide array of literary, scientific, and historical sources. It must, however, be admitted—and this is what offends pious ears—that he punctuates his patter with potty words, as this tart-tongued 2016 Christmas talk demonstrates.

Take or leave the style, but the substance is hard to ignore.

While I thought Catholics were supposed to root for the lost sheep and the leper, according to some of my critics Milo’s job is to wear a pink leper badge and call out “unclean, unclean.” What happened to “every saint has a past, every sinner has a future”? Doesn’t Pope Francis constantly preach going to the peripheries and accompanying people non-judgmentally? It turns out, not all periphery dwellers are created equal. No, you have to be the right kind of pariah.

The current polarization of the culture will only get worse unless we talk to those who hold contrary opinions. We may never convert them, but at least we’ll understand. It’s hard to shun someone you understand. This helps explain why I launched the Coffin Nation membership site last summer to provide a forum and source of inspiration for culture builders. Our tagline is “We Go There.” And going there means venturing from time to time into uncomfortable territory: where the real growth is.

Milo Yiannopoulos may never be your cuppa. I get it. I’m not his PR rep and he doesn’t need my defense anyway. But there is much more to the story.

Listen to the interview here.

This blog was originally published at The Catholic World Report HERE.

 

#101: Setting The Record Straight—Milo Yiannopoulos (free version)

#101: Setting The Record Straight—Milo Yiannopoulos (free version)

 

It’s been over a year since professional polemicist Milo Yiannopoulos more or left public life after losing three gigs in a row: his Breitbart editor position, his Simon & Schuster publishing deal (for his book Dangerous), and his plum CPAC speaker slot.

A massive plummet from the heights of internet fame (infamy?)

So what really happened? What did he say on those 2015 and 2016 podcasts that surfaced last February? More importantly, what did he mean? And does he have any regrets?

Milo, like probably 99% of the population, Catholic or otherwise, has gaps between what he professes and what he lives. St. Paul describes the phenomenon well in Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Certainly, going ahead with an attempted marriage to his boyfriend puts him at odds with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

He has a new book out titled, Diabolical: How Pope Francis Has Betrayed Clerical Abuse Victims Like Me—and Why He Has To Go. Many of his followers, and obviously his enemies, want to know why someone who is Openly Gay [™] and civilly married to his boyfriend is qualified to criticize the Pope. They also want a close look at the man himself, in his own words, as distinct from the hysterical rumor mill about him.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Milo’s childhood Catholic roots and the origin of the surname Yiannopoulos
  • The facts about his abuse at the hands of a priest, who since committed suicide
  • How he manages to reconcile his homosexual lifestyle with the Church he professes to love
  • What his real opinions are regarding homosexuals
  • Why he is passionate about “Making the Vatican Straight Again” (a chapter in his book)

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

 

Question of the week

In what ways do you make the perfect the enemy of the good?

 

 

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Comment below or on our Facebook page

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Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

            

 

 

 

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#100: “Gosnell” Screenwriter Speaks—Andrew Klavan

#100: “Gosnell” Screenwriter Speaks—Andrew Klavan

 

It’s a curious fact that a movie that is literally not about abortion would be so effective as a pro-life story. Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer has caused a media splash by portraying the media in the film as too chicken to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortionist who was ultimately convicted of multiple counts of murder.

By “media” I mean largely social media, and word of mouth. Stories roll in from across the country of theater owners playing games with show times (this happened to me in Southern California), seemingly suggesting that moviegoers not watch it, despite high viewer rating (Google users rate it at 97%) and the fact that it opened against much bigger budgeted films.

Scribe Andrew Klavan (crime writer, and screenwriter of Don’t Say a Word and True Crimes, directed by Clint Eastwood) describes how the harrowing subject matter got translated to the big screen, and how husband-wife producer team Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney faced on uphill battle after another. And still so, in terms of fighting those forces that want this movie to die.

I can sort of see why. I just read of two moral conversions by influencers with large audiences who walked into the theater as pro-choice and walked out as pro-life. One is Florida political blogger Kathy Zhu. The other is Federalist writer Adam Mill.This is not a preachy movie, as Klavan makes clear–and as any objective viewer will conclude.

Gosnell is a rare blend of Christian premise, serious writing chops, and a CSI-like narrative of the facts as they are, able directed by Nick Searcy (who also plays Gosnell’s attorney Mike Cohan).

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • How a movie is made, from concept to final story
  • Why Gosnell, a movie not about abortion per se, yet grabs the viewer by the lapel and forces him to answer certain questions about life, death, and the law
  • The level of opposition faced by the filmmakers, from the beginning
  • Behind-the-scenes stories about the crafting and filming of Gosnell
  • How Klavan drew upon his crime novel skills to bring this real-life trial to life

 

Resources recommended in this episode:

Question of the week

Why do you think conservatives make so few high quality movies that reflect their essential worldview?

 

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Comment below or on our Facebook page

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Tweet to Patrick HERE

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the full length podcast available in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. Thank you!

            

 

 

 

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