Catholic, Journal

Catholic Loser Talk

By Jon Elordi

The clip above starts an hour and fifty(ish) minutes into a conversation about Chesterton, and I hate it.

They begin to talk about Chesterton’s economic idea of Distributism, which was a reaction to 19th-century industrial capitalism and, therefore, likely irrelevant today. According to Matt Fradd’s guest, one of the big criticisms of Distributism is that people think it will prevent them from becoming a millionaires. And when Matt Fradd asks him if the guest is trying to prevent people from becoming millionaires, he responds:

If I can keep people out of hell. yea. I guess that would be why. What does Jesus say about rich people…it’s not impossible but if you can get that camel through eye of a needle then you can get a rich man into heaven…Everyone is afraid that you’re going to mess with their ability to become a millionaire as if that’s where their happiness lies

But what it does say[about rich people getting into heaven] is that to whom much is given much will be required. [So you can make a million dollars] but it’s going to be all the harder to get to heaven. You’re going to have mote difficulty by complicating your life with distractions that will somehow fight in the way of your spiritual life.

Dale Ahlquist(Matt Fradd’s guest)

This is loser talk. This guy is a pussy, and no one should listen to him. They shouldn’t listen to him first because he’s a coward. Aristotle teaches us that the most important virtue is courage because it’s the one that enables all the other virtues. This man lacks courage. He’s trying to sneak into heaven. Instead of traversing the narrow way, he hopes to sneak in through an open window.

The second reason no one should listen to this coward is that it goes against the parable of the Talents. You can imagine this man quivering before God, saying, “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.” Instead of taking what God gave him and making more, he’s hiding from God and encouraging others to hide from God. How did that go for the lazy servant?

I won’t go on discussing how what he’s saying is theologically ridiculous. I’m not qualified to do that(Although it is ridiculous). What I am qualified to discuss is that this is terrible messaging for the church, especially when it comes to men.

Nobody really goes to church anymore, but men especially don’t. Part of the reason for that is that church and religion are viewed by men as overly feminine. And they’re not wrong. I don’t want to sing soft folk music about how I want Jesus to be my boyfriend. Add in that there are few strong men in a church for men to model. The only men you find at church are the closeted priest and the old farts in the Knights of Columbus. Given the current situation, it shouldn’t be a surprise that men don’t like going to church.

So it doesn’t help when you have idiots like the guy in the clip advocating for a cowardly life. Men want to go on adventures. Men want to strive and build something. We want to matter and be useful. We do not want to be lectured by limp-wristed pussies about how our ambitions will lead us to hell.

This is bad messaging, especially when there is a perfectly good alternative–magnanimity.

Aristotle tells us that the poor man cannot be magnificent. He doesn’t have the means; if he tries, he’s a fool. Aristotle tells us exactly how to become a magnificent man, “The magnificent man does not lavish money on himself, but on public objects, and gifts to strangers bear some resemblance to offerings to the gods.”(Nicomachian Ethics) It’s pretty crazy that Aristotle seems to understand Christ better than this Chesterton groupie.

Instead of telling men not to get rich, tell them to get rich and then save the world—because the world needs saving.

Rich men have the power and ability to change their communities in ways that a limp-wristed academic could never imagine. Instead of discouraging men, we should be encouraging them to be great. Get rich and build a hospital. Get rich and build a beautiful church. Get rich and give it all away to the poor.

You’ll save more lives and do more good than the Chesterton Society ever could.