My past use of pen-names in dangerous situations
I confess that I myself had a pseudonym while hosting various blogs over the years. These false names are especially useful when participating in rather dangerous activities, or when you otherwise absolutely must stay under the radar.
For example, on one particular blog — shut down now for very many years — I made a hobby of baiting Islamicist terrorist types, you know, the puppets who collect money for them, and even some who knew something of their ongoing operations, and even some, it turns out, who are now spokesmen and information carriers on an international level for terrorist organizations, two gentlemen in particular.
I would do this by asking questions on Sura 37:100-113 of the Qur’an. Actually, I really was trying to get some reasoned commentary on this passage, but, of course, ran into the same difficulty noted by Benedict XVI in his spectacular Regensburg Address. You can’t reason with those who, as a religious principle, reject reason in any interreligious dialogue, holding this to be an insult against Allah. I sincerely thank those Muslims, particularly the Imams (one a known terrorist in Syria) who took a great deal of time to answer my questions from their perspective, on the one hand, and those such as Robert Spencer of the great http://www.jihadwatch.org, who also took a great deal of time personally to provide me with expert observations on the other hand. Even the Institute, that is, the Mossad, and students at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies in Rome and Al-Azhar University in Cairo pitched in.
My intent was converting Muslims to be Catholic, but whenever I would note some rather nefarious activities, baiting the terrorists to give some hint about themselves, I would turn this over to the intelligence communities. Those who had to know who I was did know this, so, not a real pseudonym.
What I noticed, however, is that it is rather a temptation when using a nom de plume to phrase things in a manner that might edge toward a lack of goodness and kindness. I didn’t like having that temptation right at hand. So much did I not like this that I not only stopped using a false name, but identified myself. I’m glad I did. I like to add my name to what I say. It’s all much better that way.
Use of pseudonyms to protect one’s privacy
It is commonplace to use a “handle” instead of one’s own name when making comments on the internet, and there are some few people who would benefit in their not being identified as Catholics lest, should they be found out, for instance, by an anti-Catholic employer, they lose their jobs, and so on. Some employers, on the other hand, even not being Catholic, might well respect someone who owns up to what they say.
Surely the vast majority of those who use a handle do so just to be clever with the names they come up with. Some are, in fact, hilarious, ironic, incisive, or describe the writer with very few letters indeed. Way cool, that! I think we can all understand that this is just a fad that people easily fall into. It can be funny and innocent. I’ve done that too! However, as I say, in the end, I really have to wonder if the disadvantages don’t outweigh the advantages. There is always a temptation, no matter how nice we think we are, to hide behind the nickname thing so as to say something that lacks in goodness and kindness.
Again, some people must absolutely protect their identities. I understand that. But that’s very few people indeed. I myself should have been taken out, as it were, a thousand times over for what I was doing with the terrorist hunt hobby, but nothing happened when I fessed up, did it?
Use of nicknames to attack others, including Pope Francis
It’s another thing altogether, of course, to hide behind pseudonyms so as to attack others all the more easily. Such attacks with false names are almost always gratuitous, self-congratulatory, full of unsubstantiated accusations and wild innuendos, selling the attractiveness of arrogant pride to those who want to participate in it themselves. The followers of such jaw-dropping cowardice are… I mean… what can said about followers of such rubbish, who also use nicknames to hide behind…?
Even worse than this is the use of pseudonyms to attack the very person of the Holy Father. This reeks of the diabolical, an unbearable stench of flatulent thoughts fanned upon the world and the Church. But note that Satan has the guts to accuse the saints day and night before the throne of God. Note that these are the saints he is accusing. And he does not hide. One cannot imagine the depths of hell to which some may well be assigned. Their pen-names may well be used to torture them forever and ever and ever. Is it worth it?
I challenge those attacking the Holy Father to go ahead and use their real names
When I came across priests over the years, those who were always spouting off their anti-Catholic stupidities to all and sundry, I challenged them to go ahead and write to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and to the Secretariat of State and to the Congregation for the Clergy or the Congregation for Religious, telling them of their disagreement with the doctrine and morality of the Church, and how they as priests go out of their way in their pastoral activities to teach people that which is not supported by the Catholic Church. I call them cowards and dishonest if they do not do this, mere sycophantic followers of political correctness of the lowest common denominator of scum, mere shells of men who are puppets for others, living worthless lives that do not help themselves or others, but lives which instead only seek the destruction of all that is good and holy, seeking the destruction of the Church.
I’ve had a rather spectacular convert to the faith in this way, a priest from a third-world country. I know because, after a week, he told me about it. This shook him to the core of his being. Perhaps I’ve had many more converts in this way. Many priests were dumbfounded that I would be so bold, and that they had no answer to provide. When I would meet them for weeks after that, the expressions of their faces were of profound sorrow and confusion. Good. That’s a great sign that one’s conscience has not died.
So, there it is. That’s my challenge. Fess up to who you are
Do it now. And, go ahead, write to Rome as well. Really! “But… but…” is what I know many are saying. Not a single “but” will be allowed by Christ Jesus for any of us, not for you, not for me, at the last judgment. We always have to be preparing for that last judgment right now. Today. Do it today. Change your ways. Know the goodness and kindness of Jesus.
As Pope Francis says, if we do not have a personal experience of the mercy of Jesus, we do not know him. If we do not preach about Jesus, we only speak on behalf of Satan.
Go to Confession.
And know that Jesus is good and that Jesus is kind. Really. He is.