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Personal FAQ for S. Jetchick

Did you see how they raised this important building?... - By dint of
little things!
"Did you see how they raised that important building?... - By dint of little things!"
[The Way, #823]

Table of contents

1) "I represent Association XYZ. Would you be willing to donate time, or money, etc?"
2) "You give a negative evaluation to this author, or this work. I'm not happy."
3) "Why don't you always have the last word in e-mail debates?"
4) "You're nasty. Why do you want to be removed from my wonderful mailing list?"
5) "How can I put my Profession of Faith on the Internet?"
6) "I would like to get such a part of your web site in another format (like MS-Word, or PDF, or ePub, etc.)"
7) "Please! Add me to your list of recommended web sites!"
8) "Bishop XYZ is very good. Why don't you become a Priest in his Diocese?"
9) "I live in Africa and my life is threatened. Can you help me immigrate into Canada and/or send me money?"
10) "Here is a very evil web site that attacks the Church. What should I do?"
11) "I need ammunition against such an enemy of the Church. Could you build me some?"
12) "Do you want to become the webmaster of my new pro-Catholic web site?"
13) "What do you think of this video on YouTube?"
14) "Ouch! Potential employers end up on your web site when they search for my name in Google!"
15) "Your web site is obsessed with sodomy/abortion/etc."
16) "You are like Don Quixote"
17) "Could you translate this document for that good cause?"


1) "I represent Association XYZ. Would you be willing to donate time, or money, etc?"

First, I heartily approve of all intentions to defend Christ's Church (or any other noble goal, like protecting the environment, rescuing abandoned kittens, etc.).

Second, my time/money budget for defending the Church is currently all spoken for. I'll be glad to take some time/money away from another Association I'm currently supporting, in order to give it to you instead. I just need good reasons to think my time/money would be better invested with you.

I wish I had a brilliant method to make such a determination. I don't. Right now, I try to rate offers like yours based on their Heterostupidity Quotient, i.e. on how much they succumb to typical Catholic errors. I also look to see if your idea fits with my current assessment of what needs to be done.

Most offers I've received so far were turned down, not because I disagreed with the goals and intentions, since they are almost inevitably praiseworthy. Often it's rather because of 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 3.16, 3.17, and 3.19.

See also in this FAQ:

11) "I need ammunition against such an enemy of the Church. Could you build me some?"
12) "Do you want to become the webmaster of my new pro-Catholic web site?"
17) "Could you translate this document for that good cause?"


2) "You give a negative evaluation to this author, or this work. I'm not happy."

Sorry to give you negative emotions. Note that I'm often mistaken, so if I made an error, please make a reasonable effort to correct me. If my error is serious, it's almost a moral dilemma for you, since this error will infect all the readers of my site. You should send me an e-mail and formally request that I post it on my web site, with a hyperlink in the text that contains my serious error.

On the other hand, if you're complaining because your author or work contains some truths on top of the many errors I flagged, I will most likely not change my mind. See section 3.5 of How To Choose A Good Book.

Finally, if my evaluation is only preliminary, and that you really insist, I can put your book/author/article/web site through the meat-grinder, but be aware that this is very time-consuming for me. Among others, I must translate everything in French (my site is bilingual), and I have to post it on my web site because any evaluation process must be "transparent", i.e. the public must be able to verify the whole process that leads to the evaluation. Expect therefore to become famous if ever the exhaustive evaluation confirmed my initial preliminary evaluation.


3) "Why don't you always have the last word in e-mail debates?"

In my e-mail debates, I like to leave the last word to my opponents, since I control the web site. (Imagine a public debate against someone who is the only one with a microphone, and who hands you the mike, when and for as long as he feels like it!)

If my opponent (or a spectator) explicitly asks me to continue the debate, I'll probably obey. But normally, I consider that the best answer to my opponent's last e-mail, is simply to re-read our whole debate. A careful reader will be able to decide if I'm right or wrong, without reading anything more than what has already been written.

When I unilaterally refuse to continue a debate, it's because I'm under the impression that my opponent doesn't have one of the essential prerequisites for any constructive debate.

Sometimes, it's apparently a problem with the intellect, i.e. my opponent seems to need to talk with a mental health professional, not an amateur philosopher.

But most often, it's a problem with the will. In my opinion, this can be detected by reading my opponent's e-mails, where I observe a refusal to carefully read what I write. (I define "carefully" as: "with as much care as how I read what he writes".) I also often observe in such e-mails the jumping bean syndrome.

Lord Jesus Christ,
If I have lost this debate, or if during it,
I have done anything unworthy of a Christian,
Please remove the scales of pride from my eyes,
That I may beg forgiveness from You and my opponent,
Publicly correct my mistakes, and never repeat them.
If not, may the Light of your Face shine upon my opponent.


  I spend my days hidden under my bed!
I spend my days hidden under my bed!


4) "You're nasty. Why do you want to be removed from my wonderful mailing list?"

Strangely, I have managed to make several enemies simply by requesting to be removed from their mailing list. Come to think of it, the people who got upset are also the people who never said things like:

"Sure, Stefan, of course! I'm in front of my computer, give me 2 seconds... There, it's done! Now, could you do me a huge favor, and please take a few seconds to tell me what you don't like about my mailings, so I could improve my customer service? I would be very grateful!"

If they had, I would have sent them this hyperlink: How To Write A Good E-Mail (Section 6).


5) "How can I put my Profession of Faith on the Internet?"

As far as possible, I try to avoid having people put their Profession of Faith and Pledge of allegiance on this web site. The fundamental reason for this is that we must encourage and defend Jesus and the Catholic Church, not this web site!

This is why it's by far preferable to put everything on your personal web site. Then, send me an e-mail so I can add your name and a hyperlink to your reaction in the Directory of Sheep and Wolves. If you don't know if you have a web site, please read how to put your reaction on your own web site.

If you don't have a web site, I'll be happy to post your Profession of Faith on my web site. Just print out this Profession of Faith (or the official Latin version), sign it, and send it to me.


  I like Summer, if I'm locked inside with a cool Lady!
I like Summer, if I'm locked inside with a cool Lady!


6) "I would like to get such a part of your web site in another format (like MS-Word, or PDF, or ePub, etc.)"

First, you can always download all of this web site (compressed file, "Winzip" format) by going to the home page.

Second, I currently have a technical problem. If I could find software that would build an MS-Word or PDF version of my web site, with just one clic, I would do it. Since it's technically very feasible, such software must already exist, but those I tried didn't work. Please tell me if you know of any.

Conclusion: for the time being, I'm resisting the requests to put my web site on another format for several reasons:

6.1) My web site is not static. After I die or run out of ideas, making a paper copy of my web site will make much more sense.

6.2) Difficulty of keeping several copies in synch. Suppose I have another version in MS-Word format. Every time a fix a small typo or make an addition to my web site, I have to also make that change in the MS-Word document. Add to that the web site is in two languages, and that makes four changes. This gets very expensive and time consuming (I used to maintain MS-Word versions, but I abandoned them).

6.3) Problems with the other formats. MS-Word is still a proprietary format. In a way, so is PDF. Neither of these formats is particularly practical on the web; they are mostly for paper versions.

6.4) Reading confortably on a computer screen is fun and easy. See: 11) I hate reading on the screen! I prefer paper!

Thonnard on ePub reader.
Thonnard on ePub reader.

Recently, Mr. Guillaume Nodet made some "ePub" versions of Thonnard, which I then started to test on a Kobo Aura "reader" which gave me an insanely hard time to get it started (I was unable to register on the web, and I could not see how to bypass that registration, so the reader was blocked), But it now seems to work. I'm horribly insulted when I purchase some electronic device which doesn't let me change its batteries, so I cannot recommend this device, but I admit that reading quietly in bed or in a rocking chair is enjoyable.


7) "Please! Add me to your list of recommended web sites!"

I'd love to add your web site to my list of recommended hyperlinks. Please first make sure you satisfy the following criteria before you send your request:

7.1) There is at least one flesh-and-blood person who is responsible for the contents of your site, and their full name, picture and physical address are given. Example. Rule.

7.2) There is a clear Catholic Profession of Faith. I see no reason why it should not be with the official Catholic formula. Example.

Do all my recommended web sites satisfy these criteria? They should! They will, eventually, or I will remove them. Should there be more criteria? Yes. Which ones? See The Mediatic Body of Christ.


8) "Bishop XYZ is very good. Why don't you become a Priest in his Diocese?"

I'm not my own spiritual director, and only the Church has the authority to call someone to the Priesthood, so of course the question of my vocation is, in a way, not for me to decide. But here are a few of my thoughts:

First, I pray daily for God to show me His will ("Domine, ut videam!", [Mk 10:51]), and for Him to give me the force to do it ("Domine, si vis, potes me mundare!", [Lk 5:13]), as Saint Josémaria Escriva recommends. If God calls, I hope and pray I will answer: "Serviam!". Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.

Second, sometimes I get very discouraged and ask myself: "How could an old good-for-nothing like me possibly become a good Priest?" Yes, I know, God is all-powerful and only He can give the graces to be a good Priest. That being said, what also cheers me up is that, if I had access to a Priest like me in my Parish, I'd be delighted! As a layperson, I would tell this Priest: "So what, you're not perfect yet? You're always in the Confessional before Mass, and you don't fool around with the Holy Liturgy! As far as I'm concerned, just that is fantastically helpful to me!"

Third, I made several honest attempts about thirty years ago (I'm 52 in 2016). Does this prove I don't have a vocation for the Priesthood? Good question. Here are some attempts:

- Dominicans. I ran away after a few weeks. My impression was that I didn't have the two essential "prerequisites" to become a Priest at the Dominican College in Ottawa, Canada: homosexuality and protestantism!

- Diocesan Seminary. Turned down by the Director of the Montreal Seminary, a certain Father Marc Ouellet (now Cardinal). Too bad MP3 recorders didn't exist in those days, it would have been funny to put that on my web site (but then maybe there would be a different Cardinal in Quebec City today)! Cardinal Ouellet also recently turned me away again, via his Seminary Director.

- OMV. Recommended by my spiritual director, who told me to stay away from the Jesuits. Fortunately, he found out that Father Luigi (Gino) Burresi, at that time the most influent and famous member of the OMV, was a sodomite, before I tried them.

- Legionaries of Christ. I ran away after two and a half days! Never been so terrorized in my life. About a quarter of a century later, Martial Maciel, the founder, turned out to be a flaming pervert.

- Etc.

So, what now? I don't know. I did my private vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience on July 29, 1992. Since then, I've been trying to be a good boy, while keeping my ears open in case God called.

Will I contact Bishop XYZ? I could. But I would prefer if he contacted me. I've been burned before, and I'm terrorized of all Bishops who have nothing negative to say about their peers, and nothing positive to say about the "embarassing" teachings of the Church. If they are silent now, why should they come to my defense when the wolves in the sheepfold will turn to me?


9) "I live in Africa and my life is threatened. Can you help me immigrate into Canada and/or send me money?"

I'd love to help all needy Africans (and all human persons on this planet, for that matter).

For immigration into Canada, I have no expertise in that area, moreover, I don't have contacts in high places, and I'm somewhat of a pariah in my own Church. So I'm not in an ideal position to sponsor immigrants.

As far as sending you some money, I don't have a real job (I live from contract to contract), I'm not rich (at least compared to other Canadians), and my country mows 50% of my income, among others to fund international aid programs (but also to waste it, unfortunately).

Moreover, I don't know you. You found my web site, and sent me some e-mails. I assume you are telling the truth, but I have no guarantee of that.

I guess the best thing would be for you to contact the Canadian embassy closest to you. (This seems to be their web site: www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca) I assume they will know the procedure to immigrate into Canada. Maybe somewhere in that long and complicated procedure, I can help you a little bit. Perhaps that the Canadian embassy will also be able to tell you which Canadian aid programs can help you financially.

The real solution to your problems, is good politics. Corruption of politicians, in Africa as everywhere else in the world, is quite probably what causes your problems. Of course, only Parousia can completely eliminate the corruption of politicians. On the other hand, we can greatly reduce this corruption thanks to the Gospel of Christ faithfully transmitted by the Catholic Church. But in my opinion, that will never be enough. We also need to re-found the Templars, i.e. people who combine moral virtue and military force. Despite appearances, I'm doing my best to solve your problems in Africa.

In the meantime I will continue to pray for all people who suffer because of injustice. Sorry I can't do more for now.


Knocked down bike.


10) "Here is a very evil web site that attacks the Church. What should I do?"

There are two kinds of people who reject the Church: honest seekers of the truth who are temporarily mistaken, and dishonest collaborators of Satan. To make things more complicated, most of the time, it's the same person who has a mixture of honesty and dishonesty. Unfortunately, I don't have a magic recipe to help such people. The best recommendation I currently have is to:

- plant a seed;
- water it with prayer and penance.

To "plant a seed", challenge that person in front of his friends, telling him that he is the one with the shortcoming he projects on the Church. Then slap him gently in the face with a hyperlink to the appropriate page on my web site. A few examples:

10.1) For Atheists: "You claim Catholics are irrational and illogical, but how come it's a Catholic who offers a cash reward to Atheists for an e-mail debate, where the first opponent to use a belief loses?"

10.2) For Protestants: "Aren't you supposed to believe the Bible is the Word of God? But the Bible says: "Thou shalt not bear false witness" [Ex 20:16] Are you on the side of the Prince of Darkness, to make all kinds of accusations against Catholics, while never daring to debate with them by e-mail? How come it's a Catholic who stands in the light, ready and willing to take you on, while you lurk in the dark corners of anonymity?

10.3) For Pro-choicers: "Have you ever seen a debate on abortion? A real, democratic, transparent, methodical debate? I haven't. Have you?"

Etc.

And don't forget to water your seed!


11) "I need ammunition against such an enemy of the Church. Could you build me some?"

This question is a bit the combination between preceding one ("Here is a very evil web site [...] What should I do?"), and the first one ("[...] Would you be willing to donate time, or money, etc?").

These days, Christians have an abundance of enemies, and a shortage of ammo. Yes, I'd love to supply you with ammo. I have a list of bad books (and bad films, and bad web sites, and bad this and that) to be analysed and demolished. Of course I could add this new enemy which you are reporting, and work to supply you with ammunition necessary to fight against it. Except that takes time, and I only have 24 hours a day.

The question is therefore: "Should I add this enemy to my list, and if so, with what priority?" Here are a few criteria which increase the chances I'll add it:

11.1) The more this enemy causes worse harm to a greater number of persons.

11.2) The less my web site already talks about it.

11.3) The more the clergy is silent or incompetent concerning this enemy.

11.4) The less it takes time to build an effective munition against this enemy.

11.5) The more I have access to first sources, to undisputable proofs, to eyewitnesses, etc.

- Etc.

If you think your enemy satisfies those criteria, contact me. And of course, the more your "build up" your case, the better your chances.


12) "Do you want to become the webmaster of my new pro-Catholic web site?"

The first part of that question is unspoken: "Given we don't have enough money to pay you as much as your current job, could you...", etc. Therefore, this question is a more specific version of the first one ("[...] Would you be willing to donate time, or money, etc?") So you should start by re-reading my first answer.

Then, we have to discuss the specific part of that question, which can be rephrased as: "Does the Church need another web site?" I feel like answering with the joke about the Newfie who was looking for his car keys at night, underneath a lampost. A passer-by asks him: "Did you lose them here?" - "No, on the other side of the street", answers the Newfie. "But then, why are you looking here?", asks the stunned passer-by. And the Newfie answers: "Because the light is better on this side!"

Starting up a new web site is easy, inexpensive, and it's something visible that gives the impression that we're moving forward. Moreover, in theory, it can work! Take AIDS for example: you just need to build a web site which explains to people why AIDS is bad, then explain to people they need to stop having sex with infected people, and then everybody comes on your web site and listens to your wise advice. Bingo, the epidemic is finished!

Is your idea for a new web site bad? Probably not. Could your new web site do a bit of good? Probably yes. Except you'll probably mostly increase Microscopic Incestuous Deforestation (3.16), without cutting trees.

People are already overwhelmed with information available on the Internet. What your web site needs are "paying" visitors. By "paying" visitors, I mean people who have time to read, wisdom to understand, courage to overcome the threats of anti-Catholics, and money to act. That is the hard part, in my opinion.

Please note that my answer to this question is probably biased by my own shortcomings. I sometimes have the impression that I'm like a baseball player who is tall, honest, athletic, and totally unable to hit the baseball. Even though I'm tall, honest, "athletic" (for web programming), I have the impression of being almost totally unable to attract numerous "paying" visitors. So you probably don't really want me as your webmaster!


According to Jason Ferenc, this is how others express themselves:

The Others.

Whereas me:

Me.


13) "What do you think of this video on YouTube?"

I'm being asked more and more often to react to films or videos on YouTube. In general, as long as I don't have a verbatim transcript of what is said in that movie (at least for the most important parts), I won't react. Just like it's impossible to catch a flatulence with a lasso, it's impossible to catch an error floating around in vague emotions caused by images and music. To attack that error, I need to put it on my operating table, under a powerful light.

I repeat: I need stuff in writing, not on a video. Send me a written transcript (electronically, of course! not on old-fashioned paper!). Don't send me hyperlinks to videos on YouTube.


14) "Ouch! Potential employers end up on your web site when they search for my name in Google!"

Ahem, yes..., well, hmmm, that is what is called "R-E-A-L-I-T-Y". Your potential employers want to know who they are dealing with, so they are looking for a source of information less biased than your résumé. Hard to blame them for that.

What? You told me dumb things, and now that might fall back on your face? Could that be a sign from Heaven? Maybe God is trying to send you a message! A message like: "Stop saying stupid things!"

What? By being associated with my Catholic web site, you risk losing job opportunities, because some employers are anti-Catholic? Strange, if an employer is discriminating based on your religious beliefs, shouldn't you go after that employer who is disobeying the law, rather than me?

Moreover, so far, among the people who asked me to remove their name from my site, supposedly because I was making it difficult for them to find a job, none had had the foresight and perseverance to get a diploma considered useful by Quebec employers. It's easy to accuse employers. It's not so easy to accuse oneself (but it's often more constructive).

That being said, I'll probably remove your name, because I pity anybody who has problems finding a job, having been in that situation most of my life.


  I have the memory of a goldfish, so my two best friends are white electrical tape and a sharpie.
I have the memory of a goldfish, so my two best friends
are white electrical tape and a sharpie.


15) "Your web site is obsessed with sodomy/abortion/etc."

15.1) How should we defined "obsessed"? How can we measure what is the main topic of a web site? Some things are clear to me:

- My web site talks about many topics.
- I do claim there are big nasty things out there that we must fight against, but the worst ones (in my opinion) are not sodomy or abortion, but more like religious obscurantism, Atheism, but especially corrupt Catholic leaders.
- I probably agree with you on many other big nasty things that we must fight against, like greed, pollution, war, hunger, etc.

I claim there is a probable reason why you feel like my web site is obsessed with sodomy, abortion, contraception, etc. As you've probably experimented yourself, if your hands are freezing because you were outside without mittens during winter, and you put your hands in water that is just confortably hot for someone who remained inside the house, that water will feel painfully hot to you (for a moment).

Our society constantly bombards you with propaganda like "sodomy is natural", "abortion is just minor surgery", "contraception is liberating", etc. So when you dip your mind into a web site like mine, it feels uncomfortable at first. Don't worry, there is nothing on my site that will damage you, and your pain is momentary.

15.2) In the more specific case of sodomy, there might be another explanation to your impression. Indeed, these days, the issue of persons with same-sex attractions is highly politicized. In other words, the Quebec government is using the pretext of "homophobia" to attack the Catholic Church. Yes, it's sad to see persons with same-sex attractions which are almost "taken hostage" in this war between State and Church. But I try hard to aim only at bad political leaders, while avoiding innocent civilians. See among others my Correspondence with Ms. Kathleen Weil, Quebec Justice Minister.


16) "You are like Don Quixote"

There are many similarities between Don Quixote and me. For example we both admire knighthood and justice. We are also both woefully ill-equipped for our expedition.

But Don Quixote attacked windmills, not evil giants. Don Quixote was able to walk up to the windmill that threw him off his horse, and see and touch that it was only a windmill and not an evil giant.

Every day, I see and touch the giant evils that are threatening what is left of Christendom. If you don't believe me, then come on an expedition with me! We'll rent a video camera and a voice recorder with a microphone, and we'll go and make some scientific observations. First, we could go talk to some local Catholic Priests to ask them questions about what they preach in their sermons. Then we could try to meet the local Catholic Bishop to ask him some questions about what he has done and not done in his diocese. After, we could visit the local hospital to ask whether we could film what is killed by an abortion. Then we could go to the Provincial Parliament and try to ask questions to the Justice Minister. Then we could walk over to the local Freemason lodge and ask them a few questions about Atheism, etc., etc.

If you claim there are no "evil giants", I claim you are the one disconnected with reality. If you claim those evil giants exist, but I'm not the one who should be fighting them, you are partially right. Indeed, Catholic religious leaders should be spearheading this battle, but I observe they are not.

Am I wasting my time fighting "this lost battle"? Well, Christ is Almighty, and the war has already been won. I'm just trying to take my share of the hard work in this life, so I can give glory to Him and share His reward.


17) "Could you translate this document for that good cause?"

The first part of that question is unspoken: "Given we don't have enough money to pay you as much as your current job, could you...", etc. Therefore, this question is a more specific version of the first one ("[...] Would you be willing to donate time, or money, etc?") So you should start by re-reading my first answer.

Furthermore, I don't do paid written translation, I only do paid oral translation (simultaneous interpretation). Yes, I do unpaid written translation (e.g. for my own web site), but as little as possible. For me to translate your document, it will therefore need to climb higher on my todo list than my current priorities.

 

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