So your favorite blogger has gone insane


I’ll try to keep this organized, but it’s not easy, speaking from the howling, fetid depths of insanity to which I have recently sunk.

I get an awful lot of letters from people who are concerned, terribly concerned, about the recent turn my writing has taken. A good many of them start out this way (and if you think I’m picking on you specifically, you’re wrong. I’m not kidding when I say I get a lot of these letters):

I’ve been reading you for many years, and I’m disturbed and disappointed by your recent use of vulgarity and your turn toward critical, biting language.

And I says to myself, I says,

There is no way you’ve been reading me for many years. If you had, you’d be looking at my current stuff, comparing it to my stuff from several years ago, and you’d be thinking, “Wow, what a change! Compared to the old days, this woman is two derma peels away from turning into Mother Teresa!”

That’s me! So, with my recently acquired trademark generosity, I thought I’d share with you some tips for how to approach me when I’ve pissed you off.

Here’s how not to be like:

The Crystal Ball-Gazer 

Let’s say you read something I wrote that upsets you, and your first impulse is to think, “Good grief, this woman is a horrible human being. Why else would she say such things? But wait! Christian charity. Okay, let’s see . . . okay, probably she has something awful going on in her life. Yeah, that would explain it. She’s going through some kind of private turmoil, and it’s spilling out into her public voice.”

This may or may not be true, but I’ll tell you one thing. I get an awful lot of these “I’m terribly concerned about what you must be secretly going through” when I make some statements; and zero of them when I make other statements. Statistically speaking, your concern for me seems to have far less to do with how upset I am and far more to do with how upset you are about what I am saying.

For instance, if I said, “The clouds are dripping blood and the very grass under our feet has become like unto knives, because of what has transpired regarding that greatest martyr of our times, Kim Davis!” you’re all like, “YES. Preach it! Our Lady of Constant Sobbing, intercede for us!” and you share it with all your friends.

But if I say, “I see some serious problems with Donald Trump,” you’re all, “Oh, you poor thing, do you have lots and lots of secret cancer? I’ll pray for you.”

I’ll take the prayers. But don’t think I don’t notice the pattern.

The Spiritual Blackmailer

You tell me you were thinking of becoming Catholic, but now, all because of me, you’re not.

Yeah, this is baloney. You know why? Because you have been saying that exact same thing  to six other bloggers for the last eleven years, and we have all noticed it, and we just plain don’t believe you.

Yes, we all know each other, and we all compare notes. We meet on Wednesday nights in a torchlit, underground cavern where we roll around in a pool of money, dry ourselves off with the velvet bed curtains torn from the boudoir of St. Ludobutt the Meek, and then hunker down for a long night of “Bubblegum bubblegum in a dish,” which is how we divvy up available souls.  One for me, one for you, one for that new gal on Patheos who let on that she thinks Angels With Dirty Faces is kind of snoozer. Oh, the moral peril of it all! Is outrage. Is so, so outrage.

Listen. I understand that a bad example from a Catholic can have a big emotional impact, and can make it really hard for people to make that leap to signing up for RCIA. This is a real thing that happens to real people. But if you’ve been telling me for years and years that you were right on the verge of converting, and the one thing that held you back is that one person . . . then that one person is you.

The Snobvangelist

More times than I can count, I’ve been told that we’re called to be good evangelists, and that, as such, we have to present our best, brightest, prettiest, perkiest, shiniest, most decorous face at all times, because that is the kind of thing that is attractive to people.

Well, it is to some people. But what about to others? What about the people who were raised listening to loud music and cussing, and all their happiest memories are associated with good, kind people who are zero percent bright, pretty, perky, shiny, or decorous? What about them? You really think they’re going to want to join a church that requires all its members to act like they belong on Leave It To Beaver? Good luck with that approach.

Look, Paul was an evangelist to the gentiles, and I’m an evangelist to the assholes. It’s a heavy mantle, but I’m willing to take it on.

The Selective Pearl-Clutcher

You keep telling me that, as someone with a public platform, I have more power than I realize, and so I have a special responsibility to model courtesy, civility, charity, restraint, kindness, grace, and compassion. You tell me that I must, at all times, keep in mind how much influence I have, and that if I can’t muster up these virtues you admire so much, then I do not deserve to have a public voice.

And then.

You voted.

For Donald.


Well, I’ll pray for you. Probably you have lots of secret cancer, that’s all.


Image: Monster Soup by William Heath [Public domain or CC BY 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons



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29 thoughts on “So your favorite blogger has gone insane”

  1. You are such a frustrated, bitter and offensive person. How do you have such boot licking sycophantic followers that continue to validate you?

  2. Dear Simcha,

    as a German catholic, I fully understand you (save for the part where I was too lazy to use a dictionary). We will elect soon. There is a young German party called AfD which is, in its manners, quite Trumpish. Phrases like “all immigrants are criminal… well, no, not those from Switzerland or Austria, but well, you know, the real immigrants…” are familiar to me.
    I am a blogger, and although I don’t reach a lot of people, I know all the reactions you describe.
    We can’t do a lot – only stay catholic, pray, help, write, try to convert assholes, and wait for the Second Coming.


  3. Oh Simcha!! This was so funny… please keep doing what you’re doing. I feel comforted to know that everyone is not squeaky, clean, perky and bright.
    Don’t stop. Just don’t stop writing.

  4. I don’t know that Simcha’s accessibility to or patience with pro-abortion folks has ever been questioned (but that is a super sweet story, A.H.). It’s the blistering vivisection of those deemed orthodox, conservative, or traditional and therefore disposably redneck, that grows tiresome. Ironically, we’re accused of being secretly pro-abortion. There was the ire over Romney (inadequately pro-life) and another ten or twelve forgettable, nasty topics since. But if the subject of *yourself* keeps you endlessly fascinated — you might just be uniquely suited to blogging. I too have enjoyed the topical stuff about meals, decor, family life, entertainment, your radio shows were a hoot — but the petty baggage and superior swipes are unnecessary. It seems like an exit from Catholic media provides a wider audience which appreciates all of that stuff, gives you badass cred. Just so you know: even lowly asshats who grew up around cursing can aspire to be ladies. Lesson #1 might be not to presume such familiarity that one stoops to insult her own fans. Enjoy Your New President, himself a Tremendous Ode to Redneck America ! 🙂

  5. I first starting reading Simcha years ago, because I somehow got a link to her post on why women ought to be able to wear pants without being considered immodest. I enjoyed it for its wit and verve, but also was fascinated because Simcha’s intended audience clearly moved in a social world drastically different from mine. (In my social world, it is *unimaginable* that a woman would be criticized for wearing pants.)

    I kept reading Simcha’s posts in order to learn more about how people in that drastically different world thought, but I always did so with a detached amusement. I was sure that, if Simcha knew me, she would shun me as ungodly, and that she would certainly never let her kids play with mine.

    Then one day I read a post of hers where she mentioned that she lets her kids play with the neighbor kids whose parents are atheists — *and* defended those parents against some pretty nasty criticism in the comments. Simcha stood up for her atheist neighbors, describing them as good, moral people, who lived by “natural law.”

    From that moment, the way I read Simcha’s posts changed. It was surprisingly meaningful to me to hear that she has respect for me and people like me. (For the record, I’m a Christian, but am a liberal Quaker and about as far from Catholicism as it is possible to get. I have always been pro-choice.) I have a great respect for Simcha’s way of thinking, and I’ve learned from her over the years — I’ve gotten some great kids’ books recommendations, found out about Daniel Mitsui, and gotten some helpful dinner ideas. I’ve also learned more about Catholicism than I knew before.

    I mention this because I think it might be helpful for those critical of Simcha to know — it’s because of her voice that I’m planning on listening to her (pro-life) podcast tomorrow while I clean the kitchen. She is able to make her voice heard in places where pro-life voices usually are not, and her voice has great resonance.

  6. Yeah. I really don’t get why so many catholics clutch their pearls over ” bad language”. Are some people really so precious that the very occasional utterance of a fornication or defecate referent sends them to bed? Are you reading the blog out loud to children? Can you maybe, I dunno, accept that Earthy language is a thing that people say sometimes and isn’t even a sin?

  7. I love your writing and I hope you get the support to continue. I don’t read your blog for the news, but I am usually interested by your take on what is happening. I keep reading, though, for that post or article every once in a while that is truly amazing and clarifies what I could never articulate on my own. Thank you. And you’re not just an evangelist to assholes, but to moms like me.

  8. As an asshole Catholic who never quite felt like she fit in with all of other more “polite” women at church….thank you for being an evangelist to assholes. People like me need people like you

  9. I did find it funny when the alt right trolls weighed in on the Krisallnacht post. I thought you then had attained notoriety. Please keep doing what you do, which is to be a thinking (cooking!) Catholic. We need voices to show that all our ideas don’t come out of one box and that the Kingdom we serve is not of this earth. I am going to look at your Patreon site and encourage others to do the same.

  10. Wonderful, Simcha. But as someone who has been reading you for years, if you’re an evangelist to assholes, does that mean….? Aw, fuck.

  11. I like your blog posts. Its refreshing. I find myself utterly disenfranchised by both parties. I want public education to succeed, both for the kids and for the republic. That said, I also want private Catholic schools to be able to teach the faith. I want abortion and the death penalty to end. I want gobs of support for women to make the option of abortion appear more naturally unpalatable, so the arguments of the pro-choicers are exposed, and while were on the way to doing that I want the practice to be made illegal. I want to help the refugees, even if it means risk to us; because to me it would be a sin to have so much national power and not help somehow; but I don’t want us to assume the responsibility for fixing failed states. I want a strong military, but I want us to stop intervening every where.

    I have no party.

    I believe the parties have helped divide us and made us lump incredibly complex issues into a binary choice.

    If you vote Democrat you support a robust social support network, but you also support the killing of innocents.

    If you vote Republican you oppose abortion but you start foolishly ripping out the support network.

    Both parties are too interventionist for me.

    Supporters of one or the other are forced to make excuses for the major moral flaws their parties hold.

    I’m done. I’ll vote, but it would take a sea change for me to vote for one of the parties again.

    And Trump is too much of a throwback to the know-nothings for me to be comfortable with him. I also have a daughter, and his locker room talk pi$$es me off.

    So go ahead and rant. I might not always agree with you; but I share your frustration.

  12. So sorry about the secret cancer that makes you abuse your bully pulpit and has caused me not to become Christian because of that one post…..

  13. Huh. I’m alarmed that you get so much mail analyzing what is wrong with you. I think I’ve been reading your writing for almost 10 years? I think that you seem to be in the vein of a Caryll Houselander as opposed to a . . . to be honest I can’t think of any really holy people that don’t have that Caryll Houselander feel to them in some way. Now don’t get insulted, but she swore and saw visions of Christ and drank and hung out with misfits and was a misfit and smoked and was just not conventional and just loved too deeply and always kept her humanity before her. Her love of Christ in everyone was not acceptable either. She reached out to the soldiers of WWII with PTSD before it was a thing. She connected with the children of war – shut in by trauma. She was not shiny and neither were the people who recognized her as one of them. But she reached them, and she loved them.

    I tried to think of someone totally different – on the surface St. Therese and her sweetness and her cloister, but I couldn’t stop thinking of her as a a whole person, what she suffered in that sweetness, etc, how that was so radical and scandalous in a way. How away from the world, she was more in it than most. Maria Goretti, nope, there’s just so much drama and reality there. I guess Caryll reminds me of all humans, the struggle and the sweetness and the beauty and the earthiness. And so do you. I think we all have our differences, but those of us who are trying to follow Christ have more in common than we think. . I don’t know I haven’t expressed myself as I ought. I could go and fix it, but I don’t have time. Writing stuff that people won’t misunderstand is hard, and my hat is off to you.

    I guess deep down we should all be honest, all of our pearls are broken and scattered from the thread that held them together, we can clutch our pearls and that breaks them just as readily as our carelessness can. Let’s just try to pick up the pieces and acknowledge there’s no pretending perfect, there’s only trying to live it deeply and failing and trying again in the contradiction that is the Cross.

    Don’t let the criticism get you down, there are many ways of being a writer who brings truth to her readers. I think that is hard for people to understand. I don’t always agree with and identify with every jot and tittle you write, but why would I want to read my own echo? Since I can so clearly see that you are striving to live out the Christian life, you make me consider things more deeply. I find it boring and hollow for everyone to express the same sentiments in the same ways, and do the same things in the same ways, and I see you are doing something different. You give me joy, Simcha! 🙂 Keep it up. I think I need to become a patron! Ok I am not going to proofread this!

  14. Well, you HAVE made me very concerned with your post about Trump, but I’m sorry to say, I wasn’t concerned about you at all. I was too busy panicking over what will become of the world to wonder whether you have lots of secret cancer. I apologise. Will you forgive me?

  15. I, for one, am THRILLED that you have had the courage to stand up and say what you really think. Lucky for me, I agree with your posts wholeheartedly, so it’s really easy for me to be like “PREACH IT SISTER” instead of worried about your secret cancer. Keep fighting the good fight. I’d be willing to bet that there are lots more of us sitting silently behind our screens, nodding along and pumping our fists in the air, than there are vocal dissenters. We need your voice! Keep it up girl.

  16. Well anyway, I can attest to the fact that a**hole Catholics have changed my faith. In some ways it makes me feel better because all of the squeaky clean, perfectly baked, white-bread facades were intimidating.

    Now I realize that if you leave them alone with a long enough strand of Milania’s pearls they’ll accidentally strangle themselves. This election can also be seen as a vetting process for whether or not a person is qualified to teach children right from wrong.

    So you checked the box for the Mar a Lago (pro-life) sex addict?

    Sorry! Wrong answer!

  17. I’m a little insulted that I’ve been kept from the Wednesday nights, Catholic bloggers in a cave dancing around a tulip for the fertility of the mind/soul group. How does one get an invite to this??

  18. “The evangelist to the a**holes”
    Wait, does that mean that I am an

    I’ve had my suspicions.

  19. Thank you for several laughs aloud during a lunchless lunch hour. A welcome reminder that truth can be hilarious. God bless you and yours, Simcha!

  20. Gee, and there I was thinking if I disagreed with you it meant . . . maybe we disagree sometimes? Maybe I might consider a new idea? Maybe I might imagine a different perspective? Maybe I ought to read the comments and find more new ideas, and more different perspectives to consider? Maybe I could even think about things in my own little head and decide for myself what I find most convincing or most true to my own experience, and even say so?

  21. Brilliant as always! And don’t forget those of us sitting in the back, with snacks, feeling just fine about pretty much every blog post and actually praying for your blessing and…upfilling? sustenance? perseverance! That’s the one. I apologize for being silent so often, but thank you for writing. You’re the bee’s knees.

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