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What to do about the men’s vigils? September 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, manhood, sanctity, secularism, sexual depravity, Society, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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Folks, I have to say with a somewhat heavy heart that the men’s vigils outside a local strip joint have experienced a pretty severe drop off in support in the past 2 months.  Since July, we’ve been down to just a handful of guys each night.  I want to make clear that I appreciate everyone’s support, and I thank all those who have made it out once or several times from the bottom of my heart.  Even having one other man come out and pray is a wonderful thing, and for those who have made an effort to come out,  you have my deepest admiration.

I knew this prayer vigil would be a dicey proposition for a number of reasons.  First of all, people might have qualms about being exposed to morally dangerous things outside a strip club. I can say that in about 20 vigils I’ve been involved in so far the only immorality we’ve been exposed to was the cussing of a manager of the strip joint several months ago.  For the past 3 months, we’ve had no interaction at all.  And maybe that’s part of the problem, contra praying outside mills and the great satisfaction of occasional saves, we really don’t have a lot of visible reward for our activities (although there is some). I’ve wondered if that might have caused some men to feel like we’re not having an effect.

The main thing, I suspect, is just that even those who are inclined to participate just have limited time or other priorities that make their participation difficult (which is why CH, who came just a couple of days after the birth of a daughter, is my hero).  Which is the point of this post: for those who live locally, or anyone with a bright idea for that matter, what could I do to help make participation easier for you?

Would you:

  • Favor another day of the week or time?  We do the first Wed and third Friday each month, presently, from ~8 to 10 pm.
  • Favor more or fewer vigil days per month?
  • Favor another venue?  I chose ‘The Men’s Club’ because we have a safe and well-lit parking lot directly across the way.  Others are not as advantageous in many regards, but I’m open to suggestions.
  • Favor a more confrontational approach?  Is perhaps just praying at a slight distance ineffective in your mind?  Would you prefer signs/placards, or standing directly at their entrance instead of across the street?
  • Prefer to focus your limited time on pro-life work or other endeavors?  That is, you think there are other endeavors more worthy of your time?
  • Suggest any other way to get the word out about these vigils?  At present I only use this blog and some e-mail lists to “advertise.”  I’m open to suggestions.
  • Like to see earlier/more reminders of upcoming vigils?

This prayer vigil is not really a number’s game, but I do know that we seem to get more response, and probably have a greater effect, when there is a larger crowd present.  Certainly, it is the simple witness of even a handful of men and the intensity of their prayers that is most important, but I had hoped that this effort might start to develop a sort of life of its own by attracting a good number of men, men willing to be co-leaders and go pray outside this or other strip clubs on their own initiative.  That is, I hoped it might start to grow into a self-sustaining movement, not entirely dependent on my presence or initiative.  Sort of life the pro-life movement, though I have no illusions that anything that large or universal would develop.

We’re six months in and after some promising growth the vigils seem to be dying down a bit.  I will keep it up even on my own, but I thought I’d canvas for ideas to help generate more enthusiasm and support.  I understand it may seem pointless to pray since we have no idea of the impact we’re having, but I am certain we ARE having an impact and if even one man gives up his strip joint addiction that would make all the effort worthwhile in my eyes.  I tend to imagine we’ve had more impact than that already.

This is a battle with principalities and powers and it is not easy.  Again, those who have attended truly inspire me and have gladdened my heart.  God bless you all. Please, any of you, if you have some suggestions to help make this small but necessary effort at spiritual warfare more attractive, let me know!

Comments

1. Ben - September 22, 2015

I don’t live in the diocese, so take my two cents for what they’re worth.

-You mentioned two fellow Catholics who demonstrated/prayed at a sodomite bar in town and that it got a lot hotter there than it ever did at the strip club. Because sodomy is so much worse than heterosexual fornication, I suggest that sodomites are more sensitive to criticism. Consider establishing an outpost there. Emphasize that their choices are abominable, sterile, and hideous. Be sure to cover your signs with rainbows. Rainbows in all seriousness cannot be stressed enough. They may ignore the word “abominable”, but they will never ignore the rainbows. You will get a huge amount of attention very quickly. Bring enough men to prevent a beating, and publicize a beating if you get one. Bringing night sticks and maybe even knives is not inappropriate. Know how to use the night sticks. I predict you will get converts, and maybe even relatively quickly.

-Having signs at the strip club is critical. Emphasize that it’s mediocre and hideous because it is. A sign that says “married sex is better.” Also: pure men are more masculine. This last is probably the most important sign of all for the strip club. Even men paying for prostitutes care about how _masculine_ they are. So definitely emphasize how weak and effeminate they are. All of these are important messages. Making signs is cheap and pretty easy: poster-board and markers cost about $1 each at Walmart. I really would love to see you do both of these.

Thank you for everything: the blog, the demonstrating, the material from St. Alphonsus. Big stuff. Thank you.

2. female pro-lifer - September 22, 2015

Thoughts — Consider the decades small numbers of people have been praying outside abortion centers. Granted — abortion concerns taking a life rather than immorality which is serious, but less serious. Of course a consequence of going to a club could also potentially involve future abortion.

Also, I don’t recall in decades of pro-life work hearing a sidewalk counselor/pray-er ever say that standing and praying outside an abortion center tempted them to abortion. But again, that involves a different issue than a club.

Unfortunately, job security is guaranteed for workers in both vineyards. There will always be unplanned pregnancies, and there will always be temptation to immoral behavior. My goal as a pro-life volunteer has always been to put myself out of a job. It would be nice if that happened.

Tantumblogo - September 22, 2015

Oh sure. It’s always the same small group of people. My wife comments on that all the time. Even in a self-selecting groups like pious Catholics, only 5% will commit to doing things that are over and above the strict call of duty.

3. Anonymous - September 22, 2015

Perhaps a big, white board with one word in big red letters:

JESUS

TE - September 22, 2015

The basics of your inspiration is, (a) it’s a prayer vigil, (b) numbers don’t matter, (c) the effect it is having will mostly be hidden. Your desire for your effort to grow quickly may be unrealistic. I have been to a few Wednesday vigils, as my health allows. I like standing across the street where we don’t have to worry about blocking the right of way issues. Most bars of any sort do not have the space to pray that is afforded by the current place. I like having no signs. Any sign making should come from an organized effort to agree on some easy to read short messages that are not crude or insulting. I also say if you find a venue where you think you might need both a rosary and thug weapons, better check with your priest and a policeman first. If you discover any participant at your current venue is carrying thug weapons, please ask him to leave.

Tantumblogo - September 22, 2015

Thanks TE! Just canvassing for suggestions! Also maybe a bit of call to arms for those who haven’t made it out.

Tantumblogo - September 22, 2015

I do wonder a bit what a thug weapon is?

4. MFG - September 22, 2015

I admire what you’re doing and represents the next step in the culture of Life battles.

Being in another diocese I can only comment based on your prior posts on how it went. First I would echo TE’s comment about growing too quickly. Maybe monthly is a good starting point? Also maybe do it after evening Mass as a way to draw people?

I know it may sound odd but would fellowship help afterwards?– go grab a beer or dinner somewhere (besides that street!).

Lastly in cities where abortion has been eliminated like Waco or Bryan, what do pro-life folks do to continue the battle for a culture of life? Are vigils against strip clubs the next thing or is there some intermediate issue that needs a vigil first (UD folks once lobbied their local gas station to stop carrying porn). Waco pro-life is going up against the local B of A for their support of PP.

I raise these points just to engage the thought of whether strip clubs are the next post-abortion battle or is there something else. I think it can be. I admire what you’re doing.

Being in another diocese I can only comment based on your prior posts on how it went. First I would echo TE’s comment about growing too quickly. Maybe monthly is a good starting point? Also maybe do it after evening Mass as a way to draw people?

I know it may sound odd but would fellowship afterwards be helpful?– go grab a beer or dinner somewhere (somewhere besides that street!).

Lastly in cities where abortion has been eliminated like Waco or Bryan, what do pro-life folks do to continue the battle for a culture of life? Are vigils against strip clubs the next thing or is there some intermediate issue that needs a vigil first (UD folks once lobbied their gas station to stop carrying porn). Waco pro-life is going up against B of A for their support of PP.

I raise these points just to engage the thought of whether strip clubs are the next post-abortion battle or is there something else. I think it can be.

Keep up the great work -maybe the format and vigil you have just needs re-tweaking. Don’t give up just yet!

5. Ben - September 22, 2015

Shame on you for blackening the name of anyone trying to defend himself! Self-defense is completely legitimate, including when using weapons. These are not “thug weapons”. Anyone in the thick of a spiritual struggle with sodomites has to be prepared to be attacked because they are dealing with raw evil. Did you see the case of the TFPers whose sign was destroyed by a sodomite thug? That’s thuggery!
BTW, the only responsible way to confront a mosque in America is to come with military pattern semi-auto rifles, body armor, and kevlar helmets. Invite the police. Remember the Mohammedan thugs who tried to shoot up Pamela Gellar’s event in… Garland, I believe it was? Just the response of law-abiding people to evil.
About signs, it is important to call evil what it is. How else would one convert the sinner? Calling names is important. So is saying that impure men are weak. While such is not something one should do in the company of women trying to be chaste, it is justified in the context of the strip club or the sodomite bar.


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