Synopsis: John and Aaron were merely having candid conversation over strong drink.

John: I’m the kind of Catholic who likes a “Drill-Instructor-from-Full-Metal-Jacket” as my preacher. That’s who we need at the pulpit.

Aaron: What the hell does that mean?

John: It means I want to take the part where the gunny from the film is punching out Private Joker and telling him to sound off like he loves the Virgin Mary and dub over Joker’s face with a picture of Martin Luther as if it were him taking the shot to the gut. I think that gunny could have solved all the world’s problems if given a chance.

Aaron: He couldn’t avoid getting shot by the retarded guy.

John: He didn’t have a chance. He was unarmed, which was technically his fault. He forgot the Rifleman’s Creed: “Without my rifle, I AM USELESS.”

Aaron: Without my cell phone, I am useless.

John: Yeah, that’s the Millennial Creed.

Aaron: But, hey dude, I heard you take that shot at my boy, Luther. You know that’s my homie. He was so alpha; stood up to the rotten pope.

John: You say that now, but in a minute, you’ll be making all kinds of “at least” arguments when I remind you that he threw his feces (not 95 theses) at puppet shadows that he thought were the Devil.

Aaron: Hey! Hey! But, at least he didn’t…

John: See, I told you. You Protty types always get schizophrenic about Luther when you’re confronted with how retarded he was…even before anybody attacks his bizarre theology.

Aaron: Schizo? That’s rich. As if you guys don’t get schizo with your popes. You love them real good, what with their infallibility, all the way until you’re stuck with a communist like Francis. Then you backpedal like crazy.

John: Almost. I can deflect that. There’s no need for me to be schizo for Francis. As far as I’m concerned, Trump could invade the Vatican, capture all the gay mafiosi as POWs, then allow Francis to speak as infallibly as he wants behind cold, iron bars. Move the chair of Peter right in there with him. If prison was good enough for St. Paul, I’m sure it’ll be fine for Francis. Thus ever to pedo-protectors!

Aaron: Damn, that’s harsh, but I admire your candor.

John: There’s a good deal of folks out there who talk a mean line about bringing masculinity back to the Church but have not the faintest idea of how to operationally do it. They’re all “idea people” only.

Aaron: True. Very true.

John: Going back to the drill instructor from Full Metal Jacket, how else do you think you’re really going to fix the gay priest problem?

Aaron: Put an end to mandatory celibacy and let them get married.

John: That’s the peanut-gallery, Protestant response, but if you were to use Marine Corps wisdom—ironic as that sounds—you could easily create a way to fix priest formation and halt the manufacturing of faggy priests.

Aaron: How so?

John: Why not give the would-be priests a seminary experience they’ll never forget…a semester in Parris Island? Make them endure every miserable aspect that you see the boot camp recruits go through in the film; that galvanizing experience required of real Marines.

Aaron: Hmm, I like where this is headed.

John: It could be 40 days and 40 nights. Make them do obstacles, make them run to near-exhaustion, make them learn how to use firearms, scrub toilets with a toothbrush, etc. We are, after all, talking about young men who think they have what it takes to assume the role in persona christi. Christ didn’t spend his whole life in an air-conditioned temple. Let the softy young‘uns, who probably haven’t worked a real job yet, get a taste of what some of the sheep do. At a minimum, you’d have much more sympathetic military chaplains down the road.

Aaron: You’d have to do something about them banging each other while they’re there, though. What if they had to shower together? That would be an obvious disaster.

John: True. And, of course, in the Marines they do better not giving into lustful temptation, and least during basic, since they’re devoid of porn or female distractions. We would need a different dynamic for the same-sex-tempted seminarians however.

Aaron: Go on…

John: Well, you gotta go with what worked in the old days. Courtly dating between young men and women was always accompanied with a chaperone. If seminarians want to act like girls/boys in heat, then they’ll need to be treated as such. Besides, there’s no privacy in boot camp anyway. Even at night, you have a guard on duty.

Aaron: If that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

John: In general, we need to re-exalt the tough-loving, hard-nosed, watch-out-or-you’re-going-to-Hell wing of the Catholic Church. It would help to have a pope like St. Pius X, who would meet with his impudent bishops, take their spiffy little hats off their heads, and demote them right on the spot. That was back when Church figures had some balls.

Aaron: I’ve heard of this St. Pius X. There’s a few memes of him on the web, I believe.

John: Yeah, he’s top notch. There are still a few masculine priests these days, too. I just heard a priest do a video and talk about how dads should promise to kick the bishop’s ass if their son becomes corrupted in the seminary they send them to. That’s a welcome breath of fresh air compared to the nicety-nice dribble you normally hear. Good priests, good fathers, good bishops, and, yes, good popes can usher in a “return of kings” to the Catholic hierarchy.

Aaron: Fine, I get it. You can fix the priest problems. This doesn’t address the fact that your church worships bread and wine.

John: Far be it from me, in the context of a conversation over scotch, to convince you that a real encounter with Christ constitutes a leap of faith, which also involves eating his flesh and drinking his blood under the appearance of bread and wine.

Aaron: Yep.

John: But, if it helps at all, consider this. It has been the core tenet, the source and summit of the Church since its beginnings, the only version of Christianity that goes all the way back, and the only Church that has survived perennial leadership unfit to manage a stinkin’ White Castle. It’s had popes who have literally dug up the remains of their predecessors, dressed their bones up in papal garb, sat them in a chair, and have put them on trial posthumously. If this sort of thing happened at, let’s say, Walmart, the company would implode in a heartbeat. The same goes for any nation-state or institution. It’s a miracle, and the best evidence of divine intervention you can imagine, that the gates of Hell didn’t prevail a long time ago.

Aaron: But why should we worship bread and wine?

John: I was getting to that. That most core tenet of the faith was the first huge rejection Christ faced during his ministry. All the simpleton normies in Jerusalem freaked out when he spoke of eating his flesh. They walked away and did not return. You could imagine a similar reaction from today’s people. Autistic Americans literally assume that sort of thing refers to cannibalism. These are the same ones who vote Democrat but don’t mind when members of the party leadership suck down goat blood at a spirit cooking event. The Lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. The goat of spirit cooking makes Hillary Clinton and Ruth Bader Ginsburg trade their eternal soul to live another ten/fifteen years.

Aaron: Yikes, that’s a pretty frightening contrast…

John: It is. Remember the Gospel distinction between lambs and goats, too. People reject the Eucharist because they apparently have better things to do…like eat Tide pods.

Aaron: Hmm, I can kind of see where you’re coming from. That’s not enough to completely accept the doctrine, but I can see the connection between the consumption of the Word, the bread of life, and Jesus as being one in the same.

John: That’s perfectly fine, too. Neither myself, nor anybody else, can win over anybody to Catholicism based solely on rhetoric and persuasive capability. It’s prideful to think so and ignores the much more significant supernatural influence required to make any real conversion. You don’t get people to convert playing fag tag in the idiotic comment section of an op-ed article or over a three-hour debate on Facebook Messenger.

Aaron: True. At least the Catholic Church has the stones to stick with a male-only hierarchy. Despite how fruity they get, anything is better than sitting through a Protestant sermon from a strong, independent lesbo. Women cannot be preachers.

John: Ah, now you’re starting to get it. Pax tecum, salve regina, and deus vult!