Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

Rebuilding: An Open Letter to Young People


Dear young people,

Yours is a world made chaotic by divisive and radicalizing social media; incessant porn; student debt; a wretched, usurious economy; the mass immigration of unassimilable populations that despise you and your country;  fatherlessness; anomie; race-baiting identity politics; a heated battle between the sexes -- and governments that make laws supporting only one side in that war. Even the most basic of truths, such as that there are two sexes,1 are up for grabs.

To live in this world now is like being lost at sea, with no horizon in sight, no means of orientation, nothing but fathom upon fathom of water in all directions, set to swallow us up.

To survive, you have to orient yourself, to get a basic sense of things so you can know in which direction to start swimming. And Christ must be your North Star. While the waters of chaos swirl around you on all sides, know that there is Truth, and that the Truth is Christ. He is the starting point and your end -- the Alpha and the Omega. And He is the Logos -- the divine ordering Principle; once your eyes are locked on Him, you can begin to sort things out. Over time, with grace, with work centered on studying His Church's teachings, and with the willingness to sacrifice, things will fall into place.

Above all, before anything, I urge you to pray, receive the Sacraments regularly, and strive for virtue. With regard to that last, break any addiction you might have to pornography and masturbation. Recognize porn for what it truly is: a tool of political control designed to make you docile, alienate you from others, shame you, demotivate you, distract you from solving your problems and getting on in life, and remove you from the gene pool by making you sexually powerless and unmarriageable -- and thereby, ultimately, destroying your civilization by making family life impossible. It will bring you and your people to temporal and spiritual ruin in the end (listen to Dr. E. Michael Jones talk about this in this mp3 file: Libido Dominandi).

Next, I urge you to study the Faith and logic. Look into old catechisms, and get a book (or take a course, preferably one offered for free online) on basic logic so you can learn to break down arguments and recognize fallacies when you see them. For the intellectuals among you, I highly recommend making a study of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, most especially his "Summa Theologica."

Then study history. Use older books written before identity politics took over our academic institutions and publishing houses. Study so that you can see how civilizations rise and fall, and so that you can have a sense of yourself as rooted in a certain place, at a certain time, under conditions that are likely similar in many ways to conditions that existed in the past. Study, too, the structure of your country's government and the nature of its laws -- how they're made, and how you can change them to be in accordance with Christian principles (if you're American, read the Constitution and come to know the powers allotted to the various levels and branches of government).

Know throughout your work that you are part of a great story -- one that began with creation, and which will end when Christ returns. Your were born where and when you were for a reason. Your story, which is being lived out within the greater story of history, matters. You matter. It is up to you and your generation to repair the damage and to restore what's been lost. You are being called to do the heroic! Recall the words of Gandalf to Frodo in J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Rings":

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

I want you to please think about this very deeply: you were born when you were for a reason, and there's work to be done -- a lot of work that shouldn't have been made necessary, but because of the doings of evil men -- and the lack of vigilance on the part of otherwise good men --  is necessary. What you are up against is akin to what the earliest Christians were up against: you are one of the relative few who've accepted the grace of faith; you are one of a relative few who live aware of the pagan, secular, and literally Satanic evil that undergirds the modern world.

But remember that the Church began with just twelve men who risked everything to bring Light to the world. And they succeeded! The desert Fathers gave shape to monasticism, and small groups of Benedictines came after them, spreading themselves out through Ireland, England, France, Germany, conquering an entire continent with Truth and Charity. The rise of Christendom, with its great cathedrals, universities, and science, all began with twelve men and the fiat of one Virgin. Know how powerful you are. Fight! Yes, you are in the position of having to intentionally seek out and take what you should have been given freely by your parents and society at large, but don't despair, don't give in to resentment, and don't give up. Find what you should have been given, and take it! As Dr. Jordan Peterson might put it, you must jump into the chaos to save your "dying father" from the underworld. And when you get discouraged, get "plumb mad dog mean" and keep fighting:

Pairing Up

While some of you reading this may be called to the priesthood or the religious life, and some of you are meant to be single, most of you are likely called to holy matrimony -- to marry and build families. Sadly, though, you are up against very serious obstacles, foremost among these being: the effects of the sexual revolution (adults, see a
comparison between the lyrics of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice?" and Cardi B's "WAP") 2; changes to marriage law that have rendered men powerless in their own homes and, in turn, made them unwilling to marry; and the eradication of sexual and dating norms.

With regard to that last, the questions of who asks out whom, who pays, and what to do on dates are now unanswered. Throw the pressures of the sexual revolution, and the isolating effects of smartphones and "helicopter parenting" into the mix, and we're left with confusion. And with young men and women not knowing how to find a spouse.

Here, I want you to watch something: check out this old Coronet Instruction film from 1949. It's the kind of film today's young people and sketch comedians like to make fun of, but think about it:

The boy's warned to stay away from "thots" and to really think about what sort of woman would be a good match. He has a good relationship with his mother and respects her. He has an older brother and a father to emulate and from whom to pick up tricks and information about dating norms (e.g., "flowers are for a prom or a very special party, otherwise you don't need to"). He's given veritable scripts to use when asking a girl out and ending a date, scripts that hit the sweet spot between nervous, simpy fumbling and disrespectful hyper-machismo. It's taken for granted that he is the one who'll do the asking out. She's shown having respect for the boy and what he pays in terms of the costs of a date, the importance of being on time, etc. It's made clear to girls watching that boys like to feel appreciated, and Ann is shown giving Woody a big clue that she had a good time and would like to go out with him again; she doesn't play coy, she doesn't play hard to get, and she doesn't think only of herself. And then there's the date itself: they have fun. They talk to each other and to friends. They eat. They play games. They're not staring into phones. Even better, they're not rutting like animals, thereby breaking God's law, risking unwanted pregnancy, and gambling with sterilizing or death-dealing diseases. There are norms in place, and each sex was taught something real about the opposite sex and how to get along with members of it.

They lived in a world that still took marriage seriously in spite of its growing acceptance, by that time, of divorce. The people around them -- family, friends, the strangers on TV -- worked together to support marriage as an institution. "No fault divorce" was unheard of; prohibitions against adultery were enforced by law, and abandoned spouses could sue for "alienation of affections" the adulterers who stole their mates away. 3

Their minds hadn't been saturated with porn. Woody wasn't looking at Ann and imagining her in in various kinky positions, and Ann didn't imagine Woody imagining her like that. And vice versa. The "sexual default" was set to "off" during their date; the social expectation, the norm, was to think "of course we're not going to have sex," not "well, we're alone in a room together, so we're supposed to have sex. How can I get out of it?" It was known to all that boys and girls aren't supposed to throw themselves at each other on a first date. Or a third date. Or at any time before marriage. The relatively few couples who would do such a thing wouldn't brag about it; it was kept secret because it was rightly seen as shameful. And if a baby were to have been conceived by such a couple, they would marry, or the girl would go "visit an Aunt" for a few months, give birth, and, likely, give the child up for adoption, to be raised by a married couple -- consisting, of course, of a man and a woman.

None of the above is the case today. So many of you have been raised without fathers, and because families have become very small, many of you have also grown up without brothers and sisters, making you feel as if the opposite sex is much more alien than it should be. You've grown up in a world in which women are taught to hate and resent men, and men are taught to see women as some weird mix of unable-to-be-questioned-or-criticized rulers of the universe and porn objects. You've not only not been given scripts and sane norms, but you've been lied to, taught that there are no differences between the sexes -- except that, somehow, men are evil, and women are good. You've been sexualized at way too young of an age, surrounded by smut and taught that the most powerful things a woman can do are get a STEM job and behave promiscuously.

People your age don't date. There are few, if any, dinners, dances, or parties hosted in homes; texting and hooking up have taken their place, and they don't have a purpose like dating did, which was to "try people out" and get to know them for the purpose of eventually finding a lifelong mate with whom to have and raise children.

There are no rules in place regarding who asks out whom, or who pays for what -- and, nowadays, girls tend to come out ahead of boys when it comes to education levels and income. But at the same time, women aren't interested in men who make less than they do. Though most won't admit it even to themselves, women want their men to be more powerful they are, and to be the providers. They're unwilling, though, to focus on homemaking and motherhood; instead, they're seduced into obssessing about non-existent "pay-gaps" and into working to have careers -- careers which they feminize and drive men out of with new work environments that focus on feelings rather than the work itself, human resource departments that hire for the sake of "diversity" instead of excellence, etc. Academia has become a font of wokeness, with rules in place that even deny boys due process. While females are encouraged ever onward with "you go, grrrl!" sentiments, boys are shamed as the source of all evil. And then, as it turns out, most working women don't have "careers" at all; they have "jobs." Jobs they hate.

So boys have been left behind: once inspired by the thoughts of having a nice wife and a family to take care of and provide for -- the two things that, more than anything, help men feel needed and motivated --  boys now have little to give them a long-term vision of their futures. Instead, they while away their time with video games and porn while girls take classes and have meaningless sex with the "top" 20% of the available men -- the player types who want nothing long-term with them, males who are considered sexy, but who'd make terrible husbands and fathers. And their dating pool isn't just the guys at school, church, or their neighborhood, but men found in endless supply on dating apps and the internet. Their abundance of options leads to their being paralyzed, unable to choose one man because of the possibility that a "better" man might be just around the corner. By the time these females reach their 30s and wise up some, it's too late to for them find a mate; the decent boys they'd ignored and who've finally made something of themselves aren't interested in them since those girls have become older and less beautiful, have had years of promiscuity which has disrupted their ability to bond to another, and are now much less fertile. Additionally, after years of porn use, many young men are so saturated by the hyperreality of airbrushed, filtered, made-up, tarted-out, female products of cosmetic surgeons that real, natural women are unable to get their attention. And that bevy of plastic women is experienced, thanks to endless terabytes of videos and pictures, at a rate that no man before the internet age could have imagined. One plastic woman after another -- click, click, click, click, click --- naked, filtered to physical perfection, doing things that wouldn've have even occurred to a woman 50 years ago, and wouldn't occur to any woman he'd ever consider marrying. Thousands of images of thousands of women -- far more women than a man could've possibly encountered living in even a large-sized city in the Victorian era -- each taking a bit of his soul and motivation.

How is the girl next door supposed to compete with that? And how is the boy next door supposed to compete with all the players on dating apps? How is he supposed to find a wife when so many girls have been told to settle for nothing less than absolute perfection, and that they're so great and good that they deserve nothing less than absolute perfection -- where "perfection" means checking boxes off on their mental lists that describe the attributes of no real man who's ever lived? Consider this: so many silly women say they want men who are 6'3" tall, that they "deserve" men of that height, and that going out with a man who is less than that height is "settling," and "settling" is bad. But the average height of the adult American male is 5'9". 14.5% of adult American men are six feet or over, and only 3.9% of adult American men are 6'2" or taller. By demanding someone who is 6'3", a woman's just written off almost 96% of men. And that's just the height checkbox! Then, after they turn 40 and are single and childless, those same women wonder why they're so alone. Women simply have to grow up and have some humility about themselves and what they think they "deserve."

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

In order to fix these things, the following need to happen:

1. Start with yourself. Deal with your problems and your "issues." Face your shadow. Conquer your fears. Strive to be virtuous: develop good habits and eliminate bad ones. Stay in a state of grace. Don't lie, not by word or deed, and not even about controversial things that people have strong feelings about (not every true statement is prudent to say at every given moment, but it's never prudent to lie). Don't hang out with people who tempt you to do evil. Say no to porn and masturbation. Eat well and exercise. Order your home (or room, if that's all you have for now), beautify it, and make it a sanctuary. Get your mind straight by using older texts to study the Faith, basic logic, history, and, if intellectually gifted, Scholasticism (or "Thomism" -- the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas). Get hobbies and find interests, and delve into them with relish. Become an interesting person -- i.e., a person who's interested in others and in ideas and things. Know how to start and conduct a conversation. Know rebuttals to Protestant assertions and atheists' arguments. Find time to relax and play. Watch old movies, and read great literature. Periodically open up and read the Book of Nature. Don't get dour or "go toxic"!

2. Women, if you're not called to the religious life or a life of being single, learn the skills needed to keep a home and raise children. Learn how to cook, care for babies, teach children, grow a garden, etc. Inculcate in yourself a spirit of service, a willingness to submit and be absolutely loyal to the right man -- a man who's shown himself, over time, to be virtuous, stable, respectful, effective, non-abusive, non-toxic, and able to provide a reasonable standard of living for you and your children (that "your" applies to both you and your husband; women also have to stop acting as if children are theirs alone). Stay off of social media like Instagram that push an unrealistic vision of what life should be like, and re-evaluate your mental checkboxes for what makes "the perfect man," focusing on what's actually important: virtue, stability, dependability, kindness, protectiveness without condescension, respect for you and for the weak, etc. Get over any childish standards you might have for what makes a suitable husband. Give average, decent men a chance and stop holding out for the Brad Pitts of the world who have no reason to commit to average you: give a reasonably attractive, good man a few dates before you reject him as a potential husband. Check any inordinate need for drama, or for male attention and affirmations about how good you look. Stop taking so many selfies, and don't post them online when you do. Get outside of yourself and stop focusing solely on your needs and wants; consider men's feelings and needs, and what you offer a potential husband (i.e., instead of always thinking of what sort of man you want and what that man should offer you, ask yourself why any man should marry you. What do you bring to the table? What good are you?). If you're feminist, unlearn and repent of any nasty attitudes you have toward men before you even think of getting married; treat good men with the same respect with which you'd treat St. Joseph. Choose your girlfriends wisely, and leave behind any who are catty, feminist, or who work to undermine you or your other relationships. Look to Our Lady.

3. Men, if you're called to marriage, strive for success whether you have a girlfriend or spouse or not. Develop masculine skills. Build things. Make things. Master things, especially yourself. Accomplish things so that you become confident and strong. Work out. Join up with other men who also want to conquer themselves. Inculcate in yourself a spirit of fortitude, including the fortitude it takes -- in spite of how our legal system is stacked against you -- to be able to trust a woman who, over time, has proven herself to be trustworthy, stable, respectful of you, nurturing, loyal, non-abusive, and willing to submit to loving husbandly headship. Acquire the means and skills needed to provide reasonably for a family. Never reward women with compliments, attention, money, or "likes" for doing the wrong things (e.g., the selling of themselves on OnlyFans pages, engaging in attention-seeking, dressing immodestly, posting too many selfies, etc.). If you're suffering now in today's insane dating market, please know that you're not alone, the problem likely is not you, and that while females have the upper hand up to their 30s or mid 30s, males come to have the upper hand after that age (in other words, your time is coming; be patient and don't give in to despair; get on with your life and be ready for what God may send your way)! Learn a little "game" to know how to talk -- and not talk -- to women, how to approach them, how to never pedestalize them or put them above you or be afraid of or unconfident around them (treating them like kid sisters, with humor and fun, is a good go-to in this regard. It doesn't involve hyper-machismo, disrespect, or a lack of love at all, but does order things mentally and positions you as the more dominant one). If you're bitter about feminism (understandable) and that bitterness pours out onto all women, deal with it before you even think of getting married; treat good women with the same respect with which you'd treat Our Lady. Do what women need to do when it comes to looking for a spouse: focus on virtue, goodness, and competence -- the things that last. Look to St. Joseph.

Catholics must start forming communities and finding each other. Put down your phones; get off of Instagram, Tumblr, and Tik Tok; step away from screens; and for the love of all that's holy, get rid of dating apps. Go into the real world and do real things with real people. Adults need to step up here and arrange more things for young people -- get-togethers, bonfires, dances, picnics, volunteer groups, game nights, outings, lectures, book clubs, camping trips, lectio divina, movie nights, entertainments, the encouraging of collective creative pursuits (such as drama) and charitable works by our young people, etc. Outside of using phones for organizing needs, let all of these events be 100% phone-free (crucial!). Use your parish or chapel as a starting point to put together groups that have socializing, spiritual advancement, or charity as their purpose. If you're at a university, put together a group for Catholic students. After setting up a group, lead it: get conversations going, events planned, email lists organized, a calendar set up, etc., and be patient with it all, giving it time to grow. Find a local neighborhood-style, old school pub or coffee shop to make your own. I think it's important for boys and men, especially, to have groups that are for their sex alone -- groups that focus on doing things. You're more than welcome to use the FishEaters discussion forum and FishEaters materials to any of these ends (you can even call such groups "FishEaters clubs" and point them to this page to explain what you're doing; it'd be an honor).

Reverse the sexual revolution. It has to start somewhere, so let it start with you! Spread the Christian message that sex belongs only inside marriage. Start slut-shaming again, doing so in a way that doesn't devolve into humorless, cold Puritanism, and doesn't presume to involve judgment of individuals' souls in any way whatsoever (in other words, judge the sin, not the sinner, and don't commit the sin of detraction). Shun pornography, and mock and ridicule those who use it (again, in a general way that doesn't presume judgment of individuals' souls, without engaging in detraction, and without shaming those who try to refrain from porn, but stumble). Educate yourself on how contraception disrupts our naturally seeing sex as, not a sport, but the means by which children are born. Stress the absolute importance of fathers! Treat single motherhood as the very sad and tragic thing it is. Don't be ashamed of or silent about any of these Catholic approaches to smut and to sex outside of marriage: they're the sine qua non of civilization. You must be brave!

6. Fight to end no-fault divorce. Til then, promote covenant marriage laws in your State (this is not the Catholic ideal, but a stop-gap, a small way to help mitigate the no-fault divorce disaster). Another workaround is the wide use of prenuptial agreements (and postnuptial agreements) that protect marriage, and protect men.

7. Fight to change divorce law and procedure so that custody doesn't automatically default to mothers in the case of divorce (again, divorce is never the ideal, but this is a stop-gap to prevent women from thinking too quickly about initiating divorce, and taking away from a man his children, home, and income).

8. Fight to end the unjust use of protective orders, restraining orders, police forces, and other phenomena that deprive men of their rights, due process, and headship. As an example, this comes from the
Cordell & Cordell law firm4:

[P]rotective orders are easy to obtain – all a woman has to do is say that she is in reasonable fear for her safety. Documented evidence of abuse is not required.

With a small statement, the accused (again, the man in about 85% of the cases) can be forced to stay out of the home, barred from parenting time, and prevented from any contact with his children, including through phone and email. In an instant, his house and kids can be taken away from him...

...Most likely the city or county prosecutors will also charge you with a crime of violence. Most protective orders are considered a misdemeanor crime of violence. However, they can be gross misdemeanors and felonies...

...Where I practice, your gun rights will forever be changed. My state law may allow you to possess firearms after a certain period of time. Under federal law, you are forever prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

The reality that a woman's mere say-so -- with no evidence and no due process -- can deprive a man of his liberty, children, home, possessions, income, and legal rights must end now.

9. Work to end the welfare state that replaces fathers with government paychecks.

10. Get active in politics, especially local politics. Start with your local school boards! Even those of you who aren't parents or who homeschool or have kids in private schools have every right as taxpayers to express your interest in what the children of your city and state are being taught. Elsewhere locally, keep an eye on who is running for what, what their policies are, and consider running for office yourself.

11. Shame radical feminism. Restore the feminine and the honor due to it. Notice and point out to others how the only women who are praised today are women who've eradicated their feminine impulses and embraced the masculine (note the incessant supply of "Badass Chick" movies -- movies in which monotone-voiced women are tough, cynical, able to beat up men, sassy, immodest, promiscuous, selfish, either childless or raising a fatherless child, etc.). This must end. Spread devotion to Our Lady. And restore the masculine, shutting down those who rage against men, complain inordinately about "toxic masculinity," etc. Defend men, and do so publicly and firmly. Treat disrespect for men in the same way racism is treated in our society.

12. Spread the Gospel and bring people to Christ's Church. Traditional Catholicism is the foundation of the solutions to all of these problems!


1 Please, the word to describe "male" and "female" is "sex," not "gender."

2 For more about the sexual revolution, see The Garbage Generation here at FishEaters

3 There are still laws in some American States regarding these matters, but they're rarely, if ever, enforced, and, given the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas (2003), would likely be found unconstitutional if challenged.