Sunday, December 30, 2012

My case for 2012 person of the year

Since I have recused myself from voting for the 2012 awards, it is probably best that I not speak too much about them. But as a character on M*A*S*H used to say “I can’t hep it”. Here and now, I will speak only with regards to “Person of the Year” and give my honest observations because this is sincerely on my heart. I determined, as a practical matter, that I had to use the same criteria for nomination as was used last year- that it be all the members who contributed consistently, in one or more ways, to the work we do. In that sense, we have six people who, in 2012, fit that standard. That is, six people who fit the criteria we set last year, by which a nomination could be made.

That does not mean that there are six people who I think are worthy of the award. That, I do not believe. I believe there are only 5.

 Last year, after some deliberation, we decided that Dr. Greg Thompson was deserving of the award because he contributed in so many ways- as a writer, on the shows, as a photographer, on the front lines defending life, and as an ambassador for Deeper Truth, largely responsible for our success. I am very confident we made the right choice, out of several worthy persons.

 This year, I think a very compelling case could be made for any of 5 persons. I do not want to sway the vote, so I will just make a brief case for each one, in alphabetical order.

 Hartley, Donald. He is known as the Catholic Defender and he is my hero and my mentor here at Deeper Truth Blog. Donald wrote more than 250 articles for a blog this year. That is a staggering total. He also, hosted, co-hosted or participated in more than 100 of our BTR shows and traveled all over the country, fighting for the unborn and promoting Deeper Truth Blog.

 Hoffman, Ross Earl. The generosity Ross displayed, in assisting a group in living the life long dream of seeing Rome, Assisi and Cascia, is enough, by itself, to make him worthy of the nomination. Add the fact that he did the same thing last year, with a Holy Land trip and you have to be impressed. Add the tremendous outreach he has been on Facebook and the quality of shows he has helped bring to our BTR show and a vote for Ross would be pretty tough to find fault with.

Martin, Christie. An appearance on Gus Llyod’s show yet! Christie is our Wednesday show host and her Garden of Holiness show and blog have been a great outreach of insightful apologetics for the home. Without question, the most purely talented person of our group as a writer, a philosopher and a nuts and bolts apologist. With about 50 shows and about 10 articles, she is about mid-pack in terms of quantity of production but if you look at our ‘best of’ articles and shows, she has the highest percentage of her total material in there. There is a reason for that.

While debate and exegesis and the Church fathers are all integral and indispensible parts of what what do, Christie is our chief apologist in the category of Ok, that sounds all very compelling and profound and stuff but what does it mean to me in my world???? 

There are two questions. Question 1 is what does love and mercy, and forgiveness and compassion and empathy mean and question 2 is what does it look like? Question 1 is of hearing and question 2 is of seeing. Do I believe that Christie Martin is the single best walking, talking example of the long suffering, forgiving and empathetic Christian? no. That title would go to her high school friend who, as it just happens, married me 27 years ago this month. Am I biased? Of course not! Perish the thought! A little procedural announcement, though…. Since my loving wife Tamara has joined as at DTB, I may reduce the maximum allowable nominations for 2013 person of the year to 1. I digress.

Christie is a foster parent who lives a simple life and in that simplicity is her strength. She is the person most able to reduce Thomas Aquinas to suitable consumption by Thomas the gas station attendant. Every apostolate needs one of those people.
 Sindelar, Margie Prox.  If you asked me which Deeper Truth Blog member grew the most in stature during 2012, Margie would be my choice. The Catholic roundtable with Ross and Margie show has really established itself as a centerpiece of our outreach. The show, as you may remember, started as the Ross Earl Hoffman show but I would argue forcefully that Margie has made that show equally her own.

Margie has become one of the most convincing apologists we have. In fact, I can honestly say that she almost single-hand-idly convinced me of the veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions with amazingly strong and cogent arguments. Like Christie, Donald and, especially my wife, she has helped my slow progression from the shadows in many facets of my life. Her biggest contributions have been in the variety of good old fashioned meat and potatoes apologetics with an emphasis on devotions and prayer with a special emphasis on the Holy Spirit. Yes, you can hear her voice in our Christmas Rosary. as well as in the Polytheist Rap.

Thompson, Greg. Our 2011 winner and I would certainly not rule him out for a repeat. Easily, the most humble of our group but maybe the most active as well, at least in terms of where rubber meets the road. A tireless defender of life, an accomplished author and an ambassador for what we do. The 2012 Marian Conference was his baby. He has contributed greatly to our shows and given numerous speeches for us and witnessed for life at abortion clinics. I truly love this man.

 Now that I have told you about 5 people who do deserve this award, let me tell you about 1 who doesn’t.
<<< This guy. This is no act. There is no feigned humility here, so please don’t think I am being anything but absolutely sincere here.

 Each of the 6 people above have helped me tackle the demons in my past and helped me personally find my way to the Grace that sanctifies and strengthens. Do I feel I grew as a person in 2012? I do, but not without setbacks. I was sick way too much this year through my own fault. Not taking good care of myself was a moral failing on my part.

 Did I have some contributions I am proud of? I did. The website has just turned out great and everything is taking off. I had a hand in a couple hundred shows give or take, a couple hundred articles give or take, some  really good videos, some banter on Facebook and, yes, I did go 10-0 in debates this year (11-0 if you count the forfeit by one of the nastiest prot hypocrites you will ever meet.)

 Did I accomplish some of my dreams this year? You betcha! Easter Vigil Mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate conception, a trip to Notre Dame (one win away from a National title, yet).

 I humbly accept that you may consider all of these things in your vote. However, also please consider that I was also number one in a whole host of other categories;

  •  Most likely to come unglued and miss two weeks of shows due to depression and despondency. 
  • Most guilty of dropping the ball on the Rosary Patrol that I helped create.
  •  Least likely to make an actual trip in support of what we do.
  •  Most likely to lose my cool on the show or facebook and say something stupid.
  •  Most likely to miss Mass because I couldn’t get my act together.
  •  Least likely to get my health in line and take on a greater role in learning, educating and promoting.
If all the positives I had can be recognized, so than, can the negatives. Do I feel that I am getting stronger in simply the determination to get stronger, by the very practical means you all have shown? I absolutely do. I do feel I am a better man in the twilight of 2012 than I was in the twilight of 2011 but that is because of God and the help of my wife and these other 5.

Since I have recused myself from voting, I cannot tell you who my top 5 would be for 2012 (though I do know myself). I will tell you who I would put #6. John Benko.

 He has promise, I’ll admit. He has value to our team. He still has a lot of work to do. In this year’s strong chain, he was unquestionably, the weakest link. Maybe 2013 will be his year…. or maybe his wife will at least bring it home for the family. I cannot tell you how to vote. I can only make my observations.

Post script: After originally writing this article, I accidentally deleted it. fortunately, I found the text on Tumbler and had to reconstruct the whole thing...even the URL.


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