Is the American Church the Best Church? | Fr. Patrick Briscoe & Fr. Gregory Pine

July 4, 2024

Fr. Patrick: This is Father Patrick Briscoe.

Fr. Gregory: And this is Father Gregory Pine. 

Fr. Patrick: Welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you listen to your podcast. Well, Father Gregory, looks like the American eagles and fireworks that I had hired for the beginning of this episode didn’t come in. But we can still let freedom ring in our hearts. God bless America as we sing the dull sit towns of the greatest nation in the world. But first, some important news to share. Friends, Godsplaining is hosting our annual Men’s Wilderness Retreat. You do have to be a man, but you don’t have to be manly to come on this retreat because we will make you manly by the end of it. So if you’re a man looking to be manly, come to this fantastic summer camp where we’re gonna stay in Brevard, North Carolina, and Father Bonaventure will beat you down and I will build you up. So yeah, it’s gonna be a great time. We have had marvelous adventures the last couple years we’ve done this retreat. It’s fantastic. More information about the retreat, which is going to be held August 8th to 11th in Brevard, North Carolina can be found on our website, I think it’s slash events. I’m making that up, maybe it’s slash retreats. Maybe it’s slash be manly. – 

Fr. Gregory: Can’t rule it out. – 

Fr. Patrick: Can’t rule it out. Okay, one other quick announcement because this is important, especially for all of the priests who listen to the podcast. Thank you, brothers, for tuning in. We really appreciate your support and for recommending our work. We want to share with you the opportunity to go on retreat with Dr. Scott Han and Dr. John Bergsma with the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. This fantastic center is offering three retreats for priests in 2025. And during those retreats, priests will have the opportunity to dive into the scriptures, to experience fraternity, there are great groups that go on these retreats, and to experience and taste the flavor of spiritual renewal. It’s really a fantastic opportunity. So if you are a priest, you should check it out at, to find out the dates for priest retreats. Again, there will be three of them coming in 2025, so mark your calendar. And if you are a layperson, you might consider mentioning the retreat to your parish priest. And if you’re very generous, you could offer to sponsor his registration. You can find information about it at the same page, same 

Fr. Gregory: Hey, going back like two and a half minutes, when you said American eagles, I just want to let you know that my first thought was the clothing. 

Fr. Patrick: Dang it. I meant bald Eagles. That bald Eagles. Darn it! Ah, calling me out. 

Fr. Gregory: No, no, I’m not calling you out. I’m saying like the association in my mind is American Eagle, Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Fitch. It’s not like American Eagle waving wheat Ford F150, as it ought to be. –

Fr. Patrick: Darn it. – 

Fr. Gregory: So this represents like a kind of defect in my own view. – 

Fr. Patrick: Rich men, North of Richmond. 

Fr. Gregory: (laughing) – 

Fr. Patrick: Perfect. You know, there’s just so much that we could do, you know, we could talk about why Madelos is the number one beer in America, we could talk about all kinds of things, about the good old US of A, the stars and stripes, old glory. – 

Fr. Gregory: Yep. – 

Fr. Patrick: But I think it’s really important to consider exactly what is the particular flavor of the Catholic Church in the United States. So you recently did a doctorate, pretended to do a doctorate. I think it’s a real doctorate. – 

Fr. Gregory: I think it’s a real one. – 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, I haven’t seen the degree yet. I haven’t read the writing yet, the dissertation that will be almost certainly be a fantastic book that everyone should read. But you were abroad in Switzerland. – 

Fr. Gregory: I was. – 

Fr. Patrick: Which is not the United States. – 

Fr. Gregory: It’s not the United States. 

Fr. Patrick: So tell us a little bit about what living in the Catholic scene in not America, which is to say the post-apocalyptic land of Europe in terms of culture. I’m just talking about in terms of culture. What that was like. – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. No, it’s like each of us have had experiences of living outside the country for a period of weeks and/or months. This most recent one was the longest that I’d been out of the country, and I was living in Switzerland, which kind of shares in the general feels of the French-speaking world, and then the general feels…

Fr. Patrick: (speaks French) 

Fr. Gregory: (responds in French) And then the general feels of the German-speaking world, (speaks German) 

Fr. Patrick: Okay, getting a little nervous now. (laughing) Afraid!

Fr. Gregory: So, you know, people are out there saying things and we’re out there consuming the things that they say and maybe getting nervous or maybe getting pumped, regardless. It was a different setting. And I think that’s what first struck me is that I am not at home and something is afoot. And I don’t know exactly what that was. So one of the first things that I noticed was this kind of contrast of beauty and ugliness. Like you go into a beautiful church and you find that it’s been retrofitted somewhat recently. Like liturgical vessels have been purchased. They’re very heavy. They’re made with, like things that are expensive, but they’ve been put together in a way that’s not pleasant and not functional. And that like, you know, the sanctuary has been gutted and then you’ve had something erected in the midst thereof, which is kind of unclear in its worshipful orientation. And like, I think the first thing that registered in me, and this is not in all places, but in some places, was like a kind of violence. There was like a sense that there was something here and then there subsequently been a rejection of it. And maybe not a rejection of it in say, but a rejection of things with which it was associated or things that it kind of brings to mind or, yeah, whatever else. But like, my impression was that there was a far more complex experience of the life of faith and of the life of worship than I’d ever experienced in my own life. Like we might say like, “Liturgy Wars,” or we might say persecution, we might say any number of things in our experience of the American Church and have historical and experiential data. But like the impression that I got being in Europe was, there’s a story here and the roots go deeper and the timeline extends further than I’ve really ever encountered previously. 

Fr. Patrick: Right. We have not as of yet actually shed blood with Calvinist in the United States. Just to like, you know, select a data point and pull it out of context. But one which supports your argument because as you were as you were beginning, I was thinking to myself, “Well, we have that.” But as you continued speaking, I realized we don’t have it in the same way. So one thing that I suspect, I don’t want to project onto what you were saying, but that the experience particularly of the church is far more commonplace than it is in the United States. Like the number of churches that were aggressively changed in terms of their architecture or design, for example, and the modern age that it seems like many more of them were modified in Europe than in the United States. Do you think that’s fair? 

Fr. Gregory: That might be except for those that kind of fall within the protection of the historical register, which is itself a kind of modernist notion, because once you start preserving things for fear that they’ll be changed in deleterious fashion, you’ve already showed that you lack a certainty or a confidence as a culture to make beautiful things. And I think that like, in the United States, maybe we’ve never had that kind of certainty and confidence in a widespread cultural fashion because we’ve always been homesteaders. We’ve been always like, throwing up log cabins or Adobe huts where we could find sufficient space to like lay claim to arable land and then make of it what we could. Whereas in Europe, it’s like a highly cultivated world. It’s a highly cultivated world, and you can see a kind of lack of certainty to your lack of confidence as to its future. You can see that in the birth rate. You can see that in the building. You can see that in its aspect with respect to faith. And so I entered into a space that was conflicted as to its own identity and as a result of which, its own mission, which like, it’s not say like, America’s better because, but like, a lot of those questions aren’t asked, or a lot of those questions aren’t posed in the same way and with the same kind of urgency, and even like a hint of fear, terror bridging on terror. It’s like, you know, sometimes when you encounter somebody, just kind of hear there wherever, and you realize that that person has pushed back against certain societal standards. Let’s say, like, beauty standards. You encounter an individual who has done things to his or her body in a way that says, yeah, I’m not going to sign up for what you think my skin should look like. I’m not going to sign up for what you think my clothing should look like. I’m not going to sign up for what you think my hair color should look like. I’m not going to, you know, dot dot dot. And it’s like, wow, there’s like, there’s a statement. And I might, you know, want to approach this person reverentially and generously, but it’s clear that I have to contend with this statement. I think when I went over there, there’s a statement and I’ve just never encountered such a widespread statement, but the stance was not for this, at least not in the way that you think it possible or the way that you thought it possible. I was just like, “Wow, people talk about being a gressed, you know, but it was like, ah. (laughs) 

Fr. Patrick: Now, what was it like when you would meet these pockets of faithful young people? So like every now and then I’d be bobbing along and then you’d drop in the chat and I’d see a picture of you with like three people that believe in God. I think, oh, that’s nice. You know, we found some Christians. So what was it like finding communities of, especially young people that had rejected this kind of cultural decimation, the larger broader movements of culture. What do they like in Switzerland? How are they different than in the US? – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah, it’s interesting because, okay, so at this point, I’ve had experience of living for a long time in Colombia and in Austria and in Germany and then in Switzerland. Maybe other places, but if so, I’ve forgotten them. And like, yeah, each with its own character, but I’ve spent most of my time, it seems in the German speaking world. And there’s like a kind of, like social or political certainty and/or confidence. There’s like, in Germany, there’s a kind of conflicted stance with respect to the past for reasons obvious in the 20th century. But there’s a sense of culture, right? There’s a sense of, I know like, what I am as a human being and how I’m supposed to comport myself in the public space. But then in things that are ecclesial, there’s a kind of widespread recognition that maybe we haven’t done this right. You know, because people are leaving in droves, and maybe they still keep up the outward appearance of profession or confession of faith, but they’re not actually going to church. They’re not actually believing in God. And I think it’s gotten to the point where these people realize, even if there’s a kind of cultural basis, which is solid enough, that they can’t build a life of faith on it. And now the question is, what do we do? And some people say, like, let’s just, we haven’t gone far enough. We read this biography of a priest who was very active during the middle of the 20th century, and in the fallout from some changes that were implemented after the Second Vatican Council, like a lot of people who had kind of argued for them came back and said, “Maybe that was the wrong thing.” And he said, “Crise, quelle crise?”. Like crisis, what crisis? We haven’t taken it far enough. You know, so some people kind of tend in that direction, but my suspicion is that those people are just nihilists. Like, you know, it might never be like – 

Fr. Patrick: We haven’t tried the socialism hard enough. 

Fr. Gregory: Exactly. Yep. So like, Marxism, communism, socialism, it just needs to be taken to its term, but at the end of the day, they’re not going to be around for it to be taken to its term because you can’t reduce to nothing. You can’t realize zero Kelvin on the scale of temperature. And so it’s just not possible, right? Because the nature will always kind of come back. But like within this setting, you find young people who are like, maybe the faith hasn’t been tried and found wanting, maybe it’s been tried, found difficult, and then left off, you know? Or it’s been found difficult and left untried. And so you’d find people who were like, “Hey, would you like celebrate the sacraments with like a modicum of facility?” Or like, “Hey, would you preach and teach with a modicum of confidence?” And I’d be like, “Yeah.” And then I would, And then they’d be like, “Never leave us.” [laughter] 

Fr. Patrick: Well, we’ll get to sending you back to them later. 

Fr. Gregory: Exactly. 

Fr. Patrick: I think that one of the things that’s striking is when you’re outside of the American context, it’s very easy to see the virtues of America, right away from the storage shores of this sweet land of liberty. One can easily pine for the grains of wheat that wave wistfully on planes of glory. Okay, just… Yeah, just throw things in there. Okay. of glory, okay, just working in a table alone. – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah, just throw things in there, okay. – 

Fr. Patrick: Yeah, because there are beautiful planes, like the mountains majesty. Okay, real actual question though. What virtues of the church of the United States came into a kind of clear relief for you? What did you recognize with greater certainty about our own country and about our own experience of living in the church? – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah, it’s interesting like when trying to, I had this extended conversation with a gentleman in Switzerland, I had a conversation with his wife at the end of that conversation. She said, “I’d love to talk to you with my husband.” And I was like, “Great.” And then what I thought was a conversation, ended up being him giving me an hour and 15 minute discusician as to how I could never sufficiently understand the cultural situation, never appreciate the social and political complexity, and as a result of which, never be a witness in any effective manner. He actually said like, “You shouldn’t scratch the surface because you don’t know what you’ll find underneath.” And like at the end of the day, like I’m not that courageous of a person, but I was so sad and so angry, and at that point, so done with the conversation, that I just said, “With all due respect, I will always always scratch the surface because I know that what I find underneath always corresponds to the Gospel, like that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that he can always teach into preaching to minister into that space and pull people from whatever darkness they’ve descended into by the Light. And so it’s like, I don’t need to figure out all of your complexities. I think that might help with a kind of pre-evangelization, but I don’t need to figure that out. It’s not my responsibility. 

Fr. Patrick: And in the end, what does it lead to? I mean, I love French politics. I know a lot about it. And the one thing I know is that I don’t know anything about it. Like, to what end? To what end does it really lead? Because I will never be a French citizen. And I will never vote in France. 

Fr. Gregory: And yeah, it’s like, but when you bring it back to the American setting, I think one thing that commends our American approach to the life of faith that the American church more broadly is that there’s a kind of like, virginal innocence to it, like, and I think that the way that it registers for a lot of people of deeper cultural roots is it’s overly earnest, it’s somewhat dopey, it can sound commercial and crass, it might be a little too esteemed of its own excellar, overly earnest, it’s somewhat dopey, it can sound commercial and crass. It might be a little too esteemed of its own, excellent or a little too appreciative of its own act. We’re just kind of like glitzy and glammy and you read any Agatha Christie story and you find that the American always comes across as a self-styled kind of enterprising mogul who thinks we just need to throw money at it. And I think that’s what a lot of people think about America, and I think it’s probably true to a certain degree or extent. But because of the kind of virginal innocence, we don’t have the complexity. And I think a lot of people as a result of which are like, what are we going to do today? Like, how’s this going to go? 

Fr. Patrick: That’s right. You could, for example, call up a couple of boys and start a podcast and end up doing a thing. 

Fr. Gregory: (laughs) Yeah, exactly. 

Fr. Patrick: But I think that affords us a great sense of freedom about our future. We’re not bound. Now, we lack the kind of staying power of some of the great cultural moments that Europe has. And I’m using moments of the loose ends to talk about things like the Camino talking about places like Lourdes. We don’t have that experience in the church in the United States. And even the tombs of our saints are not places that we frequent, although we probably should. A sidebar, American dudes, get yourself canonized. Like, let’s go, what’s the deal with not any American born, American saints yet who are men who will get there. Dudes are often just a little bit behind the ladies. Some of these friends, but I digress. But without that staying power, which is, again, I think a kind of lack, it also affords us the great freedom to, as you’re saying, be super creative to look at the horizon without fear and to launch new enterprises. The word the church would use to describe this is to really be missionary, to not be afraid of going out and leaving those structures behind or inventing new structures, to not be afraid of casting behind old institutions. I think this is a great challenge, actually, for us in the United States, because we don’t have any particular grand witnesses to Catholicism, apart from like St. Patrick Cathedral in New York City, trademark America’s Catholic Church, or the Basilica the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is in the front yard of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. Apart from these, these like handful of things, we don’t have great signs of Catholic life in our country. And my argument is, therefore, we shouldn’t be afraid to leave them behind. I’m not calling for us to shut down St. Patrick’s Cathedral or the Basilica. But the point is that I think because we lack the grand images, we become very concerned about preserving institutions that we should not be afraid to let go of. And that actually the truest form of the American identity is to continue to  go forward bravely. – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. No, I think that like there can be a kind of vice into which we fall where we are kind of disrespectful or lacking in a certain deference with respect to the past. Like obviously we want to honor and reverence those who have gotten before us. We want to honor and reverence that what they have left. But we also need to recognize that like the Church is organismic, you know, like it’s a living, breathing thing. And there are going to be times in which you’re going to have to slough off dead cells or to bride old wounds or whatever else it is. And I think that in the United States, because I think there is a kind of certainty and a confidence that we can do something beautiful now, that we’re less concerned about losing something beautiful from the past with the understanding that we’re going to keep building, we’re going to keep moving. And I would say there’s a kind of entrepreneurial spirit to the American Church, which again, can be crass at times and can be loud and can be overly kind of advertised and marketed. But what I like about it is that some experience in Europe was at times, you know, you’d be like, hey, I’d be willing to hear confessions, no problem. And then they’d be like, oh, well, we didn’t budget for that. So we can’t remunerate you so we can’t have you here confessions. It’s like, no, no, no, I wasn’t asking to be paid. I was just saying that if you need somebody to hear confessions. And then they’d say, no, no, we haven’t budgeted for that, so we can’t remunerate you, so you can’t hear confessions. Like there’s this kind of sense that it’s the institutional way or no way. Whereas in the United States, we can be like a little bit suspicious with respect to institutions, which is a problem, right? But we also feel ourselves somewhat free to move within and without institutions. So if you’ve got a good idea, then do that good idea. If you want the blessing of your pastor, cool, you probably shouldn’t call it Catholic unless you get the blessing of your pastor. But nonetheless, if you think you have something to share and something with which you can help, send it and get people animated and then bring them along. And then if it works, it works. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And if it fails, it’s not like your failure. It’s just that you tried, it didn’t go. But if it works, it’ll be of lasting import, so long as it is of lasting import. Everything’s bound to fail. I think in the United States, because of this kind of homesteading mentality, sometimes you get driven back by a hard winter and you abandon that settlement. Then sometimes you make an incursion into the wilderness and you build something beautiful for this time in our lives. But there’s no promise that it’s going to be enduring because the land’s just too savage. 

Fr. Patrick: Right. I do think we need, we’ve got to figure out some way to tap into whatever the staying power of the American Church is. Right. I mentioned Lourdes, the Camino because we’ve had experiences meeting people that those things touch. Like I’m thinking of one member of hospitality who goes every year that I drink so the one I had in Lourdes, who goes back every year. She’s done this for like 30 years and she’s an atheist. And it makes me believe two things, one that her atheism is probably insincere and I’m totally cool with that. There’s something at work in your life. But the second is that there’s some, there’s some way to touch people, you know, like when, when the American president holds up a Rosary, there’s a, there’s a force behind that. So what are the, what are the things that, that do have staying power in the United States that we need to amplify and secure? 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is freedom. You know, so like, we talk about freedom all the time in the United States. And that is especially pronounced in our living of social and political life and ecclesial life. And I think that obviously there are excesses to the way that you live your freedom. Because you know freedom can be said in many ways. On the one hand it’s like you got options. On the other hand it’s like you got solidity. Insofar as, okay, first you can do where you cannot do. You can do this or you can do that fine. But that’s just the beginning of maturing in a freedom whereby you become the type of person who can do precisely what he wants because you’re excellent, right? Because you’ve been built up by having mastered the rudiments or gone through all of the requisite exercises. And you can just do what you want to do because you’re a virtuoso musician or athlete or Christian. And I think that we have such a love of freedom and such a respect for freedom in the United States that we see people live out of their freedom or give testimony to their freedom and we’re like, yes, that’s exactly it. Whereas I think that there’s a way in which freedom for a society in which borders are closer, conflict is more of a possibility and any standing out can represent a threat to the status quo, there’s a nervousness about freedom like you want to wrangle it you want to control it, you want to ensure a certain cultural and a ecclesial homogeneity lest anyone think where it’s like no dude, saints are never gonna fit in right and we’re able to provide for that in the United States and away that’s cool. – 

Fr. Patrick: I think one amazing place you see that in the church in the US today is in Catholic schools. Because Catholic schools that are just operating under a kind of institutional model that are doing the same thing they’ve always done are kind of like barely making it. And then you meet these schools that are really dynamic and they have all kinds of wild things going on. I mean, you know, it could be a school run by our national Dominican sisters where they teach catechesis to the good shepherd, totally dynamic model of catechesis, or it could be a classical school, which is another new thing, or it could be you name it, you know, they’re all kinds of different models about how to operate a Catholic school in a new and dynamic way in this country. And I think that’s a great thing to point to and say, okay, so what is important in the church in the United States? Catholic schools. How do we do it? There’s nothing but room for creativity because at the end of the day, every Catholic school is exactly that. It’s just one Catholic school. And it’s animated by the people who love it and who are committed to it as a community. – 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. Now it’s interesting like, yeah, one thing I felt the thinness of the American experiment, like how very recent it is, right, how it’s still to a degree untested or untried. My comparison to the thickness of the European experience. I mean, it’s like you got whatever, 2500 years versus 400 years. At the end of the day, you know, it’s different, but it’s not so markedly different as to be measured in stone ages or ice ages. But like, one thing about our experience of the Church is that often enough when we try this and when we try that, we do kind of draw energy away from conserved efforts. Like you’re in a little city and you’ve got this classical school and that classical school and the other classical school and they’ve each got 45 students when they could come up with some kind of compromise position and then marshal their talents and like, have a basketball team whether sports is actually good for education of children. That’s a debate worthy having. But nevertheless, like I think that sometimes the freedom becomes dissociative. And sometimes it actually ends up pulling us apart and siphoning off the energy which when taken together might actually make more of a difference. And you see the reason for some of the cultural solidity or thickness in Europe and the way in which it can be marshaled or kind of deploy it. You go to wherever it is, Seville in Spain, and the fact that they’re still doing these processions and they’re still contributing to these guilds as it were hundreds of years after the fact that this woman is still going to Lourdes, these people are still walking the Camino because there’s a gravity to it. Whereas we, by comparison, seem to lack a certain gravity. Question is like how do we grow from the less grave to the more grave, is that desirable? Like I don’t know, I think it’s something that’s organic, it’s within the lifetime or within the lifecycle of a culture. We can’t pretend to be something that we aren’t, but we shouldn’t think that just because we are where we are, we’re better. I don’t know that we’re different, right? And I don’t think that there’s a necessary life cycle to every culture whereby we decline and lose the faith and then act as if it were unnecessary evolution, but it’s like, we need to be able to identify each thing that’s good and prize each thing that’s good and then accentuate it. Like, I loved being in Europe. My heart broke for it. Like, I want to go back there in some strange way and I haven’t yet come home in some even stranger way. It’s like why? Is it just like a dog just lining up for the next beating or what is it? It’s just like there’s something about being there that just crushes me, you know, like right? 

Fr. Patrick: Right. And we’re, I mean, the answer at the end of the day is some, some admixture of both, right? Because we’re seeing all of these American opposites, not all. We’re seeing many American opposites implementing strategies across Europe, that’s fascinating to see. So the Domestic Institute, which is founded, chapters abroad, focus, which is now sending missionaries abroad, St. Paul Street Evangelization, which is sending missionaries abroad. You’ve probably met many others. But you know, these are just a few to mention. And I think part of the core is that these, is that these institutes and these projects are fundamentally evangelical. So I think there’s something about the American spirit that is radically committed to that initial proposal of the Gospel. There’s something in us that drives us to do that. And there’s something in the European spirit that allows that to stay. And gives it a kind of tradition and a fixture whereby it can continue to mature. So I think at the end of the day, it’s probably going to have to be both together. 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. I think we’ve got like seventh grade earth science, you know, where it talks about the various ways that seeds get themselves disseminated, you know, like some, you know, like are waiting for a forest fire and some are super light so they can be born on by the wings of the wind and some are super prickly so that way they can latch onto fur and then get carried to a new place in which to germinate. And I think that like part of coming, part of being American is like it’s a very savage landscape. You know, it’s very aggressive. It’s very competitive. It’s very intense like coming from Philadelphia, words that ought not be repeated on podcasts or used as conjunctions and are used as prepositions. And it’s just insane. It’s just a nutty place. It’s just intense. America’s just intense, but it provides the environment in which seed like is disseminated and which the Gospel is cast abroad because it’s carried down rivers and blown on by the wind and otherwise carried on the, you know, like the saddle of a preacher who is, you know, going 1,000 miles by stagecoach stages. And so, but like there’s a sense in which our soil is somewhat, it can be incommodious. You know, obviously we do, we do farming darn well here. But there’s a sense in which like, I think this point like, we’re meant for that. And I think Europe shows us how to take hold, take root, build and grow because of, yeah, something about the soil. And so, I mean, speaking metaphorically here, but I think that, yeah, we’re meant to be a mystical body, to grow together to God. And that means in the local setting, in the global setting, without losing the local and the global, you know? So the things that the American Church can give, I don’t know how much people, not part of the American Church want to receive. (laughing) And but there are things that we can receive in turn, right? In recognizing what others have to give and that’s part of it. – 

Fr. Patrick: Friends, we want to thank you for tuning in to the stars and stripes episode of Godsplaining. Everyone can sing God bless America tonight. The sweet bells and tones of liberty can lull you to your freed sleep. Thanks for listening to this episode. Follow us on Facebook, the social media platform, X, and Instagram. Like, subscribe, and leave a 5 star review, – we love reviews, folks, maybe this episode has triggered something, you want to share your thoughts on American Church, best Church. If you’d like to, please do that, we do read the reviews, we love them. If you’d like to donate to the podcast through Patreon, follow the link in the description. You can also follow links in the show notes there to shop Godsplaining merch and to get information on upcoming Godsplaining events like our men’s retreat for manly and not yet manly men, which will be held August 8th to 11th in Brevard, North Carolina. Friends, above all, know of our prayers for you and we ask that you’d pray for us. God bless.