Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

Ep. 71—Thick Skin, Weak Stomach—Timothy & David Gordon

By Catholic Culture Podcast ( bio - articles - email ) | Apr 02, 2020 | In The Catholic Culture Podcast

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Timothy and David Gordon join the show to discuss their new book Rules for Retrogrades: Forty Tactics to Defeat the Radical Left. It’s a reverse-Alinskyan playbook for conservatives and Christians who are sick of being outmaneuvered at every turn by the forces seeking the destruction of the Christian faith and the natural foundations of the social order.

The Gordon brothers want us to stop falling for the left’s tactics, which take advantage of the timidity, and false humility of today’s conservative Christians, and start turning the radicals’ own tactics against them as much as possible within the bounds of Christian morality.


[1:21] Remarks on the beginning of a dialogue with the Gordons

[6:11] Egalitarianism as the beating heart of radical leftism

[9:17] What is a retrograde?

[12:45] “No truth is ‘off-limits’”: Don’t censor your thoughts for fear of consequences or optics

[21:05] Admission of sin’s wickedness a prerequisite for mercy

[23:01] “Always be on offense”: why a defensive position leads to failure; it should fall to those who advocate wickedness to be on the defensive

[28:21] “Risus est bellum”: The best response to an absurd or evil claim could be laughter or rebuke rather than dignifying it with an argument

[30:38] Virtue-signaling Christians who try to curry favor with the left by throwing retrogrades under the bus; mod-cons vs. militant mods

[33:32] Ways that leftist conditioning affects even staunch conservatives

[37:50] “Be coarse but never crass”—have “thick skin and a weak stomach”; how the hierarchy of virtues gives us moral perspective in politics (civility is relatively low on the virtue totem pole)

[45:23] The degree to which Alinsky’s tactics may be used against the left; the rules of swordsmanship vs. the ends for which you fight

[50:57] Why prayer was not discussed in Rules for Retrogrades

[55:38] “For radicals, the issue is never the real issue”: ex., pushing maternity leave is a pretext to normalize being a working mother

[59:46] The importance of the order in which the rules were arranged

[1:01:34] “The root of cultural decay is feminism: end feminism to end radicalism”

[1:07:00] Follow-up comments by Thomas on the importance of prayer

Theme music: “Franciscan Eyes”, written and performed by Thomas Mirus. Download the Catholic Culture Podcast soundtrack.

Thomas V. Mirus is Director of Podcasts for, hosts The Catholic Culture Podcast, and co-hosts Criteria: The Catholic Film Podcast. See full bio.

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  • Posted by: Thomas V. Mirus - Apr. 22, 2020 11:00 PM ET USA

    Scribbly, thanks for your kind comment. I'm glad you liked the episode. I'm sure Michael Matt is not a fan of this site but we must pray for divisions to cease.

  • Posted by: Scribbly - Apr. 21, 2020 11:45 PM ET USA

    Thank you so much Thomas. I really appreciated this podcast, as it addressed a basic issue in the Catholic Online Environment at the moment: There is no debate, just criticism, and so much criticism! I think Michael Matt attempted to circumvent some of that with his #uniteTheClans, and I know the Gordons have said similar things. 'One Mad Mom' most recent posts touch on this as well... off to the Donate page...

  • Posted by: winnie - Apr. 02, 2020 9:08 AM ET USA

    We’ve listened to some of the Gordon’s podcasts and will definitely listen to this!