In the marketing world, the phrase “passion brand” refers to a product that has a passionate following among its customers. In addition to being loyal to the product, the customers also personally identify with it. If necessary, they will expend the time and energy to defend the product when someone criticizes it. The ownership of the product becomes a statement in and of itself — a statement that the customer has achieved a special status because of their affiliation with the product.
On Monday, August 20, 2018, a Catholic priest was physically attacked while he was praying in the sacristy of St Michaels Byzantine Catholic Church in Merrillville, Indiana. According to the Merrillville police chief, Joseph Petruch, the attacker grabbed Fr. Basil John Hutsko by the neck and “threw him down on the floor and immediately started slamming his head against the floor, both sides, front and back.”
Last year was the 80th anniversary of the publication of the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. The book, which was originally published in 1937, has never gone out of print. In other words, at any time during the past 80 years, a person could walk into a bookstore or, in recent years, go on the internet and purchase the book. Very few books have ever succeeded in remaining in print for 80 years.
Every day when I come home from work, I empty my pockets and put the items from my pockets into the top drawer of my dresser. I have a separate place for my wallet, my keys, and my rosary. Next to where I keep my keys is a pocket knife that my dad gave to me. The pocket knife is important to me because it belonged to my grandfather, Tom Williams.
The number one Catholic in the world, Pope John Paul II, called her “an icon of the Good Samaritan.” The number one atheist in the United States, Christopher Hitchens, called her “a religious fundamentalist, a political operative, [and] a primitive sermonizer.” Planned Parenthood called her a “very successful old and withered person, who doesn’t look in the least like a woman.”
During the late 1970s, while I was in college, I met a young man — I’ll call him John — who was born in the Middle East. John immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. He was a few years older than me and it seemed as though every time I saw him, we ended up talking about religion, politics, and the volatility in the Middle East.