When I first started raising money to try to make "The Third Way" 7 years ago, John-Andrew O'Rourke, owner of Blackstone Films and my partner in the whole crazy ride that was the project, showed me something very early on in the fundraising process.
He showed me a "Go Fund Me" page where a bunch of 30 something year old guys, who were particularly devoted to some completely obscure video game (we'll call it "Alpha Quadrant Gamma") were trying to raise funds to have someone make a documentary on "Alpha Quadrant Gamma". I know all the cool video games...and this one wasn't one of them.
They had raised $420,000.
You can find project after project like this on Go Fund Me...stupid and pointless and even poorly executed fundraisers raising tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for stupid and pointless projects.
These guys were playing a video game in their mom's basements for 18 hours a day and got people to fork over a HALF MILLION from a very select group of people interested in this particular obscure game.
Those who are part of the "Culture of Life" are getting SLAUGHTERED in the culture war because while the culture of death is supporting stuff that is either inane or outright evil, many who profess Christ support nothing that tries to make our case to the world. ZERO.
Catholics give 1% to the Church, on average, and to get people to support (and I don't mean buying girl scout cookies or doing the token donation to some project) and really get behind Catholic projects and ministries that are trying to make the case to the world is virtually impossible.
I had to jump up and down for months, call everyone I know, beg, email, etc. for 6 weeks to raise $80,000 so that I could do something that would use up my day off for two years...while in the secular world, people donate tens and hundreds of thousands to documentaries on donuts and video games...let alone the billions that are poured in to more culturally-destructive Hollywood and TV projects.
"The Third Way" has been viewed over 500,000 times around the world, so it certainly has had an impact, and I'm thankful for that. But how many other good ideas are out there that people are just sitting on? How many worthy projects and stories are dying because they aren't supported by people?
When we started raising funds for the "The Third Way" people said "WOW THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY!"
But break it down. $80,000 for 500,000 viewings of a 40 minute documentary about the Church's teaching on homosexuality. You know what that works out to?
SIXTEEN CENTS PER VIEWING
So for every 16 cents donated, it paid for one viewing of the third way (and some of those viewings have been entire classes or gymnasiums at once...so the real math would probably break down to less than 1 cent per viewing of "The Third Way")
If I sound frustrated, it is because I'm in the midst of another project. In the US there are 3.5 million coaches coaching 45 million young people this year. Ask any priest and they'll tell you - families aren't coming to Church anymore because they're all playing sports on Sunday. So what are we doing about that?
When I was in high school, I had a TRANSFORMATIVE coach who was both wildly successful and who also used coaching to challenge us to become good fathers, sacrificial husbands, to tell our parents that we loved them, to become men of sacrifice, to treat women with dignity and respect, etc. etc.
I know for a fact that his story can be told in a powerful and clear way to try to get coaches to reach their young people and inspire them to become good, holy, virtuous people...it is one of the last ways we can reach kids today.
This project SHOULD BE a no-brainer: pass the hat around...some guys throw in a hundred, some guys throw in 20 bucks...a few people that haven't met coach but agree we need to reach coaches with a great story throw in a few bucks, and there we have it. Goal achieved.
Despite getting word out to most of the over 600 players who played for him over 27 years, 20 of the 600 have donated.
I have $7,000 dollars to my name, and have already donated $1,700 to this project, and I'll probably put another 2-3,000 toward the project if need be.
I know many of the 600 guys who were coached by Bruce Scifres were equally impacted by him, and many recognize he could have coached for twice as much money at a public school, and most know that Coach is so excited about the possibility of this documentary coming together. But only 20 former players have donated.
And that's why we get slaughtered in the culture wars. We are blessed to witness great things but instead of supporting powerful story telling, instead of looking to support art, instead of getting the word out to others about the amazing things we've been able to witness, we sit on the Good News, content to let the godless tell their video game stories.