Random activities, media mentions,
friends and enemies.

Almost Famous

For six weeks in the summer of 2000, I worked for a PR mogul who was later named “New York’s Most Hated Woman”. In 2003 I published a personal essay about it online, which got a mention on “Page 6” of The New York Post, sandwiched between a tale of Naomi Watts having “a fit on the red carpet” and a report of a “prolific porn star…getting a bad rap from the owner of an East Village eatery who labeled her a tipsy tightwad”!

(I eventually re-published my essay in The Desired Thing, and refashioned it into the first couple chapters of The Me Years.)

The Coup

In 2007, I started a Ron Paul Meet-Up Group, we infiltrated the Missoula (Montana) Republican Party, and we won the county for Paul on Super Tuesday. I got to have lunch with Dr. Paul and was honored to introduce him when he gave a speech at the University of Montana.

Lew Rockwell published my essay “An Open Letter to My Ex-Boyfriends” about my experience with the Ron Paul rEVOLution and then continued to publish my writing for years.
I am so grateful for his support.
You can see my full archive at his website here: www.lewrockwell.com/author/ellen-finnigan/

Fifteen Minutes

In 2008, Vanity Fair called me “The Unlikely Mastermind Behind the Impeach Obama Movement.” I wrote about it in the essay “My First Facebook Election, or, How I Became the Country’s Biggest Killjoy,” and was interviewed by KROQ, a radio station in Los Angeles. This marked the end of my dabbling in political activism.
(See related essay: “Was Dorothy Day a libertarian?”)

The Commune

In 2010, I spent six months living in an intentional community in Western Massachusetts called Agape. I was lucky to be living there at the time Jim Douglass was on book tour for JFK and The Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. He did a reading at Agape, which brought together friends and acquaintances who had been activists in the Catholic peace movement for 40- 50 years, many of whom had known Thomas Merton or Dorothy Day, including Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.

The founders later wrote a book called Loving Life on the Margins, which I recommend as a fascinating look at late 20th-century, Catholic-Worker-inspired Catholicism.
(See related CAM podcast episodes: 1,13, 20, and 24.)

Omaha Roots

After I published my book in 2011, Catholic blogger Betty Duffy kindly reviewed it, but she told me her children were frightened by the cover! Perhaps it’s not typical, but it was illustrated by my childhood friend, Maureen Cavanaugh, and I love it!

See more of Maureen’s work here:

A Famous Libertarian, a Catholic Writer, and a Married Priest walk into a bar...

In 2015, the Pax Christi group at St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Atlanta, of which I was a part, hosted Fr. McCarthy’s last in-person retreat (so far). (See essay: “45 Years of Christian Nonviolence.”)

Lew Rockwell, who had published many of Fr. McCarthy’s essays over the years, drove in from Alabama to attend. What a special weekend!

In large part because Fr. McCarthy couldn’t travel to hold retreats anymore, I started the Catholics Against Militarism podcast in 2019.

Bad PR

In Episode 3 of the CAM podcast, I interviewed E. Michael Jones about his antiwar views. Afterwards, this guy Dexter insinuated online that I supported the killing of American Jews. He wrote an article (which I won’t link to because it’s preposterous) in which he quoted my words, “Yeah, yeah, that makes sense,” then presumed to explain what I was referring to when I used the pronoun “that,” offering up only the most uncharitable and unlikely interpretation. (He’d written a similar hit piece on Patrick Coffin a couple of months before, after Coffin had dared to interview Jones.)

This guy claimed that I failed to confront E. Michael Jones over his statements on the Jews. On the contrary! I directly confronted Dr. Jones about his statements on the Jews, which most interviewers refuse to do (even Patrick Coffin, whose slogan is “We go there” — even he didn’t, wouldn’t!)

This is a direct quote of mine from the interview with Jones:
“I do worry that when you call someone an enemy…there is this implied violence, and it could be dangerous, and so I’d like to have you back sometime to talk about that.”
I said to Jones: “You say that the Church’s official teaching is that no one has a right to harm the Jew…How about instead you say, ‘Jesus said to love our enemies’?”

You can hear our exchange starting at the 46:00 minute mark; you can also listen to 60+ episodes of my podcast, and read a decade’s worth of online articles, written from a position of Gospel Nonviolence, and decide for yourself whether you think I support the killing of any human being, for any reason, whatsoever.

I don’t.

Just for the record.

Trinity Site

In 2021, I joined a group of prayer warriors, who had been meeting in the desert of New Mexico on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for 31 years, for a 24-hour prayer vigil at Trinity Site, "because we are not helpless in the face of evil, because we believe that Christ has overcome evil with love, and because we dare to approach God and each other with our hope for forgiveness for the evil of the first atomic bomb and for protection from the bitter fruits of that evil." You can hear more about the annual fast and vigil that has been taking place for over 30 years on Episode 8 of the CAM podcast.