Catholic philosopher Ed Feser has, in his distinctive style, offered a simmering counter to what many have called the “Gospel of Nice” on display in the new Mr. Rogers biopic featuring Tom Hanks. Below is a taste. Read the whole thing here.

[Churchmen] seem to fear controversy above all things, and especially controversy that might earn them the disdain of the secular liberal intelligentsia.  And for most of the last few decades, the worst they would have faced is some bad press.  The way Western culture is turning now, they will probably face far worse than that in the not too distant future – and will face it precisely because they did not speak and act boldly and consistently enough when bad press was all they had to fear.  Appeasement only ever breeds contempt among those appeased, and spurs them to greater evil.

In the end, pseudo-Christian “niceness” will only doom both those who practice it and those they fear to offend.  In the book of Ezekiel, God famously warns those placed as “watchmen” over his people:

If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life” (Ezekiel 33: 8-9).

Churchmen take note: A little more harshness might just save your soul, and the souls for which you are responsible – but nice guys finish last.