Saturday, November 22, 2014

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, November 22

Religion and Geopolitics this week includes:

In baseball, left-handed pitching aces are always at a premium; so too, alas, prison wardens who know how to bring desperate men into the hope of the living LORD are a rarity. This country is blessed to have such a warden in charge of our largest prison.

When Peter was confronted by the servant girl in the courtyard he stammered and stuttered when asked if he followed Christ. Cardinal Sean O'Malley seems even more tongue-tied in explaining why the male priesthood is not "immoral" to a feminist TV reporter on 60 Minutes. The best he could do was to say it can't be immoral because Christ wouldn't be immoral, but if he (Cardinal O'Malley) was starting a church, he would have women priests. This embarrassing anthropological confusion and underhanded insult to Our Lord makes the male priesthood incomprehensible not just to lady reporters, but to young seminarians and old priests bereft of a father's voice in dioceses like Boston. The reason so many young teenage males were abused in the Catholic Church is because the careerists who have advanced in the American hierarchy have no father in them. Listen here as an apostle replays Peter in the courtyard. We can only pray that he will see the face of Christ, hear his own words of betrayal, and go somewhere to weep.

An excellent overview with maps and charts of the US relations in Asia by Heritage Foundation researchers.

One way to look at the Russian Bear is through the eyes of the Germans as Germans, While many words have been spoken and much ink spilled over Putin's presence in the Baltic Sea and over the skies of the Baltic States, Vladimir Putin - Slavic and Orthodox - has his eyes in the Balkan nations of Europe's southeast. This assessment of the influence of Russia's Putin with other Balkan nations is sobering.

Nations need leaders like the body needs its head. Narenda Modi of India delayed a WTO agreement a few months ago and the pro-business nationalist was labeled a short-sighted obstructionist by the "free trade community." Modi is all for easing barriers to trade in many areas, but food security for his nation was not on the table. The WTO has tied acceptance of its multifaceted treaties with a requirement that nations not subsidize more than 10% of food production for their own populations. This magic number "destabilizes" markets. Obviously, many nations see food production as a part of the national economy ruled by other dictates than elastic pricing and free trade. Mr. Modi held out and his willingness to ease trade barriers in other areas will not depend on his surrendering his governmental duty to feed his people at home. It was a practical lesson in achieving progress in international trade without sacrificing economic nationalism.

On November 13, 2014, The Pew Research Project on Religion and Public Life released a 310-page document on 'Religion in Latin America: Widespread Change in a Historically Catholic Region.' It is an excellent introduction to help us study and ask when the sleeping giants of the Iberian Catholic tradition will reenter the arena of world politics as Catholic nations led by Catholic statesmen.

On this day in 1718, the ruthless Blackbeard met his bloody end in a sea-fight off the Carolina coast. (The first quarter of the 18th century was the Heyday of Pirates, as they preyed upon the commercial routes between Europe and the New World. And where was their safe haven -- the locale "where they [went] to restock, sell their loot, repair their ships and recruit more men"? The British Caribbean.) See also: The Golden Age of Piracy.

President John F. Kennedy died 51 years ago today. He was America's first Catholic president and a masculine liberal who understood that men of different religious creeds were bound by their civic duties against the common threat of armed atheism. He called men to this brotherhood of protective duty in nations large and small.

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