Saturday, August 20, 2016

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, August 20

by Dr. David Pence 


POPE AND CHINA AGREE ON BISHOP SELECTIONS: The Pope wants to find a way for a regular relationship with China. The country is experiencing a dynamic proliferation of Christian communities and a growing Catholic Church. It is also a nation "in search of its dream" as the governmental structure of the Communist Party remains, but the ideology of communism is forsaken.

CATHOLICS IN CENTRAL ASIA: A short review of Catholistan. Russia worries about its southern neighbors in Central Asia. A good round-up of Catholics in the Central Asian nations and a  reminder of how the Russian land giant sees the world and its neighbors.


CATHOLIC HOMOSEXUAL MONSIGNOR EXPLAINS CELIBACY TO HIS MALE VICTIM: A high-ranking priest from Stockton, California, has made a common argument we heard from sexually active homosexuals in the seminaries. Celibacy only applies to not being married. The sexual corruption in the Catholic Church is not about pedophilia, but rampant male homosexuality in the episcopacy and priesthood.

WHY WON'T CLOSETED AMERICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS DISCIPLINE JOE BIDEN'S NEW CLERICAL ROLE AT MALE WEDDING PARTIES? The answer is in the question. Rod Dreher’s piece is for the picture, not his errant reasoning about Pope Francis. The sexual corruption of American bishops, and the betrayal of working men for gender ideology by the Catholic wing of the Democratic party are deeply related. The Washington DC episcopacy from the notorious reign of Cardinal Theodore ('Uncle Ted') McCarrick to the duplicitous mansion dwelling of Cardinal Donald ('Donna' in the seminary) Wuerl has kept the Catholic Democratic sexual revolutionaries safe by ensuring there would be no masculine shepherds in the nation’s capital to correct them.


EUROPE - A UNION OF NATIONS OR A NEW UNITED STATES: A good history showing Brexit as a kind of legacy of Charles DeGaulle who always argued for a community of intact nation states. He had a deeply spiritual sense of the nation (especially France) and thought the genius of Europe was to harmonize the nations, not replace them.

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BREXIT? A great interview with Nigel Farage who led the movement for Britain to leave the EU. An eloquent and clear speaker - many insights for America. Here are seven takeaways:
  1. A major premise of the EU was that nation states were the cause of world wars. He counters that with the more accurate notion that nation states are a defense from wars. 
  2. Polls about Brexit vote were wrong because many pro-Brexit voters were people who had never voted before AND THEY WERE UNDERPOLLED. 
  3. Social media, especially YouTube, is an incredibly powerful way to bypass big media if you can explain things in speeches and put them up as good videos. 
  4. His succinct description of incestuous media / academy / think tank / politicians was a brilliant word-for-word description of American elites. 
  5. Putin was right on Ukraine and Crimea. There was massive Brussels type intervention in Ukraine politics for years. It was EU and NATO supporters (and American NGOs) who helped overthrow a democratically elected president which precipitated the crisis. 
  6. On Nationalism in Europe: In Spain, Italy, and Greece nationalists are on the Left. In northern and eastern Europe they are more on the Right. In France nationalists are culturally conservative and economically leftist. Germany has a gigantic guilt complex from the Nazi era but they are enthusiastic European flag wavers. They are piously reverent about EU symbols in a manner not seen with other nationalities. Being European has become their new communal identity. [This serves their dominant status within the EU, without reminding them of their previous strategy for consolidating Europe].
  7. On Nationalism in Britain: Farage is actually Scottish. He believes the Scots will not leave Britain to join the EU because they will not attach themselves to the sinking ship of the Euro currency. Farage was a commodities trader. At least in this interview, he spoke much more in the language of economic and national sensibilities than religion and culture.
GIBRALTAR, THE BRITISH TERRITORY AT THE END OF THE IBERIAN PENNINSULA - IS IT IN PLAY AFTER BREXIT? A very good historical review of claims on Gibraltar at the strategic entrance of the Mediterranean Sea.

PEW REPORT ON REFUGEES TO EUROPE: 73 percent are males. Europeans overwhelmingly disapprove of how the EU is handling the influx.

GERMAN GUILT AND OPEN BORDERS: 'WSJ' columnist Peggy Noonan talking to an acquaintance of Angela Merkel:
"Last summer when Europe was engulfed with increasing waves of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries, Ms. Merkel, moving unilaterally, announced that Germany would take in an astounding 800,000. Naturally this was taken as an invitation, and more than a million came. The result has been widespread public furor over crime, cultural dissimilation and fears of terrorism... Ms. Merkel’s acquaintance sighed and agreed. It’s one thing to be overwhelmed by an unexpected force, quite another to invite your invaders in! But, the acquaintance said, he believed the chancellor was operating in pursuit of ideals. As the daughter of a Lutheran minister, someone who grew up in East Germany, Ms. Merkel would have natural sympathy for those who feel marginalized and displaced. Moreover she is attempting to provide a kind of counter-statement, in the 21st century, to Germany’s great sin of the 20th. The historical stain of Nazism, the murder and abuse of the minority, will be followed by the moral triumph of open arms toward the dispossessed. That’s what’s driving it, said the acquaintance."


SPENGLER: TRUMP VS FOREIGN POLICY ELITE: David Goldman who writes as 'Spengler' at Asia Times has always been notable among journalists  for bringing a deeper sense of history to his commentaries on foreign affairs. His take on Trump and the elite.

AN INTERVIEW WITH SYRIA’S ASSAD: NBC does a good job in talking with a government we should ally with, not overthrow.

THE WAR ON THE HOUTHI SHIA OF YEMEN: President Obama’s greatest foreign policy mistake? Where is the anti-war Left as the  Senate rearms the Saudis to bomb a neighboring nation? All the talk about Russia invading a sovereign nation in the Ukraine seems not to apply to the young Saudi prince who is making his reputation with hardline Wahhabi clerics as a credible slayer of the Shiites.

NEOCONSERVATIVES BECOME NEOLIBERAL: The class and culture of East Coast elites finds Hillary one of them. Trump and NASCAR not so.

FRANCE BANS A FULL BATHING SUIT FOR MUSLIM WOMEN: If we are in a cultural religious war, do we want to be on the side that prohibits too much modesty for women? Atheist culture uncovers the women and dissipates the males. Christian culture unites men in public brotherhoods of protection and production, while modestly-covered women perform acts of mercy and kindness. What do French laws say about the elaborate female coverings of traditional orders of Catholic sisters? The covering of women is a dramatic and universal religious statement about femininity, interiority, and transcendence. The Muslims in this instance are simply reminding us of the older Jewish and Christian traditions. The Christian nations certainly must awaken to our war with salafist jihadists, but does anyone really think that part of waging that war is to expose a little more female flesh?

SOUTH SUDAN - TRIBALISM DIVIDES YOUNG COUNTRY INTO WAR: The mostly Christian Republic of South Sudan broke from the mostly Muslim North in 2011. It has now sundered along tribal lines. The blue helmets of the UN police have run away multiple times when faced with armed men attacking UN camps of refugees. Mostly female refugees have not been protected by a force that takes a good wage home, but runs in the face of fire. It makes us ask  that age-old question: "Who wants to die for the UN?" Politics is about protection. Risking death to protect necessitates some compelling communal loyalty.

RELIGION IN RUSSIA: Troubling law against smaller churches. A law meant to give more tools against jihadists may end up harming Protestants and Mormons.

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