by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
THE WEEKLY BRIEF
STEVE BANNON AND THE BISHOPS; JIM MARTIN AND HIS JESUITS
The complete interview of presidential advisor Steve Bannon with Charlie Rose of CBS is very worthwhile. The TV version highlighted an unpleasant side of Mr. Rose who has a well deserved reputation as a prepared interviewer who lets his guests talk. This longer version shows Rose as a better interviewer because he allows much more uninterrupted time for Mr. Bannon to display his vigorous intelligence. On the TV version, Mr. Bannon said the American bishops had been "terrible on DACA" with their reflexive opposition to Trump's rescinding President Obama's executive order preventing children of illegal immigrants from deportation. President Trump has signaled clearly he wants immigration reform to be done by law not executive order. Only this approach will lead to a reform that can lead to citizenship for some, deportation for others, and an end to de facto open borders. Sanctuary cities and states display a depressing willingness to accept as permanent an immigrant class of humans as a labor force and recipient of public services but not fellow citizens. Bannon correctly called the American bishops self serving for favoring unrestricted Catholic immigrants as a remedy to membership problems inside the Church caused by their own sins.
The Jesuit, James Martin, continues his campaign for mainstreaming homosexuality within the Catholic Church and he is willing to play dirty with those who oppose him. Even the vigorous opposition of Austin Ruse at Crisis magazine though has not fully named the problem represented by the likes of Jim Martin in the American Catholic Church. Normalizing homosexuality is not aimed at comforting an effeminate teen who is part of "All our Children". Martin's media blitz is meant to obfuscate the role of the homosexual subculture within the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy that allowed the sexual abuse of teen age males from Guam to Chicago in the last century. This includes whole provinces of Jesuits dominated by the lavender psychology. Martin's homosexual campaign is not about protecting that confused vulnerable fifteen year old. It is the strident campaign of well fed and highly placed 50 to 60 year olds who seek to protect the perch of chicken hawks who are secretly panicking with fear at the wrath of real reform.
The all male clergy of the Catholic Church should be a light to the nations as a public fraternity of men under God. They should be a masculine witness for the interracial brotherhood (the agreement among adult males that will socialize the young males) needed to calm our cities. They should stand as the bishops at the Second Vatican Council said for fraternity among nations as the Christian alternative to the Darwinism of perpetual war drums. Male relationships and personality structures are crucial to building public tranquility in our cities and nations. The "pansy" is not a public man of authority and community. He is a male but he is not doing his duty as a man. That is why "pansy" is an insult that serious public men may hurl at a self indulgent deceiver. James Martin and many of his fellow Jesuits hold a personal conception of brotherly love which is incest. This is not the missionary brotherly love that Christ inaugurated with his apostles under Peter. It is not the courageous brotherly love that the martyr saints of this day (Sept 16) Cornelius and Cyprian spoke of as they were killed for the new public Kingdom of the Christian movement. Hopefully Catholic priests and laymen will learn to speak as clearly and profoundly about the corruption of the James Martin/Judas priests as Mr. Bannon speaks about the nature of the corrupt elite he is challenging.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE? As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation draws near, a Pew Research Center survey asked Protestants what divides them from Catholics. While evangelicals score higher, a majority of Protestants can't tell the difference. (Bonus: Can you tell the difference? Take the quiz by following the link).
THE HOMOSEXUAL LOBBY IN THE CHURCH - SOME NAMES THAT KEEP RESURFACING EVEN FROM THE DEAD: A tribute to Italian Cardinal Martini from Canadian priest, Fr Rosica. Two characters to watch; one is dead. From the LA Times obituary of Cardinal Martini in 2012: "For years, Martini had been Europe's most prominent liberal cardinal, frequently voicing openness on such divisive church issues as priestly celibacy, homosexuality and the use of condoms to fight AIDS."
SECULAR JEWS AND PRACTICING CATHOLICS - IT'S GETTING UGLY: Can you be a practicing Catholic and a Judge? Some Democrats are seeing the contradiction. Dianne Feinstein was clear in the link above. Bernie Sanders went after an evangelical. Al Franken jumped the same lady Catholic judge that Feinstein attacked. In a wonderful compliment, Senator Feinstein told the Catholic woman, "The dogma lives loudly within you." If only Christian men who believe in the brotherhood of all men and the local brotherhoods of our own nations could live so well.
SERVING MASS CAN LEAD TO PRIESTLY VOCATIONS: Fr. Scott Wallisch, Vocations Director of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, calls on archdiocesan priests and server trainers to encourage their male high school servers to join the Knights of St. Tarcisius. Founded by AoA's A. Joseph Lynch, the Knights of St. Tarcisius forms young men as servers as they pass through "four stages of knighthood... experience true Catholic fraternity... [while] discerning the priesthood."
AQUINAS ON BEAUTY: "St. Thomas Aquinas does a good job of defining beauty: for things to be beautiful, they must have the three qualities of integrity, proportion, and clarity. "Integrity means that all the parts of an object present are where they belong, while proportion means that all of the parts are in right relationship to each other. Clarity means that something has a certain brightness, effulgence, or splendor so that the object’s integrity and proportion can capture our attention."
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
9/11 FAMILIES CONTINUE THE CASE THAT ELEMENTS OF SAUDI RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT WERE SIGNIFICANT ACTORS IN ATTACK: The Wahabbi role seems undeniable.
ISIS HEADS TO THE PHILIPPINES: As the war turns against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, its commanders now call on recruits to shift forces to the Philippines. With Duterte in power, ISIS is bound to have quite the fight on its hands.
ON IRAN: Tiara Parsi, a thinker who was very influential during the Obama administration gives a more historical and nuanced view of Iran than we might hear from Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham or Democrat Robert Menendez. This is a long but worthwhile interview introducing his work.
A VERY BAD IDEA - PROPOSED POLICY TO INCREASE US WAR EFFORTS AGAINST SHIITES OF YEMEN AND BAHRAIN: This is being done to give more military flexibility in responding to Iranian aggression. There are no two places in the world where the Saudi religious persecution of Shiites is more falsely presented as a war against Iran. Many US military leaders (especially Marines) have a deep hostility toward Iran whom they blame for the 1983 killing of 241 marines in Beirut. Good men are being played. Joining the Saudis in their Wahhabi hatred against Shiites will not avenge our brothers.
IS TERRORISM THE ENEMY?
A review of terrorism and how it ends by the New Yorker's Robin Wright. A very interesting historical article but not very related to the Salafist war declared on 9/11. An ongoing problem among DC experts has been labeling this as a war against a tactic - "the war on terrorism".
ISRAEL BOMBS SYRIA: Preemptive messages.
THE TWO EIDS: The end of Ramadan and the end of the Hajj (Pilgrimage). The yearly pilgrimage (the Hajj) and the yearly fasting month of Ramadan both end with days of feast (Eid). The Hajj is an annual 5 day period when Muslims from all over the word return to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Hajj means "to journey" and the fulfillment of this duty is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a time to stone the devil, and remember the willingness of Ishmael to be sacrificed to do the will of God (Islam means submission to God). The days of the Hajj end with the Eid al Adha (Feast of sacrifice). All Muslims, even those who do not do the pilgrimage that year, celebrate the Eid.
The end of the monthly fast of Ramadan is celebrated with the Eid al Fitr (Feast of breaking the fast). The month is marked by fasting all day from food and drink (including water). Self mortification is meant to elevate the desire for God over the wants of the flesh. The rigorous fast is also to engender empathy with the poor and hungry whose lack of food and drink is involuntary. Fasting and almsgiving are central to the month as are the daily prayers which cultivate a public consciousness of God.
THE NEXT FRONT IN THE MIDEAST COULD BE LEBANON WITH THE MOST UNAPOLOGETIC CHRISTIANS IN THE REGION: From Rod Dreher interview of Andrew Doran policy advisor of Defense of Christians:
RD: We have seen images recently of Christians returning to their badly damaged sanctuaries in Syria and Iraq. Has the worst passed for Middle Eastern Christians?
AD: The number of Christians in Iraq and Syria has gone from over three million combined fifteen years ago to less than a million today. This happened for many reasons. One is the radicalization of Muslims through well-funded ideologies. The most pernicious of these ideologies is Wahhabism, which Saudi Arabia has spent untold billions to export globally for decades. Everywhere I go in the Middle East, Muslims and Christians alike ask, “Why isn’t America doing something to stop the Wahhabis? Don’t you know they’re your enemy and ours?” The petrol wealth and influence of the Gulf states has thus set the Muslim world back generations, if not centuries. Most of the violence against both Middle East Christians and Americans has come from this source, though I hasten to add that Iran and its proxies are also a serious threat.
From a strictly political point of view, what do Americans not understand about the situation Christians in the Middle East face — not just in war zones, but elsewhere?
Americans probably don’t understand the extent to which their public servants in DC really don’t care. The foreign policy establishment, like the public culture in America, has a general contempt (often masquerading as indifference) for Christians. This is ironic because the Christians are the progressives of their societies in the Middle East.
Americans would probably be shocked at how unapologetically Christian and free Lebanon is. Lebanon is the closest thing to a Western country in the Arab world, and not only because of the lifestyle and prevalence of French and English. There are monasteries in the mountains, catacombs, statues of Jesus and Mary, Christian universities, Christian politicians, and above all a confidence in Christian culture that we’re losing in the West. This has rubbed off on non-Christians in Lebanon, giving the place a very moderate feel. (There are places one usually doesn’t go, of course, but think of all the places we never go in America because they’re unsafe—and far more dangerous than anything in Lebanon.) Put simply, the Christians of Lebanon don’t have the dhimmi mentality of a hostage, contingent people that sadly characterizes so many Christians in the Middle East. When you see Lebanon, you understand why it’s worth saving. Christians in places like Egypt and elsewhere will often point out that Lebanon gives them a model for equality and hope.
The problem isn’t the American people so much as it is Washington. There’s a clear chasm between the values of the American people and their elites. It’s important not only to make a moral argument, of course. IDC and its partner organizations make a case that it’s in American interests to protect and preserve Christian and other minority communities. Americans often think that humanitarian aid is the answer, and that is needed, but we also need policies that will protect Christians. If we can get that part right, no humanitarian aid will be needed.
III. THE KOREAN PENINSULA
ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA DON'T FORGET... South Korea is an actor. Their new leftist government has already been forced to display military exercises and renewed friendship with Japan in response to North Korean missile launches. At heart though the new president Moon Jae-in wants a radical new approach to reunifying his country. Best books on North Korea.
CHINA SAYS FIRST STRIKE BY US AGAINST KOREA MEANS: China will defend militarily.
HOW CLOSE TO BOMBING NORTH KOREA WAS/IS THE US? Two thinkers we should not listen to: RALPH PETERS, JOHN BOLTON. However, it is hard for us to see how this is going to be resolved without some kind of military action by President Trump.
THE RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR WITH NORTH KOREA: A long, very informed article by Evan Osnos of the New Yorker.
IV. R&G NATIONS ROUND UP
RELIGION AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS IS NOT THE SAME AS RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: The office led by Shaun Casey (author of a book on The Making of a Catholic President) has been folded into another department. This is not progress.
NATIONALISM FROM KURDISTAN TO HUNGARY TO CATALONIA: Tribalism by Pat Buchanan.
BUDDHISTS CLEANSE MUSLIMS IN BURMA (MYNAMAR): White globalists lose a heroine. In Russia the Muslims protest the Burma expulsion. Russia allows a vigorous non jihadist Islamic culture. Burmese Buddhists close their "western door to Islamic expansion." Where are the protectors of Islam?
CITY STATES AND NATIONS: An author gets carried away in seeing an internet future of city states as the nations recede. The city states will not replace the nation state but they will become more autonomous regions of self governance. Consider the direct control municipalities of China.
V. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
CONSUMERS AND CENTURIONS: Is America becoming two subcultures?
NASHVILLE STATEMENT IS ABOUT ECOLOGY: Three Popes have taken the same view.
SOCIOBIOLOGY AND SEX ROLES: "The more an animal population tends toward acting together in a eusocial way, the more important are sexual differences in work roles to harmonize the common purposes of the group." The lowest form of physical life- the Bacteria- are asexual. The most developed and integrated social lives mark the eusocial organisms. The social lives of bees and ants are built on hierarchy, sexual differentiation and parthenogenesis.