by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
THE WEEKLY BRIEF
A Culture of Protection: President Trump Builds the Culture of Life
A Culture of Protection: President Trump Builds the Culture of Life
The annual March for Life in Washington D.C. is a celebration of life meant to contrast with the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973. Seven judges discovered in the Constitution's Due Process Clause a woman's right as an individual to abort her child. The Court denied 47 state legislatures the police powers which they exercised at that time to severely restrict abortion. The Court elevated the powers of the autonomous individual over the natural law obligation of a mother to her child and the communal police powers of the state legislatures. Until 1800 there were few state laws against abortion because the protective embrace of mothers and the oaths of physicians were enough to protect the unborn even in circumstances of scandal.
President Trump invited this year's celebration of life into the Rose Garden. He was surrounded by fathers, mothers and children invited to the White House. He sent a contemporaneous video of his remarks in the Garden to the marchers filling the National Mall.
"The March for Life," he said, "is a movement born out of love. You love your families, you love your neighbors, you love our nation and you love every child — born and unborn — because you believe every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God." He praised marchers "for offering friendship, mentorship and life itself to women in need of support."
"Because of you, tens of thousands of Americans have been born and reached their full God-given potential. Because of you," he said.
President Donald Trump who during his campaign was so unfairly lambasted by intellectual prolife leaders as "not one of us" was pitch perfect in his Rose Garden address. He articulated his defense of life not so much as a right but as a sacred gift from God--as a miracle. Gifts are not rights to be asserted but sacred goods to be protected. Only a culture of properly ordered protection can safeguard sacred goods in a world so besot with selfishness and evil. It was the President from Playboy who perfectly intertwined the loves for child, for nation and for God that animate this movement. The movement's theme was that Love saves Lives. Honest moral men have been shocked by our own King David. But they have missed what is truly childish and of the heart about the President --the infectious love of Donald Trump that is reorganizing American politics.
He organized his campaign around a love that had been forgotten amidst the squabbles between liberals and conservatives, the Republicans and Democrats, the media and party establishments. He stood as man who loved his father and family and above all loved his country as his father and brother and local minister had loved the country. He stood as a large man unafraid to speak in a city of hardened women given to intemperate speech and very small men choosing their words. They all shrunk in his presence. His appetites and ego were large-so was his love. He talked about love in his campaign more than any public figure since Martin Luther King. The rage and hysteria of the self important elite whose status ranking he upended is still burning. The big man from New York reminded the snarky prolife Senator from Texas that there are New Yorkers who were not media liberals but firemen and cops and construction workers and maids and janitors who saluted the flag rising over the rubble of the twin towers. He reminded the female news personality who got her job by her good looks that he wasn't kowtowing to her feigned moralism as a defender of all things female. He did all that before the general election and earned the hatred of a large part of the Fox news and neoconservative think tanks in those early primary battles. Citizen Trump did not present himself as a conservative. He reminded us of patriotic love, the grandeur of our flag and that nationalism is a form of love not hate. He helped us love again as the mobs shrieked at him that he was a hater. His supporters were spat upon and beaten while the media said he was inciting violence. He reminded us that our nation was dissolving and it is hard to love a body that loses its fundamental form. "No border, no country." It is a principal of life that every cell and cell membrane have upheld for the last 4 billion years. If there is no definable country boundaries and membership, then we cannot integrate the many hardworking immigrants already here who we need as fellow citizens. As part of the reparations for all those not allowed at our American table because of abortion, let us propose to President Trump an amnesty for honest workers and families to fill the chairs and places left empty by the feminist regime of abortion. Let Christians unite! The parties are dividing us from asserting our common religion and patriotism which will conquer racism. President Trump has always been willing to integrate the good hearted people here (like the Dreamers) if we sort out the criminals and truly wall off our borders from future illegal entry.
President Trump has inspired American men to love America as a nation again. A good deal of the hatred for Donald Trump is that he does not apologize for being a man. He is renewing the meaning of citizenship as a worker, protector and contributor. The media and elites have called him a racist for defending a patriotic brotherhood that included blacks from Georgia and Hispanics from Florida but had less to offer the white bureaucrats and journalists of the EU. If he was a racist, he would not propose an American nation animated by Christianity and limited by high border walls. Religion and shared territorial loyalty are solutions to racism not their cause. Look at the communion line in a Catholic Church on Sunday morning. Look in the stands of a pro football game on a Sunday afternoon. Donald Trump is evoking deep emotions... especially derision upon himself. It is his unabashed maleness not his whiteness that evokes such hatred.
Our people are awakening from the baby boomer rejection of the male duty to protect the nation and the female duty to protect her child. Performing those protective duties defined the maturation of sexual identity. Dishonoring those duties was a major part of the disastrous sexual revolution. The "vanishing adult" and the confusion of sexual identity are fruits of that bitter harvest. The fact that Donald Trump lived that revolution so exuberantly does not mean he cannot see that it must be repealed. He has come late but he has come to political life as a male protector of the nation.
A culture of life is a culture of protection. A culture of life is a culture of ordered sexual duties and ordered loves. The cultural challenge is developing masculine and feminine personalities that love and protect. Look around at the wimpy males and coarsened females. Behind their strange alliance, there lies a baby's corpse.
God's name, the flag of national brotherhood, the covered female body and the baby in the womb--all these are sacred goods. They must no longer be defiled. To safeguard the sacred, the masculine urge to protect and dominate must be rekindled. Meet such a matchstick, President Trump. The Christians in America who are now divided by party are brothers under God and the flag. The love of God, the mutual love of brothers regardless of color but defined by territory--let those loves come out of the closet and protect the sacred gift of life. The prolife movement is political but the classical political sensibility of protective citizenship is nationalist not Republican. Purity should be honored in our daughters not our legislation. Men must come together in compromise over policies because we are brothers in citizenship. When men unite as a national brotherhood of protectors, then the father, the policeman, the soldier, the manual laborer become the honored personalities over the black thugs and white pansies of Hollywood's Lala Land. When the virgin and mother are honored not scoffed at, their personalities will replace the foul mouthed careerist who covers up the worst domestic violence of all--abortion. Let us order our loves beginning with a renewal of public prayers to God our Father in thanksgiving for our gifts and in reparation for our sins. Let us greet and part from one another by saying "God bless." Let us ban "O My God!" and "Jesus Christ!" as everyday exclamations. Let us order our loves because love saves lives... on the nation's borders, in our nurseries and from the sacred heart of the Lord our God.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
POPE FRANCIS - HOW A VERY TRADITIONAL JESUIT APPROACHES REFORM: by Christopher Altieri. This is not an argument that Pope Francis has done serious reform yet or that he will be successful but it gives us a way to think about what his approach is and why.
THE POPE ON DIPLOMACY AND THE NEW RIGHTS OF 1968: Pope Francis see gender Ideology as "colonization". This excellent article talks about the new world order of globalization and autonomous rights that became ideology as baby boomers socialized in the ideology of 1968 came to rule the world of 1989. The multi-polar world after the collapse of the Soviet Union is the world of administrative superstates and autonomous individuals. Religion, nations, and even sexual identity are constructions too binding for the brave new world. The pope sees that. It is why diplomacy among nations is so much more central to him than the exhausted conservative vs liberal theology/morality debates that consume western Catholic scribes.
WHEN THE CHRISTIAN NANNY BAPTIZED THE DYING JEWISH BABY: The child Edgardo Mortara lived and was removed from his parents when they came to live in the Papal States (1858) and news of his Christian status was discovered. A review of the "kidnapped" child's memoirs. Fr Romanus Cessario O.P. writes a sympathetic review of the papal action. We have now found an "abomination" that Catholic university intellectuals will abhor. (Hint it isn't abortion which they politely oppose). Here is a much better argument against the Pope and Father Cessario. Nathaniel Peters bases his argument on natural law claims of the family. He also does a very good job of describing the muddled state of present Catholic thinking on the nature of the polity.
CHILE - PAPAL VISIT AND CLERICAL ABUSE: The recent papal visit to Chile (Jan 15-18 and Peru(Jan 18-21) bring us face to face with A very depressing story of the failure to govern.
At the center of charges of clergy sexual abuse in Chile is Fr Fernando Karadima. He was a dashing figure among Chile's elite and was a charismatic teacher and spiritual father to many young men who went on to high positions in government and the Church. The Chilean left has never forgiven a certain faction of Chilean Catholics for their roles in the downfall of elected socialist President Salvador Allende(1908-1973). The charges of homosexual abuse against Karadima are irrefutable. Bishop Juan Barros was a follower of Karadima and the priest secretary to Archbishop Juan Fransisco Fresno in 1984. Parishioners brought charges against Karadima in 1984 and they blame Barros as well as the Archbishop for dismissing their claims at the time. There is one accuser of Karadima who says Barros was physically present though not participating during his abuse. The Pope does not accept the charges against Bishop Juan Barros. He has said, "Bring me proof and we will talk." If charges are true the pope must act against Bishop Barros. If charges are "calumny" then the Pope must vigorously push back. This offends the "never blame the victim" mentality. The Pope knows the hard left of South America which will take any opportunity to mount vicious and violent attacks against the Church and her clerics. This is the life and death battleground in South America where a deeply corrupted clergy (with many good priests and bishops as well) is attacked by an atheist force that wants to destroy them all.
CATHOLIC SOCIOBIOLOGY AND THE CENTRALITY OF CHRIST: The essayist and fellow Inkling of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien was Owen Barfield. Here is an introduction.
THE REFUGEE BOAT TRIAL OF CHRISTIANS OVERBOARD: The story and the split verdict.
CHINA AND CHRISTIANITY: Catholics in Chinese history.
MONSIGNOR RONALD KNOX (1888-1957) SPOKE AT A RETREAT FOR PRIESTS - SOME QUOTES:
"And until a soul first looked out from human eyes, creation was only half finished. The play was there, the audience was wanting."
"The same Voice which spoke long ago and said, “Let there be light”, spoke again, and said, “Let there be a human soul”. You were, and are, as much God’s individual creature, as much the object of his unique regard, as if he had never made anything else. Nothingness gave up its prey, and you began to exist."
"But now creation had found a voice and a self-consciousness; through man, this great chorus of praise was to become articulate. Man, we say, is the priest of creation; composed of matter and spirit, he can offer to God, who is all Spirit, the gratitude of his material universe.
"Centuries later – we have no notion how many centuries later – God breathed into the face of man once more. “With that, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit; when you forgive men’s sins, they are forgiven, when you hold them bound, they are held bound.” With one breath God created the whole human family; with one breath God created the whole Christian priesthood. As man is among the beasts, so the priest is amongst men; for we have called man the priest of creation."
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
MCCAIN AND KRAMER OF MCCAIN INSTITUTE: A serious role as "Republican conduits of the dossier" to the intelligence agencies in the Obama White House to keep the Democrat taint off this. One group that very much feared a Trump presidency was Saudi Arabia - a major funder of both the McCain Institute and Clinton Foundation. Is it possible we will have a real discussion of the foreign country that has played the US like a fiddle since 9/11? The Saudis are right to fear a Trump presidency because once a new administration comes to understand the Saudi Wahhabi role in terrorism, the US alliance with them will be cut in the same way we are finally understanding Pakistan is not our ally in fighting Sunni jihadists in Afghanistan. Another narrative of the dossier and GPS.
A REGIME VS. A CIVILIZATION - IS AMERICA BEING PLAYED BY THE SAUDIS? Andrew Bacevich's brilliant insights are marred by his disdain for the President... but he articulates the contradictions of our alliance with the Saudis in a far more lucid fashion than we have recently heard.
THE NEOCONSERVATIVE MALE AND FEMALE POWER COUPLES THAT KEEP AMERICA AT WAR: An excellent review of the foundations and think tanks who have misled American foreign policy for decades. This is not who the Trump voters elected.
III. THE NATIONS & GLOBAL GEOPOLITICS
NEW "NATIONAL DEFENSE STRATEGY" SUMMARY DOCUMENT - RUSSIA AND CHINA, NOT TERRORISM, ARE NOW THE MAIN ENEMY: An eleven page document outlining America's national defense strategy was released on Friday. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, summarized the strategy by saying, "great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security." The great powers we have chosen to compete with: Russia and China.
A MEETING IN CANADA ABOUT KOREA - CHINA AND RUSSIA NOT INVITED: This configuration of countries talking about Korea seems a strange unwelcome blast from the past.
FROM FRANCE - SERIOUS WOMEN WHO ABHOR THE AMERICAN FEMINISM THEY SEE AS ANTI-MALE AND A PRESIDENT WHO IS PROUD OF BOTH HIS EUROPEAN AND FRENCH NATIONAL IDENTITY: French women speak against the "me too" movement. French president Macron is certainly much more compelling than Angela Merkel as a leader of Europe. A major distinction: He is proud of his nation. Ishaan Tharoor of the Washington Post reports on Macron in China. Tharoor does a lot of interesting reporting. His antipathy to President Trump consistently diminishes the work of a reporter who has a serious world map in his head. Here is a man of one nation speaking to the people of another great nation and civilization:
The first stop on French President Emmanuel Macron's trip to China this week was, curiously, not Beijing. Macron arrived in the central Chinese city of Xi'an, a town fabled for its imperial tomb filled with terra-cotta warriors as well as its role as the historic gateway to the Silk Road. The French president was deliberately pandering to China's sense of its past.PENNSYLVANIA, COAL, AND RARE EARTH MINERALS: An untapped resource?
“Our relationship is anchored in time, and in my opinion is based on civilization, in the sense that France and China are two countries with very different cultures but which both have a universal calling,” Macron told Chinese media. “They are two countries that have always been eager, across distances, to meet and recognize each other. It’s for all these reasons that I wanted to start my state visit in Xi’an — it’s a way to experience ancient China.”
GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER SIGMAR GABRIEL JAN 2018 INTERVIEW FROM ONLINE SPIEGEL. GERMAN NATIONAL PACIFISM AS AN APOLOGY FOR NAZISM. EUROPEAN IDENTITY AS A WAY TO ERASE ITS GUILT RIDDEN GERMAN IDENTITY.
DER SPIEGEL: Are you actually certain that the U.S. still feels bound to NATO's collective defense principles as outlined in Article 5 of the alliance treaty?
Gabriel: We are pleased that Donald Trump and the U.S. have affirmed Article 5, but we should not test that trust too much. At the same time, Europe could not defend itself without the U.S., even if European structures were strengthened.
DER SPIEGEL: How do you view Germany's role in the world today?
Gabriel: We are a place many dream about today in the way the U.S. was a place all those looking for freedom, prosperity and democracy dreamed about from the 18th to the 20th century.
DER SPIEGEL: Do you mean Germany specifically or are you referring to Europe as a whole?
Gabriel: Surely the European Union as a whole stands for these dreams. But Germany, especially, because of its economic strength. Also because of its pacifism. When you think back today to a time more than 70 years ago when we were a terrible place, a place people were afraid of, it is a wonderful development that we have gone from being a terrible place to a place that people dream of. ...The truth is that Moscow, Beijing and Washington have one thing in common: They don't value the European Union at all. They disregard it.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
THREE GREAT MOMENTS. THE THREE GREAT LOYALTIES - GOD, MARRIAGE, BROTHERHOOD: After the Viking "Minneapolis Miracle" Jan 14 playoff win: “That’s special,” Quarterback Case Keenum told Fox Sports’ Chris Myers about the 61 yard game-winning touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs as time expired . “That’s one of the most special times of my life.” “You ask me about this moment, what this moment has meant to me. It’s probably going to go down as the third best moment of my life behind giving my life to Jesus Christ and marrying my wife. And this is right there, close.”
CHARLES MURRAY: Here is brief autobiographical look back by America's most serious social scientist. He says "I missed the sixties". That's why the 75 year old is so clear about everything else. His latest book Coming Apart is a sociological explanation of the growing income and cultural separation in America. The first review linked is comprehensive but negative. This is more favorable.
SHELBY STEELE ON BLACK POWER, WHITE GUILT: ...and the failure of Black protest as the fallback black strategy in public life.
THE INTERNATIONAL LGBT CAMPAIGN IS NOT GOING WELL - IT WAS A CENTERPIECE OF OBAMA FOREIGN POLICY: Let us come back to sanity. How abortion and sodomy became the centerpieces of American human rights is a sad tale of decadence.
HOLLYWOOD AND FEMALE NUDITY: In an industry dedicated to the desacralization of sex and the stripping of the female body; sexual harassment seems a minor charge.
MODESTY AND CHARITY: Anthony Esolen on the public strategy of modesty.