Saturday, March 25, 2023

March 25: LADY DAY

[First published in 2015]

Some questions for Dr. David Pence on this Feast of the Annunciation:

If we had lived in England during the period between the 12th and 18th centuries, we'd be celebrating today as the beginning of the New Year, right? 
Yes, here we are, exactly nine months before Christmas. This is the day that Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit -- and the Word was made flesh.

Jesus Christ who has always existed as the Son of God is now, with the Virgin's "fiat," incarnated. He is begotten, not made. The human species has been welded to a Divine Person in the Trinity. The species now has an incarnated Head-a center of meaning and gravity that integrates humans in a Body that will incorporate us  forever in an interpersonal relationship of love.

Creation -- and specifically, the human species -- had reached its epitome!  (It will take about eight weeks for Baby Jesu in the womb to become half an inch in size.)

We need to have some rough figures in our head. Matter (the protons, neutrons, and electrons in all atoms) was created almost 14 billion years ago. The first life on earth—the first bacterial cell was imprinted by the Holy Spirit about 4 billion years ago.

The first parents of the human species were probably created around 150,000 years ago. But it is 2000 years ago that the fulcrum event of humanity occurred. This is the true Enlightenment: when God's plan becomes incarnate in a person. The Head takes form and the rest of history is us filling in His Body.  

Where is our species heading?

Our biological destiny is not to eventually produce some new successful mutant that will evolve into a higher form of life. Quite the contrary.

Our highest male and female forms have already appeared and the task before us is to now conform to them more perfectly. At the Annunciation the feminine form was so receptive, so attentive to the Spirit, so submissive to the will of God that her own flesh was incarnated by the Spirit begetting the Son. All of us, as males and females, are trying to bring our souls to that level of responsiveness to the Spirit and submission to the Father so we can play our roles.

You say that humans are a 'eusocial' species. What does that mean, and what does it have to do with Christianity?

Actually it has a lot  to do with the Body of Christ, the nature of the Eucharist, the meaning of the Church, and the analogical reality between the Trinity and the destiny of the human species. First, I must apologize that I have been unsuccessful in communicating this biological truth which is so clear to me in my head, but which I always fall short at explaining in print or during our conversations.

"Eusocial organism" is a descriptive term from sociobiology, which is the study of the social structure of animals. It's a kind of subset of the larger term ecology. You know how fish swim in schools and wolves run in packs with certain social roles. Well, there is a group of insects called eusocial insects in which the ties of sociobiology go way beyond the pack and herd structures of other animals. The eusocial insects tend to act as a single organism. Reproduction is highly restricted and (wonder of wonders) what distinguishes one sex from the other is not the presence of a sex chromosome (like the 'y' chromosome distinguishes human males from females), but one gender comes from fertilized eggs and the other are "virgin births." Unfertilized eggs become, for instance, male bees. The perfection of bees occurs in how they function as a single organism. The perfection of  human beings will be realized in how we participate as eusocial members of the Body of Christ.

Our alpha male whom we worship is of a virgin birth (parthenogenesis in biology). Our most basic sacrament binds us together by eating the flesh that makes us one Body. We are still persons but we are incorporated persons. In ecology there is another term called symbiosis: organisms living together in some deeply interrelated union. Let me just say these biological phenomena are deeply suggestive of the Trinity, and the interpersonal destiny of human beings in the Body of Christ.

On this feast day of the Incarnation we are celebrating the "engraftment" of the human species into the Second Person of the Trinity. It is true that God comes into the womb of the Virgin and develops, but this is just as Christ comes into us now as the food of the Eucharist. We are emerging as the eusocial organism which the human species was destined to be from the beginning. There are all sorts of physical lessons written in the book of nature which help us see how man's nature is so much more "plastic" (capable of being conformed) than the angels. Lucifer, to his great consternation, recognized what great things the Almighty had planned for His lowly ones.

What's the connection between the Greeks achieving their independence from the Turks, and the feast day we're celebrating?

Ever since the sack of Constantinople in 1453 (marking the demise of the Byzantine Empire's thousand-year run), Greece had been under the thumb of Muslim rule.

On this day in 1821, however, the war of Greek independence against the Ottoman Turks began when Bishop Germanos raised the flag of revolution over a monastery -- and 'Freedom or death' became the motto. The struggle took years but when all seemed lost, the British and the French and the Russians came to the aid of the Greeks. Finally in 1829, Greece became an independent state; and March 25th is their high holy celebration each year.

When you think of the Greek nation, it is fine to remember Pericles and the polis of Athens and Sparta. However, it is the height of ancestral impiety and religious amnesia to forget that the blood and arms that set the Greek nation free came in the name of Christ, not Socrates!

"Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness..."
              (Gospel of St Luke, chapter 1)

UPDATE: Take a look at this article on the Orthodox patriarch, and how the Russian believers celebrate the feast in Moscow's Cathedral of the Annunciation.

It will be a great American tragedy if we insist on blinding ourselves to the common Christian ties we have with the better and deeper part of Mother Russia.

A line from Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop:
"A life need not be cold, or devoid of grace in the worldly sense, if it were filled by Her who was all the graces; Virgin-daughter, Virgin-mother, girl of the people and Queen of Heaven: le rêve suprême de la chair  [the highest ideal of the flesh]."

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Solemnity of Saint Joseph: Husband, Protector, and Patriarch of Israel

[originally published March 19, 2015]

On March 19, 2013, the pontificate of Francis (the first non-European to sit in the Chair of Peter in 13 centuries) was inaugurated.  In his homily he accepted as his mission that of St. Joseph--to be custos: the protector. 

It is inspiring to read of his trust in Joseph, who taught our Lord what manliness and fatherhood looked like:
"... I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means: please pray to St Joseph for this problem."
Pope Francis went on to say: “In the Gospels, St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness... [Exercising the role of protector as St. Joseph did] means doing so discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand... [The bishop of Rome] must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people."

Joseph was the last patriarch of the Old Testament. He was the head of the household of the Lord. He is strong, virile, chaste and silent. He was the living link to King David and Bethlehem. He taught his son to love his country and he incorporated him in the Covenant rituals  of his countrymen.  He repeated the journey of the Israelites in and out of Egypt. He handed his son over on the eight day for the circumcision and naming. He took him to the temple on the 40th day and ransomed him from the death of the first born.  He saved the Virgin Mother and the Baby Savior from the murderer. He taught Our Lord the manual skills of the carpenter craftsman. He brought him to Jerusalem for the public feasts(and we are not sure he was as upset as Mary that Jesus stayed back to do some temple teaching at our Lord's own unique bar mitzvah).  Joseph is the patron of afternoon naps and a good night's sleep because that is when the angels gave him his orders. He is the patron of a good death because he was in the presence of Mary and Jesus when he died. God did not tempt him by keeping him alive for the Crucifixion of his son. We don't know what he might have done. He was not perfect. He would not have run away.       

UPDATE: Two other holy men who had a deep devotion to Joseph the Worker: Pope John XXIII (see his prayer); and Josemaría Escrivá (d. 1975), the Spaniard who founded Opus Dei. In 1955, Pope Pius XII responded to the Communist celebration of Mayday as International Workers Day by Christianizing labor with a May 1 Feast Day celebrating the carpenter craftsman - St Joseph the Worker. The Communist-Socialist holiday was in remembrance of the Chicago Haymarket Massacre in May, 1886.  

Father Escrivá wrote: "I don't agree with the traditional picture of St Joseph as an old man... I see him as a strong young man, perhaps a few years older than our Lady, but in the prime of his life and work."


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday: a few thoughts on Inquisitions and Penitentiaries

[first published March 3, 2014]
An interview with Dr. David Pence:

We've come round to another Ash Wednesday. Do you remember how Father Neuhaus [the late founder of First Things magazine] referred to the American bishops' response to sexual abuse as "The Long Lent of 2002"?

The American bishops and their fraternity of priests never had a long Lent or any Lent at all! Lent is confession of sins, repentance, reparation, and reform. There has been no real confessing of sins nor repentance nor judgment and punishment of any group of bishops or priests inflicted by churchmen on churchmen. Newspapers have exposed and courts have punished, but the Church herself has not acted to purify the priesthood by her own standards.
Eastern State Penitentiary, one of the prisons visited by Tocqueville in 1831

You contend that Church leaders have to use ecclesial institutions to punish priests who have offended. Why does it seem that nowadays if an evil priest hasn't been convicted in a criminal court, we shower him with "disability pay" and other perks?

Reform in a hierarchical Church comes from the Pope and bishops, but each in his own place. Diocesan reform will be initiated by a particular bishop who has a critical mass of priests with him ready to truly purify an existing diocesan prebytery. The reform of bishops will require another mechanism, but it will be more local and synodal than papal. Just like we need model saints who inspire all of us, bishops need a model bishop to clean not the whole world but a particular diocese. A bishop who wants to lead the bishops of his nation and the Church must put his net down right where he is -- and reform his local presbytery. The diocese will be the locus of the deepest reform.

All reform will start with a true aggressive investigation and assessment of priests. This can be carried out by a well-known Catholic instrument: the Promoter of Justice. This man must look much more like Eliot Ness searching for the trails of crime than an ACLU lawyer insisting on Miranda rights. This is what once was called an INQUISITION. An aggressive questioning in pursuit of real justice for the Church which means unfaithful, sacrilegious, and immoral priests are pursued, confronted, judged, and punished. Professor Mirus does a good job of explaining this in a recent column.

Offenses against the Creed, the Sacramental/Liturgical Order, and Morality are the standards by which bishops must purify the priesthood. These are sections of our Catechism. No court of law will uphold these standards. No secular newspaper will be outraged at a breach of these duties. The Church has a legal system and a demanding code of conduct. Pope Benedict, in an interview in 2010, talked about the role of punishment in church governance:
"The Archbishop of Dublin told me something very interesting about that. He said that ecclesiastical penal law functioned until the late 1950’s. Admittedly it was not perfect -- there is much to criticize about it -- but nevertheless it was applied. After the mid sixties, however, it was simply not applied anymore. The prevailing mentality was that the Church must not be a Church of laws but rather a Church of love; she must not punish. Thus the awareness that punishment can be an act of love ceased to exist. This led to an odd darkening of the mind, even in very good people. 
Today we have to learn all over again that love for the sinner and love for the person who has been harmed are correctly balanced if I punish the sinner in the form that is possible and appropriate. In this respect there was in the past a change of mentality, in which the law and the need for punishment were obscured. Ultimately this also narrowed the concept of love, which in fact is not just being nice and courteous, but is found in the truth. And another component of the truth is that I must punish the one who has sinned against real love."

A description of the liturgical rite of by which a bishop was degraded of his office.  Benedict XIV promulgated this ritual in 1862)

Explain your notion of how we provide for these priests according to canon law, while having them live a life of penance. And what is this about donning a distinctive cowl?

We hear that canon law requires that the local diocese must "provide" for all priests. "It's simply justice," they say. Well, fine... let's be serious. Get a building, and provide housing and simple food while requiring prayer and labor. They should wear a distinctive garb showing they are penitents, and special markers if they are sexual predators. This is meant as punishment. It is meant as reparation -- and if a priest will not comply -- then his disobedience is grounds for laicization. Criminal priests are exploiting their clerical state and playing on the interests of their superiors in preserving an employment entitlement program. The idea that these guys are on a voucher system which we owe them, is a sham perpetuated by clerics who see the priesthood as lifetime employment. This is how the previous vicar general, Fr. McDonough, sounds in most of his pronouncements on these questions -- he was an unholy blend of urban ward-heeler, union steward, and defense attorney.

No reform in any diocese could bolster the worldwide church more than instituting a real place of penance and public acknowledgement of betrayal by predator priests. This reform must be enacted by a local bishop; it cannot be a papal reform. The pope knows what we all know.  Local bishops must govern; and to govern is to punish when crimes are committed. Abbotts too. A place like St John’s Abbey [in Collegeville, Minnesota] should immediately require a clear and distinctive garb for all monks under restriction. St Benedict in his original Rule provided a multitude of ways to distinguish monks following the Rule and those being disciplined.

The Church did not sin. Men sinned, and individual men should do penance -- not Holy Mother Church, who Herself has been besmirched.

"Christ among the Doctors of the Law" (Paolo Caliari, 16th century)

What is your reaction to the comments of Fr. Kevin McDonough in this recent news story at MN Public Radio? How could the vicar general thoroughly delude himself that a pastor -- arrested separately for trolling for young men in a public park and in a bookstore -- posed no danger to the boys in his parish?

Father McDonough throughout his career has run interference for the huge homosexual subculture in the St Paul Seminary system and the local priesthood. This most notably included his homosexual priest brother who was teaching seminarians “the gift of gay celibacy” decades ago. It is an axiom in the Catholic gay subculture that homosexuals are no threat as pedophiles. (It was a corollary that they made better priests because of their sensitivity and non-interest in football, war, or any male group effort to organize the protective use of force). That is why McDonough remains so adamant to this day that "there was no evidence Curtis Wehmeyer was a threat to children." For Father McDonough, stubbornly not "outing" the homosexual proclivities of a predator took precedence over protecting young males.

The corrupting role of an influential secretive "gay subculture" in a priesthood -- whose most fundamental oath is tied to a purity code -- is the story that the vicar general kept hidden for decades, and that our secular newspapers still can't quite figure out how to tell. The Church will properly practice Lent when a bishop takes his priests behind closed doors as individuals and as a group, and institutes a program of priestly purification which must include aggressive questioning (call that the Inquisition) and just punishment for the sins of omission and commission which have corrupted the fraternity (call that the Penitentiary). We could call that a good Catholic Lent.

If a Catholic is completely fed up with the decadent rot of the Petrine face of the Church -- almost tempted to flee -- how should he fight that?  

He must focus on that reality of the Church which has never sinned. The Marian Church is still pure. The Church herself has been defaced and dragged through the mud, but still she is holy. Churchmen have sinned, not the Church. Ponder the heart of Mother Church. Do what the devout women did during the 1970s: they kept alive the adoration of the Eucharist while trendy seminarians ridiculed the “wafer worshipers." The spotless Church and her corrupted priesthood has the Eucharist; and we must eat to live.

The Church has the Spirit, and He will reform the Church. The Ark has a noxious stench, and a lot of the present crew are cowards or worse, but we can’t jump the Ark. It was built at too high a price. Look outside before you jump; the Flood waters are even worse.

February 22: The Feast of the Chair of Peter. Pope Francis and the leadership lessons of Lincoln

Chair of St Peter. A wooden chair given to a Pope by an Emperor in 875 AD. Gilded in bronze in 1647. 

On the birthday of America's founding patriarch (see Feb 22 below), the Church dedicates a Feast Day to celebrate a Chair given as a gift from an Emperor to a Pope.  We are meant to contemplate this symbol of authority and the Petrine office. Community demands Authority. Pope John Paul II asked all Christians to  suggest how this office should be lived to bring Christian Unity. Pope Francis has called together all the heads of Bishop Conferences and heads of religious orders to a summit in Rome "to listen to the cries of the little ones." A major theme of the Pope for episcopal and priestly reform is the necessity of synodal governance of the Church.(His address on 50th anniversary of Bishop Synods)  He called the February 2019 gathering to show the Church in a synodal form addressing abuse of minors. He is at all times keeping in mind the bishops of the Orthodox tradition and the need for unity with them so the Church can "breathe with two lungs". He has strongly resisted the American desire to insert lay people into Church governance. He has called the Apostles together to confront the pain of the victims and assert their every bishop and bishop's conference must go back to their home territories and show mercy by ruling justly. His gathering of the leaders is to insure that the sins of some do not diminish the authority of the Apostolic whole. His war against clericalism is not a war against the sacral Apostolic character of priestly identity. Unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis has shown any individual can be stripped of his rank to purify the priestly bond. The dramatic reduction of Theodore McCarrick the big spending, high flying American to the lay state is a vivid reminder that the old days of gentle whispers are over. The communal whole is greater than the wealthy maverick.

In this conference he is pointedly not addressing  homosexuality in the priesthood as a root cause of the crisis. This does not mean other bishops and free flowing press conferences cannot forcefully make the connections. Rather the Pope is mustering the authorities in the ecclesial form of the corporate brotherhood in prayer and parrhesia(fearless speech).  This is the antidote to the lobbyists, the magnified little men behind the curtains of media, the secret intriguers who fill the chanceries and Curia, the "homosexual parish" that shapes Catholic clericalism. He draws bishops together as he expects them to assemble their priests---in public, face-to-face, man-to-man encounters of fraternity under the Father. He has always emphasized that in synodal gatherings the bishops meet with (cum) the Pope and under (sub) the Pope. The problem with the Church is not an all male clergy. It is an emasculated clergy that has lost its sacral identity as a fraternity of fathers.

 Pope Francis knows the clerical rot is deep and he will need many new men and groups of men rising within the  diocesan and national gatherings of the ordained. He sees the synod in the Church the way he sees fraternity among the world religions and the nations. Fatherhood and brotherhood are the antidotes to spiritual incest. These are built in the many communal forms of the priesthood and episcopacy.  The Holy Father always starts with the whole before the part. He has written about this for decades (see The Mind of Pope Francis) 

President Abraham Lincoln faced the division of the American nation as he assumed the Presidency in 1860. Slavery was the fundamental sin which could not be reconciled with the Declaration of Independence though it was allowed in the Constitution. Many abolitionists demanded he build his campaign and Presidency on condemning the evil of slavery. But Lincoln understood he must hold together the Union or he would never have the authority to end slavery. He built his Presidency and  his Second Inaugural on expanding the civic brotherhood upon which the nation was founded.   The Pope is acting like Lincoln and many of us critics (self included) are playing the abolitionist. We should pause to see the whole and respect the Chair. ( There may be a lesson from the world of motorcycling explained in Matthew Crawford's book on The World Outside Your Head. He says when you are walking, you keep your eyes on a hazard ahead to avoid it. But if you are on a high speed motorcycle you must deliberately keep your focus on the clear road ahead not the hazard. )From the beginning of his papacy the Pope has said he will not focus on "contraception, gay marriage and abortion". He is not an individual writing a blog entry.  He is on a very fast and dangerous motorcycle, directing a global Church. His vision and words must inspire millions of poor fathers trying to find work in the megacities before placating hundreds of western elites debating their abominable perversions.

Another Man who understood the Authority of His Chair

All those who have taken this crisis as an opportunity to strike at the liturgy of the Novus Ordo, the validity of the Second Vatican Council, and the papacy of Pope Francis should consider the whole. They are in very dangerous waters playing the Accuser in trying to discredit the true agents of the Holy Spirit. They do the Accuser's work more efficiently than enemies who display no veneer of "faithful Catholics' to fool the faithful. They recoil with righteous indignation when they and their fraudulent clerical heroes (Vigano and Burke) are exposed for helping the Serpent who wants a headless Church. Those two same Chief Pharisees were quick to accuse the women in adultery after the Papal Amoris document but were not so authoritarian as they let two notorious homosexual bishops (Nienstedt and Apuron) slip through their perfumed hands of mercy. So stringent with the lady in the back pew with her kids; so gentle and accompanying with the predator clerics. Those polluted priests have done much more to desacralize the Eucharist from the priest side of the altar than any lady reaching through the crowd to touch Christ's garment. As Pope Francis says, there is something of the Black Mass with the predator priests. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." It is not the Novus Ordo that desacralizes the Mass. That is another smokescreen from diabolos. It is the Nienstedts and Apurons and McCarricks and Spellmans. It is not the sins of the laity which threaten our liturgical life--it is the priestly pollution.
The "traddies" and "resistance" should be mindful. Their momentary  media bubble is a glass house built on sand. As the traffic generated by their hysteria recedes, they will have time to remember the first rule of regicide. Be sure you kill the  king, if you are going to shoot at him.
For those of us who want to help the Father clean the filth we must reassert the whole with Pope Francis.  Vatican II is "rereading of the Gospels in a concrete historical situation." The event of Vatican II and especially the liturgical reform is the biblical answer to modernity not the fruit of modernism.  The renewed Church of Vatican II will be composed of synodal brotherhoods not the hidden clerical cliques of chancery, Curia, and "the lavender parish".

 One principal storyline of the Francis papacy is restoring the Papacy  as Shepherd-Ruler after the papacies of the philosopher-prophet and the theologian-priest. The journey Pope Francis is walking with us cannot be interrupted for you tube monologues contrasting two American queens like Raymond Burke and James Martin. We must think much bigger to think with Francis who is not the provincial that American neoconservatives label him.

It is not only the Church but the nations which constitute Christendom and humanity. Pope Francis understands the Church must go 'to the periphery" to baptize the nations or the Church forfeits her mission. Pope Francis is calling together the Apostolic Church as a Synodal fraternity to reform herself and function as a template for humanity. He is leading the biblical People of God amidst the nations. He is showing us the public fruits of Vatican Two are still maturing while the twisted fruits of hidden clericalism are rotting.  Following the true Spirit of the Second Vatican Council, he has initiated his unique diplomacy of fraternity to Confucian China and Islam. He answered the beheading of the Coptic martyrs on the shores of the Mediterranean with public Mass on the sands of Arabia. Synodal brotherhood in the Church and fraternity amidst the religions and nations of mankind may just be the wholistic approach that will best isolate the lavender Judas in the Vatican and the  salafist Cain in Mecca. Let us pray for Our Holy Father on this feast day and honor that Holy Chair.  He has a large plan and we can all agree he has not yet  found his General Grant.  

Monday, February 20, 2023

President George Washington: All Praise the Patriarch

by David Pence

This Monday’s federal holiday officially commemorates the birthday of our first president George Washington (b. Feb 22, 1732). In many states this is called Presidents Day and is meant to both commemorate the men who were presidents and honor the office which they held. In five states (including our own Minnesota) those February Presidents Lincoln and Washington are the special objects of our civic honor.

Patriarchy means rule of the father. A patriarch can also refer especially to the beginning father or the founding father. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) are called the patriarchs of Judaism. Christianity is deeply patriarchal with the model prayer taught by Jesus petitioning that  God our Father will extend His rule in heaven over all the earth. Americans have always referred to Washington as a founding father, and our most affectionate name for Lincoln came from the black tradition: 'Father Abraham.'

We honor George Washington today (Read this AOA profile as your civic duty for the holiday)  for leading our first national army to victory in winning independence from the British, for acting 8 years as our first president under the 1787 Constitution, and for giving up the office of authority establishing a tradition of peaceful succession for the commander-in-chief of the military. "First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." In Washington’s farewell address to his troops, he prayed that the brotherly bonds of affection forged in war would animate the bonds of citizenship in the new republic. Men who believed in republics rather than monarchy still believed in authority, fatherhood, and God. They knew that men in protective and productive civic groups needed strong leaders with considerable discretion to act for the group. As Washington wrote:

"It is impossible to govern the world without God. It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and humbly implore his protection and favor."

There is in our land a hatred of the father and a rebellion against authority which destroys community. It is a repudiation of God the Father and disrespect for authority figures from the local policeman to the President. Abraham Lincoln in one of his first public speeches as a young man to the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield decried the mobs and hate and violence that were infecting public life and replacing the civic bonds of affection that come from men living under God and the Law together. (See Matthew Holland’s Bonds of Affection describing the twofold love of American civic life.) President Trump reminded us in his inaugural that the loyalty of patriotism by its very nature deepens the loyalty of Americans to one another. (AOA on our current President)

There can be no community if there is no authority and respect for law. The baby boomers were wrong and that disastrous party is now over. The adolescent death yelp we are hearing across the nation is a primal recognition that a certain kind of partying is coming to an end. There can be no civic peace in our cities unless there is a renewal of fatherhood in our families. But we do not have to wait a generation for the  spiritual renewal of marriage and good dads. There are city fathers in blue patrolling every city in America. A great blessing of American civic life is the republican tradition of local universal male protective duty expressed in the militia tradition and policing as a local responsibility. The local male citizens in every city, town and county can offer to young males the identity and status which comes from taking up our shared duty of protection. This is the classic definition of that much abused form of male bonding-politics. 

If the criminals are getting the upper hand in certain neighborhoods, then there are American fathers garbed in blue who can come in and take care of our spiritual widows and orphans. Politics is the communal strategy of making fatherhood available to all young males in the territory.  The anti-political forces are a strange combination of brutish predators, violence prone adolescent anarchists,  and effeminate careerists. They all would undermine a civic presence of masculine protectors. Patriarchy and fraternity are not the problems -- they are the solution. Fathers know we need a brotherhood of fathers to protect a nation or a city. We know fatherhood and duty are not based on color but they are entirely dependent on gender. We know the household is not safe if the city is not strong. The great Presidents and Patriarchs called men and their sons into a common identity as American citizens.  The founding fathers who shaped the initial bond of American citizenship and the brave men who secured that Union under Lincoln have bequeathed to American men of every color a template for civic brotherhood under the Fatherhood of God.  

Let us build our country. Let us thank our God. Let us teach our sons. Let us honor our fathers.