by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
SALAFISM IN LEBANON: THE NEXT BATTLEFIELD
One of the better speakers in Washington policy circles about the religious roots of the Mideast crisis is a professor from Florida Atlantic University. Robert Rabil was raised a Maronite Christian from Lebanon. He sees Salafist Sunnis as the next great danger to Lebanon, and for years has been explaining the religious nature of the conflict. Many ears still can't hear him. Here is a short interview with Rabil, and here is his recent article: Why America need beware of Saudi Wahhabism.
I talked to him recently for about thirty minutes. He is Maronite who says the "foot soldiers" attacking Lebanon are going to be Salafist Sunnis. He is a big-hearted man and will be going back to Lebanon at some risk in order to interview Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He thinks these places will be breeding grounds for Salafists. Here is an excellent talk on his book on Lebanon and Salafism. He thinks the best combination of Sunni states to liberate the territory of ISIS would be Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey. Several times he described the fundamental conflict as "the great crisis in Sunni Islam."
CATHOLIC CHURCH EMPLOYEES
The "married" homosexual VP of Catholic Relief Services (who finally resigned) defended his status by noting that the agency works in close collaboration with the United States Conference of Bishops. That, of course, is exactly the point. Under the influence of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, and Cardinal Roger Mahony, Catholic bishops and chanceries made peace with its lopsided membership of homosexual priests and bishops. This is the great unspoken dirty secret of the our Catholic hierarchy. For fifty years the Church in employment and ordination practices has been more than welcoming to male homosexuals. In fact, in the era of these three bishops it would be entirely accurate to say the American Catholic priesthood was dominated by a covert homosexual agenda. This well-known "secret" among a thousand inner circles was not shared with the general laity who were deemed too immature to handle the compromised nature of the inner brotherhood of the Church. This reality is less dominant today but still palpably present and regrettably unreformed.
INSIDE SAUDI ARABIA
The narrowing of the usually widely distributed clan authority of the ruling Saud family has led to the rise of a young prince who played a large role in the bombing campaign against the Shia of Yemen.