Wednesday, August 3, 2016

To protect Europe, build the FRATERNITY of armed nations

[All eyes are on Europe, with its immigration problems and frequent jihadist bloodshed.

Pierre Manent's comment on his countrymen: "The French are exhausted, but they are first of all perplexed, lost. Things were not supposed to happen this way..."

When the First World War broke out, Europe contained a quarter of the world's population. Today it's roughly 1 out of 9. The largest countries are:

GERMANY - 82 million
U.K. - 66 million
FRANCE - 64 million
ITALY - 61 million
SPAIN - 47 million
POLAND - 39 million

Here is an interview with David Pence on his view of the situation.]

After the elderly priest was murdered at the church altar in Normandy, the British writer Austen Ivereigh commented that "violence has no part in God’s plan; it is no-thing; it is absurd." 
What is he talking about? The D-Day invasion against the Nazis; policemen and soldiers shooting at terrorists... these actions are absurd? Violence has an important part in God's plan.

Dr. Pence: Mr. Ivereigh and Robert Barron (one of the bishops out in L.A.) are both deeply unbiblical in trying to explain Christianity as a nonviolence project. It simply ain't so! They have turned non-violence into a principle of not fighting, rather than a spiritual way of engaging the oppressor. This deprives non-violence of its true confrontational spiritual component -- they speak a very different language than Gandhi or Martin Luther King. And, of course, Ghandi and King were dealing with 20th century English magistrates and American officials who believed in law and public opinion. Their movements would not have worked in Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, or Comanche country in 18th century Texas. Non violence is a modern movement of the Spirit. It evokes little biblical resonance. When the Israelites took the Promised Land they forcibly ejected all the residing peoples. Saul was deposed from the throne because he disobeyed God in not carrying out a complete enough destruction of a city. Aaron’s Levitical priesthood was founded on a slaughter of "friend, kinsman, and neighbor" who worshipped the Golden Calf against G-d. The greatest Old Testament prophet, Elijah, after humiliating the 450 priests of Baal told the people to capture them all and then executed them. Christ sheathed Peter’s sword because he was going to conquer death and the devil, not because He didn’t believe in conquering. It is hard not to notice that the Catholic clergy which has failed so miserably as a brotherhood of protective fathers in expelling their own homosexual predators seems similarly limp in building protective culture for persecuted Christians in Africa and the Mideast.

I have to add that other Catholics who label all of Islam as violent by nature (as opposed to Christianity?) and desirous of worldwide spread (as opposed to Christianity?) are not clarifying the conversation. We need to discuss predation and protection, not violence and non-violence. We are facing a demonic force within Islam; and we need Muslims who seek to do the will of God to join Christians and our national armed forces to militarily defeat Satan’s jihad. We are not contrasting ourselves with them by saying we reject the sword. We don’t. We reject Satan. This movement is not of God and thus we can agree -- it is not Islam ('submission' to the Will of God). At the same time this movement wears the garments of Islam, abides in the holy cities of Islam, and shelters and propagates the Wahhabi ideology from those sites. This is an uniquely Islamic problem. I would go further and say it is uniquely a Sunni issue. We need the Sunni Islamic nations to militarily condemn and fight the Salafists -- this begins with Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and Turkey.

It seems like there is much confusion among Catholics about the very different duties of priests and laymen. When the Archbishop of Rouen, in France, commented that the Church "has no other arms besides prayer and fraternity between men" -- how should we as laymen take that?

DP: Well, first we must appreciate the role of the priests who are always the champions of humanity as a whole. We need them to speak as priests calling the whole species into the Body of Christ. They are speaking in a different voice than laymen. We need their voice of unity as we enter into conflict, and we will need it as we seek peace after a bitter struggle. Laymen, however, must speak as temporal rulers responsible for the protection of the innocent and charged with the duty of disabling or slaying the evil ones. When we talk of fraternity we mean joining with other men in providing protection and order in some defined territory. Masculine fraternity has boundaries and a mission to protect and provide.

Peter has sheathed his sword -- but King Arthur must assemble the knights. Fraternity among men is not a flowery wish for all mankind. Fraternity among men is a call to political order -- one nation at a time; one protective union at a time. France needs to call all its men in muster. Who are citizens? Who will fight for the whole of the people? They need to sort out the men of their country into citizens, enemies, and simple inhabitants. There is fraternity in Europe. Those sacred fraternities have names: France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, and Germany.

Arthur's Round Table

The protective role of male citizens is the covenantal bond which binds countrymen in fraternity. France’s republic was one of the first nations to define a universalistic masculine citizenship that way. The masculine bond of citizenship is as real and as specific in shaping a local patriotic public as the marital bond is in making sexual love particular and real for a given couple. The couple shares their rings, the male groups share their flag.

Satan hates the Mass and holy nations in the same way that he hates holy matrimony. Our public life constituted by our masculine civic bonds has broken down. In many areas of the world, such bonds have never existed. Christianity begot the republican movement which kept extending the radius of male citizenship within the nation. This led to universal male suffrage as all men were invited into the citizen bond regardless of property or racial or religious considerations. To make the bond real, though, there was a territorial definition of the covenant. Fraternity is not a throw-away word -- it is the essential protective bond of politics and citizenship. Masculine public bonds of love have a protective function. When carrying out that public duty is not part of the masculine public persona then men become clowns or a crowd of consumers, not citizens and a body politic. Fraternity cannot be formless -- it is an ordering of public love; when one is in the presence of real civic brothers, the sense of public solidarity and safety for all present is palpable. The Catholic clergy is a well-ordered universal brotherhood manifested locally in well-defined territorial dioceses. Christendom has bequeathed laymen in Europe with an orderly pattern of national histories and institutions. Laymen must awaken to their public duties and identities. The archbishop was right. Along with prayer, fraternity really is the only Christian response to crime and slaughter.

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