Saturday, January 27, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 27

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch



The eleven page summary of the 2018 US Defense Strategy signed by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is a blueprint for a globalist military policy. (This costs $620 billion a year for 800 bases in 70 countries. We spend three times the next largest spender China and as much as the combined spending of China and the next top seven defense spenders.) President Trump filled his administration with military men of high character, proven competence under fire and unquestioned loyalty to America. Given the rabid, disloyal and threatening opposition to him in the State and Justice Departments as well as the FBI and National Security Agency, he was very prudent to surround himself with patriotic soldiers. Unfortunately, all of these soldiers especially Secretary Mattis share a  "globalist" strategic worldview. Almost all of our military's intellectual and strategic training has pictured a world in which the US as a global superpower would organize coalitions in different regions to prevent the largest power of the area from "regional hegemony". This has led to what we call "the three encirclements": against Russia by NATO members in Europe; against China by an East Pacific (expanding to Indopacific?) coalition; and against Iran (82 mill pop) by Gulf Sunni States and Israel.

In the words of General Mattis:

The dangers: "China is a strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea. Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors. As well, North Korea’s outlaw actions and reckless rhetoric continue despite United Nation’s censure and sanctions. Iran continues to sow violence and remains the most significant challenge to Middle East stability." The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers. It is increasingly clear that China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions. Rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran are destabilizing regions through their pursuit of nuclear weapons and increased sponsorship of terrorism."

A non-inspiring globalist litany of what we fight for: "Failure to meet our defense objectives will result in decreasing U.S. global influence, eroding cohesion among allies and partners, and reduced access to markets that will contribute to a decline in our prosperity and standard of living."

There will be no nationalist agenda in foreign policy until the American nation and our President control the government. President Trump's nationalist foreign policy has barely been formulated as he works to gain control of the actual police apparatus of government that was set against him in the late campaign and after his election victory. For this he needs to keep the present military team around him. Loyalty, courage, level headedness, and institutional patriotism come before all.
The President brings a very different approach to the large nations in the post cold war environment.  President Trump wants to treat Russia as a great nation, a great civilization, with Vladimir Putin as its leader. The President, Jared Kushner, and Henry Kissinger want the same approach toward China and Xi Jinping. His Russian approach is not shared by Vice President Pence nor UN Representative Nikki Haley.  Both of those ex governors have adopted the anti-Russia, anti-Iran line of "hardline Republican realists." The President's openness to China despite his tough trade rhetoric was vigorously opposed by Steve Bannon and almost all Republican hardliners. The President's ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman Jr. is one of the few high level Republicans who gets the new paradigm.
A nationalist strategy toward Israel means first and foremost maintaining the defensible territorial borders which Israel won in in the 1967 Six-Day War.  The President and Vice President are strongly committed to the territorial national integrity of Israel. Their emphasis treats Jerusalem as the capital of a spiritual nation and will eventually put the two-state fantasy to rest. Unfortunately there is no one to make a nationalist argument for the Iranian nation and the Persian/ Islamic civilization it represents. The inability of President Trump to understand that Persian Shiites have established their own legitimate religious expression of national life could become his Achilles heel.

There is no mention in the Strategy Document of the coalition or strategy shaping our fight in Afghanistan. We need other actors to bring peace there and that includes their near borders Iran and Pakistan as well as three strategic perimeter nations-China, India and Russia. There is nothing in the document about the jihadist Sunni movement of Salafism in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Access to global markets and prosperity have a central place. The globalist mentality still sets the vocabulary. . The role of religion in shaping national behavior and the civilizational roles of dominant regional nations seem absent from this conventional inadequate analysis.

We have not seen a real understanding of the religious nature of Salafist terrorism nor a truly  nationalist policy toward Russia and China. A nationalist policy understands other nations in terms of their own "The nation first" perspective. We won't really see "Trump be Trump" and the full implications of a new nationalist foreign policy until the elected president controls his own government. It turns out it takes more than an election. The mass hysteria of the coastal elites allowed an atmosphere of treasonous betrayal by high officials in the name of "saving democracy from the white racist tyrant". This drama must unfold before President Trump will be free to make new alliances with former adversaries like Russia and China.  The Mattis document could have come from fifty signatories of the foreign policy think tanks who so deeply opposed the president in the campaign and still do today.  And yet it is men like Mattis who are most needed at the President's side in these dangerous days.


THE POPE INTERVIEW COMING HOME FROM CHILE AND PERUThe text of papal interview distinguishing proof and evidence. Here is Juan Carlos Cruz - a witness against Bishop Barros. Saying his word is not proof but certainly evidence.

CIVILIZATION AND CHRISTIANITY: From graduate student Paul Krause at Crisis:
Christians, in this civilizational struggle, need to be awakened from their slumber, moral malaise, and decades of being driven into oblivion by political elites who are destroying the spatial revolution from which 2,000 years of Christian fertility has nurtured and guided Western man. Like Frederick Barbarossa entombed at Kyffhäuser waiting to be awakened, so too is the body of Christ waiting to be awakened from its long slumber and retreat. Politics is about how to organize a body, and religion—but especially Christianity—is also about how to organize a body. Christianity is political because man, as Aristotle knew, is a political animal. The abdication of political responsibility by Christians is the great tragedy of our age.
Another article by Krause on love of country. If he is a new kind of university intellectual, we have to reassess our prejudices.

JUDAISM CHRISTIANITY AND THE CONSERVATIVE ALLIANCE: Rabbi Meir Soloveichik and Gary Bauer in video of their talks. The rabbi quotes his 19th century ancestor saying the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau in brotherhood is now the paradigm for Jews and Christians. The rabbi quotes Rabbi Soltoveitchik that dogma not be discussed between Christians and Jews. However the union of Christians and Jews finds each other in the use of a moral language grounded in the sacred. It is a language rejected by the secular elite (and the secular elite is over-represented by Jews). Rabbi Soloveichik argues that the Evangelicals have become the new canary in the American calming. Gary Bauer sees Judaeo-Christian alliance as the heart of the West. He sees Russia and China as enemies as well as "rogue nations". America he says is based on the Torah and New Testament which would regulate the passions of men to allow self governance. The Torah and New Testament are the basis of the second paragraph of the Declaration that acknowledge "truths" and a "Creator".

EVOLUTION AND CHRISTIANITY: An excellent discussion. The author is capable of a good look at biology and metaphysics. And from Darwin himself:
"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes (that is, the ones which look most like the savages in structure) … will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope … the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla."
CHINA AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH: One view is that the underground faithful church is being sold out. Another view is that there is no fundamental conflict between a Chinese nation and a Catholic Church and the Chinese are best served by an accord between them. The Chinese government is very aware of the "Christian civil war - the Taiping Rebellion" of the 19th century that cost 20 million lives. They are also aware that Marxism is not a sustainable worldview for the nation's future. Christianity may be. A report on attempts to settle the "bishop problem".

FR. GEORGE RUTLER ON CHURCHMEN WITHOUT CHESTS: In his Idea of a University, Newman wrote:
In his Idea of a University, Newman wrote: "Neither Livy, nor Tacitus, nor Terence, nor Seneca, nor Pliny, nor Quintillian, is an adequate spokesman for the Imperial City. They write Latin; Cicero writes Roman.” The Church needs a Roman vigor that persuades men to rise above self-consciousness. An English bishop reflected: “Wherever St. Paul went, there was a riot. Wherever I go, they serve tea.” In spiritual combat, there is no teatime, and effective strategies cannot be plotted at conferences, synods, workshops, and costly conventions at resort hotels with multiple “break-out” sessions and mellow music. One fears that a fly on the wall at any of those conversations would drop to the floor out of boredom. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8)
GUY BENSON - CHRISTIAN, AMERICAN, CONSERVATIVE, AND GAY--YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT? His Prager University video is articulate. He defines himself by "his ideas". He says leftists define people by gender, race, sexual orientation and other immutable characteristics. He is a good man to talk to about how wrong his theology, metaphysics, and anthropology is. There is a disturbing group of "conservatives" who say they are against "identity politics." But what does that mean? Let's all be disembodied intellectuals? Check your bodies and your country at the door? I consider my gender and territorial living place to be immutable determinants of my political identity as an American male citizen with a set of unchosen obligations and duties that stem directly from that identity. Mr. Benson seems calm, reasonable and a poster boy for conservatism as "ideas". He is very confused.


US IN SYRIA: A clash with Turkey coming? Will US troops be a new buffer between Israel and Syria as well? Syrian Policy outlined by Secretary of State Tillerson at Stanford includes ridding Syria of Assad and stopping "Iranian influence".

ALLIANCES AND AMERICAN TROOPS AS TRIPWIRES: The dangers of entangling alliances and a historical review of American commitments in Europe.

CHINA, KUSHNER, AND CARRYING OUT A NEW POLICY TOWARD CHINA: Jared Kushner ready to treat China as nation and great civilization not an enemy. More insight into China - the proud nation and ancient civilization from interview with Chinese director Wu Jing of the most popular movie in China - Wolf Warrior Two. Making China Great Again.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dominance Hierarchy, Jordan Peterson, and Catholic Sociobiology

Jordan Peterson (b. 1962), a Canadian clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has built a huge internet presence by filming his interviews and classes about gender, status, suffering, and the meaning of life.

He doesn't participate in weekly liturgical worship (yet), but he explains the phenomenon of Christ and meaning of Christianity at a deeper level than most of our current Christian clergy. He achieved notoriety by refusing to use the myriad of new pronouns that his gender-confused adolescents and older bureaucrats were demanding at his university. He used the spotlight of his fifteen minutes of fame to deepen the conversation.

As a true teacher, he has begun an extended conversation with mostly young men about how to "stiffen the spine and take one's place in the dominance hierarchy" to give meaning to existence. He observes and concludes that existence is best described as Suffering. He describes most modern movements, especially feminism and gender ideology, as "a rebellion against the structure of reality." This is very similar to Pope Francis who treats gender ideology as an anti-ecological rebellion against nature. Dr. Peterson is comfortable in the literary world of Dostoevsky and Nietzsche, and conversant with clinical studies on addiction, attentiveness, memory, sensory screening, and status signaling. He stiffened his spine and took his place as a teacher of meaning in a world of sexual anarchy and intellectual chaos.  He has a profound almost metaphysical understanding that men are called to be heroes in the struggle for order in a chaotic world.  Finally, a psychologist who believes in the soul and its larger end!

Here is a profile and a few interesting interviews. Start at 53 minutes to discuss his new book entitled 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. (Here is AOA review of book).  Feminist bad girl Camille Paglia and Peterson mostly agree on postmodernism. Joe Rogan with Professor Peterson: long radio interview with an irreverent male. Their language is offensively obscene, but Peterson and Rogan reach young males that Christian professors have forgotten.

Professor Peterson surprisingly is quite careless with the name of God and Jesus Christ. He does not yet understand how liturgical worship is the fundamental act of "taking one's place in the dominance hierarchy.'  One rule in the Jewish formulation of the hierarchical order is "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy G-d in vain." The Christians say it this way: "At the Name of Jesus, every head shall bow and every knee shall bend to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord." Indeed long before the good professor was defending the proper use of pronouns, serious Christians knew that an assault on the male pronoun as an inclusive representative of all people was an assault on Christ's role as the new Adam -- the representational man for all of humanity.

I think we can be quite hopeful that as Dr. Peterson comes to understand the Christian narrative he will take his place as a worshiping actor in the Drama. Understanding Mircea Eliade and Rudolph Otto on the nature of religion, and reading Phillip Rief on the relationship of prohibitions to sacredness would be helpful next steps. (Peterson, Jung and Freud--good essay)

The universe is a dangerous place indeed: violent, dangerous, dissipating and full of suffering. There is an interpersonal dominance hierarchy that preceded this law-abiding, but treacherous physical universe. It is the Trinity. Human beings are allowed a place (our true and ultimate status) within this Trinity incorporated in the interpersonal union of the Body of Christ. There was an angelic creature who rebelled against this structure of reality before the physical world was made. He still seeks the ruin of souls upon this earthly stage of the great narrative. He has been a Liar and a Murderer from the beginning. While the physical universe was created some 14 billion years ago, humans have been here for only a 100,000 to a million years. In the beginning we were in a properly ordered love relationship with our Creator. But our first parents rebelled and humanity was cast asunder. The first son of the fallen couple murdered his younger brother out of envy. A people were elected by God to be a sign for all humanity. From the tree of Israel came their most perfect fruit: the virgin mother. She gave birth to God-made-man.

The alpha male of humanity and the Messiah of the elected people convoked an apostolic fraternity to constitute a new people who would no longer be set aside from the nations but would baptize them in a new Mission. The Christian Church would explain the narrative of the world... and what Good News it is! The patriarchal fraternity was given the power of the Spirit to sacramentally incorporate humanity into Christ's filial act of obedience in the liturgy of the Mass. The Apostolic Church is integrating all of humanity into the Body of Christ to live forever within the three-Personed God, and to evict the Evil One in the final separation. We all have a role and place in this drama. To be in the state of grace is to achieve our proper status by sharing in God's love and life. The Eucharistic Church, Apostolic Priesthood, nations, and marriage are the interlocking dominance hierarchies by which the human person participates in  the interpersonal love of the Trinity. This is true Catholic Sociobiology.

President Trump and American Culture

I. The Presidency
  1. President George Washington: All praise the Patriarch
  2. Moses, Joshua, and Barak
  3. John Kennedy and the Maturation of American Manhood

II. The Argument for Donald Trump as President During the Election
  1. America’s new President: A Compilation of our Arguments
  2. Donald Trump’s Presidency: An Interview on the Win
  3. The Playboy and the Feminist: Lessons from the Chinese Cultural Revolution
  4. Sacred Goods and Protective Force: A Christian Defense of Donald Trump
  5. Summing Up Donald Trump: Our Argument for his Election
  6. The Dying WASPS have their Candidate and it Isn’t Donald Trump
  7. Religious Sociobiology: Catholic Men, the Queen Bee, and the Democratic Party
  8. President Trump Triumphs, Intellectuals Stay Pure, Fishermen and Workers get Busy. Prayer Whips the Talking Heads

III. Nationalism and Foreign Policy-Small Steps Toward A Big Change
  1. Trump Strategy to Protect Christians, Ally with the Russians, Win the War in Syria, and Destroy ISIS
  2. The Defeat of Territorial ISIS
  3. A Strategy for Afghanistan and American nationalism
  4. The Stakes in North Korea
  5. Asia, the Armistice, and the Nations
  6. Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Vatican. Trump, Religion and Foreign Policy
  7. President Trump in Saudi Arabia with the Sunnis
  8. Will Iran be President Trump’s Bay of Pigs?
  9. One State, Two State Israel Policy
  10. Jerusalem 
  11. Trump at the UN: Woodrow Wilson and Nikita Khrushchev
  12. Nationalism and Foreign Policy in a Trump Administration
  13. Nationalist Foreign Policy: Bandwagon Regional Powers, Don’t Encircle Them
  14. Russia, Putin and the Significance of a New Relationship
  15. A Nationalist President and his Globalist Generals
  16. The Nationalism of President Trump: Citizens as Protectors and Producers
  17. A Nationalist Policy in the Mideast
  18. Hatred for President Trump makes it harder to oppose his Saudi/Israel /Iran policy. 
  19. Helsinki--Two nationalists meet. Consider the bandwagon.  
  20. British officials and intelligence oppose President Trump and his proposed Russia-US alliance. Their intelligence men used the anti-Trump Republicans and Intelligence agencies for their goals. Beware of white skinned English speaking allies whose national policies are not your own.  
  21. The Reckonings: The Pope and Homosexual Clerics. The President and the Wahhabi Sauds
  22. Nationalism, Patriotism and Empire: President Trump or President Macron?
  23. President Trump, General Mattis and a Nationalist Foreign Policy
  24. Compound Errors: The same US Intelligence officials who ignored the Saudis role  in 9/11/2001 fabricated the role of Russians in the 2016 election. 
V. Trump, American Identity and National Culture
  1. Charlottesville and Race: Is Nationalism the Problem or the Solution?
  2. The Trumpet of American Brotherhood is not a Dog Whistle for Racism 
  3. Culture of Protection: Donald Trump Builds the Culture of Life
  4. Pro-Life Professionals Jump on Trump: Why he had to be Punished 
  5. Ted and Carly, McCain and Palin: Why the Republican establishment lost the Culture War
  6. Tecumseh and Trump: American Men off the Reservation 
  7. American Identity and Immigration Reform
  8. A Threat to the President and the Need for a Cultural Restoration Front to Protect Him
  9. Neoconservatives and "Never Trump" Republicans are in on the Dossier 
  10. Feminism in an Evening Dress. Journalism in a Clown Suit. Saturday Night with The White House Press.
  11. The hammer needs his anvil. A Nationalist President needs nationalist allies or we will lose our foreign policy to foreign nations
  12. The anti semites hate Trump; the media hate him more. The ordered love of nationalism under God will triumph. 
  13. Jussie Smollett and the Hoax of the Sexual Revolution
  14. Coherence in Culture: Politics as Protection: Abortion and a Culture of Life
  15. When the right side of history is on the wrong side of nature...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 20

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

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.  


POPE FRANCIS - HOW A VERY TRADITIONAL JESUIT APPROACHES REFORMby 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.


CHINA AND CHRISTIANITYCatholics in Chinese history.

"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."


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.


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.

“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.”


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.


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.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 13

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

Thinking clearly about Race, Nation and the Two Parties

When President Obama on multiple occasions said the world would be much better off if countries were more like the Scandinavians, there were no outcries that he was pushing white supremacy. There is some dispute if President Trump placed Haiti in the sh*thole country category. There is no dispute among newscasters that such a national disparagement would be a sign of racism on the part of President Trump. (This is no time to bring up that after the American and French revolutions of the 18th century the next national liberation was the racial blood bath and ethnic cleansing of whites known as the Haitian revolution 1791-1804).

President Trump believes in the seriousness of the citizenship bond of the American nation (a much more multiracial nation than President Obama's favorites Sweden and Norway or the medias' new city on a hill-Haiti). He believes in the sacredness of our national symbol-the American flag. His deep devotion to protecting this multiracial citizenship bond has been portrayed by the media and University elite as proof that President Trump is a racist.  Christianity and American nationalism are the two corporate interracial identities best fit to transcend  racism. The atheist white left treats them both as malignant agents of racism while insisting that their own sexual perversities like abortion are to be embraced as the natural offspring of the civil rights movement. When President Trump salutes either our religion or our country they accuse him of blowing the racist dog whistle. When the truth is twisted into a lie, it must be  done with maximum outrage to cover with heat what is exposed by light. Wealthy sexual revolutionaries turned the beautiful hymns of the American Christian interracial awakening into their own tortured screams against God and nature. Their preening outrage about offending Haiti is the latest version of high hysteria over minor mishaps. The race card is the moral trump card in American politics and who gets to play it determines who wins the game.

Globalists and the nation--the drama unfolds  

The resistance to President Trump's nationalist foreign policy began with "Never Trump" neoconservatives and John McCain's peculiar coalition of arms merchants, "freedom fighters" and Saudi donors to his McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University. Long before President Trump upended the Democrats, he rode through the entire Republican elite and made their best candidates look like high school nerds. He showed their war hero to be a petulant self absorbed crank, and exposed their deep thinkers as globalist stooges. Is it a surprise that those men still despise the president and are actively working against him? They are at the origin of the Russian Dossier and persist in the Russian Collusion Hoax. They have a vision of America, Israel and Saudi Arabia in a war against Iran, Iraq, Syria's Assad, and Russia. They want to surround China in the South China Sea (Steve Bannon outdid them on that one). They control the Republican party foreign policy establishment. They were terrified that a nationalist President Trump would be against such an interventionist globalist agenda.  Despite President Trump's sword dance with the Salman royalty, he is much more likely than any of the Republican or Democratic presidential candidates to figure out that the Saudis are not really our allies. The president has already figured out that Pakistan has been our enemy since 911 and Russia has been on our side in the terrorist fight. These are huge strategic shifts. Both Hillary Clinton and John McCain have been recipients of millions in Saudi money. Neither one of them was clear enough in their thinking or strong enough in their personalities to uncover the Saudi masquerade. They were not really in on the joke. They were so personally career and status oriented that they didn't recognize state actors playing them for national purposes not entirely our own. There are many cabals, careers and interests dividing up the riches, status, and arms that flow from Washington DC. Most Americans are there for status, career or wealth. Most foreigners are there on behalf of a nation. There is no overriding conspiracy against the nation nor is there a unified national government of statesmen to outmaneuver the competing interests. There is no serious antiwar left to dampen the war drums or catalogue the arms merchants.  If  American Christians stay divided with the blacks in the Democratic Party and the whites in the Republican Party, then other smaller cliques and interests will divide the spoils. The disparate forces  benefit when public offices are held by weak careerists like Hillary Clinton and John McCain. If black, white, and Hispanic Christians unite as fellow Americans under a strong nationalist leader, then the swamp gets drained and America could regain her moral footing. Let us pray and sing again with Sam Cooke: A Change is Gonna Come. 


SIN - A POPULAR ACTIVITY, AN UNCOMMON DISCUSSIONDale Ahlquist and GK Chesterton explain.



Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping at the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the Israelites by manifesting such zeal among them on my behalf that in my jealousy I did not consume the Israelites. Therefore say, ‘I hereby grant him my covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him a covenant of perpetual priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the Israelites.’”
How many priests know other priests today doing a lot worse than sleeping with a Midianite woman?

KOREA - NORTH AND SOUTH TO TALK: South Korean President Moon Jae-in on North Korea and unification. His talk was given in the old East Germany-another country divided by the "divided peace" after WWII. His Catholic identity is central. His history as a human rights lawyer and advocate of less bellicose approach to the North is a good balance to President Trump.

SLEEP - ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF HOW THE HUMAN ORGANISM AND THE EARTH'S PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE ARE RELATEDThe need for sleep. "Protect us Lord as we stay awake, watch over us as we sleep, that awake we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep rest in his peace."


WHAT IS THE QURAN? A Catholic Jesuit priest tries to answer.

CONFRONTING PAKISTAN; A MAJOR CHANGE IN AFGHANISTAN STRATEGY BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: BBC on cutting security aid to Pakistan. Review of four books on Pakistan arguing they are a doubtful ally and actually the major cause of the Afghanistan stalemate. This is a fundamental change in policy that should be applauded by those hoping to end the war in Afghanistan. Once again the hatred of President Trump has sidelined this crucial public event from the public discourse. There is a promise that India will become a bigger actor which is important. Iran too must play a role but that seems less likely in the present atmosphere. Here was a good review of the Brooking Institute analysis of the central players.(Scroll down under  II.Islam and the Mideast) The most important ally of Pakistan is the power that has helped them for years with infrastructure, not arms - that is China.

IRAN PROTESTS - NOT QUITE FOR LIBERAL DEMOCRACYEx-President Ahmadinejad was arrested in Iran for "inciting unrest" in the recent street demonstrations in Iran. He is not exactly a classical liberal seeking western democracy. This demonstrations came from the countryside villages and towns more than Teheran. That should be a clue. In an embarrassing display of hubris and cultural cluelessness Nikki Haley (American UN representative), VP Mike Pence, and "Free Iran-Change the Regime" rally speaker Newt Gingrich hailed these demonstrations as some kind of yearning by the Iranian people to be free of mullahs. In fact the "moderate elite" may be facing a populist movement that is probably a good deal more socially conservative than their Western supporters are projecting. It is more likely these are demonstrations against incompetence, corruption, as well as budgetary and economic differences with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Every demonstration is not a revolution. Every populace is not inspired by the slogans of American university students. Let us thank the Lord for that.



CHURCHILL AND TRUMP - "UNLESS YOU BECOME AS A LITTLE CHILD": The recent movie Darkest Hour about Winston Churchill's many idiosyncrasies and his great unpopularity among Britain's ruling class evoke the nightly newscasts and tell all books trying to cast the President as mentally unstable. Comparing Churchill and Trump after a year in office, Trump has better control of his appetites and his party than the Prime Minister had.

JEWS AGAINST NON-JEWS IN THE WHITE HOUSE: The liberal jewish magazine Forward is a great source for perspectives. Like most of the Left , they have no insight about Donal Trump but they know a lot about fights inside of Israel and among American Jews. They play the anti Semite card relentlessly but still one can often learn from their articles because they treat religion and ethnicity seriously. Here is their take on the Kushner vs Bannon White House.

TINA SMITH - AL FRANKEN REPLACEMENT IN US SENATEA resume. Born in New Mexico (Tina Flint 1958), she came to Minnesota (1984) for a marketing job at General Mills. A chief of staff for a big city mayor and governor, she was also an executive vice president for Planned Parenthood for three years . She has a political science degree from Stanford and a business degree from Dartmouth. She leaves her elected office as Lieutenant Governor accepting the appointment of Governor Mark Dayton after the resignation of Senator Al Franken. She is married (to Archie Smith for >30 years). They have two grown sons.


NOT ENOUGH WOMEN JOIN POLICE FORCES: Get out there and recruit! When you fight against human nature, it seems with every new generation you lose ground again. Adjustments, recruitment and preferences are required. The girls in the STEM science movement are actresses in a similar story line.

CONFRONTING THE GAY PRIEST PROBLEM: From a priest writing at Crisis. He makes a good moral argument against "coming out as gay" but there is no plan here for confrontation by religious superiors and bishops against the huge homosexual sub-cult in the Catholic priesthood.

CONFRONTING THE SINGLE SEX FRATERNITY AND SORORITY PROBLEM: At Harvard the diversity crowd nukes the Greeks.

RICH WOMEN CONFRONT THE PATRIARCHY - BUT IN THE NAME OF CECIL B DE MILLE?  Oprah Winfrey gave an acceptance speech at the 2018 Global Globes Award ceremony on January 7, 2017. The Golden Globes Awards are sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. (For most US films,  Foreign Box Office receipts are twice the US Canadian total) The award Mrs Winfrey received was the Cecile B. DeMille (1881-1959) award. De Mille's mother was Jewish and his father Episcopalian. His father had read nightly both Old and New Testament stories to his children before he died when Cecil was twelve. One of DeMille's artistic missions was to continue his father's legacy by bringing the stories of the Bible to mass audiences through film.

Mrs Winfrey was short on Bible and God talk. She did introduce people to Recy Taylor a black woman raped in 1944 by six white men as she walked home from church. Her tale is a brutal one that inflames the blood of any righteous man. Mrs Winfrey concluded, "She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. And for too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up."

There is nothing brutal about power and nothing inherently unjust about a world dominated by men. But there is something deeply false about Mrs Winfrey suggesting to little girls watching her on TV that the Hollywood feminist fantasy crowd is going to enforce "Time is up" on exploiting women. Celebrity Megyn Kelly worried the big event was just a "teaspoon of protest against the ocean of male dominance that is not close to over." Is male dominance the same as male exploitation? What shall we do with Christ the King? What if Hollywood turned all their talent and technology to the mission of Cecil De Mille? The biblical story of a Father God who sent his son as The King of Kings (a De Mille classic) is about men establishing justice under the most powerful Patriarch of them all. When men obey the Father and act like men, the women are protected not exploited. One of America's richest women might look beyond the latest hash tag to that more lasting source of wisdom which so inspired Cecil B De Mille.

THE MASCULINE AMERICA - THE PRESIDENT SALUTES THE FLAG AND THE CHRISTIAN QUARTERBACK PULLS OUT A MIRACLE: Just in time after the Oprah feminism show at the Golden Globes, the College Football Championship in Atlanta (Jan 8, 2018) displayed another set of characters and rituals that define America. The goal of the game was for men to determine through contest and struggle which team was the more powerful in this contest and most powerful throughout the whole land. Winning and being great were major goals. A beautiful national anthem with the President at attentionA stunning overtime touchdown pass by the Freshman QB Tua Tagavailoa after a sack seemed to signal defeat. The physical contest had a Christian undertow.

SLAVERY, SEX, AND ISLAM, SLAVERY, SEX AND ROME: Slavery and sexual license were always married. In the Muslim world. In the Roman world. That is why the Christian insistence on chastity for all and celibacy for those who were capable was so revolutionary.


Liberalism is thus a political philosophy that rests upon the realization of the autonomous individual self. This means not only must such individuals be politically free from arbitrary government power, but they must be free from what come to be considered all arbitrary and unchosen relationships that include social and familial bonds. Not only must all relationships ultimately be the result of the free choice of the sovereign individual, but, in order to preserve the autonomy of the liberated self, those relationships must be permanently revisable and easily exited. Thus, liberalism not only shapes our public institutions, but our social and private ones as well, ordering society toward the sovereign choice and autonomy of the individual choosing self. We see the liberal human coming fully into being not only in our political domain, but in the breakdown of most of our social and familial institutions, including the rise of the “nones, “moralistic therapeutic deism,” and the deepening generational avoidance of commitment, marriage and children.We can say, then, that liberalism is the political operating system of America.

We would comment that secular liberalism ends in the autonomous self--an economic idea for the right and a sexual notion for the left. But America is a Christian nation with a tradition of liberty grounded in the Sovereignty of God, the reliability of scripture and assigned roles of protection to men and women as men and women. Deanne describes the America of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama not George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John Kennedy. Let us reject the individualistic ideology of the baby boomers and embrace World Christianity, American nationalism and traditional sexual morality as the ties that bind.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Saint Augustine: Authority, Politics, Covenants and Virtue

"General religion is in fact no religion at all." 
(John Henry Newman)

A discussion of Augustine's CITY OF GOD

A 2003 work by Robert Louis Wilken, "The Spirit of Early Christian Thought," has had a deep impact on many people. We decided to use the book's 8th chapter as a framework of discussion with David Pence.

I was glancing recently at the Declaration of Independence. Here is an excerpt from the final paragraph:
"We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions... 
"And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

Dr. Pence: Our Founding Fathers were noble souls who made their covenant under a Sovereign God. From the Scottish National Covenant of the first Presbyterians (1638), to the Solemn League and Covenant between English and Sottish (1643), to the Mayflower Compact (1620), to the Declaration of Independence (1776), this form of all-male unanimous blood oaths under God was the way Protestant Christians ensured their body politic would be a city of God. The universal rights we quote so often in the second paragraph of the Declaration are insured by the male covenant which comprises the final paragraph. The second paragraph celebrates liberty and equality. The final one explains fraternity.   

Their God was the Lord, correct -- or can they be faulted on that score?

The tendency of American leaders to drift off into 'general religion,' to prefer their own gods, came much later in our history. The Founders believed their activities had to be in accordance with the one true God who rules nature and history. He was a God who ruled over nations. He was the Living God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. He could be prayed to, and He spoke through the Bible. They often spoke of "true religion" which was Biblical and distinguished from the priest-craft of the papists.

Professor Wilken says that Augustine (354 - 430), unlike Plato, wasn't sketching a pie-in-the-sky city -- but an actual one. A social and religious reality existing in time and space, that worships the one true God.

Yes, Augustine saw that the Church built on God was a living organism and the Roman Empire built on man was going down. In his situation the City of God was the social reality of the Apostolic Church. There were no living nations at that time built on the God of Revelation. Today we are in a very different situation. There are two billion Christians, five continents shaped by Christian evangelization, a hundred Christian nations, and a billion Muslim monotheists trying to shape their political identities. And by the way, Israel has reappeared in the land of Jerusalem. Today's nations are not in the same darkness of ancient Rome. There is a light for the nations. Theocentric social organization is becoming more prevalent, not less.

We are not in a post-Christian era. The atheistic globalist project of the modern West is our crumbling Rome. Like Rome, the West tried to extend its rule and institutions and suicidal individualism apart from the Sovereignty of God. Augustine admired the glory that once was Rome and there is much we can fondly recall of the West, but the weeping and gnashing of teeth should cease! Communism was the crowning achievement of the Enlightenment and the modern West. That city of man is now disintegrating. Christianity and the nations are alive and well. The City of God lives. As Pope Francis says, "Put away the dour face."

The great saint argued that true peace was marked by order, law, and justice. And that a structured family life "contributes to the ordered harmony concerning authority and obedience obtaining among the citizens." 

Augustine's language is always social, not individualistic: we have a mutual fellowship in God. As Wilken puts it: "Augustine's controlling metaphor for the new life that God creates is not, for example, being born again, but becoming part of a city and entering into its communal life." The family, the city, the nation and the Church are all hierarchical communal forms of life which are perfected when founded on the spiritual foundation of God. The speech that John Kennedy never gave that evening in Dallas [November 1963] was to remind us: "Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers build in vain." He was talking about our nation.

Augustine contends that peace among nations is always going to be fragile and unstable.

That realistic sensibility seems quite at odds with today's ethos.

The bishop of Hippo insisted that good men cannot withdraw from their public duties. Worries about getting our hands "dirty," or whether we have the wisdom and insight for making life-and-death decisions, are not grounds for shirking responsibility.

I think most of our 20th-century presidents saw their protective duties in this light. The more they made life and death decisions, the more they saw their office in terms of religious duty and Divine Providence. I would say that was especially true of FDR, Harry Truman, Woodrow Wilson, and John Kennedy. There are too many Christian intellectuals today who see all of these men as failed Christians, not measuring up to the character perfection attained in faculty lounges or conservative think-tanks.

Augustine had a friend who was an army general in north Africa, who started thinking about retiring to a monastery upon the death of his wife. The bishop urged him to stay at his post on the frontier; that defending the public safety was his top duty.

A culture of life is a culture of protection. The pro-life movement has been too centered on "the right to life" of embryos and even stem cells. This is not the best religious political formulation. A religious culture of life treats life as a sacred gift from God—not a right. We build our social system to protect the gift. The culture of protection is a sexually ordered culture based on gender identity and duty. For men that means soldiers, policemen, brotherhoods, and fatherhood. For women it means motherhood. We must quit treating women who have abortions as victims. We must treat them as serious moral agents in a corrupted society. They are failed protectors and, with Augustine, we must urge them to return to their posts.

As the percentage of Christians in the Roman Empire kept climbing (more than half the population at the time of Augustine's birth), the Church realized the huge stake it had "in the rule of law, in stability, in order, and in civic concord." Augustine knew that these goods are not possible without coercion. When was the last time you heard a bishop say good things about coercion?

This is the great deficit in the Christian personalities of the modern West. We got used to living with abominations that should call forth anger and coercive suppression. So the Christian personality became identified with  niceness -- the Charmin man -- soft and white. The civic personalities who emerge ready to act with coercion in this environment may not come from deeply churched backgrounds. I think of the president of the Philippines who is violently cleaning up the drug cartels there, as well as fighting the salafist Muslims. What he got from his Catholic upbringing was a priest who abused him and fellow clergy who looked the other way. He believes in punishing evil. Men like him will have their faults. Their shortcomings will be magnified by a dishonest media, and thin-chested Christians will be recruited by liars and murderers to disqualify the sinful warrior who emerges to challenge Deceit and Murder. There is no community without authority, and no authority without the willingness to exercise force. You need Mother Teresa and you need a pope who has put away the sword -- but you also need the Christian kings and knights. Or else, the virgin mothers will be ravaged by the evil ones who will never let them feed and nurse the poor.

The earthly city is our imperfect temporary home -- but as long as it allows Christians to honor and venerate the one true God, the modus vivendi retains enough vibrancy to endure.

Amen! Civic concord is an essential form of brotherly love. There has been a huge deficit in Church teaching in recognizing the personalist communio of fraternity at the heart of the male movements for nationalism, citizenship, and what was called "manhood suffrage."

Augustine stressed that justice is not only between men, but must include the justice and worship due God -- the God of the Bible, the very opposite of a private deity. "A commonwealth that does not serve God cannot be a genuine republic... Justice can be found only where God is worshiped."

There must be a transcendent understanding of man as a spiritual being in order to sustain the nation as a spiritual organism. The thread that links citizens in a covenant must be tethered to the Father of all nations: the Lord and Giver of Life. The group tied only to itself (no matter how tightly bound in its self-referential clasp) will eventually be destroyed. "Unless the Lord build the city..."

Professor Wilken paraphrases the bishop: "If men have no sense of God, they have no sense of themselves... For virtue is not simply a matter of behaving in a certain way; it has to do with attitudes and sentiments as well as deeds, with loves as well as with duties and obligations."

In 1818 John Adams wrote: "But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations." Matthew Holland's book, Bonds of Affection (2007), is a compelling argument that the American Covenant is based on two loves: love of God and love of neighbor as expressed in civic charity.

The City of God argues that "it is life outside the Christian community which fails to be truly public, authentically political. The opposition is not between public and private, church and world, but between political virtue and political vice."

In the end, a society with no place for God will be enveloped in darkness. Our nation must be under God. Separation of Church and State does not mean that the nation can be a community without God. If we try to build a nation without God, it will be a city of men and it will perish. Men are meant to be brothers under God, and nations are the territorial expressions of that religious brotherhood. Public life, political life perfects man’s nature. Theocentric citizenship is the attentive protective formation in which men await the coming of the Lord. Except for worship, there seems no human activity as central as politics to mankind's spiritual destiny.

Augustine of Hippo by Caravaggio

Augustine emphasized the importance of the angels to us on our pilgrimage to the New Jerusalem: "With us [the angels] make one city of God... They help us on our way."

The great gift that religious men can bring society is a glimpse, however fleeting, of the invisible realities missed so often in the sensory barrage of modernity. Reality is dominated by the interpersonal union of the triune God, but another invisible spiritual reality are those beings we know as angels. There is a long Christian tradition, not only of guardian angels, but protective angels of corporate bodies, especially of each nation. Spiritual intuition and sight is attentive to these powerful spiritual beings. And, of course, the great Liar and Murderer -- the destroyer of brotherhood and nations -- is an angel himself.

UPDATE: Here is a reading plan for those who have unsuccessfully butted heads with the Bishop of Hippo's magnum opus.

"Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all."
(Saint Augustine)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, January 6

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

January 6th the Church continues the Christmas season by manifesting (Epiphany) that this baby born in Bethlehem is the King of Kings and Lord of Nature.  The three wise men represent the kings of the gentile nations who are led by a light appearing in nature as a star.  The Sunday after the Epiphany, the season concludes with the Baptism of Jesus which is another manifestation of the Baby in Bethlehem now matured as the Man from Galilee at the Jordan River.  Christ's Baptism is called the Theophany-the manifestation that at the heart of reality is the interpersonal relationship  of a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the One Living God. We humans are created in the image of this interpersonal union and meant for a similar communal destiny as a unified interpersonal spiritual organism. Our project here at AOA is to show how the nations as sacred brotherhoods carry out God's Providence in history. Along with the Eucharistic Church and marriage, the nations are interpersonal forms of communion that are physical reflections of spiritual reality.  The little baby born in Bethlehem matured to be a man who was crucified and rose from the dead. His Body now further matures in the Apostolic Church and is made more manifest when nations are baptized into the brotherhood of men and the fraternal order of the nations.    Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.



FEMININE ICONOGRAPHY AT CHRISTMAS: A virgin submits to the Spirit and becomes the Mother of the Savior of humanity - she is always covered. A modern woman steals the baby - she takes as her uniform her own nudity. The uncovering of woman in public like the abandonment of the Fatherhood of God in theology and dissolution of masculine brotherhood in nations  is another of the sexual transgressions in rebellion against the sacral order.

OHIO PRIEST COMMITS SUICIDE IN CHICAGO: If you just read the Catholic press, you might miss the 16 year old male in this story. Another very popular priest being gay and being Catholic.

THE RICHEST, MOST CORRUPT OF ALL THE BISHOPS - THE GERMAN NATIONAL CONFERENCE Soft on homosexuality, hard on not paying church tax, generous on pensions for gay dominated clergy, miserly toward Catholic hospitals.

THE CATHOLIC WEBFifteen most popular Catholic sites and their traffic.

KEEPING CUSTODY OF THE EYES - SAINT LUCIA AND THE BLESSING OF SMARTPHONES: Chesterton says all good things must be protected by thankfulness and restraint - blessing the phones may be a better idea than it sounds.


THE WORST DISASTERThe deaths in Yemen are directly related to Muhammed bin Salman -much worse than Crimea, much worse than any work of Iran. We could stop it. A good review of Yemen. 

QATAR RESISTS WAHHABI SAUDIS THE BEST WAYIn Qatar a nationalist resurgence. Stratfor sees the same development.

  • When I wrote a book about Saudi Arabia's contribution to the rise of global terrorism after 9/11, back in 2003, the Israeli security establishment at the time estimated that between 50 and 70% of the Hamas budget came from Saudi Arabia. But something happened since then that changed this picture.
  • In May 2003, Riyadh was struck by a triple suicide bombing attack - 18 people were killed and Saudi Arabia shifted from being on the side of those who were launching these terrorist attacks to those who were victims of terrorism. Basically, Saudi Arabia from that point onward was on the same side as the United States and Israel.
  • While it was true that Wahhabi Islam was associated with the revival of jihad in the Arabian Peninsula, the ones who were really behind the ideological push towards renewed terrorism were organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, which had sought and received sanctuary in Saudi Arabia.
  • So what draws Israel and Saudi Arabia to the same side of the fence today?
  • First, there are the Sunni extremist organizations. Both al-Qaeda and ISIS have mounted a threat to both our countries.
  • Second, clearly Iran looms large in the regional problems that both Israel and Saudi Arabia face. Just a few years back, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, revealed that analysis of Iranian missile tests indicated that there were two cities on the Iranian target list: one was Riyadh and the other one was Tel Aviv.
  • There's a third common thread tying Israel and Saudi Arabia together. Both countries are facing Iranian efforts to destabilize our strategic environment.
  • The Iranians have been seeking to encircle Israel by supporting terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip to our south, in Lebanon to our north, and now in Syria and possibly even the West Bank in the period ahead. Today, it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that is providing the bulk of funding to the Hamas budget.
  • For Saudi Arabia, it's clear that Iran has entered into Yemen through the Houthis to the south, they are trying to take over Bahrain which they regard as a province of Iran, and they have these huge Shiite militias that have been active in Iraq as well.
  • Over the last number of years I have met with senior officials who in the past worked for the Saudi government. I am convinced that Israel and Saudi Arabia share common concerns. I think Israel should make every effort to try and bridge the gap with Saudi Arabia, even discretely, even though there are glitches that can occur as two countries with very different backgrounds try and find common ground.
Amb. Dore Gold, former director general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Israeli ambassador to the UN, is president of the Jerusalem Center.

IRAN. WHO ARE THE PROTESTERS AND WHY--THE NY TIMES IS STILL A NEWSPAPER AND HAS THE BEST EXPLANATION: Thomas Erdbrink is a Dutch journalist based in Teheran who is the NY Times bureau chief in Iran.  Excerpts from Jan, 2018 article:
TEHRAN — While the protests that swept Iran in 2009 were led by the urban middle class, these protests have been largely driven by disaffected young people in rural areas, towns and small cities who have seized an opening to vent their frustrations with a political elite they say has hijacked the economy to serve its own interests.

Unemployment for young people — half the population — runs at 40 percent, analysts believe. Meanwhile, Iran has spent billions of dollars abroad in recent years to extend its influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

The initial catalyst for the anger appears to have been the leak by President Rouhani last month of a proposed government budget. For the first time, secret parts of the budget, including details of the country’s religious institutes, were exposed.Iranians discovered that billions of dollars were going to hard-line organizations, the military, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and religious foundations that enrich the clerical elite. At the same time, the budget proposed to end cash subsidies for millions of citizens, increase fuel prices and privatize public schools.

The leak appeared to be intended to tap popular resentment, and it worked. Telegram, a social media messaging app used by over 40 million Iranians, blew up with angry comments.

“It made me angry,” said Mehdi, 33, from Izeh, a town in Iran’s poor Khuzestan Province, who asked that his family name not be used out of fear of retaliation. “There were all these religious organs that received high budgets, while we struggle with constant unemployment.”

Last Thursday, hard-liners tried to take back the initiative and embarrass the president, staging a demonstration in the holy city Mashhad, where hundreds chanted slogans against the weak economy and shouted “death to the dictator” and “death to Rouhani.”

An Iranian security official confirmed that the Friday prayer leader of the city, Ahmad Alamolhoda, a prominent hard-liner, had been summoned by Iran’s National Security Council to explain his role in the demonstration. Videos of the gathering then went viral on social media, where people had for weeks been heatedly discussing the proposed budget. Frustrated Iranians elsewhere were emboldened.

In reaction to the protest in Mashhad, Hesamodin Ashna, a trusted adviser to President Rouhani, sent out a Twitter message on Friday, highlighting “the unbalanced distribution of the budget.”

Iran’s military forces, active in several countries in the Middle East, saw their budget increase to $11 billion, a nearly 20 percent rise, he said. The budget for representatives of the supreme leader in universities was increased. An institute run by the hard-line cleric Mohammad Taghi Meshbah-Yazdi was to receive eight times as much as a decade ago. Online anger reached a boiling point.

For decades, those living in Iran’s provincial towns and villages were regarded as the backbone of the country’s Islamic regime. They tended to be conservative, averse to change and pious followers of the sober Islamic lifestyle promoted by the state.

In Qom, the center of Iran’s theological educational institutes, one cleric said he was worried about the level of anger. “People are angry when they see how much money some clerical institutions and Friday prayer leaders are being paid in the budget,” the cleric, Fazel Meybodi, said. “Many of them are old and have no appeal to the youths. They must be changed.”


SPLINTERS AND BEAMS: In a sexual sewer by Anthony Esolen.

SILICON VALLEY SEXUAL DECADENCE: Worse than you think from the author of Brotopia.


FRANKENSTEIN: Creating outside the conjugal union and the horrors that follow.


BUCHANAN ON MUELLER AND NYTIMES: Who colluded with who and who investigated who.

POLAND AND THE EU - CRACKDOWN ON THE GOD AND NATION COUNTRY: The eastern European countries think they are the real Europe - the EU is trying to dissuade them.