Saturday, May 26, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 26

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


Both Pope Francis and President Trump were elected to positions of authority in their respective institutions as men very much outside the "parties" that had formulated the factions and terms of debate within the Church and nation. This week it was painfully obvious that neither leader has a well developed inner circle which can magnify their voices and explain the bold initiatives they are undertaking for Church and nation.

After a century of domination and division beginning with the first Sino-Japanese war, there is a  possibility of reconstituting the Korean people as a unified nation. This is nationalism at its best and would restore a political community which has suffered the bloody wars of the 20th century long before and long after most other countries. This breakthrough begins with denuclearization talks between President Trump and President Kim Jong-Un.  These talks were almost derailed by the inflammatory statements of NSC advisor John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence. The North Koreans were justifiably angry toward Bolton and then Pence for  citing "the Libyan model"(which ended with the complete denuclearization of Libya and the street slaughter of Muammar Khaddafi). The North Koreans made some inflammatory statements of their own about VP Pence.  President Trump sensed that the good will engendered by Secretary of State Pompeo's initial meetings and the President's statements was being eroded. He cancelled the June 12 meeting to insure  the North Koreans didn't beat him to it. This will be repaired.

It is a preview though of the severe limitations of the ideological people President Trump has needed around him in the vicious battle with the Democratic party/national media/deep state/Hollywood crowd. His pugnacious allies are exactly the wrong people to help him in international diplomacy. Throughout the Presidential campaign, Mike Pence was always on a different page than Trump about Russia. The Russians did not swing our elections (James Clapper, call your psychiatrist.) They certainly judged that the unelectable Donald Trump would be a better president for their interests than Hillary Clinton. The equally unelectable Bernie Sanders would have been the best of all. But the truth is that there is no precinct in America that voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton because of some Russian campaign maneuver.   Donald Trump wants to make a real alliance with the Russians. It is one of his two really big foreign policy ideas. He has made this clear since the Republican primaries. It distinguished him from the "Assad regime change"  candidates.  Donald Trump wants to truly end the Cold War the way President Reagan and the subsequent Secretary of State James Baker wanted to end it--with a new configuration of powers. Mike Pence, John Bolton, and Nikki Haley are loyal to a President besieged but they do not understand his diplomatic vision--not with Russia and not in North Korea. The President will need a whole new band of diplomat brothers to reconfigure a post Cold War world in which Russia and China are big power allies not encircled foes. If Democrats and Americanists are best at thinking this through, they should volunteer their services for strategic reformulation. A great opportunity beckons but the President needs a new posse.

Pope Francis is not a free market globalist. He thinks of international finance as a problem not the solution. He rejects centering the presentation of the Gospel on a series of "issues"-homosexuality, abortion, contraception. He is not trying to win (or even enter into) debates about doctrine and fundamental moral principles.

He is a great disappointment to faithful Catholics who fought corrupt local bishops and priests as well as deeply depraved male religious orders on those very issues. Often times the best way for the the faithful to battle the wolf shepherds was by quoting Popes  John Paul II or Benedict XVI. Suddenly the enemies of sacral and sexual order were flinging papal quotes of their own.

But the Pope is no ally of the homosexual/careerist wing of the Charmin (soft and white) episcopacy and priesthood.  He is their worst nightmare but they don't know it yet. He knows how to fight the devil dressed as an angel of light.

Conservatives this week criticized the Pope for a reported quote by a homosexual victim of repeated sodomy by Catholic priests. The pope was quoted as saying "God loves you and He made you the way you are." But of course God did make the man the way he was-- whatever that was. Maybe he is without a leg or has an extra chromosome or a deficient pancreas, or confused sexual identity or disordered appetite--lots of disorders out there. Come to our family reunion if you don't think so. It has always been the wrong debate to ask "if God made people that way." But when conservative commentators heard the Pope was comforting a sodomized man without enough theological clarity in statements reported third hand, they attacked the Padre loud, hard and often.  Meanwhile the unprecedented resignation of a whole national episcopacy and a very clear speech by the Pope about not letting homosexuals in Italian seminaries wasn't amplified by that same internet megaphone.

Pope Francis is appointing cardinals from Muslim lands. Does that sound like the best way to promote gender ideology? Remember...Rainbow flags are the banners of  US embassies and international corporations not Global Christianity. It is German and Italian bishops who want to share the lessons of longterm "gay love"--not the shepherds from Iraq and the Global South.  Pope Francis is turning the abuse crisis into a question of failed authorities, failed fathers, failed fraternities, and most of all-- failed episcopal synods. He needs his Catholic men to pick up this fight and help clean out the predators. Let us quit the emphasis on which parishioners are going to communion or how many catechists are filling out human resource forms. The priests and bishops AS COLLECTIVE BODIES are the problem. The papal light is shined upon them. Let's fill in some details and ask for collective action, penance and punishment. If the episcopal bodies as presently constituted cannot clean out the homosexuals who have desacralized the fraternity of fathers, then en masse resignation as a Bishop's Conference has just been introduced as a viable option.  Do the Yankee Bishops think only the Chileans are so corrupt? Do the German bishops believe they can reign in comfort and disunity forever because they have German government subsidies.  The conversation should be sharpening with these dramatic new developments. Let brother Catholics muster our forces and rush into this strategic opening. We have been waiting for years. If the new line of repentance and renewal  has been proposed by an Argentinian  gaucho not a European professor, then let us give glory to God. The Pope needs his posse.               


THE PRECIPITOUS DECLINE OF MEN IN ORDERS OF RELIGIOUS MEN - THE ELEPHANT IN ROOM: Nowhere has the public acceptance of homosexuals in the priesthood devoured Christian brotherhood as in religious orders. CARA research will tell us the data. They will miss that elephant.

"Gregory (of Palamas) claimed he was practicing the prayer of the heart. He was taking literally the advice coming by way of the psalmist David: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) In the stillness, the hesychia in Greek, God speaks to us, he claimed. The darkness did not lead to blindness. In fact, it was “a dazzling darkness.” The light that shown was like the light that the Apostle Peter, James, and John saw on Mt. Tabor when Christ was transfigured."
CATHOLIC TEACHING ON MARRIAGE AND CONTRACEPTIONA new paradigm?  What the NCR is calling a new paradigm looks a lot like the old failed argument.

FRANCIS SELECTS NEW CARDINALS: On the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will elevate fourteen new cardinals to the red. Among the fourteen are archbishops from Pakistan, Madagascar, and Japan. With these new cardinals, Francis is raising the number of eligible papal electors from 120 to 125. Since electors age out of voting rights when they turn 80, the number of eligible papal electors will not fall below 120 until July 31, 2019 - so it is unlikely that another consistory will take place until late 2019 or summer 2020. During the same Mass, newly appointed archbishops from across the globe will also be present to receive the pallium from Francis. (The pallium is a woolen vestment marked with the five crosses that symbolize Christ's five wounds. The evening before the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, they are placed overnight on the tomb of St. Peter. A sign of loyalty and fraternity with the Pope, palliums are only worn by archbishops as provincial heads of regional episcopacies).

FRANCIS REJECTS HOMOSEXUALS FOR THE PRIESTHOOD: In a meeting with the Italian bishops, Pope Francis reaffirmed the rejection of homosexuals for the priesthood, telling the bishops, “if you have even the slightest doubt, it’s better not to let them enter.” We hope all the bishops of the Church listen to the Holy Father in this regard.


ISRAEL - A COUNTRY WITHOUT AGREED UPON BORDERS REMAINS IN A STATE OF PERPETUAL WARThe Golan Heights is a big problem as Syria wins back more of the buffer zone (between Syria and Israel) that ISIS and other rebels have controlled and Israelis have supported over the last several years. On another border men, women, and children gathered in a kind of threatening "suicide riot" at the interface of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel. These protests were heightened on Nakba. Nakba means "The Catastrophe" and is remembered every May 15 by Palestinians and Israel's Arab neighbors. The massing of men, women, and children at the border of Gaza and Israel is meant as an ominous sign of "peaceful invasion" - THE RETURN of all those Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948-9 in the first war that established the State of Israel. (An excellent analysis of this strategy of social warfare policy). No-one in Israel favors such right of return knowing the influx would overwhelm the Jewish State. Consider the 100 refugees from Central American caravans that were properly stopped at the US border in the same month.

Muslims (Arabs, Turks, and Persians) all over the world have generally sided with the Palestinian claims against the State of Israel on this day of remembrance. The White House blamed the protests on Hamas - the elected Sunni ruling authority in the area. However Nicki Haley (the US UN representative) emphasized the whole set of protests and killings as another Iranian inspired plot from the Mullahs. Hamas, like Yemen, are yard are pawns of the Iranian monster. Her historical ignorance and geostrategic misdiagnosis is mind boggling. Nikki seems confused or maybe she is trying to exploit any conflict available to get Americans ready for a war against Iran. We know Nikki doesn't get confused, so these must be war drums.

IRAN - A TALK BY SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEOHe begins with a promise that Iran will send no more missiles to Riyadh and the Golan Heights. He sees Hezbollah as an Iranian proxy aimed at Israel. He sees Iran as the ground troops for "murderous Assad" regime in Syria. He sees Iran as arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen. He says Iran has backed Al Qaeda since 9/11. Iran through its IRG threatens Israel in its march across the Mideast as the largest exporter of terror. Iran upsets Iraq by supporting Shiite militias there. The goals of policy is unrelenting sanctions on Iran - the strongest ever seen. Iran will have no path to nuclear weapons - never. Finally, Pompeo appeals to the people against "the regime". This includes a call to defend the complete equality of all women in Iran. The US Senate needs a serious debate - shall we make war on Iran? Is it "protecting the American people" to insure that only Israel and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and missiles in the Mideast? A debate is needed - Secretary Pompeo has made a de facto declaration of war. One hopeful sign at the end of his talk is that the Trump administration wants real Congressional involvement in Iranian policy by concluding a treaty with Iran. Good idea!


TOM WOLFE RIP: Like Machiavelli he saw virtu - manliness - as the key to public life and America as a nation. Here is a good reflection on his book The Right Stuff. Here is an anecdote about him as a writer and a student of STATUS. His brilliant essay from Harper's on the New Journalism - realistic narrative reporting. All young writers should read that instruction from a great writer. I had a brief correspondence with Mr. Wolfe after he published Man in Full. He was very kind and direct in his handwritten notes. I told him no one described the problems of manliness and American life better than he. However since he recognized no fundamental telos - no final end for men found in religion - his books would always be marked by incredible bodies of text and dialogue but always marred by disappointing endings. He responded that Man in Full had a brilliant ending. May Our Lord surprise and welcome him.

CHILEAN BISHOP SUSPENDS 20% OF PRIESTS IN HIS DIOCESE: he tenders his own resignation. The depth of corruption in the Catholic priesthood is stunning. The Chilean Bishop's resignation and this kind of wholesale diocesan purge is unprecedented and absolutely necessary. Maybe because it is happening in South America the homosexual-laden dioceses and episcopacy in the US don't see this could apply to them. Meanwhile the Catholic internet is aflame with the reports of a report of the Pope's comforting words to a man repeatedly sodomized by a priest.

A STORY ABOUT FATHERLESSNESSFlannery O'Connor sees what many in the "men's movement" are missing. A dad in the home with no Father in heaven is a fatherless home.

IN ITALY A NEW COALITION IS ANTI-EURO, PRO-RUSSIA, AND PRO-US: Populist left and nationalist right finding ways to talk with each other. Will they be able to govern? A new manifesto.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 19

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

A Synodal Response to Corruption:  
Repent, Resign, and Reconstitute.   

One distinction between corruption and scandals is that a corrupt institution can no longer reform itself. Sometimes it is not the institution that is corrupt but the present ruling body as a group. The configuration of men in that body are no longer able to reform themselves. In the United States there are certain monasteries (such as St John's Benedictine Monastery in St. Cloud, Minnesota) that are so deeply corrupted they should be dissolved as a group. They continue to harbor so many known predators that their collective existence is a crime in itself.

The mass resignation of the Bishops of Chile in response to their meeting with Pope Francis over charges of sexual abuse and coverup is a truly earth shattering event. It is acceptable if a corrupt monastery disappears forever.  A diocesan priesthood or national episcopacy may be best transformed by massive resignations and then  a prayerful reconstituting of the Priestly Body. This drastic necessary approach has real dangers. We know that throughout the homosexual scandal in the Catholic clergy, high level homosexuals have proposed themselves as the best reformers of the problem they had caused. The most notorious of these demonic deceptions was the career of psychiatrist -priest Michael Peterson who turned St. Luke Institute in Bethesda into a homosexual-pedophilia therapy coverup center for American bishops and their lavender priests. We won't detail how Peterson and his acolytes proposed stopping pedophilia by encouraging "discreet healthy homosexuality" in a celibate clergy. We won't detail the depth of his support among American bishops, religion orders and seminary formation clerics.  His career and his continued influence beyond the grave is a disgrace from yesterday and a warning for tomorrow.  It matters who reconstitutes an episcopacy after a mass resignation. It matters who plans the therapy for the sick and the punishment for the guilty. It matters who defines what is sickness and what is crime. Beware the priest posing as doctor who ignores the venom of the serpent to medicate the symptoms of the poisoned.

The mass resignation of the Chilean bishops is a dynamic manifestation of Synodal governance in the Church. This heroic acceptance of blame and shame is an indictment against every corporate body of priests with similar histories of abuse and coverup. If a synod or conference has allowed  years of abuse, then the synod as a corporate body shares blame for the crime.   In male groups with strong leaders, men are responsible for making the group run well under the leader. The corollary of that truth is that when the group becomes corrupted, all members are responsible for fixing how the group constitutes itself and maintains its integrity.  "At least I am a faithful priest." "At least I am one of the good bishops". "At least I am a decent monk." All of those oft repeated sayings are much less credible after the resignations of all the bishops for the corporate malfeasance of the bishops of the Chilean Church. The Church in Chile has not sinned but she has been sinned against by her hierarchy. The Chilean hierarchy has  accused itself as a body for failure to PROTECT. They have not devised  a video for new Catechists; they have accepted a punishment for themselves. They have not settled for changing procedures and policies. They are fighting principalities and powers. There is an echo here of the resignation of Pope Benedict---he could no longer rule. He could not organize the protection necessary and thus he wisely left the office whose duties he could not fulfill.

The Chilean Episcopal resignations mark  the first time the crime of corporate ruling negligence has been addressed at a deeper spiritual level than civil bankruptcy court. When a wolf attacks the sheep, kill the wolf. If a wolf disguises himself as a shepherd and goes after the sheep, kill the wolf-- don't hospitalize him. If the shepherd lets the wolves run wild amidst the sheep, then punish the shepherd, don't tax the sheep. The Chilean act is NOT "too little too late". It is a significant turning away from sin.  This priestly act of purification is deeply tied to the liturgical rhythm of  Catholic life. Every Mass begins with the Confiteor.  We must also admit this radical episcopal act of confession is inconceivable under any other pontiff of the last two centuries.  May the Spirit of Pentecost enter into this humiliation with the fire and light so necessary to cleanse our Catholic priesthood and reconstitute the Apostolic fraternity.               


CHILEAN BISHOPS OFFER LETTERS OF RESIGNATION: All of them. Which ones the Pope will accept is not clear. This is great model of repentance by all the individuals who failed as a collective body.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS: This simple beautiful Trinitarian act is not approved by all Christians. A good history.


PATRICK COFFIN AND GORDON DALBEYBe a man. Fight the Devil, not each other. A good interview as part of Coffin series on manhood.


PURITY AND MARTYRDOM: Catholic Culture built on the life of Christ has always held forth an ideal of man as sacrificial warrior and yet pure as the snow. Maximilian Kolbe was born on 8 January 1894 in the Kingdom of Poland, which was a part of the Russian Empire, the second son of weaver Julius Kolbe and midwife Maria DÄ…browska. His father was an ethnic German and his mother was Polish... He died in a concentration camp as a priest offering his life for execution in place of another man who was the father of a family. Kolbe's life was strongly influenced in 1906 by a childhood vision of the Virgin Mary. He later described this incident:
"That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both."



John Bolton, the new National Security Advisor for President Trump, gave an April 29 interview with Fox newscaster Chris Wallace suggesting that we had a plan for denuclearization with North Korea based on the "Libyan model of 2003-2004."  Talk about tone deaf. Mr. Bolton and the "journalist "interviewing him apparently forgot that after Muammer Gaddafi gave up his whole nuclear program, he was killed by a mob on Oct 20, 2011. That mob was empowered by Gaddafi's ungrateful new "friends from the West." A US NATO air campaign turned the Libyan Civil War decisively for the rebels who now divide their fractured rule in the failed state of Libya.   As Hillary Clinton laughingly said, "We came , we saw, he died."  An attack by a cohort of those same rebels killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya one year later, Sept 11, 2012.  Gaddafi betrayed, the Arab mob given an Air Force against an African leader, and American patriots killed in the aftermath. That too is the Libyan model.
Needless to say there was a strong reaction by North Korea after hearing Mr. Bolton's TV interview. They have a sense of history even if Mr Bolton and Chris Wallace do not.
Through different channels, the North Koreans  threatened the upcoming summit. President Trump was very quick to say the Korean negotiations are DEFINITELY  NOT THE LIBYA MODEL. He criticized the Regime Change which destroyed that country. He made it very clear he was  proposing a very different scenario. This was his position in Republican debates on Syria as well. He said, "Destroy ISIS, don't try to overthrow Assad." "Cooperate with Russia, don't make them your enemies."  President Trump is not a neocon.  Mr. Bolton is a very articulate man. He may eventually be a great asset to the President in defending his policy to those who will oppose him from the right.
This is very reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's negotiations with Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan always had a vision of peace and cooperation as a new way for the two nations to live together. He loved Russian proverbs. His "hard liner advisors" were always worried that if Reagan was left alone too long with Gorbachev,  he would give away the store. The hardline conservatives shared his tough talk but they knew not his heart. Paul Kengor's book on God and Ronald Reagan is very good about this phenomenon.

INDONESIA CHRISTIANS KILLED BY MUSLIMS RETURNING FROM FAILED ISIS STATEA few lessons in this story. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country (87% of the 260 million). The first principle of their social agreement is Pancasila - "belief in the one and only God". Blasphemy is a crime. There are six recognized religions: Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Islam. 99% of Muslims are Sunni (almost all of the Shafi school of jurisprudence). The family who bombed three churches are Sunni Muslims returning from ISIS territory in Syria. These are some of the fighters the US and Saudi Arabia were supporting in their fight to overthrow Assad in Syria. Almost all Christians in Syria supported Assad against the rebels. The migration of Salafist Sunnis to Asian Muslim populations is a major post-ISIS problem. Ethnic Chinese (two million) in Indonesia are disproportionately Christian as they were disproportionate victims in the 1965 purge of Communists that killed 300,000-2 million.


ISRAEL ATTACKS MULTIPLE IRANIAN TARGETS IN SYRIA"We will not allow Syria to be a forward base for Iran." Could Russia say that about US troops in NATO? Could China say that about US troops in South Korea? Israel's capital is Jerusalem and President Trump was absolutely right to recognize that truth. A major theme of Jared Kushner's speech at the opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem is the link between peace and truth. A profound insight. Syria is a sovereign state. Israel should recognize that truth.

US OPENS EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM: Seventy years after the founding of the State of Israel, America keeps the promise of the last four presidents and moves the American Embassy to Jerusalem. It is fitting and just.

THE EMBASSY OPENS, THE KILLINGS IN GAZA. THE SHIITES WIN IN LEBANON AND IRAQ: Israel seems triumphant but a base built on Muhammed bin Salman's Wahhabi Sunnis and Pastor Hagee's Christians is a narrow platform indeed - not really a grand alliance of Jews, Christians, and Muslims for the true good and beautiful. One writer who is able to report more than one country and one event at a time describes May 14.


TA-NEHISI COATES - MEDIA'S FAVORITE BLACK INTELLECTUAL REVEALS HIS ATHEISM AMD DESPAIR: A leftist makes a surprisingly acute analysis about the revelations in Coates new book We Were Eight Years in Power.

RECONCILING KOREA: A role for Catholics - in your face or at your side?

"When Gilder (Reagan speechwriter for his 1988 talk to Russian students at Moscow State University) returned with a draft, it was beautiful. Reagan loved it. Once again, the nervous Nellies in the State Department and NSC hovered around, worrying about the language. But they soon realized that the speech had no single phrase that might give offense, no line that just had to be excised. Its deeper meaning was encased in respectful prose and stirring poetry. It was meant to lift hearts, not rattle cages. And it was pure, unadulterated Reagan. It might have been entitled, “Morning in Moscow.”
THE FOUR CLASSES - IN AMERICAN, IN PLATONIC AND IN VEDIC CATEGORIES: Taylor Marshall, a great Catholic thinker, does some culture work. Very worthwhile.

PROTESTANT ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: From the First Things article, Theology of Foreign Policy, by Michael Doran. Mark Tooley's excellent response at Providence magazine

PRAGER UNIVERSITY ON THE DEATH OF EUROPE: Douglas Murray who gives this video is right about German guilt leading to loss of confidence in Europe. But the problem is not that Europe doesn't believe in itself. It is that Europe doesn't believe in God. Mr Douglas is a "Christian atheist." Mr. Prager should know that men like him explain why the neoconservative project failed. This man has no sense of God, masculinity, or nation. He is a "Western conservative intellectual". He is well-spoken but he is part of the problem not the solution. The Enlightenment and the Greek philosophers have always been favored in the atheistic intellectuals' defense of the West. Less prominent are the Roman soldiers, Irish monks, German warriors, and Spanish Catholics. Christianity to the atheist highbrow is not a living organism that still breathes and fights but a past heritage of Judaic-Christian values for modern man to remember and improve upon.

DARREN ELLISOR - THE OTHER PILOT ON THE MAY 8 SOUTHWEST FLIGHT: Don't tell anyone but the pilot whose aviation skills saved lives at the time of decompression and trauma was actually a guy. The lady pilot "did her job" as well but the real story of responses to the exploding engine is much more interesting than the wonder woman cartoon. The reactions of male passenger protectors in the plane and a nurse who responded to CPR cries are also gripping. The pathetic and very real response of another man... of fear, self absorption, and resentment that he might die so young... is another contrasting feature of a very well done video story.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Our Lady of Fatima first appeared on May 13th, 1917

(originally published November 12, 2014)


When the Virgin Mary visited the three Portuguese shepherd children, she mentioned the Great War and also Russia.

(A year earlier, the trio had been visited by an angel -- who identified himself as the Guardian of Portugal).



World War I: Jul 1914 -- Nov 1918

Fatima appearances: May -- Oct 1917

Thus, the several appearances of Immaculate Mary occurred on the continent bearing the cross of war; and they were sandwiched between the two upheavals in Russia:

'February Revolution': Mar 1917 (the emperor abdicated; he was executed in the summer of 1918)

'October Revolution': Nov 1917 (the Bolsheviks take power)


Two priests, who have now been canonized, each credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving their life.

Padre Pio was severely ill in 1959, when he was healed by a visiting statue of the Immaculata. And in 1981 when Pope John Paul was shot on May 13 -- the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition -- he credited the Mother of God for his survival.

(As a young priest, JPII -- Karol Wojtyla -- paid a call on Padre Pio).

The Great War laid down storms of steel never witnessed before... On a single day during the first year of fighting, there were 27,000 French soldiers killed.

(Two years later, the British army would lose 20,000 soldiers in a day.

To put these figures in perspective, the bloodiest single-day battle in all of American history was Antietam in 1862: less than four thousand Union and Confederate soldiers died near that Maryland creek.)

During the final year of the war, a world-wide influenza epidemic broke out. In the United States, it ended up killing more than 600,000 people.

Also struck down by the disease were two of the three Fatima children: Francisco (age 10) and his sister Jacinta (9).

The fall of Soviet Communism is a miraculous event providing the possibility of a renewed Orthodox Russia to join a new Symphony of Christian nations.   Let us be open and pray. Vladimir Putin's Russia is not Vladimir Lenin's Soviet Union.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 12

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch 

The pathological hatred of Donald Trump is the culminating manifestation of the fifty year  man hating, father dishonoring, baby killing public psychosis known as feminism. The frenzied outpouring of grief and rage at the unforeseen demise of the Witch from the West has not yet abated. She was buried by the ranches of Montana, the steel towns of Pennsylvania and those always reliable   farmhouses from Kansas. But while the Munchkins cheered and danced, the swamp cosmopolitans went berserk. A man-that man- had triumphed.  The Intelligence agencies planned a coup, the media had a meltdown, and respectable female teachers and nurses all over America went out in public with hats simulating their private parts. This spontaneous disintegration of public order came in the name of protecting democracy and respecting women. No males on the left could rise to steady the ship for they had all been trained that male initiative was white privilege. The well-funded, well-placed "resistance" couldn't unseat the new alpha male because he surrounded himself with military men and corporate executives while getting his sea legs. The feminist mob then ate their own males under the weird slogan of "me too".
  The atheistic revolt against religious order known as the Enlightenment has had multiple fronts and eras.  Ideological atheism appeared as Darwinist racism(think Nazis) and Marxist materialism(think Soviets and Mao). Its last iteration has been under the banners of  global corporate capitalism and feminist gender ideology. We are experiencing its death rattle. That is all for the good.
However their weeping and gnashing of teeth is getting in the way of a necessary life and death public debate about war and peace for the nation.  Paradoxically their hysteria is drowning out a reasoned argument against the war strategy of President Trump.
  The President is vigorous in his endorsement of the Saudi/Israel alliance against Iranian allies in Yemen and Syria soon to be followed by targeting their allies in Lebanon and Iraq. Saudi Arabia has already cut all relations with a longtime Sunni (and former fellow Wahhabi) ally in Qatar. This because they maintained economic ties with Iran. Our nationalist president is backing an alliance with an Israeli leader prepared to violate the national boundaries of multiple mideast states.  He has made an alliance with a young prince, Muhammed bin Salman,  who has alienated most of his country's  ruling family while financing the most virulent anti nationalist form of Islam in the world today. Israel as a nation with her capitol in Jerusalem is our religious ally to be protected. Israel in this doomed death duet is our drunken friend to be restrained. The Wahhabi brand of salafist and Hanbali Islam is the strategic source of the twin tower attack in America and worldwide terrorism around the world. President Trump is a true patriot who like the many American war dead of the last decade is following the generals and "our allies" into a wrongly configured battlefield, doomed to catastrophe by spiritual blindness.  
    International Diplomacy is organizing protection by assembling the largest possible retinue of friends while  recognizing the reality of necessary enemies. The most important ally we need for peacemaking in Korea is China and in Syria is Russia. In Afghanistan we need Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China and India to help bring an end to the killing.  The Cold War against Marxism is over.  Our old allies from World War Two are eager to establish a new era of international peace and regional respect in which the blood we shed together against the racial empires will not be forgotten. Russia and China  are the allies who gave the most lives to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  We need them again to stabilize their own regions and help stop the Mideast war between Iran and Israel. We are Israel's protector not their muscleman. They are our ally not our State Department. Benjamin Netanyahu has been a formidable and overpowering personality when dealing with Marco Rubio, Chuck Schummer, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and George Bush. He is one more strong man defending his own country when dealing with President Trump. The Israelis have treated the rise of salafism as a welcome conflict destabilizing strong states and preventing  pan-Muslim accord. They are biased and unreliable advisors in formulating American national strategy.   Russia and China are the allies we need to fight the salafist jihadists. We need an alliance of the big powers not the little people encirclements of the Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton schools of perpetual warfare.  To build agreement among the religions, civilizations, and nations we need the masculine memory of military history and the map shaped wisdom of geography. President Trump needs our loyalty as well as our resolute and reasoned arguments against his strategy. Hatred and Hysteria won't do.


POPE FRANCIS TELLS GERMAN BISHOPS TO COME TO AGREEMENT ON INTER-COMMUNIONThe German bishops are seriously divided and deeply corrupted. The most important issue that divides them however is not about Protestant spouses at the communion rail. The bishops definitely need to have a talk.  They need an honest behind doors debate to reveal their much more fundamental fissures. There is a large segment of German bishops who accept homosexuality as a form of love and a significant number of priests and bishops who engage in homosexual relations themselves (not pedophilia.) There is a large group who do not believe in angels in general and Satan in particular. Isn't their continued celebration of the Mass a much greater desecration of the Eucharist than someone's Lutheran wife approaching the altar? The Pope is absolutely right not to "make a ruling."  Giving communion to family members of registered Catholics (like consensual clerical sodomy) are widespread practices already in the well heeled German Church. A papal ruling would not stop either. These smokescreen peripheral mercy issues are exactly the issues the "depravity caucus " want to fight on. The German bishops need a much deeper conversation to reveal the corruption desacralizing the German priesthood and episcopacy. Enough with papal pronouncements. Let the German bishops speak to one another as men, face to face and behind close doors, about the heart of the gospel and the apostolic brotherhood which is so fractured in the country of Boniface.  We won't get all the bishops to agree but maybe we will get one Bishop Boniface to name their real differences. Problems cannot be solved if they are not first accurately named.

A welcome nuanced understanding from Crisis magazine - the German bishops must face each other. From the Catholic Thinga terrific article by Fr. Vavereck that it is the bishops who have been the sources of error for decades and it is the bishops who must clarify and contest each other for the truth. No need for papal proclamations; time for apostolic bishops.

ARCHBISHOP APURON OF GUAM SHOWS UP IN ROME. POPE FRANCIS BLAMED. CARDINAL BURKE NOT MENTIONEDIs this a fair story?  Apuron should have ben barred from saying Mass or presenting himself in any way as a Catholic priest. The failure to give him a just punishment falls on the Judge sent to preside over the case. That is Cardinal Ray Burke, not Pope Francis. Why attack the father instead of the real culprit?  It goes against the "conservative narrative" to find their lavishly bedecked heroine at fault when the black shoed grandfather Pope is at hand for more patriarchy smashing.

THE MASS WILL SAVE THE CULTURE: The power of the ancient rite among young people. Christianity is a culture of life because it is a culture of praise and cultivation - a brilliant article by a Yale graduate student. This young man is swimming deep. It is Christianity expressed in the forms of religious worship, national fatherlands, and families that will cultivate and protect life. Catholic culture has always tried to incorporate these loyalties where they are found when baptizing the different tribes and peoples. Well done!


AFGHANISTANA soldiers tale. One of the great costs of the war against Trump is he can't really build the big power coalitions (especially with Russia) needed to get us out of Afghanistan and Syria. ...and getting out of those two countries is what we need to do and one major reason he was elected. Taliban and Iran are making agreements. Why?

THE SAUDI-ISRAELI ALLIANCE - A FEW TAKESFrom Stratford and from al Jazeera.

THE WAR ON YEMENUncomfortable necessary reports.

IRAN, ISRAEL, AND THE US: Pat Buchanan explains the situationBolton, Bibi and Impending WarWar with Iran - Can Russia save us from disaster?

REGIME CHANGE FOR IRAN AND A GROUP CALLED MEK: Iranians for Regime Change. Wikipedia description of some crucial history. This group is often cited favorably by anti-Iran politicians. This group favored Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). The idea that they are the liberal hope for democracy to follow a war against Iran which yearns to be free since "a dictatorship took over the country in 1979." Don't tell anyone but the Iranian religious revolution against the westernized Persian emperor (the Shah of Iran) was a pretty popular movement. From Wikipedia:
Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK) was founded on 5 September 1965 by six Muslim students who were affiliated with the Freedom Movement of Iran; however in a coup-style ideological transformation, leftist members hijacked the Muslim group and adopted a Marxist platform in 1975.[48] The organization engaged in armed conflict with the Pahlavi dynasty in the 1970s and played an active role in the downfall of the Shah in 1979. They hailed "His Highness Ayatollah Khomeini as a glorious fighter (Mojahed)" and urged all to remain united behind him against plots by royalists and imperialists.
Following the revolution, they participated in March 1979 referendum and strongly supported the Iran hostage crisis, but boycotted the Islamic Republic constitutional referendum in December 1979, being forced to withdraw their candidate for the Iranian presidential election in January 1980 as a result. Furthermore, despite the fact that the organization's top candidate received as much as 531,943 votes in Tehran electoral district and had a few candidates in the run-offs, it was unable to win a single seat in the 1980 Iranian legislative election. Allied with President Abolhassan Banisadr, the group clashed with the ruling Islamic Republican Party while avoiding direct and open criticism of Khomeini until June 1981, when they declared war against the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and initiated a number of bombings and assassinations targeting the clerical leadership.

The organization gained a new life in exile, founding the National Council of Resistance of Iran and continuing to conduct violent attacks in Iran. In 1983, they sided with Saddam Hussein against the Iranian Armed Forces in the Iran–Iraq War, a decision that was viewed as treason by the vast majority of Iranians and which destroyed the MEK's appeal in its homeland. In 1988, a fatwa by Khomeini led to the executions of political prisoners, including MEK members.
The group says it renounced violence in 2001. However, the MEK has been accused by numerous commentators of being financed, trained, and armed by Israel to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and educators.


MARXISM - A WESTERN PROJECT THAT FAILED: From Rusty Reno in First Things quoting John Gray’s little book Liberalism:
“The Soviet collapse and the Chinese project of market reform do not, as contemporary classical liberal thinkers and I myself once supposed, augur the global spread of Western-style civil societies: they exemplify the global reach of market institutions—a very different matter.” Far from the triumph of liberalism, the end of communism suggests its relative decline. “The ruin of Soviet Marxism was, after all, the failure of a universalist Western ideology, of a species of the Enlightenment project; it was not the end, but the resumption of history, in forms as little likely to be liberal as they are to be ever again Marxist.” The liberalism that participates in end-of-history, deliverance-of-reason, and state-of-nature universalism is a close cousin of Marxism. John Rawls, like Karl Marx, dreamed of the end of politics, which is another way of saying the end of history. Karl Marx, of course, envisioned an implausible withering away of the state in a socialist utopia, but Rawls and other liberal theorists live in the same mental world. In the Rawlsian scheme, we will come up with the procedural rules of justice that will be final and complete, a liberal utopia that keeps at bay the public contestations of religious and other substantive views of human fulfillment. Gray is right. The failure of communism does not mean the triumph of the modern, secular West. Marxism itself is a pure product of the West, an entirely modern secular project, which is why the terrible crimes of communism leave most Western intellectuals untroubled, and Marxism retains its allure. Marxism’s failure—which is very real—is a failure of secular modernity in the West.
Mr. Reno is today's most dynamic voice at First Things. There is no religious political understanding so urgent as understanding that the tradition we seek to defend is not the Modern West but Christianity and the nations. It is the key to making sense of Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and President Trump. Many prominent writers at First Things seem to resent these nationalist male leaders. May Mr. Reno move beyond the Republican party neocon stable to find many more voices representing the civilizations, religions and nations which constitute the international order.

DID ANY GOOD COME FROM COMMUNISM? The Communist ideology was more successful than Catholic "social teaching" in organizing states capable of militarily defeating the two great racial empires of Nazi Germany and Shinto Japan in WWII. The Communist role in those military victories protecting the national homelands of Russia, China, Korea, and Vietnam allowed the murderous ideology another fifty years of cultural hegemony over religion and nationalism. Marxism was not an opponent of the West. It is an opponent of religion, patria, and familia. But it allowed the defense of patria and thus survived long past its expiration date. It is the epitome of the Enlightenment, materialist Science and the godless West. It was a formidable foe and it defeated some formidable foes.

ANGELA STENT SPEECH ON RUSSIA: She is a serious student of Russia. She is a liberal, secular, Western apologist but she knows history. A woman we should learn from. She is the wife of the most important scholar on energy in America - Daniel Yergin. This audio is from an important national security scholarly initiative at the University of Texas.

ARMENIA HAS A VELVET REVOLUTION: Their Russian neighbors don't intervene.

VE DAY - MAY 9 IN RUSSIA. NETANYAHU IS THERE FOR THE CELEBRATION: World War Two is not fake news. It really happened and it was in all the newspapers. The greatest ally for the US in the defeat of Nazi Germany was the Soviet Union. They lost over 20 million people in the war. Three of every four German soldiers killed in the war were killed by the Red Army. The war in Russia came to be known as the Great Patriotic War as love for the homeland more than working class solidarity was the banner under which the country fought. Benjamin Netanyahu is historically literate enough to share this day with President Putin. National statesmen represent their nation to other nations in changing seas of accord and conflict. The great task of religious statesmen is to interpret the world's map of religions, civilizations, and countries informed by a historical memory aware of God's Providence and the ultimate fraternal destiny of the nations. Mr Netanyahu is an honest secularized leader representing Israel. That will not be enough to solve the present crisis. Russia's Putin may be the man to bring a larger more theocentric understanding which will include Shiite Persian Iran as a nation deserving respect and a promise of mutual peace.


IN GOD WE TRUST IN MINNESOTA: We strongly favor efforts to reintroduce acts of prayer and piety toward God and nation in our public life. This bill has it just right and thus the opposition from the usual subjects.

CHILDREN MERCY AND G.K. CHESTERTON: “For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.”

TOXIC RESTRICTIVE MASCULINITYTexan academics have a plan to rescue us.

MYANMAR KILLING FIELDSA PBS Frontline documentary A better religious-historical explanation - AOA Map on Monday: Burma


REST IN PEACE OR EXIT IN BITTERNESS: John McCain has fired one last salvo at President Trump in his disturbingly pathological war against the President. The public hatred for Donald Trump who broke up the bipartisan ruling elite should never be described as extreme partisanship. This is quite beyond party allegiances and the role of McCain in giving wings to the "Russian dossier" is proof that something more sinister was at play here.  John McCain has been among the worse of creatures  in the Life of the Swamp.  Hatred knows no party. He has been an organizer of hate masquerading as patriotism for three decades. He had a peculiar role with the Clintons and Ted Kennedy in the old establishment.  McCain played the warrior statesman, Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate and Hillary Clinton was to become the most qualified candidate ever to run for Presidency. Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump put an end to that charade as outsider presidents. The curtain falls on the post Cold war baby boomer era of decadence. We will see if McCain's burial has any hint of the religious reflections which should accompany the passing of a human soul. At this time it is being organized as a sequel to recent PBS specials which lionized Mr. McCain as a saintly maverick and trivialized Mr. Trump as a graceless loudmouth.

THE CHRISTIAN CASE AGAINST GINA HASPEL AS HEAD OF THE CIA: John Kiriakou spent twenty months in prison for revealing the CIA waterboard interrogation policy. His argument here is more than a brief against Haspel. It is formulating a realistic real world scenario that confronts a Christian with drawing lines or refusing to participate in the world of terrorists, torture and interrogation.

SCIENCE, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND EPA CHIEF SCOTT PRUITT: Pruitt is fighting the big war. If he is pulled down for personal excesses it will delay the much needed national debate about the nature of science, creation, man, and the environment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Parish Pope Disappoints the Intellectuals.

One criticism of Pope Francis by Catholic intellectuals who were shaped by the  papacies of the great  theologian Pope Benedict and the great philosopher Pope John Paul II is that Pope Francis doesn't   quite share the intellectual sophistication of those past popes and these present critics. They describe the pope as  "provincial" accusing him of being limited  by Argentina's peculiar theological political experience.


This condescending insult is uttered from the perch of Conservative Catholic Western intellectuals who have been recently overrun in the culture wars by gay marriage from the Left and in civic life by the nationalist-populist Presidency of Donald Trump. Except for Marxist college professors it is hard to think of a more discredited isolated group of thinkers than the Catholic Republican party intellectuals who once presented John McCain and Sara Palin to lead the political fight against the sexual revolution. They now accuse the provincial Pope of caving in to the zeitgeist. The Pope's English-speaking critics are media-amplified in a way his Spanish speaking defenders are not. When your voice is multiplied daily by thousands of readers/listeners it makes it especially hard to examine one's own cultural myopia. Like NBC, ABC, and CBS reporting on Donald Trump, it is hard to see bias when every day you interpret a new report that verifies your storyline.    
The parish Mass is the axis mundi of the world. There is noone more oriented to the central reality of sacred space, time and person than a parish priest celebrating Mass. He is so parochial.  There is no-one so locally grounded in a city and the world than a good Catholic bishop tending his diocese while praying with the Church. Nor is there any man  who knows the international interplay of nations better than he who first loves a patria of his own. One way to see the world is travel it. Another way is to stay in a single place and stay attentive as the world and present age pass through.
 Pope Francis is fluent in Spanish and Italian. He is  comfortable in French, German, Portuguese and Ukrainian. He is conversant in Latin. His English is quite poor. It is not clear which language would be best for a dialogue between him and his American critics. The Pope has intensely studied  Romano Guardini and his notion of the unity of polar opposites. This desire to transcend what seem to be unresolvable conflicts of conservatives and liberals or right and left by going to a higher plane for some synthetic unity is why Mary, Unraveler of Knots, is his favorite image of Our Lady. The Pope's daily prayer life is hopelessly parochial: Mass, the office, a rosary and a holy hour. He has been known to fall asleep in his holy hour but he excuses it and even rationalizes further with a statue of the sleeping St Joseph at his bedside. From the beginning he said he wanted to redraw the lines of stasis (the point of contention in a rhetorical argument) between the Church and humanity.
Unfortunately a lot of the intellectual work of this holy man has not been published in English for his monolingual critics to learn from. Thus they mistake his homespun conversational style for a lack of intellectual sophistication.  Let us here consider some of his own words and the writings of others who know him better to assess the charge that we have a man not quite up to the intellectual challenges of the office he has been bequeathed. If his critics would looked honestly they might experience a "John Allen moment" in evaluating this pope. Crux editor John Allen (formerly of the  National Catholic Reporter) had written a very derogatory book about Pope Benedict when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger. A liberal book reviewer chastised Allen for his attitude of unrelenting opposition replacing honest reporting. To his great credit, Allen confessed his sin and looked anew at his subject. John Allen is still a hopelessly old style Catholic liberal but he is an honest journalist. Maybe some of the men at Catholic Thing, First Things, Catholic Culture, National Catholic Register and Catholic World Report might follow his good example and give the Holy Father a second look.

 An interview with Massimo Borghesi, an intellectual who understands the Pope's thinking far more profoundly than his critics. Edward Pentin is to be thanked for allowing a defender of the Pope in his column space. It would be a great gift if some English speaking Catholic journalists would do for Francis what Ignatius Press did for Pope Benedict - translate his writings and favorite thinkers for  English speaking Catholics.



THE INTELLECTUAL'S TRAP  "A dangerous confusion can arise. We can think that because we know something, or are able to explain it in certain terms, we are already saints, perfect and better than the “ignorant masses.” Saint John Paul II warned of the temptation on the part of those in the Church who are more highly educated “to feel somehow superior to other members of the faithful.” In point of fact, what we think we know should always motivate us to respond more fully to God’s love. Indeed, “you learn so as to live: theology and holiness are inseparable.”

 DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE. "We will not admit the existence of the devil if we insist on regarding life by empirical standards alone, without a supernatural understanding. It is precisely the conviction that this malign power is present in our midst that enables us to understand how evil can at times have so much destructive force. in leaving us the Our Father, Jesus wanted us to conclude by asking the Father to “deliver us from evil”. That final word does not refer to evil in the abstract; a more exact translation would be “the evil one”. It indicates a personal being who assails us. Jesus taught us to ask daily for deliverance from him, lest his power prevail over us." "...Hence, we should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea."

BE HOLY WHERE YOU ARE. "Let the grace of your baptism bear fruit in a path of holiness. Let everything be open to God; turn to him in every situation. Do not be dismayed, for the power of the Holy Spirit enables you to do this, and holiness, in the end, is the fruit of the Holy Spirit We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by labouring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. Are you a parent or grandparent? Be holy by patiently teaching the little ones how to follow Jesus. Are you in a position of authority? Be holy by working for the common good and renouncing personal gain'"

A set of four governing Christian principles provide practical guidance to true reform :
Unity comes before conflict;                 The Whole comes before the part;

Reality comes before the idea;             Time comes before space.
It was a great disappointment to the keepers of orthodoxy that Pope Francis did not settle the German bishops conference 2018 dispute about communion for Protestant spouses with an authoritative papal  judgment. He told the German bishops to pray, talk, argue and come up with a UNANIMOUS decision. Unanimity means to be of one spirit-one soul. It is what American jurisprudence expects of juries in deciding innocence or guilt in criminal courts. It is the nature of the ancient masculine covenants when every man was circumcised and "Israel fought as one man".
A major drive in the Francis papacy has been to renew the synodal form of face to face collegiality as a way of governance and debate among bishops.  The incredible corruption that has infected the Catholic priesthood and episcopacy requires searing discussions in bishop conferences and dioceses. Sometimes there will be one bishop who calls out a dozen corrupt priests or fellow bishops. Sometimes a synod of shepherds will start moving against the criminal hirelings. The debates needed in the northern and Spanish speaking churches  are not really about rules for communicants. The central divisions are about the character of the celebrants. The great divisions in the Church are among the bishops and about the bishops. A string of orthodox popes and their eloquent pronouncements have not solved the crisis.  The divisions among the bishops are about the existence of the Devil, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the difference between a sacral brotherhood and the kiss of Sodom. The way to achieve unanimity on these central questions is to bring them into the light and then punish and expel the bishops whose fondness for sodomy is paired with their disbelief in Satan.  Once the local argument is properly framed then appeals to the pontiff will be very appropriate and the "dictator pope" can help with acts of authority and discipline.
  The confusion in the priesthood about the nature of authoritative male brotherhood and patriarchy  has created a particular kind of deficit in the global south.  The general confusion in the global church about masculine authority has rendered Africa's bishops without a proper grammar to encourage armed  civic authority against armed drug cartels and religious jihadists. The bishops in these countries need to speak of the duties of male citizens and governments to go beyond ethnic loyalties in protecting all by  establishing the armed order of shared national citizenship. This necessary speech is utterly squelched by the pacifist bishops of northern rich countries. This includes all of our recent popes.  Suddenly every German and half the Americans are Anabaptists. The protective deficit of pacifist ideology seems a frequent fruit of the soft personalities of corrupted  masculine order.
The Church is very good at providing public services of  education and hospitals in African countries. We must also be clear in sanctioning political authorities in their legitimate use of physical force to maintain the tranquility of order. Universal proclamations against war and capital punishment are a perverse new colonizing ideology against people who above all need the governance of strong men and competent protective states.  This problem affects Latin America as much as Africa but in a very different form. In Latin America the nations are in place but the Catholic culture has not created military-political personalities who can establish order and justice. The left created its leaders but that is an exhausted project. The feminists put forth a string of modern feminist careerists. Enough said.   A Catholic Bolivar has not emerged. In Africa, the nation itself  and the masculine bond of territorial citizenship is weak. The great Catholic leader and how he will define his principal political community has not emerged either.  When he does, one wonders how the Catholic talking class will measure him.
    The civic and episcopal  problems of the breakdown of legitimate authority and Christian masculine order are deeply related. Their solutions will come from a renewal of the patriarchal fraternities in church and civic life charged with the duties of governance. Pope Francis does not formulate the problem quite like this but he does foster local ecclesial fraternity as the path to Church and civic order. He  can see German sexual disorder and African social chaos. He advocates serious bishop synods in the different regions without knowing what they will engender. He has no pronouncement to make. He is neither confused nor unsure. He abides in time and trusts the Holy Spirit.

Pope Francis is making major diplomatic initiatives with Russia and China. Here is an excellent dissection of the intellectual and pastoral basis of his approach to China. The Pope is definitely a nation man but he is the Pope first. When nations meet migrant overrun, the Pope will defend the alien. Pope Francis does not think of Juan Peron as Karl Marx. He does not confuse Simon Boliver with Robespierre. He is not a global capitalist.  Francis has reemphasized the role of Vatican diplomacy amidst the nations. Like President Trump and Pope John XXIII, he takes the corporate existence of nations as a central political reality which demands direct interpersonal relations among representative leaders. He represents the Body of Christ and the desire for reconciliation among all the sons of Adam who since the time of Noah live as the different nations. Like his predecessors he sees reconciliation with the Orthodox as central. Unlike them he regards the Pentecostal movement in Christianity and the emergence of China among the nations as keys to the next millennium.  Pope Francis is a different man than Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. One should hesitate to say he is less sophisticated.         



Saturday, May 5, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 5

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


President Donald Trump's face to face, nation to nation diplomacy in Asia has invigorated Xi Jinping of China to intervene actively in pressing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un toward new initiatives of denuclearization and national reconciliation in Korea. Korean leaders Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un  have responded with a renewed desire for national reconciliation.

Could a truly nationalist strategy in the Mideast lead to a similar realignment of forces and understanding? This can only happen if we become clear about the national, ethnic,  and religious loyalties which are driving (and obscuring) our two major conflicts. These are two different conflicts. Afghanistan is a conflict set in a South Asia context with national and tribal loyalties confused by the old British line of demarcation (the Durand Line) separating Pashtuns of Pakistan from Pashtuns of Afghanistan. India, China and Russia from the outside and Iran and Pakistan from the inside are needed to end this conflict. It is difficult to see how a US military presence will be a catalyst for that fivesome to come together. We have one chip to play and that is leveraging our departure.

In the Mideast, the most crucial dispute among nations which must be resolved is the long standing war of Israel against Iran. Israel is a US ally but their desire to destroy the Shiite government of Iran cannot be embraced as our foreign policy. The US policy toward Israel should be a radical allegiance to their existence within defensible boundaries but an end to our blanket endorsement of their out of state military strikes. Israel has a much better claim to build settlements on the West Bank than to bomb military facilities in neighboring sovereign states. Israel is a real nation which won the Golan Heights as a northeast border and the Jordan River as their eastern border in an honest war. Palestine as a nation is an imagined community of a globalist bureaucracy more attached to a nation that does not exist than the real nations with border guards. There may not be a Palestinian nation but Syria, Iraq and Iran are real nations. All three are Muslim and the states of all three are being undermined in their ability to govern. When states are undermined, the refugees flow. A nationalist American policy will defend Israel inside its national borders but will not sanction strikes against the sovereign state of Syria, threats against the sovereign nation of Iran and the continuing undermining of Iraq's ' ability to establish internal order and choose its own allies. What principle of international law allows Israel to tell Syria that they must evict their ally (Iran) who just shed blood to help save their state?

The most notorious government disrupting the order of sovereign nations and religious freedom in the Mideast is the Wahhabi-Saudi bargain known as Saudi Arabia. The foreign policy of the ever  shrinking Salman branch of the Saudi royal clan is driven by a need to placate Wahhabi clerics in their jihadist campaign against Shiites as false Muslims. Mistaking the Wahhabi jihad as a bitter rivalry of one country (Saudi Arabia) against another (Iran) is more evidence of the spiritual blindness that has misdirected our response to the attack against our nation on  9/11/2001. The Saudi bombing of Shiite Houthis of Yemen, their suppression of the Shiite majority in  Bahrain, their limitation of Shiite expressions of worship in the Holy Cities, their suppression of Shiite political expression in their Eastern oil rich provinces, their fomenting of anti Shiite violence against the elected Iraq government, their support of civil war against the Assad Shiite-Sunni government in Syria, and their blockading of Qatar for trading with Shiites are not fronts in a war against Iran as a nation. These are all instances of the deep and murderous anti Shiite campaign that Muhammed bin Salman is waging to keep the support of the Wahhabi clerics in his bid for royal power. He has many relatives with contesting claims to the Saudi throne. He needs the clerical establishment. Part of the bargain is to get the religious police to ease up on a few rich ladies who want to drive and go to soccer games. What is allowed and accelerated  is the killing of Shiite Houthis in impoverished Yemen, executing Shiite clerics inside of Saudi Arabia, and forging a military alliance with Israel to cripple the mullahs of Iran. America's atheist feminist press corps will report this bloody bargain as progress for women and evidence that the Saudis are no longer anti-Jewish.

The salafist Sunni movement of armed religious purification by al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, and al Shabaab has a hundred names and iterations but it flows from a single spring. This is  not a senseless cycle of sectarian violence. This is not the continuation of a thousand year war of all Shiites against all Sunnis. This is the very modern Wahhabi play for leadership in the world of Islam through jihad. One could argue it started with the Saudi-Wahhabi expulsion of the Hashemites from Mecca and Medina in 1925.  But the accelerated renewal started in 1979 with a salafist takeover of the mosque in Mecca and the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The movement dramatically targeted  the US in 2001 and then turned on the Shiites in Iraq in 2006. The alliance of Israel with this anti Shiite purification movement against Iran is at least a decade old. It is a doomed alliance and inimical to the US principle of accepting sovereign nation-states in the Mideast. This joining of the most secular militaristic interests in Israel  under Netanyahu with the most virulently jihadist religiosity of Wahhabis under bin Salman is an alliance which Christian America cannot underwrite. Unfortunately it is the chariot that President Trump has presently chosen for his ride into battle.

Benjamin Netanyahu is the de-facto leader of the armed and godless West. He is certainly more a leader than Angela Merkel. But his fear of Iran  cannot be ours. He was "the man" used by Republican conservatives to insult President Obama in a way they did not dare themselves.  We are reaping the bitter fruits of such partisan disrespect for the office of the President.  Prime Minister Netanyahu is  more Saul than David. He is putting faith in an unholy alliance with a very young and very dubious foreign prince. That has never ended well for Israel.  Mr Netanyahu has shown no inclination to trust a spiritual power greater than Israeli arms, scientific knowledge and technology. He is sowing hatred  among neighboring nations that will bring a curse upon future generations of Israelis.  The Netanyahu foreign policy is anti nationalist at its core. Christian America cannot be a peacemaker or a protector by supporting an alliance of the arms of the West with the hatreds of Wahhabis against the religions and nations of the region. Israel as a nation we should defend. Israel in alliance with the Wahhabi jihad we should reprimand and rescue. God is just and the nations of the Mideast are Abraham's offspring as surely as all nations come from Adam and Noah. President Eisenhower refused to accompany  Israel, France, and Britain on their imperial adventure against Nasser and Egypt over the Suez Canal in 1956. His nationalist impulses were right. Eisenhower did not let us play the imperialist then and Trump should save us from acting like the Great Satan now.


The Persian Shiites are bordered by radical Sunnis in Pakistan and harassed by frightened Jews in Israel. Both Israel and Pakistan have deliverable nuclear weapons. Persia had centrifuges.

President Obama in the face of unprecedented  foreign interference by our ally Israel and our enemy Saudi Arabia moved the US forward in dealing with Iran. At great personal cost and humiliation, he saved us from war with Syria. He refused to play the Saudi game which John McCain and Hillary Clinton urged upon him. His reticence for war allowed President Trump the chance to eliminate ISIS by keeping us from war against Syria, Russia, and Iran. President Trump now has a real opportunity for peace if he does not enter the Saudi-Israeli war council against Iran.

There is a huge worldwide opportunity to remake alliances after the divisions of WWII and the Cold War. Just as Ronald Reagan benefitted from the Nixon-Kissinger China diplomacy and the Carter-Brzezinski Afghanistan initiative, President Trump must not waste the strategic American achievement of John Kerry and Barack Obama. He must think America First and reject the fleeting foreign policy objectives underlying the brittle alliance of Muhammed bin Salman and Israel.

War against Iran will quickly pit us against Iraq, the very country we liberated a decade ago. This will also set us against the two major countries that President Trump should be seeking in a new post Cold War concert of powers: Russia and China. It is time for journalists and senators to elevate the national conversation about  our place among the nations as a nation. If they want to obsess about Stormy, they should get her off the evening national news and watch at night on their home computers. Our national journalists should be dealing with a war that is looming and a peace that is possible. We must deal in our public discourse with the life and death national decisions facing the President we elected. We have to show him true loyalty as our  president so we can have a fruitful discussion with him on policy. We must think like men, like nation-men with a world map shaping our shared imaginations and a historical timeline informing our corporate memory. Candidate Trump once suggested restrictive policies on Muslim immigration until we figure out "what the hell is going on." With Iran, Israel and the salafist jihadists of Saudi Arabia, we have not yet figured out what the hell is going on. We haven't really paid back those murderers who attacked our beloved New York. Can we talk?


POPE FRANCIS' KITCHEN CABINET WAS ESTABLISHED TO BE AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM THAT COULD REFORM THE CURIA: This Council of Nine from various countries was to be a trusted non-Curial, non-Italian international instrument for reform under the Pope. It was part of the genius of Francis that he would not try to tackle the labyrinth alone. He would set up a trusted synodal form working for reform. But his trusted council cannot be trusted. The corruption runs very deep in the Catholic episcopacy. His team is in tatters. The cabinet as an instrument was an excellent strategy. He needs to replace and rebuild.

WHY DID SHAPE OF WATER WIN THE OSCAR? Catholic Bishop Robert Barron predicted it.

SMUT NIGHT: The White House Correspondents Dinner - by Buchanan. Here is AOA's response to the dinner.


WHY WE THOUGHT WE WENT TO WAR - A HISTORY OF INTERVENTIONS: Wars and Lies is uncomfortable reading and convincing documentation often revealed years after the fact.

EMMANUEL MACRON - KEEPING THE FLAME FOR MULTILATERAL GLOBALISM: ..against "aggressive nationalism." He may be friends with President Trump but he does not understand the movement of the nations. He is a committed multilateralist and "Western values universalist". He is decidedly non-religious. He is a younger reincarnation of the Obama-Clinton-Merkel sensibility. It is very good to talk with him and understand his view. He is much more level-headed about Iran than the neoconservatives of our own country. He is young but he is most decidedly not the future.

THE ISRAEL-IRAN CONFLICT IS THE MIDEAST'S MOST DANGEROUS: Can Russia be their mediator? Israel vs Iran - more and more direct role in Syria.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Feminism in an Evening Dress. Journalism in a Clown Suit. Saturday Night Live with White House Correspondents.

by David Pence

Pope Francis teaches that one of the costumes of Satan is "an angel of light." He advises that when faced with an evil which poses as a social good, it is usually best to give the angel lots of room and rope. The depth of its depravity shows itself best when overconfidence leads to self-exposure.

Saturday night, April 28, President Trump was in Washington County, Michigan with a few thousand working people, and thus the annual White House Correspondents Dinner was given a big room and a lot of rope to celebrate freedom of speech and "speaking truth to power." They exposed themselves.

An award for "investigative journalism" was given to four CNN reporters for their "breaking news" Jan 10 report that President Obama and President-elect Trump had been briefed by the intelligence community "that Russia had compromising information about Trump." This "investigative reporting" was CNN publishing a leak about this meeting from a still unnamed anti-Trump government official. According to his memos, Mr. Comey gave that Jan 6 briefing to President Trump at the suggestion of Office of National Intelligence Chief James Clapper. Clapper, as well as John Brennan of the CIA, were at the briefing. CNN had the "Russian dossier" in early January. They wanted to publicize it but needed a "News Hook" by which it would seem a news story, instead of serving as a televised megaphone for opposition gossip. The Comey briefing became the CNN news story on Jan 10. Other outlets then published the details of the dossier. The WHCA awards gushed "thanks to this CNN investigation 'the dossier' is now part of the lexicon. The depth of reporting... showed breaking news reporting at its best." James Clapper, who suggested the Comey briefing, now works for CNN as a consultant. The real news story is the collusion of anti Donald Trump government officials and anti Donald Trump news media turning fabrications of Russian held prostitute videos into a news story and then a national security crisis requiring a special prosecutor. Most importantly this has poisoned a signature initiative of the Trump Presidency to reformulate relations with Russia in the post Cold War environment of competing nations and civilizations.  The two year resistance movement of high ranking intelligence officials hampering effective governance and a new foreign policy by election winner and outsider Donald Trump is an amazing story crying out for investigative journalists. Maybe next year whoever tells it will win an award.  

James Clapper spent most of his career in the Air Force;
he retired as a lieutenant general in 1995

If CNN's role in manufacturing news can win a medal for investigative journalism, then the angel of light fully disclosed herself in Michelle Wolf's monologue posing as the evening's entertainment. If the essence of femininity is purity and interiority, then the anti Mary is raunchiness and self exposure. If the protective nature of woman is motherhood then the anti Mary is "On abortion, don't knock it, till you try it and when you do try it, really knock it..(makes elbow gesture) you know you gotta get that baby out of there."  Her non-stop pornography laced skit reminds us why for two centuries American free speech protection did not cover obscenity, flag burning, or taking God's name in vain. Under a modernist cover of free speech, the category of the sacred has been bleached from existence. On that unhappy night of self exposure,  nothing was left unspoken or  "out of  sight"-- the real root of the word obscene. The traditional spirit of obscenity laws was a set of protective customs keeping certain dimensions of human life as sacred and private -- a dimension meant to be hidden. It is true that some things are kept out of sight because they are "dirty" but other things are kept out of sight because they are sacred. This notion is a dimension often associated with feminine beauty --with a hat or a veil-- with a gown that reflects beauty but doesn't disclose her. None of those truths made it to the Saturday night massacre of feminine purity and journalistic integrity.

It was a bad night for women and a bad night for journalism. It was a night in which the demonic angel of light revealed herself. She did not come looking like an old crone and she gave evidence of a resilient intelligence. She smiled as she described the ultimate act of domestic violence: the infanticide of abortion. She dismissed the protective male as a man trying to get close enough to get a feel. They laughed when she spoke of castration and rape and tragic deaths.

The next day, "conservative" media had its own peculiar but telling reaction. Because they cannot summon the transcendence of religious foundations or the clarity of masculine thought, most complained that the comic was viciously anti Trump or she was a bully for making fun of Sarah Huckabee Sanders' looks. Watch the evening without your feminist implant. Retire your position from the bully patrol. Watch with the heart of a father or mother. This group's sin was not disrespecting Donald Trump. They struck at deeper foundations. They transgressed the sacred sexual boundaries of public and private order. The dressed up media all together in living color with their chosen mouthpiece are a dangerous lot. They control the non stop imagery shaping our culture's narrative. They inject their chaos in our children's brain patterns. To accuse them of making fun of Sarah Sanders' makeup was like watching a mass murder and then complaining that the killer didn't wear his seat belt in the getaway car.

Something very ugly happened on a Saturday night at the end of April in Washington DC. The President was wise to be in Washington, Michigan. A day of reckoning is approaching. That demonic angel of light was left out on her own with no big daddy to rail against. She exposed herself.  Like all the ancient witches she is a danger to the lives of  little children and the innocence of young virgins. May a renewed national brotherhood of fathers under God soon end her reign.