Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola -- 'Militia est vita hominis in terra' (Man's life on earth is a warfare)

[first published July 31, 2014]

"Everything that Jesus did, from His crying as a Babe in the cradle to His getting tired and falling asleep, to His agony in the Garden, all of that is a pattern for us to imitate."

Father John Hardon, the Jesuit who died in 2000, explains that the Person of Christ is the first attribute of the spirituality of Saint Ignatius: "Man's virtues are God's attributes."


The founder of the Jesuits -- unlike his Protestant contemporaries -- understood the true dignity of human freedom. Take a look at Father Hardon's fine essay.
"Take Lord and receive all my liberty... To Thee, Oh Lord, I return it. All is Thine... Give me Thy Love and Thy Grace for this is sufficient for me."         (Saint Ignatius of Loyola)
The First Jesuit Pope is Pope Francis. Many modern day Jesuits have betrayed the masculine personality of Ignatius and ignored the Evil One who Ignatius was always careful to discern and oppose. This has confused many conservative Catholics about Pope Francis. Pope Francis is not James Martin. The Pope  is not playing to the spirit of this age. Quite the contrary, Pope Francis is bringing a much needed dimension to the papal office which has been sorely lacking for over half a century. If John Paul gave priests the words of a Prophet and Benedict XVI taught the clergy to reverence the liturgy as a  priest, we believe Pope Francis will bring the king's ruling function to the priesthood and episcopacy. We believe the Pope has been misunderstood by his intellectual critics of the global North. A series of our defenses of the first Jesuit Pope.    

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JULY 27

by A. Joseph Lynch
& Past Commentary of Dr. David Pence


As Robert Mueller testified before Congress this week, we look back at what Dr. Pence had to say about Mueller and his report on April 27, 2019:
There is no discussion in the [Mueller] Report of the foreign manipulation by British and Australian agents. They expertly "recruited" the shared hatred for Donald Trump by John McCain and Hillary Clinton. The British as geopolitical actors were understandably against any new strategic alliance between the US and Russia. That would benefit the US but greatly diminish British importance in the asymmetrical Anglo alliance. Christopher Steele got paid but his motivation preceded requests for opposition research. Christopher Steele is in the best James Bond tradition of British intelligence. He will take whatever pleasures and personal benefits come his way but in the end he wants to serve his country and hurt her enemies. He despises Russia and considered Donald Trump a foolish immature American who didn't understand the adult world of international alliances. The American politicians and intelligence officers he manipulated were no match for a man toughened as head of the Russian desk for M16 in London. The Russian dossier is a foreigner's disinformation campaign which had plenty of willing American megaphones. There is nothing so easily manipulated by foreigners as the small mindedness of party and government careerists - it's a bipartisan coastal elite character fault.

The Mueller report has laid out a case for impeaching the President for obstruction of justice. Mueller clearly explained he didn't indict Trump because of a Justice Department legal opinion that the way to charge a President is by articles of impeachment not indictments. He did say in a footnote that Trump could be indicted when out of office. The rebellion against the elected President continues. Mr. Mueller has never been a neutral. He has put forth the case and now the House is called on to impeach. The fact that many of us think the case is not only weak but ludicrous does not mean Mueller has not deliberately put forth an impeachment brief. The impeachment temptation may be irresistible for the Trump-haters. Even knowing the Senate would not remove him from office, the House Democrats could say the House patriots impeached but the Senate partisans covered up.

...Still we can take heart that things are much clearer today than before the Trump presidency. Robert Mueller will not do well in the light. Myopia and misdirection are the defining characteristics of Mueller's career in the FBI. Maybe it is some cosmic Karma that the FBI chief's stunning lack of interest in the Saudis after 9/11 was balanced by the Special Counsel's dragged out investigations of Russians after the Trump election. Mueller's inattention to the Saudis as FBI head in the decade after 9/11 is like Comey's whitewash of  Hillary Clinton for obstructing justice. The contrasts with how they treated President Trump make the ugly truth even more clear.
Mueller's testimony was stunning, but not because of any bombshells he lobbed at the President. His refusal to answer many basic question and his stammering response to many others left views with the impression of an inept and incompetent investigator. His lack of knowledge about his own report leads on to believe he had little to do with its writing. The man who testified before Congress was clearing not of the same caliber as the man who led the FBI twenty years ago.

Mueller didn't know what Fusion GPS was - the organization tied to the Steele dossier and the origins of his own investigation - and he refused to assess whether or not Steele was lying in the first place. He declared he did not exonerate the President, failing to mention the fact that prosecutors never exonerate those under investigation. He attempted to make a distinction between collusion and conspiracy, only to be rebutted by his own report.

Although Mueller refused to answer around two-hundred questions, House Republicans came ready for battle and scored an impressive victory for the President. If House Democrats wish to press forward on impeachment, they will face a unified Republican minority and and divided Democrat majority. We invite our readers to look at Pat Buchanan's assessment of the situation. 


MORE BRANSFIELD FALL OUT: Both the state's attorney general and the lay faithful are demanding answers to the corruption behind Bransfield. Archbishop Lori, who failed to report to Rome that he had received $7,500 in "gifts" from his subordinate Bransfield, has felt the money pinch from the faithful and announced an independent audit of diocesan accounting. Bishop Brennan, Lori's auxiliary bishop, will soon become Charleston, West Virginia. Will yet another subordinate of Lori do the right thing or will the corruption continue?

A CHURCH WITHOUT GOD: Why it won't work.

CHRIST CATHEDRAL DEDICATED: The Chrystal Cathedral is now Christ Cathedral. The cost to Orange county Catholics was a mere $130 million.


SCOTUS AND THE WALL: In a huge win for the President, the Supreme Court ruled to allow $2.5 billion from the military to be spent on the wall with Mexico. A legal fight continues, but the SCOTUS ruling indicates this fight will also go Trump's way.

DRAINING THE SWAMP: Trump may slowly be moving the government out of Washington D.C. The move of several offices has led to many employees refusing to relocate. Some offices of the Department of Agriculture, for example, are moving to Kansas City. The move will lead to cost savings for the government, reduced government employees in Washington, and more jobs held by Trump supporters in Kansas/Missouri. Another brilliant move by the President.

A GOVERNOR TO RESIGN: Corruption and mismanagement of hurricane assistance funds has led to the ouster of Puerto Rico's governor, Ricky Rosselló. Hurricane Maria has not proved to be Trump's Katrina after all. The question now is: can Puerto Rico get a corruption-free governor or is it doomed to elect another Rosselló crony?

MN HOUSE RACE: Danielle Stella, seeking to unseat the wildly unpopular Omar, seems to have been recently arrested twice for shoplifting. We hope the Minnesota GOP does a better job in selecting a candidate who should be a shoe-in on election day. With Omar's seemingly Salafist foreign policy positions, now is the time to run a candidate with a strong background in both religion and geopolitics. Meanwhile, Omar is paying back-taxes and fines related to her questionable marital history.


DETHRONED BEAUTY QUEEN: Miss Michigan, Kathy Zhu, was stripped of her crown over her support for Trump policies. She says its harder to "come out of the closet" as conservative than has gay.

CORRECTING MARTIN: James Martin has called for women preaching at Mass. Fr. Dwight Longenecker responds. We would add that much preaching in Catholic Masses are aimed at and worded for all-female audiences, often because women comprise an increasing percentage of Mass attenders. As homilies are directed towards women, delivered in a feminine-motherly tone, it is no wonder we are losing the men. What we need most of all now is the homilist who speaks man-to-man. It's the kind of preaching you'll encounter when prophets and apostles preached in the Bible. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JULY 20

by A. Joseph Lynch
& Past Commentary of Dr. David Pence


A week ago Nancy Pelosi and mainline Democrats were fending of attacks from the four most radical women of their party. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ("AOC") insinuated she was a racist. Not long after a leaked Axios poll for Democrats revealed that AOC had a 22% approval rating while Ilhan Omar stood at only 9%. Omar, an immigrant from Somalia with a questionable marital history, had made many remarks disparaging America.

Trump, playing four dimensional chess, brilliantly entered into the fray with some over-the-top tweets. The nature of the tweets can be summed up by a new sign at a Virginia church: "America: Love It or Leave It." Calling them "the squad," Trump has voiced and denounced their craziest comments. But by wording his tweets in a way that would enrage the radical Leftist media and the radicals in the Democrats' base, the moderate wing of the Democrats has been forced to defend the squad and their statements. In doing so they, with the media and the radical Left, are further discredited. Trump took a calculated risk. His tweets could ding him in the polls, but the effect on the Democrats would be much worse. A new poll revealed, however, that Trump's approval has since jumped four points to hit the 50% mark. He thanked the squad.

Pelosi, who had been defending herself from the squad, wrapped herself around the radical wing of her party and pushed through a condemnation of Trump's tweets. Omar took her newfound fame and prestige as an opportunity to push sanctions against Israel. Meanwhile, Rep. Al Green managed to bring presidential impeachment proceedings to a full floor vote in the House. It failed. Only ninety-five House members voted to move forward with impeachment. All of this plays right into the hands of the president.

What's most important, however, is that the verbal diarrhea of the Left about Trump's tweets completely drowned out the big story of the week: Trump effectively ended America's current asylum program by invoking the "safe third country" policy. From now on, asylum seekers who, on the way to America, pass through a third country that accepts asylum seekers must first apply for asylum there. This should have been the news story of the week. Instead of "defending the refugee" the Left in the media and Congress defended four radicals who hate America. Like it or not, this week brought Trump - and the nation - huge victories.


BISHOP EXORCISES CITY: After a ten-year old girl was brutally murdered in the crime-ridden city of Buenaventura, Columbia, its bishop, Ruben Dario Jaramillo Montoya, knew what to do. This past Sunday he performed an exorcism across the whole city, declaring: "We have to drive the devil out of Buenaventura, to see if we can restore the peace and tranquility that our city has lost due to so many crimes, acts of corruption and with so much evil and drug trafficking that invades our port." We need more bishops who think like this.

AFRICA IS THE FUTURE: Hundreds of African priests - particularly from Nigeria (the world's sixth largest Christian nation and fifth largest Islamic nation) - are filling the priest shortage in the US. Many Catholics aren't used to the way the speak. No, not just the accent. African men speak like men, using the imperative and declarative moods, while many effeminate men in the American priesthood speak in the motherly subjunctive.

BEHOLD, THE MILLENNIAL NUNS: An intriguing story from an unlikely source covering the rising number of millenials headed to the convent.


RESIGNED UK AMBASSADOR BACKED STEELE: The same ambassador who trashed Trump in cables to the UK government told a former State Department official that Steele - who wrote the infamous Trump dossier - was absolutely legit. We invite readers to re-read Dr. David Pence's Weekly Brief of September 18, 2018. Here is a quote from the article on the British, Steele, and Trump:
Is it foreign collusion when a white English speaking "ally" tries to frustrate American policy to favor British interests? The Russians buy Facebook ads. The British have relationships. The Brits are pretty good at getting bigger countries to help them in their foreign policy goals. Christopher Steele acted for his country against his country's enemy (Russia). He is loyal to his countrymen. The problem for a lot of us Americans with Mr Steele is that we elected Donald Trump who favored a policy of  making substantial changes in our policy toward Russia. Most British intelligence and government officials (in and out of government) see an American Russian alliance as very bad for Britain. Mr. Steele has tapped into the hatred of Donald Trump by the Democratic Party, the neocon wing of the Republican Party, and Intelligence officials who share the Anglo-American transatlantic vision of international relations. Those wellsprings of energy serve the foreign agent and the home grown resistance quite well. It comes as no surprise that "our allies" don't want too much about the Russian dossier to go public. Beware of white men speaking English who "look like us" but are serving another nation.
GOP WOMEN BACK TRUMP: CNN attempted to manipulate eight Texas women to call Trump racist over his recent tweets regarding the "the Squad" of four radical women in Congress. The women didn't cave. They went on the offensive.

APOLLO 11 AT 50: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. The battle between America and Communist Atheism was on full display in the space race. The Cold War was not a battle between capitalism and communism but a battle between religion and nations against an evil atheist empire. When America landed on the moon, we planted the flag and consumed Communion. Before Neil Armstrong declared his "one giant leap," Buzz Aldrin declared as he took Holy Communion: "As Jesus said: 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in Him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me'" (John 15:5). Communion with God was man's first meal on the moon. This moment was included in the HBO mini-series, From the Earth to the Moon. It never made it to air worldwide, however, because of a lawsuit by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, founder of American Atheists. It was O'Hair who led the fight to ban prayer in school. A good article on the topic of Communion on the moon and O'Hair tells of her grim fate:
And as for O'Hair? History was unkind. She disappeared in 1995 along with her son Jon and granddaughter Robin Murray. After a long hunt, their dismembered and charred bodies were found in a field. Authorities believe that David Waters, a former employee of O'Hair, masterminded a plot to rob and murder O'Hair. Her born-again son, William Murray, who lost not only his mother but also his brother and daughter to Waters and his associates, has spoken very strongly about his upbringing under O'Hair. He mourns his family but believes his mother was pumped up by her own hype and was even evil. In a statement given in 1999 he said, "she honestly believed she had singlehandedly removed prayer from school. She honestly believed she had 'liberated' America sexually".


POLISH COMMUNITIES LGBT-FREE: Government officials across Poland are declaring their towns, cities, and regions free of LGBT ideology. More from Church Militant. A Polish magazine is giving "LGBT-free zone" stickers to its readers and the Sexual Left has labeled it a call to violence. What is missing in the press is the gender sanity we've lost and Poland intends to keep.

ORTHODOX RUSSIANS IN SPACE: Although Christian America was the first to the moon, today's Russians are becoming deeply Christian. It is not uncommon for Russian cosmonauts to take icons and relics with them to space. They even brought up a fragment of the True Cross. How things have changed in fifty years!

ORTHODOX WIN WIMBLEDON: Steve Turley, an Orthodox Christian nationalist, discusses the epic wins.


ASKED TO LEAVE: Five cops - working July 4 so others could enjoy the civic holy day - were kicked out of Starbucks because they made someone "feel unsafe." Starbucks apologized. While the apology and reprimand of the employee are welcome, customers who would kick out law enforcement should be called out and given the boot themselves.

COACH RED PILL - BUSINESS LOVES FEMINISM: The video is a bit crass, but "Coach Red Pill" does a good job of explaining the close relationship - or "marriage" - between Big Business and Radical Feminism.

"GAY STREET" MAKEOVER: First it was LGB, then LGBT, then LGBTQ, and more recently LGBTQIA. They've since added the "+" because the list of letters is too long to write. Facebook offers its users the choice of fifty-eight different genders options. A TED Talk given by Mirjam Heine arguing that "pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation, just like for example heterosexuality." When will that "P" be added to the acronym? Here's "Gay Street" in NYC:

"Gay Street" NYC

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JULY 13

by A. Joseph Lynch
& Past Commentary of Dr. David Pence


Before we address the Weekly Brief, today is the one month anniversary of the burial of our friend, mentor, and spirit behind the Anthropology of Accord: Dr. David Pence. As we here at AoA give thanks for the gift and man that he was, we invite all our readers to join us this morning in prayer for the repose of his soul. We also invite you to listen to the outstanding eulogy delivered by his son, Cain, at his wake. Both he and his brother, Mike, were the strongest men at their father's funeral. 

Dr. Pence is gone, but never forgotten. His words ring as true today regarding Jeffery Epstein as they were when he wrote them regarding Harvey Weinstein:
Harvey Weinstein is just the tip of the atheist Hollywood pornography cult. Exploiting actresses in this inverted cult is actually less common than the young male meat market. But who will write that story?  Like the overwhelming homosexual nature of Catholic clergy abuse--the journalists of the sexual left cannot face that huge group of chicken hawks who dominate so much of Catholic social services and so much of the predominantly Jewish porn industry. Cardinal Bernadine of Chicago, Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee and still prancing Uncle Ted Cardinal McCarrick of Washington DC could give Hollywood's Weinstein and the porn racketeers a run for their money in gross depravity. There is a sick male dominated libido cult in our country that hates God, the flag of brotherhood, the purity of feminine virginity and the sanctity of motherhood. This cult is represented in public not by male homosexuals and porn millionaires but by feminist careerists, many Republican but most Democrat. They entered  the big league by showing they would kill for the gang--they championed abortion. They have insured that the term domestic violence never includes the deliberate killing of an unborn baby by her mom. Don't let it matter that there is nothing so violent as killing and nothing so domestic as a mother's womb. In the fake news world of the sexual left, taking God's Name in vain is free speech, abortion is women's liberation and sodomy is marriage. What if that strange trifecta of lies was linked and exposed? Is that over the top or is it about time?

The atheist nature of the sexual left, its Aztecan approach to child sacrifice, and its despoiling the flag of brotherhood with the stench of Sodom is a house of cards more vulnerable than the good name of Harvey Weinstein. Just a little light will scatter the predators once it is shined in just the right direction.
The billionaire Epstein was a mega-Democrat donor. Beginning around 2002, Bill Clinton rode on Epstein's plane - the so-called Lolita Express - over twenty times, and it appears he may have intentionally left his secret service detail at home during some of them. Like McCarrick, stories about Epstein have circulated for years and he even did some limited time for what should have been life in prison. It wasn't until someone discovered that President Trump said something nice about Epstein decades ago, and perhaps rode once on his plane, that the story received massive media attention. Nancy Pelosi's daughter indicated that many favorites of the Democrats might go down with Epstein. But that's the price of trying to take down the president. Time will tell what comes of this story. We are reminded, however, of the crisis of masculinity in our nation and in our Church. We must shed light on the evil and raise up a warrior brotherhood to cast it out.


BISHOP BRANSFIELD - THE PLOT DEEPENS: More details have emerged regarding the Bishop Bransfield controversy. Bransfield, who reached the canonical retirement age of seventy-five last September, is under investigation after credible allegations were made of financial impropriety and homosexual harassment of priests, seminarians, and young men. Pope Francis directed Baltimore's Archbishop Lori to lead the investigation. Lori discovered that Bransfield has gifted - or paid off - many high-ranking Church prelates to the tune of $350,000. Although Lori named names in his official report to Rome, they were redacted when the report went to the public. Leaked details of Lori's report, however, revealed some troubling, if not unexpected, recipients of Bransfield's "gifts" - among others, Archbishop Vigano, Cardinal Burke, and Archbishop Lori himself. Why these three men? A bribe to Vigano kept the Vatican from investigating, a bribe to Burke kept the Catholic judiciary from investigating, and a bribe to Lori kept his provincial archbishop from investigating. Lori's chancery had known about Bransfield since 2012 but conveniently said he lacked authority to do anything about it. Let us not forget that during the sexual abuse reforms of 2002 it was Lori who replaced "clerics" with only deacons and priests. The bishops were to be immune from the reforms. In any case, we at AoA want to shed light once more on the fact that the corruption includes both conservatives and liberals - including the supposed bastions of orthodoxy, Vigano and Burke. They are wolves in shepherds clothing.

VATICAN DOCUMENT ON GENDER: The Vatican has released a document for schools on gender, Male and Female He created them. More AoA analysis is forthcoming. For now we suggest our readers look it over.

AMERICANS RARELY CONSULT CLERGY: A new study in the U.S. revealed that Americans, even frequent church-goers, rarely consult clergy when making important decisions. Speaking from the Catholic perspective, there seems to be an increasing disconnect between Catholic clergy and parishioners. This may in part be due to the number of clergy relative to his parishioners. It may also stem from clergy who do well in a crowd but intentionally keep themselves from interacting with small groups or individuals. Many clergy are afraid of being falsely accused of misconduct. Too many do their sacramental duties and check out. In any case, the personal connection between shepherds and flocks is increasingly tenuous. When you meet a shepherd, does he smell like his sheep?

Raw decline in Anglican membership.
CHRISTIANITY DYING IN THE UK: A British Social Attitudes survey reveals a steep decline in Christianity in Great Britain. Most reports will say that "religion" is dying. But this is not the case. While 52% of Brits now identify as non-religious, Islam has doubled its numbers over the past ten years. As Christianity continues to bow to radical feminism and gender ideology, more and more people will continue to leave (see charts at right and below). If this happens, men will turn to another religion - Islam - for man needs religion. The spirit abhors a vacuum.

Anglican church attendance decline as the church embraces the sexual left. 


THE PASSING OF ROSS PEROT: The third-party candidate of the 1992 presidential election has passed. It is likely his name on the ballet story just enough votes from George H.W. Bush to cost him the election and bring Bill Clinton to office. His candidacy paved the way for another president: Donald Trump. Both Perot and Trump have billionaire backgrounds and a strong populist, limited foreign policy message. James Carville went so far as to call Perot the "John the Baptist" figure paving the path for Trump. We shouldn't be surprised that just before his death, Perot donated to the Trump re-election campaign.

EX-GOVERNOR WELD - HALF RIGHT: Former Republican governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld, in four tweets is called out President Trump over tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Two tweets were accurate. It is true that (pt. 1) President Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal is what first got us into the current mess; and (pt. 2) the withdrawal was "a colossal blunder" which got us nothing in return. His assertions that (pt. 3) Trump's foreign policy as a whole is a "disaster," and (pt. 4) "Time for new leadership in Washington!" Trump has made mistakes on Iran, we pray his hesitation on air strikes helps him hesitate to wage needless war.

AMASH WAS A WASH: Justin Amash, the first Republican Congressman to call for Trump's impeachment, has left the GOP. With Trump we hail it as "great news." As Trump remakes the GOP, many will need to go. The 2018 election did this in the Senate. Never Trumpers left and were replaced. This needs to continue in both houses of Congress in 2020. For now we applaud when men like Amash leave early.

EXECUTIVE ORDER ON CITIZENSHIP: Trump's plan to add a citizenship question to the census, a question that had been once been part of the census, has come up short. His new executive order hopes to gain more information on the number of immigrants in America.


BOLSONARO PRAYS WITH 3 MILLION BRAZILIANS: Dr. Steve Turley explains its impact and places it within the context of global Christianity.

MORE LIES ON IRAN: Calls for attacking Iran crept into the news cycle this week after reports that Iran attacked a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. What when unreported is that the British seized an Iranian oil tanker as it made its way into the Mediterranean. We pray a war does not break out over a tit-for-tat oil tanker feud.

MERKEL GOING DOWN?: Angela Merkel has suffered her third public bout of uncontrolled shaking in something reminiscent of Hilary Clinton's near collapse during the 2016 campaign. We will not be surprised if Germany will get a change of leadership sooner than planned.


BIOLOGISTS AGREE - LIFE BEGINS AT CONCEPTION: A recent study by Steven Jacobs first asked average (though slightly more left-leaning) folks who could best determine when human life begins. Around 80% said biologists. So Jacobs polled over 5,000 biologists from across the globe.  Two-thirds of them described themselves as non-religious and nine-tenths as liberal. 85% supported abortion. Despite this, 96% agreed that life begins when the sperm fertilizes the egg. Side note: Jacobs sought to conduct a test among pro-life and pro-abortion law students but it was a non-starter as he could not even get them to agree on the common definition of a fetus... We at AoA are not surprised.

FIRST FEMALE PASTOR REMOVED: The first female pastor of the renowned liberal bastion of Riverside Church in NYC has been ousted. Amy Butler was removed after taking two other pastors, one female and the other a gay male, to a sex store in Minneapolis and attempting to buy them sex toys. Spending $200 on one sex toy, she wondered aloud if she could charge it to the church as work expense. An article about the firing also describes her "cushy five-year contract, which... paid her a $250,000 annual salary, an $8,000-a-month housing allowance and more than $55,000 in yearly pension contributions..." This is what happens when sexual depravity and careerism are married. We are not surprised in the slightest by this story.

CARJACKER BEATEN TO DEATH: A would-be car thief was beaten to death after driving off with a woman's car - with her three children still in it. The woman stepped out of her running car to visit her boyfriend (the father of two of the children) when the carjacker jumped in her car and took off. The father, with other neighborhood men, caught him and rescued the children. While the carjacker's death is unfortunate, it's good to see a group of men performing their duty to work and protect.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Memorial of Saint Benedict: Christian fraternity and male socialization

by David Pence

Saint Benedict (480-543) left the comfortable life of a university student to discipline himself as a hermit. He left the life of solitude to become  an abbot of several monasteries. He survived several poisoning attempts of monks not as dedicated to moral reform as he was. In one of those episodes, a raven clutched the poisoned bread he was about to eat and saved his life. The raven is often prominent  in the name of Benedictine institutions and pictures of the saint. He introduced an order of life (Rule of St Benedict) which regulated the prayer, study, and manual labor of men who lived together in community. He is considered the Father of Europe. Benedictine monasteries are highly independent from one another and democratic in their selection of an abbot. To this day, they number some of the holiest (and some of the most corrupt) communities in Christendom. Benedict’s Christian fraternities of work, study, and prayer were the spiritual forerunners of corporations, universities, and cities which invigorated European civilization. Benedict taught men how to live together under Christ in love. He shaped Christian masculine character in monasteries that served as the fraternal template of public life. He united men in a transcendent spiritual purpose in a specific local community under a patriarch. An excerpt of the Rule of Benedict from the Church readings for his feast day:
"Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love... No one should follow what is good for himself but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love, revere their abbot with a genuine and submissive affection. Let them put Christ above all else; and may He lead us all to everlasting life."



A contemporary "Benedict Option" would be an all-male communal group which shaped men in Christian brotherhood. These all-male communities of prayer and work would be a model for interracial brotherhood and male socialization in towns or cities. The goal of the fraternity would be to teach and socialize young males as American men regardless of color. The perfection of some men leads to the maturation of many men. Men in the spirit of Benedict pray together regularly and do physically productive work. They would introduce the Christian culture of brotherhood as active protectors and workers for the young men of a local community. This is just the kind of male maturation and sex roles needed in our cities to bring cooperation between young black men and police officers. Both policemen and black male citizens SHARE a common identity as male protectors and fellow Americans. The police officers are the officer corps of the citizen protective bond. The feminist culture of the Democratic party which dominates America's inner cities is clueless about socializing and integrating young men into our protective role as men. They seek a lesbian police chief here, and many more female officers there, but the public peace of fraternity and male protective sex roles is an enemy to them. The enmity between black men and urban police is one of the bitterest fruits of the sexual revolution. Sabotaging the ability of young males to show they are men by acting out a public protector role in manners, dress, and actions pierces the masculine heart of Christian civic culture.

The Benedict Option is masculine and fraternal. Patriarchal fraternity is the fundamental form of Christian accord which shapes public life just as the marital spousality of the male-female couple shapes domestic life. Benedictine fraternity combines physical work with prayer; otherwise it is not of Benedict. The black men of our inner cities have lost the pathway to fatherhood and maturation which industrial jobs once provided. They need a Benedict. He is the father of Europe because the ordered masculine fraternity of his monks eventually flowered into the male communal forms of work, worship, and protection called nations. Benedict built masculine religiously-ordered publics. His men were patriots of whatever land they worked. They were manufacturers (manus facto -- to make by hand). Let us honor his feast day by remembering what he did long ago, and pray that men in our country will once again imitate his fraternities of ora et labora.  


This is the road not taken to racial reconciliation. Street violence is overwhelmingly a male problem. It can only be solved by building a civic culture which can sanctify and socialize the males. There are many paths to social deviancy when men are not integrated into public protection and meaningful labor. One is seeking social recognition in the false "communities" of drugs and sexual promiscuity. Our large cities have fatally made peace with this errant path. Another errant path is chosen by much tougher males than those at the pot parties and dance clubs. They seek public recognition in violent dissent. That path wakes society up enough to start looking for solutions. Let us consider the strategy of that Italian saint who 1,500 years ago countered the dissipating cities of Europe with prayer, learning, and manual labor forged in local fraternities under God. As part of the Church’s morning prayer memorial of Benedict, she employs a 19th-century hymn:

             "Rise up O men of God!
              His kingdom tarries long
              Bring in the day of brotherhood
              And end the night of wrong."

St. Benedict was one of the four holy men we featured on All Saints Day as  "A man in full."


Saturday, July 6, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JULY 6

by A. Joseph Lynch
& Past Commentary of Dr. David Pence


President Trump made history as the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in North Korea. This is a near miraculous turn around from where we were when Trump was elected in November 2016. While North Korea has not yet given up its nuclear weapons, the missile tests - which would lead to its ability to attack the U.S. - have stopped.

Neither the meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un nor the president's brief entrance into North Korea had not been scheduled. Pursuing his strategy of "nation-to-nation, leader-to-leader discussions" President Trump made masterful use of Twitter to suggest a meeting: "After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!" The president's background in business - where personal relationships are extremely important - are paying dividends in our nation's relationship with North Korea.

Reflecting on Trump's strategy, we offer the following commentary from Dr. Pence on June 16, 2018:
When Donald Trump took office, Barack Obama told him the greatest immediate danger to the US was North Korea and their nuclear weapons. The Trump-Kim summit has walked back that threat in a dramatic breakthrough after direct one on one meetings between: 1) Kim Jong-un and the President, 2) South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and the President; 3) Chinese Supreme Leader Xi Jinping and the President, and 4) Prime Minister Abe of Japan and the President. This dramatic display of nation-to-nation, leader-to-leader discussions may redraw the entire encirclement alliances of the post WWII world. The Asian equivalent of tearing down the Berlin Wall that reunified Germany has just happened for the ancient civilization of Korea. Of course there is great uncertainty but it is the incertitude that precedes a risk for something big. Why is the minuscule so trumpeted and the profoundly significant so ignored? This can be attributed to the stunning geographical illiteracy, religious blindness, and historical ignorance of our very good looking modern journalists. The significance of this story cannot be discovered during pillow talk with cultivated sources. It can only be recognized by one who studies and reflects on strategic perspective and historical memory.

Politics is about organizing protection. Mao Tse Tung said governance comes out of the barrel of a gun. That is a well received majority opinion. Only in a handful of developed Western lands protected by agreements forged in the blood of their grandfathers is politics a continuation of high school student council campaigns and elections. Most leaders in a "rough world" came up rough. It is far better for the real leaders of the true major powers to sit down with one another and talk then stay in outmoded multinational alignments that keep the principals from talking face to face. Much more is learned and much more can be settled by Donald Trump sitting down with Vladimir Putin than making toasts with the feminist "defense minister" of Sweden while she badmouths Russia. Donald Trump's breakthrough in Korea has happened because he is developing relations with all the national leaders in Asia including Xi Jinping. It is far better to meet with the leaders of China and North Korea than organize a human rights conference with tough guy Marco Rubio so he can talk against China showing us his jutting presidential jaw in its best campaign mode against the latest threat to our way of life.

President Trump is actually proposing diplomacy over war games. He is talking to a nation man about inter-national relations before lecturing on human rights. He joins Lincoln who didn't free all the slaves at his first inauguration; Richard Nixon who didn't talk forced abortion with Mao; Pope Francis who is not lecturing the Chinese; and Ronald Reagan who spoke with the Soviets about tearing down the prison wall before listing the individual prisoners. President Trump left the white multilateralists of G7 to talk to the nationalist strong men of Asia. The diversity media scolded the President for talking to Asian bad boys instead of soothing the more familiar metrosexual leader of Canada. President Trump dared suggest that US troops in Korea are not forever. This is a strategic (and debt slashing) tsunami. President Trump met with President Kim in Singapore and evoked the independent Singapore model as a new way for Korea. The greatest international thinker of our time was the Father of Singapore. This is a serious time that would benefit if a few journalists studied the biography and speeches of Lee Kuan Yew. It would also help if religious leaders and the antiwar movement could find their old songbooks...because "All we are saying is, 'Give peace a chance'."


MEXICAN PRIEST ARRESTED FOR MURDER: He was arrested after celebrating the man's funeral. Police suspect they were in a gay relationship.

SCANDAL IN WEST VIRGINIA: Bishop Bransfield, removed for sexual and financial abuse, gave away $350,000 to bishops and other clergy before being removed. The money has been recollected, but who was paid (bribed?) and why? One article explores how the financial abuse happened. We believe larger churches should no longer be exempt from financial transparency when maintaining non-profit status.

OPEN BORDERS CATHOLICISM: Listen to the first half and skip the second. This priest's homily opens with a good overview of border walls in the Bible. Meanwhile Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso is helping illegals cross the border into the US.


SALUTE TO AMERICA: President Trump led the nation in a "Salute to America" Fourth of July celebration in Washington D.C. Far from self-serving, the event was genuinely patriotic and uplifting (watch the president's speech). Meanwhile liberal protesters burned the flag and chanted, "imagine a world without America." Pat Buchanan reflects on the event and the deepening divisions between the political right and left

GEN. KEANE HELPS HALT IRAN ATTACK: Retired Gen. Jack Keane generally supports an interventionist foreign policy, but he should be given some credit on halting the near attack on Iran after the shoot down of an unarmed US drone. Appearing on Fox News June 20, Keane reminded viewers - and the President - that the US accidentally shot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing nearly 300 (including 66 children). The US never apologized. After hearing about this, Trump spoke of it often as he was making his decision. In the end he called off the attack. Remembering the past's dead saved lives today.

KAMALA HARRIS' EX-LOVER SAYS SHE CAN'T WIN: The former mayor of San Francisco, who had an ongoing affair with presidential contender, Kamala Harris, and helped get her political career started, says neither she nor the other presidential hopefuls can beat President Trump. As her campaign seems to be rising with her faux attack on Biden, we remind our readers of her falling out with her father after dishonoring her family with comments about doing drugs.


PUTIN DECLARES LIBERALISM IS DEAD: As the atheist West continues to commit itself to sexual chaos and demographic suicide, Putin sees the world increasingly populated by nationalist leaders like Xi Jinping, Modi, Abe, Erdogan, Bolsonaro, and Trump. Pat Buchanan reflects on Putin's statement.

WAS MORSI MURDERED? Ex-President Morsi of Egypt was elected in 2012 and removed by a coup the following year. He was later sentenced to death, but the sentence was overturned in 2016. Last month he died in court as he was being tried for espionage. His son suspects foul play. Here is an AoA reflection on Morsi and Egypt from May 23, 2015:
Egypt - Executing the Elected: The Mideast is complicated. One variant of Sunni purists are the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They forswore violence and won a national election (51% - 48% for Mohammed Morsi as president in June 2012). They did not govern well and specifically threatened Egypt's Coptic Christians and, more importantly, questioned the favored social status of the Egyptian military. The Christians, secularists, multiple opposition groups, and the military all favored the military coup in July 2013 which overthrew the elected government of Mohamed Morsi. Army chief general Abdel Fattah el Sisi became the new President. His speech calling for a religious reexamination in the Mideast was widely praised in the West. The Saudis have supported the military coup. They never liked the Muslim Brotherhood. It favors a much more republican version of Islamic governance vs. their hereditary rule style. Qatar which has more religious freedom than Saudi Arabia was a defender of the Egyptian election and the Muslim Brotherhood. This led to a strain in relations among the Gulf monarchies. Now, President Morsi and many of his political followers have been sentenced to death. President Sisi of Egypt has helped the Gulf monarchies in their assault on the Houthis of Yemen. He has tried to win US favor in foreign policy. The execution of an elected but deposed president should not be too eagerly cheered.
BORIS IN THE LEAD: Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson face off to become Britain's next prime minister - but Boris has a strong lead. What this video to learn more about the election process.

ERDOGAN LOSES ISTANBULReasons and implications.


SHRINKING ODDS OF LIFE: A new study reveals that the habitable zone might be smaller than we had thought. We should again give thanks to God for His elective plan - from the vastness of the universe he elected this place of Earth for life and eventually for his Incarnation.

"PRIDE" (SHAMEFUL) BISHOPS: Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky has openly supported the homosexual agenda by writing a prayer in support of gay pride and seemingly asserting homosexuals were "made that way" by God. Bishop Malone of Buffalo, who attempted to place a predator gay priest in a parish with a grade school, recently said that gay priests are here to stay, falsely asserting that gay men in seminary have only to be chaste for three years before ordination. It must be recognized that there is a sin that automatically removes a priest from his apostolic brethren.

NIKE AGAINST AMERICA: Ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was able to pressure Nike to pull its American flag shoes from stores. As a Nike boycott looms, Republican Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has announced that Arizona will be withdrawing the state's financial incentives to Nike.

THE WOMEN OF SOCCER: A game between an Austrian women's soccer team against the women's soccer team of the Vatican was cancelled after Austrian players disrespectfully attacked the Church's pro-life position. We ask: why does the Vatican need a women's soccer team? Elsewhere in soccer, the women's World Cup boats around 10% openly lesbian/bi-sexual players with many more still "in the closet." 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

John Ireland - the Patriotism of a Patriarch

IRELAND (L) with Mrs. Mary Hill and Alexander Ramsey 
[Mary Hill was the Catholic wife of railroad tycoon James J. Hill. The mother of ten children was able to convince her husband to make large donations to the Archbishop's building projects.

Alexander Ramsey was governor of Minnesota when the Civil War broke out; and a decade later served as Secretary of War.]

Excerpts from a speech by John Ireland (d. 1918), posted at 'The American Catholic' website:
Pagan nations were wrong when they made gods of their noblest patriots. But the error was the excess of a great truth, that heaven unites with earth in approving and blessing patriotism; that patriotism is one of earth’s highest virtues, worthy to have come down from the atmosphere of the skies. 
The exalted patriotism of the exiled Hebrew exhaled itself in a canticle of religion which Jehovah inspired, and which has been transmitted, as the inheritance of God’s people to the Christian Church:
"Upon the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, when we remembered Sion.—If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee, if I do not make Jerusalem the beginning of my joy."
Patriotism is the vital spark of national honor; it is the fount of the nation’s prosperity, the shield of the nation’s safety. Take patriotism away, the nation’s soul has fled, bloom and beauty have vanished from the nation’s countenance. 
Patriotism is innate in all men; the absence of it betokens a perversion of human nature; but it grows its full growth only where thoughts are elevated and heart-beatings are generous. 
Next to God is country, and next to religion is patriotism. No praise goes beyond its deserts. It is sublime in its heroic oblation upon the field of battle. "Oh glorious is he," exclaims in Homer the Trojan warrior, "who for his country falls!" It is sublime in the oft-repeated toil of dutiful citizenship. "Of all human doings," writes Cicero, "none is more honorable and more estimable than to merit well of the commonwealth." 
Countries are of divine appointment. The Most High "divided the nations, separated the sons of Adam, and appointed the bounds of peoples." The physical and moral necessities of God’s creatures are revelations of his will and laws. Man is born a social being. A condition of his existence and of his growth of mature age is the family. Nor does the family suffice to itself. A larger social organism is needed, into which families gather, so as to obtain from one another security to life and property and aid in the development of the faculties and powers with which nature has endowed the children of men.
The whole human race is too extensive and too diversified in interests to serve those ends: hence its subdivisions into countries or peoples. Countries have their providential limits—the waters of a sea, a mountain range, the lines of similarity of requirements or of methods of living. The limits widen in space according to the measure of the destinies which the great Ruler allots to peoples, and the importance of their parts in the mighty work of the cycles of years, the ever-advancing tide of humanity’s evolution. 
The Lord is the God of nations because he is the God of men. No nation is born into life or vanishes back into nothingness without his bidding. I believe in the providence of God over countries as I believe in his wisdom and his love, and my patriotism to my country rises within my soul invested with the halo of my religion to my God.

Archbishop Ireland thought America had a special claim on him for its foundation in Christian brotherhood under God. Here is how he explained the country we call our own:
America born into the family of nations in these latter times is the highest billow in humanity’s evolution, the crowning effort of ages in the aggrandizement of man. Unless we take her in this altitude, we do not comprehend her; we belittle her towering stature and conceal the singular design of Providence in her creation. 
When the fathers of the republic declared "that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," a cardinal principle was enunciated which in its truth was as old as the race, but in practical realization almost unknown. 
Slowly, amid sufferings and revolutions, humanity had been reaching out toward a reign of the rights of man. Ante-Christian paganism had utterly denied such rights. It allowed nothing to man as man; he was what wealth, place, or power made him. Even the wise Aristotle taught that some men were intended by nature to be slaves and chattels. The sweet religion of Christ proclaimed aloud the doctrine of the common fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of men. 
Eighteen hundred years, however, went by, and the civilized world had not yet put its civil and political institutions in accord with its spiritual faith. The Christian Church was all this time leavening human society and patiently awaiting the promised fermentation. This came at last, and it came in America. It came in a first manifestation through the Declaration of Independence; it came in a second and final manifestation through President Lincoln’s Proclamation of Emancipation. 
In America all men are civilly and politically equal; all have the same rights; all wield the same arm of defense and of conquest, the suffrage; and the sole condition of rights and of power is simple manhood.

Born in County Kilkenny in 1838 (September 11th), John Ireland was ordained a priest in Minnesota in 1861 -- and went off to serve as a chaplain in the Civil War. In 1888 he was named the first archbishop of Saint Paul. One of his strengths was building seminaries, churches, and schools. (A review of Marvin O' Connell's excellent biography )
U of St. Thomas raised a statue to its founder

"A person may be faithful; he may have the power to utter hidden mysteries; he may be discriminating in the evaluation of what is said and pure in his actions. But the greater he seems to be, the more humbly he ought to act, and the more zealous he should be for the common good rather than his own interest."
                                      (Pope St. Clement, martyred about 99 AD)

JULY 4 - The American Covenant: Brotherhood under God

[first published 4 July 2014]

David Pence writes:

The Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought by local militias on April 19, 1775. American militiamen were protecting a large cache of military supplies in Concord from British seizure. (If you had asked a man from Massachusetts in that glorious era what a male civil union was, he would have answered: "The local militia!")

The militias would not be enough to defeat the mighty British Army, so the Continental Army was formed by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. A few days later, the Congress commissioned George Washington as its Commander-in-Chief.
Gen. Henry Knox: self-educated artilleryman
The British evacuated Boston – on March 17, 1776 – after militia and Continental forces besieged the city for 11 months. The stalemate was turned when the Knox Expedition to the newly captured Fort Ticonderoga brought 60 tons of captured heavy artillery over difficult terrain in mid-winter to bear on the encircled British. (This is now celebrated as “Evacuation Day” in Massachusetts along with another feast of national identity: Saint Patrick’s Day.)

The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
It was, indeed, a declaration of inalienable rights:
'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'

But if all men are born free and equal, why everywhere are men enslaved?
Because their fathers did not secure these rights by forming a well-ordered armed covenant with other men by which rights could be protected against tyrants, criminals, and unfettered passions. Our founding fathers made and enforced such a covenant. They protected their armaments at Concord and captured the cannons of Ticonderoga, one year before they declared on paper their Independence. As my daddy used to say: "You want to change the world? Bring large groups of armed men into agreement." That’s why we are grilling hot dogs and waving flags on July 4th.

We rejoice because men loved each other with the sacrificial love of fellow citizens under God. They broke one form of blood kinship and hereditary rule with the English to assert the more powerful and democratic bloodshed-brotherhood of republican military duty. They formed a nation for all on a brotherhood for adult males only. Their brotherly love spoke in the language of honor codes and Providence.
'That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…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.'
If the oft-quoted second paragraph of the Declaration is about the rights of every person in principle, then the seldom-quoted last line is about the sacred masculine blood oath which won those rights in practice. The words declaring the rights of men were sealed authoritatively one year earlier by the sacrificial fraternal acts at Lexington and Concord.

While the nation as a single organism embraces all men, women, and children, the fundamental bond which makes the nation possible through time is a trans-generational masculine fraternity of sacrifice. No authoritative covenant by men in arms – no rights of man. No communal authority – no individual liberty.

We are not the founders of our nation. The adult men of this generation are challenged to receive and transmit a patrimony already established. Some men find themselves in a time and place which demand a founding. This is not our situation in the America of today. The fireworks of the Fourth celebrate our good fortune. We are not called to found a city, but to be the watchmen of her walls already built by the sweat and bought by the blood of men who went before us. 

America is the sweetest fruit of the Protestant Reformation. Laymen had to separate themselves into the communal fellowship of nations, to free themselves from the temporal rule of the Catholic Church. (This freed the Church to clarify her spiritual mission.)

The American continents provided a vast and separate land where the dynamic interplay of the nations of Noah and the seed of Abraham might bring forth the will of Providence. Adam and his sons, Noah and his sons, Abraham and his seed, Jacob and his sons – these communal forms of patriarchal fraternity are now found in the apostolic Church and the national brotherhoods. In America they were made incarnate  by the biblical leadership structures of Protestant congregations, and the military structures of local and state militias. These sacred bonds of civic and ecclesial masculine duty settled the wilderness and – in God’s appointed time – will cast out the Father of Lies and restore all things in Christ.  

BACKGROUND: Monsieur Renan on the spiritual nature of the nation.

Dr. Pence on America as a Christian nation: part 1 and part 2.

Take some time to listen to this long interview with Harry Jaffa conducted by radio host Hugh Hewitt. The good professor explains why the meeting of our Founding Fathers (1776 Philadelphia) was one of the two or three most important events in all of human history!

Bishop Fulton Sheen on American Patriotism.

Archbishop John Ireland on Religion and Patriotism. "Next to God is country and next to religion is patriotism." This remarkable poetic work was written in the midst of the 19th century, during an era known as The Spring of Nations.