Saturday, October 26, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

by A. Joseph Lynch


The supposedly "damning" testimony against President Trump from the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, was based - again - on hearsay. The Washington Post reports that: 'Taylor testified in his opening statement that he was told Trump wanted the aid linked to Ukraine’s willingness to investigate the 2016 election and the Bidens" (emphasis ours). Taylor is a career diplomat, Russia hawk, and most likely a Never Trumper. While his testimony is not surprising, few are covering it as the hearsay that it is.

Despite the testimony gathered by the faux Congressional investigation, the tables may be turning against impeachment as well as those responsible for the Russia collusion hoax. The NY Times released a poll this week revealing that 53% of those in the six key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona oppose impeachment. There is even talk that Pelosi might walk back from the impeachment cliff's edge before all is said and done. Meanwhile Republicans are pushing back. In the House a group of GOP congressmen stormed the secret investigation while Lindsey Graham is leading a push in the Senate to press the House for a formal impeachment inquiry vote and for the extension of basic due process protections to the president. Graham's resolution already has forty-four GOP senators supporting it.

The Trump team investigation, led by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, is now reportedly expanding. On Tuesday it was announced that the Barr-Durham investigation in Rome led to the discovery of new evidence which necessitated the expansion of the probe. Joseph Mifsud, who played a key role in setting up the Russian collusion hoax, is now asking for police protection and seems willing to spill the beans on what took place in 2016. It is being reported that Durham is now "very interested" in interviewing James Clapper and John Brennan, two men we've critiqued many times here at AoA. The FBI - and with it James Comey - is also coming under scrutiny. On Thursday we learned that the investigation is now widening still further into a criminal probe. Grand juries, subpoenas, and arrests could soon be forthcoming. With IG Horowitz's report only days from release and fresh demands being made on the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) to investigate newly released Peter Strzok texts, is it any wonder why the members of the intelligence community are coming out of the woodwork to accuse Trump in the new Ukraine hoax?

Impeachment is going nowhere, Republicans in Congress are fighting back, and real investigations are taking place. The tides seem to be turning.


PACHAMAMA DROWNED:  Drama unfolded as Pachamama statues of the Amazon were thrown into the Tiber. Church Militant triumphantly reported the statues as idols destroyed by devout Catholics. But is the story that simple? Could their depiction of the pregnant woman be a stepping stone towards both protecting the dignity of life as well as the Virgin with child? We at AoA patiently await the final document of the Amazon synod and level-headed words from the Holy Father.

VATICAN DEFAULT?: Donations to Peter's Pence, a chief source of funding for the Vatican and Church charity, appear to have plummeted €101 million in 2006 to less than €60 million today. A new book, Universal Judgment, from Italian investigative reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi claims a Vatican default could be coming in the years ahead.

MARTIN QUESTIONS INERRANCY: In a battle between Biblical truth and homosexual activism, James Martin has sided with homosexuality and called into question Biblical inerrancy.


GABBARD CALLS OUT HILLARY: Hillary Clinton, "the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why. Now we know - it was always you... It's clear now that this primary is between you and me. Don't cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly."

MEDIA DECLINE: Already in 2019, newsrooms have laid off over 7,200 employees. A new California law is now effectively banning freelance journalism and now the Huffington Post is up for sale.

ANOTHER BAD POLL: Last week we covered the poor impeachment polling of FoxNews. This week news came out that the recent Pew polling on impeachment also over represented Democrats (at 56% versus only 42% Republican).

SCOTUS ON GERRYMANDERING: The Supreme Court ruled Monday that state courts - not federal courts - should decide gerrrymandering cases for their respective states. With the GOP in control of many statehouses and governor mansions, this is a win for Republicans.


NATO RIFT GROWS: The Syrian invasion by NATO member Turkey continues to erode the defunct alliance, making it all the more irrelevant in the post-Cold War global order.

BREXIT PASSES: The British House of Commons has finally passed Boris Johnson's Brexit deal with the EU but failed to agree on Johnson's proposed timetable. More action is needed from the House of Lords, but progress on Brexit is thankfully being made.

CANADIAN ELECTION RESULTS: Results information from Dr. Steve Turley.

NEW ISRAELI GOVERNMENT: Netanyahu couldn't form a government. His rival, Benny Gantz, has been given the green light to attempt forming one of his own. If this fails, early elections may be forthcoming.


FEMALE MERCHANTS OF DEATH: Women Are CEO’s Of Top Weapons Manufactures

CLAPPING BANNED AT OXFORD: The PC insanity continues.

HUNGARY FINES COCA-COLA: Hungary fined Coca-Cola for violating a section of the nation's Advertising Act in promoting homosexuality. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19

by A. Joseph Lynch
With past commentary by Dr. David Pence


The new wave of allegations against President Trump are a continued soft coup stemming from domestic and foreign intelligence agencies, sidelined globalist bureaucrats within the state department, and far Left extremists pushing an illegitimate impeachment investigation in the House.

As Trump continues his investigation into the 2016 election, some complain that the "Five Eyes" (the intelligence alliance between the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) are not working together with Trump's team. Critics forget that "Five Eyes" was weaponized against President Trump. Why would Trump facilitate an investigation with an organization that sought to destroy his candidacy and his early presidency? As Dr. Pence reminds us:
The Anglosphere is an alliance of the old white dominions. It is not representative of the multi-ethnic United States. The intelligence agencies and establishments of these countries were overwhelmingly against the nationalist agenda of Candidate now President Trump.  How hard did they try to influence the American election?  After its unsettling outcome did they help "the resistance"?  Christopher Steele is not a Russian agent. He is an honest Brit still serving his country. The trouble is that he's not really here to help the USA. For several hundred years the British foreign policy has been directed against the rise of an ascendant land power in Europe/Asia.  A serious reconciliation of Russia and the United States as a new axis in international relations would be considered a geopolitical disaster by old hands of the British Empire. An America First policy means we make alliances in our territorial nation's best interests even if it offends a White Anglo Saxon English speaking Protestant ally across the ocean.
Should we be the least surprised that Giuliani is now under a counterintelligence investigation

Michael McKinley, former senior aid to Secretary of State Pompeo quit his post over Trump's sidelining of globalist diplomats now open to testifying against the administration in Congress. Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the EU, has testified his dismay that Giuliani was involved in investigating anti-Trump collusion in 2016, again downplaying the fact that the intelligence community lacks all credibility in investigating the collusion. Former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who may have ties to liberal billionaire George Soros, was happy to testify in Congress. Another careerist, formally from the intelligence community on Bush and Obama, Fiona Hill, happily did her best to attack the investigation into 2016 collusion.

Which brings us to the faux-impeachment investigation in the House. Nancy Pelosi has stated there will be no vote to formalize the investigation into President Trump. The reason why is obvious: she doesn't have the votes. The president is right to defend his office by refusing to participate until such  vote takes place. Or has it? In fact, the House has voted three times to begin an impeachment investigation of Trump: December 2017, January 2018, and just this past July 2019. In all three votes, an investigation was soundly defeated. 126 Democrats voted with Republicans against impeachment in 2017 and 121 did the same in 2018. Only months ago in July, a high of 137 Democrats voted with Republicans against opening an impeachment investigation into Trump. Shouldn't this vote stand? Or does the far Left in control of the House think it is above both the democratic vote of the people in 2016 and three votes of congressmen in 2017, 2018, and in 2019?

As the State Department released its report on the Clinton email scandal, pointing out hundreds of violations but conveniently finding no deliberate mishandling, the president should continue both his own investigation into 2016 along with his strategy against impeachment.


NEWMAN CANONIZED: The first English non-martyr to be canonized in 600 years. Some liberals wrongly seek to use his theology on the development of doctrine as a tool for a hermeneutics of rupture. As All Souls Day approaches, we encourage our readers to check out St. John Henry Cardinal Newman's classic poem, The Dream of Gerontius, which tells the story of a man escorted in death by his guardian angel to meet our Lord.

SEX ABUSE IN NY: After an auxiliary bishop was sacked, New York has removed its head of priests, Monsignor Edward Weber, who it is alleged sodomized a boy over 150 times between 1978-83 when he was aged 11-16. Weber is a high-ranking NY clergyman under scrutiny for homosexual cover ups in the archdiocese. We pray more house cleaning continues in NY.

MORE MCCARRICK ABUSE CLAIMS: More victims are coming forward to accuse McCarrick of sexual abuse. The victims appear to have all been between the ages of 12-16 - another sign that the abuse crisis was at its heart stemming from homosexual pederasty and not pedophilia.

AIDING MINORITY SYRIAN CHRISTIANS: President Trump has announced $50 million dollars in aid to Christians and other religious minorities in Syria.


DEMOCRATS DEBATE: Trump wins every Democrat debate. Even the liberal Daily Beast is worrying. Beto threatens police confiscation of guns, Warren dodges the tax question, Biden continues dealing with the Ukraine debacle and is spending far too much campaign cash. Biden's son Hunter has now admitted his job hiring "probably" had something to do with his father's name. When will Hilary enter the race?

BIG 2020 WIN FOR TRUMP? Moody's Analytics suggests Trump is likely to win 332-380 electoral votes next year. In previous elections, Moody's only missed call was in 2016 where it failed to predict Trump's win. We hope this prediction is more accurate.

HANSON'S DEFENSE OF NATIONALISM: Though he has few positives to offer in regards to ethnic or religious nationalism, Victor Davis Hanson comes to the defense of civic nationalism while clearly pointing out that the current discussion of nationalism is rooted in Trump's 2016 victory.

DEMOCRATS OVER-REPRESENTED: The NY Post is reporting that the recent FoxNews poll showing 51% of Americans want Trump impeached over-represented Democrats. Rather than weighting the poll by the national breakdown of 31% Democrat, 29% Republican and 38% independent, it's poll response was 48% Democrat. If weighted properly the NY Post argues that only 44% of Americans favor impeachment. We at AoA know that FoxNews is divided between the Chris Wallace neoconservative "Never Trump" globalist-imperialists and those more open to Trump-style nationalist-populism like Tucker Carlson. With Shepherd Smith gone, Trump is now putting pressure on Wallace.

CNN EXPOSED: Project Veritas exposes the bias of CNN. CNN meanwhile is losing its hold over TV screens in airports.


NATIONALISTS WIN IN POLAND: Nationalist parties in Poland won big last weekend, with the governing Law and Justice party increasing its win total from 37% in 2015 to nearly 45% in 2019. Two other nationalist parties scored 9% and 7%, which combined with Law and Justice brings the nationalists to 59%.

ASSAD-KURD ALLIANCE: With the U.S. pulling out, regional power Russia has rightly brokered an alliance between the Kurds and Assad. For the first time in years Syrian troops are marching to join their Kurdish brethren in the northeast. It appears Trump's withdrawal paved the way for a reunifying war against a common Turkish foe. Meanwhile the Trump Administration announced sanctions and brokered a temporary ceasefire. Much fighting remains, but the end result might save the Syrian nation. More on the geopolitics of the conflict from Caspian Report.

MEXICO RELEASES EL CHAPO SON: The violence that erupted after the capture of drug lord el Chapo's son was such that he released from jail not long after capture. Can Mexico win the drug war? Tucker Carlson weighed in, contrasting Mexico with Syria and asks where American troops really should be right now and why American politicians are open to building a border wall in Syria and not in the US.


STOP PEDOPHILIA: Poland has passed a new law protecting youth from sexualization. The law was passed by the nationalist Law and Justice party, which won by large margins in last weekend's Polish elections.

WOMEN LECTORS AND ACOLYTES: An Italian and Spanish working group in Rome supports extending the liturgical ministries of lector and acolyte to lay women. The instituted ministries, which are ritually conferred only by bishops, is currently reserved to men. Most bishops, however, limit the ministry to men seeking the diaconate or priesthood, which we suspect has more to do with cowardice than in liturgical theology. Instituting men - lay men - to be acolytes and lectors in parishes is an essential vocation strategy for higher orders. Liberals who want to confer it on women know this as well. The bishops would be wise to restore the ancient liturgical ministries to men and watch as vocations rise.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12

by A. Joseph Lynch


The week proved troubling in the Middle East as tensions flared between Saudi Arabia and Iran and between Syria and Turkey.

The Turks have now crossed the northeastern border of Syria into regions held by our Kurdish allies. The move is obviously anti-Kurdish rather than pro-Syrian. The Turks have long feared Turkish Kurd rebels operating from this area and now seek to bring it under Turkish control. President Trump called the US troop withdrawal from the region a part of ending America's foreign wars. America First in this case means we cannot risk American troops and US dollars defending Kurds from Turks. While Pat Buchanan sees Trump's decision as a good call, Stratfor rightly points out that other local allies may not risk cooperating with Washington in the future if they fear the US will later abandon them.

We at AoA recognize good arguments on both sides of the debate. We must not forget, however, that we elected a nationalist president, not an isolationist president. A nationalist favors his nation first - but he also favors the sovereignty of other nations. Withdrawing American troops is the right move, but in the name of nationalism we must fight tooth and nail against nations like Turkey violating Syria's border. Some have argued that Turkey's push into Syria will force the Kurds into the arms of Syria's ruler, Assad. If this is the outcome, if Syria begins to reintegrate its citizens under its rightful ruler, then we can applaud the week's events. For the moment, much prayer for Syria is still needed.

We also invite our readers to learn more about Kurdistan and Syria in our Map on Monday articles.

This week also witnessed a missal attack on an Iranian oil tanker. Unlike the attacks on oil tankers linked to Saudi Arabia, little news coverage has been given to this attack. The attack took place in the Red Sea, not far off Saudi Arabia's western coast. Where are the calls to investigate the Saudis? Isn't it obvious who is responsible? As the Saudi-Iranian cold war gets hotter, expect more attacks such as these.


WHERE'S THE MONEY? Church Militant investigates bad loans and lost money at the Vatican.

SYNOD FLASH BACK: Readers may notice that AoA has given little attention thus far to the Amazonian Synod now taking place in Rome. Several years ago mass conservative Catholic hysteria took place over the Synod on the Family. Church Militant, which has done some incredible journalism on Church scandals, is fiercely anti-Francis and dedicated much attention to attacking the last synod. Here is a sample of their work from the concluding week of the family synod. The hysteria then was unjustified and we suspect the same now. For the moment, we hold our judgment for the synod's conclusion and final document.

NYC BISHOP SACKED: Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of New York's Auxiliary Bishop John Jenik, who has been accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1980s. How many other bishops are yet to be removed and how much did Cardinal Dolan know?

DEFENSELESS CHURCHES: The archbishop of La Plata in Argentina is asking Catholics not to protect their churches in the face of violent, rabidly anti-Catholic, pro-abortion feminist activists. But if reports of police inaction are true, who else should defend the Church?


TRUMP FIGHTS BACK: In a scathing eight-page letter, the Trump Administration blasted the impeachment proceedings as lacking "any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections." The White House will not - and ought not - cooperate in the newest foreign policy hoax perpetrated by angry intelligence officials and Democrats fearing the loss of the House in 2020.

NEVER TRUMPERS NO MORE: The new Ukraine hoax and attempted coup attempt from the House is bringing many Never Trumpers to the president's side. If the current moves from the Left are bringing back hard anti-Trump conservatives, imagine what it could be doing to independents in the center.

PHASE 1 CHINA DEAL: The president proposed a trade deal plan that involved multiple phases, each making arrangements on different areas of disagreement with harder areas saved for later phases. The phase one deal hammered out differences on intellectual property, financial services, and big agricultural purchases.

SHEPHERD SMITH DEPARTS: Fierce "Never Trumper" Shepherd Smith announced the end of his "speaking truth to power" tenure at FoxNews.

BIDEN OUTSPENT? Josh Holmes, former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell believes Biden could be outspent by 6 to 1 in a race against Trump. In addition to his gaffes, and recent Ukrainian scandals, Biden is also known as an antiquated fundraiser who cares little for the work of raising campaign contributions.

MUELLER PERJURY? Despite his under oath Congressional testimony to contrary, it appears Robert Mueller had interviewed for the open FBI Director job with Trump only days before being named Special Council to investigate the president.

WARREN - FIRED OR QUIT? Elizabeth Warren has frequently stated that she lost a teaching job because of a pregnancy. It turns out her contract was extended but she turned down the job. More from Dr. Steve Turley.

BETO THREATENS CHURCHES: Beto O'Rourke, hoping to pick up votes by moving further to the Left, is now calling on the government to rescind tax exempt status from churches and religious institutions that do not support gay marriage. Don't be surprised to see video of this in 2020 GOP commercials.

TRUMP'S UN SPEECH: We had hope to give more coverage to the speech, but for now we invite our readers to watch.


PHILIPPINE-RUSSIAN COOPERATION: Is the Philippines moving in Russia's direction?

ISRAELI-GULF STATE PACT? Israel is working to capitalize on tensions with Iran, attempting to forge a non-aggression pact with the region's gulf states. Will it work?

UZBEKISTAN IN 2-MINUTES: Uzbekistan's Geographic Challenge from Stratfor.


FINGER GUN-POINTING FELONY: A 13 year old girl in a Kansas City, Kansas suburb has been charged with a felony for pointing her hand in the shape of a gun at other students. So much for banning AR-15's - soon we'll have to ban fingers, too.

STD'S IN CALIFORNIA: STD's are dramatically rising in California, with STD's being passed to babies up by staggering numbers. It is being called a healthcare failure in the state.

HUNDREDS SEEK TO DE-TRANSITION: Hundred of people who transition to another gender are re-thinking the change. They have some harrowing stories and have largely been abandoned as "traitors" to the trans cause. In other trans news, some girls have begun skipping school over new gender neutral bathrooms where boys and girls now mix.

GIRL BOY SCOUTS: In a unanimous vote, girls will now be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts beginning in the cub program. Each den will determine if it will go co-ed or form a second den for girls. We agree with the the Girl Scouts that this is a great mistake.

The Feast of October 12th—Mary, Columbus, Catholic America, and the Cosmic Race

(first published on October 12, 2012)

The practice of turning specific national days of remembrance into long family weekends by observing the nearest Monday domesticates the public liturgy of civic life. It also diminishes other ties that may resonate with the date itself. October 12 is one such day.  The 12th of October is the most important Marian feast day of Spain. Our Lady of the Pillar appeared to St. James there in the earliest evangelization of the Iberian peninsula. It is the only reported apparition of Our Lady before her assumption into heaven. [James returned to Judea, where he was executed in the year 44 -- the first Apostle to be martyred].

In 1492, the Genoan explorer Christopher Columbus sailed west under the sponsorship of Spanish monarchs to find a route to the Indies unobstructed by Muslim threats. The Moors (North African and Spanish Muslims) had just been expelled from Spain after centuries of war.  Columbus had told his seamen after two months at sea if they did not see land by the feast of Our Lady of Pillar, they would turn back.

On October 11, 1492, an island in the present day Bahamas was sighted. They set foot on land the next day.

In Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and many other countries of Hispanic America, October 12 is celebrated as Dies de Raza: “the day of the race.”  This term was used by a Mexican philosopher, Antonio Caso, in 1918 to celebrate the mixture of Spanish and indigenous cultures to shape “the Mexican mestizo race.”  Caso wrote eloquently against the Darwinian notion of survival of fittest and scientific empiricism as the only way to knowledge. He included his philosophical life as an apostle of intuition and love as the highest human expression.  In more recent years the American  mixing of bloods has been given a more malignant interpretation. Venezuela under President Hugo Chavez, in 2002, changed the day to the Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance). The noble savage and purity of Indian blood prevails!

Christopher Dawson said, “The Catholic and Protestant worlds have been divided from one another by centuries of war and power politics… nowhere is this state of things more striking than in America, where the English Protestant North and the Spanish Catholic South formed two completely different worlds which had no mental contact with one another.”

October 12 is a perfect  day to celebrate how we Americans are going to bridge that gap under the inspiration of Our Lady of the Pillar – and Our Lady of Guadalupe who reappeared 1500 years later in a different dress to show us the next steps on the same path. For sure it is a great day to celebrate the unmitigated blessing of bringing the good news of Christianity to the Americas. On October 12, Columbus the bearer of Christ had a great REUNION with long lost relatives mutually  descendant from Adam and Eve. The Reunion of humanity will occur when we recognize the  Fatherhood of God and the Kingship of Christ, Head of the  Church, and alpha male of the human race(species).

UPDATE: Walter Russell Mead does a good job of explaining the Catholic fraternal origins of Columbus Day in America.

Our review of a book on Columbus by Samuel Eliot Morison.

2017 update: In light of Catalonia vote for independence from Spain this year's October 12 National Day celebration(for the nation of Spain) took on a renewed vigor. Unfortunately the real binding force of Spain-the Catholic religion-is still underplayed in secularist Spain.  One third of the clerical killings during the Red Terror of the Spanish Civil War occurred in Catalonia.

2108 Update:
The most famous philosopher of La Raza is Jose Vasconcelos (1882-1959).  He wrote The Cosmic Race ( La Raza Cosmica) in 1925.  He sees the spiritual role of the Americas to be the grounds where all the races are reconciled through intermarriage in a new spiritual "cosmic race". He contrasts this with the Anglo Saxon approach of trying to create a separate utilitarian superior race forever.  He thought Hitler understood race and spirituality better than the technocratic and soulless British and Western allies. He has been tarred as a Nazi by many modern critics.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is the feminine face of racial reconciliation as a unique mark of the Americas.  The dark skinned virgin reminds us that the Church like the Americas is the place of racial reconciliation under God.

Monday, October 7, 2019

October 7: The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

The Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in commemoration of the victory of Christian forces at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. The call to arms against the Ottoman Muslim Turks was sounded by a Dominican Pope: Pius V. It was largely Catholic city-states and military orders who answered his call. They were led by Don Juan of Austria. The events are memorialized in G.K. Chesterton's poem on Lepanto.

Rather than act as the military commander, Pope Pius V called on laymen to do their protective duties as holders of the civic sword. The Pope led Rome and the Christian world in prayers -- notably the beautiful reflection on the life of Christ known as the Rosary

The Church dedicates this day not to the men of the sword, but to Our Lady of the Rosary. This is not a day to  forget the men of the sword, but to keep the sword under religious discipline. There is great significance in tying devotion to Our Lady with the martial vigor of statesmen-warriors. It is a feast day reminding us and celebrating the Christian order of chivalry.

The lessons for men today should be obvious. The duty of clergymen to lead us in the sacrifice of prayer must often be matched by the duty of laymen to lead us in the sacrifice of protective wars.

Video Update: Spanish-speaking Catholics deepen our sense of history in reminding us that before Lepanto there was the centuries-long battle to evict the Muslim Moors from Spain (completed 1492 just before Columbus discovered the New World). From Lepanto came Miguel de Cervantes who would write the great Spanish classic, Don Quixote. Here is an excellent short video on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the historic battle:

UPDATE: There are two other events which we commemorate as victories of Christian men in arms against Islamic invasion. The first is the Battle of Tours in 732 (a century after the death of Muhammad) in which the Muslim forces were stopped in France by Charles "The Hammer" Martel, grandfather of Charlemagne.

And the other is the Battle of Vienna in 1683, which ended the threat posed by the Ottoman Turks. The Polish king, John Sobieski, was hailed by pope and common folk as the savior of Christendom.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

by A. Joseph Lynch
With Commentary from Dr. David Pence


President Trump came to power as a nationalist populist, seeking to break the neoconservative-globalist-imperialist hold on the Republican party and the nation. Since his election, a shift has begun to take place within the two dominant American political parties. The "Never Trump" conservatives have begun to ally themselves with the globalists and imperialists within the Democratic party while Trump seeks to rally patriots, laborers, and religious Americans to his cause. In 2018, he brilliantly focused on keeping the Senate, replacing many "Never Trumpers" with nationalists. This cost control of the House. Given the radical, do-nothing, investigate-and-impeach liberals controlling the House, however, it would seem like Trump could be set for a huge sweep back into control of both houses and the presidency. What's more, a GOP-controlled House would now be thoroughly nationalist-populist with many "Never Trumpers" not seeking re-election.

Despite this, the neoconservatives and globalist liberals still have wide-ranging support from within U.S. intelligence agencies. This week Tucker Carlson rightly pointed out this reality, explaining that the intelligence community has been gunning for Trump since January 2017. Dr. Pence reminds us how the intelligence community, headed up by Jim Comey (FBI), James Clapper (Director of National Intelligence), and John Brennan (CIA), manipulated their offices to launch the debunked Russia collusion investigation:
According to his memos, Mr. Comey gave [a] 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.
The new investigation into the president and Ukraine began with a member of the intelligence community submitting a second-hand account to investigators. No one has yet reported who, only days prior, changed the whistle-blower forms to allow complaints based on second-hand accounts (otherwise known as rumors). Reporting has also been slow to point out Adam Schiff's connection to quid pro quo Ukraine arms deals. As the Trump team ramps up their own investigations into 2016, both in terms of Democrat and intelligence leadership collusion with foreign governments (be it Ukraine or the UK's MI6) as well as new investigations into the Clinton emails, pressure is on to keep Trump from finishing his work. And with a potentially devastating IG report coming any day, another fake investigation seems to be the last ditch effort at distracting America from the truth. It won't work, and it might take out front-runner Biden in the process. One thing is for certain: 2020 will be a very important year for America.


BARRON ON MODERN THEOLOGY: While we have had our issues with Bishop Barron - his visually stunning Catholicism series is much better on mute - and Dr. Taylor Marshall has rightly questioned his position on universal salvation, Barron offers a good assessment of modern Catholic theology as he attempts to defend his own place within it.

CATHOLIC IDENTITY DECREE SUSPENDED: On June 21, Archbishop Charles Thompson of Indianapolis decreed a local Jesuit high school had lost its Catholic identity over a teacher seeking a gay marriage. The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education has now suspended that decree while it investigates. So much for subsidiarity and for decentralizing the role of the Vatican in local affairs.

VATICAN RAIDS: Vatican police raided its financial offices this week as Pope Francis appointed an anti-mafia prosecutor to confront financial corruption within the Vatican. Five have been suspended but time will tell how effective investigations will be.


PETER THIEL TALK: There is a shift taking place within America's political parties. Much of Peter Thiel's talk at the National Conservatism Conference echoes these changes, particularly in its rejection of the song Imagine and his defense of nationalism.

TRUMP FUNDRAISING RECORD: Political fundraising reports show that President Trump has raised $125 million in the third quarter and has $150 million cash on hand for 2020. While this is far above Democrat fundraising, it's also nearly double the $71 million President Obama raised at the same time in his re-election efforts. President Trump won 2016 being outspent 2-1, imagine how he'll do with the financial tables turned.

IS BERNIE'S POLITICAL END NEAR? Bernie Sanders this week suffered a heart attack and received two stents. He then not only cancelled events, but also ad buys in Iowa. His campaign says he plans to be at the next presidential debate on October 15, but might he soon drop out?


CROWN PRINCE DOC: Watch the new PBS documentary on Saudi Arabia's crown prince.

CONSERVATIVES WIN AUSTRIA: Conservatives under the leadership of Sebastian Kurz won in landslide in Austria while the far right dipped due to a scandal last spring. As a coalition government forms, it remains to be seen who the conservatives will align with.

ERDOGAN'S OIL IMPORTS: Turkey's 80 million citizens and growing economy runs on electricity that is 40% powered by gas imports. Despite sanction threats from the US, energy needs have led Erdogan to continue oil imports from Iran. Turkey and Iran are certainly in no alliance, but it's very good to see that Iran is not facing a united Saudi-Turkish threat against it.

NETANYAHU STUMBLES: After being tapped to form a new government, Netanyahu is still working to form a coalition. He now faces a leadership threat from within his own party.

BUCHANAN ON CHINA: His analysis as China's government turns 70.


NYC SPEECH POLICE: "Alien" might be the legal term to describe a non-citizen resident, but don't say "illegal alien" in NYC or threaten to call ICE as you could be facing a $250k fine. Debate surrounds the reach of the policy set by the city’s Commission on Human Rights, but many see it as the newest attack on free speech from the Left.

VIRGINIA TEACHER FIRED: A teacher in Virginia is suing after he was fired for not using the preferred gender pronoun of a female student who identifies as a male. It appears as though the issue is being framed as religious discrimination rather than based on free speech or in terms of gender reality. In any case, it's further evidence that extending the rights of the "LGBTQIA+" will only lead to discrimination and persecution of the gender sane.

AWARD-WINNING DEPUTY DEMEANED: During his own award reception, the first of its kind in the southern Florida town, Deputy Joshua Gallardo was stunningly told he was a bad police officer by city commissioner Mike Gelin, who was arrested by Gallardo in 2015. Gelin, an African American, had been recording the police during an arrest and was arrested after being told to stop recording. Apparently his nine hours in a jail cell has left him rather bitter. He now faces a city reprimand for incivility.

MEXICO AND ABORTION: While nation still protects the unborn at the federal level, the state of Oaxaca is now allowing abortions. Meanwhile a pro-abortion mob attempted to burn down Mexico City's cathedral.

GEORGIA FETAL HEARTBEAT LAW BLOCKED: As Respect Life month kicked off, on October 1 a judge blocked Georgia's fetal heartbeat law that effectively banned abortion after six weeks. We now wait to see if the new conservative majority in the Supreme Court will uphold it.

Friday, October 4, 2019

October 4: Feast of Saint Francis

From an essay by Samuel Gregg:

"Franciscan peace is not something saccharine. Hardly! That is not the real Saint Francis! Nor is it a kind of pantheistic harmony with forces of the cosmos. That is not Franciscan either! It is not Franciscan, but a notion that some people have invented!"
These words were not articulated by a representative of the Texas oil industry. They were spoken in a homily given by Pope Francis himself during a much-publicized visit to Assisi in October 2013. Moreover, after emphasizing how Saint Francis [d. 1226] underscored man’s need to respect the natural world and “help it grow, to become more beautiful and more like what God created it to be,” the Pope added: “above all, Saint Francis witnesses to respect for everyone, he testifies that each of us is called to protect our neighbor, that the human person is at the center of creation, at the place where God—our creator—willed that we should be.”

Such ideas about Saint Francis don’t fit well with some portrayals of the medieval hermit and friar that have emerged in recent decades. Many of these have been exploit Francis for numerous contemporary religious and political agendas, ranging from pacifism to radical environmentalism. Franco Zefferelli’s well-known 1972 film "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" presented the saint, for example, as a type of winsome eccentric who was all about shattering conventionality. In his 1982 book Francis of Assisi: A Model of Human Liberation, the liberation theologian Leonardo Boff portrayed Francis as one who, conceptually speaking, would help us move away from a world dominated by “the bourgeois class that has directed our history for the past five hundred years"...

The text to which I always turn whenever claims about Francis of Assisi are made is Augustine Thompson O.P’s meticulously researched Francis of Assisi: A New Biography (2012). The real strength of this biography is the way it rigorously analyzes the documentary record and sources and shifts out what is reliable from that which is hearsay and legend.

So what are some aspects of Saint Francis’s life detailed in Thompson’s book that will surprise many? One is that although he sought radical detachment from the world, Francis believed that he and his followers should engage in manual labor in order to procure necessities like food. Begging was always a secondary alternative (29). Another is that Francis thought that the Church’s sacramental life required careful preparation, use of the finest sacred vessels (32), and proper vestments (62). This is consistent with Francis’s conviction that one’s most direct contact with God was in the Mass, “not in nature or even in service to the poor” (61). While Francis is rightly called a peacemaker and one who loved the poor, Thompson stresses the saint’s “absolute lack of any program of legal or social reforms” (37). The word “poverty” itself appears rarely in Francis’s own writing (246). It seems Francis also thought that it was absolute rather than relative poverty which “always had a claim on compassion” (40).

When it came to Catholic dogma and doctrine, Francis was no proto-dissenter. He was, as Thompson puts it, “fiercely orthodox” (41), even insisting in later life that friars guilty of liturgical abuses or dogmatic deviations should be remanded to higher church authorities (135-136). Hence it shouldn’t surprise us that Francis’s famous conversation in Egypt in 1219 with Sultan al-Kamil and his advisors wasn’t an exercise in interfaith pleasantries. While Francis certainly did not mock Islam, the saint politely told his Muslim interlocutors that he was there to explicate the truth of the Christian faith and save the sultan’s soul (66-70). Nothing more, nothing less.

by Bernardo Strozzi (d. 1644)

Francis is of course especially remembered by Christians and others for his love of nature, so much so that another saint, John Paul II, proclaimed him the patron saint of “those who promote ecology”... Francis’s deep affinity with nature and animals was underscored by those who knew him. The killing of animals or seeing them suffer upset him deeply (56). In this regard and many others, Francis didn’t see the natural world and animals as things to be feared or treated solely as resources for use (57).

Unlike many other medieval religious reformers, however, Francis rejected abstinence from meat and wasn’t a vegetarian. Nor was there a trace of pantheism in Francis’s conception of nature (56). Francis’s references and allusions to nature in his writings, preaching, and instruction were overwhelmingly drawn from the scriptures rather than the environment itself (55). More generally, Francis saw the beauty in nature and the animal world as something that should lead to worship and praise of God (58)—not things to be invested with god-like qualities. G.K. Chesterton’s 1923 popular biography of Francis makes a similar point: though he loved nature, Francis never worshipped nature itself. Francis’s relationship to nature, Thompson observes, shouldn’t be romanticized. The saint even viewed vermin and mice, for example, as “agents of the devil” (225).

No one should be stunned by any of this. Saint Francis of Assisi was, after all, a Catholic. He therefore accepted the Jewish and Christian insight that not only is the Creator the Lord of his creation, but that the summit of his created world is man. Awareness of this basic truth, according to Saint Ignatius of Loyola—the founder of the Jesuit order to which Pope Francis belongs—is central to growing closer to God. In his 'Spiritual Exercises,' Ignatius identifies the “fundamental principle” for overcoming self as knowing that:
"Man has been created to praise, reverence and serve our Lord God, thereby saving his soul. Everything else on earth has been created for man’s sake, to help him achieve the purpose for which he has been created. So it follows that man has to use them as far as they help and abstain from them where they hinder his purpose."
Neither Ignatius of Loyola nor Francis of Assisi treated the created world as a rosy abstraction. Appreciating and respecting the environment didn’t mean disdaining everything else—including human beings, human work, and human creativity—or forgetting that, as the Church Father, Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, once wrote: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

However much legend and mythology has blurred the real Francis of Assisi over time, the genuine drama of his life and the forces he unleashed in medieval Europe mean that he’s perhaps fated to have any number of ideological programs thrust upon him. In the end, however, we should remember that while Francis of Assisi continues to have many things to say to everyone today, at the core of all those things is the Catholic vision of God, man and the world.

One can safely say that, for Saint Francis himself, any other interpretation would be impossible.