Saturday, March 28, 2020

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, MARCH 28

by A. Joseph Lynch


URBI ET ORBI: Pope Francis led Catholics the world over in prayer, adoration, and a benediction that carried with it a plenary indulgence.

ST. CORONA: Learn more about the patron saint of epidemics and the story of some relics associated with her patronage.

FRONT LINE PRIESTS: In Italy alone, almost 70 priests have died from the coronavirus.

DIVINE PUNISHMENT?: Bishops are divided over how to interpret the coronavirus. Where Pope Francis does not see the coronavirus as a punishment, one Mexican bishop offers many reasons why a punishment is long overdue.

NIENSTEDT FOOT-DRAGGING: The Vatican's Congregation of Bishops appears to be dragging its feet in investigating disgraced former Archbishop of St. Paul, John Nienstedt. Despite the statement of current Archbishop Hebda that the allegations against Nienstedt were not “manifestly unfounded,” Cardinal Ouellet has not begun an investigation mandated by Vos Estis (Pope Francis' 2019 moto proprio on investigating bishops).


POST-PANDEMIC POLICY: Pat Buchanan wonders if the coronavirus could lead to the fulfillment of President Trump's foreign policy. As the coronavirus appears to be more earth-shattering than 9/11, we suspect it will bring many changes indeed.

ANSWERS WITH JOE: Learn more about the coronavirus with this excellent (and short) video.

NANCY'S WISH LIST: Senate leaders had virtually ended negotiations last weekend when Nancy Pelosi, who had just returned from a week's vacation, proposed her own legislation and halted Senate plans. Her 1,432 page bill was loaded with non-essential demands: diversity boards at companies, same day voter registration, and mandatory carbon offsets for airlines. Pelosi was not ready to let a pandemic go to waste - even if it meant hold Americans hostage while she made demands. The bill was ultimately abandoned, but it held up the GOP-led plan from the Senate until Friday.

BIDEN'S GAFFES: Democratic presidential front-runner, Joe Biden disappeared for nearly a week as the virus threat grew. His return to airwaves has been less than stellar. Now a woman is coming forward with a sexual assault allegation (which the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund bizarrely refused to back). Can he really win? The mainstream media wants us to think so.

BEST PREPARED: A study from Johns Hopkins found that the United States was the nation best prepared to handle a pandemic. Many are sadly dying, but America the sleeping giant is awakening. Soon we'll have more ventilators, masks, and gowns than ever before.

NY EPICENTER: Despite being the best prepared, America has seen a large number of infections with New York being the epicenter. Tucker Carlson reminds us of how the New York government let their citizens down.

TRAVEL BANS AND IMPEACHMENT: As the coronavirus spread globally, President Trump wisely began a series of travel bans to affected areas. The media called Trump racist and Biden said he was guilty of "hysterical xenophobia." The leader of the World Health Organization and the European Union condemned his decision. As the media and liberal politicians attacks Trump for "not acting sooner" we should not forget their attitude and outlook at the time. Perhaps moving forward with a partisan impeachment of the president as coronavius reports were mounting was a bad move for the Democrats and the liberal mainstream media. How many lives could have been saved had the president been able to focus all his attention on the threat rather than on defending himself from Pelosi's bogus impeachment charges?

BOURBON STREET BREAK UP: Although schools had been closed and people told to practice social distancing, it wasn't until March 16 that New Orlean's Bourbon Street was finally cleared of crowds. Louisiana now has nearly 3,000 coronavirus cases and over 100 deaths, making it the third highest in fatalities nationwide. Archbishop Aymond of New Orleans is one of the infected.

WHO DO YOU TRUST? A new gallup poll reveals Americans trust hospitals (88% approval) and President Trump (60% approval) far more than they trust the media (44% approval). The polls offers further evidence that American's are seeing through the media's slanted and partisan coverage of the crisis.

DRINKING CLEANERS: Speaking of slanted media coverage, a man died and his wife was in critical condition after they drank an aquarium cleaner that included chloroquine phosphate. The media was quick to blame Trump despite the fact that the wife said they learned that the aquarium cleaner had chloroquine from media reporting. While the media attacks the president, there no criticism of NY Governor Cuomo as he touts the same medication.

OVER SCHEDULED AT HOME? Americans are at home for work yet working longer hours. One study suggests up to three extra hours a day. The quarantine also brings with it the rise of Zoom - a virtual meeting platform that allows dozens of people to teleconference. One writer muses on how Zoom has led many to be more over-scheduled at home than at work.


CORONAVIRUS AND THE NATIONS: Peter Zeihan put together a chart of nations by age and adds commentary regarding how the virus will impact the nations, especially nations with older populations more susceptible to the virus. Here's what he thinks will likely happen in Europe. The Euro may have to be abandoned - and perhaps with it an end to the EU.

WHEN POLITICAL CORRECTNESS KILLS: Italians were encouraged to prove they weren't racist by hugging anyone they saw from China, many of whom came from Wuhan. More from Dr. Steve Turley.

INDIAN SUPER SPREADER: A "super spreader" is a highly infectious person who acts as a disease transmitter to many people. One super spreader in India, a now diseased Sikh preacher who attended a large religious festival, may have jeopardized the lives of thousands. India has now locked down 40,000 people as a precaution.

BRAZIL'S REBELS: President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil is facing a revolt among many of his governors - and even the courts - over his plans to begin lifting pandemic restrictions. This may be a preview of what is to come in America as President Trump seeks to get Americans back to work as quickly as possible.

IN THE AMAZON: A doctor working with tribes in the Amazon has tested positive for the coronavirus. Take a look at this chart to see an example of how past foreign diseases have impacted native populations.

BY THE NUMBERS: How does the coronavirus compare to other outbreaks? Here are the numbers:
  1. Spanish Flu of 1918 (20-50 million dead)
  2. Asian Flu of 1956-58 (2 million dead)
  3. Hong Kong Flu of 1968 (1 million dead)
  4. H1N1 (Swine Flu) of 2009 (CDC estimates 284,000 dead, including 12,469 Americans)
  5. MERS of 2012 (858 dead)
  6. SARS of 2003 (774 dead)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

March 25: LADY DAY

[First published in 2015]

Some questions for Dr. David Pence on this Feast of the Annunciation:

If we had lived in England during the period between the 12th and 18th centuries, we'd be celebrating today as the beginning of the New Year, right? 
Yes, here we are, exactly nine months before Christmas. This is the day that Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit -- and the Word was made flesh.

Jesus Christ who has always existed as the Son of God is now, with the Virgin's "fiat," incarnated. He is begotten, not made. The human species has been welded to a Divine Person in the Trinity. The species now has an incarnated Head-a center of meaning and gravity that integrates humans in a Body that will incorporate us  forever in an interpersonal relationship of love.

Creation -- and specifically, the human species -- had reached its epitome!  (It will take about eight weeks for Baby Jesu in the womb to become half an inch in size.)

We need to have some rough figures in our head. Matter (the protons, neutrons, and electrons in all atoms) was created almost 14 billion years ago. The first life on earth—the first bacterial cell was imprinted by the Holy Spirit about 4 billion years ago.

The first parents of the human species were probably created around 150,000 years ago. But it is 2000 years ago that the fulcrum event of humanity occurred. This is the true Enlightenment: when God's plan becomes incarnate in a person. The Head takes form and the rest of history is us filling in His Body.  

Where is our species heading?

Our biological destiny is not to eventually produce some new successful mutant that will evolve into a higher form of life. Quite the contrary.

Our highest male and female forms have already appeared and the task before us is to now conform to them more perfectly. At the Annunciation the feminine form was so receptive, so attentive to the Spirit, so submissive to the will of God that her own flesh was incarnated by the Spirit begetting the Son. All of us, as males and females, are trying to bring our souls to that level of responsiveness to the Spirit and submission to the Father so we can play our roles.

You say that humans are a 'eusocial' species. What does that mean, and what does it have to do with Christianity?

Actually it has a lot  to do with the Body of Christ, the nature of the Eucharist, the meaning of the Church, and the analogical reality between the Trinity and the destiny of the human species. First, I must apologize that I have been unsuccessful in communicating this biological truth which is so clear to me in my head, but which I always fall short at explaining in print or during our conversations.

"Eusocial organism" is a descriptive term from sociobiology, which is the study of the social structure of animals. It's a kind of subset of the larger term ecology. You know how fish swim in schools and wolves run in packs with certain social roles. Well, there is a group of insects called eusocial insects in which the ties of sociobiology go way beyond the pack and herd structures of other animals. The eusocial insects tend to act as a single organism. Reproduction is highly restricted and (wonder of wonders) what distinguishes one sex from the other is not the presence of a sex chromosome (like the 'y' chromosome distinguishes human males from females), but one gender comes from fertilized eggs and the other are "virgin births." Unfertilized eggs become, for instance, male bees. The perfection of bees occurs in how they function as a single organism. The perfection of  human beings will be realized in how we participate as eusocial members of the Body of Christ.

Our alpha male whom we worship is of a virgin birth (parthenogenesis in biology). Our most basic sacrament binds us together by eating the flesh that makes us one Body. We are still persons but we are incorporated persons. In ecology there is another term called symbiosis: organisms living together in some deeply interrelated union. Let me just say these biological phenomena are deeply suggestive of the Trinity, and the interpersonal destiny of human beings in the Body of Christ.

On this feast day of the Incarnation we are celebrating the "engraftment" of the human species into the Second Person of the Trinity. It is true that God comes into the womb of the Virgin and develops, but this is just as Christ comes into us now as the food of the Eucharist. We are emerging as the eusocial organism which the human species was destined to be from the beginning. There are all sorts of physical lessons written in the book of nature which help us see how man's nature is so much more "plastic" (capable of being conformed) than the angels. Lucifer, to his great consternation, recognized what great things the Almighty had planned for His lowly ones.

What's the connection between the Greeks achieving their independence from the Turks, and the feast day we're celebrating?

Ever since the sack of Constantinople in 1453 (marking the demise of the Byzantine Empire's thousand-year run), Greece had been under the thumb of Muslim rule.

On this day in 1821, however, the war of Greek independence against the Ottoman Turks began when Bishop Germanos raised the flag of revolution over a monastery -- and 'Freedom or death' became the motto. The struggle took years but when all seemed lost, the British and the French and the Russians came to the aid of the Greeks. Finally in 1829, Greece became an independent state; and March 25th is their high holy celebration each year.

When you think of the Greek nation, it is fine to remember Pericles and the polis of Athens and Sparta. However, it is the height of ancestral impiety and religious amnesia to forget that the blood and arms that set the Greek nation free came in the name of Christ, not Socrates!

"Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness..."
              (Gospel of St Luke, chapter 1)

UPDATE: Take a look at this article on the Orthodox patriarch, and how the Russian believers celebrate the feast in Moscow's Cathedral of the Annunciation.

It will be a great American tragedy if we insist on blinding ourselves to the common Christian ties we have with the better and deeper part of Mother Russia.

A line from Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop:
"A life need not be cold, or devoid of grace in the worldly sense, if it were filled by Her who was all the graces; Virgin-daughter, Virgin-mother, girl of the people and Queen of Heaven: le rêve suprême de la chair  [the highest ideal of the flesh]."

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, MARCH 21

by A. Joseph Lynch


SACRAMENTAL RELIEF: Pope Francis issued two declarations regarding Confession and the coronavirus. The first regards a plenary indulgence to those fighting the virus and the second extends the use of general absolution for bishops and priests in areas especially impacted by the virus.

CONVENTS HIT: The coronavirus could be particularly deadly in our convents, where the average age of a nun is 74. In Italy nearly 60 nuns at two convents have fallen ill.

REDEEMER STATUE LIT: Rio de Janeiro's 125-foot tall Christ the Redeemer statue has been lit with the flags of the nations quite literally under coronavirus siege. Unlike celebrities imagining "no religion" and "no counties" (see below), now is the time for the nations to come together in prayer as we battle against an invisible enemy. Perhaps it will remind us of our true invisible enemy: the Devil.


AMERICA AT WAR: President Trump describes himself as a war time president. The impact that the coronavirus is having on the US general population hasn't been seen since the great wars of the twentieth century. Will America rise to the challenge? While geostrategist Peter Zeihan optimistically reminds us of America's past greatness Pat Buchanan is more pessimistic. Time will tell.

TRUMP'S TIME TO LEAD: Despite the loss of all the gains economic gains he's made since January 2017, President Trump has stepped up to lead the nation in this time of crisis. Recent polls now give Trump 55% approval of his handling of the virus and 56% approval overall. The virus is also giving the president the opportunity to enact much of his "America first" policy. He's closed the borders, immediately deporting illegal immigrants. He may also have support to bring back production from China.

PROGRESSIVE FAILURE: While Trump has signed to virus relief bills into law, Democrats appear to be holding up Trump's plan to give direct aid to American citizens. Democrats are also being hammered for their failure to help the homeless - who are about to be ravaged by the virus.

CHINESE VIRUS: While the President leads us during a time of war, journalists berate him for using term they themselves have used. While Dr. Steve Turley offers additional commentary, we ask: Is it really racist to identify an illness with a specific location? Is there a single journalist who says it is racist to use terms like West Nile Virus, Spanish Flu (which probably originated in China), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome?

VOTE... OR ELSE: The DNC - with full support from Biden and Bernie - went forward with Super Tuesday III despite the CDC warnings, low turn out, and inadequately supplied voter stations. The DNC continues to threaten states who delay their votes by halving their delegate representation at the convention.

TULSI IS OUT: Tulsi Gabbard, who threw her support behind Bernie in 2016, has dropped out and endorsed Biden. After a Biden blow out on Super Tuesday III, how much longer will Bernie stay in the race?

INSIDER TRADING: Senators Burr, Loeffler, Inhofe, and Feinstsein (and at several House members) seemingly took advantage of their security briefings to begin selling stocks later impacted by the coronavirus. Their actions appear to violate the STOCK Act, the 2012 law that banned insider trading among senators and congressmen. It passed the House 417-2 and the Senate 96-3 (Senator Burr was ironically one of the three senators to vote against it). More from Tucker Carlson.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Dr. Fauci has been the face of the government's response to the coronavirus. The 79 year old is working an insane 19-hour work day in his fight against the virus. Learn more about Dr. Fauci.


ITALY UNDER SIEGE: Italy has been devastated by the coronavius. When lock downs in the north were implemented, many fled south and brought the virus with them. The numbers from this week are as follows: March 15 (3590 new cases, 368 deaths), March 16 (3233 new cases, 349 deaths), March 17 (3526 new cases, 345 deaths), March 18 (4207 new cases, 475 deaths), March 19 (5322 new cases, 427 deaths), and March 20 (5986 new cases, 627 deaths). Will the virus in America play out the same way? Follow the numbers: Italy and the United States.

ISIS ON HOLD: While the DNC continued to encourage at-risk citizens to vote, even ISIS is recognizing the danger and placed jihad on hold in order to protect jihadists from infection. That certainly says something about Biden, Bernie, and the DNC.

MOSSAD RAIDS: Israel's version of the CIA is conducting raids in search of test kits and medical supplies to fight the coronavirus. It stole 100,000 test kits this week and plans to continue until it has 4 million. Meanwhile the eastern Syrians - likely Kurds - who defeated ISIS are going without test kits altogether. Could theirs have been stolen by the Israelis?

UK CHANGES PLANS: There are many ways to strategically approach the coronavirus. Containment is always the first strategy once a nation is infected - but what to do after that? One strategy is called herd immunity. The idea is that if enough are infected, eventually the community will become resistant to the disease. The UK thought about this but has since changed strategies since a new study revealed that tens of thousands would die as a result. National lock downs may be the only course of action until a vaccine is discovered.

CORONA CURE? Coronavirus fears have led to a rise of dangerous folk remedies. In Iran drinking toxic alcohol has led the deaths of 180 in two weeks while a Hindu nationalist group in India has held a cow-urine drinking event in hopes of preventing infection.


IMAGINE: Out of touch celebrity elites sang John Lennon's Imagine this week. It's not hard for us to imagine the irony of the world's wealthiest men and women imagining "no possessions" and "no hell" as the less fortunate experience hell on earth and dwindling supplies. Now is not the time to imagine "no countries" when it is precisely national borders that can be closed to the virus' spread. Imagining "no religion" when God is precisely Who we need right now is the exact opposite of what we should be doing.

COLBERT AND RACISM: The comedian Stephen Colbert accused President Trump's use of "Chinese virus" as being racist. Emily Jashinsky of The Federalist reminds us that the racism has actually come from Colbert himself

LGBTQIA+ AT RISK: A new report worries about the impact of coronavirus among gays. One topic left out is the problem posed by promiscuity in a time where social distancing is paramount.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Solemnity of Saint Joseph: Husband, Protector, and Patriarch of Israel

[originally published March 19, 2015]

On March 19, 2013, the pontificate of Francis (the first non-European to sit in the Chair of Peter in 13 centuries) was inaugurated.  In his homily he accepted as his mission that of St. Joseph--to be custos: the protector. 

It is inspiring to read of his trust in Joseph, who taught our Lord what manliness and fatherhood looked like:
"... I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church. Yes, he can do it! We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means: please pray to St Joseph for this problem."
Pope Francis went on to say: “In the Gospels, St. Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness... [Exercising the role of protector as St. Joseph did] means doing so discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand... [The bishop of Rome] must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked St. Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people."

Joseph was the last patriarch of the Old Testament. He was the head of the household of the Lord. He is strong, virile, chaste and silent. He was the living link to King David and Bethlehem. He taught his son to love his country and he incorporated him in the Covenant rituals  of his countrymen.  He repeated the journey of the Israelites in and out of Egypt. He handed his son over on the eight day for the circumcision and naming. He took him to the temple on the 40th day and ransomed him from the death of the first born.  He saved the Virgin Mother and the Baby Savior from the murderer. He taught Our Lord the manual skills of the carpenter craftsman. He brought him to Jerusalem for the public feasts(and we are not sure he was as upset as Mary that Jesus stayed back to do some temple teaching at our Lord's own unique bar mitzvah).  Joseph is the patron of afternoon naps and a good night's sleep because that is when the angels gave him his orders. He is the patron of a good death because he was in the presence of Mary and Jesus when he died. God did not tempt him by keeping him alive for the Crucifixion of his son. We don't know what he might have done. He was not perfect. He would not have run away.       

UPDATE: Two other holy men who had a deep devotion to Joseph the Worker: Pope John XXIII (see his prayer); and Josemaría Escrivá (d. 1975), the Spaniard who founded Opus Dei. In 1955, Pope Pius XII responded to the Communist celebration of Mayday as International Workers Day by Christianizing labor with a May 1 Feast Day celebrating the carpenter craftsman - St Joseph the Worker. The Communist-Socialist holiday was in remembrance of the Chicago Haymarket Massacre in May, 1886.  

Father Escrivá wrote: "I don't agree with the traditional picture of St Joseph as an old man... I see him as a strong young man, perhaps a few years older than our Lady, but in the prime of his life and work."


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, MARCH 14

by A. Joseph Lynch


For weeks we have been hearing about the spread of coronavirus from China. South Korea, Iran, and Italy were some early nations hit by what has become a pandemic. It was only a matter of time before it reached America's shores. American sentiment regarding preparedness was mixed to nonchalant until recent days, with grocery stores now being sold out across the nation.

Today more American's are recognizing the need to figure out how best to fight this global pandemic.

The South Korea model proved to be quite effective. Mass testing via drive through stations helped identify the infected and hold back the spread. Although the US is now rolling out a similar plan, it may be too late to prevent a wide scale spread.

Italy is witnessing what happens when the virus gets out of control. Although the mortality rate is low, the great danger is when hospitals become overwhelmed with critical cases. Italy is now facing a battlefield triage situation where only the most likely to survive receive treatment. The US has approximately 35 critical care beds per 1000 people - triple the number of Italy - yet this may not be enough if a mass breakout occurs in the days ahead.

The coronavirus is twice as contagious as the flu, yet it is said that if 60% washed their hands the spread of the coronavirus would slow by 70%. Sadly, studies show that nearly 70% of men don't wash their hands after using the restroom. Men, it's time to learn how to wash your hands. Scrub with soap for 20 seconds (the length of two Happy Birthday songs).

We should also be clear that, despite what we've heard, coronavirus is not the flu. Below is a chart that compares the common symptoms of coronavirus to the common cold, the flu, and allergies. 

How will the coronavirus impact world affairs? Pat Buchanan has some ideas. With China hinting at cutting pharmaceutical and medical equipment exports, this may give the president further leverage to bring American manufacturing back home. If America fares better than Italy and Europe, it may provide Americans with further proof that private healthcare and free markets, working in unison with the government, are a better answer to health crises than government-run healthcare. And as Tucker Carlson pointed out, a spread among the homeless may be further evidence that liberal-run cities who prop up homelessness only make outbreaks all the more dangerous and likely.

As Americans brace for the worst, we remember the deadly influenza outbreak one hundred years ago. An excerpt from THE GREAT INFLUENZA by Tulane professor John Barry:
“The more serious the outbreak, the more important telling the truth becomes...

“There was terror afoot in 1918, real terror. The randomness of death brought that terror home. So did its speed. And so did the fact that the healthiest and strongest seemed the most vulnerable.

“The media and public officials helped create that terror — not by exaggerating the disease but by minimizing it, by trying to reassure.”


CLOSING CHURCHES? While Pope Francis is frustrated with Church closings in Italy, the head of the Polish bishops’ conference has come up with a novel solution to the novel virus: increase the number of Masses. More Mass times should lead to fewer congregants per Mass and less danger of contagion. It's a sacrifice for our priests but one well worth making.

CHURCH AND STATE: The justice department is supporting the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in its firing of an openly gay high school teacher after the gay teacher launched a suit against the archdiocese. The federal government seeks to protect the first amendment rights of religious institutions in similar cases.

INTO THE BREACH SERIES: Bishop Olmsted's outstanding apostolic exhortation, Into the Breach, has become a multi-video series with the Knights of Columbus. The twelve-minute videos can be watched here.


BIDEN EXTENDS LEAD: Super Tuesday II was held this week (March 10) and Biden was again the clear winner. Of the six voting states, Sanders won only North Dakota. Of the two candidates, Biden with 887 delegates holds a 156 delegate lead over Sanders' 731 delegates. The lead is likely to hold, but with states potentially following Louisiana in postponing their primaries, poor debate performances could keep Sanders viable.

TRUMP BREAKING RECORDS: President Trump continues to smash turn out records in his presidential re-election bid. This week he received over 637,000 voted in Michigan compared to the 174,000 votes Obama won in the same state back in 2012. More from Dr. Steve Turley.

TRUMP SUES THE MEDIA: CNN, the NYTimes, and the Washington Post are all being sued by the Trump campaign for false and libelous claims. Free speech and press were not given the protection of the first amendment so that they could be abused with lies and "fake news". Trust in the media is at an all-time low, mainstream newspapers are in decline, and even online news teeters on the brink. Even Chris Matthews has become a casualty. Trump's lawsuit may not succeed, but his lawsuit reflects the national mood regarding the media.

FIGHTING SANCTUARY CITIES: Trump the warrior advances on another battlefield: sanctuary cities. After winning in the courts, President Trump has announced he is withholding federal funds to sanctuary cities until they change their policy.


RUSSIAN CONSTITUTION: The Russian constitution is receiving amendments that protect marriage and faith in God. It also appears that presidential term limits will be reset following the passage of the amendments, thus allowing Vladimir Putin to remain in office after 2024 (potentially until 2036).

IRAQ ATTACK: Shia militias killed two American soldiers in Iraq. In response, the US struck targets across the nation. These attacks, however, killed three Iraqi soldiers, two policemen, and one civilian. When will we respect Iraqi sovereignty, and leave once and for all?

ISRAELI ELECTIONS: Netanyahu's party won Israel's third recent election, but they did not win enough votes to form a government. Israel's government remains a standstill.


SHUTTING DOWN PORN: The petition to shut down Pornhub is moving forward as it became known that the porn site was host to homemade videos related to sex-trafficking and child rape. It's a horrific story outlined in the petition and a reminder of porn's ugliness.

PELOSI PUSHES ABORTION: It was revealed yesterday that Pelosi sought to include abortion funding in the coronavirus bill moving through Congress. In the name of saving lives, Pelosi sought the destruction of many.

GAY CLERGY RETREAT: Archbishop Lori is allowing a retreat for gay deacons, priests, and bishops to go forward despite the protests of faithful Catholics. Let the retreat move forward - but be sure a list of attendees is published afterwards.  

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, MARCH 7

by A. Joseph Lynch


SWISS CATHOLIC MASS: First in 500 years.

MEXICAN BISHOPS ACCUSED: Four bishops in Mexico have been referred for investigation. Will there be more?

LITURGICAL EXPERIMENT: Taylor Marshall interviews an engineer who put his math skills to work and proved that communion at the rail is faster than in a line. This is one experiment in the liturgy AoA can get behind.


AFGHAN PEACE DEAL: Secretary of State Pompeo was in Afghanistan to sign a historic peace deal with the Taliban, which if fully implemented will see Americans withdraw from Afghanistan next year. Despite the deal, fighting continues both at home and abroad. If only the president could make the same inroads with Iran as he's made North Korea, Afghanistan, and Russia. We also note the conspicuous absence of the gulf states, who, with the exception of Qatar, snubbed their invitation to the peace signing. Their absence is a sign of who our adversaries in the Mideast really are

THE ESTABLISHMENT STRIKES BACK: We suspected much would develop this week in the Democratic primary race. With Biden's victory in South Carolina and the surprising departure of Buttigieg and Klobachar from the race, enough votes moved Biden's way on Super Tuesday to put him in the delegate lead. And now that Bloomberg and Warren have bowed out, the race is shaping up to be a contest between Sanders (553 delegates) and Biden (621 delegates). The question remains: will there be a contested convention. More commentary from Pat Buchanan.

BIDEN IN 1988: This is Joe Biden's third attempt at the presidency. His 1988 campaign to a screeching halt due to plagiarism. It remains to be seen how his third attempt will come out.

AD BUYS: Bloomberg learned the hard way that money isn't everything. We don't expect that to keep candidates from ad buys, however. This chart reveals the presidential advertisements (the website will be updated through November).

HILARY TO TESTIFY: A judge has ordered Hilary Clinton to testify regarding her private email server. It appears the statute of limitations on crimes related to the server has passed, but she could still find herself in hot water if caught lying under oath. 


MUBARAK DEAD AT 91: Hosni Mubarak, the ousted leader of Egypt, has died. More on his life and legacy. Here also is our Map on Monday post on Egypt.

OPEN BORDERS: As the Turkey's fight against Russia-backed Assad continues in Syria, Turkey attempts to pressure EU aid by opening its European borders for refugee migration. This time, however, Greece and Bulgaria are protecting their borders. The Greeks in particular are being praised - by open borders EU bureaucrats no less - as Europe's shield. What's more, millions of EU dollars are going to the border to hold back the newest wave of migration. Meanwhile it's no surprise the UN and Amnesty International oppose the self-defense of Bulgaria and Greece.

ALL TIME GREATEST LEADER: In a new UK poll, Sikh leader Maharajah Ranjit Singh was voted the greatest leader of all time. Singh build a Sikh empire with an emphasis on religious freedom. AoA may not be convinced he is the greatest of all time, but his name and story is one we should know. See also our 2012 post on south central Asia that includes a more on the Sikh faith. 


POLYGAMY IN UTAH: Polygamy is one step closer to decriminalization in Utah. This is what happens when "marriage equality" no longer means an equal opportunity for one man to marry one woman for life.

PROTECTING MARRIAGE & GENDER: Mormons in Utah may not yet see the disconnect between tacitly supporting polygamy and opposing gay marriage, but they continue to oppose homosexuality on the campus of BYU. Meanwhile the bishops of Minnesota have issued a statement that bans Catholic school students from using opposite sex bathrooms or playing on sports teams for the other gender. In Arizona the "Save Women's Sports Act" has passed the state's House - it too will keep transgenderism from impacting its sports teams.

REMOVING CONFEDERATE SYMBOLS: In a new directive, the order was given to remove all "Confederate-related paraphernalia" across all Marine bases. The directive also demanded more women in combat roles. The directive tells us exactly what the Corps now values: no to the warrior history and pride of the South and yes to sending child-bearing aged women to their needless deaths. The inversion continues.

BOY SCOUTS ARE BANKRUPT: In more ways than one.

A CHESS DIET: AoA encourages strategic thinking, especially in engaging activities like chess or go (wei qi). A recent study found that chess grandmasters can burn up to 6,000 calories per day while playing in chess tournaments. That takes strategic thinking to a whole new level.