RELIGION, NATION, MARRIAGE: THE LOYALTIES OF MEN
PRAY, WORK, STUDY, PROTECT: THE DUTIES OF MEN


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

SEPTEMBER 29: FEAST OF THE ARCHANGELS


[first published 29 September 2012]




On this feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael -- some thoughts of Doc Pence on our angelic partners.  He begins with an anecdote:

   About a year ago when I was arguing with a theology professor at St. John’s in Collegeville MN about women priests and homosexuality -- it struck me.  I asked him, "Do you believe there was a first man and woman, Adam and Eve?”  He said, "No, science has proven that wrong."  I asked, "Do you believe there is a wicked angel, Lucifer, who is the devil; a real being, dedicated to evil and not redeemable?”  He said, "No, there is definitely evil in the world and in all of us but not an actual powerful spiritual evil being."  "Well, how about angels in general -- another order of beings -- purely spiritual who can know and love and who are actors in the domain of nature and history?"  I asked.  He hedged and hemmed and asked to be excused.

   I told myself, "I have been in the wrong discussion -- the problem is a lot of these guys don't have the cast of characters or central events of the Divine Drama in place.”

   What is priesthood, and who cares if it is all-male, if there is no Satan and the story of Salvation History is just a hodgepodge of Semitic texts?  I haven't gotten into arguments over women priests for a long time because I find those who favor them have a much bigger deficit that has to be first addressed.  


  Today we give thanks for the angels -- pure spirits organized in hierarchical orders -- our great elevated partners in the Divine Drama. 



God is an eternal Being outside of time: one Divine nature in three Persons. The angels are pure spirits. They have the two characteristics of spiritual beings: they can know and love.

The material world is mineral, vegetative, and animal. The minerals (atoms, chemical elements and molecules, and all non-living matter) do not have souls.  The vegetative and animal beings are living, and thus have souls. Souls are the central unifying principles of living things. All physical living beings have souls, but their souls are different. The souls of bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals die with the creature. Spiritual souls are immortal and rational. We don’t talk about an angel’s soul because a soul is a form in a material being.
 
Living Beings have interiority and agency and hierarchy. Living things act for themselves in a way that rusting iron and eroding rocks don’t (agency). All living things have an inside and an outside, from cell structure to internal body cavities to the interior spiritual life of man (interiority). All life comes from life, and exists within a structured sacral order (hierarchy).

Man is the one material being with a spiritual soul -- he can know and love. Thomas Aquinas thought one could logically argue to prove the existence of angels. He said there needs to be a created being which is spiritual but is not made of matter. (This balances the material world in which there is matter without a soul, material creatures with a “material soul,” and material beings with a spiritual soul.) Angels perfect the universe because they are created immaterial beings, which are spiritual. They too can know and love.

Angels know directly (they intuit), and desire and decide instantaneously. Their decisions are irrevocable. Angels use matter for appearances but do not become living material beings. Each angel is his own species. Angels are organized into hierarchical orders: some worshiping, some in charge of movements in nature, and some personally involved in the lives of men and nations.

When we contemplate the angels this brings us in closer contact with the hierarchical nature of the cosmos, the reality of Satan, the heroism of Michael, the ongoing active dialogue between the spiritual world and human development. We are part of a cosmic drama that started long before we got here. In this drama, the sons of Adam are given a major participatory role in the restoration of Justice after Satan’s rebellion. Man is part of a cosmological reality and so are the angels. Man cannot fully understand his role here without a robust and clarified view of the Angels in the Drama.


UPDATE: In both Jewish and Christian tradition, every nation has been assigned a guardian angel through which Divine Providence works out His purposes in history. While Pope Francis suggested that Catholic discussion be less preoccupied with homosexuality, abortion, and contraception, he has continually emphasized the present-day reality of the evil angel Lucifer. 

St. Michael, St, Raphael, and St. Gabriel: pray for us.   

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

RELIGION, SEX, & POLITICS LIVESTREAMS: Our YouTube channel will begin weekly educational livestreams on Thursday's at 7 PM, beginning with a special event on October 7 entitled Making Mass Meaningful. Visit the channel, subscribe, and ring the bell to be notified when we go live.

FEMALE SWISS GUARDS? A new barracks is under construction for the Swiss Guard in Rome, but the barracks are being built to house women as well as men. It's reported that Francis himself was not aware of this, but it's obvious sexual revolutionaries are running wild in the halls of the Vatican.

FIGHT FOR MONTENEGRO: Orthodox Christians in Montenegro are Serbian Orthodox, yet Western forces have worked tirelessly to reorient the small nation away from its Serbian mother church. Hopes are to split the church in Montenegro in a way that the Ukrainians split their church from the Patriarch of Moscow. When the local archbishop in Montenegro died from the coronavirus, both his episcopal successor and the patriarch consecrating him had to be flown in by helicopter and shielded by police as pro-Western protestors blocked all roads to the church.

SPOTLIGHT - ILLINOIS ORGY: More excellent - if disturbing - reporting from Church Militant. This time uncovering an alleged orgy that took place among clergy in Illinois, including the current Archbishop of Omaha, George Lucas. Lucas had appointed an investigation into the allegations years ago - an investigation that did little investigating into Lucas' involvement while exposing virtually everyone else who took part.

CHINA'S RELIGIOUS REVIVAL: There's a religious revival going on China, especially in terms of Confucianism. 


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

BIDEN'S BAD HOUR: Biden had a very bad hour during the afternoon of September 17. According to the AP, it was all within the span of about an hour that the Pentagon admitted to killing ten innocent Afghani civilians in an airstrike Biden pressed, the FDA rejected COVID booster shots for most Americans, and France recalled its ambassador following the botched AUKUS rollout. Things are going from bad to worse for this administration.

BIDEN APPROVAL TANKING: Quinnipiac now has him at 42%. Newsweek is reporting that voters believe Trump was a better president than Biden. Rasmussen now has Trump beating Biden or Harris in 2024. McLaughlin polling says the same. All further signs Trump will soon announce another run for the presidency.

FEDS AT J6 RALLY: A recent rally held in Washington DC on behalf of those wrongly imprisoned after the January 6 Capitol Riot was bit of a dud as Trump himself rejected if for hear it was being used by his adversaries to instigate false-flag riots that would be pinned on Trump. As it turns out, it appears more police and obviously undercover federal agents attended than supporters of the "J6" political prisoners. 

FAUCI FUNDING RUN WILD: After apparently lying to Congress about funding "gain of function" research - which is arguably tantamount to creating bioweapons - on novel coronaviruses in China, reports have emerged that Fauci also funded "gain of function" research on the far deadlier MERS-like (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) coronavirus. 

III. THE NATIONS

US AND THE SAUDIS: Robert Mueller, former FBI director who ran a sham investigation into President Trump, is being sued for covering up alleged Saudi involvement in 9/11. Meanwhile the US is pulling air defense weapons from Saudi Arabia as it works a deal to run maintenance operations on Saudi aircraft still involved in a genocidal war against the Houthi of Yemen. As the US-Saudi ties weaken, Saudi Arabia is looking increasingly to the Russians, Chinese, and Indians.

AFGHAN CORRUPTION: The Taliban have seized over $12 million in cash and gold from the homes of former government officials - a further sign of the rampant corruption of the former government and yet another reason why it collapsed so quickly.

INDIA'S GRAND STRATEGY: As China spreads its influence across Eurasia, India pursues its own grand strategy. More from Caspian Report.

EU ARMY? The fallout from the AUKUS rollout continues as the French demand retribution for being denied a role in the alliance and losing billions in a cancelled submarine deal with the Australians. Fearing that the French might torpedo Russian sanctions in the coming weeks, Biden humiliated himself in a recent phone call with French leader Macron and even tacitly approved an EU army that could one day replace NATO. From the Joint US-French Statement: "The United States also recognizes the importance of a stronger and more capable European defense, that contributes positively to transatlantic and global security and is complementary to NATO."


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

COVID HYSTERIA: A leaked Zoom call between hospital administrators revealed the level to which they would lie in order to push COVID hysteria. Meanwhile Project Veritas is revealing more about vaccine coverups.

"RACIST" VACCINE PASSPORTS: In a move we all saw coming, New York's vaccine passports - which are necessary to take part in society - are being branded "racist" as the number of a blacks and minorities who are unvaccinated are far higher than whites. BLM - an unlikely ally - plans to lead an "uprising" against the passports. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

TEXAS HEARTBEAT LAW UPDATE: Now allied with Satanists - who recently made abortion a religious ritual - in their opposition to Texas' fetal heartbeat law, abortion proponents are doing everything they can to resist while the law prepares to go before SCOTUS. The new "Catholic" governor of New York plans to bring Texans to her state for abortions. Other states are looking at travel bans to Texas while at least one Hollywood film project is cancelling its Texas production. Now we learn that a Texas "doctor" has performed an abortion to test the law. He's now being sued under the law's own provisions.

AOC'S MET GALA HYPOCRISY: AOC was recently blasted for wearing a "tax the rich" dress at a gala where each person had to pay $30,000-$50,000 a ticket to attend. And none of these attendees wore masks (something that even leftist Bill Maher found hypocritical). She apparently couldn't tell she was a walking billboard for hypocrisy. What are the chances that someone hob-nobbing with the ultra-wealthy will really "tax the rich"?  What's more, the designer of the AOC dress apparently is a tax "deadbeat", owing taxes in multiple states and hit with 15 tax warrants since 2015. 

MASKLESS EMMYS: Much like AOC and other celebrities at the MET Gala, the Emmys featured the country's out-of-touch celebrities crammed into an indoor event with no masks. One comedian, Seth Rogan, made jokes about it. "Rules for thee but not for me" is the name of the game for America's wealthy, liberal elites. They're laughing at us.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

MEL GIBSON SPEAKS OUT: Mel Gibson recently shared his thoughts on the current state of the Church. His comments about Vatican II and Pope Francis aside, Mel Gibson made some very good points about the bishops, scandals, and cancelled priests. Here's the short coverage of the full Gibson video from Taylor Marshall.

A GAY SAINT? Homosexual priest, Michael Judge, who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11, is being pushed for sainthood by gay activists. It's clear the activists are merely using Judge to further their ideology in order to push ahead with homosexuality in Catholic teaching and we hope this movement gains no further traction. 

"NOT DEMOSTRATING CATHOLIC TEACHING": Catholic Democrats at one time used the "Cuomo defense" (a defense Bishop Tobin calls a "pathetic excuse [that] doesn't fly anymore") in regards to their stance on abortion, saying "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I don't want to impose my beliefs on others." Joe Biden and other "Catholic" Democrats are now openly admitting their defiance to the natural law and Church teaching. Biden recently said "I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception... I don’t agree, but I respect that." In response, DC Cardinal Gregory was forced to admit that these words of Biden are "not demonstrating Catholic teaching." Sadly the cardinal, who joyfully condemned President Trump at every chance, would not do the same in his very short, let's-move-along, comments on Biden. 


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

BIDEN'S SAIGON: The fall of Afghanistan is Biden's Saigon - or even worse than Saigon. Watch the the first two parts (part one and part two) of a three part series made by Religion, Sex, and Politics. A video on the fallout is coming soon. In the meantime we're seeing some of that fallout in Vietnam's re-orientation towards China, Taiwan under new pressure, North Korea restarting it's nuclear program, Iran a month away from nuclear bomb materials, and Russia completing the Nord Stream II pipeline to Germany. At home, Biden's domestic program is on the line as Manchin backs out of the $3.5 trillion Democrat spending bill and Democrats now lack the votes to pass it.

BIDEN'S WAR CRIME: After an ISIS-K suicide bomber in Kabul killed 13 American soldiers and over 100 Afghani civilians, Biden needed some kind of quick victory that he could share with the seething American people. Despite conflicting intelligence reports, Biden frantically ordered an airstrike on "high level" ISIS-K targets. It turns out he targeted men filling up water jugs along with their extended family, women and children. Those on the ground thought the attack was ISIS. It turned out it was Joe Biden - who some are accusing of a war crime. And like the fatal withdrawal from Afghanistan, no one in the Biden Administration, the military, or the intelligence community will be held accountable beyond issuing a vague apology.

AMERICAN HOSTAGES IN AFGHANSTAN? Reports indicate that many American citizens are still sitting on airplanes in Kabul waiting for the Taliban to release them. When will they be declared hostages?

MILLEY'S TREASON? Reports from new Bob Woodward and Robert Costa book told of secret phone calls between the head of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, and his counterpart in China just ahead of the 2020 election and soon after the Capitol Riot of January 6. During theses secret calls, Milley pledged to China that he would warn them should America plan to attack. It was also said Milley held a secret meeting with military leaders to keep Trump from functioning as the commander in chief should war draw near in his final days as president. The leaders, it is reported, were even asked to swear their allegiance to Milley. Should these reports turn out to be true, Milley is certainly open to court martial for treason - an offense punishable in the Constitution by death. It appears there must be something to the story, as excuses for his actions are now coming from the Pentagon while Trump's former SecDef is blasting Milley for his actions. We expect more will develop with this story.

LATEST BORDER CRISIS: Thousands of Hattians are storming across the US border in Texas in the newest border crisis under Biden's watch. Drone video revealed stunning images of illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande on their way into an unsanitary federal encampment in Texas. The numbers, however, swelled so large that they exceeded the government's ability to supply them with water and food. A virtual economy is now growing on site as immigrants go back and forth between Mexico and Texas for supplies. All this comes as Biden announced his new vaccine mandate will not include illegal immigrants. The dramatic images were so shocking that we are not at all surprised that Biden ordered the FAA to shut down the site's airspace to drones. It is a clear cover up of yet the most recent Biden disaster. Rather than help seal the border so this won't happen again, today it was announced Biden plans to fly many of the Hattians home. How long before they work their way back to the border?

NEWSOM WINS RECALLS: It appears the 6 million Trump voters opted out of the California recall election this week as less than 3.5 million voted to remove Newsom while 5.8 million voted to keep him. The GOP needs to recognize its MAGA base if it is going to win elections - even in states like California. Meanwhile, Newsom has a free hand to impose new COVID restrictions and vaccine passports while the Democrat-controlled California legislature plans to make future recalls tougher.


III. THE NATIONS

AUKUS - PACIFIC NATO? Australia - which is in the middle of a draconian-fascist lockdown over the coronavirus - has announced a new alliance partnership with the US and the UK, taken together called AUKUS. The goal of the alliance is to ensure Australia has access to nuclear submarines - an anti-Chinese move if ever there was one. China is furious. Meanwhile, Japan and India are angry they have been cut out of the alliance, and France is seething as Australia backed out their conventional submarine contract. What's more, no nation who sails nuclear submarines lacks nuclear bombs. Will Australia soon be going nuclear?

MEXICO, ABORTION, & COLUMBUS: In what appears to be a response to the US Supreme Court's favorable - if perhaps temporary - ruling on Texas' abortion law, the Mexican Supreme Court unanimously voted to decriminalize abortion nationwide. This comes as troubling news as Mexico is the world's second largest Catholic country. We were not surprised to see Mexico City stuck by a massive earthquake that very night. Within days of this ruling, Mexico City announced it was removing a statue of (Catholic) Christopher Columbus and replacing it with a monument dedicated to (pagan) indigenous women. It's clear who's in charge in Mexico.

TAIWAN - THE WESTERN TOEHOLD: China is threatening to send military aircraft over Taiwan - which would all but shut down commercial flights into and out of the island - after "the blob" in DC leaked the US might upgrade diplomatic ties with Taiwan. All this follows a conversation between Biden and Xi Jinping in which Biden assured Xi Jinping that the US wants peace. Meanwhile Taiwan continues to act as a Western toehold in the far east, becoming the first Asian "nation" to legalize gay marriage. Even now a recent video from the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is treating gay rights as though they were human rights. Perhaps it's time Taiwan goes home to China.

AMERICA'S FOREIGN POLICY IN TATTERS: What is America's role in the world in 2021? Are we in a better position now than on September 11, 2001? Pat Buchanan offers some analysis.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

"FDA APPROVED" VACCINE EXPLAINED: Despite being "FDA approved", the Pfizer vaccine being distributed today is still the EUA (emergency use authorized) vaccine and not the FDA approved "Comirnaty" vaccine. The two vaccines might be virtually identical in all but name, but Robert Barnes explains why Comirnaty is not on the market: 1) once Comirnaty is widely in use, the EUAs for vaccines like those from J&J and Moderna will lose their EUA status; 2) until Comirnaty is FDA approved for all children, Pfizer could be liable to lawsuit in cases of dangerous vaccine reactions. It's clear the FDA approval was not meant to reassure of the public of the vaccine's safety but rather to give cover to politicians to begin vaccine mandates - like the one recently announced by Biden - and even vaccine passports.

VACCINE PASSPORTS - RACIAL SEGREGATION: A recent report from Brownstone reveals striking parallels between vaccine mandates and racial segregation. A vaccine passport system in New York, for example, means that "86.4% percent of African-Americans are excluded from participation in public life, as well as 85.2% of Asians, and 80% of Hispanics." Read the full report for more.

HOW DANGEROUS IS COVID? According to The Atlantic, roughly 48% of those hospitalized with the coronavirus were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms. This could mean that many hospitalized with other ailments, yet who tested positive for COVID, are being labeled as "COVID hospitalization" - very misleading. Given this are we at all surprised that this leaked Zoom call between hospital officials revealed their plans to make the virus seem more dangerous that it really is?

END OF THE US MILITARY? Roughly half of all men in uniform have not been vaccinated - yet the military now requires this of them by December 15. Many will choose not to be vaccinated and be drummed out of the service. Is mandatory vaccination against a disease that has a 99% survival rate (and likely an even higher survival rate for healthy men in the military) worth losing upwards of half your fighting force? Perhaps this was the plan all along for those on the Left who are driving these mandates.

BANNING CHILD BRIDES: While the Philippines is a largely a Catholic, it 's southern islands are home to many Muslims, and sadly many dangerous Salafis. Spearheaded by a Catholic priest, the nation has now passed a legal ban on child brides - a practice all too common in the poorer areas of the  Islamic south. Those caught marrying children now face up to 30 years in prison.

MINNEAPOLIS CHAOS: In the wake of the George Floyd death and Chauvin trial, it's being reported that traffic stops in Minneapolis have dropped 74% and and foot patrols plunged 69%, while murders in Minneapolis are on track to reach a 20-year high. This comes as a Minneapolis man who fired on police was acquitted for self-defense. The woke mob is in control and the citizens of the city are going to suffer accordingly.

Friday, September 17, 2021

ANTIETAM: America's Bloodiest Day


September 17, 2017 -  just shy of one week after 9/11 - marks the 157th anniversary of the bloodiest day in American history. It was on this day in 1862 that General Robert E. Lee's first invasion of the north was turned back, Confederate recognition by Britain and France was thwarted, and the Emancipation Proclamation was ensured. The cost of this was around 23,000 American casualties, almost 4,000 of which were killed in combat. In comparison, 9/11 witnessed the deaths of 2,996 while some 80,000 Russian and French casualties resulted from the single day Battle of Borodino in 1812.

The Battle of Antietam followed a string of Confederate victories led by the newly appointed General Lee beginning in late June of 1862. In a period of one week, Lee won a series of stunning battles that drove the Union Army back from the gates of Richmond. In late August, Lee followed up his opening victories with the Battle of Second Bull Run, located south of Washington DC. In another decisive win, Lee almost outflanked and destroyed the Union Army as it withdrew over Bull Run.

With these victories in hand, Lee decided it was time to take the fight north.

As he would do in the Gettysburg campaign, Lee marched his army nearer to the mountains in northwest Virginia, using them as a screen to cover his forces moving north. Believing the Union commander, General McClellan, to be a slow and cautious leader, Lee took the risk of dividing his forces on the march. While Lee's estimation of McClellan was accurate, Lee did not know that an order containing his marching plans was accidentally discovered by Union forces. With Lee's marching orders in hand, there was little stopping McClellan from attacking the Confederate army piecemeal, and thus bring an end to the war.

McClellan, however, failed to take advantage of Lee's mistake. As he began his attack, McClellan's advance actually drove Lee's disparate forces towards one another. Their final position, however, found the Confederate army sandwiched between the large Potomac River behind them and the Antietam Creek in front of them.


Unable to rapidly retreat across the Potomac, such a situation could prove disastrous to the army should they lose the battle ahead. What's more, Lee with 40,000 men was far outnumbered by McClellan's 80,000. One large push forward with all his troops should have led to the destruction of Lee's forces.

The Battle of Antietam ended in a tactical draw. However, the repulsion of  General Lee's invasion into the North forcing his return to Virginia, was a strategic win for the Union. It was the most significant victory of the war in terms of American foreign policy objectives.  Some argue that Antietam, not Gettysburg, was the turning point in the war. Why did McClellan fail to destroy Lee at Antietam? We invite our readers to watch this short 4-minute video explaining the battle. We can summarize Antietam by describing McClellan's strategy as a rolling attack on Confederate lines from north to south (see map at left). Fighting commenced in the morning at a cornfield at the north end of the battle, then passed further south to an area called the West Woods. From here the action moved to a sunken dirt road now known as the Bloody Lane. Further south it seemed as though the tide turned as Union forces crossed the large stone bridge, pouring troops around Lee's southern (right) flank. Last minute Confederate reinforcements, however, pushed back Union forces and thus brought the battle to an end.

Antietam proved that Lee wasn't invincible - and with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the war was increasingly tied to the moral fight against racial slavery. Despite their need for Southern cotton, neither Britain nor France - both of which condemned slavery - would be giving their support to the slave-holding South.

Although the war would drag on for another three deadly years, the blood spilled in war against racial slavery would providentially reflect slavery's grim death toll. For the six million African slaves that died in the Atlantic crossings, one-tenth of that number - 600,000 - is the estimated number of American dead during the Civil War. From Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address:
"...if God wills that [the Civil War] continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said 'the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'"

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

September 14: The Triumph of the Cross

"Though He was in the form of God, 

Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. 

Rather He emptied Himself and took the form of a slave being born in the likeness of men. 

He humbled himself obediently accepting even death, death on a cross. 

Because of this God highly exalted Him and bestowed on him the name above every other name. 

So that at Jesus' name every knee shall bend in the heavens and on the earth and under the earth and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!"    

                                                                                                                                 (Philippians) 



          



The Triumph of the Cross is the establishment of a new honor/shame code. The obedience of the Son -- filial piety -- conquered the disobedience of the Evil Angel and the first humans. Even more than the sacrificial love that Jesus shows for all of us in His death, it is His obedient love for His Father that is the driving dynamic of this event. Jesus obeys His Father and allows Himself to be publicly humiliated, with His mother close by as a participant in His suffering. Jesus had asked that this cup pass Him, but He submitted to the will of the Father. Obedience to a sacral order, not equality of station, is the road to Victory. This does not abolish honor codes but elevates a new King and incorporates the angels and martyrs in a new court of reputation. This does not do away with shaming and expulsion but dethrones the Prince of this world and scoffs at the glitter and glamour of sin.

The Triumph of the Cross and the Kingdom of God is established by entering into the sacramental order that flows from the side of the Pierced One. That sacramental order reconstitutes the human species as the Body of Christ. The sacramental order is built on a sacral brotherhood that Christ established to maintain His Presence and His sacrifice to the Father on earth throughout time. Through Christ's Church we are incorporated in the interpersonal love of the Trinity. As brothers in Christ we go forth to baptize the nations to effect the Kingdom of God and Triumph of the Cross. The fraternity of priests sustain the Body of Christ in the Eucharistic forms of local Church and earthly Kingdom. The laymen shape civic territorial circles of patriarchal fraternity and order - -some explicitly Christian; others patterned after other transcendental truths. Creating these concentric circles of ordered fraternity bring men into the formations that protect the Eucharistic acts of worship while preparing humanity for the final Coming and Triumph of the Lord.


 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

SEPTEMBER 11: Remember, Reconsider, Redirect

by David Pence




It has been 20 years since 3,000 Americans died in the attacks of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The New York firefighters and the passenger citizens who prevented the hijacker goals on Flight 93 remind us that a fighting citizenry and local police and firemen are always the primary defense in this asymmetric form of war. The natural response to an attack is for a people to assemble in natural protective relations to safeguard the group. This religious war will be fought by a religious people organized as a nation of protectors in every city and state. A return to God as a people and a renewal of our American national identity are essential elements in our defense. Reversing the asexual modern socialization patterns of young males is just as necessary. Our civc/political failure to link male maturation and patriotic protective duty has spawned, some effeminate and others thuggish, hyper-individualized and ungrateful young males. The 9/11 attacks did bring an outpouring of gratitude and honor toward the soldier, policeman, and fireman -- the traditional male citizen protectors. Our young males need such clarity. Male maturation has nothing to do with color; it is about entering an adult male group united by religious and protective duty. Adolescents think they know it all but real men submit to spiritual authority. Boys are protected by women; grown up men protect women. To effectively protect, we must bond together as a fraternity of fathers. Reversing the cultural lessons of the sexual revolution by reasserting the spiritual meaning of manhood and national brotherhood is another essential response to 9/11.

From the beginning the US governmental response to the attack has misunderstood the religious animus that still motivates our enemies. This has led to strategic incoherence in picking our allies and isolating our enemies. The shock of 9/11 has misguided our tactics as well leading to a skewed emphasis on protecting airplane flights before securing our water supply and electrical grid. We have argued that we must understand the role of religion and nations in framing this conflict. We think there is much to be learned from both Barack Obama and his senior foreign policy advisor (scroll down for interview with Ben Rhodes within this link). They came to understand the failure of our own foreign policy establishment and the mistake in demonizing Shiite Iran when we are fighting a branch of Sunni Islam fostered by Saudi Arabia. This understanding has been deliberately obfuscated by Israeli and Saudi forces who wish to turn the war on terror into a war against Iran. A significant reinforcement  of their narrative is the US Marine memory of Oct 23, 1983. For many soldiers  the Iran/Syrian/ Hezbollah inspired bombing of Marine barracks in Beirut was the "real beginning of global Islamic terrorism." The event was part of the 1982 Lebanon, PLO, Israeli war in which US troops were inserted with no definitive military goals for the forces themselves. There is a great lesson to learn from our soldiers' deaths in Beirut. That lesson is not that Iran is the chief exporter of terrorism in the world.    

The war in Afghanistan is a different theatre than the struggle in the Mideast. But like the fight against ISIS in the Mideast, we will need Iran and Russia as well as India and China in helping bring negotiated peace in Afghanistan. (Scroll to Islam and Mideast in this link for good review of Afghanistan conflict).

The war of the Saudis against the Houthi of Yemen has weakened our fight against AQAP in Yemen. This is directly analogous to our long involvement in aiding jihadist Sunnis against the Assad government in Syria. Our country is an ally in the religious persecution of Shiites which animates so much of Muhammed bin Salman's new more aggressive Saudi foreign policy. This aggression is part of the young Crown Prince's effort to win favor with the Wahhabi clergy in pressing his claims for succession to the throne against his more competent elder kinsmen. The Crown Prince is also the force behind the anti-Qatar campaign (scroll to new Crown Prince). The strategic goals of the US have been obfuscated by confusing them with the goals of our traditional allies. Pakistan in South Asia, as well as Saudi Arabia and Israel in the Mideast have different goals and different enemies than the U.S.

President Trump has advocated an 'America first' foreign policy. Now we need citizens, journalists, scholars -- but most of all the US Senate -- to debate fully what that means. We owe clarity of strategy to our dead, our military, and the young men we are socializing to continue the protection.   This must include trying to resolve the almost 40-year-old Iran/Israeli war which is being confused with the global war against salafist jihadists. (See this excellent summary of Israel's geopolitical stance in which ISIS as a buffer is preferred to a stabilization of Shia-led governments in Iran, Iraq or Syria.)

We now (2018) hear officials and some newsmen say that 9/11 was caused by "radical Islamic terrorism." That is true and that is an advance but that is not enough. That brand of radical Islam which attacked us had a launching pad in Afghanistan but they had a home base as well. The Islamic radical movement which struck us comes from a particular school of Islamic law. They have a territorial address. But after 7 years under President Bush, 8 years under President Obama, and 4 years under President Trump, we have not given them a proper call back yet. Let us remember, let us reconsider, let us redirect.

{Our extended 18,000 word essay published on Sept 11, 2018 places our arguments about 9/11 in the historical context of the 20th century. It is a long illustrated piece-our culminating synthesis.}

2021 Update: In the late hours of 9/11's 20th anniversary, the FBI released a heavily redacted report revealing more links between the 9/11 hijackers and Saudi Arabia. It is the first of several documents - all hidden by Robert Mueller - expected in the months ahead. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

RESSOURCEMENT INTERVIEW: We haven't been the biggest fans of Bishop Barron of late, but we enjoyed his recent interview with retired theology professor, Larry Chapp, on the resourcement theologians of the 20th century. Barron and Chapp discuss how they are supremely orthodox, not modernist, and how they synthesized the rich Catholic theological traditions from the patristic and medieval periods. While we at AoA are still not sold on von Balthazar, the interview is well worth the watch.  We also invite you to read Chapp's blog, Gaudium et Spes 22 (named after what is perhaps the best article of all Vatican II's documents).

TX PRIEST OPPOSES ABORTION LAW: Texas' fetal heartbeat won a massive - if perhaps only temporary - victory at the Supreme Court this week. Naturally abortion supporters have lost their cool. Even the "conservative" pundit Dick Morris has begun screaming that the law will doom Republicans in 2022 and 2024. The law is also revealing cracks within the Church, as one Texas priest is speaking out against the law. Sadly in today's ecclesial climate, we doubt he'll face censure from his ordinary.

MASKS, VACCINES, AND SACRAMENTS: Bishops and priests are taking a hard line on vaccines and masks. It appears as though one Kentucky bishop is sidelining priests from their sacramental duties if they have not been vaccinated. Meanwhile a priest in Chicago plans to violate canon law by denying Communion to any parishioner not wearing a mask. And of course, canon law was disregarded in Chicago as the non-Catholic lesbian Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot, received Communion only feet from Cardinal Cupich.


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

WHO SHOULD RESIGN? According to Rasmussen, 52% of Americans think Biden should. The total disaster in Afghanistan reveals many more should resign with him. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin and General Milley were apparently too busy studying "white rage" to operate a strategic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken was totally unable to negotiate with the Taliban or other regional leaders to negotiate a speedy withdrawal for our civilians. Jake Sullivan, Biden's National Security Advisor, is to blame for the bad information Biden was given during the disaster. The whole team needs to be scrapped. And after Harris' disastrous visit to Vietnam (see below), she should go, too.

BIDEN EXPOSES THE SAUDIS? In a surprise move sure to further upset the neocon and neolib warmongers in Washington, it appears as though Biden has signed an executive order to release sealed FBI documents concerning Saudi government involvement in 9/11. It's take twenty years, but we hope what is revealed will make it well worth the wait.

WHO'S COMING? Over 100,000 Afghanis are on their way to America at this hour. Sadly very few of them are our allied co-workers in the war whose lives are in danger from Taliban reprisal. Troubling more is just how few of them were vetted before being placed on planes. We've now learned that American citizens, Afghan allies, and US service dogs were left behind while Afghan men with their "child brides" were brought home. Is American now in the business of child sex trafficking? 

US FOREIGN POLICY SHOT: Who would trust America enough to be her ally now? Answers from Pat Buchanan


III. THE NATIONS

ABE SUCCESSOR RESIGNS: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has resigned. Could Abe be preparing a return to power?

AFGHANISTAN'S SILK ROAD: The Taliban have not only announced a partnership with China, but it plans to integrate Afghanistan into China's "Belt and Road" initiative which seeks to create a modern day silk road across Eurasia. It will undoubtedly bring new resources to Afghanistan and help China further divert its supply lines from from the sea lanes dominated by the US Navy.

DISASTER IN VIETNAM: On the run from any Afghan fallout, Kamala Harris led a US delegation to Vietnam, a vital potential ally against China in our struggle over the South China Sea. Sadly Harris undid years of diplomatic efforts with the Vietnamese government by 1) openly meeting with NGOs seeking to overthrow the Vietnamese government; 2) making such bombastic statements about China that the Vietnamese government effectively denounced the US for them; and 3) treating a monument dedicated to shooting down American fighter pilots in Vietnam as thought it was a monument dedicated to John McCain. Harris might have avoided the press coverage of Afghanistan, but she left the Vietnamese - and the world - laughing at us. 


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

"TRANS" SEX OFFENDER: The advocates of "trans rights" appear to be a fa├žade for an attack on women as sex offending men can claim "trans" status to prey on women in women's bathrooms and locker rooms. This is precisely what took place when a sex offending male - who now identifies as a woman - exposed himself to at least one underage girl and her mother at a California spa.

FASCIST AUSTRALIA: Fascists are taking power in Australia as COVID is being weaponized for government control over each and every Australian. According to Zero Hedge, the "government of South Australia is running a trial for a system that could eventually force citizens to take a photo of themselves via a government app to report their location on demand within 15 minutes of authorities requesting it, or face a police investigation." COVID rules of course didn't keep a police department from violating social distancing rules to hold an LGBT office party. Ideology trumps all.

TEXAS SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN: While we've already mentioned the successful roll-out of the Texas fetal heartbeat law (see above), Dr. Steve Turley reviews the law and explains why the pro-life movement is taking ground in America.