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


Friday, January 28, 2022

January 28: St Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Scholar

[first published January 28, 2015]

by David Pence

The "scientific revolution" was a centuries-long project of dividing man from the primary powers of his intellect to synthesize, categorize, and know as a sacral being in terms of a sacred whole. The modern scientist came to think very much of himself and very little of man. Hundreds of years before that egotistical destabilizing fragmentation, a great Dominican saint rose in Italy to do just the opposite.  Thomas Aquinas was educated by the greatest natural philosopher (student of physical and biological sciences) of his time: Albert the Great. He benefited from the rediscovery of Greek texts of Aristotle and thus learned the metaphysics, ethics, politics, and categories of the Greeks. He knew the Bible intimately and prodigiously. His New Testament commentary, verse by verse, is a compilation of the Church Fathers' commentary as well.

His purity was no small part of his clear vision; and his humility no incidental in his ability to properly categorize. He was called the 'angelic doctor' because the towering intellectual understood the metaphysical necessity and scriptural testimony of those spiritual beings who so embarrass the modern Catholic PhD. Above all, he knew how to pray first -- and write and formulate from that posture. The best biography of Aquinas is G.K. Chesterton's The Dumb Ox.

The online site Universalis, which provides the prayers of the Daily Office in a usable everyday form, also provides a short bio of saints of the day. Below is their excellent synopsis.

To honor St. Thomas, consider going to Universalis and joining the worldwide church in one or more of her daily prayers. It will aid your struggle for holiness and make you smarter as well.
                                                                                   
                                                                   

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274)             
"He was born of a noble family in southern Italy, and was educated by the Benedictines. In the normal course of events he would have joined that order and taken up a position suitable to his rank; but he decided to become a Dominican instead. His family were so scandalized by this disreputable plan that they kidnapped him and kept him prisoner for over a year; but he was more obstinate than they were, and he had his way at last. 
"He studied in Paris and in Cologne under the philosopher Saint Albert the Great. It was a time of philosophical ferment. The writings of Aristotle, the greatest philosopher of the ancient world, had been newly rediscovered, and were becoming available to people in the West for the first time in a thousand years. Many feared that Aristotelianism was flatly contradictory to Christianity, and the teaching of Aristotle was banned in many universities at this time – the fact that Aristotle’s works were coming to the West from mostly Muslim sources did nothing to help matters. 
"Into this chaos Thomas brought simple, straightforward sense. Truth cannot contradict truth: if Aristotle (the infallible pagan philosopher) appears to contradict Christianity (which we know by faith to be true), then either Aristotle is wrong or the contradiction is in fact illusory. And so Thomas studied, and taught, and argued, and eventually the simple, common-sense philosophy that he worked out brought an end to the controversy. Out of his work came many writings on philosophy and theology, including the Summa Theologiae, a standard textbook for many centuries and still an irreplaceable resource today. Out of his depth of learning came, also, the dazzling poetry of the liturgy for Corpus Christi. And out of his sanctity came the day when, celebrating Mass, he had a vision that, he said, made all his writings seem like so much straw; and he wrote no more. 
"Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire us, like St Thomas, to love God with our minds as well as our hearts; and if we come across a fact or a teaching that seems to us to contradict our faith, let us not reject it but investigate it: for the truth that it contains can never contradict the truth that is God."

UPDATE: Don't miss this short video on Aquinas' central teaching on nature and grace, by Taylor Marshall; and another on the reasons why Catholic men in every generation should love the Italian saint (who's buried in the southwest of France).
                                               
Tomb of Thomas

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JANUARY 22

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

THE MUNICH REPORT: The results of an investigation into priest sex abuse in the Munich archdiocese has been released. Pope Benedict XVI was found negligent in four cases while the current archbishop - Cardinal Marx - appears to have botched two. The real story may be found in the man who led the archdiocese between Benedict and Marx, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter. Under Wetter's leadership, a full twenty-one cases of sex abuse were mishandled.

ORTHODOX EPIPHANY: The Russian Orthodox Church, which uses the old Julian calendar, dates Christmas and Epiphany later than most Christians throughout the world. This week they celebrated Epiphany with, in the Orthodox tradition, an emphasis on the baptism of Christ. It is traditional for Russians to enter into this holy day by immersing themselves, outdoors, in freezing waters as an imitation of Christ's baptism. Even Vladimir Putin participated. More from Dr. Steve Turley.

IRENAEUS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH: Pope Francis will declare St. Irenaeus, the great Church Father of the second century, a Doctor (Latin for teacher) of the Church under the title of “Doctor unitatis,” or “Doctor of Unity.” Originally from Smyrna (now in present day Turkey) but moved to what is today France, St. Irenaeus' defense of apostolic succession and papal primacy makes him an early witness to the dignity of the episcopacy and the status of Pope from a man with one foot in the east and the other in the west.  


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

WHO IS RAY EPPS? As the House Select Committee on January 6 continues its mockery of an investigation to the Capitol Riot, a man named Ray Epps is poking holes in the official narrative. Epps, who is on video telling protesters they need to storm the US Capitol, was placed on the FBI most wanted list only to have his name quietly removed later. Was he a federal agent or working for the feds in order to entrap Trump supporters? What role did the FBI play in instigating the events of January 6? Officials from the US government refuse to say - and we have a hunch the "insurrection" will turn out to be just another "Russiagate" (i.e. fake news). In related news, Politico "debunked" the story about Ray Epps by telling its readers that Mr. Epps has denied any wrongdoing. Of course that's like letting a person accused of a crime off the hook because he said he didn't do it. 

AMERICANS EMBRACE THE GOP: For the first time in decades, Gallup now shows Republicans outnumber Democrats across the nation. Meanwhile the polling organization Trafalgar - one of the most accurate pollsters in the nation - says that the GOP has a +14 point advantage on the generic congressional ballot. If true, this is a bigger advantage than the GOP held in 1994 and 2010 combined - both of which were massive red wave years.

BIDEN ADMITS 2020 ELECTION ILLEGITIMATE? In Joe Biden's most recent disaster of a press conference, he declared that US elections conducted without his hoped-for election reform bill would be illegitimate. President Trump followed the logic and was glad Biden now seems to agree with him about the illegitimacy of the 2020 election.

A TURN IN VIRGINA: Virginia's new governor and attorney general are making waves. Governor Youngkin immediately ended the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia classrooms and appointed an ambassador for the unborn. Meanwhile the new Attorney General, Jason Miyares, took bold steps in his first days on the job. Since taking office, he has fired all the lawyers in Virginia's civil rights division and plans to take up cases that local leftist district attorneys fail to prosecute. He also announced plans to investigate Loudon County Public Schools and the State Parole Board over their handling of transgendered students accused of sexual assaults. If the ship can be righted this quickly in Virginia, the rest of the nation can quickly follow suit.


III. THE NATIONS

KAZAKHSTAN UPDATE: The latest US/European-backed color revolution on Russia's borders has come to complete failure. What most do not understand is that the former leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (president from 1990-2019), was leading the nation in a pro-European direction. For example, Nazarbayev embraced the use of the Latin alphabet over the Cyrillic and sought a legal reform on the basis of English common law. What's more, Kazakhstan's rich energy sector has been dominated by American companies, not Russian. Though Nazarbayev recently left office and was succeeded by President Tokayev, he had the capital city of Astana re-named after himself and placed himself as head of the Kazakh military - clear signs he wasn't going anywhere. Since then it's been unclear what direction Tokayev would take the nation. With the recent coup attempt, however, Tokayev has brought his nation under Russia's wings. Nazarbayev is now firmly out of power and his family members in the government have likewise been removed. Even the Kazakh defense minister has been fired amid the purge. To the consternation of the Americans and her allies, Kazakhstan is now more firmly allied with Russian than ever before.

NATIONS WITH NUCLEAR POWER: The United States is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, producing more power than the next two nations - China and France - combined. Learn more about the nations that use nuclear power - with excellent charts - here.

"THE WEEK" GIVING GOOD COVERAGE TO UKRAINE-RUSSIA: The media has never been more in lockstep with the warmongering neocons and neoliberals seeking war with Russia. Two short editorials from The Week, however, are the first we've seen to make sense of the current situation in Ukraine. The first is entitled The false premise making war with Russia more likely while the second is The war hawks are at it again.

RUSSIA STAGING A FLASE FLAG ATTACK? One of this week's big news stories about Ukraine revolved around intelligence reports that Russia planned to stage a "false flag" event that would justify its "invasion" of Ukraine. It turns out that the "intelligence" was spoon-fed to the director of the CIA by... Ukrainian politicians.

CANCELLING SWIFT CANCELLED: While Russia has plans for calibrated responses to any threat, the US has but two tools in its toolbox: sanctions and military action. The biggest sanction of them all was the plan to "cancel" Russia's ability to use SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), the interbank global payments system. Now, having been warned that such action would result in more damage to western Europe and the US than to Russia (which has created its own version of SWIFT), America and her allies are backing away from the the biggest sanction weapon in their toolbox. Russia wins again.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

COVID RESTRICTIONS LOOSENING? In the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on a federally-imposed vaccine mandate, other countries appear to be loosening their pandemic restrictions. The United Kingdom has cancelled all restrictions while the Czech Republic put off imposing a vaccine mandate. Meanwhile in Israel, an end to the green passes - or showing one's papers to enter public life - appears to be imminent. Are we in the waning days of this pandemic?

COVID AND HOSPITALIZATIONS: While the CDC has admitted that the coronavirus vaccines do not prevent the transmission of the virus, many still seek to impose vaccine mandates. Their reasoning is no longer based in transmission prevention but rather in the problem of overwhelmed hospitals. But this problem has a much longer history than the past two years. Time, for example, reported in 2018 about a flu epidemic that led to the exact same problems we see today (yet no one sought to impose flu vaccine mandates, masking, and social distancing). It turns out that in 1975 there were nearly 1.5 million hospital beds in the US. Today that number has declined to around 900,000. Critical care beds are rarer still as hospitals deem them not financially viable. Indeed, a focus on the bottom dollar has driven the reduction of America's ability to treat patients, especially patients with the coronavirus. But rather than the US government applying pressure on the medical industry to increase its care capacity, the government punishes its own citizenry by spending billions on experimental drugs and forcibly imposing them on everyday Americans. Meanwhile nearly half of Democrats approve of jail time for the unvaccinated. Something is not adding up.

MORE FAMILY DECLINE: Rod Dreher sounds the alarm at a rapid decrease in American's favoring couples with children should marry. The numbers he examines are scary.

USING ARREST WARRENTS AS ID: In the latest sign that we live in clown world, the TSA has announced it will accept arrest warrants as alternative ID for illegal immigrants seeking to board airplanes. One would think such documentation would lead to an arrest. Funnier still is the thought of an illegal immigrant visiting his local police department in order to get a copy of his arrest warrant for travel use.

QUARTERBACK ARRESTED: Ex-Alabama quarterback, Jay Baker, was arrested and charged after allegedly using his car to try and run over his estranged wife. This brings a comparison to the car rampage in Waukesha - an event that only took place after the suspect Darrell Brooks, who is alleged to have been arrested - and released! - after attempting to run over his girlfriend. Apparently "southern justice" has moved much father north.

BLM, THE NFL, AND MLK: Despite the NFL fully caving to BLM and even mandating the performance of the racist, ethnic nationalist "black national anthem" at all its games, the far Left continues to say the NFL isn't doing enough. And that's why it's never worth caving to radicals. No matter how much you embrace the cause, it will never be enough.

TRAIN RAIDING IN CALIFORNIA: The far Left continues to run California into the ground as now even trains are being raided for goods. A recent video revealed hundreds of Amazon packages gutted and spewed along a stretch of train tracks. Since Leftists give the looters a mere slap on the wrist, the Union Pacific railroad now considers leaving Los Angeles. And rightfully so.

Monday, January 17, 2022

In remembrance of Martin Luther King: Sacred Selma is no bridge to Sodom

[first published March 17, 2015]

{Jan 21, 2019 Addendum--Student statement on fabricated racism event at pro-life march by students from Catholic Boys School-a white teen guilty of looking an old fraud in the eye. Looking eye to eye is the Latin root of the word RESPECT}

by David Pence
                               
One of the themes preached at Brown Chapel Church in Selma, on the day before the 50-year commemoration of 'Bloody Sunday,' was how the liberated Israelites forgot their true destination and were soon worshiping false gods in the wilderness.
                           

In the spring of 1965, local Negro Christians led a procession across the Alabama River in response to the shooting of a black Baptist deacon, Jimmie Lee Jackson, two weeks earlier. The purpose of the march was to link the shooting to the need for black voting rights in the state. The destination was Montgomery, the capital 50 miles away. When the marchers left the city limits and crossed the Pettus Bridge they came under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff and state patrol. The sheriff, Jim Clark, had called all white males over 21 to be deputized as a county posse. The state troopers were George Wallace’s men, and eager to strike a blow for a segregated "Heart of Dixie." Several national TV camera crews recorded the onslaught. A nation still capable of moral outrage was shocked.

It was several days later that Reverend Martin Luther King and ministers from across the land came for the second Selma march. They only went to the end of the bridge, obeying a federal injunction against completing the march to Montgomery. After kneeling in prayer where the violence had occurred, they then turned around. Some of the younger black activists criticized King and dubbed that day "Turnaround Tuesday." It wasn't a compliment.

The third march (Mar 21-25,1965) two weeks later was allowed and protected by federal military policemen, army troops, and a federalized Alabama national guard. They completed the march to the state capitol in Montgomery four days later. This time, preachers from all over the country and famous entertainers were in the crowd to hear Reverend King's "How Long, Not Long" speech. He praised "white Americans who cherish their democratic traditions over ugly customs and privileges of generations to come forth boldly to join hands with us." He gave a history lesson on Jesus and Jim Crow:
If it may be said of the slavery era that the white man took the world and gave the Negro Jesus, then it may be said of the Reconstruction era that the southern aristocracy took the world and gave the poor white man Jim Crow. (Yes, sir) He gave him Jim Crow. (Uh huh) And when his wrinkled stomach cried out for the food that his empty pockets could not provide, (Yes, sir) he ate Jim Crow, a psychological bird that told him that no matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man. (Right sir) And he ate Jim Crow. (Uh huh) And when his undernourished children cried out for the necessities that his low wages could not provide, he showed them the Jim Crow signs on the buses and in the stores, on the streets and in the public buildings. (Yes, sir) And his children, too, learned to feed upon Jim Crow, (Speak) their last outpost of psychological oblivion. (Yes, sir)
He explained the many contorted forms of segregation that it took to divide a Christian nation by color:
 They segregated southern money from the poor whites; they segregated southern mores from the rich whites; (Yes, sir) they segregated southern churches from Christianity (Yes, sir); they segregated southern minds from honest thinking; (Yes, sir) and they segregated the Negro from everything. (Yes, sir).  
But for this Christian movement the cry of "no justice, no peace" was not a threat of violence but the continued soul-power of love restoring men to brotherhood:
"And so I plead with you this afternoon as we go ahead: remain committed to nonviolence. Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man."
Finally he reminded us that persistence in protest does not come from the defiant wills of clenched fists, but the open hearts of men who trust in God:

"How long will justice be crucified, (Speak) and truth bear it?" (Yes, sir)I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, (Yes, sir) however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, (No sir) because "truth crushed to earth will rise again." (Yes, sir)How long? Not long, (Yes, sir) because "no lie can live forever." (Yes, sir)How long? Not long, (All right. How long) because "you shall reap what you sow." (Yes, sir)How long? (How long?) Not long: (Not long)Truth forever on the scaffold, (Speak)Wrong forever on the throne, (Yes, sir)Yet that scaffold sways the future, (Yes, sirAnd, behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, Keeping watch above his own.How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (Yes, sir)How long? Not long, (Not long) because:Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; (Yes, sir)"
Reverend King called President Johnson's speech, given ten days earlier on the Voting Rights Act, "an address that will live in history as one of the most passionate pleas for human rights ever made by a president of our nation"; and he noted it was given by a "president born in the South."

After his speech to a joint session of Congress, LBJ ordered that protection be provided to the Selma marchers. He challenged an attentive, wary, sparsely applauding legislature:
"The issue of equal rights for American Negroes is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. For with a country as with a person, 'What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?' "
The Voting Act became law on August 8, 1965.

John Lewis, congressman from Georgia, was one of the few men who spoke at the 50-year commemoration who also marched on Bloody Sunday. In his short and stirring speech before President Obama’s address, Lewis quoted LBJ's opening words to Congress: "At times, history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama."

Johnson said in the same Selma-inspired speech: "I want to be the president who helped to end hatred among his fellow men and who promoted love among the people of all races, all regions, and all parties." John Lewis began his talk not addressing the dignitaries, not even the president. He said, "Beloved brothers and sisters." He said we are here to "renew the soul of America." The movement was about love -- and John Lewis still remembered. It was about love of God and love of neighbor. It was not about black men yelling 'racist' at white men, but calling them brothers and calling them to love as Christ had commanded us. It always began in churches; and there was a lot of spiritual healing and calling on Jesus to grant courage. It was about redeeming love; and we cannot properly remember this day without remembering that building the spiritual bond of civic charity was driven by the redeeming suffering love of the Gospel.  

Lewis remembered: "We walked down that sidewalk over there. With a kind of military discipline, we were so peaceful, so quiet." Listen to the voice of Lewis, listen to his plea, and the spiritual echo of that day will come clear. Only their prayer time in a church when they were not so quiet had armed them for what would come next. It was not "their will against the will of the policemen," as the president said. For when Israel fights its enemies depending only on itself -- on its own will -- it always loses. These men and women knew they were following the will of God, and that is why eventually as Lewis said, "they knew the truth would win out." It was not their will that triumphed that day. Someone else was writing in His own hand, turning the soul-force of unrequited suffering into Victory.

                             
Rev King flanked (at far L) by Rev Abernathy and (far R) by John Lewis

It was shortly after Selma that a lot of chosen people forgot, again, where they were marching and Who was directing their march. Five months later the first great urban burning and looting riot would occur in Watts, California. That looked a lot more like the revelry at the Golden Calf, than the redeeming march through the parted waters of the Red Sea. Younger men turned the movement for Christian brotherhood into something very different -- black power, color identity, hatred, and a glorification not of redemptive suffering but redemptive violence. The Christian themes of following God’s will and reuniting a beloved community in the brotherhood of men under the Fatherhood of God gave way to color consciousness, sexual licentiousness, envy, greed, and wrath. “Soul” which once meant that spiritual principle of human life, which was instantly recognizable by men of every color, was turned on its head and came to be shorthand for “Black.” The jutting of the chin, the militant posture on college campuses, and the celebration of the criminal inside the confines of black ghettos had replaced the open hearts and hands seeking love.

The devil loves to tear apart. He is a divider and a liar from the beginning. He loves to come disguised as an angel of light, fighting for liberation but still peddling his same old chains of slavery.
And just what the racists had predicted started to happen. All the moral capital of the innocent, beaten by lawmen, was set aside. The march for freedom was perverted into a license for revelry -- just like the pagan erotic cult at the foot of Mount Sinai that had so angered Moses. The higher morality of love over law became the immorality of disrespect for authority and the law. "The Man" became the enemy. Another kind of male became the Superfly. Then, the greatest metaphysical error in American political history insured that the movement among men for the equality of public brotherhood was hijacked by the protest of middle-class white women against the sexual order of marriage and familial duty. This was coupled with a wild sexual rut among the males, again masquerading as a freedom train. The women said they would not be mothers and clamored for abortion, while the men said they would not be soldiers and ran from their protective duties. So many times during this forty years of wandering, the devious cults of "self" came cloaked in the sacred cloth of Selma.
                                 
"The Adoration of the Golden Calf" by Nicolas Poussin (1634)

White feminists were quite content that black men were into separatism. Back then, black men did not treat the analysis of the white chick with the obeisance we see now. The feminists left the black man his urban streets and the prisons. She and her soft white male allies took the universities, churches, and public service unions. Later, a crass calculation of everybody against the white male (down with patriarchy!) would lead to the diversity racket of electoral majorities and cottage industries in big cities, universities, and the world of non-profits. As Eric Hoffer said, "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket."

Black men who wanted to progress in public office drank the feminist Kool-Aid in public speeches and policy, if not in their personal lives. Religious institutions rejected the patriarchy of the Lord's Prayer for the gender obfuscation of inclusion. The widows begged for husbands and the orphans for fathers -- and in the name of civil rights we gave them sexual anarchy, making more spiritual widows and orphans than ever before in our history. Under the rubric of diversity, a coalition was struck of rights and reparation, the black power movement, the feminists, and finally the homosexuals. The party of city immigrants and working men turned into an umbrella for diversity. God was exiled, the beloved community abandoned, and idols erected by a coalition of the oppressed.

The faith-healing, Scripture reading, and Gospel singing that broke the back of racism were sent to the back of the bus. It could be resurrected when needed for nostalgia, but it could no longer be taken seriously as a spiritual organizing principle. It was not a worship of the mighty God, though He still could be evoked for the closing of speeches. It was a celebration of "us," of the humanistic pride that turned worship of God into a celebration of congregations. The people celebrate themselves, savoring the wounds of their parents while rejecting their wisdom. This communal celebration of self had happened long ago. The people set out to make a name for themselves and forgot God. They built a tower at Babel.

The ordered relationship of sexual fidelity in marriage, the purity in thought and speech toward the sacred goods of God’s name and the marriage act -- these ordered relationships became the enemy of the new freedom divorced from freedom’s Author. And that public form of Christian love -- fraternal brotherhood among adult men -- now became the love "that dare not speak its name." It became a mantra of militant black men that they did not seek to love or to be loved by the white man. Brotherhood was for wimps, and soon the wimps would rule in a way no American man of fifty years ago could ever imagine.

The integrated body politic, the black and white males in a posse for justice who would protect the widows and orphans of every color -- that dream became a joke. The marriage of a black man and white woman or a white man and black woman -- that sacred bond was now allowed. But in a bizarre twist that could only come from the twisted Father of Lies, this natural love has now become a rallying flag to honor the unnatural. Those who marched at Selma would wonder at a president who diluted their blood with such acts of sexual sacrilege. All of us who were in the movement, we exchanged our glorious God for a grass-eating bull. Elections indeed were won, a coalition with those serving other gods was struck…but what doth it profit?
                                     
Bloody Sunday in Selma

There are many more female black faces in high places, and yet so many more male black faces in jail. Every third pregnancy by a black female is aborted -- five times the rate of white women. There are black males in elected offices, but all must worship at the altar of feminism to be admitted to the club.

In his speech at Selma, President Obama broke open the moral capital of the Selma "bank account" and distributed blank checks to the sexual pretenders. It had been his honest claim as a black man to that social capital which helped him defeat an entitled feminist for the presidency in 2008. But any honest assessment of Mr. Obama reveals he has done much more for the sexual revolutionaries than for interracial brotherhood among men. He said he would be Joshua, but the feminist brain chip is the paradigm most deeply implanted in his heart. The sense of solidarity with the men of his country or the men of other cultures who rule by the traditional male forms of patriarchy and fraternity is not part of the moral grammar of this mother's son. He considers patriarchy an evil, and masculine fraternity as fun for the playground but oppressive in religion and politics.

The billy clubs and tear gas of Sheriff Clark could crack open a man's head and break up a marching crowd, but they could never touch the movement's soul. But now the blood of the martyrs has been polluted at an altar to a foreign god in the wilderness. Our souls no longer rest in the Lord. The shame of our president is that his speech at Selma was a sacrilege against a sacred space. The president, whom so many of us voted for as an act of racial reconciliation, once again used his pulpit to preach not the saving grace of brotherhood but the enslaving confusion of the sexual revolution.

The Christian movement brings us back to the original promise of the country and the truth of Scripture. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Real peace comes from deeper and broader bonds. The tenor of the Christian movement, even in its dreams, was a return to some order that lay at the heart of our nature as creatures of God with human souls. It was a check written long ago which we had come to cash. We were not looking for endless change, and more and more categories of the oppressed that might be released from social obligations and rules of decorum. We were seeking something old -- that men might live like brothers, that a man and woman might marry and raise their family in peace, that elders would be called Mister and Missus.

Selma was a place in history where the fate of a nation was hinged. It still is such a place.  As President Johnson said:
"There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. And we are met here tonight as Americans -- not as Democrats or Republicans -- we are met here as Americans to solve that problem."
                                                         
President Johnson

Every crucial speech from that era reminds us this was a Christian movement of brotherhood that was deeply resonant with the initial Christian movement that formed the colonies and towns of America’s Protestant seaboard.

We cannot leave the interpretation of this day to the mistaken notion that sexual disorder is Selma's fruit. The bridge from Selma led to Montgomery, not Sodom. Montgomery was the city where the Reverends King and Abernathy first joined as ministers to unite the Negro community as Christians, and renew the whole city as a "Beloved Community" of fellow citizens. Sodom was destroyed; Montgomery was to be renewed. Selma was a spiritual movement that galvanized white and black people across the country. That’s why, within two weeks of Bloody Sunday, armed American white men protected the marchers from their persecutors. That’s why five months later a Voting Rights Act could be passed. If we can unite ourselves again under God and sing His praises loudly, then we can renew a brotherhood of fathers to socialize all our young men -- black, white and Hispanic -- into the Christian form of masculine love that is citizenship.

This spiritual renewal of the American soul is how the South will rise again. Let us be renewed in the public Biblical faith and Christian love of Selma. It is the road to the New Jerusalem which will shine with the glory of God when He comes to dwell amidst His people. Let us not ignore the living Lord or surely we shall be chastised; and the blood drawn at Selma will lose its sacred power "to renew the soul of America." 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JANUARY 15

THE WEEKLY BRIEF
By A. Joseph Lynch

BIDEN'S BAD WEEK

Biden's fifty-first week in power was but his most recent disaster. It featured defeats on many fronts: foreign policy, healthcare, legislation, the US economy, and the polls. Let's briefly consider each.

The big news of the week came from the US Supreme Court, which quickly struck down Biden's efforts to force vaccines in workplaces across the nation. The 6-3 ruling came down along partisan lines, and most conservatives breathed a sigh of relief to see Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Barrett all reach a good decision. The decision dealt a huge blow to Biden's pandemic power play and is a sign that the Supreme Court is willing to stand up to his executive overreach.

The same day the Supreme Court ruled on the OSHA vaccine mandate, Biden was dealt another major blow, this time from the US Senate. Biden - who had declared he was "tired of being silent" - came out swinging this week to end the Senate filibuster so that Democrats could jam through far Left legislation like the new "voter rights" bill. Biden's efforts on this front came to a crashing halt as Arizona's Democrat senator, Kyrsten Sinema, announced she would oppose any vote to jettison the filibuster. Joining Sinema is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who applauded Sinema's decision. It appears that the two taken together will effectively end Biden's legislative agenda through the midterms.

This week also saw the meeting of US and Russian diplomats in Geneva as they discussed the anti-Russian aggression of the US and its NATO allies since the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia seeks an end to NATO expansion, a rollback of American and NATO infrastructure in eastern Europe, and the respectful treatment of Russia going forward. While little was achieved in the meetings, Russia was given ample time to make its case before the United States, NATO, and Ukraine. All are now on notice of Russia's redlines on Ukraine and its demands concerning NATO. When America and NATO refused to heed Russia's demands, Russian diplomats floated the idea of sending the Russian military to Cuba and Venezuela - a threat which if carried out, according to White House officials, would lead to a "decisive" US response. This knee-jerk reaction from the US government, however, proves Russia's point. Why does a Russian presence in the Americas demand a decisive military response from the US while Russia is told it cannot react the same way to the US presence in Europe? (More from Pat Buchanan.)

Interestingly enough, the Democrats' incoherence on Russia and the filibuster collided this week in the US Senate. Ted Cruz rallied six Democrats and every Republican but Rand Paul into voting for his virulently anti-Russian sanctions bill which sought in part to cripple Russia's new pipeline to Germany. (As a brief aside, the bill was so bad that its worth fearing a Republican takeover in the Senate next year. There may be enough votes to overturn a presidential veto - and if this bill passes in a year, expect a massive crisis between the US and Russia. Senate Republicans are on the wrong side of any policy concerning Russia.) The irony of the bill's failure was that the Democrats had declared both that they opposed the new pipeline and also the sought to end the filibuster - yet they used the filibuster to block the bill which aimed to sanction the pipeline they claimed to oppose. While we applaud the end result, it was yet another sign of Biden's policy incoherence.

Making matters worse for Biden, the US economy is in complete shambles. Inflation is hitting a forty year high while store shelves across the country are empty amid a continued logistics breakdown. It's no wonder why even a leftwing polling outlet like Quinnipiac now has Biden polling at 33%. The only question now is whether or not a GOP-controlled Congress can rid the nation of this incompetent administration. 

Sunday, January 9, 2022

The Baptism of Jesus


                                     

Pence writes:

"It was at the Jordan River that Joshua commanded the priests to precede with the Ark of the Covenant, followed by the sons of Israel who – now properly ordered behind the Ark – could enter the Promised Land.

"When Christ emerged from that same river, he was enclosed not by the Ark but revealed in the first manifestation of the Trinity. His Father’s voice proclaimed Him; and the hovering Spirit anointed Him. On this day, the entry of all men to the Promised Land was made possible.

"All the sons of men who would be baptized in the new Adam could now be incorporated in Son-ship with the triune God. Christ’s Baptism washed away Satan, the world, and the flesh – and revealed the sacramental strategy for incorporation in the new Adam.

"The just angels marveled in awe at the new-found glory of man, while Lucifer resentfully plotted a meeting in the desert."

THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST: the Theophany of God and the Baptism of Christ


(first published January 12, 2014)

David Pence writes:  
         
               

                  "... the Sun of righteousness washing in the Jordan,
                                fire immersed in water..."



The Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Baptism of Christ. It marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Christ’s public life and “Ordinary Time.” In an older calendar, the Epiphany was celebrated as an eight-day feast. The coming of the Wise Men, the first miracle at Cana, and the most important manifestation – the theophany at Christ’s baptism – were all considered epiphanies which explained the true identity of Jesus Christ. In the Orthodox Churches, the “twelve days of Christmas” are the feast days observed from the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem to his Baptism in the Jordan which is called the feast of the Theophany.

The Baptism of Christ is not merely about God and water, or God and nature, or even God and man’s salvation. This is not just an event of Divine Economy – God’s relation to creation. At the Baptism of Christ, something happened quite unexpected. The Baptism is THEOPHANY – the “appearance of God” – and for the first time Jesus is revealed as Son of God; and God reveals himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

For a moment let us forget about ourselves. Let us even forget about the sacramental order of saving our souls.  Let us contemplate what was revealed here about the reality that preceded the creation of heaven and earth. Let us think of God before Satan rebelled and man fell.

Who could imagine this? God is three in one. There is a reality called personhood, which can be united in love, as many in one. On this day, in the Father’s voice, we are definitively told that Jesus is God. We are shown “the Spirit of God descending on Him like a dove.” This is how the Christmas season ends: with a lesson about the identity of Jesus as Divine, and the nature of God as an interpersonal love relationship that constitutes the ultimate reality.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. 

In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
                              
                     

"Today the nature of the waters is sanctified,
The Jordan bursts forth and turns back the flood of its streams,
Seeing the Master wash Himself.
To the voice of one crying in the wilderness, 
Prepare ye the way of the Lord, 
You came, O Lord, taking the form of a servant, 
Asking for baptism though you have no sin. 
The waters saw You and were afraid. 
The Forerunner began to tremble and cried out, saying: 
How shall the lampstand illumine the Light? 
How shall the servant lay hands upon the Master? 
Sanctify both me and the waters, O Savior, 
Who takes away the sins of the world."

  (Orthodox hymn for Theophany)

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, JANUARY 8

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

FRANCIS - CHILDREN, NOT PETS: Pope Francis is calling for married couples to embrace children, not pets. “The other day, I was talking about the demographic winter that we have today … many couples do not have children because they do not want to, or they have just one — but they have two dogs, two cats," Francis said. “Yes, dogs and cats take the place of children. Yes, it’s funny, I understand, but it is the reality, and this denial of fatherhood and motherhood diminishes us, takes away humanity.” He's absolutely right. And many left-wingers (here's one and here's another) were quick to denounce him for it. Funny how the left is so quick to turn on its celebrities when they step out of line.

LATIN MASS OUT, ILLICT LITURGICAL PRACTICES IN: Taylor Marshall has pointed out the seeming contradiction in the Latin Mass policies of many prelates. Cardinal Cupich, for examples, is cracking down on the Latin Mass while allowing rampant liturgical abuses to take place in his parishes. Marshall reviews one horrific Christmas Mass as a case study in the contradiction. A follow-up video revealed more abuses in other Masses. While we disagree with Marshall on the Latin Mass, we agree that such contradictions must end. Holy and orthodox Catholics can't be expected to give up a holy Mass only to be subjected to such liturgical abuses.

CARDINAL TURKSON RESIGNS: Cardinal Peter Turkson has resigned from his role as prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. For the first time since 1977, there is no African head of a Vatican dicastery. It us unclear as to why he resigned, but the dicastery came under scrutinity in recent times as Pope Francis ordered an investigation that led to a personnel shakeup. Turkson is only a handful of years away from being all but eliminated from papal contention and may be eyeing retirement rather than papal ambitions.  


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

"INSURRECTION" REJECTED: It's been one year since the Capitol Riot of January 6 and Democrats can't help but continue to push the "insurrection" narrative. Yet the narrative is falling apart. The many unindicted co-conspirators of January 6 indicate federal or "deep state" involvement with the riot - something Tucker Carlson is closely following. Meanwhile a recent CBS poll revealed that 76% of Americans believe what happened a year ago was merely "a protest that went too far." The final nail in the "insurrection" coffin? Not a single person has been charged with insurrection.

MANDATES AT SCOTUS: The Supreme Court heard oral arguments over Biden's vaccine mandates. While the three liberal justices are all but certain to uphold the mandates, Sotomayor fared particularly poorly as she not only couldn't understand the difference between state and federal powers, but she also vastly inflated the numbers of sick children in the hospital with COVID. The final decision will likely come down to justices Barrett and Roberts, but one of the two is likely to strike down the mandate.

CEO'S AND THE CDC: While the Left tells us to "trust the science", it seems like science had little to do with a recent change in COVID quarantining rules from the CDC. What made the difference? The CEO of Delta Airlines. This is just further proof of what Chesterton would call the alliance between "Hudge," "Gudge," and "Sludge" - Big Government, Big Business, and Big Science.


III. THE NATIONS

KAZAKHSTAN'S INSURRECTION: As the American Left continued its obsession with the January 6 US Capitol riots of 2021, Kazakhstan showed the world what a real insurrection looks like. Taking advantage of the protests that followed a rise in gasoline prices, anti-Russian and anti-Chinese forces (likely backed by US intelligence agencies and NGOs) launched an all-out attack on the Kazakh government. Police stations were attacked in order to drive police back to defend their stations, thus leaving government buildings vulnerable. Airfields came under attack in order to keep government reinforcements from arriving. Reports that some police officers were beheaded gave rise to fears that Islamic jihadists were involved - perhaps hoping a new regime would allow them to support jihadi attacks across the border in China's Islamic Xinjiang province. Kazakhstan's President Tokayev, however, was quick to take control and call for aid from his allies in the Russian-led Collective Security Treating Organization (SCTO). Troops are now on the ground. Tokayev is expected to fully consolidate power and forge even stronger ties with Russia and China.

RUSSIA-US TALKS: Russia has long sought the end to the Ukrainian conflict by way of the internationally-recognized Minsk Accords, an agreement forged in large part by Germany and France. These two nations, however, have proven unwilling to push Ukraine to keep its end of the bargain. For this reason Russia has gone over the heads of the European powers and gone right to the Americans. Last month Russia outlined a potential US-Russian treaty and an agreement it hopes to make with NATO. It's unlikely that either will be agreed to, yet the fact that Russia is making new demands on top of those it's already making in regards to Ukraine shows how Russia's position has only strengthened in recent years. 

UKRAINE WEAKENING: The Ukrainian government is under mounting pressure. As the US and its NATO allies say they are only willing to sanction Russia - not fight Russia - if Russia attacks, Ukraine finds itself after burning its bridges with Russia. Since the fall of the USSR, Russia has been Ukraine's chief economic investor. In fact, a large portion of Ukraine's economy depends on the transit fees Russia pays each year to pipe its natural gas into Europe. The contract for these pipelines ends in 2024 - and Russia will not be renewing them. More Ukrainians realize the clock is ticking down to a total Ukrainian economic collapse and few see President Zelensky as the man to save them. For this reason Ukrainian oligarchs met in Lithuania to discuss plans for the future of Ukraine - and Zelensky. Fearing his own demise, Zelensky began accusing any potential adversary of treason - including Petro Poroshenko, the man who led Ukraine against Russia in 2014. For those who fear a Russian attack, fear not. Ukraine is destroying itself without any need of Russian intervention.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

JACK MURPHY DISGRACED: Jack Murphy, a famed name of the "manosphere" who teaches males how to be "men" for $99.99 a month, has been disgraced as lurid details of his decidedly unmanly sexual life were recently revealed. We recommend Rod Dreher's article on Murphy entitled Queer as Volk along with this essay on the macho-homosexual connection to fascism.

SHOT WITH HER OWN GUN: A female cop was partnered with a male cop. They responded to a noise disturbance report only for the woman to be overwhelmed, disarmed, and killed with her own gun while her partner was shot in the head. While we can see the use of women to assist the police in certain circumstances, the idea that a woman can go toe-to-toe with an able-bodied male is absurd. It gets people killed - including the women we send out as police. In another case a woman in Minnesota who mistook her gun for a taser has been found guilty in Minnesota. We're saddened at the gender insanity but not at all surprised by the results.

E.O. WILSON (1929-2021): The father of Sociobiology, E.O. Wilson, has died. We've previously discussed him in the context of Catholic Sociobiology and the famed theology of Henri de Lubac. You can also watch a video we made regarding his thinking on Religion, Sex, and Politics.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The Feast of the Epiphany and the true Age of Enlightenment

[first published January 6, 2016]

by David Pence

                                     
                                       

Epiphany means 'manifestation.' The Christmas season is a series of liturgical celebrations of different events in the life of Christ that manifest who He is, and why calendars all over the world begin their numbering of the years based on His coming. The naming of Jesus and his circumcision complete the Christmas Octave (Jan 1st); the twelve days of Christmas end with the “Christmas for the Gentiles” and the coming of the Magi (kings or wise men) on Jan 6th or the Sunday nearby. For centuries this day was associated with the coming of the Magi, the Baptism of Our Lord and his first miracle at the wedding feast in Cana. All of these were manifestations of the unique event that was celebrated at Christmas. The celebration of Epiphany ends with the manifestation of the Trinity revealed at Christ's baptism by John in the river Jordan. A few other traditions extend the season the full 40 days to his Presentation in the Temple as the first-born Jewish son on Candlemas Day (Feb 2nd).

At the feast of the Epiphany he does not transfigure himself, nor do we hear the voice of God or songs of angels. The scene at the epiphany is three kings representing the monarchs and nations of the world bowing to the King of Kings; and acknowledging that from this birth forth, the destiny of nations would be determined in relation to the new King. Not only human history but all of physical nature is reconfigured to the alpha male of humanity -- the Lord of nature and perfecting head of our species. The star pointing the wise men to his person shows that a new law of personal gravity is in effect that will allow Peter to walk on water, and the human species to escape the sure death awaiting any planet tied to the finite life cycle of a medium-size star. The Star of Bethlehem foreshadows the domination and reorganization of nature that the God of eternal life promises. On this 12th day of Christmas let us promise, with the wise men, that we will always teach the truth of nature and the physical sciences, as well as the meaning of history and the story of nations in light of God -- who made Himself fully known during the true age of Enlightenment: Our Lord’s earthly lifespan 2000 years ago--the axis mundi.

                                                 

"The wise men, seeing him, so fair,
Bow low before him, and with prayer
Their treasured eastern gifts unfold
Of incense, myrrh, and royal gold.

The fragrant incense which they bring,
The gold, proclaim him God and King;
The bitter spicy dust of myrrh
Foreshadows his new sepulchre.

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay
For thine Epiphany today;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete."


Saturday, January 1, 2022

JANUARY 1 -- Consecrating Masculine Fraternity: the formalized covenant of circumcision

[first published New Year's Day 2015]

Dr. David Pence writes:

"When eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Christ, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived."

On New Year’s Day we celebrate a Divine resolution to reorder the public life of humanity and the material cosmos. The old order of the cyclic movements of stars and planets – that ends in the burning out of the stars and the dissipation of matter in an expanding universe – demonstrates how the Laws of Matter alone lead to death. But as Christ's blood is shed publicly for the first time, the spiritual message of an angel is no longer hidden in the womb of Mary. The young male is incorporated into the public covenant of Jewish brotherhood under God. He is not just Christ, the Anointed, the Messiah of Israel. He is named Jesus: "He who saves," the Deliverer, the one who rescues. His mother will be known as Theotokos ('God-bearer'). We will come to see that this Messiah to the Jews is named Jesus, not because He will free Israel from the Romans but because He will save mankind from death and the Dragon.

The human species has been recalled to our original mission to live forever in communion with God, who created the visible and invisible world. Most of the material world and many angels of the immaterial world are being cast out into oblivion and isolation, but humanity is meant to be drawn into the eternal life of communion and interpersonal love with the Trinity. A new Adam is named this day and will conform His will to the Father – as the first Adam failed to do. Part of his flesh is discarded as a prelude to the discarding of the old man by every Christian in the sacrament of Baptism.  The first patriarch’s failure to accept the rule of the Father led to the murder of brother by brother. Because Adam failed as a son, he could not rule as a father; and the fraternity of his sons was replaced by fratricide. The great communal strength that Adam would have known as the father of sons in brotherly harmony was never to be. The new Adam, however, paints us a vivid picture of the fraternal bonds he forges, beginning with his circumcision and naming. He has allowed His blood to be shed, and has been incorporated in a Chosen People set aside as a holy nation to be a blessing to all the nations. He will show us the missionary nature of patriarchal fraternity – the miraculous incorporation that the love of Father, Son, and brothers has instituted for all humanity.

On New Year’s Day we remember Christ submitting to a religious ceremony for males, which binds them in a common duty to shed blood for the group defined by this Covenant with God. Forty days after His birth, Jesus alongside other firstborn males will be presented to God in the Temple of Jerusalem. The male covenant engenders a great communal strength that can tempt men to violent acts of domination. That is why numbering the able-bodied warriors was often depicted as an act of pride. The male covenant is necessary for survival, but it must always be subordinate to the will of God.
                                     

"God said to Abraham... This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you."

This fraternal shedding of blood foreshadows the Apostles' priestly participation in the "blood of the New Covenant." Just as the masculine covenant of circumcision will define Israel, so the priestly sharing in the chalice of Christ's blood will define the Apostolic Church. (The sharing of the priestly chalice with the laity was a central liturgical demand of the Protestant Revolution which eventually proposed a Church built on Baptism not Holy Orders.) The Judaic formalization by circumcision  of  shared male protective duty limited by the defined territory of a Promised Land will become the republican template of the nations. The public relationship (res publica) of shared masculine  duty will become the fraternal lattice of classical politics and citizenship.

"It appears clear that contemporary ethical systems remain incapable of producing authentic bonds of fraternity, since a fraternity devoid of reference to a common Father as its ultimate foundation is unable to endure. True brotherhood among people presupposes and demands a transcendent Fatherhood. Based on the recognition of this fatherhood, human fraternity is consolidated: each person becomes a ‘neighbor’ who cares for others."
(POPE FRANCIS -- January 1, 2014 --
FRATERNITY: THE FOUNDATION AND PATHWAY TO PEACE)

The Pope speaks of fraternity in its most generic form: all men and women acting as brothers and sisters under God. That general fellowship, however, has an undeniable masculine foundation in biblical communities. Peter and Andrew, Phillip and Bartholomew are blood brothers in a spiritual brotherhood. These bonds are not set against each other, but reinforce the anthropological nature of male spiritual accord. The high calling of classical citizenship has a similar masculine character. In all classical thought, man as "a political animal" (politicos: a member of a city) refers to a shared form of piety, protective duty, civic friendship, social status, and masculine identity.

Fraternity to be most effective must be formalized. The polis is defined by city walls and social contracts. Nations need their boundaries and constitutions. This formalization of male duty for the group is expressed in Catholic sacramental life through the priesthood and the diocesan character of the Eucharistic bishop and his priests. Fraternity is formalized in civic life by young men being socialized as citizen soldiers, city fathers, state militias, and other masculine covenants to protect a defined territorial group. This public male bond of shared duty and law transcends kinship and the family justice system of blood vendettas. Formalized male socialization systems are foundational to the merit-based and duty-bound "wide radius" social trust systems that Francis Fukuyama explains in his books on Trust and The Origins of Political Order. Both the Pope and Mr. Fukuyama seek a richer deeper social bonding at the heart of political life. Neither one is quite ready in this feminist age to see masculine socialization as the source of that social capital. Shared fraternal duty elevates man's political vocation far above the soulless instrumental state managing the claims of atomistic rights-bearers. Patriarchal fraternities were foundational expressions of the Christian way manifested in those most pivotal institutions of the Christian republic: the monasteries.

The masculine territorial relationship "sacramentalized" in circumcision provides a form that limits the boundless ambitions of empires, utopias, and universalistic ideologies. The personalities of male protectors guard particular lands and cheer for the athletic victories of the local club. There are no Pollyannish laws against bullying, but many well-placed men who do not tolerate the strong exploiting the weak.

Men are meant to live together in communal work and protective groups. Patriarchy and fraternity constituted the original plan of love for Adam and his sons, the prophetic structure for Abraham and the nations, and the fulfillment of the Kingdom found in Christ and the apostles.

The Gospel is meant for all the nations – it is not a creature of "the West." It came out of one nation to all the nations. Jesus the Savior of the world, the Messiah of the Jews, was marked in his manhood as a living part of God’s plan of old. He circumcised the souls of his apostles with the character of the priesthood to ready them to go forth and call back the sons of Adam into one Body. He called men from one territorial region: Galilee. Those men who shared the local ties of a common fishing district would be shaped into a priestly brotherhood for the cosmos. They would be sent out to find men in their tribes and cities and nations; and baptize those natural fraternal ties of land and country into the Universal Church representing our common humanity. In the ancient liturgy of the Church, the priest looked north to proclaim the gospel. The priest directed the good news to the periphery. The apostles were sent to preach to the nations -- Biblically depicted as the 70 grandsons of Noah. The 70 different nations under a common God and descended from a single patriarch is the Biblical blueprint for humanity's public life. We are not trying to eliminate the bonds of the nations, as at Babel; we are trying to baptize them. The oneness of humanity comes from religious incorporation in Christ. The natural form of the nation was consecrated in the circumcision covenant, which marked Israel in a special way. The other Abrahamic nations were blessed as well, but in a different manner. All the nations, though, would be blessed in Israel by adopting an analogical masculine form of communal duty and civic life. Baptizing the nations does not necessarily mean bringing them into the Church, but bringing them into fraternity under God, which allows the Temple of the Church to be built within the walls of a just city.

The Jesus, who was named on this New Year’s Day, had bigger plans for the nations than allowing them to fight it out like so many new Cains and Abels. He called a fraternity of men to drink a blood covenant with Him; and establish a Kingdom set above all the nations, and yet living within each of them. The nations must answer to a transcendent authority. Because both priests and presidents can be corrupted, it is good that there are many nations, and good that there are the two swords of Church and State.

                                         


Eight days after we celebrate the birth of Christ, with the joy of this season still reverberating, we honor the shedding of a Son’s blood necessary to establish the new Kingdom. The circumcision of Abraham is no longer necessary for salvation, but the new priestly blood covenant will provide the Baptismal and Eucharistic bond to Christ by which the human species will participate in eternal life.

New Year’s Day is a public setting of our calendar to the Supreme Authority who manifested on this day His Name as Savior. His name carried by the angels was planted in a covenant of fraternity, which was public, masculine, and sacrificial. Such covenants are the heart of our nations and the order of the Eucharistic priesthood of the Church. They mirror the interpersonal unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The new commandment Christ gave to his apostles was to love one another as the Father loved Him, and He had loved them. That is very different and much more profound than loving others "as we love ourselves." True masculine loves are driven outward in a saving mission to all humanity. The love which bound the Father to the Son is the love than binds men together as fellow Christians, and is leaven to the love of fellow citizens.

Because the world is beset by evil, fatherhood needs a faithful son and a band of brothers (fraternity) to effectively exercise authority. The fighting missionary bond of men was the proper formation to strike and defeat the principalities and powers which held the material world in slavery. The word "Israel" derives from STRUGGLE. Men cannot be good fathers unless first they are good sons, as Francis teaches. But it is also true that men cannot be good fathers unless there is a public socializing fraternity which strengthens, teaches, and assists men to safeguard families from the vicissitudes of nature, the marauding of criminals, and the perversity of Satan. No man can guard his house alone. A large group is needed because of the strength of our foes. A large group is needed because of the harshness of winter. A large group is needed because young males look not only to their individual fathers, but social groups of larger spatial-temporal consequence to establish their identity in the world as men. Most of our obstacles in nature and our enemies (seen and unseen) cannot be overcome by a man alone. When the male bond is broken, it is the widows and orphans who weep and the predators who cheer. It is the young males who become lost and disoriented.

On the day our Savior was named, Jesus entered the consecrated communal bond of Israel which He would reconstitute in priestly and political forms. Through His priestly Church and the baptized nations, He builds His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Fraternity is not only the foundation and end of peace – it is the pathway as well.