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


Saturday, October 22, 2022

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

by A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

LITURGY OF THE HOURS: We at AoA are not always Bishop Barron's biggest cheerleaders, but we heartily recommend our readers consider a subscription to Word on Fire's monthly edition of the Liturgy of the Hours. The small book, delivered each month, includes the morning, evening, and night prayers for each day of the month - and it's well worth the $7 subscription fee.

KREEFT AND PETERSON: We were surprised to see two great minds sitting down for a conversion. The great Peter Kreeft recently had a lengthy conversion with Jordan Peterson. Both have their blind spots - Peterson is still figuring out his religion while Kreeft missed opportunity after opportunity to explain Catholic fraternity - but together they had a conversation that's worth a watch.

SURVEY SAYS: The bishops think far too highly of themselves compared to what their priests think. In a recent poll, 49% of priests said they trusted their bishop and only 24% of priests said they trusted all the bishops overall. Meanwhile 83% of bishops thought of themselves as shepherds. The "missing icon" of our time - fraternity - is still missing it appears within the ranks of the clergy.


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

UKRAINE AND THE MIDTERMS: It looks like Ukraine is about to launch a self-destructive yet massive assault on Kherson in the coming days. Why? Because Joe Biden needs a victory ahead of the midterms - and Ukraine is likely to lose US funding once America First Republicans take office in January. Check out our newest video from Religion, Sex, and Politics to learn more.

WOKE WAR III: We were quite impressed to recently see a level-headed take on the Ukraine war in Newsweek. The Neocons and Woke liberals have united - and it may lead to nuclear Armageddon. We hope more newsrooms come to their senses and prevent this nightmare from happening.

DEMS PROMOTE ROE: Election polls reveal that most Americans place little focus on abortion when it comes to the ballot box next month. Yet in an attempt to raise that issue higher in the minds of voters, Biden seeks to "upgrade" Roe through federal law in a way that protects abortion far beyond anything the courts had allowed under Roe and its subsequent rulings. Meanwhile Stacey Abrams argues to folks worried about inflation (which just hit a 40 year high) that killing babies is key to reducing inflation. We look forward to her coming loss in Georgia's gubernatorial race. And with Biden's approval stuck at 40%, its looking ever more likely that a red tsunami is incoming.   

BOOBY-TRAPPED SIGNS: What could be worse than having an unwanted Democrat election yard sign placed in your yard? How about a sign lined with razor blades waiting for you when you try to remove it? Perhaps this is a "sign" of desperation given the impending November red tsunami.


III. THE NATIONS

UKRAINE BY THE NUMBERS: Scholar Mark Sleboda breaks down the manpower situation in Ukraine. Most do not know that Russia has been fighting outnumbered 3 to 1 - only to see that number slip to 8 to 1 in recent weeks.

TURKEY GAINS STRENGTH: Prior to the war Turkey controlled the flow of Syrian migrants into Europe and held veto power over expanding NATO. But now with the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, it appears Russia will make Turkey the main hub for natural gas headed to Europe - giving Turkey even more leverage than it had before. Be on the lookout for US-backed coup initiatives in Ankara.

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE: Josep Borrell, the EU's head of foreign policy, is in hot water after calling Europe "a garden" and the rest of the world "a jungle." While he's been accused of racism over his words, it's worth pointing out that the EU really sees itself as a kind of Eden - though its worship is of man rather than God. The atheist West is an organized cult that seeks to "Edenize" the world with its anti-religion. Borrell's words only reveal this more fully. 

SAUDI-RUSSIAN RELATIONS: The Russians and the American-allied Saudis were anything but friendly towards each other during the Cold War - but how things have changed! As Russia deepens its ties with Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, Saudi Arabia is hedging its bets and turning its gaze towards Moscow. Both countries agreed through OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day - a looming disaster for Democrats ahead of the US midterms. Now the Democrats want to retaliate - just as they've threatened a host of nations for not backing their sanctions war on Russia. They seem more and more like a thrashing giant in its death throes. Multipolarity is winning and America's liberal hegemony is losing.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

OMICRON UPGRADED: Contrary to the reports that the US government does not back "gain of function" research on deadly diseases, it was revealed this week that US scientists - funded in part by grants from the NIH and Anthony Fauci's NIAID - had made Omicron five times more infectious with an 80% mortality rate. Will this ever end?

US IDEOLOGICAL COLONIZATION: In just the latest news regarding the ideological colonization run out of DC, reports surfaced of the State Department sending over $20k to Ecuador for "diversity and inclusion" - which also supported drag shows. Our leaders in Washington have so embraced the Sexual Revolution that they seek to spread it far and wide. A large part of the world's negative reaction to US foreign policy is much akin to the great powers who once sought to overthrow Revolutionary France - not everyone wants the revolutionary "values" France and the US have pushed.

GOOD GUYS WITH GUNS: Imagine that - the FBI undercounts number of times armed citizens have thwarted active shooting incidents. More from Fox News.   

DEFENDING BLASPHEMY: As part of the US-led sexual revolutionary movement, the EU has ruled that France was wrong to fine a bare-breasted feminist who used an animal liver to perform a staged abortion of Jesus Christ and urinating on the sanctuary floor of a French Catholic church. Apparently the EU thinks this fine was a violation of her rights of expression. Contrast this with Russia's treatment of the blasphemous Pussy Riot band who did something similar in a Russian church, and we see yet again why Ukraine is really a battle between the atheist West and Christian Russia.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

October 15: Memorial of St. Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Doctor

[first published October 15, 2014]

 "Lord you have told us that you live forever in the hearts of the chaste. By the prayers of the virgin, Teresa, help us to live by your grace and remain a temple of your Holy Spirit."
               (Morning prayer from the Common of Virgins)


                                                     


Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) was born in the same Spanish era that sent  Columbus across an ocean to plant the  Christian cross in the Americas. Praying the Church's office of this day prepares our minds to understand the feminine and the sacral character of that other land to explore: the interior life. The Church's teaching on the romance of monogamy is always set against the deeper truths of interiority and virginal fruitfulness which are lived out in the lives of virgin saints and the present practices of religious sisters. Teresa was a Carmelite.


An excerpt from the writings of Saint Teresa:

If Christ Jesus dwells in a man as his friend and noble leader, that man can endure all things, for Christ helps and strengthens us and never abandons us. He is a true friend. And I clearly see that if we expect to please him and receive an abundance of his graces, God desires that these graces must come to us from the hands of Christ, through his most sacred humanity, in which God takes delight.

Many, many times I have perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we wish his Sovereign Majesty to reveal to us great and hidden mysteries. A person should desire no other path, even if he is at the summit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. All blessings come to us through our Lord. He will teach us, for in beholding his life we find that he is the best example.

What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side? Unlike our friends in the world, he will never abandon us when we are troubled or distressed. Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious Saint Paul: it seems that no other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, because the name of Jesus was fixed and embedded in his heart...



From a 1948 column by Dorothy Day in the Catholic Worker paper:

St. Teresa of Avila has a great deal to say of women's ailments. "The first thing we have to do," she writes firmly in The Way of Perfection, "and that at once, is to rid ourselves of love for this body of ours -- and some of us pamper our natures so much that this will cause us no little labor, while others are so concerned about their health that the trouble these things give us (this is especially so of poor nuns, but it applies to others as well), is amazing. Some of us, however, seem to think that we embraced the religious life for no other reason than to keep ourselves alive and each nun does all she can to that end. In this house, as a matter of fact, there is very little chance for us to act on such a principle, but I should be sorry if we even wanted to. Resolve, sisters, that it is to die for Christ, and not to practice self indulgence for Christ, that you have come here. The devil tells us that self indulgence is necessary if we are to carry out and keep the Rule of our Order, and so many of us, forsooth, try to keep our Rule by looking after our health, that we die without having kept it for as long as a month -- perhaps even for a day . . ."

Newman writes that the greatest tragedy is that so few of us have even begun to live, when we die. Not even to make a beginning! 
St. Teresa goes on, "No one need be afraid of our committing excesses here, by any chance -- for as soon as we do any penances our confessors begin to fear that we shall kill ourselves with them . . ."

                                                     


"Virgins show forth the beauty of God’s grace. They are the image of God that reflects the holiness of the Lord; they are the more illustrious members of Christ’s flock. They are the glory of mother church and manifest her fruitfulness. The more numerous her virgins are, the greater is her joy." 
          (From a sermon by St Cyprian, bishop and martyr)




UPDATE: On the celebration of her 500th birthday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

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


(first published on October 12, 2012)



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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 8, 2022

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

by A. Joseph Lynch

R&G NEWS ROUND UP

UKRAINE'S TERROR, RUSSIA'S SILENCE: Despite the incorporation of four new regions into the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to attack civilian infrastructure in both its former territories and within the pre-war borders of Russia. Civilians in Donetsk city come under constant artillery fire as the US accuses Ukraine of the terror attack on Daria Dugina. Meanwhile reports say Russian sympathizers in Ukraine are hunted down like pigs (which we suspect is exactly what happened in Bucha). Zelensky has called for immediate nuclear strikes on Russia - and now the Kerch bridge has been hit by what appears to be a Ukrainian suicide truck bombing. Meanwhile the Kremlin continues to operate in radio silence. There were no ultimatums after the new territories joined Russia, and no declaration of war much less a counter-terrorism declaration. It may be that Russia is waiting for its forces to be in position with a cold-hardened ground under it before it launches any significant attack. But as Ukraine racks up more PR victories - to be clear none of their "victories" have any strategic value - more and more money and weapons will flow into Ukraine while Russia appears impotent. It's high time Russia says or does something to get ahead of Ukraine in this PR and morale fight. 

WHO DESTROYED THE PIPELINES? Rumors swirl that the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines was conducted by the US with Polish assets. Weapons inspection expert Scott Ritter explained that he could find the US guilty in a hypothetical courtroom given the fact that 1) Joe Biden said last February that he'd end the pipelines if war broke out, 2) the US has the means of conducting the attack (indeed at least one US military aircraft was over the site at the time, and the US had been practicing underwater demolition in the area in the days leading up to the attack), and 3) Secretary of State Blinken's statement that the pipeline destruction offered US energy companies a "tremendous opportunity" to fill in for the lost gas gives the US had a clear financial motive. We could add to this with a geopolitical motive: destroying the pipelines denies Russia of any leverage it had on Germany to force a peace in Ukraine for increased gas supplies.  

WAR ON ELON MUSK: While Elon Musk appears to be moving forward with his purchase of Twitter (making liberals panic at the thought of losing censorship control), he has come under fierce attack for a pushing peace in Ukraine. Expletives were thrown at him by warmongers in the Kiev regime, who are anything but the adults in the room. And in a huge coincidence (or is it?), Ukraine decided to complain this week about Musk's Starlink satellite internet system failing for Ukraine on the front lines - which led politicians like the Trump-hating Adam Kinzinger to effectively accuse Musk of being a Putin-loving traitor in need of investigation. The message? It doesn't matter if you're the richest man in the world, if you demand peace in Ukraine you are a traitor and deserve punishment. 

WHO'S MAKING NUCLEAR THREATS: Biden and his team insist that Putin is making nuclear threats against Ukraine and the atheist West - yet in all the articles discussing this we see exactly zero quotes from Putin to support the claims. As we said above, the only person calling for immediate nuclear strikes is Zelensky. All Biden's talk of nuclear Armageddon has prompted Frances' Macron to label it "political fiction." The real question is: where is the universal condemnation of Zelensky's actual call for nuclear Armageddon?

UKRAINE PLANS AN ORGY: In yet the most recent sign that Ukraine is a pagan-Nazi nation, the country turns not to God and to church in its supposed time of need, but rather plans to hold an orgy in Kiev with some 15,000 signed up to attend. The atheist West has become the empire of the sexual revolution, and sadly many Ukrainian pagans want to join its ranks. 

WHERE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTALISTS? First they complained about the ozone, then it was global warming, and now with it are the dangers of methane. One environmentalist website claims that methane "has more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere" and that more than "25% of today’s global warming is driven by methane from human actions." Yet when it is revealed that the terror attack on Russia's natural gas pipelines to Germany might be the biggest methane leak ever seen on satellites, the environmentalists are mum. Zero news coverage devoted to this ecological catastrophe. Why? Because quietly we all know who conducted this terrorist attack, so the propagandists in the media refuse to discuss the attack or its consequences in any detail. Even the environmentalists set aside their agenda in order to help uphold the liberal hegemonic power of the atheist West - if they ever really cared about the environment to begin with.

"KILL TURKSTREAM": While we all know who destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines (watch as a UN advisor admits the truth on Bloomberg TV), arch neocon Michael Rubin published an article on The National Interest calling for the US destruction of Turkey's "Turkstream" gas pipelines. These lines bring natural gas into southern Europe as Nordstream brought gas to the north. Under the title Biden Should Kill TurkStream to Promote Transatlantic Energy Security, Rubin effectively admitted the US had destroyed Russia's pipelines, saying that "Biden should give trans-Turkish energy corridors the same treatment he ultimately gave Nord Stream 2" (emphasis mine). Europe should brace itself for more terrorism - and even less energy - if Biden does what Rubin asks. 

HUNTER TO BE CHARGED? The Washington Post announced that the feds have enough on Hunter Biden to make an arrest on tax crimes and a false statement regarding a gun purchase. Spoiler alert: he won't be arrested - or at least not until after the midterms. In the recent words of papa Joe Biden: "No one f---s with a Biden."

Friday, October 7, 2022

October 7: The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

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

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

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

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


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



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

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

October 4: Feast of Saint Francis

From an essay by Samuel Gregg:


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

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

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

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

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

by Bernardo Strozzi (d. 1644)

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Religion, Nations, and Geopolitical Review: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1

by A. Joseph Lynch

THE WEEKLY BRIEF
RUSSIA'S NEW PATH FORWARD

Yesterday marked a turning point in world history. Russia has accepted the results of the referendums in southeast Ukraine, integrating nearly 20% of the nation into the Russian Federation. In his speech given during the recognition of these former Ukrainian regions, Putin effectively announced that Russia had separated itself from Europe and its Anglo-American allies. This is unlike anything any Russian leader has said since the time of Peter the Great. Even the Soviets saw the USSR and Russia as oriented to "the West" rather than separate from it.

Putin might well have quoted Pope Francis idea of "ideological colonization" as he condemned the West as an evil force of colonization, which sought to destroy Russia, pillage its resources, and impost on its people "values" that are opposed to human nature itself. His words, like those of Pope Francis, are aimed at the nations of the global south, which suffered at the hands of Western colonizers for centuries. In effect, Putin told the global south that Russia is more like them than it is like Europe and that the global south should join Russia in its quest to overturn the neo-colonial world order led by the US and its allies. 

Putin also spoke to the economic disaster facing Europe if it does not end the sanctions and force Ukraine to make peace. Money, he said, cannot serve as food. In other words, if Europe has no fuel or food, there's little that money can do to fix it. Russia is clearly in the driver's seat. It holds all the economic cards, has forever brought new lands home to Russia, and is assembling a it's micro-mobilization of 1.2% of its potential manpower - some 300,000 soldiers - to defend its new lands and ultimately defeat Ukraine.

What's more, with the new regions incorporated into Russia, Putin is now legally able to move beyond the legal limits of a "special military operation" (which allowed only a token expeditionary force into Ukraine) to the full military defense of Russia's new territories. 

While major battles continue in Donbas, we await a military slowdown during the autumn rains followed by a potential Russian advance once the ground hardens in winter. There's much more to come, but both the war in Ukraine as well as the global contest with the atheist West are Russia's to lose.


I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

NOT GOOD GUYS VS BAD GUYS: Although Pope Francis has gone back and forth a bit on the topic of Ukraine, we're glad to see he's once again stating that the war in Ukraine is not a war between "good guys" and "bad guys" but is rather quite complex, citing the issue of NATO expansion as a key factor that led to the war. Pope Francis understands that Ukraine is a microcosm of something far more global at hand. Indeed, Russia is standing up against what Francis himself has termed ideological recolonization.

BIBLE ON HOMOSEXUALITY: After forcing a vote by hand with no anonymity, the German bishops were not men enough to block gay blessings in the increasingly heretical German church. While Taylor Marshall breaks all this down, he does an excellent job explaining key biblical passages concerning the immorality of homosexual acts.

WESTERN ELITES ARE SATANIC: Putin is calling out the West for its Satanic attack on human nature and authentic religion: "Let me repeat that the dictatorship of the Western elites targets all societies, including the citizens of Western countries themselves. This is a challenge to all. This complete renunciation of what it means to be human, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, and the suppression of freedom are coming to resemble a 'religion in reverse' – pure Satanism. Exposing false messiahs, Jesus Christ said in the Sermon on the Mount: 'By their fruits ye shall know them.' These poisonous fruits are already obvious to people, and not only in our country but also in all countries, including many people in the West itself." Truer words were never spoken. More on this from Dr. Steve Turley.

FORGIVEN OF SINS: Russia's Patriarch Kirill has effectively granted Russian soldiers who die in Ukraine a plenary indulgence. It's a fitting reminder that in Russia, unlike the atheist West, religion still plays a vital role in all aspects of life, including warfare.


II. AMERICAN POLITICS

CANIBALIZING ALLIES: It's all but certain that the United States conducted the attacks on the Nord Stream pipelines. These natural gas pipelines were Russia's primary leverage over Germany going into winter. Using this leverage, Russia had hoped to open the gas pipelines in return for an end to sanctions and to the war in Ukraine. Clearly Russia would not destroy what was both it's own infrastructure investment as well as its tool to end the war. What the US has done, however, is doom its ally, Germany, to a dark fate in hopes that Russia will fall to the sanctions in the months ahead. It's atheistic nihilism at its finest.
 
RED WAVE COMING: While some polls seemed to suggest the "red wave" might be nothing more than a trickle, post Labor Day polling that now tracks "likely" voters rather than "registered" voters is now showing the red wave is indeed coming. More from Red Eagle Politics.

TO MARTHA'S VINEYARD: Ron DeSantis perfectly revealed the hypocrisy of the Left by sending a mere fifty immigrants to Martha's Vineyard. What happened next? They were quickly deported and now long to return.


III. THE NATIONS

WHO IS WINNING? The American Conservative asks the very important question, who is winning the war in Ukraine? Despite Ukrainian advances in Kharkov, Russia appears to be in the driver's seat.

EUROPEAN COLLAPSE: The EU has officially crossed 10% inflation while the UK's new prime minister - the bimbo of Britain - has cost her nation half a trillion dollars as India takes the UK's place as the world's sixth largest economy. German's PPI - producer price index - has risen to 45.8%, meaning production costs in Germany have increased by nearly 50%! Meanwhile Russia's currency continues to strengthen, its unemployment remains at a low 3.9%, costs of goods is decreasing, and the nation's GDP contraction appears on track to be a meager 3%.

ITALY MOVES RIGHT: Italy now has a center-right government led by a the conservative Giorgia Meloni, who has been branded a fascist over her conservatism. The question is, why is she so hated?


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

TRANS TREASON? The US Army's first transgendered officer has been arrested for allegedly attempting to give classified information to... the Russians. We leave you to muse with us at the irony.

AF ACADEMY ON MOM/DAD: The US Air Force Academy is taking the institution in yet a still further woke direction. "Mom" and "Dad" have now been laid on the pyre of woke sacrifice. It's hard to see why any red-blooded American would enlist in this the wokest of the US armed forces. 

WOKE ATTACK ON GAYS: The woke agenda is such that even its allies must be on board 100% with all its delusions - including its defense of "groomers". A gay organization - "Gays Against Groomers" - found this out the hard way as electronic payment businesses banned the non-profit organization from their services.