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


Saturday, July 22, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, July 22

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

SECRETARY TO CARDINAL COCCOPALMERIO IN DRUG/HOMOSEXUAL ORGY: The secretary of 79-year-old Cardinal Coccopalmerio was arrested in a CDF-owned apartment during a "drug infused gay orgy." Coccopalmerio is a member of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith and chief interpreter of Vatican texts. He was appointed to his offices by Pope Benedict and had recently recommended that his secretary be made a bishop. The CDF has been a notorious center for gay clergy who maintain the letter that homosexuality is a disorder, but always come up short on enforcement and are notorious for their clandestine secret cults. A homosexual Polish priest who worked at CDF was fired after publicly coming out. He wrote a blistering letter to Pope Francis that the clergy from cardinals to priests are full of homosexuals and he was fired for being honest.

The "orthodox" American Catholic press is full of laborious reasoned arguments against the new book by Jesuit James Martin advocating a more pastoral approach to the LGBTQ lobby. None of the reviewers take on the central fact in Martin's Jesuit order and every major urban center in America that there are already huge homosexual clergy subcultures who were made to feel very welcome in Catholic seminaries while greasing their trips up the career ladders in the church. Thirty years ago the homosexual seminarians were much more flamboyant in their proclivities. Now they are told to be discreet which has made their merry band of special brothers even more the insiders. How can the welcome mat for homosexuals be any more accommodating than the diocese of our nation's capital headed by Cardinal "Uncle Ted" McCarrick from 2001-2006 and now Cardinal Donald "Donna"Wuerl? (Here is a defense of Cardinal Wuerl).

This abomination has emasculated our priesthood and episcopacy. This radical desacralization of fatherhood and fraternity is the still unpunished cause of the clerical abuse scandal which disfigures the Body of Christ. When Cardinal Wuerl was asked if allowing open homosexuals throughout the US military would adversely effect the armed forces he said the Catholic Church had no position on the issue. The Church may have no official position but we are a living testament. Incest is very bad for brotherhood. The homosexual problem in the Catholic clergy is NOT a policy or doctrinal issue. It is a personnel problem, and there are no bishops right now who will face their duplicitous brothers. For two decades the Church has been explicit that homosexuals should not be allowed in the seminaries -- very explicit. What about the episcopacy? Should homosexuals be allowed to stay in that apostolic role? What is the message? Sneak through the seminaries, and there will be  plenty of wink-wink clerics who will help you up the career ladder.

VATICAN NEWSPAPER EMBARRASSING ANALYSIS OF AMERICAN POLITICS: The Fr. Spadaro article: Evangelical Fundamentalism and Catholic Integralism in the USA: a Strange Ecumenism. Some withering reviews: by Samuel Gregg and Fr. Raymond De Sousa. The best response, however, was by a Catholic thinker who has a map in his head and measurable testosterone in his blood stream. Austin Ruse. No serious American will think the Vatican editors understand American politics. This statement about Pope Francis casts doubt about their knowledge of Francis.
"Francis wants to break the organic link between culture, politics, institution and Church."
As the pope's biographer, Austen Ivereigh, noted: this is neither the language nor the voice of Francis. The editors' lumping of the biblically inspired black civil rights movement with atheistic communism and anti-patriarchal feminism is a typical error of the left, as is their juxtaposition of exclusionary land base Old Testament thinking with "Imagine there are no borders" inclusivity of the New Testament. From the Spadaro text:
"The panorama of threats to their understanding of the American way of life have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims. To maintain conflict levels, their biblical exegeses have evolved toward a decontextualized reading of the Old Testament texts about the conquering and defense of the “promised land,” rather than be guided by the incisive look, full of love, of Jesus in the Gospels."
This text is an embarrassment in which anti-American animus (especially against those benighted southern whites) is its driving force. This screed tells us nothing about America and less about Pope Francis. Apparently, the Vatican pundits missed the rather interesting fact that "Conservative Catholic intellectuals" who had supported Reagan and George Bush were ostentatiously opposed to Donald Trump and his emphasis on God, manual workers, and nationalism. They had preferred to champion natural law reasoning, creative capitalism of free trade and ideas and the promotion of western democracy. American Catholic intellectuals have misunderstood both Donald Trump and Pope Francis. This Vatican essay fails to grasp that Catholic men supported President Trump but many of the intellectual architects of the Catholic Evangelical alliance missed his message entirely. The relationship of Catholic Protestant and Jew (and now Muslim) in American politics is worth a thoughtful essay from the Roman mind. We are waiting.

DECENTRALIZING THE CURIA - FRANCIS' STRATEGY: From Monday Vatican -- a perceptive weekly essay from Italian speaking Catholic News writer. The Curia is no longer the center -- it is not the top of a career ladder. A return to diocesan preeminence. This commentator is interesting.

AUTONOMOUS INDIVIDUALS MAXIMIZING PLEASURE VS. CHRISTIAN LIBERTY: A 1995 essay by Cardinal Avery Dulles.

WHY MANY CATHOLICS DON'T TRUST POPE FRANCISTom Hoopes interview.

FELIPE ALOU AND CHRISTIAN ATHLETESCatholics and Protestants and the FCA.


II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

"SAUDI ARABIA SUPPORT FOR TERROR DWARFS QATAR" ACTIONSSenator Bob Corker is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

THE KURDS FOUGHT BUT WILL THEY GET A COUNTRY? From Asia News, an Independence referendum on Sept 25, 2017. (See our Map on Monday on Kurdistan.)


III. R&G ROUND UP

MONGOLIA - A YOUNG LEADER PRO-PUTIN: Mongolia with three million people is a huge landmass (18th largest country) with copper, gold, and coal resources underlying a still robust horse and herd culture. This resilient people play a buffer role between Russia and China. This election shows the success of Putin's leadership in winning allies on Russia's huge southern front.

XI JINPING AND THE RESTORATION OF CHINESE TRADITIONALISM: From Asia news.

IF A REPRESENTATIVE OF NORTH KOREA SAID HE HAD A DISK CONTAINING THE 30,000 EMAILS HILLARY CLINTON DESTROYED WOULD YOU MEET WITH HIM? An unfriendly government with valuable information - looking for the moral principle here that would preclude one from finding what was destroyed. During the campaign, candidate Trump publicly asked Russia if you can find the 30,000 emails the press will "mightily reward" you. What campaign would not meet with someone to see if the "lost has been found"?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Brunelleschi's dome in Florence





Florence -- capital of Tuscany and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance -- owes much to the genius of Filippo Brunelleschi (d. 1446). His masterpiece remains the largest masonry dome in the world!

It is part of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore: "Saint Mary of the Flower." The bell tower was designed by Giotto (d. 1337).


This amazing documentary, in which modern architects and bricklayers try to figure out how the dome was ever built, will quickly draw you in. Certamente!

You will walk away, scratching your head that Signor Brunelleschi isn't more famous than he is.




Saturday, July 15, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, July 15

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


WEEKLY BRIEF

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.." Good advice from Rudyard Kipling. While the major media are transfixed on finding a case of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government which could unseat President Trump from his office, the violent intercourse of nations continues. Sixteen men (15 Marines and a sailor) were killed training in Mississippi on July 10 to sober us.

Our ally Iraq won a major victory with American and Iranian help in delivering the city of Mosul from ISIS governance. This ended the embarrassment of the Salafist Wahhabi caliphate within the territorial boundaries of a Shiite led state. And let there be no mistake. After the US military defeat of Saddam Hussein, the Iraq majority was allowed to form its own government and the long suppressed Shiites did just that. This was the sin of Iraq - that now Shiites would govern themselves. The continuation of the war in Iraq was one of four fronts in the Mideast preventing Shiite rule. Homegrown Sunni - now a minority - and foreign fighters became the opposition army. American policymakers never seemed to grasp the full implications of this religious dynamic often bewailing "sectarian violence" as the fault of both sides. There was an implication that religion taken too seriously is a recipe for violence. Thus the call for moderates "on both sides." But the Shia were not establishing a new Iraq in which the Sunni would convert or die. ISIS WAS saying that to the Shia. Saudi-centered Wahhabism has preached that for several centuries. American soldiers freed the Iraqis from Saddam Hussein and Iraqi soldiers protected their self rule by defeating a fearsome foreign inspired counterrevolution. God bless them in their fight and God bless the Americans who died that they might be free. Destabilizing Iraq became the tip of the sword for the Salafist jihadist movement in the Mideast. In their language, the Shia were no more Muslims than the Crusaders in the Twin Towers. They could be killed and certainly they could not be allowed to rule.  The government of Iran understood the religious animus of the jihad terrorists and allied with the new government. They proved to be a true ally willing to shed blood with the new nation against the salafist terror.  The Iranian nation and the nation of Iraq won their freedom like the nations of Israel and America did. They fought and died for it. The Iraqi victory should be a time to give thanks, salute our dead and thank our allies. But other matters becloud the public mind.

As we devise a new policy in the Mideast not centered on regime change, we cannot help but note that our ally Israel has counted our ally Iraq as one of their five most grievous enemies in the world and region (not ISIS but the government of Iraq!). Like Saudi Arabia demonizing Qatar, the Israeli opposition to Iraq is a great contradiction demanding sober reflection and resolution. Saudi Arabia and Israel are not fighting the same war we are. Israel will have to change policy to align with us. Saudi Arabia will have to relinquish the demonic control its Wahhabi clerics exercise over Islam's holy sites. The clerics' unholy alliance with an ambitious young Crown Prince (See R&G JULY 1 The new Crown Prince) bombing the Shiites of Yemen is a very bad omen. This week we bury our men who were training to carry out the policy of our nation. We owe them a strategic coherence in that policy that reflects the gravity of their sacrifice.


I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

AT CDF - CARDINAL MULLER ENDS HIS TERM: Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer SJ, Secretary of the CDF, begins his. The German is out and the man from Spanish isles is in. Cardinal Muller was not fired. His five year term came to an end. Some report that He did criticize the way he was informed of the end of his term.  Yet Muller says there is no disparity between the Pope and him. Muller was very clear on orthodox pronouncements and very slow on clergy reform. He was in the tradition of the Pope who initially appointed him. He was a clear and impressive scholar-teacher and very little a ruler. He was part of the tired Germanic debate Pope Francis is trying to circumvent in favor of another strategy. He is a very good man who will still serve the Church but maybe in ways that emphasize his openness to an Iberian revival over doctrinal debates. He has cultivated an interesting and friendly relationship with the founders of liberation theology. God is not done with him and neither is Pope Francis.

TOP VATICAN ECONOMIC CARDINAL TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA TO FACE SEX ABUSE CHARGES - 76 Y/O GEORGE PELLThe charges and some history.

IN AFRICA CATHOLIC GRADUATE MELINDA GATES AND CANADA'S FEMINIST UN REP OFFERS AFRICA A NEW COLONIAL PACKAGE - ABORTIONIs this empowerment for women or a rich lady's solution?

LUTHER AND CHESTERTONDale Ahlquist celebrates the 500-year anniversary of The Protestant Reformation in his own way.

JULY 15: Feast of St Bonaventure, scholar of history


II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

MIDEAST SUNNI, SHIITE - WHO IS OUR ENEMY? Tucker Carlson takes on Col. Peters in discussing grand strategy in the Mideast. It is startling to hear a Fox reporter ask such penetrating questions. Carlson says, "When was the last time a Shiite was responsible for terrorism against U.S?" Carlson's desire for a real conversation is the most hopeful episode of network journalism we have seen on TV since 9/11. (There have been some good documentaries.) The next day Mr Carlson showed his willingness to take on another Neo-Con, Max Boot. This shattering of the "experts" is stunning. Mr. Carlson will pay for this in the very brutal world of conservative think tanks from which Pat Buchanan was exiled for refusing the Kool Aid on Mideast strategy.

ISIS HAS BEEN DESTROYED IN MOSUL BY OUR ALLY, IRAQ. WHY NO CHEERING FROM US MEDIA? A bloody win. The anti-Trump media cannot appreciate this huge military victory. Neither can Israel or Saudi Arabia. There is so much serious discussion being driven out of the public airwaves by the witch hunt. Countries acknowledge the role of Iraq. It was commonplace 4 years ago to say ISIS would not be driven from Iraq for 40 years. The resolution of the Iraq government with a much more robust US support and a continued alliance with Iran moved up the schedule.


III. AROUND THE WORLD R&G ROUND UP

TOP THREE COUNTRIES 2017 - CHINA, INDIA, U.S.     TOP THREE COUNTRIES 2050 - INDIA, CHINA, NIGERIA: Watching demographics. Much of long-term Chinese foreign policy is based on developing working infrastructure relations with other countries especially in Africa. There are 7 billion people in the world. Our "population pin number" is 1:1:1:4 (one billion in Americas; one billion in Europe; one billion in Africa; four billion in Asia. In 2100 the population pin number will be 1:1:4:5 (one billion in Americas; one billion in Europe; 4 billion in Africa; 5 billion in Asia.)

THE WARSAW SPEECH: "Freedom, family, country and God." This is what President Trump says the western alliance of nations is fighting for. In this speech, he reminds us of the historical events that keep Poland as a nation at the heart of a Europe of nations under God. There are lots of news stories to read. Our recommendation once again is to read this speech. An unfriendly analysis, but Peter Biernat is posing the right question: what civilization are we defending? Is the West a code for white Christians? Our answer is that we are defending Christianity which is not color-coded and has outgrown the "west" but not the nations. Trump's speech is very different than the rhetoric of George Bush and much to the better. Trump sees NATIONS as what makes Europe. The western alliance is the European nations in alliance across the Atlantic with the Americans. The rule of God is much more central to Trump than the process of democracy. Finally, he called Poland the CENTER of Europe not its eastern front. That paves the way for new relations with that great Euro-Asian civilization-Holy Russia.

WHY THE HATE FOR RUSSIA? Pat Buchanan doesn't really answer that question but he questions the hate.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Memorial of Saint Benedict: Christian fraternity and male socialization

       
by David Pence

                     


Saint Benedict (480-543) left the comfortable life of a university student to discipline himself as a hermit. He left the life of solitude to become  an abbot of several monasteries. He survived several poisoning attempts of monks not as dedicated to moral reform as he was. In one of those episodes, a raven clutched the poisoned bread he was about to eat and saved his life. The raven is often prominent  in the name of Benedictine institutions and pictures of the saint. He introduced an order of life (Rule of St Benedict) which regulated the prayer, study, and manual labor of men who lived together in community. He is considered the Father of Europe. Benedictine monasteries are highly independent from one another and democratic in their selection of an abbot. To this day, they number some of the holiest (and some of the most corrupt) communities in Christendom. Benedict’s Christian fraternities of work, study, and prayer were the spiritual forerunners of corporations, universities, and cities which invigorated European civilization. Benedict taught men how to live together under Christ in love. He shaped Christian masculine character in monasteries that served as the fraternal template of public life. He united men in a transcendent spiritual purpose in a specific local community under a patriarch. An excerpt of the Rule of Benedict from the Church readings for his feast day:
"Just as there exists an evil fervor, a bitter spirit which divides us from God and leads us to hell, so there is a good fervor which sets us apart from evil inclinations and leads us toward God and eternal life. Monks should put this fervor into practice with an overflowing love... No one should follow what is good for himself but rather what seems good for another. They should display brotherly love in a chaste manner; fear God in a spirit of love, revere their abbot with a genuine and submissive affection. Let them put Christ above all else; and may He lead us all to everlasting life."


                               


CHRISTIAN BROTHERHOOD, THE BENEDICT OPTION, AND INTERRACIAL VIOLENCE

A contemporary "Benedict Option" would be an all-male communal group which shaped men in Christian brotherhood. These all-male communities of prayer and work would be a model for interracial brotherhood and male socialization in towns or cities. The goal of the fraternity would be to teach and socialize young males as American men regardless of color. The perfection of some men leads to the maturation of many men. Men in the spirit of Benedict pray together regularly and do physically productive work. They would introduce the Christian culture of brotherhood as active protectors and workers for the young men of a local community. This is just the kind of male maturation and sex roles needed in our cities to bring cooperation between young black men and police officers. Both policemen and black male citizens SHARE a common identity as male protectors and fellow Americans. The police officers are the officer corps of the citizen protective bond. The feminist culture of the Democratic party which dominates America's inner cities is clueless about socializing and integrating young men into our protective role as men. They seek a lesbian police chief here, and many more female officers there, but the public peace of fraternity and male protective sex roles is an enemy to them. The enmity between black men and urban police is one of the bitterest fruits of the sexual revolution. Sabotaging the ability of young males to show they are men by acting out a public protector role in manners, dress, and actions pierces the masculine heart of Christian civic culture.

The Benedict Option is masculine and fraternal. Patriarchal fraternity is the fundamental form of Christian accord which shapes public life just as the marital spousality of the male-female couple shapes domestic life. Benedictine fraternity combines physical work with prayer; otherwise it is not of Benedict. The black men of our inner cities have lost the pathway to fatherhood and maturation which industrial jobs once provided. They need a Benedict. He is the father of Europe because the ordered masculine fraternity of his monks eventually flowered into the male communal forms of work, worship, and protection called nations. Benedict built masculine religiously-ordered publics. His men were patriots of whatever land they worked. They were manufacturers (manus facto -- to make by hand). Let us honor his feast day by remembering what he did long ago, and pray that men in our country will once again imitate his fraternities of ora et labora.  

                          ALL-MALE GROUPS ARE THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM

This is the road not taken to racial reconciliation. Street violence is overwhelmingly a male problem.  It can only be solved by building a civic culture which can sanctify and socialize the males. There are many paths to social deviancy when men are not integrated into public protection and meaningful labor. One is seeking social recognition in the false "communities" of drugs and sexual promiscuity. Our large cities have fatally made peace with this errant path. Another errant path is chosen by much tougher males than those at the pot parties and dance clubs. They seek public recognition in violent dissent. That path wakes society up enough to start looking for solutions. Let us consider the  strategy of that Italian saint who 1,500 years ago countered the dissipating cities of Europe with prayer, learning, and  manual labor forged in local fraternities under God. As part of the Church’s morning prayer memorial of Benedict, she employs a 19th century hymn:
             "Rise up O men of God!
              His kingdom tarries long
              Bring in the day of brotherhood
              And end the night of wrong."
     





St. Benedict was one of the four holy men we featured on All Saints Day as  "A man in full."

                         

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, July 8

by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

THE ORDER OF VIRGINSThree consecrations in Detroit. The hierarchical sexual order reflects the sacred order. Fatherhood, filiation, fraternity, marriage, and motherhood are balanced at the far end by the uniquely feminine call to virginity. Reestablishing this order is a huge evangelical statement to the world. Now we Catholic men starting with the clergy must protect them. The Netflix documentary on the murder of Sister Cathy Cesnick in Baltimore is a riveting and gruesome reminder to men that when we are incapable of protection, the most beautiful of our women will be violated by the Evil One and his many many legions.

THE GROWTH OF PENTECOSTALSA worldwide household of Cornelius. How will Peter answer?


II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

QATAR - MATTIS TILLERSON SLOW DOWN THE RUSH: The grownups.

REGIME CHANGE FOR IRAN - GINGRICH, GIULIANI, AND A SAUDI JOIN THE RALLY: Watch out for MEK when considering policy for Iran.

AFGHAN SHIITES HELP IN SYRIAAfghan refugees to Iran offered cash and citizenship for fighting.


III. AROUND THE WORLD R&G ROUND UP

PRESIDENT TRUMP IN WARSAW POLAND: His remarkable speech - God and the nations.

REMEMBERING THE CHINESE CULTURAL REVOLUTION - LESSONS FOR US: You say you want a revolution.

ANGELA MERKEL IS HEAD OF A PARTY THAT ONCE WAS CHRISTIAN AND VAGUELY NATIONALISTIC: Her change on homosexual marriage has completed the metamorphosis. Her one principle is Career. She voted against the new redefinition, but she opened the way for the law. This is much the role many Republicans and Christian leaders played in the US -- their official position was against homosexual  marriage but their inactivity and appointments allowed the movement to prosper.

AN APPROACH TO LATIN AMERICA: Talk to Senator Rubio.

TRAINING THE WORKFORCE AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION: There are way too many students piling up debt in four-year colleges, and way too few students learning about materials technology and craftsmanship in the high schools. One assessment from City Journal.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"The water tower of Asia"


by David Pence





At least half a dozen important rivers begin in the highlands of Tibet. Water always flows downhill. Orienting ourselves in space is not just a matter of North, East, West or South. It is about elevations -- the major lesson of topography maps.

The water tower of one's local town uses gravity to equalize the changing pressure needs of home faucets. The Tibetan Plateau (average elevation: 4,500 meters /15,000 feet) is often called The Roof of the World, as well as The Water Tower of Asia. The whole plateau is a million square miles -- four times the size of France. A plateau is a land feature of an area which is both relatively flat and elevated from its surroundings.



UPDATE: "Asia is the most populous continent, with its 4.3 billion inhabitants accounting for 60% of the world population. The world's two most populated countries alone, China and India, together constitute about 37% of the world's population."

India is expected to surpass China in population around the year 2024.