Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kick Your Friends, Hug Your Enemies - That is How to Have a Happy Neighbourhood

On her visit to Canada, Hillary Clinton continues the world's strangest foreign policy - in which the US bows to foreign potentates and makes nice to dictators from Tehran to Caracus, while treating its main allies with disdain including the UK, Poland and now Canada. From today's Toronto Star:
"Hillary Clinton was openly critical of Canada’s organization of an Arctic meeting, skipped a news conference on the topic with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon and then went on national television to appeal to Canadians to stay in Afghanistan.

After all that, Canadian officials might have been excused if they woke up Tuesday wondering what the U.S. Secretary of State might do for an encore on the second day of her Canadian visit.

Turns out she had one more pot to stir, telling a Gatineau meeting of G8 foreign ministers that any initiative to improve maternal health – Ottawa’s signature global project this year – must include abortions, an option the Conservative government has tried to avoid."
She is way nicer to the Mullahs trying to build an atomic bomb with which to nuke Israel. We peaceful Canadians aren't doing anything to hurt anybody. There is a lesson somewhere here, let me see what is it? Of course, I got it. We should announce that we are building nuclear weapons and missiles that can reach every blue state in the union. Then we can be best pals again.

Insult your friends and overlook the failings of your enemies: this is how the Obama administration thinks you restore the reputation of the US after the George Bush years? Obama already has parts of Europe missing Bush and pretty soon his arrogance is going to convince his allies that there is absolutely no advantage to helping out the US when the US comes calling.

Maybe Obama doesn't care because he wants to reduce American military power and adopt an isolationist stance anyway. So he thinks he doesn't need allies. Well, that is a frightening and naive posture to adopt. It was already tried before and didn't work out so well - you know that whole Pearl Harbor thing.

But there is one more thing I want to point out about Clinton's fanatical, zealous, ideologically driven, Liberal Protestant need to promote Molech worship everywhere she goes.
"You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortions,” Clinton said Tuesday.

“I do not think governments should be involved in making these decisions. It is perfectly legitimate for people to hold their own personal views based on conscience, religion or any other basis. But I’ve always believed that the government should not intervene in decisions of such intimacy,” she said."

Now even by Clinton standards this is an astonishingly self-contradictory piece of dissimulation. First she says that government should not be involved in making abortion related decisions. Than she says that it should be government policy to fund abortions, rather than actual maternal health care, in foreign aid. And to top it off, the government making the decision to fund abortion in a poor African country, for example, should not be the African country's government but the rich Western country's government.

This is imperialistic, colonialist, eugenic thinking by a proud recipient of the Margaret Sanger Award. Disgusting . . . even for a Clinton.

Liberal Pacifism is Not Christian Pacifism

From Christian Week comes this story about pacifists who insist that the Canadian government become pacifist. Immediately. This is called having a "peace witness."

WINNIPEG, MB—Christians who want less bang from their tax bucks are protesting Canada's military spending by withholding a portion of their taxes this year.

Peaceloving taxpayers can include a special form when they file their taxes. The form offers two options: taxpayers can sign a declaration of conscience, yet still pay all their taxes, or they can divert 9.2 per cent (the amount allocated to Canada's military spending) to the Peace Tax Trust Fund of Conscience Canada.

Conscience Canada, a Toronto-based organization, set up the fund and produces the forms. Canada Revenue Agency doesn't endorse the Conscience Canada tax form or the trust fund, so withholding taxes adds up to a form of civil disobedience.

"We believe this is a witness we as a historic peace church can make," says Janet Plenert of Mennonite Church Canada. The denomination is the only one Plenert knows of in Canada to promote the tax form on its website. Anyone who downloads and submits the form should let her know, says Plenert, who's trying to track how many people participate. Last year about 100 Mennonites reported filing the form, but Plenert suspects there are many more.

She doesn't know of anyone who has suffered any penalties for withholding tax money, but some "repeat offenders" have received letters and phonecalls from the Canada Revenue Agency.

Canadians like to joke about having a puny military, but Canada is actually the world's 13th biggest military spender. In 2008, Canada spent more than $19 billion on national defense, compared to just over $1 billion allocated to the department of the environment and about $5 billion on international aid.

MP Bill Siksay has introduced a private member's bill to Parliament that, if passed, would let conscientious Canadians divert their tax money toward peaceful efforts."

I have a few problems with this approach.

First, it is to act in disobedience to Scripture. Paul already dealt with some proto-pacifists in Romans 13 and we are, therefore, fortunate to have explicit guidance on the point of whether Christians are to pay taxes to the government or not.

Verse 6 says that we pay our taxes as Christians not because we agree with everything the government does (in which case most people would not pay taxes most of the time) but rather because we recognize the powers that be as performing a legitimate function of punishing evil and maintaining order. To the extent that governments provides these minimal functions they are doing what God has ordained that it do and to think that we could get to a point in a fallen world where such coercive authority is unnecessary is to deny the doctrine of original sin.

Second, the call to a pacifist lifestyle is a legitimate vocation for some Christians, who are called to renounce involvement in politics and worldly endeavors and live lives of peaceful prayer. I think of the Amish and Mennonites as Protestant monastics and think they do well when they follow their calling.

However, to expect a secular, non-Christian society to embrace pacifism without embracing Christ first is to drift into liberal pacifism. Liberal pacifism is an outgrowth of liberal Protestantism and it is a Pelagian and utopian system of thought in which the eschaton is immanentized. It expects non-Christians to live the Christian life, which is impossible. It is heresy.

Third, Mennonites who pursue this form of what they call the "peace witness" are failing to make the Gospel of Jesus Christ front and center in their public witness and replacing it with anther gospel, just as Liberal Protestants replace the Biblical Gospel of sin and salvation with the Social Gospel of socialism. To do this is to fail to make it clear that one's pacifism is Christocentric and thus to become worldly and compromised. If the salt loses its savor it is good for nothing but to be thrown out.

If you are called to a separated life of prayer and peace, that is a worthy and noble calling. If you are called to a life of political involvement and social action that is also a noble and worthy calling. To mix the two indiscriminately, however, is unwise, imprudent and ineffective.

Socialist Logic and Feminist Progress

From Andrea Mrozek at ProWoman ProLife comes this hilarious exchange overheard on Parliament Hill after Hillary Clinton's visit to Ottawa yesterday:
Question: Mr. Rae, Secretary of State Clinton said just moments ago that the government’s maternal health plan – she panned it saying it should include contraception, it should include abortion. How do you read into that?

Bob Rae: Well, a government that’s controlled by a neo-conservative agenda is not – in today’s world not going to be able to fashion a serious consensus either with the Europeans or with the Americans. … These guys have been labouring under an illusion that somehow if you bring in a neo-con agenda that’s going to prove interesting to countries like the United Kingdom and France and Germany and the United States which have been at this very important work on maternal health for a long time. …this is the consequence of having an administration in Canada that has an agenda that’s out of step with most other countries in the world.

Question: But the fact that it was the Secretary of State though, does that add extra weight in your mind?

Bob Rae: No kidding. The Secretary of State of the United States, of course it adds weight. …

Question: The Secretary of State also says thought that Canada should stay in Afghanistan in a military mission. Do you think they should follow that advice?

Bob Rae: Of course not. …

Ah well, if, as they say, consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, then Bob Rae's mind must be as vast as the ocean. Must be Socialist logic. . .

On another note, it sure is a good thing we now have women politicians. When it used to be only men politicians all we heard about was men politicians talking about killing and war. Now it is different. Now we have women politicians talking about killing and war. This, my friends, is feminist "progress."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The UK General Election: Vote Labservative

From where I sit, David Cameron's brand of conservatism seems like old-fashioned liberalism tinged with some communitarianism to give it more of a statist flavor. Just saying.

So the "Heir to Blair," Cast Iron Dave himself, deserves what he gets when he structures his whole campaign on a lame attempt to imitate a socialist trying to imitate a conservative. For example, Tony Blair, months after converting to Rome, lectured His Holiness himself about the need to make the Church more (ugly phrase warning!) "gay-friendly." Lame Dave tried his best to follow in his footsteps but all he could do was lecture the Archbishop of Canterbury about the need to make the Church of England more (here it comes again, sorry) "gay friendly." This is sort of like lecturing Al Gore about the need to save polar bears. See what I mean? He is a lame imitation of a professional charlatan and swindler. A rank amateur, but at least he gives it the old college try and that's all the Conservative Party's backers ask. Isn't it?

Having watched John McCain move to the center and drop off a cliff only to make his campaign at least respectable by adding a real conservative (who sounded like that former Conservative leader who was also a female and who was never confused for a socialist) to the ticket, Cameron apparently thought he would follow the strategy all except for the adding a conservative to the ticket part. He thought he would just get some "Cameron Babes" that were cuter than the "Blair Babes."

Ah, well, live and learn. If we are lucky, a hung Parliament will be soon followed by a stung up leader. If not, oh well five more years of socialist utopia. "Anybody here seen my old friend Maggie/Can you tell me where she's gone?"

Labservatives: the party with honest slogans. Go here to see what I mean.

Help Wanted: Christian Polemicist

Further to my recent post about whether Christians should become more strident, I call to the stand Dr. Thomas Oden, former liberal and great classical theologian.

In his book, After Modernity: What? Agenda for Theology (1990), Thomas Oden says that in a discussion with colleagues on curriculum he "testily suggested that what today's seminary most needs is a polemicist, trained in the rough and tumble give and take of old-fashioned scholastic Protestant polemics." (p. 171) After they challenged him to write an ad for the Chronicle of Higher Education to attract a good polemicist, he did. Here is it is:
"HELP WANTED: Christian polemicist, Ph.D. Must be courageous, honest, and thoroughly schooled in the exacting logic of orthodoxy and the sciences of modernity; intelligent, witty, committed, tough; hard as nails in public debate, but with a warm heart and human touch; must be able to sharpen with precision the fine theological distinctions that modern audiences often find irritating and difficult to grasp, yet make them clear and as interesting to us as they have been for the ancients. Must be morally incorruptible and willing to die for the cause. We are an equal opportunity employer." (pp. 171-2)
I haven't seen an ad like that in the Chronicle lately, but if I did I might be tempted to apply. How about you? Anybody want to apply for that job?

Avery Dulles on Our Contemporary Political Options

Peter Kreeft, in his book about C. S. Lewis' The Abolition of Man, quotes the late Avery Cardinal Dulles, who said that there are four basic political options. I like the way he charts this out because he includes both the Church and the State in the options in a very Augustinian manner.
"He calls the four options traditionalism, neo-conservatism, liberalism and radicalism. Traditionalism believes in the Church but not the State, i.e. not the present state of society. It is counter-cultural. Neo-conservatism believes in both the Church and the American State. Liberalism believes in Americanism but not in the Church, i.e. not traditional Christianity. And radicalism says, "A plague on both your houses.""
Very nicely put; I especially liked the forthright statement that our hope as a civilization is not in the State but in the Church. I think that message coheres very well with MacIntryre's After Virtue and with Augustine's City of God as adjusted to take into consideration the present situation.

Kreeft calls himself and Lewis Traditionalists and that is where I would put myself too. Where would you place yourself in this grid?

Pachauri Continues to Disimulate and Equivocate

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to labor under a heavy cloud of mistrust as a result of (1) revelations that many of the sources it cites are not peer-reviewed scientific papers, but advocacy pieces done by environmental lobby groups and also (2) as a result of incorrect, loudly trumpeted predictions best labeled as "alarmist" in nature. For more on the various "gates" see here and here. For more on the lack of peer-reviewed materials in the IPCC 2007 report see here and here.

The resignation of the part-time head of this body (who is not himself a climate scientist), has been called for by a wide variety of groups and individuals, some of whom support the AGW alarmist narrative.

He is unbelievably cheeky and as slippery as a snake oil salesman. Just watch him twist himself into a pretzel in this Times of London story entitled: "UN climate change chief Rajendra Pachauri says sorry — and switches to neutral." [My comments in bold and in square brackets]

"The outspoken chairman of the UN’s climate change body is to adopt a neutral advisory role and has agreed to stop making statements demanding new taxes and other radical policies on cutting emissions. [This panel is supposed to be a digest of up-to-date findings of scientists from all over the world on climate change. It is actually a lobby group with a political agenda.]

In an interview with The Times, Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, apologised for his organisation’s handling of complaints about errors in its report. [I think it is significant that he did not apologize for the errors. This is supposed to be the "peer-reviewed" "gold standard" of the scientific consensus. There are not supposed to be major errors in such a synthesis of scientific thinking. In view of the above comment, I wonder how they got there. You don't suppose that politics played a part?]

He also apologised for describing as “voodoo science” an Indian Government report which challenged the IPCC’s claims about the rapid melting of Himalayan glaciers. [He tried to bluff on this even after he had been informed that it was an error. It was not until the Times of London picked up the story from the blogs and accused him of lying that he conceded it was an "error." He knew it all along and was prepared to lie his way through. Note that we are not talking about a scientific error, but a piece of propaganda inserted into a scientific document on the basis of a non-peer-reviewed article and then only retracted under fire. Science is not being questioned here - only the impartiality of the spokesmen for science: the IPCC.]

But Dr Pachauri, 70, rejected calls for his resignation and insisted he would remain as chairman until after publication of the IPCC’s next report in 2014.

He claimed he had the support of all the world’s governments and denied that, by remaining in post, he was undermining the IPCC’s chances of regaining credibility with the public. [He is in denial.]

“It is not correct to say there are people who don’t trust me,” he said. [Really in denial.]

He admitted it had been a mistake to give the impression, in many interviews, that he was advocating specific actions to cut emissions. Last year, he called for higher taxes on aviation and motoring, said people should eat less meat, and proposed that hotel rooms should have electricity meters to charge people extra for using air conditioning.

Speaking in London yesterday, he said he would focus in future on presenting the science on climate change rather than advocating policies. [He wouldn't know where the line is between science and advocacy because he does nothing but advocacy.]

“I will try to clarify tha[t I’m not prescribing anything as a solution. Maybe I should be more careful [in media interviews] in laying down certain riders. One learns from that and I’m learning.”

On the IPCC’s tardiness in responding to complaints and correcting errors — such as its claim that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — he said: “Our response has been much too late and much too inadequate.” [No kidding!]

Of his “voodoo science” comment, he said: “It was an intemperate statement. I shouldn’t have used those words. I have to show respect to people who have worked on a particular subject.” [But the point isn't just whether he was respectful; the point is that he tried to mislead the world on a point that, if true, could motivate governments to spend billions of dollars. He is grossly underestimating the seriousness of the situation. He doesn't get it.]

However, he said that the review of the IPCC announced this month would not consider his role or his actions. The review, by a panel drawn from the world’s leading science academies, will only consider the IPCC’s procedures. [If this is true, the IPCC is shooting itself in the foot.]

Dr Pachauri said he wanted more power over the IPCC secretariat and an extra $1million (£671,000) a year to fund its work, on top of the $5million it already receives. [As if!] The IPCC is planning to recruit more spin-doctors to help it promote its work and defend itself against attacks by climate sceptics. Dr Pachauri said that at present the organisation is “terribly ill-equipped” to communicate with the world’s media. [What kind of "scientific organization" needs more money for spin doctors? This is ridiculous.]

He dismissed suggestions that he was too old for the job and said he would be playing cricket for his institute’s team immediately after landing back in Dehli.

“I open the bowling and I swing the ball in both directions. I used to be fast, I’m gentle medium pace now. I work 16-17 hours a day, seven days a week. If you can find someone 40 years younger to do it, I would salute that person,” he said.

He rejected claims that he had personally profited from the many contracts he has to advise companies on climate change. All the money went to the charitable research institute which he heads, he said. He gave The Times a copy of his 2008-09 income tax return which showed earnings of £44,600.

A KPMG report into his financial relationship with The Energy and Resources Institute concluded: “No evidence was found that indicated personal fiduciary benefits accruing to Dr Pachauri from his various advisory roles that would have led to a conflict of interest."


The IPCC may as well just concede that Global Warming is a farce if it keeps this Elmer Gantry on the payroll.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Liberal Fascist Propaganda Slanders Opponents: So What is New?

Frank Rich at the New York Times is delusional.

He calls those who protest Obamacare "right-wing extremists." Since a Rasmussen poll now says that 54% of Americans want it repealed, that means that now only 46% of Americans are not "right-wing extremists." How frightening it must be in that leftist bunker under New York City as the poor, embattled leftists cower with no weapons left - except control of both houses of congress, the presidency, a supreme court majority and a massive fund-raising apparatus that they hardly use anymore now that they have access to the Federal treasury to fund bribes like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase.

He also compares health care protests to Kristallnacht. Oh yeah, it is just exactly the same . . . except that the Jewish member of Congress who had his office shot at and got death threats happens to be a Republican who opposes the health care bill. Other than that everything is exactly the same. Kristallnacht - does he think that all the lefties are about to be rounded up and shipped to death camps? But he doesn't even think there are going to be death panels, let alone death camps. That is one strange universe happening inside that head.

John McCormack, at the Weekly Standard, takes apart Rich's colleague, Paul Krugmann, in a post entitled: "It's cool to hang Lieberman in effigy, but don't you dare 'target' Democratic seats."

"The Democratic National Committee emails reporters a lot of stories everyday in an attempt to spin a narrative. The narrative of the week, of course, is the supposedly hateful and violent rhetoric espoused by Obamacare opponents. Paul Krugman's column today, like most days, can be stitched together from about a dozen DNC emails.

But the most amusing part of Krugman's column today is his deep concern with the "eliminationist rhetoric" of the GOP:

What has been really striking has been the eliminationist rhetoric of the G.O.P., coming not from some radical fringe but from the party’s leaders. John Boehner, the House minority leader, declared that the passage of health reform was “Armageddon.” The Republican National Committee put out a fund-raising appeal that included a picture of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, surrounded by flames, while the committee’s chairman declared that it was time to put Ms. Pelosi on “the firing line.” And Sarah Palin put out a map literally putting Democratic lawmakers in the cross hairs of a rifle sight.

All of this goes far beyond politics as usual. Democrats had a lot of harsh things to say about former President George W. Bush — but you’ll search in vain for anything comparably menacing, anything that even hinted at an appeal to violence, from members of Congress, let alone senior party officials.

This is the same Paul Krugman who wrote in December:

"A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy."

But heaven forbid Sarah Palin say she wants to "target" certain Democratic seats."

As for what "progressives" had to say about President George W. Bush, see the photos here. Here is a sample of pacifist, moderate, leftist "civil dialogue."

The Exodus on CNN: The Cycle of Violence Continues

Here is a satirical take on how CNN might have reported the Exodus from Egypt if it had been around to do so. It comes from Stephanie Gutmann of the Telegraph family of fine blogs. She got it from Daniel P. Waxman of

I thought you might enjoy a little Passover humor.

"The cycle of violence between the Jews & the Egyptians continues with no end in sight in Egypt. After eight previous plagues that have destroyed the Egyptian infrastructure and disrupted the lives of ordinary Egyptian citizens, the Jews launched a new offensive this week in the form of the plague of darkness.

Western journalists were particularly enraged by this plague. “It is simply impossible to report when you can’t see an inch in front of you,”complained a frustrated Andrea Koppel of CNN. “I have heard from my reliable Egyptian contacts that in the midst of the blanket of blackness, the Jews were annihilating thousands of Egyptians. Their word is solid enough evidence for me.”

While the Jews contend that the plagues are justified given the harsh slavery imposed upon them by the Egyptians, Pharaoh, the Egyptian leader, rebuts this claim. “If only the plagues would let up, there would be no slavery. We just want to live plague-free. It is the right of every society.”

Saeb Erekat, an Egyptian spokesperson, complains that slavery is justifiable given the Jews’ superior weaponry supplied to them by the superpower God.

The Europeans are particularly enraged by the latest Jewish offensive. “The Jewish aggression must cease if there is to be peace in the region. The Jews should go back to slavery for the good of the rest of the world,” stated an angry French President Jacques Chirac. Even several Jews agree. Adam Shapiro, a Jew, has barricaded himself within Pharaoh’s chambers to protect Pharaoh from what is feared will be the next plague, the death of the firstborn. Mr. Shapiro claims that while slavery is not necessarily a good thing, it is the product of the plagues and when the plagues end, so will the slavery. “The Jews have gone too far with plagues such as locusts and epidemic which have virtually destroyed the Egyptian economy,” Mr. Shapiro laments. “The Egyptians are really a very nice people and Pharaoh is kind of huggable once you get to know him,” gushes Shapiro.

The United States is demanding that Moses and Aaron, the Jewish leaders, continue to negotiate with Pharaoh. While Moses points out that Pharaoh had made promise after promise to free the Jewish people only to immediately break them and thereafter impose harsher and harsher slavery, Richard Boucher of the State Department assails the latest offensive. “Pharaoh is not in complete control of the taskmasters,” Mr. Boucher states. “The Jews must return to the negotiating table and will accomplish nothing through these plagues.” The latest round of violence comes in the face of a bold new Saudi peace overture. If only the Jews will give up their language, change their names to Egyptian names and cease having male children, the Arab nations will incline toward peace with them, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah declared.

After reading Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis by Bat Ye'or, however, I almost found it not funny as it is almost too exactly realistic to be recognizable as satire.

Media Bias is Not the Whole Problem

I just wanted to correct a possible misinterpretation of what I've been writing on the attacks on Pope Benedict XVI by the liberal media. I am NOT saying that if the media just let up on the Church and gave it a pass, then everything would be fine. I don't want the media to give anybody a pass on child abuse, which is a horrible evil.

My point is a bit more nuanced; it is that Pope Benedict is part of the solution, not part of the problem, and attacks on him are misplaced. Go after the culture of cover-up all you want. Go after the abusers all you want. I have no beef with that. But my beef is that a re-affirmation of Christian doctrine and morals is exactly what is needed today, not a loosening of moral standards just to avoid the scorn and persecution of the world. And Benedict is leading the Church in the right direction, both in general and with regard to the abuse scandal in particular.

Rod Dreher, in a post entitled "OK, now the Times is piling on Benedict" makes my point exactly. [BTW, he is talking about the NYT, not the ToL]
"This is why the liberal vs. conservative narrative applied to the drama playing out among Catholics right now is so frustrating. The idea that the problems of Pope Benedict and his institution are largely the fault of a hostile media is risibly wrong; Laurie Goodstein didn't reassign pederast priests. The idea that if only the Catholic Church were rid of supposedly rigid conservatives like Benedict, the Church would usher in the New Jerusalem is pathetically untrue. Liberal Catholicism -- which is the Catholicism prevalent at the parish level in the US -- has proved that it can't maintain what is distinctively Catholic over time. ("How did the Catholic Church get this reputation for being sex-obsessed?" said my friend, a lifelong mass going Catholic. "I've never heard a homily about sex." In my 13 years as a faithful Catholic, I never did either). As an outsider to Catholicism now, one who desperately wants Benedict to succeed, I find the predictable way the scandal is playing out in the hands of partisans of both sides depressing, because beside the point." [my bolding]
Dreher is a former Catholic who believes nonetheless that the Catholic Church is crucial to the survival of Western civilization.
"I spoke over the weekend to some Catholic friends who are deeply involved with the institutional church, and devoted to it. They're troubled over all this, of course, and what it means for the future of their church, and indeed of our culture. I shared with A. my thought that the fate of the West hinges on the fate of the Roman church, and that no one who cares about our civilization can be anything but profoundly concerned about this mess."
I agree. The West is in trouble and the collapse of the Roman Catholic Church at this point in history could lead to the collapse of the West itself. And that would be tragic for so many (though not for God). God would simply raise up another Christendom (as He is almost certainly doing) as a witness to the Gospel, but it would be tragic for us.

And this is precisely why the media has a responsibility to deal with this story without letting its left-wing bias distort it into a familiar anti-conservative narrative, which politicizes it without getting to the heart of the story. When the impression is given that one actually is hoping for Benedict and the Church to fall, journalistic objectivity has gone out the window.

Should Christians Become More Strident?

In her blog at The Daily Telegraph today, Christina Odone suggests that Christians ought not to be so passive in the face of increasing persecution for their faith. Her post is entitled: "In face of persecution from the chattering classes, Christians need to be as strident as Muslims."

"Afraid to be a Christian? Who can blame you? The authorities, the media and the chattering classes are forever trying to run you down. We don’t have to brave the Colosseum, with its rapacious lions; we don’t have to wear an identifying badge; or meet in secret – yet.

But there is no doubt that many are afraid to be Christian. They will watch anxiously today as Shirley Chaplin will fight the NHS in an employment tribunal. Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust has tried to ban Mrs Chaplin’s wearing a cross, claiming it was dangerous. (Who staffs this Trust? Vampires?) Mrs C refused to take off the cross and is now battling for her right to wear a symbol of her faith. Some of the highest ranking Christians in the land have come out in her favour – and widened the debate to the persecution of all Christians in this country.

High time, too. Prejudice against the majority faith is everywhere: from the BA check-in counter to the school, from the hospital ward to the Town Hall. In fact, it’s even in church. When I was invited to speak at St Martin in the Fields for a Christmas Carol Service two years ago, my speech was banned as deeply offensive. I had written about persecution, injustice and fear.

Had I been describing the suffering of blacks during segregation in America, or the unfair treatment of Indians under the Raj,or the plight of British Muslims after the Britain’s 7 July bombings I would have been welcome. But I was describing anti-Christian bias.

Our culture has grown increasingly hostile to God and his followers. Support for a minority faith – Judaism, say, or Islam – is justified when that faith is regarded as essential to ethnic identity. But when that faith is the majority faith, the faith, predominantly, of the white middle classes, then the standard reaction is of hostility.

The same liberal chattering classes who will spring to your support if you are campaigning on behalf of gays, Muslims or women will turn a deaf ear or worse, issue abuse, if you are agitating on behalf of Christian rights. This explains why even high-profile figures like Tony Blair and Jeremy Vine have admitted they were wary of coming out as Christians.

When even these people think twice before revealing their links, what hope is there for the rest of us ?

Perhaps there is a solution. We should be more like Muslims, who are self confident, strident and constantly haranguing authorities if they suspect an anti-Muslim bias. No one dares mess with them."

My question to, my readers, is this: "Do you agree or disagree with her?" Traffic to this blog has been increasing of late but very few people have been commenting (other than Peter Dunn, to whom I am grateful). So I'd like to hear from you. What do you think? Should we be marching in the streets? Should we be demanding that ordinary Christians be treated with respect and not marginalized?

The situation in the US is not as bad as that in the UK, but if you don't see warning signs I think you are naive. The situation in the UK is not as bad as it was in the old USSR, but things are heading south very quickly and appear to be slated to get worse before they get better. After all it is the leader of the Conservative Party in the UK who was recently banging on the Archbishop of Canterbury to make his Church more (ugly phrase warning!) "gay friendly." If those are the conservatives, you can see why the Socialists currently in power remind one of the third-century Roman emperors.

Anyway, what do you think? If it a matter of either marching and demanding or else going underground, which is best? Have you personally experienced persecution? Do you know anyone who has? How did you (or they) handle it?

Here is a story from the Telegraph entitled: "Senior bishops call for end to persecution of Christians in Britain." There are some notable names missing from this list of bishops.

Homosexuality and the Cerical Abuse Scandal: More on Media Bias

Here is a good article from The Catholic Thing by Brad Minor disputing the politically correct line that the child abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church has "nothing to do with homosexuality." Are you still buying this line?
"America’s Catholic bishops commissioned John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study the sex-abuse crisis in the American Church. Last November, the bishops received a briefing on some conclusions researchers have derived from their report, “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States.”

They say the crisis has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Margaret Smith, a data analyst, said researchers believe “the idea of sexual identity [should] be separated from the problem of sexual abuse.” She insists that no connection has been found “between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuse.” This was seconded by the study’s principal investigator, Karen Terry: “Someone can commit sexual acts that might be of a homosexual nature, but not have a homosexual identity.”

Some greeted these statements with skepticism; not least because the data Smith, Terry, et al. have gathered indicate that more than 80 percent of all clerical abuse cases involve male homosexual activity. Dr. Terry’s point is that abuse may be more about opportunity than preference. Since during the period covered by the inquiry (1950 to 2002), priests had more frequent interaction with boys than with girls, overwhelmingly male-male nature of the abuse doesn’t prove the abusers themselves were homosexual. . . .

"But here are some data not in the report: The Centers for Disease Control puts the homosexual population in America at very precisely 2.3 percent (and no credible study claims a number higher than 3 percent). To be sure, opportunity plays a role in many crimes, but given that 90-plus percent of American men are heterosexual it seems out of proportion that 80-plus percent of clerical abuse cases (more than 4000 are included in the John Jay study) should involve men and boys. This is especially so since, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, girls are more than four times likelier to be the victims of sexual abuse than are boys in the population at large.

Whether these cases were pedophilia or hebephilia (those who prefer pubescent kids) or ephebophilia (attraction to older adolescents) is not at issue here, although it’s surely significant that half of those abused by priests were between the ages of 11 and 14."

So girls are four times more likely to be abused in the population at large (which is over 95% heterosexual) but yet 80% of clerical abuse cases involve boys. The point here is not that all homosexuals are child abusers; rather, the point is that the relevance of homosexuality to this situation seems to be systematically hidden most of the time. Minor writes:

"Consider this: According to one scholarly journal, Archives of Sexual Behavior, the tendency towards homosexuality among pedophiles is fifteen- to twenty-times higher than in the population at large. The Journal of Sex Research has noted that the proportion of homosexual pedophiliac offenses “is substantially larger than the proportion of sex [offenses] against female children among heterosexual men . . .” And in a superb essay in Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Brian W. Clowes and David L. Sonnier make an important connection that in “the general population of males who sexually abuse minors, only one in seven molest boys. In the population of [sex-abusing] priests . . . six in seven molest boys.”

Most homosexual men aren’t pedophiles, of course, yet it seems likely that when in any population there’s a disproportionate spike in sexual-abuse statistics affecting boys, homosexuality belongs on the list of causes."

Exactly: what is being overlooked here is that the lesson we ought to learn from the clerical abuse tragedy is that homosexuality is part of the problem in the Roman Catholic priesthood and needs to be addressed. The priesthood is no place for a man who has deep seated homosexual tendencies that he acts on or allows such tendencies to take precedence over his other beliefs and moral standards. And lo and behold it turns out to be Pope Benedict XVI himself who has issued instructions to bishops, seminaries and those responsible for priestly formation to exclude such men from the priesthood.

"The Church will no longer be a refuge for homosexuals. The Congregation for Catholic Education has published its “Instruction Concerning the Criteria for the Discernment of Vocations with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in view of their Admission to the Seminary and to Holy Orders,” another long-titled document with a different conclusion than John Jay’s:

[It is] necessary to state clearly that the Church, while profoundly respecting
the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those
who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or
support the so-called “gay culture.”

Read the rest here.

It was Pope Benedict XVI who was most responsible for this policy. Now why would so much of the criticism of the Church be carefully phrased so as to exclude from view the homosexuality aspect of the cause of the problem? And why would the Pope who clearly sees the link between homosexuality and abuse be the one who, using Alinsky tactics, is isolated, targeted and attacked in today's media? And why would liberal activists who supposedly are so concerned about the child abuse problem be simultaneously be pushing for the normalization of homosexuality and same sex marriage? Is it possible that they have turned what was potentially their biggest public relations nightmare into a tool with which to attack the conservative hierarchy - with the help of an ideologically committed left-leaning news media?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Media Bias: They Have Been Waiting a Long Time to Get This Pope

The current media assault on the Roman Catholic Church over the sex abuse scandal is vicious and unrelenting.

The unfair attacks on Pope Benedict XVI are multiplying as the liberal media and their liberal fellow travelers within the Church, both of which groups are prejudiced against the Pope for theological and ethical reasons, seek to smear the Pope with whatever rumor they can use for their political purposes.

In the interest of fairness and balance, here is a good article by Daily Telegraph blogger, Andrew M. Brown, entitled: "Why Can't the Media Treat the Pope Fairly?"
"I read the coverage of the Pope every day in the newspapers and listen to the BBC news and as a Catholic and a journalist I feel like crying out pathetically: “This is not fair!” And it isn’t fair, or reasonable. Intelligent journalists who are normally capable of mental subtlety and of coping with complexities have abandoned their critical faculties. There is an atmosphere of unreason.

I cannot help feeling that a lot of it is down to sheer, blind hatred. It amounts to the demonisation of a whole institution and its leader. We have come to a stage where nothing good whatever, no good faith can be assumed of anybody involved in the Church – however senior, however greatly respected, loved, admired, including the Pope . . .

Consider also India Knight column today in the same newspaper, headed “Holy Father, I can no longer stay in this Church of Disgust”. This is the work of a sophisticated writer, with a half-page weekly column in the top-selling quality Sunday newspaper. A lot of people will tend to believe what they read here. Among other charges, Knight repeats the general gist of the New York Times story. But she does it in a slightly opaque fashion that seems calculated to do utmost harm to the Pope.

She claims that Murphy, an abusing priest in Milwaukee, “avoided justice after an intervention by Cardinal Ratzinger, now the Pope”. In the next breath, she writes: “Murphy was moved to another parish in 1974 and spent his final two decades working with children. ” She also says Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee “twice wrote to Ratzinger requesting that Murphy be defrocked”.

But surely this juxtaposition of facts could be a bit misleading. Ratzinger could not have done anything about Murphy’s crimes in the 1970s because he didn’t know about them. Knight does not mention when Archbishop Weakland got around to writing to Ratzinger. Murphy’s crimes were first reported in 1974 and Archbishop Weakland of Milwaukee didn’t write to Ratzinger until 1996 – 20 years later, when Murphy was on the point of death and beyond harming anybody. That’s relevant, is it not? So why does Knight not mention it?

Wouldn’t it be more pertinent to ask what Archbishop Weakland was doing about child abusers in his diocese in the intervening years before he decided to write to the Vatican? One can’t help thinking it’s all about nailing the Pope and to hell with what really happened.

As for Archbishop Weakland, the media have seized on him as a prime witness against the Pope. On Radio Four’s PM last Thursday, Eddie Mair trumpeted “an extended interview” with the archbishop, who was asked more about what Ratzinger did or didn’t do.

The archbishop sounded humble, eminently reasonable, definitely believable. But is he a reliable witness? Apart from a vague expression by Weakland of personal failing, the average listener to Radio Four would be none the wiser about his checkered history and any of the facts that might make him a biased or less-than-reliable witness. (For more on Rembert Weakland, start with his Wikipedia page.)

The average listener would not know, for instance, how Archbishop Weakland first responded to accusations from parents about child abuse – by muttering about libel. Or that he admitted routinely shredding copies of reports about “problem priests” in his diocese. Or that in 1988 he said the following about sex abuse victims: “Not all adolescent victims are so innocent. Some can be sexually very active and aggressive and often quite streetwise. We frequently try such adolescents for crimes as adults at that age.”

Or even that he forked out $450,000 of diocesan funds to buy the silence (and ward off a legal action) of a former graduate student named Paul Marcoux with whom he had carried on an inappropriate relationship.

I am not asking for special treatment of the Pope, by the way. I think he must be held accountable the same as all Church leaders. I think the Press is entitled to ask questions and to subject a secretive institution to scrutiny.

I have read the Irish reports into child abuse and I must say they are eye-openers. They are heart-breaking. The idea that individuals who claimed to be acting in the name of Christ, the embodiment of all gentleness and mercy, could behave with such monstrous corruption and brutality towards innocent children is almost impossible to comprehend . . . I have read Occasions of Sin, Diarmaid Ferriter’s masterly account of the modern Irish Church and the choke-hold that institution had over Irish society.

I am suggesting only that some of the untruths that keep getting repeated should be checked. It’s only what journalists are supposed to do every day of their working lives. Hold the claims up to the light. Speak to people who don’t have an axe to grind. Apply the principle of fairness.

The business about the so-called “pontifical secret” and the letter of 2001, touted as a “smoking gun” which implicates the Pope in cover-up, is an object lesson in the way the media repeats a “fact” and yet barely examines it. Christopher Hitchens held this up as uniquely damning evidence and so has the BBC and now a dozen other journalists have parroted the same thing. This is a misreading, as John Allen explains here and Sean Murphy in detail here. If you want to understand amid all the fury, read these articles. They make sense.

Essentially, Ratzinger’s 2001 directive made it easier to act against sex abusers. The secrecy that’s mentioned is hardly different from the secrecy that obtains in all sorts of sensitive hearings and investigations in the secular world such as those of the Family Court. What happened in 2001, actually, reflects to the Pope’s credit. That year saw Ratzinger’s moment of “conversion” as it has been termed.

He reviewed all the files on every priest who had been plausibly accused of abuse anywhere in the world and he took responsibility for what he called the “filth” that had infected the Church. At last there was someone high up in the Vatican who really got it. As John Allen says, “beforehand, he came off as just another Roman cardinal in denial”, but suddenly he and his staff became “energetic” in pursuing abusers.

The newest accusation concerns the abusive priest from the diocese of Essen named Peter Hullerman. It looks as though then Archbishop Ratzinger of Munich approved for Hullermann to be transferred to a rectory in Munich for therapy in January 1980, in the knowledge that he assaulted children in Essen.

Incidentally, when considering this case keep in mind that the Archdiocese of Munich at that time had 400 secular employees, more than 1,700 priests and more than 6,000 religious – monks and nuns. And that Fr Gerhard Gruber, the Vicar General at the time, has said the Archbishop, who’d spent most of his life in a university, “left many decisions to lower-level officials”. (Not everyone agrees with this. The Dominican Fr Thomas Doyle says: “Pope Benedict is a micro-manager”. But then he would say that, wouldn’t he, since he is a longstanding, and by his own admission inflammatory, critic of the Vatican.)

Anyway, in a catastrophe for the children who became his further victims, Hullermann was returned to pastoral ministry and had more contact with children. He was convicted for sex crimes in a Grafing parish in 1986. Amazingly, he was allowed to return to ministry even though he barely engaged with the treatment and only agreed to it to save his job.

How does this reflect on the Pope? Well it’s one thing to approve Hullermann’s accommodation in a rectory in Munich to undergo therapy, and another to say he can be released freely into a trusting parish with children. Fr Gruber, the Vicar General of the diocese, is the one who authorised Hullermann’s return to parish work with access to children, not, I think, the Pope. He has said this was a “serious mistake”. But he also said the Archbishop did not know and, as above, that he left decisions to lower-level officials. “The cardinal could not deal with everything,” Fr Gruber said . . .

It’s hard to say how the Munich scandal will pan out. What we can expect is more revelations from all over the world. But there’s a crucial distinction to be made, surely. There is such a thing as a mistake made in good faith. This does not deserve punishment. On the other hand you have dishonesty, deliberate negligence and incompetence; bishops should be punished for any of these failings.

About those who harm children, Christ’s teaching is explicit: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

If you are looking for reasoned argument and careful examination of the facts, this article and the links provided will aid you greatly. Read it all. But it you just want to join in the orgy of destroying all institutions and all institutional leaders just because that seems like the cool thing to do, then you probably are not still reading by now. And if you are one of the liberals out to crush Pope Benedict XVI, please repent and stop.

The Roman Catholic Church is to blame for being too lenient with sexual deviants. So how ironic is it that pro-homosexual activists beat the Church over the head with its too lax attitude to male homosexual priest abusing boys? The Church has done more to be be understanding toward homosexuals than almost any other institution in society and many with homosexual inclinations have lived chaste lives and rendered fine service in the priesthood.

But in the general decline in moral standards and general cultural atmosphere of permissiveness after the 1960s, even those whose sexual proclivities focused on younger men or boys felt free to indulge their appetites - after all, wasn't everybody doing it? The answer is not a married priesthood or the acceptance of same sex marriage, abortion and contraception.

No, the answer is a re-commitment to chastity on the part of the Church, better rules to protect children and others from sexual predations and the elimination of those with deep seated homosexual tendencies and who promote the so-called "gay culture" from the priesthood. The amazing thing is that years ago Pope Benedict XVI already took steps to make these thing happen - long before the "scandal" broke. You won't read that in the Times of London but it should affect your perception of what is going on today.

Endorsements That You Probably Could Live Without

Barack Obama must be relieved to know that one world leader with extensive experience in socialized medicine fully endorses his health care takeover victory.
"As President Barack Obama embarks on a high profile campaign to bolster public opinion of his health care plan, there is one man who is already convinced that Obamacare is the right move for America – Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader and first secretary of the Cuban Communist Party.

According to an Associated Press report, Castro hailed Obamacare as “a miracle” and “an important battle and a success of (Obama’s) government.”

Castro went on to favorably compare President Obama’s health care plan to the one Cuba enacted a half century ago. Ironically, it was reported last year that Cuban President Raul Castro said his country’s spending on health care was “simply unsustainable.”

In the Land of the Free, Americans remain unconvinced that Obama’s health care reforms are right for the United States. A CBS News poll released Wednesday shows that 62% of Americans want Republicans to continue challenging the health care bill that President Obama signed into law this week."

I'm sure Castro speaks for many aging, Third world dictators who cling to power as the infrastructure of their countries crumble around them. His support must make Obama feel better in the face of all those nasty poll numbers. Too bad Castro doesn't have a vote in November.

Still with the health care debate, the group of liberal Catholic nuns who supported Obama's healthcare bill received their reward here and now (since they won't be receiving any heavenly reward for this perfidy) and they received it from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood writing, fittingly, in the liberal Huffington Post.

"Panned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has praised the Catholic religious sisters who endorsed the Senate health care bill, claiming they deserve gratitude for making “a critical demonstration of support” for a bill that significantly increased coverage of “reproductive health care.”

Writing for the Huffington Post Wednesday in her capacity as president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Richards claimed that it was Catholic nuns who “most importantly broke with the bishops and the Vatican to announce their support for health care reform.”"

On the other hand, horrified by the sight of nuns supporting abortion, a different group representing the younger, orthodox, women religious orders in America, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), announced their support for the Bishops' condemnation of Obamacare.

The aging, dying women religious orders, who are under investigation by the Vatican for heresy and disobedience to Church teachings in general, have apparently decided to go out with a bang. But make no mistake, they are heading for the exits, via the nursing homes, very soon. Obamacare or no Obamacare, the Church, on the other hand, will go on.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Abrahamism: An Idea You Need to Understand in Order to Understand Contemporary Europe

Bat Ye'or, in Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis, explains:
"Abrahamism" is a notion that totally denies the historical identity and origin of Judaism and Christianity, since it reduces them to falsifications of Islam, the true religion of Abraham. Today, any reference to Europe's Christian sources - not to mention its Judeo-Christian roots - has been omitted from the EU Constitution on "secular" grounds, but mainly so as not to offend Muslim immigrants.

Moreover, Judaism and Israel tend to generate such hate that many European politicians have gladly rallied to Abrahamism. By this reasoning Christianity is no longer related to Judaism but to Islam, the first religion of mankind which antedates, in the Islamic view, the other two monotheistic religions. The biblical personages depicted in European churches and artwork are Jewish, and there is a direct filiation of Christianity from Judaism. However, this is not so according to Islamic doctrine. Islam teaches that the whole biblical story is a history of Muslim prophets - including Jesus, his family and the apostles, who all preached and practiced Islam. church iconography and stained glass windows are thus considered to recall in a distorted way a sacred history that is properly Qur'anic. Christianity is not linked to Judaism but to Islam. Since Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David and Solomon, and all the prophets of Israel down to Jesus, are seen to be Muslims, Islam becomes the first monotheist religion, preceeding Judaism and Christianity." (pp. 173-4)
This explains a lot about Europe today. Secularism is just a half way house; it is not the endgame. At a moment in history when Christian Supercessionism has been overcome, it is highly ironic that a new and much more dangerous form of Islamic Supersessionism has become so prominent in Europe.

Christians Beware: Earth Hour is a Religious Event for Neo-pagans Only

Earth Hour is the brainchild of the WWF, the wealthy, eco-fascist organization that is officially anti-human. Don't let yourself get sucked in by peer pressure. This stunt is designed to make people believe in Global Warming and assuage their artificial eco-guilt. It is not for Christians who actually do care about the environment and who actually do something about pollution, which is ignored by the WWF and the Global Warming alarmists.

Damian Thompson of the Daily Telegraph urges everyone to "beat the Earth Hour fascists and turn on your lights now."

Andrea Mrozek at ProWoman ProLife says: "Be thankful for our wealth and prosperity. Don’t waste it. But don’t join the dark side this earth hour, either. Join me in turning many lights on, in thankfulness for the wealth I have and can share with others less fortunate."

Today's National Post editorial says:

In Parliament They are Laughing at Michael Ignatieff and with Ann Coulter - Does It Get Any Better Than This?

Kathie Shaidle over at Five Feet of Fury calls this "the greatest exchange ever heard in Parliament" and she is absolutely right. It is just a perfect way to bring the great Ann Coulter flap of 2010 to a conclusion.

(from the Hansard)

David McGuinty (Ottawa South, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, the darling of the reform-conservative-republican movement really outdid herself last night in Calgary. By addressing Canadian diversity, Ann Coulter said that diversity is not an advantage to a country like Canada. “It’s not a strength”, she continued. Then she went on to compare diversity to cancer. From organizing speeches to putting on cocktails, the Conservative Party’s dirty little fingerprints are all over her Canadian tour.

Will the Prime Minister immediately and publicly condemn Ann Coulter’s outrageous and intolerant views?

Hon. Jay Hill (Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, you and the hon. member would know that his question has absolutely nothing to do with the business of government and should be disallowed.


The Deputy Speaker:

Order, please. I do not see that that is a business of government administration. I do see the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister rising, so I will give him a chance to answer, but I caution members to keep their questions–

Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, the member has raised a very important question about an American commentator who has come to this country with some outrageous comments: comments supporting the Iraq war, comments supporting the use of torture, and comments referring to Israel as a war criminal.
But enough about the leader of the Liberal Party...


Is that not the wittiest thing ever heard in Question Period? Pierre Poilievre is my hero!

Barack Obama: The European President

The same statist, socialist ideology that has infected Europe and caused its decline has been touted by American progressives, (who are actually socialists but afraid to say so openly), for decades as what "social justice" demands.

This ideology is hostile to individual liberty, free speech, free markets, Christianity, traditional sexual morality, the sanctity of life and the rule of law. It values massive state bureaucracies as the solution to social problems, freedom only of politically correct speech, high rates of taxation and government regulation of business, Darwinism, sexual libertinism, easy access to abortion and euthanasia and rule by administrative law.

Europe is in the grip of the culture of death. Advocates of private killing are loud and dominant, while those who advocate for the poor, the weak and the vulnerable are marginalized. No country in Europe is having enough babies to prevent the population from dropping precipitously. Essentially, Europe is committing collective suicide - which is the end result of collectivism.

Barack Obama is the first "European" president of the United States, which is the only Western country that has so far put up a respectable fight against the culture of death. Obama is trying to turn the US into a European-style social democracy and overcome its Christian culture and he is in a hurry. The mask of centrist pragmatism that he wore during the campaign has fallen off and far left extremism is now plain (for anyone who does not have a vested interest in being deceived) to see.

Nowhere is this Europeanism more clear than in his foreign policy. As Rich Lowry of The National Review Online writes:
"The Obama administration says it won’t tolerate an Iranian nuclear weapon. It has given no one any reason to believe that. The credibility of the administration’s oft-stated intolerance for new Israeli residences, on the other hand, is intact and unassailable.

Over the issue of Israeli settlements, the administration is willing to force a diplomatic crisis. It is willing to berate and belittle. It is willing to give visiting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a reception at the White House icier than that granted the Salahis, the infamous party crashers. On settlements, Barack Obama is Churchillian, resisting them on the beaches, in the fields, and in the streets.

To call the administration’s reaction to the Israeli announcement of the next stage in planning for 1,600 housing units in Jerusalem disproportionate is a rank understatement. It’s perverse.

The housing is in north Jerusalem, in a historically Jewish neighborhood no negotiations have ever contemplated handing over to a Palestinian state. The Obama administration believes a cram-down of a settlement halt is the necessary first step to a negotiated solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, a doctrinal fixity impervious to contrary evidence.

The administration can’t even get the Palestinians to agree to talk with the Israelis directly, something that occurred routinely in the Bush years. The Palestinians understandably won’t negotiate so long as they believe the U.S. will strong-arm the Israelis into concessions.

It’s appropriate that Netanyahu came to Washington for his ritual humiliation — don’t let the side door of the White House hit you on the way out — simultaneous with the passage of health-care reform. The Europeanization of American domestic policy will proceed in tandem with — and eventually compel — the Europeanization of American foreign policy.

Like the Europeans, Obama is adopting the Arab narrative of the Middle East, wherein Israeli perfidy is responsible for all that ails the region. The administration’s broadsides against the Jewish state could have been delivered by Finnish foreign minister Alexander Stubb, who’s always up for a good chiding of the nasty Israelis."
The first sentence of that last paragraph is particularly disturbing. I am currently reading Bat Ye'or's lucid and disturbing book: Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Fairleigh Dickenson University Press, 2005 ,2006), which describes in great detail the process by which the Arab narrative of the Middle East has been adopted by Europe. In this narrative, Israel is an interloper in Arab territory.

But, one might ask, aren't Arabs from Arabia and don't they dominate Palestine only because of conquest? And does not Israel control its territory by re-conquest since they were there long before the Arabs and they conquered their territory in a defensive, just war against aggressors? So how is it more legitimately Arab land than Jewish land?

The sting in the answer to that question is that Palestine belongs to the Arabs only in the sense that all the earth "belongs" to Muslims since it is their "manifest destiny" or "eschatological mission" to rule the entire world. Europeans appear to be blase to the fact that, by accepting the Arab world's logic for why Israel should not exist in its present form, they are implicitly accepting the inevitable conclusion that Europe can only continue in the future as the "land of dhimmitude," that is, as land ruled by Islam.

America and Israel are demonized in the Arab world because they represent opposition to the Muslim dream of a world-wide empire. They resist bowing before Arab tyrants, or at least they did before Obama's world apology tour got going. Obama is the first European president because he is the first post-American president. In him the decline of the West finds its incarnation.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Liberal Fascists Not Having a Good Week

More reaction today to the leftist mob violence that shut down Ann Coulter's speaking event in Ottawa the other evening. The liberal fascists who believe in freedom of politically correct speech (as opposed to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which proclaims free speech), are experiencing significant push back and some of it is from sources one would not have predicted.

First, we have this from an editorial in The National Post entitled: "Mob rule 1, free speech 0"
"Police and university officials say it was the event’s organizers who called it off. Event organizers say police warned them anti-Coulter demonstrators were “dangerous” and that, as a result, they could not guarantee her safety.

It matters little who is correct (both could be). The true cause is the same either way: angry left-wing students and protesters who cannot bear the idea of people they dislike having a say.

Public Education: A Spiritual Battleground

From the "What is the world coming to?" file, reason #98408 why Christians should seriously consider home schooling. Fox News reports:

"Parents of school children in Seattle are learning a shocking lesson, when it comes to some very important decisions they don't have a say. The mother of a 15-year old girl recently discovered that Ballard High School helped her daughter get an abortion and never informed her.

But it doesn't end there. The school can also send children off campus for mental health care and drug addiction treatment without their parents ever knowing. Supporters say the confidentiality allows teens who are too afraid to tell mom and dad to get necessary treatment.

Parents signed consent forms for off-school treatment thinking it was limited to emergency health care when the parents could not be reached. But the teen health clinics at 14 Seattle schools are about much more. They have a full-time registered nurse, counselor and nursing assistant on hand to help kids with more sensitive issues.

When the 15-year old girl's pregnancy was confirmed, they counseled her on the options. The mother says they encouraged her to have an abortion and not tell her parents. She claims her daughter was told that if she informed her parents they would have to pay for the abortion, otherwise it's free.

The teen clinics are administered by the King County Health Department. Officials say school clinic workers are supposed to encourage girls to include their parents in the decision. They will not comment on the specifics of the case.

As for the fact the girl was called a taxi and transported by herself to a clinic to have her abortion then driven back to finish her school day, officials say that's not unusual. They would not say how many girls have been helped to have an abortion.

Washington State is one of thirteen states that does not have either a parental consent or parental notification law. Girls of any age can obtain an abortion without having to tell a parent.

State lawmakers included mental health care and drug counseling on the list of services kids can get without parental notification."

Is it just me or does everyone else not find this to be beyond creepy? I mean, you send your children to school to learn. You expect the school to teach. You don't expect the school to try to get between you and your child and take your place as moral guide and mentor.

First, the schools said that they couldn't teach traditional morality because they had to be neutral with regard to differing moral systems. But in the blink of an eye, it seems, that moral neutrality has gone right out the window.

Public schools have gone from not being able to teach the Judeo-Christian moral system based in the Ten Commandments to teaching a pagan ethic of the autonomy of the self and the will to power. If it is inconvenient, kill it, even it the "it" is a "he" or a "she." This pagan moral system is every bit as much a morality as the Judeo-Christian morality; it is just different. In fact it is the moral system that characterized the decedent Roman Empire in the time of early Christianity. So why can the school teach one but not the other? It isn't a question of "can't," but rather a question of "won't."

The public schools have fallen into the hands of neo-pagans and they now impose their morality on us. It is time for parents to stand up and demand their rights to raise their own children in their own moral system be respected. The only way this will happen is if the pagans and their liberal Christian fellow-travelers who control the schools are booted out and banned from public education. Christians did this once before in the fourth century and it looks like it is time either to do it again or withdraw from the system. Handing our children over to the tender mercies of pagans is not an option.

Obviously, live and let live doesn't work.

God, Mothers, Children and Spirituality

The other day I posted on the despicable statement by feminist MP Carolyn Bennett to the effect that stay-at-home moms should put their children in day care and get "a real job."

Well, here is a far better response to this sentiment than anything I could have written in the form of a post by my daughter Beth on her blog Red and Honey. Every so often you read something that is so obviously true that you wonder why you didn't think to say it a long time ago. This is a beautiful meditation on motherhood and the spiritual life. She writes:
"A while ago I stumbled across this article online, but for the life of me, cannot remember how or when. I think these were words that God intended for me to read in my mothering journey. They’ve certainly been like honey to my soul whenever I get restless and discontented in the midst of this precious season of mothering a little one.

“Carlo Carretto, one of the leading spiritual writers of the past half-century, lived for more than a dozen years as a hermit in the Sahara desert. Alone, with only the Blessed Sacrament for company, milking a goat for his food, and translating the Bible into the local Bedouin language, he prayed for long hours by himself. Returning to Italy one day to visit his mother, he came to a startling realization: His mother, who for more than thirty years of her life had been so busy raising a family that she scarcely ever had a private minute for herself, was more contemplative than he was.

Carretto, though, was careful to draw the right lesson from this. What this taught was not that there was anything wrong with what he had been doing in living as a hermit. The lesson was rather that there was something wonderfully right about what his mother had been doing all these years as she lived the interrupted life amidst the noise and incessant demands of small children. He had been in a monastery, but so had she.

What is a monastery? A monastery is not so much a place set apart for monks and nuns as it is a place set apart (period). It is also a place to learn the value of powerlessness and a place to learn that time is not ours, but God’s.”

I absolutely love this. I love thinking of my life, as mommy to my sweet little boy and a darling little girl on her way to meet us this summer, as a spiritual exercise in and of itself. It’s easy to get discouraged as the mother of young children, finding yourself at the end of the day having not spent “enough time” with the Lord, yet again, and falling exhausted onto the couch when he’s finally in bed, wanting to just spend time with your husband and go to bed. Instead of having that guilt trip laid on me by the evil one (who wants me to be unhappy and guilt-ridden), I can choose to use the mundane ins and outs of motherhood as an opportunity to commune with my Savior, and a lesson in relying on him as my guide moment by moment. My time is not my own, but ultimately His.

“The mother who stays home with small children experiences a very real withdrawal from the world. Her existence is definitely monastic. Her tasks and preoccupations remove her from the centres of power and social importance. And she feels it. Moreover her sustained contact with young children (the mildest of the mild) gives her a privileged opportunity to be in harmony with the mild, that is, to attune herself to the powerlessness rather than to the powerful.

Moreover, the demands of young children also provide her with what St. Bernard, one of the great architects of monasticism, called the “monastic bell”. All monasteries have a bell. Bernard, in writing his rules for monasticism, told his monks that whenever the monastic bell rang, they were to drop whatever they were doing and go immediately to the particular activity (prayer, meals, work, study, sleep) to which the bell was summoning them. He was adamant that they respond immediately, stating that if they were writing a letter they were to stop in mid-sentence when the bell rang. The idea in his mind was that when the bell called, it called you to the next task and you were to respond immediately, not because you want to, but because it’s time for that task and time isn’t your time, it’s God’s time. For him, the monastic bell was intended as a discipline to stretch the heart by always taking you beyond your own agenda to God’s agenda.”

When Isaac is fussing and insisting on being held, or getting into something I don’t want him in, just as I am making dinner, writing an email, or trying to relax for two seconds, or when he wants to play with the soapy water (bubboos!) I am using to scrub the floor… I can choose to seize the opportunity to die to self and become more Christ-like though selflessness and obedience. After all, it was Christ himself who have himself up to the cross for my sake. How little a sacrifice in comparison is it to drop what I am doing to tend to my children with love and patience. How little a sacrifice it is to meet their needs with compassion and understanding, though they may seem trivial or trite, just as my heavenly Father does for me day by day."

A central reason why feminists find it impossible to be Christians is contained in this unanswerable conundrum. If women can only be fulfilled by pursuing careers like men and abandoning their children to strangers, but God makes women in such a way that all their maternal instincts bond them to their children and make them long to nurture and raise those children, does that not mean that God hates women and has deliberately set up the world in such a way as to frustrate them and to keep them from being fulfilled no matter what they do? Thus it seems impossible to believe in God and the goodness of the natural order and, at the same time, to accept the central dogma of feminism that women can only be fulfilled by imitating men and pursuing careers in the world away from the home and children.

Perhaps there is no final answer to this conundrum unless one learns something of the cruciform nature of reality. And perhaps that is best learned in a monastery where the bell is a little person with needs.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Public Opinion Turns Against Liberal Fascism

Despite the best efforts of the Left, it would appear that the democratic principle of free speech is not quite dead yet in Canada, although it is certainly endangered and it certainly has been diminished in recent years. I say that because public opinion seems to be swinging against the liberal fascism on display at the University of Ottawa in the Ann Coulter affair.

The Globe and Mail has an editorial entitled "A University Fails in Its Mission" in which it asks: "Universities have an obligation to protect the free exchange of ideas on campus. Today it is Ann Coulter being silenced. Who will it be tomorrow?" This is exactly the right question.
Ian Hunter has an opinion piece in the same paper entitled: Universities are Bastions of Free Speech? Not in Canada in which he trenchantly writes: "The Coulter saga: Our universities can best be understood today as finishing schools in political correctness." Ouch - the truth hurts.

Kevin Libin in a piece in The National Post today has a great quotation from Ann Coulter:
“Liberals know I haven’t said anything hateful. They know I make satirical points to make a political point quickly, and they know it’s effective and that’s why they want to shut me down—and they’re probably right,” she says. “It’s very dangerous letting people hear Ann Coulter. They might change their minds and become conservatives.”
And we also have a story from The Globe and Mail on how Calgary is about to welcome Ms. Coulter by rescheduling her event to a larger venue: "Spurned in Ottawa, Ann Coulter Gets a Big Welcome in Calgary."

"A day after she was chased away from an Ottawa campus by rowdy crowds, the University of Calgary is giving American pundit Ann Coulter a bigger venue to air her extreme brand of right-wing politics, saying part of its role is to “promote the free exchange of ideas.”

Ms. Coulter, a skilled political agitator, has hit the jackpot on her three-campus visit to Canada. Her planned appearance earlier this week at the University of Ottawa was cancelled because of security concerns after an estimated 1,500 people showed up at a lecture hall with roughly 400 seats.

That cancellation – and an advance note from the school’s provost advising her to mind her words in case she risk criminal charges for hate speech – has unleashed a firestorm, especially among conservative commentators, and renewed the debate over freedom of expression on campus. As the tour moves from Ontario to Calgary, it also holds the potential of exposing yet again the political east-west divide of the nation.

“I’ve never heard of Calgary shutting anyone down. The worst we’ll do is ignore someone,” said Ezra Levant, a Calgary-based author, lawyer and conservative thinker who was asked to introduce Ms. Coulter on her Canadian tour. He called the Calgary stop a welcome homecoming.

Calgary, known for its true-blue conservative ideals, was the first city former U.S. president George W. Bush visited last year after he left the White House. While there were some protesters outside the venue and security was tight, there were no major incidents. Even when the G8 summit was held in nearby Kananaskis Country in 2002, protests were small, mellow and trouble-free, unlike raucous events that marred similar international meetings in Seattle and Quebec City.

The University of Ottawa faced an onslaught of criticism Wednesday after the cancellation of Ms. Coulter’s talk. President Allan Rock refused interviews, but issued a short statement late in the day, noting that the event was cancelled by her own organizers.

“Freedom of expression is a core value that the University of Ottawa has always promoted,” Mr. Rock said in the statement. “We have a long history of hosting contentious and controversial speakers on our campus. Last night was no exception …”

Mr. Rock’s statement made no reference to the provost Francois Houle’s warning, singled out by Ms. Coulter as part of the cause of the angry crowds that opposed her speaking Tuesday night.

“I would like to know if any Muslim has been treated this badly, at least since the Reformation, because I am drawing a blank,” Ms. Coulter told The Globe and Mail after the talk was cancelled.

The decision to cancel the talk was cheered by some of her opponents. “I was just worried that things were going to be said about certain groups of people that were going to make them feel very unsafe and very uncomfortable,” a student protester said.

Toronto lawyer Frank Addario, who has defended many free speech cases, called the events at the University of Ottawa an embarrassment to Canada. “It shows an immaturity and a misunderstanding of the basic precepts of free speech,” he said. “The provost has a duty to encourage free speech, not to encourage those who would prevent it or censor it – there is never a shortage of those people.”

McGill ethicist Margaret Somerville, who was once advised by a university to wear flat shoes in case she had to run, said groups on campuses have become skilled at silencing debate. “I think it is extraordinarily dangerous,” she said."

Read the rest here.