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Of Workers and Wealth

Pope Leo XIII: Whether we have wealth or lack it makes no difference. What matters is to justly use what we have, especially if we are rich.


The great mistake made in regard to the matter now under consideration is to take up with the notion that class is naturally hostile to class, and that the wealthy and the working men are intended by nature to live in mutual conflict. So irrational and so false is this view that the direct contrary is the truth.

Just as the symmetry of the human frame is the result of the suitable arrangement of the different parts of the body, so in a State is it ordained by nature that these two classes should dwell in harmony and agreement, so as to maintain the balance of the body politic. Each needs the other: capital cannot do without labor, nor labor without capital. Mutual agreement results in the beauty of good order, while perpetual conflict necessarily produces confusion and savage barbarity.

Now, in preventing such strife as this, and in uprooting it, the efficacy of Christian institutions is marvellous and manifold. First of all, there is no intermediary more powerful than religion (whereof the Church is the interpreter and guardian) in drawing the rich and the working class together, by reminding each of its duties to the other, and especially of the obligations of justice.

Of these duties, the following bind the proletarian and the worker: fully and faithfully to perform the work which has been freely and equitably agreed upon; never to injure the property, nor to outrage the person, of an employer; never to resort to violence in defending their own cause, nor to engage in riot or disorder; and to have nothing to do with men of evil principles, who work upon the people with artful promises of great results, and excite foolish hopes which usually end in useless regrets and grievous loss.

The following duties bind the wealthy owner and the employer: not to look upon their work people as their bondsmen, but to respect in every man his dignity as a person ennobled by Christian character. They are reminded that, according to natural reason and Christian philosophy, working for gain is creditable, not shameful, to a man, since it enables him to earn an honorable livelihood; but to misuse men as though they were things in the pursuit of gain, or to value them solely for their physical powers – that is truly shameful and inhuman.

Again justice demands that, in dealing with the working man, religion and the good of his soul must be kept in mind. Hence, the employer is bound to see that the worker has time for his religious duties; that he be not exposed to corrupting influences and dangerous occasions; and that he be not led away to neglect his home and family, or to squander his earnings.

Furthermore, the employer must never tax his work people beyond their strength, or employ them in work unsuited to their sex and age. His great and principal duty is to give every one what is just. Doubtless, before deciding whether wages are fair, many things have to be considered; but wealthy owners and all masters of labor should be mindful of this – that to exercise pressure upon the indigent and the destitute for the sake of gain, and to gather one’s profit out of the need of another, is condemned by all laws, human and divine.

To defraud any one of wages that are his due is a great crime which cries to the avenging anger of Heaven. “Behold, the hire of the laborers. . .which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.”

Lastly, the rich must religiously refrain from cutting down the workmen’s earnings, whether by force, by fraud, or by usurious dealing; and with all the greater reason because the laboring man is, as a rule, weak and unprotected, and because his slender means should in proportion to their scantiness be accounted sacred. Were these precepts carefully obeyed and followed out, would they not be sufficient of themselves to keep under all strife and all its causes?

But the Church, with Jesus Christ as her Master and Guide, aims higher still. She lays down precepts yet more perfect, and tries to bind class to class in friendliness and good feeling. The things of earth cannot be understood or valued aright without taking into consideration the life to come, the life that will know no death.

Exclude the idea of futurity, and forthwith the very notion of what is good and right would perish; nay, the whole scheme of the universe would become a dark and unfathomable mystery.

The great truth which we learn from nature herself is also the grand Christian dogma on which religion rests as on its foundation – that, when we have given up this present life, then shall we really begin to live. God has not created us for the perishable and transitory things of earth, but for things heavenly and everlasting; He has given us this world as a place of exile, and not as our abiding place.

As for riches and the other things which men call good and desirable, whether we have them in abundance, or are lacking in them-so far as eternal happiness is concerned – it makes no difference; the only important thing is to use them aright. . . .

Therefore, those whom fortune favors are warned that riches do not bring freedom from sorrow and are of no avail for eternal happiness, but rather are obstacles; that the rich should tremble at the threatenings of Jesus Christ – threatenings so unwonted in the mouth of our Lord – and that a most strict account must be given to the Supreme Judge for all we possess.

– from Rerum Novarum (1891)

VIDEO: Completely Mental. Touched. Off his rocker. Out to lunch.

TRANSCRIPT

New Yorkers have a local expression, “That guy’s mental” — as in, “Hey, Louie’s mental.” It’s not a compliment. It means pretty much what it sounds like, that there’s something wrong upstairs.

Well, for the record, Cardinal Dolan’s mental. His reaction and media comments following Governor Cuomo signing the new state abortion law reveals some serious issues upstairs with His Eminence.

He says Cuomo shouldn’t be excommunicated because it would be giving ammo to the enemy — that the Left would seize on the excommunication and portray Cuomo in a sympathetic light. Yeah, they probably would — so what? Is that worse than allowing the world to think — or actually realize — that U.S. bishops are lily-livered cowards when it comes to the hard truths.

Dolan claims it would be counter-productive. What a stupid analysis; counter-productive to what, exactly? What’s counter-productive is letting the world think leaders in the Church don’t think this is a big deal, and what’s worse, other Catholics think it’s not a big deal.

But then again, based on decades of inaction, the world already thinks that. So here’s an opportunity to actually begin to turn things around and set the record straight. The reality is Dolan is an emasculated wimp who looks for excuses to avoid teaching Church teaching.

For example, when he was on FOX & Friends answering questions from the hosts about all this, FOX actually took down and edited out part of the live interview where Dolan simply got it wrong about Church teaching.

He said, in sum, that those involved in an abortion are not excommunicated, in direct defiance of existing canon law. Here’s the exchange:

Steve Doocy: “Have the rules changed inside the Catholic Church, because it used to be pretty black and white about ‘yes, no,’ now you’re saying, ‘Come back.'”

Cardinal Dolan: “Yes, you would say, yeah, you would say that it used to be pretty, pretty clean that an abortion would cause the excommunication not only of the one who did it, people who encourage it and the one who had it. The Church, in the last 50 years, beginning with Pope John Paul II and especially intensified under Pope Francis, has said, ‘I don’t know if that’s Gospel values here’ because mercy trumps everything.”

And this is where we can freely say: Dolan’s mental.

What he said is simply incorrect. Here is canon law — existing, on the books right now — canon law 1398: “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication” — meaning, kill the unborn baby and you are automatically excommunicated as well as the “doctor” other personnel and friends or family who conspired in the killing.

Sorry, Cardinal Dolan, you’re wrong — flat out wrong. There are exceptions to the canon — for example, someone physically forced against her will, or a child, but those are exceptions. The rule is the rule, and Dolan seems to have no knowledge of it. And he doesn’t get to say unchallenged that “oh, we are more merciful than that now.”

First of all, that’s wrong, so either he is flat out lying, which can’t be taken off the table, or he is woeful, this prince of the Church, woefully malformed in what the Church actually teaches. Neither option is good.

Secondly, the implication is that for the past 2,000 years the Church has been unmerciful. After all, in a first-century teaching manual — 1900 years old — the Didache, willful abortion incurred expulsion from the sacraments for 10 years.

The Didache was the first recorded teachings of the Apostles themselves. So Dolan says the Apostles were unmerciful. The man is flat out mental. And then, he writes an opinion article in the New York Post where he asks the question, “Why are Cuomo and Democrats alienating Catholics?” — again proving he’s gone completely mental.

The answer, Your Eminence, is because you and so many of your worldly emasculated brethren in the episcopate have been so busy watering down the Faith and confusing them that there aren’t really that many of them left.

Cuomo, being a prime example of that, has done the political calculus and the answer is they don’t give a rip about alienating Catholics because there are so few left that they make no difference at the polls in New York as well as many other places.

Secondly, Dolan and the rest of his mental crowd are the ones who actually helped get these guys elected and keep them elected by their constant sucking up to them and wanting to be seen in pictures with them and rubbing elbows with them and hobnobbing. It’s disgusting. Have some dignity for the love of God. Know your office.

For 10 years in New York, Dolan has been on a PR tour of the local media with his stupid bombastic laugh and “aw shucks” fake persona, thinking he could somehow charm people into believing the truth.

Dolan is viewed as a huckster, a snake oil salesman or a bad used car dude who has nothing to sell that anyone is interested in.

But he has had the prestige of his office — which has eroded tremendously under the weight of his reign — which still has another five years to go — talk about people needing mercy; resign already.

And because of his office, the media love to play him and follow him around and put his picture on the papers; and being mental, he’s believed all of that is good and helpful to the Faith. It reinforces his own bloated self-importance, which is the butt of jokes behind his back.

But — and this is the problem when someone is mental — they don’t understand the world around them. They aren’t plugged in because they lack the capacity to understand the obvious.

Dolan is 0 for 4 in his political dealings. He has been played and used in every political cause he has gone after. First, he lost — if he ever really cared about it — the gay marriage fight in the state back in 2011.

Second, he lost the state funding for Catholic education initiative, something lawmakers, including Cuomo, were never going to give him. And for that deal, he allowed gays into the St. Patrick’s Day parade — and they stabbed him in the back anyway.

Dance with the devil and, well, you know what happens.

Next, Dolan and the gang claiming to care about the abortion law, and he loses that in staggering fashion — unanimous vote in the New York state senate and almost unanimous vote in the state assembly.

And then the fourth “rock his world” defeat is the new law extending the statute of limitations for suing the Church for all their sodomite priests raping altar boys — which they deserve.

Dolan is completely mental, and the reason he is is because he long ago gave up the only job he is supposed to be doing: defending souls. He has been a boy in a man’s game with New York’s Killer Catholic politicos, and they have chopped him to pieces.

Dolan is owned by Cuomo, so much so that Dolan believes the teachings of the Church have changed — completely mental.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column with video and images is republished with permission.

Should Governor Andrew Cuomo be Excommunicated?

George J. Marlin raises a question very much on the minds of many Catholics. Surely, some rebuke from New York’s bishops is necessary. 

In March 1970, the New York State Legislature repealed the anti-abortion law that had been on the books since 1830. The bill narrowly passed, due to support from several legislators from heavily Catholic districts who were subsequently defeated for their apostasy in the November elections.

Back in those days, the Catholic Church in New York possessed moral authority; and the Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Terrence Cooke, was not afraid to use that power in the public square.

Cardinal Cooke led the charge to repeal the law that permitted unrestricted abortions up to 24 weeks. And in May 1972, the State Legislature did just that and reinstated the 1830 statute.

Sadly, Governor Nelson Rockefeller vetoed the repeal of the liberalized abortion law shortly thereafter.

The New York abortion issue became moot, however, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973.

Fast forward forty years and abortion has once again made headlines in New York thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo, a baptized Catholic and graduate of Archbishop Molly High School in Queens and Fordham University in the Bronx, has abandoned some major moral tenets of his faith.

In 2011, his first year in office, he engineered the passage of same-sex marriage legislation. “Marriage equality,” he declared, “is a question of principle and the state shouldn’t discriminate against same-sex couples who wish to get married.”

Then on January 16, 2014, Cuomo announced, on a radio show, that Catholics and others with traditional moral views were unfit citizens who were no longer welcome in New York:

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right to life, pro-assault weapons, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

It gets worse.

Cuomo has been off the rails on the subject of abortion. In his 2013 State of the State Address, he cast his lot with the radical pro-abortion lobby, screaming four times, “It’s her body; it’s her choice!”

Cuomo introduced legislation that would repeal the 1970 abortion law, and would codify abortion as a “fundamental right of privacy,” a classification even the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected.

Cuomo’s proposal was bottled up in the Republican-Conservative-controlled State Senate for four years. But last November, the GOP lost control of that legislative chamber.

A jubilant Cuomo boasted that his so-called Reproductive Health Act would be the first order of business before the newly organized Legislature in January 2019.

And so it was.

On January 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Legislature passed the bill, to thundering applause and wild laughter. Minutes later, to a standing ovation, Cuomo signed it into law.


Standing (right to left in the photo), during the visit of Pope Francis to St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York (September 23, 2015), are the author, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Sandra Lee (Andrew Cuomo’s domestic partner), and the governor.

This law goes far beyond Roe v. Wade. It removes abortion clauses from the penal code and “creates a right to the procedure under the public health law.”

Although abortions are restricted to the first twenty-four weeks of pregnancy, exceptions are so broad (i.e., economic, social, or emotional distress) that anyone will be able to procure an abortion up to minutes before giving birth. In other words, the lives of unborn children who have viability outside the womb can now be terminated by doctors and non-doctors.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is very different than his father, Governor Mario Cuomo. The elder Cuomo tried to be St. Thomas More and Machiavelli at one and the same time.

In his famous 1984 Notre Dame speech on “Religious Belief and Public Morality,” the More-Cuomo said “The Catholic Church is my spiritual home. My head is there and my hope. . . .[and] I accept the Church’s teaching on abortion.” But the Machiavelli-Cuomo gave himself an “out” by claiming that as a public official, he could not impose his private religious views on the rest of society.

Mario Cuomo demonstrated the absurdity of his position every time he vetoed death penalty legislation that was approved overwhelmingly by the Legislature and was supported by over 60 percent of New Yorkers. Cuomo imposed his personal moral objections even though there was public opinion against him.

Andrew Cuomo is vastly different from his father. There is no duality; he prefers to be a Machiavellian and he promotes whatever works to advance his political ambitions.

In fact, it has been reported that when he was Clinton’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, one of his first acts “was to distribute the book by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, to his key aides. . .telling them: ‘This is my leadership philosophy.’”

Cuomo uses or spurns the Church when it suits his political ends. While he discarded Church teaching on abortion, he embraced and praised Pope Francis’s message concerning the needy and the marginalized. And when the pope visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 24, 2015, Cuomo made sure he was in a front pew. It was great political theater for the governor.

Since Andrew Cuomo has dismissed the fundamental Church teaching that all persons have the right to life because they are made in the image of God, maybe it’s time the Church dismissed him.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that “Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged.”

So, at the very least, the bishops of New York should announce publicly that because Cuomo has caused public scandal, he must be denied Communion.

Or the bishops, if they have the mettle, might call Cuomo in and point out the canonical penalties they are prepared to impose if he does not renounce his heresy. Whether or not that includes excommunication is a matter for canon lawyers.

But something really must be done, lest New York’s bishops confirm the growing perception that the Catholic Church is a compromised paper tiger.

COLUMN BY

George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin

George J. Marlin, Chairman of the Board of Aid to the Church in Need USA, is the author of The American Catholic VoterNarcissist Nation: Reflections of a Blue-State Conservative, and Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy. . His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with Brad Miner, was published on St. Patrick’s Day 2017.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column with images is republished with permission. © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own. The featured image of
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is from his Facebook page.

Liberals’ Holy War on Christian Orthodoxy

When Sen. Dianne Feinstein told Amy Coney Barrett, who is now confirmed as a judge for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and is a potential Supreme Court nominee, that “dogma lives loudly within” her and “that’s of concern,” she wasn’t voicing concern over the nominee’s religious orthodoxy as much as she was revealing her own.

After all, Catholicism, unlike progressivism, has never inhibited anyone from faithfully executing her constitutional duties—which the judge has done with far more conviction than Feinstein. Maybe Barrett should have been asking the questions.

Recently, by unanimous consent, the Senate approved a Ben Sasse resolution that declares that it is unconstitutional to reject nominees because of their membership to the Knights of Columbus. This move was instigated by a similar incident, when Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono criticized President Donald Trump’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, Brian Buescher, for being a bit too Catholic for their liking.

The Knights of Columbus, a benevolent society that still clings to antiquated notions about the dignity of human life—from the very beginning to the very end—doesn’t exactly adhere to the new progressive moral canon.

Unlike many friends on the right, I’m less offended by questions regarding dogma and belief. It’s true that the Constitution explicitly states that a federal government officeholder or employee can’t be required to adhere to or accept any particular religion or doctrine as a prerequisite to holding a federal office or job. But it’s also true that the clause directly preceding that clause requires every federal and state official to take an oath to support the Constitution.

Rejecting someone over his faith alone is unquestionably a religious test. Merely asking a nominee whether her beliefs might stop her from fulfilling her constitutional duties is a relevant question.

For many liberals, though, the problem is that the beliefs of many Catholics and other adherents of various Christian theologies—or, for that matter, Jewish ones, as well—are increasingly undermining progressive ideals, not constitutional ones.

As Beto O’Rourke might ask, do the principles of the Constitution “still work”? When it comes to religious freedom, they most certainly do not. It’s progressive dogma that led a Harvard-educated Washington Post editor to incredulously ask how traditional Christian schools can even “happen” in contemporary American society.

She was questioning not merely whether second lady Karen Pence is right or wrong to teach at a Christian school—after all, Americans are free to be critical of people’s faith—but how a school that adheres to the teachings of a church that counter progressive dogma can exist at all.

This is the same progressive moral dogma that justifies yearslong attacks on the livelihood of Christian bakers and florists. It’s the same dogma that justifies coercing nuns to pay for the rite of birth control. If one doesn’t adhere to these commandments, the state, the most powerful institution in the world, will sue them into submission.

In this regard, liberals also like to claim that those who do allow traditional faith to inform their political views are somehow undermining a tenet of American life. (Well, as long as that traditional faith can’t be utilized for left-wing agenda items, such as immigration and socialized health care.)

As it goes, some of us, even nonbelievers, prefer the teachings of Jesus to those of Marx—which, in the non-celestial world, means free will over coercion. Whatever the case, our backgrounds and beliefs always color our opinions.

The Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, an apostate on this issue, recently argued in an op-ed that if the Knights of Columbus are a disqualifying group, “then President John F. Kennedy, and the ‘liberal lion of the Senate’ Ted Kennedy would have been ‘unqualified’ for the same reasons.”

Well, not exactly the same reason. The anti-Catholicism of the past was predicated on an aversion to new immigrants, conspiracies about the pope, and a general long-standing theological distrust among religious denominations.

In the political arena today, only the latter of those reasons is in play, and the denomination isn’t Protestant. The “liberal lion of the Senate” wouldn’t be disqualified by today’s standards, because in public life, at least, he was a doctrinal liberal.

“There are many people on the left who act like every political fight is going to bring about heaven or hell on earth—and so there are a lot of folks for whom politics is a religion,” Sasse said after his resolution passed.

Progressives are the most zealous moralists. And these lines of questioning from Democrats, increasingly prevalent in political discourse, are an attempt to create the impression that faithful Christians, whose beliefs are at odds with newly sanctified cultural mores, are incapable of doing their jobs.

Sasse is right. Political bellum sacrum is here. We’re just not looking at the right people.

COPYRIGHT 2019 CREATORS.COM

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of the forthcoming “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.” Twitter: @davidharsanyi.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. The featured image of Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) is her from Facebook page.

On the Knights’ Stand…

Picking up trash and donating school supplies used to be considered good deeds. Now, they could disqualify you from public service! That’s the absurd conclusion of at least two Democratic senators, who are holding one judicial nominee hostage for daring to help a couple of Catholic charities.

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) aren’t exactly champions of religious liberty. After skewering Amy Coney Barrett, Russell Vought, and other nominees of faith, it probably shouldn’t surprise anyone that Brian Buescher, the president’s pick for U.S. District Judge, was next on the Democrats’ hit list. During his hearing in late November, the liberal duo insinuated that anyone who’s a member of a Catholic organization is incapable of being “fair or impartial.” “[Your beliefs] don’t suddenly go away just because you become a judge,” Hirono argued.

But what are those “extreme” beliefs Hirono is talking about? Social service, for one. As the Knights of Columbus explained in an open letter to both senators, what’s so objectionable about giving away more than $4,000 worth of coats to needy children or collecting diapers to mothers in need? There’s nothing nefarious or controversial about donating pop tabs to help the developmentally disabled or providing an ultrasound to a clinic — unless you’re a U.S. senator bent on religious intolerance.

“We recently read about statements which expressed the fear that the Knights of Columbus held many extreme beliefs,” the organization wrote. “It is our great pleasure to assure you that this fear is not grounded in any truth. The Knights of Columbus in general, and O’Boyle Council in particular, are dedicated to the three fundamental principles of charity, unity, and fraternity.” The group went on to explain all of the good the Knights are doing for the local community. “We hope this list of activities help to assure you that we are simply a group aiming to do God’s work while building friendships.”

Despite those assurances, Hirono asked in a follow-up questionnaire of Buescher if he would quit the Knights of Columbus. After all, she wrote, “it was reportedly one of the top contributors to California’s Proposition 8 campaign to ban same-sex marriage.” Senator Harris followed suit, demanding to know if the Nebraskan was aware of the group’s fanatical pro-life and pro-marriage positions.

But what’s so radical about an opinion that the plurality of Americans hold? Based on last November’s exit polling (of primarily Democratic-leaning voters), man-woman marriage is still the predominate view (48-45 percent) in America! If anyone’s extreme, it’s the increasingly anti-Catholic Democratic Party, who believes that the only people who are fit to hold down a job in this country are the men and women who reject the Bible’s teachings.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who’s had enough of the far-Left’s religious tests, blasted his colleagues for trying to undermine Buescher’s qualifications with another faith-based witch-hunt. “Hopefully, in the eyes of Democrats, you are not disqualified to be a judge because of your religious affiliations and beliefs.” Later, he promised that he and the rest of the Senate majority “will not tolerate disqualifying judicial nominees because of charitable works and personal religious opinions.”

With two more senators in his column heading into 2019, President Trump has a chance to add even more solid constructionists to the bench. Let’s just hope that none of them have to go through what so many nominees already have: a bigoted interrogation meant to chase Christians out of public service. America was founded on faith predominately by people of faith. It’s time for Democrats to stop their religious test.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by FRC is republished with permission.

‘The Catholic Church…has become one of Islam’s loudest boosters’

In this excellent piece, George Neumayr refers to the rupture of relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar that took place during the time of Pope Benedict. As I explained here, that rupture took place because Pope Benedict dared to speak out about the Muslim persecution of Christians.

By contrast, Francis energetically defends Islam, and leaves the persecuted Christians twisting in the wind, so he is acceptable to al-Azhar.

The worst part about this is the fact that because this man is Pope, all too many Catholics, including some in positions of high authority, treat him as if he were a divine oracle, his every utterance to be revered, respected, studied, and followed. Because of the statement of Vatican II that “religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra,” and “must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will,” Catholic leaders and publications tend to think that they must adhere to anything the Pope says about anything.

This leads them into impossible positions. When Pope Benedict XVI appeared to criticize the aspects of Islam that incite and justify violence, they allowed for criticism of Islam. When Francis showed himself to be an Islamic apologist, they became Islamic apologists. All too many Catholic leaders and institutions, in other words, are more interested in being papists than in being truthful. They would rather show loyalty to the Pope, no matter how damaging his utterances, than stand for the truth on the own against the Pope.

The contradiction is clear, and absolute. If the Catholic Church has become one of Islam’s loudest boosters, then those who are aware of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, rooted in Islamic texts and teachings, have to make some hard decisions about where they stand.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

POPE-ISLAM-NON-VIOLENT“The Papal Propagandist for Islam Heads to Egypt,” by George Neumayr, American Spectator, April 26, 2017 (thanks to Lookmann):

As the prototypical progressive Jesuit, Pope Francis prides himself on his “ecumenism.” He oozes enthusiasm for every religion except his own. At the top of his list of favorite religions is the Church’s fiercest adversary — Islam.

He often sounds more like a spokesman for CAIR than a Catholic pope. After jihadists cut off the head of a French priest in July 2016 — yelling “Allahu Akbar” over the priest’s slit throat — Pope Francis rushed to the defense of Islam. “I don’t like to talk about Islamic violence, because every day, when I read the newspaper, I see violence,” he said, before ludicrously blaming the rise of terrorism on the “idolatry” of free-market economics: “As long as the god of money is at the center of the global economy and not the human person, man and woman, this is the first terrorism.”

As Europe turns into Eurabia, Pope Francis is picking up honors and awards from progressives, including, hilariously, the 2016 “Charlemagne Prize” for his Islamic apologetics. It is hard to imagine a Christian leader less like Charlemagne. Pope Francis is energized not depressed by the disappearance of Christian Europe. “States must be secular,” he told La Croix. Christian states, he said, “end badly” and go “against the grain of history.” He added that “when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful.” It also takes on “colonialist overtones,” he complained.

The most liberal pope ever, of course, sees no irony in shilling for the most illiberal religion on Earth. On his anti-colonialist scorecard, Islam wears the white hats and Christian Europe, the black ones. After jihadists gunned down ten journalists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, Pope Francis rushed to Islam’s defense again, in effect rebuking the dead journalists for incitement: “You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.” Those who do, he continued, should “expect a punch.”

This week Pope Francis takes his pro-Islamic apology tour to Egypt. Previewing the trip, which starts on Friday, he said he seeks to “offer a valid contribution to inter-religious dialogue with the Islamic world.” Francis’s fawning media courtiers are already rolling out the propaganda for it, predicting that it will “build bridges to moderate Islam.”

“A main reason for the trip is to try to strengthen relations with the 1,000-year-old Azhar center that were cut by the Muslim side in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults of Islam by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict,” according to Reuters. “Ties with the center were restored last year after [Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb] visited the Vatican. Tayeb, widely seen as one of the most moderate senior clerics in Egypt, has repeatedly condemned Islamic State and its practice of declaring others as apostates and infidels as a pretext for waging violent jihad.”

Being “one of the most moderate senior clerics in Egypt” is about as meaningful a distinction as being one of the most chaste Kardashian sisters. Useful idiots in the West call Tayeb moderate, but anyone paying attention knows that he is not, unless calling for the killing of apostates now counts as “moderate.”…

Past popes regarded Islam as a font of poisonous heresies. Dante placed Muhammad in hell. St. Thomas Aquinas said Muhammad peddled “fables and doctrines of the greatest falsity” and sardonically remarked upon the perverse basis for his claim of divine favor: “Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms — which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.”What has changed? Nothing. Islam remains as violent as it started. But one thing is new: The Catholic Church, under the death-wish progressivism of Francis, has become one of Islam’s loudest boosters.

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islam graphic

VIDEO: Knight of God — Review of the Film ‘Ignatius of Loyola’

Brad Miner reviews a movie about the founder of the Jesuits. It is as good as any Catholic film may hope to be.

Although this biopic of the founder of the Jesuit order premiered last summer, I only had a chance to see it this past week. Writer-director Paolo Dy’s film was shot – in the English language – in Spain and the Philippines under the auspices of the Filipino Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom Films). It’s unlikely to be on a screen at your local Cineplex, but – as I’ll explain towards the end of this review –you can take the initiative to arrange a screening for your church group or other Catholic organization.

And I urge you to do so, because this is a Catholic film that stands head and shoulders above any I’ve seen in years. It’s both truly Catholic and superb cinema.

The film begins with fire and water – a leitmotiv throughout. One goes into the fire of conversion and emerges through the water of new life. Iñigo Lopez de Loyola (played the Spanish actor Andreas Muñoz) unfolds like a flower opening in scorched earth – he is a soldier proofed like a sword in flame then shoved into water to forge its strength. This is actually a scene, and it’s powerful.

The story of Loyola, a Spanish nobleman broken by war who goes on to found the Society of Jesus, is like many true tales of conversion. From Augustine to Merton, but especially St. Francis of Assisi before him and Charles de Foucauld after, who were also soldiers for whom the deep wounds of war led to a deeper conviction to serve Christ. Like St. Augustine, Loyola lived a somewhat carnal life until he was severely wounded in the Battle of Pamplona in 1521.

Click here to read the rest of Mr. Miner’s review . . .

ABOUT BRAD MINER

Brad Miner

Brad Miner

Brad Miner is senior editor of The Catholic Thing, senior fellow of the Faith & Reason Institute, and a board member of Aid to the Church In Need USA. He is a former Literary Editor of National Review. His new book, Sons of St. Patrick, written with George J. Marlin, is now on sale. The Compleat Gentleman, is available on audio and as an iPhone app.

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EDITORS NOTE: This film review originally appeared in The Catholic Thing.

Transsexualism: Dancing with the Devil

“You fundamentally can’t change sex… Transsexualism was invented by psychiatrists,” said former “transsexual” Alan Finch in 2004. This is a truth; however, it has not stopped the advocates of an invented status from trying to change society,” writes Selwyn Duke in his column Missing the Point on the “Transgender” Bathroom Wars.

Duke warns:

This is about socially reengineering society — about changing hearts and minds — by legitimizing made-up sexual statuses.

Transsexualism is a belief system, a dangerous one to both the individual and to society. President Obama has made it his mission to further Transsexualism and put American women and little girls at risk, both culturally and physically.

Austin Ruse in a column titled College of Pediatricians Calls Transgender Ideology ‘Child Abuse’  writes:

The American College of Pediatricians warns educators and legislators that “a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex” is dangerous for children.

In a strongly worded statement issued today, the professional association of pediatricians says “a person’s belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking.” It describes such thinking as problem that exists in the mind and not the body and “it should be treated as such.”

The college of pediatricians is joining a heated debate that increasingly pits concerned parents against school teachers, administrators, legislators, and transsexual advocates who are pushing the trans agenda in grade-schools, city governments, state governments, and the federal government.

Read more.

 reported, “A lesbian lawmaker [Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham] in Alabama suggested this week that the real safety threat for children is not men who identify as female using women’s restrooms, but faith leaders in churches and teachers in schools.”

This is Transsexualism writ large.

George Orwell wrote:

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Paul-Scalia-150x150

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Va. He serves as the Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy.

Fr. Paul Scalia writes on the demonic nature of the Transsexualism movement: not that transgender people are evil but that their ideology pleases the devil. In Fr. Scalia’s column “The Devil, You Say?” notes:

Three times in his speech at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Cardinal Sarah described gender ideology [Transsexualism] as “demonic.” More recently, Oklahoma City’s Archbishop Coakley used the same word addressing the issue. So did Bishop Paprocki of Springfield regarding gay marriage. A strong word, to be sure. But most people misunderstand why. Some take “demonic” for mere hyperbole. Something is not just bad, but really, really bad. Others see it as rash judgment of opponents – literally demonizing them. Still others take it as just an overstatement by religious fanatics, who are unhinged anyway.

But “demonic” is a sober and sobering assessment of the thought behind gender ideology. It’s not a judgment of people’s intentions. It doesn’t mean that those who endorse gender ideology are demonic or possessed. It means, rather, that the reasoning and results of that philosophy – no matter how innocently held – line up with the desires, tactics, and resentments of “Old Scratch” himself.

Satan and the damned in The Last Judgment by Giotto (di Bondone), 1306 [Cappella Scrovegni, Padua]

Gender ideology repeats the basic lie of the evil one: “You will be like gods.” (Gen 3:5)  Of course, this lie lurks behind every temptation. Every sin comes from that prideful desire to supplant God. But in the arena of human sexuality, it has greater gravity.Read more.

Duke concludes with the following warning:

Unfortunately, the once-closeted is now exalted while the ethereal is closeted. Today we hear that “faith is a private matter,” a profoundly silly statement, while private matters are made public. If one’s faith is a lie, he should dispense with it; if it is the Truth, which is universal, there then is nothing private about it. And as we confuse the public with the private, Christianity is expelled from the public sphere and now even the private one, with businessmen told they can’t live their own faith in their own business.

And that’s what happens when closets aren’t used for the right things.

Is it time to put Transsexualism back into Pandora’s box? It it time to tell the truth?

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Christians want to save gays from Hell — Islam wants to send gays to Hell!

I have written about Islam for over a decade. One thing I have learned is that the more Islamic (shariah law) compliant an individual, organization or nation state the more dangerous and deadly they are. I have also written about how the Democratic Party is made up of groups that are fundamentally at odds with one another. However, they have joined together because the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

The Church Militant’s Michael Voris did a compelling analysis of what happened in Orlando. Voris points out:

The liberal alliance has brought various factions together, with one common goal: to end Catholic morality’s influence on Western civilization.

There are indeed some strange pairings in this liberal alliance: homosexualists, the Democratic Party, the mainstream media and Islam. Whatever differences Islam and liberals have, they have been willing to overlook them to join forces against the common enemy of Christianity, specifically Catholicism.

[ … ]

One point needs to become very clear to all those who wish to paint the Church as an enemy of gays: We want you saved. Islam wants you dead. And let’s be very clear: The Catholic Church wants to save gays from Hell. Islam wants to send gays to Hell. [Emphasis added]

That liberal alliance has been sorely tested after the massacre in Orlando by Omar Mateen, a devout follower of Mohammed.

In my May 14,  2016 column New Democrat Party: The Red–Green–Rainbow Troika I noted:

I have written that President Obama’s greatest political achievement has been to fundamentally transform the Democratic Party. The New Democratic Party (NDP) is an alliance which I call the Red-Green-Rainbow Troika or RGRT. It consists of new groups that Democrats have not historically allied themselves with, until now.

The NDP has made it its mission to protect the “civil rights and civil liberties” of groups that are both incompatible with one another and with mainstream America.

The groups are incompatible for a number of reasons including:

  1. Communists hate Muslims and gays.
  2. Muslims hate Communists and execute gays (sodomites).
  3. Gays hate all religions, but make an exception for Islam (i.e. the enemy of my enemy is my friend).

At some point these divergent groups will turn on one another.

As Ayn Rand wrote:

The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.

Here are some of the absurdities that have become the official ideology of the neo-Democrat Party:

  • The greatest national security threat is climate change (i.e. formerly global warming).
  • White Christian men are a greater threat than the Islamic State, Iran and the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Spending on social programs is more important than spending on national security.
  • Engagement and dialogue with America’s enemies (i.e. Iran) is preferred to any form of confrontation.
  • Nationalized health care (the Affordable Care Act) is affordable.
  • Deficit spending is good for the economy and will create jobs.
  • Putting more Americans on the public dole is good for creating more government jobs.
  • Anyone who disagrees with the neo-Democrat Party policies is racist, homophobic, Islamophobic and a national security threat.
  • People don’t kill people, guns kill people (e.g. need to outlaw guns).
  • Public schools must teach children what to think, not how to think (i.e. Common Core).
  • Aborting the unborn and selling their body parts is noble.
  • Bigger government, more regulations and centralized powers and greater control over the behaviors of citizens is good.
  • Coal, oil and natural gas are evil.
  • Saving the planet is more important than saving the human race.
  • A weak America is good for world peace.
  • The Judeo/Christian God is dead.

On November 8th, 2016 millions will vote for the RGRT candidate for president. If that happens then the policies of the current administration will become the new social order.

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Why Pope Francis should not have washed then kissed the feet of Muslim migrants

“When the Pope kneels before a Muslim, these are the thoughts that will come into the minds of many followers of Islam. For them, the Pope’s gesture will serve as confirmation of the age-old Islamic conception of Christianity as a second-rate religion. Although some Muslims may be moved by the Pope’s gesture and some may even be converted, it’s likely that a majority of Muslims will interpret it as a sign of weakness.”

Indeed. And submission. But as the entire Catholic hierarchy and even the rank-and-file clergy appear to be in full submission mode, and determined to stigmatize those who call evil what it is, the Pope’s act was in line with the way the wind is blowing.

“The Problem with Multicultural Foot Washing,” by William Kilpatrick, Crisis, March 31, 2016:

During Holy Thursday Mass, Pope Francis washed the feet of migrants, three of whom were Muslims. Most Catholics understood this as a gesture of humility and brotherhood. That is how the Catholic press reported it—and that, undoubtedly, was the Pope’s intention.

Many Muslims, however, may see it differently—not as a gesture of brotherhood, but as one of submission and surrender. The word “Islam” means “submission,” and submission is what Islam expects of other faiths. Muslims consider Islam to be the supreme religion. To the extent that it tolerates the “People of the Book” (Christians and Jews), Islam tolerates them on the condition that they acknowledge its supremacy.

Historically, the People of the Book were expected to assume the status of dhimmis—second-class citizens with limited rights. The origin of this attitude can be found in several verses in the Koran, particularly 9:29, which says that the “People of the Book” are to be fought “until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

The conditions that govern the lives of dhimmis were further elaborated in the Pact of Omar (named after the second caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab). The two dozen or so stipulations include a prohibition on building new churches or repairing old ones, a prohibition on displaying crosses, and a demand that dhimmis give up their seats “to honor the Muslims.”

With the passage of time, the dhimmi requirements were expanded, but the general idea was to keep Christians in their place, and even humiliate them. Sometimes, when dhimmis paid the jizya, they were required to approach the tax official on all fours.

Unfortunately, the dhimmi laws are not a thing of the past. Churches are prohibited in Saudi Arabia, and Christian visitors to the Kingdom are not allowed to bring Bibles with them. In Pakistan and other Muslim countries, Christians are looked upon by many as inferior beings, fit only for menial jobs. In Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State has re-imposed the jizya tax, and Islamic State scholars cite the Koran and the Pact of Omar as justification for doing so.

When the Pope kneels before a Muslim, these are the thoughts that will come into the minds of many followers of Islam. For them, the Pope’s gesture will serve as confirmation of the age-old Islamic conception of Christianity as a second-rate religion. Although some Muslims may be moved by the Pope’s gesture and some may even be converted, it’s likely that a majority of Muslims will interpret it as a sign of weakness.

In assessing the impact of the novel foot-washing ceremony, the timing also needs to be taken into account. The Holy Thursday Mass came two days after the Brussels bombings, and at a time when Muslim persecution of Christians is escalating. If Christianity was anything other than a humiliated faith, Muslims would expect to see some kind of strong response or some gesture of resolve.

Islam claims to be the natural religion of mankind, and the natural response to aggression is resistance. As Osama bin Laden reminded us, “if a man sees a strong horse and a weak horse, he will by nature favor the strong horse.” Yet, in the face of worldwide attacks on Christians, Church leaders meekly call for more dialogue and indulge in “reaching-out” gestures.

These unfortunate interpretations of the foot-washing ceremony could have been avoided if Pope Francis had not sought to give it a multi-religious flavor. Apparently, he was hoping to make a statement about the Church’s inclusivity. But the statement may have backfired. That’s one of the dangers in politicizing the liturgy. Muslims who see the Pope’s gesture as one of submission before Islam are not going to be convinced of the wisdom of Christian charity, they are going to be convinced of the prudence of sticking with the strong-horse religion. They will be more, not less likely to throw in their lot with the militants. If the Catholic Church appears to be submitting to Islam, they will reason that the only safe course of action is to do the same….

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is courtesy of Urban Infidel.

He has Risen!

Jesus Christ died. He died quivering on a cross, after receiving a horrific public thrashing that would have killed any other human. He died after carrying His own instrument of death, the top part of the cross, to Golgotha where He was brutally and efficiently nailed to the beam He carried. He died after hanging between heaven and earth for about six hours in unexplainable agony. To make certain of His death, the order was given to pierce His side with a spear which released the very last drops of His blood. The professional soldiers who carried out the crucifixion detail were seasoned veterans with many crucifixions on their resumes; these hardened men were so certain of Jesus Christ’s death they did not even take the time to break His legs, as it was quite plain to see He was dead, He was finished. Pilate, the Temple High Priest, and all of the religious leadership in Jerusalem were also certain of this fact, and rested in the knowledge that they had successfully killed an uprising, as well as this so-called King of the Jews, this Son of God. It is done! It is finished! As the afternoon sun faded and the late day shadows began to grow so did the shadows of hopelessness and utter dismay and gloom by Christ’s disciples. Such brooding sadness appeared that only dazed looks with puzzled grief that knew no words were exchanged among those who had been the closest followers, and may I say, “Believers.” Utterly crushed, beaten, and most likely Wanted Men…these men had just hours prior sat at table with the man they came to know as The Son of God; the long awaited Messiah! These men now scattered in an attempt to pick up any remaining pieces of their lives interrupted a little over three years before.

Jesus was confirmed dead, but Pilate was reminded that this strange, troublesome religious Dreamer (Nut) claimed He would rise on the third-day. So to make certain that no theatrics could be accomplished a Roman Guard was set at the tomb. The tomb was sealed with the Official Roman Seal to make certain no one would enter (or leave) the burial chamber thereby beginning a new round of zealotry. Even if an attempt was made to tamper with the seal, the soldiers standing post would prevent a successful conclusion, as well as bring instant death to anyone attempting such an act. There would be no more talk about His kingdom being established. There would be no more statements that He could summon twelve legions of angels to His assistance. There would be no more Messiah…He will trouble us no more!

Then came Sunday morning.

Sometime prior to dawn, in a borrowed burial tomb that belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, there was a stirring, a fluttering of unseen forces…the presence of angels, and the unexplainable breath of God moving through the garden and into the tomb. Immeasurable forces poured life back into the dead body that laid on the cold stone slab in that tomb; and the dead man rose and came out of the grave, and out of the grave clothes, and into life just prior to Mary’s arrival as she came to grieve and stand watch. But Mary stood in shock and awe in front of the tomb as the massive stone had been rolled away, and now the sepulchre was empty except for the two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. As Mary cried-out asking, “What have you done with Him?” she heard her name spoken as only her dear, dear friend, Jesus could speak it, only this time all of heaven was in His tone. And she knew. She simply replied to Him, “Rabboni,” which is to say, “Master.” Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and a few other women then ran and got the disciples, but they ran with the news that “Christ has Risen…He has Risen indeed!” The disciples did not expect this to happen no matter how much they wanted it to be true. How about you? Would you have expected this, regardless of Jesus spending a little over three years sharing and revealing His purpose on earth, and the will of His Heavenly Father? How about today? Right now? Do you believe Jesus of Nazareth died for you, was buried for your sins and deeds, and then rose on the third-day? Do you believe? The disciples will understand your doubts, your hesitancy. So does the Lord who was actually in that tomb, but came out! He understands.

Eight days passed, and the disciples were together. Suddenly Jesus was with them. These men, who just a very short-time prior were in deep mourning and bewilderment were reported by thousands to be “lights to the world” with their faces and manner, joyous and rejoicing in the good news of Christ’s Resurrection. Ignorant men? Self-serving? An invention by a group of men hoping to cash in? And would you or anyone you know invent such a story so as to be crucified upside down, like Peter? How about stay with such a story causing your head to be chopped off, like Paul, or to be stoned to death like Steven? Each of the disciples, save John, met with a horrible death at the hands of church and government authorities who years later still could not afford to have the Resurrection Story of Jesus Christ shared, much less believed by the masses. Today the forces of darkness, division, confusion, and humanism do NOT want you to learn, much less accept the truth of Christ’s Resurrection from death. Maybe even more today than thousands of years ago, the powers aligned against God’s Word do NOT want you to come into the saving knowledge and grace of the Risen Christ, the Begotten Son of God who surrendered His Crown in Heaven for a Crown of Thorns on earth; His Seat at the right hand of the Heavenly Father for the rugged and splintered wooden cross that became His seat of death on earth.

Look again at the picture above my remarks. You are looking from inside an empty tomb across the land to an empty cross. The same cross and tomb Jesus Christ occupied for a short-time before ascending into Heaven for all time, for all eternity. Jesus is not dead! The tomb is empty! Jesus has risen from the dead…He has Risen indeed!

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VIDEO: Why Gay Marriage Is A Form of Political Control

Eugene Michael Jones is a writer, former professor, media commentator and the current editor of Culture Wars magazine. Jones’s work has primarily been concerned with the relationship between the Catholic Church and secular culture as well as the sexual revolution and the wider cultural effects of the Second Vatican Council.

In this video he discusses social engineering and why gay marriage is a form of political control.

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Simon & Schuster Publishing ‘Compelling’ Muslim-Themed Children’s Books

Last week it was announced that Simon and Schuster will publish a line of Muslim-themed books for children called Salaam Reads.

Zareem JafferyThe undertaking appears to have been prompted by one Zareem Jaffery [pictured right], an executive editor at the publishing house, who says the “aim with the Salaam Reads imprint is in part to provide fun and compelling books for Muslim children” that will also be “entertaining and enriching for a larger non-Muslim audience.” She convinced Simon and Schuster that the time was right to get with this program, the program being to make Muslim children feel at home by reading about Muslim children just like themselves and to make familiar, and palatable, Muslim religious observances and beliefs to non-Muslim children, by showing how kids of four different “faith traditions” — “Musa, Moises, Mo, and Kevin” (can you spot the Catholic?) – become friends, pal around together, and find out about each other’s faiths, without anything to trouble their carefree, innocent friendship as each learns, in turn, about the religious practices and beliefs of each of the three other members of the group.

All this sweetness and light, however, will almost certainly be based on a lie, or rather on a series of lies. Of course, none of the books has yet been published, but we can confidently predict what in them will not be included, and what will. Just imagine, for a minute, how the two most important Muslim holidays, Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr, are likely to be presented by Salaam Reads. At both of these feasts, an animal — a lamb, a goat, a cow, a camel — is sacrificed, its throat slit, and then it is left to bleed to death, often in full view of smiling and excited onlookers. You can find photographs of such scenes online, at Muslim websites. If the aim of Salaam Reads is to convey a truthful picture of Islam, then it ought to show how almost all Muslims practice it, and that includes the way those animals are killed, which is part of the violence that suffuses Islam. But do you think those responsible for Salaam Reads will provide any such pictures or photographs of these animals, dying or dead? When it comes to sharing knowledge of this aspect of the Muslim faith, Salaam Reads will not only avoid showing the practice, but in the text will provide only a vague brusque admission that “animals are sacrificed” at the two Eids, while carefully not hinting at how.

Ramadan will undoubtedly be given a lot of attention in the Salaam Reads series. After all, this month of fasting and prayer is comfortingly akin to the Christian observance of fasting and prayer at Lent. The treacly analogizing in a Salaam Reads book for middle-schoolers will likely go something like this: “Ramadan and Lent are both times for prayer. And just as Christians fast during 40 days of Lent, Muslims fast for a month of Ramadan. But there are differences. When Christians fast for Lent, they don’t give up all food – even the well-known giving-up of meat is not total, for it is abstained from mostly on Fridays and on Ash Wednesday. And individual Christians often choose to give up some particular food they especially like – such as chocolate or honey-glazed donuts or ice cream — or abstain from some activity that the one abstaining finds particularly pleasurable, such as shopping or watching television. When we Muslims fast, our fast is total, and goes from dawn to dusk.” (All this slyly implying the moral superiority of Muslim Ramadan to Christian Lent.)

You will likely find the following: “And at Ramadan we Muslims give to charity.” That is a most misleading phrase. What I am certain you will not find anywhere in the Salaam Reads books is the important information that for Muslims “zakat” (giving to the needy) means “giving to needy fellow Muslims,” and only to them. This is quite different from the Christian practice of giving to one’s fellow man, not just to one’s fellow Christians.

And readers will be treated to the heartwarming, cloudless and practically identical family lives of Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin. These practitioners of the “three abrahamic faiths” will be shown to have so much in common. Perhaps not the quintessential It’s-A-Wonderful-Life home for all four families, but in all four families there will be one wife for one husband (thereby airbrushing out the actual arrangements of tens of millions of Muslim families all over the world), and in Mo’s Muslim family, his mother and sisters will not be off-puttingly niqabbed, but dutifully and demurely hijabbed. There will be no mention of plural wives, nor any discussion of the total authority of the Muslim father over his wife (wives) and children. No discussion of what can and has happened to Muslim girls who defied that authority and refused to wear the hijab – see the case of Aqsa Parvez, and of so many more like her.

And in Salaam Reads publications will be no mention of what Muslims are instructed to think about, and how to behave toward, non-Muslims, which are very different from what one would gather from the cheerful palling around of Muslim Mo with non-Muslims Musa, Moises, and Kevin. No Qur’an 60.4: “enmity and hatred have appeared between us [Muslims] and you [non-Muslims] forever until you believe in Allah.” Nothing about the many other verses instructing Believers such as Mo to be merciful with other Believers, but stern with the disbelievers, such as Musa, Moises, and Kevin. Nothing about the Islamic doctrine known as Al Wala’ Wal Bara’ (loyalty and disavowal), whereby a Muslim is required to love what Allah loves, and hate what Allah hates, and to be kind to Believers and harsh or angry with the Disbelievers.

The five pillars of Islam, incumbent on all Believers – shehada, zakat, salat, Ramadan, hajj – will be listed and discussed (as noted above, “zakat” will be translated as “charity,” instead of as “charity to fellow Muslims”), for they are relatively innocuous. The duty of Jihad, incumbent upon Muslims and so important that it has been described by some Sunni scholars as the “sixth pillar of Islam,” will either not be mentioned or, if mentioned, will be given the usual misleading maquillage, presented prettily as the individual Muslim’s “struggle to master himself, to be a better person” (part of the confusing folderol about the “greater jihad” and the “lesser jihad”), when Jihad’s main meaning, in Muslim minds, is the “struggle” to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam, all over the world.

Salaam Reads will certainly be sure to include Quran 5:32, in its popular but incomplete and misleading form:

“The Holy Koran teaches that whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind; and whoever saves a person, it is as if he has saved all mankind.”

But Salaam Reads will not include the modifying verse Qur’an 5:33:

“The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land.”

And I can just imagine the four boys – Musa, Moises, Mo, and Kevin – visiting each other’s churches, synagogues, mosques as part of Interfaith Outreach, and one of the non-Muslim boys proudly proclaiming that in this great land of ours, the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion, and Mo then replying, “You know, some people seem to think that Muslims don’t respect freedom of religion, but nothing could be further from the truth. Why, more than a thousand years before the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion here in our home, we Muslims observed freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Holy Qur’an: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’” (2.256) What that phrase actually meant in practice is that all non-Muslims have three choices under Muslim rule: death, or conversion to Islam or, if you were a Christian or Jew, and thus of the People of the Book (Ahl al-Kitab) you could be “tolerated” as long as you agreed to a life of indignity and humiliation as a “Dhimmi,” and agreed to pay a special tax, the “Jizyah.” If, in the Salaam Reads series, the word “Jizyah” appears at all, it will no doubt be defined as “an amount non-Muslims pay the Muslim state to protect them.” But protect them from whom? From the Muslims themselves. The exaction of the “Jizyah” is classic extortion.

Muhammad is the central figure in Islam. He is the Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil) and the Model of Conduct (uswa hasana). But I’m fairly sure that in the Salaam Reads series, there’s a lot you won’t be told about Muhammad. You won’t learn of Muhammad’s consummation of his marriage to little Aisha when she was six, or about the assassination of the poetess Asma bint Marwan or the killing of the elderly Jewish poet Abu ‘Afak, who had mocked Muhammad in verse. You won’t find out about Muhammad’s raid on the Khaybar Oasis, where this “Perfect Man” seized loot from the inoffensive Jewish farmers, and in the afternoon took for himself as a sex slave a Jewish girl, Safiyya, whose husband, father, and brothers Muhammad had had killed that very morning. You won’t hear about the slaughter of 600-900 members of the Banu Qurayza in Medina after they had surrendered.

When the Salaam Reads books start to come out, see if you can find anywhere in their texts “kitman” and “taqiyya.” You won’t find those words printed on the pages. But not to worry: they’ll both be staring you in the face.

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Obama and liberal bishops need to keep their hands off Africa

TRANSCRIPT

Africa could be termed the last battleground of the Church. It is the only significant place the Church is seeing any growth. Close to 200 million Catholics inhabit the so-called Dark Continent, a term given in derision by colonial powers. The term was a reference to a claim that Africans were backward savages in great need of westernizing.

It’s why the insult hurled at the African bishops by German Cardinal Walter Kasper at the 2014 Synod in Rome touched such a nerve. He said, “The Africans — they should not tell us too much what we have to do.” As you might imagine, that comment didn’t go over too well — which is why Kasper lied about having said it at first, until an audio recording of him saying it was produced by crack journalist Ed Pentin.

Africa is a target, politically, culturally, and most important, spiritually. Africa is still viewed by many Western elites as a “colonial” seedbed. Because of its poorer economic status, various elites see an opportunity to advance their agendas of evil: contraception, sterilization, abortion, population control, homosexuality, climate change and so forth. This is being done largely through the United Nations, financed by Western governments, especially the United States.

The trick is to establish relations with individual African nations, give them some aid, let them enjoy the increased prosperity —even if it is being enjoyed only by leaders — and then promise a lot more aid in exchange for signing onto the agenda. This is part and parcel of U.S. foreign policy these days. It all started with the Mexico City Policy established by Ronald Reagan that refused U.S. government funding to any NGO involved in abortion.

When Clinton was elected in ’92, he rescinded the policy and helped fund overseas groups that work for abortion. This was the first major effort to influence foreign policy according to moral/political calculus with an eye to controlling agencies and governments. Hillary Clinton has testified publicly as Secretary of State that when she speaks of human rights, she includes that to mean abortion and contraception, including government financing.

Oddly enough, for a man with such deep ties to Africa, Obama has worked tirelessly to undermine the family in African nations by tying hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars for economic aid to their acceptance of his immoral agenda. When you drill down to the on-the-ground effect, this translates directly to attacking the Church.

U.S. money is used to essentially try and buy off leaders of various African nations. They begin promoting the Obama agenda, and then the Church runs into conflict with those leaders.

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The other method that the U.S. government uses to get into African nations is the huge sum of money — hundreds of millions each year — that it awards Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS does work to alleviate poverty, but it also allies itself with other groups pushing the population control agenda through sterilization and contraception.

Those U.S. government dollars, like all government dollars, come with strings attached. Washington, D.C., under Obama, has been relentless in pushing its agenda, and it uses a compliant CRS as another means to introduce its agenda into African nations. Bishop Borwah told us he was greatly concerned that CRS does nothing for the soul when they are doing their so-called poverty fighting.

Between the indirect approach of using CRS to gain a foothold and establish trust with the people, and courting government leaders with promises of money in exchange for acceptance of immoral policies, Africa appears to be target number one for Western leaders. The ramifications of this for the universal Church are extremely troubling. The materialism that the diabolical used to corrupt the West looks to be the same weapon by which he will introduce evil into African nations. Catholic leaders who keep supporting Obama, his policies, his party, his power structure and playing along with it in the name of social justice and fighting poverty are setting the table for the destruction of the Faith down the road in Africa.

And consider this: The Catholic population in Africa has more than tripled since 1980, and if current trends hold, in the next generation, just 20 years from now, 24 percent of Africans will be Catholic. This would result in a Catholic population of nearly half a billion in Africa — just over 20 years.

The future belongs to Africa, which begs the question: Haven’t Catholic leaders done enough damage by ruining the faith of hundreds of millions in the West? Can’t they leave their hands off Africa?

His Excellency Bp. Borwah was our guest on this past Friday’s “Download” and this past weekend’s “Mic’d Up.” He is one of those extremely good bishops who loves the Faith, his people and the truth — well worth paying attention to. He was even in the contingent of African bishops who kept the Faith from being mowed down by liberal Western bishops at the Synod this past October — something he gets into in those programs. They are well worth the listen.

Keep tuned to Church Militant to hear the whole truth.

EDITORS NOTE: Originally published at ChurchMilitant.com. Watch “The Download” Every Week, Monday-Friday. Click here for Church Militant Premium—Start your 15-day Free Trial.

VIDEO: What caused the religious orders to fall apart?

TRANSCRIPT

Ninety percent fewer seminarians; 35 percent fewer priests, and many are old; 92 percent fewer religious brothers; 90 percent fewer nuns and sisters — all in the space of just 50 years.

The drop in the numbers of men and women willing to give their lives for the Church has been beyond dramatic. Certainly, it isn’t news that there are enormously fewer numbers of priests, sisters and brothers than in days gone by, but what needs to be understood is why this happened.

It isn’t enough to just make it a simple, overly broad answer like “Vatican II caused it.” To whatever degree, the Second Vatican Council is involved, it only provided the means. It wasn’t gradual; it was a spiritual meteorite that hit the Church in the late 1960s. What we are feeling today is the lingering effect of it.

If the Church is going to rebuild Herself, we need to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. Facts have to be faced and examined objectively. Something was already present in the Church before Vatican II that allowed for the implosion of the Faith.Never forget that every bishop at Vatican II who signed the documents had been born, baptized, confirmed and ordained in the Old Rite. So the notion that the Old Rite — meaning the Traditional Latin Mass — is a cure-all is not well thought out.

The Church imploded when the TLM was the normal, usual routine. Something was already stirring in the souls of many laity and religious prior to the Council. Mass attendance before the Council was already on the way down before the Council, across the West. Obviously, it got a lot worse after Vatican II, but the dynamite was already laid.

The state of the Church in those days running up to the Council may very well have been a case of a mile wide and inch deep, in other words, the termites had already been at work for some time, so when the strong wind blew, it didn’t take much to bring the whole house down.

The same was true of religious orders at the time. They were burgeoning, busting at the seams. How did the convents and monasteries empty out so fast? Remember, it was not just the case that people stopped coming. It was the case that people stopped coming secondarily. The primary disaster was that the already professed left in droves.

So what was wrong just below the surface with all these vocations? That many would not ever come, while sad, is not shocking. What is shocking is those that had already dedicated themselves to the religious life, made vows, took oaths and so forth — that these would just chuck their vows aside.

And more to the point, as the Church tries to resurrect from this implosion, we need to be certain that we aren’t laying the groundwork for the same thing to happen again, if not at this moment, then somewhere shortly down the road.

All of this is the topic for this week’s “Mic’d Up,” a fantastic discussion about the collapse and resurrection of the religious orders.

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What is needed in any vocation is love for the Faith. And it has to surpass the love of evil that enemies of the Church have. The zeal for evil among Planned Parenthood supporters, for example, is enviable. The degree of constancy and conviction that those dedicated to the destruction of the Faith have is astounding.

Venerable Bp. Sheen used to say: “The Communists have all zeal and no truth, and we Catholics have all truth and no zeal.” The religious orders ultimately fell apart because they fell out of love with Our Lord and His Holy Catholic Church. When the opportunity presented itself, and there became a choice between Our Lord and His Holy Bride, they looked at each and chose the lesser.

That can happen to any one of us, religiously professed or lay person. People have to love; their relationship with truth, with the Faith, must be enhanced and advanced daily. They must have a sense of mission; we must have a sense of mission.

The problem facing the Church today is that the sense of mission has been reduced to a watered-down emotionalism where the mission is your feelings. That’s not mission; that’s ego. We must be in love with Our Lord in His Church — not some in love with some imaginary feeling of being in love.

Love compels greatness; it compels sacrifice; it compels a vocation.

As an early “religious” once said, “If I have not love, I am a noisy gong and clanging symbol” (1 Cor. 13:1).

EDITORS NOTE: Originally published at ChurchMilitant.com.