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THE RETURN: National and Global Day of Prayer and Repentance on September 26, 2020

The Return is a movement, an appointed time, and a specific day set apart for one purpose – the return to God by coming before His presence in humility, in sincerity in prayer, and repentance.

The movement begins now and will continue through the entire year of 2020 leading up to 10 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance – Starting with the Biblical Feast of Trumpets and ending with the Day of Atonement (September 18-September 28). The central day of The Return will be Saturday, September 26, 2020 on the National Mall and throughout the nation and world.

Come to the Live Event in Washington or take part by Live Simulcast wherever you are – In your Home, Church, Town, or City!

The Return will reach beyond the borders of America and gather all nations for a Global Day of Prayer and Repentance. For those who wish to experience this solemn assembly in person, The Return will hold a live event on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Saturday, September 26. There is no charge to attend, but tickets will be required. Tickets will be on a first come first serve basis.


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“The Devil and Karl Marx”: A Review

Robert Orlando: In his new book, Paul Kengor plunges a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, such vampires are not so easily killed.


Paul Kengor is a teacher and writer who has always had an eye for the spiritual dimension in history, politics, and economics. (He was the perfect partner for me in our book and documentary film, The Divine Plan: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Dramatic End of the Cold War.)

Prof. Kengor’s new book, The Devil and Karl Marx: Communism’s Long March of Death, Deception, and Infiltration, is a hammer and sickle dismantling of the diabolical character of Karl Marx (1818-1883). As Michael Knowles writes in the book’s foreword, “Kengor knows, like few others writing today, that terms such as collectivism and individualism only take the debate so far. . . .Ultimately the fight comes down to spiritual warfare: good versus evil.”

Indeed, Kengor’s book is all about the clash of the modern, devilish forces of socialism and communism – the key Marxist systems – against the eternally divine force of faith.

The book opens with a portrait of Marx’s formative early years, an approach similar to Paul Johnson’s in Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky (1988). Johnson was accused of being moralistic for judging Marx’s ideas through the lens of his character. Of Marx’s writings, Johnson says their “actual content can be related to four aspects of his character: his taste for violence, his appetite for power, his inability to handle money and, above all, his tendency to exploit those around him.”

Professor Kengor goes even further, depicting Marx as possibly under the Devil’s spell. The young Marx wrote some very dark poems filled with the sort of anti-religious sentiments that would inspire his Communist Manifesto. “It is in part, a tragic portrait of a man,” Kengor writes, “but still more broadly so, an ideology, a chilling retrospective on an unclean spirit that should have never been let out of its pit.”

Here’s an example from Marx’s poem, “The Pale Maiden” (1837):

Thus Heaven I’ve forfeited,
I know it full well.
My soul, once true to God,
Is chosen for Hell.

Kengor (like Johnson) makes the case that Marx, a self-absorbed intellectual, never lived out his own convictions when it came either to money or the redistribution thereof, evidenced by his dismissive attitude towards providing for those under his care. For instance, Marx exhausted the resources and goodwill of his parents, and instead of becoming remorseful or apologetic, he defiantly disowned them once they were no longer of value to him.

When it came to money, everything Marx touched turned to straw. His combustible life was filled with tragedy, debts, and, with the exception of the death of his wife Jenny, an apparent lack of regret in the face of his greatest losses. Family suicides, sexual exploits (including the possible abuse of a family maid) enflamed his life with bloody anger and fueled his revolutionary spirit. In this troubled background are the origins of his communist worldview – a complete rebellion against anything traditional or sacred. Thus the title of Kengor’s book.

Although I agree with the inescapable connection Kengor makes between Marx’s life and his philosophy, I might not place so much emphasis on the man’s early life. Many historical figures were wayward in youth, even some of our saints. Paul the Apostle aided and abetted murder as he tried to violently eradicate the Early Church. We don’t define Augustine by the reckless years prior to his conversion. In fact, these men are saints precisely because they changed.

In Marx’s case, of course, he never changed. He drank the nectar of the devil (my words), and it poisoned him – just as communism poisoned so much of the world.

The middle sections of the book track the rise and fall of the Left’s great messiah and his closest apostle, Friedrich Engels. It continues with a history of Marx’s disciples, from Vladimir Lenin in Russia to Saul Alinsky in the United States.

Kengor also explains how these and other henchmen have assaulted the Catholic faith. Although vigorously opposed by Catholic leadership, Marxism would nonetheless gain a foothold in parts of the Church. Kengor highlights Pope John Paul II’s success in his confrontation with Marxism and communism. Having lived much of his life in a communist regime, St. John Paul knew well Marxist ideas, which enabled him to deal effectively with the liberation theologians in South America.

I think of Kengor as plunging a stake into the heart of the devil and Karl Marx. But as we know, vampires are not so easily killed. Marxism in the 20th century used class warfare, and that was mostly a failure. In the 21st century, Marxists are employing identity politics, lately with some success. But the aim is the same: to sow cultural destruction. If this doesn’t make you angry, you’re not breathing.

Bizarrely romantic revolutions – from Mao’s China to Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone – Marx’s ill-conceived utopias aren’t just destructive, they’re murderous. The death toll of communism worldwide exceeds 100-million! Kengor calls it “nothing short of diabolical – truly a satanic scourge, a killing machine.”

Without question, America has had its share of betrayals and unrealized ideals, but what other country has made such progress with the rule of law, individual freedom, and shared prosperity?

Marx believed religion was a drug (the opium of the people) used by the wealthy to maintain disproportionate power. In retrospect, of course, communism peddles its own drug: an idealized global world, in which inequality disappears in the obliteration of all human distinctions. Kengor sees the seeds of our current flirtation with Marxism in the promotion of sexual freedom, “that plagues us to this today.”

Scripture teaches that, after the Resurrection, Lucifer was left only with the power to accuse, with rhetoric his only weapon. This is why Satan and Marxists prey on the most vulnerable: those least sure of their own identity. Satan comes as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:1), but he and his disciples, Marxist groups such as Antifa and the founders of the Black Lives Matter organization, bring only darkness.

Paul Kengor shows us the light.

COLUMN BY

Robert Orlando

Robert Orlando is a filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur. He’s the founder Nexus Media, and his latest films include The Divine Plan, and Citizen Trump. He also has a new book, The Tragedy of Patton: A Soldier’s Date with Destiny, forthcoming in November. His work has been published in HuffPost, Patheos, Newsmax, and Daily Caller. As a scholar, he specializes in biography, religion, and military history.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 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.

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

Godless. monsters.

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

By Kylee Zempel, The Federalist, August 19, 2020:

A Democratic National Convention moderator omitted sacred words from the Pledge of Allegiance during a panel discussion Tuesday: “under God.”

During the Muslim Delegates Assembly, the video of the livestreamed event shows A.J. Durani led the pledge but left out an important part, saying, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Durani was elected to be a super delegate for the 2016-2020 term of the Democratic National Committee.

The pledge has included the phrase “one nation under God” since Congress passed a law, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1954 to add it to the recitation. So, regardless of this 2020 panel’s objectives, the official pledge includes the religious phrase. “Under God” was added largely in response to the Cold War era’s threats of communism and the ideas of Marxist-Leninist countries. Ironically, many leaders of the Democratic Party are once again advocating Marxism through revisionist history and the Black Lives Matter organization.

Anyone who has watched the trajectory of the Democratic Party, now with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the helm, shouldn’t be surprised at the omission. After all, this presidential nominee pledged to go after nuns for refusing to violate their consciences in providing abortifacients. Catholic churches denied Biden Holy Communion for his aggressively pro-abortion policy positions, and he signaled support for using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, directly contradicting the most basic of biblical principles.

Biden’s running mate is arguably leagues worse with regard to religious bigotry. Harris’s anti-Catholic posture led her to fight the confirmation of Judge Brian Buescher over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order. As attorney general of California, Harris also launched an intrusive investigation into citizen journalist David Daleiden for taking undercover videos that exposed abortion giant Planned Parenthood for trafficking aborted baby body parts. Congress continues to do nothing about this appalling atrocity.

All this is also to say nothing of the Democratic Party’s increasing disdain for traditional religious teaching on marriage, the family, and church, to name a few.

As the convention progresses, we shouldn’t be surprised when Democratic Party and committee leaders take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re usually trying to take Him out of everything else.


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The Politics of Heaven and Hell

Robert Royal: Heaven is in Heaven and the New Jerusalem cannot be brought to Earth by our efforts; only God will bring perfect justice at the Second Coming.


Shortly after I arrived in Washington years ago, I reviewed a book with the same title as this column. A friend warned about reviewing books by that particular author – our late lamented colleague James V. Schall, S.J. – because if you start, he said, you won’t have time for anything else. And that was before the supernova of titles that Schall the Great turned out in his seventies, eighties, and even nineties.

Ignatius Press is republishing The Politics of Heaven and Hell this fall with an introduction by another incisive and prolific writer, Robert Reilly. A good thing, too, because in our current chaos, when it seems almost impossible to get sure footing about anything, this relatively neglected volume not only uncovers sure foundations. It explains the ways by which we’ve mixed up eternal and temporal things – and put the times out of joint.

Schall’s central insight is that our central traditions of both faith and reason agree that politics is an important, but circumscribed realm. If we were the highest beings, politics would be the highest science, said Aristotle. That wise pagan – Dante calls him “the master of those who know” – knew that we are not the highest beings. There’s God, for starters, and His Creation, to which we owe deference. Ignore them, and the inevitable result is chaos, suffering, servitude, tyranny, and death.

The ancient Hebrews learned this well before Aristotle. Schall notes how little attention political theorists pay to the Old Testament, the history of a small and obscure nation – Israel – that survived, improbably, down to our own time, with incalculable influence on the history of the whole world. It did so not because of any special policies or virtues: Jewish history is a record of graces given and refused, of return and consequent flourishing, of many rounds of ignoring God, decline, and renewal through Him.

The overall lesson: nations are great not because they accumulate power or wealth. Power and wealth come and go. And aren’t all they seem anyway. Nations are made great, however insignificant they may be in earthly terms, because God makes them so and they conform themselves to God.

Christianity, of course, limited politics in a special way, beginning with Jesus’ famous distinction between the things that are Caesar’s – the arrangements necessary to human flourishing (even, sadly, taxes) – and the things that are God’s. Those few words had immense, cascading effects in the Christian tradition.

And not only in thinkers like Augustine, Aquinas, Suárez, Bellarmine, etc. Countries historically touched by Christianity still mostly protect beliefs about ultimate things from control by politics – indeed, believe that right can and should challenge might. That separation is absent from Muslim societies, ideological regimes like China, or traditional societies where the ruler is regarded as a kind of mortal god.

But it’s not only on high intellectual or social planes that these truths prove themselves. As we’ve seen only too clearly in modern times, when politics becomes the “highest science” men become not philosopher kings, but beasts. The totalizing political systems of Communism, Nazism, and Fascism were killing machines on an unprecedented scale.

And recent decades have given birth to what the Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko calls the “demon in democracy,” a new totalitarian temptation wherein everything is defined by political ideology. We worry over “polarization,” but there’s a deep geological fault in our politics, far more radical than that. The absence of religion in the public square, with its moderating effects, is a large factor in this development, since once the true God departs the false god of the state arrives.

Even good public impulses then become poisonous – and unlimited. For example, we’ve just seen what can happen when a proper effort to right racism, a historic wrong, is made the measure of everything. Everything becomes “racist” that is not explicitly “anti-racist” – according to someone’s definition, which may differ from someone else’s. Not surprisingly, demands for absolute political justice then turn into “canceling” and anathematizing people who show the slightest deviation from an ideological line – i.e., injustice.

Historic racial inequities need to be fixed, but does injustice only involve race – with occasional bows to gender and class? Andrew Sullivan, a brilliant writer, recently resigned from New York magazine because it couldn’t bear his criticism of “cancel culture,” despite his being gay and liberal on some issues, conservative on others (and somehow also aspiring to be Catholic).

He pointed out that it’s places like the New York Times that really don’t understand a just “diversity.” The Times seems poised to cave in to employee demands that staff reflect the racial makeup of New York City: 24 percent black and more than half “people of color.” And there must be “sensitivity training” – i.e., ideological indoctrination – for everyone.

Sullivan notes that there are other underrepresented groups at the Times. Only 37 percent of New Yorkers, for example, are college graduates – who are overrepresented in the newsroom – as are Asians and Jews. Should some of them resign?  If you wanted fairer proportions of New Yorkers, 10 percent of staff would have to be Republicans, 6 percent Hasidic Jews, and 33 percent Catholic.

It may be a long wait for that because ideologues only care about certain “facts” and rarely have a sense of irony – or humor.

Which takes us back to the politics of Heaven and Hell. Heaven is in Heaven and the New Jerusalem cannot be brought to Earth by our efforts; only God will bring perfect justice at the Second Coming. The road to human hells, however, always lies wide open.

The larger perspective that religion affords us – including elements like human imperfection, sin, forgiveness, tolerance, the limits of earthly politics – does not mean that we need to be any less passionate in pursuing justice and fairness. But it does mean we have to be vigilant and measured about our own motives and the results of our actions. We have on good authority: “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.” (Lk. 11:3)

Robert Royal

Dr. Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent book is A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century, published by Ignatius Press. The God That Did Not Fail: How Religion Built and Sustains the West, is now available in paperback from Encounter Books.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 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 Decline of Christianity Since the Reformation

David Carlin: The decline of Christianity is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith, but also in those who claim to be liberal Christians.


Modern history (by which I mean the history of the western world since about the year 1500) tells many stories.  I suspect that these many stories are subplots in one big story, and for years I’ve been trying to guess what this one big story may be.  My guess (but it’s only a guess) is that the one big story is the story of how the western world has been trying to get rid of Christianity.

The story begins with the Protestant Reformation.  None of the reformers intended to do away with Christianity.  Just the opposite.  Regardless of anybody’s intentions, however, a divided Christianity would be easier to destroy than a united Christianity.

This divided Christianity led in the 16th and 17th centuries to the rise of skepticism, especially in France.  But skepticism, while it continues even to the present day to erode Christianity, is too purely negative a thing to replace the old faith.  And a replacement is needed.  You can’t just get rid of Christianity and leave the world with nothing to believe in.

Skepticism was succeeded by a more positive thing in the 18th century, Deism, which professed to hold on to the good elements of Christianity (afterlife, morality, etc.) while getting rid of its bad elements.  But Deism was too “thin” a thing to replace Christianity.  Besides, it stopped well short of the ultimate aim of anti-Christianity, namely the complete eradication of the old religion.

Deism helped bring about the French Revolution, which showed for the first time that a powerful state could be used as a tremendous anti-Christianity machine.

In the second half of the 19th century, there was a great intellectual movement on behalf of agnosticism.  But agnosticism was simply another name for the old skepticism, still too negative a thing to get the anti-Christianity job done.

In the 20th century, two gigantic anti-Christianity movements took the stage, and each of them came to control an enormously powerful state: Nazism and Communism.  The former intended to get rid of Christianity while thinly disguising its intention; it deceived many Christians who wanted to be deceived.  The latter didn’t stoop to disguise; it was quite frank about its intention.  Both of them did great damage to Christianity, and when they failed (Nazism in 1945, Russian Communism in 1991) they left behind them a Christianity that had been greatly weakened.

In the postwar period (1945-present) the western liberal democracies (U.S.A., U.K., France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Spain [after Franco], Portugal [after Salazar]) have been subject to a non-statist kind of anti-Christianity.  These countries all experienced, some of them sooner, some of them later, the growth of an anti-Christianity public sentiment.

These countries all experienced the gradual asphyxiation of Christianity by the gradual growth of anti-Christian feelings.  For decades the state played little or no part in this smothering process – though this has changed recently.

This liberal-democratic, anti-Christianity got a tremendous boost beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s with the coming of the sexual revolution.  This “revolution” was about sex – but it was about much more than sex.  Sexual restraint and even downright chastity had been an essential element of Christianity from its beginning in the first century AD.  Get rid of Christian sex morality, and you’re well on your way to getting rid of Christianity altogether.

Once the average person decides that Christianity has been wrong about fornication, adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc. for almost 2,000 years, it will be relatively easy for that person to believe that Christianity has also been wrong about many other things – including all the articles of the Nicene Creed.

Many would-be Christians – I have in mind “liberal” Catholics and Protestants – believe it is possible to have a “new and improved” Christianity that embraces and endorses the values of the sexual revolution.  They are mistaken – as certain a priori considerations should have persuaded them decades ago, and as experience has abundantly demonstrated over the last fifty years.

Throughout the western world (the world that used to be called Christendom), including the United States, Christianity is in steep decline today.  Evidence of this decline is found not just in those who claim no Christian faith (the “Nones”).  It is also found in those who claim to be liberal Christians – which means that they have dropped most of Christianity’s orthodox “baggage.”  And it is also found in those who, while claiming to be orthodox, really don’t take their orthodoxy seriously.

Two questions:

  1. Does one have to be an atheist to be anti-Christianity? Strictly speaking, no. For instance, the Deists of the 18th century were anti-Christianity without being atheists.  But if you want to get rid of Christianity, it helps to be an atheist.  A lot, because atheism is the most thoroughgoing kind of anti-Christianity.  If you want to get rid of the old religion, why not go all the way?  Why not destroy the very foundation of Christianity?
  2. Does one have to be a supporter of abortion to be counted among the haters of Christianity? Yes. For the right to abortion – and not just the legal right but the moral right as well – is essential to the sexual revolution.  If we don’t have abortion as a back-up when mistakes are made or accidents happen, how can we have a moral regime of sexual freedom?

Practically speaking, we can’t.  Think about it.  If abortion were to be banned throughout America, the next thing you know we’d have people recommending chastity.  And once people recommend chastity, guess what? – they’ll start recommending Christianity.

Well, we can’t have that, can we?  And therefore we must make sure that abortion is legal and is considered to be morally unobjectionable.  Indeed we must make it a praiseworthy thing – the kind of thing which, like public education and police and fire protection, everybody who needs it should have free of charge.

For what it’s worth, that’s my reading of the last 500 years.

David Carlin

David Carlin is a retired professor of sociology and philosophy at the Community College of Rhode Island, and the author of The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America.

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EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 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.

Catholic and “catholic”

Fr. Paul D. Scalia: The Church’s children should resemble her. We ought to strive to be catholic (universal) in our zeal, our mercy, and our embrace of Truth.


In today’s Gospel, our Lord likens the Kingdom of heaven to “a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind.” (Mt 13:44-52) This net, which gathers not just one kind of fish but fish of every kind, serves as a good description of what we confess every Sunday: the Church is catholic.

Now, most people probably think of “Catholic” as the brand name of a particular Christian denomination. Yes, we speak colloquially of the Catholic Church as distinct from the Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist churches, etc. But that’s a fairly recent designation, only since the Reformation. Before the Church was “Catholic” she was already “catholic.” It’s a truth we find expressed in the Church’s earliest years. The word “catholic” means universal, embracing and bringing all things together into a unity (from the Greek kata holos, “according to the whole).

Now, the distinction and relation of “Catholic” and “catholic” is important: one cannot be Catholic without also being catholic. To be a member of the Church means to share in her catholicity. So, what does that entail?

First, the Church is catholic – universal – in the most obvious sense: for all people. “Here comes everybody” is James Joyce’s famous description of the Church. She welcomes all comers, embraces and incorporates all people – “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, all peoples, of every race, nation, and country throughout the world.” (Rev 7:9) She leaves no group or kind of people beyond her mission and solicitude.

Now, catholic in this sense does not mean everyone thrown together willy-nilly, as you might toss all your clothes into the closet. Rather, it means all people brought together as one, as a unified whole. In the United States, we are now witnessing what happens to a society when its various peoples have lost their principle of unity. The Church, however – and, in the end, only the Church – is truly universal because she both embraces all people and makes them one body in Christ.

The implications of this universality should be clear. It means, first, that we welcome all people into the Church. Anyone who repents and believes is welcome regardless of any accidental qualities.  Further, this catholicity requires that we actively seek to bring the Gospel to all peoples, and all peoples to the Church.

Second, the Church is catholic in the sense that she forgives all sins. This is a consequence of her being the continuing presence of Christ Himself in the world.  Our Lord has authorized her to act and speak in His Name. He entrusted to her ministers His own power to forgive, a power limited only by a person’s desire to be forgiven.

Through the ministry of the Church, any of our sins, from the most trivial to the most severe, can be forgiven when we repent and ask forgiveness. Which also means that we should desire the extension of that forgiveness and reconciliation. Indeed, we should participate in the Church’s ministry of reconciliation. As such, our own personal forgiveness should extend as far as the Church’s, from the most trivial slight to the gravest sin against us. As regards forgiveness we can never say, “thus far and no further.”

Throughout her history, from Tertullian to Calvin, the Church has seen plenty of rigorists who would like to shorten the reach of her mercy. Like the slaves in the parable of the wheat and tares (Mt 13:24-43), they want a Church of saints not sinners. In the current “cancel culture,” the mobs of secular rigorists give us a sense of just how brutal a society is that desires pure justice (or what passes for it) and no mercy.

Finally, the Church is catholic in the sense that she possesses all truth. Everything necessary for salvation is found within her doctrine. All religions possess some aspects of the truth. Only Christ’s Church possesses the fullness of the truth.

Notice that the net in the parable brings in “all kinds of fish,” both the desired and the undesired. Similarly, the Church holds both pleasing truths (human dignity, forgiveness, heaven) and hard truths (sin, judgment, hell). To be Catholic means to assent to all that the Church teaches – not just to the parts we like.

The Church’s history is littered with heresies, a word that indicates the choosing of one truth to the exclusion of others (Greek again haerisis, not kata holos). Those who do so cease to be catholic, because they are embracing not the fullness of the truth but only the parts they like. If we call ourselves catholic, we must show ourselves to be truly catholic, embracing all truths — not just the convenient ones.

Mother Church’s children should bear a resemblance to her. So it is that we ought to strive to be catholic in our zeal for souls, in the reach of our mercy, and in our embrace of the truth.

COLUMN BY

Fr. Paul D. Scalia

Fr. Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington, Va, where he serves as Episcopal Vicar for Clergy. His new book is That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 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.

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.

The Answer To Our Nation’s Ailments Is So Easy To See.

This week has witnessed the destructive and sinister actions of two deranged and evil men who sought to sow havoc and hatred upon others.  The first, of course, was the attempted (or feigned) mail bombings by an unstable individual in Miami targeting prominent Democrats.  The second is the vicious, senseless, and horrible mauling of Jews assembled within their own synagogue in Pittsburgh for the purposes of prayer, fellowship, and worship.  Obviously, neither of these events is in any way tolerable in a Republic or in American society.   And although there is, I expect, complete unanimity on this matter, the consensus breaks down with the attempt at identifying the root cause of our malady.

Many explanations can be posited for the deterioration in the interactions between Americans we have recently witnessed.  Some blame the faster-paced society in which we live.  Others discuss video games and television violence.  Still others suggest that the issue lies in the vitriol with which politicians and reporters alike engage the public and each other.  And of course, the deceitful opportunists will go further and place the blame squarely on the President of the United States.

In reality, the problem is much more elemental than this and vastly more ominous.  What we are witnessing is, quite simply, the latest manifestation of the eternal battle of good against evil where evil is winning.

The devastating consequences of a society’s abandonment of God have played out on numerous occasions.  God’s destruction of His creation in response to widespread corruption, the Jews’ struggles with their own moral frailties as they trekked across the desert in search of the Promised Land, the destruction of Sodom due to its wretchedness even before Lot’s escape, Israel’s suffering brought about by David’s moral indiscretion are but a few examples of the inverse relationship between destruction and famine and closeness to God.

But the association is not merely a physical one. Patrick Henry was correct when he wrote that religion “hath a natural tendency to correct the morals of men, restrain their vices, and preserve the peace of society.”  It was an insight shared by Congress in its creation of the Northwest Ordinance prompting it to include the words in Article 3 of its charter, “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Unfortunately, the agenda-driven courts bent on sealing any porousness in the wall of separation between church and state described by Thomas Jefferson, abandoned those fundamental concepts.  And the results, similar to the countless examples painted for us in the Bible, have been nothing short of cataclysmic.  In the same time since the courts stripped our schools of prayer, the United States has seen the dissolution of its relationship to God, a deterioration in the collective faith of its citizens, and an acceleration in the hostility, hatred, and overall mayhem taking place within its borders.

Make no mistake about it, what we are witnessing is no less a complete destruction of a society than the evaporation of Sodom.  Only this time the destruction is much more foundational than a physical one.  We are witnessing the destruction of a nation’s soul, and those pointing to Donald Trump, or the Republicans, or social media, or anything short of our devolving devotion to God is losing sight of the real culprit.  The culprit is evil itself, and the only path to salvation lies in following the mandates of a Judeo-Christian God.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Federalist Pages. It is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash.

Stop Gender Genocide

Following the death of Carrie Fisher — and the death one day later of her mother, Debbie Reynolds — I ran across an article about Fisher’s 24-year-old daughter, Billie Lourd.

Fox 2015 programming presentation Red Carpet Arrivals at Wollamn Rink in Central Park  in New York City Featuring: Billie Lourd Where: New York City, New York, United States When: 11 May 2015 Credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com

Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd (pictured above) says her mother “raised me without gender.” Photo credit: Alberto Reyes/WENN.com

Lourd proudly spoke about her upbringing at the hands of single mom and admitted drug abuser Carrie Fisher. Lourd boasted that her mother “raised me to not think of men and women as different. She raised me without gender. It’s kind of the reason she named me Billie.”

Yet clearly Billie Lourd is a woman, despite Fisher’s attempts to raise her without any gender identification. She looks and dresses as a woman, and she dates men. Lourd believes her upbringing was a success, but if the intent was to raise her as gender neutral, it was a dismal failure. Nature, it appears, was victorious.

In another example of what today can only be described as gender genocide, the National Geographic magazine put on its December cover a picture of a nine-year-old transgender, a boy dressed as a girl with long, bright pink hair.

Inside, the story details the difficulties little children encounter living as transgenders. One of these little kids had been struggling since he/she was five years old.

Another little girl, age nine, is described as a Muslim living in India who wants to be a boy so she can earn money and “get stuff for her family.” Is that a good enough reason to neutralize this child’s sex? Maybe for that family it is.

It’s hard to believe that children as little as five are actually struggling with their gender identity unless they are coerced into such a struggle by the adults around them. Kids that age are still contemplating the mystery of Santa Claus, not their gender identity.

This is gender genocide — the willful destruction of our biological sex. It’s the last frontier for the gay lobby (the sex lobby, it may as well be called) and its quest for ultimate control over our sexual behavior and identity. This is a deeply sinister social engineering that seeks to indoctrinate children into thinking they can define their own gender, regardless of their God-given gender.

Having conquered the battlefield of gay marriage (in 2015 when the Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same-sex marriage) … the sex lobby has turned its sights on transgender rights and gender fluidity. The more victories they achieve, the more absurd their goals become. Gay rights … gay adoption … gay partner benefits … gay marriage … transgender acceptance … same-sex bathrooms … gender fluidity … new pronouns. Just when it seems the end is in sight and they can’t possibly do more damage to our culture, they move the bar further.

Eliminating God From American Life

But at its heart, this is a movement to eliminate God’s natural order from our lives, plain and simple. It is a twisted effort to undermine the biblical underpinnings of our culture and eradicate the sexes.

The Bible says that in the beginning, “God made them male and female.” (Gen. 5:2) Pretty clear and straight forward, though the sex lobby never likes the word “straight” in any context.  This rock-solid fact is the one immovable force that they cannot surmount, so they have come up with ways around it.

One way is to declare, despite what our eyes tell us, that people can be any sex they want. We only need to decide which sex we identify with in our minds — and voila, that’s the sex we are. And, it must follow, we should be allowed to use the bathroom of our choice absolutely anywhere and everywhere in the United States … especially in our taxpayer-funded schools.

Literally, this new battle is being waged in the toilet.

But at least now we’re getting to the meat of the issue. If the sex lobby can change the attitudes of our children about sex, and encourage them to follow every urge that pops up in their pubescent heads, they will have a captive army of young adults to march out into the world and tear down the Judeo-Christian foundation of our nation.

Like lemmings following each other off a cliff only to drown in the sea, our young people obey, just like Billie Lourd and other Hollywood celebrities do. In the process, though, they position themselves as role models for our kids, and there’s the danger.

Miley Cyrus says she is “gender fluid.”

miley cyrus

Miley Cyrus says she is “gender fluid.”

Miley Cyrus, who performed a music video stark naked on a wrecking ball, claims she is “gender fluid.”

“I’m just equal,” she gushed in an interview. “I’m just even. It has nothing to do with any parts of me or how I dress or how I look. It’s literally how I feel.” She had to add those last few sentences because she has female body parts and dresses like a woman, so don’t be fooled if she looks like a woman, she’s really whatever she wants to be at the moment.

Hypocrisy Of Gender Warriors

The hypocrisy of the gender genocide advocates is stunning. If gender doesn’t matter anymore, why did women go berserk when Hillary did not become the first FEMALE president? If Hillary’s not a she but a “ze” — the preferred neutral pronoun of the gender genocide lobby — then there’s no glass ceiling to break, right?

Witness also the hysteria that followed the publication of a Washington Post magazine article just recently that displayed the wrong symbol for womanhood (they used the male symbol with the circle and arrow, instead of the circle and cross for female). Male and female heads were exploding over the mistake — which the Washington Post apologized for abjectly and corrected right away.

But if gender doesn’t matter, then why do the symbols matter?

For that matter, why was it so important to legalize same-sex marriage? If genders don’t matter, or if they are all in our head, what’s the big deal?

The answer is obvious to even the little children who are being used as petri dishes for the sex lobby’s ungodly experiments. There are boys and there are girls. Period. Even the most strident advocates for gender neutrality recognize this physical reality.

Within the past couple of years hundreds, perhaps thousands, of school districts, institutions and municipalities have jumped on the gender-neutral bandwagon and declared that their bathrooms are open for use by any gender. Men may use the women’s room if they’re feeling a little feminine that day, and vice versa.

No doctor’s note is required to show that a sex change operation has been performed. No psychiatric exam is required, either.

What is so shocking is the lack of thoughtful and reasoned examination of the movement. Schools and public places are just lining up to follow the new guidelines like brainless robots programmed to obey. They should be asking, Where’s the science?

Christians Toe The Line

At a time when the Christian community should be standing up to these attempts to pollute biblical truths, some so-called Christian institutions are toeing the line. One Christian school in the Seattle, Wash., area, sent home notices to all parents that it would be hosting a “coming out day” for its gay and transgender students, and that students may now use the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

The alternative is to be forced out of business or suffer staggering fines. The Obama Administration ordered every public school in the nation to cater to transgenders in the restrooms or lose their federal funding. One transgender girl in a Maine public school was awarded $75,000 because her school forced her to use a staff restroom. That’s a scary prospect for a school district that needs the money — money, mind you, already paid by parents in the form of taxes that should rightfully come back to the schools with no gender strings attacks.

Jonas Maines, left, and his transgender sister, Nicole Maines, stand outside the Penobscot Judicial Center, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, in Bangor, Maine. The siblings were born as identical twins boys. The state supreme court heard arguments on Wednesday over a school district’s handling of Nicole Maine's restroom needs. The lawsuit accuses the school district of breaking a state law in 2007 when it stopped letting the Maines use the girls bathroom and required to her use a staff bathroom after a student's grandfather complained. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Nicole Maines, a boy who is a transgender “girl,” sued a Maine public school for forcing her to use a staff restroom. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

These sick stories remind me of another Bible verse, the one that warns us not to cause children to sin against God.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones — those who believe in me — to stumble,” warned Jesus, “it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

bruce reimer

Bruce Reiner was born as a boy, raised as a girl, had surgery to create a vagina and then later committed suicide.

The Sad Case of Bruce Reimer

I am also reminded of the tragic case of Bruce Reimer, born a male with a twin brother, Brian, in Winnipeg, Canada, in the 1960s. Following a botched circumcision Bruce was raised as a girl, Brenda. Doctors fully castrated him as a baby and later gave him female hormones so he could like his entire life as a woman. Bruce’s clueless parents agreed to this.

Enter the evil mad scientist, Dr. John Money, a “sexologist.” It was Money’s theory — as it is the theory of so many in today’s sex-obsessed culture — that gender identity is the product of nurture rather than nature. Dr. Money followed the twins’ progress throughout their tragic lives, forcing them to strip naked in interviews and examine each others’ genitals … and forcing them to re-enact the sex act as male and female while the mad Dr. Money took pictures.

But Brenda, formerly Bruce, knew in his soul that there was something wrong with him, and as time went on he began to live out a more masculine lifestyle — despite Dr. Money’s efforts to force him to behave like a girl. At the age of seven Dr. Money began to torment Brenda with demands that he have surgery to create a vagina. Brenda resisted to the end.

When, as a young adult, Brenda finally learned that he was a male, he immediately began to live as a man and stopped taking the female hormones. He even married a woman and adopted his wife’s children.

But the horror of what had been done to him was too much for both twins. First the twin brother Brian killed himself with an overdose of anti-depressants. Then, at the age of 38, Bruce shot himself in the head with a shotgun.

Dr. Money was allowed to live out his life in comfort until the age of 85 as a renowned sexologist, dying in 2006. Sadly, at least two of his victims killed themselves because they could not live out the false life that Dr. Money had chosen for them.

Are we repeating today the experiments that Dr. Money performed all those years ago? Are we risking the lives and happiness of our children to satisfy the sex lobby’s insatiable appetite for destruction?

Tragic Human Cost

Like the heartbreaking story of Bruce Reimer, which can be viewed here in a BBC documentary, the lifestyles of Billie Lourd and Miley Cyrus are just exotic theories without regard for the tragic human cost. Because despite the “feelings” of these sad and confused individuals, God made them male and female. Their feelings really don’t matter.

Bruce Reiner was born as a boy, raised as a girl, had surgery to create a vagina and then later committed suicide.

Thankfully, we are beginning to see some pushback to all this nonsense. Thirteen states have filed lawsuits against the Obama edict mandating that transgenders have free access to any bathroom (and locker room) of their choice.

In late 2016 a Texas judge blocked Obama’s edict. And in North Carolina officials enacted a ban on forcing public facilities to provide transgender restrooms. (The LGBT lobby is fighting this tooth and nail and vowing to overturn the ban.)

Taken to its illogical extreme — that we are whatever we think we are — then what is to stop me from claiming age fluidity? So what if my birth certificate shows that I’m a senior citizen. I identify as a 24 year old, at least today.

Or, I may be just 24 and identify as a senior citizen …

… so I demand the senior citizen discount.

Foolish it is, this gender genocide is sweeping our nation. But dangerous, too. In Romans 1 we are warned:

“God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

And “furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” And, “although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

God help us if we continue on this path toward the utter and complete genocide of the genders that God ordained for us.

A Doctor’s Prescription for Risky World Views and What Some Think is Christianity

Don’t let what you think you know prevent an honest look at a broader picture.

A PhD in math acknowledged that even the smartest person cannot know even 1% of all knowledge, so what’s the possibility that God could exist in the other 99%? And some things don’t fit into words—we can know the flavor of chocolate, but we can’t explain it to someone who never tasted it.

The Bible says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” The parallel to chocolate suggests it is impossible for someone to know if this is so without an honest (even scientifically fair) trial. In science, there is talk of a controlled experiment where you test something in one group compared to another group without it.

The wonderful thing about life is that we are not like animals, but have highly developed powers of reason. We can think it through and choose which side of belief we are on. We can say “No” to Intelligent Design and the Designer who gifted us the computer between our ears and our marvelous bodies that repair the wear and tear and even reverse diseases that we brought on ourselves by what we put in our mouths, if we repent—a good example that also applies to the spiritual dimension.

Gandhi said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians.” It was hard for Gandhi to sort the claims of “Christian” political powers from the claims of Christ who said His kingdom was not of this world. Muslims see a similar problem with the Great Satan that brought alcohol, tobacco, drugs, crime, sex, violence, Hollywood, TV, perversions and rock music to their lands. They think this is Christianity.

Nevertheless, the ‘controlled experiment’ to discern the difference between faith in God and none might be seen in the huge social experiment called America. When a medieval church proved Gandhi right and controlled governments in the Dark Ages, people hid Bibles in their homes at the risk of being tortured or burned at the stake. No wonder thousands braved death at sea or from Indians or starvation for freedom.

Founding fathers gave America a Constitution that was second only to the Ten Commandments as a basis for self-government. And if we governed ourselves wisely, there is NO need for government to tell us what to do. Lincoln said the Bible is the greatest gift that God has given to man. Without it, we would not know right from wrong.  He liberated the slaves. The US also gave women the right to vote.  Christianity has elevated women and we rose to greatness as we defeated Hitler and Japan in WW II.

But since the United Nations began in 1945, the world has turned against Gandhi and Christ with a fabrication of Catholic and Communist countries to strategize for global government by men who can’t govern themselves as the billions spent on lawsuits to defend against pedophilia suggest—never mind homosexuality that’s said to be rampant in the priesthood.

Instead of America being a shining light on the hill, the truth of God and His goodness can only be seen when the judgments He pronounced against sin will fall on America for killing millions of infants and the redefining of marriage. God (not the priest) can forgive any sin, but He cannot look the other way on it. Calvary was too costly and our forgiveness must include a desire for a clean heart that even King David prayed for in Psalm 51.

Saying no to this, is like accepting the 99% of consequences that we don’t understand when those who have tasted of God’s goodness will say it is far better than chocolate.

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EDITORS NOTE: For readers who may be interested, Dr. Ruhling recommends a short book, translated into 125+ languages, and can be read online here. For those who aren’t ready to go there, how about another look at some scientific questions, here.

AR-15 Speaks! A New — and Real — Anti-black Bigotry by AR-15

Hi, my name is AR-15. Some of you know me, but many more of you know of me — through the media. But you may not know the real me.

I’m that cool, sleek-looking black gun you’ve seen profiled by the press. They put me in newspapers and on TV, showing my picture as if it’s a mug shot, even though I’ve never committed a crime. Oh, bad people have at times used (and abused) me to do bad things, but not really that often; as even The New York Times admitted in 2014, firearms such as me — which that paper and others call “assault weapons” — are only used in two percent of gun crimes (most are perpetrated with handguns).

And that’s another thing. For a long time I didn’t mind the misnomer; it massaged my ego and made me feel like the big man on the block when I was called an “assault weapon.” But Mr. Duke convinced me that “pride goeth before a fall,” as the Good Book says. He pointed out that the term “assault weapon” was popularized by anti-gun zealot Josh Sugarmann, whose goal was to besmirch my reputation and get me banned. In fact, Sugarmann, not at all a sweet man, actually once said, “Assault weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

And it’s true, especially in my case. The public knows my appearance well; people have seen my cousin and dead ringer, M-16, fired machine-gun style in war movies for decades. But, alas, I, AR-15 — the weapon available to the public — can only be fired semi-automatic. This means that every time you pull my trigger, one shot, and only one shot, is released.

So even if we accept the term “assault weapon,” that’s not me. To qualify, a gun must be capable of fully automatic fire (machine-gun style), and no such weapons are readily available to the public. So unlike cousin M-16, who originally had a select-fire feature allowing him to be shot in various ways, I’m just a one-trick pony. And, by the way, “AR” in my name doesn’t stand for “assault rifle” but “Armalite Rifle,” referencing the company that first produced me.

Despite this, I’ve become a media whipping boy. Even when those rare crimes are committed in which a gun of my class is used, but which don’t involve me personally — such as the horrific Orlando incident, where Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen used a Sig Sauer MCX — my face is front and center. In fact, that’s what finally inspired me to speak out, articles such as this outrageous one from Daily News writer Gersh Kuntzman. Reporting on how he tried me at a Philly gun range, he actually wrote:

The recoil bruised my shoulder, which can happen if you don’t know what you’re doing. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick. The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary form of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.

None of the above is true; I know because I was there. Oh, in my younger and more impetuous days I would’ve gotten a thrill out of being portrayed as such a macho guy. But the Truth will set you free (something the propagandizing Mr. Kuntzman should ponder).

And the truth is that I never bruised Mr. Kuntzman. One thing I can rightly puff up my chest over is that I have very little recoil because I’m high-tech — my mechanism is designed to absorb much of the energy of the blast. And you don’t have to take my word for it. Mr. Duke had the opportunity years ago to fire me on multiple occasions, and he says that I have by far the least kick of any firearm he ever used. And if you don’t believe him, trust your own eyes. Below is a video of a seven-year-old girl trying me for the first time (forward to the 25-second mark if you want to see just the actual firing).

Did the little lass say “Ow!” or register discomfort in any way? Did she rub her shoulder? A 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot could have knocked that little tyke on her keister, but me? Also know that Kuntzman fired me only three times before bowing out, grousing that I was a “dangerous weapon.” And that fact, my friends, comes from Frank Stelmach, who was quoted by Kuntzman and who owns the gun range the journalist visited. You see, Mr. Duke actually called Stelmach, and one of the first things the man said to Duke — as he complained of how Kuntzman misrepresented his words and the experience at the range — was “It would be nice if journalists would write what you actually say!”

And by the by, Stelmach said that Kuntzman never mentioned anything about his shoulder or expressed that he was experiencing any kind of discomfort. Stelmach also called the notion that an ultra-low-recoil weapon such as me could bruise a grown man’s shoulder “nonsense.”

As for my “explosions” being “loud like a bomb,” well, I can belt out a song, but not like some other firearms. And no wonder. I fire the .223 cartridge, a small-caliber round the same diameter as a .22 (yes, .22s are those cute little rounds you put in your Marlin as a kid). Of course, my round is a lot more powerful than a .22 (in your face, Marlin!), but just take a look at these “killing power” rankings of rifle rounds. It’s hard to admit, but the .223 round listed — which is still more powerful than my .223 round and which I can’t fire — has the second least power of the 41 cartridges ranked. This is why many states have outlawed my use for hunting big game, such as deer. Imagine, they won’t even let me go after Bambi! In the same vein, when a lady friend of Mr. Duke’s tried me years ago, she remarked that, owing to my almost non-existent recoil, I was “like a toy.” It’s all quite emasculating.

Of course, then there are my magazines; for the Kuntzmans of the world, no, those aren’t things you read that usually contain liberal propaganda. They’re objects loaded with cartridges that, assuming they’re removable, you then insert into firearms. It’s true that high-capacity magazines are available for me. But criminals would always get them on the black market; moreover, with just a bit of effort, any gun’s removable magazine can be modified to hold a large number of rounds. So why am I singled out?

The answer is simple: my looks — and others’ prejudices. Take a gander at me below:

ar15

Am I not a sharp-lookin’ guy? Black is beautiful!

But it’s also seen as “menacing,” especially by liberals in the media. Face it, since I’m functionally no different from other legal firearms — semi-automatic just as most guns sold in America are — I can only conclude that I’m profiled as dangerous because of my sleek military-like appearance and my color. If I looked like those much more powerful hunting rifles, would you really be troubling over me?

As Mr. Duke likes to put it, this is standard liberal style over substance. Never sparing my ego, he points out that assuming I’m a machine gun because I look like cousin M-16 is akin to putting a Porsche body on a Yugo chassis and expecting to go 0 to 60 in under 6 seconds. Of course, my self-image will survive, but being misunderstood, mischaracterized and discriminated against is a bit depressing.

It’s enough to make me want to shoot myself.

This piece was written by AR and edited by Selwyn Duke for grammar, punctuation and style

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com. To contact the author, email the above and write “Attn: AR”.

When Christianity is Removed All Hell Breaks Out

bus-640x480Just recently, when perusing news stories, I happened upon a most heartbreaking story headline.  It proclaimed “London’s iconic red buses to declare glory to Allah.”  After getting over the initial shock I was a bit embarrassed.  Considering the massive evil in-roads the devoted Muslims have made making deep intrusions into British society for decades, I should not have been shocked one little bit.

The dangerous habit of western societies to sacrifice their own well-being just to appease those who have pledged to convert them or destroy them is miles beyond stupid. Britain’s largest Islamic charity says it wants to “break down barriers” and portray Islam positively by launching a new advertising campaign which will slap the phrase “glory to Allah on the sides of London buses.  Muslims reading the advertisements are told to “gather the rewards of Ramadan,” that they must donate Islamic relief.  That is a Muslim organization which used to have an account with banking giant HSBC.  The accounts were closed due to major “concerns that cash for aid could end up with Muslim terrorist groups throughout the world.”

Public transport has been chosen for the Islamic re-branding in London, Manchester, Leicester, Birmingham, and Bradford.  All of the locations have large growing bigoted Muslim populations.  That the announcement of the new campaign came a day after London “foolishly” crowned it’s first Muslim mayor Sadig Khan.  Islamic Relief called it a “nice irony” that the two events coincided.  “Uh yeah”  Imran Madden, a British traitor “cough” convert to Islam and director of Islamic Relief’s United Kingdom branch said, “there is a lot of negativity around Muslims at the moment involving things such as counterterrorism issues.  “We want to change for the better the perception of Islam.  The London bus campaign is about breaking down barriers and challenging misconceptions.”

I could only laugh at Mr. Imran Madden’s little message about changing the perceptions of Islam.  Because, if Muslims were serious about changing the perception of Islam, they would have to stop being Muslims.  Because Muslims are instructed in the little quaran’ that it is permissible to be cruel to non Muslims.  Whether it is through DHIMMI status, where in Muslim cultures, non-Muslims are not allowed to build new places of worship, not possess arms; they have to allow Muslims to participate in their private meetings.  That is only three out of the 20 major restrictions against non-Muslims who reside where Muslims have taken over.

Ironically, Christian groups have fared less well when it comes to advertising on London buses.  For example, Former London mayor Boris Johnson stepped in to ban a positive message by a Christian organization in response to a pro-homosexual advertising Campaign.  After it is all said and done, Christian groups have for many years been denied access to purchase advertising space on London buses and elsewhere.

The sad thing about all of this that for too long, Christians have been a soft touch in London, throughout Europe, Africa and America.  Unfortunately, Christians have bought into the misnomer that loving your neighbor and turning the other cheek means allowing yourself to be abused and pushed around.

Both Great Britain and the United States at one time were greatly influenced by Christian principles.  Thus both nations were blessed beyond compare.  In fact, at one time the saying was “the sun never sets upon the British Empire.”  Her land holdings spanned entirely around the globe.  Before the ascent of the United States, Great Britain was the standard of the world.  But something very foolish happen in 1957.  Stupidity overtook wisdom and England gave up it’s major Seagate, the Suez Canal which opened the door to the ultimate destruction of British invincibility.  At the same time the Brits  turned away from the God of Christianity as fast as someone turns their nose away from a bottle of bleach.  Thus the decline of Britain became etched in stone.

In life, if you move your feet, you lose your seat.  Or if you give up your God given wisdom and authority, someone else becomes the boss.  It is plain to see that the good elements that paved the way toward building the great city of London and the once mighty empire of Britain have been replaced.  In their place are the deceptive, brutish and nation killing elements that are disintegrating one of the greatest civilizations in human history.  In many cases, both the British and Christians have no one to blame but themselves for the horrors British society is experiencing today.  Gosh do I miss the likes of the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.

Until Britain and the United States decide to stand up for themselves and reconnect with the principles and the influences of the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob they will continue to be torn down by the followers of the death God of Islam.

Personal Character Conquers Another Welfare-State Tragedy

On a fateful day he’ll never forget, 18-year-old Lawrence (“Larry”) Cooper, an unmarried black man and high school dropout, found himself on the wrong side of the law. He attempted an armed robbery of a store in downtown Savannah, Georgia. It was April 1987. The cash involved? A mere $80, enough to finance his cocaine habit for less than a day. Larry was caught and sent to a maximum-security prison.

One month after Larry’s arrest, his son was born. The boy wouldn’t see his father outside of a cell until November 2015, when his dad was finally released.

“I wasn’t there to even sign the birth certificate,” Larry told me just a month ago.

These lamentable chapters of the Larry Cooper story are distressingly familiar in America.

Today, incarcerated black American males number about 750,000. That’s more than the entire prison populations of India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel, and England combined. In August 2013, a report from the Sentencing Project on Racial Disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System revealed that “one of every three black American males born today can expect to go to prison in his lifetime.”

The leading cause of incarceration of black males is nonviolent drug offenses. This is no accident. As President Richard Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser and Watergate co-conspirator John Ehrlichman revealed in a 1994 interview,

We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.

The next leading causes are false accusations, then crimes against persons, followed by crimes against property. Economist Thomas Sowell argues convincingly, as do many others, that the genuinely criminal behavior — the violations of person and property — have much less to do with racism and poverty than they have to do with the debilitating, family-busting policies of the welfare state. (And it doesn’t help that poor, inner-city families are often trapped in lousy government schools.) Sowell observes,

Murder rates among black males were going down — repeat, down — during the much lamented 1950s, while [they] went up after the much celebrated 1960s, reaching levels more than double what they had been before. Most black children were raised in two-parent families prior to the 1960s. But today the great majority of black children are raised in one-parent families. Such trends are not unique to blacks, nor even to the United States. The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period.… You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Larry Cooper was one of the statistics, a prime candidate for exhibit A in this national tragedy. But today, he’s well on his way to a life of honor and redemption. Perhaps the jury on him is still out, but I’m betting he’s a hero in the making.

Growing up in Savannah in the 1970s and ‘80s, Larry faced the challenges posed by a broken family.

“My dad had 33 kids with six or seven women,” he informed me in a February 2016 interview over breakfast.

“Mom and Dad separated early, so Dad just wasn’t around. I saw him maybe twice a year.”

As a teenager, Larry started skipping school, stealing, smoking marijuana, and then doing cocaine.

“I dropped out of school when I was 16 and it broke my mama’s heart,” he said. His mother implored him to find employment so he took a landscaping job that lasted only a week before he was in the streets again.

Hanging out with the wrong people, trapped in a vicious circle of using drugs and stealing what he could to afford more — and with only a brokenhearted mother at home to offer any hope at all — Larry was headed for destruction. His poor choices caught up with him two years later with a 10-year sentence for armed robbery. But things would get much worse before they would get better.

Bad behavior, including aggravated assault, earned Larry additional prison time — a grand total of 28 years. He went in at age 18 and emerged at 47. It will be another decade before he can say he’s been a free man for as long as he wasn’t.

“Over the years while behind bars,” Larry says, “I thought more and more about what my mama had told me. She said this would happen if I didn’t straighten up. She prayed hard for me, all the time. She visited me as much as she could. I still remember how bad I felt when she once came to see me but was turned away because I was ‘in the hole’ for bad things I done. But she never gave up on me.”

I asked Larry what the low point of his time in prison was. I expected it might have been a run-in with a guard or another inmate, an ugly incident of short duration.

His answer: “Seven years in solitary confinement.”

Seven years?” I exclaimed.

“Yes, and every day it was the same: one hour out in the yard, 15 minutes in the shower, and then 22 hours and 45 minutes in solitary,” he replied. “At first, I was in despair. But then I started reading and then writing to folks, exercising in my cell and thinking hard about what had happened to me and what was going on in my life. It took those long hours by myself to make me come to my senses and start feeling bad about the people I stole from, all the friends and family I had hurt. Things mama told me finally started to have an effect on me.”

Larry’s mother arranged his baptism when he was a child, but he never made time to read more than a few words of the Bible — or anything else, for that matter. A prison chaplain introduced him to a Bible study course conducted by mail. Larry enrolled and completed it.

“That’s when my life really began to change,” he told me. “Ever since that course, I’ve been a different man. I’ve settled down. I use my brain now. I’m no longer the man I used to be.”

Larry’s personal and spiritual recovery were well underway before I’d ever heard of him. His reading had brought him into contact with ideas of political and economic liberty. He wrote my former place of employment in Michigan, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, asking for more information. My old colleagues there forwarded his letter on to me at FEE, and that began a correspondence that now fills two shoeboxes on a shelf in my home office.

Never before had I contemplated developing a friendship with a man in prison. I wouldn’t know how to begin. If Larry hadn’t taken the initiative to contact me, such an undertaking would never have happened. I now count it as a great blessing in my life.

Larry was much more diligent in writing than I was, I confess with some remorse.

“I had more time on my hands than you did,” he jokes.

But I’m pleased to have helped deepen his understanding of liberty by sending him many books and articles.

“Were there any particular things I sent you that made a big impact?”

Without skipping a beat, he replied, “Yes. One was your book, A Republic — If We Can Keep It and the other was What It Means to Be a Libertarian by Charles Murray.” The reader will excuse me, I hope, if I report this with a smile and considerable pride.

Larry and I corresponded but never spoke by phone until after his release. I was looking forward to the day when I could finally drive down to Savannah to spend time with him. Until we met, I didn’t even know what he looked like, but we embraced as if we were brothers.

We dined at the Bonefish Grill on Abercorn Street, then went to see the fantastic film Race about Olympian Jesse Owens. The next morning, we had breakfast, and I recorded the interview with him that this article is based on before visiting the public library on Bull Street so I could show Larry how to create his first email account.

I learned much from Larry during that breakfast interview. For example, he opposes the drug war from a vantage point I’ve never experienced — from inside prison walls where, he says, “drugs are everywhere.” I asked him where they come from.

“All sorts of ways and places,” he said. “Guys out on work detail get ‘em. People throw ‘em over the prison gate. Guards and officers bring ‘em in.”

Larry’s views on current issues are interesting, but his personal transformation is, to me at least, positively captivating. As the well-known expression puts it, “I love it when a plan comes together.” The sad part of it is that Larry’s mother, one of the few anchors in his life, died just three months before he earned his freedom.

“At first I couldn’t believe it,” he recalled. “She was living for the day I would get out, which was the day after Thanksgiving, 2015. It really hit me at Christmas. At my first Christmas dinner as a free man in 28 years, family and old friends got together. Everybody was there but mama. It took me so many years to realize how important your character is. Thanks to mama and my faith, I’m not going to ever let it slip again.”

The Salvation Army in Savannah is generously providing Larry with a place to live and a church to attend on Sundays as he puts his new life together. He’s working two jobs, one with a prestigious catering service and the other with a local staffing firm that places him in short-term stints at manual labor.

He doesn’t want welfare.

“I try to earn every penny I get,” he asserts proudly. He’s both optimistic and excited about his future. He’d love to start a new family.

“I want to prove to myself that I can be a good independent man and make amends for what I did. I take one day at a time, but my spirits are real good.”

After all Larry’s been through and with freedom so new to him, I suppose there’s a chance of a relapse. Surely there will be occasional bumps on his ongoing road of recovery. I hope I’ve encouraged him and can continue to do so.

There are many lessons here: Strong families and good parenting can make all the difference in the world. Building character for navigating the pitfalls of life is a priceless undertaking you’ll likely never regret. Don’t underestimate the value of a mother who never gives up on a wayward son. Through an inner transformation, in this case facilitated by a spiritual renewal, even the seemingly incorrigible can turn his or her life around. Never miss an opportunity to encourage someone who is clearly trying to do the right thing.

I intend to stay in touch with Larry Cooper. I’ll watch his progress and assist with it if and when I can. He’s already taught me a valuable truth: that heroes aren’t always the ones who make the headlines or the history books. They may just be on the other side of a wall.

For further information, see:

Lawrence W. ReedLawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.

Donald Trump is a ‘Christian Nationalist’

I have written that Donald Trump went from running a campaign, to heading a movement and is now leading an insurgency. Until today I could not define what was driving this insurgency. I may now have the answer.

Karl Marx wrote: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people“.

Donald Trump is viewed by his followers as the heart of a heartless world, the soul fighting a soulless government and he understands that it is morals that drives him and the American dream. It is religion that is inextricably linked to politics in America. It is something citizens have not seen since the American Revolution.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.”

Gandhi also said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Michael Savage in his column “Here’s how to define Donald Trump” writes:

And I want to define something for you.

Here’s something important. People don’t know how to define Donald Trump.

I’ve defined him as a moderate nationalist. But I’m going to redefine Donald Trump for everyone listening to this show around the world on “The Savage Nation,” because I’m the idea man. I’m known as the idea man.

And here’s your idea. Take it, run with it, drop it, reject it, debate it.

Trump is a Christian nationalist.

No one’s said that.

He’s proud to be a Christian. He is a proud Christian, and he’s a proud American nationalist.

This is anathema. This is anathema to the media. This is anathema to the university America haters. This is anathema to the thuggish left who has taken over everything in this country and threatens everybody by threatening your advertisers if you dare speak out about their communism and their desire to control every aspect of our life from top to bottom, telling us what we’re supposed to think about sexuality.

Everything; they tell us what we’re supposed to think.

Well, finally we have someone who said: “Drop dead. We’re not your slaves. We’re not slaves of the radical left. We’re not gonna eat this garbage anymore, and we’re fighting back.”

And he is the man carrying the banner of this Christian nationalism, and that is why he’s ruffling feathers around the world, because they’re used to stamping on us.

They have disrobed the Statue of Liberty and molested her. The radical left has disrobed her and rolled her in mud, and the Statue of Liberty is crying, and Donald Trump wants to clean her and clothe her again! [Emphasis added]

Read more.

Trump is a church militant. The Church Militant comprises the souls on Earth engaged in battle against the forces evil. The evils that Trump and the insurgency are battling are: political correctness, political power, collectivism, Communism, socialism and radical Islamism. All of which are forces of evil.

I can now define the insurgency as a “Christian insurgency” and Donald Trump embodies the core of it.

This is why Trump is winning.

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