Tag Archive for: Jesus

Yes, Elisjsha Dicken Is a Good Samaritan—and He Deserves a Medal

On Sunday evening—July 17, 2022—at the Greenwood Park Mall in Indiana, a gunman opened fire in a food court. He killed three people and wounded two others. He might have murdered many more but for the quick work of a man named Elisjsha Dicken, who pulled out his own gun and blew away the assailant.

Dicken, who was legally carrying a firearm under the state’s constitutional carry law, was hailed as a “Good Samaritan” for saving lives. The next day, the Greenwood police chief added, “Many more people would have died last night if not for the responsible armed citizen.”

Gun control advocates immediately condemned the police chief for his “Good Samaritan” reference, drawn from a famous parable told by Jesus Christ. A local reporter exclaimed,

The term, ‘Good Samaritan’ came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man who was injured and ignored. I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone killing someone.

Who is correct here, the police chief or the reporter? A related question is, Did Jesus support self-defense, or the taking of a guilty life to save the lives of innocents?

In Chapter 10 of the Book of Luke in the New Testament, Jesus tells his parable of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan is judged “good” because when he came upon a man who was beaten and robbed, he chose of his own free will to help the injured man with his own resources. As I wrote in my 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist?, if the Samaritan had ignored the man or expected the government to help him, we would likely know him today as the “Good-for-Nothing” Samaritan.

The Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable did not commit a violent act himself. The injured man’s assailants were presumably long gone. He stepped in to assist the assailed. So strictly speaking, the Greenwood police chief’s reference was not entirely analogous to Elisjsha Dicken’s action in taking down the shooter at the shopping mall.

For centuries, many people have employed the term “Good Samaritan” to describe anyone who isn’t compelled to come to the aid of the innocent but takes the initiative to do so anyway. A Good Samaritan takes charge of a bad situation, improves it as best he can, and prevents further harm. That is exactly what Elisjsha Dicken did in Greenwood.

Undoubtedly, the critical reporter in this instance is a person of good intent. He can’t imagine Jesus endorsing Dicken’s action because Jesus was a man of peace. He might even cite Matthew, chapter five, in which Jesus urges us to “turn the other cheek” if someone insults us or physically slaps us in the face.

“The question of rendering insult for insult, however, is a far cry from defending oneself against a mugger or a rapist,” writes Lars Larson in Does Jesus Christ Support Self-Defense?. To “turn the other cheek” means to refrain from a needless escalation of a problematic situation. Elisjsha Dicken did not escalate anything; in fact, he dramatically and decisively de-escalated it in the only possible way, given the circumstances.

The reporter likely shares the widely-held, radically pacifist or “namby-pamby” view of Jesus—the view that he would never endorse an act of violence for any purpose, even if it’s necessary to save lives. It implies that Elisjsha Dicken should have run for cover and allowed the Greenwood shooter to kill another dozen or two people. That’s wrong, if not downright blasphemous.

When Jesus dined at The Last Supper, he gave his disciples specific instructions, including this one (Luke 22:36):

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 

Note that he did not advise anyone, then or at any other time, to stand idly by and allow wanton slaughter of innocents. And he offered support for the threat of force to prevent the theft of property as well. In Luke 11:21, Jesus said:

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted, and divides up his plunder.

This is the same Jesus who, in Luke 12:39, says, “If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.” It’s the same Jesus who never criticized anyone for possessing a lethal weapon such as a sword, though he certainly condemned the initiation of force or the impetuous and unnecessary use of it.

In Jesus, Guns and Self-Defense: What Does the Bible Say?, Gary DeMar maintains that

Being armed and willing to defend ourselves, our family, and our neighbors is not being unchristian or even unloving. Self-defense can go a long way to protect the innocent from people who are intent on murder for whatever reason.

The Greenwood reporter’s errant perspective is not untypical of people who think they know Jesus and Christianity but spend more time criticizing them than learning about them. I see evidence of this all the time, most recently from a speaker at an April 2022 conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

“When it comes to the source of individual rights,” the speaker pontificated with misplaced confidence, “there are only three possibilities.” One, he said, is a Creator (God), which he summarily dismissed as a ridiculous, untenable proposition. The second is government, which he ruled out as equally ridiculous and untenable. The only logical option, he said, was “nature”—something which he suggested evolved out of nothing from nobody. As I listened with the largely student audience, I thought to myself, “This supposed expert hasn’t even considered a fourth option, namely, a combination of the first and third—which is to say that God, as the author of nature, is in fact the author of individual rights as well.”

The speaker added another uninformed dig at Christianity by claiming it was stupid for Jesus to ever suggest you should love your neighbor. “What if your neighbor is an axe-murderer? How much sense would that make?” he asked derisively. If he had known of the passages I cite above, he would have been embarrassed by his own ignorance. As a general principle, Jesus argued, you should love your neighbor but the same Jesus would urge you to arm yourself if your neighbor threatens your life or property.

In The Life and Death Debate: Moral Issues of Our Time, Christian theologians Norman Geisler and J. P. Moreland write:

To permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally.

When Elisjsha Dicken pulled out his gun to stop a shooting spree, he had every reason to believe he might attract the shooter’s aim and be killed himself. Fortunately, he was not, and he is among the living whose lives he saved.

If Elisjsha Dicken had been killed, the rest of us could at least take comfort in the words of Jesus as quoted in John 15:13. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Elisjsha Dicken is not only a Good Samaritan. He’s a very good one. Give him a medal.

Science is Affirming Creation, Not Accident by Lawrence W. Reed

What Does the Bible Say About Self-Defense?

Was Jesus a Socialist? by Lawrence W. Reed

AUTHOR

Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed is FEE’s President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is www.lawrencewreed.com.

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The Shroud of Turin Defies its Sceptics

Even though it failed a carbon-dating test 40 years ago, new findings suggest that the scientists were wrong.


In April 2022 new tests on the Shroud of Turin — believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ — dated it to the first century. This dating contradicted a 1980s carbon dating that suggested the Shroud was from the Middle Ages. Some people would have been surprised, but not anyone who had been following the build-up of evidence indicating the Shroud is authentic.

A total of four tests have now dated the Shroud to the first century. In addition, an immense body of other evidence suggests the cloth, which appears to carry an image of Jesus’s crucified body, is genuine.

Experiment

Debate about the Shroud has been going on for centuries, provoking heated exchanges, revealing a tortuous trail of evidence full of unexpected twists and turns, and prompting more unanswerable questions than any other artefact in history.

Only days before the new dating results were announced, one of the main players in the drama, British filmmaker David Rolfe, issued a million-dollar challenge to the British Museum to replicate the Shroud.

The Museum oversaw the carbon tests on the Shroud and Rolfe explained: “They said it was knocked up by a medieval conman, and I say: ‘Well, if he could do it, you must be able to do it as well. And if you can, there’s a one-million-dollar donation for your funds.’”

Rolfe’s challenge might have seemed like a stunt, but it was serious. He said if the museum accepted the challenge, he would place a million dollars in a legal holding account pending the outcome.

You would think if anyone could copy the Shroud, the British Museum could. It certainly has the resources: around a thousand employees, including research scientists, links to major universities — and I’m sure the museum would not refuse outside help.

So, was Rolfe’s bet risky?

Those familiar with the evidence would say no. Given all we now know about the Shroud of Turin, and the fact that no one has ever been able to copy it or even explain how it was made, Rolfe’s million dollars appears safe. The reason he and so many others are convinced the burial cloth is genuine is that there is a mountain of evidence supporting that conclusion.

One reason most people don’t share this view is that they seem to know as little about the Shroud as they do about carbon dating. They are not aware that, contrary to the popular idea that the Shroud is a fake, it has become, in the words of a number of researchers, “the single most studied artefact in human history”.

Solid science

The most recent verification of its authenticity came in April this year. A member of Italy’s National Research Council, Dr Liberato de Caro, used a new X-ray technique designed specifically for dating linen.

He used a method known as wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS), which he says is more reliable than carbon dating. He said this was because carbon dating can be dramatically wrong due to contamination of the thing being dated.

If you are one of those who know little about the Shroud, here are some basic details: It is a long strip of linen, covered in blood and carrying a faint image of the front and back of a dead man, apparently beaten and scourged, bleeding copiously from the scalp, and showing all the signs of Jesus’s crucifixion, including a lance wound to the heart. It first appeared publicly in western Europe in 1355 when it was put on display in France. The owners refused to say where they got it — understandable, given that it was probably stolen.

The Shroud’s sudden appearance set off the fiery debate that continues to this day. You may know that many books and articles have already been written. Over the years, I have read many of them, but none offered what I was looking for — an up-to-date introduction to the subject that was accessible to non-academics.

I couldn’t find one, so I decided to write it myself.

Overwhelming data

Soon, I felt like this was a mistake. They say the worst thing you can do to journalists is to provide them with too much information, and the information on the Shroud is very close to being too much. To get an idea of how much information is involved, search for “Shroud of Turin” on Google Scholar. You will get around 12,000 links.

Even a search on academia.edu turns up about 4,000 academic papers begging to be read. The oldest Shroud website, shroud.com, has among its extensive resources, one comforting list of a mere 400 “essential” scientific papers and articles. But even this is a lot if you are already struggling to get through books, videos and papers from academic conferences, podcasts and documentaries going back decades.

Most people, including myself (until recently), closed their minds to the Shroud when the 1988 carbon dating results were released. Those tests suggested the relatively high levels of carbon 14 on the cloth meant it came from around 1325 — give or take 65 years.

That sounds precise, but what most of us weren’t told was that carbon dating had been wrong many times, sometimes by as much as a thousand or more years, due to contamination of the article being dated. In the case of the Shroud, there is a long list of reasons it could be contaminated, including the fact that it has been handled by countless people, exposed to fire, water, repairs, and other materials capable of causing contamination.

Most interesting of all, as indicated by a growing body of evidence, its carbon levels could have been raised by the radiation that appears to be the most likely cause of the image it carries.

So, even though many people still assume the carbon date was the end of the story, it may be just the beginning. If, like me, you take the time to review the evidence, it wears you down. These days, if anyone asks me if I really think “that Shroud thing” could be Jesus’ burial cloth with his image on it, all I can say is: given the evidence, I can’t think what else it could be. I am open to being talked out of this view, but so far nobody has managed to do it.

Whatever your own view, following the trail of evidence is possibly the most fascinating and rewarding journey you will ever undertake. This is partly because the case for the Shroud does not hinge on a single fact — certainly not on the radiocarbon date. It involves many interlocking facts — a big picture painted by intriguing details. My experience is that the Shroud asks more unanswerable questions than anything on the planet.

Excerpted from Riddles of the Shroud with permission.

AUTHOR

William West

William West is a Sydney journalist. More by William West

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Netflix Declares War on Jesus [and Gun Owners]

Not content with glorifying pedophilia in Cuties, Netflix in season three of the animated Paradise P.D. features an episode that, according to NewsBusters, is not only devoted to “attacking gun rights,” but was also “blasphemous against Christianity, featuring a video of a gun-wielding Jesus that turns into a porno.” Great, Netflix! Edgy! Courageous! Cutting edge! Stunning and brave! Now, when is your cartoon show featuring, say, a machete-wielding Muhammad who takes up with a nine-year-old Aisha? If we had any actual journalists, they would be asking Netflix officials that question, and there is no doubt about what the answer would be: Netflix has far too much respect for Muslims and Islam to produce a show like that.

Ah yes, respect. As Bob Dylan’s character Jack Fate puts it in Dylan’s underappreciated movie Masked and Anonymous, “I got a lot of respect for a gun.” As everyone knows, the real reason why Netflix doesn’t hesitate to make fun of Jesus and Christians but wouldn’t dream of subjecting Muhammad and Muslims to the same treatment is because they know that Christians won’t kill them for doing so, not even those crazed “right-wing extremists” that we keep hearing about who are supposedly the greatest terror threat we face today. But with Muslims, it’s a different story: Netflix, if it ever dared to produce an animated show about Muhammad, knows that it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that a jihadi could emerge who would be intent upon separating the heads of Netflix executives from their bodies. That’s how “respect” is born these days.

But Netflix didn’t care to demonstrate any respect for Christians the fiendishly obscene episode of Paradise P.D. entitled “Trigger Warning.” In it, according to NewsBusters, a foe of disarming the populace offers to take proponents of that disarming on a tour of the National Rifle Association. “The tour includes a gun pit with a dead kid buried in it and the corpse of Charlton Heston used as a statue, complete with a quote – ‘Pry this gun from my cold, dead hands and win a Republican Senate seat.’ The head of the NRA, Mr. Chip F**k-Yeah, shows them a video using Jesus as a prop to show how “guns make a better world.” The video is horrifically offensive, with Jesus coming down from the Cross to kill his persecutors with machine guns then have sex with two women.”

Believe it or not, it just gets worse from there. But aside from this article and a few others, no one will take any particular note. The establishment media certainly won’t: today’s “journalists” generally hate Christianity as much as Netflix does. But a particularly piquant comparison comes from France. Shortly after a Muslim beheaded schoolteacher Samuel Paty on October 16, 2020 for showing a cartoon of Muhammad in his class, it came to light that French police called in Paty and interrogated him over allegations of “Islamophobia.” Paty told them, and he was right, that “I did not commit any offense.”

In today’s world, however, he did. It is a massive de facto offense against contemporary woke sensibilities to offend Islam and violate Sharia blasphemy laws. That is true in the United States no less than it is in France. When Pamela Geller and I held our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in 2015 in defense of the freedom of speech, and Islamic State jihadis attempted to kill us all, Geller was roundly condemned not just by leftists by even by prominent people who are often considered conservatives (including Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and Greta van Susteren) for daring to commit what they considered to be a gratuitous offense to Muslims. The idea that it is important to defend the freedom of speech against violent intimidation, and not validate that intimidation by giving in to it, did not impress them at all.

The freedom of speech is the foundation of any free society, and so Netflix is entirely free to depict Jesus in a lewd and ridiculous manner, and to mock gun owners as paranoid lunatics. The double standard, however, grows ever more glaring. If Netflix had been operating in France and made fun of Muhammad, police would have called in its executives for questioning. In the United States, if it had made fun of Muhammad, they might not have had to talk to the cops, but they would have been inundated with charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia.”

What is all this going to look like five or ten or twenty years down the road, as Americans, and Westerners in general, grow ever more accustomed to the idea that one must adhere to Sharia blasphemy restrictions on mockery, or even criticism, of Islam, but the West’s own culture and traditions, rife as they are with “white supremacism” and “hate,” are fair game. It seems to be a recipe for cultural and societal surrender.

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Banish Sin, Transform the Church

David G. Bonagura, Jr.: Detractors say trivializing sin was part of Vatican II’s spirit and is still in the post-conciliar Church. But the perennial problem is really sin itself.


The Second Vatican Council is back in the news lately, with two prominent, tradition-minded bishops revisiting well-known arguments of conciliar interpretation in light two recent Vatican documents, Amoris Laetitia and the Abu Dhabi statement on world religions. Their analyses of the Council, the difficulties in reconciling certain expressions with tradition, and the frightening breakdown of the Church that followed – a breakdown that some even justified under the Council’s nebulous “spirit” – are serious, though faithful Catholics will find their premises and conclusions worthy of debate.

Yet their analyses are now also very familiar. Blaming the Council for the Church’s ills has been a hobbyhorse for 55 years now. At this point, when it comes to arguing about the Council, Ecclesiastes’ tired observation comes to mind: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Just weeks earlier, as public Masses were resumed after the coronavirus suspension, a little-noticed controversy impressed on me that the problems in the Church today stem from something far more fundamental, and simple, than the formulation of documents that few know about and fewer have read. When the proposal circulated of having Mass without reception of Holy Communion, some faithful and some clergy blanched. Their issue was not solely the deprivation of union with our Lord. It was that they did not see the point of having Mass at all without reception.

Such a thought stems from a profound misunderstanding what the Mass – and the sacrifice that it represents – is for: the salvation of souls. And there is no wonder the goal of salvation has been forgotten, since sin, the tyrannical reality from which we must be saved, has itself been deliberately banished from view, trivialized as a human psychosis, or written off as an obsession of earlier, unenlightened times.

It is the marginalization of sin, more than Vatican II or anything else, that has transformed the life of the Church as we know it in the last half-century. Our entire faith and the structure of the Church rest on three acts: creation, fall, and redemption. By dismissing the fall, and every sin that has come after it, the understanding of redemption necessarily takes on new meaning.

If Jesus did not need to redeem us from sin, then essential doctrines and the sacramental economy have to be reconceived. Consider:

* Jesus Christ ceased to be emphasized as our Savior who sacrificed His life to atone for our sins. Instead, images of “Jesus is my homeboy” became popular. Without a message of salvation, Jesus was reduced to a “great moral teacher” on par with Socrates.

* Shifting the view of the Savior and salvation caused worship to shift as well. Witness how few people today know the phrase “the holy sacrifice of the Mass.” We know from the work of Dr. Lauren Pristas and Father John Zuhlsdorf that, after the Council, the formal prayers of the Mass were deliberately reworked to eliminate references to sin. The turning of the altars to face the people, never mentioned by the Council, heightened a new experience of a community celebrating itself above the sacrifice of Calvary. The general desacralizing of Catholic worship made the Mass seem as it were of no consequence rather than the enduring basis of our salvation.

* Sacramental Confession was abandoned by nearly all the faithful. There is no need to confess if we have not sinned. And if we do not need to confess, then surely there is no need for acts of penitence or reparation. Eight days of the year that still call for abstinence from meat is all that is left of Catholic penitential practice.

* If there is no sin, then everyone goes to Heaven, Catholic or not, virtuous or not. Funerals became canonizations, and Hell was dismissed as a tactic to coerce good behavior. Catholicism became just another world religion on par with the others, since it no longer had anything unique to offer.

* If people do not need to be saved from sin, then there is no need for priests to give up their lives in service of those seeking redemption. The collapse of vocations is a direct result of the banishment of sin.

* Catholic theology, morality, and education all took turns for the worse after this constitutive understanding of sin and redemption was morphed.

Were there other causes of the Church’s post-Conciliar malaise? Yes, of course. But it is not an oversimplification to home in on the trivialization of sin as the root cause of it all. Throughout Church history, lying at the root of heresy is not an intricately woven system, but a misunderstanding of the first principle of revelation. To minimize sin alters the view of God’s entire plan of salvation, from the covenant with Abraham, to the redemption by Christ, to the role of the Church in perpetuating His salvation.

Vatican II’s perpetual detractors will argue that the trivialization of sin was part of the Modernist spirit that infiltrated conciliar documents and the post-conciliar Church. Yet that implies the Council itself is not the definitive problem; the Council and its “spirit” have been invoked to cloak a deeper issue.

It is, therefore, this deeper issue of properly understanding sin and the need to be saved from it that requires our attention above all. For Benedict XVI’s hermeneutic of continuity to have the final word on interpreting the council, sound Catholic doctrines – Creation, Fall, Redemption – must first be restored to their proper place.

COLUMN BY

David G Bonagura, Jr.

David G. Bonagura Jr. teaches at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York. He is the author of Steadfast in Faith: Catholicism and the Challenges of Secularism (Cluny Media).

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.

VIDEO: The Vortex — Francis HATES America! He has drunk all the Kool-Aid.

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TRANSCRIPT

It’s become quite apparent that in his admiration for establishing a one-world government administered by a new world order, America is an object of hate for Pope Francis.

The handwriting was on the wall at least two years ago when yet another article from Eugenio Scalfari revealed that the pontiff has so little regard for the United States that he actually thinks we should simply give up our national sovereignty and submit to a new world order.

Maybe the Dems can nominate Pope Francis for their party’s candidate for president. He can assume presidential powers and then dissolve the U.S.A. After all, it seems like he’s got experience doing the same thing with the Church.

The old atheist Italian journalist says that in 2017, Pope Francis called him shortly after the G-20 summit and demanded to see him at four o’clock that afternoon. According to Scalfari, Francis had become agitated about the United States and other nations commanding such power in the world.

Pope Francis told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that the United States of America has “a distorted vision of the world,” and Americans must be ruled by a world government as soon as possible, “for their own good.”

Now that’s an incredible statement to make, and as the article continued, the disrespect for the idea of national sovereignty mounted. European nations also came under the papal displeasure: “I also thought many times to this problem and came to the conclusion that, not only but also for this reason, Europe must take as soon as possible a federal structure.”

There is without a doubt an extreme dislike with this pope of anything that strikes of nationalism, meaning national sovereignty. Since America seems to lead the world in the area of national pride, the United States is never passed over in the papal condemnations of national sovereignty.

Somewhere, somehow, he has in his head that the idea of individual nations is bad because that translates into immigrants being mistreated, and among rich nations — the First-World nations — poverty escalates and the poor are taken advantage of.

That’s what he thinks, and so the solution for him is to introduce a one-world government, ruled by a single new world order, so all immigrants can get a fair shake out of life.

Last week the reports came out that Pope Francis thinks national pride, touted by political conservatives, is the beginning of Nazism reappearing. He said to an international group of specialists in penal law: “And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech [by] someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936,” adding, “They are inadmissible behaviors in the rule of law and generally accompany racist prejudices and contempt for socially marginalized groups.”

“It is no coincidence that in these times, emblems and actions typical of Nazism reappear, which, with its persecutions against Jews, gypsies and people of homosexual orientation, represents the negative model par excellence of a culture of waste and hatred,” he continued.

Pope Francis has drunk the Kool-Aid of the Left.

So there it is, perfectly framed by this pontificate: Immigrants and homosexuals need to be protected classes, and sovereign nations must give way to those who do not respect borders and those who reject natural law. And nations, now bordering on embracing Nazism, must surrender their independence because it is the will of God. For their own good, the nations of the world, especially the powerful ones, must pass out of existence, surrender themselves and abolish their borders for their own good.

When Americans are chanting “USA!” at sporting events or political rallies for Republicans, in Pope Francis’ head, that apparently rings as Sieg Heil!

This is dangerous, dangerous stuff. For the occupant of the throne of Peter to be outwardly demonizing nations — especially the leading nation which defeated the Nazis — as Nazis themselves, a line has been crossed from which there is no coming back.

To then turn around and underscore that part of what makes a person a modern-day Nazi is to not go along with the homosexual agenda and resist the evil, this is beyond the pale and must be called out.

Pope Francis has moved into territory that no pope has ever transgressed. He is transferring the mission of the Church from the salvation of souls to the foundation of a one-world government.

What precisely the role of the Church itself would be in that new world order still seems vague, but one thing is clear. Francis never criticizes Islamic nations. He never tells them to clean up their act and stop throwing homosexuals off roofs. He never has a word of criticism for their brutality of FGM (female gential mutilation) or sponsorship of world terror, or torture or forcing people in their nations to convert or have their heads cut off.

Yet he has no problem with hiding behind the Italian military surrounding the walls of the Vatican, protecting him from that same Muslim threat.

This pontificate is a political disaster, one gone completely off the rails.

Serious questions need to be asked about all this: homosexual men, many of whom are either abusers or covered up abuse placed into powerful posts; the theft of hundreds of millions of euros; constant lies and denials of repeated press reports; and multiple appointments of enemies of Christ to high-visibility positions within the Church. And now hurling accusations at political conservatives that their love of country makes them “Nazis,” and opposing the gay agenda means conservatives want homosexuals marched off to gas chambers.

This is outrageous. Francis hates America because America represents everything his twisted political worldview stands in opposition to.

This increased marxist view has been brewing in the Church for decades, and far from being ascendant is now practically the status quo. Love of the homosexual agenda, illegal immigrants, the abolition of nations and Islam’s “favored son” status is what Francis will be remembered for.

The Vatican has yet to comment on the Scalfari interview about Francis reportedly saying America should willingly surrender itself to a one-world government. And actually, no comment is needed. We’ve heard enough.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

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)

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.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

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.

VIDEO: Starting the New Year off right with the Word of God for America.

The Book of Jude.

Jude.1

[1] Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
[2] Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
[3] Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
[4] For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
[5] I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
[6] And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
[7] Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
[8] Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
[9] Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
[10] But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
[11] Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
[12] These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
[13] Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
[14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
[15] To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
[16] These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
[17] But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
[18] How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
[19] These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
[20] But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
[21] Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
[22] And of some have compassion, making a difference:
[23] And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
[24] Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
[25] To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Gutierrez exposes the shocking origins of Christmas

The House Committee on Intelligence released a shocking report on Thursday largely undermining claims made by the Trump administration about the origins of Christmas. According to Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who serves on the Intelligence Committee, the original reason for this season was the granting of political asylum to Jesus by the progressive Egyptian government, and a subsequent extension of refugee status to his family in what later became known as “chain migration.”

The committee, which is still in the process of conducting a full bipartisan review, said in its initial report that the intelligence community’s assessment, or ICA, was a “sound intelligence product” whose conclusions were “reached in a professional and transparent manner, and the tradecraft was strong.”

The partially declassified report states that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who actively resisted the racist policies and the destruction of democracy by King Herod’s autocratic regime, had learned from an anonymous inside source about the planned Massacre of the Innocents, and sought refuge in the free country of Egypt, an inclusive nation known for welcoming Jews with open arms.

A complete absence of border walls allowed Jesus, Mary, and Joseph to walk in, call the ACLU, and receive legal assistance of a civil rights lawyer to gain political asylum, food stamps, subsidized housing, educational grants, job training, and free healthcare. The Egyptian taxpayers greeted the holy family with a “Refugees Welcome” sign and generous gifts. These events, according to the Intelligence Committee report, initiated the Christmas tradition of distributing gifts, green cards, and welfare benefits to any person who crosses the national border.

In the words of Luis Gutierrez:

It is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas, a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph. Thank God there wasn’t a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. Thank God that wall wasn’t there and thank God there wasn’t an administration like this or he would have, too, perished on the 28th, on the Day of Innocents when Herod ordered the murder of every child under 2 years of age. Shame on everybody that separates children and allows them to stay at the other side of the border fearing death, fearing hunger, fearing sickness. Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity during Christmas and allow the secretary to come here and lie.

How do we know that Rep. Luis Gutiérrez reads the People’s Cube? Because he follows our creative method of delivering the Current Truth to the unwashed. For Lenin’s sake, he may be even contributing to this Party Organ under an assumed name.

He may have even participated in the creation of our timeless classics:

Christmas in History: First Media Reports of Nativity Story

The New Progressive Bible

OTHER STORIES:

Judea Today
Another Consumer of Nature’s Resources Born in Bethlehem

An international scientific consensus has been reached, and it’s not in Mary and Joseph’s favor. Had the parents of Jesus been more proactive in raising their awareness, they may have considered such important factors as Judea’s fragile environment and air pollution that only increases with every newborn child. No matter how amusing a set of small carbon footprints around the house may seem initially, potential parents should always remember that the footprints will only become bigger as the child matures and turns into yet another indulgent consumer of nature’s limited resources.

The Daily Pharisee 
Scrutiny Tightens On Three Magoi’s Lobbying Operation

BETHLEHEM, December 28 – House Ethics Committee Chair Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Judea) urges congressional ethics probe into gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh by three Magoi – who are the focus of criminal investigations by the Justice Department.

The ethics panel said in a statement that a special subcommittee would try to determine if two Nazoreans violated the law by accepting “gifts, travel benefits, contributions to religious committees and organizations, or any other items of value” from the three Magoi and their lobbying operation.

The Nazoreans who were identified by name as the focus of the committee’s investigations – Joseph and Mary – have said they are innocent of wrongdoing.

Samara Post Intelligencer
Suspected Religious Cultists Exposed in Bethlehem

A homeless couple claiming that an “angel” had declared their infant child “the son of God,” was caught red-handed while apparently trying to engage in some ritual involving animals behind a local inn. Despite his young age, the unplanned and undocumented child whom they referred to as “Jesus” had already acquired notoriety in the religious underworld, operating under several aliases including Immanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace. Authorities are investigating a possible link to the highly profitable smuggling of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The police arrived at the scene after a call made by a local PETA activist who complained that the couple and the mob that followed them had inconvenienced the resident animals and “displaced handfuls of hay” in order to make a bed for the infant. “What sort of people are these that would invade a peaceful manger, disturb the animals in their home, deprive them of sleep of nourishment, and do YHWH knows what else with them?”

Prosecutors are considering charging the couple as accessories to an unauthorized light show that terrorized area shepherds who happened to be tending their flocks at night. No charges are currently being considered against the infant, though authorities have made clear that he will require careful observation and possibly therapy as he grows up.

The Nazareth Post (Lifestyle Section)
Mary: A Pregnant Teen Failed By The Government

Despite the homeschooling, the abstinence-only education, and her determination to save herself for that special someone, Mary Davidian, 15, still found herself pregnant. Neither her former resolve to remain chaste, not the fact that she was known by all and sundry as “The Virgin Mary,” prevented her from becoming yet another statistic in the growing problem of unwed teen mothers throughout the Roman Empire, particularly in poorer provinces like Judea.

Mary’s been betrothed for some time to Joseph Nazareth, 18, who operates a struggling lumber fabrication business out of his own home. But Joseph – and Mary, too – both agree he’s not the father.

When asked about the father’s identity, Mary raves incoherently about angels and dreams, and someone whom she can only identify as God, a likely gang-related alias.

“We don’t know who this God is, his age, if perhaps he’s so much older than young Mary that he might be guilty of statutory rape,” said a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Nazareth. “Notwithstanding, the fact that Mary conceived even though she’s still a virgin is all the proof anyone needs, that teaching abstinence to our children is totally unrealistic and ineffective. Can’t the right-winged religious extremists see that even when they remain virgins, young people are still going to go out and have sex?”

Rome News and World Report
Senate Ratings At All-Time Low As Occupation of Judea Continues

ROME (Associated Papyrus) The Senate voted today to continue the funding of legions in the Middle East under the threat of a dictatorial veto if they passed a bill that would have denied the funds. The move further alienated the Senate’s base, which vented its anger with posts on The DailyStylus.

“We voted to put them in office with the promise that they’d bring the legions home before Saturnalia. Well, it’s Saturnalia and they’re not home. I’m never voting again!” wrote Alvamus Goldscroll, an unemployed lyre player from Woodaquaduct. “I’m so angry, I’m getting a mallet. Stop the illegal occupation of Judea!”

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by Red Square originally appeared on The Peoples Cube. It is republished with permission of the Minister of Propaganda.

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.

Muslims chew Islamophobin gum, convert to Christianity, join Michigan4Trump campaign

The World Bulletin reports:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization has launched a satirical public awareness campaign to challenge growing Islamophobia in America.

[ … ]

Labelled as “a multi-symptom relief for chronic Islamophobia,” the over-the-counter medication ( in actual fact a sugar-free chewing gum) is available online and its “maximum strength formula” is designed to treat “blind intolerance,” “unthinking bigotry,” “irrational fear of Muslims” and “U.S. presidential election year scapegoating.”

islamophobin-364x205After appearing on the shelves of grocery stores in Dearborn, Michigan several Muslims bought packs of Islamophobin gum. While chewing the gum, according to the store owner, a sense of euphoria over came them. They lost their blind intolerance and unthinking bigotry towards Jews and Christians.

Mohammed Mohammed said, “Immediately after tasting Islamophobin gum I have lost my irrational fear of Christians and Jews. I went to a local church and embraced Jesus. I, with my family, went to the Dearborn City Clerk’s office and changed our party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. We have joined the Michigan4Trump campaign. I feel a great burden has been taken off of me and my family.”

Mohammed’s wife Aisha noted, “After my husband chewed Islamophobin he became a different man. He took me to the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall and bought me a dress, shorts and tank top at the GAP. Mohammed then purchased some provocative underwear from Victoria’s Secret for me. Praise be the Lord Jesus!”

A representative from the Dearborn City Clerk’s Office, which oversees all elections within the City, noted, “We have seen an influx of individuals changing their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. We have noticed that all of them were chewing gum.”

The Department of Defense Public Relations office in a press release states:

We have obtained samples of Islamophobin gum and are testing it for use by our soldiers deployed in the Middle East. The results of our initial tests on Muslims incarcerated at Guantanamo is promising. We noted they lose their will to fight and become lambs. They throw down their weapons and surrender.

All test subjects converted to the religions of peace, i.e. Judaism and Christianity.

The DOD plans to mass produce the gum for use in the great war against terror.

The Michigan4Trump campaign headquarters issued the following press release:

We have begun a door to door campaign in high Muslim populated areas of Michigan. Our team has been given packs of Islamophobin gum, which they offer a Muslim family. Upon tasting the gum the voting age family members put down their swords and pick up a pen and join the Michigan4Trump campaign.

According to an unnamed FBI source, law enforcement at Donald Trump rallies have been issued an “aerosol version of Islamophobin.” This Islamophobin spray  or “Love America Spray” will be used against protestors to curtail violence, intolerance and bigotry against Republicans in general and Donald J. Trump in particular.

The New York office of the Make America Great Again campaign in a short statement noted, “Let them eat gum!”

UPDATE: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Islamic State have banned the importation of Islamophobin gum. CAIR has issued the following warning “Islamophobin gum is not to be ingested by Muslims or else.”

RELATED ARTICLE: MUSLIM CAIR LEADER USES HITLER TO MOCK TRUMP: ‘I LOVE THE JEWS!’ ‘The best kosher sandwiches are made in The Reichstag’

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire originally appeared in Chewing Magazine.

Huffington Post Defends Islam, calls Mohammed the ‘Spirit of Truth’

The Florida Family Association (FFA) reports on The Huffington Post publishing an article on April 26, 2016 titled Did Jesus Predict Muhammad? A Biblical Portal Between Christianity and Islam.  The article states in part:

The time has come for Christians and Muslims to make peace between our communities.

Our planet simply cannot afford another century of misunderstanding and violence between these two communities.

In an earlier blog on the Huffington Post about the problem of Christian Islamophobia, I argue that Christians have the opportunity to transform the way we see Islam and Muslims by accepting Muhammad as “Spirit of Truth.”

Historically, most Christian theologians—including John of Damascus, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Nicholas of Cusa, and Martin Luther—have seen Muhammad not as a “Spirit of Truth” but as a “Spirit of Error,” a false prophet or heretic. There are many Christians today who respect the Islamic tradition and would never make such an offensive statement about Muhammad.

However, the majority of Christians still maintain a fundamentally Islamophobic position on Muhammad. So I believe that the time has come for peacemaking Christians to contradict this position directly. Changing our view of Muhammad—so that we recognize him as a true prophet rather than discredit him as a false prophet—would effectively inoculate Christians against Islamophobia and would help to establish a new paradigm of cooperative Christian-Muslim relations.

[ …. ]

There is no better candidate than Muhammad, no one in fact that comes even close, in terms of fulfilling Jesus’s promise of the Spirit of Truth who would bring forth a new revelation from God. I do not have space in this article to explore the many Qur’anic verses directly addressed to Christians, but if we were to receive them our religion would be transformed for the better and would come into balance with Judaism and Islam.

Click here to read the full article.

FFA states the Huffington Post article:

  • Erroneously blames alleged Christian Islamophobia for the worldwide conflict between Muslims and infidels.
  • Dangerously perverts the Holy Scriptures of the Bible to falsely elevate Muhammad to a Judaic Christian status.
  • Tragically ignores the millions of Muslims around the world who support the killing of hundreds of thousands of Christians.  The Religionofpeace.com provides a detailed report of Muslims killing Christians.  While Muslims are killing hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world the Huffington Post article has the audacity to write “Our planet simply cannot afford another century of misunderstanding and violence between these two communities.”

FFA asks: WHAT violence do Christians appear to be committing against Muslims suggested by the Huffington Post article?  That would be Islamophobia which is the rational, fact based concern that Islamists use violence and Sharia law to advance their political agenda for Caliphate.

TheReligionofPeace.com reported on May 18, 2016:

Islamic Terrorists Have Carried Out more than 28,386 Deadly Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Jihad Report Last 30 Days
Attacks             179
Killed           1496
Injured           2154
Suicide Blasts     35
Countries            23

Weekly Report May 07, 2016 thru May 13, 2016
Attacks              42
Killed            433
Injured            454
Suicide Blasts    15
Countries              16

FFA notes, “Yet, the Huffington Post article has the audacity to blame Islamophobic Christians for the worldwide conflict between Muslims and Infidels.”

Jihadwatch.org reports the following regarding Islam’s view of Jesus issue:

  • Jesus is not the Son of God, belief in the Trinity is “excess”: “O People of the Scripture, do not commit excess in your religion or say about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, ‘Three’; desist — it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs.” — Qur’an 4:171“It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, ‘Be,’ and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35
  • Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger — they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157
  • Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are “disbelievers”: “They have certainly disbelieved who say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary.” — Qur’an 5:17
  • Christians “forgot a good part” of the divine revelations they received: “From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a covenant, but they forgot a good part of the message that was sent them: so we estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the day of judgment. And soon will Allah show them what it is they have done.” — Qur’an 5:14
  • Muslims should not take Jews or Christians as friends: “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.” — Qur’an 5:51
  • Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “The Jews call Ezra a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! ” — Qur’an 9:30
  • Christians who do not become Muslims “are the most vile of created beings”: “Nor did those who were given the Scripture become divided until after there had come to them clear evidence. And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6
  • Jesus’ mission was to proclaim the coming of Muhammad: “And when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, ‘O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.’ But when he came to them with clear evidences, they said, ‘This is obvious magic.’” — Qur’an 61:6
  • Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

Christianity is incompatible with Islam.  The Huffington Post article perverts bible scriptures and hides what the Qur’an states about Christians and Jews.

EDITORS NOTE: To learn more about Islam please visit Fitnaphobia.com. 

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.