Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Protected Perverts.

There are two sorts of perverts. Those that are villified and those that are lauded.  OK, a third too: those that are simply ignored.  The past year and the past week has shown what the media can do to perverts. Priests and pederasts, paedophiles and poofters are all treated quite differently.  Child abusers come under particular scrutiny, depending on which other non-pervert factors get taken into decisive consideration. Really nasty - nay wicked - ones have been consistently ignored. 

We spent some time in the Tavern talking of the priests a week or two back.  A chap spoke of them, almost in passing, just yesterday. We shall come to Mr Kelso in a moment.   We also spoke of the complete ignoring of politician and public servant child abuse. But first.....

The past week has seen a media orgy of gluttony over a rather charismatic but flawed fellow, Milo by name. He recognises  and acknowledges his flaws but nonetheless calls out the flaws of others with some relish and a great deal of wit and barb. Were he a left-wing bigot he would be lauded by the media, but instead he is a bigot-slayer from a clearly right-wing position. 

Hense the efforts made by the media which is by and large left wing to bring him down. Seemingly the mass ranks of snowflakes with masks and clubs who attempt to shut down free-speech whenever he shows up at A.N. Other University had not succeeded. Hail stones were needed.

Milo is a homosexual with a penchant for grown men, as long as they are black. Clearly not a racist queer.  But as a homosexual the media can't touch him for that, as homosexual people are protected perverts. Nevertheless they gave it a go last week. Their hypocricy banner flew high. And while left wing politicians can endorse and advance paedophilia without media outrage, Milo who was abused as a youth has denied ever abusing underage boys himself. Even Mr Sulu, George Takei who has in the past revealed his own early experiences in excusing and lauditory terms does not get tarred with the Milo brush. But then Takei is a lefty. He is a protected pervert.

But the conversations only brought Milo in as an aside. The real meaty stuff was about Institutionalised abuse. 

No-one in the right mind could say that the Catholic Church advocates child abuse. As the original and leading christian institution it consistenly preaches goodness, kindness, love of ones neighbour, just as all christian institutions do. It and they do however have some - a very small proportion - of flawed people in their ranks. They are not the norm, and Mr Kelso who has been at the forefront of chasing them down is quick to acknowledge. 

He had some things to say about the one institution in Australia (and elsewhere) that gets quite ignored. Whether this is by accident or design, I cannot say for certain, but one way or another it is 'Protected'. Mr Kelso had this to say:
We are 50 hearings into the Royal Commission into Child Abuse......... 
without a single hearing into child abuse within the Islamic community of Australia.
With systemic abuse uncovered in a number of religious organisations across the country – some sections of the public are asking questions of Muslim institutions.
Scores of underage Muslim girls are married off to older men. Many are forced to join polygamous marriages. Worse still, some women within the Islamic faith are forced to endure genital mutilation. Some Middle Eastern groups find this practice culturally acceptable – it is even commonplace in some communities.
The thought of defenceless young girls being forced to have sex with grown men is horrifying.
For any female to have their clitoris sliced off with a sharp knife is impossible for most of us to imagine. Australians cannot condone this practice.
Why is female genital mutilation (FGM) happening in Australia?
FGM is, of course, illegal – and specifically outlawed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is also illegal to take a child out of Australia to have the procedure.
Yet, genital mutilation is happening in our country.
In fact, instances of genital mutilation in Australia have doubled in the past year.
According to the ABC’s analysis of ABS and UNICEF data: “around 5,640 girls under the age of 15 may be in danger, and 1,100 girls are born every year to women who may have had FGM. This means that three girls a day are born in Australia who are at high risk of being subjected to FGM.”
A recent report conducted by researchers at the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit at Westmead Children’s Hospital in Sydney found evidence of children as young as five months old enduring genital mutilation procedures.
Whilst the practice of FGM is not a religious one, some Islamic communities persevere with the illegal procedure in Australia. In June 2016, Islamic sect community leader Shabbir Mohammedbhai Vaziri became the first person imprisoned for female genital mutilation in Australia.
So far, the ONLY one. 
FGM is a cultural practice in some regions within Malaysia, Indonesia, The Middle East and South Asia. We cannot allow FGM to happen in our country. The Royal Commission must use its powers to help make sure this horrific procedure never happens again on Australian shores.
Why hasn’t The Royal Commission investigated forced child marriage within the Muslim community?
Child welfare agencies have received 70 calls for help in the last two years.
Girls in Australia as young as nine have been sent overseas and forced to marry Muslim men.
The Australian Federal Police have investigated 69 complaints of child marriage in the last year alone.
Child marriage is outlawed in Australia.
State police forces have prosecuted Muslims participating in child marriage here.
The Royal Commission is an inquiry into ‘institutional responses to child sexual abuse’. It is not an Inquiry into child abuse in families. In order to classify as ‘institutional abuse’ and to attract the jurisdiction of the Royal Commission there must be an institutional connection.
Any child sexual abuse with the involvement or approval of an Islamic cleric would pass as institutional abuse.
Therefore the Royal Commission may investigate victim stories of underage child sex, forced child marriages, and genital mutilation of girls under 18.
So why hasn’t the Royal Commission done anything about this?

This is why.
The Christian Churches are hounded as though the 'systematic (as he calls it) incidents of child abuse were 'approved' or taught as a Christian thing to do.  It is not; they were not. But Muslim preachers advocate it, preach it, oblige it. It is little use to do even as Mr Kelso does, of offering protection by saying it is not 'Institutional' or not 'Muslim'.

Of course it is. 

But no Royal Commission has demanded an Immam front the court.

Why not?

Meanwhile the media focuses on Milo.

I pulled a pint for Mr Kelso for his points.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Islam and Feminism

The ABC (the Oz one) got itself into a bit of strife the other evening. On its 'flagship' debate programme, Q & A, the host Tony Wossname was trapped between two Super-Victims who went for one anothers throats. One was a part-aborigine, a usually favoured minority group that the ABC just loves to promote for 'virtue-signalling' kudos: while the other was a rising star Islamic woman that they actually employ, for the same purpose. And it was a 'Compleat' chaos as it was over yet another favourite cause, Feminism.
For once the ABC had the entire public in stitches 
without a comedian in sight.
Do not talk to women who wear ice-creams on their heads.
We get Feminists in the Tavern from time to time. Often they behave and can be quite pleasant. Most women who claim to be feminists do so because it has been 'trendy' for such a long time and they lack a sound grasp of historical fact. I happily serve them drinks as their small ignorances are not a crime so long as the carpets stay dry. The many who do get thrown out are quite mad and often bad too.

But few are as batshyte mad as Yassmin Abdel-Magied who said:
"Islam to me is the most feminist religion: we got equal rights well before the Europeans. We don't take our husbands last names because we ain't their property. We were given the right to own land.

I can't recall hearing Jackie Lambie calling herself a feminist and any Muslim woman calling herself one would be too ludicrous for belief. But here one did just that. Talk about 'having it all' !! Delusion, fantasy, mendacity and sheer lying ability is included in 'all'. 

Islamists 'follow the law of the land they live in', eh? 
And she says it with a straight face !

Unfortunately there is ample proof that women are considered sub-human in Muslim countries and must never stand - or even sit - equal to men. As Mz Wynne, a Canadian State Premier discovered when she visited a mosque the other day.
She had to sit at the back, alone.

Canadian liberal politician Kathleen Wynne’s recent visit to a Toronto mosque is making headlines – but probably not for the reasons she was hoping for.
Wynne – known in Canada for being an outspoken lesbian and feminist – reportedly visited the mosque in an effort to show solidarity with Canada’s Muslim community after an attacker shot and killed six people at a Mosque in Quebec.
Prior to her visit, according to The Toronto Star, Wynne addressed a crowd on the topic of immigration.
.......“We’re not different. We’re the same; except for indigenous peoples, every one of us came from somewhere else. We came from another country, another place, to build this open society.”
Unfortunately for Wynne, men at the mosque she visited later that day didn’t seem to share her view of equality.
According to, as the men began praying, Wynne – the highest ranking politician in the province of Ontario – was made to sit in a back corner. explains this with the following.
This was simply in accord with Islamic law, as several hadiths have Muhammad saying that if a woman is in front of a man as he is praying, this prayer is invalidated.
The site goes on to state, “Wynne didn’t complain about degradation of women. Nor did she, although gay, say a word about the statements of the imam at the mosque she visited.”
What statements, you ask? Well, according to a Toronto Sun article, Imam Wael Shehab said:
......."Homosexuality is a sinful act in Islam. I’d cite the following fatwa of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America.
..... "We should consider them people who get themselves engaged in a sinful act. We should deal with them in the same way we deal with any people who are involved in alcoholics, gambling or adultery. We should have deep repugnance to their acts and we must remind and warn them."
Interestingly enough, Wynne had no problem crying homophobia when people got upset about her attempts to revise Ontario’s sex ed curriculum to teach gender as a social construct.
If ridicule was enough we could say no more. But it is not enough.  An officially  'promoted' islamist woman raised and living in this the free-est nation in the world (Hah!)  can say whatever shyte she wishes  but what do women who live in Islamic countries say?

Let us listen. I am pleased that my friend Maryse Usher brought this in.
Fleeing Islam: My house was a jail, my brother murderous

Seeking asylum in the US: Moudi Aljohani  

Those who publicly renounce their religion often find themselves shunned by family and friends. Women from Saudi Arabia who renounce Islam find loved ones can morph into mortal enemies — with the law on their side. In defiance of a male guardianship system that places strict limits on their movements, a small band of Saudi women has fled to the West. They have adopted the label “ex-Saudi”, alongside “ex-Muslim”. 
Four shared their stories.


Fled to Britain in 2016

Four years ago I renounced Islam. In Saudi Arabia there is no freedom of religion so you cannot expose what you actually think, which is extremely hard, especially because I’m a woman. You have to wear a veil, you have to wear a niqab, you have to pray five times a day, you are forced to go to Mecca to do Umrah (pilgrimage). You have to live and pretend to be Muslim and it kind of caused an identity crisis. You know if you ever reveal anything you could end up in jail, for how long you don’t know, or you could lose your life from relatives.
I let my family know. I told them that I had left and that this is a decision that they should respect but I think that what they did is that they reported me as an escapee, which is an offence in Saudi Arabia. It’s only an offence for women, if they escape from a male guardian.

I received some threats from them. That’s when I cut all contact. Honour killings are very prevalent in the Middle East and what I have done is a dishonour not only to the family but to the tribe. I don’t see it as a dishonour but they do and the culture does.

Renouncing Islam is very difficult. You alter your life completely because basically you want to live, to seek refuge, somewhere else. It hasn’t been easy. You always have these doubts. You always try to look for a better life, but when I compare it (with life in Saudi Arabia) it is nothing, literally nothing: I was depressed all the time, I was very close to committing suicide. I don’t have any suicidal thoughts since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful.
I kind of find it appalling that people find sharia law is just. Especially to women, because fundamentally it’s not. It calls for polygamy, it permits having female slaves ... and if you receive an inheritance it should be half of the male, which is also unequal. It’s just not fathomable that people think it is equal.


Seeking asylum in US 

I graduated from law school in Saudi Arabia. I studied the Saudi legal system and sharia law. I knew so much detail that I refused it: that’s how I can identify myself as an unbeliever. I studied the Koran since I was seven and also sharia, and every single human violation is justified by sharia. I cannot accept it because it’s just cruel, harsh laws that are violating women and minorities.
ABC Favoured, Yassmin.

I got a scholarship from the government. It took me two years to convince my family to let me study in the US. I am a woman: how can I just go and be independent and leave the house and go to another country? Eventually I did and I studied in the US for 1½ years. Then I went to visit them in Saudi and they just blocked me and kept me as a prisoner in my house and forced me to leave my studies. They said “you’re not going back to America, you’ve become too Americanised’’.

I was locked for almost eight months inside Saudi and the only way to leave the country is to try to gain their trust again, so for the last three months there I just tried to act and lie, to make them believe that I don’t really want to leave the country so they went more soft on me. I eventually succeeded with that so I told them I wanted to visit my high school friend in Bahrain (but flew to the US). I ran away almost three months ago now.
Stoned  to death for being pregnant

I tried to contact many organisations in the US and every organisation tried to refer me to somewhere else and I have, like, zero support. Not just financially, also emotional support, especially after many traumatic events that I’ve been through before in Saudi.

After I came out publicly I am getting tens, hundreds of stories daily from Saudi women. I knew that it’s bad but after getting these stories I realised I was wrong: it is worse than bad. It is terrible. The common things are a lot of sexual assault and domestic violence. The world doesn’t really talk about it or know that it’s going on, because it’s a very powerful and rich country and that’s how they influence other countries.


Escaped to the US in 2013 
I was raised as a girl who is going to bring shame to the family the minute they turn their backs. My family is so religiously fanatic that I was not allowed to leave the house except for college, and if I need to go to the supermarket or the hospital, I must be escorted by my mother, but sometimes even my mother is not enough. My room that I shared with my sisters had windows that were covered by black wrapping, so people outside can’t even see our shadows.
Saudi women need their male guardian, or a man in general, in their life — and not because she cannot do it by herself. No, the reason behind that is that Saudi law promotes this kind of relation of women to male guardians. She needs her guardian’s signature in every single step she might take in her life.

The only job my father could give me a permission for was being a teacher because teaching girls does not involve any kind of communication with men. That nine months was the hardest period of my life. I realised I mean nothing to my family and I have never been loved. How could they lock me up in their house for no reason but that the religion says so? Or people will talk bad about us if they see you going out a lot?
Wife beheaded inthe street. Cops watch.

I know very well that my problem is that I am a Saudi and the only way to solve this is by leaving everything behind and start from nothing. The plan was to have a summer vacation for the first time in my life outside the country. The minute our flight landed in the US and we got inside the airport, I took my veil off. I told them, “I am not good, I am not OK. I am not even a happy person. You impose on me every single thing in my life. Now it is time to put an end to this.”


Seeking asylum in Scotland. Left Saudi Arabia for Scotland with her family when she was 13, and returned briefly when she was 21

My male guardian was the man who was supposed to be taking care of everything so I had to take his permission for everything. My brother, who is one year older than me, he became my male guardian. He was quite bossy and controlling, but at the time I didn’t have a problem with Islam because it’s debatable whether this comes from Islam or whether it’s a cultural thing.
Mum and I started having a lot of conflicts and then I went back to Saudi Arabia to live with my father for five months, even though he really didn’t want me to. He was very bad and irresponsible and cruel, and so I think at that point I didn’t pray at all.

Leaving Islam was horrible. I mean it set me free, obviously, but I remember having all these questions about what is going to happen to me after I die.

It kind of frightened me because Islam was kind of more like an identity, so I felt like I lost everyone in my life and I couldn’t tell anyone except my boyfriend at the time.
I made a Twitter account, and somehow by accident I linked it to my phone number and I posted one tweet about questioning religion, that they are all incorrect and invalid.

My sister saw it and then she asked me, “Is this you?” I even swore by God it was not me but then she told my mum and it was a big, big problem.

I moved out because my life got threatened by my brother. He found out that I had a boyfriend. I was out at the time and my brother followed me to find out if I was meeting him and then I looked behind me and he was there. He told me that if I come home he’s going to slit my throat. I just took whatever I was wearing and my bag and went straight to the citizens advice bureau.
The tales are harrowing.

I sometimes hear people asking why Feminists do not march and protest the appalling treatment of women in Islamic countries.

Well we now know.

Islamic countries are best at being Feminist.

Yassmin says so. 

That woman needs all the Grace she can get.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Tie-Dye Priest and the Warrior.

My descent through the cellars to the Crypt to mop the floors remind me of my own descents in life, for I have not always been the absolutely splendid fellow I am today.   I am a poor Catholic. I am fortunate though in my advanced years in not being as able to get into mischief and sin as much I used to. It was all very tiring. And I am thankful to be surrounded some evenings by heroes and Saints They are reminders and restrainers, otherwise I would be - no doubt - sinning far more than I still do.

So it was that a virlile and virtuous chap came by to give me a boost. He is a Priest. Yes, I know, I sometimes despair of priests but that despair is a sin too. "Fear not, for I am with you". But a lady was in too giving some stick to just the sort of priest that lead us into temptation. Not this one though. He has a mind for heroism so fitted in well here.

He was no modern 'tie-dye' performance artiste.  He is no 'hippy' priest. Yes he is a vestment-wearing celebrant but do not ever let the colour of the cloth define the man. Unless of course he is to wear vestements made by another, a friend, who came by too. Clare Short makes fine clothes for the Priest and the congregation, and could fit him up nicely.

I caught the back end of a conversation he was having, about heroism it seems, and I stood to pull a pint as he finished:
These heroes make me want to be a better person.  They make me want to be a better priest.  They help me move beyond defining myself by my worst traits, not by ignoring them, but by conquering them.  They make me want to a better man.  They are all around us, going about their lives. We need to learn how to see them, even to see them beyond their failings. 
We need to be heroes.  Cosplay doesn't make this happen. Playing a video game doesn't either.  To be hero means we find the grace to conquer our faults, the grace to stand tall and to stand our ground, that we raise our voice when needed, and that we cultivate a selflessness in who we are and model that for those placed in our care.
My advice is simple:  Looking for hero?  Start by being a hero!  
Well, how could I of all people, Hero and King, contradict him? OK, perhaps I am not much of a hero. But I could be !!  Fake it 'til you make it, as they say. Or rather behave like one until you become one. A Warrior of note, I am. Let us leave it at that lest Hubris enters through the windows. 

He was right. It is our life and we have free will to make of it what we will, and even.... even perhaps align that with my Supplier's will.

Some priests though have little courage, and even less manliness. Unlike this fellow, Fr. Bill Peckman. But first he sat and listened to the lady speaking up. As ladies are wont to do. It was Melissa Kite, a Catholic lass possibly as far from perfect at it as m'self. She had an unfortunate experience at Mass the other day.
The dietary obnoxiousness of the Catholic Church
Gluten-free Eucharist? I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Pope gave in to dietary fads.
A few moments after saying the communion rite, the priest looked at his congregation and uttered easily the most disturbing thing I have ever heard said in a church: 
‘If anyone wants a gluten-free Eucharist, please queue up on this side.’
By the Lord Harry, were I there at that moment I might have let rip a roar ! 

The builder boyfriend, already grumpy at being made to go to mass, tittered behind me. We hadn’t been able to find two seats together so I now had to imagine him making a series of faces to my back.
I couldn’t resist. I had to turn round and seek his opinion on this most revoltingly PC of moments. I have been going to mass off and on like the bad Catholic I am all my life but I have never heard anything so ludicrous.
As the congregation started queuing for communion, I turned round as discreetly as I could and the builder b’s face was a picture. His response was everything one could have hoped for: 
‘They’ll be offering halal communion next.’
He whispered it, but he whispered it loudly enough for several pews full of worshippers to hear, so it produced a few gasps.
But he’s right. Where does it all end?
Strictly speaking, for us Catholics for whom transubstantiation really happens, the Eucharist is the body of Christ, so vegetarians are going to cut up rough if the Catholic Church wants to start going down the literal route. 
But I suppose it was only a matter of time before the Pope gave in to food allergies. He won’t allow divorce, extra-marital sex or birth control but wheat intolerance? The might of Rome is no match for wheat intolerance.
Not that the Pope is wholly responsible for the stupidity of a priest in another country. But he does come in for quite a bit of wild stick waving these days.  No, it was the priest. But what can we expect of the modern 'Novus Ordo' ?  Perhaps he needs to consult Clare.
But who are these people who have demanded their Catholic priest offer them a gluten-free Eucharist? For truly they are on a whole new level of dietary obnoxiousness.
And why has the mighty Catholic Church made such an ass of itself by giving in to them? How can it expect anyone to take it seriously when it offers communion à la carte?
What next? The priest asking parents if they’d like to see the children’s menu, where the ‘Happy Communion’ features mini Eucharists with smiley faces on them?
Would not a better route have been for the church to tell those worshippers agitating for a special menu to pray for their digestive problems to be relieved? I’m sure if they have faith, their dietary burdens will be lifted from them.
While Grace is freely supplied, on tap and at no charge, Faith and Sense is what we are supposed to bring to the celebration. Some priests ditch the celebration for festival or 'my kitchen rules'.  They have lost their way.

But not so Fr Bill. He is somewhat like my own priest. A manly man. So I asked him about himself and his 'way' of going about his task. Melissa needed a boost too.
The Catholic Man, the Catholic Priest as Warrior
I will confess to being a bit of a history nerd.  So much of history is determined by battles.  Thermopylae, Marathon, Actium, Tours, Agincourt, Lepanto, Yorktown, Gettysburg, Midway, D-Day all leave permanent marks on history.  They change the course of history.  They give rise to heroes.
 From Leonidas to Nimitz, the steel of men's hearts are tested.  Some die as did Leonidas at Thermopylae, some conquer as Nelson did at Trafalgar.  The conquering of territory and the rise and fall of empires hinge of such moments.  The difference of the trajectory of history lies in the balance.
History is a reflection of something far greater than this mere mortal world.  Nations have raged against each other for millennia.  The kingdoms they represent each fall into the annals of history.  We can get lost and even trapped in this world and forget that something so much greater is at stake.   
The physical reflects the eternal.
I am not sure why, but the Church in the last several decades has let her guard down.  Some will cite Vatican II, but nowhere in Vatican II is such a thing called for. 
Certainly the popes of this era have not called for the Church to lower her guard.  Yet if we look at the Church in the West in particular we are getting mowed down.   
Our influence in our societies wanes to near non-existence. Our churches and seminaries empty. What happened? 
Some want to blame the popes, but no general, regardless of their personal greatness, can fight a war on his own.  If his officers and soldiers grow lax, there is little he can do.
Yes, as a leader of men who had to find and teach other leaders of men, I would remind them that a Leader is only as good as the people who follow.
Did we grow lax?  You bet we have!  The diseases that led to our laxity and indifference are centuries old, taking over like a slowly metastasizing cancer, 
cell by cell, 
man by man, 
dad by dad, 
husband by husband, 
priest by priest.   
So ridiculous has the heights of this cancer grown that we seem ineffective against the most inane of claims of sexual perversion and social re-engineering.  We come across as emasculated, impotent, and  weak.  However, truth be told, within the heart of each of us men lies a Leonidas raging to be unleashed.
The feminine in the Church has always been given a place and honoured. But Feminism is a curse that has mde many men emasculated and effeminate. 

Leave the feminine to the ladies. They are far better at it. 
To all men, in the west we have accepted the lie that our lot is to be passive, quiet, and selfish.  We have been consigned to mom and dad's basement with our video games, pot, and porn to numb the pain of our own inadequacy.  We have bought the lie that nobility is found in the emasculation of being nice.  
The sort of church and priest that Melissa encountered is often refered to as the 'Church of Nice'. Ughhh. We need to get back to Tradition.
We who move more freely still move with constraints, afraid of the army of withering snowflakes and totalitarian politically correct brown shirts might somehow take offense at our words and actions and screech like a banshee on speed.  We see the Nurse Ratched ready to give us another numbing dose of alcohol, porn, narcotics, or any other agent that will shut us down.
This is beneath our dignity and it is high time for us to shake off these shackles and roar back.  But how?  How do we roar back?
1) Drop the numbing agents.   
A discontent man will find a plethora of compensation habits to make up for the emasculation they feel.   Some indulge in a virtual world of video games and porn.  Some numb the aching through narcotics and alcohol.  Some throw themselves into the pursuit of promiscuity and masturbation.  Some find food as their numbing agent.   
We must fight back.  We must fight our vices and rise above them.  In Roman Catholicism, we talk about mortifications, fasting, and abstinence.   Many do not even begin and many fall off right away because reining in our physiological pacifiers is hard...the longer we have engaged in them, the harder it is.
However, God does not bid His sons to engage is futile battles.  The answer is twofold.  First, we utilize these weapons of fasting, abstinence, and mortifications because it appeals to the men we are.  They help us conquer and not be conquered!  But these on their own will not be enough.  We will not conquer without the grace of God.
2) Remember whose son you are! 
When we catholic men were baptized, we became by the grace of God an adopted son of God.  Numbing agents rob us of our heritage.  They lead us to be prodigal with our heritage, wasting it through the cheap thrills of sin.  We need to stick close to our Father.   
Make no mistake:  You will NOT be a strong son if you cut yourself from the sacramental life of the Church.   
You need to immerse yourself in prayer and the sacraments just as a warrior would immerse into the regimen necessary to be a great warrior.   
The foolish soldier blows off their commanders, they leave themselves isolated and fit for destruction.  Remember whose son you are and stick by His side.
3) Remember whose brother you are!   
Nothing turns a battle like the soldiers breaking ranks.  I run a summer camp for high school men.  In it, we utilize navy seal training.  Why?  Because in Navy seal training, the interest isn't in personal glory but in the strength of the unit.  They stand tall with each other, they have each others backs. 
I will be blunt, Catholic men suck at  brotherhood that doesn't involve a beer.   
It is as if we need to impress each other in a worldly approved fashion.  Talk about letting the enemy break through the lines!   
Your brothers in Christ need you to bring out the best in each other, to challenge each other, to help in the training of each other.   
We should be exalting each other to stay close to our Father.  We cannot be afraid of leadership and mentoring, we cannot abandon the spiritual leadership to our wives because we bought the lie that faith equals weakness.
Our enemy is far more fierce that the Ottoman fleet, the Nazis, or any other enemy we have ever seen.   
Our enemy takes no quarter.  Our enemy is a scorched earth, kill them all, no mercy kind of enemy.  Our enemy is the devil and his minions who delight in our spiritual death and our eternal damnation.  They will spur us with one emasculating lie after another.  They are not content with our own they want the destruction of your wives, your children, your grandchildren, your parish, and your friends!   
If we wander from the sacraments and prayer, if we allow ourselves to be numbed, then we allow the lines to crumble and  this insatiable enemy to have access to all we love.
 The devil revels in our dismissing him a mythical boogieman.  He enjoys our refined and oh so modern beliefs that dismiss him...we won't fight what we don't believe is there.  Make no mistake, our lack of belief will offer no defense to Satan's forward march.
We have ceded so much territory and are watching the effects of this destruction in our society, our families,and our churches. Now is the time for this to be turned, when we men must wake up, man up, and get about the business of taking back conquered territory.  This isn't about waiting for some new politician to come along, or some new guru. 
Let the Ladies show modesty and beauty:
let the men be fierce and strong.
 NO...this is about recognizing that we already have an unbeatable general in Christ.  We already have the the armaments we need in the truth and in the grace of God.  We do not have to lose!  Even for those of us who might get taken out of the battle like a Maximilian Kolbe of Miguel Pro, we still win.  The Lord honors those who lose their life for His sake with life eternal.
Finally, to my brother priests.  Our laymen look to us to model this reality.  Do they see it?   
Do they see in us warriors or liturgical zombies?   
Do we make ready access to the grace of God through the sacraments for our men?  Do we spur them to manliness or are we Nurse Ratched doling out insipid niceness instead of boldness and manliness?  We who share in the shepherding role, be it as pastors or married men, are the officer's corps.  We will be held responsible for the authority given us. 
We need to understand the enemy and arm our charges and train them to engage and win.  My brother priests, we also must embrace mortifications, fasting, and abstinence for the good of our flock.  The execution of sacraments should be more than job we do, but a life giving moment to charge our flock.  We must be men of prayer who stay close to our father, who do not spurn our relationship with each other, with our bishops, with our Blessed Mother, and with our flock.   
When the men and boys of our flocks see us, they have a right to see what being a man of God looks like in all of its array of armor and weaponry.   
We cannot inspire to numbness but to greatness.  We need to remember we stand as the vanguard against the politically correct hordes and the screeching of the hellish demonic forces.  God has given us a special grace at our ordinations which we are duty bound to uphold and live.
These battles play out every day and who wins these battles is determined on who stands up.  We know God wins the war, now let us act as if we are on the winning side!
My thanks to my Supplier, He who gives me each day my daily bread, this food for the soul that Fr Bill brought to the table. No wishy-washy Fr. Nice.  Bill is a Warrior, and more power to his Godly elbow.

I filled him with fine ales.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What would Jesus Say.

I have little doubt that most have heard that question, which was put to me - me, of all people, by the Lord Harry - in the Tavern the other day.  That is if they have not asked it themselves. It was in the context of Immigration, Refugees, 'illegals'. And Muslims, of course. Mexicans came into it somewhere but their religious proclivities were not mentioned. Poor America, Muslims from the sides and north and Catholics from beneath, and stuck in the middle with a mixture of atheists and evangelicals.

And before you ask, yes, it was an anti-Trumper asking and yes we do allow even them in here as long as they are cogent and do not make a mess on the carpets. I would even let a muslim in under the same conditions. Our aim here is to serve good Ale straight from the Supplier Himself.

But as we are all aware there is an ongoing shouting match about refugees. It has been going on for years. And I have been told more times than I have had a pint of Newcastle Brown that I have 'an un-christian attitude'. Hey, I am not perfect. But I have worked with refugees and I have opened my spare room to the homeless many a time. Which is more than most people do, especially those who bang on about it so much. For example.....

I am not such a hypocrite. Believe me.

But I can confess to being an ignoramous about some things, and when asked 'what would Jesus do' I remind them about knotted ropes and tables being turned over.....

......and I remind myself that many non-Catholic christians have a better handle on Scriptural points than I do.

So, I was more than pleased when a senior Catholic Priest popped in for a pint and I could put the question to him. At least it took the heat off me for a bit.

It was Msgr. Charles Pope ( a surname calling out for promotion) and he was brought in by Paul Murano. A fine chap Paul.  A Msgr is a senior priest, and if you will excuse the military nomenclature, sort of like a Top Sgt or a Warrant Officer. Not Commissioned like a Bishop. But a chap who knows his stuff more than a Tavern Keeper does.

So I took the opportunity to ask - not what Jesus would do - but just what is the Catholic position, officially. Well ! He told me in chapter and verse, didn't he. And he did not just bring Jesus into it but His Dad, my Supplier, too. 

Now I must say that I was willing to learn but as I do not know just what 'sort' of catholic he is - the Traditional,  the 'Church of Nice', or the downright teetering on the edge of heresy sort- I will leave you to do as I did and consider the points along with your own experiences and well-parsed thoughts. But, a caution: don't believe everything you think!
How Catholic is Your Stance on Immigration?
“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.” 
(CCC 2241)

I have lamented in the past that the politicization of moral issues has caused distortions in the reflections of many Catholics. No Catholic should have any doubt about the Church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, and euthanasia, nor should he or she dissent from it. But enter the fact that political parties take different stands on the issues and suddenly many Catholics either set aside the teachings of faith, embrace flawed moral reasoning, or engage in outright dissent. 
Sadly, many are more influenced by their political leanings than their faith or the very Word of God.
There are other moral issues (such as war and capital punishment) that are understandably intertwined with political thinking, as they involve the government and decisions largely consigned to the prudential decisions of secular leaders. Nevertheless, Catholics should still consider these to be primarily moral issues and draw their views first and foremost from Scripture and the principles taught by the Church.
I would argue that this is also true in the case of immigration. 
This is an admittedly complex issue, but it has a strong moral element because God consistently warns in Scripture that the way we treat the stranger, the sojourner, and the refugee is a matter of justice and something for which He will hold us accountable. Hence it is a moral issue with which we must wrestle.
But as is too often the case with politicized moral discussions, the positions taken are often deformed by excesses and/or defects. 
On the one side, there is the opinion that we should severely limit immigration if not close our borders entirely. On the other side, there is an almost reckless demand to allow the admission of huge numbers of people from anywhere accompanied by a willingness to simply ignore widespread violations of the law. 
Those on the first side strongly emphasize that we are a nation of laws while speaking less to the obligations and traditions of our country in accepting immigrants. Those on the other side are suspicious of almost any law related to immigration, declaring all such laws unjust; they seem little concerned with security or the difficulties associated large numbers of immigrants entering the country in unregulated or illegal ways.
A short article like this one cannot possibly address all of the complexities of immigration. Further, it is inappropriate for me as a priest to comment publicly on specific policy initiatives (e.g., wall, no wall) since they involve prudential decisions of government leaders. But permit me to offer some principles from Scripture, the Catechism, and St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, that we should use to guide our reflections and to form our views. more than our opinions or political leanings.
Consider, first, some of the following Scripture passages (you can find more examples here). God speaks quite a bit about immigration in the Scriptures!
When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God (Leviticus 19:34). 
You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt (Ex 22:21).
Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. And all the people shall say, “Amen” (Dt 27:19).
Now, we must decide just who is a 'sojourner' and who is an invader.  There is a big difference as he was to show us. 
You shall allot it as an inheritance for yourselves and for the sojourners who reside among you and have had children among you. They shall be to you as native-born children of Israel. With you they shall be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel (Ez 47:22).
The Jews of modern Israel seem to have taken this injunction to heart very well: more than any other nation is can think of right now. 
And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God (Lev 23:22).
Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place (Jer 22:3).
Again, we must decide, justly and reasonably who is 'innocent' amongst the refugees and who is not. St Peter at the Pearly Gates has a littlle book. Well, very likely a very big book. 
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you” (Mat 2:13).
There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you (Ex 12:49).
Those who are immigrants or sojourners in a land not their own, also have obligations:
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare (Jer 29:7).
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore, whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore, one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience (Rom 13:1-4).
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul (1 Peter 2:11).
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God (1 Peter 2:13-16).
Do not move the ancient landmark that the fathers have set (Prov 22:28).
And thus the Scriptures weigh heavily toward the generous and just treatment of refugees, sojourners, and foreigners in our midst, while reminding them to be productive and prayerful for the nation that hosts them. In the current public discourse, however, these two propositions are often separated.
The teaching of the Church, as expressed in the Catechism, enshrines both principles, speaking to the duties of nations as well as those of immigrants.
The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.
'Sojourners' not respecting their hosts.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. 
Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens (CCC 2241).
Although these principles are meant to balance each other, one or the other is often discarded by those on the extremes. We are called to accept immigrants generously, especially those escaping political or economic oppression. 
But the rule of law, which is meant to preserve order and benefit the common good, is also important. The Catechism, without providing a specific prescription, calls for balance. A generous, orderly immigration is recommended, one which respects individual natural rights while also advancing the common good.
I think we can safely say that western countries have had a mixed application here. Mrs Merkel for example was going against God's express wishes (she being elected, not Appointed) inviting such an army of really hateful muslims 'refugees' HELL-BENT on creating havok. This has severely tested the other generous nations en route and beyond Germany.
Seldom is this balance to be seen in current discourse. There are, of course, prudential judgments to be made. In particular cases, one principle may be favored over the other, but both should always be considered and any judgment should not wholly violate either.
Another helpful reflection on immigration policy is found in St. Thomas’ Summa Theologiae:
Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation, the Law contained suitable precepts: … First, when foreigners passed through [the Jew’s] land as travellers. Second, when they came to dwell in their land as newcomers. And in both these respects the Law made kind provision in its precepts: for it is written (Exodus 22:21): “Thou shalt not molest a stranger”; and again (Exodus 22:9): “Thou shalt not molest a sojourner.” Third, when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship.
With regard to these, a certain order was observed. 
For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1). 
The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.
He can say that again !! 
Hence it was that the Law prescribed in respect of certain nations that had close relations with the Jews (viz., the Egyptians among whom they were born and educated, and the Idumeans, the children of Esau, Jacob’s brother), that they should be admitted to the fellowship of the people after the third generation; whereas others (with whom their relations had been hostile, such as the Ammonites and Moabites) were never to be admitted to citizenship; while the Amalekites, who were yet more hostile to them, and had no fellowship of kindred with them, were to be held as foes in perpetuity: for it is written (Exodus 17:16): “The war of the Lord shall be against Amalec from generation to generation” (Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 105, Art. 3).
And thus we can see that it is permissible, according to Scripture and reason, for a nation to exhibit a more lenient policy toward one nation than toward another. Such a position does not necessarily offend against justice provided that the basis for it is demonstrably serious and true, and the principles of generosity and the advancement of the common good are not entirely set aside.
St Tom makes that very clear after having given it some serious thought. I am pretty sure he would be agreeing to much of what is called 'right wing' today.  
Above, then, are some principles from Catholic teaching and Scripture. While immigration is a complex issue involving prudential decisions by lawful authority, the hope is that principles such as these (generosity framed by legitimate concern for the common good) are applied.
For us who are Catholic, the questions are these:
How Catholic is my stance on immigration?
Is my view based in the faith or merely in my preferences or political leanings?
Do I agree that, as a prosperous nation, we should be generous in accepting and welcoming refugees and immigrants?
Do I understand that proper laws governing the immigration process are legitimate but should be in service of the common good and should assist in welcoming the stranger in a humane and orderly way?
Many people today strongly emphasize one principle at the expense of the other. In so doing, Catholic balance is lost
How Catholic is your understanding of immigration? I hope that this modest summary helps you to think about immigration as a Catholic.
I pulled a few pints that night. I drank a few too.

The 'protesters' we started with may not have follwed what Jesus was saying. Perhaps they can ask Him to start again with the explanations. Bear in mind though that Jesus cared less about the general political cant and atmosphere and appealed stright to you and I as Individuals.

It is a PERSONAL issue.

Frankly, Mrs Merkel can be put back in her box, and all the other politicians too. The real issue is what will YOU do to be generous or proscriptive? To march, protest and 'demand' that the politicians spend taxpayers' monies onrefugees when you are not prepared to put someone up in your own home, you are a hypocrite.