“Is not ours an age of mislived lives, of unmanned men? Why?… Because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men. Thus, what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men…
“I believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and, consequently, no religion of society. Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” (Cardinal Louis-Edouard Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, Homily for Christmas 1871)
We are living in the age of wilted men. Men today are bereft of faith and reason, virtue and character, honor and dignity. Men are empty vessels because the enemy has emptied them of the Catholic Faith. Progressivism has cultivated limp daffodils where once were virile men. It has replaced man with a curious species whose voice has been reduced to whimpers and sobs, a character more fitted to caricature than living and fighting against a world surrendering to Satan.
The heroic Bishop of Poitiers, Card. Pie, said that we have “unmanned men” because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Christ has disappeared because He has been shown the door in our society and the Conciliar Church, the wicked institution that claims Catholicity but is instead the diabolical deception resulting from the evils of Vatican II and the progressivist assault preceding it.
C.S. Lewis wrote The Abolition of Man in 1943 during the slaughter of the Second War against Western Civilization. In the chapter, ‘Men without Chests,’ he presciently wrote this, still pertinent today:
“And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”
With this brilliant text, C.S. Lewis met his peer Card. Pie.
In his work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio de Correa Oliveira said, “In times of great crisis there are two types of men: those who are overwhelmed by the crisis and those who rise up to resist the trend of events and so change the course of History.”
Our times call for manned men, men with chests, and those who rise to resist events to change the course of History. The Church needs men, the revitalized Church Militant on the move to resist and fight the enemies in the world. Instead, that revolutionary Conciliar Church promotes the Church Groveling, men overwhelmed by crisis, men who promote the crisis. It is a “church” of darkness, a “church” of unmanned men. We need the army of Church Militant to rise against the enemy’s occupation of our Church and society.
But before we return to this matter, let’s look at how we have descended to such a state where men are no longer men.
Feminism vs. patriarchal society
In the 1962 pamphlet What’s Become of Father? Catholic scholar John O’Brien reports that the “problem” of the father and his role was troublesome even then. We mistakenly think of the ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgically as “good” times for the Church, the family and men. He is wrong. The assault against all three was already in full swing.
O’Brien wrote: “Time was when father was the revered head of the household, to whom the children turned for guidance in all important decisions; he was respected for his wisdom and experience, and loved for his devotion to his family. No event in the home was complete without his presence.” Such a vaunted position in the natural order of the family drove the fringe element of feminism into a ravening rage.
These harridans screamed in the streets, sharpening their tongues and knives, then went after men with a vengeance. They hated the “patriarchal” society. They vowed to destroy it. With millions of dollars pumped into academic programs called “Women’s Studies” in the nation’s colleges and universities, feminists rose to dominance. These “studies” were funded in great measure by the Rockefeller Foundation.
With the rise of feminism and women in the workplace, many women lost their natural loving instincts. Consequently, the family fell into disarray, morals declined and birth rates plummeted.” O’Brien suggests this is the case because, even in 1962, “the child’s chief, if not his only parent, is the mother, while the father is relegated to the position of a mere breadwinner.” Since then the father has ceased even to be the breadwinner and has become merely an inconsequential oaf, as countless advertising spots remind us.
Already in the early 1960s, commentators remarked on the father’s haplessness. Dr. O’Brien cites research affirming how modern culture set the woman up as a beautiful powerhouse of sex appeal and dynamic capability, relegating the male to a position of ridicule as an awkward and hapless galoot.
Reflecting the feminist vision of the male, the popular soap operas of that time pictured men as “simple-minded, easily-bamboozled and fairly expendable oafs.” In the halcyon days of television sit coms in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the trend toward oafishness began with Dick van Dyke’s character of Rob Petrie in The Dick van Dyke Show.
As society continued its unabated descent into filth and despair, more “fathers” appeared on the television horizon. Some fathers were still portrayed as adequate, The Andy Griffith Show and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father being two examples of note. But families were changing significantly with wives as co-breadwinners, usually in high powered jobs, like Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show, where she was an attorney and he, Cliff Huxtable, a pediatrician working from the basement in his home.
The descent of the father continued with Home Improvement, showcasing Tim Allen as a ridiculous handy man wannabee who ran an unsuccessful cable network show. Allen was saved continually by his wife. If it were not for her, the show implied, Taylor and his three sons would be living in filth, reeking of perpetual body odor, wearing cardboard boxes for shoes and garbage bags as clothes.
In Home Improvement the mother’s true role as her husband’s helpmate and “sun of the family” has become a caricature. Men are seen as pigs that need women to clean them up and boss them around. That reinforces the twisted feminized view.
Anyone who watches sit coms today can see that this early tendency to present men as big boys and fools has continued and exacerbated without restraints.
There is no doubt that the great majority of modern men have been hermetically sealed in the baggie of feminism. Nearly all are too timid and fretful to break free to demand their natural authority as men and as heads of households.
Abandoning comforts and entering the battle
For the Church, true men are vital for her restoration. Sadly, even traditional Catholic men have been too inculturated by the filth of Progressivism. Men have become weak and ineffectual.
We must remember the words of Job, (7.i), “the life of man upon earth is a warfare.” We are seduced by comfort and consumption, beset by economic woes and the vagaries of antichrists in politics.
This is not the hour to abandon the Mystical Body of Christ to its enemies and run off to some solitary forest to avoid personal inconveniences. This is the hour to enter the battle with increased vigor, to re-conquer every inch of soil the enemies took and rebuild in that place the same sacred institution more militant, pure and glorious than ever, so that the Church will be ready to face, under the protection of Our Lady, all other possible enemies until the end times.
St. Bernard roused the men of his time to enlist in the Second Crusade with stirring words: “All you who hear me, make haste to calm the wrath of Heaven! Leave off imploring His goodness with futile lamentations or mortifying yourself with disciplines, but rather take up your invincible shields. The clamor of arms, the dangers, difficulties and fatigues of war, these are the penances that God imposes on you.”
We should pay heed to them in our continuing crusade to storm the captured citadel and free the imprisoned Truth. We Catholics can still be the great men needed for our times. We must go into the world, in all domains, to battle for Holy Church and her dignity. We must recapture that which has been taken, defend those assaulted, and restore to God His rights.
What a horrible thing it would be if we, as Catholic men, dropped our arms and fled the battlefield. Then, to end with the words of the heroic Card. Pie, “What a disappointment for mothers to realize that the male they gave birth to is not a man, and will never deserve to be called a man!” We are Catholic men or we are nothing.
In a statement given to a judge explaining why her daughter should no longer suffer, Charlotte said her daughter longed for peace.
After reading the heartbreaking words Justice Eleanor King at the High Court of Justice granted the request and Nancy died in hospital.
The ruling sets a precedent as it is the first time a child breathing on their own, not on life support and not suffering from a terminal illness, has been allowed to die.
In her summing up the judge said Charlotte’s love for her daughter is apparent and she had “great admiration” for her devotion to Nancy.
“The last day was the hardest of my life. It was absolutely horrifying. I miss my beautiful girl every day and although I know it was the right thing to do, I will never forgive myself. It shouldn’t have to be a mother’s decision to end their child’s life; doctors should be able to take that away from you.”
… But he answered and said to them: When it is evening, you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.
And in the morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering. You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know the signs of the times? (Mt:16:2-3)
Originally broadcast in 1954
Well the Season of Greed and Avarice is upon us.
Why has the celebration of the birth of Christ been adulterated to such an extent that we act as if we are deserving of so much more on His Birthday than he had?
Christ “so loved poverty that He chose for His mother not a rich and powerful queen, but a poor and humble Virgin. He willed to be born, not in a palace, but in a bleak stable, the manger of which, covered with a little straw, was His only couch.” – The Sinner’s Guide, Venerable Louis of Granada.
Where did it all go wrong? The West’s wealth and love of money is unprecedented historically. We are told that capitalism is the best economic system but what happens when capitalism is devoid of morality and a sense of responsibility to our children and our future?
Personal greed and corporate greed have transformed capitalism. Corporate America panders to our base nature. It seeks out the latest, coolest, hippest and ultimately the lowest elements of our culture, repackages them, and seduces our senses, our children, and our pocketbooks.
The “hipsters” behind the scenes of what’s cool push the envelope on every front. They turn their decadent, sex-obsessed minds on our children and assume them to be of like ilk. They assume the average male is a vulgar, adolescent, frat-boy, who delights in toilet-humor, sex jokes and freaky stunts. They imagine the average female to be a shop-a-holic, vain, sex-kitten, who longs to throw off the confining chains of parents, husband and or children. The imagined male and female become reality when they are fed constant rebellion, entertainment, and not only sex, but “taboo” sex.
We exalt in arising at 4:30 a.m. on the biggest shopping day of the year to acquire, accumulate and acquiesce to this culture. The corporations that exploit Christmas also exploit our thirst for human respect. After all, if we opt out of the spending and gift-giving mania, we are uncharitable scrooges and our friends and family may think we have become religious fanatics. When we could use the season to counter the culture’s notion of Christ, we instead capitulate.
Why this obsession with the temporal? Where has our sense of the holy and eternal gone? Hillaire Belloc said of John Calvin and Calvinism, “In denying the efficacy of good deeds and of the human will, and abnegations, in leaving on one side as useless all the doctrine and tradition of Holy Poverty, Calvin opened the door to the domination of the mind by money. St Thomas had said it centuries before–that if men abandoned the idea of God as the supreme good they would tend to replace Him…[with]…material wealth” as the supreme good.” -Hillaire Belloc, The Crisis of Civilization.
If Calvin was right and our good deeds have no effect on our salvation, and, furthermore that we are predestined by the Divine Will to such an extent that man’s free will is nullified, then one can see how man could easily be consumed by temporal matters, and conversely ignore matters of the eternal. Why be so foolish as to forego the world’s glitter and glamour if there is no eternal consequence to partaking in it?
“Man cannot freely rise to God and the contemplation of His beauty while he is breathless in pursuit of riches. A heart filled with material and earthly pleasures can never know spiritual and divine joys. No it is impossible to unite what is false with what is true; what is spiritual with what is carnal; what is temporal with what is eternal; they can never dwell together in one heart.” -The Sinner’s Guide, Venerable Louis of Granada.
Likewise man cannot truly appreciate the gravity of Christ’s birth when we engage in the world’s notion of Christmas which amounts to idolatry and worship of the golden calf. God requires good deeds of His people and our actions will have consequences. We must not partake in the corruption of Christ’s birthday.
“Riches are acquired only at the expense of pain and labor; they are preserved only by care and anxiety; and they are never lost without bitter vexation and grief. But worse than this, they are rarely accumulated without offence against God…”. -The Sinner’s Guide, Venerable Louis of Granada.
Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. –G. K. Chesterton 1909
Each year in America fewer and fewer disabled infants are born. The reason is eugenic abortion. Doctors and their patients use prenatal technology to screen unborn children for disabilities, then they use that information to abort a high percentage of them. Without much scrutiny or debate, a eugenics designed to weed out the disabled has become commonplace.
Not wishing to publicize a practice most doctors prefer to keep secret, the medical community releases only sketchy information on the frequency of eugenic abortion against the disabled. But to the extent that the numbers are known, they indicate that the vast majority of unborn children prenatally diagnosed as disabled are killed.
Medical researchers estimate that 80% or more of babies now prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. (They estimate that since 1989, 70% of Down-syndrome fetuses have been aborted.) A high percentage of fetuses with cystic fibrosis are aborted, as evident in Kaiser Permanente’s admission to the New York Times that 95 percent of its patients in Northern California choose abortion after they find out through prenatal screening that their fetus will have the disease.
The frequent use of eugenic abortion can also be measured in dwindling populations with certain disabilities. Since the 1960s, the number of Americans with spina bifida has markedly declined. This dropping trend line corresponds to the rise of prenatal screening. Owing to prenatal technology and eugenic abortion, some rare conditions, such as the genetic disorder Tay-Sachs, are even vanishing in America, according to doctors.
“There really isn’t any entity that is charged with monitoring what has been happening,” says Andrew Imparato, head of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), “A lot of people prefer that that data not be collected. But we’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg. This is a new eugenics, and I don’t know where it is going to end.”
“I think of it as commercial eugenics,” says Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the International Center for Technology Assessment. “Whenever anybody thinks of eugenics, they think of Adolf Hitler. This is a commercial eugenics. But the result is the same, an intolerance for those who don’t fit the norm. It is less open and more subtle. Try to get any numbers on reproductive issues. Try to get actual numbers on sex-selection abortions. They are always difficult to get. If you are involved in that commerce, do you really want people to go: So you aborted how many disabled children? That’s the last piece of information people want out there.”
Indeed, intellectual arguments in favor of eugenic abortion often generate great public outcry. Princeton professor Peter Singer drew fire for saying, “It does not seem quite wise to increase any further draining of limited resources by increasing the number of children with impairments.” Bob Edwards, the embryologist who created the first test-tube baby through in vitro fertilization, has also drawn protests for predicting that “soon it will be a sin of parents to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of our children.”
But these comments, far from being unthinkable, reflect unspoken mainstream attitudes and practice. Only through political gaffes (and occasional news stories) is eugenic abortion ever mentioned, such as the time in 2003 when a blundering Hillary Clinton objected to a ban on partial-birth abortion because it didn’t contain an exemption for late-term abortions aimed at the disabled. Women should not be “forced” to carry a “child with severe abnormalities,” she said.
In an interview with TAS, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania recalled his 2003 exchange with Hillary Clinton on the Senate floor in which she endorsed eugenic abortion. “It was pretty revealing. She was saying there had to be an exemption for disabled children being aborted as opposed to healthy children being aborted,” he says. “When she realized what she was advocating for, she had to put in the general niceties. But I don’t think you can read her comments and come to any other conclusion than that the children with disabilities should have less constitutional protection than children who are healthy.”
He added that “the principal reason the Democrats defended the partial-birth abortion procedure was for pregnancies that have ‘gone awry,’ which is not about something bad happening to the life of the mother but about their finding out the child is not in the condition that they expected, that it was somehow less than wanted and what they had hoped for.”
What Hillary Clinton blurted out is spoken more softly, though no less coldly, in the privacy of doctors’ offices. Charles Strom, medical director of Quest Diagnostics, which specializes in prenatal screening, told the New York Times last year that “People are going to the doctor and saying, ‘I don’t want to have a handicapped child, what can you do for me?'” This attitude is shared by doctors who now view disabled infants and children as puzzling accidents that somehow slipped through the system. University of Chicago professor Leon Kass, in his book Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity, writes that “at my own university, a physician making rounds with medical students stood over the bed of an intelligent, otherwise normal ten-year-old boy with spina bifida. ‘Were he to have been conceived today,’ the physician casually informed his entourage, ‘he would have been aborted.'”
The impulse behind prenatal screening in the 1970s was eugenic. After the Roe v. Wade decision, which pumped energy into the eugenics movement, doctors scrambled to advance prenatal technology in response to consumer demand, mainly from parents who didn’t want the burdens of raising children with Down syndrome. Now prenatal screening can identify hundreds of conditions. This has made it possible for doctors to abort children not only with chronic disabilities but common disabilities and minor ones. Among the aborted are children screened for deafness, blindness, dwarfism, cleft palates, and defective limbs.
In some cases the aborted children aren’t disabled at all but are mere carriers of a disease or stand a chance of getting one later in life. Prenatal screening has made it possible to abort children on guesses and probabilities. A doctor speaking to the New York Times cited a defect for a eugenic abortion that was at once minor and speculative: a women suffering from a condition that gave her an extra finger asked doctors to abort two of her children on the grounds that they had a 50-50 chance of inheriting that condition.
The law and its indulgence of every conceivable form of litigation has also advanced the new eugenics against the disabled. Working under “liability alerts” from their companies, doctors feel pressure to provide extensive prenatal screening for every disability, lest parents or even disabled children hit them with “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” suits. In a wrongful birth suit, parents can sue doctors for not informing them of their child’s disability and seek compensation from them for all the costs, financial and otherwise, stemming from a life they would have aborted had they received that prenatal information. Wrongful life suits are brought by children (through their parents) against doctors for all the “damages” they’ve suffered from being born. (Most states recognize wrongful birth suits, but for many states, California and New Jersey among the exceptions, wrongful life suits are still too ridiculous to entertain.)
In 2003, Ob-Gyn Savita Khosla of Hackensack, New Jersey, agreed to pay $1.2 million to a couple and child after she failed to flag Fragile X syndrome, a form of mental retardation caused by a defective gene on the X chromosome. The mother felt entitled to sue Khosla because she indicated on a questionnaire that her sibling was mentally retarded and autistic, and hence Khosla should have known to perform prenatal screening for Fragile X so that she could abort the boy. Khosla settled, giving $475,000 to the parents and $750,000 to the child they wished that they had aborted.
Had the case gone to court, Khosla would have probably lost the suit. New Jersey has been notoriously welcoming to wrongful birth suits ever since the Roe v. Wade decision, after which New Jersey’s Supreme Court announced that it would not “immunize from liability those in the medical field providing inadequate guidance to persons who would choose to exercise their constitutional right to abort fetuses which, if born, would suffer from genetic defects.”
According to the publication Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, “court rulings across the country are showing that the increased use of genetic testing has substantially exposed physicians’ liability for failure to counsel patients about hereditary disorders.” The publication revealed that many wrongful birth cases “are settled confidentially.” And it predicted that doctors who don’t give their patients the information with which to consider the eugenic option against disabled children will face more lawsuits as prenatal screening becomes the norm. “The human genome has been completely mapped,” it quotes Stephen Winnick, a lawyer who handled one of the first wrongful birth cases. “It’s almost inevitable that there will be an increase in these cases.”
The combination of doctors seeking to avoid lawsuits and parents seeking burden-free children means that once prenatal screening identifies a problem in a child the temptation to eugenic abortion becomes unstoppable. In an atmosphere of expected eugenics, even queasy, vaguely pro-life parents gravitate towards aborting a disabled child. These parents get pressure from doctors who, without even bothering to ask, automatically provide abortion options to them once the prenatal screening has diagnosed a disability (one parent, in a 1999 study, complained of a doctor showing her a video depicting the rigors of raising an afflicted child as a way of convincing her to choose abortion), and they feel pressure from society at large which having accepted eugenic abortion looks askance at parents with disabled children.
The right to abort a disabled child, in other words, is approaching the status of a duty to abort a disabled child. Parents who abort their disabled children won’t be asked to justify their decision. Rather, it is the parents with disabled children who must justify themselves to a society that tacitly asks: Why did you bring into the world a child you knew was disabled or might become disabled?
Andrew Kimbrell points out that many parents are given the complicated information prenatal screening yields with little to no guidance from doctors. “We’re leaving parents with complete confusion. Numerous parents are told by doctors, ‘We think there is some fault on the 50th chromosome of your child.’ A number of polls have shown that people don’t understand those odds.”
“There is enormous confusion out there and nobody is out there to help them,” he says. “This is a huge tangle. And it leads people to abort out of confusion: ‘I guess I better abort, because I don’t know. It sounds really bad and I don’t know what the percentages mean.'”
The New Eugenics isn’t slowing down but speeding up. Not content to wait to see if a child is fit for life, doctors are exploring the more proactive eugenics of germline genetic engineering (which tries to create desirable traits in an embryo) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), which is used to select the most desirable embryos after extensive genetic testing has been done before they are implanted in mothers’ wombs.
“The next stage is to actually start tinkering genetically with these embryos to create advantages such as height,” says Kimbrell. PGD is a “gateway technology” that will advance the new eugenics to the point “where children are literally selected and eventually designed according to a parent’s desires and fears,” he says. (Meanwhile, doctors are simultaneously reporting that children born through in vitro fertilization are experiencing higher rates of birth defects than the average population, suggesting that for every problem scientists try to solve through dubious means they create multiple new ones.)
Many countries have banned PGD. But American fertility clinics are offering it. Two-thirds of fertility clinics using PGD in the world are in the U.S., says Kimbrell. “Reproductive technology is an unregulated Wild West scenario where people can do pretty much anything they want and how they want it,” he says.
Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, coined the term eugenics in the 1880s. Sparking off his cousin’s theory of evolution, he proposed improving the human race through eugenics, arguing that “what nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly.” As eugenics passes through each of its stages — from sterilizing the enfeebled at the beginning of the 20th century to aborting the disabled at the end of it and the beginning of the 21st — man is indeed playing God but without any of his providence or care.
Andrew Imparato of AAPD wonders how progressives got to this point. The new eugenics aimed at the disabled unborn tell the disabled who are alive, “disability is a fate worse than death,” he says. “What kind of message does this send to people living with spina bifida and other disabilities? It is not a progressive value to think that a disabled person is better off dead.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer of the 19th century, warned that the denial of sin and hell in education and religion would end in a world Socialism where men would surrender freedom for a false security. He pictured anti-Christ returning to the world and speaking to Christ, thus:
“Dost thou know that the ages will pass, and humanity will proclaim by the lips of their sages that there is no crime, and therefore no sin; there is only hunger? And men will come crawling to our feet, saying to us: ‘Give us bread! Take our freedom.” – The Grand Inquisitor
In this sobering talk, Archbishop Fulton Sheen examines our death-oriented society, from the advent of abortion to the midnight of our headlong rush to self-extinction.
“Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m awfully glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly color. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.
The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.
The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest.
He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.
He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.
By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.
In the end, he said that “rational design” would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.
“Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?” wrote Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics.
“So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.
“To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality.
“Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.
“They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others.”
“If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should.”
He said that we already routinely screen embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes.
Rational design is just a natural extension of this, he said.
He said that unlike the eugenics movements, which fell out of favour when it was adopted by the Nazis, the system would be voluntary and allow parents to choose the characteristics of their children.
“We’re routinely screening embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome, and there’s little public outcry,” he said.
“What’s more, few people protested at the decisions in the mid- 2000s to allow couples to test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes, and this pushes us a lot close to creating designer humans.”
“Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance.”
Two hundred and twenty-three years ago the French Revolution began when a Parisian mob stormed and looted the Bastille, which at the time housed only seven non-political prisoners.
Many of the revolutionary agitators – Robespierre, Danton, Saint-Just, Marat, and Couthon – were determined to eliminate the Catholic Church and to replace it with a secular sacred society based on truth, reason, and liberty.
Because God and his holy Catholic Church were, in their view, antithetical to reason and freedom, these radicals, in the name of the people, snatched absolute power and set no limits on the changes their new faith could impose to create the secularized morality that would lead to a perfect society.
A catechism of morality, “in which no use would be made of religious principles,” they proclaimed, “is the first requirement of the nation. . . .The wise await it, the religious fanatics fear it; the government made it necessary.”
Jacobin Clubs were the churches of the new civic religion, which demanded blind obedience, the worship of human power, and unlimited faith in progress. Rousseau was the spiritual father, Robespierre the high priest who preached the gospel of terror.
The Liberty Tree (L’arbre de la liberté) replaced the cross. Nicolas Bonneville, leader of the Friends of Truth, called for a naturalistic version of Holy Communion: “Friends, this is the body of the sun which ripens the harvest. This is the body OF THE BREAD which the rich owe the poor!”
To eliminate Catholic culture that had held France together for over a thousand years, Church property was confiscated, hundreds of priests were murdered, and 30,000 were deported. The state stripped away from the Church the responsibility for education, charity, marriage, and the recording of births and deaths.
Revolutionaries placed ladders against the Cathedral of Notre Dame and attached nooses around the necks of the statues of over two-dozen French kings and yanked them to the ground. The roaring crowds decapitated the statues and tossed them into the River Seine.
Inside, statues and religious symbols were removed and the cathedral was rededicated to the goddess of reason. The altar was turned into a stage on which an actress tended by a corps de ballet danced to the song: “Thou, holy liberty, come dwell in the Temple, be the goddess of the French.”
Apostles of truth and reason were sent to towns and villages to preach the good news of the Republic. There were secular hymns sung, readings from the sacred texts of Rousseau, civic baptisms, and government holy water fonts. Over two thousand Catholic Churches were turned into temples of reason.
One witness, a British subject, wrote this description of a Festival of Reason held in the French countryside:
A delegate arrives some days in advance, accompanied by a goddess, if the town itself cannot supply a suitable one. She is attired in a Roman tunic of white satin, usually taken from a theatrical wardrobe, and wears a red cap trimmed with oak leaves. Her left arm rests on a plough, in her right hand she holds a lance.. . . .Installed on an altar. . .she addresses the people who in return pay her homage. . . .Wherever possible a priest is procured to abjure his Faith in public and to declare that Christianity is nothing but a fraud. The festival ends with a bonfire in which prayer-books, saints’ images, confessionals, and other pieces of church furniture are burnt. Most of those present stand looking on in silence, struck dumb with horror and amazement; others, either drunk or paid. . .dance around. . .
To complete their hold over the nation, the Jacobins eliminated elections and established the first modern dictatorship; the first police state. “The Republic,” Danton said, “was established fifty years before opinion was ready for it. . .free elections would be incompatible with its maintenance.”
They commenced a reign of terror that they believed was the only way to eliminate with lightning speed the forces of selfishness and corruption, i.e., the Church (among others). The Jacobin’s guiding principle was expressed by Saint-Just: “Until the will of the sovereign people represses the monarchist minority and reigns by the right of conquest. . . .You have to punish not only the traitors but also the indifferent; you have to punish whoever is passive in the Republic and does nothing for it. . . .Those who cannot be ruled by justice must be ruled by the sword.”
Tens of thousands were arrested on mere suspicion. The accused were found guilty in groups. Presenting defense arguments was not permitted and prisoners were forbidden to speak in their own behalf. At least 30,000, most of whom were innocent, lost their lives at the guillotine.
In an infamous episode in the Vendée, the executioners decided the guillotine was too slow (though they managed to kill tens of thousands) and over 2,000 victims – Catholic counter-revolutionaries – were summarily drowned. The ex-Oratorian student Joseph Fouché massacred thousands at Lyons. Historian R.R. Palmer observes, “Those men inflicted death with a holy glee!”
The result of their reconstruction of society based on ideological abstractions: two-hundred years of political and social instability and unrest. Ten years after the storming of the Bastille, France had been ruled by six different governments. Since 1799, a dictator, two emperors, two kings, a rump Vichy government, and five republics have governed the nation.
In the 1790s, totalitarian terrorists created, in the name of the sovereign people, a tyranny of virtue. The great myth of such people’s republics, historian Eli Sagan, has concluded “is the rotten fruit of Modernity. As in so many other perversions of Modernity, the French Terror was the first regime to perform this ideological acrobatic trick, wherein the sovereignty of the people ends up destroying le peuple.”
Every American high school student knows, or should know, that President Ronald Reagan went to the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on this date in 1987. The president said: “If you seek liberalization, open this gate … Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
American journalists were enchanted by Mikhail Gorbachev in those days. The young and charismatic Kremlin boss was “the human face of Communism” that they’d been seeking. The leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, this dynamic man spoke of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (re-structuring). His words were all the rage.
But when the Brandenburg Gate did finally open, in 1989, and when the Berlin Wall was re-structured, as in, torn down, the people in the Communist East German puppet state ran only one way. They ran as far and as fast from Gorbachev and his “workers’ paradise” as they could. When Gorby ran for president of Russia in an open election, he won just 12% of the vote.
As important as Reagan’s dramatic call to “tear down this wall” was, we should not forget what else he said that memorable day 25 years ago. His speech contained the most eloquent paean to religious freedom we have heard.
Reagan was not afraid to point to what he called “the most fundamental distinction of all between East and West”:
The totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront. Years ago, before the East Germans began rebuilding their churches, they erected a secular structure: the television tower at Alexander Platz. Virtually ever since, the authorities have been working to correct what they view as the tower’s one major flaw, treating the glass sphere at the top with paints and chemicals of every kind. Yet even today when the sun strikes that sphere — that sphere that towers over all Berlin — the light makes the sign of the cross. There in Berlin, like the city itself, symbols of love, symbols of worship, cannot be suppressed.
Reagan’s speech that day is known — if it is taught at all — as his “Tear Down This Wall Speech.” But it could as well be known as his “Sign of the Cross Speech.” That’s because Reagan was the first president of the United States to invoke the Sign of the Cross in a public address.
Reagan knew how strong those words would echo in the captive nations, especially in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, with their large Catholic populations. That Reagan, an Evangelical Christian, would be so attuned to the religious vocabulary of millions of Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians is itself a tribute to his open mind.
Winston Churchill was certainly no churchgoer. But he, too, recognized evil when he saw it. He knew that Nazi Germany was evil because it sought to murder the Jews. Churchill had the courage to stand up against the Nazis and their Judenhass (Jew hatred.) “Fear God,” he said, “and dread nought.”
President Reagan carried to every summit meeting with Gorbachev a list of Jewish refuseniks unjustly imprisoned in the Evil Empire. He pressed Gorbachev to free those Jews from the Gulag and let them immigrate to Israel.
Today, the Obama administration works with regimes that threaten Jews with extinction and that persecute their Christian minorities. This administration makes little effort to protect religious freedom.
We have seen Coptic churches in Egypt torched and Christian cemeteries in Libya desecrated. Assyrian, Chaldean, and Maronite Christians are huddling in Syria, awaiting Assad’s fall.
We should remember this day. Twenty-five years ago, Ronald Reagan had the courage to overrule his own State Department, his own Pentagon, his own advisers. None of them wanted him to “provoke” the Soviets with blunt talk about good and evil. No one wanted him to threaten what they took to be stability. These advocates of realpolitik, however, were proven to be politically unrealistic.
Ronald Reagan had a strong grasp of history and power. What’s the good of having power if you don’t wield power for good? Like Churchill, he would fear God and dread nought. Under the Sign of the Cross that day a quarter century ago, Ronald Reagan took a bold stand for freedom.
Thou shalt not give any of thy seed to be consecrated to the idol Moloch, nor defile the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Lv:18:21: 21
A Planned Parenthood affiliate’s newest president and CEO said in an official statement that she regards her work for the biggest abortion business in America to be a holy profession.
Melaney Linton, who will now oversee Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, is determined to further the Life-ending work of Planned Parenthood:
“I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with such a sacred duty…I pledge to do everything in my power to fight back against the ideological attacks on Planned Parenthood and women, so that no teen will ever say she didn’t know how she got pregnant, no one will ever be denied basic reproductive health care, and no woman will ever be forced to bear children she cannot adequately support.”
Starting March 1st, Linton will manage 13 abortion and abortion-referring centers in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, as well as the largest abortion mill in America, located in Houston, Texas.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast alone performed over 12,000 abortions in 2010 and banked over $17 million – 49 percent of which came from taxpayer dollars. Linton will succeed Peter Durkin, who earned over $200,000 in 2010 by performing this “sacred duty.”
Linton is mistaken when she calls her work “sacred.” There is nothing holy about extinguishing the lives of millions of unborn children as a way to line the company pocketbook. The new CEO vows to fight back against Life-affirming measures that have limited the abortion provider, because it cuts into the proceeds Planned Parenthood receives from every abortion committed.
Planned Parenthood, with their money-hungry abortion agenda, has lured women and young girls into their clinics with the promise of putting them first, but Planned Parenthood’s financial standing is all that matters to the abortion giant. The abortion business refuses to acknowledge the physical, mental, and emotional damage abortion causes, thus, abandoning women because they are no longer seen as a profit.
The Planned Parenthood abortion business is a multi-million dollar company which preys on women to drive up their bottom line. This government-sanctioned killing of children must be brought to an end. As members of the Pro-Life community, we are dedicated to ending the horror Linton and Planned Parenthood so fiercely defend. As long as Planned Parenthood remains devoted to ending innocent human life and committing these unjust moral atrocities, we are dedicated to severing the revenue stream that is responsible for the death of innocent unborn children.
In remarks that critics have said are disturbingly reminiscent of Aldous Huxley’s famous dystopian novel “Brave New World,” a UK ethicist has argued that since pregnancy causes “natural inequality” between the sexes, women must be liberated from the “burdens and risks of pregnancy” through the use of “ectogenesis”, or artificial wombs.
“Pregnancy is a condition that causes pain and suffering, and that affects only women. The fact that men do not have to go through pregnancy to have a genetically related child, whereas women do, is a natural inequality,” writes Dr. Anna Smajdor in an article that recently appeared in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics.
In her Defense of Ectogenesis, published online December, 2011, Smajdor construes pregnancy as a “medical problem, along with other conditions that cause pain and suffering.” Smajdor is Lecturer in Ethics at the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice in the University of East Anglia.
“If there were a disease that caused symptoms and risks similar to those caused by pregnancy, I contend that it would be regarded as being fairly serious, and that we would have good reasons to try to insure against it,” argues Smajdor, who lumps pregnancy along with “diseases” that continue for many months, such as the measles.
For Smajdor, currently “men reap all the benefits of women’s gestation, while women bear the risks and burdens.”
Accordingly, in Smajdor’s worldview, “women are disadvantaged as a group through brute luck, because men can reproduce without undergoing the risks of pregnancy.”
In other words, to be a woman, for Smajdor, simply means to become biologically more like a man. To do this, a woman’s innate and natural potential to procreate, nurture, and bear a new human life must be stripped away and handed over to science and technology. Only when all human beings do not bear children will a genuine equality be more closely approached, she proposes.
“Perhaps not all the dis-benefits of being a woman are attributable to childbearing,” acknowledges Smajdor, “but alleviating these burdens would surely help.”
In Huxley’s “Brave New World” reproduction is taken over entirely by the World State where children are created, “decanted” and raised in “hatcheries” and “conditioning centres.”
For Smajdor, the issue is simply a matter of sex equality: “Either we view women as baby carriers who must subjugate their other interests to the well-being of their children or we acknowledge that our social values and level of medical expertise are no longer compatible with ‘natural’ reproduction,” she concludes.
In Durham, England, corpses will soon be used to generate electricity.
A crematorium is installing turbines in its burners that will convert waste heat from the combustion of each corpse into as much as 150 kilowatt-hours of juice — enough to power 1,500 televisions for an hour. The facility plans to sell the electricity to local power companies.
Some might find this concept creepy. Others might be pleased to learn that the process “makes cremation much greener by utilizing its by-products,” in the words of cremation engineer Steve Looker, owner and chief executive officer of the Florida-based company B&L Cremation Systems, which is unaffiliated with the Durham enterprise.
In Europe, tightening regulations on crematorium emissions, coupled with the high price of energy, will lead more and more facilities to go the way of Durham in the future, Looker said. Will crematories in the United States follow suit?
According to Looker, whose company is currently testing different methods of utilizing cremation waste heat, the expensive turbine systems being installed in Durham are not yet economically viable for crematories here. “In the U.S., most crematories don’t have enough throughput,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Cremation in some parts of Europe is over 90 percent, but it is not over 50 percent yet here.” That is, less than half of Americans opt for cremation. Most are buried.
Consequently, while burners in Europe typically run 24 hours day, ones in America operate only eight hours each day, Looker said. “A typical turbine system would cost somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000. If it’s running 24 hours a day, that’s a five-year payback. If it’s running eight hours a day, that’s a 15- or 20-year payback, which isn’t feasible,” he said.
However, Looker is hopeful that the situation could change in the near future. “Over the next 10 years, with the baby boomers coming through, cremation is going to reach 75 to 80 percent. Then, this might be feasible.”
Furthermore, a turbine designed by a company called Thermal Dynamic Engineering, which produces just 50 kilowatt-hours of energy but is much less expensive to install than the Durham system, will be available in the near future, Looker said.
Thus, it may indeed come to pass that deceased baby boomers will someday help power your household appliances.
Seems like Americans just want it to be Halloween all year. The holiday just keeps getting more popular. Seven in 10 expect to celebrate it in some way this Oct. 31, up from about six in 10 last year, according to a National Retail Federation report.
This is the most in the nine years the NRF has been tracking. In 2011, Americans are also planning to spend more than other years, an average of $72 each. Total outlays by consumers are expected to reach $6.86 billion this fall.
Why the surge in popularity for an ancient harvest ritual? Some of the factors that account for it are as harmless and loveable as a new 12-pound pumpkin from the farm. Others have the capacity to spook.
Start with the good that the holiday now demonstrates. Thirty or 40 years ago, Halloween seemed to offer only more evidence of the failures of our cities. There were plenty of neighborhoods — Kenwood on Chicago’s South Side, Adams Morgan in Washington, and Midwood in New York spring to mind like ghouls — where the night was best known for the opportunities it provided for muggers or for teen gangs to hurl those pumpkins against someone’s front door. “Newark Braces for Halloween,” read a 1967 New York Times headline over a nervous article describing riot-prevention measures, including street patrols by clergymen.
Go farther back, before the 1940s, and Halloween had lethal connotations. In the Old South, “Mischief Night,” on Oct. 30, offered the Ku Klux Klan cover to put on their own costumes and wreak some of their worst damage. A mild example shows up in the 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” when on Halloween night a local gets revenge for lawyer Atticus Finch’s representation of a black man in court by attacking his son Jem and breaking his arm.
Today the same sidewalks and roads where the eggs were once thrown are often packed with cheerful trick-or- treaters. No doubt about it, in many places Halloween reflects urban revival. It also reflects a cultural coming together; there’s something comforting in knowing that, no matter what their background, kids will be equally terrified by a deluxe “predator mask with helmet” or a “whispers hooded mask,” to name two items on sale at Halloween websites this year. A child once told me he and his friends didn’t look at the mask; they looked at the eyeholes and wondered what was in there. There’s something unifying in the ghoulishness of the spaces between the teeth in the carved pumpkin’s grin.
Unmask Halloween, however, and you’ll also find some disconcerting features. Christmas and Easter may be secularized these days, relative to their past, but they remain Christian holidays. People value Halloween, like Valentine’s Day, because they can tell themselves that it’s not merely secularized but actually secular, which is to say, not Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Muslim.
The Living Dead
But as much as we’d like it to be, Halloween isn’t secular. It is pagan. There’s nothing else to call a set of ceremonies in which people utter magical phrases, flirt with the night and evoke the dead. One of my family’s favorite Halloween props was a hand that moved, as though from the netherworld, when you reached to collect a few pieces of candy corn. Necromancy is a regular part of Halloween games. Zombie masks are one of this year’s top- sellers. As grouchy theologians used to point out, the origin of Halloween was most likely Samhain, an ancient Celtic holiday on which the dead, in some accounts, supposedly returned to visit.
There’s a reason for the pull of the pagan. In the U.S., we’ve been vigorously scrubbing our schools and other public spaces of traces of monotheistic religion for many decades now. Such scrubbing leaves a vacuum. The great self-deception of modern life is that nothing will be pulled into that vacuum. Half a century ago, the psychologist Carl Jung noted the heightened interest in UFOs, and concluded that the paranormal was “modern myth,” a replacement for religion.
Children or adults who today relish every detail of zombie culture or know every bit of wizarding minutiae are seeking something to believe in. That church, mosque and synagogue are so controversial that everyone prefers the paranormal as neutral ground is disconcerting. There’s something unsettling about the education of a child who comfortably enumerates the rules for surviving zombie apocalypse but finds it uncomfortable to enumerate the rules of his grandparents’ faith, if he knows them.
The Spaces Between
Perhaps when walking down your street this Oct. 31, you’ll see a child in an Aslan costume, or one dressed as Caspian, C.S. Lewis’s prince. The “Narnia” series was Lewis’s premeditated effort to lure kids to Jesus Christ through myth. The manipulative Lewis was on to something: Parents can keep children away from religion, but they can’t stop children from believing in something.
Fans of the orange holiday may want to pause for a moment to look at the empty spaces between its rituals, as with the pumpkin’s smile. Some of us forgo it to dedicate ourselves to one faith or another. But you don’t have to reject Halloween to ask what it may be replacing.
According to today’s government run educational institutions, Christopher Columbus was a brutal rapist, killing innocent natives and an atheist. Fortunately we have his original records to refer to so as to debunk all of these liberal lies.
Russell Means, a Native American activist wrote, “Columbus makes Hitler look like a juvenile delinquent. He was a racist, a mass murderer, a slave trader, a rapist and a plunderer.” Too bad he has all his facts made up rather than lean on true historical documents.
Dr. D. James Kennedy writes, “In the past hundred years, we have seen the rise of atheism, skepticism, communism, fascism, socialism and every other kind of ‘ism’ opposed to the Word of God — whose proponents hate God and Christ and Christianity. These people are determined to refashion America in their image — in their unbelieving, ungodly or pagan image. But to do so, they have to move this nation off its Christian foundations.”
This is the ultimate task of everyone from Obama to public educational institutions, including congress and the judicial system with the aid of Communist organizations like the ACLU, Americans United For The Separation Of Church And State, NOW, GLSEN. etc. etc. etc. These are folks who hate the very idea of the God of the Bible and are willing to sell their own souls and professional reputations for a LIE.
Fact is, Columbus NEVER killed any native American, he was actually kind to the natives he encountered since his main goal was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them and wanted to do nothing that would alienate them from his message of salvation. Don’t believe it? Note the following quote.
“I, in order that they (the natives) might develop a very friendly disposition toward us, because I knew that they were a people who could better be freed and converted to our Holy Faith by love than by force, gave to some of them red caps and to others glass beads, which they hung on their necks, and many others things…”
His very first words upon stepping on the shore of America were: “Blessed be the light of day, and the Holy Cross we say; and the Lord of Veritie and the Holy Trinity.
At the beginning of each day a hymn was sung on board ship during the voyage. The captain of the Nina drew a map of the new world with a picture of Columbus at the top carrying the Christ child across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World.
In a letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle he said, “At this time I have seen and put in study to look into all Scriptures, cosmography, histories, chronicles and philosophy and other arts, which our Lord opened to my understanding (I could sense his hand upon me), so that it became clear to me that it was feasible to navigate from here to the Indies; and he unlocked within me the determination to execute the idea. And I came to your Highnesses with this ardor. All those who heard about my enterprise rejected it with laughter, scoffing at me. Neither the sciences which I mentioned above, nor the authoritative citations from them, were of any avail. In only your Highnesses remained faith and constancy. Who doubts that this illumination was from the Holy Spirit? I attest that he (the Spirit), with marvelous rays of light consoled me through the holy and sacred Scriptures, a strong and clear testimony with forty-four books of the Old Testament, and four Gospels with twenty-three Epistles of those blessed Apostles encouraging me to proceed, and, continually, without ceasing for a moment, they inflame me with a great sense of urgency.” Columbus, Book of Prophesies, 178-179
Many more such statements are available to all honest seekers of the truth. Only those who want to falsify history will ignore the clear evidence.
Islamic mosques are being built more often in France than Roman Catholic churches, and there now are more practicing Muslims in the country than practicing Catholics.
Nearly 150 new mosques currently are under construction in France, home to the biggest Muslim community in Europe. The mosque-building projects are at various stages of completion, according to Mohammed Moussaoui, the president of the Muslim Council of France (CFCM), who provided the data in an August 2 interview with the French radio station RTL.
The total number of mosques in France has already doubled to more than 2,000 during just the past ten years, according to a research report “Constructing Mosques: The Governance of Islam in France and the Netherlands.” France’s most prominent Muslim leader, Dalil Boubakeur, who is rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, recently called for the number of mosques in the country to be doubled again – to 4,000 – to meet growing demand.
By contrast, the Roman Catholic Church in France has built only 20 new churches during the past decade, and has formally closed more than 60 churches, many of which are destined to become mosques, according to research conducted by La Croix, a Roman Catholic daily newspaper based in Paris.
Although 64% of the French population (or 41.6 million of France’s 65 million inhabitants) identifies itself as Roman Catholic, only 4.5% (or 1.9 million) of those actually are practicing Catholics, according to the French Institute of Public Opinion (or Ifop, as it is usually called).
By way of comparison, 75% (or 4.5 million) of the estimated 6 million mostly ethnic North African and sub-Saharan Muslims in France identify themselves as “believers” and 41% (or 2.5 million) say they are “practicing” Muslims, according to an in-depth research report on Islam in France published by Ifop on August 1. The report also says that more than 70% of the Muslims in France say they will be observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2011.
Taken together, the research data provides empirical evidence that Islam is well on its way to overtaking Roman Catholicism as the dominant religion in France.
As their numbers grow, Muslims in France are becoming far more assertive than ever before. A case in point: Muslim groups in France are now asking the Roman Catholic Church for permission to use its empty churches as a way to solve the traffic problems caused by thousands of Muslims who pray in the streets.
In a March 11 communiqué addressed to the Church of France, the National Federation of the Great Mosque of Paris, the Council of Democratic Muslims of France and a Muslim activist group called Collectif Banlieues Respect called on the Catholic Church – in a spirit of inter-religious solidarity, of course – to make its empty churches available to Muslims for Friday prayers, so that Muslims do not have to “pray in the streets” and be “held hostage to politics.”
Every Friday, thousands of Muslims in Paris and other French cities close off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, close down local businesses and trap non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for midday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of “Allah Akbar” via loudspeakers in the streets.
The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on Youtube.com ( here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.
The issue of illegal street prayers was catapulted to the top of the national political agenda in France in December 2010, when Marine Le Pen, the charismatic new leader of the far-right National Front party, denounced them as an “occupation without tanks or soldiers.”
During a gathering in the east central French city of Lyon on December 10, Le Pen compared Muslims praying in the streets to Nazi occupation. She said: “For those who want to talk a lot about World War II, if it is about occupation, then we could also talk about it [Muslim prayers in the streets], because that is occupation of territory. It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of districts in which religious laws apply. It is an occupation. There are of course no tanks, there are no soldiers but it is nevertheless an occupation and it weighs heavily on local residents.”
Many French voters agree. In fact, the issue of Muslim street prayers – and the broader question of the role of Islam in French society – has become a major issue ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. According to a survey by Ifop for the France-Soir newspaper, nearly 40% of French voters agree with Len Pen’s views that Muslim prayer in the streets resembles an occupation. Another opinion poll published by Le Parisien newspaper shows that voters view Le Pen, who has criss-crossed the country arguing that France has been invaded by Muslims and betrayed by its elite, as the candidate best suited to deal with the growing problem of runaway Muslim immigration.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose popularity was at 25% in July – worse than any predecessor less than a year ahead of a re-election bid, according to the TNS-Sofres polling group – has been spooked by Le Pen’s advance in the opinion polls. He now seems determined not to allow Le Pen to monopolize the issue of Islam in France.
Sarkozy recently called Muslim prayers in the street “unacceptable” and said that the street cannot be allowed to become “an extension of the mosque.” He also warned that the overflow of Muslim faithful on to the streets at prayer time when mosques are packed to capacity risks undermining the French secular tradition separating state and religion.
Interior Minister Claude Guéant on August 8 told Muslims who have been praying on the streets of Paris that they should utilize a disused barracks instead. “Praying in the street is something that is not acceptable,” Guéant said. “It has to stop.”
Meanwhile, France ushered in Ramadan by inaugurating a new mega-mosque for 2,000 worshipers in Strasbourg, where the Muslim population has reached 15%. Construction also continues apace of a new mega-mosque in Marseille, France’s second-largest city where the Muslim population has reached 25% (or 250,000). The Grand Mosque – which at more than 8,300 square meters (92,000 square feet) will accommodate up to 7,000 worshippers in a vast prayer hall – is designed to be the biggest and most potent symbol of Islam’s place in modern France.
Boubakeur, of the Grande Mosque of Paris, says the construction of even more mosques – paid for by French taxpayers – would ease the “pressure, frustration and the sense of injustice” felt by many French Muslims. “Open a mosque and you close a prison,” says Boubakeur.
But Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has implied that the construction of mosques and minarets actually is part of a strategy for the Islamization of Europe. Publicly repeating the words of a 1912 poem written by the Turkish nationalist poet Ziya Gökalp, Erdogan said: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.”
Reflecting on the retreat of Catholicism and the rise of Islam in France, Archbishop Giuseppe Bernardini, an Italian Franciscan who heads the Izmir archdiocese in Turkey, and who has lived in the Islamic world for more than 40 years, has recounted a conversation he once had with a Muslim leader, who told him: “Thanks to your democratic laws, we will invade you. Thanks to our religious laws, we will dominate you.”
One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls
That’s the headline on an AP story that should win some sort of prize for morally obtuse reporting.
The most obvious outcome of the China’s one-child policy, coupled with the deeply-ingrained desire for male children, has been the routine destruction of Chinese girls in the womb. The UN estimates that 43 million girls are “missing” in China today, due primarily to sex-selection abortions.
But for those who aren’t killed, the policy is a “boon,” AP tells us. The story explains that there are more girls studying in the finest schools, more girls owning laptops, more girls receiving lavish gifts from their families. Life is good—for those girls who survive long enough to experience it.
After 14 paragraphs of upbeat reporting, the AP story finally notices a cloud on the horizon:
Crediting the one-child policy with improving the lives of women is jarring, given its history and how it’s harmed women in other ways. Facing pressure to stay under population quotas, overzealous family planning officials have resorted to forced sterilizations and late-term abortions, sometimes within weeks of delivery, although such practices are illegal.
So if you don’t count the women who are slaughtered in the womb, and the women who are subjected to involuntary sterilization, and the women who have their unborn children torn from their wombs by the government-backed butchers who drive around the country in vans equipped as slap-dash abortion clinics, and the women who live in fear, trying to dodge the family-planning officials who will punish them for pregnancy, and those who live with regrets, having sacrificed their children—if you exclude all those women—well then the one-child policy is a “boon” to the others.
Thanks, AP. Always nice to see a “good news” story.
In Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, there is a passage that (were it true) claws at the soul until it is left open and raw with spiritual bleeding. In a black paroxysm of despair, Victor Frankenstein’s monster compares his lot to Satan’s: “The fallen angel becomes a malignant devil. Yet that enemy of God and man had friends and associates in his desolation; I am quite alone”.
Shelley’s book originally carried the subtitle “Modern Prometheus.” In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals. The subtitle, therefore, refers to the novel’s theme, whereby modern man is reaching into dangerous areas of knowledge.
Victor Frankenstein used corpses to create his biped, which wanted to become the god of a new race. He intends for it to be beautiful, seemingly a reference to God’s creation of the angelic choirs. But when it comes to life, he is revolted by its gargoyle-like deformities, its shocking ugliness. After taking murderous revenge on various people for his hopeless plight, the grotesque beast commits suicide.
This seems to be a metaphor for some recent news.
On September 5, 2007, in England, the Human Fertilization and Embryology Agency (HFEA) made the decision to allow science to create human-animal hybrids. A bill is soon to be decided that will “make this a positive right … But even if the bill doesn’t pass, the administrative interpretation of the HFEA will permit creation of human-animal hybrids to go forward … Two teams of scientists have already applied to HFEA to create human-animal hybrids”.
In a sense, this was bound to happen, because science today does not believe in the human soul. As the authors of The Spiritual Brain – A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul point out:
“Most scientists today are materialists who believe that the physical world is the only reality. Absolutely everything else – including thought, feeling, mind, and will – can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena … The discipline of neuroscience today is materialist. That is, it assumes that the mind is quite simply the physical workings of the brain”.
Having been created by a human, Frankenstein’s monster had no soul. But having a brain he could think, a process alleged to be “quite simply the physical workings of the brain.” In any case, not having a soul, he is left off the hook of eternal damnation for his murders and suicide. But humans do have souls. So, the grafting of a human with an animal brings up an interesting, albeit a macabre question, as to whether or not the new hybrids will have souls
For anyone who has seen the hideous movie The Fly, this question is accentuated. The story is about a scientist who experiments with a teleportation device. During his testing, his atoms get scrambled together with those of the fly, creating a half-man, half-fly hybrid. One can speculate that the human part of this hybrid retained its soul, so, like the Frankenstein tale, the audience can leave the scene knowing that hell has not overridden God’s creation, but abusively tampered with it.
It is interesting to note that when Our Lady in Fatima showed the children Hell, both animals and humans were seen:
“Submerged in that fire were demons and souls in human shapes who resembled red-hot coals, black and bronze-colored embers that floated about in the blaze … The devils stood out like frightful and unknown animals with horrible and disgusting shapes, but transparent like black coals that have become red-hot”.
The souls had “human shapes,” while the devils appeared as “unknown animals with horrible and disgusting shapes.” Since this vision came directly from Our Lady, the fact that animal forms were given to devils is not adventitious. This leads me to a theory.
Not being a doctor of either positive or speculative theology, I will hypothesize as a Catholic layman, that the human part of the soon-to-be-created hybrids will have souls. Thus these creatures will be similar to the man-fly hybrid in the movie. Similar but not the same, because the man-fly hybrid resulted from an accident, not intentionally – in the teleportation instrument of the movie, the fly had not been seen. The new hybrids will be intentional, creatures that defy thought. God created us in His image, but the new hybrids will be metaphysical monstrosities, something out of Greek mythology. If the hybrids are females, perhaps they will be like Echidna, half-woman, half-snake. Or a harpy, half-bird and half-woman. If masculine, a half-man and half-animal could be like a Centaur. Presently the unbaptized have Limbo as an option, but will the new hybrids have this option?
It was said of Hitler’s Germany, “How could it be that a cultured people at the heart of Europe ever allow such a man and the Nazi party he led to power?” A fortiori, this same question can be asked of present day England regarding its decision to allow animal/human hyrid experimentation to go forward. The insane power of the Nazi quest operated on a kind of presupposition that human thinking had gone mad. But the quest to biologically combine the human world with the animal world goes beyond madness, penetrating into the mind of Satan. It is the roar of Lucifer, “I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14: 14).
St. Michael’s reply to Lucifer will always be repeated by God’s troupes:
“Unable to countenance the impudence of a creature thinking he were equal to God, [St. Michael] courageously stood up in the divine assembly to defend the rights of God with a rebuke that issued from the depths of his being as a question something like: ‘And just who could possibly claim to be like God?’ …”
Then Michael cast Lucifer out of Heaven with all his rebellious companions”.
After showing the three children the relentlessly horrific vision mentioned above, Our Lady said to them, “You have seen Hell…” Now, as the bio-technological Prometheus reaches its nadir in the land of St. Thomas More, the vision seems to be repeated: We could shortly be seeing an image and likeness of hell.
May Our Lady send St. Michael to assist us as the Revolution in the Church and the world spin out of control, trying to “ascend above the height of the clouds.”
In these days we are accused of attacking science because we want it to be scientific. Surely there is not any undue disrespect to our doctor in saying that he is our doctor, not our priest, or our wife, or ourself. It is not the business of the doctor to say that we must go to a watering-place; it is his affair to say that certain results of health will follow if we do go to a watering-place. After that, obviously, it is for us to judge. Physical science is like simple addition: it is either infallible or it is false. To mix science up with philosophy is only to produce a philosophy that has lost all its ideal value and a science that has lost all its practical value. G. K. Chesterton
One of the more pernicious follies of our time is the mixing of politics, science and religion. The Global Warming scam is a prime example of what a noxious brew can result from this. Among many of the elites in Western society, environmentalism has taken on all the aspects of a religion. The religious left has been eager to climb on to this new religion. Based upon very dubious science, and fired with the faith that has traditionally been given to religion, powerful forces throughout the West are eager to implement revolutionary changes in our society, most involving a radical expansion of government control over industry. Western civilization has made great strides by developing an intellectual atmosphere of relative freedom that has allowed science to flourish. Today science is often being debased by charlatans and zealots who use junk science as a tool to attempt to win policy debates. There is nothing new about politicians attempting to use dubious science to push their cherished nostrums. What is new is that such a large number of the elites in our society, (academics, politicians, entertainers, media, etc.) are participants in an intellectual groupthink that finds it next to impossible to tolerate, let alone listen to, dissenting viewpoints. What passes for the mainstream media today is a prime example of this type of bias. Thank heavens for a rambunctious new media: talk radio and the internet, where ideological conformity is impossible to enforce. That is all to the good, since some of the more deranged acolytes of the Global Warming religion appear to have a rather intolerant attitude towards heretics.
Those in the USA who worry that the world will come to an end in 2012 may have to begin the year worrying about it in the dark, thanks to yet another intrusive “green” law (passed in 2007) scheduled to go into effect: beginning in 2012, the conventional hundred-watt incandescent light bulb will no longer be sold. If the world doesn’t end, the worriers will begin having to worry that if they want their homes well-lit, they will have to go broke lighting them: the new LED (light emitting diode) hundred watt bulbs will cost about fifty dollars apiece, according to a 16 May 2011 Associated Press online article by Peter Svensson.
When 2014 rolls around, the incandescent bulb limit goes down to forty-watts. Given the price of the newer bulbs and the state of the economy, it might be a good idea to start stocking up on candles. The young might be well advised to skip college and take up one of the traditional nursery rhyme careers of “butcher, baker, candlestick-maker,” because otherwise their futures may be darker in more ways than one.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (the so-called “long life” bulbs) are less expensive and already in use, “but they have drawbacks. They contain a small amount of toxic mercury vapor, which is released if they break or are improperly thrown away. They last longer than traditional bulbs but not as long as LEDs. Brighter models are bulky and may not fit in existing fixtures,” according to the article.
One thinks of British statesman Sir Edward Grey’s remark on the eve of the First World War: “The lamps are going out all over Europe: we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Grey was speaking figuratively, but a century after he made his doleful statement, it may literally start becoming true, at least in the USA; as for Europe and the rest of what once was Christendom, its figurative truth is already upon us in many respects.
Spiritual, moral and cultural darkness is spreading and deepening. The twilight of civilization is no longer merely that of the West—as proclaimed in 1918 by the somewhat peculiar amateur historian and philosopher Oswald Spengler—, but of the entire world. What can one make of a global “society” in which the degenerate and possibly satanic pop icon Lady Gaga has ten million “followers” on Twitter, while a Traditional Catholic organization such as the SSPX has only a bit more than five hundred priests and perhaps one million faithful? What do we make of the bankrupting of entire nations now being carried out by the collusion of corrupt politicians—“leaders”—with criminal banking syndicates? How can we possibly reconcile the now-no-longer-in-doubt perverse sex crimes committed by Catholic priests with the vows they swore? How can one not equate with darkness societies in which abortion is rampant, divorce and concubinage more common than marriage?
A new breed of light bulb may lower energy costs, but it will do nothing to dispel the darkness that is falling upon the world. We need to see the altar lamps re-lit worldwide for that darkness to be dispelled.
One of the major arguments that feminists use to impose abortion upon our country is that women, especially poor women, are going to get abortions anyway. By providing “safe” facilities to these poor women, we can prevent them from resorting to shady back alley abortion doctors, persons lacking the necessary skills, or environments lacking minimal medical standards. Such operations, they claim, were often botched and lead to the death, not only of the babies, but countless women.
It may be true that legal abortion may have managed to diminish the wildly inflated incidence of back alley abortion in America. However, this fact has exposed women, especially poor women, to a much more grave danger: the front alley abortion.
As bad as the back alley abortion is, the front alley abortion is much worse.
Front alley abortions are those legal abortion mills that operate normally and are open to the public. They have all the appearances of a legitimate business. They may even have nice sounding names like Woman’s Medical Society or similar misnomers.
These establishments have all the protection of the government since abortion enjoys legal protection under law. They also have the slavish support of liberals and media who see these mills as essential to “reproductive rights.” Government regulating agencies seem to be more interested in tanning salons than what goes on inside these abortion mills.
The appearance of these clinics in the front part of the alley, and not the back, gives them all the appearance of respectability.
Protected by the veneer of this respectability and the force of law, some operators have used these fronts as a shield allowing them to commit the most horrible acts with impunity. What goes on behind the closed doors of these front alley clinics can go far beyond anything in the back alley.
Of course, the most obvious case is what is now called Gosset’s House of Horrors, alias Women’s Medical Society, a clinic operated in West Philadelphia by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. According to the District Attorney’s report, Gosnell staffed his decrepit and unsanitary clinic entirely with unlicensed personnel, let them practice medicine on unsuspecting patients, unsupervised, and directed them to heavily drug patients in his absence. In addition, he regularly performed abortions beyond the 24-week limit prescribed by law. As a result, when viable babies were born, Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same. Meanwhile, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to blatant violations of health codes and practices.
Yet it seems Gosnell’s case is not the only one. Other houses of horror have been found. While most do not reach the point of Gosnell’s “House of Horrors,”the blatant disregard for any kind of standards seems to be a typical or systemic characteristic of front alley abortion mills. Indeed, violations of health regulations rules seem to be a common occurrence – and government failure to enforce the regulations as well. Consent laws are often circumvented by operators who secure abortions for minors. As the recent sting operations against Planned Parenthood have shown, many employees appear to have adopted the policy of failing to report abuse to the authorities. Many abortion doctors seem to have a hard time holding on to their licenses – and some workers never had them in the first place.
Just recently, the Texas Medical Board, for example, received complaints about the medical practices of twelve Texas abortion providers, called the “Dirty Dozen” by a pro-life watchdog group who claim to have documented violation of state and federal abortion laws. These front alley clinics were chosen at random and pro-life activists say that they found mishandling of private patient medical records, violations of consent laws, violations of the 24-hour waiting period required by law, improper disposal of biohazardous medical waste, the counseling of minors on how to flout parental notification laws, and more.
That is to say, behind the shield of the front alley abortion clinic some of the most horrific things still take place. Yet it is not surprising. The nature of the business of abortion is such that it brutalizes human sensibilities. In this sense, every abortion, front or back alley, is a tragic denial of our humanity and will lead to that which is inhuman.
There has been much discussion about the contribution of unethical behavior to our present economic circumstances. Whether it was borrowers’ lying on mortgage-applications or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s politically-driven lending policies, there seems to be some consciousness that non-economic factors played a role in facilitating what we already call the Great Recession.
Unfortunately evidence is emerging that some people have learned nothing. A recent report, for example, commissioned by the Wall Street Journal illustrates that “losses from mortgage fraud—ranging from falsified credit reports to identity theft—rose 17% last year after declining 57% in the two years after its 2006 peak.”
Of course wider adherence to ethical norms against lying and stealing won’t solve every economic problem. There are heavy technical dimensions to many economic dilemmas which require technical solutions. Nor does every policy-error constitute a moral failure.
Nevertheless those making economic decisions are human beings, and our virtues and vices do shape our purchasing, selling and policy choices. Many such virtues could be highlighted, but one needing extra-attention today is humility.
The word “humility” derives from the Latin humilitas. This in turn comes from humus which means earth or soil, but is also related to homō, meaning man. For the Greeks and Romans, the word underscored the idea that humans are not God or gods. Likewise for the Jews and early Christians, humility was about remembering that humans are fallible creatures who come from and return to the earth: ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Some first millennium Christian writers, such as St. John Chrysostom, even described humility as the mother of the virtues, as it prevented vanity from corrupting every other virtue.
So how might a renewed embrace of humility help us to rethink our approach to contemporary economic life?
In the case of consumers, a good dose of humility might well encourage some acceptance that the meaning of life is not simple and is certainly not to be found in how many material things we possess, as important as wealth can be in helping us to live dignified lives. To this extent, greater humility might temper the “I-want-it-all-right-now” mentality that helped generate such high household-debt levels in America and Europe.
Likewise, businesses could benefit from a renewed appreciation of humility. The financial wizard the late Sir John Templeton once wrote that humility was crucial if business was to maintain the open-mindedness that is essential to successful entrepreneurship rather than rest upon their past glories. To this we might add the insight of another prominent entrepreneur, François Michelin, that humility helps business leaders in a market economy remember that the customers are the real masters. More humble business-leaders would also be less-inclined to succumb to the “Masters-of-the-Universe” hubris that helped destroy any number of banks in 2008.
Speaking of hubris, humility also has a role to play in encouraging mainstream economists to accept economics’ limits as a science and acknowledge that not everything about markets can be explained by mathematical models that were supposed to fail only once in a million years. As George Mason University professor of economics Russ Roberts has wisely observed, while “facts and evidence still matter”, economists “should face the evidence that we are no better today at predicting tomorrow than we were yesterday.”
But perhaps those who could do with the biggest bout of humility during recessions are politicians and governments. If the Great Recession has taught us anything, it is that governments should admit many economic problems are beyond their control, and that any claim by politicians to be able to “manage” trillion-dollar economies is arrogant nonsense.
Instead politicians should be modest enough to concede that (1) the seemingly disorderly process of market exchange resolves many challenges that governments cannot; and (2) government overreach invariably causes new problems. Here they would do well to read Adam Smith’s famous warning concerning the “man of system” who “is apt to be very wise in his own conceit, and is so often enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it.”
The fear of the Lord, the Bible says, is the beginning of wisdom. Contrary to received opinion, this verse has nothing to do with frightening people into religious belief. Instead it reminds each of us that we are not the center of the universe and that the sooner we grasp this, the wiser our choices will be. All of us—consumers, business-leaders, and politicians—need to be sufficiently humble to reassess our actions in a time of recession, acknowledge our errors, and then live out the necessary correctives.
To this extent, the virtue of humility may well be a key to understanding our pre-recessionary past and a way of illuminating our path to a better and more economically-prosperous future.