Archive for Security

The Banishment of History

Can one be “on the wrong side of history” when that history is purged because it’s judged to be racist or politically incorrect?  That is a pertinent question for us to reflect upon these days. This week we witnessed another mass murder of innocent citizens in a church by a deranged and warped young man.  The immediate talking points by those who have agendas more important than finding and fixing the root causes of the problem were along the lines of two topics: the need for stricter gun control and the need for total disavowment of a symbol – the

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Nowa Huta: A Story of Catholic Culture and Courage

Shortly after the Nazis were driven from Poland by the Soviets, the communist masters of the new People’s Republic of Poland commenced construction of an industrial city outside of Krakow, Poland’s cultural and intellectual capital.  It was to be a tribute to the socialist ideal of order and perfection, as the proletariat and farmer were to flock there to enjoy the state-provided parks, apartment buildings and employment at the factory.  The name given the town by the typically imaginative communists:  The New Steel Mill, or in Polish Nowa Huta.  Through a combination of curiosity, perceived opportunity and a bit of

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St. Michael, Defend Us: On Carrying In Church

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for battle, my fingers for war; My safeguard and my fortress, my stronghold, my deliverer, My shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me. — Psalm 144:1-2 By now everyone has heard about the shootings in Charleston: nine dead after a young white man opened fire at a bible study meeting in an historically black church. In a popular video clip from The Daily Show making the rounds yesterday, John Stewart dialed back the comedy to touch on several serious issues raised by this crime, including racism, mental

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No More Melting Pot!

When I was a lad, we were taught in school that the United States was a great melting pot of immigrants who settled here to embrace the American dream.  Although frequently settling in ethnic communities, they loved this country and strove to become a part of it.  Often by the second generation they had shed their native language and integrated fully into the fabric of the country.  Is that still the norm?  Perhaps with some groups it is, but I seriously question whether everyone still shares that dream.  Particularly, can large groups of Muslim immigrants embrace the cultural uniqueness of

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UN + Catholic = Un-Catholic

Yesterday, First Things published this report on Argentine bishop and Vatican official Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo’s response to criticism about giving two well-known abortion proponents, United Nations senior advisor Jeffery Sachs and United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, a platform at a Vatican Conference on Climate Change. While I am sympathetic with the view of one of the comments below the article that we must be willing to listen to people with views different from our own, it is troubling that: High-profile population control advocates whose positions are clearly and consistently contrary to, and often critical of, the Church’s would be

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Come and Get Me

Scholar and author Brad Birzer has been sharing articles, links, and material this week on Sen. Rand Paul’s relatively lonely (it appears) opposition to the renewal of the so-called Patriot Act. Because I share Birzer’s affection for many things, including our Catholic faith, J.R.R. Tolkien, Russell Kirk, and the idea (at least) of this country, I tend to take notice of the things he is focused on, even when I am otherwise ignoring the news. This morning he shared this video from C-SPAN: … as well as this brief opinion piece from the New York Times on the necessity of Sen. Paul’s stand

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The Church and the Great Charter

Professor Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia (Great Britain) leads a major research project which studies the history of the Magna Carta.  Next month marks the octocentennial of its signing in 1215.  On Monday Professor Russ Roberts published his interview with Professor Vincent in which they discuss how the Great Charter came about, how it nearly disappeared in the immediate chaos following its signing by King John and the rebellious English barons, and how the Catholic Church in England saved it from extinction so that it could be perpetuated into western history. This is an engaging and easy listen,

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The Economic Consequences of the Peace: Quick Book Report

Moved by insane delusion and reckless self-regard, the German people overturned the foundations on which we all lived and built. But the spokesmen of the French and British peoples have run the risk of completing the ruin, which Germany began, by a Peace which, if it is carried into effect, must impair yet further, when it might have restored, the delicate, complicated organization, already shaken and broken by war, through which alone the European peoples can employ themselves and live.  The Economic Consequences of the Peace, John Maynard Keynes, 1919   John Maynard Keynes, the British economist to whom one

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Illegal Immigration into Europe, and Here, Too

Migration, much of it illegal, from northern Africa to southern Europe is at a record high.  Water routes across the Mediterranean are prevalent and thousands of deaths attributed to capsized boats have dotted the news.  The situation has been escalating for several years, beginning with the failed “Arab Spring” and culminating in the present civil wars in Syria and Libya and the march of ISIS throughout the Middle East.  Stark numbers of both illegal immigrants and deaths during attempted crossings are contained in this informative BBC report, and related stories on their website.  Immigration processing centers in Greece, Malta and

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Lessons from Recent History: Prepare for Martyrdom

In late 1944 the American Hierarchy issued the following resolution [condensed] expressing support for the freedom of Eastern Europeans when the Allies finally prevailed: “The bishops of the United States in Christian solidarity share the sufferings, misery, and fears of their brother bishops, the clergy, the religious and the faithful of all the war-torn countries of Europe… They recall how centuries ago the Western Slavs, later joined by the Lithuanians, associated themselves with the peoples of Europe in weaving and embellishing the fabric of Western Christian civilization.  History records their heroic exploits in the defense of the West against Tartar

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