Since Nov 11, 1999

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About myself

I am a happily married man about 60 years of age, Catholic conservative. My political ideal is feudal society. This makes me a monarchist. I believe that modern forms of government are an understandable reaction to the excesses of absolute monarchies of 16-19c Europe. I would be happy if a constitutional republic were restored in America, but I don't think it is in the cards. Rather, what I think will happen is my "Eight Predictions" below. The end result will be good, but in the interim we should be prepared for some pain.

Religious Right

The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement
Christianity and Sexual Pleasure
What's So Great about Catholicism? (here is the top 10)
Janet Smith on the Right to Privacy: How Bad Laws Allowed the Culture of Death
Leo XIII on the inerrancy of scripture (from Providentissimus Deus) [ecum.]
Bible can only be understood with the Church, Pope tells scholars (CATHOLIC CAUCUS)
The Origins of Political Correctness
The Institution of the Eucharist in Scripture
Monarchy: Friend of Liberty
Separation of Church and State-Manifest Destiny or Manifest Heresy?
I want my country back
Catholic Conservatives and the Obama’s re-election
Is capitalism Catholic? A priest defends free-market economics
On Usury
I have seen the enemy and he is amongst us...
How different are the adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships?
They Endured the Communist Terror
Three Numbers [human cost of Communism in Russia]
Fjordman: Can We Coexist with the Left? (Old but timeless)
Lackeys and Provocateurs at the New Yorker
The reasons for a voluntary death
The revolt of the mothers
“Man must sacrifice his life” – interview with Dominique Venner
The Century 1914
Ivan Ilyin, "The idea of Kornilov"
Francisco Franco, grandfather, painter
Hiroshima in Yaroslavl (Red Terror in Russia)
On Totalitarian Regime
What is to be in Russia?
Agitated for bringing children to church
"Change gender as many times as you want in life". Interview with Olivier Vial
Testament of Francisco Franco
Scenes from the early USSR: Memoirs of a Kornilov’s Regiment Soldier
The Boer and his gun
On the Soviet Church
America Needs a King
The demonstrations mobilized in Paris and Lyon grow in strength
Why communism didn’t have its own Nuremberg?
The Election of Tsar Michael I of All Russia
Putin's Western Allies: Why Europe's Far Right Is on the Kremlin's Side
Geert Wilders’ Speech in the House of Lords
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Speech at the 25th Bálványos Summer Free University and Student Camp
Door slammed in EU’s face
Charles-Philippe d'Orleans, "No, I'm not Charlie"
Did the Enlightenment cause a global decline in violence?
How Dictators Come To Power In A Democracy
The most inane criticism that reform conservatives hear
Eurosceptic Andrzej Duda Will Become New Polish President, Signaling Conservative, Populist Shift
Criticisms of Pope Francis from within the Vatican Curia made public
Don’t Mess With Marriage
How Christianity invented children
Revisiting Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's Warnings to the West
What is a nation? (III)
Survey Identifies the Immigration Standards Religious Conservatives Desire
Germany’s Jeopardy
45 Catholic academics urge cardinals to ask Pope Francis to fix exhortation’s errors
Bassam Tibi: Euro-Islam Doesn’t Have a Chance
Laura Perrins: Working class men turn their backs on work
Deplorables of the world, unite!
Catholic conservatives level criticism against pope [Cath Caucus]
Trump’s Nationalism Is Consistent With Catholic Social Doctrine
Vatican: Papal Honor for Pro-Abortion Politician Not a Sign of Support
Britain's 'worst ever' child grooming scandal exposed
The Crimes of Christopher Columbus

Current events: Ukraine

Escalation in Ukraine
Address to Owners of Weapons (Ukraine)
Sustaining Ukraine's breakthrough: EU expertise and markets are essential [Soros]
Ukrainian Major Archbishop appeals for solidarity and warns the danger of civil war is not over
Alarm in Ukraine as Putin Puts Russian Troops on Alert
A Jewel in Two Crowns [Soviet Sevastopol]
NATO warns Russia to cease and desist in Ukraine
Why Russia No Longer Fears the West
Who Will Stop Putin's Aggression
Illarionov: "Putin's aim is Kiev and all the Ukraine"
Legality of the Crimean Referendum: Legal Analysis
From the Inexhaustible Source
Dmytro Yarosh: We want Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Romania to have very close relations
Exclusive: Photographs Expose Russian-Trained Killers in Kiev
‘I Had It Pretty Easy, Because I Was Let Go’: Simon Ostrovsky On His Detention in Sloviansk
Euronazis: Who Supports Putin in the West?
I Helped Build Russia's Internet. Now Putin Wants to Destroy It.
Interview: In Crimea, Putin Has 'Lost His Mind'
Past and future of Ukraine. Soviet paganism and European individualism
No Russian
How to Solve the Putin Problem
Illarionov: Islamic Spring in Western Europe
Dirty Hybrid: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on “democracy” and “democrats” in the Russian Federation.
Putin's War Has Come to the Pews
One year of western sanctions against Russia: We still live in different worlds
Internet rumor: Putin gone, Medvedev takes over
Brzezinski on Russia: 'We Are Already In a Cold War'
Research group: images of twenty Russians responsible for downing MH17
Ukrainian pilot's powerful speech in Russian court: Full text

Current Events: Other

FIRST-PERSON: Russian Bear awakening to morality
Russia’s Right Turn. Moscow has reclaimed its 19th-century conservative role.
The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch
Meeting Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Working As Professor Again
Trojan Horse 'links to terror’
More than 1,400 children abused in Rotherham sex abuse scandal
Russia to review 1991 decision to recognise independence of Baltic states
Ukraine traded for Iran
Break for the border: Thousands of migrants storm police lines to reach Macedonia from Greece
Chancellor Merkel: "go to church every once in a while"
Judgment For Refusing The White Man's Burden
Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat (excerpts)
«Qassioun» get images of Russian missiles, which landed in Iran
Did Putin plant the holiday jet bomb that killed 224 Russians? Ex-KGB agent claims...
"Most of them were freshly traveled asylum seekers"
German police fire water cannons to disperse protesters amid clashes in Cologne
Russia accused of clandestine funding of European parties as US conducts major review
Anti-Islamic group Pegida Ireland to be launched at Dublin rally
Francis and Gundyaev
The Church of the Sts. Behnam and Sarah, 2008-2015
WikiLeaks offers $20K for info on DNC staffer's killing
Protection units Nineveh Plain NPU fighters kindle the flame back
Letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump from America’s Allies
Smolensk crash: Explosions on board before plane hit ground, investigator says


Why Every American Parent Should Follow the Romeike Case
German family denied asylum, HSLDA appeals [Romeike - home schoolers]
Police storm homeschool class, take children by force [Germany enforces Hitler's homeschooling ban]
NATO data: Assad winning the war for Syrians’ hearts and minds
Mounting evidence raises questions about Syrian chemical weapon attack
Russia gave UN 100-page report in July blaming Syrian rebels for Aleppo sarin attack
Amorth: "Who wants war in Syria is an instrument of the devil"
Eyewitness: "The aim of the militants was to kill as many as possible Christian inhabitants"
Belgian Journalist Pierre Piccinin: “It is not the Al-Assad government who has used the gas”
Study the Videos That Speaks About Chemicals
Persecution of Hazelmary and Peter Bull
High School Senior’s Testimony Devastates Common Core
Peonage for the Twenty-First Century
EU court: Greek law reserving ‘civil unions’ for heterosexuals ‘illegal’
Federal Judge: Mt. Soledad Cross Must Come Down
Los Angeles Attorney: Many Abuse Claims Against Catholic Priests are ‘Entirely False’
Now we have real evidence – sexual abuse is not a ‘Catholic problem’
Vladimir Bukovsky on political prisoners in the Russian Federation
Did Britain Fall into Putin’s Trap in Prosecuting a Russian Dissident?
The Clearest (No Spin) Summary of FBI Report on Hillary Clinton Email
What advantage was there to Hilary Clinton in putting e-mails on her own server?
Dumped files show influence of George Soros on Western politics

Miscellaneous posts

Al-Azhar – The Vatican Official apologies demanded
Help Build a Datab[a]se of Prolife Physicians
The Protoevangelium of James
Indulgences: Spreading the Wealth
St. Irenaeus on Free Will (Adversus Haereses IV,37)
The Spiritual Exercises: The Incarnation (Second Week First Day)
The Spiritual Exercises: The Nativity
The Spiritual Exercises: AS TO EATING
Man to build Catholics-only town
Why Is the End of the World Inevitable?
On Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition
Communion of Saints
Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards

Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
Full Text Of Pope's La Sapienza's Speech
Bishop Aquila's Address on Absolutes in Life Issues
Radio Replies First Volume - The Sacrifice of the Mass

Cur Deus Homo Annotated

Cur Deus Homo I-III
Cur Deus Homo III-V
Cur Deus Homo VI-VIII: Is God Omnipotent and Wise?
Cur Deus Homo IX-X: Did The Father Wish Christ To Die?
Cur Deus Homo XI-XIV: God's Honor, Compassion, and Justice
Cur Deus Homo XV-XVIII: Men and Angels, Perfection and Election
Cur Deus Homo XIX-XX: No Satisfaction
Cur Deus Homo XXI-XXIII: Enormity of Sin
Cur Deus Homo XXIV-XXV: Unhappiness of Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second I-IV: Holy, Happy Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second V-VII: The Necessity of God-Man
Cur Deus Homo Book Second VIII: The Necessity of the Virgin Mary
Cur Deus Homo Book Second IX-X: The Sinless Word
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XI: Christ Chose To Die
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XII-XV: Christ's Death Removes Sin
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVI: Christ, Mary, Adam, Eve
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVII-XVIII(a): Will and Necessity
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XVIII(b): Debt and Freedom
Cur Deus Homo Book Second XIX - XXII: The Precious Gift

Of interest

How Catholicism Is Different - THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ISN'T JUST ANOTHER "DENOMINATION" (Scriptural references to the Church's defining controversies)
The Catholic Religion Proved By The Protestant Bible
More scriptural references
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization
"How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" ( Book Review )
Galileo: The Trump Card of Catholic Urban Legends
The New Testament: In Medio Ecclesiae
St. Peter and Rome
Is Europe Dying?
Medieval Mistakes (Excellent commentary by Dionysiusdecordealcis and Jo Kus on free will; the article itself is not interesting)
Back to the Beginning: A Brief Introduction to the Ancient Catholic Church
The Liberalism of John Paul II
The Dark Side of Christianity
A History of The Inquisition
The New Inquisition: Spanish Inquisition does not live up to reputation of injustice
Shroud of Turin again on display in 2010
Is the Turin Shroud genuine after all? From beyond the grave, a startling new claim
New experiments on Shroud show it’s not medieval (dates to 1st century)
“Stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo Coincide with Those on the Shroud”
How Two Sacred, Bloody Images Take Us to God
The Shroud of Turin, Authenticated Again
A Groundbreaking Future Exhibit About the Shroud of Turin
Sorry, the Shroud of Turin Is Definitely a Hoax
What factors point to the Turin Shroud being a fake?
The Early Church Fathers on The Church
The Early Church Fathers on Purgatory
Are Catholics Born Again?
Why Catholics Have More Fun Than Protestants While Studying Early Church History
Twenty One Reasons to Reject Sola Scriptura
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass
Deuterocanonical References in the New Testament
The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: How a fake Gospel-Fragment was composed
Is Christmas Pagan?
Luther and Erasmus: The Controversy Concerning the Bondage of the Will

  • The Holy Ghost is given to the Church first: 216 and on, 661, 790, 1395;
  • The Trail of Blood myth: 427;
  • Free will in the Scripture: 501, 956, 972, 1835, 1995, 3687, 3689 (fathers);
  • Free will and Sovereign God: 956, 972, 1066, 1643, 1968, 3052, 3687;
  • Augustine and predestination: 1001, 1549;
  • Sin, grace, hope, charity: 562, 1474;
  • Necessity of Atonement: 10621;
  • Orthodox and Catholics close: 574, 580, 586, 605, 802 and on, 1796, 2155, 2476;
  • Orthodox and Catholics not that close: 3752, 5545, 5580, 5916, 7116, 7131;
  • Apostolic Church and Messianic Judaism: 5327, 5339, 5372, 5373, 5479, 12315;
  • East and West's theological traditions: 1724;
  • Necessity of sacraments: 947, 948;
  • Necessity of good works: 1058, 2200, 2218, 2302, 7311, 11458 (what "saves");
  • Trusting the Church and Apostolic Succession: 970, 1225, 1796, 8825; 10338
  • The Christian Canon: 2024, 2060, 2104, 3973, 5319;
  • Tradition and Scripture: 2428, 2741, 4882, 5224, 5812;
  • Christian mysticism: 1102 and on;
  • Error of Luther: 1557, 1834, 1988, 2033, 2107;
  • Error of Calvin: 2679, 4320, 4370, 8676 (*);
  • Defects of King James Version: 1194, 1760, 4713-4715, 6384, 6932;
  • Is mankind cursed: 1827, 1901; 5317
  • Mary sinless and ever virgin; Immaculate conception: 2246, 2310, 2317, 2451, 2459, 2612, 2707, 2801, 2802, 2982, 5916, 6099;
  • Intercessory prayer: 1837, 1904, 5588;
  • Purgatory and the Last Things: 1837, 1904, 1989;
  • Confession and Holy Orders: 4516;
  • Liberal Biblical scholarship: 6599;
  • Papal Infallibility: 12582

This thread, 'The Nativity Story' Movie Problematic for Catholics, "Unsuitable" for Young Children mostly rehashes the Erasmus thread with a somewhat different set of participants. Of special note are posts on the importance of the Septuagint: 7207, 7405, 7414, 8277. Also see, on that topic, Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist:145

This is another marathon thread, where Daniel and I exchanged many lengthy posts. We mostly argued the role of good works in salvation, where Daniel took a detailed classical-Protestant position. His thoughtful and well-argumented posts can be seen from my responses to them:

6309 6312 6370 6377
6413 6448
6620 6684 6686 6690
6904 6911 6913 6926 6928 6930 6958
7008 7021 7035 7059 7076 7077 7078
7123 7124 7137 7143 7145 7148 7164 7165 7166 7167 7176 7177 7178 7188 7190 7191
7255 7258 7265

In this mega-thread Catholics, Protestants, and Immaculate Mary there are several detailed posts of mine that I want to keep for reference. It is also a good article in its own right.

Priests and bishops in the New Testament:

Does presbyter or elder mean priest?
πρεσβυτερος in the Timothys and Titus, functionally
when function of πρεσβυτερους is unclear
Summary from

Validity of Protestant Baptism:

Proper baptism done in a Protestant setting is a valid Catholic sacrament
Summary, and relation to "born-again"
Beware of fake anti-Catholic "baptisms"

An exchange of VERY long posts on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the function of the New Testament "Presbyters" and proper role of Church and Holy Scripture (read past the initial few posts on the title topic):
Catholic Word of the Day: ROSMINIANISM, 04-16-14

A Chronological Sequence of the Resurrection Events
What is Biblical Prophecy? What Biblical Prophecy is NOT, and What It Really IS
Is Man Tripartite or Bipartite?
Pope Francis: Silence Reveals the Mystery of God's Plan
Benedict's Peculiar Record on Pedophile Priests
Aquinas' links
A Mathematical Proof for the Existence of the One God


(*) This is my growing collection of posts on Calvin:

Calvin and 1 Cor 2
Calvin and 1 Tim 2
Calvin and Romans 5, 1 John 4
Calvin and 1 Cor. 5
Calvin and John 6, 1 Cor. 11, Luke 22

Easter 2008 Celebration

Anti-Catholicism, Hypocrisy and Double Standards
Hauled Aboard the Ark
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part I: Darkness
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part II: Doubts
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part III: Tradition and Church
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part IV: Crucifix and Altar
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part V: The Catholics and the Pope
Why I Returned to the Catholic Church. Part VI: The Biblical Reality
His Open Arms Welcomed Me
Catholic Conversion Stories & Resources
My Personal Conversion Story
My (Imminent) Reception into the Roman Catholic Church
Catholics Come Home
My Journey of Faith
"What is Truth?" An Examination of Sola Scriptura
"Have you not read?" The Authority behind Biblical Interpretation
The Crisis of Authority in the Reformation
Our Journey Home
Our Lady’s Gentle Call to Peace
A story of conversion at the Lamb of God Shrine
Who is Mary of Nazareth?
Mary and the Problem of Christian Unity
Why I'm Catholic
A Convert's Response to Friends
My Story
Courage to Be Catholic
Finally Catholic! My Conversion to the Catholic Church
Southern Baptist Pastor Leaves Everything for the Eucharist
The Short Version (the Way International convert)
Shower of Roses-- An Independent, Fundamental Baptist Becomes Catholic Through Mary's Intecession
Confessions of a Catholic Convert
Alex Jones: the evangelical who became a Catholic deacon
Women's Ordination Was Non-Negotiable
Catholic Mariology, Authority, and Various Other Qualms of Protestants Considering Conversion

Also see:
Sheep That Go Astray
Pope Benedict Goes to Washington Ecumenical Meeting at St. Joseph's Church, New York
Orthodox and Catholic Churches are allies, (Orthodox) Bishop Hilarion says
How to become a Catholic

Catholic Theology for Non-Catholics series

On Salvation Outside the Catholic Church
The Great Heresies
Hermits and Solitaries [Ecumenical]
A Well-Rounded Pope [Ecumenical]
A Monastery to Last 1,000 Years [Ecumenical]
Explaining Purgatory from a New Testament Perspective [Ecumenical]
In the Crosshairs of the Canon [How We Got The Bible] [Ecumenical]
'An Ordinance Forever' - The Biblical Origins of the Mass [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Church Authority In Scripture [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Tradition: Life in the Spirit [Ecumenical]
Christian Atheism
Vatican plea to uncover Virgin Mary and show her breast-feeding baby Jesus
Why do Catholics have to confess their sins to a priest instead of praying straight to God? [Ecu]
Our Times: The Age of Martyrs
The Eucharist - the Lord's Sacrifice, Banquet and Presence
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Morality: Life in Christ [Ecumenical]
Chosen In Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination [Ecumenical]
The Sacraments [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: A Strong Start in the Faith: The Catholic RCIA Stages [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The RCIA Inquiry Stage In the Catholic Church [Ecumenical]
Catholic Art
Evangelicals: Change of Heart toward Catholics
Beginning Catholic: The Creed Of The People Of God: The Essentials/Catholic Belief [Ecumenical]
An open letter to Mr. Stephen A. Baldwin, Actor, and “born again” Christian.
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Purgatory: What Does It Mean? [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Kingdom of God — Taking The Center Of Christ's Teaching Into The Heart Of Your Faith
The Language of Love
Beginning Catholic: The Essentials: Basic Catholic Prayers [Ecumenical]
Why Mary Appears/The Mariology Gap (Cath-Orth Caucus)
Beginning Catholic: How to Pray: A Catholic Guide to the Interior Life [Ecumenical]
Veneration of Mary in Luke 11:27-28
Who Needs the Church? You might as well ask, “Who needs Jesus?”
For Advent: Celibacy in the First Two Centuries
Introducing the Church Fathers

Catholic-Orthodox Initiative

Fr. Men: The Eucharist [Cath-Orth caucus]
The Cup of Christ [Cath-Orth caucus]
A Defense of the Holy Icons
Which Came First: The Church or the New Testament?
Sacrificial Language in the Book of Romans
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Decree of The Seventh Ecumenical Council Against the Iconoclast Heretics (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Sola Scriptura and Protestantism’s Hermeneutical Chaos
Nestorius on Mary as the Mother of God (Ecumenical)
Tome of St. Leo the Great on the Two Natures of Christ
Crosses appear inside the Hagia Sophia
Quoting the Eminently Quotable – Newman on the Veneration of Images
Theology in colors: Icon of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [Ecumenical]
How the Domestic Church Preserved the Faith in Soviet Russia
Gay lobby scandal brewing in Russia
Two dead in shooting in Russian Orthodox cathedral

Older links

The Tragedy of the Commons
Ralph Reed's Real Agenda
Interview With R.J. Rushdoony
Can We Legislate Morality?
Rerum Novarum [1-15, Man and Property]
Rerum Novarum [16-30, The Church, the Rich, and the Poor]
Rerum Novarum [31-47, The State]
Rerum Novarum [48 - End, The Civil Society]
Morality and the Law in Moses Maimonides
Question 90. The essence of law
The Mathematical Principles of Natural Rights
Intellectual Property Rights In a Free Society
Who Should Pay for Science?
Freedom and War
Libertarianism and the Public Square


Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, How To Post Them

Ping policy

From time to time someone would ask me not to address anything to him. I will try to accommodate fellow Freepers generally, but I cannot promise never to address a particular Freeper, and this is why.

Eight Predictions

  1. Attempts to restrain democracy with constitutional republicanism will not succeed. The modern democratic state will fail very soon, perhaps even during our lifetime.
  2. The geographically compact capitalist enterprises will survive, at least inasmuch as they contribute to the material culture. That is, hardware, power, construction, transportation and agriculture. The entire cosmopolitan supernational money-changing pseudoeconomy will crash.
  3. Security will be handled by an interlocking system of private security firms, insurance companies and neighborhood associations.
  4. Men will nourish their spiritual needs by congregating into religiously, and often nationally homogeneous villages. We'll see Catholic villages, Lutheran villages, Muslim villages, and Agnostic trailer parks, all with ethnic flavors. Places of worship will become universal centers that also provide education and meeting place.
  5. Consolidation of power will lead to expulsion of inassimilable minorities; the culturally compatible villages will develop trade and security relationship of trust.
  6. A class of town elders and warlords will emerge. That will be the new aristocracy. Their children will have the natural advantage of proximity to power, and it will be easy for most of them to inherit power. Likewise, the educated class will ensure its own comfort and stability by making itself indispensable to power. Rights will come from property ownership and so will be primarily inherited rights or contractual rights. Political rights will for the most part atrophy due to irrelevance. At this point we will enter the New Feudal Society.
  7. The public space will become property of the local warlord, first de-facto, because he is the owner of the security firm responsible for the public space, and then de-jure. These men will become new royalty and will distinguish themselves from other nobles, as they will have a responsibility for public order. They will preside in the royal court, and with time begin to appoint professional judges.
  8. Unlike the Middle Ages, the New Feudal Society will heavily depend on trade, because, of course, the outward life styles won't change, and we still will have cars, computers, washing machines, the Internet and all that other stuff that will not be homegrown. This will ensure stability through mobility, as those dissatisfied with the local government will find opportunities elsewhere. This is different from the Middle Ages where the lower classes had to make do with whatever land lord they were born under. It is therefore possible that the New Feudal Society will not collapse into absolute monarchism in the way the medieval feudalism did.

What is Religious Freedom?

The topic so far has been: what is religious freedom. Specifically, does it include the freedom to preach in a respectful non-disruptive manner in a public place.

I believe, the answer is unequivocal yes. Therefore, a placement of a crucifix (or any other religious symbol) in a public place, for example, in a school run in a non-sectarian way, — for example, a taxpayer supported school known to us in America as a public school, — is a right so long as it is non-disruptive.

Two aspects are germane to the question of possible disruption: — has a deliberative process lead to it? and, — is the symbol otherwise customary and inherently inoffensive?

The first has to be looked from the subsidiarity point of view. The school is operated in a certain way, the parents are one input and the principal is another input. They are a unit completely capable of figuring out if a symbol is appropriate. Usually, — at least, hopefully, — the process has a democratic component. If the majority of the parents prefer one particular symbol, that is a potent factor for that symbol. Unless the principal has a solid reason to overrule the majoritarian decision: for example, the symbol is blasphemous or calls for violence - -the principal should go with the majority. In a predominantly Catholic environment, a crucifix is placed, in predominantly Protestant Christian a naked cross, and in predominantly Muslim — an Islamic symbol would be just as appropriate.

The offensiveness of the symbol is to be seen in the local context as well. If it is otherwise customary it is already proven to be inoffensive. Such is a cross in a Christian community, a Star of David in a Jewish community and so on. If two symbols are juxtaposed in an absurd cacophonous way (Christ next to Shiva) then the less common symbol has to give way.

In short, freedom of religion means that the local community allows for the dominant religious symbols routinely, and for non-dominant symbols on an exceptional basis. The minority groups are free to form a minority-dominant enclave and enjoy the dominance of their religion in that enclave.

This is how religious freedom was understood for centuries, in the Roman Empire or Muslim Caliphate in their better days, in medieval Europe and in the United States, and till recently everywhere in the formerly free West. We lost that clarity thanks to the ACLU militant litigants. They should be rolled back.

Obviously, religious freedom suffers when immigration is blind to this most critical aspect of the immigrant’s identity, his religion. If a nation values religious freedom, that nation should give preference to the immigrants of the dominant religious confession and especially avoid confessions that are known disruptors of peace, such as the Muslim and the Atheists.

You then asked how the above program can be realized in America. My answer is threefold. First, whether a principle of justice is valid is not controverted by the difficulty of achieving it in practice. Christian communities lived under Roman and Islamic persecution for centuries, under Atheist persecution for nearly a century; slavery was the law of the land for centuries as well. That polytheist or atheist empires denied religious freedom, or slaveholder societies denied economic freedoms, does not make religious freedom a false principle or slavery a right principle. What we need is patience and clarity of thought, and the right side wins in the end.

Second, the countries in immediate view are Italy, Poland, Greece and Cyprus, that are already confessionally solid. They had crucifixes and icons for centuries; it took a foreign power to deny them their freedom. That battle is easy to win, and we see how it is being won: the Church takes leadership position, and the population, encouraged by their civil leaders engage in civil disobedience. Either the EU will back down, or these countries leave the EU. The worst that can happen is that the EU will lose its moral authority and will be seen as a foreign oppressor. That will not last.

In the US the situation is a bit different as we are being brainswashed into thinking that multi-confessional diversity is a virtue. I think that the likely progress of the battle in this country will be that every time ACLU knocks down a Christian monument someone erects a tall cross on his property. Children already defy the system by publicly praying in public schools (what a pun!). Teachers often join them. This, again, is civil disobedience. The difference with healthier countires in Europe is that we have the American insitutions of government working against us. I think civil disobedience will be productive in this country as well. We may not see crucifixes in public school any time soon. But we shall see them more and more often. One day, the damb will break. Note, too, that the system is crumbling down from the other end: the maintenance of the public school system is fiscally untenable. Perhaps the public education system in America will simply — poof! — collapse.



Little Known Gospel Facts

This is a collection of particularly contorted interpretations of the Gospels that I have come across while defending the Catholic faith. Please send me your suggestions.

Mary in the Protestant Gospel

Christ teenage years were difficult. His mother Mary would not let him teach in the temple and asked him for miracles all the time. When Christ grew up, He paid her back by refusing to recognize her or other relatives.

Christ almost forgot to arrange for His mother to move in with John. Luckily, He remembered at the last possible moment as He was dying on the cross.

Peter in the Protestant Gospel

"Petros", masculine noun, means "tiny pebble" but "petra", feminine noun, means "big rock" in Greek (*).

The video of the Gospel of Matthew clearly shows Jesus taking a pebble form His shoe, then pointing to a big rock nearby, when talking to Peter.

Jesus was upset when He caught Peter fishing, so He told him to feed the sheep instead, and predicted his torturous death in order to further embarrass him.

What Christ taught

Jesus told parables about works of love and sacrifice to entertain the disciples while He was waiting for His death and resurrection. Now that we have been saved, we can ignore those fables.

Jesus did not want the rich young man to go to Heaven. He told him to obey the commandments and give his wealth to the poor in order to confuse him.

Jesus decided to give Peter a key, acting on an impulse. But quickly He realized His mistake, called him Satan instead, and kept the key.

(*) See, however, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle

Do these seem too much a caricature? Do not worry, life can be stranger than any satire I can make up. Here I mention to a Freeper that "mother of my Lord" in Luke 1:43 is a linguistic equivalent of "mother of God". Here I refute his speculation what Elizabeth must have meant. And here that Freeper concludes that the Gospel of Luke is "not inspired text" and "is written by satan". I think that is pretty comical, and I did not invent it.

January 29, 2008
Kate again


Kenyan Proverbs