Saturday, March 25, 2017

On Asians, Jamaicans, Muslims and Beards

Khalid Masood - Before

The British media initially reported that the Westminster terrorist was "Asian."

This turned out to be false.

Khalid Masood was actually born Adrian Russell Elms of Kent, to a single-mother who was either Jamaican or of Jamaican origin. I do not know whether the ethnic background of his biological father is known or has been reported, but there's no reason to think he was from Asia. Later, the mother would marry Phillip Ajou, who is believed to be Nigerian. The boy would later, for a time, use the last name "Ajou."

He had a relatively affluent upbringing, and the elder Mr. and Mrs. Ajou now live what has been described as an "idyllic" life in the Welsh countryside. Mrs. Ajou sells handmaid cushions.

Reports indicate that the Ajous are Christian.

So why was he identified as "Asian"? Let's go back a step.

In the latter half of the 20th century in Britain, "Asian" was the designation put on immigrants and their descendants from, wait for it . . . Asia. Or more precisely, it was primarily used to denote immigrants or their descendants from the former British colony of India - what we now call Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, or what has also been called "South Asia."

Until the 1960s and perhaps even into the 1970s, the South Asian population of the United Kingdom was primarily Hindu, Sikh and Christian. But at some point the Muslim proportion came to dominate. Population statistics on ethnicity and religion are notoriously unreliable and fuzzy, but it's almost certain that there are now two or three times as many Muslim South Asians in Britain as there are non-Muslim South Asians. And, of course, that excludes other Asians, such as Chinese - apparently a fast-growing immigrant group - and non-South Asian Muslims, such as those from the Middle East and Africa, as well as "white" converts.

So, again, why did they call Masood an "Asian"?

The answer, obviously, is that "Asian" is now used in Britain as a euphemism for Muslim. And the attacker did appear to be Muslim. Most obviously he had a "sunnah beard" or "Muslim beard" - an untrimmed beard with a trimmed mustache.

The man now known as Khalid Masoode took on the beard when he converted to Islam.

Khalid Masood - After

Ethnic groups often have associated stereotypes about their "look." Black africans have big lips and "afros." Chinese have "slit eyes." Jews have big noses. Whites have . . . well it depends on what kind of white you are and which of your cosmetic "components" others want to emphasize - southern europeans are "swarthy" and perhaps even dirty. The English are thin and pale, etc.

All of these contain a kernel of truth, of course, while at the same time often being more or less offensive and racist.

Now, it's an obvious fact that "Muslim" is technically a religious, not an ethnic or racial designation, though many try to obscure it. At the same time, one of the things that makes Islam stand out from some (though not all) other religions, is the quasi-requirement to have a certain look, which for males means having an untrimmed beard and a non-existent or light and trimmed mustache.

You can't change your ethnicity, but you can change your religion. And going along with that, you can't get rid of your curly hair or big nose or "swarthiness" (well in some cases you sort of can, but still), but you can change your beard.

The Muslim beard thing is not merely an arbitrary cultural accretion but is implied in the Koran and explicitly discussed in the Hadith and Sunnah - the sayings and traditions of Muhammed.

Muhammed and the early Muslim leaders wanted Muslims to stand out from "pagans" and non-Muslims. They (non-Muslims) had trimmed beards and bushy mustaches. Muhammed essentially said, "we'll do the opposite":
Trim your mustaches and let your beards grow and do not emulate the Jews
This is from a Hadith recorded by al-Saduq, and is just one of many similar statements by Muhammed and other authorities. Students of Islamic history should also note that in these contexts, "don't be like the Jews" comes up often.

If anything most clearly outwardly identifies a devout male Muslim by birth or by conversion, it's the untrimmed beard with a trimmed mustache. Chinese Uighurs have it (or many of them do), blonde Chechens have it, and British converts, whether red-haired and freckly or curly-haired and Jamaican, have it.

ISIS punished people who didn't have it. That this was perhaps unfair to some of the fairer-skinned and less naturally hairy fighters was sometimes remarked upon (though, usually, quietly).

So how about this? Let's accept, for the sake of argument, that using "Muslim" to denote the background of the terrorist of the day is politically incorrect. But let's also admit that "Asian" or "Tunisian-French" or even and especially "German citizen" (to pick three recently used designations of terrorist suspects) are all to some degree misleading or even close to meaningless.

How about using, instead, "untrimmed-bearded," as in "untrimmed-bearded knifer" or "untrimmed-bearded driver" or "the shooter who had an untrimmed beard"?

The lack of a prominent mustache would be implicitly part of the description but would be dropped to save words. 

Ignore what I earlier said about the historical religious tradition. Such a designation doesn't positively denote a Muslim. The suspect could be an Eastern Orthodox priest with a mustache aversion, or a lazy or indifferently groomed Sikh with a mustache aversion or perhaps just a fashionable rapper from Philly.

"Ah ha!" the anti-Islamophobes might say, "that would just be to use 'untrimmed-bearded' as a stand-in for 'Muslim.' That's so racist.

To which we, if we are truthful, would have to answer, "of course it's a stand-in."

But racist is precisely what it is not. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ANOTHER Muslim Ramming Attack, this Time in Southern Italy - Policeman Stabbed

Mow the infidels down with your vehicle, then jump out with a knife or gun.

It's kind of like, pray the Rosary everyday, and go to frequent confession.

Except not.

From Breitbart:
Italy: ‘North African’ Arrested After Driving at Police, Stabbing Officer 
A “North African” migrant has attempted to ram police with a car in a southern Italian town Wednesday, before attacking and injuring an officer with a knife. 
Italian press said the attack in the Railway neighbourhood of Foggia “recalls the dynamics” of Wednesday’s attack in Westminster, London, which saw three people killed. 
According to Repubblica, the “African citizen” failed to stop at a police checkpoint and ran over the foot of an officer. As he attempted to escape in his vehicle, he crashed into a parked lorry. 
He then emerged from the immobilised car and launched a knife attack on officers, stabbing and wounding one in the hand. 
The attack in London also began with a man ramming police officers and members of the public with a vehicle, before crashing his car and stabbing an officer. 
There was a third similar attack on Thursday in Antwerp, Belgium. A “French-Tunisian” man drove his car into a crowd on a busy shopping street, forcing pedestrians to jump out of the way. He was stopped by police before he could harm more people, and weapons including knives were found in his car. 
Commenting on Wednesday’s suspected attack in Italy, Franco Landella, the mayor of Foggia, said the Railway neighbourhood’s high migrant population presented acute security challenges. 
He described it as “an ugly incident that could have had far worse consequences had it not been for the sense of responsibility and experience of our local police”. 
Adding: “Unfortunately, the context in which all this was done forcefully recalls the issue of security of the Railway district, also and especially with reference to the massive presence of foreign citizens.” 
The president of the city council, Luigi Miranda, said: “The wounding of an officer of the Municipal Police of Foggia is a very serious matter.” 
According to Foggia Today, he added: “The brutal episode highlights the situation in the Railway neighbourhood and the situation of constant danger in which the traffic police must operate.”

BREAKING: Canadian Parliament Passes Anti-Islamophobia Motion, 201 to 91

Iqra Khalid: The smiling face of hate

Faith Goldy of Rebel Media quipped that Canadian Liberal MP, Iqra Khalid, loves her country of birth (Pakistan) so much, she wants to bring its blasphemy laws to Canada.

It was a foregone conclusion that the "anti-Islamophobia" motion - known to all Canadians as "M103" - would pass, but it is notable that it is still opposed my most Canadians. Speaking of Islamophobia, Canadian Liberals and even many Conservatives seem to be more afraid of losing political support from Muslims and their leftist allies than losing the support of ordinary Canadians.

Here's Goldy at Rebel Media:

And here's David Akin at the National Post:
MPs pass M-103 Thursday even as new poll says most Canadians would vote down anti-Islamophobia motion 
OTTAWA – The House of Commons voted Thursday afternoon to condemn “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination” but the vote for the controversial M-103 was not unanimous. 
Liberals, New Democrats, and Green Party MP Elizabeth May were in favour; most Conservative and all Bloc Quebecois MPs were opposed. 
The vote was 201 for and 91 against. 
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and four other cabinet ministers were absent. 
NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair was present — he voted in favour — as was interim Conservative leader MP Rona Ambrose, who was opposed. 
It was a free vote, meaning MPs did not have to follow a party line, and two Conservative MPs voted in favour: leadership candidate Michael Chong and Ontario MP Bruce Stanton. 
The motion was proposed by Iqra Khalid, a first-time MP representing a Mississauga, Ont. riding. In addition to the resolution condemning Islamophobia, it asks the House of Commons Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to study the issue of “eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia;” and calls on the federal government collect data on hate crimes for further study. 
“Our country is very diverse,” Khalid said after the vote. “I think that we need to continue to build those bridges amongst Canadians, and this is just one way that we can do this, by really understanding the issue and really listening to what Canadians have to say. I’m really looking forward to the track that the Canadian Heritage Committee takes on this.” 
Meanwhile a new poll released Thursday suggests that if the vote on M-103 was up to most Canadians, it would fail. 
Pollster Angus Reid Institute asked 1,511 Canadians, “if you were a a Member of Parliament, how would you vote on this motion (M-103)” and found that 42 per cent would vote against it; 29 per cent would vote in favour and 29 per cent were not sure or would have abstained. 
In debate earlier this week, Conservative MPs endorsed the sentiment but objected to the wording of the motion in the belief that it could lead to the suppression of speech rights. 
“The word ‘Islamophobia’ can be used to mean both discrimination against Muslims and criticism of Islamic doctrine or practice. It is important that we not conflate the two – religious people deserve legal protection, but religions do not,” Conservative MP Garnett Genuis said during a Commons debate Tuesday night. “People should not discriminate against individuals, but should feel quite free to criticize the doctrine, history, or practice of any religion.” 
Liberals, including Khalid, maintain that the motion would in no way infringe on speech rights and would instead be a powerful symbol of solidarity with Muslim Canadians. 
“Motion No. 103 serves as a catalyst for Canadians to speak out against discrimination and be heard where they may not have been heard before,” Khalid said on Tuesday. 
Khalid’s motion changes no existing laws nor does it create any new laws.
And yet, the Angus Reid poll finds that three in 10 of those surveyed believed Khalid’s motion is, in fact, “a threat to Canadians’ freedom of speech.” 
Angus Reid found male survey respondents strongly disapproved of M-103 while female survey respondents were split. Among men, 50 per cent would vote down M-103 while 27 per cent would vote in favour. Among women, 34 per cent would vote to reject, 31 per cent would vote in favour and 36 per cent were unsure or would abstain. 
The pollster ran the online survey from March 13 to March 17. A margin of error could not be calculated because the survey participants were not drawn from a random sample. That said, a random sample of 1,511 Canadian adults would produce a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Attempted Muslim Car Ramming Attack in Antwerp - Driver Arrested with Long Gun and Knives

A forensics expert working next to the suspect's car

A year and a day after the terror attacks in Brussels, and less than 24 hours after the deadly attack in London, a French-Tunisian man attempted to mow down pedestrians at an outdoor shopping mall in Antwerp. Amazingly, no one was hurt, and the man was arrested less than a mile from the scene. He was dressed in camouflage and had knives, a gun and possibly an explosive material in his car. I should note that the Daily Mail article alternately designates the gun as a "shotgun," a "riot gun (rifle)" and an "assault rifle."

From the Daily Mail:
French-Tunisian is arrested after trying to drive a car loaded with liquid gas, assault rifle and knives into shoppers in an attempted terrorist attack in Antwerp
  • Belgian police confirmed more security personnel were being sent to the city
  • The car, which had French plates, was driven at high speed trying to enter street
  • Scene has been described as Antwerp's main pedestrianised shopping street
  • Comes hours after three people were killed by an attacker shot dead in London
A French -Tunisian has been arrested after trying to drive a car loaded with liquid gas, assault rifles and knives into a crowd of shoppers in Antwerp in an attempted terror attack.
Belgian police, who confirmed the bomb squad had been sent to the area, said the car was being driven at high speed and that pedestrians had to jump out of the way to avoid being injured.
Authorities found knives, a shotgun and a gas can with an unknown liquid in the car prompting officers who usually deal with extremist attacks to take over the case.
It comes just hours after three people were killed in London by a terrorist who mowed down pedestrians and cyclists outside the House of Commons before stabbing a policeman to death.
Belgian police arrested a man named as Mohamed R, 39, on Thursday after he tried to drive into a crowd at high-speed in a shopping area in the port city of Antwerp at around 11am.
The suspect, who has not been confirmed as a Muslim but is named after the religion's prophet and is said to be of North African descent, was wearing camouflage when he was arrested.
Belgian security forces found a rifle as well as bladed weapons in the car driven by the Frenchman who tried to ram a crowd in the main pedestrianised street in the port city, described by the French President Francois Hollande as an 'attempted terrorist attack'.
The federal prosecutor's office also said bomb disposal units were sent to the scene to examine the vehicle.
'Different arms were found in the boot - bladed weapons, a riot gun (rifle) and a container of liquid that is still unidentified,' the federal prosecutor's office said in a statement.
'The suspect is Mohamed R, born on May 8, 1977, of French nationality and a resident of France,' the statement said.
The driver sped off after Belgian soldiers, who have been deployed around the country to assist the counter-terrorism fight, tried to stop the car.
'A short while later, a rapid intervention force from Antwerp police was able to stop the car,' the statement said.
It was not immediately clear if the car contained any explosives.
The car was driven down the Meir street in Antwerp - the city's busiest pedestrianised streets.
Shoppers had to dive out of the way of the speeding car to avoid serious injury. 
Belgian soldiers then forced the driver to stop, but he fled by running a red light as he made his way towards the Scheldt river.
Less than a mile later, he was stopped by police officers and arrested.
The gas liquid was found in a canister, and as a result the case was handed over to the federal prosecutor's office, which usually deals with terrorism cases in Belgium.
The office said: 'Because of these elements, and the events in London yesterday, the case is being taken on by the federal prosecutor's office.'
Prime Minister Charles Michel said 'we remain vigilant. Our security services have done excellent work.'
The events happened a day after the nation held remembrance services for the Brussels airport and subway attacks, which killed 32 people on March 22, 2016.
He added the driver was later arrested and additional police and military personnel had been deployed to the centre of Antwerp, but did not give any further details.
The suspect was said to be travelling in a car registered in France and that it was a red Citroën.
He tried and failed to knock people down in the busy shopping area and fled the scene towards the city's port where he was arrested, according to Le Soir.
The man, who is said to be of North African origin, was detained on St Michielskaai in Antwerp which is less than a mile away from the Meir, according to VTM.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BREAKING: Terror Attack Outside UK Parliament

An "Asian knifeman" rammed pedestrians with an SUV on Westminster Bridge, rammed another set of pedestrians outside of Parliament, then jumped out, stabbed multiple policemen and was subsequently shot by police. He appears to be alive. Parliament is currently on lockdown. Today is the one-year anniversary of the 2016 terror bombings in Brussels.

Update (12:15 CST): Two have now been confirmed dead. A woman who jumped into the Thames river or was pushed off the bridge by the impact of the vehicle was rescued. 

From the Daily Mail:
Parliament in lockdown: Police open fire outside Westminster and shoot knife-wielding man amid reports of explosion and 'at least 12 pedestrians mowed down on bridge'
  • Four-wheel drive car said to have driven over Westminster Bridge knocking down pedestrians this afternoon
  • 'Asian' knifeman then got into the grounds of Parliament where he reportedly stabbed a police officer
  • The 'middle-aged' attacker was then shot by armed officers as the area was cleared by emergency services
  • Parliament was suspended and the Prime Minister was rushed from the scene in an unmarked police car
A knifeman was shot by armed police in the grounds of Parliament today after pedestrians were mowed down in a terror attack on Westminster Bridge.
More than 10 people are said to have been hit by a car on the central London bridge after a vehicle described as a '4x4' drove into pedestrians and cyclists.
An intruder, described by a witness as 'middle-aged and Asian', then managed to break into the grounds of the Houses of Parliament and stabbed a police officer before he was shot.
Prime Minister Theresa May is said to have been bundled into a car by a plain-clothes police officer and driven quickly from the scene.
Scotland Yard said the attack, which comes a year to the day after the terrorist atrocities in Brussels, are being treated 'as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise'.
Commons Leader David Lidington told MPs a 'police officer has been stabbed' and the 'alleged assailant was shot by armed police' following a 'serious' incident within the parliamentary estate.
Witness Jayne Wilkinson said: 'We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.
'And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.
'He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt. He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him.
Her partner David Turner added: 'There was a stampede of people running out. You saw the people and you thought 'what the hell is going on'.'\
Mail journalist Quentin Letts saw the incident out of the window of a Commons office. He told the BBC: 'We heard this sound that sounded like a car crash…
'Then we saw a thick set man in black clothes come through the gates where people would normally drive cars
'This man had something in his hand. It looked like a stick. He was challenged by two policemen. The policeman fell down.
'We could see the man in black movinghis arm in a way that suggested he was either striking or stabbing.' \
After the incident, Radoslaw Sikorski posted a video to Twitter purporting to show people lying injured in the road on Westminster Bridge.
Mr Sikorski, a senior fellow at Harvard's Centre for European Studies, wrote: 'A car on Westminster Bridge has just mowed down at least 5 people.'
People outside the palace could be seen running from the scene when the shots were heard.
An eye witness said that a car was seen to mow down five people on Westminster Bridge.
Police are then believed to have shot a man who tried to enter the Parliamentary Estate.
The dramatic incident comes weeks after it was revealed that UK security services have foiled 13 potential attacks in less than four years, while counter-terrorism units are running more than 500 investigations at any time.\
The official threat level for international terrorism has stood at severe, meaning an attack is 'highly likely', for more than two years.
Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman Baroness Randerson said countries seem to have been 'singled out based on religious beliefs'.
'Of course safety is paramount at all times and we all need to remain vigilant but this ban needs to be explained in detail,' she said.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Greenfield on Shadow President Obama: "treasonous...It is a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope"

Obama/Clinton failed to steal the election on November 8. Now, Obama is trying to steal the election, after the fact.

With nine years to go until the 250th anniversary of the founding of our country, we're in the middle of a not so silent coup whose tenor is building to a roar.

In an article published yesterday in Frontpage Mag, Journalist Daniel Greenfield argues that it's not just about the Democrats vs. Donald Trump. Rather, the survival of American democracy and the rule of law are at stake.

Admittedly, this is the sort of thing that excitable partisans - usually liberals - often say about this or that election or political controversy. And it's almost always nonsense.

But I think this time it's on the mark.

May God protect us.

Much of Greenfield's article is excerpted, below. Please read the full piece, here:
After Trump secured the nomination, Obama’s people filed a wiretapping request. As he was on the verge of winning, they did it again. After he won, they are doing everything they can to bring him down.
It was always going to come down to this.
One is the elected President of the United States. The other is the Anti-President who commands a vast network that encompasses the organizers of OFA, the official infrastructure of the DNC and Obama Anonymous, a shadow government of loyalists embedded in key positions across the government.
A few weeks after the election, I warned that Obama was planning to run the country from outside the White House. And that the “Obama Anonymous” network of staffers embedded in the government was the real threat. Since then Obama’s Kalorama mansion has become a shadow White House. And the Obama Anonymous network is doing everything it can to bring down an elected government.
Obama Inc. had targeted Trump from the very beginning when it was clear he would be the nominee.
Trump had locked down the GOP nomination in May. Next month there was a FISA request targeting him. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denied the request, and it is still unknown whether the request targeted Trump, or only his associates, but it’s silly to pretend that the submission of such a request a month after he became the presumptive GOP nominee was apolitical.
The second, narrower, FISA request came through in October. This one was approved. The reason for getting a FISA request in October was even more obvious than June. October is the crucial month in presidential elections. It’s the month of the “October Surprise” when the worst hit pieces based on the keenest opposition research is unleashed. Obama’s opposition research on Trump involved eavesdropping on a server in Trump Tower. Nixon would have been very jealous.
After the election, Obama Inc. began to spread out its bets. Some of his people migrated into his network of political organizations. Others remained embedded in the government. While the former would organize the opposition, the latter would sabotage, undermine and try to bring down Trump.
Obama Anonymous conducted its coup in layers. The first layer partnered congressional Democrats with OA personnel to retain control of as much of the government as possible by the Obama Deep State. They did it by blocking Trump’s nominees with endless hearings and protests. The second layer partnered congressional Democrats with the deeper layer of Obama operatives embedded in law enforcement and intelligence agencies who were continuing the Obama investigations of Trump.
This second layer sought to use the investigation to force out Trump people who threatened their control over national security, law enforcement and intelligence. It is no coincidence that their targets, Flynn and Sessions, were in that arena. Or that their views on Islamic terror and immigration are outside the consensus making them easy targets for Obama Anonymous and its darker allies.
Obama broke out the same tactics when he went after Iran Deal opponents. Once again members of Congress were spied on and the results were leaked to friendly media outlets. Before the wiretapping of Trump’s people, the NSA was passing along conversations of Iran Deal opponents to the White House which were used to coordinate strategy in defense of the illegal arrangement with Islamic terrorists.
During the Iran Deal battle, the NSA was supposedly filtering the eavesdropped data it passed along.
In its last days, Obama Inc. made it easier to pass along unfiltered personal information to the other agencies where Obama loyalists were working on their investigation targeting Trump. The NSA pipeline now makes it possible for the shadow White House to still gain intelligence on its domestic enemies.
And the target of the shadow White House is the President of the United States.
There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.
The Obama network is an illegal shadow government. Even its “light side” as an opposition group is very legally dubious. Its “shadow side” is not only illegal, but a criminal attack on our democracy.
When he was in power, Obama hacked reporters like FOX News’ James Rosen and CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. He eavesdropped on members of Congress opposed to the Iran Deal. Two men who made movies he disliked ended up in jail. But what he is doing now is even more deeply disturbing.
Obama no longer legally holds power. His Deep State network is attempting to overturn the results of a presidential election using government employees whose allegiance is to a shadow White House. Tactics that were illegal when he was in office are no longer just unconstitutional, they are treasonous.
Obama Inc. has become a state within a state. It is a compartmentalized network of organizations, inside and outside the government, that claim that they are doing nothing illegal as individual groups because they are technically following the rules within each compartment, but the sheer scope of the illegality lies in the covert coordination between these “revolutionary cells” infecting our country.
It is a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope. Above all else, it is the most direct attack yet on a country in which governments are elected by the people, not by powerful forces within the government.
"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” President Lincoln declared at Gettysburg. “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Obama’s shadow government is not just a war on President Trump. It is a war on that government of the people, by the people and for the people. If he succeeds, then at his touch, it will perish from the earth.
Obama’s third term has begun. Our Republic is in danger.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Diocese of Tulsa Invokes "We've Been Hacked!" Defense to Explain Anti-Francis Tweet

This is a small story, obviously, but I think it's a useful example of where we are now in the Church.

In the brief history of social media, when people have said, "I've been hacked," to disavow a problematic communication, have they ever been telling the truth?


A few days ago, the Diocese of Tulsa tweeted out a link to a recent post by Jeff Mirus from the website Catholic Culture. Titled, "On the Role of the Holy Spirit in Papal Elections," the post debunked the old wives' tale that the Holy Spirit "chooses" the pope or infallibly guides the cardinals to always elect the best candidate. According to Mirus, while the Holy Spirit might "prompt" the electors to, so to speak, listen to His guidance, there is never a guarantee that any particular elector or the body as a whole will do so. Mirus then went on to list a number of historical "bad choices," not including Francis but curiously including Pope John Paul I.

The general claim - the Holy Spirit doesn't pick popes - is, of course, not controversial, and was in fact made by Benedict XVI himself (when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger). To the question, does the Holy Spirit choose the pope, he answered:
I would not say so, in the sense that the Holy Spirit picks out the Pope. ... I would say that the Spirit does not exactly take control of the affair, but rather like a good educator, as it were, leaves us much space, much freedom, without entirely abandoning us. Thus the Spirit's role should be understood in a much more elastic sense, not that he dictates the candidate for whom one must vote. Probably the only assurance he offers is that the thing cannot be totally ruined.
Then he added the self-evident clincher:
There are too many contrary instances of popes the Holy Spirit obviously would not have picked!
Clearly the topic is now on everyone's mind, however, as more and more Catholics, including Mirus' partner at Catholic Culture, Phil Lawler, contemplate the disastrous pontificate of Francis.

Here is the tweet from the Diocese of Tulsa:

"The ignored it" was obviously a reference to Francis.

I'm not sure how long the tweet stayed up, but more than 24 hours later, this tweet appeared in its place:

Two other tweets were subsequently made:

As I implied above, I'm confident that the "we've been hacked" claim is an outright fib, at least if "hacked" is given its normal meaning. Either there are a number of people on the Diocese Twitter team, and one thought the initial tweet was a good idea but was then overruled by the others, or the sole person responsible for the Diocese Twitter account tweeted it out bravely but was then dressed down (and probably removed) by higher authorities.

As reported at The Hirsch Files and The Okie Traditionalist, the new Bishop of Tulsa appears to be an enemy of the Traditional Latin Mass and is no doubt a sort of third-tier ally of Pope Francis. But I suspect that the offending tweet would have been disavowed by any diocese or archdiocese in the country. Very few bishops want to go explicitly on record as "opposing" Francis in any way, shape or form.

In many cases, of course, its due to outright agreement or sympathy with the Pope's agenda. In other cases, bishops have convinced themselves that they are upholding their vow of obedience or protecting their diocese and their flock from retribution. Many observers would claim that the last two motivations are often mixed with cowardice.

But there is one Tulsa Catholic (almost certainly not a bishop) who is no coward.

Whoever you are, anonymous tweeter, have a drink on me.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Former Obama Attorney General Implies Opposing Trump May Involve Blood and Death

With every passing day, it becomes clearer how dishonest, thuggish and even nutty the Obama-Clinton opposition has become.

Loretta Lynch was attorney general for the last two years of the Obama administration, replacing Eric Holder in 2015. Now a private citizen, this short video was apparently recorded for the U.S. Senate Democrats and posted on their Facebook page on February 28.

It has received 143k views on that Facebook page, but as far as I can tell, virtually all of the comments are hostile to Lynch and the Democrats. I started reading the comment with the most likes, "What were you talking about during your private meeting with Bill Clinton on the plane?" and stopped about twenty comments down at "you are corrupt and pathetic."

In any case, here is the text of the video:
I know that this is a time of great fear and uncertainty for so many people. I know it’s a time of concern for people, who see our rights being assailed, being trampled on and even being rolled back. I know that this is difficult, but I remind you that this has never been easy. We have always had to work to move this country forward to achieve the great ideals of our Founding Fathers.
And it has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference. They’ve marched, they’ve bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again.
A few seconds after "marched," "bled" and "died," the logo for United States Senate Democrats appears.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Did Pope Francis Say a Year Ago that the Divorced and Remarried Could NOT Receive Communion?

(To save words, in all discussions of this topic, I'm excluding cases of repentant remarried couples choosing to either move apart or live together as "brother and sister.") 

A Facebook friend just reposted an April 11, 2016 article from Church Militant.

Amidst the ever increasing controversy over Amoris Laetitia, published on April 8, 2016, certain previous statements made by Pope Francis regarding communion for the divorced and remarried, have been all but forgotten.

Here is Church Militant:
The Pope fielded 12 questions during his hour-long in-flight interview returning from Juarez to Rome in mid-February. Anne Thompson from NBC asked the Pope a question regarding mercy to the divorced and remarried.
In response, Pope Francis emphasized, "The key phrase used by the synod, which I'll take up again, is 'integrate' in the life of the Church the wounded families, remarried families, etc."
Thompson then asked, "Does that mean they can receive Communion?"
Pope Francis, with unusual clarity, responded, "This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn't mean receiving Communion."
The Pope immediately gave an anecdotal story to make clear his point.

I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want Communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It's a work towards integration; all doors are open. But we cannot say from here on they can have Communion. This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn't allow them to proceed on this path of integration.
The Pope gave a similar response in March 2015 concerning the admittance to Holy Communion of the divorced and remarried during an interview conducted by Vatican Radio in Rome with a Mexican correspondent from Televisa. The interview was published one week later in L'Osservatore Romano on March 13.
The journalist, Valentina Alazraki, asked Pope Francis, "Will the divorced and remarried be able to receive Communion?"
The Pope responded, "What the Church wants is for you to integrate yourself into the life of the Church. But there are those who say, 'No, I want to receive Communion, and that's it' — like a rosette, an honorary award. No. Reintegrate yourself."
What are we to make of this?

This piece was published only three days after the release of Amoris Laetitia, long before the dubia were submitted and then made public, and long before other explosive developments. At that early date, it was an attempt by Church Militant to argue for what we might call the "restrictive" interpretation of the document.

Whatever anyone might have thought then, I think it is absolutely clear now that Pope Francis intends Amoris Laetitia to be interpreted "expansively" - that is, as allowing communion for the divorced and remarried. I say this based on the Pope's refusal to answer the dubia, on his favorable response in a letter to the Buenos Aires bishops that their expansive interpretation was the only possible one, on his studied refusal to condemn expansive interpretations by other groups of bishops in the Philippines, Malta and Germany, on the statements and arguments of clergy and journalists favored by or allied with the Pope and on anecdotal evidence such as Cardinal Bruno Forte's scandalous public admission that Francis intended to change the teaching of the Church via calculated ambiguity.

If you read his actual words, above, Pope Francis doesn't explicitly forbid giving communion to the divorced and remarried. With respect to the Church Militant author, Bradley Eli, he did not speak with "unusual clarity." That some divorced and remarried might be able to take communion was not ruled out by his actual words - he only said that "integration" didn't necessarily mean communion. It's possible now, for example, post-Amoris Laetitia, to read "all doors are open" as leaving open the possibility of communion after a period of "discernment." But pre-Amoris Laetitia, what he said was interpreted to mean that communion was indeed ruled out, and I assume this is how the Pope meant it to be taken, at least to the mass audience (we cannot rule out the possibility that the largely unnoticed ambiguity was at the same time a signal to his allies). Since this had always been the teaching of the Church, the seeming defense of the teaching by the Pope, even if it was technically ambiguous, did not raise any eyebrows.

So why did he give those answers? In February of 2016, it can be assumed that Amoris Laetitia had already largely been written, or at the least, the Pope knew what it was going to say. I assume it's as simple as that Francis had nothing to lose and everything to gain at that time by appearing to defend the orthodox position.

Pope Francis is sometimes portrayed as being a bit "out of it," based partly on his often rambling homilies and remarks. I think this is a dangerous misestimation of the man. I would argue that he is in fact extraordinarily clever - or, if you prefer, cunning. He may state, or at least appear to state, one thing today and another thing tomorrow. Or he may artfully use ambiguity to simultaneously suggest one thing to the public and quite another thing to friendly "insiders."

It's all good, as they say, as long as it advances the cause.