Fake News & Abraham Lincoln

Republicans are talking a lot about Fake News these days and it is interesting to note that the founder of the Republican Party, President Abraham Lincoln, also had to deal with it during his campaign for president, as Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in her great book, Team of Rivals:

“Although increasingly infuriated by Southern misrepresentation of his positions, Lincoln confined expression of his anger to private letters. Upon hearing from the New York Time’s Henry Raymond that one of his correspondents, a wealthy Mississippi gentleman named William Smedes, had justified the state’s “blaze of passion” for secession on the grounds that Lincoln was “pledged to the ultimate extinction of slavery, holds the black man to be the equal of the white, & stigmatizes our whole people as immoral & unchristian,” Lincoln issued a blistering reply. As evidence Smedes had cited an “infamous” speech Lincoln had purportedly given on the occasion when Chase was presented with his silver pitcher by the free blacks of Cincinnati. For such a speech, Smedes proclaimed, he would “regard death by a stroke of lightning to Mr. Lincoln as but a just punishment from an offended deity.”

“What a very mad-man your correspondent, Smedes is,” Lincoln replied, countering that he “was never in a meeting of negroes in [his] life; and never saw a pitcher presented by anybody to anybody.” Moreover, he went on. “Mr. Lincoln is not pledged to the ultimate extinction of slavery; does not hold the black man to be the equal of the white, unqualifiedly as Mr. S. states it; and never did stigmatize their white people as immoral & unchristian.” (p. 295). Doris Kearns Goodwin. (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Catholics & Islam

This outstanding article from Crisis Magazine about one of the most perceptive analysts of Islam—Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution—is a must read.

I have all of Ali’s books and I suggest you also consider adding her work to your library.

An excerpt from the Crisis Magazine article.

Many Catholics look upon Islam as an ally in the struggle against militant secularism. Since Muslims are opposed to permissiveness, pornography, same-sex “marriage,” and other aspects of the secularist agenda, many Catholics assume that they must share similar values about marriage and sexuality.

But this is not the case. The Islamic emphasis on modesty and chastity shouldn’t be confused with the Christian standard. Christian sexual ethics are based on respect for women, whereas Islamic sexual ethics are motivated in large part by a disparagement of women.

Islamic family values are not about honoring women, but about protecting a man’s honor. And, in Islam, a man’s honor is bound up with his ability to control the women in his life. If a wife, daughter, or sister does anything to jeopardize the honor of her husband, father, or brother, she risks severe punishments and even death. In the West, a disobedient Muslim daughter may have her head shaved; in the Muslim world she may be killed.

The Muslim male’s control over women and girls is manifested in many ways, but one of the most disturbing is the widespread practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to the Population Reference Bureau, approximately half a million women and girls in the United States have undergone the procedure or are at risk of the procedure. In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali pushed for laws that would ban the procedure, which she said is designed to “kill the sexual libido … and ensure virginity” before marriage.

Who is Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Born and raised in Somalia, where genital mutilation and forced marriages are common, Ali eventually left her tribe and family and escaped to Holland. There she began a public campaign to bring attention to the mistreatment of Muslim women. In the course of time, Ali was elected to the Dutch Parliament and—partly as a result of her bad experience with Islam, and partly from her study of the Enlightenment—she became an atheist. She also became a target of radical Islamists, and, under increasing pressure from the Dutch government (which considered her to be too provocative), she left Holland for America.

The author of several books, Ali is currently a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. In addition, she heads a foundation which defends the rights of Muslim women. The AHA Foundation is dedicated to protecting girls and women from forced marriages, honor violence, genital mutilation, and from oppressive sharia laws.

What might Catholics learn from Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Two important lessons come to mind. The first is that Islamic values are quite different from Catholic values. Many Catholics, including those in leadership positions, have been content to get by with a multicultural lite view of Islam. In other words, they believe that while Muslims may have different foods and customs, they’re just like us when it comes to basics.

But as Ali and other former Muslims have pointed out, there is a world of difference. The central family value in Islam is not mutual love, but family honor. This is not to say that Muslim families are devoid of love for one another; it’s to recognize that they are under enormous cultural and religious pressure to put other things first. Nonie Darwish, a Muslim convert to Christianity, makes the case that Muhammad viewed a normal family—one in which a man’s first love and loyalty is to his family—as an impediment to jihad. “It is not uncommon,” she observes, “for a man who is loyal to one wife and treats her with love and respect to suffer ridicule for not being man enough.”

Catholics seem largely unaware of the extent to which the code of honor suffuses Muslim life. Practices such as genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, wife-beating, and easy divorce (for men) are not cultural outliers, they are part of the warp and woof of Islamic societies. But the Catholic leadership has been so focused on proclaiming its respect for Islam that it has largely ignored these matters.

However intended, these proclamations of respect and even esteem for Islam are likely to be interpreted by Muslims as an endorsement of the status quo and also of Islam’s all-male leadership. When Catholics declare their solidarity with Islam, what they usually mean is solidarity against “Islamophobia,” or against restrictions on Muslim immigration, or similar fashionable causes. But, too often, these solidarity statements come across as blanket endorsements.

Muslim leaders can elicit these endorsements by the simple expedient of playing the victim card. They understand Catholic psychology far better than Catholics understand the psyche of Muslims, and they know that Catholic leaders reflexively side with those who claim victim status. By constantly portraying Islam as a victim of bias, bigotry, and “Islamophobia,” Muslim leaders know that they can win the support of Catholics for whatever agenda they wish to pursue.

Yet Islam is much more victimizer than victim. And among its chief victims are Muslim women and children. Who speaks for them? Well, Ayaan Hirsi Ali does and so does Nonie Darwish. But I don’t recall any prominent Church leaders speaking out about the oppression of Muslim women. Indeed, the Church’s current policy of avoiding any criticism of Islam can easily be mistaken for an endorsement of Islam’s misogynistic practices. Church authorities speak often about their concern for the most helpless and vulnerable in society, but that concern does not seem to extend to Muslim women and children, who are among the most vulnerable people in the world.

Ali refers to the method by which the Islamist ideology is spread as “dawa.” In its narrow sense, “dawa” means proselytizing, but in the sense that Ali uses it, it is roughly equivalent to the term “cultural jihad.” It is similar to what twentieth-century communists called the “long march through the institutions.” Islamic cultural jihad is an attempt to infiltrate and influence institutions such as media, schools, courts, and government bureaucracies with the aim of advancing sharia law.

 

Dorothy Day & Catholic Soft Communism

I was not familiar with the writings of Dorothy Day until I became a Catholic, but then became a fervent fan after reading much of her published work and eventually have pretty much collected everything she wrote in book form.

However, since I read the shocking 2010 book by Dr. Carol Byrne, The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis and followed up with my own research, I realized how devoted she remained to Communism throughout her life.

Dorothy Day’s published writings, which is what most of us base our opinion of her on, are filled with devotional service and Catholic oriented content; but her writings to her fellow workers, those writings specifically in the Catholic Worker—which Dorothy Day edited from its beginning in 1933 to her death in 1980, clearly stood on the side of Communism against Capitalism, as did her many speeches, people she honored and her activism.

As I wrote in my book, Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation:

As Earl Browder, who headed the Party during its heyday in the 1930s, would later boast:

Entering the 1930s as a small ultra-left sect of some 7,000 members, remnant of the fratricidal factional struggle of the 1920s that had wiped out the old “left wing” of American socialism, the CP rose to become a national political influence far beyond its numbers (at its height it never exceeded 100,000 members), on a scale never before reached by a socialist movement claiming the Marxist tradition. It became a practical power in organized labour, its influence became strong in some state organizations of the Democratic party (even dominant in a few for some years), and even some Republicans solicited its support. It guided the anti-Hitler movement of the American League for Peace and Democracy that united a cross-section of some five million organized Americans (a list of its sponsors and speakers would include almost a majority of Roosevelt’s Cabinet, the most prominent intellectuals, judges of all grades up to State Supreme Courts, church leaders, labour leaders, etc.). Right-wing intellectuals complained that it exercised an effective veto in almost all publishing houses against their books, and it is at least certain that those right-wingers had extreme difficulty getting published.

While Browder’s boast contained a lot of truth, he could hardly take full credit. The Communist Party USA only broke out of its isolation in 1935, when the Comintern [Lenin’s Bolsheviks believed that unless socialist revolutions triumphed world-wide, they would be defeated by international capitalism, so they organized the Communist International—abbreviated as Comintern—in Moscow in 1919 to foment revolution around the world.] taking advantage of the widespread legitimate fear of German Nazism, ordered the international Communist movement to adopt an ecumenical attitude and stretch its hands out to those it previously hated, including socialists and Catholics. (Italicized section added.) Romerstein, H. & Breindel, E. (2000). The Venona secrets: Exposing Soviet espionage and America’s traitors. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc. (pp. 98-99)

David H. Lukenbill. (2013), Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation. Sacramento, California: Chulu Press, The Lampstand Foundation. (pp. 84-85)

Byrne (2010)—virtually alone with an insightful and penetrating understanding of the deep Communist orientation of this seminal organization and its founders—writes about the Catholic Worker Movement in the introduction to her book:

The Catholic Worker Movement was co-founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York, on 1st May 1933, to provide food, clothing and shelter for the destitute during the years of the Great Depression. It was a movement built on the long-term despair of Americans who turned to radical political and social movements for a solution to unemployment, homelessness and poverty. For Day and Maurin it was an opportunity to fulfil their dream of starting a radical mass movement that might one day reverberate around the world. But in the intervening period they devoted their energies to fomenting a revolution against the US government, immersed as it was in upholding all the social and political institutions which they wanted to abolish: Capitalism, industrial corporations, big business and the armed forces. These they regarded as the causes of poverty and injustice in the world.

Key to the technique of protest was to project an image as a victim in the “class struggle” described by Karl Marx, then to seize the moral high ground by attacking the other side as the greedy, guilty “bourgeois.” It is essential to keep in mind that Day’s theories for a new social order share a common identity: they were all part of a “culture of victimization” which claims that any kind of social disadvantage is due entirely to “oppression” by the “bourgeoisie”. That explains her presumption that in the struggle for “liberation” the poor and the workers were by definition always innocent even when they resorted to armed violence, and rich capitalists always the guilty party even when they contributed notably to the common good. Carol Byrne, (2010). The Catholic worker movement (1933-1980): A critical analysis. United Kingdom: AuthorHouse UK Ltd. (pp. ix-x)

Lukenbill Ibid. (pp. 89-90)

I think that in Dorothy Day’s case, she had conflated Communism with Catholicism so deeply in her own mind and spirit that they were virtually one and the same thing to her—a classic case of being duped—a form of thinking still very prevalent within the Catholic left, especially those still, and they are many, enamored with Liberation Theology.

Now that her cause for sainthood has been approved by the American bishops to move her from the current designation as Servant of God, to the next step in the canonization process, the history of the Vatican’s connection to Russian Communism through the period when the Fatima call from the Holy Virgin to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart was not responded to, due, in large part, to the Vatican influence of Orthodox Russian Metropolitans now known to have been KGB directed, will perhaps be examined.

Lukenbill Ibid. (p. 92)

I trust soundness will prevail and Dorothy Day will not become a saint, though admiration for her work with the poor, even tinged at it is with the anger and hostility against capitalism and the American way, is warranted and it is an admiration I share.

Cell Phones & Computers in Prisons

The criminals in prison are getting better-equipped to commit crimes, as this article from CNN reports.

An excerpt.

Lax security allowed inmates at an Ohio prison to build two computers and connect them to the state’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s network, investigators found.

The computers were found hidden in the ceiling of the prison in Marion County in 2015, prompting an investigation by Ohio’s Inspector General.

The computers contained applications for credit cards using another inmate’s information, pornography, research on tax refund fraud, recipes for homemade drugs and message exchanges.

The Marion Correctional Institution inmates were also able to issue passes to gain access to multiple areas within the prison.

IT employees had received an alert about a computer using ODRC’s computer network that “had exceeded a daily internet usage threshold.” The alert also pointed out that the computers were being used with a former employee and prison contractor’s stolen credentials.

The resourceful inmates had access to old computer parts through a prison program that employs inmates to dismantle old gadgets for recycling.

During the investigation, two inmates allegedly admitted to building the computers and placing them in the ceiling. One of them told investigators they transported the computers within the prison due to “pretty lax” supervision from some of the corrections officers, according to a report released Tuesday.

“Inmates were allowed unsupervised access to computers and computer parts. Inmates were allowed unsupervised access to vast areas of the institution, and unsupervised time to build, transport, run computer cables, and hide the computers in the ceiling,” the report said.

“Investigators determined prisoners took advantage of the freedoms, programs, and lax security standards at MCI,” it concluded.

Mary Magdalene

A wonderful article about her from the Remnant Newspaper.

An excerpt.

Saint Mary Magdalen is one of those favored souls who actually walked with Our Lord, witnessed His passion and death, and yet kept the faith even after seeing firsthand the horrors of His Crucifixion. “God is dead,” the Romans told her, but she paid them little mind then even as we should when they claim the same thing today.

In a time of discouragement and loss of faith, Magdalene emerges as the powerful patroness of hope and perseverance. She is not a doctor of the Church, but she shows what love of Christ can attain, even for poor, ignorant sinners, and how God crowns such love with His predilection.  Her books were the Soul and the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and her wisdom was Eternal Wisdom Itself. She is also the one who wept for Christ because she could not find Him. “The Angels said to her ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them ‘Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him’.’”

And for the sake of her enduring, faithful love, she was chosen by Our Lord to be an Apostle to the Apostles.  It fell to St. Mary Magdalene to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the bewildered, discouraged apostles who had hidden themselves away in the upper room “for fear of the Jews….”

Today, as our families divide, our Mass disappears, our world becomes plagued by war, we, too, do not always know where to find Him. Even in Catholic churches the tabernacle is often hidden away to make room for deified man in the sanctuaries. Where have they taken Him?

At a time such as this, it seems most fitting to turn to those who retained Hope even during the darkest hours in human history when there seemed to be little reason to persevere. Some say ours is the most terrible time in history, and yet what must it have been like for Magdalene at that cataclysmic moment when the Messiah breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit? Can you imagine the silence and desolation at the foot of the Cross just then!

This great saint saw the physical Body of Our Lord expire before her eyes. And, yet, far from despairing on that first Good Friday, she wept and prayed and never ceased to seek His Adorable Face. His death on the Cross did not crush her faith, her love or her hope. What cause have we, then, to despair now as the Mystical Body of Christ seems to be expiring (in its human element) before our eyes. Easter Sunday will come, Mary knew it and so must we. Patiently, she waited with Our Lady in the shadow of the Cross, for the third day to dawn. And so must we.

A frequent accusation leveled at tradition-minded Catholics these days is that we, in our arrogance, see ourselves as “more Catholic than the Church”. If there be any truth to this charge it is to be sadly lamented. But one wonders if Mary wasn’t accused of something similar, standing as she did beneath the Cross after all but one of the apostles had fled. Who is she? Who does she think she is? Peter isn’t even there!

It was love, not arrogance, that inspired Mary to stand at the foot of the Cross even when Peter was absent; so, too, it is love—love for Our Lord and His Church—that inspires Catholics today to cling to the Faith of the ages, even, alas, when most of the Apostles seem to be hiding for fear of the Jews.

And lest this be confused with illusions of grandeur or exaggerated holiness on our part, we hasten to admit that fear is also a motivator. We’re afraid to depart from Tradition for fear that our faith will fail us. If salvation was so difficult to attain in centuries past—back when Christendom reigned and there was still the glory of the Tridentine Mass offered daily throughout the world; devotions; holy armies of monks and brides of Christ; good Catholic schools; thriving, orthodox parishes, priests and seminaries—how endangered must our souls be now when only a shell of the great Catholic fortress remains standing?

Who among us is fool enough to presume, therefore, that salvation is easily within his grasp when the bulwarks of the old Faith that stood strong for almost two thousand years have fallen into ruin and the Church has been invaded by her ancient enemy? We’re no heroes; we remain paralyzed with fear, our arms wrapped around Tradition like Mary’s around the Cross. What else can we do?

We look at the crisis within our Church and we see therein the passion of the Mystical Body of Christ unfolding before our eyes. And in the darkness that is falling again, we plead as Mary might have: Dear Jesus, we are not strong enough to be without You; we are afraid of the Romans. Permit us to remain here with You a while longer.

Good Friday

A wonderful post from Remnant Newspaper.

An excerpt.

At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death.  At the time Crucifixion was the “worst” death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe. Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.

Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering?

A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side… but do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body. A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture. ” He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds.

The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest. All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed). Jesus had to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven, so that you can have free access to God. So that your sins could be “washed” away. He died for you. Will you die for Him?

Do not be ashamed to be a Christian. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me before others, I also will deny before My Father in heaven”. Yes, I love God. He is my source of life and my Savior. He keeps me alive day and night. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.

This is the simple proof. If you love God and you are a believer and trust in salvation through Christ Jesus, remember this. Wear the scapular. Carry the rosary. Make the Sign of the Cross. Let the world see Him through you. Never hesitate to tell the world: I am a Christian. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Catholic.

Holy Thursday

A wonderful post from the Conservative Treehouse Blog and be sure to watch the video at the link.

An excerpt.

At the end of the liturgy on Holy Thursday evening, in every Catholic Church around the world, the Blessed Sacrament is removed to the altar of repose, the altar is stripped, the church is bare, empty. Tomb-like. It is a striking and heartbreaking tradition, and I make sure to attend each year, to allow my heart to break, my tears to fall, my spirit to be clouded in gloom and dread, preparing for Good Friday, and Christ’s passion.

My purpose in sharing this video is to encourage those of you who let Easter sneak up on you, without much thought beforehand, to find your own ways to open your heart and experience the pain of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Perhaps dedicate an hour to prayer and scripture. Go to a church and wait with Jesus during the hours of 12 to 3. Give alms. Go to a Good Friday service. Fast. Cut off the phones, televisions, computers.

Observing these two solemn days of the Christian calendar will make your Easter more meaningful, and enrich your faith.

Object Lesson

An excellent one from New York, regarding liberal failures dealing with criminals, as it spins back to dysfunctionality, essentially dismantling Broken Windows Policing—the most innovative and effective policing strategy first developed in New York City—from City Journal.

An excerpt.

The last time Official New York decided that criminals mattered more than civic tranquility, John Vliet Lindsay was mayor and decades of chaos lay ahead. Then came law-and-order types like Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, and Mike Bloomberg; crackdowns ensued, and peace largely returned to the streets.

Now the pendulum is swinging back to dysfunction. And it public policy in New York increasingly seems driven by the same kind of “turn’em-loose” ethic that animated Lindsay’s administration decades ago.

In Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo was a motivating force behind the now largely successful effort to exempt 16- and 17-year-olds from felony statutes—the “Raise the Age” movement—with scant regard for the consequences of doing so. Plus, the governor is clamoring to close the Rikers Island jail complex—but without offering a realistic public-safety alternative. While Cuomo is far from alone in endorsing these positions, he brings the prestige of New York’s highest political office to the effort.

At City Hall, Mayor Bill de Blasio has allowed himself to be dragooned into the Close Rikers movement—he initially recognized its practical pitfalls, then moved to capture the spotlight in his characteristically flexible manner. He was also a Raise the Age cheerleader, has demonstrably reduced civility and safety standards in the public schools, flooded the streets with often-aggressive vagrants, signed federal consent decrees that rendered Rikers less safe, and made it far more difficult than it needs to be to protect New York from Islamist terrorism.

And to plop a cherry on all this, eight members of New York’s congressional delegation have joined a who’s who of city political leaders urging parole for Judith Clark, an unrepentant former terrorist now serving time for the murders of two upstate cops and a security guard. (Cuomo started that ball rolling by granting Clark clemency for the murders in January.)

New York’s political leaders also favor sanctuary status for New York—a blatant thumb to the nose for the rule of law and a potential boon to violent illegal aliens statewide. Just last week, a Staten Island judge ruled that the city can indeed destroy all the background documentation for holders of the IDNYC municipal identification card—to make sure that law enforcement can never check up on their immigration status.

While individual motives differ here, one common thread binds the various disciples of dysfunction: by and large, they can insulate themselves from the consequences of the policy changes they’re prescribing. The same can’t be said of the less well-placed, or of New York itself.

For example, former state chief judge Jonathan Lippmann—a boyhood friend and political protégé of the disgraced former speaker of the state assembly Sheldon Silver—chaired the commission that recently urged the shutdown of Rikers Island. Among Lippman’s often-outlandish recommendations was the decriminalization of prostitution as a means of reducing the jail population—a typical call to treat symptoms rather than address antisocial behavior directly. While Lippman may have advanced the idea in good faith, it also came with no apparent awareness of what it might mean for tourism hubs like Times Square, or for marginal outer-borough neighborhoods already struggling with urban pathologies.

This is no small matter. For one thing, tourism is the second-most fruitful segment of the municipal economy; one endangers that industry at the city’s peril. For another, law enforcement has turned a blind eye to street-level prostitution before—in the days when New York was called “Fun City,” even though it was anything but: it was an era obsessed with individual rights, never individual responsibilities, and the imbalance put law-abiding New Yorkers at a too-often-deadly disadvantage.

The move toward greater empathy for the criminal class makes a kind of perverse sense. Individual victims tend to be out of sight, out of mind, and debilitated neighborhoods have no standing in court. But perpetrators are utterly visible, standing front and center before a judge, often with sad stories, and they command attention. It’s understandably human to want to rehabilitate—and so it’s natural that the maladaptive wheel gets the grease, consequences be damned.

Catholic Leaders Vision Askew

Terribly askew, as noted in this article from Crisis Magazine.

An excerpt.

I recently wrote a piece about the civilizational struggle with Islam. In response, a reader asked for some specific practical ways that Catholics could resist Islam. I replied with a short list of steps Church leaders could take:

  1. Break off dialogue with Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups such as ISNA and ICNA. Stop lending them legitimacy.
  2. Stop backing the phony “Islamophobia”/hate crimes campaign manufactured by Islamist groups. The “Islamophobia” campaign is aimed at shutting down all legitimate examination and criticism of Islam.
  3. Develop apologetics and educational materials that will provide Catholics with a fuller understanding of Islam.
  4. Develop programs in Catholic schools, colleges, and seminaries that will better inform Catholics about Islam. Currently, most Catholic schools are acting as apologists for Islam—simply echoing the Islamic apologists.
  5. Catholic refugee resettlement programs should concentrate on resettling Christian refugees from Muslim countries. Catholic encouragement of Muslim migration to Europe has already had disastrous results and may eventually lead to the extinction of Catholicism in Europe.
  6. Catholic media need to present a more balanced picture of Islam. For the most part, the Catholic fourth estate simply seconds the Islam-positive view of the USCCB.

At that point I realized that these suggestions would not even be considered by the great majority of the Catholic leadership. They would be dismissed out of hand as both unnecessary and discriminatory. In short, Catholic leaders won’t take steps to resist Islam because they see no reason to resist it.

Historically, Islam has been an enemy of the Church. It conquered large parts of the Christian world and, on several occasions, it advanced far into Christian Europe. Moreover, these conquests and attempted conquests were motivated not only by expansionist ambitions but also and primarily for religious motives. Christians were infidels and Allah and his prophet commanded that unbelievers must be subdued.

Islam still wants to conquer the Christian world and, in particular, Christian Europe. This time, however, the battle plan is different. Instead of an army of soldiers, Islam has deployed an army of migrants. This army has encountered very little resistance on its march through Europe. Indeed, for the most part, it has been welcomed by the authorities and subsidized by them.

In addition to this Trojan horse tactic, Muslims have another strategy of conquest. For a long time, the Muslim birth rate in Europe has far exceeded the native European birth rate. In this “war of the wombs,” Islam is the clear winner. “Mohammed” is the most popular name for baby boys in numerous European cities, and in some places—such as Birmingham and Vienna—there are already more Muslim than Christian children. When the recent influx of millions of Muslim refugees is added to the tens of millions of Muslims already living in Europe, it makes for a combustible critical mass. It means that Islam has been able to establish a fifth column of immense proportions inside Europe’s borders.

Stopping Broken Windows Policing

It is the agenda behind the proposal to close Rikers Island, the largest correctional institution in America, according to this article from City Journal, one of the best conservative magazines out there.

An excerpt.

New York City’s plan to shut down Rikers Island is a bait-and-switch scheme. The report of Judge Jonathan Lippmann’s blue-ribbon Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, tasked with figuring out what to do with the nation’s largest jail complex, concludes that the city should close Rikers and replace it with smaller, borough-based modern jails. Before that can happen, however, the report says, the city must first reduce its jail population from its present level of about 10,000 to around 5,000.

Politically and logistically implausible, the Lippmann Report’s recommendations are a ruse. The real purpose of the proposal isn’t to close Rikers: it’s to let 5,000 people out of jail by pursuing a decriminalization agenda that would end Broken Windows policing as we know it and allow miscreants to commit quality-of-life offenses with impunity.

Anchoring the commission’s report is a set of unstated premises which, if put into practice, would radically change the way New York City is policed, beginning with a focus on the negative effects of incarceration on arrestees. “Spending time in jail is bad for you on a host of levels,” the report says, as though the downsides of going to jail were an inadvertent mistake of the judicial system. It’s the same kind of thinking that inspired the proposal of a notorious 2014 city council resolution (not passed) calling on the NYPD to stop arresting subway fare-beaters because “in addition to being very disruptive, an arrest can cause significant stress” to turnstile jumpers. The problem with crime, from this perspective, is the adverse consequences that getting caught has on the criminal.

One way to reduce such stress, then, is to stop viewing certain behavior as criminal. Thus, the commission recommends “reclassifying four charges as civil, and not criminal, matters: theft of services (using public transportation without paying the fare), low-level possession of marijuana in public view, prostitution, and possession of ‘gravity knives.’” By raising the bar of what constitutes crime, we would lower the crime rate and thus have fewer people to punish.

The commission also suggests that the city “look to eliminate sentences of 30 days or fewer” in favor of vaguely defined “community-based alternatives.” The notion that jail should rehabilitate as well as punish is commendable, but the Lippmann Report refuses to acknowledge that the unpleasantness of jail is meant also to deter crime—the threat of a five-day jail sentence for petty theft sounds pointless to liberal advocates, but not to a potential thief, for whom it can be a real restraint. For radical sociologists, however, punishment begets crime; as they see it, the best way to deter deviance is to eliminate its penalty.

The Lippmann Report traffics in pernicious myths about the role of racism in criminal justice, noting that, “Blacks and Latinos comprise slightly more than half of our City’s overall population but are nearly 90 percent of our jail population.” As a result of this imbalance, according to the commission, the system must make “special efforts to address the overrepresentation of Black/African-Americans and Latinos” in the city’s jails.

Blacks and Latinos are overrepresented in the city’s jail population because they commit a disproportionate amount of the city’s crime. This tendency is borne out not just in arrest statistics, but in the descriptive reports of victims who register complaints with the police: in fact, the overlap in racial composition between “proactive arrests” and “victim driven arrests” for misdemeanors is almost exact. The data is uncontroversial and available on the NYPD website. It’s not surprising to hear advocates and liberal politicians suggest continuously that nonwhites are the victims of a racist police state, but a commission that praises its own “evidence-based” approach to criminal justice should be more rigorous in its analysis.

The Lippmann Commission’s report goes to a final extreme when it attempts to classify violent criminals themselves as a marginalized group. “Certain populations remained underserved,” the report reads, “including women; young people; people who are LGBTQ; people with mental illnesses; people who suffer from an addiction and are convicted of property crimes; and people charged with serious or violent offenses.” Women, youth, gay or trans people, and the mentally ill are demographic categories, individual members of which may or may not have been done wrong by society: in any case, they are who they are. But in what sense can convicted thieves or people charged with “serious or violent offenses” be considered a group that suffers discrimination, with a presumably actionable demand for restitution? The commission’s report expands the universe of official victims to include those who victimize others.