Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pope Benedict was right about Islam at Regensburg. The world owes him an apology.

Pope Benedict was right about Islam at Regensburg. The world owes him an apology.

As I write, the headlines and my various news feeds are filled with images of some of the most loathsome barbarities we have seen since the end of World War II. The horrific images invading our internet space from Syria and (the country formerly known as) Iraq: Mass murders, crucifixions, beheadings – even of tiny children – torture, and systematic gang rapes; women and girls abducted en masse and sold into slavery; thousands chased out of their homes in terror, allowed to carry nothing with them; homes, ancient churches, monasteries and shrines looted and burned…
Beyond horrific, the images and the news they depict are bizarre and surreal, as though the violent chaos of the 7th century had burst insanely into a quiet Midwestern suburb. We are being shown, in graphic detail on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google, some hint of what the Islamic conquest of those ancient Christian lands we now call the Middle East must have looked like. We are reminded now of the long centuries of darkness, of misery and oppression of non-Muslim indigenous populations by their Islamic overlords, that spurred Christendom to attempt their rescue in the Crusades.
We are close today to the 8th anniversary, September 12th, of the address given by Pope Benedict XVI at the University of Regensburg in 2006, in which he quoted a long-dead Christian emperor who was facing similar reports. About a week ago, an editorial writer for the Catholic Italian newspaper Il Foglio, Camillo Langone, wrote that the world owed Pope Benedict – and Emperor Paleologus – an apology over their reaction to that speech. 
“Today, when the news from ex-Iraq is once more making history, and is showing to anyone who has eyes to see what the Koran translated into action truly is, they need to apologize to both of you.” But, Langone said, with obvious disgust, the modern secularized European “won’t do it”. Such a man, he wrote, “doesn’t believe in sacred texts…doesn’t believe in the Gospel.”
“For a European to believe that someone believes in religion is impossible… One who is no longer able to believe in God is not even capable of believing in reality, [and] does not even recognize a sword when it is pressing into his neck.”
Returning to that address with our current more graphic knowledge, it is hard to imagine a more mild response to Islamic extremism. Pope Benedict spoke about a discussion, a dialogue, “carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus” on the subject of Islam, the threat of which, in the form of the Ottoman Empire, was forcefully before him.
It is recorded that the Emperor, whom Pope Benedict described as “an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam,” asked, “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The pope noted that the comment was recorded sometime “during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402.” The pope also noted that the Emperor spoke with “startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable.” But it is obvious that the emperor was also a man in a position to speak from personal experience.  
Since his talk, Pope Benedict has heard the constant accusations, endlessly repeated by the western press, that his “offensive” remarks, his “blunder” about Islam, caused the violence that followed.
But what did he say? He called quietly for a return to the supremacy of reason in religious discourse, and he politely asked Muslims to abjure violence.
The smug western secular media, busy with their attacks on one of their favorite targets, failed to quote the rest of the paragraph. But there can be found the thesis not only of Pope Benedict’s lecture, but of Christianity’s real response to both the uncontrolled violence of Islamism and to our own intellectually impoverished pleasure-obsessed libertinism: reason and faith, “fides et ratio” and their harmonious collaboration to create a moral and just civil order.
“The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul,” Pope Benedict said.
He quoted Paleologus: “God…is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...”
Given the images burning like acid into our minds now, how mild, how utterly calm and reasonable do the words now seem. And how plainly wicked the demands that he retract and apologize because of the “offence” they had caused Muslims: how feigned and deceitful, how self-serving the manufactured “outrage”.
When we can work up the nerve to look at these images coming from the new Islamic State, the new “Caliphate”, we are stunned and overwhelmed, and wonder if indeed this could possibly be happening in the age of near global market saturation of western consumables. How can this be happening in a “globalized” world? What has happened to our “global village”? Hasn’t modernity, with all its comforts and distractions, friendly, western secular Coca Cola imperialism, succeeded in civilizing everyone and taming the whole world?
One photo stands out this week, of a boy, about eight years old, reported to be the young son of one of the “Islamic State” terrorists, dressed in a blue Polo For Kids t-shirt, plaid checked summer trousers, what look like Birkenstocks and baseball cap, proudly holding up a decapitated head. Heads must be heavy, since the little boy needs two hands to hold it up by the hair. The Sydney Morning Herald, that carried the photo, with the boy’s face pixeled out, ran the caption, “A boy believed to be Australian Khaled Sharrouf’s son holds the decapitated head of a soldier.  From Khaled Sharrouf's Twitter account.” One does not usually imagine an apocalyptic dystopia featuring so many name brands.
In the face of this terrifying modern resurgence of the ancient threat, of such gross and unnatural barbarities, it is getting harder for western intellectual liberals to continue echoing the old mantras. The hard truth must be faced eventually, even by the most determined; not everyone in the world thinks the same way we do, holds the same values, has the same goals. Not every culture is of equal value. Not all men are equally “right” in what they believe.
And if the message of the photos and videos were not getting through our thick western skulls, we have today a direct warning from the leader of the ancient Christian community that has been decimated by ISIS. The Chaldean Catholic Church traces its heritage to St. Thomas, the doubting Apostle of Christ. A few days ago, we all saw the headline saying that, for the first time in 1600 years, Mass was not being said in the ancient Christian town of Mosul because all the Christians, all the Chaldean Catholics, had been either killed, expelled or kidnapped, to be sold later into chattel slavery.
Speaking from his exile in the dubious and perhaps temporary safety of the northern Iraqi town of Erbil, the head of this lost and grieving community, Archbishop Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, told us quite bluntly, and without the niceties required by Pope Benedict’s civilized academic audience, that the time for indulging our comfortable liberal fantasies is over.
“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those that you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future,” said the archbishop in an interview with Corriere della Sera. “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.
“Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims.”
He warns us, “Also, you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles.”
Erbil is 55 miles east of Mosul, in territory currently holding off IS attackers, but it is certainly in their path. Corriera della Sera reports that the bishop has asked for material aid for the exiles huddling in shock there. “8,000 people, many elderly, a disproportionate number (for us Westerners) of children, babies of a few months, many dehydrated with diarrhea. A septuagenarian asks for insulin. Others write on scraps of crumpled paper the names of medicines that nobody knows where to find. 
“Tens of rusty wheelchairs were donated by humanitarian organizations for the sick and are used as chairs for the old. The local Christian organizations together with UN agencies have improvised a canteen service that distributes white rice, bread, bottled water. The toilets are almost useless.”
The archbishop continues: “You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”

The Angels and the Spiritual Life

The Angels and the Spiritual Life

The Angels and the Spiritual Life

Angels and the Spiritual Life
The assistance of the angels that is given to the soul at Baptism is to continue throughout the whole course of its life. Not even sins can suppress it. They can only sadden the angel of the soul. But angels do not merely protect the soul against the attacks of the Devil; they also try to make it progress in the spiritual life. This is the first aspect under which the spiritual life appears in relation with the angels. On the other hand, following a teaching that has its source in the Gospel itself, the spiritual life appears as an imita­tion of the life of the angels and a participation in their life. It re­introduces the soul into the angelic creation. But the fact remains that the ascension of the soul leads it even higher than the angels. The Christian mystery is the exaltation of humanity above the sphere of the angels. This mystery, which is true first of all of Christ Himself, is true of the whole of human nature, which He leads along with Him as a retinue.


This article is from a chapter in The Angels and Their Mission. It is available from Sophia Institute Press.
Gregory of Nyssa applies a verse of the Canticle of Canticles to this activity of the angels: “The guards who go about the city struck me.” These guards, he says, are the ministers of the one who watches over Israel. The blows they strike the soul, and the veil they lift from it are a figure of the purifying operations they accomplish in it. Gregory compares the verse of the Canticle to the passage in Isaiah: “Just as here the bride says that she is struck and wounded by the guards and robbed of her veil as well, there, in the same manner, in place of the veil, it is the heavenly lintel that is drawn up so that the realities in the sanctuary can be contem­plated without obstruction. In place of the guardians, there is men­tion of the Seraphim. Instead of a rod, there are burning coals; instead of blows, a bright fire.”
Pseudo-Dionysius likewise describes this purifying activity, con­necting it with the Seraphim; but, in conformity with his hierar­chical view, he explains that it is through the intermediary of lower hierarchies that the Seraphim perform this activity. “The theologian learned that purification and all the functions of the divine Lordship, reflected through the degrees of higher essences, are shared by all the other essences in proportion to the part each of them plays in the divine work. . . That is why he attributes the property of purifying by means of fire first of all after God Himself to the Seraphim.” The purifying operations come from God as their one source; but the principal ministers are the Seraphim, who perform the purifications through the lower angels.


United to the function of purification is that of illumination. This role of the angels is particularly dear to St. Thomas Aquinas, who studies the modalities in it. Before him, Gregory Nazianzen had described it. It is in his writings that the role of light receives a position of importance:
God is the supreme light, inaccessible and ineffable, incom­prehensible to the mind, unspeakable by any word, illumi­nating all of the spiritual creation. He is in the world of intelligibles what the sun is in the visible world. The more we purify ourselves, the more we know Him; and the more we know Him, the more we love Him. . . The second in the order of light is the angel, an emanation or participation of the first light, illuminated by turning toward it and follow­ing it. It shares in this illumination, according to the degree of its nature, unless perhaps the degree of its nature is deter­mined by its illumination. The last sentence marks his hesitation between Origen’s conception of hierarchy ac­cording to grace and the conception that will prevail in Pseudo-Dionysius of a hierarchy of natures.
Now, illuminated by God, after having turned toward Him, the angelic powers illuminate in their turn those who are lower than they. If someone were to say something in praise of the angels, he might say that they are illuminated from on high by a most power­ful illumination, each in his own manner, in accord with his na­ture and rank. They are so informed and imprinted by the source of all beauty that they themselves become lights and thus illumi­nate others with the light that is derived and communicated to them from the first light; for they are servants of the divine will and penetrate forcefully everywhere both by nature and by grace, leading all to unity under the sole command of the Creator of all.292 In these texts, a descending hierarchical order can be observed, in accordance with which the light of the Trinity is communicated through the various angels to man. That is the doctrine Pseudo-Dionysius develops at length.
What he really does is systematize this concept more vigor­ously and in particular set it in relation with the doctrine of the nine choirs of angels. Here the whole Celestial Hierarchy could well be quoted, but there is one passage that sums up its teaching:
The oldest rank among the intelligent beings who surround God, initiated into the mysteries by means of illuminations that have come to them from the Source and Principle of all illumination and toward whom they rise without the of­fice of any intermediary, receive the office of purifying, illu­minating, and finishing. After them, in proportion to the nature of each, the second order, and after the second the third, and after the third the hierarchy of men, in accord with a divine system of proportions, each rises hierarchi­cally toward the Source and Goal of all harmony. These or­ders are each to serve as revealers and messengers for the orders that precede them.


Through these purifications and illuminations, the angels lead the soul to the peaks of the spiritual life. In revealing the beauty of God, they awaken in the soul a more burning thirst for union with Him. Thus, they are the friends of the Bridegroom in a new sense, leading the soul to the wedding chamber where it will celebrate its mystical marriage with the Word. It is these angels that Gregory of Nyssa sees in the Canticle of Canticles: “After having testified to the beauty of the soul, the friends of the Bridegroom who make ready His spotless wedding chamber and form the escort of the pure Bride, show her the beauty of the royal couch to stir up in her an even greater desire for a divine life and a holy union with Him.” Thus, the activity of the angels accompanies the soul all during its ascent. “The souls make their way toward the Almighty in happiness and joy, protected and escorted by the angels.”
spiritual life assimilates it to the life of the angels. This theme can be found already in the Gospel, where it is said that the “elect will be like the angels of God in heaven.”296 The perfect life is an antic­ipation of this final eschatological transformation. The spiritual life reintroduces the soul into heavenly familiarity with the an­gels. Thus, Origen writes, “But set forth, nor be afraid of the desert solitude. Soon even the angels will come to join you.298 This theme is developed by Methodius of Olympia in the Banquet of the Twelve Virgins and is taken up again by Gregory of Nyssa. For him, the spiritual life makes the soul enter into the world of the angels. Thus he writes of his sister Macrina: “Living in the flesh, she was not held down by the weight of the body, but her life was light and ethereal, and she walked upon the heights with the Powers of heaven.”And likewise of his brother Basil: “Having risen above the zone of this sensible universe, he would abide in the world of intelligibles and converse with the Powers of heaven, without any carnal weight to impede the progress of his spirit.”

Our participation in the life of the angels

But this return to a place among the heavenly Powers signifies a participation in their being. The soul that rises toward God is declared to be like to the angels. “The beauty of the soul is likened to the cavalry that defeats the Egyptians — that is, the army of the angels [Cant. 1:8].” And elsewhere, commenting on the com­parison between the Bride and an army drawn up in battle array, he writes, “These armies in battle array are those where the Powers are in perpetual sway, where the Dominations rule forever, where the Thrones are established, never to be changed, where the Prin­cipalities abide independent. Since these powers have been or­dained by God and since the order of the powers above this world always remains without confusion, with no evil ever attacking their good order, the soul, in their image, does everything with moderation and thus provokes as much admiration for her as the orderly battle array.”
What allies the soul to the angels is its detachment from the life of sense. “Scripture admonishes our souls to contemplate the stable nature of the angels, so that our stability in virtue will be fortified by their example. For since it has been promised us that the life after the resurrection will resemble the condition of the angels — and He who made that promise does not lie — it follows that already our life in this world should be in conformity with that which will follow, so that living in the flesh and finding our­selves upon the battlefield of this world, we ought not to live ac­cording to the flesh and join forces with this world, but we should already begin to conform with the life we hope for after that of this world. That is why the Bride exhorts the souls to turn toward the powers of heaven, in imitation of their detachment, to attain to the purity of the angels.”
This is the whole of the doctrine. Men are destined to partici­pate after death in the life of the angels; the spiritual life makes them anticipate this condition; finally it is the apatheia (impassi­bility) that constitutes the imitation of the angelic purity. This oc­curs again and again in Gregory. One more image expresses this return to the angelic nature: that of the night-watch, which makes man like those angels whom Scripture calls night-watchmen. “The soul illuminated by the Word becomes a stranger to the slumber of illusion. It is a type of angelic life to which He thus in­troduces us.”
More particularly, virginity is an anticipation of the life of the angels. The idea is developed by Methodius of Philippi: “The wings of virginity lead to the borders of angelic life.” Gregory of Nyssa repeats it: “Since the Lord has told us that life after the res­urrection is like that of the angels and since a characteristic of an­gelic life is that it knows nothing of marriage, those who practice virginity are already imitating the incorporeal beings.”
In those authors in whom the theme of an angelic hierarchy appears, this idea of an assimilation to the life of the angels takes on the form of a successive assimilation to the different orders of the angels. The soul takes on the form of each of them in the mea­sure that it rises in the hierarchy. This doctrine appears in Clem­ent of Alexandria; according to his curious conception of things, the soul is instructed first of all by the angel who is immediately above it, then it takes on the nature of that angel and is instructed by the next angel of a higher rank. Under this form, the doc­trine cannot be held, since it supposes that natures are not fixed. St. Thomas, however, keeps the idea of an “assumption” of the soul into the various angelic orders, on the plane of grace. Actu­ally, according to his doctrine, the grace of the angels is propor­tionate to their nature, whereas that of men is not.308 The grace of any man, therefore, can lead him first to the degree of grace of one angelic order and then to that of a higher order.
Thus, the angels accompany the soul throughout the length of its spiritual life. Still, this should not obscure one final point: namely, that their role remains above all one of preparation. They lead the soul toward Christ, but leave it there alone with Him. They are the friends of the Bridegroom who withdraw when the Bridegroom is there. Origen was the first really to emphasize this characteristic of the action of the angels, the fact that it is con­cerned with the beginnings of the spiritual life: “Look and see if it is not above all the children, led by fear, who have angels; and if in the case of the more advanced, it is not the Lord of the angels who says to each of them, ‘I am with you in tribulation.’ To the extent that we are imperfect, we have need of an angel to free us from evils. But when we are mature and when we have passed the time for being under teachers and masters, we can be led by Christ Himself.”
Here Origen stresses a general aspect of the doctrine of the an­gels: their relation with beginnings and preparations. It is they who prepared the path of Christ in the Old Testament; they are the friends of the Bridegroom whose joy is perfect when they hear the voice of the Bridegroom and who leave the Bride alone with Him; it is they who, as the Gospel teaches, have a particular rela­tionship with children. So their role remains connected with the beginnings of the spiritual life. They draw the soul to good by no­ble inspirations, and they give it a horror of sin. Thus, they dispose it to receive the visitation of the Word. But they withdraw before Him. In the course of its spiritual ascent, the soul passes first of all through the angelic spheres, but it goes beyond in order to arrive at the realm of God. The whole mission of the angels is to lead souls to the King of the angels and then to disappear before Him.
This idea that the soul, after having entered into the sphere of the angels, goes through it and passes beyond it, appears in a beau­tiful extract from Clement of Alexandria, who recalls the role of the angels as friends of the Bridegroom whose only duty is to lead the soul to the threshold of the wedding chamber:
The priest, upon entering within the second veil, would take off his mitre beside the altar of incense. He himself would enter further in silence, with the Name engraved upon his heart. Thus, he showed that the setting aside of the golden mitre which had become purified and light by the cleansing, as it were, of the body, was really a setting aside of the heaviness of the soul. . . He puts aside this light mitre when he has come with it inside the second veil in the world of the intelligible, that is, the second veil, along­side the altar of incense, beside the ministers of the prayers that are being offered, the angels. Then the naked soul, having become in reality a high priest, is thereafter moved directly by the Word. . . Passing beyond the teaching of the angels, she goes on to the knowledge and understanding of things, no longer merely betrothed but dwelling with the Bridegroom.”
This beautiful text is a fine résumé of the doctrine: the soul, having entered into the angelic world through the illuminative life, then passes through it and enters into the unitive life, which is that of the Bride, and there it is moved directly by the Word. Gregory of Nyssa develops the same theme, but in relation to a dif­ferent image: that of the Bride in the Canticle, who begs each of the guards of the city, the angels, for her Bridegroom: “In spirit she runs through the intelligible world of the Principalities, the Pow­ers, and the Thrones to see if her Beloved is among them. But they keep silent. Then, leaving all that she has found, she recognizes Him whom she is seeking.”311 It is after having left the angels be­hind that the soul takes hold of God. Beyond the images that they leave upon her, she reaches Him as He really is, in the darkness of faith, through the grasp of love.
That is how the angels assist in the ascent of the soul. They see it leaving behind the darkness of sin, rising up to them by the life of grace, ascending even beyond them in the glory that the Word of God conferred on humanity when He united Himself to it. Greg­ory of Nyssa, commenting on this verse of the Canticle, describes their admiration:
Could it be that we, too, shall rise with the perfect dove who goes up toward the heights and that we, too, shall hear the voice of the friends of the Bridegroom admiring the beauty of her who comes up from the desert? What seems to me to cause the astonishment of the friends of the Bridegroom is that first of all they had seen this beautiful soul, but beauti­ful insofar as it was among women, and that, after having thus compared her beauty to gold set with silver stipples, now they admire her as a column of incense smoke rising from the desert. The very fact that they inquire among themselves about her always appearing under a different form from the one she formerly had is the greatest praise for the soul that progresses in holiness.”
So the soul rises, from transformation to transformation, up to union with God, amid the worlds of angels who cry out in their amazement. “Quae est ista? Who is this soul?” Christ rose toward His Father in the same way, amid the choirs of angels, who said one to another in admiration and amazement, “Quis est iste? Who is this man?” In reality it is the selfsame mystery. The ascension of the soul is a form of the Ascension of Christ. St. Ambrose, we re­call, pictures the angels wondering at the ascent of the newly bap­tized from the baptismal pool and crying out, “Quae est ista? Similarly, the angels who assist at the ascension of a martyr cry out, “Quis est iste?” Throughout all the planes of the Christian mystery, therefore, there is one same ascension through the midst of all the choirs of the angels.
Editor’s note: This article is adapted from a chapter in The Angels and Their Missionwhich is available from Sophia Institute Press. 
Jean Danielou


Jean Cardinal Daniélou was a French theologian, historian, and author. Ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1938, Father Daniélou went on to gain great renown as a scholar, particularly in the field of Patristics. Apart from his scholarly research and writing, Father Daniélou also penned many books, making his theological ideas- about prayer, worship, the early Church, the loving self-revelation of God through human history - accessible to a lay audience.

Friday, September 11, 2015

9/11 - 2015 - America's Reckless Refuge for Jihad

America's Reckless Refuge for Jihad

On the anniversary week of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Obama is rolling out the welcome mat to tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees. What could go wrong?
There's no need to hypothesize. Our nation remains utterly incapable of screening out legitimate dreamers from destroyers, liberty-seekers from liberty-stiflers. Indiscriminate asylum and refugee policies rob the truly deserving of an opportunity for freedom -- and threaten our national security.
It's shameful that our leaders in Washington, sworn to uphold and defend our Constitution and our people, suffer chronic amnesia about the fatal consequences of open borders. I'll keep reprinting my reminders. Maybe someday someone in a position of power will pay heed, throw political correctness out the window, and stop hitting the snooze button.
Have you forgotten? Boston jihadist brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received dubious asylum status through their parents thanks to lax vetting. After entering on short-term tourist visas, their mother and father (an ethnic Chechen Muslim) won asylum and acquired U.S. citizenship. Next, younger son Dzhokhar obtained U.S. citizenship. Older son Tamerlan, whose naturalization application was pending, traveled freely between the U.S. and the jihad recruitment zone of Dagestan, Russia, a year before executing their Boston Marathon massacre. Though they had convinced the U.S. that they faced deadly persecution, the Tsarnaevs' parents both had returned to their native land and were there when their sons perpetrated their bloody terror rampage.
Have you forgotten? Ramzi Yousef landed at New York City's JFK airport from Pakistan and flashed an Iraqi passport without a visa to inspectors. He was briefly detained for illegal entry and fingerprinted, but was allowed to remain in the country after invoking the magic words "political asylum." Yousef was released for lack of detention space and headed to Jersey City to plot the deadly 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Have you forgotten? Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder, entered the U.S. illegally through Canada in 1996-97. He claimed political asylum based on phony persecution by Israelis, was released on a reduced $5,000 bond posted by a man who was himself an illegal alien and then skipped his asylum hearing. In June 1997, a federal immigration judge ordered Mezer to leave on a "voluntary departure order." Mezer ignored him. He joined the New York City bombing plot before being arrested in July 1997 after a roommate tipped off local police.
Have you forgotten? Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted in 1997 of capital murder and nine other charges stemming from his January 1993 shooting spree outside the CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., also exploited our insane asylum laxity. Despite his history as a known Pakistani militant who had participated in anti-American protests abroad, Kansi received a business visa in 1991. After arrival, he claimed political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan. While his asylum application was pending, he obtained a driver's license and an AK-47, murdered two CIA agents and wounded three others.
Have you forgotten? Somali national Nuradin Abdi, the al-Qaida shopping mall bomb plotter convicted in 2007, first entered the U.S. in 1995 using a false passport. He entered again illegally from Canada in 1997 and secured asylum on false grounds. Abdi then was able to fraudulently obtain a refugee travel document, which he used to fly to Ethiopia and, yes, Chechnya for jihad training.
Have you forgotten? Among the convicted Fort Dix (N.J.) jihad plotters were three ethnic Albanian illegal alien brothers, Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, who snuck into the country through Mexico with their parents. In 1984, the father applied for asylum, but the feds ignored them for two decades. In the meantime, as America showed the Dukas' refugee community unmatched compassion and generosity, the Muslim trio returned the favor by planning to massacre U.S. soldiers.
Have you forgotten? Are you not paying attention? The Somali refugee population in Minnesota has been a gold mine for jihadist recruiters for ISIS. America has failed miserably to assimilate waves of young Muslims from Africa and the Middle East.
Our asylum and refugee programs are routinely abused by ordinary fraudsters and Islamic terror plotters alike. Our immigration enforcement failures are compounded by deadly illegal alien sanctuary policies, a deportation abyss that allows hundreds of thousands of deportation fugitives to run loose, and the persistent lack of a tracking system to identity and kick out millions of foreign visa overstayers.
When will Washington finally make it a priority to get our own trashed house in order?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015



soldierDo you want to be a radical Catholic?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. After all, the word radical can be a good or bad depending on the context. Sometimes it carries connotations of passionate commitment or admirable zeal. Other times, it can mean fanatical, freakish, or even dangerous devotion to a cause.
But I would argue we should all be radical Catholics. That’s because radical, in its strictest and truest sense, simply means rooted. The word radical comes from the Latin word radix. Radix means the root or foundation of something.
Men understand rootedness. We desire and appreciate things of quality, things with a venerable history, things that are tested and established. We like old cars made of steel and not plastic, gifts passed down from father to son for generations, ancient ceremonies, weathered buildings. Things that have proven themselves strong and true.
As Catholics, we should be radical because we should be rooted. But rooted in what? The traditions of the Church. Not just the infallible Sacred Traditions, but also the small-t devotional traditions that sanctified our forefathers for generations.
We live in an age that glorifies, even worships autonomy and personal choice. “What do you want? Which do you prefer? What makes you happy?” These are the questions everyone wants to be asked. Yet, the Catholic and Apostolic Faith is not something we modify to suit our preferences. It is not a Faith made in our own image. The Catholic Faith is something we receive. We no more choose or make it than we choose our birthday or family lineage.
Tradition has become somewhat of a dirty word in some Catholic circles. It is used dismissively or even derisively. Yet, a Catholic without tradition makes no sense—like a man waking from a coma only to realize he has no memory of who he is. Tradition is the memory of the Church. Without it, we are lost. We have no identity. We are quite literally rootless, tossed about by every passing fad and whim of our fickle age.
The Catholic Faith is not a menu of options, a smorgasbord of choice. Nor is something merely modern that began yesterday, 50 years ago, or even 500 years ago. It is the Faith once delivered to the saints. “Stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you received,” says St. Paul—and so we should.
If we Catholics would be strong, if we would withstand the assaults of the enemy, if we would prove ourselves faithful and true, we have no other choice but to steep ourselves in the traditions of our Faith. We must humbly receive the Faith, absorb it, let it seep into our bones. We must let our roots grow deep—for only then will we know who we really are.

10 Great Moments In Government Idiocy: The Obama Years Edition

10 Great Moments In Government Idiocy: The Obama Years Edition

When future generations of Americans look back at the Obama years and try to figure out why government was so dysfunctional, they shouldn’t discount the most obvious answer: The Democrat Party is run by idiots who would struggle with managing a child’s lemonade stand. What follows is a teaspoonful of stupid in the ocean full of “Derp” that are the Obama years. 
1) They Bring Illegal Aliens Into The United States: One of the most fundamental jobs of the U.S. government is securing our borders in order to keep foreigners from entering our nation at will. Not only has the Obama Administration completely and utterly failed at that task, it has created “family reunification programs” that fly illegal aliens INTO America so they can be with their relatives who have already broken the law to be here. You’ve heard of the fox guarding the henhouse; well, under the Obama Administration, we have the smugglers guarding the border. 
2) Guam Might Tip Over: During a House Armed Services Committee meeting in 2010, Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson had a somber, serious, dry conversation with an admiral about the danger of Guam becoming overpopulated and CAPSIZING. Despite that rather spectacular and well publicized bit of idiocy, Democrat voters have voted Johnson back into office THREE TIMES since then.
3) Trust, But Don’t Verify With Iran: In a move that seems likely to create a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, Barack Obama cut a deal with the Iranians that allows them to inspect their own military sites and declare that they’re not working on nuclear weapons. This is so stupid it sounds like something from a cartoon, but rest assured, real human beings who were put in charge of things actually agreed to this stipulation. 
4) Choose A Tax Cheat For Treasury Secretary: In a nation of 318 million people, the one person Obama wanted to be in charge of our tax code was tax cheat Timothy Geithner. When even the man who’s ultimately in charge of the IRS cheats on his taxes, what message does that send to the rest of the country? When the President chooses a tax cheat to be head of the Treasury, what does it tell Americans about the rule of law? It tells them that laws are for little people while the “elite” can do whatever they want. That’s a message the Obama Administration has repeated so many times that it has become a theme of the Democrat Party. 
5) EPA Facilitates Mine Spill: While examining a gold mine in Colorado, the EPA managed to accidentally dump a million gallons of toxic sludge into the Animas River in Colorado. Essentially, it was like that scene from Ghostbusters where EPA agent Walter Peck releases ghosts all over the city, except with a disgusting yellow death spew. 
6) Pass It To Find Out What’s In It: Nancy Pelosi told the American people that, "We have to pass the (Obamacare) bill so that you can find out what is in it," and bizarrely, that turned out to be true because almost every promise that was made about the Affordable Care Act was a lie. What a way to govern a nation!
7) Offer The Reset Button: Hillary Clinton, who is considered a serious candidate for President despite her unbroken record of ignominy and failure, offered the Russian foreign minister a button that was supposed to say “Reset.” Instead, it actually read “overcharge” in Russian. The State Department couldn’t even manage to translate a single word in Russian correctly under Hillary Clinton’s leadership. So let’s make her President!
8) Enact Cash For Clunkers: In a bizarre move designed to shore up the auto industry and reduce pollution, the government doled out 3 billion dollars in incentives to convince Americans to buy new cars. So, what happened? The taxpayers were out 3 billion, the auto industry LOST MONEY because people bought significantly cheaper cars than expected and in a flourish of legendary stupidity, the government destroyed all the used cars that were turned in. Not only did that keep the cars out of the hands of poor Americans who could have potentially used the vehicles, it caused a huge spike in used car prices. Cash for Clunkers could have just as easily been called Dumb-Dumbs For Disaster.
9) The JV Team Defeats Obama And Takes Over Part Of Iraq: Despite the fact that we’ve had troops in nations like Japan and Germany for 70 years, after Bush’s surge pacified Iraq, Obama engineered a complete pull-out of American troops. As a result, ISIS, which he had previously referred to as the “JV Team” has now taken control of a significant chunk of Iraq and Syria. All the blood, sweat and tears Americans shed over Iraq and it was all thrown away because Obama was too stupid to leave a few thousand soldiers in Iraq to help with intelligence, logistics, leadership and training. 
10) Who Needs To Read The Bills? During the debate over Obamacare, Americans learned Democrats aren’t even reading the bills they’re supporting anymore when John Conyers said,
"I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill.' What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?"
When the same people who tell you that giving more power to government is the solution to every problem admit they aren’t even reading legislation that impacts the lives of every American before they support it, it tells you a lot about why America has become so dysfunctional with Democrats in charge.http://townhall.com/columnists/johnhawkins/2015/09/08/10-great-moments-in-government-idiocy-the-obama-years-edition-n2049149

Friday, September 4, 2015

Homosexual movement is grave threat to freedom

Homosexual movement is grave threat to freedom

By Gina Miller

Up until now, apologists for the militant homosexual/"transgender" movement have aggressively insisted that Christians (and others standing in opposition) will still be free to live their faith and conscience in the wake of the Supreme Court's illegal imposition on our nation of same-sex "marriage." This is a lie. The militant homosexualist movement cannot, and will not, coexist with those who stand against its tyrannical agenda. In fact, Christian freedom is a specific target of these homosexualists who despise God, His Word and His people.

On Monday the Supreme Court gave us another proof of this when it rejected the appeal of Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The lunacy continues. The Supreme Court had no authority to do what it did in finding a nonexistent "right" in the Constitution for homosexuals to pretend to be "married," something that can never, in reality, be. Nor does the Court, or any other entity of law, have the right to force Americans to violate their conscience in participating in the abomination of same-sex "marriage." Don't give me this tripe about how "she took an oath to do her duty as a county clerk." Whatever oath she may have taken certainly did not include swearing to set aside her fundamental freedom in order to uphold unconstitutional wickedness illegally imposed on the states by a lawless, corrupt Supreme Court.

We have watched Christian business owners come under lawfare assault by homosexual activists who are hell-bent on forcing Christians to violate their conscience and participate in affirming same-sex "marriage" with their creative work. We are seeing people who embrace the "transgender" delusion forcing businesses to accommodate them in their mental illness, thereby coercing coworkers to engage in a charade, pretending, for instance, that a man in their workplace is a "woman," and even forcing women to use the same restroom as the man who imagines he is a woman. It's insanity, and it's spreading like a cancer all across our nation.

Those of us who have been closely watching the advance of this dark movement see exactly where it's headed: the criminalization of Christianity. We have been warning of this for years, and it's becoming clearer by the day that we're right. While the aggressive, God-hating homosexual activists hurl their vicious lies and senseless insults at us, we are being proven right, inch by inch, day by day, as the sodomite/"transgender" behemoth claims more ground of our freedoms. Just ask the Kleins of Sweet Cakes bakery, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery and numerous others who came before Kim Davis in their resistance to the hijacked-rainbow brigade's evil schemes.

I have repeated myself over and over again for years now. The homosexual movement, including its related perversions like "transgenderism," has nothing to do with "equality" or marriage (other than to destroy it). It's about the destruction of freedom, and specifically, the destruction of Christian freedom. Truth does not change, and the truth about homosexuality does not change. Homosexual behavior is sin. It's destructive and dangerous. It's unnatural. It's immoral. It's a gross perversion of God's design for human sexuality. It's naturally repulsive to those who retain a functioning moral compass. The same goes for "transgenderism." People who imagine or pretend that they are members of the opposite sex are in open, degenerate rebellion against God, reality and nature. Whether this is due to mental illness or not, it's still dead wrong.

The God-haters in this movement and their fellow travelers in positions of power will not stop until Christianity is criminalized. At its heart, this is a manifestation of the battle Satan has waged against God and His people. It is demonic influence that drives these sodomites to target Christians, in order to crush their freedoms. This county clerk in Kentucky is a target because she is a Christian. These Godless degenerates now have the force of bad law on their side. Bad law – immoral law – is tyranny. Tyranny is what Satan desires over humanity, and he will get it, as the Bible has forewarned us.

The radical homosexual movement is one of the foremost tools the devil is using to topple our freedom, and if we had a thousand county clerks like Kim Davis stand up to this lawless edict from the federal courts, we might stand a chance of beating it back. But there are not many Christians of such courage today.

Dark times are falling on this nation, and there are numerous fronts of evil that are working in concert to destroy the Godly foundation of freedom upon which the United States was founded. Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) is an enemy of all that is right and true, and he is certainly a treasonous enemy of our country. He is a strong supporter and pusher of the militant sodomite agenda. He is part of God's judgment on this wayward nation that has forcefully expelled God from the public square. Whether it's the communistic "global warming" agenda, the homosexualist agenda or even the lunatic "black lives matter" racist agenda, all these are heads of the same tyrannical hydra. They all seek to bring tyranny down on the American people.

While these agents of Satan may have awful success here in the short term, in the very end they will lose in a big and terrible way. While we can and should resist their devilish efforts to turn America into a third-world hell-hole of despotism, those of us who belong to God through Jesus Christ know that Jesus has already won the war at the cross. Our spiritual enemies now stand forever defeated, although they still have great power for a short time until the Lord's return.

If you're a Christian, continue to seek the Lord's will, to study His Word and to pray for our nation. Also pray for those Christians like Kim Davis who boldly stand against the evil homosexualist machine. We must work to repent of our sins, to clean our own spiritual houses and spread the Good News of the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. None of these things are easy, and we stumble daily, but it's vital that we keep putting one foot in front of the other with the Lord's strength holding us up.

For your encouragement and education, I also strongly recommend an excellent documentary video that Faith2Action's Janet Porter has made.  "Light Wins" is an outstanding resource for understanding the evil truth at the heart of the homosexual movement. Janet has interviewed numerous Christian leaders, former homosexuals and others to give viewers a detailed understanding of how the homosexual movement was born and grew into the vicious, evil monster it is today. I've never seen such a comprehensive presentation on the radical homosexual movement. It is excellent. The video wraps up with practical plans for combatting the homosexualist agenda that you can put into place in your church and community. Watch a preview of the movie and order the DVD or even a "Freedom Kit" of resources and the DVD at the Faith2Action website.
© Gina Miller