Tag Archives: Interreligious dialogue
A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.
- “I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” he said, thus claiming I’m not Christian [September 12, 2020]
- Update: My terrorist friend and the terrorist friend of USMC Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis [January 23, 2017]
There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.
In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.
I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:
- “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]
Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?
Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.
Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.
Two points and excuse my theological language:
First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.
My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”
It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.
But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.
Thomas Aquinas and Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange and Cardinal Giuseppe Siri have noted that Judaism and Catholicism are but one religion with the same (univocal) Divine Revelation. The Messiah to whom Israel and Judah looked forward is the Divine Founder of the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, Islam is a Judeao-Catholic heresy. Islam is not a religion but rather error. Error has no rights. Muslims have rights. We are to respect their persons, but not their fake religion. We can offer to dialogue with them as did Pope Benedict XVI in his famous Regensburg Address. But they will say that they cannot dialogue because our logic, our reason, our common sense, our respect for the dignity of the human person is not at all the way Allah thinks. Therefore, no dialogue on any level is permitted.
When Abraham was to sacrifice his son as recounted in Genesis, this was about an immediate resurrection from the dead, an un-slitting of the throat of the boy. If Abraham believed that all his progeny would come through Isaac alone, he had to believe that God would immediately raise Isaac from the dead. Young Isaac, a symbol of the innocent sacrifice that would take away original sin, was not at all innocent, having been subject to original sin like all of us. So, a ram, a symbol of the Lamb of God to come was sacrificed as a temporary symbol instead. Then, Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, worthy of standing in our place before our Heavenly Father, the Innocent for the guilty, arrived. Catholics are 100% with the Jews on the clear logic of this account in Genesis.
Meanwhile, Islam, the Qur’an, perverts this demonically. Muhammad has it that Abraham was to sacrifice his son not in view of any promised progeny, nor did it have to be this or that son, legit or illegit. For Islam, Abraham was to sacrifice his son merely as an offering to a bloodthirsty Allah. This is not about justice regarding sin, or any propitiatory sacrifice, nor about any symbolism regarding the Messiah to come and what that Messiah would do for us by standing in our place, taking on the punishment of death that we deserve for sin, original and whatever else. It is simply doing what all fallen peoples do in false religions, sacrificing children as bribery of, in this case, hateful “obedience” to a hateful Allah. The bowing the forehead to the ground thing of Islam is about the submission of Abraham’s son to Allah wanting that Abraham’s son get his head cut off, just to do it. Why do you think kids are the ones who are always strapped up with suicide-murder bomb vests?
Try to dialogue with that and you will be killed. Let Islam consecrate Vatican City to Islam and they will rejoice. But that’s not dialogue. Such confusion only brings about discord, you know, wherein children get killed. It’s not right:
It’s gotta stop. But free speech is being attacked both by secular society and…
“When I am lifted up [on the Cross], I will draw all to myself,” said Jesus. But the “strict segregationalist” says that Jesus, who is in the least of the brethren, can just go to hell, adding that we don’t want those kind of people here among us.
Jesus asked Saul about the persecution of the new Christians (in Syria):
“Why are you persecuting me?”
And, just to say, about that bit about Jesus going to hell, well, you have to know, Jesus did go to hell. That’s part of the creed we recite every Sunday. He preached to the fallen spirits also about the persecution of the least of the brethren, and that that is why they will be in hell forever.
Still today, ever since original sin, ever since heading out right around the world from the Garden of Paradise, ever since the dispersion after the Tower of Babel, ever since we were arrogant, entitled brats who smash others down to lift ourselves up…
- … people are still congratulating themselves that they are better than all others, better than all in the past, including Jesus, better than those around them…
- … people are still protesting, even at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament –with them, for instance, not being Jews, and Jesus, the Divine Son of the Living God, God Himself, being a Jew — they are still protesting that they are supporters of “strict segregationalism” (a technical phrase that, incorporating all the violence of the crucifixion of our Lord). Go ahead and Google “strict segregationalism”…
- … people are still being entitled brats, who are the only ones who exist, are the only ones who are important, are the only ones who are the only ones… How to say it?
Instead, Jesus is the One, the only One, who would unite us to Himself as members to a body, He the Head, as Saint Paul says, and we the members. See the painting above. There are a zillion passages, but how about starting with this one (Colossians 3:1-17)? (Can you think of others?)
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teach and admonish one another in all wisdom, and sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Saint Paul asserts that, though he is the Jew of Jews. He follows Jesus, the Divine Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, Himself a Jew, who nevertheless says that “Salvation is of the Jews,” that is, for all who want it, which is not at all contradictory of what Saint Paul says of the Jews:
“They are Israelites, and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ. God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)
In other words, those who have all the rights to be “strict segregationalists” (before Jesus came) are not to be so as regards salvation. But, let’s be real about this. What actually happens with us now that Jesus has come among us?
- When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a couple came to get married, and so I got out the premarital investigation forms, which, I noticed, on the second page at the top, there was box which small print in it explaining that if was a mixed marriage, the wedding was not to take place without the required permissions of the Vicar for Black People. That’s right, “mixed” didn’t mean something like Catholic and Hindu. No, no. This was “Black” and “White.” I had to look at that a half dozen times, and then I called the Chancery and asked them what the hell that was all about. Then I wrote them a fierce letter like I’m sure they’ve never seen from a priest. No, after that, they weren’t expecting me to contact any Vicar for Black People.
- When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), any number of people asked me to build a church for the Black People because, you know, like, yeah, you know…
- When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), a “nice” elderly lady came up to me and described a “N***** who lived just down the road a piece.” She went on and on about how no one is racist because “we treats them N****** just as if they was real people.” I asked her if she understood what she was saying. She tried to her best to look bewildered and all innocent, but could not hide her wry and cynical smile telling me how much I myself was hated for not despising those not just like the “nice” lady.
- When I was pastor of another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account)… well… you get the idea…
Just guessing, but if any of that kind of BS goes on at the gates of heaven by any of the people lining up to get in to those pearly gates, so that “strict segregationalists” are trying to smack down actual believers, throwing, if they could, the true believers out of line, in that case I think the walls around heaven will grow even taller, even more insurmountable, to keep out all those who are proud to be “strict segregationalists.” The believers will be brought in, protected from the “strict segregationalists,” who will find themselves in hell. Ah yes, irony of ironies.
Mind you, it’s not actually that they will so much be excluded as they will not then want to go into heaven, what with all the non-segregationalist attitudes going on there. Hah.
- When I was a deacon in another parish far, far away, once upon a time (though this is a true account), I noted that, in the old coal mining town I was in, there were eleven Catholic churches. The churches hosted impossibly different languages of the newly immigrant coal minors, such as Polish and Lithuanian and German and Italian… on and on… But this is not segregationalism, strict or unstrict. It’s just a matter of convenience for languages regarding the provision of the sacraments that would involve preparation and discussion such as with Marriage and Confession. Mass was in Latin for everyone of course. But if anyone from any of the churches would go to any other church… that would be just fine and dandy. It wasn’t about segregation. Not at all. Zilch. Zero. Zip. NOT THAT.
Let’s try it again. Another passage from Saint Paul (Ephesians 2:13-22):
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
The FSSPX will not praise this post. I know. I know. They will say that Paul Touvier was just a simple, innocent, poor, homeless man to whom they provided shelter in all Christian charity, nice guys that they are. First of all, they will surely mock me because I suppose I’m what they call a Novus Ordo “priest.” So, let me establish some street cred with all that which is Traditional. Maybe that will help some to listen to reason.
Immediately after 7/7/7, when I was a “permanent chaplain” in Lourdes for a couple of years, already in August of 2007, before the official “start date” of Summorum Pontificum, I was able to reintroduce the Traditional “Tridentine” or “Gregorian” or popularly called “Old Latin” Mass – becoming the “Latin Mass Chaplain” as they called it, an office which has remained even after my two year request to be chaplain came to an end (so that I could go back to teaching in seminaries, which I did). The FSSP took over. Great! Here’s a picture of my replacement and a younger version of myself.
August 15 2008 was the high point, a Solemn High Mass in the Pius X Basilica with more than 7,000 people assisting. The deacon and subdeacon are both priests in the FSSP, NOT to be mistaken for the FSSPX:
I would also assist others with the Traditional Mass. Below is soon-to-be Raymond Cardinal Burke in the Upper Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
As I’ve said elsewhere, I think I could count on one hand those who have suffered more for the promotion of the Traditional Mass as desired by then Pope Benedict XVI. My interest in bringing all that is traditional back to Lourdes had devastating consequences for me.
The only comment I saw from the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists for all this was that, of all things, I was to be condemned because my French accent wasn’t what the French would like to hear. Really? Really? See: Chaque fois que j’ouvre ma bouche il est demandé «Est-ce que vous êtes Belge?»
Father Byers is a Jew and therefore has no credibility?
The other thing that the FSSPX will dismiss me outright for is that my mom is a Jewess as was her mom and grandma. Who know’s what happened with any relatives in Treblinka. Would the FSSPX put Jesus the Jew and the Immaculate Conception, a Jewess, in the ovens, or gas them, or put bullets in their heads? Jesus asked Saul: “Why are you persecuting ME?”
The video above is… is… eye opening.
So… naive, stupid, whatever negative you want to say, that was me at that time, really until quite recently, like just the other day when I was disabused of my idiocy. I saw something – that video above – that shocked me to the core. I didn’t know this. It’s been in the news forever. I guess I just don’t pay attention. All I had heard during those years until now about Nazis in France came through the filter of the rationalizations that the ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists in France had all lined up in support of the Régime de Vichy as headed up by Maréchal Henri Philippe Benoni Omer Joseph Pétain.
[Now, why would I include that picture just above? The Vichy-ites know, don’t they? I mean, I don’t know. I haven’t been in Lourdes for ten years. I know nothing.]
But now I hear the rest of the story. The FSSPX had been immersed in protection of Paul Touvier while he was on the run from the courts, from justice. In the end, despite their efforts, Paul Touvier was found with the FSSPX, was brought to trial, and was convicted of many crimes against humanity, helping the Nazis to accomplish the “Final Solution” of killing all Jews everywhere. He was unrepentant to the end, and lived as a monstrous full-on Nazi and his entire family with him.
And to think I wanted to help the FSSPX out in being regularized with Rome back in the day. Bloody hell. I simply didn’t know. After my stint in Lourdes, one of the greatest philosophers gaining fame in France at that time wanted to offer me a full month or two or three of bringing me, at his expense, all around France, to all the monasteries, which, I’m quite sure, would have included the building owned by the FSSPX, including where Paul Touvier had been housed before he was finally arrested. I should have said yes. I wouldn’t have continued in my naive ignorance until now. I’m sure I would have heard all the stories.
Instead of these FSSPX guys being arrested for aiding unrepentant criminals, what did they do? As it is said: A Tridentine Requiem Mass was offered for the repose of Paul Touvier’s soul by Father Philippe Laguérie at St Nicolas du Chardonnet, the Society of St. Pius X chapel, in Paris. I have nothing against prayers for anyone, but I have to wonder if this was accompanied by a statement of the FSSPX condemning themselves for protecting an unrepentant genocidal racist and ultra-violent death monger from going to trial. I wonder if the FSSPX recommended at that Requiem that some of their own members should be tried for conspiracy, for aiding and abetting.
I would like the names of anyone still alive who aided and abetted Paul Touvier in the FSSPX. I want the names of the priests. I want to see them tried in a public trial by the Holy See, and, if found guilty, I would like to see them dismissed from the clerical state. And then I’d like to see them go before criminal courts, however old, however sick.
A reader might be tempted to remind me that I am a Missionary of Mercy and shouldn’t be such a hypocrite, that I should extend mercy to such people, and that I only do this because, although being a Catholic priest, I am also Jewish on mom’s side. Instead, here’s the truth about mercy: it is founded on justice. Forgive them in sacramental confession? Sure. But that doesn’t preempt the tribunals from carrying out earthly justice.
Here’s the deal: If you just “let it go,” what happens is that the message is sent that no one cares about murder, no one cares about genocide, that killing at will is just fine and dandy. Just “letting it go” invites the disgusting, filthy, neo-Nazis to do it all over again.
So, I want names.
You can drop comments with names and proofs. Don’t worry, I won’t let them through moderation.
And if you’re tempted to just send me a link to the WayBackMachine which has an archived copy of the Angelus commentary, don’t bother. I’ll put it here as illustrative of what I have said above.
Arrest in Priory Reopens Debate on Catholic Aid to Nazis
(RNS) — The arrest of a pro-Nazi French militia leader in a priory operated by followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre has touched off new debate about the role of Roman Catholic clergy in protecting war criminals.
Paul Touvier, 74, was head of intelligence for a pro-Nazi militia in Lyons during World War II. He was arrested when France was liberated in 1944, but he escaped. He was convicted in absentia and sentenced to death for war crimes in Lyons in 1945 and in Chambery in 1947 but managed to hide out until those sentences expired in 1967.
French President Georges Pompidou pardoned Mr. Touvier in November, 1971, but the public outcry was so great that the alleged war criminal again dropped out of sight. He was formally charged in 1973 with crimes against humanity, an offense to which the statute of limitations does not apply in France. The search for Mr. Touvier began again, and he was arrested May 24th at the St. Francis Priory in Nice.
Charges of Catholic collaboration to protect Mr. Touvier were aired at the time of his presidential pardon in 1971. Several prominent French people, including Christian existentialist philosopher Gabriel Marcel, had signed petitions for Mr. Touvier’s pardon as a result of a nearly 20-year campaign coordinated by Monsignor Charles Duquaire of Lyons.
Pierre Merindol, a journalist who has specialized in the history of the Lyons Resistance, has alleged that Cardinal Pierre-Marie Gerlier, the wartime archbishop of Lyons, may have been involved in hiding Mr. Touvier. According to the journalist, the cardinal helped to shelter Mr. Touvier in fulfillment of a promise to aid anyone who helped to prevent the shooting of 42 French hostages by Nazi soldiers who wanted to retaliate against a Resistance attack.
Today’s hierarchy has claimed no involvement with Mr. Touvier or with the priory where he was being sheltered. Cardinal Albert Decourtray of Lyons said the matter “is not within my purview but within that of my country’s judicial system, in which I have confidence.”
Comment: [[ Their comment ]] Despite the fact that most newspapers made a link between Mr. Touvier and the Society, there was in fact no connection. It is true he was taken prisoner at our priory, but he was merely let in by the prior as an act of charity to a homeless man. Since Archbishop Lefebvre’s father died at the hands of the Nazis in a prison camp, that should be evidence enough that the Society does not and has not ever condoned the practices of the Nazis.
On the other side of the question, I for one am tired of this Jewish conspiracy to wipe every living former Nazi off the face of the earth. Why don’t they just leave them to die in peace? It’s been about 45 years since World War II and still they hunt them down, as if they were guilty of ongoing crimes for all those years.
As I say, it’s that kind of dismissive attitude that invites more violent genocide: “All those millions of Jews? Who gives a crap? Let’s do it again!”
No, no. These monsters should be brought to trial wherever we find them, even if they’re with the FSSPX.
I have no doubt that ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists everywhere will be scornful and mocking, but, truth be told, I’d like to put their faces in the corpses of all the millions and millions and millions who were exterminated, you know, one by one. I’d like to see if they survive in their haughtiness that proclaims… you know… that since it’s been a while, it’s all good.
Let me tell you, hell is for eternity, and not a moment of it is good, ever, not even after a while.
Moreover: “Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus
Moreover: Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.
Do you see it?
When I was growing up, if someone called someone a “turkey” it was done with quite a bit of venom and bitterness and in such a way that such an insult was simply impossible to answer. It ended disputes. A kill shot. This always amazed me, and left me bewildered. Why would this ever be perceived as being so vicious? I would just laugh.
Meanwhile, back in the 1500s, guinea fowl were imported to Europe and then North America from the Anatolian peninsula, i.e., Turkey. These were called “turkeys” and that appellative was then used for the much larger North American fowl.
Meanwhile, a person from Turkey was said to be a Turk. But who even knows that? People just used “Turkey” as in “He’s a Turkey.” Intonation told the story: “He’s such a Turkey.”
All of these received usages were developed during the Ottoman Empire. Thus, a Turk was held to synonymous with a Muslim going on rampages of violent aggression to take over the world as they smashed into Europe so very many times. The Ottomans enslaved hundred of thousands of Europeans and left woe and destruction wherever they went.
“You’re such a Turkey.”
I never knew all that as a kid. I’m sure the Armenians can tell you all about it.
Lord, have mercy on us all. We all do this kind of thing all the time.
“Don’t be such a Turkey!” – “Um… O.K.”
Homily 2018 04 26 – Idol worshiper: “Truth can’t be made an idol: I think of truth, therefore I’m God.”
O.K. I got a bit carried away. I had to edit the homily in a couple of places. You’ll hear the jumps at least in the flow of the homily when they happen. Bearing wrongs is a work of mercy, but instructing, even rubuking the ignorant is also a work of mercy and is an effective way to bear the wrongs of those who just don’t get it. I am blind and ignorant, so, please bear with me as I rant as if I know something. I should keep my mouth shut.
There’s a strange thing happening among ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists (who may be farther from Sacred Tradition than they think). If they actually think that knowing the truth, for instance, memorizing all the words of the Sacred Scriptures, of all the Ecumenical Councils, of all the ex-Cathedra pronouncements, is going to save them, so that their clever puny little intellects — which we all have in this fallen world and which can hardly grasp anything about the truth — is somehow salvific in and of itself, they are mistaken, and are idol worshipers. Satan knows the facts, is convinced of the facts, incomparably more than us. And Satan isn’t saved. If we think we can save ourselves by knowing something of the truth, anything, we make ourselves God. And that, my friends, is idol worship. Ooooooo! A brain!!!!!
Beautiful. Created by God. But not God. Not by a long shot.
But, ooooooh, we’re smart, cause we know something! No.
But, it’s not about truth. It’s about hating Pope Francis. It’s about entitlement to bitterness. I remember one new guy who said that he was to be congratulated as the first one to hate Pope Francis, and that anyone who comes later so as to agree with him and be on his side in hating Pope Francis is to be rejected as worthy of hell because where the hell were they before when he was proudly alone in his hating. Yep. It’s the ol’ ploy of “You can’t say anything right, even if it is the truth, ’cause we’ll just twist it so that we’ll say what we think you really mean so that we can be really bitter not about what you said but about what we said you said.” Yep. That will help people get to heaven.
Sorry to rant, but more than this, this is about the “Reformation” all over again. Luther reduced divinely infused faith to the assent he made to his cerebral activity about theology. The one is supernatural, the other natural. These so-called ultra-tradition-al-ism-ists make an idol of the truth by saying that knowing the truth automatically saves us, because, you know, we had brain synapses going on, making us the arbiters of equating supernatural and natural, making us God, or at least Karl Rahner redivivus, more Lutheran than Catholic. That’s how he was able to rewrite Scripture, and to throw out whole books of both old and new Testaments. To say that we can’t make an idol of the truth is to make an idol of the truth. To say that we’re so nice that we would never make an idol of the truth is to crucify the living Truth. It’s to say that we are the only ones not to be bad and evil, not needing salvation, to say that we would never stone the prophets while we build their tombs all proud of ourselves, we being the very ones with that attitude that the prophets would rightly and charitably reprimand for the good of our souls. We would kill them. Of course we would. We, on our own, are idol worshipers of ourselves.
Again: Even if someone assents with their brains to the truth doesn’t mean they are saved. Knowing the facts and accepting them (like Satan also does) doesn’t mean you understand, doesn’t mean you are one with the One who is living Truth, God alone.
The One who said “I AM” hung tortured to death on a cross betrayed by someone who thought he knew something.
“Forgive them, Father, for THEY KNOW NOT what they do.”
Goodness! Did I demonize people in this post? In this homily? Make them into idol-demons of themselves?
Such tender snowflakes… [I am too, so are we all if we do anything just on our own.]
Maybe I should have put up the unedited version. But, no. I make it easy. I use an example from another religion. But the analogy is extremely immediate.
HEY! It’s the [472nd] anniversary of Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the most sacred and ecumenical Council of Trent in 1546. This is my most favorite of all magisterial interventions. Be awed by the syntax in Latin. Be awed by the breadth, the heights, the profundity, the glory emanating from this decree. Let yourself be wrapped up it’s reverence before the Most Holy Spirit. Let yourself be brought to your knees. Unfortunately, rebel Martin Luther, ex-Catholic priest, would die just months before this was published, though I have to think that he was kept up to date on the ruminations for the first drafts, not easy if one is in bad health.
First the Latin…
Sacrosancta oecumenica et generalis Tridentina synodus, in Spiritu sancto legitime congregata, praesidentibus in ea eisdem tribus apostolicae sedis legatis, hoc sibi perpetuo ante oculos proponens, ut sublatis erroribus puritas ipsa evangelii in ecclesia conservetur quod promissum ante per prophetas in scripturis sanctis dominus noster Iesus Christus Dei Filius proprio ore primum promulgavit, deinde per suos apostolos tamquam fontem omnis et salutaris veritatis et morum disciplinae omni creaturae praedicari iussit; perspiciensque, hanc veritatem et disciplinam contineri in libris scriptis et sine scripto traditionibus, quae ab ipsius Christi ore ab apostolis acceptae, aut ab ipsis apostolis Spiritu sancto dictante quasi per manus traditae ad nos usque pervenerunt orthodoxorum patrum exempla secuta, omnes libros tam veteris quam novi testamenti, cum utriusque unus Deus sit auctor, nec non traditiones ipsas, tum ad fidem, tum ad mores pertinentes, tamquam vel oretenus a Christo, vel a Spiritu sancto dictatas et continua successione in ecclesia catholica conservatas, pari pietatis affectu ac reverentia suscipit et veneratur. Sacrorum vero Librorum indicem huic decreto adscribendum censuit, ne cui dubitatio suboriri possit, quinam sint, qui ab ipsa Synodo suscipiuntur. Sunt vero infrascripti. Testamenti Veteris: Quinque Moysis, id est Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium; Iosue, Iudicum, Ruth, quattuor Regum, duo Paralipomenon, Esdrae primus et secundus, qui dicitur Nehemias, Tobias, Iudith, Esther, Iob, Psalterium Davidicum centum quinquaginta psalmorum, Parabolae, Ecclesiastes, Canticum Canticorum, Sapientia, Ecclesiasticus, Isaias, Ieremias cum Baruch, Ezechiel, Daniel, duodecim prophetae minores, id est: Osea, Ioel, Amos, Abdias, Ionas, Michaeas, Nahum, Habacuc, Sophonias, Aggaeus, Zacharias, Malachias; duo Maccabaeorum, primus et secundus. Testamenti Novi: Quattuor Evangelia, secundum Matthaeum, Marcum, Lucam, Ioannem; Actus Apostolorum a Luca Evangelista conscripti; quattuordecim epistulae Pauli Apostoli: ad Romanos, duae ad Corinthios, ad Galatas, ad Ephesios, ad Philippenses, ad Colossenses, duae ad Thessalonicenses, duae ad Timotheum, ad Titum, ad Philemonem, ad Hebraeos; Petri Apostoli duae; Ioannis Apostoli tres; Iacobi Apostoli una; Iudae Apostoli una et Apocalypsis Ioannis Apostoli. Si quis autem libros ipsos integros cum omnibus suis partibus, prout in ecclesia catholica legi consueverunt et in veteri vulgata latina editione habentur, pro sacris et canonicis non susceperit, et traditiones praedictas sciens et prudens contempserit: anathema sit.
Now my own slavish translation… NOT the usual translation!
The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided. See the Latin.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.
Note “almost as if by hand” since this is all about the Holy Spirit!
This is THE Counter-Reformation assertion by the Sacred Magisterium of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church against the heretics who reduce revelation to theology and inspiration to feelings, the dark arrogance having them rewrite and remove things from the Sacred Scriptures so as to assert merely themselves. This decree is CATHOLIC!
On a personal note, I was ordained a deacon on this day in the Twelve Apostles Basilica in Rome. Also, this decree became the center piece of the beginnings of a doctoral thesis (the first chapter being 256 pages), the story of which needs to be told one day, reaching as it does into the very heart of the intrigue of ecclesiastical politics and stirring the pot so much that… well, I’ll leave that for another day. Just note that this decree is still THE engine driving any true ecumenical dialogue, that is, which brings unity in truth and charity those who sincerely follow Jesus.
After editing Father Gordon’s post for tomorrow’s These Stone Walls entry, I busied myself, on this day-off, with writing an article analyzing some FBI analysis. After just finishing, what was written disappeared from the computer and WordPress. Glitches!
The gist of it was that people are more complex than merely reacting to the frustration of being smacked down in life, which was the height of psychological analysis that one agent in charge had to bring to a case. The previous day I had been listening to a YouTube documentary on an FBI case while busied with some other things in the kitchen. The agent comment on crime as mere reaction caught my attention as being one of the more stupid things I’ve heard for a long time, especially since this was about a string of similar crimes committed over years by the same individual.
- Sometimes perps have an ideology to follow, such as with Islamicist terrorists, who are often otherwise well educated, often professors, successful in their careers, have wonderful families and are totally sociable. It’s about violent power. That will be analyzed in some upcoming chapters in Jackass for the Hour.
- Sometimes perps have a thing about control, calculation even, as power. See: Stephen Paddock’s motivation and our motivation in not finding his motivation
- If vengeance was possibly a motivation starting someone in a certain direction, that can morph quite differently into violence as liberation. Was ROTC a paradigm ripped from moral context for Nikolas Cruz and turned upside down? We need an identity in our lives greater than patriotism do we not?
- Sometimes it’s what’s existential that is taken as power, such as with the KKK, such as with William Aitcheson, or what was that guy’s name, Dylann Roof?
- Sometimes perps are simply replaying things that have happened to them and are figuring out their own problems by setting up situations. That was case of that documentary, but that’s hardly a simple lashing out. It may be a “reaction” generally speaking, but it has morphed into a power trip where the power has become an answer that has changed the question.
So, a common theme here is power, a power ultimately fulfilled in self, the power of the individual, but therefore an individuality without identity, power that therefore becomes the identity, power without reason.
This is that to which we all tend if we do not have an identity of being creatures loved by their Creator.
This identity in love is what is absent from Islam, which cannot believe in God as One who loves us so much as to stand in our place to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Jesus took on punishment, death, we deserved for sin. Islam rejects this as that which is impossible for God. God cannot love us so very much they scream, even as they explode into a million bits while killing untold numbers of others. This is not true religion. Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam is not a religion.
This identity in love is what the other perps described above also lack.
This identity in love is what is lacking from the analysis of law enforcement.
But the FBI should remember this: It is not separation of Church and State that the Constitution puts forth as law. No, no. And it is not that the State is to fear the free exercise of religion even, say, when doing one’s job for the State. No, no. That first amendment is about the State not interfering with the free exercise of religion.
Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 23 – So, that’s your problem?
As Father Alexámenos and Rabbi Shelomoh continued to speak, the Muhammadan, no longer listening, sent his email to Shaykh al-Husayn, a member of what had for a long time been Europe’s largest Mosque and Cultural Centre, built with Saudi oil money near the Vatican so as to spit on Pope Saint Pius V’s ‘Rosary Victory’ over the Muhammadans at Lépanto, during the height of the Ottoman Empire, just after Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated.
Shaykh al-Husayn was well placed, being Albanian by birth, Catholic by Baptism, Muslim by apostasy, and ‘advisor’ by professional history in the Arabian peninsula. He was a ‘trophy convert’ on show. Brilliant at public relations and proselytism, he gave school children praying-tours of the mosque, delighting in ‘catechising’ them in Islam as they bowed down to Allah. His belligerently anti-Catholic attitude upset Catholic students of interreligious dialogue, which is not easy to do.
Shaykh al-Husayn read the email which he had just received from the flight to Rome. He would have deleted it had it not confirmed what was just coming on the television screen in his office. The news report included the images of Father Alexámenos, complaining that he was already on a flight to Rome. He was being accused of fleeing justice. The email was from a member of the mosque, and gave the details of the flight number, something the television reports had not yet done. The email mentioned the news report about Haïti, but centred on the discussion Father Alexámenos was having with one whom the Muhammadan had mistakenly taken to be the Chief Rabbi of Rome. “Can you not do something about the interference of this priest?” asked the Muhammadan in his email. “He is inciting Jews and Catholics to declare war on Muslims, as if we all lived in Jericho when it was taken more than three thousand years ago. Since Italy and the Holy See treat Islam nicely, it’s easy to put pressure on them, especially for you. He’s to be punished for his crimes in Haïti, and then suffer the punishment for his words against Islam.”
Shaykh al-Husayn clicked on the audio file sent with the email. He knew Hebrew better than the Jews, he thought. He listened in disbelief as he heard the priest describe his understanding of the Qur’anic version of Abraham’s would-be child-sacrifice of his son and, then, the Rabbi’s question about whether or not the continuing slaughter of the Palestinians was divinely mandated to this day. Shaykh al-Husayn sat back in his chair. He decided not to respond to the email. He did, however, like the idea about making an official protest. This had to be handled by diplomats in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with the other Arab states. Involving the one they thought was the Chief Rabbi of Rome was too dangerous to ignore, especially since this Rabbi was such good friends with Pope Tsur-Ēzer, also a Jew. “After all,” he thought, “if Jews and Christians want another crusade…” A wave of anger overwhelmed Shaykh al-Husayn, which was followed by a wave of regret, for so many might die fighting a crusade.
That Father Alexámenos had stayed in the Catholic Nunciature made matters worse. Even a CIA agent was volunteering information on the television about Father Alexámenos. Shaykh al-Husayn thought it looked like preemptive damage control. The agent called Father Alexámenos stupid for having taken the liquor he gave to him, which was only meant to pry information out of the priest about the priest himself. Despite it being past midnight, Shaykh al-Husayn rang the diplomats in Saudi Arabia, now his longtime friends. Continue reading
Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 22 – Sag niemals nie! Never say never!
Before Father Alexámenos answered, the Rabbi continued with an intensity his priest friend enjoyed so much it all almost set him to laughing, wishing all his interlocutors had the intelligence and, he suspected, the streak of mischievousness of the Rabbi. “The Old Covenant must effectively be replaced by the New Covenant inasmuch as the Old is to be fulfilled and transformed in the New. The Old Covenant cannot be salvific on its own, even before any Messiah comes, for the Old had to look forward to the New, which fills it with Life back in the day. Time is not a barrier to its Creator. If the view is that the New has come, the Old must necessarily become sterile, even if it is not purposely cut off from the New, and no matter how much God respects the sincerity of Jews who do not even know what Christianity is. In that case, God gives grace to the Jews simply as His gratuitous gift, but not because God makes valid what cannot be made valid in the Old Covenant except in its present day fulfilment in the New.” Since Father Alexámenos did not interject, the Rabbi continued: “Your Cardinal Froben, nevertheless, gives us the lowest common denominator of no one having any covenant, telling us, absurdly, that both the Old and the New Covenant can be salvific at the same time. If the Old Covenant doesn’t look forward to the New, it is not actually the Old Covenant we are talking about, and if the New Covenant doesn’t fulfil the Old, it is not actually the New Covenant we are talking about. Two independent, salvific covenants are two other religions, neither Jewish or Catholic. Froben and his kind must stop insulting our intelligence. Tell me you understand!”
“Rabbi, I know exactly what you are…”
“Do you?” pressed the Rabbi.
“I regret,” said Father Alexámenos, “that Cardinal Froben has scandalously claimed that our aim in a dialogue is not to come into any kind of communion or unity, but simply to improve constantly those relationships and to work together. What he says is not what the Church nor I believe. I’m for unity in Charity and Truth. Saint Paul goes out of his way to say that…”
“I wonder about your regret,” interrupted the Rabbi, “Your Saint Paul makes it clear that he loves the Jews,” said the Rabbi, “but Froben and those like him do not seem to know who Paul of Tarsus is. They take every opportunity to send us to Auschwitz again. Take that document on the Shoah…”
“In reading that document, I just couldn’t believe that…” Father Alexámenos began to say.
“You Catholics,” interrupted the Rabbi, “speak of Continue reading
Jackass for the Hour: Chapter 21 – They burned them in a raging fire
Although Father Lia-Fáil had received the fax from père Jacques and had alerted the Holy Father about the contents of the web-site, he hadn’t heard from anyone else, including Father Alexámenos. Pope Tsur-Ēzer had don Hash and padre Emet summoned.
✵ ✵ ✵
As the plane kept its course to Rome far off the coast of New York City, many in the plane were glued to the windows on the port side of the plane, leaning over the passengers in those rows of seats, who were themselves trying to get a glimpse of the Tribute in Light, two beams of light piercing high into the night skies from where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center had once stood, now One World Trade Center. The Port Authority finally understood that a memorial was not meant to facilitate one to look merely ‘at’ something, but to gaze ‘toward’ Someone. Every year on September 11 the memorial was lit up, and was being tested with some new technology on this evening. The plane’s distance from the Big Apple, more than three hundred kilometres, made the effect of the light piercing many kilometres into the heavens all the more dramatic. They were high enough in the plane so that the beams of light were able to be seen over the curvature of the earth.
Thousands simultaneously ‘burned at the stake’ by Islamic fundamentalists raised strong emotions in the viewers, regardless of their nationality or religion, especially since they were flying. The cabin crew knew that they had to delay the main meal until New York was behind them. Father Alexámenos was impressed that the years had not meant the usual out of sight, out of mind.
A Rabbi in his seventies had been sitting a few rows in front of Father Alexámenos. He was returning to Italy after visiting Bard College in New York – where he debated the interpretation of the Talmud – and then The Shoah Memorial in Miami Beach, where living anguish reached up to Heaven. After he caught a glimpse of the beams of light, he saw that Father Alexámenos, obviously a Catholic priest, was still asleep next to the window and had no one sitting next to him. He had also noticed that the gentleman seated immediately in front of Father Alexámenos had not bothered himself about the Tribute in Light, and still looked upset that everyone had made such a fuss. He was wearing a taqiyah and Thawb, traditional clothing for a Muslim. The Rabbi chuckled with such an opportunity for entertainment and, perhaps, according to the will of the Most High, an advance in what was otherwise the murderous intrigue of merely interreligious politics. The Rabbi took the seat next to the aisle leaving the middle seat of row between himself and Father Alexámenos empty. Continue reading
Why is it that analysts ignore that which is the context for the key, for text without context is pretext. Ideology over reality? A bit of power, self-congratulation, no humility before the massive sweep of history? While everything seems to blow apart what is the one thing that stays the same? Crux stat dum volvitur orbis. Where to find that? The context, the coriolis effect, as it were, can be found in the introductory bits of the first decree Sacrosancta of Session IV of the Council of Trent of 8 April 1546, that is, the bits before the list of books and the laying out of the treasure map. If one doesn’t know what the treasure is, in finding it, one won’t even know one is looking at it, and will bypass it.
The arrogance, impatience, spitting cynicism, bitterness of the rejection of all that which is important while calling it irrelevant and sheer idiocy is astounding, and should put on guard those who don’t have so much baggage to deal with. Purity of heart and agility of soul and humble thanksgiving before the Most High is the only way. It’s not mathematics, encoding or decoding, statistics or any other mind games so available to manipulation. It’s the reality of what is actually happening. And there are those who are open to this, also analysts. They need to be encouraged. For the long game. And the short. But life is difficult. There are bullies. So be it. That’s O.K. The coriolis effect plows through all that. ;-). Anyone want to analyze the introductory bits of the first decree Sacrosancta?
Lion’s Gate: Preparing the 4th Temple with the blood of the peacekeepers (This Jewish Catholic Priest’s opinion)
Islamic terrorists like any other criminals simply ignore the fact that crime is always counter-productive. Just a little while ago, some Israeli LEOs were assassinated at the Lion’s Gate, right next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The LEOs weren’t expecting the unprovoked attack and were exactly where they were supposed to be.
The immediate visceral reaction to this kind of violence at the Temple Mount (where you also find the ultra-vulnerable because basin-like Jewish prayer area at the Western [wailing] Wall), is to remove the Islamicists definitively, destroy the mosque, rip out the Dome of the Rock, and build the 4th Temple. Proof of this is that the immediate statement put out by Prime Minister Bibi is that the Status Quo of the Temple Mount will simply remain the same. In other words, if this was the instantaneous answer with no question being asked, the presumed question is whether the Status Quo will finally change, as it is soon expected to be changed within the foreseeable future. In other words, the tension is so much at fever pitch that anything could bring about a major change. It’s just a matter of time, sooner than later.
So, what’s this opinion of this Jewish-Catholic Priest? I think that whatever about the status of Jerusalem as an international city desired by some, blah blah blah, it is intense insanity to have more than one group contending to have ownership of the same place at the same time anywhere at any time for any reason. That’s simply not how fallen humanity is able to maintain peace.
Is it not better to have, say, the Israeli Defense Forces control the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and then allow visitors with controllable security measures in place for each visitor? I think so. That doesn’t mean anything is any less international if whatever about that “international” issue were to be decided. One group in control just means greater security. If it’s the first most holy site for a group, shouldn’t that group be in charge? The Temple Mount is the first most holy site for the Jews.
The Church of the Resurrection is Catholic from the beginning. I think the entirety of the Church of the Resurrection, including Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher, should be given over to the Franciscans at the Custody of the Holy Land exclusively. The extreme violence of some of the groups there is simply unacceptable.
Take an example. Should Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica be given over to Islam? I mean, after all, they’ve raided and pillaged Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica (of the time) a number of times (the reason for the massive defensive walls around Vatican City). I don’t think so.
The easy largesse of those who shout “BE NICE!” and don’t lift a finger to help keep the peace and who don’t take account of ongoing horrific violence caused by the insistence on that easy largesse.
// (begin sarcasm) — Hey! Let’s make the Swiss Guard in charge of the Temple Mount! –(end sarcasm) //
This opinion does not have anything to do with what I think about the fulfillment of the covenants in Christ Jesus our Lord and God. No, I do not believe that any building of any 4th Temple is productive in any way on any level.
Further disclaimer: I’m Catholic. I’m Jewish. I lived in Jerusalem for a good while, arriving when Jewish pilgrims were stoned at the Western Wall from the Mosque above, and when, then, 19 Palestinians were killed. I walked from the U.N. compound South of Jerusalem back to Jerusalem down the length of the Silwan valley into Silwan and back up to the Temple Mount. That was the day after fake “Christians” went into the town of Silwan to celebrate the death of the Palestinians. Those fake “Christians” say that “ethnic cleansing” (genocide, really) of all non-Jews throughout the Holy Land is the only way for Jesus to come back again. Those fake “Christians” are simply monsters. My saying that the Jews should have control of the Temple Mount has nothing to do these fake “Christians”. It’s the other way. What I’m pushing for would save many lives on a day to day basis.
Of course, there are those who would say that this would start a war. My answer to that is, “Where have you been?” I’m guessing that when the USA takes out North Korean nuclear capabilities, the Israelis will do the same for Iran, which is perhaps the best time to take peaceful control of the Temple Mount.
Last night I went into one of our local Walmarts and was greeted by a very pleasant Walmart Greeter Muslim guy. He was all totally smiles and happiness. O.K. I loaded up my shopping cart with stuff like tomatoes, onions and whatever. I went to the cashier, a lady with a burka at the register, very nice. I paid, and then left, wishing all a nice day. O.K. There’s more to recount about Muslim stuff, but this is sufficient for this post. Just to say, it was a nice shopping experience all around. Great!
I didn’t buy any bacon or any pork products. I really never do. Someone had given me some bacon a few months ago, which I really really enjoyed. But anyway, what if I had bought some more bacon? Wouldn’t that force a Muslim to have contact with swine? Is that fair to them? Am I being hateful if I buy bacon at Walmart? Is it a hate crime on my part? Unfair religious provocation? Just some multi-cultural questions in a Dearborn age.
When I was teaching in the Pontifical seminary in Ohio in these USA, one of the seminarians was born a Muslim as his father was a Muslim and that’s how it is. Of course, in studying and being formed as a seminarian on his way to being ordained a Catholic priest, the youngster had converted to be Catholic, a capital crime in Islamic law, as was, in fact, proudly and loudly proclaimed by the local Islamic Cultural Center: the damned kid needed to be honor killed. Of course, the problem with this was, as the now seminarian told me, that his father had himself converted to be Catholic. Ha ha! The cowardly cowards at the Cultural Center cowered, cowards that they are. The seminarian told me that, for them, what counted was being treated with dignity and respect by the Catholics that they knew. They fell in love with the love that Jesus brings to us. Great.
Now, back to my question. Is this respect expressed in being a volunteer dhimmi, one who voluntarily lives under Sharia law because one doesn’t want to offend any Muslim customs, such as not having anything to do with pork? Just a multi-cultural question in a Dearborn age.
I put before you a text from the first generation of Christianity, a text from the letter to Diognetus:
“Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.
And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.
They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.
To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.
Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.”
From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)
Am I abusing that text? Am I caving to Islam? Can I buy bacon at Walmart?
I am hungry for bacon, but I’m not interested in provoking for the sake of provoking.
What to do?
This bumper sticker was seen in my driveway the other day, not on the bumper of this friend’s truck, but on the back window of his truck.
I like that Pope Francis doesn’t want us throw around insults just to do it.
But this bumper sticker is merely a rather sharp reprimand of ISIS-minded people who torture and kill people just to it, hoping that they will themselves be “martyred” so that they can go to heaven and have 72 virgins to rape for eternity (since it’s all about women’s rights, right?).
Update: Dearborn MI open-carry inside police station / Brandishing vs. me at Police Station, Andrews NC. Yikes!
In Dearborn, Michigan, these guys are pulled over pretty frequently by the police so as to ascertain if they are creating a public disturbance, purposely terrorizing people. But now these guys seem to have gone too far. They open carried right into the police station with rifles and pistols and really a lot of ammo, one of them with a ski-mask covering his face. I don’t know if all that is legal to do in Michigan, particularly Dearborn, Michigan. They say it is. The police are understandably a bit nervous. Here‘s what one of the police officers yells out:
“Put it on the ground or you are dead,” one of the officers screams in the video that was live-streamed on the Internet via cell phones by Baker and Vreeland as the confrontation unfolded. “I will shoot you. I will put a round in you. What the hell is the matter with you?”
I don’t know what the motivation of the two open-carry advocates is, whether it is all about self-promotion or about the second amendment or if it is perhaps about their possibly being nervous because of the rumors, true or not, about un-official but somewhat de-facto sharia law observance in Dearborn or all or some or none of the above. Whatever about their motivation…
The fact remains that entering a police station armed to teeth (truly, the list is long) and with a ski-mask pulled over one’s face just doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea. FWIW.
Meanwhile, in Andrews, NC, I was sitting inside the police station just the other week having a chat about the executive order on immigration when a gentleman came waltzing in brandishing a fairly large pistol. Brandishing in any law enforcement center is, generally speaking, illegal in North Carolina. He was waving it about in my direction and I, trying to deescalate the situation, asked him in a sing-song naive voice and all smiles, much like Alfalfa of the Little Rascals:
“Hey! Wow! Is that one of those pistols that also shoots shotgun shells? It looks like the barrel is really big! Is that called ‘The Judge’?”
This threw him a bit, as it’s a stupid question. The Taurus Judge is actually a somewhat snub-nose pistol which can also fire off .410 shells. Although he had his hand around the handle of the gun and I could easily be mistaken, his .45 looked like a Colt, a Smith and Wesson, not small at all. He answered:
“Oh no. It’s, um, just a .45.”
As he looked down the barrel of his own gun I should have bolted and smashed him hard to the floor, as he was only about three steps from me.
At any rate, he then turned to the officer on duty – the gun still in my direction – and asked if it was O.K. for him to carry inside the station. The officer said:
“Well, you know, it’s not really allowed but I guess it would be O.K.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I must say that although the guy was a nice guy, I did feel threatened since it was clear that everyone knew this was an illegal situation and that the officer, who had visibly tensed up and who had glanced over to me, may have only agreed to the brandishing of the gun under duress of the brandishing.
I kept my trap shut since this could have merely been a way on the part of the officer to buy time, deescalating the situation until such time as they could make an arrest and not get hurt. Never pull a gun when someone already has a gun in your face. They only have to pull the trigger, which is faster than whatever you can do.
I also thought the guy might be an ex-cop and that they might have all been friends and/or relatives, and I didn’t know quite how legal or illegal his situation might be in that circumstance, although I suppose I should take a hint from the actual officer on duty that “it’s not really allowed” for him. I will be happy to know if this guy was eventually arrested when this could be done safely. I was the one in the direction this guy was waving his .45 at…
If the situation went badly, I would have been shot first, as I was closest to him and he already had the gun aiming in my direction. Meanwhile, the officer would have had the time to draw and shoot him while I was getting shot. That saves the officer. Fine with me. I suppose I could have tried to avoid my getting shot by bolting behind a physical structure next to him and myself and then trying to slam him to the floor. He did have a second person with him. But if that other person didn’t have a weapon, I think I could have kept the guy pinned for the few seconds it would take to get the officer to shove a gun barrel into the back of his neck commanding him to let go of his weapon. I don’t know. If I had bolted toward him, first going behind the physical structure for cover, he could have first shot the officer before I got to him, easily shooting me in that time frame as well. Maybe the “permission” part of the conversation was a cue for me to tackle the guy as he was distracted at that point. After all, the officer had glanced over to me. He would have followed me with his gun, possibly shooting, but leaving the officer alive. I would have been behind the physical structure for a second. He would have been totally distracted. The officer could have taken a shot at him while that was going on.
What to do? The situation did deescalate… I don’t know if there was an arrest that followed later…
Did I do the right thing in delaying, letting it deescalate? It might not have deescalated at all. He could have killed me and perhaps also the officer after that. He was pointing the gun in my direction the whole time. Each nano-second was a risk for me, and then the other officer. What would you have done? Suggestions?
It just happened to work well. This time. Just because it worked out this time doesn’t at all mean that it was best to let it deescalate.
Should I have possibly taken a bullet possibly saving the officer? I could have commanded the guy to PUT THE GUN DOWN NOW! while moving unstoppingly in his direction. I’m a pretty big guy… with a pretty big voice if I need it. His voice was just so familiar and soft-spoken when he talked to the officer on duty that it really did seem they were friends or relatives or the guy was absolutely to be trusted because of his own background… But it’s often like that. For instance, bank robbers are usually extremely soft-spoken and nice because in that moment they have all the power.
The thing is, I didn’t know any of that possible background (which I think is actually the case regarding a friend or relative). It was extremely imprudent for him to brandish like he did. He could easily have pulled the trigger on me, unwittingly, if I tackled him. Actually, I’m still pretty upset with this guy for recklessly putting lives at risk. Unless the police tell me different, I think I will tackle anyone brandishing in the police station here. There are plenty of people who are fully capable of brandishing in the police station, having the mentality of the two in the video at the top of this post. They brag about it. Loudly. That’s just the way it is. And now they have a good example as it seems to me someone who does this without getting arrested, if that’s the case, is a hero to very many people around here.
The lesson for all of us is that you just don’t know how you’re going to react in whatever situation. This was good training, whether I did the best I could or if I could have done better. It helps to go through real situations. The point of training is to get better. Which reminds me about the FBI training: Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!) Critical incident situations are simply not easy. One does need to be trained. I see that more clearly now than previously.
P.S. Just to say. I did not have a weapon with me. It would have been illegal for me inside a law enforcement facility. But I could have tackled the guy. I probably would have died. But I could have saved the officer’s life. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Ideas?
UPDATE: As I now find out, not only was this guy not arrested, this incident was not even reported within the office. My response: The next time someone is brandishing against the law, following this guy’s bad example, I will end the threat, whether I get shot or not. At any rate, I was told that this will be brought up for training purposes in the department. That’s all I can ask for. That’s a good result.
Does anyone have a copy of the prayer to the four directions / winds / spirits said for decades in the Cherokee Catholic church? As many of you know, I have a rather extensive background in interreligious dialogue and at textual analysis. I’d like to see what might be possible for solidarity / openness along the lines somewhat of Matteo Ricci, S.J.
Update: O.K. Well, lots of people are sending in lots of things in comments and emails, texts and links and whatnot, none of which was actually used in the Cherokee Catholic Church in WNC. These range from anything from witchcraft to Saint Francis’ Canticle of Brother Sun.
I too was raised Catholic. I too only later found out my family was Jewish. I am still a Catholic priest who happens also to be Jewish. That’s not a contradiction. That you became Episcopalian by choice says a lot. When non-Catholic Christians make fun of themselves they say to each other: “Oh, you must be Episcopalian,” the idea being that anything goes with Episcopalians. Now, with your head still spinning, you say that you stand ready to register as Muslim in solidarity. What does that even mean? Are you ready to wear a rug? Are you ready to be raped and then honor-killed by the “pious men” who watched you being raped but did nothing except accuse you of not wearing a big enough rug? Are you ready to cut down Christians and Jews wherever they are? Are you? If it’s all hyperbole about your conversion to Islam, you know, so that you don’t really mean it, so that really you are mocking Islam about your conversion, well, I don’t think they will appreciate that. Sometimes political skills are not appreciated by those for whose benefit they are used. Be careful what you wish for. For their part, they might want Trump to make a scene so that they have an excuse for “extremism.” When you are ready to make your Catholic sacramental Confession, hunt me down; I’ll give you a light penance. Jesus loves you even during the time that you have reject Him. He wants you back to the fullness of truth and the fulfillment of the Jewish-Catholic faith. Don’t forget, salvation is of the Jews, and is now universal, that is, Catholic.
Father George David Byers (your Jewish-Catholic Priest)
P.S. Do you also say, “Je suis Charlie Hebdo”?