Tag Archives: Interreligious dialogue

ODNI NSA CIA… Politically correct intelligence? Is that, like, a thing?

CIA MEMORIAL LANGLEY

Thanks for your “DEDICATION ON BEHALF OF THE AGES.”

A great deal of my life in academics was spent in getting to know the greatest thinkers the world has ever known, such as the prophets and evangelists, such as Augustine and Aquinas on the one hand, as well as, on the other, the fakers who become flavors of the day for self-congratulators, such as Erasmus and Luther, Rahner and de Chardin, Mohammed and Cardinal […].

What I’ve discovered about so very many of the analysts of those personages and so many others is that it’s all just about another effort in self-congratulation unless they take the time and effort (laziness and fear of the reality of oneself is the problem) to read everything that person has read, unless they go back in time as well as one might so as to insert oneself in the languages and mores and the times in which that person lived, shedding anachronisms of what we know or think we know and whatever we would want to see for whatever selfish reasons. You know the exclamation by a great orator: “O tempora! O mores!” That blistering sarcasm presumes a comparison with other times and other ways of doing things, condemning the idiocy of our own day, whatever day that happens to be in which pride of self covers over reality. But this protestation falls on deaf ears. The game among most academics is to ensure that no one does real research so that the comfort of self-congratulation can continue unabated: “Let’s all read ourselves into whatever and whoever, just don’t confuse us with the facts!”

Now, I just wonder – just wondering, mind you – whether or not a few of those who set policy for intelligence communities these days have set about reducing acquisition of knowledge, of actionable intelligence, to the lowest common denominator that is so low and so common that, really, if someone knows how to play this game, he or she can escape being thrust outside the ultra-broad parameters of tolerance of normalcy by encoders of algorithms, thus remaining undetected, the tradecraft of avoiding tradecraft, making it appear that one is not avoiding detection. Doing this is as easy as knowing the dumbed-downness of one’s partner in the “game.” If the political correctness of analysts has been brought to the point of having analysts never delving deeply into motivation (a predictor of action), the policy has provided a licence to terrorists to kill. Such policy would be the arrogance of a false humility, the imposition of what one expects of one’s ideological instead of real self, a reading of the mere shell of oneself into the target, the actual reality of the target being brushed aside as irrelevant, making the suspect no longer suspect. If it’s irrelevant for me then it must be irrelevant for him, right? Wrong. This is precisely not the humility of which I wrote regarding Kryptos. (See: Solving Kryptos – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.) This is precisely the way to let terrorism happen.

So, let me be more specific. Is there a politically correct denial of natural law, even though it is cited continuously and somewhat speciously, you know, the old “integrity which knows how to work in gray areas” diatribe? What is the basis for integrity if not natural law, such as in “Don’t murder the innocent,” that kind of thing? Rejection of some of the natural law is rejection of all of it, weakening the accomplishment of the mission because of the dimming of the vision of analysts. If they can’t see what they are doing, what can one expect?

O.K., let me be even more specific. If there is such a backing away from natural law, there follows lockstep a confounding of real religion with fake religion. True religion, to be such, must be consonant with natural law. Fake religion always compromises natural law. If true religion is irrelevant to the analyst, he or she won’t be able to assess the importance of fake religion as a primary motivator in terrorist attacks. This is ideological insanity (wildly not consonant with reality) and forces analysts to be nervous enough to exaggerate their merely secular analyses, as if that were enough. “We can do it! We can do it!” Yes, UBL was had that way, but so much more can be done. Fake religion is the primary motivator in terrorism. That must be taken into account. If not, expect the worst, like Kasi, like the Tsarnaevs, like…

So, what is the crux of religion? It’s not as Kryptos as you think, if you’re honest.

Anyway, something to think about even before mid-late January when the swamps along the Potomac will be drained. Let’s gear up for something good, shall we? For my part, I think I should start publishing a bit more on real vs. fake religion. Stay tuned.

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Pope Francis’ sarcasm @ ISIS / Islam when asked about père Jacques Hamel

isis burning children

ISIS burning children to death as young as three years old

“It is not a war of religions but for power. There is one word I wish to say to clarify. When I speak about ‘war’ I’m speaking about a war for real, not a ‘war of religions.’ It is a war about (economic) interests, money, natural resources and the domination of peoples. All religions desire peace. Other people want war.” – Pope Francis

So, does Pope Francis mean that père Jacques Hamel is not a martyr, or that the Missionaries of Charity sisters are not martyrs? That would seem to be insane and the Pope seems to think they were heroic. So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Let’s try to come up with something reasonable about what he said. I mean, to say that religions cannot be at war is simply stupid or malicious. I mean, let’s look at the Old Testament: was the God of the chosen people not a real God? Is the God of the Jews to be damned? Or for that matter, moving on in time, was Pope Saint Pius V an anti-Catholic for his defensive measures (very war-like mind you) at the battle of Lepanto? And for that matter, does ISIS really not intend to serve their god, Allah? Really?

How about this: Maybe Pope Francis is saying with fully intended sarcasm that Islam is not a religion at all. Hey! I like that! Finally! Yay!

But wait, that really does sound like it’s all an insult to the Jews and the Jewish God, which, by the way, is our God, the one and only God. There were good reasons for the Jews to be war-like. There were good reasons for being on the defensive at Lepanto. There is never a good reason for Islam to do what it has always done with its aggression from its beginning until this very day.

When ISIS asks the kids if they renounce Jesus and accept Islam, and the kids say no, and then the kids are burned to death, that’s all about merely trying to make a few extra bucks, right? Got it! Nothing to do with religion! Just about domination of peoples! Oh, I remember now: the Qur’an is all about subjugating the Christians and Jews. And the Qur’an is like, religious, or not, in that case. ;-)

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Terrorism analysis – the big picture (1) Politically correct guilt inviting terror but always against the same victims

yad vashem railroad

National guilt that is way over-exaggerated for past injustice is one of the best ways to invite a proliferation of terror in an effort to self-punish. Everything can be exaggerated, and the reasons can be frightening and bad things can and do happen.

Do we shout in a self-congratulatory way: “Never again!” as if we were morally superior today compared to people of yesterday just because we live today, giving ourselves a licence to kill? Some people say “Never again!” with sincerity, but some do not.

Three examples: Germany and France and these USA

(1) Germany

Germany has been going through a much needed process of guilt, coming to grips with just how it is that they did what they did against the Jews. But there is some exaggeration in this. Thus, I’ve had a number of highly influential professors from Germany and a Nazi-sympathizing part of Switzerland who said that those who remain Christian after the Holocaust are guilty of the Holocaust even if they were born after the Holocaust and had nothing to do with the Holocaust. That’s stupid or more likely malicious. That kind of self-righteous crusading statement just builds up a false guilt and a real resentment against those on whose behalf one is supposed to feel guilty. No one likes a misplaced guilt and will work to take away the cause, even doing what they have falsely been accused of doing. These professors, by the way, remained Christian. Basically they were thereby saying that they were Nazis. I’ve heard the same diatribe from people who should know better from four different countries, with dozens of others who thought it was great or couldn’t care less. So, what has happened since then?

As a nation, Germany congratulated itself to the end that it is thought Germans could not ever be prejudiced again and, to prove that this was the case, welcomed as many Islamicist terrorists as they possibly could, and even tolerated for as long as they could all the subsequent raping and killing that is so allowable under Sharia law. I wonder who the enemies of Israel are if not Islamicist terrorists. Get it?

(2) France

You’ll remember that France was pretty weak when it came to defending the Jews during World War II. The French police of the Vichy government helped round up and deport over 75,000 Jews, almost all of whom died in the concentration camps. France had already long occupied Algeria, but it wasn’t long after WWII that they lost their war with Algeria, which was waged by Islamicists from 1954 to 1962. At first, nervous about it, Frenchmen everywhere would drive about in France honking their horns three times and then, after skipping a beat, two other honks, the beats for the chant “Algérie Française,” a political/military movement. Most French Islamicists are from Algeria. They flooded France from that time until today. To this day, when there is a news report in France about terrorists, you’ll undoubtably hear that kind of honking going on in the background: “Algérie Française” honk-honk-honk—honk honk.

Meanwhile, the French feel terribly guilty about their treatment of the Jews, and say that they would never ever help with anything like the Holocaust ever again, not with the Jews, not with anyone. Of course, in being oppressive to the Algerians for so long, and feeling even more recently guilty about that (and losing yet another war) they couldn’t bring themselves to say anything but good things even about Islamic terrorists. I mean, what did we see the other day? A couple of known terrorists had their tracking devices turned off for hours each day so that they could go about unmonitored, you know, so the French could consider themselves to be nice, instead of, like, you know, prejudicial. A blood-bath ensued. Of course it did. The individuals involved are known terrorists. It isn’t prejudice to keep them locked up. But the French just cannot, cannot, cannot put real blame on anyone for anything because they know that they themselves are guilty of past oppressions against both Jews and Algerians. But letting real criminals free to kill is no way to cover up one’s own guilt. These individuals wanted to fight for ISIS in the Middle-East, and we know the intentions of ISIS for Israel. It’s O.K. to judge the cases of individuals. Really, it is.

(3) These USA

These USA are a special case. We liberated the Jews from the camps. We have helped Israel. Rightly so. We have suffered events like 9-11 from Islamist terrorists. But now we have been apologizing to the terrorists, lying to do so, coming up with stories about some video so as to congratulate terrorists for killing Americans in Benghazi, and a thousand other examples where the most obvious terror related incidents are called work-place violence, etc. Why? Is there guilt? Not unless it comes from someone believing in Islamicist terrorism whose regret is that the world does not yet totally belong to ISIS. The annihilation of Israel followed by wholesale slaughter of Jews throughout the world is lockstep.

Finally…

Here’s the deal. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and whatever other rubbish we ourselves have come up with. He purposely, willingly let us kill Him, our attempt at getting His goodness and kindness away from our eyes (too incriminating for our guilt). He, having stood in our stead and taking on the death we deserve, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, forgave us. So, no more guilt. But we are afraid of forgiveness.

But we won’t admit what we’ve done, but that doesn’t change the facts. And the guilt works on us. Even if we say we are atheists, we cannot escape the weight of the glory of God bearing down upon us as an invitation to His mercy. We still see it as incrimination of our weakness and self congratulations and arrogance. And so we attempt to get Him out of the way. We attempt to get His family out of the way, the Jews: “Ah! Maybe if we kill all the Jews, our own guilt will just disappear!” We are sooo stupid and self-righteous. Meanwhile, Israel is every single day closer to being wiped off the face of the earth.

“Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus Christ

If only we would just get a bit of humility. We can ask the Most High for this humility. We should remember, with Saint Paul (Romans 9:4-5):

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

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Extra ecclesiam nulla salus / There is no salvation besides the Church!

john paul ii be not afraid

On the Feast of the Transfiguration, 6 August 2000, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith promulgated with the ratification of Saint Pope John Paul II the Declaration Dominus Iesus, on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church. The raging debate has always been about the understanding of the word “extra”.

  • Does “extra” mean merely what most all would grant, that, outside of Christ in His Church, there is no other Savior, such as some martian in a space ship?
  • Does “extra” refer, for instance, to a legal application of positive divine law regarding baptism, indeed, even baptism done within the Catholic Church, so that no other Christians could ever be found in heaven no matter what?

Dominus Iesus is an important doctrinal document meant to be a teaching document settling controversies. It is brief, to the point. Most extraordinary. Well worth the read. There is a paragraph at the end which is interesting:

In treating the question of the true religion, the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council taught: “We believe that this one true religion continues to exist in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, to which the Lord Jesus entrusted the task of spreading it among all people. Thus, he said to the Apostles: ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you’ (Mt 28: 19-20). Especially in those things that concern God and his Church, all persons are required to seek the truth, and when they come to know it, to embrace it and hold fast to it”

Obviously there are more refined questions about the phrase “continues to exist” blah blah blah. But I’ll tell you this, if one accepts what is written in that document, there is no way that one could say that Islam has anything whatsoever to do with any kind of religion, even while the revelation which both Jews and Catholics have received is precisely the same in all ages (Aquinas, Siri et al.).

And let’s get this right: religion is part of the virtue of justice, so that one is to render to God that which is His due, which is proper worship, which can only be done through, with and in Jesus, to the greater glory and honor of God in the unity of the Most Holy Spirit. And remember, Christ Jesus, the Son of the Immaculate Conception, will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

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HEY! Donkey day has arrived! WooHoo! Every donkey has his hour!

image

And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, `Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Luk 13:32-35 rsv)

The Donkey — by G.K. Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

========= If I could only be a worthy donkey! ========

palestinian donkeyA donkey brought Mary to Bethlehem. A donkey’s breathing kept Jesus warm in the manger. A donkey accompanied the Holy Family to Egypt and all the way back to Nazareth. A donkey was used by the good Samaritan. Donkeys can sing. Most intelligent, they only do what they understand. They are not stubborn as mules. They are hard workers and terribly loyal. They are the symbol of Judaism from time immemorial right back through the millennia, along with the Lion of the tribe of Judah. They have suffered humiliation by elitist Democrats but are nonetheless resilient. It is the donkey who protects the sheep, doing away with “that fox.”

Below, the graffito from the first centuries of the crucified donkey (Jesus the Jew) worshiped by a Jewish boy and follower of Jesus (Alexamenos) in the Emperor’s School on the Palatine overlooking the Circus Maximus, with the Forum on the other side and the Colosseum on the other, mocked by his friends. I’m thinking that Alexamenos some became a martyr in those blood filled days, much like today.

alexamenos

This reminds me of Jackass for the Hour, the unpublished and needing revision 750 page ecclesiastical thriller novel I wrote for the sake of distraction while doing my doctorate on Genesis 2:4a–3:24, a novel about The Murderous Intrigue of Interreligious Politics (with a major theme being the papyri and mss, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation).

jackass for the hour

At the time, Renzo di Lorenzo was my pen-name. I’ve given up on pen-names. They don’t help me. I thought I might need one last year, but that all changed. Maybe the time will come again. I don’t know. What I do know is that donkey day is a great day. I wish I could always be a worthy donkey. And… and… I’m very happy to know that my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were all Jewish, meaning that I’m Jewish! Yeah!

 

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Dancing With Stones: Interreligious Dialogue Below the Temple Mount

img_20160113_100252455.jpg

On the very day I arrived at the Jerusalem Campus of the Pontifical Biblical Institute on Paul Emile Botta Street in West Jerusalem, a stone’s throw from the old city Continue reading

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A Pope Francis style dialogue: Getting Stoned in the West Bank

bus stoned jerusalem

When I was going to Hebrew University in the West Bank, my fellow priests and sisters of the Pontifical Biblical Institute would take the bus, scared to death.

They frequently returned with shards of glass in their hair and on their clothes, while I, meanwhile, calmly walked to school and back like I always did as a Continue reading

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My terrorist convert friend (suicide)

terrorist suicide

I don’t why, but I seem to know many more terrorists than the average Joe on the street. I don’t know why that is. This is a happy story and a sad story. An interreligious dialogue story. A story, I am afraid, of a victory but also of a terrible failure on my part. And maybe that’s why I dwell on such things a bit too much.

While doing my studies in Rome, taking the good example of a certain Swiss priest-friend, I made it a habit to do some street apostolate while doing my studies in Rome. Besides saying Mass and hearing confessions at pretty much every Missionary of Charity house in the city (except the one in Vatican City), I made it a point to Continue reading

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