I saw the photo of the beheaded little girl and something in me shifted, rolled over and settled into a new slot, click.
Unlike my spiritual betters, I did not feel the need to go down to my knees and pray. I did pray, in snatches, like breathing, all the rest of the day. I prayed for conversion of the Muslims. I prayed for the people ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, et al are killing. I prayed for Europe, which is suiciding itself with the poison of political correctness. I prayed for the conversion of the United States.
But mostly, I kept going back to the photos: Photos of children, slaughtered. And what I felt was much the same emotion I felt when I shot water moccasins.
I don’t think I’ve ever told you about that one, gun control being the flash point that it is. I had a 22 from the time I was quite little. My Daddy taught me how to shoot right and he taught me gun safety as he was doing it.
There was a slough not far from our house, a brackish dead-end appendix of water that came off the North Canadian river and idled in place, breeding mosquitos and water moccasins. Daddy and I would sometimes get up early, take bacon for bait and go crawdad fishing in that slough. The water was crawling with water moccasins; revolting, stinking (yes, they smell bad) black things.
My part-time job one summer was to shoot and kill the water moccasins; thin them out so they didn’t kill the livestock, pets and people. I got paid a quarter for each dead moccasin.
I didn’t use the little bead on the end of the barrel and the gun sight to aim. That took too long with a moving target. I learned that all I had to do was concentrate on the target and by some magic of my autonomic nervous system, the gun would align itself and the bullet would go through the snake’s head and kill it.
The emotion I felt when I looked at those videos and the photos of slaughtered children was much the same as what I felt when I looked at a water moccasin. That’s because I wasn’t thinking about the dead babies. If I did that, I would be unable to move and my brain would fill with white noise. Breathing would come hard, if I did that. I. Simply. Can’t. Go. There.
I was thinking about those monsters who held the knives, the apostles of satan who are holding the guns pointed at the child in the photo above.
I looked at these photos, and something in me shifted, rolled over and settled into a new slot.
ISIS is a rabid dog. There is no cure for rabid dogs; no reasoning or counseling or whatnot. You don’t stop a rabid dog from being rabid by building it a better dog house or giving it higher grade kibble.
The only thing to do with a rabid dog is kill it. That is the only way the rest of us will be safe.
To carry the analogy further, rabies is highly infectious to humans. Once it gets into us, we are doomed to become rabid ourselves. Sooner or later, whether we want to or not, we are going to have to kill these people. There is no answer for ISIS but the sword.
As we consider this somber thought, we might also consider the less emotional, but critical, questions. ISIS is only a discreet entity in terms of name. It is in reality just another branch of the same well-funded army of satan that is flourishing in Nigeria under the label Boko Haram.
ISIS has managed to wage actual war against governments in Syria and Iraq. Funding, equipping, training, feeding and sustaining an army capable of waging war against two governments simultaneously takes huge amounts of money. It appears that this particular army is aided by traitors in the governments it is attacking, but that is another story. The point here is more basic: Where is that war-waging money coming from?
I’m not talking about baklava sale money. I’m also not talking about individual money. It takes government money to fund war against standing governments on two fronts; three fronts, if you include Hamas.
Wealthy individuals are almost certainly contributing to the support of these human rabid dogs. But the kind of inexorable stream of big-time money that it takes to fund a war against governments on three fronts comes from another government.
Who is it?
It’s not Russia. They’re aiding the Syrians against ISIS.
I don’t think it’s a European country. It’s not Australia or Japan.
Who has that kind of money and a history of terrorist activities all over the world?
I don’t know, but when I was talking about this with my family last night, one of them said, “It may be China.”
That’s just a guess in a living-room conversation, but it certainly fits, doesn’t it?
We’ve got to figure this out. Who are we really up against here?
ISIS, Boko Haram, Hamas, et al, are the ones holding the guns, wielding the knives. They are the raping, murdering, little-girl stealing, baby-beheading rabid dogs.
But somebody is feeding these dogs. If it’s our Communist trading partner, China, they’re probably using our money to do it.
I am overwhelmed by the news. So, I’m not going to comment on these stories. Read and discuss. Let’s see what shakes out.
And finally, my Catholic Patheosi colleague Tom McDonald says it all with We Broke the World
The argument gets repeated a lot these days.
It’s a one-two-three punch that goes like this:
1. Hobby Lobby imports its wares from China.
2. This is absolute evil and means that Hobby Lobby supports forced abortion, the one-child policy, slavery and probably the mass slaughter at Tianamen Square and the Cultural Revolution, as well. It may even mean that Hobby Lobby’s owner are Communists.
3. So … Hobby Lobby’s owners do not deserve and should not have Constitutional Rights under the Constitution of the United States of America.
I have a question for those who make this argument. That question is not based on the fact that they don’t know anything about who sells Hobby Lobby its wares. The question doesn’t even address the highly tenuous assertion that people are guilty of the sins and crimes of everyone they associate with in the business world. (That would make all of us guilty of some pretty ugly stuff, you know.)
My question is simpler: What are you gonna do about your cell phone?
I am speaking specifically of Samsung cell phone owners, but that could apply to just about every one of us who owns a cell phone. I mean, Apple’s been in the news a lot because of its China connections.
In fact, whenever someone wants to create a faux moral outrage, or damage a company, they trot out the China connection.
The real outrage — and the one we need to address or die as a global power — is that we’ve moved our industrial base to China so that our manufacturers could use slave/child labor. This isn’t about one company or another company. It’s about moving our entire industrial base to a Communist regime.
The trouble is, that’s an issue that falls under the corporate control of our government, which, sad to say, removes it from moral discussion for a lot of people. We’ve been sold the rapacious lie that money and how it’s got is outside morality for so long that many ordinary people think it makes sense.
Anyone, up to and including the Pope, who dares to question this money-is-outside-morality cant will be called a Communist by the corporatist-owned media and their talking heads. That’s particularly rich, since what the corporatist media is protecting are corporations who’ve gone to bed with a Communist regime.
But I digress.
Let’s get back to your Samsung cell phone. And your Samsung smart watch/camera/Chromebook/tablet. If you are really truly sincere when you say that about Hobby Lobby’s owners don’t deserve Constitutional rights because you are sure they trade with China and trading with China is anathema, then you need to toss those babies today.
It seems that Samsung has done a bit more than import from China. They’ve been manufacturing their wares there, which means they have a direct contractual relationship with the plants that employ egregious and exploitative labor practices.
It probably also means, given Samsung’s size, that they are the sole proprietor or customer of these plants. We’re talking big money here. Samsung has money power (the only power that matters in a corporatist world) to change what happens in these plants.
This has led to repeated claims by China Labor Watch that Samsung has been using child labor to manufacture its products.
Of course, Samsung is a publicly-held corporation whose stocks are traded in the open market. That means the Hobby Lobby decision doesn’t apply to them. They’ve got to provide abortifacients in their insurance plans for their stateside employees.
So, what about the folks who’ve been jumping up and down like apes in a cage over the Hobby Lobby decision?
If you think they are going to go all moral and righteous over Samsung and its corporate child-labor-using brethren, raise your hand.
From China Labor Watch:
New York – China Labor Watch (CLW) has once again exposed the employment of child labor in Samsung’s supply chain, this time at a factory called Shinyang Electronics in Dongguan, China. This revelation comes nearly two years after CLW first revealed the exploitation of children in a Samsung supplier factory.
The production orders of Samsung are seasonal, and suppliers like Shinyang will alter the strictness of hiring practices in order to adapt to Samsung’s demands. During the busy season and in urgent need of labor, Shinyang hires child labor and underage student workers. These minors will usually only work for a period of three to six months, toiling for 11 hours every day without overtime pay, and the factory does not purchase social insurance for them as required by law. These young workers usually leave when the factory as it enters the off-season, and the factory does not need to provide any sort of severance pay.
On June 30, Samsung published its 2014 sustainability report titled “Global Harmony”. Within, Samsung says that it inspected working conditions at 200 suppliers in 2013 and “no instances of child labor were found”.
After allegedly inspecting hundreds of suppliers, Samsung did not find one child worker. Yet in just one Samsung supplier factory, CLW has uncovered several children employed without labor contracts, working 11 hours per day and only being paid for 10 of those hours.
CLW’s investigation of Shinyang revealed at least 15 sets of labor violations. In addition to child labor, unpaid overtime wages, excessive overtime, and a lack of social insurance, the investigation exposed a lack of pre-job safety training and protective equipment despite the use of harmful chemicals; discriminatory hiring; overuse of temp workers; workers made to sign blank labor contracts; illegal resignation requirements; potential audit fraud; broad company regulations that establishes the pretext to punish workers for almost any behavior; a lack of any union; and poor living conditions.
I know. I tell everyone not to call people names.
But there comes a time when “idiot” isn’t a pejorative; it’s an excuse.
Mr Limbaugh is doing his the-pope-is-a-marxist-communist-not-a-corporatist-like-me thing again. After reading this latest rather bizarre attack against the Holy Father, I am faced with three possibilities.
1. Mr Limbaugh has relapsed into his drug problem.
2. He’s an idiot.
3. He is deliberately baiting the Vicar of Christ for ratings, despite the fact that a grade-school child could read the interview he’s referencing and know that he’s misquoting and miscasting what the Holy Father said.
Given the choices, I’ve decided that, in charity, I will give Mr Limbaugh the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s an idiot. I don’t, for instance, think that the fact that he makes at least $70 million per year in salary, or that his net worth is approximately $400 million, has in any way messed with his mind.
What set Mr Limbaugh off on another of his attack-the-Holy-Father spiels is an interview Pope Francis gave to Il Messaggero on Sunday. Rather than try to untangle the web of misquotes and confabulation that Mr Limbaugh has spun, I’m going to quote a couple of highlights, then put Pope Francis’ entire interview below and let you read it for yourself.
Here are what I think of as the lowlights from Mr Limbaugh’s latest attack piece on my spiritual leader, Pope Francis.
“The 77-year-old pontiff gave an interview to Il Messaggero, Rome’s local newspaper, to mark the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, a Roman holiday. He was asked about a blog post in the Economist magazine that said he sounded like a Leninist when he criticized capitalism and called for radical economic reform.”
Oh, yeah, some obscure blog post in the Economist said he sounded like a Leninist, that got everybody riled up. We remember that. Don’t you? I don’t remember. Anyway, he said, “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel. Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, twenty centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian’,” he said, laughing.
I don’t know if the pope is saying that Jesus was a communist. I mean some people could read it that way. He says the communists stole our flag, and if our flag is rooted in solving poverty, and the communists want to claim that’s what they did, I mean, you connect the dots if you wish.
What Mr Limbaugh is doing here is quoting a misquote from an article headlined “Pope Says Communists are Closet Christians,” and then responding to it with the assessment, I don’t now if the pope is saying that Jesus was a Communist. I mean some people could read it that way.”
Ok, so he doesn’t know if Pope Francis is saying that Christ the Lord is a Communist? Are we supposed to believe that he’s serious?
Maybe he’s an idiot.
Or maybe this was an attempt to be sly and clever by attacking with innuendo.
Me, I’m going with idiot, because, as I said, it’s the kindest interpretation I can come up with.
Here, for those of you who would like to see it, is what the Holy Father actually said. It’s the whole interview, without cuts or edits.
I highlighted the part about Communism so you can want go straight to it if you want. If you can find the place where the Pope Francis said or implied that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a Communist, let me know. Frankly, I think that all you have to do to understand what Pope Francis is talking about is to remember that he’s from a country where children live in garbage dumps and scavenge for survival; a country where Communists have tried to take over by appealing to these poorest of the poor and offering them help.
That, and read the interview yourself instead of miscasting misquotes in order to make a coarse point.
From Vatican Radio:
(Vatican Radio) The Rome daily “Il Messaggero” on Sunday published an interview with Pope Francis made by journalist Franca Giansoldati. In his responses to questions on a wide range of issues, the Holy Father focused, among other things, on the challenges of change in the current “era” and “culture,” which has consequences for political, financial, and social life. The Church, along with various civil and social institutions, must respond to these challenges by protecting the common good and defending human life and dignity.
“Always protecting the common good, which includes “defending human life and dignity” is “the vocation of every politician,” the Holy Father said. Today, the problem of politics – which Pope Francis called a “worldwide problem” – is that it “has been devalued, ruined by corruption, by the phenomenon of bribery.” This “moral decay, not only in politics but also in the financial or social” sector, is driven by “change of epoch” that we are experiencing today, which is also “a change of culture.” In this context, our anxieties about poverty are not concerned solely with material poverty.
“I can help someone who is hungry, so that they are no longer hungry,” the Pope said. “But if someone has lost his job,” he is involved in another kind poverty. He no longer has his dignity.” Helping families in need, then, requires a “joint effort.” Pope Francis recognized that this is an “uphill” journey, but insisted it must be undertaken, working above all for the good of children. “Starting a family is an effort,” he said, because of economic difficulties that “social policy does not help.” Commenting on the very low birth rates in Europe – which makes it seem “as if she were tired of being a mother, preferring to be grandmother,” the Holy Father noted that the causes of this phenomenon lie not only in a “cultural drift marked by selfishness and hedonism,” but also in the current economic crisis.
Pope Francis was asked how he would respond to being called “a communist.” “I would only say that the Communists have stolen the banner… The banner of the poor is Christian; poverty is at the heart of the Gospel.” The cause of the poor is pre-eminently a Christian cause. The Gospel cannot be understood “without understanding real poverty.” At the same time, the Pope said there is also a “very beautiful ‘poverty of the spirit’,” being poor in the sight of God because God fills you up. The Gospel, in fact, is addressed indiscriminately to the poor and to the rich and “does not at all condemn those who are rich,” but rather condemns their riches when they become the objects of idolatry.
To the question “Where is the Church of Bergoglio headed?” Pope Francis replied, “Thanks be to God, I don’t have any church – I follow Christ. I didn’t found anything.” He went on to say “my decisions are the fruit of the meetings before the conclave. I have done nothing on my own.”
The Church in Asia “is a promise,” he said, turning to his upcoming trips to Korea, in August, and to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, in January. He also spoke about China, saying it represents “a great, a very great pastoral challenge.”
During the interview, Pope Francis also took up a number of other themes already addressed during his pontificate, such as the place of women in the Church. Without an understanding of femininity, the Pope said, one “cannot understand the Church herself.” Women “are the most beautiful thing God has made. The Church is a woman.” He said that in doing theology, one must take account of this “femininity,” and that the Church must continue to work on and develop a “theology of the woman.”
Pope Francis spoke also about the corruption and the economic and sexual exploitation of children. The Pope speaks of incidents of child prostitution that were reported to him when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, involving even elderly men. “For me,” the Pope said, “people who do this to young girls are paedophiles.”
Finally, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Rome, Pope Francis spoke about the everyday life and traditions of the City of which the Pope is the bishop. This role, the Holy Father said, is “the first service of Francis.” Pope Francis said Rome shares many of the problems of other cities “such as Buenos Aires.” He said a conference dedicated to the theme of “the pastoral care of the great cities” will take place in Barcelona in November. Pope Francis expressed his hope that the citizens of Rome, the inhabitants of a city “that should be a beacon in the world,” would not lose “joy, hope, confidence, despite difficulties.”
Following Jesus without deviating will get you smeared every time.
I think it’s a rule of some sort, written by Satan a couple of thousand years ago.
It even happened to Jesus Himself when He walked this earth.
So … if somebody calls you names for following Him, say thank you. It’s always nice when someone notices your fidelity to Christ and pays it the ultimate compliment.
Pope Francis, who has been following right down the line on this Jesus thing, has drawn the usual verbal lightning down his own head by doing it. Just this morning, I read an article calling him, once again, a Communist for speaking out on behalf of the poor.
I believe this particular article accused him of “following Lenin” in response to the Holy Father’s linkage of economics and war. Because, you know, war has nothing to do with economics. By this logic President Dwight Eisenhower followed Lenin, too.
I wonder if the author of that post is following Lenin’s advice. I’m referring here to the Lenin who wrote “A lie, told often enough, becomes the truth.” I also wonder if the author is acquainted with the bloodthirsty things that Mr Lenin did.
Pope Francis, “following Lenin????”
That one goes beyond pigs flying in tight formation and heads on out past hens apeckin’ on a hot griddle to jump the hate-blog shark. It doesn’t even rise to the level of defamation and slander. It’s just … hateful wing nutism that turns out to be accidental comedy.
At the other end of the wing nut comedian scale, we have a writer over at Salon who wastes a lot of band-width on her angst at learning that Pope Francis is Catholic. You know: pro life, pro traditional marriage and family; that kind of Catholic.
This author goes, alongside her right-wing-nut buddies, right past common sense and lands splat in a big barrel of mud. Instead of saying that the Vicar of Christ is in cahoots with Lenin, she informs us — with rageful venom that almost leaps through the screen and scorches the reader — that the pope is … ummmm … you know … a bigot, sexist, oppressor who supports pedophilia.
Nice shot, that last. And one that’s beginning to weary. I’ve been and will continue to be as outspoken as anybody about the failure of bishops to protect children from predatory priests. But there are pedophile protectors in just about every nook and cranny of this world of ours. We actually help victimize kids more by using this issue as a club to beat the Church with and ignoring everyone else.
In fact, I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that at least some of this outrage is just Catholic hating. The reason? I’ll give you two: Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. You need another reason? Go read Coreyography. Try the defense in trendy circles of egg harvesters who prey on young girls barely out of their teens. Or, consider the easy way the media pushed the baby-bodies-in-the-septic tank hoax. I could go on, but the examples rapidly get so ugly that I don’t want to talk about them.
Following Jesus will get you smeared. That’s a fact and it always has been a fact.
Pope Francis is getting his share of politically-motivated, wing-nut smear jobs. In fact, he’s been on the receiving end of a regular dose of it ever since we first heard “Habemus Papam.”
What these folks want, of course, is for the pope to re-write the Gospels to fit their politics. They want the Holy Father to affirm them in their sins and stop making trouble with this Gospel of Christ stuff. They’ve managed to buy and bully a lot of other religious leaders into doing exactly that.
One side gives us a Caspar Milquetoast Jesus who high-fives porn, prostitution, abortion, euthanasia and the destruction of the family. The other side gives us a sociopath Django Jesus who just loves torture, corporatism and endless war. They’re both liars, you know. Just like the one who sent them. Their way is the wide way that leads to death.
When the Holy Father goes off their political reservation and flat-out says that sin is sin, even when it contradicts the “moral” teachings of right-and-left-wing-nut politicos, he’s in for it. His punishment is to be labeled a Communist-Lenin-following-bigot-sexist-oppressor-who-supports-pedophilia.
My advice to Public Catholic readers is don’t give it a thought. If you know someone stupid enough to buy this load of guano, you might mention to them that believing this stuff is kind of like a reverse intelligence test. If you believe it, you flunk the test. Other than that, just stay the course, stand for Christ and trust Him to get you and all the rest of us through these days in which we live.
We have eternal life and the joy of walking with Jesus. We can partake of the Real Presence any time we go to mass. We are free of the yokes of anguish, despair and bitterness. All we have to do is take them off, lay them down and live life abundantly.
Trust God, do your part, say a prayer for the nuts who are being nutty in such ugly and, yes, laughable ways. Then, go live your life for Jesus.
And, oh yes, when someone calls you a name for following Christ, do what Jesus told you to do: Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
Wojeiech Jaruzelski Photo Source: CNA
There will be rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents. Jesus Christ
There must have been rejoicing in heaven a few weeks ago. That’s when Wojeiech Jaruzelski, the former Communist dictator or Poland asked for last rites.
Mr Jaruzelski was also the former and the commander of the Soviet Military forces that put down an attempted move toward democracy in Czechoslovakia. He was an avowed atheist for most of his adult life.
True to its way of doing things, the Church accepted him back and rejoiced in his salvation. Mr Jaruzelski died May 25, following a stroke and was given a funeral Mass on May 30. He had recanted of his atheism and asked for the rites of the Church two weeks before his death.
“What a … beautiful thing, that the head of the government which was at war with the Church should in the end be reconciled with the Church. That’s cause to ring the bells of glory, isn’t it?” said Fr Raymond Gawronski.
Warsaw, Poland, Jun 19, 2014 / 12:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The recent funeral Mass said for Wojciech Jaruzelski, who was a Polish military commander and communist politician during the Cold War, has been received as an occasion for rejoicing.
“What a very odd but beautiful thing, that the head of the government which was at war with the Church should in the end be reconciled with the Church. That’s cause to ring the bells of glory, isn’t it?” said Fr. Raymond Gawronski, a priest of Society of Jesus’ Maryland province and a Polish-American, in an interview this month with CNA.
Jaruzelski, who was for many years an avowed atheist, died May 25 following a stroke. He was given a funeral Mass in Warsaw May 30, said by Bishop Jozef Guzdek of the Polish Military Ordinariate.
A priest at the ordinariate’s cathedral announced that two weeks prior to his death, Jaruzelski had requested last rites.
Jaruzelski was born in 1923 to a prominent Catholic family of Poland, and shortly after country’s invasion by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, he and his family were deported to Siberia, and he was later made to work in coal mines in Kazakhstan.
Before World War II ended, he had joined the Soviet-backed Polish army to fight the Nazis. He continued to fight the anti-communist Polish Home Army after the world war, defending the Soviet-backed Polish government.
Jaruzelski formally joined Poland’s communist party in 1948, and 20 years later became Poland’s defense secretary; that year, he occupied Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring, an effort at democratization.
In 1981, he seized power in Poland and soon declared martial law in an effort to suppress Solidarity, an anti-communist trade union inspired by Catholic social doctrine. Tens of thousands were arrested, and some 100 were killed in the crackdown; Jaruzelski’s imposition of martial law lasted until 1983.
In China, June 4, 1989 is the day that wasn’t.
Tiananmen Square is the massacre that didn’t happen.
And on this anniversary of the massacre that didn’t happen, nobody inside China had better say anything that intimates that it did.
Welcome to the world of our trading partners. You know; the country to which we have exported our industrial base.
I’m talking about the last major Communist stronghold, which America has cunningly built into a world economic power by sending our jobs and our manufacturing base to them.
I am referring to the land of forced abortions and murdered baby girls, the bastion of slave labor, persecution of Christians and censorship. I mean the country that did not slaughter thousands of its own citizens in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
If you think that perhaps the Tiananmen Square massacre actually happened and that I’m exaggerating about our trading partner’s censorship, just try to send an email to anyone in China with the words Tianamen, June 4 or massacre in it. It will go nowhere.
The Chinese government forbids discussion of Tiananmen Square, the massacre it wreaked on its own citizens, and the brutal aftermath of persecutions, torture and re-education that followed it. The Chinese reaction to today’s anniversary of that tragedy is the reaction that totalitarian governments always use: stone-walling and silence that is enforced by threats, lies and raw power.
A few Americans have become rich beyond the dreams of avarice by dismantling our industrial base and moving it to China. The rest of us, not so much.
How this will play out in the years ahead, I am not sure. I only know that this Chinese leopard has not really changed its spots. That, and the obvious fact that our corporatists have weakened this country greatly feeding their greed.
From USA Today:
BEIJING – Tight security around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Wednesday combined with a months-long crackdown against dissidents and a quarter century of enforced amnesia to prevent public commemoration of the crushing of the 1989 pro-democracy movement.
In Hong Kong, China’s semi-democratic enclave, more than 100,000 people attended an evening vigil to mark the bloody end to seven weeks of demonstrations for a fairer, cleaner government 25 years ago.
On the mainland, China’s ruling Communist Party forbids citizens from discussing the movement. Thousands were believed to have been killed on the evening of June 3 through June 4, 1989, when the same party sent army troops into central Beijing to quell protesters.
In the past two months, about 50 people have been detained in a pre-anniversary crackdown that Chinese activists and human rights groups have called the most severe ever.
China’s state-run media all but ignored the highly sensitive date, while the censor’s trigger finger was busy Wednesday blacking out television screens showing CNN and BBC whenever the foreign broadcasters aired segments on Tiananmen.