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The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics.  Fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.  (Emphasis added.)

Samuel P . Huntington

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Do not Islam and Marxism display the truth of Professor Huntington’s remarks? Is our national security not, then, contingent upon America and the West knowing who they are and who their rivals are – what is the bedrock of our identity and their identity?

American and Western identity rests on our classical legacy, Christianity, the relationship between church and state, freedom of religious expression, free speech and free elections, the rule of law, civil society and the peaceful transition of political power, free market economics, and our historic national footprint.

When cultures clash, as they do now, one must have a very clear understanding of who one is.

When cultures clash radical variation in basic identity within a society is a luxury that cannot be readily accommodated.  That said, a political party like the Democrat Left whose identity is based on: perpetual radical social and economic “change,” the centralization of cradle to grave power in the federal government, creating conflict through “identity politics” which manufactures angry “victim classes” and enslaved government dependents – compromises the nation’s security.  A state of perpetual internal flux puts in question one’s basic identity – it distracts and creates unnecessary and dangerous discord.

Indeed this is where we are today: division within while those within and without who wish our defeat grow stronger and more intent on our destruction. 

To make matters worse, very few of those who occupy political office have any inkling of the challenge we face and the fundamental question it raises.  The question?  Who exactly are we?

In a clash of cultures not knowing who you are is fatal.

Shalom.

 

 

Bravo!  President Trump in his Speech in Poland raised this critical issue: The West and America are unique and worthy of respect and existence.  The issue is now will the Left and the Marxists be seen for their errors, mistakes and godlessness and will they repent?  

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… philosophers of the Enlightenment sought to use reason alone to establish a new basis for political and social life, one that was separated from the past.  They tried to create a secular morality that any reasonable person could understand and affirm … they extolled the freely choosing individual. (Emphasis added.)

Rod Dreher, in The Benedict Option

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In his book Simply Sane, psychiatrist Gerald May, M.D. tells the story of a heroin addict whose addiction was tied to the frustration he experienced when that he was not as “responsible” as he expected he ought to me.  That is to say, each of life’s frustrations promoted him to seek a way to feel powerful and full, whole and strong.  His route to the experience of autonomy was heroin.  For others, of course, it is alcohol.  For others sex.  Still for others, make-believe – or consumption, or prescription medication, or status, or the stage, showing-off, or wealth … yes, even violence, spousal or child abuse.

So much for the Enlightenment and the notion of the individual’s power, wisdom, discipline – his or her ability to cope with their own poor choices and a world full of others who get to “freely choose” … only to enhance the odds of calamity and disappointment in each individual life.

In Chicago last weekend,  some of those “the freely choosing individuals” managed to “freely choose” to shoot 100 other “free choosers.”

Look around you.  Is it not possible that we have over-estimated people’s capacity for all this self-acclaiming navigation?

Think, Bill Cosby.  He was a “Free Chooser.”  Think about abortion mills, lot of “free choosing” going on there.  How about the federal “genius” who attempted to “rescue” children from a religious cult in Waco, Texas, and managed to burn to death scores of those same children while getting several federal agents killed as well.  Another “free chooser.”  Nitwits beyond imagination.

Don’t you think we have demonstrated the obvious limits of the human person? Are we not worse off for having ushered God out of the spotlight in favor of “freely choosing individual?”

Look about in politics, lots of delusional “free choosers” there?  No shortage of calamity. No a surplus of humble (hence wise and less dangerous) good old people – each skeptical of the omnipotence the Enlightenment (we might call it the “Stupid-ment”) ascribed willing-nilly to the imperfect human being.  Ya, that heroin addict might have been sober and content to expect less of himself and others.  It is, afterall, hard enough just being … just being a human being.

It always strikes me as real idiocy that we do not understand the wisdom and power of humility.  I often gag when I hear the graduation speaker or college prof tell the audience” “go and change the world!” Balderdash.  Wisdom would say: be skeptical of your alleged genius, focus on doing no harm – cherish established wisdom and the traditions which house it.

Shalom.

By the Way: Memo to the Enlightenment Wizards – We now know from brain studies that reason has nothing to do with moral development or initiating moral choice, rather these matters are instinctive.  Yes, the human person is designed to seek good and reason only fortifies the instinct or justifies the errant decision to override what is instinctive. “Freely choosing individual” … my Aunt’s banana!!!

… the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body … your bodies are members of Christ … the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body … your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you …

1 Cor 6: 13, 17, 18, 19

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In my lifetime, I have endured the so-called “sexual revolution.”  I have seen the damage it does.  I have seen it tarnish womanhood, destroy families, make children the object of sexual predators, the growth of pornography, adulteries, out-of-wedlock births … homes without fathers, mothers with children by different men who have long since departed without any responsibility whatsoever.

I have seen the growth of human trafficking and how the “sexual revolution” has drained meaning from life and debased the human person – child and adult.

We have acted as if there is no God, as if we are the masters of our own body – free to do with it what we wish … and free to use others in precisely the same selfish and coarse way.

This, Dear Friends, is a critical problem – we have turned the pages of history back to pagan times – codifying and protecting child sacrifice, and “redefining” marriages and “gender” without regard to human history, religion, social, psychological, emotional and moral well-being or common sense.

Little attention is paid to the place of sexual expression in the articulation of a country’s moral structure and spiritual development and welfare, its stability and meaning.  Less attention is paid, it seems, to the essential place of sexual expression in Christianity, the development of Western Civilization, and in the individual health, development and contentment of the human person.

The “sexual revolution” has been extraordinarily destructive.  We now see married female teachers with a husband and small children involved sexually with their underaged students – children as young as 12 or 13.  Does anyone really think that this is not a sign of decay?  Do you see where the “sexual revolution” has taken you, your children, your family?

In this present conduct we are destroying self and the nation.  This 4th of July take a real look at this culture and what we mindlessly endure, accept in silence. Is this who you are?  We are?  What you want?  What you want for your children?

Shalom.

Postscript – I recall attending services at a synagogue in South Bend, Indiana, and listening after services to a Rabbi who was both a religious scholar and a lawyer housed at the prestigious Jewish Rabbinical institute in Cincinnati.  The Rabbi’s speciality was the evolution of Jewish family life over the centuries and he offered this: in this view the two most significant events in Jewish history were, one, the destruction of the Temple, and, two – the establishment of monogamy in Jewish marriage.  When you think about the “sexual revolution” – think about that observation.

Remarkable Reception for President Trump in Saudi Arabia.  The Saudis are to be applauded for the warmth and dignity they display.  This could be a significant turning point.  So much for the notion that President Trump is the Devil incarnate.

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… the state threatened to become not only militarily and politically triumphant but psychologically so: the custodial Superego for millions … their Egos an instrument, pure and simple, of the state’s bureaucratic manipulation.

Robert Coles, M.D. in A Secular Mind

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Dr. Coles, an esteemed research psychiatrist, is commenting on Nobel Laureate Czeslaw Milosz’s observations in his book entitled A Captive Mind in which he explores the consequences of (Communist) centralized state power over the individual person.

Doctor Coles ends his book about the secularized mind by focusing on the apparent need for the modern state to secure social and psychological control over its population.  And, Coles focuses on the prospects of neurochemistry and medical science in doing so.

As to the latter point, Coles draws on advances in neuroscience, biology and medicine – particularly on developments in pharmacology – reminding us that Sigmund Freud thought that in time the mind itself might be reduced to simple matter and ministered to (and perhaps altered substantially) by medications. That is to say, that the experience of being human would change rather significantly.

This, by the way, has been a theme expressed over time by a number of people from Orwell, to Huxley, to Stanislaw Witkiewicz and others, and displayed in Phillip Dick’s 1968 movie Blade Runner.

The notion of centralized control over the person leads me to think more critically of the divisions between those who despise Donald Trump and those who voted for him.

In thinking about this I see Trump as an unimportant focus.  It is not he himself that matters but rather the significance of the divide between those who voted for him and those who are clearly threatened by him, and seem to hate him.

It seems to me that the divide is what is important.

That said, I think one can make a reasonable observation that the difference is in part the distinction between those who favor centralized power and those who do not.  In effect, we are talking about those who favor government control over the social and psychological nature of the human person and those who oppose the same.

Illustratively, the Left favors imposing their “views” on others – i.e., forced “tolerance.” Some in the middle ground default to continued growth in government to the extent that sovereignty and national identity and nation itself is devolved to international organizations and competing cultures (i.e., globalists).

In opposition to this, of course, are those who favor less government and preservation of nation, individual freedom and continued American economic prosperity and ethos, and constitutional Federalism.

We have simply stated: globalists vs. nationalists.

So the question today is not Trump but what underpins the divide?  Why his adversaries violently oppose him?  Why the hatred and effort to drive him from office?

My view is that it has to do with a very fundamental question: Will we live in a country where control over the human person expands as the power of the central government and international organizations expands or will we not?

Shalom.

…”schizoid” … means out of touch; avoiding close relationship; the inability to feel.”

Rollo May, M.D., in Love and Will

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Thoughts on Tomahawks.

Well, this is a change.  For eight years we were allergic to use of force; we debased the military.  We drew “lines in the sand” and when they were crossed our inertia said, “Never mind.”  And the substantive message to others was: “you can aggress and we will do nothing.” Yes, we were chumps, easy pickings, inept.

Under President Obama we were a pinata.  Pinata’s do not protect American national security, make us safe, or lead to a stable globe.

One thing that comes to me immediately is: depersonalization.

Think about it: President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton saw the same pictures of innocent Syrian citizens (including women and children) who had been gassed, but did nothing.

The Left is schizoid.  It talks about people but shows time after time that they really don’t care deeply about people.

Think about it: abortion advocacy, calling Americans “a basket of deplorables,” their constant self-serving, the consistent centralization of power in Washington, the creation of more and more dependents, the pursuit of euthanasia, the intolerance of those who disagree, the foolish straightjacket of political correctness, lying about Benghazi, the implicit dislike of this country, disinterest in protecting our people in Benghazi knowing that this was an at-risk outpost, using the IRS and apparently the intelligence agencies for political purposes, etc.

The schizoid person is the depersonalized person.  This is not Donald Trump.

Think about it.  Trump won an election because he connected with people.  If he does anything he connects with a sizable portion of Americans.

In contrast, the Washington establishment has, unfortunately, become disconnected from the average person – the guy whose work is in steel, coal or manufacturing and has seen his employment disappear.

Today, we live in interesting political times here and in the West.  Nationalism and populism is taking the stage and the Left is shrinking.  Their time is waning, even though they do not realize it.

In nationalism and populism people matter, feeling is in play – understanding others too, likewise defending your citizens, your nation and its interests.  In this, we end the division and depersonalization of the Left.

I for one won’t miss these destructive misfits one lick.

Shalom.

… you wicked and lazy slave … Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness, in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth …”

Mt 25: 26, 30

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… “wicked,” “lazy,” “worthless” …

These are powerful words to use and to aim at another person.  However these are the words of condemnation that Jesus used in telling the story of the master who left for a journey and gave to each of his three servants money (talents) to hold in his absence.

As you may recall, these are the words the master aimed at one of his three servants when he returned and found that the servant never used the money positively, but rather buried it in the ground for fear of losing it.

Much to the master’s displeasure, he had not used what the master gave him.

This is a story about slothfulness – about not using what you have been given. It raises a serious question for us (individually) and for our culture today.  Indeed, it is a measure wisely applied to those who profess to lead us today.

What is slothfulness?  In scripture we see it is rebellion.  The slothful do not serve God in their life.  No, in not serving God they register no gratitude to God for what they have been given (a life in being, for one thing).  Nor do they show obedience to God.  They shun the works God has called them to in this life.  They “do their own thing.”

Sloth is also wastefulness.  These people (and there are many) never use their spiritual gifts to glorify God.  They waste their time, gifts, and life on things that do not further God’s intention.

The slothful are selfish. They serve, not others, but their own desires.  They are lazy, as well, – preferring things that are easy to things that are hard.  These are the people who avoid work, depend wholly on others, take the low road or sit and do nothing, or in working never fully commit themselves to excellence.  These are the people who, while doing little, believe that they know better than others.

In thinking about this parable, I could not help but think about the Democrat Party of the Left here in the United States.  They are chock full of people who never held a private job in their life.  I think of Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Bill Clinton, and Senator Charles Schumer.

Schumer, a Harvard Law School grad, never practiced law nor held a job in private industry after his schooling.  Rather as a young man with the gift of a “good education” he entered politics and never left.  He is one of those people who think, without any instructive life experience in the rough and tumble of daily work, that he knows better (always) than anyone else.  These are the slothful people who are perpetually foolish, trivial, loud, self-serving, and wrong. The Democrat Party of the Left attracts these people.  And in building dependents and the Nanny State, they breed slothfulness.

Think about it.  Does in make any sense for you to depend on the judgement of those with no life experience to speak of?  Would it not be better to cast them out to a dark place much as the master in the parable did to the lazy and wicked servant full of inertia and fear?  Have people such as these not done enough damage?

Shalom.

Surgery was a success.  Total knee replacement.  No pain killers needed.  In rehab – things going well.  Learned I have strong bones and a high pain threshold.  Interesting.

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” … the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel, of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

2 Cor 4:4

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Last Monday while in the hospital awaiting a late morning surgery, I was asked several times by nurses if I had fasted as required and each time I was asked when I last ate or drank anything, and I replied “6:50 p.m. on Sunday.”

Just prior to surgery the anaesthetist asked me that same questions.  My response did not vary.

However my friend Marty who drove me to the hospital added, “He had Communion this morning.”  The doctor turned sort of pale.  “When?” he asked.  “About 6 a.m.,” was the reply.  “We have to reschedule to a later time today,” said the Doctor.

I apologized for the inconvenience.  I felt embarrassed.  I felt like an idiot for not thinking of the Communion offering as “food.”  A few hours of humbling silence followed.  I thought, I am a lawyer, how could I not see that issue?

In those hours of waiting I realized that years ago I would have seen the Communion offering as simply a wheat product.  But not now, not now as I routinely live … and believe.

My blindness to wheat was actually a proclamation of the sight of belief that I had acquired … quitely, earnestly over years of my conversion to Catholicism and my many, many days of attending Mass, and all that I experienced in the Mass, in my life and in my faith.

My faith had blossomed.  My sight had replaced the blindness that is of this world.

It is so very funny, strange, special how God delivers us and when He does.

How grateful I am for the sight I have been given.  I was blind and now I see!

Shalom.

Friends a little later start than normal.  Had some early chores and errands so the day sort of got eaten up.  Sorry to keep you waiting.

” … bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Mt 3:7

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These are the very wise words of John the Baptist which were addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they appeared while he was baptizing people in the River Jordan.

Often in Scripture a simple phrase gives us a reason to ponder, to think what is Jesus or the disciple saying?  What is the import of these words?

The above words are such a phrase.

The truth of the matter is that a repentant heart gives rise not just to a change in attitude but a change in behavior.

To experience a momentary change in one’s attitude is not the goal.  Rather it is to have a change in attitude that is sustained, that then changes your behavior.

I give you a case in point.  I am from a tough neighborhood. My instinct is to fight. I am not a wall-flower.  Nor are those I know from my neighborhood.

So what am I to do with that aggressive nature?  How can I move from that as my first response?  Truth is: such a disposition keeps you charged up.

Yet, in Christ, why must I be so ready to do battle, so geared for combat?

If I profess Christ, should not my attitude change?  Would I not become more settled, more anchored in the strength and certainty of Christ?  Would my behavior not be more tranquil, exhibit the patience and love of Christ?

It seems to me that is what John the Baptist is saying.  It seems to me that when we see we have not been as Christ would be and we sense our attitude has changed – then, too, our behavior does indeed change for the better.

Shalom.

Some Westerners have argued that the West does not have a problem with Islam but only with violent Islamist extremists.  Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise.

Samuel P. Huntington, Ph.D., in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order

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Well here we are again.  Another Christmas slaughter by Islamists.  We had our California Christmas Party attacks last year – in which a man shot and killed injured his fellow employees – men and women who welcomed him and his Moslem wife and held a baby shower for their child.

Yesterday, Berlin got their Islamist Christmas present: a truck mowed down unarmed men and women at a Christmas Fair in the city.

Professor Huntington had it right. We live in an age where cultures are in conflict.  Islam and the Judeo-Christian world and world view are colliding.  And the frontline of the battle for us is as near as our local mall, public square, building or street.  So be it.

That said, things will have to change.

Allies must be formed around one simple proposition: defending Western Civilization.  Our friends in this will likely come from Europe and Asia, and perhaps selectively from the Middle East, and may include Russia.  As to the latter, let us not forget that in World War II, Russia was allied with the U.S. and England.  Yes, President-elect Donald Trump may have been correct to suggest this.

In the face of this serious existential threat to the West and our Nation, the American Left is out of step.  Their message carries an implicit opposition and rejection of America and its legacy.  They fancy open borders, “sanctuary cities,” the nanny state, income redistribution, free “stuff” for this or that group paid for by taxpayers, socialism, Communism, anarchy, godlessness, a weakened military, the imposition of “political correctness” and a focus on gender and sexual politics.  These fetishes are a luxury in a time of conflict.

The Nation’s focus and discourse shall have to change and those who would distract us from the task at hand paid no mind. 

Change.  Doesn’t the Left and the Democrat Party love change?  We’ll see, I guess.

Shalom.

Postscript – Where we are now is the direct consequence in our secular country of separating from faith, canceling belief, ignoring God and religion.  And, yes, the Democrat Party of the Left led the way with the legions of leftist college professors and the well-indoctrinated and poorly educated members of the media, entertainment industry and those whose God is wealth and privilege.  Yep, we are in a pickle.

Back after and unplanned day off-line as I had computer problems.

So sorry for the inconvenience.

The mass state has no intention of promoting mutual understanding and the relationship of man to man; it strives, rather, for atomization, for the psychic isolation of the individual. The more unrelated individuals are, the more consolidated the state becomes … (Emphasis added.)

Carl G. Jung, M.D., in The Undiscovered Self

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The Democrats lost in large part because of a Marxist ideological perspective they pursued for fifty-five years which depended on the divisiveness of identity politics that pitted women against man, Blacks against Whites, the “educated” liberal and celebrity class against the working class and made enemies of anyone who deigned to differ with them while, at the same time and consistent with their views, expanding government power into all manner of personal, economic, and social life and creating entitlements which have put our affluent Nation on the road to bankruptcy and grown a huge caste of those dependent on government (i.e., those of us who work and pay taxes) for their survival.

Yes, the “aggregate thinking” of the arrogant Left caught up with them.  People prefer being individual human beings rather than wards of the Nanny State or treated as “a basket of deplorables” by a bunch of privileged misfits who have demonstrated no particular maturity or achievement whatsoever.

As in all delightful human stories the Democrats destroyed themselves in pursuit of the Nation’s destruction.  Not to be undone in this human comedy of Democrat collapse, their Presidential candidate, her underlings and her husband by their actions and words added an implicit message that it was time to reject their idiocy and that of their Party.  Ah, all done in by their panache and deftness.

So where are we now?

We may have experienced a significant and fundamental turn in our culture – a return to a healthier state of being.  If so, we may have dispatched the ideological nonsense which has made life less full and each day more inane under Leftist politicians, their foolishness and intentional hostility.  Yes, we may have neutralized their destructive pathology.

As Jung notes we are individuals and social beings not a “basket of deplorables” owned by the State.  The mass Leftist state does not seek that you are free, prosperous and happy.  Perhaps their days and ways are now behind us.

Shalom.

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