The Christian lobby is now trying to convince women that abortion causes breast cancer


The Christian lobby is now trying to convince women that abortion causes breast cancer
 Jane Gilmore

Last week the ACL sent out an email inviting people to attend a Melbourne screening of Hush, a documentary described as “a pro-woman perspective on the abortion debate”.

The ACL describes controversial anti-abortion documentary ‘Hush’ as “a pro-woman perspective on the abortion debate”.

Hush has been lauded by anti-abortion and religious groups around the world for its allegedly “balanced” reporting of thoroughly debunked myths – that abortion causes breast cancer, infertility and mental illness.

Perpetuating dangerous and disproved claims about serious medical issues is a definition of “a pro women perspective” I haven’t heard of before, but to be fair, there are many issues pushed out by the ACL that I find difficult to comprehend.

A still from the documentary 'Hush'.
A still from the pseudo-documentary ‘Hush’.  Photo: Hush

Hush props up the allegation of “balance” by claiming the director, Punam Kumar Gill, is pro-choice. Despite this, there are 28 people featured in the film discussing the alleged dangers of abortion, and only two who assert it is a safe procedure.

Whether or not Gill really is pro-choice is irrelevant in the face of the claims made by the documentary, which gives significant weight to assertions by Christian anti-abortion researchers while ignoring overwhelming evidence from the medical profession that there is no reliable link between abortion and breast cancer.

It’s very much akin to the work of anti-vaxers, who cling desperately to risible claims by quack scientists, in the face of irrefutable evidence that they are wrong, because their feelings trump facts.

The film has been described as “a prototype of pseudoscience” by Dr David Grimes, who says he “advised the director in writing in September of 2014 of the poor credentials and discredited science of several anti-abortion activists interviewed for the film.

“She was apparently undeterred in conjuring up a conspiracy,” he says.

The documentary’s website lists a bibliography of the so-called “science” behind the breast cancer claims. The first article shows a possible small increase in the number of young women with breast cancer, but does not posit any possible causes. The second article was eviscerated by Discover Magazine in 2003, which utterly debunked the premise, methodology, results and conclusions of the study. And pointed out that – as Phyllis Wingo, chief of the cancer surveillance branch for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said – even if you accepted their flawed suppositions, “a relative risk of 1.3 – compared with the relative risk of 20 associated with smoking and lung cancer – is usually considered too weak to draw definite conclusions”.

The third link supporting the ludicrous notion that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer was written by Patrick Carroll, an insurance expert with no medical training, who works for the Pension And Population Research Institute, an obscure institution with a single-page website linking only to Carroll’s three papers on breast cancer and abortion.

These studies were used to prove a link that has been investigated and rejected by the National Cancer Institute, the Cancer Council of Australia, the American Cancer Society, and the Australian Medical Association, among many others.

Dr Tony Bartone, Vice-President of the Australian Medical Association, said the assertion is irresponsible. “There is no evidence that abortion is in any way linked to the development or onset of breast cancer.

“A patient suffering from breast cancer has enormous challenges to deal with, and they certainly don’t need this kind of misinformation adding to their already overwhelming worries,” he said.

“Also, patients making informed decisions about terminations do not need to be subjected to this kind of misinformation, which can only create significant and unnecessary further stress when they already have so many  concerns to deal with.”

What’s worse, the screening for which the Australian Christian Lobby was issuing invitations is a fundraiser for Women’s Forum Australia, “an independent women’s think-tank” founded by Melinda Tankard Reist, which claims to advocate for “women’s health and wellbeing”.

Of their 10 published news items, three were anti-abortion, six were about adoption (with a focus against same-sex parents adopting) and one was advocating against surrogacy. Their two events are the Hush screening and a Pregnancy Support Awards for services that persuade women against abortion.

Tankard Reist has long resisted publicly declaring any link to faith-based organisations, but the links between her, the organisations she’s founded, and right-wing Christian groups are difficult to ignore.

While faith is certainly a personal matter that no private individual should ever be obliged to disclose, it is relevant to public advocacy. Women’s Forum Australia has every right to argue against abortion if they choose to, but peddling dangerous misinformation under the guise of “balance” and “science”, and hiding a faith-based agenda behind an alleged concern for women’s health, demands some investigation and response.

ACL’s invitation to the event was forwarded to Fairfax Media and came directly from Dan Flynn, the Victorian Director of ACL. Kristan Dooley, the contact provided on the event information, confirmed to Fairfax Media that the event is a fundraiser for Women’s Forum Australia.

The ACL is very clear on its purpose, as stated on its website it is “seeking to bring a Christian influence to politics”. If the ACL is promoting a fundraiser, it would be unlikely to do so without some faith-based or ideological alignment with the beneficiaries.

Pseudoscience and discredited conspiracy theories do nothing for the anti-abortion cause. Using such things to raise funds for further advocacy is egregiously unethical.

If these are the best arguments they can make for an ideological crusade against a legal medical procedure that saves women’s lives, they desperately need to rethink their strategy.

And in the meantime, Australian women can rest assured that if they require an abortion, the procedure is safe, legal (in most states) and entirely a matter for each individual to decide.

 

Via:- http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/news-and-views/opinion/the-christian-lobby-is-now-trying-to-convince-women-that-abortion-causes-breast-cancer-20161018-gs535e.html

 

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How Far Right Catholic Fanatics Like Robert Spencer, Manufacture Islamophobic Hoaxes


The far Right, corporatist, religious and political lunatic fringe, has an extensive history of fabricating and manufacturing hoaxes to demonise perceived enemies, or competitors.

Mere reality is insufficient to satiate their lust for unbridled power, sociopathic hatreds and extreme paranoia, so that fantasies and fabrications are routinely manufactured to nourish their pornography of paranoia.

Conspiracism, the manufacture of the ‘demonic other’ and group, cultural ‘scapegoats,’ has persistently played a vital and core role, in far Right propaganda.

The grubby, listed hate preacher, Robert Spencer, adored by neo-Nazis, fascists and Catholic/Christian/Jewish extremists, is an intermediate cog in the larger, manufactured Islamophobia Industry machinery, which has been staple cash cow for far Right religious and politicised extremists, hate mongers and fascists preying and profiteering from real and fabricated cultural tensions.

Whilst innumerable examples could be cited, here’s a recent faux ‘news’ ruse, promulgated by the superstitious, Rightist Catholic fanatical loon, Robert Spencer who deludes that despite his lies, disinformation and deception, he is doing ‘the work of god.’

 

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Daily-Caller-Refugees

Via by Richard Bartholomew

Here’s one I missed from a month ago. From the Daily Caller:

A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club Saturday.

The refugees had previously been ordered to leave Norway for “bad behavior” and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn’t realize when they went out clubbing in Murmansk is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries.

…The refugees tried to flee but were quickly captured by the Russians. They then took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember. Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen refugees were in such bad condition they had to be take to the hospital.

As shown above, the story is illustrated with a photograph of a gang of burly men, one of whom has a club, beating up another man, who cowers on the ground.

The source given in the link above is an Italian report from Imola Oggi (without the photo), which in turn cites Fort RussThe Fort Russ article is in English (“translated by Tom Winter”), and states that it “was prepared from material on social network sites.”

However, it followed an earlier report on the same site (“translated by Ollie Richardson”) which has a somewhat different version of the story:

Several refugees from Arab countries were beaten in the middle of the night of Saturday in the city of Polyarnye Zori (Murmansk oblast), reported a FlashNord source in the law enforcement bodies of the region.

The incident occurred in the nightclub Gandvik.

“According to preliminary data, five refugees were beaten in the entertainment establishment. According to witnesses, they behaved insolently and had been pestering local girls,” — said the Agency’s interlocutor.

“Five”. As opposed to “51”. And no reference to any arrests. But there’s more: the original article from FlashNord can be seen here. It was followed up on the same day with a second article, confirming that there may have been a fight outside the nightclub, but that details could not be confirmed from CCTV and it was all over by the time the police arrived.

So, it looks like there was an incident of some kind – but it is far from clear that it was anything more significant than the kind of fight that tends to occur sometimes near venues where young men have been drinking and are perhaps “on the pull”. Were refugees involved? Was the incident provoked by anti-social behaviour towards female clubbers? Nothing in the report confirms any such details (and I can’t find further evidence elsewhere) – and the story of a mass incident involving dozens of arrests appears to have been a fiction.

The photograph used by the Daily Caller doesn’t make much sense: it shows just one man being attacked, and – somewhat crucially – it was taken in middle of the day. The site either didn’t bother – or forgot – to remove the photo’s metadata caption, which identifies it as actually showing Russian Cossacks assaulting a Ukrainian in Sevastopol in 2014. It was published in its correct context in the media at the time (see below).

Did the Daily Caller intend to deceive? Robert Spencer, always eager to spread stories about how Muslims are depraved, appears to have taken it at face value as evidence, as did other right-leaning sites.

Perhaps it was intended merely to be illustrative – but given that the Daily Caller clearly approves of the outcome in their version of the story, such a photo serves to titillate, and perhaps to exhort.

Have we really reached the point where a photo of a bunch thugs beating someone up is to be celebrated because someone has said that it shows a refugee, and has further assured us that the victim did something anti-social and deserves his fate?

Spencer-vs-Mirror

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How the Vatican Manipulates the American Democratic Process


Catholic_spain1
How the Vatican Manipulates the American Democratic Process

Editor’s note: The following has been adapted from Chapter 4 of our chairman Dr. Stephen D. Mumford’s book, American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (1984). This book is available on Kindle here.

The Abortion Movement

In 1980, Federal Judge John Dooling, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, declared that the Hyde Amendment, which prevented Medicaid payment for abortion, was unconstitutional. (Copies of Judge Dooling’s 328-page decision in McRae vs. HEW are rare. During a recent conversation with the Brooklyn United States District Court, I was told that their copy had disappeared and, for this reason, they were not in a position to reproduce it.) Judge Dooling had spent a year gathering evidence and studying the anti-abortion movement, and his findings showed that the anti-abortion movement was essentially a Roman Catholic movement with a little non-Catholic window dressing.[8] The amendment, says Dooling bluntly, was a ploy by anti-abortion congressmen frustrated in their attempt to pass a constitutional amendment that would override the Supreme Court’s 1973 pro-abortion decision; its purpose was quite simply to circumvent the Court’s ruling and prevent as many abortions as possible. Dooling, a practicing Catholic, makes short shrift of the anti-abortionists’ pretensions to be a spontaneous grass-roots movement that owes its political victories to sheer moral appeal. He confirms that the right-to-life’s main source of energy, organization, and direction has been the Catholic Church, and he describes in detail how the movement uses one-issue voting to put pressure on legislators, candidates, and the party organizations that nominate them—a tactic that gains influence far out of proportion to its numbers. Please see appendix one for excerpts from Judge Dooling’s decision in McRae vs. HEW.

What is most significant in this extract is Judge Dooling’s finding that the anti-abortion movement’s main source of energy, organization, and direction has been the Catholic Church. The bishops’ Pastoral Plan prompted the creation of the Moral Majority. Richard A. Viguerie, a Catholic, is the man most responsible for the development and success of the New Right, and he will be the first to claim that honor. He was also involved in the original discussions that led to the creation of the Moral Majority and, as its fundraiser, can be credited with its financial success. Paul Weyrich, a Catholic, claims credit for originating the idea for the group and the name itself. In their search for an attractive front man for the organization, they chose Jerry Falwell, who, according to intimates, has an insatiable lust for power—and, thus, Moral Majority, Inc., was born.[9]

It is inconceivable that these Catholic laymen were not responding to the bishops’ Pastoral Plan. Much went into avoiding public disclosure of the role of the Catholic Church in the creation of the Moral Majority. Maxine Negri, in “A Well-Planned Conspiracy,” exposed involvement of the Catholic hierarchy in the Moral Majority.[10] Then, the June 21, 1982, issue of U.S. News and World Report noted:

At the heart of Moral Majority is a direct-mail operation…. Membership claims … put the number of Moral Majority’s active supporters at roughly 4 million Roman Catholics, Protestant fundamentalists, and orthodox Jews. The organization says its “hardcore contributors,” numbered at more than 400,000, include a cadre of 80,000 priests, ministers, and rabbis organized into fifty autonomous chapters.

This claim of autonomy should not be taken seriously. What is described here is exactly the organization described in the Pastoral Plan of Action down to the details.

None of us who has ever worked extensively with fundamentalist churches or lived among fundamentalists ever took the claim that the Moral Majority was a fundamentalist organization seriously. One characteristic common among fundamentalists is a keen sense of individualism, and individualists are often fundamentalists because of this trait. There is self-selection. They strongly resist the “herding” that characterizes other major denominations such as the Catholic Church. It is very difficult to organize two or three local fundamentalist churches to carry out even a local short-term civic activity. Organizing much beyond this is inconceivable. In contrast, the Catholic Church, with its keen sense of organization acquired over a two-thousand-year history, found the “organization” of the fundamentalists a relatively simple task by providing with few exceptions the entire organization infrastructure, including the organization of the fifty autonomous state chapters and the organizations in the 435 congressional districts.

The far more experienced and autocratic Catholic Church found the fundamentalists easy prey. They created “leader” Jerry Falwell and they sought out for other visible positions others who also had an insatiable lust for power. These fundamentalists toe the line of the Catholic Church to maintain their newly acquired visibility and their sense of power. And, of course, the purse strings of the Moral Majority are controlled by those who collect the money—represented by Richard Viguerie. As the old adage goes, “he who controls the purse strings, controls the organization.”

The Family-Planning Movement

There is little doubt that virtually all opposition to the family-planning movement is Roman Catholic. The anti-family-planning movement’s main source of energy, organization, and direction clearly has been the Roman Catholic Church. Most people outside the family-planning field are not aware that this anti-family-planning movement continues to score major victories, such as preventing the U.S. sale of Depo-Provera, the birth-control injectable given every three months, a method which all available data indicate is safer than birth control pills. Depo-Provera is used by tens of millions of women around the world and is now approved by over one hundred countries, including most European countries, WHO, and other prestigious groups. Other victories include successfully laying roadblocks that prevent tens of thousands of women from receiving sterilization operations when they want them, roadblocks which result in thousands of unwanted births yearly. Far more important are the successes of the Church in minimizing U.S. assistance to family-planning efforts in developing countries.

Many of these victories for the Church come under the heading “Administrative Areas” in the bishops’ Pastoral Plan of Action. Two recent examples of Catholic Church activity are the mandatory notification of parents of teens who seek contraceptives at federally funded clinics and the banning of federal funds for family-planning clinics which provide abortion.

The ERA Movement

The Equal Rights Amendment died June 30, 1982. I am certain that its failure was the result of the success of the Catholic hierarchy’s bold efforts to defeat it. As with the anti-abortion movement, the main source of energy, organization, and direction of the anti-ERA movement is the Roman Catholic Church.

In June 1978, I received a Planned Parenthood Washington Memo which contained an article entitled “U.S. Bishops Block Pro-ERA Statement.” In part, it read:

The Roman Catholic hierarchy, in early May, refused to permit issuance of a subcommittee’s statement supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, indicating that the fight against legal abortion takes precedence as its preeminent concern.

The pro-ERA statement was supported by the bishops’ six-member Ad Hoc Committee on Women in the Church and Society, which took pains to separate support for ERA from any connotation of accepting abortion. Furthermore, they sought only to issue the statement in their own behalf and had reportedly consulted with the Family Life section of the bishops’ Department of Education, which apparently approved their conclusions “that the ERA will not threaten the stability of marriage in family life.”

According to a report of the National Catholic News Service, acceptance of the statement had been urged by ninety-four employees of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. Catholic Conference, but advance disclosures about the issue also generated heavy mail from the “right to life” groups opposing the ERA. The NCCB’s forty-eight-member administrative board, which sets policy for the 345 U.S. Roman Catholic bishops, rejected the pro-ERA document during an early May meeting in Chicago, contending that it could hurt anti-abortion efforts.

It is now apparent that this move by the bishops was a brilliant ploy. The Church not only evaded taking a positive stand on an important social justice issue which threatens its power but it has worked diligently to defeat the ERA by using the very same political action organization used to combat abortion!

In my home state of North Carolina, one of the last hopes of the ERA movement, we saw statewide polls in May 1982 show that two-thirds of our citizens favored the amendment, and, in June 1982, we saw two-thirds of our lawmakers vote to defeat it. Clearly, a vast superior organization killed the ERA in North Carolina, a finely honed and skillful operation, one two thousand years in the making—the same one continuing to fight legalized abortions in our fair state.

Actions Taken by the Church

What actions has the hierarchy taken to counter the abortion, family-planning, and ERA movements?

In 1980, Jean-Guy Vaillancourt, a Canadian Roman Catholic professor of sociology at the University of Montreal, published a book entitled Papal Power: A Study of Vatican Control Over Lay Catholic Elites.[11] This is a study of the techniques intensively used by the Vatican in many countries to control Catholic laypersons in Italy over the past one hundred years. In 1875, the Vatican created a system of local parish committees of at least five members each, called Catholic Actions. These committees were created to organize laypersons to assist the Vatican in seizing control of local, state, and national political machinery. Over the years, the Church gained considerable experience in organizing these committees and in ensuring obedience and a very high degree of responsiveness to the chain of command by the committees. These committees and their more recent counterpart, civic committees, are highly effective in mobilizing Vatican efforts. Vaillancourt places the role of the committees in proper perspective by discussing

a famous open letter presented to the Pope in 1968 by dissatisfied Catholics from France and elsewhere. The letter severely criticized the Vatican’s excessive attachment to wealth and power, stressing the idea that Church authorities are too repressive and manipulative:

“The whole Church apparatus is organized for control: the Roman Curia controls the bishops, the bishops the clergy, the clergy controls the laity … and the lay Christians control (what an illusion!) mankind. Hence a multiplication of secretaries, commissions, structures, etc., with their programs and rules…. Underhand influences have suffocated the openness which had manifested itself at the lay conference in Rome, a congress which had very little communication with the bishops who were then meeting in a synod.”

After this attack on the abuses of social and legal power by church authorities, the letter goes on to describe three of the favorite techniques of control used by the Vatican: secrecy (there are secret files even against bishops), spying and informing, and repression (used even against some of the most respected theologians).

Secrecy can be classified as either a legal or a social method of control, depending on whether it is used as an administrative-legal procedure or as a simple social defense mechanism. Spying and informing would clearly be instances of social power, since they entail the use of social processes. Finally, repression, as discussed in the open letter, refers to a mixture of legal, coercive, and even remunerative power. Concretely, it includes the habitual recourse by Church officials to excommunications, censures, condemnations, demotions, and the removal or firing of offenders from their ecclesiastical jobs.

In researching Papal Power, Vaillancourt studied Vatican control over lay Catholic elites for years, spending a large part of his time at the Vatican. To effect this control, Vaillancourt has found that the Vatican exercises eight kinds of power—all of which have been used and have proved effective in opposing social issues in the United States.

ECOLOGICAL POWER, based on the physical control of material environmental conditions. An example of this is the use of territory, buildings, or real estate to control people through the domination of their environment.

REMUNERATIVE POWER, based on material or nonmaterial rewards or compensations. An example of this is the way the Pius XII Foundation uses its funds to support some lay activities and not others.

COERCIVE POWER, based on physical or psychic violence. Examples of this are burning at the stake, torture, imprisonment, banishment, blackmail, removal from office, denouncement.

SOCIAL POWER, based on the use of structural-organizational or psycho-sociological mechanisms such as Catholic Action congresses, peer-group pressures, rumors, co-optation, social ostracism, socialization, use of mass media, nepotism, and selective recruitment. An example of social power is “conditioning.” …

LEGAL POWER, juridically founded, or simply based on bureaucratic and administrative norms, procedures, and maneuvers. An example of this is the rule of secrecy which affects, under the pain of “grievous sin,” the affairs of the Secretariate of the Pope and the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church in their relations with Vatican diplomats and other high-ranking prelates. Another example is censorship, through the nihil obstat and imprimatur.

TRADITIONAL POWER, based on the use of traditional symbols, rituals, ideas, and sentiments. The cementing of loyalty through a mass of torch-lit procession during a congress would be an example of this kind of power. Appeals to practices (for example, speaking Latin) and documents popular or prevalent in previous times are also instances of the use of traditional power.

EXPERT POWER, based on professional, technical, or scientific or purely rational arguments. An example of this is the recourse to commissions of experts in theology or the social sciences to bolster one’s position. Pius XII’s speeches to numerous groups on a multitude of topics was also an effort to control through expert power.

CHARISMATIC POWER, based on exemplary or ethical prophecy. Examples of this are calls for social justice and equality (used extensively in recent years) or the giving away of some of the Church’s possessions for certain causes (for example, a ring in a Brazilian slum). In a less prophetic vein, the replacement of personal charisma of office and the routinization of charisma are other examples of the use of this kind of power.

The Vatican with one hundred years of experience in controlling nations through these lay Catholic organizations, has chosen to export this highly developed mechanism for control of lay Catholics and democratic processes to the United States. In 1975, the Church launched its Pastoral Plan of Action. The “committees” discussed in this plan are the same “committees” discussed by Vaillancourt that are used to control lay Catholics and to serve as political machinery. These “committees” which make up anti-abortion organizations are openly being used by the Vatican to manipulate the American democratic process. This includes the Moral Majority organization, as unsuspecting Protestants lend their support. For those who have figured out that they are being used, the lust for power or attention given them is enough to keep them in the fold.

The Pastoral Plan of Action was supposedly initiated by the Vatican because “the will of God and the law of reason” demanded an unrelenting fight against abortion. However, by 1978, it became apparent that the Vatican had simply seized upon a golden opportunity to mobilize Catholic America into a political party using its “right-to-life committees”—including the Moral Majority. Some observers began to recognize that these very same “committees” were being used to fight the other “enemies” of the Catholic Church: the ERA, family planning, the environmental movement, illegal immigration control, and support for the Global 2000 Report. I am now convinced that abortion was simply an excuse to politically mobilize the American Catholic Church and create, de facto, an American Catholic Political Party. The same techniques and tactics developed and used by the Church one hundred years ago to manipulate local, state, and national governments on other continents are exactly the same techniques and tactics seen in America today!

In 1977, victory for the ERA movement seemed almost certain. Few Americans realize the fantastic amount of organization and mobilization of human resources, funds, and commitment it took on the part of the Vatican to turn apparent victory for the ERA into defeat. Phyllis Schlafly, a Catholic, and the “organization” she headed, got more help from the Vatican and the American bishops than most Americans can possibly imagine. Judge Dooling found the anti-abortionists’ claim that they were a grass-roots movement to be spurious; the belief that the anti-ERA forces are also a grass-roots movement is ridiculous.

As serious observers study the opposition to the family-planning movement, the environmental movement, illegal immigration control, and the Global 2000 Report, they recognize just how sophisticated the opposition is—the amount of energy, organization, and direction each has—and that the opposition is all the same people, the same committees.

Conclusion

This is not an abstract theory. Such organization has been effective in Italy and other countries and was described by Vaillancourt before it got underway in earnest in the United States. Until those of us who are concerned about these social justice issues are willing to confront the Catholic hierarchy, there will be no significant advances in these areas of social justice. So long as the Church can act “undercover,” it will continue to be effective in thwarting significant advances. Our willingness to permit the Church to act in secrecy in America vastly enhances its power. It is absolutely essential that our silence be shattered. If not, then no matter which of these causes is “our cause” it’s a lost cause. Just as important, the strength of a threatening Vatican-controlled political party in America will continue to grow. American Catholics who are seriously concerned about social justice must take the pope and the Vatican at their word when they say that they do not intend to change their course. Catholics must be aware that the pope and the Vatican are choosing their social justice issues very selectively. In the 1970s, Cardinal Leo Suenens proposed that the position of pope and the Vatican, as we know it, be eliminated and that four “mini-pope” positions be created; this is consistent with Catholic teachings. He insisted that this is feasible. Perhaps it is time for socially responsible American Catholics to break the American Church away from the control of the Vatican. Otherwise, they as individuals stand to be accused of the same hypocrisy practiced by their Church hierarchy.


[8] D. J. Dooling, decision in McRae vs. HEW, New York: U.S. District Court. See, Appendix 1 for a more complete extract from Judge Dooling’s decision.

[9] P. D. Young, “Richard A. Viguerie: The New Right’s Secret Power Broker,” Penthouse (December 1982), p. 146.

[10] Maxine Negri, “A Well-Planned Conspiracy,” The Humanist (May/June 1982), 42:3:40.

[11] Jean-Guy Vaillancourt, Papal Power: A Study of Vatican Control Over Lay Catholic Elites (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980).

Dr. Stephen Mumford is the founder and President of the North Carolina-based Center for Research on Population and Security. He has his doctorate in Public Health. His principal research interest has been the relationship between world population growth and national and global security. He has been called to provide expert testimony before the U.S. Congress on the implications of world population growth.

Dr. Mumford has decades of international experience in fertility research where he is widely published, and has addressed conferences worldwide on new contraceptive technologies and the stresses to the security of families, societies and nations that are created by continued uncontrolled population growth. Using church policy documents and writings of the Vatican elite, he has introduced research showing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church as the principal power behind efforts to block the availability of contraceptive services worldwide.

In addition to his books on biomedical and social aspects of family planning, as well as scientific articles in more than a score of journals, Dr. Mumford’s major works include: The Life and Death of NSSM 200: How the Destruction of Political Will Doomed a U.S. Population Policy (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1996); The Pope and the New Apocalypse: The Holy War Against Family Planning (Research Triangle Park, North Carolina: Center for Research on Population and Security, 1986); and American Democracy and the Vatican: Population Growth and National Security (Amherst, New York: Humanist Press, 1984).

Professor Milton Siegel, who for 24 years was the Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, speaks to Dr. Mumford in 1992 to reveal that although there was a consensus that overpopulation was a grave public health threat and would be a major cause of preventable death not too far in the future, the Vatican successfully fought off the incorporation of family planning and birth control into official WHO policy. This video is available for public viewing for the first time. Read the full transcript of the interview here.

The Fascist Vatican

Empire – The Vatican: A Wholly Roman Empire?

 

 

 

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Mad Catholic Monk Tony Abbott & Co; Destroying the “democratic life of this nation”


Speak boldly

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The editorial in the Age today suggests that “the Abbott government is cynically moving to de-legitimise certain institutions that perform vital roles in the democratic life of this nation.”

This latest reprehensible attempt to silence the Human Rights Commission is, as Penny Wong points out, part of a wider pattern of behaviour.

This is a Government that seeks to intimidate people who don’t agree with their policies and to silence independent voices.

Within hours of being sworn in, the Prime Minister’s office issued a press release, announcing three departmental secretaries had had their contracts terminated and the Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson would be stood down next year.

Dr Don Russell lost his job as head of the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Blair Comley was the head of the Resources, Energy and Tourism Department; and Andrew Metcalfe, a former Immigration Department chief, was sacked as head of the Agriculture Department.

AusAID was integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and its director-general Peter Baxter resigned.

“AusAID has been delivering an aid program that eradicates poverty in the world’s poorest communities, while DFAT’s objective is to promote and protect Australia’s national economic and political interests.”

The head of Infrastructure Australia, Michael Deegan, stepped down in February 2014 after he lashed out against the Abbott government for eroding the advisory body’s independence.

Infrastructure Australia disagreed about the priorities being pushed by government.  For example, they had listed Sydney’s WestConnex motorway as an ”early stage” project, despite Premier Barry O’Farrell’s and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s determination to proceed with the project.

”Grand announcements, ‘funding commitments’, glossy brochures, and project websites do not change the reasons (why some projects had not progressed on his organisation’s priority list.),” Mr Deegan said in an email. ”Many proposals lack merit.”

Infrastructure Australia was required to report to the federal government on how climate change would affect federal infrastructure policy. It was set up to assess infrastructure investments on their productivity merits instead of their vote-buying potential. As climate change could inflict damage worth $9billion annually to Australia’s infrastructure by 2020, it makes sense for our infrastructure advisory body to think about how to bring those costs down.

But the Abbott government expunged this instruction as part of its rewrite of Infrastructure Australia’s mandate. This is despite infrastructure co-ordinator Michael Deegan’s warning that rising sea levels and heat stress are among climate impacts threatening ‘‘a significant proportion of Australia’s existing infrastructure assets … and adaptation will require changes to the scope and mix of infrastructure investment’’.

Mr Deegan also noted that ‘‘a significant proportion of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the various infrastructure sectors, notably energy and transport’’.

No wonder he had to go, along with the Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority.

Talking about global warming is a death sentence to funding.

The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology have had their funding slashed with hundreds of jobs lost and research programmes abandoned.  With no Minister for Science to point out the value of research it is seen as an avenue to save money and control the areas being studied.

As a direct consequence of the $111 million budget cut, the organisation will lose 489 researchers and support staff by mid-2015.  Another 300 positions will be cut after an internal restructure. The union estimates CSIRO is set to shrink by about 20 per cent over two years.

In August, management confirmed eight infectious disease researchers at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, the country’s only facility for researching live samples of deadly diseases such as Ebola, would lose their jobs.

Eight staff have left the Aspendale laboratory, which focuses on marine and atmospheric research, since the budget was handed down in May. Those leaving Aspendale include senior scientist Paul Fraser, who has taken a voluntary redundancy. Dr Fraser, head of oceans and atmosphere, has been honoured by NASA and also helped establish one of the world’s two most important climate research centres at Cape Grim in Tasmania.

Water research also appears to have been targeted. The office of water science research and the national water commission will be abolished, while the sustainable rural water use and infrastructure program’s budget has had a $400 million trim.

At CSIRO’s largest Victorian site, in Clayton, 15 staff have left or are in the process of leaving. The laboratory, home to research areas including advanced materials, nanotechnology, energy, mining and minerals work, had already lost staff under Labor’s efficiency drive. Among them was organic chemist San Thang, who was made redundant in September. It came as Dr Thang and two colleagues were nominated as frontrunners for the illustrious Nobel Prize in chemistry. Dr Thang has been made an honorary fellow – an unpaid position allowing him to both continue his work and to supervise PhD students.

In addition to the budget cuts, CSIRO also lost about $4 million indirectly when the government folded the Australian Climate Change Science Program into the new National Environmental Science Program.

A further 175 government bodies were cut in the last MYEFO, building on previous decisions to defund agencies in the 2014-15 budget, “taking the total reduction in the number of government bodies since the election to 251″.

Two groups whose funding ceased were the Biosecurity Advisory Council and the National Biosecurity Committee Stakeholder Engagement Consultative Group.  In light of the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A due to contaminated imported berries one wonders who is advising Barnaby on how to proceed.

Other bodies to be disbanded included the Diabetes Advisory Group and the Alcohol and Drug Council of Australia.  This is unbelievably short term thinking as the cost of these problems to our society are astronomic.

The Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC) Joint Working Group to Provide Advice on Students with Disability was also disbanded which fits in with George Brandis’ decision to replace the Human Rights Commissioner for the Disabled, Graeme Innes, with the IPA’s Tim Wilson – Commissioner for bigots and presumably the “anonymous source” quoted in the government attack on Gillian Triggs.

Reading through the list of bodies that have been axed makes me wonder who the hell is looking after these crucial advisory roles.

The Prime Minister for Women has watered down gender reporting while the Minister Assisting assures us that, whilst she likes women, she also likes men so couldn’t possibly be a feminist – a view shared by the highest placed woman in our government, Julie Bishop, who tells us that “it’s only a downward spiral once you’ve cast yourself as a victim.”

Righto.  Domestic violence, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment are our own fault and we should stop whinging….is that the message?

The Prime Minister for Indigenous Affairs promptly cut over half a billion in funding from Indigenous programmes and disbanded the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, replacing them with Gerard Henderson’s son-in-law Warren Mundine.

Speaking of Gerard Henderson, he was appointed Chairman of the panel tasked with awarding the PM’s non-fiction Literary Awards.  He chose to give the history award to “a poorly sourced anti-union tome” which was described as a rudimentary, badly-structured book full of hearsay by another panel member.  But it fed into Abbott’s anti-union agenda.

From the outset, Abbott has spent many millions of dollars in a frenzied attack on unions seeking to demonise and undermine the only group with the power to present a collective voice in bargaining to protect workers’ rights.

In December, the Abbott government reintroduced legislation to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, despite 82% of the sector believing it was important to keep the charity regulator.

ACNC Advisory Board Chair and Productivity Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald said: “…the key beneficiaries of the repeal of the ACNC are really only those organisations who do not want independent public accountability or transparency but which seek to continue to receive large benefits from the Australian community.”

Unsurprisingly, it was George Pell who told Kevin Andrews to get rid of the watchdog.  Scott Morrison appears to have recently backed away from the idea calling it a low priority while he gets his “family package” together.

Huge cuts to the funding of the ABC, questionable board appointments, and threats to journalists that they will be jailed if they report on “special operations”, are all designed to muzzle the watchdogs.

Whether it’s scientists, charities, Aborigines, people with disabilities, refugees, unions, feminists, preventative health groups, Muslims, infrastructure specialists, journalists, public servants, or even colleagues….Abbott does not want to hear from us unless it’s to agree.

Bill Wright, a priest and church historian who was vice-rector at St Patrick’s seminary whilst Tony was there, said many found him “just too formidable to talk to unless to agree; overbearing and opiniated. Tony is inclined to score points, to skate over or hold back any reservations he might have about his case.”

Nothing has changed.

The Abbott government may not want to pay for advice but that sure as hell isn’t going to stop me from giving them some.

May Gillian Trigg’s strength and defiance be an example to us all and may we all raise our collective voices to defend those who this government would mute.

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Fanatical Australian Politicians Pushing Catholic Propaganda Into Government Schools


Brian Toohey: Australian schools about to get biblical

Catholic fanatics_n

Australia’s federal government is set to adopt a review of the school curriculum that will severely cut back content about Asia and explicitly celebrate what it calls the nation’s “Judeo-Christian heritage, values and beliefs.”

Following recommendations of a review panel, the government has said it will “properly recognize the impact and significance of Western civilization” in classrooms. The new focus even extends to a proposal to scrap all computer literacy classes.

What do you know?

The changes reflect the views of Education Minister Christopher Pyne, who commissioned the review after the ruling conservative Liberal/National party coalition replaced Labor in 2013. To conduct the review, Pyne chose two academics renowned for ardently supporting Pyne’s overall approach.

Like Pyne, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is a devout Catholic who had earlier championed changes to ensure that history classes no longer “underplay” Australia’s Western heritage. The reviewers endorsed Abbott’s claim that it is “impossible” to have a good education without a “serious familiarity” with the Bible. They seemed unaware that many Confucian and Hindu scholars, for example, manage to become reasonably well-educated without even a nodding acquaintance with Christianity’s sacred texts.

There should be no mistaking Abbott’s determination. The High Court, Australia’s supreme legal authority, has twice rejected the constitutional validity of his government’s appointment of Christian chaplains to all government-run schools. But Abbott is pressing ahead with a revised legal tactic, despite some states’ preferences for properly trained, secular counselors.

Looking West

The desire to stress Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage is particularly difficult to understand in the context of an increasingly diverse, multicultural society. The latest survey shows only 8% of Australians went to church at least once a month in 2011, compared with 36% in 1972. Although many of the initial settlers from Britain and Ireland (including transported convicts) called themselves Christians, Australia chose to establish a secular political system.

Contrary to the views of some conservatives, its laws are not derived from the Bible’s Ten Commandments. Moreover, many observers argue that the inhabitants of today’s turbulent world would benefit from less emphasis on the superiority of a particular religion’s “heritage, values and beliefs.”

The review’s official adviser on the English curriculum is Barry Spurr, a poetry professor of the University of Sydney whose specialization is Blessed Mary imagery in poetry. In line with Spurr’s approach, the review recommends that the curriculum put greater emphasis on the “Western literary cannon, especially poetry,” and much less on Asian and other literary texts in the existing curriculum.

Spurr gained unwanted publicity when the University of Sydney suspended him in October after the online site New Matilda revealed elements of allegedly “racist and sexist” emails he had sent. Despite what others saw as a repugnant tone, Spurr said he was being “whimsical” and claimed his email account had been hacked.

What is not in dispute is that Spurr’s written advice to the review said he could find no good examples of Asian writing. The comment is absurd, even leaving aside literary prize winners from Asia, such as India’s Aravind Adiga, author of “The White Tiger,” which won the U.K.’s prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2008. Pyne was forced to distance himself from Spurr’s emails but is still enthusiastic about the curriculum changes.

Words versus action

The new curriculum also favors the traditions of English law that Australia inherited. Few would object to this. But this legacy is currently being eroded by claims of national security risks, something the review fails to acknowledge. Abbott and Pyne have backed the imposition of draconian legal changes in Australia, where detention without charge is allowed in some instances under anti-terrorism legislation. In other cases, the onus of proof has shifted from the prosecution to the defense. Journalists, whistleblowers and others who reveal abuses of power by the intelligence services and police during security operations can now face five to 10 years in jail. A “publication is in the public interest” law that had protected these truth-tellers was abolished in October.

While few Australians want a school system exclusively devoted to serving the economy, the new concepts are so rarefied as to be meaningless for parents, students and policymakers. They endorse the 20th-century British philosopher Michael Oakeshott’s definition of education as an extension of a “conversation [that] began in the primal forests.” Oakeshott went on to say, “It is the ability to participate in this conversation, and not the ability to reason cogently, … or to contrive a better world, which distinguishes the human being from the animal and the civilized man from the barbarian.”

Given the review’s evident contempt for “student-centered” learning, it is not clear how students in Australia (or Asia) could be motivated to participate in this high-minded “conversation,” let alone learn much about how to reason or make discoveries about the world.

Brian Toohey is a Sydney-based commentator on defense, economic and political issues, and was editor of the former National Times. He is co-author of “Oyster: The Story of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service.”

‘Pope and Mussolini’ reveals a dark alliance


‘Pope and Mussolini’ reveals a dark alliance

If 20th-century fascism could be reduced to a coin, heads would be Hitler, tails Mussolini. Twinned in a twisted ideology of geopolitical domination and racial extermination, these tyrants did their worst to steep civilization in a war that benighted Europe and redrew the physical and psychic map of the world.

Benito Mussolini, though, had the more regional role — ever in Hitler’s awful shadow — as Italy’s preening, jut-jawed “Il Duce.” He seems, by now, a caricature of despotism, a thuggish narcissist who led his people to the wrong side of history and paid the price, shot by Italian communist partisans as the war ended, his body hung upside down on meat hooks to what seems eternal ridicule.

But as Brown University professor David I. Kertzer makes clear in The Pope and Mussolini, his vividly recounted history, the rise of Italian fascism is a tale of a very different partnering than that of Il Duce and Der Führer.  Instead, Kertzer portrays the alliance of Mussolini and Pope Pius XI. Both came to power in 1922, when the destiny of Europe, still reeling after World War I, was unforeseeable, and fascism was viewed as a form of authoritarianism that had its practical advantage for a nation seeking political order and a church that had fallen from its height of influence.

Importantly, Kertzer had access to recently opened Vatican archives regarding Pius XI, and his thorough research goes a long way in overturning conventional notions about Catholic church resistance to Mussolini. If anything, it’s a tragic story of a pope’s too-late realization that Hitler’s and Mussolini’s pagan tide of anti-Semitism had drowned any rationale for church support.

The complex history of the Vatican’s role during the Holocaust – and especially the debated history of Pius XI’s successor, Pius XII, who assumed the papacy in 1939, on the eve of Hitler’s push toward war – is the shadow that overhangs this book. Kertzer shows how the church’s accommodation with Mussolini in the 1920s and ’30s helped pave the way for the fascist nightmare Pius XI would regret on his deathbed. He died feeling deeply betrayed by Mussolini’s embrace of Hitler, who had undercut the Catholic Church in Germany while establishing nothing less than a religion of Nazism. And he was horrified, Kertzer affirms, by Mussolini’s decision to brand the Jews “a noxious foreign people.”

Born Achille Ratti in a small town near Milan — where the coarse and unschooled Mussolini had been born to the son of a blacksmith — the bookish, stoic Pius XI rose from the humble rank of Vatican librarian to become an officious pope, a bespectacled cleric whom no one would mistake for a visionary. But he was fiercely loyal to the church, and keenly aware of how the Vatican’s privileges and its stature among the Italian masses had withered during the First World War, under the thumb of a feckless Italian government and monarchy.

As Mussolini’s fascist squadristi, the infamous blackshirts, advanced from the countryside toward Rome in 1921, amassing power where socialists and democrats had mainly sown division, it wasn’t long before an insecure King Victor Emamanuel III chose to install Mussolini as prime minister rather than risk bloodshed.

Once in power, Il Duce was shrewd in using the church to shore up popular support. Though not a religious man, he courted Catholic approval, as Kertzer describes: “He ordered crucifixes to be placed on hospital rooms. He made it a crime to insult a priest or speak disparagingly of the Catholic religion. … He showered the church with money, including three million lire to restore churches damaged during the war.” He even had his wife and three children baptized.

As for Pius XI, Kertzer notes that the pope “had seen something in Mussolini he liked. Despite all their differences, the two men shared some important values. Neither had any sympathy for parliamentary democracy. Neither believed in freedom of speech or freedom of association. Both saw Communism as a grave threat.”

Only a cynic could call this a match made in heaven, but for the pope, Mussolini was manna, helping to restore the church to a central role in Catholic life. Perhaps it seemed a small price for Pius XI to limit criticism of the fascist government in church publications, or to trust Mussolini’s empty promise that he would control squadristi violence. The catastrophe to come was never quite clear to this well-meaning man of God, who was hardly alone in his failure to see.

PM Tony Abbott; Personally and Politically Rooted in Fascist Catholicism


Abbott and Santamaria’s undemocratic Catholicism

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English: Catholic clergy and Nazi officials, i...

by Paul Collins

B. A. SantamariaI grew up surrounded by the Democratic Labor Party, the ‘Movement’, Jesuit Father Harold Lalor and the Labor split. My parents distributed how-to-vote cards for the DLP. My uncle edited the Richmond News for the federal member for Yarra, Stan Keon, one of the Labor MPs who defected to the Anti-Communist Labor Party. That same uncle worked full-time for the Movement and was later Victorian country organiser for the right wing Clerks Union.

My parents eventually abandoned the DLP because of its extremism, and when Bob Santamaria attacked me in 1986 over my book Mixed Blessings my uncle severed all contact with him. So I don’t look back with nostalgia to either Santamaria or the Movement. I experienced the toxic divisiveness.

Apparently unlike Tony Abbott who, at the January 2007 launch of Santamaria’s Selected Letters said, ‘I was lucky to know B. A. Santamaria for the last 22 years of his life, to have attended diligently to his writing and speaking.’ Santamaria, he says ‘left Australian Catholicism more intellectual and less politically tribal’, by which he presumably means there are now Catholics in Coalition as well as Labor ranks.

Santamaria’s influence on Abbott’s policies has been much discussed lately by The Australian‘s Paul Kelly, Labor’s Maxine McKew, John Warhurst in Eureka Street, Gerard Henderson in the Sydney Morning Herald and Robert Manne in The Monthly. Reference has been made to Abbott’s close relationship to Cardinal George Pell, another self-proclaimed disciple of Santamaria.

But more important than the influence of particular policies is the ‘type’ of Catholicism Santamaria represented and the subtle, even unconscious influence this might have on Abbott.

Essentially Santamaria embraced a form of theological integralism which sees everything in the world as tainted unless it is ‘integrated’ or brought into the orbit of Catholicism. Integralism assumes that the Church has an unchallengeable, complete and accessible body of doctrine that gives guidance in every possible eventuality — social, political, strategic, economic, familial and personal.

Integralism defines Catholicism in a particularly narrow, aggressive, ‘boots and all’ way, and argues that Catholic action involves influencing and if possible controlling state policy. Thus Catholics are obliged to do all in their power to ensure that all legislation is in keeping with church doctrine.

As Santamaria said in 1948: ‘the most important objective of Christians … [is that they] should be capable of formulating or willing to follow a distinctively Christian policy on every social and public issue.’

But what is a ‘distinctively Christian’ (for ‘Christian’ read ‘Catholic’) policy? For Santamaria this was not a problem. He identified Catholicism with his own vision of faith. He refused to recognise that there were other equally sincere Catholics who had other theological ideas about the relationship of the church to the world and the state, people like Archbishop Justin Simonds, Dr Max Charlesworth, the YCW and the Catholic Worker group, who were influenced by the French philosopher Jacques Maritain and the Belgian Cardinal Joseph Cardijn.

Integralism has much in common with Italian Fascism, Franco’s Spain or Salazar’s Portugal. It is also at odds with the Vatican II Declaration on Religious Freedom: ‘Freedom means that all are to be immune from coercion … in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs.’

It is a real threat to democracy and to the freedom that Catholics have to make their own decisions on a whole range of issues, particularly political.

Nowadays Santamaria is praised for being an agrarian socialist and anti-capitalist. While this has made him popular with some aging secular leftists, they forget that these movements are romantic, backward-looking, authoritarian and linked with high immigration rates and the mantra ‘populate or perish’ with its racist overtones.

So what does this have to do with Abbott? I think it would be worrying if this kind of integralist Catholicism infected contemporary public life. It has no place in a pluralist, democratic state. It is also the manifestation of the kind of Catholicism that was abandoned by serious, mainstream Catholics five decades ago.

Abbott is wrong to suggest that it has made Australian Catholicism ‘more intellectual’. It is, in fact, a form of doctrinaire conformism that is the death of thoughtful commitment and is the antithesis of a faith seeking to base itself in reason and understanding.

I am not claiming that Abbott consciously follows Santamaria’s integralism. But there is always the danger of osmosis, of absorbing attitudes without realising it. If I were a politician — or an archbishop — I’d want to put considerable distance between myself and the most divisive man in the history of Australian Catholicism.

Paul Collins

Author and historian Paul Collins is a former specialist editor — religion for the ABC.

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English: Hitler meeting the nuncio to Germany,...

5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History


5 Christian Right Delusions and Lies About History

They’re not just delusional about science!

 The Christian right is most known for their denial of inconvenient science, but in many respects, they’re just as bad when it comes to the facts of history. After all, no matter what the topic, they know they can just make stuff up and their people will believe it. So why not do the same when it comes to political history? Here are five examples.

1. Joe McCarthy was a good guy. A new and extremely toxic myth is beginning to percolate in on the Christian right: Insisting that Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a paranoid alcoholic who saw communist subversives in every corner, was actually an upstanding guy fighting for God and country. In 2003, Ann Coulter published a book she claims vindicates McCarthy, but its impact wasn’t felt until 2010 when the Christian right members who stack the Texas State School Board tried to get the pro-McCarthy theories into Texas school books.

Christian right fanatics attempted to claim that McCarthy had been vindicated by something (wrongly) called the “Verona papers” (they’re actually named the “Venona papers”). There is a Venona project that has reputed historians who show that the Soviets did have spies in the country, but saying that means McCarthy was right is like saying I’m right to call your mother a serial killer because there are serial killers in America. Harvey Klehr, one of the experts working on the Venona project, denounced Christian right efforts to exploit his work to vindicate McCarthy, noting that McCarthy mostly just fingered innocent people in his paranoid haze.

The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy. He remains a demagogue, whose wild charges actually made the fight against communism more difficult. Like Gresham’s Law, McCarthy’s allegations marginalized the accurate claims. Because his facts were so often wrong, real spies were able to hide behind the cover of being one of his victims and even persuade well-meaning but naïve people that the whole anti-communist cause was based on inaccuracies and hysteria.

That the Soviets spied on the U.S. is neither surprising—not even to liberals—nor indicative that the communist witch hunts were an appropriate response. The Christian right’s interest in rehabilitating McCarthy probably has less to do with readjudicating the anti-communist cause and more to do with their modern-day obsession with promoting paranoid liars in the McCarthy mold to leadership positions. If they can instill the idea that McCarthy was vindicated by history, it will be easier to argue that the current crop of politically powerful right-wing nuts such as Michele Bachmann and Ted Cruz will actually “be proven right by history.” But McCarthy wasn’t and neither will they be.

2. What the Founding Fathers believed. For people who downright deify our Founding Fathers, the religious right is really hostile to accepting them as they actually were, which is not particularly religious, especially by the standards of their time. But David Barton, a revisionist “historian” whose name comes up again and again in these kinds of discussions, has spread the belief far and wide in the Christian right that the Founders were, in fact, fundamentalist Christians who are quite like the ones we have today. Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas confirms this, saying that Barton “provides the philosophical underpinning for a lot of the Republican effort in the country today.”

Barton has convinced the right to believe in their fervent wish that the Founders were religious and even theocratic with quote-mining and outright lying. He likes to whip out this John Adams quote: “There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government — but what is administered by this Holy Ghost.” Problem? Adams was summarizing the opinion of his opponents; that wasn’t Adams’ view at all.

Barton’s reputation took a hit recently. His most recent book, which tried to portray Thomas Jefferson as a “conventional Christian” who wanted a religious government, was so bad that even his Christian publisher decided to reject it.  But according to Politico, that’s just a small setback and Barton is quickly being restored to his position as an authority on history for gullible right-wingers. So that means his lies continue to grow and spread in right-wing circles—such as the completely made-up claim that the Constitution (which only mentions religion to insist the government stay out of it) is based on the Bible.

3. God’s protection. If you believe the lie that the Founders intended this to be a religious nation and that secularism is only a recent development, it’s not much of a leap to decide next that God, in his anger, has turned his back on the United States. And therefore that bad things are happening to us because he doesn’t protect us anymore.

You see this belief throughout the Christian right all the time. Every bad thing that happens is blamed on God removing his “hedge of protection” from the U.S. to punish us for turning our back on God in recent decades.School shootingsGlobal warmingHurricanes9/11.

The problem with this theory should be obvious: If God is turning away from America because we’re supposedly becoming more secular, then things were better back in the day. But when was this supposed Eden of American life supposed to have happened? During the Civil War? The Gilded Age of abusive labor practices? The Great Depression? WWI? WWII? Bad things are always happening, so the notion that they can only be blamed on God’s irritation with us sinners now makes no sense at all.

4. Roman civilization. The Christian right doesn’t just like to lie about our own history; they lie about other nations, too. A popular theory on the right is that the Roman Empire “collapsed” because growing decadence and liberalism caused people to, I don’t know, be too busy screwing to govern. It’s always a little hazy, but the formula is standard: Romans started having a bunch of sex, stuff fell apart, warning for America. Not a day goes by that you don’t hear this theory floated.

The problem with that theory is it makes no kind of sense. It’s not really right to suggest there was some kind decline in “moral values,” by which the Christian right means sexual prudishness, at all. Romans were pretty uptight.The rumors that they turned all perverted and debauched were made up by Christians trying to smear pagan culture. Rome didn’t really “fall” in the sense the Christian pundits mean, anyway. It was more a gradual decline of centralized power.

Anyway, the decline coincided with the rise of Christianity, which under the “God’s protection” theory means that God was punishing Rome for dropping paganism and adopting monotheism.

5. French revolution. One problem with characterizing the American revolution as Christian instead of secular is that there was another one shortly thereafter, built on the same basic ideals, that was undeniably secular due to the aggressive attacks on Catholic power. If the French were so secular, how could the Americans not be? The answer to the conundrum is to lie and claim there was some kind of gulf between the ideals of the French Revolution and the American Revolution.

Rick Santorum floated this theory at the 2013 Values Voters Summit, where he claimed the French revolutionaries were bad because they believed that rights and democracy stem from the social contract, instead of being handed down from God. Fair enough, though really the “reason” is probably closer to how they would have described it at the time, but where he goes off the rails is to insinuate that they were rejecting the values laid out by their fellow revolutionaries in America when they did this. In reality, the arguments of French and American revolutionaries are nearly identical, echoing philosophers like John Locke who were trying to construct an ideal of rights and freedoms that is frankly secularist in nature.

The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis


The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis

NaziPriestsBeltBuckle

For several years, since my last spate of blogging in 2009 – 2010, I have been preparing a collection of essays on Christianity’s role in the rise of Fascism and National Socialism in order to exonerate atheism and secularism, whose names are repeatedly sullied by the faithful in order to deflect attention away from their own gross failings of morality and resistance to radical evil.

American physicist Victor Stenger’s excellent addition to the New Atheism cannon, God, The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist, briefly mentions Christianity’s complicity with Nazism in its chapter discussing human morality.  Stenger cites palaeontologist, researcher and author Gregory Scott Paul’s three articles that were published in Free Inquiry magazine about 10 years ago: “The Great Scandal: Christianity’s Role in the Rise of the Nazis.”  I have learnt a great deal from Paul’s articles and they have been instrumental in my research for my own essays on the topic.

The articles are available to view on Free Inquiry magazine’s website, although the format is not terribly reader-friendly.

Part I

Part II

Part III

I have transferred the text, including the photographs and captions, into Word Documents, which I have uploaded to this blog in PDF:

Part I – PDF

Part II – PDF

Part III – PDF

Enjoy and learn.

BEHIND THE DICTATORS


BEHIND THE DICTATORS

Insightful, provides a clue to the seminal inspiration, real ideological and political force behind the rise of the Christo-fascist, American Religious Right!

http://archive.org/stream/BehindTheDictators#page/n9/mode/2up

Behind the Dictators

http://archive.org/details/BehindTheDictators

Fascism and Nazism as the political arms of Right Wing Catholicism

 

Jews Branded ‘Enemies of Church’ by Catholic Cult


Jews Branded ‘Enemies of Church’ by Catholic Sect
Society of Pius X Leader Says Jews Engineered Vatican II
Fighting Change: Some Catholic traditionalists blame Jews for the reforms of the Vatican II conference.

GETTY IMAGES

Fighting Change: Some Catholic traditionalists blame Jews for the reforms of the Vatican II conference.

Jews are “enemies of the Church,” the head of a radical Catholic sect said in Canada.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, made the remark during a Dec. 28 address at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Academy in New Hamburg, Ontario, about 90 minutes’ drive west of Toronto. He was reviewing the situation of the society, which opposes Catholic Church reforms decided by the Second Vatican Council and is not recognized by the Church.

Apparently speaking without a text, Fellay asked, “Who during that time was the most opposed that the Church would recognize the society? The enemies of the Church: the Jews, the Masons, the modernists.”

According to the Catholic News Service, Fellay added that Jewish leaders’ support of reforming Second Vatican Council “shows that Vatican II is their thing, not the Church’s.”

As of Friday, there was no response from the society’s Swiss headquarters to a Catholic News Service email request for comment, the agency reported.

The Society of St. Pius X, , was founded in 1970 as a reaction against the Vatican’s efforts to modernize. In 2009, Pope Benedict launched talks with the society and lifted excommunications imposed on its four bishops.

One of the bishops was Richard Williamson, who has denied that the Nazis used gas chambers and asserted that no more than 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died during World War II.

The society’s founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, spoke approvingly of both the World War II-era Vichy regime in France and the far-right National Front, and in a 1985 letter to Pope John Paul II identified the contemporary enemies of the faith as “Jews, Communists and Freemasons.”

Philippines Begins To Dismantle The Shackles of Catholic Medievalism


Passage of contraceptives law in Philippines shows times have changed for Catholic church

Article by HRVOJE HRANJSKI , Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-six years after Roman Catholic leaders helped his mother marshal millions of Filipinos in an uprising that ousted a dictator, President Benigno Aquino III picked a fight with the church over contraceptives and won a victory that bared the bishops’ worst nightmare: They no longer sway the masses.

Aquino last month signed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 quietly and without customary handshakes and photographs to avoid controversy. The law that provides state funding for contraceptives for the poor pitted the dominant Catholic Church in an epic battle against the popular Aquino and his followers.

A couple with links to the church filed a motion Wednesday to stop implementation of the law, and more petitions are expected. Still, there is no denying that Aquino’s approval of the legislation has chipped away at the clout the church has held over Filipinos, and marked the passing of an era in which it was taboo to defy the church and priests.

Catholic leaders consider the law an attack on the church’s core values — the sanctity of life — saying that contraceptives promote promiscuity and destroy life. Aquino and his allies see the legislation as a way to address how the poor — roughly a third of the country’s 94 million people — manage the number of children they have and provide for them. Nearly half of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unwanted, according to the U.N. Population Fund, and a third of those end up aborted in a country where abortion remains illegal.

Rampant poverty, overcrowded slums, and rising homelessness and crime are main concerns that neither the church nor Aquino’s predecessors have successfully tackled.

“If the church can provide milk, diapers and rice, then go ahead, let’s make more babies,” said Giselle Labadan, a 30-year-old roadside vendor. “But there are just too many people now, too many homeless people, and the church doesn’t help to feed them.”

Labadan said she grew up in a God-fearing family but has defied the church’s position against contraceptives for more than a decade because her five children, age 2 to 12, were already far too many for her meager income. Her husband, a former army soldier, is jobless.

She said that even though she has used most types of contraceptives, she still considers herself among the faithful. “I still go to church and pray. It’s a part of my life,” Labadan said.

“I have prayed before not to have another child, but the condom worked better,” she said.

The law now faces a legal challenge in the Supreme Court after the couple filed the motion, which seems to cover more ideological than legal grounds. One of the authors of the law, Rep. Edcel Lagman, said Thursday that he was not worried by the petition and expected more to follow.

“We are prepared for this,” he said. “We are certain that the law is completely constitutional and will surmount any attack on or test of its constitutionality.”

Over the decades, moral and political authority of the church in the Philippines is perceived to have waned with the passing of one its icons, Cardinal Jaime Sin. He shaped the role of the church during the country’s darkest hours after dictator Ferdinand Marcos imposed martial law starting in 1972 by championing the cause of civil advocacy, human rights and freedoms. Sin’s action mirrored that of his strong backer, Pope John Paul II, who himself challenged communist rulers in Eastern Europe.

Three years after Aquino’s father, Benigno Aquino Sr., a senator opposing Marcos, was gunned down on the Manila airport tarmac in 1983, Sin persuaded Aquino’s widow, Corazon, to run for president. When massive election cheating by Marcos was exposed, Sin went on Catholic-run Radio Veritas in February 1986 to summon millions of people to support military defectors and the Aquino-led opposition. Marcos fled and Aquino, a deeply religious woman, was sworn in as president.

Democracy was restored, but the country remained chaotic and mired in nearly a dozen coup attempts. The economy stalled, poverty persisted and the jobless were leaving in droves for better-paying jobs abroad as maids, teachers, nurses and engineers. After Aquino stepped down, the country elected its first and only Protestant president, Fidel Ramos. He, too, opposed the church on contraceptives and released state funds for family planning methods.

Catholic bishops pulled out all the stops in campaigning against Ramos’ successor, popular movie actor Joseph Estrada, a hero of the impoverished masses who made little attempt to keep down his reputation for womanizing, drinking and gambling.

But few heeded the church’s advice. Estrada was elected with the largest victory margin in Philippine history. Halfway through his six-year presidency, in January 2001, he was confronted with another “people power” revolt, backed by political opponents and the military, and was forced to resign.

His successor, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, styled herself as a devout Catholic and sought to placate the church by abolishing the death penalty and putting brakes on the contraceptives law, which languished in Congress during her nine years in power.

It mattered little. Arroyo’s mismanagement and corruption scandals set the stage for Aquino’s election on a promise to rid the Philippines of graft, fix the economy and lift millions out of poverty. The scion of the country’s democracy icon took power several years after Sin’s death, but it was a different era in which the church was battered by scandals of sexual misconduct of priests and declining family values.

The latest defeat of the church “can further weaken its moral authority at a time when this is most badly needed in many areas, including defense of a whole range of family values,” said the Rev. John J. Carroll, founding chairman of the Jesuit-run John J. Carroll Institute on Church and Social Issues. He said he wondered how many Catholics have been “turned off” by incessant sermons and prayers led by the church against the contraceptives law, and how much it contributed to rising anticlericalism and the erosion of church authority.

“People today are more practical,” said Labadan, the street vendor. “In the old days, people feared that if you defy the church, it will be the end of the world.”

Associated Press writers Jim Gomez and Teresa Cerojano contributed to this report.

1000 Years of Carnage & Barbarity in The Name of Christ


1000 Years of Carnage & Barbarity in the name of Christ

Kenneth Humphreys

 

10th Century Obscenities Vile Princes of the Papacy

“Popes maimed &         were maimed, killed & were killed… Without question, these pontiffs         constitute the most despicable body of leaders, clerical or lay, in history.         They were, frankly, barbarians. Ancient Rome had nothing to rival them         in rottenness.” – Peter de Rosa (Vicars of Christ, p48)

         John XII (955-964).

Born from an incestuous          relationship  between Pope Sergio III and his 13-year-old daughter          Marozie. John, in         turn, took his mother as his own mistress.

Pope at 18, he turned the            Lateran  into a brothel. He was accused by a synod of “sacrilege,            simony,  perjury, murder, adultery and incest” and was temporarily          deposed. 

He took his revenge on opponents          by hacking off limbs. He was murdered            by an enraged husband who caught him having sex with his wife.

 

11th Century Horror Church lords over ignorant squalor of millions

1095 – Pope Urban II          calls upon the Franks to invade the more civilized Muslim world. Begins        five centuries of warfare.

“Let those who have         hitherto been robbers now become soldiers.” – Urban II addresses his gangsters.

 

1009: Rivalry from Islam prompts         eastern churches to break with idolatry. This ‘iconoclasm’ begins breach         with idol-worshipping Catholic west. Centuries of bloodshed ensue.

1079: The Council of Rome:         Persecution of Berengarius & his followers who cannot stomach the         dogma of ‘transmutation of bread & wine into Christ.’

Svyatoslav’s Miscellany, 1076. God’s work – a serious business.

 

12th Century Criminality Christian Church ally of murderous kings & rogue      princes

“Warrior Monks”         – Muslim heads catapulted into the besieged city of Antioch by Christian         Knights (Illumination from Les Histoires d’Outremer by         William of  Tyre 12th century, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris).

 

1118: Christian fanatics          captured Saragossa; the beginning of the decline of Muslim civilization          in Spain.         

1184 Council of Verona         condemns Waldensians for witchcraft. The charge is later extended to condemn         heretics.

 

13th Century Wickedness Vile Crusaders Plunder & Murder for God

1204 Christian crusaders         sack & ruin greatest Christian city, Constantinople.

1209 Pope Innocent III         launches Albigensian Crusade against Christian Cathars of southern France.         7000 massacred in La Madeleine Church alone.

1211 Burning of Waldenses         heretics at Strasbourg begins several centuries of persecution.           

German Teutonic Knights         butcher their way through the Baltic lands, savage Catholic Poles &         Orthodox Russians.

1231: Pope Gregory IX authorizes         Inquisition for dealing with heretics.

1277 Pope John XXI, alarmed          by rumors of pagan heresy among “scholars        of arts in the faculty of theology” pressurizes Stephen Tempier,        Bishop of Paris, to prohibit 219 philosophical and theological theses.      The “Condemnations of Paris” is the first of 16 lists of censorship.

 

14th Century Catastrophe Church hostility to medicine allows plague to decimate Europe

Burning of the Jews of Cologne –
blamed by Christians for the         Black Death (Liber Chronicarum Mundi).

World Domination?

“We declare, say,         define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation         of every human creature to be subject to the Roman pontiff.”
– Pope Boniface VIII, Bull Unun Sanctum, 1302

1311-12: Ecumenical Council         of Vienne. It authorises the brutal suppression of the Knights Templar         (mercenaries of the church who have outlived their usefulness).

 

 

 

1316-1334: Pope John XXII,         world’s richest man and first pontiff to promote theory of witchcraft.         Sanctions bull allowing heresy charges to be brought against dead people.         In 1320 he instructs French Inquisition to confiscate all property belonging         to blasphemers or dabblers in black arts.

1300s.  Glowing eyes and nocturnal behaviour of the cat interpreted by the Church as clear proof of the hapless moggy’s diabolic affinity. Wholesale trapping and burning of cats allowed free rein to the spread of the flee-carrying rat. Subsequently, Europe’s population was decimated  by the plague.

1347-50: The Black Death sweeps         across Europe, killing one-third of the population.

“Jews were burnt all         the way from the Mediterranean into Germany… under torture confessing         to have spread the plague by poisoning wells… the poison made from the         skin of a basilisk (a kind of mythical serpent)…”
– N. Cantor (In the Wake of the Plague)

 

 

 

15th Century          Malevolence Tortured Bodies by Sadists of the Lord

 

16th Century Mayhem Pogroms & civil wars in the name of Jesus

“My advice…               is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who               are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could               also throw in some hellfire..”

Martin Luther (“On              the Jews and their lies” 1543)

1517: Martin Luther posts         95 theses at Wittenberg. The Reformation will turn Europe into a battleground.

1517 A Dominican monk Johann         Tetzel swells papal coffers by selling indulgences (‘souls freed from         purgatory’!)

1524: Luther – no friend           of the downtrodden – encourages savagery of German princes in           putting  down the two-year Peasants’ Revolt.

 

Book Burners for Christ– Dominican monks in the service of Ferdinand proudly consign the wisdom         of Moorish Spain to the flames (Berruguete, Prado Museum, Madrid)

1553 John Calvin, the “Protestant            Pope” of Geneva proves his Christian credentials by having Michael            Servetus, the Spanish physician, burned at        the stake for heresy. Servetus      had opposed Trinitarianism and infant baptism.

Servetus,                  the discoverer of pulmonary blood circulation (an advance on                  Galen) had fled the Inquisition and had thought himself safe          among Protestants. Oh dear.

        1559 Introduction of Index of Forbidden Books (lasts until 1966)

1563 Following the Council         of Trent, Jesuit Order becomes ‘Defender of the Faith’. Huguenots are         persecuted in France.

 

17th Century Barbarity Burning Witches for Christ

Urbain Grandier, burned         in Loudun, 1634. Cardinal Richelieu orchestrated his murder.

1600 After a seven year trail           before the Inquisition, Giordano Bruno, who had the audacity to suggest           that space was boundless and that the sun and its planets were not unique,           is condemned and burned at the stake.

1605: The Gunpowder Plot. Catholic fanatics attempt to blow up James         I of England.

1633 Galileo is brought before the Inquisition. Under threat of torture and death, he is forced from his knees to renounce all belief in Copernican theories. He is sentenced to life imprisonment. He dies in 1642 and the charges against him stand for another 350 years.

 

 

1618-1648 Central Europe         devastated by Thirty Years’ War between Catholics and Protestants

1411 Dominican Vincente Ferrer         revives anti-Jewish hysteria in Spain: “cohorts of the Devil and         Anti-Christ, clever, warped and doomed.”

1415 John Huss           of Bohemia, critic of papal corruption but guaranteed personal           safety,  burned at the stake. “When dealing with heretics,           one is not obligated  to keep his word.” – Pope Gregory           XII.

1415 Pope John           XXIII deposed: “The most scandalous charges were suppressed;           the  Vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy           and incest.” – Gibbon (Decline & Fall)

1478: Pope Sixtus         IV, in alliance with King Ferdinand of Spain, establishes the Spanish         Inquisition. Jews, Moors and heretics will be imprisoned, tortured and         murdered for centuries.         The bisexual Sixtus, though suffering from syphilis, fathers children         from his elder sister.

1484 Pope Innocent VIII decrees that cats are unholy creatures, to be burned along with the witches that own them.

1486 Taking a break               from book-burning, two Dominican monks, Henrich Kramer & James               Sprenger, write a best-seller – Malleus Maleficarum               (‘The Witches Hammer’) – ‘the most blood thirsty book ever               written.’ (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ, p184)
This unsurpassed               nonsense rests on the bench of every magistrate and judge in Europe               for three centuries and leads to tens of thousands of judicial murders.

1498 Dominican           reformer, Savonarola – burner of books & ornaments of ‘pagan            immorality’ – is himself burned for criticising the degenerate            Pope Alexander VI.

18th Century Scandal Christian Church endorses Slavery, Racism & subordination      of women

“And Noah awoke from         his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said,         Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.         And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his         servant.”

Genesis 9.24-26

 

“As for your male         and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves         from the nations that are round about you. You may also buy from among         the strangers who sojourn with you and their families that are with you,         who have been born in your land; and they may be your property.”         

Leviticus 25:44

 

1738: Freemasonry is condemned         by Clement XII and Catholics are forbidden to join.
1793: Last ‘witch’ burning at Poznen in Germany

19th Century Evil Christian Church Rejects Science & social        reform; Christian ‘missions’ go hand-in-hand with colonialism.

 

1814: Society of Jesus, suppressed         since 1773, is restored. The Inquisition continues until 1834, Church-sanctioned         torture until 1917.

1844: ‘Protection of Children         Act’ allows Church missionaries in Australia to kidnap aboriginal children.

1854: Pius IX proclaims the         dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the bull Ineffabilis Deus.         Lourdes shrine introduced.

 

1864: Pius IX issues the encyclical          Quanta cura and the Syllabus of Errors. It condemns some         80 propositions derived from scientific method and rationalism. Liberalism         & socialism are denounced.

 

1870: Vatican Council declares         the Pope “infallible”.

 

‘Bible Societies’ & ‘Missions’         in European colonies destroy indigenous cultures

20th Century Iniquity Christian Church allies itself with Fascism;        opposes advances of science & personal freedom

1907 Pius X condemns Modernism         in the decree Lamentabili and the encyclical Pascendi.

Hitler’s Pope – Pius         XII (1939-1958)

Hitler, a Roman Catholic,            is never excommunicated for causing the death of millions; whereas        Martin Luther was excommunicated for criticism of the papal system.

Friends of Fascists Everywhere:

         Germany

         Spain

         Croatia

21st Century Menace Churches the Stalking Ground of Paedophiles & Sex        Offenders

On March 12, 2000 Pope         John Paul II attempted to purify the soul of the Catholic Church by         apologising for 2000 years of “sins” committed by the church         – quite some compensation for twenty centuries of terrorism, extortion         and murder!

And yet – September 2000 – the            same John Paul II issues “Dominus Jesus (Lord Jesus)”,  reaffirming              intolerance: “Only one path to God – the Roman Catholic Church.”

And the story does not end:

Still the evil continues…

Child               sex abuse scandal rocks the US Catholic Church

“The Roman Catholic         Church has removed 218 priests from their positions this year because         of child sexual abuse allegations, but at least 34 known offenders remain         in church jobs”Reuters (June 9 2002)

Anti-abortion

Anti-birth control

Creator of “saints”

31 July, 2003 “Congregation          for the Doctrine of the Faith” condemns same sex deviants          who seek marriage. In contrast, no Vatican condemnation    of priestly paedophiles.

Catholic Hitler Praying | Rattles Former Warsaw Ghetto


Praying Hitler Rattles Former Warsaw Ghetto
Statue by Maurizio Cattelan not embraced by all
Posted by Kate Seamons
No chance of this one not being controversial: A statue of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees has been installed in the former Warsaw Ghetto, reports the AP. Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s work can only be viewed from afar, by peering through a hole in a wooden gate. What, exactly, Hitler—visible only from the back and appearing as a child—is praying for isn’t made clear, but what is clear is that many aren’t pleased. The Simon Wiesenthal Center this week called displaying the statue in a place where the Nazis forced many Jews to live in cramped, inhuman conditions before being sent to death camps “a senseless provocation. … As far as the Jews were concerned, Hitler’s only ‘prayer’ was that they be wiped off the face of the earth.”

                                                        But the director of the art center behind the installation counters that the intention was not to insult, but to try “to speak about the situation of hidden evil everywhere.” And he has Poland’s head rabbi on his side. Michael Schudrich was consulted about the statue and says he didn’t oppose it because he saw value in the moral questions it raises. Evil can present itself in the guise of a “sweet praying child,” he says, and the statue can “force us to face the evil of the world.”

                Praying Hitler Rattles Former Warsaw Ghetto
A statue by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees in Warsaw, Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)
Catholic Hitler Praying | Rattles Former Warsaw Ghetto

50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church


50 Reasons to Boycott the Catholic Church

The Church uses its resources to oppose social progress and positive change all over the world.

 

Photo Credit: AFP

Last month in Ireland, Savita Halappanavar died, and she shouldn’t have. Savita was a 31-year-old married woman, four months pregnant, who went to the hospital with a miscarriage in progress that developed into a blood infection. She could easily have been saved if the already doomed fetus was aborted. Instead, her doctors did nothing, explaining that “this is a Catholic country,” and left her to suffer in agony for days, only intervening once it was too late.

Savita’s death is just the latest in a long line of tragedies directly attributable to the doctrines and beliefs of the Roman Catholic church. I acknowledge that there are many good, progressive Catholics, but the problem is that the church isn’t a democracy, and those progressives have no voice or vote in its governance. The church is a petrified oligarchy, a dictatorship like the medieval monarchies it once existed alongside, and it’s run by a small circle of conservative, rigidly ideological old men who make all the decisions and choose their own successors.

This means that, whatever individual Catholics may do, the resources of the church as an institution are bent toward opposing social progress and positive change all over the world. Every dollar you put into the church collection plate, every Sunday service you attend, every hour of time and effort you put into volunteering or working for church organizations, is inevitably a show of support for the institutional church and its abhorrent mission. When you have no voice, there’s only one thing left to do: boycott. Stop supporting the church with your money and your time. For lifelong Catholics, it’s a drastic step, but it’s more than justified by the wealth of reasons showing that the church as an institution is beyond reform, and the only meaningful response is to part ways with it. Here are just a few of those reasons:

1. Throughout the world, Catholic bishops have engaged in a systematic, organized effort going back decades to cover up for priests who molest children, pressuring the victims to sign confidentiality agreements and quietly assigning the predators to new parishes where they could go on molesting. Tens of thousands of children have been raped and tortured as a result of this conspiracy of silence.

2. Strike one: “What did the pope know and when did he know it?” The current pope, when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was personally implicated in a case from the 1970s in which at least three sets of parents reported that a priest in his diocese had sexually abused their children. In response, Ratzinger assigned the priest to therapy, without notifying law enforcement, and washed his hands of the matter. That priest was back on duty in just a few short days and went on to molest more children.

3. Strike two: In 1981, again when the current pope was Cardinal Ratzinger, he got a letter from the diocese of Oakland asking him to defrock a priest who had acknowledged molesting two children. Ratzinger ignored this letter, and several followup letters, for four years. Finally, in 1985, he wrote back saying that more time was needed, and that they had to proceed very slowly to safeguard “the good of the Universal Church” in light of “the young age of the petitioner” — by which he meant not the victimized children, but the pedophile priest. (By contrast, when a rogue archbishop ordained married men as priests, he was laicized six days later.)

4. Strike three: In 2001, Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter, De Delictis Gravioribus, to all Catholic bishops advising them how to handle accusations of sex crimes by priests. There was no recommendation to contact the police, but rather an instruction for them to report such cases only to the Vatican and tell no one else: “Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.

5. Some church officials, like the American friar Benedict Groeschel, have blamed the epidemic of child molestation on sexually wanton boys who tempt priests into assaulting them.

6. They threaten to cut off funding for immigrants’ rights advocates because they sometimes work with gay-rights advocates. Preventing immigrants from getting legal and medical aid is less important than ensuring the church isn’t contaminated by even indirect contact with anyone who helps gay people.

7. In a sign of how ridiculously disproportionate and unhinged the church’s martyrdom complex is, the current pope has compared expanding the rights of women and gay people to the murderous anticlerical violence of the 1930s Spanish civil war.

8. They’ve used their official UN observer status to team up with Islamic theocracies like Iran and Libya to oppose calls for family-planning services to be made available in the world’s poorest nations.

9. They’ve gone to desperately poor, AIDS-ravaged regions of Africa to spread the life-destroying lie that condoms don’t prevent transmission of HIV.

10. In the mid-20th century, they appointed a special papal commission to study whether Catholicism should permit the use of birth control. When the commission almost unanimously recommended that they should, they ignored that recommendation and doubled down on their absolute ban on contraception.

11. They excommunicated the doctors who performed an abortion on a pregnant 9-year-old who’d been raped by her stepfather.

12. They did not excommunicate the stepfather.

13. Savita Halappanavar wasn’t the first: Catholic-run hospitals are willing to let women die rather than get lifesaving abortions, even when a miscarriage is already in progress and no possible procedure could save the fetus.

14. They refused to provide contraception or abortion to women who were abducted and forced to work as prostitutes, and then filed a lawsuit complaining it was violating their religious freedom when the government took away their contract.

15. In Poland, they ordered politicians to vote for a law banning IVF and threatened to excommunicate any who didn’t comply.

16. They were a major source of the pressure on the Komen Foundation that led to its disastrous decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood.

17. They’ve announced an inquisition into the Girl Scouts to get to the bottom of its association with morally suspect groups like Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam.

18. They’ve been one of the major forces attacking Obamacare, filing lawsuits arguing that non-church Catholic employers should be able to decide whether or not employee health insurance plans will cover contraception. This is effectively an argument that a woman’s employer should be allowed to force her to pay more for medical coverage, or even place it out of her reach altogether, based on his religious beliefs.

19. In Australia, they allegedly derailed a police investigation of an accused pedophile, putting pressure on higher-ups to get an investigating officer removed from the case.

20. They demanded that Sunday school teachers sign a loyalty oath agreeing to submit “will and intellect” to the proclamations of church leaders.

21. Some top church officials, including the current pope, have advocated denying communion to politicians who support progressive and pro-choice political ideas. Notably, although the church also opposes preemptive war and the death penalty, no conservative politician has ever been denied communion on this basis.

22. They’ve cracked down on American nuns for doing too much to help the poor and not enough to oppose gay marriage, condemning them for displaying a seditious “feminist spirit.”

23. In Germany, where parishioners pay an officially assessed tax rate to the church, they’ve tried to blackmail people who don’t want to pay the church tax, threatening to fire them from jobs in church institutions. In some cases, if the person opts out but later loses the paperwork, they demand on-the-spot repayment of decades of back taxes.

24. In America, bishops have compared Democratic officeholders, including President Obama, to Hitler and Stalin and have said that it jeopardizes a person’s eternal salvation if they don’t vote as the bishops instruct them to.

25. They fight against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. It’s not enough for the Catholic church hierarchy that they refuse to perform church weddings for gay and lesbian couples; they want to write that prohibition into the civil law and deny marriage equality to everyone who doesn’t fit their religious criteria, and have invested vast amounts of money and effort into doing so. In the 2012 election cycle alone, the church spent almost $2 million in an unsuccessful fight to defeat marriage-equality initiatives in four states.

26. They’ve compared gay sex to pedophilia and incest and called for it to be forbidden by law, saying that “states can and must regulate behaviors, including various sexual behaviors.”

27. They’ve shut down adoption clinics rather than consider gay people as prospective parents. The church’s official position, apparently, is that it’s better for children to remain orphans or in foster care than to be placed in a loving, committed same-sex household.

28. They barred an anti-LGBT bullying group, anti-teen-suicide foundation from a Catholic school ceremony, explaining that the group’s mission is “contrary to the teachings of the Catholic church.”

29. They told a teenager he wouldn’t be allowed to go through confirmation because he posted a pro-gay-rights status message on Facebook, and they expelled a preschooler from a private Catholic school because his parents were lesbians.

30. They have a history of dumping known pedophile priests in isolated, poor, rural communities, where they apparently assumed that local people wouldn’t dare to complain or that no one would listen if they did.

31. They’ve given huge payouts — as much as $20,000 in some cases — to pedophile priests, to buy their silence and quietly ease them out of the priesthood, after specifically denying in public that they were doing this.

32. When the Connecticut legislature proposed extending statute-of-limitations laws to allow older child-abuse cases to be tried, the bishops ordered a letter to be read during Mass instructing parishioners to contact their representatives and lobby against it.

33. To fight back against and intimidate abuse-survivor groups like SNAP, the church’s lawyers have filed absurdly broad subpoenas demanding the disclosure of decades’ worth of documents.

34. In the Netherlands, some boys were apparently castrated in church-run hospitals after complaining to the police about sexual abuse by priests.

35. When a Catholic official from Philadelphia, William Lynn, was charged with knowingly returning predator priests to duty, his defense was to blame those decisions on his superior, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, thus acknowledging that the corruption reaches to the highest levels of the church.

36. When confronted with hundreds of complaints about child-raping priests spanning decades, a Dutch cardinal used the same “we knew nothing” excuse once given by Nazi soldiers. Several months later, it was reported that this same cardinal had personally arranged to move a pedophile priest to a different parish to shield him from accusations.

37. In one case, Mother Teresa successfully persuaded the church to return a suspected pedophile priest to duty because he was a friend of hers. Eight additional complaints of child abuse were later lodged against him.

38. In yet another case, they appointed a priest with a history of child molestation to a board that advises the church on what to do when they get reports of priests molesting children.

39. And after all this, they’ve had the audacity to plead for money and ask parishioners to pick up the tab for legal costs and settlements.

40. They abducted tens of thousands of babies from unwed mothers who gave birth in Catholic-run hospitals all over the world throughout the 20th century, forcing drugged or helpless women to give their newborn children up for adoption against their will.

41. They tried to have the Indian skeptic Sanal Edamuruku charged with blasphemy and imprisoned for debunking a claim of a miraculous weeping statue.

42. They publicly supported the Russian Orthodox church’s decision to have the punk band Pussy Riot charged and imprisoned for blasphemy.

43. Their finances are a disorganized mess, lacking strong accounting controls and clear internal separations, which means parishioners who give to the church can have no assurance of what the money will be used for. According to an investigation by the Economist, funds meant for hospitals, cemeteries and priests’ pensions have been raided to pay legal fees and settlements in several diocesan bankruptcies.

44. They’ve said in public that the sexist prohibition on women priests is an infallible part of Catholic dogma, and hence can never be changed.

45. They’ve silenced priests who call for the ordination of women and other desperately needed reforms, exhorting them to instead show “the radicalism of obedience.”

46. They’ve excommunicated at least one priest for advocating the ordination of women.

47. They lifted the excommunication of an anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying bishop who also thinks women shouldn’t attend college or wear pants.

48. When it comes to the question of who’s financially responsible for compensating the victims of sex abuse, they argue that priests aren’t employees and therefore the church bears no responsibility for anything they do.

49. They canonized Mother Teresa for doing little more than offering a squalid place for people to die. Outside observers who visited her “Home for the Dying” reported that medical care was substandard and dangerous, limited to aspirin and unsterilized needles rinsed in tap water, administered by untrained volunteers. The millions of dollars collected by Mother Teresa and her order, enough to build many advanced clinics and hospitals, remain unaccounted for.

50. They announced that voluntary end-of-life measures, such as terminal patients’ directives for when they wish to have a feeding tube removed, won’t be respected at Catholic hospitals.

Antonin Scalia | Catholic Fascist Manipulates Supreme Court To Shamelessly Enforce Catholic Political Ideologies


Scalia says abortion, gay rights are easy cases

By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press – 4 hrs ago

  • FILE - In this March 8, 2012 file phoo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Scalia says his method of interpreting the Constitution makes some of the most hotly disputed issues that come before the Supreme Court among the easiest to resolve. Scalia calls himself a “textualist” and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak in Washington the other day, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

    Enlarge PhotoAssociated Press/Jessica Hill, File – FILE – In this March 8, 2012 file phoo, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. Scalia says his method of interpreting the …more Constitution makes some of the most hotly disputed issues that come before the Supreme Court among the easiest to resolve. Scalia calls himself a “textualist” and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak in Washington the other day, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)  less

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Antonin Scalia says his method of interpreting the Constitution makes some of the most hotly disputed issues that come before the Supreme Court among the easiest to resolve.

Scalia calls himself a “textualist” and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak in Washington the other day, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.

So Scalia parts company with former colleagues who have come to believe capital punishment is unconstitutional. The framers of the Constitution didn’t think so and neither does he.

“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute.

He contrasted his style of interpretation with that of a colleague who tries to be true to the values of the Constitution as he applies them to a changing world. This imaginary justice goes home for dinner and tells his wife what a wonderful day he had, Scalia said.

This imaginary justice, Scalia continued, announces that it turns out “‘the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.’ No kidding.”

As he has said many times before, the justice said the people should turn to their elected lawmakers, not judges, to advocate for abortion rights or an end to the death penalty. Or they should try to change the Constitution, although Scalia said the Constitution makes changing it too hard by requiring 38 states to ratify an amendment for it to take effect.

“It is very difficult to adopt a constitutional amendment,” Scalia said. He once calculated that less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, residing in the 13 least populous states, could stop an amendment, he said.

In a lengthy question-and-answer session, Scalia once again emphatically denied there’s a rift among the court’s conservative justices following Chief Justice John Roberts‘ vote to uphold President Barack Obama’s health care law. Scalia dissented from Roberts’ opinion.

“Look it, do not believe anything you read about the internal workings of the Supreme Court,” he said. “It is either a lie because the press knows we won’t respond — they can say whatever they like and we won’t respond — or else it’s based on information from someone who has violated his oath of confidentiality, that is to say, a non-reliable source. So one way or another it is not worthy of belief.”

“We can disagree with one another on the law without taking it personally,” he said.

___

The issue of gay rights, or more specifically same-sex marriage, is expected to be a big one in the term that began this week. While the justices initially were scheduled to discuss the topic at their private conference in late September, it now appears likely that they will not make a decision about whether to take up a gay marriage case until after the presidential election, which would mean arguments would not take place until the spring.

The justices have a variety of pending appeals they could choose to hear that deal in one way or another with gay marriage.

One set of cases looks at whether same-sex couples who are legally married can be deprived of a range of federal benefits that are available to heterosexual couples. Another case deals with California’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and federal court rulings striking down the amendment. An Arizona case deals with a state law that revoked domestic partner benefits, making them available only to married couples. Arizona’s constitution bans gay marriage.

___

The audio of Roberts reading a summary of the health care decision is available online through the Oyez.org website at http://www.oyez.org/cases/2010-2019/2011/2011_11_400

South Park Blasphemy | Right Wing Fox News Cronie Seeks Government Inquisition


Fox News Host Wants Federal Investigation into ‘South Park‘ for Blasphemy

Fox News’s Todd Starnes is sick and tired of ‘South Park’ and Hollywood getting a free pass. The Fox News commentator participated in the Values Voter Summit panel on “Religious Hostility in America” over the weekend.

The panel featured the familiar argument that Christians in America are somehow a beleaguered minority that is under constant assault. Starnes claims to have a pile of stories stacked up on his desk about “instances of people who have been facing attack because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
Speaking of the controversy surrounding the laughably bad “Innocence of Muslims,” Starnes asked why the federal government isn’t investigating “shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths.” He also demanded to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced Hollywood.
We have the seen the administration come out and say, “we condemn anyone who denigrates religious faith.” And they come out in regards to this anti-Muslim film.
Well, that’s well and good, but my question is, when has the administration condemned the anti-Christian films that are coming out of Hollywood? Where are the federal investigations into shows like ‘South Park,’ which has denigrated all faiths?
Where is the outrage when people of the Christian faith are subjected to this humiliation that is coming out of Hollywood?
Religious Right activists have been the most vocal supporters of the filmmakers, if you can call them that, and have rightfully pointed out that the First Amendment protects their activities. Starnes, however, seems to have a double-standard when it comes to speech that he deems offensive to his religious views.
As it turns out, the only investigation going on around the “Innocence of Muslims” concerns whether one of the purported “filmmakers” violated the terms of his probation. Otherwise the government has no place policing speech, regardless of who is offended, and the president is not the film critic in chief. President Obama can be excused, however, for speaking out when Americans are being killed over an amateurish YouTube video.

The Religio-Fascist Takeover of the Republican Party


Is The Republican Party Becoming Fascist?

Image from oldamericancentury.org

Republicans have been busy since they took control of the House of Representatives in 2011. Busy alienating every single group of people they can think of, except themselves. The United States is being transformed into a fascist state before our eyes and now is the time we must fight back and turn this evil tide.

Instead of focusing on jobs and the economy like they were elected to do, Republicans have used the excuse of budget crises whether real or not, to take rights away from us. In the 1920′s and 1930′s, fascists in Europe used economic crises to gain power and that is exactly what Republicans are doing now. Using the recession as an excuse to create a police state. Let’s examine how Republicans are frighteningly similar to fascists.

Fascism is the ultimate manifestation of social change and moral revolution, and glorifies nationalism. Sound familiar? It should. Republicans are all about culture wars and preach morality and how great America is. Fascists, like Republicans today, reject democracy and liberalism. Many Republicans called for violently overthrowing the government if the 2010 midterm elections didn’t go their way and have viciously attacked liberalism. Fascists also reject internationalism and pacifism and support militarism and war. Republicans have been calling for the United States to pull out of the United Nations since the 1950′s and have since 2001, been the party of war as evidenced by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the calls to attack Iran, North Korea, and most recently Libya. Fascists also promote heroism, vitalism and violence. Ever notice how Republicans promote themselves by chopping wood or firing guns or some other “manly” activity? They are trying to prove how tough they are. And the examples of violence are aplenty. Just look at the shooting in Arizona and the calls to shoot liberals in the forehead and the threats of “second amendment remedies” among many others. Republicans have ALL of these traits. Now let’s examine how fascists and Republicans agree on the issues.

As we all know, Republicans claim to be the party of family values. This is the exact stance of fascists as well. Fascists, like Republicans, believe that a woman’s role is confined to the home as a mother. In Italy, the fascists banned literature on birth control and increased penalties for abortion in 1926, declaring both crimes against the state. Fascists even pushed policies designed to reduce the number of women in the workforce. Republicans are attempting to do all of these things. They have relentlessly railed against birth control, and have pushed their idea of abstinence as if they have always practiced it themselves. Hypocrites. They are attempting to ban abortion, considering laws to legalize the killing of abortion providers and laws that destroy Planned Parenthood and allow hospitals to let women die rather than give her a life saving abortion. Republicans are also assaulting unions that represent professions held by mostly women such as nurses and education and have been highly critical of single mothers who work.

Speaking of education, Republicans and fascists have that in common too.
Fascist states pursued policies of social indoctrination through propaganda in education and the media and seek to regulate the production of educational and media materials. We see Republicans doing this every day. They have their own news network that uses blatant lies and misinformation to paint liberalism as evil. Fox News is directly responsible for spreading hate and fear on behalf of the Republican Party and even promotes Republican candidates with total disregard to acceptable journalism ethics. Republicans have criticized journalists for asking tough questions and have called for laws to change the mainstream media. Many Republicans are against Freedom of the Press and have even detained journalists against their will for asking questions. Then there is the GOP stance on education. Their attempts to destroy public education is nothing more than an effort to create private schools designed to do their ideological bidding. Private schools can deny an education to anyone and can discriminately hire any teacher they wish which means an army of conservative teachers that will only teach the Republican ideology and their view of history. Fascists created their systems of education to glorify their movement and sought to inform students of its historical and political importance to the nation. It attempted to purge ideas that were not consistent with the beliefs of the fascist movement. Republicans are also doing this. Take Texas and the South for instance. In those Republican controlled areas, the Confederacy is being glorified and Joe McCarthy is being portrayed as heroic. The Civil Rights movement is being largely ignored and the Founding Fathers are being transformed into Republicans that agree with everything the Republicans are doing today. They are trying to portray the founders as Christians that wanted Christianity to rule the state. Republicans are also trying to abolish the Department of Education and are trying to slash education spending to a bare minimum. Republicans and fascists hate the well educated because they want the people to be stupid in order to manipulate them. Fascism tends to be anti-intellectual and so does the Republican Party.

Another major aspect of fascism is its relationship with corporations. In 1925 the Fascist regime in Italy created a corporatist economic system. In theory, Fascist Corporatism is supposed to give unions a voice but in practice, that’s not what it did in Italy and Germany in the 1930′s. The Fascist regime first created a Ministry of Corporations that organized the Italian economy into 22 sectoral corporations, banned workers’ strikes and lock-outs. Even Hitler banned unions. This is similar to how corporations were before America declared its independence. At that time, corporations such as the Massachusetts Bay Company, controlled entire colonies. The Founding Fathers hated this practice so much they rebelled against it and set many restrictions against the corporate world they abhorred so much. Republicans are attempting to reintroduce this idea that corporations should run states and the government. They’ve already called for privatizing policemen and the military and they already allow the Koch brothers to call the shots. It won’t be long before they introduce corporatism. Marxists accuse fascism of being a capitalist tyranny that attempts to make conservative reaction popular to the working class but in practice represses the working class. Even Lenin claimed that “Fascism is capitalism in decay.” Fascists dismantled working-class organizations, significantly reduced wages in certain areas, abolished taxes on inheritance and war profits. Republicans seek to do ALL of these things. They have called for an end to the minimum wage, are ending union rights state by state, most recently in Wisconsin where Republicans slammed through an anti-union bill illegally, and seek to destroy any and all corporate taxes and taxes on the wealthy.

Another aspect shared by fascists and Republicans is their hatred of homosexuals and people who are different. Just as fascists banned homosexuality in 1931 and hated certain groups like gypsies and Jews, Republicans seek to make homosexuality illegal and have made it clear that they intend to persecute those they feel are inferior such as Muslims, African-Americans, hispanics, and other ethnic groups. The current hearings in Congress specifically targeting Muslims is sufficient proof of that, not to mention their constant racial attacks on President Obama and the laws being passed against hispanics in Arizona.

Another major aspect of fascism that Republicans share is the fixing of elections. If the 2000 Election isn’t enough to convince you of fraudulent elections then also consider these current attempts to subvert democracy. Republicans in New Hampshire are pushing bills that would keep college students from voting. One bill would require a students parents live in the state and another would ban same day registration. Why? Because the youth come out to vote for liberals. This is the reason Republicans are out to destroy unions too, since unions support Democrats in elections most of the time. One Tea Party leader has already suggested a bill that would only allow people with property to vote. Even the voting rights of women are being threatened. These are blatant attempts to subvert Democracy and destroy political opponents. These are things that fascists do.

Here is something else that Republicans and fascists have in common: death panels. In Arizona, Republicans have already decided the fates of 98 people by taking their names off the transplant lists in an effort to save money. Never mind the fact that the federal government has sent funds to cover these people. The Republican fascists in Arizona are too busy spending that cash on private prisons so they can send suspected illegal immigrants to them. Death panels are expected to spread to other Republican controlled states such as Texas and Mississippi among others. Fascists like death panels and private prisons too. Millions of Jews died because of death panels and the deaths only stopped after American soldiers liberated the prison camps.

The last aspect that fascists and Republicans have in common is their obsession with Christianity. The Republican party is one with the Christian Right today. Their goal is to make Christianity the national religion in order to create a Christian state. Republicans would then tear up the Constitution and replace it with the Bible. Republicans hate separation of church and state and have vowed to destroy it. Republicans have even gone so far as to make up quotes and falsely attribute them to the Founding Fathers to make it seem like they wholeheartedly agree with them. They actually do not agree. This obsession with religion is very familiar, in fact its Hitleresque. Take a gander at these quotes.

“The National Government will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built up. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality and the family as the basis of national life.”

“It is the purpose of the Government to fill our whole culture once more with a Christian spirit, and that not only in politics. We want to burn out the harmful features in our theater and our literature.”

“The Government, being resolved to undertake the political and moral purification of our public life, is creating and securing the conditions necessary for a really profound revival of religious life.”

“The struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in [the interest] of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich regards Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation. The rights of the churches will not be diminished.”

All of these quotes were spoken by Adolf Hitler, one of fascisms biggest stars. And Republicans agree with his words. In fact, Christianity is one reason why Republicans are doing all of the above things stated throughout this article. If you are a white Christian male that votes Republican, you are safe. But if you aren’t, you are targeted.

The time for compromise with Republicans is over. The time for tolerance of them is also over. We could sit here and allow them to control things and turn the country into a fascist state or we can take action and bring down fascism before it takes hold and strangles us. I’m not suggesting general strikes or pacifism. Republicans would only be too happy to abuse the law and use military force against us. I’m calling on freedom loving Americans everywhere to storm Republican controlled capitals across the country and drag these Republican fascists out of power kicking and screaming and then elect new people to replace them. There may be little other recourse by the time Republicans are finished serving their terms and waiting to recall them will take too much time. Voting rights are being attacked from every angle. Our personal lives are under constant assault. Our right to negotiate our wages are being terminated and war and corporate power are increasing. We can no longer risk allowing this dangerous political party to have any power whatsoever. There was once a time in this country when a party rose up and forcefully put the other one on the sidelines for a long period of time because it was a danger to the nation and its ideals. During the Civil War era, Republicans, also the liberals of the era, came to power and brought down the once conservative Democratic Party for being a threat to freedom and Democracy. Once again, we liberals must rise to the occasion and be willing to fight for ourselves, for others, and for our nations ideals no matter the cost. Only this time, it must be Republicans that pay the price. They must be restricted from holding public office for a couple decades so that Democrats have ample time to clean up their mess and reverse all of the damage done by Republicans. In these dark times, it is our duty to do whatever is necessary to keep America free and its people equal. We must stand up and march together in the millions and topple every Republican controlled capital in the nation and then press forward to Washington DC and chase Republicans out of Congress. Its the only way to save America, ourselves, and those we love. Perhaps after a couple decades in political exile, Republicans will have denounced the fascist elements of their party and come to their senses. If forcing Republicans out of office is our only option to save America and ensure the freedom, equality, survival, and prosperity of the middle class, then in the words of John Boehner, “So be it.”

Will America Become the New Catholic Reich?


Christo-Fascism without Tears: Response to Evangelical Writers who Distance the Church from the Nazi Party

By Alex Constantine

“The prophet seldom has any honor in his own country.” – Adolf Hitler

“Today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” – Adolf Hitler

priestssalute 300x212 Christo Fascism without Tears: Response to Evangelical Writers who Distance the Church from the Nazi Party

Point 24 of the Nazi Progamme circulating in Germany of the 1920s stated that the only religion that the party officially denounced was “Jewish”:

We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.

Many historians of WW II have downplayed the role of religion in Hitler’s Germany, most notably Richard Overy, author of The Dictators, cited by Christian researchers everywhere to reprimand those who suggest that the Nazi leader used religion as a vehicle of mass persuasion. Despite prestige appointments and numerous awards for scholarship, Overy, as a historian of Hitler’s Germany, is a complete incompetent if not deliberately dishonest. His contention that Hitler was hostile to capitalism, for instance, is blatantly false. Pay no heed to slippery conservative Christians who cite Overy and his equally dubious contention that Christianity was “in decline,” and played no role in the rise of the Third Reich.

Overy’s sourcing alone is a red flag – he relies heavily on the writing of Hermann Rauschning (a friend of Hitler who “defected” and sat out the war in the United States); other questionable citations and deliberate misinterpretations of Nazi Party rhetoric are common.

One widely-repeated citation is made by Bruce Walker in an article posted on the Net, “The Nazis and Christianity,” published by American Thinker, a Christian site. According to Walker, the “decline of Christianity in Germany led directly to the rise of Nazism. Professor Henri Lichtenberger in his 1937 book, The Third Reich, describes the religious life of the Weimar Republic as a place in which the large cities were ‘spiritual cemeteries’ with almost no believers at all, except for those who were members of the clergy.”

Seems to be a legitimate history until one considers that Henri Lichtenberger, the French historian, was a fascist propagandist who idolized Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner. He was a mercenary with a pen, drawn from ranks favoring a Franco-German intersect in the early ’20s. He was PRO-NAZI. Lichtenberger’s word on anything was determined by who paid him.

This is the caliber of “experts” that right-wing evangelical propagandists cite when making the claim that Nazi Germany was “secular.” The bottom line is that, in private, Hitler found National Socialism and Christianity fundamentally incompatible because he believed that the latter – “an invention of the Jews” – had given rise to Bolshevism. Ironic, then, that before Hitler, Lenin became Christ … in a true athiest state … as reported by Vision, a quarterly academic print and online journal of news and analysis:

… As chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, Lenin soon became a dictator …. The use of traditional religion played a part in securing popular support. Following an attempt to assassinate Lenin in 1918, his public persona was infused with religious verbal and visual imagery. Sociologist Victoria Bonnell notes that now the leader “was characterized as having the qualities of a saint, an apostle, a prophet, a martyr, a man with Christ-like qualities, and a ‘leader by the grace of God.’” Posters showed Lenin like a saint in Russian iconic art. …

“Aspects of the political, social and religious fabric of the Russian Motherland provided many of the necessary conditions for Lenin’s cult. .… While Hitler and Stalin were deranged and profoundly evil, they were aided and abetted by masses of people who moved toward them as the leaders they desired. As we have noted before in this series, the symbiosis of leader and led cannot be ignored as we try to explain the bloodlust that characterizes the rule of many, if not all, false messiahs. Nor is exploitation of religious fervor ever far from the surface as leaders seek and maintain followers. Mussolini appealed to elements of traditional Catholic religion to create his fascist cult, and Hitler was well aware of religion’s power to induce loyalty to a cause. It was no different in the atheistic Soviet Union for most of the last century.

http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/page.aspx?id=2966

Hitler’s religious beliefs and fanaticism (quotes from Mein Kampf)

Hitler wrote: “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”

As a boy, Hitler attended Catholic Church and was exposed to the anti-Semitism of the prevailing religious culture. In Mein Kampf and in his speeches, Hitler appeared to be a fanatical believer in God. In one speech, he declared:

The world will not help, the people must help itself. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it we may wage the battle of our life…. The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty – of Him Who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us…. We are all proud that through God’s powerful aid we have become once more true Germans.

On marriage: “A folkish state must therefore begin by raising marriage from the level of a continuous defilement of the race, and give it the consecration of an institution which is called upon to produce images of the Lord and not monstrosities halfway between man and ape.” (Mein Kampf)

On race war: “But if out of smugness, or even cowardice, this battle is not fought to its end, then take a look at the peoples five hundred years from now. I think you will find but few images of God, unless you want to profane the Almighty.” (Mein Kampf)

Hitler’s Biblical beliefs show clearly where he based his notion for offensive action:

On liberty: “God does not make cowardly nations free.” (Mein Kampf)

On Judaism: “Their whole existence is an embodied protest against the aesthetics of the Lord’s image.” (Mein Kampf)

A prophecy: “Their sword will become our plow, and from the tears of war the daily bread of future generations will grow.” (Mein Kampf)

In a speech delivered on April 23, 1922, Hitler stated:

My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them. … In boundless love as a Christian and as a man, I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.

On himself: “I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so.” (Hitler speech, 1941)

“Anyone who dares to lay hands on the highest image of the Lord commits sacrilege against the benevolent creator of this miracle and contributes to the expulsion from paradise.” (Mein Kampf)

“We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.” (Hitler speech, Berlin, October 31, 1933)

Right Wing Catholic “Religious Liberty” Disguise For Religious Intolerance


My Take: Catholic bishops against the common good
             By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

(CNN) –

The U.S. Catholic bishops who claim, increasingly incredibly, to speak on behalf of American Catholics hit a new low last week when they released a self-serving statement called “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty.” As this title intimates, the supposed subject is religious liberty, but the real matter at hand is contraception and (for those who have ears to hear) the rapidly eroding moral authority of U.S. priests and bishops.

On Easter Sunday, Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told CBS that the controversial Health and Human Services contraception rule represents a “radical intrusion” of government into “the internal life of the Church.” On Thursday, 15 of his fellow Catholic clerics (all male) took another sloshy step into the muck and mire of the politics of fear.

In “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty” there is talk of religious liberty as the “first freedom” and a tip of the cap to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. But first and foremost there is anxiety. “Our freedoms are threatened,” these clerics cry. “Religious liberty is under attack.”

But what freedoms are these clerics being denied? The freedom to say Mass?  To pray the Rosary?  No and no. The U.S. government is not forcing celibate priests to have sex, or to condone condoms. The freedom these clerics are being denied is the freedom to ignore the laws of the land in which they live.

When I first heard of the HHS rule requiring all employers to pay for birth control for their employees, I thought it should include, on First Amendment grounds, an exemption for Catholic churches. And in fact it did.

Moreover, when Catholic bishops and priests opposed the contraception mandate, HHS modified its rule, exempting not only Catholic churches but also Catholic-affiliated hospitals, universities, and social service agencies. (For these organizations, employees would receive contraceptive coverage from insurance companies separately from the policies purchased by their employers).

Once the Obama administration presented this compromise, I thought Catholic clerics would withdraw their objections. I was wrong. Instead they acted like political hacks rather than spiritual authorities, doubling down on the invective and serving up to the American public an even deeper draught of petty partisanship.

The bishops refer repeatedly in their statement to “civil society.” But think for a moment of the sort of “civil society” we would have if religious people were exempt from any law they deemed “unjust” for religious reasons.

Mormon employers who object to same-sex marriages could deny life insurance benefits to same-sex couples.

Jehovah’s Witnesses who object to blood transfusions could deny health care coverage for blood transfusions.

Christian Scientists who oppose the use of conventional medicine could refuse to cover their employees for anything other than Christian Science treatments.

And Roman Catholics could demand (as the bishops do in this statement) state financing for foster care programs that refuse to place foster children with same-sex parents.

As the Roman Catholic Church has taught for millennia, human beings are not isolated atoms. We live together in society, and we come together to pass laws to make our societies function. Virtually every law is coercive, and care must be taken not to violate the religious liberties of individual citizens. But care must also be taken to preserve the common good.

In their statement, Catholic bishops accused American political leaders of launching “an attack on civil society.” They also attempted to cloak themselves in the mantle of Dr. King. But theirs is a vision of an uncivil society, and their cause has nothing to do with the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement succeeded because its cause was just, and because its leaders were able to mobilize millions of Americans to bring an end to the injustice of segregation. The effort by male Roman Catholic leaders to deny contraception coverage to female employees who want it does not bear even a passing resemblance to that cause. And even the bishops behind this so-called “movement” must admit that it is failing to mobilize even American Catholics themselves.

At least since the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s, Catholics worldwide have been asking, “Who is the Roman Catholic Church?” Is it the hierarchy–a collection of priests, bishops, and cardinals overseen by a pope? Or is it the “People of God” in the pews whom these leaders are ordained to serve?

In recent years, this question has jumped by necessity from the realm of Catholic theology into the rough and tumble of American politics. Does American Catholicism oppose contraception? It depends on who speaks for the Church. The 98% of American Catholic women who have used contraception?  Or the 15 male clerics who issued this statement?

According to “Catholics for Choice,” which has published a rejoinder to “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” “The bishops have failed to convince Catholics in the pews to follow their prohibitions on contraception. Now, they want the government to grant them the legal right to require each of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to set aside our own guaranteed freedom from government-sanctioned religious interference in our lives.”

The bishops’ statement gives lip service to “civil society” and the “common good,” but what these 15 clerics are trying to do here is destructive of both. To participate in civil society is to get your way sometimes and not others. To seek the common good is to sacrifice your own interests at times to those of others.

I will admit that the HHS contraception rule does ask these Catholic clerics to sacrifice something. But what is this sacrifice? Simply to allow the women who work for their organizations to be offered contraceptive coverage by their insurers. To refuse this sacrifice is not to uphold civil society. It is to refuse to participate in it.

Toward the end of their statement, the 15 bishops who signed this statement called on every U.S. Catholic to join in a “great national campaign” on behalf of religious liberty. More specifically, they called for a “Fortnight for Freedom” concluding with the Fourth of July when U.S. dioceses can celebrate both religious liberty and martyrs who have died for the Catholic cause.

As Independence Day approaches, I have a prediction. I predict that rank-and-file American Catholics will ignore this call. They will see that the issue at hand has more to do with women’s health than with religious liberty. And in the spirit of Vatican II, which referred to the church as the “People of God,” they will refuse to allow these 15 men to speak for them. Whatever moral capital U.S. bishops have in the wake of the sex abuse scandal that rocked the nation for decades will be insufficient to win over lay Catholics to what has been for at least a half a century a lost cause.

These 15 clerics write that American Catholics “must have the courage not to obey” unjust laws.  I think the courage called for today is something else–the courage not to obey those who no longer speak for them.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

  • Copyright 2012 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Religious Liberty | Deceptive Code for Oppressing Others


Doctrine of Religious Liberty Can Be Used to Deny the “Liberty of the Enemies of God”
Rachel Tabachnick

“So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.” –Gary NorthThere’s been a lot of talk about “religious liberty” in the last few weeks, so I’m reposting segments of a January article with quotes from Christianity and Civilization, a Christian Reconstructionist journal, also published as part of a multi-volume set of booklets. My original post was part of a series on the Ludwig von Mises Institute and the “Theocratic Libertarianism” promoted by Gary North. In this version of the article I emphasize North’s concept of manipulating the doctrine of religious liberty to advance a theocratic agenda, and the reasons why Theocratic Libertarianism is seductive to corporate interests and think tanks that might not otherwise promote a regressive social agenda or partner with theocrats.

The next article in this series will include other authors from this multi-volume set of 1980s Reconstructionist booklets including Rousas Rushdoony, Pat Robertson, Francis Schaeffer, Joseph Morecraft, Larry Pratt, Paul Weyrich, John W. Whitehead, George Grant, Connie Marshner, Tom Rose, and Peter Lillback. Many of these contributors cannot be dismissed as isolated or fringe.

The late Paul Weyrich is considered the architect of the New Right; Whitehead, founder of the Rutherford Institute is now a regular at Huffington Post; and Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary and founder of the Providence Forum, helped Glenn Beck promote his “social justice is Marxism, not Christianity” argument. Lillback is also author of a book on George Washington that zoomed to #1 bestseller on Amazon after being promoted by Beck.The partnership of corporate interests, right-wing think tanks, and the Religious Right has resulted in sophisticated attacks on secular democracy. The Theocratic Libertarian or biblical economics agenda merges a regressive social agenda with radical free market economics, seductive to both plutocrats and theocrats. North’s writings provide a window into what this brand of religious liberty and justice means. Years of financial support from the plutocratic end of the partnership has helped to sanitize and refine the message, but Christian Reconstructionism, with its biblical capitalism component, has provided the intellectual foundations for today’s Religious Right. The package is currently being marketed to Americans as the ultimate in ” religious liberty.” The quote at the beginning of the article is how North described this religious liberty as being used to bring about theocracy.

Throughout the United States, there is a centralized and well-funded “private school choice” movement to divert public tax dollars to private schools . Many of these schools are using A Beka Books and other fundamentalist texts that teach the same brand of biblical capitalism found in Christian Reconstructionism. As students are removed from the public education system and moved to private religious schools, many will be indoctrinated into the biblical economics worldview. This may help explain why hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent promoting “school reform” designed to shift students to private schools.

The corporate interests and right-wing foundations funding this effort may not be interested in stoning homosexuals, but the anti-labor, anti-regulatory, and anti-tax messages that are presented as part of a biblical worldview and education in these schools is obviously appealing. Previous articles at Talk2action.org have included quotes from these textbooks and information on schools in Pennsylvania, Florida, and other states, using tax dollars to fund scholarships for students in schools using these texts.

Christian Reconstructionism is often described as the movement that wants to execute adulterers, blasphemers, and homosexuals, by stoning. Since this is not likely to happen any time soon, the movement is often dismissed as fringe and inconsequential. The preoccupation with the stoning aspect has obscured the fact that many other foundational components of the movement have been mainstreamed in the Religious Right since the time when Gary North wrote the following words.

As you read the following quotes, consider how much of North’s philosophy is now commonplace, not only in the Christian Right but also in this year’s political campaigns. Also note that the current emphasis on the libertarian part of Theocratic Libertarianism has been developed over the decades since this volume was published and is now expressed in a veiled way that has proved to be appealing to many progressives.

One of the most revealing of Gary North’s writings is in the first volume of the journal Christianity and Civilization, published by the Geneva Divinity School in Spring, 1982. The entire issue was dedicated to a symposium on “The Failure of American Baptist Culture.” This would be the first in a series of booklets published on the failures of the early Religious Right and the need to “reconstruct” the church. Subsequent volumes were titled,

#2 The Theology of Christian Resistance
#3 Tactic of Christian Resistance
#4 Reconstruction of the Christian Church

PhotobucketThe first and fourth volumes were edited by James B. Jordan and the second and third in the series by Gary North. My next article in this series will describe the subsequent volumes and other authors in more detail. The following quotes are from the first volume.According to Jordan,

“The New Christian Right has indicated time and time again, that it does not know what it is doing, and its program is riddled with contradictions.”

The Calvinist contributors to the journal were coming to the rescue to help the New Christian Right find “sure footing” and argued that the movement would have to abandon its “Baptist individualism” and adopt the Christian Reconstructionist’s brand of “full-orbed Biblical and Reformed Theology” in order to survive.The following quotes are from North’s article in the first volume titled “The Intellectual Schizophrenia of the New Christian Right.” North begins by describing the 1980 Religious Roundtable-sponsored event in Washington, D.C., which drew 15,000 people. The “National Affairs Briefing Conference” featured New Christian Right leaders and was keynoted by Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan. North describes it as “watershed moment for American fundamentalism.”

“The rally was a political rally; more precisely, it was a rally for politics as such, and for Christian involvement in politics. It was a break from almost six decades of political inaction on the part of American fundamentalist religious leaders.[p. 2]

North continues,

“Bible principles” is a euphemism for Old Testament law. The leaders of the fundamentalist movement are generally premillennial dispensationalists. Some are believers in a pretribulation “rapture,” meaning that Christians will be secretly “called into the heavens” before the great tribulation of the nation of Israel. Others, a growing minority, are post-tribulationists, who think that Christians will go through the tribulation period before Christ comes to transform Christian believers into sinless, death-free people who will rule the world under Christ’s personal administration for a thousand years. All premillennialists believe that the world will become worse before Christ returns in person to set up his thousand-year reign, so that they have tended in the past to take a dim view of those who preached the moral necessity of social and political action. The campaign of 1980 changed this outlook. Now they are talking about restoring morality to politics by imposing “Bible principles” on the nation. Not Old Testament law exactly, yet “principles” based on Old Testament law. [p. 8]

North explains that the majority of American fundamentalists rejected Old Testament Law as valid because of their Dispensational theology and shunned political participation. He also explains how this began to change after the election of President Jimmy Carter, when the Christian Right was “stung” by the “self-proclaimed born again” Baptist who North described as “handpicked by David Rockefeller and the Trilateral Commission.”North credits Rousas Rushdoony, the founder of Christian Reconstructionism, as laying the foundation for political activism by the New Christian Right.

It was only with the publications written by R.J. Rushdoony, beginning in the early 1960’s, that any theologian began to make a serious, systematic, exegetical attempt to link the Bible to principles of limited civil government and free-market economics. [p. 11]

North then describes a “black-out” of Rushdoony’s work during the 60s and 70s, when he was not able to get his books reviewed in the Westminster Theological Journal with the exception of his Institutes of Biblical Law.

Thus, the fundamentalists have had no intellectual leadership throughout the twentieth century. Only with the revival of interest in creationism, which was made possible by Rushdoony’s support and Presbyterian and Reformed initial investment for The Genesis Flood, did the fundamentalist movement begin to get involved in arguments outside theology narrowly defined. [p. 11]

The 1960 book referred to by North, The Genesis Flood, was authored by Henry Morris and John Whitcomb, and is credited as triggering the modern revival of creationism.

North continues,

In the speakers’ room at the National Affairs Briefing Conference, I spoke with Robert Billings, who had worked with Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority organization. (He was subsequently appointed to a high position in the Department of Education.) We were speaking of the conference, and what a remarkable event it was. We agreed that it was unfortunate that Rushdoony was not speaking. He said, If it weren’t for his books, none of us would be here.” I replied, “Nobody in the audience understands that.” His response: “True, but we do.” [p. 12]

The fundamentalist have picked up the phrase “secular humanism.” They do not know where they found it. It comes from Rushdoony’s writings throughout the 1960s. Rushdoony influenced lawyer John Whitehead, who helped popularize it in a new widely quoted article by Whitehead and former Congressman John Conlan. [p. 14]

Under the heading “State-Financed Education,” North writes,

Fundamentalists are still trying to win their battle for the public schools. Not all of them, perhaps, but enough of them, especially those who lead the creation science movement. In 1982, they were still trying to get the public schools of the state of Arkansas to adopt creationist materials to be taught as part of the schools’ curricula in science. They had already given away the case by arguing only that creationism is a legitimate theory and explanation of the origins of the universe and man, to be taught alongside of evolution. [p. 18]

The government schools are established as a humanist religion aimed at stamping out Christianity. This is what Rushdoony said in his pathbreaking scholarly study, The Messianic Character of American Education (1963) The creationists are still schizophrenic. They do not recognize the mythical nature of the objectivity hypothesis, and therefore they have chosen to do battle in terms of that mythical framework. They therefore have to grant the evolutionists, in advance, equal rights with God’s own revelation of Himself. If they refused to do this, they would have no legal case to get their materials into the public schools. Yet the public schools are a fraud; they are humanist schools that have had as their goal, since the days of Horace Mann, the express goal of wiping out Christianity. [p. 19]

Note that Gary North uses the term “government schools” in place of “public schools,” almost two decades before Dick DeVos recommended using the change as a way to promote school vouchers in his 2002 speechat the Heritage Foundation. Also note that Gary North is a signer of the Alliance for Separation of School and State mandate for the eradication of public schools. Other signers include Rep. Ron Paul and numerous Religious Right and free market think tank leaders, including Ed Crane, co-founder of the Koch-funded Cato Institute. Another little discussed component of the plutocratic and theocratic partnership is the role that Young Earth Creationism is playing politically. For example, if the earth is only a few thousand years old, then energy such as oil, gas, and coal, was formed rapidly and could be described as a renewable resource.North:

What is the proper argument? Simple: there is no neutrality, and since there is no neutrality, the present legal foundation of government-financed education is a fraud. Conclusion: close every government-financed school, tomorrow.Refund the taxes to the taxpayers. Let the taxpayers seek out their own schools for their children at their expense (or from privately financed scholarships or other donations).But the fundamentalist instinctively shy away from such a view. Why? Because they see where it necessarily leads: to a theocracy in which no public funds can be appropriated for anti-Christian activities, or to anarch, where there are no public funds to appropriate. It must lead to God’s civil government or no civil government. In short, it leads to either Rushdoony or Rothbard. Most fundamentalists have never heard of either man, but they instinctively recognize where the abandonment of the myth of neutrality could lead them. [p. 20]

Rothbard in the above quote is Murray Rothbard (1926 – 1995), the Austrian School economist who promoted “anarcho-capitalism.” He was a founder of the Cato Institute, one of several libertarian think tanks funded by Charles Koch. At LewRockwell.com, Rothbard is described as the dean of the Austrian School of economics, the founder of libertarianism, and an exemplar of the Old Right. Another LewRockwell.com articledescribes how Rothbard parted ways with the Cato Institute.North:

The Christians are caught in an intellectual bind. They use the doctrine of religious freedom to defend themselves, yet this involves, necessarily, the right of all other religious groups, including the satanic cults, to set up schools for their children and other people’s children. It means, in short, that Christians windy up giving “equal time” in society to the devil. [pp. 22-23]

In the next section, titled “The Christian School Movement,” North states that it is legitimate as a short term tactic for the movement to use the “doctrine of religious freedom” in order to buy some time. He argued previously that “religious liberty” is a trap because it allows rights to all religions and forms of belief. However, in the short term, it could be used strategically. This is where North makes the statement about religious liberty that I quoted in the beginning of this article, a quote worth repeating.

So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God. Murder, abortion, and pornography will be illegal. God’s law will be enforced. It will take time. A minority religion cannot do this. Theocracy must flow from the heart of a majority of citizens, just as compulsory education came only after most people had their children in schools of some sort. [p.25]

Rushdoony and North wrote extensively about changing the tax structure to align with biblical law. For instance, inheritance taxes would not be allowed. North writes in this article about taxes not exceeding the tithe.

The idea that the state has the right to get inside one’s mind or attempt to do so, is humanistic. It makes the state a pseudo-God. It also drains the resources of the state, which means that the state must collect taxes far above the tithe, yet the state’s taking a tithe was considered an affront to God…. A civil tax of 10% or more of one’s annual increase is satanic. [p.26]

North closes with advice to the New Christian Right on how to get out of the intellectual bind of the “doctrine of religious freedom” by pursuing their own definition of “religious liberty.”

In order to survive the onslaught of the humanists, Christians must oppose the humanists’ version of religious freedom, which is officially grounded in the myth of neutrality, and which is really being used to construct a temple of man, with tax revenues. We must argue that true religious liberty is exclusively for people to obey the social laws of the Bible. [p. 32]

We have to face up to the choice that must be made between God’s law or man’s law. We have to acknowledge the inescapable decision: God’s covenant or natural law? [pp. 37 -38]

North then spells out “The Tactics of Victory” for the New Christian Right.

The taste of political victory is sweet. The New Christian Right has had some victories. They have developed satellite television networks. They have created newsletter and mailing networks. In short, they have the means of achieving victory. What they lack is: 1) eschatological dynamism, 2) a program of social reconstruction, and 3) the willingness to abandon all traces of the myth of neutrality. When the taste of victory finally overcomes a century of pietistic retreat, the humanists will see their civilization salted over; a new society will replace the collapsing social order of today. If the New Christian Right abandons its schizophrenia – eschatological pessimism in the face of victories, antinomianism in the face of the power of biblical law, an outmoded “common ground” philosophy (neutrality doctrine) in the face of a consistent presuppositional biblical philosophy – then the humanists will at last have a real fight on their hands. [39 – 40]

In closing, I would argue that North’s advice has been taken very seriously over the last 30 years by much of the Christian Right, and that Christian Reconstructionism has been at least partially successful in redefining the meaning of “freedom” and “liberty” in a way that has escaped the notice of much of the American public.

Additional Notes:

For more information on the success of Gary North and other Dominionists in drawing large numbers of Charismatics and Pentecostals away from pre-Tribulation eschatology and into Dominionist belief, see Frederick Clarkson series on Theocratic Dominionism including Part Three, No Longer Without Sheep and my previous article The Rise of Charismatic Dominionism. Also see the following articles at Talk2action.org on “Biblical Capitalism” and the role it has played in the current war on unions and federal regulatory policy including:

The War on Unions, Regulatory System, and Social Safety Net – Examples from Fundamentalist Textbooks

Two Decades of Christian Nationalist Education Paved Way for Today’s War on Labor

Biblical Capitalism – The Sacralizing of Political and Economic Issues

Third Reich Christianity | Nazi Germany as Implementation of a Christian Agenda


Third Reich Christianity: Nazi Germany as Implementation of a Christian Agenda

How Was Nazi Germany an Example of Christian Nationalism & Power?

By

The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-GallThe Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, by Richard Steigmann-Gall

Image Courtesy Pricegrabber.com

Hitler and the Nazis are often cited as an example of the horrible crimes which atheists have committed in the 20th century. They are only assumed to be atheists, though, because people can’t imagine Christians doing such things; in reality, Hitler explicitly appealed to Christianity on a regular basis and this was part of why he was popular. Not every Christian supported the Nazis, of course, but he was most popular with conservative Christians seeking a restoration of traditional values.

In The Holy Reich: Nazi Conceptions of Christianity, 1919-1945, Richard Steigmann-Gall writes:

In a speech celebrating Germany’s exit from the League of Nations, Hitler again maintained that the Third Reich was actively implementing a Christian agenda: “Along with the fight for a purer morality we have taken upon ourselves the struggle against the decomposition of our religion. We have therefore taken up the struggle against the Godless movement, and not just with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out. And above all we have dragged the priests out of the lowlands of the political party struggle and have brought them back into the church.”

This declaration was quite consistent with Hitler’s speeches earlier in the year and also with the basic attitude he laid out — privately as well as publicly — in the “time of struggle.” Insisting that Nazism as a state would not distinguish between Protestant and Catholic, he recognized only a common supra-Christian faith. True to his promise, Hitler defended Christianity against the “Godless” movement, outlawing the Socialist and the Communist parties very early after the Seizure of Power.

Now, one can argue that Hitler and the Nazis only appealed to Christianity as part of a political ploy — that they emphasized Christianity in public without ever intending to promote Christianity in reality. Such an argument would be accompanied by the claim that the actions of Hitler and the Nazis didn’t reflect “true” Christianity and, therefore, must be attributed to atheism, paganism, or something else.

There are two problems with this. First, there is little to no evidence that Hitler and his top leaders only endorsed Christianity in public and for public consumption. Their private remarks on religion and Christianity were generally the same as their public remarks, but they didn’t hesitate to privately contradict public remarks on other matters, like peace with the Soviet Union. The similarity of their public and private positions on religion and Christianity indicates that they were genuine.

Second, the above argument could be made about any of the crimes committed by Christians over the course of history. It’s ultimately an example of the No True Scotsman fallacy: no true Christian could do such things or advocate such things, therefore they weren’t true Christians and their crimes cannot be attributed to Christianity. This is a fallacious argument because it relies on shifting the definition of “Christian” to match whatever conclusion the person prefers.

The actions of Hitler and the Nazis were about as “Christian” as the actions of people during the Crusades or the Inquisition. There were certainly non-Christian Nazis, and several leading Nazis preferred a neo-pagan theistic religion over Christianity, but the position was never officially endorsed either by the Nazi Party or by Adolf Hitler himself. Indeed, Christian complaints about the paganism of some Nazi leaders were given a sympathetic reception.

Christians may not like acknowledging that Nazi actions might have anything to do with Christianity, but Germany saw itself as a fundamentally Christian nation and millions of Christians in Germany enthusiastically endorsed Hitler and the Nazi Party in part because they saw both as embodiments of both German and Christian ideals. Conservative Christians who wanted a return to traditional values either voted for the Nazis or one of the other right-wing nationalist parties which eventually supported and merged with the Nazis.

Related:- Catholic Hitler. Catholic Fascism. Catholic Nazism. Catholic Nazi Crusade. Catholic Dictators. Christian Right. Christian Fascism.

Neofascism Within the Catholic Church


Opus Dei: Neofascism Within the Catholic Church

by OllieGarkey

What we are seeing today in the fight over birth control is a revival of a very old, and very dangerous kind of Catholicism. It is not one supported or practiced by most Rank and File Catholics. It is a kind of Catholicism which has done irreparable harm. It is a kind of Catholicism unfit for existence in the modern world.

It was the underpinning of the regimes of Mussolini in Italy, The National Catholicism of Francisco Franco, in Spain; The Parti Rexiste in Belgium; The Irish Blueshirts; The Croatian Ustaše, the Nazi puppet government in Croatia, and ultimately, was the kind of Catholicism practiced by the Sainted Josemaría Escrivá, founder of the Catholic order Opus Dei.

That’s where the story begins and ends: Opus Dei.

Spain, The Founding of Opus Dei

Josemaría Escrivá is the best place to start. He was a catholic priest during the Second Spanish Republic, who developed a kind of Catholicism in the late 1920’s which Fascists found very attractive. He rose to prominence and political influence during Franco’s spain. His book describing Opus Dei was first published with an introduction by a Pro-Franco bishop, which contained many statements in support of National Catholicism. Saint Escriva personally preached to Franco during a week-long prayer retreat at Franco’s Palace.

Saint Escriva has been accused by catholic priests who knew him of Holocaust Denial, and many recall statements by Escriva defending Hitler. Saint Escriva has said that hitler couldn’t have killed 6 million Jews, and that “Hitler against the Jews” really meant “Hitler against communism.”

He famously wrote a letter to Franco in the 1950’s saying

Although a stranger to any political activity, I cannot help but rejoice as a priest and Spaniard that the Chief of State’s authoritative voice should proclaim that, “The Spanish nation considers it a badge of honor to accept the law of God according to the one and true doctrine of the Holy Catholic Church, inseparable faith of the national conscience which will inspire its legislation.” It is in fidelity to our people’s Catholic tradition that the best guarantee of success in acts of government, the certainty of a just and lasting peace within the national community, as well as the divine blessing for those holding positions of authority, will always be found. I ask God our Lord to bestow upon your Excellency with every sort felicity and impart abundant grace to carry out the grave mission entrusted to you.

None of this is to say that all Catholics supported Franco. Plenty of Catholic bishops and priests opposed him, including bishop Mateo Múgica, and Cardinal Francisco Vidal Y Barraquer. I would also like to point out that neither Vidal Y Barraquer or Mateo Mugica were sainted. They are relatively forgotten. Múgica doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page in English.

You’ll notice that this will become a recurring theme in our history of Opus Dei and Catholicism in Fascist Europe. Those who stood against the tide end up forgotten, while those that supported the brutal regimes end up sainted.

And so courageous men that fought a military dictatorship and died in exile are forgotten while Escriva is the sainted founder of Opus Dei. Racist. Fascist. Holocaust Denier. Despite the fact that we know about his writings, his views, his pretension to political power, and his support of Franco, all of these facts surrounding the man have been referred to as “Black Myths.”  Catholic authorities deny that any of this happened, and call anyone who dares point out indisputable facts “anti-catholic.” Just like those laws about birth control.

Ireland: O’Duffy’s Blue Shirts

But it wasn’t just Spanish Catholics who supported Franco, either. The current Irish Conservative party, Fine Gael, was founded in part by another catholic fanatic, and an admirer of Benito Mussolini. His name was Eoin O’Duffy.

In the Early 1930s, O’Duffy had taken command of a paramilitary organization and reorganized them into what he called the National Guard. They fought running street battles with the IRA for most of the 30s. They were known as the Blueshirts, and were a Fascist organization on par with the UK’s BUF or Mousollini’s Blackshirts. In August of 1933, O’Duffy planned a march on Dublin. The president of the Irish Republic, Eamon De Valera, banned the march, and ordered the military to stop it. He wrote later that at that moment he recalled Mussolini’s march on Rome and expected a coup. Neither he nor his government knew if the military would agree to carry out their commands.

In the end, O’Duffy backed down, eventually uniting his blueshirts with another opposition party to form Fine Gael. The Catholic Church gave quite a lot of support to Francoism and O’Duffy’s political party. Thankfully, the other parties which had joined the Fine Gael coalition wanted little to do with Fascism, and Expelled O’Duffy, who left with a number of his supporters to form an ultra-fascist National Corporatist Party, and his Blueshirts became Greenshirts.

He took his paramilitary forces with him to fight for Franco in the Spanish Civil War. It was a dark day in Irish History when a group of bishops blessed O’Duffy’s Greenshirts who departed from Dun Laoghaire on a German ship, flying the Swastika.

O’Duffy returned to find that his National Corporatist Party had collapsed. O’Duffy was part of a group of IRA extremists who met with the German Abwehr to attempt to set up recruiting for the Russian Front. Thankfully nothing came of it.

O’Duffy’s health failed, and he died in November of 1944. Because of his heroism during the Irish Civil War, when he led an IRA Geurilla group, he was given a state funeral, and a requiem mass was held for him in the Dublin Pro-Cathedral.

Frank Ryan and the 15th International Brigade also traveled to Spain, to fight against Franco and O’Duffy. They were defeated, and Ryan was captured. He escaped to Germany where he operated as double agent under the name Frank Richard, and interfered with German attempts to recruit Irishmen into Hitler’s ranks. He didn’t have to do much interfering, actually, as the German attempts were fairly incompetent. He died in June of 1944, and was buried in Dresden. His remains were returned to Ireland in 1971.

So Frank Ryan, the man who Fought Fascism, lay forgotten in Dresden for thirty years, while the Fascist O’Duffy received a state funeral and requiem mass. Throughout it all, Catholic Priests were expounding on the war with communism, and supporting Franco’s National Catholicism in Spain.

Croatia: Forced Conversions and Genocide under the Ustaše

Not many people know about the Ustaše and its leader, Ante Pavelić. Before 1941, the organization was a radical fascist terrorist group. But when Axis powers invaded, it was given control of Croatia by the Nazis. They shared Hitler’s goal of ethnic cleansing.

Their plan, which they began enacting in 1941, decreed that one third of the Serbs in Croatia would be killed. They specifically targeted the Intelligentsia, all non-catholic religious leaders, all businessmen, all master tradesmen, all figures of cultural importance such as musicians and authors, and anyone else who might have some importance. Another third of the Serbs were to be expelled to aid in ethnic cleansing. The final third would be converted to Catholicism at gunpoint.

The Ustaše were radically catholic, and their leader had personally received a blessing and audience from Pope Pius in Rome just after his ascension to power. Pope Pius wrote of the church’s unique opportunity to reestablish the medieval church/state relationship, and his ministers referred to the ethnic cleansing as Croatia’s “Teething Pains.” The Ustaše’s plan for forced conversions could not have been successful without the participation of Catholic clergy. Archbishop Aloysius Stepinac and other Catholics eventually opposed the regime, but refused to publicly condemn the Ustaše until most of the Serbian Jews were already dead, and supported the forced conversions.

Without the support of the Catholic Church, the Ustaše would never have been able to move from a terrorist organization into an effective government. Indeed, Stepinac had originally welcomed the Ustaše to power, meeting with the leaders even before the surrender and defeat of the lawful Yugoslavian government. The Ustaše’s stated intent to ethnically cleanse Croatia was clear, but the Catholic Church maintained ties with the Ustaše through 1943, when Pope Pius again met with Ante Pavelić. Many catholic clergy directly participated in the extermination and forced conversion. One of the most famous of these was Miroslav Filopovic, a Fransiscan Priest, who ended up as the commandant of a concentration camp. The Croatian Catholic Movement, and Catholic Action, both catholic laity organizations, were mobilized to take part in the Genocide. Stepinac cooperated with all of this.

It was Later in 1943, when the Ustaše had almost completed their plan for the extermination of Serbian Jews, that the Archbishop finally spoke, weakly, against the activities of the Ustaše. The sermons and statements against mass killings did not directly mention the Serbs.

When Tito’s partisans defeated the Ustaše, Stepinac was tried for war crimes. It was portrayed in the west as a show trial, and all of  the Catholics who participated in the trial, including the majority of the jury, were excommunicated by the pope. Stepinac was imprisoned for collaborating with the Ustaše, but was released by the Communist government in an attempt to garner the good will of Croatian Catholics.

Despite the fact that Stepinac gave consistent support to the Ustaše, and the totality of his storied resistance was to ask, pretty please, if they could stop killing people, while allowing his own clergy to participate in the genocide and become the commandants of concentration camps, he is remembered as someone who stood up to the Nazis. He was called a martyr by Pope John Paul II.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center had asked that the Beatification be postponed until a full historical review of Stepinac’s actions could take place, but their request was ignored. The truth is, we just don’t know who Stepinac was, where his loyalties were, or the effect he had on the Serbian holocaust. There are some Croatian Jewish groups who say that Stepinac did in fact help the Jewish population, but those claims are treated with suspicion by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Yad Vashem, both of which consider him to be a Nazi Collaborator. We also know that Tito’s partisans included Serbs who were fairly brutal towards many Catholics in revenge for the genocide. Several hundred priests were killed by the partisans, though many of them were serving with the Ustase as chaplains. I don’t know how many, and sources on what really happened are still difficult to find in English. From my research, he appears to have been a collaborator, and appears to be complicit in Genocide. This may not be the case, but I could not find significant evidence to the contrary, other than a few relatively gutless statements.

So despite the fact that he appears to have done little good, is seen by many Jews as a collaborator and participated in a Fascist government, Stepinac is considered a sainted martyr, while those Catholics who testified to his actions in (an admittedly communist) court, were excommunicated.

I could go on, but this post is already far, far too long. I also planned to discuss the Fanatically Catholic Hungarian Arrow Cross Party, who slaughtered 100,000 Jews while being in power for only three months, sending death squads into nursing homes, hospitals, and ghettos. They received support from some priests for their anti-communist actions, as communism was seen by many Hungarians as a Jewish phenomenon. I already mentioned Belgian Rexism. There are others, too, that I studied in order to write this diary.

The notable exception is Poland, where Catholics were victims, but the Vatican has treated this as the rule, when history seems to say it is the exception. I have intentionally avoided filling this diary with pictures of priests giving the fascist salute, but we’ve all seen those photographs many times, and the information here is already inflammatory enough.

The fact is that most of the fascist parties across continental Europe during included a great many Catholics, who saw Fascism as a way to combat Communism. In many cases the Nazi parties were nothing less than Catholic political parties, supported by the local priesthood, and Pope Pius in Rome. The core ideology that linked Catholicism to Fascism came directly from Franco’s Spain. The same place where  the ideas for Opus Dei were developed and refined.

The truth, it seems, is that the Catholic Church was not superior to any other organization in Fascist Europe. It was not just Churches and Priests that became Fascist, but Businesses, Stores, Schools, Newspapers, Professors, Architects, Scientists, and almost every other institution, profession, or organization. Because that’s what fascism did. It took over everything, absolutely everything, and the Catholic church was no different.

This revisionist history that somehow the church was different from everything else and stood strong against the tide is a lie, plain and simple. It’s wishful thinking.

The good news is that almost all of the radical catholic fascist groups and parties either no longer exist, or have been commuted into relatively harmless “christian democrat” parties, such as Fine Gael in Ireland. They’ve let go of being exclusively Catholic, and are now simply the remains of Anticommunism in Europe. Many of them are about as left wing as the Democratic party. Many Christian Democrat parties have no roots in Catholic Fascism, though they shared its anticommunist goals, such as Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.

Despite all this progress, there is one Catholic Fascist organization which still survives today:

Opus Dei.

The goal of fascism was to have the state take over every aspect of ordinary life. To live under a fascist state was to be part of the state itself. Family life, social life, and the professional world were all absorbed into state and party identity in fascist societies. The intent, ultimately, was for to make it impossible to have an individual life or identity outside of the context of the state.

This is the case, too, with Saint Escriva’s Opus Dei:

From Wikipedia: Opus Dei emphasises the “universal call to holiness”: the belief that everyone should aspire to be a saint, that sanctity is within the reach of everyone, not just a few special individuals. Opus Dei does not have monks or nuns, and only a minority of its members are part of the priesthood. A related characteristic is Opus Dei’s emphasis on uniting spiritual life with professional, social, and family life. Members of Opus Dei lead ordinary lives, with traditional families and secular careers, and strive to “sanctify ordinary life”.

In the same way that a fascist state sought to unite the state with professional, social, and family life, Opus Dei wishes the church to do the same. The intent is to destroy any sense of individual identity outside of the Catholic Church.

The ideas of this organization are uniquely neofascist, though they seem to have modernized enough to dispense with the ideas of ethnic superiority. It’s no surprise, again, that the Catholic archbishop leading the charge against prophylactics is a leading member of Opus Dei.

Jose Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles, and one of the first Opus Dei leaders to be given a position of significant ecclesiastical authority. In the past few months he has fought for a California Ballot initiative which requires doctors to inform a teenager’s parents if she’s attempting to have an abortion, saying “Who could possibly oppose such a reasonable law?” He has called  birth control Tyranny, and described the church as the last line of defense. He has held a requiem mass for aborted zygotes. And was the key player behind our current storm in a teacup over birth control.

The reason, ultimately, why Archbishop Gomez has been silent on Troy Davis and other issues where the Catholic Church is in agreement with the Democratic party, is that Gomez is completely uninterested in Catholic theology or doing the work of God. What Archbishop Gomez is interested in is exactly what the founder of Opus Dei was interested in: Politcal Power. It’s about controlling rank-and-file Catholics. It’s about exercising political power. It is about once again uniting the power of the Church with the power of the State, as it was in Franco’s Spain.

Update: I have been provided with links showing that I have been somewhat unfair to Gomez. Catholic Bishops have in fact spoken out on the death penalty, Gomez included. H/t to irishwitch and Villanova Rhodes for the catch.

None of this, though it may be inflammatory, is meant to condemn all Catholics, or the whole of the Catholic Church. Indeed, most Catholics aren’t members of Opus Dei. Most Catholics are relatively normal people, who use birth control and aren’t particularly theocratic. Most Catholics are catholic because they don’t want a church as controlling or touchy-feely as a number of protestant denominations. The services are shorter, and there’s a clear set of things you’re supposed to do. They see it as easier. A lot of my catholic family members see the church as a way of relating to god without all the drama of Protestantism. I can respect that.

Catholics have done plenty of good. For every priest who supported the Nazis, there was another who sheltered Jews. The problem is that most of the Bishops who supported fascism and used fascist methods to acquire power ended up being sainted, while the priests and nuns who fought fascism and focused on doing good for their people and communities are much less well-known, and many of them ended up forgotten in unmarked graves.

In the same way, rank-and-file priests and nuns fought the American propaganda machine convincing the public that everyone could easily survive a nuclear war. This action on the part of Catholics did more, in my mind, to prevent Nuclear war than any other action, because it prevented the government from telling a lie that would make a nuclear first-strike politically acceptable. Many of these priests have since left or been forced out of the Church, while the priests and bishops who opposed them have been elevated to positions of power. There are elderly catholic clergy in prison in the US right now for protesting nuclear weapons.

The problem with the Catholic church is that powerful conservatives are being elevated, while priests who simply want to be servants of the human race are being ignored – or worse – prevented from teaching peace and social justice.

The only people who can stop this process are rank-and-file Catholics. And for them, it will be a hard road.

The laity has almost no power within the catholic church, except for one thing. They’re the ones that attend the services, and they’re the ones who tithe. I’m no Catholic, and I wouldn’t know how to go about fighting the authority (which clearly needs to be fought) but I would suggest refusing to Tithe until the Church reverses its current policies.

If I were catholic, I would refuse to give the church a single red cent until:

1. Jose Gomez is removed from power, and Opus Dei is banned from the church as a neofascist organization. 2. The church ceases exclusively right-wing political intervention, and begins living up to its views on the sanctity of life, such as intervening on the part of people like Troy Davis. 3. The church ceases its protection of paedophiles. 4. The church allows priests to marry. 5. The church allows the ordination of women. 6. The church ceases its persecution of LGBTs. 7. The church accepts the necessity of birth control in a world wracked by famine, and localized overpopulation.

The list goes on. Catholics, I can’t make the list for you, and you might disagree with some of the items on this list, and that’s okay. I can’t fight this fight for you. But if you step out and fight the authority, I promise I will have your back. I will write about you and draw attention to your fight. I don’t know if that means anything, and I hope it does.

Because I know something that some progressives refuse to accept: the only cure for right-wing religion, is progressive religion. If we can get the churches of the world focused on curing the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, and visiting and supporting prisoners – you know, “the least of these,” and all that other Jesus Stuff – we’ll be living in a better world. But we have to convince them to stop attacking innocent people first.

So Catholics? Let me know how I can help. Because I see the problem, and can point out the people behind the problem, and I can write about the history of the problem, but only you guys can lead this particular charge.

Historiographical NoteThis is a very difficult topic to write about for a number of reasons. First, the Catholic Church does not want to believe that its members, priests, and bishops were complicit in or integral to the fascist governments and parties of the 1930’s and 40’s. There is also quite a bit of anticatholic pseudohistory written about these issues. The response by catholic scholars is overwhelmingly denialist, and argues that the Catholic church was as much a victim of the times as every other religious organization.

There is a way to sort the fact from fiction, and it’s to examine some very specific sources.

First, reading the writings and letters of priests and others who opposed and were horrified by the Nazis. We find in the writings of nonpolitical or leftwing priests statements of disgust in reference to the actions of right wing Catholics. It is the statements of current, active priests that I find the most trustworthy for the sake of historical argument. The statements you read by Saint Escriva on Hitler are not sourced to a recovering catholic, or someone who left the priesthood, or someone who has an axe to grind, they’re sourced to a Catholic Priest in London who knew him.

Indeed, many of the Catholic critics do not criticize the history, facts, or sources, they criticize the people writing the history. Rather than dispute the history, which is fairly clear, many of the deniers argue that the historians are simply writing a political hatchet work because they hate Catholics and Catholicism.

In my research, I have done my best to avoid sources which might be even slightly biased towards anticatholic pseudohistory, and have instead relied on scholarly works from people who don’t care about catholicism, or on accounts from people who despite their experiences remained Catholic. I think this is the best way to come to a position which can’t be argued away by Catholic Apologists as an anti-catholic assault. One of the best books on the subject is searchable in google books here. Wikipedia links have been provided, but remember to take Wikipedia with a grain of salt, as many of the articles on these subjects are very poorly cited and constructed.

I will reiterate one point about my politics. I am not and never will be Anti-Catholic, though unless there are significant changes in the Church’s theology, I can’t see myself ever agreeing with the Catholic church. I count a great many Catholics among my friends and family. I am and always will be antifascist, and that means opposing Opus Dei and organizations like it with everything I have.

Catholic Fascist Santorum and Mormon Cultist Romney Battle For the Hardcore Lunatic Right


As Santorum and Romney Battle for the Loony Right, the Rest of Us Should Not Gloat
Robert Reich

Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley; Author, ‘Aftershock

My father was a Republican for the first 78 years of his life. For the last twenty, he’s been a Democrat (he just celebrated his 98th.) What happened? “They lost me,” he says.

They’re losing even more Americans now, as the four remaining GOP candidates seek to outdo one another in their race for the votes of the loony right that’s taken over the Grand Old Party.

But the rest of us have reason to worry.

A party of birthers, creationists, theocrats, climate-change deniers, nativists, gay-bashers, anti-abortionists, media paranoids, anti-intellectuals, and out-of-touch country clubbers cannot govern America.

Yet even if they lose the presidency on Election Day they’re still likely to be in charge of at least one house of Congress as well as several state legislators and governorships. That’s a problem for the nation.

The GOP’s drift toward loopyness started in 1993 when Bill Clinton became the first Democrat in the White House in a dozen years — and promptly allowed gays in the military, pushed through the Brady handgun act, had the audacity to staff his administration with strong women and African-Americans, and gave Hillary the task of crafting a national health bill. Bill and Hillary were secular boomers with Ivy League credentials who thought government had a positive role to play in peoples’ lives.

This was enough to stir right-wing evangelicals in the South, social conservatives in the Midwest and on the Great Plains, and stop-at-nothing extremists in Washington and the media who hounded Bill Clinton for eight years, then stole the 2000 election from Al Gore, and Swift-boated John Kerry in 2004.

They were not pleased to have a Democrat back in the White House in 2008, let alone a black one. They rose up in the 2010 election cycle as “tea partiers” and have by now pushed the GOP further right than it has been in more than eighty years. Even formerly sensible senators like Olympia Snowe, Orrin Hatch, and Dick Lugar are moving to the extreme right in order to keep their seats.

At this rate the GOP will end up on the dust heap of history. Young Americans are more tolerant, cosmopolitan, better educated, and more socially liberal than their parents. And relative to the typical middle-aged America, they are also more Hispanic and more shades of brown. Today’s Republican Party is as relevant to what America is becoming as an ice pick in New Orleans.

In the meantime, though, we are in trouble. America is a winner-take-all election system in which a party needs only 51 percent (or, in a three-way race, a plurality) in order to gain control.

In parliamentary systems of government, small groups representing loony fringes can be absorbed relatively harmlessly into adult governing coalitions.

But here, as we’re seeing, a loony fringe can take over an entire party — and that party will inevitably take over some part of our federal, state, and local governments.

As such, the loony right is a clear and present danger.

Robert Reich is the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, now in bookstores. This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.

Report Says Religious Right And Catholic Bishops Dominate ‘Faithful’ Lobbying


Church & State

Report Says Religious Right And Catholic Bishops Dominate ‘Faithful’ Lobbying

January 2012 People & Events

In D.C. A report issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life finds that religious advocacy groups in the nation’s capital are growing and that most of the largest organizations are affiliated with the Religious Right or the Roman Catholic hierarchy.

The November report, “Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C.,” surveyed more than 200 groups that engage in advocacy and/or lobbying in the nation’s capital. It found explosive growth in such groups, noting that the number of these organizations jumped from 67 in 1970 to 212 today.

Furthermore, the groups raise and spend significant sums of money. One of the largest religious advocacy organizations in Washington, for example, is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has an annual budget of $26.6 million.

Other top spenders include the Family Research Council ($14.2 million), Concerned Women for America ($12.5 million), the National Right to Life Committee ($11.3 million) and Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink ($10.8 million).

Collectively, the 212 groups surveyed raise and spend $390 million a year.

Of the top 15 groups listed, 10 are Religious Right organizations or take stands in alignment with the Catholic hierarchy. Groups that failed to make the top 15 but that still have considerable budgets include the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission ($3.2 million), the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty ($2.2 million) and the Eagle Forum ($2.2 million).

While many of the groups listed are Christian, the report shows growth in the number of advocacy organizations affiliated with other religions. The biggest group on the list is the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, which has an annual budget of $87.8 million. The American Jewish Committee is fourth on the list at $13.3 million.

Other groups include the Muslim American Society ($3.9 million), the Muslim Public Affairs Council ($2.9 million) as well as groups representing Sikhs and Hindus.

The reports lists total budget figures for the groups surveyed. Not all of that money is spent on direct lobbying because the organizations advocate for their views in other ways. Still, the report is a good indication that the power of religious lobbies is in no way waning.

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, told The Washington Post that the growth of religious lobbying groups has been nothing short of remarkable.

“Religious lobbyists used to be like subsistence farmers, and now it’s like agribusiness,” said Lynn.

In an article for the popular progressive website Alternet, Church & State Assistant Editor Rob Boston noted that Religious Right organizations can hardly claim to have no influence when so many of D.C.’s top religious lobbyists are in their camp.

“Right-wing religious groups may claim persecution, but the numbers tell a different story,” wrote Boston. “If you doubt this, just spend a day shadowing their employees in Congress, where, increasingly, they are greeted with warm smiles and open arms.”

The full report is available online at http://www.pewforum.org.

The Catholicization of the American Right


The Catholicization of the American Right

Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

In the past two decades, the American religious Right has become increasingly Catholic. I mean that both literally and metaphorically. Literally, Catholic writers have emerged as intellectual leaders of the religious right in universities, the punditocracy, the press, and the courts, promoting an agenda that at its most theoretical involves a reclamation of the natural law tradition of Thomas Aquinas and at its most practical involves appeals to the kind of common-sense, “everybody knows,” or “it just is” arguments that have characterized opposition to same-sex marriage. There is nothing new about Catholic conservative intellectuals — think John Neuhaus, William F. Buckley, Jr. What is new is the prominence that these Catholic thinkers and leaders have come to have within the domains of American politics that are dominated by evangelical Protestants. Catholic intellectuals have become to the American Right what Jewish intellectuals once were to the American Left. In the academy, on the Court, Catholic intellectuals provide the theoretical discourse that shapes conservative arguments across a whole range of issues. Often these arguments have identifiable Thomistic or Jesuitical sources, but most of the time they enter the mainstream of political dialogue as simply “conservative.”

Meanwhile, in the realm of actual politics, Catholic politicians have emerged as leading figures in the religious conservative movement. Again, there is nothing new about Catholic political leaders nor Catholic politicians, although from Al Smith through John Kennedy they were more often Democrats than Republicans (Pat Buchanan is an exception). What is new is the ability of self-identified Catholic politicians to attract broad support from the among the evangelical Protestant religious right.

Rick Santorum is a case in point. Santorum’s is a specifically Catholic form of faith. The recent flap over contraception is only an example of a much deeper phenomenon. As observers have noted, he talks frequently about natural law, but rarely quotes the Bible directly — his arguments draw on a theologically informed view of the nature of the world, not a personal relationship with the text.

Indeed, in the past Santorum has been quite forthright about the fact that he does not look to the Bible for guidance, he relies quite properly on the guidance of the Church. There is obviously nothing wrong with that … but it sits very curiously with traditional Evangelical Protestant attitudes.

It is important not to overstate the significance of Santorum’s success. For all Santorum’s recent ascendancy, here is the breakdown of actual Republican votes cast thus far: Romney, 1,121,685; Gingrich, 838,825; Santorum, 431,926; Paul, 307,975. The count of awarded delegates produces a somewhat different result: Romney, 99; Santorum, 47; Gingrich, 32; Paul, 20 (The difference among those numbers reflects what political scientists call “malapportionment.”)  But two facts remain: one, with 1,144 delegates required for the nomination this thing is nowhere close to a resolution, and will not be even after Arizona, Michigan, and Super Tuesday; and, two, thus far in the Republican primary campaign, a majority of the votes cast have been for Catholic candidates. It’s not just Santorum; before him it was Gingrich, after all. At the national level, Catholic politicians have emerged as leading figures in the GOP… and  evangelical Protestants are flocking to follow their lead. Why?

The answer is not that evangelicals have become any less Protestant.  In a 2011 American Values Survey, 93% of white evangelicals say it is important for a candidate to have strong religious beliefs, versus 69% for Catholics saying the same thing. And 36% of white evangelical voters said they would be uncomfortable voting for a candidate who had strong religious beliefs that were different from their own, up from 29% in 2010, a change that may reflect the effects of a prominent Mormon candidate in the mix. In other words, evangelical voters care a great deal that a candidate’s religion accord with their own… and they are supporting Catholic candidates.  So what is going on?

To understand what is going on, we need to move from the role of Catholic individuals to a broader, more metaphorical idea of a Catholic style of political reasoning. “Catholic” in this exercise means responding to leadership; focusing on outcomes (think “doctrine of works”); and a Manichean view of the world in which the Church — as opposed to mere churches — stands as a bulwark against equally great opposing forces, so that outside the Church there can be only chaos. In this sense a Catholic Republican voter would be someone looking for a commanding general to lead Christian soldiers on a crusade, would care about a candidate’s policies rather than his soul, and respond to a call to view the Republican Party as the last bastion of civilisation in a howling wilderness.  Extending the metaphor, a “Protestant” conservative should reject the idea of leaders in favour of grass roots communalism; local self-direction in the congregationalist model; care about character and personal values more than specific stances or doctrines; and see the world as a mass of sinners who are to be judged  individually by the quality of their soul rather than by their enlistment in one party or the other.

In this metaphorical sense, the “Catholic” political style is strongest among evangelical Protestant voters, not actual Catholics. The eagerness of Catholic bishops to jump into a fight over contraception, for example, does not reflect that attitudes of their parishoners, but it gets strong support from evangelicals. Similarly, in one recent poll more than two-thirds of Catholic voters supported some sort of legal recognition of gay couples’ relationships, with 44% favoring same-sex marriage; in very sharp contrast, an outright majority of evangelical voters said there should be no legal recognition of a same-sex relationship.

In political terms, the evangelical Protestant Right has become Catholicized. They do not see Catholicism as a religion very different from their own because it leads to the same positions on the battlefield, call it Fortress GOP. It is a political worldview that is singularly well suited to negative politics. Who cares whether your guy is actually a bit of a nut-case or has some sleaze in his history if he will defeat the forces of darkness? Liberals tolerate venality in their candidates if they believe they will do good; “Catholic” conservatives tolerate venality if they believe their candidates will defeat evil.  (Ironically, all of this has moved the American religious Right in the direction of becoming more and more like a traditional European right-wing political movement, rather than a populist movement in the American Jacksonian tradition.)

In this metaphorical sense, the one person who did the most to push the Catholicization of conservative politics was Newt Gingrich back in the 1990s, long before his personal religious conversion. The most obvious illustration was the infamous GOPAC memorandum entitled “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control” that instructed Republican candidates to describe their Democratic opponents using words like “destructive,” “sick,” “pathetic,” “they/them,” “betray” and ” traitors” (relying on the research of the almost incomprehensibly amoral Frank Lutz). That kind of rhetoric and the scorched earth, anyone-who-is-not-with-must-be-destroyed tactics that go with it has been the defining style of Gingrich’s brand of politics ever since. And who Gingrich’s man in the Senate in those heady days of unabashed viciousness? Rick Santorum. And not just as an ally — Santorum was Gingrich’s hatchet man, the one who did the “dirty work” as one Republican congressman put it. Or in the words of a Republican staffer at the time, “[Santorum] is a Stepford wife to Gingrich… If you took the key out of his back, I’m not sure his lips would keep moving.” (These quotations appear in a 1995 Philadelphia Magazine article — you can find a link to the pdf file here

Can this carry Santorum to the nomination? Probably not. There are already signs that Santorum is slipping, as the extremity of his religious dogmatism becomes evident to voters, which may eventually force evangelicals to recognize the differences between the tenets of his faith and their own. The fit with Tea Party conservatives is even more tenuous, as that movement is an expression of a deeply “Protestant” brand of politics that sit uneasily with the rhetoric and worldview of “Catholic” conservatism. And Santorum has yet to be called out for his role in the 1990s; if people really want to vote for Gingrich’s old pet attack dog, why not simply vote for the owner? With time, Romney’s claim to be the only electable candidate (and adult) in the field may regain its traction. Meanwhile, Gingrich is looking ahead to the South, and possibly even as far as Texas and California. It has been a campaign of suddenly arising candidates who flamed out just as quickly, and Santorum shows signs of being the latest in that line — as I said, even after Super Tuesday there is going to be a long way to go.

There is the potential for deep divisions appearing in the GOP along an axis of “Protestant” versus “Catholic” religious conservatism. But regardless of what happens next, the rise of first Gingrich and now Santorum as the candidate of choice for the Religious Right is a profound sign of how Catholic the American religious right has become.

Crazed Catholic Fascist Jeffrey Kuhner Blathers Absurdities Against Obama


Kuhner Claims Obama is ‘Our Lenin‘; Mefferd Afraid He’s More Like Stalin

Crazed Catholic Fascist Jeffrey Kuhner Blathers Absurdities Against Obama

Submitted by Miranda Blue on Wed, 02/22/2012 – 3:14pm

Right-wing columnist Jeffrey Kuhner visited the Janet Mefferd show earlier this week to discuss a recent column he wrote for the Washington Times, positing that “Obama is America’s Lenin.” In the column, Kuhner attacks the Obama administration’s recent birth control regulations, claiming that “like many secular leftists, [Obama] seeks to destroy Judeo-Christian civilization,” that he is “in the pocket of the pro-abortion feminist lobby,” and that “Mr. Obama is our first non-Christian president.”

Kuhner went into more detail in his interview with Mefferd, saying “I never thought I would see the day in America, that I would see the ugly specter of Leninism, the ugly specter of Marxism” and claiming that while the president is not a practicing Muslim he is “clearly a cultural Muslim.”

Mefferd not only agreed with Kuhner’s analysis, she was willing to go even farther, warning, “We know what Stalin ended up doing to millions and millions of people who would not bow the knee to him.”

Kuhner: This is a violation of the First Amendment. This is a violation of separation of church and state. This is a blatant war on Christianity. It is a war on our conscience rights. It is a war on our basic human freedoms. And I never thought I would see the day in America, that I would see the ugly specter of Leninism, the ugly specter of Marxism, where you now have state coercion of religion, where you have a blatant, flagrant attempt to purge Christianity from the public square, being so openly and blatantly embraced by the president of the United States.

Janet, if this mandate goes through, if Obamacare is not repealed, I believe it will break the back of our constitutional republic, I believe it will be the end of the First Amendment as we’ve known it, and I believe we are on a path towards radical, secular liberalism, which in many ways is just a form of cultural Marxism.

Obama is our Lenin. He is embarking on a cultural, social, political transformation of this nation, and that is why Christians of all denominations, of all faiths, must stand up and vote this man out of office in November.

Kuhner: So I believe he is somebody who’s the product of the multicultural, neo-Marxist left. He despises Christianity. He despises our biblical principles. He despises the civilizational roots of American society. And he’s also, I believe –and there’s no getting around this – not that he’s a practicing Muslim or a believing Muslim, but he’s clearly a cultural Muslim.

And Janet, I have to say this, many people don’t understand this aspect of communism. Communism never sought to completely eradicate religion. Even they knew that was impossible. What they said was this: ‘We don’t want it in public. If you want to worship, that’s fine, do it in your own home, do it in your own head, do it in your own bedroom. But don’t take your faith outside the home, it doesn’t belong here.’

Mefferd: Well, I tell you, that sounds awfully familiar, and we know what Stalin ended up doing to millions and millions of people who would not bow the knee to him.

Cardinals Wear Scarlet to Show They Are Willing to Shed Blood For The Catholic Faith


The following appeared in the Wall Street Journal today (h/t Ophelia Benson, Butterflies and Wheels):-

Cardinal-designate speaks of joy, love – and blood

Associated Press VATICAN CITY  — The top U.S. bishop, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, has told a meeting of the pope and his fellow cardinals that they must spread the faith with joy, love — and blood if necessary.

Dolan, archbishop of New York, gave the keynote address Friday to a gathering of the cardinals who will participate in the ceremony Saturday to bring Dolan and 21 other cardinals into the elite men’s club that will elect the next pope.

Dolan said the Vatican No. 2 had told him to speak about spreading the faith in a secular world since New York was the “capital of a secular culture.” Dolan said while there’s “graphic secularism” in the Big Apple, “it is also a very religious city.”

Cardinals Wear Scarlet to Show They Are Willing to Shed Blood For The Catholic Faith.

Fake Satanic Muslim Apocalypse Averted | Will Catholic Fascist Geert Wilders Now Save The World From The Jewish Antichrist?!


Fake Satanic Muslim Apocalypse Averted | Will Catholic Fascist Geert Wilders Now Save The World From The Jewish Antichrist?!

Hate Peddler Geert Wilders’ Hate: No Longer Limited To Muslims

Via:- Ilisha

Catholic Fascist Geert Wilders Tickling His Brain?

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders is notorious for his hatred of Islam.

He has compared the Qur’an to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kamf, referred to the Prophet Muhammad as “the devil,” and warned of a “tsunami of Islamization” in Europe. His Party for Freedom (PVV) rose to third-place status by capitalizing on economic crisis and social anxiety by scapegoating Muslim immigrants, who he has likened to Nazis.

The shock value has worn off, and support for his political party is waning.

So what’s a hatemonger to do?

Wilders has declared a new enemy: Central and Eastern Europeans.  His far-right Freedom Party has captured headlines by launching a website where visitors can lodge complaints about fellow Europeans working in the Netherlands:

Reporting Central and Eastern Europeans

Since May 1, 2007 there is free movement of workers between the Netherlands and eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. At present the estimates to the number of people from these countries, which resides in the Netherlands, apart from 200,000 to 350,000 people. As one of the few parties, the Freedom Party from the beginning against the opening of the labor market to Poland and other CEE nationals. Given all the problems associated with the massive arrival of especially Poland, is that attitude materialized. Recently, the PVV whatsoever against further opening of the labor market for Romanians and Bulgarians voted.

This massive labor migration leads to many problems, nuisance, pollution, displacement and integration in the labor and housing problems. For many people, these things a serious problem. Complaints are often not reported, because the idea that nothing is done.

Do you have trouble of CEE nationals? Or have you lost your job on a Pole, Bulgarian, Romanian or other Central or Eastern European? We would like to hear. The Freedom Party has a platform on this website to your symptoms to report. These complaints, we will identify and offer the results to the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment.

What’s this got to do with Muslims?

The move clearly demonstrates what we’ve always known.  Wilders is an opportunist and a hardcore bigot.

In the current climate, Islamophobia has been normalized to some degree, but the more hatemongers expose their ties to racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism, the more likely they are to  be relegated to the fringe by mainstream society.

Wilders’ antics have already sparked a firestorm of protest, and ambassadors from ten central and east European countries have complained. In response, the European Parliament has scheduled a debate on the topic next month.

Wilders boasted the site already had 40,000 responses and  dismissed the controversy telling reporters:

My reaction to the ambassadors is: Mind your own business. This has nothing to do with your country. We are a sovereign country, we are a democratic political party and we voice the concerns of many Dutchmen.

Opening a new front will undoubtedly dilute Wilders’ campaign to vilify Islam as a “unique threat” to Europe, and may further tarnish the country’s international reputation.  Whether the stunt will ultimately boost his popularity or exhaust Dutch tolerance for his peculiar brand far-right fear mongering remains to be seen.

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