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Two hundred years ago, the Pope decided to expel the Jews from Rome. The Jews protested. The Pope made a deal: He would debate a Jew; if the Jew won, they could stay. The Jews picked an old sweeper as their debater. Moshe had one condition: It had to be a silent debate. The Pope agreed.
At the debate, Moshe and the Pope sat silent for a minute. Then, the Pope stuck out three fingers. Moshe raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers around his head. Moshe pointed to the ground. The Pope pulled out a communion wafer and wine. Moshe pulled out an apple. Stunned, the Pope surrendered: “This man is too good. The Jews can stay.”
“What happened” the cardinals asked the Pope. The Pope said: “I held up three fingers for the Trinity. He held up one finger for one God in both our religions. I waved my finger around me to show him God was all around us. He pointed to the ground to show me God was here with us. I pulled out the wafer and wine representing Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. He pulled out an apple reminding me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?”
“What happened?” the Jews asked Moshe. “First,” said Moshe, “he told me that the Jews had three days to get out. I told him not one of us was leaving. Then he told me this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I said we were staying right here.” “And then?” asked a woman. “I don’t know,” said Moshe. “He took out his lunch and I took out mine.”
If we define nationalism as a polity of independent nations based on the nation-state seeking self-determination and self-rule, what could be so un-Christian about it?
Two hundred years later, the Pope is debating a Jewish scholar. Pope Francis waves his fingers around his head. We need a supranational authority to meet the great evils of our age. The Jewish scholar points to the ground. God gave us nations with borders. Nationalism is a virtue, Professor Yoram Hazony tells Pope Francis.
Pope Francis’ globalist project has the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and every serving bishop in the Church of England and the House of Lords. The high priests of progressivism in the Western church are extolling the gospel of globalism and damning to hell nationalism and populism as the elemental evils of our age.
If we define nationalism as a polity of independent nations and a political order based on the nation state seeking self-determination and self-rule, what could be so un-Christian about it?
Isn’t nationalism biblical? God promises to make Abraham a “greatnation” (Gen 12:1) so that “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him” (Gen 18:18). God also promises to make of Ishmael a “greatnation” (Gen 17:20).
Conversely, if globalism intends to usher in a new pax mundi by uniting humanity under one imperium, how biblical is this political doctrine?
Doesn’t the Hebrew Bible debunk the hubris of hegemonistic globalism in the archetypal story of Babel just before the story of God’s blessing to Abraham? Isn’t the nationalism offered to Abraham and all nations of the earth a counter-narrative to the globalism of Babel?
Among Christian ayatollahs, Francis has so far delivered the most pronounced calls for globalism.
In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, Francis insists on “the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods.”
The opposition of the current ecclesiastical elite to the nation-state stands in violent contrast to the nationalism of Christian leaders only a few decades ago.
Francis seeks solutions “from a global perspective…” because “interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan [italics original],” especially when facing a fictional climate change apocalypse.
Francis occasionally tips his mitre towards state sovereignty. But the fortissimo of his globalist leitmotif drowns out any minor theme of nationalism. At best, the nation is a penultimate and problematic political phenomenon in the Wagnerian triumph of a globalist order.
The nation is a nostalgic relic of the past and because transnational corporations are “weakening of the power of nation states” economically, Francis wants to create stronger international institutions “empowered to impose sanctions.”
Francis’ most aggressive bid for globalism came in May when addressing the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences conference on “Nation, State, Nation-State.” Speakers preached the gospel of globaloney as a remedy against the twin evils of market forces and climate change. (“Markets can only function within a legal framework that is not in itself subjected to market forces”).
Francis was categorical: instead of the State being at the service of individual and family, states were more often “enslaved to the interests of a dominant group, mostly for reasons of economic profit” and so “the nation state is no longer able to procure the common good of its populations alone. The common good has become global and nations must associate for their own benefit.” Francis called for a “new supranational authority” to implement the common good.”
At the conference, Cardinal Kasper fired the kill shot: Nationalism is bad because nationalism produced two world wars. The pope’s ideological Kapellmeister Hans Joachim Schellnhuber advocated a one-world government in 2013, calling for organising “global democracy” around an Earth Constitution, a Global Council and a Planetary Court.
A fortnight later, conservative Catholics held a counter-conference on “Global One World Order Vs Christendom.” Cardinal Raymond Burkespoke of “Filial piety and national patriotism as essential virtues of the citizens of heaven at work on earth,” rebuking “those who propose and work for a single global government” and “for the elimination of individual national governments, so that all of humanity would be under the control of a single political authority.”
The opposition of the current ecclesiastical elite to the nation-state stands in violent contrast to the nationalism of Christian leaders only a few decades ago.
Karol Wojtyła boldly theologised nationalism using the phrase “evangelization of freedom.”
The war between globalism and nationalism being waged at the heart of Western Christendom is a war between progressivism and conservatism. It is embodied in a tale of two pontiffs—Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II.
While visiting the Sant’Egidio Community earlier this month, Franciscalled for a “globalisation of solidarity.” Contrastingly, his Polish predecessor called for a “nationalisation of solidarity.” When Poland was under martial law, Pope John Paul II uttered the banned word “Solidarity” six times in his Sunday Angelus address.
In 1983, John Paul preached to two million Poles at Jasna Góra calling for Poland to be a sovereign nation. In his homily, he used the word “nation” or “national” twenty times.
Karol Wojtyła boldly theologised nationalism using the phrase “evangelization of freedom.” He defined this as “the dimension of the freedom of the nation” and the “dignity of a sovereign state.” “The sovereignty of the state is deeply linked to its ability to promote freedom of the nation,” he said.
“The Nation is truly free when it can be configured as a community determined by the unity of culture, language, and history. The State is solidly sovereign when it governs society and also serves the common good of society and allows the Nation to realize itself in its own subjectivity, in its own identity.”
John Paul unblushingly theologised “the fundamental truth about the freedom of the Nation: the Nation perishes if its spirit is deformed, the Nation grows when this spirit is purified more and more, and no external force is able to destroy it.”
Historian James Felak asserts that Pope John Paul’s speeches empowered Polish nationalism. According to Felak, Wojtyła asserted that people are partly defined by the role they play in their national community; that people’s thoughts and choices are deeply allied to the traditions of their country and that an intrinsic nationalistic sentiment is a right and obligation for every citizen.
Edward Barrett writes, “He never calls for single- or multi-nation states to cede a portion of their sovereignty to a global political organization—somewhat surprisingly, given his perennial concerns for nonviolent conflict resolution and international development. Instead, he envisions the United Nations mainly as a place of dialogue in the service of both conflict resolution and a deeper sense of international solidarity based on trust, respect, and ‘mutual support.’”
Unlike Pope Francis, John Paul was a theological and social conservative—on sexuality, family and free markets.
The verdict of a number of historians is that John Paul’s emphasis on nationalism aided in the renewal of civil society in Poland and the emergence of Solidarity.
Conservatism is inextricably tied to nationalism. This is the fundamental thesis of our conference. The contrast between the two popes could not be greater in evaluating their stance towards conservatism. Unlike Pope Francis, John Paul was a theological and social conservative—on sexuality, family and free markets. In his encyclical Centesimus annus (1991) he wrote: “On the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs.”
A conservative pope was a nationalist. A progressive pope is a globalist. A critique of Pope Francis would expose his progressivism and globalism as riddled with internal inconsistencies. E.g. his globalism claims to be based on a nebulous ethic of the common good, but fails to explain (against the evidence of history) how a centralised superstate can fulfil this common good better than sovereign nations.
Most importantly, Pope Francis and Christian globalists simply cannot justify their globalist ideology using biblical theology. It is not only the Hebrew Bible which offers humanity the eschatological hope of “all nations” going up to Zion to receive Torah but also the New Testament book of Revelation which describes a great multitude “from every nation, tribe and people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”
Like a fool or a prophet, I predict that the Western church will fail in its mission if it follows Pope Francis in preaching the gospel of globalism. Why?
First, in doing so it departs from the nationalistic trajectory of scripture. Second, it offers no alternative biblical theology of globalism. Third, it alienates populists like Mattheo Salvini in Italy who are promoting nationalism using Christian symbols like the rosary or the Bible, but who lack the spiritual and theological scaffolding that will ultimately ensure that the nation is re-built on a Judaeo-Christian foundation. Fourth, its hierarchs risk being seen as collaborators with elites who are orchestrating the globalist project. They provoke the contempt of those pejoratively described as ‘basket of deplorables’ and Brexit-loving ‘little Englanders’.
Today’s church is choosing to be on the wrong side of history. In 1979, on his first apostolic visit to Poland, Pope John Paul II stood in Victory Square, Warsaw, and climaxed his homily with a prayer from Psalm 104. The Pope indulged in a delightful wordplay on the Hebrew wordadamah – it can mean land (soil, earth) or a territory with borders (nation). The Pope prayed:
“And I cry – I who am a son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II – I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost: Let your Spirit descend! Let your Spirit descend! And renew the face of the earth. The face of this land!”
Thousands of young Poles responded by raising thousands of wooden crosses. They chanted: “We want God! We want God!” Ten years later, Communism in Poland was overthrown. This was the beginning of the end of communism in the rest of the Eastern bloc. Catholic Poland was the only nation within the Soviet empire that had survived the atheistic-communist assault on religion.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” In our postmodern world, the fool also says in his heart, “There is no nation.”
(This talk was given at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C. and is originally published by Church Militant. ToUncategorized May26 Multiculturalists Working to Undermine Western Civilization frgavin on May 26th, 2018Multiculturalists Working to Undermine Western Civilization
by Philip Carl Salzman
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11542/multiculturalistsUnlike postmodernism, which sees Western culture as no better than other cultures, postcolonialism considers Western culture inferior to other cultures.Rather than enhancing Western culture through the enrichment different ethnic and religious groups provide in countries with a Judeo-Christian foundation, multiculturalists have actually been rejecting their own Western culture.The West, even flawed, has nevertheless afforded more freedoms and prosperity to more people than ever before in history. If Western civilization is to survive this defamation, it would do well to remind people its historical accomplishments: its humanism and morality derived from Judeo-Christian traditions; its Enlightenment thought; its technological revolutions; its political evolution into full democracy; the separation of church from state; its commitment to human rights and most of all its gravely threatened freedom of speech. Much of what is good in the world is thanks only to Western civilization. It is critical not to throw it out or lose it.
For the past decade, many in the West have been honing a historically unprecedented narrative one that not only renounces the culture they have inherited but that denies its very existence. A few examples:
During a press conference in Strasbourg in 2009, for instance, then-President Barack Obama began by downplaying the uniqueness of the United States. I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.
In addition, in 2010, Mona Ingeborg Sahlin, the leader at that time of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, told a gathering of the Turkish youth organization Euroturk:
I cannot figure out what Swedish culture is. I think thats what makes many Swedes jealous of immigrant groups. You [immigrants] have a culture, an identity, a history, something that brings you together. And what do we have? We have Midsummers Eve and such silly things.
In October 2015, Ingrid Lomfors, head of the Swedish governmental Forum for Living History, later told a group officials, There is no native Swedish culture.
In November 2015, the newly sworn-in Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, gave an interview to the New York Times, and published a month later, in which he said:
In 2015, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state. (Image source: Canadian PMs Office)
There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada. There are shared values openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first postnational state.
In December 2015, Former Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, president of the European Council in 2009, gave an interview to TV4 ahead of his departure from the leadership of the Moderate Party, in which he asked rhetorically:
Is this a country that is owned by those who have lived here for three or four generations or is Sweden what people who come here in mid-life makes it to be? For me it is obvious that it should be the latter and that it is a stronger and better society if it may be open Swedes are uninteresting as an ethnic group.
Notably, such statements emanated from leaders in the United States, Sweden and Canada countries with distinct literature, music, art and cuisine, as well as distinct judicial and governmental systems. What the views of the five leaders have in common, however, are a postmodern ideology and a need for minority and immigrant votes.
Postmodernism has two key elements: cultural relativism and postcolonialism. Cultural relativism developed by American anthropologist Ruth Benedict, author of the 1934 worldwide best-seller Patterns of Culture, and her mentor, the father of American anthropology, Franz Boas posited that researchers must set aside their own cultural values and biases, and maintain an open mind about those of other peoples cultures, in order to understand them. In the second half of the 20th century, anthropological theorists extended this to the field of ethics, arguing that judgements arising from one culture could not be applied to others thereby rendering all cultures equally good and valuable. This view led the American Anthropological Association in 1947 to reject the Declaration on the Rights of Man, which became the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, prepared in 1947 by the Commission on Human Rights of the United Nations.
Postcolonialism holds that peoples across the globe all got along with each other comfortably and peacefully until Western imperialists invaded, divided, conquered, exploited and oppressed them. Unlike postmodernism, which sees Western culture as no better than other cultures, postcolonialism considers Western culture inferior to other cultures.
Three factors appear to underlie this repudiation of Western culture: guilt, globalization and demography. Many Western societies such as Britain, France, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Portugal and Italy had empires in the South and East between the 17th and 20th centuries. Today, however, those past conquests are deemed evil by the very countries that engaged in them, and are also viewed negatively by non-imperial nations, such as Sweden and Canada, itself a Western colony. Germany, a late and marginal imperial power, seems still guilt-ridden over the Holocaust. Ironically, admitting countless newcomers to Europe as if they were the new Jewish refugees of this century has caused the second flight of Jews.
The guilt does not end there. Western countries are affluent, with most of their citizens enjoying at least a comfortable standard of living, while vast populations in Africa and Asia live in poverty. Many Westerners thus feel that redemption is required in the form of financial aid to ex-colonies, and in the unfettered entry of migrants and refugees from those areas into Western countries.
Meanwhile, economic globalization has led to Western countries having customers and investors around the world, from a wide range of disparate cultures, but Western triumphalism is viewed as ill-suited to productive business relations.
Where demography is concerned, the last decades have seen an increase in the flow of populations, occasioned in part by the low birthrate in the West with many far below replacement level. That, in turn, has highlighted the need for labor to sustain, if not grow, economies. The result is that the population in every Western country has become more ethnically, religiously and culturally mixed. To be welcoming to immigrants, and to aid in their integration into, and solidarity with, their new societies, Western countries have encouraged a multicultural openness while downplaying the particularity of their own cultures.
This brings us to elections: Politicians in Western democracies seeking election often downplay their own cultures to garner immigrant and minority votes. The larger the immigrant communities are, the stronger the incentive to curry favor with them. Some growing minority groups, such as Muslims in Europe, are now forming their own political parties to compete with traditional ones.
This marriage of postmodernism and electoral politics is having a terrible effect on societies that pride themselves on openness and diversity. Rather than enhancing Western culture through the enrichment different ethnic and religious groups provide in countries with a Judeo-Christian foundation, multiculturalists have actually been rejecting their own Western culture. While they encourage diversity of race, religion, and heritage, they forbid diversity of opinions, particularly those that do not conform to the postmodern narrative that rejects that the West. They also seem not to want to acknowledge that the West, even flawed, has nevertheless afforded more freedoms and prosperity to more people than ever before in history.
This skewed view of the West is only possible if one stubbornly refuses to see who, historically, the real colonizers were. How do they think virtually all of the Middle East and North Africa and the Middle East became Muslim through a democratic referendum? Muslims invaded and transformed the Christian Byzantine Empire, now an increasingly Islamized Turkey; Greece; the Middle East, North Africa, the Balkans; Hungary; northern Cyprus and Spain.
If Western civilization is to survive this defamation, it would do well to remind people of its historical accomplishments: its humanism and morality derived from Judeo-Christian traditions; its Enlightenment thought; its technological revolutions; the agricultural and industrial revolutions of the 18th century, and the digital revolution of the 20th century; its political evolution into full democracy; the separation of church and judiciary from state; its commitment to human rights and most of all its gravely threatened freedom of speech. Around the world, all advanced societies have borrowed many features of Western culture; they could hardly be called advanced if they had not. Much of what is good in the world is thanks only to Western civilization. It is critical not to throw it out or lose it.
Philip Carl Salzman is professor of anthropology at McGill University, Middle East Forum Fellow, and Frontier Centre Senior Fellow.
© 2018 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.Uncategorized May20 Deprive us of free speech and you turn us into animals frgavin on May 20th, 2018
May 20, 2018
Here’s a magic spell for turning a human being into an animal: silence the person, constrict his vocabulary and strip him of speech. When you shut down speech you turn human beings into animals.
Kanzi, the world’s most speech-savvy pygmy chimpanzee, can ‘speak’ only 500 words. The average three-year-old child has a lexicon of 1,000 words and learns a new one every 90 minutes of its waking life. Ergo, the relentless onslaught on speech is fundamentally an assault on our humanity.
In an Orwellian pincer move, a cross-section of powerbrokers is launching a blitzkrieg on speech. The censors of speech are tightening bit and bridle to control who speaks, what one speaks and how one speaks.
Last week, our group of pro-lifers in Port Erin on the Isle of Man were confronted by another group using the f-word as conjunction, preposition, interjection and adjective, trying to rein in our right to free speech. Pro-life groups are also being muzzled like dogs by buffer zones in England and on the Isle of Man.
While we were jousting with philistines, barbarians in both Houses of Parliament were hacking away at the freedom of the press with battle-axes. Despite a defeat for Labour in the Commons, the Lords once again voted to establish a second Leveson-style public inquiry and suffocate the freedom of the press.
In an Orwellian pincer move, a cross-section of powerbrokers is launching a blitzkrieg on speech.
Students at redbrick universities are using violence to ‘de-platform’ conservative speakers. Masked thugs stormed Jacob Rees-Mogg’sspeech at Bristol University calling him a ‘fascist’, ‘Nazi’, and ‘racist’. Even radical feminist Germaine Greer had her vocal cords tied in knots by anti-speech students at Cardiff University because of her views on transgenderism.
Now the Sentencing Council for England and Wales is threatening a draconian punishment of six years imprisonment for so-called hate speech against race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy, maternity and gender reassignment. The list is a veritable Left-wing thesaurus of victimhood. The fiction of ‘hate speech’ is yet another Orwellian flamethrower intended to snuff out speech and paradoxically to destroy the very diversity progressives claim to be championing.
Welcome to Babel, the archetypal story of human beings domesticating speech to create the ultimate totalitarian state. Babel permits no alternative language, no alternative thought and no alternative possibility. Babel is the archetype of a society in which people exchange God-given freedom for human-imposed slavery by acquiescing to a regime of political correctness that is facilitated by a centralised language emptied of meaning, nuance and creativity.
The story of Babel begins with people attempting to create one world with one language. Globalisation begins with the McDonaldisation of language. The ‘whole earth’ now has ‘one language’ and ‘one set of words’, reports the Genesis story. The word ‘language’ and ‘all the earth’ occur five times each in the narrative.
This McDonaldization of language is an artificial construct that restricts and coerces. It is not the result of human creativity and diversity that has so far been blessed by God in the narrative beginning with creation. Abruptly and rudely we are thrust into the narrow world of Babel (Genesis 11) after streaming through the broad and diverse world of the Table of Nations (Genesis 10).
The Tower of Babel is the archetypal story of human beings domesticating speech to create the ultimate totalitarian state.
The Table of Nations underlines the linguistic diversity that already exists. The children of Japheth, Ham and Shem speak ‘with their own language’. Two verses later, the Tower of Babel story hits the reader like a stinging slap in the face: ‘And it came to pass, that all the earth had one language and one vocabulary’. The linguistic totalitarianism of Babel follows the linguistic pluralism of the Table of Nations.
For an ideology seeking total control, diverse languages, abundant vocabulary and dissenting thought pose a stumbling block. Diversity needs to be eliminated and replaced by a homogeneity that will consolidate a centralised power. It is the McDonaldisation of speech that will enable the ideological empire to achieve its totalitarian goals.
The Babel story climaxes with God issuing a statutory warning about the terrifying totalitarian possibilities of this one language that brooks no alternative. God confuses and destroys the new language. ‘Babel’ comes from the Hebrew word for confusion.
In Genesis, Babel is the final scene in the trans-historical drama beginning with creation. The biblical creation story makes a clear distinction between God creating animals (who cannot speak) and humans (who can speak to Him and to one another). Indeed, man’s first speech-act is naming the animals—thus clearly distinguishing humans from animals by virtue of the potential for speech. ‘The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild animals.’
‘To deverbalise a society is to dehumanise it,’ wrote Oxford scholar J L Austin. Deprive human beings of free speech and you will turn them into animals. This is why when people run out of words or are limited in their vocabulary they will use Molotov cocktails, stones or fists to make a point, as ferocious animals react when provoked.
It is the McDonaldisation of speech that will enable the ideological empire to achieve its totalitarian goals.
Instead of engaging in rational and civil debate when they discover they have been rendered speechless by poor education or progressive victimhood ideology they will, like Kanzi the chimpanzee, spew their limited vocabulary of 500 words, comprising mostly the f-word.
Last week, our pro-life group experienced behaviour that was even worse. When our opponents were losing ground, they got a stooge to borrow a motorcycle without a muffler and rev it continuously for more than 15 minutes in an attempt to deafen us, frighten us and silence us. Thankfully, the engine broke down and the hooligan silently retreated – he simply lacked the vocabulary to conduct an intelligent argument.
The Babel narrative finds its resolution in the event of Pentecost, which the church celebrates today, fifty days after Easter. Pentecost confers a new gift of tongues and reverses the linguistic hubris of Babel. The Holy Spirit reminds us that, unlike animals, we are created in God’s image and likeness and with the ability and freedom to speak. Pentecost is the feast of true diversity that progressive homogeneity seeks to obliterate forever.
(Originally published in The Conservative Woman)Uncategorized Mar7 ‘Absolutely surreal’: Student mob smashes window in protest against Jordan Peterson frgavin on March 7th, 2018
KINGSTON, Ontario, March, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) A mob disrupted a presentation by bestselling author and freedom-of-speech hero Jordan Peterson yesterday afternoon.
Dr. Peterson and Professor Bruce Pardy addressed a packed lecture hall at Queen’s University on the subject of free speech. Their presentation was entitled “The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.”
Early in the lecture, two women invaded the building and walked across the stage holding a banner reading “Freedom to smash bigotry.” In the balcony at the back of the hall, a male student shouted abuse at the stage. All three students were roundly booed by the audience, which was sprayed with an unidentified liquid by the women when they left they hall.
Outside, a mob of dozens shouted slogans and obscenities and banged on the doors and windows of Grant Hall. They kept up the racket for the 90-minute length of the forum, stopping briefly only after a woman broke one of the stained glass windows of the historic Victorian Romanesque-style building.
“Mark my words, that’s the sound of the barbarians pounding at the gates,” Peterson told the audience.
The mob blocked the front and back doors of the hall with trash and recycling bins, forcing the audience to leave via an adjacent hall, where they ran a gauntlet of protesters screaming “Shame on you.” One woman quipped, “Lock them in and burn it down” to the cheers of the other protestors.
Police were called to the scene.
Afterward, Peterson posted several clips of the protest on Twitter, telling a follower that the speaking engagement was “absolutely surreal.”
“The mob neglected to bring torches and pitchforks, but the sentiment was there: ‘Lock them in and burn it down,’” he wrote.
Peterson identified one protestor in particular as the worst of the disrupters.
“This individual (Jonathan Shepherd) was the worst of them all at Queen’s, accosting us afterward on our way to the parking lot, commandeering the event at the beginning, yelling in the forum, cursing and swearing … Turns out he has a history of these things.”
Shepherd has been removed from other Queen’s University events, including presentations by Conservative Party leadership candidates Kevin O’Leary and Kellie Leitch.
The student-activist told the Queen’s University Journal that he was impressed by the turnout.
“There is a lot of commitment out here for trans rights and for shutting down the conspiratorial hate speech (sic) of Jordan Peterson,” he told the Journal. “The protest has been successful in letting people know that even if we didn’t stop him from taking, we’ve let it be known that we are opposed to him speaking.”Uncategorized Jan30 DC Episcopalians Opt for Open Borders and Transgenderism, Eschew Gendered Pronouns for God frgavin on January 30th, 2018Author:Jeffrey Walton
A trifecta of resolutions introduced and passed by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington’s annual convention confirm a further politicized and progressive direction in which the denomination is headed.
Embracing progressive themes, delegates to The 123rd Diocesan Convention approved legislative proposals “On Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese: Offering Sacred Welcome to Immigrants,” “On Inclusion of Transgender People,” and “On the Gendered Language for God” at the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday, January 27.
Resolutions were passed in under one hour and were introduced by a small number of delegates. The Rev. Kimberly Lucas, Rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., and a graduate of liberal Union Theological Seminary in New York, sponsored all three resolutions. Two of the three resolutions were submitted by The Rev. Alex Dyer, rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Parish in Washington, D.C. Dyer was briefly notable last year on social media for wrapping banners around construction fences at St. Thomas in which an image of a face-palming Jesus was accompanied by political messages including the tagline “a progressive church for a progressive city.”
According to statistics made available by the Episcopal Church, St. Thomas has declined precipitously in the past five years, shrinking from a weekly attendance of 150 down to 75 (-50%). St. Margaret’s has similarly declined from approximately 240 attendees in 2006 down to 130 (-46%).
In the past decade, weekly attendance in the Diocese of Washington has declined 17 percent. Meanwhile, baptisms have dropped 35 percent and weddings have declined 39 percent. In April, the diocesan clergy conference will hear from an organization assisting churches “to move from a place of plateau or decline to sustained congregational health.”
Resolution #1 “On Becoming a Sanctuary Diocese: Offering Sacred Welcome to Immigrants,” was endorsed by the Race and Social Justice Task Force of the Diocese. It read:
Resolved, that the people of the Diocese of Washington, as disciples of Jesus Christ and persons of faith and conscience, take seriously the biblical mandate not to wrong or oppress the alien in our midst, and in faithfulness to our Baptismal Covenant, oppose the policies of the incumbent Executive Branch that target undocumented immigrants for deportation while also placing undue restrictions on refugees seeking safe haven in the U.S.
The resolution was amended to remove reference to the presidency and to change “alien” to “immigrant” out of concern that the former term had a negative connotation (resolutions can be viewed in full here.)
Resolution drafters asserted, “Its passage would send a message of solidarity to the hundreds of immigrants in our midst.”
Resolution #2, “On Inclusion of Transgender People” calls upon the diocese to “encourage all parishes to remove all obstacles to full participation in congregational life by making all gender-specific facilities and activities fully accessible, regardless of gender identity and expression.”
Resolution drafters cited the Episcopal Church Baptismal Covenant wording “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?” as a basis for transgender advocacy. The statement quickly dived into intersectionality theory, charging “that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia give rise to discrimination” and that “Fixed boundaries of gender identity are being challenged and churches need to respond.”
The resolution was adopted without debate or discussion.
Resolution #3, “On the Gendered Language for God,” related to Book of Common Prayer revisions that will potentially be considered by the national church at General Convention this summer:
“…eliminate, when possible, all gendered references to God and to replace them with gender neutral language, and if necessary, to alternate gendered titles when referring to God.”
The resolution was amended to read “…if revision of the Book of Common Prayer is authorized, to utilize expansive language for God from the rich sources of feminine, masculine, and non-binary imagery for God found in Scripture and tradition and, when possible, to avoid the use of gendered pronouns for God.”
“Over the centuries our language and our understanding of God has continued to change and adapt,” the resolution drafters asserted. “Our current gender roles shape and limit our understanding of God. By expanding our language for God, we will expand our image of God and the nature of God. Our new Book of Common Prayer needs to reflect the language of the people and our society … language should not be limited by gendered pronouns when avoidable.”
Clergy delegate The Rev. Linda R. Calkins from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Laytonsville, Maryland, brandished a copy of The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation and asked when the Episcopal Church would join with those behind the 2004 translation.
Reading from Genesis Chapter 17, in which God tells Abraham “I am El Shaddai,” Calkins asserted “if we are going to be true to what El Shaddai means, it means God with breasts.”
El Shaddai is traditionally translated to mean “God Almighty,” but The Inclusive Bible reads “..and God said, I am the breasted one.”
“Having studied much feminist theology in my masters’ degrees, I wrote a thesis on liberation and freedom and non-equality in feminist theology and existential counseling,” Calkins told the convention. “And I am still waiting for the Episcopal Church to come to the place where all people feel that they can speak God’s name. Many, many women that I have spoken with over my past almost 20 years in ordained ministry have felt that they could not be a part of any church because of the male image of God that is systemic and that is sustained throughout our liturgies. Many of us are waiting and need to hear God in our language, in our words and in our pronouns.”
First printed in Juicy EcumenismUncategorized Jan1 Britains Constitutional Crisis and the Politics of Sex frgavin on January 1st, 2018
By Stephen Baskerville
It is now very clear that Britain is entering its most serious constitutional crisis since the war, and it is doing so under a prime minister who is its most unaccountable. Having departed from the accepted British norm of parliamentary government in favor of a popular referendum, Britain created a vacuum that has been filled by a government with a subtle but determined ideological agenda that makes challenge almost impossible. Because Britain is (as often) the leader in this constitutional innovation, how Britain extricates itself from this debacle will have repercussions for all of us.
How was this allowed to happen? Two decisions in particular demonstrate just how irregularly British government has operated during and since the referendum.
First, in trying to recover the sovereignty surrendered to the European Union, MPs (perhaps unavoidably) used the diffidence that always accompanies EU questions to depart from Britains customary parliamentary procedures and foist the decision on an always fickle electorate. Though the electorate spoke clearly, its voice can change (or be made to change).
Now, despite the fact that retreat would have serious consequences for constitutional government, the political class is applying pressure in any effort to defy the popular will even after having elevated it to the level of formal legal status. In a country less stable than Britain this could produce constitutional nihilism, and even Britain faces the specter of chaos.
But the second decision was far more momentous, for it began the journey toward chaos, and that was the decision to allow Theresa Mays putsch. It is very clear that the current prime minister is out of her depth and incapable of long-term leadership.
This is certainly not because she lacks political skill. It is because she herself came to power illegitimately and can survive only by creating more of the havoc that brought her to power in the first place.
Mrs. May and other leftist elements of the Conservative Party took advantage of the post-Brexit confusion to stage a coup. They spun the referendum results into a New Left platform that had nothing to do with the voters expressed wishes. Not only were they on the wrong side of the referendum result, they immediately set in to implement policies that were more extreme versions of precisely those that had been repudiated by the voters in the referendum, with bizarre words about social reform to benefit the disadvantaged rather than the privileged few. They continued the same spin through the election, which was interpreted as everything but what it largely was: a negative referendum on Mrs. Mays failure as Home Secretary to deal with terrorism.
In short, Mrs. May has no claim or credentials to be prime minister and consequently no authority to negotiate Britain out of its current dilemma which indeed, she largely created. Any other Prime Minister would have been forced to resign long ago.
So why this Teflon ability to defy the basic principles of British parliamentary government? How could a politician with no popular mandate immediately begin by claiming one for policies the opposite of what the people had voted for? Further, how has she been able to continue this extraordinary immunity from responsibility, even after leading her party to a humiliating election disaster that was likewise widely attributed to her personal failures alone?
Not to put too fine a point on it, there is but one reason, the silver bullet that now silences all criticism so effectively that it need no longer even be stated (and cannot be stated by its critics), and it is the one that is now manifesting itself all around us: gender equality. Unlike any potential competitor, Mrs. May makes herself immune from responsibility by skillfully playing sexual politics. The role played by her sex was celebrated when she assumed power not only by her allies but also by virtue-signaling pundits, though few really wanted to dwell on the ironies and implications. But as the current wave of accusations demonstrates, the triumph of sexual ideology has now made it is virtually impossible to hold women leaders accountable.
This has more to do with ideology than with sex, and the exceptions prove the rule. The excoriation of Andrea Leadsom for her Christian values during the leadership contest confirms that marginalization is now the rule for leaders who are feminine without being feminist.
Moreover, Britains greatest post-war Prime Minister was a woman. The difference was that Margaret Thatcher never engaged in ideologically female politics. She never made an issue of being a woman and never invoked feminist or gender ideology with its oppressor/victim Manicheanism that intimidates dissent and opportunistically celebrates double standards. Indeed, her entire government was one long battle against ideology: socialism, self-aggrandizing functionaries, unions, the welfare state, unilateral disarmament of everything, in short, that has since become ideologically feminized. She accepted full responsibility for her policies, including the inevitable end.
Mrs. Mays politics are fundamentally different. Though she waves the banner of conservatism, she picks and chooses the ideological currents that will win her power. As Home Secretary, this meant de-prioritizing terrorism and crime in favor of ideological programs targeting law-abiding citizens, usually under the guise of combatting violence against women, while likewise prioritizing same-sex marriage. Even when ostensibly combatting terrorism (or extremism), she concocted pointless schemes driven by ideology. Most extraordinary was her proposal for the state to register and vet all religious leaders as if priests, pastors, and rabbis pose a serious terrorist threat.
Now her successor as Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who helped engineer her June 2016 coup, is following suit: downplaying terrorism and crime and instead using her office to intimidate the expression of unorthodox views by law-abiding citizens.
In the struggle for the Tory Party leadership, it is no accident that an obviously appealing candidate of proven ability and moral character, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been blackballed and sidelined by nothing more than his widely shared opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage, the main shibboleths of the sexual left. Now, the expanding use of sexual accusations for political purposes (which has in fact been going on for years) confirms the ascendency of the sexual left, and the same methods employed by May and Rudd and DPP Alison Saunders are having much more serious consequences.
The Conservatives now face more than the relatively straightforward matter of choosing a leader who is acceptable to various party factions. They must come to terms with the sexual radicalism that is now the vanguard ideology of the left and that also increasingly grips and paralyzes most of the right.
Stephen Baskerville is Professor of Government at Patrick Henry College. He is the author of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Government Power (Angelico, 2017).Uncategorized Jan1 Created Male and Female frgavin on January 1st, 2018
An Open Letter from Religious Leaders, December 15, 2017
As leaders of various communities of faith throughout the United States, many of us came together in the past to affirm our commitment to marriage as the union of one man and one woman and as the foundation of society. We reiterate that natural marriage continues to be invaluable to American society.
We come together to join our voices on a more fundamental precept of our shared existence, namely, that human beings are male or female and that the socio-cultural reality of gender cannot be separated from one’s sex as male or female.
We acknowledge and affirm that all human beings are created by God and thereby have an inherent dignity. We also believe that God created each person male or female; therefore, sexual difference is not an accident or a flaw—it is a gift from God that helps draw us closer to each other and to God. What God has created is good. “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27).
A person’s discomfort with his or her sex, or the desire to be identified as the other sex, is a complicated reality that needs to be addressed with sensitivity and truth. Each person deserves to be heard and treated with respect; it is our responsibility to respond to their concerns with compassion, mercy and honesty. As religious leaders, we express our commitment to urge the members of our communities to also respond to those wrestling with this challenge with patience and love.
Children especially are harmed when they are told that they can “change” their sex or, further, given hormones that will affect their development and possibly render them infertile as adults. Parents deserve better guidance on these important decisions, and we urge our medical institutions to honor the basic medical principle of “first, do no harm.” Gender ideology harms individuals and societies by sowing confusion and self-doubt. The state itself has a compelling interest, therefore, in maintaining policies that uphold the scientific fact of human biology and supporting the social institutions and norms that surround it.
The movement today to enforce the false idea—that a man can be or become a woman or vice versa—is deeply troubling. It compels people to either go against reason—that is, to agree with something that is not true—or face ridicule, marginalization, and other forms of retaliation.
We desire the health and happiness of all men, women, and children. Therefore, we call for policies that uphold the truth of a person’s sexual identity as male or female, and the privacy and safety of all. We hope for renewed appreciation of the beauty of sexual difference in our culture and for authentic support of those who experience conflict with their God-given sexual identity.
Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera
Bishop of Scranton
USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate
Anglican Church in North America
The Rt. Rev. Eric V. Menees
Bishop of San Joaquin
Anglican Church in North America
Rev. Eugene F. Rivers, III
Founder and Director
Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies
Church of God in Christ
The Rev. John F. Bradosky
North American Lutheran Church
Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Seltz, PhD
The Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
The Rev. Paull Spring
The North American Lutheran Church
Most Rev. James D. Conley
Bishop of Lincoln
USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and
Defense of Marriage
Rev. Tony Suarez
Executive Vice President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
The Rt. Rev. John A. M. Guernsey
Bishop, Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic
Anglican Church in North America
Very Rev. Nathanael Symeonides
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison
Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
The Rev. Dr. L. Roy Taylor
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America
Imam Faizal Khan
Founder and Leader
Islamic Society of the Washington Area
Director of Policy Studies
Southern Baptist Ethics Religious Liberty Commission
Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty
The Rev. Dr. David Wendel
Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism
The North American Lutheran Church
Archbishop of Pittsburgh
Orthodox Church in America
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