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Who watches over the guardians of tradition?

On July 16, 2021, the Vatican issued a motu proprio on the Latin Mass under the title of Traditionis Custodes which effectively revoked Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificium, which made the Latin Mass more readily available to the faithful. That story began in 1988 when Pope John Paul II issued his own motu proprio Ecclesia Dei in the wake of the Lefebvrite schism of that same year. Worried that the Lefebvrites would follow the Latin Mass out of the Church, Pope John Paul II made the Tridentine rite available on a limited basis. As part of his efforts to end the Lefebvrite schism, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunications of the four bishops Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated and expanded access to the Tridentine rite, by issuing his own motu proprio. Both Summorum Potificium and Ecclesia Dei were, in Pope Francis’s words, “motivated by the desire to foster the healing of the schism with the movement of Mons. Lefebvre. With the ecclesial intention of restoring the unity of the Church, the Bishops were thus asked to accept with generosity the ‘just aspirations’ of the faithful who requested the use of that Missal.”[1]

In his motu proprio withdrawing those privileges, Pope Francis maintains that the permission which Pope John Paul II granted in 1988 was issued conditionally, and that Pope Benedict’s renewal of the mandate in 2007 reinforced this conditionality by intending to introduce “a clearer juridical regulation” in this area. Claiming that his understanding of the current situation is clearer than Ratzinger’s in 2007, Bergoglio is claiming that “serious difficulties came to light” in the implementation of the norms “once the Motu proprio came into effect,” which require drastic action on his part because toleration of two separate rites has led to disunity in the Church.

After sending a questionnaire to the world’s bishops, Francis “regrettably” discovered that Ratzinger’s desire “to do everything possible to ensure that all those who truly possessed the desire for unity would find it possible to remain in this unity or to rediscover it anew” had “been seriously disregarded,” prompting Francis to take action. Contrary to Ratzinger’s intentions, the Latin Mass had become a source of division in the Church. Instead of consoling those who missed the old rite, the Latin Mass has been “exploited to widen the gaps, reinforce the divergences, and encourage disagreements that injure the Church, block her path, and expose her to the peril of division.” The Latin Mass has been instrumentalized to authorize “a rejection not only of the liturgical reform, but of the Vatican Council II itself, claiming, with unfounded and unsustainable assertions, that it betrayed the Tradition and the ‘true Church.’”

This is a serious problem because “to doubt the Council is to doubt the intentions of those very Fathers who exercised their collegial power in a solemn manner cum Petro et sub Petro in an ecumenical council and, in the final analysis, to doubt the Holy Spirit himself who guides the Church.” By abusing the privilege previous popes had granted them, the Traditionalists forced the pope’s hand, leaving him “constrained to revoke the faculty granted by my Predecessors.” Acting as the principal of unity who is in charge of the “sacrament of unity,” Pope Francis made “the firm decision to abrogate all the norms, instructions, permissions and customs that precede the present Motu proprio, and declare that the liturgical books promulgated by the saintly Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, constitute the unique expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

Initial reports were confusing because even though the official translation was published in English on the Vatican website, it did not include the eight articles of implementation which were included in the Catholic News Agency article. Those include an instruction to the bishops to ban all celebrations of the Latin Mass from “parochial churches” as well as a ban on “the erection of new personal parishes.”[2] The articles of implementation contained a tone which was guaranteed to generate animosity and did. The reaction was predictable. Here is one of the tamer responses I received:

I have now received several emails about the Francis attack on the true Mass. One of them included a recent article telling [sic] that young people given a choice are overwhelmingly choosing the true Mass of antiquity. No wonder this anti-Pope – or maybe even anti-Christ – is at his worst. Note well that this announcement, in the middle of July, fits into the new, tougher, phase of world genocide, especially in nations where Christian civilization once ruled, closing in with constantly greater force and restriction. The devil never misses a beat. He knows that his ONLY earthly enemy is THE TRUE CATHOLIC CHURCH and that it is the Virgin Mary who crushes his head. Has anyone noticed that, now also in the U.S., antifa type destroyers, whenever they have done their destruction in Catholic Churches, always make it a point to destroy any image or picture of Mary? Doesn’t get much press, does it? This is all the same war, that supernatural war described by St. Paul. The “reset” which the highest satanists are pursuing, hiding behind the false pandemic, amounts to the open rule of Satan even to the total destruction of God’s double-edged gift to all humanity, FREE WILL. Full enslavement of any non-satanic people who might escape the genocide. Well, it’s a very good sign that the TRUE CATHOLIC RELIGION, TRUE ADORATION OF GOD, is the one the young are drawn to, not the satanic/talmudic/masonic/wholly protestant false-humanism hatred of it in Catholic drag, called “Vatican II” or “novus ordo.”

Here is on of the less tame responses:

I penned a very polite letter to Pope Francis. I’m sure you’d love it. Ahaha. Actually it’s not polite at all … Hey Pope Francis, I just went to a Traditional Latin Mass in St. Louis. No one is listening to your Motu Proprio. Every single parish that was doing it is still doing it. Literally everyone is ignoring you

This diatribe then descends into language associating the Pope with pedophilia that I would rather not repeat. Both responses could have been written by a liturgist who wanted to prove that everything Pope Francis said about the traditionalists in his motu proprio was true. After reading a number of responses, I began to discern a pattern that I had noticed long ago. The furor surrounding the Latin Mass is not about the Latin Mass. As before the Latin Mass has been claimed by various protest groups. The Latin Mass in the first instance cited above is the standard bearer for those protesting the Church’s inadequate response to the COVID pandemic. The following letter makes equally clear that the Latin Mass has been co-opted by those protesting the pedophile crisis. After the Lefebvrite schism, the Latin Mass became the symbol of a protest movement organized by people who were either intellectually incapable of understanding the chaos which followed the Second Vatican Council or unwilling to confront the Church’s real enemies.

 
• Category: History, Ideology • Tags: Catholic Church, Political Correctness 

Our topic today is “Is race an important topic or a fiction?” And so, I’d like to begin our discussion of the concept of race with a reminder that historically race referred to ethnicity as well as physical characteristics.

But before I do that I’d like to explain the difference between categories of the mind and categories of nature or reality by describing the biggest crisis to hit Indiana since the Civil War. I’m talking about the decision to put Indiana on daylight saving time:

On April 29, 2005, with heavy backing from Governor Mitch Daniels’ economic development plan, and after years of controversy, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law stating that, effective April 2, 2006, the entire state of Indiana would become the 48th state to observe daylight saving time.[1]

What no one knew at the time is that Indiana had weathered a similar crisis in the 1970s by refusing to reset their clocks twice a year. The unsung heroine in the time change battle of the 1970s was a woman who called in to a talk show and opined that her lawn was already brown, and one more hour of sunlight would kill it completely. That argument carried the day in Indiana for almost 40 years, and it was in that woman’s honor that I wrote what is probably the only song in existence on Daylight Saving Time.

The more philosophically minded among you may have noticed that there is a flaw in her argument. She made a category mistake by confusing categories of nature or reality with categories of the mind. The day is divided into hours based on a category of the mind, which can be changed. The year is based on a certain number of days, which is fixed and cannot be changed.

What does all this have to do with race? Race, as we now understand the term, is a conflation of categories of reality and categories of the mind. I have been asked to defend the proposition that race is a fiction, as opposed to an “important reality.” Those of us who have studied philosophy will recognize that the topic of this debate is based on what philosophers would call a false dichotomy.

In order to demonstrate what I mean I would ask you to contemplate what I am now holding in my hand. It is a copy of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter. It is what you would call “a piece of fiction.” It is, in other words, real. Fiction, in other words, is not a fiction. If you think about characters like Hamlet or Shylock or Hester Prynne, the fact that we know their names after centuries and can write books about them, as I did when I wrote The Angel and the Machine, means that these fictions are in some sense more real than any Jew, prince, or Puritan lady you ever met in the real world even though they are categories of the mind and Shylock et al never existed as real people. Fiction in this instance means category of the mind, and that brings me to my thesis: race is a fiction, by which I mean that race category of the mind which gets imposed for political purposes. To be more specific, race, as we now understand the term, is a category of the mind which gets imposed on subject peoples as a form of marginalization and control.

According to the OED, race refers to “a group of persons, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin. The offspring or posterity of a person; a set of children or descendants. A limited group of persons descended from a common ancestor; a house, family, kindred. A tribe, nation, or people, regarded as of common stock.”

In Europe in the Middle Ages, everyone belonged to one “limited group of persons descended from a common ancestor” or another, but “the white race” was a completely unknown concept. The earliest example of a European author referring to fellow Europeans as ‘white people’ didn’t occur until 1613 when an African King in Thomas Middleton’s play The Triumphs of Truth looks out on an English audience and declares, “I see amazement set upon the faces/Of these white people, wond’rings and strange gazes.”[2]

When I refer to myself as bi-racial, meaning that I come from Irish and German stock, I am simply making use of what was once the accepted meaning of the term according to the OED, which defines race as “A group of several tribes or peoples, forming a distinct ethnical stock.” In 1883 Green wrote in his Conquest of England that “Courage was a heritage of the whole German race.”

The term “race” was also used to describe “One of the great divisions of mankind.” Race, in this instance meant “having certain physical peculiarities in common.” In 1861 Blumenbach grouped those “physical peculiarities” into “five races: 1st. The Caucasian; 2nd The Mongolian; 3rd the Ethiopian; 4th the American; 5th the Malay.” But this was only one use of the term.

So what do we mean when we say that race is “real”? We mean that ethnicity has always been a category of reality. We also mean that physical characteristics are real and that they differ depending on what part of the planet you come from. The shape of your nose and the color of your skin are categories of reality. The virtues or vices associated with them, however, are categories of the mind, which get applied for political reasons.

So, to get back to our original example, does the fact that the 24-hour day is a category of the mind mean that there is no difference between night and day? No, of course not. The 24-hour day organizes night and day; it does not replace them. Similarly, categories like “the white race,” whether they are cited by Jared Taylor or Noel Ignatiev, mobilize biological characteristics for political purposes in a way that is independent of the characteristics themselves.

Had “the white race” been known in the Middle Ages, it would have been called a universal. A universal is something outside of nature which is brought to nature in order to organize nature and make it, as a result, comprehensible. Universals can also be used to weaponize nature for political purposes.

To give a recent example of the manipulation of universals for political purposes, there is a group of people, and I happen to be one of them, who voted for Donald Trump in 2016. This is a category of reality. These people have real identities; they have names and addresses, and presumably all of them are registered voters, and if they’re not they should be.

Hillary Clinton, who lost that election, described this group of people as “a basket of deplorables.” Now what type of term is that? I think everyone here would agree that it is a weaponized category of the mind. More specifically “deplorables” is a word which describes a category of Hillary Clinton’s mind which has no relation to anything else but Hillary Clinton’s mind. Are those people deplorable? Only in Hillary Clinton’s mind. Deplorable is a category of the mind based on a category of nature. It is similar to the term feminism, another term which is based on a category of nature, namely, woman, but which has been weaponized for political purposes. This becomes apparent when we move from “women” to “women’s rights” and from “women’s rights” to abortion. By commandeering the term “woman,” which is a category of nature, feminists hope to coerce agreement to propositions which are nothing but categories of the mind.

 

Understand the Empire (The title should end with an exclamation point!) is the English translation of Alain Soral’s 2011 best seller Comprendre l’Empire, which was his prescient attempt to explain the role which France played in the global empire. Because it is only a part of that empire, France presents a simplified case study which allows us to understand the whole. That’s why this ten-year old study is still instructive. The past hasn’t changed. The forms of control which got imposed on the French people through the empire’s proconsuls are virtually identical to the forms which got imposed on Americans because it is the same oligarchs who are imposing them throughout the world.

In comparing the American Empire with a vassal state like France, the similarities outweigh the differences. The American Revolution begat the French Revolution, but America did not have to suffer the same consequences as France because, as a vast expanse of unsettled wilderness, it lacked the social structures to implement them. Nonetheless, in the not-too distant past, Freemasons constituted the covert ruling class of the American Republic. That is no longer the case, but the Masonic grammar of esoteric vs. exoteric organizations has suffused all of American culture, including business and academe. France, in this regard, continues to be what America was. The hidden grammar of French political and economic life is, according to Soral, Masonic:

Freemasonry, freed of blood ties, shared faith, and class homogeneity, is the network of influence that exemplifies post-Enlightenment modernity. Possessing a sort of egalitarian solidarity founded on complicity and combined with hierarchical submission based on deception, Masonry has in effect rebuilt a new “corps intermédiaire” between citizen and State, the Republican equivalent of the old corporations that were abolished by the Republic! The Grand Orient de France (GODF) and its estimated 50,000 brothers are omnipresent in French politics, just as the Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) and its declared 43,000 brothers are omnipresent in French business. Together, they are a testament to the reality of power-sharing by the Left and the Right: one manages social affairs, while the other manages capital. The more modern Club Le Siècle and its 630 high-powered members (of which 150 are guest members) constitute the hidden hand that sets the country’s direction. All of these networks epitomize the lie that is democracy.1

Lie is too strong a word. Oligarchic organizations like the Freemasonry have declared war on representative government, which is now making a come back in the United States in states like Florida, which just banned de-platforming, and Texas, which was the first state to defy the COVID lockdown, and Missouri, which has banned abortion. Soral’s book predicted the equivalent of that pushback in France years before it happened, and the only flaw in Understand the Empire[!] is the missing chapter on Macron, the Yellow Vests, and the COVID lockdown which destroyed the biggest uprising in France since the May revolt of 1968. In that missing chapter, Soral should proclaim his identity as that rarest of all creatures, the prophet who has been vindicated by the course of events. But even in its absence, Understand is worth reading for its historical analysis.

The main legacy of Freemasonry in America is the reality of oligarchic control and its total hegemony over the political process, rendering local government an essentially meaningless formality. The Duc d’Orleans, who changed his name to Phillippe Egalite when he abandoned aristocratic privilege and joined up with the French Revolution, expressed this trajectory best when he said, in a memoir written the night before the revolution which he supported marched him to the scaffold, that the lodge was to the revolution what the candle was to the sun. Once the sun of revolution rose, the candle was no longer necessary.

This is precisely what happened in America. Once the oligarchs had taken control of finance and the flow of information, they…

[…] This is just an excerpt from the June 2021 Issue of Culture Wars magazine. To read the full article, please purchase a digital download of the magazine, or become a subscriber!

 

One of the most puzzling events of the first 100 days of the Biden Administration was the president’s decla­ration that the deaths of Armenians that occurred in 1915 constituted genocide. Was Hunter Biden dating Kim Kardashian? That was certainly more plausible than Joe dating Kim, but not really an explanation of what was actually going on. The New York Times made a stab by invoking the Biden administration’s “commitment to human rights,” which according to the Times was “a pillar of its foreign policy. It is also a break from Mr. Biden’s predecessors, who were re­luctant to anger a country of strategic importance and were wary of driving its leadership toward American adversaries like Russia or Iran.”1 Did that explain why the president said that, “Each year on this day, we re­member the lives of all those who died in the Otto­man-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again oc­curring,” Mr. Biden said in a statement issued on the 106th anniversary of the beginning of a brutal cam­paign by the former Ottoman Empire that killed 1.5 million people. “And we remember so that we remain ever vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.”2

Traditionally, only two groups were concerned about the use of the term genocide: the Turks and the Jews. This standoff has been complicated by the fact that the Armenian genocide story has been absorbed into the Holocaust narrative. Like the Jews, the Armenians have attempted to make their genocide “a closed issue similar to the Jewish holocaust” and any denial of it a form of hate speech punishable by law. Three years before France officially recognized what happened to the Armenians as genocide on May 29, 1998,3 Ber­nard Lewis was found guilty of violating that country’s hate speech laws by taking the Turkish position on the matter. Lewis was sentenced on June 2, 1995, but only a token fine was imposed as punish­ment, thereby making a dead letter of the law and keeping the contro­versy alive.4 One pro-Armenian au­thor “has suggested that denial of the Armenian genocide represents hate-speech and therefore should be illegal in the United States,”5 but Lewis remained undeterred in his determination to dissociate the two events.

On March 25, 2002, Lewis “once again reaffirmed his belief that the Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey were linked to the massive Armenian rebel­lion and, therefore, were not comparable to the treat­ment of the Jews under the Nazis.”6 Lewy has adopted Lewis’s view, affirming that: “The Armenian commu­nity in Turkey was not simply ‘an unarmed Christian minority,’ and it is not acceptable to discuss the events of 1915-16 without mentioning the fifth-column role of the Armenian revolutionaries.”7 According to this reading, the Armenians have no right to claim Holo­caust victim status because their armed rebellion was different in kind from the behavior of the unarmed Jews who fell victim to the Nazis.

Israeli historian Yair Auron, however, takes a dif­ferent tack by linking Germany to the Turks and claiming that Germany “was involved directly and indirectly in the Armenian genocide.”8 Auron’s claim has no basis in fact. Evidence suggests that the charge stems from allied propaganda during the war years. In fact, there is overwhelming archival evidence that the German government, while accepting the military ne­cessity of the relocations, “repeatedly intervened with the Sublime Porte in order to achieve a more humane implementation.”9

The claim that the Germans “bear some of the re­sponsibility and even some of the guilt for the mass murder of the Armenians in World War I”10 would seem to rehabilitate the Armenians’ status as victims. Unfortunately, even a link to (albeit, pre-Nazi) Ger­many fails to create an equivalence between Armenian and Jewish suffering in the eyes of Israeli historians like Auron. Like most Israeli historians, who “seek to emphasize the singularity of the Holocaust,”11 Yehuda Bauer claims that Jewish suffering is unique, even while keeping the Armenian story in play by adding that “The Armenian massacres are indeed the closest parallel to the Holocaust.”12

[…] This is just an excerpt from the June 2021 Issue of Culture Wars magazine. To read the full article, please purchase a digital download of the magazine, or become a subscriber!

 
• Category: History • Tags: Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, Turkey, World War I 

On Monday, March 8, Ali Breland introduced himself to me via e-mail as a reporter for Mother Jones who was planning to do an article on Andrew Torba, the CEO of Gab, a media platform which over the past few months had become the refuge of those who had been banned from Twitter.

The most famous refugee from Twitter was Donald Trump, who got banned from the platform he made famous with his tweets on January 8, 2021 under the preposterous pretext that calling his supporters “patriots” and refusing to attend the inauguration of the people who had stolen the election from him violated Twitter’s “glorification of violence policy.”[1] Concluding that President Trump was guilty of “incitement of violence,” Twitter closed ranks with other big tech Internet oligarchs and kicked the president of the United States off their platform as a way of showing him and anyone who voted for him who was running the country.

Within hours of getting banned on Twitter, Torba welcomed Donald Trump with open arms to Gab. “It’s happening,” Torba said. “This is Gab’s moment, one that we have been preparing for now for over four and a half years.”[2] Capitalizing on the de-platforming which spread through the Internet in the run up to the theft of the election, Gab branded itself as the free speech alternative to cancel culture and was immediately branded in return as a “haven for right-wing terrorists.”[3] Big Tech’s attempt to demonize Trump and his expulsion from Twitter became a windfall for Gab, whose traffic increased by 120 percent in the 24 hours following the Capitol riot.

One month later, on February 7, Torba admitted that Trump had not migrated to Gab. In fact, he never used the platform.[4] In a statement he posted on Gab, Torba wrote: “@realdonaldtrump is and always has been a mirror archive of POTUS’ tweets and statements that we’ve run for years. We’ve always been transparent about this and would obviously let people know if the President starts using it.” Torba went on to blame “media outlets that falsely reported that Trump himself was posting to the account” as the source of the misinformation.[5]

At this point, Gab started having technical problems as increased traffic caused Gab to crash on a regular basis. Others felt that deficient security rather than increased traffic was behind the technical problems. As if to prove that group right, Gab suffered a massive hack on February 28, 2021, then another one in early March which provided the basis for the Mother Jones article.

Did Torba allow the attacks to happen? According to an article in Wired, Eugen Rochko, the developer of a source codebase known as Mastodon, which Gab used as a basis for its website from early 2019, believes that “poor security practices played a significant part in the breach.”[6] By relying on Mastodon, “Gab’s programmers introduced two serious security vulnerabilities into its code,” according to Rochko, one of which was publicized by early February. Rochko says that Gab did little to address these “obvious” problems, adding: “I’m not aware of them ever adopting our bug fixes, including important security fixes.” In an article in The Guardian, Megan Squire, a professor of computer science at Elon University and a “longtime researcher on the far right’s use of internet technologies,” said that “Gab was negligent at best and malicious at worst” in its approach to security. “It is hard to envision a scenario where a company cared less about user data than this one.”[7]

Gab, according to Mother Jones is “a Twitter clone that boasts that it ‘champions free speech.’” Ever since Torba created Gab in 2015, “it has served as a haven for alt-righters, QAnon supporters, and other far-right groups banned from mainstream platforms.”[8] In his brief message, Breland asked me about “leaked messages between Andrew Torba and Roosh V,” in which Torba claimed that “he was a fan of yours” and wondered if I “could comment on the veracity of this.”

Thus began a skirmish in the culture wars which gave not only a good indication of how warfare is fought in our day, and the location of one of its most important fronts, but most importantly its main weapon, which is the charge of anti-Semitism. It is impossible to understand the battle against free speech in our day without mentioning the Jews’ role in that battle. This became obvious once Breland’s article appeared in Mother Jones. The article’s tone of moral superiority was belied by the fact that Breland was the beneficiary of criminal activity. The article was based on an “immense cache of stolen Gab data,” which Breland received from “a hacker who goes by JaXpArO and provided to Distributed Denial of Secrets, a website that calls itself a ‘transparency collective.’”[9] Given an announcement this dramatic, the reader was primed to expect the worst—anything from sexual scandal to criminal activity—but the only criminal activity was on the part of the Mother Jones designated hacker, and the only scandal, the fact that he used that material with impunity when people like Julian Assange are still in jail.

Instead of the smoking gun which the reader had been set up to expect, Breland lamely cited a routine e-mail exchange in which Torba welcomed Roosh Valizadeh to the Gab platform, as something intrinsically sinister and qualifying Breland as a candidate for a Pulitzer prize in investigative journalism, or as he put it in his breathless prose:

This immense cache of stolen Gab data includes a conversation in which Torba welcomed Daryush Valizadeh, a misogynist and anti-semitic right-wing internet figure, to the platform. Valizadeh, a pickup artist, video maker, and blogger known as Roosh V within the online “manosphere,” has bragged about committing acts of sexual assault and derided Jews. While he’s taken steps to distance himself from the alt-right, he has had ties to the movement and supported Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who gave it its name. None of that history stopped Torba from extending what Valizadeh called a “warm welcome” to Gab.[10]

Breland failed to specify the charge of sexual assault and ignored Roosh’s conversion and his repentance at the life he had lived as a pick-up artist. He also fails to mention the positive influence I had on leading Roosh out of a life of sexual decadence. Boiled down to its gist, the article was a strained attempt at guilt by association, the main guilt being imputed being anti-Semitism as defined by the ADL and the SPLC, which means anything Jews don’t like. Continuing down this line of “out of their own mouths” rhetoric, Breland reveals damning information like the following exchange: “Thank you for the warm welcome on Gab. I enjoy not having to self-censor like on Twitter,” Valizadeh wrote. “You’re welcome brother, pray for us. We need it,” Torba responded.

Now we get to the really damning part:

In a subsequent message to Valizadeh, Torba praised E. Michael Jones, a prominent anti-semitic writer and publisher whose work has been tracked by the Anti-Defamation League, and who Valizadeh has interviewed several times on his podcast.

“I am a huge fan of EMJ too, he has an account but hasn’t logged in for some time,” Torba wrote, seeking Valizadeh’s assistance in getting Jones to use his dormant Gab account more—especially to host his videos, which regularly appeared on the video streaming site, BitChute. “Would love to get all his videos on Gab TV, very important for the distribution and preservation of truth. If you can send him a note, I tried emailing the email we have on file but it bounced.”

 

“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

— Pogo

First of all, let’s announce the good news. Professor David Hawkes has declared war on the forces of anti-Logos in our age, telling us that the “profound hostility to logos,” which “permeates every aspect of modern and especially postmodern culture” is “only the latest in a long historical series of dialectical clashes between logos and eidolon.”1 Eidolon is the Greek word for idol, which is his word for graven images of the sort which should be immediately smashed. Professor Hawkes’ book announces his engagement with the forces of anti-Logos, but does this mean that he supports the Logos? His attack on eidolon gives us some indication of where his sympathies lie, which is another way of saying that Professor Hawkes is an iconoclast in the 16th century meaning of that term.

If conservatism is invariably a defunct revolutionary movement, viewed through the lens of nostalgia, as a way of dealing with the revolutionary spirit’s most recent manifestation, the one currently in power, then David Hawkes is a revolutionary conservative. In this Hawkes is not unlike Edmund Burke, who opposed the French Revolution by being a supporter of the Glorious Revolution in England. When Mary Wollstonecraft, the proto-feminist, asked how far back in English history Burke’s conservatism was willing to go, and whether he was willing to return to the time when Englishmen worshipped bread as God, no answer was forthcoming.

We can say something similar about David Hawkes, whose position is based on an amalgam of obsolete revolutionary movements. He is a nominalist, an iconoclast in the tradition of Andreas Karlstadt and Leo Jud, and a paleo-Marxist who hates the Foucaudian transformation of economic conflict over the means of production which characterized proto-Marxism into the sexual identity politics which characterizes left wing politics in academe today.

Hawkes is also an English professor at the University of Arizona who has been fighting a losing rear-guard action against the queer studies and critical race theorists who have turned our universities into one big Cambodian re-education camp where students squat in the hot sun chanting incomprehensible phrases from Gramsci, Foucault, Joe Buttigieg and a host of lesser lights in the grand climactic battle against Logos in our day. Hawkes is annoyed that “first women, then African-Americans, then homosexuals and, most recently, the queer movement in general, have replaced the working class as the vanguard promoted by revolutionary intellectuals,”2 and his book is an attempt to settle that score. Hawkes is determined to turn back the clock to a time before classical Marxism was superseded as the avant garde of the revolutionary spirit in human history. That moment happened when “the Italian Communist leader Antonio Gramsci . . . first distinguished between the ‘war of position’ (a struggle for physical control of state institutions like parliament, police, and the armed forces) and the ‘war of maneuver,’ a battle for cultural influence in such institutions of ‘civil society’ as the church, the media, the creative arts, and the education system.”3 By the time Hawkes became an English professor at the University of Arizona, “Gramsci’s ‘war of maneuver’ within the cultural institutions of Anglo-American capitalism had effectively been won,” and Hawkes, who had studied English literature under the classical Marxist Terry Eagleton, found himself “marginalized,” along with a “proletariat, whose institutional and ideological power had been decisively crushed over the same period.”4 Thanks to academic interpreters and translators like Cornell West and Joseph Buttigieg, Gramsci got weaponized against the communists themselves as racial and sexual minorities shoved the proletariat aside as the main beneficiaries of a marginality which had become “an end-in-itself.”5

By leaving Michel Foucault out of this equation, Hawkes misses an important fact contributing to this marginalization, namely, the capitalist class’s embrace of sexual liberation. This embrace on the part of both the financial oligarchs, symbolized best by the Rockefellers, and the New Left, symbolized best by the neoconservative David Horowitz, then got weaponized and codified by the CIA, who began studying Foucault in the 1980s. With the collaboration of Buttigieg pere at Notre Dame, the government’s intelligence agencies combined with government funding created the current unwritten constitution of academe, which was then able to engrain in three successive generations the motto of the new regime, which was “Give us unlimited sexual liberation, and we will become docile wage slaves and won’t trouble the oligarchs with demands for economic justice.” This shift of emphasis from decent wages for the working man who needs to support a family to discos and set-asides for queers who are controlled by their sexual compulsions is one of the main reasons why the homosexual replaced the worker as the avant garde of the revolutionary movement in our day.

As Hawkes correctly notes, Buttigieg pere et fils played a major role in this transformation. Gramsci, according to Buttigieg pere, who wormed his way onto an endowed chair at Notre Dame University on the basis of a warmed over doctoral dissertation on James Joyce which retailed all of the modernist cliches he would later ridicule, used “the phenomenon of marginality” to dispossess the proletariat, which had always proven to be ideologically feckless and more interested in banal issues like higher wages, and handed their banner over to truly “marginal” groups like homosexuals, whose war against nature was better suited to the ontology of revolution, as E. M. Forster had pointed out in his homosexual novel Maurice.

The man who carried the Gramscian virus out of its academic host and into the world of national politics was Buttigieg fils, a man Hawkes rightly characterizes as someone who “could not be less interested in establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. To the contrary, Buttigieg Jr. is deeply committed to consolidating the rule of financial capital. He is just as committed to furthering the assimilation of homosexuality into mainstream culture. The obvious question raised by his candidacy is the nature of the connection between these commitments.”

Having lost that war, Hawkes has been forced to conduct a rearguard action from the academic equivalent of the caves in Okinawa after World War II. But in the 1520s, Hawkes would have been fighting on the front lines of the revolutionary movement, at the side of Thomas Muenzer in the Bauernaufstand. Without losing his place at the heart of the struggle, he then could have migrated north to Muenster, where in the 1530s with Jan Bookelzoon, the tailor king as his spiritual guide, he would have joined forces with the horny nuns and priests who flocked to Bookelzoon’s banner in support of the communality of property (but perhaps not the communality of wives) as a proto-Marxist avant la lettre. Hawkes would have then joined with Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli in their attack on the Catholic notion of transubstantiation. Finally, as an iconoclast he would have picked up a crowbar and engaged in the Beeldenstorm in Antwerp in 1566 after having had his mind wrecked by the Scholasticism of William of Ockham, from whom he received the final component of his eclectic identity as a nominalist.

 

No one was more qualified to write a book on beauty than the late Sir Roger Scruton. He was a man of impeccable taste and cultivated manners who could charm an audience even when, after being invited to a symposium at Notre Dame to talk about beauty, he ended up talking about wine instead. He most probably could have come back in a year and talked about beer and charmed that audience just as much a second time, but death intervened.

He was especially qualified in the field of music, having not only the ability to play an instrument but the ability to compose musical pieces as well. Das Rheingold is a brilliant critique of the mythic origins of Capitalism in theft, but Scruton turns his review of it into an attack on the failed revolutionary socialism—Wagner took part in the revolution of 1848 with Bakunin—which motivated Wagner to take to the barricades in Dresden and write the opera in the first place. When Scruton turns Nibelheim into a “police state” which is “perhaps the first premonition in Western art of Orwell’s 1984,” instead of viewing it as the City of London and symbol of capitalism as state-sponsored usury, he misses the point in a way that defies explanation. His analysis of Richard Wagner’s opera Das Rheingold is musically acute but philosophically and economically tone deaf because the same conservative world view which allowed Scruton to charm his audience at Notre Dame is based on an ethnocentrism which blinds him to the reality of what Wagner is saying here. Scruton can’t seem to get over the fact that Wagner had the misfortune of being born a German, and that he needs to turn him into a proper English conservative by dragooning him into the anti-Communist crusade to make up for that birth defect.

What is true of his book on music is a fortiori true of his book on beauty. Scruton aspires to universality when he defines beauty as “a real and universal value, one anchored in our rational nature.” Because of its firm foundation in Being, “the sense of beauty has an indispensable part to play in shaping the human world.” Unfortunately, Scruton then loses his train of thought along the way of telling us what he means by those and other undefined terms. Scruton traces his understanding of beauty back to Plotinus, referring to beauty as a transcendental, a notion which still had not been universally recognized at the time of Aquinas, who dealt with it as an addendum to his thought on Being. According to Plato and Plotinus, “beauty is an ultimate value—something that we pursue for its own sake, and for the pursuit of which no further reason need be given.” Scruton then compares beauty to truth and goodness, making it “one member of a trio of ultimate values which justify our rational inclinations.” Scholastics called those “ultimate values” transcendentals, which meant that they, along with “the One,” described the fundamental and ultimate aspects of Being, or as Scruton put it “Why believe p? Because it is true. Why want x? Because it is good. Why look at y? Because it is beautiful.”

Instead of accepting the ontological foundation of beauty as the platform upon which he erects his own aesthetics, Scruton begins to quibble with the Angelic Doctor, accusing Aquinas of making “theological claims” about beauty, when this is not the case. Scuton undermines his whole aesthetics by erecting a roadblock which divides its history between then and now when he says apodictically that the Angelic Doctor’s “subtle and comprehensive reasoning” is “not a vision that we can assume.” As a result, Scruton proposes “to set it to one side, considering the concept of beauty without making any theological claims.”

Throughout Scruton’s book we are subjected to the same self-defeating behavior. Scruton opens the door to what seems like a promising solution to “a deep difficulty in the philosophy of beauty” only to slam it shut again after we have been granted a tantalizing vision of our goal. In this regard, Scruton tells us that Aquinas’s understanding of beauty is “worth noting” because he “regarded truth, goodness and unity as ‘transcendentals’—features of reality possessed by all things, since they are aspects of Being, ways in which the supreme gift of Being is made manifest to the understanding.” Beauty is a manifestation of Being, and this fact provides the best response to those who claim “that beauty is a matter of appearance, not of being.” Then after affirming that beauty makes a reasonable claim about its object, Scruton takes it all back again by claiming that these “reasons do not compel the judgement, and can be rejected without contradiction,” forcing him to wonder “So are they reasons or aren’t they?” Whenever Scruton is on the verge of drawing definite conclusions, he has to run the idea first by his ethnic superego, an imaginary figure made up of the ghosts of people like John Locke and David Hume, who have the final say on everything, “creating a soothing and harmonious context, a continuous narrative as in a street or a square, where nothing stands out in particular, and good manners prevail.”

Pace, Sir Roger, but there is nothing theological about Scholastic aesthetics. Aquinas’s ontology has been influenced by Revelation, but the rudimentary aesthetic principles we can derive from that ontology do not determine his aesthetics, nor does it determine the aesthetic theories of those who paved the way for a deeper understanding of beauty.

Why then does Sir Roger feel that the Angelic Doctor’s “subtle and comprehensive reasoning” is “not a vision that we can assume.” In his autobiography Gentle Regrets, Scruton tells us that “there is consolation without truth, as we know from the history of religion.” The real question is, however, whether Scruton believes that there can be beauty without truth.

Solemn Rituals

Sir Roger Scruton was born into a troubled lower middle-class family and grew up “in a nondescript corner of post-war England,” where “nothing could conceivably happen . . . except the things that happen anywhere: a bus passing, a dog barking, football on the wireless, shepherd’s pie for tea.” After discovering the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, Scruton realized that art provided a way out of that dreary existence. Scruton associated art with the English upper class, who lived hidden behind a wall which he could see from the library that provided the Hermetic texts, which he “read like an alchemist, searching for the spell that would admit me to that secret world, where shadows fall on tonsured lawns, and the aesthetic (or was it ascetic?) way of life occurs in solemn rituals after tea.”

After serving his apprenticeship as “a barbarian let loose in a library” (a phrase he appropriated from Ezra Pound, Scruton ended up at Cambridge University, where he had the misfortune to study philosophy as “bequeathed by Russell, Wittgenstein and Moore.” Logical positivism convinced him that any philosophy with any connection to the Logos of human existence (or its rejection, as in the case of Nietzsche) was founded on “nothing more than megalomaniac fantasies, implausible analogies and false distinctions founded neither in logic nor in fact.” Realizing that “the new philosophy I studied proved no more satisfactory to me than the science it had replaced,” Scruton gravitated toward culture as a “more important way of seeing things,” and that eventually led him to aesthetics.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Philosophy, Political Correctness 

On October 3, 1998, Pope John Paul II beatified Alojzije Cardinal Stepinac at the national shrine of Marija Bistrica in front of 500,000 Croats.1 The next step was canonization. On February 10, 2014, the memorial of Blessed Stepinac, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, announced that the canonization was possible in the year 2015 during the Eucharistic celebration over which he presided at St. Jerome’s church in Rome.2 What looked like a sure thing in 1998, however, never happened, and why it never happened has become an object of intense speculation and discussion ever since.

The Croats, as we have come to expect, blamed the Serbs, largely because Pope Francis convoked “a commission of Catholic and Orthodox leaders,” under the presidency of a representative of the Holy See, to examine the wartime record of Blessed Aloysius. Pope Francis established the commission in “May 2016 after receiving a letter from the Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej, who stated his opposition to the cardinal’s canonization.”3 Instead of coming to an agreement on the life of one of the most heroic figures in the post-World War II Church in eastern Europe, the commission concluded its work within the foreseen time frame of one year, it terminated its investigation in the summer of 2017 without reaching any results “agreeing to disagree about the Croatian cardinal’s cause for canonization.”4

When Pope Francis was asked about Stepinac on his return from Bulgaria on March 17, 2019,5 he replied:

The canonization of Stepinac is a historic case. He is a virtuous man for this Church, which has proclaimed him Blessed, you can pray [through his intercession]. But at a certain moment of the canonization process there are unclear points, historic points, and I should sign the canonization, it is my responsibility, I prayed, I reflected, I asked advice, and I saw that I should ask Irinej, a great patriarch, for help. We made a historic commission together and we worked together, and both Irinej and I are interested in the truth. Who is helped by a declaration of sanctity if the truth is not clear? We know that [Stepinac] was a good man, but to make this step I looked for the help of Irinej and they are studying. First of all, the commission was set up and gave its opinion. They are studying other sources, deepening some points so that the truth is clear. I am not afraid of the truth, I am not afraid. I am afraid of the judgment of God.6

As in so many instances lately, Pope Francis once again spread confusion in the very act of making a clarification. If Stepinac’s life is an example of heroic virtue, as Pope John Paul II claimed, what’s holding back the canonization? Or is he, as the pope says, “a virtuous man for this church” alone? And if so, what does that mean? At what point did his status become unclear after his beatification? Shouldn’t the committee which approved his beatification have looked into unclear, historic points before beatifying him? Or are we talking about the difference between John Paul II, who like Stepinac lived under both Nazi and Communist rule, and Francis, who experienced neither? According to Matija Stahan, the Serbs presented no new evidence and Irinej made use of sources that have “perpetuated allegations fabricated by the Yugoslav government after World War II to remove Stepinac from the public as a symbol of Christianity and Croatian patriotism.”7 As proof that Stepinac was not guilty of the crimes which Patriarch Irinej laid at his feet, Stahan cites evidence from Stepinac: His life and Time by Robin Harris, who refers to the campaign to defame Stepinac as the “project”:

That project—as Stepinac himself well understood—meant that, in practice, the Yugoslav Communist Party and elements within the Serbian Orthodox Church, which otherwise had nothing in common, shared a joint goal. This consisted of demonizing the Catholic Church (to which nearly all Croats belonged) and the Croatian nation (which numerically, culturally and economically was, alone, in a position to challenge Serbian supremacy). The existence of this unholy and unspoken combination helps explain why the black legend against Stepinac was so persistent and its promotion so effective.8

The bland tone we have come to expect from press releases issued by official Vatican commissions failed to allay the outrage and betrayal Catholic Croats felt at the hand of the Vatican. Catholics had been suspicious of the commission from its inception. In 2016, Professor Ronald J. Rychlak, who has written about Pope Pius XII, whose canonization had been stalled by the Vatican for lack of a miracle—even though he had been proclaimed “venerabilis” in 2009—announced that the Serbian case against Stepinac was “a false narrative created by Soviet agents.”9

Stepinac’s sermons were “prohibited … from being published, because they were so strong against the Ustashe,” Rychlak said. Instead, his words were secretly printed and circulated and occasionally broadcast over the radio. He also severely condemned the Ustashe’s destruction of Zagreb’s main synagogue in 1941 and in an October 1943 homily, the archbishop condemned notions of racial superiority.

Robin Harris’s 2016 biography of Stepinac joined the chorus of outrage which Rychlak articulated in the same year. Stepinac, according to Harris, was the victim of a Serbian-Communist conspiracy. His show trial was Serbian payback for the show trial of Draza Mihailovic, the Serbian leader of the guerilla group known as the Chetniks, to whom Harris attributes war crimes of the same magnitude as those committed by the Ustashe, the Croatian fascist state. “The stoking of hatred against the Catholic Church remained a means of keeping the Serbian Orthodox Church and Serb nationalists sympathetic to the regime. Tito, under pressure from the Americans, would later justify his reluctance to free Stepinac by referring directly to Serbian Orthodox sensitivities.”10 According to Harris, the controversy which surrounded the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac in 2016 can be laid directly at the feet of the Communists, who “had systematically played on Serbian desires for revenge by knowingly exaggerating Catholic Croat misdeeds.”11

Serbian nationalism may be responsible for slandering Stepinac’s memory in the former Yugoslavia, but Harris attributes the ongoing animus against Stepinac abroad which stalled his canonization to “propaganda from Communist circles.”12 “Lenin’s imitators in Yugoslavia,” Harris continues “have, indeed, found plenty of ‘useful idiots’ in the West, though the idiocy is often concealed behind a veil of erudition.”13

It is worth noting that Harris wrote these lines 25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and 36 years after the death of Tito. To say that “Lenin’s imitators” were hard at work in the West stalling Stepinac’s canonization in 2017 is nothing short of preposterous, but the fact that Harris made the claim is a significant lead and needs to be examined more closely in order to discover the true identity of the group which is hiding behind the cover of a now defunct communism.

Harris spends a lot of time defending Stepinac’s actions during the war by rebutting the allegations of writers like John Cornwell, who claimed that “priests, invariably Franciscans, took a leading part in the massacres”14 of Serbs at concentration camps like Jasenovac, where a renegade Franciscan who came to be known as Brother Satan engaged in the slaughter, but only after he had been excommunicated by the Church as soon as they found out what he was doing.

 

Thirty years ago, almost to the day, I spoke at Hillsdale College, the bastion of conservative academic thought nestled in the woods and hills of southern Michigan. My speech took place one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall and one year before the collapse of the Soviet Union, at what we can say with hindsight was the high noon of the conservative era in American history. As the English conservative William Wordsworth put it when he was a young and enthusiastic supporter of the French Revolution: “Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven.”

I tried to remember the feeling then as we drove along a scenic route that only Siri, our computer, could compute, through wooded small farms, all of which had Trump for president signs in their front yards. Well, maybe not all of them, but whenever one of those farms declared its allegiance in the recently concluded 2020 presidential election it was for Trump. Not one Biden sign was visible. Michigan was a hotly contested state largely because of the draconian COVID lock-down which its Democratic governor had imposed on lower end entrepreneurs.

The group of students who invited me to speak were solidly in favor of Trump as well. Some wore Make America Great Again hats as an act of defiance against the oligarchic coup d’etat which was in full swing at the moment. The oligarchic mainstream press had anointed Biden as president elect, and tech giants like Google were censoring anyone who hinted that voter fraud had put Biden over the top, at least in the mind of the fourth estate.

I forgot to mention that this meeting had to be held in a secret off campus location. The students could have been mistaken for white boys, but they were all Catholic ethnics of mixed European heritage, not unlike me. The only exceptions were the students who were taking RCIA instruction to become Catholics. All of them were familiar with my YouTube videos. Some had read my books. One young catechumen whose build indicated that he could have played for the Hillsdale football team, if they still had one, told me that he listened to my “God has a Plan for Your Life” video while driving to work. The video’s message moved him to tears, so much so that he had to pull over. Shortly after that experience, he decided to become a Catholic.

If these young men had a political affiliation, it was America First, but sympathy to that point of view had been banned from Hillsdale’s campus, which is why we were meeting where we were. When I asked what the name of their club was, one young wit said, “The Charles Lindbergh Aviators Club.” These young men had invited me not to praise conservatism, but to bury it. Conservatism died four years ago with the election of Donald Trump. By the time we met together in wake of the 2020 presidential election conservatism’s cold inert corpse has been lying un-mourned in the political equivalent of the county morgue. It was now time to give conservatism a decent burial, but before we could do that we had to write its obituary and mention the role which Michigan in general and Hillsdale College in particular played in its rise and fall.

Beginning at the beginning. I waved a first edition, signed copy of The Conservative Mind by the late Russell Kirk, Michigan’s most famous philosopher and formerly a lecturer at Hillsdale College. After basing his analysis of conservatism’s roots on Edmund Burke’s hope that “Providence would not abandon mankind to Jacobinism,” Kirk went on to place that hope in “that American society which John Adams did so much to guide into conservative constitutions and ways of enduring justice.”[1]

Having defeated fascism in World War II, America was now positioned in Kirk’s eyes to become “the Providential instrument of this redemption.”[2] The first step in Kirk’s “general plan of action” was “an affirmation of the moral nature of society.” Here again Kirk appealed to John Adams, who affirmed that “true happiness” could only be found in virtue. “Family piety and public honor must be shored up. A people who are arrogant, avaricious, and crass will wither. Americans still are nearly as responsive to ethical considerations as they were in Tocqueville’s day. They can be led to a life of dignity and order,”[3] but only if they follow Adams’ understanding of the necessity of moral behavior for the success of any form of self-government. “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”[4] America had no constitution which functioned in the absence of a moral people, according to John Adams, and history would prove him right in ways which Russell Kirk could not imagine in 1953.

The man who gave me Russell Kirk’s book was Henry Regnery, head of the Regnery Press of Chicago and Kirk’s publisher. Henry was a German-American whose family came from the Moselle Valley during the 19th century when Germans were a powerful force in American life, especially in Chicago. When the American exposition was held there in 1893, German was the main language spoken.

German was also the main language spoken at the Chicago symphony, at least until World War I, when the director of that symphony announced that due to political considerations everyone in the symphony would have to speak English. “Is that clear?” he asked after his little speech, prompting one member of the symphony to ask from the back of the room “Was hat er gesagt?”

The American Proposition

The Conservative Mind was published in 1953, an important year in the progress of the American Empire. Where was what Hegel would have called the Weltgeist in 1953? It was in Tehran, where Kermit Roosevelt orchestrated a coup which deposed Muhammad Mossadegh and installed the American puppet Shah Reza Pahlavi in his place. The year 1953 marked the emergence of the CIA as a player on the world stage. Stalin died in the same year.

Shortly after Stalin’s death, a man by the name of C.D. Jackson said that by losing Stalin, America had lost the best salesman for the American Proposition. C.D. Jackson was simultaneously an employee of the CIA and TIME magazine, where he functioned as Harry Luce’s right-hand man. TIME magazine at this point in time was the propaganda ministry for the United States of America, and one of the main vehicles for the anti-Communist crusade, which would find its culmination in 1991, which is where I came in. During my first visit, I was taken on a short tour of the campus by Lissa Roche Jackson, an attractive lady who introduced herself as “the wife of George IV, the mother of George V, and the daughter-in-law of George III, the man who put Hillsdale on the conservative map when he became president of the college in 1971.

Two years before the annus mirabilis of 1953, Henry Regnery published God and Man at Yale, another seminal conservative document, whose author was William F. Buckley. In the annus mirabilis of 1953, the CIA also got into the magazine business. One of the magazines they created as a front was Encounter, which was edited by the English poet Stephen Spender and the then unknown Irving Kristol, who went on to become the father of neoconservatism.

 

After playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ, actor Jim Caviezel became the poster boy for Catholics who wanted to use the film to share their faith. Playing that role also got Caviezel blacklisted from Hollywood films. In 2011, Caviezel told First Baptist Church in Orlando, Florida that he had “been rejected by my own industry” after playing Christ in Gibson’s film. Responding to Gibson’s warning that “you’ll never work in this town again,” Caviezel said, “we all have to embrace our crosses,” and went ahead with the role, only to learn that “Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been” and that “not much has changed in 2,000 years.” Seven years after the release of The Passion of the Christ, Caviezel tried to put a Christian interpretation on the wreck of his career by claiming that “we have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth.”

Caviezel, unfortunately, can’t distinguish between his reputation and his career because even if Passion wrecked his Hollywood film career (but not his ability to earn money on TV), it established his reputation as only a \$600 million world-wide blockbuster could do. The film industry may have known about him after The Count of Monte Cristo, but the world recognized him after The Passion of the Christ.

This, of course, leads to the next question. If Caviezel is willing to risk his career “to speak the truth,” why did he become involved in an anti-Iranian propaganda film like the newly released and quickly forgotten Infidel? At this point, we will let Caviezel speak for himself, as captured during a Fox news report flogging the film:

First of all, my job is to get people into the theater. Second, how is this relevant today? It’s relevant because we have this thing call cancel culture and if Christians don’t watch out, it will be canceling Christianity as well because a lot of our pastors, our bishops, our priests, they’re laying right over; they’re letting their churches be burned. Alright, how do we know that? Well, it’s right there in the news. Statues being ripped down. They don’t say anything. And I watched a movie that Mel Gibson did, Braveheart, where you have the English, who are the bad guys, against the Scots, but the real bad guys were the guys who were collaborating. That’s why we’re in this situation right now. We can’t go to churches; we can’t go into our church. Why? Because it could get contaminated, right? So why are we on airplanes? I have friends that have committed suicide. I have [Navy] Seal buddies who have lost seven of their friends, committing suicide, and would it have helped to get into a church especially during this time? Absolutely. And is it good for mental illness? Yes, it is. The collaborators in our faith, this is where the persecution starts. You’ve got to have guys in your faith that won’t stand up to the governors, that won’t stand up to the mayors. And that’s why the Gospels are very much alive right now. I got to play Jesus. Some of us love Peter or Paul. But there are many of us now who are flat out Judases, okay? Or they’re Pontius Pilates or they’re Pharisees, and it’s a bloody shame if you can’t tell the difference between a priest or a bishop and a politician. And it’s really sad, but this is called luke-warmness. And Christ has a very special place for them, and they know it.

After the awkward pause which ensued when Jim ran out of things to say, Shannon Bream, the Fox News Info Babe, jumped in and opined: “Well, we’re out of time, but it’s important for us to be sharing our faith.” Jim then signed off with a disgusted look on his face. Or was it frustration at having been so inarticulate? Or was he frustrated by the fact that he was trying to make sense of a film that was as inarticulate in its way on the screen as he was on Fox News. So why are we on airplanes, Jim?

Infidel is certainly a film about how “it’s important for us to be sharing our faith.” In Infidel, Caviezel plays a “Christian blogger” who gets betrayed by an Iranian friend, who in spite of his secular banter at a birthday party for his daughter is a violent Islamic fundamentalist. We find this out later when the cops remove one of the Persian carpets on his wall, revealing the door to his secret Islamic man-cave, a room replete with a picture of the late Qasem Soleimani and another picture of himself preparing to fire an rpg at the same type of infidel he just invited to his daughter’s birthday party. During the course of the party, the Iranian father becomes upset with his daughter, who is dating an infidel who drives a fast car and nearly rear-ended the car which Caviezel and his wife drove to the party. The daughter mysteriously disappears, and we learn later that her father, the admirer of General Soleimani, murdered her for assimilating in the same way that he did into Washington society, or was it for her lack of duplicity? Either way, the point is clear. You can’t trust an Iranian. They may talk a good game, but sooner or later they will reveal their true colors.

[…] This is just a short excerpt of the full article in the October Issue of Culture Wars Magazine.
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• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Hollywood, Iran, Islam, Terrorism 
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