Pages tagged "news"
When Pope Francis flies into Ireland tomorrow, he will step foot in a country that has changed beyond recognition since the last pontiff, Paul John Paul II, visited the emerald isle in 1979.
The Irish nation became the first people to pass a law legalising same-sex marriage and abortion. Church pews are dwindling. Currently there are only six trainees studying in Maynooth to become priests; a far cry from the days when thousands flocked there annually.
The predatory priests and the subsequent cover-up by the hierarchy has certainly contributed to the decline in Church influence, but the decline of Catholicism in Ireland is remarkable only for the speed with which it has declined. Current Church attendance mirrors that of other European countries. In Dublin, church attendance sits at 2%. Ireland was simply playing catch-up with the rest of 'enlightened' Western Europe.
A need grew among the people to rid themselves of the ‘superstitions’ of old and present themselves as equally, if not more ‘progressive’ that their European cousins. The new Ireland would be more compassionate, tolerant, hip and modern.
In 1995, Ireland voted by only a couple of thousand to legalise divorce. Almost half the country still clung to traditional beliefs, at least, where divorce was concerned. Fast forward little more than 20 years and the Irish nation danced in the streets as the overwhelming majority of the people voted for the destruction of the unborn. The dotting Irish mother of stereotype was replaced by a far more sinister figure.
The secular intelligentsia gleefully declared Ireland a "post-Christian state," but this is a mischaracterisation. Ireland is an anti-Christian state. Turn on Irish television or radio and you will hear the voices of the militant atheists joyfully proclaiming the almost complete destruction of the Church. Even our supposedly Christian politicians voted for same-sex marriage and the abolition of abortion restrictions.
Pope Francis’ visit this weekend will be a fruitless one. Most of the 1.5m people that lined the streets in 1979 now rest silenty in their graves. The Church has lost its moral authority among the youth. The few remaining Christians in Ireland are rightfully filled with hopefulness. The damage to the Irish Church is seemingly irreparable.
I offer this only as a word of warning to our Christian brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe. It was unimaginable three decades ago to imagine that Christianity would be reduced to ruins in the land of saints and scholars. Do not rest of your laurels! The forces of the state atheists will not stop at Ireland. The bastions of Christianity may reside in central and Eastern Europe for the time being, but without guardians on permanent watch, the forces that wrought havoc in Ireland will do so in last pockets of resistance to secularism in Europe.
It’s déjà vu all over again.
First US President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and appears to make some progress towards his stated goal of putting ties between Washington and Moscow on a positive course. Immediately, all hell breaks loose. Trump is a called a traitor. The “sanctions bill from hell” is introduced in the Senate. Trump is forced on the defensive.
Next Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky visits Moscow, where he meets with Putin and gives him a letter from Trump proposing moderate steps towards rapprochement. Paul also talks with Russian Senators and invites them to come to Washington to continue the dialogue. Immediately, all hell breaks loose. Paul is called a traitor. The State Department “finds” the Russians guilty of the using illegal chemical weapons (CW) in the United Kingdom and imposes sanctions. Trump is forced even more on the defensive.
In each instance the actions of the Washington establishment, both in Congress and in even in departments and agencies allegedly part of the Executive Branch of government headed by Trump, moved quickly to nip in the bud even the most tentative efforts by Trump to keep his campaign pledge. With regard to the new CW sanctions it is unclear whether Trump had anything to do with them at all; most likely they either were imposed without his participation or he acceded to them because he felt he had no other option.
It is debatable how much of the US government Trump actually controls. The baseless CW finding by the State Department (with heavy pressure from Congress) is the work of Trump’s globalist enemies in the bureaucracy and in Congress (all of the Democrats, and almost all of the Republicans), with the complicity of his own appointees, to undermine his overtures to Moscow and further erode his Executive authority. Besides blocking every possible path to détente with Russia, this is another step to setting Trump up for removal from office.
Regarding the timing of a second set of sanctions set to kick in November, it’s hard to see how that will be avoided. Russia will not submit to inspections, which the US is arrogantly demanding of Russia, as if she were some pipsqueak country like Libya. Given that the OPCW certified in 2017 that the Russians had completed destruction of 100% of their CW stockpile (cf., the US still has almost 10% of our stocks, which are not expected to be completely gone until 2023), the demand is the equivalent of proving that you have stopped beating your wife (to the satisfaction of someone who admittedly continues to beat his own wife).
In the absence of capitulating to the US demand, which Russia will not do, legally Trump can waive the sanctions. But that option is no doubt part of the political trap being laid for him, presenting him a Hobson’s choice. On the one hand, he can waive the sanctions, further hyping the charges of treason against him (and, if the waiver is before the elections, giving the Democrats another red flag to wave), as well as inviting new legislation passed by a margin “Putin’s puppet” cannot veto; or he can let them go into effect.
If, as seems likely, the harsher measures are applied it is hard to overstate the danger created. These are the kind of things that countries do just one step from totally breaking relations in advance of war: cutting off access to American banks, barring Aeroflot from the US (in context, the least of our concerns, though symbolic), effectively blocking all exports and imports, and downgrading or suspending diplomatic ties. With respect to the last – a direct assault on Trump’s presidential authority to send and receive ambassadors under Article II of the Constitution (oddly, no one in Congress seems to care that presidents routinely usurp their authority to make war) – this likely would mean withdrawing the US ambassador from Moscow and expelling the Russian ambassador in Washington, while maintaining relations if at all at the chargé d’affaires level.
In word, this is insanity. What’s perhaps worse is that this political warfare is being conducted with total disregard for the truth, much less an honest attempt to find it. It’s worse than a presumption of guilt; it’s a positive, unambiguous verdict of culpability under circumstances where the accusers in Washington and London (I would guess but cannot prove) know perfectly well that the CW finger pointing is false.
It has been clear from the beginning of Trump’s meteoric rise on the American political scene that he and his American First agenda were perceived by the beneficiaries of the globalist, neoliberal order as a mortal danger to the system which has enriched them. Maintaining and intensifying hostility toward Russia, even at the risk of a catastrophic, uncontainable conflict, lies at the center of their efforts. This political war to save globalism at all hazards is intensifying.
It would be a mistake, however, to understand hostility to Russia as just a cold calculation of pecuniary and social advantage by a corrupt mandarin class. It is all that of course, but it is also deeply ideological, reflecting the agenda of the entrenched pseudo-elites to dismantle the traditional national identities and Christian moral values of the West – and impose their godless agenda on the East as well.
But there is something else too, something that touches the emotional heart of both Russophobia in a global context and anti-Trumpism domestically. That is the accusation of racism.
Unsurprisingly one of the first to give voice to this concept was Hillary Clinton, who in her August 2016 “tinfoil hat speech” sought to portray Trump as a creature of the “Alt-Right” because, among other things, he once complimented Infowars’ Alex Jones: “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” But in Hillary’s estimation, who is “the grand godfather” of the worldwide Alt-Right? You guessed it: “Russian President Vladimir Putin.” A month later she doubled down in her infamous “basket of deplorables” speech, branding Trump’s tens of millions of supporters “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic – you name it.” (In an evident oversight, she omitted mention of Putin.)
Give the warmongering old girl credit for her doggedness. Hillary has stuck to this theme even as she sinks into irrelevance (while still reportedly harboring ambitions of a 2020 presidential run!), in June 2018 calling Putin the leader of the worldwide “authoritarian, white-supremacist, and xenophobic movement” who is “emboldening right-wing nationalists, separatists, racists, and even neo-Nazis.”
Hillary is not alone. As summed up by Jodi Jacobson of Rewire.News (“Putin, Trump, and Kavanaugh: A Triad of White Supremacy and Oligarchy”):
‘PUTIN IS A DICTATOR. HIS INTERESTS ARE IN AMASSING WEALTH AND POWER AT ANY COST, BOTH IN RUSSIA AND GLOBALLY. … HE IS AN ETHNIC NATIONALIST, A WHITE SUPREMACIST, AND AN ISLAMOPHOBE. HE ALIGNS HIMSELF WITH RADICAL RIGHT-WING RELIGIOUS AND POLITICAL GROUPS TO MARGINALIZE AND ATTACK THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN, LGBTQ COMMUNITIES, AND RELIGIOUS AND ETHNIC GROUPS OUTSIDE HIS POWER BASE.’
But perhaps the most revealing description comes from putative comedian Bill Maher on a recent episode of his HBO program, explaining that “Race Explains Shift From Party Of Reagan To Party Of Putin” and excoriating not just Putin but Russians as such for their genetic characteristics:
‘UPDATE, WITH VIDEO THE “DIRTY LITTLE SECRET” THAT EXPLAINS HOW THE PARTY OF REAGAN MORPHED INTO THE PARTY OF PUTIN IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD, BILL MAHER SAID TONIGHT: RACE.
‘“RUSSIA,” MAHER SAID DURING HIS NEW RULES SEGMENT ON HBO’S REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER, “IS ONE OF THE LAST PLACES ON EARTH TO SAY, ‘F**K DIVERSITY. WE’RE HERE. WE’RE WHITE. GET USED TO IT.’”
‘ATTEMPTING TO EXPLAIN HOW 87% OF REPUBLICANS (ACCORDING TO A RECENT POLL) ARE FINE WITH RUSSIA’S PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN VISITING THE WHITE HOUSE, MAHER CHALKED IT UP TO RACISM, AND EVEN QUOTED A TWEET FROM HIS OLD PAL ANN COULTER.
‘“LAST YEAR ANN COULTER TWEETED THAT ‘IN 20 YEARS, RUSSIA WILL BE THE ONLY COUNTRY THAT IS RECOGNIZABLY EUROPEAN.’ AS FAR BACK AS 2013 MATT DRUDGE CALLED PUTIN THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. DAVID DUKE CALLED RUSSIA THE KEY TO WHITE SURVIVAL.
‘“TODAY’S REPUBLICANS, WHAT’S LEFT OF THEM, DO NOT LIKE THE MELTING POT,” HE SAID. “AND RUSSIA? THAT POT DON’T MELT.”
‘MAKING JOKES ABOUT WHITE RUSSIANS (“LET’S SEE, I WANT TO GET DRUNK BUT I ALSO WANT A GLASS OF MILK”) AND RUSSIAN BASKETBALL PLAYERS (“THE TEAM THAT PLAYED AGAINST THE GLOBETROTTERS”), MAHER COMPARED RACIAL DIVERSITY (OR LACK THEREOF) IN RUSSIA TO THAT OF WESTERN EUROPE.
‘ENDING THE BIT WITH A BITE, MAHER CONCLUDED, “A BARACK OBAMA DOES NOT BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA. WINGNUTS USED TO ACCUSE OBAMA OF BEING A FOREIGN AGENT WHO TOOK OVER AMERICA, BUT WHEN A FOREIGN POWER ACTUALLY DID TAKE OVER AMERICA AND IT WAS THE PROUDLY WHITE ONE, THEIR RESPONSE WAS ‘COME RIGHT ON IN.’
‘“TO THE MEMBERS OF THE GRAND OLD PARTY, RUSSIA MEDDLING IN OUR ELECTIONS ISN’T A BREACH OF NATIONAL SECURITY, IT’S JUST WHITE PEOPLE HELPING WHITE PEOPLE. OR WHAT REPUBLICANS CALL GOVERNING.”’
Maher gives away more than he suspects. Very little in the foregoing says anything about racism, either Russian or American, but it does say a great deal about Maher’s own disdain for Russia because it is “recognizably European,” also known as (if you’ll pardon the expression) white. One suspects he doesn’t castigate, say, Koreans or Japanese for the fact that their countries are “recognizably Asian” and are going to stay that way.
Shifting to the US, it is increasingly obvious that what poses as antiracism and opposition to “hate” is little more than hostility to the identity and values of the core American ethnos: English-speaking Christians of European descent, including completely or partially assimilated descendants of immigrants. (In other countries this would be understood in specifically national terms – Russian, French, German, English, etc. – but for historical reasons too complex to summarize here, the core American demographic is generally seen in terms of race, not ethnicity. This stems in part from the absurd but widespread claim that the US not an ethnic state, only a civic one.) More and more this hostility is expressed as hatred of “whiteness” itself, in a manner that would be totally unacceptable applied to any other ethnic, racial, or religious group.
The current Exhibit A of such hatred is the controversy over a newly appointed member of the New York Times editorial board, Korean-born Sarah Jeong, whose expressions of anti-white bias were parodied by African-American conservative Candace Owens, only substituting “Jewish” and “black” for Jeong’s “white.” Unsurprisingly, Owens was suspended from Twitter while Jeong – who also trashes men and the police – is the beneficiary of full-throated support from the assembled forces of diversity, tolerance, and overall wonderfulness.
Jeong is just one example of a phenomenon that has become fashionable among the haters. “White thoughts” are a disease, as is whiteness itself. Among the items various college professors have denounced as tainted by white racism are math, farmers’ markets, interracial friendship, solar eclipses, the Bible (of course), environmental pollution, college football, the song “Jingle Bells,” the nuclear family, punctuality, and (it goes without saying) supporting Trump. The existence of entire US states like New Hampshire and Vermont that are just “too white” is an affront to diversity, a problem demanding a solution. For the über-PCHuffPost.com, whiteness constitutes an entire issue category for the grievances of other racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual “communities,” including helpful advice to liberal white feminists to just “shut the f**k up!” The inevitability of the United States’ becoming a majority-minority country is stated as a fact as inevitable as sunrise and sunset, but it’s “unabashed white nationalism” for even mainstream conservatives who are light-years away from the Alt-Right to point out that Americans never voted for or were asked their opinion about such a future. Conversely, “white-bashing” by self-loathers is a demonstration of the “nobility that flows from racial self-flagellation.”
Connecting Putin and Russia with racism feeds into cockamamie phantasmagoria of Crimethink concepts that increasingly are considered outside the protection of what was once quaintly known as free speech: hate speech, fake news, conspiracy theories, white nationalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, “cisgenderism,” and many more. (Astonishingly, this recent video from ADL’s Orwellian-named “Center for Technology and Society,” which claims to identify “online hate” with 78 to 85 percent accuracy through the use of artificial intelligence, is real, not a parody.) Just to be accused of subjectively and politically defined hate is now sufficient to trigger a coordinated muzzling of the offender’s online presence by the lords of the Internet, getting them fired from their jobs, and even subjecting them to physical attack from violent enforcers like Antifa. Ostensibly these actions are undertaken by private entities, conveniently hiding the government hand encouraging tech companies to police content to counter “Russian meddling” and other thought crimes.
The current coupling of a globalist agenda with demonization of our country’s majority demographic has a disquieting precedent. In August 1915 the committed internationalist Vladimir Lenin issued his infamous call to “turn the imperialist war into a civil war.” In that, if in nothing else, his program was a smashing success, resulting in the deaths of up to ten million people through savage warfare, “Red Terror” repression, disease, and famine. As he summed it up, “I spit on Russia! That’s only one stage we have to pass through on our way to world revolution!” No sacrifice of other peoples’ lives was too high a price to be paid to implement Lenin’s version of globalism.
As Anatoly Karlin notes (“The Real Lenin: Traitor, Parasite, Failure”) the horrendous destruction inflicted by the Bolsheviks was motivated in part by Lenin’s conscious hatred – perhaps not very different from Maher’s today – of Russians as the majority ethno-religious group, who had to be crushed to liberate the certified oppressed minorities. That hatred gives “an inkling of the real reason why Western intellectuals like Lenin a lot more than Stalin,” writes Karlin. Indeed, in light of the Russian experience there is a chillingly familiar ring to today’s legitimatization of racial detestation of the American majority.
Originally Posted at: Strategic-Culture
Those who have read The way of a Pilgrim are familiar with the expression ‘The Jesus Prayer’. It refers to a short prayer the words of which are: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner,’ constantly repeated. The Way of a Pilgrim is the story of a man who wanted to learn to pray constantly (1Thes 5:I7).
As the man whose experience is being related is a pilgrim, a great many of his psychological characteristics, and the way in which he learned and applied the prayer, were conditioned by the fact that he lived in a certain way, which makes the book less universally applicable than it could be; and yet it is the best possible introduction to this prayer, which is one of the greatest treasures of the Orthodox Church.
The prayer is profoundly rooted in the spirit of the gospel, and it is not in vain that the great teachers of Orthodoxy have always insisted on the fact that the Jesus Prayer sums up the whole of the gospel. This is why the Jesus Prayer can only be used in its fullest sense if the person who uses it belongs to the gospel, is a member of the Church of Christ.
All the messages of the gospel, and more than the messages, the reality of the gospel, is contained in the name, in the Person of Jesus. If you take the first half of the prayer you will see how it expresses our faith in the Lord: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.’ At the heart we find the name of Jesus; it is the name before whom every knee shall bow (Is 45:3), and when we pronounce it we affirm the historical event of the incarnation. We affirm that God, the Word of God, co-eternal with the father, became man, and that the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in our midst (Col 2:9) bodily in his Person.
To see in the man of Galilee, in the prophet of Israel, the incarnate Word of God, God become man, we must be guided by the spirit, because it is the spirit of God who reveals to us both the incarnation and the lordship of Christ. We call him Christ, and we affirm thereby that in him were fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament. To affirm that Jesus is the Christ implies that the whole history of the Old Testament is ours, that we accept it as the truth of God. We call him Son of God, because we know that the Messiah expected by the Jews, the man who was called ‘Son of David’ by Bartimaeus, is the incarnate Son of God. These words sum up all we know, all we believe about Jesus Christ, from the Old Testament to the New, and from the experience of the Church through the ages. In these few words we make a complete and perfect profession of faith.
But it is not enough to make this profession of faith; it is not enough to believe. The devils also believe and tremble (James 2:I9). Faith is not sufficient to work salvation, it must lead to the right relationship with God; and so, having professed, in its integrity, sharply and clearly, our faith in the Lordship and in the Person, in the historicity and in the divinity of Christ, we put ourselves face to face with Him, in the right state of mind: ‘Have mercy on me, a sinner’.
These words ‘have mercy’ are used in all the Christian Churches and, in Orthodoxy, they are the response of the people to all the petitions suggested by the priest. Our modern translation ‘have mercy’ is a limited and insufficient one. The Greek word which we find in the gospel and in the early liturgies is eleison. Eleison is of the same root as elaion, which means olive tree and the oil from it. If we look up the Old and New Testament in search of the passages connected with this basic idea, we will find it described in a variety of parables and events which allow us to form a complete idea of the meaning of the word. We find the image of the olive tree in Genesis. After the flood Noah sends birds, one after the other, to find out whether there is any dry land or not, and one of them, a dove – and it is significant that it is a dove – brings back a small twig of olive. This twig conveys to Noah and to all with him in the ark the news that the wrath of God has ceased, that God is now offering man a fresh opportunity. All those who are in the ark will be able to settle again on firm ground and make an attempt to live, and never more perhaps, if they can help it, undergo the wrath of God.
In the New Testament, in the parable of the good Samaritan, olive oil is poured to soothe and to heal. In the anointing of kings and priests in the Old Testament, it is again oil that is poured on the head as an image of the grace of God that comes down and flows on them (Ps I33:2) giving them new power to fulfil what is beyond human capabilities. The king is to stand on the threshold, between the will of men and the will of God, and he is called to lead his people to the fulfilment of God’s will; the priest also stands on that threshold, to proclaim the will of God and to do even more: to act for God, to pronounce God’s decrees and to apply God’s decision.
The oil speaks first of all of the end of the wrath of God, of the peace which God offers to the people who have offended against him; further it speaks of God healing us in order that we should be able to live and become what we are called to be; and as he knows that we are not capable with our own strength of fulfilling either his will or the laws of our own created nature, he pours his grace abundantly on us (Rom 5:20). He gives us power to do what we could not otherwise do.
The words milost and pomiluy in Slavonic have the same root as those which express tenderness, endearing, and when we use the words eleison, ‘have mercy on us’, pomiluy, we are not just asking God to save us from His wrath – we are asking for love.
If we turn back to the words of the Jesus Prayer, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner’, we see that the first words express with exactness and integrity the gospel faith in Christ, the historical incarnation of the Word of God; and the end of the prayer expresses all the complex rich relationships of love that exist between God and his creatures.
The Jesus Prayer is known to innumerable Orthodox, either as a rule of prayer or in addition to it, as a form of devotion, a short focal point that can be used at any moment, whatever the situation.
Numerous writers have mentioned the physical aspects of the prayer, the breathing exercises, the attention which is paid to the beating of the heart and a number of other minor features. The Philokalia is full of detailed instructions about the prayer of the heart, even with references to the Sufi technique. Ancient and modern Fathers have dealt with the subject, always coming to the same conclusion: never to attempt the physical exercises without strict guidance by a spiritual father.
What is of general use, and God given, is the actual praying, the repetition of the words, without any physical endeavour – not even movements of the tongue – and which can be used systematically to achieve an inner transformation. More than any other prayer, the Jesus Prayer aims at bringing us to stand in God’s presence with no other thought but the miracle of our standing there and God with us, because in the use of the Jesus Prayer there is nothing and no one except God and us.
The use of the prayer is dual, it is an act of worship as is every prayer, and on the ascetical level, it is a focus that allows us to keep our attention still in the presence of God.
It is a very companionable prayer, a friendly one, always at hand and very individual in spite of its monotonous repetitions. Whether in joy or in sorrow, it is, when it has become habitual, a quickening of the soul, a response to any call of God. The words of St Symeon, the New Theologian, apply to all its possible effects on us: ‘Do not worry about what will come next, you will discover it when it comes’.
Facebook users worldwide are outraged at the liberal Tech giant’s latest announcement that it is going to SPY on every single user and give them all ‘ratings’ based on their compliance with liberal assessments of what is and isn’t “Fake News”.
The notoriously censorship-happy social media giant plans to assign users a reputation score that ranks them on a scale of from zero to one, according to the Washington Post.
It marks Facebook’s latest effort to use hysteria over ‘fake news’ and “Russians under the Bed” to crush the grassroots use of social media to spread ideas and opinions outside the ‘acceptable’ ‘mainstream’ media bubble.
But the idea of a reputation score has already generated criticism around the total lack of transparency as to how the system will work.
Facebook product manager Tessa Lyons told the Post that the firm has been developing the system for the past year and that it’s directly targeted toward stopping fake news.
The firm partly relies on users to flag content they believe to be fake, but this has led to organised far-left campaigns to spread false claims against political opponents.
Users’ ‘trustworthiness’ score will take into account how often they flag content as being false, Lyons said. If that has been reported right, it makes the new plans an open incitement to individuals to make vexatious complaints simply in order to improve their own ‘scores’.
As part of the system, Facebook will also factor in thousands of other metrics, or ‘behavioral cues.’
It’s unclear what those other metrics will be, who will get a score and what Facebook will use that data for.
Based on recent experience of Facebook’s ruthless censorship of ‘conservative’ news, opinions and adverts, however, we’ve got all too good an idea……
The Knights Templars have been warning for a number of years of the growing persecution of Christian farmers in South Africa and now, at long last, President Trump has addressed the growing crisis facing South African farmers as they face the prospect of land confiscations. He has instructed his Secretary of State to keep a keen eye on the developments there.
AfriForum welcomes Pres Trump’s announcement that the USA will investigate expropriation in SA.
The civil rights organisation AfriForum welcomed American president Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he had requested Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, to thoroughly investigate the illegal occupation of land and farms, expropriation as well as the widespread murder of farmers in South Africa.
Trump’s announcement follows only three months after AfriForum sent a delegation to the USA to inform the Cato Institute (a prominent American think tank), Tucker Carlson (Presenter of Fox News) and various other institutions and politicians of the situation in this regard in South Africa.
Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum, thanked the Cato Institute, Tucker Carlson and every other role-player in the USA that took a stand to make the ANC’s plans to amend the South African Constitution to enable expropriation without compensation, as well as the farm murder crisis in SA, part of America’s public agenda.
According to Kriel, his organisation has no other choice but to garner international support against expropriation without compensation, as the ANC officially announced that the party had decided to amend the Constitution to enable expropriation without compensation – even before the public participation process had been concluded.
“The ANC’s decision, as announced by Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa himself, has made a farce of the local participation processes and that is why AfriForum is, as a last resort, continuing to mobilise international pressure for the protection of property rights in South Africa.”
But the South African Government hit back and accused US President Donald Trump of seeking to sow division after he took to Twitter to put the Marxist-run State on notice.
A spokeswoman for the South Africa's president said Mr Trump was "misinformed," and on the official Government Twitter said: South Africa totally rejects this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.
Last month, South Africa said it would go ahead with plans to amend the constitution, allowing land to be expropriated without compensation.
In this lavish historical drama, Arn, the knightly son of a Swedish nobleman, must journey to the Holy Land on horseback as a sentence for taking up with a forbidden romantic partner. The voyage carries him through the heart of the medieval world and into the core of the brutal and bloody Crusades.
Released in 2007, this remains the most expensive – and one of the most popular – Swedish film of all time.
Key facts about Arn:
- He is part of the Swedish Folkung aristocratic dynasty, a family originating from Östergötland in the south of the country
- Arn grows up in a Cistercian monastery. This order of monks were very closely related to the Templars, so much so that the Templars have sometimes been referred to as their military wing. The biggest spiritual influence on the knights was a Cistercian abbot in France called Bernard of Clairvaux who led a very severe and self-punishing existence
- Arn has to become a Templar as penance for having premarital relations. It is true that some knights had committed crimes and sought to redeem themselves in the order by fighting for Christ in the Holy Land
- Arn meets Saladin, the great Saracen leader, but is then instrumental in defeating him at the Battle of Montgisard. Unfortunately, Saladin would later inflict an even worse defeat on the crusaders and Templars at the Battle of Hattin
- Arn making friends with Saladin may seem far fetched but the Templars were later accused of being on way too cordial terms with the Muslim enemy, something used against them at their trials from 1307 onwards
- The movie about Arn is based on a trilogy of novels by Jan Guillou, an author and journalist who also writes spy fiction
For a number of years, the Knights Templar has been at the forefront of the battle against the Soros operation in Hungary and Europe, and the spotlight we shone on the activities of his organisation has bore fruit.
His constant meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations eventually drove Hungarian President Orban to passed the “Stop Soros” law, which includes a punishment of up to a year in prison for anyone helping those that flout the countries immigration laws.
The foundation run by US billionair George Soros said Thursday that the last of its operations in Hungary would cease by August 31, with its activities being transferred to Berlin.
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) announced in May that it was leaving Hungary, citing what it called the “repressive” policies of nationalist firebrand Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
“There are still some colleagues working here in the office, but we will have closed for good by 31 August,” the OSF spokesman in Budapest Daniel Makonnen told AFP.
In an interview with the 168ora weekly, the head of OSF operations in Hungary, Katalin Koncz E., said she felt bad about the move.
“I have to put an end to 25 years’ work and watch as an institution I’ve spent my life building becomes a desert — everyone is clearing away their things and my colleagues are disappearing.”
She indicated that she herself would stay in Budapest, adding: “I take comfort in knowing that a brilliant office and great conditions are awaiting my friends in Berlin, where they will be able to take up the work with fresh energy.”
The decision by President Orban to take on Soros was not only brave but vital for the long-term survival of the small Central European nation. His decision and Presidency will have long-term reverberations throughout the continent as other Patriotic parties come to power and are forced to deal with meddling, "progressive" NGO's.
The Christian farmers of South Africa are frantically trying to sell their land before the Marxist ANC Government begin the long-awaited land confiscations.
Union bosses say a record number of properties are for sale but nobody is buying, making the properties effectively worthless.
Agri SA union, which represents mainly white commercial farmers, has warned that such seizures will deter investment, cause job losses, and may rob South Africa of the ability to feed itself.
Already, two farms in the north of the increasingly authoritarian state have reportedly been confiscated.
Akkerland Boerdery, the owners of two game reserves in Limpopo, told City Press that the government asked to buy their land but was only willing to offer a tenth of the price.
When the offer was refused, ministers allegedly sent a letter which said: ‘Notice is hereby given that a terrain inspection will be held on the farms on April 5 2018 at 10am in order to conduct an audit of the assets and a handover of the farm’s keys to the state.’
AgriSA union spokeswoman Annelize Crosby told the paper: ‘What makes the Akkerland case unique is that they apparently were not given the opportunity to first dispute the claim in court, as the law requires.’
If the land is seized it will be the first time that the South African government has refused to pay market value for land.
Refusing to learn the lessons of Zimbabawe, the ANC Marxists are about to embark of the same destructive course that rendered the bread basket of Africa into one of the worlds poorest states where starvation is the reality for millions of its citizens.
ANC chairman Gwede Mantashe sparked more panic last week when he suggested that anyone owning more than 25,000 acres would be targeted.
Agri SA said about 20 per cent of South Africa’s farms produce 80 per cent of the food, and many of those properties would be affected by the cap.
There are fears that the release of the list of 139 farms to be seized has already made the land worthless.
Cattle farmer Jo-an Engelbrecht told the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent his farm just outside Johannesburg was now ‘worth zero’.
‘We had several auctions in the last two or three weeks cancelled because there was no people interested in buying the land,’ he said.
‘Why would you buy a farm to know the government’s going to take it?’
Just when Christian Baker Jack Philips thought his ordeal had finished when the supreme court ruled in his favour (upholding his right to religious freedom), he finds himself back in the legal trenches once again.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission filed a new complaint against Phillips on July 20. The crux of the new charge is that Phillips refused to bake a birthday cake that also celebrated a gender transition. According to a release from the Alliance Defending Freedom:
On June 26, 2017, the same day that the Supreme Court agreed to take up Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, an attorney asked Phillips to create a cake designed pink on the inside and blue on the outside, which the attorney said was to celebrate a gender transition from male to female. Phillips declined the request because the custom cake would have expressed messages about sex and gender identity that conflict with his religious beliefs. Less than a month after the Supreme Court ruled for Phillips in his first case, the state surprised him by finding probable cause to believe that Colorado law requires him to create the requested gender-transition cake.
This time, the Alliance for Defending Freedom has gone on the offensive, filing a federal lawsuit against Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Civil Rights commissioners, accusing the state of persecuting Jack and seeking punitive damages.
The level of harassment of our Christian brother is stunning and since he came to national prominence, he has been inundated with anti-Christian and some downright Satanic requests:
In the past year alone, Phillips has declined several requests to create custom cakes because of the messages that they would have communicated or the events that they would have celebrated. Phillips believes that many of these requests are not genuine; rather, they are setups designed to get him to decline the desired message. Phillips believes that the originator of a number of these requests is attorney Autumn Scardina. In late September 2017, someone emailed Phillips asking for a custom cake “to celebrate” Satan’s “birthday.” The customer requested that the cake have “red and black icing” and include “an upside down cross, under the head of Lucifer.” The customer described the cake as “religious in theme” and reminded Phillips that “religion is a protected class.” Phillips declined to create that cake because it included designs that would have expressed messages in violation of his religious beliefs. A few days later, someone called Phillips asking for a similar custom cake. Phillips noticed that “Scardina” appeared on the caller-identification screen. Phillips believes that the caller was Autumn Scardina. The caller asked Phillips to create a “birthday” cake for Satan. The caller requested that the cake feature a red and black theme and an image of Satan smoking marijuana. Phillips declined to create that cake because it included designs that would have expressed messages in violation of his religious beliefs. On June 4, 2018, the day that the Supreme Court issued its Masterpiece decision, someone emailed Phillips claiming to be “a member of the Church of Satan.” That person asked for the following custom cake:
I’m thinking a three-tiered white cake. Cheesecake frosting. And the topper should be a large figure of Satan, licking a 9” black Dildo. I would like the dildo to be an actual working model, that can be turned on before we unveil the cake. I can provide it for you if you don’t have the means to procure one yourself.
Not long after that request, two people visited his Cakeshop and asked for a custom cake with a pentagram, a symbol linked to witchcraft. Phillips refused, as is his right, to create the cake.
Jack Philips may the first Christian (or one of the first) to face down the secular left's assault on Christianity in America, but he will not be the last. The war against Christianity and our religious freedom has only just begun!
In 1943 the Belgian born dean of the department of philosophy at the University of Laval in Quebec, Charles De Koninck (1906-1965), published his controversial book On the Primacy of the Common Good: Against the Personalists, in which he argued that the private good of persons is subordinate to their common good. De Koninck is at pains to show that his position is not totalitarian, nevertheless, many of his critics remained unconvinced. One of the objections that he anticipates, but which was nevertheless repeated by his critics, was that the free man is causa sui (for his own sake), and that therefore it would be repugnant to his dignity to be ordered to the good of the community. De Koninck responds as follows:
To the second part of the objection we reply that the propositionliberum est quod causa sui est must be understood not as meaning that the free agent is the cause of himself, or that he is, as such, the perfection for which he acts, but as meaning rather that he is himself, by his intellect and will, the cause of his act for the end to which he is ordered. One could also say that he is cause of himself in the line of final cause, insofar as he bears himself towards the end to which he is called as an intelligent and free agent, that is according to the principles themselves of his nature. But this end consists principally in the common good. The agent will be so much the more free and noble as he orders himself more perfectly to the common good. Hence one sees how the latter is the first principle of our free condition. The free agent would place himself in the condition of a slave if by himself he could not or would not act except for the singular good of his person. Man retains no less his free state when, by his own reason and will he submits himself to a reason and will which are superior. Thus it is that citizen subjects can act as free men, for the common good. (pp. 70-71).
Indeed, he argues that for a good to be truly common all must share in it. The common good is not the good of civil society considered as a quasi-individual; it is the good of the members of the community, and in fact their greatest natural good. This means that every member of the community must participate in the common good. In the following lecture De Koninck draws the rather strong conclusion from this that every member of a civil society must be a citizen. This conclusion seems too strong since one can participate in the common good by being a subject as well as a citizen, because obedience to the civil authority, as the minister of God, is ultimately obedience to God, “whom to serve is to reign.”
The following lecture is, however, primarily concerned with showing that the family is ordered to preparing children to participate in the common good, and that the state therefore destroys itself when it usurps the functions of the family. The lecture is here published for the first time, transcribed from a typescript with handwritten emendations, probably written circa 1950. — The Editors.
I was asked to treat the present subject from the philosophical point of view. It is for this reason that I mention neither the sacrament of marriage nor the supernatural society which is the Church. Our viewpoint, however, is no less philosophical for being that of Christian philosophy. In fact, the chief basis for the present paper is none other than the Encyclicals of Pius XI: Divini Illius Magistri, and Casti Connubii.
Of a family we say that it is good, when, faithful to the indissoluble union which they have vowed, husband and wife do all they can to provide their offspring with proper nourishment and education. This is the fundamental criterion, for the primary end of marriage is the child; whereas the form and principle of the family consists mainly in the union of mind and heart between husband and wife, primarily in view of the child not only as to its generation, but even more so for the sake of its education to manhood. For this reason, whatever is characteristic of the married person must somehow be related to the child. Even the friendship of husband and wife (of which Aristotle has spoken so well in the Ethics) is intrinsic to marriage itself and must therefore be ultimately based on their union for the sake of the child whose education is the main reason for the indissoluble character of wedlock.
At this juncture a first difficulty may be raised against this doctrine. It seems that the end of marriage as well as the persons of husband and wife are altogether minimized if we confine them in the perspective of the child.
This objection may arise from the fact that on the one hand we seek in the family more than it is and on the other hand we would reduce the persons who make up the family to what they are insofar as they are members of this imperfect society, and correspondingly reduce their good to that which is theirs as members of such a society. For although the family is indeed a society in the strict sense of that term, it remains an imperfect one, as Pius XI states it in the Encyclical Divini Illius Magistri: “The family enjoys a priority both of nature and of right over civil society. Nevertheless, the family is an imperfect society, since it has not in itself all the means which are required for a perfect achievement of its end; whereas civil society is a perfect society, having all those things which are necessary to its proper end—the common good of our present life on earth. It is by virtue of this common good that civil society has pre-eminence over the family: only in the common weal can the family attain with security and propriety that temporal perfection which is its aim.” Hence we should not expect to find within the confines of the family the fullness of the temporal good of man qua man.
What is this temporal good, which, absolutely speaking, is superior to that of the family? The same document replies: “It consists in the peace and security which the families and individual citizens enjoy in the exercise of their rights as well as in the greatest spiritual and material wealth that can be obtained in this life thanks to the concerted efforts of all.” Note, particularly, that the temporal common good is not restricted to material wealth, but comprises spiritual goods, such as a wise legislation, not to mention “the arts and the sciences which make for the wealth and prosperity of civil society.” (ibid.)
Because the family is an imperfect society which cannot reach even its own end outside the political community, both the latter and the former may tend, in practice, to transgress their respective limits. Nor are these limits always easy to define — even when we prescind from man’s ordination to a common good far superior to that of civil society. However, the very fact that on the one hand the family is not self-sufficient in the pursuit of its own end, and that on the other hand the end of civil society is quite distinct from the former, may serve as the basis for a distinction to be made in the realm of civil society itself.
The primary end of the family is the education of the child to the maturity of manhood. This is an inalienable right of the family, since, as St. Thomas says: “the child is something of the parent.” (IIa IIae q. 10, a. 12)
These words of the Angelic Doctor are quoted by Pius XI in the above-mentioned Encyclical. Yet, even here, “the family is not a perfect society which embraces all that is required for its own perfection.” As Pius XI expressly points out: “the common good demands that the State promote the education and learning of youth in various ways,” which must, of course, be performed with due respect for, and in conformity with, the innate rights of the family. The question is: how can the common good demand that civil society should share in promoting the good that is proper to the family? Must this be interpreted to mean that the common good of political society is subordinate to the good of the family? That the perfect society is subservient to the imperfect one? By no means; the contradiction is all too obvious. What, then, is the answer?
You may have noticed that in a passage already quoted from the Encyclical, the common good of civil society refers to the families and to the individual citizens: “familiae singulique cives“. The same distinction is applied in the sentence which immediately follows: “The function of the authority which resides in the State is twofold: to protect and to further the family and the individual citizen, but not in the least by absorbing or replacing them.” Family and individual citizen are not the same. Man is not born a citizen, the child is not as yet causa sui: in fact, the end of the family is to lead the child toward the status of causa sui. But until he has reached this status he belongs to the parent. “Prior to becoming a citizen, man must live, and this life he does not receive from the State, but from his parents. As Leo XIII declared: ‘The children are something of the father; an extension, as it were, of the father’s person; to be exact, they enter into and participate in civil society, not immediately by themselves, but through the domestic community in which they are born… The authority of the father is such that it can neither he suppressed nor absorbed by the State’…” Hence, in this respect, the parent qua parent as well as the child are, normally, beyond the reach of the State. It is the parent as citizen who immediately, and by himself, enters into civil society. How, then, can the family concern the State? How can the common good demand that the State further the proper good of the family?
We have just pointed out that the good which the family pursues for the child is the status of causa sui, of being a free man: but this is precisely the primary condition of citizenship. The term of education is at the same time the very principle of civil society, which is an association of free men who seek their greatest good qua men in the common weal. It is therefore in the interest of civil society that its members be free men in the strict sense of the word: that they possess the education and learning essential to citizenship. That is why the common good of civil society must extend to the cradle of citizenship.
Obviously, the common good of civil society and the authority which resides in the government do not extend in the same manner to the family and to the individual citizen. Nevertheless, the end is the same in both instances. The end proper to political society is the common good of the citizen as such — of the freeman — “who can participate in deliberative or judicial office” (Aristotle, Politics III, c. 1), whether directly or indirectly. However, even in helping the family to achieve its own good — the perfection of the offspring — the State pursues this good only in virtue of, and for the sake of, the perfect human good which is proper to civil society.
Although the two have their principle and term in the same common good, we must distinguish the function of the State with regard to the individual citizen from its function in regard to the family. In protecting and helping the latter, the State meets a requirement which was already fulfilled to a degree in the pre-political stage of society. The needs of the individual family are such that it naturally seeks the facilities and security which result from inter-family cooperation. However, so long as the family turns to a larger group for the mere sake of its own good, not even the parents may be called free men and citizens in the true sense of these terms. Such persons do not as yet form a civil society. In this pre-political stage, social functions are merely social, confined as they are to the sole benefit of the family. The good of such a society is a certain common good, but it does not provide the bene esse which man is to attain as a citizen. It has more the nature of what is merely useful (bonum utile) and not strictly a common good. Social assistance, thus understood, is not political, since it is not yet practised in view of the perfect human good. In fact, it is not even ordered to the true good of the family itself, which is a good to be achieved, not by social assistance alone, but by the assistance of civil society, i.e. in conformity with the perfect human good. This distinction, I fear, may reveal a sad state of affairs. The person whose concern is restricted to the individual good as such, qua a good that he may derive from association with others does not deserve the name of citizen. For the same reason, a family which — though materially belonging to the civil community — is interested only in the kind of social assistance (but “more of it”) which can be found in the pre-political stage of society, is not a good family: it does not pursue even its own true good — to make the child a free man is hardly the ideal that consistently governs its behaviour. The citizen who, in voting, gives preference to the candidate from whose election he hopes to derive the greater personal good, forfeits his citizenship. It is only in a material sense that he acts as a free man, as a citizen proper. And in voting for a man who promises a good for the family, which is harmful to the common good of the political community, the father turns against the family itself, and so against himself as a father.
If there is always the danger that the State may exceed the limits of its rightful power, there is an equal menace — resulting in a tyranny sui generis — in the family which seeks above all its own good. Such a good is of course no more than an apparent one. When the security of civil society is sacrificed to the material security of the family, the latter destroys its own true security. Perhaps there is no better criterion of the good citizen and the good family than the one which both St. Augustine and St. Thomas have quoted from Valerius Maximus: “The citizens of Rome preferred to be poor in a wealthy republic, rather than be wealthy in a poor republic.”
This doctrine must not be interpreted to mean that the family or the individual citizen should blindly submit to whatever the government may plan or devise for them in the “name” of the common good. The child is subject to its parents, but neither the citizen nor the family are subjects to the State. Only under tyrannical government is the citizen reduced to the condition of subject — and he accordingly ceases to enjoy citizenship. When the State supplants either the family or the individual citizen, it has thereby destroyed itself as a civil society, for the latter is an association of citizens, and the citizen is by nature a free man. Again, it is the citizen that is attacked when the State assumes the authority of the father, since only the family whose rights are protected and whose needs are met with in conformity with its own nature, can foster the child toward the status of free man.
Originally posted at: The Josias