Three False Narratives

In his 1970 bestseller Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote about the stress and disorientation caused by “too much change in too short a period of time.” According to Toffler, more and more Americans were experiencing a sense of dislocation as a result of increased mobility, frequent career moves, and sudden lifestyle changes. Forty-five years later, the pace of change hasn’t let up. If anything, it seems to be accelerating. It’s difficult to keep up with the news, let alone the rapid turnover of technological and social changes.

In a future-shocked society, the future arrives ahead of schedule—long before we are ready for it. Major changes that once took generations to evolve now materialize in a matter of years or months. Instead of being afforded decades to adjust to gradual changes, we are confronted with radical transformations on an almost monthly basis.

One way to mitigate the stress of future shock is to pretend to oneself that nothing has really changed. Thus, a common response to novel situations is to try to understand them from within old and comfortable frameworks. We take new facts and new developments and try to force them into old narratives even though the old paradigms aren’t adequate to contain them. Explanations that were useful in analyzing events that happened half a century or more ago are hauled out to explain new situations that bear only a surface similarity to the old ones.

The invention of the automobile marked the beginning of a radically new form of transportation. Yet for a long time afterward, most people could only grasp the new transport by reference to the old one. Cars were called “horseless carriages” and engine capacity was measured in “horsepower” (come to think of it, it still is). In many respects, we are still in the horseless carriage stage of trying to understand recent developments. Here are three important new realities and the outworn narratives that are used to explain them.

Old narrative: Blacks are victims of white racism.

New reality: Blacks are victims of dysfunctional family and social systems created by perverse paternalistic incentives.

In other words, Jim Crow died a long time ago and no one is trying to bring him back to life. Blacks are largely victims of black and white liberalism. Failure to understand the real reasons for the plight of black communities will eventually result in similar high levels of illegitimacy, crime, and poverty among whites and Hispanics. The old narrative is largely irrelevant for purposes of coping with the new reality.

Old narrative: Diversity is our strength and immigration enriches a nation.

New reality: Too much diversity can destroy a society.

Building a viable common culture out of many different and sometimes conflicting strands is a rare achievement. Without common values and traditions to bind them together, multicultural societies tend to break apart into warring factions. Witness the balkanization of the Balkans and the bloody partition of India and Pakistan. Likewise with immigration. Sometimes, and under certain conditions, immigration can enrich a culture, and sometimes it can wreck a culture—as seems to be happening in Europe and Britain right now. For example, thanks to the influx of assimilation-averse Muslim immigrants, Sweden, which once had one of the lowest crime rates on the planet, now has the second highest incidence of rape in the world. England is also experiencing growing incidents of rape. A particularly egregious case involved the small city of Rotherham where 1400 young girls were raped and prostituted. The rapes—mostly perpetrated by Pakistani gangs—went on for fifteen years because police, city authorities, and child protection agencies turned a blind eye to a phenomenon that didn’t fit into the established narrative about culturally enriching Third-Worlders.

It’s estimated that by 2050, Muslims will make up a majority of the youth population in England. “Youth”—that would be the portion of the population most likely to demonstrate, intimidate, and riot to get what they want. 2050 is probably an optimistic projection. Muslims already make up 45 percent of the under-twenties in some major urban centers in France. It was just such exuberant youth who staged riots in over 270 French towns and cities for three weeks in the fall of 2005. Ironically, the Muslim immigrants to Europe are no fans of diversity. They want others to do things their way. So, by a strange paradox, more diversity in Europe will eventually translate into much less diversity. Diversity will mean that you get to choose from five different hijab designs, four different halal menus, and your choice of coffee, tea, or soft drinks at the local wine shop. It’s unlikely that the aging indigenous population of Europe and the UK will be able to offer much resistance to what’s coming. It’s not just their arthritis that hobbles them, but also arthritic narratives that are long past their prime

Old narrative: Islam is a religion of peace, and extremists are a tiny minority.

New reality: ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, al-Shabbab, Hezbollah, Hamas, suicide bombers, lone wolves, beheading of children, sex slavery, forced conversions, celebration of baby-killing, attacks on school children, hundreds of thousands of Christians fleeing their homes, anti-Semitic mobs in Europe.

That’s one heck of a tiny minority. If all these “tiny” minorities and lone wolves joined forces, they would easily outnumber most NATO armies. Moreover, those who are actively engaged in terror seem to have sizeable support from the folks back home. For example, a recent poll of French citizens revealed that one in six had a positive opinion of ISIS. Considering that the Muslim population of France is about 11 percent, and assuming that the bulk of the sympathetic 16 percent were Muslims, that would mean that a majority of French Muslims are sympathetic to ISIS. Meanwhile, a poll of young Turks in the Netherlands found that 80 percent of them see nothing wrong with jihad against unbelievers. Man Haron Monis, the self-styled sheik who took seventeen people hostage in a Sydney café, was supposedly a lone wolf, yet he had 14,000 “likes” on his Facebook page. Moreover, when authorities tried to secure an ISIS flag at Monis’ request, they discovered that although Sydney had an abundant supply, none of the owners wanted to part with such a cherished possession.

One problem with hanging on to these narratives long after they’ve passed their sell-by date is that it involves all those who repeat the narratives in a pretense. And that’s not good for one’s character. As psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple once observed:

When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself.

Those who manage in spite of it all to retain their probity will lose respect for those who keep telling the lies. Recently, after the Taliban in Pakistan murdered 135 schoolchildren, NATO officials issued a statement condemning the attack and asserting that it showed a “lack of respect for the Islamic faith.” Really? The word “Taliban” means “students.” The group was originally formed out of madrassa students—people who presumably know something about Islam. Moreover, groups like the Taliban and al-Qaeda came into existence precisely because they felt that Islam was not getting enough respect.

“Lack of respect for the Islamic faith,” “this has nothing to do with Islam,” “[beheadings] represent no faith, least of all Islam.” After a while, the average bloke who hasn’t taken an oath to uphold whatever politically correct narrative is currently in vogue begins to have his doubts. He begins to think: “This [insert latest atrocity] probably does have something to do with Islam.” The more the boys in the establishment cry “sheep” whenever Islam’s wolf-like nature is in danger of revealing itself, the more credibility they lose.

Besides the massive self-deception and hypocrisy involved, there’s a more serious consequence of trying to pour new phenomena into the old wineskins of familiar narratives. The invariable result is that the negative effects of the new phenomenon will be compounded. If you misdiagnose heart disease as heartburn and treat the symptoms with Prilosec, the heart problem won’t go away, and it will probably get worse. If you double down on the white racism narrative when all the facts say otherwise, racial tensions will only increase. If you insist that America is still a racist country—as Obama, Holder, Sharpton, and Mayor de Blasio continue to do—the criminally inclined among blacks will conclude that reprisals are justified. Last week, protesters in New York City were chanting a call for “Dead cops—now!” Saturday, two city policemen were killed execution style by a gunman who claimed on Instagram that he was going to take revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Perhaps not coincidentally, the killer’s name was Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley, and his Facebook page contains a screenshot of Koran 8:60, which includes the phrase “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah.”

Just as the narrative can be used to embolden criminals, it can also be used to cow police into laxer law enforcement. One subset of the white racism narrative—a narrative that once upon a time did fit the facts—is that blacks are disproportionately and unfairly targeted by police. Yet a study from Washington State University–Spokane suggests the opposite. The study found that police were “less likely to erroneously shoot unarmed black suspects than they were unarmed whites—25 times less likely.” Police also “hesitated significantly longer before shooting armed suspects who were black compared to armed suspects who were white or Hispanic.”

In short, the majority of police are bending over backwards to be racially sensitive. It’s a good bet that they already err on the side of being too lenient when dealing with black suspects. By ignoring the facts and going with the narrative of unfair targeting, we only ensure that police will feel more hamstrung than they already do in enforcing the law. Police who are constantly worried that their law enforcement activities may result in smear attacks, career loss, or a jail sentence are going to be tempted to look the other way when a crime is being committed. Or, as Pat Lynch, the head of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, said in response to criticism from New York City’s Mayor de Blasio, “If we won’t get support when we do our jobs … then we’re going to do it the way they want it…. We will use extreme discretion in every encounter.” “Extreme discretion?” Sounds like more time in the donut shop and less time on the beat. And what about potential recruits? Once again, discretion is likely to be the better part of valor, and it’s reasonable to expect that many will think twice before choosing such a hazardous and thankless career. That means that law-abiding citizens, both black and white, will be less protected. The thin blue line that shields ordinary people from barbarism will grow thinner still.

Something similar will happen if we persist in maintaining the false narrative about Islam. Those who are charged with protecting us from Islamic violence—the police, the military, Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA—will be more beholden to the narrative than to the truth. Many of them already are. So are large numbers of people in the media, the academy, and government. The narrative determines what they will notice and what they will discount. If the narrative says that violence has nothing to do with Islam, then they will look for its causes somewhere else: in poverty, historical grievances, lack of education, mental illness—anything but religious dictates. Meanwhile, in the absence of any accurate analysis, militant Islam will continue to grow. There is a thin line of truth-tellers whose testimony affords some protection to Muslims and non-Muslims alike from Islam’s violent tendencies, but that thin line is stretched to the breaking point and the truth-tellers are under more or less constant attack from the upholders of the official narrative.

The West’s incredibly confused response to events in the Muslim world is rooted in an equally confused narrative. The preservation of the fiction that Islam is a religion of peace has made it possible for the violent strain of Islam to become almost the dominant strain. Likewise, Europe’s naïve immigration policies, which are based on the same multicultural fantasy, seem geared to ensure that the problems of Syria and Iraq will soon be the problems of Sweden and Ireland. There’s a revered English hymn (based on a poem by William Blake) that promises:

I will not cease from mortal fight;
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England’s green and pleasant land.

The way things are going, it looks like the multicultural elite won’t cease their struggle till they have built Islamabad in the scepter’d isle.

Santayana said that those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. It might be added that those who insist on misapplying past lessons will make a hash of the present.

William Kilpatrick

By

William Kilpatrick taught for many years at Boston College. He is the author of several books about cultural and religious issues, including Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right From Wrong; and Christianity, Islam and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Aleteia, Saint Austin Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and First Things. His work is supported in part by the Shillman Foundation. For more on his work and writings, visit his website, turningpointproject.com

  • JP

    “Those who manage in spite of it all to retain their probity will lose respect for those who keep telling the lies.”

    In the 1970s, when the Soviet lie was in its 6th decade, a reporter visited the “workers’ paradise” and asked a Soviet factory worker what is was like working for the “people” (that is, the government). The worker replied with a joke, “The government pretends to pay us and we pretend to work.”

    Forced conformity of opinion leads to cynicism. People can only live by the lie for so long. Eventually it leads to disaster and tragedy. In this post-modern republic we live in we are not only told what to do, but what and how to think. Whether we’re speaking of race relations, Islam, gay rights, or “Climate Change”, the template is set. There are “right” opinions and then there are “wrong” opinions. Even in the Church this has occurred. It is perverse that today a Catholic who still foolishly believes in the dogmatic faith is called a “Ritualist”, a Pharisee, a Rad Trad -an intolerant scold who is stuck in the past.

    To hold the correct opinions, one must believe in “Climate Change”, a peaceful Islam, the guilt of the White Males, and that true Christianity believes that same sex attraction is a gift from God. White Males or the religion they cling must be overcome.

    • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

      The Soviet Union was far too ‘funky’ and fossilized. The true progressives junked it for a new Euro-Model. The Soviet Union was riddled through with concepts of family, order, gender norms, a distaste for sexual immorality… it had to go. It just wasn’t evil enough.

    • Fides_et_Ratio

      I am orthodox Catholic, pro-family, pro-life, pro-liberty, and I believe in the real danger of Climate Change. Climate science is a science, like biology, an unlike “gender studies” and company. Climate science is empirical, quantified, rigorous. And 97% of scientific papers who opine on climate change agree that it is real and human caused.

      • Amatorem Veritatis

        Lies, damned lies and statistics. I see you chose the “lesser” of the evils. Indeed there is such a thing as Climate Science…it’s just not the mythology de jour that you embrace. Global warming…global cooling…silent spring…depletion of world oil reserves…population bombs…global famines…Ebola pandemics…and whatever neo-Malthusian, neo-Erlichian catastrophe theory is currently in vogue. They are all at root a form of neo-Gnosticism, and therefore a sign of bad formation if not out right heresy…at least among Catholics. The fear and outright hatred of the physical world. You and fellow believers in Climate pseudo-science need to have a bit less faith in the power of mankind, and more faith in the Word.

        • Fides_et_Ratio

          There may be an overlap of climate conservatism (fight against climate change) and neo-Malthusianism. But in all of History, sometimes bad ideas were mixed with good ones. It is our job to separate them. We wouldn’t reject the metric system because it was adopted by genocidal French revolutionaries.

          Global cooling, among the scientific community, was only a quick theory, it never came close to the level of confidence that the scientific community has on global heating.

          Global heating has deep scientific foundations. The greenhouse effect is known since the XIX century.

          God is not a baby-sitter that stops us from doing evil. He respects our liberty and wants us to fight for ourselves. There has been Hitler, Stalin and Mao Zedong, and there has been Planned Parenthood. There certainly can be global heating.

          • Amatorem Veritatis

            You need some practice on your snark. Much too subtle…attempts at ironic sarcasm can not be too ambiguous.

            But just in case you were actually being serious, “climate conservatism” is the polar (insert subtle climate joke) opposite of the neo-Malthusian movement that you appear to embrace. Remember, Malthus predicted all types of disasters due to the malfeasance of mankind with God’s creation. He might be considered one of the fathers of the modern eugenics movement. Hard to believe you count yourself allied to that group of murderous loonies.

            And you must not cherry pick your rebuttals. I gave you numerous examples of neo-Gnostic pseudo science, and you chose to address just one. And not at all in a convincing manner. Do you realize that you are now officially out of phase by one full pseudo-scientific era? We are now entering a new phase of developing global cooling speculation, and your buddies over at the IPCC are scrambling to create a new rationale for man made climate disaster.

            It is getting terribly difficult to keep up with these ever changing mythologies. What is a gnostic to do!

            • Michael Paterson-Seymour

              There is nothing Chr9istian about treating Nature as a commodity—a storehouse of “resources” for the use and profit of a human race metastasizing like a cancer in the ecosphere.

              • Fides_et_Ratio

                I agree that we must moderately conserve nature; we owe it to the future generations.

                But what did you mean by a “human race metastasizing like a cancer in the ecosphere”? First, humanity is still a good thing. Second, we are objectively superior to all other known living beings. They are irrational. Besides, the fertility rate in the West is below replacement level (the Westearn population is only not decreasing yet because of immigration and demographic lag), and global fertility rate is decreasing. It is predicted that global population will reach a maximum of 9B and then start decreasing.

                The problem is not too much people (in fact, we need more babies); the problem is irresponsibility and consumerism.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  I was thinking, not so much of raw numbers, but of their impact.

                  To speak of the value of a particular species is to adopt a false perspective. Bergson, the phiosopher of the élan vital (and to whom the Catholic philosopher Maurice Blondel owed a great debt) observed that “The intellect, then, is a purely practical faculty, which has evolved for the purposes of action. What it does is to take the ceaseless, living flow of which the universe is composed and to make cuts across it, inserting artificial stops or gaps in what is really a continuous and indivisible process. The effect of these stops or gaps is to produce the impression of a world of apparently solid objects. These have no existence as separate objects in reality; they are, as it were, the design or pattern which our intellects have impressed on reality to serve our purposes.” Rather like taking still shots from a motion picture.

                  God’s creation is a single, utterly self-consistent act.

                  • Fides_et_Ratio

                    What you quoted is not clear enough (specially without its context) for me to criticize.

                    But, while irrational beings have some value, they are still inferior to us. We would readily kill 10 chimps if it were somehow necessary to save a human. And it would be the right thing to do.

                    So we should fight Climate Change, we should conserve oil, we should avoid irresponsible destruction of ecosystems, we should conserve biodiversity, of course. But we shouldn’t go the way of pantheistic radical environmentalists, and propose that humankind should be severely limited and castrated in order to radically reduce its environmental impact to a minimum. That would be unwise and irrational.

              • Argue with God.
                Genesis 1 26:31
                26 And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.
                27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
                28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
                29 And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:
                30 And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.
                31 And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.

              • slainte

                Thank you MPS for sharing the gift of your extraordinary intellect both here and at other forums during the past year. I have learned much from your commentary and am grateful for your participation.

                May you enjoy a holy and happy Christmas and a joyful New Year with many blessings. Pax.

                • Michael Paterson-Seymour

                  Slainté

                  Your comments, as always, are as embarrassing as they are flattering.

                  No, I am not cleaver. As my old tutor, Miss Anscombe told me: “Even if one are not cleaver, one can still be learned; a lot of people cut a ver respectable figure that way.” I have traded on that for fifty years.

                  Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ùr – I trust our orthography is similar enough to your native Irish for you to appreciate.

                  • slainte

                    My intent was sincere and not meant to embarrass. I modified my comment accordingly. Happy New Year.

            • Fides_et_Ratio

              By “climate conservatism” I meant “climate conservationism”.

              And you seem to have fallen into political polarization and demonization of your adversaries. And this in a subject (the veracity of climate change) that is not infallibly defined neither by Revelation neither by natural law. Besides, I only propose moderate economic intervention, such as moderately increasing taxes on oil and decreasing taxes on green energy. Some crazy and noisy environmentalists might propose radical interventions, but they are are minority. And reducing our dependence on oil is also great for national security and bad for Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia and other villains. And even though fear-mongers have exaggerated the claims of “Peak oil”, oil is still a finite resource, and we must conserve it. We should be farsighted.

              And I am anti-Malthusian. Married couples should be much more generous. Baby generosity helps the family and helps society, because humanity is aging, and western countries have fewer babies than even necessary for population stability, and global fertility rate is decreasing.

              I was actually pointing out that you should not throw the baby with the bath water; just because many environmentalists have unfortunately defended neo-Malthusian fear-mongering, does not follow that anything they say is automatically wrong. I repeat my example: we should not reject the metric system just because it was spread by murderous French tyrants. While I am skeptical of any _religious_ claims by neo-Malthusians, I still can believe them when they make _scientific_ claims backed by evidence and calculations.

              As for cherry-picking rebuttals: I am not an expert on political polemics. And remember that attacking is easier than defending. Besides, the delusions of crazy pantheist environmentalists about their imaginary “population bomb” are not backed by science or reason. Climate change is.

              Regarding imaginary “global cooling”, see http://arstechnica.com/science/2009/10/talk-of-global-cooling-based-on-bogus-statistics/

              Do not trust the Right too much. The Right may be less anti-family than the crazy Left; but they also have bad ideologies such as Randyan objectivism and radical individualism. I understand voting conservative as the lesser of two evils. But at least our minds should be independent. We should criticize progressives and conservatives when they deserve it, and support more reasonable candidates whenever we have a choice.

              • Bill

                Every “scientist” from every era of human history could have made the claim, that human created “climate change” is real, and half the world would have believed them. The other half would have reasoned that climate always changes, regardless of human activity.

          • Guest

            Tell that to the residents of Buffalo, NY who received 7 feet of snow last month.

            • Fides_et_Ratio

              Global heating means that the long term global temperature average goes up. There are still fluctuations. In fact, when you introduce energy in a non-linear dynamic system, it often makes the fluctuations more severe. So occasional strong winters are compatible with global heating. In fact, we can expect stronger extreme events, such as droughts and storms.

              • I sit on ground that if you dig deep enough are rich veins of Anthracite coal, remnants of a time when ther were tens of millions of yearsof lush tropical conditions. Yet less than 100 miles away was found the skeleton of a Mastadon, a cold weather pachyderm that inhabited that nearby area something like 20,000 years ago and was found even closer to a giant field of boulders that are the remnants of a retreating glacier from 10,000.

                So, of course there’s climate change. The idea however, that it is anthropogenic, measurable, controllable and reversable is hubristic scientism, not science.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  There is natural climate change, but we should not add anthropogenic change on top of it. IPCC determined that, with 95% confidence, at least half of the current global heating was caused by humans.

                  This is backed by evidence and mathematical and logical argumentation. The other side (the deniers) respond with political polemics and conspiracy theories.

                  Climate science is empirical, objective, quantitative and rigorous. I would trust the consensus of 97% of oncologists about a cancer, and I trust the 97% of scientific papers – out of all who opine on the cause of climate change – that agree that a significant part of it is human caused.

                  • slainte

                    “Climate science is empirical, objective, quantitative and rigorous.”

                    What specifically have the scientists been studying? Who are the scientists? What tools have they used to measure what they have been studying? For what length of time have these studies been conducted and under whose auspices? who or what has financed these studies? where are the long term historical findings published?

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      Scientists study the greenhouse effect (whereby greenhouse gases trap heat on Earth) since the XIX century. It is a well established theory.

                      Now, a particular scientific paper can be wrong. Its author may have been incompetent or even dishonest, and the peer review may have been lenient. But if the paper is important, it will be analyzed, criticized and refuted.

                      Another thing is the scientific consensus achieved after decades of international research. If the object of that consensus is something objective and measurable (like the Greenhouse Effect, and unlike the “patriarchy” of “women studies”) then we can trust the consensus.

                      Anyone with scientific training and experimental resources (many researchers in universities around the world) can publish a scientific paper. The scientific community changes its mind based on facts.

                      Denial of science has happened many times before: the denial that tobacco is harmful, the denial that Ozone layer depletion is harmful, etc.

                      I don’t know of any single instance where the theory of a decades-long scientific conspiracy have been proven true.

                    • slainte

                      But what you are offering as proof of climate change is conjecture and opinion.

                      Recall that in 2009 e-mails were discovered which disclosed that East Anglia University (England) academics and scientists intentionally falsified data to substantiate claims of climate change/global warming.

                      In reliance on this falsified data, the UN and other proponents claimed that climate change was real and a proven scientific fact. They got it wrong.

                      Politics aside….our duty as Catholics is to be good stewards of Nature which is a gift from God that sustains our lives.

                    • “Politics aside….our duty as Catholics is to be good stewards of Nature which is a gift from God that sustains our lives.”

                      Agreed. But hey, it’s time to head down to one ofd those restaurants that serves its porridge on a thick, black plastic dish and doesn’t segregate recyclables.

                      Remember, love might not last forever, but petroplastics do.

                    • slainte

                      I am looking forward to the day when store cashiers just bag my groceries like they used to…rather than quizzing me about whether I want a bag at all…and if so, paper or plastic?

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      See http://arstechnica.com/science/2010/07/another-day-another-enquiry-and-cleared-again. The scandal has been quite exaggerated.

                      Besides, climate research is much bigger than East Anglia University. Even if one team of scientists was corrupted, it would be quite hard to falsify the entire scientific consensus.

                    • “I don’t know of any instance where the theory of a decades-long scientific conspiracy has been proven true.”

                      So what? Who says you are omniscient?

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      I didn’t claim to be omniscient. I just say that it is healthy to be very skeptic of conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theorists have a consistent history of never being able to prove their claims.

                    • It’s also healthy to be skeptical of group think.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      Scientific research is not group think. Environmental _activists_ may be group thinkers (as well as pantheist and misanthropes), but not the actual _scientists_ who study their subject for years and years, and who back their research with empirical evidence and mathematical calculations.

                    • Repitition is not science.

                    • slainte

                      Fides_et_Ratio…Merry Christmas to you. May the blessings of the infant Jesus abound in your life and may you and your family know peace, joy, and happiness in the New Year.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      Thank you! May you and your family be radically holy and joyful!

                  • There is natural climate change, but we should not add anthropogenic change on top of it. IPCC determined that, with 95% confidence, at least half of the current global heating was caused by humans.
                    Repeating yourself doesn’t make it so, Michael Mann.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      Now that was a ridiculous fallacy. Non sequitur. I just propose that we increase taxes on the oil money that we throw at Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, and use that money to decrease taxes on green energies. We should also ride smaller, lighter cars. Consume more responsibly. Promote recycling and efficiency. All of this is clearly beneficial.

                      Republicans, if they were intellectually consistent, would enthusiastically support a program that reduces American funding of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela. America sends money to dictators and terrorists, and then sends young soldiers to die in the attempt to clean up the mess.

                    • slainte

                      “…We should also ride smaller, lighter cars. Consume more responsibly. Promote recycling and efficiency. All of this is clearly beneficial…”

                      I agree we should exercise care in our consumption habits.

                      But shouldn’t we first determine whether science supports the U.N claim that climate change/global warming actually exists? and then…that any climate change is proximately caused by carbon dioxide emissions from man’s consumption habits?

                      Recall that trees intake carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Forests are an organic and natural response which would minimize carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and promote an oxygen rich environment.

                      I think my recommendation is far more feasible than subjecting our nation to politically driven international protocols and environmental treaties which would eventually claim to supercede our sovereign national laws on the environment.

                      Our rights as citizens of a sovereign nation should not be compromised or subordinated to any quotas (or made dependent on environmental tax credits) imposed by international groups over whom we as citizens exercise no control.

                      Wouldn’t be prudent.

                    • “…We should also ride smaller, lighter cars. Consume more responsibly. Promote recycling and efficiency. All of this is clearly beneficial…”
                      And now we get right down to it. What we have here is a green troll,masquerading as a Catholic.
                      People who write this show exactly how how unscientific they really are-engineering is not issuing such dictates, it’s balancing cost, safety, durability, stability and a myriad of other issues that never enter into the minds of people who have no idea about things like tradeoffs or the law of diminishing returns.
                      Of course the real answer is bicycles.

                    • slainte

                      “…And now we get right down to it. What we have here is a green troll,masquerading as a Catholic…”

                      Or just a young person who is discerning the validity of what is being taught in schools today.

                    • We no longer teach, we indoctrinate.
                      I wonder if In three decades, the global warming alarmism will look as stupid as the global cooling alarmism of the 1970’s, or if common core will have completely eradicated critical thinking skills.

                    • slainte

                      Like blades of grass which permeate through the most dense concrete, so shall Truth permeate any indoctrination of our youth. This world and the spirit that occupies it will not prevail over Christ or His Church.

                      We are blessed DE to know (through Revelation) how this story ends…it is our task to stay faithful to Christ and to persevere.

                      Merry Christmas to you and your family DE and may joy and prosperity be ever present to you throughout the New Year.

                      Pax tecum.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      > But shouldn’t we first determine whether science supports the U.N claim that climate change/global warming actually exists? and then…that any climate change is proximately caused by carbon dioxide emissions from man’s consumption habits?

                      It has already been determined that the globe is heating, at at least half of this heating is caused by man (with 95% confidence).

                      > Recall that trees intake carbon dioxide and emit oxygen.
                      And we have been deforesting the globe. Plants have a lot of carbon, and when dead plants decompose they emit CO2. Besides, while there is some negative feedback, there is also positive feedback, such as trapped methane in tundras that will be released when it thaws, leading to a vicious circle of global heating -> more methane -> more global heating.

                      Scientists take all of this into account. And they give error bars for they findings. For example, they do not say “all global heating is man caused”. They say instead “At least 50% of the recent global heating is man caused, with 95% confidence.”

                      > Our rights as citizens of a sovereign nation should not be compromised or subordinated to any quotas (or made dependent on environmental tax credits) imposed by international groups over whom we as citizens exercise no control.

                      Greenhouse gases emitted in America increase the temperature in Europe and Asia. While we must respect due liberty and subsidiarity, we also cannot let every man for himself.

                    • Sorry, but I don’t speak for the GOP and they don’t speak for me.

    • Fides_et_Ratio

      Regarding denial of climate change (just like denial of biological evolution), I lament the strong correlation with religious affiliation. I quote St. Augustine:

      “It not infrequently happens that something about the earth, about the sky, about other elements of this world, about the motion and rotation or even the magnitude and distances of the stars, about definite eclipses of the sun and moon, about the passage of years and seasons, about the nature of animals, of fruits, of stones, and of other such things, may be known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience, even by one who is not a Christian. It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are.”

  • TERRY

    Sam Harris is a well-known atheist.

    I urge you all to google ‘Sam Harris Los Angeles Times September 2006 – The Death of Liberalism’

    • Scott W.

      Can you executive-summary the Harris article for us? We are already fully aware that there are atheists that have common cause with Catholics on certain issues which fine (the truth is the truth regardless of the source), but I’m highly doubtful SH brings anything to the table we haven’t seen before.

      • TERRY

        I won’t do that – YOU have to read the whole thing. It’s not that long and IMO needs to be read by each individual.

        Harris says nothing I find particularly agreeable – I approach this more from a “know what your adversary is thinking” point of view. The title of the piece – ‘The Death of Liberalism’ (not my title) should peak your interest. And remember it was written 8 years ago.

        • Scott W.

          Well, no thanks. Telling me I have to do something is a sure fire way to ensure I won’t.

  • s;vbkr0boc,klos;

    A new world indeed in which the meaning of words ‘evolve’ and what meant one thing today will mean something else tomorrow. I haven’t read the news yet, I wonder what the word ‘marriage’ means today.

    • St JD George

      Look it up in the NWO dictionary, they define it as an arbitrary construct.

  • faithmore

    Great article. Great insight. When my son graduated from college extolling the Religion of Peace, he was unrelenting in his praise of Islam. The false message sticks like glue.

    • Bill Russell

      In the 1930’s many college students defended Hitler too. Some eventually died in war.

      • St JD George

        And guess where those that didn’t ended up.

    • St JD George

      I would love to learn more particulars about how that came to be without sharing anything personal of course, ie who oversaw the indoctrination and if had faith in the Lord before being brain washed.

      • faithmore

        It is and was a great University. Unfortunately that same message is being taught today. So many buy into it despite despicable conduct seen on everywhere. Facts don’t matter, Perception does, and professors have been brainwashing their students along the same lines for years. My son dropped out of the Catholic faith during college. but is slowly reconsidering. He thinks independently and is a diplomat within the State Department.

        • St JD George

          I’ll pray that he comes back to his senses, though I know it will be hard in his current occupation and employer. I understand it, but I don’t get it either. We indeed live in some interesting times.

          • faithmore

            I am a forensic engineer, and doing a dissertation on satin, evil and the New Age Movement is not easy. Need some guidance. Any suggestions?

            • St JD George

              Forensic engineer, studying Satan? That is interesting, I think starting with the university influence on your own son I think of Jesus’s strongest admonition for those who would lead our youth astray preying on their innocence. I think William highlights his influence in the world regularly too.

  • Seamrog

    I find it telling that the apologists wringing their hands over the waterboarding of three Islamic terrorists keep a wide berth from essays like this.

    I greatly appreciate your continued efforts to bring light to this subject. It often feels like I am living in a world where up is down and wrong is right – what I witness with my own eyes is described as something else entirely by our leaders, our media, even our Church. This essay resonates with me, and helps me know I am still grounded. Christ has already won, and I have to remind myself of that often.

    I lived in Paris for a year in the mid-90’s. I felt safe everywhere in that city except in the area that at that time was largely populated by Algerian immigrants. I got beaten up there one night walking to a ice skating rink with some friends. A group of young men threw an apple at a female in my group from behind and hit her hard in the head. I challenged them and paid for it.

    They were a restless, unemployed and angry segment of the French society then – their radicalization is a real problem now that is simmering just below the surface.

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  • Hal

    ” – isis is a U.S./Israeli proxy.

    There is an undeniable point which is the fact that the takfiri orientation and the governments which support and advocate it move completely in the direction of the goals of arrogance and Zionism. Their work is in line with the goals of America, the colonialist governments in Europe and the government of the usurping Zionist regime.

    Certain signs confirm this claim. The takfiri orientation is Islamic on the face of it, but in practice, it is at the service of the great colonialist, arrogant and political orientations that are working against the world of Islam. There are clear signs which cannot be ignored. I would like to mention a few of these signs: one is that the takfiri orientation managed to make the movement of Islamic Awakening deviate from its path. The movement of Islamic Awakening was an anti-American and anti-arrogance movement which was against the elements that America had installed in the region.

    It was a movement that had been launched by the masses of the people in different countries of North Africa. These countries were against arrogance and America. The takfiri orientation changed the direction of this anti-arrogance, anti-American and anti-tyranny movement. It turned it into a war between Muslims and into fratricide. The front line of fighting in the region was the borders of occupied Palestine, but the takfiri orientation came and changed this front line to the streets of Baghdad, the Jameh Mosque of Syria and Damascus, the streets of Pakistan and different cities of Syria. These places became the front line of fighting.

    Take a look at the condition of today’s Libya, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and see against whom the forces and swords of Muslims are being used. These forces should have been used against the Zionist regime. The takfiri orientation changed the direction of this fighting to our homes, our cities and our Islamic countries. They cause explosions inside the Jameh Mosque of Damascus. They kill people by causing explosions in Baghdad while they are holding their ordinary rallies. In Pakistan, they fire a volley of bullets on hundreds of people. As you can witness today, they are creating such disastrous conditions in Libya. All of these are among the unforgettable and historical crimes of the takfiri orientation.

    It is this orientation that has brought about this situation. This movement is at the service of arrogance. It is at the service of America and England. What they do is at the service of the intelligence services of America and England. It is at the service of Mossad and other such intelligence services.

    Another sign is that those who support the takfiri orientation compromise with the Zionist regime so that it fights against Muslims. They do not even frown at the Zionist regime, but they deliver all sorts of blows to Islamic countries and nations and they hatch all sorts of plots against them.

    Another sign is that the seditious movement which the takfiri orientation launched in Islamic countries – including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and other countries – has led to the destruction of the valuable infrastructures of these countries. Notice how many roads, refineries, mines, airports, streets, cities and houses have been destroyed in these countries. Notice how long it takes and how much money is necessary for these countries to go back to their prior conditions. This has happened as a result of domestic wars and fratricide. These are the losses and the blows that the takfiri orientation has delivered to the world of Islam since a few years ago until today.

    Another sign is that the takfiri orientation damaged the reputation of Islam in the world and it painted an ugly picture of it. Everyone in the world saw on TV that someone is made to sit on the ground and they behead them with a sword without charging him with any crime: “Allah forbids you not – with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes – from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you – with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support others in driving you out – from turning to them for friendship and protection. And whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust” [The Holy Quran, 60: 8-9].

    These people did the exact opposite of this. They killed Muslims and innocent non-Muslims and the pictures were broadcast all over the world. The whole world saw this. These acts were done in the name of Islam.

    Ayatollah Khamenei, 11/25/December 22, 2014 “ICH” – There is an undeniable point which is the fact that the takfiri orientation and the governments which support and advocate it move completely in the direction of the goals of arrogance and Zionism. Their work is in line with the goals of America, the colonialist governments in Europe and the government of the usurping Zionist regime.

    Certain signs confirm this claim. The takfiri orientation is Islamic on the face of it, but in practice, it is at the service of the great colonialist, arrogant and political orientations that are working against the world of Islam. There are clear signs which cannot be ignored. I would like to mention a few of these signs: one is that the takfiri orientation managed to make the movement of Islamic Awakening deviate from its path. The movement of Islamic Awakening was an anti-American and anti-arrogance movement which was against the elements that America had installed in the region.

    It was a movement that had been launched by the masses of the people in different countries of North Africa. These countries were against arrogance and America. The takfiri orientation changed the direction of this anti-arrogance, anti-American and anti-tyranny movement. It turned it into a war between Muslims and into fratricide. The front line of fighting in the region was the borders of occupied Palestine, but the takfiri orientation came and changed this front line to the streets of Baghdad, the Jameh Mosque of Syria and Damascus, the streets of Pakistan and different cities of Syria. These places became the front line of fighting.

    Take a look at the condition of today’s Libya, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and see against whom the forces and swords of Muslims are being used. These forces should have been used against the Zionist regime. The takfiri orientation changed the direction of this fighting to our homes, our cities and our Islamic countries. They cause explosions inside the Jameh Mosque of Damascus. They kill people by causing explosions in Baghdad while they are holding their ordinary rallies. In Pakistan, they fire a volley of bullets on hundreds of people. As you can witness today, they are creating such disastrous conditions in Libya. All of these are among the unforgettable and historical crimes of the takfiri orientation.

    It is this orientation that has brought about this situation. This movement is at the service of arrogance. It is at the service of America and England. What they do is at the service of the intelligence services of America and England. It is at the service of Mossad and other such intelligence services.

    Another sign is that those who support the takfiri orientation compromise with the Zionist regime so that it fights against Muslims. They do not even frown at the Zionist regime, but they deliver all sorts of blows to Islamic countries and nations and they hatch all sorts of plots against them.

    Another sign is that the seditious movement which the takfiri orientation launched in Islamic countries – including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and other countries – has led to the destruction of the valuable infrastructures of these countries. Notice how many roads, refineries, mines, airports, streets, cities and houses have been destroyed in these countries. Notice how long it takes and how much money is necessary for these countries to go back to their prior conditions. This has happened as a result of domestic wars and fratricide. These are the losses and the blows that the takfiri orientation has delivered to the world of Islam since a few years ago until today.

    Another sign is that the takfiri orientation damaged the reputation of Islam in the world and it painted an ugly picture of it. Everyone in the world saw on TV that someone is made to sit on the ground and they behead them with a sword without charging him with any crime: “Allah forbids you not – with regard to those who fight you not for your faith nor drive you out of your homes – from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loves those who are just. Allah only forbids you – with regard to those who fight you for your faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support others in driving you out – from turning to them for friendship and protection. And whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust” [The Holy Quran, 60: 8-9].

    These people did the exact opposite of this. They killed Muslims and innocent non-Muslims and the pictures were broadcast all over the world. The whole world saw this. These acts were done in the name of Islam.

    Ayatollah Khamenei, 11/25/2014

    • cestusdei

      Islam is proving itself ugly, not just by its actions but by its silence and justification of those horrific actions.

  • pja

    Mr. Kilpatrick – thank you for your always-insightful and clearly written articles. They are a must read for me.

    One of the things that shocked me was that 16% of the French population had a positive perception of ISIS, but only 11% of the population of France is Muslim. That 5% delta is very worrisome. It tells me that non-Muslims find Islamic extremism attractive.

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      That one in six French people support ISIS does not surprise me in the least.

      Pierre-Andre Taguieff explains that, for many French people, the world is divided into two camps: on one side stands the “cosmopolitan Satan,” the unholy trinity, United States/Israel/The West”; on the other side stand the “dominated and the oppressed.”

      In the same vein, Robert Redeker suggests that, post Cold War, the French left has replaced “sovietophilia” with “islamophilia,” and that “Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses replace the proletariat in the intellectuals’ imagination” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism.”

      This allows the recycling of old stereotypes such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order.

      • Bill Russell

        Dreyfuss case redivivus.

        • Michael Paterson-Seymour

          But with this difference (as Alain Finkielkraut has pointed out), that traditionally anti-Semites were Nationalists: “the French who worship a cult of their identity and who love each other in opposition to Jews.” “Contemporary anti-Semitism,” however, is the domain of the French who “do not love each other, who think in terms of a post-national future, who rid themselves of their Frenchness to better identify with the poor of the Earth, and who, through Israel, group Jews in the camp of the oppressors.”

    • “It tells me that non-Muslims find Islamic extremism attractive.”
      Nature hates a vaccuum.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour

    That one in six French people support ISIS does not surprise me in the least.

    Pierre-Andre Taguieff explains that, for many French people, the world is divided into two camps: on one side stands the “cosmopolitan Satan,” the unholy trinity, United States/Israel/The West”; on the other side stand the “dominated and the oppressed.”
    In the same vein, Robert Redeker suggests that, post Cold War, the French left has replaced “sovietophilia” with “islamophilia,” and that “Palestinians and the contemporary Muslim masses replace the proletariat in the intellectuals’ imagination” as the pure, ideal alternative to Western capitalism.”

    This allows the recycling of old stereotypes such as the rich Jew and the dominating Jew under the “varnish of progressivism.” The Jew is once more the stand-in for capitalism, imperialism, cosmopolitanism, indeed the whole economic order.

    • Seamrog

      Which is the side that apparently added two new warships to the French navy?

  • Bill Russell

    Are we cynical in suspecting that the media have assiduously avoided publishing the full improbable name of the cop killer – Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley and have neglected to mention that was a Muslim convert and quoted the Koran?
    Cardinal Dolan of New York heartily welcomed (with his insufferable chuckles) Al Sharpton after the Ferguson explosion and before that he visited a mosque where he said Islam is a Religion of Peace and that Muslims and Christians “worship the same God.” Many, if not most, of our bishops who are in denial about Islam would not be safe under Shariah law, but they would not be first to be beheaded, since the prime infidels to be killed first are those with brains and credibility.

    • ForChristAlone

      Besides Holder, Obama, Sharpton and DiBlasio having the blood of those police officers on their hands, we can add the name Dolan to the list as well.

  • St JD George

    Bill, I don’t know what to say except that I always enjoy reading your articles. Merry Christmas.

  • hombre111

    Lying narrative: Blacks families are victims of liberal paternalism.

    Real narrative, from someone who watched it happen: When the reality of the hunger of the poor was finally discovered during the Eisenhower Administration, Americans invented welfare to feed malnourished children. But, as usual, the Repubs added the Scrooge factor: No help for any family where the father was present. Up to that time, the number of black families without fathers was not so different from white families. But, in order to get their children fed, black (and white) fathers left the home and the fatherless poor family became a reality. Social workers became the enforcers, punishing the family if there was a man in the house. Now the underclass is a social disaster.

    Most of these black (and white) men did not have job skills for a modern economy, and the jobs had moved out to the suburbs, away from the places where black families lived. The liberals wanted to give them job training and help with better public transportation. The Repubs, as usual, refused.

    True narrative: the Republicans, the party of Scrooge, created the problem. And now they get to blame it on the liberals.

    • ForChristAlone

      Wrong once again. You make a habit of supporting the lies of the extreme leftists of your Democrat party. Leftist socialism is dead. It hasn’t worked. It isn’t working now and it will not work in the future. We have more poor and more people on the dole in the last 8 years of your socialist boy in the White House than ever. The taxpayers (that does not include you) have spent trillions of dollars on all sorts of anti-poverty schemes since Roosevelt and what do we have to show for it but more people on the dole than ever. No, your ideas and the ideas of your party are bankrupt. The only people who won’t admit it are those like yourself who treat socialism as their god. The rest of us know the truth about socialism but there’s no hope for the likes of you.

      • R. K. Ich

        Leftist socialism isn’t dead, don’t you know. You see, on paper this stuff works amazingly well. But the dirty little secret is that the denizens of their paper kingdom don’t have this thing called Original Sin. So an ideology that encourages envy and inculcates a sense of entitlement never appears in their schematics to be anything other than social justice and ubiquitous contentment. It’s all a lie from the belly of Satan, of course, but most utopians don’t believe in Satan anyway, unless he is white, Christian, and male.

        • ForChristAlone

          well said, indeed.

      • hombre111

        Heard a speech by an economist who made an interesting point. Capitalism is a very old system, going back to the 1500’s and 1600’s. It grew out of the Enlightenment, which stressed individualism. Adam Smith was the answer to an individualist’s dream: If every individual practices selfishness in the economic sphere, the result will be grand prosperity for all, via the magic of the market place. The growth of capitalism was ugly. Peasants were driven off their lands into the cities, where they worked for nothing in miserable conditions. Children went to work, doing twelve hour days, seven days a week. In England, the average male loss inches off his height and years off his life expectancy.

        Dickens spelled out the astonishing social cost. Marx and Max Weber explained how capitalism relentlessly destroyed traditional society, including the family. For the first time, the idea of socialism came up. So, this is a basically new idea. Right now, Europe uses socialist solutions to some serious problems, and does not have the kind of poverty found in the Unites States, home of predatory capitalism. Several socialist countries, like Sweden and Norway, are really doing well.

        Right now, we are seeing predatory capitalism at its best in the US of A. The NYT followed the gradual recovery after the collapse of 2008, and notes that 95% of the money went to the top one percent. The average American, numb with work, alcohol, and preoccupation with sports, has no idea how great the gap is between the 1% and the middle class, which has remained stagnant since the capitalists got the upper hand over labor, in the seventies. This is the capitalism we have. The average American, who prides himself for his individualism, is too scared to do anything about it. I can’t imagine any change, but maybe, finally, the whole grotesque structure will collapse. When it does, the socialists will be there, with an answer.

        • Fides_et_Ratio

          Capitalism is for the rich, socialism is for bureaucrats.

          • hombre111

            Well, not really. Socialism in Sweden and Norway keeps a lot of people happy, healthy, and prosperous.

            • Fides_et_Ratio

              Sweden has the third highest rape rate in the world. Besides, it is not exactly socialist. The CIA World Factbook says:

              Sweden’s long-successful economic formula of a capitalist system
              intermixed with substantial welfare elements was challenged in the 1990s by high unemployment and in 2000-02 and 2009 by the global economic downturns, but fiscal discipline over the past several years has allowed the country to weather economic vagaries.

              So they have substantial welfare, but their system is capitalist, and they have recently increased fiscal discipline.

              I don’t idolize capitalism, I just denounce socialism. We need a humane alternative.

              • “I don’t idolize capitalism”

                Well that’s good. “Capitalism” doesn’t describe anything other than dystopic construction of one of those who would have been better off if they had not been born, Karl Marx.

              • hombre111

                Ahh, you see it. Socialism doesn’t exist anywhere in a pure form, except maybe Cuba. Capitalism rules. But where socialist structures are maintained, there is less misery. And I cannot help but admire the way Cuba managed to resist a full court press by the United States, using every dirty trick at hand, for 53 years. Yes, they are poor. But they have better medical care than people in the United States. Even now, Castro can walk safely among his people. And somehow, they managed to keep the giant at bay.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  Socialism is the state concentration of the means of production. This does not happen in Sweden.

            • Fides_et_Ratio

              Distributism is a great balance between protecting the poor and the family on one side, and respecting liberty on the other side. The government should help the poor get good jobs (with education), and even start their own companies and cooperatives (with legal protection, financing, technical support), and it should break monopolies and oligopolies that became too powerful. But the government should not own half of the economy, nor should it regulate the details of people’s lives.

              Socialism claims to help the poor, but it destroys the family, destroys liberty, and privileges bureaucrats. Liberalism (in the old sense of the word) defends liberty (in a short-sighted way) but neglects the poor and the family.

              • Distributism is a fantasy, it exists nowhere, has been tried nowhere, and there has never been any serious proposals to implement even a few of its ideas, let alone to implement and sustain it on a widespread basis.
                In order to implement it, a group would have to have enormous political power, and since that power will be vested in sinful people, not angels, it won’t be long before there’s a fit of libido dominandi fueled bacchanalia.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  Capitalists are also sinful.

                  All I said in the grand-parent post is perfectly viable and easy to implement. It is also common sense. We would have much greater liberty if the market was more competitive, with less powerful oligopolies, and if the government didn’t regulate so much details.

                  While distributism wouldn’t be 100% implemented in practice, the same happens to capitalism. What we have in liberal societies is that big money sides with big government and both attack the family.

                  • And you and I are sinful, so what? Get the log out of your eye.
                    If you think some economic system, real or imagined is going to eradicate sin, you aren’t Christian.

                    Calling something “common sense” is a favorite tactic of the imperious, who want to preemptively dispose of counterarguments.
                    There’s a reason that whenever Barack Hussein Obama wants to implement something, he calls it “common sense”.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      > And you and I are sinful, so what?
                      I meant that all political systems are run by sinful people. We need limited government, checks and balances. I believe that distributism causes less restrictions on liberty than socialism or capitalism. In a liberal capitalist society, the concentration of wealth leads certain people to demand restrictive government regulation (to reduce inequality and concentration of power), which then leads to the alliance of big money and big government.

                      But if the government restricted the excessive size of companies, and supported affordable education and supported small entrepreneurs and cooperatives, there would be less inequality, less justification for restrictions on freedom of contract and freedom of association.

                      I am not the only person who believes that, without the excesses of liberal capitalism, Marxism would have never gained an upper hand.

                      > If you think some economic system, real or imagined is going to eradicate sin, you aren’t Christian.
                      I did not say that.

                    • I believe that distributism causes less restrictions on liberty than socialism or capitalism.

                      Too bad you believe in a fantasy. Marx peddled envy, that sells almost as well as sex. Just ask Hombre111, when he’s not peddling socialism, he’s peddling contraceptives and homosexuality.

              • hombre111

                What we have is predatory capitalism, as it exists in the United States and, to some extent, in England. As Italian economist Amintore Fanfani said, this is capitalism as it is actually practiced, and a gentler view is a figment of the imagination.

                We also have socialism as it is actually practiced, in much of Europe and Canada. Canadians who visit the United States for the first time are stunned by the poverty they find. The poor in England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark never experience the misery in the United States. Socialism destroys families? Compare the divorce rates between the U.S. and Europe, or the number of single parent families, or single parents who are forced to work without anyone to help care for their kids.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  Socialism certainly despises families. Families are a unit of power that competes with bureaucracy. Besides, their Hegelian worldview has led them to believe that the greatest enemy is “patriarchy”, and the Church, and “heteronormativity”, etc. Under this banner, they actually attack legitimate family values, such as the respect for chastity (not necessarily promotion, but at least respect) during school sex classes.

                  But I did not say that liberalism (in the old sense) was good for families. It is radically individualist, to the point of regarding the most inhuman pornography as protected speech.

                  We need a humane alternative. I quote Chesterton:

                  “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

            • Have you thought about immigrating?

        • ForChristAlone

          Just go away…your ideas are bankrupt and your morality perverse.

        • Objectivetruth

          “When it does, the socialists will be there, with an answer.”

          And that answer is free condoms, free cell phones, and free abortions. Destruction of the family, elimination of Jesus Christ from the public square. Lower the bar for everyone in society except the corrupt elite at the top. Socialism as Ponzi scheme.

          How does a socialist rid society of poverty? More and more condoms and abortions in the poor communities.

        • “When it does, the socialists will be there, with an answer.”
          Widespead misery.

          • hombre111

            Mmm, with the 1% hauling in 95% of the growth for the last seven years…with the middle class dwindling, and with the poor struggling harder than ever…This is the best capitalism has to offer?

            • No, it is the best giving government the wheel has to offer.
              What the matter? Almost six years of hopey-changey and you still aren’t happy.

              But why should I care? I made 5% in the last week, so the heck with everybody else.

              I love ZIRP, nothing like BTFD.

    • Objectivetruth

      As always hombre, you’re wrong. Republicans give twice as much to charities as democrats, making liberal democrats the true Scrooges. See below from your own people, the liberal progressive website occasionalplanet.org:

      “This time of year it’s common for progressives to view Republicans as a bunch of Scrooges. But when it comes to charity, this simply is not true. Republicans are more generous in their charity giving than either Democrats in the United States or Europeans at large.”

      • hombre111

        Can’t deny that. But giving to charity is not the same as supporting social justice. All the money given to all of the churches will not lift the poor out of their trap, which is structural and requires deep social change. In a book summarizing the social teaching of the Church, several popes emphasize this point.

        • Objectivetruth

          The checkmate in this whole conversation is the Democrats are fanatically obsessed with vaporizing babies to the tune of 1.2 million a year in the womb, specifically black babies with 80% of their Planned Parenthood baby vaporization centers in black communities. Is this how you define “social justice?”

          Regardless hombre have a Merry Christmas. But you need to on the upcoming feast day of the Holy Innocents prayfully consider your blind love and devotion to the Democratic Nazi party and Saint Maggie Sanger, the 21st century’s version of “The Final Solution.” Cooperation with evil is a mortal sin.

          • hombre111

            Oh, please. What did you do during the recent 40 day novena for life? I spent my time praying the Rosary in front of an abortion clinic.

            • Objectivetruth

              Spent time praying my rosary in front of Planned Parenthood…..

              But really, hombre? Do you need to be so childish? Next you’re going to tell me your daddy can beat up my daddy.

              But how do you hold your rosary with two thumbs up in the air in front of an abortion clinic approving their very existence?

              And don’t give me the crap that you personally disapprove of abortion, but approve of the right of a woman to kill her baby. If that’s how you feel you’re a hypocritical disgrace. A citizen of the kingdom of lukewarm, be prepared to be vomited from Christ’s mouth.

              • Fides_et_Ratio

                Abortion is indeed a grave violation of human rights, but your aggressiveness against hombre111 will not help. And you should not judge him, even if you knew him personally; and specially so because you only known him via the Internet. The Internet amplifies discord.

                • You’re new here (cough, troll alert) , but Hombre111 has a long history of arrogance, antagonism, condescension and heterodoxy and partisan rants. He’s entirely comfortable telling us how homosexuality should belebrated, but heaps scorn on anybody that doesn’t vote Democrat.

                  It’s “he” who judges others.

                  He’s so judgmental he treated us to a lengthy discourse on the deficiencies of his parents’ marriage and their need for contraceptives.

                  • Fides_et_Ratio

                    Can you provide a link for such a comment about contraceptives?

                    • It is in his comment history. You start digging.

                    • Objectivetruth

                      You are new….

                      Take De-173’s word for it. Hombre’s an agitator, with a long history of coming on orthodox Catholic websites stirring the pot. Hombre will agree with me……right hombre?

            • ForChristAlone

              Better you’d spent your time praying for the conversion of your Democrat Party from being the 21st c Nazis that they are advocating for the murder of the innocents.

            • guest

              uh huh

            • “TAKE heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.”
              Matt 6:1

            • Fides_et_Ratio

              But prayer must accompany action. Do you vote for the Democratic party? They are scary, radically pro-abortion. They want abortion to be not only legal but also trivial. They even oppose moderate common-sense proposals such as mandatory ultrasound or required parental consent for minors who want to abort. They also disregard even the objection of the father of the baby. All this is utterly outrageous. They do not regard abortion as “an evil the we must nevertheless tolerate in certain circumstances”. They act as if abortion was not a problem at all. I say that without hyperbole. Their slogan “safe, legal, and rare” is utterly contradicted by their practice. What they defend in practice is “safe, legal and trivial.”

              And they vigorously attack family values, to the point of marginalizing Catholic orphanages that only give children to validly married couples.

              Please, hombre111. Think honestly about it. While the GOP may have serious defects, it is simply not acceptable to support the Dems. You can abstain from voting in the elections (vote only in the primaries, when you have more choice), you can vote third-party, you can abstain from voting and only participate in politics by other means. But it is not acceptable to vote for the Dems.

              • hombre111

                Dear Fides,
                I agree about the stupidity of Democrat pro-choice policies. But it is interesting to discover there are fewer abortions in an ultra liberal state like Massachusetts than in several of the red states in the south.

                I live in one of the reddest of all red states. Our governor says he supports family values. Then he refuses to support a rise in the minimum wage. So, we have one of the lowest per capita incomes in the nation. Parents work two jobs and families do without essentials like good health and dental care. This is pro-family?

                It is a terrible choice. On the one hand, the Dems make it very dangerous to be a child in the womb. On the other hand, the Repubs make it very dangerous to be a poor child outside the womb.

                Read the “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church,” by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as official on this aspect of Church teaching as the Catholic Catechism. If you do, you will discover that the Dems, in general, come much closer to the social teaching of the Church than Repubs.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  Is that statistic reliable? Does it account for all abortions since conception (such as invisible abortions by Plan B pill), or only abortions performed at clinic? Does it account for demographic structure? Texas (for example) has younger people than Massachusetts, which likely translates into more pregnancies.

                  Besides, abortion is imposed by federal courts (specially through Democrat-nominated judges) and there is not that much a state can do. I bet that the most important factor influencing state rates of abortion is actually demography and culture. And federal judges also tend to strike down censorship of pornography, so a governor is limited in his efforts to promote family values.

                  The Church also teaches subsidiarity, and the Dems tend to use state power (including federal power) to impose their libertine ideology.

                  I am not saying you should vote GOP. Just that you should stop voting Dem. There are other options. It is better to support what is right and not get it than to support what is unacceptably wrong and get it (and legitimize it).

                  • hombre111

                    I think lower abortion rates come from birth control, higher economic status, and higher education. Texas has a larger number of the very poor. And lit is not exactly the intellectual capital of America. Same is true in my beloved red state.

                    In my state, I am a registered Republican, because there are almost no Democrats to vote for. My quibble is with both parties. The Repubs have no heart, and the Dems have no guts.

                    As for subsidiarity, I love the way the Right uses the principle (correctly, I think) to admonish big government, but ignores the principle when it comes to the destruction of labor unions and the rise of huge corporations and their dirt cheap wages and no benefits.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      Many forms of artificial contraception impede live embryos from attaching to the womb, causing their death. Invisible abortions.

                      Besides, artificial contraception has led to the trivialization of sex, which leads to many pregnancies where the couple does not intend to raise the baby together (often the woman does not even know the man’s surname), and this leads to abortion. There weren’t as many abortions (or STDs) before the 1960s.

                    • hombre111

                      Maybe, yes, yes, and yes. But I am talking about a prayerful married couple willing to accept the cross in the marriage, willing listen to all sides and careful to consult God on their decision.

                    • Fides_et_Ratio

                      For this debate, I choose to agree to disagree. I am doing too many things at the same time. I will, of course, continue following the Magisterium.

                    • hombre111

                      Amen, bro. I have confessions in English and Spanish, a 5:00 Mass in English, an English Mass tomorrow in one of our missions, thirty miles away, and a Spanish Mass at noon with about 700 Hispanics, Have a blessed New Year.

        • ForChristAlone

          The only trap that ought to give way is yours. Just shut your trap like you promised.

          And besides, shouldn’t you be busy preparing your Christmas homily on social justice and all that nonsense?

        • The poor are trapped because of people like you, you statist idolater.

          What have you done to pay for the metastatic state you incubated? You need some skin in the game.

          Get off the internet, get a job and pay some taxes, otherwise can it.

          I wonder how many people can’t pray Rosaries in front of abortion clinics, because they are just too exhausted from trying keep up with god state’s demands.

          Save us your vapid and hollow indignities.

          • hombre111

            Let’s see…. At age 76, I work full time in my parish, saying Mass, hearing confessions, visiting the sick, doing funerals, teaching classes, chaplain to the KofC, spiritual director to the Legion of Mary, with a ministry in the local jail and the state prison. And yes, I do pay my taxes, to the state and to the feds.

            People are too exhausted to pray the Rosary in front of abortion clinics because their employers have figured out how to keep them at work ten hours a day, six days a week. Others work two part time jobs with no benefits. They live in a state of perpetual numbness. And, each election, they faithfully vote for the people whose policies keep them in this bondage.

            • I don’t believe a word you say. As others have noted, your sacerdotal claims have an air of inauthenticity.

              None of your activities generates taxable income. Now you might not know this, but the federal government happily accepts gifts, they’ll cash a check so fast it’ll make your head snap. Don’t keep vandalizing the site with your socialist propaganda unless you dig deeper than you have to-sell all that you have and give it to the poor.

              So pay up or shut up.

              There are two ways for you to make a contribution to reduce the debt:

              At Pay.gov, you can contribute online by credit card, debit card, PayPal, checking account, or savings account.

              You can write a check payable to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, and, in the memo section, notate that it’s a gift to reduce the debt held by the public. Mail your check to:

              Attn Dept G
              Bureau of the Fiscal Service
              P. O. Box 2188
              Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

            • ForChristAlone

              do all these people you’re ministering to realize that you do not believe what the Church teaches? Don’t you feel like a fraud?

              • hombre111

                I bring a certain historical perspective to the issue. As you know, I disagree withe the Church 1) On the role of women 2) On birth control, 3) On its conclusion that homosexuality is a “disordered” condition. 4) On routinely denying Communion to the divorced and remarried.I do not stand in the pulpit and challenge any of these “beliefs.” In my public persona, I am a faithful son of the Church, but I also follow my conscience, and patiently wait.

                I patiently wait because I remember that there was a time when the Church 1) Accepted slavery, 2) Practiced torture, including burning at the stake. 3) Declared crusades against Moslems and assorted heretics. 4) Called charging interest a grievous sin. 5) Rejected democracy. 6) Rejected freedom of religion. 7) Taught the necessary union between Church and state.

                All these “beliefs” went down stream with the ditch water.

    • Objectivetruth

      You’ve got it backwards, hombre. From black writer Fred Huebner, jr.:

      “Democrats destroyed the Black family by structuring the welfare programs so that mothers received monetary increases for each child she had as long as their was no father living in the house.This simple program led directly to the current plight of Blacks in this country today. It enabled Black men to play and didn’t have to pay and resulted in the current level of fatherless homes in Black neighborhoods. It caused the welfare rolls and costs to grow out of sight and forced Black mothers to become totally dependent upon the Government for their very existence and scared into voting for Democrats to keep it coming.

      Do the math. Welfare benefits government far more than it benefits the recipients. At last count only 28 cents out of every welfare dollar gets to the recipients. The other 72 cents pays for bloated administration costs.”

      • hombre111

        Sorry, I was there. I vividly remember Josef Fichter, S.J., my sociology prof, discussing the ramifications of what was happening, and the side both parties took. In order to have welfare, the Dems caved in to Repub demands. Fichter predicted that it would destroy the black family.

        • Objectivetruth

          “Sorry, I was there.”

          You better pick a story and stick with it, hombre. Didn’t you tell us a year ago you spent most of your career working with Mexican illegals in the Southwest?

          • hombre111

            Keep up with the news, and go to summer school to get a real MA to replace the piece of non-academic trash they called an MA in the seminary.

            • Objectivetruth

              The funny part hombre is for the last year I can’t recall you ever discussing Jesus Christ, or your love for Him. Strange for someone claiming to be a Catholic Priest. You only talk of Socialism, and it’s perceived “justice.” You constantly spout Marxism, but never Matthew. You attack and mock a great Polish saint of the Church, but never decry the actions of Obama forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor being forced to accept birth control coverage. You eye roll and chuckle at the Ten Commandments, claiming their just nice suggestions but not necessarily requirements to be a follower of Christ.

              All very strange coming from someone posting under a pseudonym claiming to be a Catholic priest. Yet really has no respect for the Catholic Church. When I see other priests posting on this and other websites they put their full name. But not you.

              Strange….very strange…..

              • Let’s read from the four gospels:

                Keynes, Veblen, Mathus and Marx.

                Strange and troubling, he is.

                • Fides_et_Ratio

                  I am far more worried about Gramsci, Marcuse and Foucault.

                  • Hombre fancies himself a man of economic learning.

                    As for politics, he’s to doctrinaire to be anything more than a little corporal to those generals of political agitation.

              • hombre111

                You completely understand the argument made by the Little Sisters of the Poor. They can opt out of birth control coverage. All they have to do is sign a document saying they decline such coverage, and their choice will be honored. Their lawsuit claims that even signing such a document puts an impossible burden on their religious freedom.

                I don’t use my real name as a priest because I fear the right wing echo machine and its inclination to play hard ball. Plus, I take some positions, such as on birth control and homosexuals, that would get me into trouble with my very conservative bishop. I do not speak about these issues from the pulpit, because, as an official representative of the Church, I have no right to voice a contrary opinion of my own. But on Crisis and other Internet sites? I can speak the truth as I see it, after considerable thought and a lot of prayer.

                • ForChristAlone

                  you do not have a conservative bishop; you have an orthodox bishop to whom you are not obedient. you also are not obedient to the magisterium. you’re living a double life but then again you’re a victim of your age.

            • Project much?

        • ForChristAlone

          Besides being wrong you’re an idiot.

          • FCA, there’s no call to insult idiots, many are sweet, pleasant and agreeable.

            • ForChristAlone

              Correct. My apologies to the idiots.

        • There’s some terribly paucious about a man in his 70’s quoting his professor.

          • hombre111

            You need old guys like me to remember what happened, because the Repubs have this way of altering history to their own advantage.

            • I had a grandmother who died two weeks before she turned 100. She had a good memory, untainted by socialist stupidity.

              I need you like a fish needs a bicycle, to borrow a quote.

    • All I want for Christmas is to be rid of Hombre’s two cheap cents.
      two cheap cents..

      • Objectivetruth

        True! Remember Big Al’s finger waggling accusing corporations of green house gases whilst his 26,000 sq ft compound with five fireplaces had the carbon footprint of the US WW II Pacific Fleet at the Battle of Midway?

    • Amatorem Veritatis

      “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
      – Maimonides

      You might have “watched it happen”, but it seems clear you had (and have) no idea what “it” was. No grasp of cause and effect, much less of history. Welfare programs have been in existence since colonial times, but the catastrophic expansion of the welfare state came under the Progressive-left presidents starting with T. Roosevelt , then Wilson, FDR, Kennedy and Johnson.

      Dysfunction and disintegration of black families directly tracked the expansion of the welfare state promoted by Democrats deeply invested in the neo-fascist dogmas of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (a Dem BTW…one of the few who was a realist), realized this is in 1964, and accurately predicted the complete implosion of the black middle class.

      “Moynihan generally concluded in the report: “The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States”.[5]

      According to your calculus, since the real problem was the evil Republicans who rigged the system to discriminate against intact families, we would expect to see nearly identical rates of out of wedlock birth rates, poverty, crime, abortion and other social dysfunction among all racial groups. After all, the welfare rules are race neutral, and merely discriminate against intact families according to you. But that was not the outcome, was it?

      You are definitely an expert on false narratives.

      • hombre111

        Dear lover of truth,

        I am reading a wonderful book on modern physics by Frank Wilczek, called “Longing for the Harmonies.” His concluding remarks are a perfect description of what happens on this thread:

        “…We filter reality through our preconceptions…and see what we are prepared to see.The poverty of a frog’s sensory and mental apparatus is painfully apparent to see…it sets up crippling and inescapable limitations upon its appreciation of the world. But is our own position really qualitatively different? Don’t inescapable human limitations cripple our own ability to appreciate the world?”

        I write as a converted conservative.

        • ForChristAlone

          Really, now.

  • Curt Parker

    The liberals I know won’t understand the inherent evil of Islam until a sword is literally in mid-air and coming directly at their necks. I’m always reminded in this vein of the famous newsreel of the German army marching through the Arc de Triomphe in Paris,1940. A weeping Parisian man watches the Germans strutting by him in triumph. Will Islamic fighters someday walk down the streets of Washington DC? Unless liberals and other ill-informed people in America come to their senses, they will wake up some day under the control of an American Caliphate. God forbid!

    • Michael Paterson-Seymour

      Have you seen the newsreel of the Army of North Africa, with its Spahis, Zouaves, Tirailleurs algériens and Harkis, marching throught he Arch de Triomph, after liberating Paris from the Fascists in August 1945

    • “The liberals I know won’t understand the inherent evil of Islam until a sword is literally in mid-air and coming directly at their necks.”

      I’m afraid that might not even do it. Islamophiles are driven by neophilia, xenophilia and what Roger Scruton describes as “oikophobia”. When the Islamic hordes offer the choice of death or conversion, many liberals (by this I mean secularist, statist, collectivists) will rush to embrace Islam as diverse and novel.
      It’s no accident Islamic activism has leftist fellow travellers.

  • Jdonnell

    The article offers new realities but seems stuck itself in the past. For some time, we have heard that racism has disappeared from American life. After all, don’t we have a black president? Of course, that fact does not indicate an absence of racism; what the election polls showed about white men’s votes and motives revealed that plenty of racism continues. If you do much getting around, you hear it expressed very often.
    Media sympathy for black criminals shot by police anger some racists, especially when the coverage refers to young (big, strapping) men as if they were just “teenagers,” which designation is at best a half-truth. Such pseudo-sympathy only drives whites who already see black people as “takers” instead of “earner” to become more entrenched in their assumptions. Like this article, they do not connect wretched social and economic conditions of so many black Americans–and much of the black crime–as a reaction and result of our racist past and present.

  • Jdonnell

    The article offers new realities but seems stuck itself in the past. For some time, we have heard that racism has disappeared from American life. After all, don’t we have a black president? Of course, that fact does not indicate an absence of racism; what the election polls showed about white men’s votes and motives revealed that plenty of racism continues. If you do much getting around, you hear it expressed very often.
    Media sympathy for black criminals shot by police anger some racists, especially when the coverage refers to young (big, strapping) men as if they were just “teenagers,” which designation is at best a half-truth. Such pseudo-sympathy only drives whites who already see black people as “takers” instead of “earner” to become more entrenched in their assumptions. Like this article, they do not connect wretched social and economic conditions of so many black Americans–and much of the black crime–as a reaction and result of our racist past and present.

  • Mary

    Our Lady tells us at Medjugorje that we are to get serious about our faith: (1) pray all 20 decades of the rosary daily, (2) fast preferably on bread and water every Wednesday & Friday, (3) monthly Confession, (4) daily Eucharist at Mass, (5) daily reading of the Holy Scriptures. Doing this will help us to realize what our role is in Our Lady’s plan of peace. It is really the only solution. Her 2014 Christmas message: “Dear children! Also today, in my arms I am carrying my Son Jesus to you and I am asking from Him peace for you and peace among you. Pray to and adore my Son for His peace and joy to enter into your hearts. I am praying for you to be all the more open to prayer. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

    • John

      It’s a fraud

  • John

    Israelis did 911 not Muslims. It’s a frame up.

  • Caritas06

    Another false narrative is that which ties marriage and family to the oppression of women, or as a threat to the planet through overpopulation. The birth rate in the EU and most of the US population has fallen to less than the replacement rate, especially among the middle and upper classes who can presumably afford it. As a result these societies will be overtaken by those countries or demographic groups that do not embrace this narrative. The future belongs to those who show up to claim it.
    We need a more family friendly narrative in the media, in government policies, in corporations so that women do not have to choose between advancement (& freezing their eggs!!) or childlessness, but that respect women as women and not clones of men. The average corporate approach to work-life balance does not work for men either. Finally we need to become less materialistic in the west, so that we do not become the slaves of our wealth and so that, by living simply, there is more for developing countries.

  • Bill

    There is too much truth in this article for the average uninformed human being to appreciate.

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