Thursday, January 16, 2020

Catholics, Jews, Politics, Muslims and Murder

“Anti-Catholic bigotry is alive in the U.S. Senate” read the headline of a January, 2019 article by Michael Gerson in the Washington Post. It’s getting tougher to be Catholic here or nearly anywhere else. Gerson citied tough questioning of US District Court Judge Brian Buescher when he was up for ratification in the US Senate last year. Senators Kamala Harris and Maize Hirono believed his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic mens’ organization, disqualified him because the Catholic Church considers abortion sinful and homosexual acts “intrinsically disordered.”

Senator Dick Durbin’s questions of Buescher went to the Catholic Church’s position on so-called “transgenders” who believe they’re “assigned” a gender at birth. Catholic teaching asserts there are only two unalterable biological sexes. The professed Catholic Senator Durbin was recently denied the Eucharist which the Catholic Church believes is the body of Christ and the essence of Catholicism. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois made that ruling because Durbin violates Catholic teaching by his support of abortion. Former VP Joe Biden was also denied the Eucharist by Bishop Joseph Francis Martino of Scranton, PA for the same reason.

When conservative Catholic US Circuit Judge Amy Coney Barrett was up for confirmation, US Senator Dianne Feinstein said: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you,” and voted against her. Should there be another vacancy on the Supreme Court, many expect Judge Barrett to be Trump’s nominee. She was runner-up to Brett Kavanaugh, another conservative Catholic, last year.

Osama E. El Hannouny
It’s getting difficult to be a Christian, especially a Catholic Christian, in the early 21st century as these four stories reported in just the past two weeks attest:
*Illinois: (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — “Charges have been upgraded against a man [Osama E. El Hannouny] who allegedly slashed tires of multiple vehicles at churches in Palos Hills… because he didn’t like Christians. The charges against him were upgraded Thursday to 14 counts of hate crime, police said. He allegedly admitted to slashing tires of 19 vehicles at two churches because he didn’t like Christians.”

*According to “Christian sites in Europe suffered a record number of attacks in the year 2019, with some 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments vandalized, looted, or defaced.” Most were Catholic Churches. Most perpetrators arrested so far have been Muslims.

*ROME ( - “Hundreds of Christmas cribs have been smashed, burned and vandalized across Italy in a binge of violence unparalleled in recent memory. Statues of the Baby Jesus and the Holy Family have been beheaded, stolen or hanged — in one shocking incident even impaled on an iron pole in a public square.”

*Nigeria (Morning Star News) “Armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed 13 Christians in Plateau state, Nigeria on Wednesday (Jan. 8), the same day four students were kidnapped from a Catholic seminary in Kaduna state.” Over 6000 Nigerian Catholics were killed in 2018, thousands more in 2019. 

Five years ago, I interviewed Father Innocent Okozi who was then my parish priest in Fryeburg, Maine. I asked about the situation in his native Nigeria and he confirmed all the reports I had been reading about the murder of Catholics and other Christians in his country. Soon, I’ll be interviewing his successor priest in Fryeburg, Father Peter Shaba, also a Nigerian native, for his perspective.

Up to 100 bodies have been found in a mass grave near the Nigerian town of Damasak, after troops from Chad and Nigeria liberated the locality from Boko Haram militants.
One of my Jewish friends sent me another link last week about murders of Christians around the world. As the descendant of several Holocaust victims, he asked me where was the outrage among Christians? Murders of Christians get some media attention, but not nearly as much as there would be if the stories were about Christians murdering Muslims. My friend and I are watching closely as both anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish violence accelerates on several continents.

More Christian victims of Boko Haram
Of the four US Senators I quoted in the opening paragraphs above, Hirono is Buddhist. Harris seems unsure: “I grew up going to a black Baptist Church and a Hindu temple,” she said. Her husband is Jewish, so we must assume she has yet to choose. Feinstein’s 2000 campaign website said she was Jewish, but seems largely secular now. Durbin is ostensibly Catholic but his bishop has doubts.

In closing, I should point out that of the nine members of the US Supreme Court, six are Roman Catholics and the other three are Jews. All three Jews are reliably liberal votes and all but one of the Catholics are reliable conservative votes. Sotomayor is the odd one out. She was born to a single mother in the Bronx and attended a Catholic high school, but evidence of her alleged Catholicism is thin. She officiated a wedding for two women, and I suspect Senator Feinstein would never say about Sotomayor that: “The dogma lives largely within [her].”


Reality Check said...

I guess Tom does not know how easy it is to do an image search on a photo. If he did he would not simply take the word of a Fake News outlet and erroneously use a photo claiming to be of "Nigerian Catholics murdered by Muslim Boko Haram" that had actually been posted online years earlier, before the Boko Haram thing even happened.

Yet another example of piss-poor, dishonest "journalism".

Tom McLaughlin said...

Well, excuse me, Reality Check. There were so many photographs of the thousands of Catholic victims of Boko Haram to choose from, I guess I just assumed those black bodies were among their victims. I'll make the correction now.

Are you attempting to obfuscate the fact that Muslim killers in Boko Haram slaughter thousands of Nigerian Catholics every year just because they're Christians?

Kafir said...

I would recommend the jihad denier, Reality Check, visit the website, Their list of murders by various Islamiic groups emulating the ProMo is updated daily.

Jack said...

From a recent interview with yonatan stern, a very righ wing Zionist/jew, an American, also an ex israeli settler, who runs an Israeli military style self defense ( militia like) school in the Catskills. Are his views representative of all Jews? Of course not. But it seems his views are shared by many who would rather go unknown. In light of the recent attacks on Jews by blacks, absurdly attributed to "white supremacy" by corporate media hacks, I post this. In many "ghettos" there are predatory unethical Hasidic Jews trying to buy up real estate. Their tactics are atrocious in many instances, hence, the violent retaliation. Which I certinaly don't condone, but let's take an honest look at the facts. You can't always play the victim. In addition, 8 Hasidic Jews just got busted for welfare fraud to the tune of 2,4 million in jersey. Yup....Ya think that may piss offf some poor black folk?

"Yonatan is not impressed with Black Americans. For some reason he sees the clash between Jewish Orthodox and Black communities as a manifestation of a ‘Left’ revolutionary act. I pointed out to Yonatan that there is nothing remotely ‘lefty’ in recent attacks on orthodox communities. Yonatan then expressed some ardent racist views. I quote them not because they are true, as they are not, but to provide an accurate portrayal of Yonathan’s world view. He said that we are dealing with “wild people, they have been in America as long as Whites have been here. They are free of slavery for over 150 years. They enjoy the same freedom as whites, segregation ended 50 years ago… Despite that look where are they now, living on welfare, broken families, using crack, mayhem. Yet look at the Jews, we came over at the late 1800s and early 19th century. And look where we have come, we came poor, with rugs on our backs, we worked in sweatshops. We are now at the head of society. Trump’s son in law is Jewish, the Jews are the biggest bankers, we control the Fed, we control Hollywood, all those lawyers, the best attorneys, the best accountants, all the biggest doctors, we have wealth, we have power, yet this proportionate to our size we are only 2%of the population. Look at the Black man. He is 13% of the population, he for the most part, is living in poverty. They feel a tremendous sense of jealousy towards us which turns into a tremendous blood-thirsty hate.”

Reality Check said...

I have never denied Jihad activities, why must kafir resort to unfounded name-calling? This “assuming” bug seems to run rampant with the radical right. I will not accuse you, but ask – are you a Christian Terrorism denier?

Nearly 80 percent of Christians don’t think a terrorist acting in the name of Christianity is Christian. But more than half say terrorists acting in the name of Islam are Muslims.
Media bias reports gives “the religion of peace” website a “questionable” rating, classified as:

“exhibiting one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence”

So yes, Jihad exists. But to only look at this issue from such a biased and one-sided view-point, and having to gin up evidence, and make assumptions is far from fair and balanced.
I am here for the exact opposite reason than to obfuscate. I am giving a clearer picture of the realities of the situation, a little nuance. For example, concerning the atrocities of Boko Haram :

“Religious affiliation is a secondary issue in the ongoing Nigerian herder-farmer conflict, which impartial experts consistently describe as being primarily a dispute over natural resources and land usage. Reports in the U.S. in March 2019 failed to properly explain the complexity of the conflict, and Breitbart's article did not mention a major reported atrocity perpetrated against the mostly Muslim Fula people in February 2019.”

And concerning the photo, you say you “just assumed”. It seems you do this very, very frequently in your columns. And you know what they say “assuming” makes you.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Stern's comparison of Jews with blacks in America stings, but it has elements of truth. My take is influenced by economist Thomas Sowell who was raised in Harlem, was a leftist black radical in the sixties, then took a view not entirely unlike what Stern sees. Sowell blames LBJ's Great Society programs for undermining black families. So does former Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

I don't call it racist to cite demographic facts. The War on Poverty was a failure. It made poverty worse.

Jack said...

Yeah, except Stern wasn't citing actual demographic facts or data. He was, obviously, stating his ( racist) world view. Interesting take and even more interesting response.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Do you think what Stern said comparing blacks and Jews in America isn't supported by demographic data? From what I've read, it is. What dd he say that was racist?

jack said...

They are "wild people". Please link us all to the factual data proving this. ( and that comment doesn't imply racist beliefs? )

"They enjoy the same freedoms as whites." Duh, obviously....again, cite the facts backing this claim. You did say it was all supported by demographic data. Facts.

Apparently all blacks use "crack and are on welfare". And again, cite the facts here.

Stern didn't come off as a racist with a shameless superiority complex?

Seriously? Not surprising really.

Tom McLaughlin said...

They are "wild people".

Yeah, okay. That does smell somewhat like racism.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Chicago Tribune 8/12/17:
"So in 1986, Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act establishing, for the first time, mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of having specific amounts of cocaine. The sentences, however, were much tougher for crack cocaine than powder cocaine cases — which disproportionately affected African-Americans."

As for disproportionate welfare use by blacks, it's quite obvious isn't it? Do you really challenge that? Again, I refer you to Thomas Sowell. Look him up. He's written books on this.

Stern did make blanket statements. He should have used qualifiers because certainly not all blacks are guilty of these things.

Jack said...

Seriously? The quote you initially responded to cited no facts. At all. Then you brought up the red herring of economic theory, which wasn't mentioned and is irrelevant to the topic, which is predatory and unethical practices being used by Hasidic Jews to buy cheap real estate in poor urban areas and the recent, unfortunate, violent backlashes we are seeing by blacks. How the areas became poor and full of minorities is a topic of another discussion. And I don't necessarily dispute some of what you say, but again, it's not the issue I raised when pasting that quote. Stern has a world view that attempts to justify such unethical practices. And folks are starting to push back, unfortunately with violence, but this is a real issue that needs addressed.

No comment on the rest of what he had to say eh? Again, interesting.

You want to talk disproportionate---- three Jewish Supreme Court members for a people that make up maybe 2% of the population??? And if what Stern says is true--- Jews run the fed, the media, banks, the legal system and Hollywood, well that seems a tad disproportionate, no?

Tom McLaughlin said...

People are free to buy whatever is on the open market. There should be no restrictions by government on that.

I'm not getting into economics when citing Thomas Sowell. He's a very learned man and taught economics at several prestigious colleges and universities, but he also writes about race. He's mostly retired now in his late eighties so he isn't writing much anymore.

I won't be commenting anymore here because I'm starting next week's column now.

Brian said...

"I won't be commenting anymore here because...."

That is Tom's way of saying "I give up, I can't fight the facts. You called me out on my BS and there is nothing I can do that won't make me look even goofier, so bye". He does it all the time.

Jack said...

Not surprising in the least. You had a chance to answer but your silence and the last response suggest it's ok to bully the poor if you want to profit. What the heck are they doing being poor anyway. And racism is ok.

You claim to be catholic? Like, for real? How on earth......

You wonder why religion is failing and people are starting to act out. I noticed you gave the obligatory mention of the holocaust when citing your Jewish friend. How does he feel about Israel being a legitimate apartheid state now? Does he embrace racism as well? Does he support the brutal oppression of Palestinians? I could go on, and on. But the point here being it means nothing to mention the holocaust when the nation built out of its ashes is a brutal oppressive racist bully. Nothing says Catholicism like supporting racism, oppression, and brutal violence! I know you would probably pen a justification for such seemingly hypocritical beliefs but you have a column to work on.

This is why religion is failing. The hubris it takes to think Jesus would condone racism, violent oppression and theft is unbelievable. Jesus championed the poor, you make fun of them. If he came back today I'm quite sure he would be living in Gaza.

No one takes hypocritical religious bs seriously anymore. You either are or you aren't. You walk the walk or you merely look a fool, hiding behind a set of beliefs you don't even accept yet have the shameless audacity to pretend to.

Steve said...

Now that the impeachment has reached the Senate, I want to summarize some of the big beats about Trump’s first term that have driven the Special Counsel and the Impeachment. Trump denied he and his campaign sought Russian influence in the 2018 election. There was a lot of suspicious activity and lies to cover up that suspicious activity, but Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates meeting with Konstin Kilimnick is the most interesting to me. The three met in in a NYC cigar bar. Manafort provided their internal polling data and they reportedly discussed swing districts in swing states among other things. When finished, the three exited out of three different exits. Kilimnick is reported to have ties to the Kremlin and Russian intelligence. Though this meeting doesn’t prove conspiracy, it sure stinks. So what do Trump supporters think of this meeting? Is there a plausible, innocuous explanation for this event, because we haven’t heard one from Manafort, Trump or his administration? What does your gut tell you?

The Mueller report detailed ten incidents in which Trump obstructed the investigation into his campaign’s conspiracy with Russia to influence the 2018 election. After it became known that Trump asked White House counsel Jim McGahn to fire Mueller, Trump asked McGahn create a WH document claiming Trump never asked that of him. McGahn refused. Manufacturing evidence is a felony. Why would Trump encourage the WH council to commit a felony that would lead to disbarment, possible prison time and certain humiliation if caught, just to block the investigation into events that, according to Trump, simply never occurred? What does your gut tell you?

Now consider Trump’s newly found crusade to shine the light of justice on corruption across the globe. Trump is now a cross between Eliot Ness and Sir Galahad, and the sole focus of this crusade against corruption just happens – JUST HAPPENS – to be the one company in the one country in the world with direct ties to his leading Democratic rival, Joe Biden. What does your gut tell you? We’ve been told Ukraine is the third most corrupt country in the world. I’m not sure how corruption can be quantified, but for the sake of argument, we’ll say it is. That means two other countries are more corrupt, ostensibly more deserving of investigation than Ukraine. There are probably thousands of companies in Ukraine, yet Burisma just happens to be the most corrupt and thus the only one worth investigating. What does your gut tell you? Couple all of that improbability with the fact that Trump was only interested in the Ukraine President Zelensky announcing an investigation into Biden and Burisma and not the actual investigation itself. What does your gut tell you? There’s a lot of corruption around the world, where else is Trump fighting it? It makes sense that he didn’t encourage the FBI to investigate these two American citizens – Joe and Hunter Biden – because he isn’t interest in the actual investigation. He’s only interest in a perceived or promised investigation. That way, he doesn’t have to commit FBI resources, and he can talk about an investigation that isn’t even happening. It sounds a little like the team of investigators he had in Hawaii researching Obama’s birth certificate who “couldn’t believe what they were finding,” only for that team to disappear into nothingness the moment he released his long-form birth certificate.

Steve said...

(post continued)
Consider the fact that Trump hid the record of his phone calls with Zelensky in a server designed to house only the most secretive communications related to national security. That, to me, implies guilt. It implies the understanding or assumption the calls were a record of unethical, unpresidential, impeachable behavior, and he wanted them hidden from all scrutiny. What does your gut tell you?

Consider the Trump administrations attempt to smear our ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. We’ve heard many times that “ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the President.” So why not just recall her? It was entirely within his privilege to do so, yet in his “perfect call” to Zelensky, he said “she’s going to go through some things.” They even had Trump Jr. tweeting out criticism of her, because, apparently, he has his finger on the pulse of our diplomatic core. Why the campaign to discredit, smear and publicly humiliate her? My guess is Trump wanted to make it appear that her removal from her post was for cause, and he could point to that if questioned by reporters. With her out of the way, he moved Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the European Union, to be one his diplomatic faces in Ukraine. Sondland, who donated a million dollars to a Trump super pac, is just the type to help carry out the “drug deal” in Ukraine. Pompeo’s cowardly silence through all of this is a disgrace. What does your gut tell you?

Consider Trump’s efforts to block all WH personnel and documents sought by the democrats for the impeachment investigation. Fact witnesses with first-hand information like Perry, Pompeo, Pence, Mulvaney, Guiliani, Bolton are precluded from testifying. You don’t block testimony from people who can exonerate you. You do, however, block the testimony of people who will have to lie under oath to exonerate you or plead the fifth to keep from implicating themselves. What does your gut tell you?

Think about the people who are caught up deliberately and incidentally in Trump’s orbit: McGahn, Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Mulvaney, Guliani, Yovanivitch, Bolton, Manafort, Gates, Vindman, Flynn, Papadopoulos, etc. Now think back to Michael Cohen’s plea to the committee during his trial shortly before he was sentenced to three years. “I did the same thing you’re doing now. For ten years. I protected Mr. Trump, for ten years….which puts you in the same position that I am in, and I can only warn people. The more people that follow Mr. Trump as I did blindly are going to suffer the same consequences that I’m suffering.” Trump is amoral and indifferent. Collateral damage means nothing to him so long as his needs are served.