By Rutger Bregman,
theguardian.com |

When a group of schoolboys were marooned on an island in 1965, it turned out very differently from William Golding’s bestseller, writes Rutger Bregman
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months



By PragerU |

You’ll see a lot of references to justice in the Bible, but you’ll never see the word “social” precede it. Why? Is it simply because social justice is a new cause that post dates the Bible? Or is it because social justice, by its very nature, is directly at odds with justice as the Bible defines it? Allie Beth Stuckey, host of Relatable on BlazeTV, takes a fresh look at this important issue.
By Elishama |
Father Gregor Mendel (19th century) through his work cross-breeding pea plants discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance and is considered the father of genetics.
“Jesus said to His disciples, ‘You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:13-16).

Salt preserves food and accentuates flavour. We are called to preserve whatever good we find in the culture around us but also to accentuate or perfect it with the Gospel and grace of Jesus Christ.

Light reveals what is hidden by the dark. Christians bring God’s spiritual and moral truths to a world where they are often obscured by error and sin.

A City built on a Hill: The Church is visible, like a city of a hill, meant to be easily found by all. Catholics are meant to be a visible sign of God’s presence and power in the world. We are here to make a difference.

Catholics are loath to brag about their historical accomplishments. But in a world so ready to highlight our failures – both real and perceived – I think it is important that once in a while we brag about some of the great things that the Catholic Church has given to the world.

Now the most important thing we give to the world is the revelation of God that tells a lost and searching humanity who God really is, why He created us, and His plan and destiny for us. In other words, the very meaning and purpose of life itself. And, of course, the salvation offered humanity in and through Jesus Christ.

But this is not what I am going to talk about today. In this homily I am going to highlight some of the humanitarian benefits Christianity has given to the world. And I am only going to mention a few.

Let’s begin with the Dignity of Work

The greatest philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome (Plato, Aristotle, Cicero) held intellectual pursuits in high esteem but manual labour as odious. Cicero said “All trades of working men are to be considered contemptible, and that there is nothing lofty about the workshop.” In civilizations around the world the rich and noble classes often treated manual labour as beneath their dignity.

The Bible taught that even in the Garden of Eden, before the Fall, Adam had to “till and keep” the garden. Judaism respected the work of farmers, craftsmen and labourers. Jesus was the son of a carpenter and likely practiced the trade Himself before beginning His public ministry.

The Church taught that work was not only a duty but an honour. In Roman society men and women of high birth began embracing monastic life in which they would spend their days in prayer and manual labour (often in fields like farmers).

How about the Treatment of the Poor?

Before Christianity there were exceptional cases of ancient philosophers and Oriental ascetics who preached and practiced personal poverty, but the upper classes generally despised the poor and their condition, considering their plight with indifference if not contempt. The poor person was forgotten and left to fend for himself.

But Jesus was born in a stable to parents of modest means. He said He was sent “to preach the gospel to the poor.” Christ declared that God’s judgement would be based on how we treated the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the imprisoned, etc.

We read in Acts how the apostles chose deacons to “serve at the tables” of the poor and widows. St Paul collected alms for the poor.

Throughout the centuries Catholics founded institutions to care for the widowed and orphaned, the homeless and destitute.

In Ottawa one can think of the St Vincent de Paul Society or the Shepherds of Good Hope. They follow in a 2000-year old Catholic tradition.

Everybody believes in Education, right?

In ancient times formal education was a privilege of the few. Private schools and tutors existed for the children of the rich and powerful.

The Jews, however, established synagogues in towns at which boys from all backgrounds were taught to read the Scriptures. The early Church established cathedral and monastic schools to teach young people how to read, write, and other basic forms of learning. This often-included girls as well as boys. Later, whole Religious Orders were established for the purpose of educating the young of both sexes, rich and poor alike.

The modern university itself developed in the Middle Ages and matured with the support of the Catholic Church. Nothing like it had ever existed in ancient Greece or Rome. The University of Ottawa was founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Do you think Health Care a basic right?

Well, in olden days, if you were sick you were left largely to the care of your family or kin. But if you were rich you could hire a private physician to look after your ill family member. For there was no public health care system for the general population.

But from its very beginnings the Church saw one of its ministries as to the sick. After all, Jesus healed the blind, the sick and the lame. By the 4th century, the newly Christianized Romans began running homes for the sick and needy.

By the 8th century specialized Christian hospices and hospitals existed: some served the sick, the needy, others travellers, lepers, the mentally ill, orphans, etc.

Eventually Religious Orders were established specifically for the care of the poor and the sick. Wherever missionaries went to evangelize they also brought whatever medical care they could provide as part of their ministry.

Even today, in Africa, the Catholic Church provides more than a quarter of all the medical care. Catholics make up only 1.3 percent of India's population and yet the Church is second only to the Indian government in the number of health care services it provides. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world.

In Ottawa the General Hospital (the city’s first hospital), the St Vincent Hospital, and the Montfort Hospital were all founded and originally staffed by members of female religious orders; the Sisters of Charity of Bytown and the Daughters of Wisdom respectively.

The very idea of universal health care, something we now take for granted, was a Catholic concept in its origins.

Do you believe in the Dignity of the Person?

Many ancient philosophers and religions were fatalistic about life – believing we had little control over our destiny, that it was in the hands of Fate.

They also held that people were fated to their station in life; that some people were made by nature inferior or to be treated as inferior. This attitude condoned slavery.

Societies around the world killed unwanted babies or those born with defects (Romans left them in the fields to be eaten by animals; Hawaiian Polynesians put them on the beach to be carried out by the tide).

The Bible taught that all people had a common ancestor and were created in the “image and likeness of God.” Christ and the early Church taught that all people were the object of God’s love and salvation.

St Paul in effect declared that all people were to be treated with equal dignity when he said that “there is neither male nor female, rich nor poor, slave or free, Jew nor Gentile, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28)

St Thomas Aquinas deduced that slavery was a sin. When modern chattel slavery began to reappear in the West in the 15th century the first and only leader to condemn it was the Pope. In 1435, Pope Eugenius IV called for the release of any inhabitants of the Azores who had been enslaved and the restoration of their property. As slavery began to spread Pope Paul III made three major pronouncements against it in 1537. But few were listening.

Today the Church is the leading defender of the rights and dignity of human life “from the first moment of conception to natural death” against legalized abortion and the euthanasia movements. But few again are listening.

What about the Rise of Modern Science?

Here is one that is going to surprise you. After all, have we not all heard of the notorious trial of Galileo before the Inquisition? Has there not always been a conflict between science and religion? Well, actually no.

The Galileo case is an anomaly that is too involved for me to address here. Historian of science William Ashworth (University of Missouri-Kansas City) remarks that “most people learn about Galileo, and his problem with the Church, and don’t learn about many other scientists, and so they assume that this is a typical case, and there have been lots of Galileo affairs. The truth is, there haven't.”

So what of the conflict myth? Well, it was largely the creation of two 19th century anti-Catholic authors, John William Draper in his book, the History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874), and Andrew Dickson White and his more influential two-volume A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896). Both books are now discredited but their thesis is still popular among certain atheists and believed by much of the public.

The truth is quite contrary. In 2009 Harvard University Press published a collection of scholarly essays under the title Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion. In one of these essays Lawrence Principe (Professor of the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at Johns Hopkins University), goes so far as to credit the Catholic Church – now get this – with being “probably the largest single and longest-term patron of science in history” (“Myth 11: That Catholics Did Not Contribute to the Scientific Revolution,” p. 102).

Professor John Heilbron, of the University of California-Berkeley, stated that in the area of astronomy (Galileo’s field): “The Roman Catholic Church gave more financial aid and social support to the study of astronomy for over six centuries – from the recovery of ancient learning during the late Middle Ages into the Enlightenment – than any other, and, probably, all other, institutions.”

Jordanus, An International Catalogue of Medieval Scientific Manuscripts has been made available online by the Institute for the History of Science at the University of Munich and by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The catalogue is named for Jordanus de Nemore, a 13th century European mathematician. The website states that “there are an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 mediaeval western ‘scientific’ manuscripts scattered throughout the world.”

At the inception of the modern Scientific Revolution the first scientific societies (to encourage the discussion and dissemination of scientific knowledge) were organized in Catholic Italy, with possibly the earliest being the Accademia dei Lincei, founded in papal Rome in 1603.

Did you know that by 1700 Jesuit priests held a majority of the chairs of mathematics in European universities? Or that some 35 craters on the moon are named after Jesuit scientists and mathematicians? In its early years the science of Seismology, the study of earthquakes, was so dominated by the Order that it was known as “the Jesuit science.”

Nicolaus Copernicus (16th century) was a Canon in the Cathedral of Frauenberg, and is considered the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology.

The mathematical writings of Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa were essential for Leibniz’s discovery of calculus. Cardinal Nicholas also imagined elliptical orbits, an infinite universe, and the possibility of life on other planets…a Catholic priest…in the 15th century.

Father Nicholas Steno (17th century) was an early geologist and is considered the father of stratigraphy. He was among the earliest to identify fossils as coming from living organisms and was the first to propose that the fossils and rock layers of the earth gave a chronicle of the earth's history.

Father Gregor Mendel (19th century) through his work cross-breeding pea plants discovered the fundamental laws of inheritance and is considered the father of genetics.

Father Julius Nieuwland (20th century) was a professor of botany and chemistry who successfully polymerized acetylene into divinylacetylene. Researchers at Du Pont used his basic research to achieve the development of neoprene, the first synthetic rubber.

Father Georges Lemaître (20th century) was a Belgian physicist and mathematician derived what is now known as “Hubble's law” and made the first estimation of what is now called “the Hubble constant” before Edwin Hubble! Lemaître was the first to propose that the recession of nearby galaxies can be explained by an expanding universe. And he formulated what is now called the Big Bang Theory.

Enough! I can go on but will stop here.

The Catholic Church has had a profound and I would argue largely positive influence on Western Civilization and the world; from promoting the dignity of all human beings, to promoting the care of the poor and needy, to encouraging education and health care, to advancing scientific knowledge, to personal transformation in Christ. Unfortunately for many today, this truth has been largely hidden. It is time that we begin to rediscover it ourselves, appreciate our heritage, and be proud of it.

By Benjamin D. Wiker, Crisis Magazine |

The self-destruction of the Democratic Party is being accomplished so quickly and thoroughly that even Democrats are noticing it.
https://www.crisismagazine.com/2020/saving-the-democrats-from-themselves
By Doug McManaman |



Serious question, Doug:

You seem to be a big fan of Donald Trump, and you are clearly a Catholic Christian and I'm sure you love Jesus. So could you please explain to me just what part of Donald Trump reminds you of Jesus Christ?

Tom Riddering

Serious answer:

Tom:

Perhaps the best way for me to answer that “off the cuff” is to say first of all that there's not a whole lot about Donald Trump that reminds me of Jesus, rather, there's a great deal about which his opponents remind me of Satan. Everyone loved Donald Trump before he ran for President, especially the media. How does one explain this sudden turn and hatred? How does one explain this massive double standard? I am very persuaded that it has much to do with his foreign policy, which was the same foreign policy that Obama ran on. It was a great foreign policy, and it is currently the foreign policy that Tulsi Gabbard has been running on, which is why Tulsi does not seem to have a chance. The difference is that Obama seems to have become a puppet of...what shall we call it....the Double Government (Michael Glennon), or the military industrial complex, which includes the 17 National Security Agencies, the private banks, Federal Reserve, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics, etc, who have significant shares in the major news networks in the U.S. No one thought for a moment that Donald Trump had a chance at winning the presidency, which is why no one took him seriously. When it became clear that he just might win, that's when the "Deep State" (former CIA director John Brennon's term) went into panic and we saw a full scale effort to discredit and smear this man. Why? Can't he be made a puppet like Obama? Obama did not remain faithful to his foreign policy, as is evident, for he was at war for every single day of his presidency, he killed more people in the middle east with his drones than Bush did, he abused Executive Privilege, he vindictively went after investigative journalists who exposed high level corruption in government, and he got a free pass from the media (my students from the Middle East knew Obama was a large scale killer, but no one else in Canada and the U.S seemed to know, because they kept all this off of mainstream news--and he wins the Nobel Peace Prize to boot), so why not just make Trump a puppet by purchasing him like any other Democrat or Republican (terms which mean nothing to this underlying layer of unelected professional politicians, bankers, corporate elite, etc. In other words, take your position on the left and right, just don't cross a certain line which will have economic implications for the banks and the major weapons manufacturers, etc.)? The reason is that Donald Trump is hard headed, independent minded, and rich--as he said, he cannot be bought. And he's an outsider. He's a business man. He's a deal maker. He started talking about peace with Russia, peace with China, look at what happened in North Korea (even though there is much more to do), etc. This man really might very well bring peace to the middle east. He has certain gifts in this regard. But as Wolf Blitzer asked: "How will this affect jobs? Won't this lead to a loss of jobs for those who work for Raytheon and Lockheed, for example?" Yes it will. There is a perpetual war party in the U.S, and they used to be Republicans, but now they've moved over to the side of the Democrats. Just look how Hilary labelled Tulsi Gabbard, as a Russian asset. Even Tucker Carlson has been called a Russian asset. Anyone who expresses any skepticism regarding our history of interfering in foreign elections and the resulting regime change wars, etc., is quickly labelled a Russian asset.

Trump has very thin skin, far too thin, but ironically, he's has astounding endurance. He's the only genuine threat to this political substructure that has settled into place, and talk of cleaning the swamp and similar rhetoric has been a serious threat to the livelihood of millions of people who depend on the perpetual war party and globalism, which has decimated the midwest.

So let's just say I am very suspicious about the anti-Trump rhetoric. They've tried to impeach him from the first day he took office--an obvious threat to the very idea of democracy. The Russian collusion fiasco turned out to be a lie, Joe Biden really did get a Ukrainian prosecutor fired for investigating his son, who really did collect massive amounts of money for doing nothing, Hillary should be in jail, she is as corrupt as Obama clearly articulated when he was running against her for the leadership, she is a warmonger to the highest degree (think of Libya and Honduras), and this corrupt political substructure who have been running things since Eisenhower’s warning, through to the 60s and beyond, toppling democratically elected governments that were not quite in the interests of certain U.S. corporations, etc., all this together makes a great case that Donald Trump is the one thing that the world, let alone the United States, needs desperately at this time. It would be nice if he was a bit more thick skinned and a bit more presidential, a bit more professional, a lot more humble, but you Tom Riddering are one of the most arrogant human beings I've met in the past 30 years and I still talk to you and respect you in many ways. There's a lot to like about Trump, despite CNN and Adam Schiff (who really is a pathological liar). The fact that Trump finally got rid of John Bolton should be enough to get Trump a few major points--Bolton is a psychopath through and through, but just look at how the media and the Democrats reacted when he fired him. They should have rejoiced. But they criticized Trump for it. Astounding. Anyone with just a modicum of critical thinking capacity should be able to see that there is something profoundly irrational and inconsistent going on under the surface, which only begins to make sense when you see it in the light of the national security state in the U.S.

Peace to you, Tommy.
By the Catholic World Report |

French bishop reflects on priestly celibacy book by Cardinal Sarah, Benedict XVI,
https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2020/02/05/french-bishop-reflects-on-book-about-priestly-celibacy-by-cardinal-sarah-and-benedict-xvi/


By Paul Malvern |


Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)

Let’s face it. There’s something about Donald Trump that makes people crazy – as seen by the large number of otherwise sane, well-balanced people who nowadays say and do the most outrageous things in public – things that would have been unimaginable prior to his taking office. And many of those who were already mentally unstable now find the needle on their ‘crazyometer’ veering so far into the red zone that any hope of their returning to anything remotely normal is simply out of the question. To make things even worse – much worse in fact - the effects of the Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) are no longer restricted to a few troubled individuals but can now be seen at the national and international levels as well. So we’re talking about a global phenomenon here.

Symptoms of TDS include the irresistible urge to say stupid things on camera, punch anyone wearing a red MAGA cap, and mail a hefty donation to one’s local chapter of Antifa – to name but a few. From all appearances, this contagion is now a pandemic with the media and Internet buzzing constantly with strongly held opinions of the man. On one side are his most fanatical supporters who appear to have a cult-like reverence for the man. While on the other side are those who loath him beyond measure, finding themselves tortured daily by the realization that Trump is now living rent-free in their cerebral cortex.

By way of personal disclosure, I like to think that my own perspective is a bit more nuanced – perhaps best illustrated by an underground joke that circulated in East Germany during the height of the Cold War. In this story, an American reporter was conducting ‘man in the street’ interviews with pedestrians in the heart of East Berlin. Putting a microphone in the face of one passer-by, he asked the man what he thought of East German Communist leader, Walther Ulbricht. The man turned white with fear and looked all around him to make sure no one was listening in on their conversation. Furtively, he told the reporter that it was too dangerous to speak candidly there and they must go somewhere more secluded. With this in mind, the pair went by streetcar to the train station where the man bought tickets for the two of them. After an exhausting train ride, they arrived at a station deep within a forest on the East German side of the border with Poland. Getting off the train, the reporter tried once again to get the man’s opinion. After looking around him, the man concluded that it was still not safe to express his opinion of the East German leader and so he insisted that they walk into the very heart of the forest. Hiking through the dense woods, the man finally stopped, secure in the belief that no one could overhear their conversation. At which point the American reporter, repeated his question - this time with considerable frustration. “So what do you think about East German leader, Walther Ulbricht?” Looking more than a little embarrassed by what he was about to say, the man whispered, “Frankly I don’t mind him.”

And so it is with my own view of Trump. For while I recognize Trump’s many flaws - some of which are quite significant - I must say that I don’t mind the man that much and even find him amusing at times. But I would rather not say that in public, knowing in advance the violent reaction I would almost certainly get in our increasingly “oh-so-politically-correct” world.

Trump’s Many Flaws

Of course, it is no secret that Trump has serious character flaws. One such flaw involves his rather tawdry treatment of women in the past. While his womanizing now seems to be at an end, many of his past escapades continue to haunt him – not a great surprise given that women constitute a significant share of the electorate.

Then there is the little matter of his incredibly thin skin which becomes all too obvious when slights and insults are directed his way. While no one likes personal attacks, the reality is that most of us eventually put such things behind us and move on with our lives. But not Trump! No, for him such attacks seem to touch his very core. And he hits back, hurling whatever insult comes to mind that day - a rather childish but nevertheless quite entertaining spectacle at times which probably explains why his Twitter account has some 68 million followers on any given day.

Nor can we ignore the fact that he can be incredibly vulgar and ill-mannered at times – a fault which many find unforgivable.

Then there is his impetuous nature. Need I say more?

And, yes, he does play fast and loose with the truth at times. But to be fair what politician does not bend the facts when it suits his or her purpose? And is it all that surprising that he succumbs to the use of hyperbole? Especially given that, prior to the Presidency, he swam with the sharks in the cut and slash world of high stakes real estate development, where the truth often takes a back seat to wishful thinking.

But, as egregious as such flaws are, Trump’s greatest sin in the mind of his opponents must surely be that he won a Presidential election that was supposed to make Hillary Clinton President. For in Hillary’s mind – and those of her supporters – it was her turn. And for such people losing to a ‘vulgarian’ such as Trump - voted into office by a bunch of Bible-punching, gun-clinging ‘deplorables’ - is simply too much to bear.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Trump’s Virtues (and, yes, he does have some)

For many people, the idea of looking for something nice to say about Trump seems similar to putting lipstick on a pig. For no matter how much makeup you put on it, the pig is still ugly.

Well, maybe so. But as much as his opponents might rankle at the idea, the man does have some virtues – one of the most important ones being that he has the common touch, which is strange given his wealth. Proof positive of this are the huge crowds that show up for his rallies and appear to hang on to his every word. Contrast this with the paucity of support for the candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination for President – one obvious exception being Bernie Sanders who does have a faithful if somewhat smaller following.

Also, like it or not, Trump is able to talk to ordinary people – and he does appear to understand what is important to them. For while the Democratic Party at times seems overly preoccupied with LGBT issues, gutting ICE (the U.S. federal government agency responsible for Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and providing free health care for illegal immigrants, Trump instead focuses squarely on what Average Americans really care about – pride of country, good jobs, being able to support one’s family, securing the border with Mexico, gun rights and being free to worship God as you see fit.

Some of this flows from his recognition of the importance of America’s working class – once the mainstay of the Democratic Party – a group whose interests have in recent years been supplanted on the Left by a growing stress on sexual and racial politics. While part of this may be just good politics – especially given the importance of blue collar voters in his 2016 election victory – there is a part of this that critics fail to see. Namely, that Trump does connect with many working class voters who appreciate his efforts aimed at fostering strong job growth by encouraging multinational companies to repatriate jobs, cutting taxes and regulations, lobbying for lower interest rates, and increasing U.S. exports and reducing imports by strong-arming America’s trading partners via his many trade wars. Judging by the results, Trump’s strategy is working – as seen by the strong job growth which is proving particularly helpful for minority workers who are seeing the lowest level of unemployment in decades.

But as Scripture points out, “Man does not live by bread alone” – even in Trump World. So it is good to note that Trump has also had a number of successes in areas not related to the economy – such as the criminal justice reform measures contained in the First Step Act, pressuring NATO partners to shoulder more of the financial burden for their collective defense, combatting ISIS, and fostering greater respect for the sanctity of life and freedom of religion.

Flip a Coin

And then there are those personal characteristics that could go either way – that is, that have the potential to be either great flaws or great virtues depending on how things turn out.

One case in point must surely be the ease with which Trump takes huge risks that would turn anyone else’s stomach just thinking about them. A good example of this is his decision to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, the former head of the Quds Force, the Iranian military unit responsible for unconventional warfare and military intelligence which has supported a number of non-state actors such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan – to name just a few. With such a mandate, it is not surprising that a large number of people hated the man immensely – including many in the U.S. military who blamed him for the IEDs that caused significant casualties among American military personnel serving in Iraq.

While some American President’s prior to Trump – and other nations – had considered taking the man out, no one dared undertake it, fearing the reaction that would surely follow his assassination. But not Trump. On his order, four missiles dispatched Soleimani, Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and a number of other officials travelling in their convoy. At the time of writing, Iranian retaliation appears to have been limited – although the possibility of future retaliatory attacks cannot be ruled out. But even so, the elimination of such a key figure in the Iranian power structure represents a major blow to the regime and may well be a game-changer.

Thinking it all Through

Hannah Arendt, in her seminal work, Eichmann in Jerusalem, states that some portion of the evil in the world is the result of people not being able to think things through or consider the consequences of their actions.

One such area where this appears to be the case can be seen in actions of Trump’s many enemies in government, politics and the media, who seem oblivious to the fact that their constant, inflammatory attacks on the man are quite literally tearing their nation apart. One recent example being the shabby process that led to Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.

While Trump’s overheated rhetoric and puerile insults are clearly a problem, the verbal fireworks of the so-called “Resistance” are at times even worse. (Were that even possible!) One such example is the notion that Trump is a Russian asset who is doing Moscow’s bidding.

And who can forget the charge that Trump is somehow akin to a modern day Adolph Hitler? Such is clearly a concern for singer, Linda Ronstadt, who in an interview with CNN claimed to see similarities between Trump and Hitler.1 In a similarly overwrought vein is the Washington Post article whose headline declares, “It’s not wrong to compare Trump’s America to the Holocaust. Here’s why.”2

Similar in tone and intent is the oft-expressed claim that Trump is promoting racism and racial violence in America – including anti-Semitism. One recent example of this line of thinking appeared in a Washington Post article in which various public figures expressed the view that Trump bears some responsibility for the recent brutal murder of Hanukkah party celebrants in a New York City suburb. This point of view was clearly present in the remarks of New York City Mayor de Blazio who declared that: “An atmosphere of hate has been developing in this country over the last few years. A lot of it is emanating from Washington and it’s having an effect on all of us.”3 Apparently, he was not alone in his belief. For in the same article, the author of the piece notes that, “He and other Democrats have blamed President Trump’s rhetoric for emboldening white supremacists and condoning hateful conduct.”4

To my mind, such charges of racism, anti-Semitism and support for White Supremacy are hard to take seriously - except by the most ideologically-minded. To begin with, racism and racially-inspired violence are hardly a new phenomenon in the United States – as shown by the 620,000 soldiers who died in the American Civil War. So it’s not as if they never existed before Trump’s election. Nor is it true that the Democrats are always on the side of the angels and the Republicans – such as Trump – are reactionaries when it comes to race relations. For it’s useful to recall that the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, was in fact a Republican and the KKK and a number of politicians who supported racial segregation had strong ties to the Democratic Party. So there’s more than enough blame to go around when it comes to assessing guilt for the current racial divide in the U.S. And if Trump is an anti-Semite, as some critics claim, he definitely has a funny way of showing it – given his decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, his recent measures aimed at stopping anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the fact that his daughter, Ivanka, is Jewish, as are her children.

And the notion that Trump is another Hitler – as cited above – is equally ludicrous. But it is hardly unexpected since it is an unfortunate fact of political life that most conservative leaders in the industrialized West eventually get accused of being another Hitler, a racist or having anti-Semitic sympathies at some point in their career. For example, back in 2006, I worked in the Prime Minister’s Office, where I was the Head of Prime Ministerial Communications and the lead speech writer for the Prime Minister, who was at the time Stephen Harper. During this period, Harper also faced accusations of racism and God-only-knows-what-else. But, as with Trump, if Harper was a racist, he certainly had a strange way of showing it. For throughout his entire time in power, he made it a priority to build strong connections with Canada’s many ethnic communities. And he was by any measure the most pro-Israel Prime Minister in Canadian history.

But that never stops people making wild claims, does it? Especially if doing so might garner some political advantage. The joke here is that, once they leave office, most conservative Presidents and Prime Ministers invariably become ‘good chaps’ once again. That is most definitely the case with the previously reviled Stephen Harper who was recently named to the Order of Canada (during the second term of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau no less). And I presume that something similar will happen in the case of Donald Trump as well. For once the man is safely out of office, many of those who currently claim to despise him will once again become his best friends – just as they were years back when he was a Democrat. This is the way of things in human affairs. And only the very naïve fail to recognize this fact of political life.

Digging a Bit Deeper

But while the behaviour of Trump leaves much to be desired, that of his political opponents, the mainstream media and America’s cultural institutions is no better -which suggests to me that the roots of the current crisis in American governance lie much deeper than most suppose. For this current malaise isn’t about the personality flaws of Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, or the many other dysfunctional individuals who currently populate America’s media and political universe. Rather it’s about a nation that, having gutted the spiritual foundations upon which it was established, is now floundering, very much as happens when a ship has lost its ability to steer. For, in such a situation, the ship continues to move forward, but it is not clear where it is headed. Will it stay on course or will it veer onto the rocks? No one knows for sure. And in the meantime, we remain helpless observers of the train wreck which currently is American government and politics.

And as much as we might like to deny it, the leaders of any nation are to a great extent a reflection of the moral and ethical state of their people. So it is hardly surprising that an America, which has abandoned its Judeo-Christian roots, is now in serious trouble. And the current ugly battle between Donald J. Trump, the Deep State and the so-called “Resistance” is in all likelihood simply a reflection of a more profound sickness that has existed in American society, largely undetected, for decades.

Summing Up

President Donald J. Trump is a very complex man – with both good and bad angels fighting for his soul and guiding his actions. This means that he cannot be easily slotted into the one-dimensional picture of him which his political opponents and their allies in the media and cultural institutions seem determined to portray. For while it is true that that he is highly emotional, unpredictable, and has a gift for getting under people’s skin, he does have his virtues – such as his love of country, his success in improving the economic lot of many of his fellow citizens, and his commitment to fostering greater respect for the sanctity of life and religious freedom.

Then too, short of some dramatic and unforeseen incident, he almost certainly will continue to be President of the most powerful nation in the world until November - and quite possibly for another four years after that. Many people are horrified by such a possibility, while others relish it. Even so this is our reality for now and we have to deal with things as they are, not with how we would like them to be. That being the case, I offer the following counsel for those readers wishing to keep their sanity during the age of Trump.

For those readers who have not as yet lost their sense of reality, please continue to do and say rational things in spite of the efforts of opinion leaders to get you to do otherwise.

For those who are currently blind to any of Trump’s flaws and who embrace absolutely everything the man says and does without reservation, I strongly suggest that you grab a Bible and look to the real Messiah – the one who does not have character flaws and who will never disappoint you.

And for those readers who think Trump is the Antichrist or Hitler, I strongly recommend that you get a grip on yourself, pour yourself a stiff drink, sit back and relax. Nothing lasts forever – nor do Presidents.

For as the great Christian mystic, Julian of Norwich notes, speaking to us from the 14th century, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.” And so they shall – as long as we don’t throw our brains away.


1. Brook Seipel. “Linda Ronstadt: Trump is 'like Hitler, and the Mexicans are the new Jews'” The Hill. 12/31/2019. Retrieved from: https://thehill.com/homenews/media/476417-linda-ronstadt-trump-is-like-hitler-and-the-mexicans-are-the-new-jews

2. Waitman Wade Beorn. “It’s not wrong to compare Trump’s America to the Holocaust. Here’s why.” The Washington Post. July 16, 2018. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/07/16/its-not-wrong-to-compare-trumps-america-to-the-holocaust-heres-why/

3. Shayna Jacobs. “Acts of anti-Semitism are on the rise in New York and elsewhere, leaving Jewish community rattled.” The Washington Post. December 29, 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/acts-of-anti-semitism-are-on-the-rise-in-new-york-and-elsewhere-leaving-jewish-community-rattled/2019/12/29/f8c20578-2a7e-11ea-bcb3-ac6482c4a92f_story.html

4. Ibid.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
By Paul Malvern |





As with most revolutions, the scientific revolution has gone through all of the usual stages seen in movements for radical change. Bursting on the intellectual scene in 1543 with the publication of Nicolaus Copernicus's treatise, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, it grew in influence in the 18th century, contributing in no small way to the intellectual ferment of the Enlightenment. By the 20th century it had come to be viewed as the “go-to” explanation for pretty much everything. Sadly, as with all revolutions, it has slowly lost its original novelty and iconoclasm, causing some to worry that it may be in the early stages of becoming a secular religion – one with its very own creation story, pantheon of heroes and saints, core beliefs which must be embraced without question, and powerful sanctions to be used in punishing those heretics who depart from the One True Faith.

One key element in this new ‘religion in the making’ is Darwin’s theory of evolution which states that life as we know it on Planet Earth is largely the result of random mutation and the genetic consequences of ‘the survival of the fittest’.

Up until recently, Darwin’s theory has been regarded as ‘settled science’ (an obvious oxymoron given that refutability is a key element in the scientific method). And those who have refused to embrace this new orthodoxy have been scorned, ridiculed and marginalized – a task made easier by the fact that many of those objecting to Darwin’s theory were religiously inspired individuals who possessed little or no scientific training.

In recent years much has changed - with some critiques of Darwinian evolution now emanating from academics and researchers with impressive scientific qualifications. One such individual is Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry at Lehigh University, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the author of a number of critically acclaimed books that question Darwinian orthodoxy and offer intelligent design as a possible explanation for phenomena evolutionary theory is hard pressed to explain.

As with so many new ideas in science, the starting point for Professor Behe was a seemingly arcane question – namely, how to explain the incredible complexity of the flagella in bacteria (the whip-like structures that propel them). After much study he concluded that evolutionary theory could not by itself explain this complexity – which drove him to consider other alternative explanations such as the possibility that intelligent design might have played a role in this phenomenon. Thus began an intellectual journey for Professor Behe which has propelled this gentle revolutionary into the media limelight and subjected him to sustained and highly personal attacks on him and his work by many in the academic and scientific establishment.

For more information on this unassuming scientific revolutionary and his ground-breaking ideas, have a look at the video on this page. And for more insights on intelligent design and the work of Behe and other intellectuals in this area, check out the links below which will help you to get started in exploring this fascinating area of study.

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By Kelly Lang |

Since the January 22, 1973 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Rowe v. Wade case, a war has been waged on unborn babies in the United States. For since that controversial decision, over 61 million abortions have been performed - with more than 1700 occurring today alone as you read this.1

It is estimated that, by age 45, 24% of women in the U.S. will have had an abortion.2 To make matters worse the incidence of abortion is particularly high among minorities and the poor. For example, in 2014, the number of abortions per 1000 women, aged 15-44, was 27.1 for black Americans and 18.1 for Hispanics – both groups showing a much higher incidence than that for white, non-Hispanic women, which stood at 10 per 1000. In addition to the targeting of minorities, abortion has also increasingly become the lot of poor women – as seen by the fact that in the same year (2014) 49% of women who sought abortions were poor.3

Of course, numbers alone do not tell the story. For behind each abortion is a woman who in many cases was betrayed, manipulated, or deceived into believing that abortion was her only option.

Certainly, I have my own story to tell. When I was 17, I met the man who was the love of my life and whom I hoped I would marry, have babies and spend the rest of my life with. Just a few weeks after I graduated from high school, I discovered I was pregnant. When my mother found out, she hit the roof and forced me to go to an abortion clinic, threatening me with dire consequences if I did not comply. When I got there, I ran out of the clinic to escape, but was literally dragged back in and an abortion was performed on me. And my life changed forever after that.

Now I, like millions of other women in my country, regret having had an abortion – which is why I stood on the steps of the United States Supreme Court earlier this year to tell a large group of strangers why I regret my abortion and to express my hope that no one else will have to tell their own abortion story years from now.

Below is my own story which I told on that cold winter day on January 18, 2019.

On my dresser sits a beautiful multi-tone purple glass picture frame. It sits among framed pictures of my children and grandchild. It sits empty.

For no pictures were ever captured of her short life.

Rachel Charlotte would be 39 years old next month, had she lived.

She has three living brothers and one living sister. They are a doctor, a biologist, a city planner and a computer engineer.

Which career path would Rachel Charlotte have pursued, had her life not been taken while still in the womb?

I never heard her cry. I never felt her soft skin. I never sang her a lullaby. I never held my baby.

Would she have had the ivory white tone of me, her mother, or the warm olive skin of her father?

Were her eyes green or brown? Was her hair, curly or straight?

Would she be married by now?

How many babies would she have by now, had she not been aborted?

Would she be clever, pitch a softball, shoot a ‘three- pointer’, run for miles, or walk a runway?

Would she be a Kansas City Chief’s fan and wear the Royal’s blue?

I know she would have been proud of her Volga German heritage and she would have mastered the art of making ‘Bierrocks’.

She would of course have been raised Catholic and I would like to think that she would have embraced her faith with great enthusiasm.

Sadly, I never heard her cry. I never felt her soft skin. I never sang her a lullaby. I never held my baby.

After all these years, I still tear up when I think of all that was not.

She was not captured in a photograph, yet there is at least one seized memory that I cherish.

I remember that she did not like the smell at the meat counter. She turned in my tummy each time we walked by it. It goes without saying that, after all these years, I am reminded of her as I approach the meat section in the grocery store.

She lived only a short few weeks.

She was mine for only a moment.

Rachel Charlotte Koehn, I miss you

And that is why I am silent no more.



1. “Number of Abortions – Abortion Counter”. Retrieved from: http://www.numberofabortions.com

2. Guttmacher Institute. “United States – Abortion”. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/united-states/abortion

3. Guttmacher Institute. “Abortion Is a Common Experience for U.S. Women, Despite Dramatic Declines in Rates”. Retrieved from: https://www.guttmacher.org/news-release/2017/abortion-common-experience-us-women-despite-dramatic-declines-rates