A New Catholic Manifesto?

13 04 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

A recent survey found that there are as many Americans who claim no religion, as there are evangelicals and Catholics:

For the first time “No Religion” has topped a survey of Americans’ religious identity. . . . The non-religious edged out Catholics and evangelicals. . . .[2]

Also, it has been noted that “a growing number of Americans reject organized religion,” and that “‘No Religion’ will be the largest group outright in four to six years.”[3]  These conclusions do not surprise many if not most “believers”—which is the path less traveled.

Some of us “experienced” God at one time or another in our lives[4]; and without that, it is likely that we too would not only reject organized religion, but any belief in a “Higher Power” altogether.  We might look at the cruelties, injustices and sadness in Life, and wonder how a loving God could allow this.  It seems to fly in the face of logic and rational belief systems.[5]

Indeed, to “push” our belief systems on others, or even to mention the life-changing moment we experienced, seems arrogant and pious.  Each and every human being, or animal, is a child of God . . . or so many of us believe.  We are not special because of what happened to us, but we were privileged—and yes, blessed—to have it happen.  With that comes a sense of responsibility, to help others.

Often, evangelicals proselytize, quite vigorously, which turns off others.  If the “targets” were willing to be open-minded, having religion “shoved down their throats” can be threatening and repulsive.  However well-intentioned such evangelicals may be, they can have the opposite effect, of turning away the “candidate” from any religion, which is human nature.  Each of us is on a unique path to God, or so I believe, which is not shared by anyone else.

We fall, and get up again and move on.  We are not heroes or saints or anything else except another human being.  We are no more or less than our fellow human beings.  Each day we seem to struggle with our beliefs and faith.  As I have written:

I had essentially a “near-death” experience some years ago, similar to what others have described, during which I experienced God . . . as an intense bright light at the end of a tunnel, and as Infinite Intelligence of which our own intelligence is merely a part. God was neither masculine nor feminine. My mother had died months before it happened, and I felt her presence and I knew she was with God.

From that moment forward, I have never doubted that God exists, or that God created everything—heaven and earth and everything in between. However, I continually seek to understand how God operates in my life, on a day-to-day basis. The closest I have come is my belief that God acts through us as faith, inspiration, prayer, miracles, and perhaps most of all, love. I believe that in expressing love, each of us is God in expression.[6]

Christianity is the largest religion in the world today[7]; and the Catholic Church, or the “Mother Church,” is the largest Christian denomination.[8]  In the case of some, our ancestors have been Catholics for centuries—and at least two hundred years.  We may not be “official Catholics” today, but we are drawn to the Church for a variety of reasons.  One of the most important is the Church’s stand on abortions, and its unwavering pro-life and anti-Infanticide policies.[9]

Jesus’ teachings were simple; and they are set forth in the New Testament, for anyone to read.  Was He the Messiah and Son of God?  I believe so.  In many ways, His messages were clear: to help the poorest of poor (e.g., homeless) and the downtrodden; and not to worship material things or “creature comforts.”  We come into this world with nothing, and we leave with nothing, just like the Pharaohs or monarchs of ancient Egypt.[10]

How and where has the Catholic Church gone astray, and diverged from the teachings of Jesus?[11]  How can it be brought back “on track,” so it is true to Jesus’ teachings?  For some non-believers, there is probably nothing that the Church could do that would “redeem its sins.”  Some are determined to destroy the Church, and organized religions altogether; and seemingly, nothing will change their minds or alter their paths.

Pedophilia has ripped the Church apart around the world, and in places like Ireland where the Church used to be so strong.  What can be done about this, at least with respect to those who are “open-minded” and not bent on destruction?  First, the Church needs to “clean house,” and rid its ranks of pedophiles who prey on others, and those who engage in human trafficking and slavery.  Second, there must not be more cover-ups.  Third, I believe there should be no more vows of celibacy or chastity, which are unnatural.  Fourth, the priesthood should be open and welcoming to women.

Lastly, why should I care?  Why should I or anyone else waste time writing an article like this or trying to make changes, which may be unlikely to move the Church or its adherents one single inch?  Indeed, few people may read this article, much less be moved by it.  And some may be repulsed and/or angry about what I have written.  Yet, I want to see Jesus’ wonderful teachings flourish, and for the Catholic Church to continue to promulgate such teachings far and wide—and yes, to serve God in the process.

The Church has helped millions of human beings worldwide, and it continues to do so.  This is its future.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/13/us/no-religion-largest-group-first-time-usa-trnd/index.html (“There are now as many Americans who claim no religion as there are evangelicals and Catholics, a survey finds”)

[3]  Id.

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/ (“What And Where Is God?”)

[5]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-426 (“For A Lovely Woman Named Cynthia Whose Faith In God Will Help Her”)

[6]  See infra n.4.

[7]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_religious_groups#Largest_religious_groups (“Largest religious groups”)

[8]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church (“Catholic Church”)

[9]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infanticide (“Infanticide”)

As I have written:

An abortion is a criminal act: infanticide. Each of the mothers and the doctors and others who have participated—or participate in the future—in the taking of human lives should be arrested, tried, convicted and . . .

Abortion is the taking of a life!

. . .

IF any exceptions are to be made, they should only occur in the case of rape, incest or where the life of the mother is at risk.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“)

[10]  See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh (“Pharaoh”)

[11]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/the-catholic-church-at-a-crossroads/ (“The Catholic Church At A Crossroads”)

 


Actions

Information

18 responses

13 04 2019
H. Craig Bradley

SECULAR AMERICA ?

Well, I cannot speak for all of America ( no one can ) but I can speak for the County of Los Angeles ( residence ) from 1954- Present.

Matt Lawson, Baptist Minister in Burbank and owner of Pool Sidekick (Business) recently told me the stats about how “Church-ed” SoCAL is or is not.

1950: 400 L.A. residents per church ( any denomination )
2018: 23,000 L.A. residents per church

Clearly, California is VERY secular nowadays. Whatever that means, it does not mean Bible Based values. Even Catholics anymore are about one step away from unbelievers (heathen). For example, an Italian (Catholic) retiree here in Glendale reads all kinds of books, except the Bible. I asked him why, and his answer was: ” I don’t understand the Bible or what it says”. ( Translation: I don’t believe most of it). Lifelong “Catholic” too.

The Catholic Church went off the deep end in the sixties with pedophile priests and Liberation Theology. In response, many of the Parishioners walked away. Churches are closing down or being sold off all over the country. Obviously, the trend of secularity is national, as well. Sad.

We have no future, as things stand. We are already seeing the beginning signs of prosecution of the church by the state and greater society, as well. The Media actually fears the Christian religion and the church, and is openly hostile towards it in their many articles. You can expect active prosecution for your beliefs in any instance where they conflict with either the state (government) or contemporary societal norms. No future for America. Dead to rights ?

14 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments, Craig, as always.

In some areas of California, the Catholic Church is thriving; and its services are packed with multi-generational followers, and multilingual services on Saturdays and Sundays.

Neither the Church nor Christianity is dead in the United States. But it is my belief that significant reforms are needed if the adherents of “No Religion” are not to grow as predicted by some.

14 04 2019
Susan

I read your article yesterday and have been pondering it ever since. First, I’d like to thank you for putting your near death experience out there. It shows your honesty and vulnerability with no fear of the consequences. This was your experience with God. I grew up in a home with no organized religion but joined a church in my 20’s. Through it I was taught God was an old man in the sky (and always a white man I might add) and he was a little like Zeus, throwing down lightening bolts if he didn’t like you or giving you nice courtesies if he did. (Did you ever notice how Deus sounds a little like Zeus? Coincidence?) Anyway, life comes along, things happen and for those of us fortunate enough to live long enough we leave this first half of life thinking and search for something more; something deeper. Big questions come. Why are we here. Why is the universe here? Why is there anything at all? Who decides the difference between good and bad, right/wrong, etc. What is love? For many, church is the answer. But if the church makes redemption something to be achieved someday and a worthiness contest…well, it just leaves us feeling empty and inadequate. The reason I believe people are leaving organized religion is because it’s not provided them with the transformative experience they hoped and longed for, that you received with your near death experience. People are looking for Truth to give value to life and purpose to existence. I don’t believe for one second Satan is a bad actor out there with a forked tail and horns. It’s right here inside me. Some call it the ego, the false self or natural man. It’s informing me of my inadequacies, weakness and what I lack. It fills me with fear. But also inside is the Christ Spirit. And this is enough. There’s no longing there for more. It’s the reason I even know to take my next breath; it is the animator of life. And it is Love, pure Love. The Love of God is given to us one and all. A free gift, undeserved. And because it’s given to me I know it’s given to everyone else. It’s inclusive. In fact, the entire earth is literally awash in this divine Love. The Catholic Church had this message before it became aligned with Rome. People today trusted it to lead them to Truth. The loss of trust may be too much for it to endure. It’s future will depend on how the leadership moves going forward.

14 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Susan, thank you as always for your wise and articulate comments.

I do not believe there is a Satan; and I believe religion is the creation of Man (or women), not God. Yes, everyone is searching, sometimes desperately, for something.

I had a long-time Love who had the “Irish virus,” or alcohol issues. I attended Al-Anon, in an attempt to put her actions into perspective. Al-Anon talks about a belief in a “Higher Power”—as it has helped so many.

14 04 2019
H. Craig Bradley

Tim,

If the Church is merely the “creation of man” and not an agency of God, then please explain the role of the 12 Disciples. They founded “the Church” and according to my Bible, we will soon be returning to the same (genuine) church, as we must before the End arrives. In the meantime, there will be many difficulties but really, “nothing new under the sun”, as King Solomon famously once said.

As it was in the Time of Christ ( 30 A.D. ) so it will be in the End Times, as well. Christians and The Church can expect increasing harassment from government, society, and even their neighbors. This has been foretold by the ancient prophets. It has been said that people “rise to the occasion” but this is a popular but deceptive myth. The truth is we rise to our level of training (knowledge) or we fall because of a lack of it. Its not magic either. Be a realist and not a secularist.

14 04 2019
H. Craig Bradley

THE SPIRIT OF BAAL

America has carelessly and foolishly let down its spiritual guard (shield) and set aside its helmet and breastplate. The further America drifts from its unum, the U.S. Constitution and “organized religion”, the more vulnerable we become from within and without. The sheep without the Good Shepard risk being devoured by wolves. It can happen lightning fast too.

David, the so-called Shepard “Boy”, used to protect his flock with his trusty sling-shot. I imagine he “beaned” a number of canids in his time too. By the time Goliath the Philistine came along, he had refined his technique thousands of times. David was Ready. He was deadly accurate with a slingshot, as arrogant Goliath found out the hard way. The Wolves are now circling.

Two years ago, some secular progressives or New Agers erected a scaled replica in New York City and other cities of the Entrance Arch of the Temple of Baal in Palmaria, Syria. This is the same ancient temple where many children were sacrificed to the God Baal several thousand years ago. Today, the same Spirit of Baal is being rekindled in America.

Its an ancient spirit or influence that has existed since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The account of the Fall is summarized in the Biblical Book of Genesis and is a historical fact even if most contemporary Catholics dismiss it as mere legend. Liberalism in the Church has gradually weakened the whole body of believers. It’s where we now are. We are not ready for war. Far from it.

You should be able to sense Baal, but be warned, its very subtle and deceptive. No Hollywood antics such as the 1970’s classic film “The Exorcist”. You cannot perceive it directly but you can distinguish its influences upon the way people think and act. For example, now in the State of New York, Third Trimester abortions are legal and encouraged (and even funded by the state). This is outright murder of children, pure and simple.

There can be only one outcome of all this: eventual destruction of our system of government or nation. We got a pretty good Harbinger ( Book by this title by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn ) or foretaste on 9/11 of what to expect if we continue down our slippery-slope paths as a nation. Any Church that does not warn their congregation about what is going-on is doing a grave disservice to their community.

Jesus described the complacent church in Revelation 3:16
“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”.

President Trump is providing a window of time or reprieve to take action and correct ourselves at home and in our communities. A Wall alone will not suffice. Once President Trump is out-of-office, we can expect our escalating national decline at home and overseas to accelerate. No military force can protect us indefinitely from our own folly. We are running out of time. By the way, there is no possible political solution to a spiritual failing either.

14 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thanks you, Craig, for your comments.

14 04 2019
H. Craig Bradley

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE?

You may not believe in the reality of Sa’-tan, but the Bible is very clear He exists. For every light, their is a corresponding darkness (Ying/Yang). Personally, I hate darkness be it physical or rhetorical. It makes me inherently uncomfortable. I know light and darkness are real. It’s basic common sense.

You can avoid many calamities in life by developing a sense of what/who you are dealing with in any given situation. Having good “instincts” can give you the upper hand just when you need it most. It’s all tied-together. Exactly how is a mystery.

The late author M. Scott Peck, M.D. also knew this to be true and he actually observed an instance of possession and described it briefly in one of his many books ( “The Road Less Traveled” ). He simply acknowledged what he observed and reported on it clinically. Demons exist (rarely) but most of the time we are haunted by our own illusions.

We still have the power as a nation to create a better life or a living hell. So far, we seem to love money and ourselves more than God. This has a very negative outcome. We don’t need a bogyman to get ourselves into a deep dark hole. Just keep digg’in. America needs “Help”.

15 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

The 9/11 Of France [UPDATED]

Notre Dame burns

Michel Gurfinkiel has written for the New York Sun:

In emotional terms, the fire that destroyed Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris can be described as the 9/11 of France. No matter what the cause may turn out to be. Like New York, which even in periods of war was supposed to be immune from foreign attacks, Paris was supposed to be spared irretrievable catastrophes, either civilian or military.

That ended for New York in 2001. The last time the capital of France suffered wide range destruction was the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and 1871 and its revolutionary sequel, the Commune of Paris, which scorched the Royal Palace of Tuileries and of City Hall.

In 1918, the last year of World War I, German artillery did find its mark in Paris, most notably in the Marais district. Unlike London, Berlin, Warsaw, or Florence, Paris “did not burn” during World War II. The result was that most Parisians indulged throughout the second half of the 20th century and the first two decades of the 21st in the fallacy that their city was too beautiful, too “historical,” too much a part of Unesco’s World Heritage, to be struck.

Time and again, Parisians were reminded that things could go the other way, after all. There were riots, terrorist attacks, bombings. But Paris itself seemed to be immortal. People started to wake up for real after the Islamist killing spree of November 2015, at the Bataclan theatre and other places. More recently, there was a succession of frightening scenes in the wake of the recent Yellow Vests’ protest: the Arch of Triumph defaced, the Champs-Elysées’ shops and restaurants torched. And now, Notre-Dame was aflame.

From my window, I could see a pillar of black and reddish smoke rising above the roofs, a helicopter circling above the fire. The iron spire, a 19th century addition to the Gothic church, collapsed all of sudden — evincing gasps of horror not only in Paris but around the world. Much like the moment when Twin Towers of the World Trade Center suddenly came down. Today the whole of France, the whole world trembled in horror as the scale of what was happening sunk in.

Even if the fire was accidental (it may have started at a place where renovation work was in progress), it came as the coda to an ominous winter. And one could not entirely discard, either, the possibility of a terrorist arson: many anti-Christian incidents have been reported recently, including the vandalization of churches, cemeteries, or shrines; and there were repeated threats from jihadist groups to do “something big” in Paris again, preferably against an emblematic building.

No wonder President Macron postponed the television speech to the nation he was supposed to have delivered this very evening, and, along with his wife, Brigitte, and Prime Minister Philippe, Mr. Macron came instead as near to the cathedral as he could get.

One doesn’t have to be Catholic, or Christian, or even religious to be devastated by the destruction of Notre-Dame. The nine hundred years old cathedral is the heart of France: it stands on City Island, between the Seine’s two channels, a place it shares with Palace of Justice (the first Royal Palace in the Middle Ages); and all mileage in the country symbolically starts at “kilomètre zéro,” just in front of the cathedral.

While the Kings were crowned in Reims by the local archbishop, Napoleon crowned himself at Notre-Dame, in front of Pope Pius VI. Notre-Dame is the first place in Paris de Gaulle visited in 1944 when the capital was liberated from the Germans; it is from Notre-Dame that De Gaulle walked across the city to the Arch of Triumph. It is hard to imagine France without Notre Dame. Let the rebuilding begin.

See https://www.nysun.com/foreign/notre-dame-in-flames/90651/ (“Notre Dame in Flames“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6925015/Fire-breaks-historic-Notre-Dame-cathedral-Paris.html (“Notre Dame fire: Smoke billows out of historic cathedral in Paris“) and https://apnews.com/73404d09773740f699d4b92933abec50 (“Massive fire engulfs beloved Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris“) and https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8871835/notre-dame-fire-jesus-christs-crown-of-thorns-saved-treasures-at-risk/ (“Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns miraculously saved but other relics at risk as 900 years of history goes up in flames“) and https://nypost.com/2019/04/15/photos-show-center-of-notre-dame-cathedral-miraculously-intact/ (“Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6925435/Why-850-year-old-Notre-Dame-Cathedral-incredibly-flammable.html (“Why the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral is ‘incredibly flammable'”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6925365/Our-Lady-Paris-850-year-old-cathedral-survived-sacked.html (“Our Lady of Paris: The 850-year-old cathedral that survived being sacked“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926807/Devastating-aftermath-Notre-Dame-inferno-leaves-world-mourning.html (“Notre Dame cathedral fire aftermath leaves world in mourning“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926961/Fears-Notre-Dames-treasures-fire-Paris-cathedral.html (“Fears for Notre Dame’s treasures after fire at Paris cathedral“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926937/The-Hunchback-weeps-Notre-Dame.html (“The Hunchback weeps for Notre Dame“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926441/People-video-honoring-Notre-Dame-Cathedral-singing-Ave-Maria-kneeling-streets-Paris.html (“People on video honoring Notre Dame Cathedral singing ‘Ave Maria’ kneeling on the streets of Paris“) and https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8872572/notre-dame-cathedral-fire-criminal-probe-news/ (“France demands ‘idiot’ restorers face justice as cops launch criminal probe into cathedral blaze“) and https://www.thedailybeast.com/paris-notre-dame-fire-extinguished-revealing-massive-damage-to-the-800-year-old-landmark-situation-still-precarious (“Alarm Was Raised 23 Minutes Before the Cathedral Blaze Was Detected“) and https://www.apnews.com/e7c110edc8a34707ac0f0fa451c1388c (“Notre Dame’s age, design fueled fire and foiled firefighters“) and https://sg.news.yahoo.com/years-decades-uncertainty-over-time-needed-rebuild-notre-111811083.html (“Years? Decades? Uncertainty over time needed to rebuild Notre-Dame“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6927345/Fire-chaplain-helped-Bataclan-victims-entered-burning-Notre-Dame-save-Crown-Thorns-relic.html (“Fire chaplain who helped Bataclan victims entered burning Notre Dame to save Crown of Thorns relic“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926807/Devastating-aftermath-Notre-Dame-inferno-leaves-world-mourning.html (“Haunting new photos reveal how Notre Dame’s flame-ravaged interior has survived“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6929643/Bloodied-unbowed-Lady-Paris-saved-divine-intervention-writes-ROBERT-HARDMAN.html (“Bloodied but unbowed, Our Lady of Paris saved by divine intervention“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926807/Devastating-aftermath-Notre-Dame-inferno-leaves-world-mourning.html (“Firefighters ‘could not find fire’ at Notre Dame 23 minutes before blaze“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6930225/Mother-spots-Jesus-flames-Notre-Dame.html (“Mother ‘spots Jesus’ in the flames of Notre Dame“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6931887/Notre-Dame-shut-five-six-years-repairs-spires-rooster-discovered-rubble.html (“Notre Dame to be shut for ‘five to six years’ for repairs – as spire’s rooster discovered in rubble“)

Has the world forgotten about the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January 2015? And the non-stop partying by Barack Obama and his fellow Leftists in Paris, on behalf of the hoax of man-made “global warming,” in the wake of such tragic events?

As I have written:

To campaign for so-called man-made “global warming” or “climate change” in Paris—while grief and fear still prevail, pervade and permeate—is insensitive, inhumane, shameful and repulsive. It is an affront to the memories of those who died or were injured in the attacks on that great city, to all Parisians who have suffered, to the French people, and to the world.

. . .

Terrorists roam France . . . , yet the farcical meeting of misguided Lilliputians and charlatans occurs in Paris.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/we-are-all-parisians/ (“We Are All Parisians“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/#comment-7850 (“Marie Antoinette’s Merry Band Of Elitist Warmers“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/12125214/Europes-Jews-are-living-in-fear-warns-head-of-EU-parliament.html (“Europe’s Jews are ‘living in fear’, warns head of EU parliament“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“)

15 04 2019
H. Craig Bradley

THE DECLINE OF THE WEST IS ACCELERATING

All these signs are indications of ongoing social and economic decline. It’s not confined just to France or Europe either. The West is secular now, with fewer churches and fewer attendees. Many old Catholic Churches in France have already been converted to Mosques. In America, churches back East are being sold-off because nobody attends them anymore.

In addition, there are plenty of Midwest and Northeastern, as well as Southern cities in the U.S. with huge ghettos devoid of economic growth. Many old cities in the East are depopulating, as well. Urban crime is on the rise, especially property crimes. Nobody cares either.

The growth rate is below replacement now in both Europe and North America. Our population is getting older, even with all the (illegal) immigration. The two words we should get used to hearing in the future are stagflation and stagnation. We are a mature, or older society and country. While Europe is much older, we have caught-up. All the illegal immigration has not changed the demographic trends all that much. We are a stagnant society in many ways, but especially in Government.

16 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Craig. I am not as pessimistic as you are.

I have believed for much of my life that cities were anachronistic. They were relics of the past, which had outlived their usefulness and had been decaying for decades. Having grown up in Los Angeles, there was no need to go into the “city.” My guess is that even to this day, there are vast numbers of people who live in Southern California—perhaps an overwhelming majority—who have never set foot in downtown LA.

Why go there? Yes, the Music Center and the Disney Concert Hall and the Staples Center have been attractions. But aside from them, why go into LA? When I was in college, the smog was so bad in downtown LA that it hurt one’s eyes, and you could feel it in your lungs. Things have gotten better, but there is nothing beautiful about high-rise office buildings and clogged streets.

Also, LA has a unique condition. After the Northridge Earthquake, major structural damage to high-rise office buildings was hidden and never fixed. The cost of removing tenants was deemed so expensive that the “powers that be” quietly looked the other way. When the next major quake hits LA, it may make the Northridge quake seem like child’s play.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/earthquakes-the-big-one-is-coming-to-at-least-los-angeles/ (“Earthquakes: The Big One Is Coming To At Least Los Angeles”) (see also the comments beneath the article)

Next, with “telecommuting,” most of us can work anywhere. Indeed, years ago, I wrote an important legal opinion for the CEO of a major U.S. company, and I did it all in Ireland. I hiked in the mornings, and worked on the opinion in the afternoons and some evenings; and none of it was done by me in the U.S. Today, the cities should be true anachronisms, with telecommuting making them totally obsolete, and allowing Americans to work from almost anywhere.

Lastly, I believe in the inherent wisdom of the American people. They elected Donald Trump, and I believe they will reelect him, and reject the far-Left and Left, and their destructive policy proposals. This country is not going backward. We had enough of that with Barack Obama. And yes, I began as a Democrat, but will never vote for one again, which is true of lots of Americans.

16 04 2019
Susan

I grew up in Downey. It was just a skip & a jump from L.A. To me it was magical. I can remember driving in on the I-5 past DesiLu Studios, movie premieres, picking up hippies on Sunset Blvd. in the 60’s. Endless summers at Huntington Beach. I don’t really know when California went Left but I, like you,
went Right, way Right. Did you ever read a book called “The Proper Role of Government”? I think the author is Bastiat.

16 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, Susan.

I grew up a mile west of the UCLA campus, and used to ride my bike to the Village and Bruin theaters in Westwood on Saturdays, where the premieres are held now (e.g., Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule” recently).

From an early age, I knew the kids of those who were famous in Hollywood, and others who became famous on their own. But my parents had Midwest roots and values (Minnesota), and warned me about the “business.” Thus, I always viewed it dispassionately, although I loved movies.

And no, I have not heard of the book.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bastiat (“Frédéric Bastiat”)

16 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Did Christianity Get It Wrong For 20 Centuries?

Three crosses

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“(T)here is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” said Hamlet, who thereby raised some crucial questions:

Is moral truth subjective? Does it change with changing times and changing attitudes? Or is there a higher law, a permanent law, God’s law, immutable and eternal, to which man’s law should conform?

Are, for example, the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament, Christian teaching and natural law unchangeable and applicable to all men at all times? Or can some of the 10 be consigned to the dumpster of antiquated moral prohibitions?

This question has been brought straight into the presidential primaries by Pete Buttigieg, breakout star of the spring of 2019.

“Mayor Pete” is proudly gay and living happily with his husband.

He says God made him the way he is, and he is living the life God intended for him. Raising the same-sex marriage issue himself, the mayor defiantly taunted Mike Pence:

“Yes, Mr. Vice President … it has moved me closer to God. … That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand: That if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me. …Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”

Buttigieg declared his candidacy Sunday, and his bid ensures that America’s deepening moral divide will be front and center in 2020.

Our culture wars will not be ending anytime soon.

This weekend, General Social Survey data revealed that Americans who profess to have “no religion,” 23.1%, now exceed Catholics, our largest religion with 23%, and Evangelicals at 22.5%. And the “nones” have grown by 266% since 1991.

As for the mainstream Protestant congregations, together, they are not half as numerous as those Americans who profess no religion.

Added to our racial and ethnic diversity, America is growing more diverse religiously, de-Christianizing with all deliberate speed.

We are becoming another people, and a post-Christian America appears to be our destiny well before the end of this century.

Consider what has changed already.

In the 19th century, blasphemy was a crime.

In the Roaring ’20s the “vices” of booze and gambling were outlawed. Now they are major sources of state revenue.

Divorce was a rarity. Now half of all marriages are dissolved.

After the sexual revolution of the ’60s, births out of wedlock rocketed to where 40 percent of all children are born without a father in the home, as are half of Hispanics and 70 percent of all black children.

Pornography, which used to bring a prison term, today dominates cable TV. Marijuana, once a social scourge, is the hot new product. And Sen. Kamala Harris wants prostitution legalized.

In the lifetime of many Americans, homosexuality and abortion were still scandalous crimes. They are now cherished constitutional rights.

Yet, Mayor Pete’s assertion — that God made him gay, and God intended that he live his life this way, and that this life is moral and good — is another milestone on the road to a new America.

For what Buttigieg is saying is that either God changes his moral law to conform to the changing behavior of mankind or that, for 2,000 years, Christian preaching and practice toward homosexuals has been bigoted, injurious and morally indefensible.

If Pete is right, since the time of Christ, Christians have ostracized and persecuted gays simply for being and behaving as God intended.

And if that is true, what is the defense of Christianity?

Already, among a good slice of America, especially the young, the West is guilty of centuries of racism, imperialism, colonialism, slavery, sexism, ethnic cleansing, religious persecution and cultural genocide against indigenous peoples.

Now, according to Mayor Pete’s logic, the West is also guilty of centuries of hateful homophobia toward people living as God made them and intended them to live.

What does this portend for 2020?

While Democrats defend Mayor Pete’s same-sex marriage as moral, they will also insist that women’s “reproductive rights” remain sacrosanct, and that unborn infants, 60 million of whom have been killed in the womb since Roe v. Wade in 1973, still have no rights at all, not even the right to life.

How does a nation so divided ever come together again?

How can a nation, many of whose elites are so ashamed of its history and heritage and deplorable other half — as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic … and bigoted” — credibly claim to be a shining city on a hill or a light unto the nations?

America is today as powerful, prosperous and free as any nation the world has ever seen. And we have used that wealth and freedom to create a culture and a society many of our own people and much of the world now see as dissolute and decadent.

Post-Christian America, in many ways, is beginning to mirror what we were once taught that the pre-Christian Roman Empire looked like.

Indeed, if the mayor’s lifestyle is moral, Christianity got it wrong for 20 centuries.

See https://buchanan.org/blog/mayor-pete-and-the-crackup-of-christianity-136855#more-136855 (“Mayor Pete and the Crackup of Christianity“) (emphasis added)

No, Christianity did not get it wrong, in the process of becoming the world’s greatest religion. But the “freaks” have been edging closer to taking over the “asylum,” which was hastened with Barack and Michelle Obama.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?“) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

16 04 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

France’s Failure?

The wreckage of Notre Dame

Professor Paul Kengor has written for The American Spectator:

The image of the Cathedral of Notre Dame engulfed in flames will remain seared in memories. I was made aware of it when a student burst into my office shouting that the magnificent church was on fire. I was about to head into my Major European Governments course, where we read George Weigel’s prescient work, The Cube and the Cathedral. The Cathedral in the book is Notre Dame.

As the ensuing minutes proceeded, the conflagration only worsened, captured by the cataclysmic moment when the towering spire collapsed. It took me back to watching the collapse of the World Trade Center tower on 9/11, though that was worse because you knew you were witnessing not just the death of a structure but a significant number of human beings.

With Notre Dame, we figured there was probably no one trapped inside. The fire proceeded slowly enough for people to get out — in fact, so slowly that I was surely one of countless millions watching on a computer, a TV, a phone, yelling in frustration: Where are the firefighters? Is the union on strike? What are the French authorities doing? Can’t they stop this? Meanwhile, the flames encroached upon the relics, the artifacts, the windows, the paintings, the irreplaceable — upon what is believed to be the actual crown of thorns of Christ. On Holy Week no less.

It was a feeling of helplessness. And in that sense, it was a frustration similar to what many of us have felt toward the French authorities for a long time, as they’ve eagerly embraced secularism and rejected the very Christian patrimony represented by the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The burning cathedral, and the state’s inability to stop the blaze, seemed a harsh symbol of France’s failure to protect its religious heritage.

Angela Merkel, one of the few European leaders unafraid of tradition, observed that Notre Dame is “a symbol of France and of our European culture.” It certainly is. Its erection was just that, as was its survival through centuries of struggles, as is its smoldering now.

Hilaire Belloc said that “the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.” Well, the Christian faith is in worse shape in Europe than at any time since the first stones of Notre Dame were laid eight-and-a-half centuries ago. And in many respects, France has led the way in the aggressive secularization. Numerous glorious Parisian churches today stand mainly as tourist attractions.

Recall a defining moment at the turn of this new century. In the early 2000s, a battle raged within the European Union over whether to include a reference to God in the EU constitution. It was a natural acknowledgment, a critical reminder to Europeans of where their rights come from.

The God opponents were the predictable European progressives: leftist Eurocrats in Brussels, Labor Party atheists in Britain, German socialists, Scandinavian pagans, and, of course, the French leadership. The God supporters included new EU member states that had escaped godless communism — with Poland in the forefront, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic — and the continent’s preeminent religious figure: Pope John Paul II.

The pope, suffering from advanced Parkinson’s, took up the fight with vigor. In the summer of 2003, he devoted a series of Sunday Angelus addresses to this political issue that transcended politics. He made arguments akin to those made by the American Founding Fathers: It is crucial for citizens living under a constitution to understand the ultimate source from which their rights derive: their rights come not from government but God. What government gives, government can take away. What God gives, government cannot take away.

“European culture cannot be understood without referring back to Christianity,” explained John Paul II. “Christianity is at the very roots of European culture.” He said that “an explicit recognition of the Christian roots of Europe” would represent “the principal guarantee for the continent’s future.”

The pope was countered by French president Jacques Chirac, who sniffed: “France is a lay state, and as such she does not have a habit of calling for insertions of a religious nature into constitutional texts.” The “lay character” of France’s government and public institutions, according to Chirac, simply did “not allow” for a reference to God in a constitution.

Nope, no room for God, insisted the president of France in spearheading the continental revolt. It was predictable Jacques Chirac, who in retrospect seems like Joan of Arc compared to François Hollande or Emmanuel Macron. So goes France.

In the end, the EU compromised on a gutless statement grudgingly conceding the continent’s “cultural, religious, and humanist inheritance.” It was a nod to God that George Weigel described as “so bland as to be meaningless.”

But, in an important way, it was not meaningless. It was sadly symbolic. Again, Belloc: “the faith is Europe and Europe is the faith.” Well, the state of the faith in much of Europe is in flames.

That brings us back to the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Anno Domini 2019, the day after Palm Sunday. We do not yet know what caused this tragic episode, nor whether the authorities and responders could have done a better job preventing the sickening level of destruction. Nonetheless, this seems, at the least, an undeniable symbol of France’s failure to protect its Christian heritage.

The Easter season is about hope, about a Redeemer who rises again. If there’s a particular hope for Europe this Holy Week, it’s that the Cathedral of Notre Dame will be resurrected. And yet, given the state of modern France, it’s hard to be hopeful about what will replace it.

We can’t go wrong placing our faith in the inspiration of that cathedral, but we will always find disappointment in the secular authorities who seek to replace it. The former stood strong for over 800 years; the latter will fail us again and again.

See https://spectator.org/frances-failure/ (emphasis added)

It is important to repeat:

The burning cathedral, and the state’s inability to stop the blaze, seemed a harsh symbol of France’s failure to protect its religious heritage.

The Twin Towers had no religious significance before 9/11, but they took on one after the monumental tragedy. Through wars and rebellions, Notre Dame has triumphed . . . as a reminder of God in each of our lives.

3 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Christian Persecution At Near Genocide Levels

Bombing at church in Sri Lanka
[Bombing at church in Sri Lanka]

The BBC has reported:

The persecution of Christians in parts of the world is at near “genocide” levels, according to a report ordered by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The review, led by the Bishop of Truro the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen, estimated that one in three people suffer from religious persecution.

Christians were the most persecuted religious group, it found.

Mr Hunt said he felt that “political correctness” had played a part in the issue not being confronted.

Alarm over China’s Church crackdown

Religious persecution ‘a threat to everyone’

Pope decries killing of Christians

The interim report said the main impact of “genocidal acts against Christians is exodus” and that Christianity faced being “wiped out” from parts of the Middle East.

It warned the religion “is at risk of disappearing” in some parts of the world, pointing to figures which claimed Christians in Palestine represent less than 1.5% of the population, while in Iraq they had fallen from 1.5 million before 2003 to less than 120,000.

“Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution, but also its increasing severity,” the Bishop wrote.

“In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”

The foreign secretary commissioned the review on Boxing Day 2018 amid an outcry over the treatment of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who faced death threats after being acquitted of blasphemy in Pakistan.

Sri Lanka attacks: What we know

Who are the victims of the Sri Lanka attacks?

London hate crime soars since NZ attacks

Its findings come after more than 250 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in attacks at hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.

Mr Hunt, who is on a week-long tour of Africa, said he thought governments had been “asleep” over the persecution of Christians but that this report and the attacks in Sri Lanka had “woken everyone up with an enormous shock”.

He added: “I think there is a misplaced worry that it is somehow colonialist to talk about a religion that was associated with colonial powers rather than the countries that we marched into as colonisers.

‘Atmosphere of political correctness’

“That has perhaps created an awkwardness in talking about this issue – the role of missionaries was always a controversial one and that has, I think, also led some people to shy away from this topic.

“What we have forgotten in that atmosphere of political correctness is actually the Christians that are being persecuted are some of the poorest people on the planet.”

In response to the report, the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, said Jews had often been the targets of persecution and felt for Christians who were discriminated against on the basis of their faith.

“Whether it is in authoritarian regimes, or bigotry masked in the mistaken guise of religion, reports like the one launched today remind us that there are many places in which Christians face appalling levels of violence, abuse and harassment,” she said.

The review is due to publish its final findings in the summer.

See https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48146305 (emphasis in original); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6986565/Persecution-Christians-modern-day-genocide-says-report.html (“Persecution of Christians is modern-day ‘genocide’ says report“)

Whether it be Christians or Jews—who have witnessed the dramatic rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and globally—or the followers of Islam who have experienced Islamophobia, the “believers” must stand up and fight for their beliefs, against the nonbelievers and the dark, authoritarian forces of “political correctness.”

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/ariel-sharon-is-missed/#comment-7039 (“Is Night Falling Again For European Jews?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/islamophobia-is-un-american/ (“Islamophobia Is Un-American“) and https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/christians-persecution-genocide-report/2019/05/03/id/914401/ (“Persecution of Christians in Middle East Detailed in Report“)

3 05 2019
H. Craig Bradley

WESTERN A-POS-TI’-CIA

Rabbi Jonathan Cahn states in 1950, 90% of Americans were Christians. By last year, surveys indicate only 60% believe in God or are declared Christians. Furthermore, he warns us that in the so-called “Last Days,” there will be a “Great Falling Away”. This trend may be a work-in-progress in America and throughout the Western World, as well. Christianity never lasted long in most of the Middle East; and the Chinese Government strictly restricts worship and Bibles, under severe penalty ( imprisonment for proselytizing ).

A local Baptist minister in Burbank who owns the pool service business I use told me last week that the ratio of churches to local residents in L.A. was 1:400 in 1950. Today, its 1:23,000. Face it, we are a secular state and nation to a large extent. Many would dispute this evaluation but not me. Furthermore, the Bible states that as it was in the time of Christ, so it will be in the End Times. Its ancient prophecy.

Roman Emperor Nero was possibly the first victim of so-called “Fake News”. The rumors after the Fire that destroyed 70% of the City of Rome and made 1/2 of its residents homeless blamed the Emperor. The rumors spread like wildfire: “Nero fiddled while Rome Burned”. Problem is, the Fiddle had yet to be invented as a musical instrument. Besides, Emperor Nero was in a country villa 35 miles away when the fire occurred. Still, politics is what it is: perception and optics.

Emperor Nero then had to blame someone as a scapegoat to deflect blame away from him and keep his job, so he picked the Christians with their different, odd worship practices and belief in only ONE God. Thus, the prosecution of all Christians in the Roman Empire began in earnest. So it will eventually be again, with or without Gladiators. Prosecution of Christians ended with Emperor Constantine when he officially adopted the Christian Religion in Constantinople. By then, the Western Roman Empire had crumbled and was destroyed from within and without.

See https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/history/ancient-history/neros-palace-finally-open-for-tourists-after-more-than-10-years/

3 05 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Craig, for your comments.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: