save the mountain for them

The origins of anti-Catholicism are lurking at the depths of American consciousness, gnawing away like a conspiracy theory and feeding a sense of paranoia and tribal urges that have little basis in fact, but are convenient valves of release when the gates to the castle of New Israel seem under seige by forces that cannot be seen or understood. The American history of anti-Catholic mobs and the constant barrage of liberal ideology as weapon against Catholic institutions is a modern ingenious version of the demagogues of yore who asserted that the Vatican was holding half the civilized world in darkness and bondage.Going back to England and its efforts of “Catholic Emancipation” brings us to the notion of barbarism and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s Noble Savage. The entire antagonism seems to resemble Islamic sectarian violence, but is really part of a broader divide in which America seems heading for a kind of ideological divorce between the GOP and Democrats which could pitch The Land of the Free into civil unrest, albeit the wealth of the country would mitigate destruction and lead to a more orderly division of the assets.

---As another example, in “The Chinese Question” (above) he’s drawn a noose and a burning building behind an ugly Irishman leading a gang of ruffians. This was to reference the riots in which predominantly Irish American mobs protested President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation by lynching blacks and setting fire to a Colored Orphan Asylum. That’s not racism on Nast’s part, that’s rage.--- Read More:

Slavoj Zizek:( see link at end). His article isolates faith from institution, but in his own manner his writing is an assault on faith as such. A kind of anxiety and narcissistic withdrawal into a secular Paradise with its own rules of who is allowed in, and the role of the “other” as pruner of the shrubbery and sambos and gnomes on the lawn serving as fruit holders. Its not that Zizek is not “right” its simply that it is incomplete. Coherent in the partiality while claiming critical distance and objectivity. Like Hitchens there is a component of nihilism here in contradiction to what can be perceived as agents of liberal reform and not revolutionaries. The attack of the Church is a crude attempt to feather and tar capitalism and whatever else may give rise to a castration complex. Its a far left lynch mob looking for the same pit the Commies fell into and characterized by an unwillingness to respect tradition and plunge thinking into the interminable Marcel Duchamp inspired ethos of ad nauseum theorizing…

How could the Pope deny the right to abortion even to a nun who got pregnant through rape (as he effectively did in the case of the raped nuns in Bosnia)? Isn’t it clear that, even when one is in principle against abortion, one should consent to a compromise in such an extreme case?

One can see why the Dalai Lama is a much more appropriate leader for our postmodern, permissive times. He presents us with a feel-good spiritualism without any specific obligations. Anyone, even the most decadent Hollywood star, can follow him while continuing their money-grabbing, promiscuous lifestyle. In stark contrast, the Pope reminded us that there is a price to pay for a proper ethical attitude. It was his very stubborn clinging to “old values,” his ignoring the “realistic” demands of our time, even when the arguments against him seemed “obvious” (as in the case of the raped nun), that made him an authentic ethical figure….

---Read More:

…That said, however, was John Paul really up to the level of this task? Consider that the Catholic Church has its own “white mafia,” Opus Dei, a (half) secret organization that somehow embodies the pure Law beyond any positive legality. Opus Dei’s supreme rule is an unconditional obedience to the Pope and the ruthless determination to work for the Church, with all other rules being (potentially) suspended. As a rule, its members, whose task is to penetrate the top political and financial circles, keep secret or play down their Opus Dei identity. As such, they are effectively “opus dei”—the “work of God,” i.e., perversely imagining themselves as the direct instrument of divine will….

…Let us also consider the abundant cases of sexual molestation of children by priests. These cases are so widespread, from Austria and Italy to Ireland and the United States, that one can effectively speak of an articulated “counterculture” within the Church that has its own set of hidden rules. And there is a connection between the pederast scandals and Opus Dei because the group works with the Church to intervene and hush them up.

The Church’s reaction to the sex scandals demonstrates the way it perceives its role: It insists that these cases, deplorable as they are, are the Church’s internal problem, and it displays great reluctance to collaborate with police in their investigations. Indeed, in a way, the Church is right. The molestation of children is the Church’s internal problem—that is to say, an inherent product of its institutional organization and of the libidinal economy on which that organization relies. Obviously, these scandals are not simply particular criminal cases concerning particular individuals who just happen to be priests. The problem is systemic.

Consequently, the answer to the Church’s reluctance should not only be that these are criminal cases and, if the Church does not fully cooperate in the investigations, it should be seen as an accomplice after the fact. Over and beyond this, the Church, as such, as an institution, should be investigated in regard to the way it systematically produces such crimes. This is also the reason why one cannot explain away the priests’ sexual scandals as the opponents of celibacy suggest—that they occur because the priests’ sexual urges do not find a legitimate outlet and thus explode in a pathological way. Allowing Catholic priests to get married would not solve the problem. We would not get priests doing their jobs without harassing young boys because it is the priesthood itself that generates pedophilia through its sexual apartheid (male exclusivity)….

hed by Hannah Humphrey" src="/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/gillray24.jpg" alt="" width="569" height="400" />

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey, hand-coloured etching, published 24 December 1798 Read More:

And it is here that the Pope failed. In spite of his public pronouncements of worry, he failed to confront the roots and consequences of the pedophilic scandals. Under his reign, Opus Dei got stronger than ever. The pope’s spokesman, Navarro Valls, is a member. He even elevated the group’s founder, Jose Maria Escriva de Balaguer (an open anti-Semite and proto-Fascist), into sainthood—an act that blatantly contradicts and thus cancels his apology to Jews for the centuries of Christianity’s crimes committed against them. This is why John Paul II was an ethical failure—proof that even a sincere, radical ethical stance can become a fake, empty pose if it does not take into account its own conditions and consequences. Read More:


Howard Zinn:Soon, however, antagonism developed between these Irish Catholic weavers and native-born Protestant skilled workers over issues of religion. In May 1844 there were Protestant-Catholic riots in Kensington, a suburb of Philadelphia; nativist (anti-immigrant) rioters destroyed the weavers’ neighborhoods and attacked a Catholic church. Middle-class politicians soon led each group into a different political party (the nativists into the American Republican party, the Irish into the Democratic party), party politics and religion now substituting for class conflict.

The result of all this, says David Montgomery, historian of the Kensington Riots, was the fragmentation of the Philadelphia working class. It “thereby created for historians the illusion of a society lacking in class conflict,” while in reality the class conflicts of nineteenth-century America “were as fierce as any known to the industrial world.” Read More:

Rick Salutin:Black theologian James Cone writes about their version of faith in his new book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.

He says the point of the death of Christ is that the poor and weak are the most morally admirable among us since, lacking power, they aren’t corrupted by it. Christ joined them in their worldly defeat by suffering and dying too. But the point was also to rise up and transcend weakness and injustice — without betraying your basic decency by becoming like those who lorded it over you. For that reason, non-violence and “meekness” are necessary even as you act to overcome your status. So non-violence is the natural stance for those who take the crucifixion seriously, as Martin Luther King did. The core of this faith is that “God snatches victory out of defeat, life out of death and hope out of despair.”

Make of it what you will but this is a powerful version of religion. I write as a non-believer and non-Christian capable of admiring the faith of others and I keep wondering: Where has this alternate model gone, leaving no trace among the current batch of presidential aspirants? Contrast it to the haughty, self-satisfied religiosity of Rick Santorum’s ilk.

They have no doubts, just smugness. But real faith involves doubt, writes Cone. It started with Jesus’s cry on the cross — My God, My God, why have you abandoned me? — which black music critic Stanley Crouch called, “perhaps the greatest blues line of all time.” Read More:–republican-candidates-take-narrow-approach-to-religion

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.