Thursday, 30 November 2017

A Monarchist Reading List

Whilst a couple of the graphics interfere with reading the quotes, at least to my old eyes, this video contains a wonderful short list of 'must reads' for any monarchist. As le Comte Joseph de Maistre said,
Know how to be royalists; formerly it was an instinct, today it is a science.
Quoted in, Kuhnelt-Leddihn, Erik von. Liberty or Equality: The Challenge of Our Time (Kindle Location 5785). Ludwig von Mises Institute. Kindle Edition. 

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

The Battle of Covadonga

Almost every literate person in the West has at least heard of the Battle of Tours in AD 732, where the jihad was stopped dead in its tracks, ending its conquest of Western Europe. At least most Catholics are aware of the Battle of Lepanto, 7 October 1571, which broke the sea-power of the jihad in the Mediterranean, if only because the anniversary is the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary, and because of Chesterton's poem, 'Lepanto'. Many, especially the historically minded, are familiar with the Siege of Vienna in 1683, where the Christian forces under Don Juan of Austria and King Jan Sobieski of Poland stopped the Turkish jihad in Eastern Europe, and King Jan said, 'I came, I saw, God conquered'!

But, how many people are aware of the Battle of Covadonga, where it all began? Ten years before Charles the Hammer defeated the jihadists in Francia, Don Pelayo defeated them in Hispania, beginning the roll-back of jihadist domination of Christian lands, which continued in Spain for 770 years until 1492 when Their Most Catholic Majesties Ferdinand and Isabella expelled the last Moorish descendants of the slaughterers of the Iberian Peninsula from Grenada in 1492.

It is unfortunate today that Spain, led by the sons of the Revolution and a Roi fainéant, is once again being invaded by jihadists. And now, the jihadists are teaching their children that because Spain was once al-Andalus, Muslim territory, it is their duty to once again conquer Spain, and bring it into Dar al-Islam, the portion of the world subject to their Satanic sharia law.

In 722, Pelagius of Asturias, known in Spanish as Don Pelayo, defeated the jihadist army at Covadonga. He was a Visigothic nobleman who founded the Kingdom of Asturias, ruling it from 718 until his death. Through his victory at the Battle of Covadonga, he is credited with beginning the Reconquista, the Christian reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from the Moorish jihadists. He established an independent Christian state in opposition to jihadist hegemony.
Monument in memory of Pelagius 
(Don Pelayo) at Covadonga, 
site of his famous victory.

To this day, the eldest son of the reigning King of Spain bears the title, 'Prince of Asturias' in honour of that little corner of Spain and its great contribution to  Western, Spanish, Catholic culture through their defeat of the jihadist hordes.

Below are two videos regarding the battle. 






This is from Real Crusades History, a channel that tells the truth about the Crusades, not through a lens of anti-Catholic, anti-Western prejudice like most sources discussing the Crusades.

Another Post on Poland

This is an update to my post, Here’s what the mainstream media isn’t telling you about the Poland Independence Day March, from a few days ago.

Again, from LifeSite News:

Former Belgian prime minister faces lawsuit for claiming Polish marchers were fascists

November 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Black Polish citizen Bawer Aondo-Akaa is suing Guy Verhofstadt, a liberal politician from Belgium and a former Prime Minister who claimed that 60,000 fascists, Neo-Nazis and white supremacists participated in an Independence Day march in Warsaw on November 11.
Bawer Aondo-Akaa, Ph.D, who participated in the march, is a well-known pro-life activist of Nigerian descent who is always ready to defend the unborn and discuss the issue with the opponents. Recently, feminist and leftist politician Blanka Rudy viciously attacked his disability on Facebook. Aondo-Akaa, who uses a wheelchair, is not easily discouraged, though.

(Read more...)

The Weather

The night before last was the coldest so far this late autumn/early winter. Today feels like early autumn/spring! Below is a screen shot taken just a few minutes ago. Living on the prairies, the great steppes of the North American continent, as I have done all my life, means that the weather is an unending adventure!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Why didn't Canada and Australia have Revolutions?

Another great video from my friend Chevalier Charles Coulombe, explaining why Her Majesty is still Queen of Canada and Australia, as well as thirteen other Commonwealth Realms, in addition to the United Kingdom.

As a friend of mine once said, 'Her Majesty is Queen of Canada. What she does in her spare time is no concern of ours'.

God save the Queen!


From the Blog, G.K. Chesterton: The Fear of the Past

"THE really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past. He cares as little for what will be as for what has been; he cares only for what ought to be. And for my present purpose I specially insist on this abstract independence. If I am to discuss what is wrong, one of the first things that are wrong is this: the deep and silent modern assumption that past things have become impossible. There is one metaphor of which the moderns are very fond; they are always saying, "You can't put the clock back." The simple and obvious answer is "You can." A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed."


~G.K. Chesterton: What's Wrong With the World, Part One, Chap. IV.

Just For Fun

Who remembers the nursery rhyme, 'Monday's Child', Roud Folk Song Index number of 19526?

It goes:

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day,
Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.
And here is a site on which you can find the day of the week on which you were born: Calculate the Day of the Week for Any Given Date

I was born on a Saturday, and I have, indeed, worked hard for a living!

Societal Insanity

Below are two graphics. The first is from a Facebook post  shared by Princeton’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, & Education (SHARE) office and created by the school’s UMatter initiative in anticipation of the annual Orange and Black Ball (OBB) that took place last Friday.

The second is an advertisment for chewing gum, copyright 1911. The changes in society, or I should say, the degradation of society, in the past century is difficult to comprehend. I'm only 70, but in the last few years, I have been deeply offended and saddened by the collapse of the society around me brought on by the Cultural Marxists and their 'liberal' allies. The 'liberalism' of today is antithetical to true liberalism which was about maximising freedom as much as possible within a just order under God. Modern 'liberalism' is about everyone being forced to accept the positions and beliefs of a left-wing minority, centred in academia and the media.







The Feast of St Cecilia, Patroness of Musicians

Whilst William Caxton did, indeed, translate Legenda aurea into the English tongue and print it as one of the first book printed in English, it was written by Blessed Jacobus da Varagine, beatified by Pope Pius VII.


William Caxton, Golden Legend (1483)
The Life of Saint Cecilia
 
     

    Of Saint Cecilia
 
Saint Cecilia the holy virgin was come of the noble lineage of the Romans, and from the time that she lay in her cradle she was fostered and nourished in the faith of Christ, and always bare in her breast the gospel hid, and never ceased day ne night from holy prayers but recommended to God always her virginity.
  
And when this blessed virgin should be spoused to a young man named Valerian, and the day of wedding was come, and was clad in royal clothes of gold, but under she wore the hair[-shirt], and she hearing the organs making melody, she sang in her heart only to God saying, "O lord I beseech thee that myn heart and body may be undefouled so that I be not confounded."


(Read more...)
  

Latin: The Sacramental Language

A trenchant article on Latin as the sacramental language of the Western Church, by Mr Laramie Hirsch of The Forge and the Anvil, guest posted on One Peter Five.


There is a hierarchy of language. This is true for secular politics and cultural commerce, as well as in terms of religion. In this hierarchy, some languages are higher than others.
JRR Tolkien, a philologist at Oxford, was quite aware of this. In his fictional world, which we know through Lord of the Rings, the elves speak the high elvish language called Quenya. Further, Quenya is divided into two parts: the Parmaquesta is a classical “book language” that preserved writing, while the Tarquesta is the high speech used in formal occasions. The opposite of this high language is the Black Speech of Mordor, a debased language that only orcs and the wearer of the One Ring can understand.
Frank Herbert’s Dune also has its share of languages, each serving a different purpose. Galach is the Imperium’s official language, and it is the most widely spoken tongue in the known universe. Other, less official languages and dialects exist for different purposes, such as secret sects, battle, and formal occasions. In the hit 1990s science fiction drama Babylon 5, the Narn ambassador, G’Kar of the Kha’ri, says the following of the Holy Book of G’Quan: “Sacrilege! It must be read in the mother tongue or not at all!” (As for the Star Trek universe, while there is an entire Klingon language available – enough for the existence of Klingon Shakespearean theater – there are no high languages. So much for depth in Star Trek.)

((Read more...))

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

22 Provocative Spiritual Maxims to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life

From Epic Pew:

Stephen Mirarchi December 22, 2016


Caught up in the day to day business of life? Convinced yourself that “the active life” means that there’s no need for daily, dedicated prayer time? Think a deep, profound interior life isn’t for you?
 
Think again. You need an old-fashioned Irish Cistercian to give you a “come to Jesus” moment.
 
Dom Eugene Boylan’s short book Difficulties in Mental Prayer is widely regarded a spiritual classic. Quoting from Aquinas, St. John of the Cross, and other masters, Dom Boylan pinpoints the various diseases that infect the spiritual life and prescribes remedies—all with the fiery wit of a true Irishman, and the humility of a Cistercian abbot.
 
Picky when it comes to your spiritual inspiration? No worries: the book’s got an imprimatur.

And no matter what your state, says Dom Boylan—religious, diocesan, lay—the principles he lays out are the same and apply to all Christians of goodwill. At least one of his bold insights is sure to shake up your interior life for the better.

Here are some of the best, in order of appearance.

1. “A Christian who does not pray is like a man who neither thinks nor wills—a mere animal in the spiritual life.”

To be fully human means to pray: consistently, faithfully, in union with Christ.


2. “On the working of the will the whole of the spiritual life depends…True devotion…consists in the readiness of the will to serve God.”

As Dom Boylan will mention later, the devil’s famous line, Non serviam, is exactly opposed to this truth.


3. “Spiritual reading and mental prayer are as necessary for the life of the soul as daily food is for that of the body.”

Pope St. John XXIII wrote something similar in his “Decalogue” prayer: “Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading…[which] is necessary to the life of the soul.


4. “If a man thinks not in his heart, his whole spiritual life may soon be laid desolate.”

The Catechism affirms: “In naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks…most often of the heart (more than a thousand times)” (par. 2562).


5. “‘Fine speeches’ should be avoided like a plague in private prayer.”

Are we busy waxing eloquent in prayer, or are we speaking familiarly with our Creator?


6. “The great secret of all intercourse and close partnership with Jesus is to give Him a chance to be to us a Savior.”

Jesus condemned Pharisaism with some of his strongest words. Prayer and mercy go hand in hand.


7. “Keep in touch with Him [Jesus] by all possible means and at all costs.”

This secret of prayer is like the secret of the martyrs: there are some things we must not be willing to give up.


8. “The spiritual life is a love affair with Jesus.”

Dom Boylan knows his nuptial imagery—and how crucial it is to describe so much of the spiritual life.



9. “A harmful preoccupation with one’s self…is the ruin of any prayer, for prayer is a preoccupation with God.”

Inordinate self-love, as many spiritual writers call it, is a deadly enemy.


10. “Every soul who wishes to advance should try to look God in the face, in all reverence, at least once every day.”

C. S. Lewis had a similar idea with an eschatological twist. See The Last Battle for a refresher.


11. “It is…an illusion to hope to become a man of prayer while one comes to terms with the enemy.”

To put it another way: we don’t negotiate with spiritual terrorists.


12. “The greatest of all forms of unhappiness [is] halfhearted service in religion.”

What does Christ say to the lukewarm Laodiceans in Revelation? “I will spit you out” (Rev 3:16).


13. “One single deliberate habit of infidelity spoils the sense of companionship with Jesus and thus prevents prayer.”

We can’t have it both ways. Jesus wants all of us in prayer, just as He gives His whole self to us.


14. “There is no joy in this life to equal that of sharing the cross with Jesus.”

This sort of blows a hole in that “eat, pray, love” thing, doesn’t it?


15. “Although all our acts can be prayer, they will not be so, unless there are some acts which are nothing else.”

Active/contemplative is an emphasis, not a dichotomy. All of us are called to do both—for each nurtures the other.


16. “To go to Him through Mary is not only the shorter but also the surer way.”

Dom Boylan is in excellent company promoting Marian devotion as a shortcut to sanctity.


17. “Too often [in prayer] we are seeking consolations, seeking ourselves…We are praying in our own name, instead of that of Jesus Christ.”

I guess so much for navel-gazing, too.


18. “There are no joys in this life to equal those that the heights of prayer can bring.”

Only a firm belief in this truth will keep us clinging to the Rock of Christ in arid times of prayer.


19. “The tragedy is that…when our Lord draws their attention to some attachment that He wants them to give up, [they] turn away sorrowful…and the thing that holds them is so tawdry and so trifling, is so tragically trash, that the angels must stare in amazement that men can be so mad.”

This line is wonderfully trenchant. Dare we see our attachments for what they really are: obstacles to further union with Christ?


20. “If there is any failure even on the part of the laity to live up to the faith…the cause is surely to be found in the lack of an interior life.”

Yes, says Dom Boylan, the laity have a responsibility to foster an inner life with our Lord. Do we recognize and accept this gift?


21. “Without an interior life it is impossible for a priest or a religious to live an exterior life that is not ruined by sterility, supernatural uselessness and inefficacy.”

The unholy trinity Dom Boylan so accurately pinpoints is exactly contrary to what priests and religious are called to be.


22. “We do not realize that the Christian life is the life of Christ lived by Christ in us, not merely our own paltry existence, dragged out in lonely weakness.”

No wonder so many Saints have testified that the fifteen to twenty minutes following reception of Holy Communion is one of the best times for prayer.

Vox Cantoris: Bergoglio`s Vatican removes Holy Mary and St. John...

Why am I not surprised? Two evil, Satanically inspired heresiarchs being honoured on a Vatican City postage stamp. What depths have we fallen to under this pontificate?

From the article,
The postage stamp issued by the Philatelic Office for the occasion depicts in the foreground Jesus crucified and in the background a golden and timeless view of the city of Wittenberg. With a penitential disposition, kneeling respectively on the left and right of the cross, Martin Luther holds the Bible, source and destination of his doctrine, while Philipp Melanchthon, theologian and friend of Martin Luther, one of the main protagonists of the reform, holds in hand the Augsburg Confession (Confessio Augustana), the first official public presentation of the principles of Protestantism written by him.


Vox Cantoris: Bergoglio`s Vatican removes Holy Mary and St. John...: An ancient tradition in artwork whether in the east or west is the Crucifixion of Our Lord with Our Sorrowful Mother and St. John at the...

John Shakespear's (sic) Will

This is the will that John Shakespear (sic, his spelling) signed. It was based on a template by St Charles Borremeo. I thought some people might find it interesting. 

I.
In the name of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the most holy and blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, the holy host of archangels, angels, patriarchs, prophets, evangelists, apostles, saints, martyrs, and all the celestial court and company of heaven, I, John Shakspear, an unworthy member of the holy Catholic religion, being at this my present writing in perfect health of body, and sound mind, memory, and understanding, but calling to mind the uncertainty of life and certainty of death, and that I may be possibly cut off in the blossom of my sins, and called to render an account of all my transgressions externally and internally, and that I may be unprepared for the dreadful trial either by sacrament, penance, fasting, or prayer, or any other purgation whatever, do in the holy presence above specified, of my own free and voluntary accord, make and ordain this my last spiritual will, testament, confession, protestation, and confession of faith, hoping hereby to receive pardon for all my sins and offences, and thereby to be made partaker of life everlasting, through the only merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour and Redeemer, who took upon Himself the likeness of man, suffered death, and was crucified upon the cross, for the redemption of sinners.

II
Item, I, John Shakspear, do by this present protest, acknowledge, and confess, that in my past life I have been a most abominable and grievous sinner, and therefore unworthy to be forgiven without a true and sincere repentance for the same. But trusting in the manifold mercies of my blessed Saviour and Redeemer, I am encouraged by relying on His sacred word, to hope for salvation and be made partaker of His heavenly kingdom, as a member of the celestial company of angels, saints and martyrs, there to reside forever and ever in the court of my God.

III
Item, I, John Shakspear, do by this present protest and declare, that as I am certain I must pass out of this transitory life into another that will last to eternity, I do hereby most humbly implore and intreat my good and guardian angel to instruct me in this my solemn preparation, protestation, and confession of faith, at least spiritually, in will adoring and most humbly beseeching my Saviour, that He will be pleased to assist me in so dangerous a voyage, to defend me from the snares and deceits of my infernal enemies, and to conduct me to the secure haven of His eternal bliss.

IV
Item, I, John Shakspear, do protest that I will also pass out of this life, armed with the last sacrament of extreme unction: the which if through any let or hindrance I should not then be able to have, I do now also for that time demand and crave the same; beseeching His divine majesty that He will be pleased to anoint my senses both internal and external with the sacred oil of His infinite mercy, and to pardon me all my sins committed by seeing, speaking, feeling, smelling, hearing, touching, or by any other way whatsoever.

IX
Item, I, John Shakspear, do here protest that I do render infinite thanks to His divine majesty for all the benefits that I have received as well secret as manifest, and in particular, for the benefit of my creation, redemption, sanctification, conservation, and vocation to the holy knowledge of Him and His true Catholic faith: but above all, for His so great expectation of me to penance, when He might most justly have taken me out of this life, when I least thought of it, yea even then, when I was plunged in the dirty puddle of my sins. Blessed be therefore and praised, forever and ever, His infinite patience and charity.

XII
Item, I, John Shakspear, do in like manner pray and beseech all my dear friends, parents, and kinsfolks, by the bowels of our Saviour Jesus Christ, that since it is uncertain what lot will befall me, for fear notwithstanding lest by reason of my sins I be to pass and stay a long while in Purgatory, they will vouchsafe to assist and succour me with their holy prayers and satisfactory works, especially with the holy sacrifice of the mass, as being the most effectual means to deliver souls from their torments and pains; from the which, If I shall by God's gracious goodness and by their virtuous works be delivered, I do promise that I will not be ungrateful unto them, for so great a benefit.

XIV
Item, lastly I, John Shakspear, do protest, that I will willingly accept of death in what manner soever it may befall me, conforming my will unto the will of God; accepting of the same in satisfaction for my sins, and giving thanks unto His divine majesty for the life He hat bestowed upon me. And if it please Him to prolong or shorten the same, blessed be He also a thousand thousand times; into whose most holy hands I commend my soul and body, my life and death: and I beseech Him above all things, that He never permit any change to be made by me, John Shakspear, of this my aforesaid will and testament. Amen.

I, John Shakspear, have made this present writing of protestation, confession, and charter, in presence of the blessed Virgin Mary, my angel guardian, and all the celestial court, as witnesses hereunto: the which my meaning is, that it be of full value now presently and forever, with the force and virtue of testament, codicil, and donation in cause of death; confirming it anew, being in perfect health of soul and body, and signed with mine own hand; carrying also the same about me; and for the better declaration hereof, my will and intention is that ti be finally buried with me after my death.
Pater noster, Ave Maria, credo.
Jesu, son of David, have mercy on me.
Amen

Monday, 20 November 2017

Here’s what the mainstream media isn’t telling you about the Poland Independence Day March

From Life Site. From the article:
Poland remembers foreign attempts to destroy her physically, and she’ll be damned if she’ll let foreigners destroy her spiritually, either.



BLOGS 

November 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Here’s a thought experiment. It’s Fourth of July. You live in Virginia, so you decide to pack your family into the car and go to Washington D.C., for a big parade. All Americans — and people who love America — have been invited to march. Everybody. Maybe about 100,000 people turn out for the Washington parade — maybe 60,000. The numbers will be debated later, but of course it’s just one celebration among thousands of Fourth of July celebrations across the country.
There are men, women, children, teens, priests, nuns and veterans at this parade, most of them holding American flags. There’s also an enormous pro-life contingent there, holding banners demanding that the government abolish Roe v. Wade. Others hold banners praising the heroes of the American Revolution and those who have fallen in battles since to keep America free. Noisy boys light firecrackers, and occasionally parts of the crowd break into song. To the dismay of foreign visitors, several citizens are open-carrying handguns. But it’s fun for all the family — except that there are bands of white supremacists — mostly young men — appearing here and there.
The white supremacists hold up unpleasant, racist signs, hoping to get the attention they crave and — bingo! Journalists snap their photos. These dominate in left-wing, anti-Trump coverage of the Fourth of July celebrations the next day. Not only that, these photos — and photos taken of even worse displays at other parades — appear in newspapers across the world.
“Tens of Thousands of Racist Americans Protest in Capital,” the foreign headlines say. “Americans Cry for Pure Blood Again!”
Worldwide, pundits who speak barely a word of English but have been in touch with conveniently multi-lingual American journalists, hunker down to condemn America and their tolerance for this “far-right-wing rally.” Professional anti-Americans get a lot of airtime.
Sounds pretty ludicrous, doesn’t it? But that is exactly what has been going on in the last week, in these past few days following Poland’s Independence Day.   
Out of all the English-language journalists who have been writing about Warsaw’s annual Independence Day March, I know of only one who has accompanied Polish crowds marching in it: me, your humble correspondent.

White supremacists a tiny minority

I was at the Marsz Niepodległości last year, hoping to report on it for Catholic World Report. I spent the night before in the nearby Hotel Polonia Palace, and before the parade I managed to squeeze into the Independence Day Mass at Saint Barbara’s Church. My nerves felt slightly frayed from all the petards being set off. From morning until night, the concrete canyon that is Warsaw’s Jerusalem Avenue echoed and re-echoed with the noise of the explosions so dear to the hearts of young Polish men. The flares gave off red and white smoke, which provided the noisy lads with a patriotic excuse: these are the colours of the Polish flag.
Saint Barbara’s Church was absolutely packed. Somehow people managed to wiggle in and wiggle out with a minimum of disturbance, and the patient crowds listened silently to the long homily — which featured an overview of Polish history — and most stayed even after Mass for the long speeches of thanks. As far as I could tell, everyone but me was Polish. This made me a little nervous, too, but only because I have always lived in much more multicultural cities. When you’re used to multiculturalism, monoculturalism looks strange.
After Mass, I found a Polish friend, and after a quick lunch — during which he rejoiced in the recent election of President Trump — we joined the indescribably long parade. Petards went off every few minutes, making me jump. All around me, families with children, elderly people, teenagers chatted or sang in the cold, sleety weather. I saw a massive Polish flag — possibly the size of an urban back yard — being carried flat by various people, including a priest. And I heard young men chanting, joining in with chants begun by other young men holding microphones. The chants I heard most often were “Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna!” (God, honor, motherland) and “Cześć I chwała bohaterom” (Reverence and glory to the heroes).
I also saw young people with green flags, and was told only that there were “hard-core” patriots. And I saw many pro-life banners, held by people protesting that abortion is still legal in Poland. And then, to my horror, I saw the white Celtic cross on black background flag of white supremacists the world over, and suddenly wished I was thousands of miles away.  
I felt my stomach flip again at an enormous rally after the march when — after speeches by anti-fascist Polish war veterans — an Italian skinhead, Roberto Fiore, addressed the crowd. Later, when I found out who Fiore was, I was shocked by the irony of an Italian neo-Fascist addressing a patriotic Polish crowd. Almost everybody in it was wearing the armband of Poland’s anti-Nazi Home Army.
So, yes, there were white supremacists at the Warsaw Independence Day March in 2016, and nobody is denying that there were white supremacists there in 2017. However, these unpleasant people were, in both years, a tiny percentage of the crowds overall. Speaking to NPR, Artur Rosman of the Notre Dame University’s Church Life Journalestimated them at “a maximum of 1 percent.”

Poles told for years to leave patriotism at home

The crowds I saw were typical of the Polish Independence March, I was told today by Przemysław Sycz. He was at last year’s and this year’s March. His experience tallies with mine that they include “young people, families with children -- sometimes very little children -- grandparents, priests, religious sisters, veterans of World War II, veterans of the battle against Communism.”
"The Marches have an incredible atmosphere and build the spirit of the nation,” he wrote, “raising pride in the achievements of our ancestors and mobilizing us for sustained work for the good of Poland.”
Sycz thinks the Marches are very important because, from 1990 until recently, Poles have been told to leave their patriotism at home and “in social life to be guided by what is supposed to be the attainment of maximum liberalism.”
“This has changed thanks to the Independence March, and this most of all frightens today’s European elite and the left-wing liberal media,” Sycz continued. “They fear that for many years already the Independence March has not been just a three-hour event in the streets of Warsaw but the daily work of its participants ... in raising patriotic consciousness.”
He blames left-wing Polish media for the fake news about the March that has spread around the world. He wrote that what a few people do in a crowd of tens of thousands shouldn’t “be projected onto all the March participants.”
“I strongly protest that the March is often called fascist, and that its participants are called fascist, and I remind [everyone] that combatants who fought against Nazi Germany in the Second World War take part in the March.”

Fake news

Artur Rosman told NPR that he was tempted to call the “fairly selective” American and British news coverage of the Independence March “fake news.”
“The ‘Pray for the Islamic Holocaust’ banner that was supposedly flying from a bridge ... As sad as I am to say this, there was such a banner, but that was in 2015,” said Rosman. “And I believe that the people behind it were actually prosecuted.”
He pointed out that in the Guardian coverage of the Independence March 2017 story, “the initial coverage that everyone picked up on,” the photograph displayed is of a banner reading “Armia Krajowa” (Poland’s wartime Home Army).
“So ironically enough,” said Rosman, “as they are reporting on the [so-called] ‘biggest fascist rally in all of Europe,’ the people who are pictured are holding up a banner that refers to the largest anti-fascist group in all of Europe during World War II.”
Rosman is not unaware that there are white supremacists in Poland. However, he claims that there are far more of them in Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Russia. Poland is less likely to harbor neo-fascists, he says, because of the wholly anti-fascist history of Poland during World War II.
While talking to the NPR, Rosman was reluctant to go along with the interviewer’s characterization of the Independence March as “far-right.”
“I have a really hard time with the far-right label,” he said. “The far-right has no political representation in Poland.”
The writer also decried media attempts to drive a wedge between President Duda and Jarosław Kaczyński, de facto leader of the country’s ruling “Law and Justice” party: “The distinction doesn’t hold when you actually look at the reality,” Rosman said.
Meanwhile, Duda, Kaczyński, and also Archbishop Gadęcki, president of the Polish Bishops Conference, have all condemned the racist messages of the white supremacist minority. President Duda called them “sick nationalism” and said there was no place in Poland for xenophobia. Kaczyński said the racist banners were “disgraceful rubbish” and “evil” and that “Polish tradition has nothing to do with racism.”  Archbishop Gadęcki said that while some of the slogans of the March, like “We Want God” were completely unobjectionable, sentiments like “White Europe” are “ignoble” and racist.
Polish Church and Polish State are united in their condemnations of the ugly sentiments offered by creeps for the delectation of the scandal-hungry press.
Unfortunately, these realities are unlikely to be transmitted by the mainstream media to western readers who, unable to read Polish, depend entirely on English-language sources. For example, Father Thomas Rosica of Salt+Light Television, a sometimes media consultant for the Holy See, recently posted this screed on Facebook:
How quickly Poland forgot about World Youth Day 2016 when the nation welcomed the world. Something is terribly wrong in Polish society and scenes like this do not merely portray a small minority of fanatics amidst a larger group of people celebrating Polish independence. Such scenes send shock waves around the world. Where is the Polish Church in all of this? Where is their voice? Where is their support of Pope Francis' plea to build bridges and not walls and the Pope's invitation to welcome strangers?
The Church in Poland, famously, maintains a most conservative interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.

Questions for reflection

Why has the western media decided to focus on a handful of white supremacists marching at this year’s Independence Day parade? It is easy to see why left-wing media outlets like the Gazeta (newspaper) Wyborcza and disgruntled Poles who do piecework for the Guardian want to do so: to embarrass the ruling “Law and Justice” party government. But the reasons English-language media have for swallowing their fantasies of jack-booted Poles are less obvious.
Artur Rosman suggested that Poland is a scapegoat, and that the narrative that Poland is awful makes Americans feel better about their own problems: the disturbing scenes in Charlottesville, for example.
However, I suspect it is because Poland is different, and non-Poles have a hard time understanding why Poland just does not knuckle under to their ideas about modernity and become more like France. The majority of Poles are Catholics, and therefore Poland is still a very Catholic country: one of the only countries of which this can be said. Poland is pro-life, pro-child and pro-family. Poland has lost her borders too many times to give up control over who gets to cross them. Poland remembers foreign attempts to destroy her physically, and she’ll be damned if she’ll let foreigners destroy her spiritually, either.

Should Christians Apologize for the Crusades?

Just my two cents worth, 'HELL NO!' See my post, Bill Warner, PhD: Jihad vs Crusades

From Crisis Magazine


BRUCE FROHNEN


One of the more ignorant bits of political correctness subverting our cultural memory is the movement to ban the Crusader mascot from schools. A number of schools already have caved in to the pressure to eliminate such a “divisive” or even “racist” mascot, and some, I am quite sure, were happy to lead the way toward cultural surrender. The argument, of course, is that the Crusader is an emblem and representative of oppression and intolerance. By keeping the mascot, we are told, schools are perpetuating the aggression of Christian Europe against Muslims.
The proper response to such arguments is a snort of derision, followed by the suggestion that the person so arguing go out and read an actual book on the subject. Unfortunately, these days one can find numerous books peddling all kinds of untruths, in the name of kindness and understanding, that just happen to undermine the legitimacy of our Western Civilization. Still, anyone who takes even a small bit of time to study the subject would soon discover a few important facts that, to say the least, tend to undermine the equation of the Crusades with murderous religious hatred.
Obviously I do not have the space, here, to go into a detailed discussion of the Crusades—their genesis, purpose, or course of development. For an overview I recommend Thomas Madden’s A Concise History of the Crusades. What seems relatively clear is that the Crusades at issue in this dispute were a series of military campaigns by which European Christians fought during the Middle Ages to regain and control lands in what we now call the Middle East, and the Levant in particular. Other Crusades—including ones against heretics and pagans within Europe, broadly conceived—also were fought during this era, but are not what people generally think of in this light. One usually hears of eight Crusades undertaken from the eleventh through the thirteenth centuries and fought in the Middle East.
Hostility toward Crusaders rests on the myth that they were invaders who raped and pillaged peaceful peoples out of religious hatred and the desire to plunder and dominate the area. The picture is of religiously intolerant aggressors seeking to kill or enslave all infidels out of a hatred born of religious intolerance, buttressed by greed. In a particularly ignorant treatment of the Crusades hosted by former Monty Python comedian Terry Jones (and televised, of course, by the BBC) there is much snickering about how the Crusaders killed a lot of people they apparently did not know were themselves Christians. The snickering is based on willful ignorance of the confused and conflicted nature of the actions and motivations of particular groups involved in the Crusades. But that confusion goes much deeper.
The first question one should ask in assessing the moral status of the Crusades ought to concern whose land it is that we are talking about. And that question requires that we ask “who was there first?” As with all questions going back too far in time, the answer is somewhat muddied by the fact of conquest, re-conquest, and new conquest. When it comes to the area of central concern, the area around present-day Israel, we might begin with the Israelites. Then again, the Israelites themselves conquered a pre-existing, polytheistic people and were in turn conquered more than once, eventually falling under Roman rule. The rise of Christianity changed the religious affiliation of much of the population in the area and there eventually was rule by the Byzantine Empire. I am skipping over a lot of history here, but you get the idea. We know one thing for certain, the Muslims were rather late to the conquest game (taking the Levant in the seventh century) and they took the area, by force, from a pre-existing people and civilization.
More often than not it was the Byzantine Empire that, beginning in the late eleventh century, asked, cajoled, and paid Europeans into coming to their defense in fighting Muslim invaders. The Byzantines generally preferred to have Europeans help them fight for control of lands closer to their “home” of Constantinople. But the Europeans tended to want the honor of fighting more directly for the control of the Holy Land. The First Crusade, for example, was begun after the Byzantine Emperor requested that Pope Urban II send help in fighting Muslim invaders who had taken much of his territory in the Levant and Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). The request came in 1095 and in 1096 a powerful force was put together with the purpose of winning back access to holy sites and reuniting the recently split elements of Christendom. The result was re-conquest of territory stretching from Anatolia all the way to Jerusalem.
As has often been remarked, Popes during this era encouraged participation in the Crusades in part by assuring people that service would win them forgiveness of sins. One also hears that Popes were desperate to get rid of “second sons” who would not inherit lands in Europe and so were constant sources of violence and other troubles. The latter is not actually true—first sons and lords themselves (even Kings) did much of the fighting. There were a variety of secondary reasons for this service having to do with honor and reputation, but the central reason was religious conviction and the desire to secure access for pilgrims to Christian holy sites. Service also fulfilled the feudal duties of lesser lords and more than one nobleman found himself sent on crusade as a means of avoiding punishment at home for his misdeeds. Holy vows were involved in becoming a Crusader, as were religious benefits important to religious peoples, even if they sound odd to many secularists today.
It is clear that the Crusades were not purely holy wars waged by purely virtuous soldiers whose piety led them to acts of pure self-sacrificing bravery. Like all wars, the Crusades involved a mix of good and bad conduct and motivations. There was much greed, pride, cruelty, and slaughter on both sides. Moreover, there often were more than two sides, with infighting among Christian and Muslim forces far from uncommon. There was, after all, conquest, re-conquest, and re-reconquest during these years, which ultimately saw the rise of a new Islamic empire that would threaten Europe itself, only being stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1683.
There is much to criticize in the actions of the Crusaders, and no doubt even in the motivations of many of them and their leaders. But this is merely to recognize that, being made up of human actions, the Crusades involved the actions of sinners—hence many sins. But to defend one’s ally against invasion, to seek to re-open holy sites to pilgrimage, and to defend one’s civilization against leaders of another civilization, bent on conquest, is no sin, but rather an act of pious bravery. It is especially odd that so many today are anxious to defend Muslim extremists who claim to be defending their civilization, while rejecting those who defended their own. That peace is a better tool than violence, that toleration and cooperation are crucial sources of stability and the makings of a decent life, are important points. But we who must face massive brutality ought not to focus only on the sins of our forebears. Rather, we should seek to respect and even capture the piety and courage of an era whose violent proclivities we fool ourselves into thinking no longer exist. We should seek, like Crusaders, to stand for our faith and defend our right to live out that faith, including by defending our co-religionists so woefully abandoned to intolerance and outright murder in the Middle East of today. Our means must change, but our current refusal to stand for the right and the just, and to defend Christians suffering martyrdom on a regular basis, is a stain on our character—and one that the Crusaders never bore.

Our schools and our Catholic schools in particular should be proud to associate with those who fought and died to ensure that pilgrims might have access to the holy sites of their faith, that Christian nations might survive in the face of a powerful invader, and that they might serve their Church and their God. We can build on this pride an understanding of other peoples’ actions, even when they are extreme, only if and to the extent that we retain our moral compass, which means respecting the dictates of our own civilization and refusing to cede the moral high ground to those who reject it for us all.
Editor’s note: This column first appeared February 19, 2016 in Imaginative Conservative and is reprinted with permission. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.)