Friday, November 20, 2015

Refuge and Strength

'Twas my Birthday the other day. One is mindful amongst the congratulations - ( many - thank you) - and the best wishes that we live some years and they get fewer ahead as we move ahead.  And we sometimes pause, as I have done, to reflect on matters pertaining to Quality of Life.

Some folk are unfortunate in life. Quality is a pressing issue for them. They are born into strife from which they may try hard to escape. They seek refuge. I will come to that in a moment. Others do not even make it to the day of their birth, let alone a succession of birthday anniversaries. For them no chances are given. Their very life is snatched away by deliberate - wicked - acts of others, while still in the womb.  

In some eras of human life we have faced and continue to face huge challenges both of physical and moral existence.. For some poor souls, they are doomed to be born into societies that will turn them into monsters by the time they reach ten years. Palestinian kiddies, for example get lessons in killing Jews.

In our western society we wait until they are 18 and go to University. There are 'safe spaces' there where cant and dissembling can be safely taught by lunatic feminist and marxist Professors.

How we grow and take control of our lives matters a great deal when one is near to the day of leaving it.  But that control is for the very few. Try as one may there is always some bastards who will try to deny even the recognition of distress.

So, just yesterday was International Men's Day. Not that anyone actually celebrated it. Universities - those Institutions of thoughful discussion and learning - banned any mention let alone acknowledgement of celebration. The University in York, England 'objected' and shut down any talk of a 'Men's' day. 

The tears of the cry-bullies drowned out any positive mention of men. 

But other men did make the news, as they have been for a while now. Men we are told by our Politicians that we must be compassionate toward. They are streaming in from the middle east, mostly without the women and children one has been more used to seeing in crowds of refugees.

And while we are to ignore the plight of men in our western societies where they have been brought up to dedicate their lives to their families and society - and such plight includes high suicide rates, high work-death rates and high rates of banishment from the feminist world - we are supposed to have extraordinary compassion for those refugee men who shout for any and all of us to be beheaded.

The world is turning mad.

Which brings us to that idea of Compassion. And Mercy. Loving one's neighbour and so forth. The concepts themselves have been turned on their heads.

What do we do when faced with a flood of refugees? 

As a very old Tavern Keeper, Knight, King, Catholic and the rest from my long life, and having an extraordinarily fine mind (I have had a blessed life, eh?) to go with my abated wound and silent daughter,  I should expect to know much and be able to say much to my customers. But I stand behind my bars and pull pints and let others do the talking in the main. 

So my friend the Doc, clever youngster Taylor Marshall spoke up when asked. He too has a fine mind and he too refers to his betters for answers.
Islamic Refugee Crisis: 
Good Samaritan or Maccabean Response? Or both

What would Thomas Aquinas Say?

What would Saint Thomas Aquinas say about the Refugee Crisis?
He does well to seek St Thomas' view on the matter.  I paused to listen carefully. He started with a personal note:
We as Christians are debating among ourselves about whether or not we have a moral duty to receive refugees fleeing Muslim nations.
 This is politically incorrect and says things that might shock you. Please read the entire article until the very last two paragraphs before making a judgment or writing incendiary comments. This might be one of the clearest things you’ve read on the topic, because it draws on virtue ethics of Thomas Aquinas – something generally ignored in our day and age. 

Are We Good Samaritans?

As Christians we remember Our Lord’s parable about the Good Samaritan recounting how the outwardly religious clerics (the priest and the levite) passed the injured man in the road, but how the Samaritan proved to “be his neighbor” and care for him. Christ rebukes the outwardly religious hypocrites and commends the good Samaritan.

When it comes to the refugee crises, none of us wants to be the hypocrite who turns his steps to the opposite side of road to avoid caring for an injured victim.

Or Are We Good Maccabeans?

Meanwhile, if you are Catholic, you’ve been listening to the book of Maccabees this week in the daily Mass readings. These biblical lessons approvingly recount how Mattathias along with his Maccabean sons and companions rightfully used physical violence against their political oppressors the Seleucid Greeks who were actively using force to undermine the conscience and convictions of the People of God.
So which are we?
Are we the caring Samaritans or the crusading Maccabeans?
The Good Samaritan helped the victim NOT the Robber.
The Catholic political theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas can help us with this question:

 Let’s first suspend all emotional appeals, and set down a few logical and calm points of agreement to get us all on the same page:

In the Summa theologiae, Thomas Aquinas places politics under the civic virtue of patriotism which is itself a sub-virtue of justice. Our discussion is ultimately not about “politics” but the virtuous duties of justice toward God, our families, our nations, and all of humanity (in that order).

For Thomas Aquinas, all political human laws must be: 1) in accord with reason; 2) published or promulgated; 3) by rightful political authority; and for the common good (See STh q. 90, aa. 1-4). If a political law is lacking in any of these four attributes, it is for Thomas, not a law at all.

The duty of the political magistrates (the Republic or Kingdom) are by the virtue of justice different than the duty of the civilian person. Citizens are not de facto judges, soldiers, police officers, or legislators (STh q. 90, a. 3).
Now, at this point we need to consider the place of the individual, his years on this earth, his wisdon and understandings, and his Integrity. In our Democratic societies, all authority is derived from YOU.

I even upbraid the Policemen (and women) with their guns and 'mace' at the ready, sent to accost me as I pray outside the abortuary - "Where is your Integrity?"
Muslims explicitly affirm that Muhammad is the Last Prophet of God.

Muslims explicitly affirm that Our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly not the Son of God.

These two Muslim affirmations place all Muslims in implicit or explicit theological contradiction with Christians who profess Jesus Christ as the Son of God and consequently conclude that Muhammad was a false prophet.

For Sunni Muslims (the majority of global Muslims), the mandate to erect Sharia law in every human government is a doctrine of faith. Muslims must in accord with their conscience pursue this theological belief that Sharia law must be promulgated in every human society (England, France, Poland, USA, Mexico, etc.)

So how does this apply to Refugees from Islamic nations?

When we move through the logical points above, we begin to discover a few logical conclusions:

1. Muslims are bound by conscience to erect Sharia law in your nation. This is a bad thing for baptized Christians. At best it means being taxed at a higher rate (the Muslim jizya tax for Christians). At worse it means death.

2. If you live in a democracy, a 51% political Islamic majority will allow “we the people” to promulgate Sharia law. They are following their conscience and religious beliefs in this matter. They will do this just as they have done in any other community where they captured the majority (Mecca, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, etc.)

3. It is a duty of of justice for Christian people to strive to prevent the promulgation of false laws (i.e. those contrary to reason or the common good). Christians are called to be politically active and advocates for the common good and natural law.

4. While we have the Christian duty to care for the refugee, the sick, the victim, and the injured, we have a greater common duty by justice to preserve the state of law and our religious liberty first and foremost.

We see this principle in our Scriptural readings. When it comes to the Samaritan, he rightfully cares for the victim. However, when it comes to the nation and the threat of terrorism (Seleucid Greeks), false laws, and the danger of our children, military, and civic peace, we (like the Maccabees) are politically obliged to resist, protect, and expel…for the common good.
The Analogy of the Familial Home
I am the head of a household. I earn an income to feed my wife and my children. With my surplus, I care for orphans, widows, the church, pro-life causes, single-mothers, and other apostolates that I feel God has called me to support.
Justice and charity demand that I care for the less fortunate and it is a Catholic belief that our salvation depends on how we treat the hungry, the naked, the homeless, and the sick.
I am not obliged to take the homeless into my house and have them sleep in my daughter’s bedroom at night. I am not obliged by justice or charity to give the homeless a vote over my financial decisions. He does not have the right to choose what’s for dinner. 
The homeless man does not (by my charity) receive a right to my continued support. 
The homeless man cannot share a bed with my wife when I am traveling. Nor may he presume a right over my children’s belongings. 

Since we live in a democracy (“we the people”), political refugees de facto gain a measure of political authority over our laws, taxes, finances, military, religious holidays, and legislative bodies.

This principle applies to refugees universally. It applies even more so when the refugee in his conscience believes that he is morally obligated to introduce and vote for the enshrinement of Sharia law.

There is also the further problem that 5%-20% of global Muslims are considered to be “radicalized,” which means that they are consciously willing to use terrorist tactics to advance their Muslim worldview against the West. 
If you knew that 10% of your child’s Halloween candy was poisoned, would you allow your child to consume any of it?

So what would Thomas Aquinas say?

I’m afraid that Thomas would be much harsher than most of us would feel comfortable with.

Thomas prizes the “common good” so highly under the virtue of political justice that he openly promotes arms and capital punishment against those who are publicly “dangerous and infectious.”

The common good is the peace of society so that life and faith can thrive. Babies can be born and have a happy life. Grandparents can grow old together. Anyone who seeks to destroy the common good should be, according to Thomas, destroyed.

Thomas Aquinas also taught that anyone that fomented “danger to the community” or heretical movements is worthy of the death penalty:
“Therefore if a man be dangerous and infectious to the community, on account of some sin, it is praiseworthy and advantageous that he be killed in order to safeguard the common good.” STh II-II q. 64, a. 2.
It is permissible to kill a criminal if this is necessary for the welfare of the whole community. However, this right belongs only to the one entrusted with the care of the whole community — just as a doctor may cut off an infected limb, since he has been entrusted with the care of the health of the whole body. STh II-II q. 64, a. 3.
Have no doubt that Thomas Aquinas would have stated that Christian nations should receive Christian refugees but refuse Muslim refugees for the sake of national justice and the common good. 
The Muslim’s official declaration of faith denies natural law (eg, polygamy), religious liberty (eg, Sharia), and implicitly Muhammad’s doctrine and example of political violence.

What’s our Catholic Response? 
The Samaritan Uses the Hotel

We Christians should be generous with humanitarian aid toward Muslims and all people. We should send money and resources to those who have been dispossessed. We should be loving and generous with Muslims. Kindness brings about conversion and understanding. We should also try to topple the Islamic State and eradicate terrorism in our lands and in the Islamic lands.

Remember the Good Samaritan! He did not take the roadside victim home with him. 
Rather, the Good Samaritan put the victim up in a hotel and paid for him to get better. The Good Samaritan was good and commended by Christ. The Good Samaritan did the right thing: humanitarian aid.

We are not required by Christ to take victims that oppose our faith and our way of life and make them into our political heirs. We are not required to take them into our homes.

But we are obliged to help them. And if terrorists use our charity as a pretense to hurt us, then, as Thomas Aquinas says, they should be swiftly destroyed.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
OK, so I am a man of War. I have been from my early years. I know war. I know death. I know necessity.

I also know that one can kill one's enemy without hatred. A high and difficult 'compassion' but achievable.

For the Knight ( or soldier), judgement and mercy are not called-for. That is God's job. The Knights job is to send the enemy to God. Efficiently. 

And he must be able to discriminate between the Robber and the Victim.

And I know that an opportunity should be given, where possible for one's enemy to cease and desist and be nice. Their refusal seals their fate. 

It is absolutely incumbent on those in 'Authority' to screen refugees.  Effectively. Failure to do so is culpable neglect of their duty, which I might add is paid for by you and me. 

I would approve the death penalty for such neglect too.

Do NOT aid the Robber if you want to play the Good Samaritan. 

Now, I must go to the Crypt and pray for Wisdom and Strength.



  1. Unfortunately, as you point out, the 'common good' has become something intangible and nebulous, a shape-shifter dependent on backroom deals and fleeting liaisons. Our only hope, humanly speaking, is that the denial of freedom of religion so forcefully imposed on Christians, will be equally applied to the anti-Christian Islamists.

    1. Freedom of Religion, or belief, is God-given along with our Free Will. The definition of what is 'Religion' is in need of clarity. Islam is to my mind Demonic and as far from 'religious' as one can get. The back-room deals would see Islam throughout our land, for some reasons of the people in the back room. The spirit of Evil stalks the world.

  2. Well, how do you say "Happy Belated Birthday" after a post like THAT? ;)

    Well Happy Belated Birthday anyway? ;)

    Good point about the Good Samaritan I hadn't considered. Compassion with boundaries, the difference between enabling and loving our neighbors perhaps? I will think more on this.

    I've no confusion about terrorist Muslims, but I am confused about considering all Muslims in this manner (those who don't agree with terrorists that they are in "jihad" with us) because of God's compassion and provision for Hagar at the well, the entire situation being created due to Sarah's refusal to wait on faith for God.

    Genesis said they were to become the "donkey of man" as a result of this decision, and man, he wasn't kidding.

    I always interpreted that to mean it was a reminder lesson to us of what happens when we don't wait on faith for God, like Sarah.

    And I guess I sort of feel like if we lump all Muslims into this extremist category it's no different than them lumping us all into the same category and wrongly justified Jihad

    But I think "justified Jihad" as offensive action rather than self-defense is wrong, do I get any points for that? ;)

    Of course I could be wrong. Feel free to tell me why I'm wrong, which I have no doubt you will, but you manage to do it so politely :)

    1. Thank you for the belated (only just, mind you) birthday wishes. Most appreciated.

      Now, far from suggesting you might be wrong (or me, or St Thomas for that matter) I did make it clear that screening is essential. That in itself implies that not all muslims will be terrorists and some amongst the crowds may well be in need of help. Discernment and discrimination are essential, not only in Good Samaritans identifying who is the victim and who is the robber but also in the sort of help provided to the needy.

    2. True, you did more than I first realized, I'my apologies.

      A toast, then, to better discernment? :)

  3. May The Almighty help us because He knows we cannot help ourselves. He may be giving us over to our sin much like he did Pharoh. We have lived in comfort along time is the west....too long I am afraid. We can pray for good leaders, but can they save the soul of a nation? Only The Heavenly Father can do that. I suppose Obama is as lost as anyone who doesn't know Christ.

    As for the refugees, the west cannot always be the world savior. We have enough poverty in our backyard we need to deal with first.

    Powerful post my friend. A cup of community coffee is on the back porch table:)

    1. Giving us what we asked-for. Our sins often get forgiven before they have even entered our minds - put down to foolishness of the moment. But some sins are big, egregious, deliberate and on such a scale that they reap a Just response. Consequence. I will look for the coffee and sit with you, my dear.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..