Monday, November 11, 2019

Corbyn Still One of the Comrades of Evo Morales

I am among those thankful that the Leftist supposed President of Bolivia Evo Morales resigned under pressure after a fraudulent re-election. But look who is not thankful: the dictators of Cuba and Venezuela . . . and Jeremy Corbyn.
The Glorious Leader of the Labour Party tweeted:
To see [Evo Morales] who, along with a powerful movement, has brought so much social progress forced from office by the military is appalling. I condemn this coup against the Bolivian people and stand with them for democracy, social justice and independence. #ElMundoConEvo
Never mind Morales’ human rights abuses or his election stealing.
By the way, I wonder what Pope Francis thinks of Morales’ resignation.  Will the LibPope miss him?  After all they’ve met at least six times, including as recently as last year when Francis surely knew the nature of the Morales regime.  And remember Morales gave Francis that lovely Communist cross. So maybe Francis will invite his buddy to move into the Vatican where he will be right at home with any number of Leftist abusers.

Friday, November 08, 2019

More about the Timing of the AND Campaign

I’ve mentioned here that the AND Campaign and its timing reminds me of the Seamless Garment political philosophy pushed during the 80’s. There is one aspect of AND’s timing I have not yet mentioned but have been thinking about.
There are indications that Trump might be gaining more Black support than the usual Republican.  The poll numbers are hard to discern but can be read favorably for Trump.  And there is no question that he is making more of an effort to woo Blacks than past Republicans.  There is a large contingent of Black conservatives backing him vociferously.  And one may not want to underestimate the influence of Kayne West.  Of course, that Black unemployment is now the lowest recorded helps Trump.
I understand if readers think this is all anecdotal wishful thinking.  I guess we will find out in a year, won’t we?  But I predict Trump will get 16% or more of the Black vote.  That may not sound like much, but it would be double his 2016 vote.
Of course, if Trump makes significant inroads with Black voters, it would be catastrophic for Democrats just as Ronald Reagan winning over Roman Catholics was in the 80’s.  From a Democrat point of the view, that Must. Not. Happen.
Now I do not presume to know for sure whether one of the purposes of the AND Campaign is to prevent this and to keep largely Black “Urban Christians,” as they dub them, on board with Democrats.  Just as I do not presume to know all the motives of Cardinal Bernardin when he gave his Seamless Garment lecture in 1983. Still, there is no question a big theme of AND is Orange Man Bad.  They do NOT want “Urban Christians” voting for Trump at a time when more of them just might.
Thus the timing of AND is interesting, is it not?

Friday, November 01, 2019

Is the AND Campaign a Democrat Front Group?

Up to now, I have given the benefit of the doubt to the motives behind the AND Campaign.  They certainly present themselves winsomely and sound earnest.  But after digging a little deeper, I cannot see how I can give the benefit of the doubt any longer.
What I’ve just found out is a bit embarrassing because I should have known before now.  Finding out just who is leading a political campaign is a rather obvious thing to do, but my focus was on what AND was saying, particularly in their 2020 Presidential Election Statement. Nonetheless, I have now looked into their leadership.
The President and Co-Founder of the AND Campaign is Justin Giboney.  I will allow his intro at the AND site to speak for itself (Emphasis mine):
Justin Giboney is an attorney and political strategist in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Giboney has managed successful campaigns for elected officialsin the state and referendums relating to the city’s transportation and water infrastructure.
In 2012 and 2016, Georgia’s 5th congressional district elected him as a delegate for the Democratic National Convention and he served as the co-chair of Obama for America’s Gen44-Atlanta initiative.A former Vanderbilt University football player and law student, Justin served on the Urban League of Greater Atlanta Board of Directors. Additionally, Justin has participated in LEAD Atlanta, Outstanding Atlanta and the Georgia Bar Association’s Leadership Academy. He’s written op-eds for publications such as Christianity Today.
So the President and Co-Founder of AND is a Democrat “political strategist” who was a delegate to the Democrat National Convention in 2012 and 2016. He was surely an Obama delegate in 2012.  He was a delegate for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  So we are supposed to trust the judgement and leadership of someone who still supported Obama after four years of his regime and then supported Hillary in 2016? Really? And he also worked for Obama for America.
Not much Christian judgement and not much non-partisanship there.
Okay, but maybe the Number Two in AND leadership will provide a little bi-partisan balance.  Let’s see…
Michael Wear serves as Chief Strategist and member of the executive leadership team for The AND Campaign. 
As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s historic 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts.
He founded Public Square Strategies LLC, a consulting firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape.
Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in AmericaHe also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics and culture. He holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Trinity Forum. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.
But of course they do.
So the two top leaders of the AND Campaign are both experienced Democrat political operatives.  Both were all in for Obama, even in 2012.  And Wear directed conning Christians, er I mean, “faith outreach” for the Obama re-election campaign in 2012, again after the nature of the Obama regime was quite clear after four years.
So now he is again directing conning Christians for Democrats.
That may seem harsh.  But that is what Wear has done and is doing. And really, with those two leading the AND Campaign, isn’t that is what AND is doing?  If not, then why the heck are two Democrat political operatives leading the AND Campaign?  Why would you have two Democrat political operatives lead unless you intend to do some Democrat political operating? 
With their leadership and with their 2020 election statement, it is hard to come to any conclusion but that AND’s intended purpose is persuading evangelicals into thinking supporting Democrats is the Christian thing to do. Their supposed non-partisanship is a mask, a front.
As much as they may try not to appear so, AND is beyond a reasonable doubt a Democrat front group with the current chief purpose of getting evangelicals to vote Democrat in 2020.  Do not be deceived.  Do not be conned.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The AND Campaign: “Seamless Garment” Redux?

When I first heard of the AND campaign, I was immediately reminded of the “Seamless Garment” pushed by the late Cardinal Bernardin.
An old Crisis article by Michael Pakaluk goes through the history of Bernardin’s Seamless Garment and the problems with it very well.  A key moment was when the Cardinal brought together liberal Democrats talking points under a “pro-life” umbrella in a 1983 address at Fordham:
If one contends as we do, that the right of every fetus to be born should be protected by civil law and supported by civil consensus, then our moral, political, and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth. Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker. Such a quality of life posture translates into specific political and economic positions on tax policy, employment generation, welfare policy, nutrition and feeding programs, and health care. Consistency means we cannot have it both ways: We cannot urge rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.
As Pakaluk notes, “this controversial passage, never withdrawn or repudiated by Bernardin, links regard for life with regard for the ‘quality of life’ in a highly dubious moral equation.”  And it is dubious. Say, letting illegals right on in and helping them stay, as the Roman Catholic hierarchy has long advocated and Catholic Charities has long enabled, is in the same category as protecting the unborn? No.  It is not.
For all I know, Bernardin may have had the best of motives. But the timing of the address and how the U. S. Roman Catholic bishops pushed the Seamless Garment is suspicious in light of the politics of abortion, Democrats, and Roman Catholics at the time.  
Democrats used to be a mixed lot on abortion.  Even Ted Kennedy once opposed abortion.  But by 1983, Democrat pols were becoming more and more pro-abortion under deceptive rhetoric such as “pro-choice” and “personally opposed but…”  And more than a few of these pro-abortion Democrats were Roman Catholics, such as Kennedy and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.  Most U. S. Roman bishops were Democrats, of course, and liberal on social welfare issues while still opposed to abortion.  But with the Democrat Party becoming increasingly pro-abortion, continuing support for them was getting harder to justify.
In addition, Ronald Reagan was recovering well from his 1982 mid-term election setback.  Thanks to a robust economic revival and his social conservatism, he was popular among Roman Catholics and was well on the way to a landslide 1984 victory.  And he was pro-life. On the other hand, all but the gullible were not buying the “personally opposed” bit of Democrats.
This presented U. S. Roman bishops with some quandaries. How to get Roman Catholics to return to the Democrat fold?  How to justify voting for Democrats when they had become more and more pro-abortion?  And how could the bishops justify their own usual support for Democrats or even justify giving pro-abortion Democrat pols communion?
The Seamless Garment came to the rescue, doing far more for Democrats and for the bishops than for the unborn.  Now one could be “pro-life” by being for food stamps for illegals or by being for a “Nuclear Freeze,” a trendy stance back then, or by supporting Democrats on liberal quality of life issues as whole.  Abortion was relegated to one issue among many if even that.
By thereby supporting Democrats, efforts to protect the unborn were undermined. For the days of Democrats embracing the unborn under their liberalism were ending if not already over.  The Seamless Garment gave an excuse to put Democrat political and policy priorities above the lives of the unborn.  Oh, the pro-life rhetoric continued from the U. S. RCC, at least for a time.  But their political actions usually undermined efforts to protect the unborn. The Seamless Garment was a compassionate appearing fig leaf over that.
Obviously, this is a very condensed overview.  But discerning readers may already notice parallels between the Seamless Garment and what AND is promoting.  I see the AND Campaign, particularly their 2020 Presidential Election Statement, and I see Democrat priorities dubbed pro-life. I see an effort to undermine a pro-life Republican President (Reagan then. Trump now.) while wanting still to appear pro-life and non-partisan.  I see an effort to justify voting Democrat to pro-life evangelicals being driven away by Democrat extremism on abortion (and today on many more issues than in the 80’s).  I see once again the “highly dubious moral equation” between quality of life issues with the right to life.  And if AND comes close to succeeding in attracting Evangelical voters to Democrats as well as the Seamless Garment blessed Roman Catholic support of Democrats, I see the unborn as the losers in the end, along with church and country as well.

I see Seamless Garment Redux in the Evangelical Church of What’s Happening Now.
Again, the AND Campaign may be well meaning, but it repeats the errors of the Seamless Garment.  May it not repeat its influence.

Monday, October 28, 2019

AND’s 2020 Presidential Election Statement – Is AND Really Pro-Life?

AND has been promoting itself with some effectiveness as a non-partisan, pro-life Christian middle way.  But it’s 2020 Presidential Election Statement reveals that is deceptive posturing; it is hardly non-partisan as I’ve noted.  A close reading of the statement raises the question of whether they are even pro-life.  
The Healthcare and Abortion section:

We believe in building a society that respects human dignity at all stages of life, including the unborn. This includes accessible and affordable health care for everyone. Americans should not go bankrupt because they get sick or die because their medication is exorbitantly expensive. This includes policies that support maternal health and address our nation’s high rate of maternal mortality, especially among Black and Native American women. It includes vigilant prosecution of pregnancy discrimination in education and the workplace. It is essential that the sanctity of human life at every stage, in particular in the womb, is defended vigorously. Abortion is a tragedy, not a social good, that should be vehemently discouraged rather than promoted. 
That sounds good but there is something missing.  There is no calling for legal restrictions on abortion, not even late-term abortions.  There is not even a call for cutting off federal funds for abortion.   Those would seem no-brainers for an organization that calls itself pro-life.  
Bill Clinton also made noises to sound pro-life, too. Remember his saying abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare”?  Yet he ended up being such a pro-abortion President, vetoing even bills against partial birth abortion, that I called him Babykiller Bill.

I am not saying AND is in that territory. But their reluctance to make specific proposals to legally restrict abortion begs the question: Are they really pro-life?  Or are they just a ruse to make voting Democrat more palatable to pro-life Christians? 
I do not know.  But I know what I suspect.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Pachamama Returns: Is Francis Committing Idolatry? UPDATED

I will soon be going to [TRIGGER WARNING!! AVERT YOUR EYES ALL YE SNOWFLAKES!!] a gun show.  So I am posting in haste.  I do not like to do so but the controversy about the Pachamama statues at the Vatican’s Amazon Synod has become so significant that I am compelled to comment.
To be brief, Pope Francis has noted that “the Pachamama statues” have been retrieved.  Yes, that is what he has now called them, and that in itself is significant. He thereby acknowledges that the statues are idols that have been brought into the Synod even though he claims there were “no idolatrous intentions.”
That is just begging for satire, but continuing…
This situation could become much worse tomorrow.  For, even after acknowledging that they are “Pachamama statues,” Francis said that they may be included in the Synod’s closing mass:
The Commander of the Carabinieri [Italian police] wished to inform us of the retrieval before the news becomes public. At the moment the news is confidential, and the statues are being kept in the office of the Commander of the Italian Carabinieri.

The leadership of the Carabinieri will be very happy to follow any indication given on the method of making the news public, and regarding the other initiatives desired in its regard, for example, the commander said, “the display of the statues at the closing Mass of the Synod.” We’ll see.

I delegate the Secretary of State to respond to this.

This is good news, thank you.
Needless to say, if said display occurs, it would be a grievous and idolatrous provocation.  
Already, Fr. John Hunwicke is asking if Francis has committed “a formal act of Apostasy” under the canons:

If the statue venerated in the VGE was not of Pachamama, but PF erroneously believed that it was, would his act of veneration of this statue (if he did make such an act) still be a formal act of Apostasy, on the grounds that the Roman Pontiff intended to commit an act of idolatry?
I think the question answers itself although canon law may complicate the matter.  But, yes, this is a grave matter already.
I will continue to keep an eye on this matter and to pray for faithful orthodox Catholics, who surely must be distressed by this.

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UPDATE: There are numerous reports that the Pachamama idols were not seen at the closing Mass of the Synod. 

Friday, October 25, 2019

AND’s 2020 Presidential Election Statement – the Mask Slips

The AND Campaign is a new political group which winsomely portrays themselves as being consistently pro-life, as a non-partisan Christian middle way that has issues with both major parties.
Well, lets see how they do in their recently released 2020 Presidential Election Statement.  The first section after the preamble is “The Health of our Democracy”:

By disregarding standards of decency and good faith, the current administration has significantly lowered our nation’s discourse and endangered the political process. This president’s callousness—especially toward non-white Americans and vulnerable citizens—his fomenting of chaos as Commander-in-Chief, and his cavalier attitude toward rule of law and basic norms of civility all undermine social cohesion, civic trust, and our very democracy.
And that’s it.  This section on democracy is just Trump bashing.  I will leave aside the question of whether the bashing is justified and ask where is AND’s concern about the attacks on our democracy from the Democrat Party?  There has been a perpetual coup against Trump since the day after he was elected and even before.  The phony Hillary-financed Steele Dossier was used by Obama Administration officials to lie to FISA courts in order to spy on Trump.  Then Obama officials leaked and leaked and leaked the dossier’s lies to the “News” Media to try to affect the election.  In these and other ways, the Obama Administration abused the investigative and enforcement powers of the federal government to try to rig an election.  They did so to help re-elect Obama in 2012, too – remember the IRS Tea Party scandal?
After the election there was a campaign to influence and, yes, harass electors in the Electoral College.  Then there was the long Mueller investigation of the Russian Collusion that wasn’t, an investigation that should have been open-and-shut but was drawn out to influence the 2018 mid-term elections.  And now the perpetual coup continues with a secret faux impeachment investigation by the corrupt Democrat liar Adam Schiff, one not authorized by the House of Representatives, and one in which Republicans and the President’s lawyers are shut out, all triggered by a politically motivated so-called “whistle blower.”

I could continue.  Hell, Obama’s CIA head Brennan was involved in the coup! (And here is a good chronology.) And more will surely come out with the probe of Obama officials having just become a criminal investigation as I write this. But I will sum up what has become quite clear: Democrats with a few RINOs are engaged in a perpetual coup against Trump.  They never have respected his election.  Heck, Democrats have hardly respected a Republican presidential victory this millennium!  That “undermine(s) social cohesion, civic trust, and our very democracy” far more than mean words from Trump. 
But the AND Campaign ignores all that and instead gets all weepy about Trump’s language.  It looks like they aren’t so non-partisan and principled after all. In the preamble, they say “Christians can hold both parties accountable,” but apparently AND is not among said Christians. 
That the AND Campaign does not care about and only enables Democrat Party attacks on our democracy is confirmed by the next section, “Race and Voter Rights”:

America was built by enslaved people and immigrant workers who brought the country closer to its founding ideals through their sacrifices and protests. And yet racial discrimination has pervaded American public policy and the law since our nation’s inception, and its effects continue today. People of color still haven’t fully recovered from the War on Drugs and a myriad of other government sanctioned efforts that devastated communities and weakened families. We must address racial disparities in education, poverty-levels healthcare, environmental quality, and the criminal justice system head on. Central to that effort must be the vigilant protection of voting rights. Voting should be fair, accessible, and convenient for all eligible American citizens, and enfranchisement should extend to former felons who have paid their debt to society.
Election fraud, which benefits Democrats more often than not, is not mentioned.  Efforts to stop election fraud are not endorsed.  Oh, but they want felons, who, yes, vote mostly Democrat, to get to vote.
So whether by intent or not, the AND Campaign enables corrupt Democrat designs on our democracy.
I may just end there for now.  For the rest of the statement is therefore hardly worth reading. So what if AND later makes nice sounding statements about abortion and religious freedom?  If the Democrats succeed in so rigging the system that pro-life and pro-freedom people can never gain power in Washington again and actually enact pro-life and pro-freedom policies, it will be open season on the unborn and on traditional Christians no matter how many nice statements AND makes.  Besides, what is the point of issuing such statements of moral posturing if one kisses constitutional democracy good-bye?
Or maybe that is the point.  It is putting a Christian veneer on backing the Democrat Party’s predations.
Again, I do not presume to know AND’s intentions.  But it is already clear that they are being used to make it more palatable for Christians to vote Democrat and further undermine our constitutional democracy.  That is their real purpose even if some of them are too idealistic and callow to know that.
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Anglicans may want to note that Esau McCaulley, a fast-rising leader in the Anglican Church in North America, has signed AND’s 2020 Presidential Election Statement.  To his credit, he signed it simply as “author, Wheaton, Ill” and kept ACNA’s name off the statement.