Jean Raspail: ‘We Are Only At the Beginning’

A reader sends a translation of an interview that Jean Raspail recently gave to the French magazine Le Point. Excerpts:

Le Point: Some on the right consider your book The Camp of the Saints, written in 1972, as visionary, especially since the refugee crisis. How do you feel about that?

JR: This migrant crisis puts an end to thirty years of insults and slander against me. I have been called a fascist because of this book considered to be a racist work…

Are you a racist?

No, not at all! You can’t spend your life traveling the world, be a member of the Society of French Explorers, meet I don’t know how many endangered populations, and be a racist. That would be hard, it seems to me. When it came out in 1972 the book shocked people tremendously, and for a reason. There was a period, notably during the seven-year term of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing when a veritable intellectual terrorism was employed against right-wing writers.

More:

What’s happening today isn’t important, it’s anecdotal, for we are only at the beginning. Right now, the whole world is talking about this, there are thousands of specialists on the issue of migrants, it’s a chaos of commentary. Not one looks at the thirty-five years that lie ahead. The situation we are living through today is nothing compared to what awaits us in 2050. There will be nine billion people on the earth. Africa has gone from one hundred million to one billion inhabitants in a century, and perhaps twice that in 2050. Will the world be livable? The overpopulation and the wars of religion will make the situation fragile. That’s when the invasion will occur, it is ineluctable. The migrants will come in great part from Africa, the Middle East and the borders of Asia…

Should we fight the evil at the roots and bomb the strategic points of Daesh, as France has just done?

It’s their problem not ours. It doesn’t concern us. What are we doing in this business? Why do we want to play a role? Let them cope! Years ago we got out of these regions? Why go back?

And what do we do when Syria sends out orders to attack France?

We block them. We prevent them from entering French territory. The politicians have no solution to this problem. It’s like the debt – we pass it on to our grandchildren. Our grandchildren will have to manage this problem of massive migration.

The Catholic Church is not at all on this wave length. It is urging the faithful to show their generosity…

I have written that Christian charity will suffer a bit when faced with the answers to the influx of migrants. It will have to steel itself and suppress compassion of all sorts. Otherwise, our countries will be submerged.

Read the whole thing.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Pope Francis to Kim Davis: ‘Stay Strong’

Well, golly:

No photo — official, selfie or otherwise — of an encounter has emerged. But same-sex marriage-opposing Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis met with Pope Francis during his visit to the United States, according to her lawyer.

… “During the meeting Pope Francis said, ‘Thank you for your courage,’” according to the press release. “Pope Francis also told Kim Davis, ‘Stay strong.’ He held out his hands and asked Kim to pray for him. Kim held his hands and said, ‘I will. Please pray for me,’ and the Pope said he would. The two embraced.”

Davis was elated.

“I was humbled to meet Pope Francis,” she said in the press release. “Of all people, why me?”

She added: “I never thought I would meet the Pope. Who am I to have this rare opportunity? I am just a County Clerk who loves Jesus and desires with all my heart to serve him.” And: “Pope Francis was kind, genuinely caring, and very personable.”

Apparently it’s true. It was first reported by Robert Moynihan in his Inside the Vatican magazine (I can’t get a link to the article to work), citing Vatican sources. Based on this meeting, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Pope Francis supports Kim Davis. That doesn’t make Kim Davis’s course of action correct, but man, it’s hard to have a better ally than Pope “Who Am I To Judge?”

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Britain’s Botched Child Abuse Scandal

To put it mildly, it was an awkward social situation. After murdering a small boy during a pedophile orgy, a senior Member of Parliament determined to castrate another victim with a knife. He was prevented from this act by a former British Prime Minister who was present at the event. That fellow-pervert suggested that this was going a little far, even for a group that had already murdered several other children. How far we have traveled from Downton Abbey.

If I seem to be treating such a horrific story sarcastically, I honestly do not know how else to respond to such a monstrous and fantastic allegation, or the fact that senior ranks of the British police have treated this phantasmagoric tale—and countless others of the same sort—as sober fact. Lives and reputations have been ruined. Fortunately, it now seems that the whole disastrous saga of falsehoods is about to collapse amidst purges and resignations, with growing warnings about police reliance on “narcissists and fantasists.” The main question presently is how much of the British legal and criminal justice system will go down with this horribly flawed investigation. Dare we hope that common sense will at last prevail?

Some months ago, I outlined the mythology of “elite pedophile rings” that had been circulating in Britain for some years. The allegedly homicidal MP in question was Harvey Proctor, the former Premier was Edward Heath, while other rumored perpetrators from the early 1980s included multiple figures at the highest ranks of politics, intelligence and the military. One of the accused was former Home Secretary Leon Brittan, others were the heads of MI5 and MI6. As the saying goes, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence, and that was certainly applicable in this instance—but what was extraordinary was how incredibly weak-to-non-existent was the evidence offered.

The whole “Westminster Pedophile Ring” extravaganza depends on the unsupported testimony of one anonymous man, “Nick,” a 47-year old administrator in the National Health Service, and a former nurse, who reports being present at various events as an abused child victim. His claims may theoretically be correct, but as yet, no corroboration has been found to support them. Even so, he became the star witness for a special police investigative unit, Operation Midland, and last year one leading officer described Nick’s testimony as “credible and true.” As even the Metropolitan Police has now admitted, the prejudicial word “true” should never have been uttered in this context—but how convenient never to have to take any of these cases to trial! If the police were able simply to declare the charges true then ideally, nothing would be left except to build the bonfire for the accused.

Over the months, Nick’s tales have faced increasing skepticism, and major new exposés should be forthcoming within the coming weeks, as long-postponed investigative documentaries finally appear on British television. Nick’s many critics point out that he had for years reported suffering extensive abuse as a child, but only very recently did he add the charges about elite offenders …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Lesbians: ‘Teach Our Kid — Or Else’

David French at NR highlights a lesbian couple in California seeking to sue a Christian school for not allowing their child to attend. Excerpt:

I’m on the board of my kids’ Christian school, and we clearly and unequivocally both teach and practice that the school can’t do its work without the full support and cooperation of the parents. One of the great advantages of private education is the partnership between parents and schools, and the notion that we would be forced into partnership with people who fundamentally reject our values is antithetical to any meaningful conception of religious freedom. If this controversy goes to court it will present an interesting lesson for those who believe that Christians can leave the culture wars behind and safely retreat to their own enclaves. The radical left will find you. When the goal is destroying a belief system, there is no safe way to freely exercise your faith.

French, who is a lawyer, acknowledges that this will likely be an open-and-shut case for the school, which will surely prevail. I regret that he took the opportunity to take another groundless shot at the Benedict Option. The Ben Op does not require Christians to run from the public square, or stop trying to defend themselves. What the Benedict Option is for is preparing for what happens when your school wins in court, but faces hateful protests from the community, and your children are stigmatized for attending it.

Traditional Christians need to fight for our liberties as long as we have the chance to do so, but even if we manage to preserve them — a doubtful proposition in the long term, if we can’t get any kind of federal protection for our institutions passed — we have to have enough resilience within ourselves, our families, and our communities to withstand the spite of the world, and the costs that will entail, for the sake of our faith.

I’m less worried about what the government might eventually do to our schools as I am about my children and the members of my faith community turning away from the truth because the cost imposed by the culture is too high. I’m more worried that the government and its courts won’t need to try to penalize and shut down religious schools because so few of them will have refused to capitulate.

The Benedict Option is not an either/or, but a both/and. When you’re out of bullets with which to fight the culture war in the courts and in the court of public opinion, what do you do then? I expect to live to see that day. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not going simply to hope for the best.

French asks a good question:

Here’s a question for the secular left — when religious liberty collides with the desires of LGBT citizens, is there any case where religious freedom should prevail?

Well, according to prominent law professor and gay-rights advocate Chai Feldblum, in that well-known 2006 piece by Maggie Gallagher, no, there isn’t:

To …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Scandal in Moscow

The last thing I read about the controversial Reformed pastor Doug Wilson, he was making a case for why Christian women are prettier than non-believing females. Excerpt from that:

Unbelieving women either compete for the attention of men through outlandish messages that communicate some variation of “easy lay,” or in the grip of resentment they give up the endeavor entirely, which is how we get lumberjack dykes. The former is an avid reader of Cosmopolitan and thinks she knows 15K ways to please a man in bed. The latter is just plain surly about the fact that there even are any men.

So there’s that. It’s apparently a rhetorical tic among the Moscow, Idaho, bunch; longtime readers will recall a younger pastor associated with Wilson’s church claiming that Protestants who convert to Catholicism or Orthodoxy are the spiritual equivalent of perverts who masturbate to pornography. He calls himself “one of those grenade launching Protestants.” Um, yeah.

This morning, though, a reader brings to my attention a situation in the Moscow circle that is far worse than any culture-war sniping and snarking.

Earlier this month, a convicted sex offender named Stephen Sitler was prohibited by a judge from having contact with his infant son without a chaperone other than his wife present — this, after he was discovered being sexually stimulated by such contact. Sitler was convicted in 2005 of child molestation; he molested several children in a family

Sitler eventually pled guilty to only one count of lewd conduct with a child under 16. Despite allegations that Sitler had molested other children, none of the other families would cooperate with investigators.

Doug Wilson wrote to the judge asking for leniency, and expressing his hope that Sitler could one day be rehabilitated and become a productive member of society. Sitler was sentenced to life in prison, but released on probabation in 2007 after 20 months behind bars. Six weeks later, he was caught in an act of voyeurism, and confessed to masturbating while peering into a neighbor’s window. In 2010, an elder at Doug Wilson’s church and his family set up a meeting between Katie Travis, a young woman at New St. Andrews college in Moscow, and Sitler; Sitler describes it all on the website announcing his and Katie’s 2011 wedding.

Doug Wilson married them in his church in 2011 — this, knowing that Sitler was a pedophile.

The Sitlers had a baby boy, and as of this month, Steven Sitler is not allowed to be with his son because a court has reason to believe that he is sexually stimulated by the presence of the baby. You can well imagine the ruckus this has caused in and around the Christ Church (Doug Wilson’s church) community. Wilson defends his actions forcefully in this September 5 “open letter” on his blog. Excerpt:

Seventh, in the latest round of accusations, much has been made of the fact that Christ Church approved of Steven’s wedding to Katie through the fact that I officiated …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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John Boehner and the failure to live up to conservative principles

The announcement by House Speaker John Boehner that he is retiring at the end of October stunned Washington where life is all about grabbing power and holding on to it, often until death they do part. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Christie and the “Inaction” Canard

Chris Christie’s candidacy is a non-factor in the Republican nomination contest, but his foreign policy rhetoric is unfortunately all too representative of the GOP right now:

[Obama] doesn’t understand the world is literally on fire because of his inaction. Libya is on fire. Syria is on fire. Iraq is on fire.

Christie is wrong about this in several ways. For one thing, the instability and conflicts in these countries don’t tell us about conditions in the rest of the world. The reality is that “the world” isn’t “on fire,” and in fact the world is generally suffering from fewer armed conflicts than in previous decades. These places are not at all representative of the state of most of the world, and it is only because of the obsession with the Near East and North Africa in our foreign policy debate that a candidate gets away with making a generalization like this.

Christie is also wrong about the reasons for the instability and conflict in these places. Libya and Iraq are in their current state largely thanks to the decisions to “act” by pursuing regime change. In the absence of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is very unlikely that there would have been an opportunity for jihadists to flourish in Iraq, and in that case the organization we know today as ISIS might never have existed. The choice that the U.S. and some of its allies made to topple the Libyan government was a major factor in making the country what it is today.

In his U.N. speech, Obama lamely tried to spin the problems in post-intervention Libya as a result of not doing enough to follow up that regime change with even more outside intervention, which just shows how oblivious he remains to the original error of taking sides in Libya’s civil war. The revisionist idea that the U.S. and NATO could have stabilized the country after the regime was destroyed leaves out that the Libyan transitional government at the time wanted no part of an outside force, and no other government was prepared to commit to providing one. The lack of any follow-up effort was not really an oversight of the governments that intervened in Libya. On the contrary, it was one of the intervention’s original selling points.

The Libyan war was a “model” for regime change and “humanitarian” intervention on the cheap. Had any of them ever thought it involved a longer-term commitment, no government would have endorsed it. Had the U.S. been less inclined to “act” by attacking other governments and throwing their countries into chaos, it is very likely that much of the instability and violence currently plaguing the region would not be happening or at least would not be as bad as it is. If Republican hawks were capable of acknowledging that U.S. intervention in Libya was a horrible error, they would have a field day criticizing Obama and Clinton, but they are so wedded to meddling in foreign conflicts that they can’t ever make …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Beauty and Reality

Last week at Villanova, I sat in on an aesthetics class taught by James Matthew Wilson. I’ve posted his poetry on this site before (here and here). I found the class thrilling because I have no training in how to think formally about beauty, and these ideas, as elementary as they surely were, struck me as a series of small eureka moments (fitting, as the class is called “Epiphanies of Beauty”).

James sent me home with a photocopy of an essay he published in the Winter 2015 issue of Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture (that issue is not available online, but you can access the essay on this site). Its title is “John Paul II’s Letter to Artists and the Force of Beauty.” I read it on the plane home, and it sparked all kinds of thoughts. Mostly, though, it helped me to understand why the Divine Comedy, as well as the Chartres cathedral, were for me doorways leading to God. I suppose I ended the essay with more questions than answers, but fruitful questions, for sure. This post is going to reflect the fragmented nature of this amateur’s reading of the paper.

Early in the paper, James calls the imaginative arts “a preamble to metaphysics. We imagine what we cannot yet know by reason or believe by faith, and this act of sympathy and imagination can prepare the soil of our soul for more substantial realities.” More:

If the significance of the artwork is strictly that of the made thing expressive of its maker, it requires few if any a priori beliefs to be in place: only our natural capacity for sympathy and an openness to pretending. And yet, in the case of such novelists, we leave off with a question that the works by their nature cannot answer. We may be moved in sympathy to think of the world through the mind of the Christian character, but the exciting question left suspended is “Are we right to think thus?” or “Is it true?”

A talented young poet named Therese Couture explores the lead up to, and lingering in, such questions in a recent poem published in the Catholic literary journal Dappled Things. Describing historic Catholic churches, their architecture and art all in place but largely neglected of the purpose for which they were built, namely, worship, Couture inquires whether they might still signify for a secular viewer what they did for those who once prayed in them. She describes an artist “sketching in a book” the “arches and the stained glass trill/ of light across the trodden, ancient floor.” She speculates that the blessing of this artist may lie “in some firm intuition” that
awakes the urge to reinhabit, make anew
or otherwise inquire into suspicion
of loveliness and that it might be true

Those lines describe exactly the feeling that struck me when I stood in Chartres for the first time, a feeling that I had not been able to fully articulate. I wondered if …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Challenge the Washington Consensus with TAC

It’s that time of year again.

Last year, around this time, I wrote a post asking you to support The American Conservative, saying:

TAC is currently in the middle of a fundraising campaign, the catch phrase for which is “realism and reform.” And, as catch phrases goes, it’s not bad. Who, after all, is going to come out in favor of “delusion and sclerosis”?

Who, indeed? Little did I anticipate the 2016 Presidential contest.

Today’s Republican party may aptly be described as the party of delusion, living in a world where omni-directional belligerence is global leadership, where massive unfunded tax cuts are the height of fiscal responsibility, and where ignorance of basic facts is not merely tolerated but applauded as evidence of authenticity.

And today’s Democrats, running on the status quo at a time when more than two-thirds of those polled say the country is on the wrong track, and set to be led by the wife of the previous Democratic President, whose primary challenger is a 73-year-old self-proclaimed Socialist—how better to describe them than as the party of sclerosis?

It’s a depressing spectacle.

And more depressing than the spectacle itself is the fact that the bulk of the press treats it as precisely that: a spectacle. As if the country can be counted on to take care of itself, and we can content ourselves during elections with rooting for our preferred team and enjoying the show.

But not all of the press takes that attitude.

Last year, I made a point of saying that TAC didn’t have a party line, and wasn’t interested in promoting a particular ideological agenda. And that’s still true. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing we believe, and it doesn’t mean we take a purely spectator’s interest in public affairs.

If there is one thing that unites the diverse factions and unclassifiable individuals around here, it’s the conviction that the Washington consensus in foreign policy needs to be questioned. That America needs to rediscover the virtues of restraint, to set priorities among our interests and desires, and to learn to work with other powers on common interests rather than attempting to dictate terms to ally and adversary alike. We’re holding a conference on the subject in November, and, as with our last such foray, we’re eager to use such discussions to build bridges between conservatives and liberals who, differing on other matters, see how vital it is that on matters of war and peace, a different voice is heard.

Because it is a different voice, one that gets heard relatively infrequently in the councils of either party, and is heeded even less. It’s striking, and depressing, to observe how, after the disastrous war in Iraq, and the substantial failure of our nation-building effort in Afghanistan, the current administration still found itself intervening in Libya, half-heartedly engaging in the Syrian civil war, and cheering on a Saudi war in Yemen—and did so even though people at the highest levels of the administration, including the President himself, expressed skepticism about the efficacy …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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The New Nationalist World Order

Pope Francis’s four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph.

The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-greatest power. But how enduring, and how relevant, was the pope’s celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.

The day the pope departed Philadelphia, 48 percent of Catalonia, in a record turnout of 78 percent, voted to deliver a parliamentary majority to two parties that advocate seceding from Spain. Like the Scots in Britain, the Walloons in Belgium and the Italians of Veneto, they want to live apart, not together.

While the pope called on America and Europe to welcome the migrant millions of the Third World, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose diocese stretches across the southern reaches of Catholic Hungary, says of those pouring into Europe: “They’re not refugees. This is an invasion. They come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar.’ They want to take over.”

The bishop hailed Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who denounced any open door:

Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for the whole of Europe. We must acknowledge that the European Union’s misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation.

We shouldn’t forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture. Most are not Christian, but Muslim. … That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland joined Hungary in voting to reject EU quotas for migrants. Under pressure from her allies in Bavaria, even Angela Merkel is re-imposing border controls.

A backlash against refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Islamic world is sweeping Europe. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, the strongest anti-EU party in Europe, has called on Paris to ship all migrants back across the Mediterranean. This was the solution Dwight Eisenhower settled on in “Operation Wetback,” when he ordered Gen. Joseph Swing to send the million aliens in Texas illegally back to Mexico in 1954. Swing did as ordered. Indeed, the call to repatriate the 12 million aliens here illegally has been a propellant behind the candidacy of GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

Behind this rising resistance to illegal and mass migration is human nature—the innate desire of peoples of one tribe or nation, who share a common language, history, faith, culture, traditions and identity, to live together—and to live apart from all the rest. Such currents are stronger than any written constitutions.

That Global Citizen Festival concert in Central Park Saturday, featuring Beyonce, may have spoken to the globalist beliefs of Barack Obama, whose wife was there, and of the pope, who was flying to Philly. But in the real world, nationalism, not globalism, is ascendant.

Though Gen. David Petraeus claims Vladimir Putin seeks to re-establish the Russian Empire, this misses …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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