Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The night we waved goodbye to America... our last best hope on Earth
10th November 2008
Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernise Heaven and Hell – or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.
The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilisation. At least Mandela-worship – its nearest equivalent – is focused on a man who actually did something.
I really don’t see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts.
It already has all the signs of such a thing. The newspapers which recorded Obama’s victory have become valuable relics. You may buy Obama picture books and Obama calendars and if there isn’t yet a children’s picture version of his story, there soon will be.
Proper books, recording his sordid associates, his cowardly voting record, his astonishingly militant commitment to unrestricted abortion and his blundering trip to Africa, are little-read and hard to find.
If you can believe that this undistinguished and conventionally Left-wing machine politician is a sort of secular saviour, then you can believe anything. He plainly doesn’t believe it himself. His cliche-stuffed, PC clunker of an acceptance speech suffered badly from nerves. It was what you would expect from someone who knew he’d promised too much and that from now on the easy bit was over.
He needn’t worry too much. From now on, the rough boys and girls of America’s Democratic Party apparatus, many recycled from Bill Clinton’s stained and crumpled entourage, will crowd round him, to collect the rich spoils of his victory and also tell him what to do, which is what he is used to.
Just look at his sermon by the shores of Lake Michigan. He really did talk about a ‘new dawn’, and a ‘timeless creed’ (which was ‘yes, we can’). He proclaimed that ‘change has come’. He revealed that, despite having edited the Harvard Law Review, he doesn’t know what ‘enormity’ means. He reached depths of oratorical drivel never even plumbed by our own Mr Blair, burbling about putting our hands on the arc of history (or was it the ark of history?) and bending it once more toward the hope of a better day (Don’t try this at home).
I am not making this up. No wonder that awful old hack Jesse Jackson sobbed as he watched. How he must wish he, too, could get away with this sort of stuff.
And it was interesting how the President-elect failed to lift his admiring audience by repeated – but rather hesitant – invocations of the brainless slogan he was forced by his minders to adopt against his will – ‘Yes, we can’. They were supposed to thunder ‘Yes, we can!’ back at him, but they just wouldn’t join in. No wonder. Yes we can what exactly? Go home and keep a close eye on the tax rate, is my advice. He’d have been better off bursting into ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’ which contains roughly the same message and might have attracted some valuable commercial sponsorship.
Perhaps, being a Chicago crowd, they knew some of the things that 52.5 per cent of America prefers not to know. They know Obama is the obedient servant of one of the most squalid and unshakeable political machines in America. They know that one of his alarmingly close associates, a state-subsidised slum landlord called Tony Rezko, has been convicted on fraud and corruption charges.
They also know the US is just as segregated as it was before Martin Luther King – in schools, streets, neighbourhoods, holidays, even in its TV-watching habits and its choice of fast-food joint. The difference is that it is now done by unspoken agreement rather than by law.
If Mr Obama’s election had threatened any of that, his feel-good white supporters would have scuttled off and voted for John McCain, or practically anyone. But it doesn’t. Mr Obama, thanks mainly to the now-departed grandmother he alternately praised as a saint and denounced as a racial bigot, has the huge advantages of an expensive private education. He did not have to grow up in the badlands of useless schools, shattered families and gangs which are the lot of so many young black men of his generation.
If the nonsensical claims made for this election were true, then every positive discrimination programme aimed at helping black people into jobs they otherwise wouldn’t get should be abandoned forthwith. Nothing of the kind will happen. On the contrary, there will probably be more of them.
And if those who voted for Obama were all proving their anti-racist nobility, that presumably means that those many millions who didn’t vote for him were proving themselves to be hopeless bigots. This is obviously untrue.
I was in Washington DC the night of the election. America’s beautiful capital has a sad secret. It is perhaps the most racially divided city in the world, with 15th Street – which runs due north from the White House – the unofficial frontier between black and white. But, like so much of America, it also now has a new division, and one which is in many ways much more important. I had attended an election-night party in a smart and liberal white area, but was staying the night less than a mile away on the edge of a suburb where Spanish is spoken as much as English, plus a smattering of tongues from such places as Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan.
As I walked, I crossed another of Washington’s secret frontiers. There had been a few white people blowing car horns and shouting, as the result became clear. But among the Mexicans, Salvadorans and the other Third World nationalities, there was something like ecstasy.
They grasped the real significance of this moment. They knew it meant that America had finally switched sides in a global cultural war. Forget the Cold War, or even the Iraq War. The United States, having for the most part a deeply conservative people, had until now just about stood out against many of the mistakes which have ruined so much of the rest of the world.
Suspicious of welfare addiction, feeble justice and high taxes, totally committed to preserving its own national sovereignty, unabashedly Christian in a world part secular and part Muslim, suspicious of the Great Global Warming panic, it was unique.
These strengths had been fading for some time, mainly due to poorly controlled mass immigration and to the march of political correctness. They had also been weakened by the failure of America’s conservative party – the Republicans – to fight on the cultural and moral fronts.
They preferred to posture on the world stage. Scared of confronting Left-wing teachers and sexual revolutionaries at home, they could order soldiers to be brave on their behalf in far-off deserts. And now the US, like Britain before it, has begun the long slow descent into the Third World. How sad. Where now is our last best hope on Earth?
Friday, December 26, 2008
Even before the Cold War, the Soviet Union suppressed the freedom of the press in the countries it controlled as well as the Soviet Union itself. The public was deprived of truth which led to the West’s beaming VOA, RFE and BBC radio broadcasts to inform the Russians and Eastern Europeans. Thinking they knew what the listeners wanted, the broadcasts were of international happenings, but it was soon apparent the listeners craved to know what was happening in their own country.
At the time I wondered how awful it must be to not know what was happening in one’s own country; but after the past primary and presidential election, I know.
The past lingers with us; however, now more importantly, what will the future bring? The President-Elect’s cabinet choices are middle-of-the-road people, but outside of the secretary of state and the secretary of defense, what role will they play in changing our country?
The paramount question is whether the President-Elect will veer toward the center as his cabinet choices indicate or will he stick with his friends of 25 years and support the political philosophy they shared? He is indeed a Manchurian candidate. From his youngest days, from the time of his mother, he’s been immersed in far leftist, communist, Marxist ideology. Will he shake this off?
But there has never been a better time to go to the far left. Our economy is shattered. With globalization, jobs are gone. Factories are gone, the machinery of many shipped overseas. Skills are gone. Unemployment is going through the roof, and our debt reaches hopelessness. My fear is the situation is much worse than we know. “We’ve been done in.” The people want change and rightly so.
The juxtaposition of the stars foretells the President-Elect can do about anything he wants to do. By two steps he can implement his leftist ideology, if it’s still part of him, and change our country to one different from what we are. The first is to create jobs which are directly paid by the national government or by federal subsidies through the states. In effect, they become “federalized employment,” which creates a dependency by the jobholders upon the continuance of the administration or one like it. The troubling aspect is the President-Elect has talked about militia-type employment, the “National Civilian Security Force” as well as forming auxiliaries of Homeland Security, which normally are adjuncts of police states. Hopefully, this is not to be.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God,
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone,
was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.
But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice
nor by a man's decision but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father's only Son,
full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
"This was he of whom I said,
The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me."
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God,
who is at the Father's side,
has revealed him.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I respectfully request that you read all the way to the end, then see my comments re: the illegality of the Supreme Court decisions restricting religious freedom.
(Note: the author of "T'was the month before Christmas" is unknown)
T'was the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say,
December 25th is just a 'Holiday.
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod,
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down,
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith,
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace.
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded,
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree,'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say,
Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS , not Happy Holiday!
Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet MERRY CHRISTMAS. Christ is "The Reason" for the Christ-mas Season! --(Anonymous)
"The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another." --U.S. Supreme Court, Everson v. Board of Education.
There is a problem with that. It’s WRONG! The Constitution does not say that. The only two references to religion are the Freedom of Religion Clause in the First Amendment and a prohibition in Article VI against applying any religious test as a condition for holding public office under the federal Constitution.
Joseph Story wrote,
In some of the states, episcopalians constituted the predominant sect; in others, presbyterians; in others, congregationalists; in others, quakers; and in others again, there was a close numerical rivalry among contending sects. It was impossible, that there should not arise perpetual strife, and perpetual jealousy on the subject of ecclesiastical ascendancy, if the national government were left free to create a religious establishment. . . .Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left exclusively to the state governments. [Capitalization as in original].The Supreme Court had no power over the control of religion in the states. The Court unlawfully seized the power to rule against freedom of religion in Everson v. Board of Education. We didn’t protest. The unlawful power became de facto power.
What if we disobey the Court and do what our conscience demands? There would be consequences, of course. But Christ did not promise that Christianity would be easy. Only that it would be worth it. Civil disobedience anyone?
 Joseph Story was a poet, scholar, prolific writer, Supreme Court Justice, and Harvard Law Professor. His Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833) is still considered the standard treatise on the subject.
 Story, Book III, §1873
 330 U.S. 1 (1947).
 In its legal definition, de facto “is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs which must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th affairs which must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate.” Black’s Law Dictionary, 5th ed.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
A website is raising the alarm in an attempt to stop the Ohio legislature from voting for a Constitutional Convention for the United States in the fear that it will become an open convention. Their fears are unfounded. Article V of the Constitution permits the states to demand "a Convention for offering Amendments . . . [to] this Constitution" [emphasis added], and nothing more. Reinforcing that limitation is a law passed by Congress that the convention cannot consider anything that is not in the call for the convention. You can be sure the people in power will not give up any unless you strictly follow the letter of the law.
I could not confirm that thirty-two states have called for the convention--Google "constitutional convention" and you will come up with 448,000 hits. Do a Google search on "con con" (an abbreviation in the blogosphere for constitutional convention) and get 138,000,000 hits. Obviously, I did not check all of the sites. I'll continue to research this. It may be the subject of a future post.
What I did find is several states have proposed a convention for amending their own state constitutions; Illinois in particular is in the news right now because of Governor Blagojevich's arrest. And there are countries like the Philippians who want to amend their national constitutions.
Nonetheless, this provides an excuse for me to put in my own 2¢ worth: a convention to propose just a balanced budget amendment would be a horrendous waste.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, dissenting in Olmstead v. U.S. (1928), wrote,
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
The balanced budget amendment is an important amendment but so is term limiting Congress; a more vital amendment is reigning in the unlimited power of the United States Supreme Court.
In the year 2000, Justice Scalia stated in his dissent in the Dickerson case that the Supreme Court had given itself the power to amend the Constitution. The only remarkable thing about Dickerson is the Court came out and openly stated (in lawyer-speak, of course) that it could amend the Constitution. In fact, it had been covertly amending the Constitution at least since the Warren Court of the 1950s.
It will never be possible to amend the Constitution fast enough and often enough to keep up with an illegitimate, activist Supreme Court. Of some ten thousand amendments proposed during the history of this nation, only twenty-seven have been ratified to become a part of the Constitution.
If several amendments compete for the public's attention, it diminishes the probability that any one of them will be adopted. Instead, the people should unite in support of a Convention for offering amendments under Article V. of the Constitution.
When the Supreme Court seized power in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the people, acquiesced and allowed it to happen. But the country still belongs to the people. The idea that this is a government "of the people, by the people and for the people" did not die when Abraham Lincoln was shot.. We can still do something about it.
The Constitution does NOT give the Court the right of judicial review (overturning an Act of Congress) nor does it give the Court the power to amend the Constitution. See, U. S. Const., Art. V here: http://www.usconstitution.net/. In drafting the Constitution the founders considered, and specifically rejected, the notion that the Court could overturn an Act of Congress. Nonetheless, the Court seized that power in Marbury v. Madison (1803).
We need to take the power back.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
All my life I believed in one man, one vote. I criticized the South for poll taxes and literacy tests. Now, I don't know. I am confused.
I live in eastern North Carolina in what is called the "Prettiest Town in the South" which was spared the ravages of the Civil War. We have the ocean, the sounds, all kinds of fishing, hunting, golf; the people are kind and polite. Our problem, which afflicts so much of America, is our county is 61% illiterate. The county to the north is the same, but the larger one to the south reaches an illiterate rate of 81%. Ipso facto, public education ranks low. There's no quest to learn. And there's nothing even over the far horizon that this will change. One must wonder what people think about, talk about or know.
Our county had a nest egg of $20 million coming from the sale of our hospital to a state university. It was a good deal. Interest could be spent for town betterment, but the investment was not to be touched. However, our county commissioners, all from the Democratic Party, unschooled in governance, wrongly allowed the moneyto be spent for extravagant town buildings. Perhaps the townspeople should have known but instead mistakenly trusted government. The shock came when the town learned millions of dollars were due on government loans, and the nest egg had whittled down to $100,000 orso. From the housetops, responsible people shouted to get the rascals out of office. For the first time in the town's history, Republican businessmen and farmers ran for county commissioner seats to repair the damage in the best way possible.
The 2008 Presidential Election came upon us. The Obama campaign sent community organizers to our region from 500 or more miles away. Aided by local Democrats a massive voter registration program began sweeping the poor, the illiterate, and the uneducated into a previously unknown voting block. Tragedy followed.
The new voters had never voted before. They flocked to the polls. Unbelievable stories abounded. The voters knew only that a black man, Obama, was running. Some thought Palin was his running mate. They were totally uninformed. One poor illiterate came into the poll to vote. He did not know if he was an American citizen. Patient poll workers questioned him and found he remembered being born in town. They asked for whom he wanted to vote, and when he answered "Obama," they registered him as a Democrat and let him to vote.
The Democratic organizers and their cohorts wanted North Carolina to go Democratic and as the uneducated approached the polling station they were instructed to vote the straight Democratic ticket. They did. The most intelligent man running for the county commission was crushed in the voting.
The same incumbent county commissioners who caused our fiscal crisis were voted back into office. We are falling into county bankruptcy.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between a man and his God;… I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." —Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association.
The United States Supreme Court likes to claim the Constitution built a "wall of separation between Church and State." That is patently false. It is the Supreme Court that erected the wall of separation as we know it today.
In 1947, the Court in Everson v. Board of Education declared, "The 'establishment of religion' clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another."
But that is the Court's interpretation, not the history of America.
Joseph Story, whose Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833) is still considered the standard treatise on the subject, wrote,
Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion is left to the state governments, to be acted upon according to their own sense of justice, and the state constitutions; and the Catholic and the Protestant, the Calvinist and the Arminian, [sic] the Jew and the Infidel, may sit down at the common table of the national counsils, [sic] without any inquisition into their faith, or mode of worship.
The guarantee of freedom of religion in the First Amendment did not promise freedom from religion. President John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
By the year 1702, all thirteen American colonies had some form of state-supported religion. Support varied from tax benefits to religious organizations to requirements to restrict voting or serve in the legislature.
Imagine the turmoil if the federal government had chosen the Anglican faith established in Virginia and applied it nationwide—-to the Quakers in Pennsylvania, to the Puritans in New England and to the Baptists and Jews wherever they may be found.
Although Delaware quit government support for religion as early as 1792, some states continued state support for religion and/or restrictions on anyone but Protestants holding public office until after the American Civil War. The last states to cease all government support for religion were Maryland (1867), South Carolina (1868), North Carolina (1875), and New Hampshire (1877).
Maryland's law requiring that one must believe in God to hold public office was not overturned by the U. S. Supreme Court until 1961.
It should be obvious to everyone but the Supreme Court that the Constitution did not bar establishing a religion. It just prohibited the federal government from establishing a national religion. The Supreme Court of the United States, in direct violation of the First Amendment, is prohibiting the free exercise of one's religion in any public events where there is state or federal government involvement.
Religious observations are deeply imbedded in our laws: religious holidays, opening sessions of Congress and other public functions with prayer, the Declaration of Independence, which refers to the "protection of divine Providence," the swearing of oaths on the Bible, and in other ways too numerous to mention.
Why do we let a few atheists, the ACLU and the United States Supreme Court dictate how and where we worship our God?
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
As President-elect Barrack Obama moves toward his inaugural, and maybe the highest taxes in history, there is a more sinister taxing body many people don't even know about. Do you remember voting for a delegate to represent you on the United States Supreme Court? I don't.
Chief Justice John Marshall wrote, "An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation." The Supreme Court seems to have forgotten that.
In Missouri v. Jenkins (1990), the Court affirmed the right of federal courts to levy taxes. Justice Anthony Kennedy criticized that part of the decision giving the federal courts the power to levy taxes directly. He called it, "An expansion of power in the Federal Judiciary beyond all precedent. Today's casual embrace of taxation imposed by the unelected, life-tenured Federal Judiciary disregards fundamental precepts for the democratic control of public institutions."
There are also indirect taxes. When the courts require local governments to build new, more "humane" jails, for example, the argument is not about whether the court has jurisdiction to do that. It doesn't, actually--the Constitution confers no authority for the federal courts to impose unfunded mandates on the states. The court just assumes it has jurisdiction and the Supreme Court allows it to happen.
Direct and hidden taxes levied by the federal courts are separate from taxes levied by Congress. Over the past ten years, federal taxes enacted by Congress have averaged 19% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The director of CBO testified earlier this year that if entitlements continue to expand at their present rate, by the middle of this century the tax to pay for just three of the entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- will be 21% of GDP, up from 4.1 %in 2004. The cost of running the government, the military, foreign aid, the farm subsidies, the bailout and all other federal giveaways would be in addition to that.
So what can we do about it?
To believe that you can successfully "lobby" the average heroin addict to give up his habit voluntarily, without drastic intervention by some outside force, is naïve. To believe Congress or the Court will restrain itself from imposing taxes goes beyond naiveté to delusional. For there to be meaningful tax reform and/or limitedgovernment, there must be some draconian action by the people to impose limits that Congress--and the Supreme Court--cannot avoid.
President Lincoln at Gettysburg called on those gathered there, "to be dedicated here to the unfinished work . . . that this nation,under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." We need to follow his lead.
Stay with me, I'll tell you how.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When my Democratic candidates in the primary were knocked down to Hillary and Obama, I began to look into Obama’s background and became alarmed at what I found. But I was fascinated. What I was finding was not reported by the media. It was like being back in intelligence, similar to a counterintelligence analyst, putting pieces of information together.
With all its resources why didn’t the Republican Party investigate the background of the Democratic candidate?
The starting point is Chicago. Saul Bellows wrote of its South Side as a boiling, seething caldron of blacks. A few escape to the top and crawl out, we applaud, and hail their success, but millions of are left behind. The problem becomes bigger.
Chicago became the seat of black power in the United States and the home of the foremost black political leaders. There was no better place for political power advocacy. Among them are Louis Farrakhan, Jessie Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright--the latter for his promotion of the black liberation theology. However, importantly, there was Saul Alinsky (1909 – 1972), whom the media deliberately brushed off as of no consequence.
He is identified by his supporters as “far left” and by others as a radical Socialist, Marxist or Communist, depending on whom you talked to. Some of my friends say he was an “out and out” Communist. One of his books, Rules for Radicals, defines his political orientation. To promote and advance his political philosophy, he organized the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) to teach community organizers the methodology to recruit and organize political communities. How many people he taught or how many, in turn, did they teach and organize is unknown but certainly it is in the thousands. Or, it could be much, much more as the IAF exists today with its national headquarters in Chicago and offices in the District of Colombia, 21 states and Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom. [The national media never publicized the national and international scope of Alinsky’s school of thought and support. While the organizations implement Alinsky’s orientation and philosophy, they bear different names, such as the Gamaliel Foundation, and are located in inner cities.]
The following are Alinsky’s statements:
- “organizing is a euphemism for revolution . . . [the] systematic acquisition of power by the oppressed segment of the population . . . A people’s organization is dedicated to eternal war. . . [The war] is dedicated to the ‘have-a-little, want-mores,’ the majority of the U.S. population.”
- “Penetrate institutions, churches, unions and political parties . . . a slow, patient process.”
- A major goal is “the redistribution of wealth.”
- “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired result.”
- “Foment public discontent, moral confusion and chaos to spark social upheaval, collapse of the status quo and follow the charismatic radical organizer."
- [Force the enemy to abide by the rules of the highest good conduct] and “express shock when the enemy cannot live up to the rules of his faith.” [Vividly followed in the 2008 election.]
- [Use leading questions to lead the discontented to the place where the organizer wants them to go. There is a recorded instance where Obama used this technique on a homeless man to become one of the “want, mores.” Was this the technique used in Obama’s speeches? There was little of positive substance in his interpretation of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.]
Alinsky writes instructions to form people’s organizations. The organizations must be a local level and staffed by local people. They are political fronts. The leaders must be local sympathizers.
And there is more.
Alinskyism is a mix of Marxism, Communism and Marxist-Leninism.
Prior to his bid for the Presidency, there was little I could find of Obama’s personal accomplishments that in any way equaled the accomplishments of other presidents. [For information on Obama’s early formative years, see the previous column “Raising Obama.”] He first attended Occidental College in California. There has been no probe into his academic record except one:
An Occidental professor was queried but had difficulty recalling Obama as a student. When he was told Obama was reading Nietzsche and similar philosophers, the professor was surprised.
Unfortunately, the university records of Obama and his wife, Michelle, were sealed, and their academic records are unknown.
From Occidental Obama enrolled in Colombia University where he received a degree in political science.
While attending Colombia he sought out leftist friends and courses taught by Communist professors. [An orientation he probably acquired while growing up in Hawaii where he was influenced by his grandfather’s buddy, Frank Davis, the island’s top communist.] He then had a job in a Ralph Nader-type off-shoot office. He tired of it and writes he answered a trade journal ad for a Chicago community organizer. He was hired by Jerry Kellman. [Kellman was a Vietnam War protester and an Alinsky protégé and now works with a Catholic Church in Chicago’s South Side.]
What was happening in Chicago was that Alinsky graduates were organizing in the Chicago ghettos but they realized and concluded they needed a black organizer to spearhead their work.
[Some thought Bill Ayers recruited Obama in New York when he attended Colombia at the same time as Obama. It will be noted Ayers played a greater role in Obama’s life than previously reported. They had a close professional and “family” relationship for close to 30 years. It is the first time in our nation’s history a president-elect had a long, personal, even a “family” relationship with a known terrorist.]
Obama returned to Chicago and was trained by the Alinsky IAF as a community organizer. He moved on to the Developing Communities Project which was tied in with other such organizations as the Alinsky method Gamaliel Foundation. There was, and is, a proliferation of such organizations in Chicago, probably because of its fertile, boiling South Side caldron.
In addition to training others and organizing communities, Obama trained other community organizations, such as ACORN, in Alinsky methodology.
Obama’s was enmeshed with far-left contacts during his community organizing. He became [closely] acquainted with Antoin Rezko who was obtaining Chicago multimillion dollar construction projects in the slum communities where Obama was organizing. He would later play a shady part in Obama’s life. If it were not for Obama’s media defense, the Rezko affair would have been enough to knock Obama out of the presidential race.
The Harvard Effect
After two years of community organizing [more accurately the Alinsky machine was a “political organization”], Obama enrolled at Harvard Law. Something is missing in the public record as to how his decision to enroll came about. Was the idea his or was he recommended by someone. To my knowledge Harvard Law is difficult to get in to. Did he have an influential Chicago sponsor or did he enter through affirmative action as did his wife, Michelle?
It was reported that while attending Harvard, Obama kept his foot into Alinsky methodology and traveled to Los Angeles to attend an eight-day Alinsky training course. [There is no record who paid for the trip but I assume it was the IAF.] The trip reveals the size and scope of the IAF and that while in Harvard, the IAF considered Obama a key member. I found only one report of this trip.
After his first year in law school, Obama returned to Chicago to spend the summer as a trainee at the high-brow law firm of Sidley Austin where he met Michelle Robinson who became his wife.
The high point for Obama’s career was his election as the President of the Harvard Law Review which he parlayed into his presidential campaign. However, as background of how this occurred, during a period of intense struggle between liberal and conservative students, Obama was a compromise candidate who was elected on the ninth ballot. It is customary for the President to write for the Review but there is no record of any writing by Obama.
Return to Chicago
After Obama was elected President of the Harvard Law Review, Rezko offered to hire him. The record is he refused but on his return to Chicago, he chose to work for the leftist law firm of Miner, Barnhill & Galland--not Sidley Austin, where he was a summer trainee. [From Obama’s background, it was natural for him to choose a leftist firm rather than a stogy, conservative one.] However, Miner, Barnhill & Galland was the firm which handled Rezko’s business. On query, Miner, Barnhill & Galland said [in defense of Obama] he handled only four or five of Rezko’s transactions. Nevertheless, while Obama rejected Rezko’s job offer, he worked for the firm which handled Rezko’s legal transactions [which may have been the job Rezko offered him as there appears a patent connection in the job offer and Obama’s work for Miner, Barnhill.]
It is difficult to follow exactly what Obama did in Chicago. It is not known whether he quit Miner, Barnhill & Galland while he was engaged in numerous foundations. A principal one was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge where he and Ayers worked together and shared successive chairmanships for six years. The objective was to improve education and the Annenbergs put up a huge amount of money estimated to be $1 million, or $1.5 million or more. It is believed most went into the black South Side where Reverend Michael Phleger’s church received a considerable grant. [He was the guest Catholic priest who ridiculed Hillary Clinton from Rev. Wright’s pulpit.]
During the campaign Obama promised that during his first year in office he would grant $500 million [additional?] to faith-based programs.
As Obama organized the black communities, colleagues suggested if he was going to deal with black people he best join a church. He chose the Trinity United Church of Christ.
Trinity is the foremost church, the advance spearhead of the Black Liberation Theology. [See prior column “Black Liberation Theology’ for a fuller explanation and Rev. Wright’s connection to James Cone.] In summary, the theology, which is Marxist in origin, advances the ideology that there is a “center,” where people live with wealth and a shadowy “periphery” where the unfortunate and the poor reside. The ideology calls for the redistribution of wealth. It is the same redistribution theme that runs through Alinsky's ideology.
Obama and his wife attended Trinity for 22-23 years. One would assume attending a church and hearing the sermons, he would agree with the message, particularly as Obama himself was teaching Alinsky’s wealth distribution ideology. Additionally, Trinity’s pastor, Wright, is a friend of the Obama family, having married Barack and Michelle, baptized their two daughters, and was the spiritual advisor for Obama’s presidential campaign until he was let go after Wright's “damn America” sermon became known.
Michelle is more of an open book. She was more openly discontented with white society. She wrote her Princeton thesis on her black isolation in the university milieu, and she openly speaks of being in the “periphery.” There seems no doubt she is an adherent to the black liberation theology Wright taught. Although she criticizes white society she is forgetful her scholastic grades were not good enough to enter the Ivy League universities but was admitted under the affirmative action programs.
What is startling is Trinity has a membership of 8,000 of Chicago’s black elite. The members are people who succeeded financially and professionally in the United States and yet believe in the “redistribution of wealth,” thus they, too, apparently, believe they live in “the periphery.” [Probably more than 99% of Americans do not know what a church that practices the theology of black liberation is all about.]
When Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate skullduggery was involved and he won through a technicality. His role in the legislature is credited in the presidential campaign as a major accomplishment but he didn’t do anything except helped enact a bill aimed at preventing police brutality. In truth, however, Obama was the protégé of Senator Emil Jones, Jr. and with his tutelage and support Obama helped pass what would seem to be a popular bill.] Jones had a reputation for nepotism in office. Obama used him as a stepping stone and Jones was soon discarded.
Throughout the presidential campaign, Obama’s claim to fame was he was against the military invasion of Iraq. In his speech of October 2, 2002 in Chicago he said he was against the war. He did not and could not claim he voted against the war. He was in no position to do that from his seat in the Illinois State Legislature.
There is more to the story. The speech was sponsored by Marilyn Katz [a major Obama fund raiser] and several of her cohorts [SDS] at an anti-war rally attended by about 200 people. [It is assumed the 200 were assembled through Katz and her cohorts]. It was there Obama announced he was against the war.
Marilyn Katz was the head of security for the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) during the Chicago Riots of 1968. The SDS was a non-violent but activist student movement against the Vietnam War. She is a friend of Bill Ayers while he was still a SDS member before he broke away from the SDS and founded the violent Weather Underground. [To investigate Obama and his associates the name of one colleague leads to another who are of Marxist-stripe or war protester, Marxist, etc.]
The Joyce Foundation
For eight years, Obama was a paid board member of the Joyce Foundation. The Foundation gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gun organizations.
Without records it is not possible to identify all the Alinsky motivated organizations and others which were part of the Obama presidential campaign. Several are ACORN, Rainbow Push, the Arab American Action Network, with the active participation of Move-On, and many others linked to left-leaning Alinsky followers.
Of importance is ACORN with its 42,000 plus members and chapters in 110 cities and 40 states. It received Federal Government funding to register voters and is linked to Obama’s Operation Vote. The Obama campaign funded Operation Vote with $800,000 for diverse organizations to get out the vote; and when asked, the Obama campaign answered it did not know how much of Operation Vote’s money went to ACORN. [The campaign’s records would show the amount, but ACORN was under investigation for fraudulent voter registration.] As with all the other accusations, Obama’s campaign gave the questions the cold shoulder and ignored them.
Early in the primary campaign, a friend with intelligence-gathering knowledge reported that Obama’s campaign organization resembled the Communist Party’s cell structure of the 1930s. To some extent it was. As a founding member of the '60s radical student group, Weather Underground, Bill Ayers certainly has practical knowledge of cell structure and operation. The Weather Underground was organized with “independent, self-directing cells’ which operated independent of each other and without direction of a headquarters. The Weather Underground publication “Punch With The Red Army” stated, “No cell can remain inactive waiting orders from above. Its obligation is to act.”
While Obama and Ayers chaired the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, they used its funds to organize Local School Councils (LSC) throughout the South Side. Resembling Parent Teachers Associations, the LSCs were empowered with the authority to dismiss the principals of their respective schools. They were in effect cells which could turn out the vote. [Ayers and others of the Alinsky school were close to Chicago Mayor Daley. There was criticism of Ayers and Obama using Annenberg’s funds for political not educational purposes.]
Ayers and Obama have a long relationship, possibly close to 30 years. Ayers cannot be written off, as the media has done, as a former revolutionary. He cannot be compared, say, to Jane Fonda, as he was a bomb maker. He has remained unrepentant and was quoted as saying that as a Marxist-Leninist oriented revolutionary, “they did not do enough,” a step above a pacifist anti-war protester. There are many reports that Ayers went to Venezuela in 2006 and joined a Chavez mass rally, shouting to the crowd, “Education is the Revolution.”
Ayers is one of the authors of the Weather Underground’s book Prairie Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism: Political Statement of the Weather Underground. The book is dedicated to listed revolutionaries including Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin who killed Robert Kennedy.
In 1970 Ayers’ wife, Bernadine Dohrn, was also a Weather Underground member. She pled guilty to criminal charges related to the violent days of Rage in Chicago in 1969 and received three years probation. Later she refused to testify in front of a Grand Jury convened to investigate a bank robbery carried out by her former comrades from the Weather Underground. For contempt of court she served seven months in jail. [The robbery probably refers to the 1981 Brinks robbery. A mix of Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army activists robbed a Brinks Armored car and, when caught in Nyack, New York, killed two policemen and one security guard.]
This is a tough bunch of people; the likes of which have never appeared before in any U.S. presidential election. With his close associations with questionable friends and supporters, Obama never would have been approved for a national security clearance. In view of his background, unlike the totality of the Obama platform and his speeches, why did Obama vote to continue the strengthened Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)?
When Obama won the Iowa caucus and established himself as a major presidential candidate a friend of mine suspected organized communist activity secured his win, i.e. the operation of cell organizations. Obama won all the Caucus states.
In a caucus election, a small number of voters turn out from the overall electorate. The candidate with the best grass-root organization wins.
Depending upon the honesty of precinct leadership, there is a greater possibility of voter fraud. The vote is not by secret ballot but by personal vote. There were reports of voter intimidation. From Las Vegas there were reports pro-Hillary supporters were afraid to vote.
Texas has both a state-wide election and a caucus. Hillary won the election and with a smaller vote Obama won the caucus but both shared an electoral count.
The media is of 92% liberal orientation but in the primary and the 2008 presidential election it imploded as never before, possibly to promote the historic candidacy of a black candidate. The media became a willing adjunct of the Obama campaign. At least 90% of the foregoing information on the background of Obama, his colleagues and the campaign was never reported.
The media unanimously protected Obama and his campaign from every allegation made against him, and, in turn, became an assault dog against his contenders.
In revolutions, insurgencies and coups, the rule [according to Alinsky] is to destroy present and future contenders for political power. It is done by executions, forced exile or the destruction of political reputation [as was attempted on Republican VP candidate Governor Sarah Palin]. Sometimes the destruction is done by the appointment of a contender to a powerless political office [like Hillary as Secretary of State].
During the primary, the Obama campaign and media slammed Bill Clinton. Currently, other than Obama, no Democrat of presidential potential remains on the horizon. On the Republican side, only Sarah Palin [with grass roots support] has national potential. The media has already begun the process to remove her from the scene.
The media intentionally did not do its job to protect the American public. It was a performance without precedent.
I have written this paper because of a conversation I heard between two Republicans. Both felt the 2008 election was a fluke. They believed within four years the Democratic coalition will disappear. The youth-inspired voters will not return to the polls and it will be the same with the blacks.
I believe differently.
Incredibly, for an organized entity, the Republican Party did not know what it was up against or what hit them at the polls.
The Democratic Party leadership did have to put together the grass roots organization to get out the vote. In my rural area, an Obama organizer from Indiana came from at least 500 miles away. Also, an Obama lawyer from the next county was present at the polling place to make certain black voters were in no way disenfranchised. It was a well-oiled machine and done well in advance of the primary. There were grass root organizations everywhere. They were in the Alinsky organizations: Project Vote, ACORN, etc. Leadership had only to direct. On the other hand, the Republican Party had to begin at the beginning and could never match the grass roots organization that already existed for the Democratic Party.
The assembled coalition was put together not by the Democratic Party but by Obama-styled “organizers.” The ideology began 50 or 60 years ago and its implementation began in protest to the Vietnam War and continued afterwards. It was slow, slow, patient, pragmatic organization mixed with hard, never before seen campaign tactics derived from Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.
The 2008 election organization and planning was not for the sole objective of winning that election but to win that election and then use the presidency to further expand and consolidate the grass roots electoral coalition. Otherwise, the patient 60 years of preparation make little sense.
So it is as we see it.
Outside of unpredictable events, we don’t know if the Republican Party is capable of organizing and defeating the post-Obama Democratic Party. The Republican Party is composed of the general, non-confrontational middle class voters, diametrically opposed to the “organizers” of the Alinsky School. To win this time the Republicans must go deep into the heart of America and organize methodically in ways never done before.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
A friend told me she knew little about Barak Obama’s early life and I realized neither did I. So I looked.
His mother, Ann Dunham, met Barak Hussein Obama (Sr.) in a Russian class at the University of Hawaii. In a short time, they went to Maui and when they returned, they said they’d married. “When Obama was in his early twenties, his mother would reveal to him that her parents were livid about the marriage.” However, in his autobiography Obama wrote that his grandfather, Stanley, viewed the interracial relationship with a sense of pride. It was not so with the grandmother.
There never was a sign of a marriage license, and later in life Ann told a friend “marriage is not essential.” Whether this might have had any effect on her son, Barak Obama Jr., born August 4, 1961, is not known; however, Obama Sr. left her and son, two years later, and it is said she divorced him.
Obama Sr. left Ann to pursue his education and later returned to Kenya with an American white woman he married and who bore him two children. One, a son, is reported to be a mathematician living in China. There is no verification of this. All in all, Obama Sr. fathered nine children.
Ann then married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian student studying in Hawaii. This was her second bi-racial marriage which was extremely rare in the late ’50s and ’60s. In many ways she was an extremely unusual woman. Some report her as a communist but without verification. At that time she would be considered by most mainstream Americans as a left wing kook. That, however, might be as a reflection of her family and the “wildly romantic streak” she shared with her father.
I found little about Lolo Soetoro. I don’t know what he was like, where he worked, if he did. Previously, we’re told, he was a soldier in the Indonesian Army and projected the tough masculine image to his son. The most remarkable information is “After spending two years in Hawaii, he was forced by political upheaval in his native Indonesia to suddenly return to Jakarta.” What does this mean?
A year later, Ann and her son joined him. This begins a period of controversy whether Barak Jr. is or was a Muslim.
At times Ann and Barak Sr. are described as atheists; at other times they are said to be Muslims. For sure Lolo was Muslim. I’m inclined to think Barak Sr., by his wealth and marital style, was a Muslim. Ann? I don’t know; but according to Maya, her daughter by Lolo, “Ann pushed Barry and Maya to assimilate to Indonesian culture as much as possible....” And I’ve known Americans, living abroad, to get taken in by the culture. The only bearing is what role if any religion played in the Jakarta household.
As for Barak Jr., for his elementary schooling, he entered the Roman Catholic Franciscus Assisi Primary School in Jakarta on January 1, 1968 and was registered under the name Barry Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen, whose religion was listed as Islam. Catholic schools, worldwide, accept non-Catholics, who are exempt from religious instruction.
Three years later, in 1971, Barak enrolled as a Muslim in the Besuki Primary School, a government school. All Indonesian students are required to study religion in school and Barak would have been required to study Islam daily in school. He would have been taught to say his prayers, read and recite from the Koran and study the laws of Islam.
In his autobiography Dreams From My Father Barak Obama mentions studying the Koran and describes the school as Muslim.
Fitting into this, in Ann’s obituary in the New York Times it states in Jakarta she woke up her son at 4 a.m. each morning to take a correspondence course in English. It appears he must have been losing his English ability in school.
From the above I conclude Obama was raised a Muslim. What he is today I don’t know. The Trinity church, which he quit for political reasons, accepted all religions. He then joined another church.
Ann separated from Lolo and returned to Hawaii and began studying anthropology.
In the early ’70s Obama Sr. visited Ann and family. A strange incident occurred. Barak was watch the TV presentation of “Tthe Grinch who Stole Christmas.” Obama Sr. exploded. A given explanation was that he felt Barak was studying too hard and should have been resting rather than watching TV. But Obama Sr. knew little about his son’s studying. It’s possible the explosion was something he viewed as apostate in his son’s giving up Islam for another religion, Christmas. It is only my speculation.
In 1977 Ann told Barak she had to return to Indonesia to do field work for her university degree. She was going to study rural blacksmithing. Rural blacksmithing? She asked Barak to return with her and Maya but he didn’t want to.
This raised a question in my mind. What mother would leave her (bi-racial) teenage son in high school to go to a far off country? Wouldn’t most mothers wait until their son finished high school before going? What effect, I wondered, would this have on her son? There is a natural loneliness.
There was the question of arranging for the grandparents to take over raising Barak. The grandmother, Madelyn, didn’t like it. As we know, during the campaign, Barak “threw her under the truck” when, in defending Reverend Wright, he recalled her racial slurs.
In an incident, Madelyn was angry with her husband, Stanley. She had been accosted by a black man and did not want to take the bus to town. She wanted Stanley to drive her. He refused.
It was in this environment that Barak lived.
In another incident, sometimes contested by Obama supporters, Barak became pals with a boy he describes in his autobiography as “Ray.” Ray is Keith Kakugawa. He, too, was bi-racial, I believe black and Japanese, and had come to Hawaii from Los Angeles. He and Barak smoked pot and talked of their loneliness.
Ray later became addicted and served a prison term. On release, he hit upon Barak for money but was refused.
Barak’s time in Hawaii does not appear a happy one but a lonely one.
In his autobiography, he writes of a man “Frank.” He writes Frank was the man who had the most decisive influence in helping him find his identity.
Frank is Frank Marshall Davis who was a drinking buddy of Barak’s grandfather, Stanley. Frank, a black man, was a leading member of the Hawaiian segment of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA). Herbert Romerstein, whom I knew, was the Congressional investigator of the CPUSA. Romerstein wrote that the CPUSA sent Frank Davis from Chicago to Hawaii to organize the island’s Communist Party. Frank was also a journalist who wrote for the “Record,” the island’s Communist Party’s newspaper.
Frank was admittedly bi-sexual and by many was called a pervert. He was an author and wrote Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gourmet Gash), which was hard core pornographic with explicit sex memoirs. It was published under the alias Bob Greene. Another of his books but unpublished is Mixed Sex Salad. He also wrote Livin’ the Blues.
This is the most influential man who helped Obama find his identity? When Obama wrote of “Frank,” didn’t he realize Frank’s identity would be tracked down?
And what of Stanley, the grandfather? A drinking buddy of Davis! Introducing him to his grandson!
Such was Obama’s youth.
In the early 1990s, Ann returned from Indonesia and had a job in New York City at the Women’s World Bank. The bank dealt with micro-financing with small loans to start and finance micro-businesses. She was stricken with cancer and returned to Hawaii where she died in 1995.
This happened before most of us knew of Obama. I wonder if they had contact after she returned. Did he go to New York to visit her? Did he know she was failing? Did she stop in Chicago en route to Hawaii? In his speeches Obama says she worried if she could pay her medical bills. He regrets not visiting her deathbed.
Good Lord! In a presidential election that affects all of us, the media has told us of a loving, caring childhood, not this. Unbelievable!
In my past life, I met, had contact with and knew people who were born poor and impoverished in the rural boondocks of Latin America. They had limited education, suffered a hard, hard life and joined the Communist Party. Recognizing their talent, the Party educated them and trained them into leadership roles in which they flourished. I conclude from Obama’s youth and experiences; it was the Alinsky machine that made Obama.
Monday, October 20, 2008
In the early 1980s I gave a lecture on the Theology of Liberation – “the Liberation Theology” - at a prestigious northeastern college. The audience was senior citizens, many of them Irish Catholics, and on hearing the lecture, they rose in protest and reported their displeasure of me to the program director. They disputed vigorously that church leaders would preach a revolutionary doctrine. Thereafter, I let Liberation Theology just lay there. It was too hot for religious American lay people.
However, at least one American religious order, the Maryknoll, embraced Liberation Theology, and we read of their struggles and deaths in Central America in the conflict between revolutionaries and the governments of Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador.
Many who studied the subject believe Liberation Theology began in 1961 when in an unprecedented act, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invited the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) to join the organization. Unknown to the WCC, the ROC was a KGB appendage, staffed by intelligence officers. I know this well because of my experience in Israel and Jerusalem.
The Soviets took advantage of the invitational opportunity and sent Metropolitan Nikodim (then of Leningrad), the ROC’s second ranking prelate, to the WCC assembly. He espoused a doctrine known as Liberation Theology which was eagerly accepted by Latin American priests and bishops. Its revolutionary philosophy soon became a vehicle for violent change in Latin America as well as Africa and Southeast Asia. Nikodim did not write the Liberation Theology but was its messenger. Its authors were most probably in Moscow headquarters.
The doctrine’s theme is Jesus Christ was a revolutionary whose purpose on earth was to liberate the masses from the economic slavery of capitalism. It states capitalism produces a “center” and a “periphery.” The center is filled with wealth, progress and riches which are enjoyed by a few. The periphery, the shadow of the center, is a barren wasteland of social imbalance, political tension, overwhelming poverty and out-and-out misery for the rest. The task, the theology states, is to continue Jesus’ task of destroying capitalism.
As liberation theology caught on with the Latin American Catholic clergy, Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian Jesuit, wrote The Theology of Liberation which spread Nikodim’s doctrine everywhere as a bible for revolutionary change.
Gutierrez wrote, “Capitalism and its society are to be wiped out, eliminated by violent revolution. In its place there must be implanted a government with state ownership and management of all sources of goods and energy, education of transportation.”
Latin American masses blindly believed a man of God, and the doctrine spread and spread. In scarcely twenty years, Malachi Martin, the advisor to Popes John XIII and Paul VI, estimated two-thirds of the priests and nuns in Latin America and one-third of the bishops were Marxists who promoted liberation theology. Bishop Sergio Mendez Arceo of Cuernavaca declared, “The kingdom of heaven can come about in our day only through Marxism.”
The Vatican could not allow Latin America, its largest religious constituency, to become Marxist, and it’s highly probably for this reason it chose John Paul II, who resisted communism in Poland. A confrontation between Pope John Paul II and the bishops promoting the liberation theology took place at the Conference of American Bishops (CELAM 3) in Puebla, Mexico. So strong and deeply entrenched were the bishops, the meeting ended in a tie. The Pope kept Latin America within its constituency, and the bishops, priests and nuns continued with liberation theology.
A friend with strong connections to the Catholic Church recently traveled to Latin America and returned to say liberation theology remains alive and well.
It is from this background of Latin America’s liberation theology that James T. Cone, Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary brought liberation theology to mostly liberal, dissatisfied American blacks. He is the author of numerous articles and books on the subject, including A Black Theology of Liberation.
In many ways his theology is more radical and extreme than the Latin American version as it is based not only on wealth but on color. He writes,
“It is evident, therefore, that this book is written primarily for the black community, not for whites. Whites may read it and to some degree render an intellectual analysis of it, but an authentic understanding is dependent of the blackness of their existence in the world. There will be no peace in America until whites begin to hate their whiteness, asking from the depths of their being: How can we become black?”
“My style of doing theology was influenced more by Malcolm X than by Martin Luther King.”
“If Jesus Christ is white and not black, he is an oppressor, and we must kill him. The appearance of black theology means that the black community is now ready to do something about the white Jesus, so that he cannot get in the way of our revolution.”
“The definition of Christ as black means that he represents the complete opposite of the values of white culture.”
“One of the tenets of black theology is that every American is responsible for the plight of the blacks.”
All of the above have a bearing on today’s presidential campaign. The foremost church, the religious spearhead which advances the Black Theology of Liberation, is the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. It is the church where former Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s mentor is James Cone. It is also the church where Barack Obama and his wife attended for over 22 years. Can a man attend a church for 22 years and not be influenced by its doctrine?
Pastor Wright married Obama and his wife; he is Obama’s close friend and until recently was Obama’s campaign' spiritual advisor. He hastily resigned only because of public exposure of his unpatriotic remarks.
In Obama’s capacity as head of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, he promulgated a need for an “Educational Fund.” The reason, roughly, “You cannot release people from slavery without educating them to deal with the outside world.” He has since announced he will increase President Bush’s faith-based charities by $500 million annually to help poor children read.
I write because I am ticked-off. Not at the liberation theologies, which might be another story, but at our national media. Twenty years ago I was almost driven out of town because I gave a lecture on the liberation theology. Today, the same subject is an unmentioned but germane part of the presidential campaign and the media will not touch it with a ten foot pole. What has happened to the once mighty American press?
Saturday, October 4, 2008
by Maria Hsia Chang
Published in New Oxford Review (vol. LXXV, no. 9, October 2008), pp. 20-24, http://www.newoxfordreview.org/article.jsp?did=1008-chang The version below contains footnotes and a couple of minor passages that were edited out of the published article.
“I think the Joker killed Heath Ledger.”
So writes licensed attorney and former public defender Jay Gaskill in his review of The Dark Knight.1 Gaskill is not being melodramatic; he is simply stating what other reviewers only hint at.2
The Dark Knight, the latest Hollywood incarnation of the superhero Batman, broke records for best opening weekend at $158.4 million. The movie ranked top in box office for four consecutive weekends, which pushed its domestic total to a staggering $461 million, making The Dark Knight second only to the all-time ticket revenue champion, The Titanic.3
No doubt, many went to see The Dark Knight out of a macabre curiosity because of the untimely death of one of its main actors. On January 22, 2008, six months before the movie’s opening, Ledger was found unconscious in his Manhattan apartment. Paramedics called to the scene could not revive him. The medical examiner later determined that the 28-year-old had died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs—a lethal brew of sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication, and the painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Reviewers have lauded The Dark Knight for its fine acting. In particular, Ledger’s “electrifying” performance is singled out for praise; there is increasing talk of a posthumous Academy Award. His face caked with moldy makeup, with black-shadowed eyes, a red-smeared mouth, and yellowing teeth,4 Ledger’s Joker is more than a master criminal. Instead, reviewers use the language of the supernatural, calling him “demonic” and “diabolical,”5 “a hound fresh out of hell,”6 “a vivid, compelling picture of naked, nihilistic evil . . . with almost preternatural power,”7“a truly frightening vision,” and “like Satan.”8 Michael Caine, who plays Batman’s butler Alfred, said that he found Ledger’s performance so terrifying and disturbing that he sometimes forgot his lines.9
At the time of his death, Ledger had only recently completed his work for The Dark Knight, which was in post-production. Reportedly, the Joker role had taken a decided toll on the actor’s health. For weeks, he was unable to sleep, averaging only two hours a night. He told a New York Times reporter in November 2007 that even after taking two sleeping pills, “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.”10
What is less known are Ledger’s film roles both before and after The Dark Knight. Before he assumed the Joker persona, Ledger already was emotionally drained from playing a heroin addict in the Australian film, Candy. To make matters worse, after the Batman movie, Ledger immediately went to work on another dark-themed film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, without taking a break. The latter is a retelling of the Dr. Faust story, wherein the leader of a traveling theater troupe makes a compact with the Devil and takes audience members through a magical mirror into a fantastic universe of limitless imagination. Ledger’s part was that of Tony, a “charming” and “mysterious outsider” who joins the troupe.11
An Oscar nominee for his acting as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger was known for his total absorption into his film roles. He told a reporter that “the only way that I can act” was to climb inside the skin of the person he was playing. This was Ledger’s way of compensating both for his feelings of insecurity as an actor (he had no formal training in acting) and for an abiding sense of impermanence from having spent his formative years shuttling between the homes of his divorced parents. Though born in Australia, Ledger allowed in an interview that “I’m not a resident of Australia. I’ve never voted in Australia.” At the same time, although he owned homes in Los Angeles and New York, he was a non-resident of the United States. Giving voice to his rootless and uncertain identity, the actor admitted that “I’m not really sure where I belong.”12
To prepare for his part in Candy, Ledger had spent time with a real-life junkie in the dark, troubled milieu of Sydney’s red light district. For The Dark Knight, he spent a month alone in a hotel room to work on his character and voice, perfecting an unhinged cackle that sends shivers up the audience’s spine. But by immersing himself in the role of the Joker, Ledger might well have gazed too deeply into the abyss.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” This famous but cryptic quote by Friedrich Nietzsche is understood to be a warning against too close a contact with evil. As one interpretation has it, if a person gazes too long at evil, it will become a part of him or her.13 Did Ledger fall prey to this mysterious phenomenon?
Nietzsche’s adage is not our only warning about evil. Aldous Huxley opined that “No man can concentrate his attention upon evil, or even upon the idea of evil, and remain unaffected . . . . The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous.”14 Similarly, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck cautioned that “an exclusive focus on the problem of evil is actually extremely dangerous to the soul of the investigator . . . . The dangers exist . . . for anyone who becomes preoccupied with the subject of evil. There is always the risk of contamination, one way or another. The more closely we rub shoulders with or against evil, the more likely it is that we may become evil ourselves.”15
Like Heath Ledger, the brilliant historian and journalist Iris Chang, who wrote The Rape of Nanking (1997), seemed to have been another moth that flew too close to the flame. Her book has the distinction of being the first English-language full-length nonfiction account of the Imperial Japanese Army’s massacre of 100,000 to 300,000 Chinese civilians in 1937. It remained on the New York Times’ bestseller list for ten weeks.
In August 2004, Chang had a nervous breakdown, which her family and doctors attributed in part to constant sleep deprivation. At the time, she was several months into research for her fourth book on yet another atrocity perpetrated by the Japanese military. It was the Bataan Death March in 1942, when some 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners-of-war (POWs), many of them ill and severely malnourished, were forced to march sixty miles in tropical heat from the Bataan peninsula to prison camps. The Japanese inflicted great cruelties on the POWs, including the withholding of food and water, bayonet stabbings, rapes, beheadings, and disembowelments.
Friends and colleagues said Chang was deeply disturbed by her research. She was in Kentucky, en route to the city of Harrodsburg to listen to audio recordings by U.S. servicemen who had survived the march, when she was overcome with acute depression. She was admitted into Norton Psychiatric Hospital in Louisville and diagnosed with reactive psychosis. But her depression persisted even after she was released from the hospital. On the morning of November 9, 2004, she was found dead in her car parked on a rural road not far from her home. The beautiful 36-year-old wife and mother of a two-year-old, whose “celebrated life . . . most people believed had been perfect,”16 had shot herself in the mouth with a revolver.
In the suicide notes she left, Iris Chang wrote: “I am doing this because I am too weak to withstand the years of pain and agony ahead . . . . Each breath is becoming difficult for me to take — the anxiety can be compared to drowning in an open sea.”17
There are others besides Ledger and Chang whose work also brings them into evil’s proximity. Among them are FBI agents who specialize in the most difficult cases, such as murders by serial killers. In his book, FBI veteran Robert Ressler revealed that “many of us” in the bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit had experienced weight losses, pseudo heart attacks, and “other problems”18 such as suicides. Contributing factors for suicides by FBI agents include, most commonly, depression, as well as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).19
PTSD also seems to be an occupational hazard of soldiers and police officers. A recent U.S. Army study of the mental health of troops who had fought in Iraq found that about one in eight (or 18 percent) reported PTSD symptoms. Before deployment, the PTSD rate in the armed forces was 5 percent, about the same as the general U.S. population. Studies done years after the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars showed the PTSD rate at the time was 15 percent for Vietnam veterans and 10 percent for Gulf War veterans.20
More alarming than the high incidence of PTSD is the steep increase in suicides among active-duty soldiers. In 2007 those suicides reached their highest level since 1980 when the Army began keeping such records. In 2007, 121 soldiers took their own lives, nearly 20 percent more than in 2006. Since the Iraq war began, there has also been a sharp rise in the number of attempted suicides or self-inflicted injuries in the Army. That number was 2,100 in 2007, which is a sixfold increase from the 350 soldiers who injured themselves or attempted suicide in 2002. The increase in suicides is attributed to servicemen’s repeated redeployment due to the military’s stop-loss policy.21
Suicides, PTSD, and other symptoms of distress are also prevalent among police officers who, in their daily work, encounter the grim underside of life that most people rarely see. The police are usually first at the scene when babies are killed, when wives are battered, when addicts die of an overdose, or when people are killed or maimed in accidents and homicides. All of which exacts an emotional and physical toll on even the most hardened officer.
A study of 2376 policemen in Buffalo, New York, found that they had higher mortality rates for cancer, suicide, and heart disease than the white male population at large. Research also shows police suffer a substantially higher divorce rate. Whereas the national divorce rate is 50 percent, estimates for police officers range from 60 to 75 percent.22
Suicide rates within law enforcement are also much higher—perhaps two or three times higher—than those in the general population. A recent study found that New York City officers killed themselves at a rate of 29 per 100,000 a year, more than double the rate of 12 per 100,000 among the general population. The real suicide rates of police officers may even be higher because many suicides go unreported to avoid stigmatizing families and to allow them to collect insurance claims and other compensation. This much is known: more police commit suicide than die in the line of duty. According to a study by the National Association of Police Chiefs, nationally, twice as many cops—about 300 annually—commit suicide as are killed in the line of duty.23
Some of the most vivid warnings about evil’s insidious effects are by writers of fiction. As an example, J. R. R. Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings used the motif of the One Ring to convey the seductive and corrupting power of evil. So terrible is that power, the wizard Gandalf—whom Tolkien identified to be an angel in the incarnate form of an old man24—would not risk taking the Ring into his possession. In the end, even the valiant ringbearer Frodo became so consumed by the Ring that he could not bring himself to toss it into the fires of Mount Doom. Were it not for Gollum, the arduous quest of the Fellowship of the Ring would have failed.
J. K. Rowling is another popular fiction writer who has expounded on the pernicious effect of evil. In the third book of her phenomenally popular series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Rowling introduced demonic creatures called dementors, “among the foulest creatures that walk this earth.” They are soul-less and soul-sucking wraiths who guard the wizard prison of Azkaban until the return of the dark lord Voldemort frees them to wreak havoc upon the world. Dementors are about ten feet in height and have a generally human shape beneath dark, hooded cloaks. Protruding from their cloaks are hands, “glistening, grayish, slimy-looking, and scabbed, like something dead that had decayed in water.” Where eyes should be, there is only “thin, gray scabbed skin, stretched blankly over empty sockets.” And instead of a mouth, there is “a gaping, shapeless hole, sucking the air with the sound of a death rattle.”25
Infesting the darkest, filthiest places, dementors are visible only to wizards but exert the same baleful effect on wizards and muggles (non-magic folks) alike. The very presence of a dementor makes the surrounding atmosphere grow cold and dark. Along with the cold is a feeling of despair that descends upon the person, who is drained of all happiness and good memories. It is a hopelessness so profound that, as Ron Weasley puts it, “I felt . . . I’d never be cheerful again.” Feeding on its victim’s positive emotions, the wraith eventually performs the Dementor’s Kiss and sucks out the person’s soul. The victim is left in a state worse than death, an empty shell with the brain and heart still working but with neither memory nor a sense of self.26
Given the ill effects of too close a contact with evil, one would think that writers on this subject would provide us with more information than enigmatic warnings about the dangers. Alas, like Nietzsche, those who have broached this subject are hazy on exactly how or why a person can become contaminated by a preoccupation with evil. Worse still, the writers are also vague on whether and how we can protect ourselves should we peer into the abyss.
And so we are left to our own conjectures and speculations.
To begin with, who are the potential victims? It appears that “looking into the abyss” refers to anyone whose work or interests bring them into a close proximity with evil. It can be an actor, such as Heath Ledger, who immerses himself too deeply into portraying evil and, in so doing, invites malefic forces into himself. It can be a writer, such as Iris Chang, whose subject is an historical account of man’s inhumanity toward man. It can be FBI agents, soldiers, and police who enter the arena to directly confront and fight evildoers.
There may be others. If chroniclers of historical instances of evil put themselves at risk, it stands to reason that even more are philosophers and psychologists who aim to unearth evil’s very nature and essence. If FBI agents who specialize in the behavioral analysis of criminal psychopaths gaze too deeply into the abyss, so too must psychotherapists who, in Peck’s words, “tangle therapeutically with an evil patient.” Peck thought that since the ultimate objective of all good psychotherapy is to combat lies by shining the light of truth, such therapists in effect are lay versions of exorcists who wrestle with the demon-possessed. Indeed, Peck maintained that all psychotherapy is but “a kind of exorcism.”27
But how exactly does evil exert its nefarious influence on a person? Evil’s baneful effect may be likened to the invisible, odorless, and deadly radiation emitted by uranium. While it is wholly conceivable that writers such as Iris Chang would be perturbed by their research, why should it trigger such an acute depression that life becomes unbearable and relief is sought only in suicide? All of which leads one to wonder just what is this evil that lurks in the abyss.
It may be that those who sound warnings about the abyss cannot but be vague because the phenomenon is other worldly, beyond our empirical realm.
It is oft said that the greatest achievement of the Devil is to convince us that he does not exist. Catholic priest and scholar Malachi Martin called this “the ultimate camouflage.” As he explained, “If your will does not accept the existence of evil, you are rendered incapable of resisting evil. Those with no capacity of resistance become prime targets for Possession.”28
Today, many among the Christian clergy eschew speaking of the Devil or of Hell. Some no longer believe;29 others are convinced that such talk would only alienate their flock.30 Along with colleges and universities,31 it seems that churches have also succumbed to the relentless drive of the market. Indeed, in an interview in 1984 on the state of the Catholic Church, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger noted that “no other topic unleashes such a storm of indignation among the mass-media of secularized society as that of the ‘devil’.” The attitude of many people, including Christians, is that the Devil is a “vestigial piece of folklore,” something which is “unacceptable to mature faith.”32
What is curious about the clerical reticence is that the Scriptures are replete with references to the Devil. The word “Satan” appears 18 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the word “devil” appears 35 times and the word “demon” appears 21 times. More importantly, Christ made references to the fallen angels throughout the Gospels. He spoke of “the devil and his angels” in Matthew 25:41, and of “Satan” in Matthew 12:22-28, Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:15-22. He referred to “the wicked one” and “the devil” in Matthew 13:38-39, and to “unclean spirits” in Matthew 12:43-45 and Luke 11:24-26. Jesus cured those afflicted with physical diseases and mental illnesses, but also undertook numerous exorcisms,33 thereby making a distinction between mental sickness and demonic possession. Christ also made evident that evil exists and is embodied in personal entities who actively work against God and man. He called the leader of these evil spirits “the father of all lies” and “a murderer from the beginning.”34
The clergy’s reluctance to speak of the Devil and of Hell is all the more ironic because available evidence points to the laity’s belief in both. Gallup polls of American adults found that in 2001, 71 percent believed in Hell. Increasing numbers also believed in a personal entity of evil called the Devil, from 55 percent of U.S. adults in 1990 to 70 percent in 2004. The percentage of Americans who believed that “people on this earth are sometimes possessed by the devil” also rose from 37 percent in 1991 to 41 percent in 2001.35
If the Devil wants most of all to have us think he doesn’t exist, then he would have every reason to target those who study and expose evil because they are shedding the light of truth on what would prefer to remain in the shadows. In so doing, the scholars of evil have identified themselves as belonging to the opposing camp, just as much as FBI agents and police officers who take on evildoers in direct combat. No wonder the patron saint of policemen and soldiers is none other than the good Archangel Michael who leads the heavenly host against Lucifer and his co-rebels.
So how should someone who peers into the abyss arm himself ?
Huxley observed that “To be more against the devil than for God is exceedingly dangerous. Every crusader is apt to go mad. He is haunted by the wickedness which he attributes to his enemies; it becomes in some sort a part of him.”36 Peck, for his part, warned that psychotherapists who have evil patients “may be placing themselves in great jeopardy” and advised against young therapists taking on such patients. Peck also recommended that the therapist “thoroughly cast the beam out of his or her own eye, for a weak-souled therapist will be the most vulnerable.”37
Huxley’s and Peck’s recommendations are not unlike the prescriptions in the Catholic Church’s Roman Ritual of Exorcism, which instructs that the priest chosen to be an exorcist “should be of mature age and be respected as a virtuous person.” He must have “no greed for material benefit,” but only “the necessary piety, prudence and personal integrity.” Above all, the exorcist must prepare himself with prayer and fasting so as to “perform this most heroic work humbly and courageously, not relying on his own strength, but on the power of God.”38
Contrary to the recommendations of both Peck and the Roman Ritual that it should be a mature seasoned individual possessed of a firm and sure sense-of-self who duels with evil, both Heath Ledger and Iris Chang were young. It is also instructive that in all the media accounts of their deaths, there is no mention of either having or actively practicing a religious faith. In the end, the answer to the question of how one who peers into the abyss fortifies himself is found in St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (6:10-16):
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground. So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate, and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace. In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
1. Jay Gaskill, “Bleak Knight: A Review,” The Human Conspiracy Blog, July 24, 2008, http://www.jaygaskill.com/blog3/. Gaskill is a former public defender for Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area.
2. Scott Foundas, “Heath Ledger Peers Into The Abyss in The Dark Knight,” Village Voice, July 16, 2008, http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-07-16/film/heath-ledger-dark-knight.
3. The Titanic is the reigning all-time box-office winner, at $600.8 million.
4. Peter Travers’ review of “The Dark Knight” in Rolling Stone, July 18, 2008, http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/16155928/review/21477208/the_dark_knight.
5. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of Film & Broadcasting, http://www.usccb.org/movies/d/dark_knight.shtml.
6. Travers in Rolling Stone, op. cit.
7. Gaskill, op. cit.
8. Maurice Broaddus, “To Job or not to Job,” Hollywood Jesus, http://www.hollywoodjesus.com/movieDetail.cfm/i/7ADEFA07-93DA-E0CE-969501D56848E596/ia/64FFC770-B4A1-F9C0-DF7797A46E88F03D.
9. Dominic Wells, “Dark Knight marks new chapter in Batman's seven decade screen career,” The Times, July 12, 2008, http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article4295091.ece, viewed July 25, 2008.
12. Mark Chipperfield, “Heath Ledger: Edgy and evasive interviewee,” Telegraph, January 24, 2008, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1576376/Heath-Ledger-Edgy-and-evasive-interviewee.html, viewed August 22, 2008.
13. Http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/32/messages/34.html, viewed August 4, 2008.
14. Aldous Huxley, The Devils of Loudon (Harper & Row, 1952), pp. 260, 192.
15. M. Scott Peck, M.D., People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil (New York: Touchstone, 1983), pp. 42, 261.
16. “Iris Chang—The Woman Who Loved Truth,” Sunday Star Times, February 1, 2008, http://www.stuff.co.nz/sundaystartimes/4373540a19799.html, viewed August 6, 2008.
17. “Iris Chang,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_Chang, viewed July 26, 2008.
18. Robert H. Ressler and Tom Shachtman, Whoever Fights Monsters (New York, NY: St. Martin’s, 1992), pp. 272-273.
19. Vincent J. McNally, “Federal Bureau of Investigation's Employee Assistance Program Response to Suicide,” in Donald C. Sheehan and Janet I. Warren, eds., From Suicide and Law Enforcement (US Dept of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2001), pp. 125-138.
20. “1 in 8 returning soldiers suffers from PTSD,” Associated Press, June. 30, 2004, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5334479/, viewed July 30, 2008.
21. Dana Priest, “Soldier Suicides at Record Level,” Washington Post, January 31, 2008, p. A1, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/30/AR2008013003106.html, viewed July 30, 2008.
22. “The Effects of Stress On Police Officers,” a speech (undated) by Dan Goldfarb to a group of union delegates, http://www.heavybadge.com/efstress.htm, viewed July 30, 2008.
23. Claude Lewis, “Police Suicide Is An Alarming Problem Rarely Discussed Publicly,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, no date, http://www.tearsofacop.com/police/articles/lewis.html, viewed July 30, 2008.
24. The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2000), p. 202.
25. J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (New York, NY: Scholastic Press, 1999), pp. 187, 83, 384.
26. Ibid., pp. 85, 247.
27. Peck, People of the Lie, pp. 261, 185.
28. Malachi Martin, Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans (HarperSanFrancisco, 1992), p. xv.
29. Ibid., pp. xvi-xvii. “[I]gnorance, disinterest, disbelief, even adamant unwillingness on the part of many Church officials to so much as discuss demonic Possession and Exorcism, is literally the order of the day.”
30. In the United States, at the same time as church membership is down among traditional Protestant denominations, mega-churches have become increasingly popular. They are non-denominational evangelical churches with congregations of more than 2,000 in which the emphasis is on consumer appeal rather than “anything threatening” such as “fire and brimstone.” See C. W. Nevius, “Supersize Churches Booming,” San Francisco Chronicle, July 31, 2004, pp. B1-2.
31. In “The Twilight of the Professors,” The Intercollegiate Review, 34:2 (Spring 1999), pp. 8-12, Bruce S. Thornton writes that there has been a “decades-long transformation of the university from a haven of truth-seekers dispensing liberal education, into a utilitarian industry, a profit-making trainer of technicians.”
32. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger with Vittorio Messori, The Ratzinger Report: An Exclusive Interview On the State of the Church (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press, 1985), p. 135.
33. See Matthew 4:24, 8:16, 8:28-32, 9:32-33, 10:1, 10:8, 12:22, 12:29, 15:22-28, 17:14-18, 17:21; Luke 4:41, 6:17-18, 8:26-35, 9:40-42,11:14; Mark 1:21-27, 1:32-34, 1:39, 3:7-11, 3:15, 5:1-13, 6:7, 6:13, 16:9.
34. John 8:44.
35. Http://institution.gallup.com/searchresults.aspx?tab=search&stext=devil& startdate=&enddate=&criteria=all; “Eternal Destinations: Americans Believe in Heaven, Hell,” Gallup Poll News Service, May 25, 2004, http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/angels.htm.
36. Huxley, The Devils of Loudon, p. 260.
37. Peck, People of the Lie, p. 261.
38. “Appendix One: The Roman Ritual of Exorcism,” in Martin, Hostage to the Devil, pp. 461, 460.