Can a Pope Change Moral Truth?

A Cancer On the Papacy?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

That joking retort we heard as children, “Is the pope Catholic?” is starting to look like a serious question.

Asked five years ago about a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, Pope Francis responded, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?”

As judgment was thought to be part of the papal job description, traditional Catholics were startled at what the new pope had volunteered.

Now the Holy Father has apparently fleshed out what he meant.

According to a childhood victim of a pedophile priest in Chile, Juan Carlos Cruz, a homosexual to whom the pope apologized, Francis said: “God made you like this and loves you like this and I don’t care. The pope does love you like this. You have to be happy with who you are.”

The Vatican has not denied what Cruz relates.

What makes this remarkable is that the catechism of the Catholic Church, based on the Old and New Testament and tradition, has always taught that homosexuality is a moral disorder, a proclivity toward sexual relations that are unnatural and immoral.

The idea that God is responsible for homosexual orientations, that the pope and the Catholic Church are fine with men being attracted to one another, and that those so oriented should be happy with it, appears, on its face, to be heresy.

It implies that what Catholics regarded for centuries as moral truth was wrong, or that moral truth has evolved and must be made to conform to modernity. This is moral relativism: Truth changes with the times.

And if what Cruz reports is accurate, the pope’s position is close to Hillary Clinton’s.

In 2016, at a New York fundraiser, Clinton recited her infamous litany of sins common to the “basket of deplorables” backing Donald Trump.

Said Hillary, they are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”

A phobia is “an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” Clinton was thus saying that those who have an aversion to homosexuality are morally or mentally sick.

Yet, up until December 1973, homosexuality itself was listed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.

The new morality we hear from the pope and Hillary reflects a historic change in the moral thinking of the West. For the belief that homosexuality is normal and natural, and not only acceptable but even praiseworthy, has carried the day.

Legislatures and courts have written this “truth” into law. It has been discovered by the Supreme Court to be lurking in that Constitution whose authors regarded and treated homosexuality as a grave crime.

And, yet, from this historic change, questions naturally arise:

On the issue of homosexuality, have we ascended to a higher moral plateau? Or has America jettisoned the truths we believed and replaced them with the tenets of an ideology that may be politically and culturally ascendant but is rooted in nothing but baseless assertions and lies?

Consider the views of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, lately removed as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as to what is behind the drive to have “homophobia” regarded as a mental disorder.

“Homophobia (is) an invention and an instrument of the totalitarian dominance over the thoughts of others. The homo-movement is lacking scientific arguments, which is why it created an ideology which wants to dominate by creating its own reality.”

In short, cultural Marxists and their progressive allies have taken an ideological assertion — homosexuality is normal, natural and moral — without any historical, biological or scientific basis, and asserted it as truth, established it as law, and demanded that we accept and act upon this truth, or face the wrath of the regime.

Said Muller: “It is the Marxist pattern according to which reality does not create thinking, but thinking creates its own reality. He who does not accept this created reality is to be considered as being sick.

“It is as if one could influence an illness with the help of the police or with the help of courts. In the Soviet Union, Christians were put into psychiatric clinics. These are the methods of totalitarian regimes, of National Socialism and of Communism.”

As Russell Kirk wrote, ideology is political religion. And the dogmas of the political religion by which we are increasingly ruled have displaced the teachings of Christianity and tradition.

Since the Stonewall Riot of 1969, homosexual relationships have gone from being seen as indecent and immoral, to being tolerated, to being accepted, to being on the same plane as traditional marriage, to being a constitutional right.

And if you do not accept the new morality, you are a deplorable bigot. And if you act on your disbelief in the equality of homosexuality, you will be ostracized and punished.

The truths being jettisoned built the greatest civilization known to man. Will the invented truths of our new egalitarianism survive the arrival of the new barbarians? It’s not looking all that good right now.

With Nixon in ’68: The Year America Came Apart

With Nixon in ’68: The Year America Came Apart

By Patrick J. Buchanan – The Wall Street Journal

On the night of Jan. 31, 1968, as tens of thousands of Viet Cong guerrillas attacked the major cities of South Vietnam, in violation of a Lunar New Year truce, Richard Nixon was flying secretly to Boston. At 29, and Nixon’s longest-serving aide, I was with him. Advance man Nick Ruwe met us at Logan Airport and drove us to a motel in Nashua, N.H., where Nixon had been preregistered as “ Benjamin Chapman.” The next day, only hours before the deadline, Nixon filed in Concord to enter the state’s Republican primary, just six weeks away.

On Feb. 2, the New York Times story “Nixon Announces for Presidency” was dwarfed by a giant headline: “Street Clashes Go On in Vietnam; Foe Still Holds Parts of Cities; Johnson Pledges Never to Yield.” Dominating the page was the photograph of a captured Viet Cong, hands tied, being executed on a Saigon street by South Vietnam’s national police chief, firing a bullet into his head from inches away. Eddie Adams’s photo would win the Pulitzer Prize.

America’s most divisive year since the Civil War had begun.

The author and Nixon on a plane in 1968.
The author and Nixon on a plane in 1968. PHOTO: COURTESY NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY

Nixon’s lone opponent for the Republican nomination was George Romney, three-term governor of Michigan and a legend at American Motors, where he had promoted the Nash Rambler. Romney had led in the polls in December 1966 and seemed the clear favorite, but by now he was not.

After campaigning in 35 states in 1966, leading the GOP to its greatest off-year victory in congressional races since 1946, Nixon had declared a moratorium on politics and dropped out of sight. Is it wise, I asked him, to cede Romney such a tremendous head start? Sensing what the press would do to Romney, Nixon told me, “Let ’em chew on him for a little while.”

Nixon’s instincts proved right. Romney was unprepared. On pre-campaign swings in 1967 he bickered with the press, and that August he made a fatal blunder. Explaining on a TV show why he was changing his position on the war, Romney said that on a previous visit to Vietnam, “I just had the greatest brainwashing anybody can get” from U.S. generals and diplomats.

The ridicule and mockery were ceaseless and universal. Sen. Eugene McCarthy said that, in Romney’s case, a full brainwashing was unneeded, as “a light rinse would have sufficed.” Romney plummeted in the polls, never to recover.

As Romney spun his wheels in New Hampshire, Nixon ignored his calls to debate, declining even to mention his name. Our polls showed us heading for a 5-1 landslide that would erase the “loser” image that had clung to Nixon since his loss to JFK in 1960 and his defeat in the California governor’s race in 1962.

President Lyndon Johnson announced on March 31, 1968 that he would not seek reelection; above, he works on the speech the day before.
President Lyndon Johnson announced on March 31, 1968 that he would not seek reelection; above, he works on the speech the day before. PHOTO:BOB DAUGHERTY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

With humiliation ahead, Romney abruptly ended his candidacy on Feb. 28, 1968, robbing Nixon of his triumph. What historians call “crazy March” now began. In the Democratic primary in New Hampshire, Sen. McCarthy, running an antiwar protest campaign, got 42% of the vote. Lyndon Johnson won with 49%, though his name was not on the ballot. Inexplicably, the president of the United States had run as a write-in candidate.

Half the McCarthy voters were later identified as pro-war but fed up with LBJ’s indecisive leadership. In January, North Korean commandos had assaulted the Blue House in Seoul and come close to assassinating President Park Chung-hee, and the U.S. spy ship Pueblo had been hijacked and its crew taken hostage by North Korean gunboats. Johnson had done nothing.

The press read into the McCarthy vote a repudiation of the war, and Johnson was now wounded. On March 16, Sen. Robert Kennedy leapt into the race. Speaking a week later in Los Angeles, he stuck the knife deep into his old antagonist, accusing President Johnson of “calling upon the darker impulses of the American spirit.”

On March 21, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York stunned the political world by declaring that he would not challenge Nixon. The anticipated battle inside the Republican Party seemed suddenly settled, just as a three-sided war broke out inside the Democratic Party. Alabama’s Gov. George Wallace had announced he would run as a third-party candidate in the fall, while Kennedy and McCarthy battled for the nomination as they assaulted their own president.

The Tet Offensive was seen as a major American setback in 1968 but the Viet Cong lost huge numbers of troops; above, a Viet Cong soldier awaits interrogation following capture.
The Tet Offensive was seen as a major American setback in 1968 but the Viet Cong lost huge numbers of troops; above, a Viet Cong soldier awaits interrogation following capture. PHOTO: CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES

The Tet Offensive proved a strategic disaster for the Viet Cong, who suffered tens of thousands of dead. But U.S. media portrayed Tet as an American defeat. On “The CBS Evening News,” Walter Cronkite declared Vietnam a “stalemate.”

Nixon moved to update his position. As his writers Ray Price, Dick Whalen and I argued in front of him at his Fifth Avenue apartment in New York on March 30, we got a call from our media folks: LBJ had asked to speak in prime time that Sunday night. Nixon canceled his prepared speech and, leaving for a Wisconsin event, told me to be at the private terminal at La Guardia Sunday to brief him on LBJ’s address to the nation.

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As Johnson was announcing that he would not run, Nixon’s private jet was landing. I reached the airplane door ahead of the press and told him what LBJ had said. Nixon stepped out into the cameras to declare 1968 “the year of the dropout.”

Four days later, the nation was stunned again. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis to support a strike by garbage workers, had been assassinated on a motel balcony. A hundred U.S. cities exploded in rioting, looting and arson. The National Guard was out everywhere. The week long rampage caused a backlash across Middle America, and Wallace’s poll numbers vaulted. Support for Nixon, who went to Atlanta for King’s funeral, sank.

Violence broke across American cities after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Above, soldiers stand guard in front of a supermarket on Chicago’s South Side three days later.
Violence broke across American cities after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Above, soldiers stand guard in front of a supermarket on Chicago’s South Side three days later. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

As the race riots burned out, the worst campus riot of the decade erupted. At my alma mater, Columbia University, student radicals occupied Low Library and Hamilton Hall. They ransacked professors’ offices and took a dean hostage. After a week, the NYPD, with clubs and sweeping arrests, recaptured the university. Nixon declared the uprising “the first major skirmish in a revolutionary struggle to seize the universities of this country and transform them into sanctuaries for radicals and vehicles for revolutionary political and social goals.”

Rockefeller denounced Nixon, reversed himself and entered the race. But polls showed that America’s patience with radicalism was exhausted. The country was with the cops wielding the clubs. Nixon had captured the law-and-order issue. When the Kerner Commission, set up to study the causes of the weeklong Newark and Detroit riots in the “long hot summer” of 1967, blamed “white racism,” Nixon dismissed the report by saying it blamed everyone for the riots but the rioters themselves.

As the Democratic showdown approached in the Oregon primary, the media zeroed in on the revelation that, as attorney general, Kennedy had authorized J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap the now-martyred Martin Luther King Jr. The explosive charge led to Kennedy’s defeat by McCarthy on May 28.

Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination on June 5 further traumatized the country. Above, he campaigns in Portland before the May 28 Oregon primary.
Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination on June 5 further traumatized the country. Above, he campaigns in Portland before the May 28 Oregon primary. PHOTO: BETTMANN ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

I was at Portland’s Benson Hotel that night with Nixon, who had won 70% of the primary vote, crushing both Rockefeller and Reagan. Later in the evening, I was standing in front of the hotel when Bobby Kennedy arrived to concede defeat in the first loss by a Kennedy since JFK entered politics in 1946. Though Bobby had a reputation for being ruthless, he could not have been more gracious in conceding defeat that night.

A week later, I was awakened at 3 a.m. by Jeff Bell, a young aide at Nixon’s campaign office. Bobby had been shot in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen after winning the California primary. Vice President Hubert Humphrey, the favorite after LBJ stood down, was now assured of the nomination.

The surging antiwar movement was demoralized, bitter and angry. Humphrey was seen as a Johnson lackey who would continue the war. Then, just days after Bobby was buried beside JFK at Arlington, Earl Warren resigned as chief justice, and LBJ named his old crony Justice Abe Fortas to replace him. All three wanted to prevent a President Nixon from naming the next chief justice. Senate Republicans aborted the insiders’ deal and rejected Fortas. The Supreme Court wars that would endure into the 21st century had begun.

The Democratic Convention in Chicago was marked by chaos inside on Aug. 28, 1968, as delegates were fractured over the candidates and the party platform....
The Democratic Convention in Chicago was marked by chaos inside on Aug. 28, 1968, as delegates were fractured over the candidates and the party platform…. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

One week before the Democratic convention in Chicago, the Soviet Union sent hundreds of Warsaw Pact tanks and 250,000 troops into Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring. As with the seizure of the Pueblo, President Johnson, with a half million U.S. troops now in Vietnam, did nothing.

The stage was set for an explosive Democratic convention in Chicago. I asked Nixon to send me. He agreed. Our listening post was on the 19th floor of the “Comrade Hilton.” I was alone in the suite one night when Norman Mailer walked in with the light-heavyweight champion Jose Torres. As we talked, a commotion erupted outside. A phalanx of cops had marched up Balbo Drive to Michigan Avenue and halted. Suddenly, the cops took off into Grant Park, clubbing the radicals and dragging them to patrol wagons. Mailer and I saw it all from our 19th-floor window. On and on it went, as Torres cursed the cops and I stayed mute. I had been down there at night among the protesters, who were as ugly a crowd as I had seen in the Vietnam era.

When Humphrey left Chicago, the Democratic coalition that had given LBJ a historic landslide in 1964 was shattered. Wallace seemed certain to shear off the electoral votes of the Deep South. The McCarthy-Kennedy wing was enraged over how Mayor Richard Daley’s cops had beaten the protesters. The nation had seen a convention where Democratic delegates cursed one another on the floor as their partisans brawled with police in the streets.

I came back from Chicago and told Nixon that we should side with Daley and the cops. Nixon’s first campaign stop that fall was a motorcade through downtown Chicago, where huge crowds cheered him.

... And the convention was marred by violence outside, as Mayor Richard J. Daley’s forces cracked down violently on protesters.
… And the convention was marred by violence outside, as Mayor Richard J. Daley’s forces cracked down violently on protesters. PHOTO: BETTMANN ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES

The Gallup poll in September had Nixon at 43, Humphrey at 28, Wallace at 21. At every campaign stop, Humphrey was shouted down with chants of “Dump the Hump!”, until he came close to breaking down, denouncing his tormentors as “fascists.”

Desperate, Humphrey rolled the dice on Sept. 30 and pledged to halt all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam. The impact was immediate. The heckling and abuse subsided. He began a steady ascent in the polls. His optimism returned, and he staged one of the great comebacks in presidential politics.

Then he caught a break. On Oct. 3, Wallace introduced his running mate, Gen. Curtis LeMay, who had led the firebombing of Tokyo and who told a stunned press that we Americans have “a phobia about nuclear weapons.” To achieve victory in Vietnam, LeMay said, “I would use anything…including nuclear weapons.” Wallace’s voters began to abandon him and move back home to the Democratic Party.

‘The Cold War consensus that had existed from the Berlin blockade of 1948 through the Cuban missile crisis was no more.’

The election ended in a virtual tie, with both candidates receiving roughly 43% of the popular vote. But Nixon had won in the electoral college and was now president-elect of the United States.

What had 1968 wrought?

The American establishment, “the best and the brightest,” had been broken on the wheel of Vietnam. Liberal elites would move to ally themselves with the antiwar left and to denounce as “Nixon’s war” the cause into which they themselves had led the country.

The Cold War consensus that had existed from the Berlin blockade of 1948 through the Cuban missile crisis was no more. The Democratic candidate in 1972 would run on the slogan “Come home, America!” Foreign policy leadership passed from the party of Truman and Kennedy to the party of Nixon and Reagan. After 1968, the word “victory” was rarely heard. The goal now in Vietnam was “peace with honor” or “an end to the war.”

Massive civil disobedience and violent protests would become the new normal. Failed and frustrated extremists would turn to bombings and terrorism. Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew would use the radical left and its media enablers as foils to drive a wedge right through FDR’s Democratic coalition, with Nixon calling out his “Great Silent Majority” and Agnew tabling the issue of press power and media bias.

Nixon would be re-elected in 1972 in a 49-state landslide. In four of the five presidential elections after 1968, Nixon’s new majority would crush the Democratic Party. By 1970, six years after Goldwater’s defeat, twice as many Americans would call themselves conservatives as liberals.

As the political wars of 1968 turned American politics upside down, a cultural war had broken out as well. Moral and social issues—abortion, affirmative action, busing, crime, drugs, feminism, gay rights—would tear apart families, communities and the entire nation. The culture wars had begun.

We are another country now, another people. The unity we knew in the Eisenhower-Kennedy era is gone. 1968 was the great divide. 1968 was the turning point.

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Mr. Buchanan, a former presidential candidate, served as an aide to Richard Nixon from January 1966 to August 1974. His books “The Greatest Comeback” and “Nixon’s White House Wars” describe those years.

Posted with permission from  The Wall Street Journal

Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising

Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising

By Patrick J. Buchanan

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country’s constitution.

To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news.

For the bete noire of Orban’s campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban’s commitments were to halt any further surrenders of Hungarian sovereignty and independence to the European Union, and to fight any immigrant invasion of Hungary from Africa or the Islamic world.

Why are autocrats like Orban rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe? The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West — the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.

Modern liberals and progressives see nations as transitory — here today, gone tomorrow. The autocrats, however, have plugged into the most powerful currents running in this new century: tribalism and nationalism.

The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis.

They see us as on a steady march into a brave new world, where democracy, diversity and equality will be everywhere celebrated.

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To understand the rise of Orban, we need to start seeing Europe and ourselves as so many of these people see us.

Hungary is a thousand years old. Its people have a DNA all their own. They belong to a unique and storied nation of 10 million with its own language, religion, history, heroes, culture and identity.

Though a small nation, two-thirds of whose lands were torn away after World War I, Hungarians wish to remain and endure as who they are.

They don’t want open borders. They don’t want mass migrations to change Hungary into something new. They don’t want to become a minority in their own country. And they have used democratic means to elect autocratic men who will put the Hungarian nation first.

U.S. elites may babble on about “diversity,” about how much better a country we will be in 2042 when white European Christians are just another minority and we have become a “gorgeous mosaic” of every race, tribe, creed and culture on earth.

To Hungarians, such a future entails the death of the nation. To Hungarians, millions of African, Arab and Islamic peoples settling in their lands means the annihilation of the historic nation they love, the nation that came into being to preserve the Hungarian people.

President Emmanuel Macron of France says the Hungarian and other European elections where autocrats are advancing are manifestations of “national selfishness.”

Well, yes, national survival can be considered national selfishness.

But let Monsieur Macron bring in another 5 million former subject peoples of the French Empire and he will discover that the magnanimity and altruism of the French has its limits, and a Le Pen will soon replace him in the Elysee Palace.

Consider what else the “world’s oldest democracy” has lately had on offer to the indigenous peoples of Europe resisting an invasion of Third World settlers coming to occupy and repopulate their lands.

Our democracy boasts of a First Amendment freedom of speech and press that protects blasphemy, pornography, filthy language and the burning of the American flag. We stand for a guaranteed right of women to abort their children and of homosexuals to marry.

We offer the world a freedom of religion that prohibits the teaching of our cradle faith and its moral code in our public schools.

Our elites view this as social progress upward from a dark past.

To much of the world, however, America has become the most secularized and decadent society on earth, and the title the ayatollah bestowed upon us, “The Great Satan,” is not altogether undeserved.

And if what “our democracy” has delivered here has caused tens of millions of Americans to be repulsed and to secede into social isolation, why would other nations embrace a system that produced so poisoned a politics and so polluted a culture?

“Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the march,” writes The Washington Post: “Democracy as an ideal and in practice seems under siege.” Yes, and there are reasons for this.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people,” said John Adams. And as we have ceased to be a moral and religious people, the poet T. S. Eliot warned us what would happen:

“The term ‘democracy’ … does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces you dislike — it can be easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and he is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler and Stalin.” Recall: Hitler rose to power through a democratic election.

Democracy lacks content. As a political system, it does not engage the heart. And if Europe’s peoples see their leaders as accommodating a transnational EU, while failing to secure national borders, they will use democracy to replace them with men of action.

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Unserious Nation

Unserious Nation

How stands John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” this Thanksgiving?

How stands the country that was to be “a light unto the nations”?

To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. For consider the issues that have lately convulsed the public discourse of the American republic.

Today’s great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Sen. Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore.

On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines.

And every day for weeks, beginning with Hollywood king Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers nearly number in three digits, actors, media personalities and politicians have been falling like nine pins over allegations and admissions of sexual predation.

What is our civil rights issue, and who are today’s successors to the Freedom Riders of the ‘60s? Millionaire NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem to dishonor the flag of their country to protest racist cops.

And what was the great cultural issue of summer and fall?

An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen.

Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.

But the city that bears Washington’s name is erecting a new statue on Pennsylvania Avenue — to honor the four-term mayor who served time on a cocaine charge: Marion Shepilov Barry.

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Whatever side one may take on these questions, can a country so preoccupied and polarized on such pursuits be taken seriously as a claimant to be the “exceptional nation,” a model to which the world should look and aspire?

Contrast the social, cultural and moral morass in which America is steeped with the disciplined proceedings and clarity of purpose, direction and goals of our 21st century rival: Xi Jinping’s China.

Our elites assure us that America today is a far better place than we have ever known, surely better than the old America that existed before the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Yet President Trump ran on a pledge to “Make America Great Again,” implying that while the America he grew up in was great, in the time of Barack Obama it no longer was. And he won.

Certainly, the issues America dealt with half a century ago seem more momentous than what consumes us today.

Consider the matters that riveted America in the summer and fall of 1962, when this columnist began to write editorials for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. What was the civil rights issue of that day?

In September of ‘62, Gov. Ross Barnett decided not to allow Air Force vet James Meredith to become the first black student at Ole Miss. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent U.S. Marshals to escort Meredith in.

Hundreds of demonstrators arrived on campus to join student protests. A riot ensued. Dozens of marshals were injured. A French journalist was shot to death. The Mississippi Guard was federalized. U.S. troops were sent in, just as Ike had sent them into Little Rock when Gov. Orville Faubus refused to desegregate Central High.

U.S. power was being used to enforce a federal court order on a recalcitrant state government, as it would in 1963 at the University of Alabama, where Gov. George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.

As civil rights clashes go, this was the real deal.

That fall, in a surprise attack, Chinese troops poured through the passes in the Himalayas, invading India. China declared a truce in November but kept the territories it had occupied in Jammu and Kashmir.

Then there was the Cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous crisis of the Cold War.

Since August, the Globe-Democrat had been calling for a blockade of Cuba, where Soviet ships were regularly unloading weapons. When President Kennedy declared a “quarantine” after revealing that missiles with nuclear warheads that could reach Washington were being installed, the Globe urged unity behind him, as it had in Oxford, Mississippi.

We seemed a more serious and united nation and people then than we are today, where so much that roils our society and consumes our attention seems unserious and even trivial.

“And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?” wrote the British poet Thomas Macaulay.

Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created the nation should be publicly dishonored. Are we really a better country today than we were then, when all the world looked to America as the land of the future?

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Is Liberalism a Dying Faith?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Asked to name the defining attributes of the America we wish to become, many liberals would answer that we must realize our manifest destiny since 1776, by becoming more equal, more diverse and more democratic — and the model for mankind’s future.

Equality, diversity, democracy — this is the holy trinity of the post-Christian secular state at whose altars Liberal Man worships.

But the congregation worshiping these gods is shrinking. And even Europe seems to be rejecting what America has on offer.

In a retreat from diversity, Catalonia just voted to separate from Spain. The Basque and Galician peoples of Spain are following the Catalan secession crisis with great interest.

The right-wing People’s Party and far-right Freedom Party just swept 60 percent of Austria’s vote, delivering the nation to 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, whose anti-immigrant platform was plagiarized from the Freedom Party. Summarized it is: Austria for the Austrians!

Lombardy, whose capital is Milan, and Veneto will vote Sunday for greater autonomy from Rome.

South Tyrol (Alto Adige), severed from Austria and ceded to Italy at Versailles, written off by Hitler to appease Mussolini after his Anschluss, is astir anew with secessionism. Even the Sicilians are talking of separation.

By Sunday, the Czech Republic may have a new leader, billionaire Andrej Babis. Writes The Washington Post, Babis “makes a sport of attacking the European Union and says NATO’s mission is outdated.”

Platform Promise: Keep the Muslim masses out of the motherland.

To ethnonationalists, their countrymen are not equal to all others, but superior in rights. Many may nod at Thomas Jefferson’s line that “All men are created equal,” but they no more practice that in their own nations than did Jefferson in his.

On Oct. 7, scores of thousands of Poles lined up along the country’s entire 2,000-mile border — to pray the rosary.

It was the centennial of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima in Portugal in 1917, and the day in 1571 the Holy League sank the Muslim fleet at Lepanto to save Europe. G. K. Chesterton’s poem, “Lepanto,” was once required reading in Catholic schools.

Each of these traditionalist-nationalist movements is unique, but all have a common cause. In the hearts of Europe’s indigenous peoples is embedded an ancient fear: loss of the homeland to Islamic invaders.

Europe is rejecting, resisting, recoiling from “diversity,” the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual future that, say U.S. elites, is America’s preordained mission to bring about for all mankind.

Indeed, increasingly, the indigenous peoples of Europe seem to view as the death of their nations and continent, what U.S. liberal elites see as the Brave New World to come.

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To traditionalist Europeans, our heaven looks like their hell.

Thus Poles fall on their knees to pray to the Virgin Mary to spare them from threats of an Islamic future, as their ancestors prayed at the time of Lepanto, and of Vienna in 1683, when the Polish King John Sobieski marched to halt the last Muslim drive into the heart of Europe.

European peoples and parties are today using democratic means to achieve “illiberal” ends. And it is hard to see what halts the drift away from liberal democracy toward the restrictive right. For in virtually every nation, there is a major party in opposition, or a party in power, that holds deeply nationalist views.

European elites may denounce these new parties as “illiberal” or fascist, but it is becoming apparent that it may be liberalism itself that belongs to yesterday. For more and more Europeans see the invasion of the continent along the routes whence the invaders came centuries ago, not as a manageable problem but an existential crisis.

To many Europeans, it portends an irreversible alteration in the character of the countries their grandchildren will inherit, and possibly an end to their civilization. And they are not going to be deterred from voting their fears by being called names that long ago lost their toxicity from overuse.

And as Europeans decline to celebrate the racial, ethnic, creedal and cultural diversity extolled by American elites, they also seem to reject the idea that foreigners should be treated equally in nations created for their own kind.

Europeans seem to admire more, and model their nations more, along the lines of the less diverse America of the Eisenhower era, than on the polyglot America of 2017.

And Europe seems to be moving toward immigration polices more like the McCarran-Walter Act of 1950 than the open borders bill that Sen. Edward Kennedy shepherded through the Senate in 1965.

Kennedy promised that the racial and ethnic composition of the America of the 1960s would not be overturned, and he questioned the morality and motives of any who implied that it would.

So, why is liberalism dying?

Because it is proving to be what James Burnham called it in his 1964 “Suicide of the West” — the ideology of Western suicide.

What we see in Europe today is people who, belatedly recognizing this, have begun to “rage, rage, against dying of the light.”

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Trump Embraces the Culture War

By Patrick J. Buchanan

To attend the Indianapolis Colts game where the number of the legendary Peyton Manning was to be retired, Vice President Mike Pence, a former governor of Indiana, flew back from Las Vegas.

With him in the stadium was wife Karen. In honor of Manning, she wore a No. 18 jersey as “The Star Spangled Banner” began.

The Pences stood, hands over hearts. A dozen San Francisco 49ers took a knee. When the national anthem ended, Pence walked out. His limousine took him back to the airport to fly to LA.

“A stunt! That plane trip cost taxpayers $250,000,” wailed a media that was rarely critical of Michelle Obama’s million-dollar junkets with Sasha and Malia.

The president took credit for Pence’s walkout, tweeting, “I asked @VP Pence to leave stadium if any players kneeled.”

Pence’s statement: “I left today’s Colts game because President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem.”

As Pence had left his press pool in the motorcade, and said he might not be too long, the walkout may not have been entirely spontaneous. But the game had been on Pence’s calendar for weeks.

What does this episode tell us?

In the culture wars, Trump has rejected compromise or capitulation and decided to defend the ground on which his most loyal folks stand.

Example: While The Washington Post was reporting Monday that Austin, Seattle, San Francisco and Denver had now joined Los Angeles in replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day, Trump issued a Columbus Day proclamation of bristling defiance.

“Five hundred and twenty-five years ago, Christopher Columbus completed an ambitious and daring voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas. … a remarkable and then-unparalleled feat that helped launch the age of exploration and discovery. The permanent arrival of Europeans to the Americas was a transformative event that … changed the course of human history and set the stage for the development of our great Nation.”

Columbus, said Trump, was a “skilled navigator and man of faith, whose courageous feat brought together continents and has inspired countless others to pursue their dreams and convictions — even in the face of extreme doubt and tremendous adversity.”

The Admiral of the Ocean Sea “was a native of the City of Genoa, in present day Italy, and represents the rich history of important Italian American contributions to our great Nation. … Italy is a strong ally and a valued partner,” said Trump.

His proclamation failed to mention indigenous peoples.

How did CNN receive it? Not at all well.

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“Trump’s Praise of Columbus Omits Dark History,” ran the CNN headline. Lede sentence: “Never mind the disease and slavery wrought by Christopher Columbus’ voyage — or the fact that he didn’t actually ‘discover’ the New World.”

Trump’s proclamation closed a week in which he rolled back the Obamacare mandate requiring employers and institutions, against their religious beliefs, to provide contraceptives and abortion-inducing pills to employees.

Religious groups cheered. The ACLU fumed. The in-your-face defiance of the dictates of political correctness has solidified Trump’s base behind him.

And Americans are coming to accept our new reality: On the essentials of nationhood — ancestry, morality, faith, culture, history, heroes — we really are no longer one nation and one people.

All weekend, viewers of cable TV were treated to self-righteous wailing from the acolytes of Colin Kaepernick, patron saint of the 49ers, that “taking the knee” to protest racism and racist cops is a most admirable exercise of the First Amendment right to protest.

What Trump’s folks are saying in response is this:

“You may have a First Amendment right to disrespect our flag, or even to burn it, but you have no right to make us listen to you, or respect you, or buy tickets to your games, or watch you on Sunday.”

And with shrinking audiences watching NFL games, declining attendance, and advertisers beginning to bail, the NFL appears belatedly to be getting the message.

Jerry Jones, owner of one of the most valuable franchises in the league, has told players that anyone who does not show respect for the flag during the national anthem does not play that day for the Dallas Cowboys.

“President Trump has a duty to unite us, not divide us” is the mantra of our elites. Yet, since the ’60s, it is these elites who have been imposing the social, moral and cultural revolution the American people never voted for and which has by now divided us irretrievably.

Call them “deplorables” if you will, but Trump does seem to relish going out to defend the views, values and beliefs of the people who put him where he is. He does not recoil from political conflict.

People who stand by you in a fight are not all that common in politics. When Trump exhibits this quality, he receives in reciprocity the kind of loyalty even his enemies concede he has.

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Judge Moore & God’s Law

Judge Moore & God's Law

By Patrick J. Buchanan

When elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2000, Judge Roy Moore installed in his courthouse a monument with the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai carved into it.

Told by a federal court his monument violated the separation of church and state, Moore refused to remove it and was suspended — to become famous as “The Ten Commandments Judge.”

Roy Moore is now the Republican candidate for the Senate from Alabama, having routed Sen. Luther Strange, whom President Trump endorsed and campaigned for.

Moore’s primary win is a fire bell in the night for GOP senators in 2018. And should he defeat his Democratic opponent, the judge will be coming to Capitol Hill, gunning for Mitch McConnell.

Yet it is the moral convictions of the candidate that make this an interesting race for all Americans. For Moore is a social conservative of a species that is almost extinct in Washington.

He believes that man-made law must conform to the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” as written in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

If a law contradicts God’s law, it is invalid, nonbinding. In some cases, civil disobedience, deliberate violation of such a law, may be the moral duty of a Christian.

Moore believes God’s Law is even above the Constitution, at least as interpreted by recent Supreme Courts.

Homosexuality, an abomination in the Old Testament, Moore sees as “an inherent evil.” When the high court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, discovered a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Moore, back on the Alabama court, defied the decision, was suspended again, and resigned.

Postmodern America may see the judge as a refugee from the Neolithic period. Yet, his convictions, and how he has stood by them, are going to attract folks beyond Alabama. And the judge’s views on God, man and law are not without a distinguished paternity.

In his “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Dr. King wrote: “(T)here are two types of laws: there are just laws, and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all

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“A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law, or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas, an unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal and natural law.”

In his Declaration, Jefferson wrote that all men are endowed by their “Creator” with inalienable rights, and among these is the right to life.

Many Christians believe that what the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade — declare an unborn child’s right to life contingent upon whether its mother wishes to end it — violates God’s law, “Thou shalt not kill.”

Throughout our history, people acting upon such beliefs have defied laws, and are today celebrated for it.

Abolitionists, in violation of laws they believed immoral, set up the Underground Railroad to help slaves escape to freedom. King believed that laws imposing racial segregation violated the American “creed” that “all men are created equal” and acted on that belief.

Thomas More is considered by Catholics to be a saint and moral hero for defying Henry VIII’s demand, among others, that he endorse a lie, that the king’s marriage to Anne Boleyn was not adultery.

Early Christians accepted martyrdom rather than obey laws of the Caesars and burn incense to the gods of Rome.

After Hitler took power in 1933, he authorized the eradication of “useless eaters” in the Third Reich. Those who condemned these laws as violations of God’s law, and even attempted to assassinate Hitler in 1944, are today regarded as moral heroes.

Moore, should he win, is going to become an object of fascination in The Secular City. Yet his questions and concerns are those of the silent millions on the losing side of America’s culture war.

Is the USA still a good and Godly country when 55 million abortions have been performed with the sanction of law in 45 years?

Do court decisions that force Christians to act against their religious beliefs have to be obeyed? What is the duty of Christians in a paganized and perverted society?

What is taking place today is a growing alienation of one-half of the country from the other, a growing belief of millions of Americans that our society has become morally sick.

Christianity and the moral truths it has taught for 2,000 years have been deposed from the pre-eminent position they held until after World War II, and are now rejected as a source of law. They have been replaced by the tenets of a secular humanism that is the prevailing orthodoxy of our new cultural, social and intellectual elites.

If elected, Judge Moore, one imagines, will not be rendering respectfully unto the new Caesar.

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