The Secession of a Pleb

Massive immigration as an assault on national sovereignty is a topic we’ve covered in great detail at Gates of Vienna. Our main focus has been the increasingly malign effects of this phenomenon on the fabric of European culture and laws.

This essay takes a different turn, this time inward, to look at America’s struggle with illegal immigration. As is the case in Europe with citizens’ struggles against the dicta emanating from Brussels and the EU, many Americans have begun to see themselves pitted against the Political Class in Washington. This particular battle concerns yet another round of “amnesty” for illegal aliens (there was a first one in 1986). Many of us worry not only about its effects on our economy but also about the ways in which yet another round of forgiveness-after-the-fact will erode even further America’s once-solid foundational rule of law.

In an Afterword, I will provide further information on the ways in which citizenship and assimilation in the U.S (and perhaps in other parts of the Anglo Reach) distinguish her from European views.

This essay was submitted for consideration by a blogger who describes himself as “a lifelong practicing Catholic”. By way of presenting his bona fides, he explains that “…for several years I taught Confirmation candidates. I have actively defended and explained Church doctrine against its detractors for over twenty years”.

Just so you know his agenda here, he says, “I will fairly admit that I am by no means the standard for the model Christian man. I know my faults, am aware that these need correction, and gratefully appreciate my faith’s doctrines of healing and reconciliation, made possible for me and for others”.

Alfonse Rispoli will discuss the American Catholic Bishops’ sad record on immigration vis-à-vis the other things it has permitted to transpire within the thoroughly modern Church. Like Obama, none of their Graces is at the front of anything, including the novel idea of leading by example.

What follows is Mr. Rispoli’s modest proposal for a way to check the Bishops’ plans to push lay people into supporting the hierarchy’s stand on mass immigration. As a former Catholic still fond of her old family, I have added some editorial comment regarding their Excellencies’ principles.

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Mr. Rispoli says:

The Catholic Church has for the most part avoided falling completely to the onslaught of radical feminism, and it has at least belatedly come to address issues of discipline with ultra-liberal priests and nuns that use their positions to advance agendas that are not part of Church practice. The magisterium has also finally demonstrated an effort to rid the church of pedophiles in her sacerdotal ranks.

She has resisted the implied demands of many in of the secular world that Christian churches (not Muslims, of course, their faith is sacred) drop any reference to sin regarding just about any sexual practice. Of particular credit to the Catholic Church in the United States is the Bishops’ refusal to meekly accept the patently unconstitutional demands that contraception, abortifacients, and abortions be paid for by the Church. I don’t know how this will end, but their stand on this issue is noble as well as being the correct one in the long run.

In short, the Church has for the most part defended her teachings and doctrine and has ended the horrific and indeed sinful indifference to the existence of pedophiles among the clergy.

Where the Church, particularly in the United States but also in Western Europe, has failed her faithful has been on social issues. In a bizarre twist of Liberation Theology that threatened the outlook of the Church in decades past, The Church of the West (as opposed to the eastern Churches) has taken positions that run contrary to the good order and integrity of the very civilizations and societies that have protected the Church and allowed her to develop free of molestation and subjugation.

Of the five original patriarchal seats of the early Church, for example, only one (Rome) still remains free of domination by Islam. [Although Jerusalem is currently under Israeli administration, it has been under Islamic rule for the vast majority of time since the Islamic conquest of the 7th century.]

The beginnings of the Church as an organization developed and prospered during the periods of late Western Roman Empire, monarchies and nation-states. Now, however, it has come to take a position that runs contrary to the most basic need for sovereign nations. In order for a polity, a nation, to function as a sovereign entity, it must have the autonomous ability to determine who may reside within its borders and who may become a citizen. Take away that core requirement and the nation ceases to exist as a nation.

If any country absorbs a reasonable number of immigrants, the process of assimilation is likely to move at a predictable if not always smooth pace. But if the same nation permits too many into its boundaries within too short a time and without minimal demands placed on new arrivals, assimilation becomes untenable; the invaded nation stands at risk of losing its sense of identity. Further, should those numbers of immigrants go unchecked, as America seems determined to do with eleven million (or more) people pouring in from Central and South America, the nation will begin to assume the ungovernable, corrupt and lawless characteristics of those same places the newcomers fled in the first place.

Few would dispute the wisdom of having many self-sufficient, lawful nations. Instead, we face the reality of few democracies to whom all would flee for asylum from the dead-end despair in their native lands. In an attempt to avoid this, Western nations have been more than generous in material and financial aid to all sorts of countries without seeing any appreciable improvement in those places. We all have heard the analogy of opening up your home or wallet to the point that you are no longer in a position to help but instead become yourself someone in need of others’ aid. That maladaptation — having no secure personal boundaries — ends in ruin.

The Church’s most recent position on immigration appears to take both sides of the issue. On one hand, the American Catholic Church officially acknowledges the abstract rights of nations to maintain order along their borders and to have some controls on immigration. On the other hand, the Church appears determined to have nations assume the burdens of putting the “rights” of others ahead of their own national interests. Have they decided Christ’s command to love one’s neighbor as oneself is to be superseded by the politically correct and suicidal demand to love one’s neighbor before oneself?

Here are the principles put forth by the Conference of Catholic Bishops and laying claim to official “Catholic Teaching” on immigration and “the movement of peoples”. Bear in mind that this organization has a record of treading closely to the Left on a number of social issues:

Three Basic Principles of Catholic Social Teaching on Immigration

First Principle: People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families.


Because of the belief that newcomers compete for scarce resources, immigrants and refugees are at times driven away, resented, or despised. Nevertheless, the first principle of Catholic social teaching regarding immigrants is that people have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. This is based on biblical and ancient Christian teaching that the goods of the earth belong to all people. While the right to private property is defended in Catholic social teaching, individuals do not have the right to use private property without regard for the common good.


The native does not have superior rights over the immigrant. Before God all are equal; the earth was given by God to all. When a person cannot achieve a meaningful life in his or her own land, that person has the right to move.


[Dymphna’s observation: According to their own teachings, one of the primary places the immigrant has a “right” to move to is, naturally, all lands and properties currently under the control of the Catholic Conference of Bishops. Thus, in order to serve out their call to be a light unto all nations, or to “walk their talk”, the only thing these worthies need do is reduce the considerable size of their own footprint and to put their disadvantaged brethren before themselves.]

Second Principle: A country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration.

The overriding principle of all Catholic social teaching is that individuals must make economic, political, and social decisions not out of shortsighted self-interest, but with regard for the common good. That means that a moral person cannot consider only what is good for his or her own self and family, but must act with the good of all people as his or her guiding principle.

While individuals have the right to move in search of a safe and humane life, no country is bound to accept all those who wish to resettle there. By this principle the Church recognizes that most immigration is ultimately not something to celebrate.


Catholics should not view the work of the federal government and its immigration control as negative or evil. Those who work to enforce our nation’s immigration laws often do so out of a sense of loyalty to the common good and compassion for poor people seeking a better life…


[Dymphna’s observation: If you can, try to reconcile these First and Second Principles.]

Third Principle: A country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy.

…The second principle of Catholic social teaching may seem to negate the first principle. However, principles one and two must be understood in the context of principle three. And all Catholic social teaching must be understood in light of the absolute equality of all people and the commitment to the common good.

A country’s regulation of borders and control of immigration must be governed by concern for all people and by mercy and justice. A nation may not simply decide that it wants to provide for its own people and no others. A sincere commitment to the needs of all must prevail.


Even in the case of less urgent migrations, a developed nation’s right to limit immigration must be based on justice, mercy, and the common good, not on self-interest. Moreover, immigration policy ought to take into account other important values such as the right of families to live together. A merciful immigration policy will not force married couples or children to live separated from their families for long periods.


[Dymphna’s observation: Really? A scale of justice and mercy sets “the common good” as the primary filter one uses to limit immigration?? And who, pray tell, will define which good or good(s) is/are “common”? Who in all God’s creation has the discernment and wisdom to do this by the millions? No one, that’s who.

This utopian socialist calculus is wrong-headed and heavily Marxist.

Compared to Christ’s commandment to love one’s neighbor as oneself, the best one can say about this “teaching” is that it is naïve. More significant, though, is the sharp difference between the Bishops’ verbose propositions about loving one’s global ‘neighbor’ and the simple ‘caritas’ in Christ’s Law. Unlike the Bishops’ hopelessly bureaucratic bumf, there is no suicidal ideation in The Two Great Commandments.]

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reports demonstrate the lengths to which the Bishops in the U.S. (with the support of the Pope) are prepared to go in pushing the Leftist agenda of immigration and amnesty for illegal aliens who broke our laws when they came here. This blatant overreach threatens the integrity of our nation; it is also in opposition to the beliefs of the average Catholic.

From the Breitbart link:

If you attend Mass on September 8th, it is likely the priest’s homily will be less about spiritual matters and more about the political imperative of passing an amnesty law for the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants. Last week, the Catholic Church announced a massive, coordinated effort to press Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship.
Catholics make up the largest single religious group in Congress.

“We want to try to pull out all the stops,” Kevin Appleby, the director of migration policy at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told The New York Times. Appleby said the immigration issue was at a now-or-never moment. “They have to hear the message that we want this done, and if you’re not successful during the summer, you’re not going to win by the end of the year.”

Who do you think “they” is, the ones who “have to hear the message that we want this done”?? Is “they” the priests in local parishes? The parishioners themselves? Who precisely is to follow Mr. Appleby’s marching orders? And is The U. S. Catholic Bishops Conference part of the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” — as they proclaim every week in the Creed — or is this the thoroughly modern “church” complete with relentless media campaign?

The Washington Times story linked above draws generally from the same source for its report as did Breitbart — i.e., The New York Times, but with some differences. The Washington Times calls it “the amnesty pitch”; it also reports some rebellion in the ranks:

Among the church’s plans are scheduled marches and telephone blitzes to the offices of 60 Catholic House Republicans, demanding immigration reform. Speaker of the House John Boehner, along with nearly 130 other members of the legislative body, are Catholic.

At the community level, bishops and priests across the nation are planning to coordinate their Sunday services to include immigration reform throughout September.

At least a dozen already have agreed to hold special Sunday masses in September dedicated to pushing immigration reform as Congress returns to session.

But one Catholic said the church may be wasting its time.

“There are some issues that the church speaks authoritatively on, such as abortion, in protecting life,” said Rep. Dan Lipinski, Illinois Democrat. “And then there are prudential judgments that are made, informed by Catholic theology, but it’s not something that Catholics are required to follow.”

It remains to be seen if the millions of Catholics that Mr. Appleby thinks are going to hold marches and petition their representatives for the hierarchy’s pet project suddenly appear. Many of the faithful disagree with the Bishops’ socialist fantasies. In addition, lots of parishes are trying to survive through very tough times themselves. This campaign to enroll the parishes has a grand total of a dozen so far…what does that tell you?

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Different Histories

The last time [European] Catholics had to engage in hostilities with forces under Church command was during the reunification of Italy in the 19th century.

Prior to those days, however, it was far from unusual for a Catholic citizen of a Catholic-majority state to participate in a conflict against forces under Papal command. History is replete with instances of, for example, Italian, Norman, French, and German forces contesting military and political control of disputed regions.

Even if we do not count the Spanish Armada, which also sailed away to its ultimate demise with full Papal approval, we still have the earlier and smaller fully Papal force that landed in Ireland with the unsuccessful mission to raise the Irish up against the Protestant English monarchy.

The Hapsburg Emperor Charles V himself, who sought to bring vast regions of Catholic Europe under a unified rule, also dispatched forces (which included Lutheran troops who really had a field day) in a sack of Rome.

Recall that English Catholics as a whole joined with their Protestant fellow-citizens when the Armada, mentioned above, did threaten their country.

But that was Europe, collectively for American Catholics known as “the old country”.

Excepting the Nativist period (the worst of which was quite short), the United States has been a nation in which Catholics can exercise the beliefs and yet be model citizens in manner quite different from Catholics of Western Europe. This was noted both by Orestes Brownson and Alexis de Tocqueville. Free of the memory of traditional entanglements mixing Church and state, as well as the lack of history in the US of supporting the old feudal order, Catholics did, in Tocqueville’s words (Democracy in America (Library of America)) —

constitute the most republican and the most democratic class of citizens which exists in the Unites States:

Brownson concurred in both his Union of Church and State and Works (Orestes Brownson : Selected Political Essays (Library of Conservative Thought)):

…we lose nothing of Catholicity, nothing of its vigor and efficiency; we lose simply certain special favors of the government, and are relieved in turn from certain burdens at times almost too great for the church to bear, imposed by the government as the price of those favors. The loss is a great gain, and it is far better for the interests of the church to lose the favors and be freed from the burdens, than it is to retain the favors and bear the burdens.

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Meanwhile, in modern-day America, I am not proposing that Catholics rise up against their Church. However, I do assert that we cannot stand by idly while those who occupy high-level ecclesial and lay positions in our Church use the pulpit and telephone to bully the flock into acquiescence, or threaten our few brave political leaders with the loss of elections if they don’t toe the line.

Catholics need to be cognizant of the critical differences between the authority of the Church on doctrinal matters, and the civic duty of the citizen to his country and his society. No statement from a Conference of Bishops nor a Papal declaration on an internal American matter such as immigration can ever be binding on individual Catholics. Indeed, the believer must always be ready to differentiate between the two swords of church and state.

At the moment our national integrity is threatened by a massive influx of people who entered America illegally. Granting them amnesty (again), no matter what euphemism is employed to do so, will be a grievous blow to our civic society and to our culture. Church officials have no more right to tell legislators how to handle this issue than I have to buy a plane ticket to Rome, take a taxi to the Vatican City, and demand to be given citizenship and a place to live.

Of course we may and should contact our elected officials to inform them that on this issue the Church does not speak for us. In addition, there is another option, a more direct approach.

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My Proposal for September 8th

I propose that on September 8th parishioners of local Catholic churches in the United States attend Mass as usual — and as usual, bring their checks and cash for the collection plate. I propose further that we all listen carefully: if any portion of the homily on that Sunday should include a call for amnesty for illegal aliens, then whatever monies would usually be given instead be withheld from the collection.

I plan to keep that money separate, along with monies for succeeding Sundays, ready to give to a worthy charity in the event the Episcopate maintains its current socialist position. However, if and when the Bishops recant then our donations ought to continue. As many have noted before me, money talks; its absence speaks volumes. Mere verbal protests will not get the hierarchy’s attention.

Catholics have listened quietly and with little or no balking when bishops and priests have condemned Israel for protecting her people, and when the Church has self-righteously condemned the death penalty in all cases. Those of us in the pews have listened quietly, but we have not followed.

When it comes to the security, integrity, and identity of our own nation, as opposed to a support for the flouting of its laws, we can no longer remain silent or inactive. They can say what they want, but we should not be bankrolling their efforts when those efforts run counter to the best interests of our nation. I will continue to attend Mass and submit to Church authority when her leaders act within their bailiwick, but I will not provide material aid to be used against the interests of my country.

In a parallel from ancient history, I cite the Secession of the Plebs:

At one point in the early Roman Republic, the office of Consul was temporarily shelved and ten rulers known as the Decemvirs were appointed. When the time came for them to quit their positions, they failed to do so and one of them in particular began to engage in despicable acts. The Romans, a people strictly bound by the rule of law, had only one option — leave. They left the precincts directly under the rule of the Decemvirs and left the tyrants to rule a city empty of people. In short, the people went on strike en masse, not against their employers, but their rulers.

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Afterword by Dymphna

Collaborating with Mr. Rispoli on this brief against the U. S. Council of Catholic Bishops’ support of yet another round of amnesty forced me to examine the issues he discusses with some care. Like many others, I have avoided the subject. It is difficult to see our current political system as other than broken. The bloated, bureaucratic behemoth in Washington rolls on, flattening individual effort and initiative while conservatives like me find it difficult not to despair when there doesn’t seem to be any integrity even within our own ranks.

However, the process of collaborating with Mr. Rispoli entailed looking more closely at what is in progress here. The fact that Mr. R is willing to make his stand against the Church, a church he loves, calls into question my own avoidance. I will return to discuss this situation in more detail in another post. But for the moment, let this quote from an excellent book review at Claremont stand for the beginning of my own search for understanding, my light on the Damascus Road.

In his essay “The Genius of American Citizenship” Richard Samuelson says:

Joseph Stalin apparently coined the term “American exceptionalism” to denounce the heresy that Marx’s universal historical laws would somehow not apply to the United States. Though it’s now clear that every nation is an exception to the historical dialectic that was supposed to culminate in the triumph of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the U.S. remains an exceptional nation in other crucial ways. Anyone who becomes an American citizen is fully American, from that day forward. By contrast, a naturalized citizen of France, Japan, or Nigeria can live for decades in his new country, and his family can remain there for generations, yet many of the locals will still think of them as foreigners. To be sure, there is an American culture. When traveling around the world, one can often spot other Americans, and not only because of language; dress, deportment, and music often distinguish us. But when it comes to American nationalism, such things are relatively trivial. In America, politics, not culture, makes the nation.


American identity is bound up with our Union, Constitution, and laws, rather than with tribe, clan, or culture. Thus, one of our early treaties asserted that the U.S. “is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” That stipulation presumes that American identity is primarily political, denying as it does a massive historical and cultural fact—that the vast majority of America’s citizens have been Christians. The cultural heritage of most Americans is Christian; and even the American creed draws upon the Judeo-Christian tradition in important ways. In the U.S., however, nation and culture are separate to an unusual degree. That reality, in turn, affects a range of important questions connecting what kind of government America will have to what kind of nation it will be.

I’ll repeat that key quote: “In America, politics, not culture, makes the nation”.

Understanding that foundation makes our fight comprehensible. I thank Dr. Samuelson for articulating what I knew but couldn’t say. It’s not about race or religion or ethnicities, though all of those are important parts of the stew for our own experience. In America, the political realm is both deeply personal and, paradoxically, transcends any individual.

And I thank Mr. Rispoli for providing two more equally important elements here. First, in his brief story of the Secession of the Plebs we can see paralleled our own present day war against Washington. Second, in his own embodiment of rebellion against those in authority in an institution which for him is sacred, he provides further understanding of the wellsprings which have inspired others in their stand against the behemoths.

From each of these historians I have gained a deeper understanding of a process I am only beginning to comprehend: seeing the sparks from small fires of rebellion, hearing increasing calls for secession, feeling the rumblings from afar…

…they all give me hope.

32 thoughts on “The Secession of a Pleb

  1. After mulling this post over in the last few days, it hit me that I could also call out the Church for another reason. Aside from a wrongful political overreach, the Church is, by encouraging the rewarding of illegals acts, also remiss in her duties. The Right to Property is a crucial part of the Natural Law and is codified in the Ten Commandments. It does not take a biblical scholar to point out that that right also applies to groups of people or nations. In Genesis, Abraham and Lot made an agreement that specified who was to receive what region in which to live and earn a living. Of course in our faith there is no “Greek and Jew,…… barbarian, Scythian…”, but our beliefs does not obligate or allow us to disregard laws that are made for the good order of our nation.

  2. I have three problems here:

    1. This treatment skirts what must be the most important ingredient in any discussion of immigration: race, plus the crucial variables that for nonwhites are largely enveloped in the concept of race: culture and religion. Massive immigration is highly disruptive and dysfunctional even when the immigrants are of the same race and religion but different ethnicity and culture: for example, the mid-19th century Irish immigration to the U.S. or the Eastern European immigration to the British Isles in the last 20 years. But when the race is different too, the problems rise exponentially.

    The illegal immigrants currently in the U.S., alas like the legal immigrants, are of different genetic stocks than the founding and numerically still dominant population of the United States is. Not only are they of different genetic stocks, with all that implies in regard to heritable traits such as IQ, propensity to learning and reasoning, group cohesiveness etc. but they are predominantly from cultures that for centuries defined themselves either, like the “Hispanics,” by their opposition and mutual exclusivity to that of the British isles and its New World spawns, or in opposition and mutual exclusivity to that of the entire white race (China and Islam). And citing the 11-million figure only perpetuates the regime’s smokescreen: no one knows how many of them there are — the range is 11 -20 million, and that translates to at least 40 million through “family reunification” and procreatrion within the next generation.

    2. The fact that most of the illegals (and legals too) are “Hispanics” i.e. Catholics is not to be missed when discussing the RCC’s stand on immigration. And that stand, in addition to its resting on misconstrued “church teachings” und misguided humanitarian motives, is largely motivated by “looking for one’s own.” However, when “one’s own” for an American Catholic institution is defined in terms of “Catholic” over “American” it justifies the resistance that Protestant America felt toward European Catholic immigration in the first place.

    3. I have no clue what Samuelson means by “In America, politics, not culture, makes the nation.” But assuming it’s so, what does it say about the current and prospective state of the nation given its politics is shot to hell. No way to recovery is on the horizon, as Mark Levin’s proposal has no chance of implementation.

    • …”However, when “one’s own” for an American Catholic institution is defined in terms of “Catholic” over “American” it justifies the resistance that Protestant America felt toward European Catholic immigration in the first place.”

      You nailed it. That very thought has been on my mind for a long time. When Catholics drop their obligations to their country, they become guilty of precisely that of which the old nativists accused them – putting the dictates of the Churchmen ahead of the good of their own nation. I remember an old anti-Catholic tract that had reasons why the reader was not a Catholic; the last one was that “I refuse to be the subject of a deluded Italian prince”.

      • However, when “one’s own” for an American Catholic institution is defined in terms of “Catholic” over “American” it justifies the resistance that Protestant America felt toward European Catholic immigration in the first place.” – TS

        Nailed it indeed.

        The Catholic immigrants colluded to remove Christian Biblical studies in New York Public Schools, because the Catholics objected to Protestant doctrines being taught in them. This was in the later half of the 19th century. The Know Nothings, actually knew something, as it was happening at the time.

        Back to the current position of the Catholic Church USA, which means to boost tithing and membership. This is clearly the driving force for the Catholic Church.

  3. I don’t see everything thru a racial filter. Yeah it’s part of who the person is, but so is their “gender”. Many women are dismissed automatically as ‘not being as good as’.

    And what do you do when the person looks “white” to you but they self-identify as black? Read Mark Twain’s “Puddin’ Head Wilson”.

    Or look at the set-up the MSM did on George Zimmerman, the “white Hispanic” …

    Age is another filter. “Kids” at the cusp of adulthood resent the ‘kid’ designation as much as an older man resents being told “let me do it, Gramps”…

    Later in the book review, Dr. Samuelson said that the founders made the US the easiest country in the world in which to be Jewish…many Jews would disagree.

    The point about political identity is accurate – I’ve met far more prejudice about that than I ever did about my Catholicism.

    Like the bishops and their primary filter of “the common good”, your primary filter of “race” is a limit I don’t accept. Or rather, I accept that you view the world that way but it’s foreign to me.

    • Race is not my primary filter. Gender is just as powerful a filter, and age too but less so. However, the difference in the main migrating nationalities does not seem to have significant differences in the contituent gender and age ratios. The differences are in the races. And I’ll repeat: for the nonwhite races, religion and culture are pretty much wrapped in the race. Self identification is irrelevant. What’s relevant is the ability of said individual to absorb and identify with a sophisticated culture that’s not the one he was born into. And that is contingent on the immigrant’s IQ, on his native tradition of learning and school system quality, and on native culture that’s not inimical to the new one — here Islam for instance comes into play.

      Thus the statistical white Dane is able to become an authentic Australian regardless of the gender not because he is white but because he has the requisite IQ to plumb the depths of the new language, history, literature, customs etc., and he already shares various parts of a common denominator anyway. The statistical Mestizo is unable to become an authetic Australian not because he is brown but because his IQ is a full standard deviation below that of the Dane and the white Australian, his culture has no tradition of learning, he hasn’t finished high school anyway and, more importantly, those features largely continue in the next generations except when cheer-inspiring results are faked through Affirmative Action etc.

      I emphasize these are statistical realities that are not contradicted by finding individual exceptions. The bottom line is if you think that the United States with 50 million Mexican and Central American immigrants can possibly be the same country as it could have been with 50 million European immigrants, you are plainly mistaken.

      These are not matters on which there can be a range of valid opinions. Despite the taboo and the omerta, much authentic research has been published in related fields — research that’s still accessible to the wide public, though perhaps not for much longer.

      • P.S.
        I forgot another powerful filter, and we all forget it in equality-obsessed countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia, Scandinavia etc. That is class — social class. Social class is of far greater importance in the main immigrant – exporting countries than it is in our countries. It may even override such a deterministic filter as Islam. Upper class Iranians or Lebanese may have been born into Islam, but their pursuit of French culture and Western luxury goods and pastimes is so great that it often overrides the native, tribal patina. And in some countries, e.g. Latin America, the upper class has it so good that they wouldn’t dream of immigrating to the U.S. Thus our image and reality of “Mexican immigrant” really corresponds only to low, often lowest class Mexican.

  4. What may be a more significant concern is not the race of immigrants but rather their racism, their degree of unwillingness to fully assimilate into the existing population of the nation which accepts them.

    Johnson’s point about “politics vs. culture” is a comment on the essential values necessary for someone to truly be an American (I agree it is worded somewhat poorly). American’s have a peculiar concern with the correctness of their form of self-government, more important to their national identity than particulars of tradition which underlie most other national identities. The view of what constitutes a legitimate form has drifted significantly, but disagreements over the form of government still are vastly more significant to most Americans than disagreements over the traditions governing everyday elements of life like food, clothing, housing, and so forth.

  5. The great genius of our nation consists in acknowledging the obvious. It is obvious that power corrupts, and it is obvious that power must be constrained by both countervailing powers and by responsibility. Without responsibility, power can become abusive. But it is also unwise, unproductive, and unjust to create a responsibility without its corresponding power! (As in “no taxation without representation”) Without power, there should be no responsibility. Giving “refugees” a “right” to migrate is to assign to the developed nations an unending and infinitely costly responsibility without giving them the power to solve the problems for which they unjustly pay the price.
    Charity is always commendable, but giving away rights and creating unjust responsibilities is an evil mistake. We are not responsible for the Sunnis hating the Shia – they were killing each other long before America’s founding. Nor is it our fault that Mexico and South America are poorly governed. Those countries were founded around the same time we were, and they are as rich as we in natural resources. But they chose a patron/peon type of “democracy” while we developed a strong middle class. South American elites, like elites in many resource-rich countries, chose to enrich themselves developing their country’s physical resources while neglecting to educate their countries’ human resources. (Same story as in resource-rich African countries. Contrast with resource-poor South Korea, which has chosen to follow the North American model and has made itself rich.) – Look at Mexico, where the financial inequality is enormous; Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, and his extended family own a huge percentage of Mexico’s net worth. Nevertheless, Mexico spends less per capita on programs for its poor than other South American countries do. Why should they help their poor when the Mexican elites can just hand out brochures on how to get free benefits upon sneaking into the USA? By maintaining a porous border, we are just enabling Mexican mismanagement. More people would be helped, and more justly, by encouraging Mexico to fix its own problems.
    These mass migration enablers are not really interested in helping the needy. Refugee camps in the third world can help far more refugees than migration can. Third world refugee camps can feed people for pennies a day – while refugees in developed countries are enormously costly. Our money could help far more needy people if it were used to fund food, education, and military protection for refugee camps located in the third world.
    The true purpose of the mass migration movement is to destroy the West. The continuing success of Europe, USA, (and the Asian countries like Japan and South Korea which have adopted capitalism) are a huge embarrassment to Marxists. They are impotent to create their own purely Marxist success, so they can only seek to destroy ours. And they are now succeeding! Our banks have become reparation/social justice machines and instead of rational loan makers. Our meritocracy has been turned on its head by affirmative action’s cancerous growth. Whole areas of public policy have been removed from the democratic process through czars and regulators, or international bodies, not to mention that vast sections of policy – like immigration- have been removed from public discourse by the chilling effect of the “race card” on free speech. – And now mass migration is the final coup de grace. No country should be required to accept immigrants who cannot honestly swear allegiance to their new homeland. Refugees who do not believe in free speech, the freedom to leave one’s religion, and equal rights for women should never be brought to the USA – they should be sent to Muslim lands where they can swear allegiance without dishonesty. Similarly, Mexicans suffering from the delusion that Silicon Valley is theirs by right of reconquista ought to be sent packing.

    • “The true purpose of the mass migration movement is to destroy the West. The continuing success of Europe, USA, (and the Asian countries like Japan and South Korea which have adopted capitalism) are a huge embarrassment to Marxists. They are impotent to create their own purely Marxist success, so they can only seek to destroy ours.”

      Agreed – that’s why many Leftists are Trotskyites. The latter understood that the competition had to be eliminated and the resources under their control had to be made available to all.

      • I agree with more-geese and your singling out of one of his paragraphs. But I beg to bring you back to your original theme: the Roman Catholic Church. I’d even like to extend it to the general term “Christianity,” for all of Christianity is in on the suicide by the Camp of the Saints scenario.

        That the Left wants to destroy us is one thing. But that’s a given, you can discount it. The issue is why the “we” that the Left wants to destroy participate enthusiastically in the destruction.

        We can refine this further by removing the “capitalists” from the equation. With respect to immigration they are simply true to the type that Lenin described so astutely as “weaving the rope on which [the Commies] will hang them.” Their urge to maximize this quarter’s profit is irresistible, and Migra satisfies this urge — particularly as the social costs of this caper are borne by the taxpayer, not the capitalists. What a deal!

        So let’s concentrate on the one group that can perhaps be turned away from self-evisceration: Christians. Particularly Catholics, for they alone have a guiding elite that’s supposed to be wiser, endowed with greater powers of discernment and inspiration. Here, I believe, the challenge is much deeper than simply voicing resistance to the Church’s riding on the Immigration/Refugees wagon, explaining the great social costs and long-term effects that are glossed over, etc. The problem lies at the very perception of Christ. It is this perception that must be reoriented, before Christians may be reoriented.

        I am struggling with a whole book on this issue, published in preliminary form as “The Bee and the Lamb” right in this Web space, so there is not much I can say in a paragraph or two. In brief, the Catholic and Orthodox churches have skirted the times and life of Jesus-the-man, and are all about Jesus-the-God. The main Protestant churches achieve the same trick by focusing a lot more on Jesus-the-man, i.e. a revolutionary social reformer, but still without illuminating the historical context.

        However, if the times were studied and reckoned with, as secular Biblical scholars do (my favorite is Bart Ehrmann), it would be immediately apparent that they were the total opposite of our times. Therefore, quoting New Testament lines in support of current Progressive shibboleths uniluminated by the historical context in which those lines were uttered and written up is like prescribing clot-dissolving drugs to a hemophiliac: it’s the very opposite of the medicine needed to heal the patient.

        I believe that a whole Christian theological revisionist-revivalist movement is needed before Western Christians will lay off their pursuit of self-destruction. Ironically, a revisionist movement is now abroad in the Catholic Church, but pushing it in a much more socially progressive direction (Fr. Helmut Schüller and “Catholic Tipping Point”) i.e. the opposite direction from that in which it needs to go for the sake of our future.

  6. “The true purpose of the mass migration movement is to destroy the West. The continuing success of Europe, USA, (and the Asian countries like Japan and South Korea which have adopted capitalism) are a huge embarrassment to Marxists. ”

    True, all Marxists are Trostkyites at heart and need the competition removed.

  7. Excellent article Alfonse Rispoli.
    Of course ‘politics, not culture makes the nation’ is true for America to great extent. But what makes me sad is the loss of historic and cultural awareness not only among americans but generally westeners. And that’s way I like Rispoli’s article. I believe you don’t have to be a catholic to appreciate the historic awareness it can instill in it’s adherents. Those “politics which makes America” have roots, the american system of governance is based on the english one, not the german or portugues, let alone the ottoman or chinees. The majority of it’s immigrants where western european. Many politics which make America have a long line of evolution going as far back as the ancient greeks. In the past americans where proud of this inheritance and wealth, look for example at the 1953 biblical epic “The Robe”, even only the beginning: Heavy drums seemingly announcing greatness, then appears in large font: ROME. With a commanding voice adding “Rome. Masters of the earth.” .
    Boy, that’s something else.

    • Thanks very much, but a lion’s share of the credit goes to Dymphna for her patience, editing, and organization of my wildy-scattered thoughts.
      I too feel a tremendous amount of sadness that Westerners have accepted a loss of their cultural identity. I think that actions like this on the part of the Church are symptom of an abandonment of appreciation for the culture that bred the church and, like you noted, the rich tradition if its own past. The Robe was indeed a great movie.

  8. I often wonder if the liberation theology that infects so many immigrants from the south is as important to the American bishops as is their Catholic identity.

    • I don’t think it is. If you read what the Acton Institute is doing vis-à-vis teaching South American clergy and leaders about the rule of law, property rights, etc., you’ll find their students make an impact back home.

      You can get their monthly email with the various essays, and look at their (usually inexpensive) book offerings.

  9. The Catholic church has it wrong.
    The bulk of their new parishioners want the rule of law rather than what they came from. (Think about it for a minute, if they lived under a rule of law would they want to immigrate here?)
    Alas, over they come in the millions and the Dems paint them as poor refugees.
    This feeds into the Dem and Catholic coffers.
    I am expected to keep quiet about the massive immigration; just pay for it.
    What I really don’t understand and what the Catholic church refuses to address is the fallout to the working poor in the US that this will subsume.
    Representatives like Maxine Watters fail to address the decimation of our black community by immigration…
    Almost 30 years ago my mother, long since dead, remarked ‘why is the black community allowing this to happen?” Why indeed, if not for votes from a non illiterate population that gained their news from discreet sources.
    The very sad thing about this is that the black community will be the most impacted by the current amnesty bill. My husband and my two sons will not see a fall out from this bill other than an increase their taxes… Their educational level and job skills will insulate them from the fallout of 11-30 million people impacting the job market. In fact, it might even help them.
    It is black leadership upon this crisis rests. They are nothing more than vote getters/race mongers that really don’t give a damn about raising the black culture out of the swamp in which it currently resides. Were I to go door to door and ask the black population what the Maxine
    Watters, et al have done for them… Well, I really don’t think it would be jobs or community advancement.
    Just might be Obamaphones and an increase in food stamps.

    • And BTW, every year I hire a husband and wife team to wash my windows. If the appointment is for 8 AM they show up at 7:50…
      They do a good job and charge me at a fair rate.
      If their industry is taken over by “newly allowed immigrants” they will undercut these American citizens and put them out of work.

      My husband and I “grew up” in industries that are no longer available to native Americans; the drywall industry and the nursery industry… Unless we both spoke fluent Spanish, we would no longer be employable in these industries.
      Much has been said recently about the taking of jobs from “first time workers” in the fast food industry. Please understand that 40 years ago other industries were also outlets for first time jobs. They are gone now…

      • When we still lived in Mexifornia I employed, after a long search, an American gardener. Not only was he American but on both sides of his family (I checked one, the father’s) a Mayflower descendant. He was a gentle soul not made for higher paying pursuits. Had been a school janitor in the small town that had been his home for 30 years. Problem is, the town was being Mexicanized and that being the California countryside, not only by agricultural workers but criminal elements. Drug smugglers were organizing wild parties and firing guns in the wee hours on the other side of his fence. No one could possibly check who was legal and who illegal. The massive law and code violations were not being prosecuted, as the prosecution and enforcement powers were held by elective officers, and they’d be voted out of office if taking Mexican-“unfriendly” actions.

        The schools filled with Mexicans. The city’s government filled with Mexicans. Mexicans were voting for Mexicans. Ultimately, my gardener-friend was fired. His bosses by then had all been replaced by Mexicans. He could not speak Mexican (though knew a little Spanish). He was replaced by an illegal immigrant.

        Thus perishes a people…

  10. Ambivalence is the worst possible response to EVIL.
    The church must change its position in favor of preserving Christianity where it exists and opposing the growth of the Ummah.

    • The “Church” as it currently exists is a bureaucratic behemoth. The people in the pew ‘like’ the Pope but don’t pay heed to his pronouncements. To say “out of touch” is an understatement. And that’s been the case since, what, Charlemagne?

      Wretchard at the Belmont Club wrote an all-too-brief book(let) on streamlining the Church:

      I liked it, but I hope he expands on it…

  11. I’m an Orthodox Christian. We don’t tolerate any of this nonsense about open immigration or any other political heresies. Our Church has NOT been infested with the Marxist mindset, nor with anything else that didn’t come from the Apostles. That’s how we survived the twelve years of the Third Reich, the seven decades of Bolshevism, and the fourteen centuries and counting of Islamic totalitarianism. Western Christianity can’t even survive the culture wars of the modern west. I suggest that it is long past time to ditch both the Roman and the Protestant churches and return home to the Eastern faith.

  12. The name of this blog is the “Gates of Vienna”.
    So one might assume that the defense of the West against Islam is a central concern of this blog.
    But it’s become clear to me that Islam is not the greatest threat to Western Civilization.

    I, like so many, was greatly disturbed by the events of 9/11.
    I began to pay greater attention to Islam and to the response of the West to the threat from Islam.
    But after a few years of seeing the confusion and the nonsense policies at the highest levels of our government I finally decided to go to the source and read the Koran.
    What a revelation, and not in a good way.
    Read the Koran and gaze upon the face of Satan himself.
    Reading the Koran told me everything I needed to know about Islam, that it is pure evil, the work of the Devil, that the battle of the West against Islam truly is the battle of Good vs Evil.

    But the question arises, why does the West have such a hard time defending itself against something so obviously and purely evil?
    Why is it that so many can’t see Islam for what it is?
    There must be some defect in the West.
    In fact there is.
    The West is infected by the ideology of the Left, call it what you will, Communist, Marxism, socialism, egalitarianism, progressivism.
    The Left is at war with the West, it seeks to make itself the highest power in the West and to do that it must undermine the existing power structure and the fundamental philosophy that built the West.
    One of the building blocks of Western Civilization is the nation-state.
    The Left is a one world universalist ideology and to be successful it must destroy the idea of the nation-state.
    To succeed in it’s destruction of the West it enslists allies, Islam, another universalist ideology, is one of those allies.
    One of the tactics that both the Left and Islam are using to destroy the West and the nation-state is the massive invasion called immigration.
    And so Islam is not the greatest threat to the West, without the assistance of and the treason of the Left, Islam would not be as troublesome as it is.
    The Left is a greater threat than Islam itself.
    Islam is just the opportunistic infection that will be the proximate cause of death, it is the underlying HIV infection, the Left itself, that will be the ultimate cause of the death of the West.

    Or…, perhaps there is an even more fundamental “defect” in the West.
    Another ideology that is even closer to the heart of the problem.
    An ideology that is so fundamental it’s become the subconscious premise of every argument

    Christianity has contributed a lot to the West, it has helped to make the West strong, but it’s not an unmixed blessing.
    And now, as the environment changes, Christianity, that once made the West stronger, now in some ways makes it weaker, and leaves it open to the infection of Islam.
    Christianity, like Islam and the Left, is another universalist ideology that has little respect for the nation-state.
    Christian ideas pave the way for Communism and give legitimacy to the Left.
    Christianity preaches egalitarianism, that “all men are created equal”, like Communism it preaches universalism, a universalism that denigrates or that has nothing to say about the sovereignty of nations or races.
    Christianity preaches “all mankind” and assigns no priority to the race or the state.

    It is the nation-state that will save Western Civilization.
    A world order that will allow Western Civilization to continue to exist and advance can only be built upon the foundation and primacy of the nation-state.
    But this must be a nation-state defined by borders, language, culture, race, religion and ethnicity.

    The delusional, utopian world of Christianity where the lion lies down with the lamb is not this world.
    The perfection of Christianity is for the next world, for your next lifetime.
    In this imperfect world there still are mortal dangers, evil megalomaniacs, men who want all the power, to rule the whole world, existential threats, that will get you dead and your nation destroyed.
    The best defense against these dangers is to build up a world order where each race can protect and defend itself with it’s own strong nation-state.

    • Maybe Europe needs Islam. Its very own Islam, not centered around Saudi-Arabia, but centered around the Netherlands, if you catch my drift…

      • We need islam like we need another hole in our heads, with Christianity becoming tolerant of intolerant people and ideologies it is making itself irrelevant and dangerous to us westerners and the nation state. What is starting to awake from its slumber is the nationalist, and once that Dragon fully awakes, and make no mistake it will, the cultural Marxist and Christian will pay the price for their treachery, it is that nature of things to come. I am also a Catholic and I have pretty much left the church in complete utter disgust.

      • to oogenhand, I see your point, but I add…

        I recommend… read the Koran, then you won’t be able to suggest Islam for anyone, not even in jest, Islam is pure evil, Christianity has something to recommend it, if it knew it’s place..

        I don’t advocate a world order based on the nation-state with a religion of hate like Islam.
        I advocate a world order based on nation-states that practice mutual respect, to those nation-states that also practice mutual respect, but only to those nation-states that practice mutual respect.

        There is no reason why the Sweden of 1939 could not have remained the Sweden of 1939 for the next thoudand years, or Holland or England or most any other country in Europe or the Anglosphere.

        That the nation-states of Western Civilization are now being destroyed by a tidal wave of third world immigration is a great evil.
        One of the things facilitating the destruction of the West is the utopian egalitarian universalist ideology of Christianity.

        Priorities, it’s about priorities.
        The problem now is that the priority is religion first and the nation-state second, or not at all.
        The so called religion of Islam attempts to conquer the world and destroy all nation-states in the process.
        The religion of Christianity elevates the rights of the Christian, or even the non-Christian, above the rights of the Dutchman and relegates the rights of the Dutchman to second place, or maybe even to last place, or to no place at all.

        A Dutch religion that acknowledges that the nation-state is the first priority and that religion must serve the nation-state would be acceptable, but that religion would not be Islam.

        The nation-state is the castle walls of the twenty-first century.
        Those who think they can live outside the castle walls of the twenty-first century are even greater fools than those who thought they could live outside the castle walls of the first century.

        • There are many sweeping generalizations here, but let’s choose just one:

          There is no reason why the Sweden of 1939 could not have remained the Sweden of 1939 for the next thousand years, or Holland or England or most any other country in Europe or the Anglosphere.

          There is a very good reason nothing can or ever will remain the same: change is the one invariable in a temporal order and our world is subsumed under time.

          No country or city or village can remain unchanged any more than we can make time stand still. Births, deaths, epidemics, genocides, natural disasters, technological advances, degradations to the culture due to the erosions of shared values, etc, etc…

          There is no example from world history that could match your statement. Time and tide waits for no one.
          One of the things facilitating the destruction of the West is the utopian egalitarian universalist ideology of Christianity.

          Instead I would posit the post-modern, post-Christian spread of Marxist nihilism was deliberately wound up and set a going as the perfection the world was to strive for. Perfection in *this* world…

          Unfortunately Marx was both economically and psychologically illiterate. However he was a treasure trove of easy answers. Our president’s Marxism is most obvious when he parrots those easy answers as solutions to complex problems, some of them well-nigh insoluble.

          The adolescent hopes of the age are perfectly captured in that inane song by the Beatles, “Imagine” – a total smash-up of Western ideas carried well past the limits of logic or reason.

          The destruction of the West is an inside job; it is a work in progress. We have two choices: go down with the ship or see if we can swim to shore. Since we’re in uncharted waters there is no way to know which is the correct decision.

          Soooo…those are deck chairs over to your right. Set a spell and ponder your choices.

          • The characteristic error of collectivists is to try and repair the injustices that arise from one type of collectivist thought with the mirror image.

            The repair for all injustices which arise out of judging people collectively is to deal with them as individuals instead of representatives of their various collectives. This is called individualism. Individualism does not deny that people can be grouped into categories, but it holds that such categories do not ultimately define people. People are ultimately defined by their individual actions, and those individual actions must be evaluated without reference to the categories to which a person may or may not belong.

            Where membership in a given group is a matter of personal choice of the individual, individualists do not overlook it as being an action which partially defines an individual. But the total pattern of individual acts paints a far more complete picture of a person than can be inferred from any given action, and even more than the mere summation of all those acts.

            That individualist philosophy is strongly rooted in the original teachings of Christ is historically of significant importance in allowing it to become the guiding principle of Western Civilization. But while its fidelity to Christ’s teachings is a reason for committed Christians to take it to heart, for the rest of the world it is the success which Western Civilization has enjoyed as a result of implementing an individualist society that may be of more interest.

            Humans have innate mental limitations, they can only personally know a set number of other individuals (this varies but is about 150). Anyone they know beyond that they can only understand by categorization according to membership in sets, the same way that they view objects. This means that collectivist thinking will always persist in some degree. However, commitment to an individualist philosophy allows us to categorize others by their own actions rather than by any accidentally correlated traits.

            Historically, most societies function by supporting just enough of those categorizations which could be described as individualist (relating to the individual actions of a person) to keep themselves from collapsing totally. Western Civilization, inspired by Christianity, dramatically increased the importance of individualism and thus flourished to a degree incomparable with any other historically known society.

            Unfortunately, the material accumulation of wealth and ease accompanying this unprecedented success has resulted in decay of the essential moral values from which the individualism of Western Civilization first emerged. Most modern Christianity is as palpably collectivist as Islam or Communism, and just as basically anti-Christian in doctrine and practice.

          • One implication of the practical application of individualism in light of the limitations on the human capacity to really personally recognize very many different individuals is the limitation of self-categorizing actions which we will apply to people whom we do not really know very well.

            For example, something that a close friend of yours does which is an ever-so-endearing/annoying quirk should fall outside of the criteria you use when evaluating someone who is not your personal acquaintance. It is, to be blunt, not really your business at that point. Exactly what voluntary behaviors of strangers should not be your concern despite being of importance in your personal relationships is a matter of valid dispute, that the majority of behaviors we’re capable of noting must fit into that category is a simple consequence of human nature.

            This phenomenon produces the practical limitation on general standards of behavior which is characteristic of a system of limited government, in which it is none of the government’s business to regulate most human behaviors (whether by encouraging or discouraging it). Such limitations on what is the business of the authorities to prohibit or command is the very antithesis of something like Sharia, or the similar mass conformity demanded by Communism.

  13. “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

    “He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

    “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

    “And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

    “But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

    “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

    “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

    “And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.”

    This parable of the Good Samaritan should be familiar to every Christian, and at least known to any person raised in the tradition of Western Civilization. To those with a bit of knowledge about the relationship between Judea and Samaria at the time (or enough knowledge of the Bible to see what Jesus says elsewhere about Samaritans), the very title traditionally assigned to this parable illustrates the point I am making.

    Jesus is not making the claim that all Samaritans are good, or that all priests and Levites are bad. What the parable illustrates is that we fail to keep the commandments of God if we do not judge individuals, and our responsibility towards them, according to their individual actions rather than the statistical/anecdotal aggregate of actions of others who may share superficial non-behavioral traits.

    This is not the only instance in which Jesus teaches that people can only be held responsible for their own individual actions. That teaching pervades the New Testament, and particularly the Gospels. That it happens to be the critical ingredient in the success of Western Civilization is worth noting, as this is a fundamentally Christian contribution.

    Martin Luther King phrased it thus, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” King was not a great innovator, he was merely concisely expressing the essential Christian outlook on moral responsibility and justice.

    Of course, because we can only know the “content of their character” as revealed through their individual actions, the law must hold people primarily culpable for what they do rather than how they ‘feel’ about it.

    There are enemies of Western Civilization in every race, every social class, every religion, every political party, every single significant group based on easily observable superficial traits. And the most dangerous enemies are generally well-educated, privileged, white males who claim to be Christians. The parallel to Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan should be obvious. If we try to discern our neighbors by any trait other than their personal actions in showing mercy upon us, then we will fail to keep the commandment to love our neighbor.

    And we will not live.

  14. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself – I love thy neighbour, the demarcation line in the sand that defines his property, the Glock 18 that ensures his sense of self and family, the standard hoisted on the front yard that symbolises our shared values of heritage and nationhood.

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