Deborah Gyapong: November 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cardinal Ravasi's clarification

Here it is from the website:

Clarification NoteIn reference to the article by Giulio Meotti under the title “The Vatican on Gaza: Israel is a Baby-Killer”, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi categorically denies having said or implied this assertion.

In presenting Pope Benedict’s most recent book, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, did comment on the following phrase “In our own day, the mothers’ cry to God continues unabated” (The Infancy Narratives, p.113). In doing so, he elaborated with humanitarian concern and in light of the news of recent days: “This cry of the mothers who have lost dramatically their children has returned again and again throughout history, and has done so again in these days in Gaza.”

Obviously, the Cardinal’s concern extends to all those who live under the clouds of suffering, fear and violence. Hence he has repeatedly expressed his solidarity also with Jewish victims and does so again, particularly with those who have had cause to weep during the latest cycles of escalation.

His Eminence intends to retain his strong links with the Jewish world. He has repeatedly visited and often resided in Israel, including in moments of tension. He is engaged in multiple collaborations and friendship with Jewish culture and communities, especially the Italian Jewish community. His prayers are for peace and for the stability of the current ceasefire.

Pontifical Council for Culture, 23 November 2012

Is he denying he mentioned Herod and the massacre of the Innocents?   Or is he saying whatever he said never meant to imply Israel is a baby-killer?   I am sure he did not mean the latter, but if he did say the Herod remark, this clarification will probably not travel very far to undo the damage of Giulio Meotti's widely shared article.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

No, the Vatican did not call Israel a Baby-killer

But sadly a Cardinal made a passing remark which has been interpreted that way.

Here are samples from a Jewish source and an Islamic source.

The Vatican on Gaza: Israel is a Baby-Killer”

By Giulio Meotti, Italy
First Publish: 11/21/2012, 11:45 PM
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Vatican Council for Culture, commenting on the war between Israel and Hamas, delivered a severe attack on the Jewish people: “I think of the ‘massacre of the innocents’. Children are dying in Gaza, their mothers’ shouts is a perennial cry, a universal cry”.
The Catholic Church high official equated Israel’s operation in Gaza against terror groups with the New Testament story of Herod’s slaughter of Jewish babies in his effort to kill Jesus.
Ravasi, who is one of the most popular Catholic cardinals and the director of the Church’s policy on culture, called Israelis baby-killers in a shameless form of anti-Semitism which subtly accuses the Jewish State of trying to murder the new Jesus, symbolized by the Palestinian people.
And from Islamic Daily News

The Vatican On Gaza: “Israel Is A Baby-Killer”

Published Monday, November 26, 2012 By . Under Palestine
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Vatican Council for Culture, commenting on the war between Israel and Hamas, delivered a severe attack on the Israeli aggression: “I think of the ‘massacre of the innocents’. Children are dying in Gaza, their mothers’ shouts is a perennial cry, a universal cry”.
The Catholic Church high official equated Israel’s operation in Gaza against terror groups with the New Testament story of Herod’s slaughter of Jewish babies in his effort to kill Jesus.
Ravasi, who is one of the most popular Catholic cardinals and the director of the Church’s policy on culture, called Israelis baby-killers.
One of my friends wrote me she has had to explain to her Jewish friends, "No, the Vatican did not say this."  Cardinal Ravasi was speaking for himself not the Catholic Church.   But the optics are terrible.  
I hope Cardinal Ravasi retracts this unfortunate remark and apologizes.   In the meantime, Nostra Aetate  represents the teachings of the Catholic Church on the Jewish people.  My bolds.
As Holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation,(9) nor did the Jews in large number, accept the Gospel; indeed not a few opposed its spreading.(10) Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle.(11) In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and "serve him shoulder to shoulder" (Soph. 3:9).(12)
Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.
True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.
Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.
Besides, as the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Jack Cashill reflects on Jim Jones

And finds some sobering parallels over at American Thinker:

Not surprisingly, it was while at college -- Indiana U -- that Jim Jones got his first injection of Marx, and he was hooked from the beginning. Given that promoting communism in 1950's Indianapolis held about as much promise as promoting traditional marriage in contemporary San Francisco, Jones took another tack.  "I decided how can I demonstrate my Marxism," he would recount years later.  "The thought was 'infiltrate the church.'"

In 1955 he and his wife Marceline did just that, opening the Peoples Temple Christian Church in Indianapolis. Here, Jones embarked on a second strategy, this one a proven winner in Communist circles: exploit America's Achilles heel, racial injustice. This he did as well, recruiting hundreds of Christian blacks and then subtly shifting their focus from Jesus to Marx, all the while reinforcing their fear of White America. In 1965, he moved the whole shebang to Ukiah, about 100 miles north of San Francisco up Highway 101.

By 1970, the Peoples Temple had shed all but the illusion of Christianity. "We are not really a church," one of the leaders confided to Debbie Layton, a Jonestown survivor, "but a socialist organization.  We must pretend to be a church so we're not taxed by the government."Layton remembers Jones explaining "how those who remained drugged with the opiate of religion had to be brought into enlightenment -- socialism." In his own reminisces, Jones called religion "a dark creation" of the oppressed.  Salvation would come through other channels. "Free at last, free at last," he led his temple comrades in prayer, "Thank socialism almighty we will be free at last."

Faux Christian that he was, Jones pioneered the "social justice" mission. 

Read more:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Were the blackmailers the Obama administration?

One of my favorite American pundits says:

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I think the really shocking news today was that General Petraeus thought and hoped he could keep his job. He thought that it might and it would be kept secret, and that he could stay in his position. I think what that tells us is really important. It meant that he understood that the FBI obviously knew what was going on. He was hoping that those administration officials would not disclose what had happened, and therefore hoping that he would keep his job. And that meant that he understood that his job, his reputation, his legacy, his whole celebrated life was in the hands of the administration, and he expected they would protect him by keeping it quiet.
And that brings us to the ultimate issue, and that is his testimony on September 13. That’s the thing that connects the two scandals, and that’s the only thing that makes the sex scandal relevant. Otherwise it would be an exercise in sensationalism and voyeurism and nothing else. The reason it’s important is here’s a man who knows the administration holds his fate in its hands, and he gives testimony completely at variance with what the Secretary of Defense had said the day before, at variance with what he’d heard from his station chief in Tripoli, and with everything that we had heard. Was he influenced by the fact that he knew his fate was held by people within the administration at that time?

Read the rest, because it might explain why Petraeus, contrary to the testimony of others in the CIA that a spontaneous response to a video precipitated the Benghazi attacks.  I personally get incensed at the "blaming the video" line that came from Hilary Clinton, Susan Rice and even Obama when he spoke at the UN because last I checked the United States was not under Sharia law but the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and our freedoms should be protected by American leaders not thrown under the bus to appease Islamic radicals.  

Read more:

Monday, November 12, 2012

The ridicule tactic

Robert Spencer again on the tactic of ridicule used by the Left:

In this age of Obama, this is what passes for public debate: the politically incorrect one is subjected to scorn and ridicule, is not allowed to respond, and the Leftists who are doing the ridiculing then congratulate themselves on their moral and intellectual superiority. It is not debate, but rather anti-debate, the absence of discussion, the parody of discourse. The point, in fact, is not to refute the assertions and claims of the ideological deviant in question, but merely to signal to the ideologically obedient that this person is to be shunned, is not to be listened to, not to be taken seriously, and above all not to be believed or emulated.It is the tactic of hyenas, of totalitarians, of the Nazi brownshirts who used to show up at the lectures of dissenting professors, not to argue with them, but only to heckle them, threaten them, and demoralize them, so as to intimidate them into silence. They thought that they represented the future, the dawning of a new age of justice, when ancient wrongs would be righted and ancient evils be put down forever. They thought tomorrow belonged to them.

Read more:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Petraeus resignation is not only fishy to me

Robert Spencer writes at Front Page Mag:

Apparently overcome with guilt over an extramarital affair, General David Petraeus abruptly resigned as director of the CIA Thursday. A suddenly socially conservative Barack Obama accepted his resignation Friday, as Petraeus explained in a statement made public Friday afternoon (the time when all stories that the administration wants to bury are released). But Petraeus’s statement simply didn’t hold water — not only because it assumed an Obama as strait-laced as Pat Robertson, but also because it comes just after the House Foreign Affairs Committee asked him to testify in its investigation of the Benghazi jihad attack and subsequent Obama administration cover-up.


Parson Obama, that well-known moral crusader who praised Ted Kennedy as an “extraordinary leader” and Barney Frank as “a fierce advocate for the people of Massachusetts and Americans everywhere who needed a voice,” may indeed have been so indignant over Petraeus’s affair that he accepted his resignation with alacrity. On the other hand, maybe his willingness to see the last of Petraeus had something to do with the statement that the CIA issued onOctober 26: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

America, this could your last chance before decline is inevitable

From Daren Jonescu at American Thinker:

As America is the only nation left in which freedom is still on the ballot, this definitive U.S. election means even more, in truth, than most voters may realize.  It is a referendum on the survival of modern civilization.A recent blog post at the Weekly Standard displays the results of a BBC election poll taken in various countries around the world.  The results demonstrate that if the rest of the world were allowed to vote, Barack Obama would win in a Saddam-like landslide. Throughout what is left of the civilized world, Obama's superiority to Mitt Romney, and in general Democrats' superiority to Republicans, is the default assumption, regarded as beyond question.  One who objects to that opinion has a lot of explaining to do.  And one who dares to admit thinking the United States of America a very agreeable proposition is regarded as either an infidel or a dope. These two presuppositions -- that the Democrats are the good guys, and that America is essentially a bad thing -- should always be understood as a pair.  Together, they reveal exactly what the modern Democratic Party and the American media have spent decades trying to hide from their fellow citizens -- namely, that to prefer the Democrats is to dislike America. That international landslide of support for Obama is a clue to what this U.S. election represents to that minority of us among foreigners who understand what anti-Americanism really means.  Other nations have their advantages -- Korea's low tax rates have helped her to grow from third-world to top-tier economy in little more than a generation; Canada's banking system weathered the 2008 recession better than America's -- but there is only one nation in which individual freedom is regarded not as a "system" or a "policy," but as a pre-political principle, a true foundation.  If you share this principle, then America is, at present, your only practical hope for the future of mankind.

Read more:

Monday, November 05, 2012

A classicist looks at Benghazi

One of my favorite columnists, Victor Davis Hanson, writes about Obama and Benghazi over at the Corner, from the perspective of Sophocles:

In Sophoclean terms, hubris (arrogance) — often due to a character flaw (amartia) — leads to atê (excess and self-destructive recklessness) that in turn earns nemesis (divine retribution).  In that tragic sense, an overweening Obama must have known that — despite the Drone killings — al-Qaeda was far from impotent. And it was not wise, as Obama once himself warned, to high-five the bin Laden raid and leak to the world the details — knowing as he did that bin Laden’s death was not his trophy alone (or indeed a trophy at all) — but better left an unspoken collective effort of military bravery and the dividend of the often derided Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols that Obama had both damned and then embraced. Ironically (another good Greek word), it was probably not so much an obscure video, but the constant chest-thumping about the grisly end of Osama that infuriated the al-Qaeda affiliates. Nothing, after all, is quite so dangerous as talking loudly while carrying a small stick.

Meanwhile, Obama would continue to bask in the removal of Gaddafi, but shirk the hard, dirty work of securing the postbellum tribal landscape. Chaos on the ground in Libya logically ensued — and yet was ignored, as the intervention had to be frozen in amber as an ideal operation. That narrative was again ironic, given that Obama had been among the most vocal in pointing out the vast abyss from George W. Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” to the Iraq insurgency.

Because Obama now cannot explain how his staff and subordinates watched a real-time video and did not react as most Americans would have responded, he is saddled with a long, drawn-out tragic dilemma — knowing that the predetermined end will prove bad and so avoiding it brings only temporary relief. Americans can deal with stormed embassies and lost ambassadors — but not their commander in chief of the world’s most deadly military watching real-time videos of the carnage before going to bed to prep for a campaign stop in Las Vegas (a city Obama himself once preached should be avoided). Either an administration discloses or does not disclose — but why, the public will ask, leak the covert details of the cyber-war against Iran, the Osama mission, and the Predator hit protocols, but not inform the public how our own were murdered? All that is hubris and simply asks too much of the public.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Dr. Dawg accuses me of running a half-way house

and all I get is a measly  80 hits above my usual very low traffic.  

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Binks is baaaaack