Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Sad State of Race

A young man enjoys football. He makes friends playing on the Varsity team. His coaches and fellow players don't see him for his race. They see him because he's a hard worker. His fellow students cheer him and the team on. They don't win every game. Probably will never go to the State Championships, but that doesn't stop this young man from putting his heart into the game. But he's not just a knucklehead jock. He carries a 3.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale. His teachers are happy with his performance. He's looking at good solid schools where he can carry his love of football and learning on to new heights and make his talents on the field pay for his studies off the field.

He has friends that cross race and gender and age boundaries. He teases friends who are both black and white. He makes no discrimination. This young boy has never been a victim of racism. He has never known racism. He is too young to remember most of the major racial revolutions in our country's fine history.

But today? He was stung with the sharp whip of discrimination. The boy, his coach, his parents, his entire family, and probably his friends were brought to tears. Because the boy was discriminated against. He was told "You can't play football." "You shouldn't be at this school." Not because of his grades or because of any trouble. But because of race. This young man, striving to live the American dream. Trying to make friends and get ahead in life, was thrown aside. Why? Because he's white.

That's right. This victim of racism is white. But how can that be?! I mean whites are always on top of the food chain. They always get special treatment. They're always the ones BEING racist!


So how do I substantiate my claims? Well let's first define racism.

Racism is a misnomer to begin with. None of the differences between black, white, yellow, red, or whatever 'color' people are have anything to do with race. There is one race. The human race. The 'racial' differences are caused by slightly different skeletal structures and skin pigmentation. No more. The rest? It's all culture and ethnic heritage. Germans differ from the French who differ from Russians who differ from Greeks who differ from the Portuguese who are different than Italians who are different than Spaniards who differ from the British. Yet all of them are considered 'European'. All would be considered 'white'. But do they have different traditions? Different culinary persuasions? Different religious heritage? Certainly. It's why each nation is separate. But they can all reproduce with one another. There is no racial separation.

But despite the misnomer that is Racism, we'll use it as long as we keep these things in mind. We'll even use it as it applies to skin color. And in speaking of skin color, we shall use two terms, going along with this absolutist mentality that racism brings about. Minority and White. White meaning Caucasian of course, and minority meaning... well... everything else. Please understand that these definitions I have given are not my personal beliefs, they are just defining terms so we're ALL on the same page when you read what I have written below.

So what is the rallying cry of racists? What drove/drives racism? What do the KKK and other organizations want?

A commonality between all of them is the notion of 'racial purity'. Hitler wanted Germany for Germans. The Japanese believed in the superiority of their own race. It is, in the best term, a separation of 'us' and 'them'. If you are not one of 'us' then you must be one of 'them'. It separates. It divides. It creates a world of absolute black and whites in an existence that at the best of times, is a thousand shades of grey.

In an effort to combat this separation that created the policy of 'separate but equal', the high court of the United States, the US Supreme Court, handed down decisions requiring schools and facilities to integrate minorities with whites. No longer could a school tell a black child that they could not attend a school because of their race. No longer could a person be denied employment or a place to live because they were of a different race. Instead? A new era dawned in tolerance and acceptance of diversity.

But did everyone pick up and move to make sure that our nation was a patchwork quilt where ethnicity was evenly distributed? No. Even today there are school districts where a majority of students are minorities and others nearby where a majority of students are white. Is it the school's fault that the majority of families in that particular school district belong to certain ethnic groups? Nope. The school isn't at fault. Is it the city or county or even the state? For not enforcing the equal opportunity housing laws like the 1968 Civil Rights Act (also known as the Equal Housing Opportunity Act)? Not at all. Is it simply the desire of mankind, an inherently social creature, to be surrounded by an environment including other humans that they identify with? That probably has something to do with it. This sort of segregation based on 'chance' is known in law as de facto segregation. Which for those who can't figure out that simple bit of Latin, basically means 'it is how it is'. It's not planned. It isn't forced. It just happens to be that way.

But segregation, according to the law, is segregation. So even though it is not this young football player's fault that white people HAPPEN to be the majority in his school district, he is still being punished and held accountable for it when his family moves out of the district and attempts to get dispensation so he can finish out his Junior and Senior year there where he has been going since the 5th grade.

"But what does all this have to do with race? How was he supposedly discriminated against?"

Remember the mention above about the US Supreme Court handing down that decision to integrate? Yeah. Close to 50 years ago in the late 1950's and into the 1960's, the Courts handed down those decisions to the states to enforce. Now, that said, the states CANNOT force people to move to other areas. That violates the 1968 Equal Housing Opportunity Act. BUT the Court's findings have created a Catch 22 scenario. Requiring schools to maintain a certain minimum percentage of minorities in their schools means that the simple Out of Area Request form is automatically approved for minorities wishing to go to this White majority public school. (That's right folks, this is a PUBLIC school don't forget). But because of the fact that this person is white, and there are no mitigating circumstances, his out of area request form is being denied.

Solely on the basis of race.

This child's opportunities to be scouted by colleges for football scholarships are being cut off, since he is not allowed to play football. His opportunities to continue the friendships he has forged over the last 6 years are being cut down because he may be forced to switch schools in the middle of his Junior year. His ability to attend college may be hampered because neither of his parents are rich enough to pay out of pocket for college if he doesn't get some sort of scholarship or grant.

Racism has robbed this child of innumerable opportunities. Racism, that is the making of decisions on the basis of race, needs to end. This young man is disadvantaged now because of his own ethnic heritage. A young man who has never made a racist decision, has never oppressed anyone, has stood up in defense of those who can't protect themselves, and has made his teachers, coaches, and family proud is now the victim of a terrible and vile ill that plagues our society. Racism.

People? The sooner you stop concentrating on the differences. The sooner we can get focused on the similarities. The sooner that happens? The sooner racism ends. The more we draw attention to 'white', 'black', 'yellow', etc. only prolongs the life of racism.

So why am I writing about this? Why do I care? How do I know so much about this individual case?

That football playing kid that has made everyone who knows him proud? The young man who can make people smile? The guy who believes in equality and conducting himself as a gentleman? Is my brother.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Brush with the Headlines

So today was gonna be like any other day. Well not like EVERY other day. I mean. I was driving from my parents' home in Ocala to my apartment in Tampa. And from there I went to class. Got on campus and waited dutifully for the very very slow on-campus traffic to move along so I could find parking. And just as I got out of my car, that was when it happened.

Air raid sirens and a crackly announcer's voice stating that all students should remain indoors. Keep the doors locked. Get to a building and basically barricade themselves in. I was only half a dozen steps from my car.

Then the text message came to my cell phone. "Alert Tampa Campus - EMERGENCY: Armed Intruder on Campus. Stay Inside. Lock Doors. Emergency Personnel Responding."

That text message came at 1:49 pm.

The all clear was never given until 5:57 pm.

Now... Me being the sensible sort of person I am, I turned around, got back into my car, locked the doors, shut off the radio, pulled my handgun out of the center console, checked the clip, and set it right there beside me. One hand on the wheel. One hand resting on my protection. I refuse to be a victim.

But it got me thinking... Many many questions, not the least of which that ran through my head, was "Why am I not allowed to carry my gun on campus?" "Why does it take 4 hours for the police department to clear campus and give us the OK?" "Why does it take the police department 10 minutes to call in outside help and get officers to the scene when there are not one, but multiple armed persons on campus?"

Yeah. Apparently it wasn't just one. It was two or possibly three.

So that's my school. Yep. Great university.

But the biggest question on my mind is still unanswered. "Why does the left wing believe that guns must be the problem, when the University of South Florida experiences this sort of emergency on a semi-regular basis, and yet none of the students or faculty are allowed to carry weapons? (Including the ROTC guys)" In a little utopian microcosm of liberality, where Marxism is a required subject that everyone must read and learn and write a little paper on 'why Marxism is relevant' (Yep. I had to write one of those in grad school here.), and guns do not exist except for the criminals who bring them on campus, why is there so much of a problem?

Ok so I get the whole "We want to avoid a Columbine/Virginia Tech shooting where a student goes postal." Ok. Cool. That's fine. I can grock that sort of backwards logic (both Columbine and the Virginia Tech students used weapons that they hadn't acquired in a legal fashion and were both utterly mentally unstable). But why penalize the normal law abiding students, such as myself, and demand that we sit on campus locked in classrooms for 4-5 hours while the police take their time showing up and doing a job? Are we supposed to quietly and politely ask these people "Please don't shoot us?" Perhaps in the egalitarian Marxist theory, there would be no crime because these people simply don't exist? I don't know. I don't pretend to know. But it's a creepy place when I'm going to school and I have to fear for my life.

By the way. For those of you who read the article? I park at the library EVERY TIME that I go to class. Closest parking to the building I need to be at. The second notice about the guy with the hunting knife? Yeah. Cooper Hall. A 1.5 minute leisurely walk to the Social Sciences building (Where all my classes are).

My logic as I climbed back into my car? "No class is worth dying over. If the prof. doesn't like it? Tough." Thankfully my professor understood and even emailed all of those of us who couldn't make it to class.

So just remember. Guns are a problem. They cause violence and death. Just like porn causes carpal tunnel and tennis elbow.

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Religious Freedom

So I sat down tonight and relaxed a bit, or tried to. Life being as stressful as it is with all its various ups and downs, one can never be truly relaxed, only a little less stressed than before. While flipping through my daily news wires, I came across this story.

Now, I know I'm young. I know I don't know everything. I know I may be full of addled theories and facts and interpretations from all my college courses jumbling in my brain. But really? Come on now. If a group of high school cheerleaders want to quote inspirational Bible verses and cheer on their team, shouldn't we be applauding this effort moreso than wearing skimpy uniforms and trying to act provocative? So why do those cheerleaders need to stop? Because of the first amendment? Pft. I don't think so.

Amendment one reads as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Thank you Mr. Pocket Constitution.

Now can someone please tell me where it says in there that individual students cannot express their religion? Or perhaps it's the fact that it occurs at a public school which, although it receives federal funds to support its workings, cannot enforce any law to prohibit the free exercise of religion.

The fact of the matter is people that Freedom OF religion does not necessitate Freedom FROM religion. Atheists who don't like that? Tough crap. Don't like it a whole hell of a lot? Move to an atoll in the Pacific somewhere, make up a flag, and create your own country where religion is outlawed.

The fact of the matter is this: Congress cannot make a law which supports and gives money to any religious institution (churches, mosques, buddhist temples, synagogues, etc.) This does not include groups like 'The Fingerprint Initiative' which works toward humanitarian goals because of their foundation on a Christian basis. Because while the Fingerprint Initiative may be Christian at its core, it does not force its workers to be Christians, does not leave bibles in the houses they help build with Habitat for Humanity or other such religious incursions. Congress also cannot make any law whatsoever that prohibits the free exercise of religion. Which means that if Cheerleaders want to paint a sign that says "Go Team! Yay God!" Congress has no power whatsoever to say 'That's wrong, you can't do that.' The same way they can't tell a local coach and football team that they're not allowed to pray for the health and safety of their members, or the speedy recovery of a sick teammate.

The history behind all this goes way back to England. I'll be uncharacteristic here and keep it very brief. Henry VIII was upset that the Pope would not grant his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. So he came up with a new system where Henry VIII as the regent of England, was the head of the Church. It wasn't really all that new of a system (Henry II of the Holy Roman Empire was known as 'God's Servant' and Henry III of the Holy Roman Empire was known as the 'Vicar of Christ' a title today reserved for the Pope). But I digress. Henry VIII then outlawed Catholicism. And when the Anglican church splintered even more, he and his successors outlawed and persecuted those factions as well. Many of the dispossessed factions who were not reincorporated into the British System of government until the mid to late 1800's, set sail for the new world for new opportunities. Opportunities like owning land, participating in government, and worshipping how they wished were all denied them back home in Jolly Old England. (Pip pip and all that sort of thing old boy)

That is why the very first of the Bills of Rights that the Anti-Federalists demanded be added into the Constitution contained the now called 'Establishment Clause'. Everyone can easily remember the first part of that. It's a rallying cry for Atheists and the ACLU everywhere. 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...' But they conveniently forget the second half, which I would argue reinforces and potentially nullifies the first part 'or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...'

Congress cannot make a law that specifically supports a religion, or deny the individual citizen of the United States their rights to freely exercise those religious beliefs.

So ya know what girls? Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School is going to be in my prayers for a while. Mostly that your school administrators who publicly admit that they agree with the free exercise of religion should change their minds and let you display your signs freely. Keep being good kids. Keep being proud of who you are and your religious roots. There's a lot there to be proud of.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Obama Care

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your lives. Today, facing our country, is a massive health care reform. Let me strike that. A massive health care takeover on behalf of the government. What a lot of people are not aware of, is the full extent of the damage that this bill can cause. Before I continue into a discussion of HR3200, the bill's official government designation, let me go into a small side discussion on health care.

Currently you may hear that 47 million americans are without healthcare. That sounds like an awfully big number. A large number that when weighed against the values that we Americans hold dear, like charity, neighborhood, and community, seems like a terrible tragedy. 47 million people? That's roughly 18% of the American population. Out of a random 100 people, 18 of them are uninsured. So when weighed against that idea, the concept of government run health care that is universal, sounds like a near blessing. Healthcare for everyone, regardless of where you work or how much you make.

Therein lies the smokescreen fellow citizens. That is what the Obama agenda is attempting to pass through the legislature at the national level. The ultra left is depending upon the values of charity, community, and better human nature to obscure the truth of the bill that they are proposing. Let me share a few simple facts on healthcare in America. First? Exposing the lies. First and foremost, the 47 million people.

According to a CNS news report*, the figure of 47 million uninsured takes into account 9.1 million American citizens who earn over $75,000 per year who specifically choose to remain uninsured. They opt not to purchase health insurance. Does anyone else remember the old adage? You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink? These are those people. It is their right and their freedom to choose to manage their own health without insurance. This figure also includes 9.73 million foreigners living in the United States. These are migrant workers, illegal aliens, and others who are not covered by health insurance in the United States. This brings the figure from 47 million, down to 28.17 million American citizens without health insurance. Those are 28.17 million American citizens who do not have health insurance because it is either unavailable to them, they are ineligible for it, or they simply cannot afford it. That still seems like a very large number. The 28.17 also includes children who cannot buy insurance for themselves and require their parents to have plans. All things said and done, the 28.17 million is approximately 9.1% of the total United States Population of 307 million people**. That is where the current statistics lie with our current private insurance free market healthcare supplemented by Medicaid and Medicare.

Now for some new statistics.

The HR3200 stimulus bill contains a proposed immediate 13.2 billion dollars in cuts t0 home healthcare Medicare coverage, with more over the next 10 years***. Senior citizens and even not so senior citizens who are bound in their homes with health issues can currently gain help in their treatment from nurses who go to their individual homes and provide a similar level of care to their patients as one would receive in a hospital. Approximately 12 million Americans receive home health care to stay in their homes. Approximately 1 million Americans are employed by home health care organizations. That is 13 million Americans that will be in serious jeopardy if funding to health care organizations that provide home health care, is cut. Apparently Universal Health Care does not mean that it is truly 'universal'.

Enough with statistics for now. Here are a few facts about Bill HR3200 straight from the pages of the text****.

Page 30 of this 1017 page bill admits that a government committee will decide what treatments and benefits that you receive with no chance of appealing the decision, not your doctors or local hospital, but beaurocrats.

Page 50 outlines that all non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services. Paid for entirely by the legal American citizen.

Page 59 outlines that the federal government will have direct, real time access to all individual bank accounts for EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) to pay for medical treatment services.

Page 72 states that all private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange. In other words? You agree with us, or you're not allowed to operate.

Page 84 then outlines that all private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange. In other words? You have to participate, no compromising, and in order to participate, you must agree with us.

Page 124 Despite anti-trust laws already in place, no company will be allowed to sue the US government for price-fixing, in effect protecting the US Government run monopoly on Healthcare from the Judiciary Branch's power of Judicial Review.

Page 145 All employers must auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan.

Page 167 Any individual who doesn't have acceptable healthcare (see Pages 72 and 84), will be taxed an additional 2.5% of their income. Translation? You don't like it? You get to pay even more.

Page 203 "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." In other words, when it says in the US Constitution, that the Legislature will have the power to tax? If it isn't a tax, it does not necessarily fall under the purview of the Legislature.

Page 241 Doctors, regardless of specialty, will be paid the same. The vascular surgeon, the geriatric oncologist, the neurologist, the neonatal specialist, and the general physician you see when you have a cold? Will all be paid the same, regardless of how long they spent in medical school or residency, regardless of how good they are as doctors. The best doctor in the country will make the same money as the absolute worst. Wherein lies the incentive for doctors to provide top level care or pursue even more challenging specialties if there is no greater reward?

Page 272 Cancer patient health care will be rationed based on quality of life and diagnosis.

Page 280 Hospitals will be penalized financially for what the government considers 'Preventable re-admissions'. Thus leading to less money to spend on equipment and continual education for doctors to give you the best healthcare possible.

Page 318 Hospital expansion is subject to governmental approval. A hospital wants to expand an ICU? Add an Obstetrics and Neonatal Unit? The government needs to debate and decide upon it first, thus denying patients that could use that care, the proper care they need.

Page 354 Government will restrict enrollment of 'Special Needs' individuals. In other words, universal government run health care is only for the healthy. Chronic patients need not apply.

Page 427 Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government will dictate how and when your life ends by cutting off medical treatment. In other words? If your condition is too expensive to treat? The government wants you to go home and die quietly.

Page 429 Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans from the government. See page 427.

Page 489 Government healthcare will cover marriage counseling and family therapy, getting involved in how your family dynamic and marriage relationship should be run if you have problems.

These above examples are but a few snippets from the first 500 pages of an over 1000 page document. An interesting side note. Politicians that are voting on this? Will not be subjected to it. They will retain their own private health insurance that they currently have. To the government, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.

Citizens, what can we do? When we're faced with such an overwhelming threat to the personal liberty of how one dictates their own life, we have but one option. Stand up in defiance of the threat. How can you help? Call your senators. Fax your congressmen. Email both. Tell them how you feel about these invasions of your life! Obama-care attempts to point out similarities between Canada and the United Kingdom with this proposed care package. However, neither the United Kingdom, nor Canada, have provisions for the government to step in and deny health care to their citizens regardless of age, current medical conditions, or other criteria. The Canadian health system does not tap into your private bank account and withdraw funds, nor does the United Kingdom. Do not allow yourself to fall victim to the sweet lies being presented by people who claim to know how to better manage your life and your privacy better than you do.

American citizens must stand up for what is theirs. Their life. The first of our basic inalienable human rights. Call, fax, or in some way contact your representatives to Congress immediately and remind them that according to the American government, they are beholden to us! We are the people that vote. We are America.

Bibliography and Notes

* - Health Care Lie: '47 million uninsured Americans'; 'Obama falsely claims there are 47 million uninsured Americans'

** - US Census Bureau

*** - Home Care Statistics

**** - Library of Congress: HR3200 'America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009'

Friday, July 10, 2009

Living and Dying

So a while back, almost 6 months ago now, in January, I wrote a piece on this blog called "Dignity of Human Life". It was in response to a great number of things, but mostly to the Obama lifting of sanctions against funding abortions world wide. The post talked about life, how we define it, and how it is sacred.

Not long ago, Florida, and indeed the entire world faced the Terry Schiavo controversy, which was shortly followed up by His Holiness the Pope, John Paul II, dying in a scarily similar manner. It was a question of death, and where life and death met. Not many people liked the answers. Heck. No one really liked the questions either. Do we go through expensive therapies? Do we hook ourselves up to machines for long term care? Do we hold on to hope? Or give it up at the first signs of trouble?

No one can answer those questions for another human being. No one has the right to do that. Whether Terry Schiavo really wanted to live or die in her state will forever remain a mystery. No one has the right to determine whether another living human being should die and when. The only time it is remotely justifiable is in the defense of one's own life or one's family.

Just over 2 years ago, my grandfather died of terminal cancer. It had spread throughout his body and was, in the end, what caused a complete shutdown of his body. He died at home. He died with loved ones around him, and I thank God for the opportunity to be by his side when that happened. He fought for over 14 years against this horrible affliction. There were many times when he was close to death and he fought to bounce back. In the end, it overwhelmed him.

So what do we do about dying? Do we fight? Do we accept God's calling to come home? What do we do? A story written in the New York Times about a town in my home city, Rochester New York, hit me today as it showed up in the little podunk paper for the sleepy little town my parents live in here in Florida. The Sisters of Saint Joseph in Pittsford NY meet death with dignity. It's difficult in America, to talk about death. Talking about death for the average American, or even advocating death with a sort of dignity conjures up images of Jack Kevorkian and assisted suicide advocates. It's something we sadly, as a culture, have to overcome. Death with dignity does not mean prematurely ending a life. It does not mean giving up on treatment that is certainly viable. It does not mean rotting away to nothing simply because you're sick.

These nuns are quite a vibrant little community, and very diverse. They receive medical treatment for things like cancer, as Sister Mary Jane Mitchell did, aged 65. Like Sister Marie Albert Alderman, 84, who sees a kidney specialist and manages her health closely to keep herself from having to go through dialysis. These are women who pray and live in the Gospel every single day, praising life in the Lord. To say that these women 'welcome' death is a blatant fallacy.

But one thing that must be remembered is that these women draw a line between extraordinary means and normal health care. The Catholic position, as they state in the article, does not equate to 'Do everything humanly possible to save a life'. Pope John Paul II elected to die with dignity when he had his feeding tube removed and passed on.

While life is certainly important, and must be defended, natural death is just that... natural. It is a part of the life we have as human beings.

So on that note. Hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Fight for your beliefs. And make the seconds and minutes count.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Father of our Freedoms

Picture it. A hot day in July. People standing around arguing, complaining, whining about taxes and governmental regulation and power. They complained about a recent war that they, the people living here in America didn't want. They complained about the ineffectual leadership of their executive branch and demanded action. They demanded resolutions. They were a diverse group from across all walks of life. Some were lawyers. Some were brewers. Some were farmers. Some were ne'er do wells. They came from all over. New York. Georgia. Virginia. Massachusetts.

Some of these men were very educated. Some of these men were barely educated at all. There were lecherous men and there were pious ones. These were simple people. They were average. They drank liquor. They smoked and chewed tobacco. They enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

And they were all brought together for one purpose... To complain.

To issue a complaint so powerful it would change the course of human events over the next two hundred years of Earth's history.

Around 50 men gathered together and decided the fate of a nation.

July 4th 1776.

233 years later, we are sitting here in America. Many of us feel disenfranchised. We're living in a system where taxes are being raised, unemployment is rising, and we're expected to feed ourselves on messages of 'hope' and 'change'. Change is not necessarily good.

The result of 2 wars against Great Britain, 2 World Wars, a Civil War, and multiple smaller wars like Vietnam and Korea and Desert Storm has been to create and protect freedoms for the United States of America. We've fought to defend freedoms like the right to a redress of grievances from the government. The right to peaceably assemble and protest.

So this July 4th, I and my father will be attending a protest. I've received mixed reactions from this. Some have said "Go for it!". Others have expressed taking offense.

One in particular puzzled me. Saying that I should be sitting home with the grill and fireworks like most of America celebrating the freedoms we've won in the past. As a member of a military family, he took offense that I'd be spending the 4th of July protesting the Obama government.

Nothing like resting on our laurels.

Now more than ever is a time that we should remain vigilant. The Democrats haven't been lax in the last 8 years and now the opposite must remain true if our liberties are to remain intact.

So I will be going to that protest. I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with men who came before me. I will be standing alongside men like Ben Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Patrick Henry, and countless others who stood up and refused to rest while their government ran amok.

Happy Independence Day (albeit a little early) and remember. Freedom is not free. It is bought and paid for constantly by the vigilance, blood, and tears of those who fight to believe in it. It isn't won by complacency.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Papal Props!

The Holocaust. Sixty-four years after troops entered Dachau, Auschwitz, and the other concentration camps that Germany erected for the eradication of those that did not meet up with their version of the Master Race, it is still on everyone's mind. Gays, Gypsies, Jews, and Academics all met with death at the hands of the Third Reich. Death on a grand scale and genocide will forever mar German history in such a way that to even broach the subject is a touchy subject. So the Pope has come home to Germany and delivered a speech on the subject of the Holocaust. The same Holocaust that killed 6 million jews, 2-3 million Soviet POW's (the rest of the Allies captured were put into separate prison camps), 2 million Poles, up to 1.5 million gypsies, the disabled and mentally ill, Freemasons, political rivals, and Jehovah's Witnesses all died in the camps.

Oh... And so did the Catholics.

Catholics were vociferous advocates against such actions. According to some sources, the T4 program, (the elimination of the mentally ill and disabled) ended due to overwhelming Catholic public pressure. Catholic and Protestant theologians were killed by the Third Reich. Pope Pius XII, the occupant of the Holy See at the time of World War II opened the Vatican to Jews, offering to shelter them. He appointed Jewish academics who were forced out of Italian universities to positions within the Vatican. Pius XII issued the encyclical Summi Pontificatus, denouncing anti-Semitism to all Catholics. Outside of these and other re-affirmations of the Church position against Anti-Semitism, history records the Church as being quite 'silent' on the matter. Why? Because the Pope didn't grab a gun and go commando? Because he didn't order the Swiss Guard to attack the Third Reich? In fact Pius XII overrode one of his predecessors, Pius XI. In the encyclical Divini Redemptoris, Catholics were forbidden from giving aid to Communists due to the extreme anti-religious fervor exhibited by both Lenin and Stalin in the former Soviet Union. Pius XII in fact determined that the bull did not apply to Catholics helping the Soviet Army defeat the Third Reich!

So you can understand, perhaps, my upset at reading an article complaining about the current Pope, Benedict XVI and his speech given in Germany. He denounced the Holocaust, and pledged to work to ensure that it would never happen again. But is that enough? Apparently not! Apparently, the people expected an apology from the Pope. The Pope who, at the end of World War II was only 18 years old. The Pope who entered into the Hitler Youth under penalty of being labeled a political dissident and thrown into a camp himself. The same Pope who's cousin that suffered from Down Syndrome was murdered by the Third Reich's T4 program, who was drafted and forced into serving in the anti-aircraft corps at the age of 16 while he was away at seminary. But apparently the people at this meeting expected some stronger words, even close to an apology.

The Holy See has committed itself to fighting anti-Semitism. It has supported Jewish-Catholic relations in the modern era, and it did everything short of militarizing the Vatican and clergy to fight the Third Reich.