The Canadian Red Ensign

The Canadian Red Ensign

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

I would like to begin on a personal note since I owe my readers an explanation and an apology for the long hiatus since my last essay. I have been working for the past couple of months on my upcoming book, The High Tory: Essays on Classical Conservatism by a Patriotic Canadian. The book is a compilation of essays, some of which have been self-published here, others of which have appeared in the journal Anglican Tradition, and some of which will be making their first public appearance in the book itself. This project has been consuming most of my writing and researching time and is likely to continue to do so for several months yet to come.

The Pied Piper of Minneapolis

On June 26th, 1284, 130 children from the town of Hamelin in Germany, were led away into the hills near the town and never returned. We are all familiar with the version of this story that appears in the Brothers Grimm, in which the children were spirited away in revenge after the town reneged on their promised payment to the man who rid them of a rat plague with hypnotic music. Less embellished versions go back much further, almost to the very date of the incident. With or without the rats and magic music, all accounts attribute the loss of the children to a man who played a pipe and wore a coat of many colours as if he thought he were the Biblical Joseph – or Dolly Parton. Due to this description this figure is universally known as the Pied Piper.

Within the evangelical world another Pied Piper has arisen to lure the children of God away into the hills of heresy. His name is John and he was, until fairly recently, the pastor of the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year, the eve of All Saints marked the five hundredth anniversary of the posting of Dr. Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, the event that launched the Reformation. To celebrate this important anniversary, Piper, who is well-known as a “Reformed” or “Calvinist” theologian, posted an article in which he denied the Pauline truth that lay at the heart of the Reformation – that man, who is a sinner, can be justified in the eyes of God, whether in this life or at the final assize, only through the completed, atoning, sacrifice of Jesus Christ, given to the world by God in His grace, and received through faith and not by works. In an article published on his ministry’s website, dated September 25, 2017, and entitled “Does God Really Save Us By Faith Alone?” Piper answered the question in his title with a resounding “no.”

In the article Piper distinguished between justification in which “faith receives a finished work of Christ performed outside of us and counted as ours — imputed to us”, sanctification in which “faith receives an ongoing power of Christ that works inside us for practical holiness” and final salvation in which, according to him, “at the last judgment, faith is confirmed by the sanctifying fruit it has borne, and we are saved through that fruit and that faith.”

Piper disingenuously attempted to pretend that he had not handed the orthodox the stake upon which to burn him (figuratively speaking, of course) by saying that Sola Fide only ever applied to justification, not final salvation, as if, when St. Paul wrote “διότι ἐξ ἔργων νόμου οὐ δικαιωθήσεται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ” (1) he had only the believer’s entrance into the Christian life and not his standing before God throughout that life and at the Final Judgement in mind. The plain truth of what the Apostle wrote simply cannot be explained away. Some have attempted to do so by pointing to the fact that ἔργων is qualified by the word νόμου, but the very distinction between “works of the law” and “works of love” is lost entirely if we make the latter into something upon which our final standing in the eyes of God depends. Piper turns, as all who wish to avoid the truth of Romans do, to the epistle of James which declares that justification is “οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον.” Note that the last word does not match the word which precedes it in case. This means that it is not modifying faith adjectively, but is rather the adverbial form of the word and applies back to justification itself. This means that what St. James has in mind when he says “ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος” (2) is not that at the final judgement we will be saved “through that fruit and that faith” together, as Piper suggests, but that two different sense of justification are in view. Contrast the first word in the verse, ὁρᾶτε (ye see), with ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ (in His sight) from the verse in Romans and the distinction between the two justifications becomes clear. In the sight of God, justification is never by works, but our faith can only be justified in the sight of men by our works.

For a fuller examination of Piper’s article and its errors I refer you to “John Piper on Final Justification by Works” by Timothy Kauffman and Tim Shaughnessy in the Trinity Review.

This is not the first time that Piper has expressed his view that final salvation depends upon works as well as faith. He said very much the same thing two years ago, ironically in his introduction to Thomas Schreiner’s Faith Alone---The Doctrine of Justification: What the Reformers Taught...and Why It Still Matters, part of the Five Solas Series edited by Matthew Barrett for Zondervan. Indeed, he has been associated with various forms of works-righteousness for the duration of his ministry.

I first encountered Piper’s name during my formal theological education at what is now Providence University College (at the time it was Providence Bible College) in the 1990s. He was one of several evangelical celebrities, mostly from the Reformed/Calvinist tradition, who had placed their imprimatur upon the book The Gospel According to Jesus, which had been published by Zondervan in 1988 with forewords from the late Presbyterian theologian and pastor James Montgomery Boice and from J. I. Packer, a Puritan who thinks he’s an Anglican. Its author, John F. MacArthur Jr., is the pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as a seminary president and radio Bible teacher. This book, which recycles the ideas found in the The Cost of Discipleship, the most well-known book of German liberal God-is-dead theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, foolishly celebrated as a “martyr” by today’s evangelicals (he does not qualify as he was put to death for his political activities, however laudable they may or may not have been, rather than his faith), was an attempt to smuggle works into the Gospel by making them part of the definition of faith. MacArthur’s interpretive methodology was to take all of the demanding challenges that Jesus presented His followers with and treat these as if they were identical to His promises of everlasting life to those who believe in Him and explanations of what it means to “believe.” To get the meaning he required from his texts, he tortured them beyond recognition. To give but one example, of John 3:14-15 he wrote “In order to look at the bronze snake on the pole, they had to drag themselves to where they could see it. They were in no position to glance flippantly at the pole and then proceed with lives of rebellion.” (p. 46)

The paperback edition of this book, which was still being widely discussed and debated when I entered Providence, carried an endorsement by Piper. His review of the book for the February 1989 issue of the Baptist magazine The Standard could hardly have been more gushing. Piper wrote:

As for my own personal response to the book, I could scarcely put it down for joy. Its exegesis is almost always compelling. Its analysis of the contemporary scene is shockingly accurate. Its description of conversion is wonderfully radical. Its exposure of rampant nominalism is life saving. Its grief over the impurity of the church is moving. Its zeal for the glory of God’s holiness is contagious. Its vision of God’s sovereign grace is large and fully biblical. My prayer is that the BGC Commission on Evangelism will make it second to the Bible in their deliberations, and that our Conference will have about it the radical Christlike flavor of this book.

Quod onus stercoris!

Quite apart from the book’s own demerits, at the time it was published its author could not have affirmed the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed which was composed in the first two ecumenical councils of the church in the fourth century in response to Arianism, Sabellianism, and other Christological heresies and has remained the most important statement of basic Apostolic orthodoxy since. The Creed affirms of Christ that He is:

τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων

which Thomas Cranmer rendered in English as “the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of the Father before all worlds.” This is the doctrine of the Eternal Generation of the Son, also known as the Eternal Sonship of Christ, and it is an essential element of the doctrine of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is not just that God is One in Being and Three in Person – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – but also defines the eternal relationships between these Persons. The eternal relationship between the Father and the Son is defined by the word γεννηθέντα (begotten) which is distinguished from ποιηθέντα (made) to show that while the relationship between the Second Person of the Trinity and the First has eternally been that of a Son to His Father, this does not mean, as the Arians maintained, that He had a beginning. That the relationships within the Trinity are an essential part of the doctrine is not well understood by the average evangelical today – which is a good reason for conservative Protestants to reconsider the quite recent equation of the terms “evangelical” and “orthodox” – but Piper cannot hide behind this excuse. At the time that he endorsed MacArthur’s book, MacArthur taught Incarnational Sonship, that Jesus’s relationship to the Father did not become one of Sonship until the Incarnation, a doctrine that logically leads to Sabellianism the heresy of confusing the Persons as the agent in the Incarnation is clearly said in the Scriptures to be the Holy Spirit. MacArthur had begun teaching this heresy in 1972 and did not recant of it until the fall of 1999. It is still present in the doctrinal statement of his Seminary (sixth paragraph under the heading “God the Son”).

By giving MacArthur’s book his glowing endorsement, Piper demonstrated that he thought so highly of its teachings that he was willing to overlook the author’s defection from Nicene orthodoxy. Furthermore this is not a comparison of two unrelated matters. MacArthur, by reading every demanding challenge Jesus ever gave into His invitations to faith, produced a meaning for the word “believe” that has little to do with what that word means in ordinary usage. Nor does it bear any closer resemblance to the ordinary meaning of either the Latin credere or the Greek πιστεύειν. To get MacArthur’s Piper-endorsed meaning out of the word believe, and its Latin and Greek cognates, one would have to have some kind of special knowledge reserved for a select few. The kind of special knowledge that the oldest defectors from Apostolic orthodoxy, the sectarians described as “antiChrists” by St. John in the Scriptures, claimed for themselves under the term γνῶσις,

The early Reformers taught the Augustinian doctrine of predestination but by the time the Synod of Dort was convened in 1618-1619 by the Dutch Reformed Churches the doctrine of election had come to resemble the Gnostic doctrine of salvation reserved for the select few who possess the γνῶσις more than anything found in the teachings of the orthodox, fifth century, Bishop of Hippo. Theodore Beza had gone much further in subordinating the doctrine of justification to that of election than Calvin had and this produced a reaction, on the part of one of his own students, Jacob Arminius, whose followers produced the five-point statement known as the Remonstrance, to which the Synod of Dort was a response. Although Beza had died thirteen years before the Synod met, his influence can be found all over it. The canons it produced are known today as the “Five Points of Calvinism”, usually arranged in the order Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, and Perseverance of the Saints in order to produce the mnemonic acronym TULIP. (3) The difference between this version of predestination and that taught by the early Reformers can be seen in the L.

Limited Atonement is the doctrine that Christ died only for the elect rather than for the entire world. Those who hold to this doctrine explain it as a limitation in design or intent, rather than in value. Christ’s death is sufficient, they say, for the entire world, but is limited in its efficiency, those it actually saves. To be fair anyone who is not a universalist believes this in some form or another. There is a world of difference, however, between saying that the Atonement was designed to save those who believe in Jesus and saying that it was designed to save only the elect, even though the two groups be coterminous. The former, preserves the sincerity of the Gospel as a message of universal “good news.” The latter does not. The Bezan-Dortian doctrine seriously distorts the nature of the Gospel message. The orthodox Gospel is Christianity’s message of good news to the world, that God has given to the world a Saviour in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, Who made a full atonement for the sins of the world through His death on the cross and in Whom, having been raised from the dead, all are invited to believe and by believing receive pardon for sins, justification and everlasting life. Limited Atonement transforms this into a Gnostic message about what God has done, not for the world, but for His select few.

Reformed theologians refer to the doctrines of Dort as the “doctrines of grace” but in reality the Limited Atonement ensures that this view of predestination is actually a form of salvation by works hiding behind the mask of salvation by grace. If Christ died only for the elect then one cannot know that Christ died for him merely by believing the Gospel but can only know that Christ died for him by first knowing that he is one of the elect. The way to know this, in this theology, is by seeing the fruit of one’s election in one’s good works. Since, in this theology, only final perseverance in good works counts, one can never be fully sure of one’s election prior to the Judgement. This was stated explicitly in the Canons of Dort in which “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is listed among the grounds of assurance in Article 10 under the heading “Final Perseverance of the Saints.” To say that “a serious and holy pursuit of a clear conscience and of good works” is part of the grounds of assurance, however, is the same thing as saying that we must trust partly in our own good works.

This is not what John Calvin himself taught, and undoubtedly if he had lived to hear this doctrine taught in his name, those so teaching would have faced a fate worse than Servetus. Calvin wrote:

Quodsi in eo sumus electi, non in nobis ipsis reperiemus electionis nostrae certitudinem: ac ne in Deo quidem Patre, si nudum illum absque Filio imaginamur. Christus ergo speculum est, in quo electionem nostram contemplari convenit, et sine fraude licet. (4)

Which means:

“But if we are elected in him, we shall not discover the certainty of our election in us ourselves, and not, indeed, in God the Father, if we picture Him to ourselves naked, apart from the Son. Christ therefore is the mirror, in which it is suitable and permitted, without delusion, to contemplate our election.” (5)

Calvin, in other words, was a Lutheran not a Calvinist. In Luther’s teachings, from which the Lutheran tradition never departed in the way the Calvinist tradition did from Calvin’s, our salvation was accomplished for us by Christ, is announced to us through the Gospel, and received by us through faith, which looks outward away from ourselves and rests in Christ, and our assurance of our salvation is found in the same place in exactly the same way. It is difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile this teaching with the idea that Christ died only for a select few, an idea that was completely absent from the teachings of the Lutheran John Calvin. (6)

“ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται”, (7) the Lord said, and fruit of the Calvinism that bears the Reformer’s name but not his doctrine, shows the tree to be corrupt indeed. In England, the Calvinism of Dort developed Puritanism, a fanatical movement that sought to purify the established church and impose a rigid and Pharisaical code of morality upon the nation, bred sedition, revolution, and regicide, becoming the template and inspiration for the rebellion of the Yankee traitors and the bloody revolution of the French Jacobins in the eighteenth century, and of the Communist and Nazi movements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. For a theology that proclaims itself to be about grace, it proved remarkably addicted to law. This is the theology that in England sought to ban Christmas, Easter, and any and all harmless amusements on Sundays and that in North America put people on trial for kissing their own spouses in public and spawned the notorious witchcraft trials of the late seventeenth century.

More relevant though, to our immediate subject, was the fruit it bore in the hearts and minds of those it first taught to ask the question “am I one of the elect?” and then taught to seek the answer through introspection. Ignoring Calvin’s “non in nobis ipsis”, the Puritans misapplied passages in which St. Paul told his Corinthian readers to examine the manner in which they partook of the Eucharist and to look to their own faith as evidence of the validity of his calling, Apostleship, and ministry, turning them into general commandments to look to their good works for evidence of the validity of their election and faith. This doctrine could produce but two possible results – arrogance, hubris, pride and self-deception among the spiritually dead and doubt, misery, and despair among those awake to their own sinfulness. The poet and hymnist William Cowper, driven mad by the thought of his own reprobation, is but one example of the casualties of this doctrine of which, John MacArthur’s efforts to revive, were loudly applauded by the same John Piper who now says openly that at the Last Judgement, our Final Salvation will depend on works as well as upon faith.

Against this new Pied Piper, seeking to lure the children of God away to their doom, let the words St. Paul first pronounced against those who taught that the salvation begun by grace and entered into by faith is to be completed by works, be the final word:
ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς ἢ ἄγγελος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ εὐαγγελίζηται ὑμῖν παρ' ὃ εὐηγγελισάμεθα ὑμῖν, ἀνάθεμα ἔστω:
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed (8)



(1) Romans 3:20 (Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight - KJV)
(2) James 2:24 (by works a man is justified, and not by faith only - KJV)
(3) In the canons of Dort the order was ULTIP.
(4) Institutio Christianae Religionis, III, xxiv. 5.
(5) If you want a better English rendition than my own Henry Beveridge’s reads “But if we are elected in him, we cannot find the certainty of our election in ourselves; and not even in God the Father, if we look at him apart from the Son. Christ, then, is the mirror in which we ought, and in which, without deception, we may contemplate our election.”
(6) I came to this conclusion myself when I first read Calvin over twenty years ago. Not only is the concept that “Christ died only for the elect” not formulated as such in his writings it is impossible to reconcile with passages like this, from Calvin’s Commentary on John 3:16 “And he has employed the universal term whosoever, both to invite all indiscriminately to partake of life, and to cut off every excuse from unbelievers. Such is also the import of the term World, which he formerly used; for though nothing will be found in the world that is worthy of the favor of God, yet he shows himself to be reconciled to the whole world, when he invites all men without exception to the faith of Christ, which is nothing else than an entrance into life.” R. T. Kendall, who succeeded D. Martin Lloyd-Jones as pastor of Westminster Chapel in London, argued in his published doctoral dissertation that Calvin had taught an unlimited atonement and later Calvinists, especially the Puritans, had taken a step towards salvation by works by departing from his views of the Atonement and assurance. Calvin and English Calvinism to 1649, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979).
(7) Luke 6:44. (For every tree is known by his own fruit – KJV)
(8) Galatians 1:8

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Justin's Virtue-Signalling is Actually Vice-Signalling

So it appears there are things happening in the world other than Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un calling each other names and threatening to blow each other up. The American news has been dominated this week by a bizarre religious controversy that is dividing their country over whether it is ritually correct for people to kneel or stand while their national anthem is sung during a sacred Yankee ceremony that is called a "football game." Meanwhile, here in Canada, Justin Trudeau has been trying to divert our attention away from his vile speech to the United Nations last week expressing his hatred of the country whose government he leads and his scheme to bleed small business owners dry, by preening and grandstanding and virtue-signalling his supposed moral superiority to his political and ideological opponents on the matter of "women's rights."

There is a standing committee in the House of Commons that addresses the "Status of Women." This should not be confused with the Cabinet Ministry or the National Action Committee (a private lobby/activist group, albeit one that once was heavily funded by the government) of the same name although historically these all have their beginnings in the Pearson/Trudeau Liberal cultural revolution of the '60's and '70s and have been ideologically in sync with each other. The House committee is one whose chair, by established custom, is selected not by the governing party, but by Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, which at this time happens to be the Conservative Party of Canada. Accordingly, the new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer nominated Rachael Harder, the MP representing Lethbridge to chair the committee. When this was announced on Tuesday, all the Liberal MPs on the committee walked out, along with the New Democrat members, and Trudeau immediately called a press conference in which he declared his support of those who walked out.

What was the reason for the walk out? Does Harder support the importing into Canada of cultures in which the genitals of young females are ritually mutilated or in which male relatives are encouraged to kill daughters and sisters that in their opinion have brought dishonour upon their family through promiscuity or dress that they see as being too provocative? No, it is the Liberals and NDP themselves who do that, who want to criminalize all criticism of such cultures, and who accuse anyone who disagrees with them of racism, xenophobia, and bigotry (and probably anti-Semitism and homophobia as well since in left-liberal usage these kind of words have a purely expletive function that has little to do with their literal meaning). The reason the progressives are having conniptions over Harder is because she is pro-life. She does not believe that women should have the right to murder their unborn babies.

The neoconservative press has subjected the MPs who walked out and the Prime Minister who supported them to much deserved criticism and ridicule. The Sun newspaper chain, for example, published an editorial entitled “Liberals Fail to Embrace Diversity of Opinion” which pointed out the hypocrisy of the Liberals who loudly proclaim their devotion and dedication to “diversity” but seem to have little regard for diversity of viewpoint in that they are notoriously intolerant of anyone who disagrees with them. The Grits deserve every word of this criticism which brings to mind the old quip of William F. Buckley Jr. about how liberals “claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” On this particular issue you might recall that a year and a half before the 2015 Dominion election Trudeau had announced that new candidates seeking the nomination of the Liberal Party would be required to give their full support to women’s “right” to murder their unborn babies. Not to be outdone in his support for the right of baby murder, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair declared that all NDP candidates, new and old, were required to vote the party line on this issue.

Yes, the Grits and their socialist doppelgangers, with their idolatrous cult of diversity on the one hand and their neo-Stalinist, ideological, party line on the other, are every bit the hypocrites the Sun editorial makes them out to be. There is other, far more important, criticism that deserves to be heard, but which sadly, you will never read in the pages of a mainstream Canadian publication. Neoconservatives, which is to say people who call themselves conservative but by this term mean “American classical liberal”, such as those who set the editorial policy for the Sun chain, are the only dissenters from the left-liberal ideological monolith that are tolerated in the mainstream Canadian media.

What really needs to be said is that the pro-life position is the only sane position and that anyone who believes that women have some sort of natural right to terminate their pregnancies that ought to be protected as a legal right is bat-shit crazy and ought not to be allowed into any position of authority, power, and influence or entrusted with any responsibility higher than that of sweeping the floors in an institution in which they are humanely kept for their own safety and that of society. No, in case you are wondering, my saying this does not make me guilty of the mirror image of the hypocrisy displayed by the Liberals and NDP. I don’t worship at the altar of diversity.

When a human sperm fertilizes a human egg a zygote is formed that is a) living and b) human, ergo, a human life. To deliberately take a human life is murder except in the following circumstances: when you are acting out of necessity in self-defence, when you are the state official entrusted with executing a sentence of death determined by a lawfully constituted court on someone found guilty of a capital crime, or when you are a soldier fighting for your country. None of these exceptions can possibly apply here and so the termination of the life of the unborn is murder. It should not be thought of as a medical procedure since it is in complete violation of everything the medical practice has traditionally stood for. It is a particularly odious form of murder in that it is done at the request of those who have a particular responsibility to love and cherish that life.

Those who defend it, rely entirely upon spurious, easily-refutable, arguments such as the hard cases argument about pregnancies that ensue from rape or incest, or those which endanger the life of the mother. Even if it were not the case – and it is – that such cases represent only a tiny percentage of the total number of terminated pregnancies each year, it is a well-established legal maxim that hard cases make bad law.

Even the real motivation behind the demand for legal abortion is ultimately a lie. Giving one sex the unilateral power of life and death over the next generation does not create “sexual equality.” Feminists accuse the traditional, patriarchal, family, of dehumanizing women but if anything does that it is this insane insistence on their supposed right to murder their children.

There is one other thing that really needs to be said about all of this and that is that a standing House committee – or a Ministry for that matter – devoted to the “Status of Women” sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. The status of women – and of men for that matter – in any society, arises out of the way the sexes interact and relate to each other, primarily within the family, and it is best to allow it to evolve within the living tradition of a culture rather than to try and artificially engineer it. If you reflect for a moment on the slogan of the 1960s revival of feminism, “the personal is the political”, you will see that this is a recipe for totalitarianism. Which is why this is the sort of thing that belongs in a regime like the former Soviet Union, Red China, or North Korea and not in a free, parliamentary country of the British Commonwealth that is heir to the Common Law under the Crown.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Lessons to be Learned

On September 30th, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned to London in the belief that he had secured “peace for our time” by negotiating a deal in which the German speaking areas in Czechoslovakia were ceded to Hitler in return for a promise that he would make no more territorial demands. The ink on the Munch Agreement had hardly had time to dry before Hitler broke his word and occupied the whole of Czechoslovakia – the government of which had not been party to the agreement that assigned it to its doom – before turning his eyes on the Klaipėda Region of Lithuania and the city of Danzig in Poland. By the time September 30th, 1939 rolled around, the Second World War had been underway for almost a month.

Chamberlain has been severely judged ever since – not primarily for giving away part of somebody else’s country but for failing to observe one of the basic lessons of the schoolyard, i.e., that giving a bully what he demands is more likely to increase his demands than to satisfy him. After World War II the Western world, now led by the United States of America, determined never to make this mistake again. Unfortunately, it seems to be a failing of human nature that when we have learned one lesson thoroughly it tends to drive other lessons that are just as important out of our heads.

Let us consider two other lessons that pertain to dealings with other nations.

One such lesson is that you should not threaten the use of force unless you have both the ability and the willpower to follow through with your threat. The reasoning behind this should be self-evident. Bluffing, if you know what you are doing, can work as a strategy in poker but in international relations the moment someone calls your bluff you are exposed as an impotent buffoon.

The other lesson is that if you have the strength and the willpower to back up a threat of force you should still hold that threat in reserve to be used only when all reasonable efforts to find a diplomatic solution have failed. War is destructive, awful, and costly and should only ever be entered into as a means of last resort. This is a lesson that those who are on a constant lookout for the next Hitler that they might not appease him are especially prone to neglect. Diplomacy involves talking, negotiation, and compromise and these things smack of appeasement to those for whom the lesson of Munich overrides all other considerations. Diplomacy and appeasement are not the same thing, however, and if, in your determination to stand up to bullies, you bypass the diplomatic process altogether and lead with threats, you will yourself have become the bully.

Need I go further and point out the compounded folly of leading with empty threats that are no more than bluffs?

It becomes much easier to forget these lessons the closer the “Hitler of the month” comes to resembling his archetype. For the last month the world has been treated to yet another round of the dark comedy stylings of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who dresses, talks and acts like a supervillain who has somehow escaped the confines of a Hollywood film version of an Ian Fleming novel to wreak havoc on the world stage. From shooting missiles over Japan and threatening to sink the island nation to apparently detonating a 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb and threatening to reduce North America to ashes and darkness he has been hamming up his bad guy act with real panache.

Governments around the world have responded to these shenanigans by condemning North Korea’s actions and hoping that somebody else would do something about it. The designated somebody else for most of the world, the government of the United States of America, has itself been trying all year to pawn the North Korean problem off on yet another somebody else, the People’s Republic of China. The reasoning behind this was that since China is North Korea’s neighbour as well as the regional power it is their responsibility to make Kim toe the line. The problem with that reasoning, of course, is that Red China is the power behind North Korea. North Korea demands that the United States withdraw its military presence from the region where it is protecting South Korea and Japan. Some see Kim’s motivation as aggressive – that he wishes to complete what his grandfather Kim Il Sung started in 1950 and to subjugate the entire Korean peninsula to his despotic regime. Others see his motivation as defensive – that he fears, and not without reason, that the Americans have targeted him for regime change. Whatever may or may not be going on in Kim’s head, it is certainly the case that Beijing regards America’s ongoing military presence as standing in the way of its regional hegemony and it has been playing Kim as a pawn against the United States. To expect China to pressure Kim into behaving is like expecting an opponent in chess to sacrifice a piece that is threatening your queen but which you cannot remove without placing your king into check. It is not going to happen.

As the American government has come to realize what they ought to have known from the get go, they have turned to other strategies for dealing with Kim. President Trump has been attempting to match Kim rhetoric for rhetoric, but what he hopes to accomplish by this is unclear. As Kim has responded to each of Trump’s Mr. Tough Guy tweets with yet more defiance it would seem to be a counterproductive strategy. Then, last week, the Americans convinced the UN Security Council to impose economic sanctions on North Korea. This too is a dubious strategy. It worked well enough for FDR when he imposed an oil embargo on the Japanese Empire but this is because his intention was not to pressure Tokyo into abandoning its militarism and expansionism so much as to provoke an attack that would give him a casus belli for entering World War II. It failed JFK, however, when he embargoed Cuba to try and bring down the Castro regime. Most often it is nothing more than a particularly perverse form of virtue signalling – a gesture that demonstrates our disapproval of a government by punishing that government’s people.

American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Defense Secretary James Mattis both maintain that there is a military option for dealing with North Korea. Sunday’s training exercise, in which American bombers from Guam, accompanied by South Korean and Japanese fighters, dropped live bombs on a range a short distance from the 38th Parallel, was obviously designed to give credence to this threat. China and Russia have also stepped up their military presence in the region, however, and unless the Americans have completely lost their minds and are actually willing to sacrifice millions of people on the altar of Mars in order to take out one petty tyrant, this is all bluff.

There is no realistic military solution here. The only solution – if one exists – is to be found through diplomacy which ought to have been turned to long before this escalating war of threatening rhetoric began. This means that the distinction is going to have to be drawn between what is non-negotiable and what is merely desirable. The security of the United States and her allies against the threat posed by North Korea – and more importantly, the Red China behind North Korea – is non-negotiable. A non-nuclear North Korea or a North Korea with a better regime than the neo-Stalinist Kim junta may both be desirable, but they are not realistically attainable as the security of the Kim regime and the nuclear program that protects it are North Korea’s non-negotiables. Therefore, enter into talks – real talks, mind you, not petulant, “my way or the highway”, unyielding bombastic demands – with Pyongyang, with the firm resolution to never compromise the former, but prepared to give way on the latter. Drop the hubris and the Manicheanism and enter into negotiations. Back up your bargaining position with strength, as Reagan and Thatcher did when negotiating with Gorbachev, but follow their example by going to the table and talking.

That is the only sane approach to this mess.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Trudeau and the Middle Class

In Rob Reiner’s 1987 film adaptation of William Goldman’s novel The Princess Bride, Wallace Shawn’s character of Vizzini, the leader of a trio hired to kidnap the title character, utters the word “inconceivable” every time something happens that interferes with his plans. After the umpteenth such exclamation, his associate Inigo Montoya, a Spanish swordsman portrayed by Mandy Patinkin, turns to him and says “you keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

This is something that should have been said to Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau during the 2015 Dominion election every time he promised that the Grits would make the “middle class” stronger. He accused the previous Conservative government led by Stephen Harper of pandering to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and claimed that his party would do the opposite. The Liberal Party’s “New Plan for a Strong Middle Class”, their platform during that campaign, stated:

A strong economy starts with a strong middle class.


This is a true statement, but it is probably the only true statement in the entire document. It immediately went on to say “Our plan offers real help to Canada’s middle class and all those working hard to join it”. Among the promises made were “We will give middle class Canadians a tax break, by making taxes more fair.”

Over the summer, however, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced the government’s intention, when Parliament resumes in the fall, to introduce changes to the tax code as it pertains to the incorporation of small businesses. Trudeau’s evil henchman, of course, described these proposed changes in terms of closing loopholes that the wealthy exploit to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. This, however, is what in the language of Apuleius would have been called an onus stercoris. It is not the superrich, the “1%” about which there has been so much talk in recent years, that “trust fund” Trudeau and his gang are going after. It is the couple who own the local grocery store that barely manages to survive against the competition of the giant corporate chains, the family struggling to scratch out a living on their farm, and the guy who had a great idea for a business that would provide a valued service to his community and employment for his neighbours and who has sunk everything he had into the uphill battle to make this dream come true. In other words, the middle class.

Justin Trudeau does not have a clue what a middle class is. When the question was put to him directly in the 2015 election he answered “I’m going to let economists, and I have a few around me, argue over which quintile or decile the middle class begins or ends in.” In other words, he thinks the middle class is a group of people whose income falls between an upper and lower limit, even though he cannot define what those limits are. In the old days, however, when the words middle class actually meant something, they referred to those who were neither the “rich”, who could live comfortably off of their already accumulated wealth nor the “poor” whose only respectable means of subsistence was by earning wages by manual labour but rather those whose income came through the management of their own small properties and businesses. Two and a half millennia ago Aristotle argued that it was this class that made for a secure and stable state because it was a responsible class and where it is strong neither poor nor rich are likely to be oppressed as one or the other would be in an oligarchy of the rich few or a democracy of the poor many. This is lost on our Prime Minister, however, who could not understand the Politika even if someone translated it into English or French for him, and who is most likely unaware that there ever was any other Aristotle than Jackie’s second husband.

The Trudeau government’s proposed tax code changes have nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with their desperate need for revenue due to their fiscal mismanagement. They have been running deficits far in excess of those they had projected during the election campaign, saddling our country with a load of debt that will take centuries to pay off. Pierre Trudeau had ran massive deficits in the ‘60s and ‘70s and Justin’s attitude to the Canadian taxpayer is summed up in the words of Rehoboam – “my father chastised you with whips, but I shall chastise you with scorpions.” Nor is the spending that the Grits are unwilling to curb going into development projects that will benefit Canada and Canadians for generations to come so much as into sustaining Trudeau’s international image of a generous humanitarian at the expense of Canadians.

During the election campaign Trudeau said that his government would commit to growing the economy and that as a consequence of that growth “the budget would balance itself.” Those who sought to defend Trudeau from the charge of reckless fiscal irresponsibility that these poorly chosen words suggested maintained that this was basically a restatement of the premise of Reaganomics. While there is a resemblance, to be sure, there is also a fundamental difference. The idea of supply-side economics is not that economic growth eliminates the need for fiscal responsibility but that a larger total tax revenue can be generated at a lower rate if the tax cuts provide enough entrepreneurial incentives to spur economic growth. It is an argument for lowering taxes – not an argument for reckless spending.

At any rate, if your strategy for balancing the budget is to rely upon economic growth to raise tax revenues, then your policies ought to encourage economic growth rather than discourage it. The policies of the Trudeau Liberals, however, have all the appearance of being designed to bring Canada’s economy to a grinding halt. Their carbon tax needlessly and pointlessly – for even if the anthropogenic theory of climate change were true it would do nothing to alleviate the problem – increases the expense of doing business and in a way that further belies their talk about “fairness” as it is a thoroughly regressive tax, affecting people the hardest the further down the economic ladder they are.

Then there is their approach to the NAFTA renegotiations. Regardless of what one thinks about free trade in the abstract – I think that however good the arguments behind the theory sound on paper they have been completely debunked by history – a country’s closest neighbours will usually be its biggest trading partners and when you have a trade agreement with those neighbours and one of them decides that it needs renegotiation, your job, when you go to the negotiation table, is to look out for the interests of your country and to secure for it the best deal possible. Two of the three governments involved in the NAFTA talks understand this – one does not. The Liberals have made it their priority to inject climate change, gender equality, and a lot of other irrelevant and inane progressive nonsense into the discussions. This will not help them to secure the best deal possible for Canada and if anything will have the exact opposite effect.

Trudeau’s apologists will argue that the economy is healthy and growing because the GDP has been increasing faster than anticipated since the final quarter of last year. All this means, however, is that money has been changing hands at a faster rate in Canada over the last twelve months. GDP is calculated by adding up the sum of private consumption (C) with that of investment (I), government expenditure (G) and total exports minus total imports (NX or X – M). It is a pointless exercise because the figure you get doesn’t measure anything real. C and G go up the same regardless of whether it is wealth accumulated from past production or money borrowed that is spent. Neither is a distinction made between spending on projects that will have enduring benefits, spending on immediate needs, and spending that is wasteful or even destructive. Demolishing and constructing a building both raise the GDP and every time a bomb is dropped the GDP goes up. GDP is no indicator of productivity and real economic growth. Its chief purpose – perhaps sole purpose – is to enable finance ministers and economists to boast about their “growing economies” even as real incomes and savings drop while unemployment and debt grows. It has been used to obfuscate the truth about the devastating consequences of free trade for years.

Every time Justin Trudeau throws away money that the Canadian taxpayers’ will have to spend the next century or so paying back on some project of self-aggrandizement it increases our GDP. What it doesn’t do is benefit our middle class – or those working hard to join it.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wars and Rumours of Wars

One of the most aggravating consequences of last month’s false flag fiasco in Charlottesville was the removal of the only member of the Trump administration who possessed any degree of sanity with regards to international geopolitics. I said many times during America’s last presidential election that although I considered Trump to be the better choice by far of the final two candidates, as a patriotic Canadian rather than an American and a royalist who disliked republics and presidents on principle, I did not really have a stake in the campaign. There was an obvious exception to this in the realm of international geopolitics and it was here that Trump stood out above not only Clinton but all those he beat out to win the Republican nomination. The Clinton Democrats and neoconservative Republicans are not so much rivals as the left and right wings of the American war party, both firmly committed to the Pax Americana, the “new world order” that George H. W. Bush proclaimed at the end of the Cold War on the eve of Operation Desert Storm, and the ultimate outcome of the trajectory upon which Woodrow Wilson set American foreign policy in the first World War. The combination of overseas bombings, regime changes, and other military actions with open immigration even from the parts of the world where the former is likely to have created mortal enemies gave birth to the wave of terrorism that has hit not only the United States but her allies in the West and indeed throughout the world in the last two decades. Trump campaigned on the policy of doing the opposite of this and the member of his administration most committed to that policy was Steve Bannon, formerly and now again, of Breitbart News.

The liberal-left have been attacking Bannon as a “white supremacist” since he was first appointed. There is not the slightest truth to this accusation – there seldom is except in the rare occasions that they are talking about someone who self-identifies as such – but the demands for his head greatly increased in the aftermath of Charlottesville, and Donald Trump’s sensible condemnation not just of white racism but of the anti-white racism of the Marxist thugs who initiated the violence. Bannon would likely still be Trump’s chief strategist, however, were it not for a published conversation he had with Robert Kuttner, co-editor of the ultra-left American Prospect magazine, in which he said regarding North Korea:

There’s no military solution, forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.

While saying this was perhaps unwise – in effect calling his own President’s bluff – it was nevertheless true even at the time which was a couple of weeks before North Korea successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test.

The time for a military solution to the North Korean regime has long passed. In the 1986 film, Back to School, the following dialogue took place between Professor Terguson, portrayed by comedian Sam Kiniston and Rodney Dangerfield’s character of Thornton Melon, a successful businessman who has gone back to university to gain some respect. Terguson has just snapped and furiously berated a younger student for a naïve textbook response to a question about the Vietnam War:

Melon: Hey Professor, take it easy will you. I mean these kids they were in grade school at the time. And me, I’m not a fighter, I’m a lover.

Terguson: Well, well, I didn’t know you wanted to get involved in the discussion Mr. Helper. But since you want to help, maybe you can help me, okay? Do you remember that thing we had about thirty years ago called the Korean conflict? Yeah, where we failed to achieve victory. How come we did not cross the 38th Parallel and push those rice eaters back to the Great Wall of China and take it apart brick by brick and nuke them back into the f***ing stone age forever? Tell me why, how come, say it, say it!

Melon: Alright, I’ll say it. ‘Cuz Truman was too much of a pussy wimp to let MacArthur go in there and blow out those Commie bastards!

Terguson: Good answer, good answer. I like the way you think. I’m going to be watching you.


Although the movie is fictional, there is truth in this comedic dialogue in that had Harry Truman followed General Douglas MacArthur’s advice in 1951, and allowed him to drive the China and Soviet backed Communists out of North Korea, the spread of Communism throughout Asia would have been nipped in the bud and the later, longer, and far worse Vietnam War would never have taken place. More relevantly to the situation at hand, the regime of Kim Jong Un would not exist today.

Of course we cannot go back to 1951 and undo Truman’s big mistake, any more than we can go back to 1945, prevent Eisenhower from delaying the march of the Western allies so that the Soviets could reach Berlin first and authorize Patton, once Hitler’s regime was dead and buried, to keep going and take out Stalin’s. 1945, when Patton wished it, was the last time an attempt to take down the Soviet Union militarily would have been feasible. By 1949 the Soviets had the atomic bomb and six years later they had the hydrogen bomb as well – a war between them and the United States at this point would have been insane and the more each country developed and expanded their nuclear arsenals the more insane it became.

North Korea has been developing its own nuclear weapons program for decades. A quarter of a century ago it withdrew from the Non-Proliferation Treaty and eleven years ago it detonated its first nuclear weapon. The full extent of its capabilities is unknown but it has developed ICBM’s capable of reaching North America and has just conducted a successful test of a 120-140 kiloton hydrogen bomb. It is nowhere near having anything like a first strike capacity against the United States, of course, but what it has is sufficient for a deterrent especially when we consider that even without its nukes it could lay waste to Seoul, the capital of its southern neighbour, if attacked, and that it would almost certainly be backed by China which has been in the nuclear game much longer.

Bannon is quite right – there is no military solution here.

If the unthinkable happens and an all-out nuclear war breaks out between the United States and North Korea it will either be initiated by North Korea or by the United States. While Kim Jong Un has often been accused of madness, it is madness of the megalomaniacal variety and not of the suicidal, and he would have to be suicidal to attack the United States. The liberal-left thinks – or at least professes to think – that if the United States initiates nuclear war with North Korea – or anybody else, for that matter – it will be due to the temperament of Donald Trump. This has been a meme on the left ever since the election campaign when it was propagated by Hillary Clinton, herself not exactly known for her pacific temperament. It is a nonsensical meme.

No, if the American government does do something as stupid as initiate a nuclear war it will not be because of the temperament of their president but because the man with the most sense on the subject has been driven from his administration, to the cheers of the liberal-left, leaving Trump surrounded by hawkish advisers. Hey, but at least those hawkish advisers do not disagree with the left-liberal dogma that the more ethnic, cultural, religious, and racial diversity a country has the better off it will be, to which all right-thinking people give their whole-hearted and unquestioning assent. After all, what’s a little thing like the threat of nuclear Armageddon, compared to the evil of thinking thoughts that liberals maintain to be racist.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Moral Cowardice and Idolatry Among Today's Christian Leaders

Almost a century ago, poet and critic T. S. Eliot famously remarked “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” This was in a Cambridge University lecture given in 1939, on the eve of the war that was precipitated by the short-lived alliance between these rival alternatives to God, the text of which would be included in the book The Idea of a Christian Society. Seventeen years earlier a young Eliot had decried the cultural and spiritual bankruptcy of post-First World War Western Civilization in the poem “The Waste Land.” Five years later he had found the roots he had been looking for – note that he would later write the forward to Simone Weil’s The Need for Roots – when he converted to orthodox Christianity, joined the Church of England, and swore his oath of loyalty to the Crown becoming a British citizen. He had found the true path and in the words quoted above warned those who were pursuing materialistic ends and placing their hope in democracy of where their path would ultimately lead them.

It is just under eighty years since Eliot spoke those words and Western Civilization has not turned back to God in the interim. Indeed, it has become far more godless, materialistic and secular than anyone could have imagined back then, and in the process, despite Stephen Pinker’s recent arguments to the contrary, become far more crude, vulgar, and immoral. Sad to say, much of the blame for the state of our civilization belongs to the leaders of the church. If you read the historical and prophetic books of the Old Testament you will be struck by the number of times a particular cycle recurs – the leaders of God’s people go whoring after heathen idols, the people follow them into sin, and judgement and a curse comes upon them and their land as a result.

That the leaders of the church in our day and age are just as prone to lead their flocks into worshipping the false gods of the day as the leaders of the ancient Israelites were is evident in the moral blindness or cowardice that so many have displayed in their response to the recent events in Charlottesville even while tooting their own horns about their great courage in daring to resist the evil of white racism. It requires no courage whatsoever to speak out and condemn white racism in this era. All you have to do is go along with the mob. The true test of your moral courage is whether or not you dare to condemn the anti-white racism that hides behind the mask of anti-racism. Those who do so risk incurring the wrath of both the mob and the corporate globalists. The vast majority of church leaders, even among the supposedly orthodox, have failed this test badly. This is because they have bowed the knee to the false deity that presides over today’s pantheon of idols – the idol of diversity.

The events in Charlottesville as reported by the mainstream media seem to have produced a wide-spread breakdown in moral reasoning. Which is interesting because the disparity between the facts and the interpretation placed on those facts by the media is particularly glaring when it comes to this incident. We are told that because the “Unite the Right” rally was unambiguously pro-white and because neo-Nazi and KKK-types were unquestionably among the participants that all of those participating in the protest were white supremacists, and that therefore because of who they were, and because one of the counter protestors, Heather Heyer, was killed, it is the organizers and participants of the rally who must be singled out for blame and moral condemnation over the violence that occurred that day. This is morally bankrupt nonsense. It confuses consequences with culpability – just because the former were unevenly distributed between the protestors and counter protestors with the most severe consequence of death falling to one of the latter it does not follow in the slightest that in the allotment of blame the largest share must go to the former. Worse, it requires the premise that if a group’s views are regarded as repugnant or even if those views actually are repugnant, it is to be blamed for the violence that ensues when another group attacks them.

The facts of the case are these: the organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally went through all the legal hoops to get a permit to hold a legal demonstration; the antifa showed up armed and masked with the intention of shutting the demonstration down with violence; the Charlottesville authorities declared a state of emergency and ordered the police to shut down the legal demonstration; the police forced the demonstrators to evacuate the park, leaving them only one way out – through the antifa; and the antifa then attacked the demonstrators with baseball bats, clubs, homemade flamethrowers, and projectiles of various sorts. The man, James Alex Fields, who drove into the crowd injuring several and killing Heather Heyer may very well have been acting out of fear for his life rather than homicidal malice – that remains to be determined. What is clear is that the bulk of the blame for this event going violent is to be divided between the Charlottesville authorities and the antifa.

Although the media have been consistently portraying the antifa as “counter protestors” it would be more accurate to call them terrorists. They do not show up to picket, hand out literature, and forcibly but peacefully express their disagreement with those they consider to be racists. They show up masked and armed, to intimidate, harass, and attack, to block access and shut down events. Although “antifa” is short for anti-fascist, in their tactics they bear a far closer resemblance to the thugs who followed Hitler and Mussolini than do their opponents, which can be explained by the fact that they are generally fronts for Marxist-Leninist groups, Marxist-Leninism or Communism being the parent ideology of which Fascism and Nazism were mutant offspring. They claim they are fighting racism but you will never find them trying to shut down a lecture by a Marxist academic who calls for the abolition of whiteness or a concert by a rapper who explicitly calls for violence against whites in his lyrics. They show no sign of comprehending either that a racist might not be white or that a white might not be a racist but instead treat racist and white as if they are synonymous. This is itself, of course, a form of racism.

The voice of moral clarity in the aftermath of Charlottesville has been that of American President Donald J. Trump of all people. He unequivocally condemned white supremacism and neo-Nazism, but rightly distinguished between white supremacists and neo-Nazis on the one hand and those who were neither but participated in the rally to protest the erasure of history and the changing of culture. He did not shirk from calling out the antifa and allotting them the share of the blame that they so rightly deserve. This refreshing moral clarity was sadly lacking among many Christian leaders.

Take Timothy J. Keller, for example. Keller is the founding pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan. An apologist and the author of numerous books, Keller has something of a celebrity status among evangelical Protestants. In an article for The Gospel Coalition that came out the same day that President Trump gave his press conference, Keller began by asking the question:

How should Christians, and especially those with an Anglo-white background, respond to last weekend’s alt-right gathering in Charlottesville and its tragic aftermath?

Note the words “especially those with an Anglo-white background”. Keller is guilty of the very racism that he condemns so vehemently in this article. Indeed, he is guilty of the worst form of racism possible – racism against your own people.

Later in the article, Keller commits gross eisegesis when he reads the modern political discussion of race into St. Paul’s address to the Epicureans and Stoics at the Areopagus in Acts 17. The Apostle was not addressing the Greek idea that other peoples were barbarian, when he said that God had made “of one blood” every nation on the earth, but rather was establishing that the God he was preaching and Whom he identified with their “unknown God” was not a tribal deity but the One True God Who created the universe and to Whom all people owe worship. Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that Keller does not know this and that this was an honest hermeneutical error on his part rather than sheer mendacity in order to pander to the spirit of the times.

Keller makes reference to “the idolatry of blood and country.” Keller has written extensively about idolatry in his book Counterfeit Gods. There too he refers to the idols of blood and country or race and nation. Now, I have no objection to what Keller says about this form of idolatry. Obviously blood, country, race, and nation can be made into idols, as the history of the early part of the last century proves all too well. Let us return to the quotation from T. S. Eliot with which I began this essay. “If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” Hitler, was the very embodiment of the idolatry of blood, country, race and nation. Note, however, that Eliot saw another option for God-rejecters in Stalin.

What I don’t see anywhere in Keller’s article – or his book for that matter – is any condemnation of the idolatry of those who brought the violence to Charlottesville on August 12th – the antifa. Again, it is easy to rail against the idols of blood, country, race, and nation, for these are the idols of a century ago. These idols were popular in the early twentieth century, but when they devoured their worshippers in the bloodbath of the Second World War, twentieth century man rejected them. He did not, however, turn back to the true and living God, but erected yet another idol – the idol of diversity. It is this idol whom the Stalinistic antifa worship and barring a revival in which there is a mass turn back to the true God, she, by the time her cult has run its course, will have exacted more in the way of blood sacrifices from her worshippers than her predecessors ever did. It is this idol that the faithful and courageous man of God is called to speak out against in our day and age. This is precisely what Timothy Keller – and far too many other – Christian leaders refuse to do, preferring to bow their knee to the new idol, just as the “Positive Christianity” cult that Keller rightly condemns as heretical, prostituted itself to the idols of the Third Reich.

Orthodox Christian teaching is that God divided the nations at Babel but in the Kingdom of God outside of history (the Fall to the Second Coming) He will gather “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” before the throne of the Lamb. Within human history, the Kingdom of God is represented on earth by the church, the body of Christ indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that accepts into its membership through baptism, anyone from any nation who believes in Jesus Christ. There is nothing in orthodox Christianity that requires us to support efforts to undo Babel politically, whether they be by dissolving the nations of the world into a global order of world federalism or by maximizing diversity within countries through mass immigration and then attempting to administer race relations bureaucratically. Indeed, to do this is to commit the utmost folly, to do the very thing most likely to exacerbate racial tensions, hostility, and violence. It is what the idolatry of diversity looks like.

Those who today are returning to the idols of blood, race, and nation are doing so because they have had a glimpse of the apocalyptic disaster that lies ahead of us if we continue down the path of the idolatry of diversity. Their solution is no solution – we must turn back to the True and Living God, through Him Who is the “Way, the Truth, and the Life.” It is not likely that this will happen, however, if Christian leaders continue, like Timothy Keller, to whore around with the idol of diversity, and to refuse to name the evil of anti-white racism disguised as antiracism, while hypocritically pretending to a moral courage they do not possess by reserving their vehement denunciations only for those evils the mob is howling after.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Brief Thoughts on Assorted Matters: Special Charlottesville Edition

- While I am, on principle, opposed to all republics and presidents - states should be headed by royal monarchs - I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and the Donald deserves much credit over his press conference the other day. How refreshing to hear someone tell the truth - that it was not only neo-Nazis and white supremacists participating in the protest of the tearing down of Robert E. Lee's statue, that the antifa counter protesters who unlike the "Unite the Right” crowd did not get a permit were violent thugs, that there was blame on both sides, and that the tearing down of the one statue could lead to the tearing down of others, such as Washington and Jefferson. The press were furious because finally someone who could not be silenced, no-platformed, or ignored was saying these things and exposing them for the unmitigated liars that they are.

- Progressives – in which category I would include John McCain and Mitt Romney - don’t like it that the Donald treated white nationalists and the antifa as moral equivalents. They are, in a sense, correct – the two are not moral equivalents – but not for the reason they think. The antifa are much, much, worse. Spare me the snivelling, hypocritical, handwringing about the one group being racist and the other being opposed to racism. “Antiracist” activists only ever seem to oppose racism when the racists are whites. This is itself a form of racism, racism against white people. The real moral difference between the two groups, is that the one went there to hold a peaceful demonstration after having obtained legal permission to do so, the other went there to shut down the other group with violence. It was one of their own that ended up dying from the violence that day but that does not alter the fact that they were the ones who turned it into a violent event and went there with the intention of doing so.

- In Canada today, those who honour our country’s British history, heritage, traditions, and institutions are frequently accused of being Nazis by the followers of the Trudeau Liberals’ cult of diversity. It was British Canada, of course, that went to war with the Third Reich in 1939, and it was because we were British that we did so. The architect of Canadian multiculturalism was a draft dodger who reputedly expressed his contempt for Canada’s war efforts by wearing a German army helmet and a swastika.

- There are only really two kinds of people in North America today that would – other than ironically or when portraying a role on film – goose step, wave a swastika flag, or wear a Nazi uniform or Klan robe. The first group is the mentally ill. Liberals ordinarily demand that we look upon members of this group with compassion and, if they happen to have committed a heinous crime like beheading a fellow passenger on a bus, excuse them, but they make an unprincipled exception in this case. The second group is government agent provocateurs. In Canada, for example, the composition of the Canadian Nazi Party of the 1970s and the Heritage Front of a couple of decades later, both resembled that of the World Council of Anarchists in G. K. Chesterton’s The Man Who Was Thursday, i.e., almost entirely government agents.

- If, for some reason, you actually wanted to radicalize white people to swell the ranks of a resurgent Nazi movement, the way to go about it would be to do exactly what the liberal left has been doing since 1945. You would reduce their percentage of the population in Western countries through ongoing large-scale immigration and blame them for all the woes of the world while denying them any legitimate means of protecting their collective interests by vehemently condemning any individual or group that attempts to speak for these as racist.

- If you take the way soi-disant “anti-racists” talk about white people and substitute “Jews” for “whites” you will end up with something that sounds like a Nuremburg Rally speech or reads like a chapter of Mein Kampf. Now you know who the real Nazis are today.

- The left have always, first and foremost, been scapegoaters. Unwilling to accept that sin, sorrow, suffering, and woe has always been and always will be a part of human existence east of Eden and this side of the Second Coming, they are always looking for someone to blame for the inevitable failure of their schemes to retake lost Paradise by force. In the eighteenth century it was the king, the aristocrats, and the church. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was the bourgeoisie and middle class. For the National Socialists it was the Jews and today it is whites, Christians, males, heterosexuals, and especially, white, Christian, heterosexual males.

- Nazism was a movement of the left not the right. The left began its life in the eighteenth century as the revolutionary movement that deposed the Bourbon monarchy in France. A militant movement, with the flashy slogan “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” and holding the “Rights of Man and of the Citizen” as its ideal, it formed the first totalitarian regime in what is known as the “Reign of Terror” in which, having murdered the king and queen, and whatever aristocrats had failed to flee its clutches, it then turned on its own, as the Jacobin club divided into warring factions, and the Montganards led by Robespierre ousted the Girondists who had led the Revolution in its early stage, sending the latter and a host of their other enemies to the guillotine before eventually being hoist on their own petard. In the nineteenth century Marxism became the leading ideology in the continental left, producing the Communist movement which in Russia, split like the Jacobins into warring factions the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks, with the former coming to power to form the Soviet Union. In Italy, when Benito Mussolini left the Communist Party to found the Fascist Party which, when in power, put the Communists in prison, this was yet another example of the left dividing into warring factions, for the repressive terror state of the Italian Fascists resembled nothing else so much as what the Bolsheviks had put in place in Russia. Even closer in its resemblance to the Soviet Union was the Third Reich in Germany, established by Adolf Hitler whose rise to power began with his taking over a German labour party and transforming it into the National Socialist German Workers Party. Hitler, who fully acknowledged his debt to Marxism, gave his party the name of two nineteenth century left-wing movements – socialism, of course, but also nationalism which was recognized as liberal, progressive, and left-wing in the nineteenth century because its basic concept, the sovereignty of the nation, came from the philosophy of Rousseau and had been used by the French Revolutionaries to challenge the sovereignty of the king. The Nazis were revolutionaries rather than reactionaries. That they themselves recognized this is reflected in the words of the Horst Wessel Lied. They were fundamentally opposed to everything that the right stood for, whether it be the king, aristocracy, and church of classical Tory conservatism or the classical liberal individualism and middle class capitalism of the American right.

- Nazism was the bastard child of Communism and imitated its parent’s evils – secret police, show trials, mass murders, forced labour and other worse types of camps, etc. - but it was a short-lived threat that died with its Fuhrer in a bunker in Germany in 1945. The same cannot be said of Communism which retained the power that it had seized in Russia in 1917 until 1990, conquered a much larger portion of the world than Nazism had, retained control of it longer – the Communist Party is still in power in China today – and committed atrocities on an even larger scale, having murdered over 100 million people in the last century. It is only Communism that has a vested interest in promoting the idea that its estranged child, Nazism, is a universal threat that can pop up anywhere at any time and if you look closely at the various anti-racist or antifa activist groups today I suspect that you will find that apart from Christophobic hate groups like the Anti-Defamation League and hypocritical money-making scams like the Southern Poverty Law Centre they are virtually all fronts for Stalinist, Maoist, and other Marxist-Leninist organizations.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why We Need the Monarchy

With His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston’s term as Governor General of Canada coming to an end a new vice-regal representative has been chosen. Her name is Julie Payette, she hails from Montreal, Quebec, and has an impressive resume albeit one that is rather unusual for the position for which she has been selected. At first a computer engineer, she underwent training as an astronaut in the 1990s and served in this capacity for most of the first decade of this century. Her experience as an astronaut included flights into space aboard both the Discovery and the Endeavour shuttles. The National Post quoted Robert Finch, the Dominion Chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, as saying that this breaking of new ground in appointing someone whose experience is outside the political provides “a good opportunity for her to elevate that office right across the country.” Juxtaposed with Finch’s comments was one by Philippe Lagasse of Carleton University who is quoted as saying:

The reaction might be, well, look, why do we need Royals when we can have such stellar people as our head of state, as opposed to our head of state’s representative? It calls into question, I would say, the necessity of having the monarchy.

Thanks to decades of failure on the part of our educational system to teach our history and civics with the respect they deserve there are many, sadly, who would like to complete the Liberal Party’s agenda of Americanizing our country by turning it into a republic. While this sentiment is most often found on the left, there are, sadly, a number of prominent neoconservatives – or perhaps pseudoconservatives would be the more appropriate term – such as Anthony Furey, Lorne Gunter, and J. J. McCullough who have also indicated their support for republicanism. Conversely, of course, there are a handful of individuals on the left who as staunch monarchists are better conservatives than the aforementioned. Green Party leader Elizabeth May is one, the late leader of the NDP, Jack Layton, was another. The following is my answer to republicans, whether of the left or the phony right, who raise this question.

First, the false Canadian nationalism that says that we should become a republic and have someone who was born and who lives here as our head of state, goes against the very idea of Canada.

150 years ago the Fathers of Confederation had a certain idea in mind when they founded our country. The building blocks out of which they fashioned the Dominion of Canada were the provinces of the British Empire that had remained loyal when the Thirteen Colonies rebelled and which had fought alongside the British army in repelling the American invaders in the War of 1812. The idea the Fathers of Confederation had, was to join these provinces into a federation that would be large enough and strong enough to resist being pulled into the orbit of the United States whose institutions would not be drawn up from scratch based on the abstract ideals of Enlightenment philosophy, like those of the United States, but would be borrowed with some appropriate adaptation from those of the United Kingdom with which we would deliberately maintain our connection. The monarchy that America’s Fathers rejected, the Fathers of Confederation embraced and to say that Canada ought to replace the monarch with some other kind of head of state is like saying that the United States ought to abandon “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for “death, slavery, and the pursuit of misery.”

Second, a hereditary, royal, monarch is the best possible head of state. Although this is considered heresy in our democratic modern age it is nevertheless easily demonstrated to be true. A legislative assembly consists of elected representatives. Except for city-states small enough to include all of their citizens in the assembly this will inevitably the case. Our legislative assembly, the House of Commons, is formed by members elected as the representatives of constituencies. This, by the way, is the best way to elect an assembly. The alternatives, such as proportional representation, that are much touted by progressives today, would have the effect of producing a more partisan, ideological, assembly in which the representatives, even more than is already the case, would be accountable only to their party and its party line. This would in no way be an improvement. The members are ideological and partisan enough as it is, but it is the role of each to represent and speak for the interests of the constituency which elected him. None of them represents the country as a whole, nor do the parties to which they belong. Even the Prime Minister, who heads the party that commands at most a majority, often merely a plurality, of the elected members, does not represent the country as a whole. This most important of roles falls to the head of state. For the head of state to perform this role properly she must be above partisan politics. This cannot be the case if the office is filled by popular election. Consider last year’s presidential election in our southern neighbour, the hostility and division it generated and how the United States remains bitterly divided still.

There is another dimension to the way in which a royal monarch can represent the whole of a country in its unity better than any president. A royal monarch inherits the throne from those who reigned over the country in past generations and passes the throne on to those who will reign over future generations. A monarchy, therefore, embodies and represents the organic unity of a country over time. This is sorely needed in our day and age as a counter to the temptation to forget the past and ignore the future in pursuit of our interests in the present.

Those who point to the unpopularity of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in comparison with his mother as an argument for breaking with the monarchy at the next secession fail completely to grasp these points. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very popular indeed but the republicans see the relative unpopularity of the Prince of Wales in the present as an excuse for robbing future generations of a more popular king and queen. Furthermore, it is precisely the fact that the monarchy does not derive its legitimacy from the fickle whims of a present day electorate but from tradition, that the monarch can transcend partisan politics to represent the country as a whole. Those who make an idol out of democracy would do well to pay heed to G. K. Chesterton’s wise words about how “tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.”

It is a fiction of liberal and American thought that equates hereditary monarchy with tyranny. Plato and Aristotle knew better and warned that democracy was the seed from which tyranny springs. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is called both “the father of modern democracy” and “the father of totalitarianism” for a reason. The government should be the voice of the “general will” of the people, he maintained – democracy – and those who dissent from the general will must be “forced to be free” and if he resists exiled or put to death – totalitarianism. Those most susceptible to being corrupted by power are those who desire it for themselves and to be elected to office, a person must first run, thereby indicating his desire for power. Tyrants, typically, begin as demagogues who rally the masses behind them and history’s most notorious despots are those who saw themselves as belonging to and speaking for the common folk, as the first among equals or, in Orwell’s phrase “Big Brother.”

The monarch who, by contrast, stands in loco parentis to the nation is a safeguard against tyranny. Sir Winston Churchill famously observed that had we not at the insistence of the Americans forced the monarchs of Austria and Germany off their thrones at the end of the First World War, Adolf Hitler would never have risen to power. In our own country freedom, as John Farthing and Eugene Forsey pointed out, “wears a crown” and the Liberal Party started us down the path to Prime Ministerial dictatorship eighty-nine years ago by challenging the royal prerogative to refuse a requested dissolution of Parliament and so hold the Prime Minister accountable to the assembly.

Our monarchy is, as the Fathers of Confederation intended, the source of internal unity in our country. The first English Canadians were the Loyalists who refused to join in the Thirteen Colonies’ rebellion against the Crown, were consequently persecuted by the American republicans, and fled up here. It was also the Crown which offered protection to the language, religion, and culture of the French Canadians against Puritan bigotry and with whom the native tribes entered into treaties. Immigrants who wish to become citizens have been required to pledge their allegiance to the monarchy thus joining them into our national unity. The monarchy is also, however, and this is my final point, our connection with something beyond our own borders, something larger than our own country.

It is as Queen of Canada that Elizabeth II reigns over us. It is as the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland that she reigns over Great Britain. The distinction between the two crowns is an important one because the one country is not subservient to the other. That the same person wears both crowns is also important because it joins the two countries with each other – and with Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu over each of which Elizabeth II reigns as Queen. The crowns are distinct, none of these countries is subservient to any of the others, and each parliament passes laws for its own country and not for the others. Yet through the Queen who reigns over all of us we are connected.

A connection with other nations of this sort that in no way infringes upon our own right to pass our own laws and determine our own policies is a rare and precious heritage. The kind of “nationalism” that would throw this away is introspective and short-sighted and completely out of sync with the spirit of the Fathers of Confederation. Let us, as true Canadian patriots, ever be on our guard against this kind of thinking.

Congratulations to Julie Payette on her appointment. May she remember what Liberal nominees have been prone to forget in recent decades, that the job of the Governor General is to represent the Queen in Canada and not to represent Canada to the world.

God save the Queen!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Obnoxious Self-Righteous Jerks versus Basic Human Decency

The late Fred Phelps was a man who earned for himself the reputation of being a jerk. Not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, jerk, either, but a jerk on such a scale that the character which Denis Leary portrayed in the song “Asshole” from his 1993 album No Cure For Cancer had absolutely nothing on him. It is not just that the founder and “pastor” of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas disavowed the conventional Christian wisdom that God hates the sin but loves the sinner and that we ought to do the same in favour of an extreme five-point Calvinism that proclaimed God’s literal hatred for certain people. It is also, and perhaps most importantly, the way he choose to publicize his message. It requires an astonishing level of low-life creepiness to intrude upon the grief of people who are mourning the loss of a loved one by picketing a funeral. Indeed, perhaps the kindest thing that can be said in Mr. Phelp’s favour, is that he never – at least to the best of my knowledge – took it a step further and attempted to prevent the funerals he picketed from taking place.

As we shall see in a moment, that cannot be said of certain other people. First, however, let us consider just how contrary to the wisdom of the ages this sort of thing actually is.

Of the ancient Greek poets, none was more inspiring and influential than Homer, the epic poet of the eighth century BC. The most important of his works was the Iliad the story of which is set in the last year of the Trojan War. The many different conflicts and intrigues that take place among gods and men over the course of the poem’s twenty four books are tied together by the poem’s theme, identified in its very first line: μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος “Sing goddess, of the wrath of Achilles, son of Peleus.” At the beginning of the poem, that wrath is directed against Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the leader of the Greek forces. Achilles, in his anger withdraws his Myrmidons from the war. His mother Thetis secures from Zeus the promise that the tide of the war will go against the Greeks until Agamemnon gives Achilles the honour he deserves and he returns to the war. When the Trojans are on the verge of burning the Greek ships, Achilles’ closest friend Patroclus obtains his permission to lead the Myrmidon army back into the battle. Wearing Achilles’ own armour, Patroclus is mistaken for Achilles and, ignoring the latter’s instructions to fight only in defence of the ships, he drives the Trojans back to their city where he is killed by the crown prince of Troy, Hector. At this point Achilles’ wrath turns from Agamemnon to Hector, and he re-enters the war himself, lays waste to the Trojan forces, and eventually kills Hector. Then, however, Achilles takes his wrath too far. Rather than turn the body of Hector over to the Trojans for proper burial, he ties it to his chariot and drags it around the walls of Ilium. This is in violation of the laws of the gods but he continues to do this until his mother arrives from Olympus with a message from Zeus telling him in no uncertain terms to knock it off. So rebuked, Achilles turns the body over to Hector’s father, King Priam, when he, smuggled by Hermes into the Greek camp, pleads for it, and assures Priam that he will make the Greeks abide by an armistice that will allow Priam sufficient time to bury Hector with all the proper honours.

The idea that it is against divine law to refuse a proper burial even to an enemy recurs in the Antigone, one of three surviving tragedies by fifth century BC playwright Sophocles that deal with the curse that Oedipus brings upon himself and his city, Thebes, by unwittingly killing his father and marrying his mother. After Oedipus learned the truth, blinded himself, and went into exile one of his sons, Eteocles, drove the other, Polynices, into exile. The latter found refuge in Argos where he married the daughter of king Adrastus who then supported him in an expedition against Eteocles in Thebes. In the course of the battle, both brothers were killed. Creon, Oedipus’ uncle/brother-in-law was then made king of Thebes and he decreed that Eteocles was to be fully honoured, but Polynices was to be left to rot, imposing capital punishment upon anyone who defied this edict. This is where the Antigone begins for the title character, daughter of Oedipus, refuses to obey the edict and performs the burial rites for her brother. Although he is warned by the seer Tiresias, Creon persists in defying the law of the gods and orders Antigone to be buried alive. Divine judgement falls upon him in the loss of his own house, as his son Haemon who had been betrothed to Antigone kills himself in anger and grief, to be followed into suicide immediately thereafter by his mother Eurydice.

That one ought not to interfere with the proper burial even of those who were your enemies was evidently an idea that the Greeks felt rather strongly about. The Romans had a saying, de mortuus nil nisi bonum dicendum est – “about the dead, nothing except good, must be spoken” – which, while not entirely the same concept, nevertheless indicates a sort of consensus among the ancients, that the grievances we have against people in their lives ought to be buried with them in the grave and must not be allowed to interfere with the duty owed by the living to the dead.

There are some here in Canada today, I am sorry to say, who disagree with the wisdom of the ancients and have recently shown it in actions that make Fred Phelps look classy by comparison. It is not merely the ancient tradition dictating respect for the dead and mourning that they have disregarded, however, in their recent attempts to shut down a memorial service for an Ontario lawyer, but some of the most foundational principles of our system of justice. Their indecorous posthumous vendetta against this woman is based entirely upon who her clients were. One of the fundamental principles of our system of justice is that it is better for the guilty to escape punishment than for the innocent to be unjustly condemned. This too is a principle with ancient antecedents. Socrates argument against Polus in Plato’s Gorgias that it is better to suffer wrong than to commit it is one example, Abraham’s negotiations with God over the fate of the righteous in the condemned cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis is another. Upon this foundation rest such other basic principles as the right of the accused to confront his accuser and to be considered innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial. Imagine what would happen to these principles if we were to allow the precedent to be established that defence advocates are to be treated as participants in the guilt of their clients.

If that were not bad enough in this case the lawyer’s clients were not people accused of crimes that are universally recognized as such – murder, robbery, rape and the like – but rather of thought crimes.

There is a backstory to all of this that goes back several decades. For a long time certain groups lobbied Parliament to have laws against “hate literature” passed. NB that hate literature does not mean literature that literally expresses hatred of the “I hate you, you lousy rotten sonuvabitch, I wish you were dead” type but rather literature that portrays racial and religious groups in a negative light. Unless, that is, the racial and religious groups are whites or Christians. In the 1960s, Lester Pearson appointed a committee to look into this and in 1971 Pierre Trudeau, who had been a member of that committee, added Section 318, the “hate propaganda” clause, to the Criminal Code. Those who wanted these laws were still unsatisfied, because those charged under this law were entitled to the full protection of the rights of a defendant and so Trudeau passed the Canadian Human Rights Act which prohibited discrimination in 1977 and this included Section 13 that defined the communication via telephone of anything “likely to” expose a member of a protected group to “hatred or contempt” as a discriminatory act. Later Jean Chretien would add Section 13 b) that extended this to all electronic communication to cover the internet as well. Since the Canadian Human Rights Act is considered civil rather than criminal law it was much easier to charge and convict people under this law than under Section 318.

For anyone acquainted with the history of the Soviet Union and other totalitarian regimes or with the body of literature by authors such as Arthur Koestler, George Orwell, and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn that shone a light on the nature of such regimes the outcome of these laws will be chillingly familiar. A list of prohibited books was drawn up which were seized at customs and removed from libraries, public and academic. About a decade after these laws were passed widely publicized show trials of a handful of individuals accused of this new form of crimethink were held. The press tried these individuals in the court of a public opinion which they manufactured by making these individuals the subjects of a two-minute hate but remained largely mute about the much larger number of people who were being dragged before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunals under Section 13.

That would change, of course, in the late 2000s when two magazines with national circulation were charged under the provincial equivalents of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Hoist with its own petard, the media which had stood by and said nothing while Section 13 was used to ruin the lives of Canadians for daring to express forbidden thoughts, but now aware of the threat to its own freedom, began to report on Warman v. Lemire, the last Section 13 case to be heard by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. The light this shed on Section 13 and the shady behaviour of the Canadian Human Rights Commission generated enough of a backlash that Conservative MP Brian Storseth was able to garner sufficient support in Parliament for a bill that brought about the repeal of Section 13. Nevertheless, there is much more work that needs to be done to completely rollback this Soviet-style thought control and recover the atmosphere of freedom that Canadians used to know and which our Common Law birthright as subjects of the Crown.

In this fight for traditional Canadian freedoms against this kind of soft totalitarianism those who deserve the most honour are those who stood up against it from the beginning. It is one thing to speak out when someone tries to censor MacLean’s magazine. The true test of commitment to freedom of conscience, thought, and speech is when you dare to speak out when they go after an Ernst Zündel, James Keegstra, or John Ross Taylor. This is a point that Pastor Martin Niemöller would certainly have understood. Foremost among those who demonstrated such commitment were BC lawyer Doug Christie and his long-time associate Barbara Kulaszka of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Although Christie, who passed away four years ago, was the better known of the two, Kulaszka had been a key figure in the fight for free speech from the beginning, when she worked alongside Christie in the Zündel case back in the 1980s. She passed away from cancer this year on the fifteenth of June.

The Canadian Association for Free Expression rented space in the Richview Public Library in Toronto for the purpose of holding a memorial service for Kulaszka last Wednesday. When word of this got out several individuals and organizations placed pressure on the Toronto Public Library system to cancel the event and a number of newspapers and other media outlets expressed manufactured outrage when the library, to its credit, refused to do this. Keep in mind that this was a memorial service – an occasion for those who had known Kulaszka, had worked with her, and whom she had defended in court, to remember her and pay her public tribute. It was not, despite the dishonest way in which it has been reported in many media sources, something akin to a Klan rally.

Overlooked and ignored by Kulaszka’s detractors is the fact that while many of her clients are said to have expressed admiration for Nazism and the Third Reich and questioned the accuracy of the crimes and atrocities attributed to it – I use the words “said to” because hate speech laws by their very nature are intended to prevent us from having access to what the thought criminal has actually said and to force us to rely upon the word of hate speech experts, themselves extremely hostile to the thought criminals, to tell us what they think and say - in fighting on their behalf against those who sought to penalize them for their ideas she was fighting, not for the ideology of National Socialism, but for the principles of freedom and justice that belong to the tradition of Great Britain and the Commonwealth – the countries that went to war to defeat Nazism. It is this desire to silence people with laws that penalize them for their thoughts and words that lies behind the hate laws that Kulaszka fought against which is akin to the spirit of the totalitarianism that was Nazism, not her brave and dedicated efforts to fight this tyranny.

So who are these people who are so utterly lacking in class as to begrudge Kulaszka her memorial?

Well, there are the politicians of course. John Tory, the present mayor of Hogtown, and Toronto City Councillors James Pasternak and John Campbell all gave quotes to the media expressing their dismay over the library’s decision to allow the memorial. Politicians being what they are it is reasonable to suspect that if the media had taken the opposite approach to the story they would have been quoted as supporting the library’s decision. So take their words for the nothing they are worth.

Then there are the usual suspects – the professional anti-bigots. Richard Warman, Bernie Farber, and Warren Kinsella were all on hand to vent their impotent rage at the library that actually dared to defy their edict as to who should or should not be allowed to rent public facilities for a memorial service. It is easy to see why these three are so upset. Warman, whom the media describe as a “human rights lawyer”, is a former investigator for the Canadian Human Rights Commission who went on to become the complainant in the vast majority of Section 13 cases. Farber was the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress until it was swallowed up by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs about six years ago. The CJC was the chief organization that lobbied for hate literature laws before the Liberals acquiesced and while this was before Farber’s time as CEO he was himself an avid supporter of hate laws throughout his career. Kinsella, lawyer, Liberal Party strategist, and political commentator, has also been an outspoken advocate of hate laws over the years. It is people like this, who have devoted their lives to the cause of fighting views that they perceive to be bigotry, who, blinded by their zeal, seem incapable of distinguishing between lawyers and their clients or understanding that those who hold the views they object to do not thereby forfeit their rights.

Smug, soulless, and absolutely convinced of their own righteousness, they see no need for showing the basic human decency of allowing their opponents to mourn their dead in peace, and so they have been carrying on with the lack of class we have come to associate with Westboro Baptist Church. Is it that surprising, therefore, to learn that Fred Phelps in his first career, before starting Westboro Baptist Church, was a lawyer who specialized in racial discrimination cases?