Welcome to Radio VDARE and I’m your host Virginia Dare.
The Catholic bishops in this country and Pope Francis have both taken strong stances in favor of Open Borders. Pope Francis was picking fights with Donald Trump even before our president was elected. And Catholic Charities relies heavily on the taxpayer dollars they receive for “refugee resettlement.” It’s no wonder that Steve Bannon, a faithful Catholic, stated the Church needs illegal aliens to “fill the pews” [Stephen Bannon rips the Catholic Church for ‘needing illegal aliens’ to fill the pews, The Week, September 7, 2017].
The media tried to frame this as an offensive statement. But Bannon’s statement actually contained a profound truth. Faith is one of the bedrocks of a people. Without faith, without a certain common cultural framework for people to know right from wrong, to uphold standards and to give people a concept of the sublime, a people withers away. It’s no surprise that the West’s decline really accelerated when Christianity was purged from the public square.
But what about the institutions that remain. Many churches, not just the Roman Catholic Church, seem to be trying to replace their traditional parishioners with immigrants. But all that seems to accomplish is to hasten the decline.
There’s nothing inherent in the Catholic faith which requires admitting unlimited immigration. Catholics aren’t morally obligated to oppose President Trump. Yet there’s a more important point.
The claims of egalitarianism which many liberal Catholics have adopted will ultimately undermine the Catholic Church itself. In many ways, it already has. When the Church moves to the left or compromises its teaching in order to become more acceptable to modernity, it doesn’t win new converts. It simply demoralizes the faithful, who then stay home. And it’s not a great victory for the American church that it has become so heavily dependent on money from the federal government that it receives for importing foreigners.
The national churches which are still strong are those that buttress the national identity. Consider Poland, where religious faith and the Catholic Church is still relatively strong compared to the rest of Europe. Recently, thousands of Poles gathered at the borders of their nation to pray for the salvation of Europe and their country. The event “Rosary at the Borders” was timed to coincide with the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, a great victory for Europe against Islamic invaders [Polish Catholics Gather at Border for Vast Rosary Prayer Event, by Joanna Berendt and Megan Specia, New York Times, October 7, 2017].
Needless to say, the challenges facing the Catholic Church aren’t just limited to that denomination. Mostly conservative evangelicals in the United States are facing a concerted effort to turn their own churches into neutered equivalents of the mainline Protestant denominations. Heading the effort is Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethnics and Religious Liberty Commission. Unfortunately for Moore, his efforts to kiss up to the New York Times and turn American Christianity into a kind of establishment church for the managerial state has sparked a passionate rebellion among many American evangelicals. Even now, President Donald Trump can count on no more stalwart allies than the evangelical community.
Still, it’s disheartening that American Christians of almost every denomination have to push back against a top-down driven campaign to dispossess them. It’s especially disheartening when churches have no problem with identity politics for blacks, Hispanics, Asians and every group which exists, but suddenly declares white identity politics is a “sin.” It makes it hard to take any of them seriously.
We know how this story ends. The mainline Protestant denominations are practically defined by their far-left political activism. And, not surprisingly, they are bleeding members. The Catholic Church lost much of its worldwide power and influence following Vatican II and the push to liberalize the church. Those who argue the churches must liberalize are simply not arguing in good faith.
Ultimately, the struggle for Christians to save their churches is, tactically, the same as the one facing Americans who want to save their nation. We are being betrayed by an elite which has, in many ways, been bought off. But the power still lies with the grassroots, and with the people. And ultimately, the nation will not be saved unless the church is as well. Because since the beginning of this country, the two have always depended on one another.
I’m Virginia Dare and we’ll talk again soon.