Huntington contra Hispanic immigration

The Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington has published a long article in Foreign Policy called “The Hispanic Challenge.” It begins with this amazingly blunt paragraph, which sounds as if it was written by one of us:

The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other Latinos have not assimilated into mainstream U.S. culture, forming instead their own political and linguistic enclaves—from Los Angeles to Miami—and rejecting the Anglo-Protestant values that built the American dream. The United States ignores this challenge at its peril.

(Note: the web version of the article is distributed over 12 web pages, so the reader has to keep clicking to continue reading.)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 24, 2004 02:25 PM | Send

The article is apparently an excerpt from Huntington’s newest book. Brooks has a NYT column out on it.

And Steve Sailer has a response to Brooks’ column on his website.

Posted by: Thrasymachus on February 24, 2004 2:33 PM

And clicking on the Print button will put the Huntington article on a single (long) page.

Posted by: Thrasymachus on February 24, 2004 2:35 PM

Sailer gets pret-ty blunt in his blog entry about Brooks:

“Something I’m noticing more and more is that pro-illegal immigration New York neocons like Brooks and Tamar Jacoby don’t know anything about Mexicans. Growing up in NYC, Mexico was completely off their cultural radar. Nor do they really care anything about Mexicans either. What they actually care about, intensely, is refighting with WASPs like Huntington an 80-year-old battle over Ellis Island immigration. To the New York neocons, Mexicans are interesting only as abstract placeholders in the ever-crucial battle to prove that the WASPs shouldn’t have cut back on immigration in 1924. To moderate the level of immigration today would be to symbolically betray their great aunts who came in at Ellis Island.

“Can’t we, instead, just declare that bygones are bygones and start focusing on the present and the future?”

Or, as I wrote in my 1997 pamphlet Huddled Clichés, commenting on the following pro-immigration slogan:

“‘As descendants of immigrants, it would be selfish and immoral of us to support immigration restrictions.’

“For many descendants of European immigrants, particularly Jews, this is the decisive pro-immigration argument. Even when they agree (however reluctantly) that current immigration is leading to intractable problems for America, they remain emotionally incapable of supporting actual restrictions on immigration, since in their minds that would mean embracing the same prejudices that were once directed against their parents and grandparents. They have a primal fear that to criticize immigration at all would be tantamount to saying that they themselves don’t belong in this country. Former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz seemed to reflect such sentiments when he remarked that it would be “unseemly” for him as a Jew to side with immigration restrictionists.”

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 24, 2004 3:03 PM

This article is extremely good news. It will broaden the discussion of immigration and shift the criticism of the Latin invasion to a sturdier position on the right, making obsolete the mushy arguments we have been getting from Victor Davis Hanson and his ilk at National Review. Huntington is as right about Latins as he was about Muslims. Score: Huntington 2, Neo-cons 0.

Posted by: Paul C. on February 24, 2004 3:37 PM

Here is the direct link to the one page version of the Huntington article, which also includes tables:

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 24, 2004 3:47 PM

Huntington himself grew up in the Bronx, presumably a lonely WASP there. (Just like Norman Rockwell.) He probably had plenty of contact with Puerto Ricans, who are already citizens and as assimilated as (non-Iberian) Hispanics are ever likely to be. If so, it left him unimpressed.

Really, these advocate “grandnephews” ought to consider to whom their primary obligation lies— the folks the great aunts left, or the folks they sailed thousands of miles to join. There may be a significant difference in attitude here between groups whose ancestors were more or less pushed out of countries they didn’t control (Jews, Irish, Armenians), and those who made a clean break with their peoples (Germans, Poles, Italians).

(And yes, I do know about Dan Stein and Mark Krikorian…)

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on February 24, 2004 3:48 PM

The dynamic that is being ignored here is the relationship between the state and society. Many are perplexed at the seeming contradiction of allowing welfare tourists to invade the country. Yet they fail to perceive that the state’s health lies in conflict, if you have a healthy industrious people, well there’s little need for much in the way of governance. If on the other hand if you have internal turmoil its great for all the states lackeys, good jobs supervising behaviour and moderating group privileges. Look at Canada and the process of how minorities get in control. Up here, since “official” bilingualism was imposed it created tremendous opportunities for the small section of the population who could speak both languages. Since the majority of anglophones had no need to learn french, they’ve been put at a perpetual disadvantage into entering government service. So just 35 years into the experiment and this lingustic minority is running the whole show, goverment, media, industry. Americans face an establishment order that is ardently pursuing this as a permanent social construct, the difference is that is citizens are heavily armed so I anticipate a different result when it reachs its crisis point. Why does no one ever ask the question as to why ten percent of mexico’s population is seeking refugee status in America? Never has a goverment been given immunity from critism like mexico has from our press over the last ten years, its exploitation of its natural wealth in relation to the treatment of is citizens is starkly medieval. Obviously moral relativism has less trajectory than I previously imagined, the shortest distance across the rio grande seems exceed its range.

Posted by: Being there on February 24, 2004 4:11 PM

Peter Sellers/Chancy Gardner (Being There) makes an excellent point. There has been an extraordinary increase in bilingualism and multilingualism - not just in the gov’t sphere but in corporate culture. It seems no matter who you call or what product you look at - the greeting or label verbage is half in Spanish (& often French too). Most companies that started this trend 10-15 yrs ago justified it because they had big market exposure in California or Florida. Now that justification is no longer needed. Heck, even if you sell widgets mainly in New England or Minnesota, you can probably justify devoting a quarter of your marketing literature to spanish language stuff and paying extra to bilingual customer service reps. This insidious trend is reinforcing the multicultural model and giving an advantage to corporate progressives who seek to exploit it. It would be interesting to know to what extent state & federal gov’ts give hiring preference to bilingual people. To my knowledge, nobody has analyzed the cost to US businesses to convert their marketing practices & customer service to the bi/multilingual model. Combined with the money spent changing education & government to accomodate ESL-types it must be significant.

Posted by: Chris M. on February 24, 2004 5:50 PM

No need to “keep clicking”. The secret to reading these multi-page articles is choosing the “printer friendly” or “print” option, which usually puts it on a single long page. That seems to be true for this one.

Even if you don’t intend to print it out, it’s often more readable online in that form, too.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on February 25, 2004 2:55 AM

Huntington should calm down. Hispanics are not the unassimilable bloc he portrays.
He does mention the scale and durability of German immigration in the 1850s and 1860s, but lost from popular consciousness is the extent to which that immigrant group retained, promoted and taught its language and culture after arrival in the United States. Rural Midwest and Western states from Nebraska to Kansas to the Dakotas and Minnesota in the 1880s and 1890s boasted German-language communities that were able to organize to the point of establishing extensive German-language school networks. Some states even considered German as an official language. Language retention was not impaired the way it was for ethnics in big Eastern cities. (Ex: It was said, and I am unable to confirm, that Eisenhower had relatives in Kansas who had never really mastered English.)
Eventually, World War I destroyed the legitimacy of broad German education and culture in the USA, and school systems, etc shrunk.
German a century later has followed the steep decline of all other ethnic languages after the 2nd generation.
Basically, though, time and acculturation did their work, as they will with Hispanics, who are after all Christians, motivated to improve their economic lot, and enthusiastic Americans most often by the 3rd generation.

Posted by: dwinch on February 25, 2004 10:27 AM

Dwinch’s comments are not responsive to Huntington’s article. Thus Dwinch writes that “Hispanics … are after all Christians, motivated to improve their economic lot, and enthusiastic Americans most often by the 3rd generation.”

But one of Huntington’s tables shows that even in the third (!) generation, only 60 percent of Hispanics speak English at home. With most other groups in the past, by the second generation, almost 100 percent would speak English at home. And since when do we have to wait for the third (!) generation before an immigrant group becomes enthusiastic Americans! But that’s not the case anyway, as in Miami where, as Huntington shows, an independent Hispanic culture has taken shape, not a part of the American culture. Also, many Hispanics are not motivated toward upward mobility, as Huntington shows.

It is sheer know-nothingism to equate Hispanic immigration today with German immigration in the 19th century.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 25, 2004 10:39 AM

Also, Dwinch should understand that telling people on the other side of a debate to “calm down” is not a legitimate response. The issue here is not Huntington’s mood but what he’s saying about this subject.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 25, 2004 10:46 AM

Some salient comments from dwinch but he fails to acknowledge the most significant point - it took a war with the Heimat to force the issue. Otherwise he’s correct, people would still be speaking german as first language all through the Ohio valley.

What most people don’t want to address is how group dynamics that are driven by race and religion causes a mindset which reinforces ones own cultural authenticy in the context of resideing in an immigrant community.

For example people in France never really need to stop and comptemplate their Frenchness, but someone who finds themself in a foreign environment, well, then who you are really matters.

The irony of the situation is that mexico is a shit hole, plain and simple. My parents came here from scotland because - its a shit hole, no illusions. No one’s ever going to convince me wearing a dress is for a guy. Yet, these migrants romanticize it and begin the process of turning where they now are into Mexico. Human psycho-pathology, wounded pride and what people are shamed or honor by are the bromide of the reconquest, just like cancer, it succeeds when it kills its host and ultimately itself.

Many here choose to comment on the procedural, not the substantive human questions, people used to immigrate here because they new it was better, plain and simple. Multiculturalism has allowed an elaborate collection of lies and excuses that provide an irrational justification in many immigrant communities as to why they’re actually in north america. Do they really believe that they’re doing the natives a favour? I think many do, having bought into the belief that minorities have a right to ideological militancy, while the majority will forever sit idly by and pick up the tab.

The illusion is fragile, the next round of terror attacks will shatter them completely. There is a an frightfully high level of subconcious frustration in white americans, who’ve been told for the last 40 years that they’re involvement in the formation and execution of these policies lies only in picking up the social cost. The state says, “Look your new brothers, treat them a such”, while to immigrants its “Look, strangers, treat them a such”. These conflicting perceptions form a volatile mixture, the denouement will come as it always has throughout history, driven by the all to human desire for rectification of greviances. Igniting it will be simple and tragically unavoidable.

Posted by: being there on February 25, 2004 11:08 AM

I am simply pointing out that large immigrant blocs (Germans, Italians) have been assimilated in the past, and the broad forces of American culture/economics still push/pull young Hispanics toward English and the American mainstream;

as for Huntington’s cultural-attitude analyses, how can he be taken seriously when in the space of a single article he points out ominously that biggest banks and other business employers in Miami are run by Hispanics (granted, Cubans) but that money does not have the same motivating incentive in Catholic Hispanic culture?

the Mexican urban concentrations combined with Spanish media ARE unique compared with turn of the century immigrant patterns, and bilingual education is generally a ghetto, but over time Hispanics are subject to the same assimilating power of American culture as any other group.

Posted by: dwinch on February 25, 2004 11:20 AM

I am simply pointing out that large immigrant blocs (Germans, Italians) have been assimilated in the past, and the broad forces of American culture/economics still push/pull young Hispanics toward English and the American mainstream;

as for Huntington’s cultural-attitude analyses, how can he be taken seriously when in the space of a single article he points out ominously that biggest banks and other business employers in Miami are run by Hispanics (granted, Cubans) but that money does not have the same motivating incentive in Catholic Hispanic culture?

the Mexican urban concentrations combined with Spanish media ARE unique compared with turn of the century immigrant patterns, and bilingual education is generally a ghetto, but over time Hispanics are subject to the same assimilating power of American culture as any other group.

Posted by: dwinch on February 25, 2004 11:22 AM

I am a Cuban-born, American attorney in Miami. My family and I emigrated legally to the U.S. in 1965. The attitude of the Cuban community for a long time was that we were exiles because we left Cuba, not for economic reasons, but due to the totalitarian communist regime that had come to power. The majority of Cubans who fled Castro’s island between 1959 and 1973 were political refugees and almost all of us became conservative, anti-communist Republicans. My generation (I am 42 years old) successfully assimilated into American culture, while retaining a respect for our parents’ historical roots and a hope that Cuba would one day be free. But first and foremost we think of ourselves as Americans. We are deeply grateful to this country and we admire its political and cultural traditions. The Cuban experience, however, is significantly different from that of many Mexicans who are economic refugees and have no intention of adopting the Anglo-Saxon tradition, which is what made this country great. This is why Cubans do not call themselves “Latino” and are politically right of center.

Miami is a Hispanic enclave and in many respects feels like a foreign city in comparison to the rest of the country. One of the reasons for this was the damaging impact of the Mariel boat-lift (for which you can thank Jimmy Carter) and immigration from other countries in Latin America. The first generation of Cuban immigrants, which consisted primarily of white, educated, middle to upper middle-class Cubans who came here for ideological reasons, did not intend to transform Miami into little Havana anymore than the Irish intended to transform Boston into little Dublin. I think it was the lack of a competing dominant group, the financial success of my generation, and the economic backwardness of Miami in the early 60s that led to this result.

Mr. Huntington’s thesis is correct. The waves of illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America are undermining American culture and unless a radical change in policy occurs I fear that the traditionalist concept of America, which Cubans like me honor and esteem, will die.

Posted by: Manny Alvarez on February 25, 2004 11:43 AM

The stars are beginning to align on the issue of immigration. Yesterday, Huntington. Today, Greenspan wants social security benefits reduced, because of budget deficits. It will not be long before people start asking that if there is such a social security crisis:

*why are SSI/Medicaid benefits going to illegals?

*why is the Bush administration planning on implementing Social Security Totalization agreements with Mexico and India that will make people living in those countries eligible for American social security benefits?

*why will those Totalization agreements make people who worked in the U.S. illegally also eligible?

*why will those Totalization agreements make all foreign citizens who worked in the U.S. eligible for American social even if they didn’t work the same required period of time that Americans must work to be eligible?

*why are American hospitals and schools required to take in illegal aliens and pay for their education, medication, food, and medical procedures?

Posted by: Paul C. on February 25, 2004 12:40 PM

Is dwinch aware of any German-American group that had an ideology that 1) part of America was its historical homeland 2) they were the rightful (perhaps only rightful) inhabitants of said land and 3)called for the secession of said part of the United States and 4) had chapters in hundreds of high schools and colleges?

Try googling Mecha. It’s real, dude!

Posted by: Mitchell Young on February 25, 2004 3:25 PM

Mitchell Young and others are right. German-Americans who retained much German identification, or even language, after the first generation were a distinct minority, limited to some plains states and Pennsylvania. I might add that even those who continued to speak German had little contact with Germany and spoke rather archaic dialects. The implication that German-American assimilation and even identification with the United States had to be forced during the World Wars is totally unwarranted, as is any comparison with Hispanic immigration.
I very much doubt that any of Eisenhower’s relatives were still German-speakers. His family came over in colonial times and was linguistically assimilated!
Dwinch may be half right on one point. It is quite possible that the Hispanics who are already here can be assimilated — in the long run, longer than other immigrants have taken— but we will have to cut off the flow and demand that they assimilate. So far, we have done neither.

Posted by: Alan Levine on February 25, 2004 4:00 PM

It’s rare to see Mexicans compared with earlier generations of Germans, who have been melded into the native population over 350 years. The usual example is Italians, specifically Sicilians.

Better to look at the Irish experience. Many have assimilated, alright, but especially in big-city enclaves you’ll find “professional Irishmen” who nurse their family’s Anglophobia and irredentism generations after they’ve left the old sod.

We laugh at this, because Irish Anglophobia and irredentism are directed at Britain, and only marginally concern us.

Mexican Anglophobia and irredentism are aimed at us. Enjoy.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on February 25, 2004 5:10 PM

Mr. Auster writes:
“The issue here is not Huntington’s mood but what he’s saying about this subject.”

No disagreement here. So why do some threads on this site have up to 100% posts concerning mental state and pop-psycological background of Bush, Kerry, neo-cons, etc? And many of those posts, usually very well written are by you, Mr. Auster.

Should not analysis of deeds, words and plans of these personalities be sufficient in almost all cases?

Posted by: Mik on February 25, 2004 8:06 PM

Mik sees something that superficially _seems_ like a contradiction, when in fact it’s not a contradiction at all. If he had thought for a minute about the differences between our discussions about Bush and this present discussion about Huntington he could have answered the question himself.

Bush has been engaging in behavior that from a political, pragmatic, logical point of view makes no sense. Also, he is a leader with an agenda, an extremely radical agenda. Therefore his possible motives for that agenda—such as the idea that he’s a “true believer,” or that he has an inordinate affection for Mexicans, or that he’s seeking soccer mom votes, or whatever—become a matter of legitimate interest in the discussion.

Huntington, by contrast, is a scholar and writer with critical views about immigration. When the poster uttered the cheap put-down that Huntington ought to “calm down,” he was not adding any useful information to our understanding of Huntington’s article, or, for that matter, any useful information as to Huntington’s reasons for taking the position he takes. Rather, he was doing what people do all the time when they want to dismiss a person’s arguments by suggesting that there is something psychologically overwrought or unbalanced with the person for taking the position he takes. When an intelligent, prominent scholar writes a serious, sober article on an issue of importance, for someone to reply by saying that the writer ought to “calm down” is not a legitimate contribution to the discussion.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on February 25, 2004 8:30 PM

Mr. Auster,

I spent quite a few minutes perusing discussions on Bush psyche. A few plausible ideas have emerged, you have listed them. So what? We still don’t know what motivates Bush. Is it his love for Mexicans? His wish to break the back of American worker? Combine USA and Mexico into Mexamerica?

But more importantly, how these guesses help one to do what is needed to defeat Bush?

Congresscritters Kolbe and Flake, both R of Arizona, are big immigration supporters. We need to punish them. There are primary challengers to both, they need money and support. Somebody here may know how to help. That would be time well spent.

Posted by: Mik on February 26, 2004 1:43 AM

During discussions on this site about creating a foreign mercenary army that would turn on American citizens, I used to joke that pretty soon the military services would join corporate America in seeking cheap labor. Very soon, I said, joining the army would just be “another job that Americans refuse to do.” Well, thanks to a link at, I know it’s not a joke anymore. The Denver Post has run a story about 1 out of 100 members of the armed forces having “unknown citizenship.” The story quotes an academic (no surprise, there): “‘military service long has been a way for immigrants “to demonstrate their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for a nation they hope to join,’ Pickus said. ‘I suspect you will find that people joining the U.S. military are shouldering burdens that most of our citizens don’t willingly undertake.’”

Posted by: Paul C. on February 26, 2004 2:17 PM

Well, it looks like the effort to marginalize Professor Huntington is well underway, judging by the tone of this article (3/2/04, Martin Finucane - Associated Press) that essentially brands Huntington a xenophobe and for providing “a baseless rationalization for anti-immigrant and anti-Mexican politics” -,0,24651.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

It is sad but predictable to see how the p.c. conformity is enforced in academia.
I wonder what the response of the Weekly Standard & WSJ will be. Same old, same old?
Will David Horowitz jump to the fore if Huntington is harassed for his views?

Posted by: Chris M on March 2, 2004 5:52 PM

The ‘hispanic challenge’ is the new form in which the original ‘challenge’ of the founding fathers appears to us…

Reservations policy was never enough… Mexican immigration is, at the end, the latest form by which native america has affirmed its presence in its territory…

It is very comfortable for Huntington to begin the histroy of ‘America’ in the 17th century…

Posted by: John on March 14, 2004 8:19 PM

Now there’s a true friend of the United States of America. For John, the gradual displacement (extending over 2 1/2 centuries) of about two million American Indians in this continent by the expanding United States, and the territorial expansion resulting from our victory over Mexico, are wrongful acts which are to paid for by the invasion and takeover of the U.S. by millions of Mexicans. Think of the state of soul of a person who gets pleasure at the destruction of his own country, whose very name he puts in scare quotes.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on March 14, 2004 8:30 PM

No, they were not necessarily ‘wrongful acts’, they are part of history. Colonization was innevitable because of the superiority of old world culture over new world one. But above -and even below- the rio grande, colonization happened mainly under the premises of ‘displacement’ and segregation. It is only logical to assume that that displacement was perhaps never perfect, unless one thinks that America and -yes- the ‘western’ countries of latin america, have some sort of escathological civilizatory mission over the new world… The mass of flow of mexican immigrants is now mainly ‘Indian’, that is, native american, in its ethnic composition, as opposed to the ruling ‘western’, white or mestizo, Mexican elite…

It is a ‘clash of civilizations’ in the Huntigtonian sense… not a ‘clash of countries’… that is just an eventuality.

Yours truly,

Souless John

Posted by: Juan on March 14, 2004 11:32 PM

>>The mass of flow of mexican immigrants is now mainly ‘Indian’, that is, native american, in its ethnic composition …>Turner is far less certain of answers to those questions than he is that cannibalism occurred. “Man Corn” offers what Turner calls a “light hypothesis” — that the wrecked bones are the work of a cult from further south, where Turner says evidence of cannibalism is abundant.

His hypothesis is that “somebody came up from Mexico around 900 and established themselves as a colony, a colony that had a cult … using cannibalism as part of their cult practice.”

While cannibalism in the Four Corners area may have served a ritual purpose, Turner believes it was primarily a means of terrorism, a way for the newcomers to quickly dominate the area.

“It wouldn’t take many cases of coming into a small farming community and terrorizing the community … (to) get everyone to do what you wanted,” he says.<<

Posted by: Paul C. on March 15, 2004 10:43 AM

The Wall Street Journal’s latest disgusting piece of open-borders agit-prop, written by Journal editorial staffer Jason Riley, is not freely available on line, but it’s been posted at Free Republic. It’s quite edifying. To the “Communists for Capitalism” at the Journal, all immigration is just wonderful, illegal immigration is part of our national tradition as much as legal immigration, and all critics of current immigration policy are simply racists and bigots. By the Journal’s lights, even the moderate and cautious Center for Immigration Studies (which assiduously avoids any reference to the ethnic and cultural aspects of immigration) is “repugnant,” linked with Nazi eugenics.

Be sure to see Reply Number 28, a magnificent summing up of the issue.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on March 16, 2004 12:25 AM

This screed by Riley and a piece by Grover Norquist’s #2 man (whose name I forget) are about the two worst pleas for immigration I’ve ever read. Besides specifically attacking John Tanton and the (according to Steve Sailer) now relatively benign Pioneer Fund, what they have in common is that the authors are black, and writing for white bosses.

Considering the extent of damage to the interests of American blacks from immigration policy, this reminds me of Jesse Jackson dropping his objection to “genocide” and becoming a staunch ally of Planned Parenthood (though not Tanton!) Will he or anyone else call them Uncle Toms?

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on March 16, 2004 4:59 AM

VDARE has also reprinted the Journal column this morning—with comments.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 16, 2004 9:48 AM

And the Washington Times reported Friday of plans by the Bush administration to reduce the budget of the already overwhelmed Border Patrol:

“[The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed …” (Art II, Sec 3)

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 16, 2004 2:02 PM

Vdare’s commenter does more harm than good with his pro-abortion cant and cartoonish denigration of Christian “medieval dogma.” Can’t they find someone better to do this? I don’t mind much of his environmentalist litany, and of course it is true that immigration is making a mess of our physical world, but this other stuff makes one cringe.

Posted by: Paul Cella on March 16, 2004 4:41 PM

I think I’ve read every single word on VDare since its inception, and John Wall has mercifully made very few appearances, despite his name on the masthead. Unlike some of the other “prochoicers” on the site like Brenda Walker and Joe Guzzardi he’s unable to keep his feminism contained within the bounds of civility.

Just like the atheists described by Mr. Auster recently, feminists seem to be stuck forever at age thirteen. Tree-huggers and the shallow end of the libertarian pool are more like sixteen-year-olds, and the average Democrat about 18 and his Republican counterpart not quite to drinking age. (Which is much too high, by the way.)

Joseph Epstein just wrote a good article on “The Perpetual Adolescent” while slumming in the Weekly Standard. He’s talking mostly about manners, but much the same can be said about intellect.

Maybe they need his technical expertise, but otherwise VDare should be kept “Walled-off”!

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on March 16, 2004 5:14 PM

Paul Cella takes exception to the vdare critique & notes that the mention of “medieval dogma” makes him cringe. Please elaborate on this. If contraception/birth control and advocacy of smaller family size is wrong, how do you propose the world’s population be stabilized? Or do you think it should grow indefinitely until we’re all living in dense clusters like Bombay ? While I contend that abortion should be as rare as possible, it is hard to imagine that it constitutes murder in the first month of pregnancy. To my mind, the Pope has been utterly irresponsible in speaking against family planning, esp. in the third world. It opens him up to charges of raw lust for power; a desire to increase the size of Catholic church globally despite the Earth’s finite resource base. This mindset may also be a big factor in understanding the Catholic activity in undermining US immigration reform and control of the southern border in particular.
Having been raised Presbyterian, I confess to having been given a big dose of scepticism wrt the Roman Catholic church and its 19th century social views. Nowhere in my reading of the bible do I come away with the view that it is incumbent on the morally righteous to procreate ad infinitum and turn the planet into a trash dump.
Shouldn’t we instead be prudent, gentle stewards of God’s creation?

Posted by: Chris M. on March 16, 2004 5:59 PM

In response to Chris M., while I am not Roman Catholic and do not oppose all forms of contraception, I think the point about the VDare article was that it needlessly alienates a good bit of its audience on subjects other than immigration while purporting to critique a WSJ article on immigration. There is a certain tendency among the intellectually immature (e.g. many feminists, environmentalists, and libertarians) to bring their pet issues into every discussion and create needless distance between themselves and their audience. Hence, VDare saw fit to run a disclaimer before the article.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 16, 2004 6:15 PM

The Roman Catholic Church’s “19th century social views”? The Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual morality is not something discovered in the 19th century and discarded in the 20th. The Church teaches today what it has always taught, for nigh on 2000 years now. Indeed, the Catholic view of contraception, abortion, adultery, marriage, homosexuality was the norm among almost all Christians - whether or not they were personally perfectly faithful to it - until about 1960, including in Chris M’s Presbyterian church. I suspect one can still find many Presbyterians, in Scotland and elsewhere, who still agree with it.

For the record (and VFR regulars know I am no knee-jerk fan of Pope John Paul II), the Pope is not at all opposed to family planning; he is opposed to artificial contraception and to abortion. The Church, with his full support, teaches abstinence for the unmarried and natural family planning for married people. Unlike rubbers, done right NFP always works.

I agree with Mr. Cella about the extraneous editorializing in an otherwise good VDare dissection of an especially repugnant piece of WSJ immi-prop. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on March 16, 2004 6:21 PM

Anyone who thinks “medieval” is an insult should explain why the World Trade Center was preferable to the cathedral at Chartres.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on March 17, 2004 3:05 AM

I also found the VDARE article puzzling and unpleasant. Now that I look at it again, I see that a paragraph of introduction has been added since yesterday, saying that the writer is an environmentalist and firm friend of VDARE. Even if one doesn’t find the contraception/abortion comments offensive, surely the claim that the China one-baby policy is “admirable” will evoke disgust in any reasonable person. I also find the claim that the WSJ author doesn’t care for the historic American nation because he is black to be offensive and unnecessary. Blacks are part of the historic American nation and are also generally anti-immigration. And the writer’s arguments are not based on support for American culture, but for trendy environmental and leftist sexual claims, which makes the race argument particularly gratuitous.

Posted by: Agricola on March 17, 2004 8:03 AM

As stated in the preface to the article, VDARE is a coalition of people opposed to immigration—as I would think Howard Sutherland knows quite well since he contributes to the site. Quite often, VDARE goes the other direction on such issues, giving primacy to Roman Catholic assumptions on culture. And it could easily be argued that in doing so VDARE curbs its appeal and effectiveness much more so than in its sparse and infrequent defenses of women’s rights, environmental conservation, and Israel. In fact, were the percentages reversed, and VDARE more of an adovocate of the latter instead of the Roman Catholic view of the world, it would likely generate much more support for its stated goal: to reduce immigration, especially from Third World countries. And, keep in mind, this is not the first time VDARE has run such a disclaimer. I’ve also seen a qualified “apology” posted for running Robert Locke’s column on population transfers in Israel. These types of “compromises” hurt the site. If anyone thinks immigration will be halted, much less reversed, by following the policy and dictates of the Roman Catholic church, they are living in a fantasy land. No other non-governmental institution does more to promote the importation of Third World peoples into this country than the Catholic Church. None.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 17, 2004 8:38 AM

I’m not sure Reg Caesar is entirely serious in his anachronistic comparison of mediaeval cathedrals to the World Trade Center. But I’ll bite, anyway. Imagine a disgruntled pagan, eyeing the Chartes cathedral in the 13th century and asking someone to explain why the cathedral is preferable to the Parthenon or the Temple of Zeus at Olympia.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 17, 2004 9:03 AM

The Pope is a leader not a dictator. The Pope is bound to follow Catholic doctrine and, to a lesser extent, the Church’s magisterium. The current Pope and many bishops seem to believe in open borders, but they are not dictating Catholics to follow this view. No punishment is implied for a failure to follow this view. The immigration controversy is pure politics, and the Pope no doubt has been wrong on political matters.

Posted by: P Murgos on March 17, 2004 9:18 AM

The pope is an absolute monarch. Catholic churches, meanwhile, all over the U.S. have become de facto adjuncts of the mexican government—allowing mexican consulates to operate and issue matriculas on their premises. Finally, a question: how many Roman Catholic churches do NOT have a specific operation aimed at servicing and providing sanctuary to illegal aliens—all in violation of American law? (And, yes, I know full well that Protestant organizations do likewise, especially the Lutherans, but their numbers are insignificant in comparison to the Roman Catholic church.)

Posted by: Paul C. on March 17, 2004 10:28 AM

Paul C. raises good points in his last two posts. There is a heavy RC contingent at VDare (Peter Brimelow, the founder and leader of VDare, is not among them). I suspect any Catholic who would write for VDare agrees with him about the bad effects of the Pope’s naïveté and the American bishops’ bad faith about immigration. As traditionalists (most of us, anyway), we oppose that non-authoritative agitation by our hierarchy because we believe not only in the Triune God but also - on a different level - in the conservation and restoration of what is left of the West’s historic nations. The Church has never taught that those beliefs are incompatible; quite the contrary (at least until after Vatican II).

Most of us also oppose others of the hierarchy’s positions, but they are not germane here. Mr. Murgos points out the limits of papal and episcopal authority in such matters.

The question about the WTC/Chartres/Classical temple comparison is well put. My attempted answer:

The comparison is both spiritual and visually aesthetic. The WTC was (let’s be honest, despite its fate) very ugly, and a monument to nothing but corporatist government intervention in a secular economy. The cathedral at Chartres is a very beautiful and balanced building, built - and I believe infused - with a sacred purpose. So I would say that Chartres is preferable to the WTC because the cathedral is beautiful and expresses Christian Truth, while the WTC was ugly and ultimately expressed no permanent truth.

Similarly, while the Classical temples are beautiful and balanced even in their ruins (although I suspect the modern, cultivated Western eye would find them rather garish if we could see them intact and painted) the purported truth they expressed, that of the Greek pantheon, was false. Chartres is also beautiful, to my eye in a deeper and more mature way, and expresses the real Truth. That, I confess, is a Christian, specifically Catholic, judgment. The question is one of Truth, and I would try to convince the disgruntled, displaced pagan of that.

The loss of that Truth among so many who were once Christian may help to account for why we now build WTCs and the monstrosity Libeskind proposes for the WTC’s site, but nothing remotely resembling a Chartres. The rot affects the supposedly sacred as well: now the best we can do for cathedrals is Cardinal Mahony’s wretched box in Los Angeles, and disgraced Archbishop Weakland’s stripping of Milwaukee’s cathedral. Compare that even with cathedrals as recent as Saint Patrick’s in New York and Montreal’s Basilique Notre-Dame, Roman Catholicism’s North American flagships, both mid-19th century - to say nothing more of the Romanesque and Gothic originals. HRS

Posted by: Howard Sutherland on March 17, 2004 11:05 AM

Why does Chartres express Truth? It is but an edifice of man, a reflection of his desires, hopes, and even his domination and exploitation of his fellow man—the serfs whose forced labor helped in the construction of the cathedral. And, call me a Roundhead if you wish, it even undercuts the purpose for which it was built, worship. It “distracts”, whether in the awe its overall design demands, its stained glass windows, its decorative ceilings and walls, or in the ornate nature of the rituals contained therein. Is not the message of Christ one that is carried in the abstract, essentially? Isn’t that done more efficiently in a place of worship where attention is focused on prayer, the Word, and not on a mediaeval version of a laser light show?

Posted by: Paul C. on March 17, 2004 1:38 PM

The purpose of Chartres was to glorify God. The purpose of the WTC was to provide office space for a hundred thousand people who helped organize and advance our materially prosperous society. It was ugly, but it wasn’t meant to be a monument to anything.

I’m a big fan of the middle ages, but the comparison is ridiculous.

Posted by: Agricola on March 17, 2004 1:46 PM

Anyone who uses the word “medieval” as a blanket term of condemnation knows nothing about the real Middle Ages. I am not a Catholic, but I suspect few people of any religious background would not regard Chartres as a greater work of art than the WTC… Moreover, medieval cathedrals were not built by serfs, but by voluntary labor. As the great medieval historian Lynn White once pointed out, they were the first great monuments built by free men.

Posted by: Alan Levine on March 17, 2004 2:41 PM

To argue about art is really beside the point. Reg Caesar introduced the idea that Chartres was “preferable” to the World Trade Center, an anachronistic statement, I think. Chartres’ cathedral, certainly, represented the apex of Medieval society’s aspirations and coincided with that society’s signature contributions in art and engineering. Just as the Parthenon or the Temple of Zeus at Olympia represented the high order of Greek antiquity. Similarly, the WTC did more than symbolize contemporary society’s dedication to commerce and capitalism; it also housed most of it. Which is “preferable”? In what sense? I know which one I would have preferred to reside in, being comforted by such things as central heat, air conditioning, electricity and modern plumbing. Which one inspires? Depends, again, in what sense.

As for the construction of the medieval cathedral by “free” men, I ask how this could be? Just as Gothic cathedrals defined medieval architecture, the manor system and feudalism defined the medieval social system. The serf was at the bottom of the pyramid. And, as best I can recall, serfdom remained well entrenched until the middle of the 14th century (long after Chartres’ construction, for example), when everything from the rise of towns and cities to the role of the Black Death in creating a demographic crisis, which elevated the status and worth of serfs, began to eat away at the system.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 17, 2004 4:07 PM

And now we here that the Feds have pledged to fortify the AZ border. It’s like the pendulum on an old clock.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 17, 2004 5:18 PM

Your points about Catholic advocacy of family planning by traditional methods are well taken. My comments were sloppy & inaccurate. However, I am still perplexed about the Catholic mindset wrt sexuality, particularly when it comes to the celibacy of priests. How can they not expect that the scripturally unjustified repression of powerful & natural desires will not either attract people to the priesthood with bizarre inclinations (gay pedophiles) or others who are mentally tortured & thus miserable by the necessity to repress their attraction to women.

Agricola, you said:

[“Even if one doesn’t find the contraception/abortion comments offensive, surely the claim that the China one-baby policy is “admirable” will evoke disgust in any reasonable person. I also find the claim that the WSJ author doesn’t care for the historic American nation because he is black to be offensive and unnecessary. Blacks are part of the historic American nation and are also generally anti-immigration.”]

I agree wholeheartedly with your take on this. It is worth remembering that in the late 40s/50s & early 60s the Chinese were strongly encouraged by their leaders to have as many children as possible. The communists imagined a simple correlation between population size and success as a nation. To me, this was as idiotic as the coercive ‘one child’ policy. As US demographics show, with modest, replacement levels of immigration (250K per annum), the natural trend is towards a stable population w/ an avg. 2.1 kids per family. I would argue, contra Buchanan, that even if the population shrunk by 10-20% it would not be worth worrying about.
WRT the insinuation that Mr. Riley might be naturally hostile to the American nation state because of his skin color….this was a woefully foolish mistake for vdare. While it is true that there is very often ‘two nations’ (black & white) within the US when it comes to affirmative action, the guilt of OJ Simpson, the Rodney King affair, etc., vdare should be making an effort to build bridges to reasonable, law abiding & patriotic Americans of all colors and ethnicities. They needn’t do this by groveling or pandering, just by emphasizing how all citizens can benefit from immigration reform. (except those who profiteer off cheap migrant labor or the multicultural activists)

Posted by: Chris M. on March 17, 2004 7:03 PM

Let me get the racial stuff out of the way first, as a couple of you seem to have read my comment about Mr. Riley upside-down and backwards. His writing that piece was clearly a case of “despite”, not “because of”, his background.

Didn’t anybody else experience déjà-vu? Consider: a neocon organ (The Wall St. Journal; The Washington Times) allows a black editorialist (Jason L. Riley; Damon B. Ansell) working for a white open-borders zealot (Paul Gigot; Grover ibn Norquist) to attack the alleged nefarious plan (white hegemony; racist agenda) of a Michigan ophthalmologist (John Tanton; John Tanton). Oh, and one more coïncidence— both were rebutted line-by-line at a restrictionist Web site (; by a staff member who hardly ever writes for them (John Wall; John Wall):

As for Chartres vs. Church St., “medieval” was used by Mr. Wall as an insult per se. I countered with the first symbols of each era to come to mind. (It could just as easily have been the Madonna and, well, Madonna.) The structures had in common the intent to dominate the skies. But for what purpose?

Check out this timeline, and see if you notice any particular point where the spirit of Chartres disappears for good:

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on March 18, 2004 4:50 AM

Just to bring this thread back around to its original Hispanic immigration focus: The open borders lobby often constructs the following false dilemma: either we accept massive immigration as inevitable, or we embark on a politically unpopular draconian effort to deport 10 million illegal aliens by the end of the year. Mark Krikorian of the CIS demonstrates that these are not our only two choices in

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 18, 2004 9:25 AM

Let’s stop debating about the behavior and beliefs of members of the Catholic Church and get back to immigration. (The only way for Catholics to change the behavior of Church members is to practice Catholicism, to pray, to learn about immigration, and, for the energetically gifted, to get involved in Church activities.)

We might be entering a time of great tribulation for Christians. The bombing in Spain and Spain’s reaction might be only the beginning.

Posted by: P Murgos on March 18, 2004 9:42 AM

Chris M. wrote:
“How can they not expect that the scripturally unjustified repression of powerful & natural desires will not either attract people to the priesthood with bizarre inclinations (gay pedophiles) or others who are mentally tortured & thus miserable by the necessity to repress their attraction to women.”

I haven’t followed this thread closely, but I must say that it is rather sad to see this sort of capitulation to conscupiscence on the part of the remnants of Christendom. It seems impossible to the modern mind that a man can be other than a slave to his physical desires, to such an extent that someone who is not such a slave is viewed as a repressed pervert.

In truth, I think everyone, including the married (like myself), ought to exercise the virtue of chastity through occasional extended periods of abstinence. Nobody who has actually done so (as I have) could possibly take the view expressed here by Chris M; a view that essentially concedes everything to the modernist view of sexuality as something that utterly defines and enslaves a person. (Which of course is also the reason why it would be terribly unwise to reverse the disciplinary practice of priestly celibacy at this time, although in principle there is nothing doctrinally wrong with married priests).

To be blunt, with apologies to Mr. Auster, try keeping it in your pants and out of your hand for a while (say a few years). You will be amazed by the fact that you do not thereby become a repressed child molesting pervert; that indeed your moral distance from such perverse creatures actually increases rather than decreases.

Posted by: Matt on March 18, 2004 11:01 AM

I appreciate the commenters who attempted to bring this back to immigration-qua-immigration, and I acknowledge that my last post may be viewed as defocusing (though I did not initiate the putative digression). On the other hand, it is my view that if you reject the 2000 year old Catholic position on sexuality (which was shared by virtually all Christians up until the last century or so) you also thereby doom any hope of controlling immigration. A key part of the problem is that white europeans are no longer reproducing at even a replacement rate, while immigrant populations are expanding rapidly. Even if all immigration were immediately halted, in a few generations white anglos would be a minority. The punishment for sin is death.

Posted by: Matt on March 18, 2004 11:17 AM

Matt, It may be hard for you to believe but it is still possible to be extremely sceptical about the practice of mandatory celibacy for priests and still reject,
“the modernist view of sexuality as something that utterly defines and enslaves a person”. Indeed, I abhor the increasingly sleazy, sex-obsessed MTV culture that is washing over the media & the youth of today. Abstinence is a darn good thing for those who are not in long term, monogamous relationships. While you may well be a paragon of virtue & able to transcend your more basic instincts, you must still reconcile your comments with a few other factoids:
-the widespread sexual abuse scandals involving mainly gay Catholic priests that has been playing out in the courts & media, particularly in the Boston area
-the many studies showing that men who are married live longer, happier & healthier lives than single men. (although it is interesting that this doesn’t necessarily hold true for women)
-the fact that the Catholic church, the US, is having an increasingly difficult time recruiting priests. Many churches are being closed down due to a combination of declining membership & no local priest.
-the fact that church attendance by US-born Catholics is in decline, and many Catholic leaders are quite keen to use immigration from Latin America to replenish their ranks. Rather than try to win back their former membership, they opt to replace it with folks from other countries. This point has been discussed by Steve Sailer & others on vdare.
Why might American-born Catholics be increasingly alienated from the church? Certainly, the recent sex scandals don’t help & the strong pull of the ‘mainstream’ media culture of instant gratification, materialism & consumerism are a major factor. A final factor, according to my Catholic friends, is that the church is too replete with irrational, arbitrary rules that have no basis in scripture, and are too irreconcilable with their lives. By contrast many newer (but NOT NEW AGE!) denominations such as the Baptist Church are growing because their teachings & doctrine seem to be reconcilable with the human condition & people’s day to day experiences.

A final point: So what if White Europeans are not reproducing at a replacement level? Was the US in crisis due to a lack of people when its population was only 120 million? 180 million?
As technology advances, people will live longer, they may work part-time until they are much older & they may be assisted by robots. What matters is that the US and western, Christian countries be allowed to control their borders & determine their own demographic destiny. They need to wrest control of their destiny away from the liberal elites who detest them & wish to recreate the country along the lines of a multicultural police state.
One could also argue that the US will simply not be able to support 300 million people in the years ahead when oil & natural gas are more scarce. An interesting article noting this was on UPI recently -

Posted by: Chris M. on March 18, 2004 3:53 PM

“While you may well be a paragon of virtue & able to transcend your more basic instincts, you must still reconcile your comments with a few other factoids: […]”

Michael Rose’s _Goodbye, Good Men_, though it is not perfect, does a well documented job of addressing all of the points brought up by Chris M. _The Great Facade_ by Ferrara and Woods is also required reading, though it also has its flaws and is not specifically about sexuality. The summary is that the issues of concern to Chris M. arise from the rejection of orthodoxy, not adherence to it, and that the facts and the numbers back this up quite clearly. Chris M.’s apparent posture reminds me of that of gay “marriage” advocates who view the atrocious state of marriage in general as a justification for completing its destruction by creating the legal fiction they call homosexual marriage.

And I reiterate my challenge to Chris and others who share his view: spend a few years in prayerful abstinence, especially those who are married and who therefore feel that they are entitled to sexual gratification, and observe how sexuality transforms itself from something that enslaves into a great gift. And at the very least if you choose not to then don’t presume to label those who do as perverts, since a man who is incapable of abstaining or is unwilling to abstain for the greater glory of God and for his own spiritual benefit is in much closer moral proximity to the pervert than one who is.

Posted by: Matt on March 18, 2004 5:05 PM

Chris M. said, “Abstinence is a darn good thing for those who are not in long term, monogamous relationships.” This statement is ambiguous and has a modern tone. Cohabitation and homosexual “marriage,” are not inconsistent with this formulation. By this sentence does Chris M. mean marriage? If so, why not be clearer in one’s writing? For example: “Abstinence is a darn good thing for those who are not married.”

Posted by: Joshua on March 18, 2004 8:12 PM

Matt said, “And I reiterate my challenge to Chris and others who share his view: spend a few years in prayerful abstinence, especially those who are married and who therefore feel that they are entitled to sexual gratification…”

“Years in prayerful abstinance”? As a corse of action for younger and middle-aged couples this does not seem to be wise or consistent with Scripture.

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
I Corinthians 7:3-5

Posted by: Joshua on March 18, 2004 8:23 PM

“for a time”

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 7:36 AM

Let me say a bit more that just pointing out that Joshua’s quote from St. Paul supports the wisdom of what I suggest rather than undermining it. Modern married people - lets be frank, and I don’t put myself forth as an exception - have a tendency to become fat and lazy. Fat, because in this society most people can eat as much as they decide to eat. Lazy because in this society there are vast resources that assist us in every way to satisfy our everyday needs and wants.

The remedy to being fat and lazy is simple: exercise. The same is true for spiritual obesity and laziness.

At any time, something may happen to your wife that makes it impossible or immoral for you to continue to engage in conjugal relations. If you haven’t exercised the virtue of chastity, you may be in real trouble.

That doesn’t mean that every person ought to immediately go run the Iron Man. Maybe some ought to start with a 10K. But in general, if you do not exercise the virtues you will lose them; and then when you need them you will be in serious trouble.

What is more, doing so also helps foster charity for those who are slaves to sexual sin, while at the same time mitigating the “it is easy for you to tell me to exercise when you don’t” factor.

The fact is, in order to be moral many people have to refrain from sex. You could be one of those people tomorrow. Be ready.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 7:54 AM

Celibacy is not a Scriptural term. Peter, a Jew, was also married and loved his mother-in-law. We are not speaking here about an instituted vocation by some church. All are free to marry, as Paul suggested. Some may choose to remain ‘single’ not celebate in the sense of devoting one’s entire life to sexual abstinence. That same person may adopt a different attitude later. The door is open, not shut by some canonical rule. For surely, there is no law in Heaven or below that states that a man must be married. Repression of sexual feelings is not natural. It may even offend the person by causing him to a life of sinful habits. Is that pleasing to God?

Posted by: Edwin Vogt on March 19, 2004 8:32 AM

“So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.”

I Corinthians 7:38

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 9:30 AM

On this:
“Repression of sexual feelings is not natural.”

I don’t have a comment on the Freudian notion of repression, since I don’t go in for such things. But as a moral matter there are any number of circumstances when a married person must abstain from sex. As an obvious example, if a man’s wife is in a car accident and is in a coma or becomes paralyzed, it is morally wrong for him to take a lover. If that offends the sensibilities of Freudians, well, too bad. The moral law is the moral law, and if people with disordered affections (e.g. gays) have to live chastely then so does everyone else.

The reason Western Christendom is very nearly dead is because Western man refuses to repent. Fundamentally that is what is behind the National Question, gay “marriage”, the whole ball of wax. The wages of sin are death.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 10:02 AM

On Matt’s last comment, I had always believed in God, but it was only after I started believing in Jesus Christ that the idea of self-restraint began to make sense to me. Man is in relationship to something larger than himself, so it makes sense for him to limit himself, his desires, his self-expression, and so on. This in turn made all kinds of conservative things make sense that hadn’t made sense before.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on March 19, 2004 10:21 AM

P Murgos: “We might be entering a time of great tribulation for Christians. The bombing in Spain and Spain’s reaction might be only the beginning.”


I swear! Some of you are so filled with defeatism and despair. Is this how many of you interpret the Christian worldview, too, the inevitability of persecution and secular defeat? It makes it awfully convenient to give up on practical political strategies. Small wonder we are being overwhelmed by lesser societies and inferior peoples from the Third World. The vigorous, expansionist, aggressively hetero Christianity of the 19th and early 20th century has given way to “hippie” Christ and the acceptance that Christianity is merely another means of delivering social services to the “oppressed of the earth”, rather than being the defining characteristic of an entire civilization.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 19, 2004 10:43 AM

Paul — I agree wholeheartedly. Christianity is the only religion that achieves the unique ballance between justice and love, and when only love is emphasized, we have the perverse sitution we now have.

Posted by: john morra on March 19, 2004 11:00 AM

I’m not sure it is as simple as saying that modern pseudo-Christianity is all love and no justice, although there is certainly some truth to that. It seems to me that a primary driver is narcissism, and that the narcissists have succeeded in promulgating a one-sided Christianity that keeps the love bit in an attenuated form but sidesteps the inconvenient part about repentance. The modern Church, rather than being the Church of repenting, dying to the self, and loving thy neighbor has become the Church of Aren’t We Wonderful. There is also the corruption of Christianity by liberalism, to the extent that now most modern people actually think that “justice” and “equality” are synonyms, as ludicrous as that is.

This is as true of most of American Catholicism as of any other group, although there are some hopeful signs.

Also, when someone says “repent or die” that isn’t really defeatism.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 11:22 AM

“Also, when someone says “repent or die” that isn’t really defeatism.”


Depends who it is addressed to.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 19, 2004 11:31 AM

“Depends who it is addressed to.”

I suppose, although it is worth noting that “repent or die” doesn’t mean “repent or I will kill you”; it means “repent before you kill yourself.” And of course it does acknowledge the inevitable defeat of sin, either through the death of the sinner or through repentance, so in that sense there is defeatism - for evil - not just in Christianity specifically but written into all of creation.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 11:40 AM

Isn’t lent over yet? I wish Mr. auster would start posting again.

Posted by: Bryan on March 19, 2004 1:22 PM

There is a certain unreality to some of Matt’s & others’ comments. Like they are fixated on the proper arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic. I applaud & support the opposition to gay marriage, sex as mindless recreation, cohabition, etc. but on the other tangent of ultra-abstinence, it is but wishful thinking. Like a voice in the wilderness or an artefact from another time, it doesn’t speak to the extent & nature of the current crisis.
Most parents would just be relieved if their children avoided having children of their own outside of wedlock, and avoided catching an STD of some sort. A first step along the road back to a more virtuous culture would be to severely curtail the amount of trashy TV in people’s lives & encourage children to dress & conduct themselves with more modesty. Advice like Matt’s will fall on deaf ears & will appear like the ravings of an eccentric to those so far removed from even 1950s social standards.

Posted by: Chris M. on March 19, 2004 1:26 PM

re my comments regarding “hippie” Christ, emasculated Christianity, and the dissolution of our nation due to immigration.

Exhibit A is herewith provided, thanks to the good efforts of


Using a phrase from Exodus as the title of their conference - “you shall not oppress the stranger” - 120 local leaders representing 12 faiths met in Tucson Thursday to talk about tackling not only humanitarian but political problems related to illegal entrants.

“What is needed is comprehensive,” said Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. “Border Patrol has not really accomplished its purpose.”

While the faiths at the conference were divergent - Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders were present - they were able to find common faith traditions, said the Rev. Stuart Taylor of St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St.

“Our traditions speak about providing hospitality to the strangers in our midst,” he said.

Some of the other commonalities the leaders found in their religious teachings:

° All people have the right to find opportunities that will allow them to live with dignity in their homeland.

° People have the right to migrate to support themselves and their families if they are unable to do so in their own countries.

° Those fleeing violence and persecution should be afforded protection.

° The human dignity and human rights of all migrants should be respected.

° Family unity among migrant and immigrant families should be protected and upheld.

Posted by: Paul C. on March 19, 2004 1:27 PM

“Advice like Matt’s will fall on deaf ears & will appear like the ravings of an eccentric to those so far removed from even 1950s social standards.”

Nevertheless, since it is in fact the only sort of advice that will work I have to give it. And protecting your children from the culture isn’t as difficult as Chris M. makes it sound, although I would have thought so too myself before I got plugged into the homeschooling and independent religious school network. Now we are spending less than before, the kids are getting everything they need socially and academically in spades, and the suicidal pagan culture is locked out. Hop on the lifeboat - there are plenty of them with plenty of room, so there really isn’t any excuse not to - or drown, because the deck chairs have already gone under.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 1:56 PM

In belated response to Paul C.: Medieval Europe was dominantly rural, but not solely rural. City people in the Middle Ages were NOT serfs. The bourgeois and craftsmen who built the cathedrals were free commoners. City life revived long before the Black Death. For that matter, in most European countries, there were free peasants as well as serfs.

Posted by: Alan Levine on March 19, 2004 3:19 PM

Re the question of “sexual repression is not natural.” I won’t comment on scriptural matters, but from an anthropological point of view, all societies, Christian, pagan, Buddhist or what have you, exert some control or direction over the sexual urges and behavior. It is true that only rarely does this take the form of demanding complete and permanent celibacy on the part of individuals, but complete “sexual freedom” is a chimera.

Posted by: Alan Levine on March 19, 2004 3:25 PM

Matt quoted the Apostle Paul: “So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.” I Corinthians 7:38

Perhaps we should remember that Paul expressly disavowed any revelatory signficance to the statements made here. “But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.” (v. 6) “Now concerning virgins I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT OF THE LORD: yet I give my judgment …” (v. 25) This passage is the ‘Word of God’ in the sense of being an accurate historical account of Paul’s opinion of the matter. His opinions are worth considering, and so are Matt’s, but neither is offering a revealed commandment of God.

Matt then makes recourse to a hypothetical we’ve seen here before: “At any time, something may happen to your wife that makes it impossible or immoral for you to continue to engage in conjugal relations. If you haven’t exercised the virtue of chastity, you may be in real trouble.” By this logic we should also say that since a person may one day be involved in an accident and become a paraplegic, he should spend a few years not walking.

I disagree that the tenor of Paul’s statements support Matt’s views (as applying generally to everyone); Paul’s words presume that there are those for whom abstinence from the sexual drive is not a tenable option. The Lord Jesus spoke of those who had made themselves “eunichs for the Kingdom of God,” but also added that this was not for everyone, but only those who could bear it.

I’m also a bit surprised that Matt would resort to passages pertaining only to single virgins and applies them to married couples. Where these passages are concerned, he’s already failed the test. ;-) I assume that the passages dealing with married couples would be controlling where married couples are concerned, whether as God’s commandment or Paul’s opinion. ;-)

But again, these are not commandments of God. Later writings of Paul do not underscore any of these early statements at all. And no revelatory disavowel is made in subsequent statements dealing with these matters — including the revealed requirement that a bishop “must be blameless, the husband of one wife” and “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.” (I Tim 4)

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 19, 2004 3:35 PM

I see how it is somewhat defeatist to speculate that the recent events in Spain might portend a dark future. I am still feeling the shock over the blatant appeasement. The events reminded me of Europe’s failure to do anything when Germany entered the Rhineland and absorbed Czechoslvakia and Austria. Spain is a strategic country. Access to the Mediterranean is important to America in its war on Islmic terrorism. Fortunately, we still have many large aircraft carriers with long-range aircraft that can strike from the Indian Ocean.

Posted by: P Murgos on March 19, 2004 5:17 PM

Also, I had in mind that for centuries Spain was Christianity’s vanguard in Christian Europe’s defense against Muslim invasion, but now Spain seems to have lost its will. Maybe this is too rash a conclusion. But one can conclude that the U.S. might have to go it nearly alone, which is similar to what Spain had to do. Spain’s long dead warriors must be turning in their graves.

Posted by: P Murgos on March 19, 2004 5:31 PM

In reply to Mr. LeFevre, the quote I posted from Corinthians wasn’t a lengthy theological argument. Indeed I didn’t make any comments about it at all, and in fact in this thread I haven’t been making theological arguments, I’ve been making disciplinary ones. I merely posted St Paul’s words as a direct refutation of Mr. Vogt’s statement that disciplinary celibacy is not scriptural. If disciplinary celibacy is not scriptural then neither is the Trinity.

I don’t claim that regular exercise of the virtue of chastity is morally required of married people. I only claim that it is a good idea, and that sexual abstinence *is* morally required of a great many people under a great many circumstances. It isn’t some rare exceptional canard; indeed the hypothetical I provided is more than mere hypothetical to me, as the issue has touched members of my own family personally.

I also reject the thesis promoted by Chris M. that celibacy creates sexual perverts; indeed the opposite is the case, as Michael Rose’s book shows clearly. The homosexual child molestation problem in the Catholic heirarchy is the direct result of the rejection of the celibacy discipline and the moral teachings of the Church on sexuality. (I’ll again note that disciplinary celibacy is not a moral requirement even for priests; it is simply a good idea, the bishops have legitimate authority to impose it, and priests are morally bound to be obedient to the disciplines by which they solemnly swear to abide).

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 6:05 PM

A correction/clarification. I wrote:
“I don’t claim that regular exercise of the virtue of chastity is morally required of married people.”

This is completely wrong in the way I wrote it. Adherence to chastity is required of everyone always, without any exception. What is not required of married people, but is nonetheless a good idea from a disciplinary standpoint, is periodic abstinence by mutual consent and in devotion to prayer. Chastity, abstinence, and celibacy all mean different things, of course, and my brain had a momentary kink in it.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 6:14 PM

The verses quoted by Joshua above would seem to plainly infer a period of marital abstinence as the exception, and the coming together as the norm. Reiterating our clear agreement of the immoral and and ungodly nature of fornication and adultery, I just do not see how Matt’s assertions are Biblically supportable. The question of whether it’s better to remain unmarried or not is separate altogether — in such cases NO sexual activity is permissible. Extropolating passages of Scripture dealing with unmarrieds and applying them to married couples is an unfortunate misuse of those verses.

As to ministerial celibacy, there seems to be alot of sementic shuffles going on here. When Paul laid down the requirement that church ministers be married he clarified the reason, and this should answer all questions as to what he revealed to us:

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife … One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”

The implicit answer to the rhetorical question asked by the Apostle should be quite clear. There’s more here than ‘theology’; there’s a natural principle pointed to. The experience of having a wife and raising a well-ordered family — this first and most fundamental of divinely ordained human institutions — is prerequisite to presiding in the church. Paul also told Titus that a church elder’s children must be believers, harkening back to the same natural principle.

If a man has not demonstrated that he could run his household well, he is ipso facto not qualified to a position of authority in God’s assembly, and it is astounding to me that this should be anything but obvious. To then turn around and expect that a man should have no wife and family at all upon acceding to a ministerial role renders this whole revelation completely moot. Paul might as well have said nothing about it!

Some of those who have brought dishonor to their position might have proven incompetent to raise a family well, but no way to know before the fact if they have no family. And I do think a legitimate question can be raised from Paul’s teaching as to what consequences might otherwise have been avoided in either case — that of running a family well or not, and accordingly qualifying to the position or not. Regardless of what one believes regarding the authority of any church institution to set aside passages like this, the natural principle cannot be altered, just ignored to whatever negative effect results. There’s a reason Paul told us this; if it was not because he intended us to observe it, then I’d sure like to know what the reason was. The question is not whether a vow once taken should be obeyed, but whether the vow should have been taken at all.

But returning to the conduct of husbands and wives, I think there is cause to hold Matt’s views in serious doubt. I MOST ASSUREDLY would not hold them in comparison to the revelation of the Triune nature of the Godhead, which, if I had done, I would be in a hurry to recant.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 19, 2004 9:29 PM

Is Mr. LeFevre Catholic? His take on the Bible would be the first time I heard it stated by a Catholic.

Posted by: P Murgos on March 19, 2004 10:21 PM

I think a number of things have gotten conflated, which is partly my fault for making what I acknowledge to be my own personal disciplinary recommendations and at the same time discussing priestly celibacy as a matter of Church discipline. Certainly one can’t get away with a lack of clarity when Mr. LeFevre is about.

So there are two quite separate issues.

1) There is, in fact, scriptural support for celibacy as a disciplinary matter among priests. That doesn’t mean that there is a scriptural -requirement- for universal celibacy among priests, but again, as far as I know nobody including myself or any legitimate Catholic authority has ever claimed that there is one and indeed there are in fact some married Catholic priests. This is often badly misunderstood by non-Catholics and poorly educated Catholics. Celibacy is not a moral requirement, it is a disciplinary practice intended to foster certain virtues and to achieve other pastoral ends. Clearly there is scriptural support both in Paul and directly from Christ for SOME men to practice celibacy in this manner and for these purposes. Denying scriptural support for this is what I compare, I think aptly, to denying scriptural support for the Trinity. If celibate men are unfit Christian leaders then Christ and St. Paul were unfit Christian leaders. St. Paul’s admonition “So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better” very much applies here.

2) As to married couples practicing abstinence as a way of fostering the virtue of chastity, that is purely my own recommendation. It is the case, however, that virtually everyone, including those who are married, will be required by the moral law at some time in their personal future to abstain from sex. Some will not, because they will die suddenly and young; but those who do not will almost invariably face the situation eventually. As people get older spouses get sick, one spouse usually dies before the other, and it is not uncommon for medical and other issues to render conjugal acts impossible for extended periods of time. People who don’t take that possibility in their own lives seriously are people who don’t wear their moral seatbelts.

And most certainly someone who has actually practiced abstinence would not manifest the nearly universal ignorant modern attitude about it that has been on display in this thread. Abstaining from sex will not turn you into a pervert if you are not one already, and certainly someone who asserts that it will ought to give abstinence a try. He will inevitably discover that abstinence does not turn him into a pervert if he was not one going into the exercise. Quite the contrary. So put up or shut up.

But again, #2 and its corollaries are merely my own opinion.

Posted by: Matt on March 19, 2004 10:53 PM

I have never seen any evidence that celibacy increases the risk someone will become a pedophile or a homosexual. I suppose the premise is heterosexual men who voluntarily abstain from sex with a woman over a period of years sometimes, as a result of the repression, become homosexual pedophiles. But this seems no more likely than these premises: men that repress the desire to spend money excessively over a period of years sometimes, as a result of the repression, become thieves; or men that like to gamble sensibly but who repress the desire to gamble excessively over a period of years sometimes, as a result of the repression, become degenerate gamblers.

The pedophile is engaging in a major felony, so an additional premise should be considered: men who voluntarily abstain from sex with women over a period of years sometimes, as a result of the repression, become major felons.

Common sense indicates these premises are unreliable even if maybe in a miniscule number of cases, they are valid. Recall President Carter’s comment about his having lust in his heart for women other than his wife. Most of us male heterosexuals abstain from having sex with many pretty women over a period of many years, yet we don’t for a fleeting moment ever consider rape or pedophilia or homosexuality even during long periods of abstinence, as Matt points out.

I have read that the main causes of pedophilia and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are as follows: 1) criminally negligent bishops who have merely transferred homosexual pedophiles and predatory homosexual priests, and 2) homosexuals have been allowed to become priests and to remain priests with access to young people. Pedophilia comprises only a fraction of the abuse by homosexual priests, who mainly abuse adolescents that should know better. I have also read that the percentage of sexual abuse among Protestant ministers who can marry is not much different from the percentage of abuse among Catholic priests. My take on the issue is there is a problem with allowing homosexuals to become Catholic priests.

The celibacy debate here, perhaps, boils down to celibacy seeming strange to strangers, non-Catholics, while to most Catholics, it is familiar and comforting.

(I take back my question about Mr. LeFevre’s religion. His religious status is none of my business. I was just shocked because for some reason I thought he was Catholic.)

Posted by: P Murgos on March 19, 2004 11:03 PM

There seemed to be an implication in some postings in this thread that the Catholic Church teachings on contraception were a big contributor to overpopulation of the world. Consider a few facts: (1) The biggest overpopulation problems of the last century have been in China and India, not exactly Catholic-dominated countries. (2) The third biggest problem area has been sub-Saharan Africa, religiously split among animists, Christians, and Muslims, with the Christians split among Catholic and many other churches. hardly Catholic-dominated, and I know of no distinctive overpopulation pattern among these religious groups there. (3) The fourth biggest problem area has been in Latin America, but it should not be assumed that the Catholic Church is as culturally dominant there as we Protestants in America like to assume. has posted analyses of the weakness of the Catholic Church in Mexico, for example.

Overpopulation is often a transitional phenomenon as rural people move to cities and continue the fertility rates they were accustomed to in an agricultural environment for 1-2 generations. The pattern changes as they adapt to the new environment and adapt to economic growth. This has been the case around the world, in Catholic and non-Catholic countries.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 22, 2004 8:55 PM

In all due fairness, though, Mr. Coleman, one has to consider whether artificial birth control is part of the means by which people adapt to a new environment so as to decrease fertility.
I do have to question to what extent the reason that Catholic teachings are not contributing to overpopulation is because they are not followed.
(Disclaimer: I am a Evangelical myself, a Baptist, to be precise. I don’t have a problem with pre-fertilization birth control. That being said, I have no problem with people being against artificial birth control, and if there is good evidence that family size can be controlled without it [realistically, not just in theory] in a majority of cases, then I am more than happy for it).

Posted by: Michael Jose on March 23, 2004 1:36 AM

Matt has previously given his estimate that 80% of American Roman Catholics do not practice their church institution’s teaching on contraception, so Mr. Jose probably has a point — in some geographical settings anyway.

I’m a Baptist too, (to be IMprecise,) but have some issues with artificial contraception. On the one hand, there’s very little Scriptural evidence to weigh against it. The case of Onan is typically cited, (I say ‘typically’ since it’s the only incident that even touches on it.) That case does warrant mention in the discussion, but it can’t be considered a definitive answer, as there are clearly other reason that could have prompted the Lord’s judgment there, (noting also that it concerned a levirate union which we would not even permit today.)

But historically, most Christians were opposed to it, and for reasons that could by inference find some Biblical support in view of the effect that it has had on the society. I mean this analogous to the question of purchasing meat sacrificed to idols — not wrong in itself, but wrong in view of the effect it had, in this case on the Christian’s testimony to others.

The widespread availability of contraception has contributed in serious measure to the breakdown in sexual morality in this country, and I don’t see how that is not obvious. Even conceding that it were not wrong in itself, (and honestly, I don’t see how strategically positioning latex is inherently sinful,) we have to look at the broader context of how man in his sinful condition has been harmed, where previously the greater possibility of pregnancy served as a deterrent to fornication.

Not that it is even a primary factor at this point, since single motherhood has become in vogue, or else the more heartless just murder their tender infant, but it is a major factor. While I may not say that in itself I am affirmatively against it (‘per se’), I could not say that I’m _for_ it. And my inclination given the current evidence is to eschew it completely and would so advise. (The pill however is a scourge that I hate with unbridled hatred.)

I would note that a woman clearly does have a responsibility to pursue motherhood: “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” (I Tim 5:14) and this is important to her spiritual welfare. (I Tim 2:15)

Finally, natural family planning is quite effective when done properly, and can be effected without falling outside of Paul’s mandate that the man and his wife should regularly come together.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 23, 2004 2:53 AM

Mr, LeFevre writes:
“Matt has previously given his estimate that 80% of American Roman Catholics do not practice their church institution’s teaching on contraception.”

I don’t remember the exact source or sources, but I do believe that that is a solid number. So I think the question of what would happen if a modern country actually followed basic Catholic moral teaching - not just on contraception but on all things - is purely hypothetical. I think it is pretty clear that the demographic contastrophe currently destroying ethnic Europe and America would not be taking place. Using contraception as a substitute for self restraint has obviously got its problems, not just individually but socially. The penalty for sin is death.

Posted by: Matt on March 23, 2004 10:16 AM

I am quite curious about Mr. LeFevre’s position on the Pill. I agree that some practices are worse than others - condom use is morally wrong because it deliberately thwarts the teleological end of an actual conjugal act (the sin of Onan), whereas abortion, as the direct and deliberate murder of an innocent, is a different class of wrong. Practicing one leads fairly directly down the garden path to the other, but they are distinct kinds of acts just as the robbery and the murder committed to get away with the robbery are distinct kinds of acts. So all that is given.

This isn’t the first time Mr. LeFevre has appeared to place the Pill in a unique category of abominations, and I am simply curious as to his reasons for so doing.

Posted by: Matt on March 23, 2004 11:04 AM

The case of Onan is commonly cited in relation to contraception and mastrabation. It is an episode of obscure meaning in larger sordid story in which Judah inadvertently lies with his daughter-in-law, Tamar, and sires twin sons (grandsons?).

“Then Judah said to Onan, ‘Lie with your brother’s wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother.’ But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother’s wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD’s sight; so he put him to death also.” Gen 38:8-10

I have difficulty understanding this passage. Was Onan’s wickedness his disobedience to his father and lack of charity to his sister-in-law in his termination of sexual intercourse so as not to sire a child by her? Is the law of levirate marriage aplicable to us today? Is the ending of sexual intercourse suddenly before ejaculation inherently sinful? If it is, then it would seem that contraception is also sinful. Is mastrabation intrinsicly sinful?

As for I Timothy 2:15 (“But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”), to which Mr. Lefevre alluded - I have no idea what this verse means.

Posted by: Joshua on March 23, 2004 1:43 PM

In levirate marriage, a childless widow was married by a brother of the deceased husband, who thereby saved her from widowhood (a much more destitute state in those days) and gave her a chance to have children and continue on with life. I have always thought it was clear that Onan took advantage of the levirate marriage custom, then violated the spirit of it by deliberately not impregnating his new wife. Thus, (1) he was married under a false pretense, and (2) was sexually taking advantage of his brother’s widow while (3) refusing to allow her to bear children. Those are three pretty serious transgressions. He was hardly put to death for “masturbation” or limiting his number of children to some reasonable number other than zero.

Other things could be said from biblical principles about masturbation and contraception, but the case of Onan has been twisted quite a bit out of context in that regard over the years.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 23, 2004 2:48 PM

I tend to agree with commenters that extracting Christian sexual morality (including the prohibition of masturbation, contraception, etc that all Christians shared until quite recently) from scripture alone doesn’t work. Of course as a Catholic it is my view that extracting Christian morality, not to mention Christian doctrine, from scripture alone doesn’t work in general. It isn’t unheard of for someone to cross the Tiber specifically because of the capitulation of protestantism on contraception.

Posted by: Matt on March 23, 2004 5:25 PM

Chesterton, for example. See his essay “The Surrender Upon Sex” in The Well and the Shallows.

Posted by: Paul Cella on March 23, 2004 6:02 PM

Re: Mr. LaFevre’s puzzlement over the meaning of I Timothy 2:15: The most accurate understanding of this portion of Scripture is expounded beautifully By Dr. Barnes in his Notes on the New Testament. The explanation is quite lengthy as it draws from several other reference sources but traces the context of the matter back to the situation of Eve sinning against G-d.

Posted by: Edwin Vogt on March 25, 2004 7:40 AM

Sorry to keep coming back to the subject of immigration in this thread. :-) I have always thought that part of the gulf between conservatives and liberals is that liberals consider an idea in the abstract and often do not even ask how the idea has fared in the past; empirical evidence is not even sought. Conservatives wish to preserve the wisdom of the past, and hence believe it is imprudent to propose changes without understanding why things are the way they are, what advantages and disadvantages are offered by current customs, and how well or poorly different customs have worked in other times and places. Empirical evidence is desired as a bulwark against the radical utopian tendency to destroy institutions and arrangements that are not perfect, while ignoring the imperfections of their replacements.

In this light, what shall we say of Bush’s amnesty a.k.a. guest worker program? Have such programs been tried in the past? If so, how have they worked? Vernon Briggs, Jr., a member of the board at the CIS, presented a lengthy summary to Congress of the performance of guest worker programs in the USA dating back to World War I. You can read it at

The liberal approach is to propose such a program because it sounds compassionate, permitting oneself to engage in moral narcissism and self-congratulation over how compassionate you are, regardless of the negative consequences for real people, including poorer American citizens who are supposedly the objects of your compassion at other times. The conservative approach to a guest worker proposal is to ask how it would work, what would be all of its effects on our society, and what can we learn from past experience to answer this question. Which approach describes George W. Bush?

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 25, 2004 8:32 AM

There’s a very interesting piece on VDARE that has been taken from Kevin Phillips’ book about the Bush dynasty describing the Texas ruling elite’s long-standing advocacy of cheap Mexican and Central American labor. It offers a possible explanation of Bush’s arrogant attitude - even in the face of widespread opposition among rank and file Republicans.

Posted by: Carl on March 25, 2004 11:54 AM

Pat Buchanan nails it again. I believe this column is airtight.

Posted by: Xian Xi on March 25, 2004 12:50 PM

Mr. Coleman’s comment of March 25, 2004 at 8:32 a.m. attempting to analysize the thinking behind Bush’s immigration plan treats the plan with vastly more seriousness than it deserves. The Bush plan is not just in the Platonic cave; it’s in the cave below the cave, where there is not even a simulacrum of rationality.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on March 26, 2004 1:37 PM

What would we do without illegal Mexicans to pick our crops for us? Well, the New York Times, of all people, discovered that when illegal Mexicans were not cheap enough and productive enough to keep the Florida orange growers competitive with imported oranges from Brazil and elsewhere, the orange grove owners turned to machines. The machines are mcuh quicker and more productive than the illegals; in fact, the story says that “the machines threaten to displace” the jobs of those illegals. Hope this link works:

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 27, 2004 4:52 PM

In terribly late reply to Matt’s question of March 23, 2004 11:04, I place the pill in a separate category from things like condoms because it has the curse of functioning as an abortifacient if it doesn’t work to prevent pregnancy. I need not add anything further to Matt’s distinction of the difference.

Perhaps adding to the abhorence is the fact that many women are apparently unaware that the pill has this ‘feature.’ It’s not as though it’s a secret, per se, but neither is it always straightforwardly presented. No suprise there. Fetucide mills typically withhold important information on the nature of the unborn child. Even where they are required to present sonogram images, for instance, they can often get around the technical requirement simply by angling the monitor so that it’s nearly impossible for the woman to view the image of the precious life in the womb.

In 1984, I attended a debate on ‘abortion’ between Dr. D. James Kennedy and the notorious methodist Dr. John Swomley. Dr. Kennedy told of a young lady who had just undergone a fetucide procedure and somehow got a view of the ‘POC’ (‘products of conception’) and exclaimed in shock, “Why that’s a baby!” She was amazed at that fact.

People are going to burn in hell for this.

As to our other points of debate, which had taken the thread off its track somewhat, I’ve no doubt we’ll have opportunity to resume said topics at a later time.

Posted by: Joel LeFevre on March 29, 2004 3:24 AM

Mr. LeFevre: understood, and I agree with the distinction, thanks.

Posted by: Matt on March 29, 2004 9:51 AM

The latest immigration article at NRO by Mark Krikorian of the CIS, “Strange Bedfellows”, is pretty interesting:

Posted by: Clark Coleman on March 31, 2004 3:30 PM

My thanks to Messenger Coleman for that link to Mr. Krikorian’s well-written article.

Posted by: David Levin on April 1, 2004 6:25 AM

Lovely that our Mexican president has chosen to have his IRS goons audit my parents, who are in their seventies. Yet President Bush chooses not to enforce the law against Mexicans. Indeed, he has cut the budget for immigration enforcement. Our president does not even require his goons to get up out of their chairs to obtain the 1099’s that his goons have insisted be supplied by companies. Instead he allows his goons to order my parents to send them copies. Don’t give up fighting the establishment, or you will surely be defeated.

Posted by: P Murgos on April 4, 2004 10:52 PM

You do realize, don’t you, Mr. Murgos, that our little Napoleon is engaged in a massive transfer of wealth from (primarily) white American citizens to Third Worlders abroad and Third Worlders running amok within our country. According to George and Laura, the millions of mexicans streaming into a America are an issue of “human rights”, not national culture or even law enforcement. You see, your parents simply have too much. And George intends to make sure they “share it” with the “oppressed of the earth”. Oh, and if you think things are bad now, just wait until all of mexico’s illegals acquire U.S. citizenship and their children grow up and reach the age to vote. Then, they’ll just vote themselves your and your parents’ money directly through taxes.

Posted by: Paul C. on April 5, 2004 9:39 AM

I am deeply shocked by Paul C.’s description of Bush 43 as a “little Napoleon.” Is there any resemblance whatsoever between the stumbling fool in the White House and the greatest man of action the world has ever seen?
Come to think of it, my own mathematics are at fault too. The current Bush is really just 41.1.

Posted by: Alan Levine on April 5, 2004 4:16 PM

The “greatest man of action the world has ever seen” racks up victories to this very day. Most of the English-speaking world has succumbed to the Mighty Midget’s “metric” system. Wellington rolls in his two-metre grave.

Posted by: Reg Cæsar on April 5, 2004 7:34 PM

I don’t think the comparison of Bush to Napoleon is completely off-base. Bush typically expresses himself in an annoyingly peremptory, dictatorial manner. Example: his conduct at the summer 2003 “Road Map to Peace” conference in the Mideast where he acted like a world conqueror who could get all the Mideastern leaders just to roll over and behave the way he wanted them to behave. Of course, it came to nothing.

Another example: his announcement of his immigration proposal this past January. He puts forth this most radical, crazy plan, without confronting all the concerns that people would rationally have about it, and in the manner of one who expects that what he wills, will be, period. Once again, nothing came of it.

As we’ve often noted before, it’s hard to figure out what makes Bush tick. It will be interesting to read some books about his presidency after he leaves office.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on April 6, 2004 2:11 AM

What is the origin of Bush’s utopianism? This man thinks he is on a mission from God to raise the mexican peasant from poverty, cure AIDS in Africa, and establish Jeffersonian democracy throughout the world with his Napoleonic-like adventures abroad. Hence, Iraq, where he chose to “liberate” the country, instead of going to war against it. Where “shock and awe” turned out to be the world’s biggest fireworks display. Where we are now engaged in a war that isn’t a war, because Bush is determined to see the Arab world throw flowers in his path and annoint him as their savior. And let’s not forget the new adventure in Haiti, the continuing suppression and “cleansing” of Christian Serbs in favor of muslims, and the absurd reasoning for the “rebuilding” of Afghanistan—to return girls to the schoolhouse.

Posted by: Paul C. on April 6, 2004 9:15 AM

Once, in the era of the Founders of this nation, America was spoken of as a shining city on a hill. Our example to the rest of the world was to be an inspiration for freedom and the rule of law in a constitutional republic. We recently cited with satisfaction the fact that the freedom fighters of Tiananmen Square in Beijing had read Jefferson’s writings in the Declaration and elsewhere.

Somewhere along the line, the idea of setting an example became too tame, too passive. Now, our way must be forced on the rest of the world. They are all going to have a “democracy” whether they are ready or not. I guess example-setting is too slow of a process.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on April 6, 2004 12:12 PM

I could hardly damn “Bring us more peons” Bush better than Mr. Auster, Mr. Coleman and Paul C! But Napoleon, for all his faults, was a great general and a very able ruler. Bush 41.1 …. well, he isn’t either of those things. Whether he means any of the idiotic utopian sounds he makes is another point. I doubt that most of them, with the possible exception of his fanaticism on immigration, are more than Rovian-style sound bites.
Hate to have to contradict Mr. Caesar, but I think the metric system is a good thing — which is hardly a justfication for either the Revolution or Napoleon!

Posted by: Alan Levine on April 6, 2004 3:03 PM

Mr. Auster wrote about GWB:

“Another example: his announcement of his immigration proposal this past January. He puts forth this most radical, crazy plan, without confronting all the concerns that people would rationally have about it, and in the manner of one who expects that what he wills, will be, period. Once again, nothing came of it.”

So far. But if El Presidente wins second term, watch out. On a few occasions — tax cuts, Iraq invasion — he proved to be very persistent. I fully expect he will push Open Borders very strongly in the second term, if he wins it.

Posted by: Mik on April 6, 2004 3:40 PM

NBC news had a shockingly good (considering the source) story regarding illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexican border. The story, which was two-three minutes long, ran at the end of the first segment of the evening news. Mr. Brokow introduced the story as showing “wide gaps in homeland security”. The news piece told viewers that entry to the U.S. by way of the Mexican border is used not only by Mexican illegals but also by aliens from all over the world. It said that jails in the Southwest are full of arrested illegal aliens awaiting deportation procedings. Illegal Mexican immigrants arrested by the Border Patrol are deported straight-away; but deportation hearing must occur when aliens from other countries are arrested. Because deportation proceding are slow and the jail space is inadaquate, many OTMs (other than Mexican) are given a court summons and released. Over eighty percent fail to report for their deportation hearings. The story said that knowledge that only some will be repatriated is an inducement to foreigners to attempt to illegally enter the U.S.

The story said that arrests of illegal immigrants are up circa forty-five percent this year over last year. The story featured some sound-bites of an interview with U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo-Colo. in which he attributed the increse in illegal entries to President Bush’s “guest worker” proposal. Rep. Tancedo related a conversation he had with a Border Patrolman in which the patrolman said that illegals told him that they attempted to enter the U.S. because they heard about the amnesty for illegals.

The ending point of the news piece was that, because of the under-funded and overwhelmed condition of the Border Patrol and because of the large numbers of people entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico, the U.S.-Mexican border route is a relatively easy way for terrorists to enter the United States.

Posted by: Joshua on April 6, 2004 3:53 PM

A Mexican-American writer worries that Mexican emigration to the USA will decline in the near future due to declining birth rates in Mexico:

I won’t hold my breath, but a little hopeful news can be therapeutic from time to time.

Posted by: Clark Coleman on April 20, 2004 1:05 PM
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