Category Archives: Culture

It’s Still the Media, Stupid!

media-womd-lies

The US Presidential campaign has demonstrated once again that the mainstream mass media is still the dominant force and arbitrator of political events and if it is successful in pushing the Wicked Witch of Chappaqua past the finish line this November, it may have achieved its greatest triumph.  During the campaign’s stretch run, the mainstream media has used every form and variety of spin, distortion, half truth, calumny, and lies in its diabolical effort to make Killary Rotten Clinton President of the USSA.

The mass media – television, newspapers, movies, the Entertainment industry, book publishing, advertising, and now sports – is part of society’s opinion molding movers and shakers which form part of what Noble Prize winning economist F.A. Hayek called “intellectuals.”  This all important group are not simply nerdy academic professors with patches on their sleeves, but are those who have the ability to shape public opinion, as Hayek describes:

It is the intellectuals in this sense who decide what views and

opinions are to reach us, which facts are important enough

to be told us, and in what form and from what angle they are

to be presented.  Whether we shall ever learn of the results of the

work of the expert and the original thinker depends mainly on their

decision. *

Since at least the 1960s, the dominant opinion-molding sector of the mass media has been the electronic media, which has far outpaced newsprint and academia in influence.  While its power may be on the wane in the Internet Age, it is still the most powerful and important tool in the political elites arsenal for imparting their agenda.

The electronic media, through its use of pictures and images, has been able to manipulate political outcomes and shape public policy discussions at almost every turn.  As every media realist has long understood, the mainstream media has long been controlled by the Left which has used this power to counter any opposition to its narrative.

The major media outlets are controlled by five corporate giants – Time Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom – the largest purveyors of crony capitalism and cultural Marxism the world has ever witnessed.  No dissent is allowed to be heard on these outlets nor is there any hope of career advancement for journalists or writers if the Leftist paradigm is not trumpeted.

A free society does not exist because of a free press.  In fact, every society which has naively allowed a free press to exist, invariably finds that the press will seek to undermine it, especially its most innovative and successful individuals.  The reason, as Hayek so brilliantly explains, is that the press, and in this age the electronic media, is part of the intelligentsia which by its nature is envy ridden since it has little to offer the world in the production of actual goods and services.  Its members, therefore, are constantly denigrating their betters.

Such a mindset and sociological disposition will naturally lead members of the mass media to support politicians who will regulate, tax, and control the productive members of society.  This explains, in part, their vile and hysterical opposition to Donald Trump.  For Trump, unlike his crazed and corrupt opponent, has largely gained his wealth and position through his own intelligence, foresight, and hard work.

Offsetting media bias is a Herculean task and can only be done by one who is savvy and financially independent enough.  This is why Donald Trump has gotten as far has he has and has used his leverage to heroically call out the manipulations of the mainstream media.

It is surprising, therefore, that Trump agreed to the Presidential “debates” in a forum orchestrated by the media with “moderators” who would be gunning to undermine him at every turn.  Better to have chosen a neutral environment with an honest third party participant such as Brian Lamb of C-Span.  Agreeing to the same rigged debate format was a tactical mistake.

For anyone to seriously challenge the American Leviathan, it must be understood that the mainstream media is a part of that despotic structure and it too must be neutered.  Donald Trump has done more than any Presidential candidate to expose the treachery of the mainstream media, now others must take up the cause.

*F.A. Hayek, “The Intellectuals and Socialism.”  https://www.mises.org/sites/default/files/Intellectuals%20and%20Socialism_4.pdf

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

 

Long Live the Flags of Dixie!

Confederat Flag

On May 19, the House of Reprehensibles passed a proposal that would essentially ban the display of Confederate flags from national cemeteries.  The amendment was added to a Veteran Affairs spending bill.

Not surprisingly, House Speaker Paul Ryan allowed the measure to be voted upon in hopes of not disrupting the appropriations process.  Yes, by all means Paul, the redistribution of taxpayers’ confiscated wealth should take precedent over a draconian attempt to eradicate a heroic symbol of the country’s past.  Hopefully, Ryan will be ousted this November as both Speaker and Congressman for not only his consistent sell out to Obummer and the Democrats on the budget, but his lack of understanding and appreciation of what is arguably the most important period of American history.

In a certain sense, the Confederate flag should not be displayed in national cemeteries or for that matter flown alongside those of the Union.  The two are representations of dramatically opposed political ideologies.  Liberals and political opportunists of all sorts have deliberately smeared the South’s attempt at secession as being entirely over the issue of slavery.  The “Civil War” (which that struggle has become known by) is now seen through Politically Correct hindsight.

A civil war, in the truest sense, is a conflict between factions attempting to gain control of a government typically for their own aggrandizement.  The bloody conflict between the North and South was not that, nor was it solely over slavery although the institution played a role in it.

The Confederacy wanted no part of the Washington establishment at the time, which it believed had become too tyrannical, and attempted to secede from it.  The remaining states of the North, under the “leadership” of Abraham Lincoln, prevented this at the cost of more than 600,000 lives, the vast destruction of property, and the impoverishment of a people who simply sought to rule themselves.

The South’s action was nearly identical to what the colonies, North and South, did some 80 years previously in breaking away from the British Empire and becoming free and independent states under the benign rule of the Articles of Confederation.

As America’s Founding Fathers saw their liberties violated by King and Parliament, Southerners witnessed similar tyrannies and wisely anticipated more federal oppression with the election of Lincoln.

This interpretation has been ably supported by scholarship, though the view is rarely acknowledged in academia or in the mainstream media.  In an essay from an insightful collection titled Secession, State and Liberty, Donald Livingston persuasively describes the ideological content of the Declaration of Independence, the revolution it inspired, and its influence on the South’s leadership.

He writes: “Overall, the Declaration is an argument designed to justify the secession of the new self-proclaimed American states from the British state. . .  [It] is a document justifying the territorial dismemberment of a modern state in the name of the moral right of a people to self-government.”*

The South, imbued with such logic and the example of the Revolutionary generation’s break with Great Britain, attempted to separate from the Union on similar grounds and, in Livingston’s view, had a much stronger claim than the Founding Fathers had for independence:

[T]he colonies were not and never had been recognized as sovereign states, either by others or even by themselves.  At the time of the Civil War, however, the southern states had been and still were sovereign states, and so they could mount not only a moral argument but a legal one as well.  And it was the legal argument they primarily insisted upon.  Each state used the same legal form to secede from the Union that it has used to enter, namely, ratification in a convention of people.**

Although slavery was a part of the South’s final break with the North, the Confederacy could never have been built on such a narrow foundation.  Those who seek to paint Southern secession as a movement solely designed to protect their “peculiar institution” have either misunderstood the genesis of that struggle or do so for political gain.

While Southern secession is mercilessly condemned by the Establishment, scholars like Professor Livingston see it and the War for Southern Independence in a much different and far nobler light: “With the orderly, legal secession of the southern states, the American genius for self-government reached its highest moral expression.”***

The Northern and Southern flags which fly in national cemeteries across the land are indeed representative of different traditions, but not what the Politically Correct crowd would have everyone to believe.

The defenders of Dixie and the flags that commemorate their courageous actions have long since been morally justified.  The Union flag, on the other hand, has been one of aggression and domination, at first, brutally directed at its fellow countrymen who simply sought self-determination, and afterwards against millions of peoples from Vietnam to Iraq.

Hopefully, in the not too distant future as economic conditions worsen and American hegemony can no longer be maintained, the Union flag and the empire in which it represents will receive greater vitriol than the Confederate flag has gotten for its innumerable mass murders, destruction, crimes, and chaos which it has wantonly brought to every corner of the planet.

*David Gordon, ed., Secession, State & Liberty. Donald W. Livingston, “The Secession Tradition in America.” New Brunswick (U.S.A.), Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 7

** Ibid., 18.

*** Ibid., 19.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Rock ‘N’ Roll Has Got to GO!

R n R

Has Got to GO!

Those who believe that the Western world can solely be turned around by the enactment of sound economic policies are sadly mistaken.  Until the Left is not only defeated, but annihilate in the culture war, the decline of the West both economically and socially will continue as recently witnessed by the “controversy” over the use of public bathrooms by perverts.

To accomplish such a necessary task, those on the Right must identify the means and mechanism by which liberalism has so adroitly used to accomplish the cultural transformation.

No finer example of the Left’s use of a medium for its depraved ends can be seen in that of rock “music.”  It is safe to say that rock ‘n’ roll has done more to undermine public morality than all of the judicial activism and welfare legislation enacted throughout the past half century or so.  And, without a conducive social atmosphere created by such music, it is doubtful that the sexual revolution and its perverse byproducts such as militant homosexuality and feminism would have ever flourished.

While initially rock was relatively innocuous, it, nevertheless, was subversive to traditional morality.  Most rock songs are couched in cleverly worded lyrics which promote promiscuity, vices such as drug use, and frequently mocks Christianity, all of which has led to the corruption and eventual ruination of countless lives.

Yet, despite these well established sociological “facts” of rock ‘n’ roll’s corrupting influence, those among the Right have long ago accepted this insidious form of music.  In fact, many actually promote it.  Rock is used as lead-in and background music to conservative television and radio programs while publications carry reviews of rock albums and concerts with writers often boasting about attending such events with their wives and children in tow.

After the recent passing of the degenerate and truly odd character who went by the name of “Prince,” a number of conservative outlets praised his “music” while one popular radio and television personality attempted to make the case that Prince was an opponent of the New World Order!

At one time, the culture war was an integral part of the political discourse, however, the debate over the issues of that war have been abandoned.  The acceptance of rock music by the Right is another demonstration of how it has succumbed to nearly all of liberalism’s premises.

The Left has understood (and still does) that through mediums such as television, motion pictures, and music, they could accomplish their agenda despite setbacks in the political arena.  While unsuccessful for a time in politics, they were, nevertheless, winning the important cultural battles and it was through rock music that society was gradually transformed.

There is, thus, no need for those who seek a return to traditional society to celebrate and embrace rock music, instead it should be treated with scorn.  But, it must first be recognized for the evil that it is.

While rock music must be understood for what it represents and debunked for its part in the triumph of the counterculture, an alternative should also be offered.  Happily, one can be readily found in the sublime and societal enhancing music of such masters as Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky.

Better still, St. Augustine reportedly remarked, “Qui cantat, bis orat” (“A person who sings prays twice”).  When Western man’s Creator is once again prayed to through the music of such greats as Palestrina, Victoria, and Byrd throughout all the lands will the cultural war be won and society revitalized while rock music will be a distant and regrettable memory of a troubled time.

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

Feudalism: Was it so Bad?

feudal system

One of the biggest misconceptions held among the independent and alternative media is that of feudalism and the political, economic and social arrangements which characterized that unfairly maligned epoch.

Derogatory language is often used to describe feudal times with commentators often suggesting that today’s political and financial elites seek to return mankind to such a supposedly depressed, stagnate and repressive condition.

Those who receive the most animus from alternative media pundits are the authority figures and institutions which reigned throughout the period – knights, dukes, kings, princes, popes, priests, bishops, churches, monasteries, and cathedrals.

Yet, was this the case; was feudalism which existed throughout much of the Middle Ages really that bad?

Politically, despite the distortions found in contemporary history books and political science texts, state power in feudal times can be categorized in one term – decentralized – which in reality meant a considerable amount of individual liberty and freedom for all, including serfs.

Naturally, feudal political conditions across Europe varied, however, a look through Carl Stephenson’s classic work, Mediaeval Feudalism, is instructive:

So far as eleventh-century France is concerned, we may disregard

the royal authority altogether.  The kingdom of the West Franks,

which had never been more than a political makeshift, now seemed

on the point of final dissolution. . . . The ancient rights of the crown

had long since passed to such men as were able, with or without

legal authorization to organize and defend a local territory. . . .

The greater of the king’s alleged vassals never came near his court,

whether to perform homage or to render any other service.  What

respect could they have for a theoretical lord who was defied with

impunity by petty officials on his own domain?1

Professor Stephenson continues with words that should warm the hearts of anti-statists everywhere:

France, obviously, had ceased to be a state in any proper sense

of the word.  Rather, it had been split into a number of states

whose rulers, no matter how they styled themselves, enjoyed

the substance of the regal power.2

In Germany, too, power was radically diffused as Professor Stephenson describes:

. . . in various other ways the rulers of Germany sought to

maintain the Carolingian tradition of a grandiose monarchy.

They even revived the imperial title and made brave efforts

to reign on both sides of the Alps.  But the task was an

impossible one.  The Holy Roman Empire became a mere

sham; and as the prolonged contest between the royal

and the princely authority ended in the complete victory of

the latter, Germany. . . was resolved into a group of feudal

states.3

Despite their aggrandizing efforts, the German kings could never succeed in establishing absolutist rule:

Vainly trying to be Roman emperors, the successors of

Otto I . . . became [as kings] purely elective, degenerated

into a sort of decoration to be borne first by one local prince

an then by another.4

Germany remained, for the longest time, an area of decentralized political authority as Professor Stephenson explains:

From the Rhineland to the Slavic frontier, armies were

made up of knights, society was dominated by a

chivalrous aristocracy, the countryside was dotted with

motte-and-bailey castles, and governments were

organized on the basis of feudal tenure.5

Political and economic theory have demonstrated that power which is diffused typically leads to low levels of taxation.  In the case of medieval feudalism, this certainly was the case:

. . .  if the lord needed military service or financial aid beyond

what was specifically owed by his vassals, his only recourse

was to ask them for a voluntary grant.  He had no right to tax

or assess them arbitrarily, for his authority in such matters was

determined by feudal contract.6

Likewise, law was not “made up” by legislative acts, but was that of custom and tradition based on the natural law which kings, lords, vassals, and commoners were all obliged to live by:

Nor does he [the king, or lord] have a discretionary power

of legislation.  Law was the unwritten custom of the country.

To change or even to define it was the function, not of the lord,

but of his court.  It was the vassals themselves who declared the

law under which they lived; and when one of them was accused

of a misdeed, he was entitled to the judgment of his peers, i.e.

his fellow vassals.7

Warfare, too, was limited in scope compared to the massive human slaughter and destruction of property which has taken place over the past two centuries:

    The general character of feudal warfare may be easily

deduced from what has already been said about

vassalage and chivalry. . . .  when two feudal armies

met, each knightly participant was apt to conduct

himself as he saw fit.  The final outcome would depend

on a series of duels in which the determining factor was

individual prowess.  But battles on a large scale were

rare in feudal Europe.  The characteristic warfare of the

age consisted rather of pillaging raids into the enemy’s

territory, of skirmishes between small bands of knights,

and of engagements incident to the siege of castles.

[Emphasis mine.]8

While there used to be a debate about the conditions of serfs compared to that of modern day wage earners, the argument is now falling apart with studies showing that real wages and corresponding standards of living have actually contracted over the past half century for most.  Where there can be no debate, however, is the moral condition of the people of the feudal past compared with contemporary times where “gay marriage” and other abominations have now been given legal status.  No right-minded person could argue that marriage, the family, and child rearing are in better shape today than they were in the supposed “Dark Ages.”

In nearly every aspect of societal appraisement, medieval feudalism was a far superior social order than anything which has come in its wake.  Those who denigrate it not only show their historical ignorance, but play into the hands of their elite oppressors who understand that a return to such a social order would be a much greater threat to their power than any presidential candidate or his “movement.”

1Carl Stephenson, Mediaeval Feudalism, Ithaca, NY.: Great Seal books, 1942; 1960, pp. 77-78.

2Ibid., p. 78.

3Ibid., 92-93.

4Ibid., 93.

5Ibid.

6Ibid., p. 31.

7Ibid.

8Ibid., pp. 66-68.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

https://antoniusaquinas.com/

 

“Pope” Francis and the Disintegration of Europe

Pope's Wall

A Massive Wall Surrounds Francis-Bergoglio’s Vatican City-State

Despite being rebuked and humiliated by the Republican presidential front runner over his inflammatory statements about U.S. illegal immigration policies, Newpope Francis of the Vatican II sect has continued to opine about the migration crisis.

In an address to a Newcatholic French group, Bergoglio admitted the obvious: “We can speak today of [an] Arab invasion.  It is a social fact.”  Yet, despite the horrific consequences of this fact, mostly orchestrated by New World Order groups and organizations of which his church is a part, Newpope amazingly contends that this will eventually be a positive thing for Europeans: “How many invasions has Europe experienced in the course of its history! But it’s always been able to overcome them and move forward, finding itself complimented and improved by the cultural exchange they brought about.”*

Europe “complimented and improved”?!   Right.  Tell that to the thousands of women who have been raped, assaulted, and terrorized by mostly Muslim fanatics, or look at the widespread destruction of private property that these trespassers have wrought, and worse, the cultural transformation that this deliberately created crisis has produced.

Bergoglio furthered these idiotic statements with some multicultural speak: “the only continent [Europe] that can bring some unity to the world.”  And that Europe must fulfill its “universal role” and “rediscover its cultural roots.”**

If Bergoglio really wants Europeans to “rediscover” their “cultural roots,” they will find that ever since the emergence of Mohammedanism, its fanatical adherents have repeatedly attempted to overrun and conquer the Continent and subject its peoples to the crazed religious and political dictates of its possessed “prophet.”

At one time, Europe fulfilled its “universal role” by engaging in a series of military actions (the Holy Crusades) which were mostly inspired by true popes (which Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors are certainly not) to expunge the infidel from the sacred places where the Founder of Christianity lived, preached, was crucified, and gloriously rose from the dead.  These authentic successors of St. Peter, in particular Urban II and Innocent III, understood the threat that Mohammedanism posed to their flocks both spiritually and culturally.

The failure of Christendom to ultimately defeat Islam and drive it out of the former lands of the Roman Empire was not the fault of the popes, but that of the secular powers who increasingly sought their own aggrandizement. If the European principalities had heeded the popes’ calls and driven the Muslims back to their tribal homeland, history would have had a happier outcome.

Bergoglio, if he cared to look, would find that Europe’s “universal role” included the justification of “holy war,” in the use of violence against Islam, not only during the Crusades, but in the re-conquest of Spain, and in the defense of its homeland from numerous Muslim assaults. Moreover, the idea of Muslims living side-by-side with Europeans or being able to create their own autonomous communities would have rightly been considered societal genocide.

No authentic pope would be engaged in “dialogue,” common prayer meetings, or other ecumenical interchanges with Muslims as Bergoglio and his Vatican II predecessors have repeatedly and blasphemously done over the years.  Any pre-Vatican II pope, theologian, bishop, priest, or, for that matter, astute layman would properly consider such actions abominable and would recommend as punishment a rendezvous with some of the scum that abounds at the bottom of the Tiber for its transgressors!

Bergoglio and most of the Newchurch hierarchy’s support for free migration and open borders and their condemnation of those who have opposed such lunacy clearly demonstrates that the Vatican II sect is part and parcel of the New World Order which seeks the eradication of sovereignty and the extinction or at least subjugation of European peoples to the global elites.

Not only is this cretin wantonly overturning two thousand years of traditional Christian teaching on morality, but he is openly encouraging the destruction of those societies which that morality ultimately helped to build.

Despite the skillfully and deceitfully crafted persona as “Mr. Humble” and his white pontifical attire, “Pope” Francis and the sect that he heads are a clear and present danger to what remains of Western civilization and must be opposed and removed from power.

*Tom Wyke, “The Pope says ‘It is a Social fact’ that Europe is seeing an ‘Arab Invasion’ and it’s a Good Thing.”  Daily Mail.com.  4 March 2016

**Ibid.

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

 

 

Queen Isabella and the Invasion of Europe

Surrender of Granada

The Muslim Surrender of Granada to Fernando and Isabella, 1492

If the Western world ever becomes serious on how to deal with the current, mostly Muslim, invasion of its once sacred soil, all it needs to do is to look to its glorious past.  In particular, it should examine the heroic actions of one of its greatest figures, Isabella of Castile. This is why the historian William Thomas Walsh entitled his magisterial biography of the queen, Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.

While the Reconquista was not directed at securing access to the Holy Land and Jerusalem as earlier Crusades had attempted, the ridding of the Spanish peninsula of Muslim power was a definite part of what Jonathan Riley-Smith calls the “paraphernalia of crusading:”

. . . with the union of Aragon and Castile in the

persons of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1479 and

the resurgence of crusading ideas that had followed

the loss of Constantinople the Spanish court, with

Isabella taking the lead, began to seethe with fervour,

nationalistic as well as religious.  The paraphernalia

of crusading – papal letters and crusading privileges –

were in evidence.  [Jonathan Riley-Smith,

The Crusades: A History, p. 312

Isabella and Fernando used their money and resources not for “national greatness,” or their own self aggrandizement as the later “absolutist” monarchs would do, but instead employed their treasures to triumphantly defeat one of Christianity’s mortal foes.

Huge sums of money were spent and large armies

raised and the war was pursued with a remarkable

singlemindedness at the expense of almost

all the country’s other interests.  [Ibid]

If Christian principalities and powers had a portion of Isabella’s ardor for the Faith, the infidel would have long since been vanquished or at least pushed out of the former lands of the Roman Empire which they had brutally overrun.  Unfortunately, the Western world went in an increasingly secular direction after the passing of the great queen, eventually adopting totalitarian social democracy as its governing system while pushing Christianity out from nearly every sector of public life.

Norman Housley in Contesting the Crusades adds, “. . .  the Granada war of 1482-92 had shown not just that the crusading mechanism could still work, thereby confirming the lesson of the Hussite crusades, but that it could generate military success.” (p. 138) He points out that the Reconquista was a part of crusading tradition and not some separate political aggrandizement scheme of Isabella and Fernando: “A significant feature of recent research on the Granada war, however, has been the demonstration that the campaigns were advanced with the help of a cluster of ideas and emotions that had strong links with past crusading.” (p. 139)

Before the final elimination of Muslim power in Spain, Isabella was engaged in crusading activity.  Her forays against the Muslims were undertaken outside of Spain proper and done despite the kind of internal political difficulties which kept other sovereigns from taking up the Cross.

In 1479, the Grand Turk Mohammed II besieged Rhodes which Venice had abandoned, in part, to preserve its own trading privileges in the Levant.  While the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem had held off the Muslims, it did not end the threat as the Turks set their sights on the coast of Italy which, of course, sent shock waves not only throughout the country, but Europe at large.

In August of 1480, the Turks attacked and took the city of Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples.  The atrocities committed were particularly heinous as Walsh details:

Of the 22,000 inhabitants, the barbarians bound 12,000

with ropes and put them to death, thus helpless, with

terrible tortures.  They slew all the priests in the city.

They sawed in two the aged Archbishop of Otranto,

whom they found praying before the altar.  On a hill

outside the city, now known as Martyrs’ Hill, they

butchered many captives who refused to become

Mohammedans, and threw their corpses to the dogs.

[Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

The account of these actions became widely dispersed and certainly known to Isabella.

As happened far too often in earlier crusades the political leadership, this time in Italy, was too busy with their own petty squabbles to recognize the Muslim threat despite pleas from the pope: “If the faithful, especially the Italians wish to preserve their lands, their houses, their wives, their children, their liberties, and their lives; if they wish to maintain that Faith into which we have been baptized, and through which we are regenerated, let them at last trust in our word, let them take up their arms and fight.” [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 192]

Not only for the rest of Europe, but the Moors’ capture of Otranto was a threat to Spain, especially since Granada, with two important sea ports on the Mediterranean, could easily be used as military bases.  Isabella, however, keenly understood what the establishment of a Muslim foothold on Italian soil would mean for the security of Christendom.  In response, she sent the entire Castilian fleet to assist in the recapture of Otranto.  The queen went beyond just providing arms for defensive purposes, but took the offensive despite delaying much needed domestic reform as Walsh describes:

. . . it was characteristic of Isabella to stop at nothing short of

her utmost.  At a moment when she had need of her new

revenues to complete her program of reform and to prepare

for war with Granada . . . she generously threw all her energies

and material resources into the major struggle for the safety

of Christendom.  She formed the audacious design of raising

a fleet powerful enough not only to defend Italy and Spain,

but if necessary to defeat the Turks on the high seas and

smash their whole offensive.   [Ibid., p. 193]

The idea of compromise or coexistence with the Muslims, a policy which had been taken by crusaders both in the East and in Spain’s case with El Cid was anathema to Fernando and Isabella.  [S.J. Allen & Emilie Amt, eds.,The Crusades: A Reader, pp188-191]  After the sultan of Egypt, al-Ashnat Saifud-Din Qa’it Bay, had won a significant victory over the Ottoman Turks, he demanded that Fernando and Isabella stop their war on Granada.  He threatened, among other measures, to take reprisals on Christian pilgrims and suggested destroying the Holy Sepulcher.  [Warren H. Carroll, Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen, p. 190]

Fernando was not to be intimidated.  He quickly retorted with a sharp and detailed history of the Reconquista which showed that it was his and his predecessors’ right to regain their homeland from the Muslim invaders.  Moreover, if Catholics were killed to stop the war in Granada, Fernando would kill Granada Moors in retribution. [Ibid.] To this warning, no response was ever recorded from the sultan!

Isabella’s personal sanctity and love for her people has never been denied.  Prior to the attack on the Muslim held fortress of Loja, Isabella organized a massive army the makeup of which consisted of soldiers from across the Continent eager to join the crusade, inspired, no doubt, by the queen’s indomitable will as the late Warren Carroll shows:

The whole army knew that Isabella . . . was praying night

and day for their success; knowing her holiness, they were

immensely confident in the power of her prayers.  Never

had her prestige among them stood so high; her constant

care for the wounded, her fine and firm hand upon their

supply line, keeping them equipped with all they needed

wherever they might go, were now known and honored by

every soldier.  [Ibid., p. 172]

Even her love for her husband would not dissuade the queen from accomplishing what she believed was a holy mission.  In 1484, Fernando had sought to reclaim rights that his family had in Roussillon, France.  Yet, the financial situation at the time only allowed for one war to be fought so a decision had to be made: a conflict over a dynastic dispute or the continuation of the struggle to expel the Muslims.

Isabella never wavered.  Unlike other sovereigns who became embroiled in internal politics instead of fulfilling their crusading vows, Isabella pressed on, even more determined.  In one of the few instances where her disagreements with her husband became public, the queen wrote:

    This is so just and so holy an enterprise that among all

those of Christian princes there was none more honorable

or more worthy, none more likely to gain the aid of God and

the love of the people. . . .   Two years ago the war with the

Moors began, in which great efforts were made and great

preparations undertaken on land and sea, at immense cost.

In view of all this, it appears unwise to lose all by beginning

another war with the French.  [Quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain,

pp, 158-9.]

The Reconquista was not only a part of Spain’s struggle, but became one of Christendom’s, which can easily be seen with the participation of knights and fighting men from across the Continent.  The most important of these were the Lombards whom Isabella recognized as crucial for the achievement of the ultimate goal as Carroll points out:

. . .  the Lombards became the key to the war against Granada;

they were the decisive and irresistible weapon, once brought

to the scene of action.  It was not easy to transport these

monsters over the primitive roads of southern Spain, but

it was done under Isabella’s constant prodding.  [Ibid., p. 159]

While the conquest of Granada at the beginning of 1492 ended seven hundred years of Muslim rule on the Iberian peninsula, the victory would have never been achieved without the sacrifices of Queen Isabella.  Before an attack on Granada could be made, the fortress of Baza had to be captured, however, Fernando’s earlier defense of Sicily and his foray into France left him critically short of funds.  He considered postponing the assault until the needed money and supplies could be procured and sought Isabella’s advice.

Her response was typical, “[Baza] has to be continued and it will continue.”  [quoted in Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  Another retreat would be fatal to the spirit of the people and ultimate success.  William Thomas Walsh explains the heroic efforts the queen made to secure the funds, soldiery, and supplies for Baza’s capture:

Money was the first need.  She pawned her gold and plate,

priceless heirlooms from her ancestors; and she sent all

her jewels by speedy messengers to  Valencia and

Barcelona . . . her pearl necklace, her balas rubies, even

the jeweled crown of Saint Fernando.  [Walsh, Isabella of

                                Spain, p. 312]

The amount sold was astronomical totaling some 60,000 gold florins.  [Carroll, Isabel of Spain, p. 192]  “The pawning of Isabella’s jewels,” Walsh contends,” was the turning point in the Crusade, and the fall of Baza marked the beginning of its third and final phase.”  [Walsh, Isabella of Spain, p. 314]

The capitulation of Granada and the restoration of Christianity throughout Spain was celebrated throughout Europe and recognized at the time for its supreme significance.  Probably no one summed up the accomplishment of Fernando and Isabella than King Henry VII who proclaimed:

These many years the Christians have not gained new ground

or territory upon the infidels, nor enlarged and set farther the

bounds of the Christian world.  But this is now done by the

prowess and devotion of Fernando and Isabella, sovereigns

of Spain, who to their immortal honor have recovered the

great and rich kingdom of Granada, and the populous and

mighty  city of the same name from the Moors . . . for which

this assembly and all Christians are to render laud and thanks

to God, and to celebrate this noble act of the King of Spain, who

in this is not only victorious but apostolical, in the gaining of

new provinces to the Christian faith.  [Quoted in Walsh, Isabella

of Spain, pp. 333-34]

While it took some 700 years to rid Spain of the Muslim yoke, at least Isabella and her predecessors had only to contend with the infidel.  Today, however, those who oppose the invaders have a two-fold problem: not only must they battle a hostile, alien group which may freely roam within their midst, but they must counter the Continent’s political elites who are allowing and, often times, encouraging the catastrophe to take place.

If victory is to be achieved, those who seek to preserve Europe’s cultural and demographic heritage must adopt Isabella’s uncompromising policies and replicate her own tremendous sacrifices.  Many have done so already and will certainly be honored by history for their gallant stand, but many more must join if the contest is to be ultimately won.

 

Selected Bibliography

Allen, S.J. and Amt, Emilie, eds., The Crusades: A Reader.  2nd ed., Toronto:

University of Toronto Press, 2014.

Carroll, Warren H.  Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen.  Front Royal, VA.:

Christendom Press, 1991

Housley, Norman.  Contesting the Crusades.  Malden, MA.: Blackwell

Publishing, 2006.

Smith, Jonathan Riley.  The Crusades: A History.  3rd ed., London:

Bloomsbury Academic, 1987; 2014.

Walsh, William Thomas.  Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader.  New York:

Robert M. McBride and Company, 1930; Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and

Publishers, Inc., 1987.

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas

 

 

Holy Week and the Decline of the West

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At one time, Holy Week – Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday – was recognized and commemorated by the Western world as a solemn period where earthly matters were put aside and focus was directed to history’s most seminal event.

Most businesses were closed or had reduced hours especially during the Sacred Triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.  Entertainment and leisurely activities were curtailed while schools and universities’ “spring breaks” coincided with Holy Week as mankind contemplated, as best as it could, the momentous events which took place in a small backwater outpost of the mighty, and at the time, unknowing, Roman Empire.

Tragically, for the human race those days are a thing of the discredited past.  Sports are played, most work throughout the week, financial affairs are routinely conducted, while Easter Sunday is not seen as a celebration of the Resurrection, but of egg hunts.  In politics, it can be safely assumed that there will be no let up in the seemingly interminable U.S. presidential campaign during this week which, of all places, is in the most need of spiritual reflection.

The triumph of secular humanism is almost complete.

Such disregard and ingratitude for what took place two millennium ago does not bode well for mankind’s future, especially in those lands and among those peoples which once revered these sacred days.  The ominous eternal consequences of such indifference was warned about by the Divine Savior as recounted in St. Matthew’s Gospel: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father, who is in heaven.”

While most do not realize it, the grave economic, political, and social problems which the West faces are ultimately the result of the indifference toward God with the neglect of Holy Week as a prime example.  None of the current abominations such as abortion and “gay” marriage could have ever been possible had human societies been dedicated toward Christ.

Such disregard will not go unpunished.  Could the continuing economic malaise and possible financial collapse, the burgeoning police states and the mostly Muslim invasion of what was once Christendom be heavenly retribution for man’s lackadaisical attitude toward his God?

It is amazing that none among the current crop of presidential contenders have recognized this obvious fact.  Their ignorance, and the blindness of those that are currently in power, will mean that none of the issues being debated and discussed will be solved.  The problems that the West faces today cannot be resolved as a matter of the right policy, but are at their core spiritual.  Redress of these issues will not come about through the ballot box or reform.

The forces that seek the West’s destruction must be fought on the spiritual plane.  They have long understood this, which is why they have tried to and largely succeeded in removing religion from society, allowing it only on Sundays – and if trends continue even this will no longer be tolerated.  Those who seek to preserve the fruits of Western civilization must realize that it is a religious contest.

The disastrous consequences of mankind ruling itself is on display for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see.  The cultural depravity that abounds in contemporary life is stunning and has gone on so long and has been conducted with such intensity that most are now desensitized to it.  Creating jobs, halting mass immigration, appointing “conservative” judges will do little to overthrow the cultural Marxism that permeates society.

Until the Divine Entity for which Holy Week is centered on is once again placed at the summit of Western life, the chances of resolving its various crisis are nil.

 

 

Antonius Aquinas@AntoniusAquinas