A little bit about the real Santa Claus.
Thanks to Mark Scibilia-Carver for putting up the site thecatholiccostofwar.org and for sending us the link.
“These pages are dedicated to the U.S. Catholic victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both soldiers and civilians, who have been killed in these unjust wars and to the memory of Ben and Elizabeth Salmon, Catholic resisters of WWI. It also serves as an indictment of the Catholic Bishops of the U.S. whose response to these wars has been characterized by cowardice, moral laxity and relativism, to the point that they are guilty of material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war.
Surprisingly, the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) does not keep a record of those killed while under its care.”
He writes: “Under the ‘Defund AMS’ tab is a version of the letter I got published in NCR just before the first collection.”
We will add this as a permanent link on the Resources page.
Thanks to Tom Ness for his thoughtful email on the relationship between money and war, and for these links he has provided for those who are interested in learning more.
For anyone who wishes to explore “modern money mechanics” (as the Federal Reserve has called it) there has never been a better time in history to do so, with a wealth of information in books and documentaries readily available, much of it free online. A person can make a significant advance in their knowledge of this subject in as little as 45 minutes. I will put links below to some good sources:
“Money as Debt” a 47 minute documentary, an animated primer on money mechanics https://youtu.be/jqvKjsIxT_8
“The Hidden Secrets of Money” a seven-part series by Mike Maloney, approximately 25 minutes per segment. Episode 1: https://youtu.be/DyV0OfU3-FU
“The Money Masters” Bill Still’s 3 1/2 hour documentary masterpiece explaining the history of money: https://youtu.be/UrJGlXEs8nI
“The Secret of Oz” Another Bill Still documentary which goes over much of the same history as Money Masters, but does it in under two hours: https://youtu.be/U71-KsDArFM
“The Crash Course” Chris Martenson’s 26-segment tutorial on money mechanics, plus how this relates to energy and environment. Segments are from 3 minutes to 25 minutes, 4 hours and 36 minutes total: https://www.peakprosperity.
All of these are accessible to persons of any educational level, although occasionally the truth of money mechanics is so bizarre and counter-intuitive as to repel even the most intelligent mind.
I received an email from one Tom Ness recently after publishing my essay “A Sheep Among Wolves” on Desmond Doss, Hacksaw Ridge, and the Catholic Church. It was titled “Desmond Doss and the Global Failure of the Priesthood Class.” It was so good I wanted to share it on the blog. I do so here with permission. The email from Tom seems particularly apt given that CAM started as a protest against the first collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services.
Ellen — Your review of “Hacksaw Ridge” is one of those essays which my wife and I read out loud, slowly, with lengthy discussion as we go. It brought up a subject that I have considered at length in the past, so many of my thoughts on this have been brewing for a long time.
In one way Desmond Doss was almost certainly the equal of his rifle-carrying comrades: completely ignorant of the banking-financial-industrial complex machinations which had ultimately put him in the middle of the bloody horror of WWII and Hacksaw Ridge. No one ever explained to any of these men how war is stupendously profitable to a very small group of bankers, financiers, and industrialists, and so knowing from whence their greatest profits flow, carefully arrange on the international stage for wars to happen. Technology is shared, investments go to certain industries, propaganda narratives of enmity and national/racial entitlement are constructed in nations being groomed as enemies in war. And most of all, interconnected debt-based fiat currency systems operated through central banks are installed in every country to facilitate and manage the debt on which the wars will be fueled. Desmond Doss and his comrades are mere collateral damage in the accumulation of interest-bearing debt.
Why is this the concern of the global priesthood class (by that I mean professional religious workers of all denominations around the world) when religion is supposed to stick to questions of the spirit? Because the first step in deciding the question of violence versus nonviolence is to explore where the violence comes from. Many people who explore this have said it’s no coincidence that the only act of violence for which Jesus is remembered was his attack on the money changers. The scale and sophistication of the “money changers” in the modern world of war finance might briefly stagger a returned Jesus, but I believe He would quickly recover and begin teaching what needs to be taught: How money works and who controls it.
Globally, no political, media, or academic organization has the attention of more humans than the priesthood class and their lay workers. Nothing would stop the horror of war faster than the priesthood class learning how wars are deviously foisted on trusting populations by those who profit from war, and then teaching their religious adherents in all faiths to recognize when they are being so manipulated and exploited. Religions hold the power to stop war forever.
I read a lot of history, which inevitably leads to being immersed in great horrors like Hacksaw Ridge. My mantra when exposed to this Folly of Man has become, “Stay home, Grow food, Make love.” The natural desires of all good men and women are to live in peace and security while raising a happy family. A capable defense of that peace and security is important for all nations. In the past the profit and motivation for aggressive war was looting and rape, shared (unequally) by all ranks in the enterprise from king to pike men. In today’s wars, looting and rape are (nominally) forbidden, so soldiers only get the horror while the few at the top get the profit. Soldiers, from childhood on, have been whipped into a patriotic fervor to put their lives on the line and kill the enemy, using manufactured fear of the other and/or national/racial entitlement instead of promises of treasure and sex slaves. In effect, soldiers have been cut out of the bargain to be left holding a bag of blood and guts while the bankers and industrialists reap 100% of the profit.
This why I believe it is the duty and obligation of all religious workers to seek knowledge about modern money mechanics, who is behind it, and who profits from war, and then teach that knowledge to everyone in their flock. Saying “no” to violence is good, but knowing why is better.
Thank you to Tom for such a well-written, thoughtful email. I will add another post with recommended links from Tom for anyone interested in learning more about “modern money mechanics.”
This is one of those email forwards that goes around. Don’t really have the energy to critique it right now, but it speaks for itself. I left the crazy formatting in there so no one could mistake it for an actual CAM post.
This may be the best and most honest political promotion statement you will ever read. It decidedly does not brush objections aside.You hate Hillary? READ it. You hate Trump? READ it. You think there’s no choice? READ it. And, read it with your grown-up hat on.We’ve all been dealt huge responsibility with this election. The first step toward accepting responsibility is accepting it, and the first step toward accepting it is recognizing it.READ THIS. Read every single word. It’ll take you about three minutes.
Be sure to read to the end (take a few minutes and read all of it!)Are you sickened and despondent with the current campaign and upcoming presidential election?
I consider myself a conservative and do truly believe our country is at a political/economic/moral/
social crossroads. I need to let you know I could/would never vote for Hillary Clinton to lead this country.
To me, she represents everything that is wrong with our current political structure. On the flip side, I look and listen to Donald Trump and I cringe at every rude, insulting comment he makes.
If you find yourself in a similar state of mind, please read the following article:
A Message For Christians About Donald Trump
Here’s a famous joke about God and how he talks to us.
“A deeply faithful Christian man is stuck on roof at home with massive flooding up to the 2nd floor. Rowboat comes. He says “No, I’m waiting for God. I prayed and I know he’s coming.” 2nd Rowboat. “No, I’m waiting for God.” 3rd Rowboat. “No, I’m waiting for God.”
Water rises. The man drowns. Now he’s meeting God in heaven. The religious man says, “Where were you God? I prayed. I was faithful. I asked you to save me. Why would you abandon me?”
God says, “Hey, I sent you 3 rowboats
Did you ever consider Trump is our rowboat?Maybe God is trying to tell us something important–that now is not the time for a “nice Christian guy” or a “gentleman” or a typical Republican powder puff. Maybe now is the time for a natural born killer, a ruthless fighter, a warrior. Because right about now we need a miracle, or America is finished. Maybe the rules of gentlemen don’t apply here. Maybe a gentleman and “all-around nice Christian” would lead us to slaughter.
Or do you want another Mitt Romney, Bob Dole, John McCain, Gerald Ford or Paul Ryan? Did any of them win? Did they lead the GOP to “the promised land?” Did they change the direction of America? No, because if you don’t win, you have no say.
Paul Ryan couldn’t even deliver his own state, Wisconsin! And as leader of the House, Paul Ryan rolls over to Obama like my dog rolls over for a scrap of food, or a steak bone. Nice, but obedient. I mean Paul Ryan…not my dog. My dog is actually a pretty good defender and loyal.
Maybe God is knocking on your door loudly, but you’re not listening. Maybe God understands we need a “war leader” at this moment in time. Maybe God understands if we don’t win this election, America is dead. It’s over. The greatest nation in world history will be gone. Finished. Kaput. Adios.
And with one last breath, maybe what we need to save us at the last second, is someone different. Someone you haven’t ever experienced before– because you weren’t raised in rough and tumble New York where nothing good gets accomplished unless you’re combative, aggressive, outrageous, on offense at all times, and maybe just a tad arrogant too.
Someone with a personality you’ve never seen on stage at your church. Maybe, just maybe, being a nice gentlemanly Christian would not beat Hillary and her billion dollars, and her best friends in the media who will unleash the dogs of hell upon the GOP nominee.
I guess you think God is only nice and gentlemanly. Really? Then you’ve missed the whole point of the Bible. When necessary, God is pretty tough. When necessary, God strikes with pain, death and destruction. When necessary, God inflicts vengeance.
Maybe you think God couldn’t possibly be associated with someone like Trump. Trump is too vicious, rude and crude.When we won WWII, was God “nice?” Were we gentlemanly when defeating Hitler? Were we gentlemanly when firebombing Germany? Were we gentlemanly when dropping atomic bombs on Japan? Is God ever “nice” on the battlefield? Or does he send us vicious SOB’s like General George S. Patton so the good guys can defeat evil?It’s pretty clear to me God sends unique people to be “war leaders.” That’s a different role than a pastor or church leader. God understands that.And maybe it’s time to re-define “nice.” Maybe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan aren’t nice at all–because they led us to defeat. And losing again would mean the end of America. And God can’t allow that. Maybe Romney and Ryan mean well, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or maybe they’re just jealous they had their chance and blew it. Maybe they’d rather help elect Hillary than allow a Trump victory that would make them look weak, feckless and incompetent.”Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isiah 40:30-31)
God is about miracles. We don’t need a “nice guy” or a “gentleman” right now. It’s the 4th quarter and we’re losing 14-0. We need a miracle.
So let me repeat my message to Christians: “YOU’RE MISSING THE BOAT.”
I believe Trump is our miracle. I believe Trump is our rowboat. Except he’s more like a battleship!
No one is saying Trump is perfect. No one is saying Trump is a perfect conservative. But he is a patriot. He is a warrior. He is a capitalist. He is the right man, at the right time. Yes, he’s a bit rude and crude and offensive. But that may make him the perfect warrior to save America, American exceptionalism, capitalism and Judeo-Christian values. The choice should be easy for Christians. It’s Trump…or it’s the end of the American dream.If anything in this article strikes a positive chord with you, please pass it on.
Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
Nought be all else to me, save that Thy art
Thou my best thought in the day and the night
Waking or sleeping, Thou presence my light
Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me Lord
Thou my great Father and I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one
Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight
Be Thou my armour and be Thou my might
Thou my soul shelter, and Thy my high tower
Raise Thou me heavenwards, oh power of my power
Riches I need not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine inheritance through all of my days
Thou and Thou only though first in my heart
High king of heaven my treasure Thou art
Oh high king of heaven, when battle is done
Grant heaven’s joy to me, bright heaven sun
Christ of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, though ruler of all
CAM started a few years ago when we wanted to speak out against the first ever collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services and we suggested putting a paper of protest in the collection basket.
Bob Woldrop of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City prepared a similar statement this year. It can be found here: http://www.justpeace.org/mscollection.pdf
Though this happened on November 5 and 6 this year, and we forgot to tell you about it, it is still good to read the statements and ponder them and keep this small boycott in mind for next year.
Fr. Emmanuel McCarthy writes: “I have added a few words to it to make it fully consistent with my conscience. But ninety-nine percent of what is written is Bob’s work.”
Here is the text of the statement slightly tweaked by Fr. McCarthy:
I am not giving to the 2016 Archdiocese for Military Services Collection on the weekend of November 5-6.The bishops of the Archdiocese for Military Services, together with nearly all of their brother United States Bishops, are guilty of material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war. In 2003, both Pope John Paul II and then Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Benedict XVI, condemned our attack on Iraq as an unjust war. In spite of the Pope’s opposition, the Most Rev. Edwin O’Brien, then Archbishop for the Military Services advised Catholic members of the US Armed Forces: “Given the complexity of factors involved, many of which understandably remain confidential, it is altogether appropriate for members of our armed forces to presume the integrity of our leadership and its judgments and therefore
to carry out their military duties in good conscience.”
Subsequent events have sadly proven the truth, wisdom, and prudence of Pope John Paul II’s judgment, and the fallacy and danger of the moral relativism embraced by the Bishops of the Archdiocese for Military Services and most of the other US Catholic Bishops regarding unjust war.
The consequences cascading from our invasion brought death and injury and social dislocation to hundreds of thousands and devastated the historic Christian communities of Iraq and subsequently Syria. It may fairly be said that those who enabled and supported the war on the people of Iraq are “secondary terrorists” in that they created the support system and the objective conditions on the ground in the Middle East that are driving the extreme forms of terrorism currently prevalent in the region.
Evil actions have evil consequences and those who propose the actions must own the evil consequences —and repent.
Therefore, because of these issues, and the overriding issue that Jesus absolutely rejected violence and enmity and taught His disciples to do the same, I am not giving to the collection for the Archdiocese of Military Services.
It is a sad and scandalous day when a people’s religious leaders fail them so egregiously. I promise to pray for the conversion of the Military Services hierarchy and clergy, and for the moral and physical protection and conversion of the members of the U.S. Military, and of all members of all militaries who are our sisters, brothers, fathers, mothers, and children.
They deserve religious leaders who will courageously preach and teach the entire Gospel of Christ, not just that which is acceptable to the United States Government.