Madness in the Med: how charity rescue boats exacerbate the refugee crisis | The Spectator

Source: Madness in the Med: how charity rescue boats exacerbate the refugee crisis | The Spectator

While this basically is a fair-minded, balanced, and reasonable article, I have to say that referring to the situation in (and outside) Europe as a “refugee crisis” is dangerously erroneous and misleading. As the article itself points out:

“The debate about migrant crossings tends to be held in the context of people fleeing from wars in Syria and Libya. Yet according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical arm, of the 46,995 migrant arrivals in Italy in the first four months of this year, only 635 were Syrians and 170 were Libyans. By contrast, 10,000 came from Nigeria, 4,135 from Bangladesh, 3,865 from the Gambia, 3,625 from Pakistan and 3,460 from Senegal. None of these countries can be said to be consumed by civil war, and even if some individuals had reason to claim asylum, international law dictates that they should claim it in the first ‘safe’ country they reach — which in every case would be before crossing the sea to Italy.”

The article further points out that there is “obvious and growing evidence that very few of the arriving migrants can honestly be called refugees — unless you widen that definition to include anyone who lives in Africa, on the basis that its standards of living and respect for human rights are universally lower than in western Europe.”

So, then, everyone living in Africa has a “right” to emigrate to European or other developed countries? I think not!

This is not a refugee crisis, it is a migration crisis; these are economic refugees, seeking to better their situation in an imagined “El Dorado” (as one commentator has put it) in Europe, where everything from lodging to women is free and easily available. And we have already seen how well these immigrants “blend in” to European culture and society… or not.

To quote the article again, “the vast majority of migrants from Libya are young men” – a fact which is readily apparent from a glance at any of the many pictures which have been taken of them. [Note: Libya is the staging area, most are from sub-Saharan Africa, or from the Indian subcontinent, as the numbers quoted above make clear.] If these are “refugees,” where are the women and children? These men are either cowards – if they are indeed fleeing violence, leaving their families behind – or, in most cases, they are not refugees at all. In either case, they should not be allowed in Europe.

In fact, if this is allowed to continue, there will be no Europe! One action that would greatly help to alleviate the situation would be banning the operation of NGO (“charity”) boats as ferries to pick up migrants and transport them across the Mediterranean. If that is not possible, under international law, then at least deny them access to European ports. To quote the article again:

“These charities, and others operating ships in the Mediterranean, of course claim to be saving lives. But what they are really doing is colluding — either intentionally or not — in a people-trafficking operation. If charities and NGOs stopped providing a pick-up service a few miles off Libya, and if Italy started returning migrants to the North African countries whence they came, the smugglers’ boats would not put to sea.”

Indeed. And the sooner this happens, the better.

I have said it before, I will say it again: Europe, wake up!

Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society


What does the decision of Charlie Gard say about society today? Parents should have every right to save their children. How did this become negotiable?

Source: Live and Let Die – Maccabee Society

I have not heretofore chosen to say much about the Charlie Gard situation, in which the parents of a child with a rare and typically-fatal disease were prevented by the authorities in the British health system from seeking experimental medical assistance which – though without guarantees – might have extended, or even saved, his life, if tried soon enough.

They prevented this even though the family had received more than ample donations to ensure that there would be no cost to the state, and even though the child, Charlie, had been granted permanent resident status here in the States, where doctors waited to do what they could for him.

And at the end, they even prevented the parents from taking him home to die – despite the fact that their argument had been, originally, that he deserved to “die with dignity.”

A British professor of law and legal ethics even went so far as to argue, in an op-ed piece in The Guardian (UK), that “children do not belong to their parents,” asserting that parents have no rights with respect to their children (!!!), only duties – “the principal duty being to act in their children’s best interests.”

Well, even if one buys the whole “no rights” argument – which I emphatically do not – the fact is that Charlie’s parents were attempting to do precisely that: since he was an infant, and not able to speak for himself, they were attempting to give him the best possible fighting chance for survival. In this they were actively, emphatically, and repeatedly hamstrung and blocked by the authorities.

Stemming from these specific circumstances of Charlie Gard, this Maccabee Society article points out the wider implications of this incident, and the precedent it has set. I found this an especially cogent warning:

“The cause for alarm behind the death of Charlie Gard lies in the fact that the court actively stopped the parents from seeking treatment. This marks a shift in attitude from one of permitting a parent to kill his or her child to one that orders the parent to kill the child. This obviously sets a dangerous precedent: if the state does not think it is worth it to save a life, even if it does not bear the cost, it can deny treatment.

“This bodes nothing less than death for so many others, especially the majority who do not have the moral and financial support that Charlie’s parents had.”

It is very far down the “slippery slope” to go from “you must not kill your child” (traditional viewpoint / classical Christian morality) to “okay, you can allow your child to die (‘death with dignity’) / kill your child (abortion) if that’s what you think is best,” to “you must allow your child to die, and you may not seek treatment to prolong his life!”

What are we becoming? May God help us.

Why Christians Should Love Creation, not ‘Nature’ | Christianity Today

God calls us to cultivate the earth—not to leave it alone.

Source: Why Christians Should Love Creation, not ‘Nature’ | Christianity Today

Stated thus baldly, I have my doubts about the above tagline! But in the context of the essay as a whole, I see the author’s point:

“Many Christians are suspicious of terms like ‘environmentally sustainable,’ ‘green,’ or ‘eco-friendly.’ The images the terms conjure, and the practices they denote, are often associated with atheists, progressives, and ‘hippies.’ As a result, too many of us ignore genuine dangers—deforestation, land erosion, oil spills—while adopting foolishly anti-environmental rhetoric.

“That’s the problem Norman Wirzba tackles in From Nature to Creation: A Christian Vision for Understanding and Loving Our World (Baker Academic). According to Wirzba, who teaches theology, ecology, and ‘agrarian studies’ at Duke Divinity School, we’ve ceased thinking of God as actively involved in caring for his creation… [however,] God’s rule over creation is tender, particular, and devoted.

“’Creation,’ writes Wirzba, ‘is not a vast lump of valueless matter. It is God’s love made visible, fragrant, tactile, audible, and delectable.’ We’ve forgotten that the world is ‘a place so cherished that God enters into covenant relationship with it (Gen. 9:8–17), so beautiful that God promises to renew it (Isa. 65:17–25), and so valuable that God takes up residence within it (John 1:14 and Rev. 21:1–4).’ Believers need to develop ‘an imagination for the world as created, sustained, and daily loved by God.’

“Wirzba would not have us leave the earth alone, but instead take an active part in cultivating it. ‘Human creaturely identity and vocation come together in the work of gardening,’ he writes, ‘because God is the Essential Gardener, the one who related to the world in modes of intimacy, protection, and delight.’ As God’s gardeners, we’re given responsibility to nurture and love, as well preserve and conserve, his creation. If we think of creation as a gift, not a possession, we’ll strive to make it healthy and vibrant, rather than succumb to the use-and-discard mentality.”

We still ought to be cautious about this, in my opinion. Our human perspective is finite and limited; our views of what the “garden” should look like may not always jibe with the Essential Gardener’s intent. There is much to be said for applying the principle of the Hippocratic Oath (“first, do no harm”) to our relationship with Creation.

Yet, at the same time, careful nurturing and cultivation can be a major boon, not only for us but for the Earth as well. Our watchwords should, in my view, be care, sensitivity, and circumspection. It is no accident, in my opinion, that the word “humility” shares a root with “humus”!

Religion as the root of cultural restoration and political transformation – Knights of St. Michael the Archangel

Source: Knights of St. Michael the Archangel | Facebook

Much good thought here, definitely worth pondering.
Whether we like to think of it in these terms or not, we are – all of us – presently engaged in not merely a socio-political, but also a metaphysical war for the future of Western civilization. Not everyone recognizes it, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re caught up in it. We may choose to defend the heritage and fight for the future of Western Christendom, fight against it, or passively “take a knee,” but we cannot escape the consequences, in any case. And how we fight matters for the outcome!
“All conservative, nationalist, or otherwise ‘right-wing’ political movements are doomed to fail if they are merely reactionary, defining themselves by what they oppose rather than what they promote. That is not to say that right-wing politics should cease to oppose grave evils. Rather, such opposition can only succeed if it is rooted in a set of principles and united by core values, a clearly articulated vision of what we need and an ideological explanation of why we need it…
“A political movement striving to restore a civilization and its foundational culture must embrace the religion which gave rise to that culture and maintained that civilization through the trials of many ages. Modern conservatism fails to embrace the fundamentals which we aim to restore. Conservatives must define what they intend to conserve rather than merely function as the party of all who dissent to Leftism, the party which at best merely slows the destruction.
“A civilization, like a tree, survives storms and flourishes not because of its size or the number of its leaves, but from the depth and strength of its roots. Any restoration of Western Civilization must be solidly rooted in our historical Greco-Roman roots and the Christian faith.”
I would agree – while also noting that we ought not to forget our Celtic and Germanic (in the case of us Anglicans, most particularly Anglo-Saxon) roots, either! Follow the link for more.