27 August 2020

Tribalism and Xenophobia

I hope to return tomorrow to the theme I began yesterday.

I don't think 'the modern generation' understands how instictively tribal we all were, even, say, a mere seventy years ago.

Every peasant in England was either Oxford or Cambridge when it came to supporting a university in the annual Boat Race, depending on family affections (or otherwise) for Squire or Parson or Doctor. Every family was 'Labour' or 'Conservative' or 'Liberal'. My father was not protected from such tribalism by having Seen The World as a sailorman. Indeed, his primary prejudices arose from his loyalty to the Navy. In the Thirties he built an Art Deco house in the middle of the countryside ... and named it after his Ship!! The largest picture in it was a gigantic Victorian engraving of Viscount Nelson raising a wine glass; the caption was "THE TOAST IS: BRITAIN". Of course, he would use the N-word as everybody then did; but there was no animus in his unreconstructed lexical habits. Perhaps his greatest contempt for tribes which were Other was reserved for the British Army. Having grown up in a garrison town, he had strong views about their ridiculous preoccupation with Drill, the fatuous pomposity of their silly salutes, their generally absurd and class-ridden culture.

He had seen the world; so he knew for certain that Natives were happiest by far under the Btitish Empire. But after the War, when travel again became possible, and we went on holiday to a European country, I became aware of his dislike of armed police. That man, after all, could just take out that revolver and shoot someone dead with it.

He was convinced that countries with such phenomena as armed police did not count as "free".

After all, of the many gaps dividing human from human, the gap between the man who can (possibly even on mere impulse) shoot you stone dead within five seconds without even getting near you, and the man who can't, is one of the most radical divides.

In my teens, I sloughed off most of my paternal xenophobia fairly rapidly ... I discovered a fascination for languages, and you can't easily love someone's language while despising them. But my Father's loathing for gun-toting cops lingered in my mind. I recall a feeling of genuine, physical revulsion when, decades later, during a terrorism crisis, I saw a couple of plods patrolling Heathrow Airport, with guns.

As the decades continue to roll past, my inherited feeling that countries where the police wear side-arms do not really count as 'free' has (I am glad to be able to reassure you) gradually evaporated. But not, quite, entirely. Whenever I see ... for example, a video-clip on a news bulletin, showing police with fire-arms in their hands pumping multiple bullets at point-blank range into someone's back ... there comes, unbidden, into my mind, my Father's view that

That is not a free country.

I just can't help it.



Ana Milan said...

There is no such thing as personal freedom. Tribal cultures clash as to what is acceptable in civil society & what isn’t. We were all barbarians in the past, some still are & do not value the imposition of certain rules governing their daily lives. For a great many owning a gun is vital for their security while others feel threatened by anyone possessing one. Despots rule with totalitarian control over their people using whatever methods they deem necessary. Democracy depends on Order, keeping to basic rules & enforcing them to ensure secure & peaceful existence. When asylum seekers & work migrants coming from terrorist backgrounds are foisted upon citizens of well run & financially stable countries tensions immediately arise, as the newcomers have never been prepared for the life they will have to adjust to. Too many want to bring their archaic laws & customs with them to the host country, which can never be permitted if Law & Order is to continue. Selection is vital but with huge influxes of people from varying backgrounds governments don’t have the capacity to enforce statutory laws on such huge increases of residents & the result is bedlam.

Anita Moore said...

Your father was right about police with sidearms being a sign of an un-free society. But the lack of freedom is rooted not in the act of arming the police, but in the increasingly widespread and escalating antisocial behavior to which the arming of police is a reaction. Too many people are enslaved to their passions, and their inner disorder spills over into their public conduct. Worse, we have powerful, monied private interests encouraging and incentivizing this antisocial behavior for their own ends, calling it “liberation” when really it is thralldom. In the days of your father’s youth, people were by no means perfect, but their passions were better subordinated to reason, and this was supported by a culture that discouraged bad behavior a lot more than it does today. The ordinary policeman, faced with spiraling societal blight, and wanting to make it home safe to his family at the end of his shift, quite understandably wants the means to defend himself in an increasingly dangerous job.

Let the antisocial behavior escalate enough, and the citizenry is provoked to support, or at least not oppose, excesses like the militarization of local police departments. Why do city police or county sheriffs need an armored vehicle? Why do so many mayors bring in mercenaries from outside the community to serve as police chiefs, instead of selecting officers who grew up in the community and worked their way up through the ranks? Why are police trained to treat ordinary citizens as if they were enemies in battle? I deplore all this, but I also think it is part of the punishment we bring upon ourselves when we dedicate ourselves to the free reign of our passions.

The only real solution to this problem is for us all to stop doing whatever we want and start doing what God wants. Until then, our disordered hearts will give rise to a more and more disordered society.

The Flying Dutchman said...

Welcome to Norway, dear Father Hunwicke! I’m pleased to say we’re one of the very few remaining free countries in the world by your father’s very perceptive definition.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. There are many of us in America who understand that the "news" is propaganda, not a who, what, where, whyobjective presentation of the latest happenings around the world. Your response is what the propagandists intended.

William Paley of CBS was cooperating with the CIA as early as the 1950s - as were many Catholics, including JC Murray, Felix Morlion at Pro Deo University, and Father Robert Leiber, S.J. who was the personal secretary of Pope Pius XII; al the Catholics listed were CIA agents and the files of Father Lieber are still sealed.

Many men think they are free, and then they learn that Frank Sheed was a M-15 agent sent to America to do something about the radio priest, Father Coughlin, and that the CIA provided the initial funding of Sheed+ Ward etc etc

Men are not free unless they are members of the One, True Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church because that is the Kingdon of God on earth and the rest is the kingdom of satan and, long ago, the Brits followed Henry out of the kingdom of God.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear ABS

If your first paragraph is seriously designed to convince me that those events never actually happened, I can only say that the US seems even more bizarre a place than I had imagined.

Of course malign forces use things that do happen for their malign propaganda. The smart response to this would be for such things not to happen. Or are your police all Russian agents?

Most humsn bodies have legs and feet, even shoulders. If a crisis requires an extreme response, why not wing an extremity?

You know as well as I do that the cop just lost his temper. If he were not carrying a lethal weapon, this would not vastly matter.

And when, in an unpredictable world, such things do happen, the smart response would be to express instant profound regret, rather than falling back on conspiracy narratives.

Fr Edward said...

On my frequent visits to see my family in America, I have always been struck by the contrasting feelings that there are to the British bobby and the American cop. This is perhaps to do with the visibility of the British policeman, walking down the street, and the American law enforcement officer driving his car.

Every British child was taught, I think, that you could always go to a policeman for help, and that that was his benign community role. Whereas, I think, every American child was taught that the cops are there to catch criminals, one of which might be you unless you behave and eat your spinach. The police of the different nations seemed to assume their designated role.

So many Americans seem to have just stepped off the Mayflower with regard to drink, sex, breast-feeding and other such natural wholesomenesses. The contrast with Europe couldn't be greater. The Puritanism of people being goodies or baddies, or moral scenarios being black or white, really is still very evident. You should hear the stunned reaction of American seminarians on hearing that sex is a jolly good thing, even when taught by the Master of the Sacred Palace himself. I jest not.

stephen cooper said...
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stephen cooper said...
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Unknown said...

Fr. Hunwicke, you betray your lack of knowledge about the proper conduct of self defense. Policing is not Gene Autry western where weapons get shot out of the hands of the bad guy by the good guy.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

If your first paragraph is seriously designed to convince me that those events never actually happened, I can only say that the US seems even more bizarre a place than I had imagined.

Dear Father. ABS did not say the guy was not shot, he did say the packaging of that event is propaganda intended to illicit the response you delivered.

ABS grew up in the hills of rural Vermont and we knew the local cops by name as did many of the men then living in cities - they knew the local beat cop by name.

Then the 1960s came along and the Marxists seized control of the culture and, almost overnight, cops began to be called pigs. That interesting label tells one a lot about who ruled the culture and controlled discourse in America.

O, and when ABS was writing about Catholic Priests who were CIA agents he was being accurate as there exists copious evidence developed through The Freedom of information Act.

Dear Father. When it comes to the profession of police work you could back of a bit. One imagines the BEEB has not told you who this guy was, the warrants he had out on him, his history of sexually assaulting a 14 year old girl, the time he had threatened a cop etc etc etc

The plain and simple truth is that it is you who were the victim of a propaganda conspiracy

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father. You and your readers may find this short piece helpful in dispelling the media's propaganda.


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Father Edwards. Yes, Yankees have always been a problem in America but as David Hackett Fischer documented in "Albion's Seed, Four British Folkways in America, " not all Americans were doomed to become Yankees.

Banshee said...

If everybody else has guns, or other useful and deadly tools like cars, why should the police be the only civilian people without guns?

Of course, if the people are almost or entirely disarmed, or (as was once the case in your country) if they are armed but shooting someone unjustly is a hanging offense, then it becomes less fair for the police to be armed for shooting people, and thus set apart from the rest of the citizenry.

I grew up with most adult males (and some females) of my acquaintance owning guns and being law-abiding, so I expect the police to be law-abiding gun users also.

Terry said...

I am sure you will agree, 'Amateur Brain Surgeon' that irony sometimes lies so thick on the ground in the comment threads on Father Hunwicke's blog that it can be difficult to know what should and should not be taken at face value. So I must ask: are you really saying that Frank Sheed was associated with MI5 and the CIA? If so, can you provide a reference to the evidence for this (at least to me) surprising suggestion. I met Frank Sheed back in 1967, when, as a teenager, I was a member of the Catholic Evidence Guild. I would have to reassess my mental schema if it turns out that this man was not what he seemed!

Chrysologos said...

To 'Unknown':
The 'proper conduct of self defence' does not encompass shooting a man several times in the back when there was opportunity to tackle him to the ground in the distance between house and car.

Banshee said...

Are we talking about Jacob Blake, the guy who sexually assaulted a minor female, invaded her home on that day with a knife, and then ignored the police to head for his car, where he had another big knife and another minor?

Well, I can't imagine why you think black minors are not worthy of protection from black predators, but ignoring police orders and turning your back to evade the police while heading toward minors is a "Please shoot me before I kill a minor or take one hostage" thing.

Maybe there was time to tackle the guy, and get knifed, but maybe there was also time for the guy to squirm out, or dodge, or be faster than the tackler. Geez, it's not like an entire American football team was there, and lone persons routinely escape being tackled in football games. So can you guarantee the car minor's safety during all this? Heck, can you guarantee that the kid won't run away and get lost, or join the fight, or do any of the things kids do?

The guy who got shot was a professional criminal, not someone mentally challenged or unaware of the law. He was a danger to women. It would be nice if he had been apprehended without violence, but that is not what he chose.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Terry. Yes, Mr. Frank Sheed was a MI-5 agent according to son Wilfred and he was sent to America to do something about the Radio Priest, Father Coughlin. Wilfred also described Caryll Houselander as a "witch."

ABS also identified CIA agents, Felix Morlion O.P. who founded Pro-Deo university in Rome and Fr. Robert Leiber S.J. Pope Pius XII's personal secretary, as proponents of "The American Proposition" which was opposed to Catholic Church-State relations - as taught by numerous Popes - as part of the CIA's Doctrinal Warfare Program which was intended to subvert, undermine, and replace Classic Catholic Doctrine with The Americanist Heresy - Solve et Coagula.

All of this, and much much more, is in the heavily and thoroughly documented study by an American lawyer, David A. Wemhoff, in his must read book "John Courtney Murray, Time/Life and the American Proposition. How the CIA's Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church."

Mr. Wemhoff labored long and hard to produce an explanation for Catholics as to why us Catholics find ourselves in our current predicament.

For ABS, the long and short of it is the public heresies of fools and cranks were permitted to stand unopposed by weak and feckless Bishops and Popes. After reading it, ABS found himself in agreement witt the great long-time editor of The American Ecclesiastical Review, Father Fenton who was in Rome in 1960 working as part of The Prepatory Commission of Vatican Two.

Fr Fenton observed that The Council was becoming a circus run by clowns and heretical Jesuits. He also noted that Popes had failed miserably in choosing Bishops (a crucial task accord to Trent) and Cardinals and that many Cardinals lived lavish lifestyles, riding around Rome in expensive German autos drive by chauffeurs.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Chrysologus. Yes, the problem lies solely with the cops and not with the perp who resisted arrest, who was Tasered and pulled out the Tasers leads, who had a knife in his hand and who went running for his car, reaching under the car seat, for what? Perhaps a gun?

There is a problem with policing in America and one of those problems is the Israelisation of the police profession.

Cops have been sent to Israel for training by the men who teach American Cops to treat American citizens the way Israelis treat Palestinians. Remember the cop kneeling on hat guy's back/neck? That is a control technique and the cop was trained to do that by the Israeli policed force as were many other American cops.

It will be easy peasy for his defense lawyer to disprove the murder charges against the kneeling cop for he was doing what he was trained to do as a professional.

Many American cops have been trained by the Israeli police force who have been flown here to teach American Cops how to thunk about and treat their fellow Americans - as the enemy.

David O'Donnell said...

Please watch this video of a man resisting arrest in Pennsylvania a few years ago who despite being “tackled” and handcuffed, got away, retrieved a firearm from his vehicle, and shot and severely injured one of the arresting PA state troopers. This is the scenario the officer in Kenosha envisioned, and which he acted on his training to prevent: https://youtu.be/F7W6PQ3V3y8

David O'Donnell said...

Dear Father, I read your blog daily and appreciate your depth of liturgical and historical knowledge!

Two things to know about American policing and American firearms: 1. Police officer culture in the US is about the highest sort of virtues (such as respect, duty, loyalty, honesty). Men and women attracted to policing in the US are people who hold these virtues in the highest regard and are drawn to policing because of these virtues. Those who condemn the police here generally don’t promote these virtues.
2. US history is intimately connected with preventing the man with the gun from shooting the unarmed man. Lexington and Concord were in direct connection to the Boston Massacre.

Ray Kinsella said...

Well, that was a really interesting Blog FrJohn.

I attended Church this morning where the Priest--on in years and in Wisdom-- said Holy Mass in English, said the Our Father in Irish and gave the Final Blessing in Latin.
It was a kind of portal to a more cultured time-- certainly, a safer one and one in which the UK was widely regarded as "fair", the US as "visionary"--a kind of rich, american Uncle who had our best interests at heàrt--and Ireland was clothed in 1500 years of Christianity and which somehow,notwithstanding religious persecution,famine and the scourge of emigration,was a cultural+spiritual yeast in the countries of our vast diaspora. England has abandoned Identity for Ideology, the US is wracked by Marxism and the
"progressives" in Ireland think its liberating and a sign of our political maturity to kill babies,on demand. Blessings of the day on you all.

mark wauck said...

To anyone who thinks it's the job of a police officer to "tackle" a deranged criminal with a violent history who is armed with a knife, I say: You first! There are few things more dangerous than trying to bare-handedly "tackle" a violent person who has a knife. Fr H would know this if he spent more time reading about the epidemic of knife crime in Merrye Olde England and less time generalizing about the relative freedom of the US based on statistically virtually irrelevant incidents that are hyped by an agenda driven media.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Another video of the Blake incident. The cops initially had him in control on the ground.


Mr. Whitlock is the best sports writer in America

Terry said...

Thank you, 'Amateur Brain Surgeon', for the further information about Frank Sheed. How fascinating! I would like to read "John Courtney Murray, Time/Life and the American Proposition. How the CIA's Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church", but unfortunately the only way I could get a copy of this book here in the UK would seem to be to buy it from the USA for 60 USD plus 36 USD for shipping. That won't happen. But for much less than that I have just managed to buy a second-hand copy of Wilfrid Sheed's biographical book "Frank and Maisie: A Memoir" Surely that will contain any allegations about his father's spying activities. However, if the only evidence for Franks Sheed's involvement with the CIA and/or MI5 comes from the opinion of his son, one would have treat the reliability of this with caution, as Wilfrid was, by his own admission, a deeply psychologically troubled individual.

But it certainly would not surprise me if some Catholic priests had worked for the CIA. It seems to me that the CIA and [certain senior figures within] the Catholic Church sort of deserve each other, like dysfunctional partners in a dysfunctional marriage.

Terry Loane

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Terry. If you were/are a member of The Catholic Evidence Guild, ABS is very impressed as he has read all about that excellent apologetics program.

There are quotes lifted from Wilfrid Shed's memoirs but also information from Sheed and Ward Family Papers in the Archives of U Notre Dame, in Indiana in Wemhoff's book.

The lawyer, David A. Wemhoff who devoted seven years of his life studying, documenting and preparing the book has his own blog and this is a link to an explanation of The American Proposition which The CIA, Henry Luce, and JC Murray were the leaders in the apparently changed Catholic Doctrine on Religious Liberty.


Of course, The American Proposition (A heresy) is the praxis of the progressive periti and prelates of Vatican Two and the subsequent Popes have also promoted the error to say nothing about the AmBishops who publicly backed the heresy beginning the same year ABS and Israel were born, 1948.

Of course, you know that Catholic Doctrine does not change but few Theologians and Bishops were brave enough to confess Semper Idem and many were anxious to throw-in with what the secretary general of Vatican I, Bishop Fessler, characterised as Heathen Caesarism, the inevitable result of slaying Catholic Doctrine on Church-State and replacing it with Religious Liberty