Category Archives: History

The Consequences of China’s One Child Policy

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The announcement of the modification of China’s One Child Policy should come as a surprise to no one but it is a welcome news and first step towards the restoration of the Chinese family.

Article: China Abandons One-Child Policy

According to Chinese officials, China one child policy has averted 400 million births since its implementation in the early 1980’s. It is argued by its defendants that the policy helped millions of Chinese citizens to move out of poverty, allowing the unprecedented growth of Chinese economy, which ironically was fueled precisely by China post revolution population growth.

What proponents of the one child policy do not like to admit are all the unintended consequences of such policy:

1. Woman’s fertility is owned by the state.

The brutality in which the Chinese government enforced the one child policy is well documented. Infanticide, forced late-term abortions, sterilization and economic fines were the blunt instrument that the government used to deprive a woman from her fertility.

Statistics on forced abortions in China:

http://www.allgirlsallowed.org/forced-abortion-statistics

2. Sex Ratio at Birth is perturbed.

It is estimated that in China there are about 38 million more boys than girls under the age of 20. The average global male to female ratio of reproductive age is about 1:1.

The one child policy engendered an open season against female babies, due to cultural preference to having a male baby instead of a female baby. The government introduced many policies to counterbalance such disproportion from criminalizing sex selective abortion to creating incentives to families with one girl to no avail.

Article:  Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: Causes and consequences

3. China is headed to a population implosion.

China has one of the lowest birth rate in the world. This sustained low fertility rate creates a population imbalance that has a severe detrimental effect on the sustainability of the Chinese economy. As the population ages less and less young people are available to replace the working force. The reduction of the working force against a dramatic increase in the aging population will have a severe effect on the Chinese economy.

Article: China lifts one-child policy amid worries over graying population

This is the argument made by Feng Wang, a Senior Fellow of the Brooking-Tsinghua Center in his article: Racing Towards the Precipice published published in China Economic Quarterly

The Chinese government efforts to avoid the un-intended consequences of its one child policy might be too little too late, according to many experts but is far more desirable than other alternative such as forced euthanasia, which will not significantly mitigate the economic consequences of its pending population crash.

The Witness of the Early Christian Church: St. Ignatius of Antioch

In his conversion story to the Catholic Church from Calvinism Dr. Peter Kreeft conveys a story in which a professor warned him that “some day you are going to meet a Roman Catholic and they are going to say you that you are in the wrong church because our church was founded by Christ and is 2,000 years old and your church was only founded by Calvin and 450 years old”. The professor argued that they better be well equipped to respond to such allegations. That Catholics were wrong that the reformation actually restored Christianity in its early form. That Christ found a church and that it was a protestant church, but like an Ark after 1,500 years of sailing it accumulated barnacles on its hull. What the reformers did was to scrap off those barnacles; they didn’t make anything new they restored something old. Dr. Kreeft was elated by the professor’s response and follows up with a question:

“If I took a time machine and when back 1900 years to the early church like around the one hundred you are saying to me that I would find it that it was a protestant church and if a Catholic and I both took the same time machine I would feel more at home than he would? The professors said “exactly”.

He was elated because at least he would have empirical proof to disprove the historical claims of the Catholic Church all he had to do was to read the accounts of the early Christian and show that they weren’t Catholic. And so it began, as many others before him, Dr. Kreeft was on the way to Rome.

So, what is it about early Christians that speaks so deeply and faithfully about the catholicity of the Church that Christ founded?

Their witness is one covered in the blood of martyrs and embedded in an intense and unflinching love for Christ and his Church. These are the Christians who heard the gospel from the apostles and were entrusted by them to boldly preach the name of Christ to all nations. Their writing gives us a first hand account of what it meant to be a Christian in the first century, but above all they give us a witness of how to be a Christian in the middle of persecutions and even in the confusion of heretical teachings:

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“Pray unceasingly for others; in their case there is hope for repentance, that they may obtain God. Permit them to become disciples by [seeing] your works. With regard to their expressions of anger; be meek; with regard to their boasts, be humble. Meet their blasphemies with your prayers and their deception with your steadfastness of faith. Meet their unruly life with your gentleness, and be diligent not to imitate them. Let us be found to be their brothers in gentleness and diligent to be imitators of the Lord. Who has been more wronged? Who has been defrauded? Who has been rejected? This is so that no wee of the devil may be found among you but that in purity and sobriety you may remain in Jesus Christ both bodily and spiritually”.

St. Ignatius of Antioch
Letter to the Ephesians

Their writings give us a clear description of the universality of the Church, the authority of the Bishop, and the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome in addition to a firm believes in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. One of such witness is St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was martyred in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Trajan earlier around the year 110. He was the third bishop of Antioch (a city in modern day Turkey) and knew the apostle John, the beloved disciple. On the way to his execution, he wrote six letters to different churches and one to St. Polycarp another witness of the early Church. His writings, reflect an intense devotion to Christ and an ardent love for his fellow Christians. He fervently talks about the unity of the Church under the bishop and the universality of the Church:

“See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church”.

Letter to the Smyrnaeans

 and the supremacy of the bishop of Rome:

” Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the Church that has found mercy in the greatness of the Most High Father and in Jesus Christ, his only son; to the Church beloved and enlightened after the love of Jesus Christ, our God, by the will of him that has willed everything which is; to the Church which also holds the presidency in the place of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and because you hold the presidency of love, named after Christ and named after the Father; here therefore do I salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father”.

 Letter to the Romans

 On the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist:

Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ, which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God… They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes.

Letter to the Smyrnaeans

The early writings of Christians are a treasure for all. They tell the stories of people who were in love with Christ to the point that they gave their lives for the Cross. It is our history and they serve as a reminder that Christ is with us until the end of the age:

“…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20

To ignore them is a tragedy.

I highly recommend Dr. Peter Kreeft talk “Seven Reasons to be Catholic” distributed by Light House Media.

I strongly encourage readers to go the source! That is go out and read the Apostolic Fathers in their own words:

The epistle of Ignatius of Antioch.

St. Polycarp Bishop of Smyrna

Clement of Alexadria: The Exhortation to the Greek The Rich Man’s Salvation. To the Newly Baptized

Among many others…

Another great books are: Four Witnesses and the Apostasy that wasn’t both books by historian Rod Bennett.

 

Ya Rabbi Yasou

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These are the names of the 21 Coptic martyrs killed in Libya:

1. Milad Makeen Zaky
2. Abanub Ayad Atiya
3. Maged Solaiman Shehata
4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan
5. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel
8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
9. Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
10. Girgis Milad Sinweet
11. Mina Fayez Aziz
12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib
13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf
14. Samuel Alham Wilson
15. Worker from Awr village
16. Ezat Bishri Naseef
17. Loqa Nagaty
18. Gaber Munir Adly
19. Esam Badir Samir
20. Malak Farag Abram
21. Sameh Salah Faruq

Their last word was a last act of defiance against evil and last act of  Faith, Hope and Love: “Ya Rabbi Yasou,” or “My Lord Jesus.”

Are we willing to say those words when temptation knocks at our door,  when we see the poor and suffering in our neighbors or when we are called to stand up for our Faith no matter the consequences?

Lets pray that during this lenten season we may grow in faith and fortitude to be that witness of Christ love to others.

St. Ignatius of Antioch pray for us!

Names taken from the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles:

http://lacopts.org/story/a-statement-on-the-martyrdom-of-21-coptic-christians-in-libya/

Relativism and Natural Law

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“What is true for you may not be true for me”.

Is an axiom of today’s culture. It plays as a subliminal call for civility, tolerance and understanding. It is also the hallmark of a confused and decaying society, for civility, tolerance and understanding are meaningless in a worldview that forswears objective truth and embraces relativism.

Relativism is the idea that moral truth has no objective or absolute value. Relativism reduces moral truth to a subjective opinion that is variable and contingent on experiences and perspectives. This equivocation makes relativism an existential threat to any civilization that embraces its abnegation of objective truth because it undermines its moral foundation. The absence of objective moral truth subjugates morality to a consensus of opinion at best and at worst to the rule of the mob. In such framework rights are not indelible or universal. They are subjugated to the disposition of a society and subject to change. Thus, under relativism there is no ethical or moral framework upon which to condemn the slave trade or a legal justification to adjudicate crimes against humanity. For relativism disparage the notion that as rational beings, we can discern what is right, proper and just and condemn what is wrong, improper and unjust.

As Professor Peter Kreeft aptly puts it:

“But in fact it is only the believer in the old-fashioned natural moral law who could be a social radical and a progressive. He alone can say to a Hitler, or a Saddam Hussein, “You and your whole social order are wrong and wicked and deserve to be destroyed.” The relativist could only say, “Different strokes for different folks, and I happen to hate your strokes and prefer mine, that’s all.”

Peter Kreeft
A Refutation of Moral Relativism—Transcription

It was precisely the “old-fashioned natural moral law” that afforded the Dominican Friar Bartolomé de las Casas an intellectual framework upon which to argue against the slave trade of the 16-century and for the universality of human rights. He argued that every human being has an intrinsic and objective dignity and thereby should be universally respected. His arguments were not only based on his Christian faith but also on Natural Law. A fundamental principle in classical philosophy that states that there are objective and universal ethical principles that are inherent in all human beings and that these principles can be known through reason.

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Moreover, the intellectual and judicial arguments against Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials were firmly grounded on Natural Law:

“When I say that we do not ask for convictions unless we prove crime, I do not mean mere technical or incidental transgression of international conventions. We charge guilt on planned and intended conduct that involves moral as well as legal wrong…It is not because they yielded to the normal frailties of human beings that we accuse them. It is their abnormal and inhuman conduct which brings them to this bar.”

Robert H. Jackson
Opening Statement Nuremberg Trials, 1945

Relativism begs the question whether the outcome of the Nuremberg trial was justifiable if the moral values of the tribunal were conditioned by the experiences and perspective of the Nazis. For under a relativistic intellectual regime, the slave trade and crimes against humanity are just a matter of opinion. The only logical conclusion under relativism is that such atrocities are only atrocity because we view them as atrocities. Not because they are intrinsically evil. They are just a value opinion. This is a devastating thought.

Yet the appeal of relativism is inescapable to a self-centered culture. That is obsessed with denying the nature of sin or wrongdoing. It is no wonder that Relativism is today’s most profitable currency in the economy of progressivism. It gives an effective, albeit intellectually unsustainable, framework upon which to justify anything. Its effectiveness in today’s culture is self-evident in its successful devaluation of human life to a commodity through its rationalization of abortion and euthanasia. The former led to an ongoing holocaust of countless generations of human beings whose life are ended by abortion and the latter provided the means to justify the cleansing of those that society considered to be undesirable, i.e. a burden. Its inhumanity is hidden behind the doors of abortion clinics and exposed behind the gates of Auschwitz.

To be continue…

The lost of generations

Dreams that will never be dreamt
Inventions that will never be created
Classics that will never be read
Art that will never be admired
Music that will never be composed or played
Histories that will never be written
Joys and sufferings that will never be experienced
Thoughts and voices that forever will be lost and silenced

Generations lost.

Fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, grandfathers, grandmothers, cousins, nephews, lovers and friends that will never be…

All because their life was ended before they were born.

Caleb
GTG

Happy Thanksgiving

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In the mist of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, issued a proclamation establishing the last Thursday of the month of November as an annual Thanksgiving Day. It was his profound sense of religiosity that made him realize that in the middle of such tragedy man and woman should always look up to God and be thankful, for a grateful heart is always humble, full of mercy and strength. This not only helped unite the nation, as the rally around a National holiday, but also reminded everyone that we owed all of our freedoms and our very existence to the Creator.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the many life blessings, those that are joyful and those that are disguised in hardship. They all are a gift of grace from God Almighty.

God bless y’all and Happy Thanksgiving!

Lincoln Thanksgiving Day Proclamation

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Beneath Thy Protection

Beneath your compassion,
We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure, only blessed one.

Beneath Thy Protection is one of the earliest Christian prayers of our Blessed Virgin Mary. It dates to approximately the year ~250 AD a century before the Church established for the first time the canon of scripture in the Synod of Hippo in 393 AD. It was part of the Christmas liturgy celebration and it is still used in the liturgies of the Coptic, Byzantine, Armenian and Roman rites of the Church.

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This very early Christian devotion to our Lady embraces the words of Christ when He said to John at the foot of the Cross:

“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”

Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home”.

John 19:26-27

John his beloved disciple stands right there for all of us: “Behold, your mother”, Christ gave us his mother to us; the Blessed Virgin Mary is our mama! Christians throughout the centuries have understood it clearly. That is why Beneath Thy Protection is such a beautiful intercessory prayer to our Lady.


 

Battle of Lepanto

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Centuries later Christians in Europe fled to the Blessed Virgin for protection against the invasion of the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Battle of Lepanto, October 7, 1571 stand as one of those defining days in Western history. Many historians argue that a defeat of the Christian forces opposing the Muslim invasion would have been a catastrophe for Christendom in Europe, allowing the Turks to overrun most if not all of Europe.

As the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic states, including Genoa, Spain and Papal States fought the invading forces many cities throughout Europe prayed the Holy Rosary asking for the intersection of the Blessed Virgin Mary to her Son. It is easy to imagine people gather in Churches chanting in Latin:

Sub tuum praesidium
confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus nostris,
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

We fly to thy protection,
O Holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in our necessities,
but deliver us always
from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

At the end of the five hour battle only about 210 Ottoman ships were destroyed compared to about 60 from the Christian fleet. The battle signified the last great maritime battle fought with galleys and a major victory against Islamic invading forces. As the result, Pope Pius V instituted October 7 as the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

GK Chesterton brilliant Poem Lepanto:

Lepanto

(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still–hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships…

Viva Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Excerpts taken from Lepanto by GK Chesterton

Blessed Virgin Mary intercede for us!

For GK Chesterton complete Poem click here.

For my thoughts on Islamic persecution of  Christians persecution in the Middle East click here.