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April 16, 2024

PI Newsletter #110

1. Kamala Harris’s Records of Anti-Catholic Bigotry 

by Kenneth Craycraft

In 1958, as John F. Kennedy was preparing to run for president of the United States, polemicist Paul Blanshard published the second edition of his incendiary 1949 book, American Freedom and Catholic Power. This was the bible of anti-Catholicism in American public life. In it, Blanshard called for a “resistance movement” that would oppose the Catholic Church’s “antidemocratic social policies,” and attacked Catholic schools as “the most important divisive instrument in the life of American Children.” Echoing Blanshard’s bigotry, a February 1960 editorial in Christianity Today asserted that it is “perfectly rational” to oppose the nomination and election of a “Romanist” because “a Catholic presidency would be torn between two loyalties.”

In September 1960, Kennedy, sensitive to the broad public sentiment reflected in these broadsides, gave his famous speech to the Houston Ministerial Association, in which he renounced any claim that his Catholic faith might have on his moral life. Reducing his Catholicism to an accident of birth, Kennedy assured voters that it had no purchase on his political judgment. Sixty years later, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are, respectively, Kennedy’s religious and Blanshard’s polemicist heirs.

One difference between Blanshard and Harris, of course, is that the former possessed only the power of persuasion, whereas the latter possesses the power (and is campaigning for more) to institutionalize her bigotry against Catholics and the public organizations whose practices are consistent with Catholic moral life. And she has wielded it vigorously.

For example, Harris is perfectly willing to impose unconstitutional religious tests on nominees to the federal bench. In 2018, when Brian Buescher was nominated as a District Court judge, Harris put this written question to him:

Since 1993, you have been a member of the Knights of Columbus, an all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men. In 2016, Carl Anderson, leader of the Knights of Columbus, described abortion as “a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.” Mr. Anderson went on to say that “abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale.” Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman’s right to choose when you joined the organization?

She went on to ask Buescher if he had “ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women’s reproductive rights” and if he “opposed marriage equality,” not so subtly implying that adherence to staples of orthodox Catholic moral life is disqualifying for a federal judgeship. And she has asked similar questions of other nominees to the federal bench.

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2. A Fifth War Won’t Do Turkey Any Good

by Burak Bakdil

-On August 28, a former MP from On August 28, a former MP from Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, Metin Külünk, published a map of “Greater Turkey” which illustrates the extent of Turkey’s revisionist ambitions. It includes areas of Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Syria, Iraq, Georgia and Armenia.


-In a similarly threatening statement, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar provocatively advised Greece to remain silent “so as not to become a meze [snack] for the interests of others.”

All that inflammatory war talk has sent several messages at different wavelengths to the west side of the Aegean Sea and beyond. Greece said it was bolstering its military arsenal and troops to be prepared for open conflict with Turkey.


An open conflict in and around the Aegean is against Western interests. Western nations, however, are right when they do not remain indifferent or submissive to Turkish threats. On September 1, Washington announced that it was partially lifting a 33-year-old arms embargo on the (Greek) Republic of Cyprus, a move immediately condemned by Turkey. In a related move, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Cyprus on September 12 in a bid to broker a peaceful solution to tensions with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We remain deeply concerned by Turkey’s ongoing operations surveying for natural resources in areas over which Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction over the eastern Mediterranean,” Pompeo told reporters in Nicosia. During his visit, the U.S. and Cypriot governments signed a memorandum of understanding which Ankara absurdly protested, alleging that it may damage peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Aegean conflict and its repercussions also concern the European Union. The MED7 group of southern European countries, hosted on September 10 by France, expressed its full support and solidarity for Greece and Cyprus regarding the repeated violations of their sovereign rights from Turkey. The European Council will convene on September 24-25 to discuss whether to impose sanctions on Turkey.

Greece also has the backing of two other Mediterranean heavyweights, Egypt and Israel, as well as the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.


3. France: Death to Free Speech

  • Paris, October 16. A history teacher who had shown his students cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and had spoken with them about and freedom of speech was beheaded ….
  • [A different] attack shows that declaring oneself an “unaccompanied minor” in France can be sufficient not to be observed at all and all the same to receive full assistance from the government. The attack also suggests a disappointing grade for gratitude.
  • Any criticism of Islam in France can lead to legal action. The French mainstream media, threatened with prosecution by their own government, have evidently decided no longer to invite on air anyone likely to make comments that could lead to convictions or complaints. [The author Éric] Zemmour might still appear on television, but the increasingly heavy fines imposed on him are aimed at silencing him and potentially punishing stations that invite him.
  • “Strengthening the teaching of Arabic will simply help to nourish ‘cultural replacement'”. — Jean Messiha, senior civil servant and member of the National Rally party.
  • Commenting on a news report that stated, “The trial has sparked protests across France, with thousands of demonstrators rallying against Charlie Hebdo and the French government,” the American attorney and commentator, John Hinderaker, wrote: “When thousands demonstrate against the prosecution of alleged murderers, you know you have a problem.”




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