Let us first consider pride alone, which the Church ranks as the principal among the vices. Pride was the sin of Satan, the first sin that polluted this terrestrial globe. Pride is so completely the root of evil, that it is intermingled with all the other infirmities of our nature. It beams in the smile of envy, it bursts forth in the debaucheries of the libertine, it counts the gold of avarice, it sparkles in the eyes of anger, it is the companion of graceful effeminacy.
Pride occasioned the fall of Adam; pride armed Cain against his innocent brother; it was pride that erected Babel and overthrew Babylon. Through pride Athens became involved in the common ruin of Greece; pride destroyed the throne of Cyrus, divided the empire of Alexander, and crushed Rome itself under the weight of the universe."
(François-René de Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity)
"Who, in their right mind, Kevin, could possibly deny the 20th century was entirely mine ? All of it, Kevin ! All of it ! Mine ! I'm peaking, Kevin."
Al Pacino as John Milton, The Devil's Advocate (1997)
"The violent history of this century is due in no small part to the closure of reason to the existence of ultimate and objective truth. The result has been a pervasive skepticism and relativism, which have not led to a more 'mature' humanity but to much despair and irrationality."
(Pope John Paul II speaking about his encyclical, Fides et Ratio, in an address to U.S. bishops, 24th October 1998)
(Ian Brown BBC Radio 1 Breezeblock Session, 26th May 1998)
Ian Brown's The Fisherman, a run through history, is influenced by two of his Breezeblock selections: 'Nature of the Threat' by Ras Kass and 'Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth' by GZA (also a Planet Groove selection). The first of these two tracks, from Ras Kass's debut album, 'Soul On Ice' (1996), is the dominant influence here. The referencing of a mobile phone and allusion to the Liberian Civil Wars (1989 - 1996, 1999 - 2003) sees Ian bring events right up to the present age; Jeffrey Dahmer serves this purpose for Ras Kass. Dahmer, murdered by a fellow inmate while in prison in 1994, was an American serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the murders occurring between 1989 and 1991. His murders were particularly gruesome, involving acts of necrophilia, dismemberment and cannibalism.
In 'The Calling Of The First Disciples' (Matthew 4: 18 - 22), Jesus said to Simon and his brother Andrew:
In 'Jesus Calls His First Disciples' (Luke 5: 1 - 11), Simon questions Jesus's command to put out the nets:
They then signalled to James and John, the sons of Zebedee, to help them manage with the nets:
Jesus is the 'fisherman's friend', as Ian explained to music365.com on 16th February 2000:
Ian: No. I'm singing directly to Jesus. Yes, I do remember you - and thanks for the book. Happy New Year.
Christ's threefold office is that of Priest, Prophet and King. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. In the heavens the sun encamps, and marches like a mighty monarch on His glorious way. In Chapter 16 of Matthew, Jesus gives the keys of the kingdom to Peter (and his successors) and makes the fisherman the viceroy of the Almighty. In the final chapter of John's Gospel, we find the account of Christ's third appearance to His disciples after He was raised from the dead, when He ate bread and fish with them on the lakeshore. The setting of this appearance, blended with expectation of His return as a King, marks a return of the divine fisherman, a return of the fisherman king. And all God's children gonna sing, gonna sing, when they see their Mighty King. When Christ the King says to Peter and the apostles that the gates of hell will not prevail, that is an attack on hell. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. Prior to the church being visibly present here on earth (at Pentecost) as the only means of salvation and the bulwark against evil, hell was on the offensive [But this is your hour - when darkness reigns]. And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away. Something strange is happening. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep, and hell trembles with fear. This is the night when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld. Holding the keys of death and Hades, He is seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. With Christ's victory at Calvary, now is the prince of this world driven out. He is driven out because the King is coming. When the King comes, the prince leaves, and the Church Militant is now on the attack. Christ has defeated the forces of darkness in the eternal realms; we are here to enforce the victory already won. The Church is in mortal combat with the world until the return of the Son of Man on His glorious throne. Then God through His Son Jesus Christ will pronounce the final word on all history. Eternity dawns at the fourth watch of the night, when the great Church victorious shall be the Church at rest.
The earliest depictions of The Last Supper show, not bread and wine, but rather, fish on the table. The fish was an early Christian symbol; its letters in Greek were the initials of the confession: 'Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour'. This also has origins in The Feeding of the Five Thousand with bread and fish (John 6: 1 - 15); our holy fathers understood that this miracle was a 'dress-rehearsal' for The Last Supper, pointing as it did, directly to the Holy Eucharist. The lyric, "Man shall not live by bread alone" was Jesus' rebuttal to Satan, when He was being tempted in the desert. When asked by Satan to turn stones into bread:
The following lines are Ian's response to a comment made by a 'Select' magazine reporter at Glastonbury in 1998, who, when interviewing Ian in a caravan, commented on his body odour:
"Declaration by the Pope of Rome for Jesus to have Michelangelo's uncle's nose" is a bungling rewrite of the GZA / Ras Kass tract below:
GZA, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (1995)
Plus to deceive us
Commissioned Michelangelo to paint white pictures of Jesus
He used his aunt, uncle and nephew
Subconsciously that affects you
It makes you put white people closer to God
Ras Kass, Nature of the Threat (1996)
The fabricated claim being made here is that 'the white image of Christ' was modelled on Cesare Borgia, and thenceforth, the world has been duped into envisioning Christ as white. This is easily refuted - one need only look to 'white depictions' of Christ in the earliest Christian art, predating Borgia by centuries (see, for example, the 6th century 'Christ Pantocrator' icon above). Interview With a Vampire (1998) by Ras Kass takes this claim further, with 'God' delivering the lyric: "The Pope and Christians will tell you God ain't black". God did take thy logic for a ride. An indelible image of a 'white Christ', certainly, has been burnt into the mind of Western Civilization by Art, but no pope ever commissioned Michelangelo to "paint white pictures of Jesus", and no pope is penning encyclicals on Christ's skin colour.
Cesare Borgia (1475 - 1507), Duke of Valentinois, was the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) and Vannozza dei Cattani. Through history, we have had 265 popes, the overwhelming majority of which have been solid, scholarly, saintly holy men of God. In this time, there have been a dozen 'bad popes' but vastly disproportionate attention is given to this minority by enemies of the Catholic Church. I imagine that if Ian Brown was put on the spot, he would struggle to name ten popes in Church history, let alone tell you the first thing about them. This is very much reflective of a modern society steeped in knowledge about the salacious detail of the Borgias, but very little else, of papal history. Let's put it this way - I don't see too many prime time television series based on the lives of Saint Clement of Rome or Leo the Great. The Church is a society divine in its origin, supernatural in its end, but it is a human community inasmuch as it is composed of men. There are few so credulous as those eager to hear ill of the Catholic Church. We may rest satisfied that Christ will not leave Peter's chair, whose faith He promises should never fail, though the occupants be as bad as their enemies describe them.
The Fisherman opens with allusion to Saturnalia, a feature of Nature of the Threat:
Nature of the Threat, as I will illustrate later in this essay, is littered with error. Saturnalia was a feast dedicated to the Roman god Saturn. It became one of the most popular Roman festivals, and was marked by drunken orgies, tomfoolery and reversal of social roles, in which slaves and masters ostensibly switched places. It was introduced around 217 B.C. to raise citizen morale after a crushing military defeat at the hands of the Carthaginians. Originally celebrated for a day, on 17th December, its popularity saw it grow until it became a week-long extravaganza, ending on the 23rd of that month. Efforts to shorten the celebration were unsuccessful. Augustus tried to reduce it to three days, and Caligula to five, but such attempts caused uproar and revolt among the Roman citizens. Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture, was not a homosexual god; he was married to the goddess Ops and was the father of the father of Ceres, Jupiter, Veritas, Pluto, Neptune, and Juno, among others (see 'Ops with two children' (c. 1630) by Peter Paul Rubens, above).
The reference to Adam can be understood in light of another of Hyppolytus' writings, the Chronicon, where he explains that Jesus was born nine months after the anniversary of Creation. According to his calculations, the world was created on the vernal equinox, March 25, which would mean Jesus was born nine months later, on December 25.
A December 25 date of Christ's birth was determined simply by calculating nine months after March 25, regarded as the day of Jesus' conception, the Feast of the Annunciation. At the outset, the Liturgical Year of the Church did not develop primarily from Christ's Birth, but rather, from faith in His Resurrection. Christianity's most ancient Feast is not Christmas, but Easter; the Christian faith is founded on Christ's Resurrection, which is at the root of the proclamation of the Gospel and gave birth to the Church. The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ.
The Ian Brown lyric, "Coca Cola made X-mas" concerns the impact that Coca Cola's advertising has had on the cultural celebration of Christmas; it is frequently credited with the 'invention' of the modern image of Santa Claus as an old man in red and white garments. However, while the company did indeed begin promoting this image in the 1930s in its winter advertising campaigns, it was already common before that. In 1863, a caricaturist for Harper's Weekly, Thomas Nast, began developing his own image of Santa. Nast gave his figure a flowing set of whiskers and dressed him all in fur, from head to foot. A Boston printer, Louis Prang, introduced the English custom of Christmas cards to America, and in 1885 he issued a card featuring a red-suited Santa. At the beginning of the 1930s, the Coca-Cola company was looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter, then a slow time of year for the soft drink market. They turned to a talented commercial illustrator, Haddon Sundblom (1899 - 1976), who created a series of drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca Cola. Christ is the reason for the season. Not Saturn. Not Coca Cola. The various pagan religions all had festivals spanning the calendar. Whatever month the early Christians might have otherwise chosen would still place Christmas near some pagan celebration, and oppositional theorists would still be making the same claims. Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew and all of the disciples were Jews. Therefore it is against the backdrop of first century Palestinian Judaism that Jesus is to be properly understood. Any attempt to reroute New Testament theology by swaddling Jesus in an interpretive crib of pagan mythology is hokum. The difference between the ancient Near Eastern gods and the God of the Bible is utterly profound. The ancient gods were descended from the heavens and the earth. They were part of the physical substratum of the world. The God of the Bible created the heavens and the earth. He was not derived from it.
The Fisherman cleverly plays with both homophone and anagram ("Saturn, Satan's claws, Santa Claus") in its opening delivery, as a means of associative connectivity. Satan is commonly associated with the number 666 ("Number of the Beast. Prophesied by those who roam the Middle East") in the following text from the Apocalypse of Saint John:
Ian dovetails gambling ("A roulette table numbered one to thirty six. In sequence added up six hundred and sixty six") with the Number of the Beast. However, a more scrutinous reading of this text from Apocalypse reveals a different story. The numerical decoding here has bond, not so much with Satan, but with the weight of gold received in talents yearly by Solomon in tax (see 1 Kings 10: 14). "This calls for wisdom" - the Wisdom of Solomon. This warns of a diabolical force in the world that uses the economy to tempt people to apostatize from God. Solomon was corrupted by his love of money over his love of God. 666 in a Solomonic context represents corruption by the devil, via the worship of money. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Furthermore, the 360° circle of original roulette wheels simply had divisions of 10°, hence why there were 36 numbers. Then a Frenchman called Louis Blanc added one more pocket (a zero) to the wheel (this was tweaked further by American casino operators, who added another pocket, a 'double zero').
The following lyric from Nature of the Threat may have been the core of Ian's controversial outburst to Melody Maker in April 1998:
Here is the relevant excerpt from Melody Maker:
Why the hell not ?
"Violence comes from Romans, Nazis, Greeks - they were all homosexual. And I've got gay friends that will back me up. I just think Noel Coward is an old tosser who got on with the Queen Mother and... I don't think he's anything to be idolised. He's their hero, not ours."
(Ian Brown speaking to Melody Maker, April 1998)
"I was doing a review of a Noel Coward record, and I started talking about Greek and Roman civilizations that had large homosexual power bases. It was the wrong forum - I shouldn't have been discussing it in a single review. I'd been reading about Roman and Greek civilisation. I've since had letters from history professors and students who tell me that what I was saying was historically accurate."
(Ian Brown Q&A Session, Jockey Slut, March 2000)
"Julius Caesar was known as every man's wife. Romans were homosexuals. The top Nazis were homosexuals. Greece was homosexual. Most of the things that we had to suffer, the teachings of the Greeks, the philosophers - they're homosexual men. Now when they opened the gymnasiums and stripped the young boys, these were homosexual practices. I'm saying that that's what the West has been built on."
Ian Brown quoted in John Robb, The Stone Roses And The Resurrection of British Pop: The Reunion Edition (p. 465)
Boris: "If I don't kill him he'll make war all through Europe. But murder... What would Socrates say ? All those Greeks were homosexuals. Boy, they must have had some wild parties. I bet they all took a house together in Crete for the summer. A: Socrates is a man. B: All men are mortal. C: All men are Socrates. That means all men are homosexuals."
(Woody Allen, Love and Death, 1975)
Where to start with that writhing hornet's nest.
"Julius Caesar was known as every man's wife."
This is an expediently truncated lift from Nature of the Threat. Suetonius, a Roman biographer of the first and second centuries, writes that the Elder Curio referred to Julius Caesar in a speech as: "Every woman's man and every man's woman."
"Romans were homosexuals."
What, all of them ?
"The top Nazis were homosexuals."
You've gone from saying that "Nazis were homosexual" to speaking of "a homosexual power base". Now, it's "the top Nazis" who are homosexual. At the rate Ian is moving up the Nazi pyramid here, Hitler is very soon going to be the only homosexual left.
"Greece was homosexual."
What, the entire empire ?
"Most of the things that we had to suffer, the teachings of the Greeks, the philosophers - they're homosexual men."
What in blazes have you "had to suffer" ? Reading the works of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle is suffering ? Who are homosexual men ? The entire School of Athens ?
"Now when they opened the gymnasiums and stripped the young boys, these were homosexual practices."
Another direct lift from Nature of the Threat (see further down this essay), void of any context.
"I'm saying that that's what the West has been built on."
What has the West been built on ? "Stripping young boys" ?!! Ian, set down the Ras Kass CD case, walk away from the CD player, and go read some reputable historical sources for yourself before you open your pie hole.
Ian was the singles reviewer for Melody Maker in April 1998 and these remarks came in response to hearing Divine Comedy's single, 'I've Been to a Marvellous Party', for 'Twentieth Century Blues - The Songs of Noel Coward'. This was a tribute by various artists to renowned songsmith Noel Coward, the proceeds of which go to the Red Hot Organization, an AIDS charity. "It just came out of nowhere," explained Ian Watson, Melody Maker's singles editor, to The Independent (3rd April 1998): "We printed it word for word, exactly how it was said." Those involved with the Twentieth Century Blues project were hesitant to get involved. A spokesperson said: "Ian Brown's review of the Divine Comedy single is a personal point of view," adding that Neil Tennant, who conceived the project, "is appalled by Ian Brown's obviously stupid remarks, but doesn't want to enter into a public row." Asked why Melody Maker published the comments, Watson said: "We felt if we were to take it out that would be protecting Ian Brown. I re-interviewed him on the phone and was amazed that he brought it up again. And the fact that he did, completely unprompted, was a real shock. If we cover it up we are working on the side of homophobia and helping hatred." Worryingly, not only did Ian Brown refuse to apologise or even retract these claims, but it can be surmised from this telephone conversation (and the Dave Haslam interview below) that it was actually a calculated statement. Andy Matthew, deputy editor of the gay lifestyle magazine, 'Attitude', was mystified: "I think he is being very naive, to think that this is going to go unchecked or unnoticed. It seems to me that he hasn't thought about the impact of the words. If he is trying to say the fascination with gay men is this camp caricature, then I agree with him that these stereotypes shouldn't be encouraged. But to suggest that violence comes from gay men, I find that circumspect. I don't understand where he is coming from. What I don't like is 'if someone's gay, they're gay', as if that is a problem, and I hope we are years ahead of the time that people think they are poor, mentally damaged men with a curse. I would like to speak to Ian Brown. I know that The Stone Roses and Ian Brown have a lot of gay fans. I think people tend still to not check themselves so much, whereas with racism, for instance, they do. When it comes to gay issues, you can say whatever you want - it's a laugh and not taken seriously." (Andy Matthew speaking to The Independent 3rd April 1998). The explanation above, given by Ian Brown to Jockey Slut magazine - which notably omits any mention of his previous inclusion of Nazi Germany into his wild theorisation - is insufficient. Ian received "letters from history professors and students" regarding the historical accuracy of what, precisely ? That the earliest (recorded) instance in history of violence or war was Ancient Greece ? One would imagine, for example, that the combatants (Sumer - in modern Iraq - and Elam - a region that is now part of Iran) of the war in c. 2700 B.C., in the area around Basra, might have something to say about this claim. There have always been wars. There was a two-man war between Cain and Abel shortly after Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden. In Genesis 4: 5, we have the first indications of enmity: anger and the fallen countenance. The bile of enmity secreted in the heart makes for a bitter face. God reads the anger in Cain's heart on his face and immediately offers him a way out. Or was this show of support regarding the proposition that the violence of the Greek, Roman and Nazi Empires has an inextricable link to homosexuality ? Some of the most ruthless dictators in History each have had multiple wives and dozens of concubines at their beck and call. The purpose of historical inquiry is to search for, and construct, a justifiable interpretation of the past, through the rigorous study of documents and artefacts. As to the actual content of these letters, from which Ian clearly has formed a sense of validation, we can only speculate. Personally, I would not be placing too much academic weight on mails from students. A student is a learner, not a purveyor of truth. Some of those students favourable to the opinion of Ian Brown may have spent more time in the students' union listening to The Stone Roses' debut on repeat on the jukebox and perusing the NME, than researching in the campus library. In a feeble attempt at justifying a rejection of Catholic Church teaching, Ian waxes lyrical here about the need instead to "educate [myself]". The theological flaws developing from such a scattered approach are all too evident here also, in an historical sense. In regard to the History professors who scribed letters of support, could Ian perchance provide us with details of any writings or references by these professors on the subject ? If they are basing this show of support on, for example, 'The Pink Swastika' (see further down this page), then Ian's validation rests on very suspect ground indeed.
In a January 2000 Ian Brown interview with Dave Haslam in Manchester magazine 'City Life', we are told that 'Ian doesn't retract what he was quoted as saying, nor does he say he was misquoted.' No doubt holding dear to the aforementioned letters of support, the singer goes on to say, "I was probably talking about an issue that was too complex for the singles page in Melody Maker." Herein lies a revealing caveat. Ian is standing firm on these claims, yet with a strong intimation that these 'truths' are 'too complex' for readers of Melody Maker to absorb. Either these claims are true, and can be supported by substantive evidence, or they are false. Truth is truth, regardless of the arena it is proclaimed in. Truth does not morph in quality or constitution depending on when or where it is proclaimed, or who it is proclaimed by. The substance of Ian's claims do not change, whether they be printed in Melody Maker, Gay Life, or the letters page of The Beano. The 'City Life' article continues to dance to Ian's tune: 'He does regret, however, that a negative spin was put on his ideas, and the context of his own life was ignored.' No-one is doing an 'Alastair Campbell' on Ian's comments here. On the contrary, I have lost count of the number of 'What Ian really meant was...' (in regard to his Melody Maker comments) and 'What Ian really did was...' (in regard to his air rage behaviour) pieces that I have read in the media from those seeking to curry favour with the singer. From Michael Odell's portrayal of events, you would be forgiven for assuming that Ian Brown was simply in a jocular Zorro mood with plastic cutlery aboard British Airways flight BA 1611, as opposed to threatening an air stewardess that he would chop her hands off, and tapping on a cockpit door, whilst the plane was airborne. Also showing a willingness to massage reality is Joel McIver of The Quietus. Interviewing Brown in September 2009, McIver dances around the truth, ending with this spot of brown-nosing: "As I walk away, the realisation hits me that maybe, just maybe, the cheerful, courteous Ian Brown I've just met is the real thing: perhaps the stewardess-threatening hard case you've read about in the red-tops was an invention all along ?". Too often in his updated Stone Roses biography, John Robb is tying himself up in knots trying to defend the indefensible, delivering this gem on page 469: "... the charge was ridiculous. Whoever heard of anyone getting four months for a bit of a stand-off on a plane ?". Yeah, 30,000 feet in the air is precisely where you want things kicking off. Just who the fuck was Ian expecting to see open that cockpit door ? Leslie Nielsen ?
Ian then suggests in the Haslam article that "In these days of political correctness it's easy to be politically correct, but I was there ten years ago." You were where ten years ago, Ian ? Dwelling in the shelter of the Most High or throwing some shapes on the dance floor of the Number One club ? This quagmire that you find yourself in has got nothing to do with political correctness, but rather, the most base understanding of historical consensus. Binding homosexuality with the systematic genocide of six million Jews goes very much beyond the remit of political correctness. As for Ian's dismay that the context of his own life is ignored, I would reiterate my previous point about truth. What happened in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome (or in the darkest recesses of Nazi Germany) is neither dependent upon, nor informed by, the context of Ian Brown's life some two millennia later. Rather, truth is the correspondence of (your) judgement with reality. Truth is independent of (your) mind. And, as I am keen to stress here, in relation to comments made by Dave Faulkner, Ultimate Truth does not conform to Ian Brown. Truth is non-negotiable; error has no rights. An error that is not resisted is approved; a truth that is not defended is suppressed. A right is a moral power. A right is an appeal to God, a moral faculty given by God that no power can violate. A right is not the ability to do something. Any 'right' must have a counterbalancing responsibility. Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. In A Plea For Intolerance (1931), Archbishop Fulton Sheen writes: "There is no subject on which the average mind is so much confused as the subject of tolerance . . . Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons." Toleration is a suffering, to bear something. The object of toleration is an evil, whereas the object of a right is a good. Attending an Anti-Clause 28 march in February 1988, or showing your face in a couple of gay clubs 'back in the day' (see the aforementioned Dave Haslam interview), does not, by virtue, give you carte blanche to have a shotgun approach on topics such as the psychological roots of violence, Ancient History, Nazi Germany, or Homosexuality. Without wishing to belabour the point, consider the following. Ian Brown was born on 20th February 1963 - the actuality of events that transpired in the aforementioned three empires were no different on 19th February 1963 than they were on 20th February 1963. When Hitler rose to power in 1933, Roman Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand fled Germany to Austria, where in Vienna he founded and edited Der Christliche Ständestaat (The Christian Corporative State). "That damned Hildebrand is the greatest obstacle for National Socialism in Austria. No one causes more harm," fumed Franz von Papen, the Nazi ambassador to Austria, who proposed to Hitler a plan to assassinate Hitler's public enemy number one. Because von Hildebrand's anti-Nazi paper was so widely read, von Papen called him "the architect of the intellectual resistance in Austria." There is much to be learned from Albert Einstein's reflection here, on how the Catholic Church - and only the Catholic Church - stood in the way of Nazi suppression of truth and freedom. Dachau concentration camp remains the largest cemetery of Catholic priests in the world. The Greek tragic dramatist Aeschylus wrote that, in war, truth is the first casualty. In every dictatorship, the past must be censored. The Nazi propaganda machine sought to crush truth, and what no historian can afford to do, in sizing up Ian Brown's comments, is allow suppression of truth about the suppression of truth. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen explains, "Truth, by its nature, is not tolerant; it must reject error." Perhaps the most illustrative snapshot of Ian's delusional historical perspective is to be found in one of the most blatant cases of confirmation bias that I have ever read - the singer's claim, in conversation with Tim Jonze in 2005, to know the knowledge of primitive man, through his own Peyote intake (see further down this page). In 'Allegory on writing history' (1754) by Jacob de Wit, an almost naked Truth keeps a watchful eye on the writer of history. Wisdom gives advice, with Ptolemy I Soter, a master in objectivity in his book on Alexander the Great, below in profile. Judging by the above 'Ian Brown historiography', Truth and Wisdom seem to have taken a backseat to the Peyote. Saint Thomas Aquinas took the realist epistemology of Aristotle and formed the synthesis of reason and faith; Aquinas understood reason as that by which we know. If this concept was not butchered enough by Enlightenment thought (Descartes: that which we know), what reason seemingly has now been reduced to is that Peyote by which we know.
There is an unsubtle shift in focus by Ian from homosexuality to "homosexual power bases" in the Jockey Slut excerpt above. One would like, firstly, to have a definition from Ian as to what a "homosexual power base" is exactly, and secondly, ascertain what relevance any homosexual presence within a civilization has to do with urges of violence and destruction. Given Ian's jail sentence for air rage in 1998 (when he allegedly threatened a stewardess that he would "chop her hands off"), an enterprising use of a mic stand in an altercation with a restrained security man in San Francisco in 2005, and an arrest in 2009 on suspicion of assaulting his wife at his house in West Kensington, a reassessment of violence as some sort of inescapable feature of the 'homosexual condition' is perhaps in order. Violence is the expression of physical force against one or more people, compelling action against one's will on pain of being hurt. The word violence covers a broad spectrum. It can vary from between a physical altercation between two beings, to war and genocide where millions may die as a consequence. How would Ian care to explain the behaviour of the children in the Bobo doll experiments, conducted by Albert Bandura in 1961 and 1963 ? Or the conduct of the prison guards in the 1971 Stanford prison experiment ? Nazi Germany was not an aberration from an otherwise serene century; the 20th century was the most violent one of human history. The scope of Ian's poorly devised theory is limited to three empires in the whole of history. What are Ian's assertions of the breeding ground for the many other significant empires in history, such as the British Empire in the twentieth century, the Mongol Empire of the thirteenth century, the Russian Empire of the nineteenth century, or the Spanish Empire of the eighteenth century ? These countries conquered vast territories, and maintained empires for significant periods of time by use of military power. What classification of 'power base' would Ian care to designate these empires with ? In the years after World War I, still burdened by the harsh terms imposed in the Treaty of Versailles, Germany collapsed into disorder and ruin. The Great Crash and the Depression that followed further strengthened the anti-capitalist zeal that was fermenting in Germany. Poverty and discontent boiled over into mass unrest, with riots on the streets. Political extremism grew and many Germans were set to fall under its spell. Along with imperialism, the underlying cause of World War Two was racism. There is a Hebrew saying, Olem Golem ("a crowd is a robot"); the Nazi propaganda machine was able to induce a kind of mass psychosis that transformed some of the nation into brutes and others into passive marionettes. Supporters and perpetrators of Nazism, from the lower ranks to those at the very top, possessed an unshakeable belief that Germans were the victims of an international Jewish conspiracy, and a fervent zeal for retribution. The Nazi propaganda machine maintained total control by socializing the population into a national discourse. The 'enemy' was completely dehumanized in the eyes of Nazis, and racism gave birth to Auschwitz, the killing factory in Poland. Hitler's mission, as he outlined in Mein Kampf, was the extermination of the Jew. The horrors of Nazi Germany should serve only as a chilling reminder of the depths that humanity can delve, should evil be given the conditions to foster. What the 20th century - the most homicidal era of human history - has played out is just how lethal officially atheistic regimes are.
Not for the first time, Ian's historical claims were wayward. In the 1920s, homosexuals in Germany, particularly in Berlin, enjoyed a higher level of freedom and acceptance than arguably anywhere else in the world. However, upon the rise of Adolf Hitler, homosexual men and, to a lesser extent, lesbians (In the racist practice of Nazi eugenics, women were valued primarily for their ability to bear children) were two of the numerous groups targeted by the Nazi Party and were ultimately among the roster of Holocaust victims. Beginning in 1933, homosexual organizations were banned, scholarly works about homosexuality, and sexuality in general, were burned, and some homosexuals within the Nazi Party itself were murdered, such as Ernst Röhm and his deputy, Edmund Heines. Heinrich Himmler had initially been a supporter of Röhm; using propaganda, he argued that the charges of homosexuality against him were manufactured by Jews, but later, Himmler engineered his murder in the Night of the Long Knives of 1934. Following this move, Hitler elevated Himmler's status and he immediately became proactive in the suppression of homosexuality. Himmler exclaimed, "We must exterminate these people root and branch... the homosexual must be eliminated." (Richard Plant, The Pink Triangle: the Nazi war against homosexuals (1986), p. 99). In 1936, Himmler gave a speech on the subject of homosexuality and described the murder of Röhm in these terms: "Two years ago... when it became necessary, we did not scruple to strike this plague with death, even within our own ranks." Himmler closed with these words: "Just as we today have gone back to the ancient Germanic view on the question of marriage mixing different races, so too in our judgment of homosexuality - a symptom of degeneracy which could destroy our race - we must return to the guiding Nordic principle: extermination of degenerates." A few months earlier, Himmler had prepared for action by reorganizing the entire state police into three divisions. The political executive, Division II, was directly responsible for the control of "illegal parties and organizations, leagues and economic groups, reactionaries and the Church, freemasonry, and homosexuality." Himmler personally favoured the immediate "extermination of degenerates," but he was empowered to order the summary execution only of homosexuals discovered within his own bureaucratic domain. Civilian offenders were merely required to serve out their prison sentences (although second offenders were subject to castration). In 1936, Himmler found a way around this obstacle. Following release from prison, all "enemies of the state" - including homosexuals - were to be taken into protective custody and detained indefinitely. Under the practice of "protective custody" (Schutzhaft), ostensibly designed to shield individuals from the "indignation of society," the Gestapo seized suspected homosexual men without warrants and confined them in camps along with political opponents and others - particularly Jews after 1938 - who "offended" the Volk. The official SS newspaper, Das Schwarze Korps, announced in 1937 that there were two million German homosexuals and called for their death. The extent to which Himmler succeeded in this undertaking is unknown, but the number of homosexuals sent to camps was far in excess of the fifty thousand who served jail sentences. The Gestapo dispatched thousands of homosexuals to camps without a trial, and Himmler gave special orders that they be placed in Level Three camps, human death mills reserved for Jews and homosexuals. Moreover, "protective custody" was enforced retroactively, so that any homosexual who had ever come to the attention of the police prior to the Third Reich was subject to immediate arrest (the Berlin police alone had an index of more than twenty thousand homosexuals prior to the Nazi takeover). Beginning in 1939, homosexuals from Nazi-occupied countries were also interned in German camps.
The Gestapo compiled lists of homosexuals, who were compelled to sexually conform to the 'German norm.' Along with Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma ('Gypsies'), Jehovah’s Witnesses, people with mental and physical disabilities, and so called anti-socials, homosexuals too were persecuted, considered to be unworthy of life in Hitler's pursuit of a 'master Aryan race.' Nazism declared itself incompatible with homosexuality, because homosexuals did not reproduce and thus, perpetuate the 'master race'. As the regime consolidated power and centralized state authority, the instruments of persecution emerged. Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, believed that the function of the new Propaganda Ministry was to coordinate the political will of the nation with the aims of the Nazi state. To this end, he quickly set about monopolizing the means of communication by a process known as Gleichschaltung (coordination), which referred to the obligatory assimilation within the Nazi state of all political, economic, and cultural activities. Propaganda in the wake of a major political crisis in mid-1934 linked homosexuality to subversion, even treason, thereby encouraging public intolerance. With the reintroduction in 1935 of conscription for all men ages 18 to 45, Germany's homosexual men became liable for service in the armed forces, the Wehrmacht. The German military code did not bar homosexuals, even convicted homosexuals, from serving in the armed forces. As a result, thousands of homosexual men were drafted to serve a regime that persecuted them as civilians. In 1935, Nazi authorities rewrote criminal law Paragraph 175, and subsequent court interpretation radically expanded the range of punishable "indecencies between men." Enforcement of Paragraph 175 fell to the Criminal Police and the Gestapo, unified by 1936 under the SS and its leader, Reichsführer–SS Heinrich Himmler. Tens of thousands of homosexual men were imprisoned in concentration camps during the Nazi era, where many died from starvation, disease, exhaustion, beatings, and murder. The first concentration camps were improvised in local prisons, military barracks, even abandoned factories. Beginning in 1934, SS chief Heinrich Himmler oversaw the regularization of the camp system under SS control. The main camps - Sachsenhausen for the north, Buchenwald for the center, and Dachau for the south - were ostensibly to "re-educate" inmates through discipline and hard work. Concentration camp internment served a twofold purpose: the labour power of prisoners boosted the national economy significantly, and undesirables could be effectively liquidated by the simple expedient of reducing their food rations to a level slightly below subsistence. In the final months of the war, the men with pink triangles received brief military training; they were to be sent out as cannon fodder in the last-ditch defense of the fatherland.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News in May 2010, Ian played to the gallery in an exercise in hippie-speak and pseudo-liberal groupthink, proudly proclaiming of his native city: "We've got people from all over the world that live in Manchester, but we all get on. There's no black or white or Asian or gay or straight or young or old, we're all part of the Republic of Mancunia. I think we're the most forward-looking city in the world in that attitude - more so than New York, way more so than London because people are dead tribal in London." The Media will lap this shit up all day long (and I'm thinking here especially of the so-called British Broadcasting Corporation), since the liberal agenda spins on a call to neutrality and tolerance, a desensitisation to evil. As society rushes toward a hell bent individualistic liberalism, the media act as paragons of toleration, keeping everything neutral. Transforming the public square into a grotesque echo chamber, the media raises arbitrary doubts, often reporting agenda-driven speculation to keep things 'fair'. This anaesthetizes the populace, perpetuating the paralysis and 'greyness' of non-objective thinking. Liberty inevitably results in at least some measure of inequality, making a mockery of the French Revolution's tripartite motto. Ian rejoicing that there is no 'gay or straight' demarcation line in his native city is very difficult to reconcile with his unshakeable conviction that the ancient civilization power bases of Greece and Rome (and a 20th century genocide to boot) were the very essence and definition of homosexuality. Attempting to bolster his outburst to Melody Maker in April 1998, Ian adamantly claimed to have "gay friends that will back [me] up"; in that case, those "gay friends" who are willing and able to show support must all reside outside the realm of the Republik of Mancunia, since there is no 'gay' or 'straight' within those walls, according to the singer. Every diversity of The Get Along Gang is 'tolerated' and protected by force field in this mystical Republik of Mancunia yet, as you will see here in spades, there is a most ruthless division line when it comes to Catholicism, in the mind of the singer. Secular humanism and political correctness, the twin betrayers of freedom, cunningly disguise themselves as freedom's advocates. The treachery of secular humanism is that it subjects the law of God to the law of man and affirms there are no God-given limits which government cannot exceed and no standard of right or wrong higher than the State's. Ominously, political correctness attempts to instill harmony among people by insisting that all adhere to the philosophy that no one is wrong except those who disagree with this concept. Truth comes by conflict; today, consensus comes from tolerance and the truth be damned. A false compassion supplies the sinner with the means to remain attached to sin. The sentiment of compassion only becomes a virtue when it is guided by reason. Without such regulation, compassion is merely a passion. An authentic compassion always stems from charity. As the Angelic Doctor explains, "To love is to will the good of another." Weakening or watering-down moral norms is not an act of charity. It is an act of counterfeit charity, an act of spiritual violence. Evil infiltrates, exploits and then destroys. Everywhere equality is invoked, desire trumps truth. In a workers' paradise of equality, the parable of the talents is turned on its head. Always remember that there will be one final division - and it will be everlasting. How unequal it is that some will be condemned ! The only way to 'equalize' men is by force, which means that those exercising the force will necessarily be "more equal than others." Furthermore, the only direction in which men can be equalized is downward, to the lowest common denominator, which is the passions. Modernity is a multiform hunt for a 'liberty' that ensures the triumph of the unreasoning will. What modernity wants, modernity gets. Such is the contemporary antichristian ferment that even natural law is considered crypto-religion and constitutes a threat to the separation of church and state. In an existentialist ontological corruption of man, existence precedes essence. Cultural Marxism has swamped the land, with sexual identity Gnosticized by gender warriors to the point of mocking biology. Apparently, gender and race are social constructs. There is no spoon - just 71 genders and counting. To speak of human nature is anathema to the modernist, for a human nature implies something that God created, that is fixed. Rather, they speak of the human condition. The Fourth Estate Is A Fifth Column. The desire of the Left is to not just champion immorality, but make you accept it, embrace it, and ultimately pay for it. All social engineering is preceded by verbal engineering. The five stages of political correctness, as exemplified by the alphabet-soup mafia: 1. Tolerance 2. Acceptance 3. Celebration 4. Forced participation 5. Punishment of all dissenters. If perversion is to be seen as normal, logic demands that it be seen as frequent. Signatured by an ever-growing alphabet soup of sexual deviance, the dictate here is that every perversion must be embraced in the name of tolerance and equal in the name of equality. Self-deception as a group effort, a conglomerate of self-serving pride, this is a subversive war against nature. The State, meanwhile, uses the sheep's clothing of 'tolerance' to legalize intolerance, bigotry and the marginalization of Christians.
Counter-Morality. Counter-State. Counter-Church. The New Age is masonic. The New Age is demonic. Freemasonry is the soul, the unifying element, the energizing force of liberalism and of the whole anti-Christian movement. Embracing all creeds under the banner of equal rights, the true masonic doctrine is the divinity of man. In this contemporary climate of Freemasonic principles (liberty, equality, fraternity), religious egalitarianism is the order of the day. The first fundamental principle of Freemasonry is tolerance of religious beliefs (thus safeguarding its sustained discrimination against the one true religion). 'Religious liberty' brings in its trail state religious 'neutrality', a Trojan horse in the City of God. Humanity's sacred cow, tolerance is the alpha and omega of a new world order. It wants to penetrate into all religions, just as it penetrates all lands. A global tyranny vested with supranational authority, encompassing both the secular and spiritual. One World Government and One World Religion to take the place of both the City of the Caesars and the City of the Popes. Historically, man has been anchored by moral absolutes. Today, he is steeped in moral relativism and secular homogeneity. Here, Brown is reducing society to a sameness of individuals whose differences have been transmogrified; in doing so, diversity has been altered into an insipid uniformity that undermines the very concept of a diverse society. This is how evil operates - it remains cloaked until such a time that the cloak is no longer necessary. Holiness draws lines. In April 2005, in his homily during Mass prior to the conclave which would elect him as Pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke about the world "moving towards a tyranny of relativism." The air we breath today is relativism, a liberality of individualistic hedonism. The French Revolution planted the seeds for the murderous ideologies of socialism and nationalism that would poison the next two centuries. We are living through what Fr. Francis Canavan, S.J., called "the fag end of the Enlightenment," the collapse of the effort by philosophers and politicians, over the past three centuries and more, to build a society as if God did not exist. That Enlightenment culture is built on three lies: secularism, relativism and individualism. Were Ian to keep that 'There's no x or y' list going long enough, he may ultimately arrive at the delusional belief that there's no good or evil, Heaven or Hell, salvation or damnation. Grey is Satan's favourite colour. Not by coincidence does the Catholic Mass begin with the Confiteor. In the words of C.S. Lewis, good people know about good and evil; bad people don't know about either. Good and evil, Lewis reminds us, both increase at compound interest. Tellingly, on this note, in a Channel 4 interview from 2005, Ian rubbishes the notion that someone can move towards sanctity, symptomatic of a culture that has set the bar of salvation very low indeed. This erosion of the concept of good and evil is precisely the tactic employed by a top-hat-and-tails-attired Mick Jagger in his appropriation of the devil ("Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints..."). A very revealing grumble about the Roman Catholic Church from Some Folks Are Hollow is 'All this talk of [evil]', meaning, 'Won't that bulwark against evil be silenced !'. Don't shoot the messenger. Don't drive JCBs into the messenger. Speak of evil pricks the conscience, and this monkey needs to take his fingers out of his ears. Evil is essentially parasitic on the good. Satan depends on God's goodness, even in rebelling against it. In times of temptation, the Prince of Darkness disguises himself as the Prince of Light. Of the three temptations of Jesus by Satan in the desert, the third (Matthew 4: 8) was the most supreme. This was the most dangerous of all because it proposes a coexistence between good and evil. There is no darkness in light, and no light in darkness; there can be no mixture of good and evil. In essence, the grandstanding Manchester Evening News extract above is a secularist distortion of Galatians (3: 28), in which the Republik of Mancunia has supplanted Christ Jesus. It reeks of the exaltation of the virtue of tolerance, XXI Century's cheapest fare, which is falsely seen as the virtue which governs all other virtues; this is the very path that Satan desires you take, because you never have to arrive at the truth. Tolerance is not a virtue. An act of a virtue is always good. An act of justice is always good. An act of charity is always good. But an act of tolerance is not always good. Some tolerances are greatly imprudent and shield evil. The principal virtue is charity.
Liberalism is the belief that there is any part of God's creation that is not subject to His domain. An anti-dogmatic culture of utilitarian hedonism, liberalism is not comfortable with admitting evil because the conquest of evil demands a God. That God demands something of us, and thus the whole circle comes full. A God who commands us to follow the good is considered a straitjacket on freedom, as liberals (mis)understand the sense of freedom. God knows that the more we use our freedom for what it was designed for, the more free we become. The liberals have it just the opposite way around, instead perceiving that man has become more enchained. Now that Church and State have traded places with regard to who teaches morality, the new morality is an autonomous situational morality. When you do not have absolute morality, you have chaos, and what this liberalism-fuelled dictatorship of relativism seeks to do is chip away at absolute truth from whatever angle it can. The only absolute the relativist believes in is that there is no absolute. In this enforced mechanism, priority is given to group identities rather than national identities, and political governance is replaced with the rule of bureaucracy. Amid a raft of mutually incompatible group rights spawned by identity politics, judgmentalism is the only sin. Non-judgmentalism is not a value. It is the end of all values. Always remember that right is right if no one's right; wrong is wrong if everyone's wrong. Liberals necessarily limit their relationship with God. Their excessive pride prevents them from ever getting close to God. They want to go to heaven, but it's a heaven of their own making, in which they fashion their own idol. Much to the dismay of liberal catholics, The Beatitudes and Crucifixion only come as a package deal. And if you don't believe in Agony, then you don't care anyway. Man-centred liberalism ignores the sinfulness of the human heart; since Sacred Scriptures calls this idiocy, and stands in absolute denial of such a mindset, these figures have to deny Sacred Scriptures. A whole world of scholarly endeavour has been poured into denying the truth of Sacred Scriptures. Liberalism has swirled into the tornado of Modernism, with religious ancestry in the Protestant Revolt, philosophical parentage in the Enlightenment and political pedigree from the French Revolution. As a footnote, this notion that the populace or constitution of Manchester is somehow superior as a collective to all other cities worldwide is self-serving garbage; for example, I would consider one of Ian Brown's Mancunian chums, Gary Neville, to be the embodiment of moronic tribalism and about as forward-thinking as a boomerang. Manchester resident Mark E. Smith must have missed the memo, since he is in violation of the Asiatic directive of this manifesto. Much like the conviction that diving in football is a foreign disease and Uruguay is the epicentre of racism, the blinkered belief that manifests in this egocentric extract from May 2010 is a trait best left behind. Discrimination, racism and xenophobia plague every society on this planet, and the city of Manchester is no glistening utopian exception. In February 2012, a Jewish charity reported that more anti-Semitic crime took place in Greater Manchester than London in 2011, despite seven times more Jews living in the capital. Nearly half of the 586 anti-Semitic crimes reported in the UK were in Greater Manchester, the Community Security Trust (CST) said. Ironically, an Ian Brown interview with FourFourTwo magazine in November 2005 very much argues the case I am trying to make here: "Anyone who claims their city's better than anyone else's is mad. Why ? Have you got a cooler hospital, then ?".
Ian was very fortunate that his Melody Maker outburst - following hot on the heels of his air rage incident - did not derail his solo career at the outset. In early 1997, Crispian Mills, lead singer of Kula Shaker, glamourized Nazism in allegedly saying "Hitler knew a lot more than he made out. The Nazis studied the Vedas, the scriptures, the Holy Grail... They were also into magic and all that. I'd LOVE to have great big flaming swastikas onstage just for the f*** of it." During an earlier interview, Mills had said: "You can see why Hitler got support. It was probably the uniforms that swung it." Mills was derided by contemporary acts for this comment and accused of harbouring Nazi sympathies; unsurprisingly, the band's second album failed to make an impact. Four years after the Meoldy Maker affair, Ian later demonstrated equally poor control in a David Brent-esque comment, made speaking to The Guardian (Saturday 2nd February 2002), when asked what life was like in his spell in Strangeways prison. Do your best not to read this in a Prison Mike voice:
Ensure that the batteries of your bullshit detector are fully charged for this hagiographic Guardian feature, folks. A host of ludicrous quasi-messianic claims from the former Stone Roses frontman are allowed to go unchecked. Ian takes drugs to get "closer to God", and describes one experience in Mexico, when he could see the colour of the planets and "hear the sound of Jamaica" from across the sea, and jaguars growling in the jungle. Ian saw fit to regale Tim Jonze with this same story in 2005: "I did Peyote once and I could see Mars and Venus super, super clear. We know what the planets look like but I always used to think 'Would primitive man have known ?' And then I realised that they did. Because Peyote puts you in touch with the universe. It is a red planet with gold sand on it. Venus is blue and green." This quasi-intuitive knowledge of the mysteries of the universe is very tiresome indeed. Peyote does not put me in touch with the universe and Astronomy is a discipline that requires no psychoactive enhancement (perhaps this Peyote was responsible for Ian perceiving thunder and lightning to be in reverse natural order !); heck, I'll fire up Google Images the next time I want to check Mars is still red, thanks all the same. The only way that taking drugs brings you closer to God is via their life-shortening capacity bringing you closer to your day of judgement. Returning to the Guardian puff piece from 2002, Ian deems it worthy to inform the interviewer that some have been known to tell him: "You walk the earth like a god." We learn that Ian never feels weighed down by gravity when he walks down the street, and the spirit breathes life into him when he reads the Bible; in the very same feature, he claims that he reads the Bible "for the stories", so one can only assume that this a fictional, literary spirit that he perceives is being fueled within him. When Paul instructed the Philippians to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2: 12), I don't think this is quite what he had in mind. Having looked in depth at Ian Brown's enmity toward the Roman Catholic Church, I can put a name to that spirit for him if he likes. Luther did truly let the hounds of hell loose when he spearheaded a personal interpretation of Sacred Scripture. If Ian believes that the Bible is merely a collection of 'stories', then by extension the Ten Commandments must be nothing more than a set of handy 'tips' or 'guidelines', rather than the true command of the divine, omnipotent, eternal God. In that case, the singer has no need to be seething with indignation at British Airways stewardess Christine Cooper for 'breaking' the Eighth of these. At least not until he gives a little more adherence himself to the ultimate meaning of the First. The Bible, for too many, is a book of convenience. Immediately after being sentenced for air rage, Ian protested, "I swore on the book, I told no lies." Well, by his own reckoning, he had his hand on a tampered book anyway. Serving his sentence in Kirkham open prison, Ian turned Muslim (at which point the book, I presume, very soon became a book), a conversion prompted by the conditional availability of chicken curry at the weekend. See the comments made by Archbishop Fulton Sheen here, for further reading on those who seek to sever, rather than serve, the command of God. Jesus is not loved at all unless He is loved above all. The Guardian feature also finds Ian describing a recurring dream where he is sitting under a tree, wearing a gold crown, with a lion under one arm and a lioness under the other. This dream is the unsurprising product of investment in the New Age movement, the holy trinity of which is Me, Myself and I.
Other artists to make ill-advised comments regarding the Nazi regime include David Bowie and Bryan Ferry. In 1976, David Bowie was in the grip of a crippling drug addiction, surviving on a diet of peppers, cocaine and milk (see the 'Cracked Actor' documentary for an insight into his fragile state around this time). Speaking to Playboy magazine, he stated that Hitler was "one of the first rock stars", and that Britain was "ready for a fascist leader." On 2nd May 1976, Bowie was photographed making, what was perceived as, a Nazi salute outside London's Victoria station, though the artist maintains that the photographer had simply caught him in mid-wave. Bowie later retracted and apologised for his Playboy statements, attributing them to a combination of an obsession with occultism, the Thule society and Nietzsche, and excessive drug use. In 2007, Bryan Ferry received criticism for his praise of Nazi iconography, subsequently apologising for his comments.
After a press conference in Australia in 1964, The Beatles gave Nazi salutes in response to the mass hysteria from the Australian crowd, and John Lennon can be heard saying, "Deutschland über alles" ("Germany above everything"). The first verse of Germany's national anthem - which translates as "Germany, Germany above everything" - has been ignored since the fall of the Third Reich. In November 2009, singer Pete Doherty was booed after singing this verse at a concert in Munich, and later apologised.
Here are the entire lyrics to Nature of the Threat by Ras Kass, which I will subsequently break down and analyse:
The Hellenistic Era, Alexander the Great
Conquers all the way to India leaving four successor states
By the fifth century B.C.
R.O.M.E. succeeds to be
The conqueror of Egypt and Greece
But had the threat of the Black Phoenicians in Sicily
The Punic Wars began 264 B.C.
The Black general Hannibal and Carthaginian Peace
In 146 B.C. Carthage fell after a six-month siege
Rome sold every citizen in slavery, the first genocide of history
And more bisexuality in sight
Julius Caesar was known as "every woman's husband and every man's wife" (biatch)
Spartacus Revolt - a slave rebellion that lost
Where 6,000 slaves was nailed on a cross...
Cross ? Aw, shit ! Jesus Christ !
Time for some-act-right
Christians get your facts right
'cause Christ was not his name, that's Greek for "one who is anointed"
Yeshua ben-Yosef was his name, do Christians know this ?
So who do you praise, do you know his name ?
Or do you do this in vain ?
Accepting the religion they gave slaves to behave
Peep the description of historian Josephus
Short, dark, with an underdeveloped beard was Jesus
He had the Romans fearing revolution
The solution was to take him to court and falsely accuse him
After being murdered by Pilate how can it be
These same white Romans established Christianity
Constantine would later see the cross in a dream
In his vision it read 'In Hoc Signo Vinces'
'In this sign we conquer'
Manifest Destiny, in 325 he convened the Nicene Creed
And separated God into three
Decided Jesus was born on December 25th
And raising on the third day is a myth
Plus to deceive us
Commissioned Michelangelo to paint white pictures of Jesus
He used his aunt, uncle and nephew
Subconsciously that affects you
It makes you put white people closer to God
(Yo ! The man got game like a mothafucka) True indeed, fuck it...Jihad !
In the 8th century Muslims conquered Spain, Portugal and France
And controlled it for 700 years
They never mention this in History class
'cause ofays are threatened when you get the real lesson
Moors from Baghdad, Turkey
Threaten European Christians, meaning: the white way of life
Hence, the Crusades for Christ
On November 25th, 1491
Santiago defeats the last Muslim stronghold, Granada
King Ferdinand gave thanks to God for victory
And the Pope of Rome declared this day to forever be
A day of Thanksgiving for all European Christians
When you celebrate Thanksgiving, what you are actually celebrating
is the proclamation of the Pope of Rome, who later in league with Queen Isabella
Sent Cardinal Ximénes to Spain to murder any Blacks that resisted Christianity
These Moors, these black men and women were from Baghdad, Turkey
And today you eat the turkey for your Thanksgiving Day
as the European powers destroyed the 'Turkies' who were the forefathers
of your mothers and fathers...now fight the power, you bitch-ass niggaz !
Now around this time whites started calling us Negroes
That's Spanish for 'black object', meaning we're not really people but property
And the Triangle Trade begins, they seize us
Queen Elizabeth sent the first slaves on a ship named Jesus
Stealing land from the indigenous natives
Gave them alcohol to keep the red man intoxicated
Whites claimed they had to civilize these pagan animals
But up until 1848, there's documented cases of whites being the savage cannibals
Eating Indians, in 1992 it's Jeffrey Dahmer
They slaughtered a whole race with guns
Drugs, priests and nuns
1763 the first demonic tactic of biological warfare
As tokens of peace, Sir Jeffrey Amherst passed out clothing
And blankets to the Indian community
Infested with smallpox, knowing they had no immunity
Today it's AIDS, you best believe it's man-made 'cause ain't a damn thing changed
Let me explain:
Now since people of colour are genetically dominant
and Caucasoids are genetically recessive, if whites expect to be predominant
Meaning survive as a race, then they simply must take precautions
That's why they're worried about the future now
'cause by 2050 almost all the Earth's population will be Brown
Then Black, so understanding that whites counterreact
(I'm sayin'... man.. the fools ain't nothin' but a teaspoon of milk in a world coloured with joy)
So they created a system to force Blacks into an unnatural position
That reinforces the position of natural inferiority, in addition
Created guns and developed the ethnocentric view
That God justifies every fucking thing they do
Conditioned people to perceive white's culture as civilized
And every other culture considered primitive - not true
Racism is the system of racial subjugation
Against non-whites in every area of human relation
Entertainment, education, labor, politics
Law, religion, sex, war and economics
See Blacks were 3/5ths of a man with tax purposes intended
You think you're Afro-American, you're a 14th Amendment
And a good nigger
Jews don't salute the fucking swastika
But niggas pledge allegiance to the flag that accosted ya
They never teach about the Breaker Islands like Jamaica
Where, before slaves came here, whites would take a
pregnant woman, hang her from a tree by her toes
Slice her stomach with a knife and let the unborn baby fall to the floor
Then stomp an unborn child in front of all the slaves
To inbreed fear, so they'd be scared and behave
And not rebel no more
Understand all whites must be perceived as potential predators
I paraphrase historian Ishakamusa Barashango
Understand that regardless of the lofty ideals engraved on paper
In such documents as the Constitution or Declaration
The basic nature of the European / American white man remains
So check it
This is the nature of the threat
This song is controversial in some of its assertions and is, in many instances, in error.
(My Country, 'Tis of Thee)
Land of the pilgrims' pride ... The importance of this lyric will come into sharper focus later in the essay.
Evolution leads logically to polygenism - that is, a belief, not in one physically perfect first man (Adam), but in groups of brutish first men and women mutating from parents who were not human.
The phenotypic traits cited here are not recessive permutations associated exclusively with Europeans. A study of the Aborigine in Australia reveals a frequency of blonde hair. Conversely, many Asians have skin that is fairer than Europeans, and many Europeans also have the combination of dark hair and eyes.
Albinism is a congenital disorder characterized by the complete or partial absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes due to absence or defect of an enzyme involved in the production of melanin. Albinism results from inheritance of recessive gene alleles, and is known to affect all vertebrates, including humans. There is a blatant contradiction in the song's claim that Albinism was "a sin to the original man, Africans", yet labeling Europeans "the first race haters" immediately after. The notion that Europeans are genetically defective descendants of albino mutants, who migrated to Europe because a black populace disapproved of their presence in Africa, is far-fetched.
The equator, it should be noted, emcompasses North Africa; more of Africa is above the equator than below. These 'mutants' also travelled to the east and west.
A complex patchwork of prehistoric migrations fashioned the modern European gene pool. At what point in the annals of history is Ras Kass claiming that Europeans became the first body of people to hate a race ?
Schopenhauer wrote that "every white man is a bleached one", in the context that there is no race of white people:
Neanderthals, it seems, were not savage enough and may even have been wiped out by Cro-Magnon, the 'predecessor' of modern European and Middle Eastern populations, what one could describe as a proto-caucasoid. Grimaldi man was a name given in the early 20th century to an Italian find of two palaeolithic skeletons, supposedly showing 'negroid' traits. When found, the skeletons were the subject of dubious scientific theories on human evolution, partly fueled by biased reconstruction of the skulls by the scientists involved. In the 1960s, the Grimaldi find, together with various other European finds of early modern humans, was classified as Cro-Magnon (in the wider sense), though the term "European Early Modern Humans" is today preferred for this assemblage. The true nature of Grimaldi man is still a subject of debate.
Europe was populated long before 2000 B.C. From approximately 40,000 B.C., there were various migrations from the Middle East into Europe. The Aryan invasion theory of India has long been disregarded. One of the main ideas used to interpret and generally devalue the ancient history of India is the theory of the Aryan invasion. According to this account, India was invaded and conquered by nomadic light-skinned Indo-European tribes from Central Asia around 1500 - 100 B.C., who overthrew an earlier and more advanced dark-skinned Dravidian civilization, from which they took most of what later became Hindu culture. This so-called pre-Aryan civilization is said to be evidenced by the large urban ruins of what has been called the 'Indus valley culture' (as most of its initial sites were on the Indus river). The war between the powers of light and darkness, a prevalent idea in ancient Aryan Vedic scriptures, was thus interpreted to refer to this war between light and dark skinned peoples. The Aryan invasion theory thus turned the Vedas, the original scriptures of ancient India and the Indo-Aryans, into little more than primitive poems of uncivilized plunderers. Ras Kass's line of thought is swayed too much towards the classical theory of the origins of Hinduism. The Aryan Invasion view of ancient Indian history has been challenged in recent years by new conclusions based on more recent findings in archaeology, cultural analysis, astronomical references, and literary analysis. Archaeologists, including Jim Schaffer and David Frawley, have established convincing arguments for this new interpretation. Archaeological digs have revealed that the Indus Valley culture lasted from about 3,500 to 1,800 B.C. It was not destroyed by outside invasion, but by internal causes and, most likely, floods. The 'dark age' that was believed to have followed the Aryan invasion may never have happened. A series of cities in India have been studied by archaeologists and shown to have a level of civilization between that of the Indus culture and later, more highly developed Indian culture, as visited by the Greeks. Finally, Indus Valley excavations have uncovered many remains of fire altars, animal bones, potsherds, shell jewelry and other evidences of Vedic rituals. Thus, there seems to be no racial evidence of any such Indo-Aryan invasion of India but only of a continuity of the same group of people who traditionally considered themselves to be Aryans. The Indo-Aryan invasion as an academic concept in 18th and 19th century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of the period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archeological and anthropological data. It is now thought that there was no invasion by anyone.
Ras Kass needs to make up his mind where racism originated; earlier in the song, Europeans are labeled "the first race haters", yet this is followed up here with the description of Hinduism as "the origins of racism." It should be noted that there are different theories concerning the establishment of the caste system in India: religious-mystical, biological and socio-historical.
Indo-European languages originated in Anatolia and dispersed from there, not India. Sanskrit is an Indo-Aryan language; Greek is a Hellenic language; and German and English are Indo-Germanic languages.
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans. Will Durant referred to it as "the first link in the European chain." The early inhabitants of Crete settled as early as 128,000 BC, during the Middle Palaeolithic age. However it was not until 5000 BC that the first signs of advanced agriculture appeared, marking the beginning of the civilization. The Bronze Age began in Crete around 2700 BC. In the late 3rd Millenium BC, several localities on the island developed into centres of commerce and handwork. This enabled the upper classes to continuously practice leadership activities and to expand their influence. It is likely that the original hierarchies of the local elites were replaced by monarchist power structures - a precondition for the creation of the great palaces. From the Early Bronze Age (3500 BC to 2600 BC), the Minoan civilization on Crete showed a promise of greatness.
Whilst Ras Kass is no doubt eager to attribute the ancient Egyptian name of Egypt, 'Kemet' ('black land') to skin colour, it refers instead to the fertile black soils of the Nile flood plains, distinct from the deshret, or 'red land' of the desert. If one were to adopt such an erroneous literal association of skin colour with terrain, then the skin colour of the 'original man' was neither black nor white, but red. Adam, the first man created by God in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, etymologically is the masculine form of the word adamah, meaning ground or earth, and related to the words adom (red), admoni (ruddy) and dam (blood). Ras Kass might as well be championing the exploits of Sir William Wallace or John Logie Baird, since it is thought that Scotland comes from the Greek word skotos, meaning darkness. By the close of the Bronze Age (up to Late Helladic IIIC, 1400 - 1060 BC), contacts between the Aegean and its neighbours were well established. Egypt was just one of numerous connections, in a network which extended as far as southern Spain. Mycenaean pottery, for example, has been found in Sardinia, Southern Italy and Sicily, Asia Minor, Cyprus and the Levant.
Geometry, one of the oldest mathematical sciences, is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space. Initially a body of practical knowledge concerning lengths, areas, and volumes, in the 3rd century BC geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment - Euclidean geometry - set a standard for many centuries to follow. Archimedes developed ingenious techniques for calculating areas and volumes, in many ways anticipating modern integral calculus. The field of astronomy, especially mapping the positions of the stars and planets on the celestial sphere and describing the relationship between movements of celestial bodies, served as an important source of geometric problems during the next one and a half millennia. The earliest recorded beginnings of geometry can be traced to ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley from around 3000 BC. However, quite why Ras Kass is citing the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates as testament to Egypt's influence on the study of geometry and astronomy in Greece is baffling; surely, Euclid or Pythagoras (who was thought to have visited Egypt in his youth) would serve as a better reference point here ? 'Elements' by Euclid is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. Although many of its results originated with earlier mathematicians, one of Euclid's accomplishments was to present them in a single, logically coherent framework, making it easy to use and reference, including a system of rigorous mathematical proofs that remains the basis of mathematics 23 centuries later. A key link between Egypt and Greece is Thales (c. 624 - 546 BC), father of Greek mathematics, astronomy and philosophy, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. A rich merchant, his duties in this regard took him to Egypt, and he became one of the conduits for Egyptian mathematical information reaching Greece. It is thought that Anaximander was a pupil of Thales and early sources report that one of Anaximander's prominent pupils, Pythagoras, visited Thales as a young man, and that Thales advised him to travel to Egypt to further his philosophical and mathematical studies. Ras Kass clearly feels that the progress - scientific, philosophical, etc - of non-white civilizations has been stunted through 'theft of knowledge' by the white man. However, the world is not so black and white. Let us take, for example, Islamic civilization. As Thomas Woods identifies in The Catholic Church: Builder of Civilization, Muslims made great contributions to the applied sciences, like medicine and optics. "But, in the more theoretical sciences, Islamic science in effect suffered what Father Stanley Jaki calls, a 'stillbirth' ... Why did Islam suffer such devastation in terms of the sciences ? One reason - the ability to view the universe as being orderly - Islamic civilization could not do that." Furthermore, "Orthodox Islamic scholars absolutely rejected any conception of the universe that involved constant physical laws, because, to them, the absolute autonomy of Allah could not be restricted by natural laws." (Stanley L. Jaki, The Savior of Science). In contrast, the Catholic view of an orderly God has foundations in the book of Wisdom (11: 21), that God has ordered all things according to measure, number and weight; in this pursuit of truth in Christian soil, science was able to flourish. Thomas Goldstein writes of the cathedral school at Chartres: "In a period of fifteen to twenty years, around the middle of the twelfth century, a handful of men were consciously striving to launch the evolution of Western science, and undertook every major step that was needed to achieve that end." The Catholic Church, specifically, the papacy, did more than any other institution to give birth to the university system in Europe. "Thanks to the repeated intervention of the papacy," writes historian Henri Daniel-Rops, "higher education was enabled to extend its boundaries; the Church, in fact, was the matrix that produced the university, the nest whence it took flight."
'Philosophy' (philosophia) is the 'love of wisdom'. "What is the first business of philosophy ? To part with self-conceit . . . It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows." Epictetus (c. 100 A.D.). Theology is the queen of the sciences, and philosophy is her handmaiden. The seventh gift of the Holy Ghost is fear of the Lord. In Proverbs (9: 10), we hear that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Wisdom cannot be 'stolen'; hence, 'There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.' Great is our Lord, and great is his power: and of his wisdom there is no number. Wisdom descends from the throne of God; it does not arise from the thoughts, attitudes or conventions of man. Wisdom is supreme. In order to achieve wisdom, you must be dwelling in the shelter of the Most High. Wisdom teaches every virtue. Wisdom educates the soul. The eternal Son of God, the incarnation of wisdom, was sent into the world "to bear witness to the Truth" (John 18: 37).
Ras Kass here may have been misled via a literal interpretation of the lead off lyric (Knowledge is wisdom, this goes back when I was twelve...) to the aforementioned GZA cut, 'Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth', recorded one year prior to Nature of the Threat. Ras Kass references this song on his own track of the same name, B.I.B.L.E., from 'Institutionalized Vol. 2' (2008). Western Civilization neither pillaged nor plundered previous philosophy; rather, it preserved and advanced it, and the body that did the groundwork here was the Roman Catholic Church. As historian Lowrie Daly noted, "The Catholic Church was the only institution in Europe that showed consistent interest in the preservation and cultivation of knowledge."
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something, that can include descriptions, facts, information, and/or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to both the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic. In philosophy, the study of knowledge is called epistemology, and the philosopher Plato famously defined knowledge as "justified true belief." Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.
Ras Kass may then wish to ignore the writing of 3rd century philosopher Maximus of Tyre, who described Sappho as "small and dark". Sappho, born on the island of Lesbos, was included by later Greeks in the canonical list of nine lyric poets. The adjectives deriving from her name and place of birth (Sapphic and Lesbian) came to be applied to female homosexuality beginning in the 19th century. Sappho's poetry centres on passion and love for various personages and both genders. The narrators of many of her poems speak of infatuations and love (sometimes requited, sometimes not) for various females, but descriptions of physical acts between women are few and subject to debate. There is no evidence that she ran an academy for girls. Her homoerotica should be placed in the seventh century (BC) context. The ancient Greeks did not conceive of sexual behaviour as a social identifier, as Western societies have done for the past century. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behaviour by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated. This active / passive polarization corresponded with dominant and submissive social roles: the active (penetrative) role was associated with masculinity, higher social status, and adulthood, while the passive role was associated with femininity, lower social status, and youth. Same-sex attitudes and behaviours in Ancient Rome often differ markedly from those of the contemporary West. Indeed, the term 'homosexual' was first used only in 1869, by Karl-Maria Kertbeny. Latin lacks words that would precisely translate 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual'. The primary dichotomy of ancient Roman sexuality was active / dominant / masculine and passive / submissive / 'feminized'. Shortly after his monolithic appellation of homosexuality to Ancient Greece ("This was accepted because Greek culture was homosexual"), Ras Kass attempts synthesis with Ancient Rome ("And more bisexuality in sight"). Amidst this minefield seems to be where Ian Brown has purchased his Pillars of Western Civilization = Homosexual ticket.
Is it the contention of Ras Kass that homosexuality strictly found initiation in Ancient Greece ? Perhaps he should pick up a copy of The Contendings of Horus and Seth, dating from the Twentieth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The term 'Greek culture' brings together a vast number of strands: Arts, Language, Literature, Religion, Philosophy, Science, Mathematics, Dance, Music, Education, Politics. In this respect, both Ras Kass and Ian Brown are throwing terms around like confetti; Ian makes the claim that "Romans, Nazis and Greeks were all homosexual", yet soon backtracks, instead claiming that these empires had "large homosexual power bases." Later on Nature of the Threat, Ras Kass shows little hesitation in breaking down 'Human Relations' into each of its subdivisions: 'Entertainment, education, labor, politics. Law, religion, sex, war and economics'; were he to do the same here for 'Greek culture', he would perhaps begin to appreciate the difficulty in applying an unbrella term of 'homosexual.' Ancient Greece was not an absolute 'Year Zero' for homosexuality, despite the best efforts of Ian Brown and Ras Kass to designate it as such. The only two adjectives that Ian and Ras Kass seem to possess in their vocabulary for Greek and Roman civilization seems to be 'violent' and 'homosexual', yet Greek and Roman civilization were responsible for some of human's greatest achievements; indeed, the English historian Edward Gibbon wrote in 'Immortal History', "If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus." But, then again, apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us ?
By the fifth century B.C., Rome had not even left the Italian peninsula; the Roman Principate only started in 27 B.C.. Persia conquered Egypt in 525 B.C., Alexander the Great subdued it in 332 B.C., and then the dynasty of the Ptolemies ruled the land until 30 B.C., when Cleopatra, last of the line, committed suicide and Egypt became a Roman, then Byzantine, province. Ras Kass claims that, by the fifth century B.C., Rome had conquered Greece. Rome annexed Greece in 146 B.C., having conquered and annexed Macedonia in 148 B.C.
As illustrated above, Rome had no vast empire to boast of in the fifth century B.C., of which they needed to be fearful of anyone in protecting. Phoenicia was an ancient civilization in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coastal plain of what is now Lebanon and Syria, between the Lebanon Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians were not black and were most likely a Semitic people. By the fifth century B.C., its decline had already began to set in. Cyrus the Great conquered Phoenicia in 539 B.C. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre, Arwad, and Byblos. They prospered, furnishing fleets for the Persian kings. Phoenician influence declined after this. It is likely that much of the Phoenician population migrated to Carthage and other colonies following the Persian conquest. In 350 or 345 B.C., a rebellion in Sidon led by Tennes was crushed by Artaxerxes III. Its destruction was described by Diodorus Siculus. Alexander the Great took Tyre in 332 B.C. after the Siege of Tyre. Alexander was exceptionally harsh to Tyre, executing 2,000 of the leading citizens, but he maintained the king in power. He gained control of the other cities peacefully: the ruler of Aradus submitted; the king of Sidon was overthrown. The rise of Hellenistic Greece gradually ousted the remnants of Phoenicia's former dominance over the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes. Phoenician culture disappeared entirely in the motherland. Carthage continued to flourish in North Africa, overseeing the mining of iron and precious metals from Iberia, and using its considerable naval power and mercenary armies to protect commercial interests. Rome finally destroyed it in 146 B.C., at the end of the Punic Wars.
Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. The claim made here could be disputed on two counts. The people of Carthage were sold into slavery, not exterminated. Furthermore, the first genocide of history could instead be placed some seven centuries earlier. The Yu Ding records that Liwang of Zhou (d. 828 BC) ordered his army not to leave old and young of a rebel country alive.
Yeshua ben-Yosef. Jesus, son of Joseph (John 1: 45).
The word Jesus is the Latin form of the Greek Iesous, which in turn is the transliteration of the Hebrew Jeshua, or Joshua, or again Jehoshua, meaning "Jehovah is salvation."
The word Christ, Christos, the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Messias, means "anointed". According to the Old Law, priests (Exodus 29: 29; Leviticus 4: 3), kings (1 Samuel 10: 1; 24: 7), and prophets (Isaiah 61: 1) were supposed to be anointed for their respective offices; now, the Christ, or the Messias, combined this threefold dignity in His Person. It is not surprising, therefore, that for centuries the Jews had referred to their expected Deliverer as "the Anointed"; perhaps this designation alludes to Isaias 61: 1, and Daniel 9: 24 - 26, or even to Psalms 2: 2; 19: 7; 44: 8. Thus the term Christ or Messias was a title rather than a proper name: "Non proprium nomen est, sed nuncupatio potestatis et regni", says Lactantius (Divine Institutes IV. 7). The Evangelists recognize the same truth; excepting Matthew 1: 1, 1: 18; Mark 1: 1; John 1: 17; 17: 3; 9: 22; Mark 9: 40; Luke 2: 11; 22: 2, the word Christ is always preceded by the article. Only after the Resurrection did the title gradually pass into a proper name, and the expression Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus became only one designation. But at this stage the Greeks and Romans understood little or nothing about the import of the word anointed; to them it did not convey any sacred conception. Hence they substituted Chrestus, or "excellent", for Christus or "anointed", and Chrestians instead of "Christians". There may be an allusion to this practice in 1 Peter 2: 3; hoti chrestos ho kyrios, which is rendered "that the Lord is sweet."
The use of the definite article before the word Christ and its gradual development into a proper name show the Christians identified the bearer with the promised Messias of the Jews. He combined in His person the offices of prophet (John 6: 14; Matthew 13: 57; Luke 13: 33; 24: 19) of king (Luke 23: 2; Acts 17: 7; 1 Corinthians 15: 24; Apocalypse 15: 3), and of priest (Hebrews 2: 17; etc.); He fulfilled all the Messianic predictions in a fuller and a higher sense than had been given them by the teachers of the Synagogue. Jesus is the Christ because he is consecrated by God and anointed by the Holy Spirit for His redeeming mission. He is the Messiah awaited by Israel, sent into the world by the Father. Jesus accepted the title of Messiah but He made the meaning of the term clear: "come down from heaven" (John 3: 13), crucified and then risen, He is the Suffering Servant "who gives his life as a ransom for the many" (Matthew 20: 28). The word is used as a title, hence its common reciprocal use, Christ Jesus, meaning 'The Messiah Jesus'. The New Testament was translated into Greek and Latin originally, and thus Greeks are naturally going to give Him a Greek name. For the same reason, most Christians do not refer to God as Jehovah (Yahweh); they call Him God. It is simply a matter of translation, rather than any shortcoming, or misunderstanding, in belief. Just like your name isn't Ras Kass.
Yeshua ben-Yosef gave Simon bar-Jona the name Cephas. Does Ras Kass know the significance of this ?
Jesus Christ, Son of man and of God, but it seems that you can't see the Word for the letters.
Josephus (c.37 – c.100 AD), a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer never saw Jesus, as he was born after His crucifixion. Nowhere in the writings of Josephus will you find any physical description of Jesus, let alone the one specified by Ras Kass here. I can only imagine that Ras Kass, here, is working from a very skewed Afrocentric interpolation of Josephus's text.
Three key points that we can extract from text by Josephus about the life of Jesus are: (1) He existed (2) He started the Christian movement (3) He was crucified under Pontius Pilate.
Yeah I'm sure the Romans were quaking in their boots when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that colt. Christ is not Spartacus. Christ is not Simon bar Kokhba. Christ willingly submitted to the legitimate civil authority that was vested in Pilate, recognizing and affirming as He did that it was given to him from above, and He instructs us to do the same ("Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's..."). My kingdom is not of this world. My kingdom is not hence. After establishing the origins of His divine Kingship, Christ lays out the battle strategy that will reign in His dominion. His followers will fight, but they will not fight as the worldly do. Rather, the servants of Christ the King will wage war with weaponry from above, weaponry made available only to those who have a share in the divine power. Ras Kass has got the cart before the horse here (He had the Romans fearing revolution / The solution was to take him to court and falsely accuse him). Jesus was handed to the Romans on a trumped up charge of political revolt (We have no king but Caesar) to force Pilate's hand. There was a cooperation between the religious leaders and the state before the show trial actually began (see Matthew 26: 4).
John's gospel makes very explicit what is implicit in the synoptics, that it is Jesus' Divine Sonship, His claim of divine identity, that ultimately leads to His execution. Some Jews (chief among them, the Zealots) at the time of Christ were waiting for an earthly, political Messiah to set them free from the Roman empire. In the main, however, Jews had hopes set on the restoration of Israel in a new Exodus. The religious authorities in Jerusalem were not unanimous about what stance to take towards Jesus. The Pharisees threatened to excommunicate His followers. To those who feared that "everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation", the high priest Caiaphas replied by prophesying: "It is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." The Sanhedrin, having declared Jesus deserving of death as a blasphemer but having lost the right to put anyone to death, hands Him over to the Romans, accusing Him of political revolt, a charge that puts Him in the same category as Barabbas who had been accused of sedition. The chief priests also threatened Pilate politically so that he would condemn Jesus to death. Jesus was not murdered by Pontius Pilate. Since Ras Kass seems vaguely cognisant of the Nicene Creed (325), he should be aware that Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate. The inclusion of this clause (He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate) in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (381) is entirely consistent, given its presence in the Old Roman Symbol, an earlier and shorter version of the Apostles' Creed. The one who handed Jesus over to Pilate is guilty of a greater sin (John 19: 11). Pilate was disinclined to pass judgment on Jesus (indeed, on five occasions, he tries to shirk his judicial duty). Also, Pilate's wife, Claudia, told him to have nothing to do with that righteous man (Matthew 27: 19). A jurisdictional technicality initially got him off the hook: Jesus was from the land of Galilee, and as such was under the primary authority of King Herod. Only after Herod refused to take any action was Pilate forced to pass judgment. Whether Pilate knew truth is debatable (John 18: 38), but he knew justice, and he washed his hands of justice in condemning the innocent. The religious leaders knew truth, but did not set truth free. What role did the Romans play in the death of Christ ? It certainly is true that Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross. Roman soldiers accompany and lead the slow and painful advancement of the three condemned. Roman soldiers dispose among them of Jesus' expensive tunic. Roman officers decide when to bring an end to the execution. The entire proceeding is completely under the sign of the Roman Eagle. Everyone would need to see and know who the masters are. First-century Palestine was under the jurisdiction of Rome. Though Rome permitted the Jews to retain a king in Judea (Herod), the Jews were subject to Roman law in legal matters. In order to achieve the execution of Jesus, the Jews had to appeal to the Roman authorities for permission (John 18: 31). A simple reading of the verses that pertain to Jewish attempts to acquire this permission for the execution are clear in their depiction of Roman reluctance in the matter. Pilate, the governing procurator in Jerusalem, went to great lengths to perform a symbolic ceremony in order to communicate that he was not responsible for Jesus' death. He sought literally to quell and diffuse the Jewish efforts to crucify Jesus (Luke 23: 13 - 25). Notice that even though the Romans administered the actual crucifixion, Peter pointedly states to his Jewish audience, not only that Pilate wanted to release Jesus, but that the Jews ("you") - not the Romans - "killed the author of life." (Acts 3: 15). The apostle Paul, himself a Jew, in fact, "a Hebrew of Hebrews" (Philippians 3: 5; cf. Acts 22: 3; Romans 11: 1; 2 Corinthians 11: 22), met with much the same resistance from the general Jewish public that Jesus encountered. So much so, that he wrote to Gentiles concerning Jews: "... because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious." (Romans 11: 28). In this passage, Paul explains that the majority of the Jews had rejected Christ and Christianity, leaving only "a remnant chosen by grace." (Romans 11: 5). A majority of a particular ethnic group in a particular geographical locale at a particular moment in history may band together and act in concert to perpetrate a social injustice. But such an action does not indict all individuals everywhere who share that ethnicity, "For God does not show favoritism." (Romans 2: 11). The New Testament, as I point out later in this essay, teaches that ethnicity should have nothing to do with the practice of the Christian religion. Listen carefully to Paul's articulation of this in Galatians 3 ("There is neither Jew nor Gentile..."). See also Ephesians 2: 14 - 18 for an understanding of how Jesus obliterates the ethnic distinction between Jew and non-Jew. The individual is one thing; the belief system is another. In the higher sense, neither the Jews nor the Romans crucified Jesus. Since Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (John 3: 16; 1 John 2: 2), every sinner is responsible for His death. All sinners were the authors of Christ's Passion. The maxim of Christianity is that the innocent pay for the guilty. You and I are Bar-abbas. Both Ras Kass and Ian Brown hold the delusional idea in their mind that the Roman Empire and Christianity together slept on a bed of roses. The Roman Empire was an extremely dangerous place for early Christians, whose emerging doctrine flew in the face of established Roman religion. Hostility toward Christians fluctuated throughout the empire due to local events or individual officials' actions. Periods of peace were shattered by incidents like the Great Fire of Rome of A.D. 64, which Emperor Nero blamed on Christians, or by the threat of external invasion, which often caused communities to close ranks. Christianity was punishable by death during this era, with pardon only available to those willing to renounce their religion by offering sacrifice to the emperor or Roman gods. The offering of sacrifices became a particularly contentious issue, and a kind of religious litmus test. Honouring Rome's gods and goddesses was considered a civic obligation and, at times, a law. But many Christians refused to break with their faith, and were often executed and then hailed by their coreligionists as martyrs. During Emperor Decius's short reign (A.D. 249 to 251), all Christians were required not only to offer sacrifice, but also to acquire official certificates from witnesses to their offering. The most comprehensive of such anti-Christian hostilities were the early fourth century persecutions by the co-emperors Diocletian and Galerius. Fortunately for the Christian faithful, they were to be the last. In 313, Constantine I and Eastern Roman Emperor Licinius ratified the Edict of Milan, which finally ensured tolerance for Christians throughout the Roman Empire. Here is a taste of Nero's conduct in the immediate aftermath of the Great Fire of Rome, according to Tacitus, a senator and historian of the Roman Empire:
Thou art Peter, and it is upon this rock that I will build my church. The name Peter is derived, via Latin 'petra', from the Greek word 'petros', meaning 'rock'. In a crescendo of emphasis, Jesus told Peter that on this rock - on him - He would build His Church (Matthew 16: 18). Those intent on derailing Church history and chipping away at the divine authority given to Peter will argue that Jesus was making a distinction between 'pebble' and 'rock' in this passage. There are two Greek dialects, Attic and Koine, and when the Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek, only in Attic Greek was a distinction made between 'pebble' (Petra) and 'rock' (Petros), between the masculine and the feminine respectively. The Gospel of Matthew, however, was not written in Attic Greek, but rather, Koine Greek. In Koine Greek, this distinction between 'pebble' and 'rock' had passed away; Attic was classical Greek from five hundred years earlier. Koine Greek did not allow for this distinction on the word. What it did allow for was an entirely different word for pebble, and that word was 'lithos'. The underlying Aramaic in this case is unquestionable, and most probably Cephas was used in both clauses ("you are Cephas and on Cephas..."), since the word was used both for a masculine name and for 'rock'. The Basilica in Rome is built on top of Simon Peter's remains; thus, it turns out that Jesus had already chosen Rome as His temple on earth.
The staggering rapidity of the Church's spread across the Roman Empire is attributable to many things, but as Catholics we recognize that the principle reason was the fact of the Church's existence because of Christ. The Church shall not fail in bringing the gospel to all nations. That the Roman world was ready for the Church at the moment in history when circumstances, society, and communication were suited to its spread points to the actions of Providence. The question posed here by Ras Kass typifies all that is wrong with the song's thesis; because one white cowardly politician on the climb (Pontius Pilate) had an acquiescent hand in the crucifixion of Jesus, the singer is in wonder as to how other 'white people' embraced the message of Jesus. Ras Kass will only gain a foothold of objectivity when he realizes that the 'white man' is not some monolithic mass of functionality. What seems to have sailed spectacularly over the heads of Ras Kass and Ian Brown is that, here in the region of Caesarea Philippi, Christ established Christianity. It was not the stealthy maneuver of a Roman empereor some three centuries later which laid the cornerstone of Christianity. Lifting the timeframe under discussion here into a modern context, would be rather like decrying how on earth the 50th President of the United States of America could promulgate the United States Declaration of Independence. The pair's comprehension of Christianity's foundations interfacing with Ancient Rome is entirely arse about face. The Church did not convert the emperor, nor did the emperor convert the citizens. The Church converted the empire by converting the citizens. Christians were counter-cultural, visibly so, and it was because they were visibly counter-cultural that the Roman Empire was overthrown and converted and became Christendom. This conquest was achieved not by the sword, not by imperial decree, and not by stealing pagan rituals and making them our own. The Christians waged a war of love and won. Saint Augustine wrote that all history is a struggle between two loves: love of self to the point of despising God; and love of God to the point of despising oneself, in martyrdom. The revolution brought about by Christianity was not by force from without but by transformation from within. That is why the Law cannot make a man righteous, because it operates externally. Pentecost introduced a new and different law - written on human hearts instead of tablets of stone. What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem ? The church of Jesus Christ was born at Pentecost, and within a few centuries it dominated the globe. It had no buildings, no financial backing, no political influence, no prestige, and no military might. Its leaders were uneducated blue-collar workers - fishermen for the most part. They came not from the political establishment of Rome, nor the intellectual elite of Greece, nor the religious hierarchy of Jerusalem, but from the common people of Palestine. Yet they were referred to as "these men who have turned the world upside down." (Acts 17: 6). At the time of Christ, Caesar and Nero were the names on everyone's lips. No one had heard of Peter or Paul. Two millennia later, we name our dogs Caesar and Nero, but we name our sons Peter and Paul. Only the resurrected Christ and the indwelling Spirit of God can explain the transformation of this motley group of men into world-changers. After the crucifixion, they were cowering timid souls who ran from their own shadow. In the wake of Pentecost they boldly stood firm before kings and persecution and performed miraculous deeds. These men bore the marks of heaven.
Ras Kass might like to work on his pronunciation of In Hoc Signo Vinces ('In This Sign, Conquer'); vinces, the latin for 'conquer', is not pronounced like the surname of the fictitious Roald Dahl chocolate factory owner.
Contrary to popular belief, Constantine did not make Christianity the official religion of the empire. This was to be accomplished by Emperor Theodosius in 380. Constantine's program was one of toleration only, and he continued to support both Christianity and paganism. In 314, the Chi-Rho appeared on Constantine's coins, but so did the figures of Sol Invictus and Mars Conservator.
"Neither, then, may we divide into three godheads the wonderful and divine unity. . . . Rather, we must believe in God, the Father Almighty; and in Christ Jesus, his Son; and in the Holy Spirit; and that the Word is united to the God of the universe. 'For,' he says, 'The Father and I are one,' and 'I am in the Father, and the Father in me.'"
(Pope Dionysius, Letter to Dionysius of Alexandria 3 [A.D. 262]).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. In testifying to His deity, John introduces us to the pre-incarnate Logos, who was with God in the beginning. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus was eternally begotten, not made. To confess that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God and Lord does not introduce any division into the one God. There was never a time when any of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity did not exist. The Holy Trinity is a communion - a union in trinity and a trinity in union. Contemplating this mystery, Saint Augustine wrote, "In no other subject is the danger of erring so great, or the progress so difficult, or the fruit of a careful study so appreciable." The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the consubstantial Trinity. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire. God is not separated into three beings, but is manifest in three forms. The Father reveals the Son, the Son reveals the Spirit, the Spirit reveals and brings about the Church. The Nicene Creed was borne out of the community of the Church fighting the very same heresies that have reared their heads today. After ending all persecutions against the Faith, Emperor Constantine insisted that the bishops of the time gather together in Nicaea and deal with the Arian heresy, the challenge by the priest, Arius, to the divinity of Christ. Constantine did not separate God into three; rather, Arius was trying to separate God into two. Constantine did not fully understand why Arianism was so controversial, and he even endorsed many of Arius's ideas. Historian Dr. James Hitchcock explains: "[W]hen Constantine also endorsed Arius's ideas, there was an uproar that led the emperor in 325 to call the Council of Nicaea (Asia Minor) to settle the issue. After an intense struggle, the Council condemned Arius, declaring the Son to be 'consubstantial' with the Father, that is, sharing the same substance." (History of the Catholic Church, p. 83). If Constantine held as much sway over the Council as many claim, then it is a peculiar thing that the Christology he favoured was the big loser. Settling the calculation of the date of Easter was among the main accomplishments of the First Council of Nicaea, not the birth date of Christ. See the extract from The Spirit of the Liturgy at the beginning of this essay for the true origins of a December 25th birth date. Grammatically, the opening line of this extract is misleading; Constantine did not 'convene the Nicene Creed'. Rather, the bishops of the time convened, without fear of persecution, to solidify the Christian statement of faith, the Nicene Creed (This was met with intransigence, and would not be fully fleshed out until the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 381). Not everything that we believe is in the Bible; but everything that's in the Bible, we believe. Tertullian, a Latin theologian who wrote in the early 3rd century, is credited with using the words 'Trinity', 'person' and 'substance' to explain that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are "one in essence - not one in Person." Looking at the Old Testament with our knowledge of the New, we can see that the Trinity was foreshadowed, before being revealed through Christ. The Old Testament suggests that the Holy Spirit is God. There are passages that show that the Spirit is a Person - for example, when the Spirit speaks (cf. 2 Sm 23: 2; Ez 2: 2, 3: 24, 11: 5). Also, there are passages that show the Spirit has divine attributes such as omnipresence (Ps 139: 7). God speaks to Himself in Genesis by using a plural: "Let us make man in our image", and then we read "in the image of God he created him" (Gn 1: 26 - 27). The triple cry of the seraphim in Isaiah - "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts" (Is 6: 3) - is also indicative of the Trinity. Christianity is not tritheistic nor polytheistic. Christianity is a trinitarian monotheistic religion.
For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. (John 18: 37)
Only once in the Gospels does Jesus ever say of Himself, "I was born". Every time He refers to Himself coming into the world, He says, "I came into the world". The eternal Son of God made man pre-existed His own coming into the world and therefore He could speak of Himself in this nature. Here, Jesus marries His humanity (For this reason I was born) and His divinity (for this I came into the world). True God and True Man. Eternally begotten of the Heavenly Father, and born as Man in time of the ever Virgin Mary. His going forth is from the beginning, from the days of eternity. From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
At the Annunciation, for the very first time in history, visibly and known in the affairs of mankind, Father, Son and Spirit are present. Gabriel was sent by God, the Holy Spirit comes upon Mary, and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity incarnates in Her womb. The baptismal formula in Matthew 28: 19 proclaims this mystery: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." See also Paul the Apostle's blessing (2 Corinthians 13: 14), "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." The Old Roman Symbol (see above), which dates as far back as the 2nd century AD, is clearly tripartite in form. You will find actual reference to the term 'Trinity' as early as 181 AD, by Saint Theophilus of Antioch. This Christian doctrine took substantially its present form by the end of the 4th century as a result of controversies in which some theologians, when speaking of God, used terms such as 'person', 'nature', 'essence' and 'substance', terms that had never been used by the Apostolic Fathers, in a way that the Church authorities considered to be erroneous. The raising on the third day is recorded long before 325, and by contemporaries. The Acts of the Apostles, written around the year 100, records that "With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them." (Acts 4: 33 - 34). It is precisely through Apostolic succession that the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed were formulated. It is precisely through Apostolic succession that the dogmas of the divinity of Christ, the Incarnation and the Holy Trinity were given to the Church. With one stroke of his pen, Ras Kass attempts to dismiss two thousand years of Christianity, at the same time becoming preoccupied with details such as Jesus' height, skin colour and beard growth. The Resurrection is the cornerstone on which the whole of Christianity, both for the individual and for the body of the church, is built; Crucifixion ain't no fiction, and nor is the Resurrection. Christ was delivered up for our trespasses (Dying you destroyed our death) and raised for our justification (Rising you restored our life). Jesus never spoke of His death without immediately speaking of His Resurrection and the glory of His Resurrection. He never spoke of that cross without giving a foreshadowing of the empty tomb. Ian and Ras Kass both appear keen to siphon off the one from the other, but these moments are divinely intertwined; there can be no Easter without a Good Friday. The 72-hour juncture between the establishment of the Eucharist and His Resurrection requires no editing. At the Last Supper, at this apex of the intimacy of His life, Jesus establishes a memorial of His Death and Resurrection. At that Last Supper, everything that had taken place on the spiritual battlefield up until that point and until the end of time came to a head at that meal, in one sublime act. Everything that happened in human history before the Paschal feast moves to that moment, and everything that has happened since, flows from that moment. It is the moment of our consummate victory, the apex of History, the centrepiece of His story.
The classic 'white portrayal' of Jesus in art predates the Renaissance era by centuries, as illustrated earlier in this essay.
Just as I would refute Ian Brown's babble that a sold-out Wembley Arena ("You get a great gig at Wembley or somewhere and that is modern Christianity in action") or taking drugs (see the singer's February 2002 Guardian ramblings above) brings you closer to God, I would also have to take strong exception here. Icons display a familiar, if not completely realistic-looking Jesus: oval-faced, bearded (though not heavily so), with long dark hair parted in the middle, a small mouth, large forehead, and large, 'soulful' eyes. It is a face in fact strikingly similar to that on the Shroud of Turin. Over the centuries, it is this bearded Jesus that has become the de facto model for artists in both the iconographic and non-iconographic traditions. There are competing non-iconographic forms, however, that depart from this standard. One of the earliest is a youthful and beardless Jesus, depicted in the second-century catacombs under Rome. He is usually dressed in a toga, and looks distinctly Roman or Hellenistic, presumably something like the artists themselves. Later variants include the heroically muscular Renaissance Jesus, under discussion here, and the 'historically accurate' Semitic Jesus. In no case, however, can there be any question of an authentic likeness. These are all imagined portraits. Jesus is shown abstractly in icons, according to tradition, and with conventional or idealized features in non-iconographic images. Each artist gives him a different face (sometimes based on the artist's own), in a variety that seems limitless: He has been portrayed in the guise of blonde Caucasians, Africans, Asians, and every other ethnicity. Artists depict a Jesus that 'looks like us' in order to convey a lively and immediate impression of who He was, or they use iconographic abstraction to represent His essential nature. Christianity does not crave white exclusivity; if it did, it would be the Ku Klux Klan. At the time of writing, 22.5% of Christianity's adherents live in the continent of Africa. The word 'catholic' means universal. The Church of Jesus Christ has never related to only one people or only one culture; from the beginning, she was ordained to the whole of mankind. As King of kings and Lord of lords, Our Blessed Lord issued the Divine Commission, encompassing all things (Mt. 28: 18), all people (Mt. 28: 19) and all times (Mt. 28: 20). I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. The last words of Jesus to His disciples were: "Make all people my disciples". (Matthew 28: 19). God is not the property of any one people. He acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people; one becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being "born anew", a birth "of water and the Spirit", that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism. The empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. Christ the King reigns over every nation. Let the nations know they are but men. For it is by grace (not by race) you have been saved (Ephesians 2: 8). God-given grace. Every person born into this world, without exception, is born into the kingdom of Satan. It is only through baptism that we are brought into the kingdom of God, and this by adoption. We are not natural children of God. Only Christ is the natural Son of God. We are children of God by adoption. Who are my brothers and sisters ?
Thankfully, History teachers do not convey that France was conquered in this era, given that France was not conquered. Under the orders of the Great Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, Tariq ibn-Ziyad led a small force that landed at Gibraltar on 30th April 711. After a decisive victory at the Battle of Guadalete on 19th July 711, Tariq ibn-Ziyad brought most of the Iberian Peninsula under Muslim occupation in a seven-year campaign. They crossed the Pyrenees and occupied parts of southern France, but were defeated by the Frank Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 732. However Poitiers did not stop the progress of the Berber Arabs and in 734, Avignon was conquered, Arles was attacked and the whole of Provence was overrun. In 737, the Muslims reached Burgundy, where they captured a large quantity of slaves to take back to Iberia. Berbers of the Maghrib, in 739, revolted against their Arab masters, one which was to spread through Iberia. In the midst of this chaos, Charles Martel responded with continuous campaigns against the Muslims in the south of Gaul between 736 and 739. In 759, the Franks, under the leadership of Pepin the Short, expelled the Muslims from Septimania, which was one of the five administrative areas of Al-Andalus. Islamic law was spread by the sword throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Europe. In the summer of 1084, soldiers of the emir, Benavert of Syracuse, attacked Nicotera and carried the inhabitants away into slavery. They plundered and desecrated two churches in Reggio Calabria and devastated the nunnery of Rocca d'Asino at Squillace, raping the nuns who lived there, and taking them away as captives. If Ras Kass wishes to take any sort of racial/religious pride in events such as these, then that is entirely his prerogative.
An 'ofay' is an offensive term, used to describe a person of white skin colour. That Ras Kass sees fit to use such a term is ironic, given that at no point in this song does he descend from his soapbox to decry (what he perceives as) racism. Later in the song, Ras Kass provides a limited definition of racism, no doubt for the purpose of giving himself carte blanche to use such offensive language. It also allows him the felicitous scope to build a song around the thesis that all white people can be earmarked as potential predators.
This threat to Christians included the destruction of over 30,000 churches during a 10-year period starting in 1004 AD. As I stress elsewhere on this page, Rass Kass should not conflate religion ('European Christians') with ethnicity ('the white way of life'). So, once we dispel the tendentious definition provided by Ras Kass, we are left with, if I may paraphrase, 'Muslims threaten Christians; Hence, the Crusades'. I'm glad we're clear on that one.
The Moors were the medieval Muslim inhabitants of Al-Andalus (comprising most of what is now Spain and Portugal) and the Maghreb. The name derives from the old tribe of the Mauri and their kingdom, Mauretania (not be confused with the country of Mauritania). Mauretania lay in present-day Morocco and western Algeria.
Technically, the date of Granada's defeat was 2nd January 1492. The Granada War was a series of military campaigns between 1482 and 1492, during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, against the Nasrid dynasty's Emirate of Granada. It ended with the defeat of Granada and its annexation by Castile, ending Islamic rule, Al-Andalus, on the Iberian peninsula and completing the Reconquista. Provisional surrender, in the form of the Treaty of Granada, was signed on 25th November 1491, which granted two months to the city. The reason for the long delay was not so much intransigence on either side, but rather the inability of the Granadan government to coordinate amongst itself in the midst of the disorder and tumult that gripped the city. After the terms were negotiated, which proved rather generous to the city, it capitulated on 2nd January 1492. The besieging Christians sneaked troops into the Alhambra that day in case resistance materialized, but it did not. Granada's resistance had come to its end. Whilst Ras Kass is no doubt disapproving of the actions of 'white Catholics' in this era of Iberian history, it is important that he notes the first two letters of Reconquista, since this was a Reconquest. Lands under control of the Muslims were reconquered by Catholics who possessed them more than six hundred years before Islamic warlords began stealing them.
We have fallen down the rabbit hole, folks. We are now at the Mad Hatter's tea party.
We owe our first allegiance to God, not man. As both a Catholic and a European, I have never heard of this one (This was no Battle of Lepanto). This passage has the hallmark of a man who has been dining too long chez Ishakamusa Barashango (see the Barashango extract at the close of this essay, from which, I would also suggest Ras Kass formed the "Jews don't salute the fucking swastika..." lyric). Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Currently, in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October and in the United States, it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. The reason for the earlier Thanksgiving celebrations in Canada has often been attributed to the earlier onset of winter in the north, thus ending the harvest season earlier. Thanksgiving in Canada did not have a fixed date until the late 19th century. Thanksgiving in North America had originated from a mix of European and Native traditions. Typically in Europe, festivals were held before and after the harvest cycles to give thanks to God for a good harvest, to rejoice together after much hard work with the rest of the community. At the time, Native Americans had also celebrated the end of a harvest season. When Europeans first arrived to the Americas, they brought with them their own harvest festival traditions from Europe, celebrating their safe voyage, peace and good harvest. In this passage of the song, Ras Kass is mistakenly attempting to tie in the Treaty of Granada (25th November) with Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November), due to the close proximity of their dates. Thanksgiving in the United States was observed on various dates throughout history. The first Thanksgiving which was celebrated on a fixed day was in 1863, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states. By the middle of the 20th century, the final Thursday in November had become the customary day of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states. It was not until 26th December 1941, however, that President Franklin D. Roosevelt, after pushing two years earlier to bring the date forward to give the country an economic boost, signed a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday and settling it to the fourth (but not final) Thursday in November. Try 1941 instead of 1491, Ras Kass ! There is effectively no 'Thanksgiving Day' in Europe; the only 'Thanksgiving' (Eucharistia) occupying the mind of the Pope is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass ! The true first Thanksgiving does indeed have Catholic roots, but not a date of 1491. Rather, 8th September 1565 (Spanish Catholic explorers come ashore at Saint Augustine, Florida) and 30th April 1598 (Spanish settlers from Mexico set up camp in the American Southwest) are the key dates here.
We're through the looking glass here, folks. So, in summary, Thanksgiving Day is the product of a notorious plot between King Ferdinand, Pope Innocent VIII, Pope Alexander VI, Queen Isabella, Cardinal Ximénes, Henry VIII (see below), Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Sears ? The most outlandish Kennedy assasination theory has nothing on this ! The 'Divine Right of Kings' is a Protestant construct, not a Catholic one, in the modern world. G.K. Chesterton once wrote, "The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." Cardinal Ximénes was given no such racial remit as that alleged by Ras Kass here. Religion was the driving concern of the Spanish Inquisition, not skin colour. The Inquisition had no jurisidiction over practising Muslims or Jews, only over professed Christians who were still living as Muslim or Jew. Wary of the need to protect its national security at a time when it was in great danger from Muslim aggression, Spain decided independently of the Catholic Church (the clue is in the title: Spanish Inquisition) that the Inquisition would be the tool used to ensure the loyalty of the conversos to the state. The courts of the Inquisition were duly set up by the Catholic Church to inquire into whether members of the church were properly living out their faith. The courts were also trying people for other grave sins like adultery, fornication, severe blasphemy and immorality among the clergy. By and large, the courts of the Inquisition were the most just and humane legal systems that existed anywhere in Europe at the time. They were started to protect people from unjust treatment, not to harm them with unjust rulings. In 1499, Ximénez accompanied Ferdinand and Isabella on their visit to the newly-conquered province of Granada, and his labours there for the conversion of the Moors met with considerable success. The establishment of the Inquisition in Spain has been wrongly attributed to Ximénez; it had been in existence fully ten years before his first appearance at Court. As grand inquisitor, Ximénes initiated several reforms in its working and used every endeavour to reduce the number of cases reserved for its tribunal. He carefully watched the various officers of the Inquisition, lest they should abuse their power by undue violence or oppression, and he arranged and circumscribed the limits of their jurisdiction. He protected scholars and professors from the examination and supervision of the Inquisitors, and issued beneficient regulations regarding the instruction and conduct of new converts, so as to guard them against superstition and blasphemy. An examination of some of the various cases investigated and adjudged by Ximénes shows the care and diligence he exercised in discharging the duties of an office which has been much calumniated and misunderstood. Severe he certainly was, but always straightforward and just in the wielding of his authority as grand inquisitor.
The term 'Moor' applies not just to Africans, but also at various times to Arabs and Muslim Iberians. Thus (even though the term means 'black'), Moors were not simply a 'black people'. One should not take too literally the Dennis Hopper/Christopher Walken dialogue in The Sicilian scene of True Romance.
Baghdad eclipsed Ctesiphon, the capital of the Persian Empire, and is the capital of modern-day Iraq. Several Turkish emirs gained a strong level of influence in the region, such as the Eldiduzids. However, there has never been any such entity as 'Baghdad, Turkey'. If Ras Kass is going to identify a body of people as the 'forefathers of black people', he should at least choose something of substance, otherwise the study of History becomes very muddled indeed. At the time of writing this essay, the United States are in occupation of Baghdad but one would not imagine anyone referring to this region as Baghdad, United States. However, such is the eagerness of the rapper here to embark on some Thanksgiving / Turkey wordplay, that empires - in this case, that of the Ottoman - are carved open at will.
The word negro means 'black' (not 'black object') in Spanish and Portuguese, from the Latin niger. Around 1442, the Portuguese first arrived in sub-Saharan Africa while trying to find a sea route to India. The term negro, literally meaning 'black', was used by the Spanish and Portuguese as a simple description to refer to people. From the 18th century to the late 1960s, 'negro' (later capitalized) was considered to be the proper English-language term for certain people of sub-Saharan African origin. The usage was accepted as normal even by people classified as Negroes, until the later Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s. One well-known example is the identification by Martin Luther King, Jr. of his own race as 'Negro', in his famous 1963 speech, 'I Have a Dream.' During the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, some African-American leaders in the United States, notably Malcolm X, objected to the word, preferring 'Black', because they associated the word Negro with the long history of slavery, segregation, and discrimination that treated African Americans as second class citizens, or worse. In Spain, Mexico and almost all of Latin-America, negro means 'black person' in colloquial situations, but it can be considered to be derogatory in other situations (as in English, 'black' is often used to mean irregular or undesirable, as in 'black market/mercado negro'). However, in Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where there are few people of African origin and appearance, negro (negra for females) is commonly used to refer to partners, close friends or people in general independent of skin color. In Venezuela the word negro is similarly used, despite its large African descent population.
From about the 8th century onwards, an Arab-run slave trade also flourished, with much of this activity taking place in East Africa, Arabia, and the Indian Ocean. 1441 marks the start of European slave trading in Africa, when the Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão captured 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) and took them to Portugal as slaves. The first Englishman recorded to have taken slaves from Africa was John Lok, a London trader who, in 1555, brought five slaves from Guinea. A second London trader taking slaves at that time was William Towerson, whose fleet sailed into Plymouth following his 1556 voyage to Africa and from Plymouth on his 1557 voyage. Despite the exploits of Lok and Towerson, John Hawkins of Plymouth is often considered to be the pioneer of the British slave trade, because he was the first to run the Triangular trade, making a profit at every stop. Hawkins' 1564 voyage on the huge 700-ton ship, Jesus of Lubeck, however, pertain to the second of his three slavery voyages. Members of a London syndicate, including Benjamin Gonson (Hawkins' father-in-law and Treasurer of the Admiralty), merchants and civic leaders Sir Thomas Lodge, Sir Lionel Ducket and Sir William Winter, backed Hawkins' first slavery voyage. In October 1562, Hawkins, with about 100 men, left Plymouth on board three ships: the Solomon (120 tons), the Swallow (100 tons) and the Jonas (40 tons). Thomas Hampton of Plymouth was second in command. After stopping off at Tenerife in the Canaries, they sailed to Sierra Leone on the Guinea coast, where they took on board a cargo that included about 300 slaves "besides other merchandises which that countrey yeeldeth", some traded, some purchased and some captured. In Hispaniola, despite that by Asiento the Spanish had granted slave-trading agreements solely to the Portuguese, the Africans were traded for hides, ginger, sugar and pearls. Hawkins returned to Plymouth in September 1563. On 18th October 1564, Hawkins again left Plymouth for Guinea and the West Indies, on his second slave trade voyage. Following the success of his first mission, this time one of his benefactors was Queen Elizabeth herself. His ships were the Jesus of Lubeck (700 tons), again the Solomon, the Tiger (50 tons) and the Swallow (30 tons; not the same ship that sailed previously). Further evidence of Ian raiding the error-strewn invective of Nature of the Threat is his slave ship lyric on Some Folks Are Hollow ("After all, the first slave ship they named it Jesus"). This essay, earlier, highlighted the bungling attempt by Ras Kass to synthesize the activities of the Vatican and Protestantism (see The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth). Ian Brown makes this very same mistake on Some Folks Are Hollow. Whatever names Elizabeth I - a Protestant monarch intent on eradicating Catholicism from English soil - chose to give to her ships has no bearing on the Vatican whatsoever. If you are going to throw a series of punches at the institution of the Roman Catholic Church, make sure you have a better knockout blow than 'After all, look at what this Protestant monarch who despised Catholicism happened to name one of her ships'. Just to give the reader some idea of the lay of the land here, it is illegal, to this day, for a Catholic to become British monarch.
Cannibalism is neither a uniquely black or white domain. The term comes from Caníbales, the Spanish name for the Carib people, a West Indies tribe formerly well known for their practice of cannibalism, witnessed by Christopher Columbus. Ibn Battuta, a 14th century Moroccan Berber Islamic scholar and traveller, recorded his encounters with cannibalism in Africa. A group of African cannibals and their leader came to see sultan Mansa Suleiman. They came from a region that possessed a gold mine, so the sultan was gracious to them, and gave them a slave woman as a hospitality gift. The cannibals killed and ate her, then smeared her blood on themselves and returned to thank the sultan.
This lyric, taken literally, makes the erroneous assertion that 'white people' have slaughtered an entire race. I am not quite sure what charge is being laid at the door of priests or nuns here by Ras Kass, but I would contend that it rather pales in comparison to what happened at the nunnery of Rocca d'Asino at Squillace in 1084 (see above). Archbishop Fulton Sheen once remarked that "Hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn."
Seeds, germs, size, and guns ? Certainly. Guns, drugs, priests and nuns ? Absolutely not. Have you heard of Saint Peter Claver ? Saint Marianne Cope ?
Some conspiracy theories allege that HIV was created in a bioweapons laboratory, perhaps as an agent of genocide or an accident. These hypotheses have been rejected by scientific consensus. The current scientific consensus is that AIDS originated in Africa in the mid 1930s from the closely related Simian Immunodeficiency Virus. Controversy arose in 2004 when The Standard reported that Kenyan environmental and political activist Wangari Maathai claimed HIV/AIDS was "deliberately created by Western scientists to decimate the African population." Maathai denied making the allegations, but The Standard has stood by its reports.
The Earth's population will not 'almost all be Black' by 2050. Not if Planned Parenthood have anything to say about it anyway (see further down this page).
A breakdown of projected ethnicity percentages for the United States, as an example, is provided below.
Gunpowder was invented in the 9th century and firearms in the 12th century in China. These inventions were later transmitted to the Middle East and to Europe. The direct ancestor of the firearm is the fire-lance, a gunpowder-filled tube attached to the end of a spear and used as a flamethrower; shrapnel was sometimes placed in the barrel so that it would fly out together with the flames. The earliest depiction of a gunpowder weapon is the illustration of a fire-lance on a mid-10th century silk banner from Dunhuang. The Tê-An Shou Chhêng Lu, an account of the siege of De'an in 1132, records that Song forces used fire-lances against the Jurchens. In due course, the proportion of saltpeter in the propellant was increased to maximise its explosive power. To better withstand that explosive power, the paper and bamboo of which fire-lance barrels were originally made came to be replaced by metal. And to take full advantage of that power, the shrapnel came to be replaced by projectiles whose size and shape filled the barrel more closely. With this, we have the three basic features of the gun: a barrel made of metal, high-nitrate gunpowder, and a projectile which totally occludes the muzzle so that the powder charge exerts its full potential in propellant effect. The earliest depiction of a gun is a sculpture from a cave in Sichuan dating to the 12th century of a figure carrying a vase-shaped bombard with flames and a cannonball coming out of it. The oldest surviving gun, made of bronze, has been dated to 1288 because it was discovered at a site in modern-day Acheng District where the Yuan Shi records that battles were fought at that time; Li Ting, a military commander of Jurchen descent, led foot-soldiers armed with guns - including a Korean brigade - in battle to suppress the rebellion of the Christian Mongol prince Nayan. The Arabs obtained firearms in the 14th century. Ahmad Y Hassan claims that the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260 saw the Mamluks use against the Mongols in "the first cannon in history" gunpowder formulae which were almost identical with the ideal composition for explosive gunpowder. However, Iqtidar Alam Khan states that it was invading Mongols who introduced gunpowder to the Islamic world and cites Mamluk antagonism towards early riflemen in their infantry as an example of how gunpowder weapons were not always met with open acceptance in the Middle East. One theory of how gunpowder came to Europe is that it made its way along the Silk Road through the Middle East; another is that it was brought to Europe during the Mongol invasion in the first half of the 13th century. English Privy Wardrobe accounts list "ribaldis", a type of cannon, in the 1340s, and siege guns were used by the English at Calais in 1346. Despite the best efforts of Ras Kass to portray it as such, Christianity is not some sort of white supremacist manifestation. Religion and ethnicity are two distinct entities that should not be confused. God did not promise to save an ethnicity; He promised only to save souls.
It is very easy to identify the limitations in such a definition. It is rather like saying that Chess is a board game in which white pieces attack and capture black pieces in an effort to checkmate the black king. Racism is the belief that there are inherent differences in people's traits and capacities that are entirely due to their race, however defined, and that, as a consequence, justify the different treatment of those people, both socially and legally. Moreover, racism is the practice of the different treatment of a certain group or groups, which is then justified by recourse to racial stereotyping or pseudo-science.
The construction of this claim makes very little sense ("Before slaves came here", white people would perform this act "in front of all the slaves" ?).
Cemented in eugenics, Planned Parenthood has killed more people than Adolf Hitler would ever have dreamed of. There's your racist, genocidal baby-killing machine.
A famed eugenicist who birthed America's largest abortion-on-demand corporation, Sanger encouraged the sterilization of persons with less desirable qualities, and strongly encouraged the reproduction of groups with more desirable qualities. Sanger's disdain for blacks, minority groups, the diseased and disabled formed the ethos of Planned Parenthood, who profit off the killing of the weakest and most vulnerable. From its conception, Planned Parenthood was built upon the foundation of exterminating individuals deemed 'unfit' for the human family. Today, the spirit of Sanger lives on. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the former pro-abortion research division of Planned Parenthood, African-American women are five times more likely to choose abortion over white women. Planned Parenthood clinics are strategically planted in minority communities, targeting blacks and impoverished minority groups, and abortion remains the leading cause of death for the black community.
It has become the world's mantra to pin war, hatred and slavery on the Church. On Some Folks Are Hollow, we hear Ian Brown deliver the oft-trotted-out claim that the Catholic Church has orchestrated slave plantations down through the centuries. The Catholic Church has always condemned slavery as an intrinsic evil. A number of popes have publicly written against the practice: Pius II in 1462; Paul III in 1537; Urban VIII in 1639; and Benedict XIV in 1741. Pope Gregory XVI issued an Apostolic Constitution in 1839 explicitly calling the practice "a shame to the Christian name." For 500 years, through pope after pope, the Church has set forth a consistent, clear and unwavering denunciation of slavery. The Popes and Slavery by Father Joel Panzer documents how the papacy stood athwart the development of modern slavery. From Pope Eugene IV in 1435 protesting the capturing for slavery of natives of the Canary Islands, through Leo XIII urging Brazilian bishops to work for the abolition of slavery, popes have reinforced condemnation of thralldom. Their opposition was so strong that several imposed excommunication on those who would not desist from the sale and oppression of human beings. As early as the seventh century, Saint Bathilde (wife of King Clovis II) became famous for her campaign to stop slave-trading and free all slaves; in 851 Saint Anskar began his efforts to halt the Viking slave trade. That the Church willingly baptized slaves was claimed as proof that they had souls, and soon both kings and bishops - including William the Conqueror (1027 - 1087) and Saints Wulfstan (1009 - 1095) and Anselm (1033 - 1109) - forbade the enslavement of Christians. Since, except for small settlements of Jews, and the Vikings in the north, everyone was at least nominally a Christian, that effectively abolished slavery in medieval Europe, except at the southern and eastern interfaces with Islam where both sides enslaved one another's prisoners. But even this was sometimes condemned: in the tenth century, bishops in Venice did public penance for past involvement in the Moorish slave trade and sought to prevent all Venetians from involvement in slavery. Then, in the thirteenth century, Saint Thomas Aquinas deduced that slavery was a sin, and a series of popes upheld his position, beginning in 1435 and culminating in three major pronouncements against slavery by Pope Paul III in 1537. It is significant that in Aquinas's day, slavery was a thing of the past or of distant lands. Consequently, he gave very little attention to the subject per se, paying more attention to serfdom, which he held to be repugnant. However, in his overall analysis of morality in human relationships, Aquinas placed slavery in opposition to natural law, deducing that all "rational creatures" are entitled to justice. Hence he found no natural basis for the enslavement of one person rather than another, "thus removing any possible justification for slavery based on race or religion." Right reason, not coercion, is the moral basis of authority, for "one man is not by nature ordained to another as an end." Here Aquinas distinguished two forms of "subjection" or authority, just and unjust. The former exists when leaders work for the advantage and benefit of their subjects. The unjust form of subjection "is that of slavery, in which the ruler manages the subject for his own [the ruler's] advantage." Based on the immense authority vested in Aquinas by the Church, the official view came to be that slavery is sinful. It is true that some popes did not observe the moral obligation to oppose slavery - indeed, in 1488 Pope Innocent VIII accepted a gift of a hundred Moorish slaves from King Ferdinand of Aragon, giving some of them to his favorite cardinals. However, laxity must not be confused with doctrine. During the 1430s, the Spanish colonized the Canary Islands and began to enslave the native population. This was not serfdom but true slavery of the sort that Christians and Moors had long practiced upon one another's captives in Spain. When word of these actions reached Pope Eugene IV (1431 to 1447), he issued a bull, Sicut dudum (1435). The pope did not mince words. Under threat of excommunication he gave everyone involved fifteen days from receipt of his bull "to restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands... These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money." Pope Pius II (1458 to 1464) and Pope Sixtus IV (1471 to 1484) followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement of the Canary Islanders, which, obviously, had continued. What this episode displays is the weakness of papal authority at this time, not the indifference of the Church to the sin of slavery. The following century, Pope Paul III applied the same principle to the newly encountered inhabitants of the West and South Indies in the bull Sublimis Deus (1537). Therein he described the enslavers as allies of the devil and declared attempts to justify such slavery "null and void":
Therefore, We... noting that the Indians themselves indeed are true men... by our Apostolic Authority decree and declare by these present letters that the same Indians and all other peoples - even though they are outside the faith... should not be deprived of their liberty or their other possessions... and are not to be reduced to slavery, and that whatever happens to the contrary is to be considered null and void.
In a second bull on slavery, Paul imposed the penalty of excommunication on anyone, regardless of their "dignity, state, condition, or grade... who in any way may presume to reduce said Indians to slavery or despoil them of their goods." But nothing happened. Soon, in addition to the brutal exploitation of the Indians, Spanish and Portuguese slave ships began to sail between Africa and the New World. And just as overseas Catholic missionaries had aroused Rome to condemn the enslavement of Indians, similar appeals were filed concerning imported black slaves. On 22nd April 1639, Pope Urban VIII (1623 to 1644), at the request of the Jesuits of Paraguay, issued a bull Commissum nobis reaffirming the ruling by "our predecessor Paul III" that those who reduced others to slavery were subject to excommunication. Eventually, the Congregation of the Holy Office (the Roman Inquisition) even took up the matter. On 20th March 1686, it ruled in the form of questions and answers:
Whether it is permitted to capture by force and deceit Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one ?
Whether it is permitted to buy, sell or make contracts in their respect Blacks or other natives who have harmed no one and been made captives by force of deceit ?
Whether the possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and been captured by force or deceit, are not held to set them free ?
Whether the captors, buyers and possessors of Blacks and other natives who have harmed no one and who have been captured by force or deceit are not held to make compensation to them ?
Nothing ambiguous here. The problem wasn't that the Church failed to condemn slavery; it was that few heard and most of them did not listen. In this era, popes had little or no influence over the Spanish and the Portuguese since at that time the Spanish ruled most of Italy; in 1527, under the leadership of Charles V, they had even sacked Rome. If the pope had little influence in Spain or Portugal, he had next to none in their New World colonies, except indirectly through the work of the religious orders. In fact, it was illegal even to publish papal decrees "in the Spanish colonial possessions without royal consent", and the king also appointed all of the bishops. Nevertheless, Urban VIII's bull was read in public by the Jesuits in Rio de Janeiro, with the result that rioters attacked the local Jesuit college and injured a number of priests. In Santos a mob trampled the Jesuit vicar-general when he tried to publish the bull, and the Jesuits were expelled from Sao Paulo when word spread of their involvement in obtaining the bull. Even so, knowledge of the antislavery bulls and the later ruling of the Inquisition against slavery was generally limited to the clergy, especially the religious orders, and thereby had limited public impact. Of course, the Spanish and the Portuguese were not the only slavers in the New World. And even had they been published far and wide, papal bulls had no moral force among the British and the Dutch. Thus it must be noted that the introduction of slavery into the New World did not prompt any leading Dutch or English Protestants to denounce it. However, even though the papal bulls against slavery were hushed up in the New World, the antislavery views of the Church did have a significantly moderating effect in the Catholic Americas by means of the Code Noir and Código Negro Español. In both cases, the Church took the lead in their formulation and enforcement, thereby demonstrating its fundamental opposition to slavery by trying to ensure "the rights of the slave and his material welfare", and by imposing "obligations on the slave owners, limiting their control over the slave." As Eugene Genovese put it: "Catholicism made a profound difference in the lives of the slaves. [It] imparted to Brazilian and Spanish American slave societies an ethos... of genuine spiritual power." Papal condemnation of slavery persisted throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Pope Gregory XVI's 1839 bull, In Supremo, for instance, reiterated papal opposition to enslaving "Indians, blacks, or other such people" and forbade "any ecclesiastic or lay person from presuming to defend as permissible this trade in blacks under no matter what pretext or excuse." In 1888 and again in 1890, Pope Leo XIII forcefully condemned slavery and sought its elimination where it persisted in parts of South America and Africa. Despite this evidence, critics still grumble that the Magisterium did too little too late regarding slavery. At the root of this criticism is a failure to distinguish between just and unjust forms of servitude. The Magisterium condemned unjust enslavement early on, but it also recognized what is known as "just title slavery". That included forced servitude of prisoners of war and criminals, and voluntary servitude of indentured servants. By focusing on just title servitude, critics unfairly neglect the vigorous papal denunciations of chattel slavery. The laws of Caesar are one thing, the laws of Christ another.
Another falsehood surrounding the Vatican, which Ian Brown is keen to propagate, is that of a Vatican ratline:
At the end of the Second World War, when the Nuremberg prosecutors were gathering evidence for the upcoming trials, one of the many people they turned to for assistance was Pope Pius XII. They were not disappointed. The Holy See sent extensive documentation, recounting Nazi criminality, and the material given proved to be of great value. Pius XII made it a point to meet with chief prosecutor, Robert Jackson, and also announced: "Not only do we approve of the trial, but we desire that the guilty be punished as quickly as possible, and without exception." It is a measure of the misinformation that still surrounds Pius XII that this is ignored and instead, many people prefer to believe that his papacy turned a blind eye to Nazi war crimes. Such misconceptions caused Father Robert Graham, the foremost authority on the wartime papacy, to caution:
It is never asked why the Pope should lift a finger for a group of men who had apostatized from their religion and who were the chosen instruments of Hitler to: 'crush the Church underfoot like a toad.'"
This is a way of thinking that comes naturally to a certain type of mind steeped in the literature of left-wing writers, according to which all Vatican policy is explicable by an 'obsession' with Communism. But it is not just the Left that has been misled. The Wall Street Journal endorsed a PBS documentary ('Elusive Justice') which continued the charge. Despite efforts by Ian Brown to portray this all as a labyrinthine Vatican plot, the truth is much more mundane. At the end of the War, there were millions of displaced people in post-War Europe, in desperate need of aid. In response, Pius XII created the Pontifical Commission for Assistance (PCA), a humanitarian relief organization which helped displaced refugees. There were also several dozen separate Catholic agencies, usually for designated national groups, which operated on their own responsibility, though the pope tried to help each out as best he could. Countless numbers were helped, but because of the chaotic post-War situation, a number of suspected or known war criminals exploited the system, and were abetted by a number of collaborationist clerics. Among the most notorious were Bishop Alois Hudal, head of the Austro-German Church and seminary in Rome; and the Croatian priest, Krunoslav Draganovic. Neither were "Vatican officials" (as has often been claimed), and Graham details how they betrayed their faith, and flagrantly violated the pope's commands (Pius called for Hudal's censure, even before he became pope). For anti-papal ideologues, however, it is essential that they link Pius XII to these guilty priests, since exposing the sins of renegade clerics just doesn't have the cache of a full-throated j'accuse against the papacy.
Note how, in the Guardian extract above, Ian throws as much mud as he can at the Vatican in the hope that any of it will stick. Even a cursory reading of Vatican statements and publications during Mussolini's reign disproves Ian Brown's charge of Vatican collusion with Italian Fascism. A.C. Jemolo, a noted enemy of Italian Fascism, writes:
New York Times wartime correspondent Camille Cianfarra wrote:
Pius XII hired Guido Gonella, a leading anti-Fascist writer, once jailed by Mussolini, to write articles for the Osservatore, and Gonella later published his commentaries in a book on Pius XII's Christimas addresses (The Papacy and World Peace: A Study of the Christmas Messages of Pope Pius XII [London: Hollis and Carter, 1945]). French correspondent Charles Pichon writes: "Full and precise, the annual Christmas allocutions which so exasperated the Duce (particularly that of 1942), constantly reminded the world of the moral laws which the triumphant Axis violated more brutally every day. They also pointed out the principal foundations on which the future peace of the world should be built....The pontifical texts condemned most strongly the anti-semitic persecutions, the oppression of invaded lands, the inhuman conduct of the war, and also the deification of earthly things which were made into idols: the Land and the Race, the State and the Class." (The Vatican and its Role in World Affairs [New York: E.P. Dutton, 1950], p. 167). Lt. Col Samuel Derry, an Allied prisoner of War, wrote in his memoirs that "Pope Pius XII had been fearless in his outspoken denunciation of Fascist excesses" (The Rome Escape Line [New York: W.W. Norton, 1960], p. 55). In his wartime diaries, Rumor and Reflection [New York Simon and Schuster, 1952], Bernard Berenson, the famous art historian, praised Pius XII and his faithful bishops for denouncing the Fascist-Nazi alliance: "Both the pope and the Cardinal of Florence have spoken courageously and clearly." [entry for 26th December 1943].
Ras Kass's source material for many of the claims on Nature of the Threat stem from 'The Isis Papers; The Keys to the Colors' (1991) by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, and the work of Dr. Ishakamusa Barashango, the latter of whom is namechecked in the song. Cress Welsing cites a 'behavior-energy' underlying racial conflict, and asserts that both homosexuality and sexism are necessarily derived from this behavior-energy system. Her work has been criticized for stating that black male homosexuality is consciously imposed on the black man by the white man in order to destroy the black family, that black homosexuality is a sign of weakness and that homosexual patterns of behavior are simply expressions of black male self-submission to other males in the area of sex, as well as in other areas such as economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, and war.
"Thanksgiving Day literally is a holiday celebrating the beginnings of the almost total extermination of an entire race of people, commonly called "Indians" and the enslavement, continued oppression and genocide of the Afrikan, by European settlers...For over 100 years now Black folks in the United States have joined with the descendants of the same European murder[er]s who enslaved them and systematically all but destroyed the Amer-Indian, in feasting and giving thanks to God for the "opportunity" to live in one of the most racist, imperialist, and oppressive countries on earth....Black People celebrating Thanksgiving Day is like the Americans celebrating the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the so-called Jews celebrating the rise of the Third Reich, or the Palestinians celebrating the intrusion of the settler colony of Zionist Israel, or moreover the millions of Zulu descendants who are being murdered by the thousands each day, celebrating the establishment of the Union of South Africa..."
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