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American Christmas 2017

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UPDATE: Italian Christmas 2017 [4] (Translated by James C.):

No mass planned for Christmas Eve night: too many delinquents around.

It’s a sad story, one that comes in the news from Bari. For once, the spirit of Christmas and its signs are not driven away because of the troublesome policies of intolerant tolerance, such as banning nativity scenes in schools.

No. This time, the Church has to retreat. There is no trace of the repeated and constant invitation of Pope Francis to be an outgoing Church, to take mercy from the feet of the altars and bring it out among the people, especially among the humble and disenchanted. The Libertà district runs away. Santa Cecilia’s parish priest puts it bluntly: “At night there’s a curfew.” More explicit is his fellow priest of St. Charles Borromeo parish: “At night here it has become terrible. We’re all afraid. There is little light, nobody is out walking anymore. Sometimes I see immigrants armed with sticks. I have repeatedly reported the phenomenon of “hive houses” and prostitution rings among women in the African community, but nothing happens. ”

Something, to tell the truth, happens: in the evening doors of churches are locked and liturgical celebrations canceled, even those of Christmas, because of fear. Understandable, even right. It is a warning that usually, when it concerns the common citizen, is hastily chalked up to racism and now is at the point where it becomes what really is, at least for the most part: a public order problem.

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39 Comments To "American Christmas 2017"

#1 Comment By Noah172 On November 28, 2017 @ 7:14 pm

That’s not two Josephs. Mary is identifying as a man.

I don’t want to know what this person has in mind for the Magi.

#2 Comment By Jeremy On November 28, 2017 @ 7:15 pm

Chesterton was, of course, a great proponent of paradox. In the Chestertonian paradoxical spirit, I would say that progressivism is idiocy, though idiocy is not necessarily progressive.

#3 Comment By Free Speech Advocate On November 28, 2017 @ 7:18 pm

Maybe there is something to the notion of being offended by “cultural appropriation” after all.

#4 Comment By JohnB On November 28, 2017 @ 7:23 pm

I don’t care much for claims of cultural appropriation, but if such a phenomenon exists, surely this qualifies as a particularly (deliberately) neuralgic instance.

#5 Comment By Jonah R. On November 28, 2017 @ 7:35 pm

I guess it’s “progressive” in 2017 to write women out of the story entirely.

#6 Comment By Seven sleepers On November 28, 2017 @ 7:36 pm

I’m an Italian American fwiw. Here is a funny but sad story.

I walked into a corporate meeting to meet my customers. A well dressed man in his fifties walked in and introduced himself. I detected a thick accent. His name was Italian. He said, “scusi, I come right back, grab a cafe”. I nodded.

Like an Italian, he came back every bit of twenty minutes later, without the slightest thought about it. He waved his hand that I should proceed without any fuss. I laughed and continued the meeting in progress.

A few hours later we broke for lunch. When the subject of lunch came up, He winced. Could he recommend any place to eat? Here? You must be joking he asked playfully? “There is no food I recommend, no”

Later, when we had a break, I spoke to him about my times in Italy. How much I enjoyed it.

When I say he almost cried, I mean he fought back tears. “Italy? What Italy? My Italy is dead.”

It was a meeting in which many people were present and listening. He said no more. He didn’t need to. But he ventured a parting shot.

“When a million people come to a country of 300 million in means nothing. But when 15% of your country is…”

He trailed off.

Fighting tears he managed to mumble …”45 million…here”

Everyone looked around in that weak, pc way, nervously wondering if something in their face belied a slight camaraderie with this cri de coer.

Anyway, on the drive home I was wondering in The hierarchy of victims, what a strange predicament it is to hear immigrants, a protected and near sanctosanct Group, being racist. And the through the looking glass moment is an immigrant being racist about immigrants. Strange times.

But, of course I am on his side. For the record.

#7 Comment By Eliavy On November 28, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

How in the world is one to figure out when deliberately misgendering someone is either to be celebrated or a thought crime?

#8 Comment By ROB On November 28, 2017 @ 7:54 pm

Suppose a baker was asked to decorate a cake with the two Joseph’s blasphemy? Must he?

#9 Comment By Eric K. On November 28, 2017 @ 7:54 pm

How dare they erase the main female brown body from this scene and replace her with a white male?! The patriarchy strikes again!

#10 Comment By AnnaH On November 28, 2017 @ 8:04 pm

We are nearing the cliff edge FAST.

#11 Comment By Mr “Hate Crime” On November 28, 2017 @ 10:22 pm

This is the double standard that really bothers me.

Mock gay culture and you are “homophobic” (I hate that word) and need to be reeducated.

Mock Christians and its edgy and cool and those who criticize you for it are also homophobic all over again.

The gays always win.

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On November 28, 2017 @ 11:13 pm

How dare they erase the main female brown body from this scene and replace her with a white male?! The patriarchy strikes again!

That’s probably the best laugh so far. But what is seriously wrong is, Christmas is celebrating an event, a series of stories, and there were no two Josephs in the story. There just weren’t. You could posit that there were two men at MY wedding, if you entered into a same-sex marriage, because that was YOUR marriage and that’s what YOU did, even if others think it invalid. But there just WEREN’T two Josephs. Its a sad oxymoron, not a statement.

#13 Comment By jnw On November 28, 2017 @ 11:23 pm

Must have reconquista. It’s the only way.

#14 Comment By William Dalton On November 28, 2017 @ 11:41 pm

The interesting thing here is that, sexually, Joseph was a cypher in the birth of the Christ. He is noted in history for his piety in believing God when God told him that he should take Mary as his wife because she was a virgin despite the fact she was carrying a baby – which was not Joseph’s. If Joseph had endured the pangs of homosexual desire, or had no sexual desire for women or men, his part in the story of the Christ would have been same either way. What he could not have been, however, was part of a gay couple. And, as far as I know is still the truth, there remains no way that Jesus could have been born to two Josephs, even if they were both virgins.

#15 Comment By Raskolnik On November 28, 2017 @ 11:41 pm

For God’s sake when will we stop this supremely disingenuous habit of referring to the invaders as “immigrants” and start calling them what they are: INVADERS

#16 Comment By galanx On November 29, 2017 @ 2:03 am

Don’t read Italian- Googling “Christmas Bari” or “Christmas Italy Bari” or “Christmas Bari Italy 2017” just brings up pages of what to do in Bari this Christmas, or events happening in Bari. Since this link leads to a private blog, I wonder if there is anything a little more official about this- seems like the least they could do is warn tourists they are taking their life in their hands going into the streets at night.

#17 Comment By ludo On November 29, 2017 @ 2:24 am

Someone above spoke of paradoxes in reference to the photo, more specifically aesthetically perhaps the term of choice should be “baroque” per this Mexican writer’s definition/elucidation of it:

‘…Because the Anglo-Saxon world and its phantom [spirit] of modernity is anti-baroque. It is a child of Protestantism and is unable to understand that the Baroque is neither a style nor an age, but rather a civilizational project that failed. Having been abandoned by the elites it remained alive in the fiestas of the popular [lower] classes of Mexico, for example. It is a project whereby and in which the fiesta becomes something that is not simply done or undertaken after work, but rather that very thing which sews and unsews society. The fiesta is an essential ritual, not an option or a leftover. And in the fiesta are found the artisan and artistic forms which are produced for it, but also too literary forms…

In Protestantism things either are or are not, truth itself becomes a sort of lived fetish. In the baroque world things are and are not at the same time. This is why in the Protestant world certain books which are believed to be objective, without a body to write them, are called by a term that impoverishes: ‘non-fiction.’ In the baroque world, we call them, more accurately, essays.–Alberto Ruy Sánchez


#18 Comment By Rob G On November 29, 2017 @ 6:52 am

If I were that sheep I’d get the hell out of there quick.

#19 Comment By JonF On November 29, 2017 @ 6:58 am

Re: For God’s sake when will we stop this supremely disingenuous habit of referring to the invaders as “immigrants” and start calling them what they are: INVADERS

By common definition an invasion involves an organized army. That is not present here, just a disorganized random mess of people who have moved to another country. So, yes, they are immigrants. Which does not mean they should be welcomed when their behavior exceeds civilized bounds. Words have meanings and we ought respect that.

#20 Comment By Elijah On November 29, 2017 @ 7:02 am

Cultural appropriation, anti-feminist, possibly even racist.

But two gay guys put it up so we’ll give it a pass.

Better look out or we’re going to get someone worse than Trump next time.

#21 Comment By David J. White On November 29, 2017 @ 7:19 am

Maybe one if the Josephs is actually “partnered” with the sheep.

#22 Comment By Sponder On November 29, 2017 @ 7:53 am

The nativity scene is outrageous on so many levels. It is going to keep my chuckling for days. On the face offensive to Christians, and with a barely subtle touch, to Gays. It questions the seriousness of everything, from biblical myths to same sex marriage. Only a couple of gay guys could come up with this. I implore you all, keep us on the fringe! It is where we do our best work…

#23 Comment By Hal On November 29, 2017 @ 9:36 am

Reminds me of a scene from Futurama. Global warming has caused worldwide calamity, so people are responding in various ways; one pair of men (clearly gay) have built an ark.

“They called me crazy for building this ark.”
“You are crazy, you filled it with same-sex animal couples.”
“Hey, there are parts of the Bible I like and parts I don’t like.”

#24 Comment By Jon On November 29, 2017 @ 9:57 am

Gay marriage is marriage like Peoples Democracy is Democracy. It is an oxymoron. It is truly newspeak, the language of totalitarian dictatorships.

People who challenged the communist conception of “Democracy” were subjected to punishment, ultimately prison or even death sentences were routine retaliatory measures. The current culture is well underway to implement a similar governing system. Interestingly, radical equality of persons was the goal of the Peoples Democracies also. Some were more equal than others. It was a lie.

Fascism is as fascism does.

#25 Comment By Ben H On November 29, 2017 @ 11:00 am

Some people have a real inability to avoid injecting their obsession with sex and sexuality into anything and everything. It’s pretty revealing.

#26 Comment By Heidi On November 29, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

AnnaH the cliff edge is far behind us now.
The women who should be in that scene are cleaning robes with their faces covered in some hovel. Just the way those men want it. Or rather, not *those* particular men since, for them, women are non-persons, only vessels for the children they can not have. They are clearly pretty pissed about that fact, too. And…quite so William Dalton. But you wait. The cabal is going to find a way to have their babies and be gay too. Even if they are virgins. That image angered me more than anything I’ve seen in awhile and that includes looking at the hideousness that is Lord Farquar disguised as Trump. I’ve quite literally had it.

#27 Comment By Mrs. CrabbyNow On November 29, 2017 @ 12:13 pm

Also…the Italy story…this business with the Pope demanding all the open church nonsense in a time and place of invasion and danger is lunacy. Rod, even though I know you keep SAYING that you don’t mean that Christians need to retreat and protect the culture for the future, I just don’t believe that you MEAN it. Not deep down in the little hearty-heart that is yours anyway. No Certainly I don’t believe it.
Also, thanks for the link to the cinema studies program. I think we might use it during the spring semester in our little kitchen school.

#28 Comment By James C. On November 29, 2017 @ 1:25 pm

Since this link leads to a private blog, I wonder if there is anything a little more official about this- seems like the least they could do is warn tourists they are taking their life in their hands going into the streets at night.

It’s not a private blog but the website of one of the major national newspapers.

You won’t find stuff like this on TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet or Fodors—-anything related to this issue is quickly scrubbed and censored if posted on those sites. Libertà among other districts in Bari and across the country has become locally notorious. Italy, unlike the USA, hasn’t been (until now) a country with many no-go areas.

But if you read Italian, feel free to see the daily reports on this aggregator of local news (only the worst offences—-like last summer’s brutal gang rapes in Rimini—-are reported in national papers): [6]

In fact, just today in the news a 19-year-old girl was brutally battered and sexually attacked by a 41-year-old Moroccan illegal immigrant in front of a train station in a town just outside Bari.

Nobody’s saying everybody coming is bad. But when you let hundreds of thousands (soon to be millions) invite themselves into the country with zero controls, you’re going to have a lot of bad eggs victimising the population. At least here (unlike the UK) you don’t risk being arrested for talking about it.

#29 Comment By Raskolnik On November 29, 2017 @ 1:56 pm

But when you let hundreds of thousands (soon to be millions) invite themselves into the country with zero controls, you’re going to have a lot of bad eggs victimising the population.

It doesn’t matter if the percentage of “bad eggs” is 1 or 10 or 100. There is no place for Islam or Muslims in Europe, period. There is no reason why a single mosque should stand in any European city. Do the Saudis hem and haw and wring their hands about the fact that Christianity is banned in KSA? Does the Muslim Brotherhood distance themselves from ISIS every time another ancient church is attacked?

#30 Comment By Raskolnik On November 29, 2017 @ 1:59 pm


Your semantic hair-splitting is tedious and thoroughly beside the point.

#31 Comment By Raskolnik On November 29, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

And for the record, there was no “organized army” of Āryans that descended onto the Gangetic Plain some 4,000 years ago, yet everyone refers to the “Āryan invasion” and knows exactly what it means.

#32 Comment By Jack B. Nimble On November 29, 2017 @ 2:39 pm

Good Grief! Christian conservatives have been worried for decades about Adam & Steve replacing traditional biblical narratives; now they have to worry about Joseph & Larry as well.

#33 Comment By Erin Manning On November 30, 2017 @ 1:20 am

So what is the message of that little display?

That women are unnecessary.
That women are irrelevant.
That women are incubators for children who should be handed over to gay male couples to raise.
That women are “breeders.”
That it’s okay to rewrite history to remove female roles and influence.

Sadly, a lot of gay men think these things, and always have. But now some of them are openly showing their hatred and disgust for women, and it’s not surprising that the Blessed Virgin Mary would be a target of their wrath against the feminine and against mothers in particular.

#34 Comment By JonF On November 30, 2017 @ 5:05 pm

Re: Sadly, a lot of gay men think these things, and always have.

I’m sure you can find such men, since, as I say, with 325 million people in this nation you can find anything that does not violate the laws of physics. But how common is it? Aren’t gay men rather noted for their friendships with straight women? And popular gay clubs often end up with quite few straight women as patrons. Meanwhile, it’s the lesbians who known (justifiably or not) for being man-haters.

Raskolnik, as I said, Words have meanings and those should be respected. The point of language is to communicate and edify, not to dominate and deceive, and politics should be something more than lies and propaganda and the quest for power for its own sake.

#35 Comment By Raskolnik On December 1, 2017 @ 8:56 am

Oxford English Dictionary

invasion, n.

1) An instance of invading a country or region with an armed force.

1.1) an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity.

1.2) An unwelcome intrusion into another’s domain

My usage is perfectly acceptable and accurate. Europe is being INVADED by A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE who are UNWELCOME

#36 Comment By JonF On December 2, 2017 @ 12:22 pm

Yes, “invasion” can be used metaphorically for things are not literal invasions. I could say “there was an invasion of ants in my house” in the spring when the little insects do indeed show up in huge numbers in my abode. But your usage is decidedly not metaphoric. It is frankly propagandist and bombastic, intending to shed heat and not light on a problem.
For the record I do not think European immigration policies are wise– I do not think our own immigration are wise. Though it’s not clear I (or you or anyone else) have any business pontificating on other countries’ internal policies when we are not citizens of those nations. Remember when the British took in ion themselves to write to Americans urging us not to vote for Bush? Such sanctimonious meddling from afar almost convinced me (for a couple of seconds) it might be a good thing if Bush did win.

#37 Comment By Raskolnik On December 3, 2017 @ 5:19 pm

Both my wife and I are nationals of one of the European nations most affected by the ongoing invasion of Europe. My wife has seen her hometown overrun by Africans. She is afraid to go on a main street that is now home to roving gangs. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

#38 Comment By Thrice A Viking On December 4, 2017 @ 7:51 pm

Raskolnik, are the “Africans” in question mainly Muslim? I ask because I’m far more comfortable with criticizing a religion – about which people can do something – than I am of a race or ethnicity, about which they cannot.

#39 Comment By Raskolnik On December 5, 2017 @ 12:18 am

Some of them are Muslim, but how much does it really matter? And who cares if they “can do something” about being Muslim? How many born-Muslims ever “do something” about it? Besides that, by 2100 there will be more Nigerians (~800mn) than Europeans (~750mn), and that’s without counting the rest of Africa (~4.5bn).

Europe is being invaded by African, Arab, and Muslim non-Europeans. Repatriating the invaders is matter of existential survival. If the invasion is not repulsed and the invaders removed, the European nations will vanish from the face of the earth.