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Bad Eagle Journal

Jews, Foreigners, and Nationalists

by David Yeagley · August 19, 2005 · 22 Comments ·

At a time when Israelis are agonizing over the Gaza evictions, Pope Benedict XVI made a bewildering statement in Cologne: “Today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.”


Pope Benedict XVI waves as he leaves German President Horst Koehler’s official
residence Villa Hammerschmidt in the former German capital Bonn Friday, Aug 19, 2005.
Pope Benedict XVI arrived Thursday on his first foreign trip as pontiff to take part
in the Roman Catholic Church’s 20th World Youth Day in Cologne
. AP Photo/Arnd Wiegmann

Here is irony on all sides. Firstly, the Pope has equated Jews with foreigners, implying that a Jew anywhere outside Israel is a foreigner, a perpetual alien.

Secondly, the Pope has equated anti-Semitism with nationalism. The StormFronters would seem to bear that out. And, in order to be a foreigner, there must be at least two nations in existence. You are a foreigner when you are in nation other than your own.

Thirdly, the Pope implies that patriotism itself is consigned to mere ideology, not land, borders, language, or the natural human differentiations present in the world. One must not idolize the land, the language, nor the culture.

Fourthly, the Pope suggests that multi-culturalism, pluralism, integration, and intermarriage, are all a bulwark against hate. All the tensions in the world are therefore cause by national pride, and that the only solution to the tensions is the dissolution of all national distinctions.

Is the Pope Communist? Is the Church an enemy of the nations? This Cologne declaration is simply intolerable. It cannot be regarded as anything but an anti-nationalist anathema of patriotism and nature itself.

Natural evolution, or the Lord (Genesis 11:1-9), brought forth diversity of human language, of geographic local, and of culture. To intentionally operate against the phenomenon of nations seems rather blasphemous, or at least perilous. Those human beings who walk through the Pearly Gates are referred to as “the nations of the saved.” (Revelation 21:24)

I would be most curious to know the Israeli response to Pope’s statement, which was made in the synagogue of Germany’s oldest Jewish community. Let the Pope tell the Israelis (and the Jews) that they need not be concerned about having a nation, they need not try to preserve their religion, their language, their culture, or their race.

And if every Jew not living in Israel is to be considered a foreigner, then half the world are foreigners. The only way to fully overcome the ‘stigma’ of being a foreigner, according to the implications of the Pope, is to dissolve all concepts of nationhood. Let there be no nations, and we’ll have no foreigners.

This is globalism, surely. The Pope’s statement is anti-Zionist, if not actually anti-Semitic itself. Yet, by suggesting that all Jews living outside Israel are foreigners, it seems like a very pro-Zionist statement. And to imply that anyone living outside his own country is a foreigner sound very nationalistic.

So what is the Pope saying, in fact?

Posted by David Yeagley · August 19, 2005 · 12:31 pm CT · ·

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22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mario // Aug 19, 2005 at 2:52 pm   

    Hello Dr. Yeagley-You have arisen my curiousity of the speech the Pope has given in Germany. I THINK (emphasis mine) that he is refering to rampant nationlism.

    I read that he was a member of the Hitler Youth when he was young and he MAYBE basing his condemnation for “nationalism” from his experience.

    Though I must say that nationalism per se is not bad but when it is take to an extreme when it is harmful. Having pride in ones culture or country or language is nothing to be ashamed about but it can be abused like anything else.

    I think the Pope is not being very clear about the position of multiculturalism and nationalism. I think he speaks in generalities and not too much in specifics.

    The climate of political correctness seems to have infected the Catholic Church when it deals with social ills and maybe it is trying to deflect the heinious stigma of the sexual abuse by priests by going against the “bogeyman” of “nationalism”.

    Again I am not claiming to know what the Pope meant but these are my opinions and I may be wrong. As a Catholic I follow the tenents of the Church (abortion,divorce, etc) but I have diagreed in the past with some opinions of the late John Paul II concerning the war in Iraq for example.

    I will also disagree with Pope Benedict XVI with this speech because I do not think nationalism is completely at fault. I also agree
    with the Pope but on this issue I am afraid I do not.

  • 2 David Yeagley // Aug 19, 2005 at 3:17 pm   

    Molti gracie, Mario. Welcome to BadEagle.

    We had a governor here in Oklahoma not too many years ago, David Walters. He was catholic, and openly disagreed with Pope John Paul on the matter of abortion, if I’m not mistaken.

    I was the lead (salaried) tenor in the choir at Our Lady of Perpetual Help here in Oklahoma City, and I’ve seen both Walters and Frank Keating at mass.

    I’m not Catholic, but I have tried to stay in touch with what’s going on. Aye, ‘Tis an unruly flock these days! Especially the American Catholic. It’s almost as if the American Catholic is a rowdy revolutionary, just like any other American. It’s in the country’s history to be independent, and to think for yourself.

    One thing is certain: the Cathlolic church, in recent decades associated with the Left, with unions, with all things foreign, is now coming to find a place of hard core conservatism within American politics. This is most interesting.

  • 3 Mark Winters // Aug 20, 2005 at 7:20 pm   

    I wouldn’t touch this with a ten foot crosier. And it seems most agree wit me on dis.

  • 4 Rebekah // Aug 20, 2005 at 7:47 pm   

    If you were to read the sorts of things coming from Germany’s popular press, these days, especially as shown at Davids Medienkritik
    you’d be just about as uneasy as you are now, but from a combination of causes. There’s a VERY strong anti-American and slightly less anti-Semitic slant to the top publications, with a strong anti-foreign, pro-socialist subtext, and flavored subtly by a faintly anti-Christian tone.

    I think the Pope is expressing (at least partly) his concern for the growing tide of hatred being promoted by many of the nation’s leaders.

    It isn’t just about the Jews, now, any more than it was 70 years ago. They’re just the one of the two biggest, easiest targets to blame for the country’s economic and social woes. It really is about rising nationalism being dangerous breeding grounds.

    But I also suspect that Benedict XVI is no John Paul II. He has a lot of growing to do in office.

  • 5 David Yeagley // Aug 21, 2005 at 10:38 am   

    Rebekah, thank you for the insights. I had missed the “German” circumstance of the Pope’s remarks. I was thinking internationally.

    We had a German poster on BadEagle for some time, but who has since retired from us. I would have been most curious to hear her view on this. She often distinguished herself by her pro-American stance, implying of course that there is a deep-seated cultural resentment of America, Germany having been defeated twice…

    In the context of the country, Germany, the Pope’s remarks make much more sense.

    I’d think, though, that economic woes are caused by the same principles in Germany as in any other country: greed, fraud, selfishness, and careless indifference for the nation. Political leaders and wealthy corporate businessmen are the main culprits.

  • 6 Denny Ringbloom // Aug 21, 2005 at 7:18 pm   

    Very well said, and this is coming from a first generation American.

  • 7 Wendy Johnson // Aug 21, 2005 at 11:16 pm   

    “Today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.”

    I don’t interpret the foreigners part of this remark as pertaining to the Jews. I think he means first anti-Semitism and then hostility towards anyone not born in that particular country.

    But whatever he meant, I think that Jews are indeed perpetual foreigners in whatever country they reside in, however long. They have always been regarded that way, no matter how long they have been a part of the fabric, stability and prosperity of whatever country. This is part of their exile. And they are being portrayed as not belonging in their own country as well.

    On a more personal note, why be indignant for the Jews that they might be called foreigners in countries of their birth? Didn’t you assign to me the same thing, by calling me nothing more than an invader and would never be anything more, no matter I was born here and I happen to love my country? From a man that is half invader himself. Yet you, not a Jew at all, by blood or religion, seem to take their part and say they ought not to be called foreigners? Well, by biblical account, they actually are. So are you yourself working against the “holy natural”?!

    My take is this: Politicians invented globalism and business financed it. Just like the Church gave the ok to the Inquisition and to kill the New World natives, the Church will give the ok for globalism. It’s not the gospel, but who cares? the Church by its own claim supersedes all. And this global religion will sanction the control of Israel’s dealings, for the sake of peace.

    The UN, feh. Worse than the Palestinians.

  • 8 David Yeagley // Aug 22, 2005 at 12:02 pm   

    Wendy, you profess Christianity, yet you have a distinct stake in politics, at least an psychological stake. If Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world,” then how can any Christian even bother commenting on the world?

    I say, one can be a free Christian, or a persecuted Christian. To be a free Christian, there is (was) a price to be paid. There are governments that are hostile toward Christians. America, indeed, was born to escape the hostility of the Church of England, and the Church of Rome.

    So, you yourself are as foreign as anything you see in the Jews. Unless, of course, you think America is a “Christian” government. Maybe you do. Doesn’t appear to be at this time, not to me anyway.

    We have freedoms here, but that doesn’t mean you’re not a foreigner in Christ. What about Hebrews 11:16, et al.?

    The Brits call the US “the American experiement.” America is a European phenomenon. Most definitely. It is a transplanted embryo created by centuries of political theory.

    You shouldn’t be solipsistic about it. You are the descendent of both unwanted continental mainlanders-turned invaders, plus a foreigner in Christ. That’s what you are, in the eyes of Indians.

    That I espouse the Bible does not change this perspective. There is a certain objectivity to reality that, though non-redemptive, certainly clears the air of a lot of political polution.

  • 9 Wendy Johnson // Aug 22, 2005 at 6:14 pm   

    Dr. Yeagley, I profess Christ, not Christianity.

    Christians are free, regardless of the degree of persecution. Christians know this.

    I have said all along that Christians are a people, separate and apart from that of nations or political groups. Whether America is or was a Christian nation is neither here nor there.

    “But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16

    What about it? Abraham was also a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land. The Jews today are still treated as such. But in the eyes of God, they are where they belong.

    That’s my point. This is all that matters, the perspective of God. Not the Pope’s, not the Indians’, and not yours.

    That you should call me an invader and yet feel outrage on behalf of the Jew today makes no sense. You are speaking from your own solipsistic viewpoint, purportedly that of an Indian one. Which, in matters of true ownership, true citizenship and who is really a foreigner in this world is far different in comparison to God’s perspective.

    So I would dispute you espouse the Bible, as you put it. I think you refer to your metaphorical interpretation of it, and all that means is you give support to the concept of making up your own objective, non-redemptive approach to God.

    David, I’m going to have to make an end to participating here. I appreciate being able to exchange comments and beliefs both here and on the Forums. I know I tried two other times (!), but the third time will have to stick. Perhaps I will see you if you are ever in Chicago.

  • 10 David Yeagley // Aug 22, 2005 at 6:26 pm   

    They say never argue with a woman. Much less, a Christian woman.

    Perhaps I deceived you with the impression that I had an open mind…

  • 11 Mark Winters // Aug 22, 2005 at 7:32 pm   

    How did this crosier get around my neck and it’s usually used to get people off stage, not on, but that will be up to you, as always, Dr. Y.

    Rebeka said,”But I also suspect that Benedict XVI is no John Paul II. He has a lot of growing to do in office.”

    Who knew Ben 16 better than JP 2. He is his hand picked successor afterall. And if he has a lot of growing to do he had better hurry up and get to it at his age.

    Professore Y, are you a Christian Indian or an Indian Christian? Which is ultimately more important to you? I’m not sure I know now.

    And you are a half breed correct? This occasional borderline vehemence against “anglo”, “whites” plays well to your indian country target group but it confuses Christians like Wendy and others.

  • 12 David Yeagley // Aug 22, 2005 at 7:47 pm   

    I don’t think Wendy’s confused at all, not about her own positions.

    I’m not completely sure what Israel’s role is in biblical eschatology, and therefore, in modern politics. Wendy appears sure of everything.

    I’m also sure that the Catholic Church has left a very confusing record. It was one of the most repressive religions in all of western history. Yet, were it not for the catholic nations of Europe, everyone would Arabic speaking Muslims, with no need of sun-tan lotion. If it weren’t for the Catholic nations, there would have been no opening of the new world.

    Now, my hope for personal immortality rests on the blood of Christ, the love of God, and faith in the outworking of His ultimate purposes in a newly created Earth.

    This does not mean, however, that I have superior understanding of the Bible, nor that I have an open mind. I know what I do believe, and that is contrary to what many believe, including Christians.

    One thing: I will not allow Christianity to function as the foundation of integreation, intermarriage, and the elimination of race, ethnicity, or nationality.

    I have the impression that Wendy believes she has superior knowledge and experience to me. I think this is a white thing. She relates to me as an Indian, her inferior. I think Betty Ann was right about that.

    Nevertheless, this is not to question her faith or experience. I’m just saying how it comes across to me personally.

  • 13 Mark Winters // Aug 22, 2005 at 7:58 pm   

    Professore Y said,”You shouldn’t be solipsistic about it. You are the descendent of both unwanted continental mainlanders-turned invaders, plus a foreigner in Christ. That’s what you are, in the eyes of Indians.”

    Solip wa? Dr. Y, are you descendent of unwanted continental mainlanders-turned invaders too? To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what the new Pope meant by foreigner and I danged sure don’t know what a foreigner in Christ is either. And, if Indians are so independent that it’s hard to find a spokesperson then why speak for them?

    Just earnestly contending, that’s all. Don’t yank too hard, I’ve got a crosier crooked around my neck.

  • 14 Mark Winters // Aug 22, 2005 at 8:23 pm   

    Dr. Y said,”I’m also sure that the Catholic Church has left a very confusing record. It was one of the most repressive religions in all of western history. Yet, were it not for the catholic nations of Europe, everyone would Arabic speaking Muslims, with no need of sun-tan lotion. If it weren’t for the Catholic nations, there would have been no opening of the new world. ”

    Where have I heard this before? I hear it all the time on the liberal blogs. Ever read “Christianity on Trial”? If not then it should be next on your reading list. One of the most repressive religions in all of western history? As opposed to? And the Byzantine Greeks had a tiny part in stemming the Arab/Turk/Mongul tide as well. They were busy at it for 1000 years. But we are all human and prone to sin and many things were done in the name of Christianity. Christendom many times fell short of perfection (Christianity) but the good is never mentioned. Only the human sin and shortfalls are noted. And used by the anti religious bigots of the Left.

  • 15 Mark Winters // Aug 22, 2005 at 8:44 pm   

    Dr. Y said,”One thing: I will not allow Christianity to function as the foundation of integreation, intermarriage, and the elimination of race, ethnicity, or nationality. ”

    It shouldn’t be a foundation for integration, intermarriage and the elimination of race, ethnicity, or nationality. It’s above that while not decrying those things.

    Caleb was not born Jewish but became a Jew. The children of the third generation will be Jews if raised Jewish. There was a way for a Canaanite to become Jewish. Anyone can become a Christian as well. It’s not about nationality, ethnicity or race. And Christianity is not for or against people marrying in their own race either. It is above that frail human concern.

    I think your message would be stronger if you acknowledged your white ancestry as something not to be ashamed of. Or is that immediate ancestry one in which you would as soon forget?

    At the risk of opening old wounds, may I humbly ask you to talk about your father? If you would prefer to do that out of forum then please respond to my email address.

  • 16 Mark Winters // Aug 22, 2005 at 8:58 pm   

    Dr. Y said,”I have the impression that Wendy believes she has superior knowledge and experience to me. I think this is a white thing. She relates to me as an Indian, her inferior. I think Betty Ann was right about that.”

    I think this is a “white thing”? Now, now, Dr. Yeagley. I’m rubbing my finger at you. Now that will help race relations no doubt. But if both you and Betty Ann get after me then I’m really in for it. But I can take it. Shoot.

  • 17 David Yeagley // Aug 22, 2005 at 9:34 pm   

    Well, In many ways, whites ARE superior. I don’t see any crime in recognizing that. It takes no mental Houdini, for me anyway. They have carried the Judeo-Christian religion for centuries. This has an effect. Indians are very new at western religion. Especially the plains Indians.

    What most whites don’t understand is that Indians still prefer to be Indian. While every other race in the world is mesmerized by the whites, imitating them in every way possible, an Indian is still quite happy to be Indian, even if it means being dirt poor, alone, out in the middle of nowhere, and drunk.

    I don’t think being a Christian makes you NOT Indian…It surely alters at least your outward behavior. It changes attitude. But, it doesn’t make you NOT Indian.

  • 18 Nikki // Aug 23, 2005 at 11:27 am   

    Mark, I have a comment for you linked to Aug. 15.

    Wendy, if you are going I am sorry to see you go. I don’t necessarily agree but like your “voice”.

    In discussions of Judaism, I often wish that the emphasis were not on “blood” or “ethnicity” but rather on what makes Orthodox communities cohesive, strong, and successful in the places where they migrate and live. There are traditions that are much more important than genetics (which have their downside, things like Tay-Sachs etc.)

    The Orthodox maintain their rituals persistently. Their traditions are transmitted orally, but also through written words, literacy. There is endless discussion of the tiniest details from many different aspects; there is a great deal of freedom of speech through that.

    In contrast, our country has changed dramatically over the last decades to where it would probably be unrecognizable to people 3 generations removed. What we are doing is not deliberate at all — it is marked by thoughtless, mindless, undiscussed activity, distractions and addictions, topped off with generalities based on ancestry. We aren’t like our ancestors, most of us — most traditions have not been kept up in any sort of effective way, among the general US population. We seldom discuss what we want to lose, and what we want to keep, in the way we live, balancing the costs against the benefits.

    This seems bound to fail, from what I can see. A person doesn’t have to be clairvoyant to notice cause and effect at work, and to consider what possible causes might produce what possible effects.

    I don’t know if this is a receptive place for discussions of that type. But I wish those discussions were happening, somewhere. Maybe I’ll find a discussion board like that, if this isn’t the one.

  • 19 David Yeagley // Aug 23, 2005 at 11:36 am   

    Nikki, have you visited the BadEagle forums? Plenty of space there for such a discussion. (You do have to register. Takes two seconds.)

    I have to disagree with you. I think America is desperate now over what’s American and what isn’t. I think your interpretation is self-willed here, like you’re hiding yourself.

    Lots of people are agonizing over their tradtions. That you aren’t only implies you have not have any that interest you. I’d venture to say a majority of AMericans at this point DO. This is what the multi-national, multi-cultural debates are all about. This is what all our legal/constitutional debates are all about. I’d say you should include “ideology” in your idea of “traditions,” besides Yorkshire pudding and green peas.

  • 20 Nikki // Aug 24, 2005 at 1:11 pm   

    Actually, cuisine, Yorkshire pudding or green peas were the farthest thing from my mind when I wrote about traditions. I was referring to ideology and customs — things like avoiding bribery, obeying traffic regulations and other laws, referring to basic ideas of civic behavior.

    But since you brought up cuisine, it’s way too difficult to find good cornbread, beans, greens, slaw and squash, mashed potatoes at McDonald’s prices or less. Those are items most of my generation grew up with, and I’d rather eat them than hamburgers and fries, rather have my kids eat those foods than hamburgers and fries — which are now identified as American food. I’d like to see beans, greens and cornbread celebrated — cooking competitions, publicity…

  • 21 Nikki // Aug 24, 2005 at 1:29 pm   

    I’ll go looking into the Badeagle forums.

    If there’s a particular discussion there that you can point me towards — dealing with what’s American and what isn’t — I’ll look for that one.

    So far as “agonizing” — what’s agonizing is to watch people direct their energy into blame, but not into constructing or tweaking policy changes that would work.

    I know a number of Germans and have spent some time in their country. I also know a bit more than usual about their history, because it interests me. When 1920-30s-40s Germans persecuted their Jewish population and used them as a lightning rod for their anger and frustration, they not only hurt the Jews — they hurt themselves. What’s interesting about that period though are the other policies that the nationalists pursued that stabilized their country and brought it back to customary prosperity. Those were useful; the emotional abuse of the Jewish population to let off their anger, that was harmful, in every way. I do not want to see that kind of wrongheaded thinking come arising in my own country, here, in this time.

    Anger towards foreigners may, temporarily, feel good; but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issues that bring the foreigners here, including high birth rates in their own countries, corruption (paying your family with public money do to public jobs that they don’t actually DO), things of that nature.

  • 22 Nikki // Aug 24, 2005 at 1:30 pm   

    Typos all over that last post. Sorry.

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