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Amazing Protestant Family Giving Witness Amidst Incredible Danger in Iraq June 20, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, Ecumenism, family, General Catholic, sanctity, Society, Virtue.
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There is a man named Dave Eubank, former Green Beret, devout protestant, husband, father, and – it must be said – extremely dedicated evangelist, who has developed a mission (in a quasi-military sense) over the past several years of serving others in need amidst some of the most violent conflicts in the world. After starting in the jungles of Burma, where a low-level civil war has been ongoing for decades, he transferred his efforts – still called the Free Burma Rangers – to Iraq.

I saw an article about this man, and his family, including three minor children, providing supplies and medical care to souls suffering during the endless fighting in Iraq (fighting that was, tragically, largely caused by the failed policy efforts of these United States).  There is certainly much to be said about the prudence of exposing children to such extremely dangerous situations.  Yes I am sure they are careful, but they are in an active warzone and irreplaceable loss mixed with unspeakable tragedy is just a wrong footstep away.

And these folks are not somewhere miles behind the lines.  All of them are routinely exposed to great danger, especially the husband and father, Mr. Eubank:

Note, the video title has it wrong, none of the men in the video are currently serving US armed forces.  They are all members of Eubank’s Free Burma Rangers organization.  They apparently get into the fighting as part of their efforts, at least as far as giving covering fire for rescue efforts.  Also, there were two children Eubanks attempted to rescue.  He recovered the 5-6 year old girl, but there was also a toddler boy being fired at by ISIS in Mosul he was unable to recover.

That is incredible dedication.  I don’t know about the prudence of a father a family depends on doing that as a mission of charity, but it certainly speaks to this man’s enormous courage and conviction.

And this wasn’t a one time deal.  In the video below, Mr. Eubank gets shot through the arm, and his (presumably) Kurdish escort gets hit far worse:

The video below gives a better idea for what the wife and kids are exposed to:

It’s funny to see the reporter just inundated with body armor – like she’s in EOD or something! – and Eubank just walks around with a shirt and pants.  But I digress…….

Now, this man is certainly brave, has enormous conviction, and appears to be doing quite a bit of good.  But is it right for him to expose his children to such extremes of danger by choice?  There are certainly many ways of giving witness and serving others that don’t entail such grave risk of injury or loss of life.  And one could easily say that the children – even if they seem on board with dad’s very adventurous work – don’t really have a choice in the matter.  Kids might find it very hard to express their real feelings about being drug into this very violent and messy war.

Still, I find much to admire in this man and his family.  Now he’s a former Green Beret and probably well-versed in the situations in which he places himself and his family, but there it takes enormous guts and faith to do what he’s doing.  He states he has faith that God will protect him and his family in their work, and if it is their time it is their time.  One may argue with the morality and prudence of doing that, but I think he’s honest in being motivated by faith.  I do wonder if such extremes of effort, such great demonstrations of charity, make any impact on the hardened muslim mind?  Eubank did make converts in Burma, several of the medics serving with him in Iraq are Burmese.

Unfortunately he is protestant and thus holds a number of errors.  But would I have the faith and courage – even without wife and kids – to do what he’s done and plans to continue doing?  Probably not.  But does he even have a valid call from God to do this? Being protestant, that’s especially problematic (as St. Ignatius makes clear – more on that later, I pray).

That he is doing good is I think undeniable.  I am really amazed by this man’s willingness to help others.  See this rescue of a girl trapped under rubble for three days in ISIS-held territory:

So what do you think?  Is this zeal gone astray, or is this putting John xv:13 into concrete action in about the most literal way possible?  If he were Catholic would you think any differently of his work?

 

So should conservative activists engage in the kind of street theater the Left does, or not? June 20, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, cultural marxism, disconcerting, fightback, General Catholic, persecution, pr stunts, Revolution, secularism, Society.
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Many readers may be aware of a despicable play being staged – at least partly at taxpayer expense – in the city of New York, a version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar set in modern times with an obvious Trump stand-in as Caesar and with a particularly gruesome assassination scene involving the pretended president.  This is of course extremely nasty and just the kind of perverse fantasizing the Left frequently resorts to when they get their feelings hurt by a public repudiation of their political-social program (i.e., when the lose a presidential election).

Many on the right see on this just a small part of the environment that led an avowed and extreme leftist loser to try to murder a number of Republican Congressmen at a baseball practice last week.  Only Steve Scalise among the Congressmen was hit, and he badly, but the intent was to murder many others if possible.  The gunman even had drawn up a target list.  He felt justified in his action after steeping himself in the fetid bathhouse air of the leftist fever swamps of the internet, wherein it is constantly claimed that even the minor changes to Obamacare proposed by the timid Republicrats in Congress amounts to MURDER, because millions were dying in the streets before Obamacare, and even slight changes will bring the same or even worse.  Thus, since Republicans intend to kill millions (or thousands, or whatever number they make up out of whole cloth), it is thus entirely justified to kill them before they get the chance to callously kill others.  It’s practically self-defense!  Or so it goes in the far Left, where attachment to reality has become increasingly tenuous.

At any rate, this play is, to many increasingly troubled conservatives, just part of an over-arching effort by the Left not only to make any non-Leftist views completely verboten in the public sphere, but also to create an environment in which actual physical attacks against the Left’s perceived enemies is not just tolerated, but practically a life or death necessity.  We have seen steadily increasing violence from the Left since the shock of Trump’s election and the entire ridiculous #resistance movement, from the Berkeley riot on Feb 1 through several other Berkeley riots (with increasingly effective conservative counter-revolutionary action), to New Orleans, Portland, Olympia, WA, and other locales.  In virtually every instance it is the Left  that is either initiating the violence, or ramping it up to an entirely new level.

And as I mentioned, there have been increasing responses from the “right,” or even centrist free speech advocates.  One of those responses was seen this past weekend, where people associated with Gavin McGinnes/Rebel Media stormed the Julius Caesar travesty cum play and briefly interrupted it with shouts decrying the play’s seeming incitement to violence.  As seen below:

A bit to my surprise, many on the right, at least in the form of Youtube videos and comments, were troubled by this action.  They felt that in disrupting this play thse people were just aping some of the worst aspects of the Left. Given that, here is another video where those interrupting the play defended their actions:

So what do you make of this?  Is it bad practice to do what the Left has done for decades, and take the fight into their bastions and call them out for the evil they are promoting?

I have seen these brief interruptions described as an assault on free speech.  I’m not sure I agree with that – first of all, as a Catholic, this country has made an idol of certain liberties that are disordered at best and positively destructive at worst, free speech permitting blasphemy and sacrilege being just one example (and far from the worst – the cult of official state religion as agnosticism is the worst).  I am not a free speech absolutist, in that sense.  To me, however, even granting the erroneous assumption of free speech as a practical absolute short of incitements to violence, it seems just as much free speech to interrupt the event as it is to put it on in the first place.  These protesters were not nearly so disruptive as the Left has tended to be at conservative events.  They made their point, and were quickly dragged off stage.  Thus, they did not deny anyone else’s ability to speak – contrary again to how the Left tends to behave in these situations.

But is it bad precedent, or tending in the same direction many rightly revile the Left for? Possibly.  I do think there is some value in the Right – if it is the Right – making these kinds of demonstrations, especially where they occurred, in the very belly of the beast, amongst the most fervent and destructive adherents of the religion of leftist secular paganism.  Right smack dab in the middle of NYC.  That’s much more speaking truth to power than any of the leftist shenanigans we’ve seen in recent months and years.  And it points up an important fact – that the Left has become the establishment, that it is not in the least bit countercultural or cutting edge, it is the forcibly ingrained status quo, the default setting of the vast majority of the economic, political, and especially cultural elites.  There is great value in showing the corruption and evil inherent in the status quo, even in what many may see as an ineffective way.

So, I’m pretty sympathetic to the protesters and their aims.  Then again, I’m the kind of guy who thinks large format photos showing the brutal reality of abortion are a key way of demonstrating the reality of this evil to a callous and uncaring world.  In fact, I’d be up for some of the civil disobedience tactics of the 70s and 80s, like human chains blocking access to abortion mills and the like.  Maybe I just have a default setting towards confrontation.  I could be wrong.

Then again, if “we” on the Right make broad use of our adversary’s nastier tactics, do we lose moral standing and, even unwittingly, adopt some of their “might makes right” attitude?  I can definitely see some issue with that.  Unfortunately, the Left is not going to back down.  This is the new normal folks.  It is not going to go away – and it may be a bit worse because of the person of Trump, but the Left is increasingly showing they will refuse any but their own as President of the United States.  They got warmed up with that attitude with Bush ’43 and it has sunk in, metastasized, and grown far worse.

I am very interested to know what readers –  if there are any left – think about this.  Let me know in the comments.

PS – It may be some time before I finish the posts on the San Antonio Missions.  I had transferred all the pics from my phone to my laptop, then my son set my laptop down in a puddle of water on the kitchen table that another kid failed to wipe up properly, and my laptop is now toast.  I lost some blog-related things, including the Mission photos, but much more, I lost a boatload of work.  I would have had a little time to post this week, buuuut……..now I’m having to recreate about 2 weeks worth of work.  Goes faster the second time, but anyway……