“White nationalist? That’s supposed to be different from racist?”
❝ While we’ve all been watching the unruly vivisection of American democracy by a family full of spectacular grifters…there’s been a lot of strange goings-on at the Vatican. The knives are out for Papa Francesco.
At the root of things is the fact that the pope gave the boot to Raymond Cardinal Burke, a theological reactionary and a guy who was born 500 years too late to be the high cleric of his dreams. This touched off a major squabble with the Knights of Malta. They’re serious power brokers within HMC even though they dress like Albanian ushers and despite the fact that just talking about them makes me start hearing “Hail, Hail Freedonia” in my mind. Burke was their chaplain…
❝ In one of the cardinal’s antechambers, amid religious statues and book-lined walls, Cardinal Burke and Mr. Bannon — who is now President Trump’s anti-establishment eminence — bonded over their shared worldview. They saw Islam as threatening to overrun a prostrate West weakened by the erosion of traditional Christian values, and viewed themselves as unjustly ostracized by out-of-touch political elites. “When you recognize someone who has sacrificed in order to remain true to his principles and who is fighting the same kind of battles in the cultural arena, in a different section of the battlefield, I’m not surprised there is a meeting of hearts,” said Benjamin Harnwell, a confidant of Cardinal Burke who arranged the 2014 meeting.
❝ Just as Mr. Bannon has connected with far-right parties threatening to topple governments throughout Western Europe, he has also made common cause with elements in the Roman Catholic Church who oppose the direction Francis is taking them. Many share Mr. Bannon’s suspicion of Pope Francis as a dangerously misguided, and probably socialist, pontiff…For many of the pope’s ideological opponents…this angry moment in history is an opportunity to derail what they see as a disastrous papal agenda. And in Mr. Trump, and more directly in Mr. Bannon, some self-described…radical traditionalists — see an alternate leader who will stand up for traditional Christian values and against Muslim interlopers.
❝ If it wasn’t clear already, it should be now. Stephen Bannon, the last descendant of House Harkonnen, is not someone who wants to “disrupt the elites,” or whatever techie garbage he likes to toss around. He wants to establish himself at the head of a new, worldwide authoritarian elite that will reach into every institution and that will demolish any of those institutions that stand in the way of what he wants. The man is a political thug, and Burke is a theological thug. Marriage made somewhat lower than heaven.
Just in case you wondered how and where Trump began acquiring his new religious credentials, look no further than Bannon and his root-and-branch need for state religion.