Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites on Immigration

Franklin Graham has joined Pope Francis and a host of wolves in pastors' clothing who declare there is no defense of of any immigration policy that results in the separation of children from their parents.  I wonder if the obvious moral reasoning is too difficult for such people to follow:

If the parents of children commit a crime, such as murder, armed robbery, or the illegal invasion of another country, they may find themselves arrested and imprisoned for a time.  The fault in all such cases does not lie with the legal system or with the victims of the crime, whether that victim is the person who is murdered or the people who will have to pay for the medical care, education, welfare, and criminal activity of the illegal invaders.

Christian pastors and leaders throughout history have often been stupid, ignorant, and corrupt, always eager to twist the Faith to fit whatever opinions are fashionable, but the current generation of vipers is really the limit.  Which set is worse these days, the corrupt leftists in the Vatican or the cynical Gantrys  in the Southern Baptist Convention.  I know we are all supposed to take up our cross and carry it, but does it have to be weighted down by this Ship of Fools?

PS I know his father had family reasons for naming his son "Franklin," but I am sure there were Jewish families in which Adolf was a not uncommon name.  I still cannot understand why the Rev. Billy picked a name that exemplifes atheism, hedonism, and Free Masonry.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

14 Responses

  1. Khater M says:

    Pope Francis and Franklin Graham do have many similarities. They’re both more celebs than theologians or pious believers. If you met Francis and did not know he was the Pope, and met Franklin not knowing he was a Graham, I’m not sure you’d see anything in them that distinguishes them from any other modern. The only big-name Christian leader who seems worthy of respect is Patriarch Krill of Moscow( have heard shady things about him, but he certainly says the right things)

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I have met many Orthodox bishops, and while there a few bad eggs, nearly all of them possess a certain degree of dignity and a seriousness of outlook that distinguishes from the good old golf-playing money-hustling pastors of most Western churches. In the Catholic Church, the monks are often very solid men, and it has been a pleasure and an honor to spend a bit of time in Catholic monasteries.

  3. Robert Reavis says:

    The inimmatable Tom Fleming once told me as a younger man that “the modern world will raise your kids for you the only thing you can contribute is to pay for it.” So for Spiritual Fathers, Natural Fathers, Biological Fathers, Step Fathers, Donor Fathers, Transgender Fathers , caretakers, maligned foolish and all the rest including The Holy Father’s, …. HAPPY FATHERS DAY

  4. Sam Dickson says:

    Little personality traits are often windows into important features of a person’s essential personality. One of the oddest things I have seen about Pope Francis is his practice of coming down from the platform from which the Bishop of Rome looks out over St. Peter’s Square and palling it up with the tourists. He has carried this so far as to pose for “selfies.” Is this a sign of humility? “Hey, everybody, I may be Pope but I’m just a regular guy like all of you?” I don’t think so. I don’t know quite what to make of it but is is remarkable. Maybe Tom Fleming can explain what is going on in the Pope’s mind when he does things like this. The old saying, “Familiarity breeds contempt” like many of what Kipling called “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” has a lot of truth in it. Queen Elizabeth has a lot more sense about this than Pope Francis. She understands that while she might get a brief, immediate and ephemeral burst of media praise by coming out of the Palace and playing at being just “one of the girls” by hamming it up with the gawkers, the ultimate long term result would be for the monarch to lose her dignity and monarchy its sense of majesty and mystery. It’s really odd to me that Pope Francis either doesn’t “get” this or doesn’t care. Surely not all of his advisers in the College of Cardinals are idiots. It boggles the mind that there is no one in the Vatican to point out to Francis that his lack of gravitas will erode the authority of the papacy. But Francis does it and does it repeatedly.

  5. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    My second-hand understanding is that Cardinals and senior Vatican officials, if the make a helpful observation in no matter how mild or tentative a tone soon find themselves demoted, humiliated, and cut off.

    The Holy Father never appeared very bright, and in his quest to be another John Paul II he will stoop to anything that wins him good press. I am reminded of the Minister in the series “Yes Minister,” Facing a crisis, he would, as soon as he was alone in his office, do an impersonation of Winston Churchill. Or think of Bill Clinton playing the saxophone, Jimmie Carter, bullied by Dizzy Gillespie, singing “Salt Peanuts,” Bush I wearing flannel shirts and pretending to like Lee Greenwood, or the Senator patronized by Andy Griffith in “A Face in the Crowd”.

  6. Robert Reavis says:

    The “Old Man” in the Marine Corps (The” full bird “once upon a time did not fraternize either) the old professor once wore coat and tie out of respect for his subject, the judge his robe,the Bishop and Abbots their habits, all out of respect for the office, the architect the engineer, the doctor, the nurse, etc. T’is all in pieces and has been for some time. The Holy Father , carrying ugly crossiers, speaking informally on solemn occasions and playing with selfies and grab ass in St Peters square are poetic signs of the time. Read them like a book to understand not to organize or change things but to se them for what they are, the common practices of decadent times and please, The Royal family is just another whited sepulcher of the times if you look very close.

  7. Dot says:

    You have a Pope for the times. He was chosen by out of how many eligible Cardinals?

  8. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Every good and holy thing in this world has to be run by men who not only corrupt it but distort it to fit current fashion. The current teaching of English literature is an abomination, but that does not affect my regard for literature; so-called Conservatives reshape republican constitutional doctrine into an agency for tyranny, but it hardly diminishes my regard for Jefferson and Adams. The best traditional institutions–particularly those infused by a spirit that is more than human–survive and recover. That is why we do not abandon the good, simply because wicked men have seized control. How much more is this true of Christian institutions.

  9. Dot says:


  10. Sam Dickson says:

    “Current teaching of English literature is an abomination….” Last week I read a little book consisting of 4 long interviews with Gore Vidal. Vidal is a very interesting person. He is irritating because of his repetitive and frequenr nasty remarks about other people. He is what in the bad old days of my childhood and youth the old people called “a catty catamite.” Nevertheless, Vidal was certainly defiant to the Head Table and said and wrote many things that are noteworthy. I have wondered why he is considered to have been a “leftist” and even claimed himself to be a “liberal.” He was an America Firster and never changed. He defiantly defended his opposition to our entrance into WWII and characterized himself proudly as an “isolationist”, a term he defended and said should be a badge of honor. It’s hard to see how even his outrageous and ostentatious homosexuality could have bought him immunity from thought crimes he committed such as his attack on the neo-con Jews and his very realistic (which means hostile) treatment of Lincoln. Anyway, setting all that preface to one side, Vidal said in one of the interviews that there is no good and enduring fiction being written today and that nothing in modern literature that will stand the test of time. He blamed this on what he characterized as the dominating idea that you should write about what you know. Vidal says this has caused modern “literature” to be non-fiction with the names changed to avoid libel suits. Great writers like Dickens, Tolstoy and others did not write what they knew about. I’m not sure I agree but, having heard the mantra from English professors throughout my life that everyone should “write what they know”, Vidal’s theory is one I will have to think about.

  11. Harry Colin says:

    Vidal certainly is an interesting character. I had never read any of his work, owing primarily to how he was disparaged by Buckley and the rest of the “conservative” cognoscenti. Then a friend whose literary judgement I respected recommended his book, “Lincoln,” and I read it. I found it remarkable for its treatment of Saint Abraham and also for its erudition. He could write compellingly. He was counter-cultural, and in a way, he reminds me of Evelyn Waugh, whose behavior was also caustic and whose writing went against the grain. Both had the courage to buck the prevailing tide, albeit for dramatically different reasons. Vidal’s proclivities were beyond distasteful, but in his heyday such behavior was still not widely approved, so it took some courage to be so open about it. His consistent warnings about empire-building and war-mongering have even greater meaning today. I surely preferred his books to those of his time such as Cheever, Irving, Mailer, Fowles. (Lincoln was published in the mid-80s, if memory serves, and I wonder if it would even find a publisher today).

  12. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Vidal, whom I never met, though we had a brief correspondence in which he invited me to visit him in Italy, would have made a fine pop historian. His novels? I could never finish one of them–though the Lincoln book reveals he did documentary research. He was one of those pop celebrity writers of the 50’s and 60’s–Mailer, Capote, Buckley. Only Capote was a real fiction writer and only WFB was without merit as a writer.

  13. Robert Reavis says:

    When was literature dropped for the sophisticate’s distinction of poetry into fiction and nonfiction? Is it still considered Neanderthal to quote Aristotle in contemporary reviews?

  14. Robert Reavis says:

    ” Only Capote was a real fiction writer and only WFB was without merit as a writer.”

    Sad but true.