R. Sungenis: The political war drums are beating. The Neo-Con mouthpiece, The American Spectator, has sided with the Catholic Neo-Cons in order to defend Rick Santorum. I am responding to this article because its author, Jeffrey Lord, mentions me and my stance against the Neo-con agenda in order to support Santorum’s embracing of the agenda.
The Spectacle Blog
Catholics Santorum, Hannity Attacked by Ron Paul Activist
By Jeffrey Lord on 1.2.12 @ 1:51PM
Lord: Bear with me as we connect the dots.
This latest journey into Paulville began when I received a missive from a self-identified South Carolina Catholic Ron Paul activist named Chris Golden. The note, clearly part of a mass e-mail, and addressed to "Dear Fellow Republicans, Conservatives, Constitutionalists, and other Patriotic Americans," attacked the surging former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum -- a famously staunch Catholic -- as being a "heretic."
The all-important South Carolina primary is scheduled for January 21.
Curious, no? As a Pennsylvanian who knows Mr. Santorum a bit (and if needed to know, voted for him for U.S. Senator), I am well aware that he is constantly under attack from the left precisely because he is a Catholic. So to see this odd missive attacking him as a heretic was, well, strange.
So what's up here? Ahhhhhhhh. As always, more than meets the eye.
R. Sungenis: Bear with me as I connect the Neo-con dots. Yes, there is always more than meets the eye. Since Mr. Lord voted for Santorum, he did so after he knew Santorum abandoned his Catholic constituency when he decided that it was “politically” more advantageous to side with known abortionist, Arlen Specter, and distance himself from a known Pro-lifer, Pat Toomey who was also running for the senate. Here’s what Robert Costa, who campaigned for Toomey in 2004 said about Santorum just today:
I campaigned for Toomey in 2004, and never forgave Santorum for undermining him as a favor to Specter. Evidently, a lot of my fellow PA conservatives felt the same way in 2006. I simply didn’t vote in the US Senate race that year. Pundits [can] never understand what a total sense of betrayal we early supporters of Santorum felt in 2004. That 2006 18-point shellacking Santorum experienced was his penance. Despite that, I never felt Santorum fully addressed his betrayal of the voter as he seemed to think his loyalty was to Specter. (http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/287031/santorums-specter-robert-costa).
Although Costa is now willing to forgive and vote for Santorum, I’m sorry, but even as Mr. Costa admits, Santorum shows no sign of repentance for what he did to Catholics back then and therefore he doesn’t deserve our vote. If he didn’t see his sin then, he won’t see it when another opportunity arises in the future to stick it to Catholics for the expediency of politics.
Mr. Santorum is also a warmonger. In a recent debate he had in Iowa he boldly stated that one of the first things he would do as president is bomb Iran in a pre-emptive strike. Some Catholic. The Church has never sanctioned any of the aggression of the United States in the Middle East, much less would it condone a pre-emptive strike. Mr. Santorum is once again forsaking his Catholic doctrine and pandering to the Jewish lobby from which he receives campaign donations. The Neo-con Republicans (of which Santorum has become a card-carrying member) fall over each other trying to appease the Jewish lobby. You can find out all about it in the article I wrote in 2005 (the one Mr. Lord couldn’t find) titled Politics, Religion, Israel and the Seduction of the Catholic Voter at:
Lord: Included in this hot note from the South Carolina Catholic Ron Paul supporter were two very interesting articles. By which hangs the yet again inevitable tale that always seems to pop up in Paulville. On the surface the attack revolves around Santorum's national security beliefs -- famously far apart from Ron Paul. But this difference of political opinion between two presidential candidates was used as an excuse to circulate two quite specific articles on Catholics to Paul supporters.
The first article attached by Golden and circulated was by one Robert A. Sungenis. In which this Protestant boy was startled to see our friend Sean Hannity, a Catholic, attacked in this fashion:
Typical examples of leading Catholic figures who have been ensconced by the Neo-con agenda (or, worse, are mere plants posing as Catholics) are Sean Hannity who, having advertised his stance against the pope's opposition to the Iraq war, had the temerity to host Protestant Franklin Graham (Billy Graham's son) on his popular Fox television show, allowing him to chastise the pope. So enamored is Hannity with the Evangelical agenda that his best-selling book, Deliver Us From Evil, contains the Protestant, not Catholic, version of the Our Father on the inside cover.
R. Sungenis: So I assume that Mr. Lord is the “Protestant boy” who was shocked.
Lord: There was more, but you get the flavor. Nor was Hannity alone. Also attacked by Sungenis were Catholics George Weigel (biographer of Pope John Paul II), the late William F. Buckley Jr. and his brother, former New York Senator and federal judge James A. Buckley, the Catholic philosopher Michael Novak, Princeton's Professor Robert P. George, former Reagan Secretary of Education William J. Bennett, former Judge Robert Bork and wife Ellen Bork and… well… you get the picture.
R. Sungenis: And I stand by every word of that article. Again, it is Politics, Religion, Israel and the Seduction of the Catholic Voter. I suggest that each Catholic voter read it. You will find out that each of these “Catholics” have defied the Church’s teaching on Just War. Most of them are American imperialists who merely give lip service to Catholic Just War doctrine.
Lord: The second article attached was by Daniel McCarthy. The 2005 piece, attacking Catholics like the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, can be found here at the American Conservative -- but that isn't where I found the link. Where did I find the link to the McCarthy piece?
R. Sungenis: The late Fr. Neuhaus was also mixed up with the Neo-cons, and his magazine, First Things, is little more than a Neo-con/Zionist mouthpiece. Neuhaus received his start up money for the magazine from Norman Podheretz and Midge Dector, two Jews who are party to the Zionist agenda. I remember trying to submit an article to First Things a few years ago to rebut an article titled “How to Think About Zionism” written by professor of Old Testament at Notre Dame, Gary A. Anderson. In brief, Anderson believes from his study of Scripture that the Jews have a divine entitlement to Israel. He states, for example, that the promise of land to Israel is “both irrevocable and unfulfilled”; that “the Bible would seem to allow only one answer: the return to Zion is the beginning of the messianic era.”; “I truly believe that God’s promises to the Jewish people have not come to an end, and that those promises are linked inextricably to the land...” ... “we must insist that the promises of Scripture are indeed inviolable and that Israel’s attachment to this land is underwritten by God’s providential decree,” and he ends with “Is the return to Zion part of God’s providential design and eternal promise to His people Israel? I believe that it is.” (First Things, April issue, 2005).
Dr. Anderson sounds more like a Protestant Dispensationalist than he does a Catholic whose tradition is Amillennial, not Premillennial. But, of course, you never know what is going to come out of Notre Dame these days. One only needs to read the book, Is Notre Dame Still Catholic? by E. Michael Jones to find out how far from the Catholic faith they have come in the last 50 years.
Needless to say, I took Dr. Anderson to task for his article. His exegesis of the Old Testament was deplorable and his justifications that the Jews were entitled to the land of Palestine were ludicrous. But, of course, when your magazine is funded by known Neo-con/Zionists, First Things couldn’t possible publish an article showing the other side of the story, could they? Not on your life. The editors wrote back a letter to me and said they would not under any circumstances publish my article. So I have included it at the end of this rebuttal to Mr. Lord.
Lord: That's right. Over there in Paulville -- aka the Lew Rockwell Report. Mr. Rockwell, you will remember, is the longtime Ron Paul ally and ex-chief of staff who was publicly fingered recently in the Wall Street Journal by no less than Cato Foundation president Edward H. Crane as the "likely source" of those controversial Ron Paul newsletters.
So, who is Robert A. Sungenis that his writings would be cited in a mass e-mail as back-up evidence of Senator Santorum's alleged heresy?
Sungenis is the man behind a publication once called Catholics Apologetics International but now renamed the Bellarmine Report, found here. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) was a Cardinal and is a saint in the Catholic Church. And while I could not find a link to the article quoted above, I have found that Mr. Sungenis apparently renamed his publication after being directed to do so by his Bishop. Why? The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was not happy over Sungenis's writings on Jews and Judaism. Quite aside from the Catholic side of this curious incident, this is a familiar problem yet again with a Paul supporter and allegations of anti-Semitism that seems to eternally pop up with Ron Paul supporters.
R. Sungenis: Oh, of course. It’s the same mentality as First Things. If you don’t agree with the Zionist agenda to take over Palestine and have a religious-political-monetary center in Israel for the rest of the world to follow, they you must be “anti-semitic,” right? This particular “Protestant boy” just gets the privilege of using the American Spectator as his mouthpiece for such bigotry. The American Spectator itself has been taken over by Neo-con/Zionists.
Now let me deal with Bishop Rhoades. Yes, Bishop Rhoades wasn’t “happy” with my “Jewish writings.” In particular, he wasn’t happy for the same reason that First Things wasn’t happy with my rebuttal to Dr. Anderson. I insisted, based on official Catholic teaching for 2000 years, that the Jews were:
(a) no longer the Chosen People;
(b) had no entitlement to the land of Palestine;
(c) that the Old Covenant they once possessed had been revoked.
In fact, I published an article in the January 2008 issue of Culture Wars to that effect. Six months later, the bishops of the United States met in executive session in June and decided to excise an erroneous statement from the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults because my article pointed out their error concerning the Jews. The error was on page 131 and it stated: “Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them.” The USCCB’s excision of this statement was then later given a “recognitio” by the Vatican in 2009 approving of the change. So score one for Robert Sungenis who helped eradicate a heresy out of an official publication of the USCCB.
What does this have to do with Bishop Rhoades? Well, he and his vicar general, Fr. William King were teaching something a little different. They were teaching that the Jews still had a covenant with God and they accused me of “supersessionism” (that the Old Covenant had been revoked). In fact, I intercepted a July 15, 2008 email that Fr. King had written to all the clerics of the Harrisburg diocese which stated: “Dr. Sungenis…His personal opinions regarding the Jewish people and covenant, including… supersessionism of the Old Testament Covenant, stand apart from (and in discord with) authentic Catholic teaching on these subjects.” Of course, it is Fr. King who is wrong, since the Catholic Church has taught supersessionism since its inception and I proved it in my 2008 Culture Wars article. If I wasn’t correct then the US bishops would have never excised the anti-supersessionism error from their 2006 catechism and the Vatican would have never given its “recognitio.” Without going into further detail, THAT is what was behind the threat from the bishop for me to remove the name “Catholic” from my website. I wear that as a badge of honor.
Lord: Here is the Wikipedia entry on Mr. Sungenis, and another story from the Washington Post that says:
Sungenis's writings on Jews have been sharply criticized by fellow Catholics, who accuse him of anti-Semitism. His local bishop, Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg, has demanded that Sungenis stop writing about Jews and made him stop using the word "Catholic" in his organization's name.
R. Sungenis: Of course, we see the old canard of “anti-semitism” pop up every time someone disagrees with the Zionist agenda of taking over Palestine and declaring that the Jews are still the Chosen People whom God blesses just because they are Jews. But it makes good fodder for Mr. Lord’s Zionist and Neo-con readers who love to silence anyone who disagrees with them by engaging in calculated smear campaigns.
Lord: Sungenis posted a statement on his wrangle with Bishop Rhoades here. Interestingly, when one scrolls down at this site, one finds photo scans of original correspondence from Bishop Rhoades himself on Mr. Sungenis written to a third party.
R. Sungenis: And I include a photo scan in my book of the July 15 2008 email that Bishop Rhoades’ vicar general, Fr. Willliam King, wrote to the clerics of his diocese stating that it was wrong to teach supersessionism when it actually is Catholic teaching. This 2008 email proves my case since it shows that the Harrisburg diocese’s campaign against me was because it wanted to silence me for teaching traditional Catholic truth about the Jews and Judaism.
Lord: What do we have here after following all these dots?
Senator Rick Santorum's Catholicism is under attack in a mass e-mail by South Carolina's Mr. Golden, a South Carolina GOP activist who self-identifies as a Catholic Ron Paul supporter.
R. Sungenis: No, Rick Santorum is being reminded of how his Catholic faith is not measuring up to what the Catholic faith has taught. As noted above, Mr. Santorum believes in pre-emptive strikes against sovereign nations and Mr. Santorum dumped his Catholic constituents over abortion and sided with pro-abortionist, Arlen Specter. In essence, we can sum up Mr. Santorum’s political views such that he will deny his Catholic faith when it is politically expedient to do so since he doesn’t mind killing innocent civilians with pre-emptive strikes or temporarily condone that babies in the womb be killed if he can rub shoulders with a pro-abortionist to get elected. That is the issue, Mr. Lord.
Lord: Mr. Golden was recently in the news for a tangle with prominent South Carolina Republican Dean Allen, a veteran and one-time candidate for South Carolina Adjutant General, over Allen's letter to the state GOP chair requesting Paul and his supporters be banned from future debates based on what Allen believed to be "the boorish behavior of the Ron Paul idiots" at the November, 2011 nationally televised debate from Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Mr. Golden made his case on Santorum with material by Mr. Sungenis and Daniel McCarthy as backup evidence. In the latter case the McCarthy piece is linked by the Lew Rockwell Report.
One last thing:
Mr. Golden ends his attack by saying this of Santorum:
Let Santorum follow Bill Kristol. I'll worship Jesus Christ and follow His Vicar: the Pope.
That's a curious statement when one realizes the Catholic Church and the Pope say homosexulaity is a "sin" -- and Ron Paul, as heard here in 2008, specifically denies this to be the case. Which apparently means Mr. Golden makes exceptions to Catholic doctrine and the views of the Pope on what is a "sin" -- if Ron Paul has a different view. Does this make Golden a "heretic"?
Golden adds a P.S. with this note -- all in caps -- at the bottom:
R. Sungenis: Oh, but it’s ok for Mr. Santorum to make exceptions to Catholic Just War doctrine and Catholic teaching against supporting pro-abortionists (Arlen Specter). Nice double-standard.
Last night we heard Mr. Santorum in his concluding speech in Iowa pandering to the evangelical Christian vote (which is the only reason why he came in second instead of being tied with Gingrich) by saying that, like him, they are people who believe in “guns and the Bible.” How pathetic. At least Ron Paul knows that ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword,’ and is the reason he wants to stop the imperialist/interventionist mentality of the Neo-cons. The evangelicals (like Mr. Lord) do, indeed, believe in “guns and the Bible,” but their guns are only aimed at the Arabs and Muslims precisely because of their fallacious interpretations of the Bible that have been handed down by the Scofield Reference Bible which teaches that the Jews are superior to everyone else in the world. This is heresy, and Mr. Santorum is becoming part of it. If Mr. Santorum is elected we will be as close to World War III as we have ever been. Conversely, Ron Paul is saying the same thing Pat Buchanan said when he was running for president – get out of the war industry before you bankrupt the whole country; and stop pandering to the Jewish lobby so that you can use their money.
Incidentally, I’ve never heard Ron Paul say he approves of homosexuality. He says that the federal government is not the one to make the decision on the issue, the states are. Dr. Paul is personally opposed to both abortion and homosexuality. He has authored legislation that would overturn Roe v. Wade and strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction on abortion.
“How to Think about Zionism”
A Letter to the Editor of First Things
In the April 2005 issue of First Things, Gary A. Anderson, professor of Old Testament at Notre Dame University, penned the article: “How to Think About Zionism.” One thing in Dr. Anderson’s favor is that he hits the essence of the debate at the starting gate. He confidently indicates that “Any discussion of the modern Zionist movement must begin with the biblical claim that the land of Canaan was given by God to the people of Israel. And any discussion of that claim leads back to the call of Abraham in Genesis 12 and its immediate literary context.”
So far so good. Anderson has taken the argument out of the political realm and put it right where it belongs. But there is a reason Anderson wants to bring the discussion to a biblical level, for the rest of the article is Anderson’s attempt at providing a theological basis for why the Jews should possess, indefinitely, the modern-day land of Palestine.
In brief, Anderson believes from his study of Scripture that the Jews have a divine entitlement to Israel. He states, for example, that the promise of land to Israel is “both irrevocable and unfulfilled”; that “the Bible would seem to allow only one answer: the return to Zion is the beginning of the messianic era.”; “I truly believe that God’s promises to the Jewish people have not come to an end, and that those promises are linked inextricably to the land...” ... “we must insist that the promises of Scripture are indeed inviolable and that Israel’s attachment to this land is underwritten by God’s providential decree,” and he ends with “Is the return to Zion part of God’s providential design and eternal promise to His people Israel? I believe that it is.”
Based on Scripture, Dr. Anderson is categorically wrong. Having published several books on biblical interpretation, I can confidently submit that Dr. Anderson’s interpretation of Scripture is colored more by his personal preferences than by a thorough grammatical/historical exegesis of the relevant texts.
The first indication that Dr. Anderson is on the wrong track is the manner in which he attempts to dismiss the assertions of others that the promises of land to Israel have already been fulfilled (which entails that there is no future fulfillment to be anticipated). Referring to the divine promise of giving land to Israel, Dr. Anderson argues:
Some would insist that it has been fulfilled. They would point out that much of the book of Joshua is devoted to showing precisely how the land promised to Abraham came under the control of the Israelite tribes. But to this it must be answered that the book of Joshua is not part of what the Jewish canon (and Jesus himself in the Gospels) identifies as “The Torah.” At the end of this collection of five book, Moses and the Israelite tribes are still waiting to enter the promised land.
In all my years of biblical studies, I have never seen anyone of repute offer such question-begging argumentation to defend the right of Jews to possess the land of Palestine. Essentially, Dr. Anderson is telling us that we can dismiss the rest of the Bible from the discussion simply because the Jews decided that the “Torah” was separate and distinct in relevance and authority from the rest of the Hebrew canon. I don’t even know any rabbis that make such a dichotomy in Holy writ, much less a Christian exegete that is supposed to regard the whole Bible as his authority. What’s even more puzzling is that Anderson doesn’t even offer a qualified reason for this novel dichotomizing of Scripture. He just assumes that his reader is going to accept the premise of “The Torah’s” superiority in answering the question of the divine promises of land merely because he asserts there is a distinction.
The only attempt at offering a rationale for his novelty is Anderson’s question-begging reference to 2 Chronicles 36:23 in which he asserts that the last book of the Hebrew canon contains the same description as the last book of Torah, namely, Deuteronomy 34:1-4's depiction of the “people waiting just outside the land for the moment when God will bring it home.” Anderson wants us to believe that Deuteronomy and 2 Chronicles have somehow been elevated above the intervening history of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and thus both are incomplete without some divine fulfillment in the distant future, supposedly being accomplished in our day.
Here are the facts, however.
A) The Torah is not some type of ‘canon within a canon’ that possesses some special authority with which to answer the question of whether the divine promises to Israel have been fulfilled. Neither Scripture, the Fathers, the medievals, nor even any reputable modern scholar with which I am aware has ever argued on that basis. Anderson’s claim that “Jesus himself in the Gospels” made such a distinction for the Torah is also without any evidence. Jesus also quoted from the Psalms, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Hosea, Zechariah and Malachi, showing that He understood them just as authoritative as the books of Torah. If the argument is raised that Jesus did not quote from Joshua, Judges or Ruth, neither did any other writer of the New Testament, but that is not the criterion for how the Church determines their divine inspiration and canonicity.
B) We wouldn’t expect Deuteronomy to remark on the actual acquisition of land in Palestine since that was not the book’s purpose. It is titled “Deuteronomy” because it is concerned about the giving of the Second Law, after the Israelites had transgressed the First Law given in Exodus. To claim that the promises of land to Israel have not been fulfilled simply because Deuteronomy doesn’t address the issue is like saying that Matthew, Mark and John didn’t believe Jesus ascended into heaven because they don’t bother to mention it in their Gospels.
C) Regarding the divine fulfillment of land promised to Israel, not only does the book of Joshua give evidence for it, it does so in the most definitive and absolute manner. Joshua 21:43-45 states:
(43) Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land which he swore to give to their fathers...(45) Not one of all the good promises which the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
To which promises are Joshua 21:43-45 referring? None other than the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 12-22, the very ones Anderson says are limited to the Torah. This inspired Scripture of Joshua tells us that the Lord fulfilled all those promises in the Torah concerning the giving of land to the Jews, with the express implication that there is no other land acquisition to fulfill.
This is not the only time Scripture makes such a definitive conclusion that God fulfilled His promise of land to Israel. After Solomon ascended to the throne and was just about to build the temple, he reminds the Israelites how God fulfilled His promise of giving the land to the Jews. 1 Kings 8:56 states:
“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised; not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he uttered by Moses his servant.” Notice it was “Moses” who was given those promises, and thus Solomon acknowledges the link between himself and the Torah, and thus states, as did Joshua, that “not one word has failed of all his good promise.”
Once again, Scripture assures us that the promises of land have, indeed, been fulfilled when the Jews come back from 70 years of captivity in Babylon. If Anderson had read the commentary on his chosen book of “2 Chronicles” in Nehemiah 9:7-8, he would have read these definitive words concerning how God already fulfilled his promise of land to Israel:
(7 )You are the Lord God, Who chose Abram And brought him out from Ur of the Chaldees, And gave him the name Abraham. (8) You found his heart faithful before You, And made a covenant with him To give him the land of the Canaanite, Of the Hittite and the Amorite, Of the Perizzite, the Jebusite and the Girgashite – To give it to his descendants. And You have fulfilled Your promise, For You are righteous.
Notice that Nehemiah says that God already fulfilled the very promises given to Abraham that Dr. Anderson says are still “irrevocable and unfulfilled.” Obviously, Nehemiah, inspired by God to write his commentary, doesn’t see a disjunction between Torah and the rest of the Hebrew canon that Dr. Anderson so desperately wishes to see. For that matter, there is no passage in the whole of Scripture that sees such a disjunction. It is apparently, then, an artificial and arbitrary distinction invented by Gary Anderson to further the cause of Zionism in Palestine. Since the promise of land has already been fulfilled, the only thing that remains “irrevocable and unfulfilled,” according to St. Paul in Romans 11:25-29, is the salvation of Jews who wish to come to Christ. The promise of salvation will never be taken away, but that has nothing to do with a piece of real estate in Palestine.
In conclusion, we can safely agree with Dr. Anderson that “any discussion of the modern Zionist movement must begin with the biblical claim that the land of Canaan was given by God to the people of Israel,” but once that discussion begins, it is unconscionable that any exegete of Sacred Scripture would argue that because Deuteronomy doesn’t mention Israel’s land acquisition of Canaan we can then conclude that God hasn’t yet fulfilled His promise. The Samaritan Pentateuch is not the Christian basis for understanding Scripture. That issue was settled 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. Gary Anderson should know better.
Robert A. Sungenis
May 20, 2005