Immigration and the Antichrist

By John Zmirak Published on July 26, 2018

I’d like to talk about immigration. Also, the Antichrist. And no, this isn’t a fevered rant identifying him as George Soros or some other globalist. (They’re bad enough without exaggerating.) I won’t be trying to tag some public figure as the Great Deceiver because he favors open borders.

Quite the contrary. It was a priest saying Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome who used the word “Antichrist.” Father Alex Zanotelli chose that word for Italian Prime Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, a faithful Catholic. What pins the devil horns on Salvini? His determination to stop accepting hundreds of thousands of Muslim economic migrants into recession-wracked, unemployment-plagued Italy.

Prelates have worked themselves up into a keening, preening hissy fit about immigration.

Prelates have worked themselves up into a keening, preening hissy fit about immigration. In 2013, Pope Francis compared immigration skeptics to brother-murdering Cain, and Herod, the butcher of Bethlehem. In 2016, 24 U.S. Catholic bishops joined Vatican Cardinal Peter Turkson in a call for mass “disruption” and “resistance” of U.S. immigration law, using language better suited to the French Resistance against the Nazis. “Seamless Garment” prelates eager to fill their churches’ emptying pews with immigrants compare deporting lawbreakers with killing unborn babies.

A leading Italian Catholic magazine put the attack on Salvini on its cover:

Turn All the Churches Into Mosques?

Retired Italian bishop of Caserta, Italy, Raffaele Nogaro goes even further. He offers a practical plan. Breitbart reports:

Morally and as a man of faith I would be willing to turn all churches into mosques if it were useful to the cause and if it helped to save the lives of poor and unhappy men and women, because Christ did not come to earth to build churches but to help men regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

Now, I won’t rehearse yet again the Christian case against open borders. If you’d like to hear that, check out the interview Al Perrotta and I did with Michael Brown about our new immigration book. If you want a careful, line-by-line reading of the actual Catholic teaching on immigration, here you go.

PIG ImmigrationPost-Christian Posing

Instead, I’d like to analyze what drives a bishop like Nogaro, or a pope like Francis, to make such hysterical statements. What we’ll find has resonance far beyond the immigration debate. In fact, what I think is at work lies at the heart of Progressive, post-orthodox Christianity.

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In the 19th century, many Christians were deeply troubled by Darwin. They accepted his theories as facts that disproved the Bible’s claim to be inspired and inerrant. But they weren’t ready to slough off Christian ethics. Or even (in many cases) quit their jobs as prominent pastors and try to make an honest living. They quailed at the ruthless atheist socialism of Marx and Engels, and the harsh “social Darwinist” movement that hoped to speed up the “survival of the fittest.”

What it leaves behind is an ethical core, derived from cherry-picking stories of Jesus’ actions and precepts. That core, they could pretend, is really the “essence” of Christianity.

So these men of little faith hearkened to the deeply biased methods of “Higher” biblical criticism. Pretending to be a “science,” it weeds out the miraculous and supernatural parts of the Gospel. What it leaves behind is an ethical core, derived from cherry-picking stories of Jesus’ actions and precepts. That core, they could pretend, is really the “essence” of Christianity.

Never mind all those metaphysical claims (Our Lord’s divinity) or so-called miracles (His resurrection). And certainly pay no attention to apostolic traditions, Church doctrinal councils, or historic Christian practice.

The Ten Disenchantments

No, the “real” Christianity is … well not a creed. It’s more of an emotive stance, which distills from the life of Jesus a few simplistic precepts. Since they replace supernatural faith itself, I’ll call them the Ten Disenchantments.

  1. Outsiders are always right.
  2. The underdog deserves to win, every time.
  3. Making judgments about people is evil, and it means you’re a hypocrite.
  4. Religious observance is empty ritual, only valid for building a sense of community among the disdvantaged.
  5. Rebels and dissenters are always prophetic and deserve our attention.
  6. Sexual sins are mild peccadilloes, and those who condemn them are much worse sinners themselves.
  7. Every hierarchy is wicked.
  8. All inequality is the fruit of exploitation.
  9. Suffering has no value whatsoever, and it’s our first duty to stomp it out, whatever the cost.
  10. A neurotic, extreme unselfishness, which no person (much less nation) can really practice, is nonetheless the Christian ideal.

Now this not really a comprehensive ethical system. Nor is it a fair and representative reading of Jesus’ words and actions. If it were, then He would not have been the Messiah, since the above list is utterly incompatible with the Old Testament. Such a Jesus would fit the Marcionite heresy, which taught that Jesus came to free us from the harsh, vicious “God” who imposed the Old Testament on that wicked people, the Jews.

A Genuine Slave Morality

The list of ersatz commandments above is incoherent and impossible. In fact, it’s not even desirable. It really is the “slave morality” that Nietzsche discovered and loathed among his era’s liberal Christians.

But adopting The Ten Disenchantments seems to warm some people’s hearts. And feed their egos. It can even whip people up into self-righteous mobs, who want to punish and silence others for being … judgmental.

No Christian church ever quite preached the Disenchantments. Certainly no group of Christians ever practiced it. That’s just as well, because Jesus didn’t either. By their standard, Jesus wasn’t really a very good Christian. After all, if He really had the power to heal the sick and feed the hungry, why did He spend so little of His earthly time doing that? If He really had come primarily to end injustice, why didn’t He come to Pilate with a thunderbolt in one hand, and a list of demands in the other? Why did He get Himself killed over some metaphysical claim of His own divinity — instead of using His power and privilege to serve the poor?

If you hold to the Ten Disenchantments, you really do believe that you are among the best Christians in history, who are more Christian, in fact, than Jesus.

And that, my friends, is precisely what the Antichrist will tell us, when he shows up.

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  • Patmos

    “because Christ did not come to earth to build churches but to help men regardless of race, religion, or nationality”

    No, he came to preach repentance and salvation to the Jews, and to be rejected by them and to be sacrificed for the sins of the world.

    Not sure how a retired bishop could miss it by so much.

    • Adrian Johnson

      Christ did warn about “false shepherds” and “wolves among the flock”. St John Chrysostom once said that the floor of Hell was paved with the skulls of bishops.

  • Jim Walker

    “Retired Italian bishop of Caserta, Italy, Raffaele Nogaro goes even further. He offers a practical plan. Breitbart reports:

    Morally and as a man of faith I would be willing to turn all churches into mosques if it were useful to the cause and if it helped to save the lives of poor and unhappy men and women, because Christ did not come to earth to build churches but to help men regardless of race, religion, or nationality.”

    Turning Churches to Mosques is the key phrase here that many, like Nogaro and Francis, have gone to the Dark Side.
    They hold physical lives as more important than salvation. If Churches are indeed turned to Mosques, everyone that goes into them will gain life, but lose their souls.

  • Sapient

    Zmirak, you have a Divinely gifted mind.

  • Kevin Quillen

    Good article but leave out the fairytale anti-Christ coming stuff. There is no such person who is going to come and be the leader of the world. Silly false eschatology pushed by Dispensationalists.

    • Irene Neuner

      2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped

      • Kevin Quillen

        Son of perdition was a man in the first century who was instrumental in the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. Look it up.

        • JDebattista

          Oh my God you are knowledgeable aren’t you? In fact more knowledgeable than 2000 years of Christian history, belief and teachings. Well done!

          • Kevin Quillen

            thank you. you are aware aren’t you that dispensationalism is not an ancient belief? Are you aware that the current rapture theory is the invention of the Plymouth Brethren and dates to about 1845? It was popularized by the inclusion of it into the notes of the Scofield Bible. Matt 16:28 says that some standing there will not taste death before they see Jesus coming in His kingdom. Think about that.

          • Chip Crawford

            You never make a sale KQ. Could be your product is faulty.

        • Irene Neuner

          Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18

    • Irene Neuner

      Daniel 7:25 “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time

      • Kevin Quillen

        ancient history

        • Adrian Johnson

          “Once and future history”.

    • Irene Neuner

      1 John 2:18 “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.”

      • Kevin Quillen

        that last “hour” was almost 2,000 years ago.

        • Adrian Johnson

          As Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself; but it does rhyme.” This gets us into the concept of Biblical “types” that echo down history.
          The Jews were returned to Israel after the Babylonian exile; and the Jews were returned to Israel in 1948 by the British. Through “globalisation” The UN and the EU etc are pushing a geopolitical New World Order that will be the governing mechanism for one supreme ruler everyone will love (at first) , and that is how current events are shaping up for the antichrist to step onto the world stage and usher in Utopia on earth. . . so long as you obey him.

          • Irene Neuner

            Indeed. The prophecy of the coming of the Messiah was fulfilled partially, once and will be fulfilled completely the second time.

          • Kevin Quillen

            something for you to consider. In Nebuchadnezzars dream, how many empires were to exist before God’s kingdom would be set up? Also, in Daniel’s dream? You are correct above about the Jews being returned by the British, not God. This will prove to be the fatal flaw of the dispensationalists. 70 years and counting. The generation that saw it is almost gone. What then? There is already a shift afoot to move the importance of the Jews gaining control of all of Jerusalem in 1967 to the front as the fulfillment of this prophecy. This too will fail.

        • Richard Malcolm

          Which is not the teaching of the Catholic Church; or, for that matter, the Orthodox churches, or most mainstream Protestant churches. (Helpful reading here are Cardinal John Henry Newman’s two tracts on the Patristic and Protestant conceptions of Antichrist.) There are, to be sure, some exegetes who read the passage that way. But they are not a majority.

          The point is, there’s no consensus on the position you propose, and it is, if anything, a distinct minority position.

          • Kevin Quillen

            Jesus and His Apostles taught a minority view also. The Jewish scholars did not recognize Jesus as Messiah because they were to sure of their view of what He was to be like when He came. I am in good company.

          • Richard Malcolm

            I am in good company.

            Perhaps so. But I’m content to stick with the Church Fathers on this. They’ve been good company to me so far.

    • Kelly B

      Pure preterist nonsense.

  • handydan

    The leadership of the Catholic Church is a cabal of “men” who choose to concentrate on earthly matters rather than do God’s work of saving souls. Their personal actions point to that and we have slivers of news every day showing their preferences in their daily lives. The abuse news about McCarrick actually made me re-consider my membership in the Church, but for the Sacraments. God help us. Pray for the Souls in Purgatory.

  • SurrogateReader

    Leviticus 19:15 Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the rich and powerful, but judge your neighbor fairly.
    The social justice warriors have left the faith for their own personal kind of justice, which makes them idolators not just communists/Marxists.

  • kertime

    The ‘open borders’ mindset fits in well with the rising undercurrent of gnostic thought pervasive in the west, churches not excluded. (gnosticism may well be one of the primary colors of the anti-christian gradient)

  • Albion

    Jesus said in the Book of Revelation that He would spew lukewarm Christians out of His mouth, for they are worse than His open enemies or the indifferent: after all, with friends like these bishops, who needs enemies?
    It appears as if the bishops mistake Jesus’s sermons about meekness and mildness, or turning the other cheek, with being push-overs or having a death-wish. This is certainly not what Jesus had in mind. I can imagine these bishops protesting against the Christian militarism that produced victories at Tours in 732, Belgrade in 1456, Lepanto in 1572 and Vienna in 1683 against Muslim invasions that would have put an end to Christian Europe or probably to their lives.

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