- Concern Over an Increasingly Seen Gesture Grows in France, by Scott Sayare. New York Times 01/02/14. "PARIS — No one seems to know just what is meant by the “quenelle,” the vaguely menacing hand gesture invented and popularized by a French comedian widely criticized as anti-Semitic, but it is clearly nothing very nice, and it appears to be spreading."
- For those who claim that the dumpling is not an anti-Semitic gesture... there is an abundance of photographs on the web of people deliberately displaying it in front of Jewish synagogues, Holocaust memorials, and even the Nazi deathcamps themselves.
Friday, January 03, 2014
Friday, December 27, 2013
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Christopher J. Pryor -- a familiar name on, and ally to, Fringewatch, participated in a panel discussion on "Theological Antisemitism".
That said, insofar as the consecutive stream of comments compile a number of issues, rumors and/or allegations in a single place, I've decided to use this as an opportunity to address them.
Jesus in the Talmud
"Which religion reveres Jesus as a prophet and honors His Virgin Mother? Which religion condemns Jesus as a conman, now spending eternity boiling in excrement, while claiming his mother got pregant [sic] by a Roman soldier?" Or, as another alternative, he could have asked, "Which religion honors Jesus as Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary, the sister of Moses), and slays his followers as infidels."The short answer is, "The Talmud." But then, what exactly does the Talmud say about Jesus? -- The Talmud is a vast collection of rabbinic discussions about, well, practically everything: Jewish law, ethics, customs and history. It has been the subject of much disputation, criticism and censorship in Jewish-Christian relations, particularly in Medieval times.
Anti-semites have referred to Jesus' alleged portrayal in the Talmud in their invectives against the Jewish people (and/or Judaism). They commonly refer to the work The Talmud Unmasked; The Secret Rabbinical Teachings Concerning Christians by Justinas Pranaitis (1861-1917), a Lithuanian Catholic priest and Professor of the Hebrew Language from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Pranaitis was called as an expert witness in the famed the blood libel case of Menahem Mendel Beilis in 1912 -- he was, however, publicly humiliated when the defence demonstrated his ignorance of some simple Talmudic concepts and definitions.
Extremists like David Duke and Michael Hoffman have made frequent use of the Talmud to denigrate Judaism as a perverted or immoral religion. In response, the Anti-Defamation League chargs that such attacks are the fruit of erroneous translations or selective quotations in order to distort the meaning of the Talmud's text, and that "fabrication of passages is not unknown." See the ADL's report, The Talmud in Anti-Semitic Polemics (2003).
A recent serious (non-crackpot) academic treatment of the subject is Peter Schäfer's Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton UP, 2007), which claims that, far from being unreliable distortions of the historical Jesus, the Talmud's stories "represent a deliberate and sophisticated anti-Christian polemic that parodies the New Testament narratives" in a deliberate campaign to assert Judaism's superiority over Christianity. Some have criticized Schäfer's scholarship -- Joshua Kulp finds that "in cooking up 'a well designed [rabbinical] attack,' Schafer exaggerates the evidence" and that his "interpretations of rabbic texts are simply incorrect." (Shofar: Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Vol. 27, No. 2. 2009). If one does accept Shafer's concusions, we can conclude
Rabbinic Judaism and orthodox Christianity did not evolve in igonorance of each other. From the beginning, these two nascent orthodoxies, more sisters than mother and daughter, vied for influence and narrative sovereignty. Anxiously defining themselves, they listened to one another, echoed each other, and fashioned themselves against each other. ["Talmudic Jesus" Benjamin Balint. First Things Jun/Jul2007, Issue 174, p41-44].Contra Schafer, one should also explore Gil Student's "The Real Truth About the Talmud", an exhaustive exploration of the various charges against the Talmud -- in particular the following sections:
- The Jesus Narrative in the Talmud - What, if anything, does the Talmud say about Jesus?
- The Jesus Narrative in the Talmud - Does the Talmud's narrative of events correspond or differ from the Gospels'?
The troll would be further disappointed to learn that Jesus' alleged portrayal in the Talmud represents the sum-total of Jewish teaching about Jesus. Excluding such groups as the "Jews for Jesus" and other Jewish converts to Christianity, one might say that Jews don't have a single, formal and authoritative teaching about Jesus, save that most of them are in fundamental disagreement with the claims made by the Church as to his divinity.
In the twentieth century, there have been various, and fascinating, attempts by some Jews to wrestle with Christianity and its claims. See David Hagner's The Jewish Reclamation of Jesus (Wipf & Stock, 1997)
; Matthew Hoffman's From Rebel to Rabbi: Reclaiming Jesus and the Making of Modern Jewish Culture (Stanford UP, 2007); the scholarship of Geza Vermes or Jacob Neusner's A Rabbi Talks With Jesus -- a remarkable book made popular by Pope Benedict XVI's detailed exploration of it in the first volume of Jesus of Nazareth).
Muslims or Jews - which are more hospitable to Christians?
For a religion that slays Christ's followers as infidels, those followers certainly seemed to have been treated far better under under the yoke of dhimmitude pre-1948. How else to explain all those ancient Christian communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Iraq?
If the author is willing, perhaps this might be an opportune time to suggest the works of Bat Ye'Or, including: The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude : Seventh-Twentieth Century. Likewise, you can read a number of her lectures on the myth of a 'tolerant pluralistic Islamic society' on her website, dhimmitude.org.
It makes you wonder why so many purported followers of Christ betray such slavish devotion to that sh*tty little country halfway around the world. By the way, whatever became of that 40 percent of the Holy Land that counted itself Christian? Did Christian (sic) Zionists have anything to do with their displacement?It is possible -- or rather, true -- that Israel was complicit in the displacement of the Palestinian population following the establishment of Israel in 1948, and that a portion of the refugee population were Christians. But does this really come as a surprise, considering that Christians in the Middle East tend to identify themselves as Arabs. Displacement of populations and the creation of refugees is a sad but all-too-common consequence of any war.
That being said, I don't think you can render blame squarely on Israel without acknowledging the role of the Arab states seeking Israel's destruction. One cannot grapple with Israel's complicity in Palestinian-Arab suffering and the creation of the Palestianian refugee problem without likewise acknowledging the Arab states' complicity in the Jewish exodus (and/or expulsion) from Arab lands. Consider that the number of Jews fleeing Arab countries for Israel in the years following Israel's independence was nearly double the number of Arabs leaving Palestine.
The causes of the Christian exodus from the Holy Land is hotly debated. Blame is by and large attributed to Israel and the socio-economic conditions within Palestine as a result of its policies. At the same time, you could certainly find a role played by Islamic extremism (see Jonathan Adelman and Agota Kuperman's examination of the Christian Exodus from the Middle East). Likewise, in pointing to the establishment of roadside checkpoints and the infamous "security fence" (or wall, in some areas) as a source of hardship for the Palestinian Christian community, one is obliged to recognize that it was born by practical necessity.
It may well be that Americans and Christians will invariably find themselves in the crosshairs of the vile Mohammedans. But America's one-sided support for the Zionist state has done nothing but create and incite extremists in their camp.As far as "one-sided support [of Israel]" is concerned, I'll refer you to this analysis of the topic.
What does it mean that Christians "had it better" under Saddam Hussein?
How many Christians lived in Iraq before the U.S. launched its invasion and occupation of that poor country? How many live there now? Gee, you think there's a connection?Prior to the Gulf War in 1991, the Christian population of Iraq numbered approximately 1 million. The Baathist regime kept a lid on anti-Christian violence and subjected some to "relocation programmes". Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Christian population fell to an estimated 800,000. (Iraqi Christians' long history" BBC News, November 01/10).
Some Iraqi Christians rose to the top of Hussein's regime -- notable among them Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, who, in his own words, "had the honour to work with the former regime and with the hero Saddam Hussein," (2007) -- howebeit in a more recent interview portrays himself as a Arab natonalist occupying a "political position" whose "moral duty" was to defend the decisions of Hussein:
"I don't say that I am a great man and that I was correct in everything that I did. But I am proud of my life because my best intention was to serve Iraq. There were mistakes though, there were things that were not completely correct.""Paradoxically, Christians were more protected under [Hussein's] dictatorship," remarked French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Catholic News Service 2003). That is a sentiment shared by many or most Iraqi Christians. As one Iraqi Christian put it in 2007:
"When Saddam was in power there was no fighting. Saddam loved the Christians. We were safer with Saddam; now we just leave the country."One may question whether Saddam had any "affection" for Christianity, but there is no disputing that Christians under Saddam Hussein enjoyed a higher standard of safety, security and an overall standard of living than they do in present-day Iraq. Terrorist intimidation, kidnappings and outright attacks (such as the frequent bombings of churches and mosques) are directed particularly at Shiite and Christian minorities, and the Iraqi government appears powerless to protect them.
So, Christians had it better in Iraq.
But at what price?
That's the question. Considering the record of atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein's regime against other non-Christian segments of Iraq's population: the wholesale destruction of villages, deportations and mass executions of Shiite Kurds during the 1988 "Anfal" genocide campaign and the Halabja poison gas attack; crackdown on Kurdish and Shiite uprisings in the North in 1991; An estimation of casualties from various sources on Wikipedia runs as follows:
According to The New York Times, "he [Saddam] murdered as many as a million of his people, many with poison gas. He tortured, maimed and imprisoned countless more. His unprovoked invasion of Iran is estimated to have left another million people dead. His seizure of Kuwait threw the Middle East into crisis. More insidious, arguably, was the psychological damage he inflicted on his own land. Hussein created a nation of informants — friends on friends, circles within circles — making an entire population complicit in his rule". Others have estimated 800,000 deaths caused by Saddam not counting the Iran-Iraq war. Estimates as to the number of Iraqis executed by Saddam's regime vary from 300-500,000 to over 600,000, estimates as to the number of Kurds he massacred vary from 70,000 to 300,000, and estimates as to the number killed in the put-down of the 1991 rebellion vary from 60,000 to 200,000. Estimates for the number of dead in the Iran-Iraq war range upwards from 300,000.Indeed, whatever stability and security Iraqis enjoyed under Hussein's dictatorship was obtained by way of secret police, the torture (even of women and children), government-sponsored rape, murder, deportation, forced disappearances, assassinations, chemical weapons and genocide. (For documentation see: SADDAM HUSSEIN: crimes and human rights abuses Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London. November 2002).
And this is precisely why I am unable, while acknowledging that the Christian population in Iraq probably did enjoy a relatively higher and secure standard of living under Saddam Hussein, to derive any kind of conclusion along the lines of: "Saddam Hussein should have remained in power."
Which Mideast democracy, recipient of untold billions in U.S. military and financial assistance, banned "The Passion of the Christ"?
Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ was never formally banned by Israel. This is not to say, however, that groups like the Anti-Defamation League didn't lobby for its banning. However, Israeli distributors did not seek permission to market the movie, according to the country's Film Censorship Board, the official arbiter of what cinematic fare is fit for public viewing (Los Angeles Times March 15, 2004). The concern was that it would probably not do well because of the controversy. Case in point: Scorcese's The Last Temptation of Christ opened with a comparative level of controversy and fizzled at the box office. We may take issue with it, but Jewish movie distributors are entirely within their rights to reject a film.
An art house cinema in Tel Aviv will show the movie within three months. The film will be followed by a post-screening seminar to examine the depiction of Jesus. Pirated copies of the film have been circulating in Jerusalem. During Easter, there were nightly private showings in East Jerusalem hotels, where most of the Christian Arab population lives.
At this point, the troll goes on to embark on a broader indictment of European nations (and presumably Germany in particular) for "imprisoning those who dare to question any aspect of the orthodox Holocaust account", and the United States for "meddling incessantly" in the affairs of Islamic nations, "while claiming any blowback it suffers (q.v., 9/11)stems from those nations' extremist elements." One could engage these matters further, but time is valuable and this post has gone on long enough.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of Saint Pius X recently hired lawyer, Wolfram Nahrath, to conduct his appeal against a €10,000 fine imposed on April, 2010, in Regensburg, Germany, (Regensburg Court) for comments he made in a 2008 Swedish television interview regarding the Holocaust.
The Society of Saint Pius X recently learned via Germany’s Spiegel news magazine that Bishop Williamson hired Nahrath, a lawyer who is affiliated with the so-called neo-Nazi movement in Germany.
The Society of Saint Pius X Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, on Saturday, November 20, released the following worldwide statement from Menzingen, Switzerland:
FRATERNITAS SACERDOTALIS SANCTI PII X
GENERAL HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
The Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has learnt by the press of Bishop Richard Williamson’s decision, just ten days before his trial, to dismiss the lawyer charged with his defense, in favor of a lawyer who is openly affiliated to the so-called neo-Nazi movement in Germany, and to other such groups.
Bishop Fellay has given Bishop Williamson a formal order to go back on this decision and to not allow himself to become an instrument of political theses that are completely foreign to his mission as a Catholic bishop serving the Society of Saint Pius X.
Disobedience to this order would result in Bishop Williamson being expelled from the Society of Saint Pius X.
Menzingen, November 20 of 2010.
Fr. Christian Thouvenot, general Secretary
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Mr. Pryor begins by "highlighting key experiences [he] had while studying in Bishop Williamson’s seminary in Winona, Minnesota", in order to "illustrate his process of indoctrination, the particular methodology that ensured that his philosophy was thoroughly absorbed by the seminarians."
Worth reading in full.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Thursday, November 12, 2009
- Holocaust-denying bishop appeals $16,822 fine in Germany Associated Press October 11, 2009:
[Richard Williamson], who was fined 12,000 euro $16,822 in Germany for denying the Holocaust has appealed the fine, his lawyer said Tuesday.(Full story in the UK's Daily Mail).
Matthias Lossmann said that the bishop, Richard Williamson, objected to the fine, which means there will be a trial.
- Meanwhile, in his latest weekly article, Williamson renews his attacks on the Jews by way of criticizing the Frankfurt school. (To criticize an intellectual movement is one thing; to criticize a movement on account of their Jewishness, as does the resource that Williamson cites, is another. Note the difference).
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The ruling came on April 9, 2009. While we have yet to hear reporting of this matter in the mainstream Catholic press, we have come across a few outcries protesting the summary judgement on various anti-semitic blog sites.
The article by David Mastio, to which Sharpe took offense, can be found here: "Rank is wrong for Navy supremacist" The Virginia Pilot March 15, 2007. Vivian Page (All Politics is Local) relays the background:
Back in 2007, the Pilot printed an article about Lt. Cmdr. John Sharpe, who was relieved of his duty as the public affairs officer on the aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson. Sharpe was being investigated for heading two anti-Semitic groups, the Legion of St. Louis and IHS Press. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified these groups as “two of the most nakedly anti-Semitic organizations in the entire radical traditionalist Catholic pantheon.” (This article was the result of an earlier article printed in Portfolio Weekly which is no longer available online.)What follows are excerpts from Judge Norman A. Thomas' summary judgement in the matter of John Sharpe v. Landmark Communications, Inc., d/b/a The Virginian-Pilot and David Mastio [PDF format].
The article prompted this editorial, written by then editorial writer David Mastio. In it, Mastio takes the Navy to task for not having noticed that Sharpe’s writings had been available on the internet for five years. In the process, Mastio – as only Mastio can – uses some inflammatory language to describe Sharpe, like the following: "His views veer from insanely pacifist conspiracy theories to chest-thumping jingoism with barely a speed bump in between."
With respect to the particular public controversy inquiry, the Court finds that Sharpe, writing from the perspective of an advocate of his personal interpretations of the very conservative Catholic Social Doctrine, frequently writes or compiles, re-publishes, or endorses the writings of others that criticize the alleged role of Jews and their perceived conspiratorial efforts to dominate the United States Government, world financial markets, the media, and world events, including but not limited to, the September 11, 2001 attacks by Islamic extremists in the United States and the resultant United States’ and other western nations’ involvement in armed conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. While relatively broad in their scope, Sharpe’s writings and those which he otherwise published or endorsed on the websites of the Legion of St. Louis or the IHS Press (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Sharpe’s writings” or “his writings”) coalesce around one common denominator, that is, suspicion and criticism of the role of Jews in world events, including the perceived cause and effect of such Jewish efforts on the downfall on western Christendom and, in particular, Catholicism. Sharpe’s writings take a macro view of perceived Jewish influence, variously referring to it in such ways as “Judeo-Masonry”, the “Jewish Nation”, “World Judaism”, “World Jewry”, and “depending upon who is asked, what makes someone Jewish, is anything from their religious persuasion to their ethnicity, to their nationality, to the religion or ethnicity of their maternal parent.” Special Feature: WTC and the Pentagon Attacked. Part III, a writing authored by Sharpe and published circa October 16, 2001, on the website of the Legion of St. Louis. [...]
In paragraph three of the March 15, 2007 editorial the defendants state that, “Sharpe’s views aren’t dangerous because they are openly racist and anti-Semitic, though that would be bad enough. His ideas are dangerous because they’re crazy, and when uttered by a commissioned officer, they take on the aura of authority”. Although one might argue that the defendants uttered only opinion in stating that Sharpe’s views are “openly racist and anti-Semitic”, Sharpe claims that the defendants therein make factual assertions and defamed him by doing so. Complaint, paragraphs 6 and 20.
Viewed as allegedly defamatory factual statements respecting Sharpe’s views, the Court grants the defendants summary judgment. The Court, having thoroughly reviewed the corpus of Sharpe’s writings, and especially those selections personally authored by him, concludes as a matter of law that the writings do espouse anti-Semitic and racist views.
Sharpe’s views, as expressed in his personally authored writings, align almost perfectly with both the traditional and more modern expanded definitions of the term “anti-Semitism”. Indeed, on one occasion, Sharpe admitted, in effect, that a hypothetical enlisted member of his command might well have considered his writings to be anti-Semitism.
No reasonable person can read Sharpe’s individual writings and conclude that he espouses anything other than a deep, abiding and pervasive suspicion of and hostility toward Jews, whether considered as a collective people, religion, nation or ethnic group. From his perspective as an advocate of the Catholic Social Doctrine, he considers Jews to be in direct competition with western Christendom, in fact, seeking to bring about its end, and also responsible in whole or in part for nefarious and self-centered domination of the United States Government, one or more of its former Presidents, the media, the world financial markets, and, bearing responsibility for such events as the terrorist attacks on
United States soil occurring on September 11, 2001.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Despite an explicit directive from his ordinary, Bishop Kevin Rhoades, to cease writing about Jews and Jewish issues (see here) and despite his own numerous promises to stop doing so (his promises are documented here), Sungenis has repeatedly returned to the topic, each time with the same blatant disregard for truth, Catholic morals, and scholarly standards. As a direct result of Sungenis’ embarrassing and vile extremism, he has now had presentations halted by Archbishop Raymond Burke (St. Louis) and the Diocese of San Bernardino (in concert with the Knights of Columbus).
Well, the dog has once again returned to his vomit. His latest salvo, however, is of particular interest because of what agitated Bob this time - a document that was promulgated by the USCCB precisely to correct the problematic positions taken by the Reflections on Covenant and Mission document in regard to the dual covenant theory and the evangelization of Jews.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.Excerpt from Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre (March 10, 2009).
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Holy Father and my Superior, Bishop Bernard Fellay, have requested that I reconsider the remarks I made on Swedish television four months ago, because their consequences have been so heavy.
Observing these consequences I can truthfully say that I regret having made such remarks, and that if I had known beforehand the full harm and hurt to which they would give rise, especially to the Church, but also to survivors and relatives of victims of injustice under the Third Reich, I would not have made them.
On Swedish television I gave only the opinion (..."I believe"..."I believe"...) of a non-historian, an opinion formed 20 years ago on the basis of evidence then available, and rarely expressed in public since.
However, the events of recent weeks and the advice of senior members of the Society of St. Pius X have persuaded me of my responsibility for much distress caused. To all souls that took honest scandal from what I said, before God I apologize.
As the Holy Father has said, every act of injust violence against one man hurts all mankind.
London, 26 February, 2009
Federico Lombardi says an apology from Bishop Richard Williamson is not enough:
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said in a verbal statement today that the apology is lacking. He told journalists that the statement "does not seem to respect the conditions established in the Feb. 4 note from the [Vatican] Secretariat of State, which stated that [Bishop Williamson] must distance himself in an absolute, unequivocal and public way from his positions regarding the Shoah."
The spokesman also noted that the prelate's declaration was not a letter directed to the Holy Father or to the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which oversees the Church's efforts to heal the schism with the Society of St. Pius X.
Friday, February 20, 2009
"He got his point across, right from the start," said the Rev. John Rizzo, who in 1985 was ordained a priest of the Society of St. Pius X, which broke with Rome over the liturgical and theological reforms instituted during the Second Vatican Council of the mid-1960s. John Rizzo left the Society of St. Pius X in 1993 and joined a different traditionalist society, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which is in union with Rome.Charming.
"I have a sizable nose, and he would say to me, 'Rizzo, are you baptized, or are you a Jew?' " John Rizzo, who is now based in New Zealand, said in a phone interview from Australia. "There was another seminarian named Oppenheimer, and he would say: 'Oppenheimer, I don't like your name. If you keep it up, there's a gas chamber waiting for you at the boathouse.' "
John Rizzo's twin brother, Joseph, who left the seminary without being ordained, also recalls Williamson's rhetoric. Joseph Rizzo is now back in Weymouth, where he has four children and is a general manager for Tedeschi Food Shops.
"He called the Holocaust the biggest theatrics known to mankind - I remember sitting in a conference one time when he said those words, and I couldn't believe it - he looked around the room and saw the jaws dropping," said Joseph Rizzo. "I walked around the lake with him, and I said, 'Why would you say that?' and he said, 'There's no documentation.' He said it was all staged, and when I asked why, he said because the Jews own the country, they own the banks, and he felt it was some kind of effort to generate some sympathy toward them."
On a related note, however, The Times reports that Williamson has been give ten days to leave the country or face expulsion:
The Argentine Interior Ministry said Bishop Williamson’s statements on the Holocaust “profoundly insult Argentine society, the Jewish community and all of humanity by denying an historic truth”.
Bishop Williamson had been head of La Reja seminary in Buenos Aires since 2003 but he was removed from that job last week.
The Argentine interior ministry said that Bishop Williamson had not declared “his true activity” as the director of the seminary on immigration forms, and had “concealed the true motive for his stay in the country” by claiming to be an employee of a non-governmental body.
The government said it had been unaware of Bishop Williamson’s position until recent publicity, but added that his views were a factor in the decision to expel him.