Opus Dei and American Fascism Strike It Rich

A nonprofit known as Marble Freedom Trust, headed by Leonard Leo, an Opus Dei kingpin, received last year a grant of $1.6 billion to fuel far right wing agendas. 

“Right-Wing Dark Money Gets $1.6 Billion Donation From One Donor.” MSN.

Leo, readers of Daily Meditations may recall, was responsible for all six conservative judges on the Supreme Court from his position in the Federalist Society (of which he is currently co-chair).  This includes, of course, Chief Justice John Roberts whose disastrous pushing of the Citizens United decision has made all this dark money possible in American politics. (To read previous DMs about Leo, please click HERE and HERE.)

Leo also brought us the three most recent judges, all appointed by Mr. Trump and all very much on board with creating the chaos that women facing miscarriages and girls and women being forced to bear children of rapists and incest are undergoing.

How much is 1.6 billion dollars? If you saved $10,000 every single day, it would take you 438 years to save 1.6 billion. Money by Pixabay from Pexels.

How much is 1.6 billion dollars?  Robert Maguire, research director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, called the donation “stupefying” and “by far” the largest known contribution to a dark money political group.  That amount of money is double the total amount raised by Trump’s entire 2020 presidential committee.

It is especially telling that this news comes out the same week that President Biden dared to speak the “F” word in a public discourse, that word being of course “Fascism.”  (His exact terminology being “semi-fascism” of the MAGA crowd.)  Maybe we should just call it “American Fascism,” which as Sinclair Lewis warned us 100 years ago would “come to America wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”

“Lewis in 1944,” author of It Can’t Happen Here, a 1935 dystopian political novel describing the rise of a U.S. dictator similar to Hitler.  Photographer unknown. Wikimedia Commons.

American fascism is all of that, for sure.  The “carrying the cross” part includes the extreme evangelicals such as Rev. Franklin Graham and the Opus Dei wing of the Roman Catholic Church so thoroughly represented by Mr. Leo, Steve Bannon, Cardinal Burke, Archbishop Gomez (head of the American Bishops Conference), Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, and many others who elected Gomez, and surely includes those who pushed for the canonization of Junipero Serra, the founder of the death camps known as the missions of California.

Maguire observed that he had “never seen a group of this magnitude before” and that that amount of money can seriously influence the “federal judiciary and make it more difficult to vote, a state-by-state campaign to remake elections laws” that undermine future elections. 

To be continued   


See: https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2022/05/dark-money-gets-darker-with-less-disclosure-in-the-2022-election/

See also: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/22/politics/dark-money-donation-conservative-group-invs/index.html.  

See also: Matthew Fox, “Opus Dei,” in Fox, The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved, pp. 106-144.

To read a transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.

Banner image: Make America Rage Again, banner of rock group Prophets of Rage, at a concert at Tinley Park, IL. Wikimedia

Queries for Contemplation

Sit and be with this harrowing news.  Take it in.  Breath deep.  Breathe out.  What is it telling you to be?  And to do?


Recommended Reading

The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved

The Pope’s War offers a provocative look at three decades of corruption in the Catholic Church, focusing on Josef Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. The final section in the book focuses on birthing a truly catholic Christianity.
“This book should be read by everybody, not only for its ferocious courage, but also for its vision for what needs to be saved from the destructive forces that threaten authentic Christianity.” ~ Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope.
“In the gripping The Pope’s War, Matthew Fox takes an unwavering look at the layers of corruption in the Catholic Church, holding moral truth against power.”   — Jason Berry, author of Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II


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8 thoughts on “Opus Dei and American Fascism Strike It Rich”

  1. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Matthew, Today you begin by informing us of a nonprofit known as Marble Freedom Trust, headed by Leonard Leo, of Opus Dei, which received last year a grant of $1.6 billion to fuel far right wing agendas. Because President Biden used the word “Fascist”, you cite Sinclair Lewis as a modern prophet who 100 years ago warned us that “Fascism” would “come to America wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” This has come to pass in the extreme end of the evangelical movement; in its support of Trump in the past election. Then you ask us to, “Sit and be with this harrowing news. Take it in. Breath deep. Breathe out.” And then you ask, “What is it telling you to be? And to do?” Its telling me to NOT be like them. But I see that the “power people” know where the ultimate power is–in the only branch of the government which is not elected by the people, or have term limits!

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    Thank you Mathew for sharing from the heart your own experience and for raising our consciousness of the multitude of contradictions (cognitive dissonances) violence against having each our own free thoughts/experiences in coming to know the unique Divine expressions within each of us. I teach that “Organized religions can be hazardous to our mental health” all in the name of dogma promoting a “power god” rather than a “Loving God” So much is topsy turvy, intensely repeating now, before us, that we can witness in movements within our own country and in some countries throughout our world. These malformations, institutionalized in government and religions are the antithesis of Democracy and the antithesis of the teachings of Jesus that led to his death by the same. We are unique sentient beings, each finding our way with our emotions, our thoughts, and our actions through God within ourselves and each other. There are as many pathways to the Divine as there are people in the world, as there is “Being” throughout the “Uni-Verse”
    JAN JENNINGS, DR. DARRYL LUKE POKEA

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    Thank you Matthew for helping us understand and be more aware of the growing trends of fascism, institutional violence, around the world, including our own American fascism. This growing and historical institutional violence, including the Catholic Church, has infected all our societies for a long time with its roots in unbalanced, toxic and destructive masculine/patriarchal values and behaviors that includes egocentricity, power, greed, violence, racism, and separation from the sacred. The victims, suffering, and deaths have mainly been borne historically by women, children, indigenous peoples, minorities, and as even been becoming more evident, our Mother Planet Earth, the source that sustains all life. The ignorance of those men in power who continue these destructive patriarchal values and behaviors is astounding because they don’t realize that the consequences of their destructive and selfish sinful behaviors not only affect humanity, but are also suicidal and it imminently includes themselves and their own families (no matter how material wealth they may have temporarily accumulated).
    May God bless us all, ?❤️??

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    Such perilous times call for an eschatology, a long view of history along theological lines. There’s no other sacred text other than the Judeo-Christian one that offers such, albeit cryptic. It’s a no-no for pure spiritual consciousness to mix with politics – ever. Yet it’s been institutional religion’s way starting with the Vatican, of late moving into far-right global politics. In Judeo-Christian Scripture doing so is deemed “adulterous,” and in terms of end-time prophecy, foretelling the toxic rise of a powerful nation dubbed the “Whore of Babylon” who “sits on many waters” and “wages war against the Lamb and his faithful.” Further, “The oceans, lakes, and rivers that the woman sits on represent masses of people of every race and nation” (Rev 17:15). Look it up. Myth or prophecy? If the latter, we may be in those times, and yes, could well be THAT nation. (Hint: it’s not Australia). It CAN happen here, right under your unwary noses. Stay awake.

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    Political and institutional injustices are on the rise, within my country of Canada too… evident with the recent passing of Bill 7. This bill states that an elder can be transferred from a hospital into a long term care facility not of their choosing, along with their health records, without consent. If they refuse, they will be charged between $62 a day if personally insured, if not then they will be charged $1800 a day. This Bill was passed, without having to go through the usual step of listening to the people’s concerns… therefore silencing the voice of the people. This Bill supports the 85% of for profit homes, which have been sited for noncompliance, yet never have any of these same institutions ever been fined or taken to court, or shut down, due to these recorded citations. This is shocking to me, due to all of the inhumane injustices that came to light, during Covid, regarding these institutions and the mistreatment of our vulnerable elders. I joined others, in signing petitions voicing our concerns with the Seniors for Social Action, to no avail. The Humans Rights Commission also remained silent.

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    Since I live in Florida (for my sins if I believed in reincarnation), I am well aware of the relentless goose-stepping march of fascism. It is all about power, and we know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I do not think that we should be surprised that those in power will not give it up, as proven by the ex-president’s behavior from the day he lost the election. Or that any means will be used, any and every form of institutional violence. One of the latest cruelties is denying Medicaid to trans people, which simply cut off any treatment at all, even that already in progress. The unconstitutional bans on free speech not only involves teachers but also involves businesses. One of the tactics used by those in power is tying opponents up in court–those of you who remember Roy Cohn will recognize this strategy. But this is not new. As others have said, injustice and violence have ruled at times throughout history. It is for me to resist in every way possible, peacefully, and to support all who uphold truth and justice.

  7. Avatar

    Thank you so much, Matthew, for once again inspiring us to dare to befriend Love and creation in these harrowing times. Today’s message made me feel sick to my stomach, yet I’m grateful to be able to learn more of the disturbing truth about the 1.6 billion given to the Marble Freedom Trust. (Marble Freedom? What precisely is marble freedom, besides being an oxymoron? There must be a poem here somewhere…) If we can keep daring to learn the increasingly disturbing truths about our nation and our world, I think we’ll have a much better chance at eventually creating a worldwide community where everyone can live with enough to eat and with dignity.
    I always appreciate your courage and love in speaking disturbing truths that need to be heard. Today I’m especially grateful for your sharing with us from your own experience of the institutional violence you’ve suffered as a consequence of your profound dedication to truth, to a God of justice and kindness, to people and to teaching. May Love continue to richly bless you and this
    Meditation circle and all such circles of light, fertile darkness, kindness, art and justice.

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