A Follow-Up on the Spectacle of the Normalization of Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial in the Reactionary Freak Show

On Monday, I told you the tale of Patrick Coffin’s “Hope is Fuel” conference (happening today) and his impenitent alliance with Holocaust Denier E. Michael Jones.

Jones responded in his characteristically very very very Normal way:

Meanwhile, Dawn Eden Goldstein made an appeal to Christopher West, the Theology of the Body Guy who is (as of this writing) still scheduled to piss away what was left of his reputation by assisting this sedevacantist, Holocaust-denying Festival of Crazy even as the Catholic mainstream press was just starting to notice the story. Said she:

Dear Christopher,

It is impossible by now that you can be unaware of the controversy surrounding Patrick Coffin’s Hope Is Fuel conference, in which you are a featured speaker tomorrow (see https://catholicreview.org/hope-is-fuel-conference-fans…/). Janet Smith, Father Spitzer, Lisa Duffy, and many other speakers have bailed out of the conference because they do not wish to grant legitimacy to a conference organized by Patrick Coffin, who does not accept Pope Francis’s papacy, and featuring E. Michael Jones, who denies the Holocaust and says hateful things about God’s beloved Jewish people (see https://www.memri.org/…/american-writer-jones-break-jew…).

I ask you, as your sister in Christ, to consider the scandal that your participation in this conference is causing. Would you accept money to speak at a Catholic conference where another featured speaker was famous for saying hateful lies about Pope John Paul II? Perhaps you might do so if you could use your talk to counter that person’s lies. But Hope Is Fuel does not present itself as a forum for differing opinions (not that Holocaust denial or other lies even qualify as valid opinions). It presents itself as a showcase for “good Catholics.” By accepting Coffin’s offer to speak there, you are accepting the event’s premise that both you and Jones are, together, “good Catholics” and models for others to follow. That is terrible company to keep and thus a terrible (anti-)witness.

Many years ago, when your former mentor David Schindler, Alice von Hildebrand, and others were criticizing your appearance on ABC News 20/20 (in which you called Song of Songs the “centerfold of the Bible”), your then-Bishop Kevin Rhoades issued a statement with Cardinal Rigali praising your apostolate. Did you know that Bishop Rhoades in 2018 issued a forceful statement in response to E. Michael Jones, denouncing his lies and saying that they were not Catholic (see https://www.israelhayom.com/…/catholic-bishop-declares…/)? If you believe that Bishop Rhoades was right in defending you, was he not also right in saying that no Catholic should have commerce with Jones’s hateful views?

With prayers,

your sister in Christ,

Dawn Eden Goldstein, JCL (Catholic University of America), STD (University of St. Mary of the Lake)

P.S. I am sharing this email publicly because you are causing public scandal in associating yourself with Hope Is Fuel. My hope is that you will do the right thing and make a public statement distancing yourself from the event.

The above is what is known to Normals as “A rational appeal to moral accountability for one’s actions” (aka, “Admonishing the sinner”, one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy). In the Coffin/Jones cult, it is called “BEING THREATENED WITH CANCELLATION!!!!”

Funny thing. One of the abiding habits of the Reactionary Cult is its habit of using accusation as confession. Funnier still (speaking of threats), I discovered yesterday that on Jones’ Facebook page featuring the very tweet above, one Thomas Ryan doxxed me with a photo of my house (always a stochastic terror invitation to whatever nut might want to pay my family a visit). Was Jones aware his wall was being used for stochastic terrorist activity? Oh, yeah:

So I think I’ll let the FBI know about that stupid kook trick.

Meanwhile, over on Facebook, reader Emma Fox Wilson chronicled her adventures with ever-more-mysteriously-respected Catholic moral theologian and “prolife” leader, Janet Smith, whose tortured attempts both distance herself from, yet excuse and minimize Jones and his grotesque antisemitism I briefly sketched on Monday.

Alas Smith and Jones

I want to set a couple of things straight about the recent fracas concerning Dr Janet E. Smith and E. Michael Jones.

I think I may have been the person whose comment was the final nudge which persuaded Dr Janet E Smith to withdraw from the “Hope is Fuel” conference.

Dr Smith had posted about her plans to attend the conference, on her Facebook page, on the 15th of May (a post which seems to have been deleted since). In comments underneath the post, several people asked her to withdraw, but she was standing firm – and her supporters were praising her for this.

I went to Dr Smith’s page, asked her to re-consider and then gave her concrete evidence about E. Michael Jones: a list of a few, direct quotations of the extreme and explicit anti-Semitic material Jones has posted and hosted on his public Facebook page. I repeated this same material in a direct message to her, in case she missed it on her main page.

Dr Smith found my comment, out on her main page, and replied to me there. She thanked me, said she had not previously known about the material I had sent her and – having previously ignored or turned down so many other requests – she said that she now saw that she would have to reconsider her attendance at the conference. I was hugely relieved and pleased.

These facts – alas – mean that we can know exactly what Dr Smith knew about Jones *before* she wrote her current piece in “Crisis” magazine, in which she explains her decision not to attend. We can know this, because she publicly acknowledged to me that she had read my short list of evidence.

I say “alas”, because in “Crisis” she refers to Jones’s beliefs in terms which – given what she’s read – are breath-takingly mild.

Let’s have a look. (NOTE: As usual in reproducing Jones’s nonsense, I’ve been reduced to using the abbreviation “J” in order not to fall foul of AI – but Jones uses the whole word in the original. All the references to Jones are quoted directly from the material I sent her, and everything I sent her was transcribed directly from Jones’s public FB page. Please don’t read on if you are likely to be more than usually disturbed by extreme anti-Semitic content. You can skip the worst of it, if you don’t read what’s between the two sets of asterisks.)

So, Janet Smith says: “I do not believe that Jones can be accused of being an antisemite in the sense of hating all Jews and wanting them to be killed, harmed, confined to ghettoes, or discriminated against.”

She also says that she “looked at many FB points that were *deemed to be problematic*” [my emphasis].


Now, here’s what I had told her – and what she’d read – before she wrote this:

– Jones has called the Holocaust “a sexual fantasy.” (FB post, 16 Aug 2022).

– Jones said, “J’s worship Moloch” (FB post, 22nd Dec 2022).

– Jones said, “Pornography is another J’ish sacrament, along with sodomy and abortion.” (FB post, 3 April 2023.) I noted that he has made similar comments many times, most recently on 23 March and 8th February; and that he also called abortion a J’ish sacrament in posts on 2nd, 5th, 7th and 11th October 2022.

– Jones said, “The main cause of anti-Semitism is J’ish behavior,” (14th February and 16 January 2023)

– When Kanye West was named as “Anti-Semite of the Year” on 29th Nov 2022, Jones gleefully both tweeted and FB posted “I demand a re-count.’”

– Jones said, “the fight against anti-Semitism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” (FB 28th March.)

– Jones said, “The purpose of the Holocaust narrative…is to destroy any opposition to J’sh privilege..” (23rd April 2023)

– Jones wrote a post on what Js have “in common” with Satanists (12th January 2023)

– Jones said, “The only way to have free speech on campus is to exclude J’sh influence.” (1st Oct 2022)

– Jones described someone “doing what Js love to do, creating war, hatred, and chaos” (29 Sept 2022)

– Jones flirts with Holocaust denial, repeatedly referring to the Holocaust as just a “narrative” or even “a failing narrative” (19th Sept 2022).

– Jones also posts and hosts comments on his page which re-use old Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda cartoons, depicting Js as appallingly ugly parasites, with new captions referring to today’s news underneath them. (e.g. his post from 15 March 2023, or Drew Rouse’s comment on a post from 5th Oct 2022)

– Jones also hosts comments wishing that all Js could be expelled from the US (8 Sept 2022); comparing Js with wolves (8 Aug 2022); saying that Js should be kept out of banking, education and government (5 Aug 2022); “there will be a time when those parasites wish it was only 6 million” (29 July 2022); America is “overrun with too many Js” (19 July 2022).

– Jones has hosted photographs of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, posted with laugh-emojis next to them, and digitally altered to make her look as if she has been the victim of a severe beating to her face. (These photographs were eventually removed by Facebook, after I repeatedly reported them.)


And yet Dr Smith – after reading all of this – merely says that the Facebook quotes she saw were “deemed problematic.”

She says he is “not… fully antisemitic”.

She says, “as I said in my earlier statement, if Jones is an antisemite, I would object” but that “What he is, is complicated.”

She says that the conference organizer “assures me that Jones’ talk is truly inspirational” – really? – and that anyway, it “does not mention his position on ‘the Jews’”. So that’s ok then.

She also says “Jones’ manner of speaking often leads him to uttering the term ‘the Jews’ with almos [sic] dripping disdain (which I hope he doesn’t mean). Unfortunately, that manner of speaking is enough to lead people to think he is an antisemite.” Ah – ok. It’s just his “manner of speaking”.

All of this will leave any normal person eager to ask Dr Smith a simple but rather urgent question. So here it is.

Dear Dr Smith,

If none of what E Michael Jones has posted and hosted qualifies him in your eyes as “an antisemite in the sense of hating all Jews and wanting them to be… discriminated against” – what in heaven’s name *would* he need to do, before you could bring yourself to say that he is one? I mean, you already know that he has boasted about his status as Number One Anti-Semite himself. And you already know that he’s said that being against anti-Semitism is the act of a “scoundrel.”

Yours, etc.,

In my next post, we’ll examine the rest of what Dr Smith says about Jones. I’m doing so, because Smith writes as a retired Professor of Moral Theology – and what she says needs to be addressed, because her theology stinks.

Dr Janet E. Smith recently wrote in “Crisis” magazine about her decision not to participate in a conference at which the explicit and admitted anti-Semite, E. Michael Jones, was delivering a talk.

In her article, she repeatedly suggests that Jones somehow isn’t really, or fully, an anti-Semite. And she does this, despite having read plenty of Jones’s most extreme content – because I had carefully quoted it to her. (You can read more about this in part 1.)

She starts with what may be the worst case of tin-ear known to mankind, when she refers to Jones as someone who “does unearth some amazing historical facts unknown to many of us.” This is almost certainly an accident, but is still wildly unfortunate – given that she knows she’s writing about a man who has described the Holocaust as “a sexual fantasy.”

Then she explains why she doesn’t think that Jones is an anti-Semite.

She says that what she finds problematic about his ideas is “the way he has chosen to present his thesis.” (She calls it “a thesis”. I wouldn’t give his frothings any such distinction.) Specifically, she worries that he speaks “always in terms of ‘the Jews’,” and that this is too vague:

“[Jones] attaches no qualifiers to the term ‘the Jews.’ It seems to me he is largely speaking of individuals of Jewish descent who have rejected Judaism as a religion but for some reason… cling to a Jewish cultural heritage and cluster together to use their joint power to advance such evils as communism, abortion, and homosexuality, etc., but again, he attaches no qualifiers to the term.”

Isn’t this… strange? She’s not quoting anything which Jones says. Instead, she’s decided to give us a misty view of what she *thinks* Jones *might* be saying – a view which takes absolutely no account of the horrible things that she knows full well he has – not vaguely, but very explicitly – said about Jews on his public Facebook page.

It gets stranger. Notice that she is criticising Jones merely for a failure to be specific enough. It doesn’t seem to be a problem for her that Jones is (in her view) trying to suggest there’s a group of “cultural” Jews who are ganging up to push homosexuality and abortion, and communism on the world. (Oh, and by the way, “homosexuality” isn’t a sin: read your Catechism, Dr Smith.)

She flails equally vaguely at Jones again, later on:

“I think it extremely unwise for Jones, irresponsible, and thus immoral, to marry his program of exposing how much evil has been promoted by secular, powerful, non-practicing, ethnic, not religious Jews with his desire to demonstrate that it is not per se antisemitic to speak of ‘the Jews.’”

It’s as if she wants to sound angry with him (“unwise”, “irresponsible”, “immoral) but without ever coming out and saying what she’s angry about. I mean, what exactly is she criticising here? It doesn’t seem to be the fact that he’s supposedly “exposing how much evil has been promoted by secular, powerful…ethnic, not religious Jews”. Does she think that’s ok, then?

Nor does it seem to be “his desire to demonstrate that it is not… antisemitic to speak of ‘the Jews’”. Nope – she says that the problem is “the marrying” of the two. Maybe you can make sense of that. I can’t.

It gets weirder. She toys with the foul idea that Catholics might find a reason, from within their faith, to distrust people who are Jewish. Here:

“[Jones] wants us to take seriously the importance of converting Jews since, in his view, those who are unconverted are disproportionately responsible for a rebellious spirit in the world (stemming historically from the rejection of Christ) that has led to a great deal of evil. In itself, as so described, his thesis is not intrinsically antisemitic, and, in my view, it should not be anathema for Catholics to consider that thesis.”

No, no, no, no and no.

Jones’s ideas, even in the prettified way Smith describes them here, are certainly anathema. I simply do not understand how anyone claiming to be a professor of anything remotely to do with Catholicism, could possibly think otherwise.

Let’s quote some Popes, just to be very clear.

Pope Paul VI says: the Church “deplores the hatred, persecutions, and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at any time and by anyone” (Nostra Aetate, 4)

Pope John Paul II quotes this same passage and then stresses it: “I repeat: ‘by anyone,’” before going on to say to all Jewish people: “You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers…” (Discourse, Rome Synagogue, 13 April 1986)

The same Pope says again, “…it is not lawful to say that the Jews are ‘repudiated or cursed’, as if this were taught or could be deduced from the Sacred Scriptures of the Old or the New Testament (cf. ‘Nostra Aetate’, ibid). Indeed, the Council has already said in this same text of ‘Nostra Aetate’, and also in the Dogmatic Constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’ (No. 16), referring to Saint Paul in the Letter to the Romans (11,28-29), that the Jews are beloved of God, who has called them with an irrevocable calling.”

He says that the Church believes that “…no ancestral or collective blame can be imputed to the Jews as a people for ‘what happened in Christ’s passion’ (cf. Nostra Aetate, ibid.). Not indiscriminately to the Jews of that time, nor to those who came afterwards, nor to those of today.”

Pope Francis has also referred to anti-Semitism as “neither human nor Christian” (13 Nov, 2019)

It’s a relief to remember that several Popes, St Paul, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a Papal Encyclical and the Dogmatic Constitution of the Catholic Church, all probably have a tiny bit more authority than Jones or Dr Smith.

Maybe some fragments of the Church’s teaching lingers in Dr Smith’s mind, as she seems to attempt to back-pedal on the confused mess she has made so far, towards the end of her piece:

“ Jones maintains that his language is dictated by the gospels and by his Catholic faith. While Patrick assures me that Jones’ talk is truly inspirational and does not mention his position on “the Jews”, nonetheless the invitation of him to the conference indicates that his approach to “the Jews” is compatible with the Catholic faith. For me, Jones’ inclusion in the conference carries a special downside because my talk is extolling the excellence of the Traditional Latin Mass. Unfortunately, some people think that all traditional Catholics are antisemitic because some are. I am afraid the hosting of Jones facilitates erroneous views of “the Jews”, of Catholics, and especially of traditional Catholics.”

But this is very weak tea: too little, too late. For Dr Smith, Jones’s inclusion “carries a special downside” – but this seems to be mainly because she wants to talk about the Latin Mass and people might think that Traditional Catholics are anti-Semitic.

And who or what, according to her, is actually pushing the erroneous views? Certainly not Jones. For her, it is merely “the hosting” of Jones, that “facilitates” some “erroneous views” – views which, for her, aren’t really even centred on the Jews: the poor Jews only warrant a single mention – as opposed to the two mentions she gives to “Catholics” and “traditional Catholics.” (If you need to be reminded that Jones has certainly and explicitly expressed some very seriously “erroneous views” – and that Dr Smith knows this – do just pop back to my first post.)

The deepest irony is that Dr Smith clearly thinks that her piece will help stop people from wondering if “all traditional Catholics are antisemitic”. But she has, of course, achieved the exact opposite.

This is all surprising and disappointing to me, because Dr Smith seemed open and reasonable in our brief encounter on Facebook. (And I will happily correct any mistakes I have made in attempting to analyse what Dr Smith was trying to say.)

Maybe we can all take comfort from the fact that Dr Smith’s PhD was actually in Classical Languages, as were her BA and MA. She was eventually given a visiting Professorship in “Life Issues” by somewhere called The Sacred Heart Major Seminary, in Detroit (no, me neither.) On the other hand, she has also taught philosophy at the University of Dallas.

If I were the University of Dallas, I’d be blushing right now.

NOTE: If you want to read Dr Smith’s full article, just google “Dr Janet Smith Jones Hope is Fuel”. I can’t bring myself to link to “Crisis.”

Finally, in a peculiarly Stopped Clock Right Twice a Day Moment, I am happy to commend John Zmirak, having been so wrong about so much so many times for so long, for at least getting this call right and condemning Jones’ (and his accomplice Coffin’s) antisemitism. Admittedly, that is a depressingly low moral bar to clear. But as the degeneracy of the Reactionary Francis-hating weirdos celebrating, nuancing, excusing, defending and–alas–participating in this conference makes clear, even that low bar is more than many self-trumpeting Real Catholics[TM] can clear.

As for me and my house, I will stick with this allegedly Fake Pope and all the ordinary Fake Catholics[TM] the Righteous have long ago excommunicated.


10 Responses

  1. Mark, what if C West is going out there to give his talk and renounce antisemitism, renounce not supporting current pope, it’s not an approved Catholic event that I can see, no bishop is supporting it, how is that any different than going to a biker event where strange beliefs or even terrible beliefs like Holocaust denialists are present, (I doubt there would be at a biker event) I’m just offering an example of going to the highways and the byways, as you rightfully point out often, the Church is a big place, I can see where a cleric shouldn’t go to an event like this to offer the church’s support, but a layman, that might be an opportunity to spread some sanity,

    1. Give me a break. There’s “dining with tax collectors” and there’s working at a whorehouse. This is the latter. If West wanted to make clear that Holocaust Denial and sedevacantism is evil, he could *SAY* it, not go take the money of the suckers and accomplices of this pack of schismatics and predators while remaining silent. Stop bending over backwards to defend the indefensible.

    2. Tony – so tell us – did he denounce antisemitism and sedevacantism? Because that would have been a refreshing surprise.

  2. It’s a good point, I haven’t given it much thought honestly , I heard a talk that West gave here in Philly, I liked it, but I’m far from a supporter of his

  3. Odds are, I’m exactly the sort of person these freaks would hope to recruit: Hot-tempered, unattached young man of European descent who prays in Latin more often than not and comfortably fits the image of a “young fogey.”

    Therefore, let me state here unequivocally that any such tool of Antichrist who hopes to gain a share of my time or treasure in pursuit of their self-styled crusades against the Pope, the Jews, or whatever other boogeyman they pick will have an exceptionally rude awakening. (I’d go into more detail, but if I said what I really wanted to, I’d probably find one of them standing at my door with an automatic rifle and I’d rather not put my family in that kind of danger.)

    Sorry if I’m spamming your comboxes, Mark, but whenever garbage like this bubbles up to the surface, I feel compelled in conscience to declare that I won’t have any part of it – both for my own sanity and to leave a record for posterity that at least one Trad didn’t fall for the Big Lie(s).

  4. Why blame these small fry, when there is Cordileone, Strickland, Paprocki, Burke… leading them.

    A fish rots from the head. The USCCB is morally depraved. The last USCCB elections, where 2/3rd voted for culture war leadership, shows that it’s not just a minority of bishops. “Christianity will prosper through the power of the state” is the motto of the USCB.

    The gospel is so impotent, and Christ so outdated, that the gospel has to be imposed by state violence. The bishops will have no qualms to crucify Christ a second time, and apparently to defend the Church against the gates of hell.

    Bow down to me and I will make you the ruler, said Mammon, and the American bishop accepted.

    1. THANK you. I’m still wondering (not holding my breath) whether Cordileone will ever offer an apology to Paul Pelosi for helping him to nearly get killed, and it’s nice to see someone else name him and his colleagues as the brood of vipers they are.

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