The Steve Bannon I know

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You might not be surprised to learn some deep lessons about authentic Catholic social teaching from a conference at the Vatican. Except if that person you were learning them from was then the head of Breitbart.com, and is now Donald Trump’s chief strategist. That’s right, Steve Bannon—who is now the victim of an appalling character smear by leftists and NeverTrump globalists in the GOP–gave one of the most profound and enlightening talks in recent Vatican history in 2014. See The Stream for highlights.
I myself am not surprised. Years before Bannon took over Breitbart.com, I met him at the Ritz Carlton in Hollywood, in the company of a major movie producer. Before he brought me to meet Bannon, my producer friend told me that Bannon had been a banker at Goldman Sachs. So what I expected to meet was a snooty, amateur tri-athlete with bland personality and pale, uncalloused hands. Instead I encountered the big personality and talent that is Steve Bannon. I was little intimidated at first; here was someone who was clearly afraid of nothing, equal parts brashness and magnanimity. We started talking business, but it wasn’t along till somehow we were discussing the Armenian genocide. At the time, I was working on The Race to Save Our Century, and 20th-century horrors weighed heavily on my mind. But they also weighed on Bannon’s. Indeed, almost every time we’d ever get together to nail down some detail of a media project, Steve would end up regaling me on the danger to Christian minorities in the Middle East and Africa, or the horrors of abortion and what we must do to stop it. Not your average Hollywood business lunches.
If you read Bannon’s Vatican speech, what you meet is a man almost obsessed by concern for the fragility of freedom and peace in our fallen world. Someone consumed by care for the vulnerable among us, and unafraid to confront their powerful oppressors. Steve is tough, like the sheepdogs described in American Sniper—tough enough to defend the defenseless. He once joked about learning from Lenin, but Bannon won’t break eggs to make human omelets, as Lenin did. No, he will break the omelet-makers—the Islamists and globalists who recklessly threaten the innocent.
So if you’re committed to genuine Catholic social teaching—to peace, open markets and the sanctity of human life, Steve’s your man. I met him through someone we both loved, Andrew Breitbart. Together, two Catholics and a Jew, we would sketch out new ways to promote the prophetic ideals of justice too often forgotten in our post-theist world. Though Andrew is gone, I am sure he is smiling down at the sight of Bannon in the corridors of power, standing at the right hand of the incoming president—who will no doubt hear from Bannon about the evils of Planned Parenthood, the plight of Yezidis, Christians, and Jews in the Middle East, and the need to smash “crony capitalism” that threatens our nation’s growth. I hope that Catholics rally to Bannon now, as he goes through his current crucible. We will find no better friend of all the causes dear to our hearts, and the Heart of Our Lord.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicVote.org

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  1. Thank you Jason for sharing the truth of Steve Barron. Trump’s victory is our Lepanto intercession by the Mother of God who continues to crushed the head of satan with the blessings of her son Jesus Christ in union with St. Joseph for the glory and honor of God Almighty!! Viva Cristo Rey!
    Let us continue to receive Jesus in the Euchariat and pray the rosary for the conversion and protection of President Trump, his family, his cabinet selections and the USA. God bless America!!

  2. I definitely think that Bannon would be in stark odds with Benedict here. Bannon really seems to have a low view of Judeo-Christian culture, a sort of weak and ineffective force against the tides of Islam, secularism, progressivism, what have you. He says, “I certainly think secularism has sapped the strength of the Judeo-Christian West to defend its ideals.”

    In response, I think Bannon is looking to raise up the disaffected middle class voters that have been ostracized by increasing income inequality. He viewS income inequality as a perversion of capitalism in which the greedy wealthy people take for themselves and leave none of the lower classes. He sees wealth creation and jobs as a path to peace and development.

    In one sense, even though he specifically calls out Marxism as objectifying people, I can’t help but think there is a little bit of that “class warfare” going on in Bannon’s mind here… The elites vs. the regular joe.

    I simply question though whether the same vices and complaints he has about the wealthy and greedy he isn’t cultivating in the middle class today.

    I mentioned Benedict because I think this emphasis on material well-being as the path to peace and virtue is simply laughable. Let’s be clear here: poverty is a horrible injustice and good work honors man’s dignity as a child of God and a member of a family and community. But it is a heresy of sorts to suggest that the alleviation of middle class strife is what the world needs to bring about great social change. Wherever you are, whatever economic system, I believe Benedict would insist it is only virtue and the insistence on virtue that bring about that change.

    • Daniel-

      I would sincerely hope and expect Benedict, the cleric, to assign virtue as the agent of change versus what the political consultant Bannon might suggest.

      My point is that your expectation of Bannon here seems misplaced considering his actual position in life.

    • O Danny Boy, you’re making it up, jealous, or misunderstanding. Bannon understands subsidiary, infanticide and misery and has brought home to the President what Catholic social justice means.

      Cause and effect, the natural law is all that Trump is responsible for. Since the natural law is contained in the Decalogue and is the source for the Constitution, natural virtue is present. When he leaves office and becomes a Catholic, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway will be his sponsors.

  3. I hope Bannon also remembers there are many vulnerable Muslims as well who are friends with Christians and live in harmony and friendship. I lived in Cairo, Egypt and saw many strong friendships and social interaction between the Muslims and Christians. They were very cohesive.

    The Muslim Brotherhood and Salifi sect of Islam are radicalizing forces, and that is the foe.

  4. “We will find no better friend of all the causes dear to our hearts, and the Heart of Our Lord.”

    Really? There’s no one better than Steve Bannon?

    Just today he said, “Darkness is good. Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power.”

  5. Banning and Breitbart are disgusting .

    ” Darkness is good,” says Bannon, who amid the suits surrounding him at Trump Tower, looks like a graduate student in his T-shirt, open button-down and tatty blue blazer — albeit a 62-year-old graduate student. “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they”

    • John-

      Collect yourself and post again, carefully cutting and pasting this time. Cite from where you cut and paste, so all may share in your enlightenment.

      BTW, Breitbart himself is dead. So, he “was” disgusting, as he “is” no longer here.

      • RAM – Do you see it as your mission to make sure there are no dissenting voices on Catholicvote? If so, why?

        Also, Bannon made these comments to the Hollywood Reporter. How about you collect yourself and take a shot at defending Bannon’s comments, instead of attacking the person who quoted them. Even further, why don’t you defend Bannon as an individual who espouses Catholic Social Teaching? You can’t, don’t bother. I’ve read enough of your posts to see that you care about one item of Catholic Social Teaching. The rest is liberal hogwash, right?

        • I don’t think that coming on to the board and throwing out “so and so is digusting”, et. al. rises to the level of a “dissenting voice”.

          It was petulant and I called him on it. Sorry you didn’t care for it.

          Why would I defend Bannon RE: his espousal of Catholic Social Teaching? I don’t expect to get Catholic Social Teaching from politicians. I look for and get mine from ……..Catholic teaching on the subject.

  6. With both Bannon and Sessions defined as “staunch conservatives” what more could a moderate want? You can be a moderate Republican, but not a moderate Catholic. When our family left the Democrat Party during the Reagan years we came to a Party of “YES”. We were impressed by the conciliatory tone between House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a staunch Democrat, and President Reagan a staunch Republican, both STAUNCH Americans.

    Today, Trump, McConnell and the congress are continuing the party of “NO” by appointing people, (MEN), with a racist past. Bannon is accused by his former wife of domestic violence. Sessions said “the KKK membership was good, but the NAACP was not. Now, would one expect that from a southern gentleman?

  7. I think the producers and Goldman Sachs banker sitting at the Ritz Carlton in Hollywood discussing ‘the fragility of freedom and peace in our fallen world’ need some other voices at their table.

    • at least they’re not murdering millions of unborn and trying to bring back a semblance of morality to this sick depraved world. They’re the kind that can make change, glad to have them on our side. The dem’s have done such a bang up job

      • O Danny Boy, you’re making it up, jealous, or misunderstanding. Bannon understands subsidiary, infanticide and misery and has brought home to the President what Catholic social justice means.

        Cause and effect, the natural law is all that Trump is responsible for. Since the natural law is contained in the Decalogue and is the source for the Constitution, natural virtue is present. When he leaves office and becomes a Catholic, Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway will be his sponsors.

      • But T-H-R-E-E times married is A-OK!! And a lunatic, seriously stupid, too.
        Bannon is a defiled inhuman piece of crap. NOT A CHRISTIAN.

  8. So you weren’t married to him, or had to wait for the amniocentesis to come back on the twins fetuses to ensure they were normal before he would marry you, or weren’t domestically abused by him – is that what you’re trying to say?

    It is really about everything being subservient to the ideology, right?

  9. The author probably also approves of the people in the Catholic hierarchy who helped Nazis escape Germany after the war.

  10. Absolutely disgusting and shameful. The attitudes and actions of Trump and Bannon are diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ. I’m ashamed to be associated with Catholic apologists for that rag Breitbart and its race baiting and hate mongering founding member. There’s a special place for your sort of Christian. Truly sickens me.

  11. The fact that Bannon has been running stories about Pelosi’s ineligibility to receive communion on Brietbart are a hilarious case of hypocrisy.

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