Anzac Day 2012

Wednesday, April 25, AD 2012

The Australian divisions and the New Zealanders had become what they were to remain for the rest of the war – the spearhead of the British Army.

                              John Terraine, British Military Historian

Today is Anzac Day, a date which has huge meaning for the people of New Zealand and Australia.  At the beginning of World War I both nations raised great volunteer armies, making up a large percentage of their adult male populations, and sent them off to fight.  In the bitter Gallipoli Campaign, the attempt by the Allies to take the Dardanelles from the Turks, conquer Constantinople and open up a supply line to Russia via the Black Sea, the Anzac troops distinguished themselves by their stubborn courage and resourcefulness.  Although the Gallipoli campaign ultimately ended in failure, the Australian and New Zealand troops came out it with a reputation as hard fighters, shock troops, a reputation they earned time and again on battlefields throughout World Wars I and II.  American veterans I have talked to who fought with Australian and New Zealand troops have repeatedly told me that they could ask for no finer fighters to have at their side in a battle.

The video at the beginning of this post is entitled Heroes of Gallipoli and is made up of the only film footage taken during the campaign.  It was restored a few years ago by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame.  It is a fitting tribute to very brave men, and the nations who gave them birth.

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4 Responses to Anzac Day 2012

  • Thanks for this Don.
    Each year this day comes round I recall with some emotion my grandfather Don Piper who was among the first ashore at Anzac cove this day 97 yeaqrs ago, to be joined a few weeks later by his future brother in law, my great uncle Eustace Nicholson. Pop Piper was a Cornishman of Scottish descent – his family, pipers of the McDonald clan, were cleared off their highland lands in the 17th.century clearances – and he was told, that all cornishmen are miners and tunnellers, so he was a tunneller – like it or not. He had come to NZ at 22 years old in 1912.
    When I was a boy I used to listen with bated breath, how he would describe, in his Cornish accent, how they would tunnel under “the Turk”, fill the tunnel with high expolsive, set the fuse a get outa there. He survived Galipoli – as did uncle Eustie, and they both ended up in the trenches in France – Pop Piper gained the rank of Leutenant, and Uncle Eustie a Seargent Major. He was wounded and repatriated in 1917, courted and married Eustice’s sister Katherine Rose Nicholson. My mum was born on the 19th October 1918.
    My dad’s oldest brother George also went to the trenches in France and was gassed, and repatriated in 1918. Dad was only 3 years old when the Galipoli landing occurred.
    I must say( I hate to admit it 😉 ) that one of the very very very few things that the Aussies do better than us 😉 in the way they celebrate Anzac Day. We in NZ do a great job of commerating it, but the Aussies CELEBRATE it, as I well recall from my 10 year in Oz back in the 80’s, and here are a couple of links to some sombre but stirring songs from Australia.
    The Pogues – And the band played Waltzing Matilda:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZqN1glz4JY

    and Eric Bogel – The Gift of Years:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qcn8INbBaQ

    A song from my era in Oz by the then very popular group, Redgum, which brings in the Vietnam era:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAwvH8FbdjM

    Lest We Forget.
    Thanks, and God Bless.

  • We owe your relatives who served Don a debt that can never be repaid. Faith, Love, Courage and Joy, prime elements in a life well led, are all well represented on Anzac Day.

    I think you will appreciate this quote about the 2nd New Zealand division written by Field Marshal Erwin Rommel:

    “This division, with which we had already become acquainted back in 1941-1942, was among the elite of the British Army and I should have been very much happier if it had been safely tucked away in our prison camps instead of still facing us.”

  • There is a wonderful memorial at Anzac Cove on the Galipoli Peninsular, with a tribute written by Kemal Ataturk – a beautiful gesture of forgiveness.

    Those heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives…..
    you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
    Therefore, rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.
    You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries, wipe away your tears;
    Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace.
    After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.”

    Ataturk – 1934

  • Thirty years ago NZ expelled the Argentine ambassador (who must have been singularly useless as he didn’t speak English), offered naval support (HMNZS Canterbury) and during the conflict supplied valuable communications support and elint. Kiwis were certainly flavour of the month then! Margaret Thatcher, never one to forget a favour, responded by fighting NZ’s corner in Europe regarding lamb and butter quotas.

    The UK also had considerable support from the USA, France and Chile, but the extent of this did not emerge until after the conflict.

    The ANZAC contribution in both world wars was remarkable given the small population of both countries. Americans often forget that when Englishmen of previous generations referred to ‘the Empire’ they were not primarily referring to their colonial subjects, but rather of the self-governing white ‘dominions’ – Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Has Rome Overreacted to the LCRW?

Tuesday, April 24, AD 2012

So, you think you’re a calm and balanced guy, and you read all these news stories about how the nuns are just “stunned” that Rome would investigate them. I mean, “stunned. How could the mean old Vatican investigate nuns?

Well, Thomas L. McDonald of God and the Machine gives us a little bit of an idea. He takes a look at the upcoming LCWR Assembly 2012 (to be held in August), and notes the keynote topic: “Mystery Unfolding: Leading in the Evolutionary Now” which will be delivered by Barbara Marx Hubbard. He takes a look at Barbara Marx Hubbard’s site and finds the following:

It has become obvious that a creative minority of humanity is undergoing a profound inner mutation or transformation. Evolutionary ideas are not only serving to make sense of this change, but also acting to catalyze the potential within us to transform. (Thought creates; specific thought creates specifically.)

It is the planetary crisis into which we were born that is awakening our sleeping potential for transformation. Planet Earth has given birth to a species capable of choosing whether to consciously evolve ourselves and our social forms, or to continue the course we have set toward our own extinction. And the choice is clear.

All great spiritual paths lead us to this threshold of our own consciousness, but none can guide us across the great divide — from the creature human to the cocreative human. None can guide us in managing the vast new powers given us by science and technology. None of us have been there yet.

What we can envision

The enriched noosphere, the thinking layer of Earth, is now replete with evolutionary technologies that can transform the material world. Within the next 30 to 50 years, we could transform our physical bodies, our minds, our social structures, and set in motion the emergence of a new civilization.

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24 Responses to Has Rome Overreacted to the LCRW?

  • She sounds like a Scientologist.
    “Planet Earth has given birth to a species………”
    I thought God, not planet earth created us – “Gaia, we thank you for our being” [sarc]

    We are told that he did not die.
    Nup, Jesus died alright – otherwise he could not have had His victory over death.
    I should just leave it at that.

    Yes, this one is certainly one for the men in white coats to take away.

  • So she’s saying we didn’t really NEED Jesus, He was just pointing the way toward the brave new future awaiting us. He didn’t REALLY suffer death and rise from the dead. And we, the human race, will someday achieve this here on earth. But the question at the back of my mind, after those future humans come to the natural end of their 600 year lifespan, is what will they find? Endless death or endless life with Our Lord?

    Perhaps what the good sisters need to hear at their conference is someone who will preach Christ crucified. Surely they didn’t vow their lives to their Bridegroom to betray Him by filling their minds with this scifi trash. Their leaders should be ashamed of themselves.

  • I only hope that its not too late to bring back the sisters from the abyss. We need to pray and fast for their reversion to the Faith.

  • “Planet Earth has given birth to a species capable of choosing whether to consciously evolve ourselves and our social forms, or to continue the course we have set toward our own extinction. And the choice is clear.”

    Now there’s a real Social Darwinist.

  • To your question, my answer is NO.

    But I wish Rome would listen with respect to other things as well.

  • After Obama’s election, Barb the snakeoil saleswoman delivered herself of this gem on November 21, 2008:

    “Our recent presidential election clearly reflects the evolutionary shift that we have been talking about and sensing. Many of us appreciate that President Elect Obama is already a universal person, transcending race, and striving for a world that works for everyone. This could not have happened if there was not a rise in consciousness in the United States and throughout the world. The 33% of “cultural creatives” that Paul Ray speaks of are acting now, making this the time for our greater connectivity and cocreativity.

    This Thanksgiving, as we continue to move forward in our evolutionary transformation, let us give thanks together for being alive at this precise moment of moments. It is my prayer that enough of us will join together in this season of thanksgiving to continue to support the evolution of America that is now underway.”

    http://www.barbaramarxhubbard.com/site/blog/archives/category/cotc

    Two observations:

    1. The powers that be at LCWR obviously have long ago surrendered any belief in what the Catholic Church teaches for Leftism with an incomprehensible New Age wrapper.

    2. They are too dumb to see an obvious charlatan when they come across one.

  • Does that “evolution” talk have anything to do “Social Darwinism”?

    And, isn’t “Social Darwinism” one of them liberal swear words?

    In the sense that the LCWR is a small, heretical cliche nearing extinction, Rome likely is overreacting.

    This morning’s suggested reading: St. Paul, “Romans.”

    The Saint writes about wrong-headed people who do not worship The God of creation but idolize the creation of God.

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  • I didn’t think anyone did Teilhard anymore. I know the fear was always that his stuff wasn’t sufficiently grounded in othrodoxy. But I’m sure this lecture would resolve any lingering wariness.

  • I too had heard that Teilhard was frowned on for being doctrinaly unsound. (I tried to read a bit of his stuff at one point, being interested in evolution-related issues, and honestly found him fairly unreadable.) That said, the new-age transhumanist stuff that this speaker has going on is very much of the now, now something she got from Tielhard.

  • This stuff from the keynote speaker’s website makes me think of, I don’t know, maybe Battlestar Gallactica kind of stuff. This stuff is choice material for a TV mini-series like that. OH MY GOODNESS!

  • Commander Adama captaining the Galactica would hopefully know better than to give credence to freaks like this. The gnostic heretics should simply be publicly excommunicated and the LCWR handed over to orthodox women religious. They aren’t going to repent. They are simply too full of themselves. PS, why don’t they just go to Bishopress Schori in the ECUSA (or TEC as it’s otherwise known) where they belong?

  • Paul, you’re absolutely right ~ Commander Adama wouldn’t abide with this garbage. I agree they should just be excommunicated, those who will willingly agree and adhere to this kind of stuff. EVERYONE within that group should be asked to assent or not to the truths of our Faith; then be done with it. You’re in or you’re out. They’ve been given YEARS of leeway apparently. Enough is enough, with these supposed nuns as well as heretic priests and bishops.

  • Are you sure that Oprah didn’t write this?

  • I think that we all need to take it on ourselves during this time of the Vatican looking into the “sisters” that we all not only PRAY but do MAJOR PENANCE for them! It’s God’s timing to uproot the weeds growing in his “transformative” garden!

  • I dunno. I’ve sat in auditoriums where speakers babbled nonsense. I wouldn’t want to judge the individuals who attended these conferences. You go to a conference for the expressed purpose of meeting people and drinking wine in the mid-afternoon, not to listen to speakers. I do think that the schedulers of this stuff shouldn’t be allowed to schedule any more conferences, though.

  • When one attends Mass and the priest gives a homily on “our mother, God” they need to be corrected, now, not later. By the way, Gaia is goddess earth and people are considered parasites on the skin of mother earth. In another post unborn babies are considered parasites. LCWR are parasites on the faith of the people, whom they lord it over. I am embarrassed for them.

  • Hey, if my religious community had the LCRW’s median age, I’d be hoping to transcend my animal self and live for 600 years as well.

  • Pinky,

    I’ve sat in auditoriums where speakers babbled nonsense. I wouldn’t want to judge the individuals who attended these conferences. You go to a conference for the expressed purpose of meeting people and drinking wine in the mid-afternoon, not to listen to speakers. I do think that the schedulers of this stuff shouldn’t be allowed to schedule any more conferences, though.

    I think there’s a bit more of an expectation that the annual conferences of a conference of the heads of Catholic religious orders would actually be substantive, but I would not be at all surprised if many who are members of the LCWR don’t buy into any of this silliness — it’s just that their orders have belonged to the LCWR since it was founded 60 years ago, and they don’t have the time and energy to kick out those who make of hobby of running the thing.

    Hopefully with the bishops the CDF asked to keep an eye on things now being in charge of supervising publications and speakers, there won’t be any more of this silliness.

  • The Vatican is not over reacting. Given that it has take the Vatican 30 years to act I think it is safe to say that the Vatican has greatly under-acted.

    It is truly sad to see how far these nuns have drifted into the New Age heresies. Satan never sleeps! Personally I would require them to either recant in public, renew their vows to God and Church, and move back into actual religious life or I would show them the door.

  • “I dunno. I’ve sat in auditoriums where speakers babbled nonsense.”

    I was in a Diaconate program where the faculty babbled this nonsense. They gave us books to read that were similar nonsense.

    These people know what they are doing. And its not God’s work.

  • The smoke of Satan. I was thinking this morning after Mass, and I had been once lost in the folly of drug induced mysticism and eastern religion, that the smoke of Satan is in that Gnostic pride which makes us think we are among the “chosen” with special more highly evolved knowledge, remember Genesis”you shall be as god”. I believe it is much better for us to consider ourselves as blind, stupid and in need of God’s mercy and His grace to show us His way or we may be tempted to, as Jesus said, to follow other shepherds. As for those in LCWR who are deluded, let’s pray for them as I was once lost, stupid and blind too.

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Things are beginning to heat up between the USCCB and President Obama…

Tuesday, April 24, AD 2012

 

The Hill is reporting some potentially disastrous news for President Obama concerning his bid for re-election: His support among Catholic voters is slipping and, perhaps, is bleeding badly.

 

For example, a Pew Research Center in March 2012 found a “noticeable shift in opinions” among White Catholics with 31% now describing the administration as “unfriendly” to religion.  In August 2009, only 17% described the administration that way.

Then, too, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is organizing for two weeks of public protest in June and July against what the USCCB  believes is growing government encroachment on religious liberty.  A confrontation with Catholic activists could cause major headaches for David Axelrod and his crew in Chicago.

Of course, that would require the USCCB to prove itself capable of whipping up fervor among U.S. Catholics.  It’s a possibility, The Motley Monk would note, but there are many obstacles, not the least of which the majority of U.S. Catholics who are reported to support the President’s healthcare policies, especially as they concern “women’s freedom of choice.”

 

To wit, James Salt, the Executive Director of Catholics United—a politically left Catholic social justice group—told The Hill that the USCCB’s public relations campaign is misguided:

It reflects a great misplaced priority of the bishops.  In no way is it apparent to me how Catholics in America are oppressed.  Their positioning in society is greater than their numbers.  There are six Catholic members of the Supreme Court.

This is part of a very orchestrated campaign by the bishops to make contraception the focus of the 2012 election.

Salt believes the USCCB’s broader goal is to get Mitt Romney elected so he can nominate a fifth conservative justice for the Supreme Court.  That would make it possible for the Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

If the USCCB is successful in its efforts—irrespective of whether they are motivated by concerns about religious liberty or to elect Mitt Romney—organized civil disobedience could feature Catholics in cities across the nation being hauled off to jail.

 

According to The Hill, Republican strategists are enthusiastic about the possibility.  One Republican strategist is quoted as saying:

These would be devastating images for the Obama administration.  You have a very important religious demographic coming out in protest of Obama’s policies and being arrested for their expression. These images would be politically damaging for the president’s campaign.

That’s a hope, one supported by the President of Catholic Advocate, Deal Hudson, who told The Hill:

This is the most dynamic situation I’ve ever seen since I’ve been involved in Catholics and politics.  I think civil disobedience is almost inevitable. I think that kind of protest is on the way.

Of course, all of this is all about the so-called “war on religious liberty” initiated by the Obama administration, which The Motley Monk thinks is best understood in terms of the Obamacare mandates announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Those mandates—and the ham-handed “compromise” announced subsequently by the President—could end up having been a terrible political miscalculation.

 

But, don’t expect President Obama to attempt to mollify the USCCB before November.  The Motley Monk believes the President and David Axelrod are confident that the 90% of Catholic women who use artificial forms of birth control are firmly in his camp.  (The reality is that it’s 60%.)  Furthermore, they are confident that Catholics who are aligned with political left are likely to view any protesters who get arrested for demonstrating for religious liberty as “right-wing, conservative nut jobs.”  Catholics aligned with the political left are not going to march in lock-step with the USCCB.

Time will tell.

But, just like the spring weather, the political season is heating up.  Religious liberty may end up being an important factor in deciding who will be the next President of the United States.

The all-important question is: Will the “Church militant” align itself with conservative Christians across the nation to teach a lesson to the President and David Axelrod come November?

 

 

To read the report in The Hill, click on the following link:
http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/politics-elections/223227-two-week-protest-by-catholic-activists-may-hamper-presidents-reelection-bid

To read The Motley Monk daily blog, click on the following link:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/

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15 Responses to Things are beginning to heat up between the USCCB and President Obama…

  • This is music to my ears, quite frankly (well, really, my eyes…), but I can’t believe Obama ever had a 51% approval rating among Catholics…which Catholics?! How can you be Catholic and in favor of a pro-abortion president? Craziness…

  • Thanks, Motley Monk! Shared!

  • With a rational, immortal soul, man’s conscience must be acknowledged and respected. “Right to choose” and “right to privacy” must adhere in man’s immortal rational soul, not merely in codifying words, unless the words mean something, and the words mean that the human being has an immortal, rational soul that government must acknowledge and respect. If contraception violates the inner man, nothing the government can say will change it. Let them exert themselves to death, contraception violates the innerman.

  • “How can you be Catholic and in favor of a pro-abortion president? Craziness…”

    It’s quite simple, Sr. Colleen. You just have to have a conception of Catholicism in which your private opinions are more important than Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium.

    Of course we know that such a conception is false. But we live in a society in which people demand, as an absolute, unquestionable, divine right that they can call themselves whatever they want and have it socially and legally recognized.

    Homosexual fornicators wish their relationships to be called “marriages.”

    Feminist radicals would like sluts and whores to be thought of as independent freedom-fighters.

    Reckless warmongers who want to commit the U.S. to trillions of dollars worth of military engagements consider themselves to be in the camp of fiscal conservatism.

    And people who show up to Mass once a year, root for Notre Dame in college football games, and brazenly use artificial contraception and even approve of abortion in some cases would like to be considered Catholic.

    We’ve done a heck of a job as a modern society reducing the amount of physical violence we use to settle conflicts. Most of the energy that was once spent on that sort of war is now channeled into the war of words, the construction and/or deconstruction of language to try and shape reality and control minds. It has seeped down into the public among the average citizen now. In the past a spade was a spade, and both spades struggled for supremacy. Now various groups conquer through assimilation, by taking over words and names and labels. We wage war primarily with lies instead of swords and guns.

  • The O has miscalculated the Bishops resistance on this, but I am not so sure about the average American Catholic voter. Probably has cost him some Catholic votes, but I am not sure it cost him enough. I hope I am wrong, but as you say, time will tell.

  • “The laws of nature and nature’s God” comes from The Declaration of Independence. If atheists want to subvert our founding principles they need to get two-thirds of the United States of America to ratify the change, not just standing there catterwailing “civil rights”. Civil rights are endowed by Our Creator-God. God creates and endows our sovereign personhood which becomes our citizenship. People come into existence through the will of God. Not one single person comes into existence without God. Without God, man is destined to go to hell. If Christians do not see an “alter Christi” in the other person because the other person has destroyed the image of God in himself, he is not to be trusted, not even to renting a room or a hall, but also to giving him credence. It is self-preservation, survival. There is self-defense in not trusting another individual because he does not trust in God. Reposted from Creative Minority Report

  • The Shorter James Salt: “Stop being mean to our hero!”

  • The increase in the perception of unfriendliness to religion is significant, but the change in approval rating is strictly within the margin of error of that kind of thing.

  • “But, don’t expect President Obama to attempt to mollify the USCCB before November. The Motley Monk believes the President and David Axelrod are confident that the 90% of Catholic women who use artificial forms of birth control are firmly in his camp. (The reality is that it’s 60%.) Furthermore, they are confident that Catholics who are aligned with political left are likely to view any protesters who get arrested for demonstrating for religious liberty as “right-wing, conservative nut jobs.”

    Bingo. I have never seen a more arrogant bunch than Obama and his cronies. They have complete contempt for their adversaries and think they have this election in the bag. I pray they continue to think this.

  • “How can you be Catholic and in favor of a pro-abortion president?”

    Actually, it’s not that difficult. You simply tell the pollsters that you are Catholic, despite the fact that you haven’t darkened the door of a Catholic church since last Christmas, or your cousin’s wedding 10 years ago, or since the Reagan Administration, and your religious education consisted of a few years of hit or miss CCD/PSR classes, which didn’t include any mention of concepts such as mortal sin or formal/material cooperation. If you belong to a family of dyed in the wool “yellow dog” Democrats or union laborers, and everyone you know is pro-choice — there you have it.

  • Donald McClarey: “Bingo. I have never seen a more arrogant bunch than Obama and his cronies. They have complete contempt for their adversaries and think they have this election in the bag. I pray they continue to think this.” They have complete contempt for their adversaries and their constituents.

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  • Interesting to compare the results of this poll with the recent electoral projections of none other than Karl Rove, who foresees Obama winning with at LEAST 284 electoral votes (if the election were held today):

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/04/26/karl-roves-first-2012-electoral-map-including-leaners-obama-284-romney-172-toss-up-82/

    The Rove map shows OH, PA, MI and WI all going to Obama, with VA, SC, NC, MO and IA and (of course) FL as toss-ups/too close to call. Now, isn’t the Catholic vote supposed to be decisive, or at least very, very important, in at least 3 of the states Rove believes Obama already has in the bag?

  • I have long thought Elaine that Rove is the most over-rated man in politics, almost blowing two Presidential elections (2000 and 2004). His projections are based on current polling and he notes on his web site that he believes that the states will change in Romey’s favor:

    “In the first Karl Rove & Co. 2012 Electoral College map, there are 18 states (220 Electoral College votes) where Obama has a solid lead and 15 states (93 EC votes) polling solidly for Romney, according to the latest polling average in each state. There are six states with a combined 82 EC votes classified as “toss-ups;” five states with a combined 64 EC votes that “lean” Obama; and six states with a combined 79 EC votes that “lean” Romney. In other words, there are 17 states and a total of 225 Electoral College votes up for grabs. These projections will change as more polls are conducted in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on the “toss-up” and “lean” states where Romney now has an advantage: just about all of the “lean-Romney” states are generally Republican-safe states, while all of the “lean-Obama” states will most likely move to the “toss-up” or “lean-Romney” column as the campaigns progress.”

    The poll to keep your eye on this far out is Rasmussen, who has a likely voter screen and who makes sure his poll respondents match current party strength. Here is his daily tracking poll today which shows Romney with a three point advantage:

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

    Most polls, those which poll adults or registered voters and do not weight for party affiliation, are simply much more inaccurate than Rasmussen, who nailed the 2008 Presidential election result.

  • Boy, if this isn’t the Emperor’s New Clothes, I do not know what is.
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations: Progressive, atheist, and existential.
    PREAMBLE
    Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
    Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
    Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,
    Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,
    Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,
    Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
    Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,
    THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS:
    Article 1.
    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
    Comment: The United Nations sovereign persons came into being at birth, “born free and equal in dignity and rights, endowed with reason and conscience.” from WHOM? from the United Nations? The Declaration goes on to say that never was there ever such a declaration of human rights, that people should not be killed, lied to, stolen from, people ought to be given rest and recreation and have their needs for food, shelter, clothing and education met.
    The Ten Commandments tell us to remember the Sabbath to rest, not kill, nor commit adultery, nor steal or nor bear false witness. The corporal works of mercy tell us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless. You are men sacred to me.
    “Whereas, recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Freedom, Justice, and peace come from God, not as the United Nation says from “the inherent dignity and of the equal inalienable rights of all members of the human family”, for that is existentialism, another name for atheism.
    The Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    Thomas Jefferson’s sovereign persons were created equal and came into being when two became one, and were endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights to LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Thomas Jefferson’s sovereign persons’ reason and conscience are attributes of the human being’s rational, immortal soul, the breathe of God’s life in his human body.
    By not affirming the sovereign persons rational, immortal soul, the Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations arrogates to itself the creative power of God, and assumes the power to assign inalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
    Several months ago, President Barack Obama, no less than three times recited our Declaration of Independence, or what we assumed was our Declaration of Independence, incorrectly on video. Obama did not mention “their Creator” and used the word “inalienable” rather than the word “unalienable”, indicating that Obama was reciting from the Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations, not from our founding principles. The United Nations Declaration denies our God-given sovereign personhood as it denies our God-given rational, immortal soul, since the United Nations is an atheistic establishment, that repudiates the existence of God. Therefore, all rights come to people and nations from the United Nations.
    For Obama to try to impose the atheistic agenda of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations against our nation is treason. Unbelievably, the Universal Declaration includes the mention of man’s conscience. Unfortunately, man’s conscience is mentioned as a reality only after the man has been born.
    Thomas Jefferson also said that any government that gives you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.
    The Ten Commandments of God:
    1. I AM the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
    2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    3. Remember thou keep holy the Lord’s day.
    4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
    5. Thou shalt not kill.
    6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    7. Thou shalt not steal.
    8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    9. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife.
    10. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s goods.

Remember Rome, Mr. Obama!

Tuesday, April 24, AD 2012

 

 

Hattip to Patrick Archbold at Creative Minority Report.   A fiery speech delivered by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson of the Saint Louis Archdiocese at the Missouri State Capitol on March 27, 2012, calling for defiance of the HHS Mandate, and a superb ringing defense of religious liberty:

 

So Jesus said to them: “Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” (Mt 22:21/Mk 12:17/Lk 20:25)

My brothers and sisters, we stand here today because of an alarming and serious matter that strikes at our fundamental right to religious freedom. The federal government – which was formed to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people” – has decided to tell some of those people that we are free to hold our faith, but we will be required to deny it in practice. We are here to let the government know that we will render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but we will NOT render unto Caesar what belongs to God!

In late January, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that almost all employers — including Catholic employers – would be forced to offer their employees health coverage that includes contraception, sterilization and potentially abortion-inducing drugs. This is in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Catholic faith.

 Recognizing this as a grave threat to religious liberty, many people spoke out against the Mandate.

In response to this reaction, President Obama’s Administration announced a so-called “compromise” in early February. Now, instead of the Catholic Church being required to pay for contraception, sterilization and potentially abortion-inducing drugs, the insurance companies will be required to provide those services free of charge.

We need to say loud and clear: Mr. President, there’s no such thing as a free lunch! Contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs aren’t free. Someone has to pay for them. If the insurance company has to provide them, the cost will be passed on to the consumer one way or another –that’s how the economy works!

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19 Responses to Remember Rome, Mr. Obama!

  • “and WE are ready to march”. Ave Maria in English and in Latin

  • Too many Catholics have embraced a false notion of the relationship between religion and politics. Basing themselves on Suarez’s interpretation of St Thomas, they have talked of a “natural order,” governed by Natural Law, consisting of truths accessible to unaided human reason, as something that can be kept separate from the supernatural truths revealed in the Gospel. “Under such circumstances, the supernatural is no longer properly speaking another order, something unprecedented, overwhelming and transfiguring” (Henri de Lubac)

    It was this that led Laberthonnière, a hundred years ago now, to accuse the Neo-Thomists of his day of ““a false theological notion of some state of pure nature and therefore imagined the state could be self-sufficient in the sense that it could be properly independent of any specifically Christian sense of justice.”

    It led his friend and contemporary, Maurice Blondel, to insist that we must never forget “that one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order”

    Jacques Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being. . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account”

    Unless we insist, in Blondel’s words, that we can “find only in the spirit of the gospel the supreme and decisive guarantee of justice and of the moral conditions of peace, stability, and social prosperity,” we shall inevitable acquiesce in practice in the Liberal privatisation of religion.

  • “‘and WE are ready to march’. Ave Maria in English and in Latin”

    Av? Mar?a, gr?ti? pl?na,
    Dominus t?cum.
    Benedicta t? in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fr?ctus ventris tu?, I?sus.
    S?ncta Mar?a, M?ter De?,
    ?r? pr? n?b?s pecc?t?ribus,
    nunc et in h?r? mortis nostrae.
    ?m?n.

    Hail Mary, full of grace,
    the Lord is with thee;
    blessed art thou amongst women,
    and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.
    Amen.

    And for good measure, the ancient Greek version as well (which reads a little differently) (hope the Greek letters come out OK):

    ??????? ???????, ?????, ???????????? ?????,
    ? ?????? ???? ???. ?????????? ?? ?? ???????,
    ??? ??????????? ? ?????? ??? ??????? ???,
    ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ????.

  • Thank you, Archbishop Carleson! You put into words what I believe. Mr. Obama has thrown down the gauntlet. Let us pick it up and fight!

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  • “Remember Rome, Mr. Obama! Remember Rome!”

    Not to mention Tudor England, France’s Reign of Terror, Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, the Know Nothing Party, and other movements/parties/regimes now residing in the “Where Are They Now” file….

  • True Elaine! It would be a wearying task to attempt to list all of the enemies Holy Mother Church has outlasted. A few more: Cromwell, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Garibaldi, Robespierre, Frederick II (Stupor Mundi), Julian the Apostate, etc. One of the iron laws of history: Don’t bet against the Catholic Church!

  • Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis.
    Men of God, Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, and the Pope are with us in the here and now; teaching and shedding light on the realities of the world. I think we are being blessed with ways to see the Truth and how to follow. I cannot imagine what developments would be without them to lead and inform us, and I include the men of this and other blogs making such as the above accessible and want to say thanks. We have Church fathers to read, but would we?
    The alternative catholics that have a voice in media and officialdom as the only spokesmen is frightening.

  • I already have the speech prepared that I plan to read aloud to the helmeted and shield-wielding law enforcement officers who we will face when they come to arrest the administration of our local Catholic hospital, should it come to that.

    It has to do with “Just Following Orders.” Slaying the dragon may have to happen tooth by tooth.

  • The Church will lose this fight – now or later in public opinion.

    None of us has the right to say, “I will not pay this tax or obey that law”. We cannot pick and choose. You either obey the law or you pay the penalty.

    Let us be clear about this: No one is requiring the Catholic Church or its institutions to pay for abortions or contraceptives. No one is restricting religious freedom. The Church wants special privileges and treatment which is unconstitutional.

    Why do we not see this fight in European countries where there are Catholics and government health insurance coverage for birth control? There are even legal abortions in such Catholic countries as Poland.

  • No, Don Maswell, the Church will win this fight because Jesus will win this fight. Oh, the Church may lose a battle here and there (Roberpierre’s Reign of Terror, Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, etc.) But in the end godless tyrannts always follow Roberpierre to the guillotine or Hitler with a bullet in his head.

    And here is another thing: I shall NOT ever obey your godless laws of sin and depravity. EVER! The only alternative is what Rome offered St. Ignatius of Antioch. I pray for courage to do as he did. But in the end, though he died, Christianity won. Obama will NOT win. Will NOT! His name will go down in history as the evil man that Hitler and Caligula were.

  • And PS, Jesus Christ cares not one fig for public opinion.

  • “You either obey the law or you pay the penalty.”

    Better vastly increase the federal budget for prisons Don, because if our Bishops go to jail quite a few other Catholics will be going to jail with them. The Church has prevailed over much tougher adversaries than Obama and his coterie of Chicago thugs.

  • Don M., I pray your blindness will be cured. Don’t be stubborn as I was in my youth, insisting I knew the truth. Now I deeply regreat the many I hurt and led astray because of my extreme liberal views. Pray with humility “Lord, that I may see!”

  • You are correct, Mr. Maswell, when you say “You either obey the law or you pay the penalty.” Martin Luther King did just that. And look what happened!

    You are also correct when you say “None of us has the right to say, “I will not. . . obey that law”. We cannot pick and choose.” So why are we supposed to disobey the one that says “Thou shalt not kill”?

    “What does it profit a man that he gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” We cannot give to Caesar what belongs to God. If public opinion is against us, it was against us back in the days of the Roman Empire. Yes, we may lose this battle, but we are confident, we are assured, we KNOW that we will win the war!

    I shall not call Obama evil for I cannot see into his heart. It is for God to judge him. But I WILL call his “law” evil, for it is. It is based on the premise that human life, before birth, is worthless. If he were truly worried about the results of the sexual act on women, he would include treatment for the many diseases you can contract from the sexual act: various cancers (not just the one they have a vaccine for), gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STDs.

  • “Better vastly increase the federal budget for prisons Don, because if our Bishops go to jail quite a few other Catholics will be going to jail with them.”

    This may seem like a stupid question to which I should know the answer, but just to make sure we’re clear, if the HHS mandate goes through EXACTLY as written right now and Catholic institutions fail to comply, who, exactly, would be going to jail? The bishops? The institutional administrators (hospital CEOs, Catholic school superintendents/principals, etc.)? Everyone who worked there? And by “going to jail” do they mean directly because of non-compliance or as the result of some kind of protest action like a sit-in or blockade?

  • My guess is none of the above Elaine, unless the Obama administration has a death wish. However, if he manages to be re-elected, Obama might be foolish enough to force a showdown, although I doubt it.

  • Mr. Obama, Jesus Christ has spoken. You are deaf to Him, of course, but you will NEVER, EVER DEFEAT HIM. Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus unci imperant. Christ is Victory, Christ for ever Reigns, Christ Lives Eternally. Mr. Obama you are fighting God and you HAVE ALREADY LOST THE WAR. And my country, Kenya, joining the Church Triumphant, rejoices at your imminent CRASHING DEFEAT.

Obama’s Ideological Brinkmanship

Monday, April 23, AD 2012

We knew it would come to this, but we weren’t sure until when until the Obama administration announced the contraception mandate; even then, we weren’t sure when exactly it would be explicitly spelled out by the leadership of the Church. I am referring to the U.S. bishop’s recent statement declaring, among other things, the following:

It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them. No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.

It is essential to understand the distinction between conscientious objection and an unjust law. Conscientious objection permits some relief to those who object to a just law for reasons of conscience—conscription being the most well-known example. An unjust law is “no law at all.” It cannot be obeyed, and therefore one does not seek relief from it, but rather its repeal. (Emphasis added)

In making this statement, the bishops have echoed Pope Leo XIII’s statement in his encyclical Libertas: “But where the power to command is wanting, or where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to God.”

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28 Responses to Obama’s Ideological Brinkmanship

  • Thank you, Bonchamps! Shared on Facebook!

  • I believe it was Edmund Burke who said, “An unjust law is the worst form of tyranny.”

  • Too many Catholics have embraced a false notion of the relationship between religion and politics. Basing themselves on Suarez’s interpretation of St Thomas, they have talked of a “natural order,” governed by Natural Law, consisting of truths accessible to unaided human reason, as something that can be kept separate from the supernatural truths revealed in the Gospel. “Under such circumstances, the supernatural is no longer properly speaking another order, something unprecedented, overwhelming and transfiguring” (Henri de Lubac)

    It was this that led Laberthonnière, a hundred years ago now, to accuse the Neo-Thomists of his day of ““a false theological notion of some state of pure nature and therefore imagined the state could be self-sufficient in the sense that it could be properly independent of any specifically Christian sense of justice.”

    It led his friend and contemporary, Maurice Blondel, to insist that we must never forget “that one cannot think or act anywhere as if we do not all have a supernatural destiny. Because, since it concerns the human being such as he is, in concreto, in his living and total reality, not in a simple state of hypothetical nature, nothing is truly complete (boucle), even in the sheerly natural order”

    Jacques Maritain, too, declared that “the knowledge of human actions and of the good conduct of the human State in particular can exist as an integral science, as a complete body of doctrine, only if related to the ultimate end of the human being. . . the rule of conduct governing individual and social life cannot therefore leave the supernatural order out of account”

    Unless we insist, in Blondel’s words, that we can “find only in the spirit of the gospel the supreme and decisive guarantee of justice and of the moral conditions of peace, stability, and social prosperity,” we shall inevitable acquiesce in practice in the Liberal privatisation of religion.

  • Well, that’s all very interesting.

    How is it related to what I wrote?

    Not being sarcastic here; I’d really like to know.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “a natural order” is inscribed in our Declaration of Independence: “the laws of nature and nature’s God”. To change our founding principles ratified 236 years ago, requires a change by two-thirds of the states agreeing to the change. It IS that simple. Joseph Suarez based on Saint Thomas Aquinas (saints are in heaven with God), Suarez says: “Human existence (from God) is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights” Human existence begins when two become one flesh and our Creator gives the child a sovereign personhood endowed with unalienable rights to life. Obamacare is one rung in the ladder of one world government under one world bank instead of under God, disallowing the soul of man, because the soul of man cries out to God to be heard and the soul of man will be heard. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Gorbachev, Putin, they can wait, there are many waitng in the shadows for the one world shadow government under the world bank to step center stage. They show the face of Dr. Jekyl. If they showed the face of Mr. Hyde, who would vote for them, or trust them. In God we trust, “our Creator”

  • “I was deeply disappointed with the bishop’s support for Obamacare, and I still reject the wholly prudential argument that a national healthcare scheme is required to secure some sort of “human right” for people in this country. I especially reject the notion that a militantly secular regime such as Obama’s could ever be entrusted to secure such a right. One can only hope that the lesson was learned, and that it is not too late.”

    Unfortunately I don’t think they will. Many are still bound by the current, disordered sense of social justice. It was this disordered sense of justice that brought about support for Obama’s health care reform.

  • Hilaire Belloc summed it up very well, when he said that “Catholic life is not normal to a society unless Catholic morals and doctrine be supreme therein. Unless the morals of the Faith appear fully in the laws of that society, unless it be the established and authoritative religion of that society, the Church is ill at ease… She proposes to take in men’s minds even more than the place taken by patriotism; to influence the whole of society, not a part of it, and to influence it even more thoroughly than a common language. Where She is confronted by any agency inimical to Her claim, though that agency be not directly hostile, She cannot but oppose it.”

    It is the failure to keep this truth before our minds and the acceptance of a compromise that proposed a government founded on merely natural principles and, guided by human reason, pursuing merely natural ends that has brought us to this pass.

    As for “Nature and Nature’s God,” Pascal warned us, “All those who seek God apart from Christ, and who go no further than nature, either find no light to satisfy them or come to devise a means of knowing and serving God without a mediator, thus falling into either atheism or deism, two things almost equally abhorrent to Christianity… They imagine that it simply consists in worshipping God considered to be great and mighty and eternal, which is properly speaking deism, almost as remote from the Christian religion as atheism.” This is the God of the Phiosophes, not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  • Phillip: “I was deeply disappointed with the bishop’s support for Obamacare, and I still reject the wholly prudential argument that a national healthcare scheme is required to secure some sort of “human right” for people in this country. ” Healthcare is CHARITY, a voluntary virtue. One of man’s responses to the gift of Faith from God. CHARITY comes under the FREEDOM OF RELIGION First Amendment Freedom.
    Michael Paterson-Seymour: The Declaration of Independence is our founding principle to which all people must adhere or change with two-thirds of the states ratifying. This is Important because the atheists are telling us to go find two-thirds of the states to reratify the laws already in place such as the right to LIFE and that all men are created EQUAL. Founded on “Divine Providence” our country continues its being through virtue. Virtue is America’s lifeline. What Pascal said is happening right now, without Christ. Let me continue this. I am late for Mass.

  • Mary,

    The Declaration of Independence has NO legal standing whatsoever. Wile I agree that it contains the founding principles of the nation, and that this makes it in many respects as important if not MORE important than the Constitution, it is not itself law. It is not subject to any vote.

  • Michael,

    “It is the failure to keep this truth before our minds and the acceptance of a compromise that proposed a government founded on merely natural principles and, guided by human reason, pursuing merely natural ends that has brought us to this pass.”

    What failure? It was never done to begin with. This country was founded by Freemasons.

    “We” really had no role in this. It is the society that was given to us. And so to some extent we have to operate within its framework.

  • Beauchamps

    “What failure? It was never done to begin with. This country was founded by Freemasons.

    “We” really had no role in this. It is the society that was given to us. And so to some extent we have to operate within its framework.”

    It is one thing to accept the inevitable and to operate with the institutions one has, as Leo XIII exhorted French Catholics to do, when he called on them to “rally to the Republic,” explaining that a distinction must be drawn between the form of government, which ought to be accepted, and its laws which ought to be improved. It is another to treat the state’s rejection of “traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ,” as Dignitatis Humanae puts it as somehow good or desirable in itself, as so many Catholics have done, and not only those on the Left.

  • “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s”: Caesar belongs to God. Constituted through the sovereign personhood and unalienable rights of each and every created equal, endowed citizen, government is under God, born of the free will endowed by our Creator, Divine Justice, authentic authority, and humble service. Government does not create life, nor personhood, nor man. Government gives citizenship. Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, is perfect Charity. Jesus Christ as man loves. Jesus Christ as God is LOVE. The virtue of CHARITY as all virtues and vices is practiced through the consent and free will of the person. The virtue of charity is voluntary, that is, practiced through the free will and consent of man. Levying taxes to effect the virtue of charity without the free will and consent of the tax payers is extortion. The will of God expressed through the voice of the people is the duty of government. Obamacare, in the practice of the vices of abortion, contraception and euthanasia, violates the will of God, our Creator. Obamacare, in levying taxes without the will and consent of the people is extortion. Jesus Christ laid down His life for us and Christ took His life up again. In Christ, man has eternal life. Embraced, Jesus Christ is FREEDOM.
    In 2013, in Maryland, gay marriage becomes law. Who told governor O’Malley to deny the rational, immortal souls of the participants, of his constituents and of God? It was not God Who told O’Malley. God said: “Thou shall not lay with a man as with a woman” (biblical note to follow) God has become HATE SPEECH. For the common good? for our own good? REALLY? Government of the people, for the people and by the people has perished from the face of the earth.

  • Bonchamps: The Declaration of Independence was ratified by every state before the War for Independence. That makes the Declaration of Independence law. The Declaration of Indpendence was never nulled and void, or abrogated or unratified. In fact, the U.S. Constitution begins by saying: “in the twelveth year of our Independence…” sure sounds to me like the Founding Fathers built our country, our freedom and our independence on the Declaration of Independence as the absolute minimum. Please show me where our Independence as inscribed in our Declaration of Indpendence is proscribed and do not go with unjust law.

  • Bonchamps: Every man woman and child, there were three generations who fought for independence, who fought and died, died in vain, for a founding principle that no longer exists? The Declaration of Independence gave birth to America, July 4th 1776. The Statue of Liberty holds that Declaration in her left hand. The U.S. Constitution defines the government, not the nation. There would be no United States of America nation if the Declaration were not ratified (ratification is a vote by the people). July 4th is our nation, the United States of America’s birthday, unrepealed and unrepentant. The Declaration of Independence is our people. The U.S. Constitution is our government. Where were you when Obama, as sitting president, and on video, no less than three times, recited the Declaration of Independence omitting “our Creator”, as the endower of our omitted and neglected “unalienable rights” Oh, yes, The Declaration of Independence is very much alive and well, except in Obama’s regime.

  • WK Aiken: Headache. “WE”, the people and “WE” hold these truths to be self evident are the same “WE”. Government by the people prevails over government by the government. Put the Declaration of Independence on the ballot since Bonchamps thinks that it is not a law.

  • Mary,

    You are causing me a headache too.

    You’re entitled to your own opinion. You aren’t entitled to your own facts. The Declaration of Independence is very important philosophically. I think it should inform the laws of the nation. But it is not a legal document and it has no legal standing. That’s not my opinion, that’s not my preference, its just a fact.

    Stop arguing with me as if I am saying the Declaration is bad or something. Stop arguing like a nutjob. I love the Declaration of Independence. I think it is one of the most important documents in history. But I also recognize facts, truth, reality, etc. You should too.

  • ” It is another to treat the state’s rejection of “traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ,” as Dignitatis Humanae puts it as somehow good or desirable in itself, as so many Catholics have done, and not only those on the Left.”

    Who did this? I guess that’s where I’m confused. Are you saying I did this?

    Personally, I think Dignitatis Humanae implies that the Church once engaged in systematic violations of “human rights”. There were Church councils that called for all Christian princes to suppress public Islamic worship on the sole grounds that it was offensive to God (not to preserve public order or anything like that).

    One of the reasons I am a “traditionalist” (I really dislike that term, btw) is that I don’t believe that yesterday’s moral “rights” can become today’s intrinsic wrongs, nor do I believe that new human rights can come into existence because popular opinion on various topics has changed.

    So you get no argument from me on this point. Leo XIII’s position in Libertas was more than sufficient – there was no need for DH. None at all. We tolerate certain evils for the sake of the public good. This is how we talk about and address the modern world, which imposes evil on us. But we don’t call good evil, or evil good.

  • Bonchamps

    “There were Church councils that called for all Christian princes to suppress public Islamic worship on the sole grounds that it was offensive to God (not to preserve public order or anything like that).”

    Dignitatis excludes coercion in matters of religion by the civil power, “dummodo iustus ordo publicus servetur” [Provided the just demands of public order are observed]

    “Public order” is a technical term in the Civilian or Roman Law tradition and is much wider than “keeping the peace” ; its nearest English equivalent is “public policy,” or “in the public interest.” Thus, the provision in the Code Civil on Respect for the Human Body, which declares (inter alia) that the human body, its parts and products cannot be the object of ownership – “Les dispositions du présent chapitre sont d’ordre public,” literally “The dispositions of the present chapter pertain to public order” appears in the official English translation (on the Legifrance website) as, “These provisions are mandatory.”

    National security, public safety, the economic well-being of the country, the prevention of disorder or crime and the protection of health or morals all fall within the concept of “ordo publicus” and are regularly so described in legislation.

  • Michael…

    “Dignitatis excludes coercion in matters of religion by the civil power”

    I think that was my whole point. The Church used to insist upon just that kind of coercion. And I don’t have a problem with it. It wasn’t a sin that we had to atone for. It wasn’t a mistake that had to be corrected. It was a policy that simply no longer needed to be applied.

    As for the rest… ok? I mean, is there a point in there somewhere? That’s related to anything I said? Are we having a discussion or are you just talking with yourself?

    I’m seriously asking.

  • Without the Declaration of Independence there would be no “Law of the Land”. There is no either, or, but both. Clarification: The Declaration of Independence is our founding principle without which no one can be or become a citizen. The atheist says there is no God. God is existence. The atheist would annihilate himself if that were true, but the atheist needs God to annihilate himself.
    Jurisdiction over the newly begotten sovereign soul in the womb belongs to our founding principle: The Declaration of Independence. Jurisdiction over sovereign souls who are given birth belongs to the United States Constitution as the Law of the Land. The U.S. Constitution as the Law of the Land has no jurisdiction over the newly begotten soul in the womb, neither through abortion nor taxation, except to enforce our founding principles: that all men are created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. The right to privacy inheres in the Declaration of Independence, all or nothing at all. This is borne out in foreign individuals who come to America as diplomats, have diplomatic immunity, therefore, cannot be tried under the Law of the Land. Foreign criminals too, must be sent back. Only for laying in wait and killing a man (capital one premeditated homicide) must a man be put to death. Being unwanted is not a crime for execution, especially after being invited by the parents. (We are not Vlad the Impaler.) These persons must be treated with all courtesy through good will and good will is expected of them but they are not citizens. When the sovereign person enters the world through birth the United States acknowledges him with citizenship and he must keep the Law of the Land, according the our founding principle: The Declaration of Independence. Without The Declaration of Independence, our Constitution becomes whatever anybody says it is, subjective interpretation without any sovereign authority, except that which comes from the interpreter. The sovereign person in the womb who is about to be aborted is denied and cannot constitute our sovereign nation. It is the will of our Creator that any and all persons be created. The Declaration of Independence establishes our nation and the Law of the Land, that is why The Declaration of Independence is called our founding principle. Perhaps it is time to try the Declaration of Independence in court under the Law of the Land.

  • Bonchamps says:
    The Declaration of Independence has NO legal standing whatsoever. Wile I agree that it contains the founding principles of the nation, and that this makes it in many respects as important if not MORE important than the Constitution, it is not itself law. It is not subject to any vote.
    Bonchamps: I beg to differ with you and your interpretation of our founding principles.
    The Declaration of Independence, “We, hold these truths to be self-evident” defines a sovereign person as created equal and endowed with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, an individual member of the species, Homo Sapiens, and as belonging to humanity as a human being composed of human body and metaphysical, rational, immortal soul. The Declaration of Independence secures the individual human being’s place among the nations of the world. The Declaration of Independence ought to be the marching orders for the United Nations. Alas and alack it is not.
    The Constitution for the United States of America defines the American citizen’s rights and privileges under the Supreme Law of the Land. These rights are inscribed in the Preamble: “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Aborting our constitutional Posterity is not in the Law of the Land. Redefining the human person as having no soul to legalize abortion, or same sex union, or chattel of the state, is impossible and counter to constitutional law. Redefining the existence of God and the Supreme Sovereign Being as a servant of the people is neither constitutional nor predicated on Justice and independence. Disenfranchising the parishioners of the Catholic church of their right to engage in ministry, according to their rational conscience removes the path for any and all people, especially atheists to find a way into religion, (an individual’s personal and free will response to the gift of Faith from God), and the exercise of rational thought as expression of the rational soul and the freedom of suffrage, the vote. “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” There is no separation of the freedom of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. It is only when peoples start redefining the reality of our Creator and His persons, that men and government lose their meaning. As an aside: When in Roe v. Wade the woman wanted to kill her child, the child became a ward of the court, a ward of the court, the court allowed to be killed.

  • Mary,

    ” I beg to differ with you and your interpretation of our founding principles.”

    I have no different interpretation of our founding principles. This is why your comments are just disturbing to me. I am simply saying that the Declaration of Independence is not a legally-binding document. Show me the court case in which it has ever been invoked as such.

    The most important parts of the Declaration are summarized in the Bill of Rights. The protection of life, liberty and property is in the 5th amendment. The protection of our political rights in the 1st amendment. The protection of our legitimate privacy is in the 4th amendment (not the 9th amendment, as the Blackmum court fantasized). The right of people to determine their own destiny apart from a controlling centralized government is found in the 10th amendment.

    But the plain fact is that the Constitution is not a prefect document. That’s why I like anti-Federalists such as Robert Yeats. It was well understood by him and others that the Constitution may well provide us with a tyranny instead of freedom. And absolutely no one thought that the mere existence of the Declaration of Independence provided any sort of institutional guarantee that this wouldn’t happen. It has certainly INSPIRED people to challenge unjust laws, but it has never been cited in any court case I know of as a legal justification for overturning them. Show me where it has been.

  • And again, I am aware that its principles have often been cited. But never as “the letter of the law” – more like the “spirit.” And I would agree: the Declaration is like the soul to the body of the Constitution. But they aren’t identical in form or function.

    And bodies decay.

  • and in a very small voice, I say that the Person of God is the Person for Whom the Constitution was written.

  • “…and in a very small voice, I say that the Person of God is the Person for Whom the Constitution was written.”

    I don’t think the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence for that matter were written “for” God. But certainly their foundation and basis is God.

  • Paul W. Primavera: The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were framed for the PERSON. Jesus Christ is both a human and a Divine PERSON. Pope John Paul II said that when one person’s rights are denied, all persons’ rights are denied. The Person of Jesus Christ is a citizen of the world, the Sovereign King. The Person of Jesus Christ is denied acknowledgement in the public square. This is contrary to all men being created equal. Christ in His human nature is a man with equal civil rights. As you know Jesus, in His human nature, life was taken from Him, His liberty was denied to Him, and of course He is being even now, forbidden to pursue His Happiness. This happens when Jesus’ name is forbidden in public. The Person of Jesus Christ had to be banned before God’s children could be murdered in the womb. It is the sovereign personhood of the newly begotten human being who’s soul is being torn from his body in abortion. We are all one in the mystical Body of Christ. If some in public office do not respect the PERSON of Jesus Christ, how can they respect any of us or themselves? The PERSON is WHO we are at our core. THE PERSON IS IMMUTABLE. The PERSON is a PERSON, is a PERSON ALWAYS.(from the work of Rev. James Lentini) The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are ratified for the PERSON, by the PERSON and through the PERSON. Thank you Paul W. Primavera for corresponding. I am learning the Ave Maria in Greek. WOW. I have tried Bonchamps patience, brother McClarey’s kindness and very much enjoy your friendship. One Hail Mary
    Av? Mar?a, gr?ti? pl?na,
    Dominus t?cum.
    Benedicta t? in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fr?ctus ventris tu?, I?sus.
    S?ncta Mar?a, M?ter De?,
    ?r? pr? n?b?s pecc?t?ribus,
    nunc et in h?r? mortis nostrae.
    ?m?n.
    Hail Mary, full of grace,
    the Lord is with thee;
    blessed art thou amongst women,
    and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
    Holy Mary, Mother of God,
    pray for us sinners,
    now and at the hour of our death.
    Amen.
    And for good measure, the ancient Greek version as well (which reads a little differently) (hope the Greek letters come out OK):
    ??????? ???????, ?????, ???????????? ?????,
    ? ?????? ???? ???. ?????????? ?? ?? ???????,
    ??? ??????????? ? ?????? ??? ??????? ???,
    ??? ?????? ?????? ??? ????? ????.

  • Paul W Primavera says:
    “…and in a very small voice, I say that the Person of God is the Person for Whom the Constitution was written.”

    “I don’t think the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence for that matter were written “for” God. But certainly their foundation and basis is God.”
    The Declaration of Independence and our Constitution were written for “THE PERSON OF GOD”, and “with” God, July 4th in the year of Our Lord, 1776.
    One nation under God means that the judges of the Supreme Court for the United States of America recognize and acknowledge that they are the personification of almighty God’s absolute and merciful Justice when they are called upon to be JUSTICE. The executive executes the Supreme Law of the Land UNDER GOD through the JUSTICES, the personification of God’s Justice, and the souls of his constituents. The Congress of all men speaks the will of the people. Only TRUTH will be spoken, only TRUTH will be heard or the Congress of all men will have betrayed the nation and committed perjury in the Court. This is possible, practical and privileged through the rational, immortal soul of each and every person, to be represented; his constituency to be acknowledged and to be accorded the endowed unalienable rights of the children of God, by the children of men.
    The atheist, secular humanist, heretic, fallen away from God repudiates his own human soul as having perfection in almighty God, and renders unto Caesar imperfection and more imperfection, denying the newly conceived (constitutional) posterity, created in original innocence, virginity and perfect charity, the only person deserving endowed, unalienable rights, the truth about their sovereign personhood, their constituency in establishing one nation UNDER GOD, and their adoption into the family of God.

4 Responses to This Country is Going to the Dogs

Bring Back the Draft? A Look at the American Experience With Conscription.

Monday, April 23, AD 2012

 I have misused the king’s press damnably. I have got, in exchange of a hundred and fifty soldiers, three hundred and odd pounds. I press me none but good house-holders, yeoman’s sons; inquire me out contracted bachelors, such as had been asked twice on the banns; such a commodity of warm slaves, as had as lieve hear the devil as a drum; such as fear the report of a caliver worse than a struck fowl or a hurt wild-duck.

Falstaff, Henry IV, Part I

 

 

Former Washington Post Reporter Thomas Ricks, who now works for the liberal Center for a New American Security, a think tank focusing on defense issues and which has provided several top personnel in Defense slots for the Obama administration, thinks that it is now time to bring back the Draft.  He proposes it not because he believes that the Draft would improve the military, but because he believes that it would make the nation less likely to go to war.

 

The drawbacks of the all-volunteer force are not military, but political and ethical. One percent of the nation has carried almost all the burden of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while the rest of us essentially went shopping. When the wars turned sour, we could turn our backs.

A nation that disregards the consequences of its gravest decisions is operating in morally hazardous territory. We invaded Iraq recklessly. If we had a draft, a retired general said to me recently, we probably would not have invaded at all.

If there had been a draft in 2001, I think we still would have gone to war in Afghanistan, which was the right thing to do. But I don’t think we would have stayed there much past the middle of 2002 or handled the war so negligently for years after that.

We had a draft in the 1960s, of course, and it did not stop President Lyndon Johnson from getting into a ground war in Vietnam. But the draft sure did encourage people to pay attention to the war and decide whether they were willing to support it.

I believe that Mr. Ricks is completely wrong-headed, and to understand why it is necessary to review the Draft and American history. 

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29 Responses to Bring Back the Draft? A Look at the American Experience With Conscription.

  • I would be interested to learn if Mr. Ricks has any close friends/peers that have actively served in the military. I suspect that he is one of many in America that express concern that only 1% of the citizenry serve, yet is himself totally insulated from the experience.

    The military is not a dumping ground for individuals unwilling to work for the common good, nor is a reform school to change societal expectations. If Mr. Ricks has a problem with the the makeup of the armed forces, he needs to address the lack of dedication by the average citizen both in serving and in keeping the politicians accountable. As President Kennedy said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

    Unfortunately, too many people have forgotten this challenge.

  • JACK: The capsule biographies of Mr. Ricks I could find indicate that he was a military correspondent for first the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post over a period of 16 years, and that he was a reporter or editor for a period of 29 years ‘ere his current employments. It mentions no military service. He has a baccalaureate degree from Yale and grew up in Westchester; his father was a professor. He is familiar with the military, but from the outside.

    I think it is telling that his understanding of what constitutes optimal recruiting practice is something other than building the most effective force possible given available resources. He seems to regard the military as a social problem you have to work around.

  • Well, if the neocons have their way (i.e. Republican Party), more cannon fodder will be needed. Among them William Kristol, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, have all beat the war drums against Iran, Syria, North Korea, or any other faraway place where they believe American bombs should be dropping.

    And I know this will get a rise out of the Lincoln Cultists, which dominate the historical view, it was Abe himself who was widely criticized in the North as a “bloody tyrant” and a “dictator” for his “arbitrary arrests, the suspension of habeas corpus, and the suppression of newspapers . . .” More specifically, imprisoning tens of thousands of Northern civilians without due process for verbally opposing his policies; shutting down over 300 opposition newspapers; deporting an opposing member of Congress; confiscating firearms and other forms of private property; intimidating and threatening to imprison federal judges; invoking military conscription, income taxation, an internal revenue bureaucracy, and huge public debt; and ordering the murder of hundreds of draft protesters in the streets of New York City in July of 1863 are all good reasons why Lincoln was so widely despised.

    I now don my flame-retardant suit in preparation for the onslaught from the “Father Abraham” crowd who know doubt will come out with guns blazing.

  • Ironically, two-thirds of the men who fought in Vietnam were volunteers.

    The uncles I know that volunteered did so because being drafted meant you had zero choice in where you’d go. I don’t know how many of the other volunteers were being similarly smart.

    Joe Green-
    it’s off topic and silly, so why bother chasing after your red herring?

  • Good post, Don.

    Another thing that strikes me (and this ties in with Art’s point that Mr. Ricks appears not to be thinking about the military in relation to its actual purpose — winning wars — but rather as a political and sociological lever) is that the draft suggestion fails to account for the fundamental change in how the US wages war which the volunteer military has helped accelerate, though it was present before. The US does not pursue a “cannon fodder” approach to war, rather it uses technology and highly trained troops to achieve objectives while seeking to minimize its casualties. This makes the US’s approach to warfare much like that of the British Empire 100 years ago, only we have gone much further down that path, and very much unlike the large “universal conscription” powers who based their military might on the ability to pour tens of millions of men onto the battlefield. In the last century, this manpower approach was followed most of all by Russia, but also by Germany and in WW1 by France. Today we see it in the fact that Iran, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Russia all maintain armies with significantly more soldier than our own.

  • There have been two traditional arguments for conscription, one practical, one political.

    The practical argument is that universal conscription, with one or two years of enlistment, coupled with an efficient system of reserves allows a mass of trained troops to be mobilised, when needed, without the cost of maintaining a large standing army. The innumerable branch lines maintained by Continent railway systems until the 1950s bear witness to this philosophy; their primary purpose being the rapid mobilisation of reservists and any freight they earned was viewed as a subsidy.

    The political argument was essentially a moral one, regarding universal conscription as the counter-part to universal suffrage and republican equality: the belief that no citizen should be denied the right, nor relieved of the responsibility of defending the nation under arms. Under the Ancien Régime, by contrast, the nobility had been responsible for the defence of the realm and the sword was everywhere the badge of the gentleman.

    In the UK, primarily a naval power, conscription was unknown until 1916, although, traditionally, merchant seamen had been liable to impressment, in time of war, just as merchant ships had been liable to requisition, under the prerogative.

  • Fox, what’s off-topic about hundreds of draft resisters killed in 1862 on orders from Lincoln? It’s facile to dismiss arguments as “silly” when one is unable to rebut in a reasonable fashion. However, this is not the first time I’ve been chastised on TAC for roaming outside the bounds of conformist thinking and I know it won’t be the last.

  • If they draft them, they don’t need to report them as unemployed . . .

    Here is another one of them rats that wants America to fail.

  • Darwin-
    our military also has a HUGE wealth of baked-in knowledge, since it’s much easier to train volunteers and volunteers are more likely to do a decent pass-down.

    Joe-
    if you think objecting to a rant about “neocons” is a facile dodge and about conformist thinking, I can’t help you.

  • I now don my flame-retardant suit in preparation for the onslaught from the “Father Abraham” crowd who know doubt will come out with guns blazing.

    However, this is not the first time I’ve been chastised on TAC for roaming outside the bounds of conformist thinking and I know it won’t be the last.

    Joe, can the martyr act, please. You’re not chastised for thinking outside the box. You’re chastised for ranting based on faulty sources of information. I also find this complaint amusing since on another live thread you’re the one engaging in conformist thought with regards to Hamilton and Jefferson.

  • There has never been a draft in America without a war. Conscription would not only encourage an undeclared war (we used to call it a “police action”), but it would guarantee a continued supply of “fresh meat” to prolong our involvement. In addition, I don’t see much clamoring to draft women, let alone are they presently required to register, even as we tout equal opportunity for them in the military.

  • There has never been a draft in America without a war.

    In the interests of precision, military conscription was in effect from September of 1940 to January of 1973. We were under a national mobilization from 1940 to 1946 and something very like one from June of 1950 through the end of 1954. The rest of the time, no. (Re Indochina, the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product was declining throughout most of the war).

  • “ordering the murder of hundreds of draft protesters in the streets of New York City in July of 1863 are all good reasons why Lincoln was so widely despised. ”

    First and last warning Joe. My tolerance for bad history is at a low point. Here is what really happened in the New York draft riots.

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/317749.html

    The American Catholic does not exist so that people can have a forum to spout historically ignorant idiocy. If that is what you wish to do you might wish to post elsewhere.

    You and T.Shaw are on moderation for the time being.

  • Don, as to events that occurred 100 years or so ago, since neither of us was there we have to rely on historians and it’s simply a matter of whose research and scholarship you wish to subscribe to. I didn’t mean to stray off the reservation.

    As for Fox, I’ll pass on any “help” you might have to offer but appreciate the gesture.

  • Historical facts are historical facts Joe. There are historians who strive for accuracy and then there are lying cranks like Dilorenzo. Factual debates about history fascinate me, but the history has to be accurate or such debates are a complete waste of everyone’s time.

  • Not to belabor the point, Don but how do you determine which version of history is “accurate.” ? Contemporary witnesses are perhaps the best we have to go on, which is a strong argument for the Gospel writers even though they did not set paper to pen right away.

    Still, the closer in time to an event one is the more reliable the account, biases notwithstanding — a strong caveat to be sure. Contemporary journals, diaries, newspaper accounts, personal memoirs etc., carry more weight, it would seem, than an historian looking back 100 years and trying to “interpret” events through a lens colored by a particular political persuasion or, as Bill O’Reilly does in his absurd “Killing Lincoln,” trying to tell us what is in peoples’ minds. Though a popular best-seller, serious scholars point out numerous inaccuracies and distortions in his book even though it makes for a good read, much like a romance novel.

    DiLorenzo, by the way, praises David Donald, an ardent admirer of Lincoln, as the best of the “mainstream” Lincolnogists, putting him in the middle of a spectrum that, on the far left, includes the likes of Marxist Eric Foner and pop historian Doris Kearns-Goodwin.

    Lastly, there are more than 14,000 books written about Lincoln. Surely, it would take more than a lifetime to read them all and decide which are historically “accurate.”

  • I have a little bit different take as a Viet Nam era officer. First of all the “US’s” draftees, performed as well as their “RA” brethren. Secondly, I think it is unconscionable that most of our current guys have served three and four tours in Iraq/Afghanistan. I work with PTSD vets and it is madness.

    I do believe a strong case can be made for some form of national service like many other countries including Israel. It gives them an experience of accountability and responsibility at a young age and perhaps for the first time in their lives. If I were king, I would have them doing airport security in place of the abject silliness we have now. They could also be deployed for increased port and border security. It’ll never happen politically, but I do think it would be a good thing. And yes, girls , too.

  • Don

    Great post that only begins to touch on the subject.

    I have noticed that liberal groups that support a return to the draft always mention “alternative Service,” apparently mandatory, Since the military does not need that many people.

    But they also support all sorts of “grand projects” that can’t be accomplished if they pay going (or fair or living) wages.

  • The idea of a Draft Hank, in my mind, can only be justified in a war where the survival of the nation is at stake. Forcing people to put their lives on hold and be part of the military is antithetical to a free society except in a dire emergency. I have never understood the enthusiasm so many politicians have for some sort of an involuntary national service simply as a matter of course.

  • I am a right wing type who from a military stand point has been there and done that, Dr. McClarey, as well as being one of those zealous Catholic converts who was baptized at the tender age of 57, and have been an RCIA catechist beginning several months after I emerged from the font in 2005. National service is an honorable concept, not as a matter of course, but to help change the entitlement mindset in this country and provide a way for these kids to learn and contribute.

    They’re not getting love for this country from their parents nor the public schools.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and this blog, but in my opinion , your comment:

    “Forcing people to put their lives on hold and be part of the military is antithetical to a free society except in a dire emergency. I have never understood the enthusiasm so many politicians have for some sort of an involuntary national service simply as a matter of course.”

    is very naive, and quite frankly very Euro!

    I’m sorry, and don’t mean to offend, but there are many, many of us who do not accept your view that putting our lives on hold, was antithetical to a free society. Nor would the Founders in my view.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

  • Well Jerry, back in my mispent youth I joined the Army. Most of my male family members did the same, including an uncle who fought in Korea and two other uncles who fought in World War II. A great uncle of mine served in the Royal Army during World War II. My father joined the Air Force during the Korean War although he did not see service in that conflict. My brother commanded a tank platoon in Germany in the early eighties. As regular readers of this blog know I hold in the highest esteem those who put their lives on the line defending this nation. However, I do not retract one iota of my antipathy to the Draft except in dire emergencies. Compulsory service is antithetical to everything this country stands for. As for my comment being Euro, actually most European nations have traditionally relied on conscription to fill their militaries and have only recently embraced the concept of a volunteer force. More than a few of the immigrants to these shores from Europe were seeking to avoid this compulsory service. Traditional American antipathy to the Draft I view as a healthy sign of a reluctance to infringe on the personal liberty of our citizens.

  • Trying to imagine a job so worthless that having Mandatory Volunteer labor by high school graduates would be an improvement….

    Can’t think of one, frankly. You think TSA is bad, especially with things disappearing during screening? Good heavens! And then there’s the way that enterprising young mandatory volunteers would line their pockets if put on watch….

    Kids these days are the way they are in large part because they’ve spent over a decade being pumped through a gov’t run school. How is mandating an additional required term going to fix that? Good heavens, even with a volunteer force military service doesn’t “fix” a lack of love of the country– if it ever did, the military is far too bureaucratic now!

    Totally ignoring that giving the government the presumed right to not just years of our citizens’ lives, but to their actual labor… very bad idea.

    Want to fix kids’ entitlement mentalities?
    Fix the labor laws so that kids can get jobs, then if you really want gov’t to have workers, hire the kids to pick up trash in parks for something like two bucks an hour, plus bounty on recyclables, under supervision of one or two adults. (Fixes would have to include lowering the cost of hiring someone, fixing minimum wage, etc. I’d suggest making a new category for employment called “cash labor,” basically formalizing what happens under the counter right now, but I’m digressing.)

  • As Rousseau says, in the Social Contract:

    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.”

    And again, “The better the constitution of a State is, the more do public affairs encroach on private in the minds of the citizens. Private affairs are even of much less importance, because the aggregate of the common happiness furnishes a greater proportion of that of each individual, so that there is less for him to seek in particular cares.”

  • Did he have any musings about what happens when we think the State is supposed to serve the common good, rather that the people serving the State? Or when people don’t want to serve them with as much cash as they’re getting right now? Or anything about the state shifting to serving itself by bribing small sections of the public? Or when too much power for too little cause is given to the state?

    I haven’t read Rousseau myself, but that quote sounds a lot like someone shifting religious values over to the state. Dangerous thing.

  • Foxfier

    He does indeed!

    “each individual, as a man, may have a particular will contrary or dissimilar to the general will which he has as a citizen. His particular interest may speak to him quite differently from the common interest: his absolute and naturally independent existence may make him look upon what he owes to the common cause as a gratuitous contribution, the loss of which will do less harm to others than the payment of it is burdensome to himself; and, regarding the moral person which constitutes the State as a “persona ficta,” because not a man, he may wish to enjoy the rights of citizenship without being ready to fulfil the duties of a subject. The continuance of such an injustice could not but prove the undoing of the body politic.

    In order then that the social compact may not be an empty formula, it tacitly includes the undertaking, which alone can give force to the rest, that whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be compelled to do so by the whole body. This means nothing less than that he will be forced to be free [qu’on le forcera d’être libre]; for this is the condition which, by giving each citizen to his country, secures him against all personal dependence. In this lies the key to the working of the political machine; this alone legitimises civil undertakings, which, without it, would be absurd, tyrannical, and liable to the most frightful abuses.”

  • Such as the absurd tyranny of forced service to the public not to prevent a threat to the general community, but for your own good?

    In context, it looks like he’s dancing around democratic and republic style gov’ts, and trying to build a philosophy on that fence from pure reason. (Explains why I keep having flashbacks to libertarian texts….)

    Yeash, what a wordy fellow. (As those who are familiar with my comments can testify, I’m in a position to recognized wordy when I see it.)

  • I generally concur with Donald’s assessment.

    I think it worth noting that the turning of the American public’s opinion regarding Iraq was due in no small part to the Bush Administration’s bungling in terms of articulating the importance of seeing the fight in Iraq through. Condalezza Rice’s tin eared response (“I thought we were making a strong case.”) to question regarding why the administration didn’t make a strong enough case when things got bad during the insurgency There was also the problems of Bush’s rather naive trust of the State Department prior to the invasion.

    To get a real sense of how things got so badly out of hand with the post invasion insurgency, I would highly recommend the book “War and Decision’ by Doug Feith (Undersecretary of Defense for policy from July 20012 until August 2005) and Don Rumsfeld’s memoirs.

    I am afraid that the left is going to be so successful in gutting our military, a draft may very well be needed if a significantl scale war were to break out, which may very well happen. Also worth noting is the fact that no republican president since Reagan has done anything to substantively counteract the left’s erosion of our defense.

    This I think is the not so soft underbelly of Mr. Rick’s motivation.

  • With all respect to those actually engaged in combat, most servicemembers have a rosy, well-paying existence–which draftees never did.

  • I’d disagree about “well paid,” but very good point. (fighting urge to digress into cost cutting schemes…)

49 Responses to If I Wanted America to Fail…

  • It is noteworthy that the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which the National Assembly “recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being,” declares “The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.”

    The nearly contemporaneous Bill of Rights in the US contains no explicit recognition of the right of resistance to oppression, but I suppose it is included by implication in the Ninth Amendment, especially if this is read together with the Declaration of Independence.

  • Sir,

    I had never thought in these terms. It appears the US citizen’s right to resist oppression is not addressed. However, the means to resist are guarantied in the Second Amendment. Now, I see why liberals and progressives try to disarm free men.

    Now, we are being oppressed by a party and a regime that want America to fail.

  • As French history amply indicates, the Declaration of the Rights of Man did little to protect the French from oppression. In the United States the Declaration of Independence amply supplies the theoretical basis for resistance to oppression:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

  • Comparing the French and American Revolutions is deceptive, primarily because the French Revolution did not, could not and was never intended to, create a whole new nation. While both could be considered “civil” wars, a large difference is that the English Crown statyed relatively unchanged after American Independence; the French Crown wound up in a bloody basket. American Revolutionaries had no intention of changing English government – they simply wanted out. French Revolutionaries were hell-bent on “reform,” which never ends the way it was supposed to.

    There may have been similarities in the driving principles behind each, but they are mere paralells. The means by which each conclusion was reached indicates the substance of the disparate peoples’ motivations.

    To Mr. Shaw: Welcome to the club. Better late than never, and congratulations on the epiphany. Your zeal is the nitro that drives the engine of resistance.

  • As French history amply indicates, the Declaration of the Rights of Man did little to protect the French from oppression. In the United States the Declaration of Independence amply supplies the theoretical basis for resistance to oppression:

    I doubt the parchment was all that potent in either case. Different array of social forces. (One should note that constitutional government in France has, since 1860 or therabouts, been interrupted only by foreign military occupation).

  • “(One should note that constitutional government in France has, since 1860 or therabouts, been interrupted only by foreign military occupation).”

    French Empire II, the Third Republic, French State (Vichy France), the Fourth Republic, and the Fifth Republic. If only French systems of government had the stability of aged French wine!

  • Another of the first things Obama did was cut the Patent Office in half and order our inventions put online for China. Thank God for this eloquent expose. Most people still have the bag over their heads. We are being kidnapped by our own government. Sold into slavery by a soulless monster.

  • It’s nice that your quoting Jefferson, Don, a Founder we idolize, but the face is that Hamiltonian government is today’s reality, not Jefferson, who espoused limited government, states’ rights and the right of the people (as in the first paragraph), in today’s parlance, to throw the bums out and/or revolt when necessary.

    As George Will once wrote, Americans are fond of quoting Jefferson, but we live in Hamilton’s country. To quote Loyola College economics professor Tom DiLorenzo, who has gained fame as a Lincoln basher: “Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.

    “Jefferson and his followers opposed him every step of the way because they understood that Hamilton’s agenda was totally destructive of liberty. And unlike Hamilton, they took Adam Smith’s warnings against economic interventionism seriously.”

    DiLorenzo’s book, “Hamilton’s Curse…” is en eye-opener on the true intent of the Founders. A taste can be found here:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo151.html

  • Donald R. McClarey

    I suppose one could say that constitutional government has only been interrupted by foreign military occupation, since Louis-Napoléon’s coup of 2 December 1851. That would include the fall of the Second Empire, the Paris Commune and the establishment of the Third Republic, as the result of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870 and the fall of the Third Republic in 1940 in WWII and the establishment of the Fourth Republic at ist conclusion.

    The collapse of the Fourth Republic in May/June 1958 can fairly be regarded as a hiccup. I was in Paris at the time (I was 13) and I can remember how people reacted to the news that the paras of the Légion étrangère had landed in Corsica and how the garrison of Rambouillet parked the tanks in the Luxembourg gardens. There were reports in the papers of how one man had walked out of the Bourse and shot himself on the podium, only for his body to be trampled by the frenzied brokers, trying to get in. That was the only death recorded. But it was a pretty tame affair.

  • French Empire II, the Third Republic, French State (Vichy France), the Fourth Republic, and the Fifth Republic. If only French systems of government had the stability of aged French wine!

    The 2d Empire and the 3d Republic were brought to a close by foreign military occupation, not internal political processes. Vichy was a consequence of the occupation. The transition from the 4th to the 5th Republic was accomplished in seven months, involved no violence, and had the explicit assent of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the National Assembly, and a popular referendum.

  • “To quote Loyola College economics professor Tom DiLorenzo, who has gained fame as a Lincoln basher: “Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.”

    Citing DiLorenzo on any historical point Joe is akin to quoting Bill Clinton on celibacy. DiLorenzo is an historical illiterate who lies to support the political points that he is trying to make in his ignorant polemics. An example of Dilorenzo at work:

    DiLorenzo repeatedly asserts that Lincoln did not believe in human equality and shared the widely held prejudices of his time that blacks were inferior. Here is DiLorenzo:

    “Lincoln even mocked the Jeffersonian dictum enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. He admitted that it had become “a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation,” but added, “I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism” So, with the possible exception of Siamese Twins, the idea of equality, according to Lincoln, was a sheer absurdity. This is in stark contrast to the seductive words of the Gettysburg Address, eleven years later, in which he purported to rededicate the nation to the notion that all men are created equal.”

    DiLorenzo cites the first joint debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, held in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1858, as the source of the quotation. The language actually comes from Lincoln’s eulogy of his longtime friend and colleague Henry Clay, delivered in July 1852. But that is the least of DiLorenzo’s problems. He uses this quotation, and a few other excerpted phrases, to “prove” that Lincoln’s professed belief in human equality was disingenuous. Here are Lincoln’s actual words:

    “[There are] a few, but an increasing number of men, who, for the sake of perpetuating slavery, are beginning to assail and to ridicule the white man’s charter of freedom, the declaration “that all men are created equal.” So far as I have learned, the first American, of any note, to do or attempt this, was the late John C. Calhoun; and if I mistake not, it soon after found its way into some of the messages of the Governors of South Carolina. We, however, look for, and are not much shocked by, political eccentricities and heresies in South Carolina. But, only last year, I saw with astonishment, what purported to be a letter of a very distinguished and influential clergyman of Virginia, copied, with apparent approbation, into a St. Louis newspaper, containing the following, to me, very extraordinary language:

    I am fully aware that there is a text in some Bibles that is not in mine. Professional abolitionists have made more use of it, than of any passage in the Bible. It came, however, as I trace it, from Saint Voltaire, and was baptized by Thomas Jefferson, and since almost universally regarded as canonical authority ‘All men are born equal and free.’

    This is a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation. I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism.

    This sounds strangely in republican America. The like was not heard in the fresher days of the Republic.”

    DiLorenzo thus attributes to Lincoln the words of a Virginia clergyman whom Lincoln quoted and then went on to criticize. In the course of his eulogy of Clay, Lincoln defended the proposition of human equality and equal natural rights, as he did in all his major addresses. His argument is precisely the opposite of what DiLorenzo claims it to be.

    http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.736/article_detail.asp

  • “The 2d Empire and the 3d Republic were brought to a close by foreign military occupation, not internal political processes.”

    Those were the precipitating factors Art, but in each case the old regime could have been brought back if the French had wished. In the Franco-Prussian War most of France was never brought under the control of the German troops.

  • I think your name should be called Donald Mc Clarity .
    Thank you once again

  • Don, I think you brush off DiLorenzo much too lightly. An open-minded reading of his works reveals a fresh, more objective view of history and the Civil War than “conventional wisdom” — an oxymoron if there ever was one — suggests. His scholarship and credentials are impressive. I believe your bias stems from your dim view of Ron Paul, whose isolationists/non-interventionist foreign policy views are anathema to the Establishment, but are core beliefs of Libertarians. DiLorenzo, of the Austrian School, had such mentors as Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman, who could hardly been marginalized as “historical illiterates.”

  • My own reading of Hamilton pegs him as every bit the statist as well. If he had his way, we wouldn’t have even had a Bill of Rights.

  • Joe G.,

    You’re barking up the wrong tree, lol.

    In spite of our previous disagreement, here you and I agree. But don’t expect Don to.

  • Don, as long as we’re cherry-picking quotes, here’s another one to chew on:

    As Lincoln said in one of his debates with Stephen Douglas, “The African upon his own soil has all the natural rights that instrument [the Declaration of Independence] vouchsafes to all mankind” (emphasis added). That is, translating from Lincolnese, black people — who Lincoln referred to as “the Africans,” as though they were from another planet — should only be able to enjoy human rights in Africa, not anywhere in the U.S. This statement gives the lie to the notion that Lincoln believed in natural rights for all people.

  • I gotta say Joe, I think your inference is quite a stretch. One would need far more context to establish the meaning of such a quotation.

  • Bon, taking in sum, Lincoln’s own words show he was a white supremacist and all the spin in the world can’t change that. He carried the Bible around like a prop, much like politicians do today with the American flags pinned to their lapels. He was never a regular churchgoer much less a Christian.

    As for Hamilton, it’s too bad his ideas didn’t die with him when Burr gunned him down. Lincoln set up the Second Republic, fueled by Hamilton’s grandiose vision of a big-government America. They both got their wish.

  • Hamilton’s ideas didn’t die because they weren’t exclusively his. He spoke for a broad range of interests who benefited from the policies he pushed, as did Jefferson. When I read Hamilton in the Federalist Papers though, I will say that feel as if I am reading a con-artist trying to pull one over on everyone.

    As for Lincoln, I dunno if he was a white supremacist. I haven’t really studied that era of American history as much as some other people here. But as a general rule, I don’t think you can sum up a person’s beliefs from one or two quotes. God help me if anyone does that to me.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a Lincoln worshiper. Had the issue in the Civil War been anything other than slavery (well almost anything), I’d have been first in line to fight for the CSA. I might have fought for them anyway, given that slavery was absolutely destined to perish for economic reasons by the end of the century anyway, as it did everywhere else in the world.

    Unlike some people here, I’m with Thomas Woods on the right of nullification and secession. The idea that we “have to have a union” is pure ideology, and nothing worth fighting or dying over in my book.

    All that said, you have to do better than a few lines from a speech to establish Lincoln’s views on race.

  • “Lincoln’s own words show he was a white supremacist and all the spin in the world can’t change that.”

    Rubbish Joe. Try these words from black abolitionist Frederick Douglass:

    “Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future, under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood; under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country; under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States; under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag; under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington; under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia; under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer; under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds; under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months’ grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States. Though we waited long, we saw all this and more. “

  • At most, it shows that Lincoln adhered to a concept of nationality that has a long pedigree in Europe, namely that nationality is defined by descent and birth, and it is neither revocable nor is it attainable at will. One may lose one’s citizenship, but not one’s nationality. The nation is conceived as a unit of common descent and blood and not of voluntary adherence and of association. From this, the legal definition of minorities as permanent aliens logically follows. Hence, Germany’s well-known law, granting citizenship to members of “communities of German descent.” Greece has a similar law.

    By contrast, the French Revolution introduced a novel concept of the nation as the community of all those who are not exempt from taxation, military service and other public duties; it includes all those, and only those, who are willing and capable of sharing in the service of the country. This, I fancy, is closer to the modern American model.

  • I find it strange that “the nation” would not include non-taxpayers or non-soldiers. It would be a pretty small nation. I don’t think that’s how we have ever conceived of the American nation. Sure there are some obligations on American citizens, but there are few things if any one “must” participate in in order to be considered a citizen. We don’t have Rousseau’s “general will” here; we have the Lockean individual. Two very different social contracts for two very different revolutions.

  • I think you brush off DiLorenzo much too lightly.

    That’s not really possible. DiLorenzo is a joke of an “historian.” He barely cites his arguments, often employs strawmen in order to discredit those he is trying to tear down, and uses selective quotations in order to paint Lincoln as some kind of white supremacist. I’d sooner credit a history paper written by a junior at some state college than anything DiLorenzo has written.

    As for Hamilton, he was no statist. I’ve written about this before – Hamilton wanted a strong federal government, but one that had few, well-defined powers. In other words, he would abhor the growth of the leviathan state because the federal government as it stands now has its hands in far too many activities. As Hamilton correctly predicted, a government the size of our current federal behemoth would be too inefficient.

    I would counter Joe Green’s point above by stating that we are all too-Jeffersonian a nation. It is the Jefferson ideology, contrary to popular belief, that has led to the growth of the democratic totalitarian state. How? Buy my book – when it’s available (hopefully) at some point in the not too distant future. Or you can evidently just buy my dissertation for the low, low price of $69. At just under 33 cents per page, it’s a real bargain.

    Edited to note: On second thought, wait for the book. I don’t get royalties on the dissertation sale.:)

  • If he [Hamilton] had his way, we wouldn’t have even had a Bill of Rights.

    Madison didn’t want one either, nor did most of the Federalists (the people who wrote the Constitution). They didn’t want one because they thought that a specific enumeration of rights would actually be counter-productive, allowing the federal government to violate natural rights not specifically mentioned. The 9th and 10th Amendments were an attempt to assuage those concerns.

  • I specifically said “not exempt from taxation, military service and other public duties,” in contrast to the Ancien Régime, where the nobility and clergy were exempt from taxation, the clergy from military service &c. Of course, there will always be citizens too poor to pay direct taxes or unfit for military service, but the Revolution abolished all privileges that placed the ruling minority above and outside the nation.

    The most important event of the Revolution was on 17th June 1789, when the Third Estate (the House of Commons) declared itself the National Assembly. In other words, they represented the nation and the other two estates – the clergy and the nobility – represented only themselves and their special interests.

  • Paul, et al…since I’m clearly outnumbered here (as usual), I’ll refrain from adding to the Jefferson-Hamilton debate, given 1) that it is never-ending and 2) reasonable people can disagree on which man’s ideas most influenced our nation as it is constituted today.

    Don, I do not discount Frederick Douglass, nor any other defenders of Lincoln but merely note that the mass adulation and reverence he is accorded may be tempered by fair-minded analyses of those who seriously seek the truth. I am a journalist by training, since retired, and one of the cardinal rules of the profession is that the more sources the better and more accurate a story is.

    In the trial of the Lincoln conspirators, by the way, more than 300 witnesses were called to testify. Point being that the truth is usually arrived at after only thorough investigation and sorting of the facts and evidence, which as a lawyer you must agree.

    On the other hand, there are many who believe that all history is “settled” and there can be no new information to cast a matter into new light — which case we might as well cut off all debate and stop the printing presses.

  • Paul Z,

    “Madison didn’t want one either, nor did most of the Federalists (the people who wrote the Constitution). ”

    Maybe so, but Madison ended up offering persuasive arguments and actually drafting them once the public pressure mounted. And then lo and behold, he joins Thomas Jefferson’s political party, virulently opposed to Hamiltonianism.

    I don’t doubt that the Federalists on the whole opposed the Bill of Rights. But its Hamilton’s clunky arguments against them that stand out historically, and Madison who ends up becoming one of its champions. Thomas Jefferson wasn’t exactly an “anti” Federalist either, and he was pretty insistent upon them.

  • “They didn’t want one because they thought that a specific enumeration of rights would actually be counter-productive, allowing the federal government to violate natural rights not specifically mentioned”

    Was that really a “they” position or a Hamilton position? Who else actually believed and promoted this line of thought?

    And doesn’t it strike you as a bit… strange, to say the least? It isn’t surprising to me that popular demand for a Bill of Rights was strong enough to overcome what is clearly a bit of chicanery and sophistry.

  • Maybe so, but Madison ended up offering persuasive arguments and actually drafting them once the public pressure mounted. And then lo and behold, he joins Thomas Jefferson’s political party, virulently opposed to Hamiltonianism.

    Madison’s decision to draft a Bill of Rights is not linked in any way to his later rift with Hamilton. In fact, I’d argue that even though Madison and Jefferson wound up as political allies, Madison remained philosophically much closer to Hamilton than he ever did with Jefferson.

  • “On the other hand, there are many who believe that all history is “settled” and there can be no new information to cast a matter into new light — which case we might as well cut off all debate and stop the printing presses.”

    Joe G,

    I completely agree. The arrogance of “settled history” is simply unjustifiable. And anyone seeking to defend the Catholic Church historically ought to know that. If we couldn’t challenge academic narrative on the Church, all of the Black Legends would still be circulating from the “Crusades” through the Inqusition, Galileo, Pius XII, etc. The truth in these cases came out because of persistent and marginalized historians pushing the envelope and ignoring what the politically-correct “consensus” had become.

  • “Madison’s decision to draft a Bill of Rights is not linked in any way to his later rift with Hamilton.”

    Not in ANY way, huh? I can’t say I’ve read every word that was written on the topic by Madison, but unless he specifically and explicitly rejected such a linkage, I’d have a hard time ruling it out axiomatically.

  • Was that really a “they” position or a Hamilton position?

    The “they” is a majority of the people who wrote and approved the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention. If this had been only Hamilton’s position, then a Bill of Rights would certainly have been adopted in September 1787.

    Who else actually believed and promoted this line of thought?

    James Madison.

    . because there is great reason to fear that a positive declaration of some of the most essential rights could not be obtained in the requisite latitude. I am sure that the rights of conscience in particular, if submitted to public definition would be narrowed much more than they are ever likely to be by an assumed power. One of the objections in New England was that the Constitution by prohibiting religious tests, opened a door for Jews Turks & infidels.

    3. because the limited powers of the federal Government and the jealousy of the subordinate Governments, afford a security which has not existed in the case of the State Governments, and exists in no other.

    4. because experience proves the inefficiency of a bill of rights on those occasions when its controul is most needed. Repeated violations of these parchment barriers have been committed by overbearing majorities in every State. In Virginia I have seen the bill of h rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current. … Wherever the real power in a government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents. This is a truth of great importance, but not yet sufficiently attended to. … Wherever there is an interest and power to do wrong, wrong will generally be done, and not less readily by a powerful & interested party than by a powerful and interested prince. … The difference so far as it relates to the point in question — the efficacy of a bill of rights in controuling abuses of power — lies in this: that in a monarchy the latent force of the nation is superior to that of the Sovereign, and a solemn charter of popular rights must have a great effect, as a standard for trying the validity of public acts, and a signal for rousing & uniting the superior force of the community; whereas in a popular Government, the political and physical power may be considered as vested in the same hands, that is in a majority of the people, and, consequently the tyrannical will of the Sovereign is not [to] be controuled by the dread of an appeal to any other force within the community.

    Now Madison wound up relenting because, as he said in the opening line of the quoted letter, the Bill of Rights were presented in a way that made it clear that the enumeration of certain rights didn’t mean that other rights not mentioned were not protected.

    And doesn’t it strike you as a bit… strange, to say the least?

    Well, we’ve got about 50 million slaughtered unborn children that testify that natural rights not specifically outlined in the Bill of Rights haven’t always been closely safeguarded.

    It isn’t surprising to me that popular demand for a Bill of Rights was strong enough to overcome what is clearly a bit of chicanery and sophistry.

    It was neither chicanery or sophistry. The Federalists earnestly believed that the Bill of Rights were not necessary, and in fact counter-productive. They may have been incorrect, ultimately, though I think their logic was certainly sound.

  • ” It is the Jefferson ideology, contrary to popular belief, that has led to the growth of the democratic totalitarian state.”

    Now that’s a statement, too. And I don’t buy it. However, I wouldn’t mind reading your book and being persuaded 🙂

    Jefferson believed that the 10th amendment was the foundation of the Constitution. Given what has unfolded historically and even to this day, with the juridical usurpation of popular sovereignty at the state level, I’d have to say he was proven right. There are many cases in which “democracy” would have kept abortion illegal, would have kept gay “marriage” from arising in certain states (and is still keeping it in check now), is attempting, even if a bit clumsily I will admit, to do the job on immigration that federal government cannot or will not do, and so on.

    As a sneak peak for your book, could you define what “democratic totalitarianism” is?

  • Not in ANY way, huh?

    No.

    I can’t say I’ve read every word that was written on the topic by Madison,

    I haven’t read every word written by Madison on the subject, but I have read enough to rule this out completely.

    but unless he specifically and explicitly rejected such a linkage, I’d have a hard time ruling it out axiomatically.

    Thomas Jefferson didn’t rule out the style of military dress worn by British officers as a precipitating cause of the American Revolution, and yet I don’t have a hard time ruling that out axiomatically.

    What I’m getting at, bonchamps, is that there is enough written about the political discord in the early years of our republic to know that disagreement over the Bill of Rights had nothing to do with the Hamilton-Madison rift.

  • Bonchamps,

    It would be impossible to get at the heart of why I think Jeffersonianism actually led to the creation of a central administrative state in just a couple of paragraphs, at least right now when I do need to turn to other matters, but maybe I can elaborate even before my theoretical book comes out.

    As for democratic totalitarianism, as much as I hate to rely on wikipedia, it will do in a pinch, and this article is accurate as far as what the term means. Upon reflection, I’m not sure it’s fully appropriate in terms of Jefferson, though De Tocqueville’s description of “soft despotism” might be more apt.

  • “we’ve got about 50 million slaughtered unborn children that testify that natural rights not specifically outlined in the Bill of Rights haven’t always been closely safeguarded.”

    But the right to life IS a part of the 5th amendment, isn’t it? I mean, granted, there is no “right” to be called and regarded a “person” from the moment of conception mentioned in the document, but then, I don’t think you would have found any Christian natural law theologians who would have recognized such a concept either. The natural right of all persons to life is recognized, however, in the 5th amendment, and abortion arguably violates that clause.

    ” The Federalists earnestly believed that the Bill of Rights were not necessary, and in fact counter-productive.”

    That particular argument though, that the government would end up violating natural rights it hadn’t known existed? Really? That’s an “earnest” argument?

    Maybe I am as dense as a flatbed loaded up with bricks, but I don’t see the slightest bit of sense in that argument.

    “Don’t say X is a right, because then we might violate that right!”

    Response: “Well, if you know what it is… then you can take extra care NOT to violate it…? And that’s what we want as free people? Right?”

  • “The philosophy of totalitarian democracy, according to Talmon, is based on a top-down view of society, which sees an absolute and perfect political truth to which all reasonable humans are driven.” — from the Wiki

    Now how could this possibly be related to Jefferson?

    No one who argued that the 10th amendment was the foundation of the entire Constitution could possibly endorse or even imply such a thing (at least while being consistent, for heaven’s sake!) Because the idea behind that amendment is that there will be a plurality of states that are going to want to pursue their own visions of “political truth”, free from interference not only be the fed. gov. but other states as well. Beyond Constitutional guarantees of a “republican form of government”, there is no mandated political truth for the states to follow and employ. There were established churches in some states, other states had slavery, some states had both, others had neither, and so on.

  • [i]t is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

    To borrow from Shrek: we have the right, what we lack is the capability.

  • I, too, would be very interested in reading Paul’s book when it comes out.

    On the subject of Thomas Jefferson, I would recommend Leonard Levy’s book Jefferson and Civil Liberties: The Darker Side. Reading that, along with some of Joseph Ellis’ stuff about the political conflicts in the 1790s, really convinced me that Jefferson was very much overrated.

  • really convinced me that Jefferson was very much overrated.

    The unearthly shrieks you just heard were from the docents at Monticello.

  • Jefferson was very much a mixed bag, but anyone who could pen the magnificent Declaration of Independence will always have his place in the pantheon of American statesmen.

  • I, too, would be very interested in reading Paul’s book when it comes out.

    Now that’s a way to get the thing published. I can tell prospective publishers that the thing comes with a pre-order waiting list already!

  • Clearly, the Hamiltonians rule here.

  • That’s why I’m here, Joe, lol.

    I’m more of a Robert Yates man myself.

  • Well, I’m not a Hamiltonian exactly. My model Founding Father – well, my gravatar should say it all.

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Religious Liberty: “You Need Not Thank Anyone But God For It”

Sunday, April 22, AD 2012

Hat tip to Mark Scott Abeln at Rome of the West for bringing the story which follows to our attention.  Although the U.S. Constitution enshrines free exercise of religion as the first freedom in the First Amendment, attempts by government to assert authority over who can and cannot carry out the ministry of the Church happened long before the recent unpleasantness of the HHS mandate.

One such instance occurred almost 150 years ago in Missouri, in the aftermath of the Civil War.  In the closing months of the war, Radical Republicans, determined to prevent resurgence of proslavery or pro-secessionist power, drafted a new state constitution which imposed a “Test Oath” as a condition of being allowed to vote, hold public office, or practice certain professions. Those required to take the Test Oath included teachers, physicians, attorneys, corporation officials, and clergy of all denominations. Those who continued to practice their profession or ministry after a specified deadline without having taken the oath were subject to arrest, fines and imprisonment.

The oath required one to affirm various provisions of the new constitution, including one that excluded persons who had ever “given aid, comfort, countenance or support to any person engaged in hostility” against the United States from the professions and activities covered by the law.  As the oath was written, persons who had any kind of regular contact or relationship with a Confederate or Southern sympathizer before or during the war were or could be excluded.  Moreover, demanding assent to the oath as a condition of exercising religious ministry was a blatant infringement upon religious freedom. Archbishop Peter Kenrick of St. Louis had ordered his priests to remain neutral during the war, and when the Test Oath was enacted, counseled his priests against taking it.

Father John Joseph Hogan, a native of Ireland who had served scattered missions in rural Missouri since 1857, was one of those who refused to take the oath. A grand jury refused to indict him for violating the Test Oath law, but Radical officials replaced those jurors with others who returned an indictment. Father Hogan was then arrested but freed after posting bail. He wrote the following in a letter to parishioners and other supporters who had protested his arrest (emphasis added):

You term Religious Liberty a God-given right. So it is. Let me add. You need not thank anyone but God for it. God is the source of Right and Power. He has said to those sent by Him to teach His religion: “All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore teach ye all nations. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” In virtue of this power, He sends us to teach and promises to be with us. His authority is ours. Were it man’s authority, man would not now oppose, nor from the beginning have opposed, its exercise. The Civil Authority has been ever, from the days of Herod, the enemy of Christ. Christ therefore could not have entrusted to it, the care of His heavenly teaching …

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5 Responses to Religious Liberty: “You Need Not Thank Anyone But God For It”

  • Great post Elaine and a big Amen to your last sentence.

  • Dieu et mon droit.

  • Religious freedom encompasses all freedom, the freedom to speak to God, to write about and to God and the freedom to peaceably assemble for God. Freedom for our constitutional posterity encompasses the right to Life. “but not conspire against Caesar” is written into law that forbids assassinating heads of government, but meeting, as St. Joan of Arc did predators of her people is not conspiring against Caesar. It may even be called an education for Caesar. I may forgive my murderer, I cannot forgive my neighbor’s (read countryman) murderer without becoming an accessory after the fact.

  • Here in Scotland, the Declaratory Articles, ratified by parliament in the Church of Scotland Act 1921, contains one of the clearest statements of the principle that I know:

    “This Church, as part of the Universal Church wherein the Lord Jesus Christ has appointed a government in the hands of Church office-bearers, receives from Him, its Divine King and Head, and from Him alone, the right and power subject to no civil authority to legislate, and to adjudicate finally, in all matters of doctrine, worship, government, and discipline in the Church… Recognition by civil authority of the separate and independent government and jurisdiction of this Church in matters spiritual, in whatever manner such recognition be expressed, does not in any way affect the character of this government and jurisdiction as derived from the Divine Head of the Church alone, or give to the civil authority any right of interference with the proceedings or judgments of the Church within the sphere of its spiritual government and jurisdiction.”

    They also state, “This Church acknowledges the divine appointment and authority of the civil magistrate within his own sphere…”

  • I should add that the role of the civil courts is clearly set out in the Ministers Act 1693, “Their Majesties with Advice and Consent foresaid Doe [sic] Hereby Statute and Ordaine [sic] that the Lords of their Majesties Privy Councill [sic] and all other Magistrates Judges and Officers of Justice give all due assistance for makeing [sic] the Sentences and Censures of the Church and Judicatures thereof to be obeyed or otherways effectuall [sic] as accords”

11 Responses to Watching the Civil War

  • IDon

    loved it.

    But your sure it is a spoof?

  • Love love love it! Have you ever seen his doc on the West? It’s just hours and hours of dead Native Americans and Mormons. You would think that the whole Western United States was now some sort of post-apocalyptic waste land.

  • “But you’re sure it is a spoof?”

    Hmmm Hank, now that you mention it? 🙂

    “You would think that the whole Western United States was now some sort of post-apocalyptic waste land.”

    Ha! Ken Burns lucked out on the Civil War due to the intrinsic interest of the subject matter and the ever watchable Shelby Foote. Most of that still was fairly pretentious bloat and could easily have been cut in half with not a second of substance lost. I have never been able to last through any of his other documentaries, including The War on World War 2 which, at 14 hours, achieved the considerable feat of making World War II seem dull to military history loving me!

  • Can’t wait for the romantic comedy based on the Bataan Death March

  • Hey! Are you Big Brother????

    I just sat through 3 hours of the Civil War last night. Peeping Tom????
    This has to be more than a coincidence. I’m pulling my curtains tonight.

  • Oh, btw, my spouse just watched this spoof. It just ruined it for us. Now what are we going to do for the next 8 hours?????

  • Reminds me of Second Second Life or World of World of Warcraft….

  • Ha! love it, right on, as all good parody is. The Shelby Foote guy cracked me up.

  • Yeah, the Shelby Foote guy is awesome.

    I’m going to have to re-watch The Civil War one of these days. I haven’t seen it since high school, but I watched it as it came out and re-watched it a couple times thereafter, much enjoying it. I haven’t seen any of Burns’ other documentaries, though.

    Of course, I’m the one who’s always complaining that modern documentaries are too fluffy and fast paced — modern episodes of Nova seem too gimmicky, and virtually anything the History Channel does drives me up the wall. So maybe I’m just attached to dullness. I have fond memories of some of the older BBC documentary series as well: Kenneth Clarke’s Civilization certainly managed what could at best be called a stately pace (though re-watching it more recently with the kids I was more struck by his anti-Christian attitudes than I had been as a kid) and I always loved Connections which charted the course of related inventions through each episode.

  • Dear, oh dear. People: the documentary was an introduction. It introduced many people to the Civil War and its consequences. Me, for one. I began reading about the Civil War because of this series, and haven’t stopped. So, okay, there are things to criticize, but it provided a good outline for people who knew little or nothing at all about this important part of American history.

  • Funny video, but now I want to watch a 30-second documentary about the experience of watching it.

The Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut may reveal the soul of the Democratic Party…

Sunday, April 22, AD 2012

 

The race for the open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut—the seat currently held by Joseph Lieberman—is now providing some pretty clear evidence about exactly what the five Democratic candidates for national political office think about the issue of religious liberty. 

 

When asked during the “Face the State” debate whether Catholic hospitals should be required to provide contraceptive services and abortions, all five Democratic candidates said in various ways and to various degrees that they would support federal legislation compelling Catholic hospitals—since they receive federal funds—to perform abortions.

Candidates Susan Bysiewicz, Matthew Oakes, and William Tong were direct in their responses: the federal government has the right to require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

Bysiewicz said:

The federal government has the right to regulate what  services are provided, because Catholic  institutions, colleges and universities get funding from the federal  government, and I believe that those institutions should provide access  to reproductive health care.

Oakes said:

If they’re gonna take our money—I’m Roman Catholic—then they  need to perform the health care issues that women need performed for  them.

Tong said:

Access  to an abortion should be open and available.  Access to contraception, the  same thing. These are basic liberties enshrined in our Constitution, in  our jurisprudence. That’s a fact. […] I think we need a cooperative  approach. We had a bill in the state Legislature to provide emergency  contraception. It was called Plan B. […] Now Plan B is a reality.  Emergency contraception is made available to patients at Catholic  hospitals. We just need to find a way to make it work.

Candidate Chris Murphy was not as direct.  He said: “[Catholic hospitals] certainly have the ability to decide what services they perform.”

That’s masterful politicalspeaque, The Motley Monk would note.  Saying Catholic hospitals “certainly have the ability to decide” is quite different from saying “the government should not require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.”

Candidate Lee Whitnum didn’t answer the question directly.  Instead, she said that providing contraceptive services is a “good thing.”  But, Whitnum didn’t go so far as to say whether Catholic institutions should be forced to provide contraceptive services.

The Catholic bishops of Connecticut were quick to issue a statement, noting:

If it is [the candidates’] position that our hospitals should be forced by law or regulations to provide abortions in spite of our teaching, it is unfortunate to note their readiness to violate religious liberty.

Their position would be the logical extension of the federal Health and Human Services regulations with regard to so called “preventative services.”

Yes, the statements of these five candidates for the U.S. Senate indicate their readiness to trample upon the exercise of religious liberty.  Perhaps the statements also reveal the state of the soul of the Democratic Party.

 

 

To view the video of the “Face the State” debate, click on the following link.  The relevant comments begin at 5:30 into the debate.
http://www.wfsb.com/category/213663/face-the-state

To read the Connecticut bishops’ statement, click on the following link:
http://www.archdioceseofhartford.org/news/facethestate.pdf

To read The Motley Monk daily blog, click on the following link:
http://themotleymonk.blogspot.com/

 

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8 Responses to The Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut may reveal the soul of the Democratic Party…

  • I’m afraid the candidates are right. If the Church takes the King’s shilling he is going to insist the Church follow his rules.
    I work for a “Catholic” agency and all such are basically an arm of the State and county Depts. of Social Services. Is it any wonder +Hubbard fails to criticise Gov. Cuomo and his live-in mistress?

    Many dioceses have been forced out of the adoption business. Why wait to be forced out of health care?
    Eschew gov’t money (and ditch Catholic Charities bureaucracy) and run our own clinics, shelters, pregnancy programs, private adoptions, &c.
    Of course we would have to donate and _volunteer_ more to make it work.

  • Does the king, in effect, buy the organization with his shilling? so many taxpayers just think they have transferred their religious obligation to do charitable works of mercy to the state through their tax dollars. they don’t think the state is buying those charitable org or taking control of them– they think the state will work through existing orgs– contributing to the good causes that the taxpayers themselves would have contributed to… now, why democratic taxpayers have bought into the idea that charity should be done through the state, I don’t know…

  • Thank God He gave us Obama who, conjuring with the Bernank and Tax Cheat Tim, creates for us $$$ trillions of Federal Reserve Notes: “full faith and credit of the government . . . ”

    Thank God Obama fundamentally changed America which the Founding Fathers had freed from a king who produced nothing, but owned everything.

    The liberal ‘crats are fundamentally devolving America into a nation of libertine parasites.

  • Thos. Collins, the trick is the government is expanding what it considers ‘taking the
    king’s shilling’. For example, many Catholic colleges accept taxpayer dollars directly
    in order to remain afloat. Some few decline to accept federal funds because of the
    strings attached. However, the federal government has deemed that if a college has
    students that receive Pell grants or federally funded student loans, then the college
    is still receiving federal funds and therefore remains subject to federal regulation.

    The logical extension of this line of thought is that if faculty and students use public
    roads financed in part with taxpayer dollars from the federal government to get to
    and from school, then the school is receiving federal funds and etc., etc..

    It seems to me that this administration wishes to make Catholic institutions into just
    another arm of the state. It is using the carrot of taxpayer dollars and the stick of
    federal regulation to do so. Eschewing taxpayer dollars is no guarantee of escape.
    The new HHS mandate deems that Catholic institutions that do not restrict either their
    employment or their services primarily to Catholics shall not receive the exemption
    previously given them as religious institutions, regardless of whether or not they
    accept public funds. The government moved the goalposts re: what it will regard as
    a religious institution, and the new criteria do not include acceptance of taxpayer
    dollars.

  • They seem to forget – taking taxpayer dollars (I assume the refer to medicare/medicaid) is actually a favor to the government. It generally pays out far less than private insurance or private pay.

    The real losers will be those who can’t get care because the Catholic institutions can no longer accept medicare/caid.

    Doesn’t really matter. Dems will eventually just require abortions whether you take fed funds or not.

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  • DO NOT TRUST A ONE OF THEM EVER. TRUST IN OUR LORD GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. The best counsel on all of Earth is the Bible. Tell all to read it daily.
    The next time you vote do not vote for a promise vote a man that will tell the
    world his LORD and Savior is JESUS CHRIST, and that he will serve him, family then Country. For with out GOD and Family we will have no Country!
    And will tell all this on a Bible the truth of what was and is to come from are Lord GOD.
    Read the Bible and tell the lost to do so to. The Bible the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    So help you GOD He will send his Son to Judge all.

    All Taxes need to be lowered cut in half or there will be a lot more Poor and needy and not in just other countries. This 2012 year the World will see hunger like never before. More then 100 million will be sick from malnutrition going with out food and safe drinking water, many will die. Taxing the poor and taking there Land away from them is Wicked. Very soon the Rich will become the Poor.

    If your Legislature will not lower Taxes vote them out of office and VOTE in someone that will Lower your Taxes. If your Son or Daughter was raised in a Christian Home we need them in our Government as Leaders.

    May our Lord Jesus Christ and GOD the Father that is in Heaven,
    Guide and Watch over us.

    In this time of TRIBULATION, Strengthen your Faith, and encourage
    all to Pray for their souls. The strong in the word of our Lord will Now
    Help the World and be the disciples of our Lord’s Word. It is time to
    gather the lost sheep while you can and there still is so little time.

    The Governments of all Nations need to read.
    John 14:6 Jesus said ……….

    United We Will Always Stand That
    In GOD We Trust
    True Patriots

    The Lord’s Little Helper
    Paul Felix Schott

    P.S.
    Many a Nation have fallen from taxing their people to Death. You want Prosperity and for thing to Flourish and grow lower all taxes. You want thriving, success, or good fortune for only a few, keep over taxing all.

    Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy Freedom from OIL. The Humanitarian thing to do. Solar Energy.

    Why let the Wicked in office in our Nation if they do not believe in GOD and the Bible vote them out of office.

    United We Will Always Stand In GOD We Trust
    George Washington and Johann Paul Schott 12/24/1776. 3:45AM
    In GOD We Trust
    The United States of America’s Motto July 30, 1956.
    King David’s Motto 3,000 years ago.
    Soon all the World will Pray to Our Lord GOD and Savior Jesus Christ.

A Habit (or lack-thereof) of Disobedience

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

By now, most of the Catholic blogging world has heard of Archbishop Peter Sartain’s appointment by the Vatican.  Whispers succinctly delivers the news:

Citing “serious doctrinal problems” found over the course of a four-year study of the umbrella-group representing the majority of the US’ communities of nuns, the Holy See has announced a thoroughgoing shake-up of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), naming Archbishop Peter Sartain of Seattle as its delegate to conduct an overhaul of the group.

“Serious doctrinal problems.”  This is either the understatement of the century or … actually, it is the understatement of the century … there is no other way to put it.  The “Doctrinal Assessment” comes to us from the Congregatio Pro Doctrina Fidei at which our dear Holy Father spent much of his pre-papal days.  It is worth reading in its entirety.  Among the highlights are little gems like this:

On the doctrinal level, this crisis is characterized by a diminution of the fundamental Christological center and focus of religious consecration which leads, in turn, to a loss of a ‘constant and lively sense of the Church’ among some Religious.

Or this:

The current doctrinal and pastoral situation of the LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern, also given the influence the LCWR exercises on religious Congregations in other parts of the world.

Lest we think the critique void of specifics:

Addresses given during LCWR annual Assemblies manifest problematic statements and serious theological, even doctrinal errors. The Cardinal offered as an example specific passages of Sr. Laurie Brink’s address about some Religious “moving beyond the Church” or even beyond Jesus. This is a challenge not only to core Catholic beliefs; such a rejection of faith is also a serious source of scandal and is incompatible with religious life. Such unacceptable positions routinely go unchallenged by the LCWR, which should provide resources for member Congregations to foster an ecclesial vision of religious life, thus helping to correct an erroneous vision of the Catholic faith as an important exercise of charity. Some might see in Sr. Brink’s analysis a phenomenological snapshot of religious life today. But Pastors of the Church should also see in it a cry for help.

And then there is this:

The Cardinal spoke of this issue in reference to letters the CDF received from “Leadership Teams” of various Congregations, among them LCWR Officers, protesting the Holy See’s actions regarding the question of women’s ordination and of a correct pastoral approach to ministry to homosexual persons, e.g. letters about New Ways Ministry’s conferences. The terms of the letters suggest that these sisters collectively take a position not in agreement with the Church’s teaching on human sexuality. It is a serious matter when these Leadership Teams are not providing effective leadership and example to their communities, but place themselves outside the Church’s teaching.

Then one of my favorites:

The Cardinal noted a prevalence of certain radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith in some of the programs and presentations sponsored by the LCWR, including theological interpretations that risk distorting faith in Jesus and his loving Father who sent his Son for the salvation of the world. Moreover, some commentaries on “patriarchy” distort the way in which Jesus has structured sacramental life in the Church; others even undermine the revealed doctrines of the Holy Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and the inspiration of Sacred Scripture.

And this:

The documentation reveals that, while there has been a great deal of work on the part of LCWR promoting issues of social justice in harmony with the Church’s social doctrine, it is silent on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion and euthanasia in the United States. Further, issues of crucial importance to the life of Church and society, such as the Church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes Church teaching. Moreover, occasional public statements by the LCWR that disagree with or challenge positions taken by the Bishops, who are the Church’s authentic teachers of faith and morals, are not compatible with its purpose.

But one of the best paragraphs comes by way of conclusion:

This action by the Holy Father should be understood in virtue of the mandate given by the Lord to Simon Peter as the rock on which He founded his Church (cf. Luke 22:32): “I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned to me, you must strengthen the faith of your brothers and sisters.” This Scripture passage has long been applied to the role of the Successors of Peter as Head of the Apostolic College of Bishops; it also applies to the role of the Pope as Chief Shepherd and Pastor of the Universal Church. Not least among the flock to whom the Pope’s pastoral concern is directed are women Religious of apostolic life, who through the past several centuries have been so instrumental in building up the faith and life of the Holy Church of God, and witnessing to God’s love for humanity in so many charitable and apostolic works.

Toward the end of the document are very specific directive given to “the Delegate” (Archbishop Sartain).  The “greatest hits” are:

The mandate of the Delegate is to include the following … 2) To review LCWR plans and programs, including General Assemblies and publications, to ensure that the scope of the LCWR’s mission is fulfilled in accord with Church teachings and discipline. In particular: Systems Thinking Handbook will be withdrawn from circulation pending revision, LCWR programs for (future) Superiors and Formators will be reformed, Speakers/presenters at major programs will be subject to approval by Delegate. … 4) To review and offer guidance in the application of liturgical norms and texts. For example: The Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours will have a place of priority in LCWR events and programs.

I don’t wish to tie this directly to the HHS debacle; it is, after all, a much wider issue.  However, one can’t help but wonder if the hierarchy, in light of HHS and events such as the Notre Dame scandal from several years back, is finally getting serious about making sure that those who profess to be “Catholic” are actually acting Catholic in public.  Where better to start than with priests and religious?  For my own part, I greet this effort with a resounding, “Amen.”
Roma locuta est, causa finita est.  There was a time when this phrase was respected and venerated by those within the Church, and I deeply believe that it can and will be once more.
I ran across the Washington Post’s web coverage of the Vatican announcement, aptly titled “Vatican: U.S. Catholic sisters, nuns making serious theological errors.”  It too is worth your time reading, but for vastly different reasons than the Vatican statement itself.  It contains excerpt such as this:

[Sr. Simone] Campbell sees the current tension between male and female Catholic clergy as a part of a post-Vatican II democratic evolution within the church, but worries that the male leaders fail to recognize the “witness of women religious.”

Such a claim that the male leaders fail to recognize the witness of women religious is not only irresponsible, it is also ignorant.  Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have spoken widely about this important witness … but only when it is actually a witness to the faith, and never when it is contrary to the faith.  Yet the phrase that caught my eye was, “the current tension between male and female Catholic clergy.”  The mis-categorization of “female clergy” by the Post is ironically a strong argument in favor of the Vatican’s charge of “serious doctrinal problems.”
Sr. Campell continues,

It’s painfully obvious that the leadership of the church is not used to having educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue.

This is a misunderstanding of the the term “educated.”  “Instructed” (albeit improperly) Sr. Campell may be, but certainly not “educated,” at least not in the Catholic faith.  Even a dictionary recognizes that being educated means having been entrusted with intellectual, moral, and social instruction within the field in question.  The problem with the LCWR leadership is that they are distinctly not educated in the Catholic faith, nor are they educated in the authentic and beautiful witness that constitutes Catholic consecrated life, as evidenced by the numerous examples cited in the Vatican document.  They may be educated in something other than Catholicism, but they most certainly are lacking in education, not to mentioned formation, within their own faith tradition.
Sr. Campbell, however, enlightens the Post on the real motivation behind the called-for reform:

“I think we scare them,” Sr. Simone Campbell … said of the church’s male hierarchy.

Actually, for quite some time, I have thought this very same thing, except in reverse.  Why is there so much animosity towards orthodoxy in the last several years?  Orthodoxy is nothing new.  There have been those who have championed for quite some time the very same thoughts contained in the recent Vatican statement.  The reason there is an uproar now is because people are beginning to sense that the tide is turning.  It is the very same reason why people are suddenly outspoken by the extraordinary form of the Mass.  While its presence in the Church has never ceased, even following the Second Vatican Council, people have recently begun to sense that things are changing.  They look at the seminarians coming out of seminary … they listen to the things coming out of the Holy See … they watch the appointments made by the Holy Father … and they know that the tide is turning towards Catholicism (to shamelessly steal from Dave Hartline) … and this terrifies them.
By way of a humorous conclusion, the most amusing part of the Washington Post article was the pictures they chose.  Under the title of “Vatican: U.S. Catholic sisters, nuns making serious theological errors,” we find this picture:

And this one:

Now I don’t want to judge a situation purely by a picture, so feel free to correct me here … but … I hardly think the delightful sisters in the these photos are those being called out by the recent Vatican instruction.  In the first picture we have a group of young, energetic, and full-habited sisters, and at the risk of overgeneralization, the young orders of which I am familiar are orthodox to the very core of their existence!  The second picture depicts a sister receiving communion on the tongue while kneeling … call me crazy, but I don’t think she preparing to deliver a lecture on women’s ordination and homosexuality.  (The tour of examples becomes even more amusing when one flips through the embedded slide show to find images of Mother Theresa, Katherine Drexel, Elizabeth Ann Seton, and a whole array of full-habited sisters.)
So why didn’t the Post choose pictures of Sr. Campbell, or even more familiar names like Sr. Carol Keehan, or Sr. Joan Chittister?  The answer is simple: the reading audience would not recognize them as the “U.S. Catholic sisters” to which the Post title refers.  Forgive the pun, but even those in the secular world are in the habit of recognizing sisters by their … well, you get the idea.
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7 Responses to A Habit (or lack-thereof) of Disobedience

  • Yeah the “here are some nuns” slideshow at the WaPo is a really weird choice, for the reason you point out.

    One of the things they do not mention is that the LCWR is actually only one of two organizations of the leaders of women’s religious orders in the US. The other is the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious Orders, which was set up in the ’90s, in part to provide a more Catholic-friendly venue for the leaders of women religious orders that were more orthodox in their practice and teaching. A quick look at the two sites makes the difference moderately clear:

    http://cmswr.org/
    http://www.lcwr.org/

    So, it’s not as if all US nuns are even represented by the LCWR, and the sort shown in full habit in the WaPo slideshow are more likely members of the CMSWR rather than the LCWR.

    The existence of the two separate leadership councils is itself a sign of how long there have been problems with the LCWR (which was originally founded in ’50s.) It’s highly unusual for one country to have more than one council for the heads of religious orders. There is only one in the US for the heads of male religious orders.

  • Women cannot espouse the Bride of Christ. The Faithful are entitled to the TRUTH.The seven foolish virgins did not bring enough oil of wisdom, they fell asleep, and they were barred from entrance into the wedding feast of the Lord. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious have rejected the Bride of Christ and seized the vacuum in their soul to fill it with their own definition of the Catholic Church. How fitting it is indeed that the story of the deacons being appointed to help the Apostles to do the duties of caring for the people was this week’s reading. The Leadership Conference is not leading but bringing up the rear. Everybody, but everybody, knows the needs of the people and many great lay people have taken up and filled the job, worthily. This Leadership is to point the way to Jesus Christ. Jesus will feed the multitudes as He has. This Leadership is pointing the way into submission to the despair and misery without our Eucharistic King. They probably were raised on Becoming a Person and will expend their lives in futility. This investigation into the worthless venture upon which the Leadership has embarked is the best thing Holy Mother Church is able to do for them. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious is to live in obedience to Jesus Christ. Without obedience to Jesus Christ in the Vicar of Christ, they are a church unto themselves and then the name Catholic is not theirs to use.

  • Women cannot espouse the Bride of Christ. Priests, in persona Christi espouse the Bride of Christ and bring forth the TRUTH, Jesus, for the salvation of all souls. Only by denying Jesus Christ as God-man can this nonsense continue. The High Priests were called: “THE PRINCES OF THE LORD”. The bishops are called: “THE PRINCES OF THE CHURCH”. There were no PRINCESSES OF THE LORD in the Old Testament. There are no PRINCESSES OF THE CHURCH in the New Testament. Jesus came to fulfill the law not to change it. Human sacrifice is the chief form of worship of the devil. Next, comes fornication, idol worship. Read: abortion, gay marriage, narcissism. This investigation is the best for the Catholic Church.

  • The Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, Anima Christi.
    Denial of the human soul brought about desecration of the human body. Abortion, gay marriage, human trafficking. Rape of the human soul resulted in rape of the human body. Carl Rogers laid the foundation for CRIME, INC. Without a human soul, civilization as we know it, does not exist. Those who would deny the existence of God find that it is their own existence that is not on the books.
    Jesus Christ was crucified and died in obedience to His Father. Jesus Christ in obedience to the Scriptures rose from the dead. Denying obedience to Holy Mother Church denies to the adherents eternal life in the Resurrection of the body.
    Without acknowledging the rational, immortal soul of the sovereign person, the human being, composed of body and soul, man has no personhood, no unalienable rights endowed by our Creator when two become one, no informed consent, no free will, no power of attorney, and the Supreme Court shot itself in the foot with this one, no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to exist that is unalienable, except to be a beast of burden to the state. According to the Dred Scott decision, even slaves had half a soul. Except, that the individuals making such judgments are cut of the same cloth, no soul, no eternal life, no infallible truth, no right to ownership of private property. This brings to mind Obama calling his grandchild a “punishment” for his daughter, as Obama is a “punishment” to his mother and a “punishment” to all of us, his abused constituents.

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Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

Chuck Colson died today at age 80.  A former self described Nixon hatchet man, he went to prison for his involvement in Watergate.  He underwent a religious conversion and turned his life around.  After his release from prison he founded Prison Fellowship, an organization that has won accolades for its work in bringing the gospel to men and women incarcerated.  He was ever a tireless voice for the unborn and the handicapped, as the video above indicates.  In a time of easy cynicism and fashionable atheism, Colson’s conversion was a reminder of the power of the grace of God for those who humbly repent and accept it.  The world is poorer by his passing.  May God grant him mercy and the Beatific Vision.

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6 Responses to Chuck Colson: Requiescat in Pace

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  • I thought so much of Chuck Colson and gained so much from his “Break Point” commentary. http://www.breakpoint.org/commentaries
    He is such a great example of how our lives can change when we turn wholly to God… he took his energy and intelligence and put it to work! plus he helped so many others in their own turn around.. his life is really a study in Hope and Love

  • I have long been an admirer and supporter of Colson and his Prison Fellowship ministry. His books exploring church-state and church-society issues, such as “Kingdoms in Conflict” and “Loving God” are outstanding and though written from an Evangelical point of view, contain many positive references to the Catholic Church. One of his books (can’t remember which one offhand) includes the story of Fr. Maximilian Kolbe. Truth be told, he was one of several prominent Protestants that I would not have been surprised to have seen “jump the Tiber” eventually. (I believe his wife was Catholic.) May perpetual light shine upon him….

  • The world is poorer by his passing. May God grant him mercy and the Beatific Vision.
    Amen

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  • I always enjoyed listening to Colson. He clearly had a deeper appreciation for the Church Fathers and Councils than many other Protestants, and I too always had the feeling that he was close to conversion.

    May God have mercy on him and may we all meet happily in heaven.

What Conservative Catholics Should Keep Doing

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

My last post got a lot of traffic, along with generous heapings of love and hate. The love is always appreciated. As for the hate, when it doesn’t amuse me with its enraged ignorance, it makes me sad with its malicious presumption.

How anyone could come away from my post thinking that I believe conservative Catholics should “shut up” about public affronts to Christ is beyond me. Maybe I didn’t make clear that I think we should have a public prayer campaign for the conversion of people like Jon Stewart. Maybe some of you don’t understand how much such a gesture would rial up the left, far more so than some hysterical campaign for a public apology. But tunnel-vision is funny that way.

So, in order to avoid any confusion…

By all means, please keep pointing out and denouncing public attacks on the faith.

That is what I intend to do here on this blog, and what we are all called to do.

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11 Responses to What Conservative Catholics Should Keep Doing

  • Islam or any other false religion is fair game for criticism and by extension mockery. The Angelic Doctor had a few choice words on the topic:
    http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2012/aquinas-on-islam.html

  • I don’t know how you leap from criticism, which is legitimate, to mockery.

    Maybe I agree with you in principle, that it isn’t “wrong.” I certainly don’t think it is wise or prudent given today’s circumstances. The threat posed by secularism in this country is greater – far, far greater – than the threat posed by Islam. I don’t see what we gain from it. I can only see it hurting us.

    And please, mind you, that I am speaking of mockery. Criticism of Islam is entirely legitimate and I have no problem with that. I do not believe in bending and bowing to avoid offending them. But I do think there is a BIG difference between criticism and mockery, and that mockery is totally unnecessary and irrational at this point.

  • Bonchamps: “Forgive me, as well, if I would like our public response to be mature and dignified, and not reeking of schoolyard tit-for-tat.”
    The National Endowment for the Arts gave millions upon millions of Catholic tax dollars to individuals who put a crucifix in a bucket of piss and called it “PISS CHRIST” , told people that Jesus was having homosexual relations with His Apostles, scandalized anyone who was unlucky enough to see the play “CORPUS CHRISTI”, ants on the Body of the crucified Christ, the life sized statue of Jesus crucified in chocolate with visitors invited to eat from the cross, dung on the image of our Blessed Mother, as “natural’ and “fecundity”, Vagina Monologues, and Jon Stewart. Then there was the silly things, a naked girl covered her body in chocolate syrup and bean sprouts and called herself covered in sperm because she says she always wanted to do that, and with our money? I mean what does a bottle of chocolate syrup cost and a bag of bean sprouts? She wanted the attention her outrageous behavior bought at our expense. Bonchamps: it is guerrilla warfare, ambush and hide. These people are monsters doing monstrous things, and Catholic tax dollars are funding this. So, If I do not buy Kraft anymore, the sponsor does not fund Jon Stewart and he has no pay check. Bonchamps: When was the last time you saw a prayerful gathering in the media? Never, unless the participants were being arrested. How would I know when and who to boycott and for what? St. Clare with the Blessed Sacrament faced down the invading Saracens and to a man they fell down and fled. I have begged and pleaded for the Blessed Sacrament in procession in public, now, before it is too late as Obama has taken all public places to himself.

  • More important than cowardice as reason for consistent media disinterest in criticizing Islam is the fact that Holy Mother the Church is far more dangerous to their (liberal) agenda.

    To paraphrase the smartest Yankee philosopher: “It ain’t mockery if it’s true.”

    Howdy, Joe!

  • Mary De Voe,

    I just don’t understand how anything you said relates to anything I said.

  • To see how serious the threat of Islam is, I recommend Pat Buchanan’s books, Day of Reckoning and Suicide of a Superpower.

  • The point stands. Islam’s losses are not our gains, at least not in the context of this media-mockery dispute.

  • My strategy is to point out that Jon Stewart gets beaten in the ratings by reruns of Friends and Family Guy. The kind of person who’s impressed by Jon Stewart typically hates to be on the declining end of a trend that’s become passe.

    I agree with Bonchamps for the most part on this subject, although I think there’s nothing wrong with differing opinions on tactics. I can convey dismissive uber-coolness better than sincere piety (I don’t know why, but it’s true), so I can go after Stewart for being predictable and pathetic. To each his own.

    I think Bonchamps is a little off about the Conservative Catholic response to Islam, though. The chiding that he mentions isn’t directed at Islam; it’s directed at the media. The South Park guys did more than anyone to expose the sad state of the media. Did they insult Islam? No, although the reaction of some Islamists to the non-insult was also illuminating. But the people who looked the worst in that affair were Comedy Central.

  • “The chiding that he mentions isn’t directed at Islam; it’s directed at the media”

    It still amazes me how people can say this. It’s like saying “in order to shoot at the guy standing behind you, I’m going to unload a full magazine into your body.”

    There’s a difference between simply pointing out that the media won’t mock Islam, which is true, and actually demanding that it do so, or taunting it to do so, lest it be considered “hypocritical”, which in my view is neither wise nor moral. Again, I see dishonorable Alinskyism at work in such tactics. Maybe I’m a medievalist pining for the lost days of chivalry, but I don’t want to win any battles at the expense of our honor.

    I’m not saying its inherently sinful, but I do think it lowers us in dignity to such an extent that I would question what makes “my side” so much better than “their side.” I reject the school of morality I found when I read Trotsky’s “Their Morals and Ours”, which basically states that what (in his context) Bolshevik revolutionaries do is right if it is for the sake of the communist revolution while the same acts committed by someone else for a different and presumably less worthy goal would be wrong. Which isn’t, again, to say that context doesn’t matter either – some things CAN be more or less moral depending on the circumstances. Here I think it is a clear case of doing intentional harm to an innocent bystander in order to go for the jugular. It smells rotten, it smells un-Christlike, and so I reject it.

    I really have no special love for Islam myself. I think the Crusades were justified and that Islam is about as false a religion as they come. But even King Richard had respect for Saladin.

    And as for South Park, they insult everything. Like many in our generation, anything is justifiable as long as you call it “comedy.” They insult all religions on a regular basis. And one can, I suppose, admire their consistency. But the point wasn’t really about them: it was about Donohue’s reaction to their really disgusting and unrepeatable mockery of the Church. I distinctly recall him calling the creators of South Park “cowards” because (in his mistaken view) they wouldn’t mock Islam. He was taunting them, goading them to do it.

  • Bonchamps – I agree with the principles you’ve stated. I don’t support Alinskyite tactics, and I don’t want to see “my side” resort to them. We disagree on whether our side *has* resorted to them. I haven’t seen any evidence of it. I don’t think you can call Pamela Geller a voice of conservative Catholicism, seeing as she’s Jewish and runs the Atlas Shrugs website. I think it’s fair to note the media’s reactions to her and South Park’s stunts, but I wouldn’t want to see Catholics get caught up in a call to insult Islam the way Christianity has been insulted over the years.

  • ” I don’t think you can call Pamela Geller a voice of conservative Catholicism”

    I don’t. A voice of conservatism, though, and one that conservative Catholics may well listen to.

    Donohue, obviously, is a different story.

2 Responses to Michelle, Just Let Him Eat a Cheeseburger Now and Then Please!

Holst the Planets: Mars the Bringer of Wars

Saturday, April 21, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Mars, the Bringer of War, from Gustav Holst’ s The Planets.  Throughout history Mars has been associated with the god of war, no doubt due to its frequent red coloration when viewed from Earth.   However, I have it on the highest authority that we have nothing to fear from Mars.

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