Fortnight For Freedom Day 1: Freedom is Not Just a Big Word

 

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Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the first of these blog posts.

The video at the top of this post is a scene from the classic movie, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), based upon the short story by Stephen Vincent Benet, in which Daniel Webster bests Satan in a jury trial to save the soul of New Hampshireman Jabez Stone.   In this scene Daniel Webster addresses a jury of the damned, all villains of American history.  I have always thought this speech one of the most eloquent statements of what it means to be an American.

In regard to Freedom it reminds us that it is just not a word:  Freedom is not just a big word — it is the bread and the   morning and the risen sun. It was for freedom we came in boats and ships to these shores.  It has been a long journey, a hard one, a bitter one. There is sadness in being a man, but it is a proud thing, too.  Out of the suffering and the starvation, the wrong and the right, a new thing has come, a free man. When the whips of   the oppressors are broken, and their names forgotten and destroyed, free men will be walking and talking under a free star. Yes, we   have planted freedom here in this earth like wheat.  This is the priceless treasure that Goverment encroachments like the HHS Mandate begin to take away from us.

Go here to read the passage in the Stephen Vincet Benet’s short story.  Below is the scene as written in the screenplay:

WEBSTER   Gentlemen of the jury — It is my privilege to   be addressing tonight a group of men I’ve long   been acquainted with in song and story, but men   I had never hoped to see.

He pauses. They stare back at him, eyes fixed, and Benedict Arnold starts to raise his head.

WEBSTER   My worthy opponent, Mr. Scratch, has called you  Americans all, and Mr. Scratch was right — you   were Americans all! Oh, what a heritage you   were born to share! Gentlemen of the jury, I   envy you! For you were there at the birth of a   mighty Union. It was given to you to hear those   first cries of pain — and to behold the   shining babe that was born of blood and tears.   Tonight, you are called upon to judge a man   named Jabez Stone. What is his case? He is  accused of breach of contract –  He made a   deal to find a short cut in his life — to get   rich quickly…. The same deal all of you once   made.    (a pause)   You, Benedict Arnold! … I speak to you first,   because you’re better known than all your other   colleagues here. What a different song yours   could have been! A friend of Washington and   LaFayette — a soldier — General Arnold, you   fought so gallantly for the American cause,   till — What was the date? Oh, yes — in 1779,   a date burned in your heart.

Arnold bows his head again.

WEBSTER   The lure of gold made you betray that cause.

Another pause as his words sink in; then he whirls about and points at Simon Girty.

WEBSTER   You, Simon Girty, now known to all as Renegade!   A loathsome word — you also took that other   way.

(steps along the jury box)

You, Walter Butler — What would you give to   have another chance to let the grasses grow in   Cherry Valley without the stain of blood? –   You, Captain Kidd, and you, Governor Dale — I   could go on and name you all, but there’s no need of that. Why stir the wounds? I know they pain enough.    (his voice rises)   All of you were fooled like Jabez Stone –   fooled and trapped in your desire to rebel against your fate. Gentlemen of the jury –   it’s the eternal right of man to raise his fist against his fate, but every time he does he stands at crossroads. You took the wrong turn and so did Jabez Stone.  But he found out in   time.  He is here tonight to save his soul.   Gentlemen of the jury, I ask that you give Jabez Stone another chance to walk upon the earth, among — the trees, the growing corn,   the smell of grass in spring — What would you   give for one more chance to see those things   that you must all remember and often long to   feel again? For you were all men once. Clean American air was in your lungs — you breathed it deep, for it was free and blew across an earth you loved. These are common things I speak of, small things, but they are good   things.  Yet without your soul they are nothing.   Without your soul they sicken. Mr. Scratch told you that your soul is nothing and you believed   him.  It has cost you your freedom. Freedom is not just a big word — it is the bread and the   morning and the risen sun. It was for freedom we came in boats and ships to these shores.  It has been a long journey, a hard one, a bitter one. There is sadness in being a man, but it is a proud thing, too.  Out of the suffering and the starvation, the wrong and the right, a new thing has come, a free man. When the whips of   the oppressors are broken, and their names forgotten and destroyed, free men will be walking and talking under a free star. Yes, we   have planted freedom here in this earth like wheat. We have said to the sky above us, “A man shall own his own soul.” Now — here is this   man — He is your brother! You are Americans   all, you cannot–    (pointing at the devil)   — take his side — the side of the oppressor.   Let Jabez Stone keep his soul — this soul   which doesn’t belong to him alone, which belongs to his son — his family — his   country. Gentlemen of the jury — don’t let this country go to the devil! Free Jabez   Stone! God save the United States and the men who have made her free!

A long pause. The jury does not stir. Webster steps back, goes to the table and sits down, quietly. The pause holds for a moment longer, and then Hawthorne speaks:

HAWTHORNE   The jury will consider its verdict.

He hands the deed to the FOREMAN of the jury. They form a little circle and put their heads together. Jabez looks at them, the sweat of his agony in beads on his forehead. Scratch only smiles. Slowly the jury turns again and the foreman tears up the deed.

HAWTHORNE   The jury finds for the defendant.

A long-drawn crow of a cock is heard.

27 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day 1: Freedom is Not Just a Big Word

  • Defend Religious Liberty.

    Stop Tyranny.

    Defeat Obama.

  • Isn’t it ironic that Democrats are the most anti-freedom people around, from their support of slavery in the 1800s to their support of baby-murdering in the late 1900s and early 2000s? Having sold their souls to Satan, I suppose they have no other choice.

  • Freedom of religion lets us live by conscience.
    Freedom of worship is within ‘church’ walls, not the law. Until … such as places in the eastern world.
    Two weeks for special prayer for Christianity, whether or not locales have any plans to get people together to understand.

  • I will be saying the St. Michael Prayer, which Pope Leo XIII wrote after seeing a horrific vision of demons and St. Michael. Our country, the Catholic Church and the world certainly needs his intercession. We all need to be warriors now!

    Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

  • Satan has no soul. Satan is a person as he testifies for himself, but Satan has no soul. Saint Michael, appearing to the children of Fatima, brought to them Holy Communion. Saint Michael bowed to the earth in their presence and confessed that he could not receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Satan, the Destroyer, liar and murderer, cannot be a citizen as he claims in the story The Devil and Daniel Webster, because a citizen constitutes a nation. Just being there as he claims, when the slaves were enslaved, does not constitute citizenship. Constituting the nation constitutes citizenship. Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, has a human, rational soul. Jesus Christ is Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God, perfect innocence, perfect charity, the standard of Justice and mercy, Jesus Christ constitutes all nations, all sovereignty, and therefore, is a citizen of all nations, all people. Jesus Christ, as citizen of the universe, nation and the USA, cannot be denied access to the public square, the public square, Jesus’ God and Father created.
    When the Person of God, the Father, God, the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity of Persons, the first family, the community of LOVE, is returned to the public square, all freedom will reign. Viva Christo Rey
    The moral order is established by God. Jesus Christ lives the moral order.

  • Our US bishops have exercised, for the most part, silence regarding the Church’s truth, though hard sayings, regarding artificial contraception and abortion. The bishops, the USCCB, have not for many years exercised their so called American “freedom” and “freedom of conscience” regarding the Church’s doctrines. They have been afraid to speak the truth in love to Catholics or they have sold their souls to the liberal, often Judaized, philosophies. Fear and silence do not go together with truth and true freedom. Pope Gregory the Great famously said .. “If people are scandalized at the truth, it is better to allow the birth of scandal, than to abandon the truth” Here is what Saint Catherine of Siena said about silence. “I’ve had enough of exhortations to be silent! Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. I see that the world is rotten because of silence.” A follower of Christ is to be a bondslave of Christ.

    Now we are supposed to be rallying and considering “civil disobedience” in this “Fortnight of Freedom”, when the Americanist bishops and “American Catholics” for the cause of “freedom”, which is NOT the cause of Christ, and is NOT first obedience to God.

    Read what Pope Pius X said about Americanism and the Americanists. The founding of the USA was by those who believed in the principles of the Enlightenment. The principles of the Englightenment are anti-Christ and anti Christ toward Christ’s Catholic Church.

    Thomas Payne and Thomas Jefferson spoke of “freedom” not in Christ’s definition of “freedom” (the glorious freedom of the children of God) but in this worldly Englightenment ideas of freedom, and that is the way this Fortnight of Freedom is promoting “freedom.” This is not freedom under God. This is freedom above God.

    Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

  • In a word, Jeannon, baloney. Try reading this passage from Leo XIII:

    ” Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion. She, by her very nature, guards and defends all the principles on which duties are founded, and setting before us the motives most powerful to influence us, commands us to live virtuously and forbids us to transgress. Now what is the Church other than a legitimate society, founded by the will and ordinance of Jesus Christ for the preservation of morality and the defence of religion? For this reason have We repeatedly endeavored, from the summit of the pontifical dignity, to inculcate that the Church, whilst directly and immediately aiming at the salvation of souls and the beatitude which is to be attained in heaven, is yet, even in the order of temporal things, the fountain of blessings so numerous and great that they could not have been greater or more numerous had the original purpose of her institution been the pursuit of happiness during the life which is spent on earth.

    5. That your Republic is .progressing and developing by giant strides is patent to all; and this holds good in religious matters also. For even as your cities, in the course of one century, have made a marvellous increase in wealth and power, so do we behold the Church, from scant and slender beginnings, grown with rapidity to be great and exceedingly flourishing. Now if, on the one hand, the increased riches and resources of your cities are justly attributed to the talents and active industry of the American people, on the other hand, the prosperous condition of Catholicity must be ascribed, first indeed, to the virtue, the ability, and the prudence of the bishops and clergy; but in so slight measure also, to the faith and generosity of the Catholic laity. Thus, while the different classes exerted their best energies, you were enabled to erect unnumbered religious and useful institutions, sacred edifices, schools for the instruction of youth, colleges for the higher branches, homes for the poor, hospitals for the sick, and convents and monasteries. As for what more closely touches spiritual interests, which are based upon the exercise of Christian virtues, many facts have been brought to Our notice, whereby We are animated with hope and filled with joy, namely, that the numbers of the secular and regular clergy are steadily augmenting, that pious sodalities and confraternities are held in esteem, that the Catholic parochial schools, the Sunday-schools for imparting Christian doctrine, and summer schools are in a flourishing condition; moreover, associations for mutual aid, for the relief of the indigent, for the promotion of temperate living, add to all this the many evidences of popular piety.

    6. The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance.”

    The hatred that some trad Catholics have for their own nation and our heritage of freedom as Americans is simply bizarre and has nothing to do with Catholicism.

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, Pope Leo XIII wasn’t so much critical of the Republican system of secular government over these United States, as he was of installing such a system of government for the Church in these United States. Indeed, one might rightly argue that it is the liberals who want Church matters decided on by popular vote, as though the Church ought to be ruled by the “peepul”.

    Establishing Americanism as the Church government in America is obviously wrong. But having a Constitutional Republican government for secular society is exactly what has prevented secular government from telling the Church what to do or not do, and thus has enabled (or at least allowed) the Successors to the Apostles act like the Successors to the Apostles.

  • In a word, Mr. McClareey, baloney. Try reading this passage from Leo XIII Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae (1899).

    “Pope Leo identified three major erroneous views that served to dilute Catholicism in America. The first is the belief that “in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions.”

    And further, Mr. Baloney, your statement “The hatred that some trad Catholics have for their own nation and our heritage of freedom as Americans is simply bizarre and has nothing to do with Catholicism.” is bizaare and has nothing to do with Catholic conduct.

    “The second error condemned by Pope Leo was “that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that…allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity.” The pope was condemning the idea of private judgment being the supreme guide as to how one should live, and he was rejecting the idea that the Church should have no say over the consciences of men. The source of this error was the constitutional, enlightenment states that were growing up in the 1800s, and according to American history professor, author and Pulitzer prize winner, Joseph Ellis, the USA is an Enlightenment state. We see the Enlightenment’s imprint on the US in Thomas Jefferson’s famous quote inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial that “I have sworn on the alter of god, eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    “The Third error condemned was “an unwarranted importance to the natural virtues as though they better responded to the customs and necessities of the times.” The late Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary, states “In general, active virtues correspond to what is commonly associated with American activism.” The great Dominican Thomist, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, explained in his monumental work, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, that Americanism was the revival of the spirit of “practical naturalism” which is “the negation of the spirit of faith in the conduct of life”. (Tan Books, 1989, vol 1. P. 275) He teaches that Americanism says that the passions are neither good nor bad, but that they “become so according to the intention of our will. They are forces to be utilized; they must not be mortified, but regulated and modulated.” (p. 276) Americanism resists efforts to “combat private judgment, self-will…[because to do so] is to place oneself in a state of servitude which destroys all initiative and makes a person lose contact with the world, which one ought not to scorn, but to ameliorate.” (p. 276).

    The above summarization of Testem

    At the root of Americanism is pride, a pride that says America is not only unique and special but that it is also the greatest. A pride that corrupts doctrine and says that America knows better than the Church and that the Church should learn from America. A pride that places loyalty to America and the USA before loyalty to the Church and the Holy Father. A pride that places being American before being Roman Catholic. This is what we may draw from Leo’s indication that Americanism is a rejection of the words and spirit of St. Jerome who speaking to Pope St. Damasus said “I acknowledge no other leader than Christ, am bound in fellowship with your Holiness; that is with the chair of Peter. I know that the church was built upon him as its rock, and that whosever gathereth not with you, scattereth.” It is the primacy of Christ and his Church, as well of the authority of the Holy Father, that is needed in the hearts of believers to keep unity. For, as Leo XIII continued, the “true church is one, as by unity of doctrine, so by unity of government.”

    The summarization of Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae is taken from a speech of David Wemhoff, “THE PRO-LIFE MOVEMENT AND THE NEW AMERICANISM”

    http://www.romancatholicreport.com/id172.html

  • Jeannon Kralj,

    Everything you quoted from Pope Leo XIII’s Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae confirms what I wrote: the Pope wasn’t criticizing the Constitutional Repubic that was the United States, but the application of “peepul” rule and popular opinion for Church government.

    Look at the statements in your comment:

    (1) “…The first is the belief that ‘in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age…’”

    (2) “The second error condemned by Pope Leo was ‘that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church…’”

    (3) “The Third error condemned was ‘an unwarranted importance to the natural virtues as though they better responded to the customs and necessities of the times…’”

    The Pope never criticized the United States herself as a Constitutional Republic. Rather, he criticized trying to apply a system of voting, popular opinion and relativism in place of the Church government that Jesus established.

    BTW, I love my country, but I love God first. So I take exception to these statements:

    “At the root of Americanism is pride, a pride that says America is not only unique and special but that it is also the greatest. A pride that corrupts doctrine and says that America knows better than the Church and that the Church should learn from America.”

    That’s not the Americanism I have or profess. Rather, the Americanism I have and profess is one where God is honored first, where Holy Mother Church occupies a central place in the public square, where free exercise of religion is sacrosanct, and where the country I love is restored to being the Christian Consitutional Republic that she once was. We can never be best or greatest except that God be first.

  • BTW, one other thing Jeannon. You correctly wrote incriticism of this idea: “America knows better than the Church and that the Church should learn from America.” The whole idea of of this fortnight for freedom prayer time is to combat this very notion.

    America does NOT know better than the Church, the indefectible Bride of Christ (though Barack Hussein Obama and Kathleen Sebelius think otherwise), and the Church, the indefectible Bride of Christ, ought NOT to learn anything from America (though LCWR and the other liberal Katholyks think otherwise) except perhaps what NOT to do.

  • Jeannon, when you quote papal documents actually quote them, and not glosses. There is nothing in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae which supports the wacked out argument you are making.

    Here is what the Pope actually said:

    “From the foregoing it is manifest, beloved son, that we are not able to give approval to those views which, in their collective sense, are called by some “Americanism.” But if by this name are to be understood certain endowments of mind which belong to the American people, just as other characteristics belong to various other nations, and if, moreover, by it is designated your political condition and the laws and customs by which you are governed, there is no reason to take exception to the name. But if this is to be so understood that the doctrines which have been adverted to above are not only indicated, but exalted, there can be no manner of doubt that our venerable brethren, the bishops of America, would be the first to repudiate and condemn it as being most injurious to themselves and to their country. For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive and would have the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world.”
    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm

    Paul, the Church teaches us how to go to Heaven, it teaches us very little about a wide range of subjects outside that sphere. The Church has never claimed to have all wisdom in secular matters, and Catholics who pretend otherwise, and I do not place you in that group, are very much mistaken.

  • Oh, and Jeannon, David Wemhoff who you quote seems to hold some nutty theories including that Pope Benedict is a tool of the United States:

    “But that is what conquerors do — they destroy the conquered and themselves if their conquest is not in the name of Jesus Christ and with the sign of the Cross. Munoz’ mind is enslaved by the Americans just as is the mind of Joseph Ratzinger. Benedict’s many speeches praising America are a, if not the, critical factor for the darkening of Munoz’ mind so as to accept error. Benedict, as leader of the Catholics, has been conditioned to be an American and to serve America, and so Catholics are bound to follow their leader into captivity. Ratzinger, now pope, as a type of Manchurian Candidate, is a symbol of America’s occupation of the Catholic Church.

    One of the great causes for hope and miracles of the day, in addition to the numbers of people entering the Church and growing it around the world even while its prelates are suffering through their American and Jewish captivity, is that the Holy Spirit still speaks through the papal encyclicals, such as Deus Caritas Est, which calls Catholics, and all people, to the truth and liberation from error. For error leads to sin, and the wages of sin is death. One need only consult antiquity and societies of the modern era grown too engrossed in serving wealth to see where it all leads. The unfortunate part is that many who consider themselves Catholic will go down with the sinking ship known as America. And, most importantly, many are in danger of the fires of hell because of the American ideas that come from the man who is pope.

    [1] “American(s)” refers to those who hold to the liberal, Enlightenment principles that created the country known as the USA which, with its Constitution and Declaration of Independence in large measure, shape the society known as America. One can be a citizen of the USA (that is, CUSA) and be a Catholic, and most CUSAs are Americans. One cannot be a Catholic and an American. To be an American is to believe in American principles before the teachings of the Church, or in other words to accept the Enlightenment ideals as superior to the teachings of the Faith.”

    http://catholicforum.fisheaters.com/index.php/topic,3445145.0.html

    Rad Trads can be just as nutty as leftist Catholics.

  • I agree with your statement, Donald: “…the Church teaches us how to go to Heaven, it teaches us very little about a wide range of subjects outside that sphere. The Church has never claimed to have all wisdom in secular matters…” (e.g., US NRC oversight of reactor plant safety – clearly a non-spiritual issue.)

    As you correctly noted: “…I do not place you in that group…”

    I should have been more precise in my statements. It’s difficult getting all the nuances right. I did not intend to confuse rightful authority in secular matters that would devolve onto government with authority in spiritual matters that would devolve onto the Church.

  • “the Church teaches us how to go to Heaven, it teaches us very little about a wide range of subjects outside that sphere.”

    I believe the Church’s social teachings, which are founded on caring for “the common good” teach us much about a wide range of subjects outside the sphere of how to go to heaven. For example, the Church used rightly to teach us about usury and how wrong it is. Dante put sodomites and usurers in the same circle of hell. Usury seems to be the basis of the “capitalism” that we have in America. The basics of economics falls within the Church’s social teachings. Another example, the Church cares about just wages for the worker and just prices. It looks to me like the Left and the Right of all parties have been rewarding corporations for moving their industrial operations and jobs for Americans overseas, and they have been doing this for at least 40 years, possibly much longer.

    I do not consider myself a “Rad Trad” and I do not know what the terms “liberal” and “conservative” mean anymore.

    The one thing the Church as been way too silent about is that there have been dark forces and people for centuries, if not millennia, who have in stealth manipulated unjust wars and other deceptions for the purpose of forming a world government, which will nothing other than a death and slavery system for all. We know that one world government will come about from reading the Apocalypse. Who can make war with the beast? But we are to expose it, oppose it, and work to establish Christ the King’s rule on this earth as best we can.

    America was founded as a Protestant country. You say America is a Christian country. When I read the words of Christ, I simply cannot see that.

  • “You say America is a Christian country. When I read the words of Christ, I simply cannot see that.”

    No, I say that America was founded as a country of religious liberty, a concept that the Church has fully embraced.

    “For example, the Church used rightly to teach us about usury and how wrong it is.”

    Yep, and history moved on and the Church came to terms with interest and banks. The world is not static and neither is the teaching of the Church in areas not directly connected to dogma or revelation.

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15235c.htm
    “basics of economics falls within the Church’s social teachings. ”

    Not really. Ecclesiastics tend to be as poor at economics as economists tend to be at theology. A recent example in support of this proposition:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2011/10/27/a-fisk-of-towards-reforming-the-international-financial-and-monetary-systems-in-the-context-of-global-public-authority/

    “It looks to me like the Left and the Right of all parties have been rewarding corporations for moving their industrial operations and jobs for Americans overseas, and they have been doing this for at least 40 years, possibly much longer.”

    Actually it is the law of production costs. Corporations tend to go where the work force is cheapest, other things being equal. The Chinese now are losing factories along their coast due to rising labor costs. Assuming that government fiat can alter the laws of economics has been a pleasing superstition for too many government officials and clerics down through the centuries.

  • Must Jehovah Witnesses employers include blood transfusions in coverage for Catholic employees? Can Muslim employers insist on Sharia law in the workplace? Must Christian Scientist employers provide health insurance?

    This slippery slope is coated with ice.

  • “the Church teaches us how to go to Heaven, it teaches us very little about a wide range of subjects outside that sphere”.

    I don’t think that is right. I see really no subjects outside that sphere. There is no part of me or my life than I can keep separate from the quest for Heaven. I can’t put my religion in my back pocket when I am thinking about nuclear reactors or anything else.

  • “I can’t put my religion in my back pocket when I am thinking about nuclear reactors or anything else.”

    You will find precious little in Church teaching as to how to construct nuclear reactors Anzlyne, or as to what the Hearsay Rule is, how best to utilize grazing fire in a fire fight, how to fill out the Estate Tax Return that will be one of my duties today or myriads of other topics. The confusion of religion with secular knowledge is never a good idea. Religion of course gives us our guide in morality, but too often clerics pretend to expertise in secular matters that they sadly lack, and not infrequently prove themselves buffoons in such areas to the same extent that non-clerics frequently do when they pontificate on matters of religion.

  • Hi Mr. Mc. I think we are coming from different angles here–both correct I think in what we mean.
    I think we agree that knowledge is not always wisdom, but that wisdom includes knowledge– and morality. Morality requires judgments (distinctions, decisions) based on something– and that “something” is found our religion- the foundational plank to base our lives’ actions and choices on.
    Like you, I don’t think the Bible, Tradition or the Teaching Authority of the Church try to teach us how to build a nuclear reactor. There are lots of things we can know HOW to do with or without revealed religion.
    I do think the wisdom of our religion can help us do what we can morally choose to do, better, having considered the ends, and the means to the ends. Consideration of our religion colors all of our decisions, even though it does not directly supply the ‘how to”

  • “Consideration of our religion colors all of our decisions, even though it does not directly supply the ‘how to””

    Writ large enough on big issues perhaps. My Catholicism however really does not impact my decision on how to apply the Hearsay Rule in court, or whether the Deadman’s Act is a good piece of public policy. On the other hand I think my Catholicism clearly impacts on my view of the sanctity of an oath taken in Court to tell the truth.

  • Yes. and I might add from your quote above:
    …”And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure- …. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion. She, by her very nature, guards and defends all the principles on which duties are founded, and setting before us the motives most powerful to influence us, commands us to live virtuously and forbids us to transgress.”

    Thank you so much- I thoroughly enjoy the discussion

  • Even the pagans can see the myth of America was founded as a Christian country on Christian principles.

    Note this article on a “secular humanist” site secularhumanism.org

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=fi&page=walters_32_4

    Once and for All, Is America a Christian Nation?
    The Myth of America’s Christian Heritage
    Kerry Walters

    Do not agree with Professor Walters completely, but he does provide us a much clearer picture of history. Note, in reading the article, that Catholics are not part of the early American “evangelicalism.”

    Catholics were allowed into the New World but were barely tolerated.

  • Hmm, Kerry Walters or Alexis De Tocqueville? I’m really having a hard time determining who might have a firmer grasp on America’s founding.

    In all seriousness, Walters’s grasp of history is almost as poor as David Barton, whom I critiqued here the other day. He cherrypicks select quotes and pretend that he has stockpiled evidence in his defense. If Walters had stopped at Jefferson and Franklin in his litany of heterodox Christians, he would have perhaps had a point. But just as Barton overstates his case with regards to Jefferson’s orthodoxy, Walters overstates his case with regards to the heterodoxy of the rest.

  • From Waller’s linked to article. “But the big players in the founding of the United States—such men as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, and probably Alexander Hamilton—weren’t.”

    Thomas Paine, the “filthy little atheist” as Teddy Roosevelt called him, was a bit player in the Revolution. Benjamin Franklin was a deist who had doubts about the divinity of Christ, but lacked evidence sufficient for him to venture a verdict. George Washington was a conventional Christian. Thomas Jefferson was a deist. James Madison really doesn’t give enough evidence from his writings to say whether he was a Deist or a Christian. John Adams was a Christian most of his life and had Unitarian leanings by the time of his death. Hamilton dabbled with deism as a young man but was an orthodox Christian by the time of his death.

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