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Fortnight for Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Sam Adams, August 1, 1776

(This is a repeat from last year.  I can’t improve upon it, except for minor changes that I have made.)

The American Catholic is proud to participate in this year’s Fortnight For Freedom.  The Fortnights were started in 2012 by the bishops of this country in response to the unprecedented assault on religious liberty posed by the Obama administration, to remind Catholics of the preciousness of their inheritance of freedom as Americans and Catholics and the necessity of standing up to threats to it.  All well and good, and a very worthy cause indeed.  However, the leadership of the Church appears to be schizophrenic on this subject.  While Caesar seeks to limit the freedom of the Church, too many ecclesiastics respond by wanting to get into bed with Caesar.

The examples of this are legion.

It was the policy of the Church to aid the Obama administration in flouting the immigration laws of this country, acting as a virtual arm of the State in sheltering illegal aliens.  Thank heavens that administration is now one with Nineveh and Tyre.  However, the eagerness of the Bishops to join in with the ginned up hysteria over children separation among illegal aliens at the border indicates that the Bishops have only contempt for the immigration laws of the United States.

The Church was all in favor of Obamacare, until the Obama administration targeted the Church with the contraceptive mandate.

The Green Encyclical, Laudato Si, released in 2015, is one long demand for Caesar to engage in an immense power grab, and regulate business and citizens to fight a mythical global warming threat.

The Vatican is a cheerleader of UN activities that spell a mortal danger to economic freedom in the West.

The Church through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds hundreds of left wing pressure groups to call for ever bigger government, and, inevitably, further restrictions on freedom.

Welfare States require huge amounts of tax money and huge amounts of government power.  The default position of the Church today when confronting any need traditionally filled by private or Church charity, is to scream for Caesar to come fix things.  This bastardized parody of the social teachings of the Church inevitably comes back to bite the Church as Caesar will always exact a price for his favors and under the Obama administration that price was for the Church to bend the knee to contraception, abortion and gay marriage.  For all too many of our shepherds that was a small price to pay to keep the government largess flowing.  There is a reason why Christ whipped the money changers from the Temple and why He uttered the phrase to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.   These days the Church too often seems willing to bow the knee to Caesar, no matter what Caesar demands, so long as the funds from Caesar keep flowing.

So we join with our bishops in standing in defense of freedom, even while so many of them demonstrate that they are willing to sell out our freedoms, when it suits them, to Caesar.

 

10 And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.

11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to clear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.

13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.

14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.

15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.

18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

1 Samuel 10-18

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

3 Comments

  1. The bishops have my prayers, but not my money.
    God did not want Israel to have a king. God knew that all sovereign men living under the Ten Commandments were better ruled…a Republic.

  2. Mary:
    God gave Israel permission to have a king in Deuteronomy PROVIDED that man was God’s kind of king (and from whom Our Lord and Savior was predestined to descend). The people asked Samuel for a king “like unto the other nations”, asking for the right thing in the wrong way (as St. James later observed). Israel needed a unified leadership that only a monarch could provide in that time and place. The Book of Judges makes clear the violent chaos that resulted from “each man doing what he thought best” i.e. libertarianism. Making your case from philosophy and history is one thing, but arguing for the Biblical superiority of kings v republics is a Puritan game, not a Catholic one.

  3. Well, Mary, I agree with you, but as I pointed out recently, due to some Middle Ages Pope spouting off that the only legitimate leader of a state is a Catholic monarch and the only legitimate state is a Catholic confessional state……so as long as Caesar is an alleged Catholic then it’s okay in some circles.

    My own take is that Jesus Christ never instructed the Apostles on the best form of civil government then that decision is left to those outside the Church hierarchy. Catholicism is not Islam, a heresy that demands complete religious and civil submission to some religious figure.

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