IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER
Inscription over the statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial
Well, it took long enough. Lincoln had been dead for almost half a century before work finally began on his memorial in Washington, with a dedication ceremony occurring on his birthday in Washington DC a hundred years ago. Plans to memorialize Lincoln in Washington had been mooted about since the time of his death, but in Washington, then and now, nothing moves swiftly. Controversies about cost and just what form the memorial should take had delayed the project for decades. The final plan to erect a Greek styled temple to house a Lincoln statue appalled some Lincoln admirers who thought a log cabin memorial would better suit a man as humble as Lincoln.
The building of the memorial would take eight years, with it being completed and opened to the public on Memorial Day, May 30, 1922. Continue reading
One of the more interesting figures in American public life is Justice Clarence Thomas:
Thomas spent his childhood in a place and time in which businesses and government services were legally segregated. In his 2007 memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” he described his experience growing up as an African-American Catholic in Georgia during the Jim Crow era. “I was a two-fer for the Klan,” he said.
Thomas moved north from Georgia and graduated from Yale Law School in 1974. He went on to a successful judicial career that took him all the way to the Supreme Court. Thomas’ views on constitutional issues usually put him on the conservative side of the court, where he has penned opinions intended to rein in affirmative-action laws and overhaul a section of the Civil Rights Act that requires states with histories of discrimination to seek approval from the federal government before altering voting policies.
“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated,” Thomas said. “The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.”
“I quite frankly don’t know how you do these hard jobs without some faith. I don’t know. Other people can come to you and explain it to you. I have no idea,” he said. “I don’t know how an oath becomes meaningful unless you have faith. Because at the end you say, ‘So help me God.’ And a promise to God is different from a promise to anyone else.”
Go here to read the rest. Thomas was raised by his cantankerous maternal grandfather Myers Anderson, a man with little education but who through hard work built a thriving business selling fuel oil and ice. He worked Clarence and his brother liked rented mules, and imprinted on them the value of hard work, promising them that if they worked hard enough, and got an education, they could be anything they wanted to be, having nothing but scorn for the idea that white racism could stop them. Thomas has said simply that his grandfather is the greatest man he has ever known. Continue reading
Well, yet another example of the military choosing to envisage terrorism coming from a home grown source, this time from people who have the temerity to believe the Second Amendment says what it says:
The ONG 52nd Civil Support Team training scenario involved a plot from local school district employees to use biological weapons in order to advance their beliefs about “protecting Gun Rights and Second Amendment rights.”
Portsmouth Chief of Police Bill Raisin told NBC 3 WSAZ-TV in Huntington, West Virginia that the drill accurately represented “the reality of the world we live in,” adding that such training “helps us all be prepared.”
Internal ONG documents provided to Media Trackers after repeated delays provide further context to what WSAZ-TV reported last winter.
In the disaster-preparedness scenario, two Portsmouth Junior High School employees poisoned school lunches with mustard gas, acting on orders from white-nationalist leader William Pierce.
The ONG team discovered biological weapons being produced in the school, requiring activation of containment and decontamination procedures.
Participants in the disaster drill located documents expressing the school employees’ “anti-government” sentiments, as well as a note identifying Pierce as the fictional right-wing terrorists’ leader.
ONG’s 52nd Civil Support Unit participated in a similar drill involving left-wing terrorists with Athens County first responders last year; public officials apologized for that training the next day in response to complaints from local environmentalist groups.
No apology to Ohioans who supported limited government and the Second Amendment appears to be forthcoming. Continue reading
Fernando Sebastián Aguilar the archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela was recently named a cardinal by Pope Francis. He is now facing possible criminal prosecution for remarks that ran afoul of the gay thought police in Spain.
A Spanish prosecutor has agreed to investigate Cardinal-elect Fernando Sebastian Aguilar after a national homosexualist group launched a legal action against him last month, accusing him of hate speech for calling homosexuality a “defective way of expressing sexuality.”
Aguilar, recently named as a cardinal-elect by Pope Francis, told the Spanish newspaper Diario Sur January 20 that sex “has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation.”
“A homosexual who can’t achieve procreation is failing,” he said. “Our bodies have many defects. I have high blood pressure, a defect I have to try and correct in whatever way I can.”
Members of Colegas, the homosexual group behind the complaint, say that the Cardinal-elect’s words “clearly incit[e] hate and discrimination,” a crime that they say violates constitutional guarantees.
“Spain is a modern country and a secular one, and these types of declarations from the church have to be punished because [members of the church] are the least qualified to talk about sexual deficiencies, above all because they have hidden cases of child abuse and paedophilia,” Colegas president Antonio Ferre said after filing the complaint. Continue reading
Strong content advisory for the above video. This strikes me as an old Monty Python skit come horribly to life:
On February 6, The American Conservative published a piece by Patrick J. Deneen titled “A Catholic Showdown Worth Watching.” In it, Deneen outlines the positions of two hostile political camps within American Catholicism: the “liberal” camp and what he calls a more “radical”/illiberal camp. The liberal camp is characterized by its support for free-market capitalism, liberal democracy, a vigorous interventionist foreign policy, and the basic compatibility of the American republic with Catholicism. The radical illiberal camp is virtually the opposite in every respect; it is skeptical of and in my experience quite hostile towards free-market capitalism, contemptuous of liberal democracy, anti-interventionist and views the entire American project as a failed enterprise incompatible with Catholicism.
In my view there ought to be recognition of a third camp: Catholic libertarianism. Of course this immediately lends itself to semantic confusion. After all, some of what Deneen’s “liberals” hold would align with what libertarians hold, and both might lay claim to the descriptor of “classical liberalism.” The important point of dispute between this peculiar lot of liberals and libertarians proper, at least given the specific points raised by Deneen, would be the matter of foreign policy. Catholic libertarians such as Tom Woods and Judge Andrew Napolitano are resolutely opposed not only to American interventionism, but also to the growing domestic security apparatus that poses a threat to individual liberties. Deneen’s liberals, or at least the contemporary names such as Wiegel, Neuhaus, and Novak, may better be described as neo-conservatives. Insofar as the Catholic neo-conservatives share economic views with the libertarians, I will include them as “classical liberals” in the analysis to follow. It may also be argued that Catholic libertarians aligned with the Austrian school of economics and political theory are also quite critical of liberal democracy. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an Austrian intellectual, has led the way in the libertarian critique of democracy and there is no reason to assume that a classical liberal is necessarily a democratic liberal.
Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, has a very insightful piece at First Things regarding the Rolling Stone article on the Pope:
The profile is an exercise in standard revisionism, bent on demonstrating Francis’ break from the supposedly conservative Church of old. Light on facts, heavy on implication, half-truths and hearsay, the piece remakes Pope Francis as the quiet hero of the liberal left. It uses the scandals of Vatican finance and sexual abuse, coupled with tired tropes about Opus Dei and the Latin Mass, to craft Pope Benedict XVI as a miserly conservative plotter. Pope Francis is the foil: the reluctant, populist leader of a move to liberalize and desacralize the Catholic Church.
It doesn’t matter how much or how little is true. Certainly, the profile contains a great deal of untruth. Inconvenient facts, such as the affability of an Opus Dei source, or the theological orthodoxy of the Holy Father, are dismissed. The piece is unbalanced in its sourcing, and it draws unreasonable conclusions from carefully selected vignettes. Over the next few weeks, bright Catholics will discredit the factual inaccuracies in the article. But what matters most is that Rolling Stone and its collaborators are working to hijack the papacy of a loyal, though often unconventional, son of the Church.
The reason is simple. Sexual and social libertines have little interest in discrediting Christianity. They’re far more interested in refashioning it—in claiming Christ, and his vicar, as their supporters. The secularist social agenda is more palatable to impressionable young people if it complements, rather than competes with, the residual Christianity of their families. The enemy has no interest in eradicating Christianity if he can sublimate it to his own purposes.
A feature of the American Revolution that has never received nearly as much coverage in histories of that conflict as it warrants is the successful privateer war waged by the Americans against British merchant shipping. This conflict helped the Americans in many ways: got badly needed supplies to the colonies, drove up British maritime insurance rates, caused the Royal Navy to divert ships to chase privateers and increased anti-war sentiment among merchants in Britain. A typical privateer ship of the period is the McClary.
Commissioned by the state of New Hampshire on September 2, 1776 and named after New Hampshire hero Major Andrew McClary who fell at Bunker Hill, the McClary was an armed schooner equipped during her career with 6-8 cannon and up to six swivel guns.
Between September 1776 and February 1778 she would make five voyages.
In her first voyage she captured five prizes off the Newfoundland Banks: the schooner Neptune , the schooner Glasgow, the British Army transport Hero, the ship Live Oak and the brigantine Three Friends.
In her second voyage she took the snow (merchant brig) Resolution and a transport, name unknown.
In her third voyage she took the brigantines Jane, Two Sisters and Thetis.
In her fourth voyage she captured the schooner Lusanna.
In her fifth voyage she made no captures and was captured herself by the frigate HMS Unicorn on February 6, 1778, bringing her privateering career to an end.
Although McClary, also called McClarey, a common variant of the McClary family name, enjoyed a brief privateering career, it was a successful one. Continue reading
Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a look at how NBC refers to Communism, an ideology that has a murder total of one hundred million and counting:
Last evening, NBC opened its Olympic coverage from Russia with the following montage:
The towering presence, the empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint. The revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments. But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures. As a more reliable right to their collective heart. What they build in aspirations lifted by imagination. What they craft, through the wonder of every last detail. How magical the fusion of sound and movement can be. How much a glass of distilled perfection and an overflowing table can matter. Discover the Russian people through these indelible signatures. Discover what we share with them through the games that open here tonight.
Watch the video. As the highlighted words above are spoken, take careful note of the image that appears on the screen. And then thank God that Germany isn’t scheduled to host an Olympics any time soon. Continue reading
Hattip to Colonel West. The Kentucky All State choir give an impromptu rendition at the Hyatt Hotel in Louisville of The Star-Spangled Banner. This was done in the evening after a day of competition. Ah the energy and hope with which God graces youth!
Mr. Lincoln took advantage of the winter lull in the War on February 9, 1864 to go, along with his son Tad, to Mathew Brady’s National Photographic Art Gallery in Washington DC to have his picture taken. The manager of the Gallery was Anthony Berger who took the photographs that day.
The above picture was immensely popular after Lincoln’s death, showing the closeness between Lincoln and Tad. Sadly, Tad would only outlive his father by six years, dying suddenly at 18, his death being variously ascribed to tuberculosis, pleurisy and congestive heart failure.
The above profile shot was taken by Lincoln that day and served as the basis for the image on the Lincoln penny. Continue reading
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Geneva, Switzerland–New guidelines set down by the international community during the fifth Geneva Convention this week has extensively defined the basic, spiritual wartime rights of the Church Militant by outlawing all Marty Haugen music used in and around war-zones. What is officially being called The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Parishioners in Times of Spiritual War has become the fifth convention establishing the standards on international law for the humanitarian treatment of spiritual war. “Our new resolution states that all Catholics who are in the process of spiritual warfare are to be treated humanely,” Said General of the Counsel Robert Durant at a press conference earlier this morning. “The following acts are to be henceforth prohibited: Violence to life and person, in particular, cruel treatment and torture by means of being made to listen to Gather Us In. Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment such as asking parishioners to sing along to We Remember. And finally, all acts requiring parishioners to listen to said music during the reception of communion.” Continue reading
Something for the weekend. In 1963 the Robert Shaw Chorale released an album This Is My Country that had songs from American history. The above is the Civil War medley for the South and below is the Civil War medley for the North:
A guest post from commenter John By Any Other Name on the attack on the Vatican made by that expensive farce that goes by the name of the United Nations:
Yesterday, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child issued a report, purportedly over the sexual abuse scandal involving the Catholic Church. Forget for a moment the average Catholic’s (need I qualify that with “non-dissenting”?…or “orthodox”?) bias in reading this report…and forget for a moment the facts of the scandal…that’s what most of the “top and bottom of the hour” reporting is focusing on…yet, this same UN report is attempting to get the Vatican to change its own doctrine and canon law. How consonant this is with the current Administration’s chilling efforts related to the HHS contraception/abortifacient mandate as well (Sebellius and Little Sisters of the Poor) as the general trend of lawsuits related to the redefinition of marriage (Christian bakers and gay “marriage” wedding cakes). Breitbart gives us the details:
The Committee specifically told the Church “to review its position on abortion which places obvious risks on the life and health of pregnant girls and to amend Canon 1398 relating to abortion with a view to identifying circumstances under which access to abortion services can be permitted.”
The Committee lamented “the negative consequences of the Holy See’s position and practices of denying access to contraception, as well as to sexual and reproductive health and information.” The Committee directed the Church “to access the serious implications of its position on adolescents’ enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality…”
The Committee is also displeased with the Church for not recognizing same-sex families: “The Committee recommends that the Holy See ensure that Canon Law provisions recognize the diversity of family settings and do not discriminate children (sic) based on the type of family they live in.”
The Committee also charged the Church with contributing to violence against homosexuals: “The Holy See’s past statements and declarations on homosexuality which contribute to the social stigmatization of and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adolescents and children raised by same-sex couples.”
For some analysis refuting the alleged purpose of the report, the sexual abuse scandal, here’s this at Crisis magazine: Continue reading