On June 15, a book tied in with the For Greater Glory movie will be released by Ignatius Press. Bearing the same name as the movie, it is a history of the Cristero Movement. The author was recently interviewed by Zenit:
ZENIT: Neither a film nor a ZENIT interview is sufficient to explain all the historical intricacies of such a complex epoch. Still, could you give us a brief overview of the Cristero War?
Quezada: The Cristero War is a chapter in Mexico’s history in the 1920s, when thousands of Catholics answered this crucial question [of religious freedom] at the cost of their very lives. President Plutarco Calles launched a direct attack on the Catholic Church using articles from Mexico’s Constitution, which created this uprising and counter-revolution against the Mexican government during that time. The original rebellion was set off by the persecution of Roman Catholics and a ban on their public religious practices.
There are two important dates to point out here.
The persecution began on Aug. 1, 1926, when the government re-enacted the penal code and forced the closure of all Catholic churches throughout the entire country with its new anticlerical laws. However, the first coordinated uprising for religious freedom did not occur until Jan. 1, 1927.
It was not until mid June 1929 when the truce was officially signed, bringing an end to the Cristero War.
ZENIT: Is For Greater Glory a historically accurate film?
Quezada: Apart from some “artistic license” the film is essentially accurate.
ZENIT: The movie alludes to some discrepancy between the Vatican’s position regarding the religious persecution, and that of the Cristero fighters. Could you explain this?
Quezada: When the oppression was about to begin, the Vatican granted permission — requested by the Mexican bishops — to cease any Catholic religious services in order to avoid confrontations. Additionally, the Holy See wrote letters to the government requesting they abolish the Calles Law. The government ignored each request. As the war intensified, Rome continued to have direct communications with President Calles to ask for leniency. Not only were Vatican officials [in Mexico] dismissed, but diplomatic relations were broken off by the government. Lastly, Pope Pius XI wrote an encyclical letter to the clergy and the faithful of Mexico to give them courage and hope during this persecution. There was really not much else the Holy See could do. On Nov. 18, 1926, the Pope sent the encyclical letter Iniquis Afflictisque (On the Persecution of the Church in Mexico) to offer prayers and encouragement during this difficult time. Continue reading
Live Action today released a second video showing that Planned Parenthood, an organization that I have designated Worse Than Murder, Inc, has no problem with sex selection abortions. Go here to read my post on the first gendercide video released by Live Action. Today the House failed to muster the two-thirds vote necessary to pass the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act which would have banned this unspeakable evil. The Obama administration opposed the bill. Obama has never found any form of abortion he opposes and Planned Parenthood has his complete allegiance. In the House 276 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, 7 against. Democrats voted 161 in favor of gendercide and 20 against.
The core of the Democrat party today is abortion. The vote on gendercide demonstrates just how extreme this allegiance is. As in the days of slavery, the Democrat party champions the notion that we can, in good conscience, ignore the rights of portions of the human race, and that the unborn, like the slaves of old, are mere property and may be destroyed at the mother’s will and whim. The words of Lincoln should be our battle cry against this old evil in a new form: Continue reading
Born in a valley in Ken-tuck-ee
Greenest state in the Land of the Free
Raised in the woods so’s he knew every tree
Kilt him a vamp when he was only three.
A-bie, A-bie Lincoln, King of the vamp free frontier!
After the book Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, one had to know the movie was inevitable! It is being released on June 22. Historically, Lincoln was portrayed as a vampire in some cartoons by critics during the Civil War, but I do not believe that he was ever accused of killing one! Here is a video that was done to promote the book when it was first published:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S. Lewis Continue reading
Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it, “all men are created equal except negroes.” When the Know-nothings get control, it will read, “all men are created equal except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.” When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty–to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Joshua F. Speed, Aug. 24, 1855
SHADOWED so long by the storm-cloud of danger,
Thou whom the prayers of an empire defend,
Welcome, thrice welcome! but not as a stranger,
Come to the nation that calls thee its friend!
Bleak are our shores with the blasts of December,
Fettered and chill is the rivulet’s flow;
Throbbing and warm are the hearts that remember
Who was our friend when the world was our foe.
Look on the lips that are smiling to greet thee,
See the fresh flowers that a people has strewn
Count them thy sisters and brothers that meet thee;
Guest of the Nation, her heart is thine own!
Fires of the North, in eternal communion,
Blend your broad flashes with evening’s bright star!
God bless the Empire that loves the Great Union;
Strength to her people! Long life to the Czar!
So Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in 1871 in honor of the visit of Grand Duke Alexei, fourth son of Tsar Alexander II, as a good will ambassador to the US. He encountered in the Northern states a vast reservoir of good will towards Russia for its steadfast support of the Union during the Civil War. Russia and Great Britain were enmeshed in the cold war known as the Great Game for control of Central Asia. The Russians viewed the United States as a power traditionally hostile to Great Britain and viewed the Civil War with alarm as a possible diminution of the power of the United States, along with a potential Anglo-Confederate alliance if the South achieved independence. From the beginning the Russian government publicly proclaimed its support for the Union and its opposition to any attempt by other powers to intervene in the conflict. Continue reading
“Many free countries have lost their liberty, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her. I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the waves of hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their effort; and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it I, too, may be; bow to it I never will. Continue reading
Lincoln, six feet one in his stocking feet,
The lank man, knotty and tough as a hickory rail,
Whose hands were always too big for white-kid gloves,
Whose wit was a coonskin sack of dry, tall tales,
Whose weathered face was homely as a plowed field–
Abraham Lincoln, who padded up and down
The sacred White House in nightshirt and carpet-slippers,
And yet could strike young hero-worshipping Hay
As dignified past any neat, balanced, fine
Plutarchan sentences carved in a Latin bronze;
The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon,
The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician,
State-character but comparative failure at forty
In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars,
Honesty rare as a man without self-pity,
Kindness as large and plain as a prairie wind,
And a self-confidence like an iron bar:
This Lincoln, President now by the grace of luck,
Disunion, politics, Douglas and a few speeches
Which make the monumental booming of Webster
Sound empty as the belly of a burst drum.
Stephen Vincent Benet
Today is the 203rd birthday of the Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The above video is an interesting and imaginative interview of Lincoln, if the film technology of the Thirties of the last century had been available in 1860.
Lately I have been reading a book on Lincoln with my autistic son. I point at the words and he reads them aloud, an early morning ritual we have carried out for the last 14 years. Young Lincoln’s struggles against the poverty of his early years, and his lack of more than one year in total of formal education, strikes a chord with me in regard to my son’s struggles against his autism. One of the many reasons why I find Mr. Lincoln’s life endlessly fascinating is the theme throughout it of the most extraordinary possibilities in all of us, no matter the cards that Fate dealt to us initially.
Lincoln in a speech to the men of the 166th Ohio as they were returning home, their enlistments completed, on August 22, 1864 touched upon this: Continue reading
Orestes A. Brownson, a Catholic convert, was the greatest Catholic writer of mid-Nineteenth Century America. He published Brownson’s Quarterly Journal, an influential and popular magazine which examined the political, cultural and literary scene of the America of its time. One hundred and fifty years ago one of his subscribers sat down and wrote him a letter. Dr. Samuel Mudd was an unknown figure at the time, but just over three years hence all of America would know his name as the physician who treated the assassin John Wilkes Booth after he had slain President Lincoln. Mudd was arrested in the aftermath of the assassination. Mudd claimed to be completely innocent. However, at his trial evidence was presented that established that Mudd had contacts with Booth in late 1864. What they talked about is lost to history. Evidence by Mudd’s former slaves helped establish that Mudd had been part of the conspiracy. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, escaping the death penalty by a single vote.
Mudd was held for four years at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas. During a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 the prison doctor died and Mudd volunteered to take his place. His efforts helped stem the outbreak and the soldiers at the fort wrote a petition to President Johnson asking for clemency for Mudd: He inspired the hopeless with courage and by his constant presence in the midst of danger and infection…. [Many] doubtless owe their lives to the care and treatment they received at his hands. Due to this, and the ceaseless efforts of his defense attorney Thomas W. Ewing, Jr. who was influential with the Johnson administration, on February 8, 1869 Johnson pardoned Mudd. Since Mudd’s release there have been continuing efforts to clear his name. In 1992 my former Congressman, Republican Thomas Ewing, co-sponsored with Steny Hoyer, Democrat Maryland, House bill 1885 to overturn the conviction of Mudd. The bill failed in committee.
Here is the text of Mudd’s letter to Brownson: Continue reading
If a nation ever needed Divine assistance it was our own America during the Civil War. Riven in two, the nation must have seemed on a path to destruction by many of those who lived through that terrible trial. Abraham Lincoln, as he led the United States through that struggle, increasingly found his mind turning to God. This Proclamation was written by Secretary of State Seward, but the sentiments are no doubt ones in which Lincoln fully joined.
By the President of the United States of America.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward,
Secretary of State Continue reading
Johnny Cash in the above video does a superb job of reading the Gettysburg Address. Go here to read my analysis of the Gettysburg Address. Winston Churchill, certainly the greatest orator of the English language in the last century, deemed the Address, “The ultimate expression of the majesty of Shakespeare’s language.” Lincoln’s masterpiece of concision packed with thought will endure as long as our American republic does, and the truths it contains will endure far beyond that time period. Continue reading
Lincoln was first and foremost a politician, and the sincerity of politicians is always subject to question, but it is impossible after examining his speeches and private letters not to be convinced of his deep and abiding hatred of slavery.
His attitude towards slavery was well set forth in the following letter to A.G. Hodges on April 4, 1864: Continue reading