Winston Churchill: July 4, 1918

Wednesday, July 6, AD 2016

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A speech given by the half-American Winston Churchill at a celebration of the Fourth of July at the city of Westminster, England on July 4, 1918:

We are, as the Chairman has stated, met here to-day in the City of Westminster to celebrate the hundred and forty-second anniversary of American Independence. We are met also, as he has reminded you, as brothers in arms, facing together grave injuries and perils, and passing through a period of exceptional anxiety and suffering. Therefore we seek to draw from the past history of our race inspiration and encouragement which will cheer our hearts and fortify and purify our resolution and our comradeship. A great harmony exists between the Declaration of Independence and all we are fighting for now. A similar harmony exists between the principles of that Declaration and what the British Empire has wished to stand for and has at last achieved, not only here at home, but in the great self-governing Dominions through the world. The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document; it follows on Magna Charta and the Petition of Right as the third of the great title deeds on which the liberties of the English-speaking race are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying these principles and learning this lesson we have maintained unbroken communion with those powerful Commonwealths which our children have founded and have developed beyond the seas, and which, in this time of stress, have rallied spontaneously to our aid. The political conceptions embodied in the Declaration of Independence are the same as those which were consistently expressed at the time by Lord Chatham and Mr. Burke and by many others who had in turn received them from John Hampden and Algernon Sidney. They spring from the same source; they come from the same well of practical truth, and that well, ladies and gentlemen, is here, by the banks of the Thames in this famous Island, which we have guarded all these years, and which is the birthplace and the cradle of the British and the American race. It is English wisdom, it is that peculiar political sagacity and sense of practical truth, which animates the great document in the minds of all Americans to-day. Wherever men seek to frame polities or constitutions which are intended to safeguard the citizen, be he rich or be he poor, on the one hand from the shame of despotism, on the other from the misery of anarchy, which are devised to combine personal liberty with respect for law and love of country — wherever these desires are sincerely before the makers of constitutions or laws, it is to this original inspiration, this inspiration which was the product of English soil, which was the outcome of the Anglo-Saxon mind, that they will inevitably be drawn.

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One Response to Winston Churchill: July 4, 1918

  • I just read your lengthy July 4 retrospective from Winston Churchill. Fantastic. A timely reminder from this great man of the now distant past that the issues that matter, you can’t see, measure or quantify; but are crucially important. They are the spiritual essence of what makes Western Civilization better than any other on the planet. Lose them; you’ve lost everything. And he ably identifies our mortal enemy; the same then as now. Then, it was “scientific barbarism”. Now, it is “liberalism”. And it must be crushed now, as then. Either way, conflict is coming.

    “But this war has become an open conflict between Christian civilization and scientific barbarism. The line is clearly drawn between the nations where the peoples own the governments and the nations where the governments own the peoples. Our struggle is between systems which faithfully endeavor to quell and quench the brutish, treacherous, predatory promptings of human nature, and a system which has deliberately fostered, organized, armed, and exploited these promptings to its own base aggrandizement.”

    What a pleasure to read that dose of reason and truth and love of Country, after all the lies of the day. I acknowledge that Trump may never make the case as well as Churchill, but if he makes the attempt and starts us down that same path, for similarly good-hearted reasons, that is a very good thing. Others will surely follow. Someone has to take the first step. Maybe that man is Trump.

Dunlap Broadsides

Tuesday, July 5, AD 2016

 

On July 5, 1776 John Dunlap delivered to the Continental Congress 200 copies of the text of the Declaration of Independence. Twenty-five of these documents survive, historians calling them the Dunlap broadsides. In the American Revolution, one of the battlegrounds was for public opinion, and the broadsides were immediately sent off throughout the 13 new states, to spread the news of the Declaration. Readings of the Declaration were major events, and local papers eagerly reprinted the text of the Declaration. News of the Declaration reached far off Georgia on August 10, 1776, the same day on which newspaper accounts were published in Britain mentioning the Declaration.

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The Ongoing American Revolution

Monday, July 4, AD 2016

But the continuing success of American democracy depends on the degree to which each new generation, native-born and immigrant, makes its own the moral truths on which the Founding Fathers staked the future of your Republic. Their commitment to build a free society with liberty and justice for all must be constantly renewed if the United States is to fulfill the destiny to which the Founders pledged their “lives . . . fortunes . . . and sacred honor.

Saint John Paul II, December 16, 1997

 

 

A good way to observe the Fourth of July is to read aloud the Declaration of Independence.  My family has done that for years.  The Declaration is not an historical artifact to be mentioned in passing in forgettable speeches once a year.  It is the most radical document ever to issue from the pen of Man:

  1.  Rights derive from God and are unalienable.
  2. That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.
  3. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
  4. All men are created equal.
  5. That the people have a right to overthrow a government that is becoming a despotism.

These words, as a cursory glance around the world reveals, remain just as revolutionary and controversial today as when Mr. Jefferson wrote them two hundred and forty years ago.  His words are not meant to be worshiped, but rather to be argued about and debated.  It is common to date the end of the American Revolution to 1783.  Not so, not so.  That is when Britain recognized the independence of the United States.  However, the Revolution itself, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, is an ongoing proposition, and each day it has defeats and victories, and the outcome of that Revolution is still very much in doubt.  It is up to each of us, by our actions today, to determine whether the vision of the Founding Fathers is a true one or not.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Declaration of Independence

Monday, July 4, AD 2016

 

fortnight for freedom 2016

 

 

 

 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.—Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Declaration of Independence

  • It appears that Catholic thought also directly influenced the Declaration. Here’s an interesting post from Volokh Conspiracy about “Lex, Rex,” by Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish Presbyterian:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/07/02/origins-of-the-declaration-of-independence-samuel-rutherfords-lex-rex/

    “Rutherford used the Scholastic model of questions, assertions and arguments. Unlike some other Protestants, Rutherford quoted from and built explicitly on Thomas Aquinas and other Catholics, such as the Spanish Second Scholastics Francisco Vitoria and Francisco Suárez. Like the Scholastics, Rutherford paid great attention to Aristotle and to the political history of ancient Greece and Rome.”

  • Now there is one more reason I look forward to July 4th. And that is this sham called Fortnight for Freedom (or as truth in advertising would demand, Operation Define Religious Liberty Down to the Abyss of the Meaningless) will be over for another year.

    Don’s first post was about the bishops getting into bed with Caesar. Well, the USCCB’s FFF campaign is just one more tryst in that sordid affair. To characterize just immigration laws as an attack in the same way the HHS Mandate does cannot be justified by any Catholic or Constitutional stretch of the imagination. And when you look at this campaign against the backdrop of Cardinal Dolan’s race-baited calumnious swipe at Arizona’s SB 1070 and the USCCB’s amicus brief to SCOTUS citing that same law as a serious threat to religious liberty (a reading of the law for which you can easily find by googleling it will reveal it does no such thing), and the USCCB receiving government funding through its Migration Fund, the bishops place the push for open borders immigration policy as a higher priority than actual religious liberty. A sad truth to be sure, but the truth nonetheless.

  • Stay on topic Greg. I know your opinion about the Fortnight for Freedom, but this post is about the Declaration of Independence. I would think that all Americans could find much to celebrate about that document. Is it too much too ask that on one day, one day, we celebrate our American heritage?

  • I am with you Donald, Celebrating our American heritage on the fourth and all days. And thank you for posting the entire declaration here, we don’t see it often enough to remind us just how much we have to be thankful for.

  • And we should all rejoice in all our freedoms, and that it is not yet a hate crime to read the Declaration Of Independence in public.

  • “What was written in 1776 applies to our current despot: “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

    In full:

    Sorry re the length on this one-post from Natl Cath Reg some years back:

    Posted by Guy McClung on Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012 4:29 PM (EDT):

    England, Could You, Would You?

    Dear England: Some years ago we sent a cordial note to your monarch – some here called it a DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE – in an effort to commence a mutually beneficial dialogue between some of us over here and you all over there. Only for potential negotiating advantage did our forefathers refer to your monarch as a “Tyrant” and his form of government as “despotism.”

    Due to recent developments here in the colonies, we entreat you to consider re-opening this dialogue begun in the Spring of 1776 and, after a serious study of the benefits for all of us, that you allow us to again join with you and become part of the realm. Let us in mutual cooperation submit facts to a candid world.

    Our Declaration listed some proposed talking points (in the parlance of that time over two centuries ago these topics for discussion were referred to as “usurpations” which then was just another word for “deliberations”). “He” was the esteemed and beloved His Royal Highness George III. We believe some of these topics bear reconsideration today since they perfectly describe our present tyrant in the White House; for example

    “He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States;
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
    He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us.”

    We had no clue that the “swarms” of which we complained previously in 1776 could today multiply exponentially into heartless hordes, virtual mobs, of intransigent agents and officers.

    We apologetically admit that we had no idea that someone could subvert words we wrote specifically to prevent tyranny; and then could sign treaties which countermanded our Constitution and were contrary to the will of the people. By his imperial pen he is at this very moment preparing to sign a UN Treaty to repeal our 2nd Amendment, when he is fully aware that our Constitution explicitly does not permit amendment in this way.

    Our taxes, as compared to those just and reasonable ones under the esteemed and beloved George III, have also increased both exponentially in rate and in the scope of things and activities taxed.

    We did not realize that what we were setting up could be abused via so-called “penalties” so that a huge percentage – now almost 50% – of all the populace live off the labor and sweat of the remaining people who work. We had no idea that our plans could be embodied in a work force nearly half of whose jobs are working for the government to either control every aspect of our lives or to collect the taxes which apply to every aspect of our existence from birth to death and even thereafter.

    Your revered monarchs have always respected the rights enshrined in the Magna Carta, while our current tyrant invests himself and his government with power to legislate –which we thought we had reserved to a legislative branch of government – while now via imperial decrees – which are called “executive orders” – he himself alone legislates enacting his imperial “laws” which are not based on and are usually contrary to the will of the people.

    And now our country, at his bidding, is divided – making what we called “domestic insurrections” in 1776 look like picnics – while he purposefully pits one group against another, making Americans hate Americans, to increase his power.

    What was written in 1776 applies to our current despot: “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

    For some time we have been inclined to suffer, while evils were sufferable, rather than to right ourselves by leaving our loved homeland so that we are not subject to the new form of aristocracy here in the colonies. Since in this day and age change as occurred in 1776 is unrealistic and politically impossible, we humbly and earnestly ask, no, we beg and beseech you, that you most seriously consider allowing us to rejoin you so that we can again lift our heads high with others who respect human dignity, who value the Creator-endowed inalienable rights of all men and women, and who believe that government is of, by and for the people.

    God bless the Queen; and God bless America.
    Sincerely, the People of the Unites States of America

    PS: All rights reserved in the event of a “Queen Camilla”

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/mark-shea/fr.-robert-barron-on-obamas-secular-totalitarianism/#ixzz4DXflzY7w

Fortnight For Freedom: The Catholic Signer

Sunday, July 3, AD 2016

 

fortnight for freedom 2016

 

 

Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, letter to James McHenry, November 4, 1800.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, as he signed his name when he added his signature to the Declaration of Independence, was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.  When he died at the age of 95, he was the last of the Signers to depart this vale of tears.

The scion of perhaps the richest family in the colonies, Charles Carroll was initially uninterested in politics and, in any case, was debarred by his religion from participating in politics in his native Maryland by his religions.  However, in his thirties he became a passionate advocate of American independence from Great Britain and quickly became one of the chief leaders of the Patriot cause in his home colony.  It was only natural as a result that he was sent to Congress, in spite of his religion, where he was one of the chief spokesmen for independence and happily placed his signature on the Declaration even though by doing so he risked not only his fortune but his life if the British had prevailed.  By the end of 1776 the revolutionary government of Maryland had issued an act of religious freedom, and Carroll and his fellow Catholics in Maryland enjoyed the same civil rights as Protestants.

In 1778 he returned to Maryland and helped draft the state constitution and in setting up the new state government, serving in the State Senate until 1800, and briefly in the United States Senate.

A slaveholder, throughout his career Carroll spoke and wrote of slavery as an evil that must come to an end as soon as possible.  He attempted, but failed, to have Maryland implement a plan of gradual emancipation.  At the age of 91 he took on the task of being president of the Auxiliary State Colonization Society of Maryland, part of  a national movement to have free blacks voluntarily colonize what would become Liberia in Africa.

Something of a Renaissance man, he had a strong interest in science and in his nineties helped set up the B&O Railroad, lending his prestige to this new technology in his native Maryland.

Throughout his life his two main passions were the American Revolution and his Faith.   Like most of the Founding Fathers he regarded the idea of political liberty divorced from sound morality, derived from religion, as an absurdity.  He set forth his ideas on this subject in a letter to Secretary of War James McHenry in 1800 in which he lamented the then current American political scene:

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: The Catholic Signer

  • Very excited you will be doing more posts on him. I just read the most recent book tha thas com eout on hi and I very much recommend it.

    On a side note his home still stands and his family still lives there. However the Family is trying everything it can to make sure the Estate does not fall to pieces. It would be a shame if that happened

    http://www.doughoregan.com/

    The Revolution literally cost him millions by the way. He fought a very unpopular fight against Paper money. His Father was rather incensed at him that he did not fight it harder. When paper money came on the scene the value of his estate decreased quite a bit

  • Great piece.
    Thanks again for the History lesson.
    The last signee to pass away…Our Founding Father’s…pray for us.

  • Another good history lesson. Thanks!

  • My father graduated from John Carroll (Jesuit University in Cleveland, Ohio). Was all-male then. Named after relative of Charles and of course the first Catholic bishop of the U.S. My father participated in college ROTC there. I wonder how many Catholic colleges allow that now in these politically correct times (especially the Jesuit ones). A couple of notable alumni include Don Shula and the late Tim Russert (Meet the Press).

Jefferson on the Declaration

Monday, July 6, AD 2015

 

On May 8, 1825, near the close of his life, in a letter to Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson discussed the Declaration of Independence:

 

Of the paper you mention, purporting to be instructions to the Virginia delegation in Congress, I have no recollection. If it were anything more than a project of some private hand, that is to say, had any such instructions been ever given by the convention, they would appear in the journals, which we possess entire. But with respect to our rights, and the acts of the British government contravening those rights, there was but one opinion on this side of the water. All American whigs thought alike on these subjects. When forced, therefore, to resort to arms for redress, an appeal to the tribunal of the world was deemed proper for our justification. This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion. All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, &c. The historical documents which you mention as in your possession, ought all to be found, and I am persuaded you will find, to be corroborative of the facts and principles advanced in that Declaration.

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July 4, 1986: President Reagan on the Declaration of Independence

Sunday, July 5, AD 2015

 

My fellow Americans:

In a few moments the celebration will begin here in New York Harbor. It’s going to be quite a show. I was just looking over the preparations and thinking about a saying that we had back in Hollywood about never doing a scene with kids or animals because they’d steal the scene every time. So, you can rest assured I wouldn’t even think about trying to compete with a fireworks display, especially on the Fourth of July.

My remarks tonight will be brief, but it’s worth remembering that all the celebration of this day is rooted in history. It’s recorded that shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia celebrations took place throughout the land, and many of the former Colonists — they were just starting to call themselves Americans — set off cannons and marched in fife and drum parades.

What a contrast with the sober scene that had taken place a short time earlier in Independence Hall. Fifty-six men came forward to sign the parchment. It was noted at the time that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors. And that was more than rhetoric; each of those men knew the penalty for high treason to the Crown. “We must all hang together,” Benjamin Franklin said, “or, assuredly, we will all hang separately.” And John Hancock, it is said, wrote his signature in large script so King George could see it without his spectacles. They were brave. They stayed brave through all the bloodshed of the coming years. Their courage created a nation built on a universal claim to human dignity, on the proposition that every man, woman, and child had a right to a future of freedom.

For just a moment, let us listen to the words again: “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.” Last night when we rededicated Miss Liberty and relit her torch, we reflected on all the millions who came here in search of the dream of freedom inaugurated in Independence Hall. We reflected, too, on their courage in coming great distances and settling in a foreign land and then passing on to their children and their children’s children the hope symbolized in this statue here just behind us: the hope that is America. It is a hope that someday every people and every nation of the world will know the blessings of liberty.

And it’s the hope of millions all around the world. In the last few years, I’ve spoken at Westminster to the mother of Parliaments; at Versailles, where French kings and world leaders have made war and peace. I’ve been to the Vatican in Rome, the Imperial Palace in Japan, and the ancient city of Beijing. I’ve seen the beaches of Normandy and stood again with those boys of Pointe du Hoc, who long ago scaled the heights, and with, at that time, Lisa Zanatta Henn, who was at Omaha Beach for the father she loved, the father who had once dreamed of seeing again the place where he and so many brave others had landed on D-day. But he had died before he could make that trip, and she made it for him. “And, Dad,” she had said, “I’ll always be proud.”

And I’ve seen the successors to these brave men, the young Americans in uniform all over the world, young Americans like you here tonight who man the mighty U.S.S. Kennedy and the Iowa and other ships of the line. I can assure you, you out there who are listening, that these young are like their fathers and their grandfathers, just as willing, just as brave. And we can be just as proud. But our prayer tonight is that the call for their courage will never come. And that it’s important for us, too, to be brave; not so much the bravery of the battlefield, I mean the bravery of brotherhood.

All through our history, our Presidents and leaders have spoken of national unity and warned us that the real obstacle to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only permanent danger to the hope that is America, comes from within. It’s easy enough to dismiss this as a kind of familiar exhortation. Yet the truth is that even two of our greatest Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once learned this lesson late in life. They’d worked so closely together in Philadelphia for independence. But once that was gained and a government was formed, something called partisan politics began to get in the way. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson defeated Adams for the Presidency in 1800. And the night before Jefferson’s inauguration, Adams slipped away to Boston, disappointed, brokenhearted, and bitter.

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6 Responses to July 4, 1986: President Reagan on the Declaration of Independence

  • When President Reagan spoke I imagine he and everyone listening thought that we had a government by the people; that the people controlled the government. Now what we say? It sure looks like the other way around with the government controlling us with the help of large corporations. We need a new American Revolution.

    Charles Murray has a new book out on this subject: BY The People. Here is a review by the American Enterprise Institute.

    American freedom is being gutted. Whether we are trying to run a business, practice a vocation, raise our families, cooperate with our neighbors, or follow our religious beliefs, we run afoul of the government—not because we are doing anything wrong but because the government has decided it knows better. When we object, that government can and does tell us, “Try to fight this, and we’ll ruin you.”

    In this provocative book, acclaimed social scientist and bestselling author Charles Murray shows us why we can no longer hope to roll back the power of the federal government through the normal political process. The Constitution is broken in ways that cannot be fixed even by a sympathetic Supreme Court. Our legal system is increasingly lawless, unmoored from traditional ideas of “the rule of law.” The legislative process has become systemically corrupt, no matter which party is in control.

    But there’s good news beyond the Beltway. Technology is siphoning power from sclerotic government agencies and putting it in the hands of individuals and communities. The rediversification of American culture is making local freedom attractive to liberals as well as conservatives. People across the political spectrum are increasingly alienated from a regulatory state that nakedly serves its own interests rather than those of ordinary Americans.

    Infographic:

    Charles Murray’s field guide to civil disobedience

    The even better news is that federal government has a fatal weakness: It can get away with its thousands of laws and regulations only if the overwhelming majority of Americans voluntarily comply with them. Murray describes how civil disobedience backstopped by legal defense funds can make large portions of the 180,000-page Federal Code of Regulations unenforceable, through a targeted program that identifies regulations that arbitrarily and capriciously tell us what to do. Americans have it within their power to make the federal government an insurable hazard like hurricanes and floods, leaving us once again free to live our lives as we see fit.”

    “By the People” has a hopeful message. Rebuilding our traditional freedoms does not require electing a right-thinking Congress or president, nor does it require five right-thinking justices on the Supreme Court. It can be done by we the people, using America’s unique civil society to put government back in its proper box.

    Praise

    “A road map to recapture true American exceptionalism. With passion, brilliance, and a keen sense of the radical essence of what America means, Murray dismisses what passes for political debate today and offers an audacious plan to restore the liberty our founders bequeathed to us.”
    —Ed Crane, President Emeritus, Cato Institute

    Charles Murray is the W. H. Brady Scholar at AEI. He first came to national attention in 1984 with his book “Losing Ground” and, most recently, in 2012 with “Coming Apart.”

  • I still believe that what unites us is more than what divides us. But is it stronger than what divides us? The contemporary liberal believes many of the same things as the conservative; his understanding of things like liberty and equality is different, but not irreconcilably removed from the American tradition. But his image of America, past and present, is irreconcilable with patriotism. He believes that we are the people we’ve been waiting for – that is, the modern dissenters are the ones the country has been waiting for to fulfill its promise by overturning its traditions.

    Evan Sayet describes himself as a September 12th conservative. He tells it this way: If you hear someone complaining about his wife, saying that he hates her, you think he’s just spouting off. They’re together, they love each other, right? But then you’re with him and the two of you see his wife getting beaten up in an alley, and he does nothing to help her. That’s when you realize he really means it. He hates her.

    If I could look around and see any sign of the American liberal rallying around an established aspect of the rule of law, I’d feel some optimism. I think we’re all a lot alike in what we’d like to see our country be, but the liberal appears to be ready to destroy everything to implement his vision. There’s an exchange in the movie As Good As It Gets between an author and a female fan: “How do you write women so well?” “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” That’s what I think of when I debate a liberal.

  • Glenn Beck, whom I often consider to be somewhat extreme or even nuts, called for an American Restoration movement. However it is to come about, we need such a movement.

    The Federal Government has run up massive debt that cannot be repaid. Having said that, debt that was purchased by the Federal Reserve Bank – purchases of US Treasury securities in exchange for Federal Reserve Notes – should be repudiated as it is nothing but the printing of money. The Federal Government instigated the Great Recession that began in 2008 – going back to the Carter Administration, accelerated by the Clinton Administration and blown open when Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were on the House and Senate committees with oversight of such things. The Federal Government has refused to enforce immigration law and keep illegal aliens out of our country. The terrorists of 9/11 were men who overstayed their visas and should not have been allowed in the country in the first place. The Federal Government will not enforce election laws.

    No nation on earth – not Great Britain, imperial France or imperial Spain, nor Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan or the USSR – was able to defeat the United States of America. This country will be destroyed only from within by its own people – if allowed.

    We cannot consent to be ruled by Hollywood, Big Enviornment, Big Education, Big Media, pointy-headed Ivy Leaguers and public sector employee unions. Hollywood destroys morals. Big Enviornment is uninterested in protection of the ecosystem but wants to tell everyone where to live and how to live. Big Education has an insatiable appetite for money – education inflation far exceeds medical care inflation but nobody in Big Media cares. Big Education does not produce results demanded from a McDonald’s franchise.Big Media is biased and tells half truths and conceals corruption from those it favors. Public sector employee unions have massive unfunded liabilities in many parts of the country. These benefits were promised in exchange for votes and the responsibilities were kicked down the road.

    Another organized resistance (the third in our history) against the Federal Government may well take place. It can be a Constitutional Convention. It can be a number of states, led by Texas, declaring that they will not abide by Federal Government directives aimed at them. It can be massive civil disobedience. I hope it will not be armed conflict.

    Who will lead such a movement? Who will join in? I don’t know.It may take place after my lifetime, as I’m 52.

    Official Washington is in a world of its own. It has become something similar to a capital of a corrupt Latin American country, with power over everything it wants to control whether permitted or not. The words of the Declaration of Independence – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – were shredded by Roe v. Wade. The Constitution has been shredded by Obumblercare and numerous court decisions, not the least of which was recently made by the nitwit Anthony Kennedy.

    I could pontificate all day but it’s a beautiful day outside, vacation ends today and there is an errand to run.

  • Two other thoughts:

    I miss good political rhetoric. After Reagan was Bush Sr, who had some kind of defect in his speaking. Then came Clinton, who I didn’t want to listen to, then Bush Jr., and with all due respect he was as bad (different, but as bad) as his father, then the past 6-and-a-half years. None of the current crop of Republican candidates, talented though they may be, strike me as particularly good speakers. You’d think in an era of communications that we’d be doing better.

    A year after this speech about the things that join us together, Reagan nominated Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. As another blog pointed out, Bork’s rejection led to the recent Court decisions. We do have a lot of things that join us together, but man, we have to fight every battle.

  • Ever heard of sheriff Dave Clark of Milwaukee, a sheriff who has been on Fox News quite a bit lately? There is an organization that is fighting back and they were elected and took an oath to uphold the constitution and protect citizens. All sheriffs were. But this orginization has been gaining strength lately and doing their best to protect against unconstitutional laws.
    CSPOA.org
    “The CSPOA is a committed group of freedom-loving Americans supporting the office of Sheriff, thereby, enabling us to go about the work of serving our communities and standing by our oaths.”
    Sheriff David A Clarke, Jr. Milwaukee County, WI

  • Wonder if Peggy Noonan shaped his remarks,the contrast between RR and BO is heartbreaking.as RR recedes in time He looms larger,as BO’s time ends I expect he will shrink.

The Declaration of Independence

Saturday, July 4, AD 2015

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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13 Responses to The Declaration of Independence

  • Let me be the first to wish you all a Happy Independence Day.

    Now, all you have to do is get rid of the despots again, but from within your own ranks to regain your true freedom and independence.

    Remember the Alamo 😉

  • Thanks Don! It has always been my belief that the American Revolution has never ended and continues to this day. That was Lincoln’s belief:

    These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “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.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.

    August 17, 1858

  • Happy Independence Day!

    “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.”
    .

    Self-evident truths = Objective Truth revealed by God, the Father Almighty
    .

    Created/Creator = We are created by God to know Him, love Him and serve Him.
    .
    .
    Unalienable rights = God-given. Gangs of politicians, commissars, or unelected robed nitwits cannot give or take away our God-given rights.
    .

    Consent of the governed = the majority rules. This is not the progressives’ big-lie, “dictatorship of the majority.” The sUPREME cOURT and President willfully stopped heeding the people at national peril.
    .
    Will you sit silently and allow them to subvert Patrick Henry’s cry to, “Give me socialism or give me death?

    Ne Desit Virtus – the motto of the 187th PIR USArmy.

    .

    .

  • “We, the people” of this generation are our Founding Fathers’ constitutional posterity. I am and you are George Washington’s constitutional posterity for whom Washington fought the Revolutionary War for freedom from human rights abuse. All future generations are also George Washington’s constitutional posterity as these innocent begotten children are our constitutional posterity. Here we are, all of us, included in “We, the people”. It is timely that we remember and celebrate. HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY, INDEPENDENCE DAY.

  • Tyranny is sustained by little more than fear masquerading as duty. One bleeds into the other and, so long as the tyrant makes the cost of casting off the shackles great, and the injury sufficiently isolated that men imagine they can avoid that fate, men will suffer the injury.

    Fortunately, tyranny is a gluttanous beast and is not satisfied with petty indignities. He is rather emboldened by the silent suffering of men.

    Gibson’s “I Will Not Fight” speech from “The Patriot” explores this reality well: https://youtu.be/ntABZkIIBMY

    Happy Independence Day, may we give those who seek to trample our freedom cause to doubt that they can enjoy that meal in peace.

  • “Happy Independence Day, may we give those who seek to trample our freedom cause to doubt that they can enjoy that meal in peace.”

    Comment of the week Dave! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • 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.
    *
    I used to think, how plain yet ingenious these words are . Today for the first time, I see them riddled with error:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal: true.
    that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights: false. When God is in the picture, whatever we have from him are gifts and not rights. I have written elsewhere that the fatal error of these United States of America is to frame things in terms of rights vs. non-rights instead of good vs. evil.
    gift of life: true
    gift of liberty: not defined what this means and false. After the sin of Adam, according to Catholic teaching, all men but two are conceived with original sin hence in bondage. The glorious liberty of the children of God [cf. Rm 8:21] is the gift of the Father through his Son Jesus Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, and it is his wish that all men be saved and come to the full knowledge of the truth [cf. 1 Tm 2:4]. It is the Son who truly liberates [cf. Jn 8:36].
    the pursuit of happiness: false. This is neither a right nor a gift. The purpose of man is to do God’s will, to glorify God, to love him and serve him, herein lies his joy here, and his reward of happiness in the hereafter.
    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men: The ruse and lie of the those penning the document.
    deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed: false. All power is from above. [cf. Jn 19:11 & the Fourth Commandment].

  • “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”
    Rights are gifts from God that no other men may rightfully take away.

    “gift of liberty:”-True insofar as God made no men booted and saddled at birth to ride other men against their will.

    “the pursuit of happiness: true”-What the Church has always taught about free will requires this to be true. Our eternal happiness means that we serve and love God. That great truth does not imply that lesser happinesses, including a loving spouse, kids, friends, should not be a worthy object of pursuit among men.

    “– That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men:”-Almost all governments are man made creations.

    “– deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed:”-When governments do not rest on this basis they become tyrannies.

    But, as we have already said, authority may fail to derive from God for two reasons: either because of the way in which authority has been obtained, or in consequence of the use which is made of it.
    There are two ways in which the first case may occur. Either because of a defect in the person, if he is unworthy; or because of some defect in the way itself by which power was acquired, if, for example, through violence, or simony or some other illegal method. The first defect is not such as to impede the acquisition of legitimate authority; and since authority derives always, from a formal point of view, from God (and it is this which produces the duty of obedience), their subjects are always obliged to obey such superiors, however unworthy they may be. But the second defect prevents the establishment of any just authority: for whoever possesses himself of power by violence does not truly become lord or master. Therefore it is permissible, when occasion offers, for a person to reject such authority; except in the case that it subsequently became legitimate, either through public consent or through the intervention of higher authority.

    With regard to the abuse of authority, this also may come about in two ways. First, when what is ordered by an authority is opposed to the object for which that authority was constituted (if, for example, some sinful action is commanded or one which is contrary to virtue, when it is precisely for the protection and fostering of virtue that authority is instituted). In such a case, not only is there no obligation to obey the authority, but one is obliged to disobey it, as did the holy martyrs who suffered death rather than obey the impious commands of tyrants. Secondly, when those who bear such authority command things which exceed the competence of such authority; as, for example, when a master demands payment from a servant which the latter is not bound to make, and other similar cases. In this instance the subject is free to obey or disobey.

    Saint Thomas Aquinas

    Linked to service, freedom is indeed a great gift of God to this nation. America needs freedom to be herself and to fulfill her mission in the world. At a difficult moment in the history of this country, a great American, Abraham Lincoln, spoke of a special need at that time: “that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom”. A new birth of freedom is repeatedly necessary: freedom to exercise responsibility and generosity, freedom to meet the challenge of serving humanity, the freedom necessary to fulfill human destiny, the freedom to live by truth, to defend it against whatever distorts and manipulates it, the freedom to observe God’s law–which is the supreme standard of all human liberty – the freedom to live as children of God, secure and happy: the freedom to be America in that constitutional democracy which was conceived to be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.

    Saint John Paul II

  • It is so wonderful to be with people who know what they are talking about.

  • @Donald R. McClarey: I put it to you Sir that you have been taken in by the lie that is the United States of America [may explain your recent churning of a great number of articles as you come to grips with this reality].

  • I put it to you FM that you do not know what the hell you are talking about, as demonstrated by your failure to respond to the points I made, and that if you wish to keep commenting here you will keep your anti-American crap to yourself.

  • Donald R. McClarey: Compare and contrast the length of your post and my post [why do you need so many words?]. Your post does not require responding to if you’d care to ruminate about my post and have an honest assessment with yourself whether you have been disillusioned or not.

  • “Compare and contrast the length of your post and my post [why do you need so many words?].”

    Its called facts, authorities and argument FM. Try it sometime.

Fortnight For Freedom: The Catholic Roots of the Declaration of Independence

Thursday, July 2, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

My bride and I each year travel to Indianapolis for the Gen Con gaming convention which this year will be held on the last week in July.  Indianapolis is a lovely city and we have enjoyed our visits there.  Back in 1926 an Indianapolis parish priest, John C. Rager, demonstrated that the core of the Declaration of Independence has its roots in Catholic thought.

It will suffice for our purpose to consult, in detail, but two Catholic churchmen who stand out as leading lights for all time. The one is representative of medieval learning and thought, the other stood on the threshold of the medieval and modern world. They are St. Thomas Aquinas of the thirteenth century and the Blessed Cardinal Robert Bellarmine of the sixteenth century (1542-1621). The following comparisons, clause for clause, of the American Declaration of Independence and of excerpts from the political principles of these noted ecclesiastics, evidence striking similarity and identity of political principle.


Equality of man

Declaration of Independence: All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Bellarmine: All men are equal, not in wisdom or grace, but in the essence and nature of mankind (De Laicis, c.7) There is no reason why among equals one should rule rather than another (ibid.). Let rulers remember that they preside over men who are of the same nature as they themselves. (De Officus Princ. c. 22). Political right is immediately from God and necessarily inherent in the nature of man (De Laicis, c. 6, note 1).

St. Thomas: Nature made all men equal in liberty, though not in their natural perfections (II Sent., d. xliv, q. 1, a. 3. ad 1).


The function of government

Declaration of Independence: To secure these rights governments are instituted among men.

Bellarmine: It is impossible for men to live together without someone to care for the common good. Men must be governed by someone lest they be willing to perish (De Laicis, c. 6).

St. Thomas: To ordain anything for the common good belongs either to the whole people, or to someone who is the viceregent of the whole people (Summa, la llae, q. 90, a. 3).


The source of power

Declaration of Independence: Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Bellarmine: It depends upon the consent of the multitude to constitute over itself a king, consul, or other magistrate. This power is, indeed, from God, but vested in a particular ruler by the counsel and election of men (De Laicis, c. 6, notes 4 and 5). The people themselves immediately and directly hold the political power (De Clericis, c. 7).

St. Thomas: Therefore the making of a law belongs either to the whole people or to a public personage who has care of the whole people (Summa, la llae, q. 90, a. 3). The ruler has power and eminence from the subjects, and, in the event of his despising them, he sometimes loses both his power and position (De Erudit. Princ. Bk. I, c. 6).


The right to change the government

Declaration of Independence: Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government…Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient reasons.

Bellarmine: For legitimate reasons the people can change the government to an aristocracy or a democracy or vice versa (De Laicis, c. 6). The people never transfers its powers to a king so completely but that it reserves to itself the right of receiving back this power (Recognitio de Laicis, c. 6).

St Thomas: If any society of people have a right of choosing a king, then the king so established can be deposed by them without injustice, or his power can be curbed, when by tyranny he abuses his regal power (De Rege et Regno, Bk. I, c. 6).

Go here to read the article.  Is there any evidence that Jefferson was familiar with this Catholic thought?  There is.  In his library at Monticello there is a volume entitled Patriarcha written by the court theologian of James I, Robert Filmer.  In this book Filmer defended the divine right of kings and attacked Bellarmine.  Karl Maurer gives us the details:

 

The most interesting aspect of Patriarcha from a Catholic perspective is that the first pages discredit and attack the writings of St. Robert Bellarmine, who was one of the most eloquent and prolific defenders of freedom the Catholic Church has ever produced. It was customary that writers dealing with political and religious controversies begin their books by presenting their nemesis as an anti-thesis, which in Filmer’s case was Bellarmine’s position that political authority is vested in the people and that kings do not rule by divine right, but through the consent of the governed. This was a radical idea in the early 1600’s, though it is widely accepted today.

In Patriarcha, Filmer quotes Bellarmine directly as follows: “Secular or Civil authority (saith he) ‘is instituted by men; it is in the people unless they bestow it on a Prince. This Power is immediately in the Multitude, as in the subject of it; for this Power is in the Divine Law, but the Divine Law hath given this power to no particular man. If the Positive Law be taken away, there is left no Reason amongst the Multitude (who are Equal) one rather than another should bear the Rule over the Rest. Power is given to the multitude to one man, or to more, by the same Law of Nature; for the Commonwealth cannot exercise this Power, therefore it is bound to bestow it upon some One man or some Few. It depends upon the Consent of the multitude to ordain over themselves a King or other Magistrates, and if there be a lawful cause, the multitude may change the Kingdom into an Aristocracy or Democracy’ (St. Robert Bellarmine, Book 3 De Laicis, Chapter 4). Thus far Bellarmine; in which passages are comprised the strength of all that I have read or heard produced for the Natural Liberty of the Subject.” (Patriarcha, page 5.)

Imagine what Jefferson must have been thinking as he read the opening paragraphs of Patriarcha, a direct assault on the Roman Catholic scholarship of Bellarmine:

“Since the time that school divinity (i.e. Catholic Universities) began to flourish, there hath been a common opinion maintained as well by the divines as by the divers of learned men which affirms: ‘Mankind is naturally endowed and born with freedom from all subjection, and at liberty to choose what form of government it please, and that the power which any one man hath over others was at the first by human right bestowed according to the discretion of the multitude.’ This tenet was first hatched in the (Medieval Roman Catholic Universities), and hath been fostered by all succeeding papists for good divinity. The divines also of the reformed churches have entertained it, and the common people everywhere tenderly embrace it as being most plausible to flesh and blood, for that it prodigally distributes a portion of liberty to the meanest of the multitude, who magnify liberty as if the height of human felicity were only to be found in it — never remembering that the desire of liberty was the cause of the fall of Adam.”

There is no doubt that Jefferson, after reading Filmer, must have been struck by Bellarmine’s definition of individual freedom and popular sovereignty. It may come as a surprise to some, but a closer analysis of Bellarmine’s writing and Catholic Church history demonstrates that since 1200 AD, Catholic Church has defended individual rights and freedoms, which eventually led to the abolition of slavery, serfdom, and the rise of popular sovereignty at the expense of absolutist monarchs and tyrannical nobles.

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32 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: The Catholic Roots of the Declaration of Independence

  • The people never transfers its powers to a king so completely but that it reserves to itself the right of receiving back this power …”

    This marvelous concept sets aside the phenomenon of today’s people–among which many are labelled Catholic–who choose to abrogate these God-given rights in the name of worldly pride and pleasure.

    Let the rulers rule us all to Hell, as long as it feels good.

    Let’s not blame God, as did Adam (It was that woman YOU made for me) when it all finishes falling apart.

  • Over the last 100 years, progressives have devolved the US into a high-tech feudalism similar to that which Norman William the Conqueror imposed on Anglo-Saxon England beginning in 1066. Now, the state owns everything and we the people have what we hold at the regime’s discretion.

    God gave us memory so that we could have liberty in 2015.

  • God gave us hope so that we could have liberty in 2016.

  • Donald McClarey,
    thanks for a really salient article. This is all new to me. I’ve said it before, I think you must be at least three persons!

  • It appears that some people prefer their kings to the responsibility of governing themselves – and their appetites, whatever they may be.

    Just as ancient Israel begged God for a king and got them, are we that much different? FDR, the continuing cult of JFK, the Clintons and Obumbler? Look at the reelection rates of most members of the Congress.

    Whenever I come across a radtrad who claims the USA is an illegitimate country for its rebellion against King George – ostensibly a king who ruled by divine right – and claims the only legitimate government is a monarchy with a Catholic monarch – I giggle to myself. There are much bigger problems than this.

  • “Bellarmine: All men are equal, not in wisdom or grace, but in the essence and nature of mankind.”
    .
    “St. Thomas: Nature made all men equal in liberty, though not in their natural perfections.”
    .
    In other words, all human beings are created equal in dignity but unequal in function. These are the fundamental points which liberal progressive Democrats miss: First, all human beings are created, which in turn implies and necessitates a Creator to whom such human beings are accountable. Second, equality in dignity is NOT equality in function; thus, of necessity man and woman will be unequal in function. One is not superior or inferior to the other because each is equal to the other in dignity; rather, each is different from the other and that very diversity is what gives rise to human expansion – a diversity that one would think should be embraced and lauded by the liberal progressive Democrat crowd crying, “Diversity, diversity!”
    .
    The illogic and irrationality of the liberal left is astounding. They cannot see what is obvious and logical right in front of their eyes.. As God said to Jonah concerning the ancient Ninevites, “Nesciunt quid sit inter dexteram et sinistram suam.” (They do not know their right hand from their left.)

  • How similar to Lincoln:

    “I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not mean to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all men were equal in color, size, intellect, moral development, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness in what they did consider all men created equal,—equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This they said, and this they meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth that all were then actually enjoying that equality, or yet that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact, they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit.”

  • “Divine right” has been used in three different, but related, senses.
    1) Christians are bound in conscience to obey the civil magistrate in all things, but sin. This is the common teaching of the Fathers, basing themselves on our Lord’s injunction to “Render to Caesar and his words before Pilate, as well as the injunctions of both St Peter (“Be in subjection [therefore] to every human institution for the Lord’s sake; whether to [the] king as supreme…” – 1 Pet 2:13) and St Pau (“Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God: and those that are, are ordained of God” – Rom 13:1) The common opinion of theologians applies this to mere de facto rulers, as avoiding civil conflict and so conducive to the common good.
    2) From the great 11th century conflict between Empire and Papacy onwards, “Divine Right” came to mean the autonomy of the civil power within its own sphere, free from clerical control, against what some saw as the extravagant claims of Popes like Gregory VII and Boniface VIII, especially in their assertion of the deposing power. The key text of the Imperial party was “Here are two swords… (Lk 22:38)
    3) In the 17th century, Divine Right was used by the defenders of Legitimism to mean the indefeasible authority of a particular royal line, particularly by the Jacobites In France it had long been a national superstition. In Scotland, many Catholics refused to qualify themselves for the relief granted by the Acts of 1778 and 1791 by acknowledging the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneberg as king, until the death of the Cardinal Duke of York (King Henry I & IX) on 13 July 1807. In the autumn of that year, many Catholics finally took the oath, as the Sheriff Court books attest.

  • “God gave us hope so that we could have liberty in 2016.”
    .

    Amen.
    .
    I exercise my liberty in violations of scores of statist laws and regulations. They can’t lock up 50,000,000 of us.
    .
    Every one needs to contemplate this question, “What are you prepared to do?”
    .
    Hate speech warning [klaxons!]: God created all men and woman. Sam Colt made them equals.

  • “They can’t lock up 50,000,000 of us.”
    .
    But diidn’t Mao Tse Tung murder that many in the Great Leap Forward?
    .
    And wasn’t Stalin a close second in the Great Holodomor in Ukraine?

  • This homily is a source of hope and the story before the resolution, a kind of analogy (to my too often distracted mind) of the current situation.
    .
    I think it will not be available very long as it changes sometimes daily. On 7/1, the daily Mass was read by Fr. Mitch Pacwa whose informative homily can be accessed by this link, I hope still. Think of the strength it details in the occurrence, but also think of the reaction of the people for a reality check.
    http://www.ewtn.com/daily-readings/

  • I think Gaillard Hunt (cited by Fr. Rager) makes an excellent case for Bellarmine’s influence on the Virginia Declaration of Rights via Filmer. Hunt presents the evidence and draws reasonable inferences therefrom, without overstating either the evidence or the conclusions.

    You can get a reprint version of it from the Library of Congress.

    https://www.librarything.com/work/13397250/book/93082146

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  • It would be nice to have links provided to any speeches/writings of our founding fathers personally crediting Catholics with the intellectual antecedents of the Constitution as much of what Pope Leo XII wrote about America is inconsistent with the seeming subtext of these claims.

    O, and Quas Primas and Quanta Cura most also be considered.

    See Denzinger 1690 where liberty of conscience and worship is labeled insanity but that is the entire subtext of the Constitution framed as it was by Judaised Protestants who desired not one blessed thing to do with Jesus, His Universal Kingship, or His Universal Church.

    Sede blogs, rightly, have noted that in the 1965 and newer versions of Denzinger (following the besets council ever) #s 1688-1690 have been excised.

    And one final note, America was settled by men who claimed the authority to decide for themselves what Holy Writ means but we are supposed to be beholden to their Constitution which supplants the will of God with the will of men.

    P.S. When America seceded from the English Crown that was a luminous virtue but when the CSA seceded that was considered a grave evil which is just an excellent example of the specific application of the general rule when living under the rule of Yankees; everything is always decided in the favor of Yankees.

  • It appears that some of our founding fathers were not too keen on Jesus christ or His One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church

    http://www.liberalamerica.org/2014/10/27/88-founding-father-quotes-that-will-enrage-the-religious-right/

    Now, IANS will bow out

  • In reference to IANS’s link: I once watched Dinsh D’Souza speak at my old college. During the q&A session this gentleman rose and spent three minutes just ranting about who knows what. He was hectoring Dinesh about “what goes on in your mind,” or some silly nonsense like that, and how he was clearly a self-hating minority. After the man finished his “question,” Dinesh’s response was golden: “Well that was underwhelming.”

    After reading through that link for some reason that response came to mind.

  • “as much of what Pope Leo XII wrote about America is inconsistent with the seeming subtext of these claims.”

    Pope Leo took a more nuanced approach:

    “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. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.”

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/22/pope-leo-xiii-on-america-and-george-washington/

    Pope Leo was not hostile to the American style of government but he didn’t want it regarded as superior to states where Catholicism was a state religion. Such states are of course today one with Nineveh and Tyre.

    “framed as it was by Judaised Protestants who desired not one blessed thing to do with Jesus, His Universal Kingship, or His Universal Church.”

    Charles Carroll of Carollton would beg to disagree. The simple truth is that Catholicism enjoyed explosive growth in the United States after Independence, even while the Church was under assault in states where Catholicism was the state religion. The American Revolution was a blessing for American Catholics, as almost all of them recognized at the time,

    “And one final note, America was settled by men who claimed the authority to decide for themselves what Holy Writ means but we are supposed to be beholden to their Constitution which supplants the will of God with the will of men.”

    I doubt very seriously if God intended that George III be allowed to do what he liked with the liberties of the American people.

    “When America seceded from the English Crown that was a luminous virtue but when the CSA seceded that was considered a grave evil”

    Apples and rock salt. Great Britain and the US were not the same countries as was the case with the United States. The British government continually infringed upon American liberties, while I defy anyone to point to any infringement upon American liberties in the South, not counting slavery of course, up to secession in 1860.

  • There has yet to appear one link substantiating the claim that our forefathers relied upon Catholics that references the statements of those founders. Look, anybody can make a claim…

    The point about secession stands – it was/is a natural right for tho several states that approved the constitution and secession was supported by Dishonest Abe when he was in Congress and the texts used at West Point similarly taught secession was a right. The point this write-backer made about it was intended to unmask the calumny against the south.

    Poe Pius IX delineated the very poison embedded in our concept of government which is working its evil amongst us today….

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.

    And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that “the people’s will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right.” But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests?”

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Most well-read Catholics know it is the DUTY of every single govt on Earth to offer public worship to God

  • CONCERNING NEW OPINIONS, VIRTUE, NATURE AND GRACE, WITH REGARD TO AMERICANISM

    Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae

    Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII promulgated on January 22, 1899.

    To Our Beloved Son, James Cardinal Gibbons, Cardinal Priest of the Title Sancta Maria, Beyond the Tiber, Archbishop of Baltimore:

    LEO XIII, Pope-Beloved Son, Health and Apostolic Blessing: We send to you by this letter a renewed expression of that good will which we have not failed during the course of our pontificate to manifest frequently to you and to your colleagues in the episcopate and to the whole American people, availing ourselves of every opportunity offered us by the progress of your church or whatever you have done for safeguarding and promoting Catholic interests. Moreover, we have often considered and admired the noble gifts of your nation which enable the American people to be alive to every good work which promotes the good of humanity and the splendor of civilization. Although this letter is not intended, as preceding ones, to repeat the words of praise so often spoken, but rather to call attention to some things to be avoided and corrected; still because it is conceived in that same spirit of apostolic charity which has inspired all our letters, we shall expect that you will take it as another proof of our love; the more so because it is intended to suppress certain contentions which have arisen lately among you to the detriment of the peace of many souls.

    It is known to you, beloved son, that the biography of Isaac Thomas Hecker, especially through the action of those who under took to translate or interpret it in a foreign language, has excited not a little controversy, on account of certain opinions brought forward concerning the way of leading Christian life.

    We, therefore, on account of our apostolic office, having to guard the integrity of the faith and the security of the faithful, are desirous of writing to you more at length concerning this whole matter.

    The underlying principle of these new opinions is 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. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The Vatican Council says concerning this point: “For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.” -Constitutio de Fide Catholica, Chapter iv.

    We cannot consider as altogether blameless the silence which purposely leads to the omission or neglect of some of the principles of Christian doctrine, for all the principles come from the same Author and Master, “the Only Begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father.”-John i, I8. They are adapted to all times and all nations, as is clearly seen from the words of our Lord to His apostles: “Going, therefore, teach all nations; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all days, even to the end of the world.”-Matt. xxviii, 19. Concerning this point the Vatican Council says: “All those things are to be believed with divine and catholic faith which are contained in the Word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church, either by a solemn judgment or by her ordinary and universal magisterium, proposes for belief as having been divinely revealed.”-Const. de fide, Chapter iii.

    Let it be far from anyone’s mind to suppress for any reason any doctrine that has been handed down. Such a policy would tend rather to separate Catholics from the Church than to bring in those who differ. There is nothing closer to our heart than to have those who are separated from the fold of Christ return to it, but in no other way than the way pointed out by Christ…

    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm

  • We Americans pride our own selves on Freedom of speech and religious pluralism (religious Indifferentism) but those are the very things condemned in Papal Encyclicals but, despite these encyclicals, we are to believe American was founded on Catholics Roots?

    Well on could claim that the Judaism protestants once to had Catholic roots but it seems something far different is being claimed here.

    In any event – Mirari vos

    This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.

  • Interesting little film vignette. Pardon me, but only two things held by my suspension-of-disbelief (or caused a distraction):

    1. I cant imagine a Bellarmine without his uniquely pointed beard and mustache. It was ingrained in me at the Jesuit high school I attended from age 14 on, named for the great cardinal, running up and down the stairs, and seeing that grave portrait staring you in the eye—-well, it had “Gravitas,” and all that. A clean-shaven Bellarmine is just…not right.

    2. Bellarmine was known for his extraordinary humility and his almost continual bowing of his head, even hunching, at a slight tilt downwards: an expression of that humility that became an almost behavioral quirk marking him at nearly all times—a unique behavior in the pompously ostentatious cardinalate, then as now. The actor has to get that mannerisms right, a lot as Daniel Day-Lewis caught (in my opinion) the almost eerily likeness of Lincoln in the 2012 Spielberg film.

    Also, pardon me the critic, but the music overlay almost competed with the dialogue.
    But still — I like it.

  • Dear Mr. McClarey.

    The CSA did have its own list of liberties infringed and, don’t forget, secession was at work amongst the Yankees long before the sane South advanced to that legal and moral option.

    http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/declarationofcauses.html

  • “There has yet to appear one link substantiating the claim that our forefathers relied upon Catholics that references the statements of those founders. Look, anybody can make a claim…”

    You obviously did not read the post.

    “The point about secession stands – it was/is a natural right for tho several states that approved the constitution and secession was supported by Dishonest Abe when he was in Congress and the texts used at West Point similarly taught secession was a right.”

    “Every point you raise is in error, and you did not respond to the differences between the situations in 1775 and 1861 that I raised.”

    “Poe Pius IX delineated the very poison embedded in our concept of government which is working its evil amongst us today….”

    Pio Nono is not the be all and end all of Catholic political thought, which is rather a good thing considering that he was such a disastrous secular ruler that he lost the Papal States.

  • Ah, Americanism, the phantom heresy!

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2013/03/08/cardinal-gibbons-and-the-stormy-conclave-of-1903/

    Gibbons was on good terms with both Pope Leo, who gave him his cardinal’s cap, and Pope Pius of whom he wrote a biography. Americanism was an imaginary heresy, largely the result of Pope Leo XIII being ill-informed about conditions in America and paying too much heed to idiots among American clerics who delighted in attempting to stir up trouble over nothing. Modernism was a real enough heresy, although Pope Pius tended to throw the baby out with the bath water and completely orthodox Catholic scholars suffered along with complete heretics.

    Cardinal Gibbons and the rest of the American heirarchy responded that no one among them taught these propositions that were condemned:

    1.undue insistence on interior initiative in the spiritual life, as leading to disobedience
    2.attacks on religious vows, and disparagement of the value of religious orders in the modern world
    3.minimizing Catholic doctrine
    4.minimizing the importance of spiritual direction

    They were really scratching their heads on this one and had a hard time figuring out why the Pope was concerned with a non-problem in this country.

    This tempest in a papal tea pot had more to do with the French Church. A biography of Father Isaac Hecker, founder of the Paulists and now a Servant of God, was mistranslated into French and portrayed Father Hecker as some sort of flaming radical which he was not. This book became popular among liberal Catholics in France. As usual the relationship
    between the French Church and the Vatican was turbulent at this time. Pope Leo XIII’s concern about “Americanism” could have better been labeled a concern about “Frenchism”. Purportedly Leo XIII was reluctant to attack the Church in America, which he had often praised, and made his rebuke of “Americanism” as soft as possible.
    http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm

    “We having thought it fitting, beloved son, in view of your high office, that this letter should be addressed specially to you. It will also be our care to see that copies are sent to the bishops of the United States, testifying again that love by which we embrace your whole country, a country which in past times has done so much for the cause of religion, and which will by the Divine assistance continue to do still greater things. To you, and to all the faithful of America, we grant most lovingly, as a pledge of Divine assistance, our apostolic benediction.”

    The statements of loyalty from the American heirarchy were sufficient for the Pope and “Americanism” vanished from history as quickly as it appeared.

  • “We Americans pride our own selves on Freedom of speech and religious pluralism (religious Indifferentism) but those are the very things condemned in Papal Encyclicals”

    “2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.”

    DIGNITATIS HUMANAE
    ON THE RIGHT OF THE PERSON AND OF COMMUNITIES
    TO SOCIAL AND CIVIL FREEDOM IN MATTERS RELIGIOUS
    PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS
    POPE PAUL VI
    ON DECEMBER 7, 1965

  • “The CSA did have its own list of liberties infringed and, don’t forget, secession was at work amongst the Yankees long before the sane South advanced to that legal and moral option”

    Once again IANS, what liberties of the South were being infringed upon in 1860 to justify secession which as Robert E. Lee noted at the time was simple Revolution? The Confederate States almost uniformly stated they were seceding out of fear that the Republican party would threaten slavery.

    Prior to the secession that produced the Confederacy, the concept of secession was regarded mostly with disdain north and south. I would refer you to the attitude that two Southern presidents, Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor, took to the prospect of secession: that they would use military force to suppress secession and hang every secessionist they could get their hands on.

    When the Confederate States were writing their Constitution the delegation from South Carolina proposed that a right to secede be placed in the Constitution. The proposal was voted down with only the delegates of South Carolina voting in favor of it.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    I’m sure you know that radtrds absolutely HATE the concept of religious freedom. Radtrads insist that only a Catholic confessional state ruled by a Catholic monarch is legitimate. The fact that this ain’t gonna happen does not stop the most virulent from using bandwidth to correct everybody else.

    IANS – we ain’t the enemy, bro. Why don’t you go raise a stink at HuffPo instead of here? Did Fr. Z give you the boot?

  • Donald R. McClarey wrote, “Ah, Americanism, the phantom heresy!”

    Rather like Modernism, which no one ever professed and the only exposition of which is to be found in in the pages of Lamentabili and Pascendi

    Similarly, one may search in vain for the famous Five Propositions of Jansenism in the Augustinus and all those accused of that heresy anathematized them.

    Church history is littered with heresies cut from whole cloth by those who condemned them are not difficult to

  • “Rather like Modernism, which no one ever professed and the only exposition of which is to be found in in the pages of Lamentabili and Pascendi”

    Not at all. Modernism in the Catholic Church is quite similar to the rot that has destroyed mainline Protestantism. Pius X was prescient and prophetic. Loisy in his memoirs wrote a sentence that basically could serve as one of the creedal articles of Modernism:

    “Christ has even less importance in my religion than he does in that of the liberal Protestants: for I attach little importance to the revelation of God the Father for which they honor Jesus. If I am anything in religion, it is more pantheist-positivist-humanitarian than Christian.”

    No, Modernism is a very real heresy and perhaps has been the most successful one since the Reformation.

  • Any man can google – Secession: A Specifically American Principle by Prof Donald W. Livingston –

    and read the facts for his own self.

    IANS will disengage as it is clear his weltanschauung is so different as to unduly cause contention

    It is worth noting that Vatican Two was a pastoral council that did not promulgate any canons or decrees to which Catholic man must plight his spiritual troth or be anathema and the document on Religious Liberty quite clearly is in opposition to all of Catholic Tradition up until the bestest council ever

  • Nearly everything ABS was learnt in school was a myth. It was only be becoming a traditionalist autodidact that his eyes began to be open. The facts are these – the founders of America were seditious traitors who refused the peace settlement proffered by the English Crown but to attain to that sanity, on has to let the Yankee scales fall from his eyes.

    These links are worth reading.

    And, with that, ABS trucks does bow out; he just couldn’t leave before sourcing his claims.

    Pax tecum, Mr.McCLeary

    http://www.scv.org/pdf/Livingston.pdf

    https://mises.org/library/secession-specifically-american-principle

    https://mises.org/library/voluntary-federation

    https://mises.org/library/american-genius-self-government

    https://mises.org/library/peaceful-disunion-europe

    http://mises.org/daily/6374/Lincolns-Inversion-of-the-American-Union

  • “The facts are these – the founders of America were seditious traitors who refused the peace settlement proffered by the English Crown but to attain to that sanity, on has to let the Yankee scales fall from his eyes.”

    Rubbish, the Founding Fathers were patriots, and America was blessed to have such far sighted statesmen. The King rejected the Olive Branch Petition of Congress that sought to bring the War to a negotiated conclusion in 1775. The King’s offer of peace was submission or death.

    As for the links, Livingston is a neo-Confederate who founded the Abbeville Institute, named after John C. Calhoun’s hometown, to give a patina of scholarship to Lost Cause myths. The Von Mises institute is a crank libertarian thinktank. It is named after Ludwig Von Mises who thought that Eisenhower was a bigger threat to world peace than Khrushchev and it carries on his crackpot politics.

It Crashed Before The Declaration Was Saved!

Thursday, July 2, AD 2015

A cute video imagining the Declaration of Independence being drafted on Microsoft Word.

John Adams on August 6, 1822 in a letter to Timothy Pickering who had inquired as to how the Declaration came to be drafted responded as follows:

You inquire why so young a man as Mr. Jefferson was placed at the head of the Committee for preparing a Declaration of Independence, I answer; It was the Frankfort advice, to place a Virginian at the head of every thing. Mr. Richard Henry Lee, might be gone to Virginia, to his sick family, for aught I know, but that was not the reason of Mr. Jefferson’s appointment. There were three committees appointed at the same time. One for the Declaration of Independence, another for preparing articles of Confederation, and a other for preparing a treaty to be proposed to France.  Mr. Lee was chosen for the Committee of Of Confederation, and it was not thought convenient that the same person should be upon both. Mr. Jefferson came into Congress, in June, 1775, and brought with him a reputation for literature, science, and a happy talent of composition. Writings of his were handed about, remarkable for the peculiar felicity of expression. Though a silent member in Congress, he was so prompt, frank, explicit, and decisive upon committees and in conversation, not even Samuel Adams was more so, that he soon seized upon my heart; and upon this occasion I gave him my vote, and did all in my power to procure the votes of others. I think he had one more vote than any other, and that placed him at the head of the committee. I had the next highest number, and that placed me the second. The committee met, discussed the subject, and then appointed Mr. Jefferson and me to make the draught, I suppose because we were the two first on the list.

The sub-committee met. Jefferson proposed to me to make the draught I said, “l will not.” “You should do it.” “Oh! no.” “Why will you not? You ought do it.” “I will not.” “Why?” “Reasons enough.” “What can be your reasons?” “Reason first–You are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second–I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular.  You are much otherwise. Reason third–You can write ten times better than I can.” “WelI,” said Jefferson, “if you are decided, I will do as well as I can.” “Very well.  When you have drawn it up, we will have a meeting.”

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Hey, You’re So Welcome!

Tuesday, August 12, AD 2014

A nice spoof by Andrew Klavan of the demonization of white Christian men that seems to be an essential feature of the contemporary left in this country.  What was started by the Founding Fathers, as pointed out by Lincoln in the stirring quote below, was to free us from looking at people as groups instead of as what we truly are:  children of a loving God who endowed each of us with unalienable rights:

 

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “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.” This was their majestic  interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their  lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of  the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to  all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their  enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and  likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded,  and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole  race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized  upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide  their children and their children’s children, and the countless  myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise  statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity  to breed tyrants, and so they established these great  self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man,  some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that  none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look  up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to  renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth,  and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues  might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would  hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles  on which the temple of liberty was being built.

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

 

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  • Walter Williams explains that which liberal demagogues and left-wing ideol . . . er, academics forget in their income inequality/class hatred rants.
    .

    From his January 2000 essay “Capitalism and the Common Man“:
    .

    “Henry Ford benefited immensely from mass-producing automobiles, but the benefit for the common man from being able to buy a car dwarfs anything Ford received. Individuals and companies that produced penicillin and polio and typhoid vaccines may have become very wealthy, but again it was the common man who was the major beneficiary. In more recent times, computers and software products have benefited our health, safety, and quality of life in ways that far outstrip whatever wealth was received by their creators.”

    .

    Café Hayek quotes page 50 of the 2006 Liberty Fund edition of Ludwig von Mises’s 1956 volume, :The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality”:
    .

    “It was not vain disquisitions about a vague concept of justice that raised the standard of living of the common man in the capitalistic countries to its present height, but the activities of men dubbed as ‘rugged individualists” and “exploiters.’ The poverty of the backward nations is due to the fact that their policies of expropriation, discriminatory taxation and foreign exchange control prevent the investment of foreign capital while their domestic policies preclude the accumulation of indigenous capital.

    .

    “All those resisting capitalism on moral grounds as an unfair system are deluded by their failure to comprehend what capital is, how it comes into existence and how it is maintained, and what the benefits are which are derived from its employment in production processes.”

  • Excellent post. Excellent comment by T. Shaw.
    .
    By the way, being a Christian white man, I am most assuredly racist for I believe in the human race. I also have a Filipina wife with extraordinarily beautiful light brown skin. Again, being a Christian white man, I love her with all my heart.
    .
    How I hate liberalism!

The Declaration of Independence

Friday, July 4, AD 2014

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

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  • “IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
    .
    Of one mind, our Founding Fathers laid down their Lives and their Fortunes to keep their Sacred Honor, inspiring this generation and all future generations to virtue.

  • All of these souls named above are currently, I think, either in purgatory or in heaven. They are alive. They still love America and are still praying for us entrusting us to Our Father. Thank God.

  • If Christ knows them…then they are in Heaven.

    ALL that was needful was accomplished on the Cross for those sinners…just as it was for you and me.

    Now that’s real freedom!

  • The American Magna Carta

  • Botolph wrote, “The American Magna Carta”

    Or the American Declaration of Arbroath – “for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”
    http://www.nas.gov.uk/downloads/declarationArbroath.pd

Fortnight For Freedom: John Paul II on the Declaration of Independence

Thursday, July 3, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

On December 16, 1997, Pope John Paul II in receiving the credentials of Ambassador Lindy Boggs made some very perceptive remarks on our Declaration of Independence:

The Founding Fathers of the United States asserted their claim to freedom and independence on the basis of certain “self-evident” truths about the human person: truths which could be discerned in human nature, built into it by “nature’s God.” Thus they meant to bring into being, not just an independent territory, but a great experiment in what George Washington called “ordered liberty”: an experiment in which men and women would enjoy equality of rights and opportunities in the pursuit of happiness and in service to the common good. Reading the founding documents of the United States, one has to be impressed by the concept of freedom they enshrine: a freedom designed to enable people to fulfill their duties and responsibilities toward the family and toward the common good of the community. Their authors clearly understood that there could be no true freedom without moral responsibility and accountability, and no happiness without respect and support for the natural units or groupings through which people exist, develop, and seek the higher purposes of life in concert with others.

The American democratic experiment has been successful in many ways. Millions of people around the world look to the United States as a model in their search for freedom, dignity, and prosperity. But the continuing success of American democracy depends on the degree to which each new generation, native-born and immigrant, makes its own the moral truths on which the Founding Fathers staked the future of your Republic. Their commitment to build a free society with liberty and justice for all must be constantly renewed if the United States is to fulfill the destiny to which the Founders pledged their “lives . . . fortunes . . . and sacred honor.”

I am happy to take note of your words confirming the importance that your government attaches, in its relations with countries around the world, to the promotion of human rights and particularly to the fundamental human right of religious freedom, which is the guarantee of every other human right. Respect for religious conviction played no small part in the birth and early development of the United States. Thus John Dickinson, Chairman of the Committee for the Declaration of Independence, said in 1776: “Our liberties do not come from charters; for these are only the declaration of preexisting rights. They do not depend on parchments or seals; but come from the King of Kings and the Lord of all the earth.” Indeed it may be asked whether the American democratic experiment would have been possible, or how well it will succeed in the future, without a deeply rooted vision of divine providence over the individual and over the fate of nations.

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  • The near-contemporaneous Declaration of the Rights of Man (26 August 1789) uses remarkably similar language. The National Assembly does not enact but, rather, “recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen…”
    It goes on to declare that “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.”
    It is not impossible, of course, that the later document borrowed from the earlier, although the possibility seems to have escaped the French jurists.

  • Many of the French Revolutionaries initially looked to the American Revolution for inspiration. A pity that it quickly became in Dickens’ phrase: “Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; — the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!”

    President Washington in a private letter on October 13, 1789 saw clearly enough what was likely to come:

    “The revolution which has been effected in France is of so wonderful a nature that the mind can hardly recognize the fact. If it ends as our last accounts to August 1st predict, that nation will be the most powerful and happy in Europe.

    But I fear, though it has gone triumphantly through the first paroxysm [seizure], it is not the last it has to encounter before matters are finally settled. In a word, the revolution is of too great a magnitude to be effected in so short a space, and with the loss of so little blood.

    The mortification of the king, the intrigues of the queen and the discontent of the princes and nobles, will foment divisions in the National Assembly, and they will unquestionably avail themselves of every faux pas in the formation of the constitution, if they do not give a more open, active opposition.

    Great temperance, firmness, and foresight are necessary. To forbear [prevent] running from one extreme to another is no easy matter, and should this be the case… rocks and shelves, not visible at present, may wreck the vessel and give a higher-toned despotism than the one which existed before.”

  • Influences flowed both ways. Montesquieu was certainly an influence on both Revolutions.
    An English version of his De l’Esprit des Lois [Spirit of the Laws] was being advertised in Annapolis as early as 1762 and the New York Society Library purchased a copy in 1773 and any number of quotations appeared in the local Gazettes. Blackstone, of course, cited him with approval and Blackstone was a standard text-book in America
    According to Donald S Lutz, Montesquieu was the most frequently-cited author in political writings in the period 1760-1805, accounting for 8.3%, followed by Blackstone with 7.9% Locke musters a mere 2.9%.
    Actually, the best (and least read) part of the work is his history of the fief. Later scholarship has only confirmed his findings on this very obscure area of legal history.

  • “In a word, the revolution is of too great a magnitude to be effected in so short a space, and with the loss of so little blood.”
    .
    In the American Revolution, when the war ended, the war ended. George Washington and Francis Marion and others went about rebuilding the new nation, and refusing to settle grievances resulting from the war effort, even against the Tories, those loyal to England. The terrible price of the war ended.
    .
    In France, those who took power, exercised it unlawfully after the revolution ended. They took vengeance. I do not agree that France looked to the American Revolution to rebuild France.

  • “Our liberties do not come from charters, for these are only the declaration of preexisting rights.” unalienable human rights endowed by “our Creator” into the rational, immortal, human soul made in the Divine Image. Atheism is unconstitutional as it “prohibits the free exercise thereof” of man’s free expression of himself in his relationship with his Maker, his conscience and his patriotism. The atheist must be tolerated until he, the atheist, finds his way to God.
    .
    If there are dissenters, they must change the First Amendment and have three quarters of the states ratify their opinion before their opinion may become the Law of the Land.

  • Mary De Voe

    “The terrible price of the war ended.”

    The commanders of the army of Sambre et Meuse, Kléber, Moreau, Reynier, Marceau, and Ney, of the army of the Rhine, Hoche, Desaix, and St. Cyr, of the Apennines, Masséna and, above all, Bonaparte, not only defended the republic and carried the war to victory, but rebuilt, not only France, but Europe.
    They gave a code of laws to a continent and restored the concept of citizenship to civilisation.

  • “They gave a code of laws to a continent and restored the concept of citizenship to civilisation.”

    Somehow I think the Spaniards who rose up against the occupying French already knew that they were Spaniards without any lessons on the subject of citizenship being taught to them at a very high blood tuition by the French.

  • Napoleon’s invasion of Spain helped to trigger the independence movement in Spanish Latin America. It would have happened anyway but Napoleon spurred it on. The Louisiana Purchase was mostly land held by Spain that Napoleon swindled and sold to fund his war effort.

    St. John Paul II was certainly a wise man, wiser than his critics (usually radtrads) give him credit for. I haven’t been registered at Fr. Z’s blog for some time after he reset all the registrations. There is an item today (7/3) about a comment made by an Islamist terrorist (that Obumbler let go) who wants to conquer Rome. Three times one particular fellow posted the same item – JPII asking St. John the Baptist to pray for Islam. This, and the kissing of the Koran at Assisi in 1996, were certainly mistakes – kindness being shown to a bunch of fanatical heretics. JPII had put up a painting of John Sobieski’s charge with the Hussars after the 2001 terrorist attacks and reinstated the Holy Name of Mary on September 12 in the Novus Ordo calendar. Of course, the radtrad missed that. They will be mad forever for the excommunication of Lefevbre, who ordained Williamson.

    I adore traditional Latin Catholicism. Internet radtrads never fail to be obnoxious.

    JPII was keenly aware of the assistance received by Solidarity from the US Government and certain American NGOs during the 1980s. Much of the assistance was funneled through the Church to Poland to keep Solidarity alive. This occurred during a time when a real man occupied the White House, one who dearly believed in freedom and saw assistance to the Polish nation as part of a debt due to them for being abandoned to Stalin. Most of of Western Europe was fine leaving the Iron Curtain where it stood. Not Reagan.

  • So Bonaparte ‘carried the war to victory’, did he? The famous victories at Leipzig and Waterloo?

  • In a post on the Declaration I end up praising the redcoats! What an odd twist!

  • Michael: “They gave a code of laws to a continent and restored the concept of citizenship to civilisation.”
    .
    The Reign of Terror did nothing to establish a concept of citizenship. Maybe I have the wrong war?

  • Donald R. McClarey

    Hegel remarks somewhere that “Napoléon could no more coerce the Spaniards into freedom than Philip II could force the Dutch into slavery.” Allowances have to be made for the national character.
    Monarchies survived, but the feudal despotism of the nobility everywhere received a death-blow, from which it never recovered, to be replaced with parliamentary governments, lip-service, at least, to the Rights of Man and reception of the Civil Code. In other words, the momentum created by Revolution was irreversible.
    The great Catholic historian, Lord Acton, was very perceptive, when he wrote, “The hatred of royalty was less than the hatred of aristocracy; privileges were more detested than tyranny; and the king perished because of the origin of his authority rather than because of its abuse. Monarchy unconnected with aristocracy became popular in France, even when most uncontrolled; whilst the attempt to reconstitute the throne, and to limit and fence it with its peers, broke down, because the old Teutonic elements on which it relied – hereditary nobility, primogeniture, and privilege — were no longer tolerated. The substance of the ideas of 1789 is not the limitation of the sovereign power, but the abrogation of intermediate powers.”

  • John Nolan

    You might have gathered from the names and dispositions of the commanders I listed that I was referring to the Wars against the First & Second Coalitions, concluding with the Peace of Amiens

  • “Napoléon could no more coerce the Spaniards into freedom than Philip II could force the Dutch into slavery.”

    Except of course that Napoleon was not trying to coerce Spaniards into freedom but rather into being a permanent satellite of France. Napoleon did ironically help spread the better ideals of the Revolution but I think rather by the national resistances that his heavy hand inspired than by any positive actions of his. I think it was one of Napoleon’s marshals who best summed up the way in which the French army in practice transmitted the ideals of the Revolution when he told some local officials in a German principality that they were free now, but that they shouldn’t let this go to their head, and that if they made a move without his say so they would be shot!

  • What John Paul said. Brilliant. I am so blessed to be both Catholic and American. Joh. Paul had great generosity of heart. His insights and correlation about rights, RESPONSiBiLITIES, and happiness should be re-read.
    I also like his reference to the ongoing necessity of a commitment to build (free society ). This treasure from our forefathers is not something to be received and treasured from the pet, but it also prompts us in this generation to understand and make our own the moral truths and renew our commitment to build. Not just receive , but to preserve and maintain
    Great great post – thank you

  • The pope’s words surpass the Declaration of the Rights of Man with a meditation that includes human response to rights and responsibility. The French Revolution went off the rails having forgotten a basic premise of Life, the communist ones having forgotten the happiness quotient. …John Paul recognizes the American Declaration as he refers to the pursuit of happiness and the opportunity to participate in promoting the common good. And Of Course, religious liberty is what went missing in those revolutions that only ended up being revolting,

  • Anzlyne: “And Of Course, religious liberty is what went missing in those revolutions that only ended up being revolting, ”
    .
    It was the rejection of God, their refusal to acknowledge the Supreme Sovereign Being. Their heresy resulted in the rejection and refusal to acknowledge man’s religious liberty, upon which human right, all freedom is predicated.

2 Responses to JFK Reads the Declaration of Independence

Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Sunday, June 29, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 

 

 

 

During the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, both Lincoln and Douglas, in addition to their joint appearances at the debates, gave many separate speeches.  On the evening of July 10, 1858, Lincoln gave a speech in the evening in Chicago.  During the course of that speech he touched upon why we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometime about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty—or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty-two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country,—with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men,—we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves—we feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have  a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, (loud and long continued applause) and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world. [Applause.]

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Fortnight For Freedom: Charles Carroll of Carrollton-Faith and Freedom

Thursday, June 26, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

charles-carroll-of-carrollton

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

George Washington, Farewell Address

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, as he signed his name when he added his signature to the Declaration of Independence, was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.  When he died at the age of 95, he was the last of the Signers to depart this vale of tears.

The scion of perhaps the richest family in the colonies, Charles Carroll was initially uninterested in politics and, in any case, was debarred by his religion from participating in politics in his native Maryland by his religion.  However, in his thirties he became a passionate advocate of American independence from Great Britain and quickly became one of the chief leaders of the Patriot cause in his home colony.  It was only natural as a result that he was sent to Congress, in spite of his religion, where he was one of the chief spokesmen for independence and happily placed his signature on the Declaration even though by doing so he risked not only his fortune but his life if the British had prevailed.

Two stories are told about him signing the document.  Supposedly he initially signed as Charles Carroll.  A member of Congress, who disliked Carroll because of his Catholicism, sneered, saying how would the British know which Charles Carroll had signed, this being a common name.  Carroll then angrily took up his quill pen and appended “of Carrollton” to his signature.  I love this story, but alas it is unlikely.  Charles Carroll had been adding  “of Carrollton” to his signature for years prior to the Revolution, a reference to his Manor known as Carrollton.  Additionally, as one of the richest men in the colonies,  it is unlikely that the British government would have had any confusion as to which Charles Carroll had signed his name.

The second story is much more likely to be true, as fond of gallows humor as the Founding Fathers tended to be.  When he signed his name one of the other members of Congress said, “There goes several millions!”.

By the end of 1776 the revolutionary government of Maryland had issued an act of religious freedom, and Carroll and his fellow Catholics in Maryland enjoyed the same civil rights as Protestants.

In 1778 he returned to Maryland and helped draft the state constitution and in setting up the new state government, serving in the State Senate until 1800, and briefly in the United States Senate.

A slaveholder, throughout his career Carroll spoke and wrote of slavery as an evil that must come to an end as soon as possible.  He attempted, but failed, to have Maryland implement a plan of gradual emancipation.  At the age of 91 he took on the task of being president of the Auxiliary State Colonization Society of Maryland, part of  a national movement to have free blacks voluntarily colonize what would become Liberia in Africa.

Something of a Renaissance man, he had a strong interest in science and in his nineties helped set up the B&O Railroad, lending his prestige to this new technology in his native Maryland.

Throughout his life his two main passions were the American Revolution and his Faith.   Like most of the Founding Fathers he regarded the idea of political liberty divorced from sound morality, derived from religion, as an absurdity.  He set forth his ideas on this subject in a letter to Secretary of War James McHenry in 1800 in which he lamented the then current American political scene:

These events will be hastened by the pretended philosophy of France; divine revelation has been scoffed at by the Philosophers of the present day, the immortality of the soul treated as the dreams of fools, or the invention of knaves, & death has been declared by public authority an eternal sleep; these opinions are gaining ground amongst us & silently saping the foundations of religion & encouragement of good, the terror of evildoers and the consolation of the poor, the miserable, and the distressed. Remove the hope & dread of future reward & punishment, the most powerful restraint on wicked action, & ye strongest inducement to virtuous ones is done away. Virtue, it may be said, is its own reward; I believe it to be so, and even in this life the only source of happiness, and this intimate & necessary connection between virtue & happiness here, & between vice & misery, is to my mind one of the surest pledge of happiness or misery in a future state of existence. But how few practice virtue merely for its own reward? Some of happy dispositon & temperament, calm reflecting men, exempt in a great degree from the turbulance of passions may be virtuous for vitrtue’s sake. Small however is the number who are guided by reason alone, & who can always subject their passions to its dictates. He can thust act may be said to be virtuous, but reason is often inlisted on the side of the passions, or at best, when most wanted, is weakest. Hence the necessity of a superior motive for acting virtuously; Now, what motive can be stronger than ye belief, founded on revelation, that a virtuous life will be rewarded by a happy immortality? Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, & insures to the good eternal happiness are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.

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10 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Charles Carroll of Carrollton-Faith and Freedom

  • In Scotland, strictly speaking, a heritor should always include his territorial designation, when signing a deed or other formal writ, thus, “MPS of Boyd.” A tenant would sign “at Boyd”

    This is why one encounters names like “Maitland of that ilk,” meaning “Maitland of that same,” in other words, Maitland of Maitland, where his surname and the name of his seat are the same.

    In country areas, it is very common for farmers to be called by their territorial designations. Everyone locally calls me “Boyd.” After all, Mr Boyd means master of Boyd and Mr P-S means nothing at all.

    Perhaps, that is why it has always been quite common here for married couples to keep their own surnames, but to use the same designation, thus John Brown and Janet Gordon may be Mr & Mrs Kersland.

  • What a great man! And to think that Hollywood recently portrayed him as a member of the Masonic Order? Who knew!?

  • Pingback: Pope Francis: Seeking Jesus Outside of Church Bad - Big Plpt
  • This is where you have the advantage of me Donald. I was under the impression that Maryland was founded by Lord Baltimore as a Catholic colony (or at least as a colony tolerant of Catholicism). Had that changed by 1776?

  • Ernst, Maryland was never a Catholic majority colony. Except for a brief Puritan revolt during the time of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, the Calvert family were allowed to run the colony as a haven of religious toleration. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 Parliament outlawed Catholicism in Maryland, and it stayed that way until the American Revolution

  • TomD

    Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Catholicism became identified in the minds of British Protestants with support for the exiled House of Stuart.
    In this, they were not wrong. The Stuarts, beginning with Charles I, who was married to a French Catholic (who may have given her name to Maryland), had always used their power to mitigate the disabilities of Catholics, James II was openly a Catholic and Charles II was probably an undeclared one.
    Add to this that the Catholic clergy in Britain was wholly French-educated, as was a fair portion of the Catholic gentry, who were sent to Jesuit or Benedictine schools at Douai. There they imbibed a strong belief in sacral monarchy and legitimism. Although the Jacobite cause was plainly lost after the ’45 Rebellion, many Catholics continued to believe they could not, in conscience, swear allegiance to “the Elector of Brunswick,” or renounce “the Pretender”until after the direct Stuart line came to an end with the death of the Cardinal Duke of York in 1807.
    As a result, although religious tolerance, not to say indifference, increased in Britain throughout the 18th century, Catholics remained politically suspect and, often, with good reason.

  • “Catholics remained politically suspect and, often, with good reason.”

    And this was pure prejudice, MPS. Everyone remembers Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, which would seem to be a ‘good reason’ to suspect Catholics. Does anyone remember that it was English Catholics who put an end to the plot by informing the government? No, of course not. Over a century earlier Thomas More supported the Crown on every topic but one, and that support gained him no credit in the end. A ‘good reason’ to suspect Catholics could always be found.
    It’s a good thing Europe gave us Martin Luther when it did and not Karl Marx, or the English anti-papists would have been a thousand times bloodier.

  • TomD

    When people make no secret of their support for a government in exile at Bar-le-duc and refuse to take an oath of allegiance to the current government, they cannot really complain, if they are not admitted to public office.

    Robert Dundas of Arniston (Solicitor General 1742-46, Lord Advocate 1754-60 and Lord President 1760-87) certainly represented educated opinion in Scotland, when he wrote, ““The spirit of persecution and intolerance is happily now almost extinguished. It survives only in those illiberal minds who join a morose and harsh disposition to a weak understanding. An acquaintance with the history of mankind will easily show that calamity, bloodshed, rebellion and depopulation have taken their rise from religious persecution, but no example ever occurred of a political evil which arose from toleration.” But, for him, abjuring allegiance to the Pretender was non-negotiable, pleas of conscience notwithstanding. When Rev Mr William Harrison, Parish Priest of the Rough Bounds was captured carrying dispatches from the Pretender’s court, Dundas had him promptly deported to France.

  • I am glad that Robert Dundas did not hang William Harrison. That was a generous act of mercy.

    None of this has a bearing on Maryland. Maryland did not have a Catholic majority. The later Lords Baltimore were Anglican. Many of their appointed governors were not Catholic. Maryland was not going to host any Stuarts (the cooking in France was better). Personally I find the colonial politics of less import than the fact that the Protestants were unhappy with the Maryland Toleration Act. Suspicion may have been understandable, intolerance was not.

  • TomD wrote, “I am glad that Robert Dundas did not hang William Harrison. That was a generous act of mercy.”
    That would have been quite unthinkable. Of the priests who had accompanied the Prince in the ‘45, only Rev Mr Colin Campbell of Morar was murdered; although unarmed, he was shot down on the field of Culloden by Hessian mercenaries, as he tried to rally the MacDonalds for one last charge.
    Of the others, Rev Mr Allan MacDonald, rector of the (illegal but tolerated) seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet was imprisoned for a year in a military garrison and then ordered to leave the country. Scalan itself was burned on the orders of Butcher Cumberland, as a “nest of traitors.” Rev Mr Aeneas McGillis of Glengarry was put to the horn (outlawed) and fled the country. Of those who had stayed at home, but had “prayed for the Pretender,” Rev Mr Neil McFie of the Rough Bounds, Rev Mr Alexander Forrester of Uist and Rev Mr James Grant of Barra were deported to France. Savage as such treatment of clergymen appears to us, it was not unduly harsh by the standards of the time. They were pardoned under the Indemnity Act 1747. They were welcomed back with a letter from the Lord Advocate, William Grant of Prestongrange (a staunch Presbyterian) warning them that, in future “such clemency might not be so expedient for the public welfare as it would be agreeable to his Lordship’s inclinations,” so they were effectively on probation.
    Only the Apostolic Visitor, Bishop Hugh MacDonald of Morar, who had blessed the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan, was prosecuted (not for treason, but as a “Jesuit, priest, or trafficking papist”) at the insistence of the London government. Banished on pain of death, he ignored the sentence and went on with his work as before and the Scottish authorities winked at it. He was granted a pension by the French Intelligence Service, under his nom de guerre of of Marolle.