June 14, 1916-June 14, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, AD 2016

 

 

 

 

And he began with the simple things that everybody’s known and felt–the freshness of a fine morning when you’re young, and the taste of food when you’re hungry, and the new day that’s every day when you’re a child. He took them up and he turned them in his hands. They were good things for any man. But without freedom, they sickened. And when he talked of those enslaved, and the sorrows of slavery, his voice got like a big bell. He talked of the early days of America and the men who had made those days. It wasn’t a spread-eagle speech, but he made you see it. He admitted all the wrong that had ever been done. But he showed how, out of the wrong and the right, the suffering and the starvations, something new had come. And everybody had played a part in it, even the traitors.

Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster

 

 

A century of Flag Days:

 

 

My Fellow Countrymen:

Many circumstances have recently conspired to turn our thoughts to a critical examination of the conditions of our national life, of the influences which have seemed to threaten to divide us in interest and sympathy, of forces within and forces without that seemed likely to draw us away from the happy traditions of united purpose and action of which we have been so proud, It has therefore seemed to me fitting that I should call your attention to the approach of the anniversary of the day upon which the flag of the United States was adopted by the Congress as the emblem of the Union, and to suggest to you that it should this year and in the years to come be given special significance as a day of renewal and reminder, a day upon which we should direct our minds with a special desire of renewal to thoughts of the ideals and principles of which we have sought to make our great Government the embodiment.

I therefore suggest and request that throughout the nation and if possible in every community the fourteenth day of June be observed as FLAG DAY with special patriotic exercises, at which means shall be taken to give significant expression to our thoughtful love of America, our comprehension of the great mission of liberty and justice to which we have devoted ourselves as a people, our pride in the history and our enthusiasm for the political programme of the nation, our determination to make it greater and purer with each generation, and our resolution to demonstrate to all the world its, vital union in sentiment and purpose, accepting only those as true compatriots who feel as we do the compulsion of this supreme allegiance. Let us on that day rededicate ourselves to the nation, “one and inseparable” from which every thought that is not worthy of our fathers’ first vows in independence, liberty, and right shall be excluded and in which we shall stand with united hearts, for an America which no man can corrupt, no influence draw away from its ideals, no force divide against itself,-a nation signally distinguished among all the nations of mankind for its clear, individual conception alike of its duties and its privileges, its obligations and its rights.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington this thirtieth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixteen, and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred and fortieth.


WOODROW WILSON

By the President:

ROBERT Lansing

 

 

Continue reading...

3 Responses to June 14, 1916-June 14, 2016

Flag Day, Red Skelton, Sir Walter Scott, Johnny Cash and Mom

Tuesday, June 14, AD 2016

I can think of few things more appropriate for Flag Day than Red Skelton’s immortal explanation of the Pledge of Allegiance.¬† When my sainted mother became a naturalized American citizen, she was given a little American flag.¬† I have a treasured photo of my Mom and Dad just after the naturalization ceremony, both happy, and my Mom clutching the flag of a land that she loved long before she became a citizen.¬† I still have the flag, one of¬†my most¬†precious mementoes of my Mom.

Continue reading...

One Response to Flag Day, Red Skelton, Sir Walter Scott, Johnny Cash and Mom

Flag Day and the Army

Sunday, June 14, AD 2015

On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed this resolution:

¬†“Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The Flag was designed by member of Congress Francis Hopkinson who requested a quarter cask of wine for his services.  Payment was denied him on the sound ground that he was already being paid as a member of Congress.  Two years previously on June 14, 1775, Congress voted to adopt the New England militia army besieging Boston and so the Continental Army was formed.

I have always thought it appropriate that the Flag and the Army share the same birthday.¬† The Flag is the proud symbol of the nation but without military strength to back it up, it would quickly become a mere colorful piece of fabric.¬† John Wayne in a brief¬†speech at the end of the movie Fort Apache (1948), part of John Ford’s cavalry trilogy,¬†captured the spirit of the¬†Army:

As did this passage the following year in the second of the cavalry trilogy, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon:

 

So here they are: the dog-faced soldiers, the regulars, the fifty-cents-a-day professionals… riding the outposts of a nation. From Fort Reno to Fort Apache – from Sheridan to Startle – they were all the same: men in dirty-shirt blue and only a cold page in the history books to mark their passing. But wherever they rode – and whatever they fought for – that place became the United States.

The song That Ragged Old Flag understands the necessity of men willing to fight for the nation, for the Flag, if the country is to endure:

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Flag Day and the Army

  • Pingback: Flag Day | Curation Club
  • “………….. the regulars, the fifty-cents-a-day professionals‚Ķ ”

    I chuckled when I read this.
    I recall an incident back in 1967 – my mother had a woolshop in a small shopping centre, and she started stocking some product that was also sold by a store in the same complex a few doors up the street. The owner of the store came into mum’s shop an started abusing her, and obviously, mum was quite upset. So she rang dad, who left what he was doing and confronted the guy.
    (Dad fought in Italy in WW2,in 1943 – 44 mainly against the Germans) He said to him, ” It’s not that long ago I was paid ten bob a day (ten shillings – equivalent to one dollar) to kill better bastards than you”
    The bloke replied, “I was in the forces too.”
    To which dad replied, ” Yeah? Up on bludger’s hill – that’s where a bastard like you would have been.” (Bludger’s hill is a ANZAC term for someone who curries favour with the officers etc. so they stay back at HQ and don’t have to serve on the line)
    After that, the guy shut his trap and skulked back into his shop. :-).

Flag, Country and Love

Saturday, June 13, AD 2015

 

Something for the weekend.  Columbia the Gem of the Ocean seems appropriate for a Flag Day weekend.  Written in 1843, by Thomas a Becket, yeah, the name is correct, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean was probably the most popular patriotic ballad of the Nineteenth Century:

O Columbia! the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of each patriot’s devotion,
A world offers homage to thee;
Thy mandates make heroes assemble,
When Liberty’s form stands in view;
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When borne by the red, white and blue.


When war wing’d its wide desolation,
And threaten’d the land to deform,
The ark then of freedom’s foundation,
Columbia rode safe thro’ the storm;
With her garlands of vict’ry around her,
When so proudly she bore her brave crew;
With her flag proudly floating before her,
The boast of the red, white and blue,
The boast of the red, white and blue,
The boast of the red, white, and blue,
With her flag proudly floating before her,
The boast of the red, white and blue.
 
 
 

The star spangled banner bring hither,
O’er Columbia’s true sons let it wave;
May the wreaths they have won never wither,
Nor its stars cease to shine on the brave.
May thy service united ne’er sever,
But hold to the colors so true;
The army and navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
The army and navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue

Here is a rendition by Bing Crosby of Edward Everett Hale’ s story The Man Without a Country.¬† Published in the midst of the Civil War in December 1863, I have always regarded it as a profound meditation on Patriotism, Home and the meaning of America.¬† Hale, a grandnephew of Nathan Hale, hoped to bolster support for the Union with this plea for love of country and patriotism.¬† Schoolchildren used to be taught it, and when I first read it as a young boy it brought tears to my eyes.

Continue reading...

2 Responses to Flag, Country and Love

  • In first grade in 1956, the nuns taught us that grand, old song.
    .

    Tomorrow is Flag Day.
    .

    Old Glory is the symbol of America. It represents many things: Mom, apple pie, Babe Ruth, Freedom, and Sacrifice. Many young American men lost their lives in in far away lands where the flag and their buddies were all they had.
    .

    I am afflicted with the “warm and fuzzy” whenever I see her.

    Any man or woman that doesn’t love the flag is not worthy of respect.

  • the sheet music in your excellent post gave credit for the song to a Mr Shaw. – so i looked a little further ….. and found this………………….”Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean” received an American copyright in 1843 and is credited to the name of David T. Shaw. Yet to understand the true origins of Shaw’s song one must follow two threads. One thread leads to Thomas a’Beckett who claimed to have rewritten Shaw’s lyrics before the song was copyrighted. The other thread leads to Stephen Joseph Meany who wrote the poem “Britannia, the Pride of the Ocean,” from which, in turn, a’Beckett may have taken his lyrics.

Flag Day 2014

Saturday, June 14, AD 2014

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 ‚Äúlives . . . fortunes . . . and sacred honor.‚ÄĚ

Saint John Paul II, December 16, 1997

 

 

Something for the weekend.  There is only one song for Flag Day:  The Star Spangled Banner.

Here is the history behind the song:

Back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled the Earth, it was customary for the National Anthem to be played before television stations signed off for the evening.  This was always my favorite of such renditions:

Red Skelton’s immortal rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance seems¬†called for on¬†this day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HGHdFmu5GU

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Flag Day 2014

  • Don, why do you keep referring to American democracy? There’s no such animal. We’re a republic, not a democracy.

  • Saint John Paul II referred to Democracy and not I in the above post. More to the point, words change over time. The Founding Fathers, most of whom were classically educated, abhorred the idea of democracy because of the bad press that it got in Thucydides, Plutarch, et al. Over time the term democracy has become a descriptor of government “of the people, by the people and for the people” in Lincoln’s immortal phrase. My own personal preference is that we could use more democracy in this country, in the sense of legislatures actually making laws, rather than court’s acting like super legislatures and government agencies also usurping that role. Courts and executive agencies are the true foes of popular government in our time, rather than too much democracy as feared by the Founding Fathers.

  • Stephen Dalton is correct to the extent that Democracy means a system of government where a simple majority can take away the individual right to life, liberty or property (the fruit of one’s own labor).
    .
    Donald is correct to the extent that Democracy refers to a representative system of government where:
    .
    (1) The legislature makes laws consistent with the principle of the individual right to life, liberty and property (the fruit of one’s own labor)
    .
    (2) The executive enforces those laws to protect individuals and families, and where the powers of both government and big business are limited.
    .
    (3) The judiciary makes decisions based on the Constitution being a fixed contract protecting the sovereign citizen and not a living document subjugated to the dictatorship of relativistic morality.
    .
    What Thucidides wrote is perhaps an ideal that we no longer have in this country:
    ,
    “Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighbouring states; we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves. Its administration favours the many instead of the few; this is why it is called a democracy. If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing, advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is not hindered by the obscurity of his condition. The freedom which we enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life. There, far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what he likes, or even to indulge in those injurious looks which cannot fail to be offensive, although they inflict no positive penalty. But all this ease in our private relations does not make us lawless as citizens. Against this fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to obey the magistrates and the laws, particularly such as regard the protection of the injured, whether they are actually on the statute book, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.”
    .
    Rather, the people of the United States have become like that of ancient Israel in 1st Samuel chapter 8: “Give us a king like that of other nations.” God granted us our wish and we have that godless man of sin and depravity – Barack Hussein Obama and his wife Jezebel. History repeats itself over and over again. The problem is not Democracy or Republicanism or Monarchy. The problem is the concupiscence of man’s heart. Until the heart changes, then nothing changes. As St. JP II is quoted above to have said:
    .
    “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.”
    .
    The Democratic Party is completely opposed to this and the Republican Party is hypocritical and toothless.

  • Donald: I do not know how you do it, but I am glad that you do.
    .
    “My own personal preference is that we could use more democracy in this country, in the sense of legislatures actually making laws, rather than court‚Äôs acting like super legislatures and government agencies also usurping that role. Courts and executive agencies are the true foes of popular government in our time, rather than too much democracy as feared by the Founding Fathers.”
    .
    Much like the prodigal son, Congress has spent our privilege, its power, in non-essential ways, handing our freedom over to tyrants on every level.
    .
    For instance: Congress never voted on the HHS Mandate. No American citizen ever voted for or against the HHS Mandate, not anybody. Therefore, the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional, having not been ratified by the people or the voice of the people in Congress.
    .
    The HHS Mandate was added after Congress had passed the ACA known as Obamacare, in the stealth of the night, because Congress allowed that anything can be changed in the bill at any time by anyone, making the citizens voiceless subjects under the existing regime. All bills passed have this open ended requirement. Thus, Congress forfeited the will of the people and the balance of power in government. Why should Hobby Lobby obey a law that was never a law? The HHS Mandate was never passed by the voice of and the will of the people. Whatever the HHS Mandate is, it is not a law passed by Congress and the will of the people.
    .
    Now, the Supreme Court is being abused to impose an unconstitutional contrivance on the American People. Who in heaven and on earth gave Sebelius, or even Obama, the power to write law for the nation, using their own personal opinion to impose decrees and penalties? The people never gave Congress that authentic authority to ostracize the American people from participation in our Republic.
    .
    Even if the HHS Mandate decreed that all American Citizens must have one ice cream cone every day, the law was never passed by Congress. The HHS Mandate is not a law. Whatever the HHS Mandate is, it is not a law passed by Congress and the will of the people.
    .
    Heaven knows American citizens and our tax dollars have helped any one in need around the globe. All of American generosity was voted for by the people through Congress. Extorted charity is stealing and does not happen in any democracy or Republic.
    .
    The HHS Mandate was not put to a vote in Congress, nor was the Mandate put on the ballot and therefore the HHS Mandate is not a law.
    .
    The same goes for prayer ban, the destruction of the living human being in the womb, our constitutional posterity, and the absolute mockery of human beings by denying their rational, immortal souls, created in innocence and virginity, male and female.
    .
    First, acknowledge God, next the sovereign person and then, and only then, proceed with government.

  • Donald M McClarey

    Words do, indeed, change their meaning over time

    Rousseau’s idea of democracy was drawn from the Landesgemeinde of his native Switzerland, as described by Lord Acton, “The idea was that the grown men met in the market-place, like the peasants of Glarus under their trees, to manage their affairs, making and unmaking officials, conferring and revoking powers. They were equal, because every man had exactly the same right to defend his interest by the guarantee of his vote. The welfare of all was safe in the hands of all, for they had not the separate interests that are bred by the egotism of wealth, nor the exclusive views that come from a distorted education. All being equal in power and similar in purpose, there can be no just cause why some should move apart and break into minorities.

    Hence, his famous warning in the Social Contract, ‚ÄúAs soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall. When it is necessary to march out to war, they pay troops and stay at home: when it is necessary to meet in council, they name deputies and stay at home. By reason of idleness and money, they end by having soldiers to enslave their country and representatives to sell it.‚ÄĚ

  • Back when I was young and dinosaurs ruled the Earth, it was customary for the National Anthem to be played before television stations signed off for the evening.

     
    Stations also played the National Anthem in the morning when they began broadcasting for the day.
     
    America was a different country back then.

3 Responses to Flag Day: Johnny Cash and Red Skelton

A Priest Born on Flag Day

Monday, August 6, AD 2012

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in Rochester, New York, the oldest of six children, Heindl decided at an early age that he was meant to be a priest and was ordained on June 6, 1936.  He said that being born on Flag Day indicated to him that during his life he would do something to honor the Stars and Stripes.

In March of 1942 he joined the Army as a chaplain.¬† Assigned to the 2nd Battalion of th 148th infantry attached to the 37th Division, he served on Guadalcanal, New Georgia and in the Philippines.¬† He quickly gained a reputation for utter fearlessness under fire, giving the last Rites, tending the wounded and rescuing wounded under fire.¬†¬†¬† In regard to the Last Rites, Father Heindl noted that he did not have time to check dog tags to see if a dying soldier was a Catholic.¬† “Every situation was an instant decision.¬† You didn’t have time to check his dog tag to see whether he was Catholic or not. I’d say, in Latin, ‘If you’re able and willing to receive this sacrament, I give it to you.’ And then leave it up to the Lord.”

He earned a Bronze Star on New Georgia when on July  19 and July 23 he conducted burial services, although in constant danger from Japanese sniper fire.  The citation noted that his cheerful demeanor and courage inspired the troops who encountered him.

During the liberation of the Philippines, Captain Heindl participated in the bitter fighting in Manila.  He earned a Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest award in the United States Army for valor, during the fighting at Bilibid prison to liberate American and Filipino POWs who had been through horrors at the hands of their Japanese captors that I truly hope the readers of this post would find literally unimaginable.  Here is the Distinguished Service Cross citation:

Continue reading...

8 Responses to A Priest Born on Flag Day

  • “The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Chaplain) Elmer W. Heindl, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Chaplain with Company E, 2d Battalion, 148th Infantry Regiment, 37th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces on 6, 8 and 11 February 1945, in the Philippine Islands.”

    “Miraculously, Father Heindl came out of the War without a scratch. In honor of this miracle, he received an honorary Purple Heart.”

    Chaplain Elmer W. Heindl would not be allowed to minister in the new atheism. The new atheism has rescinded the Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 and the Order of the Purple Heart for Catholic Chaplains. The new atheism has rescinded the FREEDOM OF RELIGION for Catholics, as though becoming a Catholic Priest and Chaplain removed their citizenship.
    I am heartened by Chaplain Elmer W. Heindl’s selfless courage. I woud only hope under similar circumstances I could do the same. I would also hope that under similar circumstances, America would continue to acknowledge valor and genius to every person so entitled.

  • I must say I was quite moved by the beauty of the actions described in the DSC citation. To give of one’s self so fully for their neighbor is something truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  • It reminds me AS of a commercial I saw in the sixties with a young nun tending a leper. The voice over says, “Sister, I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars.” The nun looks up, smiles, and says, “Neither would I!”.

  • If I correctly understand this administration’s new directives for military chaplains,
    the likes of the good Fr. Heindl wouldn’t be welcome unless he was willing to toe
    the line concerning blessing same-sex weddings and endorsing homosexuals in
    the military. I believe our government views men like Fr. Heindl as “haters”.

    Today, he wouldn’t be decorated, he’d probably be asked to resign.

  • Too true Clinton. One of many reasons to make certain that Obama is looking for new employment come next January.

  • Alphatron Shinyskullus says:
    “I must say I was quite moved by the beauty of the actions described in the DSC citation. To give of one‚Äôs self so fully for their neighbor is something truly inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

    The true beauty of Father Elmer Heindl’s face is captivating.

  • Beautifully done. Thank you. It reminds me of what I was taught in a Catholic military school, now closed, “Pro Deo, Pro Patria”, though I doubt that I would have the courage and equanimity he demonstrated.
    By the way, what do you think about President Obama being invited by Cardinal Dolan to keynote the Al Smith Dinner in October along with Mitt Romney? Will this give him cover with Catholics who traditionallay vote Democratic and help re-elect him?

  • It is an old tradition to invite the President and his Challenger in a Presidential election year. Let us see what Cardinal Dolan says at the dinner. This might be one for the record books!

Philip Nolan and Flag Day

Tuesday, June 14, AD 2011

Today is Flag Day.¬† Edward Everett Hale, in his short story A Man Without A Country, reminds us¬†that patriotism is a very powerful form of love.¬† Hale, a great nephew of Nathan Hale who died on a British scaffold and uttered the deathless¬†¬†“I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.”, wrote the story in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 to help¬†inspire patriotism.

The story is a simple one.  Philip Nolan was a young artillery lieutenant in the United States Army.  He became involved in the  vague scheme of Aaron Burr to detach some territory from the  United States and form an independent nation.  All the big fish escape conviction, but Lieutenant Nolan does not.  At his courtmartial the following takes place:

One and another of the colonels and majors were tried, and, to fill out the list, little Nolan, against whom, Heaven knows, there was evidence enough,–that he was sick of the service, had been willing to be false to it, and would have obeyed any order to march any-whither with any one who would follow him had the order been signed, “By command of His Exc.A. Burr.” The courts dragged on. The big flies escaped,–rightly for all I know. Nolan was proved guilty enough, as I say; yet you and I would never have heard of him, reader, but that, when the president of the court asked him at the close whether he wished to say anything to show that he had always been faithful to the United States, he cried out, in a fit of frenzy,–

“Damn the United States! I wish I may never hear of the United States again!”

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Philip Nolan and Flag Day

  • A very haunting work of fiction indeed. Allegedly, the character of Philip Nolan was inspired by a real-life figure, Cong. Clement L. Vallandingham of Ohio, a notorious Copperhead who was arrested for sedition by Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside at one point and exiled to Canada for a time. Supposedly, Vallandingham was overheard saying “Hang the U.S.; I hope the day comes when I never hear the name.”

  • Thanks. This has long been one of my favorite stories — one I can’t read without tears coming to my eyes at the end, softy that I am.

  • Darwin the TV movie from 1973 is just as good. Cliff Robertson was magnificent as Nolan.

    Elaine that is the first I’ve heard of Vallandigham inspiring the character of Nolan. Ugh! To say the least, Copperhead Clement has never been high on my list of figures from the Civil War!

  • Sorry for the man who sees Old Glory and does not feel love and pride.

    If I think about Philip Nolan I become angry. Nolan is nothing but an ancestor for liberal democrats. Only thing: progressives don’t repent.

    America is the worst country in the world except for all the others.

23 Responses to Flag Day

  • No, today we Catholics are celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi, Christopher, not “Flag Day.”

  • $gt$lt))&gt ~J

    This one work?

  • Sheesh, Michael. Didn’t you notice that Chris himself put up a Corpus Christi post earlier today?

    Most of us are capable of noting more than one thing a day.

  • Which, by the way, is one Corpus Christi post more than michael or anyone else at Vox Nova has written.

  • Like the kid said to Geena Davis’ character in League of Their Own, “Can’t we do both?”

  • Heather – Nope. Jesus said we can’t serve two masters. Remember?

  • S.B.

    Very good observation. I would appear that Iafrate is defined more by the rejection of one master rather than the embrace of another master.

  • Observing a holiday /= “serving a master.”

  • I would appear that Iafrate is defined more by the rejection of one master rather than the embrace of another master.

    You have no basis on which to make a “point” like this.

  • You have no basis on which to make a ‚Äúpoint‚ÄĚ like this.

    If I were to guess, I’d say that basis would be that you spend a lot more time behaving in an un-Christian fashion towards those you think are too “nationalistic” than you do writing anything that suggests much positive attachment to Catholicism.

    That certainly doesn’t mean this impression is accurate. Many people use the internet simply as a place to blow off and thus put only their less likable characteristics on view there. However, I can at least see how someone would come to that conclusion given the comments you generally make here.

    Food for thought…

  • If I were to guess, I‚Äôd say that basis would be that you spend a lot more time behaving in an un-Christian fashion towards those you think are too ‚Äúnationalistic‚ÄĚ than you do writing anything that suggests much positive attachment to Catholicism.

    If one of the main concerns that I express on your blog and elsewhere is the PROFOUND misunderstanding of Catholicism such that these syncretistic displays of patriotic Christianity become uncritically routine, then it is not very surprising that you (and whoever else) might consider my views and approach to be “un-Christian.”

    We simply don’t agree on what Christianity even is. Food for thought…

  • Actually, I was referring to the manner of your comments more than the content. You’re often quite rude and dismissive to other people, and are much more quick to characterize and denounce than to explain or persuade.

    I must assume that we do in fact agree on what Christianity is — we both profess the same Nicean creed and adore and receive the same Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist. We are members of the same Body of Christ, follow the same earthly shepherd of the Church, worship at the same liturgy, and profess assent to the same Scriptures and Traditions.

    So it would seem to me pretty clear that you and I and all of those who write here do agree at root on what Christianity is — which is why people are put off and perplexed by your frequent characterizations of others as not really being Catholic; being syncretists; worshipping war and mammon, etc.

  • So apparently Christianity consists of dissent from moral teachings that the Church has put beyond dispute for thousands of years, while engaging in unremitting intellectual pride and outrage over faux “sins” against much more hesitant, prudential, and occasional teachings about economics (teachings that, when read out of context and exaggerated beyond all recognition, are taken to imply a firm stamp of condemnation on everything that can be called “capitalist”).

  • Darwin – Despite appearances, you and I do not agree on what Christianity is.

  • Darwin:

    For once, I’m inclined to agree with your interlocutor. I’ll even go so far as to disagree with your brotherly attempt to find common ground on the Nicene Creed.

    The two of you may recite the same Creed on Sundays, but there’s no reason to think you attach the same meanings to all the words.

  • Yeah, I guess you two are right.

    I guess this way I can at least not have concience pangs that I should step in when I see someone assailing Michael as not really being Catholic.

  • I was at a conference this weekend. A video was shown of a Richard Rohr lecture. A lot of individuals were taken in with him and his view of Catholicism. I think this is a similar case where people’s perception of what Catholicism is are quite different. Rohr and his like are on a very different wavelength.

  • You have no basis on which to make a ‚Äúpoint‚ÄĚ like this.

    Presumably, you mean other than your name? You freely call yourself the Catholic Anarchist. Anarchy is a rejection, an “anti” rather than a “pro,” in this case anti-government rather than pro-anything. Your Catholicism merely modifies your anarchy (hence Catholic Anarchy).

    Having read a lot of your stuff, I think it’s safe to say I very rarely if ever read anything other than you tearing something down rather than trying to propose something new, something Catholic. Indeed, you’re more focused on attacking America than promoting an alternative Catholic identity.

    Before you jump down my throat for this, allow me to point something out. SB noted that you had never posted about Corpus Christi. This is excusable; one doesn’t have to post about all the feasts. However, you constantly berate Memorial Day as a pagan alternative to All Saints Day. Yet in all your years of blogging you have not once recognized All Saints day but you post faithfully on Memorial Day. Is is that unreasonable to think that you are more concerned in truth with attacking Memorial Day with promoting All Saints Day?

    While I have no doubt that you are trying to live a Catholic life, you have allowed a small tenet of Catholicism to consume it at the very least in your blogging.

    As a result, as Darwin said, you are extraordinarily abrasive in conversations and the good parts of your message (and yes I do think you make good points sometimes, like protesting flags in the sanctuary which I initially disagreed with you on) are lost in the static.

  • Presumably, you mean other than your name? You freely call yourself the Catholic Anarchist. Anarchy is a rejection, an ‚Äúanti‚ÄĚ rather than a ‚Äúpro,‚ÄĚ in this case anti-government rather than pro-anything. Your Catholicism merely modifies your anarchy (hence Catholic Anarchy).

    I actually do not call myself “the Catholic Anarchist.” Donald calls me that. Not sure how you manage to mix the two of us up. I go by my real name.

    My website is indeed called “Catholic Anarchy,” but it’s certainly not intended to mean that “Catholic” modifies “Anarchy.” I actually thought about this for a while, as I imagined that objection would be raised. But when it came down to the sound of the name of the blog, “Catholic Anarchy” had a better ring than “Anarchist Catholic.” If I had to do it over again, maybe “Anarcho-Catholic” would have been a better choice.

    Anyway, your charge that I hold anarchism above Catholicism really holds no water. I think I have been quite clear on my blog what I mean by anarchism and why I use the term. (See the “about” page and the quote from Servant of God Dorothy Day on her use of the word “anarchism” to describe the Catholic Worker. But should you be interested in asking me questions on any positions I hold in order to “test” whether I am more of an anarchist or more of a Catholic, I’m game. I just won’t do it here in the comment box of this particular blog, as you are pushing me into some more personal territory regarding my faith. But you know my email address by now. By all means.

    Having read a lot of your stuff, I think it’s safe to say I very rarely if ever read anything other than you tearing something down rather than trying to propose something new, something Catholic. Indeed, you’re more focused on attacking America than promoting an alternative Catholic identity.

    What I propose as an alternative to americanist values is precisely historical Catholicism. The concerns I have in the blogging world are pretty specific, yes, and I am very interested in helping to expose the heresy of american patriotism. I see how you would consider that “negative.” But from my perspective, and from the perspective of Catholic and secular radicalism, “tearing down” is not negative but positive. Consider, from your own perspective, whether you would consider “tearing down” the abortion industry to be a “positive” or a “negative” thing. Maybe you’ll see what I mean.

    However, you constantly berate Memorial Day as a pagan alternative to All Saints Day. Yet in all your years of blogging you have not once recognized All Saints day but you post faithfully on Memorial Day. Is is that unreasonable to think that you are more concerned in truth with attacking Memorial Day with promoting All Saints Day?

    Again, I don’t see these things as being in conflict. My criticism of Memorial Day (which is hardly “constant,” but simply annual) is a way of shedding light on the meaning of All Saints Day. In other words, I do not “attack” Memorial Day for no reason, but to point out the meaning of Christian feasts which we simply take for granted, not fully understanding the socio-political dimension of what we are celebrating.

    While I have no doubt that you are trying to live a Catholic life, you have allowed a small tenet of Catholicism to consume it at the very least in your blogging.

    Which tenet?

    As a result, as Darwin said, you are extraordinarily abrasive in conversations and the good parts of your message (and yes I do think you make good points sometimes, like protesting flags in the sanctuary which I initially disagreed with you on) are lost in the static.

    This is a fair critique. I realize that being abrasive turns some folks off. I would choose a different tone depending on the kind of writing I am doing. Some of my influences (both theological and political) are awfully abrasive and catch similar criticism. That’s fine. I know that, in my experience, sometimes hearing a critical point of view from an “abrasive” source was just the wake-up call that I needed. But it doesn’t work for everyone, and I recognize and am fine with that.

  • Michael Iafrate, I think you have patriotism muddled with nationalism. Admittedly, so do many others, but I think your opposition to nationalism would work better if you tried to separate it from patriotism (which is encouraged by the Church, rather than nationalism, which is condemned).

  • John – Of course I realize that patriotism vs. nationalism is an important distinction. But on the contrary, I don’t think I’m the one mixing up the two. Most americans think they are “just” being patriotic, but they are in fact nationalistic.

    Yes, the Church encourages patriotism. But the patriotism encouraged by the Church need not be linked to the nation-state form, as that has only been in existence for a few centuries. I am all for being authentically patriotic, but not linking it to the nation-state. This is why I can proudly identify as Appalachian.

    I blogged about this a couple times at Vox Nova: the idea of an authentically Catholic patriotism that resists the nation-state form.