Fortnight For Freedom: Declaration of Independence

Monday, July 4, AD 2016

 

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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: Battle Cries of Freedom

Saturday, July 2, AD 2016

fortnight for freedom 2016

Something for a Fourth of July weekend.  The Battle Cry of Freedom was a popular song North and South during the Civil War.  Of course they sang different lyrics to the song.  The Union version was such a favorite among the Union troops, that President Lincoln, in a letter to George F. Root, the composer, wrote:  “You have done more than a hundred generals and a thousand  orators. If you could not shoulder a musket in defense of your country, you certainly have served her through your songs.”

Here is the Southern version sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man campaign to bring Civil War music to modern audiences:

 

Here is the version from the Lincoln (2012) movie:

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Fortnight For Freedom: Great Family of Man

Friday, July 1, AD 2016

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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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One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Great Family of Man

  • The Temple of Liberty will survive.
    Obama – Clinton – Trump. They will bow before Thee…now or at the hour of Judgement .

    We have a good and gracious God. Rich in mercy and patience beyond human ability. He will teach as He chastises, yet He will extend forgiveness to those who are contrite of heart.

    “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, the pursuit of happiness, their prosperity 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 principals on which the Temple of Liberty was being built.”

    My God! The emphasis added is for your WORK to be accomplished regardless of the tyranny that threatens your work. Not regardless, rather in defiance of the tyranny that is set to try to destroy your Great Work, AMERICA.

    With YOU great God, we will not bow to hypocrites that claim your authority yet despise your commandments, rather we will stand fast aginist these liars who wish to rule over you and your people. We will rise up to defend Religious Freedom and the Christian Church which you founded after nine evenings of prayer in the upper room so many years ago. We will never give in or up. We will sacrifice our lives since we are yours, and our lives are only granted us by your decree and your power. We will be worthy of the Name, Christian. We will abide by you, our Creator since we are yours..your creatures, your children and your witnesses in this time, our time to stand with you! We stand! We will not fail you. We will proclaim your greatness with our inferiority…since it is in our weaknesses that your power is evident. With you great God, we will never be defeated, since the kingdom we proclaim is everlasting and yours forever. A kingdom that will never end. Your kingdom come…NOW and forever..Amen.

    The distant future Abraham Lincoln spoke of is here. It is now.

    America.
    Happy birthday.
    We won’t let you down!

Fortnight For Freedom: Archbishop John Ireland on Patriotism

Thursday, June 30, AD 2016

 

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Like most veterans of the Civil War, go here to read about his service, Archbishop John Ireland had a deep love of this nation.  The following is a speech on patriotism that he delivered to the New York Commandery of the Loyal League on April 4, 1894.  His speech is completely out of step with the popular sentiments of our day that tend to view patriotism, at best, with suspicion and that take for granted freedom hard won by the blood of prior generations.  I find myself much closer to agreement with the Archbishop than I do with the zeitgeist in which we find ourselves.

 

 

Patriotism is love of country, and loyalty to its life and weal—love tender and strong, tender as the love of son for mother, strong as the pillars of death; loyalty generous and disinterested, shrinking from no sacrifice, seeking no reward save country’s honor and country’s triumph.

  Patriotism! There is magic in the word. It is bliss to repeat it. Through ages the human race burnt the incense of admiration and reverence at the shrines of patriotism. The most beautiful pages of history are those which recount its deeds. Fireside tales, the outpourings of the memories of peoples, borrow from it their warmest glow.
Poets are sweetest when they re-echo its whisperings; orators are most potent when they thrill its chords to music.

Pagan nations were wrong when they made gods of their noblest patriots. But the error was the excess of a great truth, that heaven unites with earth in approving and blessing patriotism; that patriotism is one of earth’s highest virtues, worthy to have come down from the atmosphere of the skies.

  The exalted patriotism of the exiled Hebrew exhaled itself in a canticle of religion which Jehovah inspired, and which has been transmitted, as the inheritance of God’s people to the Christian Church:

“Upon the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, when we remembered Sion.—If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my jaws, if I do not remember thee, if I do not make Jerusalem the beginning of my joy.”

The human race pays homage to patriotism because of its supreme value. The value of patriotism to a people is above gold and precious stones, above commerce and industry, above citadels and warships. Patriotism is the vital spark of national honor; it is the fount of the nation’s prosperity, the shield of the nation’s safety. Take patriotism away, the nation’s soul has fled, bloom and beauty have vanished from the nation’s countenance.

The human race pays homage to patriotism because of its supreme loveliness. Patriotism goes out to what is among earth’s possessions the most precious, the first and best and dearest—country—and its effusion is the fragrant flowering of the purest and noblest sentiments of the heart.

Patriotism is innate in all men; the absence of it betokens a perversion of human nature; but it grows its full growth only where thoughts are elevated and heart-beatings are generous.

Next to God is country, and next to religion is patriotism. No praise goes beyond its deserts. It is sublime in its heroic oblation upon the field of battle. “Oh glorious is he,” exclaims in Homer the Trojan warrior, “who for his country falls!” It is sublime in the oft-repeated toil of dutiful citizenship. “Of all human doings,” writes Cicero, “none is more honorable and more estimable than to merit well of the commonwealth.”

Countries are of divine appointment. The Most High “divided the nations, separated the sons of Adam, and appointed the bounds of peoples.” The physical and moral necessities of God’s creatures are revelations of his will and laws. Man is born a social being. A condition of his existence and of his growth of mature age is the family. Nor does the family suffice to itself. A larger social organism is needed, into which families gather, so as to obtain from one another security to life and property and aid in the development of the faculties and powers with which nature has endowed the children of men.

The whole human race is too extensive and too diversified in interests to serve those ends: hence its subdivisions into countries or peoples. Countries have their providential limits—the waters of a sea, a mountain range, the lines of similarity of requirements or of methods of living. The limits widen in space according to the measure of the destinies which the great Ruler allots to peoples, and the importance of their parts in the mighty work of the cycles of years, the ever-advancing tide of humanity’s evolution.

The Lord is the God of nations because he is the God of men. No nation is born into life or vanishes back into nothingness without his bidding. I believe in the providence of God over countries as I believe in his wisdom and his love, and my patriotism to my country rises within my soul invested with the halo of my religion to my God.

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3 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Archbishop John Ireland on Patriotism

  • Breathtaking and inspiring in its wisdom. I will share with my children on Independence Day. The last two paragraphs put love of country in historical and moral perspective. I marvel at the contrast between this view of liberty to the political positions of the USCCB and far too many of our bishops.

  • Maybe had he been a little less nationalistic and a bit more Catholic, Archbishop John Ireland wouldn’t be known as the founder of the Orthodox Church in America.

  • Maybe if Father Alexis Toth hadn’t been so concerned with his ruffled pride he wouldn’t have died a schismatic. Or, here is an idea, maybe if the Vatican had assigned Eastern Rite bishops to America in the nineteenth century, instead of ignoring a manifest problem, the issue wouldn’t have come up at all. It would also have helped if Eastern Rite Bishops in Europe hadn’t ignored their priests in America leaving them without any instructions.

    As for Archbishop Ireland, he was a patriot, and anyone who calls him anything else better have been exposed to enemy fire as he was.

Fortnight For Freedom: Top Ten Movies for the Fourth

Wednesday, June 29, AD 2016

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Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

John Adams

 

 

 

This is a repeat from a post last year, with some slight modifications, but I think the logic behind the post still holds true.  As we are embroiled now in a struggle to preserve our religious liberty, I think the Fourth of July is a good time to recall the price paid to establish our liberties.  It is trite to say that freedom is not free, but it is also true.  Winning the American Revolution took eight years and it was a definite David V. Goliath upset.  A people who forget this eternal lesson will not remain free for long.

 

 

A number of feature films and miniseries have been made about the events of the American Revolution.  Here are my top ten choices for Fourth of July viewing:

10.  Ben and Me (1953)- Something for the younger patriots.  Disney put to film the novel of Robert Lawson, Ben and Me, which related how many of Ben Franklin’s bright ideas came from his mouse Amos.  Quite a bit of fun.   Not a classic but certainly an overlooked gem.

9.  The Crossing (2000)-A retelling of Washington’s brilliant crossing of the Delaware on Christmas 1776 and the battle of Trenton.  This film would rank much higher on my list but for Jeff Daniels’ portrayal of Washington as sullen and out of sorts throughout the movie.  Washington had a temper, and he could give vent to it if provoked, although he usually kept it under control, but the peevish Washington portrayed here is simply ahistoric and mars an otherwise good recreation of the turning point of the Revolution.

8.  John Paul Jones (1959)  Robert Stack, just before he rose to fame in the Untouchables, is grand in the role of the archetypal American sea hero.  Bette Davis is absolutely unforgettable as Catherine the Great.  The climactic sea battle with the Serapis is well done, especially for those pre-CGI days.  The only problem with the film is that many of the details are wrong.  This is forgivable to a certain extent since scholarship on Jones was badly skewed by Augustus Buell in a two-volume “scholarly biography” which appeared in 1900.  Buell was a charlatan who made up many incidents about Jones and then invented sources to support his fabrications.  Buell was not completely exposed until Samuel Eliot Morison, Harvard professor of history, and an Admiral in the Navy, wrote his definitive biography of Jones. Here is a list of the fabrications of Buell compiled by Morison.  Morison’s book appeared after the movie, which is to be regretted.

7.  The Patriot (2000) Finally, a film which depicts the unsung contribution of Australians to victory in the American Revolution!  Actually not too bad of a film overall.  Heath Ledger is quite good as Gibson’s oldest son who joins the Continentals at the beginning of the war against his father’s wishes.  Jason Isaacs is snarlingly good as the evil Colonel Tavington, very loosely based on Banastre Tarleton, commander of Tarleton’s Raiders during the Southern Campaign.  The film of course allows Gibson to carry on his over-the-top vendetta against all things English.  No, the British did not lock up American civilians in churches and burn them alive.  However, the ferocity of the partisan fighting in the South is well depicted, and Banastre Tarleton  at the Waxhaw Massacre earned a reputation for slaughtering men attempting to surrender.  The final battle of the film is based on the battle of Cowpens where General Daniel Morgan decisively defeated Tarleton.

6.  Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)-A John Ford classic starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.  Through the eyes of a young newlywed couple, Fonda and Colbert, the American Revolution on the frontier is depicted in the strategic Mohawk Valley.  Full of the usual Ford touches of heroism, humor and ordinary life.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Abraham Lincoln on the Supreme Court

Tuesday, June 28, AD 2016

 

 

 

 

 

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(This is a repeat from last year.  In light of the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday, go here to read about it, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt striking down two key sections in the Texas abortion law, it seemed more relevant than ever.  The Supreme Court is growing ever more high handed in its rulings, and what it is engaged in when it comes to favored made up court created rights like “abortion” and “gay marriage” has nothing to do with the law or the constitution.  In his blistering dissent in Hellerstedt, Justice Clarence Thomas nailed it:


 

Some quotes from Abraham Lincoln in how to react to illegitimate Supreme Court decisions.  An illegitimate decision is one in which the Court arrogates to itself the power of a legislature under the mendacious guise of merely interpreting the Constitution:

1.  I do not forget the position assumed by some, that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case, upon the parties to a suit; as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government.

2.  Judicial decisions have two uses-first, to absolutely determine the case decided, and secondly, to indicate to the public how other similar cases will be decided when they arise. For the latter use, they are called “precedents” and “authorities.”

3.  We think its (the Supreme Court) decisions on Constitutional questions, when fully settled, should control, not only the particular cases decided, but the general policy of the country, subject to be disturbed only by amendments of the Constitution as provided in that instrument itself. More than this would be revolution.

4.  At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

5.  Judicial decisions are of greater or less authority as precedents, according to circumstances. That this should be so, accords both with common sense, and the customary understanding of the legal profession.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 27, AD 2016

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During the Constitutional Convention, on June 28, 1787, Benjamin Franklin, dismayed by the lack of progress since the convention convened on May 25, 1787, and alarmed at the acrimony of the debates, rose and delivered a memorable address:

 

Mr. President

The small progress we have made after 4 or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other,”our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes and ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, some we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move, that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of the City be requested to officiate in that service.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Great God Our King

Sunday, June 26, AD 2016

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America has  always been my  favorite patriotic song.  Written by a Baptist minister, Samuel Francis, and set to the tune, ironically, of God Save the Queen, the song was first performed on July 4, 1831 at Park Street Church in Boston.  Near the end of his life, Francis was proposed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr, for an honorary degree from Harvard.  Harvard turned this proposal down on the grounds that Smith had not written the tune.  The reply of Holmes was memorable and prophetic:  His song will be sung centuries from now, when most of us and our pipings are forgotten.

 

 

The rendition above is by Marian Anderson, perhaps the most gifted songstress of her generation.  A devout Christian, this granddaughter of slaves was denied the opportunity by the Daughters of the American Revolution to sing at Constitution Hall in 1939.  In 1939 the District of Columbia was controlled by committees of Congress.  Democrat segregationists rigidly enforced rules of segregation in the District.  Blacks were rightly upset that during a performance by Miss Anderson, if it had been held at Constitution Hall, they would have been required to sit in the back of the hall.  The District of Columbia Board of Education, controlled by Democrats, declined to allow Marian Anderson to perform in the auditorium of a white school.  To her credit, Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband arranged for Anderson to give her unforgettable performance at the Lincoln Memorial on April 9, 1939, Easter Sunday.

During the war years, Miss Anderson spent a large part of her time entertaining troops.  In 1943, at the invitation of the Daughters of the American Revolution, she sang before an integrated audience for a Red Cross benefit.  The always gracious Miss Anderson remembered the event:  When I finally walked onto the stage of Constitution Hall, I felt no different than I had in other halls. There was no sense of triumph. I felt that it was a beautiful concert hall and I was very happy to sing there.”

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One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Great God Our King

  • Marian Anderson, what a voice. As she sang, what struck me was how well dressed the crowd was . . . take a look again. Reminds me of pictures and film from the 40s and 50s at baseball games.

    How we comport ourselves and dress in public is a direct reflection of the state of our culture and society. Is it even possible that we can regain some semblance of our decorum as a culture and society?

Fortnight For Freedom: Cynical About Cynicism

Saturday, June 25, AD 2016

 

 

 

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My favorite scene from Frank Capra’s classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.  It is easy to give way to weary cynicism when one contemplates all the evil in the world.  However, history is replete with examples of men and women who fought the good fight and won.  Even those who fought and were defeated ennobled all of us by their stand.  Let us ever be cynical about cynicism and let us ever be ready to pick up the gauntlet, no matter the odds, so that, in the ringing phrase of Lincoln, truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land.

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Cynical About Cynicism

  • You know, people talk about ‘Capra corn,’ but I find that Capra’s films are uplifting, not because he ignores the evil in the world, but because he faces it squarely and posits that it’s doesn’t have to have the last word. “Mr. Smith” is a perfect example of that: really one of the greatest films about America ever made.

    Plus, you really can’t go wrong with James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Claude Rains all in one film.

  • True Bob. Capra never made the mistake of assuming that evil is invincible, a common mistaken belief today.

  • “Wonderful” post Donald….one reason I enjoy visiting here. Capra, like Ford, used film to enrich our moral sensibilities. He brought forth bold, and dare I say, masculine virtue on the screen. It’s why we fight 🙂 This clip captures a dark night of the soul moment…..which you also see with his character George Bailey. thx

  • Cynicism, contempt, bad faith… I’m getting so tired of it being tossed up like it’s correct and evidence of sophistication, when it’s usually just cheap and lazy. Occasionally right, and it protects you from being hurt by assuming good faith where there is none– but staying the heck out and informing yourself when you can’t would do the same.

Fortnight For Freedom: National Suicide

Friday, June 24, AD 2016

fortnight for freedom 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Prophetic words of warning for us today from a young Mr. Lincoln:

 

We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them–they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors. Their’s was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; ’tis ours only, to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader; the latter, undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation, to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it?–At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838

 

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Fortnight For Freedom: Major Andrew McClary

Thursday, June 23, AD 2016

fortnight for freedom 2016

 

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I occasionally encounter people who claim that freedom is an abstraction, and that they would never die for an abstraction.  That has never been the case in my family.  McClareys have fought in all the nation’s wars down to the present, and we have attempted to remember them beginning with the first, Andrew McClary, a man who has fascinated me since my father told me about him so long ago.

He is memorialized in the  above section of a painting  by John Trumbull and depicting, with artistic license, “The Death of General John Warren.”  The Major is shown raising his musket to brain a British soldier attempting to bayonet the dying Warren, a warlike action quite in character for him, and one which warms the cockles of my heart.  My wife has noted over the years how much I resemble Major Andrew, and it is intriguing how his facial features have been passed down through the generations of my family.

Born  in 1730 in Ireland, at an early age he emigrated to New Hampshire with his family.  He grew to six feet, a giant of a man for his time, jovial in disposition but always ready to fight if need be to defend his rights or the rights of those he loved.    The colonies were fortunate that quite a few men, like George Washington, who had served in the French and Indian War, were still in the prime of life and constituted a potential officer corps with, in many cases, combat experience, at the time when the Revolution began.  Major Andrew McClary was typical of these men.  After serving as an officer in Rogers’ Rangers during the French and Indian War, and singlehandedly throwing six British officers out of a tavern window during a loud “discussion” on a memorable evening, he had settled down as a farmer outside of Epsom, serving as a selectman of that town,  a member of the New Hampshire legislature, and, always, as an officer of the New Hampshire militia.  When news of Lexington and Concord reached him, he abandoned his plow, told his young family he was off to fight the British, and immediately marched off with a company of 80 militiamen to the siege lines around Boston. There he met up with his old friend from Rogers’ Rangers Colonel John Stark, who made McClary a major in his regiment of New Hampshire militia.

At the battle of Bunker Hill, Major McClary led the regiment onto Breed’s Hill, where the battle was fought on June 17, 1775.  The advance of the regiment was momentarily blocked by a gaggle of Massachusetts militia standing about on the road doing nothing.  That obstruction was removed when McClary yelled out that New Hampshire would like to borrow the road, if Massachusetts was not using it.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher

Wednesday, June 22, AD 2016

 

A spot of blood and grease on the pages of English history.

Charles Dickens, referring to King Henry VIII

For English speaking Catholics, June 22 is a bright day on the calendar of the Saints.  It is appropriate that in the northern hemisphere it is also one of the longest days, when it is not the longest day, of the year, since no amount of sunshine is too much to celebrate the merits of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher.  On this day we remember the two saints who stood against King Henry VIII, for the great principal that the State must never be allowed to control the Church.  Much that we Americans celebrate as freedom was born out of Church-State struggles down through the ages.  Sometimes those who stood against the State fell in the struggle, but the concept that the State is not absolute, that there are limits to its authority, is one of the great gifts of the Catholic Middle Ages to all of mankind.  It is only in modern times, since 1500, that the heresy that the State may exercise absolute authority has been a constant source of misery and strife in the history of the West.

When he ascended to the throne of England Henry VIII was popularly known as the Golden Hope of England.  His father Henry VII had never been loved by the people of England:  a miser and a distinctly unheroic figure no matter what Shakespeare would write in Richard III.  He had brought the end of the War of the Roses and peace to England, but that was about as much credit as his subjects would give the grasping, unlovable Henry Tudor.  His son by contrast looked like an Adonis when young, strong and athletic.  He had a sharp mind and had been well-educated, intended, ironically, for a career in the Church before the death of his elder brother Arthur.  He was reputed, correctly, to be pious.  He had considerable charisma in his youth and knew how to make himself loved with a well timed laugh or smile, and loved he was, by the nobles, commons, his wife Katherine, and the Church.  Few reigns started more auspiciously than that of Henry, eighth of that name.

By the end of his reign he was widely despised by most his subjects.  Called a crowned monster behind his back, his reign had brought religious turmoil to England and domestic strife.  The best known symbols of his reign were the headman’s axe, the stake and the boiling pot in which he had some of the luckless individuals who roused his fury boiled to death.

It of course is small wonder for a Catholic to have little love for Henry VIII and his reign, but the distaste for Henry extends well beyond members of the Church.  Winston Churchill, the great English statesman and historian, in his magisterial History of the English Speaking Peoples, has this to say about the executions of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher:

The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand.  They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom.  They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter.  More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook.  He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness.  Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”

 

Churchill himself was not noted for being a churchgoer.  When asked if he was a pillar of the Church of England, he quipped that perhaps he could be considered to be a flying butress of the Church, supporting it from outside.  Perhaps this helped give him a certain objectivity regarding Henry VIII.  Here is part of his summing up of Henry’s reign:

“Henry’s rule saw many advances in the growth and the character of the English state, but it is a hideous blot upon his record that the reign should be widely remembered for its executions.  Two Queens, two of the King’s chief Ministers, a saintly bishop, numerous abbots, monks and many ordinary folk who dared to resist the royal will were put to death.  Almost every member of the nobility in whom royal blood ran perished on the scaffold at Henry’s command.  Roman Catholic and Calvinist alike were burnt for heresy and religious treason.  These persecutions, inflicted in solemn manner by officers of the law, perhaps in the presence of the Council or even the King himself, form a brutal seqeul to the bright promise of the Renaissance.  The sufferings of devout men and women among the faggots, the use of torture, and the savage penalties imposed for even paltry crimes, stand in repellant contrast to the enlightened principles of humanism.” 

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher

  • Wonderful thoughts from Churchill. The goodness of Christianity and the respect for human dignity- Image of God- made a moral unity between nations and within nations possible.
    ISIS claims to be both a state and a religion.
    That Christian goodness and respect for persons and consciences is not in Islam.
    People are mad at Donald Trump for wanting to limit immigration from Muslim states temporarily. They claim he is anti – Muslim and say that you can’t be against a religion. They don’t want to connect violent terror to the religion – but this religion is not just a religion.
    It has “state” as part of its identity.
    That didn’t work well for England either.
    The various theocracies of Islam around the Middle East do not have a possibility of the moral unity that was Christendom because Islam is a power based system that controls rather than loves.

  • Henry Tudor’s bastard daughter crusched Catholicism in England and led to its suppression in Ireland. The Black Legend began under her and is accepted as fact even today. The Spanish Inquistion was NOTHING compared to what England did to Catholics under Bad Queen Bess. I throw this in the face of every radtrad who holds out for a monarchy and sings the praises of the Hapsburgs.

    St. Margaret Clitherow was crusched to death by being tied to stakes in the ground with a heavy oak door dropped on her. The oak door then had heavy rocks dumped on it until the victim was dead. This is Protestantism. England exported its novelty to the New World, who thought nothing of asking Catholic France for help when ridding itself of England.

    Interesting point – in 1500, England asked the Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth for an alliance. The rulers of the Commonwealth, a bigger and more powerful nation than England at the time, laughed in the faces of the English. Had Queen Isabel tied her family to the ruling Polish family in addition to the Hapsburgs or instead of Portugal, the combined forces of Spain, the Hapsburgs and the Commonwealth could have obliterated 16th century England.

  • Sir Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher were ardent supporters of Katherine of Aragon, Henry’s only legitimate queen and wife. Katherine was beloved by the English people and was extremely well educated and devout. Before her marriage to Henry she was the first woman ambassador to England representing her native country. Queen Mary (Queen Elizabeth II’s grandmother) in the early 20th century had Katherine’s tomb enhanced in Peterborough Cathedral with “Katharine Queen of England” noticeably added.
    Mary 1 was hardly Bloody Mary, compared to her father Henry’s execution of 72,000 of his subjects, and those victims of her half siblings, Elizabeth I and Edward (under regents).
    Dame Augustina More, (1807) is St. Thomas More’s last direct descendant according to the Thomas More Society. She was O.S.A., Order of St. Augustine.

  • I must thank you for posting about this particular film so frequently and with such praise. I managed to catch it the other day (appropriately June 22nd on TCM) and though I missed the first half-hour, found the film fascinating. I will have to re-watch it someday. I don’t think that I would have been interested enough to give a chance if it hadn’t been for your recommendation. I can add little save my gratitude.

Fortnight For Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

Tuesday, June 21, AD 2016

fortnight for freedom 2016

tiberius

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

Sam Adams, August 1, 1776

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

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

The examples of this are legion.

It is the policy of the Church to aid the Obama administration in flouting the immigration laws of this country, acting as a virtual arm of the State in sheltering illegal aliens.

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

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

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

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

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

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Fortnight For Freedom: Yankee Doodle

Saturday, July 4, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

Something for a Fourth of July weekend:  Yankee Doodle.

 Originally sung by British officers to disparage American troops who fought beside them in the French and Indian War, it was seized upon by Patriots, given endless lyrics, and cheered the patriot troops and civilians during the eight long years of the Revolution.  After Lexington and Concord it was reported by Massachusetts newspapers that the British were suddenly not as fond of the song:

“Upon their return to Boston [pursued by the Minutemen], one [Briton] asked his brother officer how he liked the tune now, — ‘Dang them,’ returned he, ‘they made us dance it till we were tired’ — since which Yankee Doodle sounds less sweet to their ears.”

James Cagney did an immortal riff on Yankee Doodle in the musical biopic of composer and actor George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942):

Yankee Doodle plays in the background as Cagney at the end of the film, entirely impromptu, dances down the White House staircase:

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Fortnight For Freedom: Catholics in the American Revolution

Friday, July 3, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.

Pope Leo XIII

American Catholics, a very small percentage of the population of the 13 colonies, 1.6 percent, were overwhelmingly patriots and played a role in the American Revolution out of all proportion to the small fragment of the American people they represented.  Among the Catholics who assumed leadership roles in the fight for our liberty were:

General Stephen Moylan  a noted cavalry commander and the first Muster Master-General of the Continental Army.

Captains Joshua Barney and John Barry,  two of the most successful naval commanders in the American Revolution.

Colonel John Fitzgerald was a trusted aide and private secretary to General George Washington.

Father Pierre Gibault, Vicar General of Illinois, whose aid was instrumental in the conquest of the Northwest for America by George Rogers Clark.

Thomas Fitzsimons served as a Pennsylvania militia company commander during the Trenton campaign.  Later in the War he helped found the Pennsylvania state navy.  After the War he was one of the two Catholic signers of the U.S. Constitution in 1787

Colonel Thomas Moore led a Philadelphia regiment in the War.

Major John Doyle led a group of elite riflemen during the War.

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3 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Catholics in the American Revolution

  • Let us not forget the contribution made by the Spanish Navy. They attacked English shipping in the Caribbean and kicked the English out of the Mississippi Valley. The society ladies of Havana, Cuba (it is difficult to believe that Cuba was ever wealthy) assisted General Washington with their own funds.

    Was it not mentioned in this blog that Fray Serra, the evangelist of California, assisted the cause for independence with his own funds?

    The Church was already in existence in St. Augustine, St. Louis, New Orleans, parts of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California before independence though not subject to Great Britain. This is part of American history, but a matter for another time. I mention this because the Church has a history in this country that predates any other Christian church and we should all know this.

  • During the American Revolution in 1778 Serra prayed for the success of George Washington and sent off $137.00 to him collected in donations from his missions.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/05/04/popewatch-junipero-serra/

  • 2nd Canadian Regiment From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Active 1776–1783
    Allegiance Second Continental Congress of the United States
    Type Infantry
    Size 1,000 authorized
    Part of Continental Army
    Nickname Congress’ Own, Hazen’s
    Motto Pro aris et focis
    Colors Brown and Yellow stripes
    Engagements Battle of Staten Island
    Battle of Brandywine
    Battle of Germantown
    Siege of Yorktown

    Notable commanders Moses Hazen

    The 2nd Canadian Regiment, also known as Congress’ Own or Hazen’s Regiment, was authorized on January 20, 1776, as an Extra Continental regiment and raised in the province of Quebec for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Moses Hazen. All or part of the regiment saw action at Staten Island, Brandywine, Germantown and the Siege of Yorktown. Most of its non-combat time was spent in and around New York City as part of the forces monitoring the British forces occupying that city. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783 at West Point, New York.

    The regiment was one of a small number of Continental Army regiments that was the direct responsibility of the Continental Congress (most regiments were funded and supplied by a specific state). Commanded by Colonel (later Brigadier General) Moses Hazen for its entire existence, the regiment was originally made up of volunteers and refugees from Quebec (some of the officers but most of the enlisted men were Catholics whose families had settled in Canada when it was known as New France (my words)) who supported the rebel cause during the disastrous Invasion of Canada. Hazen and his staff were later authorized by Congress to recruit in other areas to supplement their ranks.

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

  • Pingback: MONDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  • 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.