Fortnight for Freedom: Magna Carta , the Church and Cardinal Stephen Langton

Wednesday, July 1, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

This year we celebrate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, the Great Charter that is the foundation of English liberties that we Americans are heirs to.

Documents like Magna Carta were commonplace in Western Europe during the Middle Ages, when the authority of kings was strictly restricted by nobles, commons and the Church.  However, what is unusual about Magna Carta is its vitality.  The English never forgot it, and whenever there was political upheaval in ages to come after 1215, the cry of Magna Carta was ever heard.

One of the significant features of Magna Carta is the first paragraph:

(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church’s elections – a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it – and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.

The one man most important in the struggle to bring Magna Carta about was Cardinal Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury.  King John opposed his appointment as Archbishop by Pope Innocent III in 1207, and the long struggle between King and Cardinal became the centerpiece of the struggle between John and his rebellious Barons, who looked for leadership from Langton, the most brilliant English cleric of his day, and who became the soul of the movement opposing the King.  The worst English King confronted the mightiest English Archbishop and the King blinked.

When the Barons forced John into signing Magna Carta, they gave pride of place to the freedom of the Catholic Church that had stood with them in their struggle against a tyrant King.  This was typical of the Middle Ages.  Fighting over Church-State issues helped develop a tradition in Europe that resistance to encroachment upon rights by the King was not sinful, but rather praise worthy.  The King himself was not above the Law, or oaths he had sworn to God, and the Church, in guarding her rights, often became associated with the rights of the nobles and commons, for Kings encroaching upon the rights of the Church, also were often encroaching upon the rights of their subjects.

So when we remember Magna Carta, let us recall the Cardinal who brought it about, and the freedom of the Catholic Church that was at the forefront of the fight for English liberties.

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Fortnight for Freedom: Bishop Sheen-Life of Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, June 30, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

In our current struggle in this country for freedom, it is good to recall champions of it.  Two names stand above all others:  George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

In that regard,  Bishop Sheen retold the life of Abraham Lincoln on his television show.  Originally broadcast in 1954, it is an interesting take on the Great Emancipator.  Completely fascinating.  A great tribute by a son of Illinois to the greatest son of Illinois.

As a native of Peoria, Sheen knew that Lincoln re-emerged into political life on October 16, 1854 when he gave a speech in Peoria that attacked the repeal of the Missouri Compromise by Stephen Douglas’ Kansas-Nebraska Act.  Go here to read that speech.  The rest of Lincoln’s political life was set by that speech that catapulted him into the challenge to Douglas for his Senate seat in 1858, and his Presidential campaign against Douglas in 1860.  For Lincoln personally, the Peoria speech was the most significant of his life.

Of course Bishop Sheen did not celebrate Lincoln simply because of his connection with Illinois and Peoria.  In addition to his winning the Civil War and freeing the slaves, Lincoln was also ever a friend to Catholics.

In the 1840s America was beset by a wave of anti-Catholic riots.  An especially violent one occurred in Philadelphia on May 6-8.  These riots laid the seeds for a powerful anti-Catholic movement which became embodied in the years to come in the aptly named Know-Nothing movement.  To many American politicians Catholic-bashing seemed the path to electoral success.

Lincoln made clear where he stood on this issue when he organized a public meeting in Springfield, Illinois on June 12, 1844.  At the meeting he proposed and had the following resolution adopted by the meeting:

“Resolved, That the guarantee of the rights of conscience, as found in our Constitution, is most sacred and inviolable, and one that belongs no less to the Catholic, than to the Protestant; and that all attempts to abridge or interfere with these rights, either of Catholic or Protestant, directly or indirectly, have our decided disapprobation, and shall ever have our most effective opposition. Resolved, That we reprobate and condemn each and every thing in the Philadelphia riots, and the causes which led to them, from whatever quarter they may have come, which are in conflict with the principles above expressed.”

Lincoln remained true to this belief.  At the height of the political success of the Know-Nothing movement 11 years later, Mr. Lincoln in a letter to his friend Joshua Speed wrote:

“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy [sic].”

On July 4, 1864, when Lincoln had much else to occupy his mind, he attended a fundraising for a  Catholic church for Washington blacks.  Lincoln had given permission for the fund raiser to be held on the lawn of the White House.

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4 Responses to Fortnight for Freedom: Bishop Sheen-Life of Abraham Lincoln

  • “Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid…”

    How prophetic can one be? Welcome to the same nation after much more degeneracy….

  • Catholics have bought into the lie that one’s “right to conscience” is a sign of freedom. This false teaching is designed by the Devil and got us to where we are today-legalizing sodomite “marriage”. The “Catholic” U.S. hierarchy used this tool of Satan in its “seamless garment” heresy, giving the green light for using contraceptives and having abortions.

  • True freedom exists only when the mind settles on the Truth of God, who is Jesus Christ, and the act conforms to His will.

  • I will steal that opportunity to post ANOTHER awesome Sheen video:
    https://youtu.be/d3H7cQ_BaRw?t=1m51s

Fortnight For Freedom: Abraham Lincoln on Supreme Court Decisions

Sunday, June 28, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

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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3 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Abraham Lincoln on Supreme Court Decisions

  • I was beyond angry when Obama brazenly attacked the SC at his SOTU speech. Now I which he had gone further.

  • Good post. The Dred Scott Justices, the Abortion Justices and the Sodomy Justices will all one day stand before that Supreme Justice from whom there is no escape.

  • This is some more comment re how Lincoln dealt with the S Ct. We appear to going down this road again.

    Honoring the Holy Innocents of America: The American Address

    Catholic Lane July 28,, 2015
    by Guy McClung, J.D., Ph.D.

    The 1857 SupremeCcourt Dred Scott decision said that Dred Scott, his wife, and their unborn child were not human beings, but were property to be bought and sold. Led by proslavery Chief Justice Roger Taney, the Court created a new national constitutional right to own slaves. Taney, a Democrat and a Roman Catholic, was born on a tobacco slave plantation, and was a former slave owner.

    Abraham Lincoln rejected the Dred Scott decision and rejected the Court’s ability to declare that certain human beings were subhuman. He denied that the Court could resolve and decide the meaning of the Constitution for the other coequal branches of the government or for all the people. Lincoln considered the Dred Scott decision lawless. He rejected the assumed supremacy of what he saw as a renegade Court, and therefore believed that the decision was non-binding on the executive and legislative branches. President Lincoln and the U.S. Congress, and many of the people, not only defied Taney and the Supreme Court, they refused to obey the decision.

    Their defiance led to the Civil War.

    In the summer of 1863, in the costliest of battles in terms of loss of life, over 50,000 soldiers from both sides died at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Now in America, the number of dead aborted children here exceeds by over a thousand times the number of dead at Gettysburg. Ironically, today the majority of the dead are minority children – over seventeen million of them are African-American – and many of these dead children are descendants of those for whom the Civil War was fought and won. In the Fall of 1863 President Lincoln went to dedicate a cemetery to the dead soldiers of Gettysburg. The words he spoke there have become known as The Gettysburg Address. Here is:

    The American Address

    A dozen score years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men, women and children are created equal; and founded on the principle that they are all endowed, not by any government, not by any Constitution, not by any law, but endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to life.
    Now we are engaged in a great civil conflict, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met at great battlefields of that conflict, in cities and towns across America, at the killing chambers of Planned Parenthood, and at numerous other death dealers whose business is abortion. We have come to dedicate a portion of these cities as the final resting places of thousands of innocent children who give their tiny lives; we are come to dedicate their unmarked graves, the dumpsters, the toilets, the biological waste incinerators, and the garbage cans that receive them. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow — the ground across America where they have died and where more will die. The children, who struggle, suffer, cry out with silent screams, and die have consecrated this land far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget that the children have been and will continue to be killed here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which the children who die here have thus far so nobly advanced, the work they have begun in their small way, dying with their tiny voices unheard. But we hear them.

    It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead and living unborn children we take increased devotion to that cause for which they give the last full measure of devotion; that we here solemnly vow that no more children’s lives are taken in this Land of Freedom, this Land Of Life . That we here highly resolve that all these children have not died in vain in this American Holocaust– that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, including all the people, even the smallest people now warm and happy within their mothers wombs, that this nation, these people, and these children shall not perish from the earth.

    – See more at: http://www.catholiclane.com/the-american-address/#sthash.zurZ83cD.dpuf

Fortnight For Freedom: Dixie

Saturday, June 27, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. [Applause.] I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. [Laughter and applause.] I now request the band to favor me with its performance.’”

Abraham Lincoln, requesting the playing of Dixie when a crowd came to the White House after Lee’s Surrender.

Something for the weekend.  Well, after the Confederate flag madness of this week, the only appropriate song is Dixie.  One of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite songs, it now may become an anthem of a new movement against the suffocating political correctness that is threatening the freedom of our land.  Bob Dylan’s rendition of Dixie prior to the world going crazy:

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Fortnight For Freedom: John Paul II on the Constitution

Thursday, June 25, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

 

 

Interesting reflections on the Constitution courtesy of remarks made by Pope John Paul II to President Reagan on September 10, 1987 during the Pope’s visit to the US:

 

Mr President,

1. I am grateful for the great courtesy that you  extend to me by coming personally to meet me in this city of Miami. Thank you  for this gesture of kindness and respect.

On my part I cordially greet you as the  elected Chief Executive of the United States of America. In addressing you I  express my own deep respect for the constitutional structure of this  democracy, which you are called to “preserve, protect and defend”. In  addressing you, Mr. President, I greet once again all the American people with their history, their achievements and their great possibilities of serving  humanity.

I willingly pay honour to the United  States for what she has accomplished for her own people, for all those whom she  has embraced in a cultural creativity and welcomed into an indivisible national  unity, according to her own motto: E pluribus unum. I thank America and all Americans – those of past generations and those of the present – for their  generosity to millions of their fellow human beings in need throughout the  world. Also today, I wish to extol the blessing and gifts that America has  received from God and cultivated, and which have become the true values of the  whole American experiment in the past two centuries.

2. For all of you this is a special hour in your  history: the celebration of the Bicentennial of your Constitution. It is a time  to recognize the meaning of that document and to reflect on important aspects of  the constitutionalism that produced it. It is a time to recall the original  American political faith with its appeal to the sovereignty of God. To celebrate  the origin of the United States is to stress those moral and spiritual  principles, those ethical concerns that influenced your Founding Fathers and  have been incorporated into the experience of America.

Eleven years ago, when your country was  celebrating another great document, the Declaration of Independence, my  predecessor Paul VI spoke to American Congressmen in Rome. His statement is  still pertinent today: “At every turn” he said, “your Bicentennial speaks to you  of moral principles, religious convictions, inalienable rights given by the  Creator”. And he added: “We earnestly hope that… this commemoration of your  Bicentennial will constitute a rededication to those sound moral principles  formulated by your Founding Fathers and enshrined forever in your history” (Pauli VI, Allocutio ad civiles Auctoritates Foederatarum Civitatum Americae  Septemtrionalis, die 26 apr. 1976: Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XIV [1976] 288ss.).

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: John Paul II on the Constitution

  • I miss having a Pope who knew how to write and communicate clearly.

  • Beautiful. A lot has changed over the past two years. From free enterprise is the root of all ecological evil and we must be controlled by a super state, to this beautiful expression of what was once our ideal:

    This is the freedom that America is called to live and guard and to transmit. She is called to exercise it in such a way that it will also benefit the cause of freedom in other nations and among other peoples.”

Fortnight For Freedom: Sister Mary Ephrem

Wednesday, June 24, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

The patroness of the United States is the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception.  On May 26, 1846, the Catholic Bishops of the United States at the Sixth Provincial Congress in Baltimore, passed this decree:

With enthusiastic acclaim and with unanimous approval and consent, the Fathers [of the Council] have chosen the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin, as the Patroness of the United States of America; without, however, adding the obligation of hearing Mass and abstaining from servile work on the feast of the Conception of Blessed Mary. And, therefore, they decided that the Supreme Pontiff be humbly asked to transfer the solemnity, unless the feast fall on a Sunday, to the nearest Sunday, on which both private and solemn Masses may be celebrated of the feast thus transferred, and the vesper office of the same feast may be recited.

Pope Pius IX confirmed the request of the Bishops that Mary as the Immaculate Conception be the patroness of the United States on February 7, 1847.

SisterMildredMaryephrem

Flash forward more than a hundred years to September 26, 1956 to Fostoria, Ohio.  On that date  Sister Mary Ephrem, born  Mildred Neuzil, a thirty year old contemplative nun of the Indwelling Trinity had her first vision of the Immaculate Conception.  The message of the Blessed Virgin was simple:

My child, I entrust you with this message that you must make known to my children in America. I wish it to be the country dedicated to my purity. The wonders I will work will be the wonders of the soul. They must have faith and believe firmly in my love for them. I desire that they be the children of my Pure Heart. I desire, through my children in America, to further the cause of faith and purity among peoples and nations. Let them come with confidence and simplicity, and I, their Mother, will teach them to become pure like to my Heart that their own hearts may be more pleasing to the Heart of my Son.

Mary called herself in the vision Our Lady of America.  Sister Neuzil’s Bishop, Paul F. Leibold, later Archbishop of Cincinnati, gave his imprimatur to two books relating the visions, the only eclessiastically approved visitation of Our Lady within the United States.

Sister Mary continued to experience her visions until her death in her convent in 2000 at age 83.  One poignant passage in her vision is this:

“Behold, O my children, the tears of your Mother! Shall I weep in vain? Assuage the sorrow of my Heart over the ingratitude of sinful men by the love and chasteness of your lives. Will you do this for me, beloved children, or will you allow your Mother to weep in vain? I come to you, O children of America, as a last resort. I plead with you to listen to my voice. Cleanse your souls in the Precious Blood of My Son. Live in His Heart, and take me in that I may teach you to live in great purity of heart which is so pleasing to God. Be my army of chaste soldiers, ready to fight to the death to preserve the purity of your souls. I am the Immaculate One, Patroness of your land. Be my faithful children as I have been your faithful Mother.”

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3 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Sister Mary Ephrem

  • Freedom without virtue is mere license, and the depravity contained therein will consume the one who pursues that path without fail.

  • There are two statues out there. The one Sister Neuzil, had gave it to Sister Joesph. Two men
    have stolen it and created a new statue. One made in 2007. If this goes into the National Shrine
    we will not receive the graces the Blessed Mother promised. The proof is in the Sister Neuzil’s Will.

    Sister Joesph also has a vial of Sister’s Neuzil’s blood that is incorruptible. Yet the bad guys are getting away with theft.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Pope Gregory XVI

Tuesday, June 23, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

Out of the Roman States, there is no country where I am Pope except the United States.

Pope Gregory XVI

Pope Gregory XVI was a complicated man.  In 1839 he issued a papal bull condemning both the slave trade and slavery.  He also opposed railroads in the Papal States, calling them chemins d’enfer, “roads to hell” a pun on the French for railroad, chemin de fer,  “iron road”.  He feared that they would lead to more commerce, a larger middle class, and the growth of liberal revolutionary movements that would topple papal secular government.  In the wake of the French Revolution of 1830, the Papal States had been convulsed with revolutionary republican movements initiating a guerrilla war, the papacy calling in Austrian troops to defeat them.

In Europe Republicanism tended to be anti-clerical, and Pope Gregory set his face like flint against these movements, behaving like a reactionary of the deepest hue, opposing the slightest political change, fearing that such changes would inevitably lead to persecution of the Church.  In Europe he was largely correct in his analysis, at least in the short term, but when he looked at the United States, he saw something different.

There a Republican government persecuted the Church not at all and allowed the Church to manage her affairs as the Pope saw fit.  As the quote at the beginning of this post indicates, this gave the Pope far more power than he had elsewhere except for the Papal States, including countries where Catholicism was the state religion with Catholic monarchs who never ceased to attempt to control the Church in their domains.  Perhaps to the surprise of the Pope, his bishops reported that the Church was growing swiftly in the United States, with a steady stream of  converts, the Church proving to be a strong competitor in the free market of religions that existed in the United States.

Pope Gregory took a keen interest in evangelizing the United States and established new bishoprics there.  He was no fan of new-fangled Republics, to say the least, but the United States was different:  a free land where the Church was also free.

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12 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Pope Gregory XVI

  • The French Revolution and freemasonry set in place the machinations seen through Western Europe over the past two hundred years. Both were anti-Catholic to the core. they infected formerly Catholic states. Portugal and Spain avoided the Reformation but could not avoid what was to come. In Italy a strong nationalist movement took place that was also anti-clerical. It was ultimately successful and Rome, which was under the temporal power of the Pope for more than a millenia, became the Italian capital and the Popes shuttered themselves inside the Vatican until the concordat with Mussolini in the 1920s.

    The Catholic Church has always had its enemies in the USA. Most of them were Protestants. The church survived that challenge, but today in the face of rampant secularism and a popular culture that is nothing if not disgusting, the Church has grown weak and accomodating, at least in its hierarchy.

  • . Excellent piece. Against railroads but I’m betting he would be for air conditioning advertising unlike you know who…LS sect.55. 260 people died this week in Karachi according to yesterday’s NY Times…from not having air conditioning as it reached 111 F.

  • And Bill there were power outages there too, and I suppose that was caused by the northern vs southern colonization and theft of resources drivel, etc. Blame free enterprise.

  • Awful for all the loved ones too. Lord, have mercy on each soul taken.

  • Cthemfly25, power outages are entirely avoidable:
    .
    http://www.nuscalepower.com/

  • Donald. You ARE a great American.
    Great post.

  • I’ll join in that Phillip.

  • Yes fellows; I often thank God for Mr. Don M.
    .
    May I float the idea that we all dedicate a particular day’s rosary to him and his good works?
    .
    Ah…July 15 maybe….feast of St. Donald.
    .
    http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=621
    .
    It’s a Wednesday. I’m in.

  • I am glad I am not the only one who has heard of Saint Donald! Thank you all for your very kind words my friends, they are deeply appreciated.

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  • At last I know.
    I am named after my maternal grandfather, Donald Vincent Piper, who was from Cornwall, but of Scottish descent, his ancestors having been forcibly moved from Scotland by the English during the 17th. century land clearances. His family, the Pipers, were the official pipers of the highlander McDonald clan – a fact that Pop Piper used to enthrall us with, and his stories of Flora McKenzie and so on, when I was a kid.

    How much more “Donald” do you need to be? 🙂

Fortnight For Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher v. Henry VIII

Monday, June 22, AD 2015

 Fortnight For Freedom 2015

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.  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 charism 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.”

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher v. Henry VIII

  • Henry Tudor was one of the most despotic, evil men to wield political power from the time of Caligula to the 20th century. In that time period, few men , one of them being Ivan the Terrible could rival him.

  • Henry VII, ably seconded by Cardinal Morton, had laid the foundations of the Tudor despotism. He was able to do so because the old nobility had effectively exterminated each other in the Wars of the Roses.
    Henry VIII could send More & Fisher to the scaffold; the Emperor Charles V could not send John of Saxony or the Margrave of Hesse to the scaffold. Similarly, in Scotland, the royal power, even when wielded by the redoubtable Mary of Guise as Regent, proved no match for Argyll (Chief of the Clan Campbell), Glencairn, Morton, Ruthven and the other Lords of the Congregation, backed as they were by the unswerving loyalty of their vassals or their clansmen. George Buchanan remarked that in England rent was paid with silver; in Scotland it was paid with steel.

  • Henry VIII was to blame for not producing a male heir. Catherine of Arragone was one of Henry VIII’s victims. In his rapaciousness, Henry VIII never permitted his seed to mature, a prerequisite for producing a male heir. Henry VIII died of syphilis contracted from a lack of celibacy.

  • a minor but noteworthy attention to fact- Donald, the text says in a line ” the stake and the boiling pot in which he had some of the luckless individuals who roused his fury boiled to death.” note the plural. boiling pots were provided for blanching the quartered body parts maintained near view by the victim at Tyburn etc.etc.

    Boiling to death was reserved for poisoners attempting their craft on peers of the Realm. history tells us a special law permitting boiling as a death sentence was passed by parliament in 1531 to kill Richard Roose was the only ‘tudorite’ [singular] to end his days in 1532 via that seemingly horrible punishment. The starvation of the Carthusians and Margaret Clement is a magnificent story of courage and compassion – https://www.tudorsociety.com/henry-viii-and-the-carthusian-monks/ to see being DRAWN, HUNG AND QUARTERED …..

    Love all your postings donald and the comments .et al. ….they always makes me think !!

  • Thank you for your kind words Paul. I believe that Margaret Davy was boiled to death in 1542.

  • you are correct and I am better for it! thanks Donald.

Fortnight For Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

Sunday, June 21, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

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

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 released this week 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 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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14 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

  • Don,

    I am aware of books that talk about Christian Churches cooperation with the Nazi’s. I am not aware of any about Christian’s cooperation with Communism. Do you know of any? Good to plan for the future.

  • You always had a few useful idiots among the clergy who viewed Communism through rose colored glasses. More of a problem were the agents and informants among the clergy. This is still a problem with the Russian Orthodox in Russia. Martyrdom in job lots of course tended to be the fate of most clergy in the early years of most Communist regimes.

  • Thank you for advancing this noble cause, fortnight for freedom. In June of 2012 my colleague and jumped in when Stand of for Religious Freedom organized public square protests. In Traverse City 300 souls listened to eight guest speaker’s including former Bishop of Gaylord, Bishop Hebda. The fight was was instigated by Obama’s HHS mandate, and good God fearing people will NOT sit down and “tolerate” abuses of government. God’s Law comes first.

    Please spare extra time in prayer for our Religious Freedoms during this fortnight.

  • ( colleague and I…). & only one was…phone typo’s…excuse me please.

  • That is not a bed, that is a rack. The HHS Mandate was never voted on by Congress. The HHS Mandate was added after Obamacare was passed by Congress. The voice of the people was silenced by subterfuge and swindle. All tax money being ” redistributed” or being used for charity belongs to the tax payers even while being administered by the administration. Asking for, petitioning for and actually demanding Justice is the business of every person. Man may lose his sovereignty but man can never lose his personhood. St. Agatha was put in a brothel for two years and came out a virgin. Obama is not ignorant of these things. Obama chooses to ignore the very freedoms of the people.
    These funds are our money, our blood, sweat and tears. Contraception is only another form of fornication, masturbation and self-abuse. Abortion is human sacrifice, the chief form of worship of Satan being imposed by the state and Hillary Clinton who wants freedom to worship but gives no one a choice for God and country or the devil and be damned.. Sodomy is not sexual intercourse. Marriage is the consummation of the marital act in sexual intercourse. Sodomy is about as much the copulation of two homosexuals as the anus is to giving birth. Gay so-called marriage is perjury in a court of law. Innate human rights to self-preservation and civil rights to self-defense are precedence which give rise to the cry for FREEDOM, EVERY DAY , ALL DAY, FOREVER.

  • Mary De Voe.

    The anus has given birth…He is the acting..ACTing president of these United States. Not nice? No. I am accurate however.

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  • Mary De Voe.

    God bless you.

  • The Church now acts and preaches a new gospel: Render to Obama the things that are Obama’s and render to Obama the things that are God’s. Remember Peter’s and John’s response to the Church leaders when the leaders told them “not to speak or to teach at all in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4:18. “But Peter and John answered and said to them ‘whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, decide for yourselves. For we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard'”Acts 4:19,20. Donald, Philip, Mary and everyone-speak, speak loud, and I will pray that utterance continually be granted to you all to fearlessly make known the truth and that you may dare to speak as you ought (Eph 6:18-20). For how long are you to speak? check out my Clerical Heretics article at Catholic Lane and read about Alphonse Daudet’s little she-goat that fights the wolf til dawn. Thank you Don and all you commenters-St Dismas, the protoevangelist from his own cross next to Jesus is our patron. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Guy McClung: Thank you for your prayers.

  • I’d like to hear sermons on the sinfulness of contraception too, just speaking of religious freedom is not enough, it ignores the root cause of the problem which is a lack of teaching on the subject and this lack is too is bending a knee.

  • Guy McClung.

    Amen! This is our time Guy. We will not be this way again. Life on earth is short and to remain silent in this struggle is to side with evil. My opinion may not bode well with many but our homeland, the Church Triumphant, continually sends the graces needed to confront and engage the enemy.
    We must fight.
    We are here in this time for this conflict.
    Do all you can to assist souls to the truth.
    God will do the rest. He chose us….we didn’t choose him. We’ve come to love him because he first loved us.

    Thanks Guy for your prayers and faith.

  • Well written. In response to the question about communist fellow travelers in this country, Dorothy Day stands out. The recent revival of her book “House of Hospitality” reflects an effort to promote her cause for beatification and well but not totally, conceals her support for the communist cause. In the US, the church (small c advisedly) latched on to the democrat part early in the 20th centrury because they thought it supported th encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII on working people. Unfortunately, when the democrats left the fold of sanity in 1972 and became the McGovern party of Acid, Amnesty and abortion, the church did not withdraw its support and became a non-opposition ally in order to promote various coercive social programs to the detriment of its religious mission. It has now culminated in an encyclical on the environment based on very poor science, which will most certainly cause another split in the Church. Those who do not learn from history etc.

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

Saturday, June 20, AD 2015

2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom 2015

  • … theme of how easier it would be for the Church to defend her freedom, if some leaders of the Church were not always attempting to be getting into bed with Caesar …
    .
    Teaching the way to go along to get along, therefore minimizing the nasty boys’ mudslinging and, so, getting a seat at some table. Temporal trumps eternal. Vilify those defenders of Sacred Tradition and Scripture . Advance theological twists by means of subsidiarity with eyes like fish out of water.

  • Freedom to bear witness. The rational soul of the human being gives witness by its very existence. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Suarez.
    Human witness is evidence and testimony in a court of law. A sovereign person’s existence is evidence and witness in a court of law above any artificially legislated law since the sovereign personhood of the citizen constitutes the government, a government which now is trying to upend and impose itself over and above the innocent person as his owner. The state owns the unite of work in the Communist state, known as a man and a human being. Criminalizing innocent acts and convicting persons for innocent acts is the modus operandi of communism. Putting doctors in federal prison for treating patients without Hillary Clinton’s permission, practicing one’s civil right to freedom of religion in not adhering to the states definition of discrimination, criminalizing banking law to make innocent depositors guilty of federal crimes are three examples of criminalizing ordinary behavior and then prosecuting such behavior as the state demands. In the not to far away future, the human being is going to be criminalized for being a human being. Make sure Climate Changegate is repulsed.

Fortnight for Freedom: July 4, 1864

Friday, July 4, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

martin_de_porres_chapel2

 

On July 4, 1864 Abraham Lincoln had much to pre-occupy his mind.  Grant’s drive on Richmond had bogged down into a stalemated siege to the south of Richmond around the city of Petersburg.  Grant, due to the appalling Union casualties of the campaign, was routinely denounced as a butcher in Northern newspapers, a charge echoed privately by Mary Todd Lincoln.   On June 27 Sherman had been bloodily repulsed at Kennesaw Mountain, and his campaign against Atlanta appeared to be very much in doubt.  Lincoln suspected that he would not be re-elected and that the Union might very well lose the war.  So what did he do on July 4?  He, along with Mrs. Lincoln and most of his cabinet, attended a fundraiser held on the White House lawn to build a Catholic church!

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One Response to Fortnight for Freedom: July 4, 1864

Fortnight For Freedom: Stamped With the Divine Image

Wednesday, July 2, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 Great principles don’t get lost once they come to light. They’re right here; you just have to see them again!

Senator Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

In our struggles for liberty today, we are part of a long and proud American tradition, something that Abraham Lincoln reminded the country of almost 156 years ago:

 

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

On September 30, 1859 Lincoln made another speech which I think is very apropos to our time:

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Fortnight For Freedom: Hobby Lobby

Tuesday, July 1, AD 2014

 

 

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, go here to read the decision, rested upon the Court’s interpretation of this section of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993:

a) In general

Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Exception

Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—
(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
(c) Judicial relief

A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.
Ironically this Act was sparked by a Supreme Court decision Employment Division v. Smith, where the Supreme Court upheld a decision of the State of Oregon to deny unemployment benefits to two Indians fired from their jobs at a rehab center due to testing positive for Mescaline.  The Indians claimed that they tested positive for Mescaline due to using peyote in a religious ceremony.  To redress this decision and other infringements on religious liberty, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 passed unanimously in the House and with only three dissenting votes in the Senate.
The main issue to be decided by the Court was whether the Act applied to corporations.  The Court ruled that it did to closely held corporations, that is to corporations whose stock is not publicly traded.  The Court declined to rule on whether mandating that employers pay for contraception is a compelling government interest, but found that the contraceptive mandate failed on the prong of the Act requiring that the government action be the least burdensome way, in regard to infringement on religious liberty, for it to accomplish its goal.  The Court mused that the government could have simply decided to pay directly for the contraception coverage, but held that the rule promulgated by HHS that allows religious non-profits to opt out of coverage by certifying that the coverage violates its religious principles, indicated that a less burdensome option could have been crafted for for-profit closely held corporations with religious scruples.  Thus the contraceptive mandate was held to be in violation of the law as applied to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties.
Although painted by the media as a case involving contraception, the case actually was an abortion case, as the objection was to contraceptives that acted as abortifacients.
The decision was 5-4 which is absolutely stunning, and demonstrates how religious liberties are hanging by a thread in this country.  For many on the left, the only religious liberty Americans should enjoy is freedom of worship, for now.  Outside of the walls of a place of worship religion is to be rendered a nullity.  The contraceptive mandate was devised by the Obama administration as a means to gin up his female vote in 2012 by offering “free” contraceptive coverage, religious liberties be hanged.  It is a melancholy fact that but for one vote this mandate would now be held to impose no limitation whatsoever on religious freedom.

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Hobby Lobby

  • “For many on the left, the only religious liberty Americans should enjoy is freedom of worship, for now.”
    .
    Those sovereign persons brought into being by “our Creator” worship God by being human beings. Human existence is the criterion for the ordering of human rights. from Fransico Suarez. The Court cannot deny to any human being in exsitence his freedom to worship God.
    .
    Abortion denies to the human being, body and soul, his freedom to worship God. Atheism and abortion deny the human, rational, immortal soul, and as such, abortion is the imposition of atheism by the government, violating the First Amendment’s establishment clause. For disregarding and ignoring the human soul, using taxpayer’s money, atheism and abortion are taxation without representation. The atheist must be tolerated. Atheism is unconstitutional.

  • Hobby Lobby ought to be reimbursed by taxpayer’s funds for court costs and legal fees in the same manner that the atheist is reimbursed for his legal battle waged improperly for his alleged civil right to strip the freedom of religion from every common usage, imposing nothingness, and foolishness on our culture and law.

  • Mary De Voe.
    Reimbursement! Amen to that. How Planned murderhood can receive tax dollars is sickening and immoral. Let’s keep at the Rosaries for our Nations return to God going, and look upon this victory with Hobby Lobby as a sign of hope.

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Fortnight For Freedom: A Just War

Monday, June 30, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

As we approach the Fourth of July we celebrate American independence and the liberties we enjoy.  Independence was won on the battlefield.  Was the American Revolution a just war is therefore a question that should be asked and answered.

Based on the just war doctrine first enunciated by Saint Augustine, I believe the American Revolution was a just war.

 

Over the centuries the precise content of the just war doctrine has varied.  The classic definition of it by Saint Thomas Aquinas is set forth in Part II, Question 40 of his Summa Theologica:

“I answer that, In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Rm. 13:4): “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Ps. 81:4): “Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner”; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (Questions. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): “A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly.”

Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [*The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine’s works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): “True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.” For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): “The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war.”

The most recent formulation of the Just War doctrine for the Church is set forth in the Catechism at 2309:

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

Sunday, June 29, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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Fortnight For Freedom: Revolution, Independence and Schoolhouse Rock

Saturday, June 28, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 

Something for the weekend.  I loved these schoolhouse rock videos when they were first broadcast back in the Seventies right before the bicentennial.  Among a fair number of kids I knew they sparked an interest in history.  Of the videos, I believe No More Kings has the catchiest tune.  For a cartoon, The Shot Heard Round the World does a fairly good job of conveying information about the Revolution in a very short span of time:  it manages to include the opening battles of the war, Washington as the central figure of the war, the role of the militia, the endurance of the Continentals, the battle of Trenton, Valley Forge, the frequent defeats of the Americans, the importance of diplomacy and foreign intervention, and the decisive victory at Yorktown.  Fireworks is a nice opening view of the Declaration for kids.  If readers have kids, or if, like me, part of them has never really grown up, watching these cartoons can be a good way to get into the Fourth of July spirit!

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One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Revolution, Independence and Schoolhouse Rock

  • “Shot heard round the world” is still my favorite– main reason I got the DVD of School House Rock. (Which now lives with the Daffy Duck Mathamagic Land DVD in my computer bag, for somewhat educational child distraction.)

Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

Friday, June 27, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

 

America has been blessed by God in many ways but I suspect no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington

This stand against anti-Catholicism was not unusual for Washington.  Throughout his life Washington had Catholic friends, including John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the US.  He would sometimes attend Mass, as he did during the Constitutional Convention when he led a delegation of the Convention to attend Mass in Philadelphia as he had attended Protestant churches in that town during the Covention.  This sent a powerful signal that under the Constitution Catholics would be just as good Americans as Protestant Americans.

Washington underlined this point in response to a letter from prominent Catholics, including Charles and John Carroll, congratulating him on being elected President:

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

  • Americans are indeed blessed by God with George Washington. Every citizen ought to emulate Washington’s wisdom, courage and love for God, country and his fellow man.
    .
    Common sense is necessary for the common good and the general welfare and to fulfill the mandates of the Preamble, the purpose, the unchangeable purpose, of the Constitution. Washington called anti-Catholicism “a void of common sense”.”a void of common sense” is called “a no people, a foolish nation” in the Bible.”a void of common sense” is filled with criminality.
    .
    A recent guest on EWTN’s Father Mich Pacwa Show said that only 6% of people entering into college this fall know the Ten Commandments, a very great “void of common sense”.
    .
    It must be noted as well, that Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer who supported freedom and independence for the colonies wrote “Common Sense” to encourage the people to realize their unalienable civil rights. To realize one’s unalienable human rights, one must acknoweldge all men’s unalienable human rights.
    .
    Obama denies his conscience and imposes his “void of common sense” on all citizens.

  • “Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer”

    Having been granted honorary French citizenship, along with other foreign friendsof liberty by the Legislative Assembly’s decree of 26 August 1792, later that year, he was elected to the National Convention as deputy for Pas-de-Calais. His contributions to the assembly’s debates were limited, for he did not speak French. He sat with the Girondins and Robespierre, in a rare flash of wit, remarked that he looked forward to hearing Paine’s speech from the scaffold.

  • Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor. His enthusiasm for Revolutionary France was only one illustration that the author of Common Sense possessed little enough of that attribute himself.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor”

    It is said that, the night before he was ordered for execution, a gaoler, who had dined well rather than wisely, put the usual chalk-mark on the inside of his door, open because he had official visitors, instead of the inside.

    His enthusiasm for the French Revolution he shared with Jefferson, who said of the September Massacres in Paris in the summer of 1792 “Many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with them some innocent. These I deplore as much as anybody. But—it was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree—was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood?”

    Lord Acton was shocked by this “disinterested enthusiasm for murder”

  • One of many reasons why my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.

  • ” … my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.” Ditto, Donald — and mine for Paine as well. I tend to explain both of them when they are at their genuine best as examples of the adage that “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”