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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Now, IANS will bow out

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

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

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

    Pope Leo took a more nuanced approach:

    “But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    In any event – Mirari vos

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

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

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

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

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

  • Dear Mr. McClarey.

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

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

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

    You obviously did not read the post.

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

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

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

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

  • Ah, Americanism, the phantom heresy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mr. McClarey,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    and read the facts for his own self.

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

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

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

    These links are worth reading.

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

    Pax tecum, Mr.McCLeary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Dixie

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.

  • Pingback: FRIDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

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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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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