ObamaCare and Abortion

Wednesday, July 11, AD 2012

Below is an analysis of ObamaCare and abortion that I have written for the summer newsletter of the crisis pregnancy center of which I am Chairman of the Board.  Regular readers will detect a more restrained and “just the facts” presentation than I normally use in my blog posts.  I thought that the change of pace style might be of interest to our faithful readers so I did not modify the analysis for this post.  (Fear not, I will not inflict on the readers of this blog any of my professional scribblings in the law mines, which would be of utility only for readers suffering the pangs of insomnia!)

 

Now that the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote, courtesy of Chief Justice Roberts switching his vote, has upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, universally better known as ObamaCare, pro-lifers should understand what ObamaCare means in regard to abortion.

 

1.  Abortion surcharge-The Act provides that if an individual is enrolled in an insurance policy that covers elective abortions, each participant in that insurance plan must pay a separate surcharge for the elective abortion coverage.  There is no opt out provision for individuals.  So if a pro-lifer works for a business that provides such an insurance policy, the pro-life employee would have no choice but to pay the abortion surcharge.  The Act forbids insurance companies from advertising that an abortion surcharge is required under the Plan.

2.  Federal Subsidies to Insurance Plans That Provide Abortion  The Act provides for federal subsidies to health insurance plans, including plans that provide coverage for elective abortions,  set up health insurance exchanges created by the states.  The policies provided under the health insurance exchanges may include elective abortion coverage unless a state bans such coverage.  Thus far the following states have banned such coverage:   Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,  Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.

3.  ObamaCare and Abortifacients The HHS mandate  requiring “free” coverage for all contraceptive devices, see number 5 below, in virtually all health insurance plans, includes those devices and drugs thought to act as abortifacients.

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13 Responses to ObamaCare and Abortion

  • Hello, sir.

    Some points on which I might ask for some clarity, what with my yet-early-morning, pre-coffee fog in full swing:

    “The Act provides that if an individual is enrolled in an insurance policy that covers elective abortions, each participant in that insurance plan must pay a separate surcharge for the elective abortion coverage.”

    Since my wife is fully menopausal, there is a small handful of reasons that we will never be pregnant again. So, therefore, since we will never (and would not ever have anyway) seek an abortion, is this surcharge something I will ever have to pay? It is bad enough that my employer will offer that option, but is there need for me to fret?

    I don’t quite understand this sentence: “The Act provides for federal subsidies to health insurance plans, including plans that provide coverage for elective abortions, set up health insurance exchanges created by the states.”

    “The HHS mandate requiring “free” coverage for all contraceptive devices, see number 6 below . . .” There is no number 6 below.

    Thanks!

  • “something I will ever have to pay?”

    Yep, as the rules currently stand. There is no individual opt out for a policy that covers elective abortion.

    “There is no number 6 below.”

    Ah, the perils of early morning editing! Corrected, and thanks for pointing that out.

  • And to imagine Obama was a perfect candidate to be aborted since his young mother had been cheated by the philandering Obama Senior that he was single, only to land in this my beloved country, Kenya to find there were THREE wives ahead of her…..now if you, Americans re-elect this Infant Butcher what will be the future of your Country’s Population Demography? Oh, God, hear our prayers. Do not permit this High Priest of Satan to be re-elected.

  • Amen, Mary@42.

    Liberals, please stop reading now. You will not understand any of it.

    Read: http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/10/the-ballot-box-is-not-the-only-way-to-stop-obamacare/#ixzz20JjrvzBf

    States may “nullify” Obamacare.

    By a 7-2 vote, SCOTUS decided that the gangsters in DC can’t punish states that refuse to increase Medicaid costs.

    The scheme assumed most uninsured would get health from state Medicaid. Sweet! The states would pay most of the bills.

    But, a few states are (GASP!) balancing their budgets. States can’t print money like Obama/Bernanke/Geithner. It makes no sense for states to expand Medicaid costs.

    By choosing to not expand Medicaid costs, they place an obstacle to implementing Obamacare. The population originally planned for placement into Medicaid will have to get coverage from Obamacare exchanges. This is the second part of the nullification option.

    According to Obamacare, the federal government sets up health insurance exchanges in states that choose not to create state exchanges. It is through these exchanges that people will obtain their government-approved health insurance. The state would get nothing for creating an exchange, but must implement all federal directives in operating and implementing the exchange: states would have no autonomy. All it does is make the state act as proxy for the federal government in operating its exchange.

    The wording in the so-called Affordable Care Act states the federal government will create the exchanges. But, residents of those states will not receive federal subsidies to help them purchase expensive, government-designed, government-mandated health insurance. Without those subsidies, few people would want to purchase these expensive policies.

    It even gets better. If the federal government creates the exchanges, small businesses are exempt from the onerous employer mandates. This rescues small businesses from the huge financial burden Obamacare places upon them. It will enable them to expand and add jobs without fear of financial insolvency from health insurance mandates.

    The imbeciles passed the bill. Five morons found it mostly “constitutional.” Now, we know what’s in the bill.

  • Mary@42 “Infant Butcher” says it best.

  • In other words, Obama can fund Planned Parenthood even if there are no abortions, or fund Planned Parenthood to whatever they want. Speaking of Medicare fraud, Obamacare just legalized it.

  • The scariest part is #5. Who is to say what outrageous scheme is waiting for the day after Election Day in November?

  • We can not let this man be re elected. Everything he stands for is EVIL. I pray to GOD that this health care bill will be put to death and never raise it’s head again.

  • The abortion surcharge just seems to be making explicit a participation that was always there. Is there any real offene to conscience — any real forced payment for abortion?

    Also, does any one know what the motivation was behind stipulating the abortion surcharge?

  • TAXING THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
    Every person baptized is baptized into the Body of Christ as priest, prophet and king, servant of God, servant of the people of God and sovereign. Every person with a baptismal certificate can prove that as a member of the priesthood of the laity, his vocation is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making of him a preacher of the Gospel, as well as recognizing his sovereignty as a child of God. Obama cannot restrict vocations or tax the kingdom of God.
    I was stunned when I learned that priests had to pay taxes. Nuns and priests were given professional courtesy in my day. Doctors, dentists and the state revered the calling to holiness. As late as 1984, individuals were purchasing “preacher” and “minister” certificates for fifteen dollars online or by mail that would exempt them from all taxation. Some of these were actually decent, honest men who did preach, in the work place and or everywhere. If you are called by God to be priest, prophet and king, in the priesthood of the laity, you are called to your vocation and have the Baptismal certificate to prove it or can get a baptismal certificate to prove it. As a child of God, in the priesthood of the laity, Obama can send his HHS mandate to God our Father, in heaven for payment of tax or penalty or surcharge.
    The Muslims are a sovereign nation within a nation, as are the Native American Indians. The Amish have no structured hierarchy. The Mormons have some hierarchy but none that underpins all the souls in their care. Pastoral care of soulS is not part and parcel of their duties.
    The pastoral care of all souls in purgatory and on earth falls into the heart and realm of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Pope Benedict XVI has the enlisted help of all souls in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary and God. Obama cannot send the tax, penalty or surcharge of the HHS mandate to Pope Benedict XVI because like the Muslim nation, the Vatican City is sovereign unto itself.
    If the baptized children become the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church, the baptized may claim the sovereignty and immunity of the Catholic Church for protection from an unjust law and or taxation. Obama can send the HHS mandate tax, penalty and surcharge to our Father in heaven, and HOPE and pray that he does not incur the wrath of God.

  • God Bless you, Mary De Voe for your Comment. Obama must be resisted, consistently and without relenting. I continue to plead with you, Americans, do not re-elect this Satanic Man.

Real Freedom Isn’t Something Caesar Can Give or Take Away

Friday, July 6, AD 2012

 

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops had a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

At the closing mass for the Fortnight of Freedom on July 4, 2012 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered this homily on freedom:

 

 

Philadelphia is the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the  United States Constitution were written. For more than two centuries, these  documents have inspired people around the globe. So as we begin our reflection  on today’s readings, I have the privilege of greeting everyone here today — and  every person watching or listening from a distance — in the name of the Church  of my home, the Church of Philadelphia, the cradle of our country’s liberty and  the city of our nation’s founding. May God bless and guide all of us as we  settle our hearts on the word of God.

Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once  described the Christian as “a man who knows what he is doing and where he is  going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil,  yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids. … He alone has  liberty in a world of slaves.”

Like most of the great writers of his time, Claudel was a mix of gold and  clay, flaws and genius. He had a deep and brilliant Catholic faith, and when he  wrote that a man “who no longer believes in God, no longer believes in  anything,” he was simply reporting what he saw all around him. He spoke from a  lifetime that witnessed two world wars and the rise of atheist ideologies that  murdered tens of millions of innocent people using the vocabulary of science. He  knew exactly where forgetting God can lead.

We Americans live in a different country, on a different continent, in a  different century. And yet, in speaking of liberty, Claudel leads us to the  reason we come together in worship this afternoon.

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3 Responses to Real Freedom Isn’t Something Caesar Can Give or Take Away

  • In Henry VIII’s England, persons were persecuted and put to death in body for their adherence to the Catholic Church. In present day America, principles are being eradicated to dumb the souls and minds of the people. Purposely, the principles of freedom and truth are being obliterated. Instead of killing people’s bodies, here in America, people’s principles are being killed. Our Constitution is the only one outside of the Vatican City State that guarantees freedom.

  • The Supreme Court for the United States of America and its Justices are the dispensers of Divine Justice, according to the Freedom ENDOWED BY OUR “Creator”. Freedom created and endowed by God belongs to each and every person. Atheists and secular humanists repudiating TRUTH and all of TRUTH’S facets repudiate endowed FREEDOM and impose their non-beliefs, which are rejected by believers, to hide their errors.
    No God-given freedom intents to offend. If offense is taken, those offended are mistaken. Every word spoken or thought about God is intended for the good of every person ever created. For the atheist to say that she is offended by the gift of being remembered before God is untenable. The atheist enjoys the Freedom endowed by God but refuses to acknowledge God as the Creator and giver of the gift of Freedom. If the atheist truly embraced atheism, he would remain silent for the freedom of speech is from God.
    In the 1990 Smith case the Supreme Court said that it “tolerates” God’s gift of freedom, Religious Liberty. Justice requires the Supreme Court to acknowledge the gift of freedom created and endowed by our Creator. What the Supreme Court said in 1990 Smith was that the Supreme Court “tolerates” persons with religious Liberty. I guess that that is a good thing if the people can “tolerate” the Supreme Court’s unequal Justice for all.

  • What is there in the HHS mandate to protect the sovereignty of the Vatican City State, the sovereignty of the Vatican’s Catholic Churches and the sovereignty of the parishioners of the Vatican’s Catholic Churches?
    The redefinition of Freedom of Religion to freedom of worship does not redefine sovereignty. Sovereign immunity, like diplomatic immunity, exempts persons from obeying an injunction or participating in a mandate that violates their sovereignty. The sovereignty of the person extends to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution that cannot force a person to testify against himself. If a sovereign person cannot incriminate himself, how can he be penalized by the HHS mandate for preserving his sovereignty?
    Obama has vowed to seize all private property in Executive Order 13575 Rural Councils and attached the 32 Czars in his cabinet to enforce this order. Order 11004 gives Obama the power to relocate people. EXECUTIVE ORDER 11310 grants authority to the Department of Justice to enforce the plans set out in Executive Orders. Obama does not get to redefine the authority of the Department of Justice.

Fortnight For Freedom Fourth of July: Catholicism and the Declaration of Independence

Wednesday, July 4, AD 2012

 

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the final of these blog posts and is written by commenter Greg Mockeridge.

 

 

John Adams foresaw the all pomp with which we celebrate the 4th of July, but the date he gave for that was not the 4th but the 2nd. The reason he gave the 2nd was that independence was voted on and decided by the Continental Congress on the 2nd. What took place on the 4th was that final draft of the Declaration of Independence, after about a hundred revisions to Thomas Jefferson’s original draft, was approved.

 

It is actually more fitting that we celebrate independence on 4th as opposed to the 2nd because it isn’t merely independence we celebrate, but the ideas, principles, and truths this country was founded on. Fidelity to these very ideas really enable Americans to be Patriots as opposed to merely Nationalists. Just as one cannot be a good Catholic without a concerted effort to know and understand what it is he gives his assent of faith to, one cannot be a true American Patriot unless he likewise makes an effort to understand our heritage as Americans. No other U.S. founding document expresses these truths better than the Declaration of Independence. If more Americans became better acquainted with the Declaration, there would not be so much confusion regarding the Constitution.

 

Our Catholic faith not only does not relieve us of this patriotic duty, it actually reinforces it. An 1884 statement of the American bishops said it this way:

 

 

Teach your children to take a special interest in the history of our country. We consider the and laws as a work of special Providence, its framers “building wiser than they knew,” the Almighty’s hand guiding them….As we establishment of our country’s independence, the shaping of its liberties desire therefore that the history of the United States should be carefully taught in all our Catholic schools, and have directed that it should be specially dwelt upon in the education of the young ecclesiastical students in our preparatory seminaries; so also we desire that it form a favorite part of the home library and home reading.

A document from the Second Vatican Council “Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World” better known by its Latin title Gaudium et Spes says: “Citizens should cultivate a generous and loyal spirit of patriotism… “(#75)

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Fourth of July: Catholicism and the Declaration of Independence

  • “But they knew, as the testimony of human experience down through the ages gives witness to, that peace cannot be had at the price of acquiescence to tyranny.”

    Something the bishops are discovering today, but I doubt they even realize why. The “modern” bishops “acquiesced” to the Democrat Party – over abortion. The bishops of “old” taught it was a sin against the 5th commandment to deny a person their human rights, and “particularly so in joining an organization that promoted it.” That can be found stated in the 1958 version of Life In Christ – Instructions In The Catholic Faith – 15 years before Roe v Wade.

    The Democrat Party is an “organization” and they have as part of their stated platform, support for and promotion of Row v Wade, which denies a person their “right to life.” The Democrat Party is also the main reason, if not the sole reason, abortion on demand remains the law of the land. In the 1995 updated of Life In Christ, the bishops minced the Church teaching that denying a person their “human rights” is a sin against the 5th commandment by narrowing their focus to strictly “prejudice,” and illustrating that by using examples of only the “Nazi Party and the KKK.” No mention of the Democrat Party and their denial of human rights.

    The Democrat Party of the United States is responsible for the deaths of more innocent human beings than the Nazi Party of Germany, the KKK of the south, and for that matter the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, combined. And the bishops give the Democrat Party a pass about joining such an “organization” being a sin. Why?

  • It looks like at least part of this article was lifted from a chain email that contained some false information: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/pricepaid.asp.

  • “It looks like at least part of this article was lifted from a chain email that contained some false information: http://www.snopes.com/history/american/pricepaid.asp.”

    Actually, I got that part from a speech Rush Limbaugh’s father (Rush H. Limaugh Jr. Rush is actually Rush H. LImbaugh III) used to give in Limbaugh’s hometown Cape, Girardieu. MO. Rush printed the transcript in his letter years ago.

    “Something the bishops are discovering today, but I doubt they even realize why. The “modern” bishops “acquiesced” to the Democrat Party – over abortion.”

    The curve is till a bit too steep for most of our bishops at this point. I would go so far as to say that until they realize and are willing to own up for just what they have done to bring this about, all this “Fortnight for Freedom” business, as needed as it is, will amount to nothing more than a dog and pony show. When it comes to issues outside their competence where Catholic teaching allows a diversity of viewpoints like capital punishment, illegal immigration, they need to start acting like pastors and not like left-wing ideologues. Untill they do, their credibility to defend religious liberty will be zero minus ten.

    However, there is at least some hope. I was watching some of the USCCB General Assembly on EWTN a few weeks ago and after one of Bp Blaire’s presentations Bp Papracki of Springfield, ILL commented that “We [meaning the bishops] do not yet have the humlity to speak on matters outside our competence.” Understatement of the year that was cause for good cheer.

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Fortnight for Freedom Day Thirteen: Love of Liberty

Tuesday, July 3, AD 2012

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the twelfth of these blog posts.

The fight over the HHS Mandate essentially boils down to a fight to uphold religious liberty.  Such struggles for liberty in our nation’s history are very important because they go to the very core of our nation.  Abraham Lincoln understood this, and in a speech he gave in Edwardsville, Illinois on September 11, 1858, got to the heart of the matter:

 

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

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One Response to Fortnight for Freedom Day Thirteen: Love of Liberty

  • When the PERSON of God was banned from the public square by the Supreme Court, the atheist said: “Take your religion and yourself from the public square and pray in the privacy of your home”, codifying the words of Jesus: “Go into the privacy of your room, close the door and pray to our Father in heaven.” That “private room” that Jesus exhorts us to enter to pray, that “private room” that the state orders us to enter into to pray is our CONSCIENCE. That “private room”, that conscience, that God has created in man to know, to love, and to serve HIM is being violated, is being intruded upon by the HHS mandate. That “private room”, that conscience, that God has created in man to constitute the state for His greater glory is being violently besieged by the HHS mandate and other atheists around the world. Desecration of the soul of man and his conscience; deconstruction of our founding principles and introduction of atheism is establishment of religion by government; the boot on the neck of man’s rational, immortal soul and his sacred conscience by the state.
    First the state says: “Go into your room to pray.” Then, the state takes the privacy, the freedom of our room from us. The progressives’ move to annihilate FREEDOM. VIVA CRISTO REY

Fortnight For Freedom Day Twelve: We Have No King But Jesus

Monday, July 2, AD 2012

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the twelfth of these blog posts.

Prior to the American Revolution an English aristocrat related an incident in a letter.  He asked a servant who his master was, and the man responded unhesitatingly:  My Lord Jesus Christ!  The aristocrat found this hilarious, but the servant was reflecting a very old Christian view.

Christ Pantocrator is one of the more popular images by which Christians pictured, after the edict of Milan, Christ, the Lord of all.  This representation ties in nicely with the traditional American cry of “We have no King but Jesus!” which became popular during the American Revolution.  At the battle of Lexington the phrase “We recognize no Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus!”, was flung back at Major Pitcairn after he had ordered the militia to disperse.

Christ the King and We have no King but Jesus remind Christians that the nations of the world and the manner in which they are ruled, and mis-ruled, while very important to us during our mortal lives, are of little importance in the next.   They also instruct us that the State can never be an ultimate end in itself, can never override the first allegiance of Christians and that the rulers of the Earth will be judged as we all will be.  Although my Irish Catholic ancestors will shudder, and my Protestant Irish and Scot ancestors may smile, there is much truth in the inscription supposedly written on the sarcophagus, destroyed or lost after the Restoration, of that “bold, bad man”, Oliver Cromwell, “Christ, not Man, is King.”

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Twelve: We Have No King But Jesus

  • WELL SAID, Donald. They changed Oliver Cromwell’s legacy after he died by removing “Christ, not Man, is King” from his sarcophagus and replaced it with atheism. The cross at the Veteran’s Memorial at Mount Soledad is at risk of being removed. The legacy of the fallen dead is being replaced by atheism. Worse still, is the fact that the last will and testament of the dead is being destroyed as a freedom, and violated. The fallen dead cannot rest in peace. They will rise up and demand their civil rights, that their will be respected, and government be placed at the service of its citizens, the government’s employers. “The king’s good servant, but God’s first.”
    Etc, etc: Drinking soda interchangeably with fruit juice is known to cause kidney stones in one so young as six years of age. God bless and keep you.

  • Cromwell certainly had a medal struck with the inscription “et nunc reges intelligite; erudimini qui judicatis terram” Ps 2:10 [And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.]

    The whole psalm is very à propos; a metrical version of it was a great favourite of the Scottish Covenanters.

Fortnight For Freedom Day Eleven: Catholics in the American Revolution

Sunday, July 1, AD 2012

To obtain religious, as well as civil, liberty I entered zealously into the Revolution, and observing the Christian religion divided into many sects, I founded the hope that no one would be so predominant as to become the religion of the State. That hope was thus early entertained, because all of them joined in the same cause, with few exceptions of individuals. God grant that this religious liberty may be preserved in these States, to the end of time, and that all believing in the religion of Christ may practice the leading principle of charity, the basis of every virtue.

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the eleventh of these blog posts.

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.

The list could go on at considerable length.  Figures on how many Catholics served in the Continental Army or the American militias is speculative as records of religious affiliations were not normally kept.  From anecdotal evidence my guess would be at least five percent of the American troops were Catholic, far in excess of the Catholic percentage of the population.

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24 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Eleven: Catholics in the American Revolution

  • Let us not forget the contribution that Spain (then a Catholic country) made in the American cause for independence. The Spanish efforts are usually ignored or forgotten.

    The Spanish Navy kicked Great Britain out of the Mississippi Valley and harassed the British Navy throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea – a fate Great Britain justly deserved for spreading the Black Legend and harassing Spanish shipping for centuries.

    The high society of Havana (yes, there used to be such a thing in Havana) gave Washington and the Continental Army money and supplies.

  • Catholic influence on Washington himself may also be greater than commonly thought. I think a priest was called to his home when he was dying.

  • Jordi Farragut Mesquida, the father of Admiral Farragut of Civil War fame, was an immigrant from Spain. He served in the Revolution as both a naval officer and as a volunteer at the Battle of Cowpens.

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  • I had no idea the Catholic population was so small. I always wondered why there weren’t more among the founders.

  • One of the rebellious colonists’ objections to the Quebec Act (1774) was the protection it afforded to the Catholic Church. Quebeckers did not exatly rush to join the ‘patriots’ in throwing off the intolerable yoke of British government, and Bishop John Carroll was excommunicated by Archbishop Briand of Quebec.

    The founders of the American republic, and the framers of its constitution, were steeped in the Deism and Freemasonry of Enlightenment Europe. This may produce a superficial tolerance, but when push comes to shove is incompatible with Catholicism, as the history of post-Enlightenment Europe demonstrates. What we are seeing now is the logical outcome of the heresy of Americanism condemned by Leo XIII.

  • A rumour says that George Washington converted to the catholic faith on his deathbed, assisted by a jesuit priest. He handed the priest some important documents that would be now in the Vatican archives.
    Probably was he secretly converted since long because some of his protestant guests at Mount Vernon were a bit amazed to see a picture of our Lady in front of a picture of St John the Baptist in his dining room.

  • Jacques: When you entertain men who are courageous enough to die for the truth, all you can give them is the Virgin.

  • A complete myth that Washington converted on his death bed. What went on at Washington’s death bed is well recorded and no conversion to the Faith occurred, and there is no historical evidence, as opposed to after the fact wishful thinking, that he converted at any other time in his life. Let us stick to the historical record please.

  • Complete and total rubbish John. Anti-Catholicism was a tool widely employed by the Brits during the War in an attempt to rouse Loyalist sentiment. It was the patriots who spoke out in favor of tolerance for the Catholics. An element of anti-Catholicism did enter into colonial opposition of the Quebec Act in 1774, but such anti-Catholicism found no support in such leaders of the Revolution as George Washington. In his instructions to General Arnold on September 14, 1775 in the American attempt to liberate Canada from the rule of George III, Washington cautioned him, “I also give it in charge to you to avoid all disrespect of the religion of the country, and its ceremonies. Prudence, policy, and a true Christian spirit will lead us to look with compassion upon their errors without insulting them. While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the rights of conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the Judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case they are answerable.”

    Your attack on the Founding Fathers as deists and masons is the usual critique of historically illiterate ultra trads and I am surprised at you stooping to such bilge. The fact is that the Faith flourished under the tolerance installed by the Founding Fathers, and the problems we are encountering now, and which are far worse in Merrie Olde Englande, are a product of contemporary Leftism rather than any defect in the work of the Founders.

  • Katherine Drexel believed he died a Catholic. A biography of Mother Drexel by Ellen Tarry, said she prayed for George Washington’s soul.
    Just because it wasn’t recorded doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. The doctors may have been anti catholic, or afraid of ruining his reputation if this deathbed conversion were to be known.
    I can’t go back a personally verify but it is recorded that Washington defended Catholics on Guy Fawkes day, he attended mass, he donated to building a Catholic church in Philly, he visited to Charles Carroll’s home, the slaves who went to get the priest told about it–all these make me think what I think about it– others may think differently.

  • No Don, not complete and total rubbish, but a timely (if deliberately overstated) corrective to the one-sided Yanks-good-Brits-bad view of the American Revolution still too prevalent on this blog. Talk of ‘liberating’ Canada is hilarious; it’s akin to Stalin ‘liberating’ central and eastern Europe. And all this banging on about George III – Britain in the 18th century had cabinet and parliamentary government, and although the king was by no means a figurehead, he did not make policy.

    To say that the US constitution is a product of Enlightenment thought is to state the obvious. Fortunately its authors were at bottom pragmatic and level-headed Englishmen, and as revolutions go, the American one was probably the most beneficial in history. When the hot-headed French tried to apply the same principles after 1789 the result was a total and unmitigated disaster, not least for the Church. Happy Independence Day.

  • She was born almost sixty years after the death of Washington Anzlyne. She could believe whatever she wished to about Washington, but her wishes do not alter the historical record and that is what we deal in here.

  • “Talk of ‘liberating’ Canada is hilarious; it’s akin to Stalin ‘liberating’ central and eastern Europe.”

    More rubbish John. A fair example of what French Canadians would do absent a British garrison was illustrated in 1777-1778 in the Illinois country where they eagerly joined with George Rogers Clark to drive out the Brits and aided him in his capture of Fort Vincennes. King George determined every step of British policy in America, and maintained the War to crush America, a War which was largely unpopular among the British people, until even he had to recognize reality after Yorktown.

    “To say that the US constitution is a product of Enlightenment thought is to state the obvious.”

    The Declaration owes more to the Enlightenment than does the Constitution which was much more a result of American experience in colonial times, the Revolution and under the Articles of Confederation. The Declaration is the poetry of the American soul and the Constitution is the prose.

    “Happy Independence Day.”

    Thank you John. A God Save the Queen, who my sainted mother dearly loved, back at you!

  • The pictures of our Lady and St John the Baptist were recorded on the belongings inventory after George Washington died.
    This is a strong clue regarding his secret conversion to the catholic faith probably a long time before his death.

  • Not at all. Washington received constant gifts from admirers in the United States and around the world. The paintings may be among such gifts. In any case such paintings would not have been unusual possessions for an Anglican which is what Washington was. There is zero evidence that Washington ever converted to the Faith.

  • Don, why do the Canadians, the vast majority of whom live within 250 miles of the US border, want to preserve their independence and allegiance to the Crown rather than throw in their lot with the almighty Republic to the south? This is despite the fact that unlike Oz and NZ they drive on the wrong side of the road and don’t play cricket.

    Obviously, it was to everyone’s benefit that the US won the Cold War and the Soviets lost. But The US, being the only superpower, needs to realize that its imperial hegemony (as was Britain’s in the 19th century) is the result of a single-minded pursuit of national interest, even at the expense of its allies.

  • “Don, why do the Canadians, the vast majority of whom live within 250 miles of the US border, want to preserve their independence and allegiance to the Crown rather than throw in their lot with the almighty Republic to the south?”

    Because of 1776. The English portion of Canada was reinforced to a large extent by defeated loyalists who settled there and took on the name of United Empire Loyalists. Their hostility to the United States became one of the elments in the foundation of Canada.

    “But The US, being the only superpower, needs to realize that its imperial hegemony (as was Britain’s in the 19th century) is the result of a single-minded pursuit of national interest, even at the expense of its allies.”

    Nations rarely act in disinterested altruism, and when they do they usually reap only scorn and sorrow as their reward. Defeating the totalitarian idealogies of the last century was obviously to the benefit of the US and it obviously also benefited people around the globe. The foreign policy of the US is most successful when it combines elements of self interest and altruism. When it departs from either factor, it usually comes a cropper.

  • Don, you don’t need to be reminded that if Her Majesty’s other realms (Oz, NZ etc) decided to go republican Canada would not, despite that the French Canadians are more French than the French. That is entirely due to the almighty republic to the south which has

  • [Forget the last comment, which was left hanging and posted in error.] If it were just 1776, then one would imagine it would not mean much nowadays. But national identity is often fuelled by aggressive neighbours – Poland is a prime example. The French revolutionary armies rampaged through the peaceful German Rhenish towns imposing liberty, equality and fraternity – ou la mort; with portable guillotines in their baggage. Capital punishment was quite rare in the German states at that time. The extent to which Americans contributed to the French Revolution is a matter of debate, but ideas are exportable, and although I would entirely agree that the American revolution was on balance a ‘good thing’ (to quote Sellars and Yeatman) the same cannot be said for later revolutions based on its example.

  • “King George determined every step of British policy in America …” How, pray, did he do this? He didn’t attend Cabinet meetings (his great-grandfather was the last monarch to do so). The problem with you republicans is that you take ancient Roman models as an ideal (Enlightenment conceit again, yawn). No wonder a lot of American Catholics want to break away from Rome. Too monarchical by half.

  • George III set government policy John by controlling Parliament through corruption and preferment. He set the policies of his governments up to the conclusion of the Revolution on all major questions, a situation often decried by British politicians during his reign. When he met John Adams after the War, the first American ambassador, George III noted:

    “I wish you, sir, to believe, and that it may be understood in America, that I have done nothing in the late contest but what I thought myself indispensably bound to do, by the duty which I owed to my people. I will be very frank with you. I was the last to consent to the separation; but the separation having been made, and having become inevitable, I have always said, as I say now, that I would be the first to meet the friendship of the United States as an independent power. The moment I see such sentiments and language as yours prevail, and a disposition to give to this country the preference, that moment I shall say, let the circumstances of language, religion, and blood have their natural and full effect.”

    The attempt to portray George III as some sort of detached figurehead of a monarch is risible. He was head of state in reality as well as in title. The disaster of the American Revolution helped change that as well as George III’s growing madness.

  • The problem with you republicans is that you take ancient Roman models as an ideal (Enlightenment conceit again, yawn).

    Oh goodie, is Morning’s Minion commenting here again?

  • Oh! the 18th century was besotted with classical models. As Thiers sardonically remarked, “we who, after having been Athenians with Voltaire, tried for a while to be Spartans under the Convention, ended by becoming soldiers of Caesar under Napoleon.”

Fortnight For Freedom Day Nine: Top Ten Movies For the Fourth of July

Friday, June 29, AD 2012

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

John Adams

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the ninth of these blog posts.

 

As we are embroiled now in a struggle to preserve our religious liberty, I think the Fourth of July is a good time to recall the price made to establish our liberties.  A number of feature films and miniseries have been made about the events of the American Revolution.  Here are my top ten choices for Fourth of July viewing:

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

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

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

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

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

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6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Nine: Top Ten Movies For the Fourth of July

  • I was “forced” to read “Johnny Tremain” in the 5th grade. That assignment was followed by “Rifles for Watie,” a very insightful look at the complexities of the Civil War. These are the books that inspired my fascination with miltary history and revolutionary politics, American-style. Only in later life did I realize the favor my teacher did for us. Would that educators still educated in such ways!

  • Great classics listed here. Another one is “Yankee Doodle Dandy” starring James Cagney as George M. Cohan.

  • Gibson’s character in “The Patriot” is based on Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox.”

    Excellent point on the Revolution in the South–it was a brutal civil war, as battles like King’s Mountain demonstrated. It was also where most of the war was fought after Monmouth, as the Redcoats did not care to tangle with the vastly-improved Continentals in the north.

  • An excellent list. I agree with adding Yankee Doodle Dandy. Check out my book Christians at the Movies: A Century of Saints and Sinners for adding a Christian dimension to the list with such films as A Man for all Seasons, Becket, The Fighting Sullivans, The Fighting 69th, Sergeant York, and lesser known films that focus on Christians fighting for freedom from tyranny like The Prisoner, Joan of Paris, and the 1947 film The Fugitive about suppression of religion in Mexico

  • I watched the series on John Adams and agree it was superbly done. The Mel Gibson film might be considered offensive, but you have to remember that like the same actor’s ‘Braveheart’ it was fiction. The latter was worth sitting through on account of the battle scenes and the final 15 minutes when the Wallace character gets his just deserts.

  • It could have been worse for Wallace John. He could have been forced to sample some English cuisine! 🙂

Fortnight For Freedom Day Eight: Catholics and the Father of our Country

Thursday, June 28, AD 2012

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the eighth of these blog posts.

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

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

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington

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

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

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Eight: Catholics and the Father of our Country

  • The oath of office which George Washington took – an oath which Barack Hussein Obama has never believed in, does not now believe in and will never believe in. May God have mercy on this nation and deliver us from such a reprobate of depravity, iniquity and idolatry.

  • The words of George Washington bring tears to my eyes. Would that we could be blessed with such a leader again.
    I think he is a saint, really.
    Maybe he’ll pray for us from where he is.

Fortnight For Freedom Day Seven: The Freemen Have Assented

Wednesday, June 27, AD 2012

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the seventh of these blog posts.

Maryland, the Catholic colony, played an important role in early American colonial history.  Although Catholics in Maryland would eventually be stripped of many of their civil rights in Maryland by a Protestant majority until the time of the Revolution, while they were a political force they helped lay the foundations for a new nation.  One of the most remarkable documents produced during the time that Catholics ruled Maryland is The Toleration Act of 1649, one of the first legislative acts in the American colonies to establish toleration for all Christian faiths.  This was a compromise document between the Catholics and Protestants of Maryland and its text is as follows:

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15 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Seven: The Freemen Have Assented

  • “Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to principles. Intolerance applies only to principles, but never to persons.” Bishop Fulton Sheen.

    HOW COULD ANY MAN DENY TO ANOTHER MAN PRESENCE IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE? Isn’t the public square the possession of each and every PERSON in joint and common tenancy and each and every PERSON, the child of “their Creator”? It appears that some men can impose their form of hatred upon other men using the very FREEDOM endowed by “their Creator”, the Father of Jesus Christ and our Father, WHO is in heaven. The PERSON of Jesus Christ cannot be disenfranchised of His rights endowed by “their Creator” to all men without proof of evildoing, in this case treason, incurring the necessity for removal of scandal and impending harm. Let the punishment fit the crime. Let the evildoer be hung upon his own gibbet (petard).

  • “Toleration, or, to be more exact, religious liberty, is in every one’s mouth, and the constant theme of declamation with all who would depreciate their ancestors, glorify themselves, or win the applause of the multitude ; but, unless we are greatly deceived, it is a theme on which there is much loose writing, and still more loose speaking and thinking. ”
    this is a quote from “Civil and Religious Toleration” in Orestes Brownson’s Quarterly Review, July, 1849.
    Brownson is too little read I think..
    If you are interested: http://www.orestesbrownson.com/166.html

  • I’m concerned that the Catholic Bishops unfairly pound the drum of religious freedom to infringe on the rights of Catholics and non-Catholics in a manner which is inconsistent with our Constitutional liberties. Recently we have heard sermons about how the government is interfering with these liberties, without making reference to exactly how this is being done, but anyone who has been paying attention is aware this has all to do with women’s reproductive rights (e.g., birth control) which the Bishops are going to mat against Pres. Obama. Since reproductive medical care is a legal right, it is the Bishops who foist their ill-conceived notion of public morality down the throats of the US public.

  • Sheerest rubbish. No one is stopping women from buying contraceptives. For the cheapest political advantage Obama decided to run roughshod over religious liberty by mandating that employers provide insurance coverage which covers contraceptives. You couldn’t be more twisted in your perception of what this fight is about.

  • Ridiculous lies: How the left cheats in the war of ideas. E.G., Jim Hall.

    It’s not an “ill-conceived notion.” The bishops are promulgating 2,000 years consistent Church teaching against abortion and artificial contraception.

    You have the right to commit these mortal sins. Obama and you do not have the right to require the Church pay for sins against life, morals and the Holy Spirit.

  • You both have the right to your opinions, but neither of you, or the Church, have any right to make your religious views the law of the land. The complaint is that government interferes with religion, but it’s the other way around. Also, such intolerance is driving many Catholics out of the Church.

  • Once again total rubbish. The Church is not attempting to impose a ban on contraceptives on the nation. The Obama regime is attempting to impose on the nation that employers have to provide insurance to their employees that covers contraceptives, no matter their religious scruples. As for Catholics leaving the Church over the Bishops standing up for religious freedom, frankly such Catholics left the Church de facto long ago.

  • You both have the right to your opinions, but neither of you, or the Church, have any right to make your religious views the law of the land.

    It must feel wonderful to knock such a powerful strawman argument down, but sadly (for you) the Church is not trying to make its religious views the law of the land. It is simply fighting efforts by the government to impose its morality upon the Church by forcing it to pay for practices it deems to be immoral. Remember that first amendment thing you leftists pretend to hold so sacrosanct? Yeah, that’s what is at stake. (Cue leftist protesting that he is not a leftist.)

    . The complaint is that government interferes with religion, but it’s the other way around.

    Not that you haven’t done a masterful job of proving your argument, but we’re going to need a little bit more than “nuh uh, you’re the intolerant one” to convince us of the veracity of this claim.

    Also, such intolerance is driving many Catholics out of the Church.

    Really? The Churches I’ve been to look to be as full as ever. You don’t think this might a bit of wish fulfillment on your part?

  • JH: Quick! Call your Mom and thank her for not aborting you.

  • @7:59:
    “You both have the right to your opinions, but neither of you, or the Church, have any right to make your religious views the law of the land. The complaint is that government interferes with religion, but it’s the other way around. ”

    Not the other way around, the mandate was made on 1/20/2012 which interfered with religious beliefs. See the below three points.

    “June 27, 2012
    The HHS Mandate: A Question of Religious Freedom or the Life Issues?

    by Peter J. Colosi

    Editor’s note: This is the first of a three part article that will discuss the current approach of the US Bishops in order to thank them and praise their efforts, while at the same time pointing out a certain oversight in their approach. Following parts will look at the reasons not often mentioned for which the Administration is enacting the HHS Mandate as well as ideas on how most wisely to approach the question of contraception in the midst of the fight for religious freedom.

    The Approach of the Bishops: Praise and A Question

    Stating What the Fight Is and Is Not About

    It is wonderful to see the unity, work and leadership of the Bishops in the fight for Religious freedom. We should both thank God for and join with them in their focused attention on the wrongheaded general principles they list as built into the Mandate: (1) an unwarranted government definition of religion; (2) a mandate to act against our teachings; and (3) a violation of personal civil rights. Regardless of the specific content of this mandate (contraception), these wrongheaded general principles violate the nature of freedom and conscience, and they violate the laws and customs of the United States of America. This would also be true if the government had begun its attack on religious freedom by forcing the Amish to subsidize car sales on their property. …”

  • Jim Hall “reproductive medical care is a legal right” ??
    I am not a lawyer but I am asking- exactly how many rights have we enumerated?
    If it is a right, who supplies it?

    Your comment makes me think you just don’t understand the issues.. and the lack of knowledge must certainly be willful at this point. Anyone can plainly see the church is not trying to impose morality, but defending it’s own right to it’s own morals.

  • Mr. Hall, no one is making any serious attempt to make Catholic views on contraception the law of the land. There’s a whole lot of daylight between outlawing something and not providing a subsidy for it. (Ask anybody who likes their Jack Daniels.)

    And where are these Americans who are so priced out of the market for artificial contraception that they can’t afford condoms? Granted, I expect there are plenty of Americans, from Sandra Flew on down, who don’t *want* to use condoms. But there are plenty of Americans who want better housing than Section 8 affords, too, and I don’t hear anyone trumpeting *their* (much more defensible) right to good housing.

    You appear to be frightened of shadows.

    What *is* happening–and what can be verified simply by reference to public texts published by the U.S. Government–is that this Administration (apparently with your approval) is trying to force Catholics (and others) to pay for acts we consider intrinsically evil. Put more baldly, in order to solve a non-problem, you consider the consciences of millions of Americans expendable. (Just counting the observant Catholics, you still get millions, and I’m not even counting in the Mormons or the Orthodox or other folks who object to artificial contraception on conscience.)

    Who are you to tell us that our consciences don’t count?

  • The one comment, from Mr. Brown, which invites reply: “What *is* happening. . . . that this Administration (apparently with your approval) is trying to force Catholics (and others) to pay for acts we consider intrinsically evil.” Please, check your facts. After the Catholic Bishops raised a stink, the Obama Admin reached an accord to the effect that religious organizations may opt out of the requirement to include birth control coverage in their employee insurance plans, and upon doing so the insurers themselves will offer contraception coverage to enrollees directly, at no additional cost.

    Please note the manifest ironies, that even wholly “Catholic” hospitals and charities are staffed primarily by non-Catholics and largely provide services to people of other faiths or of none, paid for with tax dollars. Regardless, by now objecting to its employees election to secure such services–even when the Church is not ‘forced’ to paraticipate in the alleged evil–it is very clear that the Church is interfering with freedom here.

    The Church’s effort to cry foul over these matters is shameful. I’m not sure if you bunch are being run by Fox News, or if this is a “Saturday Night Live” moment which the Bishops hope to secure public ridicule. In either event, its position on these issues would be comical if not so pernicious and the outcome so damaging.

  • Jim Hall, It is the mission of the Catholic Church to save souls, that rational, immortal part of the human being . The spiritual works of mercy are inscribed in the bible. It is the duty of the church to resist anything that might endanger man’s soul. God cares for us as a mother cares for her infant. If an immortal soul goes to hell man is made more poor by its loss. Mankind was made for God and heaven. Without God and heaven, life becomes meaningless, and you can go to hell, unless you will to go to heaven. Now, Obamacare denies that you can will to go to heaven by denying man’s conscience and free will, which you call freedom from the state, but the true freedom, the truth from God is necessary to find heaven.

  • JIm Hall again with the willful misunderstanding.
    The Catholic organization pays the insurance provider for what the insurance provider provides. The Catholic then is still cooperating in paying for something he don’t believe in.
    Insurance companies should get to decide what kind of coverage they want to offer too.
    The government (Medicaid) provides the patient with the ability to pay for services provided, that does not give the government the right to require the service provider to provide something they don’t believe in. That’s like saying “I’ve got money so you have to sell me something, even if that something is not in your inventory.” Glad you’ve got money, but I don’t have to sell you what I don’t want to sell.
    People have the choice to go to Catholic organizations for service or for employment– the organization describes the job requirements and benefits, while also choosing to provide a service and what to include in that service… and who to hire.

Fortnight For Freedom Day Six: Freedom is not a “Worship Word”

Tuesday, June 26, AD 2012

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the sixth of these blog posts.

Long time readers of this blog will not be surprised to see that I have managed to work a Star Trek episode into one of the Fortnight For Freedom posts!

One of the “alternate Earth” episodes that became fairly common as the original Star Trek series proceeded, as explained by Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development, and stringent episode budgets,  the Omega Glory episode in the video clip at the beginning of this post featured an Earth where a cataclysmic war had driven the Americans, the Yangs, out of their cities and into primitive warbands.  Chinese Communists, the Kohms, settled in America.  Their technology was a few steps higher than the Yangs.  The Yangs had been waging a war for generations to drive the Kohms from their land, and the episode coincided with the Yangs taking the last of “the Kohm places”.

Over the generations, the Yangs had forgotten almost all of their history and what little knowledge remained was restricted to priests and chieftains.

“Cloud William: Freedom?

James T. Kirk: Spock.

Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.

Cloud William: It is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.

James T. Kirk: Well, well, well. It is… our worship word, too.

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Fortnight For Freedom Day Five: Why Celebrate the Fourth?

Monday, June 25, AD 2012

 

 

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

 

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

 

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

 

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the fifth of these blog posts.

Why do we observe Independence Day on the Fourth of July each year?  Is it merely a historical commemoration, or is it because the lightning words of the Declaration of Independence still have meaning and relevance today?  This is not a new issue.  In the debate over slavery which embroiled this nation a century and a half ago, the phrase “all men are created equal” from the Declaration was argued and fought over.  On June 26, 1857, Abraham Lincoln, in response to the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, contended in a speech in Springfield, Illinois, that the phrase “all men are created equal” applied to blacks as well as whites:

Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family, but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once, actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterwards, actually place all white people on an equality with one or another. And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the Senator, for doing this obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language of the Declaration. I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects 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 meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor 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. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that “all men are created equal” was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, nor for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should re-appear in this fair land and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.

I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and objects of that part of the Declaration of Independence which declares that “all men are created equal.”

Now let us hear Judge Douglas’ view of the same subject, as I find it in the printed report of his late speech. Here it is:

“No man can vindicate the character, motives and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal—that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain—that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colonists in the eyes of the civilized world in withdrawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.”

My good friends, read that carefully over some leisure hour, and ponder well upon it—see what a mere wreck—mangled ruin—it makes of our once glorious Declaration.

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17 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day Five: Why Celebrate the Fourth?

  • “And now I appeal to all—to Democrats as well as others,—are you really willing that the Declaration shall be thus frittered away?”

    Democrats are the same today, except in dehumanizing the black man, they dehumanize the human baby. Other than that, nothing has changed since 1857.

  • Previously, I had not seen the connection.

    Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” (GA) likely is “America’s definitive speech.”

    Mr. Prothero cites Garry Wills’ 1992 book, Lincoln at Gettysburg.

    Lincoln, ” . . . performed one of the most daring acts of open-air sleight of hand ever witnessed by the unsuspecting.” Wills contends that in the GA, Lincoln “traced” America’s birth not to the “godless” Constitution but to the Declaration and its God-bestowed, unalienable rights. Apparently, Wills’ and Prothero think that changed America.

    Seems Obama et al are re-bestowing America’s essence to the “godless” Constitution. And, tons of liberals calling themselves Catholics are blindly aiding and abetting.

    See Stephen Prothero in the June 23, 2012 Wall Street Journal, page C10.

  • Just saying.

    I think the most important aspect of the Gettysburg Address is Lincoln “said it all” in 272 words.

  • One of Lincoln’s cleverest ways of attempting to fudge the Constitution’s explicit and no-nonsense restrictions on his power was to appeal to the Declaration, as if it had some kind of legal, philosophical, or moral weight beyond its immediate purpose.

    His use of it to defend the unconstitutional interference with a legal, constitutional practice in the states was extremely adroit, but as with so much of what he did as President, set an awful precedent for his successors, who would not necessarily find the same benign meaning in “equality” as Lincoln did.

    Once you depart from the Constitution, even if by appealing to the Declaration, you depart from the rule of law.

  • The Constitution governs the courts Tom. The Declaration is the foundation of the American experiment in self-government. Lincoln’s pro-slavery foes were absolutely wrong in attempting to justify their ongoing subjugation of fellow human beings by claiming that the words of Mr. Jefferson did not apply to blacks as well as whites. That Mr. Jefferson clearly intended this is established beyond question by the following section of his original draft of the Declaration:

    “[H]e [the king of Britain] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.”

    Lincoln was right and his pro-slavery opponents were deeply, tragically wrong in their attempt to read slaves out of the Declaration. Contrary to your statement, Lincoln did not appeal to the Declaration as a grant of authority to abolish slavery, but he did appeal to the Declaration as evidence of what a crime slavery was against the inalienable rights of man, and that is what his pro-slavery opponents could not tolerate.

  • Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). Political Debates Between Lincoln and Douglas. 1897. Fourth Joint Debate at Charleston Mr. Lincoln’s Speech (September 18, 1858):

    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It will be very difficult for an audience so large as this to hear distinctly what a speaker says, and consequently it is important that as profound silence be preserved as possible.
    While I was at the hotel to-day, an elderly gentleman called upon me to know whether I was really in favor of producing perfect equality between the negroes and white people. While I had not proposed to myself on this occasion to say much on that subject, yet as the question was asked me, I thought I would occupy perhaps five minutes in saying something in regard to it.
    I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

  • Yep, Joe because the Democrat Stephen Douglas was using race baiting against Lincoln, just as Democrats use race baiting today. Douglas knew, as Lincoln knew, that due to the virulent racism of the day, that most white voters were repelled at the idea of negro equality, and that is why Douglas used such charges against Lincoln, and why Lincoln sought to repel them. However Lincoln never wavered as to the fundamental crime of slavery:

    “He [Senator Stephen A. Douglas] finds Republicans insisting that the Declaration of Independence includes all men, black as well as white…he boldly denies that it includes negroes at all, and proceeds to argue gravely that all who contend it does, do so only because they want to vote, eat, and sleep, and marry with negroes! Now I protest against that counterfeit logic which concludes that, because I do not want a black woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. I need not have her for either, I can just leave her alone. In some respects she certainly is not my equal; but in her natural right to eat the bread she earns with her own hands with asking leave of any one else, she is my equal, and the equal of all others.”

    Here is what black abolitionist Frederick A. Douglass had to say in summing up Abraham Lincoln:

    “I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow-countrymen. Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless. Had he put the abolition of slavery before the salvation of the Union, he would have inevitably driven from him a powerful class of the American people and rendered resistance to rebellion impossible. Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined.

    Though Mr. Lincoln shared the prejudices of his white fellow-countrymen against the Negro, it is hardly necessary to say that in his heart of hearts he loathed and hated slavery. The man who could say, “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war shall soon pass away, yet if God wills it continue till all the wealth piled by two hundred years of bondage shall have been wasted, and each drop of blood drawn by the lash shall have been paid for by one drawn by the sword, the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,” gives all needed proof of his feeling on the subject of slavery. He was willing, while the South was loyal, that it should have its pound of flesh, because he thought that it was so nominated in the bond; but farther than this no earthly power could make him go.”

  • Don, parse it any way you want but can you imagine Abe defending those comments on Meet the Press? Or any modern candidate for political office trying to walk that back or weasel himself out of it? It doesn’t matter what Douglass said or anyone else. It’s Lincoln words, forever carved in history, that testify to his core white supremacist views notwithstanding other comments that sought to soften them.

  • Joe you accuse Lincoln by the standards of our time. In his time he was attacked as an advocate of racial equality, and considering that he came out for negroes having the vote before his death, perhaps justly attacked. Lincoln was able to call a well-established institution of his day, slavery, a crime, something that most of his contemporaries failed to ever do. Of course, considering your sympathies for the Confederacy, and the historically illiterate scribblings of neo-Confederate crank Dilorenzo, I find your attacking Lincoln as a racist completely risible.

  • “Standards of our time.” I believe the laws of God, Nature and the Constitution are immutable and are to be used for all times. I have no “sympathies” for the Confederacy per se, only what I believe is a greater understanding and appreciation for the root causes of the Civil War, which have been all too simplified by some historians.

    I am a “Yankee” at heart and also do not rely on DiLorenzo or anyone else to do my thinking. His “Hamilton’s Curse” was a tough read and, unlike his Lincoln books, less persuasive in its thesis.

    I think it’s important, although we disagree on Lincoln’s place in history, to examine whether Presidents including Obama are shredding the Constitution as I think Lincoln did.

    As long as you a quoting a black man, this is from African-American historian and scholar Lerone Bennett, Jr., and his book, “Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.” —

    “Lincoln is theology, not historiology. He is a faith, he is a church, he is a religion, and he has his own priests and acolytes, most of whom have a vested interest in [him] and who are passionately opposed to anybody telling the truth about him.”

  • His use of it to defend the unconstitutional interference with a legal, constitutional practice in the states was extremely adroit, but as with so much of what he did as President, set an awful precedent for his successors, who would not necessarily find the same benign meaning in “equality” as Lincoln did.

    Lincoln may have appealed to the Declaration rhetorically from time to time, but he relied on the Constitution to justify his actions as president. By the way time, what “unconstitutional interference” with a “legal, constitutional, practice” did Lincoln perpetrate? Lincoln, at no time before the outbreak of hostilities, ever inferred that the federal government could interfere with slavery within the states. It was only after the outbreak of the civil war (and 18 months after hostilities commenced) that Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, a completely legitimate wartime measure.

    So it’s time for you to get specific. What unconstitutional action did Lincoln take as president? No generalities, please.

    . It’s Lincoln words, forever carved in history, that testify to his core white supremacist views notwithstanding other comments that sought to soften them.

    Later on I am going to post my review of David Barton’s book on Thomas Jefferson. One of the things that Barton does that is so infuriating is to quote a line here or there without examining the broader context of Jefferson’s political thought. This is the same thing that you’re doing here. It’s a pretty shabby form of historical research.

    Edited to add: Actually, the historical revisionism with regards to Jefferson and Lincoln run in opposite directions. With respect to Jefferson, his defenders point to the occasional line here or there and ignore the rather voluminous amount of his writing that was repugnantly racist even for his day. As for Lincoln, his detractors like to point to this passage here or there to paint Lincoln as an unrepentant bigot, while ignoring the vast literature that shows he had much more progressive views on race matters.

  • “Lincoln is theology, not historiology. He is a faith, he is a church, he is a religion, and he has his own priests and acolytes, most of whom have a vested interest in [him] and who are passionately opposed to anybody telling the truth about him.”

    Historical figures often do have acolytes who cannot see their faults. That being said, that doesn’t mean that the historical revisionism has any ounce of credibility. People like you often spout about Lincoln “shredding the constitution” without offering a shred of evidence. It’s time to do a little original research yourself, so I put the question to you that I put to Tom McKenna. Please cite specifically the unconstitutional actions that Lincoln engaged in. And don’t cite some miserable pseudo-historian like DiLorenzo.

  • As long as you a quoting a black man, this is from African-American historian and scholar Lerone Bennett, Jr., and his book, “Forced into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream.”

    As a historian Bennett made Dilorenzo look scholarly. From a review of his tome by James McPherson:

    “But Bennett gets more wrong than he gets right. The book suffers from crucial flaws. Least important are the factual errors, for there are not many. But those that do occur make Lincoln look worse than he was. While a congressman from 1847 to 1849, Bennett asserts, Lincoln claimed to have voted 40 times against the Wilmot Proviso to ban slavery from the territories acquired from Mexico. In fact, Lincoln claimed to have voted 40 times for the Proviso (an exaggeration, but he did support it on every vote).

    More significant are distortions in interpretation. After the Sioux uprising in Minnesota that killed hundreds of white settlers in 1862, Lincoln ”approved one of the largest mass executions in military history,” the hanging of 38 Indians. True enough. But the military court had sentenced 303 Sioux to death. Despite great pressure, unmentioned by Bennett, to approve these verdicts, Lincoln pardoned or commuted the sentences of 265 defendants — by far the largest act of executive clemency in American history.

    Selective quotation also produces distortion by omission. Citing a letter Lincoln wrote to the abolitionist Owen Lovejoy in 1855, Bennett maintains that Lincoln ”did not openly oppose the anti-immigrant Know-Nothing Party,” because in his district, as Lincoln explained, ”they are mostly my old political and personal friends.” Bennett fails to note that in the rest of the letter Lincoln stated that he had already broken with these former Whig associates and anticipated the ”painful necessity of my taking an open stand against them. Of their principles I think little better than I do of those of the slavery extensionists. Indeed I do not perceive how any one professing to be sensitive to the wrongs of the negroes, can join in a league to degrade a class of white men.”

    Bennett never acknowledges that Lincoln was ”sensitive to the wrongs of the Negroes.” Abundant evidence of such sensitivity is conspicuously missing from the book. Also missing is any appreciation of Lincoln’s stand against the expansion of slavery. Because the Constitution prohibited interference with slavery in states where it existed, Lincoln and other Republicans focused on the question of slavery in the territories, where they insisted that Congress had the constitutional power to ban it. In his famous House Divided speech of 1858, Lincoln said that Republicans intended to ”arrest the further spread” of slavery and thus place the institution ”in course of ultimate extinction.”

    No reader who accepts Bennett’s ”unimpeachable fact” that ”Lincoln supported the enslavement of the four million slaves” will be able to understand why seven slave states seceded in response to Lincoln’s election. Bennett quotes from a letter that Lincoln wrote in December 1860 to Alexander Stephens (who later became vice president of the Confederacy), whom Lincoln had known when they both served in Congress a dozen years earlier. ”Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves?” Lincoln asked Stephens. ”There is no cause for such fears.” So why did the South secede? Readers might have gotten part of the answer, and a different understanding of Lincoln, from a portion of this letter that Bennett did not quote: ”I suppose, however, this does not meet the case. You think slavery is right and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub.”

    It was indeed the rub, but we wouldn’t know it from this book. The South seceded because a man who believed slavery was wrong and was pledged, in his own words, to its ”restriction” and ”ultimate extinction” had, for the first time, been elected president. The war that followed secession prompted Lincoln’s decision in 1862 to issue an Emancipation Proclamation. Yet Bennett declares that Lincoln deserves no credit for freeing the slaves. The president was, he writes, a reluctant Emancipator who was ”forced into glory” by escaping slaves, abolitionists and Congressional Republicans who passed the second Confiscation Act in July 1862, freeing the slaves of persons ”engaged in rebellion against the United States.” This was the real Emancipation proclamation, insists Bennett. Lincoln’s proclamation was a mere afterthought.

    And because Lincoln’s proclamation exempted the border slave states, as well as portions of the Confederacy already controlled by Northern troops (Tennessee and parts of Virginia and Louisiana), Lincoln freed slaves where he had no power to do so and left in bondage all those in areas where he did have power, Bennett asserts. Moreover, Lincoln’s exemptions actually re-

    enslaved a half-million blacks freed by the Confiscation Act.

    All parts of this interpretation are wrong, and the re-enslavement thesis is absurd. First of all, the Confiscation Act freed only the slaves of ”traitors” whom a federal court determined, case by case, to have engaged in rebellion. As James G. Randall, the foremost expert on Civil War constitutional issues, wrote, ”It is hard to see by what process any particular slaves could have legally established that freedom which the second Confiscation Act ‘declared.’ ”Contrary to Bennett, no slave who had achieved freedom in areas exempted from Lincoln’s proclamation was ”re-enslaved.”

    The Emancipation Proclamation, moreover, was based on the president’s war powers as commander in chief to seize enemy property (i.e. slaves) being used to wage war against the United States. Since Union-controlled exempted areas were not at war with the United States, Lincoln had no constitutional power over slavery in those areas.

    Finally, the old canard that the Emancipation Proclamation freed not a single slave, repeated by Bennett, could not be more wrong. From Jan. 1, 1863, freedom would march southward with the Union Army, which became an army of liberation. Once the war was over, the proclamation would cease to have any legal force. That is why Lincoln endorsed a constitutional amendment to abolish slavery, and won re-election on that platform in 1864.

    Bennett’s Lincoln is not only a reluctant convert to Emancipation; he is also an unwavering opponent of equal citizenship for the freed slaves, beholden as he is to his ”dream” of an all-white America. But in what turned out to be his last public speech, on April 11, 1865, Lincoln signaled that he would support the right to vote for freed slaves who were literate or had served in the Union armed forces. Bennett condemns this endorsement as an ”invidious distinction” (because white voters would not face such requirements) of a piece with Lincoln’s commitment to white supremacy. At least one listener to Lincoln’s speech did not agree. ”That means nigger citizenship,” muttered John Wilkes Booth. ”Now by God, I’ll put him through. That is the last speech he will ever make.””

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/08/27/books/lincoln-the-devil.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

  • so I put the question to you that I put to Tom McKenna. Please cite specifically the unconstitutional actions that Lincoln engaged in. And don’t cite some miserable pseudo-historian like DiLorenzo.

    I believe Gottfried Dietze had a menu of complaints about Lincon’s acts in the early months of 1861 listed in America’s Political Dilemma. I have forgotten them, of course. I believe one concerned appropriations. (He was a non-miserable political theorist).

  • Once again, as usual, I am outnumbered and outgunned here by the Lincoln apologists. I don’t shrink from a fair fight, but further discussion would take us far off-topic and take up much to much preciously bandwidth, which is something Don does not like.

    Let us all realize we have different “bliks” that form the basis of our world views and beliefs. I hereby retreat gracefully without conceding a bit.

  • I will not to beat a dead horse.

    Aside from Abraham using the God and the DoI to shelve the godless US Constitution, using his example to advance religious liberty may be unhelpful.

    Point of information. John Tyler, the tenth US President, was a delegate in the conference that could not avoid the war. He was elected a Virginia Representative in the CSA Congress. He died before it convened. That makes Tyler the only US President to die on foreign soil.

  • “Aside from Abraham using the God and the DoI to shelve the godless US Constitution, using his example to advance religious liberty may be unhelpful.”

    Except of course that Lincoln used neither to shelve the Constitution, but rather preserved it and the nation for future generations.

    Tyler still has living grandkids, amazingly enough.

Fortnight For Freedom Day 4: John Carroll, Bishop and Patriot

Sunday, June 24, AD 2012

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.

Pope Leo XIII on John Carroll, first Bishop in the United States

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the fourth of these blog posts.

From the beginning of our Republic, American Catholics were at the forefront of the battle to free America from British rule and to enshrine a committment to liberty in our founding documents.  The remarkable Carroll family of Maryland was at the head of this effort by American Catholics.  Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed the Declaration of Independence.  His cousin Daniel Carroll signed both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution.  Daniel Carroll’s younger brother John Carroll, was the first bishop in the United States of America.

Born on January 8, 1735 in Maryland, he went abroad to study in Flanders and France, joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1769.  With the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, he returned to his native Maryland as a missionary priest.  A patriot, he served on a diplomatic mission to Canada for the Continental Congress in 1776.  During the War he continued his efforts as a missionary priest, along with efforts to persuade the new states to remove disabilities from Catholics in their new state constitutions.  He was ever an advocate for religious freedom:

When men comprehend not, or refuse to admit the luminous principles on which the rights of conscience and liberty of religion depend, they are industrious to find out pretences for intolerance. If they cannot discover them in the actions, they strain to cull them out of the tenets of the religion which they wish to exclude from a free participation of equal rights. Thus this author attributes to his religion the merit of being the most favorable to freedom, and affirms that not only morality but liberty likewise must expire, if his clergy should ever be contemned or neglected: all which conveys a refined insinuation, that liberty cannot consist with, or be cherished by any other religious institution; and which therefore he would give us to understand, it is not safe to countenance in a free government.

I am anxious to guard against the impression intended by such insinuations; not merely for the sake of any one profession, but from an earnest regard to preserve inviolate for ever, in our new empire, the great principle of religious freedom. The constitutions of some of the States continue still to intrench on the sacred rights of conscience; and men who have bled, and opened their purses as freely in the cause of liberty and independence, as any other citizens, are most unjustly excluded from the advantages which they contributed to establish. But if bigotry and narrow prejudice have prevented hitherto the cure of these evils, be it the duty of every lover of peace and justice to extend them no further. Let the author who has opened this field for discussion, be aware of slyly imputing to any set of men, principles or consequences, which they disavow. He perhaps may meet with retaliation. He may be told and referred to Lord Lyttleton, as zealous a Protestant as any man of his days, for information, that the principles of non-reistence seemed the principles of that religion which we are not told is most favorable to freedom; and that its opponents had gone too far in the other extreme!

 

On June 6, 1784 he was appointed by the Pope as superior of the missions in the United States.  On November 6, 1789, he was appointed by the Pope as Bishop, after being elected to the post by American priests, a procedure previously approved by the Pope.

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day 4: John Carroll, Bishop and Patriot

  • Pope Pius XII speaks of the friendship of Bishop John Carroll and George Washington and its effect on the early years of the republic:

    “When Pope Pius VI gave you your first Bishop in the person of the American John Carroll and set him over the See of Baltimore, small and of slight importance was the Catholic population of your land. At that time, too, the condition of the United States was so perilous that its structure and its very political unity were threatened by grave crisis. Because of the long and exhausting war the public treasury was burdened with debt, industry languished and the citizenry wearied by misfortunes was split into contending parties. This ruinous and critical state of affairs was put aright by the celebrated George Washington, famed for his courage and keen intelligence. He was a close friend of the Bishop of Baltimore. Thus the Father of His Country and the pioneer pastor of the Church in that land so dear to Us, bound together by the ties of friendship and clasping, so to speak, each the other’s hand, form a picture for their descendants, a lesson to all future generations, and a proof that reverence for the Faith of Christ is a holy and established principle of the American people, seeing that it is the foundation of morality and decency, consequently the source of prosperity and progress.” (SERTUM LAETITIAE
    Encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII On the Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Establishment of the Hierarchy In the United States November 1, 1939 #3)

  • Very interesting Greg. I had not read this encyclical before. Along with much praise, Pius XII had some prescient and prophetic criticisms of American life:

    “16. We desire, however, that this Our praise be salutary. The consideration of the good which has been done must not lead to slackening which might degenerate into sluggishness; it must not issue in a vainglorious pleasure which flatters the mind; it should stimulate renewed energies so that evils may be avoided and those enterprises which are useful, prudent and worthy of praise may more surely and more solidly mature. The Christian, if he does honor to the name he bears, is always an apostle; it is not permitted to the Soldier of Christ that he quit the battlefield, because only death puts an end to his military service.

    17. You well know where it is necessary that you exercise a more discerning vigilance and what program of action should be marked out for priests and faithful in order that the religion of Christ may overcome the obstacles in its path and be a luminous guide to the minds of men, govern their morals and, for the sole purpose of salvation, permeate the marrow and the arteries of human society. The progress of exterior and material possessions, even though it is to be considered of no little account, because of the manifold and appreciable utility which it gives to life, is nonetheless not enough for man who is born for higher and brighter destinies. Created indeed to the image and likeness of God, he seeks God with a yearning that will not be repressed and always groans and weeps if he places the object of his love where Supreme Truth and the Infinite Good cannot be found.

    18. Not with the conquest of material space does one approach to God, separation from Whom is death, conversion to Whom is life, to be established in Whom is glory; but under the guidance of Christ with the fullness of sincere faith, with unsullied conscience and upright will, with holy works, with the achievement and the employment of that genuine liberty whose sacred rules are found proclaimed in the Gospel. If, instead, the Commandments of God are spurned, not only is it impossible to attain that happiness which has place beyond the brief span of time which is allotted to earthly existence, but the very basis upon which rests true civilization is shaken and naught is to be expected but ruins over which belated tears must be shed. How, in fact, can the public weal and the glory of civilized life have any guarantee of stability when right is subverted and virtue despised and decried? Is not God the Source and the Giver of law? Is He not the inspiration and the reward of virtue with none like unto Him among lawgivers (Cf. Job XXXVI:22)? This, according to the admission of all reasonable men, is everywhere the bitter and prolific root of evils: the refusal to recognize the Divine Majesty, the neglect of the moral law, the origin of which is from Heaven, or that regrettable inconstancy which makes its victims waver between the lawful and the forbidden, between justice and iniquity.

    19. Thence arise immoderate and blind egoists, that thirst for pleasure, the vice of drunkenness, immodest and costly styles in dress, the prevalence of crime even among minors, the lust for power, neglect of the poor, base craving for ill-gotten wealth, the flight from the land, levity in entering into marriage, divorce, the break-up of the family, the cooling of mutual affection between parents and children, birth control, the enfeeblement of the race, the weakening of respect for authority, or obsequiousness, or rebellion, neglect of duty towards one’s country and towards mankind.

    20. We raise Our voice in strong, albeit paternal, complaint that in so many schools of your land Christ often is despised or ignored, the explanation of the universe and mankind is forced within the narrow limits of materialism or of rationalism, and new educational systems are sought after which cannot but produce a sorrowful harvest in the intellectual and moral life of the nation.

    21. Likewise, just as home life, when the law of Christ is observed, flowers in true felicity, so, when the Gospel is cast aside, does it perish miserably and become desolated by vice: “He that seeketh the law, shall be filled with it: and he that dealeth deceitfully, shall meet with a stumbling block therein” (Ecclesiasticus XXXII: 19). What can there be on earth more serene and joyful than the Christian family? Taking its origin at the Altar of the Lord, where love has been proclaimed a holy and indissoluble bond, the Christian family in the same love nourished by supernal grace is consolidated and receives increase.”

Fortnight For Freedom Day 3: Chester

Saturday, June 23, AD 2012

 

Their blood flowed as freely (in proportion to their numbers) to cement the fabric of independence as that of any of their fellow-citizens: They concurred with perhaps greater unanimity than any other body of men, in recommending and promoting that government, from whose influence America anticipates all the blessings of justice, peace, plenty, good order and civil and religious liberty.

John Carroll, first American bishop, on American Catholics in the Revolution

Something for the weekend.  Chester,  America’s unofficial national anthem during the American Revolution.   This fits in well with the Fortnight of Freedom proclaimed by our Bishops in resistance to encroachments by government on our religious liberty.

Written by William Billings in 1770, he added new lyrics to the song in 1778 and transformed it into a battle hymn for the Patriots in their war for independence.  The song reveals the strong religious element that was ever-present on the American side of the conflict, with most Patriots viewing the war as a crusade.

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5 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day 3: Chester

  • Amen!

    Our Finding principles (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Gettysburg Address, etc.) are not perfect. It’s just that they are the most perfect governing principles yet devised by fallen man.

    I received an email from a close friend giving the inspirational story of a school trip at the Iwo Jima Memorial. John Bradley’s son happened to be there and he explained what it means.

    The following says it all.

    Six young Marines raised our flag amid terrible combat, with (as always) an extra hand.

    “One thing I learned . . . look at the statue and count the number of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.”

    One Nation Under God.

  • That’s beautiful. But I can honestly say that I’ve never heard it or heard of it before, except for a dim reminiscence of some references to the phrase “New England’s God.”

    Thank you.

  • One of my goals in blogging, other than my main goal which is to have fun, is to remind Catholics and Americans of their history and their heritage. In the past 45 years much of it has been sent down a memory hole, and I play a small role in retrieving it.

  • I have never heard of this before. It is wonderful “and praise His name on every cord”

  • I had a trouble understanding Abigail.
    It sounded like “what men are not wont to do, they ought not to do, they know not what.” ??? or was it
    “when men know not what to do, they ought not to do, they know not what”

Liberal Catholics and the Fortnight For Freedom

Friday, June 22, AD 2012

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Church that I have designated him Defender of the Faith, has the number of liberal Catholics and their reaction to the Fortnight For Freedom proclaimed by our Bishops:

Jim Naughton’s joint takes note of the US Catholic Church’s latest initiative:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called on Catholics throughout the country to observe a “Fortnight for Freedom,” beginning today and running through July 4, to protest the Obama administration’s health care policies.

This is how the USCCB describes Fortnight of Freedom.

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.

Here’s the obligatory bit that all stories like this are legally obligated to contain about how sharply divided the Roman Catholic Church is over this issue.

Marion McCartney, who attends the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., opposes the bishops’ campaign. She’s part of a group, Blessed Sacrament Families United in Faith and Action, that wrote a letter to its pastor, saying the partisan nature of the campaign is “a step too far.”

“Nobody’s religious freedom is at stake. That’s just ridiculous!” McCartney says. Is “[Health and Human Services Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius going to come and close all the church doors? I mean, it’s just foolishness.”

Can you say “Episcopalians in Catholic drag?”  Knew you could.

Another member of that group is Jim Zogby, who has worked on human-rights issues overseas. He says the U.S. bishops were spoiling for a fight over social issues with the Obama administration.

“They declared war on the administration, and we the faithful are paying the price for it,” Zogby says. “Our religious freedom, our ability to simply go to church, worship, feel a community, feel safe in that community” has been compromised.

“We’re now being put in the middle of a partisan fight, and that’s wrong.”

It’s easy to see what’s at work here.  To liberal Catholics, as to all leftist Christians, Catholic bishops are “partisan” or “political” when they take a stand on an issue with which the left strongly disagrees(i. e., birth control and abortion).  When they back a cause the left strongly supports, the bishops are acting “pastoral” and truly Christian and doing what God called them to do and stuff.

His wife, Eileen, says Blessed Sacrament, with its mix of liberals and conservatives, has always put politics aside. Not now. At a recent parish meeting about religious freedom, people began attacking President Obama, she says, getting more and more heated.

“Until finally one person leaned forward and he said, ‘Well, I have seen cars in our parking lot with Obama stickers on them, and they are complicit in all of this.’ And I thought, ‘Well I guess I’m not welcome here, because I have an Obama sticker on my car.’ “

If you’ve got an Obama sticker on your car, lady, I have one piece of advice.  Get thee to a Eucharistic Adoration.  Can’t hurt.  Also, the sex abuse scandal.  And nuns are cool now so stop beating up nuns!!

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19 Responses to Liberal Catholics and the Fortnight For Freedom

  • “Episcopalians in Catholic drag!” I love that phrase!

  • Oh, I forgot:

    Bishopress Schori would be so proud! Revelation 2:20-23:

    20* But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and beguiling my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her on a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her doings; 23* and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches shall know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you as your works deserve.

  • Not one person mentioned the Body of Christ. “People of God” do not murder or approve of murder in the womb. Whoever encouraged that woman to believe that she is ordained is out of order and has done her a great disservice. How sweetly they are defiant. How compassionately they will rip the brains out of a living human being. How gently they say: “No, I will not serve.” They are atheists trying to take control of the Catholic Church, in the same manner the devil has taken control of their souls. Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI.

  • Liberal Catholics sing in one accord: “We have no King but Caesar” (John 16:9).

  • The Common Good!

    Social Justice!!

    They don’t care about faith and morals.

    They are not Catholics. They are liberals fronting as catholics.

  • “Liberal Catholics sing in one accord: “We have no King but Caesar” (John 16:9).”

    Whoa, the truth behind that should send shivers down one’s spine.

  • In the very old days, when a daughter wished to enter a convent, her father had to provide a dowery equal to her life’s support to the convent. It is said that this is the dowery provided by Saint Nicholas. Many a good woman could not enter a convent. And when these arrive at the gates of hell, they will blame their bishop.

  • “And when these arrive at the gates of hell, they will blame their bishop.” it is to these out of order nuns, to whom, I refer. Beg pardon.

  • The video is actually rather sad – the poor woman justifying her “choice” position because it is “private”; as if anything we do is actually private. And, of course, bringing up the canard about “coat hangers” (really would like to see a full scale investigation to find out if there was ever a woman who tried that). They are so lost – just aimlessly mouthing sentiments they cannot possibly have thought through and being willing tools of those who wish to destroy all truth.

  • Sad to see Ms. McCartney confuse “freedom of worship” with “freedom of religion,” but that’s just what her preferred standard-bearer wants to restrict her to. Sadder still that she’d need padlocks on the doors before she’d see a problem.

    Another snapshot from our Catholic house divided.

  • Sorry, I cant get all worked up about this. If the Bishops and the Church wanted true freedom they would stop standing around with their hands out asking for government money for health care, social programs, vouchers, tax exemptions. Has anyone ever heard the saying: “he who pays the piper gets to name the tune.” If the government gives you money (or financial benefit in the way of tax exemptions) they expect you to accept all the conditions that go along with it.

    True freedom means financial freedom. Other organizations have retained their freedom by refusing government assistance. For decades Hillsdale College has stuck by its principles and refused government funding to avoid government regulations. In the 1990’s Bob Jones University stuck by its principles – for awhile – until they caved on the issue of interracial dating (not an admirable cause but you can at least respect them for standing up for their principles). On the other hand look at all the Catholic social service agencies that have been forced to provide benefits to same sex couples because the agency accepts federal or local funds.

    I wish our Bishops would have enough courage to just say “NO” to government money. Unfortunately, that is something our clergy has never been strong enough to do.

  • Your argument is a nonsequitur since the HHS mandate is not contingent upon an employer receiving one thin dime from the Feds.

  • Don is right. I hear this nonsequitur argument all the time, even from folks who strike me as otherwise informed. Weird actually.

  • So in other words, the HHS mandate applies to every organization whether or not it receives federal money, the only exception being a very narrow one that includes houses of worship (I.e., churches, temples, synagogues, etc.), but NOT other religious organizations even when they receive NO federal money.

    Hence the non sequitur nature of the argument: “This is the Bishop’s fault because they receive federal funding for their organizations.”

    I do agree, however, that the Bishops’ ingratiation of themselves with the liberal leftist idea of social justice, the common good and peace at any price to the exclusion of the principles of subsidiarity, personal responsibility and individual accountability has had a lot to do with the current situation. Not all Bishops did this, but enough of this Marxist pollution has so infected the USCCB that we have the current situation. Now they cry religious freedom, having already sacrificed it for universal health care nonsense and other liberal social justice idiocies. The Church is about saving souls from Heaven, and that is where She ought to focus Her energies.

  • “The Church is about saving souls from Heaven…”

    Whoops! That should read:

    “The Church is about saving souls for Heaven…”

    -10 points for me!

  • “I wish our Bishops would have enough courage to just say “NO” to government money. Unfortunately, that is something our clergy has never been strong enough to do.”

    “Don is right. I hear this nonsequitur argument all the time, even from folks who strike me as otherwise informed. Weird actually.”

    Weird indeed. One cannot express oneself freely if one takes part in govt. programs. Though unfortunately, we might have to begin to think this way in order to prevent such a move in the future.

  • Mac and all lawyers at sea,

    I have been warned about hand-written notes and emails (they may be subpoenaed!).

    Can you give a Legalese, one- or two-word translation for the word “bu!!$@&%”?

    Ridiculous, spurious, and nonsequitur just don’t have the “oomph.”

    For accounting and financial BS, I use: “liberal interpretation”, inconsistent application”, “mark to make-believe”, “fairy tale value”, or “extend and pretend.”

    Thanx!

  • Love this video report! In La La land, one can believe just about anything and call herself a Catholic. And one more reason to never sing that stupid song. It may be heartfelt but it, along with many other OCP ditties, does not belong in any Catholic liturgy. SO happy we have the Latin Mass and are not subject to the liturgy nazi’s dictating what we must sing in order to make everyone at Mass feel good about himself/herself.

Fortnight For Freedom Day 2: Martyrs for the Liberty of the Church

Friday, June 22, AD 2012

 

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.”

Sir Winston Churchill

 

 

Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.

Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.

The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.

We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the second of these blog posts.

June 22, is the feast day of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher, the two great martyrs of the Church who died for the liberty of the Church when King Henry VIII, in order to secure a divorce, sundered the Catholic Church in England from the Catholic Church and placed this new Anglican Church under his control.  Throughout her history the Church has stood foursquare against the attempts by governments to exercised domination over her, and More and Fisher were two in a very long line of martyrs who have died fighting against such attempts.

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom Day 2: Martyrs for the Liberty of the Church

  • ‘ … We are commanded by Christ to render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things which are God’s. Pope Benedict on September 17, 2010, while visiting England, reflected upon Saint Thomas More and the liberty of the Church: ‘

    ‘ … The liberty of the Church and religious freedom are our birthrights as Catholics and as Americans. Eternal vigilance and prompt action in defense are ever necessary to safeguard these treasures. … ‘ Donald MacClarey

    and

    ‘ … 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.” ‘ Sir Winston Churchill

    Would these “c”atholics, who bash and betray their Lord ( who is in their churches and the deposit of their faith for them ), with their heartless ways of detraction, mocking, and turned backs, begin to do the same with Caesar and one another when that is what’s left for them? Will their media, the LCWR, the liberal naysaying clergy, Mr. GS and crew of hired hands, and their government parties legislate, order, and report spiritual comfort to fill the deadly emptiness of having none?

    If only they could take a step to lift up their hearts to God, who waits, their funerals, weddings, baptisms and holidays (Holy Days) could start wonder at the mysteries of their lives (first, of course) and God in His Ways.

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Surprise! George Soros Funded Group of Left-Wing Catholics Attempting to Sabotage Fortnight For Freedom

Thursday, June 21, AD 2012

 

I am shocked, shocked to learn that Faith in Public Life, a George Soros funded group of left-wing Catholics, Protestants and Jews, is attempting to attack the Fortnight For Freedom, the campaign of our Bishops against the HHS Mandate of the Obama Administration.  Bill Donohue of The Catholic League has the goods:

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments as follows:

June 21 marks the beginning of the “Fortnight for Freedom” events, the campaign for religious liberty being conducted by the nation’s bishops. Fair-minded persons may disagree with this effort, but there is something unseemly going on when those who work for a George Soros-funded group are quietly providing talking points to the media.

John Gehring is an official at Faith in Public Life, and it is his organization that lives off the bounty of the left-wing atheist billionaire, Mr. Soros. On June 7, Gehring sent a memo to his buddies in the media (a copy of which was generously leaked to me—click here) instructing them on how to handle the bishops. They should begin by questioning the prelates why the Obama “accommodation” wasn’t good enough. “You have to ask why the bishops can’t take yes for an answer,” he wrote.

Teaching them how to handle the “war on the Catholic Church,” Gehring advises, “Several bishops have used inflammatory and irresponsible rhetoric that conflates a process of working through complex policy issues with a fundamental attack on the Catholic Church.” He also frets over the politicization of the religious liberty campaign, an effort made possible, he neglects to say, because of the politicization of religion by President Obama.

Not to be outdone, Gehring presses his lackeys to victimize the victim, beckoning them to ask the bishops—all of whom refuse to prostitute their principles—“Are you willing to sacrifice Catholic charities, colleges and hospitals if you don’t get your way on the contraceptive mandate?”

Finally, Gehring provides a go-to list of Catholic activists who can be counted on to subvert the bishops’ message. It’s what we would expect from a George Soros group.

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9 Responses to Surprise! George Soros Funded Group of Left-Wing Catholics Attempting to Sabotage Fortnight For Freedom

  • They attack only that which threatens them, so I suppose it should be considered good news.

  • WK Aiken, I sincerely hope and pray to the Lord God that the liberal progressive Democrats DO feel threatened.

  • Threatened?

    Liberals would be suicidal if they weren’t innumerate (the equivalent of “illiterate” in mathematics).

    The Zero’s approval rating is 43% (46% disapprove) down seven percentage points in two weeks.

    It’s not just Obama’s serial assaults on religious liberty. either.

    There are NO JOBS.

  • But T Shaw No Jobs isn’t a problem for most Liberals because that means they get to work on their self expression through modern art.

  • It is true that most new agey liberals drive each other nuts, I see my mom getting more and more lonely and insane and more and more tyrannical at home.

  • Valentin, there’s a phrase I heard used often in workplaces for functioning amidst what you describe at home. It was, ‘Hang in there.’ Another was, ‘This, too, shall pass.’
    Keep the Fourth Commandment which God gave to Moses for His people in mind, and remember that you aren’t alone if you keep a place for God (who loves you most) in your heart.

  • Dividing religious groups is the last vestige, perhaps the last page, in Mr. Obama’s notebook on “How To Be A First Class Saul Alinsky Operative.” Too many naive members of secular and religious orders rely on their prayer values alone to overcome political intrusions; it takes equal parts political science and pugilism in balance with prayer.

  • “It is true that most new agey liberals drive each other nuts”

    When your whole political dogma is based on the Primacy of Self, the competiton gets pretty stiff right away.

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We Are Catholics And We Will Be Heard

Thursday, June 21, AD 2012

 

Bravo to The Catholic Association for the fine video above to help us kick off Fortnight For Freedom.  People don’t truly appreciate their freedom until it is threatened.  I think that is also true for many Catholics in regard to the Church.  Time to stand up.  A time for choosing is here.

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4 Responses to We Are Catholics And We Will Be Heard

  • I just discovered your website and I live in Australia. Be great if there was a FFF campaign down here.
    A big issue for us (and I assume in your country) is the campaign against same sex marriage. There is a por SSM campaign at the moment that is cringeworthy in the way it has become trendy and a lot of celebrities have become involved. It is the “hula hoop” concept the latest fad. Roman Catholics (i like to put the Roman in front for extra emphasis as I strongly believe in the traditions of the Church) around the world need to fight this. I especially resent the way that “Marriage Equality” is the term used as opposed to same sex marriage. Talk about Newspeak!

  • Welcome Oz! We are all in this fight together, faithful Roman Catholics the world round!

  • One man and one fake wife or one woman and one fake husband has got to be perjury in a court of law. Perjury cannot be codified, sanctioned or legalized anynore than gay-marriage, as gay-marriage is assault and battery of the other. Religiously though, gay-marriage denies the human beings’ immortal soul.

  • Must Jehovah Witnesses employers include blood transfusions in coverage for Catholic employees? Can Muslim employers insist on Sharia law in the workplace? Must Christian Scientist employers provide health insurance?

    This slippery slope is coated with ice.