Religious Freedom: The First Freedom

Friday, June 26, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

 

As mankind become more liberal they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government.  I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality.  And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed.

George Washington, March 15, 1790

 

Catholics in this country have long enjoyed complete religious liberty.  The experience of that freedom in this country was one one of the factors that caused Popes to embrace the concept of religious liberty as enshrined in the documents of Vatican II.  Maryland, the Catholic colony, was the first colony to proclaim religious freedom in the New World.

Now that precious liberty that so many Americans have fought and died for down through the centuries is under siege by local and state governments and the Obama administration.  The Bishops of Maryland have spoken out against this evil trend.  Go here to read their 16 page statement from 2011.

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One Response to Religious Freedom: The First Freedom

Fortnight For Freedom: Hobby Lobby

Tuesday, July 1, AD 2014

 

 

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

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

a) In general

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

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

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

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4 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Hobby Lobby

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

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

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

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Fortnight For Freedom 2014

Friday, June 20, AD 2014

The American Catholic will again be participation in the Fortnight For Freedom-June 21-July 4 with special blog posts on the subject of freedom.

Here is the announcement of the Fortnight from the USCCB:

WASHINGTON—Catholic dioceses and parishes across the United States are once again encouraged to raise awareness for domestic and international religious freedom concerns during the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, June 21-July 4. The two-week celebration will focus on the theme, “Freedom to Serve,” emphasizing the link between religious liberty and service to the poor and vulnerable.

“During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul and the first martyrs of the Church of Rome,” said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “This is a time when Catholics can unite themselves in prayer to the men and women throughout history who spread the Gospel and lived out Jesus’ call to serve the ‘least of these’ in even the direst of circumstances.”

Two nationally televised Masses will bookend the Fortnight. Archbishop Lori will celebrate Mass at the Baltimore Basilica on June 21, at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on July 4, at noon EDT. USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, will be the homilist at the July 4 Mass.

USCCB has prepared materials to help dioceses and parishes participate in the Fortnight, including templates and guides for special prayer services, a list of frequently asked questions about religious liberty, one-page fact sheets on current threats to religious freedom in the U.S. and around the world, and a study guide on Dignitatis Humanae, the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Religious Freedom.

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom 2014

  • Excerpt from the letter to the Danbury Baptist Church

    .
    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
    I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.”
    Th Jefferson
    Jan. 1. 1802.
    .
    The HHS Mandate never passed by Congress or voted by the people. The HHS Mandate was added after Obamacare was passed. Obamacare itself is an opinion, a personal opinion, which was made public through the abuse of the office of president. This is why Chief Justice John Roberts laughed at us, called Obamacare a tax, while the same day in response the White House called it a penalty. Obamacare criminalized the observance of conscience and imposed a penalty for the acknowledgement of “our Creator”.

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AZ “Anti-Gay” Bill Vetoed

Wednesday, February 26, AD 2014

As I expected, Arizona governor Jan Brewer has vetoed SB 1062. Though it has been described in the media as a bill that establishes a “right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers”, this is quite false. The aim of the bill was to provide the same protections currently afforded to religious institutions under state law to  “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church,” “estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity” and to allow religious defense to be used as a defense in lawsuits by the same entities.

In itself, the bill is harmless. It makes no reference to homosexuals, even though the outrageously unjust decision of Elane Photography v. Willock, which may be heard by the Supreme Court at some point in the reasonably near future, was the impetus behind it. In context, however, the bill was quite unnecessary and I believe will ultimately end up causing more harm than good.

In the first place, Elane v. Willock took place in New Mexico, wherein homosexuals are a “protected class” under NM state law. No such protections exist in AZ; ergo, no legislation along these lines was really needed at this time. The actual threat to religious liberty, at least from the vindictive sort of activism that has brought photographers and bakers to court, was non-existent. The summary and background written by proponents of the bill made Elane one of its core concerns without recognizing that NMs distinctive protections for homosexuals were responsible for the legal conflict in that state (as an aside, I do not believe Elane Photography refused service simply because Willock was gay).

Because the bill wasn’t really necessary and a tangible threat in the form of an actual lawsuit against a Christian business owner was not in play, it was easy to see it as an irrationally spiteful measure (as I would see the actions of Vanessa Willock against Elane Photography, by the way). Now it is one thing to have to put up with the left-wing media’s triumphalism when we have a moral duty to make a stand, as Elane Photography and other businesses have; it is another thing to have to witness the spectacle of melodrama from the homosexual political movement and its straight allies as Brewer announced her decision. The passage, veto, and failure of SB 1062 gave aid to our enemies who would trample our religious liberties into dust, and did harm to our own cause. I do not blame Brewer for this. I blame imprudence on the part our well-meaning friends in Arizona. As the governor herself put it:

Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific and present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona. I have not heard of one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.

We must only fight battles that need fighting. Preemptive strikes didn’t work out too well for George W. Bush and they aren’t going to work out well for the social conservative movement. Right now this country is split – roughly half of it agrees with our basic proposition that the right to free exercise of religion and conscience outweighs a gay couple’s right to have any business they like participate in their gay weddings. If we push for unnecessary legislation against vague or non-existent threats and hand PR victories to the enemies of liberty, that balance could shift against us in short order.

The moral high ground never belongs to perceived aggressors. Only those who strike back in legitimate self-defense can strike with overwhelming force and the moral support of the people. If this lesson is not absorbed, then our cause will never prevail.

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123 Responses to AZ “Anti-Gay” Bill Vetoed

  • I respectfully disagree. It is the veto that sends the wrong message. I don’t think the people of Arizona acting through their legislature has to wait until the situation becomes critical to take proactive measures. This law would have sent a signal to state courts that protection of religious freedom was of paramount concern and that any infringement must be in the interest of a compelling state interest only. They can see in Arizona as we all can elsewhere that advocates of same-sex practices will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. State boundaries mean nothing to those pursuing legitimacy of the “gay” lifestyle at the expense of people of faith. There is no placating such a mindset and there are no lengths that activists will go to harass those who get in their way. The question is will they have the coercive power of the state to back them up. The veto of this bill suggests that in the future in Arizona, they will.

  • Chris,

    I get your objection. I think we are on the defensive, though. I could have told you from day one of the bill’s final draft that Jan Brewer was going to veto it, and for exactly the reasons she said. Her reaction was all but inevitable. I do not think that this means that the totalitarian fanatics will have their way in AZ. I believe Gov. Brewer is an ally – she is pro-life and pro-family. I think she had good reasons for the veto.

    Put the blame with the imprudence behind the bill. Somewhere between “there is no threat” and “its too late” is the sweet spot in which it is safe to take defensive measures. The AZ legislature acted too soon and with an ultimately flawed argument about the implications of New Mexico. Of course the fanatics don’t care about state laws, but they don’t have absolute power. They were able to win in NM – for now, at least – because of NM law. They could not win in AZ – for now, at least – because of AZ law. What AZ social conservatives should focus on is preventing NM-style “protections” from becoming law, if and when those are proposed.

    We have to play it twice as smart and three times as safe because most of the national news media is against us and is looking for ANY reason to paint us as vile bigots destined for the ash heap of history. We are on the defensive and that changes everything about how we play this game.

  • Leading up to her veto, do you believe any of the arguments that AZ was going to suffer financial blow-back if she would of allowed the bill to become law?

    Anyone?

    I found that argument absurd.

  • From the AP.
    The national Hispanic Bar Asso. canceled its convention plans in AZ for 2015.

    I just came across this on associated press. It wasn’t absurd afterall.

    It’s sad that businesses that refuse to serve this lifestyle are going to be dragged into court on discrimination complaints. Because this hasn’t happened yet in AZ was a large factor in her decision to veto? I’m slow. Just catching up. Coffee soon.

  • The gay gestapo, again, wins.

    Next, they’ll sue a parish for refusing to perform Nuptial Rites for a show, sodomy regularization.

    A paltry, few (older religious) black Civil Rights leaders expressed outrage at the false comparison of this fake issue to Solid Democrat south Jim Crow/segregation – it’s a Democrat Party thing.

    In America, Catholics no longer have any right.

  • “A paltry, few (older religious) black Civil Rights leaders expressed outrage at the false comparison of this fake issue to Solid Democrat south Jim Crow/segregation – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/02/26/az-anti-gay-bill-vetoed/#comments

    And they are right to do so. There is no way that the discrimination of most ‘protected’ groups in America today can be compared to that of slaves and their descendants.

    But such is the heritage of the civil rights movement. That movement created two things that are not healthy in our body politic. The first is a template that can be followed by anyone who can claim some victimization from invidious discrimination, no matter how paltry (instead of the more reasonable view that the discrimination against blacks was unique and so the template should not have been reused). The second is an addiction to righteous emotions that requires the civil rights movement to never end.

  • (as an aside, I do not believe Elane Photography refused service simply because Willock was gay).” The repugnance of the gay militant agenda is enough to make gentle people avoid it. Its nasty demands covertly assume innocent homosexuals’ lives and smear the virtue of chastity as evil and against their so called license to unnatural marriage and freedom to sodomize each other…(then us).

  • TomD.
    “The first is the template that can be followed by anyone who can claim some victimization from insidious discrimination…”

    Except the unborn.

    What a world.

  • I have mixed feelings about the AZ bill. A few weeks ago I basically supported such an idea. Today I am not so sure. Please permit me to lay out my reasoning.

    It is obvious that homosexuals are using the power of the state to redefine marriage to their advantage (though it has been pointed out that the main advantage of gay marriage is gay divorce).

    It is obvious that other radicals are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless.

    It is obvious that orthodox Christianity (Catholic, Eastern, and Protestant) considers marriage to be a ‘mystery’ or ‘sacrament’ that cannot be redefined in the manner that is now underway. Please note that I understand that some but not all Protestants are orthodox in their views on marriage.

    So what is happening today, from a Christian viewpoint, is that the secular state is usurping to itself the power to define a sacrament. Arguably the state did this centuries ago when it began to issue marriage licenses and to prohibit clergy from officiating at marriages without a license. This legal power to redefine marriage have lain dormant until now, and the changes in Western societal mores are now driving the state to use this power.

    If the state redefines marriage away from the Christian definition, and if the power of the state and of powerful non-state institutions such as the media are used to defend and propagandize the redefinition of marriage, then Christianity is to some degree being discriminated against, and persecuted. The state is telling Christians that their churches are wrong in a major question of faith and morals. Religious liberty is being undermined.

    The only way out of this insipid persecution is to either return to the original civil definition of marriage, or for the state to get out of the marriage business entirely. The state could stop issuing marriage licenses, and issue only civil union licenses. Marriage thus becomes a purely religious institution. The Church defines marriage for me, and if you don’t like it you can go start your own church and have your own definition of marriage. I’m staying put.

    Think about it. This is precisely what we do regarding the Eucharist. Different churches have different definitions about the Body of Christ. The analogy of the current situation would be that, say, the state has decided that the Lutheran definition is the correct one because it is more inclusive and non-discriminatory, and so the law will recognize it over the non-Lutheran definitions.

    Today Christians who own businesses that serve the public do not discriminate against Lutherans or non-Lutherans. Today’s Christians do not even discriminate against heterosexual adulterers in their businesses. Is homosexuality really that different? Yes, today homosexuals are in the forefront of the de-Christianization of our society, but others (such as divorcees and unmarried contraception users) were in the forefront before them. I personally think that this is the real reason why the AZ bill was supported.

    So, is the fight against gay marriage wrong for us to fight? No, it isn’t. But I would argue that the fight should not be against gay marriage per se, but rather against the state’s support of it. I think we need to say that our Church is important, and it’s teachings on family and sexuality are important, and that we therefore have to right to put our wagon train into a circle and demand the right to not change no matter how the anti-Christians deride us as “haters”. We must demand the right to not have the state cram the redefinition of marriage down our throats and to imply that it agrees with anti-Christians that we are “haters”. Since we have the right to resist all this, we have the right to oppose being forced to give business services to support this state redefinition of marriage.

    In the final analysis, we cannot mount such a fight if we cannot be this particular about our reasons. We cannot use the legal power of the state to keep our society ‘good’ (think of the lack of ‘good’ in an improperly consecrated Eucharist), but our opponents need to see that they can’t use the state in a similar manner. At least over our dead bodies. Your thoughts?

  • I don’t like giving in to bullies, but I don’t think the bill was a good idea– it placed requirements along the lines of “prove it” on folks refusing service.

  • Philip, you are exactly right. The unborn and the profoundly mentally challenged cannot “claim” victim status or anything else without aid from another person. The great god Autonomy recognizes them not.

  • The devil is a liar. When a person says: “I Will, til death do us part”, gives informed consent freely without impediment and then changes his mind, recants his informed consent, his “I WILL, ’til death do us part”, he becomes a liar, a minion of the devil. A liar, a minion of the devil, cannot be trusted in a court of law, not in a church or a court of law without repenting his sin, his crime, his untruth.
    .
    The truth is defended by the Catholic church and must be defended by the court of Justice. If an impediment exists, such as faulty consent, an annulment is given, saying that no marriage, no sacrament was brought to bear. Divorce says that a marriage, a sacrament exists, and that the Church or the state has the power to eradicate a sacrament or a contract made of a man’s free will.
    .
    This is plainly a lie and son of a devil, any and every devil whose name is legion.

  • Mary, you want courts of law to recognize the existence of the devil? Why bother, they already recognize the existence of lawyers. (Sorry Don. Sorry Dad)

  • 🙂 funny….but to easy a target Dave.

  • I know the-devil-and-lawyers is a trope, Philip, but I couldn’t help myself.

  • It’s funny until we need one!

  • We all need to think like lawyers. Jesus did command us to be “as wise as serpents” after all, even as he called on us to also maintain our innocence.

  • “Mary, you want courts of law to recognize the existence of the devil? Why bother, they already recognize the existence of lawyers. (Sorry Don. Sorry Dad)”

    “In Hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed.”

    Grant Gilmore

  • TomD

    Here in Scotland, until 1940, the state did not regulate marriage. Marriage required —no notice, no formality and no record of any kind. Mere consent of parties, deliberately given, was alone sufficient to constitute a marriage without a moment’s delay without any consent of parents or guardians or any notice to them; add to which that a mere promise of marriage, followed by consummation, or a living together as man and wife, without either formal consent or promise, amounted also to a marriage, being deemed by operation of law to involve presumptions of consent.

    As late as the 1980s, actions for declarator of marriage were a commonplace, often brought 40 or 50 years after the alleged event, usually when the man (it was mostly the man) had died. Widows and children, threatened with disinheritance often enough bought off claims that were little more than blackmail.

    The reasons brought forward for changing the law were obvious:

    1) As regards the rights and interests of the parties themselves, it is obvious that, in order to constitute marriage, the matrimonial consent should be given in a manner which secures previous deliberation, and that, whatever formalities the law may require in the mode of expressing consent, it should be so expressed that neither party can, at the time, entertain a doubt as to the validity of the engagement into which they solemnly enter.
    2) As regards consequences affecting others the matrimonial consent should be given in a manner and accompanied with evidence easily accessible; so that the rights and interests of others may not be exposed to the imminent hazard which arises from any uncertainty with regard to the effects of previous latent subsisting engagements, whether arising from the fraud of one of the contracting parties, or from causes of a less culpable nature, in consequence of uncertainty attending the legal effects of previous conduct.
    3) As regards the rights and interests of future generations, it is of the utmost importance that questions of legitimacy should be avoided, by rendering the proof of marriage so easily accessible, by means of public records, that the claims of future generations by inheritance in the course of lawful descent, may be traced in the most certain and effectual manner.

    I consider these reasons for state regulation unanswerable

  • Michael Paterson:

    I’m not so sure that your points are unanswerable. Point #3 in particular would be moot in a society that cares not a whit for future generations, and shows its intent by contracepting and aborting them out of existence. And all of your points to one degree or another have been only weakly supported by modern ‘government regulation’ – the decay of the traditional family being the chief proof. If this is what marriage is for then government has largely failed.

    But my main (halfhearted) point still stands: all of the positive things you argue for can be gained via civil unions. My argument is that we rename the civil institution of marriage to something else, and let government work toward its just goals through that something else. In the meantime we Christians get to have the marriage we want to have, and no one holding secular power can say we are wrong. Once government leaves the marriage arena the debate over the nature of marriage becomes a theological debate only.

  • TomD-
    when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?

    Incidentally, please stop slandering an entire culture based on the loud idiots. Yes, too many people sin sexually. That is no reason to dynamite the support for those who aren’t, or are trying not to.

  • Foxfier: “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?”

    I assume this group is one of those, as I put it above, are “radicals [who] are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless”? Yes, you put your finger on the weak spot in this argument, which is why I am “halfhearted” about it: break the connection with Christian marriage, and the state will come to support ANY combination of legal relationships and will try and call it ‘marriage’. But, they are already doing this. I am making an argument similar to a damage control party who counterfloods a sinking ship: break the connection, and we just might save marriage, though only for us Christians. Haven’t you noticed that the ship is already sinking?

    Slander is a rather strong word. Who did I slander and how? Slander requires untruthfulness. Where was I untruthful?

  • I assume this group is one of those, as I put it above, are “radicals [who] are waiting in the wings to add further redefinitions of marriage (poly-whatever) that will make marriage almost meaningless”?

    No.

    They try to remove all religion from the public sphere.

    Haven’t you noticed that the ship is already sinking?

    1) No, it is not. It’s damaged, but not sinking. Even the “50% of marriages end in divorce” statistic is false.

    Your solution is to look at the USS Cole, with a huge hole in the side, and decide the solution is to blow a hole in the other side, and then declare that those who say stop doing damage are fools who will kill us all because all is lost.

  • Foxfier wrote: “Your solution is to look at the USS Cole, with a huge hole in the side, and decide the solution is to blow a hole in the other side, and then declare that those who say stop doing damage are fools who will kill us all because all is lost.”

    A ship the size of the USS Cole lacks transverse bulkheads, so they do flood all the way to the other side when holed, but on larger naval ships that is almost precisely what damage control teams do, though they don’t actually blow a hole. I brought up the analogy because of your “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them” comment. It occurred to me that years ago the Imperial Japanese Navy strove to flood U.S. Navy ships, and U.S. Navy damage control strove to flood them, and so the uninitiated would think that the IJN and USN goals were the same. They both flooded the same ships, right? Therefore, it does not logically follow that an idea of mine is suspect because a spiritual enemy of ours advocates it. My reason is not their reason, and I think I was clear on that.

    BTW, a fun digression: naval architects will tell you that the first priority in designing a ship is “that it does not sink”. A no-brainer, right? The second priority is “that if it sinks the people can get off it”. Paramount to this second priority it to avoid designs that could cause a ship to turn turtle. The U.S. Navy refused to allow transverse bulkheads in cruisers, and felt vindicated after a few Royal Navy cruisers turned turtle in WW2. Better to flood a ship all the way across than to lose a crew.

  • Oh, one more thing. The “ship” I hade in mind for sinking is not the Church, that is in fact growing around the world. It is our Western society that is sinking – remember that current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD, and the Western elites who think this is a good thing to emulate have their countries on the same path, only slower. I don’t think it need sink, damage control is still possible, and it ought to be saved. But it is slowly sinking.

  • They both flooded the same ships, right? Therefore, it does not logically follow that an idea of mine is suspect because a spiritual enemy of ours advocates it. My reason is not their reason, and I think I was clear on that.

    It does not matter what your reason was, when your result is the same.

    Major difference being, ie, when those who flood both sides are there is still a ship, while when you blow out the other side the wounded ship sinks.

  • Your original point was on “society”.

    Which, amazingly enough, I am a member of– and which has not even hit a 50% failure rate, let alone an “abandon all hope” type failure rate.

    I frankly do not give a fig what assumptions based on people doing the same blessed thing they’re doing right now for five hundred years would result in, because past evidence holds that PEOPLE DON’T KEEP DOING THE SAME THING FOR FIVE HUNDRED YEARS.

  • “In Hell there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observed.” Grant Gilmore .
    Jesus descended into hell. The laws of hell refused Him entrance. Jesus took the patriarchs and ascended into heaven.
    .
    “when your solution involves the same goals as the Freedom From Religion foundation, perhaps you should re-examine them?”
    .
    The Freedom From Religion Foundation can say nothing to me or to the courts or to the state.
    Atheists are tolerated. Atheism is unconstitutional. The First Amendment: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” is freedom of religion to me in the public square.
    .
    God gives us this: genius
    .
    “The Civil Rights Acts that banned discrimination on the basis of race by private vendors were unusual legislative acts based on an unusual situation: state governments that mandated such discrimination by private businesses. It took government action to break down such government mandated discrimination. Absent such government mandated discrimination, I think most Americans, if they truly ponder it, would be all in favor of businesses discriminating in some cases. For example, I assume few people are against restaurants discriminating against nudists by mandating clothes. I imagine few Americans would feel comfortable telling a black owned barbecue restaurant that they must cater a Klan rally. A Jewish run deli really should not be required to provide take out for the group calling for divestiture from Israel. I am not going to represent the owner of an abortion clinic under any circumstances. In theory Americans might be against private discrimination in commerce, but when it comes down to actual cases, I suspect that almost all Americans are not non-discrimination absolutists. When businesses discriminate they of course run the risk of losing customers, but freedom of the consumer goes along with freedom for the vendor.”

    – See more at: http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/02/27/private-discrimination-is-as-american-as-apple-pie/#sthash.6tZ6zQzl.dpuf
    .
    Laws that the government makes and that are or that become unjust, the government must unmake. Otherwise, government used to engineer its citizens through corrupt laws is government without law.
    .
    Capitalism, like social Justice, is about giving to persons what they truly need as opposed to what they want.
    .
    Do gays need unnatural marriage? Or cakes for their counterfeit vows? Does the gay agenda need to arrogate the office of husband or wife and militate against virtue? Does gay addiction lead to happiness?

  • Foxfier, past evidence shows that people often DO do the same thing for five hundred years. And you know what? Even if they don’t the damage is often irreversible. Europe is dying, the birthrate implosion is real and will not change unless there is Divine intervention. America is not dying but there are those here who want us to be like Europe. If you are going to argue these facts are wrong then I’m simply going to give up on you.

  • Thanks Mary for reminding me that I have to read that “apple pie” article. I’ve been away for much of the day.

    When I took my business law courses the first thing I was told was that “law creates discrimination”, and the section you quote shows that very well. This fact is why civil right law is based on outlawing “invidious” discrimination – in effect civil rights law discriminates among different discriminations: a few are bad, but most are good.

  • Tom D.
    .
    Lying in a court of law is still called perjury. The child is evidence of the marital act between a man and a woman. It is no small reason why abortion is prevalent. The courts may uphold the marriage vow as a legal contract between two persons.

  • “3) As regards the rights and interests of future generations, it is of the utmost importance that questions of legitimacy should be avoided, by rendering the proof of marriage so easily accessible, by means of public records, that the claims of future generations by inheritance in the course of lawful descent, may be traced in the most certain and effectual manner.”
    .
    Somewhere I learned that any child born into a marriage, although he may be illegitimately begotten, is a child who is legally a member of that family.
    .
    “I consider these reasons for state regulation unanswerable”
    .
    If you mean, Michael Paterson-Seymour, that the state has nothing to say about the matter, except to uphold the law, you are correct.

  • TomD

    A great Scottish judge. Lord Meadowbank famously declared (Gordon v Pye (1814)) that private pacts “cannot impede or embarrass the steady uniform course of the jus publicum, which, with regard to the rights and obligations of individuals affected by the three great domestic relations, enacts them from motives of political expediency and public morality and nowise confers them as private benefits resulting from agreements concerning meum et tuum, which are capable of being modified and renounced at pleasure. Accordingly, the case of Campbell of Carrick in rejecting the competency of any personal objection to bar a pursuer of declarator of marriage establishes by the highest authority the incompetency and inefficiency of any obligations, not sanctioned by the common law, to operate on matrimonial rights.”

    Speaking of foreign marriages, he said, “Matrimonial rights and obligations, on the contrary, so far as juris gentium, admit of no modification by the will of parties and foreign courts are therefore nowise called upon to inquire after that will or after any municipal law to which it may correspond. They are bound to look to their own law and it is with all deference thought to be in a particular degree contrary to principle to make that law bend to the dictates of a foreign law in the administration of that department of internal jurisprudence, which operates directly on public morals and domestic manners… This category of law does not affect the contracting individuals only, but the public and that in various ways; and the consequences would prove not a little inconvenient, embarrassing and probably even inextricable, if the personal capacities of individuals, as of majors or minors, the competency to contract marriages and infringe matrimonial obligations, the rights of domestic authority and service and the like were to be qualified and regulated by foreign laws and customs, with which the mass of the population must be utterly unacquainted.”

    This applies with equal force to the notion that every sect might establish its own laws governing these matters.

  • Tom D.

    Apology owed. I mis-quoted you.
    Unintentional. Invidious! “insidious” was used. Excuse me.

    Mary DeVoe.

    “Freedom of the customer goes along with freedom of the vendor.”
    It makes sense.
    So the Gay mafia is feeling the power swing that’s been propelling their agenda, so they are riding the wave and complaining in a court of law whenever they feel insulted?
    This is honestly more of a offensive move on their part then defending themselves aginist discrimination.
    It’s part of the war on Christian values.

  • Have there been any cases of devout Catholic vendors being sued for refusing to cater/photograph/host, etc. the wedding or reception of a couple who had been divorced (without obtaining a decree of nullity) from their previous spouses, or who were otherwise marrying outside the Church? According to Catholic teaching, those unions are also not true marriages and Catholics must not endorse or cooperate in them. The usual pastoral counsel for individuals in these cases is either 1) decline to attend or participate in the wedding or reception and don’t send gifts because that would be cooperating in a sinful act, or 2) attend in order to keep family peace but make clear ahead of time that you believe their action to be morally wrong.

    That said, I’ve never personally heard of a Catholic photographer, caterer, etc. asserting or being told that he/she has a moral obligation to refuse service should he/she discover that the couple in question are Catholics marrying outside the Church. Nor have I ever been told that a Catholic court clerk has a moral obligation not to sign off on marriage licenses for couples remarrying after divorce or Catholic couples not marrying in the Church (provided, of course, that they KNOW the couple is in this situation — which is one significant difference, a same-sex couple is always obvious while a male-female couple attempting a marriage not sanctioned by the Church isn’t.)

    I bring this question up for two reasons: first, to discover whether there have indeed been any such cases that I just don’t know about, and second, to make the point that if Catholic vendors, etc., have not previously shown any moral qualms about serving opposite-sex wedding ceremonies that, according to their beliefs, were illicit, might that not be undermining their present argument that they have a grave moral obligation to refuse same-sex couples? And if that’s the case, does this mean that for consistency, maybe Catholic vendors need to also start being more selective about which “traditional” opposite-sex couples they serve? Or maybe just not do weddings at all except as a personal favor to people they know and trust? For example, if a baker normally just sold regular baked goods and didn’t advertise to the public that they had any means for doing wedding catering.

  • Elaine.
    You ask good questions.
    A baker having to be worried about being sued if they decide to protect their conscience. Weird times.
    Here’s one; From Vision to America this morning. The girl scouts named their NYC “Girl Experience Officer” as Krista Kokjohn-Poehler. An openly gay/lesbian who has a partner, and now holds this interesting title in the organization.

    Girl experience officer. Watch your cookies. As for our family…no thanks.

  • Elaine,

    None of the high-profile cases thus far have involved Catholics, to my knowledge. We are well represented when it comes to the HHS mandate but not when it comes to the individual business issue.

    It could be because more Catholics (self-identified, at any rate) defy Church teaching on both issues than evangelical Protestants do on the gay wedding issue.

  • Hi Elaine! You wrote “…second, to make the point that if Catholic vendors, etc., have not previously shown any moral qualms about serving opposite-sex wedding ceremonies that, according to their beliefs, were illicit, might that not be undermining their present argument that they have a grave moral obligation to refuse same-sex couples?”

    That is very much the point that I making in a more backhanded way, although I mostly cited the Eucharist as the affected sacrament. I think this is a very valid point. And why did it happen? Because people see the possibility of conflict between standing up for church teaching and charity. They did years ago, of course, but charity didn’t win out as often as it does today. Oh, and I am deliberately using today’s definition of charity, since the very valid concept of “false charity” have very little traction anymore.

    So, if Christian business owners serve illicit heterosexual ceremonies, can they logically still reject homosexual ceremonies? Up until now they have, and they have justified it on natural law arguments, which tell us that homosexuality IS different. Natural law has, not coincidentally, come under attack. The ABA, for example, has done its best to remove natural law as a philosophical underpinning of constitutional law, which is why courts so rarely cite the Declaration of Independence anymore. Many people today still basically follow in natural law for judgment on the morality (or lack thereof) of homosexual acts, but thanks to pro-homosexual propaganda have trouble using it in discriminating circumstances.

  • Foxfier, past evidence shows that people often DO do the same thing for five hundred years

    Where?

    Where is your past evidence that it is reasonable to expect Germany to be depopulated in 500 years due to the birth rate not changing at all in that time?

  • Philip: “Mary DeVoe. “Freedom of the customer goes along with freedom of the vendor.”
    This common sense comes from Donald McClarey.

  • Elaine

    It could be that Catholic moral theologians have often taken a generous view on when “remote material co-operation” is permitted, with a suitable “direction of intention.”

    The 17th century Casuists were very lenient. Thus, Étienne Bauny SJ says, “Let confessors observe that they cannot absolve servants who perform base errands, if they consent to the sins of their masters; but the reverse holds true, if they have done the thing merely from a regard to their temporal emolument.” He instances carrying letters and presents to the ladies their master wishes to seduce.

    Similar considerations apply to tradesmen. So, according to Vincenzo Filliucci SJ, a locksmith may sell picklocks and skeleton keys to a thief, for use in his general business as a housebreaker; he is not complicit in the sins the thief subsequently resolves to commit with them. It is otherwise, if the locksmith copies the keys of a particular house that he knows the thief is planning to break into. In that case, he is art and part of the particular theft.

    I am sure the theologians could have relieved the scruples of florists and bakers.

  • Mary DeVoe
    and
    Donald McClarey.

    Thanks. I didn’t realize it was Donald’s comment.

  • Foxlier, many people, including Germans, allowed their societies to be anti-Semitic in one form or another for more than 500 years. Islam as practiced by many has been a destructive societal force for far more than 500 years. I could name others. So I can conclude that it is possible for the modern Western pseudo-utopia to provide for the next 500 years the contraception and abortion and television and vacations that will basically eliminate their populations.

    BTW, you have a bad habit of misrepresenting my statements. I did not maintain that Germany will be depopulated, and even by inference depopulation is not the most reasonable conclusion. Germans will not disappear by dwindling to four, then two, then one. They will disappear because they will intermarry with their more numerous replacements.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: I agree with Lord Meadowbank on civil marriage. I don’t think his view is really counter to mine, which is that an ahistorical Lord Meadowbank cannot use Scottish law to tell the Church what the nature of Christian marriage is, and that the Church has every right to resist the ahistorical Lord Meadowbank’s attempts to better it in moral and sacramental theology.

    I really liked your post on the Casuists. There is so much to history.

  • You said:
    It is our Western society that is sinking – remember that current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD, and the Western elites who think this is a good thing to emulate have their countries on the same path, only slower.

    This is not on par with “being anti-Sematic, in one form or another” nor is it on par with “being Islamic.”

    You also then accuse me of misrepresenting you because:
    I did not maintain that Germany will be depopulated, and even by inference depopulation is not the most reasonable conclusion.

    So you believe the Germans will be extinct based on extrapolating current birth rates if they go on for 500 years, but the only evidence you can offer are ideas?
    I suppose I should be glad you didn’t decide to defend it by saying “people have been eating for a long time!”

    You have not defended your claim, and your false accusation that I am misconstruing you is just silly.

  • Don, what do you think is up with this Foxfier? A troll, a paid troll, or what? I normally reply to posts like these because I assume that a teen might be reading it, but this baiting has gotten out of hand.

  • Foxfier is a co-blogger TomD and a master at combox to an fro. This blog is as much hers as it is mine.

  • OK, I agree, I clicked on the avatar and found the Head Noises site, so its legit. But I’m sorry, I’ve counted two serious misrepresentations, so I see nothing masterful about this. Hyperbolic misquoting does not engender respect from the quoted.

  • False accusations do even less.

  • If you apply your standard of truth to yourself you could not prove anything by anyone to be false.

  • You made a silly claim that assumed that birth rates would stay the same for 500 years because I objected to your slander about us being “a society that cares not a whit for future generations, and shows its intent by contracepting and aborting them out of existence.”

    Never mind actually offering some sort of support for this defeatism– basic logic would indicate that the portion of society that is preventing and killing their progeny isn’t going to be taking over the culture. Familiarity with how younger folks tend to be more pro-life than the older ones is one point of support.

    Nope, the reasonable reaction is to remove religion from the public sphere. To save the ship, or something.

  • If you apply your standard of truth to yourself you could not prove anything by anyone to be false.

    That is false.

    The only “standard of truth” I’ve been promoting is going beyond assertion and hand-waving; you made a specific claim, and when asked to support the assumption that a half century would not change birth rates, pointed to things not even vaguely similar.

  • The birth rate claim is not silly. Mark Steyn and Theodore Dalrymple (who you approvingly quote on your Head Noises site) have made it. Their writings convinced me that it is a reasonable position to take.

    Who is the “us” that I am slandering? I still don’t know. Is the U.S.? Europe? The West?. Again, I am just quoting Steyn and Dalrymple about Western trends, so after you let me know who the “us” is please tell me, are they slandering “us” too?

  • You keep making claims of “misrepresentation,” but the one time you tried to support it the problem is… well, not clear– you say “current German birth rates will lead to the extinction of Germans by 2500 AD,” I say that extrapolating birth rates without change is silly, and you object that of course the reasonable way to read that is not that you’re assuming birth rates will stay steady, but that they will dwindle and intermarry.

    Which has nothing to do with what I said.
    Showing how a population at one point did keep the same birth rate for 500 years would be relevant, even if it was something like consistently having replacement +1 for women, without averaging more than a decade into the stats. That would be really good evidence. “People follow a religion and hate outsiders,” not evidence.

  • If you can’t figure out that we’re all part of society, you’re either foolish or being willfully obtuse– AKA, trolling.

    The birth rate claim is not silly. Mark Steyn and Theodore Dalrymple (who you approvingly quote on your Head Noises site) have made it.

    Steyn’s observations do not assume that nothing will change. That is a major difference between him and yourself.

    Dr. D doesn’t assume that all is lost so we should abandon ship. That’s another major difference.

    They do both recognize that the culture is in trouble, and that there is a major drop in birthrates– but they’re calling attention to it to change it, not to throw their hands up and surrender.

  • Foxfier & Dave.
    It’s The American Catholic, not The American Protagonist.

    You both have acquired so much and share in your wealth of experience knowledge and virtue. Please share more virtue between yourselves.

    From the freshmen class.

  • I think you mean Donald?

    Not clear what you’re talking about either way, Philip.

  • Philip, Foxfier seems to have developed a personal animus towards me. Also, note the answer to me about Mark Steyn: “Steyn’s observations do not assume that nothing will change”. This is a half truth. What Steyn has written is that these trends, if unchanged, will lead to one outcome that Foxfier disputes, and if changed will lead still lead to a slightly different outcome because it will come too late, but Foxfier disputes this too (actually, Foxfier acts as if they are one outcome, because this makes it easier to argue with me). At least I can find the Steyn quotes if Foxfier demands it. I do recall one: “These countries are going out of business”, which sounds a lot like my “slanders”.

    Right before I wrote this note I picked up my youngest from school and dropped into the office to pick up what I need for work tomorrow. I was thinking “I hope Foxfier just says that ‘Steyn and Dalrymple are silly too, and here’s why…'” because then I would know that it’s not personal. Alas…

  • Europe is dying, the birthrate implosion is real and will not change unless there is Divine intervention.

    No. There has been a recovery in fertility rates in much of Europe, excluding the Germanophone states, the Balkans, Italy and Spain. British and French fertility rates are at replacement levels and Russia’s are improving. The World Bank puts the mean fertility rate for “Europe & Central Asia” at 1.95 children per woman per lifetime. If you bracket out the Muslim states therein, that’s north of 1.8 for the remainder. The nadir for total fertility rates was in 2002 at 1.85, so a recovery to replacement levels for quondam Christian Europe is conceivable within a generation.

    Mark Steyn is a talented commentator but he makes errors with the math.

  • Oops, I’ve found that I’ve made a mistake, can’t remember everything these days. AD 2500 is not the year that Germans will disappear if their birthrates are unchanged, it is the approximate year of humanity’s disappearance if the entire globe were to adopt current German birthrates starting today. This implies that the Germans probably won’t even make it to 2500. Sorry.

  • Art, do those World Bank statistics for Europe include their Muslim populations? I think they do, and based on the observations of Steyn and Dalrymple and others I’d conclude that the “recovery” is simply due to more Muslims.

  • Per the Pew Research Center, non-indigenous Muslims make up less than 6% of Europe’s population and France has a proportion only slightly larger than that. The main source countries (Turkey and the francophone Maghreb) do not have exceptional fertility rates (around replacement rates for Turkey, Algeria, and Tunisia, somewhat higher for Morocco).

  • Algeria’s fertility rates have improved in recent years, so Algeria and Morocco are both around 2.8. Steven Mosher was speculating a while back that European Muslims had fertility rates around 4.0, but you only see rates like that in Tropical Africa these days and a two or three equally impoverished countries elsewhere.

  • What is the definition of “non-indigenous Muslims”? Since the Islamic immigration to Europe began in the 1950’s, it is possible that there are now two to three generations in Muslim families that are native born, and some intermarriage with the “indigenous” population has occurred. I must confess that I have had some suspicion of European statistics since I found that most European countries count children who die 2-3 days after birth as stillbirths.

  • Oy….

    You accuse me of this, that and the other thing, refuse to support what you claim, grudgingly admit that a contributor might, possibly be legit…and I’m the one with animus against YOU?

    You’re not that important.

    You’re annoying in that you smear the entire of society with the sad, sick and lied to that are poisoning themselves and killing their kids, but no, insistance on something of substance to back up your claims is not about you.

  • Art, is that Stephen W. Mosher? If so please know that I hadn’t heard of him and just looked him up. Very interesting, I’m going to read more on him and by him. Thank you!

  • Thank you for confirming the animus

  • “grudgingly admit that a contributor might, possibly be legit” Sorry Foxfier, but it’s your hostility that sowed the doubt in my mind. I’m glad to have put it aside.

  • Just made it back.

    TomD and Foxfier.

    Please pardon my intrusion.
    I was loosing sight of your debate because of the dust being stirred up.
    That was my mention of virtue in a (drama sequence) that unfolded between two good people. I’m sorry to bud in Foxfier. I respect your positions ( prove it comment you made relating to the AZ bill that was killed) Good point!
    I respect the opinions of TomD. I was enjoying your debate but soured on the insults that transpired.
    So. Instead of moving on I was beating around the bush that We are Catholics.
    We forgive. We encourage each other just as your many posts and topics have done in the past on this site.
    Peace to both of you.

  • Philip- I thought that was what you were going for.

    Thing is, you can’t forgive someone who not only doesn’t repent, they find the very mention that they’ve done something wrong to be justification for doubling down, then escalating to every wilder accusations.

  • Foxfier.

    Thing is I Can forgive someone whom I believe wronged me, and based upon past actions, very well may wrong me again.

    Unforgiven is a good Western movie starring Gene Hackman. Unforgiven in real life is more violent than the movie.

  • Returning to an earlier topic… thanks to all who responded to my question. I guess what I really want to know is, in Catholic teaching, where do you draw the line between “just doing your job” with no endorsement of the customer’s/client’s action expressed or implied, and engaging in morally unacceptable cooperation with an evil action? Obviously we cannot just blindly “follow orders” like Nazis marching Jews into the death camps, but neither can we rigidly avoid ALL cooperation or potential cooperation with actual or potential sin without becoming hermits who live off the grid. It’s not always easy to find the middle ground here.

  • Elaine: I hope this helps.
    .
    Justice, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Justice is predicated on intent.
    Capitalism itself is giving to people what they need, not what they want.(The generosity of the vineyard owner giving a day’s wages to those who worked only a few hours to save their very lives is charity. The vineyard owner’s act is also Justice to an equal person.)
    .
    Fulfilling people’s wants through the burden of the law is nonsense.
    .
    Christ overturned the money changers tables because there was no charity in the moneychangers’ transactions. In America we are bankrupt because there is no charity in over the counter business. There must be charity. When God is exiled from His creation there is no charity or Justice.
    .
    In the matter of bakers and photographers, the militant gay agenda is not seeking cakes or photos. The militant agenda of the gays is inciting to riot (violating peaceable assembly for the shop owners who have a civil right to peaceable assembly) until they have achieved their goals which is to inflict sodomy on our nation and our future generations and it is within our power to prevent this vice.

  • Somehow, this keeps coming up…. to forgive or not. Folks tend to skip over the asking for forgiveness part, even indirectly. I’ve got a theory that it’s because the “rebuke” part is so hard. In our culture, even the implication than an individual did wrong (as opposed to an amorphous group) is treated as a wrong in itself. Judgmental, in the language of the 60s.

    Part of the problem with a discussion about forgiveness is the assumption that if you haven’t forgiven, you’re actively holding the wrong to your chest and polishing it. That’s what works best for dramatic purposes, after all, and a baked in cultural assumption that someone who has done wrong wants forgiveness. (and not permission) Another is the point #2 at Catholic Answers.

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  • Elaine

    Bl John Henry Newman recounts the story of Cardinal della Somaglia and M. Emery, Supérieur of St. Sulpice and a noted moral theologian. The Cardinal told M Emery that, after the most painstaking research, he was convinced that he could not, in conscience, assist at the Emperor’s second marriage to the Archduchess of Austria. M, Emery told him that he should, for no consideration, act against his conscience.

    When word got around amongst the other twenty-six Cardinals, then in Paris, Cardinal Fesch (who by the by was the Emperor’s uncle) wrote to M. Emery, asking why he had expressed the contrary opinion to him and had told him that he thought the Cardinals might attend, in good conscience.

    M. Emery replied that he was indeed of the opinion that the Cardinals might attend; he had given the advice he had to Cardinal della Somaglia, because one may never go against conscience, even an erroneous one – « qu’on ne pouvait, qu’on ne devait jamais, agir contre sa conscience, même erronée. » M. Emery added that, whilst inconveniences can never be a reason for acting against conscience, they can be a very good reason for considering carefully, whether one’s conscience may not be in error.

    In the event Cardinal della Somaglia kept to his view, contrary to M. Emery, and did not attend the marriage ceremony. And who shall say which of them was right? Often, in the application of agreed principles to particular facts, we have no other guide than our own conscience.

  • Judging from history I would say that the consciences of most people are infinitely flexible when it comes to doing what they have decided to do. Rather than a conscience being a guide, for many people it is merely a rubber stamp.

  • Foxfier.
    Catholic Answers link was very helpful. My thanks to you and apology for “my” misunderstanding. Peace.

  • *bow*

    I like semantics. It fits how my brain works.

    As I understand it, you’re right in YOUR meaning, and I’m right in MY meaning, but we’re using different meanings– you are very right that we can’t go “oh, he wronged me, I will polish that wrong and hate his guts.” That’s how forgive gets used commonly, and looking around it’s a very common problem, especially if someone has been seriously wronged.

    Part of what is so awesome about the Church is how things ARE explained, if you can find it; part of what’s great about the ‘net is that you can find the stuff, if you know who to ask.

    Kind of freaky, turned on Sacred Heart radio– not an all that common occurrence– and got their lady’s program, where they were talking about the exact same topic, with the same emphasis repentance and then you forgive.

    Enough to make ya think…..

  • Foxfier wrote: “Thing is, you can’t forgive someone who not only doesn’t repent, they find the very mention that they’ve done something wrong to be justification for doubling down, then escalating to every wilder accusations.” This is exactly how I feel about Foxfier’s writings about me, especially after I produced a Mark Steyn quote “These countries are going out of business” that was very close to what I wrote. As far as the AD 2500 statistic, yes, I had a senior moment, misremembered the exact meaning of the statistic, and I owed up to the confusion it may have caused, even though the basic truth was not affected. Senior moments are not sins and don’t require repentance. They just don’t.

    Here are how the two other exchanges that I found questionable appear to me:

    Exchange #1:
    Me: I’m arguing in favor of something like counterflooding in damage control.
    Fox: You don’t blow a hole in the side of a ship to save it
    Me: I never wrote anything about blowing a hole (thinking to myself ‘damage control parties don’t usually blow holes, the open seacock valves’)
    Fox: Yes you did

    Exchange #2
    Me: Germans will go extinct by 2500
    Fox: You cannot say that Germany will be depopulated
    Me: I never wrote that Germany will be depopulated (thinking to myself ‘the Germans will intermarry and merge with their replacements, Germany as a place will stay populated’, I even typed this out)
    Fox: Yes you did.

    I was misunderstood in these two exchanges and I tried to correct the misunderstanding, even to being very explicit in the second exchange. The corrections were not accepted. Go back and read them, I am not making this up. What choice do I have but to consider them to be misrepresentations if they persist? BTW, the differences in these exchanges are really small and unimportant, it is the hostility apparent in Foxfier’s replies that really bothered me. Foxfier came after me and after me over and over in a very hostile manner. It was almost cyberbullying as far as I am concerned. The only other time I ever faced this on a Catholic site was a time Mark Shea misrepresented my writing at NCReg, and this was worse. I am not happy.

    Frankly, the uncharitable language that I used is something I do regret and I am morally sorry. I really didn’t want to use it. I’ve been here on and off for only a few months and I never met Foxfier, so I suspected trolling. Don set me straight on that, but he also green-lighted Foxfier’s posts that I found objectionable. You will note that I only got personal and uncharitable after Don’s post. That is NOT how I like to do things, and I apologize to Philip and to others who were bothered by it.

    The funny thing about all this is that right at the beginning I conceded that Foxfier was right about the most important point: the moral corruption of government that is being caused by the redefinition of marriage for homosexuals and eventually others. I threw a proposal on the table that I felt had some merit but also had real moral problems. Foxfier picked it right apart, very good, I’m happy, we even agreed on the fundamentals even if in a few details we did not agree. But the “slander” term was used in the same breath, as far as I’m concerned I slandered no one, this was a personal attack, and it went downhill from there. I still for the life of me cannot understand how I can be slandering the people of Western civilization by pointing out the truth about their use of contraception and abortion. Forty million abortions in the USA alone is proof that our society doesn’t really care about its future in any realistic way. Is that untrue? If so why? I really want to know.

  • Oh, and as J. Jonah Jameson put it “Don’t you tell me that it’s slander, it’s not slander, it’s libel”

  • slan·der [slan-der] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    defamation; calumny: rumors full of slander.
    2.
    a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report: a slander against his good name.
    3.
    Law. defamation by oral utterance rather than by writing, pictures, etc.

    Somehow, it makes perfect sense that JJ was a lawyer before he was a newspaper guy.
    ***
    But the “slander” term was used in the same breath, as far as I’m concerned I slandered no one, this was a personal attack, and it went downhill from there.

    You made a false claim about the entirety of society; the entire cast of the contributor’s page here– if you want to be suspicious, just the priest and the folks with at least three kids– are obviously not “contracepting or aborting” the next generation out of existence.
    A lot of the non-Catholics I know aren’t using contraception, but can’t manage to have kids because they were told only crazy religious people get married before they’re done with college, have a career established, are 25, whatever.

    Use the fertility rate because that helps correct for the changes from people living longer.
    Assume, just to have a number that is obviously high, that a 3.5 fertility rate is a natural average.
    We’re now at about a 2.0 fertility rate.
    That is a 1.5 drop; if you assume that a quarter to a half of the population hasn’t changed, and the rest is killing off/preventing their kids at value zero, one or two, then stir in people (especially women) being told that they are insane if they wish to be married before they graduate college and that motherhood is a waste.
    That, of course, doesn’t touch on the couples that I know who have been trying for years to have even ONE child, but can’t, and the only medical help they are offered is IVF or “hire a womb.”
    The problem with calculating out of wedlock births is that being married removes you from the pool for a lot of benefits, and that illegal immigrants (at least per the nurses in Spokane, when I gave birth to Princess) frequently gave birth under a false name and claimed to be unmarried, even when wearing a ring that matched the guy who stayed in the room with the new mother.
    ***
    For the rest-
    you are so set that I misrepresented you that you misrepresent me. That suggests the only path to peace is to throw our hands in the air and say “not speaking the same language.”

  • (sorry for ANOTHER lawyer joke, Donald)

  • TomD.

    No worries Tom. I seriously was enjoying your overview and opinions on (so-called same sex marriage and the role of the State in these matters in relationship to redefining Marriage.)

    I also appreciate Foxfier’s knowledge and opinions on current events issues and challenges. Actually MPS,Elaine,Mary,Don,(kiwi too) and you get the idea, they all bring so much to the table, and I’m grateful.

    “slandering an entire culture based on loud idots…” That’s her choice of words.
    Okay. God bless freedom to express yourself. For some, it seemed a tad harsh. She wasn’t speaking to me, however I did feel the tone that “kicked up some dust” in my opinion.
    The best part is this.
    We take the good and leave the rest.
    Foxfier helped me understand an important distinction relating to forgiveness today. I’m in her debt.
    You have ideas that I get to ponder on in this whacked out liberal laden landscape of 2014. I visit this site for many reasons, mostly for my continued supplement of faith.
    Take good care..all of you.
    ……and Paul P…all of you are great gifts.

  • Art Deco.
    🙂

  • “slandering an entire culture based on loud idots…” That’s her choice of words.
    Okay. God bless freedom to express yourself. For some, it seemed a tad harsh. She wasn’t speaking to me, however I did feel the tone that “kicked up some dust” in my opinion.

    How would you characterize the “abortion is a sacrament” type folks? Or their cousins, down to “oh, but birth control is a basic human right!”?

  • In response to your questions I would say they are in great need of prayers.
    They do not share my views, nor do they share the Catholic Churches view point.

  • I’d be more willing to be generous if I wasn’t a victim of the “just pray for them” notion.

    There’s a reason a huge number of folks– weekly church goers, put the kids through CCD, youth group and weekly catechism classes– don’t know that IVF and contraception are against Church teaching, much less WHY that would be so.

  • “Foxfier helped me understand an important distinction relating to forgiveness today. I’m in her debt.”
    Philip, you threw in the towel too soon. Foxfier is wrong, and you would have been better served turning to the Catechism and to the Bible. (Both commenters at Catholic Answers disagreed with Staple’s analysis, by the way.) Thus:
    ~~~~
    V. “AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US”
    2838 This petition is astonishing. If it consisted only of the first phrase, “And forgive us our trespasses,” it might have been included, implicitly, in the first three petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, since Christ’s sacrifice is “that sins may be forgiven.” But, according to the second phrase, our petition will not be heard unless we have first met a strict requirement. …
    “AND FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES…”
    2840 Now – and this is daunting – this outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us. Love, like the Body of Christ, is indivisible; we cannot love the God we cannot see if we do not love the brother or sister we do see. In refusing to forgive our brothers and sisters, our hearts are closed and their hardness makes them impervious to the Father’s merciful love; but in confessing our sins, our hearts are opened to his grace.
    “. .. AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US”
    2844 Christian prayer extends to the forgiveness of enemies, transfiguring the disciple by configuring him to his Master. Forgiveness is a high-point of Christian prayer; only hearts attuned to God’s compassion can receive the gift of prayer. Forgiveness also bears witness that, in our world, love is stronger than sin.
    ~~~
    Compare that selection (especially at 2840) with what Foxfier wrote: “Part of the problem with a discussion about forgiveness is the assumption that if you haven’t forgiven, you’re actively holding the wrong to your chest and polishing it.”
    .
    Can we forgive an enemy who may yet sin against us again? Ask yourself, can we receive forgiveness even if we are uncertain of our own heart? Let’s argue about it, let’s go to the Catechism:
    ~~~
    2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:
    By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God’s goodness, to his justice – for the Lord is faithful to his promises – and to his mercy.
    ~~~
    It is precisely because you can be forgiven for what you did in the past in spite of what temptations may lead you astray in the future, you must forgive those who did you wrong in the past in spite of what you think they may do in their future.

  • Spambot-
    Please bother to address the points made in the Catholic Answers post, rather than going free-form on the Lord’s Prayer.
    1. We are not called to go beyond what God himself does when it comes to forgiveness. Many Christians believe with Robert that they are obliged to forgive even those who are not in the least bit sorry for their offenses against them. And on the surface this sounds really . . . Christian. But is it true? God himself doesn’t do it. He only forgives those who repent of their sins. II Cor. 7:10 says, “[G]odly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.” I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he . . . will forgive our sins.”

    Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be. The question is, are we required to do more than God does when it comes to forgiveness?

    Jesus seems to answer this question for us in Luke 17:3-4:

    [I]f your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him; and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

    According to this text, and as we would suspect, Jesus requires his followers to forgive only those who are sorry for their offenses, just as God does. And this only make sense. Colossians 3:13 says we are to called to forgive each other “as the Lord has forgiven [us].”

  • We are told that anything will be forgiven if we just ask; that does not mean that we must forgive those who do not ask.

  • The sin against hope is to believe that we have done something that cannot be forgiven– not that we don’t assume we’re forgiven for every wrong we do.

  • I don’t care how Merriam-Webster or any other popular dictionary defines slander. My undergrad law books define slander as spoken defamation, and libel as written defamation. Defamation is the generic term for both. So if I or anyone here perpetrated defamation, then we perpetrated libel, because we wrote it and did not say it.

    But I really wasn’t trying to be picky, I was quoting a funny line from the Spiderman 2 movie. Apparently I can’t even be funny around here.

  • OK, Foxfier, I’m starting to get a bit of your position.

    It seems to me that you are in effect rearguing the famous conversation between Abraham and God. “Would you spare the city [of Sodom] if there were 45 righteous in it?” “Yes, I will spare it” Etc. You an I both know that there are millions of decent righteous people in our country, and many in other Western lands. Far more than 45. And there are millions more who are weak but admire the righteous. I get it.

    If I had intended to slander these people that means I would have intended to slander the people I love most, family and friends alike. Do you really think I wanted to do that?

    No. I was not criticizing our society in its entirety, unto the last individual. Not my intention. I was criticizing what it is on balance, and I believe that on balance we are the minority now. I really do believe that, with God’s help, we can turn it around. What I also believe is that the die is cast and that without God’s help we will not turn it around. Will God help us? I don’t know, and I’m not going to presume anything one way or the other. I dare not presume.

    That is what I really believe. I hope that its good enough for you.

  • My opinion on forgiving: in general, I think Christians should forgive people who are unrepentant. The one exception is when the very act of forgiveness is seen by the unrepentant as validation that they were right in the first place. I’ve seen that dynamic firsthand, and it turns a commandment to Christians into the enabling of sin. I think in that situation it can be better to withhold forgiveness with an explanation as to why. Perhaps that is why we are told to forgive “seventy times seven” times: it may take nearly that number to prove that an enabling dynamic is underway.

  • Thanks Spambot3049 for your thoughts.
    Many helpful brothers and sisters in Christ frequent this site. Blessings to you. Good night. 🙂

  • I don’t care how Merriam-Webster or any other popular dictionary defines slander. My undergrad law books define slander as spoken defamation, and libel as written defamation.

    It may be a shock, but common use isn’t legal definition; the legal definition is the third down on meaning of the word, so acting like that’s the only meaning is foolish.

    You’re welcome to your views, but that doesn’t make them any more factual than when you were using assertion as the sole basis of claims.
    ******
    t seems to me that you are in effect rearguing the famous conversation between Abraham and God. “Would you spare the city [of Sodom] if there were 45 righteous in it?” “Yes, I will spare it”
    One must wonder exactly how few folks you think were in Sodom for that to be the parallel that comes to mind for a half to a third of the population.

  • Foxfier wrote, “God himself doesn’t do it. He only forgives those who repent of their sins.”

    That is true, but God Himself produces that repentance in the first place. As St Augustine, the Doctor of Grace, says, “the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, he can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow.” He also says, “Who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? But if the obstinacy of the will can be such that the mind’s aversion from all modes of calling becomes hardened, the question is whether that very hardening does not come from some divine penalty, as if God abandons a man by not calling him in the way in which he might be moved to faith. Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?” (Ad Simplicianum 13-14) That is why scripture says, “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19).

    The Council of Toucy (PL, CXXVI, 123) explains the text, “Whatsoever the Lord hath pleased he hath done, in heaven, in earth, in the sea, and in all the deeps.” (Ps 134:6) in this way: “For nothing is done in heaven or on earth, except what God either graciously does Himself or permits to be done, in His justice.” That is to say, no good, here and now, in this man rather than in another, comes about unless God Himself graciously wills and accomplishes it, and no evil, here and now, in this man rather than another, comes about unless God Himself justly permits it to be done.

    In other words, God first (in the order of causality, not of time) wills to forgive a person’s sins and then He efficaciously wills that that person shall repent of them. That is why St Paul teaches, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:16)

  • N o L o v e

    N o C h r i s t

    But if you truly know Christ you will know love. Is it ego that fuels the will to refuse extending an arm of goodwill?
    As it pertains to this thread.

  • How is it goodwill to “forgive” someone who is not repentant? Are you claiming we should be more loving than God? Have more good will than Christ?

    God wants people to repent and be forgiven. Himself doesn’t try to skip the other person being a willing party– we have to choose to accept it.

    There is a major difference between being willing to forgive– offering forgiveness– and trying to force it on someone.

  • I’m a day late and a dollar short but I thought I’d post these lines from “A Man for all Seasons” which seem apropos in light of Gov. Brewers actions:
    Sir Thomas More: [More has been condemned to death, and now for the first time breaks his years-long adamant silence on Henry VIII’s divorce of Queen Catherine to marry Ann Boleyn] Since the Court has determined to condemn me, God knoweth how, I will now discharge my mind concerning the indictment and the King’s title. The indictment is grounded in an act of Parliament which is directly repugnant to the law of God, and his Holy Church, the Supreme Government of which no temporal person may by any law presume to take upon him. This was granted by the mouth of our Savior, Christ himself, to Saint Peter and the Bishops of Rome whilst He lived and was personally present here on earth. It is, therefore, insufficient in law to charge any Christian to obey it. And more to this, the immunity of the Church is promised both in Magna Carta and in the king’s own coronation oath
    [Cromwell calls More ‘malicious’]
    Sir Thomas More: … Not so. I am the king’s true subject, and I pray for him and all the realm. I do none harm. I say none harm. I think none harm. And if this be not enough to keep a man alive, then in good faith, I long not to live. Nevertheless, it is not for the Supremacy that you have sought my blood, but because I would not bend to the marriage!
    Sir Thomas More: When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t hope to find himself again.
    The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
    Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

  • Goodwill is lacking from you sister, and atleast TomD made an effort. You decided to belittle it.

    See you in the confessional line Foxier.

  • “God wants people to repent and be forgiven. Himself doesn’t try to skip the other person being a willing party– we have to choose to accept it.”

    Why would He, seeing that He produces that will in them – Proverbs 8:35 For my issues are the issues of life, and in them volition is prepared from the Lord.

  • Foxfier,
    “How is it goodwill to “forgive” someone who is not repentant?”
    Suppose a commentor at a blog offended you and she was blocked from further comments. How would you know that she later repented? Suppose your favorite park were vandalized and you were hurt by the offense. Even the vandal does not know precisely who his victims are and could never reach out to you to ask your forgiveness. Would you carry around an unforgiving heart for the rest of your life?
    People who forgive me before I am repentant, perhaps even before I am able to acknowledge to myself that I did wrong, free themselves of the burden of unforgiveness and in doing so, offer a prayer on my behalf.
    .
    “Please bother to address the points made in the Catholic Answers post, rather than going free-form on the Lord’s Prayer.”
    The two commentors there at Catholic Answers could do a better job than I, but I will give it a try. (The “free-form on the Lord’s Prayer” was quoted from the Catholic Catechism. The specific section numbers are provided in my comment for reference.)
    “Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be.”
    Whether or not a person who harmed me is going to Hell is something I cannot know. The harm done to may or may not have been intentional. The person doing the harm may or may not have had the capacity to understand he is doing wrong. As scripture indicates, judgment on who will go to Hell is for God alone. We all deserve Hell, but we are saved by our faith, and if we love God, then we extend our love to others.
    .
    FWIW, I maintain (with little proof to offer) that forgiving someone in exchange for something else of value (such as a request for forgiveness) can be explained by evolutionary science alone with no need for supernatural grace. (I suspect the Freedom From Religion Foundation would support that view. cf.
    http://ffrf.org/publications/freethought-today/item/17148-stages-of-moral-development )
    Unconditional forgiveness is by the grace of God.

  • “People who forgive me before I am repentant, perhaps even before I am able to acknowledge to myself that I did wrong, free themselves of the burden of unforgiveness and in doing so, offer a prayer on my behalf.”

    I think that such easy forgiveness, without a request for it, actually encourages people to engage in cost free bad behavior and therefore harms them spiritually. Imagine if the father in the parable of the prodigal son had assured him while he was engaging in his debauchery that he always could come home, because Daddy forgave him no matter what he did. The prodigal then would never have had brought home to him the deadliness of his sins and the necessity for repentance and amendment of life. In our age of cheap grace, we do not understand repentance, amendment and forgiveness. We recall Christ’s forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery, but his admonition to her to go and sin no more is utterly forgotten. I have had people accused of crimes tell me that since God had forgiven them, why couldn’t every one else. In our time we confuse forgiveness with amnesia and amnesty.

  • Philip-
    A predictable dark side to the idea of unilateral forgiveness; not doing what the supporters want lets them pronounce on the state of your soul.
    Conflating love with forgiveness is not just a bad idea, it’s dangerous; you either pretend that someone did nothing wrong, or you bleach forgiveness into nothing.
    There is nothing promoting another’s good about agreeing with the false idea that I am contracepting and aborting my children out of existence, nor in apologizing for someone’s assumption of malice in a misunderstood metaphor.

    Michael-
    following that logic, God wills people into hell, rather than it being a result of their refusing the available grace. He gives us the ability to choose– it’s up to us to make the choice.
    http://www.catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/to-forgive-or-not-to-forgive-%E2%80%94-that-is-the-question
    Catholic Answers has a nice explanation; anything I tried would be an inferior paraphrasing.

  • Would you carry around an unforgiving heart for the rest of your life?

    “Unforgiving” means “unwilling to forgive,” not “hasn’t had the opportunity to forgive.”

    “Our Lord obviously has not and will not forgive the souls in hell right now for the simple reason that they did not ask for forgiveness. This seems as clear as clear can be.” Whether or not a person who harmed me is going to Hell is something I cannot know.

    It is establishing a standard of comparison, not saying those who harmed you is going to hell.
    By your formula for “unconditional,” God Himself doesn’t offer unconditional forgiveness.

  • 982 There is no offense, however serious, that the Church cannot forgive. “There is no one, however wicked and guilty, who may not confidently hope for forgiveness, provided his repentance is honest. Christ who died for all men desires that in his Church the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a10.htm

  • Thank you Foxfier.

    I obviously have had difficulty with this.

    My snide remark about seeing you in the confessional line was absent of goodwill. Jesus said he desired mercy not sacrifice when the Pharisees complained about His eating with sinners and publicans. Matt.9:13.
    The mercy you give will be the mercy you receive…yet you and the faithful witnesses responding to this thread have felled some scales from my eyes.

    Thank you. All.

  • St. Therese the lil’ flower has much to say about Love and forgiveness.

    She entered in as I have been rereading the many good supporting views as you have given. In the Story of a Soul, she forgives and even takes blame for injustices she didn’t commit. As you can see, not all off the scales have fallen off.

    She strove for the Highest good not to be “above Christ”, but to give Christ the absolute all of her being. She succeed, no?

    There’s a search for truth here. I don’t believe it is my wanting to be right, rather I wish to know how love and forgiveness must be separate. I said must, because your valid points in this discussion point to this end. Was the lil’ flower wrong? I have her Story of a Soul.
    I’ll open it up for a second read.

  • I don’t believe it is my wanting to be right, rather I wish to know how love and forgiveness must be separate.

    Because they are different (but related) things. Himself said in Matt 9, it’s the sick that need doctor. You don’t make someone well by keeping them away from a doctor, but you don’t make them well by just visiting him, either. There has to be a change from sickness to health. “Go forth and sin no more,” etc. The wronging is the sickness, and it’s not fixed by pretending it’s not there.

    We offer the forgiveness because we love– “wish the good of”– the person who did wrong.

    As Donald mentioned, we can look at the wandering son– would it have done him any good if his father had kept shoveling money to him? Or, without a change, would it have been destroying him?

    If you wish the good of someone, will you support their destructive behavior, or tell them they should stop?

  • Foxfier.
    I do understand the concept of enabling behavior and the prolonged agony the party suffers.

    As I mentioned, I’m going to read the lil’ flowers story again, and closely observe the intent and application of her love of neighbor and trust in Jesus.

    Each of the commentators examples are driving home the important fact that one must ask for forgiveness, and truly be sincere in the asking. I do get it…even though admittedly I am thick up stairs. 🙂

    I might find something in St. Theresa’s book that I had misinterpreted, but none the less I’ll be at peace knowing that you truly have my interests in mind.
    That I am able to serve my neighbors in harmony with the truth.
    Thanks once more.

  • “[F]ollowing that logic, God wills people into hell, rather than it being a result of their refusing the available grace”

    No, that is the heresy of Calvin. St Augustine teaches that, after the fall of Adam, God wanted to save some, through an absolute will based on his mercy alone, entirely pure and gratuitous, leaving the other part in the state of damnation in which it was, and in which he could justly have left the whole. Nevertheless, God does not command the impossible, and grants even to those who do not actually observe His commandments the power of observing them. Theologians call this grace truly but merely sufficient: “truly” because it really confers the power; “merely” because, through the fault of the will, it fails in its effect, with respect to which it is said to be inefficacious, but sufficient.

    St Thomas teaches that “Since the love of God is the cause of the goodness of things, no one would be better than another if God did not will a greater good to one than to another.” [ST Ia, q. 20, a. 3] Now, it is evident that the man who, in fact, observes the commandments is better than the one who is able to do so but actually does not. Therefore he who keeps the commandments is more beloved and assisted. In short, God loves that man more to whom He grants that he keep the commandments than another in whom He permits sin. This theologians call “efficacious grace.” St Paul says, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

  • Michael-
    No, that is the heresy of Calvin.

    Which is why I objected.

    Philip-
    I’m trying. (Mandatory joke: in more ways than one.)
    Rephrasing the same thing in different ways sometimes works….
    Situation isn’t helped by the gap between what one says and another hears; a lot of popular stuff seems to use “forgive” to mean “I don’t hate you.”

    I’d guess that the Little Flower reacted to outside things, rather than it being about herself. Being willing to forgive. (And the related “let go of the anger” thing.)

  • *ahem* Returning once again to our original topic… here’s an interesting “Dear Abby” letter I saw posted online just a few minutes ago:

    http://news.yahoo.com/animal-lover-appalled-camouflage-wedding-050112316.html

    “DEAR ABBY: My nephew is getting married next year. I was very excited because I love him and I’m a baker. I had planned on making the groom’s cake as I did for his brother’s and sister’s weddings. The problem is, they have decided on a hunting theme for their wedding — including a camouflage wedding dress for the bride.

    “Abby, I am an animal-rights activist. I’m against any form of hunting. I am also involved with several animal-protection groups. My nephew and his fiancee know how hard I work for animal rights — just the thought of a hunting theme for a wedding makes me ill.

    “I don’t even want to attend, let alone make a cake. What can I do so there will be no hurt feelings if I don’t want to attend or participate? — BAKER IN THE MIDWEST

    “DEAR BAKER: The theme for your nephew’s wedding is certainly unique. The concept of a camouflage wedding dress is practical because the dress can be worn after the nuptials, which isn’t the case with many bridal gowns.

    “Feeling as strongly as you do about not attending, write the happy couple a warm letter wishing them a lifetime of happiness together and include a nice wedding gift — I’m sure there will be no hurt feelings.”

    Since the letter writer describes herself (to make things simpler I’m going to assume she’s female) as a baker, implying that she does it for a living, I’d love to know whether she’s ever refused to bake cakes for hunting/camo themed weddings before and if so, could the rejected couple now sue her for said refusal.


  • Remember how bothered the Jews were at the claim of Jesus to forgive sins, believing that no human could forgive sin.of course they didn’t know Jesus Is Lord.
    I think on a human level we can forgive sin if by that we mean:
    Excusing a fault or an offense; pardon.
    renouncing anger or resentment against. Or absolving from payment of (a debt, for example). (Dictionary meaning) even if the other person is not sorry nor asks for forgiveness . We can still ignore or forget it of we want to. But we can do nothing about the lingering effects of sin, already committed, nor about the guilt still retained by the sinner. We can forgive, let it go, forget about it, but we can’t take away the persons guilt – even if we were to decide to continue to prosecute the issue. Only God can deal with that, perhaps in purgatory also our continued unforgiving attitude doesn’t increase his guilt- has no effect but to keep us tied up. Forgiving is a benefit to the forgiver.
    We don’t have to worry about “cheap grace” since grace giving is not ours to do. God will balance the books.

  • Since the letter writer describes herself (to make things simpler I’m going to assume she’s female) as a baker, implying that she does it for a living, I’d love to know whether she’s ever refused to bake cakes for hunting/camo themed weddings before and if so, could the rejected couple now sue her for said refusal.

    I’d guess yes, and no. 😀

  • Elaine Krewer

    Baking is not a “common calling,” something hitherto confined to innkeepers and common carriers (and millers, where the land is thirled or adstricted to a particular mill).

    Accordingly, a refusal would only be actionable, if the parties belonged to a “protected class.” Under the EU directives,: “Discrimination comprises any distinction applied between natural persons by reason of their origin, sex, family situation, physical appearance or patronymic, state of health, handicap, genetic characteristics, sexual morals or orientation, age, political opinions, union activities, or their membership or non-membership, true or supposed, of a given ethnic group, nation, race or religion. Discrimination also comprises any distinction applied between legal persons by reason of the origin, sex, family situation, physical appearance or patronymic, state of health, handicap, genetic characteristics, sexual morals or orientation, age, political opinions, union activities, membership or non-membership, true or supposed, of a given ethnic group, nation, race or religion of one or more members of these legal persons.”

    Wide as this is, it would not appear to include membership of a hunt (“the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable” as Oscar Wilde called them, which, even as a joint MFH myself, I confess to finding amusing) I suppose it could be argued that someone who rides to hounds in camouflage (!) is suffering from a mental handicap and so protected, but that seems pretty thin.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour. This issue is confused by conflating persons and their vices. If the baker was told, and she knew, that her cake was to be used to support and encourage so-called gay-marriage, she is free to refuse, as if she was told her cake or work is going to be used to poison others. Discriminating against and prosecuting vice and crime is the duty of the state. As a citizen, all persons are called to protect our future generations, our constitutional posterity, and “to secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our (constitutional ) posterity”…from The Preamble
    Which reminds me…in Peter Pan, Captain Hook bakes a poison “green” cake to poison Wendy….no, not Wendy Davis… Wendy Darling.

  • Anzlyne: “Forgiving is a benefit to the forgiver.” Jesus took the whole benefit.

Pennsylvania Bishops Speak Out

Sunday, November 4, AD 2012

On All Saints Day, the bishops of Pennsylania released a statement on the upcoming elections.  Here is the text:

Each year on this day the Catholic Church celebrates “All Saints Day.”  This solemnity remembers those who have fulfilled their earthly vocation and now enjoy eternal happiness in the presence of God.  These saints may be unnamed, but they certainly are not unknown.  Their lives are characterized by steadfast faith and charitable works.  They exemplify what it means to love God and love one’s neighbor.

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7 Responses to Pennsylvania Bishops Speak Out

  • Nice letter. The Bishops are to be commended. Now let them publicly excommunicate the pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage politicians. And yes, with a few exceptions those politicians are Democrat. It is the Democratic Party which is threatening this “democracy” just as it did in the 19th century: today’s abortion is yesterday’s slavery.

  • Wow, really good. As I read this part (wholeheartedly agreeing), I couldn’t help but to think how far we have come. Can you imagine the USCCB/NCCB or any other other association of bishops in the US writing something so sound and so thoroughly Catholic and insightful thirty to forty years ago? We’ve some a long way thanks to the leadership of our last two popes. Deo Gratias.

    Today Catholics face a growing and deeply troubling effort that seeks to extend the reach of government into every aspect of social life. In turn, this generates a demand for exclusive allegiance of individuals and groups to the requirements of the State. This demand denies the primacy of associations that exist prior to the State, such as the family, church or synagogue, and even fraternal and charitable agencies. These groups enjoy a priority both chronologically, in terms of historical development, and practically, inasmuch as they engage the vast majority of activity in our everyday lives.

    As Christians we do owe an appropriate loyalty to the State. We strive to maintain good relations with civil authority. But our primary allegiance must always be to God and to God alone.

  • Good. (The ending could be larger font and bolded for greater impact on attention spans of the anxious.)
    In the Diocese of Springfield, MA, our Bishop wrote a letter to exhort a No vote on Question 2, which asks whether seconal assisted suicide would be something one with a ‘six months to live’ prognosis would find desirable.

    I hope such guiding help for all doesn’t end with the election.

  • Lots and lots and lots of prayers are needed for the next 48 hours and another 24 after that asking for God, Our Father, to sear the consciences of Catholics so that they vote to preserve our Constitutional Right to Freedom of Religion in such numbers that the enemy of God can not cheat and steal our Constitutional Rights given to us by our Founding Fathers.

  • I believe it not an exaggeration to say that this battle of worldviews, ideals and beliefs is one of historic proportion. Cardinal Dolan said of the H.H.S. Mandate ; “We did not bring this fight however we will not run from it.”
    The Bishops letters being proclaimed around the parishes this day is a call to HEARTS.
    A formed conscience, that quiet voice inflaming our hearts is our strength and courage to stand fast and defend Liberty.
    Tuesday is landing day on the beachhead.
    Tuesday is our day to reclaim what was given away four years ago.
    Tuesday is our charge with millions of holy souls at our side. Our charge for freedom.

  • Pingback: Election 2012 Romney Obama Discernment Polls Evil Voticons | Big Pulpit
  • Election results 2012. Catholic Church – 0. Democrat Party – 1.

In Defense of Mother Russia

Friday, August 24, AD 2012

I haven’t heard much about the ongoing dispute between the Russian government and the Western media over the fate of the faux “punk rock band” ***** Riot in the American Catholic media. But this is a dispute in which I believe we ought to take sides as Catholics.

[No, I will not give the vulgar hate group the sociopathic pleasure of having yet another Christian publication use their name]

Three members of the vulgar hate group were arrested following their desecration of Moscow’s largest Orthodox cathedral. They have now been sentenced to two-year prison terms, with the six months spent at trial counting as time served.

My position on this incident is pretty clear. I stand 110% with the Russian government, the Orthodox Church, and the tens of millions of Russian Orthodox who have condemned the vulgar hate group – and I believe all Catholics in all countries ought to do likewise.

Not simply because this appears to me to be a deliberate ploy encouraged and promoted by anti-Russian elements in Europe and the United States; not simply because in all of the Western countries hypocritically condemning Russia these same actions could be and likely would be regarded as hate crimes according to their own established laws; not simply because the right to free speech does not, never has, and God willing, never will mean the right to invade any space one chooses and defecate on the floor; not simply because I respect the religious sensibilities of the Russian people; not even because I am fairly certain that being on the opposite side of whatever cause the degenerate celebritariat is championing is almost always the best and wisest choice – ???. Not just for those reasons.

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59 Responses to In Defense of Mother Russia

  • Here in Scotland, it is the offence of Profanity to disturb worship. The essence of the offence is the disturbance and annoyance of the minister and congregation, and the interruption of their devotions.

    A building enjoys no special protection and it is not an aggravation of a breach of the peace or of mobbing and rioting that it is committed in a place used for worship.

    This seems to me a proper distinction.

    Of course, any wilful damage to the fabric or plenishments of the building is the crime of malicious mischief.

  • You summed it up well, Bonchamps: “The sad thing is that I believe that much of this anti-Christian hatred – and I am now speaking generally and globally – is motivated merely by the fact that vulgar, hateful people cannot tolerate the existence of other people who, even though they are as oppressed by sin as everyone else, aspire to be something more than mindless animals who do nothing but hump one another and follow the latest idiotic trends. Sloshing about in a sewer filled with their own spiritual feces, they must pull everyone else down into it, and erase any suggestion that it might be possible to escape. That is the only way it can be enjoyed.”

  • The problem with calling the group in question a “hate group” is that, despite the name, they do not hate Christianity. As I understand it what they’re protesting is the perversion of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Russian government. Disagree with their methods, and even disagree with their point of view about the Church hierarchy, but this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians. They’re calling attention to something which is legitimately troubling. John O’Sullivan has more details about them here and here.

  • The jerks have a point. There’s something wrong in Russia, and the Orthodox Church is happily cooperating with it.

    There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.

  • No, Paul. I will not sign on to what seems to me to be a morally and spiritually blind bandwagon assault on the Russian state. In a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    In my view, and in the view of millions of believers, this group’s act was OBJECTIVELY hateful. It had the effect of rallying the average Russian around this supposedly dangerous regime. Even if you’re right and they don’t hate Christianity – frankly I find it impossible to reconcile their actions with any sort of love for it – they have violated Christianity. All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act. Maybe their subjective rage is channeled at Putin, but their objective victim is Christianity.

    And it is far from their first anti-social act. Other members of this group have engaged in public orgies, for heaven’s sake. A Ukrainian sympathizer also cut down a cross memorializing the victims of Stalin’s genocidal campaign. Their very name is an affront to any sort of public Christian morality.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy (yeah yeah “neoconservatism doesn’t exist”, whatever) of remaking the Middle East, which has included the ousting of secular regimes relatively friendly to the millions of Christians in the region and their replacement with Islamic fanatics who murder and oppress them. I actually have family in that part of the world.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity. I absolutely will not side with them or the filth they seek to defend.

  • Pinky,

    “There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.”

    There was a time when they would have been publicly disemboweled. If they did this in a mosque in the Middle East, they would have been torn to pieces. If they did it in a mosque in Europe, they would probably go to jail for longer than two years.

    I think 18 months behind bars is comparatively light. Maybe it will cause them to think long and hard about the seriousness of defiling a sacred space and disrupting social order. If this was some kind of first-time offense by a group of silly teenagers, I would agree with you. But this is a group of anti-social provocateurs that have repeatedly engaged in public acts of blasphemy and obscenity. They are finally getting their just deserts.

  • With all due respect, I believe that Bonchamps’ responses to Paul Z. and Pinky are correct. I agree.

  • “Since its formation in presumably 2008 Voina has staged in public a succession of extreme actions described as performance art. These have included the painting of a male phallus on a St. Petersburg Bridge, the staging of a public orgy at the Timiryazev Museum in Moscow involving nudity and (apparently) full penetrative sex (Tolokonnikova was a participant though heavily pregnant), the throwing of live cats at the staff of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, the overturning of police cars apparently on one occasion with a policeman inside, the firebombing of property with petrol bombs, the staged hanging of an immigrant and a homosexual in a supermarket, the projection of a skull and crossbones onto the building housing the Russian government, the spilling of large live cockroaches onto the stomach of a pregnant member of the group (Tolokonnikova again) and the theft of a frozen chicken from a supermarket, which was stuffed up the vagina of one of the women members (apparently Maria Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova apparently was also present).”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118287.html

    No civilized nation should be forced to tolerate this. They ought to all be institutionalized, truth be told.

  • this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians.

    In Madonna’s situation, it is nothing but a marketing strategy to prolong her already far too long public career.

    I am with Bonchamps on this one. At least the Russians seem to take Christianity seriously.

  • n a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    Russia is essentially a state run by organized criminals, headed by a pseudo-authoritarian regime. It continues to flex its muscles over its former satellite countries.

    All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act.

    I don’t disagree with that, nor do I disagree that their act is otherwise repugnant. I am merely contending that their motivation is distinct from cowards like Madonna and others who employ shock for the sake of shock.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy

    A complete non sequiter.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity.

    I think you are blinded to what Putin and the Russian leadership is about. They are about as “Christian” as the current American ruling regime.

  • Paul,

    We’re not going to see eye to eye on this. You subscribe to one narrative about Russia, and I find the truth better represented in a different set of facts and perspectives.

    Even if Putin in his heart was a cold, dark atheist, his public support for the Orthodox Church means something and has a significance apart form whatever he and his lieutenants actually believe.

    Oh, and what I said was absolutely not a “non sequiter.” That is exactly why many in the West oppose Russia. I don’t give a damn if it “flexes its muscles over its former satellite countries.” For a country that developed the Monroe Doctrine and has been actively trying to preserve global hegemony to be miffed by that is beyond hysterical.

  • Bon, you seem to be ascribing bad motives to those who disagree with you. Personally, I’ve seen no information on which to build a positive narrative about Russia. All indications are that any kind of dissent is silenced by the government. I can’t get that worked up in support of this punk band doing some terrible things, but if the reaction to it is emblematic of a regression toward totalitarianism, then it’s definitely to be criticized.

  • Pinky,

    What “bad motives”? I don’t attribute any bad motives to you or Paul. If you mean the Western media establishment and the neocons, yes, guilty as charged, I think their motives are bad and their pontificating on the evils of Russia to be among the most hilariously hypocritical things I have seen in my life.

    It is simply false that “any kind of dissent is silenced by the government” – anti-government protests involving tens of thousands of people have taken place in Russia with no more or less police concern than that which you will see at the RNC and DNC conventions this year.

    The reaction to this band is also most emphatically not a “regression towards totalitarianism” either. The laws under which these disgusting criminals were prosecuted are similar to laws that exist on the books in every Western country – laws that would be quickly invoked and enforced if a politically-protected group was the target of a similar outrage.

    Maybe you haven’t seen any positive information about Russia because you haven’t even consider the possibility that it might exist. It does.

  • What these people did violated the rights of Russian Christians and the Russian Orthodox Church. They deserve to be punished, and I would call for the same punishment if it were done to a Catholic Church here.

    In fact, some imitators HAVE done this sort of thing in Catholic Churches in Europe, and are now facing similar sentences!

    Is the Catholic Church in Germany and the German government “regressing towards totalitarianism”? To ask such an absurd question is to answer it.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/24/13454525-copycat-pussy-riot-protesters-could-face-3-year-sentence-in-germany?lite

  • Don’t you people get it? This is about Christian rights. Forget your views about Putin and the Russian government. The movement, the people supporting the vulgar hate group are doing so because they want to encourage MORE obscene violations of Christian holy places. They want to take away our rights to have our own sacred, protected times and places.

    This is a time to stand in solidarity with, if not the Russian state, at least your fellow Christians!

  • I worry about my fellow Christians in Russia. I see a far greater threat to their future from Putin than from that band. Their actions, while offensive and ridiculous, were dwarfed by ongoing anti-government rallies alleging electoral fraud and widespread political corruption.

  • Well Pinky,

    I completely disagree with you. In fact I find your statement to be quite at odds with demonstrable fact and reality. Putin has restored the Orthodox Church to prominence and importance in the nation.

    You really need to take a good, long look at the international forces arrayed against the Russian government and the Orthodox Church – what they believe, what they stand for, what they want to accomplish, what they have accomplished in the West. I will without hesitation and with a measure of pride take the side of the Russian establishment over the morally and spiritually degenerate Western establishments any day of the week. What a government publicly endorses and promotes is as important as what it “really does”; what our governments promote are impiety and anti-Christian prejudice, and what the Russian government promotes is piety and respect for established Christian institutions (without, to my knowledge, violating anyone’s individual rights to religious liberty). I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    Every country, even the United States, has been rocked by allegations of massive electoral fraud and political corruption. We had one president who was impeached recently, another who ascended to the White House in spite of losing the popular vote (which was extremely close), and an administration that is almost certainly complicit in sending illegal guns to Mexico for the purpose of creating a pretext to crackdown on the 2nd amendment. Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

  • I’d also still like to know if the German Catholic Church and government are displaying signs of totalitarianism and repression in the charges they have brought up against the copycat sympathy protesters, linked in my previous post.

  • Bonchamps, with respect, your entire argument in defense of Russia seems to be based on the idea that all the other western countries are gripped in the throes of secularism. While this might be true to a certain extent, that fact does nothing to exculpate Russia from the charges that its administration or government are corrupt. I think anyone who has studied Russia from afar could tell you that many aspects of Russian life, at least in the political sense, are not much improved since the days of the USSR.

    I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    This is fairly naive and horrifying. Naive in the sense that you seem to take Putin’s “piety” at face value. Putin is acting not to solidify the Church and sanctify his people, but rather cynically to ensure that the Church has his back. It’s horrifying because you’re essentially saying that cynical piety is all right because it keeps the people in line.

    Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

    When political opponents here are murdered or almost murdered with the regularity they are in Russia, then I might be more inclined to agree with you.

  • Paul,

    I stand by what I said, and naturally, I reject your spin on it.

    I am absolutely not saying that it is ok to lie about piety to “keep people in line.” I do believe that the government probably considers all of the costs and benefits of its policy decisions (as all governments do), and that there is really nothing wrong with benefit from mutual interests, even if both parties have different reasons for having that interest. Government-promoted piety is positively good, regardless of why it is done. The “why” will matter as far as their individual souls are concerned, but those who benefit from living in an explicitly Christian culture will also benefit. There is nothing “horrifying about this.”

    I take Putin’s belief that the public restoration of Orthodoxy as a defining aspect of Russian culture and politics is good for Russia as a nation at face value. His personal piety is a different story.

    Since we obviously don’t agree on these issues, we should probably both move on before this gets as ugly as I fear it can get.

  • The German case is quite different. There, the protesters disturbed public worship. Every state in Europe guarantees freedom of worship and such actions are rightly criminal.

    That is a very different matter to staging a protest in a building sometimes used for worship, but when no service was in progress.

  • I don’t think it is “very different.” It is somewhat different, but these are differences of degree and not kind. I’m not positive but I believe there were people in the cathedral at the time trying to pray.

  • I mean, what the hell would be the point of a protest if there were no people around to see it?

  • The Russian Orthodox Church has valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments, though it is not in union with Rome. Even Rome recognizes the validity of Eastern Orthodox Churches, of which the Russian one is an autonomous, autocephalus member. As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? Don’t Eastern Orthodox do it the same way? Orthodox Anglicans do. So the actions of the Pussy Rioters are even more reprehensible.

    Get out of thinking that the Roman jurisdiction is the only Catholic one. It demonstrably is not, and Rome’s recognition of the validity of Eastern Orthodox Holy Orders and Sacraments is a case in point. BTW, even the Pope had kind words to say about the recent meeting between Patriarch Cyril of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Archbishop of Poland.

  • While this doesn’t relate to the merits of the case (I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them), for informational purposes:

    “As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? ”

    The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Actually, I’ve had some Russian Orthodox folks online (which, as we all know from Catholic combox wars can be a weird sample) tell me that they consider the Catholic practice of reserving the sacrament in the tabernacle and most especially the Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration, to be idolatrous. “It misses the point that the Eucharist is food” was the way it was put to me.

    While it in no way excuses the behavior of the punk band, there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia. Keep in mind, despite the official atheism of the Soviet regime, there were strong and disturbing ties between the ROC and the communist regime. These ties have continued in Putin’s Russia, where not only are a lot of ex-KGB types running the government, but Patriarch Kirill himself has been strongly implicated as having been a long term KGB informant and collaborator.

  • Thank you for the clarification, Darwin.

  • “I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them”

    I’m not the least surprised about that.

    “there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia”

    I’m more concerned about the place of the Church in the West and under Islamic rule. I don’t see why it is any of our concern at all what happens in Russia, which is not persecuting Christians, which is not threatening any of our legitimate interests, and which has a government that has the overwhelming support of the people.

  • One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times, or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia — going so far as to effectively kick Catholic clergy out of Russia by revoking their visas.

    One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. That can seem helpful at times (especially when the other options seem fairly barbaric — though that’s not the case with Russia) but in the long run being too cozy with nasty people never seems to work out very well.

  • “One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times”

    Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    “or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia”

    Ok. That’s a legitimate problem and it should be addressed. I’ll grant that one, no question. But it is hardly a matter that warrants Russophobia, or joining in the obscene chorus of celebrities, government officials and media personalities condemning Russia on the grounds that these hideous criminals were simply “expressing themselves.”

    “One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. ”

    You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    The bottom line is that the forces arrayed against Russia in this case are enemies of Christianity. In this case, Catholics ought to stand in solidarity with the Russian Orthodox against the onslaught of hypocritical condemnation coming from people like Obama, Madonna, the rest of the vapid Western media-government complex.

  • You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    If the Catholic Church (or any other) was as totally subservient to the US government and US national interests as the Russian Orthodox Church is to Russia’s, I would consider that very, very problematic as well.

    And that’s despite the fact I think it’s clear that the US is a much safer and better power to have controlling the international scene than the Russians. I’m about as comfortable with Putin’s Russia as I am with what China has developed into. It’s not an “evil empire”, and Putin is certainly no Stalin, but that’s praising with faint damns.

    Am I joining the chorus of people decrying Russia’s action? Not at the moment. The band does basically sound like hooligans to me (even if they’re hooligans on the right side when it comes to Putin) and if you’re going to stage a protest such as theirs in Putin’s Russia, you can’t be surprised to land in prison for a couple years. So my reaction to the celebrity fuss is basically, “What, this is what it took to make you notice the repressive regime in Russia?”

    But I do not think that Putin’s regime is good for Russia, and I don’t think it’s remotely a benevolent force in the world.

  • Darwin,

    Suffice to say, I disagree with you across the board. I’m particularly disturbed by the fact that you are more concerned with getting in shots at “Putin’s Russia” than you are the the sanctity of holy places and the rights and sensibilities of fellow Christians. I believe your priorities are completely wrong, and I’ll leave it at that.

  • While I think that what they did was bad — I think that Putin’s attempt (successful, thus far) to coopt the Russian Orthodox Church to support his own corrupt and violent ends is more blasphemous than anything that these bozo protesters have done.

  • Well, let me put it this way. In the future, I’ll make another big foreign policy post with special emphasis on Russia/Putin and we can hash it all out then. I’m neither willing or able to do it now, though.

  • It is perhaps worth recalling that the Kram Khrista Spasitela was built by the blood-spattered tyrant, Tsar Alexander to commemorate the defeat of Napoléon. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was commissioned and first performed at its dedication.

    It is a monument to the victory of despotism and ignorance over freedom and enlightenment and to the defeat of that Grande Armée, whom Hilaire Belloc hailed:

    “You who put down the mighty from their seat
    Who strove to fill the hungry with good things
    Who turned the rich man empty to the street
    And trailed your scabbards in the halls of kings…”

    It could be truly said of Moscow, as was written of Jerusalem, “If you had known the time of your deliverance…” Alas! its priests, too, then as now, had “no king but Caesar.”

  • I mean seriously, anyone who praises Napoleon while denouncing another ruler as “blood-spattered” is brain-damaged. And the suggestion that Napoleon’s army was bringing “enlightenment” and “freedom” is just as arrogant, deluded, and disgusting as the illusions of people who think they can bomb and mass murder the Muslim world into democracy.

    From now on, leave your sanctimonious comments and pedantic lectures on someone else’s posts. They aren’t welcome here.

  • Against the bigoted, ignorant, Russophobic filth penned by Belloc (whom I’ve never cared for) and praised by MPS, I offer a passage from the Marquis de Custine’s multi-volume work “The Empire of the Czar”, written in 1843:

    “Moscow is everywhere picturesque. The sky, without being clear, has a silvery brightness: the models of every species of architecture are heaped together without order or plan; no structures are perfect, nonetheless, the whole strikes, not with admiration, but with astonishment. The inequalities of the surface multiply the points of view. The magic glories of multitudes of cupolas sparkle in the air. Innumerable gilded steeples, in form like minarets, Oriental pavilions, and Indian domes, transport you to Delhi; donjon keeps and turrets bring you back to Europe in the times of the crusades; the sentinel, mounted on the top of his watch tower, reminds you of the muezzin inviting the faithful to prayer; while, to complete the confusion of ideas, the cross, which glitters in every direction, commanding the people to prostrate themselves before the Word, seems as though fallen from heaven amid an assembly of Asiatic nations, to point out to them the narrow way of salvation. It was doubtless before this poetical picture that Madame de Stael exclaimed – Moscow is the Rome of the North!”

  • Well, de Custine went to Russia looking for arguments against democratic governments which he opposed. He liked the Russians but was appalled at the autocracy he found. Many of his quotations are absolutely damning, and could apply to Putin’s regime today:

    “I don’t reproach the Russians for being what they are; what I blame them for is their desire to appear to be what we [Europeans] are…. They are much less interested in being civilized than in making us believe them so… They would be quite content to be in effect more awful and barbaric than they actually are, if only others could thereby be made to believe them better and more civilized.”

    “Russia is a nation of mutes; some magician has changed sixty million men into automatons.”

    I heartily recommend his Letters From Russia which gives a nice overview of what he saw in Russia.

    http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-marquis-de-custine-and-the-question-of-russian-history/

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

  • Donald,

    I don’t particularly care for autocracy, or for the head of the state to be the head of the church – these are aspects of Russia I can do without.

    But a nation that produced Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakriev, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, and many lesser known but equally talented artists and musicians is not a nation of mutes and automatons. The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

    These broads are serial public nuisances, so something more severe than parole after 20 days might be expected.

  • “The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.”

    I have long been a student of not only Russian history but also its culture. I even took three semesters of Russian language as an undergrad, to the detriment of my gpa, alas. There is much to admire in Russian culture. As to Russian government, I am afraid that an all too accurate assessment was given by a Russian nobleman after the murder of Paul I in 1801: “Despotism tempered by assassination, that is our Magna Carta.” A good book on Russian culture is James Billington’s The Icon and the Axe.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Icon-Axe-Interpretive-History/dp/0394708466

  • Art Deco,

    They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

  • Although it seems clear that Vladimir Putin is up to no good in co-opting the Orthodox church to his grandiose plans, nonetheless these punks have deliberately chosen to insult the memory of millions of victims of Communism by cavorting at the restored Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which was destroyed at the orders of the monster Stalin.

  • >Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?

    Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history – Russia dominating Poland in the 18th century, the Partitions at the end of said epoch, the Russian occupation of central Poland in the 19th century (and the brutal repression of any and all Polish rebellions during that time), the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920-21 or so, and of course Stalin’s betrayal of the Warsaw rebels and subsequent establishment of a Communist puppet state in that land after World War II. And that’s not even counting the rivalry between Moscow and Poland for Eastern Europe in the centuries before Peter the Great.

    Even if we forget Poland (since, given history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin thought trying to dominate/occupy/control that country is too much trouble than it’s worth) , there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate. Just think about the 2002 hacking of Estonia, Russia’s interference with the 2004-2005 Ukranian elections (Putin was on the losing side of the Orange Revolution), and the 2008 invasion of Georgia, among other things. Want to know why Alexander Lukashenko is still dictator of Belarus. Because he and Putin are BFFs.

    Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

  • They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

    Did I even imply it was?

    These women are attention whores. They thrive off challenging authority with paying trivial prices for it. Give them small (but escalating) jail terms for each instance of vandalism, disorderly conduct, disruption of a religious service (a class A misdemeanor in New York, btw), criminal trespass, and resisting arrest. Eventually, though, it is not unjust to point the cannon at the cat. They ought to do themselves and everyone else a favor and get normal jobs.

    As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril. As for the Russian political order, regrets but the attempt at democratic institutions was contemporary with an economic catastrophe. One ought to hope for a recovery in fertility, successful improvements in the effectiveness and reliability of police and courts, and a regulatory regime that does not ratify or promote rent-seeking before one hopes for a restoration of competitive elections. (Even so, Putin’s regime is likely the most liberal-democratic in the civic realm of any outside the periods running from 1905 to 1918 and 1988 to 1999).

  • >As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril.
    Tell that to the people of Eastern Europe…

  • The basis of the the ABM Treaty is that in the realm of ballistic missiles so called defensive weapons tend to destabilise existing deterrents. If the Russians had wanted to use their missiles against the Poles, the propitious time was in 1989; that era is long gone now. The Poles should not rely on bear baiters in the Pentagon for support, but instead come to a regional understanding with the other Europeans including the Russians.

  • Tommy,

    To answer your questions…

    “Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?”

    Do I think that any of these people want to attack Russia unprovoked? No. Well, maybe John McCain… but this is besides the point. To deprive Russia of first-strike capability can only be interpreted as hostile. Do you seriously expect Russia to just assume the permanent good intentions of the West? You speak of “recent history” going all the way back to the 18th century. Russia only needs to go back as far as Operation Barbarossa to justify the maintaining of a sphere of influence and nuclear first-strike capabilities.

    It is unreasonable to demand of others what you would find unreasonable if demanded of you. You would not rest on the assumption of Russia’s permanent benevolence, and so it is absurd and almost dehumanizing to expect them to do likewise.

    “Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history”

    Poland really has nothing to do with this. It was brought up by Darwin as an example of Russia’s offenses against another Christian nation – as if no two other Christian nations have gone to war, as if all three Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox nations haven’t engaged in regrettable belligerence and war with one another.

    A NATO missile shield isn’t about protecting Poland from a nuclear strike, for heaven’s sake. It is about limiting Russia’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

    “there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate.”

    Oh really? There’s no other power using its own international spy agency to ferment political upheaval and regional opposition to Moscow in these republics? There’s no power whose actions are obviously aimed at the complete encirclement of Russia?

    Russia would be insane not to oppose the West. The color revolutions are CIA-engineered shams.

    “Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.”

    I am not opposed to imperialism as an abstract category. I don’t have an abstract, moral problem with say, the Monroe Doctrine. But – and I will elaborate on these issues much more when I eventually do a big foreign policy post (maybe after the elections) – I do believe that

    a) Russia is completely right in identifying Western actions in the ex-Soviet republics as encirclement, and this is fundamentally hostile
    b) Russia is completely justified as a nation in opposing Western attempts to encircle it
    c) Russia, in supporting the secular dictatorships of the “Islamic” region of the world (North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, etc.) is objectively supporting the Christians who live relatively unmolested under these regimes, while recent US support for Islamic fanatics in Lybia, Egypt and now Syria is – among other things – a direct threat to tens of millions of Christians around the world.

  • Russia is repressive. Nice to see you’re sadistically enjoying P**y Riot’s suffering (clearly, you find femininity&female organs scary) When Russia passed its antigay laws… the first man arrested wasn’t gay, but a straight married man. Russia has been against free speech for years. Read about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.

    You’re defending oppression&censorship. P**y Riot isn’t sociopathic;they were battling the sociopathic Vladimir Putin.

    How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

  • Susan, the pu$$y rioters defiled a Christian Church. If their intent was to protest against Putin, then they should have carried their protest to a govt bldg, NOT a Christian Church.

    Having pro-sodomy filth laws isn’t fre speech. It’s promotion of godless sexual idolatry and iniquity. The gays who won’t repent belong back in the closet where they belong, and Christianity belongs front and center in the public square.

    As for the first man arrested who was straight, if he was promoting homosexual filth, then his arrest, regardless of his sexual orientation, was right and correct. There are only human rights, and the filth of these sexually promiscuous creatures does not qualify as a human right. Indeed, for this kind of filth God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

    If that’s the way you want to put it, sister, go ahead. Betwixt and between hating women and freedom I have little time for vulgar professional adolescents who deface public property and disrupt other peoples’ common activities.

  • I will leave the judgement on Putin’s Russia to historians who will doubtless have better access to the information needed to make that judgment than any of us is likely to get.

    What is clear is that this band willfully defiled a church. In any country, rights are not absolute, but need to be balanced against other rights. If they had been sent to jail for two years for making their “protest” in Red Square, I would be supporting their right to free speech (even if I very definitely disagree with much of what they are saying). They do not however, have a right to enter a church or other non-governmental or non-publically owned space in order to make that protest.

    Personally, I get the impression that they wanted to be arrested; they got what they wanted and I am not going to loose too much sleep over it.

  • Susan,

    The most frightening thing about your kind is your complete inability an unwillingness to recognize the rights and freedoms of others. In your sick, twisted, limited world view, religious worshipers have no rights and freedom. If you decide you want to stomp into our churches and menstruate on the floor, you believe you should have that right, and that we have an obligation to sit there and like it.

    Well, let me tell you something sister. Under the laws of civilized nations, you don’t have this right, not in Russia, not in the U.S., not anywhere. If you think preventing and punishing such vile, hateful acts is “censorship”, then you are sick in the head and you belong in a mental institution. In a just society, a rational society, you would have already been committed.

  • May God bless Bonchamps, Maryland Bill and Art Deco.

  • God Bless all of us. Just because people disagree with Bonchamps about the nature of the Russian government, that doesn’t make them the enemy (and even if they were, we still should ask God to bless them).

    I do have reservations about Putin’s government, a lot of them. But I know I don’t know enough to be sure one way or the other. I also know that to a certain extent, whether Putin is a saint or a sinner, it doesn’t change the wrongness of what this “band” did in a Church.

  • Susan, I disagree with Bonchamps about this, but I wouldn’t accuse him of hating women or freedom. Attacking someone’s motivations is bad form. And also, just because Putin is a sociopath, that doesn’t mean his oppnents aren’t.

  • The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Darwin, you are wrong. We do in fact keep the reserved Sacrament in a tabernacle on the Holy Table at all times, for Presanctified Liturgies during Lent and for the communion of the sick at all times of the year. Just because we don’t have a practice of Eucharistic Adoration outside of a liturgical context doesn’t mean that the Altar does not at all times have the Holy Gifts placed on it.

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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Lincoln and the Liberty of Catholic Americans

Saturday, June 16, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty Too.  Perhaps the most effective campaign song in the history of our nation, it resonates strongly in me this year when our Catholic Church is engaged in a fight for our religious liberty.  Our bishops have proclaimed a Fortnight for Freedom from June 21 to July 4 for Catholics to meditate upon, and proclaim, our American heritage of liberty.  In that fortnight the memory of one man from our history should stand tall, Abraham Lincoln.  Although he was not a Catholic, and most Catholics of his time were members of the Democrat Party, Lincoln ever stood for the rights of his fellow citizens who were Catholics.

In the 1840s America was beset by a wave of anti-Catholic riots.  An especially violent one occurred in Philadelphia on May 6-8 in 1844. These riots laid the seeds for a powerful anti-Catholic movement which became embodied in the years to come in the aptly named Know-Nothing movement.  To many American politicians Catholic-bashing seemed the path to electoral success.

 

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

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

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

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

In our battle for religious liberty, we have Abraham Lincoln on our side, a man who understood that the great principles enshrined in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution apply to all Americans.

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39 Responses to Lincoln and the Liberty of Catholic Americans

  • Don, forgive me, but you need to wean yourself from the Claremont Institute, my friend.

  • You need to read and understand some actual history regarding Lincoln Joe rather than the idiot neo-Confederate diatribes you are addicted to.

  • As a lawyer, perhaps you can only understand one side of an argument. I can understand that. However, step back now and then and appreciate that history is a vast landscape and that you may be seeing only the part that you choose to see. Start with a fresh slate and open mind and expand your horizons. It can’t hurt and might illuminate.

  • It really is simple Joe. I have read hundreds of books about Lincoln and the Civil War and I know what I am talking about. You are addicted to Lincoln hating cranks like Dilorenzo and do not.

  • Don, the minority view is sometimes the right one. But far be it from me to disabuse you of your prejudices. I’ve a voracious reader, too, and find some historians more credible than others. DiLorenzo is not a scholar, true, but a good economist in the Ludwig Von Mises/Milton Friedman school of supply side economics, which was embraced by one of your favorite presidents, Reagan. I don’t swallow everything Tom says but he raises some issues that are worth exploring without dismissing him as a “crank” or “idiot.” I’d expect something better than mere ad hominem from you. To me such labels would be better applied to Marxist historians such as Eric Foner and pop historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who champion the Church of Lincoln.

    I spent most of my adult life as a journalist and try to sell all sides of a story and not rely on single-sourcing for facts. I haven’t quite read “hundreds of books” about the Civil War as you have but enough to raise doubts about the legends created by the court historians. Then again, as Napoleon put it, “What is history but a fabled agreed upon?” And Plato said the winners get to write the history.

    Don’t mean to spoil the thread or the weekend. On more prosaic matters, I’ll be watching the US Open and enjoying the views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge, which is 75 years old — a marvel indeed.

    Thanks as always, Don, for allowing me to sing off-key in the choir.

  • Dilorenzo purports to write history Joe and he is abysmal at it. A typical example which I have cited before:

    “To quote Loyola College economics professor Tom DiLorenzo, who has gained fame as a Lincoln basher: “Hamilton was a compulsive statist who wanted to bring the corrupt British mercantilist system — the very system the American Revolution was fought to escape from — to America. He fought fiercely for his program of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, public debt, pervasive taxation, and a central bank run by politicians and their appointees out of the nation’s capital.”

    Citing DiLorenzo on any historical point Joe is akin to quoting Bill Clinton on celibacy. DiLorenzo is an historical illiterate who lies to support the political points that he is trying to make in his ignorant polemics. An example of Dilorenzo at work:

    DiLorenzo repeatedly asserts that Lincoln did not believe in human equality and shared the widely held prejudices of his time that blacks were inferior. Here is DiLorenzo:

    “Lincoln even mocked the Jeffersonian dictum enshrined in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal. He admitted that it had become “a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation,” but added, “I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism” So, with the possible exception of Siamese Twins, the idea of equality, according to Lincoln, was a sheer absurdity. This is in stark contrast to the seductive words of the Gettysburg Address, eleven years later, in which he purported to rededicate the nation to the notion that all men are created equal.”

    DiLorenzo cites the first joint debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas, held in Ottawa, Illinois, in 1858, as the source of the quotation. The language actually comes from Lincoln’s eulogy of his longtime friend and colleague Henry Clay, delivered in July 1852. But that is the least of DiLorenzo’s problems. He uses this quotation, and a few other excerpted phrases, to “prove” that Lincoln’s professed belief in human equality was disingenuous. Here are Lincoln’s actual words:

    “[There are] a few, but an increasing number of men, who, for the sake of perpetuating slavery, are beginning to assail and to ridicule the white man’s charter of freedom, the declaration “that all men are created equal.” So far as I have learned, the first American, of any note, to do or attempt this, was the late John C. Calhoun; and if I mistake not, it soon after found its way into some of the messages of the Governors of South Carolina. We, however, look for, and are not much shocked by, political eccentricities and heresies in South Carolina. But, only last year, I saw with astonishment, what purported to be a letter of a very distinguished and influential clergyman of Virginia, copied, with apparent approbation, into a St. Louis newspaper, containing the following, to me, very extraordinary language:

    I am fully aware that there is a text in some Bibles that is not in mine. Professional abolitionists have made more use of it, than of any passage in the Bible. It came, however, as I trace it, from Saint Voltaire, and was baptized by Thomas Jefferson, and since almost universally regarded as canonical authority ‘All men are born equal and free.’

    This is a genuine coin in the political currency of our generation. I am sorry to say that I have never seen two men of whom it is true. But I must admit I never saw the Siamese Twins, and therefore will not dogmatically say that no man ever saw a proof of this sage aphorism.

    This sounds strangely in republican America. The like was not heard in the fresher days of the Republic.”

    DiLorenzo thus attributes to Lincoln the words of a Virginia clergyman whom Lincoln quoted and then went on to criticize. In the course of his eulogy of Clay, Lincoln defended the proposition of human equality and equal natural rights, as he did in all his major addresses. His argument is precisely the opposite of what DiLorenzo claims it to be.

    http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.736/article_detail.asp

    History is very important to me Joe. Any study of the past has to be grounded in a search for the facts of what actually occurred. Dilorenzo, through mendacity or incompetence, lacks that fundamental requirement for any historian.

  • Too much here to rebut except to say that some is out of context or otherwise incomplete. It is a fact that Lincoln supported the Fugitive Slave Act, made several white supremacist statements, enthusiastically backed colonization of blacks back to Africa, etc., suspended habeas corpus and rebuffed third-party efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to prevent the war.

    As long as you bring up Lincoln-Douglas, I’m sure you’re aware that some of their debates ran for several hours. In one instance, Douglas spoke for THREE HOURS, then Lincoln called a recess for a rebuttal that came later after dinner and ran at least as long.
    Who can know what they said or in what context?

    Cherry-picking quotes from Lincoln speeches, some of which were fictional according to historians other than DiLorenzo, is often used to support or refute an argument but more than words actions are what matter. And looking at the Civil War and all its bitter fruit — which remains to this day — I cannot hold the 16th President in high esteem.

    And truth to tell, I’d rather live in a Jeffersonian America than Hamilton’s America, which is what we have now. States once were sovereign; now they’re just mere vassals. If the colonists asserted the right to secede from King George’s tyranny, then why was it wrong for the confederates to do the same when the North imposed unfair tariffs on the South. The issue of slavery was only a small part of the South’s grievances; it was rooted in economics primarily, but the legend lives on that Lincoln wanted to “save the union” and “free the slaves” and fails to take into account the political and economic oppression that the South genuinely felt. Again way too much here to debate and I’m sure we’ll never agree on what version of history to believe.

  • I deal in the actual historical record Joe. Dilorenzo does not. Here is a portion of a review of DiLorenzo’s the Real Lincoln by Professor Richard Gamble. Gamble himself is a severe critic of Lincoln, but he is honest enough to recognize abysmal scholarship when he sees it:

    “Despite its provocative insights and obvious rhetorical skill, however, The Real Lincoln is seriously compromised by careless errors of fact, misuse of sources, and faulty documentation. Although individually these flaws may seem trivial and inconsequential, taken together they constitute a near-fatal threat to DiLorenzo’s credibility as a historian. A few examples indicate the scope of the problem: DiLorenzo’s own article on Lincoln as “The Great Centralizer” appeared in the The Independent Review in 1998, not in 1988 (p. vii); Lincoln advised sending freed slaves to Liberia in a speech in 1854, not “during the war” (pp. 16–17); Lincoln was not a member of the Illinois state legislature in 1857 (p. 18); the commerce clause was not an “amendment,” and Thomas Jefferson was not among the framers of the Constitution (pp. 69–70); Thaddeus Stevens was a Pennsylvania representative, not a senator (p. 140); and Fort Sumter was not a customs house (p. 242).

    Unfortunately, these lapses are more than matched by a clumsy mishandling of sources that violates the presumed trust between author and reader. DiLorenzo claims, for example, that in the four years “between 1860 and 1864, population in the thirteen largest Northern cities rose by 70 percent” (p. 225). On the face of it, this statistic is absurd and defies common sense, and sure enough, the source DiLorenzo cites says that the growth occurred “in fifteen years.” Page 11 says that Lincoln’s law partner and biographer William Herndon was quoting his own recollections of Lincoln, but he really was quoting another biographer. A few pages later (p. 14), DiLorenzo claims that Lincoln, in his eulogy for Henry Clay, “mustered his best rhetorical talents to praise Clay,” but all of the examples that follow come from the “beautiful language” of a newspaper that Lincoln was quoting at length. Moreover, Lincoln’s supposed comment about the “deportation” of blacks in his Cooper Union speech was in fact a quotation from Thomas Jefferson, as Lincoln himself says (p. 18). In chapter 3, DiLorenzo claims that in a letter to Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln “admitted that the original [Emancipation] proclamation had no legal justification, except as a war measure” (p. 37). His source, however, is the recollections of a conversation (not a letter) that portrait artist Francis B. Carpenter (not Chase) had with Lincoln, and at no point do these recollections sustain DiLorenzo’s summary of them. Moreover, in the reference for this section, DiLorenzo misidentifies the title of his source as Paul Angle’s The American Reader, when in fact the jumbled material comes from Angle’s The Lincoln Reader. Other errors include misplaced quotation marks, missing ellipses, and quotations with incorrect punctuation, capitalization, and wrong or missing words.

    Further examination of the endnotes leads into a labyrinth of errors beyond the ingenuity of Ariadne’s thread. On page 281, for instance, note 1 cites page 66 of David Donald’s Lincoln, when in fact the quotation comes from page 66 of Donald’s Lincoln Reconsidered. On the next page, note 7 cites Lincoln’s debate with Stephen Douglas at Ottawa, Illinois, on August 21, 1858, but the quotation comes from the debate at Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, 1858. Moreover, hardly a single citation of the Basler edition of Lincoln’s Collected Works includes the volume number (see notes 25, 26, and 33), and several of the remaining citations of the Collected Works turn out in fact to be references to Basler’s Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings (notes 24, 31, and 44). Note 9 on page 282 again cites Lincoln’s 1858 debate with Douglas at Ottawa, but the quotations this time actually come from Lincoln’s 1852 eulogy for Henry Clay. Note 14 leads down another blind alley to no trace of the quoted material. On page 287, note 3 cites the wrong page number from Donald’s Lincoln, and although note 4 immediately following says “ibid.,” it actually refers to Basler’s Abraham Lincoln. On page 293, DiLorenzo cites Federalist No. 36 as his source, but the quotation comes from Federalist No. 46. Sad to say, this catalog of errors is only a sampling. Readers looking further into the matter will find incorrect titles and subtitles as well as misspelled publishers’ names. Obviously, in view of these problems, the maze of endnotes does not provide the “meticulous documentation” promised by the book’s dust jacket.

    As it stands, The Real Lincoln is a travesty of historical method and documentation. Exasperating, maddening, and deeply disappointing, The Real Lincoln ought to have been a book to confound Lincoln’s apologists and to help rebuild the American historical consciousness. Ironically, it is essentially correct in every charge it makes against Lincoln, making it all the more frustrating to the sympathetic reader. DiLorenzo’s love of the chase needs to be tempered by scrupulous attention to detail. Without it, his good work collapses. He is an author of evident courage and ability, but his sloppiness has earned him the abuse and ridicule of his critics. A book such as The Real Lincoln needed to be written, but until it is revised and corrected in a new edition, this is not that book. In the meantime, there is still hope for skeptical cynics.”

    http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?issueID=14&articleID=79

  • “As long as you bring up Lincoln-Douglas, I’m sure you’re aware that some of their debates ran for several hours. In one instance, Douglas spoke for THREE HOURS, then Lincoln called a recess for a rebuttal that came later after dinner and ran at least as long.
    Who can know what they said or in what context?”

    Because reporters from several newspapers were making contemporaneous stenographic records:

    “Both then and now, the debates’ impact was amplified by changing technology. In 1858, innovation was turning what would otherwise have been a local contest into one followed from Mississippi to Maine. Stenographers trained in shorthand recorded the candidates’ words. Halfway through each debate, runners were handed the stenographers’ notes; they raced for the next train to Chicago, converting shorthand into text during the journey and producing a transcript ready to be typeset and telegraphed to the rest of the country as soon as it arrived. “The combination of shorthand, the telegraph and the railroad changed everything,” says Allen C. Guelzo, author of Lincoln and Douglas: The Debates That Defined America. “It was unprecedented. Lincoln and Douglas knew they were speaking to the whole nation. It was like JFK in 1960 coming to grips with the presence of the vast new television audience.””

    Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/face-the-nation.html#ixzz1xxtjULAG

  • “Too much here to rebut except to say that some is out of context or otherwise incomplete. It is a fact that Lincoln supported the Fugitive Slave Act, made several white supremacist statements, enthusiastically backed colonization of blacks back to Africa, etc., suspended habeas corpus and rebuffed third-party efforts to reach a peaceful settlement to prevent the war.”

    Lincoln gave very grudging support to the Fugitive Slave Act as part of a compromise to keep the Union together. Neo-Confederate attacks on Lincoln as a racist are absolutely hilarious beacause during his day their ideological ancestors attack him routinely as a n—-r lover. Here is what black abolitionist Frederick Douglas had to say:

    “When, therefore, it shall be asked what we have to do with the memory of Abraham Lincoln, or what Abraham Lincoln had to do with us, the answer is ready, full, and complete. Though he loved Caesar less than Rome, though the Union was more to him than our freedom or our future, under his wise and beneficent rule we saw ourselves gradually lifted from the depths of slavery to the heights of liberty and manhood; under his wise and beneficent rule, and by measures approved and vigorously pressed by him, we saw that the handwriting of ages, in the form of prejudice and proscription, was rapidly fading away from the face of our whole country; under his rule, and in due time, about as soon after all as the country could tolerate the strange spectacle, we saw our brave sons and brothers laying off the rags of bondage, and being clothed all over in the blue uniforms of the soldiers of the United States; under his rule we saw two hundred thousand of our dark and dusky people responding to the call of Abraham Lincoln, and with muskets on their shoulders, and eagles on their buttons, timing their high footsteps to liberty and union under the national flag; under his rule we saw the independence of the black republic of Haiti, the special object of slave-holding aversion and horror, fully recognized, and her minister, a colored gentleman, duly received here in the city of Washington; under his rule we saw the internal slave-trade, which so long disgraced the nation, abolished, and slavery abolished in the District of Columbia; under his rule we saw for the first time the law enforced against the foreign slave trade, and the first slave-trader hanged like any other pirate or murderer; under his rule, assisted by the greatest captain of our age, and his inspiration, we saw the Confederate States, based upon the idea that our race must be slaves, and slaves forever, battered to pieces and scattered to the four winds; under his rule, and in the fullness of time, we saw Abraham Lincoln, after giving the slave-holders three months’ grace in which to save their hateful slave system, penning the immortal paper, which, though special in its language, was general in its principles and effect, making slavery forever impossible in the United States. Though we waited long, we saw all this and more.

    Can any colored man, or any white man friendly to the freedom of all men, ever forget the night which followed the first day of January, 1863, when the world was to see if Abraham Lincoln would prove to be as good as his word? I shall never forget that memorable night, when in a distant city I waited and watched at a public meeting, with three thousand others not less anxious than myself, for the word of deliverance which we have heard read today. Nor shall I ever forget the outburst of joy and thanksgiving that rent the air when the lightning brought to us the emancipation proclamation. In that happy hour we forgot all delay, and forgot all tardiness, forgot that the President had bribed the rebels to lay down their arms by a promise to withhold the bolt which would smite the slave-system with destruction; and we were thenceforward willing to allow the President all the latitude of time, phraseology, and every honorable device that statesmanship might require for the achievement of a great and beneficent measure of liberty and progress.

    Fellow-citizens, there is little necessity on this occasion to speak at length and critically of this great and good man, and of his high mission in the world. That ground has been fully occupied and completely covered both here and elsewhere. The whole field of fact and fancy has been gleaned and garnered. Any man can say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man can say anything that is new of Abraham Lincoln. His personal traits and public acts are better known to the American people than are those of any other man of his age. He was a mystery to no man who saw him and heard him. Though high in position, the humblest could approach him and feel at home in his presence. Though deep, he was transparent; though strong, he was gentle; though decided and pronounce in his convictions, he was tolerant towards those who differed from him, and patient under reproaches. Even those who only knew him through his public utterance obtained a tolerably clear idea of his character and personality. The image of the man went out with his words, and those who read them knew him.

    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. “

  • “suspended habeas corpus”

    Yep, Joe in the midst of a Civil War. His action was ratified by Congress.

    Jefferson Davis also suspended habeas corpus, for the same reason.

    http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Civil_Liberties_in_Virginia_during_the_Civil_War

  • “The issue of slavery was only a small part of the South’s grievances; it was rooted in economics primarily, but the legend lives on that Lincoln wanted to “save the union” and “free the slaves” and fails to take into account the political and economic oppression that the South genuinely felt.”

    Jefferson Davis begs to differ Joe:

    “In the meantime, under the mild and genial climate of the Southern States and the increasing care and attention for the wellbeing and comfort of the laboring class, dictated alike by interest and humanity, the African slaves had augmented in number from about 600,000, at the date of the adoption of the constitutional compact, to upward of 4,000,000. In moral and social condition they had been elevated from brutal savages into docile, intelligent, and civilized agricultural laborers, and supplied not only with bodily comforts but with careful religious instruction. Under the supervision of a superior race their labor had been so directed as not only to allow a gradual and marked amelioration of their own condition, but to convert hundreds of thousands of square miles of the wilderness into cultivated lands covered with a prosperous people; towns and cities had sprung into existence, and had rapidly increased in wealth and population under the social system of the South; the white population of the Southern slaveholding States had augmented from about 1,250,000 at the date of the adoption of the Constitution to more than 8,500,000 in 1860; and the productions of the South in cotton, rice, sugar, and tobacco, for the full development and continuance of which the labor of African slaves was and is indispensable, had swollen to an amount which formed nearly three-fourths of the exports of the whole United States and had become absolutely necessary to the wants of civilized man. With interests of such overwhelming magnitude imperiled, the people of the Southern States were driven by the conduct of the North to the adoption of some course of action to avert the danger with which they were openly menaced. With this view the legislatures of the several States invited the people to select delegates to conventions to be held for the purpose of determining for themselves what measures were best adapted to meet so alarming a crisis in their history.”

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_m042961.asp

    The secession of the Southern states was to protect the instition of slavery Joe. As Alexander Stephens Vice President of the Confederacy put it:

    “The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution African slavery as it exists amongst us the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the “rock upon which the old Union would split.” He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the leading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that, somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at that time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”

    Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?documentprint=76

  • Faced with that onslaught, I still refuse to wave the white flag. For now, you have the last word on this. As a lawyer and Illinoisan, no doubt this plays heavily into your views. We all need heroes, Don.

  • Abraham Lincoln said: “One person cannot own another person”. The Declaration of Independence says: “All men are created equal, WE hold these truths, and endowed by their CREATOR with unalienable rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
    Saint Voltaire (are you sure???) said: ‘All men are born equal and free.” This last is the Declaration on Human Rights from the United Nations. All that “born” stuff. All men are “created equal” in innocence and sovereign personhood by “their Creator” Created equal with a rational and immortal soul as a member of the species HomoSapiens, with each his own DNA when two become one, scientific proof that all men are “created equal”. The soul brings the human being to birth in a human body who has responded to the gifts of charisms and personality endowed by “their Creator”. The sovereign personhood endowed to the newly begotten individual by “their Creator” constitutes the nation from the very first moment of the person’s existence. “Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights”. from Aquinas through Suarez. If the individual’s sovereign personhood is not acknowledged, as in abortion, the newly begotten person is a slave of the state, constituting the nation but receiving no Liberty. When the state owns the person, the person can never be a citizen who constitutes the state. FREEDOM is granted by God, not the state. Life is granted by God, not the state. If men “are born equal”, then the state endows Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. God is infinite. The state is finite. Man’s soul is immortal, something the state could not in its finiteness endow. Abraham Lincoln said that one person cannot own another person.
    A great truth, the following is not. “upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” because this reasoning denies that God created all men equal. If there is anyone who will deny or distort our founding principles, he shall forfeit them to himself.

  • Don, while I wait for Zummo to pile on, here’s more grist to chew on:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo-arch.html
    Having read The Real Lincoln, Lincoln Unmasked, Hamilton’s Curse and Killing Lincoln, I’d have to say DiLorenzo got the much the better of “Mr. No-Spin Zone.” O’Reilly’s book is replete with laughable errors. As for Gamble’s review, the worst that could be said is that The Real Lincoln may have had some sloppy footnoting but the same could be said of many other highly rated history books.

  • O’Reilly is not a historian Joe and does not pretend to be. Neither is DiLorenzo, although he pretends to be.

  • As a casual observer of this banter between Don and Joe, it would be a lot more sporting of you Joe to link to sources which don’t make reference to Santorum as the Ayatollah. Just a thought.

  • Dilorenzo tends to express himself in bitter hysterical vituperation against those he differs with politically, as well as being a joke as an historian.

    More on Dilorenzo’s shortcomings in The Real Lincoln:

    “Contrary to a number of reviews that have appeared on Amazon’s website for this book, DiLorenzo’s ‘Real Lincoln’ is NOT well researched; it is sloppy and looks hastily written, in spite of the fact it has been revised from its original release. In addition to the book’s highly questionable interpretations of a number of abridged Lincoln quotes and a sweeping and blanket acceptance of several controversial legal and historical claims, there are numerous errors of fact and citation that mar this book and do irreparable damage to its thesis. I have written a longer review of this book elsewhere; just a small fraction of the myriad of errors is listed below. To cite a few, on p.68 in the first edition of his book DiLorenzo wrote: “In virtually every one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln made it a point to champion the nationalization of money and to demonize [Andrew] Jackson and the Democrats for their opposition to it.” I challenge the Amazon reviewers that said DiLorenzo’s book is “well researched” to go and read the Lincoln-Douglas debates for themselves – they will strain to find anything much on the nationalization of money and related topics. In a later edition of his book, DiLorenzo corrected this mistaken reference to the debates, but then compounded his error it by replacing it with the statement: “Lincoln frequently made it a point to champion the nationalization of money and to demonize Jackson…” Yet there are no such “frequent statements” in Lincoln’s Speeches and Writings nor is any citation given to show that Lincoln “frequently” did this. Such a citation is obligatory, certainly in a “well researched” scholarly book. This book is characterized by numerous similar sweeping statements that are either unsupported or have very weak support.
    A few more examples are worth noting. In chapter 3, DiLorenzo wrote that Lincoln, in a letter to his Treasury Secretary, stated that the Emancipation proclamation had no legal justification, except as a military [War Powers?] measure. But DiLorenzo did not cite from a letter, rather from a recollection of a conversation that painter Francis Carpenter had with Lincoln, and this recollection is inaccurately rendered in the book. The cited reference, Paul Angle’s ‘The American Reader’ (p. 286 n14) is also wrong. In fact, this (incorrectly rendered) material actually comes from Angle’s 1947 book ‘The Lincoln Reader.’ On p. 289 of the endnotes, DiLorenzo corrects the Angle book’s title for us but then gets the publisher wrong, listing Da Capo Press rather than Rutgers (Da Capo was not in business in 1947). On p.14 DiLorenzo wrote “Lincoln mustered his best rhetorical talents to praise [Henry] Clay…” but the examples given came from a newspaper that Lincoln was quoting — hardly Lincoln’s rhetorical talents. Similarly, Lincoln’s supposed comment about the “deportation” of blacks (frequently and incorrectly ascribed to Lincoln by sloppy writers) was actually a quote from Thomas Jefferson, which Lincoln states clearly in his famous Cooper Institute speech – and Lincoln is clearly NOT advocating this position. Rather than reading Lincoln’s work for themselves, sloppy writers and Lincoln critics seem to simply read and cite each others’ work and thus regularly make this and similar errors of interpretation. In addition, almost none of the references to a major primary source – Roy Basler’s Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln – includes the volume number while several references to ‘Collected Works’ were actually references to Basler’s ‘Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings.’
    Many more small errors emerge for those that are familiar with U.S. 19th century history. On page 293, DiLorenzo cites Federalist # 36, but the quote cited actually came from Federalist # 46. In chapter 7, DiLorenzo calls Lincoln a war criminal and describes certain rules on treatment of civilians and civilian property in war, supposedly adopted by governments at an international conference in 1863 and based on an 18th century book. At the end of the chapter he again refers to the 1863 conference and its rules, and criticizes Lincoln and the U.S. government for not following them during the Civil War. Like so much of the work in `The Real Lincoln’ the 1863 conference never occurred. There was a conference on the law of war held in Geneva in 1864, but it primarily about the treatment of wounded soldiers, not civilians. The U.S. did not attend. The first conference to adopt a treaty dealing with civilians and civilian property was held at The Hague in 1899, some 30 years after the Civil War. Further, DiLorenzo gives no evidence for his claim that
    “American politicians and military officers relied on the [18th century] work of Swiss jurist Emmerich de Vattel…” (p. 174) about the rules of war. He mentions a book by Halleck written in 1861, but that book’s publishing date indicates that it hardly could have been an authoritative source that trained officers of the Civil War. DiLorenzo states that it was so used but again offers no evidence for this. The errors in this book continue relentlessly: miscites, wrong publishers, wrong pages, misquotes, sweeping statements with zero evidence offered, etc. Although The Real Lincoln’s book jacket says this book is meticulously documented, it is nothing of the kind. As well known Lincoln historian Phillip Paludan has stated, ‘The Real Lincoln’ “subtracts from the sum total of human knowledge.” If you choose to read ‘The Real Lincoln’ do so with the primary sources such as Basler, Fehrenbacher, Donald, Angle, and others open on the desk next to you. But rather than putting in that much effort, try reading the seminal works on the American Civil War from James McPherson, Gary Gallagher, David Herbert Donald, Phil Paludan, Gabor Boritt, Steven Woodworth, Robert Toplin, Henry Jaffa and many others. Or read some of the good books by DiLorenzo on economics. Your time will be much better spent.
    Professor David Ahlstrom
    The Chinese University of Hong Kong”

  • The Real Abraham Lincoln was called “Honest Abe” and the “Great Communicator” by his people, the people whom he birthed at Gettysburg. I am far more inclined to call them friends than some writer who never even met Abraham Lincoln and puts his opinion on paper.

  • “As a casual observer of this banter between Don and Joe, it would be a lot more sporting of you Joe to link to sources which don’t make reference to Santorum as the Ayatollah. Just a thought.”
    Sorry, Paul, but I don’t get the Santorum reference.

  • Don, I think “bitter hysterical vituperation” is a bit strong. I suspect DiLorenzo’s contrarian views stem from his avowed Liberatarianism. Like Ron Paul, he’s a Jeffersonian and a states rightist through and through and takes a dim view of Hamilton because of what he perceives as “big government” ideology. If you watch his YouTube interviews he comes across as a bit arrogant at times. I would concede he’s no Toynbee or Durant but he makes for interesting reading. I don’t buy everything he says, of course. He tends to be repetitious in his arguments. Lincoln Unmask did not really break any new ground.

    Have you ever read Neil Postman? His “Amusing Ourselves to Death” is an insightful read 28 years after being published. He felt Huxley and not Orwell was more accurate in predicting the future.

  • Pingback: SATURDAY EXTRA | Big Pulpit
  • The Church at which John Paul Neumann’s body lays in Germantown Philedephia has the windows extra high because protestants had broken the windows before.

  • Somebody mentioned Liberia which I would make interesting social note about which is that after lots of the freed slaves went to Liberia they enslaved the local Africans and for a while after the local Africans were free they had good and beautiful country so much so that it was called “The Switzerland of Africa” but now after several wars the whole country is rampant with brothels, cannibalism, and drug dens and most townships have war lords ruling them or at least for protection. So if anybody is gonna send a free slave to Africa make sure he’s chaste, straight, and morally sound.

  • Lincoln was a great friend of the Irish Catholics in particular. Off the boat and into a blue uniform.

  • And quite valorous most of them were:

  • About 150,000 Irish served out of the 2,000,000 men who made up the Union Army.

    Listed below are the names of Irish Born Medal of Honor Recipients for bravery in the line of duty during the war.

    1. ADAMS, PETER – Company A, 98th Pennsylvania Infantry
    2. ALLEN, JAMES – Company F, 16th New York Infantry
    3. ANDERSON, ROBERT – USS Keokuk
    4. BARRY, AUGUSTUS – 16th U.S. Infantry
    5. BASS, DAVID L. – USS Minnesota
    6. BEGLEY, TERRENCE – Company D, 7th New York Heavy Artillery
    7. BLACKWOOD, WILLIAM R. D. – 48th Pennsylvania Infantry (Philadelphian)
    8. BRADLEY, CHARLES – USS Louisville
    9. BRANNIGAN, FELIX – Company A, 74th New York Infantry
    10. BRENNAN, CHRISTOPHER – USS Mississippi
    11. BROSNAN, JOHN – Company E, 164th New York Infantry
    12. BROWN, EDWARD, JR. – Company G, 62d New York Infantry
    13. BURK, E. MICHAEL – Company D, 125th New York Infantry
    14. BURKE, THOMAS – Company A, 5th New York Cavalry
    15. BYRNES, JAMES – USS Louisville
    16. CAMPBELL, WILLIAM – Company I, 30th Ohio Infantry
    17. CAREY, HUGH – Company E, 82d New York Infantry
    18. CASEY, DAVID – Company C, 25th Massachusetts Infantry
    19. CASSIDY, MICHAEL – USS Lackawanna
    20. COLBERT, PATRICK – USS Commodore Hull
    21. COLLIS, CHARLES H. T. – 114th Pennsylvania Infantry
    22. CONNOR, THOMAS – USS Minnesota
    23. CONNORS, JAMES – Company E, 43d New York Infantry
    24. COOPER, JOHN – USS Brooklyn (2 Citations)
    25. COSGROVE, THOMAS – Company F, 40th Massachusetts Infantry
    26. CREED, JOHN – Company D, 23d Illinois Infantry
    27. CULLEN, THOMAS – Company I, 82d New York Infantry
    28. CURRAN, RICHARD – 33d New York Infantry
    29. DELANEY, JOHN C. – Company I, 107th Pennsylvania Infantry
    30. DONOGHUE, TIMOTHY – Company B, 69th New York Infantry
    31. DOODY, PATRICK – Company E., 164th New York Infantry
    32. DOOLEN, WILLIAM – USS Richmond
    33. DOUGHERTY, MICHAEL – Company B, 13th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    34. DOUGHERTY, PATRICK – USS Lackawanna
    35. DOWNEY, WILLIAM – Company B, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry
    36. DRURY, JAMES – Company C, 4th Vermont Infantry
    37. DUNPHY, RICHARD D. – USS Hartford
    38. ENGLISH, EDMUND – Company C, 2d New Jersey Infantry
    39. FALLON, THOMAS T. – Company K, 37th New York Infantry
    40. FLOOD, THOMAS – USS Pensacola
    41. FLYNN, CHRISTOPHER – Company K, 14th Connecticut Infantry
    42. FORD, GEORGE W. – Company E, 88th New York Infantry
    43. GARDNER, WILLIAM – USS Calena
    44. GASSON, RICHARD – Company K, 47th New York Infantry
    45. GRIBBEN, JAMES H. – Company C, 2d New York Cavalry
    46. GINLEY, PATRICK – Company G, 1st New York Light Artillery
    47. HALEY, JAMES – USS Kearsarge
    48. HARRINGTON, DANIEL – USS Pocahontas
    49. HAVRON, JOHN H. – Company G, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery
    50. HIGHLAND, PATRICK – Company D, 23d Illinois Infantry
    51. HINNECAN, WILLIAM – USS Agawam
    52. HORNE, SAMUEL B. – Company H, 11th Connecticut Infantry
    53. HOWARD, MARTIN – USS Tacony
    54. HUDSON, MICHAEL – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Brooklyn
    55. HYLAND, JOHN – USS Signal
    56. IRWIN, PATRICK – Company H, 14th Michigan Infantry
    57. JONES, ANDREW – US Ironclad Chickasaw
    58. JONES, WILLIAM – Company A, 73d New York Infantry
    59. KANE, JOHN – Company K, 100th New York Infantry
    60. KEELE, JOSEPH – 182d New York Infantry
    61. KELLEY, JOHN – USS Ceres
    62. KELLY, THOMAS – Company A, 6th New York Cavalry
    63. KENNEDY, JOHN – Company M, 2d U.S. Artillery
    64. KEOUGH, JOHN – Company E, 67th Pennsylvania Infantry
    65. KERR, THOMAS R. – Company C, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    66. LAFFEY, BARTLETT – USS Marmora
    67. LOGAN, HUGH – USS Rhode Island
    68. LONERGAN, JOHN – Company A, 13th Vermont Infantry
    69. MADDEN, MICHAEL – Company K, 42d New York Infantry
    70. MANGAM, RICHARD C. – Company H, 148th New York Infantry
    71. MARTIN, JAMES – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Richmond
    72. MARTIN, WILLIAM – USS Varuna
    73. McCORMlCK, MICHAEL – USS Signal
    74. McGOUGH, OWEN – Battery D, 5th U.S. Artillery
    75. McGOWAN, JOHN – USS Varuna
    76. MONTGOMERY, ROBERT – USS Agawam
    77. MOORE, CHARLES – US Gunboat Marblehead
    78. MORRISON, JOHN G. – USS Carondelet
    79. MORTON, CHARLES W. – USS Benton (Philadelphian)
    80. MURPHY, MICHAEL C. – 170th New York Infantry
    81. MURPHY, DENNIS J. F. – Company F, 14th Wisconsin Infantry
    82. MURPHY, JOHN P. – Company K, 5th Ohio Infantry
    83. MURPHY, PATRICK – USS Metacomet
    84. MURPHY, THOMAS C. – Company I, 31st Illinois Infantry
    85. MURPHY, THOMAS J. – Company G, 146th New York Infantry
    86. NOLAN, JOHN J. – Company K, 8th New Hampshire Infantry
    87. NUGENT, CHRISTOPHER – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Fort Henry
    88. O’BEIRNE, JAMES R. – Company C, 37th New York Infantry
    89. O’BRIEN, PETER – Company A, 1st New York (Lincoln) Cavalry
    90. O’CONNELL, THOMAS – USS Hartford
    91. O’CONNOR, TIMOTHY – Company E, 1st U.S. Cavalry
    92. O’DONNELL, MENOMEN – Company A, 11th Missouri Infantry
    93. PLATT, GEORGE C. – Troop H, 6th U.S. Cavalry (Philadelphian)
    94. PLUNKETT, THOMAS – Company E, 21st Massachusetts Infantry
    95. PRESTON, JOHN – USS Oneida
    96. QUINLAN, JAMES – 88th New York Infantry
    97. RAFFERTY, PETER – Company B, 69th New York Infantry
    98. RANNAHAN. JOHN – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Minnesota
    99. REYNOLDS, GEORGE – Company M, 9th New York Cavalry
    100. RILEY, THOMAS – Company D, 1st Louisiana Cavalry
    101. ROANTREE, JAMES S. – U.S. Marine Corps / USS Oneida
    102. ROBINSON, JOHN H. – Company I, 19th Massachusetts Infantry
    103. ROBINSON, THOMAS – Company H, 81st Pennsylvania Infantry
    104. RYAN, PETER J. – Company D, 11th Indiana Infantry
    105. SCANLAN, PATRICK – Company A, 4th Massachusetts Cavalry
    106. SCHUTT, GEORGE – USS Hendrick
    107. SEWELL, WILLIAM J. – 5th New Jersey Infantry
    108. SHIELDS, BERNARD – Company E, 2d West Virginia Cavalry
    109. SMITH, WILLIAM – USS Kearsarge
    110. SPILLANE, TIMOTHY – Company C, 16th Pennsylvania Cavalry
    111. STEWART, JOSEPH – Company G, 1st Maryland Infantry
    112. SULLIVAN, TIMOTHY – USS Louisville
    113. TOBIN, JOHN M. – 9th Massachusetts Infantry
    114. TOOMER, WILLIAM – Company G, 127th Illinois Infantry
    115. TYRRELL, GEORGE WILLIAM – Company H, 5th Ohio Infantry
    116. URELL, M. EMMET – Company E, 82d New York Infantry
    117. WALSH, JOHN – Company D, 5th New York Cavalry
    118. WELCH, RICHARD – Company E, 37th Massachusetts Infantry
    119. WELLS, THOMAS M. – 6th New York Cavalry
    120. WELSH, EDWARD – Company D, 54th Ohio Infantry
    121. WELSH, JAMES – Company E, 4th Rhode Island Infantry
    122. WHITE, PATRICK H. – Chicago Mercantile Battery, Illinois Light Artillery
    123. WILLIAMS, WILLIAM – USS Lehigh
    124. WILSON, CHRISTOPHER W. – Company E, 73d New York Infantry
    125. WRIGHT, ROBERT – Company G, 14th U.S. Infantry

  • Don, it’s possible digdigby forgot to turn on his sarcastic font.

  • Oh I got the sarcasm Joe and gave it the historical content it ignored.

  • Don the video you posted seemed a bit inaccurate in the way that there was probably a hell of a lot more smoke on the battlefield.

  • I know my Grandpa was the German Ambassador to Ireland and Egypt (he even met Mubarak) but he knows more about Irish German relations and the Irish civil war (much of which was insane on both sides), now he lives in Dun Laoghoraie.

  • Don why do Irish spell Gaelic in such wierd ways? My friend Joe who is a part of the ancient order of Hiberniens tells me it’s because they picked the roman alphabet when they were preliterate.

  • It wasn’t meant to be a documentary Valentin as to battlefield conditions of the time. The US military did not adopt smokeless powder until 1894 so Civil War battles, using black powder, did tend to be smokey affairs, although how smokey depended upon volume of fire and wind conditions.

  • Gaelic was the language of a people, the great mass of whom were illiterate and divided with no central authority. Irish scholarship tended to be traditionally carried out in Latin, until the English came, and then often in English. Irish Gaelic uniform orthography was largely a creation of the twentieth century since the Republican movement placed great emphasis upon the language:

    “Printface and Spelling

    There was always an awareness among those involved in the Oireachtas translation service of the need to develop a system of orthography and a typeface that would promote and facilitate the use of Irish as a modern European language. For instance, the Irish version of the new state’s Acts were printed in roman type from the beginning, despite the fact that the gaelic type was in common use. Moreover, the staff of the translation service simplified the spelling used in Dineen’s Dictionary (1904 and 1927). Great advances were made in this respect and, in the year 1931, a memorandum entitled Spelling of Irish in Official Documents was issued, setting out the approach employed by the Translation Section and advising that Translation Section usage be generalised throughout the civil service. Liam Mac Cionnaith, who was compiling an English-Irish dictionary, was also directed to use a roman typeface for the work. However, things took an unexpected turn when a newly-elected government immediately reversed that direction. As a result, Mac Cionnaith’s dictionary was published using a gaelic typeface in 1935, as was the Constitution of Ireland in 1937.

    The Constitution

    The first Act passed by Dáil Éireann was the Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann) Act, 1922. A committee was established to translate the Constitution from English. Sitting on the committee were Eoin Mac Néill (Minister for Education), Pádraig Ó Máille (Leas-Cheann Comhairle), Piaras Béaslaí, Professor Osborne Ó hAimhirgin, Professor T. Ó Raithille, Liam Ó Rinn (Translation Section) agus Colm Ó Murchadha (Clerk of the Dáil). Although there were a number of dictionaries available at the time, the committee had to devise a large number of new technical terms that were not available in any dictionary. Quite a number of terms that are still in use in Acts of the Oireachtas were first seen in the Constitution of the Irish Free State.

    With regard to the current Constitution that was approved by the people in the year 1937, Mícheál Ó Gríofa, a writer and native Irish speaker from County Clare, was charged with providing the Irish language version. Liam Ó Rinn and Tomás Page were asked to review the text before it went to the printers, however. At the same time, a document entitled Tuarascbháil choiste litrighthe na Gaedhilge sa Dréacht-Bhunreacht (Saorstát Éireann, 1937) [Report of the committee on Irish spelling in the Draft Constitution] was submitted to the Government. Not all of the changes were accepted, resulting in a mixture of old and new spelling in the Constitution. It appears that an Taoiseach, Éamon de Valera, regretted that decision. In 1941, he said that the wiser course would have been “to follow the spelling of the translation department”. The Translation Section has, of course, provided the Irish version of every Bill drafted since then to amend the Constitution.

    In 1945, it was decided to further progress the standardisation process, and Taoiseach de Valera asked the Translation Section to review the spelling system of the Irish language and draw up proposals for a simplified system for use as a standard. That standard was devised as a guide for the civil service when writing Irish, but it was decided to make it available to the public. This led to the publication of a booklet in July 1945: Litriú na Gaeilge: lámhleabhar an chaighdeáin oifigiúil (The spelling of Irish: the official standard handbook). This manual was of great assistance to people writing schoolbooks and to those involved in Irish language journalism. That same year, a version of the Constitution using the simplified spelling system was published. This first ‘popular edition’ of the Constitution was based on the work done by the Translation Section in simplifying the spelling.

    Legal terminology

    The Irish Legal Terms Act was passed in 1945. Under that Act, ‘the Irish Legal Terms Advisory Committee’ was established to approve legal terminology in Irish. Under the Act, the representative of the Translation Section is joint secretary to the committee. Arising out of the committee’s work, ten Legal Terms Orders were made between 1947 and 1956. They were published together as a dictionary, entitled ‘Téarmaí Dlí’ (Legal Terms) in the year 1959.

    Grammar

    In 1957, the Translation Section was recognised as the authority on grammatical and orthographical matters when the Taoiseach asked the Chief Translator to prepare a manual for publication ‘as a standard for all official purposes and as a guideline for teachers and for the general public’. That project led to the publication of the Official Standard, (An Caighdeán Oifigiúil) ‘Gramadach na Gaeilge agus Litriú na Gaeilge’. Material from Litriú na Gaeilge: lámhleabhar an chaighdeáin oifigiúil, which had gone out of print, was incorporated into this manual.”

    http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?fn=/documents/a-misc/Rannog1.htm

    Some of the more hard core Republicans thought that Gaelic would replace English in Ireland which has not occurred. About 94,000 Irish, claim, note the emphasis on claim, to use Gaelic on a daily basis outside of school. Other than those who work for the government and the few who live in the small areas which retained Gaelic down through the centuries, I find that doubtful.

  • great information song and video. Very nteresting about the language.
    Do you know why we with Welsh in our names use the letter “y” so much?
    …seems like thre should be a rimshot there— but I don’t ave an answer either.
    I do really appreciate history and would always like to know more!
    My family came from Ireland, England and Wales. My husband’s came from Ireland and Scotland….We are both very proud.
    Husband and I have as much Normandy and Belgium as Elizabeth Warren has Cherokee. The Harding part of me still has no definite answer to the woodpile mentioned in an old thread!

Shocking News for Those Who Haven’t Been Paying Attention

Monday, June 11, AD 2012

 

I am shocked, shocked to learn that the Obama administration cares as little about religious freedom abroad as it does religious freedom at home:

 

 

 

The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on  May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports.

The new human rights reports–purged of the sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered–are also the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath.

Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role.

For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011 and instead referred  the public to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – a full  two years behind the times – or to the annual report of the U.S.  Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was released last September and covers events in 2010 but not 2011.

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5 Responses to Shocking News for Those Who Haven’t Been Paying Attention

  • They have been slowly and sneakily trying to narrow it all down to freedom to worship. That is not freedom of religion. The HHS “accommodation” was an application, your employee members may be exempt, but you, as private employer, religious institution may not. China of course and Saudi Arabia for a bank for the USA and oil are off-limits for any kind of concern.

  • If it were just the President, it could be borne. I will bet if you looked under this particular rock you would find the Foreign Service officers tasked with this work never wanted to do it in the first place and that the pool of people from whom discretionary appointees in Democratic administrations are derived is chock-a-block with people indifferent or hostile to these tasks. With a Democratic administration, you assume that the political appointees are in tune with the permanent government. With a Republican administration, you assume that they are battling the permanent government (and the contacts those of the permanent government have in the news media).

  • Say it ain’t so! We need to get CNN and MSNBC on this right away! Oh, wait…

  • The human being does not need permission from the state to exist. The human being exists at the will of “their Creator”, from The Declaration of Independence. Human existence is the criterion for the objective ordering of human rights. Roe v. Wade imposes an artificial condition contrived by the state to expand the state’s unauthorized, unsovereign, therefore, illegal intrusion into the life of the common good, the life of the people.
    Prayer ban too, is an artificial and contrived condition by the state to allow the human being to exist, an illegal expansion of the state’s sovereign authority, a violation of the mandate given for the existence of the state, and an unnatural authorization against the common good of the people. Prayer ban, the exclusion of the Person of God from the common good and the people, the persons brought into existence through the will of “their Creator” is an illegal and unauthorized violation of the separation of church and state that dictates that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights to Life , Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, the pursuit of Happiness which is hampered, proscribed and deleted from the common good, from the people and from FREEDOM.
    Marriage is a privilege to obey the law of God: “increase and multiply”. If you choose not, you are free to not. Witness to marriage is a privilege engaged by the people for the common good and exercised by the state. Gay-marriage is a contorted and contrived artificial, invented objection to marriage, inimical and antithetical to marriage and invented to extend the sovereignty of the state over the sovereignty of the people.

  • The Catholic Church and clergy are servants of God, not subject to commerce, not subject to business law, not subject to the civil court. Jesus said: “My kingdom is not of this world.”

The Anti-Catholic Party

Thursday, May 10, AD 2012

Cardinal Dolan yesterday released this statement regarding Obama’s announcement that he had “evolved” and now, as he did in 1996 when first asked about it, supports gay marriage:

 

May 9, 2012 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement:

President Obama’s comments today in support of the redefinition of marriage are deeply saddening. As I stated in my public letter to the President on September 20, 2011, the Catholic Bishops stand ready to affirm every positive measure taken by the President and the Administration to strengthen marriage and the family. However, we cannot be silent in the face of words or actions that would undermine the institution of marriage, the very cornerstone of our society. The people of this country, especially our children, deserve better. Unfortunately, President Obama’s words today are not surprising since they follow upon various actions already taken by his Administration that erode or ignore the unique meaning of marriage. I pray for the President every day, and will continue to pray that he and his Administration act justly to uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. May we all work to promote and protect marriage and by so doing serve the true good of all persons.

When the Tokugawa shogunate was stamping out Christianity in Japan, it made use of Fumi-e (stepping on pictures).  Regime officials would place pictures of Jesus or Mary before suspected Christians and order them to step on them.  Refusal to do so, if persisted in, would end in execution.  In our own country we are seeing the growth of a movement just as antithetical in theory to Catholicism and traditional Christianity as the Tokugawa shogunate, and it finds its home in the Democrat party. 

What we have seen over the past few decades is the evolution of the Democrat party into an overtly anti-Catholic party.  The Obama administration is the culmination of this trend.  This of course is deeply ironic, because the Democrat party is a major party in this country with the help of the votes of tens of millions of purported Catholics.

In the past four decades the Democrats, with honorable exceptions, have championed abortion which is anathema to the teachings of the Church.  The embrace of homosexuality followed, which has caused governments around the nation to drive the Church out of adoptions because the Church refuses to arrange adoptions by homosexual couples.  In California, a state wholly controlled by the Democrat party, homosexual indoctrination, masquerading as education, is now mandated in public schools.  For cynical political purposes the Obama administration this year has proposed that Catholic institutions, and individual Catholic employers, be required to provide “free” contraceptive coverage, and is quite willing to run roughshod over the First Amendment to accomplish this goal.  Now we have the President’s support of gay marriage, although, until he further “evolves” I guess, he “generously” stated his opinion that churches opposed to gay marriages should not be required to officiate at them.  These changes in society are the modern Fumi-e by which believing Catholics and traditional Christians are made to renounce, in effect, the teachings of Christ step by step.

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64 Responses to The Anti-Catholic Party

  • I don’t see how any Catholic can now vote Democratic unless they are so ideologically blinded that they cannot see what they are doing. I also believe that one now has to vote to limit the evil that is the Obama Administration. Unfortunately, at least as I see it, one must vote for Romney unless they are in a very red state.

  • No thanks to you traitors that keep voting democrat.

    You and your politicians are enemies of the Kingdom of God.

    The worst president in history needs gay marriage, class hatred, etc. in order to distract drones and serfs from endless war and the depressed economy.

  • There are two Catholics from birth at my place of work. One (I know) goes to Mass regularly. Both support gay marriage and contraception. One (the individual who goes to Mass) supports abortion. I have spent hours (and many written pages) discussing these things with each of them. Even last night I discussed for 45 minutes with one of them why I supported NC Amendment One (in response to his question). Nothing I have done or said can persuade them, though both admit that I know much more about the Catechism and the Bible. They are blind – completely, totally and hopelessly blind – as is perhaps 50% of the Church.

    BTW, the company for which I work is completely in favor of LGBT rights. We have to go through annual diversity training on this very issue. We’re not good nuclear professionals unless we support and agree with LGBT rights. I suspect this is true in any large, mulitnational or regulated company or corporation nowadays. You cannot imagine my disgust and anger.

  • On a positive note: Obama is not all failure all the time.

    Using mathematical formulas, math geniuses have calculated based on Ministry of Truth methods for calculating the unemployment rate, it will be zero by 2022, and negative a month later.

  • Here’s our old friend Tony trying to pretend that his party is anything BUT the overtly anti-Catholic monstrosity that it has become:

    “Support the Big Tent of the Democratic Party

    With the Republican party becoming completely unacceptable as a valid electoral choice, this initiative assumes greater importance than ever. Please sign, and please pass on!

    The idea is to support the following language in the Democratic platform:

    “We respect the conscience of each American and recognize that members of our Party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, like abortion and the death penalty. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength and we welcome into our ranks all Americans who may hold differing positions on these and other issues.

    However, we can find common ground. We believe that we can reduce the number of abortions because we are united in our support for policies that assist families who find themselves in crisis or unplanned pregnancies. We believe that women deserve to have a breadth of options available as they face pregnancy: including, among others, support and resources needed to handle the challenges of pregnancy, adoption, and parenthood; access to education, healthcare, childcare; and appropriate child support. We envision a new day without financial or societal barriers to bringing a planned or unplanned pregnancy to term.”

    http://vox-nova.com/2012/05/09/support-the-big-tent-of-the-democratic-party/

    I’ll agree with Tony re: the Republicans (at the very least for this presidential election cycle), but for different reasons than he would conclude. But he’s either completely delusional or completely dishonest (and those really ARE the ONLY options) regarding his party of choice. I’ll be charitable and go with delusional.

  • There are no big tents in Heaven.

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, * that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” Matthew 7:13-14

  • Obama’s announcement that he had “evolved” and now, as he did in 1996 when first asked about it, supports gay marriage

    I suppose it’s more accurate to say he “revolved” than evolved. Although the truth is he simply lied about his ambivalence or lack of support.

    As far as I know, abortion and the death penalty are not issues of personal conscience, and certainly not from a Catholic perspective. There is an objectively right and objectively wrong answer on both.

    And what is this pablum about diversity of views being a source of strength?!?! HA! The Demoncratic Party has the LEAST diversity of views of any organization on Earth!!

  • I don’t know who “our old friend Tony is,” but at the risk of sounding naive, the piece has a snarky, passive-aggressive sarcastic demeanor to it; a kind of “if they were who they said they were, this is what they would do, but we all know the truth” nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

    The very notion of a “Big Tent” Democrat Party is so absurd that there really can’t be anything but absurdity in the whole thing. It can’t be seriously taken seriously.

    Seriously.

  • One (I know) goes to Mass regularly. Both support gay marriage and contraception. One (the individual who goes to Mass) supports abortion. I have spent hours (and many written pages) discussing these things with each of them. Even last night I discussed for 45 minutes with one of them why I supported NC Amendment One (in response to his question). Nothing I have done or said can persuade them, though both admit that I know much more about the Catechism and the Bible. They are blind – completely, totally and hopelessly blind – as is perhaps 50% of the Church.

    What is their counter-argument? From where are they taking their cues?

  • WK,

    If you knew Morning’s Minion (aka Tony) like we know him, you’d know that he’s 100% serious.

  • If I recall, Tony is either Irish or Canadian. He is not to my understanding a naturalized American citizen. He showed up on blogs before the last election using the wars and torture issues to turn votes away from Republicans. Used the standard “social justice” lines to justify voting for the most anti-social justice President in history.

    Now going about spreading his distorted presentation of Catholic Social Teaching to enshrine voting for Democrats.

    Why he doesn’t just go back home is beyond me. Unless he is some fellow traveller type presenting himself as Catholic.

  • Paul, I can relate to what you’re saying. Unbelievably, the people that I work with who voted for Obama the first time are going to vote for him again. And I work for a Catholic Church! I do not for the life of me understand their logic and blindness. This man is an “anti-christ” and they cannot see his evil. I know we must pray for them, and I too have on occasion discussed the issues with them, but it is no longer any good. We are at a point where we have to pray to Our Lord and Our Lady for ourselves and everyone we love to be placed under their protection and to be a part of the remnant that will remain faithful to Him during the coming chastisement that is now inevitable.

  • Pingback: THURSDAY MID-DAY EXTRA: Catholic Reaction to President Obama on Same-Sex Marriage | The Pulpit
  • While EVERY person may choose to love God in his own way, public funds and those in public office compensated by public taxes may not deconstruct our Declaration of Independence by removing “their Creator”, the Person of God, WHO endows unalienable rights to all men, WHO created all men equal and keeps them in existence, from one moment to the next. The Person of God speaks to us through our founding principles, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution for the United States of America, with laws that protect and provide for each and every Person, especially the PERSON OF GOD, because the Person of God is “their Creator”, and as persons, all men are the image of God in sovereignty expressed as free will in FREEDOM, the will of the people and the voice of the people. God gives us freedom and the state may not remove our freedom nor the knowledge of our freedom, such as conscience, from the people using the public money. Private persons may agree with the HHS mandate, gay marriage, abortion, but they are not free to use tax dollars to deconstruct out First Amendment rights to freedom, or to use the public forum to deny people knowledge of their First Amendment civil rights, or any freedom of our founding principles.

  • Only a shameless partisan hack would somehow turn Obama’s support for gay marriage into a post condemning Cardinal Dolan and Lockean liberalism. And luckily, Tony is just that kind of partisan hack.

  • The USA doesn’t have an anti-Catholic party. It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy. The USA isn’t just anti-Catholic by inclination. It is anti-Catholic by design. (Which means that it’s point of reference is still the Catholic Church in that the program models itself upon being against what so ever the Catholic Church is for.)*

    Root meet fruit.

    The point of attack has to be against the the tacit assumptions upon which this castle of sand is founded: Protestantism, and it’s unnatural progeny Liberalism. Every ounce of Catholic effort has to directed towards completing the counter-reformation. The Roman Catholic Church is the higher order of government. Washington must be brought to renounce London and kneel before the Chair of Peter.^

    *First Rule of Catholic blogging: make sure to write “Catholic” as many times as possible.
    ^Second Rule of Catholic blogging: aim high (be ye not lukewarm). God likes to do the miraculous.

  • It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy.

    Channeling Don here: rubbish. Although your writing does vaguely resemble that of the blogger mentioned in the previous comment. You even have that first name, last initial thing going for you.

    General Rule of Blogging: try to be at least minimally coherent.

  • Paul Zummo:
    You might want to check the best-before-date on your Ph.D in politics. Have you investigated going back and trying to get a refund? What? No warranty? Sucker.

    General rule of history: read it. Oh, wait, you are a political science guy. Never mind.

  • Darren:

    You might want to check this out. It more than ably refutes your contention that this country was founded on an anti-Catholic political philosophy:

    http://catholiceducation.org/articles/politics/pg0003.html

  • Paul Zummo:

    Look, I am sorry. I’m new here and I don’t know you. Nobody likes to get their comments treated so dismissively, but that doesn’t give me the right to resort to snark. I hope that you can accept my apology.

    My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here. Whatever. We like to surf.

  • Greg Mockeridge:
    Well, that establishes that Jefferson was highly influenced Catholic sources, but it would surely be a leap to say that this establishes Jefferson as a Catholic. Important distinction, no? In addition, he was probably the only framer that knew he cribbed from Catholic sources. It is safe to say that he was very well read. In deed, this has to be one of the great cover-ups of history to only now have the DOI unmasked as a stealth Catholic document. The article you link to actually only pertains to the DOI. An insufficient counter-balance to the otherwise thorough-going Protestant character of War of Independence-era colonial America, IMHO.

    Interesting never the less.

  • “My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here.”

    Not by me since my late mother was a proud Newfie and I spent most of the first four years of my life in Saint John’s. My mother became a naturalized citizen of the United States, but she never lost her fondness for her home land, a fondness I share as the previous blog posts I have done on aspects of Newfoundland culture can attest.

    “It is an anti-Catholic country, founded by anti-Catholics, using an anti-Catholic political philosophy.”

    No. The Founding Fathers, although some of them shared in the anti-Catholic prejudices of their day, established a country where Catholics, as well as Protestants, could live in freedom, practice their faith, and participate in the government. The greatest of the Founding Fathers, George Washington, was ever a friend to Catholics:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/11/05/george-washington-and-catholics/

    Here is what Pope Leo Xiii had to say about American and its founding:

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

  • No worries Darren. I certainly instigated with my own snark, and I do apologize to you.

    But yes, considering the time period the Framers were generally respectful of Catholicism, with certain exceptions of course. John Adams had a grudging respect for the Church, though I recall him not caring much for the Latin Mass.

    And while I know the comment was made in sarcastic jest, some of us poly sci guys still love our history – at least those of us not trying to find the median voter in Chicago’s 11th ward on windy and rainy Tuesdays in March.

  • Jay Anderson, thanks for the insight. In that case, the man truly is certifiable.

    “My name is Darren Ouellette. I’m from Canada, which I gather is a negative around here.”

    Not a chance, unless some NDP blather starts leaking out . . .

    My Dad is the first American on his side of the family tree. Nowadays the clan hails from Trenton, Ontario, and there’s even an “Aiken’s Road” that leads out to where the RCAF base is, or used to be if it isn’t anymore.

    I have an Uncle Danny who used to work for Chrysler Canada, the makers of the largest cargo van Chrysler made. I had an Uncle Sonny who used to work for Labatt’s, and supervised the loading dock. Back in the day, we had family reunions up in the area every July.

    You do the math.

  • Wow, Darren. Think about what you’re saying. Massive colonial territories in the Western hemisphere were ruled by a country where to be Catholic meant either persecution (executions, having monasteries stolen or destroyed, priests hiding in tiny holes in the floor of homes) at worst and second class status at best (a lot of history on these in Ireland). To this day no Catholic can become the Monarch. The War of Independence freed Catholics of that rule and the resulting government reaffirmed their dignity and free exercise of religion.

    Your last name indicates that you’re French, at least partly so. You realize that while Quebec was French (The US attained french territories as well), most of the rest of your nation was ruled by an anti-Catholic regime, right? You realize that Canada wasn’t borne out of explicitly Catholic principles either? Though I would argue that while the founding of the United States wasn’t borne out of explicit Catholic principles, most were compatible with Catholic understanding of the dignity of man. These were ahead of their time and answer to a seriously problem of an older age. This has been affirmed repeatedly over the last 200 years by popes and bishops.

  • The USA isn’t just anti-Catholic by inclination. It is anti-Catholic by design.

    I think I recognize the writings of John Rao here. That is spoilt Vegemite you should not eat.

  • Art Deco:
    I have no idea who John Rao is. My reading of history in this instance is more influenced by Hilaire Belloc. I will look him up.

    RL:
    I am not saying any other countries are better and freely acknowledge that some were significantly worse. In fact it would not occur to me to separate out the developments in European culture and its transatlantic extension in terms of one country vs. another. I view it to be all of a piece, namely: to watch how a house turned against itself falls.

    My name indicates that I am Canadien (you will not find it in France prior to Quebec), and I am well aware that many of my cousins were loosing their heads to anti-Catholic traitors in France, but my kin had been away from France for well over 100 years by then.

    The DOI was compatible with natural law reasoning which, being written upon our hearts by Him who created us, should not cause surprise. Men, in searching their hearts for the truth, will often make recourse to natural law reasoning. The Catholic faith is truly the teaching of the heart, so, no surprise that there is a rich load of natural law reasoning tradition to be sieved by those with the charitable inclination. Never the less, I do not see the recourse to natural law reasoning by the F. F. as sufficient grounds to admit that this indicates a widespread pro-Catholic inclination (at best a toleration) among the general population or intelligentsia. They were Protestants and Masons, keenly given over to reasoning models fully untethered from sound Orthodoxy. I just do not see how these clearly anti-Catholic dispositions can be of no account when the foundation of the USA and it’s subsequent course of development is brought before one’s consideration.

    No, the most compatible understanding of the true nature of Man is the Catholic understanding. The inherent contradictions of those traditions that explicitly reject or do not fully assent to the Catholic understanding bring forth the fruits we in the West enjoy {sic} today.

    Now to the meat of your point: the FF’s allowed room for Catholics to practice the “cult” aspect of their religion, so long as accepted the Protestant-style deal with the secular powers. That deal, while probably better than nothing, is less than it should be.

  • Oh, and thank you to all for your expressions of affection for your northern neighbours. Perhaps the feeling will not last towards me, but at least I will know it will be centred in your disagreement with my historical interpretations and not a knee-jerk reaction to my non-US subjecthood.

    Again, my thanks.

  • Don McClarey:
    Please accept my thanks for your efforts in providing this wonder blog with so many richly interesting posts. It pains me that I am in disagreement with you upon your assessment of the USA has having an if not pro- then at least not anti-Catholic character, but I just do not see sufficient grounds on the basis of a few isolated instances of less than a handful of FF having a magnanimity towards Catholicism in general and Catholics in particular, to accept that, in the great tumult of post-reformation European culture (noting that I do not separate the USA from the European nations for purposes of culture), the USA can be considered as a Catholic nation.
    Granted, I’d be hard pressed to actually name ANY nation that would be considered Catholic by my admittedly high standard, but in affirming to all the tenants which the Catholic faith purposes to my reasoning, I am obliged to expect nothing less.

    I do not wish to be an ungrateful guest. I hope that I do not become an unwelcome one in my dissent.

  • Now to the meat of your point: the FF’s allowed room for Catholics to practice the “cult” aspect of their religion, so long as accepted the Protestant-style deal with the secular powers. That deal, while probably better than nothing, is less than it should be.

    The ‘meat’ is institutional architecture, not cogitations about institutional architecture. The architecture may have its defects, but it is neither more nor less compatible with a Catholic society than any other architecture. As for the ‘Protestant-style’ deal, there was and is no Catholic society upon which to construct a confessional state. There was a modest (and much abused minority) in Maryland and a presence in three other colonies. The society was not merely protestant but modally Calvinist. A confessional state would have injured the Church and would continue to injure it (see the relation between state and society surrounding the “Church of Sweden”).

  • Art Deco:
    No, I do not mean a confessional state, I mean a subsidiary governing structure, ie: a state, but necessarily a state, being in acknowledgement of the fact that the Pope and the Hierarchy of the Church is the superior source of governing authority because it maintains the deposit of faith upon which truth in society may be maintained. The USA most definitely does not acknowledge this relationship. That is an architectural, not dispositional, element of the governing structure of the USA. The concept I put forward supposes that those states that so acknowledge the Chair of St. Peter will have a sizable percentage of the population actively practicing the faith and forming their morality in accord there with, while the balance of the people do not actively attempt to undermine it.

    My reading of the Protestant revolution is that the rebel novel confessions sought to place themselves under the protection of secular rulers violating the relationship between the Christian religion and secular authority by inverting it. Supporting this inversion paid hansom dividends for some, but rent Christendom.

    For Catholics in Protestant dominated states, as I said above, you are free to engage in those aspects of the Catholic faith that can be placed under the distinction of cult, for it is held that one “cult” be of no different value than any other denomination (heresy of denominationalism), but Catholics may not make claims, in defense, that the law of the Church (teaching magisterium, code of canon law, traditional worship) precludes the practicing Catholic from actions of the secular state that violate the Faith. Nor is appealing to the Pope likely to do one much good today as the praxis of “how many divisions does the Pope command?” or “You and what army?” is the order of the day for almost all states. This is the out come of the Protestant rebellion. I do not see how the USA, in drawing so heavily upon the claims constellation of Protestantism, specific exceptions noted, can be considered as Catholophilic except in so far as Catholics accept the deal to abjure the status of the Magisterium as higher authority. In practice, so long as it is convenient for the interests which have domiciled themselves in the governing architecture of the USA, there can be good times. Inherent, however, is the inevitability of a clash between the unable to change Catholics and the change as needed secularists.

  • being in acknowledgement of the fact that the Pope and the Hierarchy of the Church is the superior source of governing authority because it maintains the deposit of faith upon which truth in society may be maintained. The USA most definitely does not acknowledge this relationship. That is an architectural, not dispositional, element of the governing structure of the USA

    No, it is a dispositional and not architectural feature. There is a distinction between spiritual and temporal power.

    Parastatal authority could be found in the hands of diocesan bishops and also abbots, but the papacy was not typically the locus of temporal power outside of central Italy.

  • I am not claiming that the Church Hierarchy is, except in tertiary functions, a temporal power.

    It could relent in the dispositional/architectural distinction.* The USA could, in theory, start acknowledging the authority of the Church Hierarchy, making it dispositional. I am incapable of determining if that would affect governing structures in already in place and active for some period of time within the USA, leaving aside the obvious cultural issues.

    *I could also not relent. I highly doubt, for example, that the SCOTUS could overturn federal law because it was deemed to be in conflict with the teachings of the RCC, no? That would be architectural.

  • Correction:
    I could relent in the…

  • “The USA could, in theory, start acknowledging the authority of the Church Hierarchy, making it dispositional.”

    That would never happen. The great thing for Catholicism in this country is that the State left the Church alone. One of the popes in the early portion of the nineteenth century, no fan of new fangled democracies, said that in no country was he more the Pope than in the United States. The experience of the Church with Catholic confessional states has often been far from happy, because of constant government interference with the Church, up to and including controlling the nomination of bishops. The Church in America has flourished with the hands off policy of the government. Currently we are battling against the Obama administration because it is diverging from that salutary policy, but for over two centuries freedom from government interference has been a boon for the Church in this country.

  • Donald R. McClarey:
    Which is largely my point, in that the Obamba reading of American liberal democracy is not without source material, even if that potential has been rarely actuated over the course of American history.

    It is my purpose to attempt to understand this phenomenon and search for more suitable ground upon which the Faith may flourish. It will likely be difficult to now have status quo ante.

  • What Obama is attempting to do is in direct contradiction to the intention of the Founding Fathers and the express language of the Constitution. There is no source material in our country’s history for his actions against the Church. That is why his actions are being challenged in our courts and why Obama has an excellent chance of being a one term president.

    I do not think you can find a government in history where the Church has so rapidly expanded as it has in the United States over the past two centuries and with virtually zero interference from the State.

  • Darren:

    I was not asserting Jefferson was a proto-Catholic, but that the political philosophy that undergirds the Declaration of Independence and thus America herself, is in line with Catholic political thought. In any case, the U.S. was not founded on an anti-Catholic political philosophy.

  • Greg:
    I thought you were suggesting that he was a crypto-Catholic. By your standard, Protestants are in line with Catholic theology because they read the Bible. You overstate your case. Congruence in a few particulars is not synonymous with concordance in generalities.

    It is my position that every post 1517 Western intellectual development – in the non- and anti-Catholic camp – is an ostracon of the Catholic Faith. Why should I drop my panties when someone manages to finds a fragment of what was lost in the Frankenstein cobbled together to save face after the original was shattered?

    Seriously, how does one find a political philosophy that is “of this world” that isn’t anti-Catholic? The capital “T” Truth has been established. Any other attempts at restatement are necessarily going to be bizarre fun house mirror images.

    I realize that being a foreigner & pulling out the j’accuse is likely to cause the wagons to circle, but I at least thought on a site for those claiming fealty to the RCC there would be a little more awareness of how American Exceptionalism probably isn’t quite so.

    My bad.

  • Let me give another perspective from a political progressive. Our sense is that there is a distinct movement in the Church hierarchy to a “take or leave it” mentality as it relates to issues like abortion, birth control and homosexuality. The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control. The Church’ teaching on that matter is certainly not an inerrant one and as recently as 1968 a commission sent a recommendation to Paul VI to allow birth control, which he unfortunately declined to do.

    It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith. Revealed Gospels say little if not anything authoritative about marriage, birth control, abortion and homosexuality once you read the texts and understand the context. From my personal perspective, it’s the lack of textual literacy, bad interpretations and lack of constructive dialogue within the Church itself that leads to our current divisions.

    I just listened to a Town Hall in which Cardinal Dolan spoke. He sounds like a very nice man on a personal basis. My sense is that he is either so out of touch with how a large number, if not the majority of US Catholics feel about these issues, or doesn’t care. That ultimately is sad.

  • Don:
    I get that you rebuff my suit on the basis of the intention of the FF*, but the original effort to found/constitute the USA isn’t the only instance of an act of constituting in the course of American political development. I believe that it is fair game to state that there have been other acts of constituting AKA re-constituting. I forward for your consideration, the Gettysburg Address in which Lincoln re-constituted America. I suspect that the New Deal would be an additional candidate as would Marbury vs. Madison, as would the 1913 founding of the Federal Reserve, or Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I do not agree with what he is doing, quite the contrary, but it is upon this president that, rightly or wrongly, Obama draws.

    Cavet: I am not putting his actions in the same class as the above noble/ignoble events, and would suggest his reading of history is on par with his recent demonstrations of his understanding of Christian theology.

    *and your position of “proof in the pudding” numbers of Catholics on the ground. To paraphrase your position, “How could there be an anti-Catholic character to this great nation, when there are so many Catholics around?”

  • Correction:
    … it is upon this precedent…

  • “Our sense is that there is a distinct movement in the Church hierarchy to a “take or leave it” mentality as it relates to issues like abortion, birth control and homosexuality.”

    Your problem Stephen is with 2000 years of Church teaching on these issues. The Church since the time of Christ has consistently condemned abortion, birth control and homosexuality. This quotation from the Didache from the first century demonstrates the antiquity of the teaching on abortion and homosexual acts:

    “You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.”
    The condemnation of birth control is of equal vintage. Your quarrel is not with the current bishops but with the clear teaching of the Church founded by Christ for the past two millenia.

  • “I forward for your consideration, the Gettysburg Address in which Lincoln re-constituted America.”

    Lincoln’s entire political career was spent upholding the Declaration of Independence.

    Here is my take on the Gettysburg address:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/02/05/much-noted-and-long-remembered/

  • ” I suspect that the New Deal would be an additional candidate as would Marbury vs. Madison, as would the 1913 founding of the Federal Reserve, or Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
    Yes as to the New Deal. No as to Marbury as to judicial review as the courts in colonial America played that type of role in numerous cases citing the unwritten English constitution. No as to the Federal Reserve, crazy Glenn Beck notwithstanding. No as to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. American political history since the beginning has largely been a fight over the legacy of the Founding Fathers, and that fight continues today and is the true major issue in the 2012 Presidential election.

  • “To paraphrase your position, “How could there be an anti-Catholic character to this great nation, when there are so many Catholics around?””

    My position is that the Church has flourished where the government has left it alone. Church-State conflicts have been a constant theme in the history of the Church. American history, until very, very recently, largely avoided such conflicts, to the great benefit of the Church.

  • This may be opening up a huge can of worms and might be a topic for another thread, but I’ll tackle it anyway.

    Some conservative/libertarian types seem to push the idea that if you truly believe in conservative or federalist ideals, you have to view Lincoln as a villain who created the intrusive big federal government we know today, and the Civil War as an unjust War of Northern Aggression.

    Well, I don’t agree with either premise. But I am beginning to wonder if a situation might not eventually develop where some “red” states would secede in order to preserve something resembling a Judeo-Christian culture based on the rule of law against a tyrannical and aggressively secularist/atheistic federal government dominated by (ahem) Democrats. I’d almost rather it came to that, than to have Catholics or evangelicals forced to flee to South America or some remote, dirt poor Third World country in order to practice their faith. It would certainly be a lot easier to emigrate to Texas than to Chile or Argentina, right?

    My question is, it is possible, or logically sound, to believe that Lincoln did the right thing and the Southern states weren’t morally justified in seceding in 1860, yet also believe that secession MIGHT be morally justified in the 21st or 22nd century if things get really, really bad?

  • If there is any seceding to be done Elaine it will be by blue states. I intend to win this fight for the political future of this country, and I believe I am far from alone in that determination.

  • Don:
    Declaration of Independence is not a constitutional document. At the G. A. he reconstituted on the basis of the preamble of the DoI.

  • No, it is more important than the Constitution. The Declaration established the United States of America and what this nation stands for. The Constitution is merely the mechanism to carry forward the philosophy of govenment embodied in the Declaration.

  • “The Church since the time of Christ has consistently condemned abortion, birth control and homosexuality.”

    Actually, the Church has NOT condemned birth control per se, but contraception. Otherwise, even so-called NFP (which if used to avoid pregnancy is a form of birth control) would have to be likewise condemned by the Church. This is not by any means splitting hairs. Contraception acts against the meaning and purpose of the body regarding the reproductive system, whereas so-called NFP acts according the natural function of the reproductive system. That’s a major distinction. In fact, not understanding this distinction, which the “Church has condemned birth control” mistakenly implies, has contributed in no small part to the misunderstandings people have about the Church’s teaching and thus to its rejection of it.

  • Not to change the subject or anything, but did everyone notice how today’s Gospel reading is so relevant to our society’s normalization of sexual promiscuity, abortion and homosexuality with its concurrent ridicule and marginalization of Christianity?

    John 15:18-21

    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
    If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
    but because you do not belong to the world,
    and I have chosen you out of the world,
    the world hates you.
    Remember the word I spoke to you,
    ‘No slave is greater than his master.’
    If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
    If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
    And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
    because they do not know the one who sent me.”

  • “This is not by any means splitting hairs.”

    Oh there is nothing wrong about splitting hairs Greg, I make a decent living doing it. 🙂

    Pius XII was the first pope to give limited approval to abstinence during infertile periods in his allocution to midwives in 1951:

    “Here again we are faced with two hypotheses. If, one of the parties contracted marriage with the intention of limiting the matrimonial right itself to the periods of sterility, and not only its use, in such a manner that during the other days the other party would not even have the right to ask for the debt, than this would imply an essential defect in the marriage consent, which would result in the marriage being invalid, because the right deriving from the marriage contract is a permanent, uninterrupted and continuous right of husband and wife with respect to each other.

    However if the limitation of the act to the periods of natural sterility does not refer to the right itself but only to the use of the right, the validity of the marriage does not come up for discussion. Nonetheless, the moral lawfulness of such conduct of husband and wife should be affirmed or denied according as their intention to observe constantly those periods is or is not based on sufficiently morally sure motives. The mere fact that husband and wife do not offend the nature of the act and are even ready to accept and bring up the child, who, notwithstanding their precautions, might be born, would not be itself sufficient to guarantee the rectitude of their intention and the unobjectionable morality of their motives.

    The reason is that marriage obliges the partners to a state of life, which even as it confers certain rights so it also imposes the accomplishment of a positive work concerning the state itself. In such a case, the general principle may be applied that a positive action may be omitted if grave motives, independent of the good will of those who are obliged to perform it, show that its performance is inopportune, or prove that it may not be claimed with equal right by the petitioner—in this case, mankind.”

    Humane Vitae 16 broadened this approval:
    Recourse to Infertile Periods

    “16. Now as We noted earlier (no. 3), some people today raise the objection against this particular doctrine of the Church concerning the moral laws governing marriage, that human intelligence has both the right and responsibility to control those forces of irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them toward ends beneficial to man. Others ask on the same point whether it is not reasonable in so many cases to use artificial birth control if by so doing the harmony and peace of a family are better served and more suitable conditions are provided for the education of children already born. To this question We must give a clear reply. The Church is the first to praise and commend the application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of reality established by God.

    If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained. (20)

    Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious. In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature. In the later they obstruct the natural development of the generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.”

  • “The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control.”

    Yes, because it’s so painfully difficult to get ahold of contraceptives these days.

    One has to go as far as one’s local gas station, and that’s such an injustice.

  • Don:

    Do you know what they call a lawyer with a .0000001 IQ?

    Your honor.

  • The 1951 allocution to Midwives was also a veiled slap at theologians who were basically equating NFP with contraception. Founding father of the present day pro-life movement the late Fr. Paul Marx put it this way:

    “In 1951, Pope Pius XII twice addressed the subject of natural fertility control. In his first address (to midwives) he said, ‘There are serious motives…that can exempt for a long time, perhaps even the duration of marriage, from the positive and obligatory carrying out of the act. From this it follows that observing the non-fertile periods alone can be lawful only under a moral aspect.’ (Address to Midwives, 29 October 1951, n. 36). He studiously refused to use the term ‘birth control,’ which implies that babies are a kind of a product to be manufactured through the whim and will of the individual couple. In that first address, Pius XII showed himself quite aware of what had developed and was still developing in the field of NFP. He therefore admonished the midwives to base their advice not on popular publications but on scientific objectivity and the authoritative judgment of specialists in medicine and biology (n.30).

    Note that he recognized the possibility that some couples would find themselves in such a difficult situation that they could legitimately avoid all births; they would place their sexual relations in the infertile phase of the cycle exclusively. The rule that couples consult a priest before practicing NFP was the unfortunate invention of theologians, not of Pope or Church. This Pope once told a confidant that he would give his right arm if he could solve the problem of regulating births.

    I recall theologians of that era who thought that the conservative Pius XII had become rather liberal about the control of fertility through use of only the infertile phase of the cycle. Apparently their opinion was reported to him Less than a month later, 26 November 1951, he spoke as follows to the Congress of the Family Front. He did not hesitate to affirm a wide latitude in the legitimacy of regulating births by using the infertile times only: ‘ Therefore, in our last allocution on conjugal morality, we affirmed the legitimacy and at the same time, the limits–in truth very wide–of a regulation of offspring, which is unlike so-called ‘birth control’ is compatible with the law of God’ (n.21)” (Faithful for Life pp 101-102)

  • “The USCBB has been uneven, if not totally hypocritical in its use of a false “religious liberty” argument with respect to PPACA regulations relating to access to birth control.”

    Stephen,

    Perhaps in the spirit of dialogue you can explain why arguing from religious liberty is hypocritical. You cite the theological commission’s recommendations to Paul VI to allow birth control. But such commissions’ recommendations are not Magisterial pronouncements. Such pronouncments are the Pope’s and those bishops in union with him. A minor analogy would be Obama and his debt commission. The commission made recommendations to cut the deficit. Obama did nothing with these recommendations even though he set up the commission. Again not a precise analogy but, just because there is a commission, does not mean the recommendations need to be followed by those with the ultimate authority.

    “It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith. Revealed Gospels say little if not anything authoritative about marriage, birth control, abortion and homosexuality once you read the texts and understand the context. From my personal perspective, it’s the lack of textual literacy, bad interpretations and lack of constructive dialogue within the Church itself that leads to our current divisions.”

    Please take this in the spirit of dialogue. The Gospels say little about many things. They say nothing about welfare being provided by the state. Does this mean it shouldn’t be done? Of course not. Jesus said precious little about many things. That’s why he gave us the Church to continue His mission in the world. This includes, as noted above, the Pope and bishiops in union with him teaching on morals and Faith. This is their charism given to them from God. A charism which theologians do not share in the same way. So, going back to your argument about the Pontifical Commission, no number of commissions will have an authority that the Pope has.

    And Revelation is not limited to the Gospels. It includes the whole of the Bible and the Churches Tradition. So for a little of the Bible see here:

    http://blog.adw.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Biblical-Teaching-on-Homosexual-Activity.pdf

  • “It is the liberal perspective that the Church lives and thrives when it engages in constructive dialogue with all parties and evolves in its teachings that are not core to the faith.”

    /gas station snark off

    That sounds nice, almost persuasive even, but quickly gets shoaled by vagueness. Starting with the insurmountable obstacle that there is no agreement as to what is “core to the faith.”

    Roger Haight, after all, argues that an empty tomb is not “core to the faith.” With one honorable exception, the liberals I read defended the poor confused apostate tooth and nail.

    Without agreement as to the core (and the liberal understanding is that this is a much smaller sphere than those to their “right”), “dialogue” is an exercise in dumbshow.

  • Liberals have no use for the Truth except to subvert it to serve the vile agenda.

    The Truth is not susceptible to dialogue or debate; nor to whining and gnashing of teeth.

    Plato: “Opinion is not Truth.”

  • Maryland has a Catholic name but is filled with protestants so most people pronounce it “Ma-riland”. In comparison with it’s neighbor Delaware where at least in Newcastle county lots of people are baptized Catholics but there are also a lot of Heretics like Mike Castle and Vice President Joe Biden, And if you live in Newark lots of College professors.

  • T Shaw has a point people should have their opinion tailored to the truth.

  • “He who is not with me, is against me.” Jesus Christ, Luke 11:23. Simple as that.

  • I totally agree with His Eminence but would adjust it to anti-Christian and anti-Jewish and Moslem (except for the Christians and Jews who have let today’s un-Natural Law views contradict their official Bibles which endorse the Natural Law that is imprinted in our Nature)

Our Most Cherished Freedom

Friday, April 13, AD 2012

Judging from this statement on religious liberty issued yesterday, the Bishops understand that the stakes are very high indeed this year:

 

A Statement on Religious Liberty

 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

We are Catholics. We are Americans. We are proud to be both, grateful for the gift of faith which is ours as Christian disciples, and grateful for the gift of liberty which is ours as American citizens. To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other. Our allegiances are distinct, but they need not be contradictory, and should instead be complementary. That is the teaching of our Catholic faith, which obliges us to work together with fellow citizens for the common good of all who live in this land. That is the vision of our founding and our Constitution, which guarantees citizens of all religious faiths the right to contribute to our common life together.   Freedom is not only for Americans, but we think of it as something of our special inheritance, fought for at a great price, and a heritage to be guarded now. We are stewards of this gift, not only for ourselves but for all nations and peoples who yearn to be free. Catholics in America have discharged this duty of guarding freedom admirably for many generations.   In 1887, when the archbishop of Baltimore, James Gibbons, was made the second American cardinal, he defended the American heritage of religious liberty during his visit to Rome to receive the red hat. Speaking of the great progress the Catholic Church had made in the United States, he attributed it to the “civil liberty we enjoy in our enlightened republic.” Indeed, he made a bolder claim, namely that “in the genial atmosphere of liberty [the Church] blossoms like a rose.”1   From well before Cardinal Gibbons, Catholics in America have been advocates for religious liberty, and the landmark teaching of the Second Vatican Council on religious liberty was influenced by the American experience. It is among the proudest boasts of the Church on these shores. We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to discharge that duty today.   We need, therefore, to speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened. Now is such a time. As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad.   This has been noticed both near and far. Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about his worry that religious liberty in the United States is being weakened. He called it the “most cherished of American freedoms”—and indeed it is. All the more reason to heed the warning of the Holy Father, a friend of America and an ally in the defense of freedom, in his recent address to American bishops:  

Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.  

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14 Responses to Our Most Cherished Freedom

140 Rallies Around Country Against HHS Mandate

Friday, March 23, AD 2012

22 Responses to 140 Rallies Around Country Against HHS Mandate

  • (Copied over from post below) Houston rally went very well – beautiful day, inspiring speakers. One young female speaker in particular who recognized the despicable tactic of the media and HHS supporters to change the narrative from religious freedom to banning contraceptives. She was not fooled, but unfortunately too many others are.

    Tough to estimate the crowd, several hundred at least. And very well behaved – vocal with cheers for the speakers, but no disruptive conduct at all. Lots of kids present too, mostly babies and elementary school age. An Orthodox priest, several Catholic nuns, Catholic priest and Protestant Minister (…walk into a rally…sounds like the intro of a joke).

    Four or five cops on hand, and essentially just sat in the shade, chatted with each other, and watched – not much for them to do.

  • Thank you for the first hand account c matt. Happy that it went so well!

  • Of course there wasn’t much for the police to do! These are peaceful demonstrations by peace-loving people, not harrassment and intimidation, looting and destruction by Occupy Wall Street fleabaggers!

  • Would go to the ones in my area– there are three that I know of– but 12 is the middle of nap time, and husband’s work isn’t anywhere near any of them to help wrangle two tired kids. Boo. :^(

    Glad it went well elsewhere.

  • Only about 300 people attended, in Tacoma Washington, but the sun was glorious and the five speakers encouraged the faithful to act with love and courage.

  • It’s great these rallies are going on, but isn’t this all going to be settled, for good or for ill, in the courts? As egregious Obama’s overreach is, isn’t this event anticipated for by the Founding Fathers, i.e., a system of checks and balances intended to correct such overreaches?

  • The Founding Fathers would have been astounded by the idea of a President having the power to simply order that employers provide anything. If a President acted in that matter, as a tyrant I believe they would have termed such an abuse of office by the Chief Executive, they would not have looked to the courts for a remedy. They would have looked to the people to preserve their liberty either at the ballot box or, in the final extremity, on the battlefield.

    “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter, under which the several branches of government hold their power, is derived.”

    James Madison

  • Perhaps so, but I can’t help thinking we’ve had similar overreaches, such as FDR trying to pack the Supreme Court.

  • Odd you should mention that, tso, I’m re-reading “Liberal Fascism” right now and just got to the chapter of past examples of American-style fascism in our history….

  • Pingback: SATURDAY EXTRA: U.S. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM | ThePulp.it
  • This was a front page story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer this morning: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/03/protesters_condemn_president_o.html

  • Right, because people like me don’t deserve medical insurance because we had an appendectomy. And people like my wife don’t deserve medical insurance because they quit drinking.

    If you want fascism, then I believe stupid Catholics don’t deserve medical insurance, because otherwise their children might survive to reproduction age.

  • And people like me don’t deserve medical insurance because we’re healthy, pay our own bills, were responsibly insured for years and simply can’t afford being charged more for one daughter than the entire family use to have to pay.

    Nothing quite like having to pay for pregnancy coverage on your two year old!

  • Incidentally lifewrecker, you’re just a troll. A not-very-skilled, flailing, lying troll.

  • Foxfier:
    “Nothing quite like having to pay for pregnancy coverage on your two year old!” Excellent post. Foxfire, especially if your two year old chooses to become a nun.

  • LW:

    What evidence do you have?

    Compared to what? Hint: in 2008, when gas cost $1.88 a gallon, 85% of Americans had (by their estimations) good health insurance. Under Obama hell care from 3 million to 20 million will not be able to keep their plans.

    How much will Obama hell care cost? Hint: the system will be dead on arrival. The cost estimate keeps rising each month into added trillions that America cannot afford.

    WTF are you talkng about?

    Other issues are the government ordering once-free Americans to buy something they don’t want; ordering the Church to break its beliefs; and seizing the people’s health care.

  • “If you want fascism, then I believe stupid Catholics don’t deserve medical insurance, because otherwise their children might survive to reproduction age.”

    Aptly named Lifewrecker, I will put up with a lot from a troll if the troll is entertaining or can argue well. Since you can do neither apparently, and are simply a boring bigot, I am dispensing with your troll services and banning you from this site.

  • Mr McClarey
    I think you should imbed some music, something grand like the Russin music, when you do the banning-

  • Not a bad idea Anzlyne, or perhaps this clip, 🙂 :

  • Today, I heard that FEMA will not help the tornado victims. How much healthcare does anybody think that they are going to get when Obama thinks you do not deserve healthcare unless you are being aborted, contracepted, sterilized, transgenderized or transhumanized?. You cannot even save your premiums because Obamacare will take them as penalties for not buying Obamacare. Freedom.

  • I had the privilege of being present in the belly of the beast – right outside the offices of DHHS, the office of Katherine Sibelius (a professed Catholic, in reality a traitorous apostate.) We joined 1,300 others including many from TFP and Non-Catholic Christians (one non-catholic cleric came all the way from South Korea, where his church has been praying for America), who respectfully joined us in praying our Lady’s Rosary – perhaps a little clumsy given their lack of familiarity with the mysteries and that they add the doxology to the end of the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster), which is odd since they are so intent on Sola Scriptura. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful testimony to God’s power, because Protestants, especially Evangelicals, would not have been caught dead praying with Catholics a generation or two ago. Two thing we can attribute to Obama and radical secularists in general: they have unified our bishops and are uniting Christians. God certainly has a keen sense of humor.

    All people of faith had better learn quickly that once the First Amendment is eroded, then we are one step away from wiping out the American Creed – that God gives rights, not government and that a right to life and free exercise of religion (not limited to worship) are the pillars of freedom. Roe v. Wade made killing babies legal as an option; PPACA makes killing babies not only legal but compulsory.

    We will not comply. Strengthen your faith, it will be tested like it never has been in our lifetime. Christ prevails! We win!

    Pray for SOCTUS, especially those who are Catholic. This week is more pivotal than the third week of January in 1973, almost 40 years ago.

  • Thank you, Mr. McClarey, for tossing that ignorant dupe out on his/her virtual ear. I only wish the weekend had not been so filled at my house, as I would like to have gotten a lick or two in, myself.

    I now imagine he/she will scuttle back to his/her troll village and proudly annouce that he/she has been tossed from another right-wing Religious blog – just another sign of how close-minded and oppressive people like us can be.

An American Issue

Friday, March 16, AD 2012

Note how the Bishops in the above video indicate what a unique threat to the Catholic Church in America the Obama administration poses.  They recognize that the goal of the current administration is to strip the Bishops, through fostering a de facto schism in the Church, of their ability to stand in the way of this administration.  This is all very unprecedented in American history and all very dangerous to our concept of religious liberty enshrined in the Constitution.  The Administrative Committee of the USCCB set out what is at stake well on March 14th:

The Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered for its March 2012 meeting, is strongly unified and intensely focused in its opposition to the various threats to religious freedom in our day. In our role as Bishops, we approach this question prayerfully and as pastors—concerned not only with the protection of the Church’s own institutions, but with the care of the souls of the individual faithful, and with the common good.

To address the broader range of religious liberty issues, we look forward to the upcoming publication of “A Statement on Religious Liberty,” a document of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. This document reflects on the history of religious liberty in our great Nation; surveys the current range of threats to this foundational principle; and states clearly the resolve of the Bishops to act strongly, in concert with our fellow citizens, in its defense.

One particular religious freedom issue demands our immediate attention: the now-finalized rule of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that would force virtually all private health plans nationwide to provide coverage of sterilization and contraception—including abortifacient drugs—subject to an exemption for “religious employers” that is arbitrarily narrow, and to an unspecified and dubious future “accommodation” for other religious organizations that are denied the exemption.

We begin,  first, with thanks to all who have stood firmly with us in our vigorous opposition to this unjust and illegal mandate: to our brother bishops; to our clergy and religious; to our Catholic faithful; to the wonderful array of Catholic groups and institutions that enliven our civil society; to our ecumenical and interfaith allies; to women and men of all religions (or none at all); to legal scholars; and to civic leaders. It is your enthusiastic unity in defense of religious freedom that has made such a dramatic and positive impact in this historic public debate. With your continued help, we will not be divided, and we will continue forward as one.

Second, we wish to clarify what this debate is—and is not—about. This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. This is not about the religious freedom of Catholics only, but also of those who recognize that their cherished beliefs may be next on the block. This is not about the Bishops’ somehow “banning contraception,” when the U.S. Supreme Court took that issue off the table two generations ago. Indeed, this is not about the Church wanting to force anybody to do anything; it is instead about the federal government forcing the Church—consisting of its faithful and all but a few of its institutions—to act against Church teachings. This is not a matter of opposition to universal health care, which has been a concern of the Bishops’ Conference since 1919, virtually at its founding. This is not a fight we want or asked for, but one forced upon us by government on its own timing. Finally, this is not a Republican or Democratic, a conservative or liberal issue; it is an American issue.

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28 Responses to An American Issue

  • This is all-out political warfare, no holds barred.

    If an outright yahoo such as myself knew this four years past, [fill in the blank].

    Social justice was used as the alibi for all sins.

    Hate and Chains!

    I know. I know.

    I’m a RACIST!

  • Where are the voices from the Democratic Party, once a bastion of faithful Catholics, who legislated for the common man? Are they in chains tallying collected dues, being used to further debase their once loyal catholic identity, selling their souls and their ultimate caretakers to a joyless, blasphemous destiny? Judas comes to mind.

    I cannot believe that the Democratic Party has finished homogenizing its collective mind. With a world of problems from which to choose to find a solution, the focus is to fester another problem – and in the only area on earth that ultimately supports them.

    The catholic voices that have lost the sound of faith to the sound of cacophony.

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  • When the Supreme Court for the United States of America hears the Obamacare case as a violation of conscience, as Obamacare is a violation of conscience, the Court will be giving countenance to and legitimacy to the greatest perjury in the history of humankind. TRUTH, the whole truth and nothing but the truth will have been silenced and imprisoned in the chains of perjury, subliminal suggestion, lies, false advertisement, uninformed consent, swindle, cheating, stealing, and more lies and more perjury by the handmaid of the Satan. If Obamacare is not prevented from scamming unsuspecting citizens into surrendering their sovereignty for a cup of hemlock, the Supreme Court for the United States of America will become a useful idiot in the grand scheme of the Great Liar. The atheist, too, is become a useful idiot in the removal of all of every citizen’s unalienable rights, our founding principles, and especially Our CREATOR’S Divine Providence. The bottomless pit of hell is staring us and our Supreme Court in the face in Obamacare. HOPE and CHANGE without informed consent, without the TRUTH, without sovereignty, without freedom is not HOPE and CHANGE, no more so than Obamacare is healthcare.
    An eighty four year old man insisted that everybody ought to have healthcare and I agree. Obamacare is poised to balance the budget on his grave and he cannot see through it, because of the subliminal suggestions planted in his heart and mind. Subliminal suggestion is illegal and unconstitutional. Insincere promises (or lies) in Obamcare are the bait in a trap for America’s sovereignty and the sovereignty of each and every person as a citizen in the US. A one world government under the world bank, instead of under God, is the ultimate goal of the devil. Obamacare is only the weapon to be used against the sovereignty of America. Obamcare is only the bait into the black hole of servitude to another man, (created equal), whose god is mammon.
    Let us show Obama what freedom looks like in November. Let us show the devil the gates to Hell, the black hole, the true Obamacare: WHO IS LIKE UNTO GOD?
    And to atheists who are sincerely searching for the truth. God is permitting this violation of sovereignty and truth for you to come to your sovereignty and the truth. Follow the truth. The truth will set you free and make you sovereign.
    The schism in the nation has occurred. The schism occurred when the Supreme Court relegated the Person of God to the status of Persona non grata, abortion to “a political point of view” along with gay-marriage, infanticide, and rape of infant children, who, without informed consent have had their body parts desecrated; the Supreme Court, who, violating “the laws of nature and nature’s God” abrogated the definition the human being as having an immortal, rational soul.

  • “the Supreme Court, who, violating “the laws of nature and nature’s God” abrogated the definition of the human being as having an immortal, rational soul; the human being, as a being composed of a body and a rational, immortal soul.”
    the word for correction I do not know.

  • I suppose, if we are to be prepared for any outcome, we should look at the Augustinian view of “Moral War” in light of such Scriptural admonishments as found in Romans 13. With the exegesis of the rest of the book, as well as the Gospels and all of the New Testament, it should be discussed now, I’d think, when heads are still cool and backs are not against any walls.

    If, God forbid, there is a second Caiaphas term and an insufficient Republican (real, not RINO) presence in Congress to snuff out his two-bit Mussolini imitations, there will possibly be a call to arms. The history of the world demands this consideration, as well as demanding that our nation’s immediate past be considered an aberration, albeit a pleasant one. Short is the list of nations that have gone a scant century without either internecine violence or direct foreign attack.

    That we have escaped largely unharmed is a testament to our traditional character, but it is obvious to any with a lick of sense that the character so employed is now a scarce commodity.

    I am reminded of the brilliance of Hillaire Belloc:

    “We sit by and watch the Barbarian, we tolerate him; in the long stretches of peace we are not afraid. We are tickled by his irreverence, his comic inversion of our old certitudes and our fixed creeds refreshes us; we laugh. But as we laugh we are watched by large and awful faces from beyond: and on these faces there is no smile. ”

    The “large and awful faces” now sit in the highest seats of power in America. It would behoove us to thoroughly argue various methods of repelling their assaults upon us, so that we are sufficiently prepared, and united.

  • You can look at it as Obama encouraging de facto schism, but sadly, the de facto schism has existed for a while. In a sense, all he is doing is recognizing its existence and banking on it. He is simply pulling back the curtain and exposing it.

  • “You can look at it as Obama encouraging de facto schism, but sadly, the de facto schism has existed for a while. In a sense, all he is doing is recognizing its existence and banking on it. He is simply pulling back the curtain and exposing it.”

    Amen that.

  • Perhaps, but the next step has to be taken, and that is to ask “why?” The answer is obvious to us, of course.

    To what end does any government actively call attention to such an all-too-human rift in any religion or ideology, but to attack it? What other purpose could there be to risk the backlash and fallout that most certainly will (and even now starts to) occur? Why does this administration care, other than to exploit a strategic weakness, indicating it actually has a strategy that neeeds this exploitation?

    To downplay Caiaphas’ impact on the schism itself is to dissemble the truth; regardless of why it’s there, this president’s exploitation of it makes him anti-Catholic and fascist, and as such he should be given neither excuse nor benefit of doubt. Unless, of course, you’re on his side.

  • I agree with c matt. Obama is exploiting and counting on an already existing de facto schism. I doubt he has a sinister purpose in doing so, at least from his perspective. He has no grande aim to bring down the Church; he just wants to advance his policy agenda.

  • The exploitation by any American president of any religious division in this country Mike I regard as per se sinister. That he might be doing so for mere momentary political advantage actually increases the contempt I feel for him.

  • Does anyone know how the Bishops are distinguishing the Obamacare mandate for employers to purchase health insurance (which covers contraceptives) from individuals being required to pay federal taxes (of which a fraction goes to grants to Planned Parenthood)? Why would complying with one (the Obamacare mandate) be sinful and not complying with the other (paying federal taxes) be sinful? Is it because only a tiny fraction of federal income taxes go to grants for Planned Parenthood while a larger fraction of health care premiums would go to contraceptives? Or is because one is called a tax and one is called a mandate? What if the feds said the employers will not be paying any premiums, instead they pay a tax and then the employees get free health care? Would that make a difference?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the Bishops cracking some heads, I am just a little confused about how one is sin and one is not.

  • J: You are correct. Obamacare is a tax and a mandate. Obamacare tax deletes the middle man, IRS. O makes you spend his (the government owns and controls everything) money the way Obama tells you.

    You must pay your income tax and when Obama gets the money you have no say in how it is wasted.

    If you don’t pay your income tax, you will learn two things: the reason why they had to amend the Constitution to institute the income tax and that you have no rights in tax court. No Fifth amendment. If you own anything the IRS will take it. Then you go to jail.

    Heretics had more rights with the Spanish Inquisition. Only difference being the IRS can’t torture you.

  • “I doubt he has a sinister purpose in doing so, at least from his perspective. He has no grande aim to bring down the Church; he just wants to advance his policy agenda.”

    That may be true. But in then end, this battle is not with men such as Obama. Rather this battle is with diabolical forces intent on attacking the Church. Obama and his Saruman-like Minions in the Church are merely pawns in an ancient battle. Pawns who have fallen for one lie or another by the Evil One even if they remain ignorant of the Dark One’s ultimate plan. So there will be further attacks even if this one is stopped. Either by Obama or other Minions. However, if this one succeeds, the next will be truly vile.

    We ultimately do not lose hope as the Easter Victory is eternal. The Gates of Hell shall not prevail, though there may be great suffering prior to the final victory. Pray. Fast. Then act to prevent further evil.

  • There would probably be less schism in the Church if Pelosi, Reid, Sebelius, et al were treated in the same way as the SSPX were treated–with excommunication.

  • There has been a division in the Roman Catholic Church for a long time. I think much of the blame goes to the Bishops and Priests. In my life time, it started with the Bishops refusal to accept Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. You had Bishops outright rejection or their refusal to teach the dangers of contraception and the consequences. You had Vatican II which changed a lot of things in the Church (the left/ liberals used this time to their advantage). Then you also had sisters and nuns rejecting Church teachings and following the radical feminists. Then there was Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” (confusing real intrinsic evil issues with subjects that are not necessarily intrinsically evil to this very day), using Alinsky ideas, followed by “social justice” which has been more like socialism and earth worship. Also, you can’t ignore the homosexual infiltration into the seminaries which led to the terrible sexual scandals. Today, you have “catholic” politicians who support contraception, abortion, same sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research like Sebelius, Pelosi, Cuomo, Kerry, Biden, the Kennedys, Durbin, etc with hardly any of the Bishops doing anything about them. Obama surrounds himself with these left, unorthodox “catholics” and yes, I think he does want to split the Catholic Church. The Bishops need to face some facts about Obama and the Democratic Party. These are not the Democrats your grandparents supported.

    It really all starts with us though. WE have to seek and find the REAL teachings, dogmas, doctrines of the Catholic Church. WE need to stop picking and choosing what we want to believe and we need to speak up. I’m praying for our Pope, the Bishops, Priests, Deacons and Religious that the Holy Spirit will enlighten them with truth and courage!

  • There would probably be less schism in the Church if Pelosi, Reid, Sebelius, et al were treated in the same way as the SSPX were treated–with excommunication.

    If I understand correctly, the clergy associated with SSPX are excommunicate, not anyone else. It is permissible for laymen to attend SSPX services if done out of appreciation for the old rite and not in a spirit of disobedience.

    There has been a division in the Roman Catholic Church for a long time. I think much of the blame goes to the Bishops and Priests. In my life time, it started with the Bishops refusal to accept Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae.

    Which bishops? The prominent dissenters on this question have been Charles Curran, Andrew Greeley, Luke Timothy Johnson, and Garry Wills. None of them are bishops. It was local parish priests who refused to enforce the teaching in the confessional.

    Then there was Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” (confusing real intrinsic evil issues

    The Church in America had been an institutional wreck for a dozen years or more ‘ere Cdl. Bernardin’s wheel-spinning in the NCCB committee structure got underway.

  • AS WK Aiken wrote, “If, God forbid, there is a second Caiaphas term and an insufficient Republican (real, not RINO) presence in Congress to snuff out his two-bit Mussolini imitations, there will possibly be a call to arms. The history of the world demands this consideration, as well as demanding that our nation’s immediate past be considered an aberration, albeit a pleasant one. Short is the list of nations that have gone a scant century without either internecine violence or direct foreign attack.”

    Heaven forbid! But a second Obama term may make that a reality. 🙁

  • Obama supports the destruction of all Christian churches.

  • What I am about to say may be viewed as imprudent by some here. But the bishops have done much to bring this about. Hillsdale College professor Paul Rahe wrote an interesting article on this subject:

    http://ricochet.com/main-feed/American-Catholicism-s-Pact-With-the-Devil/(page)/7

    Also, when you consider the fact that Obama being an Alinskyite and the influence Alinsky had on Church bureaucracies in the U.S., he is well aware of the divsions that exist. Remember, it was the same Cdl George who couldn’t stick to his guns with Fr. Pfleger and then presided over a function of the Archdiocesan Office for Racial Equality where Pfleger was given a lifetime achievement award. Never mind the fact that Fr. Pfleger is as thick as theives with bigots like Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakan.

    Then you have Cdl Dolan equating Arizona’s SB 1070 with the Know Nothing Party. When you have prominent American Prelates projecting weakness and engaging in left wing demagoguory, you invite the kind of actions Obama is taking and it isn’t like he needs an invitation.

  • Living in a country that has had a tax-funded national health service for over sixty years, and in which the taxpayer has no say on which ‘health’ provision his money is spent on, I find the present debate in the US rather bemusing. However, Catholics in the US should be aware that the British government is planning to legislate for same-sex marriage (despite the fact that the present civil partnership laws give homosexual couples the same rights as married couples anyway). PM David Cameron is cosying up to Barak Obama, who is no friend to England but has his eyes fixed on the upcoming election, and is pointedly ignoring anyone from the Republican party. As a life-long Tory voter, I hoped that the new ministry would roll back some of the stifling political correctness which characterized New Labour but Cameron seems to want to out-Blair Blair.

    The Catholic Church in England and Wales lacks any credible leadership (Scotland is better) and the Established Church is facing having its bishops ejected from the House of Lords since they are ‘incompatible with a multicultural society’. I was brought up in a country which prided itself on its tolerance and innate sense of liberty and fair play. I have seen it turned into a paradise for petty tyrants. Be warned, America, and for God’s sake don’t go the same way.

  • “I have seen it turned into a paradise for petty tyrants.”

    That is happening in both countries John, albeit at a slower pace in America, but Obama is attempting to quicken the process.

    For those of us who cherish liberty it is time for us to take a stand, all of us recalling this Churchill quote:
    “This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.”

    I have no intention of having the liberty that many of my ancestors purchased with their blood taken away piece by piece for Leftist political schemes and to serve the ends of politicians drunk with power.

  • If it is truly phrophetic is will come to pass, and nothing can stop it.

  • Then let us pray that it is not prophetic Janice and let us work to help bring our prayers to fruition. We are God’s instruments in this world and it is up to each of us to make our actions match our faith.

  • When the HHS Mandate goes to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, architect of Obamacare must recuse herself, or be removed physically dragging her feet and screaming. Obamacare is Elena Kagan’s brainchild. Surely, Kagan will want to see this monstrosity endure. Kagan has a vested interest and the conflict of interest thereof. There may be a 4 to 4 split in the Court, who then, casts the deciding vote? Is that person of integrity and trustworthy?

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  • The constitutionality of Obamacare is only a small issue. The constitutionality of Obama and his cronies is the greater issue. The Constitution for the United States of America prohibits a religious test for candidates for public office. Our constitution does not prohibit a religious test for removing public officials, presidents and his appointees from office for egregiously violating our founding principles, ignoring their sworn oaths to uphold our founding principles while in office and for violating our constitutional principles.
    IF Peter Singer, Barack Obama, or Cecile Richards cannot explain their existence without reference to our Constitutional CREATOR, our unalienable rights, and our founding principles, they are unfit for office. Obama has violated his oath of office. Let us dig up Margaret Sanger and ask her for her opinion. Saul Alinsky asked God to send him to hell. Maybe HOPE and CHANGE will make Alinsky feel bad. Obama, Pelosi, Sebelius, Geitner need to be shown the broom closet door, the same broom closet door, Obama, as senator from Chicago showed to our newest constitutional posterity, our newest citizens, the persons he refused to aid when they survived abortion. Obama has since ordered all frozen embryos to be destroyed. No snowflake babies for him. Nope.
    Peter Singer was deported from Australia. Germany refused to give Singer admittance. Princeton University welcomed Singer with the DeCamp Chair of Bioethics where he teaches the most elite sons of our people that killing a citizen if you do not like the child for up to six years after they come into their citizenship as “after birth abortion” is valid. Singer teaches that taking the life of another person is not a crime of homicide or infanticide or human sacrifice to the demon god of political correctness, environmental or really stupid (oh, seriousness) imbecilic eugenics. Cecile Richards, go get Margaret Sanger. Maybe Sanger can tell us how to live forever.

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Goerge Weigel: The Betrayal of Religious Freedom by Liberal Catholics

Monday, February 20, AD 2012

 

George Weigel has a post on National Review Online regarding the betrayal by some liberal Catholics of religious freedom in regard to the HHS Mandate:

Thus “liberal Catholics” who refuse to grasp the threats to religious freedom posed by the Obama administration on so many fronts — the HHS mandate, the EEOC’s recently rejected attempt to strip the “ministerial exemption” from employment law, the State Department’s dumbing-down of religious freedom to a mere “freedom of worship” — are betraying the best of their own heritage. And some are doing it in a particularly nasty way, trying to recruit the memory of John Courtney Murray as an ally in their attempts to cover for the Obama administration’s turning its de facto secularist bias into de jure policy, regulations, and mandates. More than 50 years ago, Murray warned of the dangers deracinated secularism posed to the American democratic experiment: a warning that seems quite prescient in the light of the Leviathan-like politics of this administration, aided and abetted by baptized secularists who insist that they are “liberal Catholics.” I daresay Murray, who did not suffer fools gladly, would not be amused by those who now try to use his work to shore up their own hollow arguments on behalf of the establishment of secularism.

The HHS-mandate battle is bringing to the surface of our public life many problems that were long hidden: the real and present danger to civil society of certain forms of Enlightenment thinking; the determination of the promoters of the sexual revolution to use state coercion to impose their agenda on society; the failure of the Catholic Church to educate the faithful in its own social doctrine; the reluctance of the U.S. bishops’ conference to forcefully apply that social doctrine — especially its principle of subsidiarity — during the Obamacare debate. To that list can now be added one more sad reality, long suspected but now unmistakably clear: the utter incoherence of 21st-century liberal Catholicism, revealed by its failure to defend its own intellectual patrimony: the truth of religious freedom as the first of human rights. That liberal Catholics have done so in order to play court chaplain to overweening and harshly secularist state power compounds that tragedy, with deep historical irony.

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5 Responses to Goerge Weigel: The Betrayal of Religious Freedom by Liberal Catholics

  • The response of liberal (small ‘c’) catholics, “We have no King but Caesar” (Jn 19:16).

  • Excellent Marc,

    I think they would declare, “We have no religion but socialism.”

    Judas hanged himself.

    Hanging is too good for them.

  • If you have the stomach, check out the commenters at HuffPo and Daily Kos on any subject pertaining to Catholicism (or Christianity as a whole, for that matter). The Catholic Left managed the feat of overlooking and ignoring the demented, raging hatred the secular Left has for all Western religions for many years, although doing so is akin to eating a popsicle while sitting next to a wasp’s nest and imaging that you will be left alone because you’re not poking the nest with a stick. Just being there is going to get you stung. I would commend them for being charitable (if naive), but I noticed quite a while ago that that leftist Catholics never display the same charity to conservative Catholics that they to toward Obama, Pelosi, Hugo Chavez and any other tyrant who uses the term “social justice.” Those 2 magic words absolve all sins, it seems.

  • Sadly, I recently talked to someone I knew in high school– their mom was the “Sunday school” teacher. (folks who’ve heard me complain about my education in the faith know she was…well intentioned, and that’s the biggest praise I can offer)

    Basically: they love the idea of forcing someone else to buy their free-sex supplies, and can’t see how there’s any issue with it. Anything that gets trampled in the rush wasn’t worth saving, anyways.

    There’s a reason I don’t socialize with my generation all that much, and haven’t since I was forced to share a room with them for hours a day.

  • The polestar of liberal American Catholicism is opposition to Humanae Vitae. Full stop.

    They’d sacrifice social justice on that altar in a heartbeat.

Obama’s Latest Fig Leaf is Not Acceptable

Friday, February 10, AD 2012

Update III:  The USCCB Pro-Life Director Richard Doerflinger and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey agree with me that this “accommodation” or “compromise” is unacceptable.  Sadly Sr. Keehan of the the Catholic Health Associate found this “satisfactory”.  It looks like Obama will be happy that Sr. Keehan is on board.  Of course, Planned Parenthood and Sr. Keehan agree.

Update II:  Rumor confirmed.  Insurance, that Religious Institutions pay into, will provide contraception, ie, it is still a violation of the First Amendment.

Update I: Rumor is that “Hawaii” compromise will be offered, but the bishops have already rejected this.  So basically it’s a poor attempt at stalling and not really offering a solution.

The buzz this morning is that Obama is “caving in” to the pressure and will announce a “compromise” today at 12:15pm Eastern.

The news reports are saying that Religious Organizations won’t have to offer birth control, only the insurance companies that these Religious Organizations provide will offer birth control.

Yeah, that’s the compromise.

If these reports are true, this is dead on arrival.  Changing the meaning of the words won’t do it.

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34 Responses to Obama’s Latest Fig Leaf is Not Acceptable

  • It’s George Orwell’s 1984, except the date should be 2012.

  • …only the insurance companies that these Religious Organizations provide will offer birth control…

    And who pays premiums into the insurance pool? The Religious Organizations and in most cases, their employees. This is no compromise; it’s word-smithing.

  • Exactly Big Tex.

    I wish I were more eloquent and prescient as you were, but I wanted to get this out and digested before Obama did another Pravda Announcement.

  • Next, he’ll offer 30 pieces of silver, the price of a man.

    I’m insulted.

    He must think we are as stupid as he.

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  • Politics at its worst. This administration is not caving in on anything. They are mandating and telling the insurance companies what product to sell and at what price to sell. Unconstitutional.

  • He’s on the run.

    Don’t accept the first.

    Counter with: “Resign tyrant.”

  • Let’s pretend that birth control is a health issue (hahahah, sorry — I’ll stop laughing now). Since when is the President qualified to ORDER medical treatments? Did he go to medical school or something?

  • Lord have mercy. Has Sr. Keehan have no shame? No conscience? Her bishop should have a friendly chat with her, remind her that part of the reason the Church and the entire country is in this mess is in part her doing, and then politely ask her to keep her mouth shut.

  • Unfortunately it may be that Sr. Keehan has no problem with contraception, sterilization etc.

  • She also has no problem in wearing anything but a habit.

  • HHS was The Institute of Medical Services idea. BO and KS said so.
    The change in payment was recommended by some Insurance Business Institute.
    One, quick little mention of ‘religious liberty’ being intact, so there you guys who are complaining so much.

    Contraception was the whole focus of what HHS means to USA, no mention of the laundry list of other ‘care’.

    Contraception is good for preventing women’s health problems. What about all the studies of causes for women’s cancer? Women, not girls, what happened to the 11 year olds that were going to be ‘cared’ for? Not PC for a noonday speech for Catholic listeners. Ugh. More questions than answers from he who was paid by a Catholic org. to do work.

    Contraception is the lowest common denominator of appeal for those who would trash Church teaching before letting go of complacency.

    No apology for using the word Mandate in olden times like yesterday. Now, it’s all about being the bearer of ‘good’ compromise for all concerned, especially those who want contraception. Politics, pandering to voters, and shutting up the Church.

  • I think Sr. Keehan has no idea how insurance works.

  • from he who was paid by a Catholic org. to do work.
    He said so.

  • Too busy today to do anything right now except to note that this is no compromise and anyone who thinks it is is either a fool or a knave. Obama truly does have nothing but contempt for those outside of his ideological bubble.

  • Who is this Senior Keehan?

  • Obama went out of his way to say that he supports freedom of religion, pointing out that one of his stints as a community organizer in Chicago was funded by a Catholic group.

    Gag me with a spoon. I wonder which Catholic group funded his community organizing. I wonder further if those funds made their way through the CSA.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-announce-accommodation-religious-groups-contraceptive-rule-enough-170500694.html

  • There can be no compromise with evil.

    I would hold out for his resignation. That’s me.

  • Another great takedown of this duplicitous “compromise” over at Vox Nova.

  • Haha Paul. I’ll comment on that later. I’ll let others read the takedown first.

  • “Sister” Keehan is a traitor. If she approves of this, then it is not to be trusted. The road of compromise is never ending! Don’t take it. Time for Catholics willing to suffer persecution to stand up and be counted. If Obama wins this, it’s all over for Faith and freedom. Wake up America!
    Immaculate Conception pray for us.

  • I’ll update my post with that link, Paul. Good catch.

  • If the bishops will not or cannot make (Sr.) Keehan behave then hopefully the vatican will discipline her and her order. She is a disgrace to American nuns who are pro-life. In effect, she is giving comfort to the enemy and she needs to be stopped!!!

  • I clicked on the link thinking someone at Vox Nova had actually written something critical of Pharaoh Obama’s “compromise.” It seems most there are content to retreat into philosophical condemnations of American Democracy and other acts of mental onanism.

    I suspect MM is waiting for the Dem talking points.

  • Phillip:

    Kudos. I am afflicted with violent nausea by ravings of lunatics that believe in a vast array of dumb and illogical rubbish.

    Apparently, that pack of catholic Commies (adherents of the gospel of Mao) believe the destruction of the evil, unjust private sector justifies both the damnation of souls and the denial of basic human rights, i.e., religious liberty.

    Seems, they have bought into the tyrant’s alibi: the “welfare of humanity justifies enslaving humanity.”

    You are too kind and genteel. I would have waxed sort of alliterative: “acts of mental masturbation.”

  • The vn are not compromising with evil. They are evil.

  • There aren’t enough exorcists — are there?

  • I was going to rebuke T Shaw for going a bit too far, but he’s really not far afield. To rationalize this decision in such a way is just astounding. There really is no road low enough for these folks at VN. That said, I have to agree with Tony on one thing.

    Think of Romney attacking Obama when he did the same thing in Massachusetts!

    Well, at least that one was non-demented sentence in the rant.

  • How did Sr. Keenan get quoted? I understood this article was about what Catholics thought?
    Dan Malone

  • May God Change Sr. Keehan’s heart. We all should pray she converts and repents. She is truly a lost soul directing others to HELL.

  • The Catholic Church will never obey this mandate, not if all the powers of Hell were to shove it down our throats. I know that moral doctrine may seem a strange and ancient thing to your administration Mr President, but understand that as Catholics, we are required to disobey unjust law. Commanded. It is our duty. Do you understand the gravity of the ultimatum you’ve made? You have placed the faithful Catholic in a position in which he must choose between obeying your mandate and obeying God. To comply with the HHS mandate will be considered a sin. Regardless of how you view your actions, do not so easily ignore how the Church views your actions — as attacking her flock. Force the mandate on faithful institutions, and faithful institutions will shut down their services. Force it on our hospitals, our universities, our schools, and our convents and we will bear the consequences of looking you, Sibelius and all the rest in the eyes and saying “No.” As it turns out, the Church doesn’t give a damn what you think — She never has cared for the powers of the world — and will resist you with all Her might. To be briefer still, and to say what those bound by politics cannot: Bring it.

  • Me and my wife have been trying to have a child for over a year and we are seeing a fertility doctor who is putting my wife on birth control for one month to regulate her cycle (i.e., as part of a plan aimed at treatments during the following month). I don’t think this is a sin and I don’t see any problem with the Catholic Church providing those contraceptives if I worked for them. I don’t see the catch-22 Nancy describes because it seems the sin only occurs when contraceptives are used to prevent a pregnancy. Although contraceptives can be used in a sinful way, so can other health-related drugs, medical devices, or equipment. The most obvious examples are the use of many prescription drugs to commit suicide or to be abused. In the case of these other drugs, the Church doesn’t eliminate the drugs from their health plan but instead provides them and expects Catholics to follow its teachings and not use the drugs in the commission of a sin. Why are contraceptives different? They have a number of non-sinful uses, including use by non-Catholic employees or to regulate menstruation (i.e., in someone who is not having sex). I don’t see why providing these drugs would be any more a sin than providing Oxycontin or morphine. Would it be a sin for the Church to provide baseball bats because they could be used to commit a murder?

45 Responses to The New Progressive Martyrdom

  • That is unfair.

    Catholics for Obama are not as evil as Judas.

    They are about 2% less vicious.

  • “They are about 2% less vicious.”

    And paid a whole lot more than 30 pieces of silver!

  • I got it the first time, but the second cartoon is great! Some “catholics” just don’t want to get it……all those babies gone from their chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…..and the chance to have loving moms and dads and to learn about the future. The only thing that passes as hope is that the millions of babies not born are angels in heaven now.

  • St Augustine wrote in the City of God.

    “What is reprehensible is that, while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some fearing to offend shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice. . . . still, there is more self-seeking here than becomes men who are mere sojourners in this world and who profess hope of a home in heaven.”

  • Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote. While I’m a majority of them were of the National Catholic Distorter (I mean Reporter) stripe, a significant degree of them were pro-life orthodox Catholics. Catholics like most people vote their perceived economic interests more than any other factor.

    In my mind, this is an indication of a woeful ignorance of the principle of subsidiarity, the bedrock principle of Catholic social teaching. Consequently, Catholics, by and large, have absolutely no clue as to how economic issues affect the culture and life issues and vicea versa. When was the last time anyone has ever heard the bishops even mention the principle of subsidiarity, much less give a coherent explanation of it in the context of our present circumstances? While Obamacare was being shoved down our throats, the only U.S. bishop, at least to my knowledge, that even raised the question about how a takeover of one sixth of our economy can be squared with the principle of subsidiarity was Bp. Lori of Bridgeport, CT. In fact, if it wasn’t for the abortion funding provision they would have been completely on board with Obamacare.

    No, our bishops are usually too busy taking sides on issues they have no business taking sides on like capital punishment, immigration (it was the same Abp. Dolan who praised Cdl Mahony’s equating AZ’s SB 1070 with Communist and Nazi tactics while issuing an irresponsible and I think calumnious attack of his own) etc.

    Until the bishops actually spending time teaching the faith as opposed to using their good offices pursuing their ideological agenda under thin guise of social justice, their pleas on stuff like this will lack the credibility it needs.

  • What Greg Mockeridge said…

    Also, what exactly did 0bama Catholics get for voting for him? In other words, what represents the 30 pieces of silver? I hope it was something more than a warm, fuzzy feeling.

  • I take great exception to these characterizations of Catholics who voted for Obama.

    I know many who did and, while I strongly disagree with their choice, these attacks are entirely unwarranted and unjust.

    Many believed that abortion was at a stalemate – they bought, hook, line, and sinker, the story spun by the Left that the Executive Branch was powerless to affect the abortion question. Foolish? More than a little. This is, though, the result of not teaching civics over the last fifty years – of failing to educate Americans as to how their government works.

    Lambs led to a slaughter – not partners in evil.

    There is no good and just cause to alienate our brothers and sisters with such talk and recrimination. Indeed, it isn’t even smart! Do you really want to drive them back into that fold just as they are waking up?

    Folks… Charity is called for, not meanness and a deadly dose of “told ya so.”

  • Lambs being led to slaughter…….sounds like the jews in nazi germany!!!!!! It is about time Catholics..American or Catholics from every country..wake up. We are only in this world for a short time…and will be in eternity forever…We can have a lot of fun while we are here….God has been good to us, but there are a few rules we have to follow. Those who think they can constantly turn against those rules will have to answer one day..I am not judging or condemning anyone. You cannot convince me that adult American Catholics do not know what abortion is…and the far reaching results for the economy and future of our country…not to mention what the results will be for us in the next world

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  • “Wake up!” is an excellent message to send. The first cartoon captures my feelings well.

    “You are traitors and knowing conspirators with evil” is precisely the wrong message to send to our fellow Catholics; uncatechised men and women who grew up in a culture which treats religion as a window-dressing, people who want to be good and to do right but are confused by the myriad of demands and mixed messages.

    My grandfather used to say that it isn’t fair to judge men by what they do. Even our best plans fall far short of what we hoped for. By that measure, we are all utter failures. You can only judge by what a man meant to do: either good or evil.

  • “Lambs led to a slaughter – not partners in evil.” Thank you, G-Veg. My beloved American Catholics, stop tearing one another apart and rally around your Bishops. Even the “coward” Peter who denied Jesus three times, still rose to the occasion of the Mission his Master gave him of leading His Infant Church. We need to remember that this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is under the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit. She is both Divine and Human. Divine because She is Holy, Human because Her Leaders are human – just as we all are, with all human frailties. Therefore, whenever She has been under persecution and emerged victorious, God’s Power was confirmed and Her Holiness re-affirmed.

  • Obama got 54% of the Catholic vote. While I’m a majority of them were of the National Catholic Distorter (I mean Reporter) stripe, a significant degree of them were pro-life orthodox Catholics.

    I will wager that about 70% of them were derived from the pool of Catholics of the modal type: those not at Mass. They would not know the National Catholic Reporter from the local pennysaver.

  • G-Veg & [email protected],

    Your points are duly noted.

    For the time being the post will remain up.

  • Mr. Edwards,

    I am not asking that any posts or comments be removed.

    My taking exception reflects my views. I do not speak for any other and do not ask that anyone be silent on my account.

  • Sorry, but I don’t regret any of it. Because . . .

    It wasn’t abortion.

    It still is abortion;

    Plus contraception; gay privileges; divorce; universal promiscuity; public school destructions of children’s consciences while prohibiting parental intervention; etc.

    They are going to vote for that way again.

    Worst: They buy into the class envy, hope and change thing. The evil, unjust private sector is being destroyed. So, with what will the ominpotent, omniscient state replace it?

    Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

    Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself – even if he earned more than you.

  • I’m reminded of that scene in The Omen in which the girl leaps from the building happily shouting, “Damien, It’s all for you!”

  • Mr. Edwards, my plea was that we do not look back at the mistake the American Catholics made by voting for Obama. No one – then – knew exactly what his Agenda was. So all those who voted for him, did so in good faith. But now that he has shown his hand, we should all join together and fight the Evil. From my beloved Kenya, Obama’s father homeland, we are on our knees praying for your Country and our Holy Mother Church to win this War because God has been pushed too far. The Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy daily pray for your country at 3.00 O’clock – The Hour of Great Mercy. We are all in this War together.

  • Mary:

    Actually we did know much of what his agenda really was. There was much written about his past regarding his influences, what his beliefs were and who he associated with (e.g. Jeremiah Wright who had close ties with people like Louis Farrakan) domestic terrorist William Ayers, etc.

    This, among other things told he was someone no honest intelligence person had any business supporting him, much less a conscientious Catholic.

  • I meant to say “inteligent person”.

  • Greg, were you aware that he had disdain for Organized Religion? Because I want to believe that if the faithful American Catholics knew this – and the Catholic Church being “The Church”- they would probably have thought twice about voting for him. Unless The Faith in your beloved Country has ceased to be of any importance or influence in people’s lives. Which would be really sad.

  • People in this country have had it too good for too long and seem to support anyone they think will keep things static. They are so secularized that what is in it for them is more important than what is right. I keep hearing about how 85-98% of Catholic women use contraception….If that is so, does it negate the natural law?
    So, yes the Faith has ceased to be of importance in many people’s lives. It is hard to live in half million dollars houses and drive luxury cars if there is a chance of a new child arriving and putting a dent in the financial tone enjoyed by mom and dad and their one or two children! All the Catholic young people in the public schools rather than in parochial schools attests to this also. The tuition for parish schools cuts too deeply into parents’
    comfortable lifestyles. Imagine what another child would do !
    I am not judging anyone//but am pointing out how secular this country is…and how life after death is often put on the back burner while life here is filled with one’s own selfish desires.

  • Nope!

    In 2008 it was all Justice and peace!!!

    It was all human dignity, faux charity, “have-you-no-decency” wailing and gnashing of teeth, which was, of course, truly nothing but partisan bu!!$hit.

    And in 2012, a majority of the same moral vermin tacitly support drone assassinations and keeping the Gitmo tortuary operational.

    It’s peculiar, how just as in 2008, the death penalty, the evil tax cuts for the evil rich, and water boarding still trump abortion, contraception, gay privileges, the moral destruction of American youth, tyranny, etc.

  • G-Veg & [email protected],

    Thanks for clarifying your points.

    You guys can call me “Tito” by the way. 🙂

    Maybe we need to distinguish between Catholics that supported Obama and now regret it and those that will still vote for Obama.

  • One should be skeptical of easy answers to complex questions. The American tapestry is woven with more types and colors of thread than we pretend.

    My view is that there are two major education defects that affect American Catholic decision-making: we are not catechized and we don’t know anything about civics.

    In Peter Berger’s “The Sacred Canopy,” he posits that Man needs the concept of “god” because it provides answers to those questions that plague the human mind. I think this is essentially correct. The catechism – any system of moral and religious teaching really – provides Man with answers, answers that we desperately need in order to remain sane.

    Catechism gives Catholics ready answers. Most Catholics who are catechized are willing to accept those ready answers without much question, primarily because they are too busy living to inquire all that much into the areas of human consciousness beyond their daily needs. Catholics without catechesis NEED answers and, so, search for plausibility. There being no definite truth in their minds, it is no wonder that they reject faith-based reasoning in favor of seemingly scientific answers through the popular culture.

    It is the backdrop of uncatechized Catholics against which the present drama is being played out. We may go to church and partake in the sacraments but the underlying philosophy and the richness of Catholic scholarship is lost to most of us. Without it, we seek to meld popular culture into the surface level Catholicism that is practiced by our Protestant brothers and sisters – a religion that is largely impotent in the public sphere and only relevant in its ability to organize our private lives.

    Statements like “I would never have an abortion but who am I to tell others what to do” reflect this reality.

    In a similar way, the lack of civics education in America forces Americans to judge policy by its effect on partisan interests rather than its fit in the broader framework of our political life. Not knowing what the Constitution says or the development of Western law and culture, we ask “does this fit my worldview.” What does not is bad and what does is good, without respect to whether the policy is lawful or even intelligible.

    Our willingness to accept omnibus bills that are admitted to have been unread before signed off on seems to demonstrate this truth.

    These observations represent, admittedly, just a small portion of the causes of our decline as a people and as a religious group within the larger culture. They have to be considered though when seeking to justly chastise and problem solve.

    Our fellow Catholics don’t have to be stupid, ignorant, evil, or hypocritical for the agenda we see to take root. They need only be wrong.

    Their culpability is limited to their knowledge – or so says Jesus for, “to he whom much is given, much is expected.” It will surely go worse for a certain law professor and ambassador than for the college kid, steeped in the Marxist and hedonistic culture of an American university.

    When we assume ill will in a Man’s choosing to sin or to support a political or social cause that is at odds with Church teaching, we do a great disservice to them and the Church. Our duty is to illuminate, not destroy the vestiges of faithful understanding that remain.

  • Mary:

    Like I said, when you consider his associations and the fact that he opposed the Child Born Alive Act and organized religion is the strongest advocate against abortion, this HHS mandate really isn’t a stretch. No decent person, much less a faithful Catholic had any business voting for him.

  • I would no more want to sit down and chat with one of Hitler’s henchmen than with a doctor that makes his living off of abortions. I would nor more support one of Hitler’s henchmen than support a supporter of partial birth abortion. This is evil plain and simple as I am sure Hitler and his henchmen had some good qualities about them yet the evil shadows that.

  • MissKitty,

    It is true that, at some point, the enormity of crimes makes plain the disorder of the soul.

    What is of issue though is not whether one should sit down with a mass murderer but a fellow Catholic… Confused but Catholic.

    Let us assume that every Catholic on this blog knows at least one practicing Catholic who is using artificial birth control. Beyond a doubt, the Church’s position on artificial birth control is well known. What, then, should be our response to such a one?

    It is a lot more complex an issue than your response betrays. Talking to Catholics who voted for Candidate Obama is not at all like sitting down with Josef Mengele.

  • As a Catholic I am both offended and embarrassed by these cartoons. This is not loving and it certainly doesn’t reflect anything our Lord would do. Christ himself taught the separation of Church and State. We don’t live in a Catholic country ruled by the Papacy. We live in a nation which guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

    I believe in life at conception. I tolerate choice in this country because it’s not my place to impose my beliefs on the atheist down the street. Share the good news and if someone doesn’t want to listen, turn around kick the dust off your sandals and walk away. Don’t any of you read scripture?

    It’s far more loving and productive to put our energy into preventing unwanted pregnancies rather than spending millions of dollars over decades trying to force females to give birth to children they don’t want and would probably keep rather than place for adoption. A little education and support go a long way.

    Teaching abstinence is a joke. It doesn’t work, it only leads to teen pregnancy. If you love your children, teach your sons to respect women and to keep their pants zipped. Teach your daughters to respect themselves and to grow up knowing they don’t need a boyfriend in order to feel valuable as a young woman. And please, pull your heads out realize that your children are more than likely going to have sex before they get married, so teach them about birth control and disease prevention.

    Do you really believe that God would prefer more unwanted and poorly taken care of babies populating the planet?

  • Faithful,

    Your comment is pure rubbish.

    Once you dissent from the teachings of Jesus, your life becomes a lie.

  • Tito,

    Thank you for sharing your Christian love and wisdom. Please provide the verse or verses in which Christ taught that abortion is a worse sin than divorce, adultery, rape, war, destroying the earth, cheating, lying, and persecuting others.

  • How will abortion prevent divorce, adultery, rape, war, destroying the earth, cheating, lying, and persecuting others?

    Abortion is murder. As such it encourages all those other things. Indeed, a nation that murders its unborn automatically creates the environment for divorce (I don’t want your baby), adultery (a woman is just a sex object), rape (I don’t care about woman or babies), war (I will war against the unborn), destroying the earth (I will kill the unborn so that there are no stewards of God’s green earth), cheating (I don’t have to have a baby, so I can cheat on my wife whenever I please), lying (it’s just a blob of flesh and I am the god who controls its destiny) and persecuting others (let’s start with dismemberment of the unborn during abortion).

  • “Faithful’s” objections are very similar to what a neo-Nazi feminist group has been circulating on Facebook. They call themselves Strong and Intelligent Women Choosing Equality and Freedom Instead of Religion, and they have a placard question the pro-life movement’s stance on war, capital punishment, environmentalism, etc. I analyze and debunk their points here:

    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2012/02/you-still-be-pro-life-after-shes-born.html

    Nope, I am not politically correct, so forewarned is forearmed.

  • Post Script – “Faithful”, I used plenty of Bible verses to backup the points in my essay, since that is a specific request of yours.