Although I have said this throughout the course of my thirty-plus years of college teaching and during my twenty-five year career, long since ended, as a public speaker and in the past twenty-seven years as a writer for various publications, I am going to say it again, and I will probably say it again in the future: No one, no matter his identity, including Donald John Trump, is “pro-life” if he makes a single, solitary “exception” to the absolute inviolability of innocent human life:
President Trump said he favors abortion laws that include exceptions for rape and incest, marking a break with Alabama Republicans, who recently enacted the strictest abortion ban in the nation.
“As most people know, and for those who would like to know, I am strongly Pro-Life, with the three exceptions - Rape, Incest and protecting the Life of the mother,” Trump tweeted late Saturday.
Trump said Republicans must stick together to win elections in 2020 and further the anti-abortion agenda.
“If we are foolish and do not stay UNITED as one, all of our hard fought gains for Life can, and will, rapidly disappear!” he said.
Once Alabama's law is implemented, doctors can be punished with up to 99 years in prison if they perform abortions, even in instances of rape or incest. The legislation is aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
Other states have also passed anti-abortion bills in recent weeks. Georgia’s law prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks. (Trump Wants Exceptions in Abortion Laws.)
Once again, my friends, no one who supports a single, solitary abortion under cover of law is pro-life. Such a person is simply less pro-abortion than those who support unrestricted access to abortion at all times under cover of law. It does violence to language and to logic to term anyone as "pro-life" who believes that any innocent baby may be executed licitly under the cover of civil law. Our goal is not to “stick together as Republicans” until 2020 but to stand up for Catholic truth without exception. We have not been baptized and confirmed to bear witness to the policies of Donald John Trump nor to give unswerving fealty to him for the sake of his re-election.
Dr. Charles E. Rice, writing in the August 27, 1998, issue of The Wanderer, explained the importance of never compromising about exceptions this way as I was opposing then United States Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato's bid for re-nomination by the Right to Life Party of the State of New York:
Sen. D'Amato will face a pro-abortion Democratic opponent in the fall. While a voter could morally vote for a pro-abortion candidate who is less objectionable on abortion than his opponent, he should not. The tactic of voting for the less objectionable of two pro-abortion candidates is a tactic of incremental surrender. The incremental strategy of accepting the legalization of abortion in some cases concedes that some innocent human life is negotiable after all. The pro-death movement is a guaranteed winner against an opposition that qualifies its own position by conceding that there are some innocent human beings whom it will allow to be directly and intentionally killed. That approach in practice has mortgaged the pro-life effort to the interests and judgment of what Paul Johnson called "the great human scourge of the 20th century, the professional politician." (Modern Times, 1985, p. 510.)
When a politician says he favors legalized abortion in life of the mother, rape and incest, or other cases, he affirms the nonpersonhood of the unborn child by proposing that he be subjected to execution at the discretion of another. The politician's pro-life rhetoric will be drowned out by the loud and clear message of his position, that he concedes that the law can validly tolerate the intentional killing of innocent human beings. Apart from exceptions, of course, Sen. D'Amato is objectionable as well for some of his other stands on abortion and for his positions on other issues, including especially the homosexual issue.
Pro-lifers could increase their political impact if they were single-issue voters, treating abortion as an absolutely disqualifying issue. Any candidate who believes that the law should treat any innocent human beings as nonpersons by tolerating their execution is unworthy to hold any public office, whether President, trustee of a mosquito abatement district, or senator. (Dr. Charles E. Rice, "Pro-Life Reflections on Sen. D'Amato, The Wanderer, August 27, 1998.)
While, of course, I give President Trump credit for many, although not all, of his nominees to serve on the Federal bench, the executive actions he has taken, albethey flawed in many respects, are fully reversible by a future president who is unconditionally, unqualifiedly pro-death. It is nothing other than amazing than those who call themselves “pro-life” believe that one can use that appellation while accepting the slicing and dicing of innocent human beings in their mothers’ wombs as a matter of principle, not as a regrettable matter of political expediency.
This having been noted, it remains a very sad commentary that Donald John Trump has been more vocal about the killing of children in the later stages of pregnancy than have most of the conciliar "bishops." Then again, it is essential to remember that the men in chancery offices are not "bishops" as they are not Catholics and because the conciliar rite of episcopal consecration is invalid. Silence from them makes perfect sense.
The Conciliar "Bishops'" "Strategic" and Conditional Support for the Absolute Inviolability of Preborn Human Lives
Indeed, the American “bishops” have long spoken empty words about the surgical killing of the innocent preborn. They have also indemnified and emboldened every Catholic pro-abortion politician and office-holder by refusing to excommunicate them from their non-Catholic sect that poses as the Catholic Church, starting with how the likes of two formerly “pro-life” Catholic United States Senators, Edward Moore Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and one Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (D-Delaware), were able to switch their positions after the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, January 22, 1973, without having been warned and then excommunicated. The “bishops” worried about a backlash, although the truth is that they emboldened the forces of bodily death in the United States of America just as surely as the “Second” Vatican Council turned them into active agents of spiritual death by the promotion of propositions condemned by our true popes and by staging a liturgical abomination that has convinced most baptized Catholics that they might as well belong to the world rather than bother to go to the community fellowship meeting posing as a the “Eucharistic celebration.”
Even the conciliar “bishops’” weak-kneed efforts to oppose surgical baby-killing was based upon the false premise of the "life of the mother exception” that they have embraced as an integral, indispensable part of every legislative proposal introduced in Congress without even attempting to pressure supposedly pro-life members of various legislatures, including those in both houses of the Congress of the United States of America, believing that doing so will help to convince "reasonable" people that they and the politicians they support are not "radicals" or "extremists," that such concessions are "necessary" to make in the realm prudence.
This is, of course, the exact same moral casuistry that gave us "natural family planning" and explicit classroom instruction in matters pertaining to the Sixth and Ninth Commandments that has corrupted what passes for Catholic moral theology in so many places that high level officials in the Vatican itself can speak of "therapeutic" abortions as being within the moral law (see So Long to the Fifth Commandment and Rotten To The Very Roots).
Some tried very hard to warn the "bishops" as early as the first years after the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, January 22, 1973, that the acceptance of "exceptions" would lead to the further institutionalization of baby-killing under the cover of the civil law in the mistaken belief that some killings would be prevented.
One of those who did so was Mrs. Randy Engel, the Director of the U.S. Coalition for Life, who testified in 1974. before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments of the United States Senate Committee for the Judiciary. Mrs. Engel saw things with prophetic clarity: there could never be any compromise with the binding precepts of the Fifth Commandment, and for this, of course, she has been hated by the "pro-life establishment" ever since:
I am Randy Engel, National Director of the United States Coalition for Life, an international research center and clearing- house specializing in domestic federal anti-life programs within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Agency for International Development. Thank you for your invitation to appear before the sub-committee today in order that I may express the views of the Coalition, its distinguished national and international board of advisors, some of whom have already testified at earlier Senate hearings on the Human Life Amendment, and that of thousands of grassroots people whom we have had the honor of serving on a day to day basis since the Coalition opened its offices almost two years ago.
Mr. Chairman, about four months ago, the Coalition filed with your office, the transcript of a speech made by Louise Tyrer, M.D., Family Planning Division of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, before the Association of Planned Parenthood Physicians' 12th Annual Meeting, Memphis, Tennessee on Tuesday, April 16, 1974, on the status of the various Human Life Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. (Attachment A) According to Dr. Tyrer' s assessment of the Congressional scene there are two basic approaches. One - a "state's rights" approach which would return the power of lawmaking in the area of abortion to the individual States. The second - which would guarantee the full protection of the law to the unborn child from the moment of fertilization. The "State's rights" approach she states, and correctly so, is unacceptable to the majority of Pro-Life people yet very attractive to the legislators because "it sought of takes the ones off their backs from making any decisions."
The remainder of her talk stresses the necessity of stalling the hearings of this sub-committee by having Planned Parenthood physicians flood the sub-committee with requests to testify. This, Dr. Tyrer suggests would be politically expedient and politically NECESSARY for you Mr. Chairman, in order to keep the amendments bottled up in sub-committee until you had gone through the election process in the Fall. Now, Mr. Chairman, I have no desire to embarrass you in any manner. Not because I fell Dr. Tyrer was incorrect in her judgment of the political realities of the Senate and House Committees dealing with the abortion issue or her assessment that stalling these subcommittee hearings by dragging them out month by month would be politically expedient for you and others who might prefer not to have a roll call vote on a Human Life Amendment before election time. But rather, because with few exceptions, almost every Senator and Representative in Congress would like nothing better than to get rid of the abortion issue tomorrow, if not before, or at least dump the matter back into the lap of the State legislatures.
This is not our affair - they say.
The massive slaughter of hundreds of thousands of innocent unborn children is not a federal matter - they say.
We are not responsible for the Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973 which is now the law of the land - they say.
Well, I am here Mr. Chairman to tell you and every other Senator and Congressman that like it or not - Abortion IS your affair. That the massive slaughter of unborn children in this country IS a proper matter of federal concern. Moreover that this Congress IS directly responsible for the almost inevitable Supreme Court decision which stripped unborn children of their inalienable right to life. Congress IS responsible because over the last ten years it has permitted an anti-life philosophy and anti-life programs and policies to become matters of NATIONAL POLICY, promoted and supported by tax dollars.
It is the Federal Government - at all levels - Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches - which has posed the greatest threat to unborn children in recent years. The Executive Branch because it has failed to correct the anti-life abuses primarily within the bureaucracies of HEW and AID and has permitted key anti-life leaders such as Dr. Louis Hellman the Office of Population Affairs and Dr. R. T. Ravenholt, Director Population Bureau for Population and Humanitarian Affairs [and the man who coined the phrase "Natural Family Planning"] to remain in office. The Legislative Branch, because it has authorized legislation and appropriated funds year after year to initiate, promote and sustain anti-life programs in virtually every conceivable federal bureaucracy including the Office of Economic Opportunity, Office of Environmental Education, Office of Education, Department of Defense Office of Population Affairs (HEW), National Institutes of Health, Agriculture Department, Food and Drug Administration, Public Health Service Social Security, MedicAID, Aid to Dependent Children, U.S. Information Agency Population Office(AID). Contraceptive Research Branch (NIH) Federal Communication Commission).
As I said the Supreme Court abortion decision was an inevitable one. All the cliches of that decision - terms like "unwanted children", "a woman's right to control her own body.", the population explosion stem from the Sangerite ethic. It represented the culmination of more than half a century of dedication and tireless efforts by the Sangerites and the Malthusians to convince the American public of the righteousness of the CAUSE and to elevate the SANGERITE-MALTHUSIAN philosophy to that of Public Policy .
This final achievement is portrayed quite candidly in this book Breeding Ourselves to Death - the Story of the Hugh Moore Fund by abortion leader Lawrence Lader. In the section on gaining Congressional Support, former N.Y. Senator Kenneth Keating, then newly appointed National Director of the Population Crisis Committee tells about eating in the Senate Dining Room where he could spread the gospel of family planning among old friends, particularly among the Republican leadership. This fight to influence by other population control leaders in Congress goes on today.
But what does all this have to do with this subcommittee hearing on the Human Life Amendment? Simply this:
For more than a year the Hogan-Helms Human Life Amendment and similar bills have been buried in the House, where Representative Don Edwards has refused to hold hearings, and in the Senate - hearings are dragged out month after month to get Senators and Representatives through the November watershed without a floor vote on such as the HLA.
Obviously there is no sense of urgency about the matter, with the exception of a handful of dedicated men, the Congress doesn't appear to be the least concerned that its inaction will result in the death of hundreds of thousands of unborn children. The fact that millions of federal tax dollars are used to promote a myriad of anti-life schemes- from direct abortion payments (Medicaid-ADC; to the research development and promoting of new abortion techniques to the indoctrination of young children of an anti-life ethic appears to raise no particular concern at family planning authorization or appropriation hearings.
Equally obvious is the fact that under these conditions we will have a difficult time getting a Human Life Amendment passed by both Houses of Congress and on its way to the states for ratification. My purpose here today is to point out the current commitment of the Federal Government including this Congress to the anti-life establishment, and briefly how such a commitment was obtained and at what price.
Mr. Chairman, this Congress OWES its vigorous support for a Human Life Amendment which would protect Human Life from conception until natural death to the American people. The Coalition would agree that the Hogan-Helms Amendment or the newer Roncallo Amendment would provide such protection.
Apart from the merit of these amendments themselves, we feel that Congress should recognize the fact that through its indifference, ignorance and its inability to withstand the pressures of the anti-life movement, it must bear its share of guilt for the 1973 Abortion decision, and its share of responsibility in seeing a Human Life Amendment is passed to protect the unborn child.
Your responsibility, Mr. Chairman, in this matter is very plain. As for our part, I believe the Coalition and the Pro-Life Movement in the U. S. will continue to fight at all levels - including the Halls of Congress and yes, even in Senate dining rooms - to educate and to promote an ideal that is as revolutionary in our day as the Sangerite ideal was fifty years ago. That ideal is based on the sanctity and innate goodness of all human life. (Full text of "Abortion : hearings before the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments.)
Even though the efforts made by Mrs. Engel and others, including the efforts of the indefatigable late United States Representative Angelo Roncallo (R-Massapequa, New York), were valiant, we can see now with perfect hindsight that which was not understood by very many at the time: that these noble efforts were doomed to failure precisely because the "pro-life establishment," headed by the National Not-So-Right to Life Committee, rallied around the constitutional amendment that had been proposed by United States Senator James Buckley (C-New York; the "c" reflects Buckley's election in a three-way race in 1970 as the candidate of the Conservative Party of the State of New York) that permitted the "life of the mother" exception. Only four American bishops, Timothy Cardinal Manning of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, John Cardinal Krol of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Humberto Medeiros of the Archdiocese of Boston and John Cardinal Cody of the Archdiocese of Chicago testified against the Buckley Amendment on the grounds that the civil law could never permit the direct taking of a single, solitary innocent human life from the first moment of conception through all subsequent stages until natural death. These cardinals, however, although part of the conciliar church by that time, were opposed by the entire "pro-life" establishment whose machinations were being orchestrated, at least to a very large extent, by the then Monsignor James Timothy McHugh of the Archdiocese of Newark, New Jersey. McHugh did not have a qualm of conscience whatsoever about the "life of the mother exception" as a matter of legislative expediency or as a core moral principle of the National Right to Life Committee his work at the then named Family Life Bureau of the United States Catholic Conference helped to launch.
No, the well-intentioned efforts of Mrs. Engel and her associates were doomed from the start as, unbeknownst to them, a false church had arisen filled with men who had lost the Catholic Faith, men who had surrendered to the prevailing ethos of Judeo-Masonry, a surrender that has devastated the world in which we live and that must be considered nothing other than one of the worst chastisements of our time for neither Popes Pius XI or XII consecrating Russia collegially to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart with all of the world's bishops. Treasonous priests/presbyters and their leftist apparatchiks and toadies worked against efforts to provide full constitutional protection. And this is what must happen when men who claim to be Catholic make their "reconciliations" with the anti-Incarnational principles of Modernity.
The first alleged success of the pragmatists in the pro-life movement came in 1977 when Representative Henry Hyde (R-Illinois) was able to attach an amendment to the funding of Medicaid that prohibited the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortions for poor women except in cases where a mother's life was said to be endangered. The legislation containing the Hyde Amendment, which was "liberalized" in 1993 to include the rape and incest exceptions, was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter. Far from being a success, however, the Hyde Amendment conceded the false idea that innocent human beings could be put to death under cover of law and that American taxpayers could licitly pay for their savage murders. The flawed nature of the single exception contained in the original Hyde Amendment was the basis of its eventual, if not inevitable, expansion sixteen years later.
The principal legislative effort during the administration of President Ronald Reagan centered on efforts to pass a constitutional amendment that was introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The Hatch Amendment would have reversed Roe v. Wade by establishing the principle that the right to permit or restrict abortion was held solely by the state legislatures, not by Federal or state courts. This fatally flawed piece of legislation conceded that a human institution, a state legislature, had the authority to permit something that was proscribed by the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. If it had been approved by a two-thirds majority in Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the nation's state legislatures, the Hatch Amendment would have enshrined abortion as matter of legal right whose exact parameters were subject to the deliberation of state legislators. This morally repugnant legislative initiative was "hatched" by the then Monsignor James T. McHugh of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and endorsed very strongly by the full body of American bishops, save for Bishop Joseph Sullivan of Baton Rouge, and the National Right to Life Committee, which lobbied very hard for its passage in Congress.
The failure of the Hatch Amendment led to the pragmatists to adopt "incrementalism" as their buzzword. As legislative efforts to reverse Roe v. Wade had proved unsuccessful, the only thing that could be done was to limit abortion around the margins. Thus, such initiatives as "parental consent" legislation at the state level became the focus of the National Right to Life Committee and its state affiliate organizations. Again, this was and remains a morally flawed effort. No one has the right to give his consent to his daughter to murder his grandchild inside of her womb. The legal "experts" at the National Right to Life Committee have contended ad nauseam that parental consent laws have been crafted so as to pass the scrutiny of constitutional challenges in Federal and state courts. Well, not only are these laws morally flawed of their nature, they include a judicial bypass provision whereby a minor woman can get a judge's order to kill her child without the "consent" or her parents. Planned Parenthood and related organizations are more than willing to fill out the boilerplate forms necessary to secure the judicial bypass for one of their "clients."'
As I have written over and over again in the past twenty-one years since a bill, twice vetoed by then President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton, sought to conditionally partial-birth abortions was introduced in 1995, the effort to focus on one method of killing in the latter stages of pregnancy was another morally flawed effort that did nothing to save lives as it lowered the bar on truth another notch or two by reducing the then "gold standard" of "pro-life" politics to be conditional opposition to the execution of children by partially extracting them from their mother's wombs so that their heads can be cut open with scissors.
Loads upon loads of people were howling at me from 1995 through 2007 when I pointed out time and time again that the legislation to partially ban partial-birth abortion, thrice vetoed by President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton and then signed into law by President George Walker Bush in 2003 before being sustained by the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, April 18, 2007, was immoral on its face in that it permitted a "life of the mother" exception and that it made it appear as though killing a baby in the later stages of pregnancy was a greater crime morally than doing so in the earlier stages, which is simply not so.
This is what I wrote at the time:
1. The direct, intentional killing of an innocent human being is equally morally heinous no matter the age at which the human being is killed. That is, the killing of six week old child in his mother's womb is the same crime morally as the direct, intentional killing of a ninety year old man.
2. The particular method by which a human being is killed does not make the act of killing any more immoral than the use of another method, admitting that it is permissible in the administration of civil justice for legislators and jurists to take into consideration such methods when legislating and meting out punishments for those adjudged guilty after due process of law of having committed acts that of their nature are in opposition to the binding precepts of the Fifth Commandment.
3. Thus it is that the use of the baby-killing method invented by a Dr. Martin Haskell, known "medically" as "intact dilation and extraction," to provide a means of killing a baby that was less "invasive" and thus allegedly less is no more morally heinous than the killing of an innocent preborn baby by means a suction vacuum machine that is twenty-nine times more powerful than the home vacuum cleaner.
4. The use of "intact dilation and extraction" is no more morally heinous than the killing of an innocent preborn baby by means of the use of various injections, including that of potassium chloride, into the baby so as to kill it in the womb before it is passed out stillborn or taken out by means of a Caesarian section.
5. The use of "intact dilation and extraction" is no more morally heinous the the killing of an innocent preborn baby by means of the use of what is known as the "hysterotomy," a procedure by which a preborn baby is killed by the use of a procedure similar to a Caesarian section, except that the child's neck is twisted in the womb before it is removed. (The hysterotomy was made famous in the case of Dr. Kenneth Edelin.)
6. The use of "intact dilation and extraction" is no more morally heinous than the "dilation and evacuation" method of killing a baby by means of carving up a baby in the uterus and then extracting his remains with forceps.
7. Those, including some conciliar bishops, have said that partial birth abortion is infanticide have missed the point entirely: each and every abortion kills a living baby deader than dead. Each abortion, whether chemically induced or surgically performed, is infanticide. (See Every Abortion Kills a Baby Dead).
8. The Partial Birth Abortion bill that is now the law of the land contains an immoral "life of the mother" exception, meaning that this procedure of killing a baby will still be used. And it will be used not only in cases where it is alleged that a mother's life is "endangered." Do we really think that those who kill for a living are going to be scrupulously honest about observing the exact conditions of the "life of the mother" exception?
9. Baby-killers will simply resort to the dilation and evacuation means of killing children if they cannot justify the use of partial birth abortion, meaning, as I have been contended since 1995, that zero babies will be saved by the law and by yesterday's decision in Gonzales v. Carhart. Indeed, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy went to great lengths to remind those who challenged the law that the other procedures, which he described in great detail, would remain perfectly legal. Justice Kennedy also explained that baby-killers who "accidentally" turned a dilation and evacuation killing of a child into an intact dilation and extraction (partial birth abortion) killing of a child would face no legal liability:
This reasoning, however, does not take account of the Act's intent requirements, which preclude liability from attaching to an accidental intact D&E. If a doctor's intent at the outset is to perform a D&E in which the fetus would not be delivered to either of the Act's anatomical landmarks, but the fetus nonetheless is delivered past one of those points, the requisite and prohibited scienter is not present. 18 U. S. C. §1531(b)(1)(A) (2000 ed., Supp. IV). When a doctor in that situation completes an abortion by performing an intact D&E, the doctor does not violate the Act. It is true that intent to cause a result may sometimes be inferred if a person "knows that that result is practically certain to follow from his conduct." 1 LaFave §5.2(a), at 341. Yet abortion doctors intending at the outset to perform a standard D&E procedure will not know that a prohibited abortion "is practically certain to follow from" their conduct. Ibid. A fetus is only delivered largely intact in a small fraction of the overall number of D&E abortions. Planned Parenthood, 320 F. Supp. 2d, at 965. (Gonzales v. Carhart)
10. In other words, ladies and gentlemen, baby-killers will still be able to kill babies in the later stages of pregnancy by the use of the saline solution abortion and the hysterotomy and the dilation and evacuation (and even an actual hysterectomy performed for reasons of killing a preborn child and to honor a woman's elective wishes to render herself sterile from that point forward). The belief that a "victory" was won yesterday is an illusion of the worst sort.
The whole of the "incrementalist" approach to "restoring" legal protection to the innocent preborn is based upon the lie that it is "necessary" to concede in civil law that there are some circumstances in which a baby can be directly targeted for execution. This lie is itself premised upon the false belief that baby-killers will be scrupulous in observing the "exceptions" that the incrementalists get enacted into law. As I noted consistently throughout the course of the last twenty-five years or so:
Do we really think that those who kill for a living are going to be scrupulously honest about observing the exact conditions of the "life of the mother" exception?
In other words, those who believe at present that the "gold standard" of being "pro-life" in American politics today is opposition to Federal taxpayer funding of Planned Barrenhood while shifting that funding to "community health centers" that provide the same immoral "services" by dispensing abortifacient contraceptives have permitted themselves to be deceived very badly, yes, as badly as they were deceived during the administration of President George Walker Bush, who, if you recall, permitted Federal taxpayer funds to be used for research on "fetal stem cell lines" that had been "harvested" before 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 9, 2001.
Americanism: A Building Block of the Counterfeit Church of Conciliarism's "Social Teaching"
Pope Leo XIII, concerned that Catholics in the United States of America were being coopted by the prevailing ethos of religious indifferentism, cultural pluralism, egalitarianism and majoritarianism to view the Catholic Faith through the lens of Americanism rather than to view the world through the supernatural eyes of the true Faith. Prophetically, he saw that the days were coming before too long when Catholics would desire from Holy Mother Church what they saw in their governing structures and social circumstances: unbridled freedom of conscience and action, democracy and equality between the priesthood of the ordained minister and the common priesthood of the faithful that each Catholic has by virtue of his baptism.
Writing in an Apostolical Letter, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899, to James Cardinal Gibbons, an Americanist who was the Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland, from 1877 to 1921, Pope Leo XIII explained his concerns quite explicitly:
But, beloved son, in this present matter of which we are speaking, there is even a greater danger and a more manifest opposition to Catholic doctrine and discipline in that opinion of the lovers of novelty, according to which they hold such liberty should be allowed in the Church, that her supervision and watchfulness being in some sense lessened, allowance be granted the faithful, each one to follow out more freely the leading of his own mind and the trend of his own proper activity. They are of opinion that such liberty has its counterpart in the newly given civil freedom which is now the right and the foundation of almost every secular state.
In the apostolic letters concerning the constitution of states, addressed by us to the bishops of the whole Church, we discussed this point at length; and there set forth the difference existing between the Church, which is a divine society, and all other social human organizations which depend simply on free will and choice of men.
It is well, then, to particularly direct attention to the opinion which serves as the argument in behalf of this greater liberty sought for and recommended to Catholics.
It is alleged that now the Vatican decree concerning the infallible teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff having been proclaimed that nothing further on that score can give any solicitude, and accordingly, since that has been safeguarded and put beyond question a wider and freer field both for thought and action lies open to each one. But such reasoning is evidently faulty, since, if we are to come to any conclusion from the infallible teaching authority of the Church, it should rather be that no one should wish to depart from it, and moreover that the minds of all being leavened and directed thereby, greater security from private error would be enjoyed by all. And further, those who avail themselves of such a way of reasoning seem to depart seriously from the over-ruling wisdom of the Most High-which wisdom, since it was pleased to set forth by most solemn decision the authority and supreme teaching rights of this Apostolic See-willed that decision precisely in order to safeguard the minds of the Church's children from the dangers of these present times.
These dangers, viz., the confounding of license with liberty, the passion for discussing and pouring contempt upon any possible subject, the assumed right to hold whatever opinions one pleases upon any subject and to set them forth in print to the world, have so wrapped minds in darkness that there is now a greater need of the Church's teaching office than ever before, lest people become unmindful both of conscience and of duty.
We, indeed, have no thought of rejecting everything that modern industry and study has produced; so far from it that we welcome to the patrimony of truth and to an ever-widening scope of public well-being whatsoever helps toward the progress of learning and virtue. Yet all this, to be of any solid benefit, nay, to have a real existence and growth, can only be on the condition of recognizing the wisdom and authority of the Church. (Pope Leo XIII,Testem Benvolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899.)
Pope Leo XIII "took off the gloves" in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, having praised what he could of various elements of the American founding, including the natural virtues of George Washington, in Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895, before making it clear in that encyclical letter that the American bishops were not doing what they could to Catholicize the nation, especially as pertains to making his own encyclical letters on Church-State relatoins known to the Catholics of the United States of America. Pope Leo wanted to make it abundantly clear in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae that some of the American bishops did indeed want to view the Deposit of Faith through the lens of the American Constitution as the prototype of a "future church" modeled along the lines of "democracy" and "collegiality" and "egalitarianism" and "ecumenism." This telling passage from Pope Leo's Apostolical Letter to the longtime Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, James Cardinal Gibbons, is a prophetic warning about the counterfeit church of conciliarism that would owe much of its origins to the heresy of Americanism:
For it would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive of and desire the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world. (Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899.)
Behold the fact that the Church desired by the Americanists in the Nineteenth Century has arisen, the counterfeit church of conciliarism, that embraces the errors of Modernity while propagating them anew with a Modernist spin. As it is false of its very nature, conciliarism reflects the competing camps of the false opposites of “liberalism” and “conservativism” that exist in the world, and is thus doomed as everything else based on falsehoods, including the modern civil state that is designed the make the world safe for every “religion” except Catholicism and for everything that eschews the Natural Law in favor of moral subjectivism.
Quite specifically, you see, a nation that is not founded on right principles must degenerate into the barbarism of our present era, having no immutable teaching authority to guide it, choosing to be "guided" by the demigods of national founding fathers and/or by the shifting winds of majoritarian sentiment at any particular point in time. Contradiction and instability are bound to result, as we can see with great clarity today. It is very much beside the point to argue that the "founders" would have opposed this or that social evil. They premised the entire fabric of national life under the Constitution upon the false belief that men could sort out their differences by means of a cumbersome process of negotiation and debate in the national legislative process, believing that there was no single belief that could unite men and guide them in the pursuit of the common good as the supreme and eternal good each man was kept in mind. There is no way, therefore, for naturalists to use a naturalist Constitution to defend against various evils. Evil must win when man does not subordinate himself to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church and when men do not have belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace
Here is a summary of the major principles that explain why naturalism is incapable of providing the framework for social order and must yield to the forces of barbarism over the course of time:
1) There are limits that exist in the nature of things beyond which men have no authority or right to transgress, whether acting individually or collectively in the institutions of civil governance.
2) There are limits that have been revealed positively by God Himself in his Divine Revelation, that bind all men in all circumstances at all times, binding even the institutions of civil governance.
3) A divinely-instituted hierarchy exists in man’s most basic natural unit of association: the family. The father is the head of the family and governs his wife and children in accord with the binding precepts of the Divine positive law and the natural law. Children do not have the authority to disobey the legitimate commands of their parents. Parents do not have the authority to issue illegitimate and/or unjust commands.
4) Our Lord Himself became Incarnate in Our Lady’s virginal and immaculate womb, subjecting Himself to the authority of His creatures, obeying his foster-father, Saint Joseph, as the head of the Holy Family, thus teaching us that all men everywhere must recognize an ultimate authority over them in their social relations, starting with the family.
5) Our Lord instituted the Catholic Church, founding it on the Rock of Peter, the Pope, to be the means by which His Deposit of Faith is safeguarded and transmitted until the end of time. The Church is the mater, mother, and magister, teacher, of all men in all nations at all times, whether or not men and nations recognize this to be the case.
6) The Pope and the bishops of the Church have the solemn obligation to proclaim nothing other than the fullness of the truths of the Faith for the good of the sanctification and salvation of men unto eternity and thus for whatever measure of common good in the temporal real, which the Church desires earnestly to promote, can be achieved in a world full of fallen men.
7) It is not possible for men to live virtuously as citizens of any country unless they first strive for sanctity as citizens of Heaven. That is, it is not possible for there to be order in any nation if men do not have belief in access to and cooperation with sanctifying grace, which equips them to accept the truths contained in the Deposit of Faith and to obey God’s commands with diligence in every aspect of their lives without exception.
8) The rulers of Christendom came to understand, although never perfectly and never without conflicts and inconsistencies, that the limits of the Divine positive law and the natural law obligated them to exercise the powers of civil governance with a view towards promoting man’s temporal good in this life so as to foster in him his return to God in the next life. In other words, rulers such as Saint Louis IX, King of France, knew that they would be judged by Our Lord at the moment of his Particular Judgment on the basis of how well they had fostered those conditions in their countries that made it more possible for their subjects to get to Heaven.
9) The rulers of Christendom accepted the truth that the Church had the right, which she used principally through her Indirect Power over civil rulers by proclaiming the truths of the Holy Faith, to interpose herself in the event that a civil ruler proposed to do something or had indeed done something that violated grievously the administration of justice and thus posed a grave threat to the good of souls.
10) The Social Kingship of Jesus Christ may be defined as the right of the Catholic Church to see to it that the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law are the basis of the actions of civil governance in all that pertains to the good of souls and that those who exercise civil power keep in mind man’s last end, the salvation of his immortal soul as a member of the Catholic Church. Civil leaders must, therefore, recognize the Catholic Church as the true Church founded by God Himself and having the right to reprimand and place interdicts upon those who issue edicts and ordinances contrary to God’s laws.
This is but a brief distillation of the points contained in the brilliant social encyclical letters of Popes Leo XIII, St. Pius X, and Pius XI, in particular, although Popes Gregory XVI and Pius IX also contributed to their reiteration and explication. I have spent much time in the past twenty-five years or so illustrating these points with quotations from these encyclical letters, which contain immutably binding teachings that no Catholic may dissent from legitimately (as Pope Pius XI noted in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio in 1922).
The Modern State, including the United States of America, is founded on a specific and categorical rejection of each of these points. Consider the following:
1) Martin Luther himself said that a prince may be a Christian but that his religion should not influence how he governs, giving rise to the contemporary notion of “separation of Church and state,” condemned repeatedly by Popes in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries.
2) Martin Luther planted the seeds of contemporary deconstructionism, which reduces all written documents to the illogical and frequently mutually contradictory private judgments of individual readers, by rejecting the Catholic Church as the repository and explicator of the Deposit of Faith, making the “private judgment” of individuals with regard to the Bible supreme. If mutually contradictory and inconsistent interpretations of the Bible can stand without correction from a supreme authority instituted by God, then it is an easy thing for all written documents, including a Constitution that makes no reference at all to the God-Man or His Holy Church, to become the plaything of whoever happens to have power over its interpretation
3) The sons of the so-called Enlightenment, influenced by the multifaceted and inter-related consequences of the errors of the Renaissance and the Protestant Revolt, brought forth secular nations that contended the source of governing authority was the people. Ultimately, all references to “God” were in accord with the Freemasonic notion of a “supreme intelligence” without any recognition of the absolute necessity of belief in and acceptance of the Incarnation and of the Deposit of Faith as it has been given to Holy Mother Church for personal happiness and hence al social order.
4) The Founding Fathers of the United States of America did not believe that it was necessary to refer all things in civil life to Christ the King as He had revealed Himself through His true Church, believing that men would be able to pursue “civic virtue” by the use of their own devices and thus maintain social order in the midst of cultural and religious pluralism. This leads, as Pope Leo XIII noted of religious indifferentism, to the triumph of the lowest common denominator, that is, atheism.
5) As the Constitution of the United States of America admits of no authority higher than its own words, it, like the words of Holy Writ are for a Protestant or to a Modernist, is utterly defenseless when the plain meanings of its words are distorted and used to advance ends that its framers would have never thought imaginable, no less approved in fact. The likes of Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton have no regard for the words of the Constitution or for the just laws passed by Congress, and Donald John Trump is plainly ignorant of some of the fact that there are seven articles in the Constitution and twenty-seven amendments to it since its ratification in 1788. We are governed by men who are contemptuous or law or wholly ignorant of it. Quite a state of affairs.
6) This is but the secular version of Antinomianism: the belief advanced by those who took the logic of Luther’s argument of being “saved by faith alone” to its inexorable conclusion that one could live a wanton life of sin and still be saved. Luther himself did not see where the logic of his rejection of Catholic doctrine would lead and fought against the Antinomians. In like manner, you see, the Constitutionalists and Federalists of today do not see that what is happening today in Federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, is the inexorable result of a Constitution that rejects Christ the King and the Catholic Church. These Constitutionalists and Federalists will fight time and time again like Sisyphus pushing the bolder up a hill. They will always lose because they cannot admit that the thing they admire, the Constitution, is the proximate problem that has resulted in all of the evils they are trying to fight.
A nation founded on false premises, no matter the "good intentions" of those whose intellects were misinformed by several centuries of naturalist lies and Protestant theological heresies and errors, is bound to degenerate more and more over time into a land of materialism and hedonism and relativism and positivism and utilitarianism and naturalism and paganism and atheism and environmentalism and feminism and barbarism. Many evils, including the daily carnage against the preborn, both by surgical and chemical means, continue to be committed in this country. American "popular culture" destroys souls and bodies both here and abroad. Full vent is given each day to a panoply of false ideas that are from Hell and confuse even believing Catholics no end as they try to find some "naturalist" hero or idea by which to win the "culture wars," oblivious to the fact that it is only Catholicism that can do so.
A Long History of Propagandizing in Behalf of Americanism
Unfortunately, however, most American Catholics of my own baby-boom generation and of every single preceding generation were fed a steady dose of Judeo-Masonic, Americanist propaganda from elementary school straight through high school and beyond, which is why it took me, whose parents viewed the world through an entirely naturalist lens, until the latter part of the 1980s to overcome the false belief that the American constitutional was compatible with the Cholic and was even based on at least a few principles of the Holy Faith itself. It was not until 1986 when I spoke at the Summer Catholic Rendezvous in Sheffield, Massachusetts, that the late William Charles Koneazny, who died on June 16, 2004, said out loud to me after I had given a lecture on a Saturday in late-July of 1986, “The Constitution is evil. It makes no mention of Christ.” Bill Koneazny was right. He made me think, starting a process by which I would find and then read the great encyclical letters on Church and State that were issued by Pope Leo XIII starting in 1990. I then began to realize that I was—and had been—an Americanist in qualified sense.
Why do I say a qualified sense?
Hey, why do you care?
All right. I will tell you.
I was an Americanist in qualified sense in that I have always rejected religious indifferentism and false ecumenism, recognizing and defending the truth that it is the will of the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Blessed Trinity, that every person on the face of the earth be a member of the Catholic Faith as Catholicism is the only means of personal salvation and that it was impossible for there to be order in the world when souls were in states of rebellion against God by means of their own sins.
Unfortunately, though, I believed that the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America, Deists and Freemasons though many of them were, provided a framework whereby Catholics could work for the common temporal good. I was wrong as I tended to minimize, although not entirely neglect to mention, the possibility that the American framework of religious indifferentism, egalitarianism, religious liberty, unfettered freedom of speech and press and majoritarianism were always meant to be the means by which Catholics would be coopted into viewing the Church through the eyes of American regime rather than looking at the world through the eyes of the Holy Faith. My work in behalf of a true understanding of Church-State relations since the 1990s is but an effort to make reparation for my own errors that, very sadly, I had believed and, worse yet, even taught in the classroom as I extolled the nonexistent “wisdom” of the founding fathers.
To give readers of this site an idea of just how pervasive the influence of Americanist propaganda was in Catholic grade school texts, consider the bilge, written by Chesley Kahmann and contained in With Courage and Faith, which was part of the New American Readers for Catholic Schools series, edited by the School Sisters of the Notre Dame and published in 1941 by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Kahmann was enamored of the libertine deist by the name of Benjamin Franklin, who, unlike the Catholic-hating James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, had a “liberality” of spirit toward Catholics as he believed, correctly, that they would shake off their Roman “attachments” once exposed to the “free light” of American liberty.
Most of us do not think much about the Constitution of the United States. We know that we have a Constitution and often we accept it as something we have always had as a guide to our country. But that is not the way it was. Once there was not a Constitution at all. (Chesley Kahmann, "Peace and the Constitution," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, p. 317. There are some very fine and moving inspirational articles about the Shrines of Our Lady at the beginning of this book. However, there was also the poisons of Americanism contained within its text. Americanism was, along with the condemned precepts of The Sillon, one of the building blocks of Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae, December 7, 1965.)
Interjection Number One:
First, it is important to stress once again that Catholic school children were taught to the Constitution as though it was received directly from the hand of God Himself. This was considered to be part of the “patriotic spirit.” While patriotism is indeed a duty that citizens owe their country, true patriotism wills the good of one’s country, the ultimate expression of which is her Catholicization in every aspect of her national life. We must love Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church above all else, and for it is for love of God that we love our country and to seek to obey all just laws and to render our duties as citizens in a spirit of filial piety, something that Pope Leo XIII explained at the beginning of Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
Now, if the natural law enjoins us to love devotedly and to defend the country in which we had birth, and in which we were brought up, so that every good citizen hesitates not to face death for his native land, very much more is it the urgent duty of Christians to be ever quickened by like feelings toward the Church. For the Church is the holy City of the living God, born of God Himself, and by Him built up and established. Upon this earth, indeed, she accomplishes her pilgrimage, but by instructing and guiding men she summons them to eternal happiness. We are bound, then, to love dearly the country whence we have received the means of enjoyment this mortal life affords, but we have a much more urgent obligation to love, with ardent love, the Church to which we owe the life of the soul, a life that will endure forever. For fitting it is to prefer the good of the soul to the well-being of the body, inasmuch as duties toward God are of a far more hallowed character than those toward men. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)
Catholic schoolchildren were taught that everything about the American founding and constitutional regime was perfectly supportive of the Catholic Faith. Very few Catholics, relatively speaking, were taught about the Social Reign of Christ the King and of the duty that the civil state has to recognize the true religion and to submit to Holy Mother Church in all that pertains to the good of souls.
Yet it is that the “American way” of Calvinist materialism and of “living and let live” with our Protestant and Jewish neighbors without seeking to convert them was precisely what the founders desired, and what the founders desired in this regard was what had been sought as a “New Zion” by Talmudists for centuries: a land without any formal recognition of Christ the King and where all beliefs—or no beliefs at all—would produce a situation where silence about the Holy Name of Jesus would be the only acceptable “lowest common denominator.” This is why the gnostic political “philosopher,” Leo Strauss, a favorite of Dr. Alan Keyes, and the likes of long-deceased Talmudist political scientists Daniel Elazar, Martin Diamond, Herbert Jaffa and, among other, Morton Grodzins, considered the American founding to be nothing other the working of a Divine Providence in behalf of a “new political science.” This “new political science” was an important Judeo-Masonic “new world order.”
The veneration of the Constitution that was taught in Catholic schools at the time the With Courage and Faith reader was published was paralleled in the educational programs of all false religions and was, of course, the very foundation of state-run public schools. Although the veneration of the constitution in public schools has given way to a hatred of it in favor of “globalism,” the worship of secularists was such in 1987 on the document’s bicentennial that a secular Jewish man in Washington, District of Columbia, said at an education conference that he had just been to an “all night vigil” in front of the original parchment on which the Constitution was displayed.
Moreover, the Americanism of With Courage and Faith was outdone by a text used in Catholic schools that was published in 1913:
Obviously, this is nothing new. A book published by the Christian Brothers in 1913 contained the following section after describing the martyrdom of Saint Felicitas and her seven sons:
"In this country of ours we will not be called upon, like these seven noble boys to give up our life for our Faith. The children of American are living in a land of civil and religious liberty, and not in Rome under pagan emperors. There is not here, and there never will be, any law to hinder us from making open profession of what we believe, to prevent us from declaring our belief in God, the Father, Creator, of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord."
Never any conflict?
Civil and religious liberty lead directly to the rise of the same sort of Roman paganism that the authors of the 1913 book said could never occur, and we have seen in recent decades overt rhetorical attacks upon Catholics and Catholicism as the jurisprudential, political, cultural and educational wars against the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law have become so widespread. Laws at the national and state levels now endorse all manner of wickedness in the name of “liberty,” and those who denounce the institutionalization of this wickedness are called “judgmental,” “intolerant” and “hateful.”
Contrary to the Americanist spirit that was based on one Pelagian fable after another, Pope Leo XIII explained in Sapientiae Christianae that Catholics had the duty as citizens to reject all laws that were unjust:
Moreover, if we would judge aright, the supernatural love for the Church and the natural love of our own country proceed from the same eternal principle, since God Himself is their Author and originating Cause. Consequently, it follows that between the duties they respectively enjoin, neither can come into collision with the other. We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable. The order of precedence of these duties is, however, at times, either under stress of public calamities, or through the perverse will of men, inverted. For, instances occur where the State seems to require from men as subjects one thing, and religion, from men as Christians, quite another; and this in reality without any other ground, than that the rulers of the State either hold the sacred power of the Church of no account, or endeavor to subject it to their own will. Hence arises a conflict, and an occasion, through such conflict, of virtue being put to the proof. The two powers are confronted and urge their behests in a contrary sense; to obey both is wholly impossible. No man can serve two masters, for to please the one amounts to contemning the other. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)
Catholics must always put the Holy Faith first, and they must be willing to die rather than submit to unjust laws. They must also make the distinction between the sort of respect that Pope Leo XIII had for what he called a well-ordered republic under the Constitution and the necessity of its recognizing the true religion for the furtherance of a truly just social order:
The main factor, no doubt, in bringing things into this happy state were the ordinances and decrees of your synods, especially of those which in more recent times were convened and confirmed by the authority of the Apostolic See. But, moreover (a fact which it gives pleasure to acknowledge), thanks are due to the equity of the laws which obtain in America and to the customs of the well-ordered Republic. For the Church amongst you, unopposed by the Constitution and government of your nation, fettered by no hostile legislation, protected against violence by the common laws and the impartiality of the tribunals, is free to live and act without hindrance. Yet, though all this is true, it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced. The fact that Catholicity with you is in good condition, nay, is even enjoying a prosperous growth, is by all means to be attributed to the fecundity with which God has endowed His Church, in virtue of which unless men or circumstances interfere, she spontaneously expands and propagates herself; but she would bring forth more abundant fruits if, in addition to liberty, she enjoyed the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority. (Pope Leo XIII, Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895.)
In other words, the growth of the Catholic Faith in the United States of America, though unopposed by the Constitution, would have been abundant if the constitution’s text accorded to Holy Mother Church the “favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.” The growth of the Catholic Faith is working of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, and not a civil constitution that, at best, tolerates the Church’s existence.
Pope Leo XIII had explained in Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888, that it was one thing for Holy Mother Church to avail herself of the “liberties” accorded by the modern civil state and quite other to admit that the false premises upon which those “liberties’ are founded are true and good in and of themselves. As I have noted repeatedly, Holy Mother Church can adapt herself to any legitimate form of government. She can and must adapt herself to the concrete circumstances in which she finds herself in the modern world with the "religiously neutral" civil state. The Catholic Church, however, never ceases to proclaim the Social Reign of Christ the King, never ceases to impart her Social Teaching to her children, never ceases to exhort her children to pray and to work for the conversion of all men and their nations to the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there is no true social order:
Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne. For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good. God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has (as St. Augustine says) to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence. But if, in such circumstances, for the sake of the common good (and this is the only legitimate reason), human law may or even should tolerate evil, it may not and should not approve or desire evil for its own sake; for evil of itself, being a privation of good, is opposed to the common welfare which every legislator is bound to desire and defend to the best of his ability. In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. Thomas teaches, in allowing evil to exist in the world, "neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills only to permit it to be done; and this is good.'' This saying of the Angelic Doctor contains briefly the whole doctrine of the permission of evil.
But, to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires. Wherefore, if such tolerance would be injurious to the public welfare, and entail greater evils on the State, it would not be lawful; for in such case the motive of good is wanting. And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind. One thing, however, remains always true -- that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.
And as to tolerance, it is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism. For, in allowing that boundless license of which We have spoken, they exceed all limits, and end at last by making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation. But, in spite of all this show of tolerance, it very often happens that, while they profess themselves ready to lavish liberty on all in the greatest profusion, they are utterly intolerant toward the Catholic Church, by refusing to allow her the liberty of being herself free. (Pope Leo XIII, Libertas Praestantissimum, June 20, 1888.)
We live at a time when the falsehoods of the American and French Revolutions, which were made possible by the Protestant Revolution, have reach the last end referred to by Pope Leo XIII in Libertas Praestantissimum, namely, that of “making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty.”
With Courage and Faith, however, sought to convince young American Catholics that the constitution was the best means by which “peace” could be obtained and then spread around the world:
Finally Benjamin Franklin, who was an old man then, rose to his feet. We sometimes think that Benjamin Franklin was a man who was interested chiefly in electricity and in printing. But at the Constitutional Convention he was interested in something far different.
Benjamin Franklin began to talk. His words seemed to come from the very bottom of his heart. He saw all the delegates before him as brothers, not as enemies. He told the delegates how he felt, and said that they should all feel that way, too. They were not enemies. They had fought for a common cause. They were forgetting that they should be united now also. They were quarreling among themselves. They were even saying that war among them could be possible. For certainly if they fortified their boundary lines war might follow.
Benjamin Franklin painted a picture of the future. How could they possibly have a happy future if one state was afraid of another? How could they be happy unless they united in brotherly love? He showed how easy it would be for stronger European countries to invade America and undo all that the Revolutionary War had gained. He told the delegates that everyone present – even he himself – had been thinking only of the problems of his own state. They must sacrifice the selfish interest each had in his own state to secure a greater national good. They must give as well as take if they were to have a strong union, a strong nation that could uphold liberty and high ideals. He showed them how foolish it was to think of armies when they could just as well be giving their thought to peaceful gardens, and happiness for their wives and children. He told them that they should all try to find a way by which they could be united and found a free nation on our continent, under God.
Benjamin Franklin, even in that day, thought that the United States should be an example of peace to the whole world. You can see that the forces of way were working when our Constitution was made. But the forces of peace were there, too, and they were stronger.
Peace and vision were finally in the hearts of the men who wrote our Constitution. Those delegates realized that there was more profit in peace than in way. One state gave up one point, another state gave up another. They talked things over and came to an understanding.
The Constitution came as a result of a vision of what brotherly love could gain. It was founded upon the principles which Our Lord taught almost two thousand years ago. And that is why our country is a special country, one which must hold the lamp of liberty and Christian ideals high to light the way for the whole world. One country, one Constitution, one destiny. (Chesley Kahmann, "Peace and the Constitution," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, pp. 319-321.)
The Constitution was not founded “upon the principles which Our Lord taught,” and Benjamin Franklin, though he gave a speech after the Connecticut Compromise had been introduced by delegate Roger Sherman, was not the main architect of the constitution. The anti-Catholic named James Madison, who was the Secretary of what was called the “Philadelphia Convention” when it convened on May 25, 1787, was the principle architect of the constitution, and he made sure that the “new way” of civil and religious liberty would hold sway in the United States of America to break the “fetters” of religious superstition.” Madison hated Our Lord, Christ the King, and His true Church with great fervor, and he was not bashful about expressing himself about this hatred:
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect."—James Madison, letter to William Bradford, Jr„ April I, 1774
". . . Freedom arises from the multiplicity of sects, which pervades America and which is the best and only security for religious liberty in any society. For where there is such a variety of sects, there cannot be a majority of any one sect to oppress and persecute the rest."—James Madison, spoken at the Virginia convention on ratification of the Constitution, June 1778
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."—-James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance," addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, 1785.
The Constitution of the United States of America was founded on the basis of Calvinist rationalism and Judeo-Masonic naturalism that gave rise to the establishment of pluralism, which itself is the rotten fruit of “religious liberty.” To say that the Constitution of the United States of America was founded upon the principles that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ taught is to ignore the plain words of Pope Leo XIII about what must happen to nations when the true religion is not recognized and the summary of Catholic social teaching as enunciated by Pope Saint Pius X:
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only passport to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action. (Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. The same thesis also upsets the order providentially established by God in the world, which demands a harmonious agreement between the two societies. Both of them, the civil and the religious society, although each exercises in its own sphere its authority over them. It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them in common in which both societies must have relations with one another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and the result will be that from these common matters will spring the seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion is certain to arise. Finally, this thesis inflicts great injury on society itself, for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and State. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
The civil state has an obligation to recognize the true Faith and to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End: the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Heaven for all eternity. This obligation is immutable even though the anti-Incarnational civil state of Modernity is founded in a revolution against it. That which is true does not cease being true simply because men reject it and then base their social structures upon its rejection.
The founders of the American Constitution who were extolled in With Faith and Courage and whose brainchild was heralded in the poems found in the Appendix below, blamed the Catholic Church for the abuses of power by English monarchs in the Eighteenth Century even though it was precisely because King Henry VIII had broken from the true Church that despotism of the sort that he embodied to murder over three percent of his ow people who remained faithful to the true Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, became so institutionalized. The very abuses they contended had been committed by King George III were made possible by what Henry VIII had wrought two hundred years before.
To be sure, most of the four million people who lived in the United States of America were practicing Protestants of one stripe or another. Protestantism, however, is not “religion.”
Was the true Social Teaching of the Catholic Church taught in the United States of America in the Nineteenth Century? Pope Leo XIII reminded the American bishops that it was not, exhorting them to do so in Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895:
As regards civil affairs, experience has shown how important it is that the citizens should be upright and virtuous. In a free State, unless justice be generally cultivated, unless the people be repeatedly and diligently urged to observe the precepts and laws of the Gospel, liberty itself may be pernicious. Let those of the clergy, therefore, who are occupied with the instruction of the multitude, treat plainly this topic of the duties of citizens, so that all may understand and feel the necessity, in political life, of conscientiousness, self restraint, and integrity; for that cannot be lawful in public which is unlawful in private affairs. On this whole subject there are to be found, as you know, in the encyclical letters written by Us from time to time in the course of Our pontificate, many things which Catholics should attend to and observe. In these writings and expositions We have treated of human liberty, of the chief Christian duties, of civil government, and of the Christian constitution of States, drawing Our principles as well from the teaching of the Gospels as from reason. They, then, who wish to be good citizens and discharge their duties faithfully may readily learn from Our Letters the ideal of an upright life. (Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895.)
It is not for nothing that Governor Alfred Emanuel Smith said, “What the hell is an encyclical letter?” when he was asked about the binding nature of Pope Pius XI’s Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.
Far from being the “peace-loving” nation guided by a supposed Christian constitution, the United States of America has exported the errors of Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry into the formerly Catholic countries of the Americans and in The Philippines, and presidents have been working openly for the “new world order” since the country’s inception (novus ordo secolorum does appear on the American dollar bill, of course), although the evangelical zeal in this regard has intensified in the past century since the rise to power of Thomas Woodrow Wilson on March 4, 1913. The Catholic Church is the sole path to true peace, that of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself to us exclusively through His true Church:
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ -- "the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
This was not taught in most Catholic schools in the United States of America, and it is the very antithesis of what is taught by the conciliar revolutionaries, something that has been discussed in hundreds of articles on this site and will be the subject of the next commentary hereon whenever I get around to writing it.
For the moment, therefore, is enough to note that Americanism has bifurcated most Catholics into the warring camps of the organized crime families of naturalism. Constant agitation thus replaces the peace in souls that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ means for us to have by thinking, speaking and acting at all times with the integrity of Catholics who live up to this clarion call of Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae:
But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.'' To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)
We must be consigned to the losing proposition of always arguing about the inarguable if we do not forthright as Catholics in the midst of the world, which includes not compromising on any matter of Catholic teaching and moral truth for the sake of suborning evil or, in the case of the current president, accept what he believes are his own “infallible” pronouncements about “exceptions” to the absolute inviolability of all innocent human life that have long been the bete noir of the American “bishops” themselves.
The United States of America will never know true liberty until it submits itself to the sweet yoke of Social Reign of Christ the King and raises the holy standard that Emperor Constantine saw in the sky: the Holy Cross of Our Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Pope Saint Pius X explained that the true shining city set on a hill is the Catholic City. None other:
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
The city we must build up every day within our own souls is the Catholic City. We must conform everything in our own lives to the immutable truth of the Holy Faith as we seek to cooperate with the graces won for us by Christ the King by virtue of the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood during His Passion and Death on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces. The Catholic City can only be built up in the world after we have sought to build it up within the fortress of our immortal souls, which have been redeemed at so great a cost.
To this end, of course, we must be totally consecrated to Our Lord through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits.
The farces of Modernity in the world and of Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism are converging to impose upon us an era of persecution and hardship. These forces are driven by principalities and powers, and they will not be defeated in an election. They can be defeated only by the use of supernatural means. Nations whose citizens fail to understand this truth are destined to be governed by tyrants, no matter how “soft” and “tolerant they may seem.
A system of civil governance that fosters conditions that are inimical to man's last end is bound to degenerate over the course of time into a such a state of lawlessness that a "state religion" will be imposed by the brute force of the the civil state, namely, that of statism itself, the worship of the state and of its leaders as omniscient and omnipotent. The antidote to this is not found in any naturalistic philosophy, such as libertarianism or conservatism, but in Catholicism alone. There is no way--as in no way--to retard the evils caused by the separation of Church and State wrought by Protestantism and Judeo-Masonry and their actual, concrete expressions in the American and French Revolutions except by planting the seeds for the conversion of men and their nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King and Our Lady, she who is our Immaculate Queen,
This is the work to which each of us is called. We are called to look beyond the lies of office-seekers steeped in naturalism and are clueless about First and Last Things in order to build up Christendom in our homes, starting with their being Enthroned to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pulsating with the rhythm provided by the liturgical life of the Church, especially (where this is possible) daily Mass in the Catholic catacombs where no concessions are made to conciliarism or its false shepherds who are opposed to the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King, and animated by fervent family prayer, especially by means of the daily family Rosary and frequent visits to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament. We must be about the business of penance and of making reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world.
We are not called to be worldlings. We are not called to be grubby Calvinist materialists. We are not called to be successful careerists willing to compromise the Faith at any given moment in order to "get ahead." We are called to be faithful to Christ the King and to ever reliant upon Mary our Immaculate Queen, ever desirous of scaling the heights of sanctity, which is the sole foundation of order in the soul and hence of order within society itself.
Pope Pius XI, writing in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925, exhorted us to be soldiers in army of Christ the King:
Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."
When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. "You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men." If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.
If the kingdom of Christ, then, receives, as it should, all nations under its way, there seems no reason why we should despair of seeing that peace which the King of Peace came to bring on earth -- he who came to reconcile all things, who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, who, though Lord of all, gave himself to us as a model of humility, and with his principal law united the precept of charity; who said also: "My yoke is sweet and my burden light." Oh, what happiness would be Ours if all men, individuals, families, and nations, would but let themselves be governed by Christ! "Then at length," to use the words addressed by our predecessor, Pope Leo XIII, twenty-five years ago to the bishops of the Universal Church, "then at length will many evils be cured; then will the law regain its former authority; peace with all its blessings be restored. Men will sheathe their swords and lay down their arms when all freely acknowledge and obey the authority of Christ, and every tongue confesses that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father". . . .
If We ordain that the whole Catholic world shall revere Christ as King, We shall minister to the need of the present day, and at the same time provide an excellent remedy for the plague which now infects society. We refer to the plague of anti-clericalism, its errors and impious activities. This evil spirit, as you are well aware, Venerable Brethren, has not come into being in one day; it has long lurked beneath the surface. The empire of Christ over all nations was rejected. The right which the Church has from Christ himself, to teach mankind, to make laws, to govern peoples in all that pertains to their eternal salvation, that right was denied. Then gradually the religion of Christ came to be likened to false religions and to be placed ignominiously on the same level with them. It was then put under the power of the state and tolerated more or less at the whim of princes and rulers. Some men went even further, and wished to set up in the place of God's religion a natural religion consisting in some instinctive affection of the heart. There were even some nations who thought they could dispense with God, and that their religion should consist in impiety and the neglect of God. The rebellion of individuals and states against the authority of Christ has produced deplorable consequences. We lamented these in the Encyclical Ubi arcano; we lament them today: the seeds of discord sown far and wide; those bitter enmities and rivalries between nations, which still hinder so much the cause of peace; that insatiable greed which is so often hidden under a pretense of public spirit and patriotism, and gives rise to so many private quarrels; a blind and immoderate selfishness, making men seek nothing but their own comfort and advantage, and measure everything by these; no peace in the home, because men have forgotten or neglect their duty; the unity and stability of the family undermined; society in a word, shaken to its foundations and on the way to ruin. We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights. (Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas, December 11, 1925.)
May Our Lady help us to manifest the Sacred Rights of Christ the King at all times, keeping ever close to the mysteries of salvation contained in the fifteen decades of her Most Holy Rosary.
The Caligulas and the Neros and the Trajans and the Valerians and the Diocletians and the Cromwells and the Bismarcks and the French Revolutionaries and the Bolsheviks and the Maoists all come and go. They have met the moment of their Particular Judgment. In the end, you see, these figures, much like the petty caesars and caesarettes of today, are forgettable figures, especially when you consider these words that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, Christ the King, Himself spoke to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque:
"I will reign in spite of all who oppose Me." (quoted in: The Right Reverend Emile Bougaud. The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers in 1990, p. 361.)
Yes, Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint John Baptist de Rossi, pray for us.
Text and Poems found in With Courage and Faith, supplemented by brief interjection by your friendly author
Most of us do not think much about the Constitution of the United States. We know that we have a Constitution and often we accept it as something we have always had as a guide to our country. But that is not the way it was. Once there was not a Constitution at all.
You know how the American colonists fought and won the Revolutionary War and then became independent. You know how, during that war, all fought together in the common cause of freedom. But after the war was won, and there was no immediate danger from an outside enemy, things were different.
In 1777 the states signed the Articles of Confederation in an attempt to draw themselves together again. But the Articles of Confederation gave each state so much independent power that the states were really not united. Each state was like a separate country. Quarreling began.
Rhode Island and New York were small in numbers. Pennsylvania and Virginia were large. Rhode Island and New York began to fear that the larger states would try to overpower them. They began to think of fortifying their boundaries.
Various states began to work for special favors for themselves, forgetting the good of the whole country. That made one state suspicious of another. One state would not obey a law which another state had wanted.
Selfishness and greed grew. Finally it was common knowledge that the states were not getting along together at all. Across the sea, Europe was watching. Europe was saying that the states would not last long if they kept on that way. They had fought for independence, but what had they gained? They were now only a group of weak, quarreling states. Other stronger nations of Europe would soon seize them one by one.
After a while certain Americans began to see that the Articles of Confederation were not powerful enough to make a strong and peaceful nation of the states. But the states were still interested only in their own welfare, the welfare of each little state instead of the welfare of a nation.
However, certain men who realized to what such conditions would lead began to look the problem in the face. Some thought that there should be a Convention at which delegates from all the states could decide upon changes in the Articles of Confederation that would bind the states together in greater friendliness. In 1786 a Convention met at Annapolis, Maryland. But some of the states would not even send delegates, so the Annapolis Convention failed.
Finally, however, in May, 1787, a second Convention met in Philadelphia. There were not enough delegates at first to open the meeting, and it looked as if that Convention too, might fail. But some of the men who had appeared would not give up. They saw peace ahead for the nation if only there could be unity. They wrote letters; they sent messengers. After almost a month they had persuaded enough states to send delegates. The Convention opened, and began the task of making a Constitution. (Chesley Kahmann, "Peace and the Constitution," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, pp. 317-319.)
Although I am going to let most of the above text speak for itself as a dumbed-down version of American history for grade-school Catholic children, even the material about the Articles of Confederation ignored the fact that there was a legitimate distrust of any kind of central government on the part of officials in the states and localities. What those who distrusted centralized power in the Eighteenth Century did not understand was that the insatiable thirst for power by those at any level of government can never be limited if fallen men do not fear the just judgment of Christ the King on their immortal souls when they die and if they do not pursue the common temporal good in light of man’s Last End as they seek to reform their own lives in cooperating with Sanctifying Grace. No Christ, no Catholic Church, no public veneration and public devotions to Our Lady? All must descend into chaos over time.
A final note of historical correction. Although the delegates who assembled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 25, 1787, did set about the writing of a new national charter shortly after they convened, the Congress under the Articles of Confederation authorized the convention to see if the Articles themselves could be revised in a resolution adopted on February 21, 1787, which was five months after Alexander Hamilton had convened a convention at Annapolis, Maryland, to address the crisis caused by the inherent weaknesses of the government under the Articles:
Whereas there is provision in the Articles of Confederation & perpetual Union for making alterations therein by the assent of a Congress of the United States and of the legislatures of the several States; And whereas experience hath evinced that there are defects in the present Confederation, as a mean to remedy which several of the States and particularly the State of New York by express instructions to their delegates in Congress have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these states a firm national government.
Resolved that in the opinion of Congress it is expedient that on the second Monday in May next a Convention of delegates who shall have been appointed by the several states be held at Philadelphia for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation and reporting to Congress and the several legislatures such alterations and provisions therein as shall when agreed to in Congress and confirmed by the states render the federal constitution adequate to the exigencies of Government & the preservation of the Union. (Confederation Congressional Resolution to Convene the Philadelphia Convention, February 21, 1787.)
Back to With Courage and Faith:
George Washington was made chairman. It was no easy position, for the delegates at once began to quarrel and scold and suspect one another. Every day for four months, George Washington had to listen to their quarrels. It looked as if there could never be a Constitution which would suit everyone.
One delegate suspected everything another delegate said. Some states were threatening to fortify their boundary lines if the Convention insisted on putting certain things into the Constitution. Their delegates said it was only natural for the states to want to protect their boundary lines. For how could Rhode Island know that Pennsylvania would not raise a strong army and conquer her?
On and on went their quarrels. Fear was everywhere. Greed seemed to have grown. (Chesley Kahmann, "Peace and the Constitution," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, p. 319.)
Oversimplification was perhaps necessary with grade-school children. However, it is to descend to the level of emotionalism to claim that the disputes among the delegates at the Constitutional Convention were not based on differences about governing principles admixed with a good deal of self, state and regional self-interest. However, the arguments themselves were learned and well-expressed. Nobody was throwing an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez temper tantrum.
Now the elegy of praise in behalf of Benjamin Franklin:
Finally Benjamin Franklin, who was an old man then, rose to his feet. We sometimes think that Benjamin Franklin was a man who was interested chiefly in electricity and in printing. But at the Constitutional Convention he was interested in something far different.
Benjamin Franklin began to talk. His words seemed to come from the very bottom of his heart. He saw all the delegates before him as brothers, not as enemies. He told the delegates how he felt, and said that they should all feel that way, too. They were not enemies. They had fought for a common cause. They were forgetting that they should be united now also. They were quarreling among themselves. They were even saying that war among them could be possible. For certainly if they fortified their boundary lines war might follow.
Benjamin Franklin painted a picture of the future. How could they possibly have a happy future if one state was afraid of another? How could they be happy unless they united in brotherly love? He showed how easy it would be for stronger European countries to invade America and undo all that the Revolutionary War had gained. He told the delegates that everyone present – even he himself – had been thinking only of the problems of his own state. They must sacrifice the selfish interest each had in his own state to secure a greater national good. They must give as well as take if they were to have a strong union, a strong nation that could uphold liberty and high ideals. He showed them how foolish it was to think of armies when they could just as well be giving their thought to peaceful gardens, and happiness for their wives and children. He told them that they should all try to find a way by which they could be united and found a free nation on our continent, under God. (Chesley Kahmann, "Peace and the Constitution," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, pp. 319-321.)
Please, spare me!
As noted in the main commentary, the Cross of the Divine Redeemer is the only path to true human liberty as men are not morally free to do everything that they are physically capable of doing and/or “feel” as though they “need” to do.
To the part about Benjamin Franklin’s “peace plan” that was discussed in the main text:
Benjamin Franklin, even in that day, thought that the United States should be an example of peace to the whole world. You can see that the forces of way were working when our Constitution was made. But the forces of peace were there, too, and they were stronger.
Peace and vision were finally in the hearts of the men who wrote our Constitution. Those delegates realized that there was more profit in peace than in way. One state gave up one point, another state gave up another. They talked things over and came to an understanding.
The Constitution came as a result of a vision of what brotherly love could gain. It was founded upon the principles which Our Lord taught almost two thousand years ago. And that is why our country is a special country, one which must hold the lamp of liberty and Christian ideals high to light the way for the whole world. One country, one Constitution, one destiny. (Chesley Kahlmann,
Much of this putrid material was covered in the main text of this commentary. However, I will only add here that the delegates who meet in Philadelphia off and off between May 25, 1787, and September 17, 1787, were united in their rejection of the Catholic Faith and thus their commitment to the establish of the first secular national or central government in human history. Finally, these men believed in the falsehoods of John Locke that a majority of “reasonable men” could improve social conditions by reforming existing social structures without concomitantly reforming their own lives in cooperation with Sanctifying Grace. This Lockean fable is nothing other than the Pelagian belief in human self-redemption and the perfectibility of man through social reform that is at the basis of Liberalism and the reaction to it by Conservativism.
As time is short, I will leave without much comment three thoroughly noxious poems that are contained in With Faith and Courage that could have been written by Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini or Jorge Mario Bergoglio themselves:
THE LAND WHERE HATE SHOULD DIE
by Denis McCarthy
This is the land where hate should die –
No feuds of faith, no spleen of race,
No darkly brooding fear should try
Beneath our flag to find a place.
Lo, every people here has sent
Its sons to answer freedom's call;
Their lifeblood is the strong cement
That builds and binds the nation's wall.
This is the land where hate should die –
Though dear to me my faith and shrine,
I serve my country well when I
Respect beliefs that are not mine.
He little loves his land who'd cast
Upon his neighbor's word a doubt,
Or cite the wrongs of ages past
From present rights to bar him out.
This is the land where hate should die –
This is the land where strife should cease,
Where dark suspicious fear should fly
Before our flag of light and peace.
Then let us purge of poisoned thought
That service to the state we give,
And so be worthy, as we ought,
Of the great land in which we live.
(Denis McCarthy, "The Land Where Hate Should Die," contained in With Courage and Faith: New American Readers for Catholic Schools, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1941, p. 316.)
This is pure Judeo-Masonic nationalism, which is not the same thing as patriotism.
Popes Leo XIII and Saint Pius X explained the kind of “respect” we must have for false beliefs:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God. (Pope Leo XIII, Custodi di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892.)
This being said, what must be thought of the promiscuity in which young Catholics will be caught up with heterodox and unbelieving folk in a work of this nature? Is it not a thousand-fold more dangerous for them than a neutral association? What are we to think of this appeal to all the heterodox, and to all the unbelievers, to prove the excellence of their convictions in the social sphere in a sort of apologetic contest? Has not this contest lasted for nineteen centuries in conditions less dangerous for the faith of Catholics? And was it not all to the credit of the Catholic Church? What are we to think of this respect for all errors, and of this strange invitation made by a Catholic to all the dissidents to strengthen their convictions through study so that they may have more and more abundant sources of fresh forces? What are we to think of an association in which all religions and even Free-Thought may express themselves openly and in complete freedom? For the Sillonists who, in public lectures and elsewhere, proudly proclaim their personal faith, certainly do not intend to silence others nor do they intend to prevent a Protestant from asserting his Protestantism, and the skeptic from affirming his skepticism. Finally, what are we to think of a Catholic who, on entering his study group, leaves his Catholicism outside the door so as not to alarm his comrades who, “dreaming of disinterested social action, are not inclined to make it serve the triumph of interests, coteries and even convictions whatever they may be”? Such is the profession of faith of the New Democratic Committee for Social Action which has taken over the main objective of the previous organization and which, they say, “breaking the double meaning which surround the Greater Sillon both in reactionary and anti-clerical circles”, is now open to all men “who respect moral and religious forces and who are convinced that no genuine social emancipation is possible without the leaven of generous idealism.” (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
Enough. It’s on to the next sickening poem now that was written in 1902 by a Calvinist woman named Margaret Sangster and included in the De La Salle Fifth Reader for Catholic grade school students:
Tis splendid to have a record
So white and free from stain
That, held to the light, it shows no blot,
Though tested and tried amain;
That age to age forever
Repeats its story of love,
And your birthday lives in a nation's heart,
All other days above.
And this is Washington's glory,
A steadfast soul and true,
Who stood for his country's honor
When his country's days were few.
And now when its days are many,
And its flag of stars is flung
To the breeze in radiant glory,
His name is on every tongue.
Yes, it's splendid to live so bravely,
To be so great and strong,
That your memory is ever a tocsin
To rally the foes of wrong;
To live so proudly and purely,
That your people pause in their way,
And year by year, with banner and drum,
Keep the thought of your natal day.
(Margaret E. Sangster, "Washington's Birthday," contained in De La Salle Fifth Reader, published in 1922 and edited by The Brothers of the Christian Schools, pp. 180-181.)
A Freemason who referred to the “Great Architect,” not God, in his public speeches lived purely?
I know some even say that George Washington converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, a myth that was debunked thoroughly by Dr. Marian Therese Horvat:
Did George Washington really convert and die a Roman Catholic?
Washington became a focal point in American history, and it is no wonder that some Catholics want to say that he converted. One can legitimately respect some of Washington’s characteristics, such as his upright character, his admiration for the aristocracy, and his military courage. However, such partial admiration should not lead one to deny the known historical facts and accept the myth that Washington secretly adhered to the Holy Faith and died a Catholic. There is simply no solid evidence for such claims. If an affirmation like this were to appear in any serious scholarly article, it would be called fraudulent and the whole work would lose its credibility.
While Washington and his family belonged to the Church of England, very early in life he seems to have begun that reduction of religion to a vague morality, like so many men whose careers prospered in the Age of the Enlightenment. Washington was not a scholar – his formal education extended only to grammar school. It is doubtful he ever read St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Robert Bellarmine – which at that time would have been available only in Latin, a language he did not read well.
Washington was, however, ambitious. His knowledge of surveying and excellence in practical mathematics won him the favor of Lord Fairfax of Virginia, and the door to the “Old Society” opened to the gangling “country boy” ready to learn the ways of polite company. Not by coincidence, it was at this period - when his star began to rise - that George Washington was initiated into the Fredericksburg Lodge (Virginia) in 1752, and one year later was raised to Master Mason. In 1788 he was made Charter Master of the Alexandria Lodge No. 22 of Virginia. These are documented facts. (Check evidence here)
It is also uncontested that President George Washington, dressed in Masonic attire, led a procession of Masonic officers and brethren to the site in the District of Columbia for the laying of the U.S. Capitol's cornerstone in 1793. The apron and sash worn by George Washington together with the trowel he used are today preserved in the Alexandria Washington Masonic Lodge. He remained a member and patron of “The Craft” – as Freemasonry is also called – his entire life, and 100 years after his death, the George Washington Masonic Memorial was built to commemorate him.
In his letters and addresses to Masonic bodies, Washington professed his profound esteem for their principles. In 1797, two years before his death, he addressed the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts with these words: "My attachment to the Society of which we are all members will dispose me always to contribute my best endeavors to promote the honor and prosperity of the Craft." Later in the same speech, he said that the Masonic institution was one whose liberal principles are founded on the immutable laws of truth and justice and whose grand object is to promote the happiness of the human race.
Only 13 months before his death, he declared to the Grand Lodge of Maryland, "So far as I am acquainted with the doctrines and principles of Freemasonry, I conceive them to be founded in benevolence, and to be exercised only for the good of mankind. I cannot, therefore, upon this ground, withdraw my approbation from it."
Some Catholic writers who try to “redeem” Washington claim his beliefs and behavior were actually based on the Stoic philosophy because of his self-admitted admiration for the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. However, anyone who considers the pagan “virtues” promoted by Freemasonry – the quest for wisdom, peace, toleration, perseverance and self-control – will note the similarity with tenets of Stoicism. (Did George Washington Convert to Catholicism? by Marian T. Horvat.)
Dr. Horvat's research is very thorough. It is not based on wishful thinking or the projection of one's fondest wishes for the "father of the country" as being true. George Washington's Masonic references to God are certainly evident in his first inaugural address and in his State of the Union messages:
Having thus imparted to you my sentiments as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the Human Race in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquillity, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend. (First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789; there was no reference to God at all in his second inaugural address, March 4, 1793.)
The Nation's first chief executive took his oath of office in April  in New York City on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at Federal Hall on Wall Street. General Washington had been unanimously elected President by the first electoral college, and John Adams was elected Vice President because he received the second greatest number of votes. Under the rules, each elector cast two votes. The Chancellor of New York and fellow Freemason, Robert R. Livingston administered the oath of office. The Bible on which the oath was sworn belonged to New York's St. John's Masonic Lodge. The new President gave his inaugural address before a joint session of the two Houses of Congress assembled inside the Senate Chamber. (A description of Washington's First Inaugural.)
Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of Nations to spread his holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our Constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipations of this Government being a safeguard of human rights. (George Washington, State of the Union message, 1794.)
I trust I do not deceive myself when I indulge the persuasion that I have never met you at any period when more than at the present the situation of our public affairs has afforded just cause for mutual congratulation, and for inviting you to join with me in profound gratitude to the Author of all Good for the numerous and extraordinary blessings we enjoy. (George Washington, State of the Union message, 1795.)
The situation in which I now stand for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced, and I can not omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations that His providential care may still be extended to the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved, and that the Government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual. (George Washington, State of the Union message, 1796.)
No room for Christ the King in any of that, is there?
A TOAST TO THE FLAG
by John J. Daly, 1917
Here's to the red of it –
There's not a thread of it,
No, nor a shred of it
In all the spread of it
From foot to head
But heroes bled for it,
Faced steel and lead for it,
Precious blood shed for it,
Bathing it red!
Ah, look at this: red is for the martyrs of American liberty, nor for those who shed their blood for Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.
Here's to the white of it –
Thrilled by the sight of it,
Who knows the right of it,
But feels the might of it,
Through day and night;
Womanhood's care for it
Made manhood dare for it,
Purity's prayer for it
Keeps it so white!
The American flag is not associated with purity of any kind as the color white is symbolic for those Catholics who lived in such a way as to earn the white robe of those who died in a state of Sanctifying Grace and is the color used for liturgical vestments during Paschaltide, many feasts of Our Lord, all feasts of Our Lady and all those saints who are not Apostles or Martyrs.
Here's to the blue of it –
Beauteous view of it,
Heavenly hue of it,
Star-spangled dew of it,
Constant and true;
Diadems gleam for it,
States stand supreme for it,
Liberty's beam for it
Brightens the blue!
Here's to the whole of it –
Stars, stripes, and pole of it,
Body and Soul of it,
Oh, and the roll of it,
Sun shining through;
Hearts in accord for it
Swear by the sword for it,
Thanking the Lord for it,
Red, White, and Blue.
(John J. Daly, "A Toast to the Flag," Servants of Man, edited by The School Sisters of Notre Dame and published in 1941 by D. C. Heath and Company, Boston, Massachusetts, pp. 226-277.)
The flag of the United States of America is our national symbol. Granted. We must accord it respect as such. However, we do not deify the flag and believe that it is the embodiment of Catholic principles. It is not.
Indeed, I will let a self-identified “Master Mason” explain the Masonic symbolism in our national flag:
The weeks since the September 11 carnage at New York City’s World Trade Center has seen more public exposure of our American Flag probably than at any time since that day in 1777 when the Continental Congress adopted the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States. We Americans have good reason to be proud of that symbol of Freedom and of our great nation. How many Masons know the major role we’ve had not only in shaping the destiny of this great nation, but also in creating, guiding and bringing veneration to these stars and stripes that comprise —”Old Glory.” Let us take a look back.
On January 1, 1776, General and Brother George Washington, after having achieved a semblance of military order with a limited number of troops, proclaimed the formation of the Continental Army at his headquarters on Prospect Hill, Somerville, Massachusetts. There he hoisted the Grand Union Flag on a 70 - foot mast in defiance of the British who were watching from Boston. The flag too closely resembled the British flag. The enemy sneered. An angry Bro. Washington while still in the field sketched the idea of the stars and stripes on the back of an envelope. It was a Mason—Bro. Francis Hopkinson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who really designed what the legendary Betsy Ross then cut and sewed into America’s first flag. The following year, on June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress approved the Stars and Stripes as a symbol of our new freedom and independence. The thirteen stars on a blue field defiantly replaced the British flag. After that Masonic glory accompanied the stars and stripes on America’s journey to growth and glory.
Admiral and Brother John Paul Jones, “Father of our Navy” in France achieved international prestige for our Navy and our country during a historic ceremony at Quiberon Bay on February 13, 1778. There the French Fleet gave our flag our first national salute, the first time America was acknowledged as a sovereign nation. For most of a century— Sag Harbor whaling men—Masons all—showed the stars and stripes to the four corners of the world for the first time. Soon followed many memorable occasions when we were to see Masons and our flag honored around the world as well as in outer space—at the North Pole thanks to Admiral and Brother Byrd, the South Pole, thanks to Admiral and Brother Amundson, and Scott, and on the moon, thanks to Brothers “Buzz” Aldrin, and John Glenn. ln 1803, Admiral and Brother George Prebble’s Squadron was fighting against the Barbary pirates who were then infesting the Mediterranean Sea. On February 16, 1804, Commodore and Brother Stephen Decatur took the USS Intrepid into Tripoli Harbor under the guns of the fort and fleet, to bum the USS Philadelphia that had been captured after having accidentally run aground and the crew inhumanely tortured. In 1814, the nation’s Capitol was burned by the British during the War of 1812. On Lake Erie, Commodore and Brother O. H. Perry flew a flag that read: “Don’t Give Up The Ship,” and after the battle reported, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.” On September 14, 1814, Brother Francis Scott Key, prisoner aboard a British man-of-war shelling Fort McHenry, wrote on the back of an envelope what was to become our national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. In 1831, Captain and Brother Thomas Driver of the SS Charles Daggett received a delegation of ladies aboard ship who presented him with a new flag they had just made. He immediately ordered the new colors run up the mast and as he saluted declared, “l name thee Old Glory.” The name stuck. Bro. Driver was to carry “Old Glory’’ twice around the world. The year 1861 saw our nation tested as to whether it could survive as a nation united. Civil War. We were to suffer 650,000 casualties, more than for all wars combined until World War 11. And Brother James Gilmore wrote: “When. Johnny comes marching’ home...” It was during those terrible times that Brother elect (but never initiated) Abraham Lincoln described America as “a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal...a nation under God that shall have a new birth of freedom and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth....” In 1892, Brother James P. Upham, publisher of Youths Companion Magazine, advanced the idea of a flag raising ceremony in all schools in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Sir Knight Christopher Columbus. Patriotic fervor swept the country. For an appropriate prayer filled with reverence, patriotism and love of country, for occasions such as these, the Rev. and Brother Francis J. Bellamy created America’s Pledge of Allegiance. Bro. Bellamy’s pledge was first used on Columbus Day, October 12, 1892 and was officially adopted on June 22, 1942, “under God” was added June 14,1954. And all through the terrible World War One we “kept our eye on that Grand Old Flag” as instructed by Bro. Geoge M. Cohan in his “ Grand Old Flag” rouser.
In 1941 we were again called upon to defend our freedom and that of weaker nations subjugated by power hungry dictators. We marched to Brother John Philip Sousa’s Semper Fidelis March, The National Emblem March and, of course, Stars and Stripes Forever. And, with the poetic genius of Brother Irving Berlin, we all asked “God to Bless America “
On August 3, 1949 a Master Mason and Knight Templar 80 years old and in failing health, came to Washington from Yeadon. Pa., to witness U.S. President and Brother Harry S Truman sign The Flag Day Act into law. Bro. William T. Kerr had, with other Masons, for more than a half century, appealed to every United States President from McKinley to Truman. He lead rallies and continually promoted the idea of a special day to honor “Old Glory.” Kerr died in 1953 but left his brethren this legacy, now the law of the land.
We see daily what Americans are doing to honor our flag. What are we Masons doing to honor the flag for which our Craft has played so important a role? We can ALL OF US honor our flag this coming June 14, 2002 in a special, collective way. Let us make Masonry proud of our contribution to our flag’s glory. Imagine if all America’s lodges on that memorable day were to join together in singing Brother Irving Berlin’s very special, musical gift to our flag, our nation and our craft of Freemasonry:
God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
with the light from the lights from above
From the mountains, to the prairies
to the oceans white with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home
God bless America My home, sweet, home.”
And what if every Lodge - and/or Masonic District — were to hold special PUBLIC Flag Day ceremonies that June 14 — ? What a way for brethren to ask God to Bless America and remember September 11. So mote it be. Bro. Andy Boracci (Master Mason.)
The following is from a Protestant website opposed to Freemasony and its symbolisms:
If the United States of America was founded as a "Christian" nation, then why do we wave a Pagan-pentagram-spangled banner?
Because the five-pointed star that nowadays represents the U.S.A. is an ancient symbol for the whole, harmonious human being, which Masons transmitted from the oldest occult tradition into the iconography of freedom.
The stars on the American flag didn't start out as pentagrams. In 1777, the Continental Congress resolved that the flag's "union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation" of independent but united states. At that time, stars in heraldry and art were conventionally depicted with an arbitrary number of points, from four to eight or more, representing rays of light. And that's just how flagmakers often made them until well into the 1800s, as historical examples such as these show.
But starting in the post-Revolutionary "Federalist" period of American history -- as the developing idea of the "United States" crystallized around certain symbols -- pentacles of five points began to appear all over the place. American artists and craftspeople not only embroidered them on flags, but molded them on buildings, carved them into furniture, painted them on walls, stitched them into quilts, applied them to seemingly every surface they decorated. Why? Washington, D.C., Flag
Not because Betsy Ross showed George Washington, who supposedly wanted six-pointed stars on the flag, how she could make a five-pointed star with one magic snip from a folded piece of cloth -- a legend that one of Betsy's descendants admitted to inventing long after her death. Washington actually used pentagrams on his own family coat of arms, as you can see on the flag of the District of Columbia, which reproduces his arms, and on artifacts at his home in Mount Vernon. Yet the magical seamstress's secret that links a famously skilled craftswoman -- who during her career did sew what must have been thousands of stars onto flags for the Philadelphia Navy Yard -- with the Masonic Founding Father reveals a glimmer of the true origin and meaning of the American pentagram.
The symbol Masons call the "Eastern Star" (or sometimes "Blazing Star") is as ancient as the planet Venus, whose conjunctions with the Sun trace a near-perfect pentagram on the circle of the zodiac. It has borne many meanings since the Stone Age, when it was incised as rock art in the pre-desert Sahara. To the Egyptians, the pentagram was the hieroglyph of "night;" to the followers of Pythagoras, it was the sacred symbol of wholeness and health. In the Middle Ages, it was often associated with the magical wisdom of King Solomon, and carved as "Solomon's Seal" on churches, mosques, and synagogues as protection against inhuman forces. It appears in medieval grimoires and spellbooks as a magical blessing and ward -- as it is still for modern Witches. As a symbol of truth, Sir Gawain bore the interwoven "Endless Knot"pentagram on his shield in the Arthurian legends. As a symbol of the human body, mystical Christians linked the pentagram to the Five Wounds of Christ; and the Renaissance occultist H. Cornelius Agrippa showed how it inco orporates the "golden mean" pattern on which the body is proportioned.
The pentagram thus had a long, rich history of associations with humanity, magic, and wisdom by the Age of Enlightenment, when Freemasonry -- a self-described "peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols" that branches directly from the same tree of knowledge as Witchcraft -- adopted it to represent its ethical code of fraternity, the Five Points of Fellowship. From the earliest Masonic manuscripts onwards, these Five Points have been ritually connected with five points on the human body -- very similar, though not identical, to Traditional Witches' Fivefold Kiss.
Like Witches, Masons are heirs to the magical and metaphysical wisdom of antiquity that was preserved during the Middle Ages and revived in the Renaissance, then driven underground in the Burning Times of the 16th and 17th centuries -- till it re-emerged in the new scientific and revolutionary circles of the 17th- and 18th-century Enlightenment. The main differences between the two "Crafts" were those of class and gender. Whereas a classic Witches' Coven was a gathering of the female and male healers, herbalists, and midwives of a poor rural village, a classic Masons' Lodge was a male-only meeting-place for the many specialized middle-class artisans and tradesmen -- architects, goldsmiths, glassblowers, stonecutters, and so on -- who would come together in a city to build and ornament a cathedral or palace.
Masonry's popularity spread during the 1700s because -- by contrast to orthodox Christianity -- it tolerated all religions, encouraged science, and recognized the magic ennobling common workingman's tools such as trowels and squares and mallets. This international fraternity of the bourgeoisie directly opposed -- and collaborated to overthrow -- the repressive ecclesiastical and aristocratic hierarchies that claimed dominion by Divine right over the American Colonies and France. (This is from: Pagan Pentagrams on United States Flags. Much more information is found on this page, which features a paid advertisement for some violator of the First Commandment who can "foretell" one's character, shall we say, about Masonic symbolism on state buildings and state flags.)
Bishop Donald Sanborn discussed a bit of the history of the American flag in an article that was published in Sacerdtorium twenty-four years ago:
I am afraid that not even Old Glory managed to escape the influence of the freedom-from-God principles of Freemasonry. Although the origins of the Stars and Stripes are obscure, we do know that the original use of horizontal red and white stripes was by the Protestant Dutch in their rebellion against Catholic Spain. It surfaces again on British ships, seen flying it as they were helping the French Huguenots (Protestants) against their fellow Catholic countrymen. It next surfaced as the flag of the Sons of Liberty, a radical, masonic group which put on the Boston Tea Party.
So even the flag participates historically in this culture of freeing oneself from the “slavery” of Roman Catholicism, and ultimately from any civil government which is not democratic, that is, which is not merely a functionary of the people’s will. (The Cult of Liberty, published originally in the Spring 1995 issue of Sacerdotium.)