God's Rights or States' Rights?
Thomas A. Droleskey
As was mentioned in Monday's article, Contradictors Contradicting Each Other as They Contradict the Faith, the counterfeit church of conciliarism contends that there is only one form of government, "democracy," in which "justice" can be realized in the midst of the allegedly irreversible "reality" that is the "modern" world of pluralism, which finds is roots in "religious liberty" or "religious freedom" (the terms are used interchangeably by the conciliarists). This is patently false.
The Catholic Church has always taught that she can adapt herself to any legitimate form of civil governance that men choose to adopt for themselves, teaching us that the civil and ecclesiastical realms have different spheres of competency even though the civil realm is meant to be subordinate to the Catholic Church in all that pertains to the good of souls. This means that Holy Mother Church will not interfere with men as they devise those particular institutions of civil governance that they believe are best suited for their circumstances and reflect the cultural traditions of their kingdom or nation or region.
Pope Leo XIII made this point abundantly clear in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:
The right to rule is not necessarily, however, bound up with any special mode of government. It may take this or that form, provided only that it be of a nature of the government, rulers must ever bear in mind that God is the paramount ruler of the world, and must set Him before themselves as their exemplar and law in the administration of the State. For, in things visible God has fashioned secondary causes, in which His divine action can in some wise be discerned, leading up to the end to which the course of the world is ever tending. In like manner, in civil society, God has always willed that there should be a ruling authority, and that they who are invested with it should reflect the divine power and providence in some measure over the human race.
Holy Mother Church does, however, insist that each institution of civil governance be founded on the acceptance of the binding precepts of the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to her eternal safekeeping and infallible explication, recognizing that no human being, whether acting individually or collectively with others in the institutions of civil governance, has any right to transgress the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law. Holy Mother Church insists further that those who devise and who serve in the structures of civil governance must accept the fact that she has the right, exercised as an absolute Last Resort following the discharge of her Indirect Power of preaching and teaching and exhortation, to interpose herself with them if the good of souls demands such intervention.
That is, men possessed of the sensus Catholicus would bear themselves humbly before the authority of Holy Mother Church, never presuming to think that they, contingent beings who did not create themselves and whose bodies are destined for the corruption of the grave before the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the Last Day at the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead, do not have any right given them by God to dissent from His Deposit of Faith, whether acting individually or collectively with others, at any time for any reason in any circumstance whatsoever. Men are not free to dispense themselves from the Ten Commandments and all the precepts that flow therefrom as they have been explicated by the infallible teaching authority of the true Church. The "people" are not the sovereign of any civil government, each legitimate manifestation of which draws its authority to govern from the Sovereign, Christ the King, Who must be obeyed at all times as the details of the administration of civil justice and the common temporal good are sought with prudence while at the same time man's Last End is not only not impeded but positively aided by the work of the civil government.
As has been noted in several articles on this site, the counterfeit church of conciliarism rejects the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that she can adapt herself to any legitimately constituted form of civil governance, stating that "democracy," albeit one undergirded by an interdenominational sense of "values," is the only form of civil governance can guarantee and effective pursuit of justice in the temporal realm. This proposition has been roundly condemned by the Catholic Church. Pope Saint Pius X did so in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
Teaching such doctrines, and applying them to its internal organization, the Sillon, therefore, sows erroneous and fatal notions on authority, liberty and obedience, among your Catholic youth. The same is true of justice and equality; the Sillon says that it is striving to establish an era of equality which, by that very fact, would be also an era of greater justice. Thus, to the Sillon, every inequality of condition is an injustice, or at least, a diminution of justice? Here we have a principle that conflicts sharply with the nature of things, a principle conducive to jealously, injustice, and subversive to any social order. Thus, Democracy alone will bring about the reign of perfect justice! Is this not an insult to other forms of government which are thereby debased to the level of sterile makeshifts? Besides, the Sillonists once again clash on this point with the teaching of Leo XIII. In the Encyclical on political government which We have already quoted, they could have read this: “Justice being preserved, it is not forbidden to the people to choose for themselves the form of government which best corresponds with their character or with the institutions and customs handed down by their forefathers.”
And the Encyclical alludes to the three well-known forms of government, thus implying that justice is compatible with any of them. And does not the Encyclical on the condition of the working class state clearly that justice can be restored within the existing social set-up - since it indicates the means of doing so? Undoubtedly, Leo XIII did not mean to speak of some form of justice, but of perfect justice. Therefore, when he said that justice could be found in any of the three aforesaid forms of government, he was teaching that in this respect Democracy does not enjoy a special privilege. The Sillonists who maintain the opposite view, either turn a deaf ear to the teaching of the Church or form for themselves an idea of justice and equality which is not Catholic.
The same applies to the notion of Fraternity which they found on the love of common interest or, beyond all philosophies and religions, on the mere notion of humanity, thus embracing with an equal love and tolerance all human beings and their miseries, whether these are intellectual, moral, or physical and temporal. But Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference towards the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and goal of the whole human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting.
Indeed, we have the human experience of pagan and secular societies of ages past to show that concern for common interests or affinities of nature weigh very little against the passions and wild desires of the heart. No, Venerable Brethren, there is no genuine fraternity outside Christian charity. Through the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ Our Saviour, Christian charity embraces all men, comforts all, and leads all to the same faith and same heavenly happiness.
By separating fraternity from Christian charity thus understood, Democracy, far from being a progress, would mean a disastrous step backwards for civilization. If, as We desire with all Our heart, the highest possible peak of well being for society and its members is to be attained through fraternity or, as it is also called, universal solidarity, all minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth, all wills united in morality, and all hearts in the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. But this union is attainable only by Catholic charity, and that is why Catholic charity alone can lead the people in the march of progress towards the ideal civilization.
Finally, at the root of all their fallacies on social questions, lie the false hopes of Sillonists on human dignity. According to them, Man will be a man truly worthy of the name only when he has acquired a strong, enlightened, and independent consciousness, able to do without a master, obeying only himself, and able to assume the most demanding responsibilities without faltering. Such are the big words by which human pride is exalted, like a dream carrying Man away without light, without guidance, and without help into the realm of illusion in which he will be destroyed by his errors and passions whilst awaiting the glorious day of his full consciousness. And that great day, when will it come? Unless human nature can be changed, which is not within the power of the Sillonists, will that day ever come? Did the Saints who brought human dignity to its highest point, possess that kind of dignity? And what of the lowly of this earth who are unable to raise so high but are content to plow their furrow modestly at the level where Providence placed them? They who are diligently discharging their duties with Christian humility, obedience, and patience, are they not also worthy of being called men? Will not Our Lord take them one day out of their obscurity and place them in heaven amongst the princes of His people?
The whole foundation of the modern, religiously-indifferentist, pluralist civil state is premised upon the fallacies listed and condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in this passage from Notre Charge Apostolique. Both Protestants and those imbued with the rotten ethos of "the Enlightenment" do not believe that men need to submit themselves to the Deposit of Faith as It has been entrusted exclusively to the teaching authority of the true Church, the Catholic Church, and they do not believe men need to have belief in, access to, and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace in order to be virtuous, no less to scale the heights of personal sanctity on a daily basis. The crowning insult of this arrogance is the belief, sometimes stated quite publicly and blasphemously, that neither individual men or their nations need to publicly honor the Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, who made our salvation possible by her perfect fiat to the will of God the Father at the Annunciation as the God the Son, the Word, became Flesh and dwelt amongst us by the power of God the Holy Ghost. Our Lady did not appear to Juan Diego for no purpose. She wanted to be recognized as the Queen of the Americas just as she had been honored as the Queen of Christendom in Europe. It is no accident that order in Europe fell apart as first Protestantism and then Judeo-Masonry and "enlightenment" philosophies and ideologies and revolutions attacked the true Faith in general and devotion to Our Lady in particular with a demonic fury. (See also Orestes Brownson,
Moral and Social Influence of Devotion to Mary.)
Steeped in the arrogance of pride and the heresy of semi-Pelagianism (the false belief that we more or less stir up graces in ourselves to make us virtuous and holy, in effect saving ourselves by our own "will" power), the founders of modern civil states, although they have different on the methods by which they rose to power and the sorts of governments they instituted, were in unanimous agreement in rejecting the binding teaching of the Catholic Church that she must be recognized by each man and by each civil state as the true religion and accorded the favor and the protection of the laws. While it is true, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Libertas, June 20, 1888, that Holy Mother Church will use the realities of the modern state to proclaim the Gospel as best she can and to serve the spiritual and, if necessary, the temporal needs of her children who live there, the Catholic Church never stops proclaiming the fullness of the truth concerning the proper organization of the civil state no matter how "unrealizable" the restoration of Christendom might be at any given moment. To reject as a matter of principle, which both the scions of Modernity and those of Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism have done, the right of the Catholic Church to be recognized the civil state as the true religion and the absolute necessity of all men, whether acting individually or collectively with others, of submitting themselves to her magisterial authority and sanctifying offices is the path to social ruin. Catholicism is the and only means to personal and social order. None other.
Pope Leo XIII reiterated this theme throughout his twenty-five year pontificate, doing so on All Saints' Day, November 1, 1900, in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus:
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (I Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
So great is this struggle of the passions and so serious the dangers involved, that we must either anticipate ultimate ruin or seek for an efficient remedy. It is of course both right and necessary to punish malefactors, to educate the masses, and by legislation to prevent crime in every possible way: but all this is by no means sufficient. The salvation of the nations must be looked for higher. A power greater than human must be called in to teach men's hearts, awaken in them the sense of duty, and make them better. This is the power which once before saved the world from destruction when groaning under much more terrible evils. Once remove all impediments and allow the Christian spirit to revive and grow strong in a nation, and that nation will be healed. The strife between the classes and the masses will die away; mutual rights will be respected. If Christ be listened to, both rich and poor will do their duty. The former will realise that they must observe justice and charity, the latter self-restraint and moderation, if both are to be saved. Domestic life will be firmly established ( by the salutary fear of God as the Lawgiver. In the same way the precepts of the natural law, which dictates respect for lawful authority and obedience to the laws, will exercise their influence over the people. Seditions and conspiracies will cease. Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,-and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful possession. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him- legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labour. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilisation which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue.
Any form of government that is chosen by the free will of men must seek to pursue the common temporal good in light of the pursuit of man's Last End. A government that is not so premised is doomed to failure. Indeed, Pope Leo XIII, writing in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, explained just this in a very succinct passage:
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 way 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 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.
The success of any particular form of government (federal, confederal, unitary, parliamentary-ministerial, presidential-congressional, monarchical) in the pursuit and maintenance of the common temporal good depends upon the interior state of the souls of the people who live within the boundaries of its given jurisdiction. The state of the souls of people depends upon their attempting, despite their sins and failings, to cooperate with the graces won for them on the wood of the Holy Cross on Calvary by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood and that flow into their hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces in order to live in accord with the binding precepts of the Deposit of Faith at all times and in all circumstances. No particular form of government, no matter how carefully crafted it might be, will be able to pursue or maintain a just social order if its people found it on false premises and then go about their daily lives as though they are "saved" or that there is nothing after this earthly life about which to be concerned.
Indeed, particular forms of governments can become "demigods" that serve as rhetorical ends in and of themselves if people do not accept the fact that each form of government must aid the pursuit of man's Last End as it accomplishes its specific goals in this passing, mortal vale of tears.
This has certainly occurred in the minds of many American "conservatives" and "libertarians" who worship at the false altar of "states' rights," which has become a rallying cry in political campaigns at present as it has at other points in the past in the history of the United States of America. Some of the people proclaiming this mantra really do believe that the individual state governments are pretty much sovereign to regulate various matters, including the slaughter of innocent preborn human beings in their mothers' wombs, whether by chemical or surgical means, according to the "will" of the "people" in a particular state. This is most fallacious. No human institution of civil governance has any authority founded in the binding precepts Divine Positive Law or the Natural Law to permit the direct, intentional killing of any human being under cover of civil law in any circumstance.
While men are free to discuss which specific criminal penalties should be imposed after due process of law (arrest, indictment or preliminary hearing, trial, sentencing, appeals), they are not free to discuss any circumstance in which the direct, intentional killing of innocent human beings may be "permitted" under cover of law any more than they are free to discuss whether to permit people of the same gender to "marry" each other. These things are simply "off the table" to the free will of men to decide. God has decided these things. He has given men the ability to know these things through the rational nature of the immortal souls He has created, providing them with a definitive source, the Catholic Church, by which any questions in this regard may decided by and with His own Divine authority. End of argument. God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through the Catholic Church is God. Not "states' rights." Not "the people."
The Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reserves those powers not specifically delegated to the Federal government--and not denied to the state governments--to the states and the people thereof. All well and good. One must remember, however, that no one at any level of government has any right to violate God's laws as they have been entrusted to and explicated by the Catholic Church. This is just real, real simple, folks. The states are not "demigods." Subordinate levels of government, like higher levels of government are merely instruments by which civil justice may be pursued in light of man's Last End. Any level of government not premised on the Deposit of Faith and man's Last End is bound to decay over time.
True, having a confessionally Catholic system is no guarantor that there will not be abuses, sometimes quite serious, of power. However, a confessionally Catholic system is the necessary precondition for the just social order. Its mere existence is a means by which sinful men can be called to correct themselves by Holy Mother Church, especially when she must, as noted before, intervene as a Last Resort with officials of the civil state who place the good of souls into jeopardy.
To wit, being in a state of Sanctifying Grace at one moment is no guarantee that one is going to be in such a state ten minutes later, no less persevere in that state until the moment of his dying breath, which could occur at any time. Being in a state of Sanctifying Grace, however, is the necessary precondition to having one's intellect enlightened and his will strengthened more and more each day, making it more possible for him to see the world more clearly through the eyes of the true Faith and thus be ready to face the moment of his Particular Judgment at all times.
Some advocates of "states' rights", whether they be Federalists or those who support a confederal system (one in which there is a loose coalition of states bound together by a weak central government that is created specifically by the state governments to do only those things that are expressly delegated to it by those same state governments, leaving sovereignty, that is, governing authority, principally in the states), contend that the concept of "states' rights" is in perfect accord with the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which teaches that human problems should be addressed by institutions closest to those in need (the family, the parish, the diocese, the particular civil government in which the individual or individuals in need live), citing Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno to support their argument:
The supreme authority of the State ought, therefore, to let subordinate groups handle matters and concerns of lesser importance, which would otherwise dissipate its efforts greatly. Thereby the State will more freely, powerfully, and effectively do all those things that belong to it alone because it alone can do them: directing, watching, urging, restraining, as occasion requires and necessity demands. Therefore, those in power should be sure that the more perfectly a graduated order is kept among the various associations, in observance of the principle of "subsidiary function," the stronger social authority and effectiveness will be the happier and more prosperous the condition of the State.
Unfortunately for the "states' rights" advocates, this principle of subsidiarity, which is part of the Natural Law, can be realized in any form of government, not only a supposedly "representative democracy" (republican form of government) in a federal or confederal system. Many unitary forms of government (those in which a central government possesses the totality of governing authority, creating political subdivisions--cities, villages, counties, special service districts, departments, boroughs, etc.-to administer functions within a set of defined boundaries) are highly decentralized in practice. Let me explain
Each of the fifty states of the United States of America have unitary forms of government (as do most of the national--or central--governments of the world's nations). This means that the total responsibility for the administration of justice and the maintenance of public order and safety rests solely in the hands of a state government, whose state legislature, acting in accord with the terms of a state's constitution, creates political subdivisions to provide public order and safety at various local levels (county, city, town, township, borough, village, etc.) Each local government thus created has as many or as few powers as the state government provides, either by means of state legislation or by terms in the state constitution. Some states have liberal "home rule" provisions for their localities, making it possible for these local governments to act more or less as miniature states (within certain parameters, sometimes well-defined and sometimes not so well-defined). Admitting that the unjust interference of the Federal government, especially from the days of President Thomas Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt have blurred the state-local relationship to a very large extent, it is nevertheless still the case that in a large number of areas local governments are given a relatively, although not absolutely, free reign to act.
The same is true in many national governments that use the unitary form of organization. The Parliament of the United Kingdom has passed a number of "Home Rule" provisions in the past century, devolving at least some selected powers upon some regional assemblies (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland). Many local governments in the United Kingdom have been granted broad "home rule" powers a well
The point of all this is quite simple: the principle of subsidiarity can be realize in any number of ways. It is not necessarily synonymous with the American system of constitutionally delimited powers between a Federal government and the various state governments. Just as there is no one particular method by which men ought to be governed, as the Catholic Church teaches, so is there also no one particular form of government by which the principle of subsidiarity is to be realized. The only way in which any form of government can expect to have a reasonable chance to avoid sloth and corruption in the administration of temporal affairs and to avoid the enactment and enforcement of unjust laws that permit various abject evils in the name of "civil liberty" is by a due submission of its citizens to the authority of the Catholic Church in their own personal lives, from which will flow a desire to seek the greater honor and glory of God in all things, yes, even in picking up the garbage and building sewer systems and roadways that will endure without having to be torn up again within a few years to enrich the contractors who will "kick back" part of the proceeds from those contracts to the elected officials gave them those contracts.
State governments are not "demigods" able to do anything not specifically forbidden them in the Constitution of the United States of America. They are not free, as noted above, to act contrary to God's laws and thus contrary to the good of souls. They must attempt, despite the frailties of fallen human nature, to make decisions that are just. Is a particular new roadway really needed? Will the contractor hired to build the roadway use durable materials? Is a particular real-estate zoning law just? Indeed, a state government run by Catholics would seek to keep its power as limited as that of a national or a central government, restricting legitimate private property rights in very rare circumstances. And a state government founded on Catholic principles and run by Catholics would recognize that there is no "civil right" for anyone to kill babies, no "civil right" to promote pornography or perversity openly, no "civil right" to charge usurious interest to indenture citizens for years on end as they purchase automobiles and refrigerators, and no "civil right" of the civil state to impose and to mandate a curriculum of study for the education of the young, no "civil right" of any governmental agency to open a "public" school, which must of its perverse nature descend to the worship of the state itself and of the prevailing ideologies of the moment.
The arch-legal positivist named Oliver Wendell Holmes, who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America from 1902 to 1932, a Republican appointee, mind you, once called the states "grand laboratories" of social experimentation. Holmes explained how one such "experimentation," the Commonwealth of Virginia's mandatory sterilization of mentally retarded citizens, in the case of Buck v. Bell (1927):
The judgment finds the facts that have been recited and that Carrie Buck "is the probable potential parent of socially inadequate offspring, likewise afflicted, that she may be sexually sterilized without detriment to her general health and that her welfare and that of society will be promoted by her sterilization," and thereupon makes the order. In view of the general declarations of the legislature and the specific findings of the Court, obviously we cannot say as matter of law that the grounds do not exist, and if they exist they justify the result. We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes. Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.
Justice Holmes's Opinion in the Case of Buck v. Bell.
Twelve states used the odious, unjust, immortal decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in Buck v. Bell to pass their own eugenic sterilization laws. Anyone who thinks that the United States of America was morally superior to the Weimar Republic in Germany or to the Third Reich that succeeded it does not know history. No government at any level at any time has the "right" to pass eugenic sterilization laws. States' rights. Please! Let's hear about God's rights, my friends. Let's raise up the standard of His Holy Cross as the one and only standard of true human liberty.
States' rights? What about the efforts of the various state legislatures to impose "Blaine Laws," which forbade state aid to parochial schools and parochial school students as their parents were being forced to pay taxes to support the public schools of pluralism and religious indifferentism, upon their people?
States' rights? What about the efforts of the Freemasons in the State of Oregon to mandate all children to attend public schools? This was too much even for the Supreme Court of the United States of American (Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 1925), although the Court maintained that the civil state had a "right" to mandate a curriculum of study, which it does not possess.
States' rights? What about the forcible segregation of the races and the resulting injustices to human beings whose immortal souls were made in the image and the likeness of God and who had been redeemed by the shedding of every single drop of His own Most Precious Blood? Blessed Martin de Porres would have had a tough time with the states' rights crowd back in the years between 1877 and the late-1960s.
States' rights? What about the anti-garb law passed by the North Dakota State Legislature at the behest of Freemasons in 1947 (and stayed on the books, although not enforced at the time, until the year 2001!) that forbade priests and consecrated religious to wear their religious attire in certain public places? Aping the Freemasons in Mexico who slaughtered nearly a quarter of a million Catholics between the second and third decades of the Twentieth Century? States' rights? Think again. Think real hard before reciting this mindless mantra.
States' rights? What about the simple fact that the expansion of then-existing "exceptions" to laws restricting surgical baby-killing began in the states in the 1960s? California. Colorado. Hawaii. New Jersey. New York (1970). Surgical baby-killing would remain legal in most states even if the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the case of Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973, was overturned. (See
Life Legal Defense Fund for a comprehensive, detailed listing of what the baby-killing picture would look like in this country in the case Roe was overturned.) States' rights? Would King Herod the Great have been justified to slaughter the Holy Innocents if he had been he governor of an American state and was enforcing a "law" approved by the "people" of that state? The absurdities to which the Americanists lead people are incredible to contemplate.
States' rights? Perverted "marriages"? States' rights? What about God's rights? What about the rights of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen?
This litany of abuses associated with the demigod of American state governments could be expanded by quite a bit. This partial listing, however, has been provided to attempt the seemingly ever-futile task of convincing some readers that they must stop thinking and acting according to the terms of naturalists who are not the least bit interested in subordinating everything in civil law and popular culture to the Deposit of Faith, recognizing that there is one and only one way to order personal and social life: Catholicism. There are no short-cuts to the restoration of social order other than the slow, methodical process of planting the seeds for the conversion of individuals to the true Faith, a process of conversion that results, either over the course of time or as a result of a miraculous intervention (as happened with Our Lady of Guadalupe), in the conversion of entire nations. This happened once in Europe. It happened in Americas. Why do we doubt that it can happen again?
Oh, there are some who incant the "states' rights" slogan who will say that they want only to return to the state governments those functions that have been usurped over the past century by presidential "executive orders," laws passed by the United States Congress (including categorical and block grant programs that did, at least for a period of four to five decades, restrict the rights of the state governments to regulate matters that are solely within their purview), decisions of various Federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States of America, and regulations issued by Federal cabinet departments and independent and quasi-independent regulatory bodies. Fine. I, a political scientist who majored in American political systems at the doctoral level and had as one of my specialties state and local governments and federalism itself, will grant that particular point. No problem. This is certainly quite true as far as it goes. An entire series of graduate courses on this subject would not exhaust the examples of Federal usurpation of the legitimate powers of state governments.
That point having been ceded, however, this does not mean, as some of those who are currently running for the President of the United States of America contend, that state governments are autonomous, sovereign governing units that are exempt from observing the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as they have been entrusted to and explicated by the infallible authority of the Catholic Church that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. They are not. God's rights trump everything else at all times.
Many states' rights advocates also ignore the unconfident little truth that there are times when the intervention of a national government is necessary. Section 10 of Article I of the Constitution of the United States of America imposes specific limitations upon the states:
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Further restrictions were placed upon the states by the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, and Twenty-sixth Amendments to the Constitution (the Eighteenth Amendment, which imposed "prohibition" upon the states in 1919, was repealed by the Twenty-first Amendment in 1933). Indeed, a case could be made on purely constitutional grounds that the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution prohibit Congress and state legislatures from permitting any form of baby-killing, chemical or surgical, under cover of law. Lacking an ultimate arbiter, namely, the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, by which such things may be determined definitively, arguments about whether the Constitution does nor does not permit abortion is a waste of time. Something decided one way at one time in a pluralist, religiously-indifferentist state can just as easily be decided another way at another time. An no-exceptions constitutional amendment to protect innocent preborn human life from chemical and/or surgical attack that was ratified and became law at one time could be repealed at another.
A nation that does not have the Catholic Faith as its guiding force is lost in an abyss of confusion, a sorry state to which the ethos of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, which accepts the pluralist model of "democracy" as the "only" one to provide justice and respect civil and religious "freedom," has made its most unhappy "reconciliation." Those who think that they are "building for the future" by enabling naturalists of whatever political persuasion are deluding themselves. Who is coming out of public schools and colleges and universities these days? Future voters who care about "states' rights" and "conservatism" and "libertarianism?" Hardly. Neo-barbarians steeped in personal pleasure and coarseness are coming out of these marvelous institutions. These people will be more than happy to vote for future Senator Chelsea Clinton for President of the United States of America in 2016 at the age of thirty-six.
You want to "build for the future?" Why waste your time on naturalism in the ever-delusion expectation that "things" will change because of naturalist-based efforts? Why not speak out in defense of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen? Why not take seriously these words of Pope Saint Pius X, contained in Notre Charge Apostolique and these words of Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890?
This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.
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.)
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 proclaim Catholic doctrine in public, not waste our times on naturalist lies and mindless slogans that arrogate unto "the people" and particular forms of civil governance "rights" that they do not possess whatsoever. Our Lord became Man in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost and was born in poverty and humility and anonymity in Bethlehem to be King not only of the hearts of individual men but to be the King of nations. The Three Kings of the East bowed down before Him when He was but a Babe. Should not all civil rulers in all ages do so without any exception whatsoever?
Christmas Day is just three days away. Today, December 22, 2007, apart from being the ninetieth anniversary of the death of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (see Mother Cabrini, Don't be a Meanie), is the 791st anniversary of Pope Honorius III's solemn permission erecting Saint Dominic de Guzman's Order of Preachers. Saint Dominic was given the Rosary by Our Lady herself to fight the Albigenses heresy. Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary has been used to fight the infidel Mohammedan Turks at the Battle of Lepanto and the Battle at the Gates of Vienna. It has been by the people of Lima, at the behest of Saint Rose of Lima, a Third Order Dominican, to turn back Dutch Calvinists who were about to invade the city. It has been used by the Catholics of The Philippines to defeat a Dutch Calvinist fleet there. Saint Vincent Ferrer used the Rosary to convert thousands upon thousands of Jews and Mohammedans in the Iberian Peninsula. Shouldn't we be exhorting others to use the Rosary rather than wasting our time believing that one naturalist after another is going to "save the day?"
As Christmas Day approaches, therefore, let us keep in mind that the King of Kings is truly meant to reign as the King of our hearts and our homes, which is why home enthronement to His Most Sacred Heart and to that of His Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart is so important, but also as the King of nations. He has entrusted the cause of a new Christendom to the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. How can we not, as penitents who try to make reparation for sins to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through that same Immaculate Heart, help to plant a few seeds for the day when the Babe Who was born for us in the wood of the manger so as to die on the wood of the Cross to redeem us will be honored by all hearts everywhere with the cry:
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Our Lady of Loreto, 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.
Saint Elizabeth, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, pray for us.
Saint Thomas the Apostle, pray for us.
Saint Andrew the Apostle, pray for us.
Saint Barbara, pray for us.
Saint Francis Xavier, pray for us.
Saint Peter Chrysologus, pray for us.
Saint Bibiana, pray for us.
Saint Sabbas, pray for us.
Saint Nicholas, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
Pope Saint Melchiades, pray for us.
Pope Saint Damasus, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius V, pray for us.
Pope Saint Pius X, pray for us.
Saint Sylvester the Abbot, pray for us.
Saint Gertrude the Great, pray for us.
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.
Saint Benedict, pray for us.
Saint Vincent Ferrer, pray for us.
Saint Dominic de Guzman, pray for us.
Saint Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Hyacinth, pray for us.
Saint Peter Nolasco, pray for us.
Saint John Matha, pray for us.
Saint John Bosco, pray for us.
Saint John of God, pray for us.
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us.
Saint Brendan the Navigator, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Anthony of Padua, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, pray for us.
Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, pray for us.
Saint John Fisher, pray for us.
Saint Thomas More, pray for us.
Saint Peter Canisius, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us.
Saint Francis Borgia, pray for us.
Saint John Francis Regis, pray for us.
Saint Genevieve, pray for us.
Saint Casimir, pray for us.
Saint Hedwig, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.
Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us.
Saint Bridget of Sweden, pray for us.
Saint Brigid of Kildare, pray for us.
Saint Patrick, pray for us.
Saint Martin of Tours, pray for us.
Pope Saint Leo the Great, pray for us.
Pope Saint Gregory the Great, pray for us.
Pope Saint Gregory VII, pray for us.
Saint Boniface, pray for us.
Saint Meinrad, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us.
Saint Bernardine of Siena, pray for us.
Saint Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Cupertino, pray for us.
Saint Joseph Calasanctius, pray for us.
Saint John Damascene, pray for us.
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, pray for us.
Saints Isidore the Farmer and Maria de Cappella, pray for us.
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us.
Pope Saint Damasus I, pray for us.
Saint Jerome, pray for us.
Saint Basil the Great, pray for us.
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us.
Saint Louise de Marillac, pray for us.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria, pray for us.
Saint Antony of the Desert, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Turibius, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Irenaeus, pray for us.
Saint Polycarp, pray for us.
Blessed Rose Philippine Duchesne, pray for us.
Saint Rita, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Therese Lisieux, pray for us.
Saint Athanasius, pray for us.
Saint Bonaventure, pray for us.
Saint Philip Neri, pray for us.
Saint Peter Damian, pray for us.
Saint Peter of Alcantara, pray for us.
Saint Stanislaus, pray for us.
Saint Stanislaus Kostka, pray for us.
Saint Dominic Savio, pray for us.
Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us.
Saint Adalbert, pray for us.
Saint Norbert, pray for us.
Saint John Chrysostom, pray for us.
Saint Cyril of Alexandria, pray for us.
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, pray for us.
Saints Cosmas and Damian, pray for us.
Saints Gervase and Protase, pray for us.
Saint Cecilia, pray for us.
Pope Saint Clement I, pray for us.
Saint Tarcisius, pray for us.
Saints Fabian Sebastian, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence the Deacon, pray for us.
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.
Saint Eustachius and Companions, pray for us.
Saints Pontian and Hippolytus, pray for us.
Saint Clare of Assisi, pray for us.
Saint Agnes, pray for us.
Saint Agatha, pray for us.
Saints Perpetua and Felicity, pray for us.
Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us.
Saint Scholastica, pray for us.
Saint Margaret of Scotland, pray for us.
Saint Peter Lombard, pray for us.
Saint Albert the Great, pray for us.
Saint Augustine, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us.
Saint Anselm, pray for us.
Saint Canute, pray for us.
Saint Clotilde, pray for us.
Saint Brendan the Navigator, pray for us.
Saint Coleman, pray for us.
Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.
Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us.
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us.
Blessed Father Vincent Pallotti, pray for us.
Saint Josaphat, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Mary Claret, pray for us.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.
Blessed Edmund Campion, pray for us.
Saint Saturninus, pray for us.
Saint Gerard Majella, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.
Venerable Juan Diego, pray for us.
Venerable Junipero Serra, pray for us.
Venerable Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Venerable Pauline Jaricot, pray for us.
Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, pray for us.
Jacinta Marto, pray for us.
Francisco Marto, pray for us.
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The Longer Version of the Saint Michael the Archangel Prayer, composed by Pope Leo XIII, 1888
O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. Fight this day the battle of our Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in heaven. That cruel, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the Name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay, and cast into eternal perdition, souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. That wicked dragon pours out. as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity. These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on Her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck the sheep may be scattered. Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious powers of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly conciliate the mercies of the Lord; and beating down the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.
Verse: Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
Response: The Lion of the Tribe of Juda has conquered the root of David.
Verse: Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
Response: As we have hoped in Thee.
Verse: O Lord hear my prayer.
Response: And let my cry come unto Thee.
Verse: Let us pray. O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as suppliants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin, immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all other unclean spirits, who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of our souls.