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                      February 16, 2010 

Not A Mention Of Christ The King

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Yesterday was known officially as "Washington's Birthday" (although the first President of the United States of America was born on February 22, 1732), which provided an excuse for a three-day weekend holiday and mid-February sales in retail stores. Yesterday's holiday is known unofficially as "Presidents' Day," signifying the intention to honor each of the forty-three men (one president, Stephen Grover Cleveland, served two non-consecutive terms, one from March 4, 1885, to March 4, 1889, and the second from March 4, 1893, to March 4, 1897) who have served in the highest elected office in the United States of America. It is with this "unofficial" designation, "Presidents' Day," in mind that I decided to do a bit of research to provide you with documentation of the simple fact that not one of these forty-three men has ever mentioned the Holy Name of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in their inaugural addresses, although some have done so in other speeches and addresses.

I recall writing an article for The Remnant four or five years ago now that provided excerpts from some of the presidential "state of the union" messages, most of which were prepared for submission to the Congress of the United States of America in written form prior to President Thomas Woodrow Wilson's delivering the message personally before a joint session of both houses of Congress, to illustrate the fact that none of those annual messages contained any reference to the Divine Redeemer, the Word Who was made Flesh in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost, and dwelt amongst us. This is of the essence of Judeo-Masonry, a point that bears some explication once again as so many Catholics continue to try to project Catholicism in the minds of men who were possessed by the naturalistic and anti-Incarnational spirit of Judeo-Masonry (just as many Catholics try to project Catholicism in the minds of the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, starting today, of course, with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI).

The Judeo-Masonic spirit insists that the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb and His Redemptive Act on the wood of the Holy Cross are matters of complete indifference to personal and social order, that men can organize themselves, both individually and collectively in the institutions of civil governance, without any reference to the Deposit of Faith that Our Lord entrusted exclusively to His true Church and without any reliance at all upon Sanctifying Grace to root out personal sins and to grow in holiness. This Judeo-Masonic spirit is not of God. It is of the devil himself as the devil seeks to make belief in Our Lord's Incarnation and Redemptive Act a matter of complete indifference so that men will come to the false conclusion that they themselves are more or less self-redemptive, that they can remake the world on their own without the teaching and sanctifying offices of the Catholic Church.

It is this Judeo-Masonic spirit that has been shared by each of the forty-three men who have served as president of the United States of America, yes, including the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Although some presidents have been formally enrolled members in Masonic lodges, each has believed in the Judeo-Masonic spirit, each has believed in the lie that the civil state does not need to recognize the true religion and that Holy Mother Church possesses the right, exercised judiciously and only as a last resort following the exhausting of her Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation, to interpose herself with its officials at times when the good of souls demands her motherly intervention. The influence of the Judeo-Masonic spirit in the United States of America thus has been very insidious, convincing even most believing Catholics that it is neither prudent or necessary to even pray for the conversion of our country, which the Natural Law enjoins us to love with a fervent love of filial piety, to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.

The Judeo-Masonic spirit has been insidious in that most people, including most Catholics, are unaware of its influence upon them. This has led some Americanist Catholics, including those who are sedevacantists and those who are in the "resist and recognize" camp, to state that American Masonry is "different" from European Masonry, which attacked the Faith with violence. This is true, but not in the sense that Americanist Catholics would like to believe.

European Masonry had to attack the Faith with violence in once proudly Catholic Europe as the Cross of the Divine Redeemer was implanted so firmly there. This is the same reason that Masonry in Latin America, aided by the funds of Masonic lodges in the nascent United States of America, had to attack the Faith with such violence there in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. There was, however, no need for Masons in the United States of America to attack the Church head on, although there were indeed times when Masons did so, to be sure. Members of Masonic lodges in the United States of America in the late-Eighteenth and then the Nineteenth Centuries knew that many Catholics would be so grateful merely for the opportunity to practice their religion openly here without the overt persecution that had taken place in England and Ireland following the Protestant Revolt in the Sixteenth Century that they would come to terms with religious indifferentism and religious liberty and cultural pluralism, the net effect being the neutralization of their Catholicism in the public arena.

Pope Leo XIII, writing in his Apostolical Letter Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899, to the longtime Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, James Cardinal Gibbons, saw this very danger at the end of the Nineteenth Century:

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.


Pope Leo XIII was clearly and prophetically condemning the conciliarist view of Church-State relations that was presaged in no small measure by the Americanist heresy, the desire to accommodate the Faith to the Judeo-Masonic spirit rather than the desire to convert the nation to the Faith.

Pope Leo XIII had written in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884, to describe the Judeo-Masonic spirit of indifference to religious truth as the foundation of social order, an indifference that you will see first-hand as you review the remarks of each of the presidents of the United States of America provided below:

For, from what We have above most clearly shown, that which is their ultimate purpose forces itself into view -- namely, the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teaching has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere naturalism.

What We have said, and are about to say, must be understood of the sect of the Freemasons taken generically, and in so far as it comprises the associations kindred to it and confederated with it, but not of the individual members of them. There may be persons amongst these, and not a few who, although not free from the guilt of having entangled themselves in such associations, yet are neither themselves partners in their criminal acts nor aware of the ultimate object which they are endeavoring to attain. In the same way, some of the affiliated societies, perhaps, by no means approve of the extreme conclusions which they would, if consistent, embrace as necessarily following from their common principles, did not their very foulness strike them with horror. Some of these, again, are led by circumstances of times and places either to aim at smaller things than the others usually attempt or than they themselves would wish to attempt. They are not, however, for this reason, to be reckoned as alien to the masonic federation; for the masonic federation is to be judged not so much by the things which it has done, or brought to completion, as by the sum of its pronounced opinions.


Yes, it is the sum of the "pronounced opinions" of Judeo-Masonry that matters, not any specific program or line of action, although there have been programs and lines of action (the establish of public schools and the mandating of curricula of study, legislation liberalizing divorce, attempts at imposing laws forbidding the wearing of clerical garb in public and of the operation of parochial schools, the promotion of contraception and abortion and licentiousness in civil law and public culture) that members of the lodges have undertaken over the course of this nation's history that were meant to be detrimental to the Faith. The Judeo-Masonic spirit convinces even believing Catholics that the social encyclical letters of our true popes don't apply to the United States of America, and that simple statements of Catholic truth, including the one below from Pope Saint Pius X's Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910, have been made "obsolete" over the course of time:

For there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact.


Some Americanist Catholics are even so bold as to assert that the Church has no business at all in pronouncing that she has universal principles for the governance of men and their nations that are binding upon the consciences of all men at all times, thus showing themselves to defect from the Faith by refusing to accept these plain words of Pope Pius XII in Ad Apostolorum Principis, June 29, 1958:


Assuming false and unjust premises, they are not afraid to take a position which would confine within a narrow scope the supreme teaching authority of the Church, claiming that there are certain questions -- such as those which concern social and economic matters -- in which Catholics may ignore the teachings and the directives of this Apostolic See.

This opinion -- it seems entirely unnecessary to demonstrate its existence -- is utterly false and full of error because, as We declared a few years ago to a special meeting of Our Venerable Brethren in the episcopacy:

"The power of the Church is in no sense limited to so-called 'strictly religious matters'; but the whole matter of the natural law, its institution, interpretation and application, in so far as the moral aspect is concerned, are within its power.

"By God's appointment the observance of the natural law concerns the way by which man must strive toward his supernatural end. The Church shows the way and is the guide and guardian of men with respect to their supernatural end."

This truth had already been wisely explained by Our Predecessor St. Pius X in his Encyclical Letter Singulari quadam of September 24, 1912, in which he made this statement: "All actions of a Christian man so far as they are morally either good or bad -- that is, so far as they agree with or are contrary to the natural and divine law -- fall under the judgment and jurisdiction of the Church." (Pope Pius XII, Ad Apostolorum Principis, June 29, 1958.)


Pope Pius XII was condemning the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association's (the rump "church" created by the Red Chinese government that was more or less recognized in a de facto manner by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's letter to Chinese Catholics in 2007 that was reiterated in 2009; see Red China: Workshop for the New Ecclesiology) rejection of the authority of the Catholic Church in matters of social and economic matters. His condemnation applies just as much to anyone else, including Americanist Catholics, who reject the Social Reign of Christ the King and the authority of the Catholic Church to enunciate the moral principles that must guide governance and economics. No naturalist philosophy or program takes place of the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church that He Himself created upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, for its infallible explication and eternal safekeeping.

Alas, the Modern world is founded in a rejection of this simple truth. "Hope" is then to be placed in all manner of naturalists, whether they be of the "Enlightenment" or of the American founding or the French Revolution or Marxism-Leninism or any of the dozens of others of ideologies and "philosophies" claiming the ability to "improve" the world by means of the naturalistic formulae of Judeo-Masonry, many of which are embraced by various false religions, including that of the counterfeit church of conciliarism, as worthy of at least some respect in the practicalities of the "real" world. This is precisely the goal of the Judeo-Masonic spirit that Pope Leo XIII explicated in Humanum Genus:

But the naturalists go much further; for, having, in the highest things, entered upon a wholly erroneous course, they are carried headlong to extremes, either by reason of the weakness of human nature, or because God inflicts upon them the just punishment of their pride. Hence it happens that they no longer consider as certain and permanent those things which are fully understood by the natural light of reason, such as certainly are -- the existence of God, the immaterial nature of the human soul, and its immortality. The sect of the Freemasons, by a similar course of error, is exposed to these same dangers; for, although in a general way they may profess the existence of God, they themselves are witnesses that they do not all maintain this truth with the full assent of the mind or with a firm conviction. Neither do they conceal that this question about God is the greatest source and cause of discords among them; in fact, it is certain that a considerable contention about this same subject has existed among them very lately. But, indeed, the sect allows great liberty to its votaries, so that to each side is given the right to defend its own opinion, either that there is a God, or that there is none; and those who obstinately contend that there is no God are as easily initiated as those who contend that God exists, though, like the pantheists, they have false notions concerning Him: all which is nothing else than taking away the reality, while retaining some absurd representation of the divine nature.

When this greatest fundamental truth has been overturned or weakened, it follows that those truths, also, which are known by the teaching of nature must begin to fall -- namely, that all things were made by the free will of God the Creator; that the world is governed by Providence; that souls do not die; that to this life of men upon the earth there will succeed another and an everlasting life.

When these truths are done away with, which are as the principles of nature and important for knowledge and for practical use, it is easy to see what will become of both public and private morality. We say nothing of those more heavenly virtues, which no one can exercise or even acquire without a special gift and grace of God; of which necessarily no trace can be found in those who reject as unknown the redemption of mankind, the grace of God, the sacraments, and the happiness to be obtained in heaven. We speak now of the duties which have their origin in natural probity. That God is the Creator of the world and its provident Ruler; that the eternal law commands the natural order to be maintained, and forbids that it be disturbed; that the last end of men is a destiny far above human things and beyond this sojourning upon the earth: these are the sources and these the principles of all justice and morality.

If these be taken away, as the naturalists and Freemasons desire, there will immediately be no knowledge as to what constitutes justice and injustice, or upon what principle morality is founded. And, in truth, the teaching of morality which alone finds favor with the sect of Freemasons, and in which they contend that youth should be instructed, is that which they call "civil," and "independent," and "free," namely, that which does not contain any religious belief. But, how insufficient such teaching is, how wanting in soundness, and how easily moved by every impulse of passion, is sufficiently proved by its sad fruits, which have already begun to appear. For, wherever, by removing Christian education, this teaching has begun more completely to rule, there goodness and integrity of morals have begun quickly to perish, monstrous and shameful opinions have grown up, and the audacity of evil deeds has risen to a high degree. All this is commonly complained of and deplored; and not a few of those who by no means wish to do so are compelled by abundant evidence to give not infrequently the same testimony.

Moreover, human nature was stained by original sin, and is therefore more disposed to vice than to virtue. For a virtuous life it is absolutely necessary to restrain the disorderly movements of the soul, and to make the passions obedient to reason. In this conflict human things must very often be despised, and the greatest labors and hardships must be undergone, in order that reason may always hold its sway. But the naturalists and Freemasons, having no faith in those things which we have learned by the revelation of God, deny that our first parents sinned, and consequently think that free will is not at all weakened and inclined to evil. On the contrary, exaggerating rather the power and the excellence of nature, and placing therein alone the principle and rule of justice, they cannot even imagine that there is any need at all of a constant struggle and a perfect steadfastness to overcome the violence and rule of our passions.

Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring.

What refers to domestic life in the teaching of the naturalists is almost all contained in the following declarations: that marriage belongs to the genus of commercial contracts, which can rightly be revoked by the will of those who made them, and that the civil rulers of the State have power over the matrimonial bond; that in the education of youth nothing is to be taught in the matter of religion as of certain and fixed opinion; and each one must be left at liberty to follow, when he comes of age, whatever he may prefer. To these things the Freemasons fully assent; and not only assent, but have long endeavored to make them into a law and institution. For in many countries, and those nominally Catholic, it is enacted that no marriages shall be considered lawful except those contracted by the civil rite; in other places the law permits divorce; and in others every effort is used to make it lawful as soon as may be. Thus, the time is quickly coming when marriages will be turned into another kind of contract -- that is into changeable and uncertain unions which fancy may join together, and which the same when changed may disunite.

With the greatest unanimity the sect of the Freemasons also endeavors to take to itself the education of youth. They think that they can easily mold to their opinions that soft and pliant age, and bend it whither they will; and that nothing can be more fitted than this to enable them to bring up the youth of the State after their own plan. Therefore, in the education and instruction of children they allow no share, either of teaching or of discipline, to the ministers of the Church; and in many places they have procured that the education of youth shall be exclusively in the hands of laymen, and that nothing which treats of the most important and most holy duties of men to God shall be introduced into the instructions on morals.

Then come their doctrines of politics, in which the naturalists lay down that all men have the same right, and are in every respect of equal and like condition; that each one is naturally free; that no one has the right to command another; that it is an act of violence to require men to obey any authority other than that which is obtained from themselves. According to this, therefore, all things belong to the free people; power is held by the command or permission of the people, so that, when the popular will changes, rulers may lawfully be deposed and the source of all rights and civil duties is either in the multitude or in the governing authority when this is constituted according to the latest doctrines. It is held also that the State should be without God; that in the various forms of religion there is no reason why one should have precedence of another; and that they are all to occupy the same place.

That these doctrines are equally acceptable to the Freemasons, and that they would wish to constitute States according to this example and model, is too well known to require proof. For some time past they have openly endeavored to bring this about with all their strength and resources; and in this they prepare the way for not a few bolder men who are hurrying on even to worse things, in their endeavor to obtain equality and community of all goods by the destruction of every distinction of rank and property.

What, therefore, sect of the Freemasons is, and what course it pursues, appears sufficiently from the summary We have briefly given. Their chief dogmas are so greatly and manifestly at variance with reason that nothing can be more perverse. To wish to destroy the religion and the Church which God Himself has established, and whose perpetuity He insures by His protection, and to bring back after a lapse of eighteen centuries the manners and customs of the pagans, is signal folly and audacious impiety. Neither is it less horrible nor more tolerable that they should repudiate the benefits which Jesus Christ so mercifully obtained, not only for individuals, but also for the family and for civil society, benefits which, even according to the judgment and testimony of enemies of Christianity, are very great. In this insane and wicked endeavor we may almost see the implacable hatred and spirit of revenge with which Satan himself is inflamed against Jesus Christ. -- So also the studious endeavor of the Freemasons to destroy the chief foundations of justice and honesty, and to co-operate with those who would wish, as if they were mere animals, to do what they please, tends only to the ignominious and disgraceful ruin of the human race.

The evil, too, is increased by the dangers which threaten both domestic and civil society. As We have elsewhere shown, in marriage, according to the belief of almost every nation, there is something sacred and religious; and the law of God has determined that marriages shall not be dissolved. If they are deprived of their sacred character, and made dissoluble, trouble and confusion in the family will be the result, the wife being deprived of her dignity and the children left without protection as to their interests and well being. -- To have in public matters no care for religion, and in the arrangement and administration of civil affairs to have no more regard for God than if He did not exist, is a rashness unknown to the very pagans; for in their heart and soul the notion of a divinity and the need of public religion were so firmly fixed that they would have thought it easier to have city without foundation than a city without God. Human society, indeed for which by nature we are formed, has been constituted by God the Author of nature; and from Him, as from their principle and source, flow in all their strength and permanence the countless benefits with which society abounds. As we are each of us admonished by the very voice of nature to worship God in piety and holiness, as the Giver unto us of life and of all that is good therein, so also and for the same reason, nations and States are bound to worship Him; and therefore it is clear that those who would absolve society from all religious duty act not only unjustly but also with ignorance and folly. . . .

Would that all men would judge of the tree by its fruit, and would acknowledge the seed and origin of the evils which press upon us, and of the dangers that are impending! We have to deal with a deceitful and crafty enemy, who, gratifying the ears of people and of princes, has ensnared them by smooth speeches and by adulation. Ingratiating themselves with rulers under a pretense of friendship, the Freemasons have endeavored to make them their allies and powerful helpers for the destruction of the Christian name; and that they might more strongly urge them on, they have, with determined calumny, accused the Church of invidiously contending with rulers in matters that affect their authority and sovereign power. Having, by these artifices, insured their own safety and audacity, they have begun to exercise great weight in the government of States: but nevertheless they are prepared to shake the foundations of empires, to harass the rulers of the State, to accuse, and to cast them out, as often as they appear to govern otherwise than they themselves could have wished. In like manner, they have by flattery deluded the people. Proclaiming with a loud voice liberty and public prosperity, and saying that it was owing to the Church and to sovereigns that the multitude were not drawn out of their unjust servitude and poverty, they have imposed upon the people, and, exciting them by a thirst for novelty, they have urged them to assail both the Church and the civil power. Nevertheless, the expectation of the benefits which was hoped for is greater than the reality; indeed, the common people, more oppressed than they were before, are deprived in their misery of that solace which, if things had been arranged in a Christian manner, they would have had with ease and in abundance. But, whoever strive against the order which Divine Providence has constituted pay usually the penalty of their pride, and meet with affliction and misery where they rashly hoped to find all things prosperous and in conformity with their desires.


It is thus important not to get lost in the "trees" to find specific presidents who Masons as each, as noted above, has been possessed of the Judeo-Masonic spirit of naturalism, a spirit that does the devil's bidding as even believing Catholics are convinced that it is "good enough" for a president to have sincere intentions and to invoke the name of God, at least generically, now and again in his public utterances, no matter the fact that his policies may be inimical to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and Natural Law and thus injurious to souls, thereby undermining the pursuit of the common temporal good even though these presidents have had "good" and "sincere" intentions. "Good" and "sincere" intentions do not redeem false premises. "Good" and "sincere" intentions can never make morally licit that which is proscribed by the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law. No amount of generic references to God can replace a fealty to the Catholic Faith, something that Pope Pius XI warned about very specifically in Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937:

Take care, Venerable Brethren, that above all, faith in God, the first and irreplaceable foundation of all religion, be preserved in Germany pure and unstained. The believer in God is not he who utters the name in his speech, but he for whom this sacred word stands for a true and worthy concept of the Divinity. Whoever identifies, by pantheistic confusion, God and the universe, by either lowering God to the dimensions of the world, or raising the world to the dimensions of God, is not a believer in God. Whoever follows that so-called pre-Christian Germanic conception of substituting a dark and impersonal destiny for the personal God, denies thereby the Wisdom and Providence of God who "Reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things sweetly" (Wisdom viii. 1). Neither is he a believer in God.

Whoever exalts race, or the people, or the State, or a particular form of State, or the depositories of power, or any other fundamental value of the human community -- however necessary and honorable be their function in worldly things -- whoever raises these notions above their standard value and divinizes them to an idolatrous level, distorts and perverts an order of the world planned and created by God; he is far from the true faith in God and from the concept of life which that faith upholds.

Beware, Venerable Brethren, of that growing abuse, in speech as in writing, of the name of God as though it were a meaningless label, to be affixed to any creation, more or less arbitrary, of human speculation. Use your influence on the Faithful, that they refuse to yield to this aberration. Our God is the Personal God, supernatural, omnipotent, infinitely perfect, one in the Trinity of Persons, tri-personal in the unity of divine essence, the Creator of all existence. Lord, King and ultimate Consummator of the history of the world, who will not, and cannot, tolerate a rival God by His side.


It with all of this in mind that one must read the references to God or "Supreme Being" in the inaugural addresses of the thirty-nine presidents who have delivered them (four presidents--John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Chester Alan Arthur succeeded presidents who died in office, simply taking the oath of office without delivering an inaugural address and without being elected to a term in their own right). Efforts to project Catholicism into the minds of these men will be as futile and self-delusional as those efforts to project Catholicism into the minds of the lords of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. We must understand that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is mean to be King of each man and each nation, including the United States of America, and that it is a work of true patriotism to plant the seeds for the conversion of this land in which we were born (or, for those naturalized as citizens, have taken up residence) to the true Faith so that she can enjoy a true measure of temporal prosperity undertaken in light of man's Last End, the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven.

George Washington

Although a man of natural virtue whose natural greatness was praised by Pope Leo XIII in Longiqua Oceani, January 6, 1895, George Washington lived and died as a Freemason. Yes, despite the fact that there are some who have claimed that George Washington converted to Catholicism before he died, the weight of the historical evidence is that he died as he lived, a member of the lodge.

To wit, Dr. Marian Therese Horvat wrote the following in an article to refute the commonly repeated claim that Washington converted to the Catholic Faith:

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 [1789] 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.)


John Adams

The nation's second president, John Adams, who served from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1801, was militantly anti-Catholic. As a politician, however, Adams knew that most of the people in the United States of America belonged to one of the many sects of Protestantism, which is why he made a favorable reference to Christianity generically in his one and only inaugural address on March 4, 1797. He also revealed his true religion, rationalism, in that same address:


If an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived; if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age; and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence. (John Adams; if you think that my sentences are long, look in the actual text of this speech to find where the sentence quoted in the first paragraph above begins!)


Here, just for a little "refresher course," are some of the views of John Adams about Our Lord and His true Church:

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away {with} all this artificial scaffolding…" (11 April, 1823, John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson, Adams-Jefferson Letters, ed. Lester J. Cappon, II, 594).

Can a free government possibly exist with the Roman Catholic religion? (John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 19, 1821)

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! (John Adams, Letter to Thomas Jefferson, quoted in 200 Years of Disbelief, by James Hauck)


Any questions? We must avoid the false religion that is "founderology" (see Dr. John C. Rao, Founding Fathers vs. Church Fathers: 666-0.)

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was a Deist, a man who believed that God set the world in motion and then withdrew from its daily activities (also known as the "watchmaker" view of God), and a rationalist who took out all of the miracles of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in his own translation of the New Testament. It was his desire, expressly stated in a letter dated just ten days before his death, July 4, 1826, to rid the country of "monkish superstition," meaning to rid the country of the Catholic Faith. His two inaugural addresses, first of which was an elegy of praise to the founding principles, are thus redolent of the Judeo-Masonic spirit even though he was not Mason himself:


Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns and the surest bulwarks against antirepublican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people—a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion; freedom of the press, and freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.

I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it. Without pretensions to that high confidence you reposed in our first and greatest revolutionary character, whose preeminent services had entitled him to the first place in his country's love and destined for him the fairest page in the volume of faithful history, I ask so much confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs. I shall often go wrong through defect of judgment. When right, I shall often be thought wrong by those whose positions will not command a view of the whole ground. I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts. The approbation implied by your suffrage is a great consolation to me for the past, and my future solicitude will be to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.

Relying, then, on the patronage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choice it is in your power to make. And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity. (Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801.)

 I shall now enter on the duties to which my fellow-citizens have again called me, and shall proceed in the spirit of those principles which they have approved. I fear not that any motives of interest may lead me astray; I am sensible of no passion which could seduce me knowingly from the path of justice, but the weaknesses of human nature and the limits of my own understanding will produce errors of judgment sometimes injurious to your interests. I shall need, therefore, all the indulgence which I have heretofore experienced from my constituents; the want of it will certainly not lessen with increasing years. I shall need, too, the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old, from their native land and planted them in a country flowing with all the necessaries and comforts of life; who has covered our infancy with His providence and our riper years with His wisdom and power, and to whose goodness I ask you to join in supplications with me that He will so enlighten the minds of your servants, guide their councils, and prosper their measures that whatsoever they do shall result in your good, and shall secure to you the peace, friendship, and approbation of all nations.(Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805.)


Again, just for a refresher course, here are some of Jefferson's anti-Catholic statements:

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December, 1813.)

May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. That form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God. These are grounds of hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them. (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Roger Weigthman, June 24, 1826, ten days before Jefferson's death.)


As Catholics, my friends, we must subscribe without dissent at all to Pope Saint Pius X's simple reiteration of Catholic truth, contained in paragraph three of Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906:

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. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIII, especially, has frequently and magnificently expounded Catholic teaching on the relations which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul.-"Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordinata colligatio (inter illas) quae quidem conjunctioni non immerito comparatur, per quam anima et corpus in homine copulantur." He proceeds: "Human societies cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were something foreign to them, or of no purpose to them.... As for the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of the young, the family, is to commit a great and pernicious error. -- "Civitates non possunt, citra scellus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non esset, aut curam religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam abjicere.... Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ab actione vitae excludere, a legibus, ab institutione adolescentium, a societate domestica, magnus et perniciousus est error."


James Madison

The "father of the Constitution" and one of the three authors of what we call today "The Federalist Papers" (published as "The Federalist" in eighty-five different articles between October of 1787 and August of 1788), James Madison, the nation's fourth president, was also a virulent anti-Catholic rationalist. No reference to Christ the King in his speeches!


But the source to which I look or the aids which alone can supply my deficiencies is in the well-tried intelligence and virtue of my fellow-citizens, and in the counsels of those representing them in the other departments associated in the care of the national interests. In these my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future. (James Madison, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1809; there was only a reference to the "smiles of Heaven in his second inaugural address, March 4, 1813.)


Here are just a few examples of Madison's rationalism, expressed quite specifically in his belief that, as there was no one "opinion" that could "unite" men of divergent views, it was necessary to have a complex form of government in an effort to make it difficult for any one of those beliefs from exercising a "tyranny of the majority" over the others, a conception he elaborated upon at length in The Federalist, Numbers 10 and 51 but which can be seen in a nascent form when he was in his twenties and thirties (Madison was born on March 16, 1751):

"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


Perhaps James Madison understands now the words contained in the Venerable Mary of Agreda's Mystical City of God:

In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity, was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God-man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all of the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.

To this command all the obedient and holy angels submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and acknowledgment with an humble and loving subjection of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them, that he would be their chief and that he would set up a government independent and separate from Christ. So great was the blindness which envy and pride could cause in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the contagion of sin spread among innumerable other angels. (Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Mystical City of God, Volume I, pp. 89-90.)


It really is Christ or chaos, my friends. There is no middle ground at all. There is nothing short of Catholicism which can serve as a prerequisite, although never a guarantor, of personal and social order.

James Monroe and John Quincy Adams

The fifth president of the United States of America, James Monroe, made an entreaty to "the Almighty," while John Quincy Adams, the sixth president and the son of the second president, John Adams, made a reference to "the Lord" in their respective inaugural addresses:


In the Administrations of the illustrious men who have preceded me in this high station, with some of whom I have been connected by the closest ties from early life, examples are presented which will always be found highly instructive and useful to their successors. From these I shall endeavor to derive all the advantages which they may afford. Of my immediate predecessor, under whom so important a portion of this great and successful experiment has been made, I shall be pardoned for expressing my earnest wishes that he may long enjoy in his retirement the affections of a grateful country, the best reward of exalted talents and the most faithful and meritorious service. Relying on the aid to be derived from the other departments of the Government, I enter on the trust to which I have been called by the suffrages of my fellow-citizens with my fervent prayers to the Almighty that He will be graciously pleased to continue to us that protection which He has already so conspicuously displayed in our favor. (James Monroe First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817.)

Entering with these views the office which I have just solemnly sworn to execute with fidelity and to the utmost of my ability, I derive great satisfaction from a knowledge that I shall be assisted in the several Departments by the very enlightened and upright citizens from whom I have received so much aid in the preceding term. With full confidence in the continuance of that candor and generous indulgence from my fellow-citizens at large which I have heretofore experienced, and with a firm reliance on the protection of Almighty God, I shall forthwith commence the duties of the high trust to which you have called me. (James Monroe, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1821.)

Intentions upright and pure, a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of all the faculties allotted to me to her service are all the pledges that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils, to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments, to the friendly cooperation of the respective State governments, to the candid and liberal support of the people so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service; and knowing that "except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain," with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of my country. (John Quincy Adams, March 4, 1825.)


Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson, an enthusiastic Freemason, was a true son of the French Revolution. Although having been favored by Our Lady of Prompt Succour with victory over the English forces in the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815, Andrew Jackson never converted to the Faith. He remained a Jacobin demagogue his entire life, engaging in class and sectional warfare as he imposed hateful policies upon the American Indians, believing in egalitarianism and majoritarianism, persisting until his death that the beliefs of the "majority" must prevail at all times, oblivious to the truth that God is a "majority of One," and that He has spoken to us definitively only through His Catholic Church. Jackson's thoroughly Masonic conception of God is revealed in his inaugural addresses:


A diffidence, perhaps too just, in my own qualifications will teach me to look with reverence to the examples of public virtue left by my illustrious predecessors, and with veneration to the lights that flow from the mind that founded and the mind that reformed our system. The same diffidence induces me to hope for instruction and aid from the coordinate branches of the Government, and for the indulgence and support of my fellow-citizens generally. And a firm reliance on the goodness of that Power whose providence mercifully protected our national infancy, and has since upheld our liberties in various vicissitudes, encourages me to offer up my ardent supplications that He will continue to make our beloved country the object of His divine care and gracious benediction. (Andrew Jackson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1829.)

Finally, it is my most fervent prayer to that Almighty Being before whom I now stand, and who has kept us in His hands from the infancy of our Republic to the present day, that He will so overrule all my intentions and actions and inspire the hearts of my fellow-citizens that we may be preserved from dangers of all kinds and continue forever a united and happy people. (Andrew Jackson, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1833.)


Martin Van Buren to James Buchanan

Passing references to God or the "Supreme Being," including a "profound reverence for the Christian religion" offered by William Henry Harrison, marked the inaugural speeches of presidents from Martin Van Buren to James Buchanan:

Beyond that I only look to the gracious protection of the Divine Being whose strengthening support I humbly solicit, and whom I fervently pray to look down upon us all. May it be among the dispensations of His providence to bless our beloved country with honors and with length of days. May her ways be ways of pleasantness and all her paths be peace! (Martin Van Buren, March 4, 1837.)

 I deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify me in expressing to my fellow-citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion and a thorough conviction that sound morals, religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness; and to that good Being who has blessed us by the gifts of civil and religious freedom, who watched over and prospered the labors of our fathers and has hitherto preserved to us institutions far exceeding in excellence those of any other people, let us unite in fervently commending every interest of our beloved country in all future time. (William Henry Harrison, March 4, 1841.)

Confidently relying upon the aid and assistance of the coordinate departments of the Government in conducting our public affairs, I enter upon the discharge of the high duties which have been assigned me by the people, again humbly supplicating that Divine Being who has watched over and protected our beloved country from its infancy to the present hour to continue His gracious benedictions upon us, that we may continue to be a prosperous and happy people. (James Knox Polk, March 4, 1845.)

In conclusion I congratulate you, my fellow-citizens, upon the high state of prosperity to which the goodness of Divine Providence has conducted our common country. Let us invoke a continuance of the same protecting care which has led us from small beginnings to the eminence we this day occupy, and let us seek to deserve that continuance by prudence and moderation in our councils, by well-directed attempts to assuage the bitterness which too often marks unavoidable differences of opinion, by the promulgation and practice of just and liberal principles, and by an enlarged patriotism, which shall acknowledge no limits but those of our own widespread Republic. (Zachary Taylor, March 4, 1849.)

But let not the foundation of our hope rest upon man's wisdom. It will not be sufficient that sectional prejudices find no place in the public deliberations. It will not be sufficient that the rash counsels of human passion are rejected. It must be felt that there is no national security but in the nation's humble, acknowledged dependence upon God and His overruling providence.

We have been carried in safety through a perilous crisis. Wise counsels, like those which gave us the Constitution, prevailed to uphold it. Let the period be remembered as an admonition, and not as an encouragement, in any section of the Union, to make experiments where experiments are fraught with such fearful hazard. Let it be impressed upon all hearts that, beautiful as our fabric is, no earthly power or wisdom could ever reunite its broken fragments. Standing, as I do, almost within view of the green slopes of Monticello, and, as it were, within reach of the tomb of Washington, with all the cherished memories of the past gathering around me like so many eloquent voices of exhortation from heaven, I can express no better hope for my country than that the kind Providence which smiled upon our fathers may enable their children to preserve the blessings they have inherited. (Franklin Pierce, March 4, 1853.)

I shall now proceed to take the oath prescribed by the Constitution, whilst humbly invoking the blessing of Divine Providence on this great people.( James Buchanan, March 4, 1857.)


The Case of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, our sixteenth president whose birthday, February 12, was a legal holiday in twelve states prior to 1971, has been made the stuff of myths galore. A consummate statist whose policies can be seen quite rightly as serving as the forerunner of the statism of the present day, Lincoln has had more Catholicism projected into his complex, rationalist mind than any other president, save for George Washington himself.

Discerning the truth of Lincoln's religious views is not easy. This is because Lincoln, very much in the manner of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, was cautious in what he said and to whom he said it. William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner from 1834 until his death on April 15, 1865, was convinced that Lincoln remained a Christian infidel until the time he was shot by John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theater in Washington, District of Columbia, on the evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, dying early the next day, Holy Saturday. Herndon noted that the "young Mister Lincoln," to coin a phrase, made many young men rationalists after his own views:

The best evidence this side of Lincoln's own written statement that he was an Infidel, if not an Atheist, as claimed by some, is the fact that he never mentions the name of Jesus. If he was a Christian, it could be proved by his letters and speeches. That man is a poor defender of a principle, of a person, or a thing, who never mentions that principle, person or thing. I have never seen the name of Jesus mentioned by Mr. Lincoln.

Mr. Lincoln never mentioned the name of Christ in his letters and speeches as a Christian. I have searched for such evidence, but could not find it. I have had others search, but they could not find it. This dead silence on the part of Mr. Lincoln is overwhelming proof that he was an unbeliever.

While Lincoln frequently, in a conventional way, appeals to God, he never appeals to Christ nor mentions him. I know that he at first maintained that Jesus was a bastard, and later that he was the son of Joseph and not of God.

Lincoln was not a Christian in any sense other than that he lived a good life and was a noble man. If a good life constitutes one a Christian, then Mill and a million other men who repudiated and denied Christianity were Christians, for they lived good and noble lives.

If Mr. Lincoln changed his religious views, he owed it to me to warn me, as he above all other men caused me to become an unbeliever. He said nothing to me, intimated nothing to me, either directly or indirectly. He owed this debt to many young men whom he had led astray, if astray the Christian calls it. I know of two young men of promise, now dead and gone -- gone into endless misery, according to the evangelical creed -- caused by Lincoln's teachings. I know some of the living here, men in prominent positions of life, who were made unbelievers by him.

One by one, these apocryphal stories go by the board. Courageous and remorseless criticism will wipe out all these things. There will not be a vestige of them in 50 years to laugh at or to weep at. (Abraham Lincoln's Religious Views; the full text of Herndon's letter is found in an appendix below.)


A more nuanced judgment about Lincoln's belief in God was offered two years ago by the chairman of the Department of History at East Carolina University, Dr. Gerald J. Prokopowicz, in his book "Did Lincoln Own Slaves? And other frequently asked questions about Abraham Lincoln." Here is a brief excerpt from a news story about Dr. Prokopowicz's book, which, written with the benefit of more of an exposure to Lincoln's writings and speeches than William Herndon had available in his own day, is a fairly definitive account of the complex subject of Lincoln's religious beliefs.

If Lincoln wasn’t a Christian, why are his speeches full of talk about God?

Because he believed in God, or Providence, or some kind of supernatural power beyond this earth that controlled the fates of people and nations. He sometimes quoted Shakespeare’s line, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends,/Rough-hew them how we will,” which must have appealed to the former axeman in him. As a child, he absorbed a stern Calvinism from Baptist preachers who emphasized the power of an omnipotent God, the kind of deity who notes the fall of every sparrow. As an adult, he must have spoken of his religious beliefs to his law partner William Herndon often enough to pique Herndon’s curiosity, but not fully enough to satisfy it, as evidenced by Herndon’s inclusion of questions about religion in almost all of his interviews with Lincoln’s New Salem acquaintances.

Lincoln’s ideas, whatever they were, were not easy to grasp. While he accepted the notion of providence, and referred to it often, he rarely spoke publicly of Jesus Christ. In New Salem Lincoln associated with freethinkers who doubted the divinity of Jesus, and he wrote an essay mocking the idea that Jesus was the son of God. Lincoln’s friends, anxious to protect his budding political career, threw the manuscript into the fire.   

As he matured, Lincoln learned to be more careful about expressing his views on religion. He must have said enough, however, to develop a reputation as an infidel. In 1846, when he ran for Congress against a well known Methodist preacher named Peter Cartwright, he found himself on the defensive against Cartwright’s charges that he was not a believer. Lincoln responded with a public statement that would remain the longest explanation of his religious beliefs he would ever write.

“I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular,” Lincoln wrote, in carefully measured words that reflect the tone of more recent political denials. Although strictly true, Lincoln left open the possibility that he had spoken with unintentional disrespect. In the next paragraph he agreed with his readers that it would be wrong for any candidate to scoff openly at religion, and stated that he himself would not vote for such a person, because “I still do not think any man has the right thus to insult the feelings, and injure the morals, of the community in which he may live.” Lincoln again managed to have it both ways: he shared his audience’s disapproval of “infidels,” but only those who scoff “openly” and thereby insult the majority’s feelings. He didn’t say that he belonged to the majority, and tacitly reserved the possibility that he scoffed at religion, just not openly.

Over time, Lincoln’s interest in religion grew. The death of his son Eddie in 1850 gave him cause to ponder the brevity and meaning of life on earth, and of course the casualties of the Civil War forced him to confront the issue every day. By the time he came to write the Second Inaugural Address in 1865, with its mature theological contemplation of the inscrutability and justice of the Almighty, he had gone far beyond the easy skepticism of his youth. (Change of Subject: Did Abraham Lincoln believe in God?)


Abraham Lincoln was not a Catholic. He was not a Christian. He had no conversion to Christianity. He was precursor of the modern statist, seeking to repress legitimate political dissent as he expanded the scope and the size of the power of the Federal government of the United States of America (see the good summary of revisionist history about Lincoln at American Stalin | Abraham Lincoln). It is not for nothing that Pope Pius IX wove a crown a thorns with his own hands to be sent to the imprisoned former president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Pope Pius IX did not support chattel slavery. Neither did he support the unjust use of military force against the southern states, exemplified by the ransacking and pillaging on General William Tecumseh Sherman's march from Atlanta, Georgia, to the sea, and by the orders given by General Benjamin Butler for the women of New Orleans, Louisiana, to genuflect before Union troops lest they be subjected to wretched abuses.

Much like John Adams and others before him who expressed their "respect" for Christianity, Lincoln knew that all he had to do was to make an occasional reference to God in a generic sense to convince those sympathetic to the Union cause of the rectitude of his interior dispositions, most of which he kept very closely to himself. It is in this light that his references God and religion must be understood.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty. (Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861.)

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations. (Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.)


Ulysses Simpson Grant to William Howard Taft

The cast of characters who served as President of the United States of America from March 4, 1869, through March 4, 1909, were, no matter their differences on the issues of the day, united in their belief that it was never necessary to acknowledge Christ the King. They were naturalists, each and every one of them. Two of these presidents, William McKinley and the man who succeeded him after his assassination, Theodore Roosevelt, made war against Catholic insurgents in The Philippines after our conquest of that former colony of Spain during the Spanish-American War of 1898. McKinley believed that the American victory in the Battle of Manila Bay, which was led by Commodore George Dewey on May 1, 1898, made it necessary for the United States of American to "Christianize" a people, the Filipinos, who had been Christianized by the Spanish three hundred years before. Theodore Roosevelt, the hero of the Battle of San Juan Hill on July 1, 1898, a thirty-third degree Mason, referred to God as the "Giver of Good," a Masonic phrase if ever there was one. And Teddy Roosevelt's successor, William Howard Taft of Cincinnati, Ohio, another thirty-third degree Mason, was the first American governor of The Philippines who helped to introduce Protestant sects and Masonic lodges. (Pope Leo XIII had to acquiesce to the reality of the American victory, urging Filipino Catholics to remain steadfast in the Faith in his 1902 encyclical letter, The Church in The Philippines.)

Each of these men who was president of the United States of America in the forty years between 1869 and 1909 knew nothing of First and Last Things, helping to plant the seeds for the situation in which we find ourselves today:


In conclusion I ask patient forbearance one toward another throughout the land, and a determined effort on the part of every citizen to do his share toward cementing a happy union; and I ask the prayers of the nation to Almighty God in behalf of this consummation. (Ulysses S. Grant, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1869.)

UNDER Providence I have been called a second time to act as Executive over this great nation. It has been my endeavor in the past to maintain all the laws, and, so far as lay in my power, to act for the best interests of the whole people. My best efforts will be given in the same direction in the future, aided, I trust, by my four years' experience in the office.(Ulysses S. Grant, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1873.)

Looking for the guidance of that Divine Hand by which the destinies of nations and individuals are shaped, I call upon you, Senators, Representatives, judges, fellow-citizens, here and everywhere, to unite with me in an earnest effort to secure to our country the blessings, not only of material prosperity, but of justice, peace, and union—a union depending not upon the constraint of force, but upon the loving devotion of a free people; "and that all things may be so ordered and settled upon the best and surest foundations that peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety, may be established among us for all generations." (Rutherford B. Hayes, March 4, 1877.)

I shall greatly rely upon the wisdom and patriotism of Congress and of those who may share with me the responsibilities and duties of administration, and, above all, upon our efforts to promote the welfare of this great people and their Government I reverently invoke the support and blessings of Almighty God. (James A. Garfield, March 4, 1881.)

These topics and the constant and ever-varying wants of an active and enterprising population may well receive the attention and the patriotic endeavor of all who make and execute the Federal law. Our duties are practical and call for industrious application, an intelligent perception of the claims of public office, and, above all, a firm determination, by united action, to secure to all the people of the land the full benefits of the best form of government ever vouchsafed to man. And let us not trust to human effort alone, but humbly acknowledging the power and goodness of Almighty God, who presides over the destiny of nations, and who has at all times been revealed in our country's history, let us invoke His aid and His blessings upon our labors. (Grover Cleveland, First Inaugural, March 4, 1885.)

No other people have a government more worthy of their respect and love or a land so magnificent in extent, so pleasant to look upon, and so full of generous suggestion to enterprise and labor. God has placed upon our head a diadem and has laid at our feet power and wealth beyond definition or calculation. But we must not forget that we take these gifts upon the condition that justice and mercy shall hold the reins of power and that the upward avenues of hope shall be free to all the people. (Benjamin Harrison, March 4, 1889.)

Above all, I know there is a Supreme Being who rules the affairs of men and whose goodness and mercy have always followed the American people, and I know He will not turn from us now if we humbly and reverently seek His powerful aid. (Grover Cleveland, Second Inaugural, March 4, 1893.)

Let me again repeat the words of the oath administered by the Chief Justice which, in their respective spheres, so far as applicable, I would have all my countrymen observe: "I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." This is the obligation I have reverently taken before the Lord Most High. To keep it will be my single purpose, my constant prayer; and I shall confidently rely upon the forbearance and assistance of all the people in the discharge of my solemn responsibilities. (William McKinley, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1897.)

Intrusted by the people for a second time with the office of President, I enter upon its administration appreciating the great responsibilities which attach to this renewed honor and commission, promising unreserved devotion on my part to their faithful discharge and reverently invoking for my guidance the direction and favor of Almighty God. (William McKinley, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1901.)

MY fellow-citizens, no people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with gratitude to the Giver of Good who has blessed us with the conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a measure of well-being and of happiness. To us as a people it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties which in old countries are exacted by the dead hand of a bygone civilization. We have not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race; and yet our life has called for the vigor and effort without which the manlier and hardier virtues wither away. Under such conditions it would be our own fault if we failed; and the success which we have had in the past, the success which we confidently believe the future will bring, should cause in us no feeling of vainglory, but rather a deep and abiding realization of all which life has offered us; a full acknowledgment of the responsibility which is ours; and a fixed determination to show that under a free government a mighty people can thrive best, alike as regards the things of the body and the things of the soul.  (Theodore Roosevelt, March 4, 1905.)

Having thus reviewed the questions likely to recur during my administration, and having expressed in a summary way the position which I expect to take in recommendations to Congress and in my conduct as an Executive, I invoke the considerate sympathy and support of my fellow-citizens and the aid of the Almighty God in the discharge of my responsible duties. (William Howard Taft, March 4, 1909.)

And yet it will be no cool process of mere science. The Nation has been deeply stirred, stirred by a solemn passion, stirred by the knowledge of wrong, of ideals lost, of government too often debauched and made an instrument of evil. The feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of God's own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled and the judge and the brother are one. We know our task to be no mere task of politics but a task which shall search us through and through, whether we be able to understand our time and the need of our people, whether we be indeed their spokesmen and interpreters, whether we have the pure heart to comprehend and the rectified will to choose our high course of action.


Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Although Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt did their parts to increase the size, the scope, and the power of the Federal government of the United States of America, to President Thomas Woodrow Wilson belongs the dishonor and the discredit of institutionalizing statism as a permanent feature of American life, starting with his support for the creation of the unjust and unconstitutional Federal Reserve System by an act of Congress that Wilson signed into law on December 23, 1913. Wilson used his executive power, especially following American involvement in World War I on April 6, 1917, four days after Wilson addressed Congress to seek a declaration of war against Germany, to control the national economy during World War I, also encouraging Congress to enact legislation to suppress public opposition to the war effort. This repression went by the slogan of "100% Americanism all the time."

Thomas Woodrow Wilson was a lifelong anti-Catholic. He hated the Church so much that he would not use ecclesiastical titles to refer to cardinals and bishops, stooping so low as to address one of his chief Catholic apologists, the aforementioned James Cardinal Gibbons, the Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, Maryland, the de facto primatial see of the United States of America, as "Mister" Gibbons. Famously, as I have related on this site, he scoffed at the suffering of Catholics in Mexico at the hands of the Masonic revolutionaries there when he met with then Father Clement Kelley, later Bishop Clement Kelley, the founding Bishop of the Diocese of Diocese of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, in 1915:

"Wilson replied to Father Kelley: 'I have no doubt but that the terrible things you mention have happened during the Mexican revolution. But terrible things happened also during the French revolution, perhaps more terrible things than have happened in Mexico. Nevertheless, out of that French revolution came the liberal ideas that have dominated in so many countries, including our own. I hope that out of the bloodletting in Mexico some such good yet may come.'

"Having thus instructed his caller in the benefits which must perforce accrue to mankind out of the systematic robbery, murder, torture and rape of people holding a proscribed religious conviction, the professor of politics [Wilson] suggested that Father Kelley visit Secretary of State Williams Jennings Bryan, who expressed his deepest sympathy. Obviously, the Wilson administration was committed to supporting the revolutionaries (Robert Leckie, American and Catholic, Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1970, p. 274.)


Woodrow Wilson, who told students at Princeton University when he was that institution's president that the Ten Commandments "were flexible," was a demagogue who used a slogan ("To make the world safe for democracy") to justify American involvement in the unjust, immoral war that was World War I, a war that was being fought in Europe for purely nationalistic ends, the last "balance of power" war of the Nineteenth Century fought in the early-Twentieth Century with early-Twentieth Century technology (airplanes, gas warfare, machine guns, tanks, submarines, mechanized torpedoes, modern land mines). The men of the nations of formerly Catholic Europe who were dying in the trenches of Belgium and France before the American involvement in the war were not dying to "make the world safe for democracy." They were dying because their governments had conscripted them to serve in their nations' armed forces.

Moreover, Woodrow Wilson, a Lockean liberal who believed that the creation and/or the reform of governmental structures could change or control human behavior for the better, believed that the power of the Catholic Church in Europe had to be circumscribed by the creation of secular, Masonic, naturalistic, anti-Incarnational nation-states along the American model according to the principle of "national self-determination." Wilson believed that he had been ordained by God to create a permanent structure for world peace. His proposal for the League of Nations, which came into effect as member-states other than the United States of America, ratified the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, was mocked by Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:

When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.

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 with all of this in mind that one should read any reference that Woodrow Wilson made to God in his remarks:

And yet it will be no cool process of mere science. The Nation has been deeply stirred, stirred by a solemn passion, stirred by the knowledge of wrong, of ideals lost, of government too often debauched and made an instrument of evil. The feelings with which we face this new age of right and opportunity sweep across our heartstrings like some air out of God's own presence, where justice and mercy are reconciled and the judge and the brother are one. We know our task to be no mere task of politics but a task which shall search us through and through, whether we be able to understand our time and the need of our people, whether we be indeed their spokesmen and interpreters, whether we have the pure heart to comprehend and the rectified will to choose our high course of action

This is not a day of triumph; it is a day of dedication. Here muster, not the forces of party, but the forces of humanity. Men's hearts wait upon us; men's lives hang in the balance; men's hopes call upon us to say what we will do. Who shall live up to the great trust? Who dares fail to try? I summon all honest men, all patriotic, all forward-looking men, to my side. God helping me, I will not fail them, if they will but counsel and sustain me! (Woodrow Wilson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1913.)

I need not argue these principles to you, my fellow countrymen; they are your own part and parcel of your own thinking and your own motives in affairs. They spring up native amongst us. Upon this as a platform of purpose and of action we can stand together. And it is imperative that we should stand together. We are being forged into a new unity amidst the fires that now blaze throughout the world. In their ardent heat we shall, in God's Providence, let us hope, be purged of faction and division, purified of the errant humors of party and of private interest, and shall stand forth in the days to come with a new dignity of national pride and spirit. Let each man see to it that the dedication is in his own heart, the high purpose of the nation in his own mind, ruler of his own will and desire.

I stand here and have taken the high and solemn oath to which you have been audience because the people of the United States have chosen me for this august delegation of power and have by their gracious judgment named me their leader in affairs.

I know now what the task means. I realize to the full the responsibility which it involves. I pray God I may be given the wisdom and the prudence to do my duty in the true spirit of this great people. I am their servant and can succeed only as they sustain and guide me by their confidence and their counsel. The thing I shall count upon, the thing without which neither counsel nor action will avail, is the unity of America—an America united in feeling, in purpose and in its vision of duty, of opportunity and of service. (Woodrow Wilson, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1917.)


Warren Gamaliel Harding to Herbert Clark Hoover

The three men who were president between Thomas Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt--Warren Gamaliel Harding, John Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Clark Hoover--were pure products of the ethos of cultural pluralism abroad in the United States of American. Warren Harding, who died in office of a heart attack on August 2, 1923, was an affable, easy-going man who was unfaithful to his wife (as had been Woodrow Wilson had been to his first wife, Ellen Wilson, who died while he was in the White House) and not a good judge of the character of those he appointed to office. He was a man of no real intellectual training even on the naturalistic level, being succeeded by John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., a man who believed in limited government but who had no clue about First and Last Things. This is attested to by the fact that he believed that the "mind of America must be forever free," meaning that there is nothing certain that has been revealed by God that commands the obedience of all men everywhere until the end of time.

Herbert Clark Hoover, a Quaker who was one of the most dour individuals to be president of the United States of America, was a statist and a believer in same sort of one world governance that was near and dear to the heart of Woodrow Wilson. Herbert Hoover's programs helped to pave the way for the New Deal of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Indeed, some of Roosevelt's own advisers admitted after their mentor's death that most of the programs of the early New Deal were simply renamed programs from the Hoover administration. Understand Christ the King? Not a chance.


Standing in this presence, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, feeling the emotions which no one may know until he senses the great weight of responsibility for himself, I must utter my belief in the divine inspiration of the founding fathers. Surely there must have been God's intent in the making of this new-world Republic. Ours is an organic law which had but one ambiguity, and we saw that effaced in a baptism of sacrifice and blood, with union maintained, the Nation supreme, and its concord inspiring. We have seen the world rivet its hopeful gaze on the great truths on which the founders wrought. We have seen civil, human, and religious liberty verified and glorified. In the beginning the Old World scoffed at our experiment; today our foundations of political and social belief stand unshaken, a precious inheritance to ourselves, an inspiring example of freedom and civilization to all mankind. Let us express renewed and strengthened devotion, in grateful reverence for the immortal beginning, and utter our confidence in the supreme fulfillment. . . .

One cannot stand in this presence and be unmindful of the tremendous responsibility. The world upheaval has added heavily to our tasks. But with the realization comes the surge of high resolve, and there is reassurance in belief in the God-given destiny of our Republic. If I felt that there is to be sole responsibility in the Executive for the America of tomorrow I should shrink from the burden. But here are a hundred millions, with common concern and shared responsibility, answerable to God and country. The Republic summons them to their duty, and I invite co-operation.

I accept my part with single-mindedness of purpose and humility of spirit, and implore the favor and guidance of God in His Heaven. With these I am unafraid, and confidently face the future.

I have taken the solemn oath of office on that passage of Holy Writ wherein it is asked: "What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" This I plight to God and country. (Warren G. Harding, March 4, 1921.)

These are some of the principles which America represents. We have not by any means put them fully into practice, but we have strongly signified our belief in them. The encouraging feature of our country is not that it has reached its destination, but that it has overwhelmingly expressed its determination to proceed in the right direction. It is true that we could, with profit, be less sectional and more national in our thought. It would be well if we could replace much that is only a false and ignorant prejudice with a true and enlightened pride of race. But the last election showed that appeals to class and nationality had little effect. We were all found loyal to a common citizenship. The fundamental precept of liberty is toleration. We can not permit any inquisition either within or without the law or apply any religious test to the holding of office. The mind of America must be forever free.

 It is in such contemplations, my fellow countrymen, which are not exhaustive but only representative, that I find ample warrant for satisfaction and encouragement. We should not let the much that is to do obscure the much which has been done. The past and present show faith and hope and courage fully justified. Here stands our country, an example of tranquillity at home, a patron of tranquillity abroad. Here stands its Government, aware of its might but obedient to its conscience. Here it will continue to stand, seeking peace and prosperity, solicitous for the welfare of the wage earner, promoting enterprise, developing waterways and natural resources, attentive to the intuitive counsel of womanhood, encouraging education, desiring the advancement of religion, supporting the cause of justice and honor among the nations. America seeks no earthly empire built on blood and force. No ambition, no temptation, lures her to thought of foreign dominions. The legions which she sends forth are armed, not with the sword, but with the cross. The higher state to which she seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not of human, but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God. (Calvin Coolidge, March 4, 1925.)

THIS occasion is not alone the administration of the most sacred oath which can be assumed by an American citizen. It is a dedication and consecration under God to the highest office in service of our people. I assume this trust in the humility of knowledge that only through the guidance of Almighty Providence can I hope to discharge its ever-increasing burdens . . .

In the presence of my countrymen, mindful of the solemnity of this occasion, knowing what the task means and the responsibility which it involves, I beg your tolerance, your aid, and your cooperation. I ask the help of Almighty God in this service to my country to which you have called me. (Herbert Hoover, March 4, 1929.)

Father of the Welfare State and Appeaser of Joseph Stalin: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The policies of the statist administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt have been reviewed on this site on a number of occasions. Suffice it to say that Roosevelt, himself a serial adulterer and a thirty-third degree Mason and an intellectually shallow demagogue who used the Internal Revenue Service to harass his political opponents and to protect his underlings such as Lyndon Baines Johnson (see MISUSE OF THE I.R.S.: THE ABUSE OF POWER), created the modern welfare state, built on the increase of the confiscatory taxing power of the Federal government of the United States of America, in complete violation of the Natural Law principle of subsidiarity that had been enunciated by Pope Pius XI in Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931:

As history abundantly proves, it is true that on account of changed conditions many things which were done by small associations in former times cannot be done now save by large associations. Still, that most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed, remains fixed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them.

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.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a bevy of social engineers in his employ who believed that the government could "engineer" the better world, which is why the Army Corps of Engineers decided to build on the flood plains of several Midwestern states, subjecting the areas settled on those plains to an endless cascade of floods that the designs of the Corps of Engineers could not prevent from happening after all. And it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who took lightly the menace posed by international Communism, believing that his patrician paternalism could win over the heart of the mass murderer named Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. One of Roosevelt's most trusted aides, Rexford Guy Tugwell, was an associate of Margaret Sanger, and as such used his term as the territorial governor of Puerto Rico from 1941-1946 to encourage the sterilization of Puerto Ricans (see Tone Deaf.)

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had no understanding of the true God of Divine Revelation, and we are still suffering the consequences of income redistribution schemes and of his social engineering that was increased ten-fold under the administration of his protege, Lyndon Baines Johnson, twenty years after his, Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945.

Here are Franklin Roosevelt's references to "God" in his four inaugural addresses, including his naturalistic belief that the "trend of civilization" is always "upward:"

In this dedication of a Nation we humbly ask the blessing of God. May He protect each and every one of us. May He guide me in the days to come. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933.)

WHEN four years ago we met to inaugurate a President, the Republic, single-minded in anxiety, stood in spirit here. We dedicated ourselves to the fulfillment of a vision—to speed the time when there would be for all the people that security and peace essential to the pursuit of happiness. We of the Republic pledged ourselves to drive from the temple of our ancient faith those who had profaned it; to end by action, tireless and unafraid, the stagnation and despair of that day. We did those first things first.

Our covenant with ourselves did not stop there. Instinctively we recognized a deeper need—the need to find through government the instrument of our united purpose to solve for the individual the ever-rising problems of a complex civilization. Repeated attempts at their solution without the aid of government had left us baffled and bewildered. For, without that aid, we had been unable to create those moral controls over the services of science which are necessary to make science a useful servant instead of a ruthless master of mankind. To do this we knew that we must find practical controls over blind economic forces and blindly selfish men.

We of the Republic sensed the truth that democratic government has innate capacity to protect its people against disasters once considered inevitable, to solve problems once considered unsolvable. We would not admit that we could not find a way to master economic epidemics just as, after centuries of fatalistic suffering, we had found a way to master epidemics of disease. We refused to leave the problems of our common welfare to be solved by the winds of chance and the hurricanes of disaster. . . .

While this duty rests upon me I shall do my utmost to speak their purpose and to do their will, seeking Divine guidance to help us each and every one to give light to them that sit in darkness and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1937.)

In the face of great perils never before encountered, our strong purpose is to protect and to perpetuate the integrity of democracy.

 For this we muster the spirit of America, and the faith of America.

We do not retreat. We are not content to stand still. As Americans, we go forward, in the service of our country, by the will of God. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Third Inaugural Address, January 20, 1941.)

As I stand here today, having taken the solemn oath of office in the presence of my fellow countrymen—in the presence of our God—I know that it is America's purpose that we shall not fail.

In the days and in the years that are to come we shall work for a just and honorable peace, a durable peace, as today we work and fight for total victory in war.

We can and we will achieve such a peace.

We shall strive for perfection. We shall not achieve it immediately—but we still shall strive. We may make mistakes—but they must never be mistakes which result from faintness of heart or abandonment of moral principle.

I remember that my old schoolmaster, Dr. Peabody, said, in days that seemed to us then to be secure and untroubled: "Things in life will not always run smoothly. Sometimes we will be rising toward the heights—then all will seem to reverse itself and start downward. The great fact to remember is that the trend of civilization itself is forever upward; that a line drawn through the middle of the peaks and the valleys of the centuries always has an upward trend."

Our Constitution of 1787 was not a perfect instrument; it is not perfect yet. But it provided a firm base upon which all manner of men, of all races and colors and creeds, could build our solid structure of democracy. . . .

The Almighty God has blessed our land in many ways. He has given our people stout hearts and strong arms with which to strike mighty blows for freedom and truth. He has given to our country a faith which has become the hope of all peoples in an anguished world.

So we pray to Him now for the vision to see our way clearly—to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men—to the achievement of His will to peace on earth. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fourth Inaugural Address, January 20, 1945.)


Forever upward? Go tell that to the over fifty million babies who have been put to death under cover of the civil law in the United States of America since 1965.

Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower

The two last presidents who were born in the Nineteenth Century, Harry S. Truman and Dwight David Eisenhower, were shaped by the prevailing Judeo-Masonic ethos that is abroad in our land. Truman, a thirty-third degree Mason, had a typically confused Americanist idea of the acceptability of all religions in the eyes of God:

A committed Baptist, Harry Truman was also ecumenical. While fighting in World War I and commanding the predominantly Catholic Battery D, he wrote to his future wife that “all churches, even the Roman Catholic can do a man a lot of good. I had a Presbyterian bringing up, a Baptist education, and Episcopal leanings, so I reckon I ought to get to heaven somehow, don’t you think so?” (Presidential Faith and Foreign Policy: Are Times Changing?)


No, Harry, God is not pleased with all religions. Pope Leo XIII made this clear in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885:

To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.


Although not reflected in his lone inaugural address, delivered on January 20, 1949, Harry Truman did refer to Our Lord in some foreign policy speeches, specifically in the context of referring to the Sermon on the Mount. As a Baptist and as a Mason, however, Truman was oblivious as to the fact his desire for all religions to "work together for peace" was not possible as there is but one true religion, Catholicism, and it cannot cooperate with false religions, each of which is the tool of the devil.

Truman's successor, President Dwight David Eisenhower (born as David Dwight Eisenhower), was born into a family of Mennonites who became Seventh Day Adventists. Eisenhower became a Presbyterian on February 1, 1953, twelve days after being sworn in as President of the United States of America for the first of his two terms. As was the case with Truman, Eisenhower's confusion about religion reflected the religious chaos of the pluralistic United States of American, having a deep attachment to general idea of God (it was with his approval that a Knights of Columbus proposal to insert the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance" was adopted) without any understanding that He had revealed actual, immutable dogmas that apply to all men everywhere until the end of time. Although not a Freemason and a man possessed of a genuine sense of duty toward his nation and of integrity in his public policy, Eisenhower reflected the Judeo-Masonic ethos when he made the following remark as president:

"Our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don’t care what it is." (Religion: The American Religion - TIME)


And you wonder why there is so much confusion in our country even though Eisenhower began his first inaugural with a prayer of his own composition?

Steadfast in our faith in the Almighty, we will advance toward a world where man's freedom is secure.

To that end we will devote our strength, our resources, and our firmness of resolve. With God's help, the future of mankind will be assured in a world of justice, harmony, and peace. (Harry S. Truman, January 20, 1949.)

MY friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own. And I ask that you bow your heads:

Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the executive branch of government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.

Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race, or calling.

May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen. . . .

My fellow citizens:

 The world and we have passed the midway point of a century of continuing challenge. We sense with all our faculties that forces of good and evil are massed and armed and opposed as rarely before in history.

This fact defines the meaning of this day. We are summoned by this honored and historic ceremony to witness more than the act of one citizen swearing his oath of service, in the presence of God. We are called as a people to give testimony in the sight of the world to our faith that the future shall belong to the free. . . .

This is the hope that beckons us onward in this century of trial. This is the work that awaits us all, to be done with bravery, with charity, and with prayer to Almighty God. (Dwight David Eisenhower, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953.)

Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God. And the hopes in our hearts fashion the deepest prayers of our whole people. . . .

May the turbulence of our age yield to a true time of peace, when men and nations shall share a life that honors the dignity of each, the brotherhood of all. (Dwight David Eisenhower, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1957.)


John Fitzgerald Kennedy to Barack Hussein Obama

Much has been written on this site about the presidencies of the past fifty years. John F. Kennedy's sellout of the Catholic Faith was discussed in Cut From the Same Cloth and Cushing's Children, among other articles. Kennedy was a practitioner of amorality, as was his vice president and successor, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the architect of the social engineering represented by the Great Society and the War on Poverty and of a policy to engage in a war without any goal to win that war (thus placing American service personnel in harm's way needlessly), and as was the man who actually defeated him in the 1960 elections, Richard Milhous Nixon (for a review of Nixon's presidency, please see Poster Boys Of Modernity).

Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr., a thirty-third degree Mason, was an intellectual cipher.

James Earl Carter, Jr., was a sanctimonious Baptist Sunday school teacher who appeased international Communism and used his false understanding of God to justify all manner of foreign policy disasters.

Ronald Wilson Reagan, a practitioner with his wife of astrology, which is a direct violation of the First Commandment, believed in Seventeenth Century Puritan notions of America being the "shining city set on a hill," the "last, best hope for mankind:" (the shining city and the last, best hope for mankind is the Catholic Church, thank you very much, Ronnie). George Herbert Walker Bush, who was a staunch advocate of Planned Parenthood as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas from 1967 to 1971, believed in the New World Order of Judeo-Masonry.

William Jefferson Blythe Clinton was the first of our baby-boom presidents, whose religion was and remains and, absent his conversion to the true Faith, will ever remain narcissism. A pro-abort to the core of his being, Clinton pursued policies that were recklessly at odds with the common temporal good as the violated directly the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law. He, as well as Barack Hussein Obama (and George Walker Bush, for that matter, who funded chemical killings of babies and who campaigned actively for pro-abort Republican candidates for public office), was oblivious to this injunction of Pope Pius XI, contained in Casti Connubii, December 31, 1930:

Those who hold the reins of government should not forget that it is the duty of public authority by appropriate laws and sanctions to defend the lives of the innocent, and this all the more so since those whose lives are endangered and assailed cannot defend themselves. Among whom we must mention in the first place infants hidden in the mother's womb. And if the public magistrates not only do not defend them, but by their laws and ordinances betray them to death at the hands of doctors or of others, let them remember that God is the Judge and Avenger of innocent blood which cried from earth to Heaven. (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, December 30, 1930.)


George Walker Bush believed that God spoke to him. "George, go get Saddam Hussein." That's right, God spoke to a man who funded the the indiscriminate killing of preborn babies by means of chemical abortifacients through domestic and international "family planning" programs and who funded the surgical assassination of children in at least one "hard" case.

Barack Hussein Obama, a militant pro-abort, is another narcissist without a clue as to the identity of true God of Divine Revelation. (For a comprehensive listing of articles on these more recent presidents, please see No Christ the King? No Rosary? No Good Cause.)

Each of these men has been a product of the spirit of Judeo-Masonry that has long infect the life of the true Faith in the United States of America and has served as a important foundational building-block in the apostasies of conciliarism that are enshrined in the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo worship service.

Here are the references to God of the nation's past ten presidents in their inaugural addresses:


Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God. . . .

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own. (John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961.)

My fellow countrymen, on this occasion, the oath I have taken before you and before God is not mine alone, but ours together. We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens. . . .

Under this covenant of justice, liberty, and union we have become a nation—prosperous, great, and mighty. And we have kept our freedom. But we have no promise from God that our greatness will endure. We have been allowed by Him to seek greatness with the sweat of our hands and the strength of our spirit. (Lyndon Baines Johnson, January 20, 1965.)

This means black and white together, as one nation, not two. The laws have caught up with our conscience. What remains is to give life to what is in the law: to ensure at last that as all are born equal in dignity before God, all are born equal in dignity before man. . . .

Only a few short weeks ago, we shared the glory of man's first sight of the world as God sees it, as a single sphere reflecting light in the darkness.

As the Apollo astronauts flew over the moon's gray surface on Christmas Eve, they spoke to us of the beauty of earth—and in that voice so clear across the lunar distance, we heard them invoke God's blessing on its goodness.

 In that moment, their view from the moon moved poet Archibald MacLeish to write:

"To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers."

In that moment of surpassing technological triumph, men turned their thoughts toward home and humanity—seeing in that far perspective that man's destiny on earth is not divisible; telling us that however far we reach into the cosmos, our destiny lies not in the stars but on Earth itself, in our own hands, in our own hearts.

We have endured a long night of the American spirit. But as our eyes catch the dimness of the first rays of dawn, let us not curse the remaining dark. Let us gather the light.

Our destiny offers, not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity. So let us seize it, not in fear, but in gladness—and, "riders on the earth together," let us go forward, firm in our faith, steadfast in our purpose, cautious of the dangers; but sustained by our confidence in the will of God and the promise of man. (Richard Milhous Nixon, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1969.)

Today, I ask your prayers that in the years ahead I may have God's help in making decisions that are right for America, and I pray for your help so that together we may be worthy of our challenge.

Let us pledge together to make these next four years the best four years in America's history, so that on its 200th birthday America will be as young and as vital as when it began, and as bright a beacon of hope for all the world.

Let us go forward from here confident in hope, strong in our faith in one another, sustained by our faith in God who created us, and striving always to serve His purpose. (Richard Milhous Nixon, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1973.)

In the beginning, I asked you to pray for me. Before closing, I ask again your prayers, for Richard Nixon and for his family. May our former President, who brought peace to millions, find it for himself. May God bless and comfort his wonderful wife and daughters, whose love and loyalty will forever be a shining legacy to all who bear the lonely burdens of the White House. I can only guess at those burdens, although I have witnessed at close hand the tragedies that befell three Presidents and the lesser trials of others.

With all the strength and all the good sense I have gained from life, with all the confidence of my family, my friends, and my dedicated staff impart to me, and with the good will of countless Americans I have encountered in recent visits to 40 States, I now solemnly reaffirm my promise I made to you last December 6: To uphold the Constitution; to do what is right as God gives me to see the right; and to do the very best I can for America.

Thank you. (American Rhetoric: Gerald R. Ford -- On Taking the Oath of  Office, August 9, 1974.)

Here before me is the Bible used in the inauguration of our first President, in 1789, and I have just taken the oath of office on the Bible my mother gave me a few years ago, opened to a timeless admonition from the ancient prophet Micah:

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6:8). (James Earl Carter, Jr., January 20, 1977.)

I have used the words "they" and "their" in speaking of these heroes. I could say "you" and "your" because I am addressing the heroes of whom I speak—you, the citizens of this blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the goals of this administration, so help me God. . . .

The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God's help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.

And, after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you. (Ronald Wilson Reagan, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981.)

Well, with heart and hand, let us stand as one today: One people under God determined that our future shall be worthy of our past. As we do, we must not repeat the well-intentioned errors of our past. We must never again abuse the trust of working men and women, by sending their earnings on a futile chase after the spiraling demands of a bloated Federal Establishment. You elected us in 1980 to end this prescription for disaster, and I don't believe you reelected us in 1984 to reverse course. . . .

It is the American sound. It is hopeful, big-hearted, idealistic, daring, decent, and fair. That's our heritage; that is our song. We sing it still. For all our problems, our differences, we are together as of old, as we raise our voices to the God who is the Author of this most tender music. And may He continue to hold us close as we fill the world with our sound—sound in unity, affection, and love—one people under God, dedicated to the dream of freedom that He has placed in the human heart, called upon now to pass that dream on to a waiting and hopeful world.

God bless you and may God bless America. (Ronald Wilson Reagan, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1985.)

And my first act as President is a prayer. I ask you to bow your heads:

Heavenly Father, we bow our heads and thank You for Your love. Accept our thanks for the peace that yields this day and the shared faith that makes its continuance likely. Make us strong to do Your work, willing to heed and hear Your will, and write on our hearts these words: "Use power to help people." For we are given power not to advance our own purposes, nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power, and it is to serve people. Help us to remember it, Lord. Amen. . . .

And so, there is much to do; and tomorrow the work begins. I do not mistrust the future; I do not fear what is ahead. For our problems are large, but our heart is larger. Our challenges are great, but our will is greater. And if our flaws are endless, God's love is truly boundless.

Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds. And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity—shared, and written, together.

 Thank you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. (George Herbert Walker Bush, January 20, 1989.)

When our founders boldly declared America's independence to the world and our purposes to the Almighty, they knew that America, to endure, would have to change.

Not change for change's sake, but change to preserve America's ideals—life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness. Though we march to the music of our time, our mission is timeless. . . .

From this joyful mountaintop of celebration, we hear a call to service in the valley. We have heard the trumpets. We have changed the guard. And now, each in our way, and with God's help, we must answer the call.

Thank you and God bless you all. (William Jefferson Clinton, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1993.)

From the height of this place and the summit of this century, let us go forth. May God strengthen our hands for the good work ahead—and always, always bless our America. (William Jefferson Clinton, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 1997.)

And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor’s touch or a pastor’s prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and in our laws. . . .

We are not this story’s author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty, and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another.

Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today, to make our country more just and generous, to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life.

This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.

God bless you all, and God bless America. (George Walker Bush, First Inaugural Address, January 20, 2001.)

America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time. . . .

We go forward with complete confidence in the eventual triumph of freedom. Not because history runs on the wheels of inevitability; it is human choices that move events. Not because we consider ourselves a chosen nation; God moves and chooses as He wills. We have confidence because freedom is the permanent hope of mankind, the hunger in dark places, the longing of the soul. When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner “Freedom Now”—they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled. History has an ebb and flow of justice, but history also has a visible direction, set by liberty and the Author of Liberty.

When the Declaration of Independence was first read in public and the Liberty Bell was sounded in celebration, a witness said, “It rang as if it meant something.” In our time it means something still. America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof. Renewed in our strength—tested, but not weary—we are ready for the greatest achievements in the history of freedom.

May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.  (George Walker Bush, Second Inaugural Address, January 20, 2005.)

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus—and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West—know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist . . . .

America! In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Barack Hussein Obama, January 20, 2009.)


Just as Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI will never restore the Catholic Church as he persists in beliefs that have been condemned by her teaching authority and as her persists in practices that are offensive to God, including direct violations of the First and Second Commandments, so is it the case that social order in a nation cannot be restored absent a conversion of men and their nations to the true Faith. The men who have been president of the United States may have had the most sincere of intentions. They have been unable to restrain the growth of the power of the monster state because they have been feeding that monster by their mouthing of naturalistic myths and by their suborning moral evils that can bring nothing but disastrous consequences, such as those that we are witnessing first-hand.

We must pray and work for the restoration of Christendom as the fruit of Our Lady's Fatima Message. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will bring us the Catholic City for which Pope Saint Pius X told us to work:


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.


As noted before, some Catholics do not believe that the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church binds their consciences. While it is true, as I have explained so frequently on this site, that Holy Mother Church will adapt herself to those situations, such as one that obtains in the modern civil state, including here in the United States of America, in order to continue her work of teaching and sanctifying her children, the Catholic Church never stops proclaiming the truth of her Social Teaching even though its fulfillment in a particular nation might seem to be "impossible" in human terms at a given point in time. The establishment of Christendom in the First Millennium into the Second Millennium seemed "impossible" in human terms. Nothing is impossible with God, not even the conversion of the United States of America to the true Faith.

The truth is what it is, and Pope Pius XI condemned as social modernists anyone who rejected the Church's Social Teaching:

Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.

There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)


As always, course, we must fly to the patronage of Our Lady, she is who is our life, sweetness and our hope. We must recognize that the situation of the world in which we live at present is the consequence of humans sins, including our own. We should never kid ourselves about the effects of our own sins upon the state of the Church Militant on earth and hence upon the world. We caused Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death. We caused Seven Swords of Sorrow to be thrust through and through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. We must help to undo the damage caused by our sins.

We must recognize that we have no cause for complaint as we make reparation for our sins and the whole world, that the world in which we live is suffering justly as a result infidelity to Christ the King and to Mary our Immaculate Queen, an infidelity in which we have shared in our own private lives more often than we would like to admit to ourselves (or perhaps have even admitted in the confessional). We must bear the crosses of the present moment in patience and in love for the Cross of the Divine Redeemer, beneath which stood Our Lady as she suffered a perfect martyrdom of love with Him, Love Who was made Incarnate in her Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of the God the Holy Ghost at the Annunciation.

Indeed, the men quoted above who have served as presidents of the United States of America have not only refused in their inaugural addresses to refer to Christ the King. They have ignored Mary our Immaculate Queen, she who has a right to be honored by every civil ruler as public pilgrimages are organized in her honor and sponsored directly by the civil state. If it was good enough for the kings of France who marched on foot in pilgrimages to Chartres, it is good enough for "modern men" today. Civil rulers should be leading their fellow citizens in the recitation of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary at least once a week.

Consider this telling passage from Father Frederick Faber's powerful and deeply mystical The Foot of the Cross:

So, by her dolors, He has hung about her a complete revelation of the mystery of suffering. He has illuminated in her that pregnant doctrine, that suffering is the only true conclusion to be drawn from love, where divine things are concerned. She had no sin of her own for which to suffer. She had no penalty to pay for the fall of Eve. She was not included in the law of sin. She was, in the order of heaven's purposes, foreseen before the decree permitting sin. She also had no world to redeem. All her dear blood, the sweet fountain and well head of the Precious Blood, could not have washed away one venial sin, nor saved the soul of one new-born babe who had no actual sin to expiate. She was simply immersed in an unspeakable sea of love, and therefore the deluge of sorrow passed over he soul, and into it, by right, just as the great turbulent rivers run down unquestioned into the sea. Her sufferings close the mouth of complaint forever. (Father Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, Rockford, Illinois in 1978, p. 35.)


Any questions?

We must lift high the Cross this Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, as we give the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus all of our the merit we might earn each day as a result of prayers and sufferings and sacrifices and humiliations and misunderstandings and mortifications and penances and almsgiving through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit. . The seeds that we plant this lent might just help to bring about, God willing and Our Lady, interceding, the day on which all men in all nations will exclaim:

Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now.

Our Lady of Fatima, 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 Faustinus and Jovita, pray for us.

Saint Valentine, pray for us.

Saint Catherine de Ricci, O.P., pray for us.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony, O.P., pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints


William Herndon on The Religious Views of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln's Religious Views
by William Herndon
from Religious Views Of Our Presidents
by Franklin Steiner

The following letter appeared, in 1870, in the Index, a journal published in Toledo, Ohio, and edited by Francis E. Abbott:

    Mr. Abbott:

    Some time since I promised you that I would send you a letter in relation to Mr. Lincoln's religion. I do so now. Before entering on that question, one or two preliminary remarks will help us to understand why he disagreed with the Christian world in its principles as well as in its theology. In the first place, Mr. Lincoln's mind was a purely logical mind; secondly, Mr. Lincoln's was a purely practical mind. He had no fancy or imagination, and not much emotion. He was a realist as opposed to an idealist. As a rule, it is true that a purely logical mind has not much hope, if it ever has faith, in the unseen and unknown. Mr. Lincoln had not much hope and no faith in the unseen and unknown. Mr. Lincoln had not much hope and no faith in things that lie outside of the domain of demonstration; he was so constituted, so organized that he could believe nothing unless his senses or logic could reach it. I have often read to him a law point, a decision, or something I fancied. He could not understand it until he took the book out of my hand, and read the thing for himself. He was terribly, vexatiously skeptical. He could scarcely understand anything, unless he had time and place fixed in his mind.

    I became acquainted with Mr. Lincoln in 1834, and I think I knew him well to the day of his death. His mind, when a boy in Kentucky, showed a certain gloom, an unsocial nature, a peculiar abstractness, a bold and daring skepticism. In Indiana, from 1817 to 1830, it manifested the same qualities or attributes as in Kentucky; it only intensified, developed itself, along those lines in Indiana. He came to Illinois in 1830, and, after some little roving, settled in New Salem, now in Menard County and State of Illinois. This village lies about 20 miles north-west of this city. It was here that Mr. Lincoln became acquainted with a class of men the world never saw the like of before or since. They were large men -- large in body and large in mind; hard to whip and never to be fooled. They were a bold, daring, and reckless sort of men; they were men of their own minds -- believed what was demonstrable; were men of great common sense. With these men Mr. Lincoln was thrown; with them he lived, and with them he moved and almost had his being. They were skeptics all -- scoffers some. These scoffers were good men, and their scoffs were protests against theology -- loud protests against the follies of Christianity. They had never heard of Theism and the newer and better religious thoughts of this age. Hence, being natural skeptics, and being bold, brave men, they uttered their thoughts freely. They declared that Jesus was an illegitimate child. They were on all occasions, when an opportunity offered, debating the various questions of Christianity among themselves. They took their stand on common sense and on their own souls; and though their arguments were rude and rough, no man could overthrow their homely logic. They riddled all divines, and not unfrequently made them skeptics, unbelievers as bad as themselves. They were a jovial, healthful, generous, social, true, and manly set of people.

    It was here and among these people that Mr. Lincoln was thrown. About the year 1834 he chanced to come across Volney's Ruins and some of Paine's theological works. He at once seized hold of them, and assimilated them into his own being. Volney and Paine became a part of Lincoln from 1834 to the end of his life.

    In 1835 he wrote out a small work on Infidelity, and intended to have it published. This book was an attack upon the whole grounds of Christianity, and especially was it an attack upon the idea that Jesus was the Christ, the true and only-begotten son of God, as the Christian world contends. Mr. Lincoln was at that time in New Salem, keeping store for Mr. Samuel Hill, a merchant and postmaster of that place. Lincoln and Hill were very friendly. Hill, I think, was a skeptic at the time. Lincoln, one day after the book was finished, read it to Mr. Hill, his good friend. Hill tried to persuade him not to make it public, not to publish it. Hill, at that time, saw in Lincoln a rising man, and wished him success. Lincoln refused to destroy it -- said it should be published. Hill swore it should never see the light of day. He had an eye on Lincoln's popularity -- his present and future success; and believing that if the book was published it would kill Lincoln forever, he snatched it from Lincoln's hand when Lincoln was not expecting it, and ran it into an old-fashioned tin plate stove, heated as hot as a furnace; and so Lincoln's book went up to the clouds in smoke. It is confessed by all who heard parts of it that it was at once able and eloquent; and, if I may judge it from Mr. Lincoln's subsequent ideas and opinions, often expressed to me and to others in my presence, it was able, strong, plain and fair. His argument was grounded on the internal mistakes of the Old and New Testaments, and on reason and on the experiences and observations of men. The criticisms from internal defects were sharp, strong, and manly.

    Mr. Lincoln moved to this city in 1837, and here became acquainted with various men of his own way of thinking. At that time they called themselves Freethinkers, or Freethinking men. I remember all these things distinctly; for I was with them, heard them and was one of them. Mr. Lincoln here found other works -- Hume, Gibbon, and others -- and drank them in. He made no secret of his views; no concealment of his religion. He boldly avowed himself an Infidel.

    When Mr. Lincoln was a candidate for our legislature, he was accused of being an Infidel and of having said that Jesus was an illegitimate child. He never denied his opinions nor flinched from his religious views. He was a true man, and yet it may be truthfully said that in 1837 his religion was low indeed. In his moments of gloom he would doubt, if he did not sometimes deny, God.

    Mr. Lincoln ran for Congress against the Rev. Peter Cartwright in the year 1846. In that contest he was accused of being an Infidel, if not an Atheist. He never denied the charge -- would not -- "would die first." In the first place, because it could and would be proved on him; and in the second place, he was too true to his own convictions, to his own soul, to deny it.

    When Mr. Lincoln left this city for Washington, I knew he had undergone no change in his religious opinions or views. He held many of the Christian ideas in abhorrence, and among them this one, namely, that God would forgive the sinner for a violation of his laws. Lincoln maintained that God could not forgive; that Christianity was wrong in teaching forgiveness.

    From what I know of Mr. Lincoln, and from what I have heard and verily believe, I can say, first, that he did not believe in special creation, his idea being that all creation was an evolution under law; secondly, that he did not believe that the Bible was a special revelation from God, as the Christian world contends; thirdly, he did not believe in miracles as understood by Christians; fourthly, he believed in universal inspiration and miracles under law; fifthly, he did not believe that Jesus was the Christ, the son of God, as the Christian church contends; sixthly, he believed that all things, both matter and mind, were governed by laws, universal, absolute and eternal. All his speeches and remarks in Washington conclusively prove this. Law was to Lincoln everything, and special interferences, shams and delusions.

From private letters from Herndon to Mr. Remsburg, and published for the first time in Abraham Lincoln: Was He a Christian? in 1893.

    I was the personal friend of Lincoln from 1834 to the day of his death. In 1843 we entered into a partnership which was never formally dissolved. When he became unpopular in this Congressional district because of his speeches on the Mexican War, I was faithful to him. When he espoused the anti-slavery cause and in the eyes of most men had hopelessly ruined his political prospects, I stood by him, and through the press defended his course. In those dark hours, by our unity of sentiment and by political ostracism, we were driven to a close and enduring friendship. You should take it for granted, then, that I knew Mr. Lincoln well. During all this time, from 1834 to 1862, when I last saw him, he never intimated to me, either directly or indirectly, that he had changed his religious opinions. Had he done so had -- he let drop one word or look in that direction, I should have detected it.

    I had an excellent private library, probably the best in the city for admired books. To this library Mr. Lincoln had, as a matter of course, full and free access at all times. I purchased such books as Locke, Kant, Fichte, Lewes; Sir William Hamilton's Discussions on Philosophy; Spencer's First Principles, Social Statics, etc.; Buckle's History of Civilization, and Lecky's History of Rationalism. I also possessed the works of Paine, Parker, Emerson and Strauss; Gregg's Creed of Christendom, McNaught on Inspiration, Volney's Ruins, Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity, and other works on Infidelity. Mr. Lincoln read some of these works. About the year 1843 he borrowed The Vestiges of Creation of Mr. James W. Keyes, of this city, and read it carefully. He subsequently read the sixth edition of this work, which I loaned him. Mr. Lincoln had always denied special creation, but from his want of education he did not know just what to believe. He adopted the progressive and development theory as taught more or less directly in that work. He despised speculation, especially in the metaphysical world. He was purely a practical man. He adopted Locke's notions as to his system of mental philosophy, with some modifications to suit his own views. He held that reason drew her references as to law, etc., from observations, experience and reflection on the facts and phenomena of Nature. He was a pure sensationalist, except as above. He was a materialist in his philosophy. He denied dualism, and at times immortality in any sense.

    Before I wrote my Abbott letter, I diligently searched through Lincoln's letters, speeches, state papers, etc., to find the word immortality, and I could not find it anywhere except in his letter to his father. The word immortality appears but once in his writings.

    If he had been asked the plain question, "Do you know that a God exists?" he would have said: "I do not know that a God exists."

    At one moment of his life I know that he was an Atheist. I was preparing a speech on Kansas, and in it, like nearly all reformers, I invoked God. He made me wipe out that word and substitute the word Maker, affirming that said Maker was a principle of the universe. When he went to Washington he did the same to a friend there.

    Mr. Lincoln told me, over and over, that man has no freedom of the will, or, as he termed it, "No man has a freedom of mind." He was in one sense a fatalist, and so he died. He believed that he was under the thumb of Providence (which to him was but another name for fate). The longer he lived, the more firmly he believed it, and hence his oft invocation of God. But these invocations are no evidence to a rational mind that he adopted the blasphemy that God seduced his own daughter, begat a son on purpose to have mankind kill him, in order that he, God, might become reconciled to his own mistakes, according to the Christian view.

    Lincoln would wait patiently on the flow and logic of events. He believed that conditions make the man and not man the conditions. Under his own hand he says: "I attempt no compliment to my own sagacity. I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me." He believed in the supreme reign of law. This law fated things, as he would express it. Now, how could a man be a Christian -- could believe that Jesus Christ was God -- could believe in the efficacy of prayer -- and entertain such a belief?

    He did not believe in the efficacy of prayer, although he used that conventional language. He said in Washington, "God has his own purposes." If God has his own purposes, then prayer will not change God's purposes.

    I have often said to you, and now repeat it, that Lincoln was a scientific materialist, i.e., that this was his tendency as opposed to the Spiritualistic idea. Lincoln always contended that general and universal laws ruled the Universe -- always did -- do now -- and ever will. He was an Agnostic generally, sometimes an Atheist.

    That Mr. Lincoln was an Infidel from 1834 to 1661, I know, and that he remained one to the day of his death, I honestly believe. I always understood that he was an Infidel, sometimes bordering on Atheism. I never saw any change in the man, and the change could not have escaped my observation had it happened.

    Lincoln's task was a terrible one. When he took the oath of office his soul was bent on securing harmony among all the people of the North, and so he chose for his cabinet officers his Opponents for the Presidential candidacy in order and as a means of creating a united North. He let all parties, professions, and callings have their way where their wishes did not cut across his own. He was apparently pliant and supple. He ruled men when men thought they were ruling him. He often said to me that the Christian religion was a dangerous element to deal with when aroused. He saw in the Kansas affairs -- in the whole history of slavery, in fact -- its rigor and encroachments, that Christianity was aroused. It must be controlled, and that in the right direction. Hence he bent to it, fed it, and kept it within bounds, well knowing that it would crush his administration to atoms unless appeased. His oft and oft invocations of God, his conversations with Christians, his apparent respect for Christianity, etc., were all means to an end. And yet sometimes he showed that he hated its nasal whines.

    A gentleman of veracity in Washington told me this story and vouched for its truthfulness: "A tall saddle-faced man," he said, "came to Washington to pray with Lincoln, having declared this to be his intention at the hotel. About 10 o'clock a.m. the bloodless man, dressed in black, with white cravat, went to the White House, sent in his card, and was admitted. Lincoln glanced at the man and knew his motives in an instant. He said to him, angrily: 'What, have you, too, come to torment me with your prayers?' The man was squelched and said, 'No, Mr. Lincoln' -- lied out and out. Lincoln spoiled those prayers."

    Mr. Lincoln was thought to be understood by the mob. But what a delusion! He was one of the most reticent men that ever lived. All of us -- Stuart, Speed, Logan, Matheny, myself and others, had to guess at much of the man. He was a mystery to the world -- a sphinx to most men. One peculiarity of Mr. Lincoln was his irritability when anyone tried to peep into his own mind's laboratory. Considering all this, what can be thought of the stories about what he is said to have confided to strangers in regard to his religion?

    I see frequently quoted a supposed speech made by Mr. Lincoln to the colored people of Baltimore, on the presentation of a Bible to him. This supposed speech contains the following: "All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated to us through this book." This idea is false and foolish. What becomes of nine-tenths of the life of Jesus of which we have no history -- nine-tenths of the great facts of this grand man's life not recorded in this book? Mr. Lincoln was full and exact in his language. He never used the word Saviour, unless in a conventional sense; in fact, he never used the word at all. Again, he is made to say: "But for this book, we could not know right from wrong." The lowest organized life, I was about to say, knows right from wrong in its particular sphere. Every good dog that comes in possession of a bone, knows that the bone belongs to him, and he knows that it is wrong for another dog to rob him of it. He protests with bristling hair and glistening teeth against such dog robbery. It requires no revelation to teach him right from wrong in the dog world; yet it requires a special revelation from God to teach us right from wrong in the human world. According to this speech, the dog has the advantage. But Mr. Lincoln never uttered such nonsense.

    I do think that anyone who knew Mr. Lincoln -- his history -- his philosophy -- his opinions -- and still asserts that he was a Christian, is an unbounded falsifier. I hate to speak thus plainly, but I cannot respect an untruthful man.

    Let me ask the Christian claimant a few questions. Do you mean to say, when you assert that Mr. Lincoln was a Christian, that he believed that Jesus was the Christ of God, as the evangelical world contends? If so, where did you get this information? Do you mean to say that Mr. Lincoln was a converted man and that he so declared? If so, where, when, and before whom did he declare or reveal it? Do you mean to say that Mr. Lincoln joined a Church? If so, what Church did he join, and when did he join it? Do you mean to say that Mr. Lincoln was a secret Christian, acting under the cloak of the devil to advance Christianity? If so, what is your authority? If you will tell me when it was that the Creator caught in his almighty arms, Abraham, and held him fast while he poured the oil of grace on his rebellious soul, then I will know when it was that he was converted from Infidel views to Christianity.

    The best evidence this side of Lincoln's own written statement that he was an Infidel, if not an Atheist, as claimed by some, is the fact that he never mentions the name of Jesus. If he was a Christian, it could be proved by his letters and speeches. That man is a poor defender of a principle, of a person, or a thing, who never mentions that principle, person or thing. I have never seen the name of Jesus mentioned by Mr. Lincoln.

    Mr. Lincoln never mentioned the name of Christ in his letters and speeches as a Christian. I have searched for such evidence, but could not find it. I have had others search, but they could not find it. This dead silence on the part of Mr. Lincoln is overwhelming proof that he was an unbeliever.

    While Lincoln frequently, in a conventional way, appeals to God, he never appeals to Christ nor mentions him. I know that he at first maintained that Jesus was a bastard, and later that he was the son of Joseph and not of God.

    Lincoln was not a Christian in any sense other than that he lived a good life and was a noble man. If a good life constitutes one a Christian, then Mill and a million other men who repudiated and denied Christianity were Christians, for they lived good and noble lives.

    If Mr. Lincoln changed his religious views, he owed it to me to warn me, as he above all other men caused me to become an unbeliever. He said nothing to me, intimated nothing to me, either directly or indirectly. He owed this debt to many young men whom he had led astray, if astray the Christian calls it. I know of two young men of promise, now dead and gone -- gone into endless misery, according to the evangelical creed -- caused by Lincoln's teachings. I know some of the living here, men in prominent positions of life, who were made unbelievers by him.

    One by one, these apocryphal stories go by the board. Courageous and remorseless criticism will wipe out all these things. There will not be a vestige of them in 50 years to laugh at or to weep at.

In his Life of Lincoln, pp. 445-446, Mr. Herndon said:

    No man had a stronger or firmer faith in Providence -- God -- than Mr. Lincoln, but the continued use by him late in life of the word God must not be interpreted to mean that he believed in a personal God. In 1854, he asked me to erase the word God from a speech I had written and read to him for criticism, because my language indicated a personal God, whereas he insisted that no such personality ever existed.

Appendix B

A Note From Mr. Michael Reardon

I appreciated very much your excellent article of Feb. 16, Not A Mention Christ the King, especially your information in regard to Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln’s war had a dramatic effect on my own family. I have a dozen blood relatives who fought for the Confederacy,  most of whom were wounded, including lost limbs, with one missing in action and presumed killed. In regard to the Battle of Cold Harbor, the Cold Harbor Property, which sat at a crossroads where five roads met, and still do, was a 182-acre farm, where sat the Cold Harbor Tavern (Burnett’s Inn) and four other buildings, all owned by my great, great grandfather, Isaac Burnett. He lived in the tavern with his wife, his older sister, and his nine daughters and four sons. His son, George, my great grandfather, was the only Confederate soldier from Cold Harbor. My grandmother was born in the Tavern in 1880. The Battle of Cold Harbor was the bloodiest  short battle of the War, with the most intense fighting taking place within a half mile of the tavern. Some 7,000 Union soldiers were killed in twenty minutes in the main assault on June 3, 1864. Both the armies of George McClellan and Grant camped on Isaac Burnett’s property in 1862 and in 1864, with devastating results. In the words of Martha Burnett, Isaac’s 21-year old daughter at the time, “In the month of June 1864 General Grant’s army came on the premises and swept it clean of everything in the way of supplies for man and beast.” The Confederate never took anything from the property. Martha, on one occasion, saw a Union soldier take a large glass bowl from the tavern and hide it in a haystack. She went out in the night and hid it in another haystack. Today that bowl belongs to a cousin who lives in Williamsburg. Claims made by the family after the War in the amount of $10,415.00, a huge amount in those days, were denied by the U.S. Government.

© Copyright 2010, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.