Still Caught in the Trap of Naturalism
Thomas A. Droleskey
The devil loves to divert our attention from the truth in order to get us trapped in one of his many webs. This is especially the case in a world where our daily lives (commerce, travel, education, politics, governance, law, health-care, entertainment, sports, art, commentary) are steeped in the fog of naturalism. So many people, including so many believing Catholics, think that we are making "progress" when our country is actually regressing.
Yes, I understand only too well the tendency to be caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment.
As an exuberant Americanist back in 1980, I told a presbyter in the conciliar structures just days after the election of then former California Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan as President of the United States of America on Tuesday, November 4, 1980, the Feast of Saint Charles Borromeo, that I thought that we had "turned a corner" on abortion. I was giddy with "enthusiasm" over the election results as Republicans captured control of the United States Senate for the first time since the 1952 elections. There was, arguably speaking, a "pro-life" majority even in the United States House of Representatives. I thought that we were going to "get somewhere" during the Reagan years.
My enthusiasm was dashed within seven months as then President Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to replace the retiring Potter Stewart as an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Sandra Day O'Connor was not pro-life. Indeed, Howard Phillips, the Chairman of the Conservative Caucus Foundation, and Mrs. Judie Brown, the founder and President of American Life League, both testified before the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate during Mrs. O'Connor's confirmation hearings that she supported surgical baby-killing when she was the majority leader of the Arizona State Senate. This cold, hard evidence did not matter to the "pro-life" Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It did not matter to President Reagan or those who advised him. Reagan was advised to close the "gender gap," and one of the ways to do that, it was thought by his wife, Nancy Reagan and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Michael Deaver, was to nominate the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
The White House was in Republican hands from January 20, 1981, until January 20, 1993, when the defeated President George Herbert Walker Bush's term of office expired. Within two days of succeeding Bush the Elder, then President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton issued executive orders that reversed the Reagan-Bush era "Mexico City policy" that limited the use of American taxpayer dollars by international "family planning" organizations for surgical abortions (while funding the chemical assassination of the innocent preborn by means of contraceptive pills and devices, of course) and a ban on the use of Federal taxpayer monies to subsidize embryonic stem-cell research. Poof. Gone was the very, very little that had been done in the twelve years of Ronald Wilson Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush. Poof. Goodbye, "progress." No one wants to learn that in a world of naturalism where the "people" are sovereign, everything is written in sand.
Then President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton capitalized on his presidential powers to issue an executive order to permit the Food and Drug Administration to begin the testing of the human pesticide, RU-486, for purposes of marketing it for sale in this country. Republicans did not issue a word of protest, not even when The New York Times reported in 1995 that some women were getting pregnant deliberately in order to participate in the trial testing of RU-486 that was conducted at the time by the Population Council. The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the marketing of RU-486 on September 28, 2000.
Then Texas Governor George Walker Bush was asked just five days later, during his first debate with then Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., whether he would reverse the Food and Drug Administration's decision to market the human pesticide. Here is the transcript of the responses that Bush and Gore made to moderator Jim Lehrer of the Public Broadcasting System:
MODERATOR: New question, new subject. Governor Bush. If elected president, would you try to overturn the FDA's approval last week of the abortion pill RU-486?
BUSH: I don't think a president can do that. I was disappointed in the ruling because I think abortions ought to be more rare in America, and I'm worried that that pill will create more abortions and cause more people to have abortions. This is a very important topic and it's a very sensitive topic, because a lot of good people disagree on the issue. I think what the next president ought to do is to promote a culture of life in America. Life of the elderly and life of those women all across the country. Life of the unborn. As a matter of fact, I think a noble goal for this country is that every child, born or unborn, need to be protected by law and welcomed to life. I know we need to change a lot of minds before we get there in America. What I do believe is that we can find good, common ground on issues of parental consent or parental notification. I know we need to ban partial birth abortions. This is a place where my opponent and I have strong disagreement. I believe banning partial birth abortions would be a positive step to reducing the number of abortions in America. It is an issue that will require a new attitude. We've been battling over abortion for a long period of time. Surely this nation can come together to promote the value of life. Surely we can fight off these laws that will encourage doctors to -- to allow doctors to take the lives of our seniors. Surely we can work together to create a cultural life so some of these youngsters who feel like they can take a neighbor's life with a gun will understand that that's not the way America is meant to be. Surely we can find common ground to reduce the number of abortions in America. As to the drug itself, I mentioned I was disappointed. I hope the FDA took its time to make sure that American women will be safe who use this drug.
MODERATOR: Vice President Gore?
GORE: Well, Jim, the FDA took 12 years, and I do support that decision. They determined it was medically safe for the women who use that drug. This is indeed a very important issue. First of all on the issue of partial birth or so-called late-term abortion, I would sign a law banning that procedure, provided that doctors have the ability to save a woman's life or to act if her health is severely at risk. That's not the main issue. The main issue is whether or not the Roe v. Wade decision is going to be overturned. I support a woman's right to choose. My opponent does not. It is important because the next president is going to appoint three and maybe even four justices of the Supreme Court. And Governor Bush has declared to the anti-choice group that he will appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are known for being the most vigorous opponents of a woman's right to choose. Here is the difference. He trusts the government to order a woman to do what it thinks she ought to do. I trust women to make the decisions that affect their lives, their destinies and their bodies. And I think a woman's right to choose ought to be protected and defended.
MODERATOR: Governor, we'll go to the Supreme Court question in a moment, but make sure I understand your position on RU-486. If you're elected president, you won't support legislation to overturn this?
BUSH: I don't think a president can unilaterally overturn it. The FDA has made its decision.
MODERATOR: That means you wouldn't, through appointments, to the FDA and ask them to --
BUSH: I think once a decision has been made, it's been made unless it's proven to be unsafe to women.
GORE: Jim, the question you asked, if I heard you correctly, was would he support legislation to overturn it. And if I heard the statement day before yesterday, you said you would order -- he said he would order his FDA appointee to review the decision. Now that sounds to me a little bit different. I just think that we ought to support the decision.
BUSH: I said I would make sure that women would be safe who used the drug. (2000 Debate Transcript)
I very rarely write sentences consisting of capitalized words to make a point emphatically. The English language permits us to choose words without having to resort to capitalized words and multiple exclamation points at the end of sentences. I will make an exception in this instance, however: THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS FULL POWER TO DIRECT HIS SUBORDINATES TO REVERSE ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MADE BY A PREDECESSOR'S ADMINISTRATION.
George Walker Bush decided NOT to reverse the decision announced by the Food and Drug Administration on September 28, 2000, because he did not want to run the risk of electoral rejection for doing so. To assert that the President of the United States of America is powerless to reverse an administrative decision demonstrates a woeful ignorance of the Constitution of the United States of America or a deliberate effort to wash one's hands of a decision that one prefers to see stand as it was made.
As I demonstrated three years ago this month in Selective Use of Executive Power, President George Herbert Walker Bush and President George Walker Bush both pushed the limits of executive power to accomplish those things that truly mattered to them in their respective administrations. Bush the Lesser never cared about constitutional limits, issuing all manner of orders to approve the use of "enhanced interrogation" (torture) on suspects held by third-party contractors in foreign countries.
It is beneath contempt for anyone to assert that George Walker Bush was "pro-life" when he had nearly eight years to reverse the marketing of the human pesticide, RU-486. Eight years. Eight years. All it would have taken for George Walker Bush to reverse the marketing of RU-486 is to direct the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, which is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, to reverse the marketing decision. It is that simple. Bush has chosen NOT to do this. Bush also stood by as Food and Drug Administration authorized over-the-counter sales of another human pesticide, the so-called "Plan B emergency contraceptive" to women over the age of eighteen.
Although he was wrong about many things, the late John "Cardinal" O'Connor, the conciliar "archbishop" of New York from March 19, 1984, to May 3, 2000, was "spot on" when he told me the following in a private meeting in his residence on Madison Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York, when I was running for lieutenant governor of the State of New York on the Right to Life Party line in 1986:
"We could have gotten somewhere if the President had moved on the abortion issue as strong as he has moved in support of the Contras in Nicaragua."
No one wants to learn one of the cold, hard lessons of naturalism in these our days: career politicians of the "right" treat "social issue" voters the way that blacks have been treated for decades by the careerists in the Democratic Party. "Where else are you going to go?" is the attitude of the careerists who care only about getting elected and thus retaining and/or augmenting their hold on power. The careerists of the "right" are concerned about satisfying lobbyists and those who give them substantial campaign donations. The careerists of the "left," in addition to pleasing their own lobbyists and donors, are concerned about increasing the size and the scope of the regulatory powers of the Federal government regardless of the constitutionality of their actions. Voters exist to enable them to do these things. That is all.
Some readers forget that I did teach political science for over thirty years. Other readers forget that I was in the campaign trenches in my own behalf and that of others for a long time, that I racked up a lot of miles in various states campaigning for Patrick Joseph Buchanan in 1995 and 1996. I have met a lot of career politicians. I have spoken to a lot of them. I know what they think. They have contempt even for members of their own political party who are might be committed to advancing the "social issues" as such people are considered to be "irritants" who are "out of the mainstream." The bottom line for career politicians is this: how can I retain power by appealing to the most number of voters. And this must be the case now and into the future in a world where the common temporal good is not pursued 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 in Heaven.
As noted yesterday in More Committed to Error Than We Are to Truth, one of the reasons that naturalism retains such a hold on the minds of Catholics no matter where they fall along the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide during these times of apostasy and betrayal is that the true bishops of our country's past had made their own "reconciliation" with the principles of Modernity long before the "Second" Vatican Council did so in Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae, both of which were issued on December 7, 1965. The appendix below will provide readers a review of just some of the history of accommodationism that led to a situation where most Catholics in this country are caught in the diabolical trap of naturalism, believing one of two different lies: (a) that is possible to promote "progress" by means of the leftism of the Democratic Party; (b) that is is possible to preserve "traditional values" by means of the Republican Party.
Just as a slight aside, these lies bring to mind the observation of Gilbert Keith Chesterton that appears on the home page of this website:
"The whole world is dividing itself into progressives and conservatives. The job of the progressives is to go on making mistakes. The job of the conservatives is to prevent those mistakes from being corrected." (Gilbert Keith Chesterton, April 19, 1924.)
Anyone who doubts the truth of the late Mr. Chesterton's observation is not thinking two clearly. Progressivism and conservatism are simply two sides of the same naturalist coin.
Today's quite worthy Americanist successors of the Americanist bishops of the past do not want to make social "waves" by explaining to the Catholics who believe them to be true bishops of the Catholic Church that no one who supports a single, solitary abortion under the cover of the civil law is worthy of their support. A lot of today's Americanist "bishops" do not believe that support for chemical or surgical baby-killing disqualifies a person from holding any office of public trust, whether elected or appointed. Most of the others cower in fright at the thought of losing their "tax-exempt status," refusing even to consider the fact that they, who consider themselves to be legitimate Successors of the Apostles, have an obligation to proclaim the truth no matter the earthly consequences that might occur as a result. The Apostles were willing to give up their very lives in behalf of a faithful proclamation of the truths of the Holy Faith. This is not the case with the conciliar revolutionaries, men who place earthly, naturalistic, considerations above everything else, men who are quite comfortable in a world of "religious liberty" and "separation of Church and State."
The "tax-exempt" status dodge, however, does not even stand up to a close scrutiny on merely constitutional grounds, something that I explained in Christ in the Voting Booth twelve years ago, a book that would have to be very much updated and purged of all conciliar references before being reissued as an e-book under a different title (yes, after several other projects that I am working on at this time, it is my intention to revise and re-title that book as well as to revise G.I.R.M. Warfare for e-publication). Here is an updated and revised presentation of the constitutional argument that I made in Christ in the Voting Booth about the tax-exempt status dodge:
One of the reasons given by some "conservative" "bishops" in the conciliar structures for their own relative timidity in matters of politics is a concern they have over losing what they consider to be the Catholic Church's tax-exempt status. Others among within the conciliar hierarchy are only too happy to use the tax-exempt status as a dodge to avoid discussing contraception and abortion and perversity at all. Roger "Cardinal" Mahony, the conciliar "archbishop" of Los Angeles, California, said during the 1992 election campaign that there are "other" issues besides abortion.
The response that the "Cardinal" Mahonys in the counterfeit church of conciliarism use is that it is not possible to change behavior by law. No? Over 1.5 million women were not seeking surgical abortions prior to the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States of America in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton on January 22, 1973. As Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who has admitted to presiding over 70,000 surgical abortions between 1970, when surgical baby-killing was "legalized" in the State of New York, to 1973, at which point Dr. Nathanson stopped killing babies for purely scientific reasons as he had become convinced of the personhood of the preborn child, documented in both Aborting America and The Abortion Papers, the most accurate statistics for the pre-Roe period indicate that about 100,000 illegal abortions were performed in the United States of America each year. There has been a ten-fold increase in that number since the "legalization" of abortion-on-demand until the day of birth. Women are having abortions because they believe, erroneously, that it is their constitutionally guaranteed "right" to do so. A plethora of Catholic politicians reaffirm them in the existence of this bogus right. What do some of the conciliar "bishops" do and say? They say that there is nothing that can be done, other than showing up at the annual March for Life in Washington, District of Columbia, each January 22.
Law does change behavior. Those of us committed to the restoration of legal protection to the preborn recognize the fact that the mere overturning of Roe (as unlikely as that seems at present) is not going to end the demand for baby-killing. Much needs to be done to change hearts and souls. Changing the law, however, is a necessary first step. Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that a law that sanctions a grave moral evil is unjust and illegitimate. Pope Leo XIII emphasized this truth in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
Moreover, if we would judge aright, the supernatural love for the Church and the natural love of our own country proceed from the same eternal principle, since God Himself is their Author and originating Cause. Consequently, it follows that between the duties they respectively enjoin, neither can come into collision with the other. We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable. The order of precedence of these duties is, however, at times, either under stress of public calamities, or through the perverse will of men, inverted. For, instances occur where the State seems to require from men as subjects one thing, and religion, from men as Christians, quite another; and this in reality without any other ground, than that the rulers of the State either hold the sacred power of the Church of no account, or endeavor to subject it to their own will. Hence arises a conflict, and an occasion, through such conflict, of virtue being put to the proof. The two powers are confronted and urge their behests in a contrary sense; to obey both is wholly impossible. No man can serve two masters, for to please the one amounts to contemning the other.
As to which should be preferred no one ought to balance for an instant. It is a high crime indeed to withdraw allegiance from God in order to please men, an act of consummate wickedness to break the laws of Jesus Christ, in order to yield obedience to earthly rulers, or, under pretext of keeping the civil law, to ignore the rights of the Church; "we ought to obey God rather than men." This answer, which of old Peter and the other Apostles were used to give the civil authorities who enjoined unrighteous things, we must, in like circumstances, give always and without hesitation. No better citizen is there, whether in time of peace or war, than the Christian who is mindful of his duty; but such a one should be ready to suffer all things, even death itself, rather than abandon the cause of God or of the Church. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)
The truth is that some conciliar "bishops" and their chancery factotums--and many people who work within the headquarters of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, District of Columbia, find the statist programs of the Democratic Party to be in accord with their own warped, "leftist" understanding of "social justice." They believe in the illusion of secular salvation through the quasi-socialist policies of the likes of former President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton and our current caesar, President Barack Hussein Obama. That is why they are so happy to acquiesce to the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service whose agents enforce restrictions upon churches that were imposed by a bill sponsored by then Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Baines Johnson (D-Texas) as a means, some have long believed, to silence preachers in Texas who were critical of him:
2. Has this prohibition on political campaign intervention always been part of the Internal Revenue Code?
No. The prohibition on political campaign intervention did not become part of the Internal Revenue Code until 1954, when an amendment to section 501(c)(3) was introduced by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson during a Senate floor debate on the 1954 Internal Revenue Code. The prohibition was added to the Code without hearings, testimony or comment by any tax-exempt organizations. Although there is no legislative history to indicate definitively why Johnson sought enactment of the political campaign intervention prohibition, neither is there any evidence that the prohibition was targeted at political campaign intervention by religious organizations. (Pew Forum: Politics and the Pulpit 2008 - Background.)
Failing to understand that the remote cause of mankind's problems is to be found in Original Sin and that the proximate causes for the worsening of problems in the world are to be found in our own Actual Sins and the consequences of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolution and the rise of Judeo-Masonry, many of the conciliar "hierarchy" and clergy look to government as the "solution" to social problems. These apostates do not understand or accept the truth that it is the reform of our own lives in cooperation with the Sanctifying Graces won for us by the shedding of every single drop of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, that constitutes the true reform of societies.
Those in the conciliar hierarchy and clergy who are committed to the leftist brand of naturalism accept the class-envy arguments of the left, believing in all tragic error that the materially "poor" will be helped out of their material poverty by massive redistribution of income through government taxation policies. The failure of this formula to have worked previously in our national history does little to dissuade these ideologues from believing in social engineering with the sort of religious fervor and conviction that must be reserved solely for the Holy Faith.
Some conciliar "bishops" would contend that it is an act of "prudence" to submit to the guidelines of the Internal Revenue Service. The unpleasant truth is that all of the conciliar church's efforts in this country to cooperate with evil government programs (particularly in the work of Catholic Charities and the so-called Catholic Campaign for Human Development and in many so-called Catholic health-care corporations that run once proudly Catholic hospitals) results in greater regulatory demands from bureaucrats to adhere to their agenda of social engineering.
To wit, conciliar officials in the Archdiocese of New York were on the verge in the 1990s of severing their ties with the City of New York's foster child-care program because bureaucrats demanded that "birth control" and abortion information be provided to children entrusted to the archdiocese's own foster children program. A "compromise" was reached that permitted the children to receive this nefarious information from the bureaucrats rather than from those who worked for any "'Catholic" social service agency. Other such "compromises" concerning the placement of children in the homes of "couples" engaged in perversity have taken place in recent years. Conciliar officials have thus voluntarily relinquished the moral high ground in order to make the petty caesars of this world happy.
It is therefore no act of genuine prudence to submit to the tax terrorists. It is not even good constitutional law to do so. For it is the contention of this professor trained in constitutional law that all of the guidelines imposed by the "Johnson Amendment" and subsequent guidelines issued by the Internal Revenue Service are unconstitutional and duplicity enforced. The conciliar "bishops of the United States of America could challenge these guidelines successfully on the grounds of the clear language of the United States Constitution. True, the legal positivists who compromise almost the entirety of United States District Courts and the United States Circuit Courts of Appeal would probably not agree with the case that will be made below. Indeed, a somewhat similar argument, one that does hinge on the "power to tax is the power to destroy" argument that I have advanced, has been rejected by these courts (see Pew Forum: Politics and the Pulpit 2008 - Background.) It is not entirely out of the realm of possibility, no matter how remote, that the Supreme Court of the United States of America, at least as constituted currently, might accept something along the lines of the following argument:
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states that Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion nor of prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This, of course, is a double-edge sword.
As has been demonstrated on this site repeatedly over the years, the framers of the First Amendment inserted the anti-establishment clause for many reasons, including the fact that the multiplicity of Protestant sects in the nascent country made it possible for there to be a nationally recognized religion. It is also true that the framers of the First Amendment feared any establishment of religion at the national level as a result of their misreading of the history of the Middle Ages and because they, products of the Protestant Revolution and the rationalistic "Enlightenment," believed that a state church, especially if that church was the Catholic Church, and a "free" people were mutually exclusive (see
A Founding Hatred for Christ the King).
Yes, it was "acceptable" for individual Protestants and even Catholics and "free-thinkers" to express themselves openly in society in whatever way they desired. It was, however, not acceptable, not even in theory, for there to be any kind of official state religion at the national level. And lest defenders of all things American attempt to point out that there were established churches at the state level at the time of the ratification of the First Amendment on December 15, 1791, permit me to point out that those state churches were gone by the middle of the Nineteenth Century as the "fruits" of religious indifferentism and religious pluralism began to bloom in all of their pernicious rot.
The framers of the First Amendment certainly believed that adherents of different religious denominations or "free-thinkers" (atheists, Deists, other naturalists) could make whatever arguments they wanted to make in public discourse, something that is considered "good enough" by Americanists and is championed by none other than Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI himself over and over and over and over again. This, of course, is false, as Pope Pius IX, among others, pointed out:
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."
And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the people's will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right." But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests? (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.)
No, the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, although it assures Catholics the free exercise of their religion, assures that "injurious babbling" will continue ad infinitum, thus resulting in a situation described by Pope Pius IX as men believe that they have "no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth." The First Amendment is antithetical to the obligation nations owe to the true God of Divine Revelation, and it is thus a hindrance to the pursuit of genuine justice founded in the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as they have been entrusted by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to His Catholic Church for their eternal safekeeping and infallible explication.
It is nevertheless the case that the First Amendment exists. As Pope Leo XIII noted in Libertas, June 20, 1888, Catholics must make use of the "liberties" to be found in the modern civil state in order to advance the cause of the Faith in the social realm if they can do so without compromising the Faith Itself. Given the fact that the First Amendment is not going away anytime soon, therefore, genuinely Catholic "bishops" would attempt, no matter how futile the effort might be, to point out that that amendment guarantees the Catholic Church the free exercise of religion, which involves speaking the truth from the pulpit on matters of the right ordering of men and their nations even if this offends those who are running for and/or hold any office of public trust, whether elected or appointed.
All religious denominations in the United States of America, including the Catholic Church, are inherently exempt from taxation by virtue of the fact that their "right" to exist is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Why? I am so glad that you asked.
Chief Justice John Marshall wrote in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland, March 6, 1819, "That the power to tax involves the power to destroy; that the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create," deciding that the State of Maryland could not tax the transactions at a branch bank of the United States of America, (an institution whose constitutionality had been challenged by the State of Maryland, whose lawyers advanced the argument that the state possessed the power to tax transactions at the bank if it was determined to be constitutional. Marshall decided that the creation of the Bank of United States of America was an implied power of Congress permitted by subsection eighteen of section eight of Article I of the Constitution--the "necessary and proper" clause, deciding also that since it was the "people" who created the government of the United States of America and not the state governments. an argument that is rejected by some "conservative" constitutional scholars today, the State of Maryland could not tax what it did not create, namely, the Federal government.
This is what John Marshall wrote about the power to tax:
That the power to tax involves the power to destroy; that the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create; that there is a plain repugnance in conferring on one Government a power to control the constitutional measures of another, which other, with respect to those very measures, is declared to be supreme over that which exerts the control, are propositions not to be denied. But all inconsistencies are to be reconciled by the magic of the word CONFIDENCE. Taxation, it is said, does not necessarily and unavoidably destroy. To carry it to the excess of destruction would be an abuse, to presume which would banish that confidence which is essential to all Government. (McCulloch v. Maryland.)
As the government of the United States of America does not "create" churches, it has not power to tax them. It's as simple as that.
Sure, I know. Such an argument has almost no chance of being accepted in an American court of law today. It further has no chance of being accepted because there is no one inside the cement palace at the United States Conference of "Catholic" "Bishops" who wants to advance such an argument (or one that is similar to it). The "bishops" and their apparatchiks are perfectly content to let Catholic voters cast their ballots for open pro-aborts rather than to risk losing their tax-exempt status as they wrap themselves up in the "consistent ethic of life" (the "seamless garment") that was enunciated by the late Joseph "Cardinal" Bernardin, then the conciliar archbishop of Chicago, Illinois (Bernardin was a true bishop, by the way) in a
speech at Fordham University on December 6, 1983. (Bernardin claimed that one can't really be "pro-life" unless one opposes the death penalty and supports government programs for the poor and underprivileged, doing this to blunt inroads that then President Ronald Wilson Reagan was making with Catholic voters because of the issue of abortion. Bernardin wanted to indemnify the likes of Edward Moore Kennedy and Mario Matthew Cuomo and Thomas P. O'Neill and Thomas Foley and Christopher Dodd and John Kerry and Barbara Mikulski and Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Geraldine Ferraro from any possible electoral consequences because of their support for chemical and surgical baby-killing. They were doing "so much" for the poor. They were really the true "pro-lifers" in public life. It is wrong to be "single issue" voters on the issue of abortion alone.) The conciliar "bishops" and their apparatchiks in the United States of America have more pressing things on their "plate" than to challenge the constitutionality of the tax-empt status or to act like the Apostles, who spoke the truth without regard to their consequences, being willing to lay down their very lives in behalf of the Holy Faith. They even have no stomach for pointing out that the likes of Jesse Jackson and Alton Sharpton and Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., and William Jefferson Blythe Clinton and Barack Obama and John Kerry can speak in "black" churches without anyone talking about removing the tax-exempt status of those Protestant sects.
This is why, as I tried to point out yesterday in More Committed to Error Than We Are to Truth, that Catholic voters, especially those on the "coasts" and in Illinois, are going to be voting for hard-core pro-aborts for years and years to come. Who's going to tell them that they can't? Not the conciliar "bishops" or their local pastor, at least not in most instances. And this is why careerists in the Republican Party know that they can get away with with the likes of pro-aborts such as Thomas C. Foley (no relation to the former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives) and Linda McMahon in Connecticut or Mark Kirk in Illinois or Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe in Maine.
If you do not believe me, then just look at the analysis of the election results provided by a pretty objective statistical analyst, Sean Trende, that demonstrates the election results were not the "slam dunk" many "conservatives" believed them to be (Election 2010: An Inconsistent Wave). The electoral college vote projected I offered in yesterday's article is pretty much on the mark, especially when one considers the role played by Catholics who feel perfectly free in a "free" county to vote for those who support one moral evil after another, including baby-killing and perversity. Republicans might be able to retain control of the United States House of Representative and capture a majority of seats in the United States Senate. To write Barack Hussein Obama's political epitaph at this point is just a little premature as there are plenty of Catholics on the "coasts" and in Illinois who provide him with a ready store of electoral votes with which to start his campaign for re-election.
Almost no one in the conciliar structures, noting a very few exceptions here and there, suffers any real consequences for supporting baby-killing under cover of the civil law. Mark my work here: the conciliar "bishops" of Connecticut will be making an open plea to spare the life of the heinous felon, Stephen Hayes, who will be sentenced to death next month after being convicted for the horrific crimes he committed in a home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut, on July 23, 2007. There will be "candlelight" vigils prior to Hayes's execution. Various diocesan and parish "peace and justice" committees will be present. It is not entirely out of the question that Ratzinger/Benedict himself might ask the newly elected pro-abortion "Catholic" Governor of Connecticut, Daniel Malloy, to spare Hayes's life in the same way that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II did so frequently in the cases of those committed of truly heinous murders prior to their being executed. This is Catholicism? No, it is not.
We must not be caught in this trap of naturalism. We must remind ourselves always that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order. We do more to advance the cause of our nation by praying one Rosary each day than we do by investing time and energy and money in the naturalist farce called partisan politics, a farce that convinces us to accept increasingly higher doses of the so-called "lesser evil" to blunt the supposedly"greater evil" without realizing that we have reached a situation that there is no difference in many cases between such evils (viz. Foley-Malloy and McMahon-Blumenthal in Connecticut).
Pray the Rosary. Pray the Rosary. Pray the Rosary.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph in the end. The seeds that we plant now by our own personal fidelity to her Fatima Message, especially by pray our Rosaries t make reparation for our own sins and those of the whole world, will help to effect that victory over time, a victory when Christ the King will once again reign over men and their nations.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Theodore, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Material Taken from "Stage Left from the Very Beginning"
Although I have written about the heresy of Americanism on many occasions, suffice it to note for present purposes, especially for those readers who have not read articles such as Babbling Inanities of Americanism, that Americanism is the exaltation of the belief that it is not necessary for the civil state to recognize the true religion and to accord her the favor and the protection of the laws, that it is "good enough" for individual Catholics to have a "voice" in civic affairs without providing a specific role for Holy Mother Church to interpose herself as a last resort with the civil authorities if they propose to do--or have in fact done--things grievously contrary to the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law and thus contrary to the good of souls. Pope Leo XIII knew that the Americanist spirit sought to accommodate the Faith to the demands of pluralism in such a way that Catholics in the United States of America would come to view the Church through the eyes of the world rather than viewing the world through the eyes of the Holy Faith:
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. . . .
For it [an adherence to the condemned precepts of Americanism] would give rise to the suspicion that there are among you some who conceive of and desire the Church in America to be different from what it is in the rest of the world. (Pope Leo XIII, Apostolical Letter to James Cardinal Gibbons, Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, January 22, 1899.)
That "different" church in the United States of America did manifest itself over time, especially as American bishops sought to prove their "patriotism" after President Thomas Woodrow Wilson involved the United States of America in the unjust and immoral world known now as World War I in 1917, a war that Wilson believed would provide him with the opportunity export his concept of Americanism into those "backward" countries of Europe that were still under the influence of the Catholic Church that he hated so fiercely. James Cardinal Gibbons, the longtime Americanist Archbishop of Baltimore, was more than willing to do the anti-Catholic Wilson's bidding even though Wilson was such an anticlericalist that he referred to the de facto Primate of the United States of America as "Mister Gibbons" and even though Wilson had in 1916 told Gibbons' personal representative, Father Clement Kelley, the following about the slaughter of Catholics in Mexico by the Masonic revolutionaries there:
"Wilson replied [to a Father, later Bishop, Clement Kelley, who was a representative of James Cardinal Gibbons, the Archbishop of Baltimore, for whom Wilson had such contempt that he addressed him as Mister Gibbons]: '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 instructor his visitor as to 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.)
An entire apparatus, the National Catholic War Council, which became the National Catholic Welfare Conference in 1919 and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference in 1966 and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2001, was created by the American bishops in 1917 to support the Wilson's war to "make the world safe for the democracy," which Woodrow Wilson believed was the "true religion" that could provide a "framework of peace" for the future. This apparatus grew in size over time, serving as a major supporter of the leftist policies of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that were in direct contravention of Pope Pius XI's call in Quadragesimo Anno, May 15, 1931, to respect the Natural Law principle of subsidiarity (that those institutions, starting with the family, closest to those in need should supply for their wants). The bureaucracy of the American bishops became so filled with unreconstructed leftists and statists by the 1960s that many "conservative" Catholics considered the then named United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to be nothing other than a policy arm of the administration of the social engineer named President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
As I have demonstrated in several other articles, the bureaucrats in the apparatus of the American hierarchy took their strength and inspiration from cardinals and bishops who served as errand boys for the major domos of the Democratic Party. Just consider (yes, once again for longtime readers, perhaps for the first time for newer readers) the examples given by Francis Cardinal Spellman and Richard Cardinal Cushing:
In 1960, the Puerto Rico hierarchy decided to make one last concerted effort to drive the Sangerite forces from the island. The Catholic resistance was lead by two American Bishops--James F. Davis of San Juan and James E. McManus of Ponce. The Catholic Church in Puerto Rico helped to organize a national political party--the Christian Action Party (CAP). The new political front was composed primarily of Catholic laymen and its platform included opposition to existing permissive legislation on birth control and sterilization.
When increasing numbers of CAP flags began to fly from the rooftops of Puerto Rico's Catholic homes, the leaders of the opposition parties, who favored turning Puerto Rico into an international Sangerite playground for massive U.S.-based contraceptive/abortifacient/sterilization experimental programs, became increasingly concerned for their own political futures. Then unexpected help arrived in the unlikely person of His Eminence Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York.
One month before the hotly contested national election, Spellman arrived in Puerto Rico ostensibly to preside over two formal Church functions. While on the island, Spellman agreed to meet with CAP's major political rival, Governor Luis Munoz Marin, leader of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and a supporter of federal population control programs for Puerto Rico.
In an interview that followed his meeting with Munoz, Spellman, known for years as FDR's errand boy with a miter, claimed that politics were outside his purview. The cardinal's statement was interpreted by the press as an indictment of the partisan politics of Bishops Davis and McManus. To underscore his message, as soon as Spellman returned to the States he made a public statement in opposition to the latest directives of the Puerto Rico bishops prohibiting Catholics from voting for Munoz and his anti-life PDP cohorts. Catholic voters in Puerto Rico should vote their conscience without the threat of Church penalties, Spellman said.
Boston's Cardinal Cushing, John F. Kennedy's "political godfather," joined Spellman in expressed "feigned horror" at the thought of ecclesiastical authority attempting to dictate political voting. "This has never been a part of our history, and I pray God that it will never be!" said Cushing. Cushing's main concern was not the Puerto Rican people. His main worry was that the flack caused by the Puerto Rican birth control affair might overflow into the upcoming presidential campaign and hurt John Kennedy's bid for the White House.
The national election turned out to be a political disaster for CAP. Munoz and the PDP won by a landslide. Bishop Davis was forced to end the tragic state of confusion among the Catholic laity by declaring just before the election that no penalties would be imposed on those who voted for PDP.
Two years later, with the knowledge and approval of the American hierarchy and the Holy See, the Puerto Rican hierarchy was pressured into singing a secret concordat of "non-interference" in government-sponsored birth control programs--a sop being that the programs would now include instruction in the "rhythm method." While insisting on their right to hold and express legitimate opposition to such programs, the Puerto Rican bishops promised they would "never impose their own moral doctrines upon individuals who do not accept the Catholic teaching."
When the Sangerite storm hit the mainland in the late 1960s, AmChurch would echo this same theme song, opening the floodgates to a multi-billion dollar federal-life-prevention (and destruction) program. (Randy Engel, The Rite of Sodomy, pp. 647-649)
Early in the summer of 1965, the Massachusetts legislature took up a proposal to repeal the state's Birth Control law, which barred the use of contraceptives. . . . In a state where Catholics constituted a voting majority, and dominated the legislature, the prospects for repeal appeared remote. Then on June 22, Cardinal Cushing appeared on a local radio program, 'An Afternoon with Haywood Vincent,' and effectively scuttled the opposition. Cardinal Cushing announced: 'My position in this matter is that birth control in accordance with artificial means is immoral, and not permissible. But this is Catholic teaching. I am also convinced that I should not impose my position upon those of other faiths'. Warming to the subject, the cardinal told his radio audience that 'I could not in conscience approve the legislation' that had been proposed. However, he quickly added, 'I will make no effort to impose my opinion upon others.' So there it was: the 'personally opposed' argument, in fully developed form, enunciated by a Prince of the Church nearly 40 years ago! Notice how the unvarying teaching of the Catholic Church, which condemned artificial contraception as an offense against natural law, is reduced here to a matter of the cardinal's personal belief. And notice how he makes no effort to persuade legislators with the force of his arguments; any such effort is condemned in advance as a bid to 'impose' his opinion. Cardinal Cushing conceded that in the past, Catholic leaders had opposed any effort to alter the Birth Control law. 'But my thinking has changed on that matter,' he reported, 'for the simple reason that I do not see where I have an obligation to impose my religious beliefs on people who just do not accept the same faith as I do'. . . . Before the end of his fateful radio broadcast, Cardinal Cushing gave his advice to the Catholic members of the Massachusetts legislature: 'If your constituents want this legislation, vote for it. You represent them. You don't represent the Catholic Church.' Dozens of Catholic legislators did vote for the bill, and the Birth Control law was abolished. Perhaps more important in the long run, the 'personally opposed' politician had his rationale." (Catholic World Report, 2003.)
Recent articles (Signs of Apostasy Abound and Randy Engel on Catholic Relief Services) on this site have noted the involvement of the "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services with pro-abortion organizations. This is, of course, but a logical continuation of the rotten heritage of the likes of Francis Spellman, who was known as Franklin Delano Roosevelt's water boy, and Richard Cushing, who was the episcopal spear-carrier for Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr., and his ambitious sons. It should not surprise us at all that some of the key staffers in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are, apart from being full-throated supporters of Barack Hussein Obama's administration, fully supportive of groups that are pro-abortion and pro-perversity.