When Lesser is Greater
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Pope Leo XIII, writing in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, explained the fatal consequences to a society whose governing system is founded upon a rejection of a formal, confessional recognition of the true Church from its very inner life:
So, too, the liberty of thinking, and of publishing, whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrance, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountain-head and origin of many evils. Liberty is a power perfecting man, and hence should have truth and goodness for its object. But the character of goodness and truth cannot be changed at option. These remain ever one and the same, and are no less unchangeable than nature itself. If the mind assents to false opinions, and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. Whatever, therefore, is opposed to virtue and truth may not rightly be brought temptingly before the eye of man, much less sanctioned by the favor and protection of the law. A well-spent life is the only way to heaven, whither all are bound, and on this account the State is acting against the laws and dictates of nature whenever it permits the license of opinion and of action to lead minds astray from truth and souls away from the practice of virtue. To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. A State from which religion is banished can never be well regulated; and already perhaps more than is desirable is known of the nature and tendency of the so-called civil philosophy of life and morals. The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action.
There are Catholics across the ecclesiastical divide who seem not to care about this firm statement of Catholic truth, agitated by the devil himself into playing on his naturalistic turf according to his naturalistic rules to achieve naturalistic ends that only wind up, inevitably and inexorably, further institutionalizing evil under cover of civil law and in every aspect of popular culture. Pope Leo XIII, however, made a declarative statement that is either true or false of its nature. If it is true, as we know it to be, then any country that is so prideful and arrogant as to exclude the true Church from her rightful role in the exercise of the Social Reign of Christ the King is analogous to a "dead man walking."
We are eyewitnesses to the degradation wrought throughout the Western world as a result of the false, religiously indifferentist, anti-Incarnational, naturalistic, semi-Pelagian principles of Modernity that serve as the foundation of the modern civil state, including the United States of America. Those who believe that there is some "stopgap" measure or short-cut to retard the degradation of a country founded on false principles need only to look to the example of the Roman Empire itself to see what happened to one of the world's most powerful empires as a result of centuries of degradation and statism and nationalism and hedonism and bloated bureaucracies and excessive taxation and needless foreign wars. God saw to it that the Roman Empire of the West collapsed as a result of the weight of its own decadence, making it possible for the rise of Christendom over the course of time in the First Millennium.
As I have noted in endless numbers of commentaries on this site, Christendom was not an era of perfection. Far from it. It was, however, an era in which the average person understood who he was in light of Who created Him, Who redeemed Him and Who sanctified Him. The average person understood that each of the problems of the world was caused by the Original Sin and by the Actual Sins of those alive at any given moment in salvation history, recognizing as well that the one and only way to retard social evil was by the reform of individual lives in cooperation with the graces won for them by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flowed into their hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces. The average person of the Middle Ages understood, therefore, that there was no governmental or structural or programmatic way to resolve problems that are the result of fallen human nature and require individual men to submit themselves to the teaching authority and sanctifying offices of the Catholic Church to ameliorate over the course of time. (See:
A Catechism of the Social Reign of Christ the King.)
The emergence of the pluralist civil state of Modernity has plunged Catholics into a truly diabolical trap, one that has many aspects, each of which plays a direct role into shaping the Americanist worldview of those who get all "caught up" in the rush of partisan politics in an election cycle and then "go away" for four years or so without paying any attention at all to the actual details of what their secular saviours have wrought by means of the evil programs they helped to create or to further institutionalize and without paying any attention at all to their articulation of false principles that assert human beings have the "civil liberty" to believe and to do that which is evil of its nature. It is nothing other than amazing to see people suspend all rationality, no less to respond with furious anger against the binding Social Teaching of the Catholic Church condemning Modernity's premises of "civil liberty" and the "separation of the Church and State," in order to believe that further compromises with naturalism will help to retard the evils of naturalism.
First, it should be pointed out that pluralism and religious indifferentism on a cultural level feed into the Americanist notion that "it doesn't make any difference what one believes as long as he is a 'good' person." This is of the essence of Judeo-Masonry, which labels as but mere "opinions" those things that pertain to Divine Revelation, insisting that it is neither wise or prudent or even necessary to discuss "opinions" that might "divide" men in the pursuit of civil peace and the establishment of social order. Pope Leo XIII discussed this in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result -- namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church. . . .
If those who are admitted as members are not commanded to abjure by any form of words the Catholic doctrines, this omission, so far from being adverse to the designs of the Freemasons is more useful for their purposes. First, in this way they easily deceive the simple-minded and the heedless, and can induce a far greater number to become members. Again, as all who offer themselves are received whatever may be their form of religion, they thereby teach the great error of this age -- that a regard for religion should be held as an indifferent matter, and that all religions are alike. This manner of reasoning is calculated to bring about the ruin of all forms of religion, and especially of the Catholic religion, which, as it is the only one that is true, cannot, without great injustice, be regarded as merely equal to other religions.
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.
Pluralism helps to convince many people that elections are the way by which we "improve" things in a particular nation, if not the world. We have to put aside denominationalism, as Dr. Alan Keyes, a disciple of the late gnostic Americanist, Dr. Leo Strauss, said in a speech on Long Island in 1997, in order to work together on what "unites" us with others. This religiously indifferentist view of the world, a cornerstone of Judeo-Masonry, has been condemned by pope after pope. It is, however, the very foundation of conciliarism's view of Church-State relations. A belief in the false notion that a nation in particular or the world in general can be improved by any other means than the Catholic Faith is absolutely illusory.
Second, a pluralist civil state convinces Catholics over the course of time to think in purely natural terms rather than as Catholics. Catholics in the United States of America were rarely taught the Social Encyclical Letters of Popes Gregory XVI and Leo XIII from the pulpit by their bishops and priests. The average Catholic American in the Nineteenth Century was ignorant of this teaching. Only a small handful of Catholic American intellectuals, writing largely for themselves in journals that were never read by large numbers of Catholics in the pew, were aware of this teaching, producing quite a divided body of thought on whether it was "binding" in the "unique" circumstances of the United States of America, an argument that was settled once and for all (at least for believing Catholics whose religion is Catholicism and not libertarianism or conciliarism) by Pope Pius XI in Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922:
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.
One of the chief dangers of living in the modern pluralist civil state is that Catholics become so imbued with naturalistic principles that they believe that it is absolutely necessary to leave their Catholicism at the "door," so to speak," thus opening the path wide for the further propagation of error as the false foundation of personal and social order. To mention the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in public is thus considered to an anathema, no less to remind men that they and their nations must to to Him through His Most Blessed Mother, who gave Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, the Rosary as the means to combat the enemies of Holy Mother Church. And the enemies of Holy Mother Church are the enemies of social order.
To proclaim the Holy Name publicly--and in the very annals of government and in all public discourse--is our duty. Pope Pius XI pointed this out in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:
We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights. . . .
Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.
The faithful, moreover, by meditating upon these truths, will gain much strength and courage, enabling them to form their lives after the true Christian ideal. If to Christ our Lord is given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire. He must reign in our minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone. He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful incentive to perfection. It is Our fervent desire, Venerable Brethren, that those who are without the fold may seek after and accept the sweet yoke of Christ, and that we, who by the mercy of God are of the household of the faith, may bear that yoke, not as a burden but with joy, with love, with devotion; that having lived our lives in accordance with the laws of God's kingdom, we may receive full measure of good fruit, and counted by Christ good and faithful servants, we may be rendered partakers of eternal bliss and glory with him in his heavenly kingdom.
There are some Catholics in the United States of America who believe that this exhortation has absolutely no relevance to their daily lives, plunging themselves headlong into the very errors of the pluralist state that have resulted in their trusting in the Judeo-Masonic electoral process as the means of social reform, repeating slogan after slogan as a "mantra" that shields from having to examine and to accept the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church and to actually pay attention to the evils that have been promoted under cover of law by both major political parties in the United States of America.
One of these slogans is involves the assertion that we must accept "the lesser of two evils." While there are times, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Libertas, April 20, 1888, that it might be necessary to accept certain evils in light of the difficulties presented in retarding them all at once, there are inherent dangers, he wrote, in becoming too accustomed over the course of time to increasingly higher doses of evil as being considered "acceptable" in a given society:
Yet, with the discernment of a true mother, the Church weighs the great burden of human weakness, and well knows the course down which the minds and actions of men are in this our age being borne. For this reason, while not conceding any right to anything save what is true and honest, she does not forbid public authority to tolerate what is at variance with truth and justice, for the sake of avoiding some greater evil, or of obtaining or preserving some greater good. God Himself in His providence, though infinitely good and powerful, permits evil to exist in the world, partly that greater good may not be impeded, and partly that greater evil may not ensue. In the government of States it is not forbidden to imitate the Ruler of the world; and, as the authority of man is powerless to prevent every evil, it has (as St. Augustine says) to overlook and leave unpunished many things which are punished, and rightly, by Divine Providence. But if, in such circumstances, for the sake of the common good (and this is the only legitimate reason), human law may or even should tolerate evil, it may not and should not approve or desire evil for its own sake; for evil of itself, being a privation of good, is opposed to the common welfare which every legislator is bound to desire and defend to the best of his ability. In this, human law must endeavor to imitate God, who, as St. Thomas teaches, in allowing evil to exist in the world, "neither wills evil to be done, nor wills it not to be done, but wills only to permit it to be done; and this is good.'' This saying of the Angelic Doctor contains briefly the whole doctrine of the permission of evil.
But, to judge aright, we must acknowledge that, the more a State is driven to tolerate evil, the further is it from perfection; and that the tolerance of evil which is dictated by political prudence should be strictly confined to the limits which its justifying cause, the public welfare, requires. Wherefore, if such tolerance would be injurious to the public welfare, and entail greater evils on the State, it would not be lawful; for in such case the motive of good is wanting. And although in the extraordinary condition of these times the Church usually acquiesces in certain modern liberties, not because she prefers them in themselves, but because she judges it expedient to permit them, she would in happier times exercise her own liberty; and, by persuasion, exhortation, and entreaty would endeavor, as she is bound, to fulfill the duty assigned to her by God of providing for the eternal salvation of mankind. One thing, however, remains always true -- that the liberty which is claimed for all to do all things is not, as We have often said, of itself desirable, inasmuch as it is contrary to reason that error and truth should have equal rights.
And as to tolerance, it is surprising how far removed from the equity and prudence of the Church are those who profess what is called liberalism. For, in allowing that boundless license of which We have spoken, they exceed all limits, and end at last by making no apparent distinction between truth and error, honesty and dishonesty. And because the Church, the pillar and ground of truth, and the unerring teacher of morals, is forced utterly to reprobate and condemn tolerance of such an abandoned and criminal character, they calumniate her as being wanting in patience and gentleness, and thus fail to see that, in so doing, they impute to her as a fault what is in reality a matter for commendation. But, in spite of all this show of tolerance, it very often happens that, while they profess themselves ready to lavish liberty on all in the greatest profusion, they are utterly intolerant toward the Catholic Church, by refusing to allow her the liberty of being herself free.
Whether someone or some thing represents a "lesser" evil is a judgment of the practical order. Catholics in the United States of America have become so used to the mantra of "voting for the lesser of two evils" that they invoke this mantra without understanding the proper distinctions and qualifications that need to be made when arriving at a judgment of the practical order.
Let me provide a few examples to illustrate this point.
It is an evil thing to support even a single abortion, whether chemical or surgical under cover of law. As Dr. Charles E. Rice, in whose faculty offices at the University of Notre Dame Law School I was on January 22, 1973, shortly after the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States of America was issued in the case of Roe v. Wade, noted about a decade ago, no one who supports a single abortion under cover of law is qualified to hold any position of public trust, whether elected or appointed, including being the "trustee of a mosquito abatement district." Why? Well, the answer is simple.
Those who support willful murder, one of the four crimes that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, demonstrate that they do not accept the Sovereignty of God and the Deposit of Faith that He has entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church. A rejection of the absolute applicability of God's immutable laws to men and to their nations at all times and in all circumstances results in a disordered view of the world that poisons even the administration of simple civil justice, as Pope Leo XIII noted in Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900:
God alone is Life. All other beings partake of life, but are not life. Christ, from all eternity and by His very nature, is "the Life," just as He is the Truth, because He is God of God. From Him, as from its most sacred source, all life pervades and ever will pervade creation. Whatever is, is by Him; whatever lives, lives by Him. For by the Word "all things were made; and without Him was made nothing that was made." This is true of the natural life; but, as We have sufficiently indicated above, we have a much higher and better life, won for us by Christ's mercy, that is to say, "the life of grace," whose happy consummation is "the life of glory," to which all our thoughts and actions ought to be directed. The whole object of Christian doctrine and morality is that "we being dead to sin, should live to justice" (I Peter ii., 24)-that is, to virtue and holiness. In this consists the moral life, with the certain hope of a happy eternity. This justice, in order to be advantageous to salvation, is nourished by Christian faith. "The just man liveth by faith" (Galatians iii., II). "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews xi., 6). Consequently Jesus Christ, the creator and preserver of faith, also preserves and nourishes our moral life. This He does chiefly by the ministry of His Church. To Her, in His wise and merciful counsel, He has entrusted certain agencies which engender the supernatural life, protect it, and revive it if it should fail. This generative and conservative power of the virtues that make for salvation is therefore lost, whenever morality is dissociated from divine faith. A system of morality based exclusively on human reason robs man of his highest dignity and lowers him from the supernatural to the merely natural life. Not but that man is able by the right use of reason to know and to obey certain principles of the natural law. But though he should know them all and keep them inviolate through life-and even this is impossible without the aid of the grace of our Redeemer-still it is vain for anyone without faith to promise himself eternal salvation. "If anyone abide not in Me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up and cast him into the fire, and he burneth" john xv., 6). "He that believeth not shall be condemned" (Mark xvi., 16). We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society. Similarly, once the hope and expectation of eternal happiness is taken away, temporal goods will be greedily sought after. Every man will strive to secure the largest share for himself. Hence arise envy, jealousy, hatred. The consequences are conspiracy, anarchy, nihilism. There is neither peace abroad nor security at home. Public life is stained with crime.
So great is this struggle of the passions and so serious the dangers involved, that we must either anticipate ultimate ruin or seek for an efficient remedy. It is of course both right and necessary to punish malefactors, to educate the masses, and by legislation to prevent crime in every possible way: but all this is by no means sufficient. The salvation of the nations must be looked for higher. A power greater than human must be called in to teach men's hearts, awaken in them the sense of duty, and make them better. This is the power which once before saved the world from destruction when groaning under much more terrible evils. Once remove all impediments and allow the Christian spirit to revive and grow strong in a nation, and that nation will be healed. The strife between the classes and the masses will die away; mutual rights will be respected. If Christ be listened to, both rich and poor will do their duty. The former will realise that they must observe justice and charity, the latter self-restraint and moderation, if both are to be saved. Domestic life will be firmly established ( by the salutary fear of God as the Lawgiver. In the same way the precepts of the natural law, which dictates respect for lawful authority and obedience to the laws, will exercise their influence over the people. Seditions and conspiracies will cease. Wherever Christianity rules over all without let or hindrance there the order established by Divine Providence is preserved, and both security and prosperity are the happy result. The common welfare, then, urgently demands a return to Him from whom we should never have gone astray; to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,-and this on the part not only of individuals but of society as a whole. We must restore Christ to this His own rightful possession. All elements of the national life must be made to drink in the Life which proceedeth from Him- legislation, political institutions, education, marriage and family life, capital and labour. Everyone must see that the very growth of civilisation which is so ardently desired depends greatly upon this, since it is fed and grows not so much by material wealth and prosperity, as by the spiritual qualities of morality and virtue.
It would be a sin in the objective order of things, therefore, for those yet attached to our Judeo-Masonic electoral system to vote for a candidate who supports any of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance, whether completely or partially, if a better candidate for whom to vote was available. No one may support a candidate who believes that men have a right, whether complete or conditional, to dispense with the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law or the Natural Law in the name of "popular sovereignty" or in the name of "states' rights."
Here is a concrete example:
In 1996, just twelve years ago now, Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life and Ralph Reed of the Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition and the apologists for the Republican Party in the National Not-So-Right-to-Life Committee kept telling very uninformed pro-life voters in Republican presidential primaries and caucuses that they "had" to vote for Senate Majority Leader Robert Joseph Dole, Jr. (R-Kansas), a thirty-third degree Mason, over Patrick Buchanan because Dole was the "electable" candidate. "You have to choose the lesser of two evils" voters were told over and over and over again. A lesser of two evils? Bob Dole the more "electable" candidate? These were judgments, and very bad ones, that Dole's apologists made and then repeated as a mantra in late-1995 and early-1996 before Dole's nomination was assured.
Were those judgments in accord with Catholic teaching? No, they were not.
First, Dole's "pro-life" apologists presented Dole as a "pro-life" candidate. He was nothing of the sort. Dole supported the slicing and dicing of innocent preborn babies in their mothers' wombs under cover of law in the "hard" cases. He was one of the first Republicans to support newly-inaugurated President William Jefferson Blythe Clinton's Executive Order to permit the use of Federal funds for embryonic stem-cell research, going on television to support Clinton and voting for legislation that provided the funds for such immoral research. Dole also voted to confirm pro-abortion nominees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Robert Joseph Dole, Jr., was not pro-life. Dole openly supported pro-abortion politicians in the Republican Party. To contend that Bob Dole was "pro-life" was a serious and egregious misrepresentation of the facts.
Second, there was one completely pro-life candidate in the Republican race at the time, Patrick Joseph Buchanan (Dr. Alan Keyes's positions on the life of the mother exception, which was murky in 1996, became clearer in subsequent years; Representative Robert K. Dornan, R-California, made "exceptions" in the case of the life of the mother). There was a genuine "good" in the Republican presidential nominating race in 1996. No, not "perfect," a "good," that is one who understood that the civil law could never permit the direct, intentional taking of a single innocent human life under any circumstances. To reward the partly pro-abortion Dole over the fully pro-life Buchanan was an erroneous judgment.
Third, the judgment that Bob Dole was the most "electable" candidate was not binding under pain of sin. It was a judgment, and a very bad one. Anyone who knew anything about electoral politics (and most people do not follow the details of electoral politics or the actual intricacies of public policy decision-making) knew that Bob Dole believed in nothing (he told an audience in 1995, "I'll be anything you want to be me. I'll be Ronald Reagan if you want to me to be") and that his lack of a belief in anything substantive made him most inarticulate. As I wrote at the time in 1996, Bob Dole was sure to be eviscerated in debates with the masterful demagogue, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. Patrick Buchanan may not have defeated Bill Clinton in 1996. However, he would have been able to have exploded Clinton's sophistries and outright lies in the presidential debates.
The point of this is that the "lesser of two evils" mantra chanted with respect to Bob Dole in 1996 was not founded in a solid application of Catholic principles but in a reflexive desire to get the "mainstream" candidate nominated. A judgment of the practical order was made that was unsound and helped to prevent the American public from being able to listen to ideas that might have forced them to reconsider their uncritical acceptance of at least some of the lies of modernity.
The same held true in 2000, as I discussed recently, when those of us who were pointing out then Texas Governor George Walker Bush's anti-life record and who predicted, quite accurately, as it turned out, what he would do if he won the Presidency of the United States of America. "Gotta vote for the lesser of two evils" we were told over and over again during the general election. "Gotta"? Quite interesting.
Indeed, I kept telling people in 1999 and 2000 that George Walker Bush was a pro-abort, that anyone who supports a single abortion under cover of law, no less says that "abortion is a difficult issue about which people of good will can legitimately disagree" (what's difficult about slicing and dicing a baby?), is not "pro-life" but simply less pro-abortion than those who are completely pro-abortion. It was wrong to vote for him, especially when there was a third party candidate who was completely pro-life.
Ah, I was told, Pat Buchanan can't win. "All the polls show this to be so." True enough. The polls are, with some exceptions here and there (the recent New Hampshire primary was one such exception), pretty accurate. A vote for Patrick Buchanan in 2000, however, was not a vote to enable a man whose views of abortion were deficient. Pat did not contend that state legislatures have the "right" to "permit" baby-killing if this was the "will: of the citizenry. It was a vote of conscience for a candidate who stood for the defenseless preborn.
"Oh, no, people told me. Gotta go with the winner." When I pointed out that it was wrong not only in the moral order to vote for George W. Bush but quite stupid in the practical order of things, people just recoiled. That is, I pointed in those states where Bush was certain to lose by large margins (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Delaware, Maryland, Vermont) a vote for Bush was a truly wasted one for pro-life voters. Similarly, a vote in the states that Bush was projected to--and actually did--win by large margins--was a wasted vote. (Such states were: Texas, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia.) Why not, if one was predisposed to vote, as I was at the time, vote for a candidate of conscience. Very few states are ever really "in play" for the presidency.
We do elect the President of the United States of America, after all, as the result of fifty-one discrete elections held on the same day. Whichever candidate's slate of electors receives one more popular vote in a state (or in the District of Columbia, which has three electoral votes) wins all of that state's electoral votes (save for Maine and Nebraska, which apportion two of their electoral votes on the basis of the statewide vote and the rest on the basis of which candidate's slate of elections wins the popular vote in its Congressional districts), the same principle as running for statewide office or for the U.S. Senate on a statewide basis. Pro-life voters in the states listed above, which Gore won quite handily, as predicted (and as was thoroughly predictable), had a "free throw" without their going to bed worried about having "elected Al Gore." Not even this practical line of reasoning, which is different from the considerations of the particular moral conditions in which it might be permissible for vote for an alleged "lesser of two evils," something that I contend does not exist at the presidential level of American politics (although it might exist at the state and local level), mattered to people. "Gotta vote for the lesser of two evils," I was told over and over again. "Bush will be better than Gore."
No, there's no "gotta" in "having" to vote for the "lesser of two evils." That is, there is no moral imperative to vote for the lesser of two evils. There is, as I will explain later, no moral imperative to vote in a system where no rational good can be accomplished by doing so.
First, admitting that there might instances where a choice of the "lesser of two evils" might be permissible, no one has to accept the "lesser of two evils." The case that I have been making for the past twelve years, one that continues to anger a lot of people, is that there is no such thing as a "lesser of two evils between the major political parties in the United States of America.
President George Walker Bush, the supposed "lesser" evil in the above-cited 2000 election against Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., has done incalculable damage to the prestige of the United States of America while doing nothing to stop the killing of a single innocent human life under cover of law and while increasing funding, both domestically and internationally, for the chemical assassination of children by means of international "family planning" programs, threatening legitimate personal liberties with his fascistic "Patriot Act." Bush has involved us in a moral and geopolitical and economic nightmare in Iraq that has contributed in no small measure to placing the United States of America to the brink of an economic recession.
Wouldn't a "President" Al Gore have done lots of bad things? Yes, he sure would have. I carried no brief for Al Gore. My last presidential vote before going into the land of abstention in 2004, was for Patrick Joseph Buchanan, who appeared as the presidential candidate in the State of New York on the Right to Life Party line. A Gore presidency, as horrible as it would have been, would have carried one advantage, however: all manner of "conservatives" would not have enabled his horrible policies as they have done with Bush's. There would have been vocal opposition to Gore rather than a steady stream of "conservative" voices justifying Bush, who has done much of what Gore would have done domestically, at almost every turn, if not more. Most "conservatives" have been asleep the past seven years while George Walker Bush has governed as a leftist and a statist, serving the interests of multinational corporations while also serving the interests of the State of Israel repeatedly. Gore would have been worse?
There is a special irony here: George Walker Bush would not have become president of the United States of America if he did not win the electoral college vote of the State of Florida, which he won--and he did win--by a margin of 547 votes. Bush would not have won the popular vote in the State of Florida, however, unless 97,421 leftists had cast their votes for Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader. These leftists knew that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. They believed in their leftism more than Catholics believed in their Catholicism as they, the Catholics, shunned a completely pro-life Catholic to vote for the "lesser of two evils," Bush, who was transformed into a folk hero of the pro-life movement in the process.
To vote for a "lesser of two evils" is a judgment, not a moral imperative. This is especially the case when one considers the fact the two major political parties represent but slightly different shades of statism, that they are really "false opposites" of the naturalism produced by Judeo-Masonry. Why enable them?
But, some will protest, don't we have an "obligation" to vote? The answer to that is a firm "it all depends." What rational good does one seek to accomplish? Is one participating in a fraudulent electoral system that is controlled by the prevailing naturalist elites? There is, as a prelate with whom I spoke today about this precise matter noted to me, no magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church whatsoever that obliges Catholics to vote in a fraudulent system, such as a Communist system. Instead of having a one-party monopoly as exists in Communist and other totalitarian nations, we have a two party oligarchy that rigs ballot access to prevent minor party candidates from running for office. We also have a system of "journalism" controlled by the organized forces of naturalism, much of it Judeo-Masonic, that keep certain candidates out of televised debates. It is a total fraud from beginning to end.
Others will continue to protest that they are trying to keep a supposedly "greater evil" out of office? As noted just above, one can come to a completely defensible conclusion (one which I always qualify as being noninfallible and not having been received from the hand of God) that we have reached the point that the civil state, as noted by Pope Leo XIII in Libertas, has been driven to tolerate all manner of evils and that to choose to live comfortably with ever increasingly higher doses of a supposedly "lesser" evil obliterates any and all distinctions between "greater" and "lesser" evils. The results in our system, especially in elections for Federal offices, at present are most predictable: evil (abortion, at least in part, contraception, perversity, usry, the false freedoms of speech and press and religion, religious indifferentism, the interests of multinational corporations, threats to our national security caused by lax enforcement of immigration laws, legal positivism, Zionism) wins. Evil always wins. Evil is advanced either by great leaps or incrementally. Evil, though, advances in either case. So few people seem to notice. Fewer still seem to care.
Pope Leo XIII explained in Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885, that it Catholic participation in national politics is considered to be a good thing "in general," explaining that there might arise circumstances when such participation would be ill-advised or unwarranted:
Furthermore, it is in general fitting and salutary that Catholics should extend their efforts beyond this restricted sphere, and give their attention to national politics. We say "in general" because these Our precepts are addressed to all nations. However, it may in some places be true that, for most urgent and just reasons, it is by no means expedient for Catholics to engage in public affairs or to take an active part in politics. Nevertheless, as We have laid down, to take no share in public matters would be as wrong as to have no concern for, or to bestow no labor upon, the common good, and the more so because Catholics are admonished, by the very doctrines which they profess, to be upright and faithful in the discharge of duty, while, if they hold aloof, men whose principles offer but small guarantee for the welfare of the State will the more readily seize the reins of government. This would tend also to the injury of the Christian religion, forasmuch as those would come into power who are badly disposed toward the Church, and those who are willing to befriend her would be deprived of all influence.
A case can be made that everyone running for President of the United States of America is badly disposed toward the Catholic Church and her rights to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King. (An article written eleven months ago now,
No One Speaks for Christ the King, gave an early assessment of the then nascent presidential race and how no one spoke for Christ the King.) The range of candidates run from those of the naturalist "left" who support one abject evil after another to those on the naturalist "right" who believe in many of the same evils, although to a lesser degree, and/or maintain as a matter of principle that men have the "right" to do things prohibited by the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law.
Pope Leo XIII encouraged Catholics to support the Third Republic of France and to participate in French national elections, a decision that many historians debate to this day. However, Pope Leo XIII forbade Catholics from voting in Italian elections given the hostility of the Judeo-Masonic government of Italy to the Catholic Church. Dr. John C. Rao, a Professor of History at Saint John's University, Staten Island, New York, proffered his view in 2004 at a conference in the City of New York that the time had come for Catholics in the United States of America to recognize the utter futility of voting at the national level, thereby further enabling careerist politicians and the whole ethos of Americanism. He convinced me.
Mind you, that is a judgment of the practical order. It is debatable. All well and good. However, it is a thoroughly defensible judgment when one considers how evil has been advanced in great leaps and small leaps throughout the course of the history of the United States of America. If one chooses to be involved in the electoral process, however, one must recognize the actual reality of our situation, not inflate the extent to which our own deeply held beliefs are shared by other citizens. The hour is late. To waste time and money and effort to enable candidates for public office who propagate various errors as the foundation of social order does not advance the common temporal good.
Only one percent, according to a recent survey conducted for The New York Times and CBS News, of all Americans listed abortion as the single most important issue facing the country at the present time. One percent. Yes, the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the United States of America has played its own role in affirming the errors of Americanism and in dissuading people from being single-issue voters. There are also cultural forces at work that have accustomed even believing Catholics into accepting the daily slaughter of the preborn as a "regrettable" fact of life about which little can be done in concrete terms other than to "settle" for the "lesser of two evils." Could it not be, ladies and gentlemen, that we have arrived at a time when must admit that there never have been true distinctions of substance between the supposedly "lesser" and "greater" evils in the United States of America?
Some might want to point out that there is the principle of the double-fold effect, that a good end that carries with it foreseen but unintended evil consequences may be undertaken licitly. The classic example of this is the now mooted case of an expectant mother who is diagnosed with a cancerous uterus. The surgical removal of the cancerous uterus is necessary to save the life of the mother. However, the child would, at least before the advent of medical technologies that can sustain a baby's life once he has reached the point of viability, certainly die. The death of the child is not intended. It is not directly willed. It is the foreseen but unintended evil consequence of the good moral action of saving the life of the mother by the removal of the cancerous uterus. This is different both in degree and in kind from a direct, intentional attack upon a child in the womb to save the life of a mother who, say, has a weak heart or is suffering from some other malady that might be exacerbated by her pregnancy. It is never permissible to directly will the death of an innocent human being. Such direct death is not willed in the case of the double-fold effect.
The removal of an expectant mother's cancerous uterus is a morally good action in and of itself. Supporting various evils as a matter of principle, such as, for example, contending that people have an absolute or a qualified right ot kill babies under cover of law, is not good. Indeed, it is quite evil.
Thus, the controlling moral principle for voting is that of Proportionality, which teaches us that a morally licit act can be rendered unjust to pursue if the foreseen evil consequences attendant to its prosecution outweigh the good end to be accomplished.
Here is just one example of the principle of Proportionality unrelated to the issue of voting.
A Just War. The Catholic Church teaches us in her Just War Theory that the principle of Proportionality must be taken into consideration before armed hostilities commence. That is, if a genuine causus belli (a cause for war) exists to repair a wound to justice to one's nation or in the international community, decision-makers must take into consideration whether the prosecution of a just war would carry with it foreseen evil consequences that would make render said prosecution morally illicit. Although this is a highly subjective judgment, one that must founded in a great deal of time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament and to the Mother of God through her Most Holy Rosary, based on a number of variables and projections that are hard to be ascertain with absolute moral certainty, an effort must be made to weigh whether a particular war, which always carries with it all manner of evil consequences (the unintentional killing of civilians, disease, financial hardship), can be prosecuted successfully--and there must be a reasonable chance of success--without the foreseen but unintended evil effects of the war making its prosecution morally untenable.
To wit, many of us wrote in late-2002 and early-2003 that no genuine causus belli existed that would justify the government of the United States of America waging war upon the county of Iraq. The Bush Administration, we said, was giving the public misleading, if not entirely deceptive, information about "weapons of mass destruction," which, if they did exist at all, did not threaten the genuine national security interests of the United States of America. And even if there was a causus belli, no one in the Bush Administration could tell us what "victory" consisted of and how Iraq would not degenerate into a sectional and factional civil war, aided and abetted by international terrorists who would take advantage of a power vacuum. Oh, how we were hated for even daring to suggest that there was no "end game" to an Iraq War, which might require the presence of the forces of the United States armed services until the year 2018, the Iraqi defense minister said on Monday, January 14, 2008. Those of us opposed to the build-up of the Iraq War were simply pointing out that the principle of Proportionality mattered little to the neoconservatives in the Bush Administration or to their Catholic enablers.
Insofar as voting is concerned, some would contend that it is might be necessary, in the practical order of things, to seek to keep out of public office a genuinely "greater" evil, speaking purely theoretically. To do so, however, one would have to assure himself that the good end sought, to keep a "greater evil" out of public office, is not outweighed by raising up other evils in the process. This involves many variables and subjective decision-making, to be sure. It is not as easy as saying "vote for the lesser of two evils." We must ask, as noted before, if there really is such a "lesser of two evils" in our Judeo-Masonic electoral process at the level of presidential politics. I say no.
The judgment that I, among others, have made is that we have been enabling the "lesser" evil for so long that we have accepted a continuously higher dose of so-called "lesser" evils, making it appear as though that candidates who are themselves completely committed to various evil propositions are "better" than others who believe in the exact things, although perhaps a bit more stridently and militantly. What rational good is thus accomplished, especially as popular discourse is coarsened by the propagation of all manner of falsehoods from the naturalist "left" and the naturalist "right?"
Once again, this is a noninfallible judgment of the practical order, one with which people are to disagree. Fine. Check back in about ten or twenty or fifty years, however, if we have that long, that is, and see if my analysis of how evil has been advancing and institutionalizing itself in civil society as a result of the compromises that we have made with our naturalistic Judeo-Masonic system was not correct, that elections in the United States of America have been naturalist sideshows from the beginning, as Orestes Brownson pointed out in
National Greatness in 1846. Little has changed since then, as I think a dispassionate reading of Mr. Brownson's essay, part of which is excerpted here, will reveal:
As of the individual, so of the nation. In like manner as
justice and sanctity constitute the greatness of the individual,
so do they constitute the greatness of the nation. "Justice
exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people." The
great nation is the holy nation, rich in true obedience, and
carried away by a divine passion for God and all holy things.
Suppose your nation does increase in wealth, in luxury, in
refinement; suppose it does fell the primeval forest and
enlarge its borders, multiply its manufactures, extend its
commerce, and make all climes pour their riches into its lap;
what then? Does it follow that such a nation is great, is
glorious, and has reason to applaud herself for her achievements and to exult over the poor and simple? "Blessed is
the nation whose God is the Lord." Where is it written,
Blessed is the nation whose God is Mammon, and whose
worship is thrift? Where are the nations who forgot the
Lord, who put their trust in their ships, their traffic, their
wealth, and luxuries? Where is that ancient Tyre, "whose
merchants were princes, and her traders the nobles of the
earth"? Where are all the nations of the old world, once
renowned for their extended commerce, the richness of their
stuffs, and the variety of their manufactures? They have
passed away like the morning vapor, and a few solitary ruins
alone remain to point the traveller to the seats of their
Taking the principles we have established, we can easily
answer the question, whether we are or are not a great people, whether the path we are pursuing leads to true nation
al greatness, or whether it leads from it. Are we as a
people intent on gaining the end for which our Maker de
signed us? Are we remarkable for our humble observance
of the precepts of the Gospel? Are we diligent to yield
that obedience to which is promised eternal life? Far, very
far, from it. We are a proud, loud-boasting and vain-boasting people. Our god is mammon, and our righteousness is
thrift. Is it not so? To what do we point as proofs of our
greatness? Is it not to our industrial achievements, our
railroads, canals, steamboats, commerce, manufactures, material wealth and splendor? But where are our moral
achievements, the monuments of our enlightened zeal for
God, and humble devotion to his will? Religion we have
in name, in form, in many forms and many strange forms;
but where is the deep, all-pervading, all-active conviction
that this world is not our home, that it is but an inn in which
we may lodge for a night, but in which we may not, must
not, dwell? Alas! the dominant passion of our country is
worldly wealth and worldly distinction. We see it in the
general pursuits of the people; we hear it in the almost universal tone of conversation; and we see it distinctly in the
general scramble for wealth, in our demoralizing political
contentions, and the all-devouring greediness for place and
If we look at the great political questions which agitate
the public mind, we shall perceive that they are all questions concerning wealth, the means of facilitating its acquisition, of making it pass, or preventing it from passing, from
the few to the many, or from the many to the few. Such
are your bank questions, your tariff questions, your land-distribution questions. If you go beyond these, they are
questions of the honors and emoluments of office. Not a
pert upstart among us who has made his maiden caucus
speech, but regards himself as qualified for any office in the
gift of the people, from that of village constable up to that
of president of the United States, and feels that he suffers
great wrong, and adds another striking example of neglected
merit, if not rewarded for his disinterested and patriotic exertions by some snug place with a fat salary. Scarcely a
man seems contented to remain in private life, to live in
obscurity, unheeded by his countrymen, in all humility and
fidelity laboring to discharge his duty to his God, and to
win the prize of eternal glory. We love the praise of men
more than the praise of God; the low and transitory goods
of time more than the high and permanent goods of eternity.
If we are poor, we are discontented, we regard ourselves as
most miserable, and rail against Providence, who permits
inequalities to obtain among brethren. No one is contented
with his lot in life. We are all ill-at-ease. We would all
be what we are not,- and have what we have not. And yet,
with admirable simplicity, we ask, Are we not a great people?
Nearly all the action of the American people, collectively
or individually, has reference solely to the affairs of, time.
Government sinks with us into a joint-stock concern for the
practice of thrift. It has no divine authority, no high and
solemn moral mission. In education even, the same low
and earthly view obtains. We educate for time. We seek
to fit our children for getting on, as we call it, in the world,
-to make them sharp, bold, enterprising and successful
business men. We teach them, indeed, that knowledge is
power,-but power to outstrip their fellows in the pursuit of
worldly goods. We teach them, indeed, that sloth is a
mortal sin,-but sloth in the affairs of time and sense, not
sloth in regard to our spiritual duties. We teach them to
respect public opinion, to strive to be respectable, to be
honored among men; rarely, and almost always ineffectually,
to respect the law of God, to see the honor of God, and to
despise that of men. Hence, they grow up timid time-servers, trimmers, moral cowards, afraid to say their souls
are their own, to avow their honest convictions, if their convictions chance to be unpopular, or to follow God in the
faith and worship he has ordained, if not held in repute, or
if embraced only by the poor, the simple, of whom the
world makes no account. To make a sacrifice for Christ, to
give up all, houses, lands, wife, and children, for God, that
we may have treasure in heaven, strikes us as something
wholly uncalled for, as folly, as madness, worthy only of the
dark ages of monkish ignorance and barbarity. To a worldly
end conspire all our education, science, literature, and art.
Whatever cannot be pressed into the service of man as a
creature of time and sense is by the immense majority of us
condemned as useless and mischievous.
That we measure all things by the standard of this life
and this world is evinced by the judgments we pass on
other nations. In judging others, we always judge ourselves. Tell us what nation you place highest in the scale
of nations, and you tell us what are your own views of what
constitutes true national greatness. We, as a people, very
generally count highest in the scale of contemporary nations
those in which the national energy displays itself most
exclusively in an industrial direction, and which are most
successful in multiplying wealth and luxury. Since the
great events in the sixteenth century, which out of courtesy
we must call the reformation, although it was any thing but
a reformation, there has sprung up a new social order, not
known in the middle ages, and not yet universally adopted
in Catholic countries. The whole tendency of this order is
in an industrial direction. It places this world before the
other, time before eternity, the body before the soul, the
praise of men before the praise of God. It esteems the
riches of this world more than the riches of divine grace,
and bids us strive to live, not in the order of grace, but in
the order of nature. Under this order the great aim is to
be rich, independent, well off in time; to be distinguished,
held in high repute one by another. We reverse the maxim
of the Gospel, and say, Be not anxious for the soul, take no
need to the worship of God, nor to obedience to his laws;
but seek first to get on well in this world, look to the main
chance, get rich, honestly, of course, if you can, but get rich, be distinguished, and then the kingdom of God and his justice will be added unto you unto you;--or if not, it will be no great matter.
Orestes Brownson wrote this in the year 1846. You tell me how any of this has changed? You tell me how the intervening presidential elections of 1848, 1852, 1856, 1864, 1868, 1872, 1876, 1880, 1884, 1888, 1892, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1916, 1920, 1924,1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 has changed just one little bit of Orestes Brownson's description of American national life 162 years ago? We have changed for the worse, not the better, as the residual influences of Catholicism have waned--and as the counterfeit church of conciliarism made its own evil "reconciliation" not only with the principles of 1789 but also with those of 1776 and 1787. Indeed, conciliarism's view of the world and Church-State relations is premised upon the very Americanism that has convinced Catholics to believe that it is through interdenominational and/or nondenominational efforts at the ballot box that "change" is effected in society. The one, conciliarism, could not have occurred with the other, Americanism. This has been a system of "greater" evils from the very beginning, starting with the contention that men do not need the authority of the Catholic Church to direct them, either personally or socially, and that they can be virtuous on their own without belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace.
Read those passages from Orestes Brownson's "National Greatness" again and judge for yourself if our "electoral process" has changed anything other than convincing Catholics to surrender their Faith to the exigencies of career politicians who believe in multiple errors that offend Our Blessed and Saviour Jesus Christ, the very Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Who became Man in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost, and are thus harmful, yes, even unto eternity, of the salvation of the souls for whom He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.
Once again, Catholics must ask themselves if they accept the binding nature of Pope Saint Pius X's reiteration of the immutable teaching of the Catholic Church expressed 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."
What can we do then? How about advancing the Catholic Faith as the one and only means of social order? Wouldn't that represent a step in the right direction?
Pope Leo XIII put it succinctly in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error.
Those who want to believe in the ability of the American electoral process to "better" the world will continue in this belief and act accordingly, spinning their wheels throughout their lives in heightened states of agitation during each election cycle. Those who are open to viewing the world clearly through the eyes of the true Faith will come to recognize that a system based on false naturalist premises is evil of its very nature and must serve perforce as an enabling agent of the institutionalization and expansion of evil as the years progress. (There is a distinction between a particular form of government--presidential, parliamentary, federal, unitary, confederal-- about which the Church teaches men are free to adopt, as opposed to the underlying philosophical premises of a civil government founded in a rejection of Divine Revelation and the authority of the Catholic Church to exercise the Social Reign of Christ the King when the good of souls demands her motherly intervention as a last resort following the discharge of her Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation.)
We turn to Our Lady of Prompt Succor on this her feast day. She came to the aid of Catholics in New Orleans during the Battle of New Orleans, fought about two weeks six weeks after the signing of the Treaty of Ghent that ended the War of 1812 between the United Kingdom and the United States of America, on January 8, 1815. Our Lady came to the aid of the forces of Colonel Andrew Jackson, a wretched demagogue of a man who was a partisan of the principles of the French Revolution and a Freemason who did not have a particularly high regard for Catholics prior to this time--and always had contempt for the American Indians, as he defended the City of New Orleans from the British onslaught while Catholics prayed Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary before the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Prayers to Our Lady of Prompt Succor had saved the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans a few years before.
Andrew Jackson, however, never converted to the Faith, remaining true to his "republican" principles to the end of his life. He witnessed a miracle, but was unmoved to convert to the Faith whose adherents had prayed for him to turn back the British military onslaught.
It must not be that way with us. We must cooperate with the graces that Our Lady showers upon us to change us so that we can plant the seeds for the conversion of our nation to the true Faith. As I have noted before, it may not be within the Providence of God for such a conversion to occur. We must, however, do our work to this end as this is what is expected of us. True patriotism wills the good of one's nation, the ultimate expression of which is her Catholicization in every aspect of her social life and public policies without any exception whatsoever. Our Lady is the Heavenly aid sent us to by her Divine Son to help us in this regard. Why do we not trust in her serenely rather than worrying about the outcome of fraudulent elections that are contested by men and women who hold, no matter how sincerely, ideas that are inimical to the eternal good of souls and thus to the temporal order itself?
You want real change in your own soul and in our nation? Pray the Rosary faithfully and fervently and offer up everything in your daily life to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart as we fulfill her Fatima Message in our own homes, Enthroned as they should be to those same Twin Hearts of matchless Love.
Our Lady wants her Divine Son to reign as the King of the United States of America and of all nations. The model for civil rule is not to be found amongst the likes of statists or conservatives or liberals or socialists or communists or libertarians. The model for civil rule is given us by Saint Louis IX, King of France, who wrote the following to his son, the future King Philip III:
3!. Dear son, I advise you always to be devoted to the Church of Rome, and to the sovereign pontiff, our father, and to bear him the the reverence and honor which you owe to your spiritual father.
32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable.
33. Further the right with all your strength. Moreover I admonish you you that you strive most earnestly to show your gratitude for the benefits which our Lord has bestowed upon you, and that you may know how to give Him thanks therefore
34. Dear son, take care that the expenses of your household are reasonable and moderate, and that its moneys are justly obtained. And there is one opinion that I deeply wish you to entertain, that is to say, that you keep yourself free from foolish expenses and evil exactions, and that your money should be well expended and well acquired. And this opinion, together with other opinions which are suitable and profitable, I pray that our Lord may teach you.
35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.
36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.
Such a ruler is not produced by the electoral process in a pluralistic nation founded on false premises. (Gabriel Garcia Moreno in Ecuador in the Nineteenth Century, a great champion of Christ the King, emerged as an elected leader in Catholic nation, but was hated by the Masons and paid for his fidelity to the Faith with his very life.) We must pray to Our Lady, especially through her Most Holy Rosary for the day when all men will led by the likes of Saint Louis IX and will be able to make our own these words of Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., contained in his The Light of the World (an excerpt of which was sent to me just today by His Excellency Bishop Daniel Dolan, for which I thank His Excellency immensely):
The feat of the Epiphany is and should be a feast which is celebrated in honor of Christ the divine King. We pay our homage to Him by our prayers and by our celebration of the liturgy, which we share with the Church in heaven and on earth. We pay homage to Him by submitting our intelligence to faith, to His words, to His teachings, to His gospel, to His Church and its dogmas. And even if all others were to desert Him, yet we should remain true to Him and cry out with St. Peter, "Thou has the words of eternal life" (John 7:69). We honor Him by subjecting our wills to His ordinances and commands, to His sacraments, and to His Church. "He that hath My commandments and keepeth them; he it is that loveth Me" (John 14:21). "He that heareth you [the Church], heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke 10:16). We pay homage to Him by subjecting ourselves to His operation in us. We honor Him by our resignation and subjection in afflictions and humiliations, by our inner purification and mortifications, and by the duties and obligations of our everyday life. We glorify Him by not attributing to ourselves, to our own good will, to our own efforts or strength, the good works which we perform. With the Apostle we humbly acknowledge, "For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to His own good will" (Phil. 2:13). With grateful hearts we cry out, "Not to us, O lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory" (Ps. 113:1) We honor Him by applying to our lives the admonition of the Epistle of today's Mass: by making our bodies and souls a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God. We glorify Him if we transform ourselves by His spirit and shape our lives according to the pattern He has given us, doing only that which is in accord with the will of God and is perfect and pleasing to Him, living in union with Holy Mother the Church.
Christ is King. That is the theme of the feast of Epiphany. "And we saw His glory, the glory as it were of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). This glory Christ has won through His victory on the cross. For this reason neither the Church nor the members of the mystical body can achieve glory without a sacrifice and a cross. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these thins and so to enter into His glory? (Luke 24:26).
Therefore we bring our bodies and all that we posses sand present them as an offering on the altar. With Stephen we share the passion of Christ, and thus we go to attain our glory in the Offertory, in the Consecration, and in Holy Communion.
We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, on the altar. This we are to do not only at the time of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but at every hour of the day and in the ordinary affairs of everyday life. We must not be conformed to the manner of this world, but we must reform ourselves through the renewal of our spirit. We are thus to prove what is the good and the acceptable, the perfect will of God. We are to live in the consciousness that all of us together form one living organism, the body of Christ (in the community of the Church), and that we are members of one another and of Christ our Lord (Epistle). We live the life of the whole, the life of the community, the life of the mystical body of Christ. That is the Lord's command. "This is My commandment: that you love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
May Christ be King of my whole being, of my thoughts, my will, my affections and of my desires. May His will be done in all things. This is my ambition when I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Him today. I consecrate myself to Him, and through Him and in Him I consecrate myself to the Father. (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, B. Herder Book Company, St. Louis, Missouri, 1953, pp. 146-148.
Our Lady wants her Divine Son to reign as the King of all nations, including the United States of America. Do you? If you do then how can you reconcile a belief in fraudulent elections, which have changed nothing the days of Orestes Brownson in 1846, with Silvio Cardinal Antoniano's reminder that it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquility by things repugnant to to the peace and happiness of eternity?
The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity. (Silvio Cardinal Antoniano, quoted by Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)
May Our Lady help us to be champions of Christ the King and to recognize that the world in which we live is full of evils, greater and lesser, to which we must make no more compromises and concessions than we have already as a result of our many sins, for which we must be sorry and to seek to do penance until we meet Christ the King, our Supreme Judge, at the moment of our Particular Judgments.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Paul the Abbot, pray for us.
Saint Maurus, pray for us..
See also: A Litany of Saints