If We Say It is So, It is So
Traditional Catholics understand that the true Church founded by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, has been subjected to an unprecedented display of positivism in the last forty years or so. We have been told that the Novus Ordo Missae is a continuation of our unbroken liturgical tradition, which is a lie. We have been told that we are living in the springtime of the Church, a self-deception at best or an attempt to assert something as being so when all of the facts and statistics prove otherwise. We have been told that the consecration of the world to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart fulfilled properly Our Lady's Fatima requests for the consecration of Russia. Revolutionaries and their apologists must always attempt to use verbal engineering to convince people that reality is what they say it is.
The adoption of positivism as a standard modus operandi within the true Church represents the triumph of the spirit of Modernism, which is founded in part in the belief that the sheer force of human will can change the realities of the world. All political ideologues employ various modernist devices, including positivism, to justify their seizure of power and/or to rationalize various policies even when all of the evidence indicates that those policies have failed. Liberal and socialist and communist political officials have used positivism as a matter of course. And it has come to be the case that conservatives, many of whom believe in the salvific power of a political ideology that attempts to"conserve" "Western values" without recognizing the necessity of subordinating all things in the world to the Social Reign of Christ the King through His true Church, use positivism while campaigning and governing. Such is the case with President George W. Bush, a man who is proving his disgraced predecessor, William Jefferson Clinton, to have been a rank amateur when it comes to making positivist statements.
It was five months ago now, on September 7, 2003 that President Bush addressed the nation on the matter of Iraq. His speech was full of positivism, something that is even more apparent with the passage of time and the admission of Bush's own hand-picked investigator, David Kay, that there were no "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq. The very predicate for going to war was Bush's assertion that our nation was imperiled by the existence of chemical and biological weapons that had been developed and stockpiled by Iraq's long-time brutal dictator, Saddam Hussein. Bush said that this country would disarm Saddam Hussein if it did not disarm himself, which was the justification for overthrowing Hussein and commencing another American experiment in nation-building, something Bush said as a candidate for the presidency in 2000 that was not the places of the government of the United States of America to do.
Undeterred, though, by the rank positivism of his September 7, 2003, address to the nation, the President demonstrated in a press conference on October 28, 2003, that he is incapable of answering direct questions when caught in his own positivism. The President of the United States of America parodied himself in that press conference by saying that a question asking him if American troops in Iraq would be reduced a year from then was a "trick question." Never mind the fact that the President sought an astounding $87 billion from Congress to help line the pockets of the Bechtel and Halliburton corporations, both of which have close ties with the Republican Party, as they seek to rebuild a country that was devastated by American bombing in a war that was founded in false premises and specious assertions. Never mind the fact that more American service personnel have been killed since May 1, 2003, at which time Bush said that the major combat action had ended, than before that date. Never mind the fact that scores of al-Qaeda operatives are flowing into the chaos that is now Iraq, taking advantage of an opportunity denied them under Saddam Hussein (who, brutal tyrant though he was, certainly did not welcome any group, including al-Qaeda, that he believed was a threat to his regime). No, a review of a few passages from the President's September 7, 2003, address will indicate the extent to which he believes that the American people are fools who will believe whatever a President who is not implicated in sordid personal scandals says as being so.
President Bush said: "And we acted in Iraq, where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council. Our coalition enforced these international demands in one of the swiftest and most humane military campaigns in history." While it is true that Iraq once possessed and used weapons of mass destruction (both on the Iranians in the Iran-Iraq War and against the Kurds following the Persian Gulf War of 1991), we know now there is no evidence that Iraq possessed such weapons-or had a means of delivering those weapons-prior to the onset of our war of conquest that began six months ago. And it should be remembered that Iraq possessed such weapons at one time in part because Saddam Hussein was provided with large supplies of anthrax and other biological weapons materials by the administration of one President Ronald Wilson Reagan. The middleman for the delivery of such weapons to Hussein was Reagan's Middle East Envoy, Donald Rumsfeld. It is beyond outlandish for Bush to talk with a straight face about "weapons of mass destruction" when he knew at the time that six months of searching by United States' forces had turned up zero evidence of such weapons. Bush wanted the American public to forget about that fact and to concentrate on Iraq's past possession and use of the weapons that it obtained in no small measure because of American assistance. Truly incredible. And it was only with great reluctance in early February of 2004 that the President conceded the probability that American "intelligence" about those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was faulty.
To return to the President's September 7, 2003 address to the nation:
"For a generation leading up to September the 11th, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response." Huh? The State of Israel has been involved in a fifty-five year battle against terrorism against innocent civilians and guerilla warfare waged against its military targets. I would call fifty-five years a pretty sustained period of time. Israel will never vanquish the terrorists who oppose it. Its leaders can kill all of the Palestinian leaders they can find. Their own indiscriminate use of state sponsored terrorism breeds future terrorists and guerrilla soldiers. There is, as will be mentioned shortly, no solution to the enduring violence in the Middle East until the Jews and the Mohammedan Arabs convert to the true Faith. All other "road maps to peace" will fail. Miserably. Completely. Always.
"This work continues. In Iraq, we are helping the long suffering people of that country to build a decent and democratic society at the center of the Middle East. Together we are transforming a place of torture chambers and mass graves into a nation of laws and free institutions. This undertaking is difficult and costly -- yet worthy of our country, and critical to our security." Woodrow Wilson, call your office. President Bush suffers from the myopic, ethnocentric, nationalist myth that democracy is the answer to the problems of the world. Tell that to the over 45 million aborted babies who have been slaughtered in our own torture chambers in a nation of "laws and free institutions." And how in the world is anything that happens in Iraq worth draining our own national resources or at all vital to our security? Iraq is irrelevant to American national security. However, it is very vital to the American companies who are being given contracts to rebuilt it. The political situation in Iraq is also of interest to the leaders of Israel, who want the government of the United States of America to do its bidding for it without paying any price whatsoever.
"And that is why, five months after we liberated Iraq, a collection of killers is desperately trying to undermine Iraq's progress and throw the country into chaos." Iraq was in chaos then and remains so now precisely because of the aftermath of our unjust and immoral invasion of that country. The electricity is not even on yet in some parts of the country. Social order has been eviscerated in all parts of the country. Iraq's economy is in shatters. We have produced the chaos in Iraq at present. Some liberation.
"Though their attacks are localized, the terrorists and Saddam loyalists have done great harm. They have ambushed American and British service members -- who stand for freedom and order." The use of the word terrorist in this vain is self-serving. While it is doubtless the case that loyalists of Saddam Hussein are using violence aimed against American and British service personnel, others are doing so because they desire to reclaim their country from soldiers they consider to be occupiers.
There are people who consider themselves Iraqi patriots who believe that their nation has been invaded unjustly and are seeking to expel the invading forces. Mind you, I am not justifying their violence, only pointing out that an assertion that those who are engaging in it in Iraq are enemies of "freedom and order" is mindless sloganeering. Some of those engaging in violence in Iraq see themselves as defenders of the honor and sovereignty of their nation. To dismiss this as a motive is to demonstrate crass ethnocentrism.
"They have bombed the Jordanian embassy -- the symbol of a peaceful Arab country. And last week they murdered a respected cleric and over a hundred Muslims at prayer -- bombing a holy shrine and a symbol of Islam's peaceful teachings." I hereby invite any and all traditional Catholics who have thus far defended Bush's actions in Iraq to justify the President's continued reference to Islam as a "religion of peace." Such an assertion is beneath contempt. Mohammedism was born in violence. It spread in violence. It has maintained itself in violence. I have two questions for any traditional Catholic still inclined to support the President as American service personnel are killed needlessly and as the national treasury of this nation is plundered to help the political and financial allies of his and Vice President Richard N. Cheney: is Islam a religion of peace? Does Islam, whose "holy month of Ramadan" was celebrated on the White House's website, have peaceful teachings concerning Christians and other infidels? If not, then are you going to call this lie by its proper name?
"America has done this kind of work before. Following World War II, we lifted up the defeated nations of Japan and Germany, and stood with them as they built representative governments. We committed years and resources to this cause. And that effort has been repaid many times over in three generations of friendship and peace. America today accepts the challenge of helping Iraq in the same spirit -- for their sake, and our own." Friendship and peace? Am I missing something here? Didn't the Bush administration criticize Germany for maintaining close commercial and economic ties to the regime of Saddam Hussein? Can't it be argued that all of the American monies spent after World War helped to create socialist states throughout Western Europe that have pioneered crimes against the rights of God and man? Once again, the belief that American democracy and financial capital builds the better world is on display for all to see.
"The people of Iraq are emerging from a long trial. For them, there will be no going back to the days of the dictator, to the miseries and humiliation he inflicted on that good country. For the Middle East and the world, there will be no going back to the days of fear, when a brutal and aggressive tyrant possessed terrible weapons. And for America, there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities." Self-delusion. All of the bombs we drop on Afghanistan and Iraq will never make us more secure. All of the money we spend in those countries will never produce long-term social order. What Bush does not realize is that there can be no long term security or social order anywhere in the world as long as man continues to believe in his own self-redemptive abilities.
Writing a little over three years following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Pope Pius XI used his first encyclical letter to essentially mock the belief that man can make the world better without referencing the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ and the authority of His true Church:
"The belligerents of yesterday have laid down their arms but on the heels of this act we encounter new horrors and new threats of war in the Near East. The conditions in many sections of these devastated regions have been greatly aggravated by famine, epidemics, and the laying waste of the land, all of which have not failed to take their toll of victims without number, especially among the aged, women and innocent children. In what has been so justly called the immense theater of the World War, the old rivalries between nations have not ceased to exert their influence, rivalries at times hidden under the manipulations of politics or concealed beneath the fluctuations of finance, but openly appearing in the press, in reviews and magazines of every type, and even penetrating into institutions devoted to the cultivation of the arts and sciences, spots where otherwise the atmosphere of quiet and peace would reign supreme. . . . Peace indeed was signed in solemn conclave between the belligerents of the late War. This peace, however, was only written into treaties. It was not received into the hearts of men, who still cherish the desire to fight one another and to continue to menace in a most serious manner the quiet and stability of civil society. Unfortunately the law of violence held sway so long that it has weakened and almost obliterated all traces of those natural feelings of love and mercy which the law of Christian charity has done so much to encourage. Nor has this illusory peace, written only on paper, served as yet to reawaken similar noble sentiments in the souls of men. On the contrary, there has been born a spirit of violence and of hatred which, because it has been indulged in for so long, has become almost second nature in many men. There has followed the blind rule of the inferior parts of the soul over the superior, that rule of the lower elements 'fighting against the law of the mind,' which St. Paul grieved over. (Rom. vii, 23)"
Men never learn, believing that their treaties and military machinery can will there to be the results they desire. Pope Pius XI knew otherwise. His solution for the problems of his day as applicable in our day as they were in 1922 as it is eternal and universal:
"When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
"There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
"It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
"It is possible to sum up all We have said in one word, "the Kingdom of Christ." For Jesus Christ reigns over the minds of individuals by His teachings, in their hearts by His love, in each one's life by the living according to His law and the imitating of His example. Jesus reigns over the family when it, modeled after the holy ideals of the sacrament of matrimony instituted by Christ, maintains unspotted its true character of sanctuary. In such a sanctuary of love, parental authority is fashioned after the authority of God, the Father, from Whom, as a matter of fact, it originates and after which even it is named. (Ephesians iii, 15) The obedience of the children imitates that of the Divine Child of Nazareth, and the whole family life is inspired by the sacred ideals of the Holy Family. Finally, Jesus Christ reigns over society when men recognize and reverence the sovereignty of Christ, when they accept the divine origin and control over all social forces, a recognition which is the basis of the right to command for those in authority and of the duty to obey for those who are subjects, a duty which cannot but ennoble all who live up to its demands. Christ reigns where the position in society which He Himself has assigned to His Church is recognized, for He bestowed on the Church the status and the constitution of a society which, by reason of the perfect ends which it is called upon to attain, must be held to be supreme in its own sphere; He also made her the depository and interpreter of His divine teachings, and, by consequence, the teacher and guide of every other society whatsoever, not of course in the sense that she should abstract in the least from their authority, each in its own sphere supreme, but that she should really perfect their authority, just as divine grace perfects human nature, and should give to them the assistance necessary for men to attain their true final end, eternal happiness, and by that very fact make them the more deserving and certain promoters of their happiness here below.
"It is, therefore, a fact which cannot be questioned that the true peace of Christ can only exist in the Kingdom of Christ--"the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ." It is no less unquestionable that, in doing all we can to bring about the re-establishment of Christ's kingdom, we will be working most effectively toward a lasting world peace." (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, 1922.)
One of the tragedies of the last forty years is that the Church herself has ignored, if not rejected, the wisdom of Pope Pius XI's Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio. Thus silencing her own voice, the Church has made it more possible for ill-formed and ill-informed men such as George W. Bush to use positivism with abandon to try to build a structure of peace without acknowledging the sovereignty of Christ the King and the necessity of being totally consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. The only path to true peace and security, that provided by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, runs through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart. Anyone who contends otherwise, no matter how strongly they make their assertions, is bound to fail and to throw the world ever more into fits of violence and confusion.
As we pray for our leaders to be converted to the true Faith and to embrace the path of peace that runs through Our Lady's Immaculate Heart to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we must point out to all political leaders in the world that it is either Christ or chaos in our own personal lives and in the lives of men and their nations.
Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.