As the Fourth of July approaches (otherwise known as Independence Day here in the U.S.) I feel compelled to offer the following commentary largely taken from a column that I wrote for Catholic News Agency last year (i.e., before they decided that my writing, including the following which is no longer available on their website, is incompatible with their mission of self-preservation; one that includes cheerleading for the current pope and walking on eggshells in fear of upsetting the bishops, and this no matter how offensive their words and deeds may happen to be to Christ; the countless souls thereby placed in jeopardy be damned.)
Let Freedom Ring? Let Jesus Reign!
Flipping around the radio dial a few weeks ago, I made a 90 second pit stop on Mark Levin’s program, about as long as I can stand most conservative talking heads lately.
It’s not that we don’t share similar objectives (e.g., the defense of marriage as one man and one woman, an end to the evil of abortion, a government that doesn’t mandate despicable practices, etc.); it’s just that they’re always hawking a remedy that’s destined to fail.
The clarion call to change the station on Levin came when he referred to those on the right side of the issues as “Constitutionalists like us.”
Speak for yourself, Mark.
Constitutionalists place their faith in the Constitution; and so the remedy they seek when faced with an Administration intent on exceeding the limits of its power is strict adherence to Constitutional precepts.
I’m a Catholic. By contrast, people like me believe in the saving power of Jesus Christ, made available through, with, and in His Holy Catholic Church. As such, we recognize that the remedy for State imposed immorality lies not in pretending that every religious confession is as valid as the next, but in calling to account those who exercise civil authority for their duty to accept what Pope Pius XI called “the sweet and saving yoke” of Christ the King.
Apparently, not all Catholics agree.
The U.S. bishops’ campaign to defend the Church against the objectively immoral demands being made by the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate has, from the earliest days of this battle, included little more than claims of recourse to “our first, most cherished freedom,” a reference to the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
In other words, the bishops’ response is very long on Americanism, but woefully short on Catholicism.
Don’t get me wrong, being an American is a great privilege, but that’s not going to get us to Heaven; being a faithful Catholic is what will get us to Heaven. As such, I refuse to ignore the uncomfortable truth that the U.S. Constitution, in particular its approach to religious liberty, is fatally flawed.
How is it flawed?
Put on your Catholic glasses for a moment and take a fresh look at this vaunted “first, most cherished freedom” that we hear so much about these days:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This, of course, is the First Amendment, and while it may seem harmless enough at first blush, it proposes to treat Jesus Christ, who is truth incarnate, and the Catholic Church, through which He speaks even today, as just one constituency among many.
In other words, the First Amendment grants to those who exercise civil authority license to weigh the words of Christ as though they are no more worthy of consideration in the ordering of human affairs than the ravings of Allah or the quips of Confucius.
It is in this environment that objective religious truth, as given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ, through His Holy Catholic Church, is reduced to just another opinion, leaving the ruling party accountable to no higher power than the electorate as it goes about determining what is, and what is not, morally acceptable in matters of governance.
In short, the First Amendment amounts to the formal rejection of Him who said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
This, of course, is a wholly unsustainable proposition, but based on the bulk email that I recently received from my bishop, Archbishop William Lori, Chair of the USCCB’s Religious Liberty Committee, you’d never know it.
With pressure building to comply with the HHS mandate, the Archbishop announced that the USCCB is re-launching the “Fortnight for Freedom,” calling upon Catholics as a “people who believe in the Constitution” to join the fight.
So, the U.S. Constitution, the same that set the stage for this mess, is now being elevated to an article of faith?
This is our fourth quarter strategy?
Preaching as if the Constitution of the United States was inscribed by the finger of God on a tablet of stone is not the answer. Neither are such inane parish activities as “patriotic sing-a-longs for children, Pancakes for Patriotism, or Fish Fries for Freedom.” (Taken from the USCCB’s “14 Ways Your Parish Can Celebrate the Fortnight for Freedom.”)
The bishops, overcome by the diabolical disorientation of which Our Lady forewarned, appear not to realize that the Church is engaged, not just in a battle over healthcare in the United States at the hands of Barack Obama, but in a war against the forces of evil throughout the world over the Church’s ability to carry out the mission that was given to her by Christ, in the fullness of freedom, which is hers, not simply by constitutional right, but by Divine right.
The reason the bishops’ behavior fails to reflect this immutable truth of our Catholic faith is simple, they’re no longer willing to proclaim the Social Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ; the same that Pope Francis suggests is to be avoided as little more than the ramblings of “triumphalists.”
Unless and until the pope and the bishops in union with him muster up the wherewithal to once more proclaim the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King as proposed so clearly by the popes in a more faithful age, the Church will continue to languish in the adulterer’s bed that her prelates made for her at Vatican II, wherein the mission that was given to her by Our Lord was supplanted in favor of a program of religious diplomacy.
The canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, and the plans being made to beatify Paul VI – each one an icon of the conciliar renouncement of Our Lord’s Kingship and the mission He gave to His Church – is a sure sign that barring divine intervention the end of this dreadful crisis is nowhere in sight.
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