Matthew Schmitz, deputy editor of First Things, posted a piece on the First Thoughts blog about Rep. Jo Jordan of Hawaii, the U.S.’s first openly gay lawmaker to vote against gay marriage.
Jordan apparently did so over concerns about the ill-effect such a law, if passed, might have on religious liberty, saying:
I really am not happy with the exemptions. Too narrow … I haven’t figured out why I felt so compelled to fight for the religious exemptions, to not erode Constitutional rights. I don’t belong to any particular denomination. I don’t wear one of those hats. I take religion out of everything.
“That threat [to religious liberty of which Jordan speaks] would be less acute if more people—even if they didn’t reach Jordan’s conclusion—at least shared her concerns,” Schmidtz wrote.
While I don’t want to read too much into Schmidtz’s comment, it strikes me as interesting that the conversation seems to have shifted from protecting the so-called “first most cherished freedom” from threat at the hands of an overbearing government, to simply limiting the threat such that it is rendered “less acute,” as if to acknowledge that some degree of infringement is a forgone conclusion, a proposition with which I wholeheartedly agree.
In any case, this comment points to the difficult truth, though one assumes Schmidtz did so inadvertently, that the U.S. Constitution, and likewise the neo-conservative movement, has ever been destined to fail. The only surprise is that it has taken more than 200 years to become obvious.
Simply put, the “Great American Experiment” has been destined to fail because it operates under the false assumption that a nation can flourish even when those who govern “take religion out of everything” relative to public policy.
Interestingly, one of the clearest thinking commenters on the First Thoughts blog is a supporter of gay marriage, who said:
We live in a legally secular country. The Church seeks the imposition of law based on religious doctrine. Doing so is an insult to the First Amendment. It demonstrates a lack of respect for our civil authority. Simply stated, the Church has no right to define morality for anyone other than its followers – all of whom do so voluntarily.
The commenter, in many ways, is hitting the nail squarely on the head. Those things deemed properly religious are of a private nature under the U.S. Constitution, and while individual citizens are free to follow their convictions in the way in which they vote, and even the way in which they seek to influence public opinion, at the end of the day, what makes a given law or action “moral” in this representative republic is ultimately a function of the will of the people as expressed at the polling place.
Under this model, those poor fools who happen to be in the minority must go with the flow of the majority tide in all matters “public,” apart from which they can fully expect to be punished by the duly elected civil authority. As for where that line between “public” and “private” lies is a matter for the same civil authority to decide. So goes the “consent of the governed.”
Conspicuously missing from this doomed process of governance is the voice of Almighty God from whom all authority comes, and to whom all in civil authority are beholden. It is missing thanks in part, of course, to the precepts set forth in the U.S. Constitution, but the well-formed Catholic recognizes that it is missing even more so thanks to the silence of post-conciliar Churchmen who are no longer willing to assert the Sovereign Rights of Christ the King.
The commenter at First Thoughts is off the mark in his support of gay marriage to be sure, but what we don’t know is the degree to which he and countless millions of others (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) have been genuinely misled into believing that the absolute, objective truth that comes to humankind from God through His Holy Catholic Church is but one “religious” opinion among many by bishops who cannot seem to muster up the courage to say anything more than this for themselves and for the Church established by Christ the King.
” It demonstrates a lack of respect for our civil authority. Simply stated, the Church has no right to define morality for anyone other than its followers – all of whom do so voluntarily.”
Ah yes, the “respect for civil authority” while completely ignoring the infinitely higher respect due to Almighty God. Civil authority is god…the god of the state. And the Church has no “right” to define morality for anyone other than it’s followers…while the State has the right to define morality for EVERYONE based on what the “people” think at any one given moment…and by force. God bless~
PS. Welcome back Louie!
Two things come to mind.
1) Catholics should be of one mind with those who would debunk the notion of religious liberty. I know that I make no claims to its sacral character. There never has been religious liberty, not even here in the States. The government has from the outset essentially proclaimed itself to be the pseudo-deity, placing itself above all other notions of divinity, thereby enabling it to be the ultimate determining arbiter as to who shall worship God – the god or gods of your choice – in any number of variable ways. It is above religion, beyond it. The ‘official’ religion of the state (for there must always be one) is the state
2)The Catholic opposition to gay marriage in this republic is also off kilter. It should not be opposed by the bishops because of religious liberty issues, but because this particular sexual sin of perversity is deeply, deeply offensive to Almighty God; and therefore, if cultivated by the state, ruinous to its very existence.
It is their job to tell the truth, tend the Church, and save souls. That is their only function.
You know, Louie, you’re really making progress in your journey of discovery. With each posting, you are continuously evidencing that the true thinking man of faith (what Mario Cuomo once laughingly referred to himself as “the cerebral Catholic” – ha!) simply cannot escape the inevitable conclusion that the Church – especially here in the States – currently finds herself in deep doo.
This is just SO very bad, on so very many levels…..
Pray, fast, and do penance. Stay awake and faithful.
Yes, the masonic creation is crumbling before our eyes. Thank you Mr. Verrecchio for saying what needs to be said. You are in my prayers.
There are two battles that we must devote ourselves to in this dreadful era.
1. We must fight to preserve the final positions which remain to us. ‘Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die’ (Apoc.3:2).
2. Far more importantly, We must make prayer, penance, and sacrifice the center of our lives, and offer it all to God, united to His Passion, imploring Him, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to establish His reign and save us. This is our part in the greater battle of Our Lord and the Beast.
A truly extraordinary article on this topic can be found here: http://www.apropos.org.uk/documents/ThePreliminaryBattle7-09-13.pdf
Welcome back Louie! The masonic experiment was held in check by the protestant experiment, but ultimately both were destined to failure from the beginning. The peculiarly American version of protestantism that we take for granted is designed to accommodate the masonic ideals. Pope Leo XIII says it all in his encyclicals and they were written in the late 1800s, so already it was clear that the experiment was failing. If only America had not exported her revolution around the world. American protestantism emphasizes a “personal God” and a “personal conversion”. The Catholic Church has traditionally sought to convert the whole society and to create a pervasive Catholic culture.
The protestant ethic emphasizes personal willpower to overcome sin which is present in society, while the Catholic Church recognizes that we are all born with original sin and recognizes that it is the duty of the state to foster a Catholic society where immoral activity does not have the “right” and the “freedom” to lead souls to perdition. The civil law must be based on the Law of God.
America is an odd mix of protestant Christianity with masonic principles. And the Catholic Church was the anchor which kept the protestants from straying too far from the True Church and this made the protestants an efficient check against the full implementation of masonic principles. Once the anchor was pulled up by Vatican II, the boat began to drift and it is headed straight for the rocks on the shore.
(BTW. we do have an official “religion” in the US which is secular humanism. No state can exist without a religion and a morality of some sort to base its laws on. It is just that we are still in a post-Christian mode of thinking, so the full effect of a society base on secular humanism is still to come. See China as a model.)
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.” Patrick Henry 1776
“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” George Washington
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
“The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” John Quincy Adams
“The United States of America were no longer Colonies. They were an independent nation of Christians.” – John Quincy Adams
The problem is that we have some saying we were birthed a Christian nation and others saying we were not. Well, somebody is wrong, because the two are mutually opposed. The question is who is? That can be answered not by only looking at one fact, but the whole picture of American history. Satan is clever, but stupid at the same time. He has produced a counterfeit for individual facts. But when you look at them put together, it most definitely points in the direction of us as a Christian nation. Pseudo-historians and lay constitutional internet lawyers cannot change that fact. They have not researched the history. This nation was FAR from a religion-neutral country. Take the blue laws for example – i.e. no alcohol sales on Sunday. Where do you think that came from? Look at the colonial laws. They all made blasphemy a crime. Simply put many people simply do not know our history. They prefer to strain a gnat while swallowing a camel. If you really want a religion neutral country, I suggest the old U.S.S.R. where in their constitution it clearly stated in Article 124 of the 1936 version, “In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the State, and the school from the church.” This clause’s location was moved in the 1977 revision to Section II Chapter 6 Article 52, but it still said the same thing. So exactly, what kind of system are anti-Christians trying to create here? But I won’t bore the naysayers with facts. Let them be deluded if they wish. They’re not looking for truth anyway.
Pope Leo XIII: if you give equal rights to truth and error, error will prevail.
Christopher Ferrara: every Western government is a ‘confessional state’ with an anti-theology – they reject a One True Religion – they declare religious neutrality – they are idolatrous states.
Michael Voris: social abstractions take the place of personal morality – one in a state of mortal sin is deemed ‘good’, because he ‘fights poverty’. Personal rights not personal responsibility.
It’s the word of the world, not the Word of God people are listening to. The Church keeps silent on the Word of God and ‘dialogues’ with the word of the world. The effect of this tolerance/indifferentism is to cast someone down in their sins; not reproving someone who’s soul is in serious sin is not loving. God does not want to cast us down in our sins – God’s mercy chastises us while we live to correct us and bring us into Grace, and the Church is supposed to be an instrument for this. If God casts us down in our sins, God has given us up to our obstinate will to sin. The society whose most embedded doctrine is obsequious tolerance of crimes against one’s immortal soul, says, you are not worthy of Grace, your are not worthy of salvation, go ahead, sin, live in the mire, ‘Who am I to judge?’
“You Can’t Legislate Morality!”
This is one of the worst masonic lies to plague our country. If law is not a codification of morals, then it is nothing more than arbitrary tyranny.
The plutocrats that run the world, supported and enabled by their usurious con game that afflicts all people in all societies, have pushed this form of thinking.
Another lie that they use is “Violence Never Settles Anything!” This allows them to use violence in the enforcement of their worldview with impunity.
Essentially, the folks that believe that morality comes from within (true with respect to being a moral person – it is a choice) and that violence is to be eschewed except in the most extreme of circumstance, are made impotent by these two lies.
Ultimately, this will be settled in blood. That of martyrs, and that spilled in the Chastisement.
They will push the Statolatry as far as they can (what else is obamacare about?), then the will pull out the big guns. But by that time, it will be too late.
Just sit back and imagine what it will take to return society to a firm and broad consensus of morals and conduct enjoyed by our Grandparents.
It will truly be nasty. Get set, and resolve to offer everything up as penance and reparation.
Mark Twain once wisely said that history never truly repeats itself, but does very often rhyme.
The old Roman empire was an entity of a particular moral contour, but it devolved into moral chaos and dissolved.
So too with the States.
I firmly believe that the US has had its day in the sun. It has been used, perhaps, by God to achieve certain natural goods – maybe even some moral goods; but Our Lord does not have a social security number, and He is ultimately beholden to no political establishment.
When a political entity has served its cosmological purpose, it may be tossed aside – sometimes with violent disdain – to make way for another which will fulfill God’s will more precisely.
Again, such will be the case with the States.
We are not, nor will we ever be the end all and be all of the world. Merely a passing chapter of significance.
Many great and perhaps better nations and/or empires have come and gone before the US came on the scene, and just because a character arrives late in the play does not give to him the primary role.
The eyes of hope for the fulfillment of Our Lord’s designs must now turn to the east – probably to Russia, and the revitalization of Europe and the cradle of Christendom. Our turn to do good or bad is ending.
It is as though Our Lady – as a good mother – is saying to her children on these shores at the end of the day : “OK kids, that’s it. Time to come in now.”
Precisely. Vigilance was required then too. I think one thing is that we knew vigilance was part of everyday Catholic piety.
A final thought in allusion to the previous coda:
The Church must act as her primary nemesis, and indeed be “wiser than serpents.”
For she is, in a sense, very much in the same position as the Wandering Jew.
Only where he is entirely profane and earth-bound, she is truly other worldly.
And as the divinely disinherited Hebrew has moved relentlessly through many nations and societies, taking advantage situations and asking, “what’s in it for us?” for purely natural motives, so the Church must do the same – for supernatural motives.
Hungary is a current example of relinking religion and state – they have a new solidly Christian constitution and are getting hated on from the EU for it. Perhaps some States will cede from the ‘united’ in order to relink with sanity, sanctity and the True Sovereignty.
THE STORY OF THE UNITED STATES IS ESSENTIALLY A CATHOLIC ONE.
…..Gary Potter wrote an excellent article which was published in ‘The Angelus’ magazine. This article plainly showed how this Land, prior to 1776, was entirely Catholic.
“The event which today marks for Americans the beginning of their history was the landing in 1620 of so-called Pilgrim Fathers at a place they named Plymouth on the coast of what is now Massachusetts. However, nearly a century before, in 1528, a Spanish Franciscan priest, Father Juan Juarez, was designated Bishop of Florida.
“That was about 15 years after Florida was discovered by Juan Ponce de Leon on Easter Sunday, 1513, and no more than 36 years after Christopher Columbus, sailing under the flag of Catholic Spain, made his first voyage to the New World and planted the CROSS on its shores.”
“A chaplain attached to the 1541 expedition of Vazquez de Coronodo deep into the American heartland, Father De Padilla was slain by Indians at a spot in today’s Kansas which is practically the geographical center of the continental United States.”
“Tampa Bay…..had been discovered….in 1539, by Hernando de Soto, and was named by him “Espirtu Santo–Holy Spirit’, because the discovery took place on Pentecost. From Florida, de Soto went on to explore lands we now know as Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.”
“The Spanish explorations of Florida led to the founding on September 8, 1565, of the first city St. Augustine, named that by its founder, Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles, because he sighted the Peninsula on which it stands on the feast day of the great saint. Accompanying the admiral were twelve Franciscan priests and four Jesuits.
‘To speak of an army of missionaries is not to exaggerate. In all, from the end of the 15th century until 1822, Spain sent to America 16,000 missionaries who were members of religious orders……IF their work of evangelization was initially blessed, it soon enough suffered because of the incursion of Protestants. The first on the scene were the Huguenots to whom it was seldom sufficient to destroy the Catholic settlements they attacked and overran. It was common for them to put the sword the Catholic missionaries and native converts who fell into their hands.”
“For instance, in 1704, the English governor of South Carolina, Moore, led a military expedition against Apalache Mission in Florida. Capturing three Franciscan priests, he executed them along with 800 Catholic Indians. He also forced into slavery another 1,400 Indians living nearby. Nearly a century before then and far to the north-west, in today’s New Mexico, Pedro de Peralta in 1609 founded a city which he named Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis, and which is simply known as Holy Faith, Santa Fe.”
‘…….Eleven churches or missions had been built in and around Santa Fe by 1617, and in 1625 there were 43 churches serving 34,000 Catholic Indians……..ALMOST a century-and-a-half, 128 years earlier………..before the Protestant Pilgrims first landed at Plymouth Rock………
……..this Land had a claim for Christ the King, therefore as the exclusive moral and geographical domain of the holy Roman Catholic Church!!!
“The French arrived in what is now the United States later than the Spanish, and they, too, helped make most of the country what it first was: CATHOLIC.”
In another article, Gary Potter tells an interesting FACT: “All the missionaries were ready to undergo all they did in order to save as many Indians as they could from eternal fire. Saving them, they converted the land, and made America Catholic. And it was always Catholic policy to convert, NOT TO EXTERMINATE. The extermination of the Indian began only with the advent of the Protestant English.” It was actually Catholic influence which swayed President Washington in 1792 to recommend to Congress fair and Christian treatment of the Native American population.
Catholics need to become better acquainted with the history of America, especially the long suppressed ‘Catholic’ history. Our ignorance on this vital subject constitutes amajor obstruction in bringing America back to God…….the continual ignorance of our people, together with our continued sinfulness, is certain to bring about the premature demise of this unhappy PAGAN land. But as we are seeing, it was NOT ALWAYS the unhappy pagan nation that is today……..
…..Patriotism is a virtue……..Americanism a heresy; therefore there exists an uncrossable divide between the two, an unbridgeable chasm……Father Frederick Faber, said that ‘where there is no hatred of heresy there is no holiness.’
“Modern so-called history is largely a conspiracy against the truth”……(Father Edward Cahill,’Freemasonry and the Anti-Christian Movement).
” Father Frederick Faber, said that ‘where there is no hatred of heresy there is no holiness.”
hmm, which is why the average has to militantly pray to discern the Holy and the Real at Mass. The mutable ‘sanctuary’, the sermons that never evoke the Saints but call on contemporary athiestic, pagan, or worse, protestant hyper-individuals for ‘esample’; there is no hatred of heresy, impiousies, impurities, outrages, or out right diabolical disorientations. It’s just…what it is – in the most relativist sense. The rock is something we must carry within ourselves to Mass, based on the Word made Flesh and the Saints of the Church/Rock of the Real Presence.
The Church has a widespread amnesia and is, perversely, looking to Satan’s domain – the ‘world’ – for ‘guidance. even the grammar prediction on this comment box gives Satan a capital ‘S’ whilst ignoring the ‘e’ at the beginning of this sentence. The word of the world is being given almost free rain by agnostic clergy to block the knowledge of the Truth.
For those who love God above ALL, for those who love the Holy Roman Catholic Church, for those who SEEK TRUTH……there’s a ‘treasure box’ not hidden, known to those to love TRUTH, especially, an evidence to all the problems, havoc in the holy Church…….Truth, to how thru the ‘cracks’, the smoke of Satan, every stripe of ‘isms’……has poisoned so many in the hierarchy, religious, laity……..
To understand why the American Catholic Church is different, why it is spreading it’s errors thru out the whole Universal Catholic Church, please read:
“The Knights of Columbus” Part 1 & 2
“Heresy Blossoms like a Rose” Part 1 & 2
“Heresy in the Making”– part 1 & 2
“In The Beginning There Was Maryland”
“The Americanist Vision Since 1932” – part 1 & 2
“Roman Catholicism and American Utopianism”
…..I humbly say,…..’where there’s no holiness, there’s no fear of God’…….where there’s no fear of God…..SATAN REIGNS!!!
Viva Cristo Rey!
All excellent comments but what’s missing is what is the ultimate outcome? Yes, I believe a purifying chastisement of some kind is coming, in fact, absolutely necessary, but the USA has been consecrated to Our Lady at least two times. What is God’s plan for America during the coming Era of Peace? I personally believe that she will be transformed into a Commonwealth of Nation states within a Kingdom. And reigning over this American Kingdom will be a Monarch of Our Lord’s choosing. We may not live to see this but let’s have some hope for our children and grandchildren. It’s our prayers, sufferings, reparations, and potential martyrdom that will lay the foundation of a new beginning.
Dear Mr. Verrecchio,
On this topic it is important to read David Sehat’s book ‘The Myth of American Religious Freedom’ (not to be confused with Kenneth Craycraft’s book ‘The American Myth of Religious Freedom’, which is also good). Sehat’s thesis is that American government and law originally favoured Protestant Christianity, and only moved towards favouring alleged religious neutrality (i.e. secularism) in the 20th century. So your claim about the U.S. Constitution needs to be nuanced. Originally it was read and used in favour of Protestantism, which is not the same as enthroning secularism; it is the support of a particular religious group.
Here’s a good summary of Sehat’s book:
You mistake an accident for the substance. The founding principle of the Constitution is not Christianity, but the consent of the governed. As long as the governed remained Christian in a significant sense, so did the country. Once the nature of the governed changed/changes, so did/does the country. We are no longer Christian in a significant sense. So while your history lesson is interesting, it is of no effect.