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Sunday, July 02, 2006

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Kevin V.

I am disappointed at Fr. Schall's dogmatic Americanist reading of the War for Independence. A more critical view of the founding of the US reveals the leaders of the rebellion were more interested in securing property and power for themselves than any dubious "rights" for the common citizen. That George III was a intolerable tyrant is laughable.
Yes, this country was founded on an idea and that is liberalism par excellence. I would suggest a careful study of de Maistre's "Generative Principles of Political Constitutions" which successfully prosecutes the argument against the state founded on pieces of paper and ideas. In short, putting pen to paper and declaring it does not a nation make.
Yes, this nation was founded on principles, freemansonic, anti-Catholic principles and this nation has remained a dedicated foe of the Catholic social order.
In the last two centuries everywhere a Catholic state has collapse you will find an American soldier and/or an American politican cheering it on.
This country was founded a protestant horror and remains one today.

Ed Peters

Kevin: "That George III was a intolerable tyrant is laughable."

Maybe by today's standards, but then we've had 200+ years to see how low modern tyrrany can sink. There are deeper circles of hell than the First, but that does not mean the first circle isn't hell. There are many, many owrse, tyrants than Goerigie, but that does not mean he wasn't. Whatever other reasons there were behind the revolution.

I am cool to Schall's essay here too, a rare event for me. for starters the Event was BOTH a civil war AND a revolution, again a rare event and easy to over look....

Ed Peters

I re-read it. I like it more than the first time, though he does not answer his own question. So I will (partially): If America does not deserve to be free, no nation does. (Ok, I am not an expert an ALL of the 180 or nations out there, but you know what I mean). Recalling that "best" is relative term, America is the best place on earth. Maybe it's still not good enough to "deserve" anything, but, well, as I said, if America doesn't deseve freedom not nation does.

Mark Brumley

Well said, Dr. Peters.

Kevin V.

"Maybe by today's standards, but then we've had 200+ years to see how low modern tyrrany can sink"

By the standards of the time he was not even close to a "tyrant" compare with Cromwell or Robspierre.
It doesn't matter anyways, the constant teaching of the Church is it is better to bear under a tyranny than resist lawful authority. Revolution has no place in Catholic social theory. You think George III had anything on Nero or Caligula? Do you see the Church fathers demanding their "rights" and asserting the "independence"? I don't think so, because they knew the meaning of the word duty and that duties precede "rights"

"re-read it. I like it more than the first time, though he does not answer his own question. So I will (partially): If America does not deserve to be free, no nation does. (Ok, I am not an expert an ALL of the 180 or nations out there, but you know what I mean). Recalling that "best" is relative term, America is the best place on earth. Maybe it's still not good enough to "deserve" anything, but, well, as I said, if America doesn't deseve freedom not nation does."

Depends on what you call freedom. Fr. Schall makes a point that we have to define "happiness" properly (Aristotle's eudaimonia), well you also have to define freedom properly. As freedom to perform your duties without the hinderance of the state, not the license to live by the appetites.
Only someone programmed in America's modern public schools (or the parochial schools, there hasn't been a whit a difference between the two for 35 years) could possibly believe this is "the best place on Earth"

Here is your mantra:

Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength
War is peace

Ed Peters

Kevin, don't tell me what my "mantra" is. Somone else, if they wish, can respond to Kevin. I've spent too many years trying to combat the very things he accuses me of preaching to answer him without falling into the same kind of sacractsic, ad hominem, hyperboles that he is trotting out before us here.

VT

On a totally different note (well, it's my first time to join a blog, and I hope for forgiveness for going totally off the point), I've read Fr Schall's articles, and I notice he often refers to the degeneracy of Europe (my words, not his). But he totally understates the case - democracy is dead in Europe. I hope you still have some in the States. If we vote against closer integration with the EU (as Ireland did a few years ago), the politicians simply send us to the polls again - until we accept it. Most of our laws originate in Brussels, from an unelected European Commission. Our politicians enthusiasticallly endorse them, our press has been bought by them. We are so indoctrinated by the media that many people believe that we exist to serve the state - and not the other way around. I hope America is more democratic, because the Irish have been bullied into submission - and it is a heartbreaking place to be. Maybe it's simplistic of me, but I was glad to read the founding father's statement of intent,and I hope that it inspires Irish people, as well as Americans, to fight the good fight for democracy and the freedom of self government!

Kevin V.

"Somone else, if they wish, can respond to Kevin. I've spent too many years trying to combat the very things he accuses me of preaching to answer him without falling into the same kind of sacractsic, ad hominem, hyperboles that he is trotting out before us here."

Don't bother, the world doesn't need any more Catholic apolgists for the Freemason States of America, the last two in sit in St. Peter's Chair have given us plenty

St. Louis IX, Most Christian King,
Ora pro nobis

St. Stephen I, King of Hungary
Ora pro nobis

St. Henry II, Dei gratia Romanorum imperator semper augustus,
Ora pro nobis

tertium quid

Dr. Peters,

Count yourself lucky! Kevin V. may be cheeky enough to try and tell you what your mantra is and call you a Freemason, but at least you did't get this bit slung your way:

You stand for nothing but will argue on behalf of everything. In times of persecution you are the ultimate survivor because you are a threat to no one. You survive but you are not really alive.

Some folks are here merely to sneer, I fear...

John Herreid

Kevin is, I think, a bit too nostalgic for the days of monarchy. Of course, it's much easier to be nostalgic for something you've never experienced. The good ol' days of jolly England under the Anglican kings and queens may have been pretty awesome for all I know. Maybe I'll ask Edmund Campion how his stay was.

And for the record, I was homeschooled. But perhaps because I wasn't raised with spooky stories about Freemasons and Zionists behind every tree, I came out ok.

Paul

Just to add my two cents here, I also take Fr. Schall's stuff with a grain of salt. It occurs to me that Fr. Schall must agree heavily with the pro-American pseudo-Catholic views pushed by First Things.

To be sure, America is founded on Protestantism, and this is something that needs more pondering because it is in many ways opposed to the world view of Catholicism. And, not excluding the good things it represents, and the good it has accomplished in the past, America now represents individualism, consumerism, a false view of freedom, and many other things that are certainly bad.

Additionally, doesn't Catholic moral teaching tell us that a positive end doesn’t necessarily justify the means? Therefore, when the Church (including JPII, BXVI, the USCCB, and many other Cardinals and Bishops throughout the world) says that the war in Iraq is problematic, and that pre-emptive war isn't right, why would we question the morality of the situation by pointing to the good it might do?

If violence was always the solution to these sorts of problems, then why isn’t Israel able to combat the Palestinians with violence - why does it only seem to make the situation worse?

That is not to say that I believe in pacifism, but sometimes appropriate action is deemed appropriate outside of context. For example, to say that 911 was caused by Iraqi militants or the Iraqi government is a blatant distortion of the truth. To say that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant would be more accurate, but then we need to reflect on who put him into power in the first place.

Ed Peters

Paul, your 2 cents are worth at least a dime, but: 1. Schall is a very independent thinker (yes, I know some people think independence is measured only by how many times one disagrees with others. too bad for them.) 2. "America is founded on Protestantism"; i have no idea what that really means. I don't see "protestant" foundations in the DofI, let alone the Con., anywhere. I think those who do see same are either mistaken as to what Catholic political principles really hold, or are engaging in eisgesis...Founded by (mostly) Protestants, yes, but founded ON Protestantism, I don't see it; 3) on several of your points about violence (itself not defined, I suspect), i'll only say this: don't parlay a rule of thumb (who shot first?) into a binding principle (whoever shot first is always wrong). It's an easy mistake to make. Catholic Just War theory that war should be a last resort, or that only "defensive" wars can be just, does NOT mean that whoever "shoots" first is necssarily wrong. It never meant that (regardless of how many times that fact pattern occurred), and it CERTAINLY does not mean that in an age of bio-chemical and/or nuclear weapons in hands of rogue states or tiny terrorist cells. Sometimes, throwing the first punch is the right thing to do. as fraught with moral danger as that is.

Mark Brumley

Taking James V. Schall with a grain of salt!

Hmmm. Well, I can understand people holding different prudential political judgments. Fine. But to suggest that Fr. Schall holds a pseudo-Catholic view of things political is, well, incredible. Really.

Can we disagree without implying that the views of a brilliant, learned, holy CATHOLIC political philosopher are "pseudo-Catholic"?

Good points, Ed. Esp. about America not being founded on Protestantism and throwing the first punch. Very well said.

Also, it seems that the articulation of Catholic teaching regarding war is one thing; particular judgments about the justice of this or that war are something else. We must distinguish when we refer to teaching by pope, bishop, or, in another category, bishops' conference about the former, from comments by pope, bishop, or, in another category, bishops' conference regarding the latter.

One quibble, underscoring for the sake of clarity a distinction I know that Ed Peters acknowledges: let us clearly distinguish Catholic just war TEACHING from Catholic just war THEORY. The teaching is, well, Catholic teaching. The theory is the conceptual apparatus that tries to explain the teaching. It is Catholic teaching that war can be just; that is no mere "theory", in the tentative sense of the term.

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