Remarkably and unexpectedly American Catholics have been thrust onto the world stage by the election of Donald Trump. Trump made many promises to Catholics. He was and still is surrounded by Catholic advisors, and the Catholic vote was critical to his election. With great power comes great responsibility. President Trump’s increased military spending and in particular the disgusting arms deal with Saudi Arabia directly contradicts Catholic values and we need to let him know it. Loud and clear.
Many Catholics who voted for Donald Trump are stunned by the rapid turn of events which seems to indicate that hopes for a less interventionist more humble American foreign policy are irrevocably shattered. Here is one of the most scathing commentaries so far on the very radical and orthodox ChurchMilitant website:
“Where the pagan West has not spread its abhorrent culture and incoherent politics, it has scorched the earth with its bombs.”
To get to Heaven.
If you are Catholic and you don’t understand what’s going on here – one of the richest men in the world honestly confronting his own mortality – then contact me and I will explain it to you.
Donald Trump wants to make a deal with Catholics. Hillary Clinton wants to put us out of business. Pray for both of them but don’t be an idiot and possibly commit a mortal sin by voting for Hillary and the Democrats.
From Matthew, Chapter 19:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In truth I tell you, it is hard for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Yes, I tell you again, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven.’ When the disciples heard this they were astonished. ‘Who can be saved, then?’ they said. Jesus gazed at them. ‘By human resources’, he told them, ‘this is impossible; for God everything is possible.’
Dorothy Day was right on WW1. Cardinal Gibbons was wrong, shamefully wrong.
From The Foul Tornado by the eloquent, conservative Anglican Peter Hitchens:
“The loss cannot be measured in cash because it was paid in the more elusive coin of faith, morals, trust, hope, and civility. The war is the reason why Europe is no longer a Christian continent, because too many churches supported it. Pointing to the poverty and scientific backwardness of the pre-1914 world is a false comparison. Who is to say that we could not have grown just as rich as we are now, and made just as many technological and medical advances, had we not slain the flower of Europe’s young men before they could win Nobel Prizes, or even beget and raise children?
The astonishing thing is that so many conservative, Christian, and patriotic people have yet to understand the damage this event did to their causes. It is at least partly because we can barely begin to imagine the world that we lost…
The Russian revolution would never have happened had there been no war in 1914. The great Christian and conservative empires of the world would probably all still exist. War also brought about the sexual, social, and cultural revolutions that are still convulsing what used to be Christendom.”
Conservative American Catholics who reflexively support American militarism should read Mr. Hitchens’ article. Read it and weep. And for good measure and to bring us up to date, I also recommend this:
Communism is dead and The Cold War is Over.
Pope Francis speaking to the U.S. Congress:
“In these times when social concerns are so important, I cannot fail to mention the Servant of God Dorothy Day, who founded the Catholic Worker Movement. Her social activism, her passion for justice and for the cause of the oppressed, were inspired by the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.”
Our good friend Tom McDonough is an expert on this subject. Read his book and, if you have the opportunity, go hear him speak at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC.
The Marine Corps ain’t what it used to be either. Check out what retired General Allen, USMC, had to say during his fanatical rally speech for Hillary Clinton at the DNC.
“Every American in uniform, in the White House or at home – USA! USA! USA! – we must be a force for unity in America, for a vision that includes all of us. All of us. Every man and woman, every race, every ethnicity, every faith and creed, including the Americans who are our precious Muslims. And every gender and every gender orientation. [my emphasis]
…My fellow Americans, from the battlefield to the capitals of our allies and friends and partners, the free peoples of the world look to America as the last best hope for peace and for liberty for all humankind, for we are the greatest country on this planet.”
“With Hillary Clinton as our commander-in-chief, the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world.”
I recommend watching the entire video from the beginning to get the full sickening flavor of it. The Triumph of the Hill, we can call it.
It appears that Diversity, for these people, comes out of the barrel of a gun. Even Pope Francis has spoken out forcefully against this madness.
Is this our future, Catholics? Or should we take a gamble and vote for Trump? Desperate times demand desperate measures. We need to talk about this. Comments are welcome.
*with apologies to Professor Andrew Bacevich
It ain’t what it used to be.
Leon Panetta spoke at the DNC over antiwar chants by protestors and said the following:
“I’ve lived the American Dream. My parents were immigrants from Italy. They came through Ellis Island, made their way to California, and opened a restaurant in Monterey.
I can still remember standing on a chair in the back of that restaurant washing glasses. Never could my immigrant parents have dreamed that their son would grow up to be Secretary of Defense of the most powerful military in the world.”
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Mr. Panetta is a Roman Catholic according to Wikipedia. But in addition to his state idolatry there is this:
“The university fails to mention that Panetta, a member of Santa Clara’s board of trustees, not only has a strong pro-abortion voting record from when he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, but was also the co-sponsor of the federal Freedom of Choice Act. Later, as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, Panetta defended Clinton’s veto of a bill that would have banned partial-birth abortions.”
All American Catholics should get out of the Democratic Party now as fast as they can. It is now clearly the Party of War and the Party of Abortion. The prominent role of “abortion rights” supporting Catholics such as Panetta, Joe Biden and now Tim Kaine only serves to underline that fact rather than disguise it.
It is not certain yet that the Republican Party is a morally viable alternative but at least it remains pro-life on paper and of greater importance is the fact that Donald Trump has routed the warmongers and neo-conservatives who formerly controlled the levers of power. Perhaps now is the time for Catholics to migrate to this Party and fight for their beliefs and principles under new ground rules.
Today is the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. The British Army suffered over 50,000 casualties on the first day. By November more than one million men had been killed or wounded on all sides. Laurence Vance has an excellent article to commemorate this horrendous and tragic event:
In addition, in following a link in Mr. Vance’s article, I came across this discussion of what was known as “shell shock” during WWI. In this the Year of Mercy, let us never forget that in time of war the scale is always tipped dramatically in favor of the merciless and the powerful.
from Driven Mad by the Horror of War by Tony Rennell:
“Every soldier lost to a diagnosis of shell shock was viewed not as a casualty but as ‘wastage’ — a reduction in the manpower needed to defeat the Germans. Compassion was now regarded as weakness. ‘Man up’ was the message from on high to those on the ground.
One recourse was to deny mercy to traumatised men who fled the battlefield. Death sentences for desertion and cowardice soared: 100 British soldiers were executed in the two years before the Battle of the Somme, and nearly 250 in the two years during and after.
Shattered nerves were no excuse. Rejecting a plea for mercy, Field Marshal Douglas Haig, the commander-in-chief, confirmed the sentence on one particular Somme soldier with an exasperated: ‘How can we ever win if this plea is allowed?’
Another general said of a private who went to pieces during a gas attack: ‘Cowards of this sort are a serious danger. The death penalty is instituted to make such men fear running away more than they fear the enemy.’
The deranged private was tied to a stake and shot at dawn.”
All of which made me think of this great antiwar classic:
A Happy and Blessed Easter to all! Do miracles still happen? Listen to this powerful story of one man’s experience to get you thinking during this Easter Season. You be the judge!
For our readers in the Boston area, here is a chance to get involved:
Please join us on June 1 to hear a talk by Andrew Bacevich on the dangers of American militarism.
Andrew Bacevich is a Catholic historian and Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University where he taught for many years. He is also a Vietnam veteran who retired with the rank of Colonel after over 20 years in the US Army. He has written many books on American foreign policy including The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War, and Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War. His newest work, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History was released on April 5, 2016.
Professor Bacevich is also a regular contributor to the Catholic magazine/website Commonweal and many other publications and websites. He has appeared on TV shows such as the Bill Moyers Journal and even the comedy show of fellow Catholic Stephen Colbert.
This event will be the first in a series intended to help American Catholics and others to confront the problems of militarism and perpetual war which exist in our country today. After the talk, we will have a “social hour” with a cash bar available. Relax, have a pint and make new friends. Discuss politics and religion. Even this year’s humdrum Presidential campaign! All the things you can’t talk about at work!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
7:00 PM at:
The Hibernian Hall
151 Watertown Street
Free and open to the public. Ample parking. Doors open at 6:30.
Sponsored by Boston Catholics Against Militarism
Join our meetup. Oppose militarism and build Catholic solidarity!