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.”
John F. Kennedy’s Commencement Address, June, 6, 2013:
“Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament–and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must reexamine our own attitude–as individuals and as a Nation–for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward–by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace, toward the Soviet Union, toward the course of the cold war and toward freedom and peace here at home…
Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on Military Strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims–such as the allegation that “American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of wars . . . that there is a very real threat of a preventive war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union . . . [and that] the political aims of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries . . . [and] to achieve world domination . . . by means of aggressive wars.”
Truly, as it was written long ago: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements–to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning–a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.”
Thanks to Mark Scibilia-Carver for putting up the site thecatholiccostofwar.org and for sending us the link.
“These pages are dedicated to the U.S. Catholic victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both soldiers and civilians, who have been killed in these unjust wars and to the memory of Ben and Elizabeth Salmon, Catholic resisters of WWI. It also serves as an indictment of the Catholic Bishops of the U.S. whose response to these wars has been characterized by cowardice, moral laxity and relativism, to the point that they are guilty of material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war.
Surprisingly, the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) does not keep a record of those killed while under its care.”
He writes: “Under the ‘Defund AMS’ tab is a version of the letter I got published in NCR just before the first collection.”
We will add this as a permanent link on the Resources page.
In our manifesto, we write: When we champion the United States as “the greatest country on Earth,” we overlook the dark side of American history: American exceptionalism provides the rich soil in which militarism takes root. Militarism creates a convenient blind spot for the terrible costs of war. At its most bold, it dares and encourages young people to sacrifice their lives, and possibly their souls, at the unholy altar of the State.
Here it is from the horse’s mouth: Why America is Exceptional by Hillary Clinton
There’s always been something special about the United States of America. President Abraham Lincoln called us the “last, best hope of earth.” President Ronald Reagan said we are a “shining city on a hill.” And Robert Kennedy called us a great, unselfish, compassionate country.
I couldn’t agree more.
If there’s one core belief that has guided and inspired me every step of my career in public service, it’s this: the U.S. is an exceptional nation. And when you add up all our advantages, it’s clear we’re indispensable too—a nation all others look to for leadership.
America is indispensable in part because we have the greatest military in history, with the best troops, training and technology. And it’s essential we do everything we can to support our men and women in uniform, and our veterans.
America is also indispensable because of our network of alliances, built up with decades of diplomacy. Russia and China can’t begin to compare. Our allies amplify our power, aid our defense and stand with us in good times and bad, like when NATO declared 9/11 to be an attack against all its members. Walking away from our alliances now would be a dangerous mistake.
America is indispensable because we have the largest, most dynamic economy in the world. Our workers can outinnovate and outcompete anyone in the world. And our entrepreneurs start exciting new businesses every day.
Most of all, America is indispensable—and exceptional—because of our values. As Secretary of State, I was proud to represent our country’s commitment to freedom, equality and opportunity. The world looks to us to stand up for human rights, LGBT rights, religious and ethnic minorities, women, people with disabilities and people everywhere who yearn for peace. We challenge ourselves and other nations to do better. It’s why so many people from around the world want to become Americans too.
But with all of these advantages comes responsibility—we need to continue leading the world. Because when America fails to lead, we leave a vacuum that lets extremism take root, emboldens our adversaries and discourages our friends.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that people from other places don’t also feel deep national pride—and other countries also have a responsibility to step up and help solve global problems. But America has an unparalleled ability to be a force for peace, progress and prosperity around the world. And when we do, we make our own country safer and stronger.
So let’s never stop doing good and being great. Let’s keep America exceptional.
The 9/11 Memorial features exactly one piece of art that questions the official conspiracy theory about that day. Here is an interview with artist Anthony Padua, and some of his artwork shown above.
ALL IMAGES ©2015-16 ANTHONY FREDA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED