Envisioning an American Theocracy

Several years ago a provocative article appeared on Dr. Taylor Marshall’s website which attracted both criticism and praise. Hypothetically applying St. Thomas’ principle that grace “…perfects, heals, and elevates nature” to the state, he explores answers to the following question:

“…[I]f we Catholics lived holy lives and lovingly evangelized as we should, What would the United States look like?”

Dr. Marshall’s pieces are usually short but he gives this one a lot of thought, listing 28 changes that would reflect the transformation of the country into a Catholic state. It is no surprise that the article immediately drew criticism from protestants and non-Christians, but it also drew disapproval from liberal Catholics. Commonweal Magazine called the article flawed and “a political dream” adding, “It’s not Martin Luther King’s dream, either.”

Why would any Catholic find it objectionable for someone to conceive of America as a Catholic country in service to Christ? And I fail to understand the reference to MLK other than your typical PC ad hominem slander, branding someone they disagree with as a racist.

These are a some of Dr. Taylor’s reflections:

  • The newly elected president would recite his oath of office, not only with his hand on the Holy Bible, but kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance held by the Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, DC. within the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. In other words, the President would make his oath directly to Christ.
  • Mary under her title “Immaculate Conception” is currently the patroness of the United States. She would become featured on our national seal and on our currency.
  • January 21, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, would be a perennial day of national penance.
  • Abortion, contraception, sodomy, euthanasia, and divorce would be illegal as these sins are contrary to the natural law. Of course, abused wives would be protected and assisted under law.
  • Public blasphemy and the abuse of the most holy name of Jesus would be forbidden in film, television, and music.
  • All Holy Days of Obligation would become federal holidays and Days of Obligation would not be transferred to Sundays since they would become holidays for all citizens. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday would also become nationally recognized holidays.
  • The sin of usury in form of credit cards, school loans, and other disadvantaging lending policies would be criminalized as contrary to natural law.

    No more “bishops of bling”
  • The clergy (but especially our archbishops and bishops) would not live like royalty in mansions as in previous years but would live penitent and poor lives like great bishops of old such as St Martin of Tours, St Francis de Sales, St Augustine, and St Bonaventure.
  • The meetings of the Senate and Congress would begin with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and with prayers and benedictions from the clergy.
  • Those of different religions would be tolerated and by no means forced to convert to Catholicism. Conversion, as the Popes have taught, is an act of the will and people should not be forced through political coercion.

Towards the end of the era of the Grey Wolf, St. Hildegard envisioned that after a period of persecution the Church will have achieved her mission and “…be replete with the full number of her children” (Scivias, Book III, Vision 10, Chapter 13).* It will also have achieved a new height in spirituality:

“For until the time of the son of perdition, who will pretend to be the man of strength, His [Christ’s] faithful members will be perfected in fortitude and He will be splendid in the justice of his righteous worshippers” (Chapt. 9).

The world Dr. Marshall describes, whether here or in Europe, is not unimaginable. When asked why he thought Europe would return to the Catholic faith, the late would-be emperor Otto von Hapsburg answered simply, “Because we have the truth!”.

…rjt

*Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias, translated by Columba Hart and Jane Bishop. The Abby of Regina Laudis: Benedictine Congregation Regina Laudis of the Strict Observance, Inc. Paulist Press, 1990.

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The Grim Consequences of Growing Wealth Inequality in the U.S.

French economist Thomas Piketty’s 2014 best seller, Capital in the 21st-Century, is a historical study of wealth inequality since the industrial revolution. He demonstrates that an increase in income inequality was inherent to capitalism. The formula was simple, if the rate of growth on income derived from invested assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) is higher than the gross domestic product (GDP — the rate of growth of the economy), then national wealth will be gradually concentrated in the hands of existing holders of investment assets.

The author’s painstaking statistical analysis was the first of its kind and his work is admired by a broad range of economists. He notes that there are troubling social consequences when inequality reaches a certain level, as it did just before WWI and WWII. He also discovered that the inequality is never corrected by economic growth. Continue reading “The Grim Consequences of Growing Wealth Inequality in the U.S.”

St. Hildegard’s Unsettling Vision of the Bride of Christ

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Bride of Christ, Scivias, Book III, vision 11, chapter 13

It is generally agreed that the illuminations which accompany Hildegard’s Scivias (Rupertsberg Manuscript) were either sketched and painted by her, or produced under her supervision. The image of the Church as a Bride appears periodically throughout her visionary work. In Book III, Vision 11, chap. 13, which immediately follows her description of the era of the Grey Wolf, she describes the vision that corresponds to the illumination here:

“And I saw again the figure of a woman whom I had previously seen in front of the alter that stands before the eyes of God, …but now I saw her from the waist down. And from her waist to the place that denotes the female, she had various scaly blemishes, and in that latter place was a black and monstrous head.”

The Bride who appeared in an earlier vision only from the waist up is now seen fully complete, which reflects that the last days have arrived. Importantly, Hildegard adds that by this time the Church will be “…replete with the full number of her children” (Chap. 13); it will have completed her mission of evangelization. Continue reading “St. Hildegard’s Unsettling Vision of the Bride of Christ”

Why Europe Will Return to the Christian Faith

“Because we have the truth”

Otto von Habsburg
Otto von Habsburg

This was the reply of the late Otto von Habsburg (1912-2011) when asked the question of why he was so convinced Europe would once again return to Christianity. The inquiry was in the context of Europe’s continuing secularization on the one hand, and non-Christian immigration on the other.

The interviewer, an instructor at Thomas More College, was surprised by the would-be Emperor of Austria’s confidence:

“The manner of his response made a deep impression on me. It was sovereign and serene, and filled with a glowing, inspiring hope—a hope anchored in an unwavering faith in Christ and His Church.”

Continue reading “Why Europe Will Return to the Christian Faith”

Killing Sodom and Gomorrah

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Sodom was saved?

In a speech presented at the World Youth Day in Poland, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, General-Secretary to the Italian Bishop’s Conference, recounted the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in a way that irritated Father Z. The bishop had concluded the story at the end of Genesis 18, the dialogue with Abraham,  saying, “…The city [Sodom] is saved because some righteous ones are there, even though a few of them.” I would have guessed that the bishop may have accidently misstated himself, but he repeats again in the next line “the city was saved”. Genesis 19, which concludes the story with the destruction of Sodom, was omitted.

This should not come as a complete surprise. It was and is still commonly taught in the universities that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was a legend, along with the Tower of Babble, creation story, Noah’s Ark, etc. Since elements of many of these stories can be found in the mythological literature of other Ancient Near Eastern religions, it was assumed by many Biblical scholars that by the time they were written down, the Hebrews had simply adapted these fables to their unique monotheistic conception of God. Particularly for older theologians, like Bp. Galantino, interpreting these Biblical accounts literally would be naïve, thus leaving them open to creative interpretations or to be disregarded as anachronistic and irrelevant to today’s world.

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Ebla Library

With respect to Sodom, however, proof of its existence appeared in the 1980s. An archaeological site in present day Syria had uncovered a Middle Bronze Age city-state named Ebla. In it they found a library containing tablets that included geographical guides, and a list of cities that included Sodom.

In fact, archaeologists might have actually found Sodom in the Southern Jordan Valley, a Middle Bronze Age site known as Tall El-Hammam. One of the archaeologists working on the project, Steven Collins, concluded it was Sodom based on information from the book of Genesis:

“Theorizing, on the basis of the Sodom texts, that Sodom was the largest of the Kikkar [the Jordan ‘Disk’, or ‘well-watered plain’ in the Biblical text] cities east of the Jordan, I concluded that if one wanted to find Sodom, then one should look for the largest city on the eastern Kikkar that existed during the Middle Bronze Age, the time of Abraham and Lot. When we explored the area, the choice of Tall el-Hammam as the site of Sodom was virtually a no-brainer since it was at least five to ten times larger than all the other Bronze Age sites in the entire region, even beyond the Kikkar of the Jordan.”

He sees evidence of a sudden abandonment of the city and no subsequent re-population of the area for 700 years. He notes also that the site,

“…included a large monumental complex in the lower city/tall, remains of a mudbrick palatial structure in the upper city/tall (called the ‘red palace’ because of the color of the mudbricks due to a fiery conflagration).”

While evidence of destruction by fire is common to Near East archaeological sites, bsodom3roken pottery shards have been found that were melted down by a heat level that would have to have been much higher than that of a normal fire, even a kiln.

lot's wife
Lot’s wife

Less likely the site of Sodom is an area on the west side of the Dead Sea traditionally called the Mountains of Sodom and the Cave of Sodom. It’s a desolate area primarily comprised of salt. How this area came to be identified with Sodom is not clear; there are no remains of a city in the area. However, since it is on the coast of the Dead Sea, there are many pillars of salt, many of which eerily take on a human-like form. One in particular is even commonly referred to as Lot’s wife.

Bishop Galantino naturally prefers to talk to the kids about God’s mercy (Genesis 18), but is it helpful to ignore His judgment (Genesis 19)? Doesn’t the former necessarily imply the latter? The sin of Sodom was that as a sovereign city-state it had legitimized sexual behaviors that were contrary to divine natural law. But isn’t that exactly what sovereign Western states are doing today by means of their courts and governmental authorities? At some point following this Year of Mercy could the West experience a Year of Judgment?

…rjt

Contraception and the Guilt of Homicide

lightningSt. Hildegard wrote that in a period of time that precedes the Antichrist the Catholic Church will be punished for many sins, noting three in particular: fornication, rapine (theft or plunder), and murder (Scivias Book III, Vision 11, Chapter 13). The case for the first two as being present today isn’t difficult to make: the clerical sex abuse of children is probably the worst sexual scandal in Church history, and the well-documented troubles of the Institute for the Works of Religion (the Vatican Bank) should be a cause of embarrassment and anger for all Catholics (see Gerald Posner’s recent book, God’s Bankers). But what about homicide?

The murder accusation could be made for a number of reasons, like supporting an unjust war or the uncovering of murderous intrigues within the higher levels of the hierarchy. The latter likely only occurs in mystery novels and the former isn’t very conceivable; on the question of war the Church seems to be moving in the direction of pacifism.

But what about the refusal of Church authorities to enforce the its prohibition on the use of artificial birth control? Continue reading “Contraception and the Guilt of Homicide”

The Era of the Grey Wolf is Fast Approaching: New Link

I added a new link to my blogroll: GalliaWatch. The subtitle to the blog reads, “The countdown for France has begun. Stay au courant” (well-informed). The blog author, Tiberge, scours the French press for information on the social demise of France as well as the rest of Europe. Many of the translations provided by the author would be difficult if not impossible to find elsewhere. Also, the author sorts out the truth since much of what comes out of the European media is biased, heavily redacted, or outright misleading, as was demonstrated by the recent censorship and spin regarding the New Year’s Eve sexual assaults of women by Muslim immigrants.

The blogger’s focus is on the islamification of Europe but also reports on incidents of persecution of Christians and attacks on churches. It’s a front-row seat for viewing the emerging new historical era: the era of the Grey Wolf.

The Five Beasts of Saint Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society is primarily a study of history from 1870-present, alongside an analysis of St. Hildegard’s vision of five symbolic animals, representing five separate eras of time preceding the Antichrist. I contend that four of these eras have already transpired. The final era is symbolized by the Grey Wolf; this era lies ahead, perhaps within decade. Hildegard’s explanation of the symbolism of the Grey Wolf does not suggest a single nation or ethnicity, but Europe in general (I did, however, see a clear connection of Hildegard’s description of the wolf to Islam). Continue reading “The Era of the Grey Wolf is Fast Approaching: New Link”

5 Reasons Why Western Europe Will Lose the Battle Against Islamic Extremism

1. REFUSAL BY AUTHORITIES TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH CRIME IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES .

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England

A major debate erupted earlier in the year over the existence of “no-go zones” in a number of European cities. These are dangerous neighborhoods primarily populated by Muslim immigrants that even the police avoid. The following description of no-go zones near Paris comes from an article in the New Republic:

“The word banlieue (“suburb”) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”

Worried about a drop in American tourism, the Mayor of Paris threatened to sue Fox News over reports about these zones in Paris. Fox retracted. Nevertheless, in an earlier post, I reported in detail how dangerous Paris can be and how hesitant the authorities are in responding to Muslim immigrant crime.

It’s a problem all over Europe. The following rare admission comes from the Chief Constable of the Police Directorate Osnbrück, Germany, regarding these sorts of areas:

“Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left ‘to themselves.’ Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture.” (Link)

Refusing to acknowledge a social problem doesn’t make it disappear. A bias toward multiculturalism in the European pressrooms only support this. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why Western Europe Will Lose the Battle Against Islamic Extremism”

Is Paris No Longer Safe for Jews (or Christians)?

demonstration1A recent article in Vanity Fair profiled a retired French police commissioner from Paris, Sammy Ghozlan, who is a Jew born and raised in Algeria. He runs the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, an organization that he funds himself. The article notes that there were 851 anti-Semitic acts in France during 2014 (in 2013 there were 453). Gozlan notes that the dramatic increase in violence and terrorism is directly connected to the influence of the Islamic State:

“The country’s counter-terrorism forces are now desperately trying to cope with what is commonly called the ‘third wave of anti-Semitism’ in modern France. The first wave, coming from the far right, morphed into the neo-Nazi crusades of the 1990s. …The second wave came from the far left—rooted in pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel attitudes. …The third wave has been propelled by the recent rise of ISIS, has metastasized via thousands of Web sites and social media, and, in France, has become homegrown and home-schooled among a vulnerable population of young Muslims.”

Continue reading “Is Paris No Longer Safe for Jews (or Christians)?”

The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard and Revelation 17: The Beast with Seven Heads

beasts2St Hildegard’s vision of the last days is a description of five symbolic beasts that represent five unique historical periods that immediately precede the time of the Antichrist. The book, The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society, argues that four of the five periods have already occurred in our recent history. If the book’s theories are convincing, then we can look for references to that same future period of time in the prophetic literature of the Bible and compare.

babylon4One such reference is the well-known apocalyptic passage in the Book of Revelation which includes a description of the infamous “Whore of Babylon”. Unfortunately, the book of Revelation is very difficult to interpret, and Revelation 17:1-14, which references the Whore of Babylon and the beast with seven heads, is especially difficult to understand. But it can be interpreted, and often is among Catholic theologians, as referencing the time leading up to the Antichrist. To do so requires the premise that the book of Revelation relates to the future and has specific information about the end times. Continue reading “The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard and Revelation 17: The Beast with Seven Heads”