31 March 2021

Prophecy of Venerable Fulton Sheen Offers Hope to a Troubled America

Archbishop Sheen foresaw the situation we're in 80 years ago. This is powerfully prophetic!

From the National Catholic Register

By Joseph Pronechen

Archbishop Sheen foresaw dire world conditions in the future, but as a true prophet he told us where to cast anchor for victory.

During one of his radio talks in 1943 on his series “Crisis in Christendom,” Archbishop Fulton Sheen saw not only what was happening in his times, but was prophetic about our times. He warned that “the beginnings of a new era are often marked by a general barbarization, when the whole historical order is dissolved … when Truth in some nations is nailed to a Cross, and in others rejected in a stroke of false broadmindedness.”

The same year, in Philosophies at War, he referred to the Rome’s decline. “The difference between that crisis and ours is that in the case of Rome a material civilization was collapsing and a spiritual about to emerge,” Sheen explained. “In the present instance, it is the spiritual which is being submerged and the material which is in the ascendency.”

What’s more, Sheen added, “Our so-called liberal civilization, which is dying, is only a transitional phase between a civilization that once was Christian and one that is anti-Christian. It has no stability of its own, being based for the most part in successive negations of the Christian philosophy of life. … This alone constitutes the crisis of democracy; it will either return to its roots or die."

The picture he painted harked back to the major Old Testament prophets admonishing Israel when it was galloping into various idolatries toward imminent ruin.

But Sheen didn’t leave out a critical component when he also firmly said that “we are not without hope in this hour of calamity — for only those who walk in darkness ever see the stars.”

Warning again in 1947 in Way to Happiness that “our exterior world today is in desperate straits,” Sheen continued, “but the inner world of man is far from hopeless. … The world is far from God, but human hearts are not. That is why peace will come less from political changes than from man himself, who, driven to take refuge within his own soul from the turmoil without.”

He saw the time “not far off when modern men will utter a frantic appeal to God to lift them from the empty cistern of their own egos.” If they stay in the cistern, nothing but gloom surrounds them. “The world is full of prophets of gloom, and I would be one of them if I did not practically believe in God,” he said. “This attitude of pessimism varies in direct ratio and proportion to the frequency with which one follows world news. … As a result, people lead political lives, not spiritual lives.”

How right he was today in this regard. He said, “Tremendous disproportions are created by headlines and news reports, as too often the startling is identified with the true. Parents who live in love and affection for one another, and rear their children for the triple piety of God, neighbor, and country make no headlines.”

During his early 1940s radio talks Sheen also foresaw that “the day we adopt in our democracy the already widespread ideas of some American jurists that right and justice depend on convention and the spirit of the times, we shall write the death warrant of our independence … and when we deny God as the foundation of our rights, we shall no longer have rights.”

Looking Ahead at Our Age

“Why are all these social experiments failing and why is America at the threshold of its own implosion? I believe the American prophet for our times, Fulton Sheen provides the answer back in the early 1940s,” says Sheen expert Peter Howard, founder and president of the Fulton Sheen Institute. “We ignored the prophetic voice of Sheen at our peril back in the 20th century. Now we are face to face with all that he warned us about.”

He quotes Sheen from the bishop’s Philosophies at War:

The means of life no longer minister to peace and order because we have perverted and forgotten the true ends of life. … Now the basic reason why our economics and politics have failed as a means to peace is that both have forgotten the end and purpose of life. We have been living as if civilization, culture and peace were by-products of economic activity, instead of the other way round, so that economics and politics are subordinated to the moral and the spiritual. … We live and act as if God had never made us.”The topsy-turvy daily news and headlines and philosophies became roadmaps taking us away from that one narrow road that Christ pointed out — a road that Sheen, like the prophets of old, tried to steer us toward again.

“Instead of this being a time of disaster, it is rather a period of humiliation,” Sheen said. “We are being left to ourselves, to our own devices, to our own conceits.”

Reflecting on the prophetic Sheen, Howard points out the rapid scientific advancements made “since the world make a conscious decision to reject God and absolutize the human intellect as the source of enlightenment. Where has that path taken us? Not to love, not to life, not to peace, not to freedom. It has taken us to the complete opposite and the world is now just beginning to wake up to this frightening reality.”

No one is immune. Sheen said, “It makes no difference how wicked a soul may be, there is no one subjecting himself to illicit pleasures who does not have a consciousness of his subjection and his slavery.”

Yet in Way to Happiness he saw that “this is not the end of civilization; nor are we to be without hope. We have simply reached a moment in history where God is permitting us to feel our inadequacy, so long as we trust only in ourselves.”

Bishop Sheen believed we are “living on the eve of one of the great spiritual revivals of human history. Souls are sometimes closest to God when they feel themselves farthest away from Him, at the of despair. For an empty soul, the Divine can fill; a worried soul, the Infinite can pacify. A self-concerned, proud soul, however, is inaccessible to Grace.” But as best wheat bows its grain-filled head, so “In national life, as in nature, humility, with a head bowed before God, is the beginning of greatness.”

In the late 1940s, Sheen spoke as if foreseeing today when he said, “Modern man has been humiliated: neither his proud expectations of progress nor of science have turned out as he hoped. Yet he has not quite reached the point of humbling himself. He is still imprisoned in the self, and able to see nothing else beyond.” Yet he added, “but the time is not far off when modern men will utter a frantic appeal to God to lift them from the empty cistern of their own egos.”

Howard says we must wake up and turn to God, as the first great commandment tells us to — with all our heart, mind and strength. Sheen stressed “the war we are in is not between political parties or economic philosophies. Our problems are theological. It is a war between good and evil and that war has entered its final hour.”

Sheen foresaw our times and presaged: “Unless there is a moral revival in our Western world (especially) and a rebirth of family life, Communism may be the instrument for the liquidation of a bourgeois civilization that has forgotten God.”

In Communism and the Conscience of the West (1948) Venerable Sheen made it clear that “Communism is both an effect and a judgment on our Western world; an effect because it was born of our unfulfilled Christian duties, our abandonment of the Father's House in favor of materialism; a judgment because it reveals how wrong has been our thinking, how evil have been our deeds.”

Taking these very words of Sheen’s, Servant of God John Hardon said, “We must humbly acknowledge our guilt before God, sincerely repent, and do penance for the errors of the past. But even this is not enough,” because as Sheen said, “unless there is a moral revival in our Western world a rebirth of family life, Communism may be the instrument for the liquidation of a bourgeois civilization that has forgotten God.”

Noting what Sheen prophesied, Howard, whose online “The Final Hour” is about Sheen’s foresight and plan to save America, comments that we have to begin “to rebuild this collapsing world order with the foundation of humility and do so one family at a time. It all starts with the family.”

It has to. “The educated know how to rationalize evil,” Sheen said in his early 1940s radio talks. “And in saying this I am only repeating in poor language the eternally beautiful thought of the Savior: ‘I confess thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hidden these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them to little ones’ (Luke 10:21).”

Hope Is the Anchor

Sheen foresaw:

Our greatest days are ahead, though in between intervenes the purging, where we will learn that as the rays cannot survive without the sun, so neither can we prosper without God. This hope can be translated into victory in either of two ways: by prayerful remaking our hearts, or by being brought within an inch of disaster, until from the depths of our insufficiency we cry out to the Goodness of God.

Which will it be? One way or the other, purification from the culture of death will be necessary.

As he observed, “The educated know how to rationalize evil.”

“I can see no hope,” Sheen told his radio listeners, “unless we reverse the present order and admit that instead of politics setting limits to religion and the morality of Jesus Christ, religion and the morality of Jesus Christ must begin to set limits to politics.”

And again, that “unless America restores religion and morality and discipline under God, it will avail us naught to arm ourselves against the enemy from without.”

But, of course, Sheen was not one to lose hope and he prompted us to hold fast to it in the most calamitous of times. Talking on Easter Sunday, April 13, 1941, in the face of the dire world situation with Pearl Harbor only months away, Sheen spoke about hope: “Hope that we may not share the defeatism of those, who because they have forgotten their God, have lost the hope of resurrection.”

“The first lesson is this: Moments of great catastrophe are often the eves of great spiritual renaissance,” he said. “Our Divine Lord Himself, speaking of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, and distress of nations, made the forecast of these calamities the very motive of hope: ‘But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand’ (Luke 21:28).”

“The reason moments of catastrophe may be the eves of spiritual victory is because it is in those moments of defeat that man’s pride is most humbled and his soul thus prepared for the help of God.” Prophet Sheen pointed to the Prodigal Son.

Sheen showed the hope he accentuated was not the wishful thinking variety but the genuine and necessary virtue. “We are hopeful not because this is a good world, for presently it is not,” he said. “Our trust is not in the inherent natural goodness of man, but in the powers of God who can raise him from the dead … Our optimism is based not on ‘progress,’ but on its breakdown. Our modern pagans despair when they become disillusioned about the world. We hope, and when we begin to be disillusioned about ourselves; and therein is the pathway to repentance and to God.”

But “suffering and war and evil can be faced without losing hope either in humanity or in God” if we look to “the vision of Calvary” and what happened there.

While those living “only on the husks of materialism” voice despair, “thanks to Christ in His Vicar, we live in the hope of a better day, even in an hour that is dark and black, for Easter Sunday was not within three days of the Transfiguration, it was within three days of Good Friday.”

“That is why we who believe in Easter and the victory of spirit over matter will not be without hope for America,” he concluded, “so long as it trusts in God.”

Marine Corps Officer Warns Congress Against Classifying Christians in Military as ‘Religious Extremists’

One mistake. Whilst the slide DOES smear Catholics as 'religious extremists', it says nothing about Evangelicals. It correctly identifies 'Christian Identity' as extreme. 

Christian Identity or Identity Christianity is a 'religion' practised by individuals, independent congregations, and some prison gangs, it is not an organised religion, nor is it affiliated with any specific Christian denomination. Its theology is a racial interpretation of Christianity totally opposed to 'orthodox' Evangelicalism.

From theThe Epoch Times

A slide used in a Department of Defense (DOD) training manual identifies Catholics and evangelical Christians as “religious extremists,” along with members of the Ku Klux Klan, al-Qaeda, and Hamas, according to a Marine Corps officer.

“First Liberty also obtained a screenshot of an unclassified slide from a U.S. Army training manual. The slide is entitled ‘Religious Extremism’ and it purports to identify religious extremists,” Michael Berry told the House Armed Services Committee, during a hearing on March 24 titled “Extremism in the Military.”

Berry is general counsel to the First Liberty Institute (FLI), a Plano, Texas-based public interest law firm that specializes in First Amendment and religious freedom cases. Berry is also an officer in the Marine Corps Reserves, although he presented his testimony in his capacity as a civilian.

Another slide shows soldiers are prohibited 
from associating with “extremist” groups.

“Included among those listed are al-Qaeda, Hamas, and the Ku Klux Klan as groups that use or advocate violence to accomplish their objectives and are therefore rightly classified as extremists,” Berry told the committee.

“But also included are Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism, who most assuredly do not advocate violence. Surely, the fact that Evangelical Christians and Catholics hold fast to millennia-old views on marriage and human sexuality does not make them extremists who are unfit to serve.

“At a time of turmoil and instability, during which our nation faces many external threats, [this] message is inappropriate and offensive to our service members and those they defend.”

The training manual that Berry referred to is used in Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recently ordered “stand-down” to identify and root out extremists in the U.S. military. Austin’s order came in the wake of the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol, in which some of the participants were military veterans.

Austin said, in a DOD video explaining his reasons for the stand-down that all military members in each of the branches are required to view, that “there is not a single doubt in my mind that you take seriously your oath to the Constitution and that you serve this country with honor and dignity and character.”

Even so, according to Austin in the video, the stand-down is needed because of “extremism and extremist ideology, views, and conduct that runs counter to everything that we believe in.”

Austin claimed in the video that the presence of extremist views “is not new to our country and, sadly, it’s not new to our military.” He didn’t provide in the video any examples of such individuals.

The training materials used in Austin’s stand-down and presented by Berry during the hearing purported to present credible descriptions of extremist ideologies, conduct, reasoning, and identifying characteristics.

Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) told the hearing in his opening statement: “If you serve in the military, you pledge an oath to the U.S. Constitution and to the laws of this country. If you disagree with that Constitution and you disagree with the laws of this country so strongly that you no longer think our government is legitimate, then you have no business serving in the U.S. military and you should get out now.”

Two issues were particularly prominent in witness testimony and committee members’ comments, the lack of credible data about the extent of any extremism in the ranks, and the lack of what constitutes impermissible expression of views and actions on behalf of those views.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), the panel’s top Republican, told the hearing at the outset that “it is important to point out that we lack any concrete evidence that violent extremism is as rife in the military as some commentators claim.”

Rogers said “extremism was a factor” in the separation of only nine soldiers from the U.S. Army in 2020, and he noted that “since 2018, 17 Marines have been separated for extremism, gang or separatist activities.”

“That’s 17 out of 200,000. While I agree that this number ought to be zero, this is far from the largest military justice issue facing our armed services,” Rogers said.

“Earlier this year, 151 overwhelmingly liberal organizations, including Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, and SPLC Action [Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund], urged Congress not to expand domestic terrorism charges.

“The organizations said, ‘We urge you to oppose any new domestic terrorism charge, the creation of a list of designated domestic terrorist organizations, or other expansion of existing terrorism-related authorities.’”

The committee heard from only two other witnesses, Audrey Kurth Cronin, an American University professor of international security, and Lecia Brooks, chief of staff for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal advocacy group often criticized by conservatives for defining “extremism” so broadly as to include conventional political groups that clearly are not.

The newest Republican member of the committee, Rep. Pat Fallon of Texas, pointed out that “recently the Washington Post, the New York Times, Politico, NPR, and the New Yorker magazine, just to name a few, skewered the SPLC for, among other things, corruption, harassment, racism, and a widening credibility gap.”

Fallon also noted that Cronin claimed 37 of those arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol were either U.S. military veterans or reservists.

“There are 18 million U.S. military veterans. Thirty-four were rioters. This means that 17,999,966 of us were not. That’s one out of 529,000,” Fallon said.

Smith rejected Fallon’s comments, however, as “logically absurd” because veterans arrested during or after the Jan. 6 riot don’t represent the full scope of the problem.

“We don’t know how large a problem this is. That’s why we’re having this hearing,” Smith said.

Cronin told the committee in response to a question from Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) that recruitment efforts by extremist groups targeting active and retired military individuals “is indeed becoming an increasing problem.”

Asked by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for his view on the use of lists of prohibited organizations, Berry said: “They can be dangerous. Labeling evangelical Christians and Catholics as ‘extremists’ is opening Pandora’s box.”

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) expressed concern that a DOD effort against extremism will play into the hands of Chinese Communist Party efforts to damage the U.S.’s image overseas.

“There is an active propaganda campaign being prosecuted by the Chinese Communist Party right now attempting to portray our country as an evil racist hellscape with no authority to lecture them on human rights. I worry that we may be playing into our adversary’s hands, and I do worry it will undermine our ability to fight and win wars in the future,” Waltz said.

Smith concluded the hearing by saying “there are demagogues on both sides” and that he “is very concerned about over-reactions.”

“If we are targeting people and shutting them off from jobs and everything for something they said 20 years ago. There’s no reference point, no structure to that and it becomes just this excuse to shove your point of view down somebody’s throat,” he said.


[1] The foregoing arguments enable us to conclude that evil is caused only by the good.

[2] For, if an evil thing were the cause of a certain evil, then the evil thing would not act, except by virtue of the good, as has been proved. So, this good must be the primary cause of the evil.

[3] Again, what does not exist is not the cause of anything. So, every cause must be a definite thing. But evil is not a definite being, as has been proved. Therefore, evil cannot be the cause of anything. if, then, evil be caused by anything, this cause must be the good.

[4] Besides, whatever is properly and of itself the cause of something tends toward a proper effect. So, if evil were of itself the cause of anything, it would tend toward an effect proper to it; namely, evil. But this is false, for it has been shown that every agent tends toward the good. Therefore, evil is not the cause of anything through evil itself, but only accidentally. Now, every accidental cause reduces to a cause that works through itself. And only the good can be a cause through itself, for evil cannot be a cause through itself. Therefore, evil is caused by the good.

[5] Moreover, every cause is either matter, or form, or agent, or end. Now, evil cannot be either matter or form, for it has been shown that both being in act and being in potency are good. Similarly, evil cannot be the agent, since anything that acts does so according as it is in act and has form. Nor, indeed, can it be an end, for it is apart from intention, as we have proved. So. evil cannot be the cause of anything. Therefore, if anything is the cause of evil, it must be caused by the good.

[6] In fact, since evil and good are contraries, one of these contraries cannot be the cause of the other unless it be accidentally; as the cold heats, as is said in Physics VIII [1: 251a 33]. Consequently, the good could not be the active cause of evil, except accidentally.

[7] Now, in the order of nature, this accidental aspect can be found either on the side of the agent or of the effect. It will be on the side of the agent when the agent suffers a defect in its power, the consequence of which is a defective action and a defective effect. Thus, when the power of an organ of digestion is weak, imperfect digestive functioning and undigested humor result; these are evils of nature. Now, it is accidental to the agent, as agent, for it to suffer a defect in its power; for it is not an agent by virtue of the fact that its power is deficient, but because it possesses some power. If it were completely lacking in power, it would not act at all. Thus, evil is caused accidentally on the part of the agent in so far as the agent is defective in its power. This is why we say that “evil has no efficient, but only a deficient, cause,” for evil does not result from an agent cause, unless because it is deficient in power, and to that extent it is not efficient.—And it reduces to the same thing if the defect in the action and in the effect arise from a defect of the instrument or of anything else required for the agent’s action; for example, when the motor capacity produces lameness because of a curvature of the tibia. For the agent acts both by means of its power and of its instrument.

[8] On the side of the effect, evil is accidentally caused by the good, either by virtue of the matter of the effect, or by virtue of its form. For, if the matter is not well disposed to the reception of the agent’s action on it, there must result a defect in the product. Thus, the births of monsters are the result of lack of assimilation on the part of the matter. Nor may this be attributed to some defect in the agent, if it fail to convert poorly disposed matter into perfect act. There is a determinate power for each natural agent, in accord with its type of nature, and failure to go beyond this power will not be a deficiency in power; such deficiency is found only when it falls short of the measure of power naturally due it.

[9] From the point of view of the form of the effect, evil occurs accidentally because the privation of another form is the necessary concomitant of the presence of a given form. Thus, simultaneously with the generation of one thing there necessarily results the corruption of another thing. But this evil is not an evil of the product intended by the agent, but of another thing, as was apparent in the preceding discussion.

[10] Thus it is clear that, in the natural order, evil is only accidentally caused by the good. Now, it works in the same way in the realm of artifacts. “For art in its working imitates nature,” and bad results occur in both in the same way.

[11] However, in the moral order, the situation seems to be different. It does not appear that moral vice results from a defect of power, since weakness either completely removes moral fault, or at least diminishes it. Indeed, weak ness does not merit moral punishment that is proper to guilt, but, rather, mercy and forgiveness. A moral fault must be voluntary, not necessitated. Yet, if we consider the matter carefully, we shall find the two orders similar from one point of view, and dissimilar from another. There is dis similarity on this point: moral fault is noticed in action only, and not in any effect that is produced; for the moral virtues are not concerned with making but with doing. The arts are concerned with making, and so it has been said tha in their sphere a bad result happens just as it does in nature Therefore, moral evil is not considered in relation to the matter or form of the effect, but only as a resultant from the agent.

[12] Now, in moral actions we find four principles arranged in a definite order. One of these is the executive power, the moving force, whereby the parts of the body are moved to carry out the command of the will. Then this power is moved by the will, which is a second principle. Next, the will is moved by the judgment of the apprehensive power which judges that this object is good or bad, for the objects of the will are such that one moves toward attainment, another moves toward avoidance. This apprehensive power is moved, in turn, by the thing apprehended. So, the first active principle in moral actions is the thing that is cognitively apprehended, the second is the apprebensive power, the third is the will, and the fourth is the motive power which carries out the command of reason.

[13] Now, the act of the power that carries out the action already presupposes the distinction of moral good or evil. For external acts of this kind do not belong in the moral area, unless they are voluntary. Hence, if the act of the will be good, then the external act is also deemed good, but if it be bad, the external act is bad. It would have nothing to do with moral evil if the external act were defective by virtue of a defect having no reference to the will. Lameness, for instance, is not a fault in the moral order, but in the natural order. Therefore, a defect of this type in the executive power either completely excludes moral fault, or diminishes it. So, too, the act whereby a thing moves the apprehensive power is free from moral fault, for the visible thing moves the power of sight in the natural order, and so, also, does any object move a passive potency. Then, too, this act of the apprehensive power, considered in itself, is without moral fault, for a defect in it either removes or diminishes moral fault, as is the case in a defect of the executive power. Likewise, weakness and ignorance excuse wrongdoing, or diminish it. The conclusion follows, then, that moral fault is found primarily and principally in the act of the will only, and so it is quite reasonable to say, as a result, that an act is moral because it is voluntary. Therefore the root and source of moral wrongdoing is to be sought in the act of the will.

[14] However, a difficulty seems to result from this investigation. Since a defective act stems from a defect in the active principle, we must understand that there is a defect in the will preceding the moral fault. Of course, if this defect be natural, then it is always attached to the will, and so the will would always commit a morally bad action when it acts. But virtuous acts show that this conclusion is false. On the other hand, if the defect be voluntary, it is already a morally bad act, and we will have to look in turn for its cause. Thus, our rational investigation will never come to an end. Therefore, we must say that the defect pre-existing in the will is not natural, to avoid the conclusion that the will sins in everyone of its acts. Nor can we attribute the defect to chance or accident, for then there would be no moral fault in us, since chance events are not premeditated and are beyond the control of reason. So, the defect is voluntary. Yet, it is not a moral fault; otherwise, we should go on to infinity. How this is possible we must now explain.

[15] As a matter of fact, the perfection of the power of every active principle depends on a higher active principle, since a secondary agent acts through the power of a primary agent. While, therefore, a secondary agent remains in a position of subordination to the first agent, it acts without any defect, but it becomes defective in its action if it happens to turn away from its subordination to the primary agent, as is illustrated in the case of an instrument, when it falls short of the motion of the agent. Now, it has been said that two principles precede the will in the order of moral actions: namely, the apprehensive power, and the object apprehended, which is the end. Since to each movable there corresponds a proper motive power, not merely any apprehensive power is the suitable motive power for any and every appetite; rather, one pertains to this appetite and another to a second appetite. Thus, just as the proper motive power for the sensory appetite is the sensory apprehensive power, so the reason itself is the proper motivator for the will.

[16] Again, since reason is able to apprehend many goods and a multiplicity of ends, and since for each thing there is a proper end, there will be, then, for the will an end and a first motivating object which is not merely any good, but some determinate good. Hence, when the will inclines to act as moved by the apprehension of reason, presenting a proper good to it, the result is a fitting action. But when the will breaks forth into action, at the apprehension of sense cognition, or of reason itself presenting some other good at variance with its proper good, the result in the action of the will is a moral fault.

[17] Hence, a defect of ordering to reason and to a proper end precedes a fault of action in the will: in regard to reason, in the case of the will inclining, on the occasion of a sudden sense apprehension, toward a good that is on the level of sensory pleasure; and in regard to a proper end, in the case when reason encounters in its deliberation some good which is not, at this time or under these conditions, really good, and yet the will inclines toward it, as if it were a proper good. Now, this defect in ordering is voluntary, for to will and not to will lie within the power of the will itself. And it is also within its power for reason to make an actual consideration, or to abstain from such a consideration, or further to consider this or that alternative. Yet, such a defect of ordering is not a moral evil, for, if reason considers nothing, or considers any good whatever, that is still not a sin until the will inclines to an unsuitable end. At this point, the act of will occurs.

[18] Thus, it is,car, both in the natural order and in the moral order, that evil is only caused by good accidentally.


The Church's Hate Speech Problem

Mr Holdsworth discusses the hypocrisy inherent in the concept of so-called 'hate speech'.

I want you to take a second to appreciate the great gift of speech and what a near miraculous ability it is. We are rational creatures which is to say we have thoughts which can bear some insight into reality or the way things are. But it doesn’t end there. We then have the ability to incarnate those thoughts so that they can be shared with other rational human beings and compared to their related thoughts on the topic so that we might mutually benefit from that exchange. Our speech allows us meet on a neutral ground where we might offer something of benefit to the other. This is what knowledge sharing is and it’s a mode of communication that we should all aspire to. Speech with its great power and potential should be used to benefit your neighbor. But that same power also allows us to mislead and manipulate – to bear false witness. And this is what distinguishes sophistry from debate.

A debate is what happens when competing ideas are offered in the hopes that when we compare the competing ideas and judge them according to certain logical criteria, we will arrive at some greater understanding of the Truth. Sophistry is what happens when someone uses their ability to communicate, not to help their hearers understand what is true, but to manipulate them in order to achieve their own exclusive ends. So this could be through the use of lies and fallacies to “win” the argument so as to validate their position, or to get elected, or to sell you something you don’t need. It could also be through measures designed to prevent meaningful debate and the potential exchange of ideas that can help us all discover what is true. And it is this particular variety of sophistry that is widespread in today’s public discourse. It seems that most of us a are so incapable of mounting a reasonable reply to an argument that might contradict our own beliefs, that we would rather just silence the person making the argument rather than attempt to engage in meaningful debate. We’d rather prevent any speech than speech that competes with our assumptions and prejudices. And if anything should be called hate speech, or hatred of speech, it is this. For example, I was recently accused of spreading hatred for simply proposing the societal benefits of the family. I offered premises, supported by evidence, that lead to that conclusion. And inevitably, as all ideas do, it disagrees with ideas that are fashionable today. And that’s the thing about ideas. There will always be alternative ones. But just because an idea doesn’t agree with your own beliefs, doesn’t mean that you are being confronted with hatred. It means this is an opportunity for you to contribute to an exchange of ideas that could benefit you and those you disagree with. But instead, what we see more and more of today, is people refusing to contribute their thoughts, instead, dissolving into accusations of hatred for anyone that disagrees with them. And by doing so, they betray an obvious contempt for what would have otherwise been an opportunity to communicate and seek understanding. They betray a hatred for speech. Recklessly accusing people of hate speech because they disagree with you is the actual hate speech because it is an attempt to oppress speech itself.

And where do we get off assuming that someone who has an opinion that competes with our own could only hold that opinion because they hate us?

There’s simply no grounds, on the face of that evidence, that hatred has anything to do with it. There are countless reasons why someone might disagree and disapprove of your conclusions and love, as one of those possible explanations is just as likely as hatred. For example, I disagree with the behaviour of my children constantly and I express that disagreement through discipline and correction. I do this because I love them and want them to learn to live and behave in a way that aligns with what is true and good. For me to simply endorse everything that they do would be a form of neglect and contempt for their wellbeing. Even if someone claims that certain behaviours or inclinations are disordered, there’s still no grounds to claim that this motivated by hatred. Doctors diagnose disorders of health every day and not because they hate their patients, but in the interest of caring for their patients. Nobody wants to get diagnosed with a mental or physiological disorder, but just because I wouldn’t want to hear that as a patient, it doesn’t help me to irrationally accuse my doctors of being motivated by hatred for me. Read the full transcript at http://www.brianholdsworth.ca.

A Catholic Queen in India -The Story of Begum Samru

Being a retired Old Curmudgeon, I spend a good deal of my day surfing the 'net and watching educational videos on YouTube (OK, I admit it, sometimes I watch clips of cartoon shows!). The other day, in watching a non-cartoon video, I ran across a reference to someone called Begum Samru, mentioned as the only native Catholic Monarch India ever had. Who would have thought that in the late 18th-early 19th century there would be a Catholic ruler in India, excepting, of course, the French and Portuguese Kings? 

Portrait of Begum Samru

She was born a Muslim under the name Farzana Zeb un-Nissa. Her father died when she was six. She started life as a nautch girl in the court of the Raja of Bharatpur, but when she was 14, she married a Luxembourger named Walter Reinhardt, a mercenary who had begun as a private soldier in the French East India Company. By the time Farzana met him, he was a condottiero, leading a group of mercenary soldiers, offering their service to the petty princelings for use in their wars. Because of his sombre mien, the Europeans of his acquaintance gave him the sobriquet, 'Le Sombre', which later became pronounced by the Indians as 'Samru' or  'Sumru'.

Reinhardt was made Nawab of Agra, but in 1773 he was granted a large jagir (a feudal land grant) by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Alam II, and made the town of Sardhana his capital. Sardhana is in what is now the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh, in the northeast part of India, bordering on Nepal. 

When he died, five years later, his wife took command of his 82 European officers, 4,000 sepoys, and the Principality of Sardhana. She was called Begum Samru, begum being the female equivalent of beg or bey, Turkish for a high official.

Just 25, and standing just over 4'3" (1.3 metres), she was a formidable woman. Not only did she rule Sardhana effectively and efficiently, riding horseback, she led her troops into battle in a struggle to hold Sardhana. 

A guide book to the history of Sardhana says of her, 
“A favourite of the Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, Sumru is said to have saved his life twice and used the might of the sword and the lure of gold to win him supporters and fend off all his rivals. It earned her the titles of Zeb-un-Nisa (jewel amongst women) and Farzand-i-Azizi (most beloved daughter).”
Three years after her husband's death she converted to Catholicism, taking the baptismal name Joanna Nobilis and the surname Sombre from her husband's nickname. This is especially interesting because the English were rapidly becoming overlords of India through the Honourable East India Company, and Catholicism was still oppressed in England despite the Papist Acts in 1778, designed to lessen discrimination. Therefore, it would seem quite clear that this was not a 'conversion of convenience' to curry favour with the dominant power, but a conversion from the heart.

Prior to his death, her husband had expressed a desire to erect a Church in Honour of Our Lord and His Most Blessed Mother. In order to fulfill his wishes, she contracted the services of an Italian architect, Antonio Reghelini from Vicenza. Built in 1822 at the cost of 400,000 rupees, it was modeled on St Peter's in Rome with a touch of Andrea Palladio’s Italian architectural influence. It was dedicated to Our Lady of Graces. It remains a pilgrimage place to this day.

The Basilica of Our Lady of Graces

On 13 December 1961, Pope John XXIII granted the Church the title and dignity of a minor basilica. It is one of only 23 minor basilicas in India and the only one in northern India, most of the others being in the south where Christianity was planted by St Thomas the Apostle and strengthened by the Portuguese and French colonisers.

Her Palace in Sardhana is now owned by the 
Archdiocese of Agra and used as a school.

She also built a rather ornate palace for herself, in a suburb of New Delhi, now owned by the Bank of India.

Her Palace in New Delhi, after being 
damaged in the Sepoy Rebellion, 1857.

The back of the Palace, restored, as it exists today.

She is buried in the Church which she built. Memory Eternal!

Talks on the Sacramentals, by Msgr Arthur Tonne - Blessing of Things

 "And I will make them a blessing round about my hill: and I will send down the rain in its season, there shall be showers of blessings." Ezechiel, 34:26.

One of the most impressive and picturesque pageants of the South is the Blessing of the Shrimp Fleet, held each year at the beginning of the shrimp-seining season. The ceremony is held in late July or early August. Hundreds of shrimpers and oystermen who live and labor along the beautiful bayous and bays of Louisiana bring their ships to some central point for the blessing of Mother Church.

The quaint custom goes back to the banks of old Brittany where the women and children would gather on the shore to pray for their men-folk as they launched out to sea on their hazardous tasks. The dangers in Louisiana are less than those of Brittany, but the custom remains.

On the morning of the big day, as I recall it, the flagship "Jitterbug" was transformed into an altar of God. On the decks of their own boats clustered around, hundreds of fishermen and their families knelt devoutly during the entire Mass celebrated by Father Ambrose Kroger, a Franciscan priest, superior at the time of the many missions of the Franciscan Fathers along the levee from New Orleans to the gulf. From the deck of the "Jitterbug" Father gave his blessing to all the ships, between 200 and 300 of them. This same custom is carried out in many other fishing communities of the French South.

The blessing of ships is just one of many blessings of things provided by Mother Church. We might tell you something about this particular ceremony which is a rather elaborate and lengthy one. The Ritual has a blessing for a ship of any kind and then a special blessing for a fishing-boat. After reciting Psalm 8, the priest says this prayer:

"Graciously hearken to our prayers, O Lord, and with Thy holy hand bless this boat and all who sail hereon, as Thou didst deign to bless Noah's ark in its course during the deluge. Stretch forth to them, O Lord, Thy right hand, as Thou didst reach out to Peter when he walked upon the sea. Send Thy holy angel from heaven to guard this boat and ever keep it safe from every peril, together with all on board. And when threatened dangers have been removed, comfort Thy servants with a calm voyage and the desired harbor. And having successfully transacted their business, recall them again when the time comes to the happiness of country and home. Thou who livest and reignest forevermore. Amen."

The priest then reads a lengthy excerpt from the Gospel according to St. John, Chapter 21, verses 1 to 24. The ceremony concludes with another short appropriate prayer.

This solemn blessing of a fishing-boat will give you some idea of the pointed beauty of the Church's blessing of things, of irrational things, if you will, but the things which God has created, the material things which we are to use in working out our salvation.

There is a blessing for animals in general, and two blessings for sick animals; a blessing for bees, for silkworms, and another for the salt and the oats for animals. Mother Church even calls down God's favor upon the stable, reminding us that the Son of God was born in a stable.

Are you interested in the sick? We have a blessing for the linens they use, for a stretcher, an ambulance, a wheelchair, another for wine that the sick may need, and still another for medicine.

Are you concerned about the gifts of the table? Mother Church blesses bread and cakes; she blesses beer and ale; she blesses cheese and butter and lard. She blesses grapes and meat.

Are you a farmer? You will recall that we spoke about the Sacramentals of Agriculture. The Ritual calls down a benediction upon seed, upon fire, upon young crops and vineyards, upon fields and pastures, upon the granary and the harvest, upon the mill, the well and the fountain.

You may be interested in industrial things. The Church provides a prayer for a bell that is not destined for the church or sanctuary, for a bridge, for a lime-kiln and a blast-furnace, for a railway and even a special blessing for railway cars.

We have a beautiful blessing for an airplane, for an automobile, for a fire-engine and for a dynamo. Mother Church goes into the library and blesses it; she goes into the print shop and blesses the presses, the typewriters, and the tools we use. The blessing for telegraph instruments is a lengthy one.

And then, lest she may have overlooked something which her children use, some object that is unimportant to some, but valuable and necessary in the eyes of her sons and daughters, Mother Church provides a blessing for all things, a blessing which may be used by any priest for the blessing of anything which has no special prayer in the Ritual. That blessing of all things is as follows:

"Our help is in the name of the Lord."

"Who made heaven and earth."

"The Lord be with you."

"And with thy spirit."

"Let us pray--

O God, by whose word all things are made holy, pour out Thy blessing on this creature. And grant that whoever uses it in accordance with Thy will and Thy law, and with a spirit of thanksgiving, may experience by Thy power health of body and protection of soul, as he invokes Thy most holy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

The priest makes the sign of the cross during this prayer, as he does in the blessings of the Church, and then sprinkles the article or articles with holy water.

What thoughtfulness on the part of Mother Church to set aside these unthinking things, these irrational things, for the sole service of God! Learn to appreciate and to use intelligently and lovingly these bountiful blessings of the Church. Amen.

Word of the Day: Denunciation

DENUNCIATION. Manifestation of a crime to the proper ecclesiastical authorities. Clerics and religious who join forbidden societies are to be denounced to the Holy See. A confessor guilty of solicitation during confession should be denounced to a bishop or to Rome. A false denunciation of a confessor is a grave sin that traditionally is reserved to the Holy See.

Does the Church No Longer Defend the Deposit of Faith?

'If great big bishops will not guard the noble deposit, then it may be time to depose them.' AMEN!

From Crisis

By Regis Martin

When I first heard the story of a silly nun who’d gotten herself ordained as a Protestant priestess while teaching theology at a major Catholic University, I was not surprised. Nor was I surprised to learn of the subsequent lawsuit she filed to prevent her being fired. What did surprise me, however, was the fact that it was thrown out, thus enabling the institution to go ahead with her dismissal.

The good guys do sometimes win. But in a sane world, why should anyone be surprised when, boundaries of permissible belief and behavior having been set, those who violate them get canned? Because we live in strange times, that’s why. Times in which faithlessness, not fidelity, gets rewarded.

Leaving aside the nonsense of this or that chuckleheaded nun, what remains essential to the maintenance of the Catholic Thing, without which there can be no coherent expression of faith, is the existence of an institutional structure divinely designed to uphold the fullness and integrity of that faith. “Intrinsic to the basic structure of the act of faith,” writes Joseph Ratzinger in Principles of Catholic Theology, “is incorporation into the Church, the common situs of that which binds together and that which is bound.” Then, referencing Romans 6:17, he reminds us that “this act of faith is defined as the process by which an individual submits himself to one particular creed and, in doing so, performs an act of obedience that comes from the heart, that is, from the center of his whole being.”

“Guard the noble deposit,” exhorts the Apostle Paul to Timothy, his young colleague and friend, in what was perhaps his final epistle. And why should he do that? Because, very simply, it is the mission entrusted to the Church by our Blessed Lord. It is not anything we have discovered on our own, pursuant to this or that swashbuckling endeavor. Rather, it is something that we have been given, a pearl beyond price, and thus a thing we should be loath to lose. As the inimitable Belloc once put it: “The moral is, it is indeed, thou shalt not monkey with the creed!”

Faith is not philosophy, in other words. It is not something on which we reflect, but rather Someone we receive, and upon whom we are blessedly free to repose the whole weight of our understanding and trust. “It is not a matter of learning and cleverness,” Hans Urs von Balthasar advises, “but the courage to put oneself at risk.”

As did Pope St. John Paul II, by the way, when asked why he would not allow the ordination of women. “I am not authorized to do so,” he said in effect. Not, heaven knows, because he despised women, or felt they were somehow inferior to men, whose bastions of medieval privilege he was determined to preserve. But because he and the Church, whose teachings it is the job of popes and bishops always and everywhere to defend, must remain on the side of Christ.

Christ willed these structures in the first instance, and thus they are irreformable. Just as you or I may not blithely set aside the whole constitution of being, the order of creation itself, in order to sanction same-sex marriage or, to cite the current grotesquerie, the castration of boys so that they may compete against girls on athletic fields.

Or, come to think of it, certain rogue bishops in Germany, who have lately become infatuated with the idea of Church blessings for homosexual unions. They appear to be in a great hurry to enact sweeping changes in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to accommodate what used to be called sodomy. The bishop of Mainz, for example; one of several spearheading the effort.

His fixation on the subject has driven him to the extremity of whitewashing practices that, until the day before yesterday, were classified as mortal sins. “As to the demand for chastity,” he asks “what does it mean from the perspective of people who experience same-sex attraction? I think that few of them would consider this demand as tactful and respectful because,” as he patronizingly continues, “this inclination is not self-selected.”

Is he kidding? What has “self-selection” got to do with it? Has he never heard of concupiscence? Or ever experienced the least tug of appetite for pleasures which, in the light of reason and with an aim toward greater self-mastery, demand that he say no to? Or is it only heterosexual temptation that needs to be resisted? Why should only married couples feel the need to exercise chastity when enticement comes around? Is moral heroism a vocation only for “straight” people to pursue? How insulting it is to exempt whole categories of human beings from having to travel the high road of holiness and sexual purity!

If great big bishops will not guard the noble deposit, then it may be time to depose them.

Do Animals See Beyond the Physical?

True? I don't know, but I can certainly believe it, in light of certain Eucharistic miracles.

From Block Rosary Crusade International

On the evening of the last day of Pope John Paul II's October 1995 visit to the United States of America, he was scheduled to greet the Seminarians at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

It had been a very full day that began with the Holy Mass at Oriole Park in Camden Yards, a parade through downtown streets, a visit to the Basilica of the Assumption-the first cathedral in the country, lunch at a local soup kitchen run by Catholic Charities; a prayer service at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in North Baltimore; and finally a quick stop at Saint Mary’s Seminary.

The schedule was so tight that the plan was simply to greet the seminarians while they stood outside on the staircases. But the Pope made his way through their ranks and into the building. He had another plan, to greet Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament first.

When his wishes were made known, Security personnel flung into action. They swept the building paying close attention to the chapel where the Pope would be praying.

For this purpose highly trained dogs were used to detect any person who might be present.

These dogs are trained to locate survivors in collapsed buildings after earthquakes and other disasters. These highly intelligent and eager dogs quickly went through the halls, offices and classrooms and were then sent to the chapel. They went up and down the aisle, past the pews and finally into the side chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved.

Upon reaching the tabernacle, the dogs sniffed, whined, pointed, and refused to leave, their attention riveted on the tabernacle, until they were called by their handlers. They were convinced that they discovered someone there.

We Catholics know they were right — they found a real, living Person in the tabernacle!”

Cf. - Catholic Christianity Facebook Page

Sovereignty and Morality

MM muses on arguments for disloyalty, comparing a traditional monarchy to a republic. 

From The Mad Monarchist (18 July 2014)

One of the things that often frustrates me is the people who pose questions with the perceived goal of looking for an excuse to be disloyal. They come up with all sorts of hypothetical situations, asking if, under these certain circumstances, would rebellion be justified? My usual answer is “no” as, for me, the fundamental basis of loyalty to monarchs is simple, being based on religious conviction. “My son, fear the Lord and the King: and have nothing to do with detractors (rebels)”, Proverbs 24:21. That’s simple enough and good enough for me. Without doing intensive research, I was unable to come up with any Scriptural justification for rebellion. Throughout the Bible, it doesn’t happen much, the most prominent rebellion that comes to mind is that of the Maccabees which was a rebellion against a foreign conqueror, the Seleucid Empire which was one of the successor states of the “world” dominion of Alexander the Great. In the Christian era, people were told to “render unto Caesar”, to “fear God and honor the Emperor” and to obey “not only the good and the gentle but also the harsh”. And, as we know from history, even in the worst periods of immorality and even persecution, there were no massive Christian rebellions. On the contrary, Christians were sent to their deaths protesting their loyalty with the usual phrase, “Hail Caesar, Emperor of Rome, we who are about to die salute you”.

This has occupied my thoughts as of late because of a growing concern that the time may be approaching (or even near upon us), in my country at least, where the issue becomes pressing as to whether one can morally pay taxes and submit to a government that is doing immoral things. Certainly, one can imagine that when Jesus Christ said, “render unto Caesar” that some of that money was going to further causes the audience being addressed would have considered immoral. The Caesar at that time was the Emperor Tiberius who went rather off the deep-end morally at the end of his life, according to most accounts, but even at best we can imagine that tax money would be spent on things like sponsoring pagan Roman temples which the Jewish leaders Jesus was addressing would have surely denounced as idolatry. Yet, the command was to pay your taxes and be loyal to the Emperor. Does this apply to us today in the same way? It seems to me that an answer might be dependent on whether you live in a republic or not or even as to what sort of monarchy you live in. Pondering the issue has made me wonder (not much, because the answer seems obvious) whether or not people realize how morally hazardous a republic can be. When considering what the difference would be between the people, taxes, laws and overall situation of those in the time of Christ versus those here and now the answer I came up with has, at its heart, the issue of sovereignty.

This is an opinion piece and others may disagree, but these are simply my thoughts for your consideration. It seems to me that one reason for the lack of rebellions or authorization for rebellions in the old days (very old days) is because people were not expected to sit in judgment of their superiors. For the Jews of the Old Testament, God was in charge and God picked who would be king over them. They were to be loyal to that King who was responsible to God for his actions and if he acted wrongly or misruled his people it was God that would deal with him. This was basically stated in the covenant God made with King David, establishing his “divine right” to rule God’s people. God said that if the descendants of King David ruled badly, He would punish them but that their divine right would never be taken away for the sake of King David, the man after God’s own heart. The people were to obey so long as the authorities did not demand them to act contrary to the law of God and even then, as we see in cases such as that of Daniel, the response was disobedience but not disloyalty or rebellion. God was considered to be the master of kings and princes and the one who directed the fate of the nations. So, when Israel and Judah were conquered by the Romans, they considered that was the will of God and as their king submitted so too did they. Basically, how the Emperor behaved was God’s problem to deal with and not their’s.

That may sound flippant but the underlying point is extremely serious because today is not at all the same in most republics and even some monarchies. The point is that, in the past, when the government did something wrong, the King and the King alone was responsible to God for it. Today, where I live and probably a majority of those reading this as well, it is “we” who are responsible when the government does something wrong and the reason is sovereignty. Let us take the example of the United States, a republic familiar to all. Before independence, King George III was the sovereign, holding sovereignty over what would become the original United States of America. Although one could substitute the word “Parliament” after 1688, according to the letter of the law, George III was King “by the Grace of God”. Parliament passed laws in the name of the King, who gave assent or vetoed them as he pleased (though George III never vetoed anything as most know) and he reigned by God’s grace because it was God who made him the sovereign of England, Scotland and Ireland and all their dependencies. Then, along comes the American War for Independence and the birth of the United States of America; a federal republic. Instead of an hereditary monarch, the United States would have a President, chosen by the Electoral College through the democratic process because the people said, in so many words, ‘we will have the leader we choose, not the leader God chooses for us’. But was the President then the sovereign of the United States? Perish the thought!

The President is certainly not the sovereign of America as it was stated very clearly from the outset that the United States was to be based on the principle of “popular sovereignty”. That means everyone is king which is the same thing as saying there is no king at all. Sovereignty is claimed by the collective and invested in the public at large as “we, the people”. Did anyone then or does anyone now realize what a truly terrible responsibility that represents? This is why, for example, if one were to commit a crime or, excuse me, if one were to be *unjustly accused* of committing a crime (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) north of the border in Her Britannic Majesty’s Dominion of Canada your case would be referred to as “The Crown versus Stickyfingers McGuilty” whereas in these United States, under the same circumstances, it would be, in federal cases, “The People of the United States versus Shiftyeyes O’Liar” because the sovereign is the basis of law and authority and in Canada that is Her Majesty the Queen, which is to say, “The Crown” of Canada while in the United States there is no sovereign but the collective sovereignty of “the people”. How many people recognize the moral ramifications of this? Likewise, in Britain, laws are enacted in the name of the Queen whereas in the United States, with popular sovereignty, they are enacted in the name of “the people”. Can everyone see the important difference and what this means?

In a country based on traditional authority, in which the monarch is sovereign, as was universally the case in the old days, this meant that if a bad law was enacted the sole responsibility fell on the shoulders of the monarch. However, by trying to take power into our own hands and claiming popular sovereignty, sticking with the illustration of America, it means that everyone is tainted, so to speak, by a bad law because everything that is done and every law that is passed is done so in the name of and by the authority of “we, the people”. This holds true even in the case of money and taxes. What did Jesus Christ first ask about the coin when questioned on paying taxes? He asked, who was pictured on that coin and the answer was, of course, Caesar as the profile of the Emperor appeared on all coins just as, again to bring it forward, the profile of Queen Elizabeth II appears on all the coins in a country like Canada. So, He said, “render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar”. Was this based solely on cosmetics? I don’t think so and such a thing could not be applied to the United States wherein coins feature the profiles of presidents long dead like Lincoln, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Washington and Kennedy. We could hardly ‘render unto’ these men who are no longer alive, nor would it be right to do so because none of them were sovereigns.

The underlying point is that the currency Christ held up was a Roman coin backed by the authority of the Emperor. In the United States, the power to issue currency is reserved to the Congress, the representatives of, again, “we, the people”. That is then combined with the fact that the power of the purse is reserved to the people’s elected representatives and that means that the general public is, to some degree, responsible for all that is done with it. Power and responsibility is, after all, a two-way street even if it may be comfortable to ignore the fact. By demanding that, “we, the people” should all be sovereign, that we should all collectively hold power and authority, we are then all collectively responsible for all that comes as a result of this. What is more revealing, at least to me, is that everyone seems to realize this when it is convenient to their cause. For example, many people, certainly in America, will have heard of the anti-war campaign “Not In My Name”. It was a very widely used slogan in the opposition to the Iraq War and has been used by numerous causes around the world, most of them of very leftist origins. These same people, however, claim to be totally oblivious to this concept when traditional Christians oppose “gay marriage”. Most Christians don’t give a toss what people get up to in the privacy of their own homes but what they do object to is the idea of the government, acting in their name, saying something in law which they believe is untrue. Thanks to collective sovereignty, it is forcing traditional Christians to make liars of themselves.

This hardly seems fair to those who did everything possible to stop perceived wrongs done by their government. They may have voted, participated in debates, perhaps even held public protests but, fair or not, “we” asked for this situation. In fact, “we” demanded it and shed blood to achieve it. To make matters even more unfair, it is not as though “the people” actually rule, ever have or ever will but the people went along, the people participated or at least submitted to this and the political leaders of the revolutions of the world made it sound so empowering when they said, “We will hold power, but it will be in your name” because there is no higher power than “the people”. This grand sounding ideal, however, was actually a sort of suicide pact which enables all to be tainted by the actions of 51% of their number, sometimes even less. If we are going to say that power comes from the people and not from God then it is the people who are responsible to God for all that their fellow members of the collective do. In a traditional monarchy, if the King misruled, the King would die and go to Hell. With popular sovereignty, everyone risks being dragged down to the infernal regions by the most politically successful. We used to have a monarch to blame. Now, we have only ourselves.