Monday 20th October 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

D’Souza Movie Lets Us Hope . . . May Our Nation Be Freed From The Current Oppression

July 23, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

To those old enough to remember events from the last 50 years or so in the United States, filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza’s recently released movie, America: Imagine the World Without Her, covers some territory that’s familiar because we lived it. But whoever could have predicted it accurately way back then?
These memories are a mere second in the sweep of world history, from Presidents Kennedy to Reagan to Obama, from the new world of manned moon landings to the whole world on your iPhone. Who could have forecast in the 1960s what marvels Steve Jobs would invent in this new century, or the advent of the degenerate Obama presidency, an even more incomprehensible invention to those growing up in the public morality of the ’60s?
The nation is older than our span of personal experiences, of course, and D’Souza’s movie looks back to the founding. America: Imagine the World Without Her soon asks us to imagine the possibility, as the title suggests, that in the Revolutionary War a British sniper’s lucky bullet found its mark on Gen. George Washington.
The future first president doesn’t live to attain that office. Shot off his horse, his body is stripped of its boots and his remains are rolled aside. The American forces begin to retreat.
The movie just suggests this tragic possibility, but doesn’t use much time exploring the results of Washington’s battlefield death. We are, instead, reminded of all the events that happened because George Washington and his ragtag forces survived and succeeded against the most powerful army in the world.
Their unlikely victory is what many Americans have regarded as providential intervention by God Almighty on behalf of birthing a different, blessed kind of secular government, one bringing a view of firmly grounded individual dignity and freedom, secured by establishing a political sphere of modest prerogative, not arrogant majesty.
The Founders, all too aware of human frailty, wanted to limit power, not continually grow it. The battle for that guarantee of human dignity, however, is never over.
D’Souza’s America notes the important role for religion that perceptive French observer Alexis de Tocqueville posited during his exploration of the U.S. in the 19th century, and religion’s helpful role in informing political views.
Anyone today, however, sees religion being forced to recede every year from a central role, except to the extent that leftists think religion is a useful tool to be reshaped for their tendentious toolbox.
Today’s grimly growing secular government isn’t one that even enlightened deists of goodwill would have approved in President Washington’s circle. Doctrines would vary, but religion was seen as an indispensable support to the morality of a free and virtuous people.
To my definite surprise, just as the 103-minute film ended, I felt a sense of grief, then, immediately, deliverance from grief. The grief came from recalling the many triumphs against human dignity and morality that the radical left has imposed on this long-suffering nation, and, in the wider sphere, Christian civilization, since the 1960s.
The sense of deliverance? I’m not sure of its source, unless there’s hope on the horizon, a cleansing in the air, against this leftist tyranny.
Although no nation and its institutions, including the United States, is above probing criticism, the radical left viewed the U.S. as inherently wicked, in dire need of a strategically calculated overthrow by such figures as have culminated in the hologram named Barack Obama, a fervent disciple of malign “community organizer” Saul Alinsky.
As the 1960s began — to take just a few important examples — marriage was the unquestioned historical foundation of the family and society, and haven of children. Heterosexuality was the assumed standard. The churches provided reliable moral guidance. Sex within marriage was the social and cultural expectation. Birth control simply to avoid having any children was seen as shortsighted and selfish. Abortion was a vicious crime.
In addition, capitalism was a proven path to productivity and wider social wealth. Education was to enlighten and guide maturing students. The U.S. had a respected military under firm civilian control. The list could go on.
Personal morality didn’t perform perfectly; nor any individual’s life. There could be notable failures, and mass-circulation newspapers and broadcasters to report them. But the answer is repentance and reform, not rejection and repudiation.
From firing propaganda fusillades against soldiers to throwing heaps of unborn babies into the garbage, the left was there with its useful allies to, ahem, transform America. This included the assistance of culture-mangling “news” and entertainment media, law-twisting judges, and conniving politicians.
Obama, we’re told, didn’t create the movement. It created him.
Each transformative step invited taking another, more outrageous one. Today’s Planned Parenthood shock troops would look back at their organization in the 1950s as being hopelessly, puritanically backward and repressive.
One wishes that D’Souza’s film would have devoted a bit more time to the necessary role of religion in reforming and strengthening the individual’s moral role in secular society. The Indian-born filmmaker does, however, sit down with people on both the liberal and conservative sides for samples of their thinking. This movie isn’t just history, it’s also commentary.
A Native American woman says she wishes Christopher Columbus hadn’t arrived, and that “sadness” is what America means to her. An activist who says the U.S. stole half of Mexico says “I’m in Mexico” as he sits in the United States.
But an ambitious U.S. student of Mexican heritage, asked what he’d do if Mexico reclaimed Texas, replies, “I’d be moving to Minneapolis.”
Like Obama himself, left-wing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) holds the weird idea, “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own” — because they rely on such government-provided services as roads and schools.
Maybe Warren thinks entrepreneurial business owners don’t pay any taxes to help provide these services, just because her pal Obama’s crony capitalists evade whatever laws they can?
And we’re treated to the remarkable words of cash-stashing multimillionaire left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore that greed is just another word for capitalism.
D’Souza recalls that in his previous hard-hitting documentary, 2016: Obama’s America, he predicted that as the government grows bigger, the country grows smaller. “I’m scared for the future of America,” he says in this latest film, but thinks we still can choose another path.
The movie recalls Abraham Lincoln’s hopeful yet cautionary words that as a nation of free men, we can live through all time, or be the author of our own suicide.
There are people within America, D’Souza warns, “who want a world without America.” We hear the fiery words of Obama’s longtime left-wing pastor, Jeremiah Wright, “God damn America.”

The Lesson Of
Personal Responsibility

But hopeful stories and obvious progress are in America, too.
At great national cost, the U.S. fought a war that ended human slavery here and looked to the model of an emancipator like freed slave Frederick Douglass.
It raised entrepreneurs to a new status as people who created national wealth by pleasing customers, instead of kings who asked armies to pillage other countries. “Looting is more manly” may been the outlook in some throne rooms, but not in this new nation.
In an observation that has powerful application today, Alexis de Tocqueville pondered the disparity between the northern pioneer state of Ohio, with its throbbing factories, and, just across the Ohio River, the slave state of Kentucky.
“On both sides,” he said, “the soil is equally fertile,” but slavery makes masters lazy and deprives the slaves of the fruit of their labor.
How similar that remark is to one by a black California activist a few years ago at a rally in Phoenix against massive illegal immigration. “It’s the same dirt” on either side of the border fence, he said. The different result depends on how people treat their own territory. A victim mentality won’t thrive.
America: Imagine the World Without Her informs the audience that America’s first self-made female millionaire was a black woman, C.J. Walker, who developed hair-care products. She tells an attentive audience this meant hard work: “. . . there is no flower-strewn path to success.”
The lesson of personal responsibility also resonated with black conservative activist Star Parker, who says she had been happy to get her welfare checks — until the day she was shocked to begin reform when she was told that “my lifestyle was unacceptable to God.”
Moving toward its conclusion, the movie notes the strategy of atheist socialist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky, an idol to both Hillary Clinton and Obama. “You do what you can with what you have, and clothe it with moral arguments,” Alinsky said, even while he maneuvered to make the “haves” feel guilty and the “have-nots” feel resentful. May Alinsky soon be forgotten.
At Abraham Lincoln’s farewell address in Springfield, Ill., on his way to be inaugurated as president in 1861, the Railsplitter said, “…let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.” Even as he says this, the movie flashes forward for an instant’s look at Ford’s Theater in 1865 and John Wilkes Booth raising his gun.
Lincoln didn’t get out of this world alive, nor will any of us. We begin and carry on our work, and commend the end of it to God, who rewards the workers in His vineyard as they merit.
The United States seems to many of us to have a special role in His Providence. Even when we must put down our tools, there are many others we hope will carry on in a nation renewed in blessing, and freed from the current oppression. As Mr. Lincoln might have said.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…Continue Reading

">

Cardinal Burke Confirms: Yes, Pope Has Demoted Me.

“Pope has done a lot of harm by not saying openly what his position is” Synod “designed to change Church’s teaching“ We post here for the record of current events all the quotes published by BuzzFeed from their interview with…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke’s Major Interview to Il Foglio on the Synod

The world likes Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke very little or not at all.  And , if it is possible, the Church likes him even less than does the world.  On the other hand, this 66-year-old American from Richland Center, Wisconsin,…Continue Reading

Pope Paul VI to be beatified Oct. 19, 2014

popep6

Pope Francis will officially declare Pope Paul VI Blessed on Sunday, Oct. 19, during the closing ‎Mass of the 3rd Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family.  Pope Paul VI was cleared for ‎beatification when Pope Francis on May 9…Continue Reading

Church Militant . . . Synod On The Family

Houston, we have a problem

Angry over voter lawsuit, city demands to pick through sermons, other communications from pastors who aren’t involved Monday, October 13, 2014 HOUSTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys have filed a motion in a Texas court to stop an attempt by…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: Synod’s mid-term report “lacks a solid foundation in the Sacred Scriptures and the Magisterium”

Yesterday’s presentation of the mid-term report (Relatio post disceptationem) of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family was met with a remarkable level of interest among both Catholic and non-Catholic media outlets. The Vatican Radio site, in its introduction to…Continue Reading

Having Patience for the Sausage-Making Synod

The midterm report on the deliberations of the Synod on the Family has appeared and there is a fair amount of hysteria all around. John Thavis, a veteran Vatican reporter who should know better, has declared this statement “an earthquake,…Continue Reading

Advice for the Pope in Light of the Synod

The Holy Father has been very good in lecturing priests and telling us what to do. We are to go out into the world and “make a mess.” We are to “smell like the sheep.” We are to welcome all…Continue Reading

Catholic Church in Minnesota Settles Sex-Abuse Claim

MINNEAPOLIS—The Catholic Church in Minnesota and a lawyer for victims of sexual abuse on Monday announced the settlement in the first-of-its-kind lawsuit claiming that clergy abuse and subsequent inaction by church leadership constituted a “public nuisance.” The settlement also laid…Continue Reading

Pro-family Catholics reject Synod mid-way report, calling it ‘a betrayal’

ROME, 13 October 2014: An international coalition of pro-family groups has rejected the mid-way report of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, calling it “a betrayal”. Voice of the Family http://voiceofthefamily.info responded to the report (relatio post disceptationem), published this morning…Continue Reading

">Catholic Social Injustice

     

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

At Closing Mass For The Synod Pope Francis Beatifies Paul VI

pope561

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Sunday celebrated the Closing Mass for the Extraordinary Synod on the Family. During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.” Below, please find the complete English text of Pope Francis’s homily for the…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Heaven In Our Hands

pope560

(Vatican Radio) The Holy Spirit is the “seal” of light with which God has placed Heaven in Christians’ hands. Often, however, Christians avoid this light in preference of a life spent in the shadows, or worse still, in a false light, that sparkles with hypocrisy. Pope Francis’ homily at Mass Friday morning, followed the First Reading from St. Paul who…Continue Reading

Synod: Working Groups Call For More “Christ-centric” Focus On family

pope539

(Vatican Radio) The vision of the world, and above all of the family,  must be one which “passes through the lens of the Gospel, to encourage men and women to the conversion of the heart”.  In short there must be a more “Christ-centric” focus on the family. This – in summary – is the conclusion reached by the ten Small…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: In Praise Of God

(Vatican Radio) It’s easy to pray for a grace, it’s far more difficult to pray in praise of the Lord, but this is the prayer of true joy, said Pope Francis at Mass Thursday morning in Santa Marta. Reflecting on St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, which joyfully elevates a prayer of blessing to God, the Pope noted that this…Continue Reading

The Government And Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO This past week, FBI Director James Comey gave an interview to 60 Minutes during which he revealed a flawed understanding of personal freedom. He rightly distinguished what FBI agents do in their investigations of federal crimes from what the NSA does in its intelligence gathering, when the two federal agencies are…Continue Reading

Religious Freedom In Belarus . . . Strict Controls, “An Invisible Ghetto,” Continue

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University.) + + + Current events in the Middle East have drawn attention to the plight of…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Crisis Pregnancy Center Movement”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.) + + + “Speak, yourself, on behalf of the dumb, on behalf of all the unwanted; speak, yourself, pronounce a just verdict, uphold the rights of the poor, of the needy” (Prov. 31:8-9). + +…Continue Reading

Famed Dancer’s Daughter . . . Reflects On A Century Of Her Father’s Tradition-Breaking Legacy

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Before international fame shone on Pope Francis, he was an easily ignored man wearing a Roman collar, seated on the everyday benches of the Buenos Aires subway. A spotlight, when switched on, confers instant celebrity. But when the light’s not being brilliant, who knows who’s there in the next seat?…Continue Reading

Or Do We?. . . “We’ve Got To Do Something In Iraq”

By GEORGE A. KENDALL At the moment, our rulers seem well on the way to getting us into our third Iraq war in a generation, the first two having exhibited, in the short term, the appearance of success (“a piece of cake”), but dismal failure in the longer run, wasting our nation’s resources and lives,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Debunking The Myth… Sola Scriptura Is Unscriptural

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 Evidently, Jesus did not stay with the apostles and disciples for long after the Resurrection. He founded a Church, His Church. Now, did He found it as a visible Church, with authority to guide, teach, and sanctify the people? Or didn’t He? Either He did or He didn’t. It is one or the…Continue Reading

Divine Revelation: Gradual And Progressive

By DON FIER We left off last week reflecting on God’s motive for revealing Himself to us in a supernatural manner. In a word, His sole motive was that of boundless love for mankind. God gratuitously and unconditionally chose to “communicate His own divine life to the men He freely created, in order to adopt them as His sons in…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: R.H.T. of Florida writes to say that “this week’s question [The Wanderer dated October 16, 2014] about Doctors Without Borders caught my attention. If R.B. from Michigan is interested in supporting an organization like Doctors Without Borders, but one that is absolutely committed to strict adherence to the Catholic Church’s rules on things like abortion, contraception, etc., I…Continue Reading

Union With The Afflicted

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirtieth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Exodus 22:20-26 1 Thess. 1:5c-10 Matt. 22:34-40 In the second reading today St. Paul commends the Thessalonians for the way they received the Gospel and for the manner in which they lived it out. First he says that they received the Word in great affliction, then he reminds…Continue Reading

Cardinal Erdo’s Greetings To Pope At CCEE . . . Europe Needs Christ!

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Below are words of welcome to the Holy Father given October 3 by Peter Cardinal Erdo, president of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), on the occasion of the council’s plenary assembly. The CCEE was meeting Pope Francis for the first time. In his talk, Cardinal Erdo stressed that: “Europe needs Christ! Today when a…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Ignatius Of Antioch

By CAROLE BRESLIN Who are the fathers of the Church? They were holy men of God; most were bishops, although some were priests and one man, St. Justin the Martyr, was a layman. They lived primarily in the first three centuries of Christianity, but one of the fathers died in 750, generally considered the end of the Church fathers’ era.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Denis, Patron Of France

By CAROLE BRESLIN On the hill of Montmartre, the French have built a Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Sacré-Coeur de Paris. Since 1885, this church has held perpetual adoration; the practice began before construction on the church was completed in 1914. As tourists quietly walk through the church to admire the beautiful mosaics and woodwork, high above on the altar…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading