Monday 1st September 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Satan Comes To Oklahoma

February 20, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

No, the title of this article is not a reference to a Charlie Daniels song. That was The Devil Comes Down to Georgia, a whimsical song about a Georgia musician and the Devil competing on the fiddle, in the same vein as the Stephen Vincent Benèt’s short story, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” and nothing to get concerned about. What I am referring to is an actual proposal from a New York-based group of Satanists to build a seven-foot-high statue of Baphomet, the goat-head pagan idol representing the Devil, on the grounds of the state capitol in Oklahoma.
Most commentators are taking the proposal to be a publicity stunt by the New York Satanists, one that even the Satanists think will go nowhere. Which well may be the case. The Oklahoma legislature has been ignoring the proposal as if it is not worthy of a response. For which the Oklahoma lawmakers deserve praise.
But I am not convinced that the Satanists will not take this at least a step further to make their point, perhaps by initiating a formal request for equal protection under the law under the First Amendment. You know how the wording would go: “Oklahoma has a memorial of the Ten Commandments on the capitol grounds. The state is supposed to be neutral about matters of religion. Christianity and Judaism cannot be given preferential treatment.”
It is the argument that has succeeded in getting Nativity scenes and crosses removed from public grounds all over the country; and resulted in public schools prohibiting Christmas songs at their “winter assemblies.” It is why the taxpayers have to pay for sex-change operations for prisoners and Wiccan chaplains on military bases; why same-sex marriages are on their way to becoming the law of the land. It is all rooted in the proposition that Christian beliefs cannot be made part of the law or public policy. If the Ten Commandments are permitted, why should the Satanists be excluded?
Because Satan is evil? They have an answer for that. They’ll tell us that is only one interpretation of Satan, and one definition of evil. Who says it should be imposed on everyone? Because the Ten Commandments represent the broad moral consensus of the American people and Devil-worship does not? They’ll shoot back that what makes America special is the manner in which we protect minority rights, including minority religious beliefs. Muslims are a minority and we have public recognition of Ramadan these days. African-Americans are a minority and we celebrate Kwanzaa in our schools. Why do you Christians feel threatened by the thought that some of your fellow citizens worship the Devil? They are likely to be some of your neighbors. Blah, blah, blah….
Unfortunately, we can no longer shrug and say, “Blah, blah, blah” in response to these matters, unless we are willing to have Christianity driven completely from the public square. There has to be a way of saying that there is nothing wrong with Christianity being recognized in public as the core religious belief of the great mass of the American people; that doing that would be as American as apple pie.
Do I think there is a way of doing that? Maybe not. Maybe that horse has left the barn. But there was a time not that long ago when it was broadly accepted that the public recognition of Christianity was something good for the country. There was a reason why there were the so-called “blue laws” in most of the states of the union. When I was a boy, in the middle years of the 20th century, supermarkets and large stores were closed on Sundays; alcoholic beverages could not be sold in the local delis until after noon.
Beyond that, major league baseball games had to end before dark because the lights were not permitted on Sundays. Censorship and obscenity laws were seen as essential elements of a healthy society. Porn was sold “under the counter” or delivered by mail in “plain brown wrappers.” The Christian understanding of sexual propriety was the law of the land. No one blinked an eye when FDR joined Winston Churchill to sing Onward Christian Soldiers on the British battleship The Prince of Wales during World War II. There was a Nativity scene on virtually every American public green during the Christmas season.
How did all that prevail? Didn’t Americans know about the First Amendment until the last decades of the 20th century? They did, but their understanding of it was different from the ACLU’s and the anchors at MSNBC. More important, their understanding was the understanding of the Founding Fathers. The intention of the Founding Fathers when they wrote the First Amendment was to permit the various Christian churches in the newly formed country to go about the business of shaping a Christian society as vigorously as they could, by assuring them that no one Christian church would be made the established church with the power to stand in their way.
How do I know that? Because you will find that none of the Founding Fathers were aghast at the blue laws, obscenity laws, and public expressions of Christianity mentioned above. Indeed, several of the states continued to give recognition to one Protestant denomination or another as the established church of that state after the Constitution was ratified, without a peep of protest out of the Founding Fathers.
Willmoore Kendall, one of the giants of the early days of the conservative movement, is worth reading on this topic, especially his analysis of the work of Richard Weaver. (It can be found in the anthology Willmoore Kendall Contra Mundum on pages 388-402.) Kendall begins by conceding that the Constitution does not contain the religious references so prominent in the Declaration of Independence, the references to “Nature’s God” and the “unalienable rights” conferred upon us by our “Creator.” He concedes the Constitution is “agnostic” on these religious matters.
But, Kendall insists, that is because the Founding Fathers expected the Christian churches in the newly created country to deal with the “kind of ‘people,’ or ‘society’ we are going to be.” The Constitution did not have to do it. The Founders relied upon the premise that “we the people” would “be virtuous.” And why would they expect that? Kendall is convinced that Weaver intuited correctly that the Founders expected a “select minority” of cultural and religious leaders, outside of government, to “assume responsibility for the people’s culture, in which virtue must be rooted,” teaching Americans “those lessons that the people must learn if they are to operate in a society in which a sound and healthy culture is possible.” Specifically, these leaders “must teach” Americans “the correctness of the Christian picture of man.”
The goal was for American society “to keep alive within itself, and develop in the people, ‘historical memory,’ i.e., knowledge of their own traditions — lest, in ignorance of them, they forget like madmen, what and who they are.” And, I would add, go off with straight faces contemplating the appropriateness of erecting statues to Satan at their state capitols.
One can’t prove Kendall’s thesis, of course. A tacit understanding is tacit. The Founding Fathers did not speak specifically to this “understanding” of how America would remain a Christian society with the First Amendment in place. But if Kendall is correct, and I am convinced he is, the Founding Fathers felt no need to speak openly on this vision of America or to enunciate it in the law of the land. They took it for granted that Christian beliefs were central to how Americans defined themselves in their personal and societal lives. They saw no more need to state it explicitly in the law than they felt it necessary to give constitutional recognition to decency, fair play, kindness, compassion, and love of one’s neighbor.
They understood that a society is not defined solely by its constitution; that a society’s key beliefs are expressed in an equally important manner in its local pieties, its customs and traditions, its literature and folklore, its prejudices (properly understood), and its religious beliefs. They would have thought it a clumsy satire written by a college sophomore if someone suggested putting up a statue of Satan on public grounds.
They would have greeted it with a horselaugh; or perhaps by running to get some tar and feathers.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Pope: When we become worldly, we lose Christian flavor

Vatican City, Aug 31, 2014 / 09:39 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Christians must avoid the temptation to conform to the world, Pope Francis cautioned Aug. 31, stressing that they should instead allow their faith to transform the world around them. “Christians…Continue Reading

Catholics, Keep Away, Lest You Hear What You Ought Not

The former president of Ireland Mary McAleese will deliver the Rosemary Goldie Lecture at Sydney Town Hall on Sunday week but local Catholics, it seems, are being discouraged from attending. The Catholic Weekly newspaper refused to take advertisements for the lecture which…Continue Reading

“Adopt a Christian from Mosul” to respond directly to Iraq’s emergency

AsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis’s urgent appeal “to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid…Continue Reading

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Law That Would Stop Abortions at Most Facilities Across State

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge Friday threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of…Continue Reading

Tax-funded PBS To Air ‘After Tiller’ Documentary Glorifying Late-term Abortionists

Pro-life activists are up in arms after the taxpayer-funded Public Broadcasting System (PBS) announced it will air the pro-abortion documentary “After Tiller” – named for George Tiller, the notorious late-term abortionist who boasted of killing more than 60,000 unborn babies before he…Continue Reading

Outcry flares over California abortion push in Catholic colleges

August 27, 2014 “California Catholics are no longer safe to practice their faith within their own institutions.” Sacramento, Calif., Aug 26, 2014 / 03:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Amid backlash from religious liberty and education advocates, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration…Continue Reading

SATANIC ‘BLACK MASS’ GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM U.S. CITY

Concerns mount about ‘dark powers that this invites into our community’ The Catholic Archbishop of Oklahoma City has agreed to drop a lawsuit against a satanic cult that plans to perform a “black mass” in the city now that the…Continue Reading

California reverses: Catholic colleges must now pay for all abortions

baby

Two California Catholic universities must cover elective abortions in the health care plans they provide employees, according to a decision released Friday by Governor Jerry Brown. The affected schools are Loyola Marymount University and Santa Clara University. The decision comes…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Warns Pro-Lifers About Ice Bucket Challenge Donations

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 8/25/14 11:59 AM A Catholic Archdiocese is warning pro-life advocates about the final destination of donations for the popular Ice Bucket Challenge, which has become a pop culture and social media…Continue Reading

Why Top Catholic Education Organization Says Common Core Could Threaten Religious Liberty

Aug. 21, 2014 10:25pm Fred Lucas A leading Catholic education organization is warning that Common Core could pose a threat to religious freedom for Catholic schools that adopt the controversial education standards. The Cardinal Newman Society’s summer newsletter named among the 10 things…Continue Reading

It’s hard to engage in interfaith dialogue when your head has been cut off.

  By Benedict Kiely In times of evil, prophets who see it in what Ronald Knox called a “clear light” are not necessarily heeded, though they are desperately needed. Such a man was Hilaire Belloc, as Monsignor Knox described him at…Continue Reading

Archbishop Kurtz Provides Initial Response To Revised HHS Mandate Regulations

August 22, 2014 Disappointed that regulation will not expand exemption, only modifies ‘accommodation’ Extending ‘accommodation’ to exempted businesses reduces religious freedom More thorough study and detailed comments to come WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced…Continue Reading

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 . . .

Pope at Santa Marta: Find The Living Jesus In The Gospel

pope515

(Vatican Radio) We need to proclaim the Gospel with humility not with ‘wise words’ because Jesus Himself is the power of the Word of God, and only those who have an open heart can receive Him said Pope Francis Monday morning, as he resumed his daily mass at Santa Marta after the summer break. Commenting on the readings of the…Continue Reading

Slaughter of the Innocents . . . Sex-Selective Abortions in India

Rome, August 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) Father John Flynn, LC The ratio of female to male infants continues to decline in India and a recent report by the United Nations warned that urgent action is needed to reverse the trend. The report, “‘Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection: History, Debates and Future Directions,” was published by the organization UN Women. The ratio has…Continue Reading

The Absent Father — A Meditation

By PHILIP TROWER I’m sure, like me, you have all found over the course of your life that something you have experienced or read, perhaps even long ago, suddenly comes into your mind in a way that throws hitherto unnoticed light on some passage or theme in the Gospels. In my case it is what…Continue Reading

A Decent Lawyer Should Tell Liberals They’re Damned Fools And Ought to Stop

By MICHAEL BARONE (Editor’s Note:     Michael Barone is a Fox News contributor and senior political analyst at the Washington Examiner [www.washingtonexaminer.com], where this article first appeared. Creators.com distributed the column. All rights reserved.) +    +    + “About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools…Continue Reading

Christendom Alumna Leads In “Future Of Pro-Life Movement”

FRONT ROYAL, Va. — “I believe they are the real future of the pro-life movement,” Christendom College Alumna Mary Brand says of local crisis pregnancy centers. “It’s where the rubber hits the road.” A graduate of the class of 1998, Brand has been volunteering in pro-life work since she was in high school, from praying…Continue Reading

Senior Chaldean Official Says… Islamists Have Long Been Planning To Empty Iraq Of Christians

By FEDERICO CENCI ROME (ZENIT) — The year was 1840, when the Italian city of Otranto witnessed one of the most brutal massacres of Christians in history, perpetrated at the hands of Muslims. Eight hundred thirteen people perished in the 18 days of siege by the Ottoman army, bravely refusing to renounce their faith in…Continue Reading

Why Pope Benedict Called For The Rebirth Of The Church

By FR. JEROME ROMANOWSKI (Fr. Romanowski is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, N.J.) +    +    + In studying the important summary of a meeting Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger attended in July 22-24, 2001, Fontgombault, France, I thought again of why the Holy Father had to retire. The proceedings were held in the Benedictine Monastery…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A Leaven In The World… The Natural And Supernatural “Keys Of The Kingdom”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK In the Gospel of Holy Mass on a recent Sunday we heard again the beautiful and consoling words by which the Lord consigns a gift to Peter and his Successors for the benefit of us all: the “Keys of the Kingdom.” We learn that these “keys” open the doors of Heaven to us because of…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Levitical Priesthood

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 The second type of priesthood in the Old Testament was the Levitical priesthood. It was established by God on Mount Sinai — whereto Moses took the people to offer sacrifice to God. There is one aspect of the Levitical priesthood that is often overlooked by those who read the Bible through anti-celibacy eyes:…Continue Reading

God Reveals His Name

By DON FIER In last week’s installment of this series on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), we examined the fundamental significance of coming to know that all that we believe begins with God and ends with God. “I believe in God” is the first affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed, and likewise, Sacred Scripture begins with the words, “In…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. My nine-year-old grandson asked why, on August 15, the Gospel of Luke about the Visitation was read when it was the Feast of the Assumption. What should I tell him? — E.C., via e-mail. A. You can tell your grandson that there is no Gospel reading about the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven because that event is not…Continue Reading

Justice And Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 33:7-9 Romans 13:8-10 Matt. 18:15-20 In the second reading today, St. Paul tells us that we are to owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. The fact that St. Paul puts this into the category of something that is owed to another person is of…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John The Baptist

By CAROLE BRESLIN Thousands of years before the time of Christ, the Pharaoh of Egypt held the children of Israel in bondage. Our Lord proved His love for them when Moses led them out of Egypt. When Mary was carrying Jesus, she and Joseph, because of an imperial decree, had to travel to Bethlehem in order to be counted in…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Pope St. Pius X

By CAROLE BRESLIN This month the Catholic Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of the death of Pope St. Pius X who had so many things in common with the last few Popes. Like Pope Francis, he had a special affinity for the poor — especially since he came from a poor family. Like Pope John Paul II, who updated the…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