Wednesday 28th February 2024

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Happy Birthday USA . . . How Many More Will There Be?

July 3, 2023 Frontpage No Comments


This week we celebrate the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I guess you might say that I’m a patriotic guy: I easily tear-up when a band strikes up America the Beautiful,” and I joined my college ROTC program after landing 344 in the draft lottery — they would have taken candidates with seeing-eye dogs first!
Unfortunately, I wasn’t very much of a soldier; I couldn’t read a map or climb a rope — you know, those kinds of things that soldiers should be able to do well. I did have one accomplishment during my lackluster military career: training as an artillery spotter, the shot I called in actually made a direct hit on the old car body we were circling above.
The instructor in the front seat, a major, turned to me with a big grin on his face, and gave me the thumbs-up. I passed that one. Only problem was the shot didn’t hit the old car I was aiming at. I kept that part to myself; it was my military secret.
But being an undistinguished second lieutenant didn’t curb my enthusiasm for patriotism. I think that goes back to my parents. They both grew up in Philadelphia, and while they brought me to Iowa at eleven weeks, we always took our vacations back “home.” It was there that my dad took me to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross’ house, and scores of other historical places where the fabric of our nation was first woven.
I stood where Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Charles Carroll, and fifty-two other brave men pledged to each other “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” I was there, not only physically, but in spirit as well. My life in many respects was a product of what they did there.
But patriotism — at least my version of it — doesn’t end with John Hancock and his colleagues signing their own death warrant. It continues to this day, and in that continuation we take on the American legacy, both the good and the bad. Part of each of us is Valley Forge, Antietam, and Normandy, but it also includes John Brown and Dred Scott, the Japanese internment, and lies and indifference to those who first occupied this land.
You see, we must accept our heritage — both good and bad — as part of our national DNA, much the same as we must accept the physical traits we have inherited from our parents. We don’t come out of the womb perfect: We just have to learn to deal with the negatives given to us by our parents: lactose intolerance, heart problems, deformities, and the list could go on.
Like those who have learned from the shortcomings in their DNA, as a nation we must learn from our past shortcomings. Unfortunately, today all too many folks teach that our nation is only a sum of our collective failures with only little or no reference to that which we have aspired. This, of course, does not tell the whole story of our national identity, much as judging a man only by his flaws. It also ignores the fundamental Christian belief that in fault we can find redemption.
The heart of our national being is the document we celebrate this week, for it contains our shared aspirations: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
And that, in summary, is what we have been doing since those words were written in 1776; striving for perfection, falling short, but continuing to strive. Ultimately what we created was a republic where each individual was empowered to live life on his own terms, free from undue governmental interference, realizing at all times that we were still all part of one national and cultural family where tolerance and responsibility were unwritten rules of the bargain.
We must understand that “American” is not an ethnic identity, such as Italian, or Irish. It is an idea that is not only outlined in the Declaration but in most of our founding documents that compose our American Scripture.
Unfortunately, in these days of disunity we have been driven by those advocating — for very sinister reasons — polar extremes and a lack of tolerance. No longer is our political cleavage driven by fiscal policy and the like but by cultural issues that are deliberately designed to divide us into tribes that are taught to hate those who do not give their wholehearted support to our tribe and its allies. It’s a subtle movement, but I think easy to see for those who have eyes and wish to see.
The general phrase we use is “cancel culture,” but it goes beyond simply shutting down dissenting views; it includes ostracizing those holding nonconforming views from society. It includes claiming that the impossible is possible, that boys can become girls, sex is not immutable but should be viewed as a spectrum, and that science is only settled if it is politically correct.
Children no longer belong to parents, but to the village that raises them, indoctrinated with a politically correct curriculum that brooks no challenge no matter how minor.
The authors of this disunion have found political success in pitting us against one another, cherry picking issues from history to claim that we are a nation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis who have succeeded by holding others in bondage and controlling cultural norms to marginalize them. We are corrupt, founded on slavery, for slavery, and the benefit of the white race.
And the unscrupulous members of our political class have found that by treating us as tribal units they can gain a political advantage. Following right behind are modern Marxists who piggy-back on those same issues to weaken the American system. Everything, including our faith in God as well as our faith in ourselves and our institutions, is under attack behind the argument that things were never really that good here.
Of course, I disagree.
I asked in the headline if there will be more birthdays for the United States. The answer, of course, is yes — there will be plenty of more July Fourths. The real question is what will that America look like? Socialists, Marxists, Communists?
That is up to us. We each have a vote and a voice. Along with a lot of prayer we need to use both — loud and often. Those 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence knew that if they were not successful they would all be hung as traitors to the Crown. They gambled with their lives to make us independent. We need not risk life or limb to save our nation, but we must be willing to risk something, even if that something is to challenge our own long-held political views.
The challenge today is more subtle than in 1776, but it is no less dangerous. This is America, our land of the free. Let’s not let anyone take it from us.

  • + + (You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at
Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  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 su
bscribe 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 150 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


Today . . .

Texas attorney general targets Catholic nonprofit, alleges it facilitates illegal immigration

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 21, 2024 / 21:15 pm Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to shut down a Catholic nonprofit organization in El Paso based on allegations that the group may be facilitating illegal immigration, harboring immigrants who entered the country illegally, and engaging in human smuggling.  Paxton filed a lawsuit against the nonprofit Annunciation House, which has operated in the state for nearly 50 years. The lawsuit asks the District Court of El Paso…Continue Reading

Irreverent funeral service at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for trans activist sparks outcry

A raucous funeral liturgy for a high-profile trans activist and sex-worker advocate was held Thursday in New York City’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, sparking an outcry on social media that the iconic church was misused to advance an ideological agenda at odds with Catholic teaching. The Manhattan cathedral hosted the Feb. 15 funeral service for Cecilia Gentili, an activist who helped to decriminalize sex work in New York, lobbied for “gender identity” to be added as…Continue Reading

Ted Cruz demands DC preserve bodies of five late-term aborted babies for investigation

Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is demanding that the remains of five late-term aborted babies in Washington, D.C., not be discarded before an autopsy is done to determine whether federal law was violated by the abortionist responsible for their deaths. “To be clear, the remains of these five children are critical evidence in the congressional oversight that the Subcommittee on the Constitution will conduct in the imminent future,” Cruz said in his Feb. 8 letter,…Continue Reading

Vatican doctrine office releases note on discerning the validity of the sacraments

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) released a note on Saturday on discerning the validity of the sacraments. The new document signed by Pope Francis and DDF Prefect Cardinal Victor Fernández is titled “Gestis Verbisque,” or “Deeds and Words.”  Fernández wrote in his introduction to the text that the note on the sacraments was written “to help bishops in their task as promoters and custodians of the liturgical life of the particular Churches…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland Tapped as CPAC Keynote Speaker

Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former Roman Catholic bishop in Texas who was removed by Pope Francis for his traditional teachings, will be a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC gala dinner next month in Washington, D.C. Strickland, who has risen to national prominence in the wake of his firing by the pope, is set to speak at CPAC’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner on Feb. 23. CPAC host Matt Schlapp told Newsmax that the bishop has…Continue Reading

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading