|A Tale of Two Speeches|
|The Delusion of Peace Without Christ|
Thomas A. Droleksey, PhD
|REMNANT COLUMNIST, On the Road|
Nearly two months has passed since President George W. Bush delivered yet another address to the nation about the continuing American military presence in Iraq. The speech, delivered to an enthusiastic audience of military personnel assembled at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on June 28, 2005, came nearly twenty-six months after the President’s “Mission: Accomplished” speech on board the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lincoln, which showcased the Commander-in-Chief at the controls of a fighter jet as it landed on the deck of the carrier.
Assuming quite correctly that most Americans have short memories and that his positivism would be defended by a whole host of radio and television talk show flacks, President Bush never mentioned anything about the pretexts he gave for invading Iraq in March of 2003, to rid that country of its “weapons of mass destruction,” preferring to leave the impression that the invasion of Iraq was all along meant to deal a “death blow” to international terrorists who did not have entrance into that country until we had opened the doors for them. He stressed that the security of the United States of America and stability in the Middle East depends upon the success of the American effort to prepare the Iraqi Security Forces to defend their own country adequately. Noting that the struggle to defend “freedom” had been “given” to the United States of America, President Bush said that Americans had to have courage to stand behind the principles that gave birth to our own nation so that others, including those in Iraq, may enjoy our “liberties” (freedom of speech, press, religion, assembly).
Just one day after President Bush’s weekly radio address, given on August 13, 2005, in which he noted that the government of the United States of America would have to stand fast to implant American principles of liberty and equality in Iraq so as to “honor the fallen,” a report in the Washington Post quoted a senior administration official as saying, “‘What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground,’ said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. ‘We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning.’” In other words, those of us who saw this all as the build-up for our invasion of Iraq began in March of 2003 were right when we contended that the administration had not only lied about its true intentions but had no “exit strategy” whatsoever, preferring to believe that the myths of the American founding would be embraced enthusiastically by the Iraqis.
There is the following inconvenient little fact, however, that even many traditionally minded Catholics do not want to consider, no less admit as true: The United States of America is founded on many false principles (see separate article at www.christorchaos.com, “The Downward Spiral of a Country Founded on False Premises”) and thus gives rise to false “freedoms” to do such things as kill babies, both chemically and surgically, promote pornography and the horrors of rock music (both of which are foisted upon us everywhere we turn in the midst of our daily lives) in the name of “free speech.” All of this propagates the lie that man can live, both individually and societally, a happy and orderly life without belief in the Incarnation and adherence to the Deposit of Faith the God-Man entrusted to His true Church, and thus have the “freedom” to idolize the government and political parties and national leaders while our money and our property and our legitimate freedom to denounce moral evils are confiscated and/or circumscribed by the Omniscient State. Ah, yes, those are the freedoms that we have been spreading with an evangelical zeal in Iraq. Yes, those freedoms.
Please, spare me the screeds that the Founding Fathers would have rejected some of the evils mentioned above. Please, spare yourself the time. The Founding Fathers believed that man could pursue civic virtue without the necessity of belief in the Incarnation and cooperation with sanctifying grace, thus sowing the seeds for the gradual manifestation of the inherent degeneracy of their founding principles. Whether they all knew it or not at the time, they believed in lies.
Lies can never serve as the foundation of personal happiness or social order no matter the “good intentions” of those who believe in and propagate them. George W. Bush, who believes in the “freedom” of contraception and thus promotes the chemical murders of babies here and around the world, believes in these foundational lies that have resulted in so much social disorder here and whose European foundations and variants have been attacking the true Faith violently since the time of Martin Luther nearly 500 years ago. Let’s be blunt: the lie that men can be “free” without referencing Our Lord and His Holy Church is of the devil himself. The lie that men can know “peace” in their own nations and internationally without referencing Our Lord and His Holy Church–and without once acknowledging that the cause of world peace has been entrusted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary–is from the devil himself, the author of all lies. The Modern State, including the United States of America, is founded on lies, which is why foul atrocity like abortion remains perfectly legal. Thus, the policies of the Modern State are lies and are bound to cause harm to the common temporal good of society and to the eternal welfare of the immortal souls for whom Our Lord shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood.
The lie of the ability of the United States to “spread peace” in the world through “democracy” is one that has been believed by one American president after another, each of whom exalts the “American” way. President Richard M. Nixon, for example, believed that his program to turn the defense of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) to its own military would result in the defense of freedom in southeast Asia and thus the world. He invoked the vision of none other than the delusional Woodrow Wilson at the end of his “Vietnamization” speech, given from the White House on Monday, November 3, 1969:
Fifty years ago, in this room and at this very desk, President Woodrow Wilson spoke words which caught the imagination of a war-weary world. He said: "This is the war to end war." His dream for peace after World War I was shattered on the hard realities of great power politics and Woodrow Wilson died a broken man.
As mentioned in an earlier article in The Remnant, President Nixon spent his entire life laboring under this delusion. His sixth successor in the White House, President George W. Bush, shares Nixon’s delusions. Lacking Nixon’s sobriety, however, he must cloak himself in the mantle of cheering military audiences as he speaks his delusional dreams of a world of peace without Christ. This makes our current President little different than a fascistic thug who wants people to believe that opposition to his policies is based in a malicious, unpatriotic desire to see harm come to the troops his administration has placed in danger around the world needlessly.
Consider the closing part of President George W. Bush’s June 28, 2005, speech at Fort Bragg, North Carolina:
America and our friends are in a conflict that demands much of us. It demands the courage of our fighting men and women, it demands the steadfastness of our allies, and it demands the perseverance of our citizens. We accept these burdens, because we know what is at stake. We fight today because Iraq now carries the hope of freedom in a vital region of the world, and the rise of democracy will be the ultimate triumph over radicalism and terror. And we fight today because terrorists want to attack our country and kill our citizens, and Iraq is where they are making their stand. So we'll fight them there, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.
America has done difficult work before. From our desperate fight for independence to the darkest days of a Civil War, to the hard-fought battles against tyranny in the 20th century, there were many chances to lose our heart, our nerve, or our way. But Americans have always held firm, because we have always believed in certain truths. We know that if evil is not confronted, it gains in strength and audacity, and returns to strike us again. We know that when the work is hard, the proper response is not retreat, it is courage. And we know that this great ideal of human freedom entrusted to us in a special way, and that the ideal of liberty is worth defending.
One will see great parallels between President Bush’s speech and that of President Nixon’s November 3, 1969 “Vietnamization” address in just their closing passages. A review of the two speeches will reveal that both the Thirty-seventh and the Forty-third Presidents of the United States of America believed that God Himself had given some special ability to this country to bring about the novus ordo secolorum, the New World Order of peace and justice for all in line with the “American” way.
Ah, but what is the “American” way? It is the way of Protestant individualism. It is the way of Calvinist materialism. It is the way of Masonic “brotherhood” and religious indifferentism. It is the way of corporate greed and wage slavery. It is the way of relativism and positivism and pragmatism. It is the way of sloganeering and political careerism. It is the way that leads to the domination of American foreign policy by Israel and by the corporate interests that are heavily invested in Red China. It is the way of egalitarianism and majoritarianism. It is the way of cultural and religious pluralism. It is the way, in other words, of social chaos and eternal death. The mere fact that Catholics have an “opportunity” to practice their Faith and thus promote its tenets does nothing to undo the simple fact that a country founded on anti-Catholic principles winds up co-opting the vast majority of Catholics into becoming merry participants in the national myths and the mindless chanters of the popular slogans of current discourse.
Pope Pius XI noted the folly of the belief that men could have order in their nations and peace in the world without Our Lord. Although I have quoted from his first encyclical letter, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, issued in 1922, before, let me do so again:
This peace of Christ, however, surpasses all human understanding – "the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding" (Philippians iv, 7), and for this very reason dominates our sinful passions and renders such evils as division, strife, and discord, which result solely from the unrestrained desire for earthly possessions, impossible. If the desire for worldly possessions were kept within bounds and the place of honor in our affections given to the things of the spirit, which place undoubtedly they deserve, the peace of Christ would follow immediately, to which would be joined in a natural and happy union, as it were, a higher regard for the value and dignity of human life. Human personality, too, would be raised to a higher level, for man has been ennobled by the Blood of Christ and made kin to God Himself by means of holiness and the bond of brotherly love which unites us closely with Christ, by prayer and by the reception of the Sacraments, means infallibly certain to produce this elevation to and participation in the life of God, by the desire to attain everlasting possession of the glory and happiness of heaven which is held out to all by God as our goal and final reward.
We have already seen and come to the conclusion that the principal cause of the confusion, restlessness, and dangers which are so prominent a characteristic of false peace is the weakening of the binding force of law and lack of respect for authority, effects which logically follow upon denial of the truth that authority comes from God, the Creator and Universal Law-giver.
The only remedy for such state of affairs is the peace of Christ since the peace of Christ is the peace of God, which could not exist if it did not enjoin respect for law, order, and the rights of authority. In the Holy Scriptures We read: "My children, keep discipline in peace." (Ecclesiasticus xli, 17) "Much peace have they that love the law, O Lord." (Psalms cxviii, 165) "He that feareth the commandment, shall dwell in peace." (Proverbs xiii, 13) Jesus Christ very expressly states: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's." (Matt. xxii, 21) He even recognized that Pilate possessed authority from on High (John xiv, 11) as he acknowledged that the scribes and Pharisees who though unworthy sat in the chair of Moses (Matt. xxiii, 2) were not without a like authority. In Joseph and Mary, Jesus respected the natural authority of parents and was subject to them for the greater part of His life. (Luke ii, 51) He also taught, by the voice of His Apostle, the same important doctrine: "Let every soul be subject to higher powers: for there is no power but from God." (Romans xiii, 1; cf. also 1 Peter ii, 13, 18)
If we stop to reflect for a moment that these ideals and doctrines of Jesus Christ, for example, his teachings on the necessity and value of the spiritual life, on the dignity and sanctity of human life, on the duty of obedience, on the divine basis of human government, on the sacramental character of matrimony and by consequence the sanctity of family life – if we stop to reflect, let Us repeat, that these ideals and doctrines of Christ (which are in fact but a portion of the treasury of truth which He left to mankind) were confided by Him to His Church and to her alone for safekeeping, and that He has promised that His aid will never fail her at any time for she is the infallible teacher of His doctrines in every century and before all nations, there is no one who cannot clearly see what a singularly important role the Catholic Church is able to play, and is even called upon to assume, in providing a remedy for the ills which afflict the world today and in leading mankind toward a universal peace.
Because the Church is by divine institution the sole depository and interpreter of the ideals and teachings of Christ, she alone possesses in any complete and true sense the power effectively to combat that materialistic philosophy which has already done and, still threatens, such tremendous harm to the home and to the state. The Church alone can introduce into society and maintain therein the prestige of a true, sound spiritualism, the spiritualism of Christianity which both from the point of view of truth and of its practical value is quite superior to any exclusively philosophical theory. The Church is the teacher and an example of world good-will, for she is able to inculcate and develop in mankind the "true spirit of brotherly love" (St. Augustine, De Moribus Ecclesiae Catholicae, i, 30) and by raising the public estimation of the value and dignity of the individual's soul help thereby to lift us even unto God.
Finally, the Church is able to set both public and private life on the road to righteousness by demanding that everything and all men become obedient to God "Who beholdeth the heart," to His commands, to His laws, to His sanctions. If the teachings of the Church could only penetrate in some such manner as We have described the inner recesses of the consciences of mankind, be they rulers or be they subjects, all eventually would be so apprised of their personal and civic duties and their mutual responsibilities that in a short time "Christ would be all, and in all." (Colossians iii, 11)
Since the Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ, she is able not only to bring about at the present hour a peace that is truly the peace of Christ, but can, better than any other agency which We know of, contribute greatly to the securing of the same peace for the future, to the making impossible of war in the future. For the Church teaches (she alone has been given by God the mandate and the right to teach with authority) that not only our acts as individuals but also as groups and as nations must conform to the eternal law of God. In fact, it is much more important that the acts of a nation follow God's law, since on the nation rests a much greater responsibility for the consequences of its acts than on the individual.
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail.
It is apparent from these considerations that true peace, the peace of Christ, is impossible unless we are willing and ready to accept the fundamental principles of Christianity, unless we are willing to observe the teachings and obey the law of Christ, both in public and private life. If this were done, then society being placed at last on a sound foundation, the Church would be able, in the exercise of its divinely given ministry and by means of the teaching authority which results therefrom, to protect all the rights of God over men and nations.
This is Catholicism, ladies and gentlemen. This is Catholic truth. There can be no peace in the souls of men and in the world without Our Lord as He has revealed Himself through His true Church. None. Ever. At any time.
Richard Nixon probably never read Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, although one would have hoped that one of his Catholic advisers might have tried to direct him to it. His ignorance of the truths contained in Pope Pius XI’s summary of the Received Teaching of the God-Man did not redeem the errors of his ways.
Similarly, I would be shocked beyond words to discover that George W. Bush, who has admitted he does not read much, has ever pondered Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio. His ignorance of the truths contained in Pope Pius XI’s summary of the Received Teaching of the God-Man does not redeem the errors of his ways nor can his flawed policies, based on both philosophical and factual lies, produce the peace that the men of this world never seem to learn is but a figment of their own delusional imaginations.
To point this out is not to condemn Richard Nixon or George W. Bush. It is to demonstrate to Catholics that we must not believe in the lie of “strategies” and “programs” that are claimed to have the ability to produce peace and national security absent a subordination of men and their nations to the Social Reign of Christ the King. Look, who are you going to believe: Pope Pius XI or George W. Bush? Come on, folks. Do you put your faith in the “American” way or do you want to see the whole world and everyone in it, including this country, know the true liberty that comes only from the Cross of the Divine Redeemer as it is held high by the Catholic Church?
That Richard Nixon spoke as he did and that George W. Bush speaks as he does can be understood in the aftermath of all of the errors of Modernity. That recent popes, including our current Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, have rejected the perennial teaching of the Church expressed so eloquently by Pope Pius XI above in the embrace of the allegedly “irreversible” nature of the secular state and the rise of a “healthy secularity” makes it more possible for career politicians to remain steeped in their errors and for policies destructive of the common good of a nation and of justice among nations to be advanced repeatedly, ad infinitum.
The real responsibility for enlightening men such as President Bush rests with Christ’s Vicar on earth, the Successor of Saint Peter, to do what Our Lady told Blessed Jacinta and Blessed Francisco and Sister Lucia on July 13, 1917, had to be done for there to be a “period of peace” in the world: the proper consecration of Russia to her own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by a pope with all of the world’s bishops.
The world is a more dangerous place than it would otherwise be if men and their nations were striving amidst all of the vagaries of fallen human nature to please God as members of His true Church. Conflicts and wars there will always be. Our Lady did promise us at Fatima, though, that period of peace. May we be resolved to say three Hail Marys each day for the Consecration of Russia to be done to end the epoch in which men believe that their words and the military actions they authorize will produce anything other than utter disaster and needless human carnage as the rotten fruit of ignoring Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.