By John Immel (Mp3 audio)
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
– George Santayana
The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes.
– Adolf Hitler
We learn from history that men and women never learn anything from history.
– Friedrich Hegel
Men without the sense of an idea’s history are slaves.
– John Immel
The ravages of collectivism are upon us and the Christian world is profoundly silent. A few voices are rising, addressing the elements of liberty, participating in tea parties, and advocating a return to the Founding Fathers’ vision, and God. The typical prophetic melody of America getting her comeuppance for sin—men are buggering men the forecast is brimstone and rocks—sings out with the endless refrain to humble ourselves and pray–God will heal our land, God will heal our land, God will heal our land, please, please, please… if only the Church would… if only the Church would… if only the Church would… blah blah blah blah.
For all of our sackcloth and ashes, the American economy continues to tank, entire continents are on the verge of bankruptcy, riots in streets, and the gods of chaos seem to relentlessly conjure their gremlins of bad. Crisis EVERYWHERE! We are just an earthquake away from the end times! Bunker in the church against the bad, bad world! Praying will make it better…. Somehow… fingers crossed…
Whatever praying does or doesn’t do, we catastrophically fail to understand the cause and effect of government ideology. The tide of Socialism, Global Collectivism rises in the United States like German Blitzkrieg into France. At least the French dropped rifles that theoretically represented real resistance. Metaphorically, we haven’t even offered a Super Soaker in protest. Our wondrous “covering” apostles are mute in security of freedom. Real danger to the flock is at hand and these gutless wonders offer what in defense?
More conferences on church growth? (If the sheep pen is BIG, it must be God!)
Another national quorum on Apostolic authority? >snicker<
Yet another book on a life with purpose? (And not enough motivation to get our collective asses off the couch to understand we are electing Progressives? Oh, the irony!)
Another bromide that satisfies our current felt need: the best YOU? (I’m OK, you’re OK even though daddy didn’t love us.)
One more tearful sermon on the wretched wormhood of mankind: don’t be critical. “We are all just sinners?” (If you preach that men are worms, why are you upset when you get tread on?)
Guarding the Prophecy mic? (Now there is the High calling of Christ!)
Maybe the “covering” Apostles don’t want to disturb the crickets merrily chirping away.
Regard for cricket chirping Feng Shui, however, is not a concern that the Christian Collectivists seem to have; they are shrill and belligerent and oh so effective at advocating Socialist moral clarity.
But you, Dear Spiritual Tyranny Reader, are ahead of the curve. You know that moral clarity—the thing that informs man’s justification for action—is what clears the path for his conduct. The Catholic Church has known for centuries that man must be taught docility; that man must be indoctrinated towards meek compliance. How else will the peasants and serfs tolerate the Divine Right of Despotism?
The Catholic Church has been advancing these moral ideals for a very, very, long time. The Vatican must be thrilled that American Protestantism is coming back to the ideological fold. It is only a matter of time for the ideas to run their inevitable course. Today it is a Global Economy controlled by Global Government, a mere hop, skip, and a step towards tomorrow: a Global Religion, a “Universal” faith duly appointed by God. Submit, to their benevolent authority.
Certainly, Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich would be proud of American Christianity on the cusp of ushering in a varied form of the Social Gospel with its implicit corruption called Social Justice.
I know most of you, Dear Readers, do not know the impact of Catholic collectivism, or Neibuhr’s and Tillich’s effect on American Christian thought. Fewer of you still are familiar with Social Justice and the body of thought the Collectivists lovingly call Liberation Theology. That lack of familiarity sources from the profound incompetence of bible school dropouts dominating church pulpits. Their endless determination to hide their intentional ignorance led them to drive intellectuals from the flocks, and demean thinking as some high-minded ego trip (at best), or a satanic deception played exclusively on the intelligent (at worst).
Funny thing though: no bible references to brainy demons but a number of bible passages about deaf and DUMB demons.
But whatever… People go to their churches and submit to their authority. In America, (at least today) people are free to do that, and are justly rewarded for their choice. Men reap what they sow: reality is nothing but the moment to moment outworking of choices in accord with truth or the product of exchanging truth for a lie. For a long time American Christianity has been told to submit to authority—lay down their minds in the best traditions of European Religion—so it is no accident that we are inclined to give away yet more freedom without ever firing a Super Soaker.
The average Church participant MIGHT be able to offer the first line of the United States Constitution as justification for general independence, but they are lost when it comes to justifying individual liberty. But when the collectivists start thumping their bibles, equating liberty to license, self-motivation to selfish ambition, and sacrifice to the highest Christian ethical action, people can offer little more than silent chagrin.
As a result, when the Collectivists inevitably come for YOUR money they say “You must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s for the Greater Good,” and “riches cannot buy you happiness,” you fork over the work of your hands, the manifestation of your prosperity: impotent, helpless, and without moral clarity.
How long will people listen to these Socialists in Sheep’s clothing?
Well… since they have long since abandoned themselves to the Leader’s considered judgments, the rational answer is forever. No worries though. Soon the State will tell people to what church they must submit mind, and soul, and spirit. (Think Mecca, and start practicing your Allahu Akbars) All that thinking stuff won’t ever worry their pretty little head. Oh the bliss of being “covered” and “over-sighted.” It reminds me of a song:
Hush little baby don’t say a word
Father’s gonna buy you a mocking bird
And if that mocking bird won’t sing
The state is going to buy you a diamond ring
Some Dear Reader does not like Der Fuhrers to be called Socialists. Socialist is such an ugly word and not at all what the bible ‘clearly’ teaches. The bible teaches “community” and the “brotherhood of men” not Socialism.
The Catholic Church has tried dancing down this knife edge since the beginning. They have failed miserably. We will discuss the core of this failure shortly because it is the breakdown of the American Church as it dives madly back into the disaster of European Religion: Catholic or Protestant.
Long before the American usurpers to the Orthodoxy throne started pounding the pulpit for their authority of tradition and the tradition of their authority; the Pope presided over the Holy See, preempting that claim by 1500 years. Orthodoxy was the Pope and the Pope was Orthodoxy.
Someday, in another work, I will deal with the myth of that wascally critter Orthodoxy, but not today. Today we evaluate a key piece of the doctrinal foundations for the web of tyranny.
In centuries past Popes shot the Bull and wrote Briefs, and on rare occasions spoke Ex Cathedra. That means that Popes spoke out of the Seat of Authority, they stand in the Stead of God, speaking as if writing Scripture: without error to be absolutely obeyed.
Modern day Protestants piffle at such absurdity, filling our pious souls with indignity at the nerve. Protestants don’t believe such outlandish doctrines. No self-respecting son of the Reformation would place himself in the stead of God. Well, except for the growing Protestant Papists entering the mainstream of Christianity. Besides, the congregation should think for themselves and test the spirits. It is “Scripture Alone” and a clear reading of scripture that determines God’s word.
People should make up their own minds…
Uhhh … to a point…
Not too much free thinking…
There are limitations….
Pastors are not an absolute authority…
OK… what the preacher says is God “illuminated,” and more than just a suggestion. When a leader speaks every Sunday, it is God’s intent that you submit to his authority, which means whatever YOU think is irrelevant; what HE thinks is important. And if you don’t get your mind right … God opposes the proud.
Funny thing, the Catholic Church decided many centuries ago, that the Pope needed the ability to speak his mind, without that Ex Cathedra, “What I say is infallible” thing hanging over his head. Encyclicals are the Pope version of the Protestant preacher saying: “Not too much free thinking, and more than just a nice suggestion. Get your mind right because God opposes the proud….”
So what does the Catholic church say about Socialism that is not Holy Writ, but a lot more than a nice idea? We start our survey with Nostis et Nobiscum, Pius IX, “On the Church and the Pontifical States,” written in 1849.
Sixth paragraph, abridged for reading:
“ … the goal of this most iniquitous plot is to drive people to overthrow the entire order of human affairs and to draw them over to the wicked theories of this Socialism and Communism, by confusing them with perverted teachings. But these enemies realize that they cannot hope for any agreement with the Catholic Church…”
“This is why they try to draw the Italian people over to Protestantism, which in their deceit they repeatedly declare to be only another form of the same true religion of Christ…”
“… they know full well that the chief principle of the Protestant tenets, i.e., that the holy scriptures are to be understood by the personal judgment of the individual, will greatly assist their impious cause. They are confident that they can first misuse the holy scriptures by wrong interpretation to spread their errors and claim God’s authority while doing it. Then they can cause men to call into doubt the common principles of justice and honor.”
Here is our next source for the survey: Quod Apostolici Muneris, Pope Leo XVIII, On Socialism, 1887. First paragraph, abridged for reading:
“…as the nature of our apostolic office demanded, we hastened to point out … the deadly plague that is creeping into the very fibres of human society and leading it on to the verge of destruction…”
“…You understand … that WE speak of that sect of men who … are called socialists, communists, or nihilists, and who, spread over all the world, and bound together by the closest ties in a wicked confederacy– the overthrow of all civil society whatsoever.”
And the next source: Notre Charge Apostolique, Pope Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910. Paragraph 44, abridged for reading:
“But stranger still… are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ …
“What are they going to produce? … A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality …
“It will be a tumultuous agitation …which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. …bringing Socialism in its train.”
There are many more comments, spanning roughly 160 years to the present time under Benedict the XVI. Do an online search for Catholics on Socialism, and you will have plenty of reading material.
It seems pretty clear, doesn’t it? The Catholic Church absolutely rejects Socialism. They even do a pretty good job of identifying what they call “… the seductive confusion of the words liberty and justice, fraternity, love, and equality…” used by the socialists to seduce the masses with a specific morality. (Hmm … sounds like an idea for an article.)
Pope Leo the XVIII in “On Socialism,” 1887, even identified the root failures of socialism with these words in the third paragraph:
“…they assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one’s mode of life.”
So, no big deal, huh? What could possibly be the problem. Well, here is the knife edge. Let us turn our attention to Populorum Progressio, Pope Paul VI, On the Development of Peoples, 1967. The Encyclical has over 12,000 words which is too much to address point for point in this article. (But Dear God, does it need to be addressed point for point!)
The Encyclical opens with these comments, abridged for reading:
3. The hungry nations of the world cry out to the peoples blessed with abundance. And the Church, cut to the quick by this cry, asks each and every man to hear his brother’s plea and answer it lovingly.
4. …WE traveled to Latin America (1960) and Africa (1962). There WE saw the perplexing problems that vex and besiege these continents, which are otherwise full of life and promise. On being elected Pope, WE became the father of all men. WE made trips to Palestine and India, gaining firsthand knowledge of the difficulties that these age-old civilizations must face in their struggle for further development.
5.The purpose of this commission is “… In this way they can further the progress of poorer nations and international social justice, as well as help less developed nations to contribute to their own development.”
What could be more kindhearted than to hear the cry of the hungry and act lovingly? How hardhearted must one be to turn a deaf ear to suffering, particularly those who have been “blessed with abundance…?” Indeed the Pope traveled the world to see firsthand the depth of the struggle to develop, and was moved to start a commission to “further progress of nations and international social justice.” Who wants to oppose Development and Social Justice?
The Encyclical continues:
13. In the present day, however, individual and group effort within these countries is no longer enough. The world situation requires the concerted effort of everyone, a thorough examination of every facet of the problem—social, economic, cultural, and spiritual.
The Church, which has long experience in human affairs and has no desire to be involved in the political activities of any nation, “seeks but one goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth; to save, not to judge; to serve, not to be served.”
Founded to build the kingdom of heaven on earth rather than to acquire temporal power, the Church openly avows that the two powers—Church and State—are distinct from one another; that each is supreme in its own sphere of competency. But since the Church does dwell among men, she has the duty “of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel.” Sharing the noblest aspirations of men and suffering when she sees these aspirations not satisfied, she wishes to help them attain their full realization.
This is a wordy way of saying: see, WE are not about the being “political.” Political is such a dirty word and so beneath our heavenly calling. In light of eternity, temporal power fades to dust. WE are not seeking “power.” The problem is too big for any one person. Our longstanding experience makes US uniquely qualified to advocate a truly spiritual outcome. To serve!
This is the bighearted bait dangled before the compassionate wellspring within us all, sanctified with the highest moral trappings: a rejection of some present reward and an embrace of what everyone knows is the highest human expression. After all, Jesus said it himself: “… to be great in the Kingdom is to be a servant of all…”
Who can argue with this? The answer is no one, because they are about to set the hook so deep no one “righteous” can pull it out.
14. The development WE speak of here cannot be restricted to economic growth alone. To be authentic, it must be well rounded; it must foster the development of each man and of the whole man. As an eminent specialist on this question has rightly said, “WE cannot allow economics to be separated from human realities, nor development from the civilization in which it takes place. What counts for us is man—each individual man, each human group, and humanity as a whole.”
Moreover, this harmonious integration of our human nature, carried through by personal effort and responsible activity, is destined for a higher state of perfection. United with the life-giving Christ, man’s life is newly enhanced; it acquires a transcendent humanism which surpasses its nature and bestows new fullness of life. This is the highest goal of human self-fulfillment.
The Pope is saying that being Christian is about acquiring an ability of self-sacrifice. Being “United in the life-giving Christ…” is the acquisition of “transcendent humanism;” this is a wordy way of saying Christian love, Christian brotherhood, gives individual men the ability to see more than himself, to see the pains of the whole world. This higher spiritual self will result in an authentic economic growth. Translation: real Christians give money to ALL humanity so the rich can be brought down and the poor can be brought up. Together, all men are rounded out in uplifting fulfillment in the equal distribution of misery—oops … necessities.
17. Each man is also a member of society; hence, he belongs to the community of man. It is not just certain individuals but all men who are called to further the development of human society as a whole.
This is the Pope advocating that each INDIVIDUAL bears specific economic responsibility for the WHOLE WORLD. This sounds like a good, bighearted, loving idea, doesn’t it? And besides, if you are not committed to society as a whole, it is because you are greedy and avaricious.
18. Man’s personal and collective fulfillment could be jeopardized if the proper scale of values were not maintained. The pursuit of life’s necessities is quite legitimate; hence, we are duty-bound to do the work which enables us to obtain them: “If anyone is unwilling to work, do not let him eat.” (l6) But the acquisition of worldly goods can lead men to greed, to the unrelenting desire for more, to the pursuit of greater personal power. Rich and poor alike—be they individuals, families or nations—can fall prey to avarice and soul-stifling materialism.
So here is the moral equation:
Work = duty.
More than necessities = evil materialism.
No one wants to fall pray to soul-stifling materialism. Eeek, Repent! Sackcloth and ashes… and oh by the way, WE will have your money, you God-Robber!
And the hook is set deep within the jaw. From here WE reel man into the boat: true fishers of men. Men will feed the world from their own sweat and toil for no other reason than because it is their moral duty.
22. … The recent Council reiterated this truth: “God intended the earth and everything in it for the use of all human beings and peoples. Thus, under the leadership of justice and in the company of charity, created goods should flow fairly to all.”
… All other rights, whatever they may be, including the rights of property and free trade, are to be subordinated to this principle.
All other rights? What rights to which do WE refer?
23. “He who has the goods of this world and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
…These words indicate that the right to private property is not absolute and unconditional.
No one may appropriate surplus goods solely for his own private use when others lack the bare necessities of life. In short, “as the Fathers of the Church and other eminent theologians tell us, the right of private property may never be exercised to the detriment of the common good.” When “private gain and basic community needs conflict with one another,” it is for the public authorities “to seek a solution to these questions, with the active involvement of individual citizens and social groups.”
Toot! Toot! The boat is coming in to port. The harvest is great. The slaves… oops, the benevolent masses are in the hold ready to work.
To have their property seized?
Oh John, that is such a harsh word, and not at all how Christians are supposed to view such things. This is supposed to be done in a spirit of giving. God loves a hilarious giver.
24. If certain landed estates impede the general prosperity because they are extensive, unused or poorly used, or because they bring hardship to peoples or are detrimental to the interests of the country, the common good sometimes demands their expropriation.
Vatican II affirms this emphatically.
Why does the Holy Father affirm this emphatically?
33. … We cannot proceed to increase the wealth and power of the rich while we entrench the needy in their poverty and add to the woes of the oppressed.
What does the Holy Father say is the solution?
…Organized programs are necessary for “directing, stimulating, coordinating, supplying and integrating” (35) the work of individuals and intermediary organizations.
It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity.
What did WE just say? Did you catch that Dear Spiritual Tyranny Reader? The Pope just advocated central planning. He is proscribing a People State of Heaven… uh… on earth.
Seized? Taken? Stolen? Looted? Consumed? Are these better words? No? These words are not accurate?
Get a sense of the ideas, Dear Spiritual Tyranny Reader, and tell me if you see a difference.
An abridged list of Marx—Communist Manifesto
1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
7. Equal obligation of all to work.
The 25 points of the Program of the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party) adopted February 1920:
10. The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all.
24. We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race.
The Party advocates positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: common utility precedes individual utility.
Spiritual Tyranny Reader, you will remember the Zen of War.
Men of DIFFERENT Principles cannot sustain fellowship because the one who is more intentionally (or unintentionally) evil, wins.
In war between men with the SAME Principles, the one who most zealously pursues his ideological outcomes, wins.
Moral Advocacy is the absolution for the zealot’s evil outcomes: compulsion, pillaging, s lavery.
The Vatican, like so many Christian denominations, likes to condemn Socialism by parsing definitions and recasting political conversation in bible terms. (As if condemning commun-ism separates them from the failures of commun-ists.)
No, no, no John, you just don’t understand. The motives are pure because they forsake political power and merely advocate “preaching God’s Gospel to the poor.” If the communists and socialists go too far, how can WE be held responsible for the actions of sinful men? WE don’t advocate tyranny, WE just advocate how society should really be if man would just sacrifice and act out of true love. WE are impressed with our own philanthropy. WE are very, very impressed with our good intentions. WE cannot conceive that WE are doing harm.
And herein is the disaster: in a war between men of the SAME PRINCIPLES, the one who most zealously pursues his ideological outcomes, wins.
The Christian Collectivist advance the SAME moral principles as the socialists/communists. No matter how you dress it up, no matter what lipstick you put on the pig, the moral premise is the same: Man does not OWN himself.
Once you concede that premise, what tyranny can man resist?
Now you see why I said: Moral Advocacy is the absolution of the zealot’s evil outcomes.
Men without the sense of an idea’s history are slaves.