In a gushing recent op-ed, columnist and author Patrick Buchanan praised President Trump’s July 4th celebration:
As master of ceremonies and keynote speaker
at his ‘Salute to America’ Independence Day
event, Trump was a manifest success.*
Buchanan took to task those on the left who denigrated the event as an ego trip for the President and as, in part, a celebration of the country’s slave-holding past. He noted that the left’s criticism was another example of “A specter of anti-Americanism [which] appears to be rising on the left.”
The columnist praised President Trump for not making the event one of partisan politics, but instead it was “to recite and celebrate the good things Americans of all colors and creeds are doing, and the great things Americans have done since 1776.”
He then quotes parts of President Trump’s speech noting its patriotic non-political zeal:
Together we are part of one of the greatest
stories ever told – the story of America. It is
the epic tale of a great nation whose people
have risked everything for what they know is
right and what they know is true.
What a great country! (F)or Americans nothing
is impossible. Ours is the most exceptional nation
in the history of the world.
As a supposed traditional Catholic (actually a “neocon”), Buchanan’s praise for the speech and America’s past should make true Catholics cringe. Yet, this is what American Catholicism especially for those on the “Right,” have long become: cheerleaders for the American Deistic nation-state. Instead of trying to convert their homeland to the One True Faith – a sign of true patriotism – Buchanan and most Catholics “celebrate the good things Americans of all . . . creeds are doing. . . .”
So false religions are doing “good things?” Catholic teaching holds that false religions and sects – those not of the Catholic Church – cannot accomplish anything spiritually edifying. The Catholic Church is the only Church of God founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ and it has the power through Christ to dispense the grace-infused Sacraments and is the sole mediator between God and man.
Buchanan’s praise of Trump’s speech seems to have ignored this basic Catholic tenet.
Not only have religious liberty and separation of Church and State, which are cornerstones of the American nation, been condemned by the Church but the US has, over the course of its history, sought to extirpate Catholicism from its body politic and will only tolerate it if its takes no part in the governance of the country.
Perhaps Buchanan is unware that the US has since 1776 captured, stole, and plundered Catholic lands and possessions in its pursuit of Manifest Destiny. The nation that Trump calls “exceptional” has over the course of its history repeatedly backed nearly every anti-clerical movement in Latin America especially in once Catholic Mexico.
After the US’s wanton defeat of Spain in 1898 which began its rise as a world power, it entered WWI which would fundamentally change it and the world forever. President Wilson’s decision to enter the war and the “peace” terms which he mostly dictated afterwards were largely aimed to break up the Austrian Empire, the last remaining Catholic power in Europe. Wilson’s hatred for Austria and its Catholicity was immense as Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn explains:
Austria was far more wicked than Germany [to
Wilson and the American Left]. It existed in
contradiction of the Mazzinian principle of the
national state, it had inherited many traditions
as well as symbols from the Holy Roman Empire; . . . .
Its dynasty had once ruled over Spain; it had
led the Counter-Reformation, headed the Holy
Alliance, fought against the Risorgimento, suppressed
the Magyar . . . and morally supported the
monarchial experiment in Mexico. Habsburg –
the very name evoked memories of Roman
Catholicism, of the Armanda, the Inquisition. . . .
Such a state had to be shattered, such a dynasty
had to disappear.**
Pat Buchanan is far from alone in this viewpoint and one can find a myriad of articles, books, and publications by Catholics extolling American “exceptionalism.” Nor is this a recent phenomenon, but has been a part of American Catholicism since the inception of the nation.
Sadly, had Catholics stayed true to the Church’s principles, America would be a far different nation and would not be suffering from a crisis in every sector of its society. The remedy is not to extol the nation’s anti-Catholic ideals, but to convert it to the One True Faith.
**Quoted in Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy The God That Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order. New Brunswick (U.S.A.): Transaction Publishers, 2001, p. x.
posted by editors/7-10-’19