Worshipping the State:
How Liberalism Became Our State Religion
Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition. (2013-03-25).
"When the day finally comes that the Free Exercise Clause is reunited with the Establishment Clause (through a series of judicial precedents making it clear that any attempt to use the latter to impose secularism is a violation of the former), then we will have arrived again at the Amendment’s original purpose—to prevent the federal government from either interfering with citizens’ religion or establishing a religion of its own choosing (including an anti-religious religion like secular liberalism)." (p. 313)
This book is another stirring battle cry from a no less energetic for the passage of time Benjamin Wiker inviting Catholic Christians in the US to wake up and seize the high ground before it is too late, appealing to the First Amendment in the courts, reclaiming the public square, by exposing the contemporary secular ideology for what it is: a religion, a false religion of intolerance. He would take on the whole academic world from day one through graduate school to banish the mindless revisionism which dumbs down our children and youth. The man is a Don Quixote if ever there were one.
The book undoubtedly has merit, but only relatively so. I think it should be placed on reading lists ordered alphabetically, that is under "W". There is much else which needs to be given priority. I say this out of an inherent mistrust for Wiker's scholarship, which he brings on himself by his cavalier approach to history. Facit:
"I have a confession to make. I was lying to you all along when I told you that the church invented the distinction between the church and state. Well, I wasn’t really lying, but I wasn’t being completely accurate either. But it wasn’t really my fault. The problem is the word “state.”' (p. 103).
I'm a third into his book, puzzled by his insistence that the Church invented the distinction between "church" and "state", when all of a sudden he tells me he lied. Can I trust his scholarship on other points or are we somewhere lost in the heady intrigues of somebody's high school debate team, where winning is all that matters?
Excuse me if I sound bitter about Wiker's flippancy, but the matter is in earnest. Let me just bring up the seasonal case of the news item from a Dallas, Texas christian academy, whose students had wanted to visit a Veterans' Hospital for Christmas, had made cards and were all prepared when their offer was rejected because of an official censorship prohibiting references to Christmas, etc. Secular state religion, imposed on the Veterans' Administration from Washington, is effectively quarantining those confined to a hospital bed and with the same arguments as was done under the communist system in Europe, hellbent on rooting out faith all together. The children's Christmas cards will go abandoned as their witness to Christ (and the reason for the season) does not have A&E economic repercussions a la Duck Dynasty.
In the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar, this Sunday within the Octave of Christmas celebrates the Holy Family. The Roman Catholic Church here in Ukraine has prepared all sorts of materials to make this Sunday a source of encouragement for families today, modeling on the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Wiker throws himself into the middle of the fight for the hearts and minds of coming generations. I think he needs to regroup, do some homeschooling and some catechesis as the foundations seem to be lacking.
PROPERANTES ADVENTUM DIEI DEI
A blessed Merry Christmas.
"Benjamin Wiker inviting Catholic Christians in the US to wake up and seize the high ground before it is too late, appealing to the First Amendment in the courts, reclaiming the public square, by exposing the contemporary secular ideology for what it is: a religion, a false religion of intolerance. He would take on the whole academic world from day one through graduate school to banish the mindless revisionism which dumbs down our children and youth." --- We need good, holy and courageous bishops and priests to lead the laity. We need our shepherds to lead us. USCCB must be united and consistent in leading the way. A good example is the HHS mandate. USCCB is fighting for the conscience clause. I was hoping that dioceses should not promote Obamacare without clear policy on this. In my diocese, it is widely promoted in churches. Another example is PJPII's Ex corde Ecclesiae and PBXVI's Summorum Pontificum. We need our shepherds as PBXVI said (flgt to UK, 2009): "The priest, at the moment of ordination, a moment for which he prepared for years, says “yes” to Christ, in order to be his mouth, his hand and to serve with all his being so that the Good Shepherd who loves us, who helps and guides us to truth, may be present in the world."
I hope I am wrong but this is what I observe ... It seems to me that being pastoral is synonymous with public approval but PBXVI says otherwise: "A man of conscience is one who never acquires tolerance, well-being, success, public standing, and approval on the part of prevailing opinion at the expense of truth." (Catholic Conscience: Foundation and Formation, 1991, National Catholic Bioethics Center Address or On Conscience, Ignatius Press).
I wish and pray that all the bishops are united, consistent and bold in preaching family (father, mother & children) and life (we are His image and likeness, His dwelling place, His temple).
A blessed Merry Christmas and a blissful New Year to come.
God's blessings of peace and joy!