Friday, December 28, 2007

The End of an Era

The Nepalese Parliament has voted to abolish the Nepalese monarchy in an effort to appease the demands of Maoist forces within Nepal (see the article here). It's so terribly discouraging that a nation with a monarchy would bow down to the demands of godless Communists in abolishing a monarchy that has existed since 1769. When I first learned of this story, I felt absolutely discouraged as a monarchist. But I must persevere, as we all must. We can never see the return of monarchy as the standard form of government the world over if we give in to set-backs like this one. We must all fight a good fight, we must finish our course, we must keep the faith (cf. 2 Timothy 4:7).

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in Merry Olde America

I have been thinking a lot lately about the assaults against Christmas present here in America, although these same assaults are also present to one extent or another in most "Christian" countries.

What exactly is Christmas? It is the day the Christian world celebrates the Virgin Birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; God Himself came down from heaven and became a man to save us men. So how do we Christians celebrate this holy and venerable day? By forgetting every reason we started celebrating this day in the first place.
Christmas has become a day of scandalous consumerism. The day we celebrate our Lord's birth has become a day for our capitalist societies to figuratively rape our economies--with, I might add, our complete and express permission. Giving gifts in honor of God's greatest gift to mankind is a noble and honorable act, but this practice has reached such extremes that for children--those usually best able to love and have faith in a God we cannot see--think of Christmas in terms entirely dependent upon their gift reception; Christmas is all about "gimme, gimme, gimme." In order to give, millions of people spend exorbitant amounts--often going in debt to do so--to obtain these gifts.

Then there is Santa Claus. Our present day picture of Santa Claus was invented in the 19th century by the American political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Some of our present legends of Santa are in fact loosely based upon the real St. Nicholas, Bishop and Confessor of the Church (died 343), but the real St. Nicholas never flew a sleigh led by flying reindeer through the sky delivering presents to good little boys and girls. What we have is the perversion of the memory of a venerable saint into a way for our consumerist society to make a buck.

My family thinks I'm a horrible person by planning on raising my future children (God willing) without a belief in Santa Claus. My theory is that firstly, Santa is a lie. Within Catholic moral theology, a lie, no matter for what the reason, is always objectively sinful. It's not a very good way to raise children under the pretense of a lie and expect them (once they learn of this lie, as all children do given time and age) to refrain from telling lies themselves. Secondly, as I stated earlier, children far too often think of Christmas simply within terms of getting presents. The belief in a supernatural/mythical figure who gives them presents on Christmas perpetuates this gift-centered view of Christmas. It is my opinion that in order for children to have a proper view of the seriousness and holiness of the day, they must be raised without the burdensome and objectively false belief in Santa.

Christmas is not a day to give gifts, it is not a day for families, it is not a day to experience a break from our work or studies. It is a day to commemorate the birth of our Lord. While Christmas experiences many assaults in our modern day, the holiness and spiritual reality of the day cannot be drowned out. Let us hold fast to the real meaning of Christmas: the day that the God who " loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting" sent His Son into the world. May the peace of the Christ Child be with you and yours this Christmastide.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dying Spain

I was watching DW-TV the other night (DW-TV is a German international news channel) and saw a report on the dwindling birth rate of modern Spaniards. While Spain is certainly not alone in Europe when it comes to low birth rates, the situation in Spain is especially severe. The government plans on giving couples €2,500 for each child born. What exactly brought about the situation whereby the Spanish government has to effectively bribe couples to have children?

The problem lies within modern Spanish culture (this problem is not just present in Spanish culture, but European culture at large). Spain is aborting and contracepting itself into oblivion. Spanish couples are choosing to ignore one of the two characteristics of marriage: procreation (the other being an institution designed to help each spouse help the other spouse get to heaven). One couple interviewed in the DW report especially caught my attention. This couple had no children, despite being visibly in their late forties (at the very least). The wife talked all about how expensive children are, but also pointed out the fact that children make it very hard to do what one wants to do in life--in other words children put a damper on one's social life. The husband said that he found children to be an unbearable burden and saw absolutely no reason to ever have children. I found myself thinking: "Hey buddy, you were a child once too. Good thing your parents didn't think that you were an 'unbearable burden.' "

The problem is this: married couples in Spain, Europe at large, America, and pretty much everywhere in the "Christian" world are selfish--they care for nothing but their own narcissistic interests. They do not realize that children are a blessing from God, not a curse to be avoided. All children should be loved, cared for, and cherished. If you are not willing to have children, then don't get married and pervert the nature of marriage.

I don't have children of my own, but I look forward to the day (God willing) when I find a wife of my own and start a (large!) family. I realize how important children are to the world: without children, the human race will die out.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Baseball's Tarnished Image

With finals over I now have a little free time on my hands (well, perhaps more than a little), and I thought it was high time I made a post. This time I'd like to write (briefly) on a subject matter I've never covered before: baseball.

The Mitchell Report on the use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones in Major League Baseball was released on December 13, 2007. The report names 89 Major League players alleged to have used performance enhancing drugs to improve their baseball skills. Among such players are Barry Bonds (surprised?), Roger Clemens, Miguel Tejada, and Jason Giambi (who has admitted to using steroids). The report, which is over 400 pages long, casts a dark shadow on the integrity of the great and noble sport of baseball.

It is my opinion that those players who are found to have used any performance enhancing drugs at any time during their careers should have their official records stricken, and all awards and honors stripped. If one cheats to achieve his greatness, he really isn't great at all.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Pakistan in Crisis

On November 3, President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency in his country. He arrested Pakistan's Supreme Court judges and suspended Pakistan's constitution. A very brief synopsis of the events which led to this action are in order.

Musharraf was re-elected in Pakistan's presidential election in October. As he was running for president he was also the acting head of Pakistan's military. The Pakistani Supreme Court declared that it would decide if Musharraf was constitutionally able to run for president due to his position as head of the Pakistani military, opening up the possibility for another election in January of next year.

When one puts aside the various reasons Musharraf gave for suspending the constitution and for declaring a state of emergency (the full text of his speech can be found here), one has to admire Musharraf's efforts at power-grabbing; he saw a threat to his power and sought to eliminate that threat. The Machiavellian in me is screaming with pride for this man, but what really bothers me is the international reaction to Musharraf's actions, especially America's reaction.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice responded to the events in Pakistan as follows: "The U.S. has made very clear that it does not support extra-constitutional measures as they would take Pakistan away from the path of democracy and civilian rule." White House National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe stated that: "President Musharraf needs to stand by his pledges to have free and fair elections in January and step down as chief of army staff before retaking the presidential oath of office" (original quotes can be found here).

Who is the United States to dictate to other nations what it's leaders can and cannot do? Who gave us the authority to dictate to other nations that they must adopt democratic forms of government? Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies stated today on MSNBC's political-news program Tucker that it is better for the U.S. to have pro-Western leaders through non-democratic processes than anti-Western leaders through democratic processes. I think this statement is very telling: those within political circles and intelligentsia in America, the very proponents of the unending value of American style freedom and democracy, don't really care about democracy; these same leaders only care about having pro-American leaders controlling world governments. It isn't about democracy people, it's about having a world that bows down to the whims of the United States. A friend of mine said the other day that "America's dream is the world's nightmare." I think she was right.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Our Beloved Kaiser

I found this video of the Kaiser the other day while searching on YouTube. What is remarkable about this video is that he is speaking in English, and the audio quality is so great (apparently this clip came from an interview during his exile sometime after the Great War). I once heard a very poor quality audio clip of the Kaiser speaking German, but it was very hard to understand. This clip makes his seem a little more real to me. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Poor Old Ostrich

I was perusing YouTube the other night and came across this video from Blackadder. I remember my Modern Britain professor showing us this episode during class (he was a big Blackadder fan). I thought I would embed this video here; it's funny, yes, but it also has a glimmer of truth in it. The point Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) makes about British and German imperialism is quite true. I wonder how many Britons actually had these thoughts back then.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Patriotism In Germany

The above picture portrays the stereotypical German woman patriotically singing the German national anthem at a World Cup competition. What is different with this picture than in any other nation where its people express their love for their country? The fact that many Germans feel somehow dirty showing their love of their country. This becomes especially true when singing the national anthem, Das Deutschlandlied.

Das Deutschlandlied, or the Germany Song, was written by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841 and put to the tune of the Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser by Josef Hayden. Das Deutschlandlied became popular during the Imperial period in Germany, especially during the First World War; it was often sung by soldiers marching off to war. The opening lines Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, über alles in der Welt (Germany, Germany above all, above all in the world) has often been misinterpreted by non-Germans, and even by some Germans themselves. This is exacerbated by the Nazi Party's past use of Das Deutschlandlied. Even when the Nazis used the song, the Germans did not mean that Germany was above everything else in the world, but that the Germans placed their nation above other concerns, such as regional identification (i.e. Bavarians, Prussians, etc.).

While one can certainly understand why modern Germans are hesitant to sing their national anthem (which, by the way, consists of only the third stanza of Das Deutschlandlied), it is time for the Germans to start taking pride in their heritage, time for the Germans to be proud of what they have accomplished since their Nazi past (even though they have not yet restored the monarchy). Time to let those immortal words ring loud and clear. (Below I have embedded a video I found on YouTube of the anthem being sung against images from Germany).

(Note: This post has been renamed from its original title of "Nationalism in Germany" to better reflect my intent.)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Ten Years Later

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Diana Spencer, the ex-Princess of Wales. When she died I was only 16 and not a monarchist. I do however remember thinking that people were overreacting to her death. When Mother Teresa of Calcutta died shortly thereafter, I was deeply angered how her death was overshadowed by Diana; when people did happen to talk about Mother Teresa, they would compare her to Diana. An ex-princess and adulteress is comparable to a living saint?

Now ten years later and a monarchist, my views of Diana have not changed much. The British people, and indeed the whole world, entered into a kind of mass hysteria at her death. She was supposedly the "people's princess," yet more than any other member of the British royal family--to steal a line from the movie The Queen--seemed bent on destroying what the royal family had; that family gave everything to her and she threw it back in their faces. Diana was always an awkward Princess of Wales; she never knew how to function properly within a thousand-yer-old institution. Would Charles have been better off had he never married Diana? I personally think so.

Diana Spencer was a human being, and her death a tragedy. But she was also not a good Princess of Wales, always seeking the spotlight, always drawing attention away from her Sovereign and mother-in-law the Queen. The royal wedding may have been a fairy tale come true, but the marriage was not. Ten years later it's time to let the dead rest, and leave the past in the past.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ich Habe Es Nicht Gewollt

This month marks the 93rd anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The Great War, as some still call it, was one of unparalleled destruction and led to great changes in the political sphere in Europe as it was known. The borders of countries were re-drawn, monarchs were deposed, and republicanism was figuratively shoved down the throats of millions of citizens.

One of the great lies of the Great War was that it was conjured up by an aggressive Germany with its warmongering and blood-thirsty monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II. While a complex and thorough analysis of the causes of the war is not possible within this medium, suffice it to say that the European community had known for decades before 1914 that war was coming, some thinking it was inevitable; it was only a matter of where and when war would break out. Despite this mentality, the Kaiser was the only leader who sought to keep the peace after Serbia met Austria-Hungary's demands, and once war did break out was the only leader seriously committed to bringing about a peaceful solution.

There is a maxim: history is written by the victors. Great Britain and the United States won the First World War and thus got to write the history of the war. Certain inconvenient truths were left out of popular renderings of the war, especially about the Kaiser. And so I end with the caption of the beautiful painting of the Kaiser posted above: Ich habe es nicht gewollt--I did not want this.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"It's Good to be the Pope"

Mel Brook's portrayal of King Louis XVI in the movie History of the World, Part I frequently commented "It's good to be the king." So, can His Holiness apply this line to himself: "It's good to be the Pope?" My contention is that it is not "good to be the Pope;" the Holy Father is surrounded by enemies, both within and without the Church.

It is now two weeks removed from the publication of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum granting larger use of the Traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII. The response has been mixed. Traditionalists like myself are enthusiastically grateful, and the SSPX is hopeful. The response of the world's bishops has been mixed. Some state that they will set the standards for the use of the Traditional Latin Mass (henceforth TLM) by making sure their priests are "sufficiently well versed" in the Latin language before they can say the TLM--I must point out that all priests are required by Canon Law to be sufficiently well versed in Latin anyway, but that our bishops have failed in their duties to enforce the study of Latin in their seminaries.

Then there was this response from Bishop Luca Brandolini of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo: "I can't fight back the tears. This is the saddest moment in my life as a man, priest and bishop. It's a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the Church, has now been cancelled." I can't seem to understand this opposition to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it was celebrated for centuries. Priests can now say Mass in a different form, a form that was common for centuries. When Paul VI issued liturgical reforms in the 1970s, he did not invalidate the TLM. Mass is Mass, and when said validly by a validly ordained priest, the second Person of the Holy Trinity makes Himself physically present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the bread and wine; they cease to be bread and wine and become Jesus Christ Himself. Why would a priest re-creating the sacrifice on Calvary be cause for a bishop to "fight back the tears?" He is afraid that the Second Vatican Council has been cancelled by the actions of Benedict. Why I ask? I think the good bishop may be a victim of a mentality all too common in the post Vatican II era: living under the notion that one can forget almost 2000 years of Church history and operate under the idea that nothing that really mattered happened before Vatican II. For many within the Church Vatican II has become a sort of an idol. Not to say that this setting up of idols does not exist within traditionalist circles, but this Vatican II "worship" seems to be a major source of confusion and strife within the Church today.

Catholics like Bishop Brandolini weren't the only ones displeased with Summorum Pontificum; certain Jewish groups were also "disturbed." The Anti-Defamation League views the Holy Father's actions granting larger use of the TLM--specifically including the Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews--as "a theological setback in the religious life of Catholics and a body blow to Catholic-Jewish relations, after 40 years of progress between the Church and the Jewish people." This is the text of the Good Friday prayer for the Jews according the the Missal of John XXIII:

Let us pray also for the Jews: that our God and Lord may remove the veil from their hearts; that they also may acknowledge Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray. Almighty and Eternal God, Who dost not exclude from Thy mercy even the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of Thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all endless ages. Amen.

John XXIII in his Missal removed the Latin word perfidis (meaning faithless) in reference to the Jews. Now it seems that the ADL is offended that Catholics are praying for their conversion, that their "blindness" would be removed. It is the perennial teaching of the Church that God wills the salvation of all men. It is our duty as Catholics to pray for the conversion of all men, and so we do in the TLM Good Friday prayers, not only for the Jews but for schismatics, heretics, and pagans.

The Holy Father faces opposition to his beneficent actions regarding the TLM both within and without the Church. His enemies seem to surround him. Let me once again invoke prayers for our good Pope:

Orémus pro beatíssimo Papa nostro Benedicto. Dóminus consérvet eum, et vivíficet eum, et beátum fáciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in ánimam inimicórum ejus.--Let us pray for our most blessed Pope Benedict. The Lord preserve him and keep him alive, that he may be blessed upon earth ; and deliver not thou him into the will of his enemies.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Summorum Pontificum

The Holy Father published the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum given Motu Proprio yesterday. This Apostolic Letter gives priests of the Latin Rite the permission to say the Traditional Latin Mass according to the Missal published by Blessed Pope John XXIII in 1962 without needing permission from their local bishop. It also lays down generous stipulations for the celebration of the traditional Latin Mass with the lay faithful who request it (the official Latin edition is available here; the unofficial English translation is available from Rorate Caeli here).

I have refrained from commenting on this matter; stories of the Letter's publishing have been circulating in the media and on the Internet for over a year. Now that it has been officially published, I wanted to comment on it. While I am not qualified to interpret the content of the Letter in depth, I do want to express my gratitude to the Holy Father for his faithful and generous care of his Traditional flock. I do predict that this will be a great boon to the Traditional cause. I have had my doubts about Benedict's papacy so far, but he has come through for Traditionalists with this Letter. Obviously he knows what he is doing.

Orémus pro beatíssimo Papa nostro Benedicto. Dóminus consérvet eum, et vivíficet eum, et beátum fáciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in ánimam inimicórum ejus.--Let us pray for our most blessed Pope Benedict. The Lord preserve him and keep him alive, that he may be blessed upon earth ; and deliver not thou him into the will of his enemies.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Fourth of July

As a monarchist I always feel conflicted on the Fourth of July, the day we Americans celebrate our independence from Great Britain. I feel conflicted because I do not believe we--I say we as if I had any say in the matter--should ever have declared independence from Britain. The colonists didn't have it so bad, and besides, the war of Rebellion (also known as the Revolutionary War) was not then nor could be now justified under the Catholic just war doctrine.

With that said, the 4th is a popular holiday here in America. It's a time for friends and family, barbecues, and fireworks. Who doesn't like these things? So I usually find myself partaking in certain parts of the holiday while maintaining a spirit of disapproval of why we are celebrating. So if you're an American monarchist and you find yourself in a Fourth of July celebration, make a toast to King George III and his successor Elizabeth II--our ancestors never knew they had it so good.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Novus Ordo Mentality

The father of a long time friend died late last month, and I attended his "memorial" service shortly thereafter. My friend's father was Catholic, and so naturally his service was a Catholic one. It wasn't a Mass, but I thought I knew what I was going to experience due to my previous experiences at Novus Ordo Masses (for new readers, I converted to Catholicism 11 years ago in a Novus Ordo parish and made the move 4 years ago to an indult Latin Mass community). It turns out I wasn't prepared for what I was about to experience.

When I showed up at the small church, I remarked just how loud it was. Everyone was sitting in the pews visiting loudly--and by loudly I mean very loudly. It reminded me of the noise level in a school gymnasium before an assembly or basketball game. Churches are a place of prayer and worship, not socialization. I was so struck by people's lack of respect for the house of God, and for God Himself present in the tabernacle.

As I went to my pew, I genuflected, made the sign of the cross, and knelt in prayer. I observed no other person doing the same. Here we were at the memorial service of a dead man, and no one prayed privately for the repose of his soul.

The service was full of the cliched Novus Ordo "hymns" such as "Be Not Afraid," "We Will Run and not Grow Weary," and the classic funeral song "On Eagle's Wings." No Gregorian chant, in fact no Latin at all. The priest's vestments were white--no black at this service. The prayers were such that it seemed as if it was beyond doubt that this dead man was indeed in Heaven--I thought only the Pope could canonize people?

Then I was thrown a curveball--instead of the priest giving the sermon, a nun (of course without habit, or anything at all indicating she was indeed a nun) got up and gave the sermon. It was at this point that I got up to leave, but I must admit my motives were not entirely based on my disgust at a nun giving a sermon--I really had to use the restroom.

The service ended eventually--short for a Catholic ceremony but not short enough for this Traditionalist. As the attendees left the church, again no one genuflected as he left. I think I was also the only one to bless himself with holy water on his way out.

The service was so poor, so lacking in reverance, so liturgically abusive (the nun giving the sermon) that instead of thinking about my good friend's dead father, all I could think about was the service getting over. When the Church's ceremonies fail to lift up the heart's of the faithful, to give them a glimpse of Heaven, it is time to re-evaluate those same ceremonies--long past time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Gideons

The Gideons were on my school campus the other day passing out Bibles. I have to admit that I've always admired the Gideons, even though they are Protestants. They have touched the lives of countless people by passing out free copies of the New Testament/Psalms/Proverbs to strangers. Go to any hotel room or hospital room and you'll likely find a Gideon Bible. Even in Catholic hospitals the Bibles in each room are most likely from the Gideons. They have such a remarkable presence. It got me thinking that it is too bad there are no Catholic fraternal organizations that do the kind of work the Gideons do. If there are, these Catholic fraternal organizations certainly do not have the presence that the Gideons have. It's unfortunate, but sometimes Protestants are better Catholics than we Catholics. As far as spreading the "Good News," the Gideons have done a better job recently than we have.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's visit to the United States is over, and I find myself compelled to write a post on her. I would like to focus on Her Majesty herself, not her visit in particular.

Regular readers of my blog know that I have a very schizophrenic relationship with the British. Sometimes I love them, other times I hate them. I admire their history and cultural traditions, and greatly respect their monarchy, but I cannot help but despise them for their anti-Catholic and anti-German history. I suppose I am very much like Kaiser Wilhelm II in my relationship with the British: I'm partially British myself (like the Kaiser), I look-up to them, but grow so angry at them for their arrogance in world affairs throughout history.

With that being said, I find myself in love with the Queen more than ever. She was covered very favorably in the American press during her visit, and I found myself wishing I was among the many in the crowds who flocked to catch a ten second glimpse of her. I was jealous of President Bush, a man who--I can only assume--cares nothing for monarchy or monarchs, because of the time he got to spend with the Queen.

Even though it came out a couple of weeks ago, I bought a copy of The Queen on Friday. I have written about this movie before, but after having watched it again I find my respect and admiration for Her Majesty to have increased. What is it about this 81-year-old woman that I find so irresistible?

The Queen is dignified, graceful, poised, dutiful. She is the physical embodiment of all that is Britain; the Queen is Britannia and Britannia is the Queen. The British people have someone to look-up to, someone who transcends party politics. We Americans have nothing like that. I hope my British readers realize just how fortunate they are.

Despite 200 plus years of separation from England, the conduct of Americans during Her Majesty's recent visit prove that we are still fascinated by royalty. I think that says something about Her Majesty's power, and indeed the power of a monarchy in general.

Again I ask the question: What is it about this 81-year-old woman that I find so irresistible? I'd like to offer a quote from the movie The Queen: "At the end of the day, Labour ministers always go gaga over the queen." Although I am not now nor have I ever been a member of the Labour Party, I am guilty as charged. God save the Queen!

Friday, April 27, 2007

My Ideal Monarchy

, I know that some of my readers have remarked on the fact that I have not updated in a while, and others are patiently awaiting the next. After a hiatus of over a year I returned to school earlier this month, so anyone who has been to college knows that sometimes we college students just don't have a lot of free time (in my case it's a mix of lack of free time and procrastination). So, here we go.

I have been asked both directly and indirectly what type of monarchy I would like to see, so I thought that I would write on my ideal type of monarchy. My ideal monarchy is a hypothetical one, never before having existed exactly like my ideal but borrowing aspects from pre-existing monarchies. Note: as I am still quite a young monarchist and my views are still evolving, some of the particulars of my views are subject to change based on wisdom and/or age.

My ideal monarchy would mix a constitutional monarchy and an absolutist monarchy. The kingdom would have a constitution declaring the form of government, the rules for succession, standards for holding the office of king, and some general laws that cannot be changed.

Let's start with the form of government. The government would consist of the king and a high council, along with a system of courts made up of judges appointed by the king. The king would have nearly absolute legislative, executive, and judicial powers. The only limits on his power would be the power to declare war (he would need the approval of the high council--some sort of majority would suffice, such as a 2/3 majority approval--as well as approval from the Church as to the war's morality under the Catholic Just War doctrine) and the inability to change or violate a law set forth in the constitution. He would also have the power to override any ruling made by one of his judges (think of the king as the Supreme Court). The judges would be in place to see the king's justice served, and the king would be the ultimate arbiter of justice within his realm.

The government would also have a high council. This council would be made up of a small number of Catholic men only (some symbolic number such as seven or twelve comes to mind--I personally think seven better for the smaller number). This council would primarily act as an advisory council to the king, giving him advice on all maters pertaining to the government. The men on this council would be appointed for life by the king. Each member of the council would be given the noble title of Lord (so as to distinguish them from inherited titles such as duke and count). Each lord would serve for life or until he wishes to retire. The king would "inherit" the lords of his predecessor; he would not have the power to dismiss any lord on the council but would have the power to appoint new lords once an opening becomes available. The council would have the power to approve a declaration of war (as stated above with something like a 2/3 majority). The council would also have the power to veto any law made by the king which was declared by competent Church authorities to be immoral, or violating the rights and freedoms of the Church.

Now let's move on to the rules for succession. The monarchy would be an hereditary monarchy along the male line only. This would be within the tradition of the continental European monarchies which were male-only. Although St. Thomas Aquinas thought that women, while being unfit for spiritual rule are fit for temporal rule, I prefer a male-only reigning monarchy. Because a monarchy mirrors the "government" of heaven as well as the human family, I deem it most prudent to exclude women from ascending the throne. Since men are the head of their households just as Christ is head of the Church, I think it makes the most sense for the reigning monarch to be a man. If the king does not have any legitimate male heirs, the crown would pass on his death to his closest male kin (brother, male cousin, nephew). If he had a grandson at the time of his death, the crown would pass to the grandson. If the king has no close male kin, the high council would rule until one of the king's daughters produced a male heir. The council would also rule in regency in the case of a successor being under the age of majority (based on Catholic Canon Law of marriage, currently at 16 for men). Any child of the king (male or female) who leaves the Catholic faith would be stripped of all royal titles and any issue from such a child married outside the Catholic Church would be declared unfit for either royal title or succession.

The constitution would also have standards for the office of king. The throne, as stated above, can only be succeeded by a man. This man must also necessarily be a Catholic in good standing with the Church. Indeed, an heir can be declared unfit for succession if he is not a good Catholic, and any king who becomes an obstinate heretic or unrepentant public sinner can and must be removed from office. Similarly the king can and must be removed from office upon any excommunication from competent Church authorities, unless the king were to repent and be fully accepted back into the Church. The king must also work very closely with the Church in regards to issues of morality. He must have a religious advisor (a priest or bishop), appointed by the pope or the local bishop. This last rule would be to ensure the Church's influence over the monarchy.

Lastly, the constitution would set forth certain laws which would be unchangeable. Some laws would pertain to the sanctity of human life from conception until natural death. These laws would make abortion, contraception, euthanasia, human cloning, etc. illegal in perpetuity, as well as any other medical procedure or technology that violates the sanctity of human life. Other laws would be set forth to protect the rights and freedoms of the Catholic Church, overriding any law that infringed upon the rights thereof. There would also be constitutional laws requiring the king to enforce censorship of the media, making pornography illegal, as well as slander, libel, detraction, and anything else deemed to be harmful to society. The constitution would also declare Catholicism to be the official state religion, but participation in and union with the Church would not be mandatory for citizens within the kingdom. The king would, however, have the duty to suppress any religion deemed harmful to society (e.g. Satanism, Wicca, paganism, Islam, etc.).

Thus is my ideal monarchy. Will my views change in the future? Perhaps they will; I may change a detail here and there, but I think the foundation within this vision will essentially remain constant.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Four Years Later

Tomorrow, March 20 marks the fourth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. To mark this event, I have embedded a video of Marlene Dietrich singing the famous song Where Have All the Flowers Gone? written by Pete Seeger. I thought this to be especially appropriate for this unjust and immoral war in which so many have died.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Prospects for a Catholic Monarchy
in the Modern World

As regular readers (or even the occasional reader) of my blog know, I am a traditional Catholic monarchist, and support the restoration of traditional monarchies in Europe or the establishment of entirely new monarchies where none have existed or it is impractical to restore a defunct monarchy. But what are the prospects for a monarchy in the modern world, in particular a Catholic monarchy? I have asked myself this question many times, and although it is not an impossible task, it is a daunting one.

One reason for the daunting nature of this task is modern conceptions of human rights. How the modern world now defines human rights in many ways is in direct contradiction to what many of us monarchists would like to see.

Point one: the modern definition of democracy as a human right. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights' website has this to say about democracy: "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the General Assembly in 1948, elaborated on this original commitment to democracy by proclaiming that 'the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government' and guaranteeing to everyone the rights that are essential for effective political participation. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the Assembly in 1966, conferred binding legal status on the right of individuals to participate in the processes that constitute the conduct of public affairs, and further strengthened the protection accorded to participatory rights and freedoms" (quote found here). Many Catholic monarchists (although by no means all) subscribe to the Catholic version of absolutist monarchy, whereby the monarchy has near absolute governmental powers. How can such a monarchy be established in the face of such world-wide approval of popular participation in government? My personal view is that when a government gives the people the right to participate in government, such a government naturally evolves into immorality; when the people get to define what is lawful and what is not, the natural sinful nature of man tends to kick in and what is immoral is eventually defined as a right (i.e. pornography, homosexual marriage, abortion, etc.). When a Catholic monarch (guided by the Church) has near absolute governmental powers he determines what is lawful and what is not, regardless of the "will of the people." The king is the father of his people, and he must do what is right for his children even if they don't like it. With democracy ingrained upon the minds of the world's population as a human right, to form a system of government which is the direct antithesis of democracy is most assuredly an uphill struggle.

Point two: the modern definition of "reproductive rights of women" as a human right. On the website of the Division for the Advancement of Women of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, I found the following declarations from the Forth World Conference on Women (Beijing, China - 1995): "17. The explicit recognition and reaffirmation of the right of all women to control all aspects of their health, in particular their own fertility, is basic to their empowerment;" and "30. Ensure equal access to and equal treatment of women and men in education and health care and enhance women's sexual and reproductive health as well as education;" (full declaration found here). If women have the human right to control all aspects of their fertility, they have the right to use contraception and the right to have an abortion. One of the functions of a Catholic monarchy is to uphold the Church's teachings within secular law; the Church defines what is moral and immoral and the king upholds this in the secular sphere (to a point; I do not believe, for example, that fornication should be illegal, but fully believe it to be a mortal sin). It follows that a Catholic monarch must uphold the Church's teachings on the dignity of human life and make all forms of abortion and contraception illegal within his realm. Just like democracy, with contraception and abortion ingrained into the minds of the world's population as a human right, the formation of a Catholic monarchy where such murderous practices are illegal would face international opposition.

In conclusion, the formation of a Catholic monarchy--either the restoration of a defunct monarchy or the establishment of a new one--within the modern world is a daunting task. I must point out that while a difficult task, it is not an impossible one. "With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible" (St. Matthew, 19:26).

Friday, March 09, 2007

Sean Hannity's Catholicism

While eating dinner literally minutes ago, I was channel surfing the news shows (as there is nothing else on at this time of the day) and saw on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes that a priest would be on the show urging Sean Hannity to repent. As I have been a critic of Hannity for a while now I thought I'd actually watch the segment (I usually can't stand to watch or listen to Hannity because of his unwavering neo-conservative views--even when they contradict his faith, i.e. the Iraq War and abortion).

The priest-guest on the program was Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Human Life International. He was invited on the show in response to an article he wrote about some of Sean's comments last week apologizing for accidentally eating meat on Friday (Hannity forgot it was Friday and stopped eating when he realized his mistake). The article can be found on Human Life International's website here. Fr. Euteneuer criticizes Hannity for his rejecting the Church's teaching on contraception. I would add the additional criticism that Hannity also does not accept the Church's teaching on abortion (he stated once that he supports abortion in cases of rape and incest because those women did not choose to become pregnant, while a woman who had sex of her own volition has the responsibility to face up to her choices and have the baby). Obviously Hannity didn't like to be criticized, and sought to fight with the priest on his TV show. Hannity tried to shift attention to the Church hierarchy covering up the sex scandals (what has this to do with Hannity's rejection of Church teaching on contraception?). Fr. Euteneuer, during the course of the program called Hannity a heretic, and when asked if he would deny Hannity Communion in his parish, Euteneuer responded: "Yes."

Fr. Euteneuer is absolutely correct in his assessment of Sean Hannity. He is a public figure who proclaims to be a devout Catholic yet rejects some of the Church's most important teachings regarding human life (contraception, abortion, Just War). Hannity is not a Catholic in good standing with the Church just like John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy. Whether a public figure is politically liberal or conservative, if that person is a Catholic and does not accept the teachings of the Catholic Church in their totality and even goes so far as to publicly reject those teachings, that person is a public sinner and should be denied all sacraments until sacramental confession takes place along with a public repudiation of previous statements rejecting Church teaching.

Within the Church, we used to have a word for public figures who publicly reject Church teaching, a word that's not used very often but should be brought back in full force, a word which Fr. Euteneuer used with Sean Hannity: heretic. If only the Church had more priests like Fr. Euteneuer who would publicly step up and use that word and deny Communion to public sinners like Sean Hannity, the Church would be in a much better state.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Prince Harry in Harm's Way

Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales--the third person in line to the British throne--will soon be heading to Iraq with his military unit. If you have read my previous posts about the Iraqi War, you know my beliefs on this matter (if you haven't, I'm against the war and support a full troop withdrawal). The purpose of this post is not to debate the war itself, but the British governmental system that is sending a member--and an important one at that--of the Royal Family to serve in this war.

One of the powers the Queen of England currently retains is the power to declare war and emergency. While I am not privy to the Queen's personal feelings about the Iraqi War, I do know that the war is not the Queen's but the Prime Minister's. Prime Minister Tony Blair chose to act against the opinion of the majority of British people and back U.S. President George Bush in the war. The war has become so unpopular in Britain that Blair is leaving office early due in part to his commitment to the war. While it is the right of the Queen to declare war, the Prime Minister has taken that right upon himself de facto if not de jure. The British monarchy has become so emasculated by Parliament that it serves little purpose in governmental affairs save those which are ceremonial. As was stated by a reporter for the BBC in a recent report, the British Royal Family will now have a much more personal stake in the war than any of the elected members who committed that nation to the war in the first place. I truly hope the British monarchy will once again regain its rightful governmental powers.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Party Politics
The majority of the American public is opposed to the war in Iraq. The majority of the American public opposes President Bush's proposal to drastically increase the number of troops in Iraq. The American people voted the Democrats into majority power in both the House of Representatives and the Senate with a mandate to end the war (or at least to stop the way the war is currently being prosecuted). So what has changed about the war? Nothing, unless you consider more or our servicemen dying in a foreign land.

Most Representatives and Senators publicly either oppose the war or oppose Bush's troop increase (or is that escalation? surge? Such bandying of words tends to make it hard for me to remember what words I am supposed to use). But of course not much has happened. Several "resolutions" have been back and forth in our government, opposing the troop increase, making a non-binding statement about our lawmakers disapproval about what is increasingly becoming "Bush's War", even proposals to de-fund the war have been considered. So why has nothing happened?

The truth is that our lawmakers are doing what they do best: play politics. No lawmaker wants to appear to in any way disparage "the troops" (a large voting block with a large voting block that has an almost quasi-religious devotion to the military), so they don't want to de-fund the war so as to appear to be unsupportive of our military in harm's way. But do our lawmakers really truly care about our troops? I think not. They are debating, discussing, arguing, considering, and proposing while our men die in Iraq. If our lawmakers truly cared for our troops, they'd cut off all funds for the war and demand a complete and immediate withdrawal. The bitter truth is that our lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats are more concerned with their own political careers than with the lives of our servicemen. They are playing party politics.

Perhaps if we had a monarch who is above party politics we would not be in the tragic position we find ourselves in.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why I am a German Monarchist

As a traditional Catholic, I've gotten some flack in the past for my Germanophile views. It is usually assumed that as a traditional Catholic, I'd be an Austrophile and support the restoration of the Holy Roman Empire. While I admire the Austrian monarchy and would love to see the HRE restored, I am at heart a Germanophile. It is not Austrian blood that flows through my veins, but German blood (and for the record, no I am not a Nazi). The Holy Roman Empire was disbanded in 1806 by Emperor Francis II (Francis I of Austria), and 65 years later the German Empire was formed with the Hohenzollerns ruling as emperors. It is this Empire that I admire above all others, and it is this Empire that I truly wish to see restored.

So why would I, a Catholic, favor a Protestant dynasty over a Catholic one (the Hohenzollerns were Lutherans, the Habsburgs Catholic)? For one, the Hohenzollerns were German, the Habsburgs were Austrians--although many would not make a distinction between the two, I do. I am of partial German ancestry, I studied in Germany, I love the German culture, and it seems natural that I would take more of an interest in German history and monarchs over Austrian ones. But why do I love Germany so much? For the same reason I prefer blue-eyed women over brown-eyed women: I just do. I cannot explain why I like blue-eyed women more than brown-eyed women, and neither can I explain why I inherently prefer Germany over other cultures; I just do. As far as religion goes, I would ask a traditional Catholic monarchist why he admires the British monarchy. Starting with Henry VIII, England has a rather horrid track record of persecution of the one true Faith. How could a Catholic admire the successor of such a terrible dynasty of hatred and persecution? The truth is that Elizabeth II is no more culpable for the sins of her fathers than was Wilhelm II culpable for the Kulturkampf instigated by Bismarck.

I love Germany and the Imperial German monarchy for the same reason I love blue eyes: that is my inherent attraction. But as a monarchist, I admire and respect all monarchies regardless of their varied histories. Because all authority emanates from God, when a man shows respect to a monarch, he shows respect to God Himself.