Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Military Service

I recently received a question from a reader:  "Giving the circumstances that we're living today in the United States, do you believe that a traditionalist catholic monarchist can join the Armed Forces, more precisely the Marine Corps?"  I thought that my response warranted a post due to the complexity of the question.

Firstly, I must remind my readers that I served in the Army National Guard as an Officer Candidate for about a year-and-a-half almost ten years ago (I was injured in the line of duty--non-combat related--and was subsequently given a medical discharge from the service).  When I joined I was a neo-conservative Republican, and did not have my present monarchist views.  It was during my service that I heavily developed my current political views (although I believe I have always been somewhat of a monarchist due to interest in royalty from a young age).  Would I serve in the U.S. military now as a Traditional Catholic monarchist?  Absolutely not.

From a political standpoint, I would have to swear to uphold the constitution of the United States.  That constitution is a republican (read that again--republican with a small "r") constitution.  I do not believe in the efficacy of republics, nor do I believe that this republic should ever have been established.  How could I swear before God (although a recruit does have the option of not invoking God's name in his oath) that I would uphold something in which I do not believe?  The U.S. military has also become the self-appointed world police, meddling in other nations' affairs with or without any legitimate American interest.  We talk a lot about spreading freedom and democracy around the world  (a favorite phrase of neo-conservatives from the Bush era wars).  Would a monarchist really want that?  At least not the American version of "freedom and democracy." 

Looking at the military itself, this nation's military isn't the same military in which I served.  When I was in the Guard the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was in full force.  Now homosexuals can openly serve without repercussions.  A Traditional Catholic would have to ask himself if he feels comfortable serving in close quarters (i.e. sleeping, showering) with open homosexuals.  I don't think the military is any more filled with gays than the general population, but it is a possibility that a new recruit might serve with a homosexual or two.  Our culture is extremely tolerant of homosexuality, so for young people (even young Catholics) this may not prove a stumbling-block, but it's at least something to think about.

From a moral standpoint, you would be serving to defend the U.S. and its way of life.  What about our nation and our culture is worth killing and dying for?  We are a nation that kills its own unborn children for the crime of being conceived under less-than ideal circumstances (and in many cases just because they are unwanted).  We are a nation that is increasingly perverting the institution of marriage by trying to redefine marriage as a union between any two people, even two homosexuals.  We are a nation that is increasingly losing any sense of right and wrong, good and bad, grace and sin.  I don't see much in our culture that is worth dying for, far less worth killing for. 

The military is ultimately led by our elected president.  Our current president, Barack Obama, is an enemy of God's Holy Catholic Church.  He seeks to put limits on our religious freedom by requiring Catholic institutions to provide contraception and abortofacient drugs to its employees or be fined.  I would not serve under this man.

I am not a priest nor a theologian.  If you are seriously considering joining any branch of the U.S. military I would suggest that you consult with a good priest-confessor and express your questions and concerns about joining the service.  I am not in a position to give you spiritual advice, but I can say that if it were me there is nothing that would compel me to serve in this nation's military again.

Monday, November 05, 2012

On Election Eve

I posted a similar entry a few years ago before an election, and it's been a while since my last post, so I thought I'd better post away.

I look upon the country on this evening before a presidential election.  My home state of Washington votes entirely by mail-in ballot, so I have already voted.  I voted for Mitt Romney--reluctantly.  I was very leery of voting for a Mormon (Mormonism is not a Christian denomination, despite their supposed belief in Jesus Christ--their belief in God and His only begotten Son is so far removed from acceptable Christian belief that it amounts to a pagan religion), and I am not totally convinced of the sincerity of his pro-life views.  But his opponent Barack Obama is the most pro-abortion president America has ever had, and an enemy to the Holy Catholic Church (by his repression of the Church's freedoms under his health care law), so I voted for, as Fr. Zuhlsdorf said in one of his posts, the most conservative guy who has a chance of winning.  I don't like Romney, but I like the prospects of another four years under Obama far, far less.

In my home state of Washington, we have a measure on the ballot that would legalize gay marriage.  The government can do whatever it wants, define marriage however it wants, but that won't change the reality that marriage is a sacred bond ordained by God Himself between one man and one woman.  I as a Catholic of course voted to reject the measure, but unfortunately see the nation-wide legalization of gay marriage as inevitable.  If gay marriage becomes any more widespread, it is only a matter of time before someone wants to define it as a union between one man and two women, or three men or three women, or one woman and four men.  Hey, why not define it as a union between any two persons (such as a man and a pre-pubescent girl)?  Take God out of the equation and it all runs down hill from there.  It may seem appalling and outlandish to consider a grown man marrying a little girl, but it is only a matter of time (100 years ago the concept of gay marriage would have seemed outlandish).  Without God, there is no just law.

I don't think Obama (or the gay marriage crowd in my state) is the anti-Christ, and I don't think the end of the world will come the day after Obama is re-elected (if he is), but I'm not feeling well at all about the moral prospects of our nation or my state.  As Fr. Zuhlsdorf recently said on his blog, we may deserve as punishment for our sins the results we get in this election, but pray we get better than we deserve.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Freedom of Speech Gone Awry

Before I continue with this post, I warn my readers that the content of this post may be offensive to some of my more easily offended readers.  The language and content is adult in nature.  If you think you may be offended by this please do not read on.

Back in February several members of a Russian Feminist Punk rock band called Pussy Riot stormed into the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow wearing wearing ski masks (a picture of the band is above) and attempted to play a song protesting the presidency of Vladimir Putin.  The song was titled "Holy Shit."  While details are difficult to find [I originally found a detailed description of the events on Wikipedia that described the members of the group mocking the Agnus Dei (or rather the Russian equivalent of the Agnus Dei) and, if memory serves me right, compared Putin to a relation of Satan within the chant] but as of the writing of this post such details are missing from the Wikipedia site.  Readers who would like to see an actual recording of this event can follow this link on YouTube, but be forewarned that you may see related videos on the sidebar related to this topic that may contain nudity. The members involved in this event were recently convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred and sentenced to two years in prison.  The media and governments around the world have shown the all-too familiar shock at the harshness of the sentencing as well as the Russian government's encroachment upon freedom of speech.

This unfortunate even isn't about freedom of speech, it's about the violation of private property and civil decorum, not to mention blasphemy.  Citizens to do not have the right to storm into a church and desecrate the House of God by screaming vulgarities and blasphemies in the name of political protest.  If the members of Pussy Riot needed to do this, they could have done it from countless street corners, not from the altar of an Orthodox Church.  Is the punishment harsh?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  Freedom of speech has its limits, and they violated those limits.  It's time for the world to stop their belly aching in support of Pussy Riot and start standing up for the rights of Christians to worship in the privacy of their own churches without worrying about political dissenters storming in and causing a scene.  With the world's opposition to all that faithful Christians believe, I have a feeling that these kinds of events will become more widespread.  God help us against persecution!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Fate of the EU

Europe is on the edge of economic disaster due to the EU experiment.  Most of the media chooses to believe that the problem will be eventually fixed, but I believe the EU will fall.  It's nice to see a writer acknowledging that it can happen. (Original post here. My comments in red).

Europe is in more danger than at any time since the 1930s. One nationalist demagogue could cause an earthquake

By Thomas Pascoe July 13 3012

Ours is a complacent continent. Despite impending events that would have precipitated a revolution in almost any other place at almost any other time in history – either a collapse of the currency or the complete secession of budgetary control to a supra-natural body in the EU – we expect the fabric of European society to endure without major changes. I think we are wrong. (This is a fact many will not admit:  Europe is complacent and refuses to see the proverbial writing on the wall.)

There is a presumption of perpetual peace in Europe which rests in turn on a presumption of the perpetuity of our existing capital structures. Once the latter are undermined, the former is called into question. (Europeans think that with the creation of the EU war is a thing of the past in Europe--I think otherwise due to man's fallen human nature.)

The great wars of the secular age have all been fought between ideologies which seek to restructure the relationship between capital and the people. As popular support grows for such plans, Western Europe is entering its most dangerous phase since the 1930s.

As in the early 1930s, the decision on the fate of financial order on the continent rests with debtor countries who admit no guilt for their debt. And, once again, faith is being placed in the treaty system to maintain order. To push the analogy further, I believe that the dominant form of political organisation over the next decade will be nationalism. We are one charismatic leader away from a complete re-ordering of the continent. (Think of what a monarch or exiled royal could do to bring back monarchy to his people or strengthen the monarch.)

The problem with reparations, halted under the Nazi Party in 1933, was not that the Germans were unable to pay a debt which amounted to 83pc of GDP in 1923: on the contrary, they were (I recommend AJP Taylor’s Origins of the Second World War on this point). Instead, it was that neither Germany nor pre-Anschluss Austria recognised the "war guilt" clause in the Treaty of Versailles which justified such payments.

Not only did the debtors believe the debts unjust, so did the creditors. Sophisticated opinion in Britain, shared by Cabinet ministers and Keynes, held that the peace terms were unduly harsh on the Germans and would cause unnecessary deprivation. This combination of stubbornness and sympathy ensured that when debts eventually went unpaid, no nation intervened to support the existing financial system.

There is a parallel here with the contemporary debts of the Club Med states, although their debts are higher – and headed to 170pc of GDP, according to Fitch.
he striking feature of almost every dispatch from Greece, Italy (downgraded today by Moody’s), Spain and Portugal is that, irrespective of the commitments of the political class, the population at large feel no culpability for the debts their leaders have amassed. They are willing to endorse plans to pay these debts back only to the extent that such plans extend further credit and allow public sector wages to be paid.

There are two broad routes Europe can take from here.

Firstly, the nations of the eurozone agree to full fiscal union. “The train is on the tracks,” one senior European diplomat told me this week. “It cannot be stopped.” Under such a deal, the south would be bribed into swapping debt sharing for its fiscal autonomy. The electorates of the north would be railroaded by their politicians into accepting responsibility for debts they did not incur and peoples they do not share a deep bond with. (This would be the worst thing the Europeans could choose:  further relinquishment of national sovereignty.)

The second is that the eurozone falls apart under the weight of its internal contradictions. Individual sovereigns would now seek to redenominate eurozone paper into local currency but, even allowing for inflation and devaluation, the burden would still be onerous, particularly as new sources of credit would effectively be cut off once the ECB ceased to be. (A good reason to bring back the gold standard?)

In both circumstances, the obvious political development would appear to be the rise of nationalism, with its face set against the European project and international debt obligations.

Politicians in the modern era have sought to divide and rule. Because of the lack of an external enemy, appeals are made to sectional groups in the electorate at home – ethnic, sexual, religious or economic communities who are then set against other groups in their own nation.

This crisis will produce a window for a skilled politician to unite the entire country against its debt obligations, against international finance, just as the Fascist parties did in the 1930s. No matter which path the EU chooses, the loss of either national sovereignty or proper enforcement mechanisms through the EU gives rise to an opportunity for a nationalist politician willing to repudiate his nation’s debts and start again. (Perhaps the reader can interpret "nationalist" here to be a leader to puts the interests of his own nation first over that of other nations and leave behind the usual racist connotations ascribed to the term "nationalist.")

Ending reparations in 1933 did not cause a crisis in global finance. Germany defaulted on its payments to Britain, which in turn ceased to honour its debts to the United States. Each creditor was large enough to take the hit. Government debt in the modern era is different. The leverage used by banks trading secondary and derivative products means that for every €1 which, say, Greece owes, €100 is set to be lost if she were to default completely.

With leverage on such an irresponsible scale, all nations would be forced to re-examine the relationship between capital and individuals in the event of default, with all of the conflict and strife that would entail.

Europe is one demagogue away from causing an earthquake in global finance such that the current problems seem a tremor in comparison. If Silvio Berlusconi – the only truly populist politician the continent has produced in the last half a century – were 20 years younger, I fancy it would have been him. As it is, a great deal now depends on whether a man will emerge somewhere in Europe capable of pushing nervous and resentful electorates over the precipice to outright default.

I would not bet against it.

(Think of the possibilities if a royal were to stand against the economic integration and lead his people to national sovereignty!  We could just see the return of monarchies across Europe.  These leaders need not be demogogues, just charismatic and passionate leaders.  Is it likely?  I don't know, but I wouldn't rule it out.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Fourth of July

The above picture demonstrates how I spent my Fourth of July:  proudly flying the Union Jack for all the world to see (or at least everyone who happened to drive down the street on which I live).  It's rather odd being a monarchist in America on the Fourth of July.  I see the American flags everywhere, patriot sayings such as "God bless America" or "God bless our troops."  I can even hear from my house the fireworks display that my city puts on in our downtown.  For me it's just another day, a day I don't have to work (but still get paid for it!), a day people (not me!) celebrate some far-off war fought against some long-dead king. For me it's a day that's just a little sad for me, a day on which I wish America had never rebelled against King George.  Today makes me wish I lived in Great Britain--hopefully someday.  God save the Queen!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Changes Ahead for Europe?

Greece and France recently elected new governments.  The new media report that this change in governments reflects the Greek and French people's dislike for austerity measures as dictated by the European Union.  Political forecasters are speaking doom-and-gloom about the repercussions, both to the European Union and the Euro zone (as well as the world economy).  What I see is the crumbling of the foundation of the EU.  The EU was built upon the Euro zone economy as its foundation; without a strong and cohesive single economic union, the political union falls.  I haven't done enough research to know what the newly elected governments stand for (do politicians in a democracy ever really stand for anything other than staying in power?), but I do know this:  I am happy to see the slow decay of the EU!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

French Terror

The media have been abuzz with reports of the young Frenchman who killed three French paratroopers and several Jewish schoolchildren and a Rabbi. They refer to him as a terrorist and speak much about the "war against terrorism." It is not a war against terrorism, it is a war against Islam. The terrorists are Muslim, and they have declared war on the secular West. If we are to win this war, we must be honest with ourselves. No secular nation will expel Muslims from their borders. No secular nation will place serious restrictions on Muslims (even though Muslims nations do so to Christians). If we are to win this "war", we must acknowledge that it is at its roots a religious conflict, re-embrace our Christian roots, and fight for the rights of the Church to exist throughout the world, especially in Europe.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

German Prince Calls for Restoration

I came across the below article from The Local that brough joy to my heart; a German royal calling for the restoration of the German monarchy. While it would have been better for the head of the House of Hohenzollern to make these statements, I hope that this works to increase interest in German for its own monarchy, eventually leading to its restoration.

Germany should reinstate its monarchy to speak to people’s emotions, make them proud of their country and even encourage them to have babies, according to Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia, great-great grandson of the last Kaiser.

Speaking in Thursday’s edition of Die Zeit newspaper, Philip stressed that a monarch would be financially independent – and so would not be likely to accept presents from friends, such as those which led to Christian Wulff’s resignation from the presidency."

A king is invulnerable to such cases," Prince Philip said. "Either he would have old family property or an Apanage – and it would be beneath his dignity to accept presents from friends."
"And there are no reporters on the level of sniffing around European ruling families,” added the prince, who is a Protestant minister.

Prince Philip said that although successful presidents made their mark with their statements, mentioning Roman Herzog and Richard von Weizsäcker as good examples, he said that words were not enough.

“This level of words is necessary, but they do not move people inside,” he said. “When our hearts are touched, we change. During the past football World Championship there emerged so much uncomplicated national consciousness that nose-wrinkling intellectuals no longer understood their country.

“Emotions are the field on which a royal family can play," he said. "They do not have to think up some programme, it goes to the hearts that they are simply there.”

He said the personal and family lives of politicians were regarded as private – but that those of royals were legitimately public.

“Of course a king should have a happy marriage. Of course the heir to the throne should marry,” he said.

And even the question of royal children was a legitimate matter for the public, he said. “When, as now in Sweden, a member of the royal family is born, what a joy goes through the country! Even the prime minister spoke of a happy day. The heart has a much more intensive influence than the appeal of the family minister for better framework conditions to combine family and career.”

The collapse of royal marriages can even be good for the country, he suggested, because the media scandalises bad behaviour conducted by royals. The collapse of a politician’s marriage is regarded as private, he said, or seen as part of a modern family.

The lives of a royal family lend a country stability, he said. “They are not thrown out by a vote of confidence or swept from office by their immunity from prosecution being lifted. That does a country good.”

He suggested that German politicians would even vote for a royal family to be reinstated, if it came to a vote – nearly a century after the last Kaiser was removed from the throne in 1918. Even left-wingers would be in favour, he suggested, pointing to Sweden where he said some socialists were also royalists.

But even if the German royal family were to be reinstated, Prince Philip would not sit on the throne – that honour would go to Prince Georg Friedrich von Preußen, who is the direct heir and has said he would not want to see a royal restoration.
The Local/hc

Monday, January 02, 2012

A New Constitution for Hungary

I was alerted to the new Hungarian constitution by the blog Rorate Caeli (see their article here, including a link to the entire Hungarian constitution in English). Among the changes are: invoking God's blessing upon the Hungarian people; stating pride in king St. Stephen; recognizing Christianity as the foundation of their nation; dropping the word "republic" from the nation's official name; recognizing the dignity of life at conception; and protecting marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. While I have not read the entire constitution, these few changes are welcome indeed. I hope the tens of thousands of people reported by the media as protesting in the streets go home soon, sit down and read their new constitution and learn from it. A step towards the restoration of a Hungarian monarchy? Who knows.