Articles and Posts by Scott P. Richert:
Church and Nation: A Credal Nation, Part 3(66)
At the heart of Barack Obama’s “Patriotism Tour” speech (discussed recently by Dr. Fleming and Dr. Trifkovic) lies the concept of credal nationhood. In the previous two installments of “Church and Nation,” I have mentioned that credal nationhood makes no sense whatsoever without reference to the state, because the promotion of credal nationhood has always been about increasing the power of the central state at the expense of any organic sense of American nationality.
Historically, that should be obvious, but we need to be cautious about the conclusions that we draw from this history.
If My Daddy Could See Me Now(3)
September 11, 2001, we are often told, “changed everything.” In Washington, D.C., and Baghdad, Iraq, that may have been true. President George W. Bush and a handful of his advisors, who had been itching for a fight with Iraq since before the inauguration, now saw their opening. It would take another year and a half to make the preparations and to go through the motions necessary to whip up public support for the war, but at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time, when American Airlines Flight 11 plowed into the 94th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, Saddam Hussein’s death warrant was signed. The rest of his life, he was living on borrowed time.
Church and Nation: A Credal Nation, Part 2(29)
At the end of my last installment, I noted that credal nationhood has always been more about the state than about the nation (properly understood). Indeed, the concept of a credal nation makes no sense whatsoever without reference to the state, which is the definer and the keeper of the creed.
Church and Nation: A Credal Nation, Part I(57)
In introducing this series last week, I noted that I had been careful in my choice of the title “Church and Nation” rather than “Church and State.” I intend in this series to focus primarily on what are called the “national questions,” as well as moral and social ones, and in my mind, that meant taking as a given the American constitutional system, both historically and in its doppelganger form today.
Church and Nation: America’s Original Sin(84)
Can a faithful Catholic be a good American? Can a good American be a faithful Catholic? While these questions may seem relics of the era of the Know-Nothings and “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion,” they are still around today. And, as some comments on recent posts on this website have shown, an increasing number of people—both non-Catholic and Catholic—are beginning to have doubts that either question can be answered with a Yes.
The Dictatorship of Relativism(62)
During the White House Welcoming Ceremony for Pope Benedict XVI on April 16, President Bush referred briefly to a phrase that has come to be regarded as a central concern of Benedict’s pontificate:
“In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this ‘dictatorship of relativism,’ and embrace a culture of justice and truth.”
Of course, Pope Benedict does not regard “relativism” as merely the inability to “distinguish between simple right and wrong,” but as the inability to recognize that there is such a thing as truth—and that conforming our lives to the truth matters. Modern Americans, of course, all know that what they believe—whatever it might be—is correct, and no one has the right to tell them otherwise. “I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree,” they say, though of course what they really mean is “I’m right; you’re wrong; but it’s hardly worth arguing about.”
Truth is nice, after all, but it’s not as if it’s important.
His God Is Marching On(110)
If you relied on wire service accounts, Catholic commentary, and the few snippets of video on the evening news, you can be forgiven for believing that the White House Welcoming Ceremony held for Pope Benedict XVI on April 16 was entirely “warm,” “friendly,” and marked by “mutual admiration and respect.”
But beneath the surface, the waters weren’t so calm, as anyone who watched the entire ceremony, listened closely to President Bush’s speech, and paid attention to the symbolism knows.
The weather in Rome has been on the chilly side, but compared with Rockford in January, it’s positively balmy. Warm enough, in fact, to risk a charge of heresy (or at least philistinism) by capping the first full day of The Rockford Institute’s 2008 Winter School with, not a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, but a pint of beer. And not just any beer, but an unfiltered, heavily hopped light ale named ReAle, from the brewery of the commune of Borgorose, population 4,500, about 70 kilometers northeast of Rome.
The Words of Muhammad (PBUH)(0)
When confronted with an American convert to Islam who has studied overseas, it’s hard not to think today of the celebrated case of John Walker Lindh, “the American Taliban” captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and brought back to the United States to stand trial. “Abdul” knows that, yet he’s chosen to be brutally honest with Aaron and myself, admitting that, on his first trip overseas, he studied under Shaykh Usaamah Al-Qoosee, a follower of Sayyid Qutb, the most important leader in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al-Muslimin), an organization that practically defines radical Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood dreams of establishing a new caliphate, which would have the power to declare a jihad, binding on all Muslims, against the infidel.
One More Failure(0)
Benazir Bhutto may have been ruthless, conniving, and a “puppet of Pakistan’s military and security services,” as Leon Hadar argues in the January 2008 issue of Chronicles, but make no mistake: Her assassination today will do nothing to bring peace and stability to Pakistan. Continue reading . . .