In God We Trust – our Motto and an Affirmation

“In God We Trust.”

This motto has it’s roots in the work of Francis Scott Key. In the fourth stanza of the Star Spangled Banner was this line :  “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.'” In 1836 and again during the Civil War, our coinage has been stamped with that motto. In 1883, it disappeared from our coins but between 1908 and 1938, the motto returned to all coinage.

Until 1956, we had no official national motto. ‘E Pluribus Unum’ – Latin for ‘out of many, one’  has adorned our Great Seal since 1782, but it was never adopted in a formal sense – despite the beliefs of such luminaries as Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.Mr. Obama has taken to celebrating diversity over unity by using the ‘out of many one’ slogan.  Ms. Pelosi actually cut the ribbon on a Congressional Museum which proudly displayed the nation’s motto – E Pluribus Unum.  Oh my, I guess she missed 36 USC 302, the Act of Congress that made In God We Trust our official motto.

This act was passed at a time when Americans were probably looking for comfort from God. World War Two levied a tremendous cost on us as a nation and as a people. The mantle of world leadership weighed heavily on us as the only democratic nation capable of supporting a world shattered by years of brutal conflict. And we were a nation facing the rising might of two powerful Godless empires – the communist regimes of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China.  That silent affirmation – one that many people whose freedom was paid for by American might and American sweat, tears, and blood shared – continues to be a reassurance for many of us.

What’s the problem with God? Well, if you are a democrat, your party leadership seems to think that there is one. This year’s Democratic planning committee has carefully excised any and all reference to God from the 2012 presidential platform. And I have two questions:

Question the first: Why would a political party go to such lengths to remove God from their platform?

Question the Second: How can any Christian in good conscience support this?

I hope that this is something that all Catholics – indeed all people who hold that there is a God in Heaven, whether you call him Jehovah, God, or Allah – consider and pray on their support these next several weeks.  This is not the work of a tolerant party – it is the work of a party that seeks to supplant God with State.

And history has proven that such an act never turns out terribly well for anyone.


A lesson for Father McBrien

Richard O’Brien, a professor at Notre Dame and a priest ordained in the Archdiocese of Hartford, is an example of what ails us. The Citizen routinely trolls the National Catholic Reporter – among other so-called ‘Catholic’ publications – for the latest in schismatic thought. Fr. McBrien recently wrote an article complaining about the resistance of American Bishops and the Obama health care plan. It should be obvious, Father. But seeing how you work for Father Jenkins, this shouldn’t be surprising.

President Obama signed an executive order. Big deal. The authority that lies behind an executive order is practically non-existent. There is no specific clause in the Constitution that confers this power. The closest thing to justification for the practice of the executive order is found in Article II

…he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

Since 1789, this has been interpreted as meaning that the President had the authority to issue orders necessary to ensure the smooth operation of executive agencies and other instruments of government independent of constant congressional oversight. Until the Twentieth Century, there was essentially no public knowledge of executive orders. In 1952, the Supreme Court weighed in – for the first time – on the practice of executive orders. Executive orders have been used  for activities as mundane as establishing protocol or temporary appointments to the 1999 order that Clinton signed to authorize the use of American military force in Kosovo.

Perhaps the most important element of the Executive Order is that it only carries the weight the sitting president chooses to give it. Obama wrote an order limiting abortion. Tomorrow, he can write an order rescinding it. Congress can do nothing to stop it. The Supreme Court can do nothing. Bart Stupak can’t take his ‘yea’ vote back. It is over. I wonder if Professor Richard McBrien knows this. One hopes so – ignorance is so much easier to accept in a priest than active collusion.

McBrien quotes an article in Commonweal as an authoritative source. Unfortunately, the author of this article is equally ignorant of the true scope of the executive order. Both articles claim that the administration and the current congressional leadership have proven their willingness to act under the provisions once guaranteed by the Hyde Amendment. Nonsense.

How about the aggressive actions in Congress opening access to abortion in military bases at home and abroad? Did you hear about that, Professor McBrien? Or perhaps the comments VP Biden made to Kenya about writing access to abortion into their constitution?

It is unfortunate that a Catholic priest defends a president and congressional leaders who fought to keep the Hyde Amendment out of their patient care act. Why? If Obama, Pelosi, and Reid were serious about preserving the existing protections for the unborn, then tell me why they were unwilling to compromise? Please, Father – explain.

Of course this article was written by a priest who last year wrote “…how far the Catholic church in the United States has fallen from the high standards of leadership that they [Bernadin and Hesburgh] set.”

Father McBrien seeks leaders who agree with the ‘seamless garment’ philosophy – even if it runs contrary to the Magisterium. This infatuation with the ‘social justice’ approach that is popular with the intelligentsia is unfortunate. It’s tragic coming from the Crowley-O’Brien Professor of Theology at Notre Dame. Didn’t they teach any American history in the Seminary? Don’t you know any history professors at Notre Dame?

Oh, of course you do – but they are socialist gospel activists too….how silly of me!

Responsible Shepherds

West Virginia will be swearing in a new Senator – and the president announced that he will be pushing the Senate to pass the stalled unemployment benefits bill. While the Citizen is sympathetic to the economic needs of a large number of people who remain unemployed – despite (or rather because) of the massive ‘Stimulus’ plan, this bill has one catastrophic flaw.

The Democratic leadership offer absolutely no means to pay for it.

Republican members of the Senate claim they oppose the bill because the leadership has not found funding for the $33 billion price tag. Most Republicans claim they support unemployment benefits – but they want the leadership to find an offset in the federal budget to pay for them.

This is responsible stewardship of the money the taxpayers have entrusted Congress with – they should be more mindful of how they spend our money.

The Citizen isn’t sure about your household, but when unexpected expenses arises in our household, we find out where we have to cut expenses to cover the new expenditure. Unlike Congress, most households are all too aware that our resources are finite.

The Citizen is not advocating against benefits for those in need – that is inhumane. But Congress needs to be a better steward of the people’s money. Nancy Pelosi sponsored or co-sponsored some $75,000,000 in earmarks this year alone.  Harry Reid sponsored or co-sponsored some $267,000,000 in earmarks this year. Congress has refused to submit a budget, using a parliamentary trick called ‘deem and pass’ to hide the fact that the spending of this leadership and administration is unsustainable.

On February 12th, president Obama signed the ‘pay-go’ bill. This bill required Congress to pay for spending with money they had in their ‘pocket’ and not borrow against potential future ‘earnings’.

Nancy Pelosi made this promise:

[Democrats] are committed to auditing the books and subjecting every facet of federal spending to tough budget discipline and accountability, forcing the new Congress to choose a new direction and the right priorities for all Americans.”

Barack Obama promised to cut earmarks and ‘restore accountability’ in federal government.

“Barack Obama is committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994.”                   – The Change We Need in Washington

Another broken promise. Another sign that this administration and this congressional leadership is willing to spend the wealth of the next generation to support their addiction to power and position.

Instead of passing unemployment bill extensions ad infinitum, the leadership might want to consider what they need to do to restore confidence in the American economy.

Wisdom from a Self Proclaimed Doctor of the Church


Last year, Nancy Pelosi used her deep understanding of Catholic doctrine to issue an authoritative opinion on the ongoing debate over ‘fetus animus’ and ‘fetus inanimus’ – that is to say, when life begins in the womb. Her only problem? Pope Pius settled this in 1869 when he proclaimed that it is Catholic doctrine that life begins at conception.

Today, she shared more of her dazzling ignorance when she proclaimed that today was the Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker. It IS the Feast Day of Joseph – but not the right aspect being celebrated. In 1955, Pope Pius XII pronounced a Feast Day for St Joseph as a Patron of Workers every May 1st. This was a specific attempt to counteract the communist ‘workers’ holiday known as May Day. Oh, the irony of it….

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Another Spin on ‘The Catholic Lever’

According to historical record, Archimedes once said ‘Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world’. In a recent essay, the Citizen wrote about a Catholic lever in the voting booth. Before Mass, after prayer, it is my wont to sit back and let my mind roam free – God has a way of giving the Catholic essayist some great ideas that way. And that quote sprung into my consciousness – and made me think of Catholics and levers in a new way.

Barak Obama won the presidency of the United States by a fairly slim popular vote. He fared very well in the Electoral College, taking a number of key states. He also managed to take a surprising majority of Catholic votes. The Citizen wonders how many states were tipped his way by this Catholic lever. And more – importantly – how did a pro-abortion President pull it off?

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