Is America good or evil?

The religion that defines the American cause has become more and more explicitly the religion of man. What can be done to address it?

(Image: Andrew Neel/Unsplash.com)

Something about the country makes people ask the question.

People who love our country say it is exceptional. Those who don’t might prefer other words. For better or worse, it does seem different in some way. G. K. Chesterton explained the matter best: America, he said, is “the only nation in the world founded on a creed,” and so is “a nation with the soul of a church.”

But what could that mean?

The clearest answer is provided by Abraham Lincoln as interpreted by the neoconservatives, a group that tried to combine liberalism with American tradition and thereby put their finger on something basic in our national life. Lincoln said America was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” The neoconservatives said that makes it a nation defined not by blood, soil, or particular culture, but by the cause of freedom and equality.

They viewed that cause as religious in character, and extensible to the whole world. After all, if human dignity means freedom and equality, and America is defined by those qualities, shouldn’t America be for everybody? So they favored mass immigration, civic education in “American values,” and an interventionist foreign policy.

Not everyone agreed with their view. More traditional conservatives agreed that America is attached to freedom and equality. But they usually believed in something like the God of the Bible. That meant that their understanding of freedom and equality was moderated by an attachment to traditional Christian morality. It was also moderated by a certain residual particularism: an understanding of America as an originally European and indeed British and Protestant society that carries forward traditions springing from that background, such as individualism, political freedom, limited government, the common law, and a basically commercial orientation.

That view had deep roots in America, but it has found it difficult to survive historical shocks and changes. People care about tradition less than they once did, and immigration has made America far less British, Protestant, and European. Nor do people believe in the God of the Bible as much now, and many of those who say they do in effect identify Christian morality with a secular progressivism that understands freedom and equality as absolute self-defining autonomy—in the words of the Supreme Court, “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

With nothing to limit them such abstractions eventually get pushed to extremes. The religion that defines the American cause has thus become more and more explicitly the religion of man: each of us is a divinity who creates his world in the image of his own desires and purposes, and the point of politics, morality, and social order is to help each do that equally.

Further, the view that man is divine has turned ever more Americans into secular progressives who see no point bothering with the God of the Bible. And their views have continued to evolve. Today they have become “woke,” and the Great Awokening has become the most dynamic, disruptive, and aggressively intolerant religious movement in American history.

Hence the bitter disputes over whether America is good or evil.

The neoconservatives no longer matter much regarding such issues. They retain some presence as apparatchiks and talking heads, but foreign wars and Trumpism have greatly reduced their influence.

Traditional conservatives, who accept freedom and equality as goals but mitigate them through attachment to traditional religious and moral judgments and to Anglo-American political arrangements, continue to believe that America has always been a force for good. So they consider themselves the true adherents of the American religion.

But fewer and fewer Americans see things their way, and the specific content of their religion is perpetually sliding toward the progressive view. Also, it is becoming harder for them to say with conviction that America is essentially good. How can they, when those expected to speak for America—political leaders, mainstream religious figures, commentators, scholars, educators—more and more say the contrary? If America today is at odds with America yesterday, how can America’s essence be good?

That leaves woke progressives, who approve wholeheartedly of the direction of events. For them, America as it has actually been is the Great Satan. It has never been consistently free and equal, and they consider any violation of those evolving principles monstrous. Also, reforming America would mean abolishing it, since “freedom and equality” have come to require abolition of national distinctions and borders. So why say anything good about the country, except that its claim to stand for freedom and equality, however hypocritical, supports progressivism?

None of this makes much sense, because it is nonsensical to turn one’s country into a religion. But what should sensible citizens, including thoughtful Catholics, say about this country?

The views of the progressives are unrealistic to the point of inhumanity and delusion. When taken seriously, such views lead to tyranny, anarchy, and madness, focused and stabilized by hatred and the pervasive lying required to give them plausibility. That happened in the French and communist revolutions, and we now see it happening in America.

Nor can conservatism help us. It has no principles that are firm and concrete enough to let its adherents do more than mumble complaints and drag their feet. Even that is enough to make respectable people view them with contempt, and they have no stomach for the opprobrium of their social betters.

With that in mind, we must start again with basics. There’s only one true Church, which is neither the Church of America nor the Church of Wokeness. That means that America is neither a vehicle of divine revelation nor the Great Satan. Nor are its exceptional features so very important. It is a society like other societies, mostly good but affected by evil, and joined together through common histories and understandings as well as the brute need for those living together in a common space to find a peaceful and productive way of doing so.

What joins it together is evidently disintegrating, for reasons that include globalism, mass immigration, radicalization of its guiding principles, destruction of traditional connections for the sake of profit and social reconstruction, and technological changes, such as mobility and the growth of the Internet, that disrupt settled human relationships and ways of life.

The purpose of political authority is care of the community with a view to the common good. We do not create our own reality, and social life inevitably involves a complex of restrictions and inequalities. Catholic social teaching, with its emphasis on the common good, subsidiarity, family life, and obedience to legitimate authority, tries to organize these features of human life in a way that promotes the best development of man and society.

Given these principles and our current problems, American politics today needs to emphasize the promotion of common understandings. We also need to develop those understandings into a usable vision of the common good, and weave our increasingly diverse histories into a common history guided by cooperation in realizing that good.

But how? Some practical points are obvious. The first is the need to strengthen particular human ties. That requires stability of populations and a greater emphasis on local connections. And that means, among other things, less globalism, more emphasis on boundaries, restraint on immigration, and a bias toward localism and decentralization generally. And it further means restraining unaccountable elites—in the current jargon, draining the swamp.

More importantly, we need as Catholics and citizens to present our best understanding of God, man, and the common good. To do that we need to reject scientistic and technocratic understandings in favor of something more classical, organic, and in line with longstanding Catholic understandings of man and society. We are, after all, living beings with natural, historical, cultural, and spiritual dimensions rather than abstract economic agents, self-creating supermen, or components in an industrial process.

The task is obviously very difficult. But what can’t last won’t last, so the work of reconstruction will eventually begin. Today we need to do what we can to hasten that day and make ready what is needed so that when the work begins in earnest it can go forward as intelligently as possible. And that requires, most of all, self-understanding and conversion of life.


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About James Kalb 107 Articles
James Kalb is a lawyer, independent scholar, and Catholic convert who lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is the author of The Tyranny of Liberalism(ISI Books, 2008) and, most recently, Against Inclusiveness: How the Diversity Regime is Flattening America and the West and What to Do About It (Angelico Press, 2013).

22 Comments

  1. James Kalb is usually fairly level headed, but he makes a number of mistakes here. First, the media and their current insanity is not the real world. He assumes that Americans are fighting Americans, and we are being torn asunder. Nonsense. There is a tiny group of radical leftists throwing a temper tantrum and rioting, because they are not getting their way, and they will never get their way. Virtually no one outside the media and university professors and mentally ill people are on their side. So there is no big division to get upset over.
    Second, when it comes to prescriptions, he floats some very vague ideas. So vague that any leftist, Democrat or radical would agree:

    American politics today needs to emphasize the promotion of common understandings. We also need to develop those understandings into a usable vision of the common good, and weave our increasingly diverse histories into a common history guided by cooperation in realizing that good.

    But how? Some practical points are obvious. The first is the need to strengthen particular human ties. That requires stability of populations and a greater emphasis on local connections.

    Obama, Biden, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders would all agree on that. It’s easy to talk about prescriptions if they are so vague as to mean anything. So he gets more specific:
    And that means, among other things, less globalism, more emphasis on boundaries, restraint on immigration, and a bias toward localism and decentralization generally. And it further means restraining unaccountable elites—in the current jargon, draining the swamp.

    Of course, less globalism is terribly vague as well. Does everything need to be manufactured in the United States? Is everyone willing to have prices on everything double to make that happen? More restraint on immigration, OK, fine. But I notice Trump has not built his wall yet, and he is not talking much about building the wall anymore. He built a small section, but it is not clear it has even mattered.

    All the rest – localism, etc could be your local hippie telling us to buy local and save the planet. Sorry, this is way too general.

    • “Virtually no one outside the media and university professors and mentally ill people are on their side.”

      I wish that were true. But I think that ship sailed a number of years ago. More and more “average” Americans have bought into some or all of the insanity of “trans-“, identity politics, critical theory, etc., even if they don’t know the lingo or the foundations.

      • Agree 100%.

        55% of Americans support BLM, an organization run by Marxist lesbians who like all Marxists have publicly declared war on western civilization.

        An according to the same Pew poll in Sep, 29% strongly support BLM.

    • I don’t know about anyone else, but I am willing to pay even triple or quadruple for locally-made goods. The problem is that in all too many cases, the choice has been taken from us, or we have voluntarily surrendered it. Just try finding things that aren’t made in China, or a vendor that isn’t Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target, or some other corporate behemoth. I’m starting to think we need stronger antitrust laws or stricter application of those we have. We could start this process with at least a dozen Baby Amazons or Baby Wal-Marts– and not let them recombine later, the way we did with the Baby Bells and the Standard Oil spinoffs (e. g. ExxonMobil).

    • I think you are in denial. The reality is that the tiny group of left wing radicals you refer too are supported and promoted by main stream media, popular culture organizations, educational organizations, wall street and Big Tech oligarchs. All those who now control the popular cultural and social public narrative and political discourse in the US are overwhelmingly support Antifa , BLM and the transgender movement. This is a self evident fact.

    • Samton –

      Mr. Kalb is facing reality. Your point of view makes it seem you are living somewhere outside the United States.

      Ignoring Reality No. 1: “[Mr. Kalb] assumes that Americans are fighting Americans…. Nonsense.”

      Facing Reality No. 1: There is no evidence that the riots and murders and destruction in various cities is done by foreign invaders. We can be sure that virtually all of the people rioting and killing Americans and destroying businesses and property are U.S. citizens.

      Ignoring Reality #2: “[Mr. Kalb] assumes … we are being torn asunder. Nonsense.”

      Facing Reality #2: It is patently obvious to most family and friends that the U.S. citizenry are being torn asunder. Everyone with large or extended families experiences this. The passive-aggressive, radical left ideology of “pro-choice, pro-sodomy, pro-fornication” is the new religion of the majority, even so-called “conservatives.” For its adherents, it trumps all family and social ties. One can no longer have discussions about values…you can’t even talk about formerly neutral things like sports or entertainment…because they are all super-charged with woke sexual and race-bait politics.

      Unreality #3: “There is a tiny group of radical leftists throwing a temper tantrum and rioting, because they are not getting their way, and they will never get their way.”

      Facing Reality #3: They already have their way. The Mayor of NYC has alreadu defunded the NYPD by $1 Billion. These groups are politically networked in blue jurisdictions, they are highly organized and well-funded and equipped. Their militia who turn out in these blue cities at night literally pick up combat gear and equipment from vans. Rioters are not being arrested nor held to account in blue cities and states. The organizers of BLM have already monetized their tyranny to the tune of billions of dollars handed over by big corporations. These individuals, like Shaun King of BLM, have grown rich in their fraud fund-raising-charity operations, for years and years. King is now ensconced at Harvard as “a writer-in-residence.”

      Unreality #4: “Virtually no one outside the media and university professors and mentally ill people are on their side. So there is no big division to get upset over.”

      Facing Reality #4: Current polls (Sep Pew Poll) still shows that 29% of U.S. population strongly supports BLM (who publicly avow in their mission statement that they dedicated to the destruction of western civilization), and 55% of the U.S. population indicate positive support.

    • Samton909, you say “. First, the media and their current insanity is not the real world.” I hope that you are including Murdoc’s Fox News.

      “Second, when it comes to prescriptions, Kalb floats some very vague ideas. So vague that any leftist, Democrat or radical would agree:

      The first is the need to strengthen particular human ties. That requires stability of populations and a greater emphasis on local connections.
      “That requires stability of populations”
      Could this mean that you accept the urgency of global warming?

      Just those sentences identify your secular jargon.

      The ignorance to Trump’s insistence on the loss of reality and his continuing to mislead the public on COVID 19 safety measures says volumes. Today he is reported to have the COVID 19 infection himself and the First Lady. Trump’s early ignorance to the virus that has reduced the US to a third rate nation indicates that it may never recover.
      My addressing your very interesting excerpts are short because I could only get through more than the first few paragraphs.
      From those sentences I take that all Republicans are saintly and the Democrats are all evil. Painting with a wide brush may cause back splash.
      Oh! Trump will “sadly” be leaving us on Nov. 3rd. I want him to truly drain the swamp and if he doesn’t complete the Mexican wall by Jan. 20th , I want two more things… my tax money applied to the construction of the WALL refunded, as well as, the stolen $3.8 billion appropriated by congress for living improvements for military families for the wall returned.

  2. Ari Fleischer defending Amy Barrett’s religious views argues America is, at least must be understood as an inclusive society with a multiplicity of traditions. David Hanson Hoover Institute warns university professors are overwhelmingly liberal with a 13 -1 ratio v conservatives. They have no viable peer counterbalance to restrain their increased extremism. Reportedly many of the strident often violent protesters are university students. These two features combine for cultural war. Realpolitik would seek accommodation. Although Woke extremism will not accommodate. Catholicism weakened by scandal and inertia nevertheless remains the final hope for moral renewal. As always decisive leadership can achieve that miracle. Lacking that philosopher [as in love of wisdom] lawyer Kalb’s vision for promulgating our best understanding of God, man, and the common good remains as he acknowledges until a better day a bridge too far. What seems viable at present, perhaps for the long term is formation of a diaspora of such communities. As a priest I can add this has become a mission among my peers. During a previous Dark Age mountaintop monastery communes held out to eventually restore civilization.

      • James here in W NYS the setting largely rural, small towns, less complicated and fewer competing features likely facilitates ministry focused on community structure. We have pastors who for decades have participated as a team in forming ‘support’ groups of parishioners from different locales where they served. Most pastors because of priest shortage are shepherding large areas that once comprised several parishes. Parishioners who attend are taught the faith, encouraged to form nuclei when returned to their parish. Discussion includes local history, experiences, cultural identity which contribute to binding. The local ordinary is a factor in encouraging this.

  3. The dovetailing of created equal works for me. It applies the same to abortion as to slavery which are by the way, both democrat favorites.

  4. As always, Mr Kalb’s understanding of the principles underlying the obvious public incohesion in Western public life is masterful. As I read through this article I cant help but think the situation is very similar (albeit with some difference of course) to that of my own country Australia.

    Many many Australians adhere to a sort of “woke capitalism” with tendencies towards Marxism prevalent amongst secular academia, the Press, the left wing of our Labour Party (traditionally a worker oriented party but now more and more tending towards more extreme leftist ideology) and smaller socialist groups.

    There are many “social conservatives” but often they are not grounded in any form of religious tradition and so they can really only appeal to “the past”. Often this can result in extreme Nationalism in some extreme groups. Australia’s has a long history of immigration post dating WWII has also lead to some social fracturing in the absence of a common religious tradition.

    Whilst Australia was settled by the British and received much of its religious heritage from England (Anglicanism) and Irish – Catholicism (both British and Irish were sent over to the new penal colony), following the 1960s many abandoned Christianity both publicly and privately. Christian conservatives in Australia are dedicated and industrious. They lack the resources and ability to mobilise that their American counterparts have.

    It is to be hoped that Australia develops more localised manufacturing and other initiatives however public life will continue, doubtless, to conform more and more to the formal principles required by the philosophy of liberalism.

  5. As always, Mr Kalb’s understanding of the principles underlying the obvious public incohesion in Western public life is masterful. As I read through this article I cant help but think the situation is very similar (albeit with some difference of course) to that of my own country Australia.

    Many many Australians adhere to a sort of “woke capitalism” with tendencies towards Marxism prevalent amongst secular academia, the Press, the left wing of our Labour Party (traditionally a worker oriented party but now more and more tending towards more extreme leftist ideology) and smaller socialist groups.

    There are many “social conservatives” but often they are not grounded in any form of religious tradition and so they can really only appeal to “the past”. Often this can result in extreme Nationalism in some extreme groups. Australia’s long history of immigration post dating WWII has also lead to some social fracturing in the absence of a common religious tradition.

    Whilst Australia was settled by the British and received much of its religious heritage from England (Anglicanism) and Irish – Catholicism (both British and Irish were sent over to the new penal colony), following the 1960s many abandoned Christianity both publicly and privately. Christian conservatives in Australia are dedicated and industrious. They lack the resources and ability to mobilise that their American counterparts have.

    It is to be hoped that Australia develops more localised manufacturing and other initiatives however public life will continue, doubtless, to conform more and more to the formal principles required by the philosophy of liberalism.

  6. Is America Good or Evil?

    Here are some excerpts from an interview with Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding that very question:

    The outcome of the U.S. election will determine whether the U.S. remains the leading power in the world — for freedom and democracy — or whether a communist dictatorship will assume that role for the global community …

    America secured human rights against the godless ideology of National Socialism/Fascism during World War II … And then the Cold War against the atheist communism of the Soviet Union was won only with the help and under the leadership of the United States. …

    The free world owes the American people the salvation of Western civilization, which has its foundation in the freedom and dignity of every person …

    He also makes clear that Christians simply cannot vote for pro-abortion candidates:

    … a candidate who does not clearly oppose abortion and euthanasia is unelectable for a person who believes in God, and especially for every Catholic, because abortion is a heinous crime against the life of the person and against God, the creator of every human life. …

    Anyone who subordinates the right to life to other objectives undermines democracy itself, which is not based on changing majority opinion, but on inalienable human rights …

    The article can in its entirety here:

    Exclusive: Former Vatican Chief Says ‘Future of Democracy’ at Stake in U.S. Elections

  7. When you have a government that prints money to solve the nation’s problems, you set up for disparity and division between its citizens. One or two of us have to work while the other one tells us what to do and collects the ‘tax.’

    You can see how the poor are even treated in the Church, poor parishes ignored by the Diocese and heavily ‘taxed’ for CSA, for example. People ignored for Sacrament of the Sick/Anointing etc… I’m not sure its intentional, I think it spills over from the secular world. The rich get their ice in the summer and the poor get theirs in the winter.

    909 must live in a very small community or family; many of us conservatives cannot even mention they listen to Rush Limbaugh, for example, or put a Trump sign in our yard for fear of being ostracized by left family members.

  8. The title “Is America good or evil?” for those of a more philosophical and/or statistical bent could be the basis for a whole book.

    We know from Holy Scripture that God alone is good, and that only two human beings have never committed sin: Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Only God knows the answer to the title question, but speculation at least can be started about a related one: Is America a force for good or evil? I find it doubtful that any nation that is not a confessional Catholic state could be characterized as a force for good. The only sense in which America might be considered a force for good is that fact that many people seem to be committed to their false religious beliefs and perhaps they have a strong commitment at least to the idea of behaving morally.

    “People who love our country say it is exceptional.”

    In what respect is America exceptional – good or bad? Among countries America stands out in a number of ways that I am aware of. There is almost no protection by law from arbitrary/unjust employment dismissal (and I am fairly certain that whatever protection exists requires a possibly expensive lawsuit making it a “dead letter law” for poor people). America is also the most individualistic country in the world. Judging from surveys, Americans value religion and believe themselves to be religious more than other developed countries. The U.S. has the most number of millionaires in the world and the greatest wealth inequality among OECD countries (https://inequality.org/facts/global-inequality/).

    “After all, if human dignity means freedom and equality, and America is defined by those qualities, shouldn’t America be for everybody?”

    America’s first responsibility is to Americans, not anybody else. This is true of any nation. There is a virtue called patriotism, there isn’t one called “xenism.” Of course, no nation has a right to wrong any other nation.

    Human dignity applies to all humans regardless of where they live. America is no “beacon on the hill” spreading “enlightenment” to all of those “backward,” “dark,” countries. One must not be jingoistic.

    “Nor do people believe in the God of the Bible as much now, and many of those who say they do in effect identify Christian morality with a secular progressivism that understands freedom and equality as absolute self-defining autonomy—in the words of the Supreme Court, “the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.””

    I would like to see data about this. It must be remembered that religious belief is a morality issue, and that in such matters even if the quoted statement is true morality can’t be determined by imitating what other people do.

    “The religion that defines the American cause has thus become more and more explicitly the religion of man: each of us is a divinity who creates his world in the image of his own desires and purposes, and the point of politics, morality, and social order is to help each do that equally.”

    Properly speaking religion must refer to God or someone’s erroneous conception of Him. The idea of a “religion of man” is nonsense. St. Augustine did define a “city of man,” but that merely refers to the unrepentant wicked.

  9. (Part 2)

    Pope Leo XIII offered some clarity regarding Catholic teaching concerning the Church’s relationship to the state, and the state’s relationship to God. It also touches on the ideas of freedom and equality mentioned earlier in this article.

    “23. But that harmful and deplorable passion for innovation which was aroused in the sixteenth century threw first of all into confusion the Christian religion, and next, by natural sequence, invaded the precincts of philosophy, whence it spread amongst all classes of society. From this source, as from a fountain-head, burst forth all those later tenets of unbridled license which, in the midst of the terrible upheavals of the last century, were wildly conceived and boldly proclaimed as the principles and foundation of that new conception of law which was not merely previously unknown, but was at variance on many points with not only the Christian, but even the natural law.

    24. Amongst these principles the main one lays down that as all men are alike by race and nature, so in like manner all are equal in the control of their life; that each one is so far his own master as to be in no sense under the rule of any other individual; that each is free to think on every subject just as he may choose, and to do whatever he may like to do; that no man has any right to rule over other men. In a society grounded upon such maxims all government is nothing more nor less than the will of the people, and the people, being under the power of itself alone, is alone its own ruler. It does choose, nevertheless, some to whose charge it may commit itself, but in such wise that it makes over to them not the right so much as the business of governing, to be exercised, however, in its name.

    25. The authority of God is passed over in silence, just as if there were no God; or as if He cared nothing for human society; or as if men, whether in their individual capacity or bound together in social relations, owed nothing to God; or as if there could be a government of which the whole origin and power and authority did not reside in God Himself. Thus, as is evident, a State becomes nothing but a multitude which is its own master and ruler. And since the people is declared to contain within itself the spring-head of all rights and of all power, it follows that the State does not consider itself bound by any kind of duty toward God. Moreover. it believes that it is not obliged to make public profession of any religion; or to inquire which of the very many religions is the only one true; or to prefer one religion to all the rest; or to show to any form of religion special favor; but, on the contrary, is bound to grant equal rights to every creed, so that public order may not be disturbed by any particular form of religious belief.

    26. And it is a part of this theory that all questions that concern religion are to be referred to private judgment; that every one is to be free to follow whatever religion he prefers, or none at all if he disapprove of all. From this the following consequences logically flow: that the judgment of each one’s conscience is independent of all law; that the most unrestrained opinions may be openly expressed as to the practice or omission of divine worship; and that every one has unbounded license to think whatever he chooses and to publish abroad whatever he thinks.”

    Pope Leo XIII, “Immortale Dei,” 1885

    I would like to comment that law is not a matter of will but of REASON. This is probably the biggest philosophical error concerning law, and apparently it came from nominalism. One can see this error most clearly in the idea of the “modern” contract. Until 1790 contracts were concerned not just with form, but with substance. Nowadays the “law” wouldn’t care at all if an employee complained that his employer wasn’t paying him enough to live on. All that matters in our INJUSTICE SYSTEM is that both parties agreed to the terms. What is passed over in silence is that fact that for an unemployed person to reject the offer (provided that he has no others) could mean starvation. Technically, I understand that this could be interpreted in terms of law as duress operating by way of undue influence.

    “Further, the view that man is divine has turned ever more Americans into secular progressives who see no point bothering with the God of the Bible. And their views have continued to evolve. Today they have become “woke,” and the Great Awokening has become the most dynamic, disruptive, and aggressively intolerant religious movement in American history.”

    How many people erroneously believe that man is divine? If true, how do we know how their views have changed? Again, this isn’t about religion. It’s about politics.

    I suspect that the phenomenon of “wokeness” is more easily explained. People are perhaps willfully ignorant of moral theology, so erroneous ideas enabled by a lack of censorship of publication have lead people to take “the law” concerning discrimination as a kind of “gospel,” and a “witch-hunt” (“In current language, “witch-hunt” metaphorically means an investigation that is usually conducted with much publicity, supposedly to uncover subversive activity, disloyalty, and so on, but with the real purpose of intimidating political opponents.“ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch-hunt) has been instigated as a “solution in search of a problem.” The “problems” are “insensitivity” and “exclusion” of “protected groups.” The solution is to abuse anyone (preferably a white man) who can be hypothetically tied to “insensitive” treatment towards “protected groups.” People are interpreted as being “criminally” insensitive or “hateful” even if they were completely clueless as to the, for example, “racist” or “sexist” character of some prima facie innocent word, gesture, product, logo, etc. An ever more thorough search for signs that America is at the core racist, sexist, etc. must find ever more subtle and – objectively considered – trivial “signs” of how “evil” the country is. Whether or not the leaders are being cynically manipulative, or they are “true believers” doesn’t matter that much. What matters is that they should be censored and someone must explain how they are wrong (morally and factually) to the deceived or confused masses.

    “Hence the bitter disputes over whether America is good or evil.”

    Assumes evidence not present? If it is true, is it correct to be framed as an essentialist “white vs. black”? One must love one’s fellow countrymen and certainly can take extraordinary actions to help them, but a person is only responsible for his sins, and perhaps those under his authority.

    “But what should sensible citizens, including thoughtful Catholics, say about this country?”

    Catholics should say that the country needs to embrace the Catholic Church and be taught by her. That is necessary for the salvation of souls, and it certainly will help establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility.

    “That happened in the French and communist revolutions, and we now see it happening in America.’

    The truth is that both of these revolutions were perpetrated by secret forces. They weren’t organic and populist in origin.

    “Nor can conservatism help us. It has no principles that are firm and concrete enough to let its adherents do more than mumble complaints and drag their feet. Even that is enough to make respectable people view them with contempt, and they have no stomach for the opprobrium of their social betters.”

    Technically, the natural law is a part of the conservative movement, but for it to actually be much of anything more than a “pious gesture” every conservative would need to also be a Catholic. However, if that was the case, it is doubtful that there would be a conservative “movement.” It would be something more like Catholic Action.

    “And it further means restraining unaccountable elites—in the current jargon, draining the swamp.”

    I understand elites to be more than legislators. This would include judges, prosecutors, and whoever makes the final decisions in a business. Bad behavior should be punished – especially the behavior of those in authority. There is no pecking order in human society. The only question is whether the state, God, or both will punish the wicked.

  10. America is fundamentally evil. It is evil in it’s Masonic values, and it is evil in it’s actions (legalized infanticide, legalized sodomy/sodomitical unions, “religiously neutral” government, legalized pornography, etc.).

  11. The single major failure of the United States is failure in the Educational system. That which was taken over and influenced by a sector of, first of, Pornography, that the internet is founded on. Combined with, greed, out to make a buck.

    Fueled by, bigotry, hate, murder “WAR” on the poor and defenseless.. Follow the Money, it the main reason for this very site, is few to make a buck… NOT to spread the Gospel of GOOD news to all… OH please save us Mr. government, is the Battle cry of the USA today, with many assumed Catholics at the fore front of the Cry..
    To lead a child a stray, is a grave mortal system, yet it all to common in the USA today.. total failure in education, the greatest moral and ethical obligation, to educate oneself, and others, is gone.

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  1. Is America good or evil? - Catholic Mass Search
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  4. Noe mer klassisk, organisk, på linje med husmannstroen – LeveVeg
  5. Et mini-Grythengen for stabburet og husmannstroen – LeveVeg
  6. Eretnekség a Szilícium-völgyben - Reaktor
  7. Kategorier av tradisjoner – LeveVeg

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