Tag Archives: American Flag

American Flag quiz: What year do we have here?

While out on Communion calls this past Sunday afternoon, I saw this American Flag… wait… wait… that’s strange! I haven’t seen this for a long, long time. Can you guess what this is all about?

While you’re thinking, let’s listen to old Johnny tell us a story about the Ragged Old Flag. Take note of the introductory bits:

Some people object about that introduction, and to the cheers of the crowd that it brings. He says this:

  • “We’ve also got a right to bear arms and if you burn my flag, I’ll shoot you, but I’ll shoot you with a lot of love like a good American.”

People think that statement refers to brats burning this or that flag. No. He expressly says that he respects the right of whoever to burn whatever flag.

The flag Johnny is speaking about – his flag – is… is… wait for it… his flag is these United States of America in their entirety, one nation, under God. Don’t believe me? Listen to the rest of the story.

This is patriotism. Patriotism is a virtue of piety. It’s a virtue of natural law. It’s a virtue described by the great Saint Thomas Aquinas.

And there we have it once again: what is held up by reason and what is lived in the faith are consonant with each other. Of course, both faith and reason come from God Almighty.

Back to the quiz. Can you guess what in the world is going on with that American Flag pictured at the top of this post?

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Star Spangled Banner: μολὼν λαβέ

Tears welled up…

To the jaded who are convinced that others can take away our freedoms, listen to this, find out what kept the flag standing, and join me in saying μολὼν λαβέ, come and take it! The flag is still standing.

No one can force anyone to do anything wrong; we always have the greatest of all freedoms, to lay down our lives in witness to Him who is Truth, who is Love, for this is one nation under God, indivisible, with…

There’s those tears again… Listen to the video to find out about the greatest of liberties, what held up the flag…

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Johnny Cash – Ragged Old Flag

Thanks, Johnny. RIP. My ragged old flag is still flying down here.

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Flag, freedom, nominalism, symbols: reality of the blood of Christ our God

razor

nominalism

Basic definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in “It seems to me that lots of people think that this word means that” are useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

“Freedom”, for instance, might well be equated by some as narcissistic behavior that does not respect others, you know, the ol’ I feel like murdering you, so I have the duty and therefore right to murder you, you know, because I’m just enjoying my “Freedom.”

Um… No… That’s not what Freedom is all about. We are provided free will by our Creator so that, in all love and in all truth we might continue always to choose that which is consonant with the love and truth which we are called to live. Beautiful. That is eating from the “Tree of the Living Ones” described way back in Genesis.

The word “Freedom” for some has become a moving target, much the same as some have made male/female a moving target with their weirdly self-perceived gender-bender narcissistic “definitions” of masculine/feminine whereby someone momentarily confused about any life experiences would have them think they have to get a surgical intervention to make their genitals fit their momentary depression leading – because of the pandering of society – to suicidal despair. Um… No…

Symbols are particularly open to this kind of manipulation, so that the American Flag is said by some to be a symbol of hate because many say it is. Oh? Really? A symbol of hate?

us-flag-pow

Making definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in — “It seems to me that lots of people think that this symbol means *fill-in-the-blank* because lots of people emotionally throw tantrums about it” — making definitions in that fashion is useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

What does the flag actually stand for as a symbol, and what should we all insist upon in public conversation? How about the resolution itself?

  • “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

After standardized numbering, the thirteen original colonies are still represented by the thirteen stripes, while the stars unified in the azure sky have increased with the number of states in the union, and it is a symbol of unity. Thus far I myself have lived under two revisions, though all such changes to the flag are nevertheless The Flag.
That the Flag represents Freedom is not arbitrary. It is by its very existence placed in contradistinction to the oppression of the Brits, whose oppressive regime at the time disallowed, for instance, the free exercise of religion whether hidden away or in the public square.

There are other symbols of the Flag which were understood at the time, not as arbitrary personal whims, but as historically verifiable meanings. Thus, we find way back in the day, that the secretary of the Continental Congress had it that “White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue…signifies vigilence, perseverence & justice.”

  • White = “purity and innocence” — for, of and by the people, but under God
  • Red = “hardiness & valour” — lots of blood shed in that valor my friends
  • Blue = “vigilence, perseverence & justice” – as continuous as the sky holding the stars

But let’s get back to the Freedom which the Flag does in fact represent. I would like to take the faces of any self-congratulators who dismiss all the teenagers in our national cemeteries, buried there for having shed their blood for our Freedom, having confined themselves to their graves for our Freedom, who laid down their lives for us analogous to how the very Son of the Living God laid down His life for us, so as to grant us the greatest of freedoms – freedom from sin, the freedom to praise God on this earth and in heaven forever – I would like, I say, to take the faces of all those insulting the flag, insulting all those who laid down their lives, and put them face to face with all those youngsters in our national cemeteries, you know, until they appreciate the cost of that freedom.

Does God give us our unalienable rights which we are indeed free to exercise even at the cost of our lives? Yes.

Are those youngsters in our national cemeteries co-workers with God in giving us that free exercise of religion, that freedom of assembly, that freedom of speech…? Yes.

Rant story: While enjoying a meal with a large group of Colombian priests who were discussing all their pastoral initiatives for their respective flocks, I blurted out that, wow, they have done so very much. I’m so naive. I was instantaneously and quite ferociously reprimanded by the youngest of them, who went from calm to white hot over against my stupidity. He stated in no uncertain terms that, No! They have done NOTHING! They have not laid down their lives – yet – for their flocks. He said that they all personally knew priests who had been killed in the line of duty for their flocks. And then came the flood of stories about how those priests had been viciously executed in public even right in front of them. You have to know, this affected me profoundly.

Here’s the deal: We have nothing about which to boast unless this boasting is about the Son of the Living God who threw away His own Freedom to be nailed to the Cross for us, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. We will all of us stand before Him, looking upon Him whom we have all pierced through with our sin, original sin and whatever personal rubbish we ourselves have added, all of us, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

crucixion passion of the christ mel gibson

If we think we have actually done something, we’re pretty much lost. But, having said that, the death of the faithful is precious in the eyes of God, and there is no greater love than that one lays down his life for his friends.

Just yesterday I mentioned how many times I’ve been shot at throughout my life, from my earliest years until much more recently, bullets whizzing by my head, an unforgettable sound. My favorite interlocutor said that that’s nothing. Nothing ended my life. There’s nothing there; it’s just normal life, said he. Yes, indeed. I agree. I stand corrected. I’ve done nothing.

Even if we have laid down our lives, for instance, for the free exercise of religion for our friends, I can absolutely guarantee that no one, not even one, will be bragging at the last judgment upon seeing the wounds of the actually innocent Son of the Living God.

In fact, let me just say this right now about myself, because I will certainly do so at my judgment, so says Christ the King; Jesus instructs us to say this:

  • “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” (Luke 17:10)

Well, I hope to be able to say that I’ve done what I was obliged to do, that presuming I have done ALL that which I, which we have been commanded. When it comes right down to it, the one thing we are obliged to do, that which sets us up for a reward, is to get on our knees and humbly and contritely and with firm purpose of amendment confess our sins. “I am a sinner,” says Father George. I beg Jesus’ forgiveness and the forgiveness of any and all I have offended by my idiocy and brashness.
But Jesus will say to those who did bear His love: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

I hope Jesus will say that to me and will say that to all with whom I’ve had any contact with in this world.

Finally, for those who want a rant of rants in favor of the Freedom of these United States of America. To critics of the Flag, get out of your safe spaces and sing along with Whitney Houston, meaning also reading an analysis of the words of the National Anthem:

Coronavirus: Flags Half Mast and Full because this priest will NOT cancel honor. Still singing the National Anthem with Whitney Houston

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Pope Francis: F*** U.S.A. Police because Black Lives Matter

I apologize if this article is not a literary masterpiece: it’s just that I’m really angry.

Sure, the incident in the video above near the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate (in something like early 2014) was possibly a mistake. Probably it was a purposed way to bring attention to the fact that it is only fallen human beings who are elected to be the Bishop of Rome. And that is very much part of the instruction Pope Francis has always wanted to bring to the world. It’s not a bad point to make. We must stop putting anyone on a pedestal. We all look to the Son of the Living God whom we have all pierced with that sword as He hung upon the Cross, all of us sinners from every Tribe and Tongue and People and Nation. Pope Francis is the ultimate worldly politician. That’s a useful talent. However…

That’s not the incident of “cazzo” or “F***ing” vocabulary to which I refer. No, no. The usage of “cazzo” or “F***ing” to which I refer from Pope Francis happened just the other day, just about the beginning of Summer, 2020, in these U.S.A.

Context:

  • The Bishop of El Paso, Texas, USA – along with some henchmen among his priests – knelt down while holding up “BLACK LIVES MATTER” signs.
  • Pope Francis sent that Bishop a congratulatory message specifically for that particular form of solidarity with BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Black lives do matter. So do all lives matter. The Son of the Living God redeemed us all and wants that we assent to being saved. Therefore, all lives matter. I make absolutely no distinction among anyone for any reason whatsoever. I’m totally color blind. I simply cannot abide by any paying attention to color. “I’m white,” whatever that means. I don’t make anything of that whatsoever. “I have black and brown friends (and all other shades of color or not)” right around the world, but I don’t make anything of that either. I would be friends with whomsoever I ever meet regardless of any color. Pigmentation just does not matter to me. Justice matters. I hate injustice.

As Denzel Washington said: “I’m not a race. I’m a human being.”

To insist that BLACK LIVES MATTER apart from the lives of others, differently from the lives of others, is, in fact, supremely racist and an incitement to violence, including murder, including terrorism and genocide. Coming with the voiced agreement of religious leaders such as those priests and that bishop and Pope Francis seems to provide a divine mandate for dissing all those whose lives don’t matter according to BLACK LIVES MATTER: and for BLACK LIVES MATTER there are no police lives which matter including and especially the lives of “black” police officers.

For those religious leaders, whether priest, bishop or Pope, who insist that POLICE LIVES DO NOT MATTER, is tantamount to them saying “F*** the police,” and specifically, even religiously speaking, god damned be the damned police. This is something that endangers the safety and lives of police. It unleashes those who were already at the point of say, committing assassinations against the police. As it is, there have already been an untold number of injuries suffered by the police, as well as many assassinations suffered by the police just in these past days. I’m putting responsibility for that on the heads also of those priests and that bishop and Pope Francis.

If there is more discipline and prosecution needed for certain bad apples among the police, do it! I hate what happened to George Floyd. But don’t be encouraging a reaction of out and out terrorism. That’s exactly what those priests and that bishop and Pope Francis are doing.

But back to the symbol of kneeling, taking a knee. This is a powerful symbol in these U.S.A. It refers to being diametrically opposed to these U.S.A. as a country. It refers to the rejection of our Constitutional Republic. It therefore refers to a rejection of the rule of law, law that is balanced by the justice promoted by the unalienable rights given by God to all individual citizens. It refers to a rejection of natural law. It refers to a rejection of all divine law reflected in that human law. That’s what those priests and that bishop and Pope Francis are doing: God damn the U.S.A. God damn the American Constitution. God damn the rule of law. Those priests and that bishop should be brought up on promoting insurrection and Pope Francis should be banned from entering these U.S.A. We don’t need dialectical materialism here. Really, we don’t.

Oh, by the way, I should mention some things at this point:

  • I’m a Catholic Priest – right now still in good standing – indeed, a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis
  • I’m also a Police Chaplain
  • I have placed myself in mortal danger right around the world going against thugs and buffoons who desire chaos to reign

Listen up: It’s always the minorities and poor who suffer with stupid agendas of Marxism, of Antifa fascists, of Black Lives Matter. Always. Marxists always have the wrong analysis, or is it that for them, it’s always all about power alone? Yes. It’s only about power. Damned be fixing injustice regardless of any color involved or not. DEFUND THE POLICE! NO MORE POLICE! are the cries. But what will happen then? More crime and violence for everyone, regardless of color, regardless of social or economic “standing.” But minorities and the poor will suffer most. Always. And that’s just fine and dandy for those who grabbing lawless power, as no law at all is what is best for the power hungry. So, what’s really going on here?

I’ll just say it:

  • I don’t like it when all police are god-damned right to hell because of the bad actions of a few
  • I do in fact think that kneeling is to be reserved for God
  • For a bishop and for priests to kneel before anyone else is another kind of symbol altogether. For Pope Francis to congratulate kneeling before “BLACK LIVES MATTER” is unconscionable.

So, what now?

  • Perhaps Pope Francis will god-damn me right out of being his Missionary of Mercy
  • Perhaps he’ll have me suspended from active ministry in the priesthood
  • Perhaps he’ll dismiss me from the clerical state

THAT would all be sad. But I’m still not going to kneel in favor of racism and violence and chaos and prejudice. I won’t. I can’t. I have a conscience properly formed by natural law and by divine law, and, by the way, by church law. I want to be a priest, not a politically correct puppet to the lowest-common-denominator of some anti-law mob.

Again, in the context of BLACK LIVES MATTER, whose stated purpose is to rid police from the face of the earth, kneeling in adoration to a BLACK LIVES MATTER sign stands for agreement to that stated purpose.

Yours truly won’t be doing any kneeling like that. In my parish, all black and brown and white and whatever color kneel before the Son of the Living God in the Most Blessed Sacrament:

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And, by the way, Jesus was and is forever the Lion of Tribe of Judah, a Jew, who said that “Salvation if from the Jews.” I kneel before Him, the Divine Son of the Living God. I don’t kneel before violent usurpation coming from any source.

Finally, if you’re still holding out and thinking that taking a knee against, say, the flag of these U.S.A. is reasonable, think again. See this post which has been downloaded by untold numbers of governmental and educational institutions across the country and right around the world since it was posted years ago and right to this very day, at least to know what “influencers” are reading:

National Anthem: Star Spangled Banner – Meaning of “hireling and slave”

A note to Pope Francis: You are not served well by those who advise you. They use you. Maybe you let yourself be used. At any rate, why not just stick to bringing people to Jesus with total respect for Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the actual Magisterial interventions of the Church in the great Councils (not just “dialogue”)?

Or is this just another idolatry exercise, like Pachamama, after all, Pachamama is “brown”, right?

Just anger is good. It doesn’t let you lose peace of soul. Jesus was not without a sense of divine peace even whilst He cleansed the temple with whips and cords against the unjust abuses that were taking place therein. Right? Right?

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Filed under Adoration, Eucharist, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy, Officer Down!, Patriotism, Pope Francis

Coronavirus: Flags Half Mast and Full because this priest will NOT cancel honor. Still singing the National Anthem with Whitney Houston

Pictured above is Memorial Park which sits high above Andrews, NC, the very heart of Appalachia. The tradition in these USA and here in town is to lower the American Flag to half mast at sunrise. Mind you, this is a rebellious tradition wrought not by any groups or the town of Andrews itself, but rather of individuals who rightly have a sense of patriotism and lively respect for those who gave their lives for us. These individuals have, on their own dime, supplied the large size American Flag. Since they were preoccupied on Memorial Day, yours truly went up to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and some prayers for the honorable fallen and their families.

Those who could and would carry on the tradition were not available this year, and the town, I suppose, has been forbidden to schedule official ceremonies by insurance companies and lawyers trying to bow to the ridiculous, humiliating, oppressive, anti-Constitutional policies of the powers that be in this State of North Carolina. Personally, I cannot abide cancelling honor. I can’t.

By the way, the POW-MIA flag is also put at Half-Mast, as so many of our veterans died as POWs and so very many of our MIAs have, by this time, died…

After this, it was up to the cemetery to pray for the dead there, mostly teenagers by the way. Check out the dates on this tombstone: just 16 years old…

I was born in 1960. In 1976, when I was sixteen years old, a Sophomore in High School, I signed up for whatever state of affairs the draft had fallen into. A super-interesting article on conscription, the draft, selective service, who and what and when, is found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States. Keep in mind that the Paris Peace Accords had already been signed three years earlier in January of 1973, officially ending our involvement in Vietnam, though the fall of Saigon, actually ending everything, wasn’t until the Spring of 1975. The nice gentleman took my application but said that no one would be contacting me at this point. Too many politics were at play. I thank James above, and all those who gave their lives.

The flag had also been put at Half Mast at Holy Redeemer Church. The flags are meant to go Full Mast right at Noon. I left instructions at the church that our Noon Mass would be delayed by ten minutes, as I would be busy with the flags up in Memorial Park, but that they were to gather at the flag in front of the church for prayers for the dead and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, after which the Flag was to be put up to Full Mast. This they were happy to do.

I couldn’t resist also getting the history of these two guys from Andrews…

Our POTUS has an amazing speech, very touching, at Fort McHenry. If you want to know something about our Flag, watch this:

If anyone is offended by the Flag, go and read this post I wrote, which has been visited by pretty much every grade school, middle school, high school, college, university and specialized institute, as well as by so many in our armed forces and all sorts of branches and bureaus and offices of government, right up to the top:

National Anthem: Star Spangled Banner – Meaning of “hireling and slave”

But in case anyone is too entitled not to learn something, or is afraid of Whitney Houston, I include this all below:

The Star Spangled Banner is misunderstood and is rejected by many as our National Anthem.

Fake news about it continues. Let’s do some analysis:

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

=======

The lyrics were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Baltimore fought against the Brits’ Royal Navy in 1812. The Brits just wouldn’t let it go, and had to engage again, and so lost again, almost thirty years after the end of the Revolutionary War. The Royal Navy would enlist mercenaries, the “hirelings” mentioned in the third verse, and enslave Prisoners of War to fight for them as well, the “slaves” mentioned in the third verse.

Why do I insist on this having nothing whatsoever even remotely to do with black African slaves when Key himself was a slave owner who lived long before the American Civil War? Because of the purpose of the song and what it is describing, that is, a particular night of battle in the harbor of Baltimore against the Royal Navy in which hirelings and slaves were employed in the battle by the Royal Navy, surely other Brits or POW American military.

Even if a tiny percentage of these hirelings and slaves happened to be black Africans, possibly most recently from the United States, the mentions of those hirelings and slaves wouldn’t refer to any previous status of slavery, but only to the slavery imposed by the Royal Navy on any POWs. To win this battle in Baltimore, there would be no interest in going to, say, Mississippi, and killing hirelings and slaves. To hold that to be the meaning of the words is simply ridiculous.

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God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

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