NATURAL LAW

The Roman Catholic Social Doctrine

Ascendancy of the Roman Catholic dogma in the body politic of the United States

The Catholic Church, that imperishable handiwork of our all-merciful God, has for her immediate and natural purpose the saving of souls and securing our happiness in heaven. Yet, in regard to things temporal, she is the source of benefits as manifold and great as if the chief end of her existence were to ensure the prospering of our earthly life. And, indeed, wherever the Church has set her foot she has straightway changed the face of things, and has attempered the moral tone of the people with a new civilization and with virtues before unknown. All nations which have yielded to her sway have become eminent by their gentleness, their sense of justice, and the glory of their high deeds.  (IMMORTALE DEI - ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTION OF STATES)

The precepts, therefore, of the natural law, contained bodily in the laws of men, have not merely the force of human law, but they possess that higher and more august sanction which belongs to the law of nature and the eternal law. And within the sphere of this kind of laws the duty of the civil legislator is, mainly, to keep the community in obedience by the adoption of a common discipline and by putting restraint upon refractory and viciously inclined men, so that, deterred from evil, they may turn to what is good, or at any rate may avoid causing trouble and disturbance to the State. . . .

And if it be asked which of the many conflicting religions it is necessary to adopt, reason and the natural law unhesitatingly tell us to practice that one which God enjoins, and which men can easily recognize by certain exterior notes, whereby Divine Providence has willed that it should be distinguished, because, in a matter of such moment, the most terrible loss would be the consequence of error. . . .

. . .it is quite unlawful to demand, to defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, of speech, or writing, or of worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man. For, if nature had really granted them, it would be lawful to refuse obedience to God, and there would be no restraint on human liberty.  (LIBERTAS - ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE NATURE OF HUMAN LIBERTY)

Roman Catholic dogma tends to be complex, and also dense in the sense that the meaning is not necessarily what it appears to be on the surface.  The "Natural Law" dogma is no exception.  The "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy" states:

The term “natural law” is ambiguous. It refers to a type of moral theory, as well as to a type of legal theory, but the core claims of the two kinds of theory are logically independent. It does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe. According to natural law moral theory, the moral standards that govern human behavior are, in some sense, objectively derived from the nature of human beings and the nature of the world. While being logically independent of natural law legal theory, the two theories intersect.

Note that "it does not refer to the laws of nature, the laws that science aims to describe."  The purpose of this essay is to examine the claims made by the Papacy for Roman Catholicism's "natural law," and its increasing application to the body politic of the United States of America.

SPEECH OF POPE BENEDICT XVI TO GERMAN PARLIAMENT

The following is excerpted from the address of Pope Benedict XVI to the German Bundestag on September 22, 2011; note the highlighted passages carefully:

. . .But the invitation to give this address was extended to me as Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, who bears the highest responsibility for Catholic Christianity. In issuing this invitation you are acknowledging the role that the Holy See plays as a partner within the community of peoples and states. Setting out from this international responsibility that I hold, I should like to propose to you some thoughts on the foundations of a free state of law.

Allow me to begin my reflections on the foundations of law [Recht] with a brief story from sacred Scripture. In the First Book of the Kings, it is recounted that God invited the young King Solomon, on his accession to the throne, to make a request. What will the young ruler ask for at this important moment? Success – wealth – long life – destruction of his enemies? He chooses none of these things. Instead, he asks for a listening heart so that he may govern God’s people, and discern between good and evil (cf. 1 Kg 3:9). Through this story, the Bible wants to tell us what should ultimately matter for a politician. . . . To serve right and to fight against the dominion of wrong is and remains the fundamental task of the politician. At a moment in history when man has acquired previously inconceivable power, this task takes on a particular urgency. . . Even now, Solomon’s request remains the decisive issue facing politicians and politics today.

For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can serve as a sufficient criterion. Yet it is evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough: everyone in a position of responsibility must personally seek out the criteria to be followed when framing laws. In the third century, the great theologian Origen provided the following explanation for the resistance of Christians to certain legal systems: “Suppose that a man were living among the Scythians, whose laws are contrary to the divine law, and was compelled to live among them ... such a man for the sake of the true law, though illegal among the Scythians, would rightly form associations with like-minded people contrary to the laws of the Scythians.” . .

. . . . .

How do we recognize what is right? In history, systems of law have almost always been based on religion: decisions regarding what was to be lawful among men were taken with reference to the divinity. Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God. Christian theologians thereby aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the second century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social natural law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law. . Through this encounter, the juridical culture of the West was born, which was and is of key significance for the juridical culture of mankind. This pre-Christian marriage between law and philosophy opened up the path that led via the Christian Middle Ages and the juridical developments of the Age of Enlightenment all the way to the Declaration of Human Rights and to our German Basic Law of 1949, with which our nation committed itself to “inviolable and inalienable human rights as the foundation of every human community, and of peace and justice in the world.”

For the development of law and for the development of humanity, it was highly significant that Christian theologians aligned themselves against the religious law associated with polytheism and on the side of philosophy, and that they acknowledged reason and nature in their interrelation as the universally valid source of law. This step had already been taken by Saint Paul in the Letter to the Romans, when he said: “When Gentiles who have not the Law [the Torah of Israel] do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves ... they show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness ...” (Rom 2:14f.). Here we see the two fundamental concepts of nature and conscience, where conscience is nothing other than Solomon’s listening heart, reason that is open to the language of being. If this seemed to offer a clear explanation of the foundations of legislation up to the time of the Enlightenment, up to the time of the Declaration on Human Rights after the Second World War and the framing of our Basic Law, there has been a dramatic shift in the situation in the last half-century. The idea of natural law is today viewed as a specifically Catholic doctrine, not worth bringing into the discussion in a non-Catholic environment, so that one feels almost ashamed even to mention the term. . . . Where positivist reason dominates the field to the exclusion of all else – and that is broadly the case in our public mindset – then the classical sources of knowledge for ethics and law are excluded. This is a dramatic situation which affects everyone, and on which a public debate is necessary. Indeed, an essential goal of this address is to issue an urgent invitation to launch one.

The positivist approach to nature and reason, the positivist world view in general, is a most important dimension of human knowledge and capacity that we may in no way dispense with. But in and of itself it is not a sufficient culture corresponding to the full breadth of the human condition. Where positivist reason considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, it diminishes man, indeed it threatens his humanity. . . . In its self-proclaimed exclusivity, the positivist reason which recognizes nothing beyond mere functionality resembles a concrete bunker with no windows, in which we ourselves provide lighting and atmospheric conditions, being no longer willing to obtain either from God’s wide world. . . . The windows must be flung open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more and learn to make proper use of all this.

. . . . .

. . . I find myself asking. Is it really pointless to wonder whether the objective reason that manifests itself in nature does not presuppose a creative reason, a Creator Spiritus?

At this point Europe’s cultural heritage ought to come to our assistance. . . . The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: it is these criteria that we are called to defend at this moment in our history. (Underlined emphases added; cf. Pope Benedict's challenge to positivism in the Bundestag; Other statements of Benedict XVI on "Natural Law".)

Allow me to begin my reflections on the foundations of law [Recht] with a brief story from sacred Scripture. In the First Book of the Kings, it is recounted that God invited the young King Solomon, on his accession to the throne, to make a request. What will the young ruler ask for at this important moment? Success – wealth – long life – destruction of his enemies? He chooses none of these things. Instead, he asks for a listening heart so that he may govern God’s people, and discern between good and evil (cf. 1 Kg 3:9). Through this story, the Bible wants to tell us what should ultimately matter for a politician. . . . To serve right and to fight against the dominion of wrong is and remains the fundamental task of the politician. At a moment in history when man has acquired previously inconceivable power, this task takes on a particular urgency. . . Even now, Solomon’s request remains the decisive issue facing politicians and politics today.

For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can serve as a sufficient criterion. Yet it is evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough: everyone in a position of responsibility must personally seek out the criteria to be followed when framing laws. In the third century, the great theologian Origen provided the following explanation for the resistance of Christians to certain legal systems: “Suppose that a man were living among the Scythians, whose laws are contrary to the divine law, and was compelled to live among them ... such a man for the sake of the true law, though illegal among the Scythians, would rightly form associations with like-minded people contrary to the laws of the Scythians.” .

. . . . .

How do we recognize what is right? In history, systems of law have almost always been based on religion: decisions regarding what was to be lawful among men were taken with reference to the divinity. Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God. Christian theologians thereby aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the second century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social natural law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law. . Through this encounter, the juridical culture of the West was born, which was and is of key significance for the juridical culture of mankind. This pre-Christian marriage between law and philosophy opened up the path that led via the Christian Middle Ages and the juridical developments of the Age of Enlightenment all the way to the Declaration of Human Rights and to our German Basic Law of 1949, with which our nation committed itself to “inviolable and inalienable human rights as the foundation of every human community, and of peace and justice in the world.”

For the development of law and for the development of humanity, it was highly significant that Christian theologians aligned themselves against the religious law associated with polytheism and on the side of philosophy, and that they acknowledged reason and nature in their interrelation as the universally valid source of law. This step had already been taken by Saint Paul in the Letter to the Romans, when he said: “When Gentiles who have not the Law [the Torah of Israel] do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves ... they show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness ...” (Rom 2:14f.). Here we see the two fundamental concepts of nature and conscience, where conscience is nothing other than Solomon’s listening heart, reason that is open to the language of being. If this seemed to offer a clear explanation of the foundations of legislation up to the time of the Enlightenment, up to the time of the Declaration on Human Rights after the Second World War and the framing of our Basic Law, there has been a dramatic shift in the situation in the last half-century. The idea of natural law is today viewed as a specifically Catholic doctrine, not worth bringing into the discussion in a non-Catholic environment, so that one feels almost ashamed even to mention the term. . . . Where positivist reason dominates the field to the exclusion of all else – and that is broadly the case in our public mindset – then the classical sources of knowledge for ethics and law are excluded. This is a dramatic situation which affects everyone, and on which a public debate is necessary. Indeed, an essential goal of this address is to issue an urgent invitation to launch one.

The positivist approach to nature and reason, the positivist world view in general, is a most important dimension of human knowledge and capacity that we may in no way dispense with. But in and of itself it is not a sufficient culture corresponding to the full breadth of the human condition. Where positivist reason considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, it diminishes man, indeed it threatens his humanity. . . . In its self-proclaimed exclusivity, the positivist reason which recognizes nothing beyond mere functionality resembles a concrete bunker with no windows, in which we ourselves provide lighting and atmospheric conditions, being no longer willing to obtain either from God’s wide world. . . . The windows must be flung open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more and learn to make proper use of all this.

. . . . .

. . . I find myself asking. Is it really pointless to wonder whether the objective reason that manifests itself in nature does not presuppose a creative reason, a Creator Spiritus?

At this point Europe’s cultural heritage ought to come to our assistance. . . . The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: it is these criteria that we are called to defend at this moment in our history.  (Underlined emphases added; cf. Pope Benedict's challenge to positivism in the BundestagOther statements of Benedict XVI on "Natural Law".)

From the passages highlighted above, what the Pope was saying can be summarized, with comments, as follows:

1.  He claims the papacy to be a partner within the [world] community of peoples and states. From this "international responsibility" which he holds, he proceeds to explain his views on the foundations of "a free state of law."  It will become apparent as the concept of "natural law" is developed on this web page just how "free" the Pope's proposed "state of law" really is.

2.  He suggests that King Solomon's request of God for "a listening heart so that he may govern God’s people, and discern between good and evil" is equivalent to his assertion that "To serve right and to fight against the dominion of wrong is and remains the fundamental task of the politician."  This glosses over the fact that Israel was a theocracy ordained of God, which came to an end for all time when Jesus Christ made the pronouncement, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate" (Matt. 23:38.)  Of course Rome has ever flouted His admonition to "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s" Matt. 22:21 (last part.)  (Italic emphasis added.)

3.  "For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can serve as a sufficient criterion. Yet it is evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough."  This clearly advocates ignoring majority public opinion when in conflict with Rome's notions of "natural law."  Although flawed, as is all human institutions, respect for majority public opinion is an essential part of governance in a liberal democracy.  Interestingly, while decrying the "majority principle" the Roman Catholic Church has gone to great lengths to shape public opinion to the hierarchy's notions of "natural law."

4.  Presuming to speak for the entire Christian world, the Pope claims that "Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation."  This is a denial of the supreme authority of the Bible in revealing the moral duties of man to his Creator and to his fellowmen - Sola Scriptura.  The true Christian faith disclaims the right to impose the principles of righteousness on States and individuals.  The Christian witnesses to the State and the individual; and the choice is theirs to heed or reject.  (Cf. Acts 24-26; Mark 13:9; Luke 21:12-13.)  The Pope then proceeds to identify the true source of Roman Catholicism's "natural law," "Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God. Christian theologians thereby aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the second century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social natural law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law."  In aligning the Apostle Paul's parenthetical statement in Rom. 2:14 with the Roman Catholic doctrine of "natural law," the Pope ignored the full context of the statement, in which the overriding authority of the revealed law is emphasized by Paul.  (Italic emphasis added.)

5.  Arguing as a Church man in the realm of socio-political philosophy, the Pope decries "positivist reason," which "considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, and it diminishes man, indeed it threatens his humanity."  His conclusion is that, "At this point Europe’s cultural heritage ought to come to our assistance;" and what is that cultural heritage?:

The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: it is these criteria that we are called to defend at this moment in our history.

This amalgam of ideologies is what the papacy offers to the world in its "natural law" doctrine, in substitution for the Word of God revealed in the Holy Bible.

THE STAGGERING CLAIMS MADE BY THE PAPACY FOR THE "NATURAL LAW"

SOURCE OF THE NATURAL LAW

It is a basic tenet of Rome's "natural law" that "human reason by its own natural force and light can arrive at a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, Who by His providence watches over and governs the world, and also the natural law, which the Creator has written in our hearts" (quoted from a qualifying statement in the encyclical Humani Generis of Pope Pius XII.)  This is a bold contradiction of the Holy Bible - (The Bible abounds with statements about the natural condition of man; cf. The Significance of Natural Law in Catholic Ethics.)  This qualifying statement from the online book Christian Moral Principles - Chapter 7 is of critical importance:

. . . though, absolutely speaking, human reason by its own natural force and light can arrive at a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, Who by His providence watches over and governs the world, and also the natural law, which the Creator has written in our hearts, still there are not a few obstacles to prevent reason from making efficient and fruitful use of its natural ability. . . .

It is for this reason that divine revelation must be considered morally necessary so that those religious and moral truths which are not of their nature beyond the reach of reason in the present condition of the human race, may be known with a firm certainty and with freedom from all error.  (Italic emphasis added.)

It concludes from the foregoing as follows:

Thus the Church teaches that truths of natural law are included in revelation. It follows that they belong to the proper sphere of the Church’s authority to teach, and that if one does not find cogent arguments for them, they must be accepted on faith. One cannot expect people who refuse to accept such moral norms on faith to see all of them to be true.

In the place where St. Paul alludes to natural law, he also points out that Gentiles in fulfilling it were fulfilling the law—that is, the requirements of the covenant (see Rom 2.14–15). Obviously, he does not mean that the Gentiles could know and keep the precepts peculiar to Mosaic law, which are abolished in Christianity. Rather, he means that moral content common to the Old and the New Testaments—such as the Ten Commandments and their foundation in the law of love—constitutes natural law.  (Italic emphasis added.)

Does the reader see the crass blasphemy here?  "The moral content common to the Old and the New Testaments - such as the Ten Commandments and their foundation in the law of love - constitutes natural law!"  "Natural Law" is exalted above the whole of the Old and New Testaments; and from whence is natural law derived?  Benedict XVI provides Rome's answer:

Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God.

It is no surprise then that Christian Moral Principles contends the truths of natural law belong to the proper sphere of the Church's authority to teach (what the Church of Rome calls the "Magisterium.")

THE MAGISTERIUM

Roman Catholic dictionaries define "Magisterium" as "The Church's teaching authority, vested in the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, under the Roman Pontiff, as successor of St. Peter. Also vested in the Pope, as Vicar of Christ and visible head of the Catholic Church."  BeginningCatholic.com states the scope of the authority claimed as follows:

To ensure the success of this mission, Christ gave his Church the ability to teach, govern and sanctify with Christ's own authority. The Apostles appointed successors to ensure that the Gospel would continue to be handed on faithfully as "the lasting source of all life for the Church" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium" 20; also Catechism #860).

The source and guarantee of this Church authority is Christ's continuing presence in his Church — "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:20).

The purpose of this authority is to give the Church the ability to teach without error about the essentials of salvation: "On this rock, I will build My Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18).

The scope of this authority concerns the official teachings of the Church on matters of faith, morals, and worship (liturgy & sacraments). We believe that, because of Christ's continued presence and guarantee, his Church cannot lead people astray with its official teachings (which are distinct from the individual failings and opinions of its members, priests, bishops, and Popes). (Bold emphasis in black theirs; underscored emphasis added)

This claim to teaching authority is outrageous even when confined to the world community of Roman Catholics.  Even more outrageous is the fact that the Church of Rome does not confine her teaching authority to Roman Catholics.  The "Holy See" not only claims teaching authority and the absolute right of control over the conscience of each individual member of the Roman Catholic Church; it also claims the right to teach and dominate the conscience of each individual member of civil society at large.  This is a policy of absolute religious freedom for the "Holy See," and absolute denial of religious freedom for the world at large.  The brazen claims of the "Holy See" identify the institution of the papacy as the "Little Horn" power of Daniel 7 & 8, the "king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8:23-25, "the king" of Daniel 11:36-45, and the "man of sin" described in  the Apostle Paul's prophecy of 2 Thess. 2:3-9, as well as the Beast of Rev. 13:1-3.  With so many prophetic warnings, why are Protestants deceived?  Paul provides the answer in 2 Thess. 2:10-12.  They have "received not the love of the Truth."

SOCIAL DOCTRINE AND NATURAL LAW

The Roman Catholic Church's social doctrine is the template for the imposition of Natural Law on civil government and society at large.  Of the numerous Roman Catholic articles on the Social Doctrine of Natural Law, one titled "The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church," is concise, comprehensive, and heavily documented (hyperlink below.)  It opens with the statement, "The encyclical Rerum Novarum (RN) is considered the first great social encyclical of modern times. It was published by Pope Leo XIII on May 15, 1891, a landmark date in the history of the Church Magisterium."  Concerning the Social Doctrine of the Church it provides this definition:

The entire teaching of the ecclesiastical Magisterium which applies revealed truth and Christian moral principles to the social order is called the social doctrine of the Church. It applies the Gospel message to social reality. The purpose of the Church's social teaching is to present to men God's plan for secular reality. It enlightens men's minds with truth and guides them in building up the earthly city according to the divine plan. (Underscored and italic emphasis added.)

On the mission of the Ecclesiastical Magisterium the article states that "The Church's mission belongs to the supernatural order (QA 41; Mater et Magistra--MM--1-5,)" then appears to give the nod to a degree of autonomy, "it does not interfere with legitimate temporal options nor support specific political programs (QA 41, 96)."  It then proceeds to expose the pitifully limited scope of that autonomy, "Nevertheless, the Church has a strict right--also a duty--to teach the moral aspects of the secular order, whether this be in politics, economics. or social matters (RN 12; QA 11, 41-43; MM 42). Likewise, she pronounces moral judgments upon temporal questions (MM 42; GS 76) and forms consciences in regard to temporal activities (MM 195)  (Underscored emphasis added.)

The article pronounces upon every aspect of the human condition and the structure of society.  On Civil Authority it states:

Since the human community has a divine origin (in natural law), and since any society implicitly requires authority, it follows that civil authority also takes its origin from the natural law, which is to say, from God (RN 251; Immortale Dei--ID--10; PT 51). Therefore, the theory that the people are the ultimate source of power in civil society is incorrect (PT 78; Ubi Arcano--UA--22; see especially Summi Pontificatus--SP--passim[But cf. The Concepts and Fundamental Principles of Democracy.  Rome opposes true Democracy] The divine origin of civil power is revealed in several passages of Sacred Scripture, among them Rom. 13:1-4 "Let everyone be subject to the higher authorities, for there exists no authority except from God, and those who exist have been appointed by God. Therefore he who resists the authority resists the ordinance of God....”(Underscored emphasis added.)

The Apostle Paul did indeed admonish, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation." (Romans 13:1-2, KJV)  This biblical Truth is taken out of context and distorted to require submission to Roman Catholicism's claim of supreme authority to impose Natural Law upon civil society.  Bible Christians (there was a time when this was synonymous with "Protestants) look directly to God, and certainly not to Natural Law, for the revelation of His authority and will in the Old and New Testaments (Sola Scriptura.)

The article goes on to state:

The duty of obedience to civil authority is not, however, unlimited, for authority itself is limited. These limits are determined by: a) the moral order and natural right; b) the common good; and c) the legitimately constituted legal order (GS 74). We must especially bear in mind that when human power commands something clearly opposed to the divine will--that is, to divine right, both natural and positive--that command is void (DI 11). In such a case, the just thing to do is not to obey it (Libertas Praestantissimum--L--2l), for it is an evident abuse of power.

One of the declarations of the principle of disobedience to the commandments and laws of men was made by the Apostle Peter under the following circumstances:

Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. . . .And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  (Acts 5:17-21, 27-29)

It is when the commandments and laws of men are contrary to the Will of God revealed in the Bible, and the Bible alone, that the Christian is obliged to disobey them.  (Cf. Forgive Us Our Trespasses? A Biblical View of Civil Disobedience and Operation Rescue, which is a remarkably sound exposition on the biblical principles governing civil disobedience; although the introductory paragraphs reveal an acceptance of premises founded on Roman Catholic dogma as suggested in The Abortion Controversy and The Image to the Beast.  Also, the author seems not to recognize that the "higher law" to which the proponents of civil disobedience appeal is really not Scripture, but Natural Law.  However, he is biblically correct that "God's higher law [here clearly referring to the Bible,] properly understood, teaches us that God (1) possesses absolute authority, (2) establishes civil authorities, (3) commands Christians generally to obey such authorities, (4) neither permits nor requires Christians to disobey authorities who permit evil, and (5) requires Christians to disobey authorities only (a) when such authorities command them to sin (command Christians to do what God forbids or forbid them to do what God commands), and (b) when Christians have no legal means by which they can obey God."  Rome's Social Doctrine brings the true Law of God into subjection to Roman Catholicism's Natural Law ( their "higher law;") and gives license to disobey the civil authorities if their laws do not conform to that Natural Law, even if those laws do not command Christians to do what God forbids or forbids them to do what God commands.  The agitation for pro-life legislation is one example of the progressive implementation of Roman Catholic Social Doctrine in the United States, about which more will be written in the last part of this study.  It is a contradiction of Jesus Christ's commission to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matt. 28:19-20.)"  There is not a hint of coercion or legislation here.  The early Christian Church moved the world by precept and example - not by co-opting civil power.  The power of conversion is the sole prerogative of the Holy Spirit ("lo, I am with you alway.")

On Legislation, "The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church" states:

The fundamental structure of society and the basic principles of human conduct arise from the eternal law, which is the divine reason as it governs the entire universe (L 6). The eternal law is called natural law or natural right (L 6) in view of man's participation in it, as it has been impressed upon the hearts of all men (Rom. 2:14-15). Natural right is engraved in human nature (PT 63); it contains the dictates of man's reason which command him to do what is by nature good for him and prohibit him from doing what is bad. . . .

The precepts of the natural law are not simply a moral guide or an ideal which ought to be attained. They constitute the very core of the legal order, the standard by which the positive laws made by man are to be interpreted, and the norm of their validity in conscience (RN 35; Mit brennender Sorge--MBS--35). The natural law is the common patrimony of humanity and obliges everyone (L 18). It is the universal law given to all men without any distinction.  (Underscored emphasis added.)

As previously stated, the idea that, "Natural right is engraved in human nature (PT 63); it contains the dictates of man's reason which command him to do what is by nature good for him and prohibit him from doing what is bad," is in direct contradiction to the Bible on the human condition.  See below

The foregoing quotations from "The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church" have highlighted only some of the most egregious claims of the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine.  In the full article is set out its all-encompassing claims:

THE PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH.
The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church (Highlighted)

HOW THE ROMAN CATHOLIC SOCIAL DOCTRINE IS ADVANCING IN AMERICA

The reader who has already perused the article "The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church" has seen expounded a principle which tends to be little noticed, but which is very significant in the context of the alliance between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Republican Party in the United States.  The principle is called "Subsidiarity."  It advocates that:

. . . Some things fall within the competence of the public organization (the government) of the political community-as, for example, making laws, administering justice, and providing for the common defense. Other matters belong to private individuals; for example, whatever pertains to the family.[The last sentence is profoundly hypocritical, since the Roman Catholic Church is lobbying hard for legislation encroaching on private matters of birth control within the family, and for that matter in society at large.]

In addition, there is a broad range of activities in which both sectors, public and private, interact because the subject matter pertains to both for example, the production and distribution of goods, the promotion of scientific research and of the arts. Here the principle of the primacy of private initiative is to be strictly applied. In substance, this principle states that such activities belong in the first place to the individual person since they constitute part of his natural end. Consequently, they are the means by which a person perfects himself and cooperates in the perfecting of others.

. . . . The mission, of the state is to encourage, to assist, and when necessary to supplement the initiatives of its citizens.

The most well-known formulation of this principle was given by Pius XI: "That most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed, remains fixed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the social body, and never destroy or absorb them" (QA 79).

Three other principles can be discerned within the principle of subsidiarity: First, persons and small communities must enjoy the autonomy necessary to attain the ends and to carry out the activities within their own competence. Second, larger communities must aid the initiatives of those who come under their authority, neither stifling nor absorbing them. Third, the larger society must supply the deficiencies of persons and smaller communities when they are unable by themselves to promote the common good, and for so long as the deficiency should last.  (From "The Principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church" under "Subsidiarity"))

The foregoing is a minimalist approach to central government, and appears to be the explanation for the cooperative political activism of the Church of Rome and the Republican Party.  As astonishing as it may be that any Church would oppose national health coverage or social security, there are indications that in the United States at least the Roman Catholic hierarchy supports Republican opposition to social welfare programs administered by the central government.  For example, there is a substantial consensus in the nation that Paul Ryan's budget passed by the House of Representatives seeks to undermine and perhaps ultimately eliminate such programs.  (Cf.  Paul Ryan gets boost from Catholic bishops; The Catholicity of Paul Ryan’s Budget; Congressman Paul Ryan: Social teaching and the federal budget: a Catholic politician's views; Paul Ryan’s Assault On Vulnerable Americans Inconsistent With His Faith - [But it really isn't, when the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine is examined carefully;]  Cf. also, Reactionary Liberalism and Catholic Social Doctrine)

The principle of subsidiarity first captured the attention of Adventist Laymen's Foundation after the 2004 presidential election.  In the web document Theocratic Dictatorship we quoted a statement by the late Paul Weyrich on his Free Congress Foundation website, dated March 13, 2001, and titled "Bush Understands Catholic Principle of Subsidiarity," as follows:

"Before I get to the business of why I've called you," I said to President Bush's political guru Karl Rove, "I would be grateful if you would give your President a message from me." Rove was most obliging. "Tell him that he has mastered the art of Catholic governance," I said. Rove replied: "That's pretty good for a Methodist."

Rove went on to say that President Bush understands the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. I am not the only one who believes this is the case. The American Society of Tradition Family and Property (TFP), a very traditionalist group, says privately that Bush is more Catholic than any Catholic President who is electable in this country. . .

The principle of subsidiarity requires that when you minister to someone in need you begin with the unit closest to home. Only if you cannot satisfy the need at that level do you move beyond to mediating structures. If those structures fail, you would move to government, but you would begin at the local level. And again, if local government can't satisfy needs, only then would it be permissible to turn to the next level of government and so on. The bias in this principle is in favor of the family as the basic unit of society. Beyond the family, private institutions have the next bias, if you will, and government is only favored when private institutions fail completely, and then the bias is in favor of government which is closest to the people. . .

Already this President has been misjudged and misunderstood. I suspect that unless his friends and critics alike begin to understand his Catholicity, George Bush will continue to confound people. The Washington press corps isn't much schooled in theology. Before this Presidency concludes they may have to be. (Underscored emphasis added.)

It is unlikely that a clearer definition of "subsidiarity" can be found than that of Paul Weyrich quoted above.  Thus we find it stated by a knowledgeable Roman Catholic activist that George Bush was in the process of foisting "subsidiarity" on the nation of which he was President; however, the Roman Catholicization of the United States of America did not begin with the George Bush presidency.  It has been progressing steadily since the latter part of the 19th century, as documented by the Seventh-day Adventist Author Christian Edwardson in his book Facts of Faith.  (Cf Making America Catholic; Americanism Versus Romanism.)

There were ominous developments which we did note in a special issue of Watchman, What of the Night? dated April, 2001, that was titled The Forming of the Image to the Beast Is It Now Accomplished?  We noted the role of Roman Catholics in the coalition between them and the Protestant Christian Right, and President George Bush's promotion of "Compassionate Conservatism;" but the connection to "subsidiarity" and Roman Catholicism's "Natural Law" went unnoticed.

The presidencies of Bush the elder and younger were a progression from that of Ronald Reagan, who was first elected in 1980 amidst a flurry in the formation of new conservative organizations and religious right alliances.  ( Cf. "The Forming of the Image to the Beast Is It Now Accomplished.")  The power and influence of these organizations and alliances have grown to astonishing dimensions, and they can be seen on close inspection to be tentacles of the Roman Catholic Church.  Ronald Reagan himself formed a close alliance with the Vatican.  In a Time cover story titled "The Holy Alliance," Carl Bernstein wrote:

The key Administration players were all devout Roman Catholics -- CIA chief William Casey, Allen, Clark, Haig, Walters and William Wilson, Reagan's first ambassador to the Vatican. They regarded the U.S.-Vatican relationship as a holy alliance: the moral force of the Pope and the teachings of their church combined with their fierce anticommunism and their notion of American democracy. Yet the mission would have been impossible without the full support of Reagan, who believed fervently in both the benefits and the practical applications of Washington's relationship with the Vatican. One of his earliest goals as President, Reagan says, was to recognize the Vatican as a state "and make them an ally."

The title of another article published online, Political Power of Roman Catholic Bishops speaks for itself.  Collaboration between the Bishops and the Reagan administration figure largely in this report.  (Cf.  Panel Reflects on US-Vatican Relations.)  A biographical article titled The Life and Times of Pope John Paul II, states that,"Through the 1980s, Pope John Paul II met regularly with the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, William Casey, and participated in what former U.S. National Security Advisor Richard Allen calls “the greatest secret alliance in history” between the Vatican and the Reagan Administration."  The pernicious nature of this alliance cannot be exaggerated.  The Image to the Beast was beginning to form; the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine was visibly shaping the political landscape.  On September 26, 1988, nearing the end of his presidency, Ronald Reagan made this statement in an address to the United Nations General Assembly:

And our own experience on this continent-the American experience—though brief, has had one unmistakable encounter, an insistence on the preservation of one sacred truth. It is a truth that our first President, our Founding Father, passed on in the first farewell address made to the American people. It is a truth that I hope now you'll permit me to mention in these remarks of farewell, a truth embodied in our Declaration of Independence: that the case for inalienable rights, that the idea of human dignity, that the notion of conscience above compulsion can be made only in the context of higher law, only in the context of what one of the founders of this organization, Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, has called devotion to something which is greater and higher than we are ourselves. This is the endless cycle, the final truth to which humankind seems always to return: that religion and morality, that faith in something higher, are prerequisites for freedom and that justice and peace within ourselves is the first step toward justice and peace in the world and for the ages.  (Underscored emphasis added; Address to the 43d Session of the United Nations General Assembly.)

President Reagan was referring to Roman Catholicism's Natural Law.  The Free Online Dictionary defines "higher law" as "a principle that takes preceden[ce] over the laws of society."  Wikipedia the free encyclopedia states concerning "Rule according to higher law":

The rule according to a higher law means that no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice. . . Thus, the rule according to a higher law may serve as a practical legal criterion to qualify the instances of political or economical decision-making, when a government, even though acting in conformity with clearly defined and properly enacted legal rules, still produces results which many observers find unfair or unjust. . ."Higher law" can be interpreted in this context as the divine or natural law or basic legal values, established in the international law."  (Emphasis added.)

It is astonishing to observe that there was not one reference to any "higher law" or principle of "higher law" in President George Washington's farewell address - not a single statement remotely bearing any similarity to what was claimed by Ronald Reagan.  (Cf.  WASHINGTON’S FAREWELL ADDRESS.)  President Reagan's statement was a distortion of fact; but he had acted on his "higher law" convictions.  His administration is correctly referred to as "the Reagan revolution."  Changes made in the laws of the United States set the nation on an irreversible course towards the full implementation of the Roman Catholic social doctrine.

In The Reagan presidency and the governing of America, by Lester M. Salamon and Michael S. Lund, the authors describe the modus operandi and accomplishments of the Reagan Administration.  Note the significance of the highlighted passages as follows:

In the first place, the Reagan administration appears to have succeeded significantly in shifting the terms of the national policy debate and in restoring, in the process, a considerable measure of public confidence in the presidency and in the workability of the political system. More than many of his predecessors, Ronald Reagan articulated a coherent new direction for national policy, sought public support for that new direction, and then got a substantial portion of it enacted and put into place.

In neither its general philosophy nor its theory of governance was the Reagan administration wholly consistent. As noted earlier. Reagan's world view combined traditional laissez-faire precepts with a more statist social philosophy that condoned the use of governmental authority to enforce discipline and control "immoral" social behavior. Furthermore, the administration's eagerness to reduce policy congestion at the center of the political system did not prevent it from centralizing control over executive branch policy development and political negotiation in the crucial areas of budgeting, program restructuring, and regulatory reform far more extensively than did previous administrations.

Despite these apparent contradictions, the Reagan administration did articulate a policy course for the nation that was reasonably clear, markedly different from what had gone before, and responsive to at least one facet of the popular mood. More than that, the administration put a significant portion of this new direction into operation. It did this most forcefully through passage of two landmark pieces of legislation: first, the 1981 Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act, which greatly expanded military spending, made significant cuts in a variety of domestic programs. and merged a number of categorical grant programs into block grants: and second, the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which reduced tax rates for both individuals and corporations and put a lid on further revenue growth by "indexing" tax rates beginning in 1975 so that rates decline when inflation increases.

Though the administration did not get everything it requested, these two pieces of legislation fundamentally changed the context of the national policy debate, and in the direction Reagan wanted. By reducing government revenue and clamping down on its future growth, the tax act in particular virtually guaranteed that new program initiatives would face extremely unfavorable odds and that key constituencies would have to battle mightily just to maintain existing benefits in the face of growing federal deficits. Moreover, through a series of administrative moves by its appointees, the administration limited the zealousness of enforcement in the social regulatory area and created a "hunker-down" atmosphere that placed the burden of proof back with the advocates of regulatory protection. The result has been a severe ratcheting down of expectations that has had ramifications throughout the political system.

Several factors seem to account for the Reagan administration's success in altering the terms of the national policy debate in this fashion. One was the apparent clarity and straightforwardness of the administration's basic philosophy, with its simple appeal to cut domestic spending. increase defense spending, and limit federal regulation. Equally important was the 1980 election. which, though hardly yielding a voter endorsement of the Reagan philosophy, nevertheless created a presumption that the electorate was eager for a change. A third factor was the speed with which the administration moved and the skill with which it took advantage of the reconciliation provisions of the Congressional Budget Act. The Reagan administration did not spend months analyzing possible alternative courses of action or endlessly reviewing the details of what it was proposing with myriad interest groups and congressional advocates. Rather, it assembled its proposals quickly on the basis of the warm afterglow of the election. thus catching its opponents thoroughly off guard.

Finally, the administration's success in changing the terms of the national policy debate resulted in no small part from the extraordinary political and communications skills of Ronald Reagan. By personalizing and humanizing the presidential office, Reagan managed to take the edge off what would otherwise have been perceived as insensitive policy directions. He did this by effortlessly projecting a basically ingenuous personality, by using anecdotes and homiletic appeals to widely felt values. and by conveying an unpretentious. friendly manner that avoided impersonal statistical argument, complex reasoning, and expressions of intense emotion such as bitterness or sarcasm. Reagan's operational style reinforced this image, leaving to White House aides and cabinet members much of the nitty-gritty detail of program content and political deal-cutting, white reserving for the president the high ground of general philosophy and public mobilization.

As a result of this style. the public dissociates its evaluation of the Reagan administration and its policies as a whole from its estimation of Reagan himself. Drawn to his attractive personality. large numbers of Americans have been willing to forgive Reagan or not hold him accountable for major failures of his administration. The political payoff for Reagan is that the positive feeling he instills toward himself helps to carry support for his policies, even though the policies per se are not being endorsed. Coupled with the strong performance of the economy, this contributed importantly to Reagan's overwhelming victory in the 1984 election.  (Pp. 17-19; underscored and italic emphasis added.)

The last two paragraphs quoted above bring to mind a certain prophecy of Rev. 16.  Elder Wm. H. Grotheer pointed out in relation to this prophecy that the amphibian used as a symbol in the prophecy catches its prey with its tongue.  This is a metaphor for taking control over minds by deceptive speech.  The highlighted passages in the preceding paragraphs reveal the degree of conformity of the Reagan Administration's policies with the principles of Roman Catholicism's "Natural Law."  What Ronald Reagan began in 1981 is being completed by Roman Catholic ideologues who are exercising inordinate influence over American public policy, allied with a torrent of propaganda financed by Roman Catholic billionaire propagandists.  What this has wrought is documented in an online essay titled "How Roman Catholic Neocons Peddle Natural Law into Debates about Life and Death," By Frank L. Cocozzelli.  The essay displays learning as well as cogent reasoning. It must be noted that it is the more authoritative because the author is a Roman Catholic; however, it is also to be expected that his view of the Holy Bible does not accord with the true Protestant adherence to Sola Scriptura. Because this essay emanates from within the world of Roman Catholicism it offers a unique view of the "Natural Law" as it is influencing civil legislation in the United States, enacted and lobbied to be enacted. Also worthy of note is that the essay is authored by an advocate for stem cell research in defiance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy's opposition to this scientific work.  It was written during the presidency of George Bush, the younger.  The author states:

Roman Catholic* neoconservatives such as Richard John Neuhaus have President George W. Bush's ear, and have succeeded in thwarting vital research using stem cells, research that has shown such promise in developing treatments for many diseases . . .

. . . . .

Many neoconservatives hold a kind of nihilistic respect for nature, and most importantly, the naturally ordered inequalities, such as between the weak and the strong and the rich and the poor. Meddling is ill-advised and doomed to create catastrophes worse than the original problems they sought to address, from their point of view. It isn't difficult to discern within the arguments of both Catholic neocon Robert P. George and secular neocon Eric Cohen their distaste for what they see as the radical egalitarian effect science and technology have had on society, a state of affairs that must seem intolerably subversive of the “natural order.” Moreover, the Catholic neocons view natural law as the true basis for a national moral order of all Americans.

. . . . .

Neoconservatives are tiny in number, yet large in influence due to their prolific writing, thinking, and support from wealthy patrons that locate them close to the corridors of power. It is a small movement of intellectuals that emerged in earnest opposing political trends of the 1960s, without a mass base and with only the power of their ideas and connections to win influence. Their vigorous defense of the free market, capitalism, and a militarist foreign policy wins them powerful allies. Yet other currents run through their thought, including a defense of natural law and the championing of religion.

“Natural law,” meaning the rules God set into motion in the world and also instilled in our own natures, has been a central, animating philosophical idea in Christian thought for a thousand years. However it has taken some important turns along the way, and there are now what we might call several branches of thought about the definition of natural law.

One of these, the Classic view, is embraced and promoted by the leading thinkers of Catholic neoconservatives in the United States and their political allies in conservative Protestant evangelicalism. Roman Catholicism as a whole employs natural law principles as a means to rationally explain and interpret the morality of Scripture. However, many in the Vatican have recently pressed to superimpose their particular interpretations on the greater secular society. This is driven by the belief that natural law principles are so universal that even non-Catholics are subject to their tenets.

On the religious Right’s hot button issues of the culture war—feminism, birth control, abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research—natural law-based ethics are routinely employed by the Catholic wing to refute the progressive position. This is important for a very powerful reason: one of its guiding principles is that any law that violates natural law (or at least the way orthodox Catholicism interprets natural law) should be ignored as unjust. What's more, evangelical social conservatives have been increasingly adopting natural law arguments in support of their shared opposition to issues they view as assaults on traditional values.

. . . . .

Catholic neoconservatives, like most neocons, are elitists who see social inequality as a natural condition of society. As a result, they often stress the need to control knowledge in order to better instruct the general populace. But unlike neocons such as Irving Kristol who tend to be either atheists or not terribly religious, theocons are traditionalist-minded Catholics, many with ties to ultra-conservative organizations such as Opus Dei.

The essay provides detailed information about the background, ideology, and influence of individual leading Catholic neoconservatives that is worth exploring.  It has this to say about Richard John Neuhaus (now deceased):

But perhaps the most influential of this group is Father Richard John Neuhaus, whose ideological and religious transformation is one of the more remarkable journeys in modern religious and political life. The one-time anti-Vietnam war Lutheran minister left behind radical left politics (as well as his Lutheranism) to become in 1990 a Roman Catholic priest and icon of the neoconservative movement. He promotes the civic power of religion as president of the Institute of Religion and Public Life, a neoconservative institute “whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public policy for the ordering of society."

Neuhaus has had the ear of President George W. Bush throughout his administration, as well as enjoying a direct line of communication with Pope Benedict XVI. Neuhaus, acting on directives from Rome, in 2004 pushed for the denial of the Sacrament of Communion to then-Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry for his prochoice, pro-embryonic stem cell research positions. But unlike Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who both opposed the 2003 Iraq War, Neuhaus (along with Novak and Weigel) openly argued for preemptive invasion.  (Underscored emphasis added)

Note the direct line of communication between Pope Benedict XVI and Neuhaus.

There is much in the conclusion of the essay with which one can agree:

For those of us who come from Christian traditions, we need to learn to be confident that the history and doctrines in both Catholicism and Protestantism show that challenging conventional wisdom does not necessarily make one an enemy of the faith. If anything, mindless dogmatic resistance to new empirical evidence is an ongoing invitation to greater skepticism as we have certainly seen as American Catholics ignore and are openly contemptuous of the Vatican encyclical prohibiting artificial birth control. Indeed, we stand in a grand tradition of loyal dissent that stretches from Galileo to Father Charles Curran (and many more). It is the path that many of us who support embryonic stem cell research now take. For all of us, the debunking of theoconic notions of natural law is still a powerful argument; especially when combined with dismantling the bizarre Catholic forms of Christian nationalism; and fully embracing the broad Constitutional doctrines that guide and govern our society away from sectarian doctrines toward inclusive, secular ideas of the common good.

On the socio-economic scene drastic inequities have developed in the United States, which can be related back to the "Reagan Revolution," as well as current neoconservatism, both of which are inspired by Roman Catholicism's Natural Law.  This is revealed in a Congressional Budget Office report published during the writing of this essay (Top 1 percent has nearly quadrupled income since 1979).  The CBO report  found that income for the top 1 percent increased 275 percent since 1979, while it only increased 18 percent for other Americans.  Apologists for the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine will argue that this has nothing to do with Natural Law.  Indeed, they will point to principles declared by the Popes, such as the following:

The social doctrine of the Church has particularly stressed the social function of property, since this is so often forgotten. To the extent that private possessions surpass the owner's need for a decent standard of living, they must be disposed for the service of others; that is, for the common good. Otherwise, the owner is guilty of an unjust use of wealth.  (From THE PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH;  Cf. The Popes And Distribution of WealthUS Catholics give mixed reaction to Vatican’s economy document.)

There are even serious suggestions that Pope Benedict XVI is a Liberal.  (Cf. The Pope Is a Liberal. Who Knew?)  The question is: why the discrepancy between the principles and the practice of the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine?  Given the direct line of communication that existed between Benedict and the late Neuhaus, there may be an element of hypocrisy or deliberate obfuscation.  It is also very likely that the very serious misreading of human nature is a major contributing factor:

The fundamental structure of society and the basic principles of human conduct arise from the eternal law, which is the divine reason as it governs the entire universe (L 6). The eternal law is called natural law or natural right (L 6) in view of man's participation in it, as it has been impressed upon the hearts of all men (Rom. 2:14-15). Natural right is engraved in human nature (PT 63); it contains the dictates of man's reason which command him to do what is by nature good for him and prohibit him from doing what is bad. Although the terms are often used synonymously, "natural right" is that part of natural law which refers to human relationships.  (From THE PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH.)

While some Christian theologies hold humans to be intrinsically evil due to the sin committed after this creation, Catholics believe that humans are intrinsically good because they were created in the image of the good God.

. . . . .

Catholics hold that humans have an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong, called natural law, written into the core of their being. Natural law transcends society and culture; social norms help humans understand what is acceptable in a given society, but natural law gives them a clear knowledge of good and evil. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, natural law allows humans to act in a moral manner, prompting them to choose the greater good of obedience to God rather than the lesser good of following their own desires.  (Roman Catholicism Human Nature and the Purpose of Existence;  Cf. The Bible abounds with statements about the natural condition of man below.)

However the problem may be analyzed by the human intellect, the Apostle Paul provides the final definitive word in 2 Thess. 2:3-12.

The Natural Law tree was planted a very long time ago.  It has spread its roots wide and deep in the body politic of America.  Now it has grown into a great tree with branches casting an ominously dark and brooding shadow over institutions and individuals alike in this nation; even those who want no part of it.  There are articles hyperlinked above which document, and in some instances contain explicit acknowledgements (or perhaps more appropriately boasts,) that the Republican Party in the U.S. House of Representatives is in the proces of enacting Rome's Natural Law, or Social Doctrine.  The Roman Catholic Church no longer deems it necessary to conceal her purpose.  In Luke 21 Jesus spoke as follows:

29And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

HOW SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS SHOULD RELATE TO THESE SIGNS OF THE TIMES

There are numerous Seventh-day Adventists who ask when told about the multiplying signs of Jesus' soon coming, "What do you expect me to do?"  The question is not what one brother or sister in the faith wants another to do, but what Jesus admonishes us to do, "Watch!"  We do not "watch" by burying our heads in the sand.  Knowledge and understanding are essential to be able to "stand before the Son of man."  Our Lord has warned us in Matthew 24:

24For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25Behold, I have told you before. 26Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

This warning is relevant to the great eschatological prophecies of the Bible, as also to sound doctrine.  Knowledge and understanding are essential, as God has warned through the Prophet Hosea, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me . . ." (4:6.)  Once again the final definitive word comes from the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:

8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Countless thousands of Seventh-day Adventists would be astonished to discover that they are already in the embrace of Babylon because the Church has joined apostate Protestantism and "stretch[ed] her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power."  (Cf. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf . . .)  In the minds of many the awareness that the Church of Rome is the "Little Horn" of Dan. 7, the "king of fierce countenance of Dan. 8:23 and Daniel 11:36-45; and the first beast of Rev. 13, has faded almost into oblivion.  Countless thousands of others have never been made aware of this knowledge that is essential for escape from the pervasive "Mark of the Beast" in the Church and the world at large.  (Cf. HARLOTRY ACKNOWLEDGED - CHURCH MEMBERS FOLLOW BLINDLY; THE CHURCH PLAYS THE HARLOT IN THE LAST REMNANT OF TIME!)

A FINAL WORD FROM THE WRITINGS OF ELLEN G. WHITE:

The first, second, and third angels' messages are to be repeated. The call is to be given to the church: "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. . . . Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

Many who went forth to meet the Bridegroom under the messages of the first and second angels, refused the third, the last testing message to be given to the world, and a similar position will be taken when the last call is made. (Review & Herald, October 31, 1899; Underlined and italic emphasis added.)


 

Other statements of Benedict XVI on "Natural Law"

Majorities make mistakes, natural law must be the guide of civil society, asserts Pope Benedict
Natural law defends us from abuses of power, Benedict XVI asserts;
Pope Benedict XVI: Natural Law Must Inform the Positive Law

Pope Benedict attacks government over Equality Bill


 

The Bible abounds with statements about the natural condition of man - there is no goodness in him.  The following is but a small sampling:

For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. Jer. 4:22
Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. Jer. 8:7
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jer. 10:23
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings Jer. 17:9-10.

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:21-23


 

The Forming of the Image to the Beast Is It Now Accomplished?
(Excerpts)

The Religious Right & Allies Take Over

The origins of the modem religious right can be traced back to the failed presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. Following Goldwater's defeat a conservative movement known as the New Right was formed with a declaration of war against communism and a perceived "movement" which they called "secular humanism." They believed that this "movement" was trying to steer the U.S. away from a God centered society to "atheistic socialism." Key leaders of the New Right were three men from the Goldwater campaign: Richard Viguerie, Howard Phillips and Paul Weyrich. By the early '70s they had laid the foundations for a conservative revolution in the United States. Viguerie built a fund-raising empire with the use of a list of Goldwater donors. Phillips founded the Conservative Caucus which promoted militarism. Weyrich obtained financial backing from Colorado beer magnate Joseph Coors to found the Heritage Foundation. This is a right-wing think tank that has exercised great influence on Republican presidential administrations since Ronald Reagan's election in 1980. He also brought into being the Free Congress Foundation for the purpose of building a right-wing political movement and electing sympathetic politicians to Congress. Although possessed of superb organizational skills, the three men did not have a popular base of support. To remedy this lack, they targeted Democratic working class voters with social and cultural issues. ("Historical Background of the Religious Right" - [no longer found online]).

The next phase of the campaign to rid the nation of "secular humanism" is noted in this ACLU report, under the caption - "Mobilizing a New Constituency":

In the mid-1970s Viguerie used his sophisticated direct mail fund-raising techniques to address another constituency: evangelical and fundamentalist Christians. Viguerie sought to tap resentment toward Supreme Court decisions banning prayer in the public schools and establishing a woman's right to an abortion. His direct mail efforts not only brought money into the New Right's coffers; they disseminated a steady flow of appeals that encouraged evangelicals to become involved in politics. Other new activist organizations also played an important role in mobilizing this constituency. In 1974 and 1975 a group of key leaders, including Richard DeVos, president of Amway Corporation, and Bill Bright, president of Campus Crusade for Christ convened a series of secret meetings to plan the development of the religious right. This group published a blueprint for Christians to win elections and a manual designed to persuade evangelical Christians to adopt conservative positions on a whole range of issues. Bill Bright subsequently sponsored the "I Found It," campaign, which used billboards, bumper stickers, and newspaper ads in a massive effort to expose every person in the United States to the gospel. Between 1976 and 1980 the campaign spent several hundred million dollars, much of it raised by Texas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt.Organizations arose to mobilize women by appealing to "family values" and anxieties about the emerging feminist movement. In 1972, Phyllis Schlafly founded the Eagle Forum to organize opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, which she saw as a threat to the traditional family. (Schlafly had authored a conspiratorial book titled A Choice Not An Echo, which had served as the slogan of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign.) And in 1979, Beverly LaHaye founded what would become the most successful New Right women's organization, Concerned Women for America. Civil rights for gay people emerged as another flashpoint for the Right. ...

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Although usually regarded as a fringe religious cult, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, or Moon Organization, played an important behind-the-scenes role in spurring the development of the New Right and religious right. Direct mail guru Richard Viguerie has raised money for various Moon Organization groups since 1965. The principle source of Moon's funding, however, is in Japan, where Moon has had close connections with the Japanese right wing and prominent members of the Liberal Democratic Party. Beginning in 1975, a conservatively estimated $80 million a year began flowing from the Japanese branch of the Unification Church to the United States. Much of this money went to various New Right organizations and to Moon's Washington  Times, a daily newspaper that since 1982 has served as a sounding board for the New Right. Activists for the Moon Organization usually work with others on the right through an array of groups with patriotic-sounding names, such as the American Freedom Coalition and the anti communist CAUSA. Founded in 1987, the American Freedom Coalition brought together various elements of the right, including anti-Communist, anti-abortion, and "pro-family" groups.

The ACLU report describes the organization and work of Falwell's Moral Majority and its eclipse. Being –

Disappointed with their accomplishments through the Reagan Presidency, religious right leaders shifted their strategy and tactics to winning offices at the state and local level and gaining control of local Republican Party organizations. With the eclipse of Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, Paul Weyrich and Pat Robertson worked as allies in both this shift in strategy and this power struggle.

Of enormous significance is the ideology driving the agenda of the religious right. It is an end-times ideology. The ACLU describes this ideology as 'To Rule and Reign:" The analysis reads:

If the religious right is, as many of its leaders say, fighting a war, then it is a war in which ideas are critical. Conservative evangelical leaders seek control of political institutions as a means to implement their theological ideas. And their theology can provide a powerful motivation for political activism. Awareness of these ideas is essential to understanding their political tactics and objectives. [IHowever], the religious right is by no means monolithic; it is divided on certain theological issues and organizational style. Yet despite these divisions, it has forged a working consensus on political ideology and strategy.

Further, the Evangelical concept of the "End Times" enters the picture. The report continues:

Belief in an evangelical religion does not automatically lead to involvement in public affairs. For much of this century, evangelicals have avoided direct involvement in politics and instead have focused on saving souls. Evangelicals' motivations for political activism depend, in part, on their beliefs about the "end times." Indeed, the most important divisions within the religious right revolve around beliefs on this issue. There are two main schools of thought.

In the larger school are the "premillenialists." They believe that Christians will be lifted into heaven en masse - in what is known as the rapture - before the battle of Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil. Afterwards, they will return to earth, where they will "rule and reign" with Christ. Since premillenialists believe that Christ's return will cause the world to be reformed, they have little incentive to become politically active and reform the world themselves. Instead, their primary obligation is to evangelize - to convert as many non-believers as possible before Christ's return. Overcoming this disinclination to political activism has been one of the greatest challenges confronting the leaders of the religious right. In the smaller theological camp are the "postmillenialists," who believe that Christ will not return until after Christians reign for a thousand years. Because they believe that they must literally prepare the way for Christ's return, their ranks include some of the most committed political activists on the religious right.

Involved in this picture are the "Christian Reconstructionists:"

The most militant postmillenialists are known as Christian Reconstructionists. Though a tiny minority on the religious right, their ideas have exerted an important influence. They stress a literal interpretation of the Bible and believe that society should be "reconstructed" to conform to Biblical laws. The most prominent Reconstructionist is Rousas John (R.J.) Rushdoony, a former Orthodox Presbyterian minister and John Birch Society activist who has published numerous books and tracts through his think-tank, Chalcedon, headquartered in Vallecito, California. He and his son-in- law Gary North (now estranged) are largely responsible for developing and propagating Christian Reconstructionism's political program. Rushdoony and North seek to rebuild society according to a biblical blueprint. Their prescriptions include the death penalty for unrepentant homosexuality, abortion, and adultery; the abolition of the prison system; which would be made possible by imposing the death penalty on serious criminals and forcing less serious criminals to make restitution; the elimination of sexually explicit materials; schools run entirely by the churches; and the complete elimination of property taxes. Rushdoony's extreme views are shared by only a tiny minority of the religious right, but these views have had a major impact through what is loosely known as "Kingdom" or "Dominion" theology. According to these theologies, Christians are mandated by the Bible to take control of all secular institutions and build the Kingdom of God on earth. Kingdom theology gives evangelical organizers not only a powerful incentive to become politically active, but also a long-range social vision which has become the central, unifying ideology for the religious right.

It is not possible within the limits of this article to mention all of the arms of the religious right movement. Suffice it to say that all of the maior religious right leaders have united in a single political entity called the Council for National Policy. These include the three original founders of the New Right movement, all of the well-known names of the religious right leadership plus some not so well known, all of the multimillionaire funders of the religious right organizations, and a number of leaders of the Republican Congress

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among them Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, and Trent Lott. The Council "is an extremely secretive organization that meets behind closed doors to strategize and co-ordinate its campaign." (See: http://www.geocities.com/alanjpakula/triple2.html [website no longer available]). Now President George W. Bush addressed this organization in a secret meeting in October, 1999, and his presidential campaign refused to allow the tape to be released. However, notes of persons in attendance reportedly indicate that his promises included restrictions on "special" civil rights, "Christian" prayer in schools which would be "Christian" or corporate only, that he would "work hard" to overturn Roe v. Wade, and appoint only anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court and the federal bench. He expressed his approval of revoking First Amendment guarantees of separation of Church and State and freedom of speech. In his view, Christianity is the only real religion.

There is another powerful right-wing organization, not directly connected with the religious right. It is the Federalist Society. Its origins are described by Jerry Landay in The Washington Monthly (March, 2000):

The Society's origins can be traced back to 1979 - the year before Ronald Reagan's victory - when a legal scholar named Michael Horowitz published a tract on the public-interest law movement, exhorting conservatives to overturn a half-century of liberal dominance of the legal establishment. This could be done, he wrote, by indoctrinating or winning over succeeding generations of law students, lawyers, and judges. By definition, the campaign had to be rooted in the fertile ground of law schools. To Horowitz's good fortune, Reagan was elected in 1980, and his administration set to work filling the sails of the Federalist movement.

Horowitz's concept was taken up with relish by senior members of the new Administration. They operated on two tracks - designed to insure that the Reagan Revolution would well outlast the Reagan Presidency. The first, to reclaim the Federal courts from liberals, swept an array of conservative scholars and judges from law schools and state courts onto the Federal bench: the likes of Robert Bork, Ralph Winter, Antonin Scalia, Richard Posner, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Anthony Kennedy.

The second track was even more forward looking and involved the apprenticing of a new generation of conservative lawyer-intellectual-under-30 to the Reagan apparat.

The Second track was laid with the establishment of the founding chapters of the Federalist Society at Yale under Robert Bork, and at the University of Chicago under Antonin Scalia. It has been fair sailing ever since.

When one looks for a connection between the Catholic Church and the religious right, it is not to be found primarily in institutional organization, but rather in a community of interests in specifically defined areas such as the anti-abortion movement, aid to parochial schools, and so on. However, in the establishment of the Federalist Society one can see the fingerprints of the Roman Catholics, whose modus operandi has ever been to capture the elite of society. Scalia is of course a Catholic. Bork is believed to be an agnostic, but clearly is subject to a powerful Catholic influence: his wife is a board member of the Catholic Campaign for America, which seeks to teach Catholics to bring Catholic values into public life:

With 25,000 members plus scores of close affiliates nation-wide - including Supreme Court Justices Thomas and Antonin Scalia, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and University of Chicago brain-boxes Richard Epstein and Frank Easterbrook (also a federal appellate judge) - the Federalist Society is quite simply the best-organized, best-funded, and most effective legal network operating in this country. Its rank-and-file include conservative lawyers, law students, law professors, bureaucrats, activists, and judges. They meet at law schools and function rooms across the country to discuss and debate the finer points of legal theory and substance on panels that often include liberals - providing friction, stimulus, and the illusion of balance. What gets less attention, however, is that the Society is accomplishing in the courts what Republicans can't achieve politically. There is nothing like the Federalist Society on the left. (Ibid.: emphasis supplied.)

Starting with the New Right in the '70s, this is the pervasive, entrenched, sinister power that Satan has built up and put into place for this end time. The total force of all these movements has been concentrated on seizing the White House for George Bush.

The Selecting of a President with a Religious Mission

Many political commentators who are uncomfortable with the notion of religion in government indulge in the wishful thinking that George W. Bush learned from his father's problems with the evangelicals, and merely professes Christian faith to secure what has become the base of the Republican party. But Bush has talked freely about the "spiritual awakening" that he experienced from a single conversation with Billy Graham in 1985.  does not describe himself as "born again" he says, because his faith deepened more gradually than that term implies. He made a startling statement in a Republican presidential primary debate that Jesus Christ was his favorite philosopher "because He changed my life." An article in the New York Times (January 23, 2000) reported that, far from mere political posturing his belief was "both a central pillar of his life and critical to his vision for the nation and the way he would govern." This information came from religious leaders, friends and Bush himself. The article went on:

As president, Mr. Bush says, he would “look first” to religious organizations of various faiths, rather than government or secular agencies, to attack poverty, homelessness and addiction. He has also said he would not require religious programs to censor their spiritual teachings to get government aid. He believes that God has a place in government, that religion has a place in society, and it is not to be marginalized and put on the periphery as though it is some sort of extra,” said the Rev. Tony Evans, an evangelist and senior pastor of the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas who prays with Mr. Bush….

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But behind the scenes, some of the nation's most prominent Christian conservatives are supporters, friends and advisers of Mr. Bush. They say they are confident he will promote their agenda on abortion and "family values," as well as church-state issues. (Emphasis supplied.)

We will probably never know what commitments Bush made to the Council for National Policy; but the above quotations are proof enough of his enmity against the separation of Church and State.

Bush had two direct masters in the recent presidential election campaign - the hierarchy of the Roman Church, and its offspring the New Right-Religious Right alliance. The Washington Post reported that about two years earlier meetings began between a small group of conservative Catholics and Carl Rove, Bush's top strategist, to plan a coalition based on an alliance of deeply religious, churchgoing Protestants and Catholics. The article stated:

Their goal was to secure the GOP as the political home of regular churchgoers. If successful, they would create a political party dominated by those seeking to advance an agenda of moral re-generation, with a core committed to ending legalized abortion, promoting premarital abstinence and attacking sexuality in the movies and on television. (Oct. 28, 2000)

Significantly, the coalition move coincided with a decision at the 1998 conclave of the National Conference of Bishops to make banning abortion the top political priority of the Roman Church. Flowing from this decision, the Catholic hierarchy "sharply ratcheted up its political activity during the 2000 elections," according to a report in Church & State (December, 2000). The report by the editor, Joseph L. Conn, stated that, "While the news media focused its attention on the partisan posture of the Christian Coalition and some African-American churches, the political activities of the Roman Catholic Church, the nation's largest religious denomination, went little noticed." Bush established close personal relationships with the Catholic hierarchy during the election campaign. Conn reported that on the final weekend of the campaign Bush met in private with Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia, who is "one of the most right-wing partisan prelates in the country." It is not clear how successful the hierarchy was in its political activism on behalf of Bush. Gore won 50 per cent of the Catholic vote (down from 53 per cent for Clinton in 1996) to Bush's 47 per cent (compared to Bob Dole's 37 per cent in 1996.) Considering the report by Church & State of the intense pressure on the Catholic laity from pulpits across the nation, it is surprising that Bush failed to get the majority of their votes to win a clear victory. This can be credited in part to an independent streak in the Catholic laity of America. Perhaps it is also a reflection of the uneasy union between the Religious Right and the Catholic laity? Nevertheless the damage is done, and there has been a break-through of enormous magnitude. Can the tide of battle be turned for a little while before the end? Time will tell. . . .

The Scripture says, "Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast ..." Rev. 13:14 (part 2.) Amazingly George Bush was declaring it throughout his campaign, and somehow precisely what he was saying did not get through to millions of Americans, who would never have given him their vote if they had known. The term "compassionate conservatism" was not a promise to soften the harsh, laissez-faire policies of the Republicans which favors the affluent in our society. Only those who were familiar with the name Marvin Olasky, and his books, The Tragedy of American Compassion (1992) and Renewing Compassion (1996) could have had any idea what was involved. Only those who were aware of another Olasky book, Compassionate Conservatism. What It Is, What It Does, and How It Can Transform America,

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for which George Bush wrote a foreword and an appendix could have had any inkling what the nation was in for if Bush was elected. Bush calls Olasky "compassionate conservatism's" leading thinker. He also says, "Compassion demands personal help and accountability, yet when delivered by big government it came to mean something very different" Bush further states in the Foreword:

Government can do certain things very well, but it cannot put hope in our hearts or a sense of purpose in our lives. That requires churches and synagogues and mosques and charities.

Not surprisingly, the ideology of Olasky's 1992 book was enthusiastically embraced by Newt Gingrich and his congressional allies to form the basis for "The Republican Revolution." They emphasized economics and smaller govemment; but "compassionate conservatism" is, above all, the blueprint of a plan to, "Tear down that wall of separation" between Church and State, Olasky's own phrase spoken in a lecture, "What Is Compassionate Conservatism and Can It Transform America?" delivered before the Heritage Foundation on July 11, 2000.

As alarming as current events are, there is cause for greater alarm because the opening wedge of "compassionate conservatism" has already been enacted by Congress as a part of the 1996 welfare reform legislation. It was sponsored by then U.S. Senator John Ashcroft, now George Bush's Attorney-General. This devout Pentecostal has a well documented hostility towards many of our cherished constitutional freedoms, most notably the wall of separation between Church and State. Charitable Choice frees religious organizations from the requirement that government subsidized services be provided in a secular manner, and usually through a separate legal entity. Sadly, even Al Gore stunned civil libertarians by endorsing Charitable Choice in May, 2000, stating that dispensing a little religion along with a hot meal or job training is a good idea, and government should support it. As reported by ABC News, Rev. James Dunn, executive director of the Joint Baptist Committee put it well:

We've got a whole lot of people who are going to take the money and try to win people to Jesus with it. They are going to take it and use it to undergird their overall mission. It's who we are today as a Christian people. We don't distinguish between our do-gooding and our good-talking. We can't separate them because we sincerely believe when you are feeding someone who is hungry, you should be telling him about Jesus, too. There is nothing evil about that. That's the way the contemporary Christian understands the gospel. But we had better not take tax dollars to do it because those tax dollars were not paid to help my church win converts or to proselytize. (Emphasis supplied.)

With non-Christians present at Bush's inaugural ceremony, his presidency started with the promotion of Christianity in the opening and closing prayers. Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell said in the closing benediction, "in the name that's above all names, Jesus the Christ. Let all who agree say amen," to the certain discomfort of many. Bush included in his speech a promise to give "Church and charity, synagogue and mosque ... an honored place in our plans and laws." (Emphasis supplied.) Then, within the first two hours of his presidency, he made a proclamation declaring January 21, 2001, a "National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving to God."

All of this has been followed during his first week in office by actions on abortion, and an education package sent to Congress with inclusion of voucher funding for religious and other private schools. (CONCERNING ABORTION, IT IS OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE THAT THE "RIGHT TO LIFE" MOVEMENT IS BASED ON THE CATHOLIC DOGMA OF THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL, AND THE CONDEMNATION OF THE UNBAPTIZED ABORTED FETUS TO AN ETERNITY IN LIMBO.  [Editor Grotheer capitalized the sentence])

On January 29, Bush unveiled a new White House Office for promoting government aid to "faith-based" organizations (i.e. churches) as a part of a major "faith-based" social service initiative. This is a man with a purpose - and in a hurry! Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church & State declared:

Bush is throwing the massive weight of the federal government behind religious groups and religious conversions. The President appears to believe that the government should use religion to solve all the nations social problems. This approach strikes at the heart of the religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. (See http:www.au.org/pr126O1.htm [no longer found online].)

The "wall of separation" between Church and State has been breached by Congress in the Charitable Choice legislaton and now by a broader executive order. The nation has been set inexorably on course towards the ultimate fulfilment of Revelation 13. Is the Image to the Beast now fully formed, or must the full force of the tyranny and persecution first be manifest? One must come to his own conclusions. There is one certainty - prophecy has and will continue to be fulfilled. Our Lord stated that these things "must shortly come to pass" (Rev. 1:1). As this nation teeters on the brink of the extinction of democracy and the freedoms we have dearly cherished, we have only one hope of survival. We must place all our trust and confidence in Christ whose mighty arm will deliver His people out of their affliction.


 

ROMAN CATHOLIC BILLIONAIRE PROPAGANDISTS

Wherever visible the billionaire Koch brothers "fingerprints" are on the negative side of democratic values. They are Roman Catholics (Charles G. Koch; David H. Koch)  (NEWSCORP SCANDAL.)


 

2 Thess. 2:3-12:

3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.


 

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf . . .

When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near.  (Testimonies for the Church 5:451.)