THE EUROPEAN UNION
The essay NATURAL LAW The Roman Catholic Social Doctrine, discussed the ascendancy of the Roman Catholic dogma in the body politic of the United States. From the perspective of Revelation 13, this was an application of Revelation 13:12 & 14 to the growing dominance of Roman Catholic Social Policy in legislation at all governmental levels and the society at large of the United States. This is one of the two major paths to world domination (there are concurrent paths involving the Muslim and other religious faiths, and even atheists (cf. ECUMENISM AT FLOOD STAGE.)
There are numerous well-documented online articles and essays on the history of the European Common Market, its evolution into the European Union, and its trajectory towards total integration of sovereign nations into one supranational entity. These publications fall into two categories: secular and religious, although the secular also recognize the religious dimension of the movement towards total unification. Both provide well-documented history, and perceive in the European Union a revival of the Holy Roman Empire. The secular publications are largely concerned with the similarities and dissimilarities between the Holy Roman Empire and the European Union. The religious publications apply Bible prophecy to the integration of European nations. None seem to "connect the dots" between all of the prophecies which not only point to world dominance sought and achieved by Rome, but to the "power behind the throne" and his ultimate impersonation of Jesus Christ in a delusive "second coming" (cf. MAJOR ESCHATOLOGICAL PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE, esp. Rev. 13, Dan. 11, Isa. 14, Isa. 2, Rev. 16, Rev. 17.) The present essay examines the great advances made by the papacy in regaining its dominance over the former Western Roman Empire, which must be viewed in conjunction with the worldwide ecumenical movement that is driven by the spirits of devils towards universal worship of the dragon.
" . . . and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:3 (last part) & 4; emphasis added.)
It is critically important to correctly identify the woman and the beast of Rev. 17. Exegetically the woman is not the Church of Rome in isolation, and the beast is neither the same as that in Rev. 13:1 & 2 nor a representation of the civil power (cf. EXEGESIS OF REVELATION - The HARLOT and the BEAST.) Keeping this in mind, here is a dissertation by former Roman Catholic priest Richard Bennett, The Perilous Fondness for the Papacy, that puts the Seventh-day Adventist Church to shame for her effective repudiation of the Third Angel's Message of Rev. 14:9-11:
Two years prior to the giving of the medallion, the Church in a court case before the Federal judiciary acknowledged a change of belief which served to justify Beach's presentation. In a legal brief submitted in the case, EEOC vs. PPPA, the Church affirmed:
Although it is true that there was a period in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist Church when the denomination took a distinctly anti-Roman Catholic viewpoint, and the term "hierarchy" was used in a pejorative sense to refer to the papal form of church governance, that attitude on the Church's part was nothing more than the manifestation of widespread anti-popery among conservative protestant denominations in the early part of this century and the latter part of the last, and which has now been consigned to the historical trash heap so far as the Seventh-day Adventist Church is concerned. (Excerpts Legal Documents, p. 41; emphasis supplied.) (From "The Call of the Pope & WHO Responded," WWN5(02))
Having laid down these markers, we can now turn our attention to the European component of the woman of Rev. 17.
THE DIABOLICAL GENIUS OF POPE LEO XIII
Throughout the writings of the Roman Catholic Church, of popes and scholars alike, great deference is paid to Pope Leo XIII. In the online essay "THE PRINCIPLES OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH," the author, Javier Hervada, 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. Forty years later, Pius XI commemorated it with the encyclical Quadragessimo Anno (QA), and on the eightieth anniversary Paul VI issued his letter Octogessima Adveniens (OA). Finally, John Paul II commemorated the ninetieth anniversary with the most recent of the great social encyclicals, Laborem Exercens (LE). (Underscored emphasis added.)
In a 1895 General Conference "Third Angel's Message" sermon on "The Papacy", A. T. Jones offers a penetrating analysis of the reported thinking of Leo XIII and its future implementation by papal policy in the United States, Europe, and ultimately the whole world. Note the highlighted passages below:
Our lesson tonight will be the study of the papacy, as it was last night on the image of the papacy. I would say, now as then, all that I am doing at present is setting before you the evidence, stating the case; the arguments will come more fully after we see what is to be built upon them. The statements I shall read tonight will all be from Catholic authorities--Catholic speeches and Catholic papers. . . .
Now I turn to some other statements made last fall in connection with the then coming encyclical of the pope. A letter from Rome dated October 14, 1894, printed in the Catholic Standard of November 3, 1894, has this:
"The United States of America, it can be said without exaggeration, is the chief thought of Leo XIII in the government of the Roman and universal Catholic church."
I would like to comment a little upon this as we go along. Why is it that Leo thinks so constantly of the United States? Oh, it is concerning the government of the Roman and universal Catholic church. Then what he proposes to use the United States for is for some purpose in the government of the Catholic church throughout the world. . . .
This is explained more fully presently that the papacy is watching the times to come with an all absorbing interest. She proposes to prepare herself in every way to meet the things that are to arise, as she says, in the times to come; and she proposes to use the United States by which, and through which, to clothe herself and prepare herself to meet successfully these things that are to arise in the times to come. So I will read further upon that same point now:
"The interest is the necessity in which Rome finds she is, to direct her general course according to the signs of the times and the transformations on the agitated surface of the world. The peculiar conception is the deep-rooted feeling that the Church of Europe must renew its instruments and its method of adapting unchanging principles to changeable surroundings and new conditions. . . . In this evolution the Church, in the eyes of the Pope, has a mission to fill. To fulfill this mission she must adapt herself to the changes which have come about the action of universal forces. State Church, official Catholicism, privileges, legal and close relations between two powers, connection of the clergy with a political party, feudal ecclesiastical organizations, all the external framework of the Church must be transformed, renewed, perhaps be done away with entirely. That is the central dominating thought which marks the whole latter half of the present pontificate from the time of the incident of the Knights of Labor and encyclical Rerum Novarum to that of the encyclical to the French people. In the first half of his reign Leo XIII had pacified, appeased, healed. He had been the pope of peace and rest. After sealing that charter he became the pope of action. But how can this new type of ecclesiastic be created?
Where can he get the clergy, the form of ecclesiastic through which this scheme can be carried out and be made successful for Europe and for the world? Because Europe has to be rejuvenated, remodeled, re-enlivened. Where is she going to get the model upon which to remold Europe?
From whom shall he be copied? What civilization, what country, what philosophy will provide him? Would it not be hazardous to create him at one stroke? Would it not be better to join forces with a nation which has a type in part, where, at least, it exists in the rough? Would it not be enough to mark the outlines boldly to finish it and make use of it? This type is the American type; it is American democracy, with liberty, with common law, a full and exuberant life, without restraining bonds, and without a historic bureaucracy. . . ."
The papacy is very impatient of any restraining bonds; in fact, it wants none at all. And the one grand discovery Leo XIII has made, which no pope before him ever made, is that turn which is taken now all the time by Leo and from him by those who are managing affairs in this country--the turn that is taken upon the clause of the Constitution of the United States: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Leo has made the discovery that the papacy can be pushed upon this country in every possible way and by every possible means and that congress is prohibited from ever legislating in any way to stop it. That is a discovery that he made that none before him made and that is how it is that he of late can so fully endorse the United States Constitution. . .
Thus the papacy in plain violation of the Constitution will crowd herself upon the government and then hold up that clause as a barrier against anything that any would do to stop it. And every one that speaks against this working of the papacy, behold! He "is violating the Constitution of the United States" in spirit, because the constitution says that nothing shall ever be done in respect to any religion or the establishment of it. When a citizen of the United States would rise up and protest against the papacy and all this that is against the letter and the spirit of the constitution, behold! He does not appreciate "the liberty of the constitution. We are lovers of liberty; we are defenders of the constitution; we are glad that America has such a symbol of liberty" as that. Indeed they are.
That is why Pope Leo XIII turns all his soul, full of ideality, to what is improperly called his American policy. It should be rightly called his Catholic universal policy.
What, then, is his policy in the United States? It is universal policy. That which is done in the United States by the papacy is done with the idea of influencing all the world and bringing all the world into line with the papal ideas, and to build all once more upon the basic and fundamental principles thereof.
A. T. Jones was looking into the future, and that future is here. Some writers apply the term "United States of Europe" to the increasing unification of Europe. The following from a supporter of European union, who nevertheless appears not to recognize the confluence of his thinking with Roman Catholic policy, develops the analogy:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a speech at her party's annual gathering this week, declared that Germany -- and Europe -- must address the problems in the economic union by creating a political union. The European financial crisis is threatening to snowball from small, periphery states such as Greece and Ireland to the world's eighth largest economy, Italy, and possibly even the fifth largest, France. Even if Europe can save Italy, and even if France does not fall into similar crisis, the European Union's awful year has exposed some real flaws in the monetary union. . . .
A politically unified Europe -- the most likely version of which could best be described as the Federation of Europe, something akin to the earliest union of American states -- is not as crazy as it might sound. The reason that Europe needs a fiscal union is to oversee its monetary union, which seems destined to fail without that fiscal oversight. But a fiscal union might have the same problem without a political union; how a nation decides to gather and spend its money is, after all, one of the chief functions of its political leadership. So Merkel is making a smart, if politically risky, call for political unity. But this is about more than just finding the most comprehensive solution to the sovereign debt crisis. Since the end of World War Two, Europe has been moving toward unification so consistently and inexorably that it sometimes seems as if world events were conspiring to create a united Europe. . . .
By 1950, the economies and militaries of Western Europe had already begun to unify. The end result was as clear then as it is now; in April of that year, the Norwegian foreign minister wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs comparing Europe at the moment to the early American colonies, which were in some ways even more disparate and divided than the European nations. The foreign minister didn't quote Benjamin Franklin's 1754 "Join, or Die" political cartoon, be he might as well have. In Europe today as in the American colonies 250 years ago, the movement for unification might have risen as a way to mobilize against a common threat -- the King of England, the Soviet Union, sovereign debt crises -- but those movements continue to flourish once the threat is gone for a much simpler reason: they're a good idea.
The benefits of American unification (which was a process more than an event -- it wasn't really completed until the Civil War a century later) have far outlasted the dangers posed by British aggression. In the U.S., economic integration was followed by political integration (which also took a long time to complete; states have been slowly ceding power since the revolutionary war) and the resulting United States has left all of the constituent states better off. . . . Merkel, in her call for political union, only wants to accelerate something that's already happening. . . .
It's not just in the post-war European Union, it seems, where the arc of history bends toward unification. The real question may not be whether political unification will work for Europe -- the beginnings of that unification are already in place -- but why it would only work for Europe and for the United States. The idea of federalism did begin with Anglo-American philosophers, but as historian Michael Burgess argues there's nothing necessarily Anglo-American about that system of governance. It may be that a confluence of democratization, rising wealth and trade, and technology now make it easier and more worthwhile for nations to join in federal unions. . . . (From the United States to a Federation of Europe: Why Unification Works.)
A. T. Jones was undoubtedly a man of towering intellect; but his remarkable insights and foresight are attributable to more than that. He was possessed of a strong faith in the Bible and the sure word of prophecy. Without that he would not have been receptive to the insights that he received from the Holy Spirit. He was historicist in the interpretation of prophecies. Historicism is the surest method of conclusively identifying the papacy as the Antichrist. This is why Rome set out to destroy this method of prophetic exegesis. (Cf. Crossroads in Prophetic Interpretation: Historicism versus Futurism; Historicism, Futurism, Preterism; (N.B. Not all of the articles on the Historicist.com website are consistent with biblical truth.) Protestant scholars fell into the trap that the Dragon set through Rome, and tragically Seventh-day Adventists have joined them, so that the Denomination is in a state of self-induced blindness to the unfolding prophecies of Rev. 13, 16 (verses 13-16 in particular;) 17; Isa. 14:13-14; 2:1-5 (in the full context of the chapter;) and Dan. 11:45.
Conceived Primarily by Devout Roman Catholics
A United States of Europe was by no means a new idea when the first step in the creation of a European Union was conceived in a Declaration of French Foreign Minister Robert Schumann:
Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries.
With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.
It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organisation open to the participation of the other countries of Europe.
The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe (...) (The Schuman Declaration – 9 May 1950.)
Robert Schumann was a devout Roman Catholic, and the influence of Rome in his Declaration will be recognized subsequently in this essay. His idea of a federation of Europe can be traced all the way back to the Roman Empire:
There is a risk of seeing the European integration process as an isolated process, exclusively centred in the period after World War II. This view reveals a clear misunderstanding of the great transformations that shaped a reality known as Europe.
The Roman Empire constituted the first great effort to integrate an important section of our continent and the lands surrounding the Mediterranean sea. Middle Ages brought the idea of unification under the common banner of Christendom. The ideas of eurocentrism and superiority of the European civilisation arose in that moment. . . . There is an evident reality that we should point out: the idea of Europe cannot be fully understood without keeping in mind the historical evolution of our continent prior to World War II and the recent integration process that has been realized in the European Union (The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - European Integration Process.)
The historical evolution referred to above includes the "Holy Roman Empire" which lasted from 962 to 1806:
The Holy Roman Empire (HRE; German: Heiliges Römisches Reich (HRR), Latin: Imperium Romanum Sacrum (IRS), Italian: Sacro Romano Impero (SRI)) was a realm (Reich) that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe. It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. (Wikipedia "Holy Roman Empire.")
Students of Bible prophecy will note that the demise of the "Holy Roman Empire" coincided with the "deadly wound" inflicted on the papacy. Then in 1923, as the deadly wound was beginning to heal, "the Austrian Count [Richard] Coudenhove Kalergi founded the Pan-European Movement. In 1926, he managed to bring together diverse political figures in the First Pan-European Congress, held in Vienna" (The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - The Origins 1919-1939.) Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, the father of Richard Coudenhove Kalergi, was a Roman Catholic who took his two sons to mass every Sunday. Richard attended the formerly Jesuit, then Piarist Theresianische Akademie in Vienna from 1903-1913 (Wikipedia "Richard Nikolaus von Coudenhove-Kalergi.") He wrote PANEUROPA in 1923. Here is the interesting book cover that appears in "The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - The Origins 1919-1939" (hyperlinked above):
Can anyone doubt that Rome was beginning to work towards the recovery of her lost empire? It is not necessary to know the secret communications and influences. It was the great British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, who said, "The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes," (quoted in The Principality and Power of Europe - Britain and the emerging Holy European Empire, by Adrian Hilton.) Disraeli could speak authoritatively. This online book is extraordinarily informative and well-documented. A Prologue consists of an article copied from The Sunday Telegraph, August 25, 1991, which is of a kind one would never see in the American mainstream press. It is astonishing that a mainstream United Kingdom newspaper and a man who supports the Anglican Church as the established State Church of the UK, could so expose the papacy and its relentless progress towards world domination as early as the 1990s; while the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to which was committed the Truth, doctrinal and prophetic, in sacred trust, has beaten a path back to Rome, and stood mute for decades (Cf. Bert B. Beach: Adventist Statesman; HARLOTRY ACKNOWLEDGED - CHURCH MEMBERS FOLLOW BLINDLY and THE CHURCH OF ROME IN BIBLE PROPHECY (Dialogue between SDA and Roman Catholic theologians.)
Bert B. Beach clasping hands with Pope John-Paul II in 2002
The betrayal by the Seventh-day Adventist Church of its sacred trust is a tragedy which has enshrouded leaders and laity alike in a quality of "gross darkness" akin to that mentioned in Isaiah 60:2. Unto Laodicea the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit say, ". . thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (underscored and italic emphasis added.) Sadly there are many, even among those who have come out from under the influence of the apostate Church leaders and laity, who are obsessed with the "New World Order" concept, with at best a distorted perception, if any perception at all, of the Beast and the Dragon of Rev. 13:1-2 pulling the strings behind the participating human agencies.
The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - The Origins 1945-1957, provides a history of the post-WWII developments which led to the Schumann Declaration and beyond. Winston Churchill's name figures prominently. In The Principality and Power of Europe . . ., Adrian Hilton explains his role:
Winston Churchill suggested a possible solution during a celebrated speech in Zurich, Switzerland, in September 1946: 'We must build a united states of Europe.' This comment has often been misinterpreted as proof of his belief in Britain's participation in the European project, but he was not advocating the development of an undemocratic federal superstate. He went on to say: 'Great Britain, the British Commonwealth of Nations, mighty America, .... must be friends and sponsors of the new Europe.' indicating a supporting role for Britain in European integration, but not participation. Jacques Delors confirmed this, saying: 'Even the great European, Winston Churchill, envisaged European integration only for the countries of the European continent, not for Britain.' Churchill was reiterating the age old vision of a peacefully unified continent.
Indeed "mighty America" played a part between 1945 and 1957, as described in "The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - The Origins 1945-1957." It has always played a part, and is interlocked with the destiny of the European Union (Cf. Beyond Interdependence: The European Union, the United States, and the Idea of an External Constituent.) Was this not the objective of the papacy from the time of Louis XIII?
The history of the European Union and European Citizenship - The Origins 1945-1957, hyperlinked above summarizes the steps from the Schumann Declaration to what is described as the "historic" Treaties of Rome in 1957. The evidence is overwhelming that from its crafty conception in the Schumann Declaration through the various stages of its implementation, the EU has been a totally Roman Catholic project. A Sunday Telegraph article, included as a prologue in the online book The Principality and Power of Europe - Britain and the emerging Holy European Empire, states as follows:
The Common Market itself started under the inspiration of Catholic politicians - such as [Konrad] Adenauer of Germany, Paul Henri-Spaak, Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman. They were all Christian Democrats. They were all deeply influenced by Catholic social teaching. Few European countries have committed themselves to untramelled capitalism, because most are penetrated by the corporatist ideas of the Church, and the social teaching of the Popes from Leo XIII onwards. . . .
Some of the Roman Catholic leaders involved in starting the Common Market are named in the Sunday Telegraph article. Adrian Hilton's book goes on to identify more of the Roman Catholics who have been influential in furthering the social agenda of Rome in Europe, and mentions from recent history the work of Tony Blair, who converted to the Roman Catholic Church after serving as Prime Minister of Britain:
. . . It must be noted that the term 'evangelisation' is a euphemism for advancement of the social policy and other aims of the Vatican, rather than the proclamation of the Gospel. Among European leaders who have been influential in furthering this social agenda are former Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, and the former presidents of the European Commission, Jacques Delors and Jacques Santer - all Jesuit educated. The former leaders of both Germany and Spain, Helmut Kohl and Felipe Gonzales, were also devout Roman Catholics. For them, there was no nobler task than the unifying of the European continent. A German colleague of Jacques Delors described the idea of a unified Europe as 'essentially a Catholic concept', of which an inevitable result would be subjugation of Britain's Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teachings. 'The Catholic Churches in many continental countries are influenced by a desire to see a shadow Holy Roman Empire recreated in Europe' and the Christian Democrat and Christian Socialist traditions in Europe are working to that end. In Britain, according to David Willets MP, 'Tony Blair is trying to copy continental Christian Democracy.' This goes some way to explaining why he issued a decree that no Labour parliamentary candidates were permitted to criticise the EU in their General Election addresses.
An article in the Roman Catholic publication Zenit confirms what is already well documented above. From "Catholic Origins of the European Union" - "Interview With Catholic Historian Alan Fimister," the following is quoted from the report:
Q: What was Robert Schuman's vision for the development of a united Europe, and how widely was his vision shared by the other founders of what has become the European Union?
Fimister: The first European Community was the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) from which the other communities developed. These were eventually merged into the European Community and then placed within the larger framework of the European Union, which now includes intergovernmental cooperation on security and foreign affairs as well as the "communitarian" supranational tasks of the original community.
The political leaders who founded the ECSC were overwhelmingly Catholic: Robert Schuman was intensely loyal to the faith and affirmed publicly that papal encyclicals "define Catholic doctrine and bind in conscience" Konrad Adenauer and Alcide de Gaspari were also particularly important. The coal and steel plan was drawn up by an official, Jean Monnet, who became the first man to hold the office which is now called President of the Commission. He was not a committed Catholic but the essential architecture for the institutions was already being advocated by Schuman before Monnet came to him with his own project.
Adenauer and de Gaspari were both strongly influenced by Leo XIII's teaching and its intellectual legacy. Schuman was directly influenced by Maritain's conception of supranational democracy as the foundation for a New Christendom. "Europe," said Schuman, is "the establishment of a generalized democracy in the Christian sense of the word."
Unlike Maritain, Schuman held fast to the magisterium's demand that the final destination of Catholic political action must be the recognition by the civil order of the truth of the Faith, through conversion of a "numerical preponderance" of the electorate.
Q: Does the European Union of today retain any legacies of Pope Leo XIII's and Robert Schuman's vision?
Fimister: In its essential mechanism suggested to Schuman by Pius XII whereby "each state retains an equal right of its own sovereignty" -- but in certain areas this is exercised through "an organ invested by common consent with supreme power" -- the European Union remains what Schuman foresaw.
However, its embracing of the culture of death would have appalled him. Schuman's slightly more ambitious goals also led him to appreciate more vividly than Maritain the possible consequences of the corruption of his vision. "An anti-Christian democracy," he said, "would be a caricature ending in anarchy or tyranny."
Our present situation has elements of both. Because the essential justification for supranational democracy is supernatural, in a continent that has turned its back on the faith, supranational institutions seek an alternative basis in usurping the roll of national authorities.
In the same way, the post-Christian national state, formerly led to assist the family by the law of charity, now seeks to usurp the place of the family causing the family to wither away. So there is simultaneously the creeping emergence of political tyranny and social anarchy -- the dictatorship of relativism.
There is no other solution to this than the urgent pursuit of the New Evangelization. . .
This quotation, as well as the whole interview, is an unequivocal acknowledgement of the Papacy's plan for Europe, and its execution under the supervision of the Holy See. The reference to the "culture of death" signals Rome's discontent with resistance to her social policy revolving around birth control and pregnancy, which is founded on the dogma of the "immortality of the soul" and her concept of when life begins. (Cf. The Abortion Controversy and The Image to the Beast.)
Note the statement "In its essential mechanism suggested to Schuman by Pius XII whereby 'each state retains an equal right of its own sovereignty' -- but in certain areas this is exercised through 'an organ invested by common consent with supreme power'." It requires little imagination to perceive where the supreme power will reside.
Significantly, the papacy has started the canonisation process for the 'Founding Fathers' of the European Community as stated in the following quotation from The Principality and Power of Europe . . .:
It was no surprise, therefore, that the European Foundation concluded that 'on the 8th day, God created Europe', reporting that The Tablet carried news of the Vatican's pronouncement of the canonisation process for the so-called 'Founding Fathers' of the European Community, Alcide de Gasperi, Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer. The 'sainthoods' are a reward for founding the European Community 'on Roman Catholic principles'. A supporter of their canonisation said that the opening of the cases would show that Europe 'was built upon a rock', adding: 'I think that the European Union is a design not only of human beings but of God.' Thus the European Union exists by 'Divine Right'. A bidding prayer at the closing mass of the Synod prayed that the political leaders of Europe would 'courageously encourage the process of European integration and development.' The text released at the end of the Synod was addressed to Christians and 'fellow citizens of Europe' who were invited 'to be committed European .... treasuring the precious heritage left us by the founding fathers of a united Europe'. It was necessary to 'pursue, with courage and urgency, the process of European integration, widening the circle of member countries of the Union, while appreciating with wisdom the historical and cultural differences of the nations.'
In 2003, Zenit reported that Robert Schuman was nearing beatification (Robert Schuman Nearing Beatification, Exemplified Faith and Politics.) In 2004 the same publication reported that "The cause of beatification of Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of a united Europe, is in its final stages" (Robert Schuman's Cause of Beatification Advances.) These two Zenit pages are no longer accessible; however, the cause of beatification is still advancing (Robert Schuman, a European politician that could soon be declared a saint.)
The Institutional Powers Working Behind the Scenes
The Papacy's intense interest and involvement in the development of the European Union is evidenced by the following statements of the Popes succeeding Pius XII:
United within the ancient boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire by the common spiritual bond of religion, in a burgeoning and booming industrial economy, situated geographically in the world's most productive industrial complex, it would march onto the scene of world history – so said John XXIII – as "the greatest single human force ever seen by man" (Pope John XXIII, quoted from EIPS - The conspiracy Behind The European Union What Every Christian Should Know, hyperlinked below.)
The Vatican has long recognized the important role that it alone can play in European integration. In 1975, Pope Paul VI proclaimed: "Can it not be said that it is faith… the Catholic faith that made Europe?… No other human force in Europe can render the service that is confided to us… to re-awaken Europe's Christian soul, where its unity is rooted" (Quoted from The Principality and Power of Europe, by Adrian Hilton, hyperlinked above.)
[John Paul I was in office for only one month.]
While visiting Austria in 1983, Pope John Paul II spoke out against the 'national and artificial borders' all over Europe. He added: 'Europeans should overcome the menacing international confrontations of states and alliances, and create a new united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.' In 1988, he continued this theme when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg; an occasion at which many asked why a perceived spiritual leader was addressing the issues of political unity. The Sunday Telegraph summed up his plans for the 'evangelisation' of Europe, stating: 'He is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right - that of new Holy Roman Emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.' It must be noted that the term 'evangelisation' is a euphemism for advancement of the social policy and other aims of the Vatican, rather than the proclamation of the Gospel. (Quoted from The Principality and Power of Europe, by Adrian Hilton, hyperlinked above)
You, Mr. Ambassador, have described the
European Union as "an area of peace and stability that brings together
27 States with the same fundamental values." It is a happy description.
And yet, it is right to observe that the European Union has not gifted
itself with these values, but rather it has been these shared values
that made it come to birth and be the force of gravity that has
attracted to the nucleus of the founding countries the different nations
that subsequently have adhered to it, in the course of time.
When the Church recalls the Christian roots of Europe, she is not seeking a privileged status for herself. She wishes to make a historical memorial reminding in the first place of a truth -- increasingly relegated to silence -- namely, to the decidedly Christian inspiration of the Founding Fathers of the European Union. At a more profound level, she also wishes to show that the basis of the values comes above all from the Christian heritage that continues to nourish it even today. (From Papal Address to European Community Envoy [Benedict XVI]; another Zenit web page no longer accesible.)
If European unity is based only on geography and economics, it cannot succeed in promoting the common good of all Europe's citizens and in helping the rest of the world, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The recognition of the dignity of the human person and the obligation to work for the common good -- values Christianity fostered on the continent -- are what inspired the movement toward European unity and are the only guarantee of its success, the pope said Oct. 19 in welcoming Yves Gazzo as the new head of the European Commission's delegation to the Holy See. . . .
"Europe will not truly be herself if she cannot keep the originality that made her great," the pope said. He encouraged the continent to promote the "holistic development of people that the Catholic Church considers to be the only way to remedy the imbalances present in our world." (From Pope says Europe needs Christian values to prosper, help others; this hyperlink now displays only current CNS data.)
Thus, during the tenure of each Roman Catholic Pope from the end of World War II to the present, the Holy See has relentlessly pursued the Roman Catholic plan to accomplish the federation of Europe by "successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose":
"Europe's nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation." (Communiqué, 30 April 1952, by Jean Monnet, emphasis added.) (From Footnote 27 to FREEDOM IN JEOPARDY THE CASE AGAINST THE EU AND SUPRANATIONALISM; original bold emphasis italicized; N.B. the essay headings "The Powers Behind the Scenes," "The Grand Design of the EU.")
The "successive steps" up to the year 2000 are summarized in FREEDOM IN JEOPARDY THE CASE AGAINST THE EU AND SUPRANATIONALISM, hyperlinked above:
A Brief Review of Treaties and Legislation
Treaty of Rome, 1957 - This treaty's purpose was...
"to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe...the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of the people, the reduction of differences in wealth between regions..."
That is to say, it espoused both socialism and the concept of an ever-increasing union among the nations of Europe. In fact this document was actually a constitution disguised as a treaty because, unlike a treaty, it did not leave the several parties' national sovereignties intact.
Common Market, 1973 - Section 2 of the European Communities Act (the enabling legislation to enter into the Common Market) set down the principle that British Law would always from then on be subordinate to European Law; that, when the two conflicted, it would be the European and not the British Law that would prevail. Thus the supremacy of Parliament was overthrown.
Single European Act, 1986 - this provided the means by which Britain entered the Single Market of 1992. It eroded Britain's already-diminished decision-making powers by extending QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) to more areas.
Maastricht Treaty, 1992 - This was the treaty that established the idea of European citizenship and the Euro currency. It also surrendered the Queen's power in Parliament to an unelected body in Europe.
Amsterdam Treaty, 1998 - the European Union gained a "legal personality" giving it such powers as the ability to sign treaties that bind all its member states; it also gave greater scope to the European Court of Justice, and the Council of Ministers was given powers to punish any member state that persistently breached the treaty.
The Schengen Agreement, 1990 - signatories gave up their right to police their own borders. Borders are an integral part of liberty, both nationally and locally.
Treaty of Nice, 2000 - Further centralised Europe. Britain here gave up its veto in thirty more areas of policy setting.
The degree of involvement of the papacy in the successive steps summarized above, which are continuing, is documented by the following Roman Catholic COMMISSION OF THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCES OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (COMECE) web pages:
"At the beginning was the Idea:
At the beginning was the Idea, the grand plan for peace of the Founding Fathers of Europe - actually building this area so often dreamed about of reconciled nations, joined together by consensus with due consideration for their own peoples and the Christian values that unite them. But the road to achieving this Idea was not always smooth and trouble-free. The Church offered her support to the building of Europe as it took its very first steps. In 1950 Pope Pius XII welcomed the Schuman Declaration with enthusiasm and in 1957 he hailed the signature of the Treaties of Rome as "the most important and significant event in the modern history of the Eternal City."
One year earlier, the Archbishop of Strasbourg had invited the Jesuit Fathers to monitor the work of the Council of Europe in order to keep the Church bodies informed. In 1963 the Catholic Information Office for Europe opened an office in Brussels, located close to the European institutions. In 1970 an Apostolic Nuncio to Brussels was appointed by the Holy See and in 1976 the very first outline of a collective movement of bishoprics ended up as the creation of a Catholic Pastoral European Information Service (SIPECA). This forerunner of COMECE was mandated to keep the Bishops' Conferences informed of progress being made in the European Communities." (History of COMECE.)
"The little COMECE ...
In 1979, the European Parliament's first elections with universal suffrage opened up new horizons. The Bishops' Conferences focused their attention on the European Community. On 3 March 1980, with the approval of the Holy See, a college of bishops created COMECE to monitor and provide assistance in European policy-making. This was organised with great daring in the spirit of the Vatican II Council and following the principle of supranationalism. Once established in the avenue Père Damien at the SIPECA offices, COMECE began to explore its new environment.
Helped by collaboration with the Apostolic Nuncio and by the experience of pioneering Catholic organisations in Brussels such as OCIPE (the Jesuit European Information Office), the Secretariat focused first of all on its information provision mandate by publishing a bulletin called l'Europe au fil des jours and conducted a pastoral reflection specifically on European issues. Some contacts were made with the European Parliament, and an early form of dialogue was established with the European Commission. The Presidents and General Secretaries during the first decade of COMECE - Cardinal Hengsbach (Essen), Mgrs. Hengen and Brand, and Father Huot-Pleuroux - laid the foundations of an organisation that was destined to change constantly, in line with the changing European institutions to which it was providing assistance. But it was at the turn of the 1990s, just when international capitals were undergoing change, that COMECE began to realise just how large its mandate was." (The little COMECE; underscored and italics emphasis added.)
The fall of the Berlin Wall and the upheaval in the institutions foreseen by the application of, first the Single European Act, then the Treaty of Maastricht, obliged the new European Union to rethink its identity and the meaning of its construction. Jacques Delors' instinct led him to call upon the Churches, among other instances de sens, to take part in the European debates. A dialogue - chaotic at times, but no less rich for that - was started up between the competent religious bodies and successive Commissions. There COMECE took its seat at the table, becoming increasingly active over the years. Under the aegis of personalities such as Mgr Homeyer (Hildesheim), President from 1993 to 2006, and Mgr Treanor, General Secretary from 1993 to 2008, COMECE underwent some deep-seated changes in its organisation and operating methods.
To provide a better response to the increasing number of legal issues posed by the European Institutions to the Churches, the Secretariat raised its staffing level, anticipated the various EU enlargements, intensified its information work through Europe-Infos, its new bulletin, and developed its expertise not only in pastoral but also in legal matters.
In addition to its dialogue seminars with the Commission, COMECE and EECCS (1) , and later with the CEC's Church and Society Commission, developed a tradition of meeting every new President of the European Council since 1997. Thus it finds ways to assist in EU policy-making by making contributions of substance and relevance, drawing inspiration from the Church's Social Doctrine. From the preparation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights to the Treaty of Lisbon, COMECE has been active on all fronts. It issues forceful reminders of the Christian values of a European civilisation that is open to the world, taking care of the common good and the dignity of each individual as a whole human being. Finally, it promotes a relaxed dialogue between faith and politics. Confronted with changes in the religious dimension of Community law, COMECE advocates the idea of a healthy cooperation between the Churches and the Member States with, as guarantee, the inclusion in European texts of statements of the principle of solidarity and the recognition of the contribution of the Churches to the building of Europe. COMECE's voice is certainly heard: Article 17 of the Treaty of Lisbon, taking up Declaration No. 11 of the Annex to the Treaty of Amsterdam, recognises, through consultation with the Churches and religions, the positive and vital role of the latter for society.
Over the years, COMECE has been able first to monitor and later to assist European policy-making. In 2010, it can take up positions ahead of events with considerable legitimacy, placing trust in the European idea that it has been supporting for thirty years, in communion with the whole Church. (...grows up; underscored emphasis added.)
Thus organs of the Church of Rome itself provide the best evidence of its deep involvement in and aims for the European Union. COMECE documents how far she has advanced in her goal of becoming the controlling supranational power in Europe, and provides powerful indications of her objective of global dominance. Continental Europe is gone! This is well documented by writers such as Adrian Hilton:
Very many past and present European leaders have been influential in furthering this religious social agenda - Ruud Lubbers, Jacques Delors - both Jesuit educated, Chancellor Kohl, Felipe Gonzales, are also devout Roman Catholics. For them, there is no nobler task than the unifying of the European continent. A German colleague of Jacques Delors described the idea of a United Europe as 'essentially a Catholic concept', of which an inevitable result would be the subjugation of Britain's Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teachings. Bernard Connolly observed: 'The Catholic Churches in many continental countries are influenced by a desire to see a shadow Holy Roman Empire recreated in Europe' and the Christian Democrat and Christian Socialist traditions in Europe are working to that end, bowing to whichever golden calves they have to on the way.
The former Labour Party cabinet minister Baroness Shirley Williams confirmed this observation during the run-up to the 1975 referendum. She said: 'We will be joined to a Europe in which the Catholic religion will be the dominant faith, and in which the application of the Catholic Social Doctrine will be a major factor in everyday political and economic life.' (The Principality and Power of Europe . . ., hyperlinked above.)
Shirley Williams is a Roman Catholic. (Shirley Vivien Teresa Brittain Williams Facts - From 1st para. of "Gale Encyclopedia of Biography.") She was one of four Labor Party members of the UK Parliament who left to form the Social Democratic Party. It later merged with the Liberal Party to become the Liberal Democrats, of whom it is stated:
A party of the centre, formed in 1988 by the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) , the latter being made up of dissidents from the Labour party. The Lib Dems are thus a mixture of social conservatives and social democrats. The party is the most pro-European of the major British parties . . . (Political parties in Britain - a short guide.)
It is interesting to note that Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrats until the 2015 general election, is a professed atheist married to a Roman Catholic, and was set in June, 2011, to send his sons to the same Roman Catholic school to which Tony Blair sent his sons. (Going to change your manifesto, Nick? Atheist Clegg sends his sons to same Catholic school as Tony Blair) It is well-known that Blair's wife is a Roman Catholic. Is Rome using wives to ensnare their husbands? (Cf. THE CATHOLIC ORIGIN AND NURTURE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION above)
THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN
The current positions of the British political parties is set out in "UK political parties' positions on the EU" under CIVITAS EU Facts hyperlinked above. A detailed and very revealing summary of the history of the EU issue in the UK is provided in Revision: Impact of the EU on British Politics. Some interesting excerpts:
1. Laws enacted by the EU are directly applicable to the UK
2. The British Parliament can’t pass laws in areas where Community Law already exists
3. British courts must accept and enforce decisions made by the ECJ
The summary appears to apply to the political state of affairs in United Kingdom in the year 2000. The positions of the parties at that time are presently unchanged, and the debate for and against European Union membership rages. It would be fair to state that there is an ongoing Battle for Britain; and the tide is running against the Protestant heritage of the nation. This was reflected in a January, 2008, article in The Scotsman headlined "Do Protestants have reason to fear Catholicism's resurgence?" Jumping forward to September, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Britain for the first ever visit of by a Pope (Pope Benedict XVI starts historic tour in Britain.) As the report states, the visit was not popular with the people (Cf. Controversy around Britain's first papal state visit deepens.) That matters little to the powers that be at the top. As reported, the Queen welcomed the Pope warmly. She had already made her inclinations clear as stated in Rome's Resurgence hyperlinked above. Her actions have not been in harmony with nearly 500 years of British monarchical history (Cf. The Break with Rome.) These events are of such a significance as could not apply in the United States. Adrian Hilton wrote in 1997:
In 1953, the Queen swore on oath at her Coronation 'to govern the peoples of the United Kingdom according to their laws and customs' and 'to maintain the Protestant Reformed religion established by law.' Both of these are negated by the process of deeper European integration. In a continent in which 61 million claim a Protestant heritage and 199 million profess to be Roman Catholics, it is simply not possible to maintain Protestantism by democratic law. The Protestant constitution of the United Kingdom has long been a strong defence against Rome's desires for the 'evangelisation' of Britain, which the Pope refers to as 'Mary's dowry' - hers by right.
This quotation brings into sharp relief the significance of the Queen's conduct, and the severe repercussions to be expected from deeper European integration. Both Democracy and Protestantism are crumbling in Britain. The Queen is no doubt acting with the advice and consent of the leaders of the British Parliament, which has been complicit in the movement back to Rome. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was present to welcome the Pope. Prime Minister David Cameron offered "a warm welcome" to the Pope (Cf. David Cameron offers 'warm welcome' to Pope in video; Pope's state visit criticised in luminaries' letter.) An article in The Telegraph dated April 24, 2011, titled Church blocks reforms over royal marriages, reported that "Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, began work towards repealing the 1701 Act of Settlement, under which heirs to the throne must renounce their claim on marrying a Roman Catholic, in order to introduce full equality between the faiths." The article goes on to state:
Talks were held with the Anglican Church as part of wider discussions on constitutional reform, which come under his remit as Deputy Prime Minister. . .
However, the plan to abolish the Act of Settlement was quietly shelved after the Church raised significant objections centring on the British sovereign’s dual role as Supreme Governor.
Church leaders expressed concern that if a future heir to the throne married a Roman Catholic, their children would be required by canon law to be brought up in that faith.
This would result in the constitutionally problematic situation whereby the Supreme Governor of the Church of England was a Roman Catholic, and so ultimately answerable to a separate sovereign leader, the Pope, and the Vatican.
To the shelving of the plan to abolish the Act of Settlement, the Catholic Herald of the UK boldly raised the question "Why shouldn’t there be a Catholic ‘Supreme Governor’ of the Church of England?." The fact that we are blessed with a constitutional separation of church and state should not dim our perception of dangers posed to the historical identity of Britain as a Protestant nation. In a lecture delivered at the European Institute of Protestant Studies titled The conspiracy Behind The European Union What Every Christian Should Know, Professor Arthur Noble presented some of the history and ramifications of the European Union plot. The following are quotations from the lecture:
What is the real nature and purpose of this Europe into whose heart the British people are being dragged with increasing resistance? I contend that behind the respectable European mask is a plot to destroy our sovereignty and to re-align the whole balance of power world-wide.
Which brings me to the subject of religion. What further aspects of our national sovereignty are envisaged for the sellout in later treaty amendments? Will an attempt at religious unity follow in the wake of monetary and political unity in this "imperialist" Europe? After all, that is the confessed vision of Pope John Paul II when he speaks about European unity on his numerous propaganda jaunts, now numbering about sixty. His message has consistently been that European identity is "incomprehensible without Christianity" (for "Christianity", of course, read "Romanism"). In other words, his vision of European unity is based on the principle of strong Vatican influence on political governments, reminiscent of the situation in the Middle Ages.
Rome's plan to unite Europe politically and the world religiously by ushering in a seventh revival of the Empire was announced by Pope Pius XII as early as 1952 in his Christmas broadcast, which envisaged "a Christian order which alone is able to guarantee peace. To this goal the resources of the Church are now directed." This arrogant and cunning fanatic, who helped Hitler to power, blessed Mussolini's troops and colluded with the Nazi Ustashi in Yugoslavia in slaughtering 240,000 Orthodox Serbs and forcibly converting over 750,000 to Roman Catholicism, exhorted the faithful of Rome in February, 1952: "The whole world must be rebuilt from its foundations." The plans for this gigantic task, about which the world knows little, were subsequently laid under cover by the Vatican's diplomats. The concept of a United, Roman Catholic European superstate, which is presently emerging in Europe, was to be the first step in world domination.
Historically, the concept of the nation-state has been anathema to the Vatican, whose tactics have been to rob sovereign nations of their nationhood and reduced to mere states or provinces of a single European nation-state controlled by her, even subdividing them internally where it suited her purposes.
Are our leaders blind to what is going on in Europe, or are they naively stupid, or knowing collaborators?
The Catholic Herald recently stated: 'The
days of the Anglican Church are numbered, and most of its worshippers
will return to the true faith of their distant mediaeval forebears.'
It is almost a symbolic fulfilment of that prophecy that the
20-pence coin of the British colony Gibraltar, issued by Parliament and
approved by the Queen, bears an engraving of Mary crowned 'Queen of
Heaven' and titles 'Our Lady of Europa'. The head of the Queen on the
other side is simply titled 'Elizabeth II - Gibraltar', without her
usual titles of D.G., REG., F.D. - Queen by the Grace of God, Defender
of the Faith. As portentous as such Roman Catholic symbolism is,
the British postage stamps issued in 1984 to
commemorate the second election to the European Parliament went even
further. They depicted a whore riding a beast over seven mounds or
waves. Such imagery has startling similarities to passages from the book
of Revelation which a succession of theologians from Wycliffe to
Spurgeon has identified as representing Papal Rome.
If we do not pray and if we do not act, Rome will once again succeed in establishing her evil system in this country. When William Tyndale, captured and burned in 1535 by Belgian Papists for having dared to translate the New Testament, uttered his dying cry: "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!" God's eventual mighty answer came in the form of the King James (or "Authorised") Version of the Bible (1611). It fell to Protestant Britain to spread the Gospel worldwide and check the power of Rome. I am convinced that that is our divinely-appointed task once again. We can no longer rely on our political leaders or even our Royal Family to carry the torch of Biblical Truth. Let us therefore pray: "Lord, open the eyes of the British nation!"
From Principality and Power of Europe - Britain and the emerging Holy European Empire hyperlinked above comes another cogent quotation:
A system of government based on a throne which is Protestant by law seems to invite charges of bigotry, out-datedness and political incorrectness. It may not be surprising that the Roman Catholic-dominated press and other media are waging a propaganda war, but the consequent ascendancy of Roman Catholicism in public esteem and respectability causes concern. Protestantism, meanwhile, is being marginalised and dismissed. The demeaning of the name, the drives for unity in the ecumenical movement, and the search for compromise and peace have effectively rendered it politically incorrect to be known as a Protestant. The Protestant truth is the foundation of the British Constitution and social fabric. Considering there are only five million Roman Catholics in Britain, with fewer than a million regular church-goers, the high media profile of the Roman Church is utterly disproportionate. (Cf. Making America Catholic, which deals with the influence of the Church of Rome in America.)
THE PROPHETIC SIGNIFICANCE OF REGIONALISM
There are some who suggest that the ten kings of Rev. 17:12 represent the original divisions of the Roman Empire. This is not exegetically logical. In the first place, three of the ten horns of the Book of Daniel were "plucked up" by the little horn. They ceased to exist (Dan. 7:7-8; 20 & 24.) Next, the internal evidence of Rev. 17:10 is they were future, and they probably still are. Here is where the European Union may provide a clue to the ultimate manifestation of these ten kings.
In FREEDOM IN JEOPARDY: THE CASE AGAINST THE EU AND SUPRANATIONALISM under the heading "What is Sovereignty?" the author D. Andrews states:
Though nationalism was once very similar in definition to patriotism and independence, it is now often used to refer to a negative rather than a positive concept. Supranationalism, given much more popular publicity than the latter, is the concept that the nation state no longer matters, that interdependence is better than independence, and that it is necessary to form regions of countries into centrally-controlled blocs with the probability of merging those blocs later on to form a world government. Thus supranationalism is merely the process of political globalism. . . (underscored emphasis added.)
Under the heading of "The Grand Design of the EU" the author states the following concerning European Union founder Jean Monnet:
In the closing words of his memoirs, Monnet wrote:
"The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present: they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future. And the Community itself is only a stage on the way to the organised world of tomorrow." (emphasis added).
And in a communiqué of 22 August 1962 this same man spelled out the grand design of Europe when he wrote:
"It is impossible to solve problems between European States who preserve full sovereignty. We are convinced that our times must see the creation of vast units like the United States and the USSR, and to establish a [world-wide] organisation to ensure co-operation between all those vast units. It is this organization which will create the new world order." (emphasis added)
It seems beyond doubt now that regionalisation, despite initial promises to the contrary, was and is about the elimination of national sovereignty - and is itself a pre-planned stage toward globalisation (the joining together of regionalised blocs into a world government). The true story behind Europe can be ignored no longer. (Underscoring for emphasis in the original; italics emphasis added.)
The question arises whether the concept of the regional unions of nations represents the blueprint for emergence of the ten kings of Rev. 17:12? This raises the questions of how countries such as China will be roped in; and into what regional union will Russia be drawn, since the USSR no longer exists.
Is it possible that fulfillment of the prophecy will not be fully matured until after the appearance of Satan as the ultimate antichrist, fulfilling Rev. 17:8 & 11? It is worthy of note that the beast referred to in Rev. 17:12, is not the papacy, but the dragon, defined by Rev. 12:3-9 as Satan. Rev. 17:12 states that the ten horns receive power as kings with the beast for one prophetic hour (15 literal days;) but it does not state that the beast's appearance on the earth will be limited to that period of time. Also, how long after the conquest of Britain will it be before the end comes? At the present time, there remains the vexed issue of Jerusalem, and the fulfillment of Dan. 11:45. There appears to be no movement there, but that problem may be resolved suddenly.
IMPACT OF THE EUROZONE CRISIS
In the course of events in this world, nothing happens in isolation. There are causes and effects, and causative factors are intertwined. What we can see, or allowed to see, is often not the reality.
Major causes of the Eurozone crisis can be traced all the way back to the Ronald Reagan Administration which began in 1981. Reagan was the first President to seriously set about enactment of the Roman Catholic Natural Law/Social Doctrine in the United States. The Adventistlaymen.com web page "Natural Law" contains a section on the Reagan presidency (Cf. The Reagan Presidency below.)
Its economic policies left a legacy of federal deficits:
The fiscal shift in the Reagan years was staggering. In January 1981, when Reagan declared the federal budget to be "out of control," the deficit had reached almost $74 billion, the federal debt $930 billion. Within two years, the deficit was $208 billion. The debt by 1988 totaled $2.6 trillion. In those eight years, the United States moved from being the world's largest international creditor to the largest debtor nation. (Reagan Policies Gave Green Light to Red Ink.)
The primary objective was to "shrink" the federal government, and the means was to "starve the beast" by reducing tax revenues. Cutting taxes had the opposite effect to what was expected, and as counterintuitive as it appears to be, it seems that this was inevitable. The following is a quotation from an article in the Atlantic magazine dated June, 2006, titled "Stoking the Beast":
President Carter ducked the presidential debate of September 21, 1980, but Ronald Reagan and John Anderson, the independent candidate, were on hand for a revealing exchange. The question was whether Reagan’s proposed tax cuts, if not balanced by spending reductions, would fuel inflation. Anderson thought so: “I have been very careful in saying that what I’m going to do is to bring federal spending under control first.”
Reagan scoffed. “John tells us that first we’ve got to reduce spending before we can reduce taxes,” he said. “Well, if you’ve got a kid that’s extravagant, you can lecture him all you want to about his extravagance. Or you can cut his allowance and achieve the same end much quicker.” With that statement, Reagan performed one of the last century’s great feats of political prestidigitation.
Until then, the conservative movement had been at odds with itself. Libertarians in the Goldwater tradition wanted to reduce spending in order to shrink Big Government. Supply-siders derided that idea as a political loser, “root-canal economics.” Instead, they demanded large tax cuts that would grow the economy. Traditional business conservatives, however, believed in balanced budgets, and they held tax cuts hostage to spending cuts that never happened. The movement was gridlocked.
Reagan and his supply-side vanguard saw a way to break the jam—or, more precisely, two ways. First, some argued that tax cuts would so energize the economy as to pay for themselves. That claim was widely controversial, even among Republicans (Reagan’s then-rival George H. W. Bush called it “voodoo economics”), and it proved mostly wrong. Less controversial, but in the end more important, was the claim Reagan lobbed at Anderson. Often called the Starve the Beast hypothesis, it held that tax cuts shrink the federal Leviathan by starving it of funds. Tax cuts need not await spending cuts because they would cause spending cuts.
Even during the Reagan years, Niskanen was suspicious of Starve the Beast. He thought it more likely that tax cuts, when unmatched with spending cuts, would reduce the apparent cost of government, thus stimulating rather than stunting Washington’s growth. “You make government look cheaper than it would otherwise be,” he said recently.
Suppose the federal budget is balanced at $1 trillion. Now suppose Congress reduces taxes by $200 billion without reducing spending. One result is a $200 billion deficit. Another result is that voters pay for only 80 percent of what government actually costs. Think of this as a 20 percent discount on government. As everyone knows, when you put something on sale, people buy more of it. Logically, then, tax cuts might increase the demand for government instead of reducing the supply of it. Or they might do some of each.
Which is it? To the naked eye, Starve the Beast looks suspiciously counterproductive. After all, spending (as a share of the gross domestic product, the standard way to measure it) went up, not down, after Reagan cut taxes in the early 1980s; it went down, not up, after the first President Bush and President Clinton raised taxes in the early 1990s; and it went up, not down, following the Bush tax cuts early in this decade. (Underscored emphasis added.)
While the primary point now being is that the Reagan Administration tax cuts began the buildup of uncontrollable federal government deficits which has led to the present world sovereign debt crisis, it is desirable to examine how the policy of shrinking central civil government is completely aligned with the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine and its principle of "Subsidiarity." Of the many sources for explanations of Subsidiarity, the following is chosen as concise and crystal clear:
SUBSIDIARITY means that the level of government that is nearest a person and is able to address a concern should do so before higher levels of government intervene.
The most basic level of government is self-government. The second level is the family – immediate and extended. The third level is civil society – neighbors, communities, religious organizations, and other voluntary associations. The final level of government is civil government, which operates on three sub-levels in the U.S. – local, state, and federal – each one progressively more distant and complex than the one below it.
When a public concern arises, the governing body closest to the people involved is usually the most aware of the circumstances surrounding the concern and the most capable of addressing it.
A more centralized body that attempts to address a local concern is typically larger, more complex, and more distant. As a result, it is less able to offer solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of individuals, families, and communities. Furthermore, local solutions encourage civic involvement and help build community. (Subsidiarity; Underscored emphasis added.)
The federal debt and the federal budget deficit are not synonymous. The federal debt is the total amount that the Government owes to its creditors; the budget deficit is the amount by which Government expenditures exceed revenues, which must be financed by borrowing. The Federal debt is instructive in relation to the budget deficit. The federal debt has been increasing under all presidents since Ronald Reagan; but there are revealing differences between presidencies, and the underlying reason for the increasing debt is the tax cutting policy of the two Republican presidents who were most influenced by the Roman Catholic Social Doctrine:
The national debt is a product of patterns of borrowing that have soared over the last three decades, largely from one particular problem: the coincidence of relentless tax cutting with the need to fund existing programs and address real-world challenges.
In 1981, when Pres. Jimmy Carter left office, the national debt was under $1 trillion. By the time Pres. Ronald Reagan left office, in 1989, the national debt was close to $3 trillion. During Pres. George H.W. Bush’s first year in office, when the budget was Reagan’s last budget, the national debt broke $3 trillion.
The first Pres. Bush was a better debt manager than his immediate predecessor or his son; debt grew by roughly $1.4 trillion, during his 4 years in office. Pres. Clinton did a little better, adding about the same amount over 8 years. But Clinton achieved an important result: he left the government with projected budget surpluses exceeding the total national debt, over the coming decade.
Pres. George W. Bush took office in 2001 with those surpluses in place. His 2001 tax cut, however, reversed the entire surplus, and by the time of his reelection in 2004, he added to the (once again) growing debt another $1.7 trillion. By the time he left office in 2009, the national debt had escalated to over $10 trillion, and the debt ceiling was already primed for another $2 trillion in borrowing.
That extra $2 trillion in borrowing was necessary, to pay for spending already “in the pipeline”, already passed into law and on the federal books, either as part of the official budget or supplemental spending. By the end of 2009, with George W. Bush’s last annual budget playing out, the national debt was at $12 trillion. It would be mid 2010, before the active federal budget was “owned” by Obama.
As of this writing, the policies of George W. Bush have added fully $7 trillion to the national debt. Since then, Pres. Obama’s policies have added another $1.4 trillion, and already planned spending policy, historically low government tax revenues and the economic reality of tight credit, slow growth and lagging job creation, makes it very difficult for him to cut spending to a level where he would be able to match Pres. Bush, the elder and Pres. Clinton, in managing the national debt. (The Drivers of National Debt; underscored and italic emphasis added)
The presidency of George W. Bush requires a closer look in relation to Roman Catholic influence. The following is quoted from the Adventistlaymen.com web page Theocratic Dictatorship:
From Christian Ethics Today, Journal of Christian Ethics, Issue 36, Volume 7 No 5, October 2001, "The Threat of Theocracy?," By John M. Swomley, we quote:
The greatest danger to democracy in any nation is theocracy. It can occur in any society where a powerful religious organization or combination of organizations is the decisive voice in a political or judicial system. In spite of our constitutional system of separation of church and state there is substantial evidence of theocratic influence and efforts to control in the United States today.
It is evident in a well-documented alliance of the Republican National Committee under George W. Bush’s leadership with the Cardinals and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church, and the silence or collusion of some largely Protestant organizations. This conclusion is based largely on the remarkable investigative reporting by a progressive democratic Roman Catholic organization of the actions of Bush and the Catholic hierarchy of the United States in the Summer 2001 issue of Conscience, a journal of Catholics for a Free Choice.
On its cover page is a color picture of five red-clad, smiling Cardinals applauding a smiling George W. Bush in front of the newly dedicated Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington on March 21. The description under the picture is “TOGETHER AT LAST: CONSERVATIVE CATHOLICS AND THE GOP.” The word “conservative” should be “right wing,” as most dictionaries describe a conservative as one who wants to maintain the status quo or existing system of government. The programs advocated by the new alliance go instead in the direction of extreme or radical change.
For examples of how Catholic a President George W. Bush was, see PARAGRAPHS FROM THEOCRATIC DICTATORSHIP below.
President Bush's first tax cut was in June, 2001. In September, 2001, came the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The tax cut in 2001 laid the groundwork for a reversal of the trend in federal deficits started by President Clinton, a further tax cut in May, 2003, continued the upward spiral (Cf. The Bush Tax Cuts Are the Disaster that Keeps on Giving; The Truth About Who's Responsible For Our Massive Budget Deficit.) The terrorist attack exacerbated what was already inevitable (U.S. Security Spending Since 9/11.) As if all of this were not sufficiently disastrous, there was a "housing bubble" which burst and led to the great recession of 2007-2009 (Cf. Gauging the Impact of the Great Recession.) The causative factors were summarized in Testimony Concerning the Lehman Brothers Examiner's Report by Chairman Mary L. Schapiro, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, before the House Financial Services Committee:
Much of the foregoing can be blamed on the freewheeling laissez-faire politics of the time. "The collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 helped trigger an economic and financial crisis that swept across the globe" (Financial Crisis, known as the "sovereign debt crisis.") This is where the European Union comes again into focus (LEHMAN BROTHERS LEGACY PARALYZES THE EURO ZONE.) Jesus' own prophecy of events heralding the Second Coming included just such financial conditions as now exist in the world (DISTRESS OF NATIONS WITH PERPLEXITY,) coinciding with many other signs that the end is near.
It is possible that there was manipulation by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in some of the foregoing history; but some events (e.g. 9/11 and its aftermath) seem to be beyond the scope of human ingenuity to conceive and control, even under the inspiration of the dragon (Rev. 13:2.) Such events may be explained in the context of Rev. 16:13-14.
The eurozone sovereign debt crisis provides impetus for greater unification of the nation states of the European Union. An article in the British Observer newspaper titled Eurozone crisis: European Union prepares for the 'great leap forward' has the caption, "As EU politicians desperately try to save euro, plans emerge to deepen the union, widening Brussels regulatory powers." Here are passages from the article:
As the skies over euroland darken, at least the jokes in Brussels are getting better. At a recent gathering to discuss the crisis that threatens to unravel the euro, one former member of the European parliament observed acidly: "They ought to give this year's Charlemagne prize [for services to European unity] to the bond markets. Who has done more for the cause?" . . .
As the stakes rise higher than anyone thought they could, the British are increasingly seen as an irritation and even an irrelevance. . .
The counter-offensive is to be a risky route march to a form of economic and political union; it is likely to be deep, far-reaching and for many, whether on the political left or right, deeply problematic. Brussels officials will exercise unprecedented powers of intervention over national budgets, tax policies, labour markets. The scrutiny may extend even to a country's schools, universities and courts. Dissent, whether expressed through referendums, elections or the debating chambers of national parliaments, will have only a limited impact. The direction of travel is non-negotiable. For "Europe" – the idea rather than the geographical entity – it is now or never. (Cf. France and Germany push for new EU treaty.)
The problematic nature of the deep, far reaching, economic and political union is underscored by this headline, EU veers from treaty change for all states. Once again Britain looms large as a major obstacle:
The European Union is veering away from attempts to change the treaty binding its members to provide a lasting response to the debt crisis, diplomats said on Tuesday.
Leaders from the 27 EU states will gather on December 8-9 to examine proposals on integrating eurozone economies setting new rules covering national budgets, controls aimed at avoiding asset bubbles and strict sanctions to ensure enforcement.
But heavy concessions that Britain would need to push a new treaty through parliament, far less win a referendum were one required, mean treaty change can only realistically happen among the 17 eurozone states at best, the diplomats now say.
"If forced to have a referendum in Britain on a full 27 treaty among the 27 states, let's face it, it would be very difficult to win," one diplomat said.
The option of doing a deal purely for the eurozone "appeals to the Germans as they avoid the British asking questions, likewise the European Parliament and the European Commission," the EU's day-to-day executive, the diplomat said.
"At the end of the day, the Germans are in control of this," he said.
British sources say the government in London would make demands on four fronts, and that even a eurozone-only treaty would still raise questions among rising eurosceptic voices within Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party. (But Cf. Sarkozy calls for new European treaty as euro enters make-or-break week.)
The EU: From Medieval to Modern Empire? is an interesting analysis of the European Union as Empire. The following statement addresses the imperative of closer integration and the probable emergence of a "neo-medieval" empire, which brings to mind Rome and the Catholic Church:
The Eurozone is in trouble. Commentators usually interpret the currency crisis as partially a result of a lack of central coordination. This diagnosis leads to calls for centralized economic governance at the European level. The reasoning goes that a central decision-maker is more effective, decisive, and can wield the full range of monetary instruments. This will restore the markets trust in the Euro. The question then becomes how to reshape the EU’s institutions. The current debate on the Euro-zone reminded me of earlier debates about the EU. Certainly, when a complex metaphor re- entered the European political arena: the EU as an empire
The phrase never really left popular discourse. It is perhaps most powerfully expressed through imagery in which the European flag is combined with the one of the Holy Roman Empire (above) or more detestably with Nazi symbolism. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte implicitly reintroduced it into political discourse when he argued in a leaked paper in favour of turning Euro-members unable to comply with monetary guidelines into wards of Brussels. I found it particularly interesting how this changes the use of the term empire. Therefore, let me take you back to earlier usage of Europe as empire. . . .
This leaves us with the question: how plausible is this type of central empire? A closer look at current political developments might be illuminating. Merkel and Sarkozy’s proposal for a European economic government interprets supranational centralization in a particular way. The coordinating institution is not an independent auditor or the ‘bureaucratic’ Commission. Instead, in addition to the introduction of tax harmonisation and budget regulations, they opt for the European Council to meet twice yearly and national governments to change national constitutions and legislation in order to make firm ‘European’ decisions possible. They choose the pooling of sovereignty of democratic states over any idea of imperial rule by Brussels. Thus, they seem to opt for a ‘neo-medieval’ empire type solution.
Thus from many perspectives the grand scheme of the Roman Catholic Church is exposed by European writers. The warnings are clear; yet Rome's imperial juggernaut rolls on with an inevitability consistent with its prophetic significance. Interestingly, Daniel M. Price, who was assistant to President George W. Bush for international economic affairs from 2007 to 2009 and his personal representative to the Group of Eight and the G-20, made the following statement in a Washington Post Op-Ed article titled Saving the euro — and the European Union:
More than two centuries ago, soon after declaring independence from Britain, the 13 original colonies established the United States of America through the Articles of Confederation. But they declined to give real authority to the federal government. This failed experiment lasted from 1777 until 1789, during which time the United States learned some hard lessons that it has too often and, at great cost, had to re-learn: Collective responsibility requires a strong political center, and a union that lacks the power to enforce its rules among constituent states cannot function. The analogy is imperfect, and the desired end point for the European Union may not be a constitutional federalism. But Europe does not have the luxury of 12 more years to figure it out.
On November 3, 2011, and article appeared in the British newspaper The Telegraph, titled The Obama administration looks clueless on Europe by backing an EU superstate. He contends that the "European project is doomed," but for the purpose of this essay, what he wrote about the Obama administration's policy towards the European Union is revealing. He justly excoriates Roman Catholic Vice-President Joe Biden for his effusive statements of support for the EU (Cf. Biden Statements.) The author goes on to make the following statement:
Biden’s toughest competition for the title of America’s biggest Eurofederalist has come from Hillary Clinton, whose State Department has aggressively backed European integration. In an interview with The Irish Times soon after becoming Secretary of State, Clinton made clear her support for Lisbon and the idea of a European Union foreign minister:
I think there would be advantages in having an interlocutor who represented decisions taken by the EU. It wouldn't in any way eliminate the bilateral relations which the United States pursues with individual countries but on a number of matters, the EU being organized in that way could facilitate decisions."
I believe [political integration is] in Europe's interest and I believe that is in the United States' interest because we want a strong Europe.
Without a doubt the Obama team has been the most pro-Eurofederalist administration in US history. It has supported EU integration in every sphere, including economic, defence and foreign policy. As the president’s ambassador to London, Louis Susman, put it in a private meeting with British MPs in January, in the view of the present US government, “all key issues must run through Europe”, ie Brussels. The Obama administration includes in its ranks some of the biggest supporters of the European Project in Washington, including Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy, and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip H Gordon. Before taking his post as the most senior Obama administration official on Europe, Gordon wrote that America must “support the European project”, and that “the challenge for US policy is to encourage Europe to develop the cohesion and capability to become a true transatlantic partner.” (Underscored emphasis added.)
The course is set: "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19.) The Seventh-day Adventist Church's policy of alliance with the Church of Rome is sheer folly, and flows from a baffling indifference to the evidence of unfolding prophecies in the march of current events. In place of the Church's sacred trust, there is deafening silence. It devolves upon writers such as former Roman Catholic priest and now Baptist, Richard Bennett, without any connection to early Seventh-day Adventist theology, to sound the warning (Cf. Papal Rome and the European Union.) From a number of prophetic Testimonies of Ellen G. White applicable to contemporary Seventh-day Adventism the following are selected:
In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light-bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the Word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import, the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels' messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.
The most solemn work ever entrusted to mortals has been given us to proclaim to the world. The proclamation of these truths is to be our work. The world is to be warned, and God's people are to be true to the trust committed to them. (9T, ρ.19).
In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: "Found wanting." By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged. . . .
One who sees beneath the surface, who reads the hearts of all men, says of those who have had great light: "They are not afflicted and astonished because of their moral and spiritual condition." Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before Mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not." "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie," because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," "but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Isaiah 66:3, 4; 2 Thessalonians 2:11, 10, 12.
The heavenly Teacher inquired: "What stronger delusion can beguile the mind than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things according to worldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah? Oh, it is a great deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possession of minds when men who have once known the truth, mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof; when they suppose that they are rich and increased with goods and in need of nothing, while in reality they are in need of everything.". . .
Who can truthfully say: "Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? 'How is the faithful city become an harlot!' My Father's house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking." 8T. 247,249, 250
One thing it is certain is soon to be realized,--the great apostasy, which is developing and increasing and waxing stronger, and will continue to do so until the Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout. We are to hold fast the first principles of our denominated faith, and go forward from strength to increased faith. Ever we are to keep the faith that that has been substantiated by the Holy Spirit of God from the earlier events of our experience, until the present time. We need now larger breadth, and deeper, more earnest, unwavering faith in the leadings of the Holy Spirit. If we needed the manifest proof of the Holy Spirit's power to confirm truth in the beginning after the passing of the time, we need today all the evidence in the confirmation of the truth, when souls are departing from the faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. There must not be any languishing of soul now. (NYI, February 7, 1906 par. 1.)
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. (From "The Parable of the Ten Virgins," R&H, October 31, 1899)
(All italics emphasis added.)
MORE ON THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN - WITH CONTINUING UPDATES
Lisbon Treaty: more of Britain's powers surrendered to Brussels: "The Lisbon Treaty is based on the European Constitution, which started at a summit in Brussels in December 2001.
Gordon Brown hailed the Czech signature as “a historic step,” and European leaders said it will create a more powerful EU.
Despite the scale of the changes the treaty makes, the British people have never been directly consulted on the document, which was ratified in a Commons vote and signed by Mr. Brown in 2007.
Labour won the 2005 general election having promised a referendum on the European Constitution but then dropped the pledge, arguing that Lisbon was a different document.
The Conservatives gave a “cast-iron” guarantee of a vote on Lisbon.
But after Mr. Klaus signed the text, the Tories admitted that they will not offer voters a say on Lisbon.
Mr. Hague said that once ratified, the treaty will cease to exist as a distinct legal document, meaning no vote can be held on it."
Lisbon Treaty spells end of UK sovereignty: "Dec. 1, 2009, will be recorded as the day that the Queen of England officially became a vassal of the seventh resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire” Ron Fraser noted In his article, 'Good-bye Great Britain'. “As of Dec. 1, 2009, the British people are no longer subjects of the Crown. They are citizens of the European Union. The monarch is now subject to the rule of the elites ensconced in Brussels, Berlin and Rome. Their immediate promise is a new wave of taxes. Ahead is an era of economic stagnation and depression, with resultant political and social instability, and, most insidious of all, a period of religious oppression."
The Alternative to an EU Referendum is Civil Disobedience: The treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Lisbon have incrementally created a one-party state – a state which may comprise 27 nations, but in which any political dissent expressed by any political party or elected government that goes against the tenets of that Union will lead to that government being pilloried and their electorate deprived of their democratic rights (and billions of their euros). This, of course, makes nonsense of the oft-repeated claim that the Union ‘is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’ As former Conservative leader Michael (Lord) Howard wrote in The Times in 1997: ‘It does not take much imagination to see how (Article F.1 of the Amsterdam Treaty) could be used to disarm the veto. If one country were preventing the others from adopting a measure which they regard as vital, Article F.1 could be used as a pretext to suspend its voting rights.’ In the event, UK vetoes didn’t need to be disarmed: our elected representatives just gave them away. In tandem with this goes the repeated observations on the consequences of the EU-wide criminal justice system Corpus Juris. It is entirely conceivable that the criminal law may eventually be used to stifle dissent and opposition. It is the rights which are removed in times of freedom which are most needed when freedom is under threat.
UK parliament votes down referendum on EU membership: Motion for debate on the topic was requested by member of parliament David Nuttall . . ., who earlier this month explained why he thought the public should have a chance to decide . . ., noting much has changed since the last referendum on the issue: "Back in 1975 there was a referendum on whether or not we stayed in what was then referred to as 'The Common Market' the European Economic Community. Since then the nature of the organisation which the British people voted to remain part of has changed beyond all recognition. Firstly, the word 'Economic' was dropped and we became members of the European Community. Then, we became members of the European Union. All without any consultation of the British people. It is now time we all had our say!"
David Cameron challenged in cabinet over EU veto: "As the European commission accused the prime minister of wrecking an EU-wide agreement to solve the debt crisis, Chris Huhne, the energy secretary, highlighted deep Liberal Democrat unease by telling Cameron that he had no authority from the coalition to veto a revision of the Lisbon treaty."
Nick Clegg turns fire on David Cameron over Europe veto - Liberal Democrat leader 'furious at prime minister's tactics' as Paddy Ashdown voices fears over isolation
Clegg seeks role at next EU summit - Nick Clegg is pressing for the Liberal Democrats to be represented at European Union summits after David Cameron’s rejection of a new European treaty.
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 precedence 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."
It remains only to give some examples of how Catholic a president George W. Bush is, Protestant though he be in name. We begin with reports from early in his presidency. In an article in the Washington Post, by staff writer Thomas B. Edsall, dated April 16, 2001, and titled "Bush Aims to Strengthen Catholic Base - Republicans Seeking Solid Majorities Among All White Religious Voters," was the following statement:
The effort to recruit Catholic voters has led to a striking change in the political climate in Washington. George [earlier identified as a Roman Catholic and Princeton University political scientist] noted in an interview last week that "in 1960, John Kennedy went from Washington down to Texas to assure Protestant preachers that he would not obey the pope. In 2001, George Bush came from Texas up to Washington to assure a group of Catholic bishops that he would."
Republican advocacy of "compassionate conservatism" meshes well with Catholic doctrine, in contrast to more hard-edged Republican themes of free-market conservatism and the libertarianism promoted by groups such as the Cato Institute, Hudson [Deal Hudson, publisher of the Catholic magazine Crisis] and George both argue. (Emphasis added.)
The same article reported that Bush's staff had instituted a weekly conference call with an informal group of Catholic advisers; but that is not all as will be seen. An article in the New Republic, by Ryan Lizza, dated April 23, 2001, titled "WHITE HOUSE WATCH, Salvation" opened as follows:
In late March, President Bush traveled to an obscure corner of Washington, D.C., to give one of the most striking and underreported speeches of his presidency. It wasn't about education reform or tax cuts. In fact, it had little to do with Bush or his administration at all. It was rather a simple, eloquent, Christ-drenched tribute to Pope John Paul II, offered to commemorate the opening of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center at Catholic University. "The pope reminds us," Bush told the gathered clergy, politicians, and civic leaders, "that while freedom defines our nation, responsibility must define our lives. He challenges us to live up to our aspirations, to be a fair and just society where all are welcomed, all are valued, and all are protected. And he is never more eloquent than when he speaks for a culture of life. The culture of life is a welcoming culture, never excluding, never dividing, never despairing, and always affirming the goodness of life in all its seasons. In the culture of life we must make room for the stranger. We must comfort the sick. We must care for the aged. We must welcome the immigrant. We must teach our children to be gentle with one another. We must defend in love the innocent child waiting to be born." Pro-choice Democrats in attendance, like Ted Kennedy, shifted uncomfortably in their seats. But the rest of the audience rose in a standing ovation.
It was a remarkable moment, but not an isolated one. Bush has courted the Catholic vote more doggedly than any modern president, explicitly-and often eloquently-placing "compassionate conservatism" within the context of the Catholic tradition of aiding the underprivileged and protecting the sanctity of life. (Emphasis added.)
The article went on to state:
The president makes a point of meeting with local bishops wherever he travels, but especially on visits to swing states. He has made Catholic leaders fixtures at White House events, and his political staff holds a weekly conference call with conservative Catholics.
Further down, the weekly conference call was mentioned again as follows:
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is reviving its Catholic Task Force, which will now include a staffer who concentrates on Catholic Hispanics. In the speech-writing shop, Michael Gerson, an evangelical with a keen understanding of Catholic teaching, has been joined by Peter Wehner, a former aide to GOP Catholic luminary Bill Bennett. In the public liaison office, Tim Goeglin, a former aide to Gary Bauer who later did religious outreach for the Bush campaign, serves as the point man for Catholics. One of his responsibilities is hosting a White House conference call, on Thursdays at eleven o'clock in the morning, with Catholic leaders-including Wagner, Hudson, Princeton's Robert George, and the Acton Institute's Reverend Robert Sirico, among others. (The weekly calls are separate from a Monday conference call with social conservatives because the White House has determined that religiously conservative evangelicals and Catholics are best dealt with as two completely different constituencies.) (Emphasis added.)
Returning to the Washington Post article quoted earlier, it closed with the statement:
[Paul] Weyrich wrote that he recently asked senior Bush adviser Karl Rove to tell the president "that he has mastered the art of Catholic governance." Rove, according to Weyrich, replied, "That's pretty good for a Methodist."
Following up on this reference, there is a statement by Weyrich on his Free Congress Foundation website, dated March 13, 2001, and titled "Bush Understands Catholic Principle of Subsidiarity," from which we quote 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. (Emphasis added.)
Weyrich's opinion of Bush's Catholicity is shared by a heavyweight in the U.S. Senate, Roman Catholic Rick Santorum. A report from Rome in the National Catholic Reporter Online, January 18, 2002, titled "Opus Dei prestige on display at centenary event" By John L. Allen Jr. stated:
In contemporary Western debates, this idea of unity between faith and political allegiance often puts Opus Dei-inspired politicians on the right.
Santorum was a forceful champion of this view. He told NCR that a distinction between private religious conviction and public responsibility, enshrined in John Kennedy’s famous speech in 1960 saying he would not take orders from the Catholic church if elected president, has caused “much harm in America.” . . .
Santorum told NCR that he regards George W. Bush as “the first Catholic president of the United States.”
“From economic issues focusing on the poor and social justice, to issues of human life, George Bush is there,” he said. “He has every right to say, ‘I’m where you are if you’re a believing Catholic.’ ” (Emphasis added.)
The White House
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release May 06, 2010
Remarks by Vice President Biden to the European Parliament
Parliament Building, Brussels, Belgium
12:30 P.M. (local)
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Mr. President, thank you for that welcome. It was a delight to have you in Washington and at the White House. And it’s a great honor -- and I might add, a privilege -- to be able to address such an esteemed body. I served in a parliament that only had 535 members total. This is even a greater honor.
When President Reagan -- I remember President Reagan’s speech here in 1985, and to quote an Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, speaking of his Ireland in a poem called “Easter Sunday, 1916” he said, “All has changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty has been born.” Much has changed since 1985. Much has changed, and a terrible beauty has been born.
As you already know, ladies and gentlemen, not only am I pleased to be back here in Brussels for the second time as Vice President -- as you probably know, some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the “capital of the free world.” But it seems to me that this great city, which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title.
As a lawmaker for more than 36 years in our Parliament, I feel particularly honored to address the European Parliament. President Obama and I were the first running mates in the last 50 years in America to make it to the White House from our legislative bodies. So we both come to our executive jobs with a deep appreciation for the work you do here in the bastion of European democracy.
Together with my former colleagues in the United States Congress, you and I represent more than 800 million people. Stop and think about that for a moment: two elected bodies that shape the laws for almost one-eighth of the planet’s population. That’s truly remarkable.
And now under the Lisbon Treaty, you’ve taken on more powers and a broader responsibility that comes with that increased influence. And we welcome it. We welcome that, because we, the United States, need strong allies and alliances to help us tackle the problems of the 21st century, many of which are the same but so many are different than the last century.
Let me state it as plainly as I can: The Obama-Biden administration has no doubt about the need for and strongly supports a vibrant European Union. We believe it’s absolutely essential to American prosperity and long-term security. So have no doubt about that.
When I chaired the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee for all those years, I had the opportunity to meet many European lawmakers from the national legislative bodies, including some of you who are in this room today. So I appreciate -- after all those years, I appreciate what a consequential step it has been to build the only multinational parliament in the world elected by universal suffrage. So much has changed.
And I’m pleased that through the -- through the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue, you are building a strong relationship with the United States Congress. And I hope that the office you opened in Washington last month is going to enhance those ties.
Folks, 65 years ago this week, less than 200 kilometers south of here, Nazi leaders signed an unconditional surrender that brought an end to the Second World War in Europe.
The next day, celebrations erupted in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus. Cheering crowds danced along the Champs-Elysees and the town squares throughout the Allied world. And here in Brussels, a thanksgiving service -- at a thanksgiving service, churchgoers sang the national anthems of Britain, Belgium, and the United States.
On that joyous day -- May 8, 1945 -- this continent lay in ruins, ravaged twice by total wars in less than 30 years. At that moment, a peaceful and united Europe, a European Parliament, must have seemed like a fantasy to anyone alive.
And yet, through the will of your fellow citizens and statesmen like Jean [sic] Henri Spaak, for whom this great hall is named, and Robert Schuman, and Jean Monnet, and the visions that gave birth to a Parliament and earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Lyndon Johnson, here we are assembled in this hall. Here you are.
What began as a simple pact among a half-a-dozen nations to create a common market for coal and steel grew into an economic and political powerhouse; a community dedicated to free thought, free movement, and free enterprise; a Europe that one historian has called, not so much a place but an idea.
And I’m here to reaffirm that President Obama and I believe in this idea, and in a better world and better Europe it has already helped to bring about; a Europe where all member states benefit by negotiating trade agreements and fighting environmental degradation with one unified voice; a Europe that bolsters the cultural and political values that my country shares with all of you; a Europe that is whole, a Europe that is free, and a Europe that is at peace. (Applause.)
As President Obama said in Prague a little more than a year ago, a strong Europe makes a stronger partner for the United States, and we need strong partners. That is why we will do everything we can to support this great endeavor of yours. Because the past 65 years have shown that when Americans and Europeans devote their energies to common purpose, there is almost nothing we are unable to accomplish.
Together, through the Marshall Plan, we rebuilt Europe and made perhaps the greatest investment in human history. Together, we built the most the world’s most enduring security alliance, NATO, and a military and political force that tied America and Europe together and brought us even closer in the ensuing decades.
Together, we established the greatest commercial relationship in the world’s history, comprising about 40 percent of global trade and helping usher in an era of unprecedented prosperity and technological innovation. And together, we have provided relief and hope to those suffering humanitarian catastrophes in more places than I can mention, from the Western Balkans, to the Congo, to our ongoing work in Haiti today.
To those skeptics who, in spite of all these accomplishments, continue to question the state of transatlantic relationships or my country’s attitude toward a united Europe, my answer is this: Even if the United States and the nations all of you represent were not united by shared values and common heritage of many millions of our citizens, myself included, our global interests alone would inexorably bind us together.
The relationship between my country and Europe is today as strong, and as important, as all of us -- to all of us as it has ever been. This century has unleashed new challenges no less dangerous than those that came before in the 20th century. And together -- together we are taking them on one by one. They are difficult. There will be disagreement. But we are taking them on jointly.
Climate change, one of the greatest threats our planet faces, the United States and Europe are working to ensure that all countries, and especially the major economies, are contributing to a global solution. We all look -- we all looked to and we did take a major step forward in Copenhagen. Now we have to carry out those emission cuts, the financing, and the transparency called for in that accord. And we must help the most vulnerable nations -- from the Arctic north to the Pacific islands -- that are the harbingers of this looming crisis.
Across the troubled landscape of Afghanistan and Pakistan, we are working together to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban fighters and to train an Afghan army and police force, so that their government can eventually protect its own people and not be a threat to its neighbors.
In order to build Afghanistan’s governing capacity, the United States, the European Union, and its member nations are deploying significant financial resources and civilian resources as well.
While sustaining these important missions has not always been popular, you all know as I do it is required. As leaders, we have an obligation to make the case to our populations that it is necessary for our collective security. Although believe me, as a politician who has stood for office for the last 38 years, I understand it is not easy. I assure you, it is no more popular in my country than it is in any one of yours.
That is also why the United States and Europe are standing side-by-side to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, a development that would endanger the citizens and menace its neighbors, including some of our closest allies.
Together -- together we embarked on an unprecedented path of engagement with the Iranian leaders. (Applause.) And, ladies and gentlemen, despite what some skeptics thought, the President meant what he said, that we will reach out our hand to any party that will unclench their fist. At the outset of this administration, President Obama stated that we are prepared to deal with Iran on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect.
With our allies, we’ve made clear to Iran’s leaders how they could begin to rebuild confidence within the international community, including by granting access to their previously undeclared enrichment facilities and exchanging low enriched uranium for fuel to power a research reactor.
But, as the world has now watched and seen, Iranian leaders spurned our collective good-faith efforts and continue to take actions that threaten regional stability.
Let me be state it flatly: Iran’s nuclear program violates its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and risks sparking a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Wouldn’t it be ironic -- wouldn’t it be ironic as the Iron Curtain fell and the mutual threats of nuclear destruction diminished among the superpowers that a new arms race would emerge in some of the most unstable parts in the world. That would be an irony that our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren would not forgive us, in my view, for allowing it to come to pass.
In addition, the Iranian leadership supports terrorist organizations and that support continues unabated. And it continues unconscionably to persecute those of its citizens who peaceably take to the streets in a quest for justice, a betrayal of the duty of all governments in terms of what they owe their citizens.
Tehran faces a stark choice: abide by international rules and rejoin the community of responsible nations, which we hope for, or face further consequences and increasing isolation.
In the face of the threat Iran poses, we are committed to the security of our allies. That is why we’ve deployed the phased, adaptive missile defense program to deter and defend against missile attacks on this continent -- on this continent. (Applause.)
And, ladies and gentlemen, we are also working together inside NATO to prepare for a range of future security threats, including energy security and cyber security. And we continue to support close security cooperation between NATO and the EU.
Last year, the United States and Europe acted quickly and decisively when the world was reeling from a financial crisis more dire than any since the Great Depression. And in doing so, collectively we helped prevent what people were predicting, the total collapse of the world economy.
And today, President Obama and I are closely following the economic and financial crisis in Greece and the European Union’s efforts to deal with it. We welcome the support package that Europe is considering, in conjunction the International Monetary Fund. And we will be supportive both directly and through the IMF of your efforts as you rescue Greece.
These examples and many others I could have mentioned show why Europe continues to be not just America’s largest trading partner, but our most important ally.
Ladies and gentlemen, our predecessors came together more than six decades ago this week to begin building institutions designed to ensure that the 21st [sic] century’s darkest chapters would not be repeated in the remainder of that century or in the 21st century. Those institutions -- this institution -- have been a great success. But now we have to set our sights on the challenges of this new century, I referenced in the beginning. “The world has changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty has been born.”
Perhaps the most complex threat we face today is that posed by -- to our own citizens by non-state actors and violent extremists, particularly if, God forbid, those violent extremists were able to get their hands on any weapons of mass destruction.
This scourge has no respect for borders, none. No single nation, no matter how strong or how wealthy, how organized or how capable, can meet this threat alone. It can only be successfully contained if we make common cause. And that’s precisely what we must do.
The new powers granted to this Parliament in the Lisbon Treaty give you a greater role in that struggle and a greater imperative to govern responsibly.
The U.S. government and this Parliament have struggled over how best to protect citizens without yielding the foundational rights on which all of our societies are built. I am absolutely confident that we must and can both protect our citizens and preserve our liberties.
Since taking office last year, President Obama and I have been guided by our Constitution’s -- and our Constitution’s imperative to seek a “more perfect union.”
Toward that end, one of our first official actions was to end the interrogation practices that produced few results and that we could not, in good conscience, continue. (Applause.)
We ordered the closure of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, which had become a symbol of injustice and a rallying cry for terrorists. And we appreciate -- (applause) -- and we appreciate the support, difficult it has been for you to take, so many of you have provided in that effort.
We did these things because like you, President Obama and I reject the false choice between safety and our ideals. We believe that upholding our principles only makes us stronger and that compromising them then actually undermines our effort in the broader struggle against violent extremism. For what is their purpose? Their purpose is to change what we value, change how we conduct ourselves.
Eight days after the September 11th attack, I told a group of thousands of university students in my country that they cannot allow the tragedy of 9/11 to end our way of life, because that’s exactly what the terrorists sought. I also told them that America cannot prevail in this new struggle by acting alone. Those words have not only fit the tenor of that time, but I think they’ve proven to be true. And they are no less true today.
I don’t need to tell this audience about Europe’s proud tradition of protecting citizens from government invasion of their privacy, a commitment grounded in respect for the inherent dignity of all people. We call them inalienable rights. We wrote them into our Constitution.
And America’s commitment to privacy is also profound, as profound as yours. Our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable search and seizures by the state, which as one of our most famous jurists -- which one of our most famous jurists once dubbed, “the right to be let alone.” The Supreme Court of the United States has made clear that privacy is a constitutionally protected and fundamental right. And like the EU, the Supreme Court has characterized this right as a matter of personal “dignity.”
On a personal level, I have for 36 years of my career defended privacy rights in the United States Senate every year, as organizations that rate those most committed to civil liberties. And every year, I -- and later President Obama -- were characterized as one of those four people picked. The reason I bother to tell you this is not about me, but about the commitment of our administration to individual rights. To change now would make a lie of everything I have said I stood for in my country for the past 37 years.
When I led the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for confirming the President’s judicial nominees, as I said, I was consistently ranked among the staunchest advocates for civil liberties. And I made it a priority to determine prospective judges’ views on privacy before deciding whether or not they could go on the court.
But President Obama and I also believe that governments’ primary and most fundamental and most solemn duty is to protect its citizens, the citizens it serves, as well as the rights they hold.
President Obama has said that keeping our country safe is the first thing he thinks about when he wakes up in the morning and the last thing he thinks about before he goes to bed at night. I suspect that is how every world leader looks at their role.
Indeed, no less than privacy, physical safety is also an inalienable right -- physical safety is also an inalienable right. And a government that abdicates its duty to ensure the safety of its citizens violates their rights no less than a government that silences dissidents or imprisons accused criminals without trial.
And so, folks, even -- even as we gather here today, our enemies are employing every tool they can muster to conduct new and devastating attacks like the ones that struck New York, London, Madrid, and many other places around the globe.
To stop them, we must use every legitimate tool available -- law enforcement, military, intelligence, technology -- that’s consistent with our principles, our laws, and our values. We’re fighting on many fronts, from the brave men and women serving abroad in our militaries to the patient and tireless law enforcement professionals investigating complex and suspicious financial networks.
Just this week, our customs and border protection -- using passenger information data -- apprehended a suspect in the attempted bombing of New York’s Times Square, as he sought to flee the country.
It is vital that we maintain every capacity we have under the law to stop such attacks.
And for that reason, we believe that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program is essential to our security, as well as to yours -- presumptive of me to say. It has provided critical leads to counterterrorism investigations on both sides of the Atlantic -- disrupting plots and ultimately saving lives. It is built -- it has built-in redundancies that ensure personal information is respected and used only for counterterrorism purposes. But I don’t blame you for questioning it.
We understand your concerns. As a consequence, we are working together to address them and I’m absolutely confident that we can succeed, to both use the tool and guarantee privacy. It’s important that we do so, and it’s important that we do so as quickly as possible.
As a former United States Senator, I also know how hard it can be to make the hard choices required by global challenges, while staying true to local values. All of you are going through that every time you vote in this Parliament, I suspect.
The longer we are without an agreement on the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, the greater the risk of a terrorist attack that could have been prevented. As leaders, we share a responsibility to do everything we can within the law to protect the 800 million people we collectively serve.
We have disagreed before. We will surely disagree again. But I’m equally convinced that the United States and Europe can meet the challenges of the 21st century, as we did in the 20th century if we talk and listen to one another, if we are honest with one another. (Applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, “courage,” Winston Churchill taught us, “is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” While this afternoon I have done all of the speaking, be assured that I -- my government and my President -- that we are back in the business of listening -- listening to our allies.
Ladies and gentlemen, it was no accident that Europe was my first overseas destination as Vice President, and also the President’s. It is no accident that we’ve already returned several times since then. The United States needs Europe. And, I respectfully submit, Europe needs the United States -- we need each other more now than we have ever. (Applause.)
So I view this week’s anniversary as providing a welcome opportunity to reaffirm the bond our peoples forged long ago in the fires of adversity. Now, as then, in the pursuit of ideals and in the search of partners, Europeans and Americans look to each other before they look to anyone else.
Now, as then, we are honored and grateful to be by your side in the struggles yet to come. So, again, I’m here to state unequivocally, President Obama and Joe Biden strongly support a united, a free, an open Europe. We strongly support what you are about here. We wish you god speed. And may God bless you all and may God protect all of our troops. Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)