Friday, February 24, 2012

Bishop Sheen: "A Nation of Traitors"

Before the flag burning of the 1960's- before our public schools demonstrated an aversion to the Constitution and American history- and before it became tolerable for U.S. politicians to disregard the traditions and legacy of the United States of America- Bishop Fulton Sheen said in 1948 that if the family, the school of virtue and self-governance, is compromised in America like it had been in Russia, then we will face similar political challenges the Russians had faced. A breakdown in marital and family loyalties will lead to national disloyalties on a large scale.

Here is an excerpt from Communism and the Western Conscience 1948 (a book I refer to quite frequently):

"Unless America reverses the attitude toward the family and ceases to try to make a success in the domain wherein Russia proved to be a failure, then apart from all moral and religious considerations, three disastrous consequences will follow:

First of all, America will be in danger of becoming a nation of traitors. If the nation reaches a condition where fifty percent of the married couples feel that they can throw overboard pledged loyalty in order to suit their own pleasure or convenience, then the hour has struck when citizens will no longer feel a need to keep their pledge to America as citizens. Once there is a citizenry that does not feel bound to the most natural and most democratic of all self-governing commonwealths, the home, it will not be long until it no longer feels bound to a nation...The traitors of the home today are the traitors of the home tomorrow.

A second possible danger to a nation that does not arrest the decay of the family is the creation of a mentality that will refuse to make sacrifices, suffer trials and inconveniences for the sake of the protection of the country…The fewer sacrifices a man is required to make, the more loath he is to make those few. His luxuries will become necessities, children a burden, and ego a god...Once sacrifice is separated from the home, sacrifice is uprooted from its nation."

As Sheen said, the family is the "most natural and most democratic of all self-governing commonwealths." Fidelity, patriotism and self-governance begins there. But if these virtues are absent in the home, "luxuries will become necessities." That is to say, the welfare state will expand in proportion to the entitlement mentality of its citizens. For as long as the people put out their hands expecting a hand out from their government, there will be politicians who will be willing to accommodate them for the purposes of increasing their own political power. And with the decline of self-sacrifice, the virtue which inspires the initiative to give rather than to receive, the loyalty to God, family and country is sure to suffer decline as well.

The result of this is that America, instead of being the home of the brave will be a haven of traitors. In the 19th century the United States was divided between North and South; that is, between abolitionists and slaveholders. Today, however, this nation is divided between patriots and traitors; that is, between those who love the Christian heritage of America and its founding and those who despise it.

But it must be borne in mind that this great divide begins in the home. Indeed, the first crack in the country's foundation (those initial tremors) is where the division between the husband and the wife begins.