The 2016 Election is a national disgrace. Americans want and need a good long shower on November 9th.
American Catholics popped up in the torrent of e-mails poured out by Julian Assange's Wikileaks on the heads of the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton Campaign.
American Catholics are upset by Jon Podesta and his crowd's harsh opinion of Catholics. Catholics should not be shocked, but faux outrage is fashionable on the left and the right these days.
Catholics have not been and never will be part of American culture any more than Evangelicals, Jews or Muslims will be mainstream.
Our intellectual and cultural mandarins going back before the Civil War are secularist progressive.
Only Jews, Evangelicals, Muslims and Catholics who shed their faith are welcome. No Religion Need Apply.
Proof? There is plenty, but the absence of one man's life and his works from the canon of American thought is a prime example. Who is Orestes Brownson?
Most American Catholics could not tell you. Most graduates of University of Notre Dame could not tell you.
Orestes Brownson is buried in the Brownson Memorial Chapel now known as the Basilica Crypt Church at The University of Notre Dame, - a leading secular university that plays football and stage Catholic.
In the 19th Century the romantics ( Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne et. al) lived a communal experiment called the Brook Farm Movement under a Unitarian minister and his bride - George and Sophia Ripley - believe it or not. The Rev. Mr. Ripley and his disciples followed the teachings of secular socialist Charles Fourier.
Fourier, became in the words of Brook Farmers "A Second Coming of Christ."
One brilliant and religion hopping seeker (Congregationalist, Methodist, Unitarian, Baptist, Brook Farmer) was Orestes Brownson a genius no public school child has ever heard of - he is buried in the chapel of the Sacred Heart at University of Notre Dame, of all places. Brownson wrote this of Brook Farm -"the atmosphere of the place is horrible. To save money, "retrenchments", or sacrifices, were called for, particularly at the dinner table. Meat, coffee, tea, and butter were no longer offered, though it was agreed that a separate table with meat be allowed in December 1844. That Thanksgiving, a neighbor had donated a turkey." Orestes Brownson converted to Roman Catholicism and became editor for the Paulist Fathers and the Quarterly Review America's greatest Catholic newspaper.
Brownson and other Brook Farm Transcendentalist converted to Catholicism, in recognition of the secularist and communistic Utopian nonsense at the core of their beliefs. Mrs. Ripley became a Catholic; how's that for irony? One Brook Farm apologist complained -"We are beginning to see wooden crosses around and pictures of saints... and I suspect that rosaries are rattling under aprons." Dang!
Brownson recognized the egotistical American intellectual romantics need to be little gods - he termed this Odinism. Much of this can be witnessed in the more radical Native American quasi-religious rites and rituals, or in the Amnesty for Illegals Movement.
Brook Farm failed, but that never stops an egomaniac. Egoism does not work in Catholicism - humility does. We do not make the rules to suit or immediate needs - we don't go around Congress as it were. As Orestes Brownson wrote, The Catholic Church is not the divinely constituted representative of the spiritual order on earth. Si se Puede!
Secularist egoists believe that.
President Obama carries water for the American intellectual traditions rooted in a failure Brook Farm and re-organized sub rosa in the 20th Century by egoistic secular Progressives, and Incorporated in the agencies that control the American Democratic National Committee, universities, media and radical interests.
This is nothing new. It is the same old egotistical (WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!) cow pies that littered Brook Farm. As the great Notre Dame football coach, Frank Leahy, said, “Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity.”
Nowhere in the canon of American literature (essay genre) will one find the brilliant and witty writings of Orestes Brownson.
In fact, Orestes Brownson has been made a non-person, via the Orwellian gradus of literary criticism -vilify, ignore, erase. To place an essay by Brownson within the period of American Romanticism/19th Century Transcendentalism/Abolitionist brackets, would seem as odd and cranky to young Academic as holistic refusal to grant the request to view film (watch movies) ,as a substitute for reading, or teaching comic (graphic novels) book versions of the Last of the Mohicans, Blithedale Romance, or Moby Dick.
Brownson is not considered a considered selection for the American canon of literature, because Brownson became a Roman Catholic and abandoned secular thought as apriori truth. Three of Brownson's colleagues, and erstwhile friends have been canonized -Hawthorne, Emerson and Thoreau, per the Modern Language Association rankings of the top twenty-five authors based upon scholarly research output. Unlike these Transcendentalists, Brownson was an original thinker who challenged not only the assumptions of the group, but his own assumptions.
Brownson was not an early advocate of compulsory universal state-controlled early childhood education (Owen-Wright Theory) and dismissed the notion as evil as well as unsound. You see, unlike the Blithedale gang of the Brook Farm movement, the petri dish of American intellectualism, Brownson believed in sin. Can't have that. If all men are by nature pure and wonderful, sin must only be some judgmental anomaly associated with slavery of every stripe. Thought rooted to core belief has no place on the commune.
In 1844, Brownson did the unimaginable and converted to the Church of Rome. The reaction of his former intellectual companions is rather harsh. Theodore Parker railed that Brownson, and any Catholic, clings to that faith from an “unbalanced mind, intellectual always, but spiritual never" and Progressive secularists continue to believe that.
Brownson sought, like Milton had done so, to justify God's ways to man and not the other way around.
Transcendentalism sprang from the Universalist Unitarian doctrine of Man's inner-light as a pan-theist approach to salvation that requires only that man be man. It's all good!
For Brownson and that Jewish kid George Gershwin - 'T ain’t necessarily so.
Brownson was engaged in living religion and not merely attending to it. Brownson's life was a constant immersion, not a dabbling, in causes to improve mankind's lot. Mankind's lot is covered with broken beer bottles, garbage, sharp rusty objects - mankind sins and that is mankind's lot. The convenient truths of American intellectual tradition deny sin and turn to European models of thought to justify man to himself - e.g. American realism and especially naturalism in fiction (Howells, James, Crane, Dreiser, Sinclair, Wright) were rooted in Hugo, Stendhal, Balzac, and ultimately Emile Zola. Instead of considering personal responsibility for human misery, American intellectualism prefers to hold a mirror above a corpse while a pathologist cuts and digs and arrives at the assumption that preceded the cool science as the conclusive answer - Society, class, race, gender-envy did it!
Orestes Brownson disagrees. American scholars can't get their heads around human sin*; therefore, ignore it. Brownson flies in the face of Thoreau who went deep into the woods to live life 'deliberately,' but had his Mom truck out to his cabin with baskets full of brownies, cookies and preserved treats.
Brownson denied that democracy that is the gilt paint and mascara of Henry James' Yanks abroad. Democracy, like the American people themselves is plain, coarse, rough and ready and beautiful.
Brownson was vilified by secularist cheerleader and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison as a copperhead Papist, but place two Brownson boys on Abe Lincoln's altar of sacrifice to the Abolitionist cause. The acceptable icons of American thought and literature taught us to parse as a people and embrace Dewey, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and public everything.
Orestes Brownson was a Protestant (Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Unitarian) who never allowed the sun to set on his own sins against God and to become as good a protestant, he was required to become a Catholic. American writers can be born Catholic, but they must be 'fallen away' Catholics, like Fitzgerald, Dreiser, Hemingway, Wolfe, O'Neill, O'Hara, Ferlinghetti, Farrell. Orestes Brownson will remain out of the American intellectual mainstream and the canon of American literature.
Orestes Brownson should have a place in American Catholic education - a very prominent place.
But he does not, as Georgetown, Loyola, DePaul and Marquette Universities of the Obama Age try to out-do one another in denying Catholic thought, doctrine or even a Romish gilt paint and mascara veneer.
Tim Kaine, Dick Durbin, Nancy Pelosi and Clan Kennedy made peace with secularist intellectuals and do the bidding of American Odinists. Hillary Rodham Clinton will triumph for Odinism.
Donald Trump only knows that he wants to President.
His supporters who are brilliant, hardworking, generous, thoughtful and kind people, as well as the odd racist, homophobic, xenophobic loudmouth and cyber troll want change in the direction of the country. I would think that Orestes Brownson would vote for Trump, because unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump acknowledges his many flaws and sins. Hillary is washed in the ink of the New York Times.
Original sin needs daily attention to detail and requires prayer in order to be graced with the ability to combat our baser selves - a government policy cannot do that.
Therein lies the rub.
Jews, Evangelicals, Muslims and Catholics pray when they should be organizing for America.
* A sermon delivered by the Rev.R. Paul Mueller to the Unitarian Society of New Brunswick on September 14, 1997 was completely free of any reference to Orestes Brownson's conversion to Roman Catholicism. Interestingly, Rev. Mueller speaks of the 'religious person, rather the spiritual persons' frustrations and ultimate cynicism when confronted with the social injustices and draws in another 'frustrating' Catholic - Mother Theresa. No mention of sin. Always 'somebody else's troubles' - American intellectualism in sum.