The Star-Spangled Heresy: Americanism
Publisher: Tumblar House
Publication Date: November 27, 2012
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Americanism is a heresy which five different popes have condemned. But what is it? Perhaps the best characterization of Americanism was given by Leo XIII's biographer Msgr. T'Serclaes: "A spirit of independence which passed too easily from the political to the religious sphere."
"That the Church and State ought to be separated is an absolutely false and pernicious error ... It limits the action of the State exclusively to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life, though this is only the proximate raison d'etre of political societies." - Pope St. Pius X in Vehementer
"It is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point not in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue." - Leo XIII in Immortale Dei
"Believe me, the evil I denounce is more terrible than the Revolution, more terrible even than the Commune. I have always condemned liberal Catholicism, and I will condemn it forty times over if it be necessary!" - Pius IX
In his undergraduate days the humorist Robert Benchley was assigned a paper on the great Fisheries Dispute, to be written from the standpoint of one of the interested parties. Everyone knows that history is no mere chronicling of unvarnished facts. Any scribe can record events, but interpreting them requires a particular point of view. Benchley chose the fish. His professor mayor may not have been amused, but certainly the fish provided a valid slant, albeit one not usually encountered.
To illuminate the scenario as it unrolls, some principle exterior to the events but present to the historian - if not always to his readers - must shed its light. Julius Caesar, if one is to judge by his Gallic Wars, might have admitted flatfootedly that history is a record kept with a special purpose in mind. His own seems to have been nothing more complicated than self-promotion. Henry Ford said history is bunk. Napoleon called it “a collection of lies statesmen have agreed upon.”
After the execution of the French king, Hebert told the French revolutionary assembly, “History will have to be re-written for the people,” and it was. In those days it was generally assumed that whoever rules the world will write the history books. Now it appears that whoever writes the history books will rule the world. Modern history has become little more than propaganda, a highly developed kind of fiction which entered the world scene with another form of fiction known as “scientific truth.” Neither is concerned with substantial reality, but only with what is useful or politically correct at the moment.
With sophisticated technology at his disposal, the father of lies can revise history with every turn of events. Knowing it is not revolutions, nor the Rights of Man, but truth alone which sets men free, he has raised “disinformation” to high art. Today true history cries to be written, not only with the poor fish in mind, but especially with the devil in mind, if it is to make any sense. As seemingly unrelated conflicts of interest moil and roil before our eyes and explode in our faces, only faith can discern the mortal battle between right and wrong that is going on among nations as among individuals.
The root causes of mankind’s incomprehensible turmoil will never be uncovered in the public schools or the media. As Hilaire Belloc put it in Europe and the Faith:
In proportion as an historical matter is of import to mankind, in that proportion does it spring not from apparent - let alone material - causes, but from some hidden revolution in the human spirit ... The greater the affair, the more directly does it proceed from unseen sources which the theologian may catalog, the poet see in vision, the philosopher explain, but with which positive external history cannot deal, and which the mere historian cannot handle.
God revealed to us that misfortunes otherwise inexplicable are the work of the author of evil: “An enemy has done this!” (Matt. 13:28). Whoever does not believe in the oft-ridiculed “conspiracy theory” of history quite simply does not believe in the existence of the devil, who moves both men and events. Great numbers of his dupes labor to promote satanic causes without necessarily being aware of the source of their inspiration. This is the essence of conspiracy, literally a “co-inspiration.” Harnessing masses of witless sinners by appealing to their vices and appetites, fallen angelic intelligences do indeed influence the course of history. The less their victims know the better.
There will have to be historians of the eleventh hour who can tell it like it is. These are not the days of Herodotus or Julius Caesar, when history could be written on a purely natural level. Since then the Son of God has entered history as man and proclaimed himself Christ the King. He has endowed human events with a completely new dimension. Not to take into account their metaphysical main-springs in our day is to slip into unreality, into a miasma of unrelated “facts” lending themselves to any kind of manipulation. Faith alone can assess them properly, through the gift of knowledge imparted by the Holy Ghost. It is simple truth to say that only a Christian can know what really goes on in the world.
So far only one modern historian has exposed the devil in history. It is the Mother of God, who pointed out at Fatima the true direction events were taking. Many years before, she dictated her autobiography to the humble Spanish nun Venerable Maria de Agreda, who described at her behest the great councils in hell, where Satan and his angels develop the strategy best suited to the destruction of Christ’s kingdom. Whoever thinks history “just happens,” needs to read The Mystical City of God for proper perspective. At best it will be seen “in a glass, darkly,” for good history, like good biography, must begin at the end, and the universal judgment is not yet.
“It will be only then that human history will begin,” wrote Fr. Arminjon, whose work The End of the Present World was so esteemed by the Little Flower and her family:
In the brightness of God’s light will be seen clearly and in detail all crimes public and secret which were perpetrated in every place and at all times. The life of each human subject will be completely unfolded. No circumstance will be omitted; there will be not one action, one word, not one desire which will not be made known ... The judgment will untangle and pull out all the twisting threads of those cleverly woven intrigues. It will show in their true light those base retractions and cowardly connivances which men invested with public power sought to justify, either by invoking the specious excuse of reasons of state or by covering them with the mask of piety or disinterest.
Till then, only occasional glimpses of this other side of history can be caught. With very few minor changes in the text, the glimpses which follow are selected from the Big Rock Papers which were published in Leesburg, Virginia in the decade after 1973. They are frankly biased, and partisan to Christ the King. They lay no more claim to great scholarship than they do to impartiality. Although all deal with the universal revolution, the selections in this little volume focus on some American manifestations of it. Hopefully, they will provide something to ponder until the real historian arrives. Their author gratefully attributes the grace of their publication to the intercession of St. Philomena and Ven. Pauline Jaricot with invaluable help from Christy Matt.
Feast of St. Philomena
July 5, 1992
An established writer before the Second Vatican Council, Solange Hertz wrote for most Catholic periodicals and had five books to her credit, one a selection of the Catholic Literary Foundation. When she refused to adjust her theology to the new “Spirit of Vatican II,” her manuscripts almost overnight became unacceptable to her former editors. After a series of articles on feminine spirituality for the old Triumph magazine, she continued speaking for tradition by successfully producing The Thought of Their Heart and Sin Revisited on her own.
This is a fascinating book. It presents a facet of American history that I have never seen examined elsewhere with the exception of Mr. Coulombe's excellently readable U.S. history survey "Puritan's Empire". That book gives an overview of American history through the lens of Catholicism. Mrs. Hertz's "Star-Spangled Heresy: Americanism" is a book chronicling the history of the Catholic Church itself in America. She tells of the influences that shaped it, the prelates who steered it and of their conflicting ideologies and what that has led to. I had never considered the idea that any country's history or form of government would or could affect The Faith. But it does! I have been reading for years that Freemasonry is evil but had never encountered an explanation of why that is so. Now I know and can clearly see the influence of Masonry in the warp and woof of our founding documents and trace exactly how these ideas have perverted the Faith here in America. But there is so much more that Mrs. Hertz discusses and it is very much worth reading. This is an engaging, thoughtful, wide-ranging but always cohesive treatment of Catholicism in America. I heartily recommend it.
American patriotism is commendable, but an Americanism that idolizes America or refers to it as a new Israel is heresy. This book is an excellent analysis of Americanism, what it is and how to respond to it.
An easy and quick primer outlining the founding errors of America. Well worth the time, especially if you are new to the subject. To delve deeper into the subject I recommend "Puritan's Empire" by Charles Coulombe.
I'm very happy with the purchase.
When I ordered this book, I was afraid I was going to very boring, and I was going to put it down and just forget about.
This was not the case, there is so much information in this book, that it really warrants at least a second reading. This book explains the development of the Church in the United States, and documents the people and events who have shaped its development into what the Church in the US is today. There is no surprise in seeing where we ended up after understanding where we came from. This book is a must-read, and belongs on the shelves of every American Catholic, right next to "Puritan's Empire".
I am reading Star-Spangled Heresy:Americanism in September 2020. I am almost 70 years old and America is experiencing the worst turmoil I’ve ever seen. The information in this book gives you the big picture of what has brought us here. It seems most commentators lament the past 50 years since the end of Vatican 2. However the seeds of today’s turmoil were planted way back in the Green Dragon Tavern by those rebelling against the authority of their lawful sovereign King George III. So instead of lamenting the Spirit of Vatican 2, the information in this book will convince you to lament the Spirit of 1776.
I found I could not put it down. Informative and enlightening makes the reader rethink all things American.