As Easter Weekend comes to full fruition after our strict observance of Good Friday, one cannot help but feel guilt, love, and happiness for what is to come and has come!
Today is of course, Holy Saturday, the day before Jesus is risen again. While many denominations reflect upon their Faith on Easter Sunday, Catholics are one of the denominations that reflect upon our Faith every day during Holy Week.
We remember each important feature of our Faith from Palm Sunday onto Easter Sunday. In fact, we take all of Lent to be a reminder of our Faith.
But, as I was reading
to President Reagan's great 1983 "Evil Empires" speech earlier this week, I was reminded of the constant struggle our Faith, and not just Catholic, but Christianity as a whole, face in this nation. Already, back in the 1980s, public schools were ending prayer, ridding themselves of Christian clubs, our nation was moving toward more tax-funding for abortions, embracing splitting up the family by giving tax dollars to organizations that provided contraceptives and other "birth control" to underage girls without their parents knowledge, and of course, this was right at the time of the start to the eventual breakdown of traditional marriage.
This speech may be known to international relations scholars as a speech President Reagan gave to strengthen the US military apparatus and to warn against the increasing dangers of a more modernized Soviet Union military apparatus, but domestic political scholars and Christians alike will remember it as a call for more defense of the family, of religion, and of the USA's Judeo-Christian morals.
As a Catholic, we may not be fans of President Reagan, or we may think he was the best president ever, probably after President John F. Kennedy (you know, it is tough to pick anyone but our true Catholic guy in the White House), but regardless of your feelings for the most popular president of all-time who revamped official diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the USA, we can remember this speech as one of his best.
He spoke to the National Association of Evangelicals, but he really spoke to Christians in general! He started off his speech with thank yous and thanked everyone who prayed for him and his wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan. President Reagan stated "Yes, I am. I’ve felt it. I believe in intercessionary prayer."
He continued with one of his classic jokes, this one about a politician and clergy man reaching Heaven, but I will not ruin the joke so you should listen to it here
or read it here
President Reagan continued to mention how there are still many God-fearing politicians in the United States who need prayers and listen to the words of the Christian clergy to remind them and guide them in the moral direction of the ideals of this nation. President Reagan stated "The basis of those ideals and principles is… a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted."
President Reagan continued by quoting some of the great American founders like Proprietor (Governor) William Penn, President Thomas Jefferson, and President George Washington. Little known fact, but some of President Washington's slaves were Catholic, and thus President Washington actually very much respected the Catholic Church. All of these quotes deserve to be highlighted so here they are respectively of the person: "If we will not be governed by God, we must be governed by tyrants." "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time." "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."
These quotes were then supplemented by a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville, the famous Roman Catholic political scientist, philosopher, politician, diplomat, writer and overall very accomplished person holding many French governmental offices, who saw that religion was best when separated from politics and thus, fully enveloped the ideals of the freedom of religion (for better or for worse), and was a man who preached against the evils of slavery and in his eyes, aristocracy too. Alexis de Tocqueville was arguably the USA's main Catholic Founding Father, and President Ronald Reagan quoted him stating, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the greatness and the genius of America. America is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
As you can tell, and the speech continues, President Ronald Reagan was warning against the moral decadence of the USA that was increasing in the schools, in the laws, in Congress, and in the principles holding the fabric of this nation together. President Reagan warned the evils that could come from this, the lack of pride, the weakening of America that could come from this, and following the USA's victory over the atheist Soviet Union during the Cold War, the USA's victories over the atheist Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars, the USA's victories over Iraq over their invasion of Kuwait, and over their continuance of morally reprehensible forms of governing, and following the USA's victories over Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, one could not picture that in just 20 years time, the superpower of the world would go from being the indestructible light of freedom and of God, to the place trying to erode the very freedoms that it was founded on at home and abroad, leaving areas and abandoning allies all over the world, from Iraq after 2008, to the eras of the Arab Spring, to the abandoning of the Kurds and then Afghanistan, and now to the fall of Ukraine. In the USA's defense, there were still some bright moments, such as the eradication of ISIS from Iraq and the moral and military help in Ukraine, but overall, the USA has lost its place at home and abroad as a defender of God and of freedom.
And, as President Reagan warned, this has coincided with the moral decadence since 2008 that the USA has gone through. We have seen the America that used to believe in God and used to base its laws off of God's laws and its principles off of God's laws fall to a country plagued by the exact opposite of these laws. In fact, when looking at the schools, the big companies, and major media, they all seem to preach anything but Christianity, encouraging moral evils, encouraging taking away parental rights and the family, preaching population control and the "importance" of abortion, teaching children as young as kindergarten about sex and all kinds of it, and having drag story hour.
This is not the America that the Founding Fathers envisioned, rather this is more akin to what the radicals in France after the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century envisioned, that brought about moral decay around the world.
These leaders of the USA so arrogantly promote theft, rioting, and an encroachment on personal freedoms. The USA has allowed the leaders of young boys and girls to become preachers of hate for the very people that uphold God and liberty, the exact people President Reagan warned about in his "Evil Empires" speech.
And this is why, following the bias coverage and critical reactions across the academic world on Catholic Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis's, bill banning the teaching of sexual orientation and gender identity to children from kindergarten to the third grade called the "HB 1557 "Parental Rights in Education" bill", why it is more important than ever to use our common Catholic identity to support Catholic Schools!
While it is good for us to fight the un-Christian parts of our public education system and other institutions in our country, we must remember that we do not need them if we continue to support our parallel organizations like Catholic schools, Catholic healthcare, our Catholic Church, and many others like our Catholic charities!
We can no longer rely on so many of the states in the United States of America to provide adequate education on the humanities and on civics because they have fallen to the moral decay that President Reagan warned against. Even in the most Christian areas of the United States, there are increasingly radical elements to the education system creeping down to America's children.
We must remember that as we get older, it is these children who will be running the current greatest power of the world, and thus if we want the world to return to Christian values, and not just the USA itself, we must have children growing up who seek to be a Saint Father Junípero Serra and a Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, two great American Catholic saints. Instead, American schools are teaching their children to tear down these great figures, literally!
The ideals these children are learning is not one of forgiveness that Jesus Christ taught, but one where one must only look for the faults of the person, leading to constant revolution, constant chaos, and constant evil!
The USA can return to a Christian nation, if Americans and others donate to Catholic schools. And, there is even a threat that Catholic schools may move toward this narrative prevailing in American secular schools, especially if they keep relying on non-Catholics and non-Christians for their funding, and thus it has become vitally important for true Catholics to protect their schools against the moral decadence that can happen within these schools as well. And this is further true for Catholic healthcare, and even for Catholic clergy, and thus our Catholic governance!
And lastly, this fundraising effort can and should be applied everywhere. It is not just an American duty, rather it is a duty worldwide! Many nations are heading toward a sad future of shedding their Christian identity for secularism, and we have seen recently how moral decadence can lead to places like Mexico, Ireland, Argentina, and so many others embracing anti-life laws due to the increasing global nature of the trend of moving away from Christianity, and in these places specifically, Catholicism.
Thus, on this Easter Weekend, remember that you can provide a better future for America's children and the world's children by sponsoring and donating to Catholic schools. They provide for our best defense against the dark arts. And remember to donate to our other Church programs so that we can enshrine places within our own countries that will still follow God's laws. We should continue to work to enshrine God into the more secular parts of our countries, but the best way to do this will be to use our religious freedom to show others how good God is. If we can promote a more God-fearing culture within our own Catholic institutions, maybe then, we will be able to re-create our nations as Christian once again!
If you have any questions on where to donate, your Parish Bulletin, as well as your Diocesan newspaper should have information. There are many Catholic organizations around that will be good for this endeavor.