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Is Legatus Anti-Muslim?

Legatus, a Group of Catholic business people, have decided to sue HHS over the contraception mandate. Most troublingly, they have chosen the public-interest law firm of the Thomas More Center to do so.As their website clearly indicates, the Thomas More Center favors religious liberty -- for Christians. But not for Muslims. (More here.) Their key issues include defending the religious freedom of Christians and confronting the threat of Islam.Here's what they say about religious liberty for Christians:

The Christian values upon which this Nation was founded are under attack. The ACLU and like-minded organizations are using sympathetic courts to destroy the religious and moral foundations of our great nation. Using the metaphor, a wall of separation between church and state, which is found nowhere in our Constitution, they attack crosses, Ten Commandment monuments, Nativity displays, Christmas celebrations in public schools, the Pledge of Allegiance, our national motto, In God We Trust and prayers at public meetings. The main battleground in this culture war is the courtroom and that is where the Thomas More Law Center is defending the religious freedom of Christians.

And here's what they say about Muslims:

Radical Muslims and Islamic organizations in America take advantage of our legal system and are waging a Stealth Jihad within our borders. Their aim is to transform America into an Islamic nation. They have already infiltrated the highest levels of our government, the media, our military, both major political parties, public schools, universities, financial institutions and the cultural elite. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, political leaders still claim Islam is a religion of peace. Our national leaders refuse to identify Radical Islam as the enemy. Political correctness has paralyzed our governments ability to deal with these threats. That is why the Thomas More Law Center has been at the forefront of legal battle against this internal threat.

In my view, they're not advocating religious liberty -- they're advocating re-establishment of their favored religion. And talk of Muslims "infiltrating" our public life cannot be interpreted as anything other than rank prejudice. Much the same thing was said about Catholics at one point in this nation's history.Are the nation's top Catholic business men and women so religiously prejudiced? I don't believe so. But then who made the decision to go with this firm? Tom Monaghan founded both Legatus and the Thomas More Center.Cardinal Dolan's picture is prrominently featured on their website. If I were he, I'd ask them to take it down.

About the Author

Cathleen Kaveny is the Darald and Juliet Libby Professor in the Theology Department and Law School at Boston College.



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Suggest one added step the LCWR can take is to have a 'money' fund that would/could out spend the Legatus, Thomas More soc. etc. ...they LCWR have a bigger base & more clout.

This nation has, until recent times, an essentially Judeo-Christian nation and culture, and in addition, not especially enthusiastic about even the possibility of Sharia law creeping into our judicial structure, I'm very happy with the Thomas More Center. I realize that commonweal readers will take umbrage at this statement, but there it is. If I were to suggest that we accommodate, say, Satanist legal criteria (if there were such a thing; see Aliester Crowley) in our legal system, I'm sure that you would at least take pause. I think the muslims are capable of looking out for themselves; they are not shrinking violets.

Bob Schwartz, Aren't Muslim American also "us"? Why should they have to look out for themselves? It's completely disingenuous to talk about religious liberty when we only want it for some of us and not for the rest of us- there's no "liberty" in that, quite the opposite.

Cardibal Dolan's PRprominently place is not surptising given his ties to the continuing lurch to the right Church of his good buddy, Bill Donahue.Elsewhere I bemoned the loss of moderate voices and the Thomas More Centere is part of the problem.(BTW, interesting report on NPR this morning on how partisans tend to overlok facts of they don't fit in with their ideology.)

If you substitute 'Jews' for 'Muslims' it is apparent what kind organization the More Center is.

@Bob Schwartz (5/9, 12:29 pm) What's your evidence that the US has been "until recent times, an essentially Judeo-Christian nation and culture"?The founders, regardless of their religious beliefs (a solid minority were Deists), were quick to ensure that the new nation would not be a "Christian" nation, and would not have an established church. There were so few Jews in the US for the first 100+ years, that I suspect many American Jews would question the characterization of this as a "Judeo-Christian" nation. Indeed, there's little evidence of which I'm aware concerning the regular use of the phrase "Judeo-Christian" as a descriptive in the early years of the Republic.An aside: the concern about Sharia law and Muslim culture and beliefs "creeping into" not only our judicial structure, but into our wider polity, is reminiscent of nothing so much as the anti-Catholic reaction to the (much larger on a percentage basis) Irish and German Catholic wave of immigrants in the 1840s and 50s...followed by the larger wave of Southern and Eastern Europeans (mostly Catholics and Jews, all of them suspiciously dark-skinned, smelly and foreign) in the late 19th and early 20th century.

They are advocating establishment, not re-establishment, of their favorite religion. The "Christian values upon which this nation was founded" are secular. That they tracked pretty well with the needs of Christians, including Catholics, astounded the Catholic Church for over a century. Now that we are comfortable with them, we should not be changing them to exclude other Americans.

As American citizens, the Catholic bishops in the United States use Catholic natural law to oppose same-sex marriage, oppose legalized abortion in the first trimester, and oppose artificial contraception.

It is so sad to see Thomas More's name so apprpriated. And the rhetoric of these quotations can only leave one wondering at the scholarship and values -- not the best of academia or our traditions. Propaganda comes much more to mind.I'm preparing a course for the Fall in "America's Fitful Faith journey: The Development of Religious Liberty - Columbus to Madison." I highly recommend Steven Waldman's "Founding Faith" for those who want an overview of Amercan struggles with the notion of "religious liberty."

And people wonder why Catholicism is becoming increasingly irrelevant in US society! This kind of very dangerous Catholicism is a scourge on the face of this earth and the quicker it dies the better Christianity in general will be.

Ask many Jews exactly HOW "Judeo-" Christian this country has been. Watch the movie "Gentleman's Agreement" and education yourself:

Here you go - they must have had this thread in mind:

Jimmie Mac"this kind of very dangerous Catholicism" you and I may think is a scourge but what do you think is the source on the war against LCWR?

Cathleen writes: "If I were he,[CDL Dolan] Id ask them to take it down." Ah, but if you were he we'd be having a much more hopeful discussion.

Last week the TMLC announced that Rep. Allen West had joined their Citizens Advisory Board. was just after he charged that 78 to 81 Democratic members of the House of Representatives are Communists. His addition should have a powerful effect on the Center's intellectual heft and credibility.

"-- what do you think is the source on the war against LCWR?"Authoritarian, clericalist, male-dominated, mysogynistic churchianity masquerading as legitimate action by alleged "successors of the apostles."It has gone beyond very dangerous Catholicism and has become a source of scandal and sin.

I've read -- perhaps in John McGreevy's work -- that the term "Judaeo-Christian" is of relatively recent (i.e., 20th century) coinage, and that in its origins, by "Christian" it meant Protestant -- particularly in mid-century when Catholic countries like Italy, Spain, Poland (and, of course, Vichy France) were succumbing to the lure of dictatorship, if not totalitarianism.Is that correct? I don't know, but maybe someone else does.I think it's also a purely US phrase. Do Canadians use it? or anyone else? I think not.

The "Christian values" on which this nation was founded usually excluded Catholics.As recently as 1960 John F. Kennedy had to defend himself against accusations that his Presidency would be dominated by the Vatican. Al Smith was almost certainly defeated in 1928 by anti-Catholic bigotry, and the arguments were much the same. Have we forgotten our own history? Let's rely on the vigor of American democracy and welcome American Muslims to full participation.

Judaeo-Christian is used in Canada by the same type of Christian that uses it in the USA. Thankfully, even as a percentage of our population, they are much fewer in number, and don't have the same political clout.Everyone should perhaps be reminded of the voyage of the MS St Louis, if they really think N America was ever founded on Judaeo Christian Values. The Jewish part maybe fashionable now, but it certainly was not 70/80 years ago.

Agree, Michael. Jewish Soldiers in Blue and Gray (which was shown on PBS) is interesting. Lincoln overturned Grant's infamous Order #11.

Given our history, American Catholics should be the first to defend Muslim Americans today. Instead, too many are returning to the mentality of the Crusades and repeating foolishness they hear from rightwing yahoos, such as that idiocy about "radical Islamists" invading the upper echelons of government and sharia law taking over the courts. That Legatus buys this bigoted nonsense says all I have to know about Legatus. That the organization wants to be associated with the USCCB and Cardinal Dolan's fight with the government over the HHS mandate, in turn, casts a deserving pall over that cause as well.

As a history buff, I give credence to the claim that this country was founded by Christians of various denominations (mainly low-church Anglicans and Protestants), many of whom even believed in the establishment of their own denominations on the state level, although they ultimately bowed to the Deists among our founders who demanded it be disallowed on the federal level. One of our more distinguished founding fathers, Deist Thomas Jefferson, owned a copy of the Quran and saw religious liberty extending to Americans of all religious beliefs, not just Christians. For the record, the term "Judeo-Christian" was hardly a popular phrase in 18th-century America, where Jews, Catholics and African-American slaves (never mind women of any kind) rarely got mentioned in the same sentence, paragraph or document that referenced "rights."

Cathleen, I have an article in the next issue of Commonweal that goes into the Thomas More Center and the HHS mandate and this post by you is quite interesting. If you have not seen it, be sure to see the video at the Thomas More website of its president's speech at a rally against the HHS Mandate. From my perspective, the most chilling thing I have seen in a while. Can't wait to see what you think of my article in next month's issue. Thanks for posting this.

This is the video I refer to. It is not at their home page anymore, but a 3 minute version of it was there for weeks. finding this, I found that Bishop Michael Byrnes spoke at the same rally, which I did not know when I wrote my article. This is significant given what the TMLC president said at the same rally.

And here's an edit of that video. Disturbing:

Bob Schwartz ==Some of the sharia legal system is already present in common law. At one time the Muslims conquored Sicily, and later some Normans defeated them. A law professor friend told me that during the Norman dominance of Sicily (medieval period) one of the Norman kings was closely related to the English king of the time. Through their connection some Isllamic laws regarding property became known in England, and some of their ideas were incorporated into common law somehow. Sorry, I have no reference, but my law teacher friend said there was a teacher at the law school of Loyola in New Orleans who was researching the subject. That was some time ago.

Ironies abound. Muslims may end up as the only group who agrees with the Usccb on same sex marriage. With interesting wording an editorial in the NY Times today describes Obama'a position on same sex marriage as taking the "high moral ground" and "President Obama's moment." Maybe the next irony will be that some in the Thomas More Center will "out" themselves.

"And heres an edit of that video. Disturbing:"Quite!

Cathleen - I think we can agree that Richard Thompson's and the Thomas More Center's views on religion, politics and the Constitution are not ones that you and I share. But do those controversial political, legal and philosophical views somehow disqualify Thompson and the Center from representing clients? Does an attorney's client become complicit in the attorney's controversial political views merely by retaining that attorney? And if the very existence of that attorney-client relationship is ethically problematic, does it even extend to besmirching the reputation of a public figure, the photograph of whom someone has put up on the client's site, perhaps without the public figure's permission or knowledge?If the attorney represents her client ethically and honorably, is there any issue with respect to that client? I'm sure you've thought about these issues more deeply than I have, so I'd welcome your thoughts.

Jim, I think you have the question exactly backward. I am criticizing Legatus's choice of a law firm to represent them. The choice of a law firm is a moral choice, subject to moral analysis, like any other choice.. In this case, I see the problem as more fundamental, because it involves a conflict at a deep moral level. The law firm is working against the religious liberty message that the bishops are pushing. They are working for establishment of the Christian world view, not religious liberty for all.Most law firms are not advocacy firms. They are advocates for hire. Everyone understands that they are not to be associated with the agenda of their clients. In contrast, this law firm is not a morally neutral law firm but one with a clearly stated religious and political agenda. It picks its clients to advance its agenda. It advances its cause through the cause of its clients. One of the big issues in advocacy law firm ethics, in fact, is how they act when the interests of their cause and that of their clients no longer converge.In some cases, one has to take the lawyers who are available to them. But I am assuming that Legatus has financial resources available to them that other people don't.Let me be plain: I think the Thomas More Center is besmirching the Cardinal's reputation. And I repeat my hope that he requests them to take it down. They are using him to advocate religious establishment of Christianity--and discrimination against Muslims. Not that he reads the commonweal blog or anything.

the photograph of whom someone has put up on the clients site, perhaps without the public figures permission or knowledgeJust now I put a comment on Cdl Dolan's blog informing him that his photo is on that website and makes it look as though he approved of TMLC, along with links to the website and to the disturbing video of the president's speech. So he is now informed if he wasn't before.I therefore expect his photo to disappear within a few days, or else.

I am writing an essay for another publication dealing with the Vatican's domination targeting American Catholics and America's Nuns. In doing the first part of the essay---the Vatican had been trying to impose an Europeanized Catholic version of Christianity on America from the time of Pius IX and Leo XIII. Does the term "Americanism" ring a bell for anyone here? It was a form of "Modernism" that was the bane of the Vatican from the 19th into the early 20th Century.In two papal letters sent to Cardinal-Archbishop James Gibbons of Baltimore, Leo XIII (who produced absolutely no evidence to PROVE that it existed), demanded that Gibbons repudiate "Americanism". Gibbons, to his credit, wrote a spirited-letter debating the points listed and stated that no bishop, priest, or layman---espoused the concepts that Leo listed. The papal letters, by the way, were "Loginqua Oceani" (1895) and the very pointed accusation of American culture (and American Catholics acceptance of this culture) in "Testem Benevolentiae" (1899). But what this pressure by the Vatican did was to convience educated American Catholics that the Vatican not only distrusted the American form of government---but that it would not be happy until all American Catholics were brought to heel at the Vatican commands. AND other Americans, aware of these papal demands, became more convinced that the Vatican despised democracy and a democratic government (as outlined in the Constitutions)---and any Catholics in government could not be trusted. Of course, Catholics in America and the Catholic immigrants who came to America from Ireland, and from central and eastern Europe experienced terrible discrimination from many Americans. And Jewish immigrants got doses of the same.I am bringing this historical part up about the Vatican's insistence of Catholic Americans (under Leo XIII), to be 'submissive and obedient' to the Magisterium back in the 1890's---because it seems that so many of the activities of the American hierarchy (both in Rome) and in the US---and now utilizing the Thomas More Center----are seemingly fitting into the 'obedient' stance that Leo XIII wanted from Americans in the 1890's. Only now----insteading of 'marginalizing Protestants' (as Leo wanted), Catholics are trying to marginalize and discriminate Muslims.

"Most law firms are not advocacy firms. They are advocates for hire. Everyone understands that they are not to be associated with the agenda of their clients. In contrast, this law firm is not a morally neutral law firm but one with a clearly stated religious and political agenda. It picks its clients to advance its agenda. It advances its cause through the cause of its clients."Cathleen, thanks for this explanation - I'd never heard of the category of "advocacy law firms" before, but now that you've explained it, it does make sense, and I'm sure there are many other examples of advocacy law firms."The law firm is working against the religious liberty message that the bishops are pushing. They are working for establishment of the Christian world view, not religious liberty for all."At the risk of appearing to defend the anti-Muslim positions of the Thomas More Center - and I don't defend those positions; I find it odious that the Center apparently conflates radical Islam with all Muslims and Muslim organizations - I don't think the links you've provided demonstrate that the law firm wants to establish Christianity. The quote you provided in your original post suggest a somewhat more complex narrative: that in the view of the Center, America's foundations are Judeo-Christian; those foundations are under attack; and the Center wishes to defend those foundations. Now, istm that in fact, part and parcel of our Judeo-Christian heritage is a healthy respect for religious pluralism and religious freedom - and surely one of the great accomplishments of Vatican II was to enshrine that aspect of our heritage in magisterial teaching. So to my way of thinking, a true defense of our Judeo-Christian heritage is to defend the rights of Muslim US citizens to engage in all of the activities and enjoy all of the rights and protections that any citizen enjoys. But my views on this, which I view as deeply rooted in the country's Judeo-Christian heritage, don't amount to a wish for the legal establishment of Christianity.I haven't studies the Thomas More Center's website and other materials exhaustively, but I don't see that they've stated that they want to establish Christianity. What I do have an issue with, based on the materials to which you've linked, is that they seem to equate radical Islam with Islam in general. Obviously, radical Islam is not just a paranoid right-wing fantasy; but it is incumbent on everyone to distinguish between Islam and radical Islam, and not lump all Muslims into the latter category.

Transcript of the first minute of GG's video: "Thousands of American soldiers are shedding their blood, sacrificing their lives to establish a constitution, a republic in Afghanistan and Iraq, while here, our own government is tearing up our constitution.Most of those soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are Christians; many of them are Catholic. Washington doesn't realize that Christians were born for combat. They have underestimated Christians.Christ said: "I did not come to bring peace but a sword". When Christ saw the money changers in the temple, he did not keep quiet, he did not turn away in the presence of Rome to keep the peace. He broke the peace by driving them out. He armed himself with chords and drove them outSo, peace is not our goal. Righteousness is our goal."

Jim P. ==I've seen the word "Islamist" used to refer to those whose beliefs are radical, that is, those Muslims who want to establish Islamic government everywhere and by force if necessary. The word allows us to make the much needed distinction you mention.

A grand compromise: The Thomas More Law Center takes down the Cardinal Dolan picture and sends it to the Fordham Theology Department where it is to be prominently displayed. If this proves too inflammatory for the theologians a portrait of Thomas More may be substituted.

"cords", not "chords". (Although this spelling trap has no good reason of existing.)

In Leo XIII's first letter to Cardinal Gibbons in 1895---(Loginqua Oceani), he rejected the American separation of Church and State. Leo made it clear that this is a 'very erroneous' arrangement even for the United States. The letter noted that horribly in America, Church and State were 'dissevered and divorced'.the papal letter stated that Rome, will at best tolerate this experiment in America, but only until the number of Catholics in America becomes a majority. Then all the Protestant churches must be marginalized. All the clergy in America must show a 'submissive spirit' and all lay Catholics must show 'obedience' to this encyclical's mandates.Back then, the Vatican directive was against Protestants. Today, it is against Muslims. But the Vatican is still directing America's hierarchy to reject any concepts of a separation of church and state.

While npt as zooey asthe Cardinal Newman society, Th Thomas More Center has joined the dshift to the radical(poltco religious) right that, despite some good works, is partisanly biased like the K of C.And our hierarchy drifts with then.Hence my feeling is a pl.ague on their houses.(BTW many can keep sdayiong we are a Judaeoo Cgristian nation, but that's pur religion -which of course they conflate!)

I appreciate your historical reference, Little Bear. I thought they were superceded by the acceptance of John Courtenay Murray, but I am sure that that suspicion of Americanism has new advocates -- including some of the American cardinals.

jimmy mac i love you. can i adopt you?

jimmy macthe main reason why i don't like the idea of gay couples is that it takes men like you out of the dating scene. it's a big loss for us.

Mary - I'll ask my partner, but if there is money involved, we can talk!Claire - ask some of the women I dated early on in my life. You didn't miss much.

"Bi-sexuality doubles your chances of getting a date on Saturday night." Rodney DangerfieldJimmy, There you go again thinking love is just about sex....On a serious note I propose a serious eleventh commandment. The RCC is forbidden to talk about sex for a year. The purpose is to see if they can find anything else in the gospel.

Earlier this year, I had an exchange with a fellow blogger at NCROnline about her view that the United States was founded as a Christian nation ( Here's the substance of my reply:"...Americans of 1770 were either overwhelmingly Protestant or unchurched. Yet in such ports as Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Philadelphia, Charleston, and Savannah - places where transatlantic vessels carrying passengers and crew regularly docked - [we] would have come across not only Christian churches but also Jewish synagogues. As of 1770, some one thousand Jews probably lived in the colonies. In 1790, the first federal census counted 1,243 Jews in a total American population of almost three million. By the end of the century, the new republic had synagogues in Charleston, New York, Newport, Savannah, Philadelphia, and Richmond" (p. 1).**********"...Most of the founding fathers of the United States were members of Christian churches. Yet widespread disagreement exists about their beliefs."The religious beliefs of the founders seem to have fallen into three categories: Non-Christian Deism, Christian Deism, and orthodox Christianity...How can students of early American history distinguish a Deist from an orthodox Christian? [We] should consider at least the following four points."First, they should look - to a point - at the *actions* of America's founding fathers in the area of religion. If a founder belonged to a church, attended a church, or served on a governing body such as a vestry, those involvements did not guarantee his orthodoxy. A colonial church served not only religious but also social and business functions. Thus no reader of American history should classify all churchgoers as orthodox believers. Nevertheless, readers should regard regular church attendance by a founder as more clearly indicative of orthodoxy than sporadic attendance. Devout Christians among the founders would be more likely to go to church."Second, [we] should look at the participation of the founders in what some colonial churches called 'ordinances' and others called 'sacraments'. That a founder was baptized says little about his adult beliefs. During the colonial period, most churches baptized children shortly after birth. The children therefore had no choice about whether to be incorporated into the Christian faith or not...[T]he most thoroughgoing Deists could be and probably were baptized. A far better indicator of the religious stance of founders is whether or not they had their own children baptized. Yet even there, the orthodoxy of their wives usually caused the children to be baptized."But if most of the founders had no choice about their own baptism, they did have a choice about confirmation...[T]his rite represented a reaffirmation of baptismal vows by an adult or young adult. It conferred full church membership...**********"...[O]nce these churches [Episcopal and Roman Catholic] had bishops, the avoidance of confirmation by a church member represented a conscious omission."George Washington, for example, lived in [states] during the period when [they] had Episcopal bishops, but he was never confirmed. James Madison of Montpelier never arranged for confirmation, though his cousin...held the office of bishop of Virginia during twenty-two years of President Madison's life...Madison had been aligned with the Deists for twenty years..."Thus if a founder was an Anglican or a Roman Catholic and decided not to be confirmed, Deism had probably influenced him to some extent. Episcopalians and Roman Catholics who sought confirmation after their American bishops took office were more likely to be orthodox believers than those who avoided the rite. Because confirmation was not held in the highest regard in either church during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, this litmus test is helpful but not entirely indicative of a founder's religious belief."A second rite [we] should heed is the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. Participation or abstention from this sacrament or ordinance represents another way of distinguishing between Deists and orthodox Christians. Few founders who were Deists would have received the bread and the wine distributed at the communion. If they attended church, even sporadically, they would have been least likely to attend on Sundays when the Holy Communion was being administered. In the Anglican or Episcopal churches, where the Lord's Supper came after the preaching service, members influenced by Deism might attend only the first part of the service and then leave without communicating, as Washington did."If [one] asks why Deists were reluctant to receive the Holy Communion, the answer seems to stem from at least two causes. First, the Lord's Supper represented the most supernatural level of church activity...That earthly bread and wine could in some way become the body and blood of Christ vexed founders such as Jefferson and Adams. Their correspondence often employed the derogatory term 'hocus-pocus' - a term that probably comes from the words said by a Roman Catholic priest - 'hoc est enim corpus meum' (or 'this is my body') - in the Mass."Deists, in fact, would have encountered problems believing in the purpose of the Holy Communion service even in churches that did not teach a 'real presence' in the bread and wine...[T]he Lord's Supper physically linked participants with the Christian doctrine of the atonement (the belief that Jesus of Nazareth had paid the penalty for the sins of humanity by dying on the cross). All orthodox Christians believed not only that Jesus had died for 'them', but also that his body had been given and his blood had been shed for 'them'..."But Deists believed neither in the doctrine of the atonement nor in the presence of Christ in the elements. They did not believe that Jesus was a savior who had died for them. Hence they found much to oppose in this central ordinance or sacrament of Christianity. Because Deists denied what the Lord's Supper signified, they had no reason to participate in the rite."Third, [we] should also consider the dimension of 'inactivity' versus 'activity'. Few thoroughgoing Deists would have taken an 'active' part in the rituals of the Christianity that surrounded them. And most Deistic Christians would have participated in these rituals 'less actively' than orthodox churchgoers.**********"...The greater the influence of Deism, the less a person participated. Non-Christian Deists rejected all sacraments and rarely attended church. Deistic Christians attended church regularly or sporadically, but seldom participated in the Lord's Supper and confirmation. Orthodox Christians attended regularly and participated in both sacraments [confirmation and holy communion]..."Finally, in determining where a founder stood religiously, [we] should look carefully at his 'religious language'. Non-Christian Deists such as Paine described God with such terms as 'Providence', 'the Creator', and 'Nature's God', but they refused to use specific Christian terminology."Similarly, Deistic Christians often used Deistic terms for God. Occasionally or frequently, however (depending upon the degree of Deistic influence on their religion), they added a Christian dimension to the terms - such as 'Merciful Providence' or 'Divine Goodness'. In addition, they used the name of Jesus and employed terms - 'Supreme Being' or 'Supreme Ruler of the World', for example - that rode the boundary between Deism and Judeo-Christian orthodoxy. But they did not go further and employ terms that would indelibly commit them to orthodoxy. As for the orthodox Christians among the founders and populace, they affirmed the Trinity and used language ('Savior', 'Redeemer', or 'the Resurrected Christ', for example) that clearly conveyed their orthodox views" (pp. 134-140).(David L. Holmes. THE FAITHS OF THE FOUNDING FATHERS. Oxford University Press, 2006)========================="God was essential in the declaration Jefferson put together in his rented parlor [in Philadelphia in June 1776], but the God he wrote of was in no explicit way the God of Abraham, much less God the Father of the Holy Trinity.**********"Jefferson had mentioned God only twice - as 'Nature's God' and 'Creator' - but in the editing process his colleagues added two more allusions to the Almighty. One noted that the Congress was 'appealing to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions...,' and the other asserted the Founder's 'firm reliance on the protection of divine providence...' as they pledged 'to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.' But 'the supreme judge of the world' and 'divine providence' were no more specific to the God of the Bible than 'Creator' and 'Nature's God'.**********"The founding religion - at least in the Declaration - was based more on a religion of reason than of revelation. But it was still religion. From Bolingbroke to Jefferson, even the most cerebral of Deists were making a leap of faith when they ascribed the discernible attributes of nature to a divine author. 'The Liberty of a People is the gift of God and Nature,' wrote Algernon Sidney in his 'Discourses concerning Government', a work much on Jefferson's mind as he wrote in Philadelphia. Sidney's book, published in 1698, was a reply to a treatise by Sir Robert Filmer titled 'Patriarcha, or the Natural Power of Kings'. Sidney's view of individual rights became the American view, but from a strictly intellectual point of view there is no reason to ascribe 'the Liberty of a People' to 'God "and" Nature unless one wishes to involve the divine in the equation. In other words, a secular case can be made that experience and inferences from nature (defined as what we find before us in observable reality or can reasonably discern intellectually) suggest it is best for a society to consider all men equal and work from there. It is a matter of choice - a matter of faith - to bring God into the picture at all. The Founding Fathers made that choice, linking the cause of liberty to the idea of God while avoiding sectarian religious imagery or associations."The God of the Declaration is a divine force that created the universe, endows all men with human rights, and is an actor in the drama of the world he made...It was this God who became the God of America's public religion...As far as possible, religious debate belonged outside politics. Jefferson, for one, relished theology, but saw such arguments as private intellectual affairs, not fit subjects for government. 'I write with freedom,' he said to one correspondent, 'because, while I claim a right to believe in one God, I yield as freely to others that of believing in three. Both religions, I find, make honest men, and that is the only point society has any right to look to."(Jon Meacham. AMERICAN GOSPEL: GOD, THE FOUNDING FATHERS, AND THE MAKING OF A NATION. Random House, 2006, pp. 72-75)=========================See also Meacham's article "A Nation of Christians Is Not a Christian Nation", which appeared in the New York Times in 2007. It can be accessed at

Mr. Molloy, any problem with affixing Dolan's pic to a cork board at Fordham? Or would such a step be cheatin'?

Read the following statement from the Thomas More Law Center and substitute "Opus Dei" everytime you see Muslim or Islam. Is it a fit? Radical Muslims and Islamic organizations in America take advantage of our legal system and are waging a Stealth Jihad within our borders. Their aim is to transform America into an Islamic nation. They have already infiltrated the highest levels of our government, the media, our military, both major political parties, public schools, universities, financial institutions and the cultural elite. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, political leaders still claim Islam is a religion of peace. Our national leaders refuse to identify Radical Islam as the enemy. Political correctness has paralyzed our governments ability to deal with these threats. That is why the Thomas More Law Center has been at the forefront of legal battle against this internal threat.

The Cardinal Newman Society has a new video ostensibly aimed at Geogetown for inviting Kathleen Sibelius to speak but mainly supporting the bishops' campaign against "the Obama administration's assault on religious freedom"

On May 10, Claire said: Just now I put a comment on Cdl Dolans blog informing him that his photo is on that website and makes it look as though he approved of TMLC, along with links to the website and to the disturbing video of the presidents speech. So he is now informed if he wasnt before.As of today, my comment on Cdl Dolan's blog is still marked as "awaiting moderation".Cardinal Dolan's picture still features prominently on the Legatus web site.

My comment on Cdl Dolan's blog has now been moderated and is gone (as it should), so it's been read and processed. Cdl Dolan's picture is still on

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