Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Why we need to teach more US history

Author and lifelong Catholic Robert Blair Kaiser:

“The tradition in Boston and the United States is liberty, and freedom, and constitution, people, so I say we need a people's church in the United States, a homegrown Catholicism would look more like the country itself,” he says. “The Catholic Church has to change or it is going to end up as a museum piece.”

Read the complete article Expert Says Time For Change In Catholic Church from CBS 4 Boston.

Mr. Kaiser is definitely a man who has been poorly served by the schools of wherever he grew up. His grasp of US history is just not very good. Let me explain.

Back in the eighteenth century when the US had won its independence and was playing around with which system of government it wanted, men of Massachusetts such as John Adams were naturally distrustful of the masses and the mob mentality. The top expressions of this is the electoral college for the election of the president and the legislatures of the states electing senators.

Once the constitution with its checks against the mob mentality of the majority had been approved by the states, Massachusetts and Boston were again the bastions of the Federalists, who believed in the concept of a strong central government to keep the states in check so that they couldn't go off and do their own thing.

Now, if Mr. Kaiser were from Virginia and the Jeffersonian tradition, he might have a leg to stand on, but as he is speaking for Massachusetts and Boston, I can only point out that he is just not very well informed on the state's history.

It is a shame that Mr. Adams was not a papist, as its ideas of central authority to keep in check efforts of those who would strike out on their own heretical paths so much mirror his own.

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