I LOVE MY COUNTRY
I do truly love my Country.
I always have, and I hope that I always will.
I have not been blind to its blemishes, to the dark pages
in its history. I have read everything I could about its founding, about the American Revolution, about Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark and the opening of the American West, about the War Between the States, about the waves of immigration and the building up of the American People.
I have followed our Nation’s political history, voted in every National election since 1944 and three times participated in the national conventions of one of our political parties, and volunteered to fight in defense of our Nation in the Second World War.
So, I do believe that my patriotism is well grounded in a realism as opposed to an idealism which tends to see everything through rose-tinted glasses.
What brings all of this to my mind at this time is an article written by Harry Stein which was published in the Friday, June 26, 2009 edition of the Wall Street Journal, entitled:
Liberal Discontent and the Spies Next Door.
Stein wrote about the recent arrest of Walter Kendall Myers and his wife Gwendolyn on charges of spying for Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Stein called the Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, cliches.
“What makes them clichés is that there are so many others like them.
In left-of-center precincts across America, from the Upper West Side to the studio lot where Sean Penn is filming his latest movie, and including countless college campuses in between, Fidel Castro is even now regarded with understanding and, yes, something like affection. True enough, some have qualms about his abuse of political prisoners and, even more so, his treatment of gays and people suffering from AIDS. But, overall, people have a soft spot for the guy who not only took on the big, bad U.S., but did so with such élan. Castro would certainly be welcome at any dinner party — as opposed to, say, a Republican!
And we haven’t even gotten to that bona fide hero, T-shirt model Che.
Would others among Castro’s legion of liberal admirers likewise be inclined to spy for Cuba? Probably not very many. But probably more than you think — if they were cultivated properly, as the Myerses were, and asked very nicely. Why? Because it would be cast as work on behalf of suffering humanity, in the struggle against the forces of rapacious exploitation.
This is the romance of the left. Many conservatives wonder how seemingly intelligent souls, who recoil at the horrors of the Nazi camps or the torture cells of a Pinochet, can regard the despots of the left, many of whose murderous totals are even higher, with apparent equanimity. It is because in the emotion-fueled world of liberalism, it is words that matter most, and professed intent, not the facts.
It has always been thus. Back in 1951, a former Soviet operative in the U.S. named Hede Massing, a key prosecution figure in the Alger Hiss case, wrote a memoir detailing her espionage work. “‘What about loyalty to my country?'” she recalls one prospective recruit to her network asking plaintively — an objection she successfully countered by arguing that “loyalty to humanity” takes “precedence over any other kind of loyalty.”
In various guises, such a sentiment is heard even more often today. Reportedly, the Myerses told an undercover agent they looked forward to sailing “home” — meaning to Cuba. It is the same word by which their foolish, starry-eyed predecessors used to refer to Stalin’s Soviet Union.”
It was Stein’s mentioning of the Alger Hiss case that opened the floodgates of my memory. I remembered when Whittaker Chambers had appeared before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee and had named Alger Hiss as a Soviet agent. I remembered reading, in 1952, Whittaker Chambers best-selling book WITNESS and learning of the extensive betrayal of America by Americans. Then, in 1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, two convicted American spies, were executed for selling American secrets about the atomic bomb to Soviet Russia.
What possesses Americans to betray their Country?
The answer became clear to me years ago. It is, as Stein has said above,
“This is the romance of the left…. It is because in the emotion-fueled world of liberalism, it is words that matter most, and professed intent, not the facts.”
In Hede Massing’s words: “What about loyalty to my Country? …loyalty to humanity takes precedence over any other kind of loyalty”
Therein lies the key to understanding the ease with which the left liberals bring themselves to betray their country. It is their fatal practice to worship abstractions.
It is not individual person they love and want to help, it is humanity.
The Church declared, in the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Laity, Apostolicam Actuositatem, published in 1965:
“A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and international levels where the laity especially assist with their Christian wisdom. In patriotism to their country and in faithful fulfillment of their civic obligations, Catholics should feel themselves obliged to promote the true common good. Thus they should make the weight of their opinion felt in order that civil authority may act with justice and that legislation may conform to moral precepts and the common good. Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer public affairs since by doing this in a worthy manner they can both further the common good and at the same time prepare the way for the Gospel.
Catholics should try to cooperate with all men and women of good will to promote whatever is true, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable (cf. Phil. 4:8). They should hold discussions with them, excel them in prudence and courtesy, and initiate research on social and public practices which should be improved in line with the spirit of the Gospel.
Among the signs of our times, the irresistibly increasing sense of the solidarity of all peoples is especially noteworthy. It is a function of the lay apostolate sedulously to promote this awareness and to transform it into a sincere and genuine love of brotherhood.”
The “patriotism” the Decree speaks of is realized in the social interactions of persons.
The Catholic Church has always been in the forefront of social programs designed to help the poor, but not the poor as an abstraction – no, the poor in this or that poor person.
Jesus Christ, never said for us to “love the poor” in the sense of promoting the well-being of abstract humanity, but rather to love the poor in the person of this or that man or woman.
Love of an abstraction, such as “humanity” can justify, as it did for the Myers couple, love of Fidel Castro and his Cuba which killed and imprisoned thousands and thousands of living, breathing, human beings, acts of INHUMANITY surely.