Monty Python Tackles American Slavery: Blame The Popes [& Any Other Catholic Near Enough To Swing A Dead Cat At]
Mandeville, LA – In Monty Python’s Search For The Holy Grail a townswoman is dragged in front of the town’s Bishop and accused of performing witchcraft. When the Bishop asks how this is known the villagers yell “we don’t know but she is a witch” followed by John Cleese’s character famously exhorting “she turned me into a newt… [the bishop looks at him oddly]… I, I got better!” This is reminiscent of the way many listeners and readers have communicated with me lately over articles of Catholic Doctrine, believing that just yelling “Catholic!” or “cultist!” or “papist!” loud enough with enough urban legend thrown in is sufficient to have me tuck my St Joseph’s Cord between my legs and run for a monastery.
It is not as though these things are discussed with me prefacing them by stating some Catholic supremacy statement either. Matter of fact, I go OUT OF MY WAY to avoid this because that is not necessary for most arguments. No matter, Catholic bigotry is alive, well and practiced gleefully with the same ahistorical “I read it on internet or heard ——– talk about it on radio” ignorance as the Incorporation Doctrine is. For the record: I don’t seek arguments over these matters but I also don’t seek to deliver these matters in anything less than the due diligence & source material review I apply to the Constitution. To insure this I encourage EVERYONE to at least consider reading “Humility of The Heart” or a similar work on the subject: my ego isn’t at issue on the matter, my humility and soul’s State of Grace are.
Witness the latest such discussion after a brief on-air segment discussing American slavery with Chris Ferrara. My responses are noted, inline.
Name: Charles [last name redacted- MC]
Comments: Listening to you and Chris this morning…was on hold as the show ended.
1) President Obama may or may not have “prosecutorial discretion” to delay/prioritize who gets deported. This is a “straw man”, I believe. The real question is: Where does he get the authority to direct DHS to issue green cards and social security numbers to these folks? Those, according to statute, are to give given to people who are lawfully in the United States to work. Who wrote that law? When was it written and enacted into statute? If there is no law, what gives the President the ability to make that law?
MIKE: Who are you directing this statement at, me? I said nothing of the sort, Sir. I and Mr Ferrara simply OBSERVED that the de facto law on “illegal immigration” has been passed by Congresses and accentuated by Presidents including Roosevelt, McKinley, Truman, Eisenhower, Clinton, Bush and now Obama. Our point is that the Constitution granted no such authority to Congress to deal with “illegal aliens” as I have demonstrated, nay proved, dozens of times publicly in conversations over the municipal law governing “alien friends”.
CHARLES: 2). Slavery. Did I miss the papal encyclical decrying slavery and abolishing it from Christendom? My reading of history says it was the Protestant Church that led the fight in the US to abolish slavery. Presbyterians, Quakers, Methodists, and Episcopals were very active in the abolition movement. I didn’t go to Xavier or Ohio Dominican, so maybe I missed the active role of the Catholic Church. Oh, and what about Spain enslaving and eliminating most of the native population of Central and South America in the name of the church? The slave trade turned to the Irish and Africans after the Spanish had killed off the enslaved native peoples…
MIKE: Did you LOOK for a Papal Encyclical or Bull? If you had then among the tens of thousands of focused search results you would have seen would have been this.
What is laughable is your assertion that Protestant Kings like George II, III led the way on banning the slave trade they helped create. It might be of interest to you to read the charges Jefferson leveled against King George III in the Declaration of Independence, e.g.
“he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium ofinfidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.” – Thomas Jefferson
Mike: It was those famous Protestant slave owners of GA & SC, among them Edward Rutledge of SC who asked that clause be stricken1.
Re: Central & South America, REALLY? The Missionaries who arrived and converted tens of MILLIONS to Catholicism from the pagan practices made popular in Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto”. The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is just one such story of the Glorious rise of Our Lord and Our Lady in those parts. Because I do not know enough of the history of those Spaniards who “plundered” the Americas I cannot offer a complete rebuttal but I can tell you that Pope Paul III DID issue an Encyclical on the treatment of “[South American] Indian populations” being encountered in the New World (if you care to read it: ) Here is the relevant part:
“The enemy of the human race, who opposes all good deeds in order to bring men to destruction, beholding and envying this, invented a means never before heard of, by which he might hinder the preaching of God’s word of Salvation to the people: he inspired his satellites who, to please him, have not hesitated to publish abroad that the Indians of the West and the South, and other people of whom We have recent knowledge should be treated as dumb brutes created for our service, pretending that they are incapable of receiving the Catholic Faith. We, who, though unworthy, exercise on earth the power of our Lord and seek with all our might to bring those sheep of His flock who are outside into the fold committed to our charge, consider, however, that the Indians are truly men and that they are not only capable of understanding the Catholic Faith but, according to our information, they desire exceedingly to receive it. Desiring to provide ample remedy for these evils, We define and declare by these Our letters, or by any translation thereof signed by any notary public and sealed with the seal of any ecclesiastical dignitary, to which the same credit shall be given as to the originals, that, notwithstanding whatever may have been or may be said to the contrary, the said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.”
Mike: I trust this response helps answer your query,
Pax Domini tecum,
1. Jefferson, when asked about this clause insisted that reps from GA & SC had demanded it, because no notes of this debate were taken and members were sworn to secrecy, validating this claim is impossible but we do know it was excised.