The USCCB vs. Freemasonry & the Modern Kulturkampf
Back on September 20, 2011, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), with then Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, serving as its President, analyzed the decision by President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice to withdraw from defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Instead, the USCCB observed that the Obama administration sought to turn and attack the Act’s constitutionality, which would “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.” The following year, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Catholic Bishops of the United States during the Ad Limina Rome, saying:
Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate, and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism that would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society…
In this regard, I would mention with appreciation your efforts to maintain contacts with Catholics involved in political life and to help them understand their personal responsibility to offer public witness to their faith, especially with regard to the great moral issues of our time: respect for God’s gift of life, the protection of human dignity and the promotion of authentic human rights.
This effort by the USCCB gave birth to the Fortnight for Freedom in 2012, which began on June 21 and ended on July 4. Despite religious freedom being more under attack today and the conflict between the Catholic Church and the state being even more caustic than it was a decade ago, the USCCB has moved to downgrade the Fortnight for Freedom to being just a Religious Freedom Week (June 22 – 29).
How shall we understand what is going on and why we are still here in this fight? The most helpful and prophetic document that the Catholic Church has ever promulgated in this regard is Custodi Di Quella Fede, by Pope Leo XIII (1892). which summarized the fruits and triumphs of the Masonic Program through the Kulturkampf (i.e., culture war). Yet, before I bring us up to date, allow me to first highlight how the United States found itself in this position where its Founding Fathers established the new country not on the principles of any expression of Christianity, but on the principles of Freemasonry (namely, dogmatic indifferentism).
The United States was Never a Christian Nation
The severe hostility between church and state in the United States of America today (and ever-growing) was the intentional outcome of those who were the prime influencers in writing the founding documents of the United States of America. The written evidence on record unarguably affirms that the U.S.A. was built on the promotion of indifferentism (primarily freedom from religion). This most basic principle is learned by the Entered Apprentice in the first lecture after the degree work has been completed. He is given a piece of chalk and is taught that he has the free exercise to draw the lines by which he will live his wife within the bounds and limits of the moral law of Freemasonry and that no one can prohibit him from that right.
Yet, those among us who romanticize and opinionate about the United States being birthed as a Christian nation and/or being founded on Biblical principles, claim such things without being able to point to even one explicitly Christian principle or Biblical proof-text that can be found in either 1776 Declaration of the Independence, the 1789 Bill of Rights, or the 1789 Constitution of the United States.
The reason why this proof must be explicit in nature, rather than merely implied or assumed, is because we have on record many founding documents and constitutions of nations from which we could assert that these nations were founded as Christian nations or were built on Biblical principles. The standard of knowing whether a nation was founded on Christian and/or Biblical principles has already been established by at least forty-one constitutions that explicitly name their state church. Included in that group are four constitutions that explicitly name the Catholic Church (Liechtenstein, Argentina, Costa Rica, Malta, Samoa) as their state Church, three constitutions that include the name of Jesus (Ireland, Fiji, and Sweden), three constitutions that mention the Holy Trinity in its text (Ireland, Greece, and Samoa), and four constitutions that includes the name ‘Allah’ (Kuwait, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Indonesia).
The immediate uncritical response to this fact would be to tender the fact that some of these aforementioned constitutions and amendments are younger than the Constitution of the United States of America; as if being the earliest constitution of its type somehow precluded the founders of the United States from making any sort of explicit Christian declaration in any of their founding documents. Even if we could give an allowance to such a preclusion, the last amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1992, which is younger than only thirteen of the forty-one non-disestablished constitutions. Meaning that, since its ratification on June 21, 1788, the Constitution of the United States of America has been amended twenty-seven times without ever explicitly affirming or declaring the country to be of any particular religious belief whatsoever; even at the minimum of constitutionally setting aside just one holy day to observe nationally.
The Myth of the Creator God
At this point, one might tender as evidence of America being a Christian nation, one line from the revolutionary Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That the Founding Fathers spoke of an agency of God (creation) is clear and explicit. To further posit from there that they were speaking of the Triune God (that is, the true God) is odd, to say the least. None of the monotheistic religions speak well of God by merely speaking about Him according to one of His works. For God is more than His agency; He is more than creator; He is all in all, He is Holy, He is the Lord of Hosts, He is full of glory, He is judge, He is advocate, He is King, and so much more. No rightly formed Chrisitan would ever speak of God as Creator only.
On the contrary, this sentence from the Declaration of Independence is not evidence of any sort of Chrisitan influence on the revolution or of the Bible being a source document that the drafters gleaned from. Rather, it is just one piece in a vast body of compelling evidence of the most pervasive and influential ideology of the day making its intentions known. That is to say, that sentence in question was the first of many insertions by the Freemasons in the United States of America’s revolutionary and governance documents which clearly let the world know that they had just taken a whole nation as their own.
Since its organization in 1717 as a fraternal religion, Freemasonry has always deigned to never mention the sacred name of God, but only speak of Him as the Creator, or more specifically as the Grand Architect of the Universe. Anyone in the 18th century who was familiar with this central tenet of Freemasonry would be able to read the Declaration of Independence for what it was; that is, a piece of Masonic literature, filled with the principles of Freemasonry; namely the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness outside of the religion of the state, which, they said, had only proven to divide men, rather than unite them.
The First Amendment & the First Charge
At their first opportunity to amend the recently ratified constitution and insert into it some explicit statement of the United States of America being a Christian nation, the Founding Fathers opted to paraphrase the First Charge of the founding Constitution of Freemasonry (i.e., Anderson’s Constitution of 1723):
1723 Grand Lodge of England – Anderson’s Constitution (First Charge):
A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.
1789 Amendment (First Amendment):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .
Here, Freemasonry and the United States both affirm that the only religion they respect is the religion of indifferentism. This subjugation of religion diminishes its value and influence so far that, inevitably, the lodge and state naturally become not only greater than those religions they have diminished (i.e., mere opinions/not worthy of state recognition), but become a religion themselves; that is, a higher good for men to pursue, or what Freemasonry declares itself to be – “the Center of Union.” This is what the United States government is becoming: a centralized governmental religion that tells houses of worship to close, keeps houses of abortion open, pretends to confer marriage, indoctrinate children into its ideology through public education, and promises that regular voting and vaccines are the real keys to salvation.
The refrain from here is that the First Amendment was intended to only concern ‘congress,’ not the state, from establishing a religion. Yet, the Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom drafted by Thomas Jefferson, who had worked with the notable French Freemason and Aristocrat, Gilbert du Motier, Marques de Lafayette, to draft the Declaration of Independence, is the clearest piece of evidence to inform us of the Founder Father’s intention to install the Masonic program (i.e., dogmatic indifferentism) in every state of the union. According to Thomas Jefferson, this bill was an attempt to provide religious freedom to “the Jew, the Gentile, the Christian, the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and [the] infidel of every denomination.” Thereby, elevating the moral law of the state above the diminished value or religious moral law.
Religious Freedom vs. Freedom from Religion
The “Masonic Program,” as it was termed by Leo XIII in his 1890 Dall’alto dell’Apostolicio Seggio, had paved the way for the American Revolution, the French revolution, the European revolutions of 1848, and all the other revolutions against Christ and His Church, including the sexual revolution that began in the 1960s and the homosexualist and non-gender-conforming revolutions of today. These revolutions all claim that oppression from religion is the problem; they argue, if religion could just stop oppressing our freedom, the common good for all will be achieved. This was the same promise after the 1848 revolutions, which lead to a new Prussian constitution that allowed for religious freedom, which was only a ruse to spark another round of religious persecution against the Catholic Church during the German Kulturkampf from 1872 to 1878.
What we have consistently found is that the more the state was able to diminish the value of religion, and, thereby, elevate itself as the true religion, the greater the violence the state was able to commit against the Catholic Church, without the approval of the people.
Promoting Religious Freedom
Has Only Co-Promulgated Dogmatic Indifferentism
The leading role that Freemasons and their appendant bodies had over the culture war has long since waned. Even their successors, the Soviet Communists of 1917, have hence passed the revolutionary torch onto the new generation who cries for freedom from religion, all the while creating a system to worship the government from whom they believe their rights come. Today, it is the sexual deviants of homosexualism, transgenderism, and non-genderism that are championing the same Masonic program.
While this Satanic program to influence the state and to attack the Catholic Church has changed hands of operation, just as it was during the Pontificates of Bl. Pius IX and Leo XIII, the leaders of the Church (like the USCCB) still believe that promoting religious freedom leads to anything other than co-promulgating the evil of freedom from religion. To be sure, in her wisdom, the Church rightly desires to protect the human conscience and promote safe spaces by which all people are free to choose, to search, find, and love God. It is a sin to coerce a man into baptism. The Gospel must be freely accepted. But this is not “religious freedom” as the Masonic program understands it.
One hundred and thirty years later, we are still at the same place where Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical Custodi di Quealla Fede found these to be just some of the major accomplishments of the Masonic Program:
- The substitution of Christianity for naturalism.
- Substituting the worship of faith with the worship of reason.
- The substitution of Catholic morality for independent morality.
- Substituting spiritual progress with material progress.
- The seizing of Church property, money, and goods that have been squandered.
- The substitution of holy maxims and laws from the Gospel with a code of revolution.
- The insertion of atheistic doctrines and a vile realism in schools, science, and the Christian arts.
- Reducing the number of priests by forcing an unnecessary number of clerics to serve in the military.
- Substituting of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and the Funeral Mass with civil marriages and funerals.
- An overall effort to laicize everything; thereby, replacing the role of the Church in society.
- Attempting to silence and discredit the Catholic press.
- Closing monasteries and convents but allowing Masonic lodges and sectarian dens to multiply.
- Giving rights of association to all kinds of organizations but denying the same legal rights to religious societies.
- Proclaiming freedom of religion but exercising intolerance towards Catholicism.
- Promising protection, dignity, and independence for the Pope, but exercising a daily contempt of him.
- Allowances for public demonstrations against the Pope, but denying the same rights for Catholic demonstrations.
- The encouragement of “schisms, apostasies, and revolts against legitimate superiors in the Church.”
- Allowing for oaths in impious associations, but vows made for religious obedience are rebuked for being “contrary to human dignity and freedom.”
No one can deny that the successes of the Masonic Program, outlined here by Pope Leo XIII are all, in some sort or another, still alive and well today. Moreover, what no one can deny is that the Catholic response to the Masonic Program has been anything but a complete failure. The latter of these two things we cannot deny has been due to our belief in some mistaken idea that promoting religious freedom is the common good.
The world has come to believe in the religion of the state and its sacraments, which was always the inevitable trajectory of the Masonic Program because we allowed Christ and His Church to be subjugated underneath it. This is that universal religion in which all men agree of which the Freemasons spoke in their constitution. We Catholics played along by calling “religious freedom” what they were preaching to be freedom from religion. We were not confident enough in the truth to promote Catholic exceptionalism. We sought compromise over being “rigid” because we were not confident enough in the truth. We thought we could give an inch in the name of respecting conscience but got burned for miles.
After one hundred and thirty years, it is time for us to set forth a new path to combat the Masonic Program now in the hands of the sexual deviants, and it must begin with a revival of rigid Catholic standards and calling all people to the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation.
David L. Gray is a 2006 convert to the Catholic Church from agnosticism and Freemasonry. He earned his Master of Arts Degree in Theology from Ohio Dominican University, and today is the President and Publisher of Saint Dominic’s Media. He is writing at OnePeterFive on the topic of the Catholic Church’s prohibition against Freemasonry and its Appendant Masonic Bodies; drawing from his book, The Catholic Catechism on Freemasonry. Learn more about him and his work at https://www.davidlgray.info/