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Monday, April 03, 2006

Requiem in Pace

The American Way of Life that we so ardently embrace has been in existence for almost forty years, and it won’t survive another decade. This isn’t the first time that it has died, of course, and it won’t be the last. But it is time to write the obituary for this particular version.

In 1776, the American Way of Life had several aspects. In religion, it was strongly Protestant, and tirelessly anti-Catholic. Few people remember that the French alliance with American rebels forced marked changes in America’s way of life. George Washington, for instance, had to order his troops to stop celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Day by burning the pope in effigy. America’s French Catholic allies might take offense.

In Washington’s day, the American Way of Life was built on an economy that was both overwhelmingly agrarian and stridently opposed to the existence of the corporation. The Boston Tea Party, indeed, the entire Revolutionary War, was arguably a war meant to overthrow the shackles, not of the English king, but of the Dutch East India Company and its clones. The American Way of Life was built in no small part upon slavery and indentured servitude – New York had slave cemeteries and slave trading just as surely as Charleston did.

The American Way of Life was also built around the small – the very small – rural town, wherein everyone knew everyone and strangers were looked on askance. Education was the one-room school house in which the students, the teachers and the town’s school board were all related to one another: brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, all were generally one enormous extended family, as was the town it existed within.

The Early Fight
Andrew Jackson fought for the American Way of Life when he opposed a national bank and thereby opposed the creation of corporations. America’s South fought for the American Way of Life when it fought to maintain state’s rights and its “peculiar institution.” The rebels in mid-1800’s Massachusetts fought for the American Way of Life when they tried to keep their children from being marched off to compulsory school by armed troops. All of them ultimately lost.

After the Civil War, the American Way of Life continued to be virulently Protestant and anti-Catholic, but it became increasingly industrialized, which is to say, it began to be ruled by the corporation. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the small town was dying, the one-room schoolhouse was nearly dead and the corporation dominated the economy.

As Catholics streamed in from Europe, the reaction to protect the remaining aspect of the original American Way of Life was pronounced. The United States passed its first immigration quotas. After all, every country in the Western Hemisphere was Catholic, except for the United States. By the beginning of the twentieth century, the fight to preserve America’s “peculiar institution,” that is, Protestantism, was on.

The Protestants lost. In fact, they cut their own throats. During World War I, the notorious adulterer and Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, authorized the distribution of condoms to sailors. The eugenics movement he promoted, along with religious acceptance of condoms permitted by the 1930 Anglican Lambeth Conference, led to nearly virulent promotion of condom usage during WW II. The pre-war myth of the condom, taken together with the underlying fact of mass-produced antibiotics, made the “safe sex” industry a real possibility by 1944.

And that killed the Protestants. From 1973 to 1993, the Protestant majority held steady at 65%. Then, as the first children raised in a predominantly contraceptive/abortive country came of age, the Protestant percentage began to drop rapidly.

Today, less than 50% of Americans are Protestant. The United States is no longer a Protestant country.

Hope Springs Anew
But, at the same time, America has been inundated by Catholics. By 2002, 10% of the United States population was immigrant, the vast majority Catholic Hispanic.

The Minuteman Project boasts over 1000 members. The march in Los Angeles alone was one half-million strong. Unlike demonstrations of Muslim violence in Europe, America’s demonstrations have been peaceful, enormous and Catholic. The Minutemen have lost.

America as we knew it in the 1980’s and 1990’s, is dead. It will not return anymore than the America of the 1780’s will return.

Now, we should be clear. The Catholics of the United States have largely contracepted and aborted themselves out of existence right along with their Protestant brethren, for there is no significant difference between American Catholics and American Protestants in this regard. So, just as Europe will be essentially Middle-Eastern Islamic within fifty years, America will be essentially Catholic Hispanic.

European America, like Europe itself, is dead. The demographics and the immigration patterns are clear. Given the economic realities, those patterns will not change any time soon. Requiem in pace.

But who will triumph? Muslim Europe or Hispanic America? The answer to that is clear as well. We are used to buying products labeled "Made in Mexico." When was the last time you bought a product labeled "Made in Saudi Arabia"?


Ron said...

You get the award for some of the biggest statements I've ever seen in one post. I'm awed. Like your other writings you seem to have a grasp of the 'big picture' that is almost, dare I say it, prophetic, yet I'm sure you would be the first to agree that you are merely reading the signs of the times by the light of the past (so to speak).

One question? How "Catholic" are the Catholic Hispanics? And how long will they stay that way in the protestant culture they are entering. Sorry, that's two :)

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Thank you. :)

Catholic Hispanics have a wonderful and extremely faithful translation of the Mass, marvelously rich Catholic traditions and are very used to persecution for the Faith. In terms of maintaining the Faith, I think they have a much stronger likelihood of doing so than the Anglos demonstrated.

That said, no one should underestimate the absolutely corrosive nature of American capitalism. It cannot expand its market through attention to the next generation, since it encourages each generation to kill its children so that each generation spends more on itself. Thus, the only way to expand market share is through foreign trade - teaching others to kill their children, too.

So far, America has been very good at that. Can we be stopped from doing it by Catholic Hispanics? I pray that we can.

Patrick said...

Already polls are showing that the Catholic Hispanics that are 1 generation into American culture have converted to American values. With a 65% divorce rate, fewer children (so far by only 1 per family, but I see that number difference growing) and 85% contraception rate compared to their Catholic family and friends back home. Also, Latin America, not the US, has one of the fastest rates of conversion to Protestantism in the Western Hemisphere. History changes for everyone as they prosper, and not for the better. Considering that the biggest immigration issues have historically been with the asians, I'm just happy we have no ongoing major modern religious conflicts with Daoists.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

There are still reasons to hope. First, the Protestant conversion of South America, while real, is overhyped. Protestants count as converts anyone who says the sinner's prayer with them in their door-to-door ministry, and that doesn't necessarily translate into leaving the Catholic Church or the Catholic culture.

Indeed, many Protestant churches have found they need to embrace the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in order to make any headway. :)

And, while the Hispanic family is definitely under attack from the culture, I suspect that part of the problem is that Hispanics still don't control cultural content. That might change if we can get enough immigrants in here.

For my money, I am glad to see an INCREASE in illegal immigration, since this makes it more difficult for the American culture of death to assimilate the Hispanics.

KaleJ said...

Steve, as much as I enjoy your work, this piece floored me.

How is the average "illegal" immigrant Catholic? By breaking laws? By surviving off welfare of legal immigrants and citizens?

The march in LA may have had millions, but since the minutemen have jobs and families that depend on them, that is comparing apples to rotting oranges.

Yes, America has a history of anti-Catholisism, but to put your hope in criminals that desire to destroy freedom and re-conqueur America for the Marxist type is not Christian hope, but pure fantasy.

Put your faith in God and hope in those that follow His commands. There are many young Catholics (anglo or otherwise) raising large families that will rebirth this nation.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

I'll have to write a follow-up column on this, but for starters, read Tony Snow's column

According to the Magisterium, people have the right to immigrate, and immigration laws can - under certain circumstances - be morally illicit and therefore not law that needs to be respected.

Large families of faithful Catholics will help, of course, but I have zero problem with "illegal" immigrants who are Catholic. God bless 'em and I hope they bring friends.

KaleJ said...

Interesting. The Snow column puts out lots of facts and stats. Proof, but also stats can be twisted, so I am not yet convinced.

I have read and researched on the LaRaza or Reconquista stuff. I have also seen neighborhoods in WA state decimated as the illegal immigrants took over towns.

If they wish to immigrate and assimilate, great. If they wish to tear down our society, I have a problem. Not because I worship America the Great, but because true freedom is a decidedly Christian notion. One that is worth defending.

Patrick said...

As illegal immigration is today in the US is sinfully illegal - there is no question that they are stealing resources simply for personal gain. There are legal ways to immigrate into the US - that is the issue. People immigrate easily into the US from all around the country, including Mexico. To pre-suppose that these same people breaking laws to suit their needs somehow will morally change the country for the better is inherently illogical.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Are they stealing resources for personal gain? If so, how? They pay taxes on their income, and they pay into Social Security - they will never see a dime of either back in their pockets. They are getting paid a lower wage to do the jobs so they certainly aren't getting the resources in their paychecks.

In fact, people DON'T immigrate easily into the United States - not anymore. That's why we have illegals, after all. There's a great column by Linda Chavez on this point.

And they're rebuilding New Orleans. As for statistics being mis-used, that is always possible. The question is, who is mis-using them? The MSM or Tony Snow and Linda Chavez?

Patrick said...

Let's assume we can trust the government (I know - big assumption), the website Statistical Yearbooks shows a 2003 illegal household income of $28 billion in income received. It also shows a deficit for federally provided services of $10 billion. Tony Snow all but admits to this showing only 62% of illegals have income tax withheld and 64% SSI benefits. The US immigration laws that limit to only 7% for any single country has a reason to exist - social and criminal services can't ramp up because the local and state taxes are not being recouped only federal which is already underpaid as shown by Tony Snow. Yes, this is stealing no matter how you cut it.

Steve Kellmeyer said...

You assume that the $10 billion deficit in federal services is due largely or entirely to illegal immigration. I strongly doubt that.

Further, the argument cuts both ways, as one could argue that the illegals whose tax contributions are not correctly assigned to them are being stolen from. They will NEVER see the SSN, tax refunds, or unemployment they pay come back in their own pockets.

Thus, I would argue the 62% who pay into state and federal taxes, including SSN, unemployment, etc., more than compensate for the 38% that don't.

Similarly, keep in mind that 100% of illegal aliens pay sales tax, consume saleable products like food, clothing, etc., and thereby strengthen the economy through indirect jobs created by the fact that they are working here.

So, no, I don't think the illegals are stealing anything from anyone. At worst, the majority are paying for the benefits the minority receive.