Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Religion and Patriotism

From many sources there comes the prediction that the future will be far different from the past. Any old order or any new order, if it is to endure, must not ignore the origin, the dignity, the rights and the destiny of man. Church institutions teach and exemplify love of God, love of country, and love of fellowman. These three loves are essentials of religious doctrine, and we believe also that they are foundations of American democracy.

We know our obligations to our country. Gladly do we fulfill them and render our full contribution to the upholding and upbuilding of democracy. As loyal, patriotic, American citizens we have apprehensions of dangers to democracy, dangers from our avowed enemies beyond the confines of our land, and dangers from those within our borders whose concept of democracy is an arsenal of privileges for themselves.

This is a situation which evokes an important consideration. Before this present world war, and for some time preceding it, there were approximately 30,000 fewer French inhabitants in France each succeeding year. During the past decade in the United States the number of persons over sixty years of age has increased almost one-third, which is a great tribute to our doctors, to our scientists and our government. But what is vitally ominous is the fact that the number of children under fifteen years of age decreased and the trend is such that within the next generation there will be more people in this country over sixty years of age than there will be children under fifteen years.

This reflection and others of like import are pressingly ominous challenges to the domestic life of our nation. And they are challenges to our national life, for we cannot win the war for America if we lose the battle for the cradle!

~Francis Cardinal Spellman
The Road to Victory (1942)


  1. I remember that passage. It's quite a prescient book, isn't it?

  2. I love it. Each little chapter section is a wonderful essay-to-itself.

    I'm trying to type out one or so a day.