"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Irish in 19th Century America

In this year, marking the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of that cataclysm known locally as the Late Unpleasantness, I offer this Friday reflection on the role of the Irish in the war. Many Irish immigrants, fresh off the boats from Ireland in the aftermath of the great famine, and their impoverished brethren already here, were pressed into service with the Union army. The Federal government went so far as to attempt direct recruiting efforts in Ireland itself.
The Irish had suffered from discrimination, and outright persecution in New York, Boston, and other northern cities in the years leading up to the war. Their relationship with the Yankee Republic had always been a tense one. In the war against Mexico some Irish in the U.S. army questioned the whole enterprise of Protestant Manifest Destiny at the expense of Catholic Mexico, and defected to form the San Patricio Battalion:

But most Irish sought to assimilate, and hoped that service for the Union would establish their patriotic bona fides. During the war, the Irish contingents were often thrown into hopeless attacks, from the slopes of Marye's Heights in Fredericksburg, to the Sunken Lane at Antietam. As the war dragged on, many Irish became disillusioned with the role they were asked to play in it. The institution of the draft helped stoke the fires of disillusionment, as many impoverished Irish saw it as discriminatory against the poor, since a man could buy out of the draft with a $300 payment. It is not surprising, then, that a young Irishman might have these sentiments:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Executed: Convicted Killer Who Killed in Prison

Ohio executes yet another killer the state could not "render harmless" by imprionment:

A man was executed Tuesday for beating and stomping to death a fellow jail inmate days after the two had argued over what to watch on television.

Clarence Carter, 49, died at 10:25 a.m. at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility. He was the second inmate killed using the surgical sedative pentobarbital as a stand-alone execution drug. Carter, who was waiting to be sentenced for aggravated murder in 1988 when he attacked Johnny Allen Jr., looked to see if any of Allen's family members were present. Seeing none, he still delivered an apology.

[...] Allen died two weeks after the December 1988 beating in the Hamilton County jail in Cincinnati. Investigators said Carter punched, choked, kicked and stomped on Allen for a half-hour period, periodically stopping to mop blood from his sneakers. Witnesses said Carter had punched Allen in the eye earlier in the month when one of the men changed a TV channel. Allen was being held on a theft charge. Carter was in the jail waiting to be sentenced on a prior conviction of aggravated murder in the death of Michael Hadnot.

(from the AP) So again I ask the U.S.C.C.B.: just what are these means that society possesses for rendering murdering offenders harmless short of capital punishment?

Friday, April 01, 2011

Viva Cristo Rey

Interesting movie coming soon about the Cristero uprising against the Masonic, Communist Mexican government of the 1920's. I've posted about them before.

Sadly, Woodrow Wilson, who had begun Mexico on this path by helping install and then support a series of more or less revolutionary and anti-Catholic governments, turned a wilfull blind eye to the plight of Mexico's Catholics.

Perhaps even more sadly, the Church, in attempting to conciliate with the revolutionary government of Plutarco Calles, pulled the rug from under the Catholic rebels, ordering them to cease hostilites. They were obedient sons of the Church, and complied, whereupon some 6,000 of them were summarily slaughtered by the government. Nevertheless, these brave men, peasants and small landowners and shopkeepers, had fought valiantly for the Faith, and for religious freedom. Like so many more in other times and places in the 20th century, they suffered and died at the hands of a secularist, Godless, totalitarian state.

The struggle of the Cristeros has relevancy still.