Monday, November 26, 2012

Liberty, the God That Failed

I spent the past weekend in the Carolinas visiting friends, including a fellow royalist with whom I'd celebrated the Diamond Jubilee in London in June.  It was a wonderful trip all around, but what I want to post about here is the book I finished reading on the airplane, Christopher Ferrara's monumental Liberty, the God That Failed: Policing the Sacred and Constructing the Myths of the Secular State, from Locke to Obama.  Mr. Ferrara, a traditional Catholic lawyer and scholar with whom I have periodically corresponded for years, delivers a substantial and eloquent Catholic approach to American history, skewering the myths of Left and "Right" with equal clarity.  While uncompromisingly Catholic, his thoughtful and fair-minded approach makes his subject compelling to readers of other religious beliefs as well, perhaps especially Anglicans since he has no problem siding with the Anglican British Crown against radical Protestants and Deists.  

Of particular interest to American monarchists will be his thorough demolition of the American Revolution, which he shows beyond any reasonable doubt to have been unjust and hypocritical from the beginning, resulting immediately (and not only in the 20th century as imagined by some American conservatives) in a government far more oppressive than that of King George III had ever been.  While I of course already held Tory/Loyalist convictions, it was pleasing (if also infuriating, since there is not much we can do about the Revolution now) to see them confirmed and bolstered with copious citations and evidence.  Mr. Ferrara meticulously avoids the possibility of being accused of anachronistically judging the past by present-day standards by frequently citing sources from the periods he discusses that confirm his points.  Whether you share Mr. Ferrara's Catholic or even Christian beliefs or not, I highly recommend this book.  Those who already oppose the American Revolution will be invigorated with new ammunition, and those who cling to the myth that it was in any way "conservative" or compatible with Christian teaching will profit from having their illusions shattered, however uncomfortable that process may be.

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