by Pauly Fongemie
February 3, 2014

Governor Andrew Cuomo, evincing every evidence that he is a lapsed Catholic, recently made the ominous threat to all practicing Catholics and others who are pro-life, referring to the upholding of the sanctity of life as "extreme", that they were no longer welcome in the state of New York. Besides being fatuous and arrogant, this apparent apostate has lost all sense of proportion. If being pro-life is "extreme", ought not the pro-abortion position be extreme? Only to those who have not lost their reason.

This latest liberal outburst from those who pride themselves on "tolerance", preaching it as the twelfth commandment, after abortion which is the eleventh, overriding commandment, that is, never fail to demonstrate not only their utter stupidity, but lack of tolerance, by definition. Hypocrisy is in no danger of disappearing from the scene and neither is Cuomical hubris.

This essay is not about the obtrusive hate-filled screed from Andrew Cuomo, but we mention it by way of a most fitting introduction to our piece on the lost virtue of dignity because he no longer seems to act in accord with human dignity.

As always, let us begin by defining our term, what is meant by dignity in order that we may look at the implications for the loss of this virtue and how did it occur?

Dignity comes from the Latin, dignitas, or worthiness. From this we get the adjective, dignified and the other noun, dignitary. Current cultural norms also use the term, dignity, but in a more superficial way that truly ignores the heart of the meaning of actual human dignity; contemporary American culture at large - in the aggregate - has little room if any at all for the One True God Who is our Creator, often despising those who espouse belief in God and act accordingly. Andrew Cuomo's fatwa is simply the latest glaring example.

Dignity is the inherent attribute that encompasses the human creature, made in the image and likeness [Gn 1:26-27] of his Creator, God. Man is the only embodied creature with a soul and its higher faculties of intellect, will, and reason and in the lower realm, conscience, which is the end of the interplay of the higher faculties. Man does not merely act in response to stimuli, he knows, he thinks, he is capable of making conclusions in accord with these powers.

Therefore, man, is the earthly creature who most resembles God: his human life is sacred because man himself shares in the transcendence of God as a being, destined to live forever, immortal, but not eternal. Because it is innate, permanently fixed from the beginning by God, as an intricate part of what it is to be a human being - a human person - his intrinsic dignity is inalienable and may not be subject to redefinition, no matter how much benighted persons might strive to do so in the headlong rush to engineer socialization beyond the circumscription placed there by Almighty God. Since dignity is so essential to human personhood it cannot, must not be separated from other aspects of personality.

In other words, human beings are qualitatively different from all other living creatures in the world because they are capable of knowing and loving God above all else - thus, belief in the dignity of the human person is the foundation of morality throughout the ages, including antiquity, not just since Christianity, although it is the bedrock of all Catholic social teaching; and it is certainly the underpinning of the natural law which is the law that expresses how the human person, created with dignity, is to conduct himself. All of Western culture and the nations imbued with this perspective have surpassed Eastern culture nations [which are not so suffused] in freedom and the natural rights of man as intended by Almighty God, for man was created for God alone.

We ought to pause here to consider the injustice of slavery, which even parts of Western culture endorsed and practiced. Original Sin did not cease with Western tradition and norms, for no culture can eradicate the deformed consciences of particular men. Be that it may that this evil institution was not only prevalent in Eastern cultures, but Western as well, it must be duly noted that while slavery is still found in some Eastern societies, in the West it was finally excised for the social cancer it was.

Where does our knowledge and belief in the sacred worth of every human person come from?

(1) Scripture - in the very beginning.
(2) Tradition - the use of reason and reflection, before this.
(3) Church teaching - St. Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers and Pontiffs and Synods or Councils from the very beginning.

What are the other attributes clustered within the ambit of human dignity?

A sense of purpose, knowing who and what man is and why he was created - to spend eternity with God in Heaven;

A sense of place, awareness of his order of creation and the nature of the world for his mastery and physical well-being;

Knowledge of how he is to act and what his limitations are in accord with human dignity - the moral boundaries of life or the sense of authentic personhood - in purity with humility of heart that man might grow and excel in honor, fortitude, justice, prudence, temperance, which receive their lifeblood from the three cardinal virtues of faith, hope, and love. To be worthy is to not only recognize the inalienable rights and duties of others, but of self, hence the duty to increase in the virtues as befits one who is worthy and works to provide for himself, his family, and to contribute to the good of society.

These are ultimately achieved and perfected by knowledge of God and the gifts of grace and true faith. Its origins in the human mind begin in the human family, bestowed by a loving mother and father who rightly instruct their children in all three components.

What are the implications for a loss of the authentic sense of human dignity?

Distrust and denigration of neighbor, family disintegration, amorality or "moral" anarchy, the coarsening and cheapening of the value and sacred nature of human life, social chaos, and growing tyranny instituted to "control" what can no longer be obtained through the nobility that is self-conquest through the discipline of the lower appetites and passions; the first loss, is of course, loss of belief in the One True God and the necessity of rendering Him honor, thanksgiving, and worship not only at home and in church, but in society, including government entities.

We already see ample symptoms that our social institutions are crumbling, at best anemic, and human life debased at an alarming rate. While government is increasingly incompetent, it wields more power than ever, further devaluing the dignity of each individual person since it "picks" winners and losers in a macabre game of cat and mouse with menacing - crushing - taxation and vexing regulations incomprehensible to human reason in complete violation of human dignity. Truth itself is a chief victim, for lies are but weapons to redefine Truth and normalcy - a willful contrariness even to common sense - according to those who hold sway over every facet of life, which is rendered increasingly meaningless and empty whereby the life of the soul dies slowly, particularly because the line between good and evil is blurred, sometimes so much, that in practical terms good and evil are inverted. As I write this piece we are approaching the nadir of moral gravity and common decency, for the grotesque is now celebrated, is seldom seen for what it is, a thing of revulsion. A fifteen-minute survey of the national news on any given day covering debates on various "issues" that were once not open for debate in a more lucid time when the general public had reverence for those ineluctable first things without which human dignity perishes is instructive. To even suggest that such matters could be debated would in of itself be a scandal. No more. The conceit of some men knows no limit.

How did this loss of the sanctity of all human life - its inmost worth and value - its dignity - happen? Wherein lies its origin, and how could this occur in such a great country built on the finest in Western tradition, culture and law?

Essentially it began with our Founders, ironically. Their idea of the Constitution and a balance of powers with three co-equal branches with separate spheres of action is certainly the best in history for the framework of a republic that is not of monarchical form. However, they made a fatal error that is the root of all our maladies. While the Declaration of Independence speaks of the source of all human rights - God - the Founders neglected to reiterate this in the US Constitution; the oversight was exacerbated in the First Amendment simply because they did not specify that while the federal government was not to interfere with the free exercise of religion, an inference could be drawn that it was perfectly fine for governments to be neutral, which is what would later occur. Now no government can be neutral - all of humanity, including its official organs are subject to the natural law and the rule of God. God must be officially acknowledged. To acknowledge Almighty God, His power and domain over the affairs of men is not to officially endorse a particular Church or sect, but this is what has transpired - the idea that to avoid sectarianism one must void God - so that no mention of God is to be tolerated in many public quarters; religion itself is now suspect and increasingly viewed as a threat "to democracy".

Let us once again pause to briefly examine the notion of "neutrality":

When the idea that it does not matter whether or not we publicly recognize God, His Goodness and universal reign over men, a specious form of neutrality, then not only do those who hold this view and who gain power, not only no longer remain "neutral" they eventually become hostile, per Andrew Cuomo & Company. This is a self-evident axiom of human life detached from the acknowledgment that Almighty God is the source of all authority and power. Ignore God long and loud enough, man, at your own peril. He will not be mocked, but He will not force you against your will; God is not wanted, He flees your public environs, preferring to take up His abode in the hearts and souls of those persons who recognize His right to reign, adore and follow Him and His Will to the best of their ability. These sanctified souls, known only to Him are enough grace for the time being, enough grace to permit the bare existence of a once robust, thriving moral culture. But for these, America would have already ceased to exist as America; this is true whether we are willing to admit this reality or not. I am thinking especially of the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah which were destroyed by God because there were not enough holy souls to be found therein by which God would spare them. To suggest that those who do not approve of the official endorsement of the vice of sodomy are "homophobic bigots" is the very mark of those who have placed themselves in the place of God and His indispensable mandates contained in the natural law. It is the natural law that is the very fortress of human dignity; ironically those who deny the natural law's superiority to the inferiority of man-made law, are the very ones who deny the authentic dignity to the homosexually-afflicted person who merits the truth and assistance in love to overcome his disordered attractions. In the end, inevitably as always, those who uphold the necessity of the discipline of our lower appetites and passions, will be openly discriminated against, prosecuted and even persecuted in the name of "diversity".

While government continued the pretense of "neutrality", an evolving devolution simultaneously accompanied it into the hearts of men grown hard and cold against the authority of God, in time permeating society and all its organisms, save these few holy men and women, supra. We get what we pray for in the end, or rather we should say, refuse to pray for, and thus merit our fall from grace into barbarity itself. The process was slow, and rarely noticed except by those given the grace to see. Their warnings to the nation went unheeded amidst the howls of open derision in many quarters of those who unfortunately held influence.

There are those who say, well not all of us believe in your God or any God at all, so these principles cannot be forced on us, we do not think like you do. Ever since the first rebellion of Lucifer, there have always been such creatures who have free will and exercise it to their complete ruin. In essence, we have already tried things the atheistic "neutral" way, de facto, if not de jure, and look where it has gotten us! To persist in this madness is insane and tragic beyond words to measure. When atheists and their sycophants were tolerated, but not given respectability and the power to enforce their dark vision through the law, America was a cohesive culture, that recognized our differences, without allowing the differences to triumph over the need for unity. But there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. The rejection of the rule of God over the affairs of men leads to a loss of dignity and honor and right relation, a sense of place in the economy of grace; pride and open revolt take up the slack, ending in total polarization and fracturing, unity rendered asunder. The habit of false pride is a stubborn one, difficult to break, to uproot from the human heart, especially when it is the underlying motif of public policy. At most it keeps us at an impasse, so that all progress is defined by further separation from Almighty God and His Holy Will. We are now embarked on a downhill slide in full haste from which there is no return without Divine intervention, but so few even realize this any longer. There is no such thing as "neutrality" in the face of God.

In the period that the US was established as a separate nation from England, the populace was relatively uniform and small; despite religious differences, a common purpose was widespread, the country was unified, which included morality. Education was homegrown but generally universal - 90% of those who received an education were far more literate at the elementary level than the typical college graduate is today. The republic stood in good stead because its citizens grasped the meaning and value of a republic and the responsibilities of the citizen, not only his rights. While the blight of slavery was not yet eviscerated, this would come, conferring God's grace in abundance for a few "shining hours" wherein the inherent nobility of each person would once more be recognized as such.

As the years passed and the population became diverse and clever men with a prejudicial strictly secularist agenda learned how to exploit the law to overturn the principles of the republic through verbal chicanery, etc., the supremacy of God was withdrawn, a mere trickle in the beginning as most revolutions begin, then inexorably faster and more and more. Vigilance is the price of freedom; sustained vigilance depends on the vitality, knowledge and volition of the people; when this wans, the light of a republican form of self-government dies flicker by flicker until it becomes a faint memory and alas but only to a few in the end. As God was expelled from our public life, a grave insult to Him, to Whom we owe are very lives, He accepted our perfidy and withdrew His grace in accord with our public actions.

Then in the 1970s two earth-shattering ruptures - closely connected although appearing to be distinct from one another - happened:

The infamous Roe v. Wade US Supreme Court decision that essentially vetoed the natural law in all illicitness and the Catholic Church's hierarchy's approval of the New Mass,which vetoed the law of Tradition as enunciated in Pope Pius V's bull issued in perpetuity, Quo Primum. In a singular instance, so to speak, two sacred wombs were violently assaulted within their inviolate abodes - the womb that houses the blessed tiny developing human being awaiting the time of birth, and the womb of the Sanctuary that houses the Most Blessed Eucharist, the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ under the appearance of the Host or altar bread. These frenzied disruptions were the occasions whereby God grew so angry with His creatures made in His image and likeness, that He withdrew many many graces from so ignominious a people.

It is an infallible teaching of the Catholic Faith that all grace to society comes through the Catholic Church; it is not relevant how many people of any given society recognize and or accept this truth; it is true and for all time. When the upheaval erupted, unmooring the Church from its irreplaceable Tradition, many graces were lost, graces that not only benefited the Catholic faithful, but all of society. The first rupture was the introduction of the new liturgy undertaken with the advice of Protestant clergy who had no interest in Catholic Tradition, but were its very foes. This was an utter disaster, merited by too many of the Catholic people allowing themselves to become so secularized, they adopted the practice of contraception in contradiction to the moral law. Sin not only begets sin, it dims the light of faith and the use of reason, if persisted in long enough.

Thus, when the second rupture - abortion on demand essentially - burst forth, there were not enough people of any religious belief to repel the overturning of the natural law and restore it to pride of place in our justice system. There were few if any calls for impeachment of the justices who concurred with this affront to God and the natural law basis of law itself; and there were not enough Congressmen who had the will to begin proceedings to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Both actions are constitutional and within the power of the people and their representatives.

And as it is often said, "The rest is history." Without coincidence!

Widespread acceptance of contraception [and divorce] was the door through which Satan and his minions entered into every gateway of society because:

1. Babies were viewed as burdens and less as gifts to be cherished.
2. Marriage lost its purity and integrity. Marriage is the foundation of society - corrupt marriage and everything else eventually falls apart, it is this basic.
3. The value of human life, and the meaning of personhood was diminished.
4. As divorce became more acceptable - lost its scandalous tinge - individual persons were viewed as dispensable, with children the greatest victims.
5. The end product was that children are products and that sex and gender are not unchangeable gifts for one purpose - marriage and family.
6. Ultimately good and evil were constructs that man can redefine without penalty to self and society.

The Garden of Eden redux and then some. At least Adam and Eve recognized their sin before Almighty God and tried to hide. Today man's offense is especially egregious because he no longer acknowledges sin as sin and just how heinous even the smallest sin is. Now it is "I made a mistake," not "I have sinned and ask pardon of God, pray for me."

To rename sin a mere mistake is a form of cheating, which undercuts the dignity of the human person; cheating in almost all aspects of daily life is prevalent with growing acceptance and or justification; i.e., it is less that one cheated, but who one is that counts, so that those who matter most to those in society who make such judgments their priority, are permitted a pass, with but lesser mortals to pay the price of sin - their own and others.

This is why impurity and obscenity are rife; why we are blind to the cesspool we are submerged in; why the more we try to succeed at this and that we fail, to our confoundment. Man has surrendered his dignity, his very humanity to impiety born of a toleration of blasphemy. When God ceases in the minds of men to have supreme worth, supreme dignity and majesty, of what avail is any claim to his own, which is completely dependent on that of God?

Cheating and lying - marks of dishonor- are just two symptoms that America is on a mission to self-destruct - conquered from within, not without. Once a sense of duty and honor recede, all the other virtues, which are interdependent on and with one another, lapse also. Man no longer grasps the urgency of his fallen condition, so inured to dishonor is he. We only have to look at the men and women we place in power to our own detriment, and even aware of this, we continue with the trajectory. This is madness, an actual "death" wish. And our rulers - I use this term pointedly - concur and take advantage of our self-induced weakness, for who ultimately will remain in enough numbers to challenge them?

Each scandal of the Obama regime is prima facie evidence.

This is our just chastisement from God. Obama did not cause our downfall, he and his henchmen exploit our sorry condition as such rogues are wont to do. If we cannot expel the abomination of abortion, the willful murder of innocent children, etc., from our very "national soul", how to exterminate the likes of extreme statists who seize more and more power without interruption?

No, my brothers and sisters, my neighbors and fellow citizens, until we are willing to take a hard, honest look at out plight and its roots, we will only be spinning our wheels with one advance forward and two steps back, the punishment of a recalcitrant, obdurate people, who think they can pay lip service to Almighty God and His right to reign over the affairs of men, private, and public, without serious consequences.

And the Catholic Church? Until Her apostate bishops seek conversion, her faithful but weak bishops rediscover fortitude, until they all insist that the Holy See effect the Consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart and once again restore Tradition, the heart of the Church back to Her "heart and soul" will we receive enough grace from God that will grace the nations which have fallen so far. Then and only then, will God "shed his grace" upon us "from sea to shining sea."

My Catholic brothers and sisters, if you have as yet not made the Five First Saturdays of Reparation as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, begin now. Until enough of the faithful have done so, will the Pontiff receive the light of grace to obey Our Lady, who said that the Consecration would be done, but "that it would be done late ...."

It is already past midnight, please, I beseech you all, pray and when you can sign petitions to Rome for the Consecration.

And for all Americans, Catholic or not, this is my third exhortation, which I write with tears in my eyes and anguish in my heart. With God all things are possible, without Him, there is only nothing ...


The font used in the banner is an old world type face where the letter y appears as an elongated n: the banner, Dignity, is not misspelled.