Shades of Marion Coatsworth Hay!

Stop The Presses!  Stop The Presses!  This just in!

From Newsmax:

Daughters of the American Revolution Ban Mentions of Jesus

The Daughters of the American Revolution has sparked a civil war in its ranks by removing any mention of Jesus Christ in its official book, as well as prayers and poems with Christian imagery, Fox News reports.

In addition, members are allegedly being told to refrain from praying in the name of Christ.

[…]

These gals take themselves waaaay too seriously.

This reminds me of a scene from The West Wing:

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34 Responses to Shades of Marion Coatsworth Hay!

  1. Gaetano says:

    Given that one of the first acts of the American Revolution was Ethan Allan’s demand that Ft. Ticonderoga surrender “In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!”, this news is somewhat embarassing.

  2. Martha in SD says:

    I am happy to report that these are false statements. My grandmother was and currently my cousin is a DAR member. Neither are Catholic but nonetheless Christian. I don’t really like the DAR, but found this post to be unbelievable so I went to their website to find out for myself. Here is a link.
    http://www.dar.org/natsociety/content.cfm?ID=1648&hd=n

  3. Andy Lucy says:

    The local chapters have simply refused to use the modified books, and retain the older set that have not been polluted with modern claptrap. The SAR has had the same kinds of run-ins with their central governing body. My wife qualifies for DAR membership as her 5x grandfather was a Continental sapper at Yorktown, but she feels that she is too young to join. Un her defence, the average age of the local members would seem to be well north of 70. I am not eligible for SAR membership, as most of my ancestors missed the first two parties, in 1775 and in 1812, but managed to show up in time for the big house party in 1861.

    Seriously, though… yes, these ladies can be a bit self-absorbed, but they allowed this broke country boy to attend college via a scholarship… and for that I can never thank them enough.

  4. jflare says:

    Not sure I know what to think on this item. I am, regrettably, inclined to be pretty pessimistic.
    I would like to think that the DAR would never even consider removing references to God from any of their literature of any variety. Unfortunately, I followed Fr’s link to Newsmax and read the DAR’s statement on the matter. It’s not exactly convincing to me.

    It essentially reads like the usual bit of drivel in which an organization demonstrates how they aren’t doing X, all the while doing X in every practical or meaningful way.

    That whole statement that essentially says “Well, we aren’t ALL Christians, so we’re going to allow SOME of our members to summarily dismiss the entire notion of Christ” scares me. I’ve heard more or less that same kind of mentality before, in the Boy Scouts.
    When they think they’re being “inclusive”, they’re demonstrating that they’re willing to abandon their core principles.

    BTW, Andy, who’re the SAR?

  5. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Such a pity that pretty much all the really caring, intelligent and committed people in government are characters on that show…

  6. HoyaGirl says:

    I’m a member, and I also can confirm the report is false. Here’s an email I received explaining the situation:

    Dear Members,

    NSDAR is disappointed to learn that false and incorrect information has recently been circulated regarding the 2011 edition of the DAR Ritual and Missal and the use of the name Jesus Christ in prayers and other ceremonial events of the National Society. The purpose of this message is to clarify NSDAR’s position on the matter for anyone who has not previously viewed the blogs written by President General Merry Ann T. Wright.

    First, the question was posed by a national media group that if the motto of DAR is God, Home and Country, then “…why is DAR taking out references to God…” in its printed material. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as currently written, the 113 page Ritual and Missal contains over 300 references to “Almighty God,” “Great God our King” (America hymn), “Our Heavenly Father,” “Heavenly Father,” “God of Hosts,” “God,” “Lord,” “Eternal God,” “Your Holy Spirit,” “Lord your God,” “Gracious Lord,” “Almighty and Everlasting God,” “Gracious Father,” and similar variations.

    Second, the allegation has been leveled that Chaplains and others have been told not to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Again, this is an absolute falsehood. Each Chaplain and other officers are strongly encouraged to create their own prayers into which they may insert the name of Jesus Christ as deemed appropriate for the occasion and the audience. This is what the President General wrote in her blog of April 10, 2012 when questions about the change to the Ritual and Missal first arose:

    The Executive Officers believe that the new Ritual and Missal can be used by members of any faith, substituting words as they wish, changing the prayers to suit the needs of the meeting in which they are being used. At our Executive meetings, knowing that we are all Christian, we pray in the Name of Jesus. When those are present whose faith is unknown, we pray in God’s name. However, we all recognize that when Christians pray in God’s name we are, indeed, praying in Christ’s name because the Christian faith believes in the Trinity of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We also understand that our Jewish members know God as Jehovah or Yahweh, Muslim members use the name Allah for God and there are those whose spirituality may have a still different higher power or none at all.

    We have in no way mandated that one must or must not use the name of Jesus Christ in the prayers. In our DAR rituals, prayers are included. Most of the prayers begin with “Our Father” or “Almighty God” and end “in Your Holy Name.” Christ’s prayer, known as The Lord’s Prayer, the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, Easter and Passover prayers and prayers for other religious observances are included.

    The above passage also addresses the last major falsehood: that the name of Christ has been totally removed from the Ritual and Missal. That simply is not the case.

    In promoting the importance of freedom of religion upon which our country was founded, our Founding Fathers intended for all religions and not one specific faith to be allowed and respected. The Constitution of the United States of America is clear on this issue as are many of the letters and writings of these great leaders. It was in spirit of our Founding Fathers desire for freedom of religion that the most recent changes to the Ritual and Missal were made. For those wishing to access prayers, songs, poems, etc. from past Rituals and Missals, they have all previously been posted to the website and are available for use by all members at: Forms & Publications – Ritual and Missal http://members.dar.org/publ_forms/?List=Rit_and_Miss

    To view previous communications from the President General regarding revisions to the Ritual and Missal, please view the following:

    DAR Ritual and Missal 4/10/12 http://blog.dar.org/2012/04/10/dar-ritual-and-missal/

    Ritual and Missal Follow-up 5/11/12 http://blog.dar.org/2012/05/11/ritual-and-missal-follow-up/

    Rituals and Missals Now Available Online 10/10/12 http://blog.dar.org/2012/10/10/rituals-and-missals-now-available-online/

  7. AnAmericanMother says:

    Martha in SD,
    The statement you posted is a weasel (i.e. a deflection from the accusation).
    Accusation: You have removed the name of Jesus.
    Response: We want to be inclusive (deflection no. 1). We mention God a lot (deflection no. 2). We include prayers that are Christian in origin (deflection no. 3).
    Notice that they never deny the accusation. In fact, deflection no. 1 is a tacit admission that the accusation is true, as well as an attempt at justification.
    This is something a p.r. flack dreamed up to cover his posterior after selling the notion that being “inclusive” would attract more members to this very elderly organization.
    I attended a couple of meetings since I have 5 RAs. At the time, I was about 45 years old and I could have given anybody else in the room 20 years.
    Besides, their speaker (some equally graying professor from some local junior college) was supposed to talk about the Constitution, and took the opportunity to preach gun control. In the South. Way to attract new members . . . not.

  8. Jon says:

    In 1975-76, when I was in 8th grade, I won a DAR Bicentennial essay contest. I got to attend a Victorian tea, and read my work aloud to the sweet little blue hairs. My paper was all about Communist infiltration of the culture. I must say young Joe McCarthy couldn’t have done a better job. They gave me a medal, which my mother still treasures in the same cedar box with my graduation tassel and baby boots.

    Ah, the good ol’ days!

  9. James Joseph says:

    In New England we have an expression about stupid people who think themselves bigger, sometimes because they attended Philips, Andover, or Groton.

    “…And the light dawns on Marblehead.”

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    The D.A.R.lings chatter like starlings,
    Telling their ancestors’ names,
    While grimly aloof, with looks of reproof,
    Sit the Colonial Dames.
    And the Cincinnati, all merry and chatty,
    Dangle their badges and pendants,
    But haughty and proud, apart from the crowd,
    Brood the Mayflower Descendants.
    -Arthur Guiterman (whose “The Laughing Muse” is pretty darned funny. I have my grandfather’s copy).

  11. PostCatholic says:

    Many of the American Revolutionary fathers these Daughters are descended from didn’t pray in the name of Christ either.

  12. wmeyer says:

    My mother was always amused by the D.A.R. Though she could have been a member, she observed that there are plenty of ancestors to whom one might better not lay claim.

  13. The Sicilian Woman says:

    jflare: SAR = Sons of the American Revolution, counterpart to DAR.

  14. jflare says:

    “Many of the American Revolutionary fathers these Daughters are descended from didn’t pray in the name of Christ either.”

    Many more DID.
    Alleged cultural elites may be surprised by this, but we aren’t required to change our habits to satisfy an “offended” minority.

  15. RJHighland says:

    Many founders of our Country wereMason’s and the God at the center of their belief structure is a refered to as god but I don’t believe he is our God I believe their God is a created being that wants to be worshipped like God the Father almighty. So when they take out our Lord and savior Jesus Christ from their prayer they are denying the Trinity and their goal is to gain acceptance of the idea of the many pathes to the the one true God. Those many paths I am afraid don’t lead to the One Most High God but to the fallen angel that would like the world to worship him. The path to our Lord is narrow and not well traveled and it is but a single path that must go through our Savior Jesus Christ.

  16. AnAmericanMother says:

    @postcatholic:
    “Many”? Well . . . as far as their private beliefs go, maybe a few, but almost all adhered to the outward forms of Christianity.
    Jefferson seems to have rejected the divinity of Christ, while keeping the principles of the Gospels. But he attended church, was a member of the vestry at his Anglican parish, and financially supported the church and church charities. The fact that Jefferson was attacked incessantly and viciously in the press as an “infidel” shows just how out of the mainstream his moderately skeptical Deism really was.
    Franklin said he “entertained some doubts as to his [Christ’s] Divinity” but he likewise was a lifelong church member.
    Just about everybody else was a member of the leading church of their region (Congregationalist in N.E., Presbyterian in N.J. and N.C., Anglican/Episcopalian in the Tidewater and Southern coast, Quaker in PA and Catholic in MD).
    So whatever their private doubts, they all prayed in the name of Christ, whether they “meant it” or not is beyond our ability to know.

  17. MichaelJ says:

    Setting aside all questions of credibilityor sincerity, I do not see how the “Message Regarding NSDAR Ritual and Missal” referenced by MarthainSD or posted by HoyaGirl can be considered “weasely” or evasive. The response – as written – to the two accusations seems pretty direct to me.
    Others likely have superior insight about the organization itself and how it acts or will likely act, but the two accusations were direcly denied.

  18. aladextra says:

    In other news, Daughters of the Confederacy doing just fine.

  19. AnAmericanMother says:

    MichaelJ,
    In such cases, it’s always best to go and look at the evidence.
    The previous (2008) edition included dozens of prayers and benedictions “through Jesus Christ, Our Lord” or “in Christ’s name we pray.”
    The current (2011) edition mentions Christ at all ONLY in the context of optional “religious observance” prayers for Christmas and Easter, which are each identified as “a Christian celebration” – no other mention of Jesus or Christ at all.
    Despite all efforts at obfuscation, that is a major change, relegating Christianity to “optional” status as simply one of many possible “religious observances”.
    So the accusations are true by reference to the documents themselves, and the responses are deflections, not denials. I suspected this from the language of the press release, but now I’ve confirmed it from the actual evidence.

  20. catholicmidwest says:

    Catholics need to learn to make common cause, informal if necessary, with the elements of this society that are not enemies. We have a bad habit of making the better into the enemy of the best, and risk losing to the bad, as a result.

    Ben Franklin once said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Ben Franklin is no hero of mine as he was a bit of a scalawag, but as a matter of practicality, necessary because we physically live in this world, I think this is right.

    Should we be fussy about this sometimes, yes, but for real reasons that we can define. Just dissing everyone who isn’t pure while overlooking all those in our ranks who aren’t with us, and that’s many, is a bad idea.

  21. jflare says:

    MichaelJ,
    For all that they seem to directly address concerns, I think a quick check of context might be worthwhile. As I understand it, the DAR has been around since the 1890’s or so. They’re now in the vicinity of 120 years old. Yet according to their statement, “It was in spirit of our Founding Fathers desire for freedom of religion that the most recent changes to the Ritual and Missal were made.”

    Do they mean to imply that the ladies who founded the organization got it wrong somehow?
    I find that more than a little tough to believe.

    It sounds like a VERY typical method of declaring your fidelity to your organizational traditions while you throw those very same traditions out the window.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  22. catholicmidwest says:

    Which is to say, if you have a martyrdom complex, you’d better make sure you identify preciselywhat it is you’re willing to exercise it over. Otherwise you could get a personal surprise.

  23. Laura98 says:

    I’m with wmeyer on this one! Yep.. I could be a member if I wanted. Have the proper blue-blood. But then, I probably shouldn’t mention the family members who high-tailed it to Canada, or the ones who may or may not have been involved in a few shady land dealings and bank scams, or Indian massacres, or parts of the family who came later with the un-washed masses through Ellis Island.

  24. wmeyer says:

    Laura98: Yeah, and the folks who were on the Mayflower were not all heroes, either. ;)

  25. jflare says:

    catholicmidwest, I’m not actually following what you intend to declare with these comments.
    If you’re thinking that some of us are going way overboard with our reaction to this, we’d be well advised to remember that most of the populace of this nation had no particular problem with a generally Judeo-Christian philosophy as the prevailing norm governing society. ..Until about 1955, when the Court suddenly “discovered” that school prayer didn’t mesh with the Constitution. ..And various other efforts have gone on in the past 50 years or so, generally attempting to rend the nation’s practices from what the People have actually tended to do. All because some progressive insists that the nation..has never been religious.

    Martyrdom complex? I have rather wondered if this nation has enough commonality remaining to hold together. That the DAR would question their own apparent founding principles–or those of the nation–strikes me as a tragic turn of events.

  26. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    In the spirit of AnAmerican Mother’s Guiterman quotation, may I point out how long the DAR have been a subject of (more or less gentle) satirical fun by reference to Grant Wood’s 1932 painting (viewable via the Cincinnati Art Museum site)?

    More seriously, this is a sad development! (As an aside, I would be fascinated to know the genealogy of the “Muslim members” – unless it only means Daughters who are converts (or scions of post-Revolutionary converts) to Islam.)

    catholicmidwest (aptly or not) got me thinking about Chesterton’s The Ball and the Cross…

  27. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    RJHighland’s comment reminded me of the thoughtful (and so far as I know, orthodox – however variously deplorably sinful) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart having no problems with being a Mason – though if I am not mistaken the Lodge of which he was a member was one of those co-opted by the anything-but-orthodox Illuminati (the real, historical ones!) who wanted to recruit outer grades who had no idea what was really going on at the deeper, inner levels… So, perhaps the conclusion is one can never be too careful…

  28. catholicmidwest says:

    jflare,

    I am saying precisely that this reaction is overboard, yes. I am also saying that Catholics have a reflex against everything that “isn’t them,” and it’s often misplaced, almost tribal in character and motivation. I am also saying that running on this kind of sheer gut-reaction isn’t particularly intelligent or, for that matter, Catholic. [This claim of yours is, I think, both wrong and increasingly annoying.] Catholicism isn’t that kind of thing–reason is not contrary to it, nor is prudence.

    I see Catholics making all kinds of nebulous, non-specific “fluffy” statements about their emotions, and a lot of vociferous finger-pointing, but very little in the way of problem-solving or analysis of these situations on a lot of levels (HHS mandate, petition on the website, etc). This, regardless of the fact that there are genuine reasons why these things have happened, they are partially our fault, and there is quite a bit of research about the condition of the Church which most Catholics not only don’t realize, but flat-out deny. This concerns me. Communication is terrible in the Catholic Church, and ignorance is rife. It’s quite unnerving.

  29. catholicmidwest says:

    Venerator,
    I can assure you that the DAR is not the womens’ branch of the Masons. That would be the Eastern Star, something ENTIRELY different.

  30. AnAmericanMother says:

    Venerator,
    Yes indeed!
    Daughters of the Revolution
    Grant Wood’s a whole lot more than “American Gothic”. I like “Parson Weems’ Fable” the best.

  31. Johnno says:

    catholicmidwest

    I get what you’re saying, but your attitude of tolerating the times is a slow poison that will only offer temporary relief, but ultimately kill you.

    It’s time to either forcibly cure these infections, which is what putting pressure on this decision by the DotR is to get back to acknowledging its Christian roots. And if they will not, then we should amputate them completely. If you are not for Christ you are against Him. Period. Don’t let these PR responses delude you into thinking they’re actually trying to be ‘diverse’ or ‘accomodating’ or whatever… The purpose is CHIEFLY it is to eliminate Christ from the culture. Period. Don’t be suckered into thinking otherwise.

  32. jflare says:

    catholicmidwest,
    This last comment truly does have me..flummoxed. In particular, I’m puzzled by your concerns about being emotional or tribal-prone. I’ll readily grant that taking things out of context DOES pose a particular “occupational hazard” of human existence, but I’m not following how we’ve taken things overboard. I haven’t declared the DAR to be abandoning their roots wholesale or betraying the nation. Rather, I’m noticing that the facts support the idea that they’ve changed something that could be a problem in the future. In particular, I’ve seen the language about “being inclusive” before; rarely does such a frame of mind lead to a positive conclusion.

    As far as being tribal goes, I’m having a tough time understanding what my view SHOULD be. I’m gender-ineligible for the DAR; I suspect I’m ancestrally ineligible for the SAR. Interestingly, I may also be spiritually ineligible for both.
    If they are, indeed, Daughters and Sons of the Revolution, they very likely hold fast to various Protestant ideas about faith. I would love to pray with them or work with them for the betterment of the community. Regrettably, I must be on guard against taking on ideas that’re incompatible with Catholic faith.
    As an analogy, I have no real regrets about what I did as a Boy Scout or a volunteer adult leader for the same. Even so, I don’t know if I’ll be intellectually or spiritually willing to volunteer with a Troop, District, or Council again, even if I ultimately can free my weekends. I think well of what I did with my Scouting efforts. Unfortunately, even before I earned my Eagle, I began discerning..spiritual shortfalls..in the Scouting program.
    I would like to see something better for young men and young women in the future. It’s not so much that the BSA or GSA intend neglect, so much as it is..coming from Protestant roots, they may be unaware of, or in some cases hostile to, a more in-depth presentation and practice of the faith.

    I see much the same moral/spiritual conundrum being a potential problem for the DAR. Especially if they ARE changing their materials or instructions–even subtlely–they may be losing some of what they hold dear now.
    Bear in mind, Catholic faith, Protestant faith, Jewish faith, heck even Islamic faith, many of these faiths have similar original roots. They do not, however, come to the same conclusions. They are not necessarily compatible with each other without abandoning key ideals of each. Other “faith” traditions–Wicca, for example–have other roots that may be even less compatible with their traditional understandings of themselves.

    If I’m being tribal, it’s mostly because..I truly don’t feel I have any functional alternative. Not without abandoning my own beliefs, ideals, and judgement.

    I wish it were different.

  33. jflare says:

    Huh. Well now don’t THAT beat all. Due to having this conversation ’bout this time, and having a need to call my mother for her birthday, I happened to ask about my ancestors’ arrivals here in the ‘States. She’s the genealogist of the family, you see. Seems that most of my ancestors arrived here between 1850 and 18564, but one bunch arrived some 3 or 4 generations before our Revolution!
    I also learned that, in spite of Mom, herself, and her father having grown up Methodist, that HER grandfather grew up a Quaker. ..But also had some involvement with the Jesus Christ Scientists as well.
    No wonder my grandparents were a bit miffed when Mom married Dad: A generation before, one of my ancestors had a choice of Methodism, Catholicism, and..Lutheranism? I don’t remember seeing a Lutheran church in that town, but it’s been a goodly long time. ..Although, come to think of it, there IS a building for a church on the other corner by my grandparents’ home–or what used to be my grandparents’ home. Next time I’m up there, I’ll need to look at what faith that aimed to be.
    So about three generations back, somebody chose Methodism over Catholicism in Mom’s family. Then Mom married a Catholic. ..After my aunt–Mom’s sister– had married another Catholic.

    Oh my, what a mess!

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    catholicmidwest: thanks! I did not think they were! I do not know enough about the Eastern Star to have an opinion, but I wonder if the DAR have any rules addressing ‘female Masonic membership’? I can’t even remember what place, if any, women had in the Lodge-hijacking plans of Weishaupt & co. – time to crack the books again!