Wherein Fr. Z offers a great guest rant by Dennis Prager

From a reader.

Dennis Prager is one of the smartest people raising his voice in the public square.

While I believe the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz, the US Army liberated other death camps.  That slight error does not touch on the substance of what he is saying.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. EXCHIEF says:

    He nails it! Why comes before how. If there is no good “why” there is no reason to figure out how to do anything. The “why” in this case is because God gave us a unique opportunity as a country…an opportunity we respected and took positive advantage of until the “it’s all about me” faction took over.

  2. chcrix says:

    Prager understands the problem – i.e. Wilsonian progressivism.

    He has no clue about the solution though.

    The absurdity of the current foreign policy of the United States government is manifest.

    Staying the course in Iraq is every bit as important as staying the course in Vietnam.

    We need some Jeannette Rankins with the guts to oppose the policies that have ruined this country. As Randolph Bourne said “War is the health of the State.”

  3. Legisperitus says:

    The only thing that will save the United States, or any other country, is conversion to Christ. It is the Greco-Catholic understanding of human nature and human ends that any virtuous nation must be based on. I recommend Christopher Ferrara’s new book “The Church and the Libertarian” for a deep exploration of these questions.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    My dad was part of the army which liberated Berlin in WWII. He said that the soldiers waited around for three days, smoking cigarettes and talking, waiting for the Soviet Army, which was promised part of the praise at the Yalta Conference. Roosevelt sold our exceptional-ism to the Soviets. POTUS, in his belief that Western Civilization is “whitey’s” creation, does not accept that American is better for its traditional stance on morality or freedom. He believes in violence (black liberation theology a la Wright) and in the non-nationhood of global communities under a tyranny of subjective interests (Post-Modernism). We lost the battle when the teachers’ unions and academia took over the multicultural, liberal stance in all the public schools, that American history was not to be taught, but only the history of “cultures”, redefining history as not a study of civilizations, as that would be too Christian and too European, but of every culture. Dewey, an atheist, is to blame for some of this, as the speaker pointed out correctly. Dewey’s ideas went into mainstream public education early in the 20th century, and took out any references to Christianity and the West, taking out any noblese oblige, or moral attitude toward public and private decisions.

    The age of the citizen is dead, and we have not, as educators, except for a few of us who returned to Classical Education and traditional Catholicism, created a citizenry. Prager is correct is stating that this generation does not share the same values of at least the Baby Boomers, or the Greatest Generation, and some Gen Xs. The Millenials are the first generation in the history of our country who not only have not studied American and European history in either elementary or high school, but also, who lack an understanding of any moral framework but their own, because they have been raised on relativism and subjectivity. I see this everyday in my part-time job teaching at a community college. I cannot use the normal references to things which you and I take for granted, as my students do not share even the same rhetorical or cultural references as me. They have no idea of the American experiment and could care less.

    In addition, the young people, for the most part,have had no consequences in their lives. No discipline leads to anarchy and anarchy leads to tyranny.

    A revival of Reason and Faith is the only answer, but for many young ones, who will lose their souls, it is too late.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    as I do, not as me–sorry, am in a hurry. Pray for this generation, as they are the second “lost generation” of the last 100 years, comparable to those who were young in the Roaring Twenties, between the wars, when Dewey-ism was taking over.

  6. SpokaneTrad says:

    Supertradmum, I encounter the same problems with my students…”We lost the battle when the teachers’ unions and academia took over the multicultural, liberal stance in all the public schools, that American history was not to be taught, but only the history of “cultures”. So many of these young kids are lost and I think they have the sense that they are, or that they have been sold a false bill of goods. The multi-cultural, liberal ideology has a strangle-hold here.

  7. Clinton says:

    It’s an interesting point he makes that it was the ‘greatest generation’ that won WWII yet
    subsequently failed to pass on the appreciation of American exceptionalism. The flower
    children of the 60’s and 70’s were reared by the same generation that fought and died against
    the nazis. How is it that a generation that could sacrifice so much to build up and defend
    this country could then be such a spectacular failure at transmitting their “why” to the next

    I’d also note that it was that same generation that made it through WWII that was at the helm
    for the botched implementation of Vatican II. The Church of the 60’s and 70’s wasn’t run by
    the hippies, it was run by their parent’s contemporaries. And as we see, that group was not
    able to transmit the “why” of Catholicism to the next generation.

    I don’t intend to slam an entire generation of Americans who sacrificed so much for our
    country. I merely make this observation hoping we might understand how this happened,
    and that we do not repeat this failing in the future.

  8. spesalvi23 says:

    I agree about the things he says about the democrats and the UN!

    However, as a European, I can NOT agree with the generalization of Europeans.
    I’m sorry, but there is no single ‘European’ culture (outside of religion and religious heritage), or work ethics, or way of life, or humor, or style… or anything!
    It’s actually quite infuriating for Europeans to be regarded as one, big, homogeneous mass and not considered as individual nations.
    The citizens of nations generally work their butts off and are trained from childhood to be as educated, efficient, pro-active, pressure-resistant, competitive and flexible as possible, others might have a different understanding of life – and (as mentioned by Mr. Prager) get bailed out of their failure by others.
    I do have a feeling that this concept has been stretched too much and might be on the way out.
    Solidarity grants stability – but it should not have to support irresponsibility and recklessness.
    I certainly hope that the election will go as widely predicted! Obama and his ideology-drenches policy making is simply scary!!

    Nevertheless!! The one and only force for good on this earth is NOT one individual nation!
    It’s Christ and His Church!

  9. Supertradmum says:


    I am afraid that I agree with Belloc: ?Europe is the Faith and the Faith is Europe. When Christianity, and particularly, Catholicism disappear from the public forum in Europe, there will be something else, but not Europe.

  10. Bryan Boyle says:

    While this may be a contrarian view…if we (collectively, as a nation…) have turned so far away from what should be the true center of our existence…and if we are too far gone down the road of moral relativism, perversion, and self-centered-ness…perhaps God is really letting us reap the rewards of our own wandering away from the right path.

    We do have free will (both individually and collectively). It may well be that the time of trial is upon us.

  11. Joseph says:

    Unless there is a true conversion of the heart in large numbers, the downward trend of all countries will continue. And the US are no exception. The large fault of democracies seem the be to end up eventually at the lowest common denominator, which is a suffocating in a world of stark egotism and consumerism. Unification of the Germanies was a very good illustration of it. A few good speaches here and there can be used as a scale to actually measure how far the degeneration has progressed.

  12. steve jones says:

    The guy is a fraud and just another neo-con. If the US votes GOP because of him then your country is well and truly finished.

    It’s interesting how he uses boo words and yet a lazy, corrupt, French ex-President told you these Middle-Eastern wars would be a disaster and Chirac has been proved right. “Intellectuals from Europe” ruining America. What a joke! 10 seconds on wikipedia exposes this joker. Yeah, those intellectuals were from Europe alright! LOL!

    It’s obvious what the US problem is and Russia’s Putin knows it. He is the president you need but can’t get. Yup, short of a miltary coup, you’re finished. It breaks my heart to say it but I see no way back other then by a second American revolution.

  13. Brian Day says:

    I agree with Mr Prager about 80-90% of the time. His conversations on his radio show are very well reasoned and a delight to listen to.

    @ steve jones
    Please back off the ad hominem attack and stay on topic. Thanks.

  14. Al says:

    Prager is an incredible intelligent public voice on culture, politics and especially Judeo-Christian thought. You want to watch an incredible discussion watch the following. Prager debates Rabbi Schmuley Boteach, the topic is, “The Broken American Male”? Rabbi Boteach blames bad men and father’s….Prager blames men to an extent but also blames women and does so explicity because of Feminism, gender confusion and the fact that women do not pass on to their daughters the need to control their innate feminine instincts and natures…while men still teach their sons to control their innate natures.

    Its awesome and its non-p.c and its spot on
    Check it out here…

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9098221470146656729# Skip to 5 minutes.
    There are five parts to this video if you want to watch the whole thing…


  15. muckemdanno says:

    Terrible. Does Prager think that raising his voice and sounding angry displays intelligence?
    And what is all this talk of American “exceptionalism”…America is a nation like any other, with its own particular character…just as the French, Russians, Germans, etc. It’s all a bit idolatrous, this worship of the country. [I don’t think that is an accurate description of Prager’s view.]

    Here is a great essay by the late, great Joseph Sobran on the difference between (virtuous) patriotism and (sinful) nationalism:


    To sum up, a patriot loves his country because its his country, while a nationalist loves his country only because it’s the “greatest” country. That is the reason so many “conservatives” (a.k.a. – nationalists) today have no respect for the patriotism of other peoples, such as the French. The American nationalist loves America since America is “the greatest”, but the French are foolish and wrong for loving France, because France “sucks” compared to the U.S.A. (in their mind, of course.)

    An American patriot, on the other hand, can love America and still respect the French patriot who loves France.

    “Paleo-cons” such as Joe Sobran and Pat Buchanan generally fall into the patriot category, while “Neo-cons” such as Dennis Prager and Charles Krauthammer generally fall into the nationalist category.

  16. steve jones says:


    I just said something like that and was ripped for launching an “ad hominem”. You are totally right of course and the majority of Amercans have simply no idea what is going on in their own country. Curiously, the Russian intelligentsia seem to have worked it out but not the Americans who carry on getting duped by these neo-cons.

  17. GrogSmash says:

    What is needed, in all reality, is for every one of us to start living the Fatima message. Furthermore, and in the same vein, I believe that when our Holy Father consecrates Russia (specifically) to our Dear Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Heart, the scales will be removed from everybody’s eyes, and the promised period of true peace will ensue. Until then, I’m afraid we are much like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike trying to keep our land from being overrun. Without Heavenly intervention, this is inevitable.

    Having said that, I hope that the citizens of our great country will vote FOR the people they want representing them. The days of voting AGAINST somebody, or for the “lesser of 2 evils” must end. I contend that those types of votes are the “wasted votes”, NOT the votes which are cast for a third party who “isn’t viable” or some such nonsense. Think about it; if enough people vote FOR a third party candidate, suddenly that person becomes “viable”!

  18. jflare says:

    Why did the greatest generation fail to pass on its legacy of American strength to the next generation? Because they themselves had already been taught that America herself WASN’T that great, so they didn’t have any compelling reason to teach their kids that they had a value that the Europeans couldn’t match. It’s really and truly just that simple.
    By wanting to be “in solidarity” with the world, they gave up the values that made America great.

    By the way, Mr. Jones and muckemdanno, I couldn’t disagree with you more strongly. You both make a case that essentially declares that America has about the same character as other nations, etc. I think you VERY poorly understand the situation:
    The United States, at it’s founding, ie. the ratification of the Constitution, based it’s character on a Judeo-Christian philosophy, while still allowing other ideas to continue on, mostly unharmed.
    True, we’ve failed to live up to that ideal many times, but we’ve always had a large portion of society pushing us to fulfill it.
    I’m not aware of any other “modern” nation that can claim that.
    Whether some will admit it or not, the US has usually been a greater force for good in the world than for ill.

    As I hinted above, it’s precisely because educators didn’t wish to acknowledge these concepts that America began to slip in the first place. If you don’t believe you’ve been exceptional in the first place, you’re much less likely to attempt being so now.

  19. steve jones says:

    The “greatest generation” achieved their ‘greatness’ in the eyes of many by becoming involved in foreign entanglements something the founding fathers opposed. Not only that, this very generation was duped into (as the present one is being) disputes that have nothing to do with the USA.

  20. Luke says:

    ” Not only that, this very generation was duped into (as the present one is being) disputes that have nothing to do with the USA.”

    Oil and rare-earth minerals have everything to do with the United States and her economy…and frankly…there’s no shame in that.

  21. Tom Ryan says:

    Unfortunately, he understands neither Natural Law nor Original Sin


  22. jflare says:

    Mr. Ryan,
    Did you notice that the beginning of the video listed Psychology as the course’s intent? It wasn’t a theological dissertation. I suspect he understands both Natural Law and Original Sin quite well. He certainly seems capable of understanding the difficulties that psychologists present….

  23. jlmorrell says:

    Mr. Prager, in my view, has very little to offer Catholics. He seems to be a classical liberal through and through. As with Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and other American conversatives, Catholics can only agree with him on an ad hoc basis. We will never come to an agreement on principles because their view of man and the state receives its inspiration from the Enlightenment, which is utterly opposed to the Catholic faith.

    John M.

    [This comment fails to address is what Prager said in the video I posted.]

  24. jflare says:

    Considering what I’ve seen from “Catholic” politicians–and many bishops and priests–these last two decades, I’d say our chances are better with the likes of Mr. Prager, Limbaugh, Mrs. Palin, and others.
    Apparently, telling the simple truth about what our Faith teaches and provoking people to vote accordingly..can’t be done. We might disturb people!
    Yes, I’m fairly bitter about this subject.

    I read an article on Pewsitter a few days ago in which a Frances Kissling was going ballistic that Card(sel) Burke actually challenged Catholics to vote..according to the faith’s teachings. Apparently, even though John Paul II exhorted us to live our faith most deeply and to vote accordingly, Ms. Kissling believes we ought leave our beliefs at the door, or at least leave them waiting just outside the voting booth.

    With encouragement like that from the Catholic world, I think I’ll take my chances with Ms. Palin….

  25. CM Collins says:

    To the extent Prager said we were a great country because we were made up of good and moral citizens, he is correct, and repeats the astute observations and insights of de Tocqueville, some of the founders, and many others. In that sense, Fr. Z’s posting Prager’s speech is understandable and laudable –Fr. Z, I take it, mainly wishes us to realize the value, the goodness, of that moral uprightness in this time of an election, and wishes this to inspire us, both in our political expression and our personal lives. I take that to be Fr. Z’s main point and purpose in putting up the video, and as such, it is surely valid.

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