PODCAzT 147: Fulton Sheen on Patriotism

Sheen on RadioAt The Catholic Thing I saw excerpts of a piece by Fulton Sheen on Patriotism. As I have done in the past, I’ll read the whole thing for  you.  Recently, I read for you his essay on how we have to be intolerant (yes, you read that right).  HERE

Sheen spoke out this essay on his radio program the The Catholic Hour on 20 February 1938.

My interest today, on this Independence Day 2016, the 4th of July, is to  hear Sheen’s thoughts on Patriotism and to see how they impact us today, in our present circumstances.  I think there are some parallels.

Furthermore, today we are revving up for the true battle against the major threat of our day (other than the stupidity deepening with the help of public education and other than the twisting of morals with social “gender” re-engineering, which is from Hell), that is, Islamic Terror Jihad.  I am reading Sebastian Gorka’s book right now.  Sheen’s essay was in interesting counterpoise (a little ham radio jargon for you there).

How do we fight this threat?   We need to take pages from our past.

As usual I try to give some historic context (with audio cues), and I prime you for what to listen for.  I rant a little, too.

BTW… years later Sheen would talk about “Patriotism” on his TV show in an episode called “Quo Vadis, America?”

Quo vadis, indeed.

And also… The Glory of Being an American

Happy Independence Day 2016!


As part of my own Independence Day observance (quiet… at home), I watched a couple movies.

First, I saw Coming Home, a Chinese movie directed by a favorite of mine Zhang Yimou with the incomparable Gong Li.

This epitomizes poignant.  If there was ever a movie about charity, sacrifice, in the context of MARRIAGE, it is this.  It is beautifully upliftingly sad.

What better way to celebrate our hard won freedom than to watch something about the breaking of a woman’s mind because the Cultural Revolution (et al.), and the decades long diligence of the man who loves her.

Next, on this We are Not Canada Day, I saw Patriot with Mel Gibson.  Here you find some great scenes that capture the era… in spite of a few historical infelicities.   For my friends across the water, think… BREXIT.

And I am following JUNO!


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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I also saw this piece and was amazed at how timeless it is; it could easily have been written today. The only part that strikes me as being dated is the reference to how important we consider Catholic schools; today, we are closing them left and right, and those who do send their children to what Catholic schools remain often do it because they want a better secular education for them, not a better religious education. This is evidenced, sadly, by the high numbers of non-Catholics who attend Catholic schools.

    Otherwise, it’s just a masterpiece, and I am happy to have read last week that there may be progress on the canonization of the Venerable Archbishop.

  2. jameeka says:

    Thank you, Father Z—I’m sure that took a little work to put that amalgam together! Venerable Sheen is so refreshingly logical, gifted in rhetoric—and he seemed then to trust in the “innate common sense” of the American people. Not sure we can do that anymore—we need another Sheen today, yet this podcaZt is a worthy alternative.
    I would be very interested to see how previous strategies against Communism/Fascism could be used successfully against global Jihad terrorism. Isolating and naming the menace is a start. Sheen was good at cutting through the euphemisms and the BS, and showing the stark contrast between the Truth and the Lie.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    This is great. Thanks Fr. Z for the intro and finale also. I’m two essays into Old Errors and New Labels, well worth the read.

    Thought I’d add that there is an article at the Register saying Korean War military chaplain Fr. Emil Kapaun is closer to sainthood. (The article also said that Fr. Kapaun’s pipe was shot out of his mouth several times by the Commies- these military chaplains are great.)

  4. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    jameeka says, “I would be very interested to see how previous strategies against Communism/Fascism could be used successfully against global Jihad terrorism.” So would I!

    The Jesuit writer, Daniel A. Lord, gives a fascinating period glimpse in his detective story, Murder in the Sacristy, with Communist and German-American Bund characters among the suspects. (There is a free audiobook version at LibriVox.org, which someone has transcribed by ear and put in the Internet Archive.)

    Trying to look into the German-American Bund a bit more, I ran into the astonishing history of the Democratic Party U.S. Congressman (and later New York Supreme Court Justice), Samuel Dickstein, who was Chairman on the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization from 1931-45, who in 1934 introduced a resolution for forming, and became Vice-Chairman of, the Special Committee on Un-American Activities, to investigate and eradicate Nazis and fascists, and who, from at least 1937-40 was a Soviet spy on the NKVD payroll, where his handlers code-named him, “Crook”, because he did things like tell immigrants the quota for their country of origin was full, but if they’d give him the relevant thousands of dollars, he’d see what he could do for them. The NKVD memo on him said he was “heading a criminal gang that was involved in shady businesses, selling passports, illegal smuggling of people, [and] getting citizenship.” (Or so we read in his Wikipedia article.)

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