Friday, November 11, 2005

Three from LRC

The dark heart of Dick Cheney

Get that thing out of church!

Reminds me of the rarity of the Union Jack in the UK (a more Catholic symbol than the Stars and Stripes), which you never see in church except in some places in the cantons of regimental flags and over the coffin at military or veterans’ funerals.
Can a Christian church give precedence to a national symbol over a church symbol? It seems that many churches do.
On the generic Protestant flag (‘the Christian flag’) favoured by Free Church people in the States:
The Christian flag itself has problems, however. According to the Rev. William Schmelder, a distinguished Lutheran (Missouri Synod) pastor and professor emeritus at Concordia Seminary, the Christian flag:
has no tradition of the church behind it. In fact, it violates much of what anyone knows of ecclesiastical heraldry. It seems to be the design of one man, who both drew it and profits from it. He or his heirs still get a royalty on every one sold. People seem to think that you need something to balance the U.S. flag on the other side, so you have a Christian flag.
American RCs often use the national flag of the Holy See similarly as though it were ‘the Catholic Church flag’, which isn’t really bad but no-one else does.

And:
Christians should indeed give honor to civil authorities, but never in a way that detracts from the honor that we give to God.

Neither should we give any indication that the church is attached to any one nation. The church is a catholic or universal church, required to cross national boundaries (Matthew 28:19), and no one nation has a special claim on it.
Or why the Soviets hated the Ukrainian Catholic Church so much, not because it was Galician (the USSR stole Galicia from Poland during World War II) but rather because it was Catholic.
What will a citizen of a foreign country think when visiting an American church, when he sees symbolic indications that Christianity is identified with the United States?
Taking God’s name in vain.*

Price controls don’t work
Never have, says Thomas DiLorenzo

*In Why Rome Selden Delany described an apparent exception to the no-Union Jack rule, aboard ocean liners back in the 1920s when they were the mode of transatlantic travel: the biggest symbols used in the Sunday service were the US and UK flags!

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