Mass Distractions

Every year just prior to the beginning of the new U.S. Supreme Court term, the ceremony known as the Red Mass is played out in Washington D.C. in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.  And naturally the Catholic Diocese sends out invitations to the President, Vice President, the Supreme Court justices, and any other dignitaries that the church hopes to influence.

The Red Mass, first conducted in the early 1950s, is so-called because the officiating clergy wear red vestments to conduct the mass.  In that early 1950s timeframe the Catholic bishops were frothing at the mouth over the Supreme Court which, in 1947, had ruled unanimously in support of the clear separation of church and state.  (The case was Everson v. Board of Education.)  In addition, in 1948, the Catholic bishops had waxed indignant over the Supreme Court ruling that struck down a religious instruction course being imposed in public schools in Champaign, Illinois.  That, the clergy huffed, was “…the shibboleth of doctrinaire secularism.”  So, to show their displeasure with the rulings, the clergy donned their red costumes to indulge in a pretense of divine insight. 

Of course the annual Red Mass event is now propagandized by the church hierarchy as simply a traditional religious observance.  The noble intention, they say, is to beseech God to guide the administration in dispensing justice for the nation.  How God is expected to guide the dignitaries in attendance is usually broadly implied in how the Red Mass “observance” is conducted. 

Back in October of 2010, for example, Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl practically slobbered a welcome greeting upon the Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Roberts.  And the Associate Justices, Samuel Alito, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas—all devoted Catholics, and all Republican nominated—were each publicly praised for attending.  These five men happen to be of one assertive faith system, and happen to hold five of the nine benches of the U.S. Supreme Court: hardly a representation of diversity in a government that is supposed to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  The attention lavished upon these five justices at that 2010 Red Mass contradicted the so-called “traditional religious observances” that they were claimed to be, for the affair was a brash attempt to inject their religious philosophy into government, laws and sectarian doctrine.

The pompous affair was simply religious business as usual, for this has been the routine since that 1950 red-costumed circus.  The Red Mass provides the bishops with a captured audience, which in the case of the present Catholic dominated Supreme Court make for the opportunity to cajole five of the nine justices toward the Catholic faith system’s position on various issues.

From that 1950s feigned respect for the higher Source, the bishops then began to lobby for government aid to parochial schools.  In other words, they wanted tax money taken from diverse people who did not subscribe to the Catholic faith system to be utilized to pay for teaching Catholic beliefs!  From there the “holy” representatives then launched into sermons which opposed government allowance for abortion.  And today this is only one of the oppressive and hateful demands that Religious Right zealots are attempting to impose upon the widely diverse people that make up our democratic nation. 

Considering the amazing diversity that is displayed throughout all Creation, it seems highly unlikely that the creative power responsible for it all would find any reason to force any particular man-invented faith system upon the rest of Creation. 

The Constitutional advice of church and state separation was born of divine insight.  Many of the Founding Fathers of our democratic form of government had traveled to Europe, studied the history of other nations, and noted how governments inevitably sank into oppressive exploitation of citizens when dominated by religious factions.  The understanding that the church and state must stand apart if all citizens are to remain free is the major difference upon which the United States of America rose to greatness.  Separation of church and state was never meant to dishonor a higher Source, nor did it advocate the separation of law from morality.  The higher concept expressed in the Constitution that every person shares an equal playing field in their mortal existence is not a moral principle that religious tyrants choose to understand.

  • Related post: U. S. Supreme Court Set Trap for Democracy, December 2010.
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3 Responses to “Mass Distractions”

  1. […] Mass Distractions « Time Frames and Taboo Data Blog […]

  2. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the site is also really good.

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