It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

America's Self Condemnation

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Today is the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC on September 11, 2001. The Catholic Knight wishes to extend his continual condolences and prayers for the families of the victims of those tragic and cowardly attacks on that day.

What I want to discuss here though is not the attacks themselves, though they were horrible. Rather, I want to discuss what happened immediately afterward. In the wake following 9-11, a surge in American patriotism rose to a level so great that one could no longer buy an American flag. They were sold out in stores everywhere. It was the single greatest period of support for this nation ever seen in my lifetime.

However, what happened immediately after, on the day after to be exact, was something so remarkable, so stunning, so incredibly unbelievable, that most Americans were oblivious to it. It was the symbolic response of America's leaders that ultimately served as a condemnation against America.

In the video above, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle gave a speech outlining America's official response to the 9-11 attacks. You can view this in the video above, and if you fast-forward to exactly 3 minutes and 20 seconds into the speech (3:20), you will see the most remarkable thing ever to take place on the Senate floor. It is now a matter of congressional record. Senator Daschle quoted this verse of Scripture...
‘The bricks have fallen,
but we will build with dressed stones;
the sycomores have been cut down,
but we will put cedars in their place.’

-- Isaiah 9:10
Then he said something even more remarkable. He said this passage will be our national response. "That is what we will do" he said.  There is however a problem with this response.  Let's put the passage in context...

The Lord sent a word against Jacob,
   and it fell on Israel;
and all the people knew it—
   Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria—
   but in pride and arrogance of heart they said:
‘The bricks have fallen,   but we will build with dressed stones;the sycomores have been cut down,   but we will put cedars in their place.’ So the Lord raised adversaries against them,
   and stirred up their enemies,
the Arameans in the east and the Philistines in the west,
   and they devoured Israel with open mouth.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still.
The people did not turn to him who struck them,
   or seek the Lord of hosts.
So the Lord cut off from Israel head and tail,
   palm branch and reed in one day—
elders and dignitaries are the head,
   and prophets who teach lies are the tail;
for those who led this people led them astray,
   and those who were led by them were left in confusion.
That is why the Lord did not have pity on their young people,
   or compassion on their orphans and widows;
for everyone was godless and an evildoer,
   and every mouth spoke folly.
For all this, his anger has not turned away;
   his hand is stretched out still.
-- Isaiah 9:8-17

Senator Daschle actually read a verse recounting the boastful pride of an ancient nation that was under the chastisement of God!  Then he identified this verse with America saying "That is what we will do." This is a matter of congressional record, stored in the archives of the United States Congress.

Now please don't misunderstand me.  Senator Daschle did not have any kind of authority to invoke this passage of Scripture and make it apply to the United States of America.  Based on the context of the passage, he didn't have the competence either.  Nor is The Catholic Knight blog reporting that this passage is somehow a prophecy for America.  It is not.  However, I do think God has a way of telling us things from time to time, and I do think he sometimes uses the words of our own leaders to get his message across.  The quotation of this passage was a gaffe which Senator Daschle made in ignorance.  Nevertheless, I sometimes wonder if God may have used the ignorance of this national leader to send a message to us as a nation.  Indeed, we are a prideful people.  Anyone with a Biblical worldview can see that.  No, we have not at all repented of the foreign political actions that led to 9-11, nor have we repented of the social sins (abortion, homosexuality, greed, etc.) that have plagued our society for decades.  If anything, all of these things have gotten worse.  We did rebuild (are rebuilding) the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon in Washington DC.  The sycamore tree that once stood outside St. Paul's Chapel was destroyed by debris from the falling towers.  This is where the constitutional government of our new nation was religiously dedicated back on April 30, 1789.  (At that time the City of New York served as the nation's capitol.)  That famous sycamore tree was ceremonially replaced with a cedar tree.  Again, is this the fulfilment of a prophecy?  No.  That prophecy was directed toward the ancient nation of Israel, but again, I do think God can (and does) occasionally use such things to send us a message.

The financial impact of 9-11 was staggering, and to alleviate some of the economic haemorrhaging, interest rates were dropped to a ridiculously low level and kept low for years.  To keep the economy chugging along during the Middle Eastern wars that followed 9-11, interest rates were kept low, and Americans were encouraged to keep spending in the name of American patriotism, so as to keep the economy from falling into recession.  This contributed to unsavoury lending practices, which in the end led to the subprime real estate collapse of 2007 and 2008, finally resulting in the famous stock market crash of September 29, 2008.  This occurred exactly 7 years (to the date on the Hebrew calendar) after the speech made by Senator Daschle on September 12, 2001.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 7% of its value, or 777 points.  (See Biblical passages about the sabbath year in Exodus 23, Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15 and 2 Chronicles 36:20-21.)  This led to the greatest recession in American history, and it would appear it is not even close to being over some four years later.  If anything, there are now signs of a double-dip in the near future, as well as another potential downgrade of our nation's credit rating.  That's not to mention another, and possibly bigger, war looming on the horizon.  Again, was this passage from Isaiah a prophecy?  No.  But it would appear that Senator Tom Daschle inadvertently turned it into some kind of an omen for us, and it would appear, quite ironically, that God was playing along.

Americans have always had a strange fancy about ourselves.  Throughout our history Americans have looked at the United States as some kind of "New Israel."  During the 19th century, Anglo-Israelism was extremely popular, wherein many Protestant pastors taught that Britain and America were the descendants of the lost 10 tribes of Israel that were dispersed after the Assyrian invasions between 762 and 676 BC.  This of course is ridiculous, but it does underscore the "Biblical" character many Americans have historically assigned to themselves. Some have connected this Anglo-Israelism ideology to freemasonry.

Sometimes I wonder if God plays along with us.  Regarding this passage in Isaiah 9:10, it's almost as if God said: "Okay, you Americans have wanted to play Bible for centuries, so let's play Bible!"  The passage was a curse against ancient Israel for their pride and rebellion against God.  So again, it would seem, it is becoming a curse against the United States of America for our national pride and rebellion against God.