It would be OK, perhaps, if we sang the last verse:
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
I wrote an essay on this, “Should everyone put their hand on their chest, stand, and sing the national anthem while facing the flag at the sporting events of Christian schools?” An excerpt:
We Protestants feel very self-satisfied about images. Foolish Roman Catholics fall into idolatry, and the Jews were so foolish that the Bible had to give more attention to idolatry than to any other sin, but we are too modern for that to be a danger. Read more…
VC has a good post on laws against child drinking and communion, with comments on communion in both kinds. The Roman position seems to be that it is like priestly celibacy a policy strictly enforced by the Church but allowed or not depending on circumstances of the age. The Council of Constance decrees condemned this and other Wylclifite ideas as being against church commands, not as heresy in itself.
….although Christ instituted this venerable sacrament after a meal and ministered it to his apostles under the forms of both bread and wine, nevertheless and notwithstanding this, the praiseworthy authority of the sacred canons and the approved custom of the church have and do retain that this sacrament ought not to be celebrated after a meal nor received by the faithful without fasting, except in cases of sickness or some other necessity as permitted by law or by the church. Moreover, just as this custom was sensibly introduced in order to avoid various dangers and scandals, so with similar or even greater reason was it possible to introduce and sensibly observe the custom that, although this sacrament was received by the faithful under both kinds in the early church, nevertheless later it was received under both kinds only by those confecting it, and by the laity only under the form of bread. For it should be very firmly believed, and in no way doubted, that the whole body and blood of Christ are truly contained under both the form of bread and the form of wine. Therefore, since this custom was introduced for good reasons by the church and holy fathers, and has been observed for a very long time, it should be held as a law which nobody may repudiate or alter at will without the church’s permission. To say that the observance of this custom or law is sacrilegious or illicit must be regarded as erroneous. Those who stubbornly assert the opposite of the aforesaid are to be confined as heretics and severely punished by the local bishops or their officials or the inquisitors of heresy in the kingdoms or provinces in which anything is attempted or presumed against this decree, according to the canonical and legitimate sanctions that have been wisely established in favour of the catholic faith against heretics and their supporters.
See too the Catholic Encylopedia on Utraquism.
Neuhaus in First Things:
Beginning in the 1780s and up through the nineteenth century, some
Catholic laity were attracted to the voluntaristic idea of church
membership and church government that they saw in the Protestant
denominations around them. Parishes elected lay “trustees” who took
charge of the temporal affairs of the churches, including the salaries
and, in some cases, the appointment of clergy. This American model, as
it was called, was encouraged by a few bishops such as John England of
Charleston, South Carolina, but Rome and the great majority of bishops
viewed it, correctly, as a form of “congregationalism” incompatible
with the Catholic understanding of the divine constitution of the
Church. Trusteeism was effectively suppressed by the end of the
nineteenth century, being replaced by patterns of what the NRB rightly
calls the “clericalism” that has much to do with the “Crisis in the
Catholic Church in the United States.” Still today, priests, and
priests who become bishops, are trained to take alarm at the slightest
hint of “trusteeism.” That is why, among other things, parish pastors
expend inordinate time and energy on the minutiae of administration
that could be better handled by laypeople. That is why bishops engaged
in the practices of autocracy, secrecy, and cover-up that contributed
so powerfully to the current crisis.
The incidence of reported abuse increased significantly in the 1960s,
peaked in the ’70s, and then decreased in the ’80s and ’90s even more
dramatically than it had increased during the prior two decades.
During the entire period studied, 4.3 percent of diocesan priests were
accused but only 2.7 percent of priests in religious orders.
Of the more than four thousand priests accused of abusing minors, more
than half (56 percent) had only one allegation against them. Three
percent had ten or more allegations. These 149 priests accounted for
almost three thousand (27 percent) of the allegations. Of the 109,694
priests in active ministry during these 52 years,…
a different article says
It would appear that there are many more incidents of priests having a
sexual relationship with an adult woman or man than with minors. Such
relationships are, in many cases, not viewed as a major problem
because they usually do not have legal, financial, or public relations
consequences for the Church, and are therefore deemed to be “nobody’s
This article talks about how the founder of an important conservative Roman Catholic order, the Legionaries of Christ, turns out to have had a mistress and bastard child. He had earlier been accused of multiple homosexual advances and been retired involuntarily by the Pope, though with out any formal trial because he was so old. This increases my admiration for Pope Benedict, who retired Maciel despite their being fellow conservatives, and my belief that Pope John Paul II, Maciel’s staunch defender, is overrated.