And with their loss tonight, the Phillies now have 10,000 losses. And having only 8,810 wins, they’d have to average 90 wins for the next 60 years just to reach 500. Given that they haven’t had 90 wins in a season since 1993 and that was the first time since 1983, it seems likely to me that no one currently living will see the Phillies become a .500 team once again.

Mary as Co-Redemptrix

YouTube – Dr Mark Miravalle: The Meaning of Coredemptrix

This is a good and brief video giving an explanation as to why Catholics call Mary co-redemptrix: as the Mother of God, the one from whom he took His flesh, Mary played a unique role in the redemption of Man. Honestly, it’s a teaching (it’s taught, but not dogmatically defined, and from what i’ve read not likely to be due to the ease of misunderstanding it) I’ve had trouble with myself, but this video does a good job of explaining it and warning about what it does not mean. (Mary is not a Goddess, equal to God, or a fourth member of the Trinity.) he also makes the point that just as a woman (Eve) was involved in the Fall of Man, so too was a woman (Mary) involved in the Redemption of Man.

Hat Tip: Catholic Tube

The foundations of our republic

This weekend, by kind of a coincidence, I had a two-fer on the development of republican government i America, while never really looking directly at American history.

Yesterday, I went to the Constitution Center to see one of four remaining original copies of the Magna Carta. This document (read it here) placed limits on the power of the King and guaranteed certain rights to the people. This limitation helped ground in British law the principle that there were limits to the power of the monarch. There were, of course, already limits on the power of monarchs as the Catholic Church had long asserted sovereignty in Church matters and held the state had no rights over it. This concept fell by the wayside to a certain extent after the Protestant Reformation and the marrying of a people’s religion to that of the ruling sovereign. However, the Magna Carta, while certainly outlining certain religious principles and rights of the Church, established a secular limit on the King of England’s power. This started a long development of limitations on the power of the King that helped lead to the development of representative democracy in the United Kingdom.

Today, I read Our First Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s Founding Fathers by Michael Barone. This book was written to show how the rights secured by Parliament for themselves and the people (or the Protestants among the people, anyway) gave the British subjects in the American colonies that, when abrogated by King George III, led to the American Revolution, I’ll leave to the reader to investigate further, but read the Declaration of Rights of 1689 and then take a look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, especially including the Bill of Rights, and see for yourself how similar the claims to rights are.

It’s the generally accepted view of the American Revolution that it was essentially a conservative revolution; not establishing something new or radical, but merely seeking to maintain the rights they had long held as British subjects until the period leading to the American Revolution. Those who disagree often point to the Declaration of Independence and its claim of universal rights, rather than a claim of of their rights of British subjects. (A example of this point of view is The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood, which I hope to read later this summer.) One problem with this is the political skill and experience of the Founding Fathers. They were wise enough to know that they needed outside help to gain their independence and the most effective and likely source of that help would be the French. The French would not be likely to get involved in a dispute over the rights of British subjects. Also, at the time, the concept of natural rights was popular in the upper reaches of French society. Given those factors, an appeal to natural rights seemed the obvious course.

This was a nice confluence of events to help me reflect on the foundations of our republic. It’s worth remembering that one of the primary lessons of history is that an attempt to make sudden changes in a society is usually harmful. It led to the ouster of James II in the Revolution of 1688, the American Revolution and separation from Britain, and the complete failure and descent of the French Revolution in dictatorship and anarchy, not mention the Russian Revolution among many, many other examples. Slow, but steady progress is safer, less disruptive and more likely to be accepted.