Faith, Religion and Identity

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If each nation—as defined by language, religion, common (legendary?) heritage, and location—was separate but equal, then all nations deserved to have their own states. Except by 1789, Poland had been partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria, Bohemia had been inherited by the Austrians and then lost some territory to Prussia, Slovakia had been absorbed by the Hungarians since 925 or so, and the Hungarians were yoked to the Austrians through inheritance. And who was a German, anyway? Were Tyrolians German? What about people from Hamburg?

The Poles are very Catholic, although not as much as under Communism. One historian I heard described it as “practicing non-believers.” Even people who did not believe in G-d or the church attended mass, sent their children to church functions and schools, participated in church activities and so on because it was a way to preserve their identity and to stick one in the eye of the Communists. The down side was that to be “truly Polish” meant Catholic, with all that implied for Calvinists, Jews, Lutherans, and others. Uniates got a by, since they acknowledged the pope, and since the Soviets and Russian Orthodox had beaten up on them, too.

Alma is a very nice teacher who writes about a lot of history-type things, and I thought her latest post might be of interest, so go read the rest.

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3 Comments

  1. The sovereign personhood of the sovereign person institutes the sovereign nation. The sovereign person is made in the image of the Supreme Sovereign Being, existence in Jesus Christ, Himself. God. The identity of each sovereign person is as unique as the stars in heaven (or the universe. I prefer heaven)
    Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, soon to be a saint, has much to say about identity, the individual’s identity.
    Only as children of the Creator, are individual sovereign persons the same. No group identity can define the sovereign person or keep him in captivity as we grow closer to whom we are called to be.

  2. I read her post and, being a blog post, is not nearly as detailed as a proper study of the situation.
    Somewhat similar to this are Rod Dreher’s recent writings in The American Conservative (which really isn’t Conservative at all) about the state of the faith in Poland.
    It was recently announced that there were between 300 to 400 cases of priest abuse in Poland. I don’t know the time table, but it has to go back to Communist times, when the KGB put spies and undesireables in the seminaries. The number I cited is less than Pennsylvania, by the way.
    Dreher seemed to be in search of people like him – disillusioned with the Catholic Church. It is important to note that Dreher left Catholicism for Orthodoxy….he quit when things got tough.
    During the Partition and Communism, the Church was the opposition party.
    Today, there is an assortment of somewhat leftist parties, congregated in the Polish cities, who are infatuated with the EU and the western European Left.
    This bunch has been regularly beaten by the party in power, which favors a strong relationship with the US, traditional Polish values and a close relationship with the Church, not to mention total opposition to African and Muslim migration.
    Anyone who thought almost all Poles were devout and pious Catholics is mistaken. They are like my extended family. Some go to Mass, some rarely go and some don’t bother.
    Dreher and the blog’s author is not consistent with other news I have followed, such as Stefan Molyneaux’s recent visit to Poland during the centennial Independence celebrations.
    Dreher’s readers infer that Poland will go the way of Ireland, which I doubt for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which the Polish are NOT the Irish.
    The Polish nation was created by the Church. The Faith unified disparate tribes and made them into a cohesive, unified people with the accumulated knowledge of the West.
    The Church provided strength during times like the Deluge. The Church preserved Poland during the Partition and opposed Communism. It has it’s troubles, among them the corrosive Pope we are all stuck with, and a somewhat obtuse episcopate, but they are better off than we are.

  3. She just got back from Poland. ^.^

    Since I don’t read the other TAC, and can’t see a conflict between what Alma says and what you say, can’t respond to the meat on that.

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