I probably have far too much exposure to English over here. My perusal of blogs has had a noticeable impact on my linguistic immersion (after three months I should be a lot more comfortable with Japanese), and I suspect it’s because I spend so much time here reading… in English. On the other hand, there are no basilicas, no processions, no Eucharistic adoration, and sometimes not even Mass. If I didn’t have superb blogs like those of the New Liturgical Movement, WDTPRS and such I would either go mad or develop the liberalist infection.

And so, thanks to the many valuable, well written blogs from America, I have been totally unable to escape the fact that today is your celebration – it is 4 July, Independence Day.

Congratulations! Truly a day to celebrate the remarkable achievements of America for the sake of the world. Even now, where old Europe fears to commit her sons, she will gladly pay to send yours in her stead. American blood still pays for European security.

But as every year, I have been reading that America is “the best country in the history of the world” etc, and frankly I really must chime in. First of all, America can’t be the best because from the very first moment it has been a consistent enemy of the one true Church, erected by Christ himself and given universal temporal jurisdiction. The foundation of the United States was as a schism from a schismatic sect, not towards orthodoxy but further heresy (the puritanical protestantism of the United States has always been more heterodox than the nominative protestantism of the 17th century Church of England). The entire society has been at best distrustful and at worst openly hostile to Catholics and Catholicism, up until that time in the 20th century when Catholics traded in their own culture and identity for seamless integration with protestant America.

Now we are in a position where even the bulk of practicing Catholics in America are effectively protestant in their theology and praxis, or worse baptised pagans. The majority of people who in some way identify as “Catholic” in America are self-confessed enemies of everything for which their own Church stands. A country where this can happen, where the prevailing culture poisons its own members against eternal truth for temporal selfishness, cannot be the greatest in history.

This leaves one asking which is? For a Catholic, clearly we would be looking for a place which best manifests the Catholic ideal of civic servitude in sæcular governance. Perhaps… Malta! A country where not only are 99% of the population Catholic, divorce and abortion are criminal, and sæcular governance actively promotes Catholic truth. What’s more, the culture is truly rich in devotional practices, with a long and unbroken history of holding highest the Faith as the nation’s most precious gift (not freedom, not democracy, nor the right to speak freely whether blessing or blasphemy).

Their art – particularly church architecture and furnishings – kicks America’s arse, too.

So happy Independence Day, America! May you take this day to work harder at becoming more like Malta.