George Weigel wrote an interesting article for National Review last month that deals with the late nineteenth century controversy of “Americanism” and how the tenets of Americanism have become widespread among Americans in the Roman Church: “Catholic ‘Americanism.’” Weigel dismisses the original Americanist troubles as a phantom heresy, but I am not convinced. Calvinism and liberalism permeate the air, water, and thoughtwaves of American life. It is almost impossible for the hearts and minds of our people to escape their corrupting influences. However, Weigel, like most everyone thought to be a mainstream conservative today, is a liberal nervous about the latest fruits of liberalism—a “Northern conservative” according to the description of Robert Lewis Dabney. For in this very article, Weigel writes,
The “Americanism” of which Leo XIII warned in Testem Benevolentiae was far more a phantom concocted by fevered, ancien-régime European minds than a heresy that threatened Catholic faith in the United States.
Fevered, ancien-régime European minds? Has Weigel no understanding of history? The man has no sense of the enemy.