Ignatius and the Moor

In what is often called the “autobiography” of St. Ignatius Loyola – a work composed by an early companion of the Jesuits’ founder transcribing from memory recollections Ignatius had shared with him concerning his early life – the future saint recalls an incident that sheds light on the virtue of prudence along with much else.

Call it the story of Ignatius and the Moor.

One day in February or March of 1522, Ignatius, 30 years old at the time, was riding a mule on his way to the shrine of Monserrat when he was overtaken by a Moor. The two men rode together for a while and started talking about the Blessed Virgin. The Moor said he couldn’t believe she remained a virgin while giving birth to a child. Ignatius insisted that she did, and as they argued he grew increasingly agitated.

Seeing what was happening and becoming alarmed, “the Moor pressed on so fast that Ignatius lost sight of him. He remained pondering on what had passed . . . and there arose in his soul feelings of discontentment because, as it seemed to him, he had not done his duty. . . .So he conceived a desire to seek out the Moor and stab him for what he had said.”

“He had a long struggle over this desire, and at the end remained in doubt. . . .At last, tired of examining what would be best to do and unable to reach a fixed conclusion, he decided to drop the reins and let his mule go uncontrolled to the point where the roads divided. If the animal took the road to the town indicated, he would seek out the Moor and poniard him; if it kept to the high road, avoiding the town, he would let him be. . .”

“Though the town stood little more than thirty or forty paces away, and the road to it was very broad and good, it pleased God that the mule kept to the Camino Real and avoided the road to the town.”

And so the Moor was spared.

Great story, someone might say, but what’s it got to do with prudence?

Agreed, this incident didn’t exhibit Ignatius Loyola as a man of prudence – not at this point in his life anyway. It happened not so long after his conversion, and a lot of the old Ignatius can still be seen – a caballero with an acute sense of honor and a quick temper, ready to settle disagreements by violence.

Ignatius and the Moor by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1609
Ignatius and the Moor by Peter Paul Rubens, c. 1609

In telling the story of the Moor to a fellow Jesuit, Ignatius knew that perfectly well. His aim, the autobiography records, was to edify: “in order that it may be seen how God was dealing with his soul, still blind, though greatly desirous of serving Him in every way it knew how.”

Notice those words “greatly desirous of serving Him in every way it knew how.” Here is the essential starting point and precondition for the virtue of prudence.

At the time of his encounter with the Moor, Ignatius lacked the spiritual maturity to see that killing the man was a less-than-Christian response to the dissing of the Virgin, and that leaving it to the mule to settle what he should do wasn’t the best way of discerning God’s will. But – and here’s the point – he nevertheless wanted, profoundly and fervently, to serve God as God wished, and his ignorance due to lack of formation didn’t change that. The recently converted Ignatius was already well on the way to becoming a man of Christian prudence.

Note that it’s the virtue of prudence we’re talking about here. There is also the purely natural prudence Aristotle describes. It, too, is desirable, but it can be placed at the service of bad ends, in which case the better name for it is calculation or cleverness.

Aristotle speaks of it in the Nicomachean Ethics (Bk. 6, Ch. 10), where he uses the word phronesis, generally translated as practical wisdom – essentially, the wisdom of knowing how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Here’s what he says:

It is prudence and moral goodness that make possible the full performance of the function of a man. It is due to virtue that the end we aim at is right, and it is due to prudence that the means we employ to that end are right.

For Aristotle, then, prudence is one thing and virtue something else. The two often work together, with virtue pointing to what is morally good and prudence indicating how to reach it. But that isn’t always the case. By contrast, the virtue of prudence is always directed, at least implicitly, to doing the will of God and growing in friendship with him. This is why the world may very well judge someone living a life consistently open to God to be lacking in good sense.

Prudence enjoys a kind of built-in priority in relation to the other virtues. Without prudence, justice can become legalism, fortitude can become rashness, temperance can become Puritanism.

But prudence doesn’t rule out mistakes. Even prudent people can be wrong. The difference is that the imprudent try to cover up their mistakes or else brazen them out, while people practicing prudence face up to their errors, correct them if they can, and learn from them. Ignatius Loyola was doing that in looking back on his encounter with the Moor.

The practice of prudence is relevant to choices that concern great things and small, including politics. Perhaps Americans need to take that to heart when reflecting on the results of political primaries that seem to be well on their way to presenting the nation with a choice in November between two resoundingly unacceptable candidates for the presidency. If ever there was a time when prudence in both its senses was needed in the conduct of public affairs, it’s now.

Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw

Russell Shaw is former Secretary for Public Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference. He is the author of Nothing to Hide and also To Hunt, To Shoot, To Entertain: Clericalism and the Catholic Laity, and his most recent book is American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America (2013).

  • Cheryl Jefferies

    If the present trend continues in politics, THIS hopefully prudent person will write-in my choice in November. And, no, it won’t be a vote for the opposition. It will be a vote for me, for the Constitution, for the Rule of Law, for the Judeo-Christian principles on which I’ve tried to base my life…It will be a vote that will keep my soul intact. A vote that will maintain my “prudence.” Thanks for a well-written essay, sir.

    • Craig Payne

      I am always amazed by those Christians who say we have “no other choice” but to vote for Trump. We always have other choices, as you well point out.

      • Quo Vadis

        If it is a choice between Trump and Hillary, then a vote for Hillary or a write in for anyone else may ensure that Hillary becomes president and the crime of abortion continues. At least with Trump, there may be hope.

        • Alicia

          Abortion, euthanasia, and asisted suicide. It will also be the end of religious freedom and anyone who doesn’t agree and go along with their ideology will be forced to pay big fines, go broke, lose their jobs or go to jail.
          Considering the above, the prudent thing to do is to keep her away from the White House.
          There is only one choice:
          Not Hillary.
          And that means voting for the other candidate.
          She will be delighted with personal protests such as staying away or voting for someone who is not in the ballot, because it’s a vote for her. !!!

          • Craig Payne

            But that’s not the fault of Christians. It’s the fault of the GOP. If the party had earned our respect by actually fighting for what is right, we might have held our noses and voted for Trump. As it is, voting Christian does not necessarily mean voting Republican.

        • Cheryl Jefferies

          I’ve fallen for that “argument” too often. No more. A vote for someone I neither trust nor respect (I do not trust or respect Trump) would require me to deny my own soul. That I cannot do. As for Hillary vs. Trump, “What difference does it make?” None. Neither know or care about the the Constitution. Both are ignorant, foolish shams who are excellent only at selling themselves. I’ve simply decided that neither of them will have my vote. I knew that about Hillary long ago. I decided that about Trump early on. I’ve never yet voted for a Dem for president and this November will mark 44 years of voting for me. Not about to start this year. Or, any year. But, Trump? Anyone who repeatedly flips on every issue and especially, anyone who says repeatedly, “I’ve never done anything that I need to ask forgiveness for.” simply will never have my vote.

          • Quo Vadis

            While I cannot criticize your feeling when you think that a vote for Trump will make you “deny your soul”, I can ask if you have read about his positions on various subjects ? Put aside his campaign face as this, I believe, has been very well crafted to win the nomination and general election.

            His history tells me that he has survived in a very difficult business environment/industry and has demonstrated through actions that he believes in fair treatment of individuals. For example, he put a women in charge of construction of Trump tower way before it was the “norm” or fashionable. Why , because she was qualified.

            The government needs someone to take charge and try to shake the roots of the system . If not him, then who ?

    • GL29

      Great, then you will not be voting for Cruz then.

      • Cheryl Jefferies

        Yes. Actually, I will.

      • Cheryl Jefferies

        Addendum: As I said just now, I will. I voted for Cruz yesterday in our OH primary. And, I’m voting for him in November. Decided that March 6, 2013. Have seen/heard no reason to change my decision thus far.

  • Rick

    The early Romans learned from their battles against the neighboring Etruscans and Celts that the prudent thing to do is to destroy your enemies before they destroy you. Maybe if our leaders were a little more “Roman” and prudent, the world trade towers would still be standing and thousands would still be alive who aren’t today.

    As far as November goes, we know what we’ll get with Hillary, more of the same. With Donald, the future is uncertain, but like prudence, courage is also a virtue. Let’s show some courage.

  • Dave Fladlien

    “Prudence enjoys a kind of built-in priority in relation to the other virtues. Without prudence, justice can become legalism, fortitude can become rashness, temperance can become Puritanism.” This is an excellent concept, well stated. Unfortunately it is also very easy to forget or overlook. I’ll try not to do either.

    But on your final paragraph: no matter what one may think of Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, they are each so resoundingly better than Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders that I have to wonder how you can manage not to distinguish between the two sets in your summation. I grant that you don’t actually *say* they are *equally* undesirable, but that is the impression given. I suggest that there is no similarity at all in terms of degree of undesirability, at least morally or economically.

    Whether the nominee is Ted or Donald, that candidate will get my vote. Almost anyone will if they oppose abortion and support free enterprise, which is the opposite of Hillary and Bernie.

  • Manfred

    We had to wait until the last paragraph for the point of the column? As no serious Catholioc could vote for the Party of Death, the only choice is to vote for the Othef Party or neither.

  • Michael Dowd

    We can make a decision or let the decision get made for us like St. Ignatius. I prefer Trump over Hillary and will vote accordingly. Rationale: We know Hillary will make no efforts to stop abortion. Trump said he will not fund the abortion activities of Planned Parenthood. Easy choice.

    If someone wishes to become upset by all of this they should really direct their anger/frustration to the wish-washy clergy of the Catholic Church, particularly the USCCB, which has shown a preference for Democrat candidates. This is the true scandal.

    • Stan Marciniak

      Consider Notre Dame’s extension of nobel honor to Joseph Biden.

      • Michael DeLorme

        Thank God that Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana diocese, at least, has had the courage to condemn it.

        No doubt Bishop Wuerl will go forward with plans to attend and smile for the camera as he visualizes Wuerl’d Peace.

    • GL29

      Yes, that is the open secret.

    • Hillary will not only do nothing to stop abortion, she will do everything to ensure that it remains the official sacrifice to the god state. Her relationship with the saphrophytic planned parenthood is symbiotic.

  • olhg1

    Mishac, Shadrac, Abednego could have had an easy life, but they prudently chose to do the right thing. Once in a while prudence and expedience coincide, but that rarely happens.

  • Michael DeLorme

    I believe it was Jeffery Hart, in a National Review article probably 40 years ago, who memorably defined prudence as “that virtue which mediates between what is best, always and everywhere; and what is possible, here and now.”

    A melding, then, since the notion of mediation sounds Aristotelian; while the notion of the ideal [the best] sounds Christian.

  • Joyfully

    Now are you sure they weren’t on their way to Scotland?

  • Fr. Peter Morello, Ph.D.

    The example of Ignatius and the Moor is excellent. Your distinction between virtue as moral virtue and the virtue prudence are correct. Aristotle distinguished natural prudence [guiding a ship in a storm to port] from moral prudence, which as you note is determining the correct moral end. Prudence is reason concerning an action. Therefore, Aristotle and Aquinas do not separate moral prudence because moral prudence is a moral virtue. As a moral virtue prudence is always directed toward the ultimate end. The Ignatius Moor example reveals that Ignatius sought that end in seeking “to please God.” What Ignatius did not yet understand as you note is explained by Aquinas in the Sententia Libri Ethicorum (1094a22-24), “All humanity must be ordered to the supreme and ultimate end of human life. The reason is that the ultimate end is always found in the means to the end [the act], which must also be ordained to the ultimate end itself”. Deliberation of an act assesses the conditions. If Ignatius knew that the conditions [the perceived insult did not warrant the act of killing] he would have desisted since evil is found in acts. It is not simply knowledge of God but the knowledge of those acts that are ordered to God.

  • Stanley Anderson

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I let the mule pick one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the deference…”

    (or something like that…)

    • Rick

      I think we have showed too much deference to the jackasses for too long…and I’m not just referring to the Democrats.

  • BroEdward

    A great story? I think not. It portrays a religious fanatic willing to kill another person who disagrees with him. Nobody I’d want my children to imitate. And as for letting the mule,decide, well right in nearby Salem they had a similar “leave it to God” test when they tossed bound “witches” into the lake and if they floated they were guilty and if they sunk they were innocent. I believe the Inquisition had a few such touchstones-of-truth tests as well. A scary story worthy of deep burial.

    • Rick

      It is unfair to respond to Loyola’s religious fanaticism and the Church’s Inquisition (inquiry) out of context and with contempt. Both responses followed 700 years of Moorish occupation, rape, pillaging, and theft, and after their expulsion (thank God!), treason and constant coastal raids within and along the Iberian peninsula. Caution! History is not a sound-bite. It’s a very thick book.

      • BroEdward

        Yes, but beware of cop-outs and false justifications. We have seen the horrible consequences of such blind apologists in our church in recent years. If this story were told with Jihardi John substituted for Ignatius, and a Syrian Catholic substituted for the Moor, we would be morally outraged (and rightly so).

    • Michael DeLorme

      Ignatius wasn’t ascertaining guilt or innocence; he knew the Moor’s belief dishonored Our Lady. The question was whether he should punish the man. In a world where such behavior was not uncommon, Ignatius was trying to discern between a response accepted by the times. and an incipient sense of a greater and more holy good.

      It is today’s Moors—Islamist extremists—who have retained the barbarity of so-called “honor killings,” which I agree are “worthy of deep burial.” Unfortunately an even 50% of Muslims—according to the latest survey of which I’ve heard—favor seeing Sharia law established in this country, which will in fact institutionalize honor killings, not bury them.

    • Fr. Peter Morello, Ph.D.

      Imagine if Cardinal Tomas de Torquemada Grand Inquisitor of Spain were prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith today with the same powers granted by Isabella and Ferdinand. Ignatius a religious fanatic? Would that we had more of his kind today.

      • BroEdward

        I wouldn’t want to defend that one in a court of law, or in the conscientious realm of common sense.

        • Fr. Peter Morello, Ph.D.

          Certainly you’re right. I wouldn’t consider either since it was a murderous intent. My suggestion was, though not stated that Ignatius of Loyola was in the process of a real, radical conversion from a hardened, ruthless warrior to a saint.

  • rick

    Maybe the prudent thing right this minute is wait and see. Not get caught up in provocations from behaind the veil of an internet alias. ( mea culpa). Exactly who Trump is will become clearer. Maybe he’ll stop saying he wants to punch people and hire Robert George as domestic policy consigliere, On the other hand, betwen now and November he might fully embrace Planned Parenthood and earmark Sarah Palin for Secretary of State. Neither extreme would shock me. I pray that the prudent choice for my conscience becomes clearer as time passes.

  • conservativeconvert

    Sadly a convert does not get the blessings of knowing from birth what is right by God. They know that their conversion is right but the protocol can be somewhat hidden as they came about this new life by jumping in rather than the slow and steady rise to His love, glory and understanding His will. Their mindset had been set and the way it erodes from the new convert can be slow and confusing to those who have never experienced such an awakening. Throwing one’s past aside with all of its mannerisms can be trying but when one does and they “throw caution to the wind” as this seems to them then the whole world becomes open to them, mule decisions and all but it is a first step of letting go and letting God. Now on the political front, I am one who is skeptical of a man who has been somewhat wishy, washy on his stance and I do so love a true federalist but then again that perfect candidate is not there or doesn’t seem to be, so I throw a bit of “caution to the wind” as I am so much for releasing our bondage and enjoying this great country and her safe strong arms around us once again. So as St. Loyola I follow the mule and learn to let go and let God.

    • Dave Fladlien

      I don’t want to upset your concept unnecessarily, but as I sit here pondering yet another moral dilemma in my life, I have to say that I — a life-long Catholic — often don’t know what is “right by God” either. I think it’s part of the human condition.

      All we can do is the best we can — something a lot of people don’t seem to want to admit — and then trust in God. I, at least, seem to have great difficulty with that trust part, though.

      • Fr. Peter Morello, Ph.D.

        Some time ago Dave you gave the opinion that the explanation I gave of conscience referenced absolute right or wrong, which was wrong on your part. I wanted to explain why and this seems opportune. Moral virtue in acts has a mean, that is a median between excess and defect. Aquinas believed it is quite unlikely we ever are able to determine an absolute mean between the two in deliberation of a moral act [prudence]. He said getting close to the mean is sufficient. I hope that helps with your current moral dilemma.

        • Dave Fladlien

          I thought about asking your input, Father, and as you know, I hadn’t, but I did turn to God, and guess where He turned for someone to provide it… Interesting.

          Yes, it does help, and will help on other matters, I’m sure. I have never, ever heard a concept like this expressed before, and never intuited it myself either. This belongs right up there with St. Augustine’s “In doubt there is liberty” (assuming one has tried appropriately hard to resolve the doubt), or St. Thomas’ “Right of Reason.”

          I hope a lot of people read your comment. Very valuable concept. Thank you.

          • Alicia

            I’ve always thought – In doubt, don’t do it. -Because if it were OK, why would you even be doubting ? It must be your conscience trying to stop you.

          • Dave Fladlien

            Alicia: it’s not necessarily conscience at all. If I didn’t act when in doubt, I’d almost never do anything. For instance: let’s suppose that I have a cold, and it’s Sunday. Do I stay home and miss Mass, or do I go to Mass and expose others? For me, with my asthma, a cold can be life-threatening; if it can be for me, it can be for someone else too.

            It’s a real struggle for me anytime I’m in that spot. Ultimately I kind of guess how bad the cold is, whether I’m confident that I can refrain from coughing or sneezing near someone, and of course I make sure not to shake hands. In that case, I might decide to err on the side of not going, because I don’t want to make someone seriously ill, but if it isn’t at all clear, then I think I am at liberty to do as I choose.

            This is a very simplistic example, and I suppose several people will post things disagreeing with me no matter what I say, but in my life there are many, many times when it is far harder to know what to do. Fr. Morello knows that about my life, which is why he made the comments he made, taking the opportunity to be helpful. For whatever reason, my life is, and always has been, incredibly complex. So I do often use St. Augustine’s principle.

          • Alicia

            Dave, I understand you. I guess it has to do with personalities and different ways of looking at things. I’m very practical, but I have a wonderful daughter who is like you. You’re obviously a good and wonderful person, and I’m sure God is pleased with you. Honest mistakes won’t offend him. ( we’re not talking of mortal sins here. Those are clear.)
            Not going to mass on Sunday is one, but if I had the terrible cold and felt very sick, I would just stay home and tell Him – Sorry, but I won’t make it today. I’ll be there as soon as I’m better -. If I wanted to go, I would bundle up, stand against the wall in the back of the church, and ask God not to let me cough during mass.
            I have allergies and I can’t breath through my nose. I breath through my mouth, so it gets dry and I cough a lot. During mass it would bother me because people don’t know it isn’t contagious. So, before going in I ask my patron saint, St. Blaise, not to let me cough during mass. Before I adopted St. Blaise, I used to ask the Holy Spirit. Well, I don’t cough during mass !!!
            When in doubt on serious decisions, I turn to God, tell him that I don’t know what to do and to tell me. I always add – and make it loud and clear so I get it -. He always does.
            Born and raised a Catholic, Catholic schools, lots of nuns, Catholic culture made religion, and familiarity with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, Our Lady, and our guardian angel part of everyday life.
            It’s not disrespect. It’s love, faith, and trust.
            Many times I’ve told Him – God, you know I tried to solve these problems, but I can’t, so I give up. You take over and your will be done, but if I don’t like your will, and you know that sometimes I don’t, make sure you stay beside me and help me through it. He always does.
            Use your contacts. We’ve got the best. !!!

          • Dave Fladlien

            Thanks for your thoughts. I too have been greatly blessed by prayer to St. Blaise.

            If by “like you” you mean that your daughter goes through a lot of anguish over some of these moral decisions as I do, I’d suggest you point out that which I tend to forget myself: if God put her in a situation where she has to make a moral judgement, He did so with the full awareness that she is qualified to handle it, no matter how exasperating she finds that fact.

            He will see her through it, if she puts in the *appropriate* (not excessive) effort to find/figure out what is “right” in the situation, then makes a decision and trusts in Him. It doesn’t mean she will be infallible; it means He will be satisfied (or better) with her effort and her discharge of her responsibility.

            Like I said: surprisingly easy to forget, but that is where I always end up…

      • Fr. Peter Morello, Ph.D.

        Of course Dave acts which are intrinsically evil, murder, false witness, adultery, deviate sexual behavior have no mean. In the case of acts that are as such evil by nature they are absolutely evil, whereas a good act say giving to the poor has a mean determined by what you can give without detriment to personal need.

    • Cheryl Jefferies

      As a convert to Catholicism at age 31 (I’ll soon be 66), you could not be more in error. And, considering how many “cradle Catholics” cannot verbalize or exhibit solid understanding or even knowledge of this Church’s teachings, considering how many “cradle Catholics” vote Dem with all the sad and frightening implications that holds, considering how many “cradle Catholics” ignore the implications of their own voting and “social justice” stances, I will make the following statement myself: I find your first two sentences above both condescending and erroneous and a rather facile blanket-judgment of converts. Actually, I find your entire comment to be such, but, as you are letting go and letting God, so am I. If you are a convert, then please speak for yourself and not for me. I will do the same in return.

      • Cheryl perhaps you might want to take a deep breath this evening. You are certainly letting people have it in your comments. Yet you ask conservativeconvert above to speak for himself because he is condescending and erroneous. And why would you question whether he is a convert? Where did that come from? You have blasted away at cradle Catholics and in a previous post today you call both Clinton and Trump “ignorant foolish shams.” Are you not willing to listen to people without attacking them? But perhaps if you have never voted a Democrat for President once in your 44 years of voting it makes it a little easier to understand where you are coming from? There has never been one Democrat in 44 years who was worthy and qualified to be President? Maybe that’s why people are praying so fervently for the American nation in 2016.

        • Cheryl Jefferies

          I wonder why it is when people are blunt, as I often am, they are told to take a deep breath? I’m not angry. I’m just being honest. When did honesty become a reason for a deep breath? When did honesty become “attacking?” I’m not Jesus, but, I cannot help but wonder if you’d have told Jesus to “take a deep breath” when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. Or, you would have told Dr. Robert George that when he gave his magnificent speech last year, “Are You Ready to Pay the Price?” You may want to read that speech. If we don’t stand up and speak out on things that are important to us, and that includes, speaking bluntly, we are doomed. Speaking with honesty, even, bluntness, does not preclude being a Christian. Jesus proved that. I may not make it into Heaven and there are lots of reasons I might miss the cut, but, I don’t think God will “spew me out of His mouth” for being “lukewarm.”

          • Cheryl we can stand up for what we believe in without attacking people. We can defend the teachings of Christ without demeaning people. We can leave the ‘temple trashing’ to Jesus.

          • Cheryl Jefferies

            Again, I was standing firm. Speaking one’s mind does not mean “attacking.” But, if you choose to call it that, to each his own. I think it’s time for me to shake some dust off my sandals. Thanks.

          • Sheila

            Stand firm. You go girl.

          • Sheila

            I agree with Cheryl. It takes time, humility, guts and lots of prayer to say anything to help people give their hearts to God. It only takes a second to respond in anger.

          • Sheila

            I’m with you Cheryl.

        • Sheila

          Oh my. Clinton and Trump…Ugh. And who made you judge and jury? It’s called free speech. We all have that right at this time. Maybe not so much if our voters do not embrace God and the constitution. And pro life for that matter. Let us all not forget…for the sake of our catholic souls that God is 100% pro life. He created all of us from conception to natural death. Only one way to vote. Let me say it again. Only one way to vote. Pro Life candidate 100%. Go God! Catholics, whether baptized as an infant, adult or a revert like me, catholics are taught by our holy church to be 100% pro life.

  • Sheila

    I agree 100% with your last sentence. “If ever there was a time when prudence in both its senses was needed in the conduct of public affairs, it’s now.” This statement sums it all up for me and makes for a perfect prayer. It will become my daily election prayer. Hopefully, (with God’s help) I can now put it into His hands and stop stressing about it.

  • Robert A Rowland

    It is always interesting to read the writings of Russell Shaw. The title of his latest book is indeed intriguing. I have some strong reservations about the uncertain future of the Church in America.


    Without religion, our nation and free people will perish.

    Christian values are the ones Americans most cherish.

    Alex de Tocqueville saw Christian values in our nation.

    He considered these values worthy of imitation.

    Patrick Henry introduced a bill for Christian teachers,

    to ensure public schools that would teach religious features.

    In the thirties, I knew God was allowed in public schools.

    Christian values were honored and included in school rules.

    Violence in public schools then was virtually unknown.

    Swats with a paddle for offenders were punishment shown.

    Paddled once, I forever learned self-discipline was best.

    With lax discipline, keeping order has become a test.

    Unalienable rights once guaranteed by divine laws,

    have now been eroded away by Socialist outlaws.

    Marriage and family are under government attack.

    Moral patriotic Americans must now fight back.

    Christian nationwas our Founders’ original intent.

    Sex, licentiousness, and sodomy were not what they meant.

    Life and liberty no longer mean happiness for unborn.

    Abortion makes our nation’s future extremely forlorn.

    Bob Rowland