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DOROTHY AND AMMON AND THE CHURCH - Catholic Worker odds & ends
January 24th, 2009
08:56 am


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To: Amy Goodman of WBAI Radio (New York City) New Year's Day/2009
Re: Ammon Hennacy

Dear Amy Goodman,

I knew Ammon during the Fifties and Sixties. He was very pure. And charming. He came to the Catholic
Worker while I was there, from 1952-54. He essentially fell in love with Dorothy Day, to a degree out of admiration for her sturdy, undeviating anti-war position. In the First War, he did hard time
for refusing to be drafted. (Your were discussing him with Utah Phillips on-the-air.)

BUT Ammon had himself baptized into the One, Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church in his Sixties.
(I am a cradle Catholic, baptized at the age of three weeks.) He became a Catholic to please Dorothy, who
also should have known better, another who entered this terrible, reactionary, yes, counter-revolutionary,
clerico organization. It was disgraceful for both having to join and give credence to this hideous organization,
pro-Franco, pro Mussolini, acquiescent to Hitler.

Why do you suppose there's been this great falling-away from the Church in Europe since The War? In part
because the Church embraced Fascism. Ammon and Dorothy should have known better. Both of them were
early socialists of one stripe or another. I hugely dis-respect them for having joined the Church, for giving
counter-revolutionary example. Ammon joined here in New York during the time of Francis Cardinal Spellman,
premier counter-revolutionary, of reactionary, counter-revolutionary, imperialist USA. Yes, Ammon could be
heroic: he picketed, fasting one day for every year since Hiroshima, every August, so by 1955 that was ten
days, and in 1965, 20 days etc.

No matter. Joining the Catholic Church was a deeply reactionary thing to do. He finally left the Worker, in the
early seventies, I think, and ceased to be a Catholic when he was finally convinced he could not persuade
Dorothy to marry him.

And soon she will be canonized, this faux-leftist. You cannot be a true Christian and be in the real Left,
especially a Roman Catholic, because: what is the symbol of Christian-ism? THE CROSS! This is how to save
the world, get yourself crucified! So don't fight the boss or the tyrant, get yourself crucified in one way or
another and this will rack up sacrifice points in Heaven that will influence God to erase the cruelty or inequity
or injustice or whatever. Gimme a break!

During all the years of human slavery, including enslaved Africans here in America, no pope ever proclaimed or
enunciated a call against slavery. But in Holy Writ, Saint Paul cries out: "SLAVES, OBEY YOUR MASTERS! How
much more reactionary can you get? Be submissive, be meek and mild.

The Catholic Worker was founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, a French clericalist, in 1933, in the pit
of the Great Depression, to lead a diversionist, faux---French for FAKE---radical movement. And highly
successful she was. I understand there are now Houses of Hospitality from America to New Zealand.

Oh, you've heard there was conflict between Pius XI and Mussolini? Yes, the Church opposed his
Fascist Youth organization because they were making inroads on the Catholic Youth organizations--ditto
Hitler and the Church.

I tend to go on too long. Happy New Year. Love your program. And admire it.

John Stanley

P.S. Some leftist Jews and Protestant Christians get taken in by Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker. It's
a snare and a delusion!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:January 24th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
o_O if fasting is heroic, why is the cross not?

(p.s. are quakers either not leftist or not christian?)
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Dammit Personalist, you are too stingy with your own opinions when you dump this kind of stuff on us. But I guess I could guess from your bio and interests what your response to this guy might be.

I'm not a Catholic and will never be one. My spouse is a convert, and I respect her decision. Both she and I know the history of the Church. She has her reasons for being Catholic which I respect. I have my reasons for staying out which make her sad, but she respects my decision.

This guy, Stanley, almost sounds like a mirror image of the fascists for whom he has such disgust. I don't know what kind of communist, socialist, anarchist or whatever he is, but whatever he is, I would tack "fundamentalist" on as a prefix.

Yes, I have trouble understanding why Dorothy Day became a Catholic. But I am autistic; I have trouble figuring out why anybody (including me) does anything. I'm sure she had her reasons which had nothing to do with getting sucked in or being a fake or being scared of hell. She was a spiritual person and The Roman Catholic Church was her spiritual home.

Anybody who thinks Peter Maurin was a fake.....well I'd like to know just what is his definition of authenticity?

It makes me angry that this guy and I probably agree on about 90% of what he says. What kind of a jerk must I be?
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