Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – “We may have a St. Thomas Aquinas out there right now. Again, the world would never know. It would be impossible for him to be recognized because we will not recognize certitude. You know why? Because that would mean that I would have to subordinate myself to someone else’s opinion. I’ve got a Facebook page and I’m not doing that. I am not subordinating myself to anyone, especially if they have a religious preference.” Check out today’s transcript for the rest….
Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: How many of you can speak fluent Latin? I’m working at it. I’m learning every hour of every day. I read from my Latin books, just read from them. Once or twice a week or so, I’ll read a chapter in Wheelock’s Latin book. It’s a textbook that you would get in school to learn how to read, write, and speak Latin. The Latin language is extraordinarily complex. [mocking] “Mike, what is your point? Would you please get back to doing the history of Washington or bashing Obama?” This is far more important. I am speaking to you mothers and fathers out there that have young children right now. Do them a favor. Buy books written in Latin, even if you don’t speak it, and read to them in Latin. [mocking] “Mike, why?” I’m going to explain to you why.
We think we’re the smartest, most enlightened people in the history of people. We’re not. As a matter of fact, we’ve succeeded in eliminating the institutions that make smart people. We have succeeded in eliminating and seeing to it that the world is so cynical and so suspect of Holy Mother Catholic Church that it would be impossible for a St. Thomas Aquinas. Even if there was one today, we’ve never acknowledge it. You know why? [mocking] “Well, that’s his opinion and he’s a Catholic.” Even though the Western world is built upon the foundation of Thomistic thought, much of the Western world. If it’s not from Augustine — gee, inconvenient, another Catholic bishop. If it’s not from Augustine, it probably came then from St. Thomas Aquinas. If it didn’t come from Aquinas, then it probably came from Alphonsus Liguori. If it didn’t come from Liguori, it might have come from St. Bernard. If not from him, maybe it came from St. Jerome.
We may have a St. Thomas Aquinas out there right now. Again, the world would never know. It would be impossible for him to be recognized because we will not recognize certitude. You know why? Because that would mean that I would have to subordinate myself to someone else’s opinion. I’ve got a Facebook page and I’m not doing that. I am not subordinating myself to anyone, especially if they have a religious preference. So you think we’re the smartest people in the history of smart people. We’re so darn smart. Let me tell you something. We are knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. We have bulging foreheads at this time.
David and I were talking about this. Do you know anyone that can actually speak Latin and English? Then they know that through years upon years of very intense study and practice, they have acquired that language skill. Why is that so important? I’ll tell you why. When you’re speaking in Latin — when you’re writing you have a chance to consider what it is and edit. When you’re speaking, you speak fluently. When you’re speaking in Latin, as you’re speaking, you can actually change the order of the sentence. We’re taught in school subject, verb, predicate. Grammar 101: subject, verb, predicate. I know there are a couple rules in there. The Romans were never taught such things. You build a sentence so that the emphasis is on what the sentence says.
As you’re speaking, you have to think about this. You know what else you have to think about? You have to think about: Wait a minute, as I’m speaking, if I’m speaking about a male or something in the masculine tense, I have to have an adjective or a verb that is also masculine. I can’t preface it or decline it with a feminine. You have to think about all these things while you’re speaking. This is an extraordinary accomplishment to be able to do this on the fly, extraordinary. Men that spoke Latin were numerous.
Again, let’s talk about the Holy Bible for a moment. How did we get it? The Catholic Church gave it to us. How do I know that? St. Jerome went to the temples, went to the scribes in Jerusalem and asked them if he could see the ancient texts. They complied. He transcribed all of them from either Hebrew or Aramaic into Latin, and the New Testament from Aramaic and Greek into Latin. He took it back to Rome, went back to Italy with it, and this is handed down now as what we call the Bible today. It was Jerome that put it together. Of course, there’s no certitude with this. Someone is going to send me a piece of mail.
I want to ask all of you a question. People love to read the Bible, and I love that you love to read the Bible. God love you, my friends. Why was it translated into Latin? What was the nickname — the Latin language was described as being what kind of a language? Vulgar. If you have a copy of Douay-Rheims Bible, which is the most authentic one — this comes — in the Douay-Rheims you will actually read Jerome’s translations as they were translated and then the first attempts or the early attempts to translate that into English. The Holy Bible was translated into Latin so that the common man, when he heard it spoken, would be able to understand it. This is important to know. The translation that St. Jerome made was made in the vernacular, the parlance of their times, in what would have been called Vulgate. That’s Latin for vulgar. Why was it called vulgar? Because it was common. It was the lowest common denominator. The dumbest people in Rome spoke vulgate Latin. The Holy Church wanted to make sure that the Holy Bible could be understood by everyone, and so the Vulgate edition. This is why we have it in Latin. This is why in the early church they stuck with Latin because it was the most common language.
Now, if you were an egghead and you were a PhD highfalutin professor back in the day — of course, they didn’t have that distinction — you probably spoke Latin and Greek. As a matter of fact, if you read the confessions of St. Augustine, Augustine complains in the first ten chapters that his dad made him learn Greek and he hated it. He hated it. He tried to skip out on the lessons. He’d play hooky he hated Greek so much. He loved speaking Latin.
What’s the point here? So the most common vulgar man, who probably couldn’t write but boy he could talk, through his intellect, could ration his way through and could compute his way through forming sentences in Latin. That takes a skill most Americans are never going to put elbow grease to or mind power to try and learn, yet we think they’re a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals, a bunch of ignoramuses? We’ve gone backwards in the use of language since then. As a matter of fact, we’re on the road to not even having a language.
We’re on the road to having a series of symbols that used to be a language. [mocking] “Mike, what are you talking about?” I’m guilty of this, too. How many of you have sent some kind of a message in the last 24 hours that had the acronym LOL in it? RMAOL in it? BRB in it? FYI in it? BTW in it? I just happen to know what all those things mean, but you see the point here. Certitude was the highest form of intellectual discussion, the highest form. This enabled the lower forms — if you had things that were certain — God is a certainty. If you have things that are certain, then you can talk about the certain things and apply them to the uncertain. This is where we get opinion. This is where we get diversity. You have to have the certitude to start. We’ve got it backwards now. We think we can get to certitude by everyone having an opinion. Well, you’re wrong. That’s backwards. You have the certitude and then you have the opinion below. Again, it’s just a level of subsidiarity. Of course, the Romans were ignoramuses and we’re geniuses.
Here’s a challenge. I still struggle with this, and I’m sure many of you do. Turn the spellcheck off on your iPhone. Just try it for a day. I get messages from people all the time and they’ll say “Stupid spell correction.” Turn it off. Don’t let it correct what it is you’re trying to text. Here’s an even better one. Instead of texting all the time — and I’m trying to get myself into this habit — why don’t we call each other? I used to like talking to people on the phone. Ten years into the digital revolution and it seems like such a drag now. [mocking] “Aw, man, the phone’s ringing. I was in the middle of a great text.” Things to ponder, my friends, things to ponder.
End Mike Church Show Transcript