American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2011)|
Rampant lion on a red standard, logo of the American TFP
|Registration No.||23-7325778 (EIN)|
|Key people||Raymond E. Drake, President
John Horvat II, Vice-President
|Area served||United States|
|Revenue||$8,457,353 (FY 2011)|
The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) is a civic organization of traditional Roman Catholic inspiration. Founded in 1973, it is one of many "Tradition, Family, Property" groups (TFPs) and like-minded organizations worldwide, all of which are inspired by the work of the Brazilian intellectual, politician and activist Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira.
The American TFP is staffed by approximately 75 full-time members and employees. It claims, with its affiliated America Needs Fatima campaign, to have more than 120,000 members nationwide. The organization's national headquarters are in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, with regional offices in Chicago, Illinois; McLean, Virginia; Lafayette, Louisiana; Orange County, California; Hazleton, Pennsylvania; and Rossville, Kansas.
The American TFP's worldview is based on Corrêa de Oliveira's 1959 study, Revolution and Counter-Revolution. According to the aims laid out in this book, TFP acts to oppose what Oliveira believed was an anti-Christian process that had undermined Christian civilization since the 14th century, the "Revolution" of the study's title. According to Oliveira, this "Revolution" has three phases which progressively undermine the Church and social order:
- The Protestant "Pseudo-Reformation" and its rejection of religious authority and inequality, in particular the Pope.
- The "Enlightenment" and the French Revolution and its rejection of temporal authority, in particular the King and nobility.
- The Communist Revolution and its rejection of economic inequality; the final phases seek to eradicate the Church and Christian civilization while applying more radical egalitarianism and implementing neo-paganism.
The American TFP promotes what it sees as the values of Christianity, and opposes liberal and egalitarian ideas, policies, and trends in both society as a whole and in the Catholic Church. In addition to supporting all official Catholic teaching, the group also argues for the need for authentic elites in society that raise, above all, the moral tone of general society, as witnessed by de Oliveira's Nobility & Analogous Traditional Elites in the Allocutions of Pius XII. In this book, de Oliveira seeks to balance the notion of "preferential option for the poor" idea in some modern liberal Catholic social thinking, with support for the natural elite that exists in all societies, according to the teaching of Pius XII, that they may become the obligated class working for the good of society (Noblesse Oblige).
|“||If the Revolution is disorder, the Counter-Revolution is the restoration of order. And by order we understand the peace of Christ in the reign of Christ. That is, Christian civilization, austere and hierarchical, fundamentally sacral, anti-egalitarian and anti-liberal.||”|
Ardently anti-Communist, in line with the Church's social doctrine, the group's Catholic identity caused it to voice its opposition to the policy of Vatican rapprochement with Communism.
The American TFP actively promotes its views through newspaper advertisements, direct mail, leafleting, public meetings, and 'caravans', groups of volunteers that spread TFP's message to the public at large. Its campaigns cover a wide range of issues, including the sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, Islam and 9/11, just war, abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, and homosexuals in the military. In addition, TFP also supports creation science and intelligent design. The group also protests against films and plays that it views as blasphemous, including Jean-Luc Godard's 1985 film Hail Mary, Scorsese's 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ, McNally's 1998 play Corpus Christi, Kevin Smith's 1999 film Dogma, and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code. In October 1999, TFP local coordinators carried out 300 protests at movie theaters against Dogma, and have mobilized 17,000 volunteers to hand out over 5 million protest fliers. In 2006 it organized over 2000 protests across the United States against The Da Vinci Code.
The group has also been involved in other public and political actions, such as protesting the 2009 invitation to President Barack Obama to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. The president of TFP, Raymond E. Drake, wrote a letter to the president of Notre Dame, Fr. John Jenkins, concerning this issue, expressing "great perplexity and grief...that a priest of Holy Mother Church and president of one of America’s most outstanding and emblematic Catholic universities would invite a manifestly pro-abortion president to give the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
TFP Student Action is the university campus outreach of the TFP. Its activities include distributing fliers and other literature on the streets of universities, sponsoring speakers on campuses, hosting student conferences, and organizing protests and petitions, especially against the provision of information about abortion and the acceptance of LGBT students at Catholic universities. Its most recent campaign is against the 96 Catholic colleges and universities that allow LGBT student groups. In April 2009, volunteers of TFP Student Action traveled to the major cities of New Hampshire and Maine to distribute literature against same-sex marriage.
The American TFP provides the staff to run Saint Louis de Montfort Academy, a boys' boarding school in Herndon, Pennsylvania, that provides students with a traditional Catholic education. It also operates Call to Chivalry summer camps for Catholic youth.
- "Fundraising notice".
- "Pastoral Bulletin". October 17, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
- "The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence"
- The Church Shall Prevail Campaign Central
- A Psywar Against Order
- Just War and the Pacifist Offensive Against Sovereignty
- In Defense of the Unborn Campaign Central
- A Plea for Terri
- Demolishing Myths About Stem Cell Research
- Traditional Marriage Crusade Campaign Central
- "Why Can’t Evolution Evolve?" (in English). The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. 03 May 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013. "If there is a side to the debate where things are changing, it is that of those favoring creation. These advocates have gone way beyond Genesis and present scientific arguments to justify their positions. They present peer-reviewed studies of qualified professors and academics who point out the scientific weaknesses of evolution theory. They are constantly coming up with new scientific ways of presenting the case for creation ranging from creation science to the very attractive intelligent design. Their positions are not frozen in the unverifiable past but use every possible field of modern science to support their positions."
- "Notre Dame: How the Gold Dome Tarnished"
- Letter of the American TFP's president Raymond Drake to Fr. Jenkins
- TFP Student Action
- "Scandal: Research finds pro-homosexual clubs at 96 Catholic universities"
- "Gay marriage protesters make noise in Nashua"
- "Protesters take aim at bill for gay marriage"
- "Group protests Maine gay marriage bill"
- Saint Louis de Montfort Academy
- American TFP Official Site
- Revolution and Counter-Revolution (English; online links to both HTML and PDF formats)
- America Needs Fatima
- TFP Student Action
- St. Louis de Montfort Academy
- Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Site (Portuguese, with pages in English)
- Associação dos Fundadores (Portuguese)
- Revolução e Contra-Revolução ONLINE (Portuguese original expanded)