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Englandís Saints Have Been Written Out of History
Catholic Herald (UK) ^ | 6/23/11 | Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith

Posted on 06/23/2011 11:51:56 AM PDT by marshmallow

Our isle was once a land of saints, but now there is a trend to consign all religious people to the dustbin of history

Today, under the old dispensation, which may yet return, would have been Corpus Christi, and at least in the Cathedral town of Arundel, it still is, and thousands of people will be rushing down to West Sussex to see the magnificent carpet of flowers and to take part in the solemn Mass and procession at 5.30pm. I, sadly, cannot be with them, and for those in that position, I offer some consolation in a reflection of today’s very English saint, St Etheldreda.

Etheldreda (630-679), sometimes called Audrey, was a royal princess, daughter of a king, twice married, second time around to the King of Northumbria; nevertheless she remained a virgin, took religious vows, and founded the Abbey of Ely. The Viking invaders later destroyed her abbey, but it was restored in more peaceful days, only to be suppressed once more in the 16th century by Henry VIII.

The period in which she lived is often called the Dark Ages. We ourselves live in a period of self-proclaimed Enlightenment. But these are broad brush terms, and as Catholics we believe in a hermeneutic of continuity: the past is not to be swept away, but rather should inspire us and provide us with a firm foundation for future progress. So we can learn, even from the Dark Ages. Sadly, St Etheldreda is now an almost forgotten historical figure, remembered in few places. The heroes of our history are those who destroyed her abbey, and who did so much damage to the fabric of our nation.

England was once a land of saints, but the saints of our isle have been written out of the script by Whiggish historians, which is part of a larger trend still much to the fore today to consign all religious people to the dustbin of history, branding them as part of the forces of reaction and enemies of progress. This is a deeply held but irrational belief: the idea that religion is the source of all our ills, and as such to be excluded from the public sphere, and corralled into the realm of the purely private.

This is clearly the view of Mary Honeyball. Just think, everyone is free to speak in the public sphere except the religious!

But what exactly is meant by the private sphere, to which religion is to be relegated? Was St Etheldreda’s abbey a purely private space, her retirement into religious life a purely private action? The personal is political, as many feminists will tell us, and how right they are. “There is no private life which has not been determined by a wider public life,” as George Eliot observed. She would have appreciated the choice of Etheldreda, queen turned nun. The private and the public necessarily overlap and the two cannot be separated.

This is not the only mistake that secularism of the modern type assumes. Its other error is to deny the importance of our historical roots; but if we do that we lose contact with reality, for we are historical beings. Catholicism, the religion of the Pope, is the historical faith of these islands, something that Professor Dawkins should take note of; Oxford, where Dawkins teaches, is a historically Catholic university; New College, of which he is a fellow, is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Secularity, however, properly understood, is a respectable, necessary, and indeed Christian idea, about the God-given autonomy of the world. It is admirably expressed in Gaudium et Spes, 17:

Only in freedom can man direct himself toward goodness. Our contemporaries make much of this freedom and pursue it eagerly; and rightly to be sure. Often however they foster it perversely as a license for doing whatever pleases them, even if it is evil. For its part, authentic freedom is an exceptional sign of the divine image within man. For God has willed that man remain “under the control of his own decisions,” so that he can seek his Creator spontaneously, and come freely to utter and blissful perfection through loyalty to Him. Hence man’s dignity demands that he act according to a knowing and free choice that is personally motivated and prompted from within, not under blind internal impulse nor by mere external pressure. Man achieves such dignity when, emancipating himself from all captivity to passion, he pursues his goal in a spontaneous choice of what is good, and procures for himself through effective and skilful action, apt helps to that end. Since man’s freedom has been damaged by sin, only by the aid of God’s grace can he bring such a relationship with God into full flower. Before the judgement seat of God each man must render an account of his own life, whether he has done good or evil.

The above statement strikes me as more deeply humanist than anything coming from our contemporaries who claim to be humanists. But modern pseudo-secularism is, as has often been observed, merely the irrational hatred of religion.

Why do they hate us so much? That is a question we cannot answer, only they can. But this does not mean we have no responsibility in this department. We need to adopt an evangelical attitude so that we alert everyone we meet to the attractive side of religion. We need to be dulcet, not strident, patient, not aggressive, kind, not sarcastic, charitable, not odious, in all our conversations. We need to smile not scowl; and smile sincerely, not falsely. We need in short to do what Jesus commands us to do – love our enemies, and do good to those who hate us. St Etheldreda, a wise ruler of her abbey, who must have dealt with lots of difficult people in her time, and who was even married to two of them, did no less I am sure.

Sancta Etheldreda, ora pro nobis!


TOPICS: Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: formerlygreatbritain; godsgravesglyphs; magnusmaximus; oncegreatbritain

1 posted on 06/23/2011 11:51:59 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
And ironically enough they keep the flag.



Likely because the lefties haven't caught onto what it means.
2 posted on 06/23/2011 11:57:33 AM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: marshmallow
Tomorrow's headlines today:

Saints Ain't!


3 posted on 06/23/2011 11:58:45 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: VanDeKoik

The hostility of the so-called intellectuals is not toward all religions, but more primarily toward Christianity (excluding Rowan the Fuzzy) and Judaism. The same intellectuals kowtow to the Islamists, and maybe go do their bowing to Gaia.


4 posted on 06/23/2011 12:53:03 PM PDT by Fred Hayek (FUBO, the No Talent Pop Star pResident.)
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To: marshmallow
Catholicism, the religion of the Pope, is the historical faith of these islands

Hmmm, I thought that was Celtic paganism until the Roman conquest brought Christianity.

5 posted on 06/23/2011 1:03:11 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: marshmallow

Include our USA’s very own New England has been subject heavily to the LIEberals censoring resulting in revisionist history devoid of many truthful facts that don’t fit their twisted agenda.


6 posted on 06/23/2011 1:03:20 PM PDT by tflabo
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To: marshmallow

Much of the fault here can be laid at the feet of Catholics themselves, for their acts of omission in regard to such saints.

That is, where are the paintings in recent years, or sculpture, or even books and movies that *teach* others about the saints? Are people expected to remember those never taught to them by anyone?

The few such works ever mentioned are dusty relics, which though prized art in their day, are no longer seen except by the occasional antiquarian.

This is not to say that there are no histories of Britain or England out there. There are some fine ones. But they are secular. Why not religious?


7 posted on 06/23/2011 1:08:31 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: Fred Hayek

Oh and they love Buddhism. Oddly it’s always the religions that have no real meaning to a westerner or the ones that are used to eradicate Christians and Jews that they like.


8 posted on 06/23/2011 1:21:21 PM PDT by VanDeKoik (1 million in stimulus dollars paid for this tagline!)
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To: antiRepublicrat

And the Celtic pagans left so much to posterity—where would western civilization be without stone circles?


9 posted on 06/23/2011 1:51:48 PM PDT by Mach9
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To: Mach9
where would western civilization be without stone circles?

Who knows what they could have done had they not been conquered and forced to convert.

10 posted on 06/23/2011 2:38:11 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: marshmallow

I read from some quacky sites that Pope St. Linus was a Brit. Any chance that’s true?


11 posted on 06/23/2011 3:21:33 PM PDT by dangus
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To: antiRepublicrat

>> Hmmm, I thought that was Celtic paganism until the Roman conquest brought Christianity. <<

Hmmm, I think someone doesn’t know the difference between history and prehistory.


12 posted on 06/23/2011 3:26:28 PM PDT by dangus
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To: antiRepublicrat

>> Who knows what they could have done had they not been conquered and forced to convert. <<

No-one actually forced them to convert. Christianity had quite an influence on England before the Roman Empire became Christian.

But to answer your question: Um, build larger stone circles?


13 posted on 06/23/2011 3:32:37 PM PDT by dangus
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To: VanDeKoik

I think they would say they just haven’t gotten around to that yet.


14 posted on 06/23/2011 3:38:51 PM PDT by ichabod1 (Nuts; A house divided against itself cannot stand.)
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To: dangus

I always liked Saint Swizen.


15 posted on 06/23/2011 3:43:20 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Forward the Light Brigade

The reference eludes me and Wikipedia.


16 posted on 06/23/2011 3:46:39 PM PDT by dangus
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To: antiRepublicrat

The Roman conquest did not Christianity. The Romans were not Christians then.


17 posted on 06/23/2011 5:11:17 PM PDT by vladimir998 (When anti-Catholics can't win they simply violate the rules of the forum)
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To: dangus; Forward the Light Brigade

St. Swithin (or Swithun) http://www.stswithuns.t83.net/#/st-swithun/4534964280


18 posted on 06/23/2011 5:14:38 PM PDT by vladimir998 (When anti-Catholics can't win they simply violate the rules of the forum)
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To: Mach9

Celts didn’t set up Stonehenge, however.


19 posted on 06/23/2011 5:15:33 PM PDT by vladimir998 (When anti-Catholics can't win they simply violate the rules of the forum)
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To: antiRepublicrat
St. John Fisher, a bishop and St. Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor, both Catholics, had their heads cut off because they would not swear an oath to the King of England but instead put God first.

Are they on your historical radar?

20 posted on 06/23/2011 5:20:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: antiRepublicrat
St. Thomas More, Martyr Of The English Reformation, Remembered June 22
Primacy of Truth over Power. St. Thomas More, Man for This Season
Thomas More for Our Season
Saint Thomas More, Patron of Lawyers and Jurists, Martyr
Dads: Men for All Seasons
( St.) THOMAS MORE AS STATESMAN: A BRIEF SKETCH
St. Thomas More: A Man for This Season
The Martyrdom of St. John Fisher - 22 June 1535 (By Michael Davies) [Catholic Caucus]

Defensor Matrimonii - St. John Fisher
St. John Fisher: "I am come here to die for Christ's Catholic Church"
Life of Thomas More
St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
St Thomas More
St. Thomas More and Modern Martyrdom
St. Thomas More Bearing Witness Long After His Death
Saint Thomas More,Martyr, Chancellor of England 1535
St.John Fisher

21 posted on 06/23/2011 5:21:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Here's another one. Catholics aren't forgetting. They are writing these men and women out of their history as a convenience.

The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170-Today in History

Becket's Lesson Beckons [Catholic Caucus]
BBC: St. Thomas Becket "Worst Briton of 12th Century" (!!)
Our Anglican Roots: St. Thomas Becket
St Thomas of Canterbury(1118-1170) [St Thomas a Becket]
The Murder of Thomas Becket, 1170

BTW, these are all FR threads.

22 posted on 06/23/2011 5:23:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Are they on your historical radar?

Absolutely. Great men, especially Thomas More. However, I don't agree with his communist Utopia, or its acceptance of all creeds except atheism.

23 posted on 06/23/2011 5:41:25 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: marshmallow

EWTN recently had a documentary on Blessed Margaret Pole. I was in tears watching this. Oh my she suffered so much, and died such a horrible death at the hands of King Henry VIII, the butcher. She was 70 years old and was no threat to his monarchy. He once referred to her as the holiest woman in his kingdom, and I think she was a governess to one of his children, Lady Mary, and he still had her beheaded. Her executioner was a novice and it took 10 swings to finish the job. Its just heartbreaking! She reminded me alot of St. Clitherow.

Blessed Margaret Pole, Saint and Holy Martyr, please pray for us!!


24 posted on 06/23/2011 5:41:48 PM PDT by diamond6 (Check out: http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/home.php and learn about the faith.)
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To: marshmallow
A Christian Pilgrim

THE WISDOM OF SAINT THOMAS MORE [1478-1535]

THE WISDOM OF SAINT THOMAS MORE [1478-1535]

STATESMAN, MARTYR, AND SECULAR FRANCISCAN

FEAST DAY: 22 JUNE 

If I am distracted, Holy Communion helps me to become recollected. If opportunities are offered by each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Saviour and seek counsel and light from Him. 

A man buys hell here with so much pain, that he might have heaven with less than one-half.

Occupy your minds with good thoughts, or the enemy will fill them with bad ones. Unoccupied, they cannot be.  

If any man marvel that God made all His creatures such as they should always need aid of His grace, let him know that God did it out of His double goodness. First, to keep them from pride by causing them to perceive their feebleness, and to call upon Him; and secondly, to do His creatures honor and comfort.  

I will not mistrust [God], though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear …… I trust He shall place His holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning. 

Comfort in tribulation can be secured only on the sure ground of faith holding as true the words of Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church. 

What men call fame is, after all, but a very windy thing. A man thinks that many are praising him, and talking of him alone, and yet they spend but a very small part of the day thinking of him, being occupied with things of their own. 

I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first. 


25 posted on 06/23/2011 5:52:16 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: antiRepublicrat

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2738948/posts?page=25#25

Please read this. I don’t see communist. I see a man willing to die for God.


26 posted on 06/23/2011 5:53:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I don’t think Thomas Becket is the best choice, because his issues were not based in piety and faith, but political and legal control.

What Becket was defending was in effect a more recent policy of clerical legal immunity for even those who had taken minor orders, an estimated one-fifth of all the men in England. This policy was not in effect at the time of the reign of Edward I, Edward II’s grandfather.

It was not unreasonable that Edward II did not want to lose authority over 20% of the men of England, who could commit any offense against the rest of the people yet only answer to the church. This would be intolerable in any nation.

So instead, as far as things go, what about the other Saints of the realm? There are many, and they are worthy.


27 posted on 06/23/2011 6:42:23 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: dangus

Its saint Swithin I believe.


28 posted on 06/23/2011 7:53:34 PM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Salvation
Please read this. I don’t see communist. I see a man willing to die for God.

I didn't say I don't like the whole man, I just disagree with some of his views, such as promoting what is effectively communism but with a tolerance for religion.

29 posted on 06/27/2011 11:07:25 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
Not really.

The Britons (who are now the Welsh) did have Celtic druidism as their faith, but that was stamped out by the Roman Empire from Claudius' time onwards and replaced by Roman gods.

however, Christianity is what defined these people.

Even later, when the Saxons came, the history of the Saxons (like that of the slavs) really starts with them becoming a Christian people. That deep ethos is what created and defined the nation

30 posted on 06/27/2011 12:28:20 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: antiRepublicrat; dangus; Mach9
err.. they were not "forced to convert" by the Romans into Christianity. The Romans from Emperor Claudius stamped out the Druids, but the Romans were persecuting Christians at the same time

Later, Christianity spread peacefully through the Briton community which was Briton-Roman at this time. This was emphasised after Theodorus I made Christianity the state religion of the Romaoi Empire in 395 AD (yes, Constantine did NOT make Christianity the state religion, he only stopped the persecutions by his edict of Milan in AD 313 -- two years after Emperor Galerius had already put an edict of toleration in AD 311)

The Druidic religion also probably did not put up the stone circles -- that dates from BEFORE the Celts (2000 BC whereas the Celts like the other Aryanic peoples came to Europe and Anatolia only after 1500 BC (Uhrmheit suppositions are from Khwarezim in old Iran or in the north-western Indian sub-continent

But in any case, the Celtic religion was stamped out by the pagan Romaoi Empire and Christianity spread among the Britons peacefully

Finally, anti-R -- the present "English" now are descended from the Saxons -- Germanic invaders who came across in the 5th-6th centuries and pushed OUT the Britons and Romans.....

These were converted peacefully a century later by the works of St. Augustine of Canterbury in 597 (not to be confused with St. Augustine of Hippe, Tunisia)

31 posted on 06/27/2011 12:37:54 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: dangus; Forward the Light Brigade

I think he means St. Swithun


32 posted on 06/27/2011 12:38:44 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: Cronos

As usual, there is a bit of a mix to varying degrees, of peaceful, forced by the converted chieftain, and forced by violence. I admit the British isles did have a far more peaceful conversion than, say, the Saxons of the 8th Century. They were lucky in that the early influence of Christianity had started to spread in the years before Rome became a Christian state, which was around the same time as they had to largely pull out to defend against the Visigoths. Christian Rome was in no condition to impose anything in the isles during Theodosius, as he had a hard enough time wiping out the old religions by force in the territories closer to home while keeping the truce with the Visigoths and dealing with civil wars. After Theodosius, Rome basically had no more power, the Sack of Rome being not long after his death. Thus the Celts, by a miracle of timing and events, were spared a violent state-imposed Christianity, and developed their own Christian/Celtic tradition pretty much in isolation for a couple hundred years. By the time the Church got back there, it was in large part an issue of “correcting” their brand of Christianity and spreading the official Catholic word to the rest of the isles.


33 posted on 06/27/2011 1:50:05 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Cronos

Duh, I feel like an idiot. Should have mentioned Maximus specifically in the civil war comment. That basically ended Roman military power in the isles, ending the chance of conversion by force by Theodosius. However, Maximus wasn’t exactly forgiving to heretics while he was in power either.

That darn Gladiator movie, now I associate the name “Maximus” with it, forgetting the actual historical people. :)


34 posted on 06/27/2011 2:04:49 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat
The British conversion to Christianity was by and large peaceful. The old Anglo-Saxon (mind -- not Celtic) religion was abandoned by the people starting from the top

The early influence of Christianity started quite before the Visigoths and other Germanic migrations. Arguably this was in the first century itself when Briton with it's less than a million population was in the sphere of the Roman world

your initial statement of this conversion happening by force was incorrect

35 posted on 06/27/2011 9:17:32 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Also do note the "corrections" are blown out of proportion -- this involved basically the tonsure of the monks and the dates to calculate Easter.

Finally -- the Anglo-Saxons, i.e. the English were converted peacefully starting by St. Augustine -- there was no forced conversion as your post above said.

36 posted on 06/27/2011 9:20:12 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: antiRepublicrat
That basically ended Roman military power in the isles, ending the chance of conversion by force by Theodosius.

Magnus Maximus on the contrary was Christian, the Britons were already heavily if not completely Christian.

37 posted on 06/27/2011 9:23:27 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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To: Cronos

Yes, I was thinking more mainland and the local persecutions. The British isle pagan inhabitants were indeed in an extremely lucky place and time.


38 posted on 06/28/2011 10:25:11 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: antiRepublicrat

The British isle pagans were lucky — and prayerful, they converted peacefully.


39 posted on 06/28/2011 2:32:17 PM PDT by Cronos ( W Szczebrzeszynie chrzaszcz brzmi w trzcinie I Szczebrzeszyn z tego slynie.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Note: this topic is from 6/23/2011. Thanks marshmallow.

Blast from the Past.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


40 posted on 07/04/2012 7:05:42 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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