On this eve of Veteran’s Day, I thought it might be a good time to talk about what it means to be a Catholic and live in society. In other words, how do we effectively express our faith in ways that better the society in which we live?
Our priest homilist today made reference to Church and State. I have to say, as he spoke, I began to cringe. There have been so many well-meaning and Godly people who have misrepresented the idea of Church and State by erroneously stating that Thomas Jefferson stated there should be an impenetrable wall between Church and State. It is true that Mr. Jefferson addressed this issue. However, the method and context shed a much brighter light on this phrase.
Jefferson had been contacted by the Danbury Baptist Church; they had an increasing fear that the government would be encroaching upon their God-given right to govern. Unfortunately, this event has morphed into an urban legend. In essence, what Thomas Jefferson said to the Danbury Baptist Church is that the wall of separation was designed specifically to keep the government at bay with respect to the ideology of churches and freedom of conscience…not the other way around, which it has come to mean.
So when our priest spoke the phrase ‘separation of Church and State,’ I began to squirm in the pew. But what he began to express after that was enlightening, though it might have made others squirm. He spoke of the obligation of Catholics to bring their Catholicism into their political decisions. Didn’t see that one coming.
Our faith is quite different from that of most post-Reformation traditions. Where denominations have varied beliefs (in part because there is no central teaching authority to define them), the Catholic faith contains established doctrines and dogmas based upon teachings from the earliest centuries…none of which are negotiable for one who claims to be Catholic. The most prominent teaching that effects politics today is the value of human life from conception to natural death, a teaching based upon being made in the image and likeness of God.
And what kinds of issues are we to be mindful of as Catholics with respect to the dignity of human life? Here is a short list:
*Abortion: since it is the taking of an innocent life, it is always objectively wrong
*Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide: self-murder/suicide, contrary to God’s gift of life
*Contraception: denies openness to life; many forms are direct abortifacients
*In Vitro Fertilization: a direct assault on the beauty of natural creation in the marital embrace
*Same-Sex So-Called Marriage: against Natural Law and the meaning of marriage
Just to be clear again, standing with the Church on these issues is non-negotiable for Catholics.
There are other areas to discuss, but this Top Five List tends to be most difficult for a number of Catholics to support. But why? One huge influence over these sins against Life has to do with an ongoing indoctrination. From public schools, to progressive university professors, to MTV, to movies, to TV shows—people are bombarded with a counter-Gospel message from very young ages.
But this has not happened overnight. It has been a Frog-in-the-Kettle experiment, where those who oppose the Church and her teachings have found a place to legislate their own form of morality. Small victories at both the local and national levels have fueled their efforts, leading to laws that mock God.
And in the process, they have used the educational system as a means of disseminating the New Morality into the minds of innocent children. To make matters worse, programs such as ‘Sex Ed’ (as if any human being ever truly needed a blueprint to marital relations) have now been hijacked by Planned Parenthood; the vulgar materials used are unmentionable. City libraries have routinely hosted Drag Queen Story Hours for toddlers, often accompanied by their gay parents. Then over time, those children grow up with an ideology in contrast to God’s ideal.
The landscape looks bleak. Which brings me to the reason for this Veteran’s Day post.
How is it that all of this can develop in what was once an otherwise decent society? In part, it is precisely because of Veteran’s Day!
You read that correctly…but I am not being cheeky. Our beloved veterans fought and often died for the rights of even the most unsavory characters to have their personally-held beliefs. That was their mandate. But…we Catholics, who have nearly 2,000 years of faith-history and doctrinal-based guidelines for morality behind us, have dropped the ball. Big time.
Each time we go into the voting booth, we check our Catholicism at the door. Many who truly believe themselves to be ‘good’ Catholics have become what is known in Marxism as ‘Useful Idiots.’ The term refers to one who unwittingly is used by a negative force to achieve its diabolical end. For all of us, it refers to abandoning our doctrines. We have believed certain politicians and even parroted their well-coined phrase, like, “I’m personally against abortion, but I don’t want to force my belief on someone else.” Every person who says this becomes a person divided. Neither hot nor cold. (Hmm, where have I heard that before?)
Hear me, people: we have been duped!
While some of us have politely refused to ‘force’ our beliefs on society, a new-world society has forced us to go along with theirs. They have done it with media campaigns that turn our faces away from our God and His precepts. They have done it with mandates and laws. And we have gone willingly down their phony primrose path.
“We had all gone astray like sheep, all following our own way; but the Lord laid upon him the guilt of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
Believe it or not, Christ died so that we would NOT be led by the ungodly. Really! Then, He established a Church to guide us in right living so that we might be the salt of the earth.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13
We need to remember that each time we enter the voting booth. We are the salt of the earth. We are Children of God first, citizens second. Everything we vote on needs to be guided by our faith. And if we do not know that faith well enough, our vote will not reflect the doctrine God has lovingly handed down to us from the Church, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We will fail in our duty as God’s children.
Our Veterans died for us to have the right to vote our conscience. And our conscience should always be informed by our Catholic faith.
So we need to ask ourselves…has our salt lost its flavor?
AND PLEASE: DON’T FORGET TO THANK A VETERAN!