Thursday, February 17, 2011
An Answer to Objection Number Nine
I've discovered another one. Objection Number Nine - Scripture, especially the Old Testament, condones lying.
Here's my reply, also in the form of a letter to a well-meaning friend.
There is no question that we need to stand united and strong with those who have the guts to fight abortion. The problem is, as with the torture issue, that if we begin to adapt the techniques of the enemy, we become the enemy. The devil is the father of lies, and was a liar from the beginning. God is Truth. The Way, the Truth and the Life. We must live conformed to Him and His mind.
This does not necessarily mean that you are less than Catholic if you support Live Action - though honestly, it might. For if the Church teaches (as she does) that lying is intrinsically evil, and if the Live Action actors are lying (the prima facie evidence is that they are), then if we continue to support them, we are supporting them from a Consequentialist position (the end justifies the means), which is condemned by the Church.
My point all along has not been that Lila and James are necessarily lying (I think they are, but it's debatable). My point has been that when a person says, "Well, I don't care what the Church teaches on this issue; I'm going to ignore it," then that person is at that point not in full communion with the Church - or you might say, "less than Catholic".
My latest post addresses this more fully.
As to Scripture. A few points.
1. God never tells anyone to lie in the Old Testament.
2. Jacob, the father of the Israelites, was a liar and a thief. David, the precursor of Jesus, was a murderer and an adulterer. St. Paul, a prideful persecutor of the Church. Are these heroes of the Bible celebrated because of their vices or because of their virtues?
3. The Old Testament is not the fullness of revelation. We can not look to the tales it tells - almost all of them full of blood, gore and sexual sin - as exhibiting the fullness of revelation concerning morality.
4. With that in mind, when did Jesus ever lie? When would He ever lie? When did any of the martyrs lie to save their skin rather than die in honesty? When Peter lied it was the worst moment of his life. How easy when the emperor says, "Renounce Jesus Christ or die," to simply lie and say, "I renounce Him!" But the martyrs never did that. And the lie of Judas and the lie of Peter were equally destructive of their souls - until Peter repented.
You know me well enough to know that I am NOT against effective action opposing the horrors of abortion. The problem is the devil tempts us with a compromise - look away from the inconvenience of Church teaching, don't pick up that cross, just keep your eyes on me and I'll get you there a lot quicker.
And if we take that bargain ... we are lost, despite our good intentions.