In the course of this debate, many have been converted from justifying lying to realizing what the Church teaches about lying and assenting to it. Sean Dailey was one of those. So was I, really, since I was the first to offer publicly the defense "The Act in Question was not a Lie", a position that holds no water once examined objectively.
I will quote Mr. Dailey here in this post, as I did in my most recent post, for he transcends the argument and shows us what's behind it and what's behind the Chruch's surprising and seemingly rigorous condemnation of lying always and everywhere. After all, argumentation isn't working at this point. The Lying Apologists are simply ignoring what we say or mischaracterizing it. Perhaps, then, in the hopes of moving on, we can address the truth behind this issue, and the reason so many who rationalize lying are having trouble with their consciences.
Sean Dailey writes ...
[In the proscription against lying] love is the key element, and love elevates the objective situation to a higher plane. ...
But it was just this key element -- love -- that was absent when the Live Action actors entered the PP facilities and secretly filmed their encounters. Rather than love, their hearts were filled with malice and deceit. They objectified the Planned Parenthood workers; used them -- the exact same thing that Planned Parenthood does to pregnant women and to the babies they abort. Wow. What an accomplishment, Live Action.
All Live Action accomplished was to score points, as it were. It was the worst kind of "gotcha" journalism, and it accomlished absolutely nothing. Did it save a single baby? Hard to say. Did it convert a single soul? I highly doubt it.
You do not have the Catechism on your side in this [if you defend Live Action] ... because you are defending a loveless act. And without love, as St. Paul says, you have nothing. You can wrap yourself in all the CCC quotes you want to. But without love, you are still naked.
Our new bishop's motto is "Lex cordis caritas" -- the Law of the Heart is Love. Live Action violated that law.
And it also strikes me that this is something I wrote privately on this matter (to a certain "Dave"), which I think helps ...
Dave writes, "I do not think this was the case, I think Live Action was leading them in love to truth. Perhaps this is the source of our mis-communication."
Yes, Dave, that is entirely the source of our mis-communication. So much so that we are in agreement that truth was the END in sight (we both agree); it was the MEANS used that was not truthful, but deceptive (you disagree). You can not lead one into truth by way of error. We know the truth L.A. was revealing was right and noble; it was the WAY by which they were revealing it that our side objects to.
We can not defeat the Culture of Death with a Culture of Deceit. I know you don't think deceit was involved, so you would agree with me here in principle, just not in this particular instance. Thus, if you claim there was no deception (when there obviously was) we can't get past that and we must agree to disagree regarding the application of a principle we all agree on.
I will say, Dave, that I have great sympathy with your argument; it is really the only good argument your side can make. There exists in all drama the revelation of truth by means of pretending, the "virtue of IF" as Touchstone says in "As You Like It". The problem is, drama and all fiction presupposes the willing cooperation of an audience in the falsehood, pretending "as if" the falsehood were true, and from that hypothetical world deeper truths are revealed. When one is unwittingly thrown into a situation that is false and buys into the falsehood, this is called by all people of common sense, "deception". And this is simply wrong always and everywhere, per the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. You can't get around the fact that deception was involved in these stings unless you simply assert that it wasn't, as you're doing.
We are accused of being Pharisaical on this point. We are not. We are arguing that a failure to use good means to a good end is a failure in love or charity. We are calling all of us to live to the highest Law written in the heart, the Law of Charity, not to justification by following petty legalisms. We are arguing for the appalling demands of love, not nit-pick-ery.
Also, men of good will justify lying; I justify lying every time I lie. Saints do not, for saints are more than men of good will, they are men of good will transformed by the grace of Christ. Let us, gentlemen, be saints and quit making apologies for what we all know are lies, despite the political gain we think these lies will get us in the end.
By the way, Sean has been doing penance for this because he was shamefully on your side of the fence for the first week or so of this debate. I have been doing penance because I was THE FIRST PERSON TO ADVANCE PUBLICLY THE ARGUMENT DAVE IS MAKING - which I did in defense of James O'Keefe at the Chesterton conference last summer.
By the way, I keep encouraging James O'Keefe to come to the Chesterton conference this summer. He is an idealist (though misguided in my opinion) and he very much needs us. I have told him he has supporters and detractors among us, but either way he will get honesty from us and he will be surrounded by the most entertaining and enlightening group of people imaginable. Let us pray for him, for Lila, and for one another.