A democracy (as with any type of government) has just cause for existing only when it follows God’s Natural Law. When “positive law” is diametrically opposed to Natural Law, it loses that just cause.
In today’s society, Relativism (especially moral relativism) is pervasive in many of the “positive laws” being put forth by the government. I cannot see it or society being able survive an implosion this immoral weight is putting on it.
Freedom does not entail the ability to act randomly. Freedom is linked to “identity” or existence and implies being free of the restrictions which keep you from fully being what you are “by nature” or essence created to be. Your individual identity means that you are not “determined” or restricted by what is “outside” of you. You are free of those external determiners. You are “self” determining in the sense of the very form of your “being” is determined by your true “self,” the creative principle which God made in His image that is at the core of our being.
You are free to act, originate or create by your choice or will because God created you as self-determining. Sin creates “enslavement” or the condition where we turn over our power to determine who or what we are to external causes. We are then shaped by those outside “factors.”
For example, pride turns over our power to “self-determine” to the hands of “others.” In pride, we live in order to “earn” respect or to “look good” in the eyes of others. Likewise, other sins turn the inherent “self” determining power over to wealth or some other external object of desire. We “live for” those desires.
God, acting in us as our “formative” creative principle has less and less efficacy within us because we have given that power over to some “thing” else. We are enslaved by those external goods - the “world” or specific “idols” instead of being internally directed and free by the power of the grace of God acting within the “true self” that God made us. Just as God is I AM WHO AM - that is, entirely self-determining, His very existence is not dependent upon anything else - in HIs Image (the Christ), we become fully who we are meant to BE, we become our “true self.” We can’t do that if our reliance is on the external things to “shape” and determine us.
Love of “things” in the sense of “desire for” those things can impose limitations on our freedom if we “give” ourselves over to them to determine what we are. If we identify ourselves “with” the object of desire rather than with the “internal” source of life - God, then we have become trapped. We are formed or shaped by the desire rather than by the creative “principle” of God in us.
Jesus said, “He who sins is a slave to sin, but if the Son makes you free, you are free indeed.”
The fact that someone identifies themselves as “gay” seems to imply their very identity is in fact determined by their behaviour or desire. How free is that? Their behaviour or desire has become their “ruling” principle and they are no longer free.
It may seem a “free choice” in terms of gender orientation, but in reality the choice is tied to external and contingent determiners, it does not proceed from the “ground” of Being, only from external social factors.
I believe it was St. Augustine who said something along the lines of any law of man that contradicts the Divine law is an unjust law. By this thinking, which I tend to agree with, any law acknowledging a “marriage” of two people of the same sex would not be a just law. Thus, the Church is perfectly justified in trying to preserve the natural law.
Just because our Constitution prohibits the establishment of a religion and protects the free practice there of, does not mean that the laws cannot or should not reflect the moral code of the majority of Americans. Most Americans, as indicated in statewide referendums in numerous states, do not believe that states should issue marriage licenses to people of the same sex, primarily because they recognize the importance of the family unit as it has been defined by western civilization for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
As Fr. Corapi puts it, there is a confusion these days between freedom and license. True freedom is the freedom to serve God. Things like pornography, sexual depravity and drug and alcohol abuse are the objects of license, not freedom. In the long run these things hurt the individual and society. Therefore society has just as much right to try to curb these things as it does trying to curb armed robbery.
Not at all. If that was the case, then any individual who says homosexuality is wrong would violate human rights. Now that might be a human rights violation in certain other countries (cough, Canada, cough), but here in the U.S., it’s part of free speech.
In any case, I don’t believe freedom should mean the ability to do what we want, but rather the ability to do what is right and proper.
However, the US Constitution is a fully secular document, and in the Treaty of Tripoly the US Senate ratified that the US is not founded on any kind of religious principles, and as such it is “free” of religious influences.
To try and “bully” the government into accepting any kind of religious influence is therefore unacceptable. The church is obviously free to discriminate against homosexuals or women (when it comes to ordination). It is no one else’s business. But to try and make laws to conform to their ideas is to be fought with tooth and nail.
The funny thing is, that such separation is the best guarantee that “your” religion will be protected against the possible influence of another religion. And that is the aspect which is sometimes forgotten by those people who would like to have their version of “morality” codified in the laws.
If the Roman Catholic church does not like homosexuality, it is its prerogative to say so. But it is not their prerogative to escalate their views into the codified world of the legal system.
A - hopefully shocking - example: the KKK is (and should be) allowed to express their views that the blacks are “inferior”. They are not allowed to (and should not be allowed to) create laws which would propagate their views. In other words, they can speak but not allowed to act based upon their beliefs.
Authentic freedom consists in obediently conforming one’s entire identity to what God, in His infinite wisdom, has already predetermined one is. A just society therefore permits absolutely no alternative identity without swift and just punishment. Such a society, seeking to do the will of God, therefore restricts all privileges, rights, honors and duties to those who choose this singular, authentically free path.
For those who experience same-sex attractions, they have the right only to rid themselves of them. They possess no right to indulge them in any respect. To the extent that *any *right or custom, either implied or explicit, affords a person with same-sex attractions the opportunity to act upon those desires, he cannot be said to possess such.
Which religious views? “Should” it be the muslim view be the one which prevails in “influencing” government? Are you so eager to observe the Ramadan? Not to eat or drink between the sunrise and sunset for a whole month? Don’t forget, the fastest growing religious segment is the muslim.
It can and it ***should ***fail.
Yes, I agree. This is why I hope that all the religious views will eventually disappear, and only the truth will remain. No matter how strong the “obstinate refusal” happens to be and how long that “short term” will be.
It comes as no surprise that gays are atheist. It is exactly this fork in the road they come to. The cannot be Catholic and gay, so out goes their faith and God. They will ramble on how the Church drove them to it and in a way it did, the truth of the Church, but they make it sound like it’s not inclusive. The Church does not exclude any sinner.
The deeper issue with your argument is that it essentially defines the free exercise of religion out of the constitution. In what appears to be your conception, the freedom to believe a certain thing is absolute but the freedom to act upon that belief is restricted, hampered by whatever diminished philosophical logic happens to be in vogue at the time.
You argue that the KKK may be allowed to hold whatever bigoted ideas seem appropriate for them. You then make the bizarre claim that they ought to be prevented from advocating that any of these sincerely held beliefs be put into law. How far do you suppose one ought to take this prohibition? Is the KKK to be prevented from publishing pamphlets or other printed material in order to persuade others that the law must be changed? Should the privilege of voting on certain racially-charged proposals be restricted from members of the KKK?
Once we have answered all those thorny questions, we have even further to go. We must examine the standard by which we make such distinctions. Why is that sincerely held belief (whatever we choose to call it) so sacrosanct that it cannot be restricted in a similar fashion? Why is it that that sincerely held belief ought to be afforded any greater respect than the beliefs of the KKK?
I’m going to take a shot at this but I’ve got a sinus headache so I might not make a lot of sense. :o
Personal freedom, including freedom of speech - the freedom to express our beliefs but that does not mean that other people will respect those beliefs per se, but only our right to express them. However, with the KKK example, the members of the KKK do not have the right to act on their beliefs when that action infringes upon the freedom of others. So, yes, you can hand out fliers, etc., but you can’t discriminate and you can’t lynch, etc. Let me add that I am the only liberal I know who has a problem with “hate” speech. My problem is that legislation against hate speect results in the defacto silencing of much dissent. This is where we come back to freedom of speech - while it is true that speech can harm, for example, the KKK does say things that are hurtful to the people of color and Catholics (they used to be very anti-Catholic though I’m not sure they focus on this much anymore) and Jews who hear it. Yet I believe that the right to free speech overrides these considerations in this case since this right is so basic to our way of life (which is why it was the 1st Amendment). This does, however, have to be kept in context. A Klan member can express his opinions at a rally for example, but cannot - in his role as a job supervisor, say - engage in racial or religious harrassment of employees. It’s a fine line, no doubt. And, for me, it all boils down to civil rights.
Now there was a time in this country not that long ago when segregation was accepted, even legal. And the folks who supported these laws really believed they were “right” and many considered themselves to be “good” Christians. They could quote scripture to back up their racist views. One of the KKK men who was involved in the bombing of the church in Birmingham (I think it was B’ham) that killed the four black girls was a minister of some sort. I remember reading that one of the original jurors said that she voted “not guilty” because she just couldn’t send a preacher to jail! Seems like nonsense to us, but that’s the way people thing and that’s why we have to keep “religion” out of civil law. Remember, the 1st Amendment also gives us religious freedom so we can’t very well tell these folks they’re just nuts - they really believe God is a racist. And as we should all know by now, people will fight to the death over their interpretation of God. Which is why we should just leave it alone, IMO. We’d likely end up with a religious war over whose “GOD” was the right one. This, I think, is what the framers of the Constitution had in mind. They’d lived through this type of persecution and they wanted to avoid it at all costs. Yes, there is a trade off, but I, for one, think it’s worth it.