Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Look into the "Liberal Kathlic" Mind

I had a conversation via Face Book with a woman I know who is a self-described “liberal catholic”…except that now she has tossed aside her faith in favor of homosexual “marriage” and “choice”. Sigh.

It’s been difficult to write this post, because it is just so annoying and disheartening. The arguments that “liberal catholics” use are devoid of logic; instead, they are rife with emotional reactions, half-baked “facts”, overgeneralizations, and ad hominem attacks.

A Catholic deacon, Harold Burke-Sivers, was the keynote speaker at a conference I attended last weekend, and one of the best quotes from his was this, regarding those “liberal catholics” who support sodomy and child murder: “They don’t have an argument.  All they can do is call you names.”

He’s right; it really does boil down to that in more cases than not. Even if they don’t actually call you a name, it’s implied that you are “judgmental” or “mean” if you want to deny anyone the right to engage in the most grievous of sins!

Let me give you a few more examples of “liberal reasoning” direct from the Face Book comments I exchanged with my Face Book friend. Here is her rationale for tossing aside Church teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior:

I have looked around me at people that are beautiful, loving, bright and compassionate, and have touched my soul…I cannot honestly look at these individuals and follow a faith that requires me to label them as "abominations". My Jesus has taught that we are all God's children and loves us in all our differences. This I have learned from my Catholicism… If being a faithful Catholic means calling these amazing individuals "hated" or "despised", then I cannot do so…I could not or would not disparage anyone who is true in their faith, whatever teaching they may follow. I learned in catechism classes (Catholic Sunday school) many years ago, that Jesus will walk our path with us, no matter what and I am counting on that now...

It’s pretty obvious to authentic Catholics that she misunderstands some key Church teaching here:

First, the Church condemns the sin of homosexual behavior – not the person who engages in it.  It is a common ploy of homosexualist lobbyists to misrepresent the Church on this and call the Church a big bully. It’s simply not true.

Second, she’s been indoctrinated with the “we must love one another” mantra of the Church of Nice. I’m not saying that we are not called to “love one another” – of course we are! But the Church of Nice has twisted that phrase into the notion that we must accept and even embrace the sinful behavior of others in order to love them. But that, of course, is not love.  That is being complicit in the sinner’s further descent into sin. The virtue is in admonishing the sinner – letting him know that he is wrong in his overt behavior, and encouraging him to come back into communion with the Church in order to save his soul.

Third, to say “I would not disparage anyone who is true in their faith no matter what teaching they may follow”…well, that’s downright ignorant. Of course, it’s not about “disparaging” the person, but, rather, voicing opposition to erroneous moral reasoning. And you can’t say that everyone is entitled to act on the teachings of their “faith” without running into the problematic fact that some “faiths” wish to kill those who refuse to convert to that faith. This, of course, is why the liberal politicos want freedom of religion to be reduced to “freedom to worship” where one chooses which church to go to on Sunday (or whatever day they choose…).

Finally, Jesus will not “walk our path with us, no matter what”. How could He, if we are obstinate in pursuing sin? He will not walk with us into hell! He wants to rescue us from that place, not accompany us there!

Now look at my FB friend’s reasoning on abortion:

I am not pro-abortion, but I am pro-choice. If some think that's a rationalization then so be it. I offer no apologies. God gave us the gift of free will and it is not right for me to judge others.

This is another liberal dodge, of course – “judging others”. To be fair, I think many of the “don’t judge” people are sincere in their intentions…but they are misguided. Certainly we cannot judge others’ motives and thoughts, because we can’t really observe those thoughts; but we can certainly “judge” – or discern – the rightness or wrongness of behavior. It’s done all the time, in courts of law every day. Some people happen to be in prison because they were “judged”. And sometimes, people get really angry when a person is not “judged” in court according to their opinion (case in point: Casey Anthony, whom everyone seemed to be certain killed her daughter, before and after she was found innocent; there’s always that old case of OJ Simpson, too…).

The other arguments my FB friend gives for being “pro-choice” are internally inconsistent. She insists that she believes the fetus is a person, but a woman who might die in childbirth is entitled to kill that person so that she can take care of her “living” children…as if that fetus is NOT living!  She says:

There is no sugar-coating abortion is death and embryos are babies, in my personal opinion. The choice of the matter is the mother's and she must follow her own will. If it is not considered "right" or "moral" for her to decide the life and death of her child, neither is it right for leaders to decide who must be killed or not.

Huh?! Then why isn’t it “a matter of choice” for a mom to kill her obnoxious teenager? Why must she “follow her own will” in killing her unborn baby? Killing is killing…isn’t it? Why do we have a legal definition of “murder”? Why don’t we just let everyone “follow their own will”? Obviously these are rhetorical questions.

I asked her directly, “When would it EVER be okay to kill a baby?” Her answer is the epitome of liberal thinking on this topic:

Exactly Jay! When is it? And yet there it is – in some cases I'm sure that it is not necessary and sometimes it is – every situation is individual, circumstances must be weighed differently... please don't think I take this lightly- it is killing…[But] There has to be a choice – the individual's God-given right to say yes or no cannot be taken away. Is it okay to kill a baby--absolutely not! but the decision to do so must be left to the person.

Which person?! I have a feeling the person in the womb would make a decision for life!
And interestingly, she adds this conclusion:

The consequences of those decisions are between the individual and God.

Well…yeah. That’s kinda the point. The Church helps us to understand that the consequence of certain decisions is, basically, hell.

I wouldn’t let up with my own arguments to counter her convoluted reasoning, and I sensed her frustration when she posted this comment:

I don't want to argue with you Jay, that was never my intention, but since it has gone this way – I wonder how you would have reacted if your beautiful daughter was raped by a gang member with AIDS at twelve years old and was pregnant....Would you seriously put her through a pregnancy after such a horrific nightmare? Are you kidding me?!

Umm…yes…I seriously would. I wouldn’t allow her to kill her baby and endanger her own soul! But notice the tactic – typical liberal thinking that makes it “all about me” (or my daughter, or some poor soul who has “no choice” – unless you’re talking about the unborn baby). I put the question to my daughter, who is now almost 19 years old (and was never raped, or pregnant, or anything like that); her response was, “So, have the baby and put it up for adoption. But don’t kill it!”

I hope that my Face Book friend’s final response was an indication that she had been forced to think about whether her reasoning was sound. She concluded the discussion with this:

I never once denied that a baby born or unborn is a person and I know that they have  a soul. I think this has gone on long enough, Jay. I wish you well.

Sigh. I wish she would continue the discussion; I wish she would allow herself to change her thinking and to form her conscience according to the Church’s teaching.

But since she’s not willing to continue, I shall pray! And I’ve found the perfect prayer in my little Blessed Be God prayer book. Feel free to join in…

Prayer for Heretics and Unbelievers

Lord Jesus, most merciful Savior of the world, we humbly beseech Thee, by Thy most Sacred Heart, that all the sheep who stray out of Thy fold, as well as those who are held by the darkness of error, may be converted to Thee, the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls Who livest and reignest with God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.


  1. I just had a special blessing tonight and, in light of this posting, want to comment.

    I don't think there are too many people who sin with actual malice, i.e., consciously rebelling against God and His laws. No matter what we do, we think that what we are doing is better than not doing it. In short, we always think that what we do is good. Even if we know that what we do is judged wrong in general, we judge our own actions as good within our circumstances. Women don't abort their children because they think it is an evil thing to do. They abort their children because they think it is better to do so than not. In contrast with not aborting their child, aborting their child is good.

    In general, then, we all think we ought to go to Heaven because we never do anything that we think is truly offensive to God because we never intended to offend Him. God being all good, loving and merciful is more concerned with our intentions than with our actions. That means we can pretty much do anything we want so long as we don't intend to offend God. God is only offended by our intentions, not by anythng that we do. In a strange kind of way, we always sin "in good conscience." Since we are always "in good conscience," God would never reject us.

    I am 67 years old and have a long history of sinning "in good conscience." I have done things that are objectively evil but which I did anyway because "I had good reasons." Why would I need God's forgiveness when I never intended to offend Him? "God understands."

    I listened to a sermon tonight that made me aware of how much and how often I have offended God in some pretty serious ways. I was on my way to Mass and I was more than a little shaken. I have already confessed these sins, received absolution, done penance, but tonight I was graced to experience profound and deep sorrow. I was very distracted during Mass and when I received Holy Communion, I just started to cry. And cry. And cry. "I am so sorry" just didn't seem adequate. I had to cry. And I did. I'm tearing up again as I write this.

    God is God. God is Holy. God is "transcendent ineffability." Sin is so offensive to the All Holy God that it cost our first parents Paradise and infected all their descendants with the effects of their sin. Neither Adam nor Eve intended to offend God but, "in good conscience," they merited Hell. As did I for countless offenses to the One who loved me into being to fill me with Himself.

    We have the words in the standard Act of Contrition "I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, My God." It's pretty easy to be sorry for one's sins because one fears Hell. It is a grace to be sorry because your sins offend God "who art all Good and deserving of all my love." Tonight I was blessed with this grace.

    Don't take lightly that "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions." It's great to rationalize our behavior such that we become God knowing and defining good and evil. I suspect that such rationalizations will be a special torture for us in Hell, our certain destination if we choose ourselves over God.

  2. Terry
    Outstanding post which should serve as a vivid reminder to all of us. Your words could (and should) have been mine and because you shared them now they are. God Bless

  3. The trap I often fall into is excusing my sins because they seem small in comparison to the greater sins I see on the news every day. But the reality is that Christ died on the cross because of my sins (this is what, I've always imagined, protestants mean by the phrase "personal savior"). If you want to see what your sin looks like, watch the Mel Gibson movie and think "I did this to Christ all by myself."

    Why should such seemingly small sins have such a great effect? Well, think about how we get to heaven: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matt 5:48 This is not Christ setting an impossibly high standard for us, but it is a description of the reality of what you have to do to go to heaven. This may explain the necessity of Purgatory - the mind rebels at the idea of heaven for only God and the Blessed Virgin.

    I would guess that one of the main purposes of Christian community is that we can help one another on the road to heaven. We steer eachother away from sin. I rather like the idea of heaven and hell being the same place, but experienced differently by different souls. Just think of the opera buff and the rock fan at the Met - heaven for one, but hell for the other (comparison stolen from Peter Kreeft). Our choices determine if being in the presence of God will be heavenly or not. It cannot be otherwise.


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