Monday, October 29, 2007

Archbishop speaks on life, truth and relativism

Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City has written a very cogent and precise argument regarding the irrationality and dangers of secular relativism as it impacts the abortion debate in First Things: On the Square. Below are a few snippets.

For many in our culture today, tolerance and diversity have become the new absolutes. Certainly, there is much good in such values. Tolerance is an important and helpful civic virtue in a democratic society. And it is consistent with Christian teaching.

In fact, as Christians, we are called to do much more than tolerate others who may be different from us in a whole host of ways. We are called to reverence every other human being as one made in the image of God and one the Son of God deemed of such worth that he gave his life on Calvary. This does not mean, however, that every action is to be approved, much less respected. There are some actions and activities that are against the innate dignity of the human person and that infringe on the rights and dignity of others.
The question that needs to be posed to those who make this claim is: Why are you personally opposed to abortion? Why do so many of the pro-choice politicians even say that they want to make abortion rare? Why want to make something rare if it is truly a valid choice? The rhetoric of choice has been a very clever marketing campaign for something that is of its nature evil and repugnant.
In some of the inner-city neighborhoods where I served as a priest, there was a great problem with gun violence. Could you imagine anyone saying that they were personally against drive-by shootings, but if someone else wanted to do it they should have that right? Yet it is precisely that illogic that has been used now for several decades to defend the legalization of abortion—the destruction of an innocent human life.

Without the acceptance of objective truth, everything becomes negotiable. The moral conscience of society and the individual are impaired. There is confusion in the recognition of good and evil. We become uncertain about such fundamental institutions for family and society as marriage. From the denial of natural truth, a nihilism emerges that we find expressing itself today in art, literature, and films. We become confused about what is good and noble. We question what is worth devoting our life to. This confusion results in a great interior emptiness. We try to distract ourselves with more and more things, divert our attention with more and more entertainment, and numb ourselves with drugs and other addictions.

For the entire article, click here.

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