A Look at the Catholic Social Teaching: Am I My Brother's Keeper?
The answer is called the Church's social doctrine.
That self-justification was founded upon a lie, for Cain knew full well where his brother was and what he had done to him. And yet he perjured himself when he answered to the Lord of Life and testified against the witness of his conscience that he did not know the whereabouts of his brother.
He murdered his conscience when he murdered his brother; now, he followed it up with a lie to himself when he lied to the Lord of Truth. With his own hand he unwittingly dealt himself a double wound, proving the Platonic verity that it is worse to commit injustice than to suffer it, though it is bad enough, intolerable in fact, to have to suffer it. And consequent to his murder, and to his lie, was a judgment, a judgment that led him to a life of alienation, a life of unrequited labor and the loss of ease, a life of fear that he was marked for death.
By acting against the brotherhood of man via the lifting of his hand against his brother, Cain was ushered into a Hobbesian world, where life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short," (Leviathan, I.13), and where relationships with others are based upon the "fear of death, and wounds," coupled with a hedonistic panting, a "desire of ease, and sensual delight." (Leviathan, I.11).
This is a world far doubly removed from Paradise, one proximate to Hell. It is a world where one man's hand is always against another's, where man's hand is not extended in help, and where the hand of Providence and the Eternal Law are bracketed, where they are words of an old order, a defunct regime. Now there is no more vox Dei, and all is vox populi. The only hand is the invisible hand trumped up by Adam Smith, an invisible, fictitious, unfeeling hand built upon the frivolous theory that a man's selfish vice and vicious selfishness redounds to the benefit of the common good. This hand holds no one in its palm. (Cf. Isaiah 49:14-16).
The modern world suffers from the malaise of bad thinking: bad political thinking, bad economic thinking, bad thinking about sex, marriage, and family, and bad thinking about the purpose of human life and of man's nature. The classical political liberalism of John Locke, institutionalized in our Declaration of Independence and the American civil religion; the classical economic liberalism of Adam Smith, and the laissez faire of the French Physiocrats upon which our economic system is built.
In addition, there is the rugged individualism of supposed self-made men, who had not time for their poor, laggard brothers, the poor who would always be with them; the idolization of the dog-eat-dog competitiveness, a social adaption of the pseudo-science of Darwinian's survival-of-the-fittest dogma, found in such landmarks as Herbert Spencer's "Social Statics," where nature and society had no end, no law, but competition of species, resulting in an ethos that was red in tooth and claw. Moral relativism which stems from man's supposed autonomy, a price given to him not by God but by an untraveled man with a stoop, a man wakened up by Hume, with little imagination, less piety, but prodigious brains named Immanuel "God-is-with-Us" Kant, has now crept in to the mix.
And this, and a whole lot of sloppy thinking, has led us to a world of nothing but incessant rights talk, a world which, in the words of those seagulls of the movie Finding Nemo, is nothing but a world of "mine, mine, mine," a world where natural law, reciprocal duties, and objective moral truth are viewed as words and concepts that are passť at best, and intolerable and dangerous evils, at worst.
Ideas Have Consequences is the title of a famous book by Richard M. Weaver. But for him all ideas were arbitrary, the products of raw choice, without any basis in an objective world, without any tied to what is. We are products of the Great Stereopticon--truth being a commodity, not something tied to what James V. Schall calls simply, but very meaningfully, what is.
And then we have the backlash to this state of affairs: responses to the social ills brought in by this new thinking, whose prescription was and is worse than the disease: socialism, which denies private property and proposes a nanny-state; communism which to socialism added an admixture of philosophy of dialectical materialism, of atheism, of class warfare, of violence, yielding a socialistic witch's brew. And then there is Fascism, Nazism, Nationalism . . . ism after ism after tiresome ism.
And we, like sheep, have gone astray, each one of us has turned to his own way, his own ism. And meanwhile, despite all isms, the divide ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Living Faith News
- Receiving the Eucharist: I Have Decided to Kneel For Jesus
- Pope Francis says atheists can do good and go to heaven too!
- Exorcism or not, it's still a miracle
- The Holy Spirit: Sanctifier and Giver of Life, Love and Truth
- Pope Francis tweets his prayers following devastation in Moore
- The Paraclete: The Counselor Who Helps Us Fulfill Our Calling
- Pope Francis calls for change within the Church
- Atheists to have their books placed atop Gideon Bibles
- Killer whale with missing fins cared for by its pod family
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?