Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

4/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

We must join together and reassert in an age of relativism that there are objective truths which can be known, principles by which we can form truly free societies, and rights endowed upon us by God

We must join together and reassert in an age of relativism that there are objective truths which can be known, principles by which we can form truly free societies, and rights endowed upon us by God.The American founders carried such a vision into the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. However, they did not come up with this ennobling and enabling vision on their own. They received it from the treasury of Western civilization. Only a return to the Christian vision of the human person, marriage and the family and the society founded upon it - the insistence upon normative, fundamental moral truths - can secure the future of Western civilization.

Time for an Evangelical and Catholic Alliance for the common good

Time for an Evangelical and Catholic Alliance for the common good

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/28/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: life, family freedom, solidarity, christendom, Christian worldview, evangelicals, catholics Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Throughout my life I have tried to bring Christians together to engage and transform the culture - with varying degrees of success and failure.

My identity as a Catholic Christian grounds me in a vision of the human person, marriage and family, the Natural Law, human freedom, and an understanding of a truly just social order which flows from the Social teaching of my Church.

This teaching is called social because it speaks to human society and to the formation of social institutions. The truths and principles it offers are certainly taught in both the Bible and the Christian tradition. They derive from a Jewish and Christian worldview.

However, they can be known by all men and women because they are revealed in the Natural Moral Law and can be discerned through the exercise of reason. These truths and principles form the foundation of a truly free and human society.

Catholics are not alone in this claim. Increasingly, our evangelical protestant Christian friends are standing with us as together we recognize that the urgency of the hour demands such a response. I am convinced that this growing alliance is the key to securing a future of authentic freedom.

The Natural Moral Law can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason. It is the ground upon which every great civilization has been built. It provides norms needed to govern ourselves with equity and justice. It must also inform the civil or positive law of a Nation or it devolves into anarchy or collectivism.

The struggle we face in the West is the rejection of our Christian roots. Those roots informed our worldview. We face competing definitions of human freedom, human dignity, and human flourishing in the West. What is needed is a recovery of the classical Christian worldview and the social vision which it entails.

This worldview is not about being left or right, liberal or conservative - within the contemporary politicized use of those words.  It insists upon the existence of truth in an age of relativism. We must gather a movement around such a worldview and work together.

I propose four areas where we are in major agreement and upon which such a movement might be structured; life, family, freedom and solidarity.

Life 

There is a hierarchy of rights which begins with Life. When there is no recognition of a preeminent right to life, there follows an erosion of the entire structure of all human rights. Human rights do not exist in a vacuum; they are goods of the human person.

When a society fails to recognize that persons are more important than things and loses sight of the inviolable dignity of every single human person at every age, every stage and of every size, it embraces a form of practical materialism and loses its soul. 

Human rights are goods of the person. When there is no human person there can be no rights to be received or exercised and the ground upon which the entire infrastructure of derivative human rights is constructed is shaken and weakened.

There is also such a thing as a real common good which we all must work toward. It is objective and measurable. It is very different than the fraud which often masquerades under the phrase 'the common good' these days.

The worst example of the fraudulent notion of the common good is to deny the inalienable Right to Life of our first neighbors in the womb. Worse yet, to claim there is a right to kill them in the womb at any time and for any reason which is the real 'right'.

You can never have a right to do what is always wrong.

When we insist upon the recognition of the Right to Life by the Government we are not being 'single issue' voters. Human dignity is objectively present in every human person, whether in the first home of the womb, a wheelchair, a jail cell, a hospital room, a hospice, a senior center or a soup kitchen.

Family

Another truth and right revealed by the Natural Law and foundational to a free society is marriage. Marriage is ontologically between one man and one woman, intended for life, and open to children. Marriage is not an elastic social construct which can be redefined by courts or legislatures.

Marriage is the foundation of family. Family is the first cell of society; first church, first school, first economy, first government and first mediating institution. It is the first place where children learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and are prepared for citizenship in society.

The current effort to redefine marriage out of existence threatens our future as a free, virtuous, happy and healthy society. Marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of creation and relation.

Freedom

Then, there is freedom. There is no word which echoes more passionately within the human heart than that word freedom. The United States of America was founded by men and women who experienced threats to freedom's promise and risked everything to secure a future of freedom.

Our Nation has been deceived by a counterfeit notion of freedom as giving people the right to do whatever they want, rather than the right to choose to do what is right. This profane idea that freedom gives us a right to kill the innocent and to live lives divorced from moral norms to govern our behavior is leading us into a new form of slavery.

When there is nothing objectively true which can be known by all and form the basis of a common life then there is no freedom. Instead, we teeter on the brink of anarchy.Authentic freedom has a moral constitution within which we must exercise our right to choose.

Freedom only grows when we choose what is good, respecting the truth about the human person, human flourishing, the family and the real common good. It is lost when we choose against what is true and right and we fracture our common bonds.

This is why religious freedom is the first freedom. It ensures that the leavening role of revealed truth helps us to form our conscience and shape the choices we make as individuals, families and as a society.

Solidarity 

Authentic freedom is also not just a freedom from - but a freedom for. It must recognize our obligations in solidarity to one another. Any notion of freedom which begins and ends with the isolated, atomistic individual as the measure will never promote the real common good.

Freedom brings with it obligations to do what is right and to care for others, especially the poor in all of their manifestations. We have an obligation in solidarity to one another and, in particular, to the poor. We are our brother/sister´s keeper.

However, we need to apply the social ordering principle of subsidiarity in implementing this obligation in governing structures and in the economic order. This principle insists that governance should be exercised at the lowest practicable level - first - beginning with the family.

Larger governing entities must never usurp the rightful role of families and the mediating structures of society such as religious institutions, associations, charities and small self governing structures between the family and the institutions of civil government.

Statism never works, whether of the rightist or the leftist version. It squelches freedom, creativity, initiative and genuine human compassion. Not because government is somehow intrinsically evil, but because collectivism is simply not good government; it is tyranny.

The question we should ask is whether government is good, including whether it is efficient and effective as well as healthy. That can best be assessed by considering who does the governing, where it happens and whether such governing reflects truly moral values.

Our Common Mission

We must join together and reassert in an age of relativism that there are objective truths which can be known, principles by which we can form truly free societies, and rights endowed upon us by God.

The American founders carried such a vision into the experiment in ordered liberty called the United States of America. However, they did not come up with this ennobling and enabling vision on their own. They received it from the treasury of Western civilization.

It is only a return to the Christian vision of the human person, marriage and the family and the society founded upon it - the insistence upon normative, fundamental moral truths - which can secure the future of Western civilization.

As a Nation we have lost our moral compass. As a result, we are losing our freedom. The idea that we can separate moral issues from fiscal or international issues is wrong. There is a moral basis to every political, economic and social concern.

We need to work together to support political candidates who promote an authentic vision of human freedom - not a libertinism masquerading as liberty or a selfish individualism which rejects our obligations to one another.

They will need thick skin because they will face the brunt of the intolerant secularists and the derision of some within both major political parties. The secularist censors of the hour want to deny any truth claims and forbid us from making them in the public square.

They want our truth claims confined within our Church Walls. They try to use the Police power of the State to silence us. This is not freedom it is tyranny. It must be opposed. We need to stand together and form a new resistance movement.

There is a difference between a secular state which welcomes all religious expressions or none at all, and secularism, an oppressive anti-religious regime which seeks to censor out of the public forum the wonderful contributions of the Church, people of faith, and the great ideas informed by faith which have shaped the West.

It is Time for an Evangelical and Catholic Alliance for the common good.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

Romney weighs in: Obama is doing 'a good deal worse than even I expected' Watch

Image of Mitt Romney called President Obama out over numerous failures in the six years he has been in office during a West Virginia political rally.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney made quite a scene as he attended a West Virginia rally for three Republican Congressional candidates who are up for election in November. Crowds cheered "Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!" as he spoke. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil. Learning to Live Evangelical Simplicity in an Age of Idolatry Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


STUPID: Political analyst says indictment of Texas governor is 'the stupidest thing I've ever seen' Watch

Image of A video taken inside the jail after her arrest shows an aggressive, uncooperative Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg under restraint.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling it "potentially was the stupidest thing I've seen, I think, in my entire career," MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin says the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts of abusing his power is asinine. "I hope some judge throws it ... continue reading


Persecution: W. W. Bridal Shop Forced Out of Business Because the Owners Are Faithful Christians Watch

Image of W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania is being forced out of business because its owners are faithful Christians who believe that marriage is solely between one man and one woman.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In the first two centuries of Christianity, as the early Christians sought to serve in the broader Roman society by engaging in all suitable occupations, some occupations had to be avoided. To practice them would require them to violate their faith. As some other ... continue reading


Obama denounced as 'greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation' Watch

Image of In the face of incarceration that could arrive this year, James Risen has resorted to journalistic defiance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denouncing U.S. President Barack Obama as "the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation," New York Times reporter James Risen now faces jail time over his refusal to reveal a source. Risen also refuses to testify against a former CIA agent accused of ... continue reading


Rick Perry on potential indictment: 'I stood up for the rule of law' Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry is fighting back against an abuse of power indictment leveled against him by Democrats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On an August 17 interview with "Fox News Sunday" Texas Governor Rick Perry insists that a grand jury indictment, which alleges that he abused his office and attempted to coerce an elected official, is unjustified. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The indictment ... continue reading


SOBERING THOUGHT: Only 11 nations on Earth NOT at war currently Watch

Image of The world in general has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007. This has bucked a trend that had seen a global move away from conflict since the end of the Second World War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news has been bleak as of late: A standoff in Ukraine, shelling in Gaza and Islamic State making a hash of Iraq and Syria. A think tank has some sobering news for the casual observer; as of late ONLY 11 nations are not currently at war. It's a distressing ... continue reading


Sheriff deputy plows into, kills two pedestrians, gets no jail time and may keep his job! Watch

Image of A Kern County Sheriff's deputy may return to the streets following a plea deal for community service, despite killing two pedestrians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former sheriff will spend no time behind bars as a result of a plea deal, although he struck and killed two pedestrians while on duty. Locals are blasting the deal as a failure of the justice system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although national attention is ... continue reading


Is a solution on the horizon for California's drought? Watch

Image of Governor Jerry Brown helped unify Republicans and Democrats to create a measure aimed at fighting California's historic drought.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California state lawmakers have voted to place a $7.5 billion water plan before voters in November. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Driven by California's devastating multi-year drought which has cost the state economy $2.2 billion in lost crops, jobs and other ... continue reading


What caused this Marine sniper's mysterious death? Watch

Image of Corporal Rob Richards in Afghanistan. The Marine sniper was filmed in a controversial video urinating on dead Taliban terrorists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 28-year-old, medically retired, Marine who was at the center of a controversial video was found dead at his North Carolina home on the night of August 13. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The death of former Corporal Robert Richards was confirmed a day later ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter