Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Monsignor Michael McCarron

11/2/2008 (7 years ago)

Catholic Online (

We are called to confront society with life's goodness and demand it be reverenced in all of its ages and phases. We cannot take "no" for an answer.


By Monsignor Michael McCarron

Catholic Online (

11/2/2008 (7 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - "I don't personally believe that someone should do that but I don't think that the government should interfere; it's their choice . . ." I listened, but I didn't understand.

"It may be a part of your religious belief, but it's not a part of mine. In fact, my religion permits it, and can justify it in the Scriptures. Don't try to force your religion on me." I heard what they were speaking but I couldn't believe what they were saying.

On television, the news filled the screen with the sit-in demonstrators being hauled off to jail, as every case seemed destined for the Supreme Court. Family gatherings became debates over an individual's rights. Evening dinners demonstrated how far apart people found themselves to be.

"I wouldn't do this, but I can't demand anyone else follow my conscience," the majority would say. It was not the '80s or the '90s. It was 1962. It was not abortion that was being discussed, it was segregation. It was the topic of every Southern town meeting and PTA. The time was awash with change and the prophets wore cotton print dresses, nylon suits, and thin black ties. The will of the majority needed to be opposed. The spirit of the minority needed to be emboldened.

We are in a similar age. We are in an age in which selfishness expands because charity lacks courage. Cynicism claims the minds of our young, because optimism is locked in a private room.

We have begun to believe the lie that religious faith has no part to play in public life. We have falsely come to accept the lie that a moral code based on a concept of natural law, or principles of objective truth, are out of place in our society. But if the individual's rights are always paramount, we would still be locked in slavery or mired in segregation.

The truth is seldom determined by popular vote or majority opinion. In fact, it is the nature of truth that it often separates itself from the crowd. Truth often calls to a smaller number, whose task it is to share and spread that truth. It may well be the sadness of our age that those assigned that task are waiting for others to do the work.

It is the task of the worker at the shipyard to tell the truth that the racist joke is a perpetrator of division. It is the task of the parent to tell the truth that the morals of the crowd cannot be the morals of their own family. It is the task of the high school student to tell the truth that the body is beautiful and sacred and is not made for abuse or temporary sexual play. It is the task of the citizen to tell the truth that wars may not be fought to insure legacies and personal histories.

The fact is, there are always those who will try to silence those who tell the truth with the cynical lie that there simply is no such thing. "Truth is subjective," cynicism holds, "so keep yours to yourself." It is into this lie that our age has walked. It is time for those who have been tasked with the truth to give up their silence.

The truth is that every life is sacred. Whether it is planned or a surprise, wanted or not, it is by nature good and meant for our cherishing. The truth is that regardless of color or origin, every man and woman has a dignity that demands respect. Not special note, but absolute respect. There is nothing funny in joking about that.

The truth is that every act of war is wrong. When some deem it a wrong that is necessary, it is concomitant on those who so deem it to exhaust all means of peace before it is utilized. The truth is that before a government uses its servicemen and women as the real weapon of choice in a war, it must earn the right to ask their service through a history of truth-telling, lieŹ avoiding and life-reverencing behavior.

The truth is our teen-agers are too precious to surrender them up to a consumptive sex industry that will convince them that they are worth only what they have given in body and spirit to another.

The truth is all around us, waiting to be told. The majority do not have to acknowledge truth for it for it to be true. Those called to tell it do not have to like the task, or believe themselves worthy of it, to announce and spread it.

The followers of Jesus are called to take up this task, and they are not permitted to honorably put it down. By our lives, in our words, through our consistent esteem of all life, we are to announce the truth that cynicism is a lie, and that the Easter message is true.

Sometimes we are called to confront the society in which we live with life's goodness and demand it be reverenced in all of its ages and phases. We cannot take "no" for an answer. It is not the easiest of tasks, but then, it wasn't easy in Selma or Memphis in 1963.


Monsignor Michael McCarron is a priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Va. where he serves as the Pastor of St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake


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

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Readings for Friday, November 27, 2015
  • Happy Thanksgiving Day: Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart
  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • Bet you've never seen a space rocket do THIS!
  • UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the ...
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • St. James Intercisus: Saint of the Day for Friday, November 27, 2015

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 6:12-28
12 These men came along in a body and found Daniel praying and pleading ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74
68 Bless the Lord, dew and snow-storm, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:20-28
20 'When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you must realise ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2015 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at ... Read More