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The Reality of God and Political Delusion

By John Mallon
©Catholic Online 2004

I'm happy to be launching a new column on Catholic Online entitled "Reality Check." Why Reality Check?" Because I have long held that Catholic teachings are the roadmap to reality. God created all that is, and nothing that is came to be without Him. As I have written elsewhere, C.S. Lewis has said this life on earth is merely the Shadow-Lands, and that the land of reality, light, clarity and substance is the life to come--Heaven. Lewis says in The Great Divorce, "Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly." St. Paul says in First Corinthians, "For now we see through a glass darkly, but then we shall see face to face and know as we are known."

While all that God made is good He gave us free will with the purpose in life to be happy forever with Him in Heaven. We exist for this purpose. That is reality. But free will and love requires that we choose God freely. Unlike the angels, one third of whom mysteriously chose to rebel against God in their clarity of knowledge, we must work out our salvation, our choosing of God on a moment to moment, day to day basis.

Unlike the angels, we see, as St. Paul says, "through a glass darkly." That darkness was brought into the world by our sin, Original Sin, which has obscured our clarity of vision and apprehension of the Light of God's face and His will for us ever since. God is reality, His revelation of Himself in Christ is our roadmap home, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit who "leads us into all truth."

The Catholic life is a continual reality check. When we live in Christ in the life of grace we are living in harmony with reality, when we sin we enter the world of illusion and confusion multiplies upon itself. This side of Heaven there always remains some taint of sin, be it in sin itself, or the effects of original sin: illness, suffering and death. Sin is death. The Book of Wisdom declares "God did not make death." God is life--reality,

So, that is the premise of this weekly column; to hold what we see around us in ourselves and in the world up to Reality, to check it against this Reality which is our very Life.

And what a week to launch it!

As I write, the Democratic National Convention is going on in my old home town of Boston. Far from reality, I am finding it downright surreal.

I realize it is quite a jump from the metaphysics of the reality of God to the Democratic convention but that only serves to illustrate what is at stake here.

The Democratic party, of which I was once a member, has, as we all know, abortion as the central plank in its platform. It is always looming, even when it is not spoken of. It wasn't spoken of on the first night of the festivities, but for me--and I suspect many other Catholics and pro-lifers--abortion spoke loud and clear even--maybe especially--in what they didn't say.

For example, I heard former President Jimmy Carter speak, the president who was a proclaimed born-again Christian when he ran for president, and who--once out of office--is reported to have regretted not doing more against abortion, say in reference to the Kerry ticket, the words "good, honest, decent and competent."

I must be obsessed, but these were my thoughts as he spoke:

What's "good, honest, decent and competent" about abortion?

The former president referred to "Civil liberties at home and basic human rights around the world." This is the party which flatly denies the most basic of civil liberties and the most basic human right of all, the right to life, to a whole class of people: the unborn.

For all their talk of "inclusion" here is one group shut out in the cold most cruelly.

Evidently the Democrats don't consider the unborn real people, or fully human; just like American slave holders didn't think black people were fully human, and Nazis proclaimed the Jews subhuman. Yet, the "party of inclusion" and "tolerance" will absolutely hear none of such logic.

Again, Carter spoke of "truth," and "trust." Where is the truth or trust that led to Roe v. Wade, one of the most ill-conceived juridical monstrosities in history?

He spoke of "basic American values espoused by John Kerry." He mentioned "The centrality of human rights in our daily lives and human affairs."

Just not for the unborn, I guess.

Then he proclaimed, "we cannot be true to ourselves if we mistreat others."

Amen, I agree, but again, for the Democrats the unborn don't count as others deserving not to be mistreated.

Finally, Carter spoke of "extremist doctrine" which "manipulates the truth " and that "what is at stake is the soul of this nation."

I agree, but I see it differently than Carter. For me and many others the extremist doctrine of abortion on demand which manipulated the truth in the formulation of Roe v. Wade has placed the very soul of the American nation in grave jeopardy.

You may ask, "What about war?"

Saint Teresa of Calcutta said there would be no peace so long as a mother could be allowed to kill the child in her womb.

Saint Teresa was a person who saw reality, and now sees Him face to face.

-- John Mallon is contributing editor for Inside the Vatican magazine -- An Archive of some of Mallon's articles may be found at: And his Blog, Mallon's Media Watch may be found at:


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