Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

10/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

How did we get to this point?

Ultimately then, in order to be a progressive one must be an atheist. Without a belief in a moral code that is of divine origin, the progressive cannot logically justify his belief in "fairness", "human rights", or any of the other ideals he claims to espouse. Morality becomes simply a matter of opinion, and all opinions are equally valid. However, that position is untenable because he might get his nose punched, so he must substitute coercion, enforcement of his arbitrary new code, in order that people with varying opinions obey his precepts and become subordinate to his will.  He must be in favor of hate speech laws, censorship of writing and the Internet, the "fairness" doctrine, marginalization of those who do not share progressive views, mandatory "sensitivity training", and so forth. Does this sound familiar?

Highlights

By Dr. Frederick Liewehr

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/9/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: transactional analysis, progressivism, relativism, morality, culture war, Dr. Frederick Liewehr


RICHMOND,VA (Catholic Online) - During the past fifty or so years we have seen an increasing secularization of our society, and that of the entire West, which has dramatically escalated during the Obama administration. We are seeing basic tenets of not just Christian faith, but of reality itself, being questioned, such as how many "genders" are there, and whether they may be altered.  The idea of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman being the optimum arrangement for a healthy society built on the nuclear family is being actively condemned and indeed voicing that opinion now comes under the 1984ish label of "hate speech" which is punishable by law.

How did we get to this point? The answer in part is in the 1967 book by Thomas Harris, MD entitled, "I'm OK, You're OK." The book is a pop psychological explanation of Transactional Analysis, and posits that there are three mental states between which a person can switch - child, parent, and adult. The child is mostly an emotional state, with memories of reactions to events not well understood when one was young, which can affect later thinking, such as an irrational fear of dogs, or a constructive fear of putting one's hand on a red hot stove burner. The parent state is thinking dominated by bits of "tape recordings" of admonitions and rules that the child learned. The adult, and supposedly desirable state, results from testing of the parental rules and childhood emotions to form your own opinions and code of conduct.

The problem with this thinking is that it considers the parental state as oppressive and arbitrary. Adults are urged to go beyond what are considered "simplistic" mores and find their own solutions. Instead of the child thinking, "I'm not OK, but you are OK" and modeling his behavior accordingly, he is encouraged to think, "I'm OK, and you're OK", and substitute his own ideas for those of his parents, society, or the Church. This of course is only possible if one believes in moral relativism, where what I believe and what you believe are equally valid.

The concept of relativism has at least two problems. First, one group of "progressives" thinks that two men should be "married" and allowed to adopt children, and the result will be normal, well-adjusted children. Traditional Christians on the other hand think that marriage between two men is absurd and would lack the complementarity of a husband-wife relationship along with the maternal instincts of the mother, the role modeling that heterosexual parents provide, etc., the result of which would be children who are terribly confused and who have a much higher likelihood of having future problems such as emotional illness, with greater incidence of substance abuse and suicide, among other issues. For relativism to be valid, one would have to contend that the entire matter makes no difference one way or the other. From the passion exhibited on both sides of the argument that is obviously not the case.

The other problem is that the contention itself is not logically valid.  Progressives and traditional Christians cannot hold opposing views and both be right, anymore that Christians and Muslims or Buddhists can have different ideas of God and both be correct. It is a logical impossibility.

The contention of the relativists is that there is no absolute standard of right and wrong, and that the standard society uses is "evolving". The Christian contention is that there is in fact an absolute standard and it is written by God on our hearts. The relativists often point to the horrible torture and murders that have occurred and continue to occur and say that clearly there is no moral standard by which all societies operate. Upon closer examination, however, this is easily shown not to be true.

Even in societies that subscribed to cannibalism, the act was committed against enemies, and after lengthy rituals. They did not simply roast one of their children for dinner. Similarly when we see the horrific YouTube videos of some Muslim "rebel" eating the heart of some poor victim, it is someone who he has dehumanized through his Islamic beliefs, not his best friend. Murder is always considered wrong, when it is understood to be murder. What societies do is to delude themselves that what they are doing is not murder, which is what we in our abortion-centric society have done. We are not killing babies; we are promoting "women's health".

A better way to see the universality of absolute standards, which are collectively called "Natural Law", is not to look at someone's actions, but rather to look at their reactions. As a simple experiment, when a relativist tells you that there is no absolute standard of morality, and such things are simply "potato - potahto" issues, punch him in the nose. When he recovers, he will ask why you did that to him, and tell you that it was wrong and unfair. Why would that be so, if there is no absolute standard? What does "unfair" mean? Or, to use the favorite word of the pro-aborts, punching him in the nose was simply your "choice". What's the big deal?

Obviously this hyperbolic example is not something to be tried at home, as the TV ads say, but the point is obvious. We all know that to punch someone in the nose for no reason is wrong. Again, there is no culture where you can walk up to someone and punch him in the nose and not expect a strong protest at minimum, and probably worse. Therefore, there is a moral law. So where did it come from?

Laws do not magically appear on the books. Even in the only one case that I can think of where that occurred, the tablets given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, those Commandments had a law Prescriber - God. The moral law is God's standard that is written on our hearts, because we are made in His image. As St. Paul says in Romans 2: 14ff, "For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts."

Relativism, however, is a weak man's position. Progressives always use "tolerance" to introduce their wrong thinking. Initially, they claim that there is no absolute morality, and that their ideas are as valid as those that have been held for millennia and that are God-given. Eventually, however, as acceptance increases (and more rapidly if they are able to secure the coercive power of the government) they move on to substituting their own supposed "moral code", and enforcing it. At this point "right", such as a woman's "right" to an abortion and homosexuals' "right" to marry suddenly spring forth from nowhere. These newly-discovered rights are based on some notion of "fairness". If you do not agree with their new "moral code", then you are a "hater". Thus in some perverse logical twist Christians who follow the precepts of a loving God who gave us rules in order that we might flourish as His people are suddenly transformed into demons, at least in the eyes of the Left.

Relativists clearly have a notion of right and wrong. Ask them about the racism and genocide of a Hitler or other criminal despot, and they will rail against it. They believe firmly that this sort of behavior should not be allowed, and their promotion of hate speech legislation and their constant overreaction to innocent statements shows that they believe strongly in some standards. The problem is that they have no basis for their standards. They, like all of us, have the natural law written on their hearts, but they can choose to ignore it and substitute their own "morality". So, how does one decide which laws are part of the Natural Law and which are not? Ultimately, one has two sources of information as to which position to believe.

The first source is history and culture. The idea of homosexual marriage, for example, has never existed anywhere, and didn't exist contemporaneously prior to this new "revelation" of the progressives. Marriage has always been understood as being between a man and a woman, and for the purpose of having a family and raising children. Homosexuality has always existed, but the idea of a homosexual couple being "married" is a new aberration.

The other source, of course, is the Bible. We understand the Bible as the inspired Word of God, and it is clear that marriage is a sacred covenant between and man and a woman. A question to ask those who would say that they are atheists and do not believe in God or the Bible is, "OK, you want to replace religious and cultural norms that have existed for thousands of years. What do you want to replace them with? Your opinion? Why would that be more valid?"

Ultimately then, in order to be a progressive one must be an atheist. Without a belief in a moral code that is of divine origin, the progressive cannot logically justify his belief in "fairness", "human rights", or any of the other ideals he claims to espouse. Morality becomes simply a matter of opinion, and all opinions are equally valid. However, that position is untenable because he might get his nose punched, so he must substitute coercion, enforcement of his arbitrary new code, in order that people with varying opinions obey his precepts and become subordinate to his will.  He must be in favor of hate speech laws, censorship of writing and the Internet, the "fairness" doctrine, marginalization of those who do not share progressive views, mandatory "sensitivity training", and so forth. Does this sound familiar?

----------

Dr. Frederick Liewehr is an endodontist who teaches and works in private practice. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1983, having been drawn ineluctably to Christ's Church by the light of Truth. He is a member of St. Benedict parish in Richmond, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Cooperator of Opus Dei. 

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More U.S.

Violent riot erupts at Trump rally in New Mexico Watch

Image of Unsurprisingly, a Trump rally erupted into a riot in New Mexico (Reuters).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Protesters at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's New Mexico rally erupted in violent acts including the attempted stoning of police, glass bottles thrown at mounted units and their horses, burning shirts and more. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Record-breaking 38,000 illegal aliens apprehended in the month of April Watch

Image of April 2016 reaches new record for illegal alien apprehensions.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Illegal aliens continue to surge into the United States from the Southwest U.S. border, leading the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) units to announce record-breaking apprehensions in April, 2016. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the U.S. ... continue reading


Edward Nero, arresting officer of Freddie Gray, NOT GUILTY. Will Baltimore erupt once more? Watch

Image of Officer Edward Nero arrives at court. Nero has been acquitted of crimes in the death of Freddie Gray.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The arresting officer in the Freddie Gray case, Edward Nero, has been declared "not guilty" by the judge in his criminal trial. Now, the community waits to see if violence will erupt or if the streets will remain quiet. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Officer ... continue reading


Tell Me About the Trinity: Honoring Jerry and Plumbing the Mystery of God Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

'The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Father Daniel Berrigan's Pro-Life Activism Watch

Image of Fr. Daniel Berrigan

By Fr Frank Pavone

Father Berrigan was a radical figure who sent a total of almost seven years in prison.  What many don't realize though is that his activism extended beyond the anti-war movement and into the anti-abortion movement. Believing in what he called a consistent ... continue reading


Law allows persons to sue if you don't use the correct pronoun out of 58 to describe a person's sexual identity Watch

Image of We're going to need a lot more restrooms.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Under a new law, businesses in New York will be fined if they don't use a person's preferred pronoun when referring to them. This especially becomes a problem when it is understood there are at least 58 possible pronouns with at least five grammatical variations ... continue reading


Science fiction? Feds discover the 'Grocery List,' post tweets to promote new technology Watch

Image of After millions of dollars in federal spending, government scientists have discovered the grocery list technology. Where would we be without such courageous efforts?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Federal Government has discovered the grocery list technology. This unlock apparently occurred recently as the Department of Agriculture sent encouraging, rapid-fire tweets to the public about how to use this remarkable new advancement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Texas to build own version of Ft. Knox, is secession next? Watch

Image of Texas is bringing home its gold.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Texas is taking another step to becoming an independent Republic by recalling its gold and other precious metals home. A private company is planning to construct a bullion depository south of Houston, creating a virtual Ft. Knox for the state. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


We Need a New Pentecost and Whatever Happened to those Charismatic Catholics? Watch

Image of The fire of Pentecost

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I am one of countless thousands upon thousands whose life was profoundly changed by an experience, an encounter, with the Holy Spirit decades ago. I am old enough to remember when we who had this encounter were sometimes  called Pentecostal Catholics. That ... continue reading


The Obama Department of (In) Justice Takes on North Carolina, Civil Rights, and Sexual Difference Watch

Image of Federal Attorney General Loretta Lynch and North Carolina Governor McCrory

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If you rely on the main stream media for your news reports, you will not hear the truth of what is really happening in North Carolina. Much of the media uses Orwellian newspeak in its reports and has degenerated into a propaganda wing of the current ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

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

  • Prayer to Saint Valentine HD Video
  • New study reveals Catholics hold highest retention rate - but no one ...
  • Miracle for baby born without half his skull
  • Like Bartimaeus, We Are Blind: Cry out to Jesus, Lord Help Me to See!
  • A Prayer Before Surgery HD Video
  • St. Philip Neri: Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 26, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Thursday, May 26, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 14:18-20
18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:11-17
11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 11:23-26
23 For the tradition I received from the Lord and also handed on to you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2016 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the ... Read More