Monday, February 4, 2008

We Can't Deny God!

Well, I'm taking a VERY brief break from the Catechism to post a piece I sent in to the local paper in response to an opinion expressed last Friday on God in the public schools. A local woman wrote in stating that God must be kept out of the public sphere! Here is what I had to say:

In response to the letter of Mrs. Gilliland regarding God in the public schools, I must first take issue with her critique of the Bible. Mrs. Gilliland seems to have her facts in reverse: while evolution is a theory not a fact, her history of the Bible and use of Biblical passages were about as accurate as a Dan Brown novel.

What’s more important, however, is the battle being fought between the religious right and the secular progressives. As a Catholic, I take the middle path. Biblical fundamentalism must not be pressured upon students in a public school. Faith, like a wedding engagement, must always be proposed, not imposed.

On the other hand, acknowledging God does not force a religion or denomination upon anyone. “God” can be known by pagans like Socrates, pantheists like Buddha, deists like Thomas Jefferson, monotheists like Muslims or Jews, or by Christians like President Bush and Pope Benedict XVI.

Because God’s existence can be known through human reason and by the existence of the world around us, there is absolutely nothing wrong with recognizing Him in schools, courtrooms, and culture. Moreover, when we deny God, we tacitly deny the dignity and rights which he gives to the human person. The founding fathers saw this, I think we should, too.

Update: This response appeared in the Faribault Daily News on Tuesday, February 5! It was a Super Tuesday in more than one way!

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