Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Intellectual Urban Legend

In their book Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air authors Francis J. Beckwith (who recently returned to the Catholic Church after spending around thirty years as an evangelical) and Gregory Koukl described moral relativism as "an intellectual urban legend."

Moral relativism has deceived the majority of Western society. Many who proclaim it have never thought to question it but have gone on believing it because it teaches them to do whatever feels good - which feels like a good way to live life. Others who practice relativism hit bottom and see how shallow their lives have become. Most people who hold a view of moral relativism were simply taught it - or caught it, like a virus. It came from bad example and bad logic. It It came from a false understanding of "tolerance." It came from the justification of sin.

Relativism is taught and lived as if it were true. In fact, it is a logical self-contradiction. Moral relativism teaches that morality is simply about values and opinions. Don't impose yours on me! People ask: "Who are you to judge my values?" But to make this judgment universally for all means that there is a moral law appliciable to everyone: "Thou shalt not impose one's morality on another" says the god of tolerance and relativism. But that absolute law refutes relativism. Relativism teaches there are NO absolute laws. But here is a law. Therefore relativism is a logical self-contradiction. People teach relativism as if it were true, passing it around like an... an... intellectual urban legend!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Milestone in Catholic-Evangelical Dialogue

In a stunning move, John Hagee, an influential televangelist and McCain supporter, rejected his anti-Catholic views! This, of course, is not getting the media attention it should, being that it will further McCain’s lead in the religion department – particularly when it comes to Obama’s “Wright-gate” controversy.

What makes this so stunning is the fact that anti-Catholicism is a staple of Biblical fundamentalism – particularly when it comes to eschatology, the study of the last things or end times.

Democrats have been eying the Catholic vote over the past four years. If you did’t know, George W. Bush won the Catholic vote in 2000 against Al Gore and in 2004 against John Kerry – a Catholic. A controversy like John Hagee could have daunted McCain through the summer and fall, particularly against Hilary Clinton who has dominated Democrat Catholics. However, now that it appears that Obama will win the nomination, Hagee is another sign that Catholics and Evangelicals will rally behind McCain in November.

You may be wondering what anti-Catholic teachings Hagee has held and taught for many years. Two big issues are titles for the Catholic Church: the “apostate church” and the “whore of Babylon.” In fundamentalist circles, these titles naturally are given to the Catholic Church because of rapture theology and a low-view of hierarchic ecclesiology. Jesus and the first century Christians spoke of the Church with great esteem – and since the only ancient church is the Catholic Church, which Protestants are not in union with, then the Catholic Church must be apostate. Apostate here means that the Catholic Church hijacked ancient, first century Christianity and added pagan practices to it. So, really, either the Catholic Church is the true Church or it is an apostate church and the whore of Babylon for adding pagan ideas to Christianity.

Take your pick.

Thus this is why it is so stunning for Hagee to renounce his former views. If you’re a staunch fundamentalist, you should naturally have an anti-Catholic viewpoint. Some people may claim Hagee is just being political. I don’t think so. That would be like President Bush getting on TV tomorrow and to announce he was becoming an Independent. Not gonna happen. In the words of Bill Donahue: "What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns."

What's more important, however, is not that McCain will gain some political points, but rather that Hagee's change of heart will help further the dialoge between Evangelicals and Catholics.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Well, It Appears Democrats’ Brains Are Smaller Than I Thought

Please, don’t take that the wrong way!

What I mean is that the Democrats are poised to nominate the total loser Barack Obama as their nominee for President in 2008. Okay, maybe he’s not a total loser – but he’s no where near the candidate that Hilary Clinton is. Sure, Obama has his message of “hope” and all that “look to the future” baloney. It just proves he’s a sleazier politician than Hilary.

But at least Hilary has some experience behind her. Obama hasn’t even finished one term as a U.S. Senator! Let’s not forget that, like it or not, there is a war going on. Even if you’re against the war I would still trust Hilary over Obama to handle an exit-strategy.

And then there’s Jeremiah Wright. Enough said.

So what I’m getting here is this: Yes, it looks like a Democratic year. But there has to be someone better than Obama to run! In the end, Operation Chaos I believe will pay off and many of Hilary’s moderate supporters (along with Catholics, myself included) will swing over to McCain, bringing him to a November win.

And just to be clear, I quiver at thought of supporting Obama or Clinton!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

In Politics, No Catholic Could Do This...

Or maybe I mean no Republican Catholic could do this.

Of course I'm speaking to the fact that the Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, now has the open support of thirty prominent African American preachers in Chicago. Obviously these preachers are fearing the damage being done to Obama by the Jeremiah Wright controversy. In case you forgot, the bigoted hate-speech of Jeremiah Wright - Obama's former pastor - have recently come to light. It doesn't help that Wright has since alluded that Obama really agrees with his hate-speech but cannot openly say so because of politics! Whether or not Obama agrees with Wright pales in the face of recent polls which indicate that nearly fifty percent of Democrats and Independents believe Obama does, in fact, agree with Wright. What's more, a vast majority of those polled believe Obama is ending his twenty-year relationship with Wright for purely political reasons.

Enter the African American pastors.

While it is honorable that these thirty prominent pastors seek to support someone in his time of personal woe, I think there is an issue of the division of church and state. If thirty Catholic priests here in Arizona were to stand up and support John McCain, they would be denounced and their parishes would face a loss of tax-exempt status. The same would be true if someone like Jeb Bush, a Catholic, were running.

The fact is, these Chicago churches have long brought politics and religion together. This union of the thirty pastors is simply another example of liberal churches influencing members of their community to vote for a specific candidate. What really bothers me is the hypocrisy of Democrats who tell people in the church's who to vote for while yelling at the Catholic Church for denouncing Catholic politicians within the Church (both Democrats and Republicans) who openly support intrinsically evil acts like abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and euthanasia.