Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Winning the Culture War

Let’s be honest, the moral integrity of our society is collapsing more and more every year. Moral relativism (which states that there are no moral absolutes and that morality is different for different people – so please don’t impose your morality on me!) has steadily eroded the moral foundation of this great country. Aided by the secular media establishment, a culture war has been waged for nearly half a century.

But often times the examples of Christians don’t help.

Ghandi once said that he loved Christ but didn’t know what to say about Christians. Thus we who have entered into a real relationship with Jesus have an added responsibility to evangelize and help our brothers and sisters to be holy. As a proud American, I personally I also feel the weight of freedom which our country has given me – a freedom not to do what I want but a freedom to do what I ought; the freedom to be the best human I can be. This is what it means to be a free American.

More still, secularists in America have used the example of Christians as a ploy to further their own ends. Gay “marriage” proponents, for example, have said that while Christians believe in the sanctity of marriage, they nevertheless accept the use of divorce – an acceptance which runs contrary to the words of Christ in Matthew 5 and Paul’s words in Ephesians 5. This is one of a hundred reasons why I am a Catholic; there’s no theological teaching of the Church that secularist can use against her (i.e. we do not have divorce)!

Personally, however, I like to tackle moral issues with a little philosophy. Truth, goodness, and beauty are the three transcendentals that to me form the battleground in the war against secularism. So often today, it is the moral framework being attacked – the “center” of the battle line (truth-GOODNESS-beauty). When someone attacks this part of the line, I try not to counter with some other moral point but rather hit him on the flanks with either truth or beauty. While truth is truth, however, it is usually much more difficult to help someone see and accept the truth (we live in an age of suspicion and ‘clever’ argument after all).

Thus beauty, which most everyone can appreciate, is always good way to go about bringing people out of moral decadence. When arguments fail, it is the beauty of the saint that wins souls for God by softening their hearts to the grace of the Holy Spirit.

A similar message was spoken today in regards to the culture war by the charismatic preacher Fr. Cantalamessa at the 6th World Meeting of Families – a gathering which is right now amassing over a million people! At this colossal event, father spoke out in living the call of marriage and witnessing to its beauty to others. As one article says: “The Christian idea of matrimony and family does not just need ‘defending,’ [father] affirmed. The most important thing is the ‘task of Christians rediscovering it and living it in plenitude, such that they again propose it to the world with their actions…’” More still, reflecting on the history of Christianity, he said that: “The first Christians changed the laws of the state with their customs; we cannot expect today to change the customs with the laws of the state.”

In other words, if Christians would just be Christian, the world would be won for Christ!

Clich here to read more about Fr. Cantalamessa's talk!

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