Faithful Catholics are a New Counter Culture Offering a Way Forward to the West
sometimes co-opted what he and Dorothy Day meant to found. I reject such left wing politics as I reject any political movements, right or left, which offer collectivism as a solution.
Rather, I quote them because they speak to the kind of new movement we currently need. We need to take the values derived from the Christian worldview and knead them into the loaf of contemporary culture "creating a new society within the shell of the old with the philosophy of the new, which is not a new philosophy but a very old philosophy, a philosophy so old that it looks new".
It was the Church which gave the West the understanding that the dignity of every human person is rooted in the fact that we are all created in the Image of God. From that foundation came the claim that we possess fundamental human rights endowed upon us by the God who created us.
Those rights are not given to us by any Civil Government. They must be recognized by Civil Government or it becomes an unjust government.
We live in a declining western culture increasingly hostile to the Church. Our struggle involves a clash of worldviews, personal and corporate, and competing definitions of human freedom, human dignity, and human flourishing.
We face the growing hostility of a dictatorship of relativism which claims there are no truths. We insist that there is Truth, it can be known - and it must govern our lives. This means we face persecution. Our path is paved with the insults, accusations and calumny of our fellow citizens.
We are accused of being against progress and science for defending the dignity of every human life - including the lives of our first neighbors in the womb. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are Pro-life because it is right. Science exists to serve the person, the family and the common good.
We must courageously stand up to the culture of death. We can never compromise on the truth concerning the dignity of every human life from conception through natural death. Science confirms what our conscience long ago confirmed, those little girls and boys in the womb are our neighbors. It is always wrong to intentionally kill our innocent neighbors. To say and do otherwise is barbaric.
We insist, in the face of the ascendency of a counterfeit notion of marriage, that true marriage and family have been inscribed by the Divine Architect into the order of the universe. Truth does not change, people and cultures do; sometimes for good and sometimes for evil.
True Marriage, between one man and one woman, is the first society into which children are to be born, learn to be fully human, grow in virtue, flourish and take their role in families and communities. Heterosexual marriage, procreation, and the nurturing of children form the foundation for the family, and the family forms the foundation of civil society.
We must never be afraid to make the claim that children have a right to a mother and a father. They do. Of course we care about the single parent family and the many broken homes. However, their existence does not change the norm necessary to build a stable and healthy society. In tact marriages and families are the glue of a healthy and happy social order.
True marriage is the preeminent and the most fundamental of all human social institutions. It is a relationship defined by nature itself and protected by the natural law that binds all men and women. It finds its foundation in the order of creation.
Civil institutions do not create marriage nor can they create a right to marry for those who are incapable of marriage. The institutions of government should, when acting properly, defend marriage against those who would redefine it.
Good government has long regulated marriage for the common good. For example, the ban on polygamy and age requirements were enforced in order to ensure that there was a mature decision at the basis of the Marriage contract.
To limit marriage to heterosexual couples is not discriminatory now, nor has it ever been. Homosexual couples cannot bring into existence what marriage intends by its definition. To confer the benefits that have been conferred in the past only to stable married couples and families to homosexual paramours is bad public policy.
To live in faithful, heterosexual marriages open to, bearing and rearing children may soon become countercultural. This will not be he first time in Christian history this has occurred. Homosexualized and liberine cultures have often been the mission field into which the Church was sent. What changed was not the Church, but those cultures.
So it will be with the contemporary West. Our claims concerning life and marriage are not outdated notions of a past era but provide the path to a future of true freedom.
We insist upon the existence of a Natural Moral Law which can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason.We do so because such a Law exists. We do so because it is the only stable foundation for civil law, giving us the moral norms needed to build societies and govern ourselves. It must inform our positive law or we will become lawless and our society devolve into anarchy.
These claims of ours are unpopular now and will become increasingly ridiculed. Those who hold to them will face growing disparagement and ostracism. However, they are the only antidote to the malady which is rotting western civilization from within. We need to be a counter culture to be ready to face what is to come. That is where understanding our own Christian history can help.
The early Church was sent into cultures filled with people who thought they were advanced in light of the arts and sciences of their day. Yet, those cultures practiced primitive forms of abortion and exposure, a practice of leaving unwanted children on rocks to be eaten by birds of prey or picked up by slave traders.
Early Christian manuscripts like the Didache (the Teaching of the Twelve) and the Letter to Diognetus show us that the early Christians transformed cultures very much like our own. Cultures of use where people were treated as property, cultures of excess where freedom was perceived as a power over others and license masqueraded as liberty. They eventually changed them from within.
So must we. Faithful Catholics are a new Counter Culture offering a way forward to a Western Culture which has lost its way. It is time to build a "new society within the shell of the old with the philosophy of the new, which is not a new philosophy but a very old philosophy, a philosophy so old that it looks new."
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: culture, counter culture, hippies, marriage, gay marriage, abortion, right to life, pro-choice, pro-life, reproductive freedom, Catholic Church, Deacon Keith Fournier
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