How many times have we all been in conversation with a person, when, out of the blue, he makes a popular“Gotcha” Statement (PGS) that is supposed to show us:
1. The smug, moral superiority of the person saying it;
2. The supreme knowledge of the person saying it;
3. That the conversation is now over, because the person “got us.”
This article will delve into some of the false underlying assumptions of some of the more popular blanket “Gotcha” statements. Once those assumptions have been proven to be false, it is fairly easy to dismantle the overall argument being made by the person who thinks he’s so smart, and we are so ignorant.
So let us consider each of seventeen popular “Gotcha” statements!
PGS 1. I’m smart because I think for myself. Christians are stupid because they blindly follow the Bible.
Thinking for oneself isn’t necessarily a virtue. Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Caesar, etc., all thought for themselves, and they aren’t remembered as being great men. Plus, thinking for oneself and obeying scripture are not mutually exclusive. Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa both followed the Bible and thought for themselves as well. Look how they changed the world for the good of mankind. It could be said that every successful doctor who is in medical school “blindly follows” what his textbook teaches. That doesn’t make him stupid.
PGS 2. Pro-life people don’t care about kids once they’re born.
There were millions of adoptions this year, and every year. Most of the couples adopting couldn’t have kids of their own. Adoptive couples spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on their kids over their lifetimes. Many of us who have adopted kids have also given thousands of dollars to child-friendly organizations like St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Children International.
PGS 3. You can’t legislate morality.
Many laws are morality based. There are laws against murder, rape, stealing, etc., that are all based on morality. If laws aren’t based on morality, they should at least be just.
PGS 4. It’s a free country and I can do what I want.
OK, then I will now steal your car, punch you in the stomach, and take your wallet. Then I will speed on the freeway going 100 mph. After all, it’s a free country, and I can do whatever I want. No, all of our actions have limits. Additionally, we may indeed have the right to do something, but the question should be asked instead, “Is this the right thing to do in the first place?”
PGS 5. You can’t impose your morality on me.
Morality is not a neutral sum game. Either the hedonists will impose their morality on society (see ancient Rome, Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia), or the Christians will. Everyone signing up to a common set of moral principles is the only good alternative to everybody doing their own thing, which always leads to chaos and misery. In the military, everyone signs up to a common set of core principles – Is that a bad thing? Nature abhors a vacuum. Either God the Father will control the country or the devil will. You can’t just sit on the morality fence either and think that everything’s okay, because the devil owns that fence!
PGS 6. The bible says that you can’t judge me on anything.
Judging you means that I condemn you to hell for your actions. Only God can do that – I cannot. However, I can judge your actions, just like John the Baptist judged Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, and Jesus judged the actions of the woman caught in adultery as being sinful. If there is no judging allowed, every courtroom in the world would have to be shut down. Telling someone that his actions are sinful is actually one of the spiritual works of mercy. If you see someone about to go over a cliff at 100 mph, how much of a friend are you to that person if you don’t warn him? And how many of the left call others racists when they don’t even know them? Isn’t that a form of judging?
PGS 7. What’s true for you isn’t true for me.
While there is some truth to this (women and men are different, military people are different from civilians), the universal moral and salvific truths of the Holy Bible are revealed to us all by God our Loving Father Himself, and are indeed true for everyone. Moral relativity was started by Martin Luther and the Reformers when they allowed everyone to interpret the Bible for themselves, which led to chaos in Europe for centuries. Personal opinions are great, but they are not as important as obeying THE TRUTH.
PGS 8. Government has no say over my body.
Really? The government has the power to send your body off to war, to lock it up for life behind bars, to condemn it to death, to prevent illegal drugs from going into it, and to stop it from practicing prostitution.
PGS 9. More people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason.
Atheistic Communism killed around 100 million people during the 20th Century alone. The occultic 3rd Reich started a war that resulted in around 50 million people being killed in only 6 years. The early Christians were fed to the lions by the millions by the emperors of Rome who claimed divinity for themselves. Most other wars are started over territorial issues, not by religious differences, although there have been some of those. Those wars, however, do not add up to the amount of carnage and the number of people killed by atheistic Communism alone in the 20th century.
PGS 10. You need to be tolerant of everything.
Being tolerant of evil is not a virtue, it’s a vice. We shouldn’t be tolerant of rape, murder, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc. There is a lot to be said for being soft-hearted. There is nothing to be said for being soft-headed. Jesus himself said to go and sin no more.
PGS 11. That offends me. Therefore, you have to be quiet.
There is no right anywhere in the US Constitution to “not be offended.” If there were, over half of the people in Congress could never say anything! And the fact that you are offended by what I say or think offends me. Therefore, you must be quiet.
PGS 12. As long as my actions don’t affect anyone else, then I can do anything I want.
Every action affects someone or something. Abortion kills off your child, and any future children that child may have. Speeding may cause your death as well as others. Fornication and all sinful acts give the devil a foothold on your life, and will make you less loving and kind to others in the future. And if you get VD from fornication, then that costs the health system both dollars and time.
PGS 13. Since men cannot have babies, then they cannot oppose abortion.
This argument makes no sense. A lot of women will never go off to war, but it is really okay for them to oppose war. Women don’t play in the NFL, but it’s just fine if they have an opinion about the Super Bowl. And besides all that, according to the rules of the liberal left, if today I decide to “self-identify” as a woman, then that means that I can think or say whatever I think a woman would think or say about anything!
PGS 14. If you oppose anything I demand in a protest, then you are a racist, bigot, or a homophobe.
Many far left protesters have created the straw man argument that anybody who opposes their entire agenda is full of hate. But that makes no sense. I can love a person without embracing what they want to do to America. Many parents went through this during the 1960’s, when they still managed to love their kids without embracing flower power, LSD usage, and free love. Opposing someone’s views and/or agenda does not equate to hating the person.
PGS 15. Health Care/Homosexual Marriage/Abortion are all human rights found in the US Constitution.
Okay, if this is true, show me exactly where those terms are mentioned. The Equal Protection Clause has allowed liberal judges to somehow find homosexual marriage in the Constitution. Marriage has always been approved by the fifty states, not the federal government.
The not-to-be-found anywhere “right to privacy” that was made up by the Supreme Court somehow morphed into the right to kill your own child in the womb. Science has proven the so-called “clump of cells” is really a living baby with a heartbeat, and which fights with all of his might against the suction tube or scalpel inserted into the womb to kill him. And now with search engines and the federal government snooping on our cell phones, is there any right to privacy anymore? If not, then why is there still abortion?
Congress’ power to tax and spend for the general welfare and its power to regulate interstate commerce have been the primary sources of the alleged constitutional authority for most health care legislation.
Amendment X to the Constitution says that all powers not granted the federal government in the Constitution are reserved to the states. That means that abortion, homosexual so-called “marriage,” and health care should immediately STOP being federal matters and go to the states. But the politicians are all afraid of the backlash, if they actually stand up and tell the US Supreme Court that it has overstepped its boundaries.
PGS 16. Self-Esteem is what we need to teach our kids in school.
Another word for self-esteem is pride, or ego. We should rather be teaching humility and self-sacrifice. Hermann Goering and Adolph Hitler of the Nazis had lots of self-esteem. You can hear it in their words and see it on their faces. When captured by the Allies, Goering said, “Well, at least I had twelve good years!” While we are all important in God’s plan, self-esteem runs counter to being meek and humble, like Moses and Mary were in the Bible.
PGS 17. The Inquisition and the Crusades prove that the Catholic Church is evil.
These age-old canards are so ludicrous. The Crusades were the Church’s response to a centuries-old attack by Muslims on Christians in the Holy Land, as well as Holy Land Churches. Just like today, Muslims had declared “jihad” on Christians and their Churches in the Middle East, and were destroying them. When Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komenos wrote to Pope Urban in 1099 about the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem, Catholic troops were finally sent in to protect the Christians. The first Crusade was very successful, but subsequent ones were not, due to the logistical problems of supplying food, water, and equipment all the way from Europe to Jerusalem.
The Inquisition existed at a time in Church history when the Church and state were NOT separate, but united. To be working in the government meant that you were a Catholic in good standing. But some Jews and others who were not real Catholics just pretended to be Catholic in order to get good jobs. The Inquisition was instituted to find out who these people were. If they weren’t real Catholics, then they were offered the chance to repent and go to confession, and to become Catholic. If, on the other hand, they refused, then the government got ahold of them. Then some executions did happen, although rarely. The Kings and Queens of those days took their faith and their government VERY seriously. And yes, there were some abuses, as there are in all government actions and wars. We have only to look at King Henry VIII in England who did the exact same thing to those who would not join his new Protestant Church. Sts. Thomas More and Cardinal Fisher were among those executed for not joining Henry’s new Church.