Especially during these past few intense months of our presidential election, we in America have been shown how much society has turned substantially away from God, and towards the sins we all know and love so much. If you are not a religious person you will have heard how society has progressed towards more personal freedom and inclusion.
Those are two different viewpoints, speaking of the same group of people that make up a hard to determine number, which could be as much as one half or more of our population. A follow-the-leader behavior when the electorate is disinterested in politics can ensure social power when the actual determined followers are not many.
Although the word “society” commonly refers to the entire country, it has become apparent that this is not true now. We are as divided about the proper way to live, as we were divided (though on different issues) just before the Civil War. (Also, I would like to know who controls the language used when the favored moniker for a “liberal” has morphed into “progressive”, and “conservative” seems to have become “religious nut case”. The opposite of liberal is, of course, conservative, while the opposite of progressive is regressive. Not an accurate change in my opinion.)
How Did We Get Here?
Our recent election has clarified these differences in people. We once, as a whole, recognized the importance of not only belief in God, but the value in following his word preached by our predominately Christian pulpits. Our strength was in a tacit recognition of those values by almost everyone. That, of course, is due to the nature of our creation. This is explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities.” (CCC 54)
Our weakness is in our susceptibility to being convinced that those values do not really exist. The Enlightenment Era took hold among the intelligentsia who discovered a new, seductive power: the power of the self, which is only the old power given to man by God, free will.
The subterfuge used during this phase of human history was that science “explained” the natural world. Explaining assumes that one will reason why as well as how. The actual truth is that science can only describe, not explain. A child learns to describe with his first use of adjectives; science is only expanding upon this same ability, expanding with self-imposed material boundaries that require empirical proof for every proposed thought. But recently, a change in scientific thought has caused the old science of testing and proof to merge into politics, allowing for consensus of thought to determine truth. This approach has not been claimed to replace empirical proof. What is not said is that arguing consensus makes domination of the ignorant majority easier. This idea is being played out with the man-made climate change issue that once was called global warming until arguments started over a slow-down in average temperature changes.
The new excitement presented by this false promise of scientific explanation, was that each person could create his own reality, his own truth, and now even his own gender. Teach the young how to gain and use that power… and here we are in 2016.
World View is All Important
These differences in the two societies in America, and many other countries of the world, have been put into words by our two main political party platforms: one godless except for three slight references, and one recognizing God many times.
The Democrat platform has not yet completely eliminated God as they let slip through three references to “God-given potential.” This is still in line with liberal thinking because the important feature here is a person’s potential or ability, not where it came from. It is still not ideologically correct from a materialistic point of view to give God any credit, so I don’t expect to see any reference to God four years from now.
The Republican platform mentions God 15 times, giving Him credit for God-given natural resources, what we exclaim when we say and sing “God Bless America,” acknowledges the God of nature, recognizes the source of individual inalienable rights, and understands that strong families depend upon God.
I would not say that we could define the two competing societies by political affiliation, any more than we can define them by religious affiliation. Both of those things are self-descriptions, and claimed knowledge about oneself has not been a reliable source of truth.
God’s World View
We all can determine which side our close relatives and friends are on because we know them so well. Strangers and politicians are the hardest to judge. In the recent pre-election novena released by the Knights of Columbus, there is a sentence that states in part, “…in union with Mary we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.” Even the worst fallen-away Catholic or other Christian has been taught that God does not have a restricted domain. Everywhere is His domain. Everywhere is subject to His authority.
God’s point of view precludes any politician on either side from acting as if God has no place in politics or government. That does not mean that we must become a theocracy. It simply means that all moral authority in any domain rests with God. To deny that is NOT to acknowledge your (His) supreme, eternal dominion and authority. In other words, not to be a Christian.
It is presumptuous of any of these self-interested officials and would-be officials to claim that a moral evil can be agreed upon in the realm of government, or as some say, public policy. You might get away with restricting by law the human part of organized religions from having any influence on public policy. It is impossible to restrict God from having dominion over it. He has authority and control. He allows men to defy Him, but with a warning.
Any politician who attempts to implement this silly idea of separating their public conscience from their claimed religious conscience is deluded, and merely shows his lack of fidelity to a claimed religious doctrine. This shows nothing more than a pretense to be religious. He shows that he has no interest in following a faith, when he declares where God’s commandments can be valid. That is nothing more than the ultimate expression of the Progressive tenant that man is supreme, not God, and man controls his own world.
A politician who by action and public statements declares that abortion is wrong in his private life, but okay for others through public law, must also declare that he is in defiance of God’s word. Without that declaration, that person, man or woman, is just using religion in hopes of gaining votes or support for other personal gain.
Where Does That Leave Us?
If this was a new situation of good versus evil behavior, we might become discouraged and give up, but this behavior goes back to the beginning of man. The political sinfulness in recent times has been illustrated in popular culture by the well known movie from 1939, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Mr. Smith, being new to politics, finds corruption in Congress, and wears himself down trying to combat it.
Perhaps a mostly honest man or woman like Mr. Smith will come forward to lead our country. I know there are many out there among the people who have gained office already. I know of a couple through my church. We need more people that have a clean background. Nothing more debatable than leaving a dog in his kennel on the roof of his car as he speeds down the highway. I understand that these people are fearful of the vicious public exposure that comes with a political election, but we need more of them.
While hoping for descent leadership, we do what the faithful have always done when the world around them has been antagonistic: live the word and spread the Gospel.
That is what we all were told to do.