In Defence of our Christian / Catholic Culture in Ireland
The secular state excludes religion – God – from its public square. As the power & scope of the state expands, society becomes more and more absorbed by secularism, increasingly denying / rejecting Christianity and replacing God with the state. This overreach of secularism is promoted by popular culture, by the media and plays to the emotions (“utopia”). By contrast, Christianity /Catholicism has stood for two thousand years, has contributed the greatest good to our civilisation / heritage, and successfully withstood human nature. Jesus Christ /God reveals his Truth & teaching in Christianity. God is ultimate Truth, Beauty and Goodness and His exclusion is absurd. No human institution is perfect, but recent attacks on the Church and its institutions have been vicious and repeated; like in the Muppet show, repetition elevates their failings to “hanging offences”. Consider that Tusla, and other state bodies, have recently had many failings, excused as “inadequacy of resources”. Contrast how short on resources some Catholic institutions were in the past and the blame now being heaped upon them. Is this not significant hypocrisy? Lack of balance? Secularists claim Christianity as archaic / sectarian / repressive, including the Ten Commandments & the Natural Law. But socialism / secularism have been catastrophic – socialism for the deaths of hundreds of millions in wars in the 20th century and secularism for helping abort an est. 1.5 billion human beings since 1980 worldwide.
Existential issues for society regarding the state
The individual is made in the image and likeness of God. Fundamental rights are God given. What will happen if the state replaces God? You will be regarded as a lump of meat. Your life will become dependant on your utility to the state. Separation of Church and state generally means takeover by the state of social services previously provided by inspired individuals and church bodies. The state imposes its values (e.g. to command/ force and not to love/agape). It is not just the “nanny state”- it has legal powers. With “might is right” it can ride roughshod which can easily turn into tyranny. The welfare state sells itself initially as the provider of “free” services, later becoming state consolidation, take over, entitlements, state values, dependency, bureaucracy and coercion. Next comes overreach , cutbacks, denial of human dignity & liberty, mediocrity and worse (e.g. culling) – then failure – e.g. socialism in Venezuela. With secularised healthcare and education the state determines your status and development as a human being which means that you, a human being, are owned by / property of the state. It sells itself via sectional interests (e.g. gender). Ultimately, the secular state becomes a tyranny where you become overtaxed, overregulated, over controlled /commanded, and be treated as an object. You become a subject / “slave” of the state. Are we there yet? You decide.
Representative democracy as in Ireland may be of great benefit in economics and law and order matters, but is problematic in social matters due to secularism. In terms of the welfare state – the state should provide just an enabling role such as governance, regulation, audit, partnership and / or support through the provision of professionals / physical resources / technology, facilitating the proper performance of such services but with the service in question retaining ownership, control and direction over the application of right values and the core provision of services -a “marketplace”.
In terms of “separation” of Church and state, but really the “subjugation” of Church by the state in the social sphere – every aspect of state power should be automatically examined for legality / constitutionality and appropriate limits placed on all policy, legislation, regulations, staffing and statutory instruments to ensure balance. Citizens / civil society should be empowered to challenge the state’s power creep, including higher level of legal interpretations. The Ten Commandments, Natural Law and a Christian focused Constitution must remain as the basis of our legal system and of society. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”.
The French Revolution (18th century) was an early form of secularism. Both socialism and secularism exclude God and become similar in their governance approach. Both try to develop utopia in this life. We all know this is not possible, but we are tempted/ tested, especially by political promises, to this illusion, which is part of our Original Sin. But no God =no fear of God = lack of wisdom = foolishness. Secularism defines man as an economic unit (materialism) and a being of pleasure i.e. disordered values. It prioritises feelings over reason, confusion over clarity. The common good becomes “free stuff / entitlement” and conscience becomes sentiment. In Christianity, the transcendent person seeks salvation with God’s grace, resists temptation and lives a virtuous life of service. The death culture is part of secularism. Christianity is pro-life. What about those with Downs Syndrome? Who will they dehumanise next? Voting to repeal the 8th amendment means blood on voters’ hands.
No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon (riches, worldly interest): Matthew 6:24. The biblical worldview and the Church’s social teachings show up secularism as very inferior. Studies show that people who don’t have faith / reject God become increasingly bitter, impulsive, indulgent, aggressive, lonely, selfish, chaotic, suffer greater anxiety, less loving (agape), compassionate, more self possessed, despairing, substance abuse / addictive behaviour, & suicide attempts. Add in the secular state to encourage/ “legitimise” sinful behaviour (8th?), secularised society heads to chaos, evil and a death culture. Augustine: Every sin brings with it its own punishment. Matthew 7:13: “Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction”.
Secularism promotes the autonomous individual to the detriment of relationships, family & the community and promotes “equality” over freedom. Freedom is second only to life as a basic right, endowed by God. Christianity declares that we are free people. One regards the American Revolution more highly than the French one, as freedom trumps equality (& regulation). Gaudium et Spes (17) declares: “Only in (authentic) freedom can man direct himself to goodness”.
Secularism regards marriage / the family as “whatever you are having yourself”. Christianity regards marriage as a lifelong union between husband and wife, and the family as the centre of transmission of life and wisdom, & the identity, rearing, socialisation and education of children, but abandoned by the state. Secularism overreach is also driving a crisis in fatherhood / parenthood, the depopulation of Europe, relationship issues and even the right to life itself. The cost to society will be incalculable.
Man, God, Morality and the Church
Man needs God. Man is fallible and needs temporal & eternal meaning so God is essential for man. Secularism leads to an empty/ meaningless life moving to a culture of self–destruction and despair. Morality occurs only within the context of God & the Natural Law. Secularism promotes relative morality which leads to it becoming a set of preferences / sentiments. Without objective right and wrong, life will be hell, not utopia. Secularism ignores the presence of the soul and judgement after death. Christianity’s vision is based on Jesus Christ, giving individuals a purpose in life, salvific values and “agape” for relationships– secularism’s vision is pleasure, worldly standards and values. Catholic teaching is based on faith and reason. The Church is the vessel – the Noah’s Ark- to heaven.
What to do? Call to Action
You have an unavoidable choice to make. The default is the ongoing tide of militant secularism that sweeps you to oblivion. You have to resist it for our and the future of our children. Trust in God, not politicians. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” (E. Burke).
Matthew 6:33 (Douay-Rheims Bible): Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. You must bear witness facing this militant secularism.
Every Christian needs to mobilize him/herself for real witness to the Gospel and oppose secularism, especially in the social sphere. Do not wait for someone else. Choosing Christianity is a daily choice.
First, pray daily for guidance for the way forward for each of us (to do God’s will). This will deepen your relationship with Christ(first), then with your neighbour and will show you your path to heaven.
Second, deepen your knowledge of Christianity and practise it. For example, you will be amazed at the layers of meaning, wisdom and lifestyle lessons in the Bible and get to know God / Jesus Christ.
Third, cultivate virtue to battle sin and those negative /indulgent habits we are prone to. Resist evil.
Fourth, join a lay Christian organisation devoted to life and “acts of mercy” (not just volunteering). What of the media? Actively oppose the hostile mainstream media, and fundamentally reform RTE.
What of politicians? Actively support those who follow Christianity – those willing to be God fearing and to apply the mind of Christ – and push back / show the exit door to the secularist “elitist” types.
What of society? Support the biblical worldview, the Church’s social teachings and the sacred.
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If you would like a hard copy of the above section, please click here : In Defence of our Christian / Catholic Culture in Ireland – 2018