Wednesday, September 19, 2012

“Truth is not determined by a majority vote.”

“True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything what so ever, which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.”  - Pope John Paul II
Gospel text: LK 7:31-35
Jesus said to the crowds:
"To what shall I compare the people of this generation?
What are they like?
They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another,

'We played the flute for you, but you did not dance.
We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.'

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine,
and you said, 'He is possessed by a demon.'
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said,
'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.'
But wisdom is vindicated by all her children."

Human beings cannot help but be under authority, whether they realize it or not. If we are not under the authority of God, we may be under the authority of the world — even if we think we are "doing our own thing". If we are not under the authority of God's Church, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15), we are under the authority of multimillionaires, celebrities, politicians, or social scientists, who are like children manipulating, controlling, and oppressing their playmates (see Lk 7:32ff). There can be no such thing as freedom from authority. There is freedom only under the authority of Christ and His Church. Any other so-called freedom is merely a thinly disguised totalitarian dictatorship.

In our secular humanistic society, some people promote tolerance to the point of permissiveness. However, absolute truth is not a threat to freedom. Rather, selfishness and pride unrestrained by objective truth are contrary to freedom. Truth is bigger than we are and it protects us from ourselves. We are like the people of Jesus' times whom Jesus refers to in today’s gospel reading.

 Without submission to the truth, power, popularity, or deception will inevitably trample on human rights. Submission to the truth (with a capital “T”) is the necessary basis for exercising and protecting freedom.

"The truth will set you free" (Jn 8:32) from the oppression of unbridled selfishness.

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