Modern Secularism’s Triple Distortion of Divine Morality


 

 

I continue to be amazed by how this secular society tries to twist Divine Mercy into blinking, happy-go-lucky acceptance of every behavior one can imagine.  This warped and sinister reasoning follows a three-way distortion of logic, Church teaching, and Divine Mercy.

First, we are told that, since we are all created in God’s image, it therefore follows that we must be inherently good and, by extension, that everything we do is, at some point, inherently good. This twisted logic, of course, pretends that just because we are initially created in God’s image that, therefore, it follows that we are as infallible as God is. It is the height of logical absurdity to say, for example, that since we are created in God’s image our actions are created in the image of God’s actions.  God is all good, loving, merciful, just, and wise.  Is anyone who has not been drinking heavily lately willing to argue that we are all good, loving, merciful, just, and wise? Since we were initially created in God’s image, but somehow, along the way, have managed to mess that up to some degree, then it follows that we must be very capable of sin, distortion, confusion, and many other taints and stains on that initial beauty. In short, we may be created in God’s image, but that does not therefore mean that everything we do is inherently good, wise, or acceptable, as our distorted secular modernists would have us believe.

Following the above logic, if God is perfect and we are not and therefore fully capable of imperfection, then how can it be that such a God would then accept, embrace, and respect our imperfection?  If perfection accepts imperfection, does not that perfection therefore become imperfect in the process which, in the case of God, is impossible?

Second, in order to cover up the twists and turns of the first distortion, a second distortion is put forth. Namely, that God accepts people as they are but that the Church is the one which has it all wrong, and has excluded, rejected, bullied, and abused anyone it deems different through the ages. Under this fable, we are supposed to believe that the Church is this evil institution whose main conduct over the ages has been to judge, reject, and persecute anyone who does not conform to its twisted view of what is right and wrong. This argument will focus on the clerical sexual abuse of children, the Spanish Inquisition, and anything else it can drag up to prove that the Church has been wrong a lot, and has hurt people a lot, simply because it has failed to protect and embrace the voiceless and marginalized in our society.

The problem with this second fable is that true history shows that, while the Church is imperfect because humans are imperfect, it has, by and large, done much more good than evil, and helped many more people than it has harmed, over the course of  history. Also, Church positions are grounded in clear core Church teaching, and not fanciful notions created a few years ago.  The argument contends that Church teaching which contradicts modern societal views is simply outdated, ancient, and narrow minded. Such contentions, of course, assume that current practices and values are somehow more enlightened, wise, and true to God’s original intent.  Again, we go back to the distortion that modern thinking and practices are somehow better than anything believed or practiced in the past and that anyone contradicting modern thinking should be excluded, marginalized, rejected, and the like.  It does not take a genius to see the absurdity of arguing that the Church has been guilty of excluding those who are different while at the same time having no problem with excluding, rejecting, mocking, and ignoring those who are different from that very same proposition.  If there is one trait which modernist secular thinking is fully versed in, it is hypocristy!

Lastly, modern secular society confuses, either unintentionally or not, compassion with acceptance.  According to this logical pretzel, the Good Samaritan’s actions mean that he was to fully accept, embrace, and welcome everything the injured man he helped practiced or believed!  In other words, if the Good Samaritan happened to rescue a a thief, rapist, selfish lout, or atheist then, according to our learned secular modernists, the Good Samaritan would not really be “good” unless he “compassionately” embraced and accepted the theft, rape, selfishness, or disbelief in God exhibited by the man he rescued!  One can only hope that these people do not seriously believe that, because one is compassionate, that means that one must therefore accept and embrace everything about the one assisted in one’s compassion!  I can feed the hungry man who is a wife beater, for example, without embracing, accepting, promoting, and defending his abuse of his wife!  Helping a dying thief does not mean that I embrace theft.  Jesus loved the sinner without accepting the sin, as He so clearly demonstrated by telling the woman caught in adultery to “sin no more”.  The modern distorters would have us believe that true love ultimately equates with total acceptance and welcoming of everything about the one loved, lest we be practicing exclusion and not “welcoming” the “different” one.

Christ’s beautiful promise of Divine Mercy comes to those who turn reject their wrong and sincerely seek forgiveness in a spirit of genuine, trusting humility, obedience, and conformity to God’s Word and Will.  Ultimately, Divine Mercy is an open invitation to humbly conform, not a get-out-of-jail card!

It is eerie and ironic that modern secularism’s twisted view of Divine Mercy is reflected in the typical public school classroom, where administrators and faculty are either afraid to point out incorrect behavior or attitudes or have actually bought into the lie that wisdom and tolerance demand acceptance and even embracing dissident behavior.  Modern secularism spews the fraud that differences are automatically to be celebrated, defended, embraced, accepted, and even promoted as opportunities for tolerance and rejection of intolerance and narrow-mindedness.

Modern educational theory, for example, increasingly mirrors this trend toward seeing compassion in diluted, blurred, all-embracing tolerance, acceptance, embracing, and even promotion of rebellion, insolence, ignorant arrogance, and victimization. Consequently, we see schools paralyzed at the whim of bullying, cheating, disrespectful, ignorant, and arrogant rebels who believe that the institution has a duty to cater to individual whim and agendas no matter    what.

Christ embodies loving compassion and mercy in the face of sincere contrition, genuine humility, and a true desire to change. This Divine Mercy, so profoundly exhibited in the writings of St. Faustina, is the true example of Heavenly tough love.  In contrast, modern secularism’s version of such mercy, labeled as “compassion”, “tolerance”, “acceptance”, and a “welcoming” open-mindedness, is nothing but diluted rationalization wrapped in the false garb of compassion.

Anyone who sees an eerie similarity between such a diluted, feel good morality and Common Core education, for example, is not far off the mark.  Many years ago, students were rewarded for getting correct answers, taught about absolute truths and principles which did not waver, and given tools for finding precision and clarity. Today, 2 + 2 can be 5 if you can explain why you feel that way, tell us the process you followed to get to that answer, or will be deeply offended or scarred for life should any teacher dare to point out your error.

At the end of the day, modern, secularist society is not so much looking for absolute, correct answers as for absolutely acceptable answers which avoid the sort of precision, accountability, personal responsibility, and clarity that can put the spotlight on incompetence, inconsistency, hypocrisy, or personal agendas.  Ultimately, this society defines mercy as being at the mercy of the individual, not as the caring, firm, compassion of a loving God.

2015 Gabriel Garnica

The Ten Ironies of Holiness…..Part Three of Three


After too long a break, we complete our discussion of the Ten Ironies of Holiness with the final three ironies.

8.   The More We focus on God and unite as children of God, the more we will have to divide ourselves away from those toxic to our mission.    

Many people argue and fervently believe that God is all about, only about, unity.  They fashion the road to God as some merry hug-fest whereby everyone holds hands and marches into paradise.  These people see the solution to our problems as unity.  If we could only be more united, we would have less problems.  Unfortunately, life, and our road to holiness, is not like the American Civil War where one side promoted a wrong and the other side opposed it and there was a war to grind these two opposing forces together through bloodshed.  Contrary to the unity buffs, all problems are not solved by merely “uniting” everyone or promoting that opposing sides must find a compromise, a common ground, or “find the light”.

Yes, there are problems and situations out there where unity is the answer, where people are called to work together to work things out.  Many marriages that end in divorce might have been saved if the two sides just worked at working together, at saving their injured relationship.  Often that effort is warranted or motivated by a common cause, such as sparing the children untold suffering.  Whatever the motivation or rationale, there are times when working together to make things work is not only a good idea but practically a responsibility.

However, there are other times when working together to come together is actually a bad thing.  Suppose a woman married to a violent abuser has a chance to break free from her abuse but, opts, in the name of unity, to stay with this abuser.  What if one has a business partner who is unethical and robs the business, or is incompetent and is bringing the business down.   What if a widow with three daughters meets a new man and discovers that he is trying to sexually abuse one of  her daughters.  Should she stay with this fiend in the interest of unity?  Lastly, suppose that one’s child has a friend who is drawing one’s child away from wholesome and positive activities toward unwholesome and negative conduct.  Should one’s child stay with that bad example, out of some misguided notion that maintaining unity is some saintly thing to do?

Obviously, in all of the above situations, unity is unity with a toxic situation or person that will only draw us away from God, away from our mission to serve God, and away from our salvation.  Remember that God Almighty will divide on Judgment Day.  Whether we accept it or not, we  have a choice between being the wheat and the chaff, and then we have a choice about whether or not we want to embrace the wheat, or the chaff.  The ultimate secret to serving Christ, then, may well be the ability to be compassionate, serving, generous, forgiving, and open to those who stray without letting ourselves accept, embrace, condone, much less support their positions which may be inconsistent with who we are and what we should be about.

9.      The more we fail, struggle, and fall, the less we will fail, struggle, and fall.

This world is obsessed with avoiding suffering, pain, and failure.  We cringe at the sight or thought of anyone suffering.  Is this cringe out of compassion, or is it out of pity?    Better still, are our tears and fears the fruits of our broken dreams, hopes, aspiration, perceptions, and/or delusions?  Do we cry for how struggles and obstacles impact us, or for how these things impact others?  A simple glance at the lives of most, if not all, saints, reveals that they each struggled mightily over many different issues.   In fact, one may rightly conclude, when looking at the saints, that being close to God is being close to suffering, and that would be true.  We have each been given crosses to bear, and how we bear them will often show how close we are to the One Who has borne the most.  The more we suffer and fail here, the less we will suffer there, because we will have maximized our potential and while using our struggles as fodder for graces.

10.    Holiness is about embracing discomfort and rejecting comfort.

A lack of suffering anda measure of  comfort  are the front lines of the battle against the devil.  It is there where evil finds the most ready, willing, and able souls poised to throw their lot with the most fearful  creature they have ever experienced.  Saints like Francis, Clare, Don Bosco, and Philip Neri faced extreme obstacles head-on, with their heads held high, believing in the power of God to transform their struggles into graces.  When we are too comfortable, we tend to forget God because, whether we admit it or not, we start fashioning ourselves the answer to all questions.  On  the other hand, struggles build character, and make us recall our roots.

Copyright, 2013  Gabriel Garnica

I Should Have Prayed in Front of Fordham


I will begin by revealing that I am a graduate of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in its Lincoln Center campus, where I earned a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling a few years ago.   Looking back, my Fordham experience was a tale of two divergent realities. Academically, I feel that I received a very good graduate education with generally good professors, a number of whom are top notch in their field.  My spiritual experience at Fordham was a different matter, however.  I expected to experience some inconsistency with traditional Catholic teaching, given the environment we live in, but what I encountered was a blatant illustration of why Catholic education in this country, apart from some noble exceptions, is a disaster.

By “Catholic Education” I mean an education which manages to combine outstanding academic preparation with a deepening in core Catholic teaching for Catholic students and a fair, balanced presentation of issues relevant to the Catholic Church for non-Catholics.  What I experienced was merely a Catholicism dripping in the social justice rubbish that has been used by secular liberals to promote loads of positions and agendas contrary to traditional, core Catholic teaching. I refer the reader to my pieces http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120216  and http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120321  wherein I outlined why major so-called Catholic institutions like Fordham, Georgetown, and Notre Dame have become dens of dissident indoctrination with the Catholic Church in this country.

I observed professors who have volunteered at Planned Parenthood; a mostly young, white female student body in my particular field of study more likely to listen to NPR than pray a Rosary , and a rampant presentation of non-traditional marriage and abortion rights as the unjust victims of an intolerant, outdated, mostly male-dominated Church.  Rampant feminism was everywhere yet, despite its powerful presence, homosexual rights seemed the most protected agenda.  Although I did not personally have a particular professor, it appears that his office included a large rainbow flag. I do not believe that homosexuals should be mistreated or abused because of who they are, but I also believe that it is wrong to pretend that the Catholic Church either defends homosexuality or has been wrong in its traditional stance regarding it.  In one class, we were subjected to a one hour film depicting how homosexuals are abused and mistreated in various countries.  While I regret such treatment of anyone, I question why we did not see a similar film demonstrating how women are similarly or even more abused throughout the world, especially considering 98% of the class was female.

Obama’s victory was met with fawning hysteria by virtually all the female students and, as far as I can tell, all of the professors.  I doubt that if Jesus Christ Himself had landed in Lincoln Center there would have been a similar reaction.  People were moved nearly to tears, with many somewhat spoiled, upper-class, young, white women at the front of the line, wailing about how they never expected to see the day that such an event would occur. Never mind that Obama was clearly the most pro-abortion and pro-non-traditional marriage candidate to ever run for the White House and even someone with the intelligence of a cranberry could see that he was going to spell trouble for core Catholic teaching.  That teaching, after all, was delusional mental illness at Fordham anyway, so why would a shining knight in armor coming to finish it off be an enemy to be feared?  Professors thought nothing of discussing core Catholicism with a kind of condescension and patronizing exasperation reserved for what they likely, in the privacy of their minds, viewed as religious hicks fingering beads and accusing everyone of a one way ticket to hell.  One called California’s Proposition 8, limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman “stupid, evil, and hateful” openly and without even considering or imagining that any student in her presence might disagree.

A consistent point of discussion in my program was whether it was ethical for a counselor to accommodate the spirituality of clients. Many argued that clients should be told to keep their faith out of the therapy session. Others argued that it was tantamount to murder for any counselor to recluse herself  from cases inconsistent with her religious beliefs.  A poll I conducted for a class revealed that the vast majority of counseling students would have preferred just about any kind of client over a religious one.  Being religious was treated as akin to being a leper.  Thankfully, I was relieved to find that most counseling students were a little more comfortable workingwith religious clients than homicidal maniacs.

By the time I graduated from Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, I had experienced my fill of spoiled, upper-class, white, young females who felt qualified to save the world from its ignorance steeped in religious and/or  male-dominated bias.  A friend observed that many of these women seemed distant and suspicious of their fathers.  I was practically assaulted during a group counseling class, where a few young females resented anything I said to my professor’s amusement in telling me that I had officially become “the scapegoat”.

Looking back, I have come to the ironic realization that this program which was educating future counselors and was the scene of so many self-appointed knights in shining armor out to fix the world was so steeped in dysfunction and delusion.  It is  no wonder that the APA and other governing mental health bodies is so contradictory to core Catholicism that one cannot possibly embrace the APA completely without, in fact, ignoring or rejecting significant core Catholic positions.

Fordham, run by Jesuits, prides itself as promoting the Jesuit tradition of a well-rounded, profound and practical, education. However, as shown by its litany of positions and actions inconsistent with core Catholic positions  http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/1674/Coulter-Controversy-Highlights-Speaker-Policy-at-Fordham.aspx  and http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/SearchResults.aspx?Search=fordham it is obvious that this institution has taken the infamous “social justice” mantle to move its brand of Catholicism in the direction of secular socialism, feminism, and liberal dissident views.

As one who has prayed in front of a Planned Parenthood far less than I would have liked to, it occurs to me that praying in front of Fordham may be just as necessary.

Copyright, Gabriel Garnica  2012

Three Myths Regarding “Conservative Catholics”


      

 

Before Vatican II, Catholics were either “practicing Catholics” or “non-practicing Catholics” which meant that either they followed the Church’s teaching as a package or they did not. While many agree that Vatican II started with the best intentions, many others also agree that various people in high places manipulated the proceedings to further an agenda of subjective morality, diffused Catholicism, rampant socialist/Marxist ideas wrapped in social justice jargon (“common good”), and a general degradation of clarity regarding what is and what is not acceptable Catholic practice. These generally unfortunate movements have served to blur Catholic teaching and practice under an increasingly subjective and secular perception of the Catholic faith and its application.  The rise of numerous groups and prominent, public figures all calling themselves “Catholic” while espousing many views contrary and contradictory to basic Catholic teaching has only served to further confuse the faithful and diffuse the Faith.

As a result of the above events, we now see the rise of the terms “Conservative” versus “Liberal” Catholics, which generally is understood to signify Catholics who believe and apply their faith more strictly, with less flexibility, less if any compromise and, according to the opposing side and most of the outside world, a more stubborn and judgmental tone. So called “liberal Catholics” on the other hand, are generally described as more flexible, compromising, unifying, progressive, humanitarian, forgiving, open, and unifying.  If you feel a negative vibe from the view given conservative Catholicism and a positive vibe surrounding the corresponding view given to liberal Catholicism, then the purveyors of these stereotypes and labels have done their job well, which they have.   However, the reason we get these respective negative and positive vibes in the first place rests with the fact that, whether we like or admit it or not, we are immersed in this culture and society which projects and promotes much of the tone ascribed to the liberal Catholic side and demonizes and mocks the tone ascribed to the so-called conservative Catholic side. Consistent with this distinction and stereotype are three myths about conservative Catholicism which I would like to address here.

First, some argue that conservative Catholics unrealistically seek  a so-called “perfect” Church on their terms and therefore foreclose any idea or attempt at unity, compromise, and diplomacy as heresy, destructiveness, betrayal, or worse.  The fallacy here is two-fold. First, it implies that conservative Catholics actually believe that perfection can be achieved on      this very imperfect earth and within this even more imperfect society. In truth, most conservative Catholics that I know realize that perfection cannot be obtained in terms of this earth, but fervently believe that we are called to continually pursue such perfection as best we can while on this rock in space.  We understand and accept that perfection will only be found in Heaven, but also feel that we all have a duty to continually strive for it while on earth with the understanding that we will necessarily fall short. The ultimate goal, then, is not perfection but, rather, the continual effort to approach it while chained to an imperfect world and an imperfect body and mind.  An implication of this “perfection” myth is, indirectly, that so-called liberal Catholics embrace and accept imperfection while so-called conservative ones denounce, deny, and reject it, which is obviously an inaccurate and oversimplified view.  A more accurate characterization here might be that conservative Catholics strive for perfection while recognizing and dealing with imperfection while liberal ones see imperfection as a humanizing good in and of itself and hence do not see striving for perfection as a good at all.  Ironically, striving for perfection while accepting imperfection is much more respectful, realistic, and empowering of the human person than accepting imperfection as a badge of honor, which merely rejects our ability to reach beyond ourselves and glorifies self and self limits.

Second, as implied above, many argue that conservative Catholics selfishly and stubbornly sabotage unity in the service of righteous, subjective, and judgmental arrogance.  The first implication here is that liberal Catholics are somehow less righteous, more objective, and less judgmental than others, which is not necessarily so.  The second implication here, and perhaps one of the most critical, is that unity is invariably a good in and of itself. Is unity for the sake of unity a good thing?  Is Christ found in compromise and glorified unity?  The answer is a resounding no.  The Bible tells us that God practices tough, and not mushy, love.  He loves the sinner but not the sin, and will punish or enforce as need to save the sinner. Just as Christ did not seek a diplomatic resolution to the money changers, so too we cannot compromise our faith for unity. We are called to love others and seek unity within the context of our true faith, not despite of it.

Third, and last, we are told the lie that serving unity and compromise, reaching for the “common good” or “common ground” is in and of itself the Christian or truly Catholic thing to do. This view equates war, poverty and environmental concerns, which are general wrongs, with abortion and marriage concerns, which are inherent wrongs.   It rejects the notion of gradient moral priorities, as well as ultimate personal responsibility. Like it or not, being a Catholic or even a Christian  is not easy in this society,  and those who steadfastly hold on to Christ come what may will likewise find themselves on the outside looking in.

We cannot be moral Neville Chamberlains compromising out eternal salvation for earthly comfort.  We cannot be rampant purveyors of compromise and frightened addicts of unity at any cost. Likewise, we cannot confuse souls through our actions with inconsistency or irresponsible ambivalence of where we stand on critical, core Catholic and Christian issues, especially if we are Catholic leaders whose example is sought by many souls.

We must speak out against inherent evil, strive to shed light on wrong, and humbly do so with love for the sinner and disgust for the sin.  We have a responsibility to put out or lessen the flames of heresy or distortion with the water of Christ’s example and The Almighty’s Word.  You cannot be a true Christian, a true Catholic, while running away from the cross toward the safety, consensus, and compromise of the screaming mob.  You cannot surrender or sabotage your core beliefs in the interest of unity and common ground.  Lastly, you cannot forget that God, and Christ, are very much about profiling, dividing, and distinguishing as needed, as Judgment Day, the money changers, and the Parable of the  Sower illustrate.  We have Ten Commandments, not Ten Suggestions, and there is no such thing as Heaven for all, Hell for none, and lots of ” we will see what happens” in between.  There is a big difference between charity and irresponsible cowardice.  Good friends tell it like it is and do not sugar coat things for their own comfort. Let us proudly proclaim ourselves followers of Christ at the courtyard as Our Lord is unfairly judged rather than betray Him yet again with wishy-washy denials of knowing and loving Him above all else.

Good parents sometimes have to reprimand their children.  Good teachers sometimes have to grade harshly but fairly.  The appeasing, wimpy parent and teacher obtain a very temporary comfort but irresponsibly lose their purpose and mission worrying about the secular perceptions of a very secular world.  We can be charitable yet firm, flexible yet steadfast when it matters most, loving yet very clear where we stand.  Our Lord promised us that He would help us to do this, and we offend and insult Him when we sell out rather than stand firm because, by doing so, we imply that we do not trust His help and protection.  Likewise, charity is not rampant compromise,  true love is often tough love and not rampant wishy washy love, and forgiveness asks us to provide new chances rather than accept much less glorify old mistakes.

Replace the phrase “liberal Catholic” with “Cafeteria Catholic” and admit that it is possible to go too far with being a Conservative Catholic, yet never accept that bending is necessarily a universal and eternal good.  This is so because you cannot possibly accept, promote, and defend liberal Catholicism without picking and choosing your Faith or bending for the sake of bending. Not if  you are still honest with yourself, respectful of your intellectual capacity,  and keeping your eyes fixed on God and God alone.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica

 

Catholics and Christians Must Be Warriors Today, Not Worriers


          

 

Catholics and Christians in general certainly have a lot to be worried about in these times.  Threats abound from a society, culture, media, and leadership that treats Christianity like an annoying mental illness which often irritates any non-Christian in the vicinity of any follower of Christ.  We have been called terrorists by people who seem terrified to call real terrorists by that name.  We have been called hateful by those who epitomize hate.  We are labeled as dangerous by folks whose views pose a danger to our world, nation, society, culture, future, and every existence.  It is easy to be a follower of Christ on Easter Sunday.  It is still manageable to be a follower of Christ on Christmas where, despite the increasingly brazen and arrogant attacks on the true reason for the season, one at least finds a significant part of society celebrating along.  Being a Christian, a Catholic, on Good Friday, however, is another ball of wax.  That is the day we remember how hated Christ was by the powerful, the political and even spiritual leaders of the day.  Being a true follower of Christ is not about dancing behind Him as He enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday surrounded by apparently adoring throngs.  No, we earn our stripes as Christians on Holy Thursday night and Good Friday, if we proudly admit we are His loyal followers, yell in His defense among the vicious mob demanding His death, follow Him as He obeys His Father’s Will below a heavy cross on a rocky path,  and kneel below His cross, begging forgiveness for not appreciating His ultimate sacrifice with our loyal obedience.

These times call for warriors like Joan of Arc and Sir Thomas More, who used deeds and words to defend God’s Word and Will and Christ’s teaching and example, willingly giving up comforts and prestige to serve He who Alone should be our reason, our answer, our path, and our purpose.

Let us not worry in this task and mission, for worry is born of a lack of faith and fills its space very conveniently to choke our very beliefs and resolve, no matter how steadfast initially, into weak, diluted compromise, appeasement, and even betrayal of our Faith.  As Christians we are not called to become mere spectators to this battle, content to let others fight for the cause.  Neither, however, are we called to become mindless, oblivious, ravenous wolves defending without discretion,  speaking without sincerity, and preaching without purpose. No, we must work to fight as Our Lord fought, with conviction and fairness,  courage and temperance and, above all, with a firm grasp of Our God’s Word, Our Lord’s example, and our talents and gifts to use as weapons in the struggle.

Do not worry, for worry is born of doubt, and doubt is born of a lack of faith, and a lack of faith is the offspring of fear and denial.  Use your time more wisely by focusing on the end promised rather than the present perceived.  Following Our Lord is playing without pause because one knows that, regardless of the twists and turns of the fame, the final score will favor those who wear Our God’s uniform.  Measure the value of all by how well such things will bring you closer to God.   If we follow these ideals, we will truly be warriors, not worriers, for our faith.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica

Is God About Avoiding Conflict?


               

I have been having discussions with a number of very insightful and sincere Catholics regarding whether or not avoiding conflict is consistent with God’s Will, Christ’s example, and Heaven’s plan of salvation for us.  The short answer, regardless of the conflict it may ensue, is no, avoiding conflict is not consistent with either God’s Will, Christ’s example, or Heaven’s plan for salvation for any of us. In fact, just as much harm can be inflicted to justice, souls, and salvation through appeasement than through reckless abandon.

God  Almighty did not appease Lucifer and his minions when they revolted because, to do so, would have been contradictory to the very nature of God as the all-knowing, all just, and all good Creator. If God is all of these things, and we know He is, then it stands to reason that any revolt against Him would, by definition, be an unjust, ignorant, and evil effort.   God could not appease to evil, to wrong, to injustice, to ignorance precisely because, as the all perfect, all knowing, all powerful Creator of the Universe, He would contradict and betray His very nature by yielding one bit to such evil, thus ascribing it any gain of measure against His perfection, truth, wisdom, and justice.

Likewise, Christ did not appease the money changers in the temple because they too, stood for wrong, evil, ignorance, disrespect, and rebellion against Almighty God.  Just as it would have been the height of absurdity for God to “negotiate” with Lucifer, it would have been ridiculous for Christ to sit down with the money changers in a brew of political and social correctness to find common ground and avoid conflict.

If the two above examples provide glaring evidence that Heaven is not about appeasement to wrong, then how can it be that otherwise sincere, intelligent, thoughtful, and caring Catholics may confuse avoiding conflict as the path of God or Christ?  I believe that, at its very core, such a belief stems from the mistaken notion that unity, peace, uniformity, understanding, compromise etc. are all good things per se.  This myth arises from our mistaken human perception that love is about avoiding conflict and seeking peace, about finding common ground, about compromise, and about meeting others half way.  While this may be true in many business, political, social, and practical matters, it is not automatically true in moral matters.   Besides, when we deal with others, we are dealing with relative equals in humanity, limitations, and weakness, so compromise and avoiding conflict may often be a good thing in such cases.

However, such areas as moral theology and the notion of just wars remind us that appeasement to evil is not an option.  As followers of Christ and children of God, we have a moral and eternal obligation to cultivate a sound moral conscience and ethical analysis.  When our opponent is evil, perdition, sin, and the very agenda of Lucifer himself, we are required to stand our ground and not yield an inch.  Speak of appeasement to Sir Thomas More and John the Baptist. God does not want us to be appeasing fools, diluted wimps, or compromising cowards. Rather, He wants us to sharply define where we can give ground, and where we will not. He wants that sharp distinction to be based on His Word and Christ’s example. He wants us to have the courage and the strength of conviction to stand up, speak out, and represent His path to salvation as best we can.

Neville Chamberlain was a decent British Prime Minister whose lasting and damning legacy was his oblivious appeasement to Hitler borne of a personal horror of war and belief that diplomacy was always preferable to confrontation.  When the true error of his blind appeasement became apparent, he was replaced by Winston Churchill who, as history shows, may be the most loved Prime Minister in British history due to his assertive and brave confrontation of evil, not in blind ignorance or reckless denial of the horror of war but, more important, due to his clear assertion that it is better to fight bravely for a just cause than surrender or yield mistakenly in the face of an evil opponent.

If the beginning of sin came at Lucifer’s revolt and God’s open demonstration that Heaven is not about appeasement to evil, then the end of sin will come when God separates the just from the unjust on Judgment Day.  If Heaven were about appeasement, compromise, negotiation, peace at all cost, and keeping everyone happy, God would turn our entire human history into a farce by treating the unjust the same as the just and suggesting a group hug.

Let us not mistake the love of God for appeasing drivel.  God’s love is a tough love and, whether we like it or not, it is a dividing and just love which will give each of us what we deserve. The present political and social environment in this world and this nation is such that appeasement only creates confusion, dilution, and more loss of souls.  If our shepherds actually had the guts to speak against evil and wrong, against disrespect of God, and in defense of our Faith in word and action, at all times, as More did, we would have far less confusion among the faithful.  No, God is not about avoiding conflict.  He is about profiling against evil.  He is about separating the wheat from the chaff.  He is about expecting us to choose which side we are on.  This world preaches avoiding conflict because that is the way of Lucifer.  We have already seen and will soon see even more how moral appeasement is the true path to perdition.  Following Christ and obeying God are not easy paths, and appeasement is just the misguided strategy to convince us that whatever makes things easier for us must be good.  God wants us to be united to Him, but on His terms, not on conditions of mutual comfort or satisfaction.  If we do not see that His terms are in fact the terms of eternal comfort and satisfaction and instead push our own secular, human perceptions of those goals, that is our problem.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica

“October Baby” Reminds Us of Hollywood’s Big Abortion Problem


After seeing the pro-life movie October Baby  get bashed by 75% of the film critics and praised by  over 90% of the audience, I saw the film myself last weekend and came out of the theatre with two observations.

Hollywood’s Twisted Portrayal of Abortion

Nowhere is Hollywood’s pathetic and despicable hypocrisy, bias, and cowardice more evident than in its handling of abortion. Films like Cider House Rules and Vera Drake, which both displayed abortion as a noble social good removing the chains of ignorance and oppression from women,  had no problem getting wide distribution and garnering  high praise and awards from all corners of Hollywood.  The made for television movie If These Walls Could Talk, which Cher partly directed and starred in,  depicts two women who choose abortion as thoughtful victims of an ignorant society and a third who decides against abortion as an ignorant and gullible fool with no legitimate clue as to why she has made the choice. That third woman, played by Sizzy Spacek, is portrayed as a woman yearning for an education who drops all hope of happiness as she prepares to deal with an unwanted child while shining her husband’s shoes.  The clear message of all three stories is that men are heartless monsters who victimize women with pregnancy, reflecting the Obama message that pregnancy can be a prison and abortion is the get-out-of-jail card that only ignorant, gullible, and backward women reject.

Invariably,  Hollywood condemns any pro-life film as blatant propaganda rubbish and any pro-abortion movie as thought-provoking, profound, and insightful. Bella, another beautiful pro-life effort, was criticized this way when it was released a few years ago, and October Baby receives the same treatment from the vast majority of the same critics who nearly slipped on their own drivel in excitement over Cider House Rules and Vera Drake.  These films, and If These Walls Could Talk, practically depict abortion as a sacrament and abortionists as its most noble and saintly priests. In Walls, Cher is the smiling, benevolent, comforting, saintly doctor and abortion is the loving, sanitized, practically bloodless salvation from the suffering of an unwanted pregnancy. In the most absurd and truly ridiculous of ironies, this peaceful abortion is cut short by the crazed violence of a bloodthirsty pro-life zealot. Such is the utterly heinous and vile lie sold by Hollywood and the Left. Namely, that abortion is anything near a salvation from violence and harm to women. In the most ironic and detestable of ironies, Cher is practically depicted as an almost Virgin Mary figure gazing over the girl seeking an abortion and, just as suddenly, as a Christ-like sacrificial lamb giving up her life for her noble cause.

If Hollywood portrays abortion and abortionists as a cross between Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale, what of its depiction of those who oppose this barbaric procedure? In short, they are depicted as stupid, homophobic, sexist, creepy and downright psychotic. From squealing priests and pro-life protestors short a few chromosomes to superstitious dolts with the IQ and common sense of a doorknob, abortion opponents are branded as pathetically  evil idiots preventing the enlightened pro-abortion crowd from efficiently and fully dragging society to the modern world.

The Left’s Pathetic Scramble to Conceal The Truth is Losing Ground

The Hunger Games has scored box office success while depicting children sadistically enjoying shooting, stabbing, and beating each other to death, . http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13311265/parents-warned-about-hunger-games-violence/ in becoming the third most successful opening film of all time after netting $ 155 million in its opening weekend.

Although it only opened in 390 theaters, October Baby earned the second-highest-per screen average, bringing in almost $ 2 million in ticket sales.  One of October Baby’s directors, Jon Erwin, described how no studio wanted to touch the film because it was considered “too controversial” such that, ultimately, he and the film’s other director, his brother Andrew, raised the money themselves, delaying the release.  Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of the Christian movie site Movieguide.org, attributes the success of “October Baby”  to a strong Christian and moral world view that touches the hearts of those who saw it.
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/03/27/pro-life-october-baby-rejected-by-major-studios-blitzes-box-office/#ixzz1qdskcdOF

Therein lies the inherent problem with this entire situation.  We live in an increasingly anti-Christian, amoral society where a film depicting random, sadistic violence by children against children is gladly accepted and October Baby, which depicts loving forgiveness and a respect for life is bashed as a “slickly packaged…essentially ugly…soapy melodrama.. which communicates in language of guilt and fear…intended to terrify young women” http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/movies/october-baby-with-jasmine-guy-and-john-schneider.html?smid=tw-nytimesmovies&seid=auto. The film is alternately described as dull, amateurish, weepy, unrealistic, indecent propaganda, better off as a bumper sticker, a campaign video, or an endless lecture by the myriad of critics regularly paid by someone who cares what they think about film.

Fortunately, the audiences who are flocking to see this wonderful film are ignoring, and rejecting, the biased and distorted reviews of these so-called movie experts whose expertise lies in being paid to view and spew their own biases about what they view. As is the case with many issues today, we see the delusions and distortions being sold by the Leftist news and entertainment industry being brushed aside by average people who long for movies about the kind of themes which October Baby supplies in ample measure.

Try as it might, Hollywood will continue to be blind, deaf, and silent regarding the heinous and despicable evil that is abortion. It will continue to peddle its twisted and absurd version of entertainment and reality, where the murder of young life is whitewashed with flimsy explanations, where the fact that a bunch of teens in October Baby travel cross country without having rampant sex is mocked, and where propaganda from the left is spelled reality and reality from the right is spelled propaganda.

I have long argued that Catholic Universities like Georgetown and Fordham have become about as pro-life as Planned Parenthood.  Dripping in the social justice drivel which has been used by defiant pro-choice Cafeteria Catholics to defend the woman seeking an abortion over the life of the unborn, these institutions have been far more eager to present rubbish like The Vagina Monologues than beautiful efforts such as October Baby.

Some of October Baby’s harshest critics mocked the fact that the film, release by Goldwyn, did not heed one of Goldwyn’s most famous lines regarding what movies are supposed to do; namely, “Pictures were made to entertain. If you want to send a message, call Western Union.”  Anyone who has ever seen Cider House Rules, Vera Drake, and If These Walls Could Talk might wonder why these blatant pro-abortion propaganda efforts are not criticized in the same way by these critics. Given the success of films like Kill Bill and The Hunger Games, it might well be that, when it comes to everything from depicting the truth to glorifying violence while criticizing the pro-life movement as violent, Hollywood and its warped morality relish hearing the director say “cut”.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica