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Saturday, March 12, 2011


Charles E Flynn

I would like to know how the person who "lives a full, moral life but has no spiritual or religious foundation at all" had his or her conscience formed. Possibilities range from the Playboy Advisor to Bertrand Russell, who famously said that since "all these religions contradict one another, not more than one of them can be true."


Mr. Lawler left catholicism in his early 20s "because he didn't care for its conservative viewpoints." Yet, he will champion Islam, decidedly a very conservative religion. Reactionary? The enemy of my enemy is my friend? It's similar to the mystery of the MSM pushing women's rights to the extreme while lecturing the unwashed masses about tolerance for Islam. Are they serious about this confused message or just conditioning us with cognitive dissonance?


Charles E Flynn;

I am with you on that one. Whenever you get close to trying to pin down one of the folks that professes such a view, they slip and slither away into moral relativism.

As a rule of thumb, it may be safely said that such people most often (not always of course, but most often) have a real issue with Church teaching on sexual morality to varying degrees. Generally speaking the axiom holds true that very few leave the Church over theology but most leave over morality.

In our post-modern world we have a totally new brand of moralists without God or religion; whereas in the past they may have been called apostates, now for many, they have never been in the Church to begin with.

It points me to meditate on the Garden of Eden and the specific act of disobedience of Adam and Eve. They ate of the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil". Whether you consider this a literal or metaphorical account is irrelevant. They acquired the "knowledge" that was the fruit of the tree, namely they were cursed or blessed, depending upon your perspective, with a conscience.

While they now had intimate knowledge of evil, namely disobedience to God, they also had the knowledge of that evil in this way; that it was indeed evil and also the knowledge of the difference between that and the good, which they had willfully tossed away the better part of, and had separated themselves from the source of that good.

So it is now no surprise, as C.S. Lewis so ably pointed out, that people know what is good, and strive toward it in most societies, and at the same time find themselves incapable of consistently meeting the standard of the good.

Likewise, while shunning God and religion for whatever reason, these modern moralists do indeed know there is a difference between good and evil, and wish to identify that which is good and that which is evil and live their life accordingly. But of course, the fatal flaw is the rejection of God, the source of all good, and the arbiter of good and evil. They would much rather take God's place in that role, and that is, as Father Barron says, the essence of sin.

And it is also the reason, besides our inability to achieve perfection, that we are not saved by our works, as the Council of Trent pointed out, but rather by grace through faith. We have to capitulate. But that means accepting God's definition of moral living, and quite frankly it would cramp the lifestyle of most of western society.

Ed Peters

Nope. You can't make it up. Brumley said years ago, it's really hard to parody bad theology, because as soon as you try XYZ as parody, you find out that someone really beleives XYZ!


The "conservative viewpoints" of conservative muslims would mean this man would have a literal wall ritualistically and fatally collapsed upon him.


I think he would make a great muslim. He certainly doesn't believe Christ is the Way, Truth and Light.

Dan Deeny

An extraordinary number of Americans have left Catholicism. Sometimes I talk with former Catholics who are now Calvinists. Why they chose Calvinism is a mystery to me. Why Lawler seems to be heading to Islam, which shares with Calvinism a requirement to submit, in a special way, to God's will, is also a mystery. I think Lawler's case is more than multiculturalism.



As a Catholic convert from Catholicism whose last pre-Rome stop was Anglicanism, I'd I disagree.

I'd guess -- and I know it is only that -- that Lawler is attracted to Islam's non-personal monotheism and decent morality, and not any strong fatalism. I sense the familiar liberal paradigm I encountered everywhere at work -- not a conservative on that would ever have found him in or sympathetic with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Ritual is viewed as a purely sociological construct. It all has helpful content. Etc etc. It is very typical Episcopalian heresy. And it is very much multiculturalism, since that is the essence of the Episcopal creed since that church has been hijacked by the zeitgeist.

Also, the writings of Garrigou-Lagrange, Peter Kreeft, and Bouyer are examples of how closely parallels between Catholicism and Calvinistic Protestantism can be drawn. Kreeft, of course, also writes very sympathetially of Islam.

Andre lavoie

Did someone say morals are taught? We have them inare. Teaching does help, however, to make us more able to see when we act selfishly, something that is also innate.

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