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There are some common thinking Catholic phrases you hear these days in office water-cooler conversations, on TV talk shows and on radio call-in shows, out of the mouths of Catholics. Examples:
"I'm a practicing Catholic, but I'm also a thinking
Catholic, and a
realist . . . "; "Although I'm a devout Catholic, I don't agree with the teaching that . . . "; and so forth.
The venue or audience is usually opposed to the Catholic position on whatever the topic of the moment is, and the thinking Catholic speaker uses something like the above phraseology to precede remarks in agreement with the venue or audience, usually to whoops, cheers and applause, because what is shown is that even a Catholic who applies reason and logic to the question comes down on the side of the world against the teaching of the Church. And, as time goes on, the world seems to be more and more at odds with the Church. It gets uncomfortable, and even embarrassing, to be seen as a truly devout Catholic who embraces Church teaching.
There is one particular phrase among the many that really sticks in my craw, and that one is, "I'm a thinking Catholic, but . . . "; or, "As a thinking Catholic, I cannot agree with the Church on . . . "; or, "My guest tonight is a thinking Catholic, who holds that . . ."
The speakers invariably go on to expound on the "real world" need for something, like contraception, or even abortion, in certain circumstances. After all, it's the real world, and the real world knows best. It's reality, man, that's just the way it is.
What kind of thinking are these so-called thinking Catholics doing?There is, almost always, some jargon or "Orwellian Newspeak" involved in whatever the topic being supported is, and, more often than not, there is an appeal to general consensus or to well known facts or even to the scientific facts surrounding the matter. This is not the reasoned output of a thinking Catholic, but of a FLORMPORIF13 .
When the topic revolves round abortion the thinking Catholic will use terms such as:
The right to choose - but note well that there is only one choice involved in this right, and that is the right of someone to choose to abort someone else. That's it. There is no other choice involved in this right. The Pro-choice position is not a good example of Catholic thinking that the real thinking Catholic is called to do.
Women's reproductive health - but the only thing they're talking about is abortion and there is nothing whatsoever healthy about abortion, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with reproduction other than to stop it, and do serious injury to a woman's future prospects for reproduction. The popular women's reproductive health position is not a good example of Catholic thinking that the real thinking Catholic is called to do.
Women's health issues - again, there is absolutely nothing healthy about abortion. The current Women's health issues position is not a good example of Catholic thinking that the real thinking Catholic is called to do.
Women's rights - to quote the Catechism, Lincoln, Reagan, Bush and others, no one has any inherent right to choose to do what is morally wrong. The women’s rights position is not a good example of Catholic thinking that the real thinking Catholic is called to do.
If the so called thinking Catholics who use this phraseology are really doing good thinking, then why do they need to hide behind the phraseology instead of clearly stating their position, which is, of course, pro-abortion? That is what they are standing up for and defending, championing if you will, so if that's their good, well thought out position then they ought to be able to stand up and defend it out in the open without mincing words about it. And, again, the Pro-abortion position is not a good example of Catholic thinking that the real thinking Catholic is called to do.
You'll find pretty much the same thing with contraception. The "thinking Catholic" of the moment will use terms like moral, social, ecological responsibility, none of which have any real validity. What he or she really wants is to turn a spouse or an illicit sex partner into an object; a sexual playground, nothing more and nothing less, for the sole purpose of achieving sexual gratification, hopefully without any consequences or responsibilities. In the name of sexual fulfillment, without which, as any Freudian can tell you, you cannot live a healthy life.
Does the term thinking Catholic really apply when the position taken invariably opposes Catholicism? Would it not be more appropriate to use the term thinking anti-Catholic? Is there an implication here that those of us who hold to the faith in all regards are somehow non- thinking Catholics?
We have been educated in error.
At your leisure, check out some of these Catholic American Thinker website left-side navigation bar buttons, for openers, the Modernist Heresy, Darwinism, Freudianism, Marxism, the Population Problem, Contraception, Abortion in America, and whatever other ones attract your attention.
[NOTE: Left column navigation buttons for related articles have been replaced by right column straight links. See the Home Page for site navigation help.]
The real thinking Catholic is called to do good critical thinking. Yet we, in our majority, accept, axiomatically, what we have been taught from childhood and on through college, what everybody knows to be true. But many if not most of these seemingly universally accepted axioms have never been looked at critically. Once we, as a culture, accept a false premise as an axiom, a "given," we then begin to build upon it just as if it were true and not false.
Examples:Darwinian hypothesis regarding speciation; the famous "theory" of the evolution of species, including man. Ask any or all of TTRSTF4 to produce any incontrovertible, objective, solid, empirical, scientific evidence supporting the theory, and then watch them squirm. There is no such scientific evidence in existence to support the hypothesis. It's the same with the Freudian hypothesis regarding infantile traumas, and with the Marxist hypothesis regarding Communism as a model of utopian social and economic worldly perfection. All are claimed by the strongest adherents to be, absolutely, "scientific"; "axiomatic"; "given"; and all are expected to be just accepted without question, and then built upon. If the Catholic, too, accepts these unproven and even untested axioms then is he really a thinking Catholic, or just a member of the herd, instinctively but not thinkingly following all the rumps in front of him?
It is that kind of intellectual foundation and that kind of un-critical thinking that induces us to accept without criticism the notion that, yes, the world is vastly overpopulated, and we must do something about that, on an emergency basis. This is the output of the FLORMPORIF13 seeming majority, not of the reasoned, objective and critically thinking Catholic.
QUESTION, for anyone who has recently flown over Hong Kong, England, Italy, Belgium or New York State: Did it look to you as if no more people could fit down there?
ANSWER: That's funny; the math shows that they are among the most severely over-populated places on Earth.
It doesn't get much better on the theological side of the street. The well educated thinking Catholic may be operating under the same handicap, regarding what he's been taught about his own religion. The Catholic American Thinker has documented a whole lot of error passed off as orthodox Catholic teaching. For instance, for quite official yet absolutely heterodox Catholic teaching done in an official Catholic teaching institution, check out these examples:
As the above examples show, lots and lots of official Catholic teaching institutions crank out heterodox thinking Catholics rather than orthodox thinking Catholics. I submit that any Catholic who holds to heterodox Catholic teaching is not a thinking Catholic.
A large - perhaps the largest - portion of our formal education has involved teaching us what to think rather than how to think. And yet we are called to be, not just thinking Catholics, but critically thinking Catholics.
Our traditional, cultural and educational basis or foundation forms the arena in which we do those cognition and decision making tasks from which springs forth our behavior. This holds true individually and collectively. When an individual operates from a malformed foundation he is seen by the larger society as an aberrant, different, kind of person, and is treated accordingly. When a family or a gang operates from a malformed foundation, it is eventually seen by the larger culture to be a counter-culture and dealt with accordingly. But when a whole culture operates from a malformed foundation, the problem is rarely recognized from within the culture itself. A whole culture, in a free society, through representative government, has the ability to change law to make the abnormal normal, to make the good bad, to make the bad good. It is another path, like conquest and absorption, which leads to the death of a culture.
Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on the beginning point and ending point. We might all agree that movement away from, say, human sacrifice and enslavement and so forth toward Judeo-Christian morality might be a good thing. What about the reverse? It is as important to see what the culture is moving toward as to see where it is moving from. And that is all tied up in cultural values, which are all tied up in a culture's foundation. I submit that, as the errors of Modernism advance, adversely affecting both Science and Theology, the cultural foundation of all of Western Civilization retreats from its ancient Judeo-Christian moral norms.
Critical Thinking involves a mental process that is highly disciplined and therefore requires most practitioners to be trained in it. This training is best begun in the formative years, but, as in all things, it is never to late to begin. It is a process of evaluating and analyzing a proposition or an argument that has been offered to the critical thinker, for criticism, as being true. There follows a process of reasoning, evaluation of offered evidence and reflection, always begun from a point of skepticism. A proper critique of the argument involves more than direct observation. Besides reasoning, cognitive ability and experience, proper critical thinking also involves intellectual values that go beyond the subject being examined. (If you are interested in the nitty-gritty details of critical thinking, select the critical thinking link.) So, what about these intellectual values that go beyond the subject being examined? This is where the core of our shared cultural living standard resides, and it, therefore, not only must exist, but it also must not be ambiguous, lest the culture itself begins melt-down.
In America, it begins with the thinking of believing Christians and believing Jews of various spot and stripe. The thinking Catholic, the thinking Protestant and the thinking Jew all contend with each other in the public arena of theological, cultural and moral argument. Out of this healthy contention emerges the three major areas of separation and opposition, compromise and toleration, and agreement and unity. Because our moral ethos is based on the last group of Commandments, summarized by the Second Great Commandment, we are for the most part quite able to get along with each other very well, even though we disagree on so much. Usually, we can even yell at each other without getting violent.
Thinking Catholic and Critical Thinking
The ancient Greeks were the first to define and record the process of critical thinking that would evolve into the process of how the thinking Catholic is properly supposed to reason. Aristotle wrote that all things desire to the good, which raises questions about the definition of "good." What immediately comes to mind is, if it feels good, do it. Plato wrote that Athens had already become so decadent that the newest generations assumed that pure pleasure was the highest goal of life.
So, it is repeatedly seen through history that pure hedonism leads to cultural chaos. And, since someone could derive pleasure from torturing someone else, there had to be a less ambiguous definition of the good than to simply equate it to pleasure. The notion of "justice" began to arise, along with a sense of duty, or obligation, that went beyond the self, which was needed as a fixed post upon which to nail laws that would restrict the actions of man, which generally meant, restricting man's access to pleasure. This sense of duty that extended beyond one's self was aimed at a "higher" authority, be it the gods, or a convergence of the gods into a single godhead, which the primal cause of all causes seemed to point at, and ancient Greek philosophy urged on culture the notion that the highest good was that good which was good for one's immortal soul. Justice was seen as intrinsically good, therefore the practice of justice was seen as a virtue, the practice of which was good for the soul.
So, from this Greek pagan beginning, which was to merge with the long established moral code of the Hebrews and the newer moral code of the Christians, there coalesced a fixed set of cultural norms that would guide and affect critical thinking while remaining separate and distinct from the subject argument or proposition being examined by the critical thinker. The external intellectual values or, more properly, the cultural moral code that provides certain rules and constraint on critical thinking was further refined by Augustinian and Thomistic philosophy, by other Catholic thinkers, and by the fixed Creed of the Church itself.
What emerged from all of this was the Western Civilization way of thinking, which still supplies, at its root, a working guide for the contemporary thinking Catholic. It was this way of thinking, supplemented by Protestant and Enlightenment thinking, out of which emerged the United States of America. It is still undergoing change, and for the most part, that change is not for the better. Directly counter to the clear ethos of the overwhelming majority of the American population, we are seeing the establishment of new laws (and the judicial interpretation of existing laws) that redefine abnormal as normal, normal as abnormal, good as bad, and bad as good.
Most of this, rightly or wrongly, I attribute to the steady advance of Modernism, most specifically, Scientism, and its secularizing affects on the larger society. Having conquered academia, the media and most of show-biz, Secularism seems to be enjoying quite a field day, publicly pointing an intolerant and self-righteous finger at all of us homophobes, jingoes, religious nuts, Right wingers, exploiters, polluters, consumers, and all around bad people.
Our Cultural Moral Code upon which we depend to be able to do good critical thinking is shifting.
What is our Thinking Catholic basis to be?
Just as the Modernist Heresy has done and is doing incalculable damage to critical thinking and Catholic Culture, Scientism and its dependent child Secularism has done and is doing incalculable harm to the larger American culture. Classical education suffers most, and it suffers most in public schools, where the classics are almost unheard of, and literature, as a subject, is almost dead. Much of "old" literature, which once helped develop the young thinking Catholic, taught more than linguistics and morals, as important as those are; they also taught different ways of thinking.
And, they taught other, better ways of looking at things. Much of the other ways are being lost to younger generations, because children, thinking Catholic children among them, are not required to read much (or any) English literature any more as part of their formal education. And so much of that literature involves ways of looking at things, and at life, and at death, and at eternity. Permit me to quote from Shadowlands of C. S. Lewis:
I think you can see that there is much food for thought here for the thinking Catholic.
Opposition to Thinking Catholic
But, as we have seen, viewpoints change, and today we know that the predominant tendency is to look at things, from the outside, and to control them, while wearing a very benign and condescending smile. Some appear to have practiced their smiles so that they always look benign and never sinister. They oppose the thinking Catholic, nonetheless; they oppose even the proper formation of the new thinking Catholic. The UN and the media and the government and show-biz and Protestantism and other religions all periodically wonder aloud, “if the Catholic Church is going to have a place in America or in the world today,” then why doesn’t the Church just go ahead and change her ruling on divorce and remarriage, or birth control, or abortion, or sodomy, and, like, get with the times?
They miss the whole point of their own questions. They who have changed and they who are changing and they who will continue to change cannot recognize that the Church, in all of history, has never changed any ruling on faith or morals, and cannot ever do so. It’s one of the reasons she exists. We are used to a legislature that can draft new laws and repeal old ones, and a court that can interpret law any way it wants to, regardless of precedent, and a UN that can invent new religions, and so we expect our Church hierarchy to just modify the rules to suite the times, like everybody else does. But that’s not the way it works. We’re talking about spiritual law here, not materialism. We’re talking about something denied by secularism, so secularists need to leave this discussion; they have nothing to say here, and I’m sure they would not like to be thought of as hypocrites. And, in Judaism and in Catholicism, we’re talking about revealed as opposed to developed religion. The Church must always be ruled by thinking Catholics, and never affected by those who are not thinking Catholics.
A Thinking Catholic look at non-Judeo-Christian religions
Perhaps we need to step back and look at religion as a whole before we take a look along any of them. The animal-based and/or spirit-based and/or polytheistic religions, such as Hinduism, and the native religions of the Americas, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and, really, every religion other than Judaism and Christianity, are developed and developing, and evolved and evolving, constantly changing religions. They frequently add new gods to their pantheon and absorb whole new religions when new tribes or cultures are conquered or assimilated or submitted to. Many are the polytheistic religions that have added Jesus Christ into their list of gods.
Even the religions based upon the ideas of one single teacher, such as Buddhism and Confucianism, are continually added to and modified over time by new teachers and gurus and masters. Entirely new teachings are often produced under the original teacher’s name but adapted to the new social conditions. After even as little as one single century it is very difficult to tell precisely what the original teacher said from what someone else might have added. Every one of these major religions has its own sects with unique versions of the teaching, and all of them are quite different, some radically so. Recently a silk manuscript of the Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu, the centerpiece of Chinese religion and thought, was unearthed by archeologists after laying hidden for two thousand years. This original text, reconstructed by Chinese scholars, proves that the intervening teachers and sects had virtually “improved” the original teaching completely out of existence, making it conform to the ideas of the moment — moment by moment, for two thousand years.
Christianity is revealed. The Old Covenant was revealed, by God, to Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, and the fathers of Judaism, often by speaking directly to them. Through them, God revealed His plan for salvation to the people, and then He fulfilled the plan, personally, through Christ, and gave to us the New Covenant, taught and protected by Jesus Christ and His Apostles - the Church. The meat of it all - what the Jewish fathers and the Apostles actually wrote down - is still with us to this day in Holy Scripture. This is the unchanging basis, the cornerstone, of Revealed Truth, of continual use to the thinking Catholic. The plan does not change. The teaching does not change. The interpretation does not vary. This is the nature of Revealed Truth: it’s a package deal; you have to take the whole thing, or forget it. If you only take part of it, if you are free to pick and choose, then how are you any different from the polytheists?
It is not generally known in the media or in academia or in the government, or, for that matter, in most of the population, that the Church cannot change her rulings on such things as contraception, abortion, sodomy, and so forth. The Church cannot and has not changed her ruling on anything pertaining to faith and morals. Many Protestant denominations convene periodic convocations to vote on what they will believe and what they will not believe, but we can’t do that, and the thinking Catholic shouldn’t want to. The Church doesn’t work that way. The Great Councils of the Church were called specifically to address teachings that were under attack, and all the output of these councils, whether dogma, doctrine, pronouncement or whatever, were not new to the world; they were simply worded more strongly or even made or bound into ecclesiastical law in their own self-defense. Only the Church continuously and religiously safeguards the untainted original teaching. Where would we be otherwise? What Gospel would we be preaching?
The Church makes regulations on faith and morals, when and only when the need arises, in a manner precisely opposite that of temporal governments. Governments react to new conditions or requirements by making or modifying laws to match the problem at hand; but the Church reacts to the same stimulus by “articulating the Gospel in light of that situation.” [Ibid.] The Church does not innovate, and she does not invent; she simply interprets and articulates. Here is what you need as a foundation to be a good thinking Catholic.
This statement is the intellectual-basis critical-thinking tool of the thinking Catholic, and it has been from the beginning, and will be until the Lord returns. The statement will be as true a thousand years from now as it was a thousand years ago. We simply have to have a moral basis somewhere. This is it. This is the root-source of all of today’s thinking Catholic “conservatism,” in the oldest meaning of the term, and the external critical-thinking guideline for the thinking Catholic. In the world of spirituality, there is no group more conservative than Roman Catholicism, with the possible exception of Orthodox Judaism.
Go to the safeguarded Scriptures. You will find that right and wrong have not changed at all.
A Thinking Catholic look at
The thought experiment has been the tool of the greatest minds in history, and of little dinky ones like mine. Doing a thought experiment is necessary when the laboratory or experimental facility cannot contain the experiment. It has also been used to save time and effort, and once was used as an educational tool to train young minds. I'm just going to describe three of my favorite historical thought experiments here, for the thinking Catholic.
The best thought experiments, to me, all have to do with frames of reference, within which we view what we perceive to be reality.
Thinking Catholic Thought Experiment 1: Plato's Cave
Plato’s Cave was a thought experiment involving people chained in a cave so that they could not move or even turn their heads or look anywhere other than straight ahead. Behind them was a lamp that cast their shadows upon the cave wall they were facing. Behind then, between them and the lamp, was a puppeteer’s table, on which puppets were moved about by the puppeteers, causing the shadows of the puppets to be cast on the wall the people faced. Now the people could see the shadows of the puppets, and they could speak to each other, but they could not look anywhere else, and so had no other frame of reference other than the cave wall and the shadows upon it. This was their only “reality.” If they discussed what the shadows were doing, or what the shadows were, they would use the normal words of language, but for them the words would represent only what they saw upon the cave wall. For them, the word “book” for instance, would be the word for the object in the hands of one of the puppet shadows. They knew what the object was by it’s appearance as a shadowy shape on the cave wall.
If they are released from their chains, and turn around and see the lamp, the puppets and the relationship to the shadows, suddenly they are awakened to a new “reality” and realize that all their previous world was not real, but shadow. What they had previously perceived to be a book was merely a shadow; they could now see a “real” book.
Thinking Catholic Thought Experiment 2: Galileo's Ship
Galileo’s Ship was a thought experiment involving bodies in motion, on a planet that is also in motion. Galileo knew that the world was rapidly rotating from East to West, and so he hypothesized that an object dropped from a high altitude would land somewhat to the East of a point straight down from it’s beginning point. This seemed to make sense because if the Earth was rotating at hundreds of miles per hour, then we on the surface are also moving in that direction at the same speed. His advocate, Salviati, proposed the notion that everything on the surface of the Earth or close to it was in the same state of motion, or frame of reference, and therefore the falling object would land directly beneath the point of release.
His illustration involved a ship moving at any constant velocity, in any direction, with experiments going on below decks in a sealed room. The experiments involved water dripping from a flask held high onto a container held low; butterflies and other winged creatures flying randomly about, fish swimming in a fish-bowl in random directions, and so forth. In the thought experiment, you imagine the objects in motion while the ship is at rest and not moving. Then, you imagine the objects again while the ship operates at high speed, in a constant state of motion, neither accelerating nor decelerating, while proceeding any direction whatsoever.
The water still drips straight down into the container, the butterflies fly and the fish swim no stronger or weaker in any particular direction, etc. If you throw something to a friend, you must throw it no harder in any one direction than in any other; if you jump with both feet to the East, and then jump in the other three directions with equal force, you cross the same amount of the ship’s floor space with each jump, and so forth.
As far as you and the objects in the closed room below the ship’s decks are concerned, you and the room and everything in it are at a state of rest and not moving. That is your frame of reference.
Thinking Catholic Thought Experiment 3: Einstein's Clock
Einstein’s Clock was a similar thought experiment involving frames of reference in different states of motion. Albert Einstein imagined himself looking at a very large clock; the clock was standing still while Einstein was traveling directly away from it at the speed of light. Because light carried the message, or the actual optical image of the clock that he was looking at, and he was traveling directly away from it at light speed, it would appear to him that the clock had stopped. But if he took out and looked at his own pocket watch, he could see that it was still ticking away, and the hands were still moving at the same predictable rate. Einstein and his pocket watch were in the same frame of reference and in the same state of motion; but the clock he had left behind and was looking at was not ticking and its hands were not moving. (In his view.) Time – real time – is seen to be relative to a given frame of reference, the same as Galileo’s Ship, and the “reality” in Plato’s Cave.
That space and time depend upon each other and co-exist with each other in a “continuum” within a frame of reference is foundational to the special theory of relativity. Time, as we all know it and measure it and depend upon it, is only valid here, in our present state of motion and frame of reference. Time “out there” somewhere far away in the universe runs at a different rate (as compared to ours,) as it does in all other frames of reference. We’re talking about actual time here, not just the mechanics of clocks. The human body is, in a way, a biological clock. If one biological twin is left on Earth while the other twin travels away at or near light-speed, the two twins will age at very different rates, although neither will notice any difference in how time is measured as their lives go on. Each twin, within his own frame of reference, will look at his calendar, and at his pocket watch, and in the mirror, and see that everything is perfectly normal. Everything within a given space-time frame of reference appears to run normally, although everything is actually happening slower within the frame of reference that is in motion, when compared to the frame of reference that is at rest.
Which poses the conceptual difficulty that a second is not necessarily a second. Any moving clock really and truly runs slower than any stationary clock, although the difference is so slight that it may only be measured at very high speeds or over very long distances.
At this level, there is no real way to actually do Einstein’s thought experiment, because nothing but light can achieve the speed of light. Which is the one universal constant – the C in Einstein’s E=MC2 – that is unchanging for all observers. The speed of light is the only value that is constant and the same for all observers regardless of their frame of reference or state of motion. Now, this is true for all practical purposes, because we know that no human being can ever even closely approach, let alone achieve, the velocity of light. However, we are talking about the world of the thought experiment, in which nothing is impossible.
Einstein then imagined a very long train traveling at very high velocity past a stationary platform upon which a man stood; a woman stood on a flat car in the exact center of the moving train. At the instant the woman passed the man, two simultaneous lightning bolts struck; one struck way up at the train’s engine, and the other struck way back at the train’s caboose. The man on the stationary platform saw that both lightening bolts struck at exactly the same time. The woman in the center of the moving train saw the light from the one that struck the engine slightly before she saw the light from the one that struck the caboose, because of her state of rapid motion in the direction of the place where the engine was when it was struck and away from the place where the caboose was when it was struck. To her, the two events were not simultaneous. Now C still holds the same value for her as it does for the man, and if the train were moving at any realistic Earthly speed, she would have seen the same thing the man saw. However, if the train she was on traveled at the speed of light, she would never even see the bolt from the caboose. If the train traveled slightly slower than C, then she would see precisely the delay that Einstein imagined, because it still takes “time” for light to travel, and the one that hit the caboose had to travel a greater distance to the woman than the one that hit the engine, toward which she was rapidly moving.
In other words, if an object out in space is traveling away from us at light-speed and it explodes giving off light, then an observer at a telescope on Earth will never see that light, even though C remains the unchanging universal constant for all observers, regardless of their state of motion. Light can be emitted from a different frame of motion than yours, it still travels at C, and time, in any frame of reference, absolutely depends upon the C value of light that is emitted within it. The constant C itself is the thing that makes other frames of reference and space-time continuums.
So there are different frames of reference for time, and there is no absolute reference point in the universe by which a common reference may be made for time that will work for all observers everywhere. Our Earthly time is completely meaningless at any other point in the galaxy, or beyond it. Time – the absolutely required medium for cause and effect – meaningfully exists and can be measured by clocks solely within a given space-time continuum – a frame of reference – and is completely meaningless outside of it.
(And the same thing can be said of space, and how we measure it. A mile, or a foot, or an inch is only meaningful to us within our current frame of reference – a particular space-time continuum.)
The Thinking Catholic, Partisanship, and Negotiated Compromise
You cannot be thinking Catholic and not be Partisan; if you are not Partisan, are you really thinking Catholic? Catholicism is not convenient, and practitioners are not called to be lukewarm in their foundational faith and morals. This seems to fly in the face of reason, because, reasonable men are supposed to be able to negotiate a compromise position on just about anything. Right?
Wrong. The thinking Catholic cannot compromise on anything that is flat out wrong. Casting a vote quite often involves making a moral choice. The thinking Catholic must always strive to make the best moral choice that he can make, in every circumstance. When someone tells you to put partisan politics aside, your alarm lights should start blinking; it is only somewhat removed from someone asking you to put your faith aside. It's against your faith to do that, ever, and it might be against your best interests to put your best interests aside.
Now, there are issues that may be negotiated and on which compromise may be obtained, to be sure. Budgetary matters, accounting, the running of the business of government or of a business itself. But on issues of faith and morals - just exactly how do you, as a thinking Catholic, compromise? If we are talking about Objective Truth, what does a compromise with Objective Truth result in? Hint: Something less than Objective Truth.
As a non-Catholic example, what would a compromise position between what the Constitution actually, literally says, and what someone feels that it should say, look like? Hint: Something other than what it actually, literally says. You can see today that this example is a good one, because today we have multiple "constitutional" rights and "constitutional" principles that may not be found in the Constitution at all. Its usefulness as a fixed legal document is therefore increasingly diminished, as a vague recognition of it as a "living" and "organic" something or other increases. When you hear someone say that we are a nation of laws and not just of men, the laws they are talking about reside in the Constitution alone; we are gradually becoming a nation of something or other as the fixed laws of our Constitution fade away into ever increasing vagueness. In my view, the Constitution is either a fixed legal document that says very specific legal things, or it is nothing of importance.
Thinking Catholic on Political Issues
As time goes on I become more and more Republican, as the Democratic Party slides deeper and deeper into immorality. I'm not saying that the Republican Party is perfect, or that any Party is or ever will be perfect; but, today, I challenge you to pick a moral topic that the Democratic Party is not on the immoral side of. Go ahead and try it.
Take the pro-sodomy position of the Democratic Party, for instance. President Carter is touted by one of my more Liberal friends to be the most moral member of the Democratic Party. Forget how President Billary tried to homosexualize the military and settled for don't ask don't tell. Ex-President Carter epitomizes what we’re talking about here. He publicly takes issue with the demonized religious Right for raising “divisive” political issues in a religious light; primarily, he says, issues of “sexual preferences, which obviously have highly personal and emotional overtones.” No poop. For openers, I never met a political issue that wasn’t divisive; indeed, divisiveness is precisely what makes issues political. And furthermore, if I am to do more than pay mere lip-service to my religion, and I try very hard to do much more than that, then my religion must touch every single decision that I ever make in this life.
But he goes on: “Pressures from the more extreme religious activists have pushed almost every candidate to demagoguery, emphasizing vicious attacks on gay men and women, ostensibly based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.” Excuse me? Almost every candidate? Vicious attacks on gays? In the holy name of Jesus Christ?
Now, I try very hard to stay abreast of things, but I can find no reference to any candidate, let alone “almost every” candidate, calling for any attacks, let alone “vicious attacks” on gays, or invoking the name of Jesus while doing so, “ostensibly” or otherwise. So somehow, either I missed all of this completely and can’t find any reference to any of it in the press or on Nexus, or Mr. Carter is just another quite typical secularist, Leftist, liberal flagrant categorical liar.
His reference to the “more extreme religious activists” can only mean, in truth, that portion of the religious population that opposes illicit sex, which is to say, just about every devout monotheist on Earth, an overwhelming majority here and everywhere else. His reference to “vicious attacks” cannot truthfully mean anything more than renouncing sin, which all devout monotheists are required by their faith to do. The most important question, to me, is this: in precisely whose name does Mr. Carter “ostensibly” call for this increased tolerance and encouragement of sexual perversion and lifestyles involving sodomy and open sexual licentiousness? In the holy name Jesus Christ? If not Him, then who? Exactly who did Carter compromise with?
Kennedy's are among the "thinking Catholic" Democratic luminaries who proudly march with the Gays in the Gay St. Patrick's Day parades, which feature simulated acts of sodomy, for which the secularist media turns their cameras aside, of course. The Dems seek out and aggressively go after the pro-sodomy vote. It's what they stand for; it's what they are about.
Ask any homosexual activist group whether they contribute to and vote for Democratic positions and platforms and candidates, or Republican ones. Ask them; they'll tell you. And they'll tell you that they consider any opposition to their positions is not only intolerant, but un-American and even homophobic, see?
Abnormal is normal, normal is abnormal; wrong is right, right is wrong. But where is the critical thinking foundation for the thinking Catholic on this issue?
Check out the Democratic Party's pro masturbation industry position. President Carter, the supposed moral bastion of the Party, among other prominent Dems, gave interviews to Playboy Magazine, no doubt for the benefit of the more cerebrally inclined among the slobbering jerk-offs who subscribe to Playboy. Larry Flynt gets a seat of honor at the Kennedy table at big Democratic Party fund raiser dinners. It's a freedom of speech thing, see? Official Democratic Party fund raising events are held at the Playboy Mansion. Why not? Again, it's what they stand for and what they are about. And we are intolerant if we refuse to compromise on this issue.
Ask anyone involved in the masturbation industry if they give monetary and voting support to the Democratic Party or anyone else, and they'll tell you who they own. I mean support.
Abnormal is normal, normal is abnormal; wrong is right, right is wrong. But where is the critical thinking foundation for the thinking Catholic on this issue?
Then of course there is the quite official pro abortion position of the Democratic Party. Look up the speeches given to groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood by the likes of Kerry and Kennedy and Hillary and Billary. They love it, they sponsor it, they champion it, and they will defend it to the death. It's a plank in their platform; it's what they stand for, and what they are about. Kennedy and Kerry are spun in the Press as thinking Catholics. It is we who oppose abortion and will not compromise on it that are spun in the Press to be intolerant bigots on the issue.
Ask all the big time abortionists who they support with dollars and votes between the Democrats and anyone else; they'll tell you.
Abnormal is normal, normal is abnormal; wrong is right, right is wrong. But where is the critical thinking foundation for the thinking Catholic on this issue?
You could keep this up all day. I openly challenge you to find a moral issue that the Democratic Party is not on the immoral side of. Officially.
And, of course, there is the absolutely humiliating and disgraceful history of the Presidency of Billary to consider. Everyone on Earth who was literate and had access to any media at all knew the day the news broke that President Clinton had masturbated on Monica's blue dress. Every literate person on Earth knew that Monica was performing oral sex on him while he was on the phone ordering military action in Bosnia. And these were just some of the day to day scandalous events that went on inside the Oval Office. Kings have abdicated thrones over far, far lesser scandals. But Clinton was the first American President in recorded history who did not and does not even begin to know the meaning of the word disgrace.
And the media spin was that he was being picked on. Our media, which was and is solidly Democratic, actually defended him. What can I say?
The history is clear, since even before the Civil War. The thinking Catholic really should take an interest in history. The Democratic Party was the Party of Slavery Forever, then the Party of Segregation Forever, then the Party of Abortion Forever. It clearly demonstrates on a regular basis, by use of the filibuster and by increasing political control of legal systems, that it opposes majority rule. The Democratic Party has in the past and will in the future do everything in its power to keep issues like abortion off of any popular ballot at any level. And it will do everything in its power to keep its true Marxist image out of the popular media, which it owns.
You might also want to, almost as a joke, just try to make a list of billionaires who are not Democrats. I'll bet you can't do it. (Remember how the Republicans are supposed to be the Party of the Rich?)
Thinking Catholic is a Verb and a Noun
Being a thinking Catholic means exercising our minds. If you feel you are not all the way there yet, then a good beginning point is to work on improving our objective critical thinking, and applying critical thinking discipline to Catholic topics, most particularly, Catholic history. The thinking Catholic needs a good grounding in Scripture and doctrine. But the very best tool for the thinking Catholic is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Few documents are as broad, expansive and yet detailed; there is no better moral basis on which to base your thinking and become a good critically thinking Catholic.
Maintain an air of healthy skepticism regarding the teachings of "the world." Regarding the teaching of the Church, or what is claimed to be the teaching of the Church, you always have the Catechism as a back-up. It will never let you down. When more of us become thinking Catholics our larger culture will be positively affected. The goal of the Catholic American Thinker is to move thought back to the moral basics, to ground decisions, especially political ones, on decency and justice and a strong sense of the sacred.
My personal goal is to never say anything like, "I'm a thinking Catholic, but . . ." - because I seek to be a real thinking Catholic, with no ifs, ands or buts about it.
It all has to do with priorities.
Worldly threats to the thinking Catholic
Here's the bottom line: You're going to die. So am I. It's going to happen. There is no pill you can take, no vitamin or mineral, not diet you can go on, no exercise program, no life-style changes you can make; - there is nothing whatsoever that you can do that will add or detract one second from your allotted time on Earth. Consider all those who died of lung cancer who never smoked, and consider the image of George Burns, smiling on stage in the spotlight, cigar in hand, on his one-hundredth birthday. When you accept the incontrovertible fact of your own worldly mortality, you will pay some degree of attention to the last things, the subject of eschatology, which will be discussed in detail in a future webpage on this website.
Recognition of the fact that the next life is more important than this one might move you to more courageously defend the Truth when you see it being distorted. Wherever you are now in your journey, you need, like me, to move farther over to the Thinking Catholic side of the street. And, believe me, today, that takes a lot more courage than it does to side with the world against the Church.
What does the world push? The very things it will vehemently and publicly deny pushing, but will still push, by the use of yellow-bellied, mealy-mouthed, Orwellian Newspeak and weasel-words.
The worldly position championing and sponsoring sodomy will be publicly denied, while the champions speak of toleration and sensitivity and inclusiveness, while attacking any opposition, including even the very mildest detraction, as intolerant and insensitive and divisive and even suffering from the newly invented and purely rhetorical mental-illness of homophobia.
It's the same with abortion, and with pornography, and any other moral issue you can name. Only the weasel-words will change, but the same people who deny championing and sponsoring and loving the immoral act will still be championing and sponsoring and loving them. Note not so much their campaign words on open TV or other forums as their campaign words to activist groups and you will see that they emulate Arafat. (Remember, he was the one who used to make peaceful sounding speeches out of the English speaking side of his lying face and then call for more suicide bombing "martyrs" out of the Arabic speaking side of his lying face.)
Marxist philosophical threats to the thinking Catholic
In a similar manner, today's philosophical Communists will publicly deny even being Communists, while using their own newer mealy-mouthed weasel-words like the global village and borderless nations and global governance, and being anti-anti-Communists, and while pushing the ancient notion of sovereignty as now being somehow evil. And they will promote the idea of installing some foreign legal authority, such as the U.N., or some international court, which is not subject to our Constitution, and not representative of us or accountable to us, over us. They will always show corporate America and the free market in the worst possible light, and seek to un-representatively regulate them into failure mode. Yet they will deny that their ultimate goal is their envisioned, perfect, global collective of their new form of Leviathan State. A "kinder, gentler" form of Communism remains Communism, not a good replacement for Americanism, regardless of all the weasel-words of the all the pseudo-sophisticated, utopian, day-dreaming, silly dumb-asses who push it on the world.
Do not let the clear stupidities of this "philosophical" movement lull you into complacency: These people have power, and they are gaining ground. For the most part, they are not diabolical plotters, but mere tools of diabolical plotters, who have had the ability to do good critical thinking systematically educated out of them. The danger is that these people work quite effectively to centralize all civil power, and when all civil power is centralized enough, it will be seized by someone ruthless enough to seize it. The best way to prevent the seizure of power is to disperse it among the people, not to centralize it. The balance of power distribution between people and government should always slightly favor the people. We should never allow ourselves to be placed in a position where we have no civil legal voice.
Theological threats confronting the thinking Catholic
On the ecclesial or theological side of the anti-Church street, I cannot claim that the threat is that direct or that great. I believe that a clear majority of Catholic dioceses in America teach Cafeteria Catholicism, in which the disciple is free to pick-and-choose what official Church teachings he will agree with, and which ones he will reject. This is done quite officially, in the name and authority of American diocesan and archdiocesan bishops. I can state categorically that that was true in the courses I took in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati - see any or all of the Cafeteria Catholic navigation buttons on this website for some details. While I cannot claim (except in one instance) that, for instance, the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program taught direct opposition to official Roman Catholic doctrine, I can show evidence that it gave equal time to open dissidents and to direct opposition to Roman Catholic doctrine, and instructed us to then make up our own minds on the matter. That is, definitively, Cafeteria Catholicism. I will be most happy to debate the matter with any of Archbishop Daniel Pilaczyk's carefully chosen faculty demons. I mean teachers.
Thinking Catholic Ethos Vs. the
On both the civil and the ecclesial sides of the cultural street in America, the divisive, i.e., political, "issues of contention" all seem to be moral ones. We know that America's founding ethos was that common to Western Civilization. We know that the overwhelming majority of American citizens guide their lives, however imperfectly, by that same Western Culture ethos. I have stated my own ethos in a crystal clear manner in the Catholic Culture webpage within this website. Which proves that a clear statement of one's guiding ethos is a fairly easy thing to come up with. So, what, exactly, is the foreign ethos of the opposition to that of Western Civilization that we see exemplified by the Dems, the mainstream media and the rest of show-biz, and by academia, which so clearly and consistently opposes the ethos of Western Culture? What's its name? And, what is the name, or even a coherent description, of this ecclesial so-called Catholic ethos that gives, at least, equal time and equal value to direct opposition to the Magisterial teaching of Holy Mother Church? Do we have an actual Counter Magisterium established in this country?Having tired of the "name that ethos" game, I have supplied my own name for this new ethos that stands opposed to everything we all claim to believe in, while pretending to be defenders of it all through the use of sly and deceptive language. What we are talking about is the ethos of BMDFP10 , Democrats, the SLIMC1 , and a whole lot of America's Catholic bishops. If they all were good thinking Catholics themselves, then their supposedly Catholic faculties would not be cranking out FLORMPORIF13 supplied teaching on Catholicism in their names and by their authorities.
It is a destructive, counter-cultural ethos that needs to be directly confronted and opposed. As an objective, reasoning, critically thinking Catholic, you adopt a skeptical attitude and learn to discern the output of the FLORMPORIF13 . The World today would turn you into a FLORMPORIF13 and do away with the thinking Catholic. For your own survival, and for the defense of the faith, and for the soul of the nation, you need to Test Everything, and be a good Thinking Catholic.
I bid you good thinking.
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Mon Dec 19 14:42:31 2011
From: Socratese to Euthyphro
I ask you to re-examine your argument against evolution. Though I am not an evolutionary biologist, I have read a considerable number of books which demonstrate its validity. One author I would consider reading is Sean Carroll. Furthermore, I would consider your statements on many things to demonstrate a serious problem in your reasoning.
First and foremost, many of your arguments you seem to have a preconceived notion on what you would and would not believe. Therefore, any objective thought you possess is rendered mute and effectively useless. If you were to look at the evidence for evolution (of which there is a considerable sum) then you will see the error in your ways. I'm not saying you cannot question it, but if you make a claim in the face of so much evidence, please provide the evidence to back yourself up.
What you've done in the beginnings of your long and well-written page is dismiss it with an ad hominem hand waving. To make it so you cannot tell me that I have effectively done what I have said you have done, I ask you to read the origin of species, and tell me that you still believe Darwin's theory is false. He provides a tremendous amount of evidence, most of which observation.
I ask, if evolution is completely false, then why is much of the theory effectuated by mere observation? At this point, you have to be more meticulous to discredit it; otherwise, no other manner will do.
Secondly, I believe your reasons against contraception is a perfect example of how many of your arguments boil down to being more of a value judgment, then one of reason and evidence. You value sex as a means to procreation, and others don't. Therefore, your argument is nothing more than I am right and you are wrong because; and I find a serious problem with this.
Your article asks all Catholics to be critical thinkers, but to you, critical thinkers are no more than Catholic sheep. To you, what the church says is absolutely paramount to every other world view. To you, a suggestion of competing theories is stupid. This my friend is not someone who partakes in critical thinking. It is one thing to debate with reason and evidence, but to suggest that one's values are wrong is another thing.
For example, I value having sex with my girlfriend at a time when I am not ready to have kids, for various reasons. Does this mean I am a weaker man because I caved in to the temptation of sex? This depends entirely on your definition of sex. If sex is only for procreation, then I'll agree, I sinned. But if sex is representative of our exclusivity as a couple, then what is the problem? By completely banning the use of condoms, the Church, and your values, do not reflect the heterogeneity of people's values within and without the Church.
In other words, the Church's views do not reflect modern culture. It's antiquated. I grew up in the Church, and I don't necessarily disagree with your tenets. But I am on a faith journey, and I am taking the faith that has been given me in a very critical light. I view it as a moral obligation to really confront that which I am told to believe or have believed. This is, after all, a matter of life and death.
Date: Tue Dec 20 06:15:47 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Dave – or, Socratese to Euthyphro:
Regarding your questions/statements on the religion of Darwinism:
First, see the Refuting Darwin page, and all the articles linked in the right hand column of that page. I have indeed read just about all the books available that pretend to present “evidence” of macro evolution, meaning evolution between species. In every single case, the evidence presented supports only micro evolution, meaning evolution very strictly within species. Darwin’s theory is titled the evolution of species, is it not?
Second, I have indeed read Darwin’s Origin Of Species and I do indeed categorically state that Darwin’s theory is false. Every single bit of evidence he presented is evidence for change very strictly within species. All the finches remained finches. Nothing he observed ever became anything other than the species that it was to begin with. See the Origin of Species page for the details.
Where’s the speciation?
Third, you ask why, if evolution is completely false, is much of the theory effectuated by mere observation? I submit that all of the observable evidence for the theory so obvious all around us is evidence only of micro evolution, not of macro evolution. No exceptions. The speckled moth, for instance, who changed colors with a changing color environment, remained a speckled moth.
A new species is defined as one that may successfully reproduce itself, but may no longer reproduce or interbreed with the “parent” species. No such natural speciation event has ever been observed, by Darwin or by anyone else, in all of recorded history. There is no evidence of any such speciation event anywhere in the gigantic fossil record.
Where’s the speciation?
Regarding your questions/statements regarding fornication and contraception:
Your statement qua-question
seems to be at the heart of your thoughts here. What does sex appear to be designed to do? What is the designed-in purpose for the male and female sex organs? Would you conjecture that having fun is the primary or secondary designed-in purpose?
I submit that using a system to do something else while purposely avoiding the very consequence the system was designed to produce is a near definition of perversion. I’m talking about nature here, not Catholicism.
I suggest that you read the Contraception page all the way through, and then read the Masturbation Industry page. When you use artificial contraception, you reduce your “girl friend” to an object – a sexual playground – a masturbatory aid, pure and simple. You are not having sex, you are masturbating. Contraceptive sex is nothing more than an exercise in mutual masturbation, which has nothing whatsoever to do with love or the family.
Such behavior is destructive of relationships, mutual respect and self respect. It might be beneficial to study the difference between love and lust.
Finally, I agree that Church teaching does not reflect the “values” of the larger world – thank God. Catholicism is not supposed to reflect “modern culture.” See the Modernism page. Catholicism is not for everyone. The Gospel is preached to you; you may accept it or reject it. No one is going to twist your arm.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Converted Page to SBI! Release 3.0 BB 2.0.
Date: Wed Nov 12 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Catholic American Thinker
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The purpose of this grouping of articles is to attack and refute perverted Catholicism, and to point the way back to Catholic orthodoxy and adherence to magisterial authority and teaching.
Refuting Perverted Catholicism
Opposing "soft" Catholicism, I'm OK - You're OK Catholicism, Cafeteria-Catholicism of the pick-and-choose variety, and the pure evil that seeks to pervert Catholicism from within, while wearing the mask of piety.
Refuting Perverted Catholicism: defending the Church as the Center of all Truth. Refuting Perverted Catholicism at the Layman Level. If proper Catholic catechesis dies, all is lost.
Has the USCCB morphed into the Catholicrat Party with it's own agenda? Our Democrat Party is now Maxocrat; our Republican Party is now Republicrat; has our USCCB gone Catholicrat?
On the Anti-Church metastasizing within the Roman Catholic hierarchy. The anti-Church within the Church: the anti-Papal agenda advancing even in the Vatican itself.
Babbling Christianity: The Loss of Unity in the Christian Message. Is some New Testament "Tower of Babble" moment behind babbling Christianity's ever increasing disunity?
Why is our whole culture going to pot? It's our morality, stupid. Every cultural thing - law, order, decency, indecency, salvation, damnation - hangs on a recognized cultural morality.
Can we find actual Evil inside the Catholic Church? Well, why not? The war between Satan's kingdom (the World) and the Kingdom of God, and Evil inside the Catholic Church.
The Modernist Heresy: Western Man's Descent from Philosophy into Modernism. Modernism is the heresy of heresies, because it carries within it all previous heresies, being as it is a direct, frontal assault upon faith and all doctrine and dogma.
Lucifer and the CCHD: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Lucifer and the CCHD: how Lucifer’s disciples infected Catholic thinking, enjoyed Catholic funding and advanced evil in America.
The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day is up for Sainthood? Excuse me?
The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day’s life work was Marxist Community Organizing for future revolution.
The anti cafeteria Catholic forum is a thorn in the pew for Catholic wimps.
The anti cafeteria Catholic forum addresses weak-kneed, wimpy, inclusive, "Spirit of Vatican II" heterodox Catholicism. Refute these contentions if you can.
On Straying, Right or Left, from the Catechism.
We have before us, on one side, excesses of "Social Justice" and "Liberation Theology", and on the other, the "Lefebvre" movement and related groups. In the center: the Catechism.
Do our Catholic bishops promote and teach Roman Catholicism, or something less?
Cafeteria Catholicism, i.e., Pick-And-Choose Catholicism, is rampant in America, thanks to many American Catholic bishops.
(Cafeteria Catholicism 101)
My "Education" at the Athenaeum Of Ohio LPMP (Lay Pastoral Minstry Program).
The Athenaeum Of Ohio LPMP program was the required pre-requisite for entry into the Deaconate program in Archbishop Daniel E. Pylarczyk's Cincinnati Archdiocese.
(Cafeteria Catholic 1)
The hidden dissident agenda in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP teaching.
The overriding dissident agenda of Liberal Catholicism appeared sometimes mostly in teaching material, sometimes in teachers themselves, sometimes in both.
(Cafeteria Catholic 2)
A better name for the LPMP's Formation for Discipleship class: Catholic Dissent.
The Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP course called Formation for Discipleship was one big long exercise in Catholic dissent, pure and simple.
(Cafeteria Catholic 3)
Moral Theology, Cincinnati Archdiocese style: This ain't your daddy's religion. Christian Ethics is the title of the course in the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP course on Catholic Moral Theology.
(Cafeteria Catholic 4)
Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP Christology Course: NOT about the Christ Who Rose Again.
This theoretically Catholic Christology course teaches about a Christ Who didn't know who he was, didn't necessarily rise again after death, but Who "teaches us valuable lessons" nonetheless.
(Cafeteria Catholic 5)
Athenaeum courses consistently taught that the early Church condoned slavery.
This teaching is clearly false. Yet the Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP program, in multiple courses, officially taught that the Church "changed" its teaching on slavery.
The "Enlightened" birthing of Historical-Critical Scripture analysis.
Historical Criticism of the most paranormal literature ever produced calls into question the "enlightenment" of the enlightened.
Catholic Communism: Similarities between Church Hierarchy and Pure Bureaucracy.
Mises said that Communism equals Bureaucracy; the Church is a bureaucracy, therefore we have Catholic Communism. True?
Materialistic Culture Versus The Catholic Thinker.
The Catholic Thinker is called to openly oppose Materialistic Culture.
The Thinking Catholic Challenge: Walking that very inconvenient walk.
The Catholic American Thinker seeks a return to Critical Thinking, recognition of Objective Reality, and living a solid, morally grounded life.
Compromise with Evil begins the ultimate death spiral.
Compromise on any Vital Principle leads to death, for individual souls and for cultures.
On the Origin and Destiny of the American Catholic Identity Crisis. The ongoing 50+ year American Catholic identity crisis was born of a split between the Magisterium who protected it, and the academics who taught it.
Cafeteria Sinners: Selecting Mortal Sins from the Catholic Smorgasbord. Catholicism's Cafeteria Sinners pick and choose the mortal sins they will commit, and still participate in Eucharist.
Defining "Difficulty", "Doubt" and "Dissent" in Catholicism. Reactions to Doctrine(s) presenting difficulty, doubt and dissent among the faithful need examination.
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