Monday, November 10, 2008

Words and Caesar

In Archbishop Chaput's newest book, Render Unto Caesar, he does a masterful job of laying out a Catholic's responsibility to engage in public debate and service by bringing the faith into the public square, not leaving it at the Church door. I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to know how to engage in civic debate while retaining your faith or those who doubt that faith is good for our country.

I will not get into a detailed analysis of the book, but one section I read recently stood out to me. It is here that Chaput focuses on the loss of language in our society. We have re-created the meaning of words to fit what we want them to mean or we have washed the meaning of those words clean. Without meaning, we are at a loss when we try to communicate. Without the basic means of communication, we end up speaking past one another or at one another, not with each other.

Words have meaning and meaning underpins our actions.
Words have consequences!

Therefore, when we start to redefine or obscure the meaning of words such as "marriage", "freedom", "sin", "human", etc. we change more than just words.

The root of such problems lies in the relativistic way we approach truth in our society. We want to make truth into whatever we want it to be, this is the same thing that Adam and Eve did. they told God "it may be true for you, but not for me" and they ate the apple.

We have to fight this creeping relativism and the ignorance it betrays. We must fight to form ourselves and others into THE Truth - Jesus Christ and His Church. We can't just allow society to re-define truth, we must engage in public debate and bring THE Truth with us. Otherwise we allow lies and feelings to trump reality.

Archbishop Chaput also quoted Stephen Colbert and I found the video he quoted. Oh, he speaketh the truth. - "We are divided by those who think with their head and those who know with their heart."

Truth. Live it. Speak it. Believe it. Just don't feel it.

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