February 11, 2018
So, this is the thing about life: If there is no God of life, then, life is only what we make of it. Restate that sentence replacing life with any other word you please. See? Much of our culture’s claim that religious people want to force religious convictions on those who have no religion may well be correct.
On the other hand, such forcing may well be the kindest thing that we could ever do for someone else.
If there is no God of you, then, you are only what I make of you. Sounds like a recipe for tyranny, slavery, exploitation and bigotry to me!
You don’t have to believe in God in order to be a good person. True enough, I suppose. But why should everyone else have to settle for the ‘good person’s’ definition of ‘good’? And if that’s the case, then what is wrong with a ‘god-fearing’ majority using the democratic process to create definitions of ‘goodness’?
Obviously, this conversation can go on and on in ever-widening circles till the crack of doom.
What is amazing to me is the number of god-fearers who want to think and act as if there were no God when it comes to the national budget, defense planning, immigration policy, marital behavior, or countless other issues. The one we have been looking at most recently is the child. If God does not care about children, then children are only what we make of them … possessions, trophies, mistakes, gifts, burdens, etc… Obviously, too, if God does not care about children, then whether people have children, when they have them, and how they have them … or not … is entirely up to them. So, too, if having children … or not … is up to each individual, then the child-bearing potential of one’s sexual partner is only what the individual make of it; thus, there is no claim against scoff-law daddies, or, maybe, even, those who kill newborns. After all, a child who was a ‘mistake’ before birth remains a ‘mistake’ after birth; and no one should have to spend a whole lifetime dealing with a mistake.
It was (coincidentally) fifty years ago this summer that Paul VI issued his famous encyclical on the regulation of birth, Humanae vitae. In that document, he predicted that severing the connection between God and children from human sexual love would have all the consequences that I have outlined above. And his predictions have all come true! People say these things
and do these things and no one dares to say them ‘nay’. In part, because we don’t want anyone to say ‘nay’ to us who live ‘godly’ lives except in this area …!
I don’t want a fight. I don’t want a debate or an argument. I do want to be able to say what I believe is true about what happens when we crowd God out of our lives. I think that, as a priest, I am supposed to say such things. I think that God thinks that everyone should consider these facts and allow themselves to feel what he must feel.
Really and truly and childlessly (at least) yours,