Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Neither A Conservative Nor A Liberal Be

I heard someone recently say that fear is one of the main motivating factors of conservatism.  After giving that some thought, I would have to agree.  Conservatives want things to always stay the same, they don't want to be challenged with anything new.  Any new belief or practice or world view can't be trusted because it takes us out of our comfort zone, and not only make us feel ill at ease and not in control, it is downright scary.  Conservatives must be in control of themselves and their environment at all times.


Conservatives also see everything in black and white. A thing or a person is either all good or all bad, completely right or completely wrong, fully moral or fully immoral. There is no such thing in a conservative's mind as someone or something that is a mixture of good and bad. It's all or nothing. And the conservative is always, without question, on the side of what is good and right and moral.

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As a result of always being on the side of goodness and justice, the conservative's answers and viewpoints are always correct and to be trusted.   The conservative is actually obligated, for the sake of all that is right and good, to reject anyone who doesn't agree with him as either evil or ignorant or both.

Conservatives tend to live in very stagnant worlds, hanging on to the tried and true and blocking out anything new and different. Fear guides them as to what is acceptable and not acceptable. Dialog with anyone or anything who believes differently from them is adamantly rejected. The goal in life is to keep everything neat and comfortable and predictable, and to block out and destroy, if necessary, anything that challenges them and their worldview.

Liberals, on the other hand, rejoice in anything that is new. In fact, they reject anything that is tainted with "tried and true." This was personified in the 1960's with the phrase, "Never trust anyone over 30." That, of course, was thrown out when those who said that turned 30 years old.


Just as conservatives believe there are no gray areas, liberals reject absolute truth. Truth is completely relative, with a few exceptions here and there. The first absolute truth is that no one has any right to tell others what is right and wrong. What is right for you may not be right for me, and vice versa. We must never judge the morality of anyone except, of course, those who try to assign morality to thoughts and actions. Anyone who says there is absolute good and evil is, in fact, bigoted and hateful and must be rejected.


This, of course, completely rejects all religions and religious belief. How can anyone believe in God? God is just a bogeyman in the sky who was created by those who want to control all of us and make us their slaves. How can we live by laws that were given thousands of years ago. The world has changed and we must change with it. Nature never stands still and neither must we.


The goal of liberalism is freedom from anything and anyone who constrains us from what we want to do and to be. One common characteristic between conservatives and liberals is that both believe they have all the answers. The difference is that conservatives will tell you the answers, and the liberal will tell you that that the answer is that there are no hard and fast answers. The conservative will put you in a prison with no key, and the liberal will leave you out in the open, exposed and vulnerable with no defenses to any real dangers.

But if we can't be conservative or liberal, what is left? What do we believe in?


The answer is: Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Savior was and is neither liberal nor conservative. When He walked this earth. Jesus constantly challenged the established authority of his time. Jesus said people are more important than rules. He refused to abide by their standard of not talking or associating with "unclean" people. He dismissed such practices as ceremonial washings, or putting the observance of the Sabbath above love of neighbor. The religious and civil authorities hated him because He told them they were nothing more than painted gravestones, looking good on the outside but full of death and destruction on the inside.

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At the same time, Jesus Christ taught and upheld the sacred truths that had been given thousands of years ago, and in some ways made them more binding, as when He told us that hate is the equivalent of murder, and lust is equivalent to adultery. Even though Christ rejected the practices of the religious and civil authorities, Our Lord told the people they must listen to those authorities and do what they say because they sat in the seat of Moses, to whom all Truth was given.

Other than religious leaders, when Jesus looked at people, He never saw good or bad, moral or immoral. In fact, He commanded His followers never to judge anyone else because we can't see another's heart. We don't know what motivates another person, what the circumstances are in another's life, their level of understanding, their ability to do what is right. A woman was taken in the act of adultery, and yet Christ refused to condemn her. Another woman gave pennies to the Church, and Christ said she gave more than anyone else.  Jesus taught us to be open to all people with this caution: Be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. He told us that we must not reject our enemies, but to love them.


Jesus turned everything on its head. He made everything completely new, and at the same time told us, we must hold on to the eternal truths. "Do not think that I came to do away with or undo the Law [of Moses] or the [writings of the] Prophets; I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." (Matthew 5:17). 


Jesus Christ taught us that we are all sinners worthy only of death, but at the same time, because of His great love and mercy, we are an invaluable, priceless part of His Creation, so valuable and important to Him that He actually died that we may live.

Christ gave us standards which are humanly impossible to fulfill.  Our fallen nature drags us down, and the only way we can rise above it is through the Grace of God.  I personally find very few who actually strive to imitate Christ as He commands, either within or without the Church.  But there is one person in our world today who truly does fully express and live these truths, and that is Pope Francis. Like Jesus Christ, Pope Francis refuses to judge individual people. He accepts all and listens to everyone. He never tries to change anyone, refusing to proselytize, as he stated in an interview, "proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense."  At the same time, he says "A Christian without history, without a Christian nation, a Christian without the Church is incomprehensible. It is a thing of the laboratory, an artificial thing, a thing that cannot give life."


Pope Francis has stated he believes in "making a mess", in stirring things up.  He wants to get people out of their comfort zones, to realize that they do not have all the answers, to realize they still need to grow as Christians.  He wants to make Jesus Christ and the Gospel new to people.  

As he told us in Evangelii Gaudium, all followers of Jesus Christ must be involved in spreading the saving Gospel of mercy and love.  But we must do it without condemnation of others.  We must realize that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore we can learn from them just as they can learn from us.  We must always approach others with love and humility, cognizant of our own sinfulness and need for mercy and forgiveness.  We can never reject anyone.  Yes, we must reject sins, but never the sinner.  


The motivation in our lives must not be fear, and it must not be "freedom".  Our motivation must be love:  love of God and love of neighbor.  That is the message of Pope Francis.  


I am writing this in response to the unbelievable hatred and vitriol that has been spewed against Pope Francis on so-called "Catholic" blogs and websites.  The hatred against Pope Francis by these "Catholics" is matched only by the hatred of the Pharisees towards Jesus Christ.  Following is from one so-called Catholic blogger:
By now, it is clear to even the most deluded, normalcy biased Pollyanna that Jorge Bergoglio is an imbecile, a diabolical narcissist, a materialist and stridently anti-Catholic. We’re not going to waste any more time debating this base premise because it is objective reality. It is right in front of all of us, and has been for almost three years now. The sun rises in the east, water is wet, and Bergoglio is a self-absorbed idiot who is actively, consciously trying to destroy The Church. Period.
This same "Catholic" blogger has just recently become a contributor to another so-called Catholic website, The Remnant, run by radical traditionalist Michael Matt, who has called Pope Francis the worst pope in history.


What causes someone who claims to be Catholic to write in such a hateful, vile manner about the Vicar of Christ? The answer to that question is the same answer as to why the Pharisees hated Jesus Christ and wanted to destroy Him. Jesus Christ upset their worlds. He told them they were not the center of the universe, that they didn't have all knowledge, and that they were sinners in need of forgiveness just like the people they dismissed as worthless.

Let us not fall into the traps of the world, either rejecting everything new or everything old. Let us always be aware that we don't know everything, that we always have more to learn. Let us realize that our goal is not security, and it is not freedom. Our goal is to learn to love as Jesus Christ loved, to be willing to lay down our lives for others. That is the wonderful message of Pope Francis, which is directly from Jesus Christ Himself.


6 comments:



  1. "That is the wonderful message of Pope Francis, which is directly from Jesus Christ Himself."

    Dearest Lady!

    Didn't his Holiness just tell us that the pill and condoms are recommended for couples that fear they might have a child with microcephally, that the evil of contraception is less than the evil of bearing a handicapped child?

    I seriously do not believe you think eugenics comes to us from our Lord. It does come from Pope Francis.

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    1. Do you seriously believe that someone who made the statements I quoted above believes in eugenics? You are allowing otherrs to interpret the pope"s comments instead of truly listening to him. I will do a post on it.

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  2. I seriously believe that Pope Francis, in his post-Mexico plane interview, told us to use condoms and the pill to avoid having handicapped children. This is eugenics, no?

    Federico Lombardi later clarified that Francis was definitely talking about condoms and the pill. What do you think about what Francis said on the plane?

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    1. Yes, he did say that. I was perplexed by this, too, but I have prayed about it and given it some thought, and I will post those thoughts on my next post within a few days.

      We must always remember that this is the Pope talking, and we should never jump to quick conclusions. We have a promise from Christ that the Pope could not mislead us. Granted, this was not said ex cathedra, but nonetheless, could a Pope tell Catholics to sin?

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    2. We have a promise from Jesus that the gate of Hell will not prevail over His Church. The Pope is not His church! It is an historical fact that there have been bad popes in the past. I'm afraid this pope may be among them!

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