“Progressives” have much to say about religion as defined by relativism – surely the oxymoron of the age.
Decrying the madness of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man, Pope Pius VI said, “This absolute freedom is established as a right of man in society. It not only guarantees him the right to not be disturbed because of his religious opinions, but it also gives him license to think, speak, write, and even print with impunity everything which the most unbridled imagination can suggest about religion. The innate quality and freedom of all men (because of our free will) is often contrary to the right of the supreme Creator.”
Without rights, then, what does the moral conversation look like? If we don’t cling to something like religious freedom, how shall we frame our response to “progressive” pontificators? Their litany of the “evils” of a Judeo-Christian national moral foundation always include errors on the relationship of science and religion and worst of all the absolutism of Sharia Law which are thrown in as just another religious option.
We’ve apparently dispensed with the language of natural inalienable rights, deteriorating into relativism. It is the undefined and ambiguous language of subjective rights that has us in this mess of relativism to begin with. If one person claims a right, another person will claim a different right, and the process will inevitably spin out of control.
Aquinas and his forerunners gave us a viable framework: natural law. Natural law is something distinct from natural rights. The concept of eternal law (lex aeternae) is of God’s making and is coeternal with His own nature (as noted in the Declaration of Independence). For humans, who can either accept or reject this law, the eternal law is received from within.
When humans act in a manner consistent with God’s eternal law, they are not inventing laws of their own, but rather discovering this law and appropriating it for themselves. This is the natural law (lex naturalis). It is our participation in the divine law held in the mind of God. The American experiment, founded on biblical principles has worked well so far. Why are “progressives” so eager to trash it?
REF: By What Right? By Jake Tawney in The American Catholic 1/23/13
Jerry is a retired engineer with strong experience in environmental innovation which he still applies today with 2 clean water and energy saving technologies. His life avocation in writing and study of philosophical and biblical themes as they apply to the body politic's spiritual warfare. He survived stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006; now in excellent health. A graduate of the University of Illinois (1958, Industrial Engineering), Jerry had post graduate studies at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Santa Clara in California between 1961 and 1963 (Logic, Marketing). As co Founder and seminar presenter he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Valley Christian University operating under California private-post secondary statutes for mid career student, VCU was the pioneer external degree school for mid career students. Its course structures were picked up by several well known Christian colleges. Hosted local broadcast radio and TV shows, "Religion on the Line" and "The News Firm" (jointly with wife, Joanne), respectively. Jerry has published several books that are available at Amazon. Jerry is available to speak as a visiting lecturer at the high school, college or community organization level. Jerry is married 55 years to Joanne Dean Todd – 3 children, 8 grandchildren.