Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Greater than

Why do the founding principles of our country cause some people to cheer wildly and others to scoff? What is wrong with inalienable rights? What’s wrong with rights that can’t be taken away? Frankly, I’m a big fan of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Perhaps the problem isn’t so much the inalienable rights as the fact that some believe these rights come from a Creator. You already know I’m a big fan of the Creator. But, I still struggle to understand why some people are so contemptuous of those of us who believe in God and cling to our inalienable rights.

While some argue that the problem in our country is hateful rhetoric, I argue that is due to different moral compasses. There is the camp that believes natural law is from God and these are the same people that are fans of the founding principles of the United States. Then there is the camp that follows any number of -isms, but predominantly relativism. Relativism is the notion that there are no absolutes, except that the individual is the final arbiter of truth. Some will argue that it is ludicrous to expect every American to live by a similar moral code. I humbly disagree. The country was established by people who were very different and yet still managed to find common ground without sacrificing their ideals or souls. Relativism is changeable while natural law is unchanging.

Morality can ground both a person and a country or can send both into chaos. The question is: am I going to follow the changeable morality of a person or am I going to strive for something greater? There is a famous quote that helps to illustrate this idea: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” If I follow my own relativistic morality, then I’m not even shooting for the moon.  I’m just hobbling along with all the others following relativism. If I follow natural law, then I am aiming at something higher than myself. If I follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, then I won’t land on the moon, but I’ll land in Heaven.

The final question is: who is greater? Me or God. If I’m greater, then division will remain because that means I’m greater than you are. If God is greater, then we have a common vision.


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