Friday, February 18, 2011

Mark Shea Says It All for Me on Lying

I almost feel like quoting the whole thing.

Here's an excerpt:

The problem with saying “We can lie for Jesus to save lives” is that it’s also an argument that we can lie for Jesus to save souls. There are plenty of religious zealots who have no desire for self-advancement and no intention of personal monetary gain who would argue that if you can fake a miracle for Jesus that will “win souls” then you should do it. Paul says “their condemnation is deserved”. That’s because, as he says, you cannot live by the principle “Let Us Do Evil that Good May Come of It.” That is, in the end, what is being argued for when you say that you can lie in a good cause.


But I also note that the attempt to deny that consequentialism (such as the theory that lying is not a sin when done by Our Team for a Good Cause) is wrong destroys Catholic moral teaching down to its very foundations. That’s what’s at stake here. That’s why it’s extremely important to be careful what we say. Again, consequentialism is The Favorite Moral Heresy of Americans (including the majority of American Catholics). As long as something “works”, Americans are typically fine with it. The problem is, this thinking undergirds not just the people who support Lila Rose, but the people Lila Rose opposes. Abortion “works”. It solves a problem. Embrace ends-justifies-the-means thinking and you destroy the logical basis for opposition to abortion (and all other Catholic morality) too.

I knew when I brought up this topic in my first post, I would get annoyed.

There are too many faithful Catholics who don't get the basics of Church teaching.

They don't understand St. Thomas Aquinas-- at least at a rudimentary level-- they don't understand the language of moral theology.

And then they try to tell you BS that lying is sometimes acceptable.

It's a big pet peeve of mine.

If you want to understand not what the Church says, but what the Church means, then you have to understand the basic language of St. Thomas Aquinas.

If you don't get Aquinas you don't get anything. If you don't understand words like nature, intrinsic, disordered and the like, you'll never be able to follow the Magisterium's logic.

And the Magisterium is plain: lying, by its nature, is to be condemned.

So don't do it. Ever.

It annoys me to no end that people who get that contraception is never acceptable don't understand that lying is never acceptable. Because the same logic you can use to justify lying, you can use to justify contraception. Condoms are said to save lives. If your husband is seropositive, then shouldn't you be able to have consensual sex without death? It's for a good cause.

You might say: don't have sex. You'll save your life.

And I say: there are other strategies we can use to save lives and expose Planned Parenthood. For example, Operation Rescue has been known to call women who've been harmed by such-and-such an abortionist. Are there any former child prostitutes or minors who've been badly treated by Planned Parenthood? Why not put out a call for them. I'm sure we can think up of other methods.

The question I think we should ask ourselves is: what does God think? Because he's ultimately the only one whose opinion counts.

Pleasing God is the most important thing. It's more important than saving unborn children from death. No really, it is. If pleasing God is not your number one goal, you're in the wrong religion. God has said, through his Church, he does not want us doing evil so that good may come.

So why are we trying to justify evil? He doesn't want us to do that. He' smade it plain. So let's not. Any opinion that contradicts Church's teaching isn't his.