Monday, May 19, 2014

Thoughts on Accusations of Imposing Values

One thing I have heard is the accusation that Catholics are imposing our views on others who don't share them. It's wrong of us to do so, we're told.

To which my response is, "What the Hell do you think you're doing to us?"

It's not a flippant response. It's pointing out the sheer hypocrisy of the accusation. If it is wrong for Catholics to seek to change the society that it shares with others that do not agree with us then it is certainly wrong for others to seek to change the society when we disagree with them.

So long as someone holds to a moral relativism that denies any absolutes, then any accusations made against us also applies to them. If we're in the wrong, then so are they.

But, if there are moral absolutes, real right and wrong where one side can be right in such a way as to mean following  one side is not an opinion, then those who oppose us have the same obligation to demonstrate the truth about their beliefs as we are. Moreover, we have the same right as they do to explain and defend our beliefs. We have the same rights to show people that what we believe is true.

No, we're not forcing opinions on people who don't share them. We're sharing what we believe to be vitally important and trying to show how it is true. People are not forced to accept what we believe. If they accept what we believe, it is because they too are convinced that what we believe is true.

If someone wants to deny us that right, claim that we have no right to live as we feel we are called to live, no right to teach what we know to be true; if they want to lie about our beliefs and try to deny us the right to live according to our beliefs, then it is they—not us—who force views on others.

They are what they accuse us of being.

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