One of the great tragedies of the church since 1960, specifically the Catholic Church, is its unwillingness to teach the hard truths of the faith and the consequences that has had on society.
The first shots in the culture wars would never had been fired if the Church was actively keeping its teachings within the public consciousness.
When you stop teaching about Adam and Eve, you stop teaching about traditional marriage. When you stop teaching about Adam and Eve, you stop teaching about temptation. When you stop teaching about sin, you stop telling people to avoid offending God. When you stop telling people about offending God, you stop teaching them about separation from God. When you stop teaching about the consequences to separation from God (damnation), you stop teaching about reconciliation. When you stop teaching about reconciliation, you stop teaching about the sacrament of confession.
When you stop teaching about the connection between God’s intention and sin, you stop teaching about moral relativism. When you stop teaching about the commandments, you stop teaching about God’s expectations. When you stop teaching about the perfect sacrifice of the Eucharist, you stop teaching about the one true faith.
When you stop teaching about the creation of man, you stop teaching about the difference between rational and irrational souls. When you stop teaching about the eternal nature of sacraments, you stop teaching about the covenant between a man, woman and God when married. When you stop teaching about sacrifice, you stop teaching about the consequence of indulgence. When you stop teaching about the sanctity of life, you stop teaching about the consequences of choice.
When you stop teaching these things, then the Catholic populace is uninformed and incapable of defending these teachings in the public arena. When you stop teaching these things, the Catholic understanding of how to interact in the world is lost in the public consciousness.
This lack of teaching has a ripple effect and someone or something will fill the void left behind. People will fill that void with malformed understandings of sin and hell. They’ll think they can justify killing their own children in the womb or redefining marriage to whatever they deem appropriate. They’ll think that birth control is okay with God and pets can replace children. They’ll think that the value of a person is what they can do, not that they are made in God’s image. They’ll think that God’s laws stop at the church doors and are not welcome in secular institutions.
Without church teaching, Satan will corrupt us, turning love into lust and making lust a normal expression of attraction. He’ll corrupt charity and sacrifice and make greed and envy public policy. He’ll convince us those made in God’s image are not worthy of God’s mercy and love. He’ll convince us that indulging in the Me is more important than sacrificing for the We. He’ll convince us, as he did to Adam and Eve with the apple, that we can be like God and decide for ourselves what offends our Creator and what does not.
The Catholic Church has done a great disservice, not only to its faithful, but to mankind. If the Church founded by Christ himself is not willing to stand up boldly and exclaim the hard and narrow path to heaven, then who will? If it is not helping form future leaders when they are children, then how can they blame cafeteria Catholics for upholding policies in direct contradiction to the Church?
It is time we reclaim the faith and use our freedom of religion to permeate every aspect of our lives. We are free to be Christian at church, at work, at home, in the voting booth and outside abortion clinics. That is our God given right as Americans.
If we don’t use it, it will leave a void. And that void will be filled by something less than holy.