Monday, 21 January 2008

Truth himself speaks truly

It seems that in the art of blogging I am always one or two days behind everyone else! The problem is I do not wish to write about anything before I have a clear view of the facts. Nevertheless, here is another off the cuff comment.

The liberal establishment showed what it means by 'tolerance' and 'diversity' when a small group of professors and students at La Sapienza University protested at the Holy Father's planned visit. They were apparently protesting at a comment he made seventeen years ago on Galileo, and threatened to stir up serious trouble. The Holy Father cancelled his visit, but he subsequently has received massive support for his right to be heard, particularly from the huge crowds at the Rome Angelus. Consequently the whole fiasco has backfired disastrously on his critics.

If a University is meant to be place of free inquiry, it would be an affront indeed for an ordinary academic to be denied a platform merely because his views do not fit in with the majority consensus. And our Holy Father is far more than that. He is leader of the Roman Catholic church, a leading professor of theology, and the direct successor to this university's founder! For a group to try to stop him from being heard seems the height of arrogance, intolerance and ignorance!

This event reveals clearly that liberalism is an ideology which is totally opposed to any open debate, and the suppression of free discussion is at its very heart. For the reality is that it will never accept a viewpoint that is opposed to it's own belief, and it will do everything in it's power to silence such opinions and deny them a forum. It is a dogma that says that there is no objective truth and that truths about God and metaphysical being are unknowable.

The very notion of debate presupposes that objective truths can be gained from free, dispassionate and rational discussion. This is part and parcel both of the patristic and scholastic traditions from which the great bulk of Catholic theology has been derived. But contemporary liberalism dogmatically teaches that no viewpoint is more true than another, and that reason is merely a device for power and intellectual dominance. Debate is suppressed, and becomes replaced with ideology in the modern university.

Any attempt to refute and disprove such claims is a complete waste of time. These are positions whose strength lies not in rational argument or objective facts, but in the formation of a ‘believing’ liberal consensus community that excludes the heretic from its ranks. It has nothing to offer intellectually except slogans and platitudes such as ‘diversity’, ‘tolerance’ (except for the conservative), ‘sensitivity’ and most of all, ‘community’. The overriding argument liberalism has against its opponents is the claim “you are not one of us, you are outside the fold’.

It is essential for the success of the liberal ideological project not only to create a liberal belief consensus, but to suppress any rival orthodoxies that show forth the truth. For they are an existential threat to the consensus community and to the unity of the fold, which serve to support the power of the liberal elites. Hence in institutions it will impose Stalinist ideological witch hunts of any non - conformists, accusing them of 'insensitivity and hurtfulness' in show trials.

So what can we do? We cannot engage in debate and discussion with such people. The only thing we can do is like Benedict not to waste time arguing with them but carry on with the silent witness of our Christian faith, obstinately refusing to conform and compromise. We can only trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to confound the enemies of the church, as he has done by raising a massive rival consensus that has come to our Holy Father's aid: a consensus that BBC news has been keeping very quiet about.

Truth himself speaks truly, or there's nothing true.

St. Thomas Aquinas, tr. Gerald Manley Hopkins S.J.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

I can understand only too well your reluctance to rush into print. Some of us prefer more time to reflect on a topic. Your posting was well worth waiting for.

I very much agree with your ideas that liberalism means illiberalism, and tolerance means intolerance. This inherent contradiction can profitably be applied elsewhere: experts aren't really experts (think of the court convictions quashed on appeal); and the wonderful Hutber's Law, so vividly remembered by this retired civil servant, which states "improvement means deterioration".

The last one makes me think of the post-Vatican II changes. If only it could be remembered by those clergy and other not-really-experts who claim that the reason for the deterioration in the Church since the Council is that it has not yet been fully implemented. I understand that an English archbishop said this very thing quite recently. "Further and faster", they still seem to cry.

Thank God, spiritual sanity is starting the slow process of clearing the mess. And your work, together with that of other splendid writers, is helping this great cause.