This article over at InsideCatholic.com titled, “False Courage and True Courage by Mark Shea offers several interesting themes related to the conflict between political ideology and the Catholic Church, and how it’s understood today.
Mr. Shea shows four examples of the relativism of committing horrific sinful acts in the name of courage because of the moral belief that God cannot stop evil without the immoral acts of man, “They don’t moralistically refuse to do acts that risk hell but bravely undertake the work of sinning gravely for a higher cause.” Consider these examples:
- “Heinrich Himmler’s secret address given in October 1943 to SS troops carrying out the mass murder of Jews”
- “P. Z. Myers’ “brave” defense of abortion”, (Professor Myers teaches biology at the University of Minnesota Morris)
- “Croatian named Vladko Macek, who witnessed the horrors of the Jasenovac death camp“
- “The rhetoric of those who champion the incineration of thousands of civilians for the Greater Good” (Mr. Shea’s exchange with several readers on the just war principle)
It is amazing how influential our secular culture is in affecting the moral attitudes of Catholics who do try to be devout.
As Mr. Shea’s summarizes before offering a solution, Jesus Christ on the cross crucified:
“A morally sane person can subscribe (like the Church) to the doctrine that a war is just. A morally sane person can subscribe to the doctrine that a war is unjust. A morally sane person can subscribe to the doctrine that a just war (ius ad bellum) is being fought by just or unjust means (ius in bello). But no morally sane person can subscribe to the doctrine that an unjust war being fought with unjust means is a war one is morally bound to fight, and that we must do grave evil that good will come of it.“
“The one advocating evil is, in his own eyes anyway, a veritable icon of bravery, standing toe to toe with an unjust and arbitrary Heaven whose foolish rules stand in the way of the War Effort, or Science, or Patriotism — the Greater Good. . . . if somebody is “courageously” willing to make some innocent person suffer or die, that’s your first clue that they are not courageous for the things of God.”
Mr. Shea’s closing point, “Against all such self-serving sophistry only the cross of Christ stands.” Like all Americans, Cowboy Papist wants our enemies to suffer and surrender while we triumph; however, not at the cost of any souls. We are on a journey to heaven, and we must love our neighbors at all times, even in a just war. Great food for thought!