Monday, November 1, 2010

A Nice Letter from Henry

On Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 8:10 PM, Henry  wrote:
I noticed your *ridiculous* blog.
Why must you tirelessly assert your faith on those of us willing to think critically of all things, and not just selectively things our parents taught us were wrong? Why must you assert that things that you do not agree with are morally unjust, and scoff and act as if you are offended when someone has the sense to criticize you? And why must you be so vicious and vehement in your attacks on people you deem wrong?
Furthermore, you assert that your faith is superior to mine or other's because YOU BELIEVE IN IT.
This is annoying.
You criticize people like me for their atheistic leanings, and yet thought against your faith is, well, forgiving at best. But what makes me most sad is your insane opposition to other people's thoughts. You assert, time and time again, that you are correct. And yet, you do not see any evidence that you are correct. You do not pause to think that perhaps you are  wrong, or mistaken. It is this assuredness that leads to my pessimism with the human race. People like you are too dull and slow-witted to think about the nature of your actions, but continue in doing them, like a docile little lamb, because that was what your parents told you was correct. This disheartens me. In the future, use logic, and not nasty comments. People as immature as you should be scolded harshly for using such adult words. If you play nicely, I'll give you a fruit rollup and a juice box.
And for someone as (seemingly) intelligent as you are, I'm sure you wouldn't mind some Latin, the language of our forefathers:

Utinam logica falsa tuam philotsopiam totam suffodiant!

Sincerely (not really),

one concerned for your mental health

It's always nice to get letters from people concerned.

Here was my reply:


Thank you for writing on our Solemnity of our Holy Saints.

BTW, I think you meant "philosophiam" not "philotsopiam"?

Nescio quid dicas!

You oppose my thoughts, I oppose yours and so on and so forth.  This is how diversity of thought works!  The beauty of having a public square where everyone can say whatever they want to say is a civil right Catholics will continue to assert.   In our 2000+ year history, even when non-believers tried to create a culture that muffled us, we accept martyrdom before we will acquiesce to silence.

To know God takes the same kind of effort it takes to know law, or to know philosophy, to know you can swim a mile or run ten, to be a good friend, husband, father.   It takes willingness, openness, effort.   Reading the Bible with an open heart and an open soul, developing trust, love, communication between God and the person.

Did you reach adulthood and say there was no such thing as friendship or did you open yourself and put effort into your relationships and then one day the feelings were real. Feelings are things between two people that only the two people in that relationship can feel.   Nobody else can see them, validate or invalidate the relationship between you because they can't feel it.  If a stranger approached the two of you and you were silent, they could assume you were strangers.

You can't disprove other people's relationships with God.  You are not in that relationship between them.  You don't know the communication or the love that is also real.  

You have closed yourself to a relationship with God.  You don't know Him.  You can't feel Him.   That is your universe and you are as welcome to live without God as you would be welcome to live without friends.    Telling other people this means God and friendship doesn't exist is silly.

Certum est quia impossible est.

You seem to want to conclude that I am 'doing what people tell me to do'.  This is thinking from the love of the law and not the love of the spirit.   I do things for my children not because  it is required by law not to abandon them, I do them because I am driven to please them because I love them so much and I want them to be happy.   If you have a spouse, you don't not cheat on them because it is immoral or unlawful - you do it because you love them and you wouldnt think about hurting them, yourself or your relationship.  

It is the same with those who love God.  The things we do are not because somebody told us to do them.  The intensity of the love grew until we loved so much that we wanted to live our lives to please Him, serve Him.

It is a hoot to see athiests and profane and vulgar women try to feign concern about the 'mental health' of believers, prophets and evangelists.  

Do you really think that has any chance of being effective??

Good luck with that!

Caelitus mihi vires.

Carol McKinley


Jerry said...

Hi Henry.

"those of us willing to think critically of all things"

So, you're another critical thinker.

"You criticize people like me for their atheistic leanings"

So, Carol is critical, but not a critical thinker. Hmmm.

"But what makes me most sad is your insane opposition to other people's thoughts. You assert, time and time again, that you are correct. And yet, you do not see any evidence that you are correct. You do not pause to think that perhaps you are wrong, or mistaken."

Mirror, please? Assertions and accusations, but there's no proof, Henry. You posit a standard for right thinking, but don't apply it to yourself?

"It is this assuredness that leads to my pessimism with the human race."

Er, you seem a wee bit self assured, too. Eh, Henry?

"People like you are too dull and slow-witted"

...and a wee bit arrogant, too, Henry?

For what it's worth: As following St. Paul, we preach Christ Crucified. We repeat what the Church has always taught. These teachings are objectively verifiable (critical thinking happening here), as the Church has been around awhile. The Church is also objectively verifiable in her miracles and her witnesses, the Saints, who have character excelling beyond the best of men. The mind can easily grasp and affirm this.

The Church has produced the best minds in history, like Augustine and Aquinas. Come and join them. God bless.

Michael said...

Henry fancies himself so "tolerant" and "broad minded" that he cannot abide even the thought that other world views exist. Instead he espouses a very warped form of anti-tolerance.

Unfortunately, Henry's screed against free thought is the sort of pablum that gets pats on the back and kudos from the self appointed arbiters of opinion who infest media and academia. There is no "logic" to these irritable mental gestures. There is no depth of thought or feeling going into this diatribe. Instead it is the response of the self satisfied who cannot fathom the idea that reality includes something else outside of their obsessions.

The anti-intellectual quest to silence any opposition to the bland conformism of secularism has been the resort of the half-educated since at least the French Revolution.

There is more real grappling with ideas going on among Catholic thinkers, ranging from evolution to the meaning of faith and reason, than all those like Henry, who are fitted with their views by opening up the New York Times and absorbing their daily dose of ideology.

Still there are secularists that we can learn from, not the facile ideologists like Henry, but thinkers like George Orwell, who made a good faith effort to actually debate ideas and not just engage in name calling and invective. Orwell summed up what we Catholics can readily agree must be part of our efforts to evangelize even the invincinbly ignorant:"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."