Saturday, February 19, 2011

Do We Need a Santa Claus Lies Encyclical?



More fine op-eds on the dust ups over the definition of 'lying':

One by Peter Kreeft HERE

And another by Francis Beckworth HERE.

Francis has some great scriptural references that demonstrates how God, in fact, blessed those who diverted killers by deceiving them.

In spite of this, Mark Shea has a story and he sticks with it HERE!

I was contemplating how to recalibrate our consciences in light of this new definition of the commandment not to bear false witness against our neighbor. It suddenly occurred to me that if Mark is right, generations of Catholics gave gone to hell in a handbasket over their lies about Santa Claus.

Wrap your head around it.


Has the Holy See been watching us all these years without a Santa Claus lies encyclical or kicking Santa's backside out of Church basements?

Are we all going down?

Should we alert the Confessors?

Ratched up a world-wide day of Penance?

Come on kiddies.

I'm shocked that smart Catholics are getting so caught up in the flawed definition of sinful lies.

Zmirak tries again to lay a theological foundation:



Lying is never okay. Murder is never okay. Lying, as the Church teaches, is an unjust deception. This entire argument has been over the definition of lying, and whether denying someone with manifestly no right to the truth, if need be by tossing them something else to distract them, amounts to sinful lying. The whole canard of "mental reservation" amounts to an attempt to deceive while fulfilling the LETTER of the putative law that we may never say things that are untrue, even to those who don't deserve the truth.

I will AGAIN use a simple metaphor. Truthful information is a good; let's use as a concrete example the formula for a medicine an inventor has developed. He wishes to sell this formula to drug companies who will use it for a medicine. But a drug dealer breaks into his lab and tries to get it from him at gunpoint. Instead of giving them the real formula, he gives them a fake one. That is the equivalent of telling untruths to the Nazis at your door, or to the abortionists you're investigating as a journalist. For this to be sinful, the thief would have to have the right to the formula. If the only way to keep him from getting what he has NO right to (the real formula) is to give him a decoy (a fake formula), I argue that it is just, and no more amounts to lying than it does to stealing.

Now, take this metaphor, abstract the principles in it, and apply it concrete situations. It will take the virtue of prudence, which I hope you have developed.




The lies people working at these death camps tell are exposed.

The lies our politicians have been telling to fund abortion are exposed.

Women have the opportunity to see what goes on under the surface.

Sinners are freed from committing these sins in the future, should they choose to take the opportunity with their free will.

When Christ said that every lie would be exposed, it is incomprehensible to me how Catholic teaching contorted into believing He meant exposing Lila Rose and Live Action.

The bearer of Light in this situation is Lila Rose.

Addendum:


From Kreeft:

You promised the Jews to hide them from their murderers. To keep that promise, you have to deceive the Nazis. Physical hiding and verbal hiding are two sides of the same coin, whether you call it lying, or deception, or whatever you call it. What it is, is much more obvious than what it is to be called. It’s a good thing to do. If you don’t know that, you’re morally stupid, and moral stupidity comes in two opposite forms: relativism and legalism. Relativism sees no principles, only people; legalism sees no people, only principles.

16 comments:

Left-footer said...

I'd rather be wrong with Lila Rose, Pope Pius XII, Rahab, Esau, Raphael the Archangel, than right with New Theological Movement.blogspot.

There are 'Lies of Love' (not lying to a beloved, but lying to save the life or virtue of the innocent).

Snap. I too have just blogged again on this subject.

God bless!

Carol McKinley said...

You are so right on lies of love. Prudence too. Like when your three year old asks you where babies come from and you say they come from God and tell them a modified story about the Annunciation. They don't need and are in fact not ready to process the physical participation in the glorious fruit of the gift of human sexuality and love of God.

The discussion around this has been reductio ad absurdum!

breathnach said...

I'm dumbfounded by the Pharisaical attempts by apparently orthodox Catholics to find fault with Lila Rose.

This kind of moral paralysis (sadly) reminds me of the orthodox rabbis, who early in the Holocaust,facilitated the transport of Jews to the death camps; believing that it would save Jewish lives.

This sort of strained casuistry was once called jesuitical by opponents of the Church. There is either great naivete among some of these folks or there is a twisted sense of moral and theological superiority at it's root. They need to examine their consciences.

Jerry said...

This is getting good. Some folks question Lila. Then those folks get accused of being Pharisaical, twisted, and whatnot. Bam boom!

I don't agree with those who would accuse Lila of sin -- and I'm not sure the intent was to accuse Lila as much as to debate the issue. But I disagree more with those who belittle and scorn the ones who raise the question. We're not thugs. And nobody has to agree with Lila's method.

Were Lila my daughter, I'd advise her not to do what she did. I think it's pushing the limits, straining our credibility, and risking trouble. In other words, it doesn't seem prudent to me. But should she be a saintly type who has solid spiritual direction, she could know better than I. Should I then be silenced?

Santa Claus is an interesting deception. I don't support it at all, but I let my wife and inlaws play the Santa thing. I don't think I'd help my kids by pushing back. My bugaboo about it is, it's a deception that the kids are supposed to overcome, but yet keep believing the stories about invisible folks who lived 2000 years ago.

Oops! I've really done it now. Let me have it, but in good Catholic blogging tradition, let's limit the name-calling to two per basher.

Anonymous said...

"I'd rather be wrong with Lila Rose, Pope Pius XII, Rahab, Esau, Raphael the Archangel, than right with New Theological Movement.blogspot."

amen.

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry,

This is an important discussion about the definition of a sinful lie - not about bashing anyone. I'm sorry if it came off that way.

My reference to Santa Claus is a humorous way to demonstrate taking a stand that telling a lie is always wrong and sinful is a theological error.

Peace.

Jerry said...

Hi Carol,

My mistake -- I didn't mean to single you out. You're not a name-caller or basher, anyhow. I've been reading several blogs discussing the issue, and it's been getting kinda rough. I hope all that rough talk out there doesn't cause a divide among pro-lifers.

I like the Santa Claus example. It's no biggie, but I'm still half expecting some push back -- and maybe it could bring some levity into the over serious discussion of Lila.

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry,

If I'm writing and it is feeling like bashing on the reader's end of it, I would want to know. Sometimes I write in between doing a couple of hundred things and if the final product looks ad hominem, I'd want to change it. There's enough substance to bash about, for sure.

I read through the comments on Zmirak's piece and on Mark's site and was disappointed to see Mark getting huffy.

Think of things right there with your own cherubs in the home of Jerry. If the world were ever crazy enough again to want to kill Christians under the age of 21 and they came to your door, you would say come right in, they are up in their room?

Maybe you and Mark Shea and Dawn Eden would but we are telling you that it is absolutely not transgression the sin of bearing false witness against your neighbor to deceive them and say they are not in the house.

Neither is it a sin to tell your wife she looks beautiful after 15 hours of labor. Or to tell somebody who has hurt you that you forgive them when you know you are struggling with it. Or to tell your son you are happy to drive him 5 hours back to school when you are exhausted and are really not up to it. Or to refer to Catholics as smart when you have just read something they've written that is the dumbest thing ever said in the 2000 years of Christendom. Or to tell a male friend you would love to watch football or go see True Grit when you would rather have your fingernails pulled out.

:O)

The Commandment is being stretched beyond the scope of its intention. People are making stuff up.


As if common sense wasn't enough,in that it is permissible to kill a person when your life is threatened but you can't deceive them so that their soul is free of committing this grievous offense and a life is saved, there are scriptural references that confirm that God blessed a few people who saved lives with the use of deceiving killers. That is the end of the matter.

Sometimes people over-think things.

I recently was engaged in a discussion with a man who habitually tortures doctrine to come up with strange conclusions.

I told him that after thinking about one of the most perplexing things in nature, I had recently been enlightened.

Why when birds fly in a V formation is one side longer than the other?

I told him Al Gore would have all kinds of hypotheses about how using deodorant and hairspray has created an imbalance in the atmosphere. But, I know the real reason: There are more birds on one side.

Here's some free advice: Don't get caught up in their cyclones. Anyone who thinks Christ is going to have this on our list of grievances and offenses against him and will sentences us for it, does not know the Man.

Tell your wife she is beautiful and your friends and family you love them even when they are driving you crazy. Tell your kids about Santa Claus. And, some day, if somebody comes for your children or the Jews or slaves or anyone else who is a fugitive from the tyranny of a madman, deceive them to save their soul and the life of their potential victim.

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry,

If I'm writing and it is feeling like bashing on the reader's end of it, I would want to know. Sometimes I write in between doing a couple of hundred things and if the final product looks ad hominem, I'd want to change it. There's enough substance to bash about, for sure.

I read through the comments on Zmirak's piece and on Mark's site and was disappointed to see Mark getting huffy.

Think of things right there with your own cherubs in the home of Jerry. If the world were ever crazy enough again to want to kill Christians under the age of 21 and they came to your door, you would say come right in, they are up in their room?

Maybe you and Mark Shea and Dawn Eden would but we are telling you that it is absolutely not transgression the sin of bearing false witness against your neighbor to deceive them and say they are not in the house.

Neither is it a sin to tell your wife she looks beautiful after 15 hours of labor. Or to tell somebody who has hurt you that you forgive them when you know you are struggling with it. Or to tell your son you are happy to drive him 5 hours back to school when you are exhausted and are really not up to it. Or to refer to Catholics as smart when you have just read something they've written that is the dumbest thing ever said in the 2000 years of Christendom. Or to tell a male friend you would love to watch football or go see True Grit when you would rather have your fingernails pulled out.

:O)

The Commandment is being stretched beyond the scope of its intention. People are making stuff up.


As if common sense wasn't enough,in that it is permissible to kill a person when your life is threatened but you can't deceive them so that their soul is free of committing this grievous offense and a life is saved, there are scriptural references that confirm that God blessed a few people who saved lives with the use of deceiving killers. That is the end of the matter.

Sometimes people over-think things.

I recently was engaged in a discussion with a man who habitually tortures doctrine to come up with strange conclusions.

I told him that after thinking about one of the most perplexing things in nature, I had recently been enlightened.

Why when birds fly in a V formation is one side longer than the other?

I told him Al Gore would have all kinds of hypotheses about how using deodorant and hairspray has created an imbalance in the atmosphere. But, I know the real reason: There are more birds on one side.

Here's some free advice: Don't get caught up in their cyclones. Anyone who thinks Christ is going to have this on our list of grievances and offenses against him and will sentences us for it, does not know the Man.

Tell your wife she is beautiful and your friends and family you love them even when they are driving you crazy. Tell your kids about Santa Claus. And, some day, if somebody comes for your children or the Jews or slaves or anyone else who is a fugitive from the tyranny of a madman, deceive them to save their soul and the life of their potential victim.

Jerry said...

Hold on -- I should have made clear that I'm not an absolutist, i.e., I'm not with Dawn and Mark, except in wanting to have a civil discussion on the issue. You missed my post at John's in this regard: the story of Rahab is abundantly clear. I don't see Lila as acting sinfully. I just think we need to be very cautious.

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry,

Give us your talking points. What are your thoughts?

I wouldn't want my daughter to be doing what Lila is doing either. I don't even like what I'm doing!

This is a crazy world and I think many of us are going to be and are called to do things out of our comfort zone.

Jerry said...

"Here's some free advice: Don't get caught up in their cyclones."

I think that's my point, too. I like a good discussion, but on the web, emotions seem to overtake the issue. I actually learned a few things from the discussion, beyond reconfirming that I should just keep my mouth shut.

Oh and one more thing. Telling my wife she is beautiful is no lie. I don't have to have scruples about that!

Carol McKinley said...

Jerry,

I don't ever want you to keep your mouth shut here. I've learned a great deal from your perspective.

LOL about your scruples with your wife! Good for you.

See you in the handbasket on the ride to hell with all the believers in Santa Claus.

Every time I ask if this world can get any crazier, it does. So I shall refrain from saying it!

Jerry said...

Again I wrote too quickly. Re keeping my mouth shut, I mean on big heated threads where the casualty count keeps rising. The only reason I chimed in over at Zmirak's is because of his being ambiguous about the fate of unbaptized babies. Fortunately, I haven't had to pay ... yet.

I don't recall having regrets for posting here. Even so, my peace of mind is usually best served in keeping quiet.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

I've asked this question before, mostly on my own blog. The question is, "Why all the kerfuffle now, when pro-life stings have been going on for years?" Am I the only one who finds this to be suspicious? We know Planned Parenthood and George Soros are trying to bring Live Action down; Soros has made no bones about that. Is it ever so possible that some very sly pro-aborts put the tiniest bugs into the thinking of the hyper-scrupulous to start the snow-ball rolling? Maybe it was done with and "ever-so-innocent" comment or question. Of course no one wants to admit that they may be dupes, and perhaps I'm the only one impolite enough to suggest that some have been played for suckers. But isn't this hypothesis worth a thought or two??

Carol McKinley said...

Food for thought Janet!