Sunday, July 29, 2012

Christianity is Rational!

I recently found this rather childish comment about a post concerning the fallacy of the popular “Love is Love” justification for homosexual marriage.
Here is the comment, in full:

“This argument is flawed because it displays a glaring fallacy in its justification. To say that homosexuality is simply sexual attraction couldn’t be any more wrong and it’s simply misinformation. The feelings many gay couples have for each other is often the same that straight couples do. Of course sexual attraction is something that gays feel, but you can say the same of heterosexuals. There are plenty of gay relationships built purely upon romantic interest. In fact there are quite a number of gay relationships with more love, care, and undying devotion that some straight couples. It just seems wrong to deny some people love (because that’s what it is) just because people have been misinformed and because it goes against what a book says. But that’s just my two cents.”

Ignore for a second the fact that polyamorous units and incestuous couples can (and do) make the same exact claim about love, care, and undying devotion, which was the entire point of my original blog post in the first place! The last part of the comment is far more intriguing, because it reflects a fundamental misconception about the nature of Christian belief.
“It goes against what a book says.” This comment is, of course, a welcome relief from the false charge that Catholics don’t believe in the Bible. But it perpetuates the false claim that Catholics believe in the teachings of the Church because of a blind belief in the authority of the Magisterium or the Bible.
We don’t.
Christianity is eminently rational. Christian theology and morality is logically defensible. Catholics believe the truths of the Faith because they are true, not because the Church teaches them, per se. As the Act of Faith states, “I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because in revealing them You [God] can neither deceive nor be deceived.”
Christian morality on contraception is defensible, both from a natural law and a Darwinian standpoint. So is Christian morality regarding homosexuality: Darwinian theory and natural law both argue against it.
But all of Catholic theology is compatible with human reason. John Paul II, in his apostolic letter Fides et Ratio, expresses this truth beautifully, writing: “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” Theology, the systematic study of God, religion, and religious truths, requires the use of the intellect to come to a greater understanding of God.
The mysteries of the Faith also prove to be no stumbling block to a rational mind. It makes perfect sense that a God who created us would be beyond our understanding. The saying “Credo quia impossibile,” commonly attributed to Tertullian, perfectly describes the attitude of Christians towards Christianity. We believe because we cannot understand God fully, because God must be beyond our understanding by His very nature.
It behooves us as Catholics to understand our faith as best we can through the gift of our human reason. St. Peter says that we should be “ready always to satisfy everyone that asketh a reason of the hope that is within you.” (1 Peter 3:15) We should obey – God gave us the gift of human reason to be used to understand our Faith!

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