Friday, August 12, 2011

Economic Plan for America

"But if the productive activity of the multitude can be stimulated by the hope of acquiring some property in land, it will gradually come to pass that, with the difference between extreme wealth and extreme penury removed, one class will become neighbor to the other. Moreover, there will surely be a greater abundance of the things which the earth produces. For when men know that they are working on that which belongs to them, they work with far greater eagerness and diligence. Nay, in a word, they learn to love the land cultivated by their own hands, whence they look not only for food but for some measure of abundance for themselves and their dependents. All can see how much this willing eagerness contributes to an abundance of produce and the wealth of a nation. Hence, in the third place, will flow the benefit that men can easily be kept from leaving the country in which they have been born and bred; for they would not exchange their native country for a foreign land if their native country furnished them sufficient means of living."  - Pope Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

True Freedom

Our Lord said in the Gospel of John: "If you hold to my teaching, you are truly my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (Jn 8:31-32) I suspect this might one of the most quoted verses of the Bible. Yet what does Christ mean when he speaks of being set free? A few verses later he explains it: those who follow him are set free from sin. In other words, we are free from the bondage of wickedness, freed to walk according to the law, in faith, hope and love. 
    Many people, if not most people, think of freedom as the liberation from rules and restraints. Yet this is not at all the biblical understanding. Those who commit lawlessness are in bondage; Scripture calls them slaves of sin. Those who obey God and serve Him are those who are in fact free. We are made free by knowing the Truth, which is Christ. Once we have been set free by knowledge, we live as freed-men by living as Christ lived, in total obedience to the will of God. 
    With this in mind about the nature of freedom, the whole rhetoric of the pro-abortion camp becomes transparent. The very term "pro-choice" is their false claim to freedom. Yet it cannot be freedom, because it is a violation of the will and law of God. Certainly, there is a choice involved, just as there is a choice to commit every sin there is. Anyone who steals or rapes or murders or anything else that involves  a willingness to break God's law exercises a choice: the choice to do evil. In fact the very nature of sin itself revolves around the use of our free will by choice: someone who does something wrong without willing it, as in an accident, does not sin, but rather makes a mistake. Sin is always a matter of will, of choice. This is not freedom; this is a lie and a caricature of freedom. We must know the Truth, who is Christ, and follow his commands, and only then will we have true freedom: the freedom of the sons and daughters of God.