Pope Benedict: Now repeat after me: You put your left arm in, you pull your left arm out....
Via poor, dim K-Lo, it seems the pope had a great deal to say about religious freedom when he visited Cuba. Some truths, it seems, are more equal than others:
The truth is a desire of the human person, the search for which always supposes the exercise of authentic freedom. Many, without a doubt, would prefer to take the easy way out, trying to avoid this task. Some, like Pontius Pilate, ironically question the possibility of even knowing what truth is (cf. Jn 18:38), claiming is incapable of knowing it or denying that there exists a truth valid for all. This attitude, as in the case of scepticism and relativism, changes hearts, making them cold, wavering, distant from others and closed. There are too many who, like the Roman governor, wash their hands and let the water of history drain away without taking a stand.
Take that, Megan McArdle! Of course we know what the truth is; it is whatever our authority tells us it is. And our enemies, who refuse to acknowledge that our truth is the only truth, are bad people; cold and indecisive.
On the other hand, there are those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in “their truth”, and try to impose it on others.
Can you believe all those people who insist that their truth is the only truth, which is just irrational and fanatical. If not terroristic. When your religion is the only religion and you are the only person who is right, it just defies logic and reason to refuse to admit the "truth."
These are like the blind scribes who, upon seeing Jesus beaten and bloody, cry out furiously, “Crucify him!” (cf. Jn 19:6). Anyone who acts irrationally cannot become a disciple of Jesus. Faith and reason are necessary and complementary in the pursuit of truth. God created man with an innate vocation to the truth and he gave him reason for this purpose. Certainly, it is not irrationality but rather the yearning for truth which the Christian faith promotes. Each man and woman has to seek the truth and to choose it when he or she finds it, even at the risk of embracing sacrifices.
Our belief in our truth is not irrational because we are right and they are wrong. God said so. And if you do not want to "embrace the truth," well, you might just have to make a few sacrifices and do what others want. And if you don't, we have people trying to pass legislation to ensure that you will be forced to acknowledge the truth.
Furthermore, the truth which stands above humanity is an unavoidable condition for attaining freedom, since in it we discover the foundation of an ethics on which all can converge and which contains clear and precise indications concerning life and death, duties and rights, marriage, family and society, in short, regarding the inviolable dignity of the human person. This ethical patrimony can bring together different cultures, peoples and religions, authorities and citizens, citizens among themselves, and believers in Christ and non-believers.
If everyone would just do as the Catholic Church demands, then everyone would be united in obedience! And hey, guys--you're on top! Give a little, get a little, wink-wink. After all, there's nothing more ethical than Christianity!
Dear friends, do not hesitate to follow Jesus Christ. In him we find the truth about God and about mankind. He helps us to overcome our selfishness, to rise above our vain struggles and to conquer all that oppresses us. The one who does evil, who sins, becomes its slave and will never attain freedom (cf. Jn 8:34). Only by renouncing hatred and our hard and blind hearts will we be free and a new life will well up in us.
Freedom through obedience!
The right to freedom of religion, both in its private and in its public dimension, manifests the unity of the human person, who is at once a citizen and a believer. It also legitimizes the fact that believers have a contribution to make to the building up of society. Strengthening religious freedom consolidates social bonds, nourishes the hope of a better world, creates favourable conditions for peace and harmonious development, while at the same time establishing solid foundations for securing the rights of future generations.
Since Catholicism is the only true religion, Catholics must be free to practice their religion without restraint. Religious belief is essential for one's humanity. Since peace and harmony are inevitable side effects of Christianity, Catholics must be able to dictate social policy.
When the Church upholds this human right, she is not claiming any special privileges for herself. She wishes only to be faithful to the command of her divine founder, conscious that, where Christ is present, we become more human and our humanity becomes authentic. This is why the Church seeks to give witness by her preaching and teaching, both in catechesis and in the schools and universities. It is greatly to be hoped that the moment will soon arrive when, here too, the Church can bring to the fields of knowledge the benefits of the mission which the Lord entrusted to her and which she can never neglect.
Catholics are not asking for special privileges since the worship of Jesus Christ is the basis for the one true religion. Because only Catholicism is a real religion, Catholics must be permitted to control education.
It makes perfect sense to me.