By FR. MARVIN DEUTSCH, MM
(Editor’s Note: Fr. Marvin Deutsch, a Maryknoll priest, is a retired missionary who spent many years in Tanzania.)
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Not too long ago I read in The Wall Street Journal that inflation wasn’t quite as high as the Feds wanted it because it was less than the two percent that was needed to counteract all the money the Feds are printing. The article said that food and fuel are not counted when measuring inflation. My reaction was (and still is) — hey, that’s where most of the average person’s money goes. Why isn’t this being included in an honest appraisal?
Another area where there is a lack of honesty: We now have the domino effect regarding the “gay marriage” movement. Judge after judge is declaring the laws passed for centuries and reiterated recently as marriage exclusively between one man and one woman to be unconstitutional, thus opening the door for homosexual marriages. The reason given is the 14th Amendment which guarantees the right of equality among all citizens.
Do these judges really believe that the writers of the 14th Amendment had this in mind when they wrote the amendment? The 14th Amendment was passed shortly after the Civil War when it was necessary to have the inequality of slavery declared unconstitutional (ratified in 1868). At that time and up to at least 1950, homosexual acts were considered a perversion because they were unnatural.
It takes a dishonest reading into the amendment to do what the judges are doing. Besides, they are legislating from the bench, which is a corruption of the balance of powers. This in itself is unconstitutional.
If you have studied Greek mythology and philosophy, you most likely ran across a Greek philosopher, Diogenes (a contemporary of Plato, about the year 350 B.C.). There is a story about Diogenes going around with a lantern, raising it high so he could look into people’s faces. He was asked why he was doing this and he said, “I am looking for an honest man.”
Things haven’t changed much for the better. We have the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” but one has to believe in the Commandments to put them into effect.
If you are one of the old-timers like me living in Minnesota, you probably remember Boone and Erickson, news commentators for WCCO. I always enjoyed them because of their wit. They told the story about Diogenes who was found in New York Times Square on his hands and knees looking for something. A stranger asked him what he was looking for. He said, “I am looking for my lantern. Someone has stolen it.” I thought it was very funny at the time, but these guys knew how to get their point across.
I studied logic at St. Thomas College many years ago (when it was a small college just for men) before I entered the seminary. We had a marvelous professor, Dr. Osterly, who explained to us the different false arguments people use which sound very good, but are false. They are called “sophistries.”
An interesting observation about human nature is that people have to find “legitimate” reasons for why they do things, even if they are objectively wrong. They have to make them right. This is called “rationalization.” Our present-day teachers, politicians, government, judges, etc., etc., are masters at it. But it is still false and it is still wrong.
A couple of glaring intentional deceptions: The Fort Hood shooting on November 5, 2009. The army major, Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim, shot and killed 13 soldiers, injuring over 30. While firing his weapon he shouted Allahu Akbar (God is Great — the Islamic expression of victory).
The government refused to call this an act of terrorism, but rather an act of workplace violence. One would have to throw away his common sense to accept such a verdict. The obvious motive for the deception is to downplay the threat of terror by Muslims in the U.S.
Another example of deception: The media keep bringing up the sexual abuses committed by priests, even though the abuses took place many years ago, putting the stories on the front page (especially in Minneapolis and St. Paul) in order to keep before the public this problem of the Church, as if it were ongoing. The opposite is true. It is not ongoing. Very strict rules are in place, making it almost impossible for these abuses to continue. What is the motivation?
My opinion is that the Church stands strong against abortion and same-sex marriage. The media want to make it look like the Church has no business criticizing these accepted practices and is guilty of very serious acts of evil itself. The idea, of course, is to keep the Church on the defensive.
Making evil into a good, and a good into an evil, may help the popular demand, but it cannot change the truth. God is still in charge. One may have the skill to deceive the masses, but God can never be deceived. Let us stay with Jesus who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” and we will not be deceived.