Why We Must Oppose Naturalism and Naturalists
Thomas A. Droleskey
Members of the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party and other related groups of naturalists had quite a hootenanny in Washington, District of Columbia, a few days ago to protest President Barack Hussein Obama's efforts to further institutionalize a European-style socialist system of government and economics. As has been noted on this site rather frequently, Obama is simply building on the efforts of the statist who precedent him in the White House, former President George Walker Bush (see
Socialism, Straight From Your "Pro-Life" Conservative), just as the thirty-third degree Mason named Franklin Delano Roosevelt built on the statist efforts of his Republican predecessor, Herbert Clark Hoover, a point that historian Paul Johnson noted in a review of book on Roosevelt's New Deal by the late naturalist by the name of Murray Rothbard:
Hoover's was the only department of the U.S. federal government which had expanded steadily in numbers and power during the 1920s, and he had constantly urged Presidents Harding and Coolidge to take a more active role in managing the economy. Coolidge, a genuine minimalist in government, had complained: "For six years that man has given me unsolicited advice—all of it bad." When Hoover finally took over the White House, be followed his own advice, and made it an engine of interference, first pumping more credit into an already overheated economy then, when the bubble burst, doing everything in his power to organize government rescue operations.
We now see, thanks to Rothbard's insights, that the Hoover-Roosevelt period was really a continuum, that most of the "innovations" of the New Deal were in fact expansions or intensifications of Hoover solutions, or pseudo-solutions, and that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration differed from Herbert Hoover's in only two important respects—it was infinitely more successful in managing its public relations, and it spent rather more taxpayers' money. And, in Rothbard's argument, the net effect of the Hoover-Roosevelt continuum of policy was to make the slump more severe and to prolong it virtually to the end of the 1930s. The Great Depression was a failure not of capitalism but of the hyperactive state. (Paul Johnson on Rothbard; see also pp. 251-257 of Paul Johnson's Modern times: the world from the twenties to the nineties.)
Barack Hussein Obama, my few but loyal readers, is only building on the programs of his predecessor. The difference between the Marxist-trained Obama and the empty-headed "conservative" Bush is a matter of degree, not of kind. It has usually been thus.
Although naturalists such as the late Murray Rothbard may have interesting insights into the technical details of how there has been, noting a few exceptions now and again, a policy continuum of the increase of the size and the power and the scope of the Federal government, they do not realize on their own--and they will not accept it when efforts are made to inform them of their ignorance--that there is one reason and one reason alone that explains the rise of the modern civil state of Modernity: the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and the subsequent rise of one naturalistic ideology after another to attempt to "explain" why social problems exist and how to "resolve" them.
Those who adhere to naturalism must perforce reject the simple truth that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order, that it is only the Social Reign of Christ the King as it must be exercised by the Catholic Church, the one and only true Church founded by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ upon the rock of Peter, the Pope, that can serve as a check, albeit imperfect, on the unjust and immoral increase in the size and the scope and the power of any level of government, including central governments. To reject the Social Reign of Christ the King is set one's nation on the path to destruction as the civil state becomes the true "secular church" whose policies become dogmas from which no one may dissent legitimately without being considered a "disloyal" citizen.
Consider what our true popes have written on the necessity of recognizing the true religion as the only foundation of personal and social order:
Nor can We predict happier times for religion and government from the plans of those who desire vehemently to separate the Church from the state, and to break the mutual concord between temporal authority and the priesthood. It is certain that that concord which always was favorable and beneficial for the sacred and the civil order is feared by the shameless lovers of liberty. (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
But, although we have not omitted often to proscribe and reprobate the chief errors of this kind, yet the cause of the Catholic Church, and the salvation of souls entrusted to us by God, and the welfare of human society itself, altogether demand that we again stir up your pastoral solicitude to exterminate other evil opinions, which spring forth from the said errors as from a fountain. Which false and perverse opinions are on that ground the more to be detested, because they chiefly tend to this, that that salutary influence be impeded and (even) removed, which the Catholic Church, according to the institution and command of her Divine Author, should freely exercise even to the end of the world -- not only over private individuals, but over nations, peoples, and their sovereign princes; and (tend also) to take away that mutual fellowship and concord of counsels between Church and State which has ever proved itself propitious and salutary, both for religious and civil interests.
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling." (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1964.)
55. The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church. -- Allocution "Acerbissimum," Sept. 27, 1852. (Condemned Proposition in The Syllabus of Errors, December 8, 1864.)
As a consequence, the State, constituted as it is, is clearly bound to act up to the manifold and weighty duties linking it to God, by the public profession of religion. Nature and reason, which command every individual devoutly to worship God in holiness, because we belong to Him and must return to Him, since from Him we came, bind also the civil community by a like law. For, men living together in society are under the power of God no less than individuals are, and society, no less than individuals, owes gratitude to God who gave it being and maintains it and whose everbounteous goodness enriches it with countless blessings. Since, then, no one is allowed to be remiss in the service due to God, and since the chief duty of all men is to cling to religion in both its teaching and practice-not such religion as they may have a preference for, but the religion which God enjoins, and which certain and most clear marks show to be the only one true religion -- it is a public crime to act as though there were no God. So, too, is it a sin for the State not to have care for religion as a something beyond its scope, or as of no practical benefit; or out of many forms of religion to adopt that one which chimes in with the fancy; for we are bound absolutely to worship God in that way which He has shown to be His will. All who rule, therefore, would hold in honor the holy name of God, and one of their chief duties must be to favor religion, to protect it, to shield it under the credit and sanction of the laws, and neither to organize nor enact any measure that may compromise its safety. This is the bounden duty of rulers to the people over whom they rule. For one and all are we destined by our birth and adoption to enjoy, when this frail and fleeting life is ended, a supreme and final good in heaven, and to the attainment of this every endeavor should be directed. Since, then, upon this depends the full and perfect happiness of mankind, the securing of this end should be of all imaginable interests the most urgent. Hence, civil society, established for the common welfare, should not only safeguard the wellbeing of the community, but have also at heart the interests of its individual members, in such mode as not in any way to hinder, but in every manner to render as easy as may be, the possession of that highest and unchangeable good for which all should seek. Wherefore, for this purpose, care must especially be taken to preserve unharmed and unimpeded the religion whereof the practice is the link connecting man with God.
Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfillment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate. . . . To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from the business of life, from the making of laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society is a grave and fatal error. (Pope Leo XII, Immortale Dei, November 1, 1885.)
From this it may clearly be seen what consequences are to be expected from that false pride which, rejecting our Saviour's Kingship, places man at the summit of all things and declares that human nature must rule supreme. And yet, this supreme rule can neither be attained nor even defined. The rule of Jesus Christ derives its form and its power from Divine Love: a holy and orderly charity is both its foundation and its crown. Its necessary consequences are the strict fulfilment of duty, respect of mutual rights, the estimation of the things of heaven above those of earth, the preference of the love of God to all things. But this supremacy of man, which openly rejects Christ, or at least ignores Him, is entirely founded upon selfishness, knowing neither charity nor selfdevotion. Man may indeed be king, through Jesus Christ: but only on condition that he first of all obey God, and diligently seek his rule of life in God's law. By the law of Christ we mean not only the natural precepts of morality and the Ancient Law, all of which Jesus Christ has perfected and crowned by His declaration, explanation and sanction; but also the rest of His doctrine and His own peculiar institutions. Of these the chief is His Church. Indeed whatsoever things Christ has instituted are most fully contained in His Church. Moreover, He willed to perpetuate the office assigned to Him by His Father by means of the ministry of the Church so gloriously founded by Himself. On the one hand He confided to her all the means of men's salvation, on the other He most solemnly commanded men to be subject to her and to obey her diligently, and to follow her even as Himself: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me" (Luke x, 16). Wherefore the law of Christ must be sought in the Church. Christ is man's "Way"; the Church also is his "Way"-Christ of Himself and by His very nature, the Church by His commission and the communication of His power. Hence all who would find salvation apart from the Church, are led astray and strive in vain.
As with individuals, so with nations. These, too, must necessarily tend to ruin if they go astray from "The Way." The Son of God, the Creator and Redeemer of mankind, is King and Lord of the earth, and holds supreme dominion over men, both individually and collectively. "And He gave Him power, and glory, and a kingdom: and all peoples, tribes, and tongues shall serve Him" (Daniel vii., 14). "I am appointed King by Him . . . I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession" (Psalm ii., 6, 8). Therefore the law of Christ ought to prevail in human society and be the guide and teacher of public as well as of private life. Since this is so by divine decree, and no man may with impunity contravene it, it is an evil thing for the common weal wherever Christianity does not hold the place that belongs to it. When Jesus Christ is absent, human reason fails, being bereft of its chief protection and light, and the very end is lost sight of, for which, under God's providence, human society has been built up. This end is the obtaining by the members of society of natural good through the aid of civil unity, though always in harmony with the perfect and eternal good which is above nature. But when men's minds are clouded, both rulers and ruled go astray, for they have no safe line to follow nor end to aim at. (Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus, November 1, 1900.)
Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter into public life without establishing order. With the idea of a God Who governs all, Who is infinitely wise, good, and just, the idea of duty seizes upon the consciences of men. It assuages sorrow, it calms hatred, it engenders heroes. If it has transformed pagan society--and that transformation was a veritable resurrection--for barbarism disappeared in proportion as Christianity extended its sway, so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the states and peoples of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is Incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and which has for Its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and the heiress of His Redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance and of that immortality which has been promised it, it makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the commands which It has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect it in its inviolable integrity. Legitimate dispenser of the teachings of the Gospel It does not reveal itself only as the consoler and Redeemer of souls, but It is still more the internal source of justice and charity, and the propagator as well as the guardian of true liberty, and of that equality which alone is possible here below. In applying the doctrine of its Divine Founder, It maintains a wise equilibrium and marks the true limits between the rights and privileges of society. The equality which it proclaims does not destroy the distinction between the different social classes It keeps them intact, as nature itself demands, in order to oppose the anarchy of reason emancipated from Faith, and abandoned to its own devices. The liberty which it gives in no wise conflicts with the rights of truth, because those rights are superior to the demands of liberty. Not does it infringe upon the rights of justice, because those rights are superior to the claims of mere numbers or power. Nor does it assail the rights of God because they are superior to the rights of humanity. (Pope Leo XIII, A Review of His Pontificate, March 19, 1902.)
That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it. (Pope Saint Pius X, Vehementer Nos, February 11, 1906.)
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; for there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
Let the Princes and Rulers of peoples remember this truth, and let them consider whether it is a prudent and safe idea for governments or for states to separate themselves from the holy religion of Jesus Christ, from which their authority receives such strength and support. Let them consider again and again, whether it is a measure of political wisdom to seek to divorce the teaching of the Gospel and of the Church from the ruling of a country and from the public education of the young. Sad experience proves that human authority fails where religion is set aside. The fate of our first parent after the Fall is wont to come also upon nations. As in his case, no sooner had his will turned from God than his unchained passions rejected the sway of the will; so, too, when the rulers of nations despise divine authority, in their turn the people are wont to despise their human authority. There remains, of course, the expedient of using force to repress popular risings; but what is the result? Force can repress the body, but it cannot repress the souls of men. (Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum, November 1, 1914.)
When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.
There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)
No amount of bombastic rhetoric from naturalists on the radio and/or television about the evils of big government and no demonstrations, whether held in Washington, District of Columbia, or in various cities around the nation, can retard the growth of the monster civil state of Modernity, which is why we must not let ourselves fall into the diabolical trap of believing that there is some naturalistic "short cut" by which the problems of the day can be "resolved." We must not get caught up in the "excitement" and the "rush" of demonstrations and protests, whose spirit comes from the Protestant Revolt and not that of Catholicism. We must not be at the beck and call of naturalists, including those who have forsaken the true Faith to embrace the lies of the Mormon sect.
Perhaps it would be wise to review once again the material about Naturalism that is included in A Catechism of the Social Reign of Christ the King in order to provide some perspective on the truth that Naturalism is a lie from the devil and is to be opposed with all of the fervor that the graces sent to us by Our Lady can stir up with our hearts and souls:
1) What is Naturalism?
Naturalism is that approach to human life wherein all human activity is reduced to the merely natural level as attempts are made to "resolve" human problems without referencing the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church and without relying upon the Sanctifying Grace He won for us by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flows into our hearts and souls by the working of the Holy Ghost in the sacraments through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces.
2) Why is Naturalism wrong?
Naturalism is wrong because it reduces the truths of the Catholic Faith to a matter of complete indifference in the lives of individual men and in the lives of nations, convincing men that they can pursue "happiness" in their own lives and "order" in the lives of their nations without referencing the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in His Most Blessed Mother's Virginal and Immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost and without subordinating their thoughts, words and actions at all times to the Deposit of Faith (that is, to the totality of Sacred Revelation by means of Sacred Scripture and Apostolic or Sacred Tradition) He has entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church for its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication.
3) You mean to say that there is no merely natural way to look at or to seek to "resolve" the problems of the world?
Precisely. As Pope Saint Pius X noted in Singulari Quadam, September 24, 1912:
Accordingly, We first of all declare that all Catholics have a sacred and inviolable duty, both in private and public life, to obey and firmly adhere to and fearlessly profess the principles of Christian truth enunciated by the teaching office of the Catholic Church. In particular We mean those principles which Our Predecessor has most wisely laid down in the encyclical letter "Rerum Novarum." We know that the Bishops of Prussia followed these most faithfully in their deliberations at the Fulda Congress of 1900. You yourselves have summarized the fundamental ideas of these principles in your communications regarding this question.
These are fundamental principles: No matter what the Christian does, even in the realm of temporal goods, he cannot ignore the supernatural good. Rather, according to the dictates of Christian philosophy, he must order all things to the ultimate end, namely, the Highest Good. All his actions, insofar as they are morally either good or bad (that is to say, whether they agree or disagree with the natural and divine law), are subject to the judgment and judicial office of the Church. All who glory in the name of Christian, either individually or collectively, if they wish to remain true to their vocation, may not foster enmities and dissensions between the classes of civil society. On the contrary, they must promote mutual concord and charity. The social question and its associated controversies, such as the nature and duration of labor, the wages to be paid, and workingmen's strikes, are not simply economic in character. Therefore they cannot be numbered among those which can be settled apart from ecclesiastical authority. "The precise opposite is the truth. It is first of all moral and religious, and for that reason its solution is to be expected mainly from the moral law and the pronouncements of religion."
4) What, then, causes the problems of the world and how can they be resolved?
Each of the problems we find in the world are caused by Original Sin and by the Actual Sins of men. There is no way to "resolve" problems that are caused by fallen human nature. Human beings can, however, ameliorate, that is, lessen, the extent of the problems of the world by their daily cooperation with Sanctifying Grace to climb the heights of sanctity, avoiding the near occasions of sin and seeking to keep uppermost in their minds at all times the simple fact that they could face the moment of their Particular Judgments when they least expect it. Human beings must also cooperate with Actual Grace to respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost to be diligent in their daily prayers and to perform their daily duties for the greater honor and glory of God as the consecrated slaves of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
5) You mean to say that there is no "political" or "philosophical" way to address social problems absent the conversion of men and their nations to the Catholic Faith?
Yes. We must seek to restore all things in Christ, the phrase from Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians that Pope Saint Pius X took as his motto and which he summarized very well in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:
But, on the contrary, by ignoring the laws governing human nature and by breaking the bounds within which they operate, the human person is lead, not toward progress, but towards death. This, nevertheless, is what they want to do with human society; they dream of changing its natural and traditional foundations; they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests.
No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants. omnia instaurare in Christo.
6) What are some of the consequences of naturalism?
The principal consequences of naturalism involve the gradual descent of a nation into barbarism as more and more people lose sight of the true purpose of human existence, that is, to know, love and to serve God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through the Catholic Church and thus to spend all eternity with Him in Heaven after having died in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church.
7) Who are the chief supporters of naturalism in the world?
The chief supporters of naturalism adhere to a line of beliefs promoted by what is called Judeo-Masonry, although not all naturalists are adherents of the Talmud or belong to Masonic lodges. It is enough for the "organized forces of naturalism" to convince men, especially those who are Catholics, that it is unimportant for men, either individually or collectively in civil society, to adhere to a specific religious creed to live a "meaningful" and "prosperous" life and to live together as "brothers" in the midst of society.
Pope Leo XIII noted this in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:
Now, the fundamental doctrine of the naturalists, which they sufficiently make known by their very name, is that human nature and human reason ought in all things to be mistress and guide. Laying this down, they care little for duties to God, or pervert them by erroneous and vague opinions. For they deny that anything has been taught by God; they allow no dogma of religion or truth which cannot be understood by the human intelligence, nor any teacher who ought to be believed by reason of his authority. And since it is the special and exclusive duty of the Catholic Church fully to set forth in words truths divinely received, to teach, besides other divine helps to salvation, the authority of its office, and to defend the same with perfect purity, it is against the Church that the rage and attack of the enemies are principally directed.
In those matters which regard religion let it be seen how the sect of the Freemasons acts, especially where it is more free to act without restraint, and then let any one judge whether in fact it does not wish to carry out the policy of the naturalists. By a long and persevering labor, they endeavor to bring about this result -- namely, that the teaching office and authority of the Church may become of no account in the civil State; and for this same reason they declare to the people and contend that Church and State ought to be altogether disunited. By this means they reject from the laws and from the commonwealth the wholesome influence of the Catholic religion; and they consequently imagine that States ought to be constituted without any regard for the laws and precepts of the Church.
Nor do they think it enough to disregard the Church -- the best of guides -- unless they also injure it by their hostility. Indeed, with them it is lawful to attack with impunity the very foundations of the Catholic religion, in speech, in writing, and in teaching; and even the rights of the Church are not spared, and the offices with which it is divinely invested are not safe. The least possible liberty to manage affairs is left to the Church; and this is done by laws not apparently very hostile, but in reality framed and fitted to hinder freedom of action. Moreover, We see exceptional and onerous laws imposed upon the clergy, to the end that they may be continually diminished in number and in necessary means. We see also the remnants of the possessions of the Church fettered by the strictest conditions, and subjected to the power and arbitrary will of the administrators of the State, and the religious orders rooted up and scattered.
8. What does naturalism teach about religion?
As Pope Leo XIII noted in the passage cited above from Humanum Genus, naturalism teaches that anything concerning "God is a matter of "opinion," which is why popular references to "God" and "faith" and "freedom" by careerist politicians of both major political parties in the United States of America signify nothing whatsoever. God can only be understood as He has revealed Himself through His true Church, the Catholic Church, founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Ultimately, the religious indifferentism (the belief that one religion is as good as another) results in the triumph of atheism or agnosticism as the lowest common denominators in civil society.
Pope Leo XIII made this point in Immortale Dei:
To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.
9. How does naturalism undermine the precepts of morality?
Naturalism undermines the precepts of morality by convincing men that they are the ultimate arbiters of right and wrong, resulting in the triumph of what is called moral relativism as the foundation of personal lives and public policy.
10. What is moral relativism?
Moral relativism is the belief that the morality of human actions is determined by the relative conditions of time, circumstance, place and motives of the actor(s). Moral relativism, therefore, contends that there are no laws that are absolutely true that govern the conduct of human behavior.
11. Can you explain why moral relativism is wrong?
Moral relativism is wrong because it violates the basic precepts of right reason, which inform us that there must be truth (defined on the merely natural level as a phenomenon that exists in the nature of things and that does not depend upon human acceptance for its binding force or validity) and that truth of its nature is absolute, universal and eternal. Cicero, a pagan philosopher in Rome in the First Century before Christ, explained the nature of moral truth known from reason alone, the Natural Law, as follows:
True law is right reason conformable to nature, universal, unchangeable, eternal, whose commands urge us to duty, and whose prohibitions restrain us from evil. Whether it enjoins or forbids, the good respect its injunctions, and the wicked treat them with indifference. This law cannot be contradicted by any other law, and is not liable either to derogation or abrogation. Neither the senate nor the people can give us any dispensation for not obeying this universal law of justice. It needs no other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience. It is not one thing at Rome, and another at Athens; one thing to-day, and another to-morrow; but in all times and nations this universal law must forever reign, eternal and imperishable. It is the sovereign master and emperor of all beings. God himself is its author, its promulgator, its enforcer. And he who does not obey it flies from himself, and does violence to the very nature of man. And by so doing he will endure the severest penalties even if he avoid the other evils which are usually accounted punishments.
Cicero had it almost entirely correct. Almost. He was wrong in asserting that the natural law does not need any "other expositor and interpreter than our own conscience." He lived before the Incarnation and before the founding of the true Church upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope. Cicero thus did not know that man does need an interpreter and expositor of the natural law, namely, the Catholic Church. Apart from this, however, Cicero understood that God's law does not admit of abrogations by a vote of the people or of a "representative" body, such as the Roman Senate in his day or the United States Congress or state legislatures, et al. in our own day.
12. Is there anything logically inconsistent about moral relativism?
Yes. Moral relativism contends that there are no absolute moral norms or laws, which is itself an absolute statement and therefore a contradiction of the contention that nothing is absolutely true.
13. What are some of the other consequences of naturalism?
Some of the other consequences of naturalism include: "Positivism," the contention that something is true because it has been asserted as being true; "Materialism," the acquisition and retention of wealth and material goods as the ultimate end of human existence; "Utilitarianism," the belief that public policy must be founded on the principle of the "greatest good for the greatest number," meaning that "inconvenient" or "useless" human lives may be "engineered," either passively or aggressively, out of existence; "Pragmatism," the belief that social problems must be resolved on a "practical" basis without regard to a consideration of "root causes;" "Egalitarianism," the belief that there are no divinely-instituted distinctions among men in society, starting with a rejection of the authority vested in the hierarchy of the Church (which is also known as "anti-clericalism"); "Feminism," the assertion that there are no distinctions ordained by God between the sexes and that women have the "right" to do everything that men can do in society; "Evolutionism," the rejection of Special Creation of man by God and his subsequent the Fall from Grace in the Garden of Eden and replacing it with a belief that life evolved over billions of years, thus convincing man that truth itself evolves over time and that there are no fixed standards by which one can judge human behavior; "Majoritarianism," the belief, drawn, although in different ways, from John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, that public policy is determined by will of the majority in society at any given time; "Liberalism," the political ideology that contends that it is possible for a majority of reasonable men to devise social structures to improve social conditions by the light of their own unaided reason; "Conservatism," an amalgamation of different philosophies that have one thing in common: a rejection of the necessity of men and their nations to subordinate themselves to the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church; "Libertarianism," the belief that the civil government has only a limited role to play in the restriction of the behavior of its citizens; "Socialism," a term used to describe any number of specific politico-economic systems that reject, to one degree or another, the private ownership of property and places the control of the major means of production in the hands of the state while imposing confiscatory taxation in order to "redistribute" wealth according to the decisions made by the socialist elite; "Communism," the ultimate form of socialism that contends it is possible for all clash among men to cease once private property is confiscated and the wealth derived therefrom distributed equitably amongst the workers according to the principle of "from each according to his ability and to each according to his need; "Nationalism," the exaltation of the myths of one's nation above love of God as He has revealed Himself exclusively through the Catholic Church; "Statism," the exaltation of the state as being endowed with the properties of infallibility and invincibility its domestic and international policies; "Fascism," very much related to statism, seeks to orchestrate politics and the national economy and popular culture to the honor and glory of the state (private property might be permitted in a fascist state, only subject to state-imposed restrictions; corporate enterprises not controlled directly by the state must produce what the state demands and according to the price control established by the tate); "Secularism," which is simply another name for naturalism.
14. Apart from the organized forces of Judeo-Masonry, who is chiefly responsible for naturalism?
The devil. The devil hates Our Lord and His Holy Catholic Church. He hates Our Lady and the cult of the saints. He wants to convince man today that he can remake the world without Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen just as he convinced Adam and Eve that they could like unto "gods" if they only ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that God had forbidden them to eat.
Look at all of the time and money and effort that have been expended on this or that movement (see
Movements to a Dead End, Now and for All Eternity) over the course of American history, including the history of the past century or so. Where are the lasting effects of the Reagan "revolution"? Where are the lasting effects of the "Gingrich" revolution and the "Contract With America?" How did the administration of George Walker Bush advance the common temporal good in light of man's Last End by distributing baby-killing potions and pills and devices domestically and internationally and as it approved the so-called "Plan B emergency contraceptive" and refused to reverse approval of the human pesticide, RU-486? Evil has been advanced, not retarded, with each successive naturalist presidential administration and each successive naturalist meeting of the Untied States Congress. There is no stopping this march of evil by merely natural means.
The exponents of naturalism, whether those in power at the present time or those who are opposing them by means merely natural, are but minions and/or dupes of the devil. It is the devil that we must fight in our own daily lives:
Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:
In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints: (Ephesians 6: 11-18.)
We cannot fight the devil and his naturalistic plans with means merely natural. Demonstrations composed of well-meaning citizens who invoke the naturalistic, anti-Incarnational, religiously indifferentist and semi-Pelagian principles of the men who had a
founding hatred for Christ the King accomplish nothing other than to add loot to the pockets of the "talking heads" on television and on the radio who are paid substantial amounts of money to "discuss" the political "meaning" of such demonstrations.
A Catholic would think in terms of organizing monthly Rosary processions around the nation, continuing the wonderful processions that are sponsored by Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, and Mount Saint Michael's Church in Spokane, Washington, among others, on the thirteenth of every month from May through October in honor of Our Lady of Fatima and her Fatima Message. It is with Our Lady's Holy Rosary that we must oppose naturalism and naturalists as we lift high the Cross of the Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in every aspect of our lives at all times without any exception whatsoever.
Father Frederick Faber explained the allure of naturalism in his own day, an allure that is no less enticing today to Catholics all across the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide than it was one hundred fifty years ago now:
All devotions have their characteristics; all of them have their own theological meanings. We must say something, therefore, upon the characteristics of the devotion to the Precious Blood. In reality the whole Treatise has more or less illustrated this matter. But something still remains to be said, and something will bear to be repeated. We will take the last first. Devotion to the Precious Blood is the devotional expression of the prominent and characteristic teaching of St. Paul. St. Paul is the apostle of redeeming grace. A devout study of his epistles would be our deliverance from most of the errors of the day. He is truly the apostle of all ages. To each age doubtless he seems to have a special mission. Certainly his mission to our is very special. The very air we breathe is Pelagian. Our heresies are only novel shapes of an old Pelagianism. The spirit of the world is eminently Pelagian. Hence it comes to pass that wrong theories among us are always constructed round a nuclear of Pelagianism; and Pelagianism is just the heresy which is least able to breathe in the atmosphere of St. Paul. It is the age of the natural as opposed to the supernatural, of the acquired as opposed to the infused, of the active as opposed to the passive. This is what I said in an earlier chapter, and here repeat. Now, this exclusive fondness for the natural is on the whole very captivating. It takes with the young, because it saves thought. It does not explain difficulties; but it lessens the number of difficulties to be explained. It takes with the idle; it dispenses from slowness and research. It takes with the unimaginative, because it withdraws just the very element in religion which teases them. It takes with the worldly, because it subtracts the enthusiasm from piety and the sacrifice from spirituality. It takes with the controversial, because it is a short road and a shallow ford. It forms a school of thought which, while it admits that we have an abundance of grace, intimates that we are not much better for it. It merges privileges in responsibilities, and makes the sovereignty of God odious by representing it as insidious. All this whole spirit, with all its ramifications, perishes in the sweet fires of devotion to the Precious Blood.
The time is also one of libertinage; and a time of libertinage is always, with a kind of practical logic, one of infidelity. Whatever brings out God's side in creation, and magnifies his incessant supernatural operation in it, is the controversy which infidelity can least withstand. Now, the devotion to the Precious Blood does this in a very remarkable way. It shows that the true significance in every thing is to be found in the scheme of redemption, apart from which it is useless to discuss the problems of creation. (Father Frederick Faber, The Precious Blood, written in 1860, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 258-259.)
This is just as much a description of our own days as it was of Father Faber's. Indeed, Father Faber was merely describing naturalism's hatred for the Holy Faith, a hatred that is from Hell and that is meant to send souls there for all eternity as disorder is sown into the hearts and souls of men to be spread abroad in one nation after another as even well-meaning people come to believe that there is some naturalistic "remedy" for the evils of naturalism that are at the proximate root of our personal and social problems today.
This is the feast day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We must lift high the Holy Cross in our daily lives, especially by means of assisting daily at true offerings of the Holy Sacrifice of Mass offered by bishops and priests who make no concessions to conciliarism or its false officials, making sure to be mindful of the fact that Our Lady is present mystically at every Mass just as she was present physically on Mount Calvary on the first Good Friday. Our Lady will lead us out of this mess caused by Modernity in the world and Modernism in the counterfeit church of conciliarism. We simply have to cling to her with confidence and with hope that our prayers and sacrifices and sufferings--and the reparation we make for our own many sins--will help in some small way to expedite the day of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart as the fruit of the faithful fulfillment of her Fatima Message.
With Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., and the Cristeros in Mexico to whom he brought the Sacraments, who uttered the battle cry of "Viva Cristo Rey!", we must always lift high the banner of Christ the King, remembering these stirring words of Pope Pius XI, contained in Quas Primas, December 11, 1925:
We firmly hope, however, that the feast of the Kingship of Christ, which in future will be yearly observed, may hasten the return of society to our loving Savior. It would be the duty of Catholics to do all they can to bring about this happy result. Many of these, however, have neither the station in society nor the authority which should belong to those who bear the torch of truth. This state of things may perhaps be attributed to a certain slowness and timidity in good people, who are reluctant to engage in conflict or oppose but a weak resistance; thus the enemies of the Church become bolder in their attacks. But if the faithful were generally to understand that it behooves them ever to fight courageously under the banner of Christ their King, then, fired with apostolic zeal, they would strive to win over to their Lord those hearts that are bitter and estranged from him, and would valiantly defend his rights.
Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights.
Naturalism cannot be opposed with naturalism. Naturalism and all of its attendant evils can be opposed only with Catholicism.
When are we going to learn this simple lesson as we lift high the Holy Cross and pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit?
Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria, pray for us.
Saint Francis Solano, pray for us.
Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us.
Saint Rene Goupil, pray for us.
Saint John Lalonde, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel Lalemont, pray for us.
Saint Noel Chabanel, pray for us.
Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us.
Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us.
Saint John DeBrebeuf, pray for us.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, pray for us.
Father Miguel Augustin Pro, pray for us.
Father Junipero Serra, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints