Truth or Relativism?

I used to tell people, “The Catholic Church is big enough to include both people who believe the Doctrines and dogma, as well as those who disagree with most of that stuff.” And I counted myself among the disagreeing. I called myself a pro-choice feminist and advocated for total reform of the church.

That has all changed, through the action of the Holy Spirit. I came to realize, with a flash of sudden clarity, that there is something called Truth and it’s not a matter of picking and choosing what is “true for me.” I came to see that the Church is led by Jesus Christ, and the Church needs to stand up for the Truth about moral and faith issues no matter how difficult it may be.

My conversion came about through grace. But that’s really another story.

I started questioning the relativist attitude when my kids were in elementary school and they were taught math in a yet another “new way.” I always thought math was a pretty black and white discipline. There is only one right answer—right? Wrong—according to the new math.

Nowadays (at least in some public schools), kids are required to say “how” they got an answer and credit is given for any answer that is accompanied by a reason. So 1+1 can equal 3 as long as a student makes up a story about it. How about this: “such equations have 3 numbers and since this is an equation with ones that means the answer is 3.” Say what?

Relativism. It’s the road of “your truth is not my truth” and it leads from one justified immorality to the next immorality. If 1+1 can equal whatever you want it to, then surely if someone can give a sad-sob story about why they need to marry a little kid, we won’t be able to judge that either! Every sinner has a justification for sinful acts.

Last night, I heard a lecture on bio-ethics. The priest was talking about how scientists will put an embryo in a Petri dish and begin to dismember it in order to remove stem cells. Separated, the cells go to the sides of the dish frantically trying to come together again. These cells are the essence of a human being. Everything is there in the Petri dish even then. This is a life struggling to LIVE! And yet it will die at the hands of a scientist.

Abby Johnson, who left her job at Planned Parenthood, was awakened to Truth when she saw the ultrasound image of the baby inside a woman’s womb. The baby was trying to escape the abortion prod. The baby was struggling. It was a baby and she wanted to LIVE! Yet, she would die at the hands of a doctor.

And then there is the story of the twins who were born, each one weighing only two pounds. They were put in separate incubators and the weaker twin was pronounced as “dying.” Her heart was weak, her breathing was labored. A nurse said, “They were together in utero. They should be together now.” So she defied hospital protocol and put the weak baby in with her sister. The strong one put her arm around the other sister. Almost immediately, the weak baby began to improve. She wanted to LIVE and her twin helped heal her with a hug! These were two pound babies, who could have still been in their mother’s womb!

These are stories about life. Life is a gift from God that cannot be denied. Abortion is clearly wrong. And Truth is not relative. Catholics, who are struggling to be closer to God, will learn to stop being relative and return to the life-affirming, Bible-based teachings of our faith. And they will find Truth here at home, in our Church.