By Theresa Tomeo
"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." ~ John 8:32
July is upon us. A season of patriotic celebrations with red, white, and blue banners and flags flying, the festive patriotic music being played at parks and picnics, and a great deal of conversation by the pundits and politicians focusing on the word "freedom." But as we break out the fireworks and cut into that apple pie how many in America will actually stop and reflect on the true meaning of freedom?
In our "it's all about me" culture we have become obsessed with freedom -- or more like a twisted version or definition of it. Freedom in today's secularized society means having no restrictions at all and being able to do what ever we want as long as it leads to instant gratification and satisfies our ever increasing appetites or curiosity. We ignore the fall out or many negative results of this so- called freedom and continue down a dangerous path labeling those who disagree or who dare to speak up as intolerant or old fashioned. Whether it's abortion, embryonic stem cell research, sexual promiscuity, redefining marriage, or our obsession with media and technology, anything goes because it's all in the name of "freedom."
Last week on my radio program "Catholic Connections," I interviewed philosophy professor and Catholic writer J. Budziszewski.
In his latest book, "The Line through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact Theory and a Sign of Contradiction" the author says we are basically committing suicide in society today by denying the obvious. Budziszewski explains the natural law, or foundational principles, of good and evil are placed deep in our design as human beings. But at the same time, we don't want the natural law to be factual so we fight it at every turn.
Just recently doctors in California and Australia are reporting more success with adult stem cell research, but politicians continue to push for more money for embryonic stem cell research, which in addition to involving the taking of innocent human life for so-called science, has yet to help even one person or given signs that any type of hopeful therapy is on the horizon. Nature and science are trying to tell us that you can't kill people to help people but we refuse to see what is right in front of us. Last month another report was released regarding the emotional impact of abortion on post abortive women and yet the efforts to wipe out any restrictions on abortion are occurring at all levels of government and on what seems to be almost a daily basis. This research is either completely dismissed or ignored by professional medical organizations who have bought into the pro death agenda. A new study by Kodak shows despite all the technology we have today, we are no closer in terms of relationships. That doesn't stop adults and teens from spending at least 40 hours a week on-line or in front of the TV. Another report shows some 20% of American teens admit to "sexting" or sending suggestive photos of themselves on-line but many parents still do little to control their children's media consumption and are afraid to say "no".
In his new book J. Budziszewski sites a powerful quote from the great Catholic writer and convert G.K. Chesterton to drive home this point about so called freedom, a quote which is actually prophetic when we look at our world today.
"Everything will be denied. Everything will become a creed Fires will be kindled to testify that two and two makes four. Swords will be drawn to prove that leaves are green in summer."
As our Lord tells us in the Gospel of St. John, when we know the truth it will set us free. When we go against the natural order of things we are not headed for freedom but more problems and eventual bondage. The facts are before us. The dots are pretty easy to connect but we have to start by first admitting the dots exist. This July as we celebrate Independence Day, let's pray that true freedom will finally begin to ring.
God bless America !