For the first time in our tradition there was a complete separation between killing and curing… With the Greeks, the distinction was made clear. One profession… dedicated completely to life under all circumstances… the life of a slave, the life of the Emperor… the life of a defective child. … This is a priceless possession which we cannot afford to tarnish…Anthropologist Margaret Mead
In the US the Catholic bishops deserve credit for helping delay the implementation of the Freedom of Choice Act which would force physicians to choose between moral integrity and their careers. This is a breathing space for us but militant atheists are still practicing what Lord Sacks, the UK Chief Rabbi, has memorably called the “intellectual equivalent of road rage”. The push for secularism to become the dominant religion will go on.
How do we respond? This subtle tacit atheism has to be engaged at the philosophical level. If we do not engage there, I believe we will lose. Every church should now have a public policy group which needs to learn together and strategize. If you want to get started, there is no easy way. You must read and discuss. I recommend two papers, The Revenge of Conscience by Budziszewski and Christ and Nothing by David Hart. Read these papers, meditate on them, take bits out of them (the first paragraph of The Revenge of Conscience, for example) and put them in the church bulletin. Ask others to meet with you to talk…
Dr. John Patrick