Our faith is entirely rational, indeed it may be arrived at by reason but we cannot replace it with reason.
Some Russian General said or should have said, 'If you want to be victorious don't let you adversary choose the battlefield'. Joseph Shaw, in one of the best things I have read on the net, argues in a four part post that as Catholics we can't really engage liberals on the level of pure logic or pure reason and win, in part because we fundamentally disagree on the opening premise of what is 'good' and what is the 'end' of mankind.
He argues, as we have seen that liberalism grows and grows, ultimately it consumes itself in totalitarianism. What he seems to be writing about is the dethroning of God and the setting up of the State in God's place; an idol that all are forced to worship and obey. He blames social conservatives (but we could also add religious conservatives) who bit by bit concede to the liberal agenda.
Increasingly we will find that 'the liberals' want to destroy the Church and her teaching if they cannot remake her in their own image, we see this in nuns teaching the Catholic faith clearly in the US being met with howls of protest in the US, or others like a friend's wife here being spat upon for upholding on the television a view about the nature of marriage, which only a year or two ago would have been considered perfectly normal.
We can continue to compromise, admitting pro-abortion, pro-same sex politicians to Holy Communion, we can continue to allow the government to dictate how we teach Catholic morality in our schools but the time is no too far away when even the most eirenical of the senior clergy must realise that allowing Stonewall and other such groups, who in their fundamental understanding of the very nature of the human person, into our schools is simply not possible and is contradiction of all we hold dear. We are getting to stage where good bishops who seek to protect their sheep from persecution must concede that it is impossible to serve liberalism and God. Liberalism itself will not allow it, its nature is too prescriptive.
Dr Shaw indicates that the liberal agenda starts by talking of freedom but ultimately enslaves, as big government grows and 'for the good' of society tries to control every aspect of human existence the 'lie' of liberalism will emerge. I am left by his piece thinking that the 'useful idiots' the conservatives, will merely supply a more moderate face to something very unpleasant until the disguise eventually slips.
Catholic Tradition is always radical, it is not about museum curating, it about contradiction of liberal values. Conservatives will never change hearts and minds, never evangelise, never offer an alternative to 'the world' and never be able to offer an alternative to the destructive stranglehold that today embraces popular society.
What was it Pope Benedict said to our Bishops:
"Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others – on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth."and
"[S]ocial milieu that encourages the expression of a variety of opinions on every question that arises, it is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free."I am glad Pope Francis continues the radical call, not to embrace 'Gospel values' but to embrace the person of Jesus Christ.