Real Freedom and Independence

14th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2013

    Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.

    Genuine human Freedom suffered yet another serious blow just a week before the celebration of political freedom in our country on Independence Day. There is a profound difference between political independence, which is a good thing and authentic human freedom, which is much more important good thing, but unfortunately most Americans, most people everywhere, do not really understand this real and profound difference. For most people, the two freedoms are essentially the same, political freedom is either identified with human freedom, or political freedom is identified as the core and foundation of all other meanings of human freedom. This is the worldly or secularized understanding of freedom in our day, and the Supreme Court’s majority opinions display that latter conception perfectly in its absurd decision to declare the perversion of homosexuality and the perversion of homosexual marriage a fundamental part of the freedom guaranteed to Americans to pursue whatever sexual deviation that makes them happy.

    Of course, this is not the notion of freedom that is found in the Christian Tradition rooted in the biblical revelation of Jesus Christ. The Christian notion of freedom is rooted in the power of Truth, and Truth is found in the Law of God, not in the arbitrary formulation of laws by men. Jesus taught that it is the Truth that sets man free – “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32). Moreover, this “Truth” he speaks about is not simply the abstract truth of propositions men must seek for, but the most concrete form of Truth – He himself is the Truth man needs, and He teaches not only propositions of Truth but the Truth of man incarnated in himself. The Truth man needs to be set free is the Truth found in the Truth of his humanity, the perfection of what it requires to a free man. When man embraces the lies of sin, he becomes a slave to those lies, as Jesus proclaims right after He says the Truth will set you free – Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (Jn. 8: 34)

    Sin is a lie because sin deviates from God who is man’s creator and therefore man’s truth. Lies enslave man because they blind his intellect to the true good, that is, to God’s will, and gradually these lies pervert and enslave his will, destroy his true freedom at its roots in the soul. Man from his earliest days had believed the lie of Satan and identified freedom with independence from God. Our original declaration of independence was Adam’s adopting the “non serviam” (I will not serve) of Satan and building a life on that absurdity of a creature rejecting the love and friendship of his creator. All other sins, diminishments of genuine human freedom are grounded on that original declaration of independence.

    Modern secularism, the anti-religion of the so-called “Enlightenment” is the working out of that principle of false freedom in all areas of human life and the closing of the trap set by Satan from the beginning. In refusing to serve God, man is destined to serve another master, whom Jesus clearly identified as a “murderer from the beginning” in that same Chapter 8 in John’s Gospel: He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him (Jn. 8:44). Man’s freedom cannot survive without the Truth. And what the Supreme Court has enshrined in our foundational documents is nothing less than a sin against the Truth. Homosexual marriage is a lie, an oxymoron, and making this lie a right can do nothing but further diminish human freedom.

    Man can be genuinely free in his soul only by submitting his mind and heart to the Truth of his very being, revealed in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the life. And man can submit to Truth only by means of the abundant grace of Christ, acquired for us by His passion, and made accessible to all of us through the sending of the Holy Spirit. That is the only path to authentic human freedom, the power to do good by living the Truth in this world. Political freedom can be a great good, but only if that freedom is put in service of the Truth. Otherwise the Declaration of Independence is finally reduced to a rejection of God’s law, which is exactly what this blind majority of the highest court has done. I don’t believe the Founders saw it this way, regardless of their confusion in matters religious.

    Even the drafter, Jefferson, a Deist, was a believer of sorts – “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” These intelligent founders understood that there are no truly “unalienable Rights” without them being grounded in man’s Creator, and they would never have dreamt that one day an American Supreme Court would declare that homosexuals had a right to contract a true marriage. They would have immediately seen this as a lie, a distortion of true freedom and genuine rights, an abuse of political power, a false freedom gone awry. May God grant that the people of this once great nation will still agree with these men of old and will one day rise up and correct this terrible insult to our Creator – and to our founding fathers as well. And may God also forgive these unwise men and women who have foisted this perversion of Truth upon all the American people. They have made us lambs among wolves who will not be easily stopped from foisting ever greater evils upon us, and our duty is to fight them off courageously with the weapons of Truth and Christian Charity.

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Categories: Homilies

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