Note: I use to write! Oh, wow. This was written eight years ago. I particularly like about what I loved about college and law school. Plus the lies of Day Light Savings Time!
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Law, Philosophy, and the Catholic Religion
I was reading up on the latest law review journal from the Massachusetts Bar Association, regarding the right to have a jury trial as an American citizen and at what point do you lose that right when a citizen engages in belligerent and hostile behavior acting for another government’s military. When does one cross the line from treason, to basically alienating yourself as an American citizen all-together to suit up as an enemy combatant? What if you are acting for a terrorist group, in which there is not government or military? Anyways very good insight on the history of the right for a jury trial, I gobble up the history part of law.
What I like about law and lawyering was processes. It is all about how you get there. Back in college while taking a philosophy class, the professor in her first lecture made point to something that greatly concerned her, which was moral relativism. This was back in 98’-99’ years before Pope Benedict 16th made it a focal point regarding evil in the world. She wasn’t Catholic, but she would cringe when a student would say, there was your reality and my reality. The point of philosophy was to find truth, not to waver or waffle and give up by saying you live by your set of rules and I live by mine. We all live by nature’s rules, or as I what I call as a Catholic by God’s rules, He created earth as in natural law.
In law school law professors notice the same trend with law students unable to grasp the outcome of cases that seemed unfair. What was fair though, was the rule applied evenly even if the outcome seemed unjust. Laws aren’t set forth in stone, laws change every day to the whim of whoever. So exemptions can be made, laws can be rewritten, or completely repealed.
Think about how we legislate day light savings time, we don’t make the day any longer, but we fool ourselves for half the year. We can’t physically make the sun stay out for an hour later. So we make a law to fudge the clock, to spring forward in April and fall back in October. Today lobbyists (golfing industry and manufacturers of grills and barbeques) fight to make daylight savings time even longer, and if they could have it year round. Whether the sun goes down at 8pm or 9pm in June there will be 14+ hours of sunlight, our natural biological clocks tell us to sleep at night. But we make up a law in an attempt to make feel like we are staying up later.
Laws are to represent the truth, not fool us that what we are doing is ok.
I had thought about this earlier, but I decided to write these thoughts down about what I like about my Faith. Many people see the Catholic Church as a bunch rules, that stifle one’s freedom. But we are not free from the natural consequences of our behavior, that one way or another scar us and cuts off our ability to love, and we become hostile to others and self absorbed. The Catholic Church is the love that teaches us to understand our behavior in the constrained world of natural law.
The Catholic Church and one’s relationship with God is more about gifts to us. The seven Sacraments: Baptism, Reconciliation, Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick, and Holy Orders are gifts. But for the non-Catholic or non-practicing Catholic I see these gifts as Rights I have with God.
You have a right to have a relationship with God through Baptism. You have a right to come to the table and participate in Communion, of course there might be impediments, but those can easily be dealt with if you choose. You have a Right enter into the Church as an adult with understanding of what it means to be Catholic through Confirmation.
You have the Right to be married within the Church. The usual impediment is that you already exercise this Right either within or out of the Church, but if the marriage was not a Sacrament or there was a defect at the time you have a right to have an annulment hearing in front of a tribunal. What was commonly referred to as “last rites”, is Anointing of the Sick” in which spirituality is a part of the healing process. The Holy Orders in which men can hold a vocation as a priest or deacon to lead us in the Word of God.
Holy Orders seem controversial for those who might be secular and see that there is no difference in femininity and masculinity. But a priest’s role is exactly that, as a father. I think about the priests and deacons I’ve known personally, even though they have distinct personalities all carry very masculine traits in how they lead. The Catholic Church as a whole body takes a more feminine emphasis. That’s why we refer to a man taking Holy Orders to marry the Church.
This recognition of that unique emphasis that both men and women are created in the image of God is why we value sexual intercourse as sacred. When a man and woman come together it is unifying both emphases of God. The completion of the sexual act with mutual giving of oneself is the love of God. Anything less is taking away from that love He has given us. And taking away from the natural consequences of that act, whether it be the natural outcome of children or even denying orgasm, is taking away from that love.
I guess what my favorite Sacrament is reconciliation. God is so merciful, but people are afraid to take advantage of His love. To have the ability to reflect and understand that there is a right and a wrong, and that you have been led astray for so long by false promises, and to give to God all that pain.
People are so caught up in a spiritual mess nowadays, people are misguided about their Rights and fooled that they are permanently damned. No one said acknowledging everything you ever did as will be exactly fun, but to live on this Earth with sober eyes and recognize there is a right and a wrong, a good and a evil, is empowering and frightening at the same time. As humans we do commit acts of sin. We’re not gods and when we try to go beyond the constrained reality of natural laws there will always be consequences for that.
I can’t believe I just wrote all of that that.