Bill Moyers of PBS interviewed Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Barak Obama's pastor, where he makes this statement:
It went down very simply.
He's a politician, I'm a pastor.
We speak to two different audiences.
And he says what he has to say as a politician.
I say what I have to say as a pastor.
But they're two different worlds.
I do what I do.
He does what politicians do.
So that what happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bytes, he responded as a politician.
Kathryn Jean Lopez from National Review brilliantly connects the dots and contrasts what Pastor Wright said with what President Bush said to Pope Benedict XVI at his official visit to the USA:
In a world where some no longer believe that we can distinguish between simple right and wrong, we need your message to reject this "dictatorship of relativism," and embrace a culture of justice and truth.
The irony is that the clergyman (Reverend Wright) espouses the Dictatorship of Relativism whereas the politician (President Bush) embraces the concept of a Natural Moral Law. The former sees two worlds and two realities; political and religious, secular and spiritual (he says what policitians have to say; I say what pastors have to say. He does what he has to do; I do what I have to do). The latter recognizes that there is only ONE world and ONE reality. There is not a separate political existence from our religious existence. There is not one set of ethics and morality for those in government and another for citizens. There is one Natural Law and one Ten Commandments that bind on every human being regardless of race, gender, economic class, education level, etc. Politicians AND Pastors must speak the same language, that of TRUTH and JUSTICE. Faith and reason are not diametrically opposed. There is no intrinsic dichotomy either. Whether one explains the evil in religious or political terms is one thing but the substance, the essence of the act is either good or evil.
Slavery and Apartheid were legal at one time but they were always immoral and evil, regardless of popular opinion and in spite of what any court or legislature may decide from time to time. Segregation was always wrong, too. Polygamy (for the time being) is illegal AND immoral. Unfortunately, there are some who want to redefine marriage and the family. They advocate legalization of abortion and euthanasia. They present homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. They deny the intrinsic evil nature of masturbation, contraception, et al. Morality is relative, for these people. There is no universal code of behavior, no absolutes.
Such a system, must then allow Nazis to commit genocide since we cannot impose morality on anyone. If there is no universal natural moral law, then politics, popular opinion, and flavor of the month determine what is right and wrong, good and evil, vice and virtue. There could be no clergy sex scandal, either, since it is imposition of morality to say that all child abuse is immoral. Of course all child abuse is evil because there IS such a thing as an intrinsic evil.
BONUM FACIENDAM ET MALUM VITANDUM (do good and avoid evil) is the first moral principal known to all human beings since it is learned by reason. The Dictatorship of Relativism, however, is embraced in the dissident moral theology which espouses the axiom: "Do as much good as is possible and as little evil as is necessary." Nonsense like FUNDAMENTAL OPTION and FUNDAMENTAL ORIENTATION were spewed at us in the seminary to debunk the Natural Moral Law basis of ethical behavior.
Since there ARE moral absolutes, such as the intrinsic and perennial evil of abortion and euthanasia, then politicians who obstinately persist in publicly supporting these MUST be denied Holy Communion for their scandalous repudiation of the moral teaching of the Church. Prudential judgments, on the other hand, such as to an application of the Just War doctrine or whether the criteria for capital punishment is present in a particular case, often involve debateable opinions as then Cardinal Ratinger said before he was Pope Benedict. Abortion and euthanasia, however, are always gravely immoral and evil and can never be tolerated since they directly involve the intention killing of innocent life.
The Dictatorship of Relativism has produced three generations of cohabitating couples, rampant divorce and remarriage, polygamous and homosexual unions, etc., where sex is as much a personal option and preference as is one's choice of favorite color, flavor or cuisine. The straw-man argument used is that in Mediaeval Ages, the Church condemned all sex as sinful and only tolerated some for the sake of procreation. Reality is that human sexuality is HOLY and SACRED but only when done PROPERLY, i.e., in proper CONTEXT (between husband and wife who are validly married to each other AND when the marital act is oriented toward BOTH love (unity) and life (procreation). Openness to possible life AND the intimate union of spouses make extra and pre-marital sex as sinful as homosexual activity and as wrong as in vitro fertilization and surrogate pregnancies. Moral relativism, however, says the individual and/or society decide what is good and what is evil. Objective reality, on the other hand, which Holy Mother Church teaches, confirms that there is a universal code of behavior applicable to everyone and anyone, regardless of orientation, origin, education, status, intelligence, et al. This is why pastors and bishops MUST not speak in politically correct language or use political nomenclature. Clergy and Politicians must speak and act from the same page. Faith and Reason, Religion and Politics need to coordinate a unified attack on the moral evils that threaten civilization, namely, anything harmful to life, marriage and the family. These three are the foundation of the Church and the State. So both have a vested interest in defending them across the board. Once we commit to this war, then we become a culture of truth and justice.