The Inverted Catechism of the Left

 

The Baltimore Catechism used to instruct young Catholics back in the day begins its first four paragraphs:

1. Who made us?
God made us.
In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. (Genesis 1:1)

2. Who is God?
God is the Supreme Being, infinitely perfect, who made all things and keeps them in existence.
In him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

3. Why did God make us?
God made us to show forth His goodness and to share with us His everlasting happiness in heaven.
Eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what things God has prepared for those who love him. (I Corinthians 2:9)

4. What must we do to gain the happiness of heaven?
To gain the happiness of heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world.
Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust and moth consume and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

It’s this last Q&A I’ll address in this post. I recently listened to Matt Fradd and his friend Steven Rummelsburg in this fascinating Pints with Aquinas episode talking about Elizabeth Warren’s response to the SCOTUS leak, and public education, among many other things. Yes, it’s nearly three and a half hours long — the advantage of lots of time on your hands due to COVID and being in isolation for days on end. I’ve teed it up to the segment pertaining to this post.

In more secular language, the response to #4 can be put as, “we must know, love, and serve the good, the true, and the beautiful.” Which, for Christians and others of religious faith is the same thing as God, Who Is the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

I find the characterization Matt and Steven give of the Left inverting the order of the Catechism to be a compelling explanation for the Left’s revolt against reality. Leftists serve the agenda or narrative first, from which they come to love themselves for their “virtuousness” (and get stroked by contemporary culture), and come to know so many things that simply aren’t true.

The same people who hysterically insist on the “right” to kill innocent babies up to nine months gestation will insist that the only way to prevent mass shootings of children in schools is to pass laws to limit the gun rights of law-abiding citizens. Do they even understand the incoherence of their argument? I ask because I know lefties and they’re not at all stupid, even if they are moral idiots (and I mean that in the technical sense of being outside the bounds of reality — something else I learned from Matt and Steven). I think they’re so enamored of their virtue that they really don’t understand it. Which is such a devilish mind (ego) trick that only Satan himself could be behind it.

This is what religion — maybe especially Judaism and Christianity — forestalls in its school of virtue. If we love God, we subordinate ourselves to Goodness, Truth, and Beauty of Him Who loved us first — to the realities of natural law and human nature. But, if we invert the order, we become “as gods” (loving ourselves first) and develop contempt for God, who can’t possibly keep up with our perfection.

Matt and Steven also pointed me to this quote from Confucius:

“To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order; we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

Right order. The Left always gets it wrong.

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There are 18 comments.

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  1. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Well, Confucious was obviously just another White Supremacist.

    • #1
  2. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    I take it that you are feeling better. Nice to see you posting again.

    • #2
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Well, Confucious was obviously just another White Supremacist.

    Ha! Obviously!

    • #3
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    I take it that you are feeling better. Nice to see you posting again.

    Yes, thanks! It was the fever that was brutal and that seems to have abated quite a bit. Still isolating for a while, so I have more time and energy for R>. 

    • #4
  5. Mike Rapkoch Moderator
    Mike Rapkoch
    @MikeRapkoch

    Over the years my fondness for the Baltimore Catechism has grown. Those were the days when the truths of the Church were grasped even by grade schoolers. From 1st grade on I still remember the teachings.

    • #5
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    Over the years my fondness for the Baltimore Catechism has grown. Those were the days when the truths of the Church were grasped even by grade schoolers. From 1st grade on I still remember the teachings.

    Yes, unfortunately for me, it was not something I was exposed to as a youngster during those bleak years of post-Vatican II diminished catechesis. The first time I picked it up was when I home schooled Little Miss Anthrope the year of her medical crisis. A friend told me when she homeschooled her kids, the Baltimore Catechism is what led to a major conversion for her and her husband.

    I recently picked up Dan Burke’s book Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits and the first thing he asks is, “have you read the Catechism cover-to-cover?” I have my work cut out for me, but it’s on my to-do list.

    • #6
  7. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    Over the years my fondness for the Baltimore Catechism has grown. Those were the days when the truths of the Church were grasped even by grade schoolers. From 1st grade on I still remember the teachings.

    Yes, unfortunately for me, it was not something I was exposed to as a youngster during those bleak years of post-Vatican II diminished catechesis. The first time I picked it up was when I home schooled Little Miss Anthrope the year of her medical crisis. A friend told me when she homeschooled her kids, the Baltimore Catechism is what led to a major conversion for her and her husband.

    Same here, all I remember from my 80’s catechism classes is coloring Noah’s ark and the lady who played guitar at Mass teaching us to sing This Little Light of Mine. 

    • #7
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    Over the years my fondness for the Baltimore Catechism has grown. Those were the days when the truths of the Church were grasped even by grade schoolers. From 1st grade on I still remember the teachings.

    Yes, unfortunately for me, it was not something I was exposed to as a youngster during those bleak years of post-Vatican II diminished catechesis. The first time I picked it up was when I home schooled Little Miss Anthrope the year of her medical crisis. A friend told me when she homeschooled her kids, the Baltimore Catechism is what led to a major conversion for her and her husband.

    Same here, all I remember from my 80’s catechism classes is coloring Noah’s ark and the lady who played guitar at Mass teaching us to sing This Little Light of Mine.

    And “Jesus is love.” Which is true, but not very intellectually satisfying for the curious types.

    • #8
  9. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    I think the endgame of the Left is to get the world to declare that God is wrong and they are right: from abortion, to so-called SSM, to the protected LGBT victim class to normalizing pedophilia to who knows what.

    They seem to have a 4-step program with all of this: Toleration, Acceptance, Ratification, Participation.

    They are evil people.

    • #9
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    I think the endgame of the Left is to get the world to declare that God is wrong and they are right: from abortion, to so-called SSM, to the protected LGBT victim class to normalizing pedophilia to who knows what.

    They seem to have a 4-step program with all of this: Toleration, Acceptance, Ratification, Participation.

    They are evil people.

    I would say they are in thrall to evil — to the evil ideology of leftism. But, they’re so intoxicated with their own virtue they can’t even see it. They are actually convinced that they’re morally superior to you and me. This is a reason to pray, Lord that the blind may see.

    • #10
  11. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel
    @PodkayneofIsrael

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):

    I think the endgame of the Left is to get the world to declare that God is wrong and they are right: from abortion, to so-called SSM, to the protected LGBT victim class to normalizing pedophilia to who knows what.

    They seem to have a 4-step program with all of this: Toleration, Acceptance, Ratification, Participation.

    They are evil people.

    I would say they are in thrall to evil — to the evil ideology of leftism. But, they’re so intoxicated with their own virtue they can’t even see it. They are actually convinced that they’re morally superior to you and me. This is a reason to pray, Lord that the blind may see.

    Amen!

    • #11
  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    It is pretty obvious what the goal is.  It is the death of Christianity and its values and the embracing and mainstreaming of paganism.  

    • #12
  13. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    It is pretty obvious what the goal is. It is the death of Christianity and its values and the embracing and mainstreaming of paganism.

    And historically, paganism has worked out so very well…

    • #13
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    What we call the left is crazy whether we believe in a Christian god or not.  We also have history and totalitarians in a variety of forms and authoritarianism in every imaginable shape and size.  Don’t we want more people better materially, intellectually,  humanely and spiritually.   What we call the “humanism” of the left is old,  well known,  fundamentally totalitarin has been around from the beginning and it ends the same always, so far no exceptions, rot and decay. The  Christian church  began with totalitarian power as well and surrounded with corruption and hypocricy but it kept the basic notions, things said by Christ with his example at the center, a  strange combination of humility and courage and deep understanding of humans and human institutions, clearly as if inspired by a god whom he seemed to know, but isn’t it possible to believe in truth and historical insight whether you believe in a god or not?

    • #14
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I Walton (View Comment):
    but isn’t it possible to believe in truth and historical insight whether you believe in a god or not?

    Yes, absolutely. It just happens to be rarer in secularists because the temptation to become “as gods” is so great. To measure everything against one’s subjective experience and opinion rather than objective reality. Religions tend to teach that pride is a sin, not something to be celebrated — at least the ones I’m familiar with.

    Even militant atheists Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais are speaking truth about the evils of transgender ideology corrupting and mutilating our kids. The truth is the truth wherever it’s found and no matter who is speaking it.

    One of my favorite answers to this question: even the devil quotes scripture. Although, he definitely believes in God.

    • #15
  16. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    And, I’ll add, the rise of this murderous ideology is the natural consequence of people no longer believing they’ll be held to account by a Just God, or anyone else for that matter. There’s an argument in there that the Church has made a mistake in its more restrictive position on capital punishment.

    I’ve long thought it isn’t capital punishment that cheapens human life, but the opposite. To let a heinous murderer live out his days in prison speaks volumes about the value we place — or don’t — on innocent human life. I think God meant it when He said, “Whoever sheds the blood of manby man shall his blood be shed.” He said in all five books of the Torah in so many words, just to make sure the point was made clear.

    • #16
  17. Cassandro Coolidge
    Cassandro
    @Flicker

    I Walton (View Comment):
    The  Christian church  began with totalitarian power as well and surrounded with corruption and hypocricy but it kept the basic notions, things said by Christ with his example at the center,

    Actually the Christian church started in a house, wondering what happened to their Messiah.  Then it moved into private homes, singing about their risen Messiah and eating together.

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Cassandro (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    The Christian church began with totalitarian power as well and surrounded with corruption and hypocricy but it kept the basic notions, things said by Christ with his example at the center,

    Actually the Christian church started in a house, wondering what happened to their Messiah. Then it moved into private homes, singing about their risen Messiah and eating together.

    They spent a lot of time meeting in the Catacombs too.

    • #18
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