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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Nevermind How You Feel, Tell Me What You Think!

I listened to Rush Limbaugh on the radio one day last week.  A caller said he noticed most people today will rarely reply to a question by saying, “I think….”  They generally, he said, reply, “I feel…”  The two continued to discuss the difference.  Rush said it is easy to feel anything, but to THINK requires effort, conviction, rational thought and a rejection of the alternatives to the answer given.  How anyone feels can’t be argued with especially when what they say is couched in such a way as to not offend someone else or prevent them from not liking you. 

An example would be if you were asked about your stance on gay marriage, and you said the following:

“I feel we need to have an open mind about these things and I feel it isn’t for me to judge others and I feel it is probably best if we just try to understand the feelings of others and try to get along.”

Otherwise, the answer using “I think” would need to go something like this: 

“I think it is a sin.  I think it is an offense to God and an insult to real marriage between a man and a woman.”

The reason one would THINK that is because it is true.  It is based on Holy Scripture.  It is how the world has viewed marriage historically since time began and no amount of pretending can make it anything but the most healthy and reasonable way to live and create families.  It is a proven fact that children need both a mother and a father. And it is a fact that a chaste marriage between one man and one woman is both healthy for the individuals involved and the most beneficial relationship between two people for society as a whole. 

No one can argue with the fact the first answer will not cause you to lose friends, whereas, the second one just might. 
Today people worry very much how people “feel” about them and they are concerned they may be rejected and lose Facebook followers or Twitter followers or not get as many Christmas cards next December, or invites to parties, or nominations for offices in the clubs they belong to.  Being popular is far more important to many than simply being correct for the right reasons. 

All but a small percentage of the people I know would prefer to not discuss politics or religion.  This goes not only for my friends and my associates but for my extended family as well.  They “feel” we would just have a better chance of “getting along” and not upsetting each other that way.   I refuse to be silenced by their feelings. 

A long time friend, whom I love, told me not long ago that he has lots of friends who are liberal and he just knows not to start a conversation about certain things or engage in a rebuttal when the topic of politics comes up and that way they never argue about anything.  He said you have to know who you are dealing with and go from there.  I said that was not OK with me because I wasn’t going to listen to things I disagreed with and not respond.  His comment was, “You know, you’re going to lose a lot of friends that way.”  My reply was, “Yes.  You will.”  The truth is, John the Baptist lost his head that way, but it didn’t stop him from speaking the truth.  Neither will I. 

Still, it is important to keep something else in mind.  We are instructed by St. Paul to stop arguing over stupid stuff and walk away from those who refuse to hear the truth.  In other words BE PREPARED to lose friends sometimes and understand that it is better to have fewer friends than to be popular only because you have not had the guts to defend the truth. 

This advice must also be applied to relatives in sinful same sex relationships.  Relatives and long time friends who now express “gender confusion.”  People we’ve known for a long time who won’t condemn abortion or who think it’s now cool to say they don’t believe in God. 
Remains of a pagan temple on the Island of Crete
In the third chapter of the letter to Titus whose job it was to establish the church on the island of Crete, known to be a wild and crazy place loved by heretics and pagans of every sort, Paul says,

“I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others.  Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile.  After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned.”

This advice is golden.  He is clear that the truth must be spoken, even repeated, but after that, it is better to walk away from them than to tolerate or accommodate their perversions, sins, and wrong opinions. 

To do otherwise might cause you to pick up the odor of the people you associate with.  Sooner or later, if you refuse to defend the truth, or merely allow their difference of opinion to stand unchecked, you will have in fact gone along with it. 
Let nothing come between you and God.  At the end of the day, who is better off?  The one with a million friends of every persuasion or the one who has carried his cross and remained faithful? Just remember, anyone who is not good for your soul is NOT your friend.