Friday, March 16, 2012

Love, The Leap of Faith

I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through his Holy Church.

The Church is not a barrier or a mediator between me and God.  Rather, there is One mediator between God and Man, the Man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Church is the Body of Christ and Christ is her head.

The Church is also the Bride of Christ.

Marriage imagery is used extensively in both the Old and New Testaments to describe the relationship between God and His people.  God is the Bridegroom.  His people are His Bride. 

Faithfulness is enjoined upon the participants in this Holy Matrimony, this Matrimonial Covenant.

Unfaithfulness to God is Adultery.  Israel was oftentimes likened to an unfaithful wife, an adulteress, and even a prostitute. 

God told the prophet Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her.  This was to be a representation of God’s marriage covenant with His unfaithful people Israel.

Human marriage, therefore, is a type and a sign—a shadow—of the true marriage between God and His Holy people, His bride.

Jesus constantly referred to himself as the Bridegroom.  When asked by some Pharisees why his disciples did not fast like the Baptist’s disciples, Jesus answered them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?”

For you see, the Christian religion is not primarily adherence to a creed or set of beliefs.  The religion of Christ is primarily a relationship with a person—the person of God.  That relationship is a love affair.

What proof is a man able to offer his fiancĂ© of his love for her prior to their getting married?  Can he prove that he’ll be forever faithful?  Can he prove to her that he loves her more than anyone else?  Isn’t it rather a leap of faith?  Sure couples can give each other motives of credibility.  A man can make it credible through his actions and by his words that he loves her, that he can be faithful, and that he can be trusted.  But what proof is any of that of his real feelings or his future intentions? 

A woman can’t know on her wedding day that the man she’s marrying will love him in fifty years and yet on the day of the marriage a man and woman promise to love each other for the rest of their lives. Can they believe those promises?  Do they mean to keep them?  How can they KNOW how they’ll really fell about each other in fifty years, in forty years, or even in five years?  Both are incapable of proving the truth of what they say to each other and yet they still believe.

The faith a woman has in the love of her husband is like the faith we have in the love of Christ and our own love must reflect that love.  The things of faith aren’t any more verifiable than the things of love and yet we DO LOVE.  Many of us have chosen to make that leap of faith in our human relationships when positive proofs were impossible.  When promises had to do. 

How much greater; how much more trustworthy, the promises of God?

God is Love

Jesus, who is God, said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

The seeker after Truth, then, is also the seeker after Love.  Truth is not merely something we know.  It is SOMEONE we love.

So the Church—“religion”—doesn’t stand between me and my relationship with God.  The Church IS my relationship with God.  Through the Church I’m grafted in to the body of Christ and given a share in his divinity.  2 Peter 1:4

I could no more leave the Church than I could leave my wife.  And my marriage doesn’t stand between me and my relationship with my wife.  IT IS the relationship I have with my wife. 

And so is the Church the relationship I have with God.  And it is as intimate as it could possibly be while I’m clothed in mortal flesh and surrounded by corruption.  Through the Church I touch Christ, I taste Christ, I drink in Christ.  I speak to Christ and Christ speaks back.  I spend time with Christ reading in silence and talking with him.

What greater relationship with Christ—with God—could I hope to have before I go to join Him in Heaven?  In the words of Walker Percy, “What else is there?”  In the words of St. Peter, “To Whom else shall we go?”

Materialism and the Evil of Slavery

It has been suggested to me that the president ought not to take his spiritual views into the White House.  Or that the president ought not to make his spiritual views a factor when making policy decisions.  But upon what basis is he to make decisions? Based upon material considerations?

The principle that I ought to treat others as I would like to be treated is not a material principle but a moral one.  This moral principle has both a subject and an object.  Any being for whom the obligation imposed by the principle can be said to constitute a duty is the subject. And the end towards which the duty is directed is the object.

If the object is spiritual than the spiritual views of the subject must somehow be involved.  And if we’re agreed that this principle is a good principle and we don’t wish the President to disregard it when he enters the White House than he has to take his spiritual views along with him as well. 
I propose in what follows to show that this moral principle—namely, that others ought to be treated as we would like to be treated—is the only rational motive for actually opposing slavery and then only if its object is spiritual and not material.  And that, thus, if Lincoln had kept his spiritual views out of the White House he’d have had no motive for opposing the injustice of slavery.

“Why ought we to treat other as we ourselves would like to be treated?”

We have a material object in mind if it’s to avoid friction in our relations with other people and to engender good will from them.  So do we treat others as we would like to be treated because we see others as valuable beings in their own right or do we value them simply for what we can get out of them?  Does my neighbor have any real value other than his value to me?  And if I think he does, in what does that value consist?  Because from just a material point of view his value can be measured in three ways; by the value I (or society) ascribe to the physical material of his body, to the services he can perform, or to the goods he can produce.  A child who can perform no valuable service nor produce any valuable goods is thus worth less than $1.00 at a given moment in time.  Any other material value we might chance to ascribe to the child is based on our calculation of the estimated value of his or her future contributions.

Material objects don’t have an intrinsic value—their value is purely subjective.  If we wish at all to ascribe an intrinsic value to persons we must therefore see them as something more than material objects—as subjects.  But on the other hand if we wish to see persons as nothing but material objects than we have no ground for ascribing to them any intrinsic value. 

So if we think persons have value just because they’re persons we’re admitting a belief (a spiritual view) that persons are not just material objects.  And that may seem like a good enough place to stop.  But the wish to ascribe to persons an intrinsic value does no good unless we can know what a person is. 

If “person” is merely a word used to describe something that possesses certain randomly chosen attributes or abilities, the exact number and quality of which being open to serious and interminable debate, then the question of who is and who is not a person can’t be answered by scientific inquiry upon material facts alone because in that case the material facts themselves are the object of the debate.  Rather than being something “knowable” and attached to individual natures, i.e. “what things are in and of themselves”, personhood would only be an arbitrary distinction made by those whose position of authority enables them to decide for everyone else the attributes by which “personhood” can be known.

And so if personhood is extrinsic, that is “on the outside”, than whatever real value an individual has is only a value in relation to other people. 

Since the individual himself has no value apart from the group than it is the group itself which much be credited with the ultimate value.  As a necessary consequence the individual is expendable to the degree that he, by his actions or by his existence causes the aggregate value of the group to diminish.  (The aggregate value of the group we shall call the “common good”)

Thus no defense remains to those who wish to keep all but material considerations out of government but who wish nevertheless to uphold the intrinsic value and dignity of the individual person.  For if both a person’s value and their status as a person is due to immaterial considerations than material considerations alone will not be sufficient to govern persons effectively—or, shall we say, equitably. 

Even if you agree with all I’ve said above, you may still wish to object that individual value could be recognized by a government relying on solely material considerations as a matter of simple justice.  But justice considered in just its material effects is really just a demand for fairness.  It’s nothing more than the belief that two like things ought to be treated alike.  But why ought that to be the case?  If the common good is the only measure of individual value, then if it’s better for the common good that like things be treated differently than that’s what ought to be done.  It may not be fair to the individual but it’s right so far as the interests of the group are concerned and is thus “fair” on that basis for the individual as well.

So also if in the time of Abraham Lincoln the common good demanded that a disenfranchised minority be held in slavery for the benefit of the majority than that’s what ought to have been done.  It may well have been to the material advantage of the United States to permit the “keeping of slaves”.  But what happened as a matter of history was that the spiritual view of great numbers of Americans enabled them to recognize the immaterial, intrinsic value of black people as persons apart from their utility.  Consequently they were able to take upon themselves the duty of treating other persons as they would like to be treated and they could do it for the sake of something higher and better than what they themselves could get out of it—for something other than material considerations.  Only by embracing this spiritual view could hundreds of thousands of men and women risk life, limb, and property for the liberation of a persecuted few without any hope or expectation of getting anything in return.  Only by virtue of a spiritual view could the love that compels a man to lay down his life for his enemies as well as his friends take root, blossom, and find expression.

Because if human reason is confined to material facts it can make judgments of public policy and matters of life and death only on the basis of expediency, efficiency, convenience or comfort.  And the near universal belief that slavery is actually wrong cannot be defended under such limitations.  If a man’s value is to be judged by the same standards as a horse or any other beast of burden than he may be compelled to work under the same conditions.  A man’s life would be judged not of value but of waste.

It could not therefore have been material considerations but the spiritual views of Abraham Lincoln that helped lead finally to the end of a great evil that might otherwise have been endured for decades longer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In the comments section of a friend's Facebook post concerning marriage and the Catholic Church I quoted some of what Gandhi had said in the 1930's and 40's about contraception.  I do not include any of that exchange or make references to the people involved simply because I have not asked their permission.  I take my argument outside the arena because Facebook is such a poor venue for carrying on a debate about serious subjects.  This explanation is for those who happen upon this post without the benefit of context.

First, this is what I quoted from Gandhi:

“Contraception is a dismal abyss, an insult to womanhood, inconsistent with her dignity.”

He said its widespread use would be “likely to result in the dissolution of the marriage bond and result in free love.” Contraception, ...Gandhi said, is “like putting a premium on vice, making man and woman reckless . . . it will be the undoing of man.”

On Human Sexuality, The Church, and Gandhi

The Church’s stand on certain issues relating to human sexuality is often mocked and ridiculed by the cynics who credit to her leadership nefarious motives at every opportunity.  Oscar Wilde said, “The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”  I just hope consideration may be given to the possibility that the Church’s doctrines are not inspired by nefarious motives but rather are the outgrowth of a genuine love for the whole human family and an authentic desire to heal its ills?  That’s been her stated motivation in the 2000 years since her foundation in any case.  The claim that the Church may really know what ails us might possibly be true as well.  So might the remedy she prescribes.  After all, the illness consuming humanity has received the same diagnosis by those outside of the Catholic Church.  Humanity has been given a second opinion, as it were.  It was in this connection that I quoted Gandhi.

If Gandhi was wrong about the dangers of cheap and medically reliable contraception leading to the greater degradation of women, the further profanation of sex, and the continued debasement of humanity as we become more and more the slaves of our primal biological urges; then maybe Gandhi was wrong about war and passive resistance.  Or maybe, if he was only right about contraception for his time and for his culture he was only right about the evils of violence and war for his own time and culture, too.  Maybe wars—even wars of naked aggression—really ARE the answer, at least sometimes and for some people.   And who’s to say otherwise?  But on the other hand if Gandhi was right about non-violent resistance and civil disobedience than maybe he was also right about contraception and the proper attitude towards sex.  Because after all, both aspects of his philosophy are derived from the same source and if one is wrong the other’s likely wrong as well.

It’s also been asserted that in times past both the common man and his religious leaders could have sex with whichever women they wanted, regardless of consent, and without consequence.  But an attempt is made to correct for such injustices to the extent that marriage forces a man to assume the duties of responsible fatherhood.  After all, biological necessity has not bequeathed to men an obligation to the children that they cause to come into the world.  But women are faced by a biological necessity with either the responsibility of caring for their children or the responsibility for choosing not to.  Women cannot just walk away, even in our advanced day and age.  (As an aside, abortion is in fact not the abdication of all responsibility however much it may be presented that way.  It is in reality to take on a much graver responsibility than the care of any child in love would have possibly demanded.) 

I do not believe that the union of husband wife is of human institution, but from the merely human point of view marriage can be  seen as the consequence of a recognition that the right to one’s children comes with duties and obligations, the fulfillment of which society has a right to demand. 

And it has been helpfully pointed out that sex has value beyond its procreative function (or aspect).  Indeed that is the Church’s position as well.  But in saying that sex has a value beyond its procreative aspect it’s admitted that conception is nevertheless one of the aspects of sex with the unitive being the other.  Both aspects together form the “whole sex”. 

The story is told of three men each asked to wear a blindfold and put their hands against a certain object.  The first feels rough, cold, and hard.  The second feels soft, smooth, and flexible.  And the third feels short, thin, and hairy.  We know the object being felt is an elephant.  Each man, though, knows the elephant only in a single aspect, the first a knee, the second the trunk, and the third, the tail.  But the whole elephant is not just one of its aspects singly apart from all the others.  Nor is the elephant whole if it’s missing one of its aspects no matter how inconsequential.

And so sex—the WHOLE SEX—consists in ALL of its aspects together and not any one taken apart from the others.  Sex is about pleasure and the union between husband and wife and that union is, by nature, intended to be fruitful. SEE NOTE  If an obstacle is imposed, the intention of which is to block any of those aspects (female genital mutilation as practiced in some African countries being an example of an attempt to separate one aspect—pleasure—from the whole), then real violence has been done to the whole nature of sex. 

Neither is this just “what the Church teaches”, as I hoped to show by quoting Gandhi.  That sex contains multiple aspects, each of which being necessary for the fulfillment of the whole, may be arrived at by natural reason, by the analogy of hunger and the food appetite, for instance (which analogy I'll draw out in another place).

NOTE By “nature” I mean what something is in-and-of-itself.  For example, it’s the nature of an eagle to be a flying creature and an eagle is an eagle whether it actually flies or not.  That is to say that the part of the eagle’s nature which it is to fly need not be realized in act and, indeed, if the eagle has been born lame in one of its wings it cannot fly.  But it remains an eagle just as much as the eagle that does fly.  The lame eagle holds its ability to fly in potential.  So if what is roughly equivalent to “wings” in the sexual faculty of husband and wife has been lamed in one or the other spouses, the sexual act still holds its fruitfulness in potential.  And because there has been no deliberate attempt by either partner to frustrate that potential (or destroy it) the nature of the act remains just what it would be in the fullness of health and virility.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Unequal Diversity

SELECTED QUOTES FROM “College Becomes First to Ask Applicants’ Sexual Orientation” by Josh Voorhees on

“A private college outside of Chicago has begun asking potential students about their sexual orientation in a move the school says is aimed at increasing campus diversity.”

“those who answer ‘yes’ may be eligible for a scholarship worth up to one-third of the cost of tuition”

“‘Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement,’ said Gary Rold, the school's dean of admissions. ‘This is simply closing the loop, in many ways, of another group who has a very strong identity. It may not be race and religion but it’s an important part of who they are.’”

“...At Dartmouth College, for example, students can check boxes of activities that might interest them, including LGBT-centered activities. At the University of Pennsylvania, students who write in their application essay that they are gay can be paired with a mentor.”

FROM “College Becomes First to Ask Applicants’ Sexual Orientation” by Josh Voorhees on


Is this really what's meant by "increasing diversity"? Of course people should be exposed to a range of people, ideas, and beliefs that are different from what they might consider “normal”, but why is exposure to this sort of diversity particularly encouraged—with scholarships and other special treatment (mentors, etc.)!!!—and other sorts of diversity are actually DIScouraged, either directly or indirectly, in public institutions around the country. Myriad examples could be easily found of colleges actively discouraging politically conservative or traditional Christian points of view from being freely expressed. But whatever. My point is, homosexuality is a sexual preference. It isn’t a political or ideological belief, it isn’t an ethnicity, and it isn’t necessarily a culture. People with homosexual tendencies can be found in EVERY culture, class, ethnicity, and as adherents to every religion. How can the inclusion of a particular “group” be increasing diversity when that group is itself almost infinitely diverse. What are you really adding to the diversity equation when you add people whose only difference from other people is a slightly greater-than-average propensity to engage in a particular behavior that is by no means exclusive to that group? And isn’t the contrary point of view, that including homosexuals “as a group” increases legitimate diversity, a capitulation to unfair and inaccurate group stereotypes?

Granted that personal interaction with people who have homosexual tendencies increases acceptance of people with homosexual tendencies generally, can’t we also grant that personal interaction with people holding to beliefs and ideologies different from our own increases acceptance of those persons as well? And if we grant that, shouldn’t more of an effort be made by those in charge of our institutions of higher learning to diversify the points of view being expressed than the sorts of behaviors students engage in or the manner in which those students might self-identify? Let everyone self-identify as LGBT but let there be a diversity of views being freely expressed and openly entertained without prejudice or ridicule and you will have done much more to increase real diversity.

And despite more than a decade of pointing out the insular political and ideological nature of most US campuses and news rooms there has been no such comparable effort to increase diversity in categories of belief or political point of view. And isn’t it at least possible that the current sharp divisions in the US between right and left are due, at least in part, to the fact that people who hold different views aren’t as likely to come into direct personal contact with each other as they might have been at earlier times in our history?

Click on the below link to see an interesting take on Politicians:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

With What Dignity

In 1920 G.K. Chesterton published some sketches he had made of his impressions while on a trip to Jerusalem.

In one section he writes:

"If there be one thing, I think, that can safely be said about all Asia and oriental tribes, it is this: that if a married woman wears any distinctive mark, it is always meant to prevent her from receiving the admiration or even the notice of strange men. Often it is only made to disguise her, sometimes it is made to disfigure her. It may be the masking of the face as among the Moslems; it may be the shaving of the head as among the Jews; it may, I believe, be the blackening of the teeth and other queer expedients among the people of the Far East. But it is never meant to make her look magnificent in public; and the Bethlehem wife is made to look magnificent in public. She not only shows all the beauty of her face; and she is often very beautiful. She also wears a towering erection which is as unmistakably meant to give her consequence as the triple tiara of the Pope. A woman wearing such a crown, and wearing it without a veil, does stand, and can only conceivably stand, for what we call the Western view of women, but should rather call the Christian view of women. This is the sort of dignity which must of necessity come from some vague memory of chivalry. The woman may or may not be, as the legend says, a lineal descendant of a Crusader. But whether or not she is his daughter, she is certainly his heiress.

(Picture of Bethlehem women, late 19th Century)

"…The black dress of the Moslem woman and the white dress of the Christian woman are in sober truth as different as black and white. They stand for real principles in a real opposition; and the black and white will not easily disappear in the dull grey of our own compromises. The one tradition will defend what it regards as modesty, and the other what it regards as dignity with passions far deeper than most of our paltry political appetites."

In another place in his book "The New Jerusalem", Chesterton writes, "On the road to Cairo one may see twenty groups exactly like that of the Holy Family in the pictures of the Flight into Egypt; with only one difference. The man is riding on the ass."


It's obviously true that Western Christian culture has become less Christian. And to the degree that it has become less Christian, it has become less human and therefore less humane. This isn't a recent phenomenon. I would say that Western culture has been becoming steadily less Christian for the last four or five centuries after having become increasingly Christian during the previous millennium-and-a-half.

I’m sure that many will disagree with the assertion that our culture has become less humane as it’s become less Christian. And I’m sure that the great atrocities committed or commanded by Christians during the so-called Christian era or “dark ages” will be cited as evidence. But surely these great atrocities are the exceptions that prove the rule. If they weren’t exceptions, marked in black against a much broader background, how would we be able to recognize them as the atrocities they really were.

It might be argued that we have become more humane in our punishment of criminals since the decline of Christian influence began in our culture. But is hanging a man for murder or chopping off his head for rape really less humane than subjecting him to modern conditions in a federal or state prison? I think it’s quite possible to believe that neither is humane—at least that one may not be less inhumane than the other.

Or maybe it’s the horrifying treatment that Africans received at the hands of a confessedly Christian people that could be held to refute what I’m trying to say. But the worst of what we, as a culture, have done to native and indigenous peoples has been done well after the Enlightenment—the so-called “Age of Science and Reason”—was already well under way.

But it isn’t what people have or haven’t done or even what they wanted to do. The point is what motivated them. What basic beliefs about themselves and the world defined their ideas about their own dignity as human persons and the dignity owed to the rest of God’s creation.

Our post-Christian culture has shown an appalling lack of discernment when it comes to being able to recognized the true value and dignity of God’s creatures. This lack of discernment, a creeping and penetrating blindness, has caused us to become less humane.

As we look out on contemporary life in Western culture, we see what appears on the surface to be greater equality and opportunity and greater latitude to express our freedoms and choose our own beliefs. But I think the slaves of Athens and Rome were more capable or recognizing their own dignity and the dignity of those around them than the richest and most educated citizens of today’s democracies.

At one time in the history of the world, one nation proclaimed the value and dignity of mankind in this way:
"What is mankind that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned with him glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet." (Psalm 8)
If a fundamental aspect of one’s system of belief is that humankind has been “crowned with glory and honor” and given dominion over the works of God’s hands, one is probably likely to be particularly impressed with this idea that a little halo of divinity surrounds the head of even the poorest and meanest of human individuals.

The laws of the children of Israel even provided for the dignity of livestock in the way they were treated. Like people, animals were accorded one day in seven to rest from their labor and were even entitled to their labor's fruits. (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 25:4; Exodus 23:11) And the proper slaughtering of animals for food and other purposes was designed to be as painless and honorable for the animals as possible.

Quite often in both the Old and the New Testaments we are treated to an idealization of the shepherd’s loving protection of his herd as a type of God’s loving care for his people.

The honor and dignity afforded the daughters of Israel in their laws and in the stories of their heroines and prophetesses was even more comprehensive. And Christianity, where it has actually been practiced, has afforded women an equal dignity with men as living souls created in the image and likeness of their creator.

Rather than being considered the “property” of their fathers or husbands, wives and daughters were recognized as persons who, like the men in their families, had limits imposed upon them by their obligations and responsibilities. “Freedom”, in the misguided and irrational sense by which we understand that word in contemporary society, simply didn’t exist for anyone. And while it remains true even today that men may hold positions of honor that women are prohibited from holding for no reason other than that they are women, it is nevertheless true that women are and have always been held in the same honor as men.

The picture of the Bethlehem wives and the homage paid to them by Chesterton is an illustration of the special place afforded women in Christianity.

But it will be said that where absolute equality of opportunity is denied true equality of dignity cannot possibly exist but that’s a gross misunderstanding of both equality and dignity. A demand for equality that fails to recognize or respect a person's real dignity is no equality at all. It is an equality-of-opportunity that is impotent to achieve equality-of-results. It misjudges the nature of equality and confuses it with "sameness". To indiscriminately treat things that are equal as if they were the same is an abuse of the things inherent dignity.

To illustrate the point, in the created order it would be as far beneath the dignity of an animal to be treated the same as a human as it would be beneath the dignity of a man or woman to treat an animal like a human. It is a confused attempt at equality based on a misunderstanding about sameness that devalues as completely as it indignifies.

Quite simply, the nature of things in and of themselves demands that they be treated with the honor, respect, and dignity that is specifically due to them.

It's my contention that in our attempt to realize greater equality we have instead reduced everything to an unnatural sameness and that we have done so to our detriment. Instead of recognizing and celebrating the differences that permit individuals to retain their particular dignity and worth we have chosen to see everything as intrinsically identical with the effect that the highest dignity to be afforded anything is usually the lowest available for everything. And what follows is the denigration and abuse of humans and animals alike.

Anyway, this might explain the modern habit of packing humans as well as livestock in the smallest possible spaces that economy will allow while throwing dignity out of the window.

(By a coincidence, I noticed the following story on The New Republic’s web site Wednesday morning about overcrowding in America’s prisons:,1)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Time To Reform Immigration - For All The Right Reasons

The debate about anchor babies and the 14th Amendment is a stupid debate to be having. The debate needs to be about comprehensive immigration reform.
It's very, VERY unfortunate that Republicans aren't willing to HAVE that debate since they could be having it on their own terms.

Republicans claim to be the party of family values and traditional marriage. Well, one of the great evils of our current system is that it provides an incentive for thousands of people to game the system by making a sacrilege and a mockery of marriage. If that was the only evil this would be enough of a reason for Republicans to make immigration reform a top priority.

Unfortunately, that ISN'T the only evil.

Under the current system, good, hard working people with traditional family values who would strengthen the fabric of American life and society are second to people with resources, connections, and a willingness to do the bare minimum necessary to maintain legal status. What I mean is that people without resources or connections but who are good, healthy, hard-working people have less of a chance to stay in this country and share in the American Dream than some lazy good-for-nothing who happens to have money and a sponsor. Our current system is a fertile soil for crime and corruption, for bribes, blackmail, and oppression.

Republicans need to start seeing the practical value--if not the intrinsic moral worth--of embracing immigrants and immigration reform. Failure to do so will definitely be detrimental to the Republican party's prospects and the very health of American Society long-term.

Calling into question the legitimate status of citizens on dubious Constitutional grounds is a big, big mistake.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Musing

Jesus Christ, God’s Word, is the Truth, DIRECTLY.

Christianity causes one to face the Truth directly;
And so it can cause one to turn from Truth AS directly.

That is the greatest danger inherent in God’s Word;
That man, once faced with the Truth, may reject it the most completely.
Every little bit of it,
And start talking the most complete nonsense.

And by the way,
The English Language is losing its soul.