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Christian Hypocrisy about Lying

Recommended Catholic Book, Is Lying Always Wrong? by Ronald Conte Junior.

 

This spells out Catholic teaching that lying is intrinsically evil meaning it is always wrong. Even if you are forced to do it you are forced to do something bad.  You are not bad for you are forced but the lie is bad.  Nothing "can transform an intrinsically evil act into a different type of act one that is justifiable, and no longer intrinsically evil."  John Paul 2 wrote, "Circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act 'subjectively' good or defensible as a choice."  So it is not defensible never mind good.  The book is clear that this teaching is essential core Catholic teaching.  The Catechism says, "A morally good act requires the goodness of its object, of its end, and of its circumstances together."  So one of these things being bad is enough to make the act a sin. 

 

Conte writes, "If the only thing making your act a sin is your intention, then change your intention".  Or if your goal is bad make it a good one.  In other words, this is just a paraphrase of the end does not justify the means.

 

All three must be okay for the act to not be a sin but good. 

 

He quotes God saying in Proverbs 6:16-19 that God hates six things and the seventh is described as that which his soul detests meaning he hates it the most.  The list is

 

1 Haughtiness

 

2 A lying tongue

 

3 Murdering the innocent

 

4 A heart that plans mischief

 

5 Being keen on doing evil

 

6 Being a false witness legally

 

7 He who tears communities and friends apart

 

So lying is made the same as murder which does not fit Catholic doctrine which says that lying can be a venial sin.  7 is a strange choice to be singled out.  As pride is the root of all defiance of God then the list is clearly wrong.  It is screwed up morally.

 

Jesus says in the sermon on the mount that you cannot swear by anything for you cannot control God or anything and not even the colour of a single hair.  He says you should be so truthful you must not need to swear.  He goes "anything that goes beyond this is evil."  Very strong.

 

Many countries have Bible based oaths.  People are made to swear on a book they see as immoral and cruel and full of toxic teaching attributed to God.  How can such oaths be dignified and binding?  It is impossible.  No wonder criminals reach so quickly for the Bible!

 

It is often said that false oaths call God to witness to a lie.  But Jesus does not say that.  He says you need power over something before you can swear on it.  That sounds like some kind of magic where you are calling for bad luck if you are lying.  You cast a bad spell on yourself.

 

As for what you do if you feel forced to lie the book quotes Fr John Hardon, "We may never tell a lie.  But we are obliged to keep secrets.  How to resolve the dilemma?  An approved way is by what is called mental reservation.  A legitimate mental reservation is to reserve in one's mind the real meaning of what is said, but allow the listener a reasonable clue that such reservation is made...A strict mental reservation provides no reasonable clue as to the real meaning of what is said.  Actually strict mental reservations are lies."  Surely the person then will seek clarification so how can that work?  It cannot.

 

The book goes on to say that the example of having to lie to the Nazis that you have no Jews hiding in the house is actually a disingenuous trick.  What happens is people say lying in extreme conditions is understandable but what they mean is they want to be able to tell a lie if they think the truth will hurt.  So it leads to a lot of lying.  It is using the plight of the Jews to justify your own duplicity and that is warped.  The book says that lying will not get rid of the Nazis anyway for they will search the house and everybody else will probably be lying as well so they know fine well you may be lying.

 

The Church stresses that lying is always wrong. Yet it believes that its God lied to Abraham (Genesis 22) that he wanted Isaac slaughtered and the angel lies in the Book of Tobit. It is crazy to believe yarns about bleeding statues and Lourdesí grottos coming from a religion that looks at books that recommends lies and give no justification for it as the word of God. The Catholic religion permits its victims to tell lies about the coming of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve! Is it not a lie for the Catholic Church to say that evil is our fault and then say that God corrected the flaw in Mary at her conception that causes people to sin so that she freely became perfect? Is it not evil to legitimise dogmas like that that are so prone to abuse? I mean a priest could teach this maliciously to get people to fear the evil that exists in God but which nobody admits is there. He could terrorise the congregation about how God could do this evil thing and still be good. He would be making them fear their very own thoughts so that the Church will be trusted at the expense of commonsense. There are doctrines without mystery that should be believed instead of the mystery stuff and which are not as harmful. The rule that you donít condemn a thing by its abuse only applies if the thing is necessary and beneficial.

 

Heretics such as James Patrick Holding deny that the Bible absolutely bans lying.  They dubiously say it only bans false legal testimony!  But if a lie is ever good then it can be good to lie in court considering that courts are never truly about justice but about law.   The notion that the truth is the truth sums up the meaning of morality.  Adultery and stealing are a form of lying.  If truth does not matter all the time then it can be okay to tell somebody to commit adultery and that it will be morally neutral or even virtuous.

 

An answer to holding is that as our creed is the law of God that we must love him with all our minds and thoughts and hearts that everything is an oath in a sense.  If you are all about God then all you say is about his truth.

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