The birth of the royal baby is all the rage across the pond. It’d be easy for me to point out the media’s hypocrisy for not referring to William and Kate’s newborn child as the “royal fetus” or the “royal clump of cells,” but plenty of other writers have already done that. There is no need to belabor the point. After all, there are more important things going on in the world, especially in the U.K.
On Monday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to crack down on internet pornography. During a speech at a charity event, Cameron said that internet service providers will, in the near future, have to install “family-friendly” filters that automatically block access to pornographic sites. Users who don’t want the filter are free to turn it off. They simply have to let their internet provider know that they want it disabled.
In defending his proposal, Cameron correctly pointed out that “the spread of online pornography has made society worse,” and that the government has a “moral duty” to pursue his plan because internet pornography is, among other things, “poisonous” and “corroding childhood.”
Cameron’s initiative has other, more intricate elements but the simple fact that he wants to limit people’s access to certain websites was all that partisans of licentiousness needed to hear to accuse him of ushering in a nanny state.
To be sure, it’s difficult to know if Cameron’s plan is the most effective way to go about keeping the internet safe. But those who oppose his proposal prima facie because it restricts liberty are sorely misguided. Per usual, I’ll reference Pope Leo XIII in order to substantiate my position. Here, with some editing, is an excerpt from his 1888 encyclical Libertas Praestantissimum:
“Liberty…confers on man…dignity.” But “the manner in which such dignity is exercised is of the greatest [importance].” Today “there are many who imagine that the Church is hostile to human liberty. Having a false and absurd notion as to what liberty is, either they pervert the very idea of freedom or they extend it at their pleasure to many things.” Advocates of such ideas can rightly be called “Liberals.”
“Followers of Liberalism,” Leo continues, “deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due, and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and substitutes a boundless license.” These men “follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his rebellious cry, ‘I will not serve,’ and consequently substitute for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license.”
These words are truly profound, and are in no way politically correct, which is super refreshing. What Leo is basically arguing is that the concept of freedom espoused by Liberals has its origin in Lucifer! The first rebel! The first Liberal, if you will.
Unfortunately, more and more people, perhaps unaware of the demonic nature of Liberalism, are subscribing to it, including Catholics. Of course, this is not completely surprising. Liberalism is all around us. It is like a germ that wears down our spiritual immune system after constant exposure. What it does is teach us that freedom is an end in and of itself. It teaches us that so long as someone isn’t ‘harming’ someone else then they should be allowed to do pretty much whatever they want. It teaches us, as Leo pointed out, to scorn the natural law and exalt liberty above all else.
A cursory glance at the culture around us shows just how spot on Pope Leo was. Today, as you well know, men are marrying men and women are marrying women. Doctors are murdering unborn babies and prepubescent children are rejecting the sex God assigned to them. In-vitro fertilization is thought to be a morally permissible practice and harmful drugs are on their way to becoming legalized.
How did all of this become a reality? How did we come to view divine authority as something that needed to be shunned? Well, activists infected with Liberalist thinking loudly and proudly proclaimed, in the name of liberty, equality and freedom, that man has the natural right to pursue any impulse he may have.
What nonsense. This is not freedom. This is is not about equality. This is idolatry. This is man willfully relinquishing his dignity and succumbing to his most primal, barbaric instincts. This, in other words, is man turning away from God and following in the footsteps of Satan, plain and simple.
Perhaps it’s easy to adopt a defeatist attitude after hearing all this. How, you’re probably wondering, can we ever win over a culture so thoroughly imbued with such diabolical thinking? I’d like to tell you that I have the answer to that question. I’d like to tell you that we must simply continue evangelizing the culture and that eventually everything is going to be okay. But the only real solution I can think of is prayer. We have, in essence, moved beyond the point of no return. Sure, drafting a bill that restricts access to online pornography will infuriate Satan and his minions. And it is a step in the right direction. But the modern world is so engulfed by a false understanding of freedom that it’s tough to keep hope alive. What we have to do is ask for supernatural intervention. And we have to ask for it everyday. The devil never rests. And neither can we.