Dear Editor: It is always sad to encounter the solutions to human problems proposed by confused Catholics, short-sighted about lasting damage. Arguing for tolerance of polygamy, Frances Schafer (Jan. 24) diminished the Gospel of Our Lord by claiming that it has an “understanding” that affirms her misunderstanding that the admonition that the law is made for man, not man for the law, means that moral truth is not binding.
The word “law” in Scripture has distinguishable meanings, and Jesus was clear about not clearing the “laws” of cultural practice, often morally wrong, with the natural moral law that encompasses the unchanging God-given fibers of our humanity, a divine wisdom never subordinate to our self-serving assumptions about assumed benefits of consequences. Natural law requires our limited understandings and guesses about consequences be put aside so we can discover the truth about our human nature.
When we’re unwilling to consider the damage of encouraging the enculturation of practices that reward the polygamous bad behavior of selfish men, we do not serve the permanent interests of either men or women.
Frequently, liberals extol cultural relativism as subterfuge for their concessions to moral relativism, but the dehumanizing effects to a damaged ethical sense from false tolerance becomes hard to reverse. Thankfully, many Catholic African men, heroically living our doctrinal Catholic rejection of consequentialism, are helping women without families to find safe haven and sustenance without prostituting themselves in any sense of the word.