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"The Greatest Problem of Our Time"-Pope Benedict XVI

Moral relativism was once described by Pope Benedict XVI as ““the greatest problem of our time.” That’s a pretty bold statement considering the ills of war, the lack of respect for life, environmental concerns, disease, pandemic, economic woes around the world, drought, famine, and the myriad other concerns that we as humans face. Why did he choose relativism as the greatest of ills? I believe that he chose to name it as the greatest problem of our time because of its subtle ability to erode the very nature of existence. That’s a bold statement, so let me break it down. Under the guise of “tolerance” or “love”, moral relativism creeps in and slowly but surely begins to change our emotions, then it changes our limits, and then it changes our patterns of thought, and finally as its great coup de grâce it changes how we believe that things truly are. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Let’s look at gender: A few years back, mainstream sources told us that it was unloving to not allow two men to marry. After all, with the divorce rate hovering somewhere above 50% of all heterosexual marriages, and virtually without difference between religious and non-religious people, why shouldn’t two people who are in a committed relationship be allowed to marry, free from outdated religious conventions and sensibilities that don’t really seem to work anyway? Wouldn’t it be loving to allow a man who truly loves his life partner to have power of attorney, or have family health insurance, or be able to file joint tax returns? Sure. I feel like a jerk for not feeling like this should be allowed. It gets me in the feelers. Let’s allow that, but don’t make my religion conform to that idea. But sure, love can be love. From there we moved on to gender itself. What if a biological female decided that she identifies more with characteristics and preferences that have traditionally been associated with males? Ok, it would make me feel bad to deny her rights because of her preferences. What if she wants to wear men’s clothing and go the men’s restroom? Ok, I guess it would be unloving to deny her what she wants, because then she would be living under oppression, right? So what if she begins to declare that she is a male? Well, I guess there’s no harm in that, because it’s her right to believe she is what she wants to be, right? Then subtly at first, but gaining persistent steam, lawsuits and legislation begins to actually force others to declare that she is indeed truly a male, with legal and societal repercussions if you won’t make those declarations! Unfortunately, that is where we are rapidly approaching, if we are not already there. We can actually be penalized for stating the truth if the objective truth doesn’t align with some false standard that has been given to us as reality by those who choose to live by lies. I believe that this is why Pope Benedict said what he did. He recognized that rather than creating a world of love and freedom, relativism does the exact opposite. It sets each individual’s opinion up as the ultimate authority on a matter, and any differing opinion can simply be written off as “haters gonna hate,” or worse. Back in 2005, then Cardinal Ratzinger prophetically said “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” This may sound like he was way ahead of his time, which he was in many regards. But looking deeper, this is also is the first lie that we see recorded in the Scriptures, that of the serpent in ​

the garden, telling Eve that the fruit she so desired wouldn’t lead to death, but rather that God was just trying to deny her the liberty she deserved. After all, “haters gonna hate.” -Mike Iverson

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