I read this blog post on Creative Minority report and was reminded of the immortal saying of Fulton Sheen:
Right is right, even if no one is right. Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is wrong.
(you find this nice phrase here, by the way).
One truly wonders how the world could become so stupid as to forget the simplest truths. But then again, one truly wonders how the world could swallow the legend of planet-threatening “man-made global warming”, or get into panic mode because of the ozone layer, or start the next collective paranoia for something we do not know yet, but we know is there waiting to come out (brain tumors from mobile phones perhaps? Ops, sorry, we had that too…). We look into an abyss of dismal ignorance fuelled by sheer careless dumbness we thought literacy had destroyed, and discover the problem is not literacy but human stupidity, with the same superstitions and urban legends uncritically believed now as it was at the time of the genial scene you see above.
I heard people generally considered intelligent express concerns the water reservoirs of a place like London could be “poisoned by terrorists” (cue: you wouldn’t even notice it at the water tap;not even in case of a massive, massive simultaneous attack); these must be the same kind of people who told us the Amazon forest was to disappear into nothing… (when, fifteen years ago?), the polar bears were on their way to extinction (population greatly increased in the last decades, says the UNO, not I; though I am sure Al Gore’s followers think they can’t swim) and to save the planet we must all have big co2 munching mansions like…well, Al Gore. Who, I am rather sure, must have a Prius somewhere.
In all these occasions, you hear all those not favoured by God with a well-functioning brain saying that it must be true, because other people say so. Particularly those strange “people”: the TV, the media, Madonna (the slutty singer), Bono (the clever third-world entrepreneur), and the vox populi basically created by the aggregate voice of one’s own, well, equally intelligent friends.
Alas, these are the ways of the world and among the stupid, things will always go that way. But, but….
I had thought that there were certain categories of people who had a certain duty to be competent in what they say. The press of course, and the specialised press in particular, because they are supposed to be a reservoir of specialised knowledge for the masses (an increasingly embarrassing mistake, it seems). Then those who, by way of the profession they have chosen, have made their bread to be expert in their own field: specialised schools, institutions, universities , and the like. In the case of, say, Catholicism, you would expect specialised magazines, education institutions, and religious orders to know at least the basics. I mean, to know at least what an illiterate peasant of 200 years ago would have known without fail.
Not so. Not so any more, at least. It appears the last trend is to say whatever is convenient to say, knowing the public is too stupid to notice it. This last sport has been practised a lot lately in the United States, with the strange idea that if Catholics largely ignore the Church teaching on contraception, then this teaching: a) must be wrong and b) must be changed.
One really does not know whether a) or b) is more stupid. But the real drama is, a lot of people out there will not even understand why, and will form their opinion according to what the next singer or actor in search of a cause tells them.
Therefore, try not to get a fit of rage when you hear the next wannabe philosopher near you saying that the Church should change Her rules in matter of contraception. Yes, they are ignorant (often) or stupid (more often) or both (most often), but prominent US nuns, American Catholic magazines and institutions manage to say exactly the same nonsense, and they are the ones supposed to know better as a way of living.
Mala tempora currunt