By Judie Brown
Remember the famous Lewis Carroll quote, “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’”
This has come to mind several times lately because truth has a way of eluding people if it gets in the way of their agenda. We live in a world where the very existence of truth is viewed by many as nothing more than individual opinion. Yet we know that the essence of Truth, Jesus Christ, has told us, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Today there are clearly more Humpty Dumptys in our midst than faithful followers of Truth. A few examples follow.
In the world of abortion advocacy, we see this a great deal. One example comes from the New York Times. In an opinion piece, the author whined about pro-life billboards on highways. The headline reads “The Anti-Abortion Messages Haunting Florida Highways,” and the writer says, “Some are simple messages meant to induce shame, with pseudoscientific statistics and cute baby pictures. Many offer a friendly face and a phone number for a religious counseling center. All are stark and jarring against the powder-blue Florida sky.”
Of interest is the example used to illustrate the writer’s tone. It was a locally designed billboard featuring an artist’s rendering of Christ’s face and the words “Abortion Breaks God’s Heart.” We are not sure how this billboard would be capable of haunting any place or person, but then again, there is such a thing as a guilty conscience. Only God knows that.
And then there’s the conundrum of the comments made by Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia—the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. At first, Paglia said that medically assisted suicide was “feasible.” And then after some blowback, the academy clarified the statement, saying Paglia agrees with Church teaching, yet at the same saying that the comment was referring to a “‘legislative initiative’ (certainly not a moral one).”
In other words, Paglia stuck his foot in his mouth and replaced it with a toe. When a spokesman has to step up and speak for you, the problem is bad; it reminds me of the many missteps Biden has made, each of which is always clarified by someone else. I think that is called hubris. A simple apology would have sufficed.
And what about the man who writes that his seduction into a homosexual lifestyle was actually caused because he was “metaphorically kidnapped”? His name is Garrett D. Johnson, and his story, though a work in progress, reminds us once again of the awful damage that words can do to the vulnerable, the weak, the confused, and the broken.
Johnson’s experiences have shaped him into a loving Catholic man who is able to share his growth in Christ with others. He wrote about this recently, telling readers that the words of people like Pope Francis, who said that “being homosexual is not a crime,” are false compassion that for men like him “put me back in the same prison from which [the Church] previously helped free me.”
Mr. Johnson closes his most recent article with these words: “As Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.’ Please, help us to our greatness by speaking the truth we all need to hear in love.”
Thinking about Johnson and his journey toward Truth reminds us once again that for anyone who is grappling with the pain caused by aborting a child and who hears Catholic leaders who confuse others with deceptive words, one thing becomes perfectly clear. Humpty Dumpty may have had a great fall, but his fascination with deceiving others with words lives on.
There is never a wrong time or place to set the record straight with the words Our Lord spoke, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”