ASK FATHER: Is it sinful to make or use fake papers, vaccine passports, or false documents?

This is a really interesting question from a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Is it sinful to make or use fake papers, vaccine passports, or false documents?

It depends.

I direct you and others to a video of a debate about this issue (and related issues) between Dr. Janet Smith and Fr. Gregory Pine.

My option is that Dr. Smith made the better argument for the question: Is lying always wrong?

There are situations in which it is right to lie.

BAM BAM BAM BAM

[You open the door.]

DEIN AUSWEIS! SCHNELL!

[You hand over your identity papers.]

Versteckst du JUDEN in deinem Haus?

[Knowing you have Jews hidden in the basement, you answer.]

Nein.

So… watch this and think about it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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38 Comments

  1. dd113 says:

    I am not a theologian, but I personally think that it is an act of heroism and probable martyrdom to “lie” to the Gestapo at the door in the classic scenario. Dr. Smith presented her case very well.

  2. ArthurH says:

    In a letter to the editor I had this very argument with an essay Janet Smith wrote for First Things a couple of years ago; she replied to my letter basically saying the same thing she said in her essay, not directly answering my objection. I let it be.

    The truth is always–and only– due those who have the right to know it; not every one does, as in the case of the guy knocking in the door.

    But may you directly “lie” to mislead that knocker? I say no, but you may mislead, may misdirect, may ask irrelevant questions, may reserve some of the info, etc, all part of the intentional non-answering the truth… without telling a lie. (It is why in court one swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.)

    The classic iconic example for the “knocker”example is this: A runaway Roman slave, Felix, gives an answer to a Roman guard who has been looking for him and who asks: “Esne Felix ?” (Are you Felix? ) To which Felix answers, “Non sum felix.” (I am not happy.) The Roman hears the answer to what he thought he had asked. Felix, who is surely not happy, did not lie and he also did not speak the truth to the intended question.

    Speech– as every function we have– is meant to express the good. To speak what is not truth is not-that.

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  4. WVC says:

    Didn’t the Vatican itself provide papers / passports for escaped POWs during WW2? I thought that was part of the entire story around Monsignor O’Flaherty? And there are saints that would resort to disguises to sneak around behind enemy lines, like Fr. Miguel Pro. I think papers, in this context, would be the same as a disguise, no?

  5. cpdog says:

    “There are situations in which it is right to lie.”

    My problem with this is that this means that this means that God must be able to tell lies. After all, to say that God is metaphysically incapable of doing something “right” is obviously incomprehensible. And yet, the Church teaches us that “God can neither deceive nor be deceived.” So, either a) the Church is wrong and God *can* deceive us, b) God is incapable of performing certain good actions, or c) lying is always wrong. I can’t see how we can hold anything other than c.

  6. Sportsfan says:

    Arthur H, I agree with you that the truth is only due those who have the right to know. However, one can only obfuscate to a limit. If a yes or no is demanded then a choice has to be made.

    Applying the Felix example to Father’s hypothetical situation, I think I would make sure I had 9 (or more) Jews in the basement.

  7. Ages says:

    Murder is wrong, yet war, self-defense, and capital punishment can be employed in acceptable ways.

    God does not require martyrdom of everyone in every case. It is a special calling. In persecution, the greatest saints declared themselves Christians and suffered for it, but many more kept their heads down or fled. As long as you don’t deny Christ to save your own skin, I don’t think avoiding persecution is wrong. At least it’s a lesser wrong than violating your properly formed conscience.

    And if lying would violate your conscience in every case, then don’t. Maybe you are called to martyrdom and you are meant to inspire others by your bold example.

  8. KateD says:

    As a wise Jesuit (Yes, they doooo exist!) once told my husband, “You don’t have ta tell ev-e-ry-thing that you know”.

    And going on the further advice given in that situation, I’d say in the above example one might spit out, with indignation something like, “Why would I have Jews in my home!?!!”. Or perhaps, “How dare you come in to my home! Dont you know who I AM?!? What is your name?! I demand to speak to your superiors!” Then you either make them insecure a bit or they focus on you, they thrash you about, or shoot you and move on. Either way, your guests are spared. Or “No, I am not housing Jews”, because the basement is technically not a part of the living area or maybe they are just visiting….

    Surely, if you were helping people avoid the Nazis in WWII Germany, you would have had ample time to come up with a good response before the banging at the door.

    Intentions, where our heart is, is really important to God, I think.

    This is where we are called to be clever….because it’s NEVER okay to turn away from the Truth and yet it’s also NEVER okay to allow innocents to be harmed when you have the ability to stop it.

    There’s something very fundamental (sacred?), like right in the pit of your gut, about the hospitality we extend to others and the guarantee of safe harbor that is implied from a host to a guest.

    Unfortunately, my inclination would be to smash a cast iron frying pan into the forehead of anyone who would dare breach the sanctuary of my home and threaten ANYONE inside. (Bat guano crazy does have its time and place…lol). More often than not I have mindlessly run towards the fray fully expecting to get soundly walloped only to come out the other side mystified to be still standing, unscathed. And then there’s that moment of recognition that you’re alright and then….rabbiting. Think about it. It’s fly season. What do flies do when you swat at them? They bum rush you and go straight for your face and you get confused and flail your arms and runnaway. You, of course, come back more determined to get the fly, but by then he is GONE. The fly won.).

    But to the point of lying, I think most of us have it in our intellectual capacity to talk around things in such a maner where its not obvious and we avert disclosing that which we should not.

    Lying is so easy. Like a pinch of incense at the altar of a pagan idol. Its just a small pinch….

  9. KateD says:

    P.S. I’m not going to directly address the issue of fake vaccines passports, because a) one should not disclose the efforts and methods of good people to the enemy and b) one needn’t stfain hard to see how my response may be applied to that situation.

    Besides, don’t we have a saint who provides an excellent example here? The centurion who would not offer incense?

  10. Tradster says:

    cpdog: God is capable of controlling situations and events to where lying would not be necessary. We mortals are not that fortunate.

  11. Man-o-words says:

    Hmm – Aren’t we missing something here? It would seem to me that there are two questions:
    1) To what extent would a lie be a sin (venial, mortal, etc). However, If God is truth than anything other than truth is contrary to God, and would therefore be a sin. The only question is to what DEGREE it is a sin. To the arguments made, it may be very light, perhaps, but could never be a form of glorifying God.
    2) The bigger miss in this argument is to what extent do we glorify God by trust in His divine providence. There is virtue and heroic virtue. Which demonstrates the greater trust in God’s providence – taking human action to avoid a consequence for violating an unjust law (i.e. fake papers, dishonesty, etc), or surrendering to God’s providence -whatever that may be – by stating the required truth and leaving the worldly consequences up to God?

    That’s not to say we should run out into the streets announcing that we aren’t vaccinated and will die before getting the jab. We do the Catholic thing – head down humble, live the specific challenges of each day, and if the knock comes, answer factually and minimally.

    God really doesn’t NEED us to solve problems. He involves us if and when WE need it for our own salvation.

    Feel free to correct me if anything I said was theologically incorrect.

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  13. WVC says:

    @Man-o-words

    Prudence and doing what is within one’s power to achieve a desirable outcome has always been considered the right and virtuous path outside of extreme cases, some of which may border more on the legend and less on the history.

    St. Joseph tried to find room in the inn before being resigned to God’s will and accepting, with a glad heart, the stable.

    Regarding God as Truth, yes, but when one is forcing one to partake in a lie, is honoring the Truth to submit to that lie? If COVID is, as many believe, a hoax (not in the sense that it doesn’t exist but in the sense that a 99.98% survivable virus is no reasonable excuse for authoritarian tyranny), is it impugning the Truth to oppose all of the measures being used to enshrine this lie at the heart of our entire way of life? This lie is being used to close churches, to break up families, to imprison people, to make it difficult for parents to provide for children . . . etc.

    One need not be too simplistic in approaching a complex situation.

  14. Amateur Scholastic says:

    Edward Feser covers this on his blog. Lying is parallel to contraception: a perverted use of our faculties, and as such, is always and everywhere wrong. Therefore, you can’t lie to someone on the grounds that they have no ‘right to know’.

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/murderer-at-door.html
    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-counts-as-lie.html

    This is the traditional, Thomist teaching.

  15. cpdog says:

    Tradster said, “God is capable of controlling situations and events to where lying would not be necessary.”

    Granted. But if “there are situations in which it is right to lie” as Fr. Z posits, then why would there be a need to control the situation to avoid it? For example, it’s not satisfying to say “So that Jesus would not tell a lie, He had to use miracles to avoid being put into that situation.” That doesn’t make any sense. Why would Jesus do that? Because He *couldn’t* tell a lie? If He *couldn’t* then that means that lying must always be wrong. Or, if He *could* tell a lie, then we must reject the language of Church councils that have affirmed that “God can neither deceive nor be deceived.” But, if we accept the notion that God can lie to us, then as far as I can see, you can throw out Faith altogether. We believe things because God has said they are true. If He can lie, then I guess we all just act *as if* they are true, never knowing for sure whether they actually are. “Truth Himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.”

  16. WVC says:

    I’m not advocating one side or the other – I can see both and find both interesting. One the one hand, even a pinch of incense at a false idol was unacceptable, and the ancient martyrs willingly accepted death rather then cooperating in any way with the pagan lie. Could fake vaccine cards be considered a pinch of incense to the COVID idol?

    On the other hand, if want to get Jesuitical, one can argue that if someone asks to see my COVID papers, I can show them what I have, but I’m not attesting that what’s on the paper is true. Or if someone asks if I’ve been vaccinated, I have, for smallpox and lots of other diseases. Or if I went to CVS and paid for a shot but the clerk, after giving me the batch number, misplaced the actual vaccine, and I said, that’s okay, I don’t mind – I did actually buy the vaccine. . . .etc.

    Or, is it right to do what we can to outlast the tyranny? I’m thinking Fr. Miguel Pro. Edmund Campion. Hiding holes for priests. Disguises. Secret Masses. All of these were clearly in violation of the law. They were against the authorities. Did folks do what they had to do to protect that which was sacred? Yes – and some were even lauded and beatified/canonized.

    So what’s the best path forward today? I wish I had a clear vision.

    The only thing I feel somewhat certain of – this is likely not going to end well.

  17. Man-o-words says:

    BTW – I forgot to mention, that in the case of the hiding of Jews, I believe that there was a very good mother superior who responded the the question rather directly, “There are no damned Jews here!!”

    And, that, my friends was perfect honesty!

  18. Man-o-words says:

    BTW – I forgot to mention, that in the case of the hiding of Jews, I believe that there was a very good mother superior who responded the the question rather directly, “There are no damned Jews here!!”

    And, that, my friends was perfect honesty!

  19. FrDulli says:

    How about mental reservation? If the Nazi asks me whether I am hiding Jews, I might answer no and still tell the truth. For I don’t have to tell him that I consider the Christians to be the true Jews grafted onto the vine of Israel. For to my mind the flesh is of no avail. But the soldier has no time for that discussion. The old “who is a Jew?” debate is useful.

  20. Tooksam says:

    cpdog
    Just because it’s right for humans to sometimes tell lies does not imply that God is able to tell lies. I don’t see how you made that leap.

  21. Tooksam says:

    cpdog
    I think Fr. Z is referring to situations were it is right for humans to lie, I don’t think he was referring to God.

  22. Chrisc says:

    There are many positions on lying that the Church has not said whether they are permissible or not. However, I suspect that we ought to be able to rule some out if we are thinking clearly. The first is mental reservation, as its known This idea that was popular with Jesuits. This looks like classical formulations in that it is with-holding certain key details, but it differs in intent. Where Athanasius indicated that it was fine to speak something where you know it could be interpreted in one way, and you mean for it to mean another interpretation. This is just pointing out the limits of language to adequately give information. Where mental reservation differs is that the intention is not merely to not provide clarifying details, but the intent is actively to deceive. Surely this is a key aspect of lying- saying ambiguous or false things with the intent to deceive.

    Secondly, the other popular theory of right to truth. This has lots of epistemological problems and then we are supposed to determine who has a right to truth or not… moreover we are supposed to determine if someone isnt owed the truth therefore its legitimate to give them false information seems utterly a failure of what we owe to others.

    I think vax passports are like other speech acts. It is illegitimate and contrary to the natural law that these be required. That does not mean that I do not have an obligation with my own speech acts to point to the truth. This it is immoral for them to exist and immoral for us to lie.

    Is it permissible for us to say that we have had covid or to say that we have natural immunity or that we have done all that is required by the law…meaning the natural law…sure. none of this is intentionally uttering false words or intending to deceive.

  23. rahook says:

    I’ve always thought that this example is not a very good way to demonstrate the truth or falsity of whether it can be right to tell a lie, because it is unrealistic. If a Nazi really thought that a certain household was sheltering Jews, I doubt that he would knock at the door and start asking questions. He would be far more likely to force his way inside and start searching the premises. Perhaps someone with some knowledge of life in the Nazi era could enlighten us on this.

  24. Lusp says:

    I like St Augustine’s take about lying to the Nazis (Romans in his case): you can’t lie but you also can’t betray.

  25. JEF5570 says:

    Note to self: Check to see if the owners of potential safe houses are ok with telling a fib to save my life, before hiding there.

  26. Rob83 says:

    It is sinful to bear false witness, but it is not always a mortal sin.

    It shows greater faith in God’s promise to provide for our needs to refuse to use such a document simply to make life easier, although I don’t know that it would rise to the level of a grave sin to make use of one to provide the necessities for one’s family if the powers that be have blocked all other temporal avenues. Going back to the emperor and the incense, is it the same level of gravity to do the act of worship as to produce a piece of paper saying you did when you really didn’t?

    Using one for leisure or entertainment would be less defensible because those things aren’t necessities.

  27. surritter says:

    If it is OK to lie in order to save an innocent life, then why do we get all worked up that Peter lied in the courtyard about knowing Jesus? The Romans had no moral right to drag him away just for associating with Jesus.
    Is it because Peter was trying to save himself, but the Jew-safe-house owner is saving someone other than himself? Perhaps, but that leads down a strange road when trying to answer the question about lying being always wrong.

  28. In the case of a falsified “vaccine passport,” I will suggest that given that a “vaccine” mandate itself is unjust and immoral– and needs to be resisted– in a way, falsifying such a document is not like falsifying a birth certificate or an ordinary passport. The latter such documentation is not in and of itself unjust and is a fact and necessity of ordinary life, whereas the former is inherently unjust. My opinion is that such an injustice needs to be confronted directly– in other words, presenting a falsified “vaccine passport” concedes that the very existence of such documents is itself legitimate, when what we should be doing is simply to refuse to cooperate at all regardless of the consequences. Falsifying such documents simply perpetuates the injustice of the document itself. I know that for many people the consequences will be severe, but it takes lots of martyrs to combat severe injustices.

    Apart from that, it won’t be long before falsifying any identity document will be next to impossible as they’ll all have scannable QR codes or chips linked to central computers. When that day comes, the long-awaited EMF pulse will probably be a relief rather than a curse.

  29. TonyO says:

    So many good responses, for which I am grateful. I will not repeat them all, but will try to make a couple additional points:

    Rob83 starts a comment saying It shows greater faith in God’s promise to provide for our needs…

    We must always keep in mind what God means by “providing for our needs: “there is but ONE THING necessary”. It can be said in many ways, but it all amounts to the very same thing: union with the life of God, which comes to us in the grace of salvation (i.e. in baptism), borne out to the very end of (this) life over to the moment of judgment and into heaven. THAT, and that alone, is the “one thing necessary”. All else is mere piffle – which is what St. Paul tells us: the travails of this life are not to be compared to the glories of the next. We leave this life with NOTHING but our souls – every other good gets left behind, because they are merely the tools with which we form our characters, and by which we choose to be formed godly or not. God does not promise us ANY of the goods of this life: he does not promise wealth, or long life, or status, or children, or health, or respect, or friendship with other humans, or anything like that. He only promises the one thing necessary – if we choose to adhere to that. So, choosing to turn your back on the Truth in order to preserve something in this life is … not the wise move. If God intends for you to die today in His grace – this is good: St. Paul says ALL THINGS work for the good of those whom He saves – and kept saying this on the way to his martyrdom for preaching the truth. And this is precisely what the martyrs showed us over and over.

    On mental reservation: even those wily Jesuits make a distinction between “strict” and “broad” mental reservation. Broad mental reservation is the sort of thing demonstrated with Felix, above, who was “not happy”: language harbors ambiguities, and you are NOT obliged to clarify them when either of two meanings are reasonably available in the context. Strict mental reservation is when the meaning YOU have in mind bears absolutely no connection to what any and every hearer would think from your words, because you left out essential aspects of your thought.

    Nazi: “Do you have Jews?”
    You: “No”. Your mentally complete thought: “No, it is not a sunny day today.”

    No hearer could possibly suspect that your “no” might refer to the weather. This is not an ambiguous usage, it is a lie. The Jesuits just had a fancy term for it and created huge doubts where no real doubt was justified.

    Broad mental reservation may avoid being equivalent to a lie, if the true sense is at least plausible to the language and the context. However, it is necessarily a field of gray areas because just how reasonable the true sense can be grasped from the ambiguous words is capable of infinite variation – it’s on a continuum. Nobody should imagine that all particular cases will be absolutely clearly OK or clearly wrong.

    I doubt that he would knock at the door and start asking questions. He would be far more likely to force his way inside and start searching the premises. Perhaps someone with some knowledge of life in the Nazi era could enlighten us on this.

    @rahook: I believe there is a concrete case where the Nazi soldiers did in fact knock on the door and ask, and the Christian inside successfully hoodwinked the Nazis through deceptive but not false speech – i.e. by carrying on about “those horrid Jews” or some such. I have no actual knowledge of how frequently the soldiers knocked and asked, but in the interests of time, they could not have thoroughly searched EVERY house, and absent specific suspicions, maybe they did just ask questions and tried to figure out who was nervously lying about it?

  30. ArthurH says:

    To Sportsfan:

    Check out Amateur Scholastic and Man o’ words. :) :)

    And there are always ways to mislead without lying…. but while there is a distinction between doing evil and sinning–usually linked– one can do either without doing the other.

  31. KateD says:

    TonyO- That’s an interesting idea.

    I wonder, though, if it’s possible to remain sincere in making a statement consistent with what one is thinking which is inconsistent with the truthful response to a direct question being asked or the situation at hand. My personal opinion is that sans mental health issues or divine intervention, that would be a mind bending feat of mental acrobatics.

    It just seems easier (safer?) to speak to a shade of the truth?

    I do believe that in most instances where you are needing to lie or use duplicity to be saved, it is really God who will see you through.

    In the instance of the original question, we are not talking about protection of others from imminent death but the threat of loosing ones employment and convenience. It’s a different beast altogether. We need to have the integrity and confidence in what we know and believe and to just say, “no”.

    It reminds me of our family’s stance on working on Sundays. When the kids were little I waited tables on weekend nights, for a little extra income (my husband was unemployed or underemployed fornmost of the Obama years). I needed the job, and the employer was notorious for not letting anyone off on holidays and Sundays, but after hearing a homily about honoring God on Sunday, I went in and spoke to management. I just said, “As a Catholic, I can’t work on these Holy Days of Obligation.” I read them the calendars dates and included all Sundays. They asked, “so you can work Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and New Year’s eve?”. “Absolutely.” And I kept my job and did what I knew was right. Sometimes we can be surprised by the results when we have the courage to stand up for our convictions. My kids won’t even entertain the thought of doing much beyond the bare necessities on a Sunday and if chores hit the 2 hour mark, they stop. Our daughter is in the world and worked 5 jobs this summer (all at the same time) in order to remain debt free. She is a hard worker. She WILL NOT, however, touch a Sunday. Our actions influence those around us. When we have the courage to honor God, those around us are inspired to as well.

    You have to have that strength of conviction with the jab. They are not just developed using fetal cells for testing, they are integral to the thing itself. I’m not going to derive health benefits from the brutal murder of a child, anymore than I’m going to smear it on my face to look younger. We all agree it’s repugnant. And we need to let the rest of the world know it, too.

    If we are to follow Jesus Christ, we have to pick up our cross…

    For those who have already been stuck, I recently heard that a HIGH percentage (I want to say 70%?) were placebo. I have not verified that…but I suspecte it is true.

  32. jjbulano says:

    I have, perhaps, a more simplistic view of this. The question mentioned false vaccination papers — and I assume the other elements of the question also relate to the virus and vaccinations. Why would you do that? Why would you mislead people about why you will not get vaccinated? If you are not vaccinated because you believe it is cooperating with evil, why would you want people to believe that you think it is ok to cooperate with evil? And second, if there are consequences for not being vaccinated, especially if you are living and defending your faith, why would you not accept the consequences, even if it meant suffering, and join that suffering with Christ’s suffering on the Cross for the benefit of others? I guess I don’t understand why this particular lie is necessary.

  33. WVC says:

    @jjbulano, et al – it’s easy to talk in abstracts. I don’t know your personal situation, but here’s mine. I am a widower with 7 kids. The youngest are only 3. Do I think the vaccine is unnecessary? Yes. Do I think the COVID virus is over-hyped? Absolutely. Do I think the mandates to take vaccines are an example of outrageous and evil tyranny designed for purely political purposes? Unquestionably.

    I didn’t ask for this fight. I just want to be left alone to raise my children. I pay my taxes. I don’t commit crimes. I JUST WANT TO BE LEFT ALONE.

    Now, unless I submit to lick the boots of the Medical Fascists, I could lose my job. But THAT IS ONLY THE BEGINNING. It’s like saying, “Hey, Jews, all you gotta do is wear a yellow star, what’s the big whoop?” What will come next? It’s not hard to see. History has paved the way time and time again. I won’t be able to buy food at a grocery store. I won’t be able to travel. Perhaps I won’t be able to renew my driver’s license. Perhaps I won’t be able to own property. Perhaps not vaccinating my children will be deemed gross negligence, and the state will swoop in and take them away from me in order to indoctrinate them with anti-Christian propaganda including pushing transgenderism and queer lifestyles upon them and likely introducing them to illegal drug use.

    If you don’t believe that this is the path we’re on, then, hey, don’t worry, it’s just two more weeks to flatten the curve and it will all be okay. Just get back to me after the sixth booster to let me know how you feel.

    So when folks come up here and go “God is good, don’t do bad.” Or “it’s simple, just don’t lie, duh” I ask for them to take a moment and actually reflect on the concrete situation and not live purely in the abstract.

    Am I dishonoring God because I’m trying to avoid taking a drug I believe is dangerous for my health and which I clearly do not medically need? Am I dishonoring God because I want to protect my children and raise them as Christians in a world gone absolutely nuts? It’s easy to say “Just suck it up and face the consequences” – but it’s a lot harder to contemplate my children’s faces and imagine them in foster homes and public schools having their souls crushed by a demonic world order.

    Perhaps that will be our fate regardless. Fine. Than I pray for the grace to accept God’s will with joy. But in the mean time I am obligated to do everything in my wits power to avoid that scenario.

    If, and this is a big if, I could depend upon a decent amount of my fellow citizens to stand with me, it would make sense to make a stand. If one tells his boss to go ahead and fire him, and the boss knows he’s going to lose more than half the company this way, the bluff is called. But there are many, perhaps a large majority, who now live by fear not reason. Who not only got and like the vaccine, but truly believe that the mandates are just and that we, the “Others” deserve every bit of suffering coming our way. The will NOT stand with us. And so, like the lone dude standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square, our fate will not be pretty if we stick up out of the pack.

    Meanwhile there is a long history of people hiding priests, books of scripture, escaped POWs, having secret Masses, and doing many things against the wishes of the anti-Catholic authorities. Was this dishonoring God? Wasn’t this practicing deception? Wasn’t Rahab praised in Hebrews and James? And wasn’t she included in the genealogy of Christ himself?

    Life is complicated and not easy. The answers aren’t always simple. This is a difficult problem, and it’s only going to become a more and more important question with each passing week.

  34. prayfatima says:

    I don’t think it’s dishonoring God by having secret Masses, as far as my little non-canon lawyer brain thinks. Isn’t the first commandments: give God the worship He is due? Civil rules are nothing compared to laws of God. The former are almost always unjust unless they mirror God’s laws.

    I know those stories in the Bible and I want to know how we can protect the good people and avoid evil situations in our day. The faith needs to be protected and the faithful as well. God’s laws are also to be obeyed. I’m so inclined to say to God, look, you gave us these laws, and we are trying to be faithful, so now You protect us from evil!

  35. robtbrown says:

    Lying is considered relative to Justice
    “Justice” comes from the Latin “ius”, which means “right”.
    To violate Justice, therefore, is to violate the right(s) of someone
    What right would the Gestapo have to whether someone is hiding a Jew?
    None.

  36. KateD says:

    Hi WVC,

    No, fake papers were not what I was refering to as a pinch of incense. And having Mass in your home and protecting the innocent are simply the right things to do.

    It was lying that I was equating to a pinch incense.

    Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    And the Walgreens example seems in perfect keeping with Mathew 10:16 regarding the coming persecution “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves;so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”

    Which is scriptural support for your sentiment that a response cannot be simplistic.

    At a Walk for Life rally, a speaker advised, you can’t do it all. It’s impossible. You end up doing nothing well. Pick the thing you do and then focus on doing it to the best of your ability. Then together we accomplish it all and it’s all done well.

    But in order for us to have a society in which dads don’t have to worry about jeopardizing the livelihood that supports their family or live in fear of the dread knock on the door, less vulnerable individuals have a different part to do. They have to be the ones out in front changing those elements that are inconsistent with our nation’s values.

    An example
    A concerned local recently exercised the right of free assembly and invited town’s people to get together to discuss the potential of government agencies exceeding their authority and how we, as a community might most appropriately respond. Three parents were most concerned with a recent draconian policy announced by the school district. They formed a committee and came up with a proper response. They asked people to show up in large numbers at the next school board meeting and for each individual to speak in opposition to the intended policy (Masks of course and rules on exposure and quarantine. Most egregious was the announcement that they would have health officials posted at each school’s entrance to vaccinate every student, unless the child had a negative permission slip. Negative permission slips rarely make it home. That’s by design. Really they should call it the “Ask For Forgiveness Then Afterwards”, slip, because parents only find out AFFTA the fact). Many parents who supported the action did not attend the school board meeting out of a justifiable fear of retaliation, many town’s people spoke who have no kids and were not at the get together.

    It doesn’t make sense to work to protect families and children and then go put them in harms way.

    The result was that the language on the school district website softened from “mandatory” and “compulsory” to “suggested” and “recommended” overnight and the jab-a-thon was canceled.

    Success!

    Each person has to ascertain for themselves what role is appropriate to their time and situation in life.

    It seems to me you are already heroically doing your part.

  37. WVC says:

    @KateD – For what it’s worth, my date with destiny is 22 November, and I don’t intend to seek any religious exemption. I don’t need to hide behind Francis’s skirt to spit in the face of a gross injustice. I refuse to quit, though, so they’ll have to fire me. In the mean time, I’ve got 2 months to try to figure out how to make ends meet.

    So glad all those less vulnerable individuals stood up for us vulnerable fathers (and I’m looking really hard at the bishops when I say that). You say you can’t do everything, well it sure as hell feels like I don’t have any other choice now-a-days. And it ain’t no picnic.

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