This work analyzes how the three key elements of a democratic societyfreedom, equality, and fraternityhave been misconstrued by intellectuals and policy makers who do not respect the limitations of the human condition. Their lack of common sense has resulted in social and cultural problems rather than solutions to them. By contrast, the social teachings of the Catholic Church mesh nicely with the demands of human nature, and as such they offer the right remedy to our cultural crisis.
Freedom defined as radical individualism has eclipsed the understanding that real rights are tethered to responsibilities. Equality defined as radical egalitarianism yields little in the way of equality and much in the way of state-sponsored social discord. And fraternity without the foundation of familial bonds and religious communities leaves people isolated and disoriented.
Catholic teaching offers much wisdom to remedy our insufficient understanding of the elements needed for a free and flourishing society. Its common sense is greatly needed to help modern Americans rediscover the true meaning of their highest ideals.
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About the Author
Bill Donohue is president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and publisher of the league's journal, Catalyst. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and is the author of several books on civil liberties, social issues, and Catholicism. A noted TV personality, Bill is an outspoken defender of the Catholic Church and traditional moral values.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Stupidity and the Collapse of Common Sense 7
Part I Liberty
1 Freedom, Properly Understood 25
2 Moral Harms 59
Part II Equality
3 Sex Inequality 101
4 Economic Inequality 141
Part III Fraternity
5 Tradition 185
6 Religion 225
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
___Statements like "policy makers who do not respect the limitations of the human condition" make me cringe hard. It's arrogant for any person to claim that humans shouldn't think and act for themselves. Thinking and acting is the only way to solve "social and cultural problems". When people genuinely engage each other to discuss potential solutions: things get built, medicine improves, disaster is averted or corrected, information's compiled, claims get tested, systems are optimized, etc. And that is how we can resolve dispute. We need to rely on ourselves because WE are the only confirmed guarantee that we have. ___If you love humanity, then you should want us to rely on ourselves for our own preservation and to use our knowledge for prediction and protection from catastrophe. Prayers will not stop a new plague or a mega-volcano from erupting but cooperation, fraternity and preparation are things that allow us to overcome. People presenting their interpretation of an historic scripture as a type of unquestionable authority doesn't necessarily help and often exacerbates "social and cultural problems". If these interpretations are so perfect and 'common sense', then why can't we talk about it? It should hold its infallible self up. Nothing should ever be a problem to discuss. ___I'd be disappointed if humans didn't bother caring to protect its species from small disease all the way to cosmic disaster. But there's no need to push this down anyone's throat. There's no need for force or seclusion. Individuals of their own volition can decide if and how they'd like to contribute or participate. Discussion backed with reasoning creates a better conclusion than one would have on their own. Shall we together, in good faith collaborate for our progress or sit back and rely on some thing else to do the saving?
Catholicism is common sense. Head of the Catholic League, Bill Donohue, has written Common Sense Catholicism, an excellent book that feels as if it had been written by G K Chesterton, that apostle of common sense. Not only is Catholicism a very intelligent religion, it’s also grounded in common sense and an excellent morality. Most importantly, Catholicism is the one true religion. This book is necessary reading because so much in modern culture is lacking in common sense and wisdom. Bill Donohue makes several cogent points in this book: Common sense is native good judgment. It’s seeing things as they are and then making good decisions, and then doing the right thing. To have common sense, you need the correct worldview, and the correct worldview is Catholicism. Catholicism sees the world as it truly is, knows the purpose of life, and provides the foundation for common sense. Freedom is the right to do good, not evil. The truth will set you free because when you know the truth about right and wrong, you are free to do what is right and to avoid the slavery that results from doing what is wrong. A good government is a government that helps you to be good. Sadly, our government too often promotes hedonism and materialism, both of which help you to be bad. Also, too many government programs lack common sense and not only fail to achieve their intended purpose, but they often backfire and make the problem worse. The section on the innate differences between men and women was well written and perceptive. Women have no greater champion than the Catholic Church. Gilbert Keith Chesterton was once asked why he was a Catholic, and he replied, “What else is there?” The interviewer then replied by listing several other major religions and philosophies, to which Chesterton answered, “Exactly!” His point was that Catholicism was true, beautiful, and good and in a class by itself. Now we are engaged in a great struggle to see if America, and indeed in Western civilization itself, can long endure. And only Catholicism has the truth, wisdom and capacity to save Western civilization. Reading this noble book will inspire you and prepare you for battle. As Bill Donohue demonstrates, being a Catholic is just common sense.