An Apologist Doesn't Apologize for the Church's Actions.
An Apologist Defends the Faith of the Catholic Church and its Interpretation of Holy Scripture!
Would You Like to Become a Good Apologist?
John Martignoni at the Bible Christian Society is an apologist and has a free newsletter that gives instructions on how to be a better apologist when you feel called upon to defend the Church when you hear someone say or write something that is incorrect.
John's instruction system makes a lot of sense. He prints a question that he has received; then he explains how a question like that should be handled; and then then he gives his answer. If you would like to be better able to speak confidently about your Catholic faith, why not visit John's web site and subscribe to his newsletter. He also has audio tapes that he will send you for free (he will accept a free will offering, though).
Here is an example of the information he sent in today's newsletter:
Bet you thought I wasn't going to make it this week, didn't you? Well, it was close, but I'm sneaking in under the wire.
Had a wonderful time at my 30-yr. high school reunion, which would tell you all how old I am if it weren't for the fact that I was a boy genius and I graduated high school before I was a teenager. (And if you believe that...)
Introduction Issue No. 13, Part 1
This is another departure from the norm for these newsletters. This is the beginnings of a talk I'm working on which covers a number of issues...abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research and so forth. It's really aimed at giving folks ammunition for talking to atheists and those who would be described as leaning to the "left" on these various moral issues. I use the Holocaust as a jumping off point because it is pretty much universally recognized as being morally reprehensible (skinheads and Islamic fundamentalists notwithstanding). This is essentially another foray into natural apologetics.
This is Part 1, I will conclude with Part 2 next week. At the end of this one, I say some things which might sound "harsh" to some, but I say them simply to emphasize a point...so read it with that in mind.
Challenge/Response/StrategyWas Hitler Right? (Or: Why Atheists Have No Rights); Part 1
I want to start off by asking the question: Why do we, as human beings, have value? Now, this newsletter is sent to a group of folks that is predominantly Catholic Christian. And the rest of the group is made up of non-Catholic Christians (as far as I am aware). So, in a group like this, many of you may already know the answer to that question. But, how does the “world” answer the question of, “Why do we as human beings, have value?” And what is the prevailing answer to that question here in the United States?
Why do we, as human beings, have value? Or, do we have value? All of you have heard about the mass extermination of the Jews that the Nazis carried out in the 30's and 40's that we now refer to as the Holocaust. Would you believe me, then, if I said that not a single human being died in the concentration camps? Not one single human being died in the concentration camps!
How can I say that? I can say that because by German law that existed at the time, Jews were legally considered “not fully human.” They were classified as a “sub-human” species. Legally speaking, they were “non-persons.” One group of people passed laws that said another group of people were not really human beings. So, I say again, no human beings died in the concentration camps. Am I right or am I wrong?
I can just see some of you shaking your heads to tell me that I’m wrong. So, okay, let’s say they were human beings. So what? Why should we care? What value are they to us? Again, the question I am trying to get at here is, how is it that our lives have value? How do we determine whether or not any given human life has value?
Do we have value only if we can be productive, if we have a job, or if we serve some useful purpose? Do we have value only if someone else thinks we have value? Do we have value only if we have an IQ of 100 or higher? Do we have value only if someone else loves us? Do we have value only if our “quality of life” meets some arbitrary standard set by others?
Well, I maintain, and I think most of you will agree with me, that we have value simply because we are alive...that human life has inherent value. In other words, simply because it is human life, it has value. But, what is my basis for saying that? It is this: we have value as human beings because God gives us value...He gives us value by His love for us.
We don’t have value because we are productive. We don’t have value because we are useful. We don’t have value because someone else thinks we have value. We don’t have value because we have an IQ of 100 or higher. We don’t have value because another human being loves us. We don’t have value because we have some arbitrary level of “quality of life.” We have value, because God loves us. Any other line of reasoning leaves an opening for someone, somewhere, at some point in time, to declare somebody else as having no value...which is exactly what happened to the Jews in Europe 70 years ago.
This is why people who do not believe in God cannot offer any objective reason for saying that they themselves have value as human beings. Without God, everything becomes subjective...merely one person’s opinion versus another person’s opinion...and the strongest person’s opinon prevails. Without God, might, in essence, makes right. I’ve talked to atheists before and I’ve asked them if what Hitler did to the Jews was wrong. And they answered that of course it was! Then I asked them, why? Why was it wrong for Hitler to kill six million Jews? Essentially, all they could answer me with was, “Well, it just was.”