By the Publisher,
Love One Another! 3/2004 → The main topic
Democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism ...
A Democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism (Veritatis Splendor, 101)
“The current situation in the world with its ‘lights and shadows’ should make us all fully aware that we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life’” (Evangelium vitae, 28).
Jesus Christ has revealed to us the infinite dignity and value of each and every human person. Every person, without exception, has an inalienable right to freedom of conscience and to life from the moment of conception to natural death. If history has taught us a lesson, it is that the rejection of Christ leads invariably to the rise of criminal totalitarian regimes, genocide, the decline of culture and freedom, and the moral unraveling of whole societies – in a word, to a real hell on earth. Thus, the greatest threat to mankind is the sin of rejecting God and His laws. And hence the great danger posed to the democratic order by politicians and citizens who reject the Ten Commandments and support the cause of abortion, euthanasia, sexual license, homosexuality, contraception, pornography and moral permissiveness.
In the interests of all of humanity, unbelievers included, our societies should be striving to do their utmost to base their legal order on the Christian system of values. It alone defends the dignity of every human being from the moment of conception to natural death. It alone defends our inalienable right to life and freedom of conscience. Every attempt at building a social order apart from these fundamental values, every flight into moral permissiveness, which rejects the existence of stable moral norms, creates, in the words of the great Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “something so hideous, so blind and inhuman, that the entire structure will come crashing down under the sheer weight of man’s curses.” Guided by the same insight, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, comments ruefully on “the risk of an alliance between democracy and ethical relativism, which would remove any sure moral reference point from political and social life and, on a deeper level, make the acknowledgement of truth impossible….If there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism” (Veritatis splendor, 101).
These, then, are the principles, which ought to guide all people of good will when making extraordinarily important decisions such as those we make during every democratic election. In this connection, the upcoming US presidential elections present a crucial challenge to all voters of good will.
“Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer
and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the
forces of evil (cf. Matthew
4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven
out except in this way (cf. Mark
9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage
to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the
walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight
of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and
laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts
to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and
love” (Evangelium vitae, 100).