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Yes, Catholics DO have this “conscience” thing. Get used to it.


In “Catholics have this ‘conscience’ thing!” (The Anchoress , Nov 22nd, 2011), Elizabeth Scalia writes,

This obnoxious woman is never going to get off the stage; she’s going to be with us for another decade, at least, spouting this kind of brainless, willfully obtuse stuff:

“I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it .?.?. but they have this conscience thing [that puts women at risk.]’’

And thank God for it, says I. This “conscience thing” is one of the last centering poles still propping up the once-understood notion that people are more than automatons with utilitarian lives. It is the last thing requiring people to stop and pause before they do what seems sensible in the short term or of a moment. This “conscience thing” is something the government cannot get its grubby hands on, as much as it would like to.

The government can’t get its grubby hands on conscience because that is part of being human. Not a part that the evolutionary psychologist, the current source of alleged wisdom, would even understand.

Government can deface such things, but not finally destroy. The well-instructed Catholic has the advantage of clear precepts for how to understand and address awareness of personal sin. That’s not exclusively, Catholic, far from it. But, let’s face it, many benighted people across history have run around ingesting narcotics, setting fire to things, gashing themselves, and sacrificing swine (or people) to the gods, to deal with remorse. Gotta be better ways. There are.

By the way, an anchoress was, historically, a woman contemplative who chose confinement in order to meditate. In former timers, anchoresses were often sought out for spiritual advice. Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose

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