Sunday, March 20, 2011

Is Lying Ever Okay?

Immaculate Conception of Mary
Patroness of the U.S.

     Today, I got an update on a debate I had been following on Catholic Answers.  "Is Lying Ever Okay?"  I am truly surprised at the number of hard-line, black-or-white arguers.  "Thou shalt not lie!  Period!" is their battle cry.  Inevitably, at least to my mind, the argument degraded to talking about the Holocaust.  I say degraded because once people get really emotional involved in an argument online, the most extreme emotional appeal 'they' can think of is the Holocaust.  There is even an unofficial debate rule now that once some one mentions the Holocaust or Nazis they've lost the debate.
      The extremist, no-lie-is-ever-acceptable crowd says that you don't lie even to save your life or anyone else's.  Really?  Their is no gray area here at all?  That is the stance of some of these people who call themselves Christians.  Some say, "Well, Jesus never lied,"  "Jesus is the Truth."  Yea, we know that, but we aren't Jesus.  He is our example, but I really, really believe in my heart that Jesus would never in a million years condemn someone for a lie told to save someone's life.  Would I lie to a kidnapper?  Yes.  Would I lie to a Nazi?  Yes.  Would I believe that I committed a mortal sin by these lies?  No.  Never. 

The Immaculate Conception Icon
       Love and the protection of life trumps all.  After all Jesus is also the LIFE.  What did Jesus say is the greatest commandment?  LOVE God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and LOVE your neighbor as yourself.  Not only does this 'commandment' cover all the old ten, but He was also giving us a message.  Love trumps all. 
     Do not lie to your husband about anything.  Do not lie to your children (however, they don't have a need to know everything, either).  Do not lie to the police.  Do not lie in court.  Do not make a practice of lying in your everyday life.  Any of those would be a grave sin.  But there really are gray areas in life.  Lying can be one of them in the right circumstances.  If (I think when) Christians, especially Catholics, begin to be persecuted again, will I lie and not tell them who my fellow Christians are?  Absolutely, yes.  Will I lie to protect the lives of the ones I love?  Absolutely.  Will I feel that I need to go to confession?  Absolutely not!  So, you hard-liners out there, the ones who said they would not even lie to protect a Jew hiding in the basement.  When persecution comes around, would you lie to protect your own?  Really? 
Blessed Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Pray for us!

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