This morning, as I read the newpaper, I found two interesting items. One is that the very popular Hollywood actor, Tom Cruise, and his so-called “girlfriend” have had their baby. Tom has been previously married. I don’t know whether that earlier marriage was ever legally ended by divorce. The girlfriend, I found out, is a former Catholic but she seems to have embraced Scientology, the philosophy which Tom has espoused.
I looked Scientology up on the internet since I knew very little about it. I find that it was founded by a man named Hubbard who died in the 1980s. It makes no claim to be a religion in any real sense of the word. In fact, it apparently doesn’t even profess a belief in God, let alone divine revelation, the truth of the Bible, or anything about Our Lord Jesus Christ. It seems something like Unitarianism—a sort of organized philosophy which maintains churches and membership rolls but without any particular doctrine or moral code. Each member believes and does whatever seems appropriate to himself or herself. The founder, Ron Hubbard, got the idea of Scientology in his desire to improve the living conditions of human beings throughout the world.
Then, after reading that, I found also in the newspaper that two lesbians who live together and want children have chosen to get one of them pregnant by the use of sperm donated by an anonymous donor. It is not clear whether the anonymity of the donor goes to the extent that even the woman who has been impregnated and her lesbian lover are ignorant of his identity. The pregnant woman is carrying twins, the article reports. So it would seem that not only will those two children not have a father in their home, but they may never even know who their biological father is and will therefore be totally ignorant of one-half of their origin as human beings.
In addition to these two tragic cases of a total abandonmentment of the Judaeo-Christian principles of religion, we have the case of the Episcopalian bishop in New Hampshire who was elevated to the dignity of being a bishop even though it was publicly known that he is a practicing homosexual. And more recently, he made it known publicly that he has been in a treatment program for alcoholism.
Many historians and theologians are now speaking of our “post-Christian” civilization. Here are three glaring examples of it. We must be aware that western civilization which was once so deeply imbued with Christian principles has now, to a great degree, turned its back upon Our Lord Jesus Christ, his teaching and even his relevance to our modern world at all. In this country we have relatively new religions or philosophies of life like Mormonism, Christian Science, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eckankar, and now Scientology—all of which are less than 200 years old. Some of them profess some degree of belief in Christ; others make no pretence of being Christian.
Imagine the damage to the Christian faith of our teenagers and young adults that can be done by these youth-idols like Tom Cruise and other young people in the entertainment world who flout Christian moral principles entirely and make themselves the basis of their “faith.” All the more reason for us to know, love, and practice the supernatural faith that Jesus has given to the world, and to do what we can to permeate our society with that holy faith. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.