By: Joe Babendreier
A debate has raged for centuries about opposition between faith and reason. It sparked another debate where some speak of opposition between faith and politics.
A person with a strong religious faith cannot be a good scientist and a person with a strong religious faith cannot be a good politician. Is this really true? If there is a God, he cannot contradict himself. He cannot create a world and then tell us lies about the world he created.
There may be some reason why we do not understand the exact match between what we discover through scientific research and what we understand about the mysteries God has revealed. But there is only one truth. The truth of revelation that comes from God cannot contradict the truth of the world we live in. Both come from God. Truth cannot contradict truth.
Something similar needs to be said about progress. Progress means working together to move from what is good to something better.
SCIENCE WORKS WITH ALL THAT IS TRUE
Science works with all that is true. Politics works with all that is good—or the “common good”, as the wise men of old often called it.
Politics is nothing more than our attempt to build up the common good. But how do we know what is good for people and what is bad?
The God who created what is good cannot contradict himself by lying to us and telling us that something is good, if in fact it is bad. Nor can our Creator lie by telling us that something is bad, if in fact it is good.
That’s why there can never be any real opposition between true faith and true progress. If ever such opposition arises, either we have not understood what God revealed or we have not understood progress. We have not understood our true needs and how to make the world better.
So, for instance, look at God’s revelation that we are all brothers and sisters because Jesus died to save all people of all times and places. True progress, therefore, means that we need to overcome our tendency toward racism and tribalism.
One wise man expressed the idea with these words: “Our Lord has come to bring peace, good news and life to all people.
Not only to the rich, nor only to the poor. Not only to the wise nor only to the simple. To everyone.
So there is only one race, the race of the children of God. There is only one colour, the colour of the children of God. And there is only one language, the language which speaks to the heart and to the mind, without the noise of words, making us know God and love one another.”