Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Art of Relativism

Good day, children.

I would like to muse about something that has been stirring in the back of my mind for a while now. It all started a few weeks ago when one of my dear children used the words, "Rap artist" in the comments section. I have to admit to be taken aback by such lax use of words. It seemed to me like the grandest oxymoron ever. I don’t fault our young reader for her choice of words, however it is one more example of how the long tentacles of Relativism have influenced our society.

True that the definition of art can mean essentially any product of or creation of man, but when we stick to that lowest common denominator, we have to ask, who isn’t an artist? In the context of referring to someone as an artist we are presumably ascribing to him something above the generic definition. It seems to me that the word art should not be used so casually that creations that have genuine aesthetic value, lead one to the appreciation of God and/or His creation, and move the soul in a positive way, should be lumped together with works that are banal, blasphemous, or contrary to the dignity of man as an image of God.

The field of contemporary music is not the only endeavor where we find the meaningless use of the word art. Let’s take for example the so-called “art” by a man named Andres Serrano. Let’s face it, children, placing a crucifix in a jar of urine takes no more talent than cursing God out loud. Some may ask, “But isn’t beauty in the eye of the beholder?” I’m sorry, there can be nothing beautiful that runs contrary to the True beauty of Our Heavenly Creator. Children, do you see Relativism at play here? Words mean things, when a word is stripped of any objective meaning, you can bet the Relativists have co-opted it.

What about the art of medicine? Is it immune from the Art of Relativism? Let’s examine this venerable profession.

Not that I am a namedropper or anything, but my predecessor, Pope John Paul the Great, and I used to have long discussions about this. We would marvel at how at one time a doctor of medicine used his knowledge and intellect to apply healing arts, the goal of which was to help the patient’s body function properly. Now that Relativism has entered the profession we find the word treatment to encompass taking a patient’s perfectly fine reproduction system and disabling it either surgically or chemically, we’ve seen the words health care apply to the destruction of God’s most innocent while in their mother’s womb. To the Relativist, easing a patient’s suffering can mean killing them directly or withholding food and water for the purpose of bringing about death. Children, know that the evils of Relativism are apparent everywhere.

I was discussing these things with a dear friend from the United States. For practical reasons I will not offer his name, but he possesses a lot of insight into these things and the children of Denver, Colorado should be very grateful to have a bishop like Archbishop Charles Chaput. We spoke primarily about how great pains should be taken to preserve art that is intended for use in the sacred from the Art of Relativism.

Anyway, this anonymous friend reminded me of an example of how the Art of Relativism has managed to permeate the Church. He pointed out a document that has no official sanction, no force of law, and which defies all reason concerning the use of art in sacred worship, yet has been used as the justification to annihilate any meaningful use of the words “sacred art” in the United States. I won’t include the title of this document, because I have half a mind to reinstate the Index Librorum Prohibitorum just to have the words Environment and Art in Catholic Worship placed at the top of the list.

Children, I know that you are probably hoping for me to cite some examples, but that would not be prudent nor necessary for me to do. You can witness the devastation anywhere you are in the United States, whether it be Rochester, New York; Los Angeles, California; or anyplace in between, like Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The point is that we do have an enemy and he will use any means at his disposal to separate us from Our Lord. One of his latest schemes is to attack our intellect via Relativism. As children of God we must be vigilant in identifying this threat and countering it. Let us pray that we can shine the light of Our Lord on the Art of Relativism, and show the whole world what it is really made of. Then perhaps someday, all music will be soothing to the soul, paintings and sculptures will reflect God’s glory, and all churches will be designed to inspire our hearts and minds to look toward Heaven, our true home.