Naturally, on the news of my conversion to Catholicism, there have been a variety of responses from family and friends.
Out of these, the most interesting has been obstinate denial: a complete refusal to consider the points establishing the truth of God, Christianity, and Catholicism. Objections such as “religions are different and equal interpretations about God,” or “there is no fixed truth” typify this denial. These negatory claims, significantly, came from people who have never considered the work of serious theologians including St. Thomas Aquinas or James Cardinal Gibbons; nor do they hold any interest in doing so.
Now in some measure, we are all going to form biased perceptions of larger trends based on the influence of our immediate surroundings. This distortion is an unavoidable fact of life. Nonetheless, it is not unreasonable to extrapolate the above objections, holding them to broadly epitomise how most modern Australians consider the supernatural. In support of this view, consider: After reviewing the results from the 2016 census, the ABC concluded that Australians being of no religion was “the new normal.”
On why it is now so common for people to close their minds to the bare possibility of an objective supernatural truth, the dogmatic nature of Liberalism explains much. For, as captured in Liberalism is a Sin by Fr. Felix Sarda y Salvany, Liberalism “knows no dogma except the dogma of self-assertion” (page 15). Liberalism, Fr. Salvany continues, is defined “by virtue of its opposition to truth,” it having denial as “its unity in general, and this ranges through the entire realm of negation” (page 23).
Applying the above Liberal reasoning, it is not simply that the existence of God is unlikely or insufficiently proven; instead, it is that He cannot exist.
Liberalism is certainly not unique in its dogmatism. However, Liberalism is unique in that it poses as neutral, denies an ideological frame, and all the while influences people to hold dogmatic views, such as those outlined at the outset of this post. As explained by Patrick Deneen on page 5 of Why Liberalism Failed,
In contrast to its crueler competitor ideologies, Liberalism is more insidious: as an ideology, it pretends to neutrality, claiming no preference and denying any intention of shaping the souls under its rule. It ingratiates by invitation to the easy liberties, diversions, and attractions of freedom, pleasure, and wealth. It makes itself invisible, much as a computer’s operating system goes largely unseen–until it crashes.
Because Liberalism makes these pretensions to neutrality, people are oblivious to the ways in which they have been induced to think. Which is especially pernicious, as when considering the array of modern convergent influences contributing to liberal (and left-wing) thought, people are more intellectually conditioned than at any prior time in human history.
In the final analysis, Liberalism can be seen as a ‘blind faith’, an equally dogmatic–but exceedingly less reasoned–worldview than the Catholic truth which it so ardently assails.