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While reading through the blogosphere, I ran across this post written by Ann Barnhardt over at the Remnant website. The post is titled Father Longenecker’s Fundamental Problem (see here). What I will do today is write an prologue which will, I hope, seamlessly lead into the Barnhardt post. Below my introduction, I am reproducing the Barnhardt post For The Record.
The reason that I bring this post to your attention is that this post comprehensively rebuts and debunks the neo-modernist’s false premise on which they charge Catholics, a.k.a. Traditionalists as “fundamentalists”. Furthermore, on a higher level, it very nicely provides an insight into the proper “key” through which one can distinguish, or rather DISCERN (see here) what constitutes a religion, from that which is in fact a “superstition”.
Furthermore, this post by Ann Barnhardt neatly complements a post that yours truly wrote recently titled Settled Stupidity (see here). To bring Ann’s observations to the higher “what constitutes a religion” level, I am providing two definitions from the Settled Stupidity post for your information: (emphasis added)
If you notice the difference between the two definitions above, the difference between what constitutes a “religion” from a “superstition” is nothing more than a “positivist” approach to the specific subject matter. In other words, a “scientific methodology”.
It is exactly this which we defined in our post titled Everyone Has A Plan… (see here). In that post, we explained that a “philosophy” (the science of acquiring knowledge) must have at its root a “positive” methodology (factual statements that attempt to describe reality).
In philosophy, normative statements make claims about how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, and which actions are right or wrong. Normative claims are usually contrasted with positive (i.e. descriptive, explanatory, or constative) claims when describing types of theories, beliefs, or propositions. Positive statements are (purportedly-) factual statements that attempt to describe reality.
We concluded that if a “philosophy” does not have a “positivist” foundation, it is nothing more than an ideology. Or in other words, a “superstition”.
Summa summarum, the reason that Catholicism is a “religion” is because its philosophical basis has two sources of its faith: divine Revelation and known through “natural light of human reason from the things that are made. Since one of its sources can only be discerned through a scientific methodology, the Catholic Faith is in fact a science. Therefore, it must hold the same properties as does any other science, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc…
And so forth and so forth…
And now, the brilliant Ann Barnhardt post which I am republishing…
FOR THE RECORD
Father Longenecker’s Fundamental Problem
“Protestant fundamentalism thrives on the fortress mentality. The little group gets together and builds walls and peers over them at al the “sinners” who are outside the enclave. Catholic fundamentalists practice the same ghetto mentality. “We few, we faithful few!” We are the Remnant of faithful ones who remain.” – Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Ten Traits of Catholic Fundamentalism.”
Let’s begin with a definition.
This is the definition of “fundamental”:
Adjective form: forming a necessary base or core; of central importance; affecting or relating to the essential nature of something or the crucial point about an issue; so basic as to be hard to alter, resolve, or overcome.
Noun form: a central or primary rule or principle on which something is based.
The root is the Latin “fundare”, meaning “to found”.
I was thinking about mathematics this morning, and found it very, very interesting that mathematicians, physicists and engineers that believe:
-in the commutative properties of addition and multiplication
-in the associative properties of addition and multiplication
-in the distributive properties of addition over multiplication
-that the reciprocal of a non-zero number x is 1/x
-that the additive inverse of x is (-x)
-that the additive identity is 0
-that the multiplicative identity is 1
…are never called “fundamentalists.”
No one ever accuses an engineer of excessive rigidity or of a “fortress mentality” for his unswerving and intransigent belief in the fundamental properties of algebra. No one deems an engineer deeply flawed as a human being if he refuses to entertain the notion that the additive inverse of x might NOT be (-x), much less tolerate a plan for a building put before him in which the plans operate on the premise that the reciprocal of 2 is ¼.
The heresy of Modernism has been well defined as “to not believe what one believes”. Only in the irrational, self-contradicting philosophical matrix of Modernism does believing in the fundamentals of one’s professed belief system make a person either crazy or evil.
Sadly, in today’s Church, thoroughly infiltrated by Modernism, it is simply incomprehensible that a Catholic not only should, but MUST believe the fundamentals of the Catholic faith with more certainty and less doubt than the fundamental properties of algebra. The supreme truth in the universe is Catholicism, not mathematics. After all, five loaves and two fishes went into baskets, and hundreds, if not thousands of loaves and fishes came out. The multiplicative identity did not hold.
Anyone who actually believes anything is, with regards to that belief, a fundamentalist. To be a fundamentalist is nothing less than to believe what you believe. It is a truly, truly deranged and depraved mind that can hold as not just tenable, but admirable and virtuous that he does not actually believe what he believes.
What the hurling the word “fundamentalist” as a pejorative at Catholics but not mathematicians, physicists and engineers proves is that the hurler fully and completely assents to and believes in mathematics and does not harbor any doubt. The facts of Divine Revelation to which the Church bears witness? Not so much.
Therefore, I am a Catholic fundamentlist, and I cannot be gaslighted by anyone for being so.