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“You shall be as gods”:  Secular humanism and self-idolatry... (Part 2)

 

“The cross of Christ is to be replaced by the worship of man, no longer the cross of the living God. Man has set himself up as an idol.” – Our Lady of the Roses, February 1, 1973 

 

 

 

Pride and self-love

 

Jesus tells us, “It is written, the Lord thy God shalt thou worship, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). Humanism, however, exalts man to the point of idolatry and directs man’s attention exclusively to himself. This is the sin of pride. Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey writes,  “The enemy of the love of God, of charity, is the love of self.”[1] He defines pride as “an inordinate love of self, which causes us to consider ourselves, explicitly or implicitly, as our first beginning and last end. It is a species of idolatry, for we make gods of ourselves….”[2]  Adam and Eve fell through this sin of self-deification. Pope John Paul II explains that “The blindness of pride deceived our first parents into thinking themselves sovereign and autonomous, and into thinking they could ignore the knowledge which comes from God.”[3]  As a result of the original sin, “man is constantly tempted to turn his gaze away from the living and true God in order to direct it towards idols.”[4]

 

James Hitchcock writes:

 

There is a long tradition in Christianity which warns against self-love. What is meant by that term is something fairly close to secular humanism—if not an outright atheism, then at least so close an attachment to one’s will that the will of God can have no place in one’s life. Self-love in this sense is not love at all but a kind of narcissistic self-worship.[5]

 
 

 

The religion of secular humanism
 

Dietrich von Hildebrand emphasizes that humanists

 

live without any reference to an eternal destination of man; they talk and behave as though man stood in no need of redemption at all. They would make us believe that there is no such thing as a radical flaw in our terrestrial constitution; that the earth could, by purely natural means, be changed into a paradise.[6]

 

As Christianity in the United States recedes more and more from public and private life, the belief in original sin and fallen human nature has given way to an erroneous view of man’s total intrinsic goodness, a “view that the self is intrinsically good, that corruption comes only from one’s parents and from society.”[7]  As Jacques Maritain says, “the error involved boils down to affirming human nature as closed in upon itself or absolutely self-sufficient.”[8]  James Collier writes that “This shift away from the belief in a basic human nature to a view of the human as the famous blank slate on which anything could be written—‘the malleable, undetermined nature of man,’ as Henry F. May puts it—is one of the most important—and perhaps the most important—changes of mind in modern times.”[9]

 

According to Irving Kristol, liberal humanism is now the prevailing religion of the United States:

 

“We really do believe that all human beings have a natural telos toward becoming flowers, not weeds or poison ivy, and that aggregates of human beings have a natural predisposition to arrange themselves into gardens, not jungles or garbage heaps. This sublime and noble faith we may call the religion of liberal humanism. It is the dominant spiritual and intellectual orthodoxy in America today. Indeed, despite all our chatter about the separation of church and state, one can even say it is the official religion of American society today, as against which all other religions can be criticized as divisive and parochial.”[10]

 

The U.S. District Court has echoed Kristol’s assertion: “The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion. When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established.”[11]

 
 

 

Humanism: the antithesis of the First Commandment

 

Idolatry of the human mind

 

When man is no longer directed by God and the Commandments, man replaces God with an idol of his own making. A man who thinks as he pleases will do as he pleases. For such a man, truth is entirely subjective, and shifts like sand.  St. Augustine writes, “… they love their own opinion not because it is true, but because it is their own.”[12]  Man then becomes a mere tactician, no longer seeking the common good but rather his own selfish interests. Skepticism, rejection of the Commandments and Church authority, atheism, and many of the rationalizations of psychology are some of the many by-products of this rejection of objective truth and God’s Revelation in Jesus Christ.

 

Under the banner of humanism, man (not God) becomes the measure of all things. “With the self as the measure of all values,” writes Charles Sykes, “psychological man could transform the standards of morality, consequence, responsibility, and free will that had once seemed the unshakable pillars of bourgeois society.”[13]  Man turns in upon himself in self worship and “the commandment ‘Know and express thyself’ has replaced the Judeo-Christian commandment ‘Love God and others.’”[14]

 

James Hitchcock explains that “… the Christian realization of the inherent sinfulness of man means, among other things, a recognition of man’s endless capacity for self-deception.”[15] In God’s infinite wisdom, He has established a teaching Church as a remedy for man’s weakness and ignorance. In his general audience of July 24, 1991, Pope John Paul II stated, “Some pretend to establish on their own what is good or bad, and thus refuse to be directed by another, either by a transcendent God or by a Church which represents Him on earth….”[16]  Man in his pride exalts his own opinion as if it were doctrine, instead of submitting to God’s authority and the teachings of His Church.  The Holy Father also explains:

 

To claim that one has a right to act according to conscience, but without at the same time acknowledging the duty to conform to one’s conscience to the truth and to the law which God himself has written in our hearts, in the end, means nothing more than imposing one’s limited personal opinion.[17]

 

Owen Francis Dudley writes, “The Catholic Church and Humanitarianism are deadly enemies. They each stand for what the other hates. One stands for the Worship of God, the other for the Worship of Man. They each offer what the other rejects.”[18]  Tragically, self worship is practiced even within the Catholic Church. Our Lady of the Roses has warned that some theologians consider themselves as gods: “We have theologians who now consider themselves as gods upon earth. They are setting up a new world religion, a one-world religion based on humanism and modernism.” (Our Lady of the Roses, September 27, 1986)

 



Idolatry of the human will (license as an idol)

 

When people talk about freedom today, often what they are really talking about is license, that is, doing what one wants regardless of its morality or consequences. Freedom, properly understood, is the ability to freely choose good. Pope John Paul II emphasizes that “Only God can answer the question about what is good, because He is the Good Himself”[19] and that “God’s plan poses no threat to man’s genuine freedom; on the contrary, the acceptance of God’s plan is the only way to affirm that freedom.”[20]  He also writes that “freedom is not realized in decisions made against God.”[21]

 

The Holy Father warns of instances when “freedom is exalted almost to the point of idolatry”[22] and takes a stand against those who “would make freedom a kind of absolute and its own justification, and which would cede to it the power to determine what is good and evil. When this is done, freedom becomes the principal criterion of moral judgment: whatever favors freedom is morally good; whatever diminishes or opposes it is evil.”[23]

 
 

The unrelenting depersonalization of blame
 

The Church teaches that men and women under ordinary circumstances (including circumstances of temptation, stress, and pressure) possess sufficient freedom to be capable of sin, and even of mortal sin.  Yet there are many who deceive the multitudes with pseudo-scientific rationalizations claiming that we are out of control due to genetic factors, environment, etc. Stanton Peele, in his book The Diseasing of America, takes on these rationalizations masquerading as science. He writes, “We now look almost exclusively for sources of emotional distress and behavioral excesses in the chemistry of drugs and people’s bodies. In seeking biological cures for emotional disorders and addictions, we are going in exactly the opposite direction we need to follow….”[24]  He also mentions that revising notions of personal responsibility has undercut moral and legal standards,[25] that disease notions of behavior have convinced people “contrary to all evidence, that their behavior is not their own.”[26]  Peele also laments that “The selling of the idea of addiction is a major contribution to the undermining of moral values and behavior in our era.”[27] Charles Sykes asserts that the therapeutic culture has

 

multiplied the number of diseases exponentially. In place of evil, therapeutic society has substituted “illness”; in place of consequences, it urges therapy and understanding; in place of responsibility, it argues for a personality driven by impulses.[28]

 

Dr. Thomas Szasz writes, “We have thus come to regard addiction, delinquency, divorce, homosexuality, homicide, suicide, and so on almost without limit, as psychiatric illnesses. This is a colossal and costly mistake.[29]  Daniel Duke makes the accusation that “Finding someone or something to blame for social problems has emerged as a full-time occupation for a host of social scientists. The recent history of research in the social sciences has witnessed the unrelenting depersonalization of blame.”[30] Garth Wood's view is quite similar: “It has become the fashion of late to consider that the development of an unsatisfactory personality should carry with it no implications of blame [and] should not occasion feelings of guilt…[31]

 

Charles Sykes also states:

 

Something extraordinary is happening in American society. Criss-crossed by invisible trip wires of emotional, racial, sexual, and psychological grievance, American life is increasingly characterized by the plaintive insistence, I am a victim. The victimization of America is remarkably egalitarian. From the addicts of the South Bronx to the self-styled emotional road-kills of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the mantra is the same: I am not responsible; it’s not my fault. Paradoxically, this don’t-blame-me permissiveness is applied only to the self, not to others; it is compatible with an ideological puritanism that is notable for its shrill demands of psychological, political, and linguistic correctness. The ethos of victimization has an endless capacity not only for exculpating one’s self from blame, washing away responsibility in a torrent of explanation—racism, sexism, rotten parents, addiction, and illness—but also for projecting guilt onto others.[32]

 

“Victimism,” explains Sykes, “can be seen as a generalized cultural impulse to deny personal responsibility and to obsess on the grievances of the insatiable self.”[33] Sykes describes the United States as having become a nation of whiners, where emphasis is almost exclusively now about personal rights and never personal duties.[34]

 

Jesus, speaking at Our Lady of the Roses Shrine, has told us, “Permissiveness shall not be accepted by your God. Sin is sin; there is no compromise for sin.” (Jesus, November 21, 1977)

 

Those who do as they please without any reference to God and the rights of others practice a form of self-worship. Herbert Schlossberg writes:

 

The action that despises the external restraint of law in favor of self-determination is one of self-deification. We can expect nothing from such a position but brutality. Describing the ferocity of the Chaldean hordes, one of the prophets put his finger on the source of their evil: “their justice and dignity proceed from themselves … guilty men, whose own might is their god.” (Hab. 1:7,11)[35]

 

 

Idolatry of the feelings and the body

 

“Contemporary psychology,” says Paul Vitz, “is a form of secular humanism based on the rejection of God and the worship of the self.”[36]  Bernie Zilbergeld believes that psychology “has become something of a substitute for old belief systems.”[37] Charles Sykes expresses this in even stronger terms:

 

The triumph of the therapeutic can perhaps best be understood as the ascendancy of a substitute faith. Filling the vacuum created by the decline of institutional faith and the collapse of the moral order it has provoked, psychoanalysis has assumed many of the functions traditionally performed by religion, and has done so by translating many of the theological and existential issues of human life into therapeutic terms.[38]

 

Quoting from Philip Rieff, Sykes warns that the therapeutic “‘tolerates no revealed, eternal, and commanding truths’ and represents ‘an assault, more or less successful, upon all sacred barriers.’”[39]  David Myers asserts, “The psychological banalities of this century have become for some people truths, if not articles of actual worship.”[40]

 

Psychologists have, to a certain degree, replaced the role of priest and religion. Christopher Lasch writes:

 

Therapists, not priests or popular preachers of self-help or models of success like the captains of industry, become his principal allies in the struggle for composure; he turns to them in the hope of achieving the modern equivalent of salvation, “mental health.” Therapy has established itself as the successor both to rugged individualism and to religion….[41]

 

 

Many psychologists are moral relativists, that is, they do not believe in an objective morality, they do not believe that there are certain human actions that are always and everywhere evil. The poison of moral relativism is passed on to many people through these psychologists who lead astray countless people by their errors. Without an objective morality, the self becomes the absolute arbiter of good and evil, which often leads to the idolatry of feelings and emotions. Dr. Laura Schlessinger writes: “An almost indiscriminate, idolatrous reverence for feelings has been one of the most insidious consequences of the field of psychology gone ‘pop.’”[42] When subjective feelings and emotions rule our lives we become our own standard of morality. Dr. Laura describes such an attitude as “… a secular mentality that anoints feelings and desire as divine—idol worship at its most destructive. We become our own gods, marching to our own version of a new commandment—if it feels good, do it!”[43]

 

Associated with the worship of feelings is the worship of the human body, where the human body is seen not as a temple of the Holy Spirit, but merely as an object for worship or gratification. Christopher Lasch has noted that the idea of love being sacrificial and submissive to a higher authority “strike[s] the therapeutic sensibility as intolerably oppressive,” since “the mission of the post-Freudian therapies” has generally become the “gratification of every impulse.”[44]

 

James Hitchcock writes:
 

Preoccupation with the self became, for many people, a virtual obsession with it. They began spending most of their waking hours pondering ways of improving their personalities and discovering how to get more out of life. This narcissism was both physical and psychological. The American obsession with diet and exercise, while commendable from the point of view of health, has been mainly motivated by a kind of worship of one’s own body.[45]

 

Bernie Zilbergeld sums it up well: “Not long ago, psychiatrist Karl Menninger … asked Whatever Became of Sin? The answer is simple: it was psychologized away.[46]

 

 

"Much, My children, you must accept in faith. Scientists of your world and your psychologists and psychiatrists rationalize everything, until sin is accepted as a way of life--scientists who are ever searching but never coming to the truth! The supernatural cannot be rejected, because if you reject the supernatural, you do not have the armor to fight it. It is a crafty plan of satan to make himself unknown, so that he may go among you, and destroying like a ravenous wolf.” – Our Lady of the Roses, December 7, 1977

 

“Remember, My children, love is the outstanding word being used in your world today, but so few know the true meaning of love.  So few have practiced the true meaning of love, for much of this in our world, My children, is based on self-love." - Jesus, October 1, 1983

 

 

Our Lady of the Roses awesome Bayside Prophecies... http://www.tldm.org/../Bayside/ 
These prophecies came from Jesus, Mary, and the saints to Veronica Lueken at Bayside, NY, from 1968 to 1995.

 

"THERE IS BUT ONE GOD!"
"There are no gods, My children, upon your earth! There is but one God! You have set up many gods to worship upon your earth, even seeking to make man a god! Can you not remember how the gates of Heaven were closed to you. Why? Because of pride and arrogance and listening to the voice of evil. Your first parents, My children, listened to this voice and fell and succumbed to the evil.
     "I understand, My children, I know what lies in the hearts of mankind. They do not give your children the knowledge of your first parents, Adam and Eve. They do not give your children the knowledge of the existence of hell. Can you not understand, My children, why? Without this knowledge, they shall sin and sin shall become a way of life!" - Our Lady, December 24, 1975
 

GRACES
"In your world now of modernism and humanism, socialism, communism, secularism—all of this, My children, is leading to the unification of man into a one-world religion, a one-world church, and a one-world government to the enslavement of mankind, creating a form of mass atheism in the world. Man is setting up false idols to worship: money, power, materialism. My children, none of this will have any value to you when you leave this world. You must now gather and store your treasures in Heaven if you want and wish to go there. These are called graces, graces given freely for the asking, graces for cures of the spirit before they come over the veil." - Our Lady, July 25, 1977
 

ENSNAREMENT
"All who have given themselves to the pleasures of the flesh, all who have given themselves to the new modes of humanism and modernism set down for ensnarement of the human race by satan, all those who close their ears to Our voices, shall burn!" - Jesus, May 28, 1975
 

NOVELTIES
"There are many novelties, there are many abominations and offenses being committed in My Son's houses throughout the world. Man has given himself to experimentation and humanism, and man has not learned from his past or listened to his past Vicars, the Popes of old, who warned of the approach of heresy and modernism. You were given the measures to be guided by to prevent the entrance of the Antichrist into your world and into My Son's Church. But man of God, followers of the cross, you cast the cross down and you stomp upon it!" - Our Lady, February 1, 1977
 

DECEIVED
"My children, understand that, with all of your modernization and your intent for good, you have been deceived by satan. Humanism and modernism is bringing about bad fruits, My children. A great measure of responsibility shall be given among those in My hierarchy in My Church that have allowed these errors to come in." - Jesus, May 20, 1978
 

INSANITY
"Man has sought to become a king among nations. And man has sought to destroy My Church upon earth. And he builds himself one that cannot be recognized as being in the light, for it is a church now of humanism. And woe to those who have set themselves up to worship idols, and have commanded through satanism. My children, have you all progressed into insanity? For surely you have been counseled in the past that sin is insanity, and you now shall reap your own harvest in suffering." - Jesus, October 6, 1977
 

FULL  PLAN
"You shall not win souls and neither shall you enter Heaven when you use humanism and modernism and change as your approach. Heaven gave you a full plan for the redemption of souls. You will not change this plan to suit the basic carnal nature of man." - Our Lady, July 25, 1979

THE  SIMPLE  TRUTH
"The Message from Heaven has not been given, My children, to bring fear to your hearts, but to awaken you from your slumber. Many are being misled; many are accepting error and going like sheep to the slaughter; and many follow like ducks downstream. And what solution, My children, do you have now to your problems of discord, disillusionment, and the turning away from My Son's House, His Church? You must return; you must accept the simple truth which has been given to you. Tradition is part of this firm foundation. The modes of modernism and humanism shall destroy the world."  - Our Lady, August 14, 1976 
 

TURN  BACK
"Awaken from your slumber, My pastors. You will turn back now and retrieve what you have lost when you have succumbed to the errors of humanism and modernism. Do not be filled with pride. Be humble and accept your cross. Acknowledge before mankind that error has been followed, for to err is human, My children. But when you know you have made a mistake, what have you to gain but to follow this road of folly. Turn back and start again." - Jesus, August 14, 1976 

 

 Directives from Heaven...  http://www.tldm.org/directives/directives.htm 

D127 - Vatican II  PDF Logo PDF
D143 -
Humanism  PDF Logo PDF
D221 - Idolatry  PDF Logo PDF
 

Articles...

“You shall be as gods”:  Secular humanism and the kingdom of man... (Part 1)
http://www.tldm.org/News6/SecularHumanism.htm

 

Vatican II, part 1: Infiltration of the Church
http://www.tldm.org/News6/VaticanII-1.htm

 

Vatican II, part 2: Dark clouds forming before Vatican II
http://www.tldm.org/News6/VaticanII-2.htm

 

Vatican II, part 3: the satanic revolution gains momentum at the Council
http://www.tldm.org/News6/VaticanII-3.htm

 

 

[1] Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey, The Spiritual Life, p. 537.
[2] Tanquerey, p. 393.
[3] Pope John Paul II, encyclical Fides et Ratio, September 15, 1998, #22.
[4] Pope John Paul II, encyclical Veritatis Splendor, #1.
[5] James Hitchcock, What is Secular Humanism? p. 139.
[6] Dietrich von Hildebrand, Transformation in Christ, p. 446. 

[7] Paul C. Vitz, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship, p. 72.
[8] Jacques Maritain, Twilight of Civilization, p. 4.

[9] James Lincoln Collier, The Rise of Selfishness in America, p. 108.

[10] Irving Kristol, “Thoughts on Reading About a Number of Summer-Camp Cabins Covered with Garbage,” New York Times Magazine, November 17, 1974, p. 38.

[11] U.S. District Court, Crockett v. Sorenson (W.D. VA 1983).

[12] St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 12, Chapter 25.

[13] Charles J. Sykes, A Nation of Victims: The Decay of the American Character, p. 37.

[14] Vitz, p. 3.

[15] Hitchcock, p. 76.

[16] Pope John Paul II, general audience of July 24, 1991.

[17] Pope John Paul II, “Respect for Conscience: Foundation for Peace,” 1991 World Day of Peace Message.

[18] Owen Francis Dudley, Will Men be Like Gods? p. 25.

[19] Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, #9.

[20] Pope John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, August 6, 1993, #45.

[21] Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, September 14, 1998, #13.

[22] Veritatis Splendor, #54.

[23] Servais Pinckaers, O.P., “An Encyclical for the Future: Veritatis splendor”.

[24] Stanton Peele, The Diseasing of America, p. 11.

[25] Peele, p. 27.

[26] Peele, p. 28.

[27] Peele, p. 206.

[28] Sykes, p.13.

[29] Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness, p. 38.

[30] Daniel Duke, “Student Behavior, the Depersonalization of Blame and the Society of Victims,” see Keith Baker and Robert Rubel, eds., Violence and Crime in the Schools, pp. 34-47.

[31] Garth Wood, The Myth of Neurosis: Overcoming the Illness Excuse, pp. 41-42.

[32] Sykes, p. 11.

[33] Sykes, p. 22.

[34] Vitz, p. 87.

[35] Herbert Schlossberg, Idols for Destruction: Christian Faith and its Confrontation with American Society.

[36] Vitz, p. xii.

[37] Bernie Zilbergeld, The Shrinking of America: Myths of Psychological Change, p. 5.

[38] Sykes, p. 49.

[39] Sykes, p. 50; see Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic: The Uses of Faith After Freud, pp. x, xii.

[40] David G. Myers, The Inflated Self: Human Illusions and the Biblical Call to Hope; see Robert Cole, “New Forms of the Sin of Pride,” New Review of Books and Religion, December 1977, p. 3.

[41] Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism, p. 13.

[42] Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Rabbi Steward Vogel, Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Law in Everyday Life, p. 43.

[43] Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Parenthood by Proxy: Don’t Have Them If You Won’t Raise Them, p. 17.

[44] Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism, p. 13; quoted in Paul C. Vitz, Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship, p. 31.

[45] Hitchcock, p. 72.

[46] Zilbergeld, p. 13.

 

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