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Satanic Temple for Beginners

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This year has been a pretty good one for the Satanic Temple. They’ve even gotten a good deal of positive press. So who are they, what do they believe, and are Catholics obligated to battle them in the streets? Karlo Broussard examines their seven tenets to see.


Cy Kellett:

What’s behind the growth of the Satanic Temple? Karlo Broussard next. Welcome to Focus, the Catholic Answers podcast for living, understanding, and defending your Catholic faith. I’m Cy Kellett, your host, and there has been some news out about the growth of the Satanic Temple. So we thought we’d tackle the Satanic Temple, its teachings, what it is, and from a Catholic perspective and give it a fair consideration. Especially if something is growing, we want to address it and see what we can accept about it and what we need to challenge about it. So let me just give you a little of the news.

In late September in the Huffington Post, there was an article from this woman who describes herself as a suburban soccer mom about why she had joined the Satanic Temple. The headline was The Death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Pushed me to Join the Satanic Temple. Jamie Smith was her name and she describes herself as a 40-something attorney and mother who lives in a quiet neighborhood with a yard and a garage full of scooters and soccer balls. Well of course that got a lot of attention. When soccer moms are becoming Satan worshipers, that gets a lot of attention. In October, a midshipman over at the Naval Academy who’s a member of the Satanic Temple got the academy to provide a room on campus for midshipmen who are interested in the Satanic Temple to discuss the group. Then I’ve got this news story out of Seattle. Amid pious protests, satanists conduct a ritual on the capital steps. Congregants from the Seattle-based Satanic Temple of Washington drew a crowd of prayerful onlookers Friday as they hosted their … Excuse me, hoisted their pentagram and conducted a satanic ritual at the state capitol Friday, March 6th.

So what’s up with the Satanic Temple? We thought we’d look in and the person to do that with is Karlo Broussard because the Satanic Temple, part of what they do is they make certain assertions about reality and Karlo loves philosophy and philosophy is the tool for investigating reality. So here’s what Karlo had to say.

Karlo, thank you for doing this one with us. After reading a lot about the Satanic Temple over the summer and whatnot with the various articles that came out and the various actions that they take, I thought this was a group we should engage with their ideas a little bit-

Karlo Broussard:
Sure.

Cy Kellett:
… and you are the guy for engaging with ideas.

Karlo Broussard:
Well it’s my pleasure, Cy, to be with you to do that. I must admit, preface my remarks, I haven’t done the reading and the research on the group itself as much as you have, but I am more than happy to engage with some of the tenets of their belief and the ideas.

Cy Kellett:
And they make that somewhat easy for us because they express, they publicly express their tenets. So that gives us something to work with. So the Satanic Temple, these are Satan worshipers like Anton LaVey and that kind of thing.

Karlo Broussard:
Answer to that question is no. The cursory research that I did do-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, right.

Karlo Broussard:
… they explicitly say they are not the Church of Satan associated with Anton LaVey in the 1960s. At least on the surface, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and believe what they’re saying there on their website, they are not a group that’s dedicated to selling your soul to the devil and worshiping Satan and stuff. In fact, in their section on the FAQ, the frequently asked questions, entitled “I want to sell my soul, get rich, join the Illuminati, et cetera,” and then when you click on it, it says, “Please look elsewhere.”

Cy Kellett:
Which is clever.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, yeah.

Cy Kellett:
A lot of what they do is clever. As a matter of fact, that’s part of the appeal of it, I think.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right. They state on their website they view themselves as a group dedicated to encouraging benevolence and empathy, reject tyrannical authority, advocate practical common sense and oppose injustice, and undertake noble pursuits of which to advance secularism, pluralism, and individual liberties. That’s from their website.

Cy Kellett:
This is language that, in general, we’re all familiar with. It’s language from Judeo-Christian tradition. It’s language from the Enlightenment that most people today are comfortable with.

Karlo Broussard:
Language with modern culture.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah. Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Most people are comfortable with although some of the things as Christians and those who are formed in the classical perennial philosophy we would take issue with a little bit.

Cy Kellett:
So would it be fair to say though-

Karlo Broussard:
You got to think through it.

Cy Kellett:
… the Satanic Temple doesn’t believe in God or Satan?

Karlo Broussard:
That is correct. I think the label Satanic Temple-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… my hunch is that based upon what you can see on their website, I think it’s just to get people’s attention and possibly even to try and expose a double standard that some institutions might hold concerning which groups they’re going to allow to voice their opinion.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
So it seems as if the purpose of that label is to say, “Hey, if you’re going to forbid us in the public square from voicing our beliefs because of the label Satan-”

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
“… well then in order to be consistent, you’re going to have to ban-”

Cy Kellett:
Christians or whoever.

Karlo Broussard:
“… Christians or Jews because they’re using labels that are offensive to us.”

Cy Kellett:
Right. They’ve had practical success with this in some places. I don’t know that it’s uniform across the country, but for example, there’s just kind of a tradition of, in a lot of towns on the lawn of the town buildings or whatnot, you put of the-

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
… creche for Christmas.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah.

Cy Kellett:
There’s little baby Jesus and all.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah.

Cy Kellett:
Then they come along and they say, “Well we would like a statue of Baphomet, their satanic statue, on the lawn.” Then people get very like, “Well we don’t want to put Satan on the lawn,” and then they’re like, “Well you put baby Jesus on the lawn.”

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
So it has a kind of effectiveness.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, it gets to the root problem of how to allow supernatural revelation-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… to govern your society.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
It’s sort of a sticky issue and you’re going to have a diversity of opinions among Catholics of how to go about that. So I’ll be honest with you. I’m still thinking through this myself and I don’t know where to land on each side, but some will argue that objectively speaking, Satan embodies principles that contravene authentic human happiness, goes against with what we know is true in the revelation of Jesus Christ and so therefore, he ought not to be given any attention whatsoever in the public square and that we ought to then preclude these sorts of groups. But then others will argue, “Well if you forbid these groups from being in the public and being able to voice their opinion because of that label, well then that’s going to backfire because then the one in power could very easily stop Christians from voicing their beliefs and their views because they from the other side could very well say, ‘Well the Christian label embodies ideas that are offensive to us, namely that same-sex sexual activity is intrinsically immoral.'”

Cy Kellett:
Which we do.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right or that to have an attraction to same-sex sexual activity or an attraction to a member of the same sex in a romantic way is a disorder. That would be offensive to them and so according to that logic, they would shut us down, right?

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
So some would make that argument that it’s a two-edged sword, but then others will argue, “Well given Christian revelation is this source of authentic human happiness, leaders of a society, the very purpose of such governing is to guide and lead its subjects to authentic happiness. Since Christian revelation reveals that authentic happiness which precludes Satan and everything that Satan’s about-”

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
“… then leaders ought not to allow that.” Now in regards to public property and putting up a creche, a nativity scene with Jesus, I think that has to do with … Listen, if the leaders of the country and on public property are basing their governing principles on Judeo-Christian principles, I don’t think they need to put up some other sign to represent other groups in order to be fair. This is manifesting where we are at in our Christian society. Now, it may get to a point where the society is no longer Christian which we’re finding ourselves in, post-Christian.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
So whether or not a leader or a sort of public property, governmental property should be putting up Christian signs, I’m all for it obviously as a Christian, but I can see the reasoning on the other side and say, “Hey, why not Satan stuff?”

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, that’s a-

Karlo Broussard:
But I think a counter to that is our country is founded on Judeo-Christian principles so we’re within our rights to manifest that.

Cy Kellett:
But you don’t think that using the word … And I suppose no probably normal person would think this, but using the word Satan and calling yourself the Temple of Satan puts you outside the protection of the law or even puts you outside basic common civil decency from other people? Okay. You call yourself the Temple of Satan-

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
… but that doesn’t mean we’re at war with you.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, yeah. This is an interesting question because in my mind as I think through it, Cy, it seems as if it depends upon what the label is embodying.

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
So for example, let’s just take an extreme. Let’s say you have a group that gives itself a label of Killers of Children. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Or they’re some terrorist group and they actually believe and try to live out what the label embodies. If the label embodies a message and activity that’s going to contravene the natural rights of others-

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
… and the common good, then such groups ought to be silenced, such groups ought to be precluded from-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… functioning within society because that’s against the common good. Leaders of society are in charge of the common good so anything that’s a threat to the common good, they have a right and obligation to get rid of it, right? So that’s an extreme, right? So you come to this issue and you have to ask the question, “Well what does the label embody? What are they trying to promote with the label?” Given what you see on the website with the Satanic Temple, they don’t seem to be promoting ideas and activities that are outright contrary-

Cy Kellett:
To the common good.

Karlo Broussard:
… to the common good and violating the natural rights of other individuals such that would require governing officials to take action and to preclude such an organization from the public square.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
So it’s sort of a nuanced situation there. You have to ask certain questions and make distinctions to try to get at what the label embodies and what they are promoting.

Cy Kellett:
But they have created this nuanced situation intentionally-

Karlo Broussard:
That’s correct.

Cy Kellett:
… to create a kind of difficulty that society has to work its way around.

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
That’s a strategy really.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right and that’s given the society that we live in where you have a public square where we want to be able to express opposing views without coercion, without oppression, and have a dialogue and a debate, right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
And rational argumentation. That’s a society that we live in. Now, I do think that if you were in a society where it was governed by the supernatural revelation of Jesus Christ as in the fullness thereof exists in the Catholic Church, I do see that it would be just to make certain laws that’s going to be consistent with those principles and even govern society based upon supernatural revelation and make certain provisions to where things that contradict that revelation or exclude it from the society, but even with that said, in no case can governing officials coerce an individual to publicly confess that supernatural revelation-

Cy Kellett:
Ever.

Karlo Broussard:
… and to believe in that supernatural revelation. That would be a violation of the very dignity of the human being that God has bestowed to such an individual.

Cy Kellett:
So if there was a Christian kingdom that was truly a Christian kingdom-

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
… it would be okay to outlaw satanism, but it would not be okay to tell someone you must believe-

Karlo Broussard:
You must profess our faith.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, right.

Karlo Broussard:
But the problem is in our current society, we don’t live in that society.

Cy Kellett:
No, we don’t.

Karlo Broussard:
So we’re having to think through the principles by which we govern society and the kind of society we live in-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… and to think, “Well should we allow this or should we not?” We’re having to think differently than if we were living in a Christian-governed society.

Cy Kellett:
Well I thought what I’d give you because you’re a philosophical thinker and they have proposed seven tenets and so I thought, “Well let’s give that some thought, a little philosophy.”

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah.

Cy Kellett:
“Let’s take these as serious tenets and see if they stand up.” So their first tenet, and I think I’ll just read them to you-

Karlo Broussard:
Okay.

Cy Kellett:
… one through seven and then you can kind of respond.

Karlo Broussard:
Let’s just go one by one.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, one at a time. Okay. Tenent number one, one should strive to act with compassion and empathy towards all creatures in accordance with reason.

Karlo Broussard:
Okay. Well compassion and empathy is good.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Towards all creatures within reason, that’s good as it stands, but we have to ask question what do they mean by all creatures. Does this include nonrational animals?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Obviously, we need to have compassion and empathy toward rational animals, human beings, in accord with reason, but are they trying to insert in there that we need to have empathy and compassion toward nonrational animals such that we can never kill them and use them for our own good?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
If that’s what they’re getting at, then we’re going to have to disagree and we’re going to have to have a debate and some rational argumentation as to the morality or immorality of killing animals and using them for our own natural goods as human beings. Of course, that presupposes whether a rational animal is superior in kind and in dignity to a nonrational animal such that a rational animal, a human being could use a nonrational animal for his or her good.

Cy Kellett:
And they just don’t make that clear.

Karlo Broussard:
And they don’t make that clear, right.

Cy Kellett:
Well let me ask you this. Just as we’re going through these and it strikes me right off with number one, there’s no authority cited for these. They’re just assertions. You should do this. You should do that.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah.

Cy Kellett:
Does that undermine their case that they don’t give us any reasoning towards these? They give us almost like Thomas Jefferson does as self-evident truths.

Karlo Broussard:
Right. Well the idea of having compassion and empathy for others, especially rational animals, other human beings, that’s based upon the principle that we’re social animals. Right? We have to be able to live in a peaceful, harmonious existence. Otherwise, we’re going to destroy ourselves. So I think there are certain self-evident principles-

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
… philosophical principles that we would come to know in light of philosophical anthropology and the study of human nature that’s going to drive some of these tenets or at least what I would hope these tenets are working toward. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
So yeah, I mean the tenets themselves probably aren’t self-evident. They’re not self-evident. They’re going to be based upon other principles that we come to know philosophically about reality and about human beings in general.

Cy Kellett:
Okay. Fair enough then. So it’s okay … So they’re saying these are the ones we live by. These are the tenets we live by and-

Karlo Broussard:
I will say-

Cy Kellett:
… that’s their business if they want to say that.

Karlo Broussard:
I will say that some of the things that the tenets embody are known intuitively by human beings.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
That doesn’t mean that’s self-evident, but there is a certain intuition that these tenets are working on. Then of course the job of the philosopher is to try and figure out what is it that grounds those intuitions if in fact those intuitions can be grounded.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah. Okay. Fair enough. So let’s continue. Tenet number two from the Satanic Temple, the struggle for justice is ongoing. Excuse me. I beg your pardon. The struggle for justice is an ongoing and necessary pursuit that should prevail over laws and institutions. What do you make of that?

Karlo Broussard:
We agree that we ought to pursue justice.

Cy Kellett:
Yes.

Karlo Broussard:
We also agree that justice should prevail over laws and institutions.

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
In this sense, laws and institutions must instantiate and be measured by justice such that if the law contravenes justice, it’s no law at all. So notice how justice is the governing standard. It’s the measure by which laws-

Cy Kellett:
You measure laws.

Karlo Broussard:
… are measured-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, okay.

Karlo Broussard:
… to be an actual law such that we as human beings ought to obey. If it contravenes justice, we don’t have to obey it because it’s not ordered to our good as rational animals, as human beings. But this is where it gets a little sticky, right?

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
Because this depends on what your view of justice is because justice is the virtue by which we give what is due to others. Okay? But what is due to others depends upon what a human being is. So if we have different views about what human nature is and what a human being is, well then we’re going to have a hard time determining and coming to an agreement on what-

Cy Kellett:
What justice is.

Karlo Broussard:
… justice is.

Cy Kellett:
Fair enough.

Karlo Broussard:
In other words, what is due to the other individual. So once again, this idea of justice, yes, we ought to pursue it, but your idea of justice and what is due to the other is going to depend upon how you think about what a human being is.

Cy Kellett:
It does give one kind of hope. Even if you say there’s a lot that’s just left undefined here, this is a good entry point for dialogue. A lot of people won’t enter a dialogue about justice.

Karlo Broussard:
At least they’re not moral relativists.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, exactly which is like the rest of society.

Karlo Broussard:
At least on the surface, it doesn’t seem to be. Maybe when you dig down to what-

Cy Kellett:
Then there is a moral relativism.

Karlo Broussard:
… human nature is, there might be a moral relativism.

Cy Kellett:
Tenet number three, one’s body is inviolable, subject to one’s own will alone.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, this one is a little bit more problematic.

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
So if they mean by this that we ought to be able to pursue happiness as we perceive it within the boundaries of reason without contravening the common good, boundaries in other words that protect the common good, then we would agree. We ought to be able to direct our activity in such a way that’s free of coercion as long as we’re not contravening or threatening the common good. If this means that we ought to be able to do what we want with our bodies without any sort of influence from others, well then we would disagree. I think we all can affirm that it’s okay for police officer to try and grab an individual who’s about to jump off of a bridge and commit suicide. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Or to-

Cy Kellett:
I don’t know if we all would agree with that frankly.

Karlo Broussard:
I don’t know. Maybe not.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, right.

Karlo Broussard:
Or to stop another individual who’s trying to kill themselves or slice themselves.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
I think most reasonable people who have moral intuitions would agree that in those circumstances, we can stop an individual from doing that.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
And if you don’t, then we’re going to have to talk about that a little bit more and have some debate about that. If this means that there’s no moral standard whatsoever that my will is subject to like I can do whatever I want with my body and whatever I do with my body makes it right because my will is my own-

Cy Kellett:
I’m in charge.

Karlo Broussard:
… moral standard … Right. If that’s what they mean by this, then of course we would disagree because that’s just the essence of moral relativism. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
That there is no objective moral standard that we must conform to, if that’s what this means, if this is moral relativism, well then the individual’s will reigns supreme. So we would disagree there. And of course this is being asserted to justify abortion-

Cy Kellett:
Which kind of you hear in there, yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… of course we would disagree because the baby in the mother’s womb is not the mother’s body. It has its own distinct body and it’s an individual person who has natural inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as stated. So we would disagree that a mother cannot kill her baby in her womb-

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
… in the name of I can do whatever I want with my body.

Cy Kellett:
It does seem to me that this tenet among all of them is the most satanic in that the elevation of my will and denies my [creatureliness 00:21:03] and that’s the most satanic.

Karlo Broussard:
Yes, because pride is manifesting itself.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. That I’m not a creature subject to the will of God, my creator.

Karlo Broussard:
That is correct, yeah. That’s a good insight there. Yeah.

Cy Kellett:
Tenet number four, the freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend. To willfully and unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another is to forego one’s own.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, it just depends on what they mean by freedom to offend. Now, they do say unjustly encroach upon the freedoms of another and we would agree with that, right? That we ought to allow others to pursue the natural goods that nature orders us to for human happiness without unjust encroachment, right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
That we ought to allow … I mean this follows from our very nature as social animals. Now also too, if this means that we should be able to express our views that might upset someone who disagrees, then we agree as well, right?

Cy Kellett:
Christians really, really agree with that.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right. That’s right. But I would hope that if they mean that, that they’re going to allow Christians to express their views, our own views as well even though it may upset them-

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
… and that we ought to be able to express those views without unjust encroachment. So now, if they mean that we can offend in any way, we should respect … Freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
If they mean by to offend in any way like doing violent harm to someone, well then of course we would disagree with that.

Cy Kellett:
Fair enough. Fair enough. Tenet number five, beliefs should conform to one’s best scientific understanding of the world. One should take care never to distort scientific facts to fit one’s beliefs.

Karlo Broussard:
There’s no contention there, right? We affirm that-

Cy Kellett:
It’s interesting. I think they think that we would contend with them on this one-

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right.

Cy Kellett:
… but we don’t contend with this one.

Karlo Broussard:
At least not Catholics, right? Maybe some non-Catholic Christians might. Maybe there are some Christians out there who might, but for sure, surely not Catholics. We affirm science to be a legitimate tool to know reality. However, I think maybe perhaps there’s an implication here of scientism, that science is the only tool.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
If that is what’s driving this tenet, then we would debate that proposition, science is the only legitimate tool to know reality, because although it is a legitimate tool to know reality, it’s not the only tool, legitimate tool to know reality. We can employ philosophy to come to know some things about reality that are true, and so we affirm what it’s saying, that science is a way to understand the world. we should never try to distort the facts to fit your own belief. That’s correct. You should always conform your mind to what you discover to be real.

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
Right? Whether that be by way of science, modern science or by way of philosophy or by way of divine revelation.

Cy Kellett:
They might argue with you on the divine revelation. Okay. So we are up to tenet number six of the Satanic Temple. People are fallible. If one makes a mistake, one should do one’s best to rectify it and resolve any harm that might have been caused.

Karlo Broussard:
I have no qualms with that. We are fallible and if we make a mistake, we should try to rectify it. If we cause any harm, try to make up for that harm. So we agree people are fallible, but here’s something that perhaps might be an underlying assumption here or an implication, underlying implication. Maybe they’re trying to imply that you cannot know anything infallibly.

Cy Kellett:
Right. That’s not what they’re saying.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s not what they’re saying.

Cy Kellett:
That might be implied here.

Karlo Broussard:
But just for our listeners, if that is the case that it is implied, we have to remember there are some things that we can know with infallible certitude even by way of philosophy. So for example, the principle of non-contradiction. Something cannot both be and not be in the same respect same place and time. We can show how the denial of that proposition leads to logical absurdities. Okay?

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
And how you cannot refute that principle without using that principle which tells us it’s a rock solid principle that describes the way the world really works. That’s something we can know with metaphysical certainty. Okay? So yes, we are fallible and we’re going to make erroneous judgments on some things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t know some things with infallible certitude.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
Then of course, people left to themselves can be fallible, but what if God becomes man and makes a certain promise to guard and guide certain leaders of his church and to protect them by the power of his spirit from teaching Aaron in an official way, in definitive ways.

Cy Kellett:
I think that did happen.

Karlo Broussard:
I think it did happen in the Catholic Church, right? And so maybe perhaps that’s what’s sort of going on with this tenet, saying, “Well all men are fallible so there’s no such thing as this infallible Catholic Church thing, right?”

Cy Kellett:
Oh, well yeah. Right.

Karlo Broussard:
Well that’s considering man left to himself, but if there is divine power and power “intervention,” for my [inaudible 00:26:26] friends out there, you know what I mean, there’s quibbles about that, but if there is divine influence, well then a human being could be infallible in his teaching because he’s not left to himself. It would be by divine protection.

Cy Kellett:
One thing that’s striking here is you’re fallible, you make mistakes, rectify the mistakes, resolve the harm, but there’s no … It would seem to me that the next logical sentence that should be there is, “And forgive the person who seeks that repair,” but there’s no-

Karlo Broussard:
That’s interesting.

Cy Kellett:
There’s no call to forgiveness. It’s just the person who messed up needs to fix it. There’s no call to forgive that person which-

Karlo Broussard:
Well I mean sometimes I suppose that’s an interesting question to ponder. If I make an honest mistake, I suppose we do say, “I’m sorry for that mistake,” but there was no malicious intent so is there anything really to apologize for?

Cy Kellett:
Okay. All right.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s a good question to ask.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
I’d have to think about that one some more.

Cy Kellett:
All right. Tenet number seven, every tenet is a guiding principle designed to inspire nobility in action and thought. The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.

Karlo Broussard:
Nobility in action and thought, that’s a good thing. Amen to that.

Cy Kellett:
Amen.

Karlo Broussard:
But once again, nobility is going to be determined by how you view human nature and what constitutes the perfection of human nature. So what does nobility mean? What does that embody? It all depends on how you view the human being. Now, I’m not sure what they mean by compassion, wisdom, and justice prevailing over the written or spoken word. Perhaps-

Cy Kellett:
Well these are actually written words that say this.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s interesting.

Cy Kellett:
So that’s a little self-contradiction there.

Karlo Broussard:
Perhaps what they mean is that we should give a charitable reading of someone before jumping to a negative conclusion.

Cy Kellett:
Okay. Or perhaps what they mean is scripture … If you’re following a scripture, it’s lower than whatever compassion, wisdom, and justice.

Karlo Broussard:
Yeah, I’d have to think about that one some more, but of course the counter to that would be well you have to analyze what is written to see if it embodies compassion and justice.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, right.

Karlo Broussard:
If you don’t think saying a particular behavior is … If you think saying a particular behavior is immoral is unjust, well then we have a more fundamental problem of what is morality and how we ought to pursue the good-

Cy Kellett:
Okay.

Karlo Broussard:
… and evil and you have a fundamental problem of the idea of justice. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
So if they mean charitable reading, I’m all for that. We love to give somebody charitable reading if it’s ambiguous. Boy, that’s an interesting principle for us.

Cy Kellett:
For us, Catholics at the moment.

Karlo Broussard:
At the moment that we need to consider, right?

Cy Kellett:
Don’t worry, satanists. This is an inter-Catholic thing. We’re just not getting along with one another right now.

Karlo Broussard:
So we would agree with that.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
But like you said, if they mean that we should reject all inspired scripture or the written word, holy writings for the sake of compassion, well if there is an alleged … So here’s a thought that just occurred to me. If there’s an alleged sacred writing from heaven and that writing, that document or the message embodied in the document contravenes what we know philosophically to be true-

Cy Kellett:
Oh, yeah, yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… philosophically to be compassion and-

Cy Kellett:
Right.

Karlo Broussard:
… justice and true wisdom, then we ought to reject-

Cy Kellett:
Amen. Right.

Karlo Broussard:
… that alleged sacred-

Cy Kellett:
I see.

Karlo Broussard:
… writings.

Cy Kellett:
That’s a good reading of this.

Karlo Broussard:
If that’s what they’re getting at-

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
… then we would agree wholeheartedly because one of the ways by which we test and judge alleged revelations to see if they’re true or not, from God or not is to measure it up against what we already know philosophically because if there’s any contradiction, we know it’s not true because the author of truth that we come to know philosophically is the same author of anything He’s going to supernaturally reveal to us.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah.

Karlo Broussard:
So that’s yet another thought that comes to mind, possible way to read that, and if so, we would agree with that.

Cy Kellett:
I have to say going through with you in particular, you have this certain like let’s just reason this out quality about you where I tend to be more suspicious of people like, “Meh, what are we up to here?”

Karlo Broussard:
Well maybe I am embodying the principle of the charitable reading there.

Cy Kellett:
You are, but I do end up as a Christian person at the end of it … First of all, I wish people would not use the name of Satan because Satan is actually a real person.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s correct.

Cy Kellett:
They don’t know that. They’re innocent of that fact.

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
But Satan is a real person and you should stop using his name.

Karlo Broussard:
From a Christian perspective, that Satan embodies certain things that we believe as Christians actually contradicts authentic human happiness. Right?

Cy Kellett:
Right. He hates you.

Karlo Broussard:
That’s right.

Cy Kellett:
I know that you’re using it ironically, but he hates you. So the other thing that I come to as a Christian person is I think it’s St. Paul somewhere says in his letters, “Let me show you a more excellent way,” and I feel like the things you’re saying here given the right reading, we’d agree with all these.

Karlo Broussard:
Maybe given the charitable reading.

Cy Kellett:
Yeah, given the most charitable reading, we could agree with almost every utterance here except maybe the assertion that my will-

Karlo Broussard:
Right.

Cy Kellett:
… doesn’t have a will over it. Other than that, but that Christianity is a more excellent way because of the person of Christ and his teaching which is shocking, “Love one another as I have loved you.” That goes beyond any kind of natural law or nobility you can come to on your own. “Love one another as I have loved you,” is the most excellent way and it will just make you happy if you follow it.

Karlo Broussard:
That is correct. Because it’s supernatural, it’s something that perfects nature and elevates nature and allows for us to operate in our intellect and will as human beings on a supernatural level to experience the very love of God, the very life of God. That is our ultimate destiny, to experience that life and perfection on the other side in what we call heaven.

Cy Kellett:
Thank you, Karlo. I think we’ll just leave it right there. You couldn’t have ended it at a better spot.

Karlo Broussard:
Thank you, Cy.

Cy Kellett:
Thank you very much, Karlo.

Cy Kellett:
Without being dismissive of people’s beliefs, it does seem that as the world is de-Christianized, sometimes intentionally de-Christianizes, sometimes people are just raised without any exposure to Christian truths nowadays, there’s more and more searching for a center and a meaning and a purpose and a group with which one can express the meaning and the purpose of life. So more and more of these things are going to pop up and we’re going to have to just deal with them. I do think it does us no good to deal with them in a histrionic way. The best thing to do, take them seriously, engage with people on a serious level because there is nothing better than the gospel of Jesus Christ. There just anything better than the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So if you want justice and nobility and all the other things, whatever the fancy words are that the group is using, the way you get those things is by engaging with the love of God in Jesus Christ. So I don’t think we have anything to fear. I think we can take these movements quite seriously, in some cases perhaps more seriously than they’ll get treated in other media outlets because we’re safe in the gospel. We’re safe in the gospel and we can engage with anybody on the level of ideas.

Thanks for joining us. We love to hear from you. If you want to send us an email, just send it to [email protected] [email protected] Please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you will be notified when new episodes are released. Also, if you’d give us that five-star review, helps to grow the podcast and on YouTube, just growing and growing and growing on YouTube. We’re super happy with that. If you like and subscribe, you help us in that process. I’m Cy Kellett, your host. This is Catholic Answers Focus. We’re delighted every time you join us. We’d love to hear your ideas for future episodes. You can send those too to [email protected] We’ll see you next time, God willing, right here.

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