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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Why do we need all the rules of organized religion, when the Golden Rule sums up everything about how to live?

Question:

We don’t need all the ethical rules of organized religion. I think all we need to know about how to live is summed up in the Golden Rule.

Answer:

If so, you disagree with the one who gave us that rule. Christ never confined moral truth to this principle, as important as it is. Treating others as you’d like to be treated isn’t enough. If it were, a masochist would be justified in inflicting pain on others simply because he derives pleasure from receiving it himself.

Jesus made it clear that sin can be committed even when no action against another is involved. In his teaching about lust, for example, he said you don’t have to commit adultery with another to be guilty of the sin. Merely to look lustfully on a woman is to commit adultery with her in your heart (Mt 5:27).

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