John Leo sees in the Frey Fraud the symptom of a larger tendency to dissolve truth in the solvent of feelings:
The many hoaxes on colleges campuses, mostly involving untrue reports of rapes and racial attacks, often turn out to be teaching instruments of a sort, conscious lies intended to reveal broad truths about the constant victimization of women and minorities. After the Tawana Brawley case, an article in the Nation magazine said the faked kidnapping and rape she reported were useful because they called attention to the suffering of blacks, so "in cultural perspective, if not in fact, it doesn't matter whether the crime occurred or not."Where do we encounter this mindset most frequently? From the pulpit. "What's not important is whether Jesus really walked on water (cured the man born blind, rose from the dead ...). What's important is what the evangelist is trying to tell us about God's mercy by this miracle story."
Many of the campus hoaxes owe something to the postmodern notion that there is no literal truth, only voices and narratives. If so, who can object if you make up a narrative that expresses the truth you feel? This attitude seeps into therapy, often through therapists who guide patients to the feeling that parents must have abused them. After one California patient sued her parents, her therapist said, "I don't care if it's true ...What actually happened is irrelevant to me."
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Posted by: Lucius -
Jan. 27, 2006 1:29 PM ET USA
This form of mental illness (mind-invented "reality") is one of the signs of gnosticism which is very active now. In politics it is the lunacy of the left. Facts don't count. Consciousness raising about mind-constructed reality is the goal for action.For the religious gnostic, it does not matter whether God became Man or not or rose from the dead etc.It is another rejection of material creation and the fact that humans know via the senses. This gives new urgency to the need for sana doctrina.
Posted by: -
Jan. 27, 2006 12:01 PM ET USA
It might be instructive, Di, to opine on the origin of this mindset within the Church. When did we first begin to hear loud voices from the pulpit questioning the authenticity of Sacred Scripture and the tenets of the Faith? This kind of thinking is evident in those that promote the “Spirit of Vatican II,” is it not? Nothing is certain; everything is relative--except that all will be saved!
Posted by: patriot6908 -
Jan. 27, 2006 10:16 AM ET USA
The horrid irony of all this is that we become fictions to ourselves and are at the mercy of the constant whims that blow through society. This is the foundation of all totalitarian worlds, now matter of which stripe, but certainly within the last one-hundred and fifty years of the socialist variety. It's also good to recall that when Caligula made his horse a Roman Senator, he got no argument--his insane fiction triumphing over studied fact.