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Regis Nicoll Christian Blog and Commentary

Regis Nicoll

Regis Nicoll's weblog

It seems that pro-lifers are not-so pro-life. According to a recent Gallup poll, 46 percent of Americans identify as pro-life, but only 18 percent say that abortion should be “illegal in all” circumstances. So what accounts for this moral confusion?

For one thing, the ease with which we rationalize morality down.

It goes something like this: Imagine an exceptional circumstance to a moral issue and subject it to a moral calculus until what is morally prohibitive becomes morally acceptable, if not commendable.

In the abortion rights debate, those exceptions are rape, incest, and health of the mother—circumstances with high empathy quotients, especially when imagining a wife, daughter, sister, or oneself as a victim. People who poll pro-life, yet support some form of legalized abortion, have concluded it would be too difficult, unloving, or cruel for a woman to bear a child under those conditions.

Often their reasoning follows an alluring Golden Rule logic: “loving neighbor as self” means sparing him from any consequence I would want [my wife, daughter, sister, myself] to be spared from.

Further tipping the scale is that with a million abortions per year, nearly everyone knows a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member who has had one. Thus, a person who deems abortion in the abstract as morally wrong, can be less inclined to be so when circumstances are real and close to home.

But let’s examine the calculus. Read on here. 

With gay ersatzrimony having the imprimatur of the State, and homosexuality enjoying a positive swing in popular opinion, the only thing standing athwart homosexualism is the Church, which is finding itself increasingly the object of neosexualist agitations.

Two weeks after Obergefell v. Hodges, a liberal firestorm erupted when a Catholic priest in Louisiana withheld communion from Tim Ardillo during his mother’s funeral because of his “marriage” to another man. Apologies (!) from the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Archbishop of New Orleans quickly followed.

Channeling Pope Francis, a diocesan spokesman, opined, “We don’t deny people communion… Who are we to judge whether they believe [the church’s teachings on the communion] or not?” (Emphasis added.)

Rev. Roger Keeler of the Canon Law Society of America also weighed in, saying, “Being married outside the church should not be used to deny someone the Eucharist.” Note to Rev. Keeler: Mr. Ardillo was not married; as the attendant priest was aware, the communicant was “married”—that is, cohabiting with his sexual partner and in a state of unrepentant sin, which according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church is appropriate grounds for withholding communion.

What’s more, mea culpas and accommodationist overtones have little purchase in the fever swamps where religious objections are considered bigotry parading in clerical vestments.

Take Tim Gill a mega-rich LGBT activist who vowed “We’re going to punish the wicked,” which, according to his moral lights is anyone (person, business, or organization) wanting an exemption from participating in same-sex ceremonies. Or Equality Ohio, a LGBT activist group that announced it will go after churches—in particular, Catholic churches—that refuse to make their facilities available for events contrary to their religious beliefs. Or Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality that sponsored a colloquium of experts “to contest and reframe the utilization of religious exemptions to civil rights laws.”

What the punishers get and the punished don’t, is that Obergefell put an expiration date on the religious exemption, a point I’ll come back to in a moment. Read on here.

In a criticism of creation and intelligent design, Carl Sagan famously quipped, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” What bypassed the critical filters of the late science popularizer is that the extraordinary theories concocted by materialistic scientists not only lack extraordinary evidence, they lack any evidence, and in some cases, any possibility for evidence. Panspermia, parallel worlds, and the multiverse come immediately to mind.

Nevertheless, it seems, some researchers are stumbling upon more truth than they know.

Upturns and Crazy Notions
When astronomer Edwin Hubble detected the expansion of the universe from the light of distant stars in 1929, it upturned the reigning “steady-state” model of the day, by indicating the universe had a beginning, starting with a bang. Ever since, scientists have been banging their heads over what caused it.

Today, a trio of Canadian scientists is upturning that notion with a pinch of theoretical physics and a heap of mathematical prestidigitation. Instead of a “big,” physics-defying “bang” in the quantum vacuum, our universe was created, they say, when a dying star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a four-dimensional black hole, generating a three-dimensional event horizon. In other words, our universe came from a higher dimensional reality.

An added implication of their math magic is that the event horizon—our cosmic home—is a hologram of its higher dimensional “parent.”

Now, I have to confess when I first read about this my “baloney detector” went off scale, and I lumped it together with the sci-fi fantasies of wormholes, time-tunneling, and such, not giving it a second thought. Then, a few days later, my wife, peering over her iPad, asked, “Hon, did you see the piece about the universe coming from a four-dimensional black hole?”

“Yeah.”

“How about that, huh?”

“Huh, what?”

“That our universe was produced by higher dimensional one.”

“Uh, uh … Oh, yeahhh! Heck, I missed that altogether! Thanks, dear.”

Where Miracles Happen
The biblical narrative tells of creation by an ultra-dimensional Being (God) in a hyper-spatial realm (heaven). It also tells of him operating within creation to sustain it and, on occasion, “interfere” with the “natural” course of events to do the “miraculous.” A hyper-spatial region woven into the “fabric” of a three-dimensional cosmos might account for how he could do so, effortlessly and omnipresently. Let me explain.

Imagine yourself as a two-dimensional person in a flat world without height or depth, only length and width. Every obstacle you encounter, no matter how skinny or long, you must go around to get beyond. However, if you were to suddenly gain another dimension in stature (height), you could effortlessly step over (or under!) the obstacle, privileging your 2-D neighbors to witness a “miracle.”

One of the teasing things about hyperspace is that what is difficult-to-impossible in lower dimensions is easy in higher ones; another, is that things become more simple and unified.

In his theories of relativity, Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter, energy, space, and time are interconnected and interdependent. If we follow Einstein’s insights a step farther and imagine hyperspace filling the interstitial regions of spacetime, we can understand how God can be “with us” at all times and all places, how with him all things are possible, and how what seem to be inviolable laws of nature can be violated by him.

We can also see how the material (3-D) body and the immaterial (ultra-dimensional) spirit co-exist and cooperate to form the “self,” or as the Bible puts it, a “living soul.” And how human consciousness, thought, creativity, moral agency, will, shame, guilt, and the like are immaterial functions of the self that enable it to interact with the world, seen and unseen, rather than bio-chemical phenomena produced by neural impulses, as the philosophical materialist would have us believe.

Now, to the notion that our world is a hologram of a hyper-dimensionality. Read on here.