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June 13, 2011, 2011

To paraphrase the French philosopher, Jacques Maritain: The Quebec government cannot see that man must choose between two ways: the way of Calvary and the way of slaughter. Maritain's comment, made in 1938, was actually about the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

But it is appropriate to describing the current path of government in Quebec which, having abandoned the Catholic faith, is now on a path of militant atheism. The government no doubt blindly believes this is a path of liberation for its people.

Its mandatory ethics and religious culture course has usurped the right of parents to have their children instructed in the religion of their conviction and imposed a relativistic curriculum that puts all major religions on the same ground. In doing so, it has made the state the arbiter of religion in society, thus placing the government above God.

Its more recent prohibition of any mention of God or religion in state-funded daycares (See Page 19) only shows the absurd lengths to which the government will go in imposing its values neutral approach on its population.

As Maritain noted, there are only two ways. There is, first, the way of making oneself subject to the loving will of God. For the atheist, this can only be seen as slavery, as a denial of the human power to determine what is right and what is wrong.

The second way, the atheist's way, however, leads to the rule of might over right. With the French Revolution, it led directly to the Reign of Terror. With the Russian and Chinese revolutions it led to the mass slaughter of those who were suspected of disagreeing with the government, of those who belonged to the wrong social class, of those who were of the wrong ethnicity.

In Quebec, so far the path has been far more benign than that carved by those violent revolutions. Nevertheless, the province is notable for its high suicide rate and its strong support for assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Why? Because when you deny the dignity of the human person - the real dignity, not the humanly manufactured version - people are left without hope. They are walled up in a prison of immanence in which only the isolated individual counts.

In the Catholic view, however, "The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God" (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, 19). This is not a dictum dreamed up by old men in the Vatican; it is the fundamental fact of human existence. Deny it and you deny our humanity and begin trudging down the road to blood-filled tyranny.

The Church must respond, first, by pointing out the error of supposed human omnipotence. More importantly, we must bear witness to the love of our awesome God through lives of evangelical holiness. We must denounce the darkness, but above all we must walk in the light.