True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty. Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Random House Digital.
Any Catholic who won’t spend a whopping 99 cents to get this e-book needs to get his head checked. True Freedom is a quick, insightful read. More than that, it is a statement that comes at the right time.
The rejection of natural law, Cardinal Dolan points out, has created all sorts of problems, the worst expression of which is the culture of death. He asks, “Can sustained human rights, those unalienable rights with which we have been endowed by our Creator, girded by law, survive in such a culture?”
Dolan calls pragmatism, utilitarianism, and consumerism the “trinity of culprits” that have eroded our culture and our laws. “In the pragmatist’s world,” he observes, “interpersonal and international relations inevitably become questions of power and domination, instead of dignity and justice, and we risk going back to Thomas Hobbes’s state of nature—the ‘war of all against all.’” Utilitarianism’s cost-benefit analysis has worked against the rights of the unborn and the disabled. Consumerism prizes the fulfillment of our needs, but little else. What they yield is a culture where “what I want, when I want, because I want” dominates.
Dolan ends on a high note. There are signs that an unusual alliance of forces are coming together, and while their points of departure may differ, they have in common a concern for ecology, in all of its manifestations.
True Freedom challenges the reader to think in a way few other books do. It can be read again and again, with much intellectual profit.