National Catholic Register


Common Nonsense

“Why do so many intelligent Westerners despise Western culture and values?”

BY Father Owen Kearns


June 17-23, 2007 Issue | Posted 6/12/07 at 10:00 AM


“Why do so many intelligent Westerners despise Western culture and values?”

Legionary Father Cliff Ermatinger asks that question in a book recently published by our sister company Circle Press.

The book is called Common Nonsense: 25 Fallacies about Life, and it is a long answer to that question.

More correctly, it’s a book whose series of brief chapters make the case that Western culture can be loved.

Anyone who has encountered philosophy in their Catholic education will find this book an excellent refresher course. It equips readers to take on the fallacies and follies of modern thinking.

I find the best way to recommend the book is to list its chapter titles. “Fallacy No. 1: You can never be sure.” “Fallacy No. 2: There is no truth.” “Fallacy No. 4: Physical-experiential reality is the only reality.”

In addition to these foundational questions, the book gets very specific, too: “Fallacy No. 21: It doesn’t matter if two consenting adults are married or not; what counts is their sincerity.” “Fallacy No. 22: The traditional family structure is arbitrary. Actually, there are many other valid ways of organizing human relationships.”

The book also answers the question we started out with.

“Why do intelligent Westerners despise Western culture and values? I have the impression that the reason is often a healthy sense of guilt for the objective personal sins of the individuals themselves, who — instead of changing their own ways — hope to find respite and reconciliation with themselves if they can just identify sinners even worse than they are. The Catholic Church stands as a beacon of light for all people, but not all desire to expose their actions to the light.”

Well said, Father Cliff!

To order Common Nonsense: