Before getting married three years ago, my wife and I attended Catholic pre-Cana class. The teacher eventually faced the unenviable but entirely predictable task of explaining to half a room of lapsed Catholics, brought up in a modern culture that finds Ke$ha’s existence not only entirely acceptable but also worth broadcasting over countless radio stations, why the Church has such antiquated beliefs on sexuality and birth control. After some intro on Humanae Vitae and Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, the teacher unleashed this simple yet profound rhetorical, “You ever notice how you only disagree with Church teaching when it conflicts with something you want to do?” Well, duh, but… hmmm.
The problem is inherent to human nature. We trust in wisdom until it inconveniences us. It is extremely difficult to get someone to believe something when it is against their financial interest to do so. A rationalization that suits our self-interest or gratifies our emotions will always be the most appealing option.