Believing and Knowing

Have you ever noticed our opponents on marriage issues precede every lie with the phrase, “We know”? We know children do just as well with two moms or two dads, we know that all children need is two parents who love them; we know that gay means when two men  love each other, we know marriage is for public recognition of a committed relationship.

One of the things that has really bothered me, is Catholics usually precede statements of truth with the phrase “we believe,” when we should actually say, “we know”. If I were to tell you I believe I was born on March 26, you would think that Bill doesn’t know for sure. But I do know when I was born. My mother told me and I believed her. That’s faith.

Faith is knowledge- indirect knowledge. Believing is the process of knowing from a trusted source.

When we say we believe this or that, we’re telling people we're not sure or making a relativistic statement that this is true only for those who believe.

The Church deals in reality. We know life begins at conception as a fact from science. It is not a belief, but a fact. Catholics know that Christ is fully present in the Eucharist- it is a fact. We know this because we trust Christ, we trust Scripture, we trust the apostles and Church Fathers, and we trust the Church. We know that marriage unites a man and a woman with each other and any children born from their union because that’s a true statement – it’s a fact that doesn’t even depend on belief in God. 

When you use the word "know" in place of "believe" it may feel awkward at first.

In a culture in which people express opinions and sentiments as if they are facts, what if those who know the truth (reality) start saying we know rather than we believe?