People who fly on the airlines generally welcome FAA authority and regulation, so why do so many people have so much trouble accepting the divine authority and guidance of the Catholic Church?

by Doug Lawrence

The Federal Air Regulations, published by the U.S. Department of Transportation/FAA currently fill 1399 pages, and those regulations typically demand painstaking and detailed attention to virtually every part of the aviation experience.

Except perhaps for the regulations restricting the use of cell phones and electronic devices, which are essentially misunderstood and ridiculed by the general public, and some of the current TSA security procedures, which are often simply offensive … most people who fly on airliners actually welcome this very strict form of government regulation.

Why? Because widespread government regulation of aviation has resulted in a 99.999% safe commercial airline transportation environment … and that level of safety is a very good thing for government, industry, the airlines, and the flying public. After all … who, except for the very, very highly motivated … the desperate … or the suicidal … would buy an airline ticket if they had even a 5% chance of ending up dead?

Do some people still break the rules? Of course! Do some people still lobby for variations, and exemptions from those rules? Of course! Do some people still decry any form of government regulation, in spite of the aviation industry’s extraordinary safety record? Of course!

But one simple fact remains: The laws of gravity and inertia are consistent and inviolable, and no one can attempt to get around them, by any means, without eventually paying a terrible, and usually fatal price … especially if that particular  “rebel” happens to be an airline pilot, responsible for the care and safety of hundreds of “souls”. (Curiously, FAA flight plans typically inquire about not how many “people” are on board the aircraft … but how many “souls”.)

As a veteran pilot and a survivor of more than one crash, I can personally testify to all of the above. There’s also little doubt that people demand these regulations … and the government duly responds … out of fear.

Fear of death and injury. Fear of financial loss. Fear of political repercussions. Fear of the unknown.

So … why is it that people seem to have so much trouble accepting the authority and guidance of the Catholic Church … which receives its’ authority and wisdom from God, himself … and which routinely preaches and teaches divine precepts, for the common good of all … many of which are every bit as inviolable and absolute as the laws of physics?

For the record: The Catechism of the Catholic Church has only 823 pages, compared to FAA’s 1399.

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