“Our Faith Is Worth Fighting For”
As I finally sit to write this “Corner”, I have a myriad of spiritual subjects and concerns swirling through my head. I am in the midst of writing four talks that will be given within the next five days. I am never quite sure how many parishioner read these “Corner” commentaries, but I treat and write each one with an optimistic view that if it has a positive impact on only one reader, then it will be well worth the time and effort. So what is swirling through my thoughts? Most all of them boil down to an ever heightening concern with the rapid decline in the moral standards of the people of America. If anyone questions that, I simply refer to the erosion of the Christian God-loving, God-fearing values that this 240 year old Christian Republic was founded on. We all need to refresh our memories and review those foundational documents, written and delivered for the express protection of our lives, our freedom and our pursuit of happiness A thankful reference to God is woven all throughout our founding father’s writings and works.
We need to remind and/or teach our children (young and old) what’s really contained in them…particularly clarifying the current (politically convenient) misreading of the original concept of “Separation of Church and State”. It was never, in any way what-so-ever, meant to prohibit, the practice, public expression, and the living of the precepts of your faith in the “public square”. But in the last eight years, this erosion was exacerbated by our ex-president when he personally, but officially, declared that we are not a Christian nation. Yes, he did indeed say that…early in his first term. And to me, that sounded so egregiously wrong, but there was nary a peep of concern expressed in the media. While all this was quite upsetting to me, it seems now, in retrospect, that his words were a signal of sorts, for all kinds of aberrant (read immoral) behavior to rear its head. Abortion business flourished, unchecked and began receiving a half million dollar subsidy from the government. The very foundation of a moral society, God’s sacred Sacrament of Marriage took two devastating blows. The Defense of Marriage Law was rescinded and so-called same sex-marriage was legalized (to become a “bookend law” for the Supreme Court), complimenting the evil Roe v Wade law permitting the killing of inconvenient babies in the womb. Over 50 million slaughtered…in a Christian Nation?
So, I have to admit that our identity as a “Christian Nation” has been battered…but it is still intact. Hope prevails and continues unabated. Our Faith is worth fighting for…after all, the reward is Heaven. Our Catholic Church, in these trying times, has also been battered with internal division and disagreement, but we know for a fact, that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. That is Our Lord’s personal promise. We need to continue our fervent prayer and to be optimistic. We need to vibrantly live our faith and by our good example and teaching, draw our children and family members deeper into a life of faith. But, alas, to do that with efficacy, with good results, we need to know our faith…more than ever before, because your faith is being questioned at every turn. Think about it. You expressing your faith in the public square, in the work place or school, is being legislated against. The wearing of a Crucifix or praying is prohibited and punishable by the law. There is no provision in the Jacksonville HRO to prevent and protect Christians from the existing bias and discrimination heaped upon them openly for practicing, teaching and living their morality and faith.
But…we allowed our Jacksonville City Council to approve (and our Mayor to acquiesce) amendments to our already comprehensive protection ordinance, that make it illegal to teach that sodomy, the homosexual act, is the epitome of evil and sinful and wrong. The new council approved amendments allow men to visit girls’ bathrooms whenever they think they feel like a girl. I stood with about 300 Jacksonville woman who gathered in front of City Hall over the noon hour on Wednesday, to plead with Mayor Curry to veto the HRO the Council-Approved amendments and to protect themselves and their daughters from the already active male bathroom predators. Mayor Curry, can still veto the ill-conceived HRO amendment that allows the LGBT activist to go into any bathroom, locker room or changing room they feel like. Please call and/or e-mail the Mayor, and plead for him to veto this absurdly, senseless, and immoral amendment that is due to become law at this Tuesday evening’s Council meeting.
I will mention one more, of the many moral erosions I see taking place, and a cause for concern and unrest. I witness every day, that good people, good Christians, good Catholics…all people of faith, are unable to present their logical faith-based reason for opposing the homosexual act. At the two City Hall demonstrations this week, the constant message I heard being ranted and shouted out at the gathered Christians who were peacefully praying, was that the homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexual (they can go into any bathroom) and trans-sexual …represent “Love” …and the Christians position represents “Hate”. Deceitful propaganda, of course, but they (in league with the Father of lies, Satan) have hijacked the word “Love” (as they did the word “Gay”‘ and “Rainbow”) to cover up what really is at the center of their movement…which is “Lust”. As part of our commitment to live, with conviction, our Catholic faith, we need to know our faith. And, we need to know it well enough to defend it. As Pope Benedict asserted, we cannot live with indifference to sinful activity…whether it’s our own sin or the sins rampant in society. Our faith calls for us to know what is evil… what is sinful…and why it is sinful. And yes, we are also called by our Faith, to admonish the sinner. If they ignore you, bring another. If they ignore both of you, bring it to the attention of the whole Church. Certainly prudence applies here, you need to know the sinner, don’t engage strangers unless they engage you in civil conversation. But we all need to know exactly what the Church (in its Catechism) teaches on all the immoral behaviors that are at the center of all this discord. As for that “Hate” allegation being thrown at us… know and believe that we are called to love and respect the person of the sinner. But far too many are stopping there, and subsequently tolerating the Sin along with loving the sinner and tolerating all the immorality and cancerous effect it has on the vulnerable that come in contact with the evil.
As today’s Gospel says…do not worry about this rampant evil all about us…worry is useless. Learn your faith, and live it vibrantly, with prayer and merciful care for others, particularly the sinners. Wrapped in the faith of His Church, the gates of hell will not prevail against you.