I have returned to this week’s editorial in The Southern Cross, titled “Real Religious Freedom”, a few times since I read it the first time. I have been trying to put my finger on what it is about it that makes me feel uncomfortable.
The reason I think that it makes me uncomfortable is because it is so tepid. I of course expected the few lines, in which the editor makes mentions of the HHS mandate, to be particularly anodyne. However, I sadly found that it was in fact because the entire editorial was so insipidly lukewarm and non-committal, especially considering the subject matter, that I felt uncomfortable with it.
In addition to his rather bland approach to such an important subject, the editor also strangely approaches it by apportioning the blame for society ignoring or not taking Christian persecution seriously, on the Church itself! Why? Well because, according to the editor, the Church has taken such a significant and prominent leadership role in society over the centuries, that it has now “clouded perceptions”.
So are we then to understand that, had the Church instead taken a less prominent role in the past, Christian persecution would today be taken more seriously and not be disregarded? Are we to believe that if the abuse scandal had not happened, that society would today be treating Christian persecution as a more significant event and taking firmer action to curb it?
I think that anyone who believes this is naive!
The reality is this! Society is ignoring or disregarding Christian persecution because it suits them to do so. The Church makes life uncomfortable for people because of the absolute moral truths that the Church continually presents. The stark reality of what it really means to love God above everything else makes people feel uncomfortable, because it is difficult to follow.
Society today wants instant solutions that are easy to follow. Rather than, for example, accepting the truth of the teaching contained in Humanae Vitae, society looks for and chooses the simple instant solution instead. What is that in this example? A condom or some other contraceptive means of course. Plus of course the back-up plan of abortion!
I mean really, why fight ones passions and practice self-control, when you can instead use a condom and therefore succumb to your passions and urges, enabling you to enjoy, without any concern for the consequences, the encounter with your wife, or for that matter, your encounter with whoever else your passion happens to lead you to?
No, sadly, neither the historic leadership position of the Church, nor the horrendous failings of some of its members, has anything to do with societies disregard of Christian persecution. The Church’s uncomfortable proclamation of the Gospel is what makes people disregard Christian persecution.
It suits society for Christians to be silenced! That, editor, is why Christian persecution is ignored or disregarded! That, editor, is why religious freedom is under attack!