Thursday, October 27, 2011

Persecution Can Lead to Joy

I'm feeling validated today. Several websites I follow are finally starting to post articles about the abuse of the First amendment and persecution of the Catholic and Christian faiths.  They waited until the puss was oozing out of the sore to talk about it, but at least the USCCB via the leadership of Archbishop Dolan, and the bishops in Illinois are finally starting to fight back.  Checkout Our Sunday Visitor for a brief review.  Of course they speak of persecution as just starting.  Talk about having a head in the sand.

Nobody likes to whine, and nobody wants to argue the slippery slope.  But you see, thoughts become words, words become actions...  When I think, "Hey, consenting adults can do what they want,"  what I'm saying is that actions don't have consequences.  That is obviously a false statement. 

If I say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,"  I'm failing to see the imminent threat.   This is why oppressors will claim that expressing our religious beliefs is hate speech.  Bullying programs now focus on acceptance of GLBTG agenda.  People have been bullied for a long time.  Are you a bully if you tell a lesbian parent that painting her son's toenails pink is a bad thing to do?  (www.foxnews.com)

How do we combat persecution?  One, pray. Two, call it what it is.  Three, be joyful in faith, and expect others believe as well.  I've spoken before about the inherent discrimination that is encourage by the separatist thinking of diversity trainers and multicultural enthusiasts.  Their primary goal seems to be to tell Catholics and Christians to shut up and take it.  Even Catholic University is being sued by Muslim students who expect to be given a Christ-free place to pray.  On a Catholic campus.  With Catholic in the name of the school.  If they wanted a Christ-free place to worship, perhaps they should not have chosen a Catholic school.

Since I teach at a state run university, I used to be silent and kind of apologetic about my beliefs.  Now, in conversations with my students, I will make natural references to my life, and sometimes these include a reference to something religious.  For example, when a student asked how my weekend was, I said, " There's this beautiful little girl named Molly who colored a picture for me during Mass on Sunday.  Here, I have it in my purse."

This is not an in your face defense of religion.  It is simply a statement that it is a part of my life, and gives me joy. My students know I'm a baby stalker.  (That's what my son calls me.)  I see a baby, and I am immediately on a mission to get that child to give me a smile.  I have the same mission with the young adults I teach.  I want them to smile.  I want them to laugh.  I don't want them sitting in my class trying to figure out what my agenda is.  I want them to know I accept them, warts and all, and pray for their well-being.

I can do all of that with out checking my faith at the door. In fact, I do it better when I don't check my faith at the door. Pope Benedict XVI once said, "Each of us is the result of a thought of God.  Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."  Sometimes when faced with a troubled student, or a difficult colleague, I may ask God, "What were you thinking?" But they are probably asking the same question about me.

I accept them, but I don't want to celebrate their warts.  We are all fallen creatures, but legislating and protecting and glorifying sin only hurts the sinner.  So I intend to be joyful in this time of persecution.  I will love the sinner and hate the sin.  God willing, and with God's help.


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