Cleansing Fire

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The Beginning of the End of the American Experiment

June 26th, 2013, Promulgated by DanielKane

I was hoping to offer a light piece today on launching Catholic High graduates into the deep. But the Supreme Court intervened…

With today’s Supreme Court rulings, we have now reached a point in American history where the Judeo-Christian story has been rejected as being unintelligible to a significant portion of our citizenry and also, apparently, to our judiciary.  Some would argue that this is the inevitable “progress” of history, while others would argue that the decline of commonly-held moral standards is the result of the creep of inexorable decadence and cultural decline.

The American experiment worked because no matter your origins, you entered into a Judeo-Christian cultural foundation that while espousing no State religion, did favor the philosophical natural law and revered the universal tenants of all Sacred Scripture. We also prayed…”so help me God”, hired chaplains for the military, invoked God’s Blessing “God Bless America” and last but not least, we were not very sentimental.

For example, it has often been pointed out to Christians by proponents of same-sex marriage that Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, who was engaged in a sexual activity which at the time was treated as a capital offense.  However the conclusion of that story is not Christ patting the woman on the head and saying, “Go back to doing whatever you were doing.”  Rather, He commands her, “Go, and sin no more,” in one action completing two acts – granting forgiveness but calling sin a sin, never pretending that what she was doing was morally acceptable.   That, and not the rabid crowd slowly shuffling away, is the real message of the encounter of John Chapter 8.  Yet its meaning has been lost in our Sex and the City based morality coupled with the notion that “nice guys always get to heaven”.

In choosing to treat a relationship between consenting adults – which is often really just a euphemism for sexual incontinence – as the ground in which marriage must be based, we have also forgotten that mankind was created in God’s image.  ”Male and female He created them,” we are told of our first parents, their complementarity being a reflection God.  We are now entering a period in which, through science and technology, we will soon be able to create in OUR own image, without having a male and female at all.

As America races into the future we are tearing down the narratives which kept human beings from descending back into the barbaric chaos from which our ancestors emerged and we are set on silencing those who warn of the implications of abandoning fundamental principles regarding life, family, and society; the bulwark of culture.

Of course the paradox of today’s Supreme Court decisions is that in granting rights to one group, another will now become the object of persecution.  For if you believe the honeyed assurances of those who insist that orthodox Christians and Jews will be left to believe and practice as we choose, I would suggest that you are very easily deceived.  No doubt far too many people will go along to get along, even though the Church Herself will not.  Somehow, Catholics who remain true to the Faith have always managed to survive, and will survive this as well.  One takes the long view that the Catholic Church has outlasted the Romans, the Huns, the Moors, Henry VIII, the Ottomans, the Shogun, Napoleon, and the Soviets, so this is simply another bumpy period in our long history.

As a child I often wondered if I could be a martyr. Frankly, quoting Flannery O’Connor – “I could never be a saint, but I could be a martyr if they killed me quick.” I know one thing as an adult – they never kill you quick.

The time of persecution nears. All professional licenses are privileges of society and they do not give licenses to bigots. Get ready to bow down lawyers, CPAs, business owners, doctors and nurses. Get ready to surrender those teaching certificates Catholic teachers. Get ready to pay property taxes Catholic Churches and Schools. Accept the “Core Curriculum” which includes homosexuality as a good or simply close. Be ready to lose your charitable status Church. Once there is a ghetto or two of orthodox Christians left the axe will come as it always does.  

Review the history of the Soviets, Cuba, China, Vietnam and Nazi Germany. The script is overused and time and again we (re)state time and again “Never Again” to deaf ears.

It is often said that the story of history is written by the victors, and perhaps today, the forces which have persuaded a majority of the Justices – six of whom are baptized Catholics – that the marriage covenant and mutually agreeable sexual play are morally and legally equivalent are in the process of writing a new history while simultaneously rejecting the history of marriage and family. In the end – a century from now, the fallout from this decision will prove as inscrutable to future generations as is the fact that the goofy Prince Charles will soon be the actual head of the  Church of England someday!

For certain, the Catholic Church will still be here, but America as we know it may well not be.  After all, England seized all the Catholic properties and today the greatest human empire – so vast that the sun new set on the Crown – is a handful of meaningless islands with a Church that is running into Catholicism so fast that we had to make special accommodations. Until this decade an English citizen who happened to be Catholic could not be Prime Minister, a Member of Parliament or marry a Royal. That is almost 500 years of religious persecution from America’s closest ally.

What will come of this? Well item one as I see it is this – Catholics in business will be forced to accommodate and recognize same sex marriages. Maybe the K of C will have to rent their hall to a same sex couple or a Church will be forced to marry homosexuals. That will lead to what I mentioned at the 2012 Fortnight of Freedom – material schism with the  American Catholic Church versus the Roman Catholic Church.

Schism

The American Catholic Church will have the smells and bells we so love so much. It will have lots of nice folks; good civilized thinking folks in the pews. It will be filled with sensitive and sentimental types who think that Tommy and Peter are such nice boys! And they do so much!It will have catholic schools with same-sex prom dates.  How can two nice guys sin and lose eternal life? It will have fine liturgies and great property. But the American Catholic Church will simply be a gilded sepulcher. Beautiful to the senses yet filled with decay.

The remnant Church, the few that refuse to concede the primordial nature of marriage, the words of the Hebrew Scripture, Paul and the Catechism will be reviled, insulted and persecuted. They will be taxed into non-existence and her members will be regarded as irrelevant bigots. Schools and Churches will close. Catholic mayors and Judges will be forced to marry homosexuals against their conscience or risk job or jail and many, many, many will apostate in every trade and position from Bishop to homemaker.  “Prudence” will be the new cowardice.

We will be faced with persecution. It comes with the baptism – where you “die with Christ”.  Some may experience that death in actual time and space. Many will be “white” martyrs – those who suffer loss, disdain and ridicule. Christ asked us to “pray that you are not put to the test” and when the test comes remember “I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers.”

For the second time in my life (the first being abortion in 1973) my country has spit in the eye of every religious tradition known to man and every piece of religious scripture ever written – be it by Hebrews, Christians or Muslims. Natural marriage – an institution that predates all of religion and civilization shares the stage with an institution predicated on self fulfillment and mutually agreeable sex play.  To think that we will survive this culturally is pure folly. The first shot across the bow will be in the schools.

But for certain, the Church founded by Jesus Christ will survive this – as it has survived worse.   St. John Fisher facing the executioner sums in one sentence the prayer of all aware Christians  – In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

In you Lord I have hope, never let me be confounded.

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7 Responses to “The Beginning of the End of the American Experiment”

  1. avatar snowshoes says:

    Thank you, Daniel, for the excellent analysis of the crisis facing our nation, and specifically the challenges to us Catholics. As with Slavery, we must be steadfast in living and proclaiming the Truths of the Faith over and against the invalid legislation and jurisprudence issuing from our varous governmental bodies.

    I love the quote from Flannery O’Connor, thanks for the chuckle on this dark day. You are no doubt correct, they never kill you quick, and so, we must pray, and frequent the sacraments. We must continue to live in the loving community of the church, to build up our friendships in praise and service of Our Lord and His Church. “See how they love one another!”

    Pray for our bishops, priests, and deacons in this difficult time, since they are often the ones singled out for special discrimination. Venerable Pope Paul VI, pray for us. St. Jose Maria Escriva, pray for us.

  2. avatar Ron says:

    I fear the Supreme Court’s ruling and the debacle in Texas (even if Perry succeeds in getting another session) are symptomatic of the direction of this nation. I do believe we are entering a time of persecution. I just might get a chance to find out if I have enough faith and courage to be a martyr!

  3. avatar Catinlap1 says:

    While affirming the sacredness of human sex within the bonds of holy matrimony, we must hold that any sexual activity outside these bonds is gravely sinful. This includes homosexual acts: It includes any sexual activity outside of marriage, including pre-marital sex, fornication, adultery, and masturbation. In how many ways does society try to tell us that these behaviors are normal? Contraception follows the acceptance of uncommitted sex. Yet today, opposing any of these sins can result in accusations of bigotry and intolerance — a very slow martyrdom! Moral deterioration in our society is evident in other ways, including fraud, theft, greed, and material excess.

    Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) made a doctoral presentation in 1958, which blossomed into his theory of moral development in the 1960s and to his life’s work. We are in the 50th anniversary of his famous “Heinz’s dilemma” (1963). Heintz, after doing all in his power to purchase a drug properly, must decide whether to steal it in order to (hopefully) save the life of his wife. If you studied Kohlberg’s work you know that the issue is not whether, but why, Heintz should or should not steal the drug. Kohlberg postulated that the moral thinking of most adults falls on a conventional level: either do what society deems “good” or function in a way that maintains the social order. For example, in the early 1960s the value of prenatal or unborn life, care of the aged until natural death, the permanence of marriage, and the reservation of sexual activity exclusively to heterosexual marital relationships, were all part and parcel of conventional thinking. Birth control required self-control. The 10 Commandments ruled.

    Conventional moral thinking might have been enough for Catholics in the early 1960s. Social norms have changed drastically over the past 50 years: what the larger society considered “good” or “praiseworthy” 50 years ago might now be considered at least archaic, but more likely bigoted and anti-social today. What does “conventional moral thinking” look like today? Abortion is such a commonly used legal option that unwilling young women are often pressured into the procedure, the elderly and terminally ill are routinely sedated and starved, serial sexual relationships are “normal” and anyone who dares to challenge “gay rights” is subject to punishment. Freedom of religion has morphed into prohibition of any religious expression in public places. Artificial birth control and related “reproductive services” are considered “good” by conventional society and have morphed into mandatory health care, free from normal co-pays, which Catholic institutions are required to include in their insurance policies. Sex education, combined with abortifacient drugs, now being dispensed in schools, amounts to programmed perversion. All these attitudes clearly militate against Catholic teaching and against our basic Judeo-Christian 10 Commandments. The gulf between conventional moral thinking and essential Catholic morality has been increasing every year.

    Let us revisit the 1960s for a moment. Those who faced the evils of segregation squarely and risked brutality and jail time for civil disobedience brought about major change in the prevailing social order, without firing a shot. We Catholics must rise above conventional morality! If all Catholics today reject the norms of society and demand a standard of morality anchored to the Ten Commandments, we can reverse the descending trend of moral norms in our society today. Christ calls us in Luke 13:21 to be the yeast that raises the dough, “It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed [in] with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” We are not meant to be part of the lump!

  4. avatar DanielKane says:

    @ Catinlap1 – thank you for reading my essay and thanks for a very cogent, thoughtful and relevant comment that takes this post to another level. The above is one brilliant reflection that connects natural moral reasoning with religious moral reasoning and the expanding gulf between the two. For certain, it is a root cause analysis of our present dilemmas.

    I greatly appreciate this contribution that expanded my thoughts on the matters before us.

  5. avatar annonymouse says:

    Snowshoes – let us pray that our bishops, priests and deacons may live and speak in a manner worthy of being singled out for special discrimination. Let us not forget that St. John Fisher was the lone exception to the rule that England’s bishops capitulated to the king.

    In our present day, I know far more priests and deacons who have, by their support of this president, enabled what is going on, than I know who have opposed. Those who call themselves Catholic, let us not forget, supported the election of Obama in proportions no different than the general electorate. And I would bet that the clergy (at least in our diocese) supported him in greater proportion. A Church that is already largely in league with the forces of evil has nothing to worry about in terms of persecution. Only a Church that courageously stands against the moral outrages of the day need worry.

    Saint Michael the Archangel, protect us!

  6. avatar Catinlap1 says:

    Thank you, DanielKane. I gave some of this reflection to my RCIA class this past mystagogia. It always amazes me how, through the grace of God, our RCIA participants open themselves to the tough moral teachings of the Church and resolve to follow them, regardless of the cost.

  7. avatar Bernie says:

    Wow! Great post, DanielKane.


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