|Martyrdom of a Mexican Priest in 1927 during the Cristeros War|
This priest was executed simply for obeying the Catholic Church after the Mexican government told him not to.
(LifeSiteNews.com) — The U.S. Supreme Court Monday has declined to hear Elane Photography v. Willock, the case of a photographer who was told by the New Mexico Supreme Court that she must, as “the price of citizenship,” use her creative talents to communicate a message with which she disagrees or suffer punishment....
....“Americans oppose unjust laws that strong-arm citizens to express ideas against their will,” added Senior Counsel David Cortman. “Elaine and numerous others like her around the country have been more than willing to serve any and all customers, but they are not willing to promote any and all messages. A government that forces any American to create a message contrary to her own convictions is a government every American should fear.”
On a personal level, I have zero confidence in the United States Supreme Court. If they rule in favour of Hobby Lobby on religious freedom, I suspect it will be a watered-down ruling that will still diminish religious freedom in some way. If it actually rules fully in favour of religious freedom, then I will be shocked and consider it a fluke of history. We are after all, talking about the same branch of government that gave us Dred Scott v. Sandford and Roe v. Wade. The first ruling led to the Civil War and the second produced a holocaust of 40 million dead babies. When we examine the history of the US Supreme Court we find that it is far more apt to produce evil than good. So with that reputation under its nine robes, I think we can have reasonable expectation of this branch of government doing something particularly dastardly in this high profile case. So when it comes to the US Supreme Court, I pray for the best but expect the worst.
My own pessimism aside, let's look at what our role as Christians will be in the years ahead, regardless of the US Supreme Court's decision. For our role as Christians (particularly Catholic Christians) does not change.
It is simple really. We need to stop framing our thoughts, views and actions in terms of our own "freedom" or "liberty." As we will soon learn, one way or another, "freedom" and "liberty" in a secular sense is determined entirely by the whim of those in government, even if they are supposedly "dignified" judges in dirty black robes. Your "freedom" and mine means nothing to them. Your "liberty" is simply what they decide it to be. So when we frame our defence in terms of "freedom" and "liberty" we automatically lose, if not now than later, because these are abstract concepts entirely dependent on those in charge. I find it amusing that Christians are so eager to point to the United States Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, as their defence in such cases. Freedom of religion may have meant one thing in George Washington's time, but guess what? George Washington isn't here any more, and neither is Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin. Those folks, for all of their writings and sacrifices, can't help us these days, as the United States government has proved time and time again. Appeals to religious freedom are eventually destined for failure, if not now then someday. There is only one defence that will work, but to make it work, it will require sacrifice.
The defence that every Christian must appeal to is "religion" itself, not "religious freedom." That's right. The defence every Christian must appeal to, whether it be the right to speak for or against some things, or the right to pay or not pay for some things, or the right to do or not do some things, is simply "religion." That's it. Not "religious freedom" but "religion" -- period. Christians, especially Catholic Christians, need to be as bold as Muslims by citing our "religion" alone for the reason why we say and do things. Yes, our society and government will persecute us for this. They will fine us, take away our licenses and perhaps even jail us for this. Yes, we will receive the scorn of our culture for this. They will call us "bigots" and "fascists" and "obsolete" and whatever other epitaph they can dream up. Some of us will be laughed at. Some of us will be yelled at. Some of us will even be beaten for this. It's called martyrdom people! And this is a concept Christian Americans have a really hard time wrapping their minds around. This is how Christians win. We win in the short term by pleasing God with our personal sacrifices for his Son. We win in the long term because the blood of the martyrs becomes the seeds of the Church. Every time in history when martyrs have sacrificed themselves for his Son, God has rewarded their sacrifice with the eventual revival of the Church and its inevitable victory over oppressive governments and society. Look at what happened with ancient Rome. I tell you, perhaps within our lifetimes, we may see a revival of Christianity in the Middle East not seen in over a thousand years! Why? Because Christians are sacrificing themselves there. The same goes for China. Their sacrifices will not go unnoticed by God.
Christians here in the United States need to be willing to do the same thing. Our focus should not be avoiding persecution, but rather inviting it with our loyalty to Christ. Let us show the world, and history, by using our own sacrifices as an example, just how intolerant and hateful Secular Humanism is. Let us show the world, and history, through our martyrdom (financial, legal and even physical) jut how hateful Washington DC, and our state governments, really have become toward Christianity. This is the way to victory, it is the only way to victory there is. Indeed, it is the only way to victory there ever was.
From now on, whenever asked why we believe homosexuality is wrong, we should simply answer, "because our religion tells us so" and leave it at that. When asked why we won't pay for abortion and contraception, we should just answer "because our religion tells us so" and leave it at that. From now on whenever the government says we have to do something that violates our beliefs we should simply answer "we can't, because our religion tells us so" and leave it at that, willing to pay whatever fine, sacrifice whatever license, and serve whatever time in prison is necessary. Let us keep track of it, document it, and tell the world through the Internet and every media available. Let us simply be martyrs and show the world how intolerant a Secular Humanist society and government really is. Let history be its judge and let our sacrifices be our gifts to God. If, by a fluke of nature, the US Supreme Court rules in our favour, then we have that favour -- for now. (In time that will change.) If on the other hand, the more likely scenario occurs wherein the Supreme Court rules against us, then our actions do not change. We simply continue to do everything the way we have been doing, all in the name of religion, simply because our religion tells us so, and for no other reason. Let us break the government's law, when it is unjust, and allow ourselves to be martyrs because of it, as our sacrifice unto God.
Above is a photograph of a Mexican priest who was executed (martyred) during the Cristeros War in the 1920s. Let this man be our guide and example. During the 1920s the Mexican government thought it could take over all the religious activities of the Mexican people. People were told they could not go to mass except on days the Mexican government approved. Priests not native to Mexico were expelled from the country, in the hope of gaining more control over the clergy. Some priests resisted, broke the law, and remained in Mexico as Church law dictates, so they could serve their flock by saying mass, baptising children, and performing weddings. For breaking the Mexican government's unjust laws, these priests were executed (martyred), and thousands of Mexican Catholics joined them in martyrdom, as their bodies hung from telephone polls all across the country. Yes this really happened. Look it up. This is the price of Secular Humanism running amok in Mexico. Now we see it beginning to run amok in the United States. If Mexican Catholics can give their very lives, and sacrifice everything for the sake of their religion, what then are American Christians (especially Catholic Christians) ready to do? Are American Christians as brave and as faithful as Mexican Christians? Perhaps now we shall see.
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