Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Awaken and resist

It's time to mobilize against the government's quest for power as it seeks to gain new ground at the expense of religious liberty and practice. Peoria's Bishop Daniel Jenky delivered a strong message along those lines at St. Mary's Cathedral last Sunday.

Here's just some of what he had to say:
Remember that in past history other governments have tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches like the first disciples locked up in the Upper Room. 
In the late 19th century, Bismark waged his “Kultur Kamp,” a Culture War, against the Roman Catholic Church, closing down every Catholic school and hospital, convent and monastery in Imperial Germany. 
Clemenceau, nicknamed “the priest eater,” tried the same thing in France in the first decade of the 20th Century. 
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care. 
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path. 
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
He's right, you know. Secular campaigns to drive Christians (and Christian values) underground or to monopolize schools, hospitals and other institutions under the control of a secular state, are nothing new. President Obama and his team promote their agenda as if it's something all-new and  progressive, but as we wade deeper in, it appears no more than another grasp for control at the expense of personal and religious liberty.

In the past, godly people have often awakened to the danger in time, and turned back such threats. Other times, tyranny won its immediate objective, and only after long struggles were religious freedoms and institutions restored.

Bishop Jenky seeks to stir Catholics to action before it's too late, and sees coming elections as means to turn back the current assault. I say other people of faith would do well to heed his assessment as well, and to act accordingly.

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