Standing with the Curve of History

Today I rejoice that I stand with the long curve of history and the majority of public opinion. Jesus is Lord and remains Lord today. History often detours and His providence is inscrutable in the short term, but justice with mercy, holiness with salvation, always prevails. I am more concerned about the great states of the future that will judge us harshly and too simply. To those future people, in Korea, China, Nigeria, India, and Kenya: we were not all duped.

Most of the globe’s population marvels at the rapid plunge of America into moral decadence and our inability to defend sexual sanity. Forcing states to marry the tiny percentage of the tiny percentage of the population with same sex-attraction that wishes to marry is not our worse problem. It is a manifestation of our worst problem . . . and not the manifestation that tempts me.

We are sensualists and any party, religion, or idea that stands in the way of our personal pleasure will fail. Of course, if Plato is correct, a city can survive many vices (and God knows America has never been perfect), but the libertine city always falls. Sadly, the culture that thinks that living without a sex partner is to damn a person to a hell of loneliness will almost surely be incapable of the chastity and discipline to do great deeds.

Surely you are as horrified by our materialism and our despoiling of the planet as you are by our libertine morals. Some, like Pope Francis, saw it was one mistake, but he was ignored by everyone. We will not give up, not because you now approve of our defense, but because the only Judge whose judgment we fear is Judge Jesus. So you can be glad that bullying is still condemned in your time and there is no closet. We admit our desires and confess our sins to one another.

We did not go back, but forward to a chaste and merciful future. I am glad for that and our fight helped produce this better world.

History is spiraling to Jesus.

History is spiraling to Jesus.

I am not a legal scholar, so I will not comment on the law. I am trained as a philosopher and am an educator, so let me say this: there is no right to vice. With every saint of the Church, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant of all the centuries, five justices disagree. With every Orthodox bishop in the world, five justices disagree. With the parts of the world still having children at the replacement level, five justices disagree.

And so to the twenty-second century, to those researchers not yet born, who wonder what happened, how this was allowed, I have something simple to say:  We followed the pathway that Plato outlines in his Republic and Saint Paul describes in Romans. We decided we could make laws without reference to moral principles (as if the highest good was a contract) and that love requires sex to find fulfillment. Of course, we simply enshrined our passions, hoping that if no harm happens in the short-term to the culture, that no harm will occur in the long term.

Millions of young adults dissented. Millions of older Americans disagreed. We were with the four judges, all the saints, and all the bishops, but our voice, our vote, was stripped from us temporarily. We did not panic, but vowed to vote. We refused hate or vitriol, but doubled down on argument. We know that one justice decided the morals of the nation while pretending to decide the law.

Our work paid off and now you read this in a nation still free, but committed to Christian ethical ideals. You allow dissent, because we believed in the liberty of the soul. You ground your morality and law in the Truth, because you know that otherwise morality is mired in opinion and error.

We are sorry we left you so many problems. You see our errors, but now let me ask you: having gotten sexual ethics right, what are you missing? Where is the Gospel being attacked in your age? Where are “liberals” arguing history is on their side? On what issue is the Church losing? Find that area and do not repeat our mistake of taking the long road to truth.

Repent. Love God and your neighbor, but realize that love is not an emotion. Love is a commitment to justice, courage, holiness, chastity, faith, hope, and moderation. We were not as mad as we seem to you and we were worse than we knew.

 

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About John Mark N. Reynolds

John Mark Reynolds is the president of The Saint Constantine School, a school that aspires to preschool through college education. He is also a philosopher, administrator, and joyous curmudgeon. He is a follower of Jesus and a student of Socrates. He is also an owner of the Green Bay Packers. Opinions here are his own ... even Hope doesn't agree with him always.