A reader thinks there is a “biblical admonition”…

“separate from this sin-rent world. (By removing their children from the public schools, getting rid of their TVs, breaking off all ecumenical garbage with abortion and sodomy loving “churches”, etc.)”.

He also concludes that “Reagan was wrong — America is the focus of evil in the modern world.”

Ah the refeshment of simplistic thinking. Yes, there is a biblical admonition to “come out from them and be separate”. There is also a biblical admonition to “Go out into the world”. The basic balance is “be in the world but not of it”. Just how that is to be accomplished is not a simple matter. And simplistic formulae which may work in one situation may not apply in another. So simply “getting rid of your TV” or “pulling your kids from public schools” may or may not be ways to be in the world and not of it. My own son is in public school for high school after a long and fruitful homeschool career. He’s doing quite well thanks. And he brings kids to Mass and does youth ministry. Shall I stop him in order to conform with my reader’s definition of “separation”? Likewise, we have a video player (no connection to the sewage from the networks). Are we compromised for watching old movies from the library? And shall I cease all contact with Mike Hardy (with whom I flatly disagree) in order to be pure? Indeed, shall I start screaming during Mass that all homosexuals in the communion line should get lost? How does one implement this easy recommendation of my reader’s?

Puritanism worked when there were new continents to discover and you could go off by yourself and restart the Church full of confidence that, this time, you’d get it right. We’re fresh out of new continents and the heirs of the Puritans turn out to be Unitarians and Bostonians, who inherited the smug conviction that they could do it better than their fathers, though not their fathers’ faith in Jesus Christ. For myself, I’ve been Protestant, thanks. I think the way to help the Church is to stay with the Church and bear the Cross, not hive off and start something else. Yes, we have to get the world out of the Church. But no, we must not get the Church out of the world.

Nor do we have to make simplistic choices like “America or the Islamic world: which is really evil?” Both have serious problems because both are fallen: we want to clone and abort. They want to reduce the world to theocratic concentration camp. Both can, by the grace of Christ, display the glory of God. Sorry, but life’s complicated.