It won’t be a repetition of the Spanish Civil War, just 75 years ago, when death squads of the anticlerical left executed the incredible total of 12 bishops, 283 religious women, 4,184 priests, 2,365 religious men, and an unknown number of laity whose only crime was to be faithful Catholics.
No, the persecution of religion in the United States won’t be like that. It will be a tight-lipped campaign of secularist inspiration in which the coercive power of the state is brought to bear on church-related institutions to act against conscience or go out of business.
Yup. It will be precisely what we’re seeing now — the sort of passive-aggressive bullying that says, “what? I’m not doing anything to you! I’m just making sure it’s all fairs-ies…”
During oral argument [before the Supreme Court of the United States] the attorney representing the Obama administration said in effect that government could compel the Catholic Church to ordain women priests if it reached the point of wanting to do that in the name of enforcing anti-discrimination laws. Never mind the First Amendment.
Shaw is optimistic, overall:
Pope Benedict XVI pointed it out during his September pastoral visit to Germany (as secularized a Western country as now exists). The lesson of history, he said, is that secularization aimed at reducing the worldly power of the Church often has the unintended consequence (unintended by the secularists anyway) of purifying the Church for its spiritual mission.
That’s a comforting thought. But even so religion has a duty to fight back against the secularist impulse — not least, in the United States, in defense of a church-state arrangement that’s served the nation well but now is at risk of falling victim to power-hungry secularism.
I find it comforting, too, although that may seem odd.
We are going to have to face the fact that nothing is static and the world today is not what it was twenty years ago, and the world tomorrow may not look anything like today. That’s what happens; narratives press forward, and we believe ours is pressing forward to a glorious day, but one that will not come without the pangs of delivery.
There is an embolism we use in the mass — a sort of prose-interruption to the Lord’s prayer, before concluding it:
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I think “anxieties” is a good word, one people can relate to. I’m sorry to see it go.