Sore winner makes clear that for an awful lot of the #lovewins crowd, this is not about love. It’s about vengeance. We’ll see how Love plays out in the New Normal. I hope this guy turns out to be an outlier (and note with some hope that, for all his spite, he does not speak of legal reprisals).
In his speech today following the Supreme Court’s ruling, President Obama reminded us to respect the defeated. He said:
I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply-held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact. Recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.
You know what, though? Fuck those people. Fuck their myopic “good will,” fuck their views on this issue that are anti-equality, fuck their misguided sincerity, their deeply held beliefs, their refusal to see what’s right, their insistence on hiding behind some passages (and ignoring hundreds of others) from their beloved Bibles.
But I have no special reason to think he will not, in fact, seek legal reprisals. The ACLU is already talking about removal of religious liberties in reprisal for Ungoodthink, and the Pop Left is making the usual noises about punishing Christians for having theological views that conflict with Leftist pieties:
Cuz Martin Luther King, Jr. was just a total tax fraud, doncha know.
It remains to be seen how much the revanchists speak for the winners of this particular culture war battle.
Meanwhile, it behooves us as Christians to turn our energies toward prudence and not fear, anger, or self-pity. The biggest effect the ruling has had in my life has been people gloating in comboxes or unfriending me on FB. Woe is me. Meanwhile, several black churches have been targeted for arson as payback for not enough black people being murdered in Charleston. And, of course, abroad, we have actual holy martyrs shedding their actual blood for our Lord (you can support their orphans here).
Compared to that, life is great here for Catholics in these United States. So I think the primary thing for Catholics to do is listen to our Lord and rejoice in the undeserved hatred we receive while making sure that it is *all* undeserved hatred. Because, of course, while an awful lot of it is directed against the simple fact that the Church can never confer a blessing on homosex or pretend that there is such a thing as gay “marriage”, an awful lot of it also comes because of actual injustices against gay persons and our rank hypocrisies as Christians. Every time a Christian cheers for a Donald Trump or a Rush Limbaugh as a champion of “traditional marriage”, or tells a gay person that, even if they are faithful and obedient to the teaching of the Church, they will *still* be judged with hostility and suspicion for their temptations while the rest of us will be judged on our actions, we only make clear our own hypocrisy and contempt for them. That’s on us, not them.
Does the world hate the Church? Yes. It always has and it always will. The delusion from which we are only now waking is that, in the US, we have jiggered a way around that. Much of the anger and fear I’m hearing from Catholics about the SCOTUS decision is not about the real victims of this decision–children who have just been stripped of all rights at law to a mother and a father–but pitiable Us as losers in a culture war. What all that “I woke up in an America that is no longer my home” rhetoric says, loud and clear, is that the focus is still on our political and earthly power.
Fact: America was never our home because the world has never been our home. We are and always have been strangers and sojourners here. If the Faith is true, then the main victims of what has happened will be the weak and to poor (that is, Jesus Christ, the eternal Victim), and we should attend to them and to him, not to poor Us, because the real question is not whether the Church will survive the hostility of the United States, but how long the United States can survive attacking the greatest provider of charitable works in the world. Without the chrism of charitable works of the Church lubricating our culture, the engine of our already overheated society is going to burn out and break down in short order.
What we lost was some of our earthly power. But such power is not and never has been our hope. Jesus neither had nor sought such power. Nor did the apostles. So this may be a blessing in disguise if we recognize that the weapons of our warfare are not and never have been found in the blessing of Caesar. We must resolve ourselves, should some sort of serious persecution come (and none has yet) to rejoice as Jesus said to do and as the apostles did, being glad to be found worthy to suffer for the Name. Fear and worry and resentment and anger are of this world, not of the Kingdom.