Reflecting on 21 Centuries of Faith

What’s in a Number and Can I Make a Difference?

yoda2There is a scene in Star Wars Episode II:Attack of the Clones in which Master Yoda states, “The Dark Side clouds everything. Impossible to see, the future is.” I could say the same to my children. See, this morning we read that the 2014 Rose Parade will be featuring a float, sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (Battling this terrible disease is necessary and good). So far so good . The challenge is that during the parade on this particular float, two men will exchange marriage vows.

Now, my children know right from wrong and that marriage is, has always been, and will forever be, the union of a natural man and natural woman. All other combinations are not marriage; that does not mean the two individuals do not love each other. Understand that as you read this, I have close friends and family members that struggle with same-sex attraction and even an extended family member that chose to avail themselves of the new “marriage” laws in Maryland to form a civil union with their same-sex partner. And, we are all close and good friends. That being said, there is no ambiguity in the truth that marriage is reserved for one natural man and one natural woman.

Tomorrow, the 125th Tournament of Roses Parade will commence and most families will be watching it. Most will have no clue that the parade will be featuring a same-sex union and, sadly enough, they will not care. It reminds of St. Paul’s Second Letter to Timothy,

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. (II Tim. 4:3-4)

All the literature points to the fact that most individuals are educated by entertainment and the statistics presented by the nightly news or Facebook. It is likely that the viewing numbers tomorrow will be used for the approval of the gay lifestyle and same-sex unions. I know that those who are watching it do not necessarily agree but they are contributing to the pollsters’ game and public affair firms messaging. You should know that the public affairs gurus will not be looking at the numbers during the exchange of vows but total numbers (BTW, I worked for two public affair firms so I truly do know how the game is played). Make no mistake, these numbers will be used politically and will fuel an agenda that is not only contrary to the Gospel but also foreign to most families in America.

Where does that leave us? I have already received comments that have encouraged me to change the channel at that section or not to let this get to me and enjoy the parade. I have already been accused that I am engaging in hate speech and that same-sex individuals are people too and deserve happiness. All the while Christians have been silent. To be fair, it is the Christmas season and everyone prefers the philosophy of big hugs, happiness and their heads buried in the pile of self-flattery and false truths. Wait, what did Edmond Burke say about good men?

I am neither questioning the personhood of those struggling with same-sex attraction nor do I want anyone to be unhappy. However, happiness is based on truth. Truth is based in the Eternal Law, whether we believe that the Eternal Law exists or not. It is like using a cell phone for a snow board because we have decided that the true purpose for the phone is to be using for skiing. While I do not advocate using a cell phone while tackling a double-black diamond, feel free – just doing put your feet on it for the downhill and except good results. This is a question of what is marriage.

Here’s a serious question: Since when does Christianity blithely brush aside public attacks on the foundation of society – which we call marriage? Does not St. Paul admonish us to,

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good (Rom 12:9)

and,

but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil. (I Thess. 5:21-22)

Does this mean I am advocating a puritanical approach to the media? No, but my family has a three strike rule for language and obscenity. And yes, it means there is a lot we cannot see and we at times are culturally unsavvy. Then again, I remember Romans 12:1-2. Have I drawn a line in the sand and encouraged you to do the same? Absolutely!

Marriage and family is the most fundamental unit of society. If we choose to allow ourselves and our children to become desensitized and allow the said entertainment to teach and form our children, then we have 1) Undermined the basic understanding of what marriage is and 2) Compromised our witness in every area. Sooner than later, all morals will be abandoned and society will collapse. Remember, faith is more caught than taught.

Am I an alarmist? Maybe. Then again, history is on my side (i.e., Rome, Babylon, Philistia, etc.). Understand that concerning the marriage issue, our silence and inactivity (even during the holiday season) just makes us the frog in the water that is getting warmer every moment. Soon, we will ready to be served up with a red sauce.

We compromise our witness by saying this is tolerable but that is not. Tolerance is not a virtue and “love does not rejoice in what is wrong but only in the truth.” (I Cor 13:6) Participation is always an affirmation of consent – whether explicit or implicit. It is difficult to be Christian – there is much we must give up, but I thought that is why we only “preach Christ and Him crucified.” (I Cor 1:23 and I Cor 2:2)

What does the future hold for us? Archbishop Chaput said it best when most succinctly and profoundly stated that, “Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant, then seeks to silence the good.” That’s what Facebook told me this afternoon. And, even with the posts, there was a deafening silence from Christians.

Why boycott when I am just one household? What is the significant impact of only one? Let’s glance at the importance of one vote:

  • In 1645, one vote gave Oliver Cromwell control of England;
  • In 1649, one voted caused Charles I of England to be executed;
  • In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German;
  • In 1830, one vote elected Marcus Morton governor of Massachusetts;
  • In 1845, one vote brought Texas into the union;
  • In 1868, one vote saved President Andrew Johnson from impeachment.
  • In 1875, one vote changed France from a monarchy to a republic;
  • In 1876, one vote gave Rutherford B. Hayes the United States presidency;
  • In 1923, one vote gave Adolph Hitler control of the Nazi party;
  • In 1941, one vote saved the Selective Service System just 12 weeks before Pearl Harbor!

TelemachusI know, this isn’t a voting issue. So, one last example concerning ancient entertainment. Saint Telemachus, according to the Church historian Theodoret, was a fan of the gladiatorial games prior to his conversion to Christianity. After his conversion, the Lord convicted him for saying nothing about what he saw. And so, he jumped out of the stands one day and into the Roman amphitheater attempting to stop the fight. He preached against the violence and all the Christians who came to enjoy the games while turning their heads away from the fights. He was stoned to death by the crowd. The Christian Emperor Honorius, however, was impressed by his martyrdom and it spurred him to issue a historic ban on gladiatorial fights. The last known gladiatorial fight in Rome was on 1 January 404 AD, so this is usually given as the date of Telemachus’ martyrdom.

Seems we are visiting another historic moment on January first again – with less violence of course. Wake up sleeping giant! The cloud has dulled our senses. This war smells like roses and is veiled as mass entertainment…but then again, I’m sure I am just an alarmist.

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