A Call to Arms!
The Citizen has been on hiatus for a while. Personal issues and the possibility of a different mission occupied much of my time….but I am back! I have been considering continuing this mission – frankly, it has cost me. But God tends to help us make the right choice. Today I read this comment from Archbishop Chaput in a National Catholic Register interview:
The secular world is the place where laypeople exercise their leadership most naturally. It’s the environment of their everyday lives and their primary mission field. Bishops can counsel and teach, but their role in practical political affairs like the fight for religious liberty can only be indirect and secondary.
If laypeople don’t love their Catholic faith enough to struggle for it in the public square, nothing the bishops do will finally matter.
The Citizen started this fight back in 2008, and some 100 or more essays and nearly 20,000 visitors later, the battle is just warming up. This week alone, the Supreme Court has weighed in two cases dealing with gay marriage, and – largely due to the the laziness of the Court – we will find some hard fought battles ahead. The DOMA decision will likely impact Catholic military Chaplains; I am sure that Mr. Obama will waste no time ordering all chaplains to be willing to marry gay service members. We also are seeing PP shift their attention from abortion to ‘education’ – yes, they are working in schools throughout the nation, implementing a ‘how-to’ sex ed curriculum not only to high schools but the middle schools and even elementary schools. Finally, we are seeing the gender wars extending to the schools and character development organizations.
For some five years now, the Citizen has written on many issues – almost all articles have a common theme. We must understand our Faith and we must be prepared to defend it in our schools, towns and cities, counties, states, and nation. We must fight – our priests and bishops are not equipped to do so. In some instances, perhaps they aren’t inclined to do so. And that is how it should be. Our priests and bishops tend to our houses of worship and fortify our souls. It is our mission to love our faith enough ‘to struggle for it in the public square.’
I began this crusade because I saw that Catholics did not understand that our faith was a fine yardstick to measure social and political decisions. As a devout Catholic and a teacher of history and government, I saw an opportunity to use my gifts and talents in a significant way. Some people don’t like my tone – well, frankly, that puts in pretty good company. Paul, Augustine, John the Baptist are just a few examples of Christian thinkers, speakers, and missionaries who weren’t afraid to step on some toes in the pursuit of speaking the truth. I can assure the reader that every essay I write is painstakingly researched by consulting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Scripture, and the writings of great theologians. Compromise? Part of the reason we are in trouble as a Catholic community is that we compromised too much. Tolerance is not acceptance, and accommodation is not the message that Christ sacrificed His life to leave us. Unfortunately, our own American church has been decimated by heterodoxy within and malicious interference from without.
The Citizen is reading some books on the hidden priesthood in England from the 16th-19th centuries. Catholics in the UK built hidden closets and chambers called ‘Priest’s Holes’ and there was an underground railroad of priests who lived and performed their priestly functions under the constant threat of imprisonment and execution. While I don’t expect to see such extreme measures here, I have watched our Faith become more and more marginalized and fragmented over the years. It is my intent to continue my vocation to write, speak, and teach government and the role of faithful Catholic citizenship.
…overall, Catholic witness in the secular world should be the work of prudent, faithful laypeople.
Note that the two key words there are “prudent” and “faithful.” Both qualities are vital to the lay vocation.
I have always been faithful and I ask you to pray for me that I may be prudent in my mission. I am reviewing the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions and will be commenting early next week. If there are any issues that you feel are important, feel free to use the contact page to drop me a line.
God Bless you all.