Written by John Zmirak
If you have been following mass media over the past few days, you will have learned from an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor that defenders of religious freedom are “Nazis.” Take a moment to ponder that assertion. Roll it around in your head for a while. You’ll be hearing a lot more fighting words as we enter the next phase of Christian life in America.
Sample the hate that has been spewed at the state of Indiana in the past week, and faithful Christians in recent years, by gay activists and their allies. We are “bigots,” “Neanderthals” and “haters,” whose views must be ritually rejected by anyone hoping to keep a job in today’s America — even in a Catholic high school. Where will this end? Is there a logical stopping point for this aggression, where Christians are left in peace?
History teaches that mass vilification rarely stops short of spilling blood. The French Jacobins who spent the 1780s slandering the clergy in pornographic pamphlets went on in the 1790s to slaughter Christians by the hundreds of thousands. The Turks paved the way for killing a million Armenian Christians with a wave of propaganda. The Bolsheviks followed their “anti-God” crusade of the 1920s with starvation camps and firing squads. The Communist governments of Eastern Europe obeyed the same script, as scholar Anne Applebaum documents in her sobering study The Iron Curtain. The Hutu government of Rwanda prepared for its assault on the once-powerful Tutsis by incessantly describing them as “cockroaches” on radio broadcasts, which triggered a genocide.
If the media, the law and our elite institutions succeed in lumping Christian sexual morals in with white racism, how long will it be before believing Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox (and many religious minorities) find themselves labelled as members of “extremist sects,” no more to be trusted with the care of their own children than the Branch Davidians were?
Does that sound crazy to you? Then ask yourself why the German government, and the European Court of Human Rights, felt justified in seizing a Christian home-schooled student — with the apparent approval of the Obama administration. Think about the moral views you teach your own kids. Would your local education bureaucrats approve?
Perhaps Chicago’s cardinal, Francis George, wasn’t guilty of hyperbole when he said, “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square.”
Joining him would be many Christians who affirm the Gospel in its integrity — instead of the neutered version that’s now sweeping the denominations to swell the ranks of the persecutors. See the Episcopalians and Presbyterians who are now blessing same-sex marriages; see “Catholic” universities such as Marquette, which fired a professor for defending the Catholic Catechism on this subject, and bishops such as Paul Bootkowski of Metuchen, N.J., who backed up a Catholic school that suspended a Catholic teacher for her Facebook comments critical of gay activism. With shepherds like these, who really needs wolves?
From Libertarian to Totalitarian in Twenty Years
It’s stunning how quickly the demands of gay activists went from libertarian (“Don’t arrest us for sodomy”) to totalitarian (“Take part in our weddings or we’ll destroy your livelihoods.”)
But I am not surprised. I was in New York City when the radical gay activists of ACT UP targeted John Cardinal O’Connor for upholding biblical teaching on sexuality — even as he spent millions offering free care for indigent victims of AIDS. The “Stop the Church” demonstrations featured images of O’Connor in Nazi uniform, and culminated on Dec. 10, 1989, in an orchestrated attack on St. Patrick’s Cathedral during a Mass, where gay militants shouted down the celebrant, and demanded Holy Communion — only to throw it down and stomp on the body of Christ.
This bigoted attack on a religious service did not discredit ACT UP; indeed, you can now read an article celebrating it courtesy of the U.S. government-sponsored Radio Free Europe. Here’s a triumphalist video of the event, which includes appalling footage inside the cathedral:
If Indiana caves and guts its religious freedom law — as Gov. Mike Pence has already promised — it will prove an equal triumph for those who are so enraged at Christian teaching that they are willing to persecute Christians.
If these zealots succeed, they will tear up the civil peace in this country, forcing millions of Americans to choose between church and state. If laws or government policies beggar Christian businesses, close Christian colleges and schools and force faithful Christians into third-class citizenship — making us virtual dhimmis, like the Christian Copts in Egypt — what should we do? What should be our response now that we know what they want to do, and are overplaying their hand, but before they complete their coup d’etat?
We need to ask ourselves some brutal questions: How should the faithful in the U.S. military respond? What about those in the state and local police? City, state and federal employees? What about religious shareholders in corporations led by anti-Christians, such as Apple?
Should we engage in large-scale, non-violent civil disobedience, as black Americans once did in the face of Jim Crow laws? We have the numbers to bring this country to a sudden screeching halt, if we can stand up to the media’s blows and spitting. Those who resist these unjust laws will be treated with all the violence and contempt that was poured out on the pro-life Operation Rescue in the 1980s and ’90s. Local cops from West Hartford, Connecticut, to Los Angeles, California, brutalized teenagers, old women, even nuns and pregnant mothers.
But we need not act alone, like these isolated bakers and florists. The marriage deconstructionists can only succeed by dividing us, vilifying us and picking us off one at a time. This is the essence of their strategy — they’re now trying it with an entire state. Tim Cook (or Apple’s shareholders) would backpedal in an instant if he learned the hard way that he was insulting and infuriating 2/3rds of American states, and half the population.
The frog must jump out of the pan, before it boils.
We should not let the possibility or even the likelihood of “failure” make us timid. Witness is utterly different from propaganda, more fragile but far more enduring.
For centuries, the early Christians endured far worse than we might face, dying in the Colosseum to the taunts of jeering crowds — whose grandchildren would flee the moral chaos of collapsing Rome and flock to the underground churches. All the persecution that a government like China can deal its native Christians has not stopped the church from exploding there, and striking fear at the highest levels of a totalitarian government. The battered church in Poland led the movement that brought down the Iron Curtain, through sober, persistent resistance.
Perhaps the future we face is the one that Cardinal George envisioned. Speaking of a future bishop who would someday die a martyr, George predicted, “His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” If we stand for eternity, then history is on our side.
For Part One of this analysis, see #Boycott Indiana: Same-Sex “Marriage” and the End of Tolerance in America.
Originally published at Stream.org.