For The Glory of God and Salvation of Souls!
GREETINGS: St. John Paul II once said, “Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it.” Looking around these days, I have a feeling many of us today are not only abusing the “privilege” of being stupid but abusing it beyond hope! It seems that we are living in an era of smart phones and stupid people! We speak out about dumb things and remain silent about important things – we even go out of our way to limit and silence those who dare to speak out on the important issues of our day!
In 1948, 75 years ago, Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote: “Only those who live by faith know what is happening in the world… the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive process going on because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they fell.… As Western civilization loses its Christianity it loses its superiority.”
This is something that I have felt strongly about, more and more, for the past several years and the tragic thing is that if we say anything people are “offended” and rave about a negative spirit and an intolerant mind set! Plain and simple, we have turned our backs of Jesus Christ and His True Church, and the God given right of free speech! Too many have adopted the paranoid attitude of the “Church of Nice” where speaking out on God, morality, Faith, discipline and the Commandments are considered “offensive” intolerant, ridged and harmful!
Many of our Church leaders have chosen to say nothing and to ignore the downward disintegration of Faith, morality, and discipline much as many religious leaders did in the 1930’s Germany. Most said nothing, chose not to get involved, did not want to mix Religion and Politics (as if that were a bad thing) for fear of “Offending” and appearing too involved with politics…..as if Jesus and the Gospel message had ANY limits in ANY area of human activities!
The twisted and perverse idea that there must be a “separation of Church and State” has been so totally embraced these days that we do not even realize that we have thereby LIMITED free speech and the exchange of ideas! We have literally cut off an important part in any National Debate! By this “separation” we have actually chosen to only hear only half truths, unreasonable, and obstructive ideas and thoughts…. thinking that in so doing, we are being open and free from any limits that they imagine might be imposed by religion and God!
I am presently reading (and strongly recommend) LETTER TO THE AMERICAN CHURCH by Eric Metaxas. It is an excellent book that strongly warns of all this. He boldly suggests that we today are falling into the same trap the Germans fell in before and during the nazi take over. Not speaking out because of Separation of Church and state, mistakenly seemed like a reasonable and proper way to behave. In the end the silence of the Church nearly destroyed civilization. Like them, the Church today, is often and tragically fearful of “getting involved” and speaking out against the sins of the nation and our leaders. Metaxas warns that “Silence is not an option. God calls us to defend the unborn, to confront the lies of cultural Marxism, and to battle the globalist tyranny that crushes human freedom. Confident that this is His fight, the Church must overcome fear and enter the fray, armed with the spiritual weapons of prayer, self-sacrifice, and love.”
Napoleon Bonaparte remarked that “In politics stupidity is not a handicap.” Politicians limiting free speech in any way is truly the very height of stupidity and overwhelmingly destructive. Tragically, President Johnson fearing his power was threatened by church leaders speaking out and protesting segregation and the war, actually imposed legal means to limits and stifle (and very successfully at that because it involved money!) free speech by punishing any church or religious leader that dared to speak out about any public or political matter. That threat is used today, with great success, and so the voice of Jesus and His Church more often than not remains silent when it should speak out…. and speak out boldly! Stupidity and a desire for total power has thus greatly limited a most important freedom in our nation.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput warned us that “Evil cannot bear the counter-witness of truth. It cannot co-exist peacefully with goodness, because evil insists on being seen as right and worshiped as being right. Therefore, the good must be made to seem hateful and wrong. Don’t let yourselves be bullied into silence. Democracy depends on people of conviction carrying their beliefs into public debate — respectfully, legally, and non-violently, but vigorously and without apology. Real pluralism demands that people with different beliefs should pursue their beliefs energetically in the public square. This is the only way a public debate can be honest and fruitful. We should never apologize for being pro-life, or for advancing our beliefs in private or in public!”
Not speaking out, not exposing evil and corruption, not using what freedom of speech we have left….. is a deadly and great danger! Albert Einstein warned us that “the world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who ARE evil, but because of the people who DON’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT!”
GOD BLESS YOU, FR. CHARLES