By Fr. George Welzbacher
September 4, 2011
The jolt, comparatively faint, that in the early afternoon of August 23rd set the whole East Coast "aquiver" was nothing remotely like the quakes that in the recent past struck with massive devastation in Indonesia, Haiti and Japan. Nevertheless, this most recent exemplification of geologic "Rock and Roll" is a reminder that our natural environment, by most of us most of the time taken quite for granted is more precarious than we would like to think-a message brought home with brutal force by the rampaging floods that were the gift of "Irene." (A curious choice of name, that; Irene (EIRENE) in Greek means "peace".) And what obtains spectacularly from time to time in the physical world obtains as well in the world of our moral environment. Indeed the whole Western world, the U.S.A. included, has witnessed in the past half century a succession of moral disruptions that could reasonably be described as seismic, first battering, then shattering the moral consensus that most Americans took for granted as recently as the 1950's. First the Pill, with its vast acceleration of an already nascent sexual revolution; then Hal Kramer's "freedom of speech" revolution, run from the University of California's Berkeley campus, which, abetted by the rage of the anti-Viet Nam war activists and the anti-Christian zeal of the potentates who control so much of the media, loosed a tidal wave of propaganda that canonized obscenity in speech, the obscenity that by now-monkey see, monkey do-has become the distinguishing mark of far too many of our fellow Americans; then came Roe v. Wade, which has numbed our nation into the nonchalant acceptance of mass murder; followed by "No Fault" divorce, with its devastating impact on family life, and the subsequent explosion of Internet pornography, with its poisoning of the souls even of the very young. (In the U.S.A. alone, the pornography "industry's" yearly take runs to some TWELVE BILLION DOLLARS.) On the heels of all of this we have the continuing and very effective propaganda blitz that has secured in more then one bellwether state the bestowing of the status of marriage upon homosexual couplings, with all the legal privileges pertaining thereto; and finally the latest savaging of traditional morality, the Obama administration's despotic demand that our military forces shall accept with full approval a sexual life-style that, in the judgment of many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and those who guard our coasts, and in the explicit judgment of Scripture, is profoundly offensive depravity. No wonder that more and more of our citizens are asking: "What's NEXT'?" Well, given that any voiced objection to the gay and lesbian life-style already meets the definition of "hate speech" and "hate crime" in today's Great Britain and Canada what's coming next in the U.S.A. is probably substantial encroachment on our traditional freedom of conscience and freedom of speech. Indeed, with respect to religiously affiliated organizations offering sundry social services to the general public, restrictions are already in force. Those of us who are old enough to remember the prevailing climate of the 1950s are rubbing our eyes and asking: "Am I in the same country?" The answer regrettably is "NO."
This is the point made by local (and syndicated) news commentator Jason Lewis in an op-ed printed in the Star Tribune for August 21st. He offers some interesting insights a propos of the ridicule currently being heaped by the "chatterati " on that remarkable embodiment of popular indignation known as "the Tea Party".
* * * * *America's Silent Majority Raises Its Voice
The Star Tribune, August 21, 2011
[Those who ever] get beyond the Beltway. ...-will find a growing angst in middle America [that is] all but invisible to many of the cultural elite who cover politics.
It is the angst of a ... silent majority who now fail to recognize the nation in which they were raised. Millions of Americans who have seen their social norms vanquished on the altar of an absurd political correctness. Their social conservatism is branded as bigoted, fringe and, of course, hateful, but they no longer care, they've had enough .... [They think that], all things being equal, children need both a mom and a dad. That the military is NOT a social program, that human life always gets the benefit of the doubt, and that though we may not be a Christian nation, we are still a nation of Christians whose public displays of faith need not be attacked by First Amendment revisionism... [and] who see an activist minority imposing its version of morality on the nation ... demanding a departure from consensus especially in the area of gay rights.
For instance, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, it was widely seen as a federalist compromise preventing one state from binding another on same-sex unions. There was little talk of a federal amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, because the issue was properly left to the states. Its true that not all cultural conservatives went along, but only when the activists sought to overturn DOMA in FEDERAL court did the push for an amendment gain steam. It was the very attempt at nationalizing what had historically has been reserved to the states-marriage and family law-that has brought about the talk of amending the federal constitution. "Don't ask, don't tell" is a similar case in point-another common-sense compromise under a past Democratic Administration that has apparently fallen short for those seeking to turn sexual preference into a protected legal class. Consequently, the idea that gays could serve in the military, subject to centuries-old prohibitions on all kinds of fratemization-including sodomy-is now seen by the Obama administration as discriminatory.
Since the announcement of its repeal lawsuits have been filed against the Justice Department by those discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" for back pay, reparations and even military reinstatement. Of course, the law banning openly gay and lesbian members from serving in the armed forces was known to all at the time, so such a retroactive application of a new regulation is nothing short of ex post facto on steroids.
Critics of the Tea Party like to portray its members as unreasonable radicals, but just who are the real extremists in the culture wars? The Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights are [right now] SUING Anoka- Hennepin schools SEEKING AN END to the district's "NEUTRALITY policy" on sexual orientation issues in the classroom. That's right... [seeking an end to] NEUTRALITY....
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What we have witnessed since the 1960's is a succession of transformative events resulting in profound degradation of our moral environment, one that has reduced us to much the same level of moral decadence that so radically disfigured the ancient Greek and Roman world, the world into which the Apostles, fortified by the Holy Spirit, introduced a transformative leaven, the revolutionary teachings of Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Romans St. Paul reminds us, as he reminded his converts in that similar age, that each of us CAN do SOMETHING to "light a candle in the prevailing darkness." That "something" starts within the fortress of our own mind: namely to resist in that silent forum any compromise, even partial with, the mind-set that controls the world at large! That is to say: what each and every one of, us can do, with the help of God's grace, is to reject decisively and without debate each and every form of mortal sin, even though doing so puts us "out of step" with "what everyone else is doing." This is what St. Paul has in mind when he says: Do Not Conform Yourselves to THIS age, but be TRANSFORMED by the renewal of your MIND, discerning what is the will of GOD." (Romans 12: 1-2). What the world thinks, and what the world does, fundamentally doesn't matter. What does matter, supremely, is the unchanging will of God . It is to this that we must be conformed. And if enough of us are willing, with God's grace, to do just that, we might just take our country back.
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