I’m tired folks. Not because I am a senior citizen or because my back hurts or because I am a cancer survivor. All of that stuff is GOOD. I am tired and worn out from being slapped upside the head because I am Catholic. Yeah–just like all of you here– Catholic. It seems we go along day after day, year after year, and watch and hear our faith denigrated and mocked by a secular world where the slightest hint of a moral boundary professed or defended is ridiculed. God forbid anyone (especially someone who represents our church) attempts to say “NO” to anyone of “modern virtue” who has their own ideas as to what our faith should be.
I am a blue-collar Catholic guy who loves his faith and his church (just like all of you) and that is all there is to it. My three priorities have always been: God, Family, and Country—in that order. But you see, no one ever bothered us about that, right? God bless the framers of the Constitution. Were they SMART. Freedom of Religion–the very first amendment. They knew what kind of lid had to be placed on the pressure cooker of diversity that was to be America. They knew that religion transcended man-made law. It made things either right or wrong. It said yes and no, it gave us a “right thing to do”, it provided a moral compass. Ah, “yes and no”—how archaic to so many in our sophisticated and secular 21st century world. Yet, how beautiful and reassuring to so many others. Such a paradox.
Look, we go to Mass on Sunday and some of us, if possible, might go every day. And then, on occasion, we like to pay a “visit” to our church. It does not matter where the church is located. Anywhere in the world is just fine. They may look different but they are all the same. Jesus is there. For real. We believe that. We know that for a fact. It is a faith thing. We can stop in for five minutes just to say “Hi Jesus” or we can sit for five hours and talk to Him or not talk to Him. He doesn’t care. He’s always happy to visit with us. If anyone has a problem with that—oh well, Freedom of Religion—remember. Faith is that great intangible. Illogical if you have not been given it. Wondrous if you have embraced it.
So, what’s my problem? Well, first of all I thought that we were supposed to live our faith 24/7. I mean, when I leave church, is that it? Haven’t I gone to church to be nourished and reinforced, so when I leave the church and confront the world outside I am prepared to do my best to live up to my beliefs? And now, unprecedented in American history, an administration in power is telling us that when we go OUTSIDE our church we must violate our beliefs under penalty of breaking the law, facing a fine or even imprisonment. They have even suggested that we have declared a “war on women” because we are refusing to give contraception to women. Have THEY LOST THEIR MINDS? President Nixon signed Title X into law in 1970 , 42 years ago, and contraception on demand has been available all over the country ever since.
This first Tuesday of the month blog is supposed to be about ‘writing stuff’. Well, I am writing a little bit different here. I think it is what all of us have to do more of as writers. Write more about our faith that is being held under siege. I am tired of this unrelenting attack on our faith, supposedly being waged under the banner of “virtue”. What a crock. Maybe we should close all the Catholic hospitals and schools, foundling homes, Catholic Charities, the St. Vincent De Paul Society and HIV/AIDS Centers, homes for the deaf and the blind and the homeless. Have they LOST THEIR MINDS? They need to stay out of our faith and we need to, following the example of our bishops, defend it.