Recent events bring to mind one of the best responses I saw to the re-election of Barack Obama. The day after that dark day, Dr. Timothy O’Donnell, president of Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, made a 5-minute video statement on the election results in response to the dismay he was seeing within his college community.
The video was intended for the Christendom College students, alumni and supporters. My wife and myself and four of our children are part of that community. Given current developments, I think his very frank but encouraging message should be seen by many more Americans and people in other nations.
Dr. O’Donnell is one of those great men in America who speaks with special authority about matters of deep significance related to historical and current developments in our modern world.
As I read our reports today on the Maine Notaries, American Horror Story and John McCain and Colin Powell’s support for more military abortion, and then other, similar stories in past days, I could not help recalling Dr. O’Donnell’s message. Pope Benedict’s increasingly blunt messages today, on Dec 1st, November 26 and Sept 26 all seem tied into Dr. O’Donnell’s call for a deeper, more spiritual and authentic Christian response to our cultural decline.
Dr. O’Donnell’s message was intended for a Catholic audience, but I am sure authentic non-Catholic Christians would also find many of his observations helpful.
He begins by relating that, like many of us, he was “bitterly disappointed at the results of yesterday’s election.” He goes on to bluntly state, “with this administration there remains a very clear and present danger, so to speak.” “We will see an increased assault on marriage and family life and those attacks will increase in their intensity.” And indeed that is now happening.
And why is all this happening? The president of one of the most faithful Catholic colleges in America charges that, “around the world as well, much of this is the fruit of nearly 50 years of failure of our Church, in our schools and yes, in our colleges and our universities to catechize and to teach in a prophetic way the truths of our Catholic (substitute also other Christian faiths) faith, the truths of sound reason and the great truth of natural law.”
But those hard comments were only his prelude to the actual comforting purpose of his message. Dr. O’Donnell continued, “but the main thing I want to emphasize to you today is that this is not the time to retreat or to despair, nor to give in to discouragement. There is only one way forward.” And I leave you there to watch the video for the rest, which included asking viewers to pray for the president.
Let’s just say that we have entered a period now where the battle has more openly become one of faith versus the darkness of unbelief and hatred of good. Politics will not be our salvation. The sickness is in the culture and the main element in culture is religious belief - accepted and nurtured, or rejected and persecuted.
We will all have to choose one side or the other very soon. The fence will not hold the lukewarm any more.