Tuesday, I was fresh from an eight-day pilgrimage to Israel. Fresh probably isn’t the right word - more like ridiculously exhausted. But I’ve been away from the news while plunged into a very different world, a world rent by the spirit of religious war.
For those of you who have visited Jerusalem, you know what I mean: the tiny streets of this small city seethe with tension among Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Armenians. One monk whom we met near the gate of a monastery at the site of the Scourging at the Pillar described what it was like to be a Christian there.
“They do not spit at your feet, friend,” he said. “They spit in your face.” He described being often shoved about and harassed; another one in his place had his face smashed, blood spilling all around; all the while, he said, police stood by doing nothing. The monks within rarely come out - they are hiding in fear.
Another nearby group of religious sisters were more cheerful, saying they had made friends with the poorer families nearby, and so enjoyed some protection. Yet it was clear from their conversation that they were at peace with the fact that their position was unstable, and martyrdom - the real thing - was possible at any moment.
We are very, very far removed from all that over here in North America. It was like entering another universe to emerge from the hot and dusty streets of Israel and into the calm cool of Western, air-conditioned bliss in Washington, where political disagreements are expressed politely in large bright halls and clean, expensive suits.
These two centers of the world couldn’t seem more different, except for one thing.
As I re-entered the news cycle today, I saw this on my Twitter feed from RH Reality Check, one of the myriad reactions against the Christian-run Chik-Fil-A for standing against “marriage” for homosexual couples:
“Chik-Fil-A sez it opr8s on Biblicl principles, but allws mnstr8g wmn in rstrants; viol8n of Leviticus 15:20. Heathens!”
“Chik-Fil-A says it operates on Biblical principles, but allows menstruating women in restaurants; violation of Leviticus 15:20. Ergo, all Biblical Christianity is a stupid bunch of mindless contradictions.”
Beyond that, I learn that the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate has won in court. Thanks to that and the earlier Supreme Court decision, the health care juggernaut marches on.
For the first time in American history, religious freedom will be a top issue for a major election - something I’m sure would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. Christianity is falling out of vogue. Things are changing, and fast.
When it comes to fighting this change, we have a serious disadvantage over here in the United States: the illusion of safety.
Paradoxically, the sense of danger one feels when the hostility is overt is a kind of protection: you feel always on your toes, ready to fight tooth and nail before giving even an inch. Here, the assault against Christianity feels too much like just another boring partisan bicker-fest.
Even though we’re just three months away from the most important election of our lifetime, we seem, as a nation, about to sleepwalk right into a new epoch - one from which there’s no return.
But especially thanks to our modern age and the freedoms we so far still enjoy, we have one great tool in our repertoire: the power to stay informed about the truth. And from that to take appropriate actions.
As a LifeSiteNews journalist for almost 4 years, I can confidently tell you that all of us in this organization dedicate our lives to giving you this powerful weapon. That is because we know, probably far more than most, how much is at stake in the culture wars.
There are many things that the other side would prefer you didn’t know: for example, FBI officials quietly gathering intelligence on pro-life leaders, evidently hoping to put together a dossier on potential “right-wing terrorists.” Meanwhile, the dangerous medical practices and other sordid details of the abortion business would almost certainly never get a second look by those in power if it weren’t for the dedication of pro-life media exposure.
Yet, because LifeSiteNews.com handles the most difficult stories, we can’t rely on the help of large organizations to fund us.
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With your help, we can keep up the fight to expose the many ways in which our society is rapidly changing, and to equip a new generation with the resources they need to carry on the Culture of Life into a brave new world.
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