July 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – More and more, it feels like we’re living in apocalyptic times.
Disorder increases around us. Monuments and public buildings are being defaced or destroyed. Businesses are looted. Even residences have been put to the torch.
And now churches and religious statuary are under assault.
For many people, attacks on structures associated with faith seem to defy explanation. The protests and rioting are supposedly political in nature. What have houses of worship or religious symbols to do with government policies, abuse of police power, structural injustice?
There is a reason why churches have become targets, of course, and it’s quite obvious.
Churches are the keepers of society’s standards. Religion expresses the eternal principles of natural law. It calls us to right reason, to purity of heart, to love of our fellow human beings.
And to proper behavior.
God gave Moses the Law on Mount Sinai. He codified and preserved it as the Ten Commandments. Judaism and Christianity have safeguarded it (if not always perfectly) down to the present day. And from that basic core of truth have come all the codes, regulations, and punishments that allow us to live together in society.
We need law: as much law as necessary, as little law as possible.
From an anarchist point of view, religion and civil authority are two sides of the same coin. That’s why the French Revolution directed much of its wrath at the Church. It’s why Marx and his Communist successors made suppression of faith a high priority.
Radicals and revolutionaries often appeal to Christian ideals for justification of their actions. They’re especially fond of quoting Jesus’ calls to charity.
But these citations are false. To be a believer is to seek social improvements through love and prudence, to better the lives of individuals, not to exploit group claims in order to destroy the very institutions that offer opportunity and hope.
To identify with the Church is to live morally and maintain ethical standards. This precludes wanton violence and dissolute living disguised as principled activism.
Back in 1947, the famous religious broadcasting pioneer, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, warned that the end times would see evil presented as good. He predicted that the anti-Christ would:
…come disguised as the Great Humanitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves ….he will be so broadminded as to identify tolerance with indifference to right and wrong, truth and error; he will spread the lie that men will never be better until they make society better and thus have selfishness to provide fuel for the next revolution ….
The good bishop’s prediction has been amply proven.
An unfortunate condition for us living in this time is that our churches and our faith are going to be put to ever greater tests. Some of us may experience actual violence at our religious services. We might have to clean up and restore our ruined houses of worship. We may run physical risk ourselves.
But this is a time for living with danger — just as in Jesus’ parable the wheat and weeds grew up together until the harvest.
Be assured, the harvest will come. Law will remain. Faith will last. God will prevail.
A priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, Rev. Michael P. Orsi currently serves as parochial vicar at St. Agnes Parish in Naples, Florida. He is host of “Action for Life TV,” a weekly cable television series devoted to pro-life issues, and his writings appear in numerous publications and online journals. His TV show episodes can be viewed online here.