Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Brief Year-end Musing

The month of December is always hectic for me, as it is for many others I am sure. Among the volunteer activities in which I am involved, several have duties requiring hours of preparation prior to Christmas. My family suffers because I never seem to have adequate time to find that ideal Christmas present. Some of my gifts are pretty lame, but my wife does not expect much and she loves me anyway.

A busy schedule limits the time available to keep up on the news affecting all of us as Catholic Christians. During the past few weeks, traditional marriage has come under increased assault with more states now allowing, even encouraging, same-sex marriage. Any expressed defense of traditional marriage will be labeled as bigotry, and often results in some attempt to denigrate the source.

Those familiar with the popular Duck Dynasty television program know that the family patriarch, Phil Robertson, was suspended from appearing on the show because his Christian beliefs against homosexual behavior were quoted in a magazine article. While his wording may have been a bit crude, he stated the position of most Bible-believing Christians. Apparently we find ourselves subject to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy whereby we can hold the belief that marriage is intended for one man and one woman, as long as we keep that opinion to ourselves.

At the other end of the spectrum, a Methodist minister was recently defrocked for performing a same-sex marriage involving his own son. While I respect the Methodists for protecting the sanctity of Christian marriage, I was somewhat amused by the fact that he was defrocked by a female bishop. In the Church that Christ established, priests and bishops act in the person of Christ, and the Church is the bride of Christ as we learn in Scripture. In that sense, the bishop is married to the Church, one of the reasons for the Catholic all-male priesthood. If that Methodist bishop were a true bishop, she would have a bride in the church. Obviously, they do not view it that way, but the irony did not escape me.

We seem to be facing a growing movement toward freedom from religion as opposed to freedom of religion. In Chicago, atheists and agnostics erected a large letter “A” in Daley Plaza meant to counter a Nativity scene and Menorah on display. Christian protesters hung a banner saying the A stands for angels, which led me to wonder what would be a more appropriate symbol for non-believers. The agnostics could probably display a giant question mark, but the atheists should seemingly display nothing, just empty space. But that would not be acceptable to them because they need something to explain the existence of their belief. Maybe they should think about that.

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