Question: “Is Christianity Dying A Slow Death”? If you look around, it’s not very encouraging. The Middle East is a time bomb ready to explode. Christians are being murdered and churches burned. Radical Islam is threatening to annihilate all infidels. Once strong religious countries have forsaken their faith and churches stand empty. At home, church attendance has risen very slightly; 42.8% in 2009 to 43.1% in 2010. That’s a good sign, not great, but encouraging. What’s not encouraging is that religious freedom is being challenged every day. Prayer is banned in schools, at sporting events and graduation, Merry Christmas was to become Happy Holidays. The Ten Commandments is not allowed in public buildings. Crosses must be removed from public property. The placement of the Nativity is prohibited in public arenas. The county’s motto; “In God We Trust “is challenged. We’re not supposed to offend anyone. As a country founded upon Christian Judaic principles; I say we are headed in the wrong direction. Where are the leaders to defend our founding principles? Where are the leaders to defend good vs. evil? What has happened to our rights?
Yes, where are the leaders? They seem to be hiding. They don’t want to upset anyone. They are abandoning the courage to preach right vs. wrong, good vs. evil... What we get is Reverend Jeremiah Wright preaching GD America. The recent controversy over the Obama Mandate, that Catholic Institutions provide health care for sterilization, abortifacients and contraception, is an example of what is happening in America. It’s encouraging that Pope Benedict appointed Cardinal Dolan of New York, who stood up and made no qualms about defending his religious doctrine, and defining what was right and what was wrong. In comparison, it is my opinion that was not the story in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Archdiocese of Chicago decided to place a letter in their bulletins on a Sunday. The parishes were given the option to read the letter, at mass, or let the parishioners read the letter. In my parish they did not read the letter. The following Sunday a second letter, from the Conference of Catholic Bishops, was inserted in the bulletins. Again my parish did not read the letter. Questioning the priests, the reply was, “we don’t want to upset anyone”. Who do you upset by defending your doctrine and telling the truth? I disagree with the Archdiocese OF Chicago. It was irresponsible to not read these letters. The perception is that the Archdiocese doesn’t care what we do. I feel the church has a responsibility for instructing what is right and what is wrong. Has the Church become more pre occupied with money and being politically correct than being spokesmen for God?
In my opinion religious teachings have become watered down. Most homilies are presented as politically correct instead of emphasizing what is right and what is wrong in today’s society. How many homilies do you hear that attack: abortion, murder, drug abuse, child abuse, the deterioration of the family, or alcoholism? I must have been dozing, because I don’t remember any. They may mention these issues, but to attack them head on is another story. Maybe, they don’t want to offend anyone.
In 1979 when Pope John Paul conducted an outdoor Polish Mass, at Five Holy Martyrs Parish, on the Southside of Chicago he reiterated a Polish Proverb, it went something like this:”If you rise early, God will provide for you, if you don’t rise early, God will not provide for you.” I interpret it to mean that hard work and initiative pay off. That was the culture John Paul grew up in. That was the culture of the United States. You worked hard and earned what you had. Today things are changing; people look to government to provide for them. Government is not only to provide the basics: food, clothing and shelter, but also cell phones, homes people can’t support, free health care, credit cards. Government will promise almost anything to get your vote. The wage earner can only afford so much for what we call the Nanny State, after awhile the money runs out. You only have to look to Greece to see what happens when the Nanny State goes broke. The people take to the streets to demand something the government can no longer afford. No one is against helping the poor, but when half of a country is on or looking for some form of welfare something is wrong. The people need jobs, not welfare. We should help people, not make them invalids. An idle mind lurks the devil.
It is my conviction that religion in America is on the downturn. Once it has begun to slide it becomes difficult to reverse. Our government is no help. In fact they may be leading the downturn. The Constitution guarantees religious freedoms; the problem is that many of today’s politicians don’t believe in the Constitution. They take an oath they don’t honor. Another problem is that the current Administration appears to be in favor of secularizing religion. When government starts telling religious institutions what they have to do, they have stepped over the line. Is government to become our religion of the future? You saw it happen in the Soviet Union and other Communist block countries. The religious were persecuted and killed. Government controlled everything and people became poorer. Those who benefitted where the proletariat who became the rich. It was about power and control. Many say, don’t worry. I say we better worry. The lessons of the past are being ignored. Today the Catholic Church supports the liberal welfare and health care policies of big government. They supported Obama Care. These are the same policies that I believe are leading to socialism. I ask, is big government the solution or the problem? The Church needs to reexamine its outlook on the motives and role of big government. The objectives and words may be good, but the outcomes may not be what you want. I believe big government is camouflaging the contents and intent of its policies. The best example is Obama Care. The best government is the government that governs least.
The time has come for religious institutions to re-evaluate their role and interactions with government. I believe this is more important than revising the words in the mass. Most people look to the clergy for the guidance to follow the dictates of God. As sinners we need God’s help to follow his infinite wisdom to provide the help needed to lead good lives. We pray that the clergy will find the strength and courage to defend their religion. We need the “TRUTH”. Without religion there will be no right or wrong. Everything will be right. There will be no sin, there will be no god. There will be no order. Government will be supreme and will rule. The lessons from history are clear. Are we going to pay attention and stand up for what’s right., or will we say “we don’t want to upset anyone.” Is that leadership? How long do we have to be kicked around? The clock is ticking and we are heading in the wrong direction.