“Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison.”
“We live in a terrible time, of war and rumor of war…International idealism in its effort to hold the world together…is admittedly weakened and often disappointed. I should say simply that it does not go deep enough…If we really wish to make vivid the horrors of destruction and mere disciplined murder we must see them more simply as attacks on the hearth and the human family; and feel about Hitler as men felt about Herod.” (G. K. Chesterton)
These words were written in one of his customary Christmas articles at the close of 1935, six months before his death. He did not live to see how prophetic his words were.
John the Baptist was not concerned with hurting his enemy’s feelings. He was interested in getting his enemy into heaven. We all have this inner weakness: to say nothing and to do nothing; to think it’s not my problem; and so, to let my neighbor slide into hell rather than to scare him into heaven.
John the Baptist was no Neville Chamberlain. The Baptist was clear in his words. He knew that might did not make things right. He knew that threats and ugly accusations would not change God’s truth. On the other hand, Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister in 1938, appears to have wished so much for peace that he mistook Hitler’s piece for England’s peace. The joke is that Chamberlain claimed that Hitler wanted peace. What he did not understand was German language, and that this German wanted a piece of Poland, a piece of Norway…a piece of Europe! Wishful thinking can lead to disastrous conclusions.
Here we are, in the year 2011, in one battle after another for truth and justice. Does the way my neighbor live his life affect me? If it didn’t, the Lord would not have commanded us to love our neighbor as much as ourselves. We are all connected. No man is an isolated island. No man can get off this island. When one group declares their rights; it appears as though the other groups must either capitulate or fight.
No one thought that same-sex marriage in Indiana would mean no more state funding for Catholic Charities adoptive services. Just last week, a judge ruled that the state of Illinois did not have to renew its contract with this Catholic organization. After almost forty years of working hand-in-hand with the state in placing children in loving heterosexual families, the state recently decided to cut all funding to them. Why? Because Catholic Charities refuses, on religious grounds, to play around with the real lives of children, and place them in an environment analogous to Disney’s EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).
How pathetic! How disgraceful! How deceitful are those who claim to respect religious beliefs and to promote unity and harmony are unwilling to support an organization that prefers to accommodate children in the most natural human setting possible; and, in no way stands in the way of the State’s right to place them in politically generated and overly glorified alternative family settings.
Will we stand silent? Who among us is willing to risk being labeled a fanatic, a bigot an intolerant and religious fanatic, and speak loud and clear out of respect for the dignity of the human person; on the natural rights of children to have a mother and father; and on the rights of all men to obey God’s Laws above all human laws!
Throughout history there have been few men like John the Baptist and far too many men like Neville Chamberlain that were be willing to do and say whatever it took to promote peace, while Europe and Europeans were being blown to pieces!