A celebrated professor at Princeton University is sounding the warning that persecution of Christians is a now a reality in the United States. But it’s not the lukewarm Christians who are being and will be persecuted, but faithful orthodox Christians who are pro-life and uphold the traditional family and marriage between a man and a woman.
He is Dr. Robert P. George, and he comes with impressive credentials, appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2012, and hailed by even the New York Times as America’s “most influential conservative Christian thinker.”
John-Henry Westen reports for Life Site News, May 16, 2014, that Dr. George’s startling wake-up call to Christian America, delivered at the prestigious National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (NCPB), is sending shock waves through the ranks of social conservatives.
Then-President George W. Bush had attended and spoke at the NCPB. This year’s star-studded NCPB was opened with prayer by Washington, D.C., Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Papal nuncio to the United States, gave the benediction. Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the only American on Pope Francis’ advisory council of eight cardinals, also gave an address.
“The days of socially acceptable Christianity are over, the days of comfortable Catholicism are past,” began Prof. George. “It is no longer easy to be a faithful Christian, a good Catholic, an authentic witness to the truths of the Gospel. A price is demanded and must be paid.”
But Dr. George said it is specifically those who stand for sexual morality and the sanctity of life who are targeted, rather than those who merely profess Christianity, and warns of the severe consequences awaiting those who will not yield to the pressure.
Here are excerpts from his powerful speech:
“Powerful forces and currents in our society press us to be ashamed of the Gospel—ashamed of the good, ashamed of our faith’s teachings on the sanctity of human life in all stages and conditions, ashamed of our faith’s teachings on marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. These forces insist that the Church’s teachings are out of date, retrograde, insensitive, uncompassionate, illiberal, bigoted, even hateful.
Of course, one can still safely identify oneself as a ‘Catholic,’ and even be seen going to Mass. That is because the guardians of those norms of cultural orthodoxy that we have come to call ‘political correctness’ do not assume that identifying as ‘Catholic’ or going to Mass necessarily means that one actually believes what the Church teaches on issues such as marriage and sexual morality and the sanctity of human life.
[But to] be a witness to the Gospel today is to make oneself a marked man or woman. It is to expose oneself to scorn and reproach. To unashamedly proclaim the Gospel in its fullness is to place in jeopardy one’s security, one’s personal aspirations and ambitions, the peace and tranquility one enjoys, one’s standing in polite society. One may in consequence of one’s public witness be discriminated against and denied educational opportunities and the prestigious credentials they may offer; one may lose valuable opportunities for employment and professional advancement; one may be excluded from worldly recognition and honors of various sorts; one’s witness may even cost one treasured friendships. It may produce familial discord and even alienation from family members.
Am I prepared to pay the price that will be demanded if I refuse to be ashamed, if, in other words, I am prepared to give public witness to the massively politically incorrect truths of the Gospel.”
While warning faithful Christians that Calvary is here, Dr. George also reminds us of what follows Calvary:
“Yes, for us Catholics and all who seek to be faithful, it’s Good Friday. We are no longer acceptable. We can no longer be comfortable. It is for us a time of trial, a time of testing by adversity. But lest we fail the test, as perhaps many will do, let us remember that Easter is coming. Jesus will vanquish sin and death. We will experience fear, just as the apostles did—that is inevitable. Like Jesus himself in Gethsemane, we would prefer not to drink this cup. We would much rather be acceptable Christians, comfortable Catholics. But our trust in him, our hope in his resurrection, our faith in the sovereignty of his heavenly Father can conquer fear. By the grace of Almighty God, Easter is indeed coming. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel. Never be ashamed of the Gospel.”
Robert George’s full address at the National Prayer Breakfast is available here.
God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I love you with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.
Jesus, I trust in You.
In His peace and love,
Dr. Eowyn’s article first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.