Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I was looking at my children in Mass yesterday and a horrifying thought occurred to me. If I do my job well as a parent, my children may end up persecuted and/or in jail. That may be the best I can hope for at this point in 21st century America.
I prayed that their faith would be strong enough to resist a pro-death culture, a secular academia, an antagonistic media, and the pressure of a government out to separate faith from action.
Secularism isn't just on the march, it's positively doing a jig.
I'm not talking about troubled times ahead for my grandchildren's children in some possible future. I'm talking about my kids. So revolutionary have been the recent changes in America that defending life, liberty, and the pursuit of holiness could very well lead to persecution in the very near future.
Are you in doubt?
In recent years:
The “chief diversity officer” of a college was placed on leave and faced the possibility of losing her job for putting her name on a pro-traditional marriage petition.
Some local governments instituted what they call "free speech zones" for Christians.
The California legislature has declared it illegal for counselors to suggest to minors that it’s possible to overcome same-sex attractions.
And there's always more. I don't see how anybody could think this kind of thing is going to reverse itself or even slow down in the future.
The HHS mandate is still the law of the land and it assures that you can't be a Catholic and a business owner at the same time.
Laws against praying and protesting in front of an abortion clinics continue to limit free speech and read like complicated word problems for graduate students. If a protestor can't be within fifteen feet of an entrance to a clinic or make any movement towards a three week pregnant mother, how many days into the 40 Days for Life does he end up in jail?
Saying that homosexual acts are a sin could very easily become a hate crime as it has in other countries.
The federal government has already declared itself to have the right to decide the hiring and firing decisions of religious organizations. That was struck down by the courts but there's little doubt we haven't seen the last of that.
A teacher was recently fired for holding a pro-life position. Children are forced to remove pro-life shirts in school. Marriage is increasingly made meaningless. The classification of humanity is something the government bestows on you. Or not.
We have a media that celebrates people using each other like sexual roller coasters and the government is twisting religious freedom into freedom from religion.
I pray that my children will be willing to suffer the slings and arrows from our culture, the media, and yes the government. I hold no hope that the country I'm leaving to my children is better than it was when I was a child. That's a terrible thought.
How do I prepare my children for the suffering that I'm sure is coming their way? My job is to introduce them to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit will take care of the rest. I can bring them to Mass, assure they receive the sacraments, and pray the rosary with them. I can be an example of Christ in their lives.
I can continue praying for my country though I have very little hope left that things will turn around any time soon. I will also pray for my children and yours that they forgive us for not doing enough to change things, for not stepping up when a few people standing up may have made all the difference.