Catholicism is NOT the Religion of Nice
We could use a little more Chuck Norris. And a lot more Jesus.
One should always be wary of disagreeing with Chuck Norris. Always. But especially when he's speaking truth.
The famous actor and martial artist recently urged parents to consider sending their children to more conservative colleges, including the faithful Christendom College of Front Royal, Virginia. He warned parents that many universities have “become little more than leftist indoctrination camps where too many professors are simply peddling progressive ideologies packaged under the guise of education, and shutting and keeping out anything that would challenge them.”
Most universities, Norris warned, are a “one-sided educational environment” with “restrictive speech codes, bias against conservative students and propagandizing for radical causes and lifestyles.”
Truth isn't something that is especially prized nowadays, especially at colleges and universities. And we have not only allowed this but we've funded it. Instead of teaching our children our faith, we allow them to be shaped by the culture.
Why do we continue to do this? It's almost axiomatic that Christians and pro-lifers will one day emerge victorious in the culture war simply because they tend to have more children than secularists and atheists. But in the end, it's not true. As long as Christians continue sending their children to secularist and atheist indoctrination camps they will lose. So why do we continue to do this? To not make waves? To be nice and polite? We want to be Christians but only of the inoffensive variety?
I've heard parents say they want their children to be well-rounded which essentially means they bring them to Church on Sunday and then immerse them in the culture the other six days. That's not well-rounded; you're forging the enemies' weapons.
At a faithful Catholic school, students can argue about when life begins. Yes, they can actually argue about the science and what it means. Try that at a secularized university and you'll have the dean of academic affairs rushing in with coloring books and Kool-Aid for the other students while offering you a nice stay at a sensitivity training seminar somewhere in expulsionville. At a Catholic school, students can actually discuss gender and sexuality. Try that at a secular school. Faithful Catholic schools don't need #safespaces because the pursuit of truth is what everyone is there for.
The motto for just about every secularized university should be Pilate's infamous question, "What is Truth?" I'm sorry, but the truth is that you're not called to get along with others or play nice all the time. Jesus said, "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."
I remember the Bible pretty well. And I remember all the parts about being told to love. We were also commanded to forgive (I recall there was math involved there so I'm not very clear on that part.) There was also that business about preaching the gospel and not hiding your light under a bushel.
But I don't seem to remember the prohibition against offending others. When did Jesus prioritize that? But sadly, it seems to me that we have become #generationbushel. We prize being nice and polite over evangelizing truth.
Catholicism is not supposed to be the religion of nice. We recite The Apostles Creed, not the Profession of Acquiescence. We are not supposed to be a faith of wimps. Truth must be prioritized at some point. And truth has some sharp edges.
Shepherds should not play nice with the wolves gathering around the sheep. The shepherds staff is for guiding the sheep AND beating away attackers. Chuck Norris style if need be.
Let's be honest, in today's day and age, being culturally sensitive means being apathetic about killing children in the womb. Being tolerant nowadays means believing that God has nothing to say about gender or sexuality. Faithful Catholic colleges don't preach the tenets of apathy and relativism. They teach and preach truth. We can clearly see the effects of their admirable work in the pro-life movement which has scores and scores of graduates from faithful Catholic colleges and universities.
Nice, polite, and easy going isn't what we're called to be. Polite and nice does not mean good. Perfectly polite people can tell the Jews who came to their doors seeking shelter from Nazis, "No thank you." They are merely polite accomplices of evil. I'm sure people would say thank you if you held the door at Planned Parenthood. Polite doesn't cut it. Nice isn't enough. Good is countercultural. Doing good is difficult and often provokes a response.
Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life. He didn't say He was the nice, the sweet, or a people pleaser. In the Bible, after Jesus gave his teaching on the Eucharist "many of his followers said, 'This is intolerable language. How could anyone accept it?"
And what did Jesus do? Did he nuance His teaching? Dumb it down? Did he "meet them where they were?" Did he go all pastoral? Nope. Jesus doubled down. So what happened?
The Bible continues: "After this, many of his disciples went away and accompanied him no more."
Was this an #epicfail by Jesus? No. He spoke the truth. He didn't deliver a half-truth to keep them around and ease them into the rest of His teachings at some unspecified moment in the future. Jesus didn't call a #safespace counselor to talk about common ground. He lets his disciples walk away and on top of that He then called one of the twelve who stayed a "devil." This is like the least pastoral story ever! That's so Chuck Norris! If you ask me, Christians could use a little more Chuck Norris in their life. And a lot more Jesus. A lot more.