Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Liberal columnist Bonnie Erbe: the Christian era is crumbling and this will be liberating
In their Pastoral Letter on Freedom of Conscience and Religion, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, citing Blessed John XXIII's Encyclical Letter Pacem in Terris, No. 14, remind us that, "Every individual has the 'right to be able to worship God in accordance with the right dictates of conscience....Besides being free from external coercion, everyone must be able freely to exercise the right to choose, profess, disseminate, and practice his or her own religion in private and in public. This includes the freedom for parents to educate their children in their religious convictions and to choose the schools which provide that formation. Moreover, the State has the obligation to protect this right by means of a legal and administrative framework and to create a suitable environment where it can be enjoyed...Unfortunately, religious freedom is far from being effectively guaranteed everywhere. Sometimes it is denied for religious or ideological reasons. At other times, although it may be recognized in law, it is hindered in practice by a legal system or social order which enforces strict control, if not a monopoly, over society....
More subtle threats to religious freedom arise from the cultural predominance of radical secularism and 'a subliminal relativism that penetrates every area of life. Sometimes this relativism becomes aggressive when it opposes those who say they know where the truth or meaning of life is to be found.' (Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Central Committee for German Catholics, Freiburg in Breisgau, September 24, 2011).
This aggressive and hate-filled secularism which Pope Benedict XVI refers to aims at forcing religious believers - and especially Catholic Christians - to keep their religious convictions to themselves while insisting that atheists, agnostics and the "non-affiliated" should not be held to the same restriction. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops rightly declare that such an aim amounts to nothing less than "an expression of religious intolerance."
This intolerance is embraced by liberal columnist Bonnie Erbe. In a column entitled "Christian leaders losing power, and I'm fine with that," which was carried by the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise, Ms. Erbe argues that America is morphing "from one nation under one Christian god to an amalgam nation under many gods" and that it is "liberating" to know that the non-Christian population is increasing even as the ranks of Church-going Christians decreases.
Ms. Erbe rails against the Catholic Church in particular because the U.S. Bishops have had the audacity to stand up for religious freedom against the Obama administration's contraception mandate which would violate the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty. She writes, "Clearly, they and other Christian church leaders still see us as one nation under one god. But...this is changing. Another Pew poll released two years ago on the 'millennial' generation and its relationship with faith should be even more troubling to Christian leaders. It showed the following, quoting from the Pew website: 'Americans ages 18 to 29 are considerably less religious than older Americans. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than older people do today. They also are less likely to be affiliated than their parents' and grandparents' generations were when they were young.'
For Ms. Erbe, this is all just great news. She writes joyfully, "One day, Christian leaders will wake up and recognize that their era is crumbling. If that means they will have decreasing power in the political realm, it will be a blessing for all of us..."
In other words, if the rights and freedoms of Christians are to diminish as their ranks grow smaller, such will represent a blessing to those who oppose the Christian Church. Having succumbed to the Father of Lies (John 8: 44), Ms. Erbe could not possibly understand that the growing apostasy will not represent a "blessing" for pagans, atheists, agnostics and the "non-affiliated." On the contrary, the Holy Spirit assures us through Saint Paul that the day of the Lord will not come "unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition" (2 Thessalonians 2: 3) and that, "The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-10).
The coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist for the scripturally illiterate) will set off a sequence of events culminating in the complete destruction of those who have "refused to love the truth and so be saved." Jesus refers to this mystery in John 5: 43. After this destruction comes, we will have a new heavens and a new earth where nothing unclean shall enter (Revelation 21: 27).
Now that will be a blessing!