when we hear about the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, pushes against observant Christian people and institutions in our culture. After all Jesus told us such things would be a routine part of our life and what makes us think that as Americans we have some kind of exemption?
Powerful interests in our culture have reasons to marginalize, or indeed eliminate, the existence of observant Christianity and why should we be surprised to see them act in their own self-interest? The idea of a transcendent faith, vision, or morality strikes at the heart of the myths that pervade our godless consumer culture so why are we so often dumbfounded when the institutions and people who stand to benefit from such an arrangement want us to go away?
Moral human beings, especially of the Christian variety, need very few laws so why should we be puzzled when the state, which for the sake of its own survival and necessity, encourages a kind of amorality that allows it to place itself, with all its bureaucracies, where once a well-formed conscience existed? If you want the State to grow and expand you need people with a vacuum where a conscience used to be. Such people then become dependent, not on an informed soul, but on the State with all its rules, plans, and priesthoods. So why should the State, which thrives on the neediness of the morally dysfunctional, seek to encourage that which would limit its scope and power?
Corporate America, as well, needs people without a sense of the transcendent, people who will react emotionally and see their fulfillment in an endless stream of consumer goods which it, conveniently, will provide at a cost. If you think about tomorrow, or even about eternity you may not be the kind of person who responds to “Just do it” and therefore you will be of limited value to the great economic machines of our age. So it makes sense, in one sort of way, for such concerns to push for laws and policies which favor the libertine as pursuing such a lifestyle is of significant benefit to those who control the production of the goods and services which define it.
One could go on about the academy which is, in fact, often a place not of expanding thought but rather of self-perpetuating secular orthodoxies enforced with the passion of an inquisition and the tolerance of a prison. If you believe there is more to life than just the here and now pursuit of knowledge within the strict confines of a materialistic vision you are a threat to the very heart of the academy and the academy, if it cannot change you, will at least ridicule and ostracize you as primitive or uneducated.
Indeed, if you are an observant Christian you have, your are, and you always will be a revolutionary of the most dangerous kind. Your life becomes, over time, a living witness, by contrast, to the nature of the lies that undergird much of what has been considered “normal”. You live as a citizen of another world whose rules often stand in stark contrast to the prevailing spirit of a lost age. You destroy, not with violence but rather with light. You do not kill but you have within you the power to transform yourself and others. You are evolving into something that will, over time, look more and more like God and the people, powers, institutions, and principalities that have a vested interest in the world as it is will take notice and do what they can to divert or stop you because if you succeed the people they have made captive will be set free.
So when you see the great powers of this world use force and law and the easily manipulated mood of the herd against you there is no need to panic. Such things must be and it is a sign that having failed to convince they resort to force. Endure. Love. Do no violent harm. Pray. Grow deep. Shine. We are watching the end of an empire and the beginning of redemption.