Years ago, a kid on Bozo the Clown television was misbehaving. The well-meaning clown called him on it: “That’s a Bozo No-No.” The brat replied “Cram it Clown-y,” and the station went to a commercial. That memory may likely be forever imprinted on my soul. Not that I was so readily impressionable about moral chaos, because by then I saw this in my adult years as a rerun, but more so because I have a strong sense of right and wrong inculcated from early childhood (would that I followed that sense faithfully still!). It was a gift largely instilled in by family, and that may be the only way moral order can be re-established-- through God, in children, and by the family.
Nowadays I think of the moral decay society and particularly the Church is going through as “friendly fire.” We are targeted by neutral or even friendly forces for attack. One thinks of crossfire as a war-time phenomenon; but while society continues to slide in depravity, I think it high time we address the degenerate attacks as they are becoming more commonplace. In general, society recognizes religious rights, but currently such rights are frequently attacked, suppressed or ignored by those who should be supportive of truth and the common good. For instance, the Church should have the right to select her own bishops, but instead the pope has relegated part of that authority to Communists in China. Normally bishops would protect victims of evil; today they hide or defend predators of sexual crimes and gaslight the faithful. One would think that Catholic voters elect officials supportive of traditional values, but surprisingly we put pro-abortion politicians and policies into office. Parents have the primary right to raise their children, so why are school children being subverted on a daily basis with offensive sexual propaganda? We are falling from enemies within, folks, and it is likely they may only be reversed equally from within, by the domestic Church and the nuclear family. Church members need a revival of her Traditions, truths and practices that have proved valuable and life-nurturing from the beginning, like worshiping as close-knit families, homeschooling our children, supporting a network of businesses and friends that are keen on protecting the blessings God has given in freedom to His people. No longer can we pretend ours are just religious problems; the evil has permeated social realities and urgently needs to be addressed. We can’t clown around anymore; more than what’s in the news or currently on sale for Christmas, the essential business of seeing the Church survive and thrive should be uppermost in our minds and hearts as Christians.
Many Catholics I know are disheartened that their friends and family members are sympathetic to the moral disorder being wrought by Progressive Liberalism, sexual liberty and license, and institutional hegemony over social values and cultural mores with the likes of abortion, birth control, euthanasia. Attacks on the integrity of the family, on parental rights to raise children, on the integrity of person hood with gender theory and trans-humanist movements…many well-meaning aspirations to effect liberty, fraternity and equality are all too often embraced and disfigured by those we formerly trusted with friendly coffee and personal feelings. A sense of betrayal and mistrust seems to be growing. How is the Church to respond when facing such “friendly” fire?
I suppose the Church should do as she always has done: maintain a clear consciousness of who she is and what she is called to do in the world with the grace of God. By sacramental baptism, the Church and her members are the bride of Christ and members of His body; our obligation to the Lord is to cooperate with His Spirit for the salvation of souls. God sets the marching orders and we the faithful follow. From the start, there have always been attacks on His children by the evil one—and as it was with the first man, so it will go on until the last. It is high time we acknowledge our fragility and interdependence as religious believers; we require a community to foster love and truth from within. I can’t do it alone and likely neither can you. We need to get rid of the clowns leering over us and restore moral order before society collapses into complete disarray. The movement begins as always from God and grows within, slowly as a seed sown until new life springs forth. I am certain that God is providing the grace; what and where is our response?