August 1, 2012: The Beginning of the Persecution of Catholic Colleges in the United States of America [UPDATED]

17 Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, Ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστιν τοῦ τὰ σκάνδαλα μὴ ἐλθεῖν, πλὴν οὐαὶ δι’ οὗ ἔρχεται· 2 λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ εἰ λίθος μυλικὸς περίκειται περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔρριπται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν ἢ ἵνα σκανδαλίσῃ τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ἕνα. 3 προσέχετε ἑαυτοῖς. ἐὰν ἁμάρτῃ ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἐπιτίμησον αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐὰν μετανοήσῃ ἄφες αὐτῷ. 4 καὶ ἐὰν ἑπτάκις τῆς ἡμέρας ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ καὶ ἑπτάκις ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς σὲ λέγων, Μετανοῶ, ἀφήσεις αὐτῷ. ΚΑΤΑ ΛΟΥΚΑΝ 17.1–4.

And he said to his disciples, “It is impossible that scandals should not come, but woe to him through whom they come; 2 it is better for him if a millstone were laid about his neck and he be thrown into the sea, than that he give scandal to one of these little ones. 3 Look to yourselves. If your brother sin against you, admonish him, and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if seven times in the day he sin against you and seven times he turn to you saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you will forgive him. ACCORDING TO LUKE 17.1–4 (translation mine)

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8 ἀλλὰ ὑμεῖς ἀδικεῖτε καὶ ἀποστερεῖτε, καὶ τοῦτο ἀδελφούς. 9 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλεῖαν οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν; μὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε ειδωλολάτραι οὔτε μοιχοὶ οὔτε μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται 10 οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ μέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομήσουσιν. ΠΡΟΣ ΚΟΡΙΝΘΙΟΥΣ Α 6.8–10

8 But you are wronging people and perverting them, and your brothers at that. 9 Or do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not stray; neither fornicators nor idolators nor adulterers nor pathic homosexuals nor men who lie with men, 10 nor thieves nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor rapists* will inherit the kingdom of God. TO THE CORINTHIANS 1 6.8–10 (translation mine)

*this word may mean robbers, i.e., those who literally steal by force, or rapists, i.e., those who metaphorically steal by force.

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It is because of these texts, and others like them, which lie at the foundation of the Christian religion, that Christians can both repudiate what they consider to be inordinate pursuit of desires, which everyone has to a greater or lesser extent, but which is sinful in how or how far the pursuit goes, and at the same time be willing, as members of the legislative process of a democratic republic, to permit the same behavior which they rebuke, in short, that Christians can repudiate drunkenness but be opposed to the prohibition of alcohol, repudiate fornication but be opposed to the prohibition of contraceptives or premarital sex, or even repudiate homosexuality but be opposed to the prohibition of homosexuality, whether in the act of pathic homosexual union, or in the institution of political homosexual union.

And even as no Christian is bound to oppose his brothers in sinning, his religion prohibits him from celebrating that sin, and even exhorts him to admonish a “brother” against it.

Today the United States government officially begins to violate its centuries-old pledge not to abridge the free exercise of a particular religion, by requiring Catholic universities (among other institutions) not only to permit others to sin—which they already do, since the Church has long been out of the business of legislating morality, or even holding secular power—but to assist them in committing precisely those sins against which their foundational texts require them to preach.

[UPDATE: and if there is any question as to whether it is in fact a violation of the First Amendment, the President himself acknowledged as much when he made special exemptions for religious institutions, but arrogated to himself the authority to define who belonged to what religious institution.]

The government now says, “It is not enough for you to love your brother, to admonish him that what you think he is doing is wrong, and to leave him at peace if he persists in what you consider sin. Now, you must, at the point of a sword, sin by assisting your brother in sin.”

In short, it is no longer enough in the United States to live and let live.

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About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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