FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
SECULARISM AND ISLAM
January 10, 2018
The two greatest threats to the Christian faith today are
secular humanism and militant Islam. Both seek to impose their
values on the populations of the world, and in doing so, marginalize
Christianity. Secularists would like to establish the state
as Church, while militant Muslims would like their religion
to dominate the world.
We must stand up in staunch defense of the Christian faith
in the public square, and resist the encroachments of secularism
and militant Islam.
Islam and secularism want to monopolize the public square.
Here’s why that’s concerning
January 9, 2018 (Turning Point Project) – Secularists
like to advise Christians that, for the sake of social harmony,
they ought to keep their religion to themselves. Religion,
they argue, is a private affair between an individual and
his designated deity, and ought not to be dragged into the
public square. Moreover, they helpfully add, it’s an
imposition on others to confront them with beliefs that they
may find offensive.
As for themselves, secularists have no qualms about imposing
their own values on everyone within reach. They are convinced
of the rightness of their beliefs, and consequently they don’t
think twice about forcing Christian bakers, florists, and
photographers to endorse gay weddings. They are also convinced
that they know what’s best for your children. And what’s
best for them, they are quite certain, is that they learn
all the latest fashions in gender identity and marriage equality.
In his groundbreaking 1984 book, The Naked Public Square,
Richard John Neuhaus argued that the public square can never
be naked for long. In other words, it cannot be neutral about
values: “If it is not clothed with the ‘meanings’
borne by religion, new ‘meanings’ will be imposed
by virtue of the ambitions of the modern state.”
In short, the committed secularist won’t be satisfied
with the removal of the crèche from the town square.
He’ll insist that it be replaced with something that
more accurately reflects American diversitysay, a monument
to Margaret Sanger or a statue of James Obergefell. Of course,
secular society’s reach extends well beyond the town
green. The religion of secularism is constantly being advanced
in a variety of venuesin courtrooms, school rooms, and
in the newly remodeled bathrooms that accommodate the newly
Fr. Neuhaus was right in predicting that “a perverse
notion of the disestablishment of religion leads to the establishment
of the state as Church.” The secular state quickly moves
to enshrine whatever values it currently smiles upon. And
it defends them as though they were divinely revealed dogma.
But, despite his prescience, Neuhaus did fail to anticipate
another developmentnamely, that the Judeo-Christian tradition
might be displaced from the public square not only by the
state, but also by another religion.
The possibility that Islam would one day be a contender for
control of the public square probably didn’t enter his
mind. That’s no surprise. Except for the blip caused
by the Iranian Revolution, Islam wasn’t on anyone’s
radar in the early eighties. Yet Islam is now well on its
way to controlling the public square in parts of Europe. And,
were it not for the election of Donald Trump and the defeat
of the Muslim Brotherhood-friendly Clinton machine, the U.S.
would now be playing catch-up.
As has often been observed, Islam is a political religion.
Some, like Dutch MP Geert Wilders, contend that it is almost
totally political with only a thin and deceptive veneer of
religiosity. Whatever the exact proportion of politics to
religion, it’s hard to deny that the political dimension
looms large in Islam. Muhammad, after all, was a warlord.
He conquered all of Arabia, and within a relatively short
time after his death, his followers conquered an area larger
than the Roman Empire. SayyidAbulA’laMaududi, one of
the most important twentieth-century Islamic theorists, wrote
that “Islam requires the earthnot just a portion,
but the whole planet.”
But, although Islamists think globally, they are patient enough
to act locally. In European cities these days it’s not
unusual to be forced to take a detour because the street ahead
has been blocked by Muslims kneeling in prayer. Ostensibly,
these gatherings are meant to demonstrate that there are not
enough mosques, and that therefore the government must pay
for more to be built. The ulterior agenda is to stake a territorial
claim. It’s the Islamic version of “we’re
here, we’re queer, and we’re in your face.”
In this case, “We’re here, there are quite a number
of us, and we’re ready for a confrontation. Give us
what we want, or we can make your life unpleasant.”
Sometimes, the public square is literally a public square,
or a street, or a park. Controlling the public square does
not necessarily entail control of geographical territory,
but it helps. And Muslims actually do control an increasing
number of the public streets on the continent. When Muslims
migrate to Europe, they tend to congregate in ghettos, some
of which have earned the label “no-go-zones” because
they are largely off-limits to non-Muslims. As Europeans are
now discovering, such concentrated population pockets provide
quite a bit of political leverage.
Some observers say that these Muslim enclaves are part of
a deliberate strategy to Islamize Europe. They act to deter
assimilation, and they allow Muslim leaders to gain a high
degree of control over the Muslim population. In addition,
the “zones” facilitate the formation of voting
blocs and make it easier for Muslim activists to apply pressure
to local and national governments.
Like secularists in the U.S., Muslims in Europe and the UK
are accustomed to making demands, and equally accustomed to
having their demands met. Whether the demand is for halal
menus, prayer rooms in schools, special washing facilities,
or exemption from Holocaust studies, European Muslims usually
get what they want.
Islamists and secularists share a desire to monopolize the
public square. Both also see Christians as a particular enemy
of their expansionist ambitions. Consequently, both seek to
minimize the influence of Christianity in the public square.
Although Muslims in the West lack the numbers to directly
limit the influence of Christians, they can do so indirectly
by letting it be known that they are mightily offended by
various Christian beliefs and practices. They can then rely
on state and local authorities and lukewarm Christians to
do the rest.
Thus, many of the traditional Christmas markets in Europe
have been given new, non-offensive titles. Amsterdam’s
Christmas Market is now “Winter Parade,” Brussels’
is now “Winter Pleasures,” and so on“Wintermarkt,”
“Winterville,” “Winter Festival”:
anything but “Christmas Market.”
Secularists are already inclined to de-Christianize Christmas,
and the fact that many Muslims are offended by Christmas gives
them an excuse to speed up the process. In Luneburg, Germany
a school Christmas party was postponed because a Muslim student
complained about the singing of Christmas carols. In London,
the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims issued
a report aimed at drawing attention to the humanity of Muslims
during Christmas. The report was titled “A Very Merry
Muslim Christmas.” In Langon, France, teachers pulled
83 students out of a showing of The Star, an animated movie
about the birth of Jesus, once it dawned on them that the
subject was “too Christian.”
In Muslim-majority countries, restrictions on Christians are
much more severe. Christians who try to take their religion
with them into the public square risk jail or even execution
at the hands of vigilante mobs. This attitude goes back to
the beginnings of Islamto the “Conditions of Omar”
which were established by the second Caliph shortly after
the death of Muhammad. The “Conditions” were a
list of “dos” and “don’ts” that
governed the lives of conquered Christians. Among other things
were not allowed to build or repair churches
were not to clang cymbals except lightly, and were not to
were not to display crosses on churches or raise their voices
were not to make their religion appealing, nor try to convert
anyone to it.
These rules, which are now being re-established in many Muslim
countries, display an attitude toward Christianity that is
quite similar to that of today’s secularists: keep it
quiet, keep it to yourself, and keep it out of the public
square. For the time being, Muslims and secularists are working
in tandem to exclude Christians from the public squares. If
and when that goal is accomplished, Muslims in the West will
almost certainly move to push secularists to the sidelines.
Once they have served their purpose, the services of committed
secularists will no longer be needed.
But for the time being, Christians still have time to recognize
the double threat and reassert their own values and beliefs.
Thanks to Richard Neuhaus, many Christians do understand the
importance of the public square. They realize that they can’t
afford to confine their faith to church and home because if
they do, they will eventually be safe neither at church nor
at home. There are very practical reasons for Christians not
to hide their light under a bushel.
Thanks to Christian thinkers such as Neuhaus, many Christians
are well aware that secular society will grab every inch of
the public square if they are allowed to do so. It’s
high time that Christians also understand that Islam will
do the same if given half a chance. Indeed, the subjugation
of the public square to Allah is the raison d’être
This article originally appeared in the January 2, 2018 edition
Reprinted with permission from the author.
* * *
THE SERVANT GENERAL
ASSAULTS ON FAITH, FAMILY AND LIFE
A PRIEST COMING OUT AS GAY
January 9, 2018
A priest in the USA publicly came out as gay during Sunday
Mass, received a standing ovation, and was supported by his
bishop. There are many gay priests out there, especially in
the USA, and we can expect that more of them may come out.
Political correctness says accept and embrace them. Christian
charity says do not, because it only promotes the homosexualist
agenda. Ultimately, faith, family, life and the Church are
weakened, with the Christian truths they stand for constantly
and systematically eroded.
things a bishop should say when a priest tells his congregation
8, 2018 ( The Catholic Thing) – Recently, a priest who
was prominent in the pastoral care of those with sex addictions
received his fifteen minutes of fame when he revealed to his
congregation at a Sunday Mass and to the National Catholic
Reporter that he was “gay.” According to
news reports, his self-congratulation was met with thunderous
applause. In a television interview, he proclaimed there is
“nothing wrong with being
The game plan of a gay priest “coming out” was
quite predictable and is politically effective. In revealing
his homosexuality, the Midwestern priest was careful to assemble
a string of ambiguous assertions that cannot be immediately
assailed on grounds of orthodoxy, but when bundled together
are morally subversive. Here is the template:
that sexual transparency is a matter of personal integrity.
the public that you are a Catholic priest in good standing.
proclaim that you are “gay.”
the adulation of your congregation by claiming victim
status and the freedom that comes from such an honest
a pre-emptive strike against disciplinary actions by ecclesiastical
authorities claim that your self-revelation is truly courageous.
humility and presume you have become a necessary role
model for others.
us that you and all gays (and members of the alphabet
soup of sexual perversion) are created in the image of
God (implying our sinful neglect).
to celibacy (i.e., not to marry), but carefully avoid
the term “Christian chastity.”
of these assertions, standing alone, would likely withstand
ecclesiastical censure. But when woven together, the
gay agenda promoting the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle
within the Church comes into a clear focus.
The priest’s bishop also responded according to a predictable
contemporary ecclesiastical template: “We support [the
priest] in his own personal journey and telling his story
of coming to understand and live with his sexual orientation.
As the Church teaches, those with same-sex attraction must
be treated with understanding and compassion.”
The bishop probably succeeded in preventing a media firestorm.
He also effectively allowed the priest to rise in stature
as a gay freedom fighter. The studied moral ambiguity of the
clerical gay activist proved to be an effective political
buzz saw. The full and beautiful teachings of Christ on human
sexuality, however, were further undermined.
Faithful and orthodox Catholics are at a political disadvantage
in our gay-friendly culture. We realize that same-sex inclinations
– as with all seriously sinful inclinations –
cause great suffering and, unrestrained, can become a true
slavery that endangers others including adolescents and even
young children. But our opposition to the gay agenda is often
crudely characterized as hateful and unreasonable. So a brief
sketch of natural law in Catholic sexual morality may be helpful.
Male and female sex organs differ and have a unique reproductive
function. The body of every human being contains a self-sufficient
digestive or respiratory system. But it only contains half
of a reproductive system and must be paired with a half-system
belonging to a person of the opposite sex in order to carry
out its function. These are undeniable biological facts.
“To engage in sex” is a relational term that implies
male and female complementarity. Only a male and a female
truly “engage in sex.” In contrast, same-sex “relations”
involve the exercise of one’s sexual power, but not
according to its self-evident nature. Sodomy is not really
relational “sex.” It is merely a masturbatory
use of sexual powers. Similarly, there is no such thing as
“sexual relations” with a “sex robot”
(alas, an emerging technology).
When a priest claims to be “gay
and proud,” he is revealing that he has assented to
his same-sex attraction. Free and deliberate thoughts have
moral implications, as Jesus asserted: “But I say to
you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already
committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Mt 5:28)
The difference between internal assent and external action
is only a matter of a sinful opportunity. An unabashed and
proud “gay” priest has already committed sodomy
in his heart.
So how might an ecclesiastical superior defend Church teaching
if one of his priests (or religious) claims a special dignity
by “coming out” as gay? The superior should invoke
immutable Christian moral principles in dealing with a self-described
that he is afflicted with “same-sex attraction”
Admit that SSA is an inclination toward mortal sin that
if not restrained will lead him and others to eternal damnation.
Identify and renounce any physical expression of SSA.
Properly define celibacy to include Christian chastity that
precludes all sexual activity in thought, word or deed.
Invoke Scriptural references condemning sodomy (cf. Genesis
and Saint Paul).
Renounce the use of the word “gay” because it
is a political term that has its roots in the homosexual
Apologize for encouraging others to publicly reveal their
mortally sinful inclinations. (The Eighth Commandment protects
a careful inquiry, the superior should release a public statement
of clarification, prohibiting the priest from his homosexual
activism and taking further personnel action according to
the demands of Catholic morality and Canon Law.
Would a media firestorm ensue? Probably. But the superior
would courageously confirm that the
studied ambiguity of the gay agenda promoted by the priest
is a lie.
During the rite of ordination for priests, the bishop says,
“May God who has begun the good work in you bring it
to fulfillment.” Priests – and everyone –
are in a constant state of change, for the better or for the
worse. Fulfilling the duties of Holy Orders or any Christian
vocation with true moral integrity is a lifelong task.
If we are going to find our
true and final happiness in Christ, we must not only recognize
and understand our sinful inclinations, but make firm and
constant efforts to overcome them. “Celebrating”
those inclinations simply makes no sense – whether the
inclination is same-sex attraction or any other deviation
from God’s plan for us.
Editor's Note: Father Jerry J. Pokorsky is a priest of
the Diocese of Arlington. He is pastor of St. Catherine of
Siena parish in Great Falls, Virginia. This piece first appeared
on The Catholic Thing and is republished here by permission.