Filed under Columns
Patrick Novecosky writes that America’s Christians roots have eroded considerably . . .
President Obama drew fire in 2008 for saying that America was no longer a “Christian nation.” With his reelection last month, many are beginning to realize that he might have been right. In November, four states rejected traditional marriage, and Florida voters rejected an amendment that would have protected religious liberty.
Obama has, quite literally, declared war on Christianity in America. Earlier this year, the President targeted Catholics with the Health and Human Services mandate that forces Catholic employers to provide employees with free contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. The bishops responded with a successful Fortnight for Freedom last summer. A great number of bishops spoke adamantly against voting for the man. Yet Obama still garnered 50% of the Catholic vote (42% of “active Catholics” voted for him).
Faithful Catholics were left angry and confused by the results — and rightly so. Many conservative pundits have weighed in on how to explain the outcome. My theory is relatively simple. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught about the Beatitudes. One of them sticks out for me: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” Sadly, few Americans (Catholics included) fit that description today. A majority of Catholics have abandoned the sacraments — particularly Confession — and embraced a hedonistic secular culture.
Few seem to realize how profoundly sin blinds us to the truth. It cuts us off from God and from knowing that our eternal destiny is either heaven or hell. When our hearts and minds are clouded by sin, then logic, reason and truth become irrelevant. As a nation, we suffer from spiritual blindness and no longer recognize many self-evident truths. The Catechism teaches that “by deviating from the moral law, man violates his own freedom, becomes imprisoned within himself, disrupts neighborly fellowship, and rebels against divine truth” (CCC #1740).
As Fr. C. John McCloskey III wrote so eloquently earlier this year, “America needs witness, not enthusiasm. The United States will either become predominantly Catholic in numbers, faith, and morals or perish under the weight of its unbridled hedonism and corruption.”
We who fully embrace the truth must seize this Year of Faith. This may be our best opportunity to deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ and our understanding of that truth taught by the Catholic Church. Then we must go out boldly into the world and let the light of Christ shine through us. After all, Jesus said that we are the light of the world.
Patrick Novecosky is Legatus’ magazine’s editor-in-chief.