Somewhere on this blog I quoted somebody saying something to the effect that it's very important, and requires continual effort, to understand what is really going on in the world. At least I thought I quoted it--I went looking for it, but couldn't find it. I did, however, find the passage below, and I think it's applicable to that effort. The observation, as I understood it, was not about keeping up with the details of current events, but about understanding the true nature of the various forces at work. As Christians our response of prayer and, dare I say it, penance, is of the first importance to the worsening situation of Christianity in relation to the culture. But paying attention to the signs of the times is important, too.
I was speaking here of the hysteria one frequently encounters on the left about an emerging "theocracy" in the United States:
We are more likely to be wiped out by an asteroid strike within the next thirty years than to witness the imposition on the United States of an authoritarian Catholic government that would ban rock-and-roll and allow no television except EWTN. I suppose it’s just that these views get on my nerves. What is actually happening is that the upper class is working to make Christians of all sorts into a despised minority, and to limit the practice of the faith where it conflicts with contemporary dogma on sex, marriage, and reproduction. Here [sorry, link is not valid] is a good example of the left-wing fear-mongering about “theocracy.” The pattern—and I don’t say it’s a conscious tactic, but the pattern that emerges—is to paint Christians as a danger to the nation. That’s a very old theme. It’s a little surprising that it would be so effective in a country that is so heavily Christian. But the left-wing position now has the prestige and confidence that mainline Protestantism had a hundred years ago. At the same time, because it is smaller in numbers and because Christianity is still culturally predominant outside the big cities, the universities, and most of the media, it can pose as the brave rebel. Nice position to be in.
When you read the words of judges pronouncing on church and state today, and for decades past, I don't think you generally get the sort of respect for the former that once was the norm in our culture. Instead you get a sense that religion is a sort of toxin that must be regulated by the state. That the state believes it has the right to do this is of course a very old theme in the history of Christianity.
The quote is from a 2011 Sunday Night Journal.