With this statement, Professor Robert George of Princeton University began his outlook on American life in the near future. Addressing more than 160 audience members at the November Credo Forum, he reminisced briefly about the Catholic Church’s influence during the “golden years” of the 40’s and 50’s, years when government intrusion in our institutions was minimal, and the ten commandments formed the basis of our national moral code.
But since the 60’s, government intrusions have increased until today they make the faithful Catholic exceedingly uncomfortable. Today we look ahead to a massive federal health system that confronts both Catholic institutions and individuals with absolute moral choices that cannot be ignored. And the secular culture has become both morally adrift and powerful, so powerful that immorality is enshrined in our nation’s laws. As Catholics in such a culture we need to be always militant, keeping our minds centered on truth and subjecting to rigorous scrutiny whatever is presented to us by the media. Today the culture we live in directly opposes Christianity, so if we are true Christians we shall be very uncomfortable in the future.
For example, already one Catholic adoption service has closed down rather than place children with homosexual partners. An evangelical Christian owner of a bed-and-breakfast had to pay a fine rather than host a homosexual marriage on its grounds. Many such choices will confront us in the future, and each will bring a price. Doctors and nurses will have no “conscience protection” to keep them from facing a choice between assisting in an immoral medical procedure or losing their jobs. Teachers will face a choice between affirming homosexuality as a good behavior or losing their jobs. These are just a few examples; our secular society will create many more.
The Forum has inspired a few comments. First there’s this from Kevin O’Brien. One attendee reports that Professor George’s talk opened an opportunity for a discussion with a teenager who sees gay “marriage” as being “only fair” (this is why we should have more young people at Credo Forums). We have heard that priests were exuberant in expressing how happy they were to be there and how Professor George’s talk helped them & gave them much to ponder; teachers of the faith were simultaneously confirmed and challenged; and laity are strengthened for the battle ahead. Credo’s members sponsored attendance by five seminarians, who expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to attend, and fairly gushed over the clear-eyed view Professor George laid out for the future. Professor George has made a name for himself promoting a Natural Law perspective on public morality, and purposely keeps his faith in the background. One attendee said he pleased to see him in a venue where he could just lay it all on the line, including his Catholic faith.
An audio recording of Professor George’s lecture may be had by calling St. Joseph Radio at (636)447-6000. $10, tax & postage included. If you can send a little extra, it will help pay the rent and carry on with an important (if grossly underutilized) service. If you could not attend, do not miss out on this.
And whether you were there that evening or you listen to the audio from St. Joseph Radio, we welcome your comments here.