Christian persecution in the U.S.

We have often reported on the persecution of Christians in various places throughout the world, but America?

Earlier in the summer, a priest I was in conversation with expressed the notion that we in the United Kingdom would also experience persecution, and although not exactly forewarning of an age of martyrs, he too was convinced that such persecution was coming.

Vatican Cardinal Burke: ‘We’re well on the way’ to Christian persecution in the U.S.  by John-Henry Westen One of the highest ranking cardinals in the Vatican has said that the United States is “well on the way” to the persecution of Christians.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and now the head of the Vatican’s highest court, told Catholic News Agencythat he could envision a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S., “even by announcing her own teaching,” is accused of “engaging in illegal activity, for instance, in its teaching on human sexuality.” Asked if the cardinal could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith he replied, “I can see it happening, yes.”

In his remarks to several U.S. Bishops meeting with him Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI made similarly emphatic warnings about the U.S. The pope told the bishops that “the seriousness of the challenges which the Church in America, under your leadership, is called to confront in the near future cannot be underestimated.”
He added: “The obstacles to Christian faith and practice raised by a secularized culture also affect the lives of believers.”
In the interview published today, Cardinal Burke declared that “it is a war” and “critical at this time that Christians stand up for the natural moral law.”  Should they not, he warned, “secularization will in fact predominate and it will destroy us.”

Pope Benedict too urged the bishops of the United States to speak out in defense of morality.  “The present moment can thus be seen, in positive terms, as a summons to exercise the prophetic dimension of your episcopal ministry by speaking out, humbly yet insistently, in defense of moral truth, and offering a word of hope, capable of opening hearts and minds to the truth that sets us free,” he said.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue told LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Burke’s remarks were accurate and not exaggerations.  “Secularism has become militant,” he said. “Many elites are taking an aggressive secular approach. They have lined up against the Catholic Church and other Christian churches particularly for their stand on moral values.”

Donohue pointed to New York where gay ‘marriage’ was passed without debate or exemptions for clerks who objected to having to grant such licenses. He also noted the closing of Catholic adoption and foster care agencies since they were unable to comply with laws forcing homosexual adoptions.

“The real big one,” he added, “is the HHS of the Obama Administration.” The forcing of abortifacient and contraceptive coverage in private health care plans under penalty of fines was described by the Catholic League President as the Obama Administration “on a full court press to shove its values down the throats of the Catholic Church.”

See the full interview with Cardinal Burke with Catholic News Agency

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28 Responses to Christian persecution in the U.S.

  1. Toadspittle says:

    .

    This is preposterous. To even “envisage” Christianity ever being made illegal in the States is childish and typical of the current mindless paranoia in some quarters..

    There are fewer more “Christian” countries in the world – if any – than the USA.
    Unless one “professes”, at least, to be a practicing Christian, there is no chance of being elected president, and in very many parts of that benighted cultural desert, to even be get the job of town dogcatcher. Where else in the world can that be said?
    “Christian” politicians ruthlessly bully everybody else – just watch some of the current “debates” for Republican candidate, if you doubt this.
    But if you do, make sure you keep the sick bag handy.
    These “Christians” hate the idea of the separation of church and state that once made America a very great country, and they hate tolerance. (Mind you, practically everyone in the U.S. seems to hate tolerance.)

    The day when NOT being a “Christian” ( being a Muslim, an Atheist, or a Communist, say) is illegal is infinitely more probable.

    Thinks Toad. Now off to mass. Methinks there will be more on this topic. Mehopes.

  2. Toadspittle says:

    .

    “Secularism has become militant,” he (Donohue) said. “Many elites are taking an aggressive secular approach. They have lined up against the Catholic Church and other Christian churches particularly for their stand on moral values.”

    Presumably, the buffoon Donohue has never heard of “The Church Militant,” Proudly, if not arrogantly, strutting its stuff, putting the rest of the world to rights.
    Or, one must suppose, it’s OK for the Church to be “militant” against things it doesn’t like, but it’s not all right for the rest of us.
    All together now: Hands over eyes and ears, rocking back and forth moaning, “Persecution, Persecution, Persecution!”

  3. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Toad is right on the money, pointing out that the US is at least nominally a country where Christianity flourishes, especially the loony variety. Such as that recent fruitcake who wanted to burn the Koran, which I believe took much from the Bible. And that lot who wrestle with snakes, who only want to go back under their rock in the desert and be left in peace. The snakes, not the Christians.

    And in Pakistan loony varieties of Muslims declare Fatwahs and Sharia law.

    It would bring tears to a glass eye.

  4. teresa says:

    I don’t know Donohue too well, and I could be mistaken, but he seems to habour a kind of “eye for an eye”-mentality which is not exactly the New Testamental interpretation of justice. He is someone who appears quite relentless to me and doesn’t seem to possess enough prudence to deal with difficult situations. Perhaps his overtly zeal brings more damage to the Church than use.

    On the other hand, persecution is probably not a quite correct word to describe the situation but what one can say is the State is claiming now more and more authority over its citizens and tries to win control in every realm of our daily life. That will results in abolishing religious freedom and culture diversity. As nobody is allowed to divert from what the political correctness prescribes.

    Recently I talked with friends during a meeting in a restaurant. One of them said that the State that is E.U. is trying to expand the equality law also to the Church so Church organisations must allow homosexuals to adopt children from Catholic adoption agencies, or the Church must give positions to those whose way of living is so contrary to the moral teaching of the Church. And he says, the only thing the Church can do, under this condition, is to close all her social organisations. And then the State will see a collapse of social system, because Caritas, for example, runs so many institutions to help the poor and needy and the infirm.

    What’s more, the political correctness dictates that we should welcome culture diversity, but it doesn’t allow any freedom of religious organisations. In the end we’ll have a State as described in Huxley’s “The Brave New World” with mindless well conditioned robots as human beings, or in the worst case, we will have a North Korea. God save us from this fate.

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    This is preposterous. To even “envisage” Christianity ever being made illegal in the States is childish and typical of the current mindless paranoia in some quarters..

    The issue, toad, is that there are ongoing attempts to criminalise some teachings of the Church.

    And I think you’re a little quick with the “paranoia” and “mindless” words : these are some real issues that deserve to be talked about, instead of being peremptorily brushed away as if they were of no consequence.

  6. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “…but what one can say is the State is claiming now more and more authority over its citizens and tries to win control in every realm of our daily life.” says Teresa.
    …Which is exactly what the Church did in Southern Ireland up until the ’60’s. Which caused Ireland’s best and brightest to flee in thousands to the U.S. and the U.K.

    “The issue, Toad, is that there are ongoing attempts to criminalise some teachings of the Church.”
    Well, Jabba, if this is so, Toad will be in the front rank of opposition, to such attempts, alongside you.
    But what exactly are the teachings in question?
    If “militant secularists” want to make it a crime to suggest one can try to ascend to heaven on a beach ball, they have no right to.
    And Toad will go to battle against them. Tolerance is the watchword!

    This is really all about sex, though, isn’t it?

  7. teresa says:

    Toad, the intermingling of Church and State was a big mistake and was acknowledged as such in the Second Vatican Council. The so called “secularism” as manifested today by many militant opponents of the Christianity is in reality a religion, a State religion, and this religion is trying to play the role of the Church in South Ireland before 1960. One wrong doesn’t justify another. The mistake made by the Church is no justification for her opponents to repeat exactly the same mistake.

    If I recall correctly, Fr. Cumanus wrote once that the Ireland sex scandal had a lot to do with a pre-modern structure of the Irish society which based heavily on the intermingling of Church and State. That is why the Separation of Church and State is so important for us Christians today, the Franco-Regime for example defies the separation of Church and State and many priests who tried to follow the Vat. II were thrown into the so-called “Concordat-jail”, that is jail without due process to retain dissent priests. Franco was even allowed to defrock priests if one of them exhibited dissenting political opinions.

    The SSPX is against the Separation of Church and State, and it is important to keep all of these terrible mistakes in mind. Like Fr. Martin Rhonheim Opus Dei writes (and as I quoted him once in a blog entry): the Separation of Church and State is a principle which follows from the Gospel and the Teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Intermingling of Church of State was accidental and contingent historical configurations which can be abandoned to the benefits of our Holy Mother Church. Those who are dreaming of a Catholic dictatorship should try to follow the Gospel and abandon their day dream of power and suppressing.

  8. teresa says:

    P.S. there is an interesting academical publication on the Concordat Prison in Franco’s Spain.
    At the very beginning, it identified the ideology of Franco as “National Catholicism”, which is contrary to real Catholicism which is universal in Nature.
    See: A Prison for Priests in a Catholic State, by Nicoole Rooney, the University of Dublin, Trinity College.

  9. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Teresa, Toad agrees wholeheartedly with all you say, except for, “The so called “secularism” as manifested today by many militant opponents of the Christianity is in reality a religion, a State religion,”
    To Toad’s mind it simply isn’t a religion, just politics. Of course, everything is politics, but still. Unless you are referring to Islamic countries, where religion and state are literally inseparable? In which case Toad does agree. Intolerable. And that is exactly what a lot of American “Christians” are now clamouring for.
    But would you describe Dawkins’ anti-religious fulminations as ‘religion?’ Yes, we are getting a bit too politically correct – we should all be able to be openly, cheerfully and tastefully offensive about each others’ beliefs without going to pokey for it.
    Feel free to call Toad the most outrageous names you can come up with! Blow the cobwebs away!

  10. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Far too many Toad spits today, so sorry – but I must thank Teresa for sharing, “A Prison for Priests ij a Catholic State.” Amazing – a complete revelation, and let’s hope everyone on CP&S reads it. And Spanish priests come out of the account pretty well, most of them.
    And to think we were having lunch in Zamora just last week!
    And yes, “National Catholicism” is inded a perfect oxymoron!

  11. teresa says:

    Toad, thanks for your thoughtful post. Perhaps you are right, one should rather call it “ideology”.
    A State Religion, as a good friend says to me, used to be the Nationalism which led to the WWI. Today’s secularism can be of different forms, I think. A healthy secularism, as Pope Benedict calls it, is one which upholds the separation of Church and State but doesn’t prevent the Church from playing a constructive role in building up a peaceful and democratic society. A militant secularism wants to erase the Church from the earth, as if Christians were not equal citizens who enjoy their right of being able to lead a life they choose to and to support an organisation which values they agree with and share.

    As for American fundamentalist Christians, I won’t agree with them. While clamouring for a “Christian dictatorship”, they are abandoning the founding idea of the U.S., the founding idea of Western civil society which makes the West a much better place to live in, and they will kill freedom with their pathological desire for power. I will stand up and oppose them all, all of those who try to use power to manipulate and infringe the right and freedom of their fellow human beings.

    I suggest those who longs for dictatorship should spend ten years in a country where there is no such freedom, and we shall see what they will say then.

  12. kathleen says:

    A lot of talk of tolerance above, but those who scream the loudest to implement it, are often the most intolerant! They want tolerance for themselves and their unChristian lifestyles, but they deny this freedom to Christians – notably Catholics. This is what is beginning to creep into all institutions in the US……. and we in the UK, or other countries of the West, are not far behind having to confront the same dilemmas.

    It’s not a matter of what some odd ‘loony’ in the US might have done (i.e., Mr. Whippy’s comment)…… and BTW, we have our own share of loonies in one way or another…. but the way attitudes and even the law of the land is moving. Jabba is quite right when he points out: “The issue, toad, is that there are ongoing attempts to criminalise some teachings of the Church.” It is going to become harder and harder to live the life of a Catholic with integrity in our so-called ‘liberal societies’, than ever before.

  13. Toadspittle says:

    “The issue, Toad, is that there are ongoing attempts to criminalise some teachings of the Church.”

    Now Kathleen has repeated this claim. But what are these attempts? What teachings? Toad is not disputing it – he just wants to know.

    “They want tolerance for themselves and their unChristian lifestyles, but they deny this freedom to Christians – notably Catholics.” OK, Kathleen, but how do the ungodly deny this freedom? Maybe they do – let’s have some specifics.

    Yes tolerance is tricky – but we must all try to do the best we can. Take homosexual behaviour for example. If adults want to do it, what right have we to stop them, unless it adversly affects our own lives? And it’s hard to see how it could.
    Naturally, one doesn’t want them doing it in public – might over-excite Toad’s dogs.

  14. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    To say that the State is against specific teachings is a far cry from persecution.

    But as has been said here several times, there is a ‘Persecution Tendency’ among certain Church members, just as the Labour Party had a ‘Militant Tendency’. I think that some don’t feel fully Christian or Catholic till they have a bit of persecution to relish.

  15. kathleen says:

    Well Toad, just dashing out, but I’ll just give you just a few examples of ‘discrimination’ of Catholics in UK. (Things are worse in the US, where for just praying the rosary outside an Abortion Clinic, nothing more, can have you hauled off to jail.)

    In the UK there are now plenty of examples of people having lost their jobs for small things related to being a Catholic. These could be for wearing a crucifix round the neck when in uniform, simply talking about the Faith when ‘on duty’ (example below), medical personal who are being forced to perform abortions in public hospitals, chemists who are denounced for refusing to sell abortifacient (or contraceptive) products, and teachers being kicked out for refusing to teach that a homosexual lifestyle is just as normal as that of a heterosexual one – remember the news about the couple who were refused for fostering because of this? – …….. and this, so far, is just a selection of some of the discrimination against Catholics.

    Some weeks ago I posted an article about the Thomas More Legal Centre – remember? – a Catholic company announcing that it is time to stick up for ourselves! They are overwhelmed with cases being brought to them, and are unable to defend them all, but here is one they singled out:

    A Catholic Mental Health Worker has been sacked by the NHS for gross misconduct. What was her offence? Treating elderly patients with callous disregard? Physically abusing mental patients? Ignoring patients who cried out for water? No, it was none of these. The charge against her is that she ‘distributed material which individuals may find offensive‘.
    Her ‘gross misconduct’ in fact arose from an amicable discussion with a colleague, not a patient, who worked as a receptionist organising abortion appointments. In the course of which she handed over the booklet ‘Forsaken’ in which five women recount their experience of abortion and the mental problems they suffered afterwards. The colleague did not object to receiving the book and indeed is not being called as a witness by the NHS. The booklet contained no graphic images, and it was never suggested it should be given to patients. The NHS objects to it because the booklet presents ‘a religious view‘ of abortion, because one of the women talking about how she now views her abortion as a sin. Is the expression of a religious view now a sacking offence in Britain?’

  16. kathleen says:

    To say that the State is against specific teachings is a far cry from persecution.’

    Well Mr. Whippy, I didn’t use the word ‘persecution’ myself (if you are referring to me ;-)) but there are many connotations to the meaning. I don’t know the US myself, but maybe there is a sort of persecution coming there. There have been plenty of cases there of abuse against those ‘dressed in clerical attire’ anyway.

    I agree though, that the forms ‘persecution’ have so far taken in the West are a far cry from that which our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering in other lands.

  17. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    K, I was referring to the first sentence of the article.

    The examples you give are severe – but think of it this way. If there was a free for all in say, medicine, where any faction or group could inflict their beliefs on others, things would be impossible. Think of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who are opposed to blood transfusions. Imagine a medic of that faith who refused to give you a transfusion. Or another who told you that all you needed was a laying on of hands. There was a sect in the UK recently who claimed to cure AIDS like that. Dangerous stuff. They would claim equal rights with anti abortion Catholics to impose their ideas on others.

    A democratically elected govt has said that medical staff will do abortions. If there is disagreement as to the morality of this, then it is right to oppose it by lobbying, politics etc. But not in the hospital by refusing treatment.

    I understand the feelings of those who object to abortions yet are obliged to do them. It is a terrible dilemma. I dont know the anwer to that one.

  18. Toadspittle says:

    .
    “One of the highest ranking cardinals in the Vatican has said that the United States is “well on the way” to the persecution of Christians.”

    That was what Toad got all uppity about, and so Kathleen replies with stories about the U.K. and abortions.
    And he still thinks the idea of “Christians” being persecuted in the USA is risible.

    “Asked if the cardinal could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith (the cardinal) replied, “I can see it happening, yes.”

    Can Toad see American Catholics arrested “for their faith”?
    No.
    Can he see them arrested for causing, for example, “a breach of the peace”?
    Yes.

    However, he agrees that people should be allowed to stand outside an abortion clinic and pray the rosary. Even loudly, but not so loud as to break any local laws. And, if they are busted, then it is an injustice.
    He also suspect that comparatively few prople in the States are violently anti-Catholic. He never met one who admitted to being so.
    It’s just that some are violently pro-abortion, if you like. Quite a violent lot, at times, Americans.

    (Although the frothing, pop-eyed fellow standing shoulder to shoulder with the Catholics outside the abortion clinic may well be a fanatical protestant fundamentalist who thinks Catholics are The Antichrist Spawn of Jezabel, or whatever. Odd, that..)

  19. kathleen says:

    Toad, I know the article refers to the ‘supposed’ coming persecution of Catholics in the United States, not UK, and I admitted to not knowing the US personally….. unlike you who has lived there. However in these days of globalisation, when we all know what’s happening anywhere else in the world, anyone can see that the possibility of this reality – Christian persecution – is not risible at all, but a serious future possibility.
    Then what happens in the US is so often followed by the rest of the western countries. That’s why I gave examples – mild ones compared to what might be coming – of marginalisation (if you think ‘persecution’ is too strong a word) of Catholics in UK.

  20. Toadspittle says:

    .
    Kathleen, I will concede that Christians in some Western countries, like the UK, Ireland and Spain are getting a rougher handling than they have enjoyed in the past. Yes, it’s because of secularisation, largely.
    Until recently, it was “not done” to suggest that religion was a lot of nonsense. One might privately believe it but kept one’s own counsel, and let the religions blether on unchecked.
    Now things have shifted a bit, and certain religions are not allowed to get away with riding roughshod over non-believers as they did in the past, without a response and a challenge. (Remember The Lord’s Day Observance Society?)
    Another reason for this is the rise of Islam, some of whose devotees are happy and eager to bash anybody non-Muslim, and not only metaphorically.
    And Christianity is caught in the crossfire, and tarred with the same brush to wildly mix metaphors.
    Some Catholics will suffer unjustly from all this, as will some Muslims. These things happen.
    But, it’s a million miles from persecution. And America will go right on being the most “Christian” country in the world.
    If, and when, the Muslims take over, we will quickly find out what persecution is.
    Thinks Toad.

  21. JabbaPapa says:

    Whippy, whilst you are correct that many instances involving Catholic teaching are not black and white, all that you are doing by pointing this out is to confuse and muddy the issue.

    Let’s take abortions – the Church teaches that no medically unnecessary abortions should be carried out, not no abortions whatsoever.

    The question here, though, is NOT whether this question is right or wrong ; but whether the refusal by medical staff to carry out an abortion should be criminalised, which is what we’re talking about.

    Whether refusing to provide same-sex “marriage” ceremonies should be criminalised ; refusing to assist in the adoption of children by homosexual couples ; teaching that men and women are actually different to each other rather than being completely interchangeable ; teaching the restraint of one’s sexual urges instead of teaching that everyone should use condoms in order to have as much sex as possible ; and many other such teachings that some people are campaigning to have criminalised by the State.

    You don’t have to go very far into the interwebs to discover ordinary discussion forums where ordinary people are calling for just such a criminilisation of religious teachings and religious practices.

    We’re not talking about whichever weird sects are teaching that people should deliberately endanger their lives, or should deliberately engage in holy wars for the purpose of inflicting mass murder on infidels ; we’re talking about some completely mainstream views that have informed our Culture for hundreds and thousands of years, and that some people want to see suddenly criminalised.

    Independently of whether people think that it is wrongful or rightful to do so (it’s wrong), it is hard to deny the actual existence of these attempts towards the criminalisation of some Catholic teachings.

  22. Toadspittle says:

    .

    …teaching the restraint of one’s sexual urges instead of teaching that everyone should use condoms in order to have as much sex as possible..

    Nobody teaches that.

    People don’t use condoms “..to have as much sex as possible,” Jabba – they use them to have as few babies as possible.

    If simply using condoms permitted people to have as much sex as possible, many more millions would be distributed than are already. Thinks Toad.

    ( Wouldn’t it be wiser to say to a kid, “I wouldn’t go sleeping around if I were you; but, if you do, try not to get into deeper trouble.”?)

  23. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Jabba, I think I havent explained my points very well. I simply wanted to show the problems that government has with a variety of religious groups. I dont equate Catholicism with say, J Witnesses, but if I were in govt I’d have to.

  24. JabbaPapa says:

    People don’t use condoms “..to have as much sex as possible,” Jabba – they use them to have as few babies as possible.

    You’ve obviously never lived in Paris. 😉

  25. Wall Eyed Mr Whippy says:

    Jabba, I think I didnt explain my point clearly. I dont compare Catholicism to say, J Witnesses, but if I were in Govt, I’d have to. There are so many religious groups with differing claims on values and practice.

  26. Toadspittle says:

    .

    “You’ve obviously never lived in Paris. “ Jabba tells Toad. Sad, but true.

    Fond as he is of the City of Light, where some of his heroes, Beckett, Sartre, and Wilde (not to mention Brancusi, Degas and Modigliani,) chose to spend eternity, Toad has never spent more than a few weeks there.

    But he is agog to hear Jabba’s lurid personal experiences, in the light of his above comment. In a plain wrapper, of course.

  27. JabbaPapa says:

    No, I did understand your point — my own counterpoints were made towards the discussion generally rather than towards your individual position in the discussion.

  28. JabbaPapa says:

    But he is agog to hear Jabba’s lurid personal experiences, in the light of his above comment. In a plain wrapper, of course.

    I’m afraid that I have no condom-wrapped racy anecdotes at all for you, toad, plain or otherwise … not even any self-censored ones. Even my 20-something adventuring was rather tame and restrained…

    But one does have some rather frank discussions with people about their own experiences, when you live in Woody Allen’s favourite city after New York, especially after a year or so in the Marais gay quarter… (which I’ll neither relate nor repeat, this being a family blog)

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