Though religious persecution can certainly come from the secular liberal State, one must not forget that equally vicious religious persecution can come from intermediate private or quasi-public institutions with secular liberal bias such as the media, TV talk shows, big business, advertisers, publishers and the like. We might call these the secular liberal establishment.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - In Catholic and Christian circles there has been a lot said about religious freedom and its infringement by a federal government animated by the anti-Christian ideology of secular liberalism. The concern has always been with the 1st Amendment and the freedom of the Church against the State. Congress is forbidden from making laws "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion, and by defining religion narrowly it seeks to occupy the field and elbow out Christ.
Though religious persecution can certainly come from the secular liberal State, one must not forget that equally vicious religious persecution can come from intermediate private or quasi-public institutions that have secular liberal bias such as the media, TV talk shows, big business, advertisers, publishers and the like. We might call these the secular liberal establishment.
Unfortunately, without laws preventing religious persecution by such intermediate private or quasi-public institutions, there will be no recourse against it. We can expect Catholics and Christians to be like the African American who, before civil rights legislation, had very little practical recourse against such private and quasi-public institutions and the invidious racial discrimination they practiced.
But don't expect laws against such anti-religious animosity. As Benjamin Wiker has cogently argued in his recent book Worshiping the State: How Liberalism Became Our State Religion, though secular liberalism has all the indicia or signs of a religion, it seeks to monopolize the field, indeed to establish itself as the only true religion, by the ruse of denying that it is a religion. It will not entertain laws which will impugn its supremacy or protect its religious rivals, especially its arch-rival, the Catholic Church.
An example of how someone's life can be destroyed by such intermediate private and quasi-public institutions without legal recourse is the recent incident involving Paula Deen.
In a deposition stemming from a discrimination lawsuit against a restaurant she owns, Paula Deen admitted, among other things, to having used the "N-word" in the long-ago past.
When all this came to light, the media (which is animated by the same secular liberal ideology that animates the federal government) mercilessly pilloried Deen. She was, in a manner of speaking, hung, drawn, and quartered before our very eyes.
Deen's apologies, even when mixed with profuse tears, were entirely unavailing. Indeed, the effort at apology was mocked by those with whom she sought to reconcile. The great high priests of secular liberalism are as cold and unforgiving as the Pharisees of old. Liberals are scornful against the unbelievers of their creed.
The scorn received by Deen results from the fact that she committed one of the few unpardonable sins of secular liberalism, one in which there is no parvity of matter as the older moral theologians were wont to say. There are no peccadilloes when it comes to the central dogmas or shibboleths of secular liberalism. The least infringement is a grave and unforgivable sin.
Deen used a word that is barred by the censors of secular liberalism since the word is redolent of "invidious discrimination."
In the view of the secular liberal, Deen harbored residual ideas of inequality, ideas that bespoke of "invidious discrimination," ideas that the thought controllers of secular liberalism and its grand inquisitors and ministers of propaganda are zealous to stamp out wherever and whenever they may be found. In enforcing their morality, they are no less zealous than the mutaween, the morals police, of Saudi Arabia.
As a result, Deen has suffered a concatenation of fiscal punishments against which she has no legal recourse. While there may be enforceable contracts involved, most of these likely contain what is called a "morals clause" which has probably been breached by Deen, excusing the other party from performance.
The punishment was quickly meted out. There is no due process here. There are no appeals. It was a blood bath.
On Friday June 21, the Food Network announced it would not renew its contract with Paula Deen. This was soon followed by Smithfield Foods' announcement on June 24 that it was dropping Deen as its spokeswoman. On June 26, Caesars Entertainment severed its relationship with Deen. That same day, Wal-Mart announced that it would fulfill its current orders, but would not place any additional orders for Deen-related products. On June 27, Novo Nordisk, Target, QVC and on June 28, Sears, Kmart, J. C. Penney, and Walgreens followed suit. And, most recently, Deen's publisher Ballantine Books cancelled its contract on an upcoming cookbook, even though it is a No. 1 seller on amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.
It's been a hebdomas horribilis, a horrible week, for Deen.
Without any government intervention and without any apparent recourse but a vain appeal to an unforgiving media, Deen has suffered an overwhelming and (by any standard) disproportionate financial punishment because her speech--indeed, apparently even her thoughts or possible thoughts--did not conform to the moral norms of the secular liberal establishment.
Now, this article is not intended as an apology for Deen. Rather, it is intended to warn Catholics of what they might learn from what has happened to Deen.
We ought to learn what is ahead for those Catholics who will remain faithful to the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality. The Church teaches that homosexual sexual activity is intrinsically evil and thus gravely immoral. Coupled to this is the Church's view that homosexual orientation is not something to be celebrated (except, perhaps, in the Christian sense, as a cross). It is, rather, though not in itself sinful, a serious disorder and at best an occasion for virtue even holiness if resisted. See Catechism of the Catholic Church, §§ 2357-59.
Tied to this is the Church's view that same-sex unions or pseudo-marriages are against the common good and intrinsically evil. See Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons.
This view of homosexuality, homosexual sex, and same-sex "marriage" is considered to be bigoted, narrow-minded, without any possible reasonable basis. Indeed, to the secular liberal mindset, such a view is every bit as invidious as the old-fashioned racism Deen is accused of harboring and expressing through her use of the "N-word."
As an example of this, a homosexual friend of mine just posted a cartoon on Facebook that has opponents of homosexuality in hell, with the devil accusing them of being "small-minded, bigoted, blind fanatics." This, presumably, includes me. A friend of more than thirty years of very liberal persuasions recently suggested that my position on homosexual marriage is bigoted. If these are my friends, what shall my enemies do?
As evidence that this mindset is institutionalized, one might glean the secular liberal mindset from the majority opinion of the Supreme Court's United States v. Windsor opinion, which clearly viewed any efforts at supporting marriage as being between one man and one woman bigoted, patently discriminatory, and outside the pale of reasonable opinion. The intelligentsia of the secular liberal establishment, personified by the five justices in the majority, view supporters of traditional marriage as enemies of the human race.
It is not too difficult to see what will happen if a successful Catholic celebrity or businessman is sued for discrimination by a homosexual person and, in a deposition, asked if he or she has ever harbored the view that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered? Or what if such a Catholic is asked if he or she thinks that homosexual sexual activity is intrinsically immoral, gravely sinful, and if knowingly and willingly engaged in lands one in hell? Or what if such a Catholic is asked if he or she has ever been against "marriage equality," and entertained the view that homosexual "marriage" is against the common good?
Answer "Yes" to any of those questions and, in the mind of the secular liberal, you are guilty of invidious discrimination, of malice. It is an irredeemable position. Convert or suffer punishment. Convert or you will be Deened.
Publicize the position in the media, and the Food Networks, the Smithfield Foods, the Caesars Entertainment, the Wal-Marts, Targets, Sears, Kmart, Walgreens, J.C. Pennys, the Ballentines will drop the Catholic as surely as they dropped Deen.
What is worse, just like Paula Deen, the Catholic businessman or celebrity will have no remedy because he or she cannot sue these entities for violations of the 1st Amendment since they are not Congress. The Catholic celebrity will also have signed contracts with "morals" clauses, and so will have no recourse through the courts.
Unlike the civil rights legislation which sought to ameliorate the plight of minorities suffering invidious racial discrimination, there will be no legislation to address the plight of the Catholic. This is because, in the eyes of the secular liberal establishment, the Catholic is proposing invidious discrimination, not suffering from it. Indeed, we are sure to see more and more laws protecting and advancing the homosexual agenda and branding any opposition as invidious sexual discrimination with the full sanction of the law behind it.
Speech suggesting the homosexual condition disordered, or homosexual activity immoral, or homosexual unions socially unsound will be banned, if not by law, then, as in Deen's case, by moral suasion and financial sanction. There will be no parvity of matter. It will become another unforgivable liberal sin. The liberal grand inquisitors and ministers of propaganda will take after the Catholic celebrity and businessman with as much vigor and vim as they did against Deen.
Unless things change, the authentic, faithful Catholic, like Deen, can be expected to disappear from public life and positions of influence. That, of course, is the design of the secular liberal government and the secular liberal establishment.
Christ must be safely imprisoned within the four walls of the Church. Jesus must be under house arrest. God must be tamed. This is the secular liberal's utopia.
Andrew M. Greenwell is an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas, practicing in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married with three children. He maintains a blog entirely devoted to the natural law called Lex Christianorum. You can contact Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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