Read it and weep.

Today In Kenya, Somali Al-Shabaab militants (can we say Islamic or is that hate speech?) stormed a university and massacred 147 people.  News reports say they went from room to room, separating their victims by faith, Christian or Muslim. Can you guess which they murdered?  I thought so.  Some reports say some Christian victims were also beheaded.

I pause to reflect on some lines from the Te Deum Laudamus, a church hymn translated by Bishop Ambrose of Milan in the 4th Century.

  1. “The glorious company of the apostles praise thee.”
  2. “The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise thee.”
  3. “The noble army of martyrs praise thee.”

Now, in the presence of God, those martyrs are at peace.  We cannot begin to fathom it.

But we can try to fathom the madness of the world in which we dwell.  A world which will, undoubtedly, fail to make any connection between the belief system of these monsters and the actions they carried out.  A world which considers Christianity to be one of the greatest threats to world peace.  A world which will tragically sweep this horror under the rug, mostly because the victims were black Africans.  A world in which the places with true freedom and progress have laws founded on Judeo-Christian principles, even as the world-wide left does everything possible to expunge all evidence of that bedrock of freedom, justice, equality and love. The foundation upon which their own freedom of expression ultimately rests.

All over the world horrors abound, and Christians are among the favorite targets. Here, oppression means being told someone doesn’t embrace your view fully.  In other lands, oppression means torture, prison, a bullet to the head.  ISIS routinely throws homosexuals from rooftops in a horrific display of hatred.  In America, being denied a cake, or some flowers, or a caterer is tyranny.  In America it’s considered a throwback to slavery for the Christian populace (no small number) to suggest that while they are alright with tolerance of alternate lifestyles, they’d like to protect the freedom to disagree.

America, where the madness is palpable.  America where the LGBTQ etc. community, now embraced and accepted ( a good thing for a secular, plural nation), now the cultural darlings of the land, has become the instrument of oppression.  Now out of the closet, they forget their journey, forget their promises and shout and sue until Christian business owners are themselves forced into a closet.  Perhaps this why Jesus said ‘when you pray, go into your closet….’  Matthew 6:6.  Not only to avoid distraction, but because that’s where the world would like us to remain.  It’s madness when those endlessly preaching tolerance become intolerant.  When those crying choice say ‘yes, but only in the murder of fetuses.  In every other area, no choice.  We will tell you what to say and think.’

We face the madness of a world, and an America, in which collective morality is defined and known only by the fact that it’s what everyone is supposed to believe. And after all, it’s what they say on television!  It’s further madness that the progressive left (and the extreme right) is so bereft of history that it forgets the pendulum can always swing the other way.  A few generations and an extremely conservative generation (conservatives have more babies, you see), weary of bullying, might re-interpret or re-write the law to shut up the LGBT community as they are shutting down Christian business owners and military chaplains. And as they will, undoubtedly, attack clergy to compel church weddings at the threat of losing tax exempt status.  To doubt this eventuality is remarkable naiveté.  It’s also an impossible balancing act to defend Muslim extremism and believe it can somehow exist peacefully with progressive views on sexuality or civil liberties.  But then, to confront it might be dangerous, as the citizens of Paris and London and Boston learned.  Far easier to fine Christian caterers.  All the sense of superiority for the plaintiffs without any of the risk!

America’s madness leads college-aged youth to cry about lectures and articles that need trigger warnings to avoid offending their tender sensibilities.  Where students rally to take down the flag, to expunge conservative speakers from campus, and to atone for their own ‘privilege’ in an endless exercise in ‘mea culpa.’   In Kenya, today, 137 individuals on a college campus had no warning that the triggers were on AK-47s.  And they were privileged, as it were, to be martyred.

From those who have railed against religious freedom laws and the nightmare specters of unregulated Christian florists, will we hear sympathy for the dead?  Will we hear calls for tolerance for the oppressed around the world?  Will pundits on the left speak out and demand justice against terror? Will we hear, ‘we want you to believe what you want, as long as you let us believe as we want?’  I expect, rather, we’ll hear silence on that front, and shouts of victory as state after state eviscerates any protection for conscience before a cultural left as bold as any terrorist group, if not as physically violent.  For now.  (Rest assured, violence will ultimately come with marginalization.)

Madness is everywhere.  Hatred and cruelty and oppression in every flavor, and in every color of the rainbow.

Thank God that Maundy Thursday is followed by Good Friday.

And that by Easter.

He is risen!

And one day the madness will end.  But until then, we must not grow weary in doing good.  Nor timid in speaking the truth.




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