Memorial Day Weekend, 2016

They have built up the most realistic of political systems in an effort to establish a kingdom not of this world.

Maurice Powicke, in The Legacy of the Middle Ages

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These words are taken from the beginning of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s extraordinary book Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.

MacCulloch, an esteemed Oxford historian, has written a prize-winning book that is “a must read” in times such as these in which the ignorant have become the hostile to a faith which played, and continues to play, a unique and irreplaceable role in shaping and furthering human existence for more than 30 centuries.

Yes, Christianity has built the United States.  Yes, it has built Western Civilization and humanized other quarters of the world.  Yes, it has been, and is, a source of stability and hope especially in dark hours and afflicted decades.

One would do well to think of Christianity and Christ on Memorial Day 2016 and ponder this: Does anyone really think that those who have laid down their lives for others stretching far into years beyond their sacrifice did so for secularism? For Marxism?  For Godlessness?  For abhorrent sexual practices?  For adultery? The gutting of marriage?  For abortion?  For climate change?  For the redistribution of wealth?  The creation of dependence?  For the diminution of excellence, the destruction of virtue, or the banishment of prayer in public places?  Or for the abandonment of liberty, and the development of a totalitarian state where a free democratic Republic stood?  Where the Little Sisters of the Poor could be chased from the public square by the bigotry of the behemoth and corrupted central state?

Lifting from Powicke’s text, I remind you this Memorial Day that Christianity formed “to preserve a treasure, a command to be executed, a promise to be repeated, a mission to be fulfilled.”  

Christianity is “an object of contemplation … the inspiration for right conduct.”  It is “an unfathomable mystery … related to all knowledge.”  It furthers “the exploration of the recesses of the soul.”  It developed the arts and sciences and “constructed theories of the universe.”

Its simple propositions changed the world and human life for the better.

‘Thou shalt love thy God and thy neighbour as thyself.  What profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?’ … ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  No one cometh to the Father, save by Me. Take and it; this is my body.’ … ‘Go and preach the Kingdom of God.  Feed my sheep.  Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.’

Do we really want a President, politicians, a judiciary, rogue bureaucrats, distorted and ignorant special-pleaders or godless violent mobs to erase your history, victimize the faithful, place God in exile?

Yes, this is the issue today, now, in 2016.

It is up to you, and me.

Those who would today destroy Christianity, this nation, and Western Civilization ride on the sacrifices of the faithful.  Enough!

Shalom.

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