Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.
It's almost a real life enactment of Jerry Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi". Mayor "Marie Antoinette" Bloomberg of New York has decreed that homeless shelters, soup kitchens and other agencies that serve the poor shall not accept food donations since the city can not assess the salt, fiber and fat content of such donations. "So they have no food? Let them eat spinach salad with a low-fat dressing on the side (hold the bacon bits)." We can add this to the list of other "thou shall not's": thou shall not drink more than 16ounces of soda, thou shall not smoke tobacco, thou shall not consume trans fats in restaurants, thou shall not feed thy baby formula and, thou shall not copulate without protection.
The Church of Secular Fundamentalism of Our Atheistic Lord of the Left is a religion to be reckoned. It has its own high priests, sacraments, dogmas, doctrines and heresies with accompanying punishments. Radical secularism has been the "religion" that has imposed its values on society more than any other in the last 40yrs. The sad irony is that adherents to secularism complain loudly about how religious believers are trying to "impose" their values on others, legislate morality and control people's lives and then they turn around and do the same thing they accuse others of doing. And they do it with fierce intolerance towards anyone who disagrees with them. If you don't believe me try bringing a saltshaker, an ashtray and a liter of soda into a Manhattan restaurant, school or park.
Much like their counterparts in Afghanistan who tore down the ancient stone Buddha's, the American Taliban also demand the removal of any artwork that displays religious themes: no crèche, no cross, no menorah, no Star of David is allowed to be seen on public lands, private work places and children in schools must never see a religious symbol nor hear a prayer as it will cause them "harm". They have their own Syllabus of Errors and lists of banned books that shall not be taught to children.
Organizations that do not adhere to secularism's dogmas and doctrines can expect to be ostracized. Just ask the Boy Scouts who have the medieval temerity to ban atheists, same-sex behavior, and girls. They have been expelled from use of municipal property and have had donations from corporate sponsors revoked. All this, like Catholic excommunication or Mennonite Shunning, is designed to bring the heterosexist, homophobic, misogynistic prodigal sons to their senses.
Secular Fundamentalists believe that their way of thinking and understanding the world is infallible. If you disagree then you are labeled: anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-minority, anti-progress, anti-woman, anti-gay etc. Moreover anyone or any group that resists the creed of secularism is considered "extreme". So Christians are considered extremists and Pro-Life demonstrators must be put under surveillance for potential terrorism. A person who holds to the definition of Marriage that has been in place for all of recorded history is dangerous, likewise standing up for the unborn is equated with wanting to see women die on the floor in back alley abortions.
Sadly secular fundamentalism has won many converts from among Jews and Christians. Don't be fooled: standing against them is no easy task. They do have the upper hand in our culture. They will enforce their dogmas with all the zealousness of the Grand Inquisitor and ruthlessness of Richelieu. They brook no dissent and will do all they can to marginalize those of us who resist.
That's why this Year of Faith is so timely. We need to be reminded that the Church is battle tested and God will not abandon his faithful. As Jesus told us we are like a woman in labor. Just as she does not dread her labor but understands rather that the pain and difficulty of childbirth concludes with the birth of her child we too should not dread the difficulties approaching but see them as a necessary precursor to our union with God.
The truth is that good news often comes on an ever-increasing wave of bad news. And the good news is this: Jesus Christ will come again and gather His people to Himself in His Kingdom. But as Jesus foretold the signs that this is about to happen will be carried on the wings of bad news: earthquakes, famines, plagues, weather changes, ethnic strife, hot wars, cold wars, rejection of biblical truths, economic collapse.
So while so many of our brothers and sisters are busy eating a fat-free, low-salt, high-fiber diet in a smokefree environment but not before praying "Bless us O Michael Bloomberg and these thy gifts we are about to receive" we need to be on our knees praying for the grace of perseverance.
For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. —2 Cor 4:18
Come Lord Jesus!
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Fr. John Bonavitacola