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Running the race, fighting the good fight

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It looks bleak, doesn't it? Washington is trying to force religious institutions as well as the seriously religious into violating their very consciences. Gay marriage, let's face it, will soon be the law of the land. We are well over forty years fighting the evil which is abortion. And we're only scratching the surface with those examples of modern error in these United States. It's easy to give up hope.

Yet that is the one thing we cannot do. No matter how bad it seems today, the future really is unwritten. We might well survive these current ills. We might be stronger for it. But we will never know that if we surrender.

There's no need to end the battle even should government power, societal wishes, and legal wrangling carry the day. Indeed, we are called not end it. Perhaps all we actually need is a retreat and regroup moment. A 'tactical readjustment of the lines' as the military might call it. Perhaps it's time to take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and consider the past in light of future potential.

The world is fallen, after all. We are fallen, and if we are truly Christian we must accept that. Why ought we expect our endeavors to always bear fruit? Might that not be a certain arrogance in itself, to expect otherwise? Surely we should work as though we will prevail. We will, of course, in the long run. Yet that run includes a Second Coming which we cannot accurately foresee. We will win in the long run, but only because God will keep us from completely destroying ourselves.

We need to consider how much we may have, however inadvertently or unintentionally, hurt our cause in the past. Dr. Carlo Grassi, a very good Professor of Thomistic Philosophy at the University of Detroit during the 1970s and 1980s, once opined that maybe we were cursed with abortion because we were too condemning of out of wedlock births beforehand. We weren't willing to accept that people make mistakes; uncaring about the difficult situations people faced; unconcerned that we know little about how culpable people might be for their sins. Maybe what we need is to become more fully Christian. Maybe we need to not cast a stone until we have all, or as many of them as we can, facts at hand. Maybe not even cast that stone then, but to only help the willing to escape their failings. Maybe we need to preach forgiveness over condemnation.

Do not misunderstand this point: evil is still evil, wrong still wrong, and error still error, and we must work against them. Still, we must also be more careful about our own acts. If we push people into further sin, we will be held responsible. We need to remember the call for Charity. We need to remember to hate the sin but love the sinner. We need to remember that that is how God views us. Even when we're recalcitrant.

Perhaps especially then.

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