I surprised myself when I said it.
My friend had been quietly explaining her deep concern about her experience with public school. After years of home schooling her children, she and her husband had decided the kids needed socialization so they enrolled their children in school. Anxiety written all over her face, she said the curriculum no longer uses ‘BC” and “AD” as historical measures, they use ‘CE ‘ and ‘BCE ‘ (common era, before common era.) “We’re a judeo-christian culture” she exclaimed, “How can this happen in American schools?”
She explained further. Each day of the new school begins with a television assignment. The kids are to to watch and take notes on ten minutes of CNN news. Her older boy had told her about his first day, memorable because that first day of CNN news had been entirely about the lifestyle of homosexuals.
My admonition, ‘go to church’ had been in response to her statement she she felt powerless, that there was nothing she could do. But since our conversation happened during a group dinner, we had no time to talk further. And so I sent her an email. A very long email explaining things I have neither thought nor talked about for many years. And over the last few days, I have pondered why I did what I have never done before. Particularly to a person whom I know has little interest in church nor religion. Why would I tell her that I believed we were engaged in a spiritual battle? That we were fighting a war? In an email? And tell her that she could not fight this battle alone?
Long ago when I converted to Christian Catholicism while living on the east coast, I learned the phrase, “God put her in my heart” or “The holy spirit placed this in my heart” from new devoutly religious Protestant friends. When this happened, they taught me, you know it and you must act. So when this recent conversation echoed in my mind in the middle of the night and during idle moments, I decided to write the email. The conversation had been placed in my heart.
Maybe because autumn has always evoked a sense of melancholy or because the Christian liturgy is ending for the year and now filled with apocalyptic readings , or perhaps it’s merely age, thoughts of the end, of death show up, unbidden. The warning by Christ to “read the signs” rings more loudly this year. And the ‘signs’ appear more portentous.
None of these things is in and of itself, new. Covens and devotion to Satan have existed for centuries, women have aborted unwanted babies since our beginning. There is nothing novel about same sex attraction or attacks against the church. Emotional manipulation is at the heart of any and all persuasion. What feels new to me is that none of these things is hidden, they are displayed by leaders as acceptable as the norm, worse, the truth.
When my friend said that her concern was that her children would not be taught truth in public school, my suggestion was not intended as a panacea, far from it. Churches are filled with people-sinners. That is why they are there. Homosexuals, abortionists, thiefs, liars, cheats, adulterers, fornicators, we’re all there. We are not alone in our sickness. We don’t pretend we’re not sick because we know where to find the physician. Go to church.