You’ve probably heard the news by now that yet another state has lost the latest round in the battle over marriage. On Friday, March 21st, a district judge in Michigan decided that the state’s ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, despite a measure that was approved by a majority of voters several years ago; a vote that confirmed marriage between one man and one woman and made it part of the state constitution. The Michigan Attorney General was able to get a stay from the federal court in Cincinnati, which puts the matter on hold, but who knows how long that will last depending on what even higher courts decide.
It certainly was a blow to pro-family groups who joined together to stand up for the truth of marriage as God ordained it. The judge’s decision struck literally very close to home for me as Michigan is where my husband and I live and the trial over the same sex marriage ban took place in the Detroit area, practically right in our own backyard. Many of my listeners and guests on my daily Catholic radio program were involved in fighting for traditional marriage, so naturally I received quite a few e-mails and was privy to many of the on-line discussions going on after the decision was announced.
One comment really struck me, however, given the nature the Church and why She exists. The Catholic Church is bride of Christ and She exists to evangelize. We are called to be in the world and not of the world and to, in our own way, help achieve the Great Commission. Granted many of us felt beaten down spiritually and emotionally. The feelings of gloom and doom at least temporarily are understandable. But one man in particular was calling for Catholics not only in Michigan but across the USA to pack up and head for the hills.
He claims he has been saying for years that we need to move to a truly Catholic country so we can live our lives in peace without any disturbance or intrusion. I guess sort of like our own Catholic Utopia or heaven on earth. I have to admit it on the surface it sounds so nice. It’s also pleasant to day dream about it least for a little while. But then reality and the truth of the Gospel sets in, or so it should if we really believe what we say we believe.
To quote Dorothy, “Toto we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Newsflash – there is no Kansas, no Land of Oz, and no Catholic Utopia somewhere over the rainbow in which to hide and tip toe through the tulips on our way to Mass. Even if there were a country say such as Malta which might come close, how long would it last?
As Catholic as Malta is, the same forces pushing their agendas here and in Europe are pushing forward there as well. But that’s not the point. We are not called to run and hide. Not that we should have to put up with relentless attacks on our religious beliefs, but we do live in a fallen world and there is no utopia until we, God willing, get to heaven.
In the meantime, instead of searching for that perfect paradise on earth that doesn’t exist, we need to get back to being the hands and feet of the Lord. We should talk to each other, encourage one another, and yes, even vent our frustrations to each other. But then we have to brush ourselves off and get out there and keep pounding the pavement for Christ. This is the Christian walk not only during this penitential season of Lent but every day.
So onward Christian soldiers. We may have lost another battle, but we know who wins the war. Stay strong and never lose heart. And as we continue to move toward Calvary, count it all joy.