An excellent piece by Michael Coren delving into the cost of principled, and faithful, stands and the temptation to abandon them:
Enter Screwtape in a good suit and a Charvet necktie. Three years ago, a leading Canadian writer, producer, and broadcaster took me out for lunch. He was affectionate and supportive. He acknowledged that my career was going very well, but he wondered why I was limiting my speeches to Catholic and pro-life groups, when I could be speaking to major banks and big businesses for ten or twenty times the fees. Not to mention, he insisted, I could write anywhere I wanted and have anytelevision show I desired. But . . .
“The problem is really quite simple,” he explained over coffee. “It’s okay being a Catholic, and it’s not even too much of an obstacle being pro-life, but I wouldn’t make too much of the abortion stuff if I were you. Oppose euthanasia all you want. But you have to change the gay marriage stance. Not just remain silent on it – they will see through that – but actually make it clear that you have changed your mind. That’s it, that’s all. Not become outspoken, just make it clear that you remain Christian. . .but see no problem with gay marriage.”
The arguments for and against same-sex marriage never change, cannot change, so “transformed” individual responses are the result not of intellectual development but personal reaction. Such a retreat on this seminal, iconic, and Sacramental debate could be the result of a loved one’s anguish, a loss of faith, or something similarly profound if still inadequate. It could also be out of sheer emotional exhaustion, or from the misplaced belief that the Gospel can only be spread if we surrender to cultural imperatives.
The first is understandable but flaccid, the second – and we see the position emerging in some evangelical churches – darkly selective and with quite terrifying consequences.
Or it could be far more banal, as it was when offered me by lunch-pal Screwtape. You see, when we abandon our defense of genuine marriage the world does not say we have changed but that we have matured; if we go along with the crowd on this issue we are said not to have moved from one side to another, but moved from extreme to moderate. It’s a tendentious and wicked vocabulary, a lexicon of anti-Christian disdain.
Turning from truth and denying what is of God can be sweet, sweet temptation. Thomas More gave his head to stay faithful to marriage. I should certainly be willing to give up a lucrative speaking gig or two.
So should we all.
Go read the whole thing and learn from it.
The culture so needs principled, and faithful, stands.
We need more Michael Corens.