(Another) Man Overboard!

I was sad to read the story of Professor Kenneth Howell, former employee of the University of Illinois. That’s right, former. He was canned for speaking the truth about homosexuality via an email to students enrolled in a course on Catholic doctrine. Yes, you read that right. It was a course on Catholic doctrine. Apparently, it’s now against the rules to teach Catholic doctrine in Catholic doctrine courses.

You can read the story for yourself here.

And so Prof. Howell embarks on his white martyrhood. How many more will there be? How many Christians will be fired, scapegoated, harassed, or railed out of town for speaking the truth? Those who are behind the movement to rid society of any moral authority scream that we’re taking away their religious freedoms. So, this justifies them in taking away ours?

I can see how a vast number of us might feel far removed from this dilemma. The firing of an Illinois university professor doesn’t directly affect us. Besides, there’s really nothing we can do about it. Or not?

The persecution of any Christian affects us by weakening the moral thread of society and widening the doorway for further persecution. Additionally, any harm done to the Body of Christ is harm done to our own.

On a practical level, we probably can’t just step in and right the wrongs that have been done to our fellow Christians. But we can do much to help strengthen them in their strife by strengthening ourselves. Deepening our own spiritual lives will help to deepen theirs. Our prayers and sacrifices uplift and uphold them, and build on the capital of graces from which they can draw. And in the process of working to strengthen them through our spiritual contributions, we’ll be strengthening ourselves.

We never know when there’ll be another man overboard, and that next man could be you or me

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