The recent Supreme Court decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, has sparked widespread debate on social media, blogs, television, and many other mediums and in turn has highlighted how Catholics have become complacent in charity. For the Catholic who follows Church teaching and thus does not support same sex marriage, this means hearing or reading a multitude of pieces in which he is portrayed as hypocritical or worse.
They are not mistaken. Many Catholics are hypocritical.
Hypocrite. The word reverberates on facebook walls as well as from the mouths of LGBT proponents. To call someone a hypocrite, one who acts in ways contradictory to his standards, is quite an insult, especially for people of faith.
Some Catholics, as well as many other Christians, are truly hypocrites. They harbor hate, fear, and disgust for anyone who has same sex attraction. Others do not treat them with the dignity they deserve as humans. Anyone called a hypocrite is thus named because they are not perceived to practice the love and charity which their faith asks of them. If they are not practicing love and charity, these people are not living out their Catholic faith.
The Catholic Church is beneficial for society not solely because of faith, but also because of the message of love and charity which Catholics are called to act upon.
Practicing Catholics, whose views on marriage are becoming unpopular, must re-assert their prominence in charity, in humanitarian efforts, in peace promotion, and in faith in order to be accepted and respected in society. They must reinforce their support and love of all who do have same sex attraction, especially those who are practicing Catholics as well as all people who are oppressed.
Catholics have taken to the internet to defend their definition of marriage, which they consider to be the basis of family and the fabric of society. Much of this is done with the best intentions. But it is not enough for a Catholic to write alarmist blogs and to post passive-aggressive, politically charged graphics on their facebook walls.
The LGBT community often takes offense at what Catholics have to say, regardless of the merit of the discussion, partially, perhaps, because they have been the subject of hate crimes for centuries. Hate crimes can and should make any community suspicious of any argument put forward by their oppressor. In the present day, the Roman Catholic Church is one of the few establishments that does not support same sex marriage, and are thus identified as the oppressor.
For this perceived oppression, the LGBT community and much of the world has lost respect for Christianity. The best way to win back respect from the rest of America is to truly act like people of God.
American Catholic culture in the United States is one that has a rich history of saints who sacrificed their wealth, their health, and in some instances, their lives to help those who were spiritually and physically downtrodden, be it Native Americans, African Americans, immigrants, refugees, or Hawaiian lepers. Indeed, today, many Catholics are still continuing several of these missions.
But now, Catholicism is viewed as hateful, bigoted, and judgemental. There are Catholics in some circles who are not charitable to their neighbors with differing views or lifestyles. For this reason, this culture, which does so much good, must turn from complacency and give way to a more authentic Catholic culture. Catholic culture must reinvigorate her respect and love for all, especially the downtrodden of our society. Catholics must accept that people will disagree with them and respond that, while neither the Church nor Her people will ever change their beliefs, they love all and will continue to treat all people with charity.
With the recent deaths of Sister Nirmala Joshi, and Sir Nicholas George Winton, Catholics and all people of good will now have two more inspiring stories of people who devoted their lives heroically for the well-being of people who are downtrodden. Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa’s successor as Superior of the Missionaries of Charity, expanded the charitable organization to reach far beyond India. Sir Winton, who was not Catholic, found host families in Britain and Sweden for at least 669 young Jewish Czechoslovakian children during the second World War.
The world is not at peace, there is not widespread equality among men, and human rights are being trampled upon. At this critical time in American political history and geopolitical stress, Catholics should follow more fully their highest call-the call to be saints.
Times are changing. Now is the time to be witnesses to Christ, to become great and avoid the temptations of complacency.