Pope Benedict famously warned about the impending dangers of a “dictatorship of relativism” — a state where truth is denied, morality is defined by subjective desires, authentic tolerance is extinguished, and political power is used to force compliance with the whims of the day.
Well, we certainly have enough relativism in our culture, and the slide to dictatorship seems to be accelerating.
Just in the past few weeks we’ve seen more and more Black-Robed Platonic Guardian Rulers on the Courts, er, I mean federal judges, overruling the democratic decisions of legislatures and the people, and redefining marriage. We’ve seen elected officials foreswearing their oaths of office to uphold the laws, and refusing to defend the authentic definition of marriage. We’ve seen hysterical and mendacious accounts of proposed religious liberty legislation, even to the point where defenders of the free exercise of religion are compared to Jim Crow racists. Intolerance from the forces of “tolerance” is becoming the language of the day.
We need to be clear about what is at the heart of this situation, and what our response must be. There are several fundamental truths that are being denied by our current culture:
The budding “dictatorship of relativism” is becoming more and more intolerant of these truths, and will gradually subject those who hold them to criticism, ostracism, and legal penalties.
In the face of this, we must be ready to resist.
Underlying this duty of resistance is an important understanding of the freedom of conscience, and my duty of obedience to the truth rather than to mere human laws. The government may attempt to coerce my external cooperation with injustice by imposing penalties, fines, and so on. But no government, and no law, can force me to accept a lie as the truth.
We cannot have any illusions. Many, if not most of our family and friends will conform, and will consider us to be strange. We may be estranged from loved ones. It will be painful.
Yes, we will be persecuted — indeed, it has already begun. It will be a soft persecution, nothing like the hardship suffered by our brethren in countries like Syria. Nonetheless, we will feel the steel fist under the velvet glove.
Resist. The power of truth and love cannot be extinguished.