I was listening to Ave Maria Radio this morning and Teresa Tomeo started off her national hours talking about the Culture War and how we Catholics need to keep fighting even though it seems like we are losing. I’m paraphrasing, and she may not have said “losing,” but that’s the feeling I got. She went on to say that we need to keep fighting even though we Catholics have read The Book and know we win in the end, which is something I have said for a long time, too.
But does that mean we give up? No. We are called to be warriors for the faith, to do our part in that battle. And our only weapon is Love.
Jesus promised Peter, when He formed the Catholic Church, that the gates of Hell would not prevail against The Church. If you think about that, what it means is that we, The Church, will break down the gates of Hell; it’s not that Hell is attacking us, but that we are attacking Hell with The Way, The Truth, and The Life. And the Gates of Hell will not stand up to the onslaught.
How do we know we are winning the Culture War? Well, you have to step back and see the forest for the trees. Zoom out on the Cultural Evolution Timeline. Zoom out 2000 years.
How many Culture Battles have there been? Battles in this war have been numerous since Jesus walked the earth. There was not a “culture war” before Jesus…it was more like skirmishes on application of and culpability to the law. Even Jesus said that much of the Mosaic Law was a result of the hardened hearts of the Jewish nation. He could have said it was because of their loose or immoral living, which tends to define the Culture War since His time on earth.
Since His Resurrection and Ascension, we as Christians have had to do one of two things, every day: Obey Him, or Disobey Him.
Yesterday’s Gospel reading in Mass ends with this from Jesus: “For whoever is not against us is for us.” Now, this is a lot different than the Old West saying, “If you ain’t with us, you’re agin’ us.” That comparison is for a different discussion, but what Jesus says cuts to the core of the Culture War.
Christians recognize that the media and immoral politicians are the soldiers and officers, respectively, in the other side’s Culture Army. The citizens they defend or, more properly, attack in the name of those same citizens, are a majority of the Moral Relativist-Entertainment complex.
They are who is against us.
Which means, from the very mouth of Our Lord, everyone else is for us. For Him. For the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
And if you look at that Cultural Evolution Timeline, you will see that they have been fighting us for two millennia…and not prevailing against us. As believers, we know that they will eventually succumb to us, because their gates, the gates of Hell, will not prevail.
The Culture Battles we fight today may be on different battlefields, but it is still the same war. Not long after Jesus was killed, Emperors Caligula and Nero had Rome in their grips, promoting and encouraging pornography, homosexuality, and abundant proliferation of the Seven Capital sins. The Coliseum was built for persecution and a direct, frontal assault on Christianity was begun, not only from the most powerful leaders of the known world, but embraced by the many thousands who crowded the stadium and other venues and whose numbers eclipsed the Christian community.
Where are they now?
Not the Emperors or the people, for we cannot judge their hearts and know if they are in Heaven or Hell…but the venues and the ideas that built them?
They are gone, nothing but crumbling artifacts and dusty words in the History books.
And where are we? Smack in the heart of Rome and, more importantly, in the hearts of Billions who claim Jesus as their savior. There are 1.2 Billion Catholics alone…and the Christian population is estimated to total 2.8 Billion.
“But,” you say, “that’s still less than half of the world’s population. We are still overwhelmed by sheer numbers.”
Not true. Remember, Jesus tells us that, “For whoever is not against us is for us.” And He tells us that in that specific way, because He wants us to know who exactly IS against us, and that anyone else, even if they are not Christian, is for us.
Consider the Jews, the Muslims, the Hindus and all the other great religions and small ones. Those who ascribe to the beliefs of those faiths that do are not against us are for us. And, yes, I include Muslims because in their ranks the vast majority are not against Christians.
Many of these faiths have a “live and let live” attitude about the Christian and other faiths. They are NOT against us. Which means they are for us.
But what about the ones with no faith, or who are agnostic or even atheist? Or what about specific “communities” such as the homosexual community?
Well, as a former atheist and agnostic, I can tell you that most of them aren’t anti-Christian or any other faith…they just aren’t pro-faith or organized religion. By Jesus’ definition, that means they are for us.
The man who has been cutting my hair for over twenty years is gay. He has a partner of over twenty years. He thinks all this kerfuffle about gay “marriage” is stupid and is just a result of some militant gays – certainly not a majority of homosexuals. He, like most homosexuals, just want to be left alone like the rest of us. By Jesus’ definition, that means they are for us.
And you can go down the list of every issues-related group and find a far larger majority of those who fit in that demographic simply are not against us or for the other side. They either don’t care, or just want to be left alone and not identified by some simple category or check-box.
That means they are for us.
So, despite the best efforts of the media and political elite, we maintain a majority. Those who are against us are a tiny fraction of the world’s population. And though they control the flow of information on a massive scale, they do not control the hearts and minds of the people who either do not watch, do not care, or know better. And those who do watch find themselves actually not being represented by these militants more often than not. Eventually, those who are not against us will be actively for us, as the Enemy starts to focus on them, their lives, and their beliefs. He will make them choose sides, and they will see that they have always been for us.
Know your history. On that Cultural Evolution Timeline, skip ahead a bit after Nero. Look to the age of Constantine, the Emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. Look to the fall of Rome, and the Dark Ages where ONLY The Church survived. Look to the Black Death, and who survived. Look to the deviance of the age of Courtly Love, and who prevailed.
The Church, during all those times and countless more, continued its onslaught and those outer gates of Hell did not prevail – they evaporated into History. No matter what weapons Hell used to push back our onslaught, eventually it failed in prevailing against us. And so it shall be in our age. It may be ten years or a hundred, or a thousand, but we will prevail. It took seventy years for the Devil to give up on global Communism…and here we still stand. Maybe it won’t be in your lifetime, but you can be assured your children or grandchildren will see a new world cleansed of the Evil One’s latest tricks – with his gate that stands against us destroyed, unprevailing.
And then it will happen again – we will approach the next gate. History does repeat itself.
But we do know, in the end, that we win. So, how can we lose now if we are going to win in the end? We can’t. To lose would mean the war is over. Battles will continue to be fought, and it may seem like we are losing when you zoom in on that timeline…but we are not.
The gates of Hell shall not prevail against us, because everyone else is for us!
So who is winning the Culture War?
We are! With the one weapon that has always struck True: Love.