by Fr Richard Heilman | September 16, 2020 9:01 PM
In today’s Gospel, Jesus comments on just how quickly popular opinion can change. John the Baptist’s message challenged the “establishment’s” narrative, and his manner and tone (“You brood of vipers!”) was not well received by his adversaries. So, they looked for some reason to discredit him by spreading rumors that he was possessed. Then, here comes Jesus who also speaks a truth that is “not allowed,” as he also called out the hierarchy of his day with a tone (“You brood of vipers!”, “Woe to you!”) his adversaries did not accept. So, he too needed to be seen in a poor light by the “cancel culture” of his day: “Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.”
This action by Jesus and John the Baptist’s opponents is an example of the classic “chilling effect,” which is meant to place fear in anyone who does not stay within the lines of the Mob’s agenda. This is also a primary weapon used by the Left who are disciples of Saul Alinsky and his “Rules for Radicals”: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”
I wrote this in one of my reflections during the recent 40 days “Let Freedom Ring” prayer campaign:
“Chilling effect” is a term in law and communication that describes a situation where a speech or conduct is suppressed by fear of penalization at the interests of an individual or group.
The problem, right now, is that this “chilling effect” is proving to be very effective. The vast majority of people are cowering in fear. Even religious leaders are kowtowing to the Mob. Why? Because speaking the truth openly is considered “divisive.” In other words, because those who “oppose the Holy Spirit” aggressively express their offense of Divine Revelation (Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition), we must remain silent on these teachings. For the sake of unity, we must silently sit by and allow the normalization of killing babies, the demise of the nuclear family, sodomy, gender dysphoria (grown men share a bathroom with little girls), Marxism, etc.
These growing calls for silence, amid the mounting aggression of the mob, have turned an incrementalism of evil into a bum-rush of everything that betrays the will of God.
Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote, “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
Jesus did not prescribe this silent acquiescence to evil as a way to avoid division. We are not to kowtow to any “chilling effect” from the Mob. Instead, we must be willing to boldly speak the truth with love, in spite of the backlash that is sure to come: “Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:21-22).
There it is: “… but whoever endures to the end will be saved.” Therefore, I must ask myself: What if I got hit by a car today? So, now, I am standing before the Judgment Throne of God. Will I be eternally condemned for being divisive in speaking truth that might offend those who oppose the truth? Or, will I be saved because I endured, in fortitude, to not be afraid to thwart the advancement of evil, in our times, by standing with Christ, and His truth, come what may?
In my homily today (see below), I cautioned all of us to be aware of this effort to discredit “John the Baptist-like” voices, who are unafraid to go against the liberal establishment, both in and outside the Church. Predictably, they will go into action to discredit anyone who dares to go “off the reservation” in calling out the evils threatening the flock, in our times.
Please watch today’s sermon (just 7 minutes):
Source URL: https://www.romancatholicman.com/john-the-baptist-like-voices-will-predictably-be-attacked/
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