An excerpt from Denyse O’Leary’s address to Write! Canada, a conference of Christian writers:
None of this is the persecution Christ promised! This is merely the logical and predictable result of our moral laziness and inattention to the overall drift of our politics— for which we Christians bear considerable responsibility.
It is true that those who seek to undermine intellectual freedom in Canada aim very frequently at Christians — disproportionately perhaps, but not only, at us. As I have said elsewhere, it is their own power over society that these commissions are consolidating. The point isn’t to privilege, say, Muslims over Christians but to give the “human” face of fascism the right to control what media dare publish.
I have even heard Christians suggest that we Christians can use these illiberal and possibly corrupt systems to our own advantage – “to get a little of our own back”. No we can’t and we shouldn’t — but again, that is a discussion for another venue.
What I want to stress tonight is this: To call the hardships we face — when we behave so foolishly as to allow this to happen in what was once a free and democratic society — the persecution promised in Matthew is to betray the tens of thousands who died on active service in World War II (when Canada was firmly on the side of democracy).
Last week my father, a World War II veteran, phoned to ask me what was happening — why is Mark Steyn facing charges? And what about Rev. Boisson and Ezra Levant? Why is Maclean’s facing charges? He reminded me that he had fought in the war, and the general idea was that these things would not happen here.
Today in many countries across the world people risk their lives — Christians, yes, but Muslims and Buddhists too — for responsible, representative, and democratic government. And here we are, just throwing it away.
And when we do that, we have no right to say “This is the persecution Jesus promised.”
No. This is the fate of the sluggard in Proverbs:
I went past the field of the sluggard,
past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds, …
(Proverbs 24: 30-31, NIV)