Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Innocent Victims of Politics

Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 2:13-23 - When the wise men departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him." And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, "Out of Egypt have I called my son." Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more." But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Rise, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child's life are dead." And he rose and took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaos reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, "He shall be called a Nazarene."
It seems every time I consider the current moral battle being waged in American society, I am reminded of this Gospel reading. Today the Church commemorates the 14,000 innocent victims of Herod’s insane politics. Innocent children always seem to become the pawns of politicians attempting to force their agenda upon others. In the case of Herod, his furious rage over the Magi, coupled with his insane jealousy to remain in power, resulted in the killing of thousands. In the case of today’s moral war, men and women who desire guilt-free and responsibility-free sexuality, slaughter thousands of infants in the name of so-called reproductive rights. But the abuse of innocents doesn’t end with abortion.

Every time our politicians engage in political warfare, the victims are children. School lunch programs, after school activities, health care, are all political issues. But the innocent victims of politics, maybe because children cannot vote, seem to always be the children. And what’s worse is the Church, which SHOULD be comforting the children, become alternative victims when the Church’s moral teachings conflict with the political elites of the day, causing most Church to watch from the sidelines for fear of losing their tax exempt status.

The Church commemorates the 14,000 innocents murdered by Herod today. In your going about today, remember ALL the innocent children of yesterday AND today. In your prayers, beg God’s forgiveness that we have not done enough to protect our children from politicians. Then...consider how you can bring your children into the embrace and protection of the Church so they can learn the ancient Orthodox Christian morals that have historically been the only protection children ever really experienced. 

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