Remember the Maccabees?
And the king sent letters by messengers to Jerusalem and the cities of Judah; he directed them to follow customs strange to the land…[1 Mac 1:44]
Mattathias responded directly:
We will not obey the king’s words by turning aside from our religion to the right hand or to the left. …[1 Mac 2:22]
The Maccabees fought valiantly, and suffered tremendously, to preserve the integrity of their faith. That’s one way to handle a conflict between government regulations and religious precepts. Now here’s another.
The state of Illinois has directed Catholic adoption agencies to “follow customs strange to the land” by placing young children with same-sex couples. The Church-run agencies have resisted, saying that to follow such a policy would violate the teachings of the Catholic faith. But now one Church agency, Catholic Social Services of Belleville, has dropped out of the fight, and also dropped both its name and its affiliation with the Belleville diocese. The secessionist group explains:
This action is being taken so that the agency, which will be known as Christian Social Services of Illinois, may adhere to the new State of Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.
That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? State law came into conflict with God’s law, so the leaders of this group decided that God’s law would have to go. Something about having no god but Caesar, perhaps.
Or perhaps the leaders of what is now “Christian Social Services” never really believed the Church’s teachings regarding the damage done to children raised in homosexual households. The Vatican says that placing adoptive children with same-sex couples is a form of violence against those children. The head of Christian Social Services says that his agency will now arrange such adoptions because that is “best for the children.” The legal ties with the Belleville diocese are only now being broken, but it seems likely this agency stopped thinking with the Catholic Church some time ago.
Now Christian Social Services will enjoy the benefit of government grants that are denied to the adoption agencies that have retained their Catholic identities. And a few thousand years ago, no doubt some Jews grew to enjoy the taste of the pork that Antiochus forced them to eat. But do you know something? I don’t remember the names of those accommodating Jews. I remember the Maccabees.