Here’s one close to home. Rod Dreher is asking what lessons we can draw from ‘St. Cyprian’s writings during an early age of martyrdom that Christians living in contemporary liberal democracies can use to determine when they are obligated to speak up… for their faith, and when they are permitted to keep silent without betraying their faith. He
asked a couple of smart Christian journalist friends who work in secular media why they never wrote about homosexuality, religion and public policy. I know that they’re both interested in cultural and religious matters, and both are conservative Christians. Both of them said to me that they have careers to protect, which is a big reason why they keep their views on that subject to themselves in their writing… One, a graduate student in theology at a Protestant university, told me that you’d have to be an idiot to defend traditional Church and Biblical teaching about homosexuality inside the university today. He said that’s a certain way to end your academic career before it gets started… a professor friend on faculty at a nominally church-affiliated university, who told of a Christian colleague who argued in public for privileging traditional marriage. The teacher had been warned not to do this, because it would end his teaching career at that school. But he felt he had a moral obligation to give his side of the argument. “Sure enough,” said my professor friend, “when the vote on his tenure application came up a few months later, they voted him down. He’s got a wife and small children to support.”
Rod Dreher When do you ‘martyr’ yourself?
Privileging traditional marriage, eh? The man deserves to die, and slowly. When we take his job away so he has no colleagues, no students, no access to libraries or conferences his intellectual contribution will disappear. With no income his self-respect will follow. Over the years he will become a burden to his friends, his family and himself. That ought to do it.
Christians, we have to name these sorts of anonymous processes as martyrdom, and celebrate it as such. And the Church has to teach its own people, not imagine that this can happen in universities, however ‘Christian’.