“Oh, no,” I thought, as I pulled into the church parking lot in search of a Mass. “Here we go again. The 60s in all their glory.” Against the morning sky, the irregular silhouette of the brick building looked nothing like a church.
|Abandon Hope, all ye who enter here.
I passed through the vast lobby into the angular church: sterile, bare, and plain. The one artistic touch was the stained glass windows, but I’m pretty sure I had seen them before–in the nightmare I had after reading Dante’s Inferno. Worst of all, behind the sanctuary the brown brick wall was broken only by a large, white square. The boring stucco outline reminded me vaguely of a parking garage. No colors, no aesthetic appeal. Just a blank backdrop.
To be fair, what the church lacked in design, the priest made up for in reverence. While I find it hard to feel I’m in a church when the decor tells me I’m in a town hall or modern art museum, by the consecration the “jaws-of-hell” stained glass windows had ceased to distract me.
But suddenly, as the priest raised the consecrated host above his head, it disappeared. I blinked in astonishment. Against the blank cream-white square of the sanctuary, the cream-white host was virtually invisible. “Behold the Lamb of God,” proclaimed the priest, as I could behold nothing but his raised hands and arms stretched up above the altar. Just as I made an act of faith that the host was no longer bread but the Body of my Lord and God, so too I had to make an act of faith that the host was even there. I simply could not see it. My mind raced back to Thomas. “Blessed are those who do not see, but believe.”
Coming out of that church, I realized: when you paint your world one color, all distinctions and meanings disappear. As I mused upon my invisible God and my blindness caused by the bad backdrop, it reminded me of another kind of blindness I encounter every day. “Why can’t they see?” I have cried in disbelief at the headlines I read this week. Radical gay-agenda activists are ranting more and more about “marriage equality,” and daily I discover that for many people, who man is and the purpose of sexuality have disappeared. They have gone blind.
What to me always has been, and always will be, an obvious and self-evident truth, is to them simply invisible. “Love is love,” they declare–a tautology disguising their ignorance of what love means. Their blindness is all-encompassing. Men can be women. Women can be men. Even children are sexualized to push the gender-destroying agenda. It is truly heartbreaking to witness their open-eyed delusion and wonder how they can be shown the truth.
LGBT activists chose a rainbow as their emblem, but I believe a blank, single color–like the wall of a parking garage–would be much more appropriate. They use one and only one standard by which to measure their actions: sexual satisfaction. Human nature, the love of God, natural order written in our heart–none of this matters to them. All that matters is the satisfaction of their sensual desires, even if they are self-destructive and unnatural. Blinded by their overriding misconception of love, they cannot see the reality of the love of God.
Ignoring the contrasts and harmonies of men and women in their God-intended roles, they obliterate distinctions between genders. They level all things by one crooked ruler, paint all the earth one color, all one theme: so it is not surprising that their ability to see the truth disappears. They deliberately discard the context in which sexuality is meant to be understood; so they cannot see what sexuality actually means. Sex is for two inseparable ends: the loving union between a man and a woman in a permanent relationship, and the procreation of children as the fruit of that love. If you reject that–as we did in the 60s when we embraced contraception in our marriages and modern art in our churches–then the authentic context is gone and the truth disappears. Divorce, abortion, and gay marriage logically follow as steps along a blind path, deprived of the light of truth.
Soon the Supreme Court will decide whether to legalize gay marriage in the United States, and gay rights activists are pushing hard to erase all lines between men and women. Against the backdrop of their disordered desires, God’s design disappears and they can no longer see the truth; and they want everyone else to see it their way, too.
But though many will keep telling me, when it comes to differences between men and women, that there is nothing there to see–just as some tell me the Eucharist is only bread–I believe that men and women are intrinsically different. I believe God made it that way. And I believe that that is not only incredibly good, but incredibly beautiful. It may be a long time before we leave behind the inheritance of the 60s, the backdrop which robbed our churches of their designed beauty and threatens to rob our marriages of their beautiful design. But I know that even if we cannot see the restoration of truth in society, the truth is still there. The Lamb of God is still raised on high, invisible though He may be, and He still shall take away the sins of our dark, blind world.