By Tom Quiner
My new year was immediately jarred this morning with this report from CBS News:
“At least 21 people are dead and nearly 80 wounded after a bomb exploded outside a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, early Saturday.
Officials believe a suicide bomber attacked as worshippers were leaving a New Year’s Eve mass.”
Alexandria’s Governor immediately blamed al-Quaida in light of recent threats made toward Christians in Egypt.
Over in Indonesia on December 26th, angry Muslims with the backing of the police surrounded homes of Christians in protest of “unauthorized (Christian) religious services.”
In December alone, explosive devices were found in four separate Christian buildings in Indonesia.
On Christmas Eve in Nigeria, as many as 38 people were killed by suspected Muslim terrorists in attacks on two Christian churches.
On Halloween in Iraq, 58 were killed by Muslims in attacks on a Catholic church.
The list goes on and on.
Muslims are attacking Christians and ridding Muslim countries of Christianity by murder and mayhem. Christians are fleeing in droves if they wish to escape death.
In the U.S., attacks on Christianity come from a different direction: the courts and the legislature. The new health care bill refused to exclude abortion coverage, forcing pro-life Christians to fund what they consider to be the killing of human life.
Even more, the ACLU is suing Catholic hospitals to require them to offer abortion services.
Today, my family is going to see “True Grit,” the remake of the classic John Wayne movie. The movie is directed by the always interesting Coen Brothers. Over Thanksgiving, we rented their movie, “No Country for Old Men,” a dark, violent film.
That movie does not have a happy ending. But the Coens leave you thinking and talking about the film, always a sign of a good film.
One of the questions we’re left with: should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the human condition?
One of the questions we’re left with in light of Muslim assaults on Christianity throughout the world and liberal assaults on Christianity in the U.S.: should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future of Christianity?
Fr. Robert Barron, in his commentary on “No Country for Old Men,” suggests Christians can always be hopeful. Our faith is beautiful and transcends the pessimism we may feel for the human condition.
Last night at our church’s new year’s service, a priest quoted the late Swedish diplomat, Dag Hammarskjold, who is able to put the the human condition in perspective.
“For everything that’s been, thank-you, for everything that will be, yes.”
In 2011, let us persevere.