Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Religious Freedom Rally

On Friday I went to the religious freedom rally here in DC, down by the Capitol building. The place was packed.

There were lots of young people holding signs.

I even got to hear the lovely Lila speak.

One part of the rally especially struck me. A Mexican priest came up to speak. He talked in Spanish and then in English about the Hispanic community's support for religious freedom.

As his speech ended, someone shouted, "Viva Cristo Rey!" or "Long live Christ the King!" That was the famous battle cry of the Mexican Cristeros who fought and died for their faith in 1920s Mexico.

Other people took up the cry. "Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Cristo Rey!" The shouts filled the square. The crowd chanted it over and over.

I got chills hearing them. I have chills writing about it now.

Who knows how this struggle will end? It begins with forcing Catholics to pay for a service that violates their consciences and their deeply held beliefs. First they come for the Catholics. It ends - where? I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm a little bit afraid.

This is where a knowledge of history comes in handy. I remind myself that the Cristeros triumphed over persecution much worse than what we're facing now. The early Christian Church overcame even greater odds.

I keep telling myself, "We've done this before. We can do it again."

And we can. But freedom may not come without a fight.

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