Does This Sound Like A Modern Commentator?

by Steve Ray on March 10, 2006

“The Christians are men of a desperate, lawless, reckless faction, who collect together out of the lowest rabble — the thoughtless portion — and credulous women seduced by the weakness of their sex, and form a mob of impure conspirators, whose bond of union is nocturnal assemblies and solemn fastings and unnatural food.

“A tribe lurking and light-hating, dumb for the public, talkative in corners, they despise our temples as if graves, spit at our gods, deride our religious forms; pitiable themselves, they pity, forsooth, our priests; half-naked themselves, they despise our honors and purple; monstrous folly and incredible impudence!

“Day after day their abandoned morals wind their serpentine course; over the whole world are those most hideous rites of an impious association growing into shape. They recognize each other by marks and signs, and love each other almost before they recognize each other; promiscuous lust is their religion. Thus does their vain and mad superstition glory in crimes.“

Where do you think this came from?
The quote on my blog is included in the Octavius of Marcus Minucius Felix translated by John Henry Newman and quoted in Church History, by John Laux and Fouir Witnesses by Rod Bennett. It comes from about the 2nd century Roman Empire, but it sure sounds like it could have come from a news cast on CNN or one of the late night talk shows. It won't be long until Christians — especially Catholics — will be blamed from all our country's ills, especially if we get Roe v. Wade overturned.

My friend Barry Ukrainetz writes: Sadly, I agree.  It has already started, I'm sure you've noticed.  Christians (particularly Catholics) have been singled out in the media for being closed-minded, anti-democratic, hypocritical, etc.  In my home country of Canada (I have dual citizenship), it is illegal to speak ill of homosexuality.  Michael O'Brien, the Canadian novelist and painter, in several of his novels portrays the not-too-distant future where all Catholic activities and publications will have to go underground simply because most of what Catholics believe and practice is considered "hate."
In the Roman arenas, Christians were killed for that very charge:  "hating humanity." Funny how things come full circle.
So although I'm not convinced that Christians will be persecuted en masse like in the early days, we'll undoubtedly see more subtle forms of persecution:  the loss of tax exempt status, total government control of Catholic schools, perhaps even censorship of all Catholic media, etc.
How could this have happened?  I keep asking the question why.

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