In the Catholic tradition, at the end of the liturgical year, our daily readings come from 1 and 2 Maccabees. They focus on how the Hebrews were being forced to disregard God’s law in favor of the king’s edict to eat meat sacrificed on pagan altars.
The stories include a mother who watched her seven sons die rather than submit; the scribe Eleazar, who preferred death in his old age rather than pretending to submit; and the honorable Matt-athias and his sons, who rose up and fought when forced to submit.
History seems to repeat itself in our day as our Judeo-Christian culture is being pressured to submit to government-sponsored laws contrary to our beliefs. With Obamacare, Judeo-Christians are mandated to forego our God-given bans against abortion and contraception by providing these in our insurance coverage.
On another front is the government-sponsored avocation for same-sex unions. God-fearing Judea-Christians cannot – and hopefully will not – submit to these or any government-sponsored laws contrary to God’s laws.
Rather, like the mother and her sons, Eleazar, Mattathias and his sons, we must not compromise our beliefs, but resist and fight (nonviolently, but via political involvement) against all immoral laws – even to the point of imprisonment, torture or death, because that is how serious we regard God’s laws above the state’s.
Rev. Leo F. Arnone
Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Church, Cresson
Give thanks for police, drug task force
Something we can all give thanks for this Thanksgiving Day is our Johnstown Police Department and the Cambria County Drug Task Force for helping to make our city safer and more livable.
Law-enforcement officers have successfully arrested many drug dealers and removed them from our neighborhoods.
It has been said that the only way for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. I give thanks that good people are doing something and making a difference.
What a difference it makes when those who were dealing drugs are removed. It is amazing how our neighborhoods suddenly become quieter and more peaceful. No more cars pulling up all day and all night long. No more commotion.
We all feel safer now and are sleeping better.
I hear comments like: “Thank God that our neighborhood is back to the way it used to be” and “it’s wonderful to have our lives back.”
I want to thank the Lord for answering our prayers. Then, I want to thank those who are “as bold as lions” to go after those drug dealers who have negatively affected the very quality of our lives for so long.
We all applaud you for a job well done. Keep up the good work. God bless you.
A. Lee Fenimore