One of the early Christian hermits of Egypt once said, “The time will come when people will be insane, and when they see someone who is not insane they will attack that person saying: You are insane, because you are not like us.” The hermit who made that statement, a man known as Abba Anthony, did so way back in the 4th or 5th century. But he could have said those words yesterday, since they’re truer now than ever before.
If you say you’re pro-life and oppose abortion, for example, the cultural elites in the mainstream media and academia will not just tell you you’re wrong (that would be much too civil). If you say you’re pro-life and take that stand publicly, they will try to crucify you — at least verbally. They’ll also do their best to silence you by calling you a “crazy extremist” and a “threat to democracy.” The same is true if you say you believe that marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman; or if you say you believe a person’s sex is dictated by their genetics and not by their feelings; or if you say you believe it’s wrong to try to solve your problems by rioting and looting and burning down cities. They’ll call you crazy, and try to mute your voice in the public square. That’s the way it is right now in the “cancel culture” in which we’re all living.
Here, we can take some consolation in the fact that Jesus was also called crazy — even by certain members of his own family. St. Mark tells us that some of our Lord’s relatives once said of him, “He is out of his mind.” Jesus, of course, predicted that his followers would be treated in the very same way he was treated: “They will harry you as they harried me. They will respect your words as much as they respected mine.”
Facing the opposition of so many, contemporary Christians need to pray for the grace of perseverance. They also need to remember the insightful message of another Christian hermit: “If everyone is running toward the edge of a cliff — a cliff with a 200 foot drop — and you’re the only one running in the opposite direction away from the danger, you look like the crazy one.”
But you’re not.