In the first class of the semester, a Georgetown professor called the crucifixes that hang upon the walls in every classroom “weaknesses that look down upon us.” He said this during class, in front of all his students. No one said a word to him, not even after class.

All were silent as Christ was mocked and Christianity denigrated.

Crucifixes are not “weaknesses.” The crucifixion is a sign of strength. For a man to stand up for what he believes in, even to the point of a brutal death, is remarkable and deserving of the highest praise.

Professors can easily get up in front of students beholden to them for grades and mock Christianity. But can they do the same if doing so means that they will be crucified? No, they cannot, for then they would be like Christ. They would become “weaknesses.”

Christianity is the easiest religion to bash in academia because there are no repercussions. It is little wonder that university professors do not bash Islam or Judaism.

Islamic radicals would kill in the name of religion for a comment against their faith. Perhaps they would not do so in the United States, for there are laws against such action. But if they could, they would. Look at any nation that has an Islamic majority. Even being non-Islamic in these nations is dangerous, never mind insulting their faith.

The Jewish people would also rise up in anger and rightfully so. If an anti-Semitic comment were made by a professor, he could say goodbye to his future in academia. The Jews would unite and see to it that he would not be allowed to teach such bigotry.

What is occurring in academia is occurring in America at large. Anti-Christian bigotry is permitted because nothing is being done. Christians either have no faith or have become weak in their effort to defend their faith. Christians are not taking up the cross. They are turning a blind eye and lending a deaf ear to the insults and mockery. No one is standing up for Christ, just as when he was crucified.

Wishy-washy Christianity is pervasive.

Jesus has been reduced to a warm and fuzzy teddy-bear god. Christians have forgotten that he was a man in every sense of the word.

He was tough, a construction worker by trade. He was beaten, scourged at a pillar, crowned with thorns, spat on and crucified. He did not give up.

They could not break His spirit. The blows upon his face, the whip upon his back, the nails slammed through his hands were not enough to break him. He finished the race and three days later, he rose again to continue his reign as the king of kings.

What Christ went through for his friends did not feel good. Feel-good Christianity is not Christianity.

Being a Christian always means taking hits for the truth. That is why Saint Stephen was stoned, Saint Paul beheaded, Saint Peter crucified upside down, Saint Justin eaten by lions, Saint John boiled in oil and Saint Maximilian Kolbe starved in solitary confinement at Auschwitz. Countless more have doubtless faced a brutal death for the faith.

Christians need to look to these “weaknesses,” these crucifixes, and understand how their faith calls them. They are called to be strong, supernaturally strong. They are called to stand up for truth, to put their backside on the line for Christ. They are called not to be signs of weakness but signs of challenge.

This may mean being ridiculed, losing a job, getting a lower grade, suffering torture or, if they are so called, martyred.

Peter Reynolds is a senior in the College.

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