See this box? That's the box that I keep my faith in between Masses. Every Sunday, I open up the box, take out my faith, give it shake and go to church. When I get home, I crumple up my faith and stick it back in the box for another week.
No, I don't, but that is what it seems the "world" wants us to do. It's ok to go to church, but heaven (!) forbid that your faith influences anything else you do in your life. It should never guide your lifestyle choices, it should never influence your voting or how you do your job. It should just be something that you drag out for an hour or so on Sunday.
This is what I liken it to; an analogy that even most secular humanists and Washington politicians will understand: You are an environmentalist. You are on the board of your county's solid waste disposal commission and you attend their monthly meetings, where you discuss with passion recycling and ideas for reducing waste in the environment. You plan how to stretch out the life of the landfill with green solutions and press for more environmental packaging. On the way home, you stop by the drive-through window of McDonald's and order a hamburger and chocolate milkshake. You eat them while driving home and when you are finished, you shove everything into the bag, roll down your window and toss it out onto the pavement.
What kind of environmentalist would you be if you did that? A lousy one! A good environmentalist recycles what he can. He reduces waste and tries his best to make purchasing decisions based on what is best for the environment. That only makes sense. You have to live your passions and beliefs, in every aspect of life.
So does a Christian. Faith is not just something for Sunday. It should permeate everything the Christian does, from those very public actions to the ones that no one every sees or will ever know about. You should behave at your job in a Christian manner, showing your workplace that this is what a Christian is like. Your faith should shine out and influence every decision in life. Your voting decisions should reflect your faith. They HAVE to because now, more than ever, faith is under attack. Our government, the people we hired with our votes, the people sworn to uphold the Constitution, have decided that religious exemptions will not be given to the mandate that requires that religious groups provide insurance coverage for birth control and sterilization services, regardless of moral objections to them. No discussion is welcomed. I never would have thought that the United States would end up at this point. When an elected official begins to dictate to religious group what they are allowed to believe, doesn't it follow logically that he's become a dictator?
Faith and belief. If they are to mean anything at all, they have to be lived everyday and they have to be defended when they are attacked. Otherwise, you might as well just shove them in a box and forget about them. If you do that long enough, they may just rot away and disappear. We cannot allow that to happen.