WASHINGTON—Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, on Tuesday delivered a somber message to Christians: “The days of acceptable Christianity are over.”
George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, made the remarks at the 10th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. George, a converted Catholic, headlined the event with Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, the top Catholic in the United States.
George said society calls Christian beliefs bigoted and hateful, and “they despise us if we refuse to call good evil and evil good.” He argued that American Christians no longer have the option to avoid the culture wars, saying “a price must be paid” for holding to traditional church teachings on life, marriage, and sexual ethics.
Former Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich and axed reality show hosts David and Jason Benham are some of the latest to pay that price for their belief in traditional marriage. George said what American Christians are facing is the 21st century version of the question, “Am I ashamed of the gospel?”
“Marriage is inseparable from the gospel,” he said. “These teachings are not the whole gospel, but they are integral to the gospel. They are not optional truths.”
George’s staunch defense of life and marriage came days after a judge made Arkansas the latest state to overturn its ban on gay marriage. Judge Chris Piazza did not issue a stay on his decision, leading some county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples on Monday.
George said even if the current cultural trend is unstoppable, Christians should not stop teaching what the Bible says about human sexuality. “If we deny these truths, we really are like Peter [saying] ‘I do not know the man,’” he said. “If we keep silent, we are like the other disciples, who ran.”
George noted how societal pressures have helped unite Catholics and evangelicals, who he called “our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Joseph Cella, founder of the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, said George’s comments were “some of the most profound remarks we’ve heard here.” Past speakers include former Sen. Rick Santorum, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and President George W. Bush, who attended each of his last four years in office.