The same people who revile Margaret Court will today celebrate Valentine’s Day, without even a hint of irony.
Few will realise that today is the anniversary of Saint Valentine’s “cancellation” at the hands of the Roman state for his views on sex and marriage.
The priest, like Australia’s greatest tennis champion, found his Christian views suddenly out of step with the times in which he lived.
And like the 24 grand slam singles titles winner, Valentine insisted he could not change with the times since his views were beyond the times.
Emperor Claudius II was, just like the Wokerati right before the Australian Open tennis tournament every January, immediately triggered.
He had Valentine thrown into prison on threat of death if he did not bring his views into line with the third century.
Of course, Margaret Court has not been jailed for refusing to bring her views into line with the twenty-first century. Not yet anyway. But the threats she has received are, nevertheless, waypoints on the continuum.
Recant your Christian views, or your tennis achievements will be memory holed.
Give up your Christian faith, or be shamed by the media.
Change your definition of marriage, or the mob will make your latter years hell.
As if Pastor Margaret Court is motivated by sporting awards, or the applause of the media, or comfort any more than Valentine was motivated by promises of freedom.
And besides, who would give five cents for the religion of a man or a woman of God whose convictions would so easily be bought?
Valentine would not deny Christ. Instead, he would infuriate the State further by attempting to convert even more people to Christianity.
For this, Valentine was beaten to death and — for good measure — his head was removed from his shoulders.
(A little like being beaten up in the media and — for good measure — having your name removed from the tennis arena)
The date was February 14, 270.
Legend has it that, before his death, Valentine prayed for his jailer’s daughter to receive her sight and she was miraculously healed. He sent her a note signed “from your Valentine” and it is this note which is said to have inspired today’s romantic missives.
Today in Perth another minister will be praying for her critics to receive their sight and, who knows, miracles do happen.
But the real inspiration of Saint Valentine is his fidelity to Christian teaching on sex and marriage in the face of unimaginable pressure to compromise.
And so to Margaret Court I say, happy Valentine’s Day. After all the brickbats you’ve received, you deserve a bouquet.
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