Last year, I wrote that a persecution is coming for American Catholics. Others wiser than I have made similar predictions. But the coming American persecution will not take the form of persecutions in previous eras and far-off lands. As a society, America has moved beyond wholesale execution (well, at least wholesale execution of the born). There will not be heaps of corpses left in the streets or arenas full of lions waiting to devour Christians. American Christians will not face wholesale red martyrdom.
White martyrdom is the future of the faithful American Christian. The new persecution will consist of relentless character assassination directed against those Christians who dare to uphold the teachings of the Faith, especially those teachings that conflict with the new morality of modernity (where reproductive freedom trumps all other rights).
This persecution will be severe enough to ruin reputations and careers. The continued media obsession with Catholic clerical sex abuse scandals that happened in the last century (and their utter unwillingness to discuss the epidemic of sex abuse of minors in America) is but a foretaste of the onslaught that will be leveled against faithful Catholics. The Church will be perpetually accused of aiding and abetting crime, scandal, and division. Christian morality will be attacked and blamed for every evil of modernity by a hostile press, no matter how fanciful or contrived the evidence. Christians will be forced to acquiesce in behavior they consider to be immoral (this is already occurring on a small scale), or face crippling fines or government sanction. Christian owners and administrators of charities and businesses will be shut down for failing to comply with the new morality.
Those who fight against the new morality will not face death; they will be branded as bigots and troglodytes and treated with utter contempt and hostility by the elites. Christians will serve as the scapegoats of the state, perpetually defeated but always treated as dangerous threats to the forces of progress. Like Snowball in Animal Farm or Goldstein in 1984, Christians will serve as omnipresent bogeymen, politically and culturally impotent yet somehow responsible for every societal ill afflicting America. Only at the end of this persecution (and most likely not even then), when the failure of the new morality is clearly evident, will government turn its sword against Christians.
But this will not happen for at least a generation, and it will be brief when it occurs. For as they did during all other persecutions, the forces of darkness will overreach, until they collapse under the weight of their own sin. Modern America will eventually follow the lead of other nations and blithely commit demographic suicide. Any society which embraces a culture of death is in the long run unsustainable.
The response of Christians to persecution must be the same as their predecessors' answer: unwavering fidelity to the truths of the Faith, trust in Christ's promise that His Church will not fail, and burning charity to friend and foe alike. Unwavering emphasis on the truth is the only real antidote to lies, constancy the eternal answer to despair, and charity the effective response to hatred.