Since it is related approvingly by Scripture, what this episode shows is that there is a place for confrontation about religion. In a country like ours, that place seems ever narrower. Persecution is very rarely violent, and takes place not in the name of putative Truth—which I wouldn't so much mind—as in the name of "diversity" and "tolerance," which disgusts me. In keeping with the values of our cultural élites, the courts are determined to make the public square ever more secular. Ideology aside, only religious nuts fail to weigh the evangelical disadvantages of being considered a religious nut. And many of us have obligations to others that the pleasure of martyrdom would not be excuse enough for avoiding. Even so, I know there is a fearless St. Stephen hidden within me, itching to get out, and I am far from alone: otherwise we wouldn't be writing blogs in which the subject most often discussed is one that American mores enjoin people from discussing, save perhaps obliquely, in polite company. A few sound religious bloggers I follow, who shall remain unnamed for reasons that good sense precludes stating, have received death threats for publishing their views.
But the world is bigger, both temporally and spatially, than the deracinated West nowadays. The 20th century saw more Christian martrys than all others combined. Today still, though not on a totalitarian scale, Christians abroad are being attacked and in some cases killed just for their faith. Behind our computers, it's easy to forget that.
St. Stephen, pray for us.