As he neared death, the revered priest Mattathias proclaimed to his sons that refusal to fight may have been a demonstration of their purity but resulted in their destruction. Not fighting didn't work. It was time to answer arrogance and scorn with violence. He recounted for them the deeds of great men who had shown courage in being faithful to the law.
The army they amassed attacked people they did not agree with, forced people to comply with their religious ordinances. Irony?
As he neared the end of his life, Mattathias gave advice to his children: show zeal for the law; give your lives for it; remember what your ancestors have been through and the bravery they showed.
Before he died, he told them to consider their brother Simeon to be their father and that their brother Judas Maccabeus would be the commander of the army for them to fight the battles to ensure observation of the law.
Their choice was either to hide or to rebel publicly. Are there ways that practicing our religion seem unsafe? How about adherents to those religions that are in minority in our community?