On Friday, the Obama administration announced that under Obamacare, employee health plans, including those of religious organizations, will have to pay for contraception, including the "morning after" pill. This from the AP:
Many church-affiliated institutions will have to cover free birth control for employees, the Obama administration announced Friday in an election-year move that outraged religious groups, fueling a national debate about the reach of government.. . .
"Never before has the federal government forced individuals and organizations to go out into the marketplace and buy a product that violates their conscience," said New York Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "This shouldn't happen in a land where free exercise of religion ranks first in the Bill of Rights."
The left is now winning the war to marginalize Christianity in America, to replace traditional Christian values with secular values in the law. Obama's act is just the most recent in this regard.
I've written many times before about the left's war on Christianity and Judaism. It has been a long war - it began two centuries ago with the birth of modern socialism in the French Revolution. It was famously given voice by Karl Marx. And it has been pursued diligently by the left in the U.S. through the Courts for nearly seven decades. Obama, our most far left President, marks a change from using the Courts to attack religion to an administration taking openly hostile acts.
Ironically, the most recent obscenity of the Obama administration came just one day after the Pope, Benedict XVI, addressed remarks on the left's war on religion to his Bishops in the U.S., sounding the warning bells and identifying the existential stakes:
. . . One of the most memorable aspects of my Pastoral Visit to the United States was the opportunity it afforded me to reflect on America’s historical experience of religious freedom, and specifically the relationship between religion and culture. At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation’s founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.
For her part, the Church in the United States is called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey, as the late Pope John Paul II so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.
With her long tradition of respect for the right relationship between faith and reason, the Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of an extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth. Our tradition does not speak from blind faith, but from a rational perspective which links our commitment to building an authentically just, humane and prosperous society to our ultimate assurance that the cosmos is possessed of an inner logic accessible to human reasoning. The Church’s defense of a moral reasoning based on the natural law is grounded on her conviction that this law is not a threat to our freedom, but rather a "language" which enables us to understand ourselves and the truth of our being, and so to shape a more just and humane world. She thus proposes her moral teaching as a message not of constraint but of liberation, and as the basis for building a secure future.
The Church’s witness, then, is of its nature public: she seeks to convince by proposing rational arguments in the public square. The legitimate separation of Church and State cannot be taken to mean that the Church must be silent on certain issues, nor that the State may choose not to engage, or be engaged by, the voices of committed believers in determining the values which will shape the future of the nation.
In the light of these considerations, it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. . . .
The left's war on religion in the U.S. is insidious. And if the history of the 20th century has taught us nothing else, it is that the jettisoning of Christian values for secular ones, where government is the final arbiter of morality, has resulted nightmares and horrors on never before seen or imagined scales. As I have written previously:
When governments and individuals can define by their whim what is moral or immoral, what is desirable and what is punishable, human life is inevitably devalued. Certainly Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, and Pol Pot, between them responsible for the murder of well over a hundred million people in the 20th century, held to socialist belief systems that devalued human life and elevated in its stead political ideology. Many in the green movement argue that man is a parasite on the world and call for strictly limiting his impact using authoritarian means - including population control, forced sterilization and other such methods. . . .
. . . The bottom line is, regardless whether one believes in Judaism or Christianity, we will pay a very heavy price indeed for jettisoning them as the bedrock of Western society. Yet that is precisely what the left has sought for over two centuries, promising in their stead a secular heaven on earth. Ironically, should they fully succeed, history teaches us that their promised earthly heaven will be far more likely to resemble biblical hell.
Linked: Larwyn's Linx