I suppose we should congratulate U.S. President Barack Obama for managing to bring unity not only to Catholics, but to Catholics and Evangelicals, as serious Christians combine to take on this almost unparalleled attack on religious freedom. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, whose archdiocese is among the plaintiffs, described the suit as “a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty” and “a great show of the diversity of the Church’s ministries that serve the common good and that are jeopardized by the mandate.”
Quite so. What has to be stressed here is that Obama’s supporters in politics and media are simply lying when they claim that the Church and its allies are trying to limit access to sterilization, abortifacients, abortion and contraceptives. All of these “services” and readily available, even to — God forgive us — teenagers and children. Catholic leaders are merely saying that Catholics and others should not be forced under law and financial burden to pay for elective medical procedures that directly contravene their consciences and religious beliefs.
This cannot be emphasized enough: the lawsuit is not about contraception, it is about conscience.
Frankly, I am convinced that Barack Obama is fundamentally hostile to the Roman Catholic Church and that unlike all previous presidents, including Democrats such as Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and — yes — Bill Clinton, he does not embrace a genuine commitment to freedom of religion.
Nor does he appreciate the reality of the separation of Church and state, and this issue applies acutely to Canada.
Because here, of course, we have no such separation. Mind you, the American concept is about protecting Christianity against the authority of a state Church, not protecting a secular state against Christianity. If anything, the intention of the founding fathers was to empower non-conformist Christians, what today we would call Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics, against the English model of the established Church. How ironic that the Church of England, the Anglicans, have now become so liberal, and often so intolerant of the very Christians currently taking on Obama and his gang.
In Canada, though, we have no Church and state separation, even though it’s the rallying cry used by anti-Christians usually to attempt to silence those in the Church who dare to stand up for human life, marriage or the dignity of the person.
Notice, however, that if a United Church minister campaigns, for example, for gay marriage, or a cafeteria Catholic makes a plea for striking students or some other fatuous cause, the alleged separation is suddenly ignored. In other words, it’s not about constitutional precedents at all, but just another attempt by the establishment to take away freedom of speech from Christians who dare to oppose the culture.
In the case of President Obama, he may have gone just a little too far. Many alleged Catholics will ignore the lawsuit and still vote sheep-like for the Democrats, but enough will either vote Republican now or simply abstain from voting at all to do significant damage to Obama’s re-election hopes. When they are combined with African-Americans who feel betrayed by a President who has done nothing for them, but so much to support same-sex marriage, which the majority of blacks in the United States oppose, we see a new coalition: of those unwilling to give another term to a man who has disappointed all but the most blind of his partisans.
Lessons for Canada? Giving in to political bullies does not make us more popular or more liked, but only makes the bully feel more confident in doing more and caring less. The time for silence is gone; actually it passed long, long ago.