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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Faith Liberty Conscience

"Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience."
-- George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789 --

Much has been written about Barack Obama's startling and distressing decision to have America's churches bend to his will, defy their consciences, and adhere to the dictates of his health care program.  For those who missed it, see "Obama Declares War On The Catholic Church."

What has received only scant mention, however, is the response to his assault from "the church." A response that deserves attention. Because people of faith in this country are aroused like never before.

When was the last time you heard someone make this pronouncement from the pulpit?

"We cannot – and will not – comply with this unjust law."

Defiance.  Disobedience.

From a letter that Virginia bishops Paul Loverde and Francis DiLorenzo had read to those in attendance in all Catholic churches on February 5:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

We write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.


In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so).

We cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. We hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Together, we are the people – more than 700,000 of us – that form our Commonwealth’s vibrant Catholic community. Standing together, we must defend our right to practice what we profess and express our concerns and convictions about religious freedom to our elected officials.

Faithfully yours in Christ,
Obama to Christians: Comply or face the wrath of an all-powerful government.

The Church to Obama: "We will not comply."


The letter goes on to ask all parishioners to contact their congresspersons and voice their outrage. Do that.

In addition, vow to - on November 6 - kick Obama and his ilk out of the White House, and never let his kind gain position of authority again.

And work to make it happen.

George Washington felt that it was necessary that we as a free people protect everyone in his or her worship of the Deity according to the dictates of their consciences.  Obama, unprincipled, having no discernible conscience, and having no understanding of the ties that bind this country together, has launched an assault on all that we hold sacred.

Civil disobedience.  It's come to this.

- - -

The Wall Street Journal this morning:

"The political furor over President Obama's birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn't be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty."

Obama.  ObamaCare.  Ignoring the will of the people.  They will not stand.

- - -

To my liberal friends, I pose a question.  Here in Virginia last week the Senate voted to require Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers to present to mothers an ultrasound before they ended the lives of their children (an intrusive government action that I have serious problems with, no matter how noble the reasoning).  I'll bet your reaction, though not grounded in principle or conscience so much as distaste for government interference in a citizens' right to exercise her Constitutionally-protected freedom to abort, was in opposition to that government intrusion.


Well, if you were outraged by the Senate's action, imagine how Americans with consciences feel when their government tells them they must subordinate their ethical and moral principles because the government considers it to be a swell idea that churches and related organizations have contraceptives be made available to their employees and customers.

Think it through.  It's the same thing.  Magnified.