By Tom Quiner
President Obama has declared war on Catholics and all people of faith.
What else can you call his actions but war?
He tried to tell churches who they could and couldn’t hire. His overreach resulted in a lawsuit, Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical School v EEOC, that went all the way to the Supreme Court. The president was able to accomplish something amazing: he united the Supreme Court against him. They struck down Obama’s anti religion actions against a Lutheran church, 9-0. “No, you can’t tell churches who they can hire,” is essentially what the Court said.
Undeterred, he imposed the Obama Mandate on Catholic and other faith-based agencies, as this blog has discussed in recent weeks. His overreach is again uniting people, this time Catholics, who do not always see eye-to-eye on politics. Cardinal Timothy Dolan has become the leading voice for Catholics. In a letter yesterday, he clarified the issue:
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right of all. This right does not depend on any government’s decision to grant it: It is God-given, and just societies recognize and respect its free exercise. The free exercise of religion extends well beyond the freedom of worship. It also forbids government from forcing people or groups to violate their most deeply held religious convictions and from interfering in the internal affairs of religious organizations.”
The president, his party, liberal pressure groups, and their mainstream media pals all conspire to deny that this is an assault on religious freedom. Cardinal Dolan exposes their deception and lays it on the line: freedom of religion is a right, not a privilege:
“Recent actions by the administration have attempted to reduce this free exercise to a “privilege” arbitrarily granted by the government as a mere exemption from an all-encompassing, extreme form of secularism. The exemption is too narrowly defined, because it does not exempt most nonprofit religious employers, the religiously affiliated insurer, the self-insured employer, the for-profit religious employer, or other private businesses owned and operated by people who rightly object to paying for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception. And because it is instituted only by executive whim, even this unduly narrow exemption can be taken away easily”.
Cardinal Dolan makes an important distinction. Even private employers like myself don’t want government imposing abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptions in our insurance plans. Cardinal Dolan includes people of conscience and faith throughout the economy in defense of freedom of religion. But he doesn’t stop there:
“It is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals. It is about people of faith. This is first and foremost a matter of religious liberty for all. If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government and the basic rights upon which our country was founded.”
Yes, where will this all end if the president and his party get their way?
Fortunately, Republicans are trying to help. A dozen Republican attorney generals from around the country have said they will file suit against the Obama Mandate, finding it “an impermissible violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment virtually unparalleled in American history.”
The AGs were “deeply troubled by the unprecedented coercion of organizations and individuals to act contrary to their religious beliefs.”
Fortunately, all Republican presidential candidates also pledge their support.
Catholics have become one of the largest swing votes in American politics. They have traditionally found their home with Democrats.
In light of Mr. Obama’s intractability on matters of religious freedom, in light of Republican’s blanket support of the Church on such matters, Democrats might be wise to spend more time wooing Marxists, aliens, and hollywood weirdos than people who go to church every week.