So This Is It, Then

As a lunatic, right-wing, evangelical Christian (Southeast Division), I get into my share of “this country is going to hell in a hand basket” discussions. As sincere as these discussions are–and believe me, all the passions in them are dead earnest–there’s always an undercurrent of the hypothetical in them. Something will happen, we think, before things get as bad as we think they could. We talk with the assumption, or the hope, that there’s a center of gravity in America that pulls toward freedom.

Not anymore. We can now see the door through which the United States will walk into totalitarianism. It may be a smiley-face totalitarianism like Jonah Goldberg described in Liberal Fascism, but that won’t make it any less total.

When I was a kid, the greatest threat to the American way of life was the Soviet Union. Now, it’s the Department of Health and Human Services.

I don’t think there’s much I can say about the Obamacare contraceptive/abortion mandate that hasn’t already been said, and with great outrage. Yes, it is a naked power grab, more about expanding the reach of the federal government into religious institutions than anything else. Yes, it’s just another step in the progressive program to “transform” America into a nation of clients of the state.

The Catholic Church has stumbled into the central battle of the 2012 presidential campaign: What are the limits to Barack Obama’s transformative presidency? The Catholic left has just learned one answer: When Mr. Obama says, “Everyone plays by the same set of rules,” it means they conform to his rules. What else could it mean?

Yes, the “compromise” offered by Obama is a complete fraud.

In the scenario addressed by the Obama administration’s cockamamie “compromise,” religious organization employer (call it “A”) wishes to purchase health insurance from B insurance company for C, its employees, but not cover birth-control services that violate A’s religious principles and that the First Amendment protects A from having to subsidize. 

Obama is telling A that it can pay B and that the payments will not cover birth control services for C; he is then telling B to cover the birth-control services for C — but only because A is making the payments. A is thus deceived by Obama’s representations into paying B for C’s birth-control services. 

That is fraud.

And yes, this is war on Christianity in America.

So, to be clear, as of right now if church-related entities (hospitals, schools and charities — many of which were serving the poor in their community before local or state governments had anything in place or had even thought to do so) do not comply, their choices are to either offer NO insurance at all, which violates Catholic social teaching, or to close up shop, altogether, which goes against the mission of the church since the time of the Apostles. 

This is the government telling the church to knuckle under or cease to be who and what she has been for 2,000 years, as mandated by Christ himself. 

A few people have said, either in conversation or via cyberchat that they feel the language of war — “Obama declares war on religion” — is too extreme. 

You bet it’s war…

When we talk about this–and I have a feeling there’s a lot of talking about this yet to come–let’s remember not to get bogged down in all the who-does-what-to-who talk, because that’s the fight Obama wants to have.

With his “compromise” (I wish there was some punctuation worse than scare quotes I could put around “compromise” to emphasis how ludicrous it is. How about, >!*compromise*!<) Obama expects us to believe that, if the money for abortion pills doesn't come from churches but instead comes from wood nymphs or sasquatches or whoever is going to pull the money out of thin air to pay for it, if that's the case, then the church is off the hook and they've got nothing to complain about. But, and I realize Democrats are weak in understanding this concept, somebody’s got to pay for everything. If churches can punt it to insurance companies, that means that insurance companies are going to raise their rates. And that means that now it’s not just churches paying for contraception and abortifacients, it’s everybody who pays for insurance. And in the world of Obamacare, that’s everybody, including Catholics.

One more time, just to be clear: Catholics, Christians, pro-lifers, under Obamacare, you will be paying for morning after pills. Period.

So let us not have the green-eyeshade argument about which column in the ledger this money should come from. Let’s argue the insanity of having to have this discussion in the first place. A government that can hand out these kind of edicts has already gotten way out of hand.