by Ed Wilkinson
The Church in the United States is in deep trouble.
If history was a football game, the referee would immediately throw a flag and penalize the government for encroachment. This week’s announcement that the Catholic Church and other non-profits have a year to fall in line with the dangerous dictates of ObamaCare is nothing more than the state going over the line when it comes to dealing with religion.
The president’s new health care plan calls for all employers in the country to support the country’s policy of abortion-on-demand, birth control, and medical sterilization. In the past, the Church as employer was protected by a conscience exemption clause which enabled it to opt out of practices that violate the teachings of that church.
Now the present administration wants to ignore thousands of years of Judeo-Christian tradition, upon which this nation was built, and dictate to churches what they must believe.
Not only does the new policy tell us what to believe but it also defines who we are and what we are allowed to do. The government has redefined the Church to be a group of believers who can set up their own institutions and help their own people but they cannot takes in outsiders nor can they extend a helping hand to those who do not believe their tenets.
In other words, an organization like Catholic Charities must be comprised of only Catholics and must assist only Catholics in order to qualify as a Catholic institution and thus qualify for a conscience exemption. Charities, as well as other Catholic agencies, see themselves as benefactors to the entire community. They help Catholics and non-Catholics, without discrimination. This will no longer be allowed if they are to remain Catholic.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sharply criticized the announcement which was made by Secretary for Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (a Catholic, by the way).
“The language is Orwellian,” says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. “With stunning magnanimity, Sebelius tells Catholic non-profits that they … pass muster with the bureaucrats, then they have time to figure out how they can prostitute their religiously ground convictions, or prepare for bankruptcy. To top things off, after shoving the radical secular agenda down the throat of Catholics – and other people of faith who share their concerns – Sebelius congratulates the Obama administration for striking a ‘balance’ between religious liberty and ObamaCare. But, of course, no balance was struck: the edict grants nothing to those who believe in religious liberty, and she knows it.
“That this dictatorial edict is being announced in an election year indicates both contempt for the First Amendment and plain stupidity,” concluded Donohue.
America’s tradition of separation of church and state was meant to keep the government out of church policies. That practice is now being violated and turned upside down by an administration that seems bent on muting all diversity and turning the nation into Socialist robots, a practice that has routinely failed wherever it has been tried.
Fortunately, we still have the final say – at the polls in November.