03 March 2012

Health Care, Sanctity of Human Life, and Religious Freedom

J.M.J.

The battle for religious freedom rages on in America. The line in the sand has been drawn. Recent conflict has centered on the health care mandates issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. Yet, the issue is much, much larger than that. What is fundamentally at stake here is the right of all people not to be forced by the government to act against their conscience.

What the Obama Administration seems either not to know about or not to care about is that the Church has outlasted every single empire on earth, including the tyrannical ones that sought the destruction of the Church. The Obama Administration presses forward with its attacks against the sovereignty of the Church, imposing its will on the Church and seeking compliance with government policies that are in contradiction to the doctrine of the Faith. When the political system acts in a manner that forces people to choose between the law and following their conscience according to their faith, those actions become an inherently religious question, not a political one. And, we are left wondering where this will end. In our secularized society, it is far easier for them to get away with eroding religious freedom. Just as was done by the Nazis and the communists, the roles of the Holy Church are being taken over through subtle force by the government. It is a slow process and one that many people are not likely to notice. It is done at a level at which many people do not object or even see what the fuss is all about. As society re-normalizes to each new and lower level of freedom, the process is repeated. Soon the Faith is suppressed, and we are left with the State being the supreme entity as was seen in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Indeed, what once was much more subtle action against Christians in this country is now blatantly open. The government is brazen in its attacks, acting in the belief that it can get away with it.

My dear brethren in Christ, we must not and cannot comply. Simply claiming that we believe in Christ is not enough, for if we truly believe, then we will act in accordance with our faith, for the good of the Faith, and for the good of other people. Religion is not a private matter. We are indeed the keeper of our brothers and sisters, whether they are Catholic, Protestant, or non-Christian.

The Catholic Faith is intended to be put into action in charity through self-sacrifice. We cannot sit idly by as one of the most fundamental and sacred freedoms in the United States, that of religious freedom, is eroded by an administration that openly seeks to impose a socialist and secular regime. During this Lenten season, offer your denials to the cause of religious freedom in America and in the world. Consider fasting more and imposing additional denials, that your sacrifice may be for the good of others who are forced to choose between the government mandate and following the Faith. Never consider this to be someone else's problem, for the suffering of others is the problem of all faithful people.

Our nation voted for intrinsic evil in the 2008 election, even if some people did not know it at the time. Now, however, there can be no doubt. We have reaped what we sowed, even if we did not know the nature of the seed at the time. We must oppose evil wherever we find it. The promise of hope and change was a temptation to lead the people astray. The only true hope can be in our Lord. The only good change is that which is done in accordance with the Laws of Christ, especially that which states that we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves.