May 31, 2012
The news-suppressing media have done their best to bury this story, but we now know that at least 43 Catholic institutions have sued the federal government over the Obamacare “mandate” ordering them to pay for abortions, contraception, and “reproductive counseling” for their employees, in gross violation of their religious beliefs (see this link).
It’s bad enough—intolerable, in fact—that the government should force the Church to be complicit in activities which Catholic teaching brands morally repugnant and sinful. But to force the Church to provide “reproductive counseling” boils down to forcing the Church to advise people to sin! So not only has freedom of religion been trampled: the government has also asserted the power to tell you what to say. In this it follows a tradition, established by university schools of social work, of forcing Christians to speak in affirmation of a client’s homosexual behavior. Courts have several times ruled the schools can’t do this, but never mind—obviously it’s going to take a lot of work to transform America into a place where the government can tell you what to say.
This is unmistakably an attempt to nullify the First Amendment: no freedom of religion, no freedom of speech. If you don’t care because it’s only the Catholic Church getting drubbed, just be patient. Your turn will come soon enough.
This must be stopped. If it is allowed to stand, we shall have frittered away the very idea of America.
But the lawsuits are not the way to stop it; and the leaders of the Catholic Church, of all people, should have known that.
Far better would be a united public proclamation by the bishops, and the various Catholic institutions, that they will simply not obey this mandate. “We will not pay money for abortions. We will not pay for morning-after pills. And we will certainly never counsel anyone to have an abortion! We will do none of these things—and if you want to jail a lot of bishops and church administrators for non-compliance, go right ahead and try it. We answer to a higher authority than yours, and we defy you.” In the words of St. Peter himself, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
What will happen if some of these lawsuits land in courts presided over by jackass judges, appointees of Clinton or Obama, who drool over the chance to stick it to the Church?
What will the Catholics do, if the judges rule against them? Turn around and shell out for abortions?
They can’t do that and still be Catholics. No—if the courts rule against them, then they will have to defy the government, anyhow. They might as well have saved themselves the trouble and the expense of going to court in the first place: only now they will have taken on the added burden of an adverse decision by the courts.
Besides all this, the Church answers to God, not the government. Catholics already know that God has forbidden them to fund abortions. What more do they need to know?
Suppose the government decreed that every church in America must install a bust of the president above the altar, and that everyone entering should bow down to it. (Don’t laugh—this is the kind of thing they do in North Korea.) Would the churches go to court over that? Would they not do better to drag those busts to the street and break them with hammers?
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The Bible provides a cautionary example which applies to this situation, in II Kings 1:2-6.
Ahaziah, King of Israel, was sick; so he sent someone to “enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.”
Ahaziah sinned—a grievous sin, on the part of a king of Israel—in bypassing the true God in favor of a false god worshipped as an idol by the Philistines in Ekron. Not surprisingly, God intercepted the messenger and let Ahaziah know, “Thou shalt not come down from that bed… but shalt surely die.”
It’s not too late for the Church to withdraw its lawsuits and put its trust in God rather than in the courts of the Philistines.
If we who belong to God and are called by Christ’s name stand by our Lord, surely our Lord will stand by us.
� 2012 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com