I have three basic rules about my blog content. The most recent rule, formed a few years back, is that I don’t blog about guys, dating, or romantic relationships. Maybe if I got into a stable, long term relationship, I might blog about that, but then again, one day you might check the blog to find a picture of my engagement ring given to me by a guy you’ve never read about. The second rule is that I don’t blog about things that might hurt my friends or family. No matter how upset I might be about something, or how funny I think the story is, if I think it has a high likelihood of hurting or embarrassing someone, I won’t post it.
My third rule is that I don’t blog about politically or religiously divisive topics. I feel very strongly about a number of things, but I don’t like arguing about them. When I argue, I don’t like the way I act towards or think about the people I’m arguing with. I’m not thinking about how to love them, or lead them to the truth, I just want to win. I tend to go into a particularly vicious take no prisoners style that might leave me victorious, but also leaves a lot of collateral damage. I’ve hurt too many people that way. I have a lot of people in my life whom I care about deeply who do not share many of my beliefs. So I tend to be very careful about how and why I get into arguments. Plus, on the internet, discussions about religion and politics tend to get very nasty very quickly. I don’t really want to have to deal with that. So I don’t blog about it.
However, something has happened that is so egregiously wrong that I can’t not blog about it. Yesterday Obama’s Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that under the new health care legislation, all organizations would be required to provide and pay for 100% of the cost of elective abortion and contraception. This means that not only would Catholic hospitals be required to perform abortions and dispense contraceptives, but that Catholic doctors would be required to do the same, and all Catholic institutions (schools, charities, parishes and diocesan offices, etc.) would be required to cover the cost of abortion and contraception for all of their employees. The only way to get out from under the law would be for all Catholic charities and institutions to only employ other Catholics (putting hundreds of thousands of people out of work), and require a person to prove that they are Catholic before they provide them with any services. Can you imagine them asking for Baptismal certificates at the line for the St. Vincent’s homeless shelter? How about Catholic Social Services (one of the few providers of free and reduced cost mental health services) requiring applicants to pass a Faith Test before letting people in?
The Catholic Church has one year to comply with this legislation.
This is so completely and utterly wrong. On so many levels.
First of all, let’s ignore the whole abortion and contraception issue. From a certain standpoint, that’s irrelevant. If you take this down to bare bones, what is happening is that the federal government is ordering one particular group of its citizens to either actively violate their deeply held religious beliefs, or no longer participate in areas of public life. This is like telling Jewish people that they have to eat a BLT before they’re allowed to teach in school, and that if their synagogue employs any non-Jews, then everyone at that synagogue must partake in a ham dinner or else disband the synagogue. It’s like telling the Amish that not only are they no longer exempted from the draft, but now every able bodied adult must do compulsory military service.
Our government, led by the guy who proclaimed that he was all about transparency and freedom, has already made it legal for the federal government to detain any US citizen for any reason and hold them indefinitely. The government then did its best to take down free speech by destroying the internet. And now they’ve launched a major attack on freedom of religion.
How many more freedoms are you prepared to lose?