Step with me into the area of controversy and consider the provocative question of whether President Barak Obama is an opponent of Catholicism and its values. As our government bent upwards and sideways last week to appease the darkness that is radical Islam, apologizing and even going wobbly on the issue of free speech, I thought a bit about how the president and his government is treating Catholics and their views.
For your consideration:
First, abortion rights. Not only is the president a fierce proponent of abortion on demand, he is also for something that should horrify not only Catholics but all people of good will. Not once, not twice, but three times as an Illinois senator, Obama opposed the “Born Alive Infant’s Protection Act,” which stated that babies born after abortions are persons and must be given care. His opposition was a patent endorsement of infanticide — the murder of children. There has never been an abortion restriction that he has endorsed. He is not simply pro-choice; rather, he is an activist in the strongest sense, diametrically opposed to the most obvious moral stance taken by Catholicism.
Second, the humiliation of Cardinal Dolan over the health care act. During a White House meeting between the cardinal and the president, Obama promised the cardinal that he would protect churches and religions and the consciences of those in Obamacare, not forcing them to go against their beliefs in any way. The HHS mandate forcing Catholics and others to pay for birth control, abortifacients, and sterilization in their employees’ healthcare plans showed his promise to be false and the “compromise” he suggested simply doubled down on his belief that the Constitution provides only for freedom of worship (inside church buildings) and not freedom of religion (a broader concept that allows people of faith to act publicly).
Third, his continued prevarication, i.e., lying, about freedom of religion. Just this past Monday, the president made a video on religious liberty. The Hill reports that Obama, “made a campaign pitch to ‘people of faith’ in which he reaffirmed his ‘commitment’ to this value saying, ‘The American people should know this: In a changing world, my commitment to protecting religious liberty is and always will be unwavering.’ ” He goes on talking about protecting people’s consciences — something he has no intention of ever doing. Meanwhile, Obamacare marches on, steamrolling Catholic morality and the First Amendment under its weight. How can that be tolerated by citizens?
These statements and attitudes by the president become even more breathtaking when weighed with the passion and determination the administration has shown trying to soothe outraged Muslims who are not even citizens of our country. The rioting mobs around the world are kowtowed to and the precious sensibilities of their beliefs are put on the front burner even as they kill and harm others. Nothing justifies this peculiar and unreal stance of the president.
But these are the times we live in, when truth is sacrificed for expediency and a hostile stance — we could even call it a hatred — toward religion and Catholicism in particular grows in our country. It’s persecution without rack and pyre, but perhaps those are coming too, if men and women of integrity, regardless of faith, do not stand up for religious liberty.