Okay, so we won today in the Supreme Court. The Hobby Lobby case went our way; score one for religious liberty.
But here’s a concern: why didn’t the Justices vote 9–0? To be even more clear, if religious liberty, a right given us by God and legally enshrined in the First Amendment, prevailed by only one vote where are we as a country? And how long will that one vote prevail? So, we can celebrate a narrow victory, but why was it narrow?
How have we reached the point in this country that those who hold a sincere religious belief contrary to the contraceptive mindset of the world, and who also sincerely oppose the killing of children through abortion, only narrowly escaped being required to both provide for and even pay for these sorts of things?
Where are all the liberals who march under the banners of tolerance? Where are the First Amendment zealots willing to stand with us? They are nowhere to be found, I suspect because it touches on abortion and contraception, which have become like sacraments for them.
I would like to think that, though I love the Scriptures and want everyone to have them, I would oppose in principle a law requiring every business to provide free bibles to all their employees or customers. I’d like to think that, if a Muslim business owner (or a pagan one for that matter) objected to being required to do this, I would stand with him in principle and oppose this requirement. Thus even if a non-Catholic doesn’t understand or agree with my principled opposition to contraception and abortifacients, is it really so much to ask that most justices (not just 5 out of 9) and most Americans agree that I ought not be required to provide and pay for these things?
Go with me to the Jewish delicatessen example of Bishop Lori some years ago as I adapt it just a bit. What if the current Administration or the Federal Government were to say to all Jewish deli owners, “It is just an outrage and downright un-American that you don’t sell pork sausage and hot dogs. Every American deli MUST provide these by law. And you must comply or face big fines”? Even though most Americans don’t understand or share the Jewish aversion to pork, I would think they would still be outraged by such an action.
Now suppose further that after the outrage the government proposed a compromise: “OK, you don’t have to provide the pork, but you must let us set up a kiosk inside your deli where we will offer it free of charge to your customers and employees, because, by gosh, whether you like it or not, you are going to offer pork in your Jewish deli!” Again, the outrageousness of such a stance would provoke great protests from most Americans regardless of how comfortable they are with eating pork themselves.
It is simply outrageous that four Supreme Court Justices, and many Americans, cannot see the clear and offensive proposition of the Government in this regard. And even if they don’t share our opposition, they ought to stand with us in principle.
But they do not. And this once again underscores the serious condition of our Nation and our Constitution. It is another example of the growing tyranny of relativism wherein reasoned recourse to agreed-upon principles is no longer possible. Thus, they win who are the most powerful, or have the most money, or have the most access. Granted, we won today, but barely, and by one vote; it could easily have gone differently.
Everyone, no matter his political or moral stance, should be very concerned about the growing intrusiveness and raw power of a government that thinks it can force people to act against their faith and to cooperate in what they think is evil. Catholic opposition to abortion and contraception is nothing new. It goes all the way back to Scripture, which condemned the use of “pharmakeia” (e.g., Gal 5:20, Rev 9:21, and 18:23). The Didache and countless documents of the Fathers and the Magisterium have always upheld these views. We have not changed, the culture has. To compel us to provide and even pay for what we consider evil is wrong and un-American. It is shocking that so few Americans understand or appreciate this.
But wake up, fellow Americans. You may even find it amusing for the Catholic Church or conservative Christians to be attacked. But if this can happen to us, it can happen to you. Think twice, and then think a third time too. You have every reason to stand with us, and only bigotry and the desires of the flesh to oppose us. Make no mistake; you will be next. The Government will not cease its encroachment on basic liberties at the exit door of the Catholic Church. The steamroller is heading for you next. Stand with us.
We won today, but barely. It should have been 9–0. Wake up, America; your religious and other liberties are hanging by the thread of one vote.