Contraception, Churches, and the Left's Phony Argument
You've got to hand it to liberals. They stick to a script. On the contraception-Catholic Church flap, the script is that most Catholic women favor contraception (and, one guesses, abortion-inducers). Ergo, the Catholic Church should buckle under and accept President Obama's mandate. Conscience and religious liberty (and a little thing called the 1st Amendment) just don't stack up against what a majority of Catholic women want -- or what liberals say they want. You know, vox populi and all that.
So if vox populi is good enough for the Catholic Church, why not for liberals and the Democratic Party -- or more exactly, for policies favored by both? Like ObamaCare.
Liberal talking heads, like little wind-up toy soldiers, have been all over the airwaves, yakking about the supremacy of "women's health" and what a majority of Catholic women are supposed to want. (Isn't it nice how liberals always appoint themselves spokesmen for others? Call it the Jesse Jackson syndrome. The Reverend Jackson has an unerring talent for showing up and speaking on behalf of people who never asked him to.)
If liberals are all fired up about majority rule, why shouldn't they apply that principle to ObamaCare? That's right, ObamaCare. Seems that a majority of Americans oppose the president's government-run health care scheme. Rasmussen reports that 54% of Americans want ObamaCare axed. Majorities never wanted government-run health care in the first place. ObamaCare was rammed down Americans' throats.
But that's not how majoritarianism works, evidently. See, where liberals can use majority sentiment to justify and advance their statist polices, well, by all means. Hence, efforts to bulldoze the Catholic Church and mangle the 1st Amendment are cloaked in a concern for what a majority of Catholic women desire.
When a liberal policy aim fails to muster a majority, tough luck. ObamaCare is what Americans need, whether they want it or not. Liberals insist on it. And what could average Americans possibly know about what's good for their welfare? If liberals and government can't run other people's lives, what purpose is there for either?
Take another issue: federal spending. According to Gallup, a lopsided majority believes that Washington spends too much. No need for more or higher taxes, either. Perhaps President Obama needs better staff briefings. Mr. Obama could be nicknamed "President Spend-a-Lot," because, boy, has Mr. Obama spent and borrowed a lot. In fact, if Mr. Obama isn't stopped, he'll spend the nation into debtors' prison.
So where are the liberals who'll champion the majority position on federal spending? Will anyone see Tamara Holder, for instance, on Sean Hannity's show championing the majority's opposition to Mr. Obama's credit card spending and his desire to hammer Americans with higher taxes? Nope, afraid not.
Big government, lots of spending, and higher taxes are to liberals what sun, water, and soil are to plants. No way, no how will liberals let a majority of Americans put their will to work when it comes to the size and scope of government. Government, you see, is increasingly for elites. Government of, by, and for the people is almost as quaint as the original intent of federalism.
Of course, the Catholic Church is very different from government. It's organized around faith in God. The Church's principles and rules flow from God's teachings, as the Church understands them. Those principles and rules aren't subject to plebiscites (or opinion polling results). When God gave Moses the Ten Commandants, He didn't tell him to check with other Jews to see if they agreed. Ditto Christians.
The fact that churches answer to a higher power isn't lost on liberals; it's just irritating and troublesome. More importantly, churches and synagogues are impediments to unfettering state power -- meaning unfettering the left's power. Leastwise those churches and synagogues that aren't the equivalent of reservation Indians of old: servile, pliant accommodators of their secular masters' wishes.
We've heard the arguments why Mr. Obama and the left want to ride roughshod over the Catholic Church: election considerations (rally the single women), mainly. Nor does Mr. Obama want to give much ground in the fight to entrench government-run medicine. Left-ideology dictates bigger government, though the reason why Mr. Obama is trying to bully the Catholic Church has to do primarily with the aforementioned appetite for power. There's nothing much progressive about the left's power-cravings.
Hungering for power is as old as Homo sapiens and accounts for much of human history. The genuinely progressive mind seeks ways to thwart the drive for excesses of power. The Founders keenly understood human nature, and they understood that not only is a government of checks and balances required to stymie the power-hungry, but institutions and social arrangements outside government are essential bulwarks against government.
Faith is a basic right; churches are where many of the faithful go to worship. But churches are also a line of defense against tyranny. That notion wasn't lost on the Founders.
Mr. Obama's and the left's attack on the Catholic Church is indeed an attack on the 1st Amendment -- not only for Catholics, but for all faiths. The state, not God, is supreme among the secular left. The quest of the left is to be absolute in government. Hence Mr. Obama's recent attempt to subject churches to discrimination laws (an effort struck down unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court, which should give one an idea of how flagrant was Mr. Obama's overreach).
But beware -- leftists are persistent cusses. We've heard only the opening bell in the assault on churches and the 1st Amendment. The left has a decades-long track record of assaulting rights and freedoms, and with no little success.
Catholic Archbishop Dolan is saying that there will be no compromise on Mr. Obama's end-run to force Catholic institutions' insurers to pay for contraception and abortion-inducers. Let's hope that Archbishop Dolan's stand is truly non-negotiable. Moreover, let's hope that Catholic bishops have gotten a wakeup call. The bishops' "social justice" agenda has often aligned them with the left and big government. Now the bishops are experiencing the perniciousness of big government when turned on Church beliefs.
The Catholic Church needs to join fully with freedom-loving Americans in defending natural rights, the rule of law, and the Constitution, which aims squarely against predatory government. Let's also hear the bishops insist that liberals apply their own arguments about majority rule where it counts: to government, where, under President Obama and the Democrats, the will of the people has been consistently denied; where rights are being trampled; where the seeds of tyranny are being sown daily.