We all got religion!
The vast majority of Americans believe in God; only 2.4% of Americans don't believe. But even that 2.4% have principled beliefs and moral values.
What if the government could tell anyone that they had to directly fund and support things that violated their most firmly and passionately held beliefs?
What if the government told atheists they had to buy Bibles for their Christian workers and that the atheists would have to ensure that there were Bible groups in place so workers would know how to use the Bible? It'd be ok since the atheists wouldn't actually have to read the Bibles right?
What if the government told Orthodox Jews that they had to pay for pork in the cafeteria at their business and they had to provide chefs to teach workers how to cook pork? It'd be ok since the Jews didn't have to eat the pork right?
What if the government told Quakers that they had to buy their employees guns and train them to fight as part of the National Guard? It'd be okay since the Quakers wouldn't actually have to shoot anyone right?
What if the government told everyone they had to contribute to this or that Church--pick any Church you don't belong to. On what principle could we object; certainly not the separation of Church and State since if the government can force people to violate their faith there is no separation of Church and State?
If Obama is reelected and has his way we're going to find out what it means to live in a country where the government decides what private morality is allowable. Obama has doubled down on his belief that the government can force Catholics to violate their beliefs just so women can save $4.95 a month and get free birth control pills.
Obama's HHS mandate says that Catholics who run businesses must pay for insurance that covers items not necessary for health, they don't cure or prevent any disease or infirmity since as any doctor knows pregnancy is not a sickness, but which violate the millennia old teachings of the Catholic Church. Even worse as part of the deal Catholics are required to teach their employee's how to access the services Catholics find to be sinful.
Some might think Catholic opposition to birth control, sterilization, and drugs that cause abortions is wrong. But just because we don't agree with the deeply held beliefs of others doesn't mean we should support the governments rights to force our fellow countrymen to violate their consciences. That's why America in the darkest days of WWII did not force pacifists to fight.
But in the America that Obama wants to build deeply held beliefs protected by the First Amendment are not defined by those who hold the beliefs but by the government. In Obama's "changed" America the government decides what moral principles are important and the serfs...er citizens must obey under penalty of huge fines or imprisonment.
If Obama's interpretation of the Constitution is upheld, and remember he may be able to appoint several new Supreme Court justices if he's reelected, in the future all Americans could find that their beliefs are only tolerated so long as the government approves of them.
The simple reality is that if anyone stands by and lets Obama change this fundamental concept enshrined in the First Amendment that we all have the right to follow the moral code we adhere to then the only thing that will limit those who are oppressed by the government will be the opinions of those who rule.
We've all probably heard the old lament about the reaction of Germans to the Nazis from a Protestant German who said
First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
It might be Catholics today but depending on the whims of the President it could be atheists tomorrow; once the principle of religious liberty is jettisoned raw political power will be all that matters.
We have a chance on Tuesday to stop Obama's attempt to make the government the arbiter of what is and is not acceptable morality; if we fail our descendants will complain that we didn't fight harder for our, and their, freedom.
You can find more of Tom's rants here