The title of this article, of course, is a lie.
This will not be the last word on the Obama administration’s mandate that religious organizations provide contraception products and services, including abortifacients and sterilization, as part of the health insurance plans they offer their employees. The Left will do everything they can to keep this issue going, hopefully all the way to the election.
Friends, while our reaction to this mandate has been appropriate to the threat it poses to religious liberty and freedom of conscience, I fear that we are being played like a snare drum, and we need to cease being the percussion to their insidious tune.
Indeed, the first words on the subject, issued by Catholic bishops around the nation when the mandate was first made public, should be the last words from us, and those words should stand, resolute and unyielding, in the face of an illegitimate exercise of power by a coercive government.
“We will not comply.”
You see, as long as we continue to discuss this issue, as important as I believe it is to educate all Americans on the implications of allowing government to dictate to churches how they are to practice their faith, the Left will continue to divert attention, as they are so skilled at doing, to the straw man of reduced or restricted access to contraception for women.
They do not want to confront the larger issue of government attempting to impose its will on the church, in clear violation of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, because they have no principle in our constitutional republic on which to stand.
In fact, they don’t want to confront us on constitutional grounds. As Rep. Kathy Hochul so helpfully pointed out, they didn’t consult the Constitution of the United States, the supreme law of the land which they all swear to uphold when they take office, in the drafting of this mandate.
We must remember that, to the Left, the American constitution is an anachronism, inappropriate for our more enlightened times, and authored by privileged white males who were content to leave the suppression of the rights of minorities and women unaddressed.
It also left out all the rights they have to the fruits of the labor of others so they may live the lifestyles of their choosing, and therefore, it is unworthy of recommendation to a foreign nation by even one of our Supreme Court justices, inferior to South Africa’s constitution, or even Canadian and European statements of entitlements – I mean rights.
It made individual ownership of property a fundamental right, thereby taking from them the ability to use the coercive power of the state to carry out the noble objective of stripping those they deem unworthy of what they own. This would be done in the name of “redistributive justice,” to use the words of then-Illinois state senator Barack Obama in 2001.
Incidentally, as a wordsmith, I would caution the reader that “redistribution” implies that there was some “distribution” of ownership that preceded it. The word leaves no room for the probability that most Americans acquired what they own by exercising the virtues of hard work, delayed gratification, risk taking, and good citizenship. It presumes ownership to be an arbitrary exercise that results in unfair allocations of wealth. That is a lie, and we must not be party to their Orwellian wordplay, because it gives the lie undeserved credibility. I would also add that anytime an adjective is used before the word “justice,” lovers of liberty and natural law ought to be wary. With that digression out of the way, let’s continue.
Since they will not fight us on constitutional grounds, they need to make the issue about something else and, in this instance, it’s denying women their God-given right to contraceptives. That sounds silly, of course, so they don’t phrase it that way, using euphemisms like “women’s health” and “reproductive justice” – ah, another adjective polluting the word “justice.”
Alas, the facts betray the Left, because no one is proposing a ban on contraceptives, nor is anyone proposing to price them out of the reach of most American women. As this writer and others have pointed out. the availability of affordable contraception is the greatest it has been in the history of the planet, and the variety has greatly expanded beyond the chastity belt of ancient times.
Much of the recent debate has centered around Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who, within a week, transmogrified from a 23-year old co-ed whose classmates were going broke over the Jesuit school’s refusal to provide contraception in their health plans, to a 30-year old leftist feminist who deliberately enrolled at the law school despite her awareness of their policy so she could devote herself to overturning it.
In many respects, she is the personification of the Left’s upper hand in this debate. She echoes the leftist lie that the central issue is contraception and the rights of women to do as they wish with their bodies at taxpayer expense, and she agitates, even enrages us to the point where we are knocked off our game, as Rush Limbaugh was this week in his response and subsequent apology for the intemperate language he used to describe Ms. Fluke. The Left is crowing with glee at the sight of Mr. Limbaugh eating humble pie.
In the process, Ms. Fluke, heretofore another obscure leftist feminist, has become famous and is chewing up significantly more than her allotted fifteen minutes of fame to promote herself and her causes, not all of which are ignoble, but many of which are morally objectionable, such as the murder of unborn innocent humans through abortion.
Not only has the Left diverted our attention from the central constitutional issue of this mandate, not only have some of us given the Left ammunition to embarrass us, not only have we made a hero of an obscurity, we aren’t discussing the president’s record of the past three years.
We aren’t discussing the more than $15 trillion national debt, or the annual $1 trillion plus in deficit spending, both of which are unprecedented in our nation’s history.
We aren’t talking about the real unemployment rate, which counts those who’ve dropped out of the labor force, and which hasn’t budged significantly since September 2009.
We aren’t talking about how the Democrats in Congress haven’t put forth a federal budget, in accordance with their constitutional duties, since September 2009.
We’re not pointing out the almost weekly bad news about the true costs of Obamacare and how the individual mandate is yet another infringement on individual liberty.
We aren’t discussing the hypocrisy of a president who cavalierly engages in class warfare, ripping the nation apart into warring factions, while stuffing his campaign coffers with more Wall Street cash than all other candidates combined.
In other words, we’ve taken our eyes off the ball, which is precisely what the Left intended. Why would they want the American people to be reminded of what poor stewards they’ve been of our tax dollars, how ineffective their faux jobs programs have been, what a boondoggle Obamacare has become, or how they are as guilty of corporatism as any politician?
Moreover, they want us to keep talking about religion and morality because, whether out of a lack of time or interest, most voters are going to get their take on the political environment from the mainstream media, which is the Left’s public relations firm. As a result, they’re going to be persuaded that all those conservatives care about is intruding in people’s bedrooms.
Most conservatives I know, however, want to be as far away from people’s bedrooms as possible, nor do they want anybody in theirs.
They may be concerned about the distinct human being that results from someone’s bedroom trysts, or being forced to pay for someone else’s sexual choices, but those are a far cry from intruding on private sexual relations between consenting adults. It’s another lie, and one which is easily taken apart by fact, but it evokes powerful emotions, and could turn off enough of the electorate to pull out a squeaker for their man in November.
So what are we to do?
It’s simple, really. We get back to pointing out the failures of this president and his leftist allies, we remind people that real morality and dignity are found in them being free to govern themselves and engage their neighbors at the community level, and we affirm that it is we the people, not the federal government, that reign sovereign over these United States of America.
As for the contraception mandate, or any other unconstitutional directive that emanates from Washington, the answer and the action are also simple.
“We will not comply.”
Civil disobedience, which in the past meant non-violent, respectful resistance before people came along and slapped the label on protesters engaging in public defecation, vandalism and harassment of private citizens, is a time honored response to unjust laws and overreach by the federal government. People of faith, and even people of no faith who respect liberty, should simply refuse to obey, and willingly bear the consequences of that decision. This government and its supporters are at war with liberty. We should not be afraid to fight.
For the church especially, this is the time to transcend the world and be what God intended for His church. Peter and the disciples said in Acts 5:29 said, “We must obey God rather than men.”
God says to feed the hungry, so go out and do it, and don’t wait for government approval, and certainly don’t allow them to push you out of the way. God says that all life is precious to Him, that he knit us together and knew us before we were formed in the womb, so fight to defend the sanctity of human life, and let no threats deter you from your task. God says the family is His sanctuary for children, so fight for the family and don’t allow the government to raise your children for you. God says the world will know Christians by their love for one another, so reach out to Christians over the artificial demographic walls our government and culture have raised to divide us, and work in unity to rebuild communities and lives.
Most Americans proclaim themselves to be Christians, but have outsourced their ministry to government. Take it back. The might of millions of American Christians, obeying God and ministering to the people at their level of need, would dwarf the power of Washington, and do what Washington cannot do, which is change lives and hearts for good. What is more moral, to keep the poor in a perpetual state of poverty by just giving them aid without hope for a better future, or to raise up the poor through education, character development, and high expectations so they can experience the pride of providing for themselves and their families?
Let’s reset the debate and, whatever the outcome in November, let us commit ourselves to a single, unified response to a government more dedicated to itself than to the people who rule over it. The Declaration of Independence gives us the conditions under which our resistance is justified:
But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Let our response be loud and clear. “We will not comply.”