“(T)he ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It is the belief in things not seen. It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us.” – Barack Hussein Obama, University of Notre Dame Commencement Address to the graduating class of 2009
In two seemingly innocuous sentences, America’s philosopher king deconstructs eons of human history and removes all rational content from religious faith. The belief in a higher power, according to Barack Obama, is reduced to the level of believing in the Easter Bunny, and the foundation upon which our nation stands, the idea that “…all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” is dismissed since Creation or the endowment of Rights are things that can’t bee “seen”.
Obama’s construct on the place of religion in our society shrinks the idea of free exercise down to “freedom to worship”, a government-sanctioned right to attend religious services, and our Constitutionally-protected rights to live, work and base any and all of our decisions, up to and including our political decisions, in accordance to our religious beliefs are suddenly gone.
Case in point, Hobby Lobby versus America’s fledgling monarchy.
The Obama administration told a federal court today that the Christian business Hobby Lobby must obey the HHS mandate that forces religious companies to pay for drugs for women that may cause abortions.
The privately held retail chain with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate. The company says it would face $1.3 million in fines on a daily basis starting in January if it fails to comply with the mandate, which requires religious employers to pay for or refer women for abortion-cause drugs that violate their conscience or religious beliefs.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma and the business says it is opposing the Health and Human Services “preventive services” mandate, which it says forces the Christian-owned-and-operated business to provide, without co-pay, the “morning after pill” and “week after pill” in their health insurance plan, or face crippling fines up to 1.3 million dollars per day.
“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said David Green, Hobby Lobby CEO and founder. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”
But Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund, talked with National Review today about what the Obama administration told the court:
The administration’s arguments in this case are shocking. Here’s what they are saying: once someone starts a “secular” business, he categorically loses any right to run that business in accordance with his conscience. The business owner simply leaves her First Amendment rights at home when she goes to work at the business she built. Kosher butchers around the country must be shocked to find that they now run “secular” businesses. On this view of the world, even a seller of Bibles is “secular.” Hobby Lobby’s affiliate, Mardel, sells Bibles and other Christian-themed material, but because it makes a profit the government has now declared it “secular.”
The administration’s position here — while astonishing — is actually consistent with its overall view of the place of religion in civil society. After all, this is the administration who argued in the Hosanna-Tabor case last year in the Supreme Court that the religion clauses of the First Amendment offered no special protection to a church’s right to choose its ministers — a position that the Court rejected 9-0. This is the administration which has taken to referring to “freedom of worship” instead of “freedom of religion” — suggesting that religious freedom consists in being free to engage in private rituals and prayers, but not in carrying your religious convictions into public life. And this is the administration who crafted a “religious employer” exemption to the HHS mandate so narrow that a Catholic charity does not qualify for conscience protection if it serves non-Catholic poor people.
Barack Obama is trying to establish himself as an American Monarch, and the head of a New American Church, where secularism triumphs over faith, and long-held, constitutionally-protected Christian beliefs are subject to government oversight.
Your religious beliefs, according to the Obama administration, belong in your house and out of sight.
One last thing…
Weeks before Obama’s speech at Notre Dame, Secretary of State Clinton spoke during a conference sponsored by the American Religious Freedom Program of the Ethics and Policy Center, her speech containing repeated references to freedom of “worship” but none to freedom of “religion”. In addition, she argued that “people must be …free to worship, associate, and love in the way that they chose.”
“Powerful members of our political class are arguing that there is no rational content of religion; that religious freedom means the right to gather in worship, but not to bring religiously informed moral judgments into political life; that religious freedom must be balanced by the right to love as one chooses, and that to make religious arguments against that purported right is unconstitutional.” – Thomas Farr, director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University
All this, from the American President who stood before the world assembled, and proclaimed that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”.
Is it little wonder that this is happening?