Monday, February 20, 2012
Where is the shock? Where is the outrage?
We have seen the redefinition of freedom of religion in which "Congress shall make no law abridging the free exercise of religion" has become merely the freedom of association, or, the freedom to worship. Worship has become, to this administration, merely a recreational activity which is protected only insofar as the state determines that it is not harmful to the higher good. You may not like it but we surely could have predicted this from an administration which from the get go was not friendly toward religion and religious freedom. It is, as George Wiegel has described it, a right of privacy which extends to faith and worship. The only problem with this, of course, is that the right of privacy was never explicit in the constitution (a bedroom right) and became the rule of law only really since 1973 and, you guessed it, the legalization of abortion. The first amendment is neither ambiguous nor is the right of religious freedom and its free exercise a right hidden or implicit but as explicit and obvious as you can get. Again, you may not like this, but no one should say they did not see the hint of this coming.
This is not a defense of the administration or of its points of view. My point here is to challenge ordinary Americans to wake up and smell the coffee. Where is the shock and where is the outrage in the living rooms, at the breakfast tables, on the front porches, in the coffee shops and such of America? Why is it that this President is seeing his poll numbers pop up a bit after taking on the more than 65 million Roman Catholics and perhaps an equal number of others (Lutheran, Orthodox, Southern Baptists, et al) who have gone on record as pro-life for more than two generations? Why is it that Americans are not as outraged about a critical redefinition of children and religious freedom as they would be if the administration tried to take away their guns or their right to privacy and porn and sales tax free shopping on the internet?
Either we are foolishly complacent (which could very well be true) or we are ignorant (which also could be true) or we are uninformed (which is reasonable) or we, by and large, agree that children are a disease to be prevented and religious freedom extends only to the interior of the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. I am shocked and outraged by any of the choices and yet I find so many of us who are faithful and pious Christian folk are not at all upset by the battles being played out before us over what are our morals and our values and our established rights in law. It is of great distress to me that if this administration gets the economy in a little better shape we will support the continued assaults upon the family and the faith... it is not the economy, stupid, or at least not only the economy, but values and rights essential to our American way of life that are also issues before us.