Grassroots Commentary

Tenets of the State Religion

Thomas Berry · Feb. 13, 2012

Is the Obamacare rule that forces pro-life religious organizations to provide insurance for abortion, sterilization and contraception the work of a tacit state religion?

There is of course no hard evidence of such a thing. But recent events strongly suggest that our federal government regards itself as superior to religious faith.

To borrow Mark Levin’s phrase, let’s call this government imposition on religion statism. Here are some of its tenets.

Statism regards pregnancy as a disease to be cured by the preventive care of contraception. This is no surprise, given that President Obama has said that women are punished with babies. Regardless: Those who believe that human life begins at conception are now forced to provide and pay for its termination.

Statism tramples conscience. Echoing the notion that a baby is an illness, the abortionists call opposition to the rule an assault on women’s health. Ponder that: The same folks who chant “Keep your laws off my body” to justify abortion now demand that the law crush the consciences and religious convictions of their opponents.

The statist faith smothers liberty. In his February 6 press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney claimed that the rule attempts to strike a “right and appropriate balance” between religious concerns and women’s health care coverage – a balance which is necessarily tilted towards expansion of government power and against freedom.

Statism holds traditional religion in contempt. The rule exempts only churches and houses of worship. Thus, hospitals, charities and other religious employers are as irrelevant to this rule as any hint of Constitutional restraint on the President’s power.

Moreover, in his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President claimed Biblical justification for his demands for punitive taxes on the wealthy.

To cite “love thy neighbor as thyself” as reason for the State to confiscate wealth and dole it out for the sake of political gain is ludicrously arrogant. Just who is Obama, who has called for eliminating tax deductions for charitable giving, who gave less than one percent of his income to charity last year, and who routinely incites his supporters to envy and hatred, to use sacred Scripture to justify his agenda?

When not mocking and rejecting them, statism treats traditional faiths as props and the religious as pawns, all to be used when convenient to advance government power. Witness Speaker Pelosi soliciting Catholic bishops to be her lobbyists last year and then ridiculing their objections to forced contraception as lobbying this year.

Statism demands that churches be used solely as venues for political rallies, and that charity be done only through taxation, with monies confiscated by force and injustice. Under statism, rights originate in the power and beneficence of the State, rather than God, and conscience serves the State, rather than faith.

Obamian progressives have long cited the “wall of separation between church and state” whenever traditional religious values have been used, as was urged by our Founders, to guide the crafting of legislation and policy.

Now, by forcing the unjust will of government upon the morally conscientious, they have imploded the wall. The laws of man now have supremacy over the Natural Law that our Founders so wisely recognized as the basis of rights and liberty.

You can walk down the track of casting blind votes out of habit, reflex or upbringing only so long until the train of tyranny hits you. That’s what happened to the unions, and now to Catholics and other religious faithful who voted for Obama.