Given the recent rhetoric from the pulpit in my church, I have decided to take proactive steps to protect my family from the coming federal intrusion into my religious liberty. As a family, we are planning how we will get to church each Sunday.
I didn’t catch all the details, but I did hear our pastor warn the congregation about “a direct attack against religious liberty” and a federal action “that goes to the heart of the freedom of religion”. Given the gravity of the situation as described, it is only a matter of time before church doors are locked tight and we are again driven into the catacombs for weekly Mass. A friend told me that the priest’s address was about allowing non-Catholics who work in Catholic hospitals or educational institutions access to contraceptives and family planning services like every other woman in the country. I told him that given the heated words, that couldn’t be it. It had to be more profound.
Why would someone state to the crowd filled with children that “this action does intolerable violence to our First Amendment rights” if it wasn’t more cataclysmic that this? After all, this rule mimics what is already in place in 29 states today. After all, this rule already exists in other countries across the globe that have national health plans. The Catholic Church employs thousands in these countries and religion still exists. At last check, religion still exists in the state of New York, although that point can certainly be debated by Red Sox fans.
When I am told that “this gravely important struggle for the freedom to practice our faith as full citizens of this great nation” is in progress, I know that can only mean one thing – federal agents massing at the doors of churches across America to deny us access. The message was so clear that after services on Sunday, my daughter asked me, “So, is religion being abolished?”
I had thought, wrongly it seems, that we were only planning to abolish Sharia law in America. Sounds like it’s bigger than that. So I will figure out with my family how we can still pray and get to church before the abolition of religion in America…
At some point, does the War on Religion rhetoric become so overly dramatic, so filled with hyperbole, that we tune it out? When everything becomes an assault on the Constitution, when every decision represents the end of freedom, when every act is described as an attempt to destroy America and reject God, doesn’t that over the top rhetoric create a “Boy Who Cried Wolf” scenario?
There are legitimate arguments to be made that the religious exemption within the health care law for matters of conscience deserves a second look. I am not sure that describing the debate using language usually reserved for declarations of war is the right approach.
“…what is at stake in this unavoidable confrontation, which has been thrust upon us, and to be prepared to engage in a strong defense in the civil arena of the basic human right of…liberty.” – excerpt from Bishop’s letter read at all Sunday services. Could have been FDR addressing the nation after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
When it comes to reading any more about this issue, or subjecting my children to sex-related topics during church every Sunday, I plan to practice abstinence…while I still have that freedom.