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What's Really at Stake

Leviathan’s Appetite

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Abortion inducing drugs, the Catholic Church, government mandates. What's all this really about?

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Chuck  Colson

Make no mistake. The raging controversy over the Obama Administration’s refusal to exempt religious organizations from onerous health care mandates is a big deal. A very big deal.

But why? What’s really at issue here?

Despite what the media and the Obama Administration are telling you, it’s not just a battle between the so-called “archaic beliefs” of the Catholic Church on the one hand and advocates of women’s health on the other. It’s not just about access to abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization, bad as that is.

And it’s even more than a battle over religious freedom. I have to say, the Obama Administration’s move boggles the mind. What part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” does the administration not understand?

There is no way this outrage would survive if it has to get to the courts. And I’m grateful to see lawmakers in Congress on both sides working together to reverse the decision. Let’s hope they can succeed.

I’m even more gratified to see people of faith rallying against this violation of religious liberty. I’ve heard from ministers, rabbis, even Muslims, outraged at this threat.

That’s a point that Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik of Yeshiva University, and I make together in today’s Wall Street Journal. As we say in our opinion piece, a Catholic, a Protestant, and a Jew can all agree that “under no circumstances should people of faith violate their consciences and discard their most cherished religious beliefs in order to comply with a gravely unjust law.” Come to BreakPoint.org, and we’ll link you to our Wall Street Journal article.

So why in the world would the Administration brushoff at the Bill of Rights and antagonize people of faith — maybe 80 percent of the U.S. population?

Because what’s really at stake here is whether or not there is any limit to government power.

That’s the point made by Daniel Henninger in his excellent piece yesterday, also in the Wall Street Journal.  “The American Catholic Church,” he writes, “is now being handed a lesson in the hierarchy of raw political authority.”

But the question for all of us, Henninger writes, “is whether anyone can remain free of a U.S. government determined to do what it wants to do, at whatever cost.”

Friends, the answer to that question depends on whether we the people, and especially we Christians and people of all faiths will rise up and say, “Enough! You may not intrude on our religious beliefs, you may not prohibit us from living out our faith.”

So today, as I have earlier this week, I am asking you to take action. Go to ManhattanDeclration.org, sign our petition to the President to reverse the HHS decision. Thousands of people have already done so. And then sign the Manhattan Declaration itself and get your friends to do the same thing.

I have said before, now is the time to speak out—and to remain vigilant in the face of the government’s enormous appetite for power over the lives and liberties of its citizens.

What’s really at stake is whether we will continue to be a free country.

 

Further Reading and Information

United We Stand for Religious Freedom
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Charles Colson, Meir Soloveichik | Wall Street Journal | February 10, 2012

Transformers
Daniel Henninger | Wall Street Journal | February 9, 2012

The Time Is Now
Chuck Colson | Two-Minute Warning | February 8, 2012

First They Came for the Catholics
Timothy George & Charles Colson | Christianity Today | February 9, 2012

Decision unchanged on HHS exemptions
David A. Zubik | Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh | January 2012

An Urgent Call to Defend Our Religious Liberty
James Dobson | Family Talk Radio | February 9, 2012

Petition to the President
ManhattanDeclaration.org

Manhattan Declaration
ManhattanDeclaration.org

 


Comments:

Religious Liberty and Foundations
Not only is this mandate (with many other forthcoming as more and more of Obamacare and other of his policies are implemented) but his entire Presidency is unconscionable. His lies and deception at every turn and with every statement and subsequent act have been to do exactly what any 'good communist/socialist' must do and that is to attack and destroy marriage, family and the church (religious freedoms). If we, as a people, don't already know, it should become clear by all of his administrations', and nearly all liberal attacks on our freedoms, that in order to grow and sustain an all-encompassing socialistic government, they must destroy the values and freedoms that are the foundation of every civil society...marriage, family and religious freedom. These are the very things that ensure true government of, by and for the people under the Rule of Law! When these are minimalized or destroyed, BIG GOVERNMENT is 'necessary' and only when we fight to restore and uphold these values and freedoms will we again see the country that our Founding Fathers envisioned!

Thanks for all you do and God bless in Christ!
Impossible to satisfy
Two things that are never quenched are the thirst for power and the thirst for money. That is why the machinations of Big Government AND Big Business should always be closely watched by "we the people"; for despotism and exploitation are always at hand, especially when we are distracted by bread and circuses.
What's Really at Stake
I applaud the Catholic Church and those that are standing with them against this mandate, but think we are missing an important point in this debate. What if I, as a private citizen, do not want to provide insurance that covers abortion for my employees? We seem to be implying that freedom of religion applies to religious organizations, but not private citizens! Aren't private citizens, above and beyond any organization, the very group the first amendment was intended to protect?