Recent HHS mandate is only the latest threat to religious liberties

By JOHN BIVER • February 16, 2012

 

There are two types of Republicans. One type is a part of the problem. The other is a part of the solution. In Illinois, the former greatly outnumber the latter. Continuing on with our look at the parallels between Mitt Romney and the Illinois GOP we turn to headlines like this one:

 

On birth control, Romney mirrored Obama

 

An antiabortion leader in Massachusetts recalls an “injury to Catholic religious freedom” under Mitt Romney

 

It’s been big news. For about a week now my email inbox has been full of press releases and other exclamations of outrage regarding the Obama Administration’s HHS rules mandating that private organizations pay for things that are contrary to their religious beliefs.

 

Here’s an excerpt from just one of those press releases:

 

“Despite the alleged compromise or accommodation, this is NOT just about ‘religious’ employers being affected,” Father Pavone said. “This is about ALL Americans being forced to pay for something that may be directly opposed to their moral convictions. There are many non-religious reasons to object to the Obama Administration’s policy. Chief among these is the basic American principle of freedom of conscience. That means the government must NEVER do ANYTHING that requires people to violate their conscience.

 

In a bold statement today, Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, denounced the Department of Health and Human Services contraception and abortion ruling as an abomination that must be immediately repealed or rescinded because it violates everything our country stands for.

 

On the one hand it’s heartening to see people waking up to the threat to religious liberty, but on the other hand I’m stunned that many seem to think this latest threat is a new phenomenon or somehow greater than all the previous ones.

 

Having been fortunate to have personally met three of the best defenders of religious liberty in the country – I decided to email them this question:

 

Please help me out. Why is this HHS mandate — “the greatest test of religious liberty we will have faced in our lifetime”? Have these outraged people been asleep? Have they not been watching the advance of so-called homosexual “rights”?

 

This is NOT a rhetorical question. Please advise.

 

In the same way we need an awakening regarding the threat to religious liberties, we need an awakening about the need to stop electing or nominating the wrong kind of Republicans. If they’re not a part of the solution they’re a part of the problem. Oh, and so-called homosexual “marriage” is on the advance here while you only hear silence from the Illinois Republican Party.

 

Since I didn’t request their permission to post, I’ll leave out their names. Here are each of their responses:

 

“I haven’t had time to think deeply about this, but my initial thought is that many conservatives, and probably many liberals as well, are incapable of seeing the big picture or too lazy to take the time to think about the long range implications of a law, policy, belief etc. Therefore, conservatives are blind to all the infringements of religious liberty (or speech rights or parental rights) that happen incrementally.

 

What’s different about this healthcare mandate is that it’s a huge federal imposition on large institutions. Even the lazy and ignorant can’t help but notice.”

 

* * * * *

 

Good question. The difference may be due to which issue has been most effectively promoted by their propaganda. Even though opposition to abortion/Roe v. Wade etc. has been wimpy, I think people are less afraid of addressing abortion/fertility issues than the homosexual issue.

 

There hasn’t been an all-out campaign in popular media or schools to desensitize people on abortion. While movies and TV shows (and schools) can portray “gays” as just regular, lovable people, there’s no way to portray babies being ripped apart in a soft way. So regular people still find it abhorrent and are more willing to bring it up. It’s easier for them to engage in the issue, since most are parents/grandparents and understand pregnancy and childbirth.

 

How many traditional-values people want to spend any time thinking about sodomy or vaginal fisting? Most have no connection to it in their own lives, and those that have are the “accepting” kind. Because a relative, son, daughter, etc., is living as a homosexual, they are more willing to turn away from the issue.

 

* * * * *

 

One way to explain it is the SUCCESS of the pro-life movement, particularly in relation to the largely FAILED fight against the homosexual movement. Growing pro-life power (almost universally acknowledged and fueled by conservative leaders) checks the Secular Left and potential government overreach on anything related to life. In contrast, the enfeebled anti-gay-agenda movement — and the compromised libertarian-esque “conservatives” who refuse to heed its warnings or, worse, pander to the radicals — leave wide open the potential for anti-religious oppression in the service of newfangled “gay rights.”

 

In the same way we need an awakening regarding the threat to religious liberties, we need an awakening about the need to stop electing or nominating the wrong kind of Republicans. If they’re not a part of the solution they’re a part of the problem. Oh, and so-called homosexual “marriage” is on the advance here while you only hear silence from the Illinois Republican Party.

  

John Biver is a Christian, an American citizen, a writer, a researcher, and an activist. You can read more from John at www.johnbiver.com.

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