In its recent decision to uphold a Health and Human Services mandate that all employers provide reproductive services in their insurances packages (in reality, services that oppose reproduction like contraception, sterilization, abortion, and the like) the U.S. government may have finally awakened a sleeping giant: the Catholic Church and its bishops. Even Catholics who supported Obamacare, like Sr. Carol Keehan, have spoken out against this mandate. (It is quite ironic, though, that those who supported the individual mandate in the healthcare law would be surprised that other mandates would follow that would also violate personal and now religious liberty.)
Many bishops have issued public statements read from the pulpit to their congregations denouncing the decision, and vowing to fight it. New York Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal, reminding Americans that the right to religious liberty is of the utmost importance in our society. It is the lifeblood of our Republic. Quoting George Washington, he said:
"The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them."And then quoting another founding father, James Madison, he wrote:
"Conscience is the most sacred of all property."This situation is not just about violation of the First Amendment, it also points to the decision by the government to further the breakup of the family. Pushing for coverage of "preventative services", read "destructive services", is a move that will contribute to the culture of "Me" rather than "We." Selfishness reigns while sacrifice disappears. The government has no desire to encourage family life, and this is more proof of it. By furthering the breakup of the family, the government seeks to draw more people to itself; drawing them away from their families, and their Churches.
At a Sunday Mass in the diocese of Green Bay Wisconsin, the congregation gave their bishop a standing ovation after his forceful public statement against the mandate. For too long, Catholics and Christians have been kicked to the curb, told they do not belong in the public sphere. They are reminded to "go in their room, and lock the door and pray to their heavenly Father in secret." But, Catholics cannot do that anymore. It is sink or swim time for the Church in America, and the Christian family. Some may say it is a scary time for the Church, a fearful time. But I do not agree. I think it is a great time to be a Christian, a Catholic because we are united in the Truth. The lines have been drawn clearly, and it is exciting to be on the right side!
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father." (Mt. 5: 13-16)