Some of Barack Obama's useful idiots on the Catholic center/left say that his decree forcing religious organizations to pay for contraceptives amounts to a betrayal. No, it is not. Candidate Obama had telegraphed his plans to discriminate against the religious. Were Cardinal Mahony and company too busy burbling over "hope and change" to pay attention? You made Obama's bed; now lie in it.
And let's not kid ourselves: they will lie in it, even if a few of them have mumbled in recent days some words about "civil disobedience." Whatever civil disobedience materializes in the future, it will not come from these worldly weasels -- who don't even consider artificial birth control a mortal sin anyways -- but from orthodox priests and nuns uncowed by the state.
The ambitious sophist Doug Kmiec, before receiving his plum ambassadorial assignment to Malta, declared Obama a great friend of the Catholic Church. In a grotesque farce beyond the satirical imagination of Tom Wolfe, academics and administrators at Notre Dame, panting after the approval of the chosen one, gave him an honorary law degree. The obtuse semi-official newspaper of the Vatican, L'Osservatore Romano, liked the cut of Obama's jib too, pooh-poohing criticism of him as mere alarmism from Catholic yahoos in the States.
All the while Obama had made his secularist, anti-Catholic bigotry clear. A Health and Human Services order requiring most Catholic and religious employers to pick up the tab for their employees' sterilizations, birth control pills, and dashes for "emergency" contraceptives flows from the logic of this bigotry.
After all, as candidate Obama said in several speeches, religion is nothing more than a private and often odd "opinion," whereas secularism belongs to the privileged realm of "reason." For those scoring at home, this meant that Obama's understanding of what liberals call the "separation of Church and state" -- a phony concept and phrase nowhere found in the U.S. Constitution -- would entitle him as president to separate God and religious freedom from public life.
In one of his memoirs, Obama uses the Old Testament story of Abraham and Isaac to argue that secularism equals "reason" and religion equals crazy caprice. It was an odd example for a proponent of near-infanticide to cite. Unlike Abraham, who in the end put the knife down, Obama's subsidized butchers at Planned Parenthood keep theirs in daily use. But Obama proceeded with the analogy anyways, summing up his sermon on the superiority of secularism to religion by writing that the "best we can do is act in accordance with those things that are possible for all of us to know."
In other words, the lowest-common-denominator wisdom with which to organize public life should come from secularists. The logical upshot of this position is that in every nook and cranny of public life secularists will call the shots and the religious will be expected to submit.
Over the last fifty years or so, the bishops, desperate for approval in our "pluralistic" society and waffling in their faith, have largely accepted secularism's monopolistic ordering of society. Have I missed the battle? asks the craven son of Marcus Aurelius in the movie Gladiator. "You missed the war," Marcus Aurelius replies. The ineffectual squeaking from Mahony and company deserves a similarly acid response.
Obama likes to say that he is not at "war with Islam." This is true; he is not. But he is in a culture war with Christianity -- a war that a few brave orthodox bishops and Christians have been fighting for decades. It is long past time that they march on this godless presidency. Dare this secularist bigot to enforce his violation of religious freedom.
The bishops have spent a great deal of the Church's treasure on ignoble lawsuits, paying off the victims of pedophile priests. Obama's gestating secularist tyranny gives them an occasion to spend the faithful's funds on noble lawsuits for once.
What would Obama do if millions of Catholics, Jews, and Evangelicals practiced civil disobedience against Obamacare? It might shock him enough to sign a law from Congress rescinding the order. Then again, he might, if he escapes into the safety of a second term, dig in. He made sure to delay the order's binding effect until after the November election.
Obama's cynicism is impressive. He could have selected open pagans as his agents of anti-Catholic destruction. Instead, he found Catholics like Kathleen Sebelius and Joe Biden to do the dirty work. That's a nice touch. And let's not forget that these Catholics have received the blessing of Cardinal Mahony and his friends. Recall the petition signed by Catholic academics defending Sebelius during her confirmation hearings; recall Cardinal Mahony's invocation at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles to which a young and rising Obama traveled.
Mitt Romney, by the way, is no guaranteed savior in this scenario. Proof of his pro-life ambivalence is that after his supposed conservative conversion he supported a law in the Bay State that bullied Catholic hospitals into giving rape victims abortifacients. He, too, supported the secularist monopoly over public life -- a monopoly that, until it is busted by civil disobedience and a deep change in the culture, will make assaults on religious freedom unceasing and inevitable.