Obama's Coercive Secular State - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Obama’s Coercive Secular State

The absence of free contraceptives, abortifacients, STD testing, and sterilizations, among other Sebelius-decreed “essential” services, constitutes a “war on women,” says President Obama. “It’s a scary time to be a woman,” warbles a stooge in one of his campaign ads.

Obama’s arrogance is bottomless. Even as he violates the freedom of the religious — reducing them to the status of serfs in his planned secularist and socialist state — he has the gall to cast them as the victimizers.

Under this coercive secular state, Christian values are no longer American values. Obama’s former chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has made this view official by threatening to ban Christian businesses like Chick-fil-A that appear out of step with “Chicago values.”

If Obama wins a second term, Americans will be expected to conform not only to Chicago-style politics but also to “Chicago values.” Opponents of gay marriage will be treated as enemies of the state. Obama’s military already tells chaplains and privates who dissent from Obama’s agenda to “get out.”

As reported by the Washington Times in 2010, Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, the Army’s deputy chief of staff in charge of personnel, showered withering contempt on traditionally Christian members of the military: “Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them.… But these people opposing this new policy [in favor of abolishing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] will need to get with the program, and if they can’t, they need to get out.”

Admiral Michael Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, echoed this line, telling a military chaplain who opposed the abolition of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in 2010, “If you cannot get in line, resign your commission.”

Get out of the military, get out of major cities — this is the voice of Obama’s commissars from San Francisco to Boston in his war on the religious. He is building a secularist and socialist animal farm in which no higher power exists than the will of the new Napoleons.

Socialism and secularism overlap in Obama’s political philosophy. He can see that religion is the natural rival of the state, an obstacle that must be destroyed or coopted if he is to succeed in his central planning. For the key to central planning is coerced universal participation. No one can be allowed to leave the animal farm. This is why, even though it makes little political sense, he will not expand the religious exemption beyond purely sectarian organizations. If he were to concede that the right to religious freedom trumps his invented right to “reproductive services,” his animal farm would stall and collapse.

Even Americans who don’t support organized religion should see that it serves as an important buffer to the overweening state, and that the extinction of freedom for those groups will one day imperil their own. When government replaces God, its pitilessness affects everyone.

On August 1, all employers, whether they realize it or not, became cogs in Obama’s socialist and secularist machine. If they refuse to subsidize the sex lives of their employees, Obama can now bankrupt them through punitive fines. The fine is up to $100 per employee, per day, according to an estimate by the Congressional Research Service. The official position of Obama’s Justice Department in defense of this fiat is that businessmen lose their religious liberty the moment they decide to open their doors to the public. Their money and their consciences belong to the government.

The sheer idiocy of the HHS mandate was illustrated recently by Senator Tom Harkin, who, in a comically desperate attempt to cast the absence of free contraceptives and abortifacients as a form of corporate oppression, said, “There are many women who take birth control pills, for example, because they have terrible menstrual cramps once a month, some of them almost incapacitated, can’t work. I know of young women myself who, because of this, aren’t able to work and be productive, and it’s prescribed by their doctor.” Harkin, apparently, can’t rest until these women are back working on Obama’s animal farm, having received, under the gaze of government, all the suitable injections to guarantee their productivity for years to come. Harkin’s paternalism is so touching: What would women do without his monitoring of their ailments?

It is high time Mitt Romney hit back hard against this nonsense. Americans are losing real rights to Obama’s preposterously phony new ones. The mendacity of the alleged “war on women” cannot be overstated. If Romney continues to run a narrow race focused on economic competency, he will lose. Man does not live on bread alone. Romney needs to make the race a referendum on something larger and more potent — the loss of God-given freedoms and Obama’s sinister construction of the coercive socialist-secular state.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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