Sunday, February 12, 2012
Obama, the Catholic Church and the March of Totalitarianism
The president of the United States has decided to go Henry VIII on the Church's medieval ass. Whatever religious institutions might profess to believe in the matter of "women's health," their pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities and immunities are now subordinate to a one-and-only supreme head on earth determined to repress, redress, restrain and amend their heresies. One wouldn't wish to overextend the analogy: For one thing, the Catholic Church in America has been pathetically accommodating of Beltway bigwigs' ravenous appetite for marital annulments in a way that Pope Clement VII was disinclined to be vis-a-vis the English king and Catherine of Aragon. But where'd all the pandering get them? In essence, President Obama has embarked on the same usurpation of church authority as Henry VIII: as his Friday morning faux-compromise confirms, the continued existence of a "faith-based institution" depends on submission to the doctrinal supremacy of the state.
The mission of a Catholic hospital is to minister to the sick. When a guy shows up in Emergency, bleeding all over the floor, the nurse does not first establish whether he is Episcopalian or Muslim; when an indigent is in line at the soup kitchen the volunteer does not pause the ladle until she has determined whether he is a card-carrying Papist. The government has redefined religion as equivalent to your Sunday best: You can take it out for an hour to go to church, but you gotta mothball it in the closet the rest of the week. So Catholic institutions cannot comply with Commissar Sebelius and still be in any meaningful sense Catholic.
The bigger the Big Government, the smaller everything else: First, other pillars of civil society are crowded out of the public space; then, the individual gets crowded out, even in his most private, tooth-level space. President Obama, Commissar Sebelius and many others believe in one-size-fits all national government – uniformity, conformity, supremacy from Maine to Hawaii, for all but favored cronies. It is a doomed experiment – and on the morning after it will take a lot more than a morning-after pill to make it all go away.
Read the whole entertaining thing.
Amy Alkon discusses how speaking her mind in politics may have irreparably damaged a friendship. Amy's a libertarian and her friend seemed quit offended that Amy doesn't believe that government should stay out of our lives to the largest degree.
We walked out to our cars together, and she said something about how necessary government is to run every area of our lives, and I said my view is that government makes a mess of it and that I wanted as little intervention as possible: basically just road maintenance, defense, and the classic stuff you usually hear libertarians talk about when they explain small government.
Interesting the Amy's friend's view of the role of government matches the definition of totalitarianism. When I point that out, I commonly receive a reaction of "Jesus Christ dude, SERIOUSLY?" of something like that. Yes, we're supposed to ignore the elephant in the room.
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