Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Barack Obama: Replacing the Church With State

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Obama Won't Accept Competition

I have long held the position that statists wish to supplant the church and its influence in the lives of people with its own authority, and to do so, the institutional left seeks to displace religion from the lives of Americans because this will enable them to pour government into the vacuum.  The latest controversy over the Obamacare mandates on religious institutions to provide contraception coverage in their health care insurance policies was thought to be just another ill-considered political decision from which the Obama administration would ultimately retreat.  That retreat has been only rhetorical as Obama’s dictatorial policy remains in place.  This isn’t political ineptitude, but statists’ calculations:  The Obama administration knows that this attack on the Catholic church and Christianity generally will result in the wholesale elimination of religiously-oriented institutions.  That’s what they’re after, and that’s what they’ll get, as the seek to push people even further from religion in order to make more room for the growth of an aggressive and overpowering state.

Hot Air posted an article on this, and I think it should give us pause, because it speaks to the motivations of those who are forcing these policies upon religious institutions, and what their real goal might be.  They aren’t worried that the Catholic charities, hospitals, and schools(including universities) will perhaps cease to operate, due to matters of conscience because they fully expect them to do so.  Francis Cardinal George of the archdiocese of Chicago sent a message to parishioners and its contents demonstrate the point:

“Two Lents from now,” Cardinal George warned, “unless something changes, the page [listing Catholic organizations] will be blank.”

The Cardinal didn’t stop there.  He went on to describe the choices with which the church will be confronted:

  1. Secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life.
  2. Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable.
  3. Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government.
  4. Close down.

This is telling, and you can already see the hand-writing on the wall.  The Catholic church will not be able to take steps 1 or 2, so they will instead be compelled to follow steps 3 or 4.  What will that accomplish?  Simply put, it will demolish their employees, their institutions, and will further serve to separate Catholics from their church.  This is not accidental, but instead a long-sought goal of the institutional left that has been seeking to drive all religion out of our society.  This move will force a retreat of the church into the physical buildings that bear the same description.

The truth is that the church, any church, is not a matter of buildings.  It is as large and widespread as its adherents, and this is the secret to what the Obama administration and his thugs of the left are really after:  They will confine the church to church grounds, but force the church out of the public sphere altogether.  Whether you’re a Catholic, or a member of any other faith, you’ve just been served notice that your church is no longer welcome in the public square except on conditions to be established, enforced, and dictated by government.

Of course, Cardinal George is well aware of this fact, and it’s with sadness I report to you his conclusion from his letter to his parishioners, and if you are a person of faith, you had better pay attention, because whether you are a Catholic or not, he’s speaking to you.  All of you:

“The provision of health care should not demand “giving up” religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship-no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

“The strangest accusation in this manipulated public discussion has the bishops not respecting the separation between church and state. The bishops would love to have the separation between church and state we thought we enjoyed just a few months ago, when we were free to run Catholic institutions in conformity with the demands of the Catholic faith, when the government couldn’t tell us which of our ministries are Catholic and which not, when the law protected rather than crushed conscience. The state is making itself into a church. The bishops didn’t begin this dismaying conflict nor choose its timing. We would love to have it ended as quickly as possible. It’s up to the government to stop the attack.”(emphasis added)

When you consider what the Cardinal is saying, its importance must not be ignored.  He’s issuing you a warning, but he’s also telling you the resolution.  The government is doing this.  Who runs the government?  You do.  You have it in your power to stop this.  You can stop this in November.  You can stop this by refusing.  You can.  You can stop this with a vote.  If you’re not Catholic, you’re not exempt from any of this, or the effect it will have on your church, mosque, synagogue or temple.  There are no exemptions, because if the Obama administration can successfully drive the Catholic church out, by the far the single largest religious institution in the country, with as many as one in six hospital beds in the country under its umbrella, what will your relatively less influential institution of faith do in response?  How will you hold back the government?

Here in the Bible belt of Texas, there are relatively fewer Catholics, but there is a vast diversity of small churches with tiny congregations that are all under threat by this move against religion.  As people of faith, you had better understand that this isn’t a war on the Catholic church isn’t due to an anti-Catholic bias, but instead a war on all religion as an obstacle to the supremacy of the state.  The institutional left isn’t out to slap the Catholic church in a political move for the sake of some radical, loud-mouthed supporters as has been supposed.  They are taking steps to chase churches out of the public square, the private sphere, and eventually out of existence.   This is the purpose, and if you blind yourself with the faulty notion that this is about Catholics, or about contraception, you’re setting yourself up for slavery, because whereas churches must solicit donations from you to support their various social causes, the government will instead only demand payment at gunpoint.  There will be no choice, and there will be no conscience but that which they dictate it to be.

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Barack Obama: Foisting Individual Imperatives Upon the State

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

False Prophet

Nobody should be surprised to find that Barack Obama would attempt to use Christianity to justify his socialism.  It’s what statists do when they run out of other excuses, and it generally takes the form of the brain-addled professions of mis-quoted faith as a substitute for legitimate government actions. In an article on BuzzFeed, they have documented Obama’s attempt to play this card from up his sleeve, but conservatives of Christian faith should not be fooled by the appeal.  It’s a lie intended to draw you into statist arguments, and we’ve seen it before, originating from Republicans too.  We must reject this, for if ever there was actually a place in which a wall of separation was intended to exist between church and state, Obama’s usage is where that wall must be erected.  In part, the President said:

“And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody. But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’”

Here is the problem we confront with the fraudulent, anti-Christian argument of the President:  Too many people will be too easily misled by this entirely nonsensical argument.  You might ask me, “but Mark, isn’t it true that it is Jesus’ command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself?’”  To you? Yes. To President Obama, personally, as an individual man? Yes.  To the government of the United States?  NO!  If you are a faithful Christian, you will know that the words of Jesus were not a command to government, but to people.  Jesus did not minister to governments or nations, but to people.  Christians understand that there can be no understanding in spirit between The Almighty and governments, but only between their God and individual people.  Not even a church can claim to speak for its entire flock at once, or know the sincerity of all its members’ faith.  Instead, this is the realm of private conscience, literally between you as individuals and God.

What Barack Obama here offers is something else again, in the form of a command intended for individual human hearts and minds, projected onto all of society at once by governmental command.  Is this what Jesus taught?  If so, I cannot find it. Jesus did not teach that it was government’s duty, but the duty of individual men to love thy neighbor as thyself.  When Moses brought forth commandments for the Israelites, not one among the ten prescribed a single word to the state, but instead all to individual actions of people.  What the President has done in this case is to make the most absurd parallel between governmental actions and the actions of individual men.

You might doubt me, as mostly God-fearing people, so let me ask it straight away: Do the teachings of Jesus order you to compel other men at gunpoint to do his bidding?  Do the commandments brought down by Moses say to you that you must steal, or that you shall not steal?  The government in the form Barack Obama here prescribes is one in which the state takes on the characteristics of an individual man, but to do so, must first commit a breach at least one of ten commandments given to individual men.  This is not the teaching of Jesus.  Jesus did not tell individual men that they should appeal to Caesar to love their neighbor in their stead. The proof of this is to reconstruct the line, and decide what is sensible for Jesus to have intended:

“Government, love thy neighbor as thyself”

Obviously, Jesus was not speaking to government. Instead, if we are to place the assumed addressing of the remark, we must edit it like this:

You love thy neighbor as thyself”

What more does it take than this to understand that this teaching was intended for individual men and women?  This was a direct command to individuals, as all the commands of Jesus.  Of course, there exists no shortage of charlatans who pretend that Jesus intended something else.  Jesus did not tell men to employ the force of government to steal from other men to love their neighbors on their behalf.  Jesus did not minister to a mass, but instead to a sea of individuals, one by one, each in his own conscience.  This is precisely in opposition to the message of Obama, who tells us government should act in your place in all things.  This is the lie Barack Obama teaches, and while it may soothe those who are amenable to this message, you will find that his motives are to pervert the intentions of Jesus to his own ends.  We must not permit this sort of lie to bear false witness against the teachings of Jesus, whether it originates with Democrats or Republicans.

Shaking a Fist at God While Rooting Against Tim Tebow

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Why Do They Mock Him?

I listen to leftists talk about Tim Tebow as if he is evidence that conservative Christians are mad. It’s not that Tebow himself makes a grand spectacle of his praying, but that others focus on it by bringing it to the attention of the world.  Leftists in particular hate all of this “prayer stuff,” and while they have no problem with Muslims facing Mecca in their regular daily submission before Allah, or a band of Wiccans dancing in the moonlight in their own form of spiritual celebration,  they recoil in horror at the sight of a man, one plain, Christian man, knelt in humble supplication before his God.  I’m not a fan of football, but I hope Tebow prevails, not because one should assume his winning or losing may indicate anything about God’s will, but because I’ve had more than enough of people of faith being mocked for merely being faithful.

Of course, the problem is that some of the Tebow-haters are just sports fans rooting for his opponents, but what I’ve discovered in pop-culture is that more often than not, those who cheer for Tebow’s opponents do so out of a rage against judgment.  It’s their form of shaking a fist at the heavens, and I’ve heard and read their comments enough to know that their jeers aren’t born of much else but a sort of seething rage against any expression of faith, but no such expression brings their rage to the surface like an American Christian who will not hide his or her faith for the comfort of these nagging ne’er-do-wells.

If they don’t share Tebow’s faith, you might well wonder, why must they rage against it?  Every time Tim Tebow takes a knee in prayer, these insecure people take it as an assault on the sincerity of the faith they claim but to which they have no strong attachment, or more often, no willingness to voice in public.  In effect, in their own minds, but not in Tebow’s, his silent prayer is a slap at their unwillingness to do so for whatever reason, be it a lack of humility or sincerity, or faith altogether.

These are the same people who cry out in shrill tone at the first hint of “judgment.”  Let me suggest to you that there is ample reason for their cries, but notice what judgment they fear most: It is the estimation of their own lives and actions that they wish to avoid.  This is a symptom of how insecure they feel about the nature of the lives they lead, and what they wish to avoid most of all is any reminder that all things are to be judged in one way or another, now and in the future.

When they mock Tebow, what they are mocking is not even God, or religion, or faith.  They will mock Tim Tebow, but they do so out of a fear and loathing.  What they angrily demonstrate is their fearful desire for a different form of absolution, through which even their fellow men might not judge them.  They seek an escape not from God’s law, but from the notion that there is any morality at all, and when they see the striking figure of a kneeling Tim Tebow, out in the open upon a field in plain view of the entire world, they are treated to a reminder that their days of avoiding judgment must inevitably end, and that such a judgment begins first in one’s own heart and mind.  At this stark realization, they shake their fists in rebellion, to no avail.