Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The Obama Administration has decreed that employers must provide health insurance to their employees which includes free birth control pills, abortifacient drugs and sterilization.

Doesn’t sit too well with the Catholic Church.

Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and soon to be elevated to the rank of Cardinal, is the Chairman of the United States Conference of Bishops.

He asked Catholic Bishops to write to the people in their dioceses and express the concern of the church for first amendment freedom.

Visiting friends on Marco Island, I attended a 10:45 Mass that was standing room only. When the bishop’s letter was read, one fellow got up and left. Lucky for me. I took his seat.

The bishop’s letter was a strong defense of the first amendment right of freedom of religion. When the Deacon read the words, “we cannot, we will not comply with this unjust law” the congregation broke into applause.

Of course, lots of folks in America are up in arms about Obamacare.

The very idea that the federal government can force people to buy insurance runs contrary to our notions of freedom. To require that such mandatory insurance must contain provisions which offend the consciences of citizens and violate the tenets of their church adds insult to injury.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese of the Military Services, is one of the many American bishops who issued pastoral letters protesting the Obama administration’s mandate.

But his letter didn’t get read in the army chapels. The Army’s Office of Chief of Chaplains nixed it, sending an email to senior chaplains directing that they merely mention the letter and allowing copies to be distributed after Mass.

So now freedom of speech goes in the tank along with freedom of religion.

T. H. White in his Arthurian allegory, Once and Future King describes a colony of ants living on a rock into which they had burrowed a mass of tunnels. Over the entrance of each tunnel was posted the warning: Whatever Is Not Compulsory Is Prohibited.

That phrase, or some version of it, has become a kind of short hand definition of the political system known as totalitarianism.

Big word, but nothing new. Totalitarianism has been around as long as mankind. It is very simply a form of government in which one person is the absolute ruler. Unlike monarchy, where the power stays in the family, totalitarian rulers come to power and stay in power by a process of assertion and acquiescence.

When we were kids, we called it “King of the Castle.” You pushed everyone else off the bed, then chanted, “I’m the King of the castle and you’re the dirty rascal.”

The rascals would get together and depose the king and someone else would start the chant.

Sort of like what’s going on in Lybia, Egypt and Syria.

And in the United States. We call it the Presidential election. Used to be we had a presidential election every leap year. Now we have ‘election cycles’ which start the day after the last election.

Used to be we were a constitutional republic. The consent of the people was given in writing. The constitution, in the words of George Washington, was the explicit and authoritative act of the whole people.

Lincoln spoke of government of the people, by the people and for the people not of, by and for the majority.

We’re told that the majority of Americans, even of Catholics, use birth control.

And therefore, we shall all pay for it. The President and his army have said so.

And he is, after all, the King of the Castle, isn’t he?

1 comment:

  1. When USA Today's editorial board decided recetly to publish an editorial (Feb 6th) taking the Department of Healtn and Human Services recent mandate to task, Secretary Kathleen Sibelius called them "asking" that they not publish it. They published it anyway. Evidently freedom of the press remains intact. But does the freedom of one to publially practice his or her religion enjoy that same status? The present Administration seems to have a certin selectivity when it comes to observing the First Amendment to our Constitution.