Freedom of Religion has been a cornerstone of our freedoms in this country for over 200 hundred years, and it has only been in the last few decades that we now find that our Freedom of Religion has been slowly eroded to become a Freedom From Religion to the point where we find ourselves today. This right is also slowly being renamed as Freedom of Worship by the left, which is very distinct from Freedom of Religion. In the latter, we specifically have a right to pursue our faith in conscience and practice. In the former, we have the right to worship, but that can be restricted to worshiping in private and denying our share of the public square to proclaim our faith.
We, especially Catholics, are finding ourselves in a vise between following our Catholic consciences or submitting to our secular government's lack of same. It is far more than just a matter of rights that is being is played out by Obama and his ilk.We are being told to choose between denying our faith and Catholic consciences or face prosecution. Worship the Emperor or enter the Colosseum. Too dramatic? I would have thought so a few years back, but not so much today.
If the rest of the world is our crystal ball, then we as Catholics in this country know where we are headed in terms of freely practicing our faith if we allow this HHS ruling to stand. We may not think that we are physically threatened as are Christians in other countries, but that would be a wrong assumption to make. We only have to look at what started out as verbal violence that Catholics endure in this country for opposing abortion, contraception and a whole host of other social ills. Now we find Christians being physically assaulted by the pro-abortion crowd simply for praying and displaying signs that tell the truth about abortion. Condoms have been thrown at them and in some cases pushing and actual assault with a moving vehicle has occurred. Desecration of churches, statues and consecrated hosts have happened. We are under physical assault and if this is not violence then I don't know what is. It is a very small step from these Brown Shirt tactics of the godless left to a more violent end to faithful Christians if the left feels it has the backing and support of our government.
The Bishop's call to defy the HHS, if this ruling is allowed to stand, may find Catholics paying severe financial penalties and possibly with some of our Bishops and Catholic employers in prison for non-compliance of this HHS ruling. This ruling is another step toward our persecution if we allow our consciences to be hijacked. There would be no stopping the government to dictate what can and cannot be said by a Catholic or other Christians in public or at the pulpits if they deem their action to be for the common good once they put restrictions on Catholic consciences.
When we have a president who decides to force his ideology on the rest of us under penalty of prosecution then everything is on the table. Everything. Homilies teaching against homosexual acts, contraception, abortion, scripture verses condemning sinful actions, and simply believing in Catholic doctrine may, in the near future, be considered hate crimes. This is now happening in parts of the so-called civilized world. The Bishop of Knock, Ireland is the latest victim of anti-Catholic bigotry that is washing over civilized nations. We are next in line.
The HHS ruling has nothing to do with allowing women access to health benefits that Catholics find objectionable. This could have been done in myriads of ways without forcing Catholic institutions to comply with an evil edict. It is simply about Obama forcing Catholics to deny their faith and submit themselves to what Catholics know to be immoral and bow to secularism. Even if they administration reverses it's ruling, it will not be the last we hear about it and more persecutions will be coming.
I'm afraid that the threat of fines and financial hardships, imprisonment and prosecutions against so-called hate crimes of certain speech by Catholics will find some of us selling out. What's coming down the road for Catholics is not going to be easy. Hardships perpetrated by our government simply because we are Catholic and Christian is a test of faith for us and it is all starting to come down to brass tacks. We either hold on to what we truly believe as the Truth in the face of government imposed hardships and imprisonment(or worse) or we give in.
We only have to look to the Church in China, the middle east and in Africa to see what is on the horizon for Catholics in this country. If Catholics, by law, can be threatened with imprisonment and/or fines for defying the HHS ruling, then, as with the early Catholics in the Roman Empire, we may have to flee underground to our own catacombs in this, the Obama Empire, simply to hear the Truth and to follow our consciences .
There is a lot of speculation as to why the Obama administration would stand so aggressively against the Church, but the most important thing we need to remember is the entity that has sought to destroy the Church from the very beginning and continues to try today. This is who we are ultimately fighting against.
Christ, as head of His Church, was persecuted and crucified. We, His body, should expect no less if we faithfully follow Him.