Truth and Lies

How was Hitler able to persuade the Jews to march docilely off to their own deaths? He lied to them.

How does any government achieve goals that require people to cooperate in their own destruction? The government lies to them.

This blog is devoted to discussing the way we as Christians live in a secular humanist culture. We will talk about faith practices that help us mature in the faith, and we will talk about issues that arise when our faith becomes visible to other people and powers in our culture.

Today’s question is: How will Barack Obama succeed in fooling Christians into agreeing that it is okay to suppress religious expression? The answer is: lie to us.

We need to be very clear that the issue is not about women’s health or contraception or fairness to poor women. The issue is whether our constitution permits the federal government to require people of any faith to do things which their faith regards as sin. The question applies equally to Hindus or Muslims or Baha’i. At the moment, the focus of this discussion is the teaching of the Catholic Church and the interpretation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Most of the media and many Democrat leaders have attempted to change the subject of the conflict away from freedom of religious expression. They have tried to make everyone focus on whether it is a woman’s right to receive contraception services at no charge to herself, and whether such services have become a right because they are integral to her good health. This issue is a political agenda item, not a fundamental right belonging to a human being by virtue of that human being’s existence. The right to express faith freely without hindrance by government is a God-given right, a right due to the very nature of being human, a right protected by the First Amendment.

We must not be diverted from the real issue, because unless we face the real issue, our own faith convictions are at risk. Last week we saw how collaboration between government and media can lie to us by diverting our attention from the real issue to something else. The government lie is that the big argument is about whether a woman ought to have to pay for her contraception. The truth is that the big argument is whether the federal government has a right to force anyone to act against the principles of any faith.

As a person of faith, you must consider two things in regard to this situation. First, are you willing to speak up and be counted among those who believe that an exemption for conscience is demanded by the First Amendment? Second, when the government demands something of you that conflicts with your faith, will you hold firm to your own faith? Be sure that if the federal government does not shun a battle with the Catholic Church, no religion is exempt. The Catholic Church has both a large membership and prodigious resources with which to fight for its position. Few denominations could begin to rally either the numbers of people or the money that the Catholic Church can pour into the battle.

Every person of every faith needs to stand with the Catholic Church in this matter. When you do that, you are not addressing the issue of free contraception for all women. You are demanding compliance with the First Amendment protection of religious freedom. Every person of faith ought to treasure and assert that protection. Christians in ancient Rome would have loved to have such protection. They were compelled to fight wild animals and savage warriors with their bare hands, because there was no protection for their right to serve God and refuse to worship the emperor. Think not that the US government is different. The principle that threw Christians to the lions in the Roman Empire was this: Must a human being obey every demand of government, even if it requires disobedience to God? That conflict was not about contraception or abortion or free healthcare; it was about power. Today’s conflict that is being portrayed as centered on healthcare is not about healthcare at all; it is about power. Christians today of all stripes, as well as any other people who have any other faith would be well advised to recognize this truth. This battle is about every human’s right to serve God and to put God ahead of government. This is a war for your spirit, not your health.