City on the Hill
August 3, 2012 10 Comments
Sometimes we forget while we are embroiled in our controversies but, the entire world watches what we do. Whether it’s gun rights, invasion of our rights of freedom of religion and speech, like the Chick-fil-A protest that so many of us participated in, or the fight by the religious to overturn Obamacare’s contraception mandates, the world watches not only what we say but, what we do. Where America leads, other follow. We are indeed become, as John Winthrop said so long ago-
For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us. Soe that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword throughout the world.
We should not live our political life to obtain the approval of man, and it is indeed fit and proper that we have these debates with ourselves and for ourselves but, a proper respect indicates that we should not forget that we are the bearers of the torch of liberty that lights the world, and what we do here will be noted all over the world. That is the destiny God has chosen for us, and we have accepted.
The following is from Archbishop Cranmer. I note that His Grace echoes what our own bishops are saying, it does not surprise me because they, and he are correct.
Today, freedom of religion dies in the USA
Religious liberty is a cornerstone of the Constitution of the United States of America. The First Amendment prohibits the federal government from making a law ‘respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’. There is also provision that ‘No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification of any Office or public Trust under the United States’.
Today, ‘the free exercise thereof’ dies not with a bang, or even a whimper, but with almost complete indifference. There will be no marches or protests, no speeches or martyrs, for the coercion will not be a perceptible burden. In fact, it will scarcely change anything, for, rather like the EU’s ‘ever closer union’, the effects will be gradual, incremental; purposely designed to take effect increasingly over the lives of future generations.
As of today, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act decrees that the vast majority of health insurance plans in the USA will be obliged by law to cover sterilisation procedures and contraceptives, including the abortifacient ‘morning after pill’, without cost-sharing by the insured. There is no retrospective mandatory application: current policies will be permitted to run their course. But renewal at the end of a plan will be caught by the new law, ratchet-like, as will all new policies.
Roman Catholics in particular (but also a great many Evangelical Protestants) are pinning their hopes on key test cases to determine what remains of religious liberty and the free exercise of the conscience in these matters: Humanae Vitae is henceforth trumped by Obamacare. The Department of Health and Human Services grants exemptions for the ‘religious employer’ who may be granted ‘safe harbor’ (sic), but the definitions are narrow and derogations temporary (indeed, some lasting only until this date next year). There was talk of the ‘accommodation’ of dissenting views, but it is elusive in the final solution.
Within the year, Christian employers will be forced to make a decision – to follow their religious convictions, or provide their employees with health care benefits; to choose between their interpretation of the Laws of God, or sacrifice to Molech, the Canaanite god of propitiatory child sacrifice.
Continue reading Cranmer: Today, freedom of religion dies in the USA.
I suspect, though, that like Mark Twain the rumors of its death are exaggerated, although there is no doubt that it is on life support, the battle is not over.
As I was reminded lately-
I tell you naught for your comfort,
Yea, naught for your desire,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher
The lines are repeated in a different context toward the end as Alfred gathers the Saxons for what will prove the last and successful battle
“And this is the word of Mary,
The word of the world’s desire
`No more of comfort shall ye get,
Save that the sky grows darker yet
And the sea rises higher.’
Now it proves the flint against which the iron of resolve is sharpened, and the Saxons rally and they win, even though all had seemed lost. Alfred was not the most charismatic or dramatic of leaders, but he won,…
Thanks again, Jess.
- Op-Ed Columnist: Defining Religious Liberty Down (nytimes.com)
- Morning Bell: Obamacare’s Anti-Religious Freedom Mandate Starts TODAY (heritage.org)
- It Took A Chicken To Show America How To Have a Backbone (ConservativeActionAlerts.com)
- DOJ: Family Can’t Run Their Business as Catholics – John Malcolm (nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com)