By Doug Patton
First, he came for the General Motors bondholders, but the religious leaders were not GM bondholders, so they did not speak up. Then he came for the oil companies, but they were not oil company executives, and again they did not speak up. Next, he came for control of the nation's health care system, and again they saw no threat — in fact, many of them supported his plan.
We were told we had to pass the plan to could find out what was in it. Then he came for our freedom of religion, and we found out what was in it: pure, unadulterated tyranny.
In a stunning exercise of raw, unconstitutional power, Barack Obama now tells people of faith that their rights do not come from God, as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the First Amendment to the Constitution, but rather from him. The right to practice one's religion is now codified in the so-called Affordable Care Act of 2010, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Last week, Obama announced that religious organizations would be required to include birth control and abortifacient devices and medications in the health care plans they provide for their employees. When it became clear that America's Christian leaders would not stand for this, Obama is said to have "backed down." In reality, he did no such thing.
What the president did was to call a press conference to announce his "compromise." Rather than religious institutions being forced to provide these services directly, Obama decreed, their insurance companies would be compelled to do so — at no cost to the employee.
While making the rounds of the Sunday talk shows, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said, in essence, that insurance companies should be happy to give these services away "free" since it costs less not to have babies than it does to have them. As for the president, he clearly believes his power to dictate such things under Obamacare trumps the Constitution's authority to stop him.
Do not believe for a minute that Barack Obama intends anything but a wholesale takeover of this nation's health care system. He is on record as favoring a single-payer plan similar to what is in place in Canada and Great Britain.
The president is fully aware that Obamacare's mandates are driving up the cost of private health insurance, thereby ultimately forcing all Americans into a one-size-fits-all government run plan. Obama also knows that many religious organizations are self-insuring. That means that the costs associated with health care for their employees come directly out of the pockets of the church itself.
There may be a difference of opinion between Catholic doctrine and the teachings of most evangelical churches on the issue of birth control, but these denominations are in lockstep on the issue of refusing to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Some of their leaders have sworn to go to prison rather than violate this principle.
Obama is a master divider, and I believe that once he has convinced a majority of American women that contraception is a "right" that should be free, he can then divide people of faith against one other and against their own church leaders. He also believes that persuading a few liberal Catholic groups to support his "compromise" ends the discussion. Someone compared this to forcing all Jews to eat pork chops just because some of them don't keep kosher.
It is long past time that Christian leaders stood up in their pulpits and declared that a vote for Barack Obama is a vote against God. Just imagine if every Bible believing minister in America made that announcement to their congregations the Sunday before the election. Then, try to imagine what a second Obama term might look like.
© 2012 by Doug Patton
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.