Barack Obama may have just lost the election. He has foolishly gone to war in an election year with tens of millions of Catholics, Protestants and Jews – Democrat, Republican and independent alike. He has thrown down a radical feminist gauntlet and dared the Church to pick it up.
They've picked it up.
From running up trillions in debt and deficit, to the vast expansion of the size and scope of federal bureaucracy, Mr. Obama has done more in three years to supplant our 236 year-old Constitutional Republic with a Euro-style socialist autocracy – than a lesser Marxist could have accomplished in a lifetime.
But controlling the purse strings is not nearly enough. A central element of full-blown secular-socialism is the suppression of religious liberty – principally, freedom of conscience.
Karl Marx once said: "The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."
When Karl Marx speaks, Barack Obama listens.
In what is perhaps the most egregious executive overreach in our lifetime, the president's Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, has unconstitutionally decreed that both Catholic and Protestant organizations must violate fundamental tenets of the Christian faith by providing ObamaCare coverage that includes birth control, sterilization and various forms of abortion. This is as blatant a violation of the First Amendment's guarantee to religious "free exercise" as we've ever seen.
Despite two pathetic feints at "compromise," Obama's illegal requirement that faith-based groups pay for policies providing immoral "reproductive services" remains in full force.
On Friday, the Obama administration offered its latest non-compromise "compromise." LifeSiteNews.com reports: "The White House announced today that, instead of forcing religious employers to pay for birth control, it will force insurance companies to offer the drugs free of charge to all women, no matter where they work."
America: this arrogant, narcissistic, amoral man thinks you're stupid. Who do you think pays for the insurance policies that provide "free" birth control, sterilizations and abortifacients to employees? Why, the very religious organizations doctrinally prohibited from paying for these "services" in the first place, of course.
This is nothing but a South Side Chicago shell game, dressed up as a concession. Obama's unprecedented attack on the First Amendment continues full steam ahead.
In Dreams from My Father, Mr. Obama writes: "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully." It should come as little surprise that, among those carefully selected friends, he gives his "Marxist professors and the structural feminists" top billing. In fact, as we approach the 2012 general election, it has become alarmingly clear the degree to which various secular "isims" have shaped the development of Obama's ungodly worldview.
From the moment he falsely claimed, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation," many have screamed from the rooftops that, despite his incongruous claims to be a Christ follower, Barack Obama, in reality, harbors tremendous animus toward all things Christian.
It's not surprising, then, that – even prior to his latest act of anti-religious authoritarianism – a Pew Research Center survey had determined that, under Obama's leadership, "the number of [religious] voters who identify as a Democrat has declined, while the number saying they lean toward the GOP has risen."
· White evangelical Protestant support for the GOP has grown from 65 percent in 2008 to 70 percent today;
· 80 percent of Mormons now say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party;
· White mainline Protestants, who were evenly divided between the parties in 2008, now favor the GOP by a 12-point margin;
· White non-Hispanic Catholics, who gave Democrats an eight-point advantage in 2008 now give Republicans a seven-point advantage at the end of 2011 (a remarkable 15-point swing);
· Even Jewish voters – traditionally one of the strongest Democratic constituencies – have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin.
It stands to reason that, in the wake of his most recent attack on religious freedom, Democrat's favor with the faithful will only further erode.
Catholics especially are having none of it. Bill Donohue, president of the non-partisan Catholic League lashed out last week: "Never before; unprecedented in American history for the federal government to line up against the Roman Catholic Church."
Ms. Sebelius first feigned compromise in the aftermath of the original announcement, haughtily granting some religious groups one year "to adapt to this new rule."
"In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," responded Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., many Catholic priests across the nation have vowed civil disobedience. On January 29, they read a form letter to parishioners pledging that Catholics "cannot – we will not – comply with this unjust law."
Nor should they.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has introduced a bill called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2012 that would restore liberty of conscience to religious groups. Evangelical leaders are allying en masse with their kindred papist travelers.
Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said "ObamaCare is a direct attack on the moral and religious beliefs of our nation. One year will not change religious tenets that have been in place for thousands of years. This administration has pressed its radical pro-abortion agenda on the American people and around the world … ObamaCare is an assault on our freedom."
Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), has said "we will not comply" with this law. He has pledged to face jail time instead: "We want the law changed, or else we're going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. King wrote his from the Birmingham jail."
This is the stuff of civil war. This is a battle Barack Obama and Democrats cannot win. He has two choices: He can either stubbornly stand firm and continue to give the GOP a tremendous election year bat with which to beat him about the head and neck; or he can cave and further cultivate the snowballing narrative that he is weak and impetuous.
Either way, the president has suffered a self-inflicted wound so deep that it may not heal before November; especially since, as evidenced by his latest illusory "accommodation," he can't seem to stop picking at the scab.
Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action (LCA on Facebook). (Title and affiliation provided for identification purposes only.)