Thursday, November 1, 2012

Christ or Caesar

There are times that I wish I had words that could move people.

I think of the great writers of the Revolution.  Henry, Paine, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin.  These were men with words not only of passion but substance.  They knew how to win hearts and minds.

And I think about how small talents of rhetoric are in comparison.  Perhaps it is for the best.  I would probably use that skill to constantly harangue others into seeing the superiority of Star Wars to Star Trek or some other frivolity.

But there are times I wish I had their words because of the enormity of the challenge placed before us.  I wish I had the power to convince the rational powers of the person while stirring their spirit.

I wish I had the words necessary to convince others to vote for religious freedom.

I watch political ad after political ad and I rarely see the most pressing matter of our times addressed.  The economy is important, as well as foreign policy and matters of social values. 

The Catholic Church is under assault.  There is no other way to say it.  The faith of our fathers is viewed as an obstacle to total state control.

I exaggerate?  I do not think so.

Why would you force a Catholic to purchase something that they believe is evil?  This is not on par with having our tax money pay for abortions.  That is already happening.  And that is an example of our fortunes being confiscated by the state, which then distributes the funds as those in power see fit. 

What is happening now is that the Catholic Church is being forced to engage in immoral commerce. 
Catholics are glad to render to Caesar what is Caesar's.  If only Caesar returned the favor.

Notice that this is not done through the power of direct legislation.  There is no "Force the Catholics to Bend the Knee Act."  It is couched in the bewilderingly complex Affordable Healthcare Act.  Broad, ill-defined powers are assigned to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The Secretary has ordered that Catholics must violate their consciences and our representatives in Congress can wash their hands in Pilate's wash bin and abdicate any responsibility for this infringement of our rights.

The Secretary has started by mandating contraceptives and abortefacients.  Sadly many Catholics have fallen away from the Church's guidance and are not bothered by this attack.  But it is only the beginning.
Once the precedent is set, the state will begin encompassing the Church.

Give me an principle that says that the state can force Catholics to pay for contraceptives that does not also force the Church to pay for surgical abortions.  In a state with legal assisted suicide, how could this principle prevent Catholics from opting out of paying to euthanize others? 

For decades, Catholic Charities in Massachusetts helped find loving families for children in need of adoption.  But their commitment to the truth of God's plan of human nature required them to not seek placement of children with those who violated the Divine structure of the family.  But the state said that they had to bend the knee to the current draft of Caesar's plan for perfected humanity.  The told the Church they had to place children with homosexual couples.

Understand, homosexual couples could still adopt in the state of Massachusetts.  There was no absence of access in cases where gay couples sought children.  But it was not enough that there were plenty of avenues to follow of homosexuals to adopt.  The problem was that the Catholic Church did not bend the knee.

Contraceptives are relatively cheap.  Walmart will give you a good rollback price on name-brand birth prevention.  Or you can go to any number of places and get those contraceptives and abortefacients for free.  Again, there is no absence of access. 

But the Church will not bend the knee.

This is not about the Church standing in the way of others in their pursuit of happiness.  This is the frustration of the state that Christ stands as a sign to be contradicted.  The state is to be revered as the authority of our land.  But God is the authority above the state. 

The state argues that they are only executing the will of the people: vox populi vox Dei (the voice of the people is the voice of God).  Let us ignore the fact that the majority of the people disagree with this assault on the Church.  The founding fathers understood that our rights were not based on whatever side held the majority opinion.  They were wise enough to know that the shifting sand of popular issues was not the rock on which the house of America was to be built.  It had to be built on the rock of rights, rights from God.

If our rights come from God, then no dictator, not even the dictatorship of a majority mob, can take them away.  I do not have the right to worship freely because the majority of Americans say I do.  I have that right because it is essential to my nature.  The state cannot take that right away.

The state cannot make me bend the knee. 

Standing up to Caesar has its consequences.  And we need to be prepared for that.  Blessed Miguel Pro gave his life because he would not bend the knee.  He was placed before the firing squad.  He spread his arms wide and shouted "Vive Cristo Rey!" 

"Long live Christ the King!"

Those who crucified the Lord said, "We have no king but Caesar."

Christ or Caesar.

You cannot serve two masters.

I do not know if our religious liberties will be safe if Mitt Romney is elected.

I do know that they are not under President Obama.

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